Israeli drone conference features weapons used to kill Gaza’s children

by Rania Khalek
Source: Electronic Intifada

The Hermes 900 was among the drones used to bomb Gaza in the recent offensive

The Hermes 900 was among the drones used to bomb Gaza in the recent offensive

Less than one month after killing more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza, including more than 500 children, Israel is hosting its annual drone conference.

Organized in partnership with the US embassy in Tel Aviv, “Israel Unmanned Systems 2014” offers Israeli military firms an opportunity to flaunt the performance of their products, many of which were tested on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip this summer.

Palestine has long served as a laboratory for Israel’s ballooning “homeland security” industry to test and perfect weapons of domination and control, with disenfranchised and stateless Palestinians serving as their lab rats. Read more »

Bring “Mediterranean mass murderers” to justice – UN Human Rights Chief

Press Release
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights


Desperate phone calls from Palestinians on the sinking boat indicating that passing ships ignored their pleas for help

GENEVA (19 September 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday urged Egypt and other North African and European States with relevant information to make a concerted effort to bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of between 300 and 500 refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean last week. Read more »

Palestine and International Law

by Rana
Source: Rana “Palestinian Child”

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Since 1948, Palestinians have lived under the brutal and illegal Israeli occupation. More than forty-five years ago, Israel began building settlements in Palestinian territory in order to assert their claim to all of our land. During these years, Palestine has lost many souls including many innocent children. Israel wants to steal all of our land.

Gaza is an exclave region of Palestine on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea that borders Egypt on the southwest for 11 kilometers and Israel on the east and north along a 51 km border. Nearly two million people almost live in Gaza, almost 1.0 million of them are UN-registered refugees. Gaza is considered one Gaza one of the most densely-populated areas on earth. Gaza’s population lives under the blockade by air, land and water imposed by Israel since 2007, constituting a violation of the 4th Geneva Convention. This inhuman and illegal blockade controls Gaza’s access to electricity, water, internet, medical equipment and even the number of calories that enter the strip.

On July 8, 2014, Israel started their massive military aggression against the Gaza Strip denominated “Operation Protective Edge”, once again collectively punishing is inflicted to my people. According to international law, collective punishment is a war crime. Israel used its usual arsenal of weapons against my people but also used new, experimental weapons, as if we are not human but guinea pigs in a lab.

Israel builds new settlements and continues to expand existing ones. Chedi Klibi, former Secretary-General of the Arab League, outlines three basic objectives of Israel’s expansionism: 1) The annexation of more Arab lands, including the displacement of the inhabitants which lead to demographic changes that increase the Jewish population; expropriation of Palestinian property and the necessary and continuous repression required to prevent us from keeping what is rightfully ours. 2) The preemption of any attempt by the Palestinian people to affirm our human rights, among which is the right of self-determination in our own land. Thus, the original and long term objective of proliferating and expanding settlements is to eliminate my people and our recognized national rights from the political map of the region. 3) To use the settlement issue to foil any political solution that doesn’t concede full Israeli sovereignty over occupied Palestinian territory. Israel is saying, in effect, that it will accept nothing less than surrender, even though it insists on calling this surrender “Peace.”

Furthermore, Israel regularly breaks cease fires agreed with the Palestinians. On November 4, 2008, Israel killed seven Palestinians, ending the truce agreed with Hamas in June of 2008 and setting the stage for its genocidal invasion of my land, which was called “Operation Cast Lead”. A statistical analysis from Harvard, MIT and Tel Aviv University found that “79% of all conflict pauses were interrupted when Israel killed a Palestinian, while only 8% were interrupted by Palestinian attacks (the remaining 13% were interrupted by both sides on the same day)” and that “of the 25 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than a week, Israel unilaterally broke 24, and it unilaterally interrupted 100% of the 14 periods of nonviolence lasting longer than nine days. Thus, a systematic pattern does exist: it is overwhelmingly Israel, not Palestine that breaks the cease fire agreements. Indeed, it is virtually always Israel that violates these truces lasting more than a week. Israel has violated International law over and over through its savage actions towards the Palestinian people.

In this latest attack on Gaza, Israel has killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including almost five-hundred children. Israel’s use of prohibited weapons against my people is a clear violation of the 1980 Protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, to which Israel is a signatory. In addition, Israel has used civilians as human shields in many areas such as Khusa‘a, East of Khan Younis, near to where I live. Israel justifies its war crimes by claiming that Palestinian resistance fighters hide among the civilian population. Mainstream human rights organizations have refuted that allegation and have accused Israel of using human shields, in 2002, during “Operation Defensive Shield” and in 2008-2009 during “Operation Cast Lead”. The use of human shields is prohibited under international law.

Did Israel respect the human rights of the Palestinians? Of all human rights, the most natural is the right to live and work in one’s own country. Israel has consistently denied this right to my people, and continues to deny it in a most brutal and inhumane way to the nearly two million Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip.

Strangler Fig Nation: The unique national strategy for the state of Israel

by Paul Larudee
Source: Dissident Voice

Strangler fig is the generic name given to a class of vines that sprouts high in the canopy of trees in tropical forests. It is deposited by birds that eat its fruit. Its roots envelope the tree and feed off it, weakening the tree. If the process is allowed to continue indefinitely, it sinks its roots into the ground at the base of the tree and destroys it completely but takes its form, creating a hollow shell of living vines where the tree once stood.

On Friday, July 18, 2014, as one of the most powerful military forces in the world laid waste to the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, leaving widows and orphans in its wake while nevertheless killing a significant number of them, the United States Senate, without objection and by unanimous consent from all 100 senators, passed a resolution supporting this act of genocide and condemning its victims for provoking the powerful aggressor by trying to resist.

At that point, Israel had killed more than 250 Palestinians, mostly civilians, while the resistance forces in Gaza had killed one Israeli, who had been delivering food to troops at the time. The Senate resolution had been drafted by the AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of the pillars of the Israel Lobby. Fifty days later more than 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 72 Israelis, mostly soldiers, lay dead.

How did the Israel Lobby come to so totally dominate the US Senate and in fact the entire US government?

The story goes back more than a century, to the early years of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state. Zionism grew out of the 19th and 20th century European racist and nationalist philosophies like Fascism, Nazism and Falangism, which promoted the idea that each race in the world needed a homeland and should seek to fulfill its national destiny there. Read more »

Israel’s Video Justifying Destruction of a Gaza Hospital Was From 2009

by Gareth Porter
Source: Truthout

The video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel's 2008-09 "Operation Cast Lead," and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa. (Screengrab: The Times of Israel)

The video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel’s 2008-09 “Operation Cast Lead,” and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa. (Screengrab: The Times of Israel)

A video distributed by the Israeli military in July suggesting that Palestinian fighters had fired from the Al Wafa Rehabilitation and Geriatric Hospital in Gaza City was not shot during the recent Israeli attack on Gaza, and both audio and video clips were manipulated to cover up the fact that they were from entirely different incidents, a Truthout investigation has revealed.

The video, released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on July 23, the same day Israeli airstrikes destroyed Al Wafa, was widely reported by pro-Israeli publications and websites as proving that the hospital was destroyed because Hamas had turned the hospital into a military facility. But the video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel’s 2008-09 “Operation Cast Lead,” and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa. Read more »

Mizher: Palestinian resistance in Gaza has rehabilitated the Palestinian national cause

Press Release
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP and leader of the Gaza branch

Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP and leader of the Gaza branch

The victory of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza “has had many important achievements that have rehabilitated the Palestinian national cause after many years of decline, through legendary steadfastness in the face of the Zionist war machine, the achievements of the resistance on the battlefield, and the accomplishments of the united Palestinian delegation…that continued to insist on the demands of our people and the resistance,” said Comrade Jamil Mizher, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and leader of its branch in Gaza, speaking on Al-Jazeera satellite channel as part of a political seminar called “Gaza victorious.” Read more »

The Ascent of Ahmet Davutoğlu

by Richard Falk
Source: Global Justice in the 21st Century

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So far most commentary on Ahmet Davutoğlu’s selection as Turkey’s new Prime Minister has been focused on what will be his relationship with the country’s new president, Recip Teyyip Erdoğan. Especially opponents of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) tend to portray Davutoğlu as certain to play second fiddle to Erdoğan who is both fiercely resented and feared, and regarded as a ‘Turkish Putin.’ The fact that Erdoğan seems to have handpicked Davutoğlu to succeed him at party leader and prime minister, and acted deliberately to sideline the popular prior president, Abdullah Gul, adds to the concern about what to expect from a government led by Davutoğlu. I believe that such speculation is profoundly wrong, that Davutoğlu is an admirable person of strong beliefs and an adherent of a political vision that has evolved over the years on the basis of study and experience. In my view Davutoğlu will turn out to be a historically significant Turkish leader by virtue of his thoughtful style of governance and through the assertion of his own priorities and programs. Few countries can claim leadership of the quality provided and record achieved by Erdoğan, Davutoğlu, and Gul over the last twelve years. Read more »

Gaza is Israel’s Vietnam, with Hamas victorious

by Mike Carlton
Source: Crikey

gazawreckage (400 x 213)

Benjamin Netanyahu has ensured that no Israeli will ever again know peace, writes former ABC war correspondent and naval historian Mike Carlton.

So Hamas wins. No matter how Israel and its friends spin it, the raw fact is that this “indefinite ceasefire” leaves Hamas unbeaten in Gaza.

Bloodied and battered, yes, with an echelon of its senior military and political leadership killed by Israeli airstrikes. But it is only down, not out. It lives to fight another day, which means that Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-Right Likud-coalition government have failed, and disastrously so, in their stated aim of ensuring Israel’s security by a crushing military and economic dominance of the Palestinian people. They rolled the dice. They lost. Read more »

MOH Gaza Final Report

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On ‘Israeli’ Assassination Policy: 13th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Abu Ali Mustafa

Press Release
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

On the thirteenth anniversary of the assassination of Comrade Abu Ali Mustafa, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, on August 27, 2001, by the Zionist occupation forces with US-funded and US-made weaponry, it must be noted that the Zionist policy of assassination has been in constant use against Palestinian national leaders and leaders of the resistance since the inception of Zionist colonization in Palestine.

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“There is a constant Zionist policy to assassinate Palestinian leaders since the founding of the state of ‘Israel’ and even before,” said Comrade Khaled Barakat. “In fact, before the establishment of the Zionist state, Zionist forces carried out assassinations against Palestinians and even against the representative of the United Nations. When you study the history and the politics of the occupation state, you will find that major leaders of the state were involved in assassinations personally. It is a state led by assassins – Begin, Rabin, Shamir, Barak, Livni – all participated physically in not only shaping the policy of assassinations, but in executing this policy.” Read more »

Gaza Celebrates!!!!

Gazans took to the streets tonight to celebrate their victory in achieving the end of hostilities and the lifting of the illegal seven-year siege. Whatever tomorrow may bring, tonight was a time to rejoice!

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DSC06858 Read more »

New UN Special Rapporteur requests access to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

PRESS RELEASE
United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

GENEVA (26 August 2014) – The new United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Makarim Wibisono, has formally requested the Israeli Government to allow him access to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory – to gather first-hand information on the impact of current hostilities on the human rights situation.

“As a newly appointed Special Rapporteur, it is my priority to see with my own eyes the situation on the ground, to listen and to speak face-to-face with victims and witnesses, and to discuss issues of concern with officials on both sides,” said the independent expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

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Palestinian MOH-Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs 25/08/2014

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Monday August 25, 2014.

Total number of victims:13,196 (2,130 Martyrs; 11,066 Injured)
Distributed As
Deaths: 2,130 – 577 children, 263 women, 102 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 11,066 – 3,374 children, 2,088 women, 410 persons over 60 years

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

Read more »

The difference between children

By Gideon Levy
Source: Haaretz
August 24, 2014

 Palestinian mourners cry at Gaza City's al-Shifa hospital after an explosion killed at least seven children in a public playground Photo by AFP

Palestinian mourners cry at Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital after an explosion killed at least seven children in a public playground Photo by AFP

It is human that the killing of an Israeli boy, a child of ours, would arouse greater identification than the death of some other child. What is incomprehensible is the Israeli response to the killing of their children.

After the first child, nobody batted an eye; after the 50th not even a slight tremor was felt in a plane’s wing; after the 100th, they stopped counting; after the 200th, they blamed Hamas. After the 300th child they blamed the parents. After the 400th child, they invented excuses; after (the first) 478 children nobody cares.

Then came our first child and Israel went into shock. Read more »

National Lawyers Guild urges International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes by Israeli, U.S. leaders

By Marjorie Cohn

11 story residential apartment building in Gaza City destroyed by Israeli airstrike yesterday

11 story residential apartment building in Gaza City destroyed by Israeli airstrike yesterday

August 24, 2014 “ICH” – The National Lawyers Guild (NLG), Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists (Asociacion Americana de Juristas) sent a letter on Friday, August 22 to Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), urging her to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli leaders and aided and abetted by U.S. officials in Gaza. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC has the power to hold individuals criminally accountable for the most serious of crimes.

“In light of the extreme gravity of the situation in the occupied Gaza Strip, in particular the large number of civilian casualties and large scale destruction of civilian property, including schools, mosques and hospitals, and the ongoing incitement to genocide perpetrated by Israeli political figures and leaders, the [NLG] and endorsing organizations strongly urge the Office of the Prosecutor to use its power under Article 15 of the Rome Statute to initiate a preliminary investigation” of crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction. Read more »

MOH Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs on 24/08/2014

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Sunday August 24, 2014.

Total number of victims:12,974 (2,120 Martyrs; 10,854 Injured)
Distributed As
Deaths: 2,120 – 577 children, 260 women, 101 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 10,854 – 3,307 children, 2,042 women, 401 persons over 60 years

Medical Transfers outside of Gaza for treatment

Transferred
Egypt – 233
Jordan – 34
Maqased – 149
Turkey – 46
Germany – 3
Total: 465

Returned
Egypt – 58
Jordan – 0
Maqased – 12
Turkey – 0
Germany – 0
Total: 70

Died
Egypt – 26
Jordan – 4
Maqased – 13
Turkey – 1
Germany – 0
Total: 44

Ambulance carrying a Palestinian injured in an Israeli air strike through the Rafah crossing under Egyptian security scrutiny on July 12, 2014. (Photo AFP/SAID KHATIB)

Ambulance carrying a Palestinian injured in an Israeli air strike through the Rafah crossing under Egyptian security scrutiny on July 12, 2014. (Photo AFP/SAID KHATIB)

Read more »

PFLP: Draft Security Council resolution is a malicious attempt to protect the occupier

Press Release
PFLP

unnamed (400 x 248)

Commenting on the European draft resolution submitted to the United Nations Security Council, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rejected the draft as reflecting a deal between members of the Security Council and the occupation state.

The occupation state is engaged in a criminal aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip, rising to the level of genocide. The Security Council has a responsibility to act immediately to stop the aggression that has killed 2100 Palestinians, nearly 600 children, and including women, men and elders, and destroyed tens of thousands of Palestinian homes completely or almost completely and displaced hundreds of thousands, and to hold the occupier accountable according to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, and to act to end the occupation and implement the UN resolutions on the rights of the Palestinian people. Read more »

Three Questions for Hamas

by Richard Falk

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There is no doubt that Hamas has exhibited extraordinary resilience under the most difficult of conditions that have bedeviled its period of political leadership in the Gaza Strip that started in 2007. It also seems clear as persuasively argued by Sandy Tolan in a valuable Common Dreams article [Tolan, “Blown Chances in Gaza: Israel & U.S. Miss Many Chances to Avoid War, Aug. 13, 2014] that Hamas pursued multiple initiatives starting in 2006 designed to achieve calm and quiet in its relations with Israel, and that these initiatives, including back channel reassurance about peaceful intentions, were rebuffed without even being acknowledged by either Israel or the United States. It also seems the case that Israel acted to provoke the three most sustained military onslaughts directed at Gaza since 2008, and in each has relied on disproportionate force, inflicted numerous civilian casualties, and acted in a manner defiant of international humanitarian law. For these reasons Israel deserves to be treated as an ‘outlaw state’ for reasons set forth by Akbar Ganji and I argued in a two-part article appearing in the online pages of AlJazeera English [“The Outlaw State of Israel,” Aug. 20,21, 2014]. Read more »

The Vampires

by Enas F Ghannam

The vampires came to our town, mommy. They were in disguise, but I knew it was them. They were hiding under black cloaks and riding huge dragons with red eyes. They were flying over us and firing balls of fires on everything. Big spiders were moving slowly on the ground and they were hitting people and houses with their dark poisoned webs. But where are you mommy? Read more »

Jewish Holocaust survivors from around the world call for justice in Gaza

Press Release
International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
San Francisco, CA

August 24, 2014

40 Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and 287 descendants of survivors and victims issued a letter this weekend condemning Israel’s actions in Gaza. “As Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of the Nazi genocide we unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing occupation and colonization of historic Palestine.” The letter, with signatories from 26 countries representing four generations of survivors and descendants, ran on page A13 of the Saturday, August 23rd edition of the New York Times.

The letter has been reported by Ha’aretz and the BBC among others. As of 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday the Ha’aretz article had received more than 15,000 facebook likes and had been shared on twitter nearly 5,000 times. Signatories to the letter will be hosting a press conference on Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am Eastern Time. Read more »