ISRAEL APPLAUDS THE WORLD’S SILENCE

In a statement Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the seizure of the Marianne, claiming that the “flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region.”

Netanyahu insisted that “preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu insisted, adding that “there is no siege on Gaza.”

martin-luther-king-silent

Israel seizes Gaza-bound boat in “act of piracy”

Palestinian children take part in a rally to show support for the latest attempt to break the siege of Gaza by sea, at the Gaza City port on 28 June 2015. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

Palestinian children take part in a rally to show support for the latest attempt to break the siege of Gaza by sea, at the Gaza City port on 28 June 2015. (Ashraf Amra APA images)

Israeli forces boarded and commandeered the Marianne on Monday, one of four boats that were bound for Gaza in the latest attempt to break the tight Israeli siege of the occupied territory.

At around 2 am Gaza time Marianne was surrounded by three Israeli navy boats while in international waters more than 100 miles off the coast of Gaza, organizers Freedom Flotilla III said in a press release.

“After that we lost contact with the Marianne and at 05:11 am (Gaza time) the IDF [Israeli army] announced that they had ‘visited and searched’ Marianne,” the press release states. “They had captured the boat and detained all on board ‘in international waters’ as they admitted themselves. The only positive content in the IDF announcement was that they still recognize that there is a naval blockade of Gaza, despite the Netanyahu government’s recent denial that one exists.”

Organizers called the seizure of the boat and its passengers an “act of piracy.”

Israel’s Haaretzreports that the boat is being towed to Usdud (Ashdod), a port in present-day Israel, where the passengers “will be interrogated before being escorted to Ben Gurion Airport and flown out of Israel.”

The 18 passengers aboard the Marianne include Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and member of the Israeli parliament, former Tunisian president Moncef Marzuki, Spanish member of the European Parliament Ana Miranda and Professor Robert Lovelace, retired chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation in Canada.

Many Palestinians in had eagerly awaited the flotilla, hoping that it would call international attention to the siege which Israel imposed eight years ago.

Members of the crew of the Marianne, which was seized by Israeli forces in international waters early on 29 June as it headed toward Gaza. (Freedom Flotilla III)

Members of the crew of the Marianne, which was seized by Israeli forces in international waters early on 29 June as it headed toward Gaza. (Freedom Flotilla III)

Three other boats – Rachel, Vittorio and Juliano II – that also made up the flotilla have headed back to their ports of origin.

In total, 47 passengers from 17 countries were aboard the boats, which carried medicines, solar panels and above all a strong message of solidarity for the 1.8 million Palestinians still besieged in Gaza one year after Israel began its 51-day destructive assault that killed more than 2,200 people.

An independent UN Human Rights Council inquiry into the attack, published last week, found extensive evidence of war crimes approved by Israel’s leaders at the “highest level.”

Violence incitement

Ghattas joined the flotilla despite violent threats and incitement from fellow lawmakers in Israel to lift his parliamentary immunity so that he could be prosecuted.

Yair Lapid, head of Israel’s purportedly centrist Yesh Atid party, for instance denounced the flotilla as a “provocation against the state of Israel.”

“This is a flotilla of a group of terror supporters a heinous flotilla that needs to be stopped,” Lapid added. “We need to act against the flotilla the same way we do when dispersing a violent protest and these guys need to all be arrested.”

In a Huffington Post column on Sunday, Ghattas defended his right to take part in the flotilla.

Bigots in “a discriminatory Jewish state as a white Southern extremist in a Confederate state, seek to diminish the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and their representatives in the parliament,” Ghattas writes.

“More than anything, it is obvious that the situation of Palestinians in Gaza will inevitably lead to another round of bloody war, perhaps even more horrifying than the one we had less than one year ago,” Ghattas adds. “Still, my very outspoken colleagues in the Knesset would not even consider lifting the blockade as a means to avoid future war.”

“No siege on Gaza”

In a statement Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified the seizure of the Marianne, claiming that the “flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region.”

Netanyahu insisted that “preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General.”

“Israel is the only democracy that defends itself in accordance with international law,” Netanyahu insisted, adding that “there is no siege on Gaza.”

The fact that 18 civilians aboard a yacht cannot sail to Gaza, and that there has been virtually no reconstruction in Gaza since Israel’s attack last year would tend to undermine Netanyahu’s contention.

According to Haaretz, after boarding the boat, Israeli army gunmen were “to hand out a letter issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, welcoming [the captives] to Israel and wondering why they sailed to Gaza and not Syria.”

“Perhaps you meant to sail somewhere else nearby – Syria, where Assad’s regime is massacring his people every day, with the support of the murderous Iranian regime,” the letter would reportedly state.

Netanyahu’s statement did not specify which UN “committee” he was talking about, but this was a likely reference to the 2011 “Palmer report” commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon into Israel’s attack the previous year on the Mavi Marmara.

Turkey rejected the report into the assault that killed 10 of its citizens on the Mavi Marmara in international waters and imposed sanctions on Israel.

The inquiry was heavily criticized for bias. The four-member committee that wrote the Palmer report was chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and vice-chaired by former president of Colombia Alvaro Uribe, a notorious human rights abuser close to Israel.

The inquiry commissioned by Ban was in addition to an official UN Human Rights Council fact-finding missionwhich found that Israel’s attack on the 2010 flotilla was illegal.

Determined

“It is disappointing that the Israeli government chose to continue the absolutely fruitless policy of ‘no tolerance,’ meaning it will continue to enforce an inhumane and illegal collective punishment against 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza,” flotilla organizers said in their statement.

“Israel’s repeated acts of state piracy in international waters are worrying signs that the occupation and blockade policy extends to the entire eastern Mediterranean.”

They also urged governments”to ensure that all passengers and crew from the Marianne are safe, and to strongly protest against the violation of international maritime law by the Israeli state.”

“We call on all civil society organizations to condemn the actions of Israel,” the statement concludes. “People all over the world will continue to respond and react to this injustice, as will we, until the port of Gaza is open and the siege and occupation is ended.”

This video, published on 20 June, shows Marianne calling at the Italian port of Messina for a solidarity visit.

Complicity kills!

Complicity kills!

SPOOF ON ISRAELI PIRACY

 

Spoof by Latuff

Spoof by Latuff

Israel seizes activist flotilla headed to Gaza

Naval special forces take control of ship, which carried 20 activists including MK Basel Ghattas, without violence.

 

Full report HERE

PIRACY AT SEA ~~ LIVE ON VIDEO

‘If you see this video IDF pirates have taken us prisoner’

WHO SAID THE WAR IN GAZA WAS OVER?

And while Israel’s war on Gaza was declared over, the residents of Khuzaa remain under fire.

Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda in the leg. (Ezz Zanoun)

Israeli soldiers shot 16-year-old Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda in the leg. (Ezz Zanoun)

Israel shoots four boys enjoying evening walk in Gaza

On Monday, 22 June, Israeli soldiers fired on a group of four boys aged 16 to 17 in the southern Gaza Stripvillage of Khuzaa. Two of the boys were hit in the legs and one was critically injured.

The four friends had walked out to the edge of the village to spend the final hour of their fast for Ramadan.

“We were there to waste time before iftar [the meal that breaks the fast],” Muhammad Sami Abu Reda, 17, told The Electronic Intifada. Muhammad was one of the two boys who escaped injury on Monday.

“It’s a very nice area. You can see the fields and farms, and we go there because it used to be closed off but now they told us we can go there,” he explained.

Severe injuries

Last month, the Hamas-led government in Gaza announced the opening of a road that runs alongside the “buffer zone,” the no-go area imposed by Israel which covers a wide swath of land on the Gaza side of the boundary with Israel, in the east and north.

The “buffer zone” was supposed to be reduced in size under the terms of last August’s ceasefire between Hamas and Israel following Israel’s 51-day attack. However, it remains unclear just where Palestinians can safely walk, drive or farm.

In the month of May alone, Israeli soldiers fired on 14 people who were close to the boundary, leaving six Palestinians injured, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Islam Samir Tawfiq Abu Reda, 16, is one of the boys shot on Monday. Lying on his hospital bed, he told The Electronic Intifada that “everyone went to the road since it was announced on the news that it had been opened.”

Islam’s calf was struck by a bullet. While his wound required more than a dozen stitches, he is healing well.

But the other youth, Ibrahim Abu Reda, remains in intensive care. The outcome of his far more severe injuries is uncertain. Two bullets entered his right leg, one near the ankle and another below the knee, shattering his shinbone and severing veins and arteries.

The night he was shot, Ibrahim was treated by Dr. Qasim Kamel in a six-hour surgery at the European Hospital near Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. Kamel told The Electronic Intifada he hopes that he will not need to amputate the teenager’s leg.

In Ibrahim’s home, his parents showed this reporter photographs of the boy lifting weights and playing sports. His father, Jamal Ahmad Abu Reda, said Ibrahim was in Khuzaa’s soccer club and loved to go to the gym. He struggled not to cry as he described his son.

With tears streaming down her face, Safaa Abu Reda, Ibrahim’s mother, said “It’s my right to see my son walking.”

She is desperately worried that her son will not be able to receive adequate treatment in Gaza and wants him to be transferred to Israel. Doctors have told her that the likelihood that Ibrahim will be able to walk again is a slim 15 percent. She believes the odds would be higher if he could get treatment in Israel.

“Why are they doing this to my son? He had no weapons,” she said. “He just went there to walk and have fun, like everyone.”

Ibrahim is the younger brother of Ahmed Abu Reda, 18, who was used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers for five days during last summer’s war, as documented by the recent UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza as well as by other independent observers.

Ahmed was detained by Israeli soldiers on 23 July while attempting to flee Khuzaa with the rest of his family during Israel’s 11-day ground invasion of the small village.

“Buffer zone”

Before one reaches Khuzaa’s boundary with Israel, one must drive through cultivated farmland and greenhouses where farmers grow tomatoes, melons, peppers and zucchini on plots of land demarcated with thickets of crawling cactus.

As one approaches Israel, an inconspicuous fence appears. An Israeli watchtower stands behind. This is the boundary.

Since 2005, Israel has guarded the so-called “buffer zone” here, preventing farmers from safely accessing their lands that lie within it.

While initially the zone stretched 150 meters wide into tiny Gaza, Israel has expanded it over time. In 2010 the buffer zone grew to a 300-meter-wide area that runs alongside the boundary wall.

While the area was supposed to be reduced to 100 meters following the ceasefire, Hamdi Shaqqura, deputy director of PCHR, told The Electronic Intifada that people are fired on as far away as 500 meters from the border. “There is no guarantee from Israel or the international community that Palestinians will have access to their land,” he said.

At the beginning of this year, Gisha, an Israeli organization that monitors Palestinians’ ability to move freely in and out of Gaza, sent an information request to the Israeli military regarding its policy toward the buffer zone following the ceasefire.

Like PCHR, their data also shows that the ban was enforced on a larger area than was officially declared. They have yet to receive a response from the military.

“Silent gunshots”

At the hospital, The Electronic Intifada met the two other boys who were with Ibrahim and Islam when they were shot. Muhammad Sami Abu Reda, 17, said there was no sign that any Israeli soldiers were around. The boys had just paused for a moment while taking their walk when Islam suddenly fell to the ground. Then Ibrahim. Muhammad said the gunshots were silent.

“There were no warning shots,” Muhammad explained.

Muhammad and the other youth, Hisham Abu Mutliq, 17, tried to pick their friends up off the ground, but more shots were fired toward them.

“We ran behind a sand hill to take cover, but the Israelis kept shooting,” Hisham said.

The boys were able to use their mobile phones to call an ambulance, but help did not arrive for 15 minutes. The injured boys lay bleeding on the ground.

Kamel is hopeful that Ibrahim’s leg will heal after the surgery. When The Electronic Intifada visited him at the hospital, Ibrahim was in a deep sleep, but Kamel said he has been lucid and talking in between resting.

There has been a partial clearing of the rubble in Khuzaa, restoring a semblance of normalcy. The ruins of many of the demolished homes, of which nearly 400 were completely destroyed, have been swept into neat mounds, though some remain standing with their roofs sunken through to the ground.

The least destroyed of homes still show walls riddled with bullet holes. The molding on the minaret of a mosque in the center of the village is nearly entirely blown off.

And while Israel’s war on Gaza was declared over, the residents of Khuzaa remain under fire.

THE UN’s BLURRED VISION

They seem to see a double holocaust in Gaza last summer

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

blurred-vision

 

“Balance” in UN Gaza report can’t hide massive Israeli war crimes

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

Palestinians pray over the bodies of eight members of the al-Haj family, killed when Israel bombed their Khan Younis house on 10 July 2014. This was one of the attacks investigated by an independent UN body that found extensive evidence of Israeli war crimes during last summer’s assault on Gaza. (Eyad Al Baba APA images)

There can be no surprise that the UN Human Rights Council’s independent investigation of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer found evidence of massive and systematic war crimes.

Its report, published Monday in Geneva, says investigators were “able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.”

“The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” the chair of the investigation commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis told media, adding that “there is also ongoing fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.”

Despite the “balanced” language that is now the habitual refuge of international officials hoping to avoid false accusations of anti-Israel bias, the evidence shows that the scale and impact of Israeli violence dwarfs anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

Israel systematically targeted Palestinian residential buildings and infrastructure without any apparent military justification. The horror of what Israel did, detailed in the 183-page report, cannot be adequately summarized here.

In total, 2,251 Palestinians were killed, including 1,462 Palestinian civilians, among them 551 children, the report states. More than 11,000 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, were injured with almost 10 percent suffering permanent disabilities.

Six civilians died in Israel and more than 60 Israeli soldiers died in fighting with the Palestinian resistance.

But a key finding is that the mass destruction and killing inflicted by Israel, often amounting to war crimes, “may have constituted military tactics reflective of a broader policy, approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the Government of Israel.”

This finding provides an important basis for Palestinians to pursue Israeli leaders, not just their uniformed subordinates, and bring them to justice in international courts.

The report also confirms that Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza as far as international law is concerned, because it continues to exercise “effective control” over the territory. Israel is therefore subject to all the legal obligations of an occupying power to protect civilians there.

It also found a massive escalation of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in the weeks preceding and during the Gaza assault that was “overshadowed by the tragic events in Gaza.”

Israeli obstruction

The commission was made up of two independent experts: former New York Supreme Court Justice Mary McGowan Davis, who chaired it, and Senegal’s Doudou Diène, a former UN special rapporteur on racism.

The previous chair, Canadian international law expert William Schabas, resigned from the commission in February under relentless Israeli criticism and pressure.

Israel’s concern about the make up of the committee was not matched by a willingness to cooperate with its work. Israel refused to respond to any requests for information and barred the investigators from traveling to the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip or to present-day Israel.

The Egyptian military regime also colluded with Israel by blocking investigators entering Gaza through theRafah crossing.

Nonetheless, the investigators and their staff conducted hundreds of interviews with victims and witnesses, received hundreds of written submissions and obtained large amounts of data from other UN bodies. They also consulted satellite imagery, independent military experts, government documents and statements and evidence gathered by independent organizations.

Deliberate attacks on civilians

Israel carried out more than 6,000 airstrikes on Gaza last summer, the report states, including “targeted attacks on residential and other buildings.”

As a result of these attacks, 142 Palestinians families “had three or more members killed in the same incident owing to the destruction of residential buildings,” for a total of at least 742 deaths, according to UN figures.

The report examines in detail 15 attacks on residential buildings in which a total of 216 people were killed, including 115 children and 50 women. Israel refused to provide any information on what made these buildings alleged military targets.

Killed while they slept

In one of the incidents, at 2 am on 10 July, Israel attacked the house of Mahmoud al-Haj in Khan Younis. All eight members of the family were killed, including two children and three women. The bomb completely destroyed the house and damaged surrounding homes injuring 20 more people, mostly women and children.

In another attack, on the afternoon of 21 July, Israeli forces fired two missiles at the five-story building of the al-Qassas family, killing nine people, including six children and three women, one of them pregnant. Another 10, mostly children and one a baby, were injured.

The investigators could find no information to suggest “that there was a military target in the al-Qassas building.”

This was frequently the case. “In many of the cases examined by the commission, as well as in incidents reported by local and international organizations,” the report states, “there is little or no information as to how residential buildings, which are prima facie civilian objects immune from attack, came to be regarded as legitimate military objectives.”

Israeli justification debunked

The report does find that “indications of possible military objectives emerged in nine of the 15 cases” of attacks on residential buildings that it examines.

But it says that “the potential targets of the attack seem to have been mostly individuals who were or who could have been present in the building that was struck, indicating that one or several individuals were the likely target and not the building itself.”

Here, the report refutes one of the major Israeli justifications for attacking homes: that someone associated with an armed group lives in one. However, the report “underlines that the mere fact of being a member of the political wing of Hamas or any other organization in Gaza, or working for the authorities … is not sufficient in and of itself to render a person a legitimate military target.”

It adds that “under international humanitarian law, a member of an armed group has to have a continuous combat function to constitute a legitimate military target.”

Even if the person were a “legitimate military target,” Israel’s method of attacking homes is disrproportionate, indiscriminate and illegal.

The investigators also consulted military experts who found that the types of US-supplied bombs Israel dropped – such as the GBU-32/MK-82 1,000 lb bomb or the GBU-31/MK-84 2,000 lb bomb – have such a wide impact that their use amounted to indiscriminate attacks.

During the attack, Israel often boasted about its use of a smaller “warning missile” or “knock on the roof” to tell residents to get out of a building minutes before a much bigger explosion. But the report concludes “that the ‘roof-knocking’ technique is not effective” and there were many instances in which civilians were killed despite such warnings.

Destruction of Shujaiya

On 19 and 20 July, Israel carried out a massive artillery bombardment of the Shujaiya neighborhood of eastern Gaza City, killing at least 55 people, including 19 children and 14 women.

As The Electronic Intifada reported last year, the type of weapons used – predominantly heavy artillery and mortars – means the attack could not but have been indiscriminate.

Israel also used over 100 one-ton bombs in the attack which destroyed 670 buildings and damaged another 1,200.

The UN report now confirms that “these methods and means employed by the [Israeli army] could not, in such a small and densely populated area, be directed at a specific military target and could not adequately distinguish between civilians and civilian objects and military objectives as required by [international humanitarian law].”

“Therefore,” the report concludes, “there are strong indications that the IDF’s [Israeli army] Shujaiya operation on 19 and 20 July was conducted in violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks and may amount to a war crime.”

Human shields

Similarly, the report examines and finds evidence of war crimes during Israel’s siege and shelling of the village ofKhuzaa between 20 July and 1 August and its massive bombardment of the southern city of Rafah after one of its soldiers was reported captured on 1 August.

Israel also used human shields in Khuzaa, a farming village in east central Gaza. On 23 July, for instance, 17-year-old Ahmed Abu Reda was abducted by Israeli soldiers from his family as they tried to flee the area.

He was kept hostage for five days during which he was interrogated and, according to his father, forced to undertake “risky tasks such as opening doors, inspecting rooms, switching the lights on and off to test whether secret explosives were being connected to the light switches, open fridges and other devices that may have detonated explosions.”

It concludes that “there are strong indications that elements of the IDF operation in Khuzaa may qualify as direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects and may thus amount to a war crime.”

In Rafah, Israel implemented the “Hannibal Directive,” a procedure which calls for massive fire to prevent a soldier being captured even if it kills the soldier.

The report cites Israel’s “military culture” resulting from this and other policies as “a contributing factor for the unleashing of massive firepower on Rafah, in total disregard for its impact on the civilian population.”

It also finds that Israeli commanders continued the attack for hours even when they must have known about the catastrophic death and injury they were causing to civilians – in itself a potential war crime.

Accusations against Palestinians

Any Israeli claim that the investigation is biased is refuted by the accusations the report levels against Palestinian resistance groups.

It says the investigators have “serious concerns with regard to the inherently indiscriminate nature of most of the projectiles directed towards Israel by these groups and to the targeting of Israeli civilians, which violate international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime.”

It also condemns the extrajudicial executions by Hamas of two dozen Palestinians accused of collaborating with the enemy as a war crime. These executions had already been condemned by Palestinian and international human rights organizations.

Yet in many of the specific instances examined by the committee, especially those involving mortar fire at Israeli targets near the Gaza boundary, the investigators found that Palestinians were aiming at Israeli military targets that were often deliberately placed close to civilian communities.

Military bases near civilians

The report notes “a number of military objectives are located in various parts of Israel, in some cases in the immediate vicinity of built up areas such as the Hatzor airbase, or in the case of the IDF Headquarters, in the midst of a densely populated area.”

It adds that during the attack on Gaza, “the number of IDF positions in the south of Israel around Gaza, sometimes close to civilian communities, was higher than usual.”

“Mortar fire by the Palestinian armed groups appears to have often been aimed at specific targets and is more precise than the rockets in the armed groups’ arsenal,” the report states.

On 22 August 2014, 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman, the only Israeli child fatality in the conflict, was killed by a mortar shell in his home at Kibbutz Nahal Oz, 2 kilometers from the Gaza boundary.

The report notes that this too was an area of intense military activity.

“Based on the information available,” the report states, “the commission cannot exclude that the intended target of the tragic attack of 22 August on Kibbutz Nahal Oz was the IDF Chief of Staff.”

Israeli claims hard to verify

The report acknowledges that in many cases, Palestinian armed groups warned Israeli civilians, especially in the areas near Gaza, and when they fired rockets towards Ben Gurion Airport, of impending attacks.

The investigators say they asked Israel for “detailed information” on “where the rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza actually landed so as to make a more detailed assessment of the proportion of cases in which they were directed at densely populated areas in Israel.”

But Israel – which is always eager to tell global media about how its civilians are the main targets of Palestinian groups – refused, making it “difficult for the commission to determine the extent to which attacks [were] directed at the civilian population in Israel.”

Legitimate military targets

As for tunnels dug from Gaza into present-day Israel, the report is blunt: “during the period under examination, the tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line, which are legitimate military targets.”

The report concedes, however, that “in the vast majority of individual rocket and mortar attacks, the commission does not have information on the intended targets, but notes that Palestinian armed groups announced that they intended to attack population centers in Israel and declared responsibility for launches directed at different places in Israel.”

It also notes that the “majority of projectiles fired by Palestinian armed groups consisted of rockets that at best were equipped with only rudimentary guidance systems and in the vast majority of cases had none at all.”

It acknowledges that the “limitations of the military arsenals of Palestinian armed groups was advanced as a reason for their failure to attack precisely military targets.”

“Security experts have noted that while the al-Qassam Brigades [the military wing of Hamas] may have targeted civilians in the past as part of its military strategy, in 2014 its declared official policy was ‘to focus on military or semi-military targets and to avoid other targets, especially civilians,’” the report observes.

But it notes that under the relevant international law, the “military capacity of the parties to a conflict is irrelevant to their obligation to respect the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks.”

While this may be the case, what it indicates is that if Palestinians exercising a legitimate right to resistance and self-defense were allowed access to more precise weapons, most of the activities designated as possible war crimes in the report would probably not have occurred.

This is not true, however, in the case of Israel, which boasts about its very precise weapons and yet inflicted massive amounts of death, injury and destruction on civilians as a result of its policy of targeting them.

Instead, Palestinian resistance groups are designated as “terrorists” and barred from obtaining more accurate weapons, while the United States, European Union and other governments continue to supply Israel’s massive arsenal.

The report, if anything, displays a distinct anti-Palestinian bias, using the word “resistance” only between quotation marks as if the right to resist belligerent military occupation is not a well-recognized right in international law.

Analysis

The report looks at the events in Palestine through the strict lens of international humanitarian and human rights law. In doing so it finds evidence that both Palestinians and Israelis committed war crimes and other violations.

But the crimes allegedly committed by Israel are massive compared to anything allegedly done by Palestinians.

There can also be no moral equivalence between the legitimate self-defense and resistance of a people under occupation and the aggression of an occupier whose aim is to subject millions of people to its unopposed military tyranny.

It is also apparent that most, though not all, of the transgressions alleged against Palestinians are an artifact of the inferior and unguided weapons, often locally made in Gaza, that are available to resistance groups.

But the approach of the so-called “international community” has been to deny Palestinians the means to resist against Israeli occupation forces and then to condemn them for using what they have.

Despite this, the fact remains that while Israel mostly killed civilians, Palestinians mostly killed Israeli soldiers. Indeed, 65 percent of those killed by Israel were civilians, while 90 percent of those killed by Palestinians werearmed combatant soldiers.

Nothing is more legitimate than Palestinian resistance and nothing is more illegitimate than Israeli occupation. And yet it is to Israel that weapons of massive destruction continue to flow, often from the countries that preach loudest about human rights and international law.

Means of resistance

It is clear that many governments and international organizations tacitly reject the Palestinian right to resist militarily even if they do not say so openly. Many supporters of Palestinian rights and many Palestinians prefer nonviolence, believing that in the long run it will make a just peace more feasible.

If that is the case, then everyone must be proactive in offering support for nonviolent alternatives that can help redress the balance of power between a tenacious belligerent occupier and its victims.

Boycott, divestment and sanctions, for instance, must be recognized and promoted by the so-called international community as a legitimate means of resistance supplementing other forms of legitimate resistance to colonial occupation.

As for Israel, its strategy with this investigation as in others, was to try to obstruct it and then to whine that it is unfair and biased. If Israel is so certain that its actions were legal and correct, it should have nothing to hide.

Given the consequences if the report’s call for accountability were to be implemented, it is no surprise that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its staunch ally, the US administration of President Barack Obama, have attacked and delegitimized the UN investigation from the very start.

It remains to be seen if others will have the courage to demand accountability and ensure this report is not buried like the Goldstone report into Israel’s 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza.

Without such accountability, another Israeli massacre in Gaza is only a matter of time.

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ZIO BEX ~~ IF IT WASN’T A HOLOCAUST IN GAZA, WHAT WAS IT?

Words that upset are not nearly as bad as the crimes that were committed …

“The continuation of the extermination of the Assyrians by the jihadists, the invasion and occupation in northern Cyprus, the Kurdish issue, the blockade of Gaza, the genocidal dismemberment of Yugoslavia, and the Ukraine crisis.” 

Stop the Holocaust in Gaza: A pro-Palestinian protester at a Berlin rally Friday, July 18, 2014. (Micki Weinberg/The Times of Israel)

Stop the Holocaust in Gaza: A pro-Palestinian protester at a Berlin rally Friday, July 18, 2014. (Micki Weinberg/The Times of Israel)

Greek Official Slammed for Comparing Gaza to Holocaust

A Greek official is accused of abusing the memory of the Holocaust by mentioning Gaza during a speech about the genocide, and saying that “victims become bullies.”

The criticism by The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a watchdog group, was over a speech that Panagiotis Sgouridis, a deputy minister of rural development, gave on June 7 in the northern city of Kavala during the unveiling ceremony for a monument in memory of the area’s murdered Jews.

Noting that atrocities continue today despite the lessons of the Holocaust, Sgouridis listed “the continuation of the extermination of the Assyrians by the jihadists, the invasion and occupation in northern Cyprus, the Kurdish issue, the blockade of Gaza, the genocidal dismemberment of Yugoslavia,” and the Ukraine crisis as examples.

He concluded his speech by saying that monuments like the one unveiled at Kavala are important “because unfortunately many times the roles switch and the victims become bullies.” Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, said that Sgouridis’ speech was “not only an inversion of the Holocaust by listing it alongside the blockade on Gaza, but also served to banalize it.”

The Kavala unveiling was preceded by an international uproar over reports that the city’s mayor objected to the incorporation of a Star of David in its design, though she denied this. The monument that was unveiled features that symbol.

Public discourse in Greece about Jews and Israel has become “more toxic,” said the center, amid a financial crisis and the rise of Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party that became Greece’s third-largest following the 2015 legislative election.

Sgouridis’ party, the rightist Independent Greeks, has called on Germany to pay Greece reparations for its invasion and occupation of the Balkan country.

“The speech, the place, the time and the back story all combine to make Sgouridis’ speech inappropriate,” Samuels said.

OPEN YOUR EYES! ~ ISRAEL IS FULL OF SH-T

The Foreign Ministry released a 50 second animated clip that depicted an cartoon journalist with an American accent reporting from Gaza during last summer’s war.

“We’re here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, the people here are trying to live quiet lives,” the character says. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.”

A rocket launches behind him, seemingly contradicting the claim. The clip concludes with the message, “Open your eyes. Terror rules Gaza.”

See yesterday’s post for more videos

Israel Mocks Foreign Reporters With YouTube Cartoon

Israel’s Foreign Ministry took to YouTube to mock foreign journalists’ coverage of the Gaza conflict last summer — but not everyone sees the humor.

The Foreign Ministry released a 50 second animated clip that depicted an cartoon journalist with an American accent reporting from Gaza during last summer’s war.

“We’re here in the center of Gaza, and as you can see, the people here are trying to live quiet lives,” the character says. “There are no terrorists here, just ordinary people.”

A rocket launches behind him, seemingly contradicting the claim. The clip concludes with the message, “Open your eyes. Terror rules Gaza.”

In an official statement, the Foreign Press Association said it was “surprised and alarmed” by the segment, and called the videos “misleading and poorly conceived.” They reminded readers that 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis had been killed in the bloody conflict.

Emmanuel Nahshon, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry told the New York Times that it was only, “an attempt to poke gentle fun at some journalists who choose not to see reality.”

Nahshon asserted the video was based on allegations that unnamed foreign correspondents ignored Hamas militants that launched rockets at Israel, and “released the footage only after the operation was over.”

A New York Times staff photographer, Tyler Hicks, explained in a blog post from last summer that there was a reason reporters did not cover Hamas fighters in their pictures and news coverage: “Hamas fighters are not able to expose themselves,” he wrote

So far, the video has had 23,200 views.

Obviously Israel sees us all as little children if they have to resort to cartoons to justify their war crimes

Now that your eyes are open …. Look Into My Eyes

HERE you can see the foreign press’ reaction to the cartoon …

Journalists rage at Foreign Ministry’s Hamas cartoon

Foreign Press Association condemns foreign ministry cartoon as ‘inappropriate’ after 17 journalists died in Operation Protective Edge.

ISRAELI TREASON AGAINST HUMANITY

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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Israel murdered, maimed thousands of Palestinian civilians, knowingly and deliberately

By Khalid Amayreh in the West Bank
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A report issued Sunday by the Israeli occupation army on last year’s genocidal blitz in the Gaza Strip claimed that Israeli forces didn’t intentionally target Palestinian civilians.

The report, issued belatedly and scandalously fraught with half-truths, selective data taken out of context and containing a preponderance of sheer lies, seems to be intended to counter growing international convictions that Israel did commit real war crimes and crimes against humanity during its 50-day devastating aggression on Gaza last summer.

However, it seems that Israel’s task of exonerating itself of manifestly damning charges related to war crimes is not going to be easy.

Indeed, the irrefutable facts available to the UN, the Red Cross and other neutral third parties should be sufficient to condemn and convict Israel as a murderous state.

There are also thousands of testimonies by on-the-ground eyewitness who have presented credible and honest narratives of the atrocities which killed and maimed thousands of civilians including hundreds of children.

It is really hard to believe that thousands of civilians were killed inadvertently or by mistake or as a result of collateral damage. Believing such claims would be an insult to human intelligence.

True, Israel is constantly shielded from international condemnation, especially punishment, by the United States, Israel’s ultimate guardian-ally, as well as the governments of Western Europe.

But in this age of open skies and internet, it is imperative for all honest men and women around the world, irrespective of their religion or race, to expose the brutal ugliness of this criminal entity called Israel. This is the very least humanity should do on behalf of the helpless victims.

This is very crucial because Israel is convinced it is above the laws of man and God and unbounded by the international norms.

And should the world, God forbid, continue to fail to call the spade a spade, especially when the proverbial implement is seen in the hands of our grave-diggers, and I am not speaking metaphorically, it should be a foregone conclusion that Israel could or probably would eventually embark on the unthinkable vis-à-vis its helpless victims.

I don’t know for sure how the unthinkable would be played out on the ground. However, 67 years of the Israeli experience should be more than sufficient to invoke and remember Stalin and his Gulags, Hitler and his concentration camps, Pol Pot and his genocidal crimes and Bashar El-Assad and his sectarian massacres.

Don’t tell me Israel is too civilized and wouldn’t indulge in the unthinkable. The truth is that Israel would unhesitatingly embark on the unthinkable should the humanity go into a brief moment of slumber.

Israel calculates that apart from a brief outburst of half-hearted denunciations and some vociferous demonstrations in some western capitals, the world powers, particularly the US, would just “let it pass” and probably content with issuing indifferent calls on “all sides to exercise self-restraint.”

I really don’t know if the macabre Israeli calculations are accurate or not. However, from our bitter experience with the West especially since the Second World War, Israel seems ostensibly correct in its prognosis of western moral bankruptcy.

Indeed, a West that is looking on rather passively as Assad with active support from the Russians, the Iranians and Hizbullah is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians, is decidedly unlikely to experience an awakening of moral conscience if and when the Israeli death machine gangs up on the Palestinians.

Genocidal Israelis

Israel is not Denmark or Sweden or even Britain. There is a definitely genocidal mindset in Israel which millions of Europeans and North Americans cannot easily detect due to many years of sustained brain-washing by Zionist-influenced or Zionist controlled media in the West.

Several years ago, an Israeli settler leader named Daniela Weiss from a colony in the northern West Bank delivered a hair-raising speech to dozens of fanatical Gush Emunim settlers in Hebron.

In her brief tirade, the gung ho settler leader told the fanatical multitude that the best way to deal with the Palestinians was the Joshua’s way, an allusion to Biblical massacres carried out by Biblical Israelites against indigenous Canaanite tribes.

The speech, met with loud cheers, didn’t raise many eyebrows in Israel, neither in the media nor in the government.

Hence, the claim that Israelis or Jews wouldn’t allow the government of Israel to resort to genocide against the Palestinian is based more on wishful thinking than on any convincing arguments.

Today, the Palestinian people owe their survival as a people to the good-will of the international community.

But the continuity of this good-will cannot be taken for granted. This is why humanity must remain vigilant because the Israeli snake is venomous and treacherous.

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THE JUSTIFIED HOLOCAUST

Even before the UN issues its report dealing with the last blitzkrieg in Gaza, Israel issues a report justifying their actions ….

Israel’s Protective Edge report: 44% of Palestinian casualties were terrorists

Government-sanctioned report is released as ‘pre-emptive strike’ ahead of international UN report due to come out this month; authors say report provides evidence to justify Israel’s decision to launch war in Gaza based on international law.

Here’s a photo of the ‘terrorists’ they speak of

Palestinian children killed in IDF bombardment (Photo: AP)

Palestinian children killed in IDF bombardment (Photo: AP)

At least 44 percent of the 2,125 Palestinians killed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza last summer were identified by the IDF as armed fighters belonging to Hamas or other terror organizations in the Strip, according to an Israeli report released Sunday.

The Foreign Ministry’s report presents Israel’s diplomatic, military and legal positions on the events of Protective Edge, ahead of the release of a UN committee’s report on Monday.

The international report will only be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on June 29, but the two warring sides, as well the members of the UN Security Council, will receive a copy of it this week.

The 277-page report, which cited Israel’s internal probes and statements from Western leaders backing its right to self-defense, suggested the Netanyahu government hoped to defuse criticism from the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) inquiry in advance.

Deeming the HRC biased, Israel boycotted its investigators as it did those from the council who looked into its 2008-09 Gaza offensive. That HRC inquiry was harshly critical of both Israel and Hamas.

But this time around, the stakes are higher. The Palestinians have joined the International Criminal Court and are pursuing war crimes charges against Israel. The council’s new report, expected as soon as this week, could play a key role in the case against Israel.

“Having on the record our view of this war is extremely important, and we have nothing to hide,” Dore Gold, the new director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a special briefing held to unveil Israel’s own investigation into the war.

Gold was accompanied by the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, and governmental and military legal experts who worked on the report.

Palestinians have said that the IDF violated the rules of war, which include giving adequate warning to civilians, using proportionate force and distinguishing between civilians and combatants. They have pointed to the high civilian casualty count as evidence.

In Sunday’s report, Israel defended itself with the same arguments it has been making since the fighting ended, albeit with a level of detail never shown before.

According to Israel, the actions of Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip that are detailed in the report constitute as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and a blatant violation of international law.

UN numbers of casualties in Gaza differ from Israel’s, stating 2,256 Palestinians, including 1,563 civilians, were killed in the 50-day conflict.

The report disputes the UN figures, saying confirmed non-combatants made up 36 percent of the Palestinian dead and many militants were misidentified as civilians.

“Harm to the civilian population also occurred as the result of unfortunate – yet lawful – incidental effects of legitimate military action in the vicinity of civilians and their surroundings, and as a result of the inescapable constraint of commanders not being infallible, intelligence not being perfect and technological systems sometimes failing,” the report says.

The Palestinians rejected the Israeli report. “The Israeli decision to deny targeting civilians in Gaza is the logical continuation of what Israel did in Gaza,” Ehab Bseiso, spokesman of the Palestinian unity government told AFP. Therefore, the report published on Sunday “does not change our position to demand an international investigation,” he said.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, meanwhile, called the Israeli report worthless, saying “Israeli war crimes are clear because they were committed in front of live cameras”. Hamas has denied any wrongdoing, saying it acted to protect Palestinians.

Izzat Risheq, a senior Hamas official, called the report a “lie promoted by the occupation to cover up its crimes.” He said “the hand of justice will reach the perpetrators.”

Hamas’ war crimes

The Israeli report presents a list of war crimes committed by Hamas and the other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and includes testimony and seized Hamas documents which prove, according to Israel, that Hamas’ strategy was to encourage its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act and turn the civilian population there into a human shield.

The report includes what Israel says are seized Hamas documents encouraging its fighters to move in civilian areas, knowing that it would constrain Israel’s ability to act.

“We were a bit struck and surprised with the amount of documentation that we managed to recover during the operation actually indicating that this is a strategy of Hamas,” said Eran Shamir-Borer, a lawyer in the Israeli military’s international law department.

It also lists the locations of military command centers operating from civilian structures, mosques used as firing posts for snipers, schools used to store weapons and rockets, explosives planted in civilian structures and tunnels dug from inside civilian structures and residential areas.

The report also includes examples of instances in which Hamas forced civilians to arrive in fighting zones and stay there, and instructed them to ignore IDF warnings given before attacks on targets in those areas.

The Israeli report further details several instances in which the Palestinian militants posed as civilians or as IDF soldiers.

Also detailed are the main events that led to the launch of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s main objectives, the terror targets the IDF acted against, the humanitarian aid Israel allowed into the Gaza Strip, the damage caused to the Israeli civilian population, Israel’s inspection and investigation mechanisms, and more.

“From 2000, Hamas’ terror activity has led to the death of at least 1,265 Israelis; Hamas fired over 15,200 rockets and mortars at Israeli citizens (4,500 of which during Protective Edge), covering some 70 percent of Israel’s population; Hamas dug at least 32 tunnels which cross the border between Gaza and Israel, meant to commit terror attacks against Israeli population centers,” the report states.

Therefore, “Israel’s decision to launch a large-scale military operation against Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip as part of the ongoing armed conflict these organizations led was justified according to international law.”

The report also details Israel’s humanitarian efforts to send medical equipment, food and other supplies into the Gaza Strip during the fighting, despite the fact Hamas and the other terror groups were attacking the border crossings while supply was being let through.

With regards to the proposals for ceasefire, the report states that “had Hamas accepted the first Egyptian-mediated ceasefire, the one Israel accepted on July 15 that had the same conditions as the ones Hamas eventually accepted on August 26, 90 percent of casualties could have been prevented.”

According to the report’s authors, the information collected focused on facts, data and the legal aspects of the fighting against Hamas and the other terror factions in the summer of 2014.

Israel has been working on the report for several months and its authors says the report proves that Israel followed international law and made great efforts to avoid hurting innocent people, whether by using the “Knock on the Roof” procedure or by dropping leaflets, phone calls, radio broadcasts and warning strikes with unarmed shells ahead of live airstrikes.

Shamir-Borer showed reporters what he said was a declassified “target card” that laid out the calculations Israel took before striking a suspected arms cache hidden in the home of an Islamic Jihad leader in southern Gaza.

The “operational directives” listed on the card call for destroying the arms while avoiding civilian casualties. It calls for a single airstrike on the home, at night and only after warning people to leave, and “real-time surveillance” to be on the lookout for civilians.

Shamir-Borer said the home was hit, and there was a “secondary blast,” indicating weapons were stored there. The report said the army was unaware of any casualties from the strike. Shamir-Borer said the army went through a similar process in all 5,000 preplanned airstrikes carried out during the fighting.

The report calls to examine the incidents in which civilians were hurt in Gaza must be against the backdrop of the war crimes committed by Hamas and its use of civilian population, alongside Israeli effort to prevent harming civilians and adhere to international law.

Israel, the report says, did not intentionally act to cause damage to the civilian Palestinian population and its surroundings during the confrontation, and deeply regrets this damage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli report was meant to be a pre-emptive strike, noting that “this report is especially important because the State of Israel is under an unprecedented de-legitimization attack. This attack is not relevant, it’s political. Its goal is to tarnish the State of Israel, and we intend to respond to this attack… We will act wherever we need to for as long as we need to in order to deal with false claims and anti-Israeli initiatives.”

Source

Even worse news than the above …..

Remember this?

Israel Army Clears Soldiers in ‘Boys on Beach’ Gaza Shelling

Israeli military prosecutors closed a probe into the death of four children in Gaza last year and opened three new ones — including an alleged revenge shelling.

The Israel Defense Forces’ announcement Thursday on the closure of the probe said the children’s deaths on a Gaza beach in July as a result of an airstrike were an accident and did not affect the legality of Israel’s military actions in Gaza. No action is being taken against those involved. The strike was on a compound known to be in use by Hamas’ naval commando unit, the statement said.

Also on Thursday, the Military Advocate General announced it would look into the death of nine people in July at a café in Khan Younis hit by IDF artillery

A second probe concerns the suspected revenge shelling of a Palestinian clinic. Armored Corps troops are believed to have targeted the clinic as payback for the slaying of two of their comrades on July 22 by a Palestinian sniper whom the suspects believed fired on them from the clinic. The third probe concerns the alleged beating of a Palestinian prisoner.

All incidents occurred during Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza in July and August of 2014 following Hamas’ firing of rockets at Israel civilians. A United Nations committee of inquiry into Israel’s actions in Gaza — which the Palestinians and other countries said amounted to war crimes — is due to submit its report next week.

Additionally, the advocate general said it would indict three soldiers suspected of looting in Gaza on July 29.

The International Court of Justice is also looking into Palestinian complaints on Israel’s summer offensive in Gaza. Some legal analysts have said the ICC, a U.N. court, has no jurisdiction to investigate the matter or prosecute alleged offenders because Israel’s judiciary is investigating the conduct of its own troops in compliance with international judicial standards. However, Israel’s critics dispute this.

So far, the Military Advocate General has received 190 complaints about Israeli troops’ conduct during Israel summer offensive, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement. Of those, 105 have been processed. Of the processed complaints, seven have been deemed to merit criminal investigations.

Another 15 incidents were investigated by local units and not at the general staff level.

IN PHOTOS ~~ NEW YORK SOLIDARITY WITH YARMOUK REFUGEE CAMP

March from Bryant Park to United Nations Headquarters

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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See THIS recent post  (Click on link)

WORLD TURNS A BLIND EYE TO ISIS’ MASSACRE OF PALESTINIANS

VIDEO MESSAGE FROM GAZA ~~ 7 MONTHS LATER WE ARE STILL UNDER THE RUBBLE!

A message from Gaza: We are still under the rubble !!

NYT FINALLY PUBLISHES NEWS FIT TO PRINT

WAIT TILL ZION SEES THIS ;)

hatereagle

Has the New York Times finally joined the human race?

NEVER SAY NEVER!

But better late than never. I feel like I’m reading a normal report in a normal newspaper. We salute Kershner.

Now let’s brace for the backlash. This is the kind of thing that will get hasbara worked up, and the full-scale counterattack on the Times is probably already under way. I cannot recall ever reading a news article in the Times that is so clear about Israeli human rights violations.

Surprise– ‘NYT’ publishes straightforward report on Israeli human rights violations in Gaza

James North FOR

In today’s New York Times, reporter Isabel Kershner devotes a substantial article to a new report from B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, saying that Israel likely committed war crimes in its attack on Gaza last summer.

An Israeli human rights group said Israel’s attacks on residential buildings in Gaza during the 50-day war against Hamas last summer appeared in at least some instances to violate the provisions of international law and raised grave legal concerns in others, according to a report to be published on Wednesday…

[B’Tselem] investigated 70 cases in which more than 600 Palestinians were killed inside homes, a majority of them — children, women and men over the age of 60 — considered unlikely to have been involved in the fighting.

Simple as that. How much clearer can you be?  A few paragraphs down, we get the denial from Israeli authorities. But then it goes back to the charges. The bulk of the story is what B’Tselem says in its 49-page report, which is titled “Black Flag: The legal and moral implications of the policy of attacking residential buildings in the Gaza Strip, summer 2014.” There’s even an interview with B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad. And a paragraph that begins, “The B’Tselem report contains wrenching testimonies from the survivors of 13 houses that were hit.”

Of course the Times should have been doing this all along. As I reported last summer, the Times’s failure to quote B’Tselem’s reports has been a serious omission in its coverage.

In the past two years, B’Tselem has been mentioned only 20 times — and 9 of those appearances were in “The Lede,” a blog by Robert Mackey that is not part of the printed newspaper.

But better late than never. I feel like I’m reading a normal report in a normal newspaper. We salute Kershner.

Now let’s brace for the backlash. This is the kind of thing that will get hasbara worked up, and the full-scale counterattack on the Times is probably already under way. I cannot recall ever reading a news article in the Times that is so clear about Israeli human rights violations.

THE COST OF PALESTINIAN JUSTICE ~~ IN TOONS

Images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

 

Israel will stop you by hook or by crook!

Israel will stop you by hook or by crook!

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Nobody will touch or war criminals!

Nobody will touch our war criminals!

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Related (Click on link)

Israel freezes Palestine tax funds over ICC bid

NEW YEAR SPOOFS

All images ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

Despite all the carnage committed by Israel, Palestine will live to fight again!

Despite all the carnage committed by Israel, Palestine will live to fight again!

 

 

I can’t make any prediction for 2015…EXCEPT that the struggle in Palestine will continue!

I can’t make any prediction for 2015…EXCEPT that the struggle in Palestine will continue!

 

Happy New WHAT?! #Syria #Iraq #Ukraine #Gaza #Afghanistan

Happy New WHAT?! #Syria #Iraq #Ukraine #Gaza #Afghanistan

 

CHANUKAH IN GAZA ~~ TIS THE SEASON TO DROP BOMBS

Tis the Season to bomb Gaza ….. just look at THIS post from 6 years ago …

(MaanImages/file)

Israel and Palestinian factions signed a ceasefire agreement on Aug. 26 after a deadly Israeli offensive on Gaza that left more than 2,100 — overwhelmingly civilians — dead.

The ceasefire deal stipulated an end to hostilities, and Israel agreed to ease its devastating blockade on the Strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast.

However, Palestinians accuse Israeli forces of regular ceasefire violations, with near-daily reports that navy soldiers have fired at fishermen off the coast of the enclave, and occasional reports of Israeli troops shooting and injuring Palestinians near the border.

For first time since summer,
Israeli planes bombard
Gaza
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GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinians in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip woke Saturday morning to the sounds of explosions for the first time since the Israeli offensive in July-August that lasted 51 days and left nearly 2,000 dead.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli F-16 warplanes fired at least two rockets targeting a site belonging to Hamas in eastern Khan Younis.

The Israeli army confirmed the air strike, adding that it had “targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site.”

A spokesman for Gaza’s health ministry said there were no casualties in the attack.

The strikes came after a rocket shell was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Friday, causing no injuries or reported damage.

None of the Palestinian resistance factions including Hamas, however, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said the “Hamas terrorist organization is responsible and accountable” for the rocket fire, which he said the army viewed “with severity.”

Hamas has almost entirely prevented any other factions from firing rockets since the ceasefire, despite repeated Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians at sea and near the border.

On Friday alone, Israeli forces shot and injured six Palestinians as they participated in a protest march near the border.

Political analyst Hani Basous told Ma’an that the Israeli airstrikes are a mere reaction to the rocket and an attempt to send a warning message to all Palestinians.

“Israel wanted to deliver a message to the Palestinian factions and Hamas that any actions on the border will be confronted with a harsh response.”

Basous added that Israel cannot go through another “wave of struggle” at the current moment due to the upcoming domestic elections.

He added that despite the fact that the shell fired from Gaza was “unidentified,” Israel still holds Hamas responsible for it.

Another political analyst, Akram Atallah, told Ma’an that the Israeli escalation against the Gaza Strip was meant to send a message to a domestic audience during the elections campaigns.

Atallah said that the airstrikes are meant to show that nothing stops the Netanyahu government from hitting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Palestinian factions signed a ceasefire agreement on Aug. 26 after a deadly Israeli offensive on Gaza that left more than 2,100 — overwhelmingly civilians — dead.

The ceasefire deal stipulated an end to hostilities, and Israel agreed to ease its devastating blockade on the Strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast.

However, Palestinians accuse Israeli forces of regular ceasefire violations, with near-daily reports that navy soldiers have fired at fishermen off the coast of the enclave, and occasional reports of Israeli troops shooting and injuring Palestinians near the border.

Continued Cairo ceasefire talks to iron out further details of the truce were postponed to November following a deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula.

Gaza has been under a severe economic blockade since 2007, set into place by Israel after Hamas won democratic elections and later took power in the Strip.

Lifting the blockade has been the main grievance of Gaza militant groups in the bloody conflicts with Israel in 2008-2009, 2012, and 2014.

REMEMBERING THOSE THAT ISRAEL WANTS YOU TO FORGET ABOUT

Take action for Palestinian children killed by Israel

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Defence for Children International–Palestine (DCI-Palestine) has put together a stunning online resource to tell their stories and to encourage people to take action to help call for justice.

Click HERE to see the presentation ….. it’s a must watch.

Less accountability than ever

On 23 November, Israeli prosecutors brought manslaughter charges against the Border Police officer allegedly responsible for shooting Nadim Nuwara.

“The defendant used the blanks magazine so that his live fire, as opposed to rubber-bullet fire, would not be observed,” DCI-Palestine quotes the indictment as saying.

Some Israelis have rallied around the suspect, who has not been officially named, hailing him as a hero and inciting more killings of Palestinians.

No arrests have been made in the killing of Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, however.

And the fact that anyone was charged in Nuwara’s death – albeit for a reduced charge of manslaughter instead of murder – is rare enough.

Since 2000, Israeli forces have killed more than 8,896 Palestinians, DCI-Palestine states. At least 1,895 have been children.

In 2014, Israeli occupation forces killed ten children with live ammunition in the West Bank, including Nuwara and al-Thahir.

Between 2000 and 2013, just 5.2 percent of all investigations resulted in indictments.

And over the past three years, the chances of indictments have become slimmer – down to just 1.4 percent.

Take action

When you reach the end of the timeline on the No More Forgotten Lives website, DCI-Palestine asks you to take part in its Thunderclap – a social media campaign that is easy to join using Twitter or Facebook to draw attention to the killings.

This is a beautifully assembled resource to tell a story no one should ever have to tell.

The goal is to bring a measure of accountability and justice for these two boys, and for all the children whose lives have been stolen by the brutality of Israel’s occupation.

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The above was prepared by Ali Abunima 

DOES ISRAEL HAVE ANYTHING TO HIDE?

It certainly looks that way …

Breaking News

 

 

Israel denies entry to members of UN inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza

Jerusalem refuses to cooperate with members of the Schabas Commission, appointed to investigate conduct of Israel, Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Israel denied entry on Wednesday evening to members of a UN commission appointed by the Human Rights Council to investigate possible war crimes committed during Operation Protective Edge.

Full report HERE

AMNESTY’S ‘BETTER LATE THAN NEVER’ FINDINGS ON ISRAELI WAR CRIMES

Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes during its campaign in Gaza.

The 50-day war killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 72 people on the Israeli side, all but six of whom were soldiers.

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Image 'Copyleft' by Carlos Latuff

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff

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Israel accused of war crimes during Gaza conflict

Amnesty International says Israel displayed ‘callous indifference’ in attacks on family homes during military campaign in Gaza
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A Palestinian woman amid the rubble in Gaza City. The 50-day conflict killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis/ Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP

A Palestinian woman amid the rubble in Gaza City. The 50-day conflict killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and 72 Israelis/ Photograph: Khalil Hamra/AP

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Amnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes during its campaign in Gaza.

A report released by the group on Wednesday says Israel displayed “callous indifference” launching attacks on family homes in the densely populated coastal strip and in some cases its conduct amounted to war crimes. It adds that war crimes were also committed by Palestinian militants.

The 50-day war killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 72 people on the Israeli side, all but six of whom were soldiers.

Israel’s Gaza operation came after increased rocket attacks by Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers. Israel also arrested scores of Hamas activists in the West Bank, following the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers.

Israel’s foreign ministry rejected the report’s findings, saying Amnesty “ignores documented war crimes perpetrated by Hamas” and had produced no evidence to back up its claims.

Amnesty says it documented eight instances in which Israeli forces attacked homes in Gaza without warning, killing “at least 104 civilians including 62 children”.

“The report reveals a pattern of frequent Israeli attacks using large aerial bombs to level civilian homes, sometimes killing entire families,” Amnesty said.

While possible military targets were identified in some cases, “the devastation to civilian lives … was clearly disproportionate”, it added.

The report charges that when it appeared to have failed to identify any military target in a Gaza residential building, Israel may have “directly and deliberately targeted civilians or civilian objects, which would constitute war crimes”.

“The report exposes a pattern of attacks on civilian homes by Israeli forces which have shown a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, who were given no warning and had no chance to flee,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s director for the Middle East and north Africa.

“Palestinian armed groups also committed war crimes, firing thousands of indiscriminate rockets into Israel killing six civilians including one child.”

The group said it had to conduct research for the report remotely as Israel denied it and other watchdogs access to Gaza.

Amnesty called on Israel and the Palestinians to “accede to the Rome statute and grant the ICC [international criminal court] the authority to investigate crimes committed in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories”.

It called for cooperation with the UN human rights committee, which in October urged Israel to ensure an independent and impartial investigation to the Gaza war.

Israel said Amnesty had ignored “documented war crimes” by Hamas, such as the use of human shields, ammunition storage and firing at Israeli civilian population centres from within schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian neighbourhoods.

Israel was carrying out investigations into 90 incidents during the Gaza campaign, the foreign ministry said.

GITMO # 2 ~~ TURNING GAZA INTO A SUPER-MAX PRISON

Gaza – Maus Image created by Gianluca Costantini

Gaza – Maus
Image created by Gianluca Costantini

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Roads, schools and the electricity plant to power water and sewerage systems are in ruins. The cold and wet of winter are approaching. Aid agency Oxfam warns that at the current rate of progress it may take 50 years to rebuild Gaza.

Where else in the world apart from the Palestinian territories would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer – and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans?

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How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

A NEW ISRAELI PIN-UP CALENDAR TO DIE FOR ~~ LITERALLY

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The occupation isn’t sexy.

The Gaza war, just recently ended, wasn’t sexy.

And so seeing these women’s limbs draped in ammunition belts, their faces smeared in war paint and their bodies surrounded with guns and knives — it doesn’t feel sexy.

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Israeli Soldiers Create Least Sexy Pin-Up Ever

By Sigal Samuel FOR

MTKL’s Israeli Army Women Calendar

Just a couple of months after the Gaza war, Israel has found a new way “to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people” — via the power of a pin-up calendar featuring real IDF soldiers.

Or, as the creators of the MTKL Israeli Army Women Calendar like to call them, “the chosen amongst the chosen people.”

These chosen women, brought together by two former (male) soldiers who “scoured the ranks of the powerful Israeli army,” would like you to donate $25 to their Indiegogo campaign so that they can not only ship you this calendar, but also create a whole line of clothing and accessories that will blend “the best of military and street into must-have urban fashion.”

MTKL

Their goal is to make $30,000 off the calendars, enabling them to bring their clothing line to production in early 2015. So far they’ve raised about $3700 — which means that a bunch of people are already walking around wearing jewelry “fashioned after the official IDF Dog Tag.”

Scary thought.

I say that because, if you ask me, this fashion line — and the pin-up calendar being used to showcase it — is pretty much the most unsexy thing I can imagine.

It’s not just that this product is the work of two men using a bunch of women’s bodies to make a quick buck. Leave aside for a minute the obvious feminist objections to pin-up calendars writ large — and hone in on this calendar in particular. It doesn’t take long to see that we’re being sold more than your average “male gaze” sexual fantasy. What we’re being sold is an ideology that equates sexiness with militarism, and Israel with both.

There are at least 4 deeply unfortunate things about this:

1) It shows that Israel’s macho culture — a culture that says military violence is a beautiful and even arousing thing — is alive and well.

2) Women are supposed to be grateful to be allowed into this macho culture. The fact that they’re included is a sign of the culture’s progressiveness, of how evolved and “egalitarian” it is (to quote MTKL’s campaign).

3) Plenty of women actually buy into this logic. That includes the international buyers of MTKL’s products (sadly, I have no doubt that their products will sell) and the Israeli models themselves.

4) By buying into this logic, they are — wittingly or unwittingly — working to put a sexy face on the occupation.

But the occupation isn’t sexy.

The Gaza war, just recently ended, wasn’t sexy.

And so seeing these women’s limbs draped in ammunition belts, their faces smeared in war paint and their bodies surrounded with guns and knives — it doesn’t feel sexy.

The MTKL designers may think their calendar will help “to show the world the beauty of Israel and its people” — but I suspect that for an increasing number of people, this insistence on associating Israel with militarism actually does the exact opposite.

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