MOH Gaza: Israeli ‘false pretences’ for renewal of Gaza offensive

Press Release
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

August 22, 2014

Rafah bomb site where 3 Qassam commanders and at least 5 civilians were killed, and more than 50 injured. Photo: AFP

Rafah bomb site where 3 Qassam commanders and at least 5 civilians were killed, and more than 50 injured. Photo: AFP

The Ministry of Health Gaza abhors the ongoing massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israeli military forces, in which 65 people have been killed and 220 injured since the collapse of the ceasefire agreement on Tuesday – a collapse that lies squarely at the feet of the Israeli regime.

Former Israeli Attorney General Michael Ben Yair today admitted that the Israelis staged the alleged Hamas breach on Tuesday in order to assassinate Al Qassam leader Mohammed Deif.

This deceitful outrage continues to be used as an excuse to carry out massive attacks on Gazan civilians – according to Israeli news agency ynet a few tons of explosives were used to destroy the building in which Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum were killed in Rafah, killing at least five and injuring at least 50 additional civilians and completely destroying dozens of homes, leaving a crater the size of a residential block in their place – and the Gaza health services to pick up the pieces. Read more »

How to Fix It

by Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson
Source: Foreeign Policy

carter (400 x 192)

Ending this war in Gaza begins with recognizing Hamas as a legitimate political actor.

Israelis and Palestinians are still burying their loved ones as Gaza’s third war in six years continues. Since July 8, when this war began, more than 1,600 Palestinian and 65 Israeli lives have been sacrificed. Many in the world are heartbroken in the powerless certainty that more will die, that more are being killed every hour.

This tragedy results from the deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government’s deployment in Gaza. Read more »

Breaking the Gaza stalemate

by John V. Whitbeck

Destroyed mosque, Gaza City

Destroyed mosque, Gaza City

After the breakdown in the six-day “pause” to permit negotiations on a long-term Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and the resumption of Israel’s onslaught against the caged people of Gaza, concerned people everywhere are wondering how the conflicting demands of the two sides can possibly be reconciled.

Each side feels a compelling need to achieve some gain to justify its sacrifices — on the Palestinian side, over 2,000 dead, over 10,000 wounded and massive destruction of homes and infrastructure and, on the Israeli side, 64 dead soldiers and two dead civilians — and not to agree to anything that its own people could view as accepting failure or defeat. Read more »

“We Teach Life, Sir”

by Rana
Source: rana “palestinian child”

“Gaza isn’t the most beautiful city. Its shore isn’t blue like some Arab cities. Gaza’s oranges aren’t the most delicious in the Mediterranean! Gaza isn’t the richest city. It isn’t the most elegant nor the biggest but it holds the vast history of a large nation even though, in the eyes of the enemy, Gaza is miserable and ugly.” — Mahmoud Darwish of Gaza.

In Gaza we lose souls day and night! Gaza is the land of Martyrs! Gaza is bleeding because the world believes in the power of Israel’s propaganda. Gaza resists in order to exist. Gaza simply asks to live in peace and Israel violates international law over and over again while continues to justify its hideous war crimes. Read more »

to live now

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

I have not written much lately and this email maybe personal and emotional.

Our days start early and end very late. Our nights are also occasionally
interrupted by calls from friends in Gaza or others who need some support.

In the past 48 hours, over 100 Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli
occupation forces. Many of those are in Rafah. Sometimes I feel guilty that
I am affected more by those I know than those who die that I did not know.

For example, I cried after I hung-up the phone with Islam, a friend in
Rafah who has four children and they can’t sleep and their house shook and
windows shattered as missiles rained on homes nearby. I cried because I
know him and his handicapped son and his dilemma at whether to try to carry
his son and run to the street or not. But then I cried some more thinking
of the many innocents who got killed and injured and who I dd not
personally know and did not cry for them earlier. Islam and his family will
be traumatized for life. Hundreds of thousands will be even more
traumatized. I can’t even imagine a life of a girl who lost all her family
members and carries emotional and physical scars for life. Read more »

Hamas is not a monster, it is a legitimate national liberation movement

By Khalid Amayreh, Occupied Palestine

Hamas

The Judeo-Nazi propaganda machine has been trying rather rabidly to demonize Hamas, the Palestinian-Islamic Liberation Movement. Irate Israeli officials used every conceivable offensive epithet in the dictionary to besmirch Hamas’s image, like calling the group “terrorist” and “genocidal.”

The truth of the matter is that Hamas is neither terrorist nor genocidal. It is rather an Islamic-nationalist liberation group, not so different from other liberation movements, past and present. Read more »

PFLP salutes the martyred resistance leaders: the occupier’s assassinations will not break our will

Press Release
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

3 leaders (400 x 571)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine joins the masses of our people and the Arab nation in mourning three of the most prominent leaders of the Brigades of the Martyr Izzedine al-Qassam, the martyrs Mohammed Abu Shamala, Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Barhoum, who were martyred with a number of our people on Thursday, August 21 in intensive Zionist raids which targeted a full residential block in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in Rafah city, Gaza, Palestine. Read more »

MOH Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs on 21/08/2014

Israeli Aggression against Palestinians in Gaza Strip from 06-07-2014

Date of report:
21/08/2014 at 1900 hrs
Total number of victims:12,565 (2,083 Martyrs; 10,482 Injured)

Distributed As

Deaths: 2,083 – 561 children, 255 women, 98 over 60 years
Injuries: 10,482 – 3,189 children, 1,994 women, 388 over 60 years

Thousands farewell the three assassinated Qassam leaders at their funerals in Rafah today

Thousands farewell the three assassinated Qassam leaders at their funerals in Rafah today

Read more »

TO ISRAEL’S U.S. SUPPORTERS: PORTABLE GAS CHAMBERS, CHEMICAL WARFARE, BLINDINGS, MASS BOMBING AND SHELLING OF CIVILIANS – WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?

by Fred Branfman

Note: This message is addressed to U.S. supporters of Israel both because only U.S. pressure can bring about the political settlement which alone can save Israel and Palestine, and because it appears that most Israelis – consumed by fear, hatred and the dehumanization of even Palestinian children – are presently impervious to either reason or human decency.

Dear U.S. Supporters of Israel in Gaza,

If you believed that the IDF could destroy Hamas by employing portable gas chambers or chemical weapons to publicly gas over 1,400 Gazan civilians, including 400 children, chosen at random – or deliberately blinding them – would you favor doing so? I guess not, perhaps you even feel insulted at the suggestion that you might.

But this raises a basic question: if you would not favor gassing Palestinan civilians, how do you justify your support for blowing them to bits? The controversial issue is not Israel trying to destroy Hamas tunnels. Nor is it the attempt to destroy rockets, as if the Israelis can claim that they reasonably suspected the 46-48,000 U.N.-estimated buildings they either partially or totally destroyed of containing rockets. Nor is it rightfully condemning Hamas for rocketing civilian targets as well. As even long-term apologists for Israeli violence like the New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier acknowledge, the issue is massive Israeli bombing and shelling of he civilian infrastructure in Gaza, which is wholly disproportionate to combatting tunnels and/or rockets. Read more »

From The Holocaust To The Massacre In Gaza Through Ben-Gurion Airport

By Miko Peled
Source: Information Clearing House

Looking for his house in Shujeiyah

Looking for his house in Shujeiyah

August 19, 2014 “ICH” – The morning after “Lailat Al Qadr” the death toll in Gaza was approaching its first thousand. I spent the holy night of “Al Qadr,” (The night before the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan is a special night, believed to be the night when the Holy Koran was revealed to the prophet Mohammad) with friends in Ramallah, after participating in the 48K March for Gaza. The march began in Ramallah and went to Qalandia checkpoint. What began as a peaceful event with families with children and even babies in strollers, ended with young Palestinians with gunshot wounds being rushed in ambulances to the local hospital. Read more »

MOH Gaza Update as at 1700 hrs on 20/08/2014

Israeli Aggression against Palestinians in Gaza Strip from 06-07-2014

Date of report:
20/08/2014 at 1700 hrs
Total number of victims:12,326 (2047 Martyrs; 10,224 Injured)

Distributed As

Deaths: 2,047 – 553 children, 253 women, 96 over 60 years
Injuries: 10,224 – 3,106 children, 1,970 women, 368 over 60 years

Relatives of 27-year-old Widad Deif, the wife of Hamas commander Muhammad Deif, carry her body during her funeral procession at the Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on Aug. 20, 2014 (AFP Roberto Schmidt)

Relatives of 27-year-old Widad Deif, the wife of Hamas commander
Muhammad Deif, carry her body during her funeral procession at the
Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on Aug. 20, 2014
(AFP Roberto Schmidt)

Read more »

Tutu: My plea to the people of Israel: Liberate yourselves by liberating Palestine


By Desmond Tutu
Source: Haaretz

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.

 A child next to a picture of Nelson Mandela at a pro-Palestinian rally in Cape Town. August 9, 2014 / Photo by AP

A child next to a picture of Nelson Mandela at a pro-Palestinian rally in Cape Town. August 9, 2014 / Photo by AP

The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we’d see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday’s turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens … as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation. Read more »

Ministry of Health Gaza Update as at 1500 hrs 17/08/2014

Israeli Aggression against Palestinian in Gaza Strip from 06-07-2014

Date of report: 17/80/2014 Hour:15:00 pm
Total number of victims:12,209 (2016 Martyrs, 19101 Injured) Distributed As

Deaths: 2,016 – 541 children, 250 women, 95 over 60 years
Injuries: 10,193 – 3,084 children, 1,970 women, 368 over 60 years

Palestinian journalist Mohammad Mona’s administrative detention renewed

Source: Samidoun

Mohammad Mona

Mohammad Mona

Detained Palestinian journalist Mohammad Mona’s detention without charge or trial was renewed by Ofer military court for four months late on Thursday, August 14. Mona has been held without charge or trial under administrative detention since August 7, 2013; this is the third time his administrative detention has been renewed. Read more »

Gone

by Enas F Ghannam

She closes her eyes, holding his photo between her hands, his voice and laugh in her memory. She falls asleep hoping to dream of him alive coming to visit her with a gift in his hands, saying “I chose it for you.” Or preparing for their impending wedding with her. If he wanted something that she didn’t like he would change his mind, and say “I didn’t like it anyway.” He might have bought her something she had admired, without telling her. He might have done something he knows will irritate her just to tease her and see her angry. Or he might yell loudly at her to go and change her clothes into full Hejab, and after she nervously obeys he takes her to a beautiful place and says or does silly things until she finds herself laughing, forgetting that she was mad at him. She knows that this is his way of saying sorry as well as she knows that he screamed at her from jealousy. Read more »

Euro-Mid Update: Tally of Human Cost of Israeli Gaza Assault Continues to Rise

Press Release
Euro-Mid Observer

Aug 11, 2014, Geneva

As another ceasefire begins, a full tally of the damage wrought by the massive, sustained Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip continues to develop and reveal higher numbers than previously reported, even as residents return to their homes.

1 (400 x 801) Read more »

UN Rights Council appoints members of commission to investigate purported Gaza violations

Source: UN News Centre

On 19 July 2014 in the State of Palestine, passing the rubble of homes destroyed in an Israeli air strike, a girl uses a hand truck to transport jerrycans filled with water, in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0978/El Baba

On 19 July 2014 in the State of Palestine, passing the rubble of homes destroyed in an Israeli air strike, a girl uses a hand truck to transport jerrycans filled with water, in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0978/El Baba

The United Nations Human Rights Council announced today the appointment of three members to its independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip since the conflict began on 13 June.

In a statement released this afternoon, the Council’s President, Ambassador Baudelaire Ndong Ella (Gabon), announced that the human rights body appointed Amal Alamuddin (United Kingdom), Doudou Diène (Senegal) and William Schabas (Canada) to serve as members on the international Commission. Mr. Schabas will also serve as the Commission’s Chair.

The Commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults. Read more »

The Tragedy of Great Power: The Massacre of Gaza and the Inevitable Failure of the Arab Spring

by Khaled Abou El Fadl
Source: ABC Religion and Ethics

Israel wants to destroy Hamas in order to continue controlling the fate of Palestinians, neutralizing their nationalism and breaking their will to resist.

Israel wants to destroy Hamas in order to continue controlling the fate of Palestinians, neutralizing their nationalism and breaking their will to resist.

After the military coup in Egypt, I braced for the slaughter in Palestine. Sadly, one’s worst possible fears materialized with nightmarish predictability.

It is not a coincidence that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – the two countries who pressured the White House not to trust the elected government in Egypt, and who were blatant and even rather insolent in their support of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s coup – are the same countries that assured Israel of their covert support if Israel would take out Hamas. But it is not this fact alone that is so telling.

After the coup in Egypt, there was an unprecedented media campaign by the state-controlled media outlets against Hamas. For the first time in Egyptian history, it seemed that the Egyptian official discourse about political Islam and Hamas was scripted, not just by Fox News and its likes, but by Netanyahu and Likud politicians. Hamas was being accused of killing Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai and of every other imaginable vice. The unimaginable happened, and the Egyptian government invited and hosted well-known Islamophobes in Cairo where they spewed their typical venom against a poor captive Egyptian audience. Read more »

Time to ‘Do Business’ With Hamas

by Alaa Tartir, Program Director, Al-Shabaka:The Palestinian Policy Network
Source: Huffington Post

Destroyed houses in Rafah

Destroyed houses in Rafah

Sadly, once again, the post-war recovery experts, their international consultancy firms, an international aid industry, and the donor community are ramping up for another Gaza reconstruction exercise. Another war, and another salvage effort for the besieged coastal strip. An international donors’ conference, a carbon copy of the 2009 Sharm El-Sheikh donor conference, is due to take place in Norway this September. There seems little doubt that conference participants will pledge another $5 billion (which may or may not be paid), in an effort that seems destined only to cover up the failure of the international community to stop the destruction before it started.

The donor conference does present an opportunity, however, to forge a new paradigm of aid politics. As a first step, Hamas must be invited to attend this round. Exclusion would only lead to repeated mistakes. It is time to re-evaluate the decision to exclude the party. Read more »

Richard Falk: Maintaining the Unlawful Siege of Gaza is a Crime against Humanity

Interview with Richard Falk by Kourosh Ziabari
Source: Global Research

Richard Falk

Richard Falk

As the dust surrounding Israel’s one-month aggressive incursion into the beleaguered Gaza Strip begins to settle, the international law experts, UN officials, scholars and intellectuals are reviewing and examining the different aspects of the massive onslaught in which some 1,900 Palestinians were killed and thousands of others became homeless and dispossessed.

A high-ranking UN official believes that Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Gaza Strip are discriminatory and criminal according to the principles of international law.

As noted by Prof. Richard Falk, Israel’s policies and practices against the subjugated nation of Palestine are overtly apartheid and should be condemned by the International Criminal Court.

Maintaining that “apartheid is authoritatively considered one form of crime against humanity,” Prof. Falk said that apartheid policies don’t necessarily need to resemble the system of racial segregation and discrimination that existed in South Africa from 1948 to 1999, but “what is necessary for the crime to be committed is systematic discrimination against a specific group identified by reference to ethnicity, race, religion, and encoded into its governing structure.”

Prof. Falk believes that “the maintenance of the unlawful blockade of goods to and from Gaza is well established as a form of collective punishment of the occupied civilian population of Gaza, and a flagrant violation of the most fundamental obligation of the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law.” Read more »