Archive for the 'Operation Protective Edge' Category

Academics Protest IDF Meeting at Victoria University

PUBLIC STATEMENT

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As academics, researchers and educators associated with Victoria University, we are dismayed to learn that the Student Union Building will play host next week to soldiers from the Israeli Defense Force, touring Aotearoa/New Zealand as part of a nation-wide campaign to justify Israeli crimes in last year’s war in Gaza.

Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s assault on the Gaza strip in July last year, killed some 2 194 people over 51 days. 1 523 of these casualties were civilians. The United Nations stated that Israel’s use of heavy artillery against Gaza “may amount to a war crime.”

This attack had a devastating effect on educational and academic life in Gaza. Three universities, seven United Nations schools and at least 140 local schools suffered severe damage from Israeli attacks. Over 20 students were killed in an attack on Al Quds Open University. 60 academic staff and their families were displaced, as were over 2000 students and their families. Summer courses in 2014 were largely cancelled. Read more »

Keep your promises, plead Wafa Hospital patients and staff

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Press Conference in the rubble of Al Wafa Hospital, Shejeiyah, Gaza

Press Conference in the rubble of Al Wafa Hospital, Shejeiyah, Gaza

Al Wafa hospital staff and patients today made a desperate plea to donors to make good on their promises, and deliver the money to rebuild their rehabilitation hospital destroyed in last year’s brutal Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip.

“We started fundraising the same day our patients were forced to leave,” Executive Director Basman Alashi said after today’s press conference, held in the rubble of the 8,000 sq.m. facility in Shejieyah.

“Twenty million dollars was pledged, but so far we have received only $70,000.”

Mr Alashi explained that this was largely due to the problems experienced over the past 12 months with getting construction materials in through the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and donors’ reluctance to front up with the money while these obstacles remained.

“The situation has changed,” he said. “The materials are now here in Gaza, and more can be brought in. We just need the money to pay for them. We urge those who promised to help us to speed up the process, because their promises so far have not materialized, and this is really affecting the lives of thousands of people.” Read more »

Israel whitewashes beach bloodbath that killed four kids

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The Israeli army late Thursday announced it is closing its probe into its killing of four children from the Bakr family playing football on a Gaza beach, saying the “tragic” attack had not violated international law.

Many foreign journalists were near the beach at the time of the attack, and witnessed the atrocity.

The four cousins, nine year old Mohamed Ramez Bakr, Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, 10, and Ismail Mohamed Bakr, 11, were playing on the beach in Gaza City on July 16, 2014 when they were hit in two separate strikes. Read more »

Operation Protective Edge: A war waged on Gaza’s children

PRESS RELEASE
Defense for Children International Palestine

Children in Beit Hanoun (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Children in Beit Hanoun (Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman)

Defense for Children International Palestine just released a report, Operation Protective Edge: A War Waged on Gaza’s Children, detailing the high price paid by children during Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer.

Operation Protective Edge, which lasted 50 days between July 8 and August 26, claimed the lives of 2,220 Palestinians, including at least 1,492 civilians, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

DCIP independently verified the deaths of 547 Palestinian children among the killed in Gaza, 535 of them as a direct result of Israeli attacks. Read more »

UN Commission of Inquiry on Gaza hears moving testimony, seeks access

PRESS RELEASE
United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict

Children in what was their neighbourhood, Beit Hanoun

Children in what was their neighbourhood, Beit Hanoun

GENEVA ( 23 December 2014) – The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, (established under Resolution A/HRC/RES/S-21/1) continues to do its utmost to obtain access to the Gaza Strip, as well as the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and access to Israel, in order to fulfil its mandate. The Commission has repeatedly sought the cooperation of the Government of Israel to facilitate access so the Commissioners can meet face to face a wide range of victims of alleged violations and also the relevant authorities. In the absence of a response from Israel, the Commission of Inquiry is still actively seeking the cooperation of the Government of Egypt, which has indicated it is ready to facilitate the Commissioners’ travel to Gaza as soon as the security situation permits travel there. Read more »

First Comprehensive Investigation of Latest Israeli Assault Documents War Crimes

PRESS RELEASE
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 »

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 »

After ‘Protective Edge’: What Future for Palestine and Israel

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

The 50-day Israeli military operation that killed over 2100 Palestinians, wounded another 11,000, and undoubtedly traumatized the entire Gazan population of 1.7 million also took the lives of 70 Israelis, of which 65 were soldiers. This last violent encounter has ended without a clear victory for either side. Despite this, Israel and Hamas are each insisting that ‘victory’ was achieved. Israel points to the material results, tunnels and rocket sites destroyed, targeted assassinations completed, and the overall weakening of Hamas capacity to launch an attack. Hamas, for its part, claims political gains, becoming far stronger politically and psychologically in both Gaza and the West Bank than before the fighting began, refusing to give in on the basic Israeli demand of the ‘demilitarization’ of Gaza, as well as further tarnishing Israel’s international reputation. 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 »

Gaza is Israel’s Vietnam, with Hamas victorious

by Mike Carlton
Source: Crikey

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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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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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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 »

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 »

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 »

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

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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 »

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