Jodi Rudoren today in The New York Times puts up a numbers barrier to hide the reality of Palestinian casualties in the latest spate of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The aim, as usual, is to maintain the claim of Israeli victimhood and to obscure the criminal brutality of the occupation.
In a story about four who died yesterday in alleged attacks in the region, Rudoren writes that more than 90 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 1, “about half while attacking or trying to attack Israelis and the rest during demonstrations where they clashed with Israeli soldiers.”
We are to believe from this statement that only violent activists have died at the hands of Israeli forces, but in fact, several Palestinians have been killed in circumstances that were anything but “clashes”—at checkpoints, for instance, when trigger happy troops shot and killed unarmed victims. One of the dead was a 73-year-old grandmother on her way to lunch with her sister.
To omit these cases is to ignore the findings of human rights groups that have charged Israel with committing extrajudicial executions in recent weeks, and Rudoren’s statement, in the face of their evidence, is an effort to distort the facts.
The misrepresentations do not end there, however. Rudoren goes on to say, “At the same time, 17 Israeli Jews have been killed and dozens wounded in 70 stabbings, 10 shootings and 10 vehicular attacks.”
Note what is missing here: the number of Palestinians that have been wounded and the attacks against them in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Her aim is to minimize the huge discrepancy in casualty counts by omitting the number of Palestinians wounded by Israeli forces and settlers.
Ninety compared to 70 sounds like something approaching parity, but Rudoren has deliberately omitted the logical comparison—the number of injuries. This, according to United Nations data, was 133 Israelis and 9,171 Palestinians injured as of Nov. 16.
We should ask Rudoren and Times editors why this information is missing here, in a context that cries out for full disclosure.
Beyond the full casualty count, the Times could also inform readers of other statistics that illuminate the reality of Palestinian-Israeli relations:
- A weekly average of 150 Israeli military search and arrest operations in the West Bank last year.
- 211 reported incidents of settler violence against Palestinians this year as of Nov. 16. (Actual incidents are daily occurrences throughout the West Bank.)
- 50 Israeli military incursions into Gaza from Jan. 1 to Nov. 16, 2015.
- 481 demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures as of Nov. 16 this year. (This includes homes, animal shelters, cisterns, wells and public buildings such as schools.)
- 601 Palestinians displaced due to demolitions in 2015.
- 6,700 Palestinian political prisoners currently held by Israel.
- 320 Palestinian child prisoners currently in Israeli prisons.
The information for the numbers above comes from the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs and from Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights organization. The Times, however, ignores their reports and prefers to rely on official Israeli entities. Thus, the numbers Rudoren cites for attacks and casualties are taken from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has an obvious interest in political spin.
Israel has the first and last word in the Times. The United Nations, Palestinian monitoring groups and human rights organizations are silenced while Israeli official claims are taken as fact. The word “alleged,” for instance, never appears in Rudoren’s piece today. The UN report, however, uses the term frequently, distinguishing between the claims of security forces and verified information.
In short, Times reporting on Palestine and Israel is a disgrace. Numbers are deliberately manipulated, relevant facts are censored, and the result is dishonest journalism, in spite of the newspaper’s lofty claims of providing “the complete, unvarnished truth” and “impartial” reporting. The numbers simply prove them wrong.
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Five men died in Israel and the West Bank yesterday, the victims of shooting and stabbing attacks by Palestinians. The assaults took place in Tel Aviv and in the Etzion illegal settlement bloc, and their deaths, according to The New York Times, marked “the deadliest day in the recent wave of violence.”
Deadliest day? For Israelis, yes, but not for Palestinians. As the Times has reported, Israeli soldiers shot and killed six young men in Gaza during demonstrations at the border fence on Oct. 9. Days later, on Oct. 20, five more Palestinians died at the hands of Israeli troops within the span of 12 hours (in this case, the newspaper remained silent and made no effort to report their deaths).
Nevertheless, Isabel Kershner in the Times today insists that the five deaths (one involving a Palestinian working in Israel and one involving an American visitor) are the high point in violence since a wave of lone wolf attacks against Israelis broke out at the beginning of October.
Nothing could provide more certain evidence of the Israeli bias in the Times. Palestinian deaths do not register on their tally of casualties; violence refers only to Palestinian aggression.
Kershner’s story acknowledges that some 90 Palestinians have died since the beginning of October, compared with 16 Israelis, but in explaining this discrepancy she manages once again to blame the victims. The Palestinians died, she says, while attacking or attempting to attack Israelis or “in clashes with Israeli security forces.”
Nothing is said of those who died in what human rights groups call apparent extrajudicial executions: the youth shot as he tried to extract his identity card from his pocket, the young woman killed as she stood with her hands over her head. It seems the Times wants us to believe the often dubious claims of Israeli forces responsible for Palestinian deaths.
Today’s story lists all of the victims by name and gives a detailed account of one of them, an American teenager who had “distributed food and candy to Israeli soldiers” the day he was killed. The Oct. 9 story about the deaths in Gaza gives the name of not a single Palestinian.
Kershner, however, has provided us with some context here, and the result is bizarre. She manages to link the five deaths to a long-awaited agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority “granting Palestinian cellphone carriers 3G high-speed cellular services in the West Bank.”
The attacks came “hours after” this agreement, she writes, and she goes on to imply that Palestinians should have taken this contract as something of a white flag, a sign that a truce is in effect.
“The move,” Kershner states, “intended to bolster economic development, had indicated a possible effect, or desire, to return to calm after weeks of violence.” She then quotes an Israeli minister who claims, “We always agree to confidence-building measures with the Palestinians to help with their economy.”
It is difficult to reconcile this assertion of goodwill with the fact that Palestinian cellphone carriers have been requesting the right to use 3G services since 2006 and only at this point has Israel agreed to allow this now outdated technology. Yet Kershner reports it without a hint of irony.
Readers are to take from this that the Palestinians have no right to protest, let alone to resort to violence. Israel, Kershner is saying, has their well-being at heart.
Missing, as usual, is the context of the brutal occupation, the ever-tightening pressure of settlement building that robs Palestinians of land, water, basic livelihoods and the right to move freely. Missing also are the arrests and abuse of young Palestinians, some as young as 6, and the heavy use of administrative detention, which denies detainees the right to a defense or even to know the charges against them.
If Kershner wanted to peg her story to recent developments, she could have mentioned the crackdown on the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel; the slap on the wrist meted out to the police officer who brutally beat an American Palestinian teenager last year; or the collective punishment of home demolitions, which can leave a wide trail of devastation beyond the stated targets.
Instead, readers are told that Israeli “goodwill” has been spurned by ungrateful Palestinians and that Israelis alone are the victims of violence. Thus, the Times and Kershner give dominance to Israel spin even as their efforts turn the news into an exercise in distortion and absurdity.
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By John Chuckman | Aletho News | November 19, 2015
Mass murder, as that which just occurred in Paris, is always distressing, but that does not mean we should stop thinking.
Isn’t it rather remarkable that President Hollande, immediately after the event, declared ISIS responsible? How did he know that? And if he was aware of a serious threat from ISIS, why did he not take serious measures in advance?
Within days of Friday 13, French forces assaulted an apartment with literally thousands of bullets being fired, killing a so-called mastermind, Abdelhamid Abaaoud. Just how are you instantly elevated to the rank of “mastermind”? And if security people were previously aware of his exalted status, why did they wait until after a disaster to go after him?
Well, the ugly underlying truth is that, willy-nilly, France for years has been a supporter of ISIS, even while claiming to be fighting it. How do I know that? Because France’s foreign policy has virtually no independence from America’s. It could be described as a subset of American foreign policy. Hollande marches around with his head held stiffly up after getting off the phone at the Élysée Palace, having received the day’s expectations from Washington. He has been a rather pathetic figure.
So long as it is doing work the United States wishes done, ISIS remains an American protectorate, and regardless of Hollande’s past rhetoric, he has acted according to that reality. But something may just have changed now.
It is important to note the disproportionate attention in the West to events in Paris. I say disproportionate because there are equally ugly things going on in a number of places in the Middle East, but we do not see the coverage given to Paris. We have bombs in Lebanon and Iraq. We have daily bombings and shootings in Syria. We have cluster bombs and other horrors being used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. And of course, there are the ongoing horrors of Israel against Palestinians.
We have endless interviews with ordinary people in Paris, people who know nothing factual to help our understanding, about their reaction to the terror, but when was the last time you saw personal reactions broadcast from Gaza City or Damascus? It just does not happen, and it does raise the suspicion that the press’s concern with Paris is deliberately out of proportion. After all, Israel killed about twenty times as many people in Gaza not very long ago, and the toll was heavily weighted with children, many hundreds of them. Events in Paris clearly are being exploited for highly emotional leverage.
Leverage against what? Arabs in general and Muslims in particular, just part of the continuing saga of deliberately-channeled hate we have experienced since a group of what proved (after their arrest) to be Israeli spies were reported on top of a truck, snapping pictures and high-fiving each other as the planes hit the World Trade Center in 2001. What those spies were doing has never been explained to the public. I’m not saying Israel is responsible for 9/11, but clearly some Israeli government interests were extremely happy about events, and we have been bombarded ever since with hate propaganda about Muslims, serving as a kind of constant noise covering the crimes Israel does commit against Palestinians and other neighbors.
It is impossible to know whether the attack in Paris was actually the work of ISIS or a covert operation by the secret service of an ISIS supporter. The point is a bit like arguing over angels on a pinhead. When you are dealing with this kind of warfare – thugs and lunatics of every description lured into service and given deadly toys and lots of encouragement to use them – things can and do go wrong. But even when nothing goes wrong in the eyes of sponsors for an outfit like ISIS, terrible things are still happening. It’s just that they’re happening where the sponsors want them to happen and in places from which our press carefully excludes itself. Terrible things, for example, have been happening in the beautiful land of Syria for four or five years, violence equivalent to about two hundred Paris attacks, causing immense damage, the entire point of which is to topple a popularly-supported president and turn Syria into the kind of rump states we see now in Iraq.
A covert operation in the name of ISIS is at least as likely as an attack by ISIS. The United States, Israel, Turkey, and France are none of them strangers to violent covert activities, and, yes, there have been instances before when a country’s own citizens were murdered by its secret services to achieve a goal. The CIA pushed Italian secret services into undertaking a series of murderous attacks on their own people during the 1960s in order to shake up Italy’s “threatening” left-wing politics. It was part of something called Operation Gladio. Operation Northwoods, in the early 1960s, was a CIA-planned series of terrorist acts on American civilians to be blamed on Cuba, providing an excuse for another invasion. It was not carried out, but that was not owing to any qualms in the CIA about murdering their own, otherwise no plan would have ever existed. The CIA was involved in many other operations inside the United States, from experiments with drugs to ones with disease, using innocent people as its subject-victims.
There have been no differences worth mentioning between Hollande’s France and America concerning the Middle East. Whatever America wants, America gets, unlike the days when Jacques Chirac opposed the invasion of Iraq, or earlier, when de Gaulle removed France’s armed forces from integration within NATO or bravely faced immense hostility, including a coup attempt undertaken by French military with CIA cooperation, when he abandoned colonialism in Algeria.
If anything, Hollande has been as cloyingly obsequious towards America’s chief interest in the Middle East, Israel, as a group of Republican Party hopefuls at a Texas barbecue fund-raiser sniffing out campaign contributions. After the Charlie Hebdo attack, Hollande honored four Jewish victims of the thugs who attacked a neighborhood grocery store with France’s highest honor, the Legion of Honor. I don’t recall the mere fact of being murdered by thugs ever before being regarded as a heroic distinction. After all, in the United States more than twenty thousand a year suffer that fate without recognition.
Israel’s Netanyahu at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attack actually outdid himself in manic behavior. He barged into France against a specific request that he stay home and pushed himself, uninvited, to the front row of the big parade down the Champs-Élysées which was supposed to honor free speech. He wanted those cameras to be on him for voters back home watching.
Free speech, you might ask, from the leaders of Egypt, Turkey, the UAE, and Israel, who all marched in front? Well, after the free-speech parody parade, the Madman of Tel Aviv raced around someone else’s country making calls and speeches for Jewish Frenchmen to leave “dangerous” France and migrate “home” to Israel. It would in fact be illegal in Israel for someone to speak that way in Israel to Israelis, but illegality has never bothered Netanyahu. Was he in any way corrected for this world-class asinine behavior? No, Hollande just kept marching around with his head stiffly up. I guess he was trying to prove just how free “free speech” is in France.
But speech really isn’t all that free in France, and the marching about free speech was a fraud. Not only is Charlie Hebdo, the publication in whose honor all the tramping around was done, not an outlet for free speech, being highly selective in choosing targets for its obscene attacks, but many of the people marching at the head of the parade were hardly representatives of the general principle.
France itself has outlawed many kinds of free speech. Speech and peaceful demonstrations which advocate a boycott of Israel are illegal in France. So a French citizen today cannot advocate peacefully against a repressive state which regularly abuses, arrests, and kills some of the millions it holds in a form of bondage. And Hollande’s France enforces this repressive law with at least as much vigor as Israel does with its own version, in a kind of “Look, me too,” spirit. France also has a law which is exactly the equivalent of a law against anyone’s saying the earth is flat: a law against denying or questioning the Holocaust. France also is a country, quite disgracefully, which has banned the niqab.
Now, America’s policy in the Mideast is pretty straightforward: subsidize and protect its colony Israel and never criticize it even on the many occasions when it has committed genuine atrocities. American campaign finance laws being what the are, politics back home simply permits no other policy. The invasion of Iraq, which largely was intended to benefit Israel through the elimination of a major and implacable opponent, has like so many dark operations backfired. I call the invasion a dark operation because although the war was as public as could be, all of America’s, and Britain’s, supposed intelligence about Iraq was crudely manufactured and the reasons for undertaking an act which would kill a million people and cripple an entire country were complete lies.
America’s stupid invasion created new room for Iran to exert its influence in the region – hence, the endless noise in Israel and Saudi Arabia about Iran – and it led directly to the growth of armed rabble groups like ISIS. There were no terrorists of any description in Saddam’s Iraq, just as there were no terrorists in Gadhafi’s Libya, a place now so infested with them that even an American ambassador is not safe.
Some Americans assert that ISIS happened almost accidentally, popping out of the dessert when no one was looking, a bit like Athena from the head of Zeus, arising from the bitterness and discontents of a splintered society, but that view is fatuous. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens by accident in this part of the world. Israel’s spies keep informed of every shadowy movement, and America always listens closely to what they say.
It is silly to believe ISIS just crept up on America, suddenly a huge and powerful force, because ISIS was easy for any military to stop at its early stages, as when it was a couple of thousand men waving AK-47s from the backs of Japanese pick-up trucks tearing around Iraq. Those pick-up trucks and those AK-47s and the gasoline and the ammunition and the food and the pay required for a bunch of goons came from somewhere, and it wasn’t from Allah.
A corollary to America’s first principle about protecting Israel is that nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in Israel’s neighborhood that is not approved, at least tacitly, by the United States. So whether,
in any given instance of supply and support for ISIS, it was Israel or Saudi Arabia or Turkey or America – all involved in this ugly business – is almost immaterial. It all had to happen with American approval. Quite simply, there would be hell to pay otherwise.
As usual in the region, Saudi Arabia’s role was to supply money, buying weapons from America and others and transshipping them to ISIS. Ever since 9/11, Saudi Arabia has been an almost pathetically loyal supporter of America, even to the extent now of often cooperating with Israel. That couldn’t happen before an event in which the majority of perpetrators proved to be Saudi citizens and which led to the discovery that large amounts of Saudi “go away” money had been paid to Osama bin Laden for years. But after 9/11, the Saudis feared for the continuation of their regime and now do what they are told. They are assisted in performing the banking function by Qatar, another wealthy, absolute state aligned with the United States and opposing the rise of any possibly threatening new forces in its region.
Of course, it wasn’t just the discoveries of 9/11 that motivated Saudi Arabia. It intensely dislikes the growing influence of Iran, and Iran’s Shia Muslim identity is regarded by Sunni sects in Saudi Arabia in much the way 17th century Protestantism was viewed by an ultramontane Catholic state like Spain. The mass of genuine jihadists fighting in Syria – those who are not just mercenaries and adventurers or agents of Israel or Turkey or the Saudis – are mentally-unbalanced Sunni who believe they are fighting godlessness. The fact that Assad keeps a secular state with religious freedom for all just adds to their motivation.
ISIS first achievement was toppling an Iraqi government which had been excessively friendly to Iran in the view of Israel, and thereby the United States. Iraq’s army could have stopped them easily early on but was bribed to run away, leaving weapons such as tanks behind. Just two heavy tanks could have crushed all the loons in pick-up trucks. That’s why there was all the grotesque propaganda about beheadings and extreme cruelty to cover the fact of modern soldiers running from a mob. ISIS gathered weapons, territory, and a fierce reputation in an operation which saw President al-Maliki – a man disliked by the United States for his associations with Iran and his criticism of American atrocities – hurriedly leave office.
From that base, ISIS was able to gain sufficient foothold to begin financing itself through, for example, stolen crude sold at a discount or stolen antiquities. The effective splitting up of Iraq meant that its Kurdish population in the north could sell, as it does today, large volumes of oil to Israel, an unheard of arrangement in Iraq’s past. ISIS then crossed into Syria in some force to go after Assad. The reasons for this attack were several: Assad runs a secular state and defends religious minorities but mainly because the paymasters of ISIS wanted Assad destroyed and Syria reduced in the fashion of Iraq.
Few people in the press seem to have noted that ISIS never attacks Israel or Israeli interests. Neither does it attack the wheezingly-corrupt rulers of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic equivalent of ancient Rome’s Emperor Nero. Yet those are the very targets a group of genuine, independent warrior-fundamentalists would attack. But ISIS is not genuine, being supplied and bankrolled by people who do not want to see attacks on Israel or Saudi Arabia, including, notably, Israel and Saudi Arabia. ISIS also is assisted, and in some cases led, by foreign covert operators and special forces.
There does seem to be a good deal of news around the idea of France becoming serious in fighting ISIS, but I think we must be cautious about accepting it at face value. Putin is reported as telling ship commanders in the Mediterranean to cooperate and help cover the French aircraft carrier approaching. Hollande keeps calling for American cooperation too, as Putin has done for a very long time, but America’s position remains deliberately ambiguous. A new American announcement of cooperation with Turkey in creating a “safe zone” across the border with northern Syria is a development with unclear intentions. Is this to stop the Kurds Erdogan so despises fighting in the north of Syria from establishing themselves and controlling the border or is it a method for continued support of ISIS along the that border? Only time will tell.
I do think it at least possible Hollande may have come around to Putin’s view of ISIS, but America has not, and the situation only grows more fraught with dangerous possibilities. I’ve long believed that likely America, in its typically cynical fashion, planned to destroy ISIS, along with others like al-Nusra, once they had finished the dirty work of destroying Syria’s government and Balkanizing the country. In any event, Israel – and therefore, automatically, America – wants Assad destroyed, so it would be surprising to see America at this point join honestly with Putin and Hollande.
America has until now refused Russia any real support, including such basic stuff as sharing intelligence. It cooperates only in the most essential matters such avoiding attacks on each other’s planes. It also has made some very belligerent statements about what Russia has been doing, some from the America’s Secretary of Defense sounding a lot like threats. Just the American establishment’s bully-boy attitude about doing anything which resembles joining a Russian initiative does not bode well.
After all, Putin has been portrayed as a kind of Slavic Satan by American propaganda cranking stuff out overtime in support of Ukraine’s incompetent coup-government and with the aim of terrifying Eastern Europe into accepting more American weapons and troops near Russia’s border, this last having nothing to do with any Russian threat and everything to do with America’s aggressive desire to shift the balance of power. How do you turn on a dime and admit Putin is right about Syria and follow his lead?
And there are still the daily unpleasant telephone calls from Israel about Assad. How do you manoeuvre around that when most independent observers today recognize Assad as the best alternative to any other possible government. He has the army’s trust, and in the end it is the Syrian army which is going to destroy ISIS and the other psychopaths. Air strikes alone can never do that. The same great difficulty for Hollande leaves much ambiguity around what he truly means by “going to war against ISIS.”
It is an extremely complicated world in which we live with great powers putting vast resources towards destroying the lives of others, almost killing thousands on a whim, while pretending not to be doing so. We live in an era shaped by former CIA Director Allen Dulles, a quiet psychopath who never saw an opportunity for chaos he did not embrace.
The only way to end terror is to stop playing with the lives of tens of millions in the Middle East, as America has done for so long, and stop supporting the behaviors of a repressive state which has killed far greater numbers than the madmen of ISIS could dream of doing, demanding instead that that state make peace and live within its borders. But, at least at this stage, that is all the stuff of dreams.
President Barack Obama, having met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Nov. 9 at the White House, is considering Israel’s request for a 50 percent increase of nearly $1.5 billion in U.S. military funding, which would bring the U.S. donation – used for killing Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza – to $4.5 billion a year.
As it stands now, more that half of the U.S. foreign military aid for 2016 goes to Israel. As in all things, Israel gets special treatment by the U.S. allowing Israel to spend 25 percent of its U.S. gift to pay itself for buying weapons from its own weapons industry.
According to a recent congressional report, Israel has received $124.3 billion in military assistance from the U.S. since its founding in 1948. The report states that “strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other countries; for example, Israel can use U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers.
“In addition, U.S. assistance earmarked for Israel is generally delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year, while most other recipients normally receive aid in installments, and Israel (as is also the case with Egypt) is permitted to use cash flow financing for its U.S. arms purchases.
”In addition to receiving U.S. State Department-administered foreign assistance, Israel also receives funds from annual defense appropriations bills for rocket and missile defense programs. Israel pursues some of those programs jointly with the United States.”
As Obama was meeting Netanyahu, eight blocks away at the Palestine Center in Washington, D.C., a surgeon from Norway who works part of each year in al Shifa hospital in Gaza, told of the devastation, destruction and human suffering these American weapons and dollars cause.
Dr. Mads Gilbert spoke of 51 days of terror in Gaza in the summer of 2014 as the Israeli attack forces brutalized the people of Gaza with Israeli and U.S. artillery, drone ordnance for assassinations, F-16s, hellfire missiles and dense inert military explosives.
Gilbert said the 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza was 500 percent stronger than Israel’s 2009 attack, when he was also working at al Shifa hospital when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) attacked Gaza. In 2014, the IDF fired 50,000 shells into Gaza and conducted over 6,000 air strikes, destroying over 3,500 buildings in Gaza City alone including over 50 percent of the hospitals in Gaza.
At the end of the 51-day attack, 2,250 Palestinians were dead, including 551 children and 299 women. Some 3,500 Palestinian children were wounded and the 1 million children and youth who live in Gaza were all deeply affected by the attacks. Sixty percent of the 1.8 million who live in Gaza are under the age of 22.
Dr. Gilbert’s presentation included photos of the carnage caused by Israeli attacks and the audio of the sounds of jets racing overhead, bombs exploding and buildings collapsing.
Citing the report of the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, Gilbert said that the IDF purposefully targeted the civilian population including entire families and that the IDF purposefully targeted hospitals, ambulances and four UN shelter facilities.
The report said, “Hundreds of Palestinian civilians were killed in their own homes, especially women and children. At least 142 families lost three or more members in an attack on a residential building during the summer of 2014, resulting in 742 deaths. The fact that Israel did not revise its practice of air-strikes, even after their dire effects on civilians became apparent, raises the question of whether this was part of a broader policy which was at least tacitly approved at the highest level of government.”
Additionally, “the commission is concerned about Israel’s extensive use of weapons with a wide kill and injury radius; though not illegal, their use in densely populated areas is highly likely to kill combatants and civilians indiscriminately. There appears also to be a pattern whereby the IDF issued warnings to people to leave a neighbourhood and then automatically considered anyone remaining to be a fighter. This practice makes attacks on civilians highly likely. During the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza that began in mid-July 2014, hundreds of people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed or damaged.”
The commission report added: “Palestinian armed groups fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars towards Israel in July and August 2014, killing 6 civilians, including one child and injuring at least 1,600.” A total of 66 Israeli soldiers were killed in military operations inside Gaza.
The commission also reported: “In the West Bank including East Jerusalem, 27 Palestinians were killed and 3,020 injured between June and August 2014. The number killed in these three months was equivalent to the total for the whole of 2013. The commission is concerned about what appears to be the increasing use of live ammunition for crowd control by the Israeli Security Forces, which raises the likelihood of death or serious injury.”
The report continued, “Impunity prevails across the board for violations allegedly committed by Israeli forces, both in Gaza and the West Bank. ‘Israel must break with its lamentable track record in holding wrong doers accountable,’ said the commissioners, ‘and accountability on the Palestinian side is also woefully inadequate.’”
Signaling further attacks on Gaza during a Nov. 10 talk at the Center for American Progress in Washington, Netanyahu said Gaza has “become this poison thumb, this poison dagger that sends rockets” into Israel and that Israel must be prepared for a long period of tension.
The U.S. government’s blind backing for whatever Israel does, while providing the weapons for Israel to do it, is dangerous for both the United States and Israel.
As Israeli journalist Gideon Levy recently wrote concerning Hillary Clinton’s unwavering support for Israel: “support [for] the continued occupation is like a person who continues to buy drugs for an addicted relative. This is neither concern nor friendship; it is destruction. … ‘false’ friends of Israel – have been one of the curses on this country for years. Because of them, Israel can continue to act as wildly as it likes, thumbing its nose at the world and paying no price. Because of them, it can destroy itself unhindered.”
Levy’s comments about former Secretary of State Clinton equally applies to the unqualified support for Israel given by both Republican- and Democratic-led U.S. administrations.
Israeli attacks on people in Gaza and the West Bank will end only when we the citizens of the United States force our government to stop its military and diplomatic backing of the State of Israel.
Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She also was a U.S. diplomat for 16 years and resigned in 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq. She has been in Gaza six times and was on the 2010 Gaza Flotilla that was attacked by the IDF, which executed nine passengers and wounded 50.
The Independent reported today that “a decision by Britain to refuse a group of Palestinian medical experts from Gaza permission to participate in an international conference at Kingston University on trauma in war zones has been condemned by campaigners.”
I guess that someone in the British Government is convinced that the Palestinians know little about Trauma or living in a war zone.
Three doctors and a nurse who work for the Ministry of Health in Gaza, and were due to give presentations at the conference taking place this weekend, have had their visa requests refused by British authorities. Interestingly enough, some Israeli academics are invited to attend the conference. I guess that the British government is buying into the primacy of Jewish trauma.
In addition to the four mental health specialists refused entry, Dr Nahida Al-Arja, a psychologist from Bethlehem University, has had her visa application rejected.
A letter by the UK Palestine Mental Health Network, co-organisers of the conference, published in the Independent, says: “It is beyond our comprehension how such an interference with intellectual and clinical discussion on such an important topic could be justified. This is a measure that further isolates clinicians from Gaza, already struggling under the impact of military assaults and siege,”
It adds: “We urge the UK authorities to reverse this decision immediately, and to resolve to nurture, rather than undermine, urgently needed psycho-social support services for the people of Gaza.”
CAIRO -The former Palestinian ambassador Adli Sadeq denied Monday PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s statements in which he said that Egypt’s ousted president Mohammed Morsi had offered some 1,000 square kilometers of Sinai to expand the Gaza Strip.
In a Facebook statement, the former Palestinian ambassador to India said that Abbas had made a political mistake when he said that Morsi offered him a land from Sinai.
Cairo knows very well each word said by Morsi, and it is not in need for Abbas’s statements, Adli wrote in his Facebook page.
“Why didn’t he [Abbas] reveal such a story during Morsi’s mandate and why didn’t he play the role of the Egyptian soil’s protector at that time?”
Abbas has made such statements in this particular time because he knows that Morsi is imprisoned and cannot deny or confirm his allegations, Adli added.
On Sunday evening, Abbas claimed in a press conference in Cairo that Israel and Hamas had been conducting direct negotiations to expand the Gaza Strip so that it would include some 1,000 square kilometers of Sinai.
The idea of slicing off land from Sinai to expand the Gaza Strip was first proposed by ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, according to Abbas’s allegations.
Commenting on the issue, former Egyptian Minister of Investment Mohamed Hamed accused Abbas of lying over the Sinai story.
Abbas cannot and will never provide any evidence to his fabricated stories, the minister underlined.
On a trip to Cuba in May, I had to look twice when an elderly man selling newspapers walked past the restaurant I was eating in. On the front page of one was a huge photograph of an Israeli soldier holding a Palestinian boy by the neck, the boy’s face twisted away from the camera in pain.
The photo said it all: an aggressive, well-built soldier wearing a helmet, bulletproof vest and carrying a machine gun was manhandling a child half his size, not more than 10 years old, dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. Why was I so shocked to see such an image published on the front page of a mainstream newspaper? Because this would be a rare moment in the UK.
Over here, the images that are used to represent almost 50 years of military occupation are of Palestinian youth throwing stones, black-and white-kuffiyeh wrapped around their faces. The Cuban picture portrays the Palestinian as the subject of aggression, the UK image as the perpetrator; just like that, our media helps perpetuate the myth that Palestinians are faceless terrorists predisposed to random outbursts of violence and against whom Israel has every right to defend itself.
A closer look at how the British media has covered the recent escalation of violence in Palestine reveals some worrying trends. For the past year right-wing Israeli groups have entered the Haram Al-Sharif compound daily with their armed escorts, often chanting anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian slogans. This came to a head on 13 September when a group of settlers and the Israeli minister of agriculture Uri Ariel, protected by Israeli soldiers, actually entered the Al-Aqsa mosque shooting tear gas, stun grenades and rubber coated steel bullets at worshippers, injuring Palestinians inside and causing damage to the interior of the mosque.
With this in mind take a look at how these confrontations were described in the Telegraph : “Four Israelis and 23 Palestinians have died in 12 days of bloodshed fuelled in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem.”
And earlier in the year, Reuters reported that: “Those groups [devout Jews and Israeli nationalists] are at the centre of a creeping shift in Jerusalem: After 900 years, Jews are chipping away at Muslims’ exclusive control of the site, the third holiest in Islam. The shift, which has provoked violence in the past, threatens to open a dangerous new front in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, adding religious enmity to a political struggle in the very heart of the disputed city.”
Not only do these reports reduce the provocation by Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Al-Aqsa mosque to Muslim anger and a failure to compromise over increased Jewish access to the compound, but they make the current protests in Palestine sound as though they are merely a religious dispute. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and holds huge religious significance for Muslims across the world, but Palestinians are also protesting against almost 50 years of military occupation under which their land has constantly been taken away from them.
Since 14 September, 72 Palestinians and 11 Israelis have been killed and over 8,000 Palestinians and 134 Israelis have been injured – yet many reports have picked out and highlighted the knife attacks carried out by Palestinians, using phrases such as “Israel’s knife terror”, describing “knife wielding” Palestinians or “anti-Israeli knife attacks”. The following report published on the BBC answered the question of what is happening between the Israelis and the Palestinians in the following manner:
“There has been a spate of stabbings and gun attacks on Israelis by Palestinians since early October, and one apparent revenge stabbing by an Israeli. The attacks, some of which have been fatal, have struck in Jerusalem and in northern and central Israeli cities and towns, and in the occupied West Bank. Israel has tightened security and clashed with rioting Palestinians, leading to deaths on the Palestinian side. There has also been associated violence in the border area inside the Gaza Strip.”
Note that there is not even a mention of what took place at Al-Aqsa mosque on 13 September. The weapons used by Palestinians are specified but Israel’s excessive use of tear gas, stun grenades, live ammunition and rubber bullets is not included.
The term “Palestinian rioters” (other reports have used “Muslim rioters”) has been widely adopted in the British media; the notion of “rioters” is associated with wild disorder and conjures up very different images than the word “protesters”, which suggests a group of people who are simply asking for their rights. Another common term used in the above quotation and frequently in other articles is “clash”, which implies fighting between two equal forces– Israeli soldiers, part of the fourth largest army in the world, storming the Al-Aqsa mosque and firing tear gas and rubber bullets at Palestinians armed with stones, sticks and knives cannot be described as a “clash”.
Deaths on the Palestinian side are a result of rioting Palestinians, and so somehow justified. This headline from Reuters, this one in the Independent and this one in the Daily Mail all report Palestinian deaths but say they took place after Palestinians attacked Israelis with knives. In contrast, this article from the BBC is typical of how Israeli casualties are reported across the media: “Three Israelis killed in Jerusalem bus attacks.” No justifications or explanations of the deaths in sight.
The BBC casually writes about “associated violence” in the Gaza Strip. Between 13 September and the publication of this article, 12 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, including 26-year-old Nour Rasmi Mohammed Hassan who was five months pregnant and her three year-old daughter, both of whom were at home when an Israeli airstrike hit their house.
Rather than recognise that their excessive use of force and almost 50 years of occupation – under which Palestinian homes have been demolished, children have been arrested, freedom of movement restricted and Gaza placed under siege – may evoke anger in some Palestinians, Israeli authorities, echoed in news reports, would rather blame Palestinian leaders and the use of social media for “inciting” violence, as seen in this headline: “Israel sentences Islamic leader to jail for incitement”; and this one too: “Is social media driving the current violence?”
In this video, Israeli security forces have planted undercover stone throwers among a group of Palestinians who then turn on one of the Palestinians in the same group before ten Israeli soldiers drag him away (note – excessive use of force). In fact there are numerous videos online that highlight Israeli aggression and incitement of violence towards Palestinians but they are not widely published in the mainstream press. This particularly disturbing video filmed on a mobile phone in Aida refugee camp last week captures an Israeli soldier announcing: “You throw stones and we will hit you with gas until you die – the children, the youth, the old people; you will all die. We won’t leave any of you alive.” This video shows an Israeli soldier running over a Palestinian then preventing paramedics helping him; this one shows settlers throwing stones at Palestinian homes in Hebron.
On 16 October, much media attention was focused on the case of a Palestinian man who dressed up in a press jacket and inflicted moderate wounds on an Israeli soldier in Hebron before being shot dead by another soldier. On the same day, four other Palestinians died, including 36-year-old Shawqi Jamal Jaber Ebeid who succumbed to injuries after sustaining a bullet wound to the head a week before whilst working in a stone factory in Gaza. His story is much harder to find and yet it is part of the media’s job to help give a voice to those who have been deliberately silenced – those like Shawqi Ebeid and his family – and to hold politicians and people in authority to account when they do something wrong; even more so if they commit war crimes. If, however, the media is complicit in silencing those same people, then in some cases we may be looking at political propaganda dressed up as news.
Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) say the court’s prosecutor must reconsider an earlier decision not to open a probe into an Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla back in 2010.
Following a few months of deliberations, judges at the appeals chamber ruled on Friday that prosecutor Fatou Bensouda must rethink her decision against the Gaza flotilla probe.
Judges at The Hague-based court had initially asked Bensouda to reconsider her decision in July, saying she made “material errors in her determination of the gravity” of the case.
The latest decision could force Bensouda to open a full investigation into the case.
Last year, Bensouda declined a request by the Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros to investigate the attack on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship that was sailing under a Comoros flag. She ruled the case was not serious enough to merit an ICC probe.
The prosecutor said publicly available information provides “a reasonable basis” to believe that the Israeli forces committed war crimes during the attack in international waters back in 2010, but the case does not fall under their jurisdiction for an official probe.
However, lawyers representing Comoros had sought a review of Bensouda’s original rejection, insisting that “the interests of justice and fairness, which are the core of the ICC’s mandate, strongly militate in favor of the prosecutor reconsidering her decision.”
On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine Turkish citizens, including a teenager with dual Turkish-US citizenship, and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy. Another injured activist died in May 2014 after having been in a coma for four years.
The flotilla was attempting to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, carrying aid to Palestinians in the enclave.
Gaza has been blockaded since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The attack sparked international outcry and plunged relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara to an all-time low at the time.
Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of the ministry, said Firas Mohammad Miqdad, 18, from Rafah was shot in the abdomen by Egyptian forces while at sea and died from his injuries.
It is unclear why Egyptian forces opened fire.
In May, Egyptian naval forces opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, injuring a fisherman from Rafah.
Egypt upholds an Israeli military blockade on Gaza, keeping borders largely closed and limiting imports, exports, and the freedom of movement of its residents.
The threat from Egyptian forces comes as Palestinian fishermen already face daily risks in order to make a living, including routine harassment from Israeli naval forces, confiscation of boats and materials, detention, and potentially death.
Israeli forces reportedly fired towards Palestinian fishing boats on a daily basis last week, according to documentation by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
Three Palestinians were killed Friday, including a baby who suffocated to death from tear gas in Bethlehem a day after Israeli forces tore through a Bethlehem neighborhood shouting “We will gas you all to death”.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported that 921 Palestinians have been shot and injured with live Israeli army rounds, since the beginning of this month, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while 855 were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets, and 208 suffered fractures and bruises after being assaulted and beaten by soldiers and fanatic settlers.
Palestinians Killed On Friday:
The names of those killed by the army in October:
West Bank and Jerusalem:
1. Mohannad Halabi, 19, al-Biereh – Ramallah. Shot after allegedly grabbing gun and killing two Israelis. 10/3
2. Fadi Alloun, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of ‘attack’ contradicted by eyewitnesses and video. 10/4
3. Amjad Hatem al-Jundi, 17, Hebron.
4. Thaer Abu Ghazala, 19, Jerusalem.
5. Abdul-Rahma Obeidallah, 11, Bethlehem.
6. Hotheifa Suleiman, 18, Tulkarem.
7. Wisam Jamal Faraj, 20, Jerusalem. Shot by an exploding bullet during protest. 10/8
8. Mohammad al-Ja’bari, 19, Hebron.
9. Ahmad Jamal Salah, 20, Jerusalem.
10. Ishaq Badran, 19, Jerusalem. Israeli claim of ‘attack’ contradicted by eyewitnesses. 10/10
11. Mohammad Said Ali, 19, Jerusalem.
12. Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, 28, Hebron. Shot at protest by rubber-coated steel bullet in his forehead. 10/11
13. Ahmad Abdullah Sharaka, 13, Al Jalazoun Refugee camp-Ramallah.
14. Mostafa Al Khateeb, 18, Sur-Baher – Jerusalem.
15. Hassan Khalid Manassra, 15, Jerusalem.
16. Mohammad Nathmie Shamassnah, 22, Kutneh-Jerusalem.
17. Baha’ Elian, 22, Jabal Al Mokaber-Jerusalem.
18. Mutaz Ibrahim Zawahra, 27, Bethlehem. Hit with a live bullet in the chest during a demonstration.
19. Ala’ Abu Jammal, 33, Jerusalem.
20. Bassem Bassam Sidr, 17, Hebron.
21. Ahmad Abu Sh’aban, 23, Jerusalem.
22. Riyadh Ibraheem Dar-Yousif, 46, Al Janyia village Ramallah( Killed while harvesting olives)
23. Fadi Al-Darbi , 30, Jenin – died in Israeli detention camp.
24. Eyad Khalil Al Awawdah, Hebron.
25. Ihab Hannani, 19, Nablus.
26. Fadel al-Qawasmi, 18, Hebron. Shot by paramilitary settler, Israeli soldier caught on film planting knife near his body.
27. Mo’taz Ahmad ‘Oweisat, 16, Jerusalem. Military claimed he ‘had a knife’. 10/17
28. Bayan Abdul-Wahab al-‘Oseyli, 16, Hebron. Military claimed she ‘had a knife’, but video evidence contradicts that claim. 10/17
29. Tariq Ziad an-Natsha, 22, Hebron. 10/17
30. Omar Mohammad al-Faqeeh, 22, Qalandia. Military claimed he ‘had a knife’. 10/17
31. Mohannad al-‘Oqabi, 21, Negev. Allegedly killed soldier in bus station in Beer Sheba.
32. Hoda Mohammad Darweesh, 65, Jerusalem.
33. Hamza Mousa Al Amllah, 25, from Hebron, killed near Gush Etzion settlement.
34. Odai Hashem al-Masalma, 24, Beit ‘Awwa town near Hebron.
35. Hussam Isma’el Al Ja’bari, 18, Hebron.
36. Bashaar Nidal Al Ja’bari, 15, Hebron.
37. Hashem al-‘Azza, 54, Hebron.
38. Moa’taz Attalah Qassem, 22, Eezariyya town near Jerusalem. 10/21
39. Mahmoud Khalid Eghneimat, 20, Hebron.
40. Ahmad Mohammad Said Kamil, Jenin.
41. Dania Jihad Irshied, 17, Hebron.
42. Sa’id Mohamed Yousif Al-Atrash, 20, Hebron.
43. Raed Sakit Abed Al Raheem Thalji Jaradat, 22, Sa’er – Hebron.
44. Eyad Rouhi Ihjazi Jaradat, 19, Sa’er – Hebron.
45. Ezzeddin Nadi Sha’ban Abu Shakhdam, 17, Hebron. Shot by Israeli military after allegedly wounding soldier, then left to bleed to death.
46. Shadi Nabil Dweik, 22, Hebron. Shot by Israeli military after allegedly wounding the same soldier, then left to bleed to death.
47. Homam Adnan Sa’id, 23,Tel Rumeida, Hebron. Shot by Israeli soldiers claiming ‘he had a knife’, but eyewitnesses report seeing soldiers throwing a knife next to his dead body. 10/27
48. Islam Rafiq Obeid, 23, Tel Rumeida, Hebron. 10/28
49. Nadim Eshqeirat, 52, Jerusalem. 10/29 – Died when Israeli soldiers delayed his ambulance.
50. Mahdi Mohammad Ramadan al-Mohtasib, 23, Hebron. 10/29
51. Farouq Abdul-Qader Seder, 19, Hebron. 10/29
52. Qassem Saba’na, 20, shot on motorcycle near Zaatara checkpoint. 10/30
53. Ahmad Hamada Qneibi, 23, Jerusalem. Soldiers claimed ‘he had a knife’.
54. Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta, 8 month old baby, Bethlehem. Died of tear gas inhalation.
55. Shadi Hussam Doula, 20.
56. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman al-Harbawi, 20.
57. Abed al-Wahidi, 20.
58. Mohammad Hisham al-Roqab, 15.
59. Adnan Mousa Abu ‘Oleyyan, 22.
60. Ziad Nabil Sharaf, 20.
61. Jihad al-‘Obeid, 22.
62. Marwan Hisham Barbakh, 13.
63. Khalil Omar Othman, 15.
64. Nour Rasmie Hassan, 30. Killed along with her child in an Israeli airstrike. 10/11
65. Rahaf Yihiya Hassan, two years old. Killed along with her mother in an Israeli airstrike. 10/11
66. Yihya Abdel-Qader Farahat, 23.
67. Shawqie Jamal Jaber Obed, 37.
68. Mahmoud Hatem Hameeda, 22. Northern Gaza. 69. Ahmad al-Sarhi, 27, al-Boreij.
70. Yihya Hashem Kreira.
71. Khalil Hassan Abu Obeid, 25. Khan Younis. Died from wounds sustained in protest earlier in the week.
Non-Palestinian killed by Israeli mob:
Eritrean asylum-seeker Haftom Zarhum killed in Beer Sheva bus station by angry mob who mistook him for a Palestinian- 10/18
Names of known Israeli casualties during the same time period:
1 & 2. 10/1 – Eitam and Na’ama Henkin, both aged around 30 years old, killed in drive-by shooting near Itamar settlement.
3. 10/3 – Nahmia Lavi, 41 – Rabbi for Israeli military. Killed in Jerusalem stabbing attack near Lion’s Gate when he tried to shoot the attacker but had his weapon taken.
4. 10/3 – Aaron Bennet, 24. Killed in Jerusalem stabbing attack near Lion’s Gate.
5. 10/13 – Yeshayahu Kirshavski, 60, bus shooting in East Jerusalem
6. 10/13 – Haviv Haim, 78, bus shooting in East Jerusalem
7. 10/13 – Richard Lakin, 76, bus shooting in East Jerusalem (died of wounds several days after the attack)
8. 10/18 – Omri Levy, 19, Israeli soldier with the Golani Brigade who had his weapon grabbed and turned against him by an Israeli resident.
An additional 2 Israelis that were initially claimed to have been killed in attacks were actually killed in car accidents.
A UK arms factory was recently occupied by nine British activists in protest against the company’s alleged complicity in Israel’s Operation Protective Edge
An injunction banning protests from taking place outside a drone factory in Staffordshire has been thrown out by Birmingham High Court. The factory has produced parts for drones used to attack Gaza in 2008, according to Amnesty International.
UAV Engines Limited in Shenstone, owned by an Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems, is one of the world’s leading drone producers. The company says it produces “engines for various size tactical armed unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs], target drones and single mission platforms.”
Angered by the factory’s unethical behavior, hundreds of protesters have staged demonstrations outside its industrial unit, calling on the manufacturer to stop contributing to the death of Palestinians.
In June, campaigners shut down UAV and another Israeli arms factory in Kent as part of a protest marking the one-year anniversary of the Israeli assault on Gaza.
Soon after, it became illegal for activists to protest within 250 meters of the Shenstone factory. The ban came in the form of a temporary injunction granted by the High Court.
However, Birmingham High Court scrapped the ban on Tuesday, ruling Elbit had failed to disclose information on the history of protests which have taken place at the factory since 2009.
Judge Purle at the High Court said the injunction is dismissed “as if it never existed.”
“I think it inconceivable you would have got the same injunction, possibly even any injunction, if you had disclosed relevant information to me,” she told the court. “Accordingly the injunction I granted on 30 June is dismissed ab initio [from the beginning] and it is as if the injunction never existed.”
‘It shouldn’t have been introduced’
A spokesperson for campaign group Block the Factory said the injunction should not have been imposed in the first place.
“This injunction should never have been imposed.It seems to have been designed to deter protest and campaigning around ending the UK’s deadly arms trade with Israel,” they told IBT.
“It’s Elbit Systems and its arms factories that should be facing a ban, not our protests. Today’s decision will bring even more energy to our campaigning in solidarity with ongoing Palestinian resistance and for a two-way arms embargo on Israel.”
War on Want, a charity fighting against the root causes of poverty and human rights violations, said it is pleased the ban has been lifted.
“It would have been a travesty for people to be criminalized for protesting against the sale of arms that are killing Palestinians. It just goes to show the depths UAV Engines will stoop to in order to protect the profits they make from the sale of deadly drones,” campaigner Ryvka Barnard said.
“We welcome the news that the judge has binned this draconian injunction and we will keep up the fight for an immediate two-way arms embargo between the UK and Israel,” he added.
In July, hundreds of activists protested outside the factory, which led to 19 people being arrested by Staffordshire police.
Photo © londonpalestineaction.tumblr.com / Tumblr
GAZA CITY – Palestinian journalists across the Gaza Strip, who work for different Palestinian, Arab and international news agencies, are reporting that Israeli troops have “deliberately targeted” media while covering clashes between young Palestinian men and Israeli forces near the border fence between the coastal enclave and Israel.
Palestine TV reporter Sali al-Sakni told Ma’an on Sunday she and her crew had deliberately stayed away from the center of clashes near al-Bureij refugee camp, but that they were still “showered with tear gas” while covering the clashes.
She added that dozens of other reporters and photojournalists “wearing helmets and flak-jackets with ‘PRESS’ marked clearly,” were also attacked with tear gas in the area. Al-Sakni said three tear gas canisters were fired directly at her crew.
Similarly, cameraman of Palestine Today news agency Dawood Abu al-Kas was hit with a rubber-coated bullet in the foot while covering clashes near the border opposite to the Israeli Kibbutz of Nahal Oz in the northeast Gaza Strip.
“I was trying to capture photos while standing near an ambulance more than 300 meters away from the border fence when I was shot,” al-Kas told Ma’an.
Al-Kas highlighted that he was wearing a flak-jacket marked “PRESS” during the incident.
Al-Kas said that having been shot would not deter his efforts to “expose the crimes Israeli occupation commits against the Palestinian people.”
The deputy speaker of the Union of Gaza Journalists, Tahsin al-Astal, said Israeli assaults against journalists are consistent with Israeli violations of Palestinian rights in general.
“The Israeli occupation carries out systematic assaults against journalists who work in the field to prevent them from telling the truth about the crimes the occupation forces are committing against the Palestinian people,” al-Astal said.
“These serious breaches are classified war crimes and violations to international treaties and conventions,” he said.
Al-Astal added that the Union of Gaza Journalists, “has updated the International Federation of Journalists of the terrorism against Palestinian journalists at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.”
The IFJ, he said, is expected to issue a press release condemning “Israeli crimes and breaches against our people.”