Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Action Alert: Children trapped at the Rafah crossing

International Solidarity Movement | August 1, 2014

Gaza, Occupied Palestine – This morning a group of over 70 people, mostly women and children carrying foreign passports, planned to take advantage of the ceasefire to leave Gaza and enter Egypt. Israel began bombing Rafah and the Egyptian personnel closed the Egyptian side of the border, leaving them trapped at the crossing, as the bombs fall around them. The Red Cross is not being allowed to reach them due to the bombing in the area.

Their nationalities include German, Norwegian, Bulgarian, and Egyptian.

Call the Egyptian Embassy in your country.

Call the German, Norwegian, Bulgarian foreign office and political representatives to demand that the Egyptian government opens the crossing and allows civilians to take refuge.

Use the hashtag #EndComplicity to ask the Egyptian government to let these families cross the border @egyptgovportal @EgyptEmbassyUSA @egyptconsulatuk

“The situation is very scary, the borders are closed and we are here, 70 people, mostly women and children trapped. I can see the smoke and fire, and I can hear the explosions very close to where we are,” said Nalan, one of the women trapped at the Rafah Crossing, talking to The Real News.

Listen to the audio recording of a phone call with Nalan Al Sarraj, correspondent for The Real News Network, trapped at the crossing here.

A call issued by civil society organizations and public figures including African National Congress (ANC) leaders Ahmed Kathrada, Ronnie Kasrils, and former vice president of the European Parliament, Luisa Morgantini and Richard Falk states that “Despite a call from Egyptian citizens to lift the siege, the Egyptian government which controls one border and has the option to be part of a humanitarian response to the besieged people of Gaza, has instead supported the Israeli plan for return to the status quo of slow genocide.”

August 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli military announce they will bomb al-Shifa hospital

By Joe Catron | International Solidarity Movement | August 1, 2014

Al-Shifa hospital has received a phone call telling them a building of the hospital will be bombed.

At 16:30, the hospital received a call from an unlisted number, stating a building needed to be evacuated immediately.

The building is being used for overflow patients, and is directly across the road from the main hospital building. It is part of the hospital site, but building work has yet to be completed.

The hospital is now in the process of evacuating all staff and patients inside.

“I’d like to say that Israel’s threats to bomb Gaza’s largest hospital have reached a new low, but in light of it’s relentless atrocities and civilian massacres over the last 25 days, it’s hardly unexpected.” Stated Joe Catron, U.S. International Solidarity Movement (ISM) activist now in al-Shifa hospital.

Since July 25th, international volunteers from countries including Spain, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Venezuela have begun a constant protective presence in various locations at the al-Shifa Hospital.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, as of July 29th, there have been 34 attacks against Gazan medical facilities since this latest Israeli military assault began 25 days ago.

For more information:

Activists now in al-Shifa
+970595594326 Joe Catron, USA (English)
+970598345327 Charlie Andreasson, Sweden (Swedish/English)
+972595209679 Fred Ekblad, Swedeb (Swedish/English)
+970595251720 Huda Julie Webb-Pullman, Australia and New Zealand (English)

August 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Gaza “facing precipice,” says UNRWA in scathing plea for humanitarian aid

Al-Akhbar | July 31, 2014

Palestinians are “facing a precipice” in Gaza, the top UN refugee official there told the Security Council on Thursday in a strongly-worded appeal for action.

With more than 240,000 Palestinians already sheltering in UN facilities — four times the number from the last Gaza conflict in 2008-2009 — Pierre Krahenbuhl said he had reached breaking point.

“I believe the population is facing a precipice and appeal to the international community to take the steps necessary to address this extreme situation,” the head of the UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA told the 15-member council.

“We have exceeded the tolerable limit that we can accommodate,” Krahenbuhl said, adding that he was “alarmed” by the latest Israeli instructions to civilians to evacuate two areas in Gaza targeted for more attacks.

“It is past time for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire as called for by the council,” he said.

Krahenbuhl spoke to the council by audiolink from Gaza after Israel vowed to press on with its military campaign, with the stated goal of destroying a network of tunnels used by Hamas.

Later on Thursday, the UN Security Council called for humanitarian pauses in Gaza and renewed its appeal for an immediate ceasefire.

The Council expressed “grave disappointment” that repeated appeals for an end to the fighting had not been heeded.

Meanwhile, UNRWA has declared a state of emergency and launched an appeal for funding.

“UNRWA urgently seeks $60 million to respond to the immediate shelter, food, health and psycho-social needs of affected families; to replenish emergency stocks; and to prepare for carrying out vital interventions that will be required immediately upon cessation of military activities,” its website said.

International alarm has grown over the civilian death toll from 24 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip, with the Security Council calling for a humanitarian truce in a statement issued early Monday.

In her address to the council, UN humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos called for “more humanitarian pauses” to allow relief workers to reach those in need.

“Pauses must be daily, predictable, and adequate in length so that humanitarian staff can dispatch relief to those in need, rescue the injured, recover the dead and allow civilians some reprieve so that they can restock and resupply their homes,” she said.

Amos said finding shelter from Israeli strikes was becoming increasingly difficult for the 1.8 million people of Gaza.

“The reality of Gaza today is that no place is safe,” she said.

More than 1,420 Palestinians, the vast majority of them civilians, have died in the fighting, along with 58 Israelis, 56 of them soldiers.

The appeal to the council came a day after an attack on a UN-run school hosting refugees left 19 dead, drawing outrage from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who lashed out: “Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children.”

UN officials have called for a full investigation after an Israeli artillery strike hit the school.

Krahenbuhl described dire conditions for the shelters with very few showers and latrines, and problems with water supplies in classrooms holding 80 people.

“Disease outbreak is beginning” with cases of skin infections such as scabies while thousands of pregnant women have taken refuge in the UN schools, he said.

“We are sheltering newborn infants in these appalling conditions,” said the head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinians.

“The illegal blockade of Gaza must be lifted,” he added, referring to Israeli closure of crossing points that rights groups maintain have turned the Gaza Strip into an open-air prison.

Palestinian representative Riyad Mansour renewed his appeal to the Security Council to adopt a tough resolution calling for an end to the fighting, an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and lifting of the Israeli blockade.

“Enough is enough, this genocide should be stopped immediately,” Mansour told reporters after the council meeting.

Gaza-born pop star Mohammed Assaf also appealed to the UN to act to stop the bloodshed.

“There is pain in my heart from what is happening in my town and to my people in my beloved home, Gaza that is hurting,” said Khan Younis-born Assaf, winner of the popular Arab Idol talent show, said in a video distributed by the United Nations Thursday.

“Now we all have to help my beloved people in Gaza, all those who suffer in Gaza, all those who suffer under the attacks,” said Assaf, who accompanied an airlift of humanitarian supplies from Dubai to Jordan, from where it continued to Gaza by road.

“We have to help Gaza stand up on its feet one more time,” added Assaf, who is the goodwill ambassador of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

Jordan last week circulated a draft resolution, but the council has yet to debate the measure and has instead adopted a statement calling for the humanitarian truce.

The statement was adopted despite reservations from the United States.

UNRWA’s spokesman in Gaza, Chris Gunness, broke down in tears Wednesday when Al-Jazeera television interviewed him after 16 people died in the shelling of a UN school in Gaza.

“The rights of Palestinians, even their children, are wholesale denied and its appalling,” Gunness said in a voice choked with emotion, before burying his face in his hands and sobbing uncontrollably.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

August 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is killing civilians part of Israel’s plan?

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog from Nazareth | July 30, 2014

Another day, another UN school hit by Israeli shelling in Gaza. Israel’s attack this morning killed at least 16 civilians sheltering at the school and wounded dozens. The casualties figures are expected to rise.

Israel and even most of its critics tell us that the civilian casualties are accidental, caused by Israel’s need to wage its war against Hamas in heavily built-up areas of Gaza. Israel is accused of “disproportionality”, or of recklessness, or of inflicting unfortunate collateral damage.

But here’s another possibility: that the people of Gaza, not just Hamas, are the target. That Israel’s generals don’t see much difference between the two.

Israel’s army is “degrading” – or “mowing the lawn”, in even worse military parlance – Gaza’s ability to resist. Not Hamas’ abilities, but Gaza’s. Because the problem lies not with Hamas. Hamas is simply a symptom, of the people of Gaza’s determination to liberate themselves from Israel’s siege.

That is why the power plant was destroyed yesterday. That is why Israel has been starving Gaza for years through its siege, limiting the entry of basic foods and counting the minimum calories people need for bare survival – putting them on a diet, as one senior adviser jokingly termed it. That is why Gaza’s infrastructure is being trashed – the notorious Dahiya doctrine, devised by Israeli generals in 2006 as way to force hostile populations back into the Stone Age, keeping them preoccupied with the essentials of life rather than demanding, or fighting, for their rights.

Israel knows it cannot destroy Hamas’ will to resist without destroying Gaza’s will to resist too. And that is what it looks like we are seeing played out here day-in, day-out. Civilians, it seems, must die to teach Gaza a lesson: you will submit.

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=716936

July 30, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Shooting and crying over lost moral army

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog from Nazareth | July 29, 2014

I really wonder what it says about the Guardian or its readers that it publishes an article like this one by Yuli Novak, a former Israeli air force officer. The discourse, even on the left, is still so degraded on the issue of Israel-Palestine that this seems to pass for progressive thought.

I am also appalled that I almost find myself pleased that this former soldier, an insider, is telling us that Israel is acting immorally in its current attack on Gaza. But in doing so she bolsters a patently ridiculous mythology that, for most of its history, Israel had a moral army – the most moral in the world, no less – and that only a decade ago the army agonised over every Palestinian death.

As someone who lived and reported through those years, at the start of the second intifada, I can say with certainty that that is utter nonsense. This was a time when the Israeli chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon, the current defence minister, spoke of “searing” defeat into the Palestinian consciousness.

Let’s not forget that the Israeli army, far from once being driven by moral ideals, began life with an act of mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, in 1948. It has been maintaining and expanding the cleansed zone ever since.

What’s so dangerous about these “shooting and crying” articles – I remember an equally silly one a few years back in the Observer by Will Hutton about the “once noble ideal” of the kibbutzim, the racially pure communities Israel built over the ruins of Palestine – is that they lay claim to a golden era, one that, of course, never existed, when Israel’s mission was truly wholesome.

Writers like Novak want Israel to return to an imaginary recent past, ignoring the fact that the present is simply a logical extension of everything that went before. The seeds of the current rampage in Gaza were laid in the decades of Israel’s dispossession of the native population, culminating in the Nakba of 1948. Most of the population of Gaza are refugees from that period – their grievances and rights unaddressed all these many years later.

It is some consolation that people like Novak are waking up to the ugliness of Israel’s national mission: to subdue and displace the native Palestinian people. This is evidence of the self-destructive course Israel is set on. But Novak’s moral high ground is undermined entirely if she wants to claim it was all much prettier a few years ago.

July 29, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Former CIA Boss George Tenet Leading Plans To Attack Upcoming Senate Report On CIA’s Torture Program

By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | July 28, 2014

As we continue to wait for the White House to finally release the heavily redacted version of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report (the full report is over 6,300 pages and cost $40 million to produce), it appears that those who are likely to take the blame are already preparing their response. As has already leaked out over the past few months, the report will show how the program went further than people expected, that it basically uncovered no terrorist plots and that the CIA regularly lied to Congress about the nature of the program and its impact. The CIA, led by current boss John Brennan, has hit back against these conclusions, but it appears that those who were actually in power during the torture program are even more worried. Former CIA boss George Tenet, who was already considered something of a disgrace for the CIA’s intelligence failures prior to invading Iraq, is apparently working hard behind the scenes to coordinate an attack on the credibility of the report — because it pretty clearly is going to attack his credibility.

Just after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted in April to declassify hundreds of pages of a withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program, C.I.A. Director John O. Brennan convened a meeting of the men who had played a role overseeing the program in its seven-year history.

The spies, past and present, faced each other around the long wooden conference table on the seventh floor of the C.I.A.’s headquarters in Northern Virginia: J. Cofer Black, head of the agency’s counterterrorism center at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks; the undercover officer who now holds that job; and a number of other former officials from the C.I.A.’s clandestine service. Over the speakerphone came the distinctive, Queens-accented voice of George J. Tenet.

Over the past several months, Mr. Tenet has quietly engineered a counterattack against the Senate committee’s voluminous report, which could become public next month.

Apparently Tenet and others demanded early access to the report, and eventually Dianne Feinstein, the White House and those former CIA officials negotiated a deal letting them read the report over in James Clapper’s offices. The NY Times report also details how Brennan is basically a Tenet lackey whose rise through the ranks occurred under Tenet — making it more likely that Brennan wants to protect the reputation of his former boss.

We’ll see how this eventual “response” comes out, but given the initial leaks from the report, it sounds like it’s going to be fairly devastating, and make a further mockery of Tenet. As the report linked above also notes, back in 2007 Tenet got angry at a 60 Minutes interviewer and started wagging his finger at the correspondent, while insisting “We don’t torture people!”

Wagging a finger at the correspondent, Scott Pelley, Mr. Tenet said over and over, “We don’t torture people.”

“No, listen to me. No, listen to me. I want you to listen to me,” he went on. “Everybody forgets one central context of what we lived through: The palpable fear that we felt on the basis of that fact that there was so much we did not know. I know that this program has saved lives. I know we’ve disrupted plots.”

It’s pretty easy to say that when no one can fact-check you. But it appears that the report is going to point out that almost none of what Tenet said was true. No wonder he’s so concerned about leading the attack on the report.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces fire live ammunition injuring 15 protesters in Beit Furik

International Solidarity Movement | July 27, 2014

Beit Furik, Occupied Palestine – At 22:00 in the evening of Friday, July 25th, Israeli forces injured 15 Palestinians during a protest in the village of Beit Furik, which is located fifteen km southeast of Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank.

Approximately 2000 protesters were marching towards the checkpoint near the village. Roughly 40 Israeli soldiers were waiting for them there, and when they came into view, the soldiers began to shoot tear gas canisters in their direction. Shortly after the protest began, the soldiers changed from firing tear gas, to live ammunition.

23-year-old Yousef Mfeed Mletat was struck by a bullet in his left hip. He recounted the scene tearfully in his bed in Rafidia hospital in Nablus. “They were less than four meters away when they shot me. And then they started to beat me. A soldier was standing on my stomach while some of the others were kicking me. This went on for 15 minutes.” He revealed several welts on his arms and shoulders.

Yousef Mfeed Mletat (Photo by ISM).

Yousef Mfeed Mletat (photo by ISM).

Yahya Hanay, who is 25-years-old, was trying to escape from the scene, when a stun grenade struck his hand, which was covering his face at the time. As he lay on the ground, another stun grenade hit his knee. Yahya has nerve damage in his left thumb, which is said to be serious.

Yahya Hanay (photo by ISM).

Yahya Hanay (photo by ISM).

19-year-old Yezen Tala Khatatba, was attempting to help an injured protester, when he was shot in the left knee. The bullet exited his left knee and then entered an exited his right one. He was wearing bandages on both knees as he told his story. “The ambulance was taking me to the hospital, when soldiers twice stopped me for half an hour at a checkpoint. When I told them I had a leg injury, they said it would have been better if I’d been hit in the head.” Yezen also mentioned that another injured protestor had been taken from the ambulance at the checkpoint and beaten by soldiers.

ezen Tala Khatatba (photo by ISM).

Yezen Tala Khatatba (photo by ISM).

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Palestinian teenagers murdered by Israelis in separate West Bank incidents

International Solidarity Movement | July 27, 2014

Huwwara, Occupied Palestine – On Friday, July 25, an Israeli settler murdered a Palestinian teenager in the village of Huwwara, which lies approximately 10 km south of Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank. Two hours later, an Israeli sniper killed another Palestinian teenager in the same village.

After Friday prayers at the mosque in Huwwara, villagers began marching in solidarity with the victims of the Gaza massacre. The protest included many children, some of whom were carrying signs in support of their Gazan brothers and sisters. Two Israeli military jeeps were along the route, and some of the soldiers were taking pictures of the peaceful protest. As the procession wound its way back to the mosque, a settler suddenly raced alongside and slammed on the brakes.

“He was about a meter away from the kids and just started firing out the window of his car,” stated a witness. “It was clear he was trying to kill people.” The settler managed to shoot four people before fleeing the scene. 19-year-old Khalid Owda died from a gunshot wound to his abdomen, while Tarik Dmadi was shot in the chest and remains in critical condition. Hassan Dmadi was shot in the hip, while Jihad Owda was shot in the hand and has been released from the hospital.

“Had he had more ammunition, he would have kept on shooting and killed more people,” said a witness. “Killing Palestinians is no big deal for the settlers, because there is no punishment. And what about the soldiers? They were just standing there, doing nothing.”

Tragedy struck the town of Huwwara a second time two hours later, when an Israeli sniper gunned down 18-year-old Tayeb Shohaada, who, like Khalid Owda, was a  student at an-Najah University in Nablus. Israeli forces were shooting tear gas at Tayeb and roughly ten other young men, who were throwing stones in their direction from a distance of approximately 100 meters. According to Red Crescent medic, Ahmed Owda, a female Israeli sniper shot Tayeb in the face. Her sergeant then congratulated her and clapped her on the shoulder. Ahmed subsequently attempted to reach Tayeb but was unable to do so because of Israeli fire. Tayeb was eventually taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus, where he was declared clinically dead.

The attending surgeon revealed that the damage to Tayeb’s brain was consistent with that caused by expanding bullets. Expanding bullets are banned according to the 1899 Hague Convention, but Israel has frequently been accused of employing them against Palestinians.

Memorial ceremony for both Khalid and Tayeb (photo by ISM).

Memorial ceremony for both Khalid and Tayeb (photo by ISM)

July 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish mob attacks 2 Palestinians in West Jerusalem

Ma’an – 24/07/2014

290708_345x230JERUSALEM – 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.

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Palestinians killed during clashes with Israeli occupation forces in West Bank

aa_picture_20140725_2881047_high

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

MEMO | July 25, 2014

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.

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces invade Azzun and use Palestinian civilians as human shields

International Solidarity Movement | July 24, 2014

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.

The use of civilian human shields is prohibited by Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel ratified this convention in 1951.

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.

July 24, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Aid as a Weapon

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | July 22, 2014

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.

July 23, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 663 other followers