JERUSALEM – A mob assaulted two Palestinians as they were walking on the trendy Jaffa street in the center of West Jerusalem on Thursday, their lawyer said, potentially the latest in a string of hate attacks targeting Arabs across Israel in recent weeks.
The two Palestinians — who were identified as Amir Mazin Abu Eisha, 20, and Laith Ubeidat — were injured and subsequently arrested by police, who reportedly said they had threatened people in the crowd “with knives.”
The lawyer for the two Palestinians, Khaldun Nijim, told Ma’an that the two were surrounded by around 20-30 Jewish passerby as they were distributing bread at grocery shops on Jaffa street, the central thoroughfare of West Jerusalem.
After Jewish passerby began verbally and physically assaulting them, he added, “The Israeli police stopped them in their van and pointed guns at them” while the mob “beat them with empty bottles.”
“After they drove away a few meters, the police shot at them. They then stopped and were assaulted again.”
The two sustained injuries in the assault and were detained by Israeli police, who transferred them to the nearby Russian compound police station for “having a knife and obstructing the work of the police.”
An ambulance was called for Abu Eisha to treat his head and ear injuries, but he was prevented from being taken to a hospital for treatment.
Nijim added that a number of members of the mob filed a complaint against the two for “attempting to attack them with a knife,” but he insisted that he planned to file a complaint against the mob and the police officer.
The pair were bailed out and sentenced for 10 days of house arrest.
An Israeli police spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Cities across Israel have witnessed a string of attacks against Palestinians in recent months, as a “price tag” crime wave that targeted Palestinians inside Israel for perceived slights against Jewish settlements in the West Bank has evolved into recurring mob attacks and anti-Arab rallies.
In recent weeks, Palestinian passerby have been repeatedly assaulted on Jerusalem’s Jaffa street, and one video that showed a young boy being surrounded and assaulted by dozens was shared repeatedly on social media.
Jaffa street has been covered with flyers warning Arabs not to “touch” Jewish women in recent weeks, as part of a right-wing Jewish campaign to prevent mixing among Jews and Arabs.
Although the majority of Palestinians were expelled from their homes inside Israel during the 1948 conflict that led to the creation of the State of Israel, some Palestinians managed to remain in their villages and their descendants today make up around 20 percent of Israel’s population.
In Jerusalem, however, the majority of Palestinians are not Israeli citizens but residents of Jerusalem who fell under Israeli military occupation in 1967 but unlike West Bank Palestinians were given permanent residency cards entitling them to certain benefits.
Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians after Israeli authorities banned Palestinians under the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for Laylat Al-Qadr in the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem, West Bank
At least two Palestinians were killed on Thursday evening during clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli occupation forces near the Qalandiya checkpoint, just north of occupied Jerusalem, Palestinian security sources said.
Media are reporting that Israeli occupation forces shot and killed Mohammed Al-Araj, 25 years old, and Majd Sufyan, 27 years old. Both were participating in a mass protest staged by at least 10,000 Palestinians when violent clashes broke out between them and Israeli occupation forces at the checkpoint that separates Jerusalem from the West Bank.
Hundreds were reportedly injured during the clashes, some of whom were shot with live ammunition.
In response to the killings, Palestinians have called for a “day of rage” with popular protests.
The Israeli army spokesperson told Agence France Presse that: “There are thousands of rioters there. They are rolling burning tyres and throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks at soldiers and border police.”
She said that the occupation forces were only using “riot disposal means” to control the protests, but witnesses confirmed to Al-Ghad newspaper that the soldiers fired live ammunition, tear gas bombs and rubber bullets at the protestors.
Azzun, Occupied Palestine – On Monday, July 21st, Israeli forces used Palestinian civilians as human shields in the village of Azzun, a village west of the city of Nablus.
On most evenings several Israeli jeeps are stationed just outside the Azzun’s north gate. At 10 o’clock in the evening on the night in question, approximately 15 soldiers entered the main square of the village.
Witnesses report that a few young men responded to this invasion by throwing stones at the jeeps from a distance of approximately 200 meters. The soldiers spent the next few minutes stopping cars on the road and began forcing the drivers to arrange their cars in a circle. The soldiers then forced these residents of Azzun to surrender their keys. The occupants of the cars included women and children. They were very frightened and the soldiers did not allow them to leave. The Israeli forces positioned themselves inside the circle formed by the cars, began to fire tear gas at the youths, and knelt behind the civilian occupants of the cars as to protect themselves.
Israeli forces have a long history of using Palestinian civilians as human shields. From the years 2000 to 2005, they admitted to using human shields more than 1,200 times. This practice was banned by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2005, but human rights groups have accused the Israeli army of continuing to use it. During the Gaza massacre of 2008-2009 Israeli occupation forces were accused by Amnesty International, as well as former Israeli soldiers, of using Palestinian children as human shields.
Q: Why is Egypt preventing medical aid to Gaza?
A: So that Israel can use it as a weapon, that’s why.
This explains why dozens of volunteer medical personnel cannot reach the desperately understaffed hospitals in Gaza. It explains why Egypt turned away a convoy of desperately needed medical supplies.
In this time of crisis, Egypt has sealed the border with Gaza, except occasionally to Palestinians who are registered with Israel as residents of Gaza. For anything else, please apply to Israel.
That’s fine for UNRWA, ANERA, UPA and other groups Israel has approved as relief agencies and who buy a lot of their supplies from Israeli sources, store it in Israeli warehouses, use Israeli transportation, have personnel that live in Israel and generally meet Israeli requirements and contribute to the Israeli economy. But what about doctors that carry Lebanese passports? Or Pakistanis, Algerians, Venezuelans, Sudanese, Iranians, Cubans or Syrians? Or who are not permitted to travel to or through Israel because they are on a long list of people who are critical of Israel, such as the organizers of the relief convoy that was turned away? Until the Sisi administration they used to be able to enter through Egypt.
That’s exactly the point. Israel wants them all to go to hell because they are not friends of Israel. Even better, let the people of Gaza go to hell – its children, mothers, grandparents – let them die or better still become infirm and a burden on this already crippled society.
Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shovelling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away…to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa last 24 hrs. enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterdays hospitals. But they do not complain, these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormous resolute.
– Dr. Mads Gilbert, al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza
This is what Israel has in mind. In effect, it has turned back the clock to when it destroyed nearly two thousand homes along the Gaza border, making homeless around 20,000 Palestinians and creating the “Philadelphi corridor”, a path of destruction the width of three football fields and eight miles long. It then controlled all of the borders of the Gaza strip, encroaching and destroying everything on the Gaza side up to an average depth of a half kilometer, and in the sea from a treaty-protected twenty kilometers to less than three unprotected, confining the ever growing population into an ever shrinking area with ever fewer resources.
Now, with Israel’s sweethearts running Egypt, it is once again fully in charge of that border, as well, and can treat the Gaza Strip like a hunting reserve, where its troops can practice their skills every couple of years. This is necessary in order to assure that the new recruits acquire the same genocidal experience as their older peers and preserve Israel’s shared cultural traditions.
These are the real aims of the Gaza invasion.
Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.
TUNIS – Head of Tunisia’s al-Nahda party Rashid al-Ghannoushi revealed on Monday night that Egypt has refused to receive a Tunisian plane bound for Gaza loaded with medicines and medical supplies.
Al-Ghannoushi told Al-Jazeera TV network that the Egyptian authorities had refused to allow the plane to land at the airport nearest to the Gaza Strip, pointing out that it was carrying medical supplies badly needed in the beleaguered Strip.
The plane was supposed to fly back injured people who sustained serious wounds during the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza to receive treatment in Tunisia, he explained.
Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki had declared a week ago his country’s intention to send a plane carrying medicines and medical supplies for Gaza Strip.
Along the same line, the Egyptian authorities continued to prevent a team of European specialized surgeons from having access to Gaza despite possessing the needed papers for that.
Dr. Mohammed Abu Nada, coordinator for the Forum of Palestinian Doctors in Europe, told Quds Press on Tuesday that they have been prevented by Egyptian army from entering into Gaza for the fifth day despite having official permits allowing their access.
The FPDE delegation includes a number of general surgeons in addition to surgeons specialized in vascular surgery and pediatric surgery.
583 Palestinians were killed and 3640 injured in 15 days of Israeli ferocious pounding of the besieged enclave. Hundreds of homes, hospitals, mosques, and schools were demolished during the Israeli airstrikes, navy shelling, and artillery bombardment.
As we watch the horrifying slaughter unfold in Gaza, bear in mind the Israeli psychosis that fuels and justifies it. Here are comments from three rightwing Israelis – two leading politicians and a professor – who very much reflect a strain of mainstream thinking in Israel, one that the international media largely avoids noting.
Each, in their different ways, is advocating a genocide of the Palestinians.
Ayelet Shaked, of economics minister Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, calls on her Facebook page for murdering the mothers of what she terms Palestinian “terrorists” (a very broad concept indeed in current Israeli thinking) so that they cannot give birth to more “little snakes”:
They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists. They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists. …
[The terrorists] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.
Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, believes the sisters and mothers of Palestinian “terrorists” should be raped:
A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys [in the West Bank on June 12] and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in.
Note that his university did not reprimand him. They defended his comments:
The purpose was to define the culture of death of the terrorist organizations. Dr Kedar illustrated in his words the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and law-abiding country to fight the terror of suicide bombers.
And finally we have Moshe Feiglin, a deputy speaker of the Israeli parliament and a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, urging the Israeli army to kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately and use every means possible to get them to leave:
[Netanyahu] announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. … All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. …
The IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. … The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.
This psychosis is not going to get better on its own. In fact, it’s going to get much worse. How much worse will depend entirely on the continuing inaction of western leaders.
Amnesty International recently released a report on “stomach-turning” violence in Eastern Ukraine (“Abduction and Tortures in Eastern Ukraine,” – see for example BBC coverage here). According to the report, the acts of violence are perpetrated chiefly by pro-Russian separatist groups.
The Amnesty International report and its conclusion about rebel responsibility for the majority of violence does’t hold water and has little in common with reality. The violence in Ukraine in general is not properly analyzed, and the report is quite biased. Rather than the rebels, it is the Ukrainian army and the pro-EuroMaidan forces that are responsible for the abductions and abuses.
Firstly, rebels in Eastern Ukraine enjoy almost 100% support of the local population. There is no need for them to commit any kind of violence targeting the locals. The Ukrainian army, on the contrary, is viewed as a cruel enemy and Ukrainian soldiers feel the animosity of the locals. Simple logic would argue that it is the army that has felt the need to repress its local adversaries through violence. Moreover, it suffices to speak with any of the thousands of refugees from Eastern Ukraine and listen to their stories about the barbaric methods used by the army to break the resistance, to be persuaded that the Ukrainian army bears the responsibility for the majority of kidnappings and tortures.
Secondly, it’s well known that EuroMaidan was supported by Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations. After the success of EuroMaidan its leaders enrolled their neo-Nazi supporters into newly formed police and National Guard battalions (“Azov”, “Donbas” and so on). From time to time foreign media speak of the neo-Nazi background of such Ukrainian military units, but most of the time this fact is hidden. It’s hard to expect any respect for human rights or any other kind of law observance from these soldiers.
The facts show that EuroMaidan authorities started the terror campaign promptly after toppling the former government, that is to say long before the start of the war. The spiral of violence raging now in Eastern Ukraine is the sequel of the geopolitical drama called EuroMaidan.
In addition, to see the whole scale of violence in Ukraine one should gather information about abductions, tortures and other ill-treatment throughout the country and not only in Eastern Ukraine. And the time period should be enlarged: it’s necessary to take into consideration all of the violence perpetrated since the victory of EuroMaidan and not only since the beginning of the hostilities.
When the new post-EuroMaidan government was formed it unleashed unprecedented repressive measures, which became more and more stringent and violent. Policemen and their families were the first targets. They were threatened anonymously, their apartments burnt and some policemen killed.
Not only were policemen tracked down, but any conspicuous person loyal to the previous government. Unacceptable newspapers were forcibly closed, independent journalists arrested. The most radical pro-European movement, “Right Sector,” put forward the idea that “the revolution continues and we will hunt down the enemies of the revolution”. After that civic activists were subjected to brutal attacks and the most active of them were arrested. Now Kiev goes even further. Following the example of the US in Iraq, the Ukrainian authorities are producing playing cards with faces of the rebel commanders as well as faces of “wrong” journalists, for the soldiers in Eastern Ukraine. The army must either arrest or kill them.
After EuroMaidan, Ukraine is a country full of political prisoners. The number of well-known journalists and writers who have had to escape from the country is rather high: Alexander Chalenko, Rostislav Ishchenko, Vladimir Rogov, myself, and many others. Even high-ranking Congressmen of the Ukrainian parliament, such as the anti-EuroMaidan politician Oleg Tsarov, have had to leave Ukraine under the threat of arrest. Before fleeing Tsarov was attacked by a crowd of EuroMaidan activists and savagely beaten. The video of the attack as well as Tsarov with torn clothes and bruises was shown on TV. His house in Dnepropetrovsk was burnt by Molotov cocktails thrown by well-known “unknown” perpetrators.
Now Tsarov gives juridical assistance to police officers and civil activists persecuted by the new authorities. According to Tsarov, many people are being arrested throughout Ukraine and prisons are filled with political prisoners. The latest case has been the arrest of Alexander Samoylov, the vice-rector of International Slavonic University in Charkov. The picture of Samoylov beaten, with black bruises around his eyes, is circulating on the internet.
The violence against ideological rivals has turned into political advertising for the Ukrainian politicians supporting EuroMaidan, aimed toward dissuasion. Congressmen from the well-known xenophobic nationalistic party Svoboda forcibly entered the office of the Ukrainian National TV Channel director, beat him and forced him to resign. They disliked how the TV channel covered the Crimean conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
Notorious congressman and leader of the Radical party Oleg Liashko is famous for his PR actions in the zone of hostilities. He often shows up there accompanied by a large number of bodyguards and demonstrates his attitude towards the population of Eastern Ukraine. There are many videos showing Liashko humiliating his opponents and threatening to kill them — like in this video where Liashko and his bodyguards rudely force a local deputy in Slawiansk to resign and threaten to lynch him in a town square – or threatening to throw them into prison, like in this video where Liashko interrogates a 68-year old man with a sack on his head and threatens to keep him in prison until death.
It’s worth mentioning that in March 2014, a month before the beginning of hostilities between Kiev and the rebel provinces, and when dialogue was still possible, Liashko ordered one of the Eastern Ukrainian leaders, Arsen Klinchaev, to be arrested. This was carried out in a rude and humiliating manner and Liashko himself took part in the action. Klinchaev was arrested in his office and not with arms in hand, but was treated like a dangerous terrorist.
Instead of dialogue, Kiev has chosen violence.
Vladislav Gulevich is a Ukrainian journalist and political analyst who has recently fled to Russia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A man is taken from his home by 20 armed, militarized police in fascist black uniforms. They break in through the doors and windows, rappel from the roof with ropes, storm the home where he lives with his wife and four children, in the dead of night.
They take him away, and no one hears from him for days, and then weeks, and then months. He isn’t charged with anything; for a long time he is simply disappeared. There is no official charge, but he is a known political activist, a writer, a lecturer.
This isn’t news, because the country is Jordan, the orders come from the US or from Israel, and the man is an Arab, a Palestinian.
I met Amer Jubran 13 years ago when he was living in the United States. He was arrested for the first time at a protest in Brookline, MA that he helped to organize against a yearly celebration of the colonization of Palestine called “Israel Day.” Police arrested him, broke up the demonstration, held him over night in jail with hand and leg shackles, and then charged him with assaulting a passerby. After a lengthy series of court hearings, the judge found the charges to be baseless. Information obtained in the course of the hearings revealed instead that the police had been in the pay of the Israel Day organizers, including the Israeli consulate. The police had been communicating with them about the protest–including details about individual protest organizers–and had more or less acted as agents of a foreign government.
At that time, I knew almost nothing about the history of Palestine. I attended Amer’s trial because the civil rights violations involved in his arrest were so egregious that his case required support from anyone who sincerely believed in basic political rights.
The bulk of Amer’s trial in Brookline took place in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001. The US had just declared an open-ended “war against terrorism,” and already news had begun to trickle out about mass detentions of Arab and Muslim men who were being held beyond the reach of any legal authority, detained indefinitely without access to fundamental rights of due process, and stories were starting to come out about the extensive use of torture.
And at the same time the US passed the Patriot Act and reorganized its security apparatus to create a new “Department of Homeland Security.” With it came new types of federal agents with expanded powers over both citizens and non-citizens; federal, state, and local police were increasingly networked with private agencies in JTTFs; ‘fusion centers’ emerged as nodes of uncontrolled ‘information sharing’ about everyone.
Those of us who were politically active at the time could see what was coming. I remember friends circulating a famous quote from Hanna Arendt:
“The first essential step in the road to total domination is to kill the juridical person in man. This was done, on the one hand, by putting certain categories of people outside the protection of the law and forcing at the same time, through the instrument of denationalization, the nontotalitarian world into recognition of lawlessness; it was done, on the other, by placing the concentration camp outside the normal penal system, and by selecting its inmates outside the normal judicial procedure in which a definite crime entails a predictable penalty.” (Origins of Totalitarianism)
We could see what was coming and those of us who cared got involved however we could.
I got to know Amer in the course of his trial and began to learn about Palestine: the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, the occupation of the remainder of Palestine in 1967, the continuing circumstances of racist oppression and land theft, not only in all of historic Palestine, but in the entire region surrounding it. To be Palestinian in Nazareth, or in Gaza, or in al Quds (also called Jerusalem), or Khalil (“Hebron”), is much the same as to be Palestinian in Amman (Jordan) or in Sabra and Shatila (Lebanon). The refugees fled murder on their land and it sought them out in the camps. To be Palestinian anywhere in historic Palestine is to be subject to arbitrary detention without trial (‘administrative detention’), and it’s the same in Amman or in Cairo.
I visited Khalil for the first time in 2003. What I saw there became for me an image of the entire region. Some 120,000 Palestinians live in the greater area of Khalil–the city and interconnected villages surrounding it. 400 zionist settlers live in a garrison called Kharsina. For their sake, a regime of total lockdown was imposed on all the Palestinians in the city and villages. All village entries and exits were blocked with boulders and other roadblocks. Curfew imposed. Children couldn’t attend school, elders couldn’t reach hospitals, no one could move goods. All this so that 400 settlers can feel ‘secure’ living on stolen land. This is the meaning of ‘security.’
And this is the image of the region. For the sake of less than 6 million highly privileged colonial-settlers, over 150 million Arabs in the surrounding region live under circumstances of political repression, foreign invasion, occupation, and poverty. No freedom of movement, no freedom of expression, no basic political rights. This is what it means when we say ‘for Israel’s security.’
I learned about Palestine and I became active along with Amer and others we knew in trying to speak for the cause of Palestine where we lived in the United States. Together with other Palestinians living in the area, Amer created an organization called the New England Committee to Defend Palestine.
We spoke of the unity of the Palestinian cause, of liberation for all of historic Palestine, for the rights of refugees to return to their homes.
Two days after the first demonstration of the NECDP, FBI and INS agents broke into Amer’s home in Rhode Island and demanded that he answer some questions. “Please the ears of this gentleman,” said the INS agent pointing to the FBI agent, “or you’ll rot in jail for fifty years.” Amer demanded his right to an attorney. They jailed him, at first without charges or access to a lawyer. We obtained a lawyer for Amer, but they refused to give any information to him when he called, and hung up on him. They held him that way for 17 days. It took an international campaign just to get him a bond hearing.
Eventually the INS (which became the ICE) manufactured immigration charges against Amer to justify–and at the same time conceal–the US government’s political persecution. They now claimed that the marriage through which he had obtained his green card had been fraudulent.
For over a year, we fought the case in hearings before the immigration court. The Department of Homeland Security devoted more than 12 FBI agents to “gathering information” on what was ostensibly an immigration matter. Agents visited members of Amer’s ex-wife’s family and tried to intimidate them into testifying against him. In some cases they showed pictures of Amer taken at demonstrations in the US and claimed that they were images from a “terrorist training camp” in Afghanistan. They tried to connect Amer with 9/11, and to suggest that people who didn’t fully cooperate might make themselves liable to prosecution in connection with “terrorism.”
We fought the case in the immigration court for more than a year. In the course of the proceedings, we submitted FOIA petitions that turned up evidence of widespread cooperation between local police and federal agents in monitoring us and other activists for political activities such as demonstrations, educational websites, and court solidarity. These included the following:
*Still photographs of Amer, his friends, witnesses and supporters taken inside the courtroom during his Brookline trial, and sent to the Boston Police
*A fax cover sheet documenting the communication of records between the Brookline Police and the FBI in July, 2003
*More than twelve video tapes made by the Boston police of pro-Palestine, anti-war, and civil liberties/immigrant rights rallies, which all found their way into a file concerning Amer Jubran
*A memo from the FBI refusing to grant the FOIA petition on the grounds that the subject was “under investigation.”
When it became clear that the immigration court was not a venue in which justice could be obtained, Amer took ‘voluntary departure’ and returned to Jordan in 2004.
Amer’s hearings were well attended by activists. The media closely followed his case, and there was considerable outrage that the government would use immigration proceedings to silence political speech.
A decade has passed. In that time, the arrest and prosecution of Arabs and Muslims for ‘terrorism’ based on speech–especially the defense of the rights of their peoples to resist invasion and occupation by the US or Israel–has been normalized in the framework of domestic security. There is openly a 1st Amendment exception for Arabs and Muslims. Torture and extrajudicial killing (assassination) are no longer dirty secrets, but official policy. Habeas corpus died with the Supreme Court decision in the Hamdi case; the body of policies and cases surrounding indefinite detention outside the reach of the law have now been codified in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, giving the US military the power to detain anyone without recourse to meaningful judicial oversight.
So that now, when 20 black-clad militarized police arrest a Palestinian in his home in Jordan for criticizing US and Israeli policies in the region–an arrest carried out almost certainly at the behest of the US–it just isn’t news. No journalist is interested in the story; no major media outlet will cover it.
Amer continues to be held in Jordan without charges, but has finally been allowed a visit by family, and his whereabouts are now known. His spirit remains strong.
Jordan recently passed legislation further criminalizing political speech as part of its “anti-terrorism” laws. The new amendments specifically criminalize activities that are harmful to Jordan’s relationship with foreign governments. Even before the passage of the new legislation, Jordan had already tried Mwaffaq Mahadin for “endangering relations with a foreign state” for speaking about Jordan’s security cooperation with the US on Al-Jazeera, so it isn’t hard to imagine how the new legislation will be applied. Over the past year, Amer has been sending out critical information and articles about Israeli, US and Jordanian cooperation in destabilizing Syria.
But at this point, it’s hardly even necessary to invent crimes and pass legislation. Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate (GID)–the agency responsible for Amer’s arrest– is a black hole, accountable to no one, except possibly its paymaster, the US. One Jordanian lawyer told me, when I asked about the possibility of filing habeas corpus on Amer’s behalf, “There’s no such thing here. Our country is being maintained as a conduit to Guantanamo.”
Amer might sit indefinitely in detention without charges. Or he may be brought up at any time and charged with “terrorism” before the State Security Court, a rubber stamp court for the GID. If so, his lawyer might be told the charges a day or two before the sham trial, which then leads to inevitable conviction–a mere formality.
Only a concerted political campaign that gets widespread international attention can make any difference. It’s up to us to create enough visibility to make that possible.
Noah Cohen is active with the Amer Jubran Defense Campaign (freeamer.wordpress.com) and can be reached through the campaign at defense (at ) amerjubrandefense.org.
GAZA CITY – Israeli forces killed at least 100 Palestinians on Sunday including 66 in a single neighborhood of Gaza City, bringing the 13-day death toll to 437.
The assault on Gaza — which has also left 18 Israels dead — is the largest and deadliest attack on the besieged coastal enclave since 2008. More than 200 Palestinians have died since the ground invasion began on Thursday.
On Sunday, 66 bodies were recovered from the Shujaiyya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, in what medical authorities called a “massacre” and a level of violence not seen before in the ongoing conflict.
At least 500 Palestinians were injured in Israeli attacks on Wednesday, with the total surpassing 3,000 as Gazan hospitals struggled to cope with the surge and facing shortages of medical supplies, doctors, and hospital beds.
Hospitals were also facing continuous power cuts, as electricity has fallen by more than 70 percent as a result of Israeli shelling and the siege itself, which even prior to the assault had reduced electricity availability to eight-hour stints.
60 thousand Gazans fled their homes on Sunday alone amid the mass killing in the Shujaiyya neighborhood, adding to a total number of displaced that has now hit 135,000.
Sources familiar with the situation argued, however, that there is not a single place safe from Israeli attack in the besieged coastal enclave, as shelling from land and sea as well as air strikes have not left any region untouched.
Palestinian analysts expressed astonishment at Israeli claims that 1.7 million Gaza residents had been warned to leave their homes, asking: “Where in the world can they go?”
Israel has kept its border with Gaza shut tight to the flight of refugees, while Egypt has also maintained the seven-year-old Israeli-led blockade of the Strip by keeping its border closed as well.
Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the operation would continue until quiet was restored in southern Israel.
Operation Protective Edge was launched 13 days ago in what Israel said was an attempt to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, which had increased after Israel launched a massive operation in the West Bank that left 10 Palestinians dead, 130 injured, and more than 600 Hamas-affiliated individuals in prison.
The operation, named “Brother’s Keeper,” was launched in order to find three Israeli teenagers who disappeared in June from the Jewish settlement of Gush Etzion in the West Bank.
Israel blamed Hamas for the kidnapping without any evidence, a charge which the group denied.
Shelling and airstrikes resume Sunday afternoon
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli shelling fully resumed after a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire that it violated numerous times, and dozens more had been killed in the Gaza Strip as a result.
Rayan Taysir Abu Jami, 8, and an elderly woman named Fatima Mahmoud Abu Jami were killed and three injured in an air strike on Khan Younis on Sunday evening, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health spokesman in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra.
The dead were named by Al-Qidra as Samar Osama al-Hallaq,29, Kinan Akram al-Hallaq, 5, Hani Mohammad al-Hallaq,29, Suad Mohammad al-Hallaq, 62, Saji al-Hallaq, Ibrahim Khalil Omar, Ahmad Yassin, and an 8th person, who was unnamed.
A man and woman, meanwhile, were killed in a strike on the Atatra house in Beit Lahiya.
Medical sources said Ahmad Abu Tayim, 27, died of injuries sustained on an airstrike on al-Zana are of Khan Yunis.
Aya Abu Sultan, 15, was killed in a strike on her house northern Gaza Strip.
Another man was killed, while four were injured in another strike on Gaza City earlier in the afternoon.
Palestinian medical sources also said that a child identified as Suleiman Abu Jami was killed in an Israeli raid on Khan Younis in the south.
Five other people were injured in Beit Hanoun in the north.
In the central Gaza Strip, Israeli airstrikes in the afternoon killed four members of Abu Zayid family in al-Bureij refugee camp after destroying their home over their heads.
Medical sources also said Suleiman Abu Jami was killed in Bani Suheila in Khan Younis. Four others were injured in the same raid including one critically injured.
Al-Qidra said earlier that an elderly woman Najah Saad Addin Darraji, 65, and a 3-year-old boy Abdullah Yousif Darraji were killed in Rafah.
A Gaza-bound Egyptian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for the war-ravaged, besieged Palestinian enclave has been halted by the country’s security forces in Sinai.
Activists travelling with the convoy on Saturday afternoon said the vehicles carrying humanitarian supplies to the people in the Israeli-blockaded territory had been stopped at a Sinai checkpoint by Egyptian forces and not allowed to pass due to alleged “security reasons,” Ahram Online reported.
The development comes as Gaza is entering the twelfth day of an Israeli military onslaught that has left more than 312 Palestinians dead, including many women and children.
The report further cites Egyptian political activist Zizo Abdo as saying that the convoy was halted at Balooza checkpoint, the first military checkpoint in North Sinai.
Abdo also stated that the convoy consists of 11 buses and a medical convoy, totaling over 550 people including students, workers, and various political figures.
According to the report, if the convoy is allowed to pass through the checkpoint, it is set to pass through Sinai’s al-Arish city, an already troubled area where Egyptian security forces are battling an anti-state militancy that has surged since the military ouster of the country’s first freely elected president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
After al-Arish, the convoy will move directly to the Rafah border crossing.
Egypt’s authorities have largely kept the critical border crossing for the besieged Palestinians living in Gaza shut over the past year, claiming security concerns over the surge of militancy in the Sinai region.
However, the crossing has been opened a few times since the start of the massive Israeli offensive as an “exceptional” measure to transport injured Palestinians to Egyptian hospitals and deliver Egyptian as well as Arab aid to Gaza.
Similar Egyptian convoys were able to cross into Gaza during the Israeli assault on the strip in 2012.
A nurse in the hospital told Ma’an that Israel fired a drone missile at the roof and third floor, damaging water supplies.
The area of the hospital targeted contained a ward for children, a reception area, and the offices of several doctors.
The building was evacuated immediately following the attack, with no injuries reported.
The attack comes as Israeli tanks fired shells at the al-Wafa hospital in Gaza City late Thursday, the facility’s director said.
“Israeli tanks are shelling the hospital, they have hit several of the floors, and several nurses have been injured,” director Basman Alashi told AFP.
“There is no place safe in Gaza! If a hospital is not safe, where is?” he said.
The hospital in Gaza’s Shujaiyeh district has come under Israeli fire several times before, and the Israeli military has called on Alashi and other doctors to evacuate it.
The Al-Quds hospital was also hit overnight Thursday by Israeli forces, causing a fire to break out which damaged several departments of the building.
On Saturday, thirty-year-old Ola Washahi and 47-year-old Suha Abu Saada were killed when an Israeli rocket hit a care home for Palestinians with special needs in Beit Lahiya.
The facility’s director, Jamila Alaywa, was unable to contain her fury as she described the tragedy that had befallen the center she set up in 1994.
“Both Ola and Suha had severe mental and physical handicaps, and had been living at the center since it was founded,” she told AFP.
“They didn’t understand what was happening and they were so frightened,” Alaywa said.
“They fired the rocket and it hit us without any warning. There was no warning strike with an empty rocket,” she said.
Photo by Charlie Andreasson, ISM
Brothers Jihad and Wissam were playing on the roof of their Gaza apartment with their cousin Fulla, when an Israeli strike came from the blue skies above and killed them.
Fulla, a nickname given to 10-year-old Afnan, was the eldest. All three were from the Shaheber family, in Gaza City’s Sabra district.
After being cooped up at home for days on end, neighbors said the children were taking advantage of the relative calm that followed a brief truce between Israel and Hamas.
“They were playing on the roof,” said neighbor Raed al-Kurdi, 33, his white vest stained with blood.
“We were sitting on our roof next to our neighbor’s one and we found all of a sudden a rocket coming from above and it hit their roof,” he added.
“The people who were injured were from the Shaheber family, there were children, two girls, two boys and two grown men.
“They were in serious condition, we carried them out in our arms.”
Three of the children died en route to the Shifa hospital, where they were laid out on steel tables in the morgue as doctors in blue coats moved around them, cleaning them.
Each had coin-sized pieces of flesh gouged out from their limbs by shrapnel.
Next to them, their uncle Mohammed wept openly.
An employee at the hospital, he heard the call go out for ambulances after the strike that hit the Shaheber home.
“They were children, just playing on the roof. And now they’re dead, lying in front of us,” he said, his voice anguished but also angry.
“How can this be, how can this be?”
The morgue chief asked the distraught family members if they want to allow media waiting outside into the room.
“It is up to you, but if you want to show the world what happened here, we will let them in,” he told Mohammed and other relatives inside, who assented tearfully.
The three children were lined up beside each other, along with a fourth child brought in from an earlier strike in Gaza City.
Fulla was laid in the middle and her cousins one on either side.
Her curly hair framed her face, specked with blood.
Her T-shirt might once have been white, but now it was completely red, soaked through with her blood.
To her right was 8-year-old Jihad, his turquoise T-shirt and trousers torn through by shrapnel.
To her left was Wissam, seven years old, his eyes still open as though he was staring into the middle distance.
His trousers had been removed, revealing his blue and yellow superhero underwear.