Har Nof Synagogue attack: Israel’s chickens come home to roost

by Julie Webb-Pullman

A body being removed from the Har Nof synagogue (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

A body being removed from the Har Nof synagogue (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

Israel’s chickens are coming home to roost, along with those of the UN and the international community. How can anyone be surprised?

You cannot subject a people to 50 years of illegal occupation and expect no response. To illegal demolition of their houses, arbitrary detention, torture and inhumane prison conditions and expect no response. You cannot subject a people to ongoing theft of their land for the construction of illegal settlements, to living behind an illegal apartheid wall and expect no response. You cannot subject a people to an illegal siege and expect no response.

The international community has sat on its hands while the Israeli rogue state rode roughshod over the few rights left to Palestinians, with total impunity.

The UN has not enforced international law even ONCE in response to at least 80 breaches of UN Security Council Resolutions. The US has vetoed many more.

Endless negotiations with dishonest brokers have yielded less than nothing for Palestinians – less land, less water, less natural resources, less houses, less jobs, less opportunities, less travel. It is nothing less than scandalous that this has all taken place under the watch of the Useless Nations. Read more »

Synagogue killings a significant new development, says Hamas

Source: Omamh, West Bank

Hussam Badran, Hamas spokesperson

Hussam Badran, Hamas spokesperson

Badran: “The Jerusalem incident is a significant new development in confronting the occupation.”

Hussam Badran, official spokesperson of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, praised the heroism of martyrs Ghassan and Odai Abu Jamal in the incident at the Harnov Synagogue in West Jerusalem, where four Zionists were killed and 13 injured, saying it is a significant new development in confronting the occupation.

Badran said in a press statement that the escalation of assaults by the occupation army and its settlers, and their brutal actions against Palestinian people, have fanned the fire and made the situation worse. Palestinians have been forced to respond in whatever way possible. Read more »

Israeli settlers execute Palestinian bus driver

Source: Press TV

Hassan Yousef Rammouni, murdered by Israeli settlers (Image By Arabs48)

Hassan Yousef Rammouni, murdered by Israeli settlers (Image By Arabs48)

Israeli settlers have hanged a Palestinian man in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in another incident of brutality against Palestinians in the occupied territories, local sources say.

Hassan Yousef Rammouni, 32, a Palestinian bus driver, was driving back home from work on Sunday when he was abducted and then hanged by Israelis in his bus in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

Signs of strangulation on Rammouni’s neck as well as signs of violence on his body were apparent, sources said. Read more »

Greece & Palestine: Interview with Khaled Barakat

Khaled Barakat speaking in Greece

Khaled Barakat speaking in Greece

The following interview with Palestinian writer and activist Khaled Barakat was published (in the Greek language) in the Greek newspaper, Efimerida ton Syntakton:

What is the current situation concerning the Israeli-Palestinian relations since the last assault on Gaza? Do you support the notion that this war was won by the Palestinian Resistance?

This war was won by the Palestinian resistance, because the Israeli enemy did not achieve its goals. In fact, Israel committed war crimes, killing over 2000 Palestinians, and destroying tens of thousands of homes, targeting health workers, and many other crimes. This is what colonizers and occupiers do to the indigenous, native population, and to oppressed communities – exert massive state violence on a whole population. But if we are discussing real, military battles, confrontation on the battlefield, the Zionists and their backers have lost miserably. Just read what Israel’s top generals have had to say about this war. Read more »

Crisis in northern Sinai worsens

Source: Afro-Middle East Centre

egypt_army-sinai (400 x 233)

On 24 October 2014, an armed attack on an Egyptian security detail in the Sheikh Zuweid area of Egypt’s North Sinai Governorate left more than thirty soldiers dead and dozens wounded. Details of the attack are still unclear, but the Egyptian government immediately declared a three-month state of emergency in the governorate, and deployed additional military and security troops to the region, adjacent to Egypt’s eastern border with Gaza and Israel.

Cairo also indefinitely closed the Rafah Crossing with Gaza, and postponed indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel, scheduled for the end of October in Cairo. Subsequently, the Egyptian authorities began establishing a buffer zone along Egypt’s border with Gaza, ranging from 400 metres to two kilometres, thus forcing thousands of residents in the area from their homes and agricultural lands. Read more »

PFLP: Time for action to confront occupation crimes in Jerusalem

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

jeru4 (400 x 255)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine urges all friends of Palestine and progressive, justice-oriented and revolutionary forces around the world to mobilize the widest possible solidarity actions with the Palestinian people in Jerusalem who are under attack and under siege, daily confronting cultural genocide, ethnic cleansing and Israeli war crimes. The Front also urges Palestinian and Arab communities around the world to mobilize in defense of their sisters and brothers in Jerusalem and the entire Palestinian people.

In particular, the leadership of the Front urged its supporters, friends and allies to condemn the occupation actions against the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, and to organize demonstrations, rallies, and political and direct actions at all levels to confront racist Israeli policies and attempts to isolate the Palestinian people in Jerusalem from the rest of Palestine.

Comrade Abu Ahmad Fuad, Deputy General Secretary of the PFLP, said that “our people will not be suppressed, not in Gaza, nor in the West Bank, not in occupied Palestine ’48, nor in the diaspora, nor in Jerusalem, where there a great popular uprising has been ignited.” Read more »

HumanRights: The Struggle Continues

by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Cleaning up Al AQsa Mosque after Israeli settlers attack it today

Cleaning up Al AQsa Mosque after Israeli settlers attack it today

I return to this country (and it is one country) to find the situation more tense than it was two weeks ago when I left. An Israeli colonial settler runs over Palestinian children killing one 5 year old and injuring another. A Palestinian native runs over Israeli border police in Jerusalem killing one officer and injuring several. Such incidents are increasing. Read more »

First Comprehensive Investigation of Latest Israeli Assault Documents War Crimes

EuroMid Observer for Human Rights

Geneva –October 30, 2014

In the wake of the 50-day Israeli assault that devastated the Gaza Strip, reconstruction must not be the only priority, according to the nonprofit organization Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights. All perpetrators of war crimes must be held to account, and Euro-Mid has taken the initial step by completing the first comprehensive investigation into Israeli actions during “Operation Protective Edge.”

“If we want young Palestinians to turn away from violent resistance in the future, they must believe that international law will be respected and enforced,” said Ihsan Adel, legal officer for Euro-Mid, a nongovernmental human rights watchdog focusing on the Middle East-North Africa region. “Our investigation documented both indiscriminate attacks on civilians by Israeli forces and their use of captured Palestinians as human shields. When the UN Human Rights Council arrives in the coming days to conducts its own investigation, our reports will already have laid the groundwork. Now it is up to the international community to demonstrate to the youth of today that the rule of law applies to everyone.” Read more »

Liberty and security: Human Rights Committee clarifies limits on detention

UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

DSC05112 (300 x 400)

GENEVA (30 October 2014) – The UN Human Rights Committee has issued an authoritative new commentary on one of the most important issues in international human rights law – when and how is it justified to deprive a person of their liberty, and what obligations do States have to avoid people being unlawfully or arbitrarily detained.

“Arbitrary detention is a profound threat to liberty and to the enjoyment of all other rights,” said Gerald Neuman, Committee member and rapporteur of the commentary which has now been adopted by the Committee. Read more »

“Lasting peace entails the exercise of self-determination by all peoples without discrimination” – UN rights expert

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

determination (400 x 243)

NEW YORK / GENEVA (28 October 2014) – The realization of the right of self-determination is essential to maintain local, regional and international peace and must be seen as an important conflict-prevention strategy, the United Nations Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, said on Monday. Read more »

Portents of a fresh Palestinian uprising are real

By Khalid Amayreh
Source: Palestine Information Centre

14 year old Palestinian Arwa Hammad, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces

14 year old Palestinian Arwa Hammad, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces

The seemingly totally unjustified recent killing of several Palestinian children in Jerusalem by the Israeli occupation force has already infuriated the Palestinian community in a peculiarly ominous manner.

According to reliable sources in Jerusalem, the age of the four Jerusalem boys murdered by Israeli troops and messianic Jewish settlers in the span of the past few weeks didn’t exceed 14 years. The killings didn’t occur by mistake and the lives of the murderers, whether settlers or crack soldiers, were not put at risk.

In other words, the Zionist killers murdered the four kids in cold blood, irrespective of Israeli disinformation.

But what now seems to be an evolving uprising in Jerusalem has more to do with the killing of a few more Palestinians by the Israeli killing machine. Since the beginning of 2014, Israel killed more than 2200 Palestinians, injured around 10,000, and partially or completely destroyed more than 50,000 homes, especially in the Gaza Strip. These figures caricature a genocidal onslaught by Israel against a thoroughly tormented people seeking survival in the face of relentlessly nefarious Israeli Nazism. Read more »

Donor Complicity in Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights

Nora Lester Murad
Source: Al-Shabaka Policy Brief

Home Sweet Homeless, Gaza City (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Home Sweet Homeless, Gaza City (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)


Donors at the recent conference on the reconstruction of Gaza pledged an unprecedented $5.4 billion. At the same time, it can be argued that violations of Palestinian rights in Gaza – and throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) – would not be possible without international aid policies that, at least since the 1980s, have actively supported Israel and offered Palestinians development projects in exchange for rights.

In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Member Nora Lester Murad examines aid through the lens of “complicity” and exposes shortcomings in current legal frameworks. She argues that regardless of the limitations of applicable law, international aid actors are fundamentally responsible to those they seek to assist and must be held accountable for the harm they cause or enable. She identifies the areas in which questions need to be asked and concludes with some of the steps that Palestinian civil society and the international solidarity movement should take. Read more »

Football no fun anymore for the Bakr boys

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Brothers Montasr (left) and Younis Khamis Bakr (Photo: Yousef Al Rantisi)

Brothers Montasr (left) and Younis Khamis Bakr (Photo: Yousef Al Rantisi)

Flashback. July 16, 2014.

Boys. Beach. Sun. Sea. Sand. Football. Fun. An ordinary summers’ day like that in any other coastal city in the world.

Bomb. Blood. Missile. Martyrs. Mayhem. Mourners. An ordinary summer’s day in Gaza 2014.

Three months later the world has all but forgotten the “Bakr Boys,” the group of cousins playing on the beach that afternoon. Four of them – Ismail, Zakaria, Ahed and Mohamed – were killed. Four more survived the horror, physically at least.

Montasr, Hamada, Sayed and Younis are all now out of hospital, and could even play football again, despite legs peppered with shrapnel scars. But they don’t. Read more »

UN expert: A drone is not a cop

United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Drone flying above Gaza City residential area

Drone flying above Gaza City residential area

A drone is not a cop – UN rights expert concerned about technologies that depersonalise the use of force

NEW YORK / GENEVA (23 October 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, raised concern about the increasing use of technologies that depersonalise the use of force –including armed drones– not only on the battlefield, but also in the domestic law enforcement.

During the presentation of his report* to the UN General Assembly on the use of armed drones for law enforcement, Mr. Heyns provided examples of such technology that is for sale worldwide, to be used by the police and private security firms to control demonstrations, guard strategic buildings, and to hunt down escapees. Read more »

Under cover of reconstruction, UN and PA become enforcers of Israel’s Gaza siege

by Ali Abunimah
Source: Electronic Intifada

 Gaza Siege 2.0: Under guise of reconstruction, UN will help Israel gain even more intrusive control over Palestinian lives. (Mohammed Asad / APA images)

Gaza Siege 2.0: Under guise of reconstruction, UN will help Israel gain even more intrusive control over Palestinian lives.
(Mohammed Asad / APA images)

Details given in a confidential briefing this week confirm that the UN has agreed to become the chief enforcer of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza.

Under the guise of reconstruction, the UN will be monitoring and gathering private information about Palestinian households to be passed onto Israel, which will have a veto over which families get aid to rebuild their homes.

This was presented as part of an effort to try to entrench and legitimize the Israeli-backed Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza. Read more »

Cyber attacks on Palestinian Solidarity websites

The websites of Palestinian solidarity groups in France and New Zealand have been attacked overnight, rendering them inaccessible.

The Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) website in New Zealand reeported today that they “…can no longer update our website home page,” while CAPJPO-EuroPalestine in France reported that their website “was made inaccessible overnight.”

Israeli hackers are suspected of being behind the attacks.

PFLP calls for resistance to occupation attacks on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)

aqsa-350x232 (400 x 265)

The Popular Front for the Liberation called upon the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, in the 1948 occupied areas, the occupied West Bank, and in all locations, to take immediate and urgent action to confront the attacks of hundreds of colonial settlers and occupation soldiers since early Monday, October 13. They are attempting to impose “facts on the ground” as a step toward controlling Al-Aqsa, dividing it, and allegedly “rebuilding the Temple” in its place.

This is all part of a Zionist plan to obtain full control of Jerusalem and attempt to undermine the status of the city as the eternal capital of the Palestinian people. The PFLP said that these ongoing events are a dangerous development and escalation in the ongoing and long-time policy of the occupation forces, who stormed al-Aqsa in the hundreds, closing the area, preventing Palestinians from entering or leaving, in order to ensure a clear course for settlers to enter under the banner of the “revival of the temple.” Read more »

Palestinian NGOs, HR organizations call on Cairo donor conference to lift Gaza blockade, support reconstruction

Press Release
PNGO Network

What remains of the Italy Tower Complex in Gaza City

What remains of the Italy Tower Complex in Gaza City

Palestinian NGOs, human rights organizations, agricultural and fishing sectors as well as affected by Israeli summer war in Gaza Strip people directed an urgent appeal to the participating parties in the Gaza reconstruction conference held in Egypt’s Cairo to contribute and support the various affected sectors in the war torn Gaza Strip and accelerate the process of reconstruction and end the blockade of Gaza Strip without conditions and restrictions.

The representatives of Palestinian NGOs and Human rights organizations as well as various Palestinian sectors stressed the need for guarantees from the Israeli occupation that it won’t repeat the war in the Gaza Strip. Read more »

Donors, or enablers? Cairo’s ‘Gaza Reconstruction Conference’

by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Middle East Monitor

Egypt is currently blocking injured Gazans leaving the Gaza Strip, and blocking the flow of reconstruction materials to Gaza

Egypt is currently blocking injured Gazans leaving the Gaza Strip, and blocking the flow of reconstruction materials to Gaza

CAIRO’S Gaza Reconstruction Conference, you ask incredulously? And well you might – after all, Egypt is currently preventing the entry of materials to complete Qatari-funded projects in Gaza addressing the destruction of previous Israeli offensives. Building of roads, housing estates and hospitals have all ground to a halt despite being underway well before the latest Israeli war crimes in Gaza – crimes which have only further increased the need. Read more »

After Gaza, What Price Palestine’s Security Sector?

By Sabrien Amrov and Alaa Tartir

Source: Al-Shabaka Policy Brief


Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza calls for redoubled efforts to shake off its carefully constructed system of control of Palestinian lives throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and secure Palestinian rights. A necessary first step must be to address the donor-supported creation of Palestinian security forces that primarily serve Israel’s colonial ambitions. This is increasingly urgent with the PA set to move back into Gaza in the wake of the unity deal.

Al-Shabaka Policy Member Sabrien Amrov and Program Director Alaa Tartir tackle these issues by examining the state of the security sector today, its origins and purposes, and the fast-growing authoritarianism that is turning “Palestine” into a security state. While touching on the Gaza security sector, they focus primarily on its development in the West Bank. They urge that the foundations of security sector reform be challenged as a key step towards setting the Palestinian quest for freedom, justice, equality, and self-determination back on track. Read more »