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Three Pictures from Jerusalem

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Hassan Nasrallah on the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners and international hypocrisy

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 2, 2017, on the occasion of the Day of the Wounded

Transcript:

[…] Two words on the general situation (in the Middle East).

The first thing to be said about the general situation in the region concerns the struggle for freedom and dignity that 1500 Palestinian prisoners are leading and… we are today on the 16th day of their hunger strike, with a supportive response from the Palestinian street, inside (occupied Palestine) and outside, towards this movement.

As usual, we naturally support and unite with them, and we announce our firm and total solidarity with this action of jihad and strong resistance by Palestinian prisoners for their legitimate and natural demands. But we want to learn from what is happening there.

In this first point concerning the situation of the region, I have two points.

First, I want to learn the lessons on which we can build a permanent political path. Well, on the opposite side, Israel turns a deaf ear… They are not ready to negotiate or to respond to the demands. The demands of the prisoners are not the liberation of Palestine nor the liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem). The prisoners’ demands concern the natural rights of all prisoners, humanitarian rights. Israel is turning a deaf ear and, as usual, relies on the passing of time, the weariness, and the withdrawal of Palestinian prisoners, hoping that this movement will be nothing but a vain eruption.

Nothing else can be expected of Israel, the usurping, terrorist, occupying enemy. But look at the rest of the world. Look at the rest of the world. Where are the Arab regimes? Where are the Arab peoples? Where is the Union of Arab Countries? Where is the Organization of Islamic States, the Organization for Islamic Cooperation? Where is the world? Where is Europe? Where is the West? Where is the UN? Where’s the Security Council? All those who often get angry at the most trivial stories that happen in this or that place of the world, where are they? We are on the 16th day, and nothing happens in the world, nothing at all.

For the commemoration of the martyr leaders, I stirred up the roses’ pot, when I said that they brought us, the Arab world and the region, to the point where Palestine became the forgotten cause. This is proof.

Today, tell me where the kings and the Arab presidents are. Soon, it will be said that the Sayed (Nasrallah) attacks the kings and Arab presidents. Where are the Arab regimes? Where is the Union of Arab Countries? Where is the serious reaction, where are the real pressures? The pressure on your American friends, the pressure on your European friends?… Where are the organizations for the defense of human rights? Where is the Arab voice? Where are the Arab media? Where are the Arabic TV channels? Where are the Arabian pens?

If this happens, oh my brothers and sisters, if this was happening in a country that was not allied or aligned with the United States, allied or aligned with the West, you would have seen the whole world rise (of indignation) without sitting back. I do not even say whether it was in Iran, Syria or I do not know where. In any country that is not aligned with the United States and the West, which is not subject to their will and diktat, which is not part of their project, you would have seen the Council of Security, the UN, the White House, foreign ministers, human rights organizations and the whole world stand up. Not on the 16th day, from the first hour. And the state or government that refuses to negotiate with these prisoners and respond to their demands would have been accused of aggression, cruelty, inhuman treatment, oppression, torture, tyranny, and so on.

But it is Israel, the spoiled child of the United States, the advanced military base of the West in our region… (So) no!… Let Netanyahu do what he wants. Let him take his ease, he has all his time. No problem. Just as he had absolutely all the time in the world for the wars against Gaza. He has all his time once again, whether it be for the question of prisoners or any other; for the question of colonies or any other.

Well, if we’re trying to collect comparable evidence, whether it’s less than a year ago, or since 2003, in Iraq, since 2003, Takafi terrorist organizations have carried out thousands of suicide operations, not to mention the others operations, and they killed Shiites, Sunnis, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, they did not spare anyone in the Iraqi people. And daily massacres, to the point that car bombs have become a normal and natural daily occurrence in Iraq. And the world (whole) remains silent. And the world knows who supports them, who finances them, who protects them, and who helps them in the media so far: there are Arab channels which, in this battle of Mosul, are with ISIS. They are not with the Iraqi government or the Iraqi forces. And the whole world says nothing of all these helpers, supporters, assistants, media protectors, funders and facilitators (of ISIS). Why? Because the Iraqi people must be subjugated, humiliated, silenced and integrated into this (American) project.

Well, let’s consider Yemen. A few days ago, the UN Secretary-General read a speech of mourning, saying that while we are talking, 50 Yemeni children are dying. Well, the whole world speaks of millions of people threatened by famine in Yemen. While the whole world knows who is besieging Yemen, who bombards Yemen, who starves Yemen. Does anyone dare open his mouth (about it)? Does anyone dare to talk?

And if I begin to describe things as they are, I am told that I jeopardize tourism in Lebanon. If I say what the whole world knows, that Saudi Arabia and its allies are besieging, starving and killing the Yemeni people every day and every night, I am accused of jeopardizing tourism in Lebanon. A simple word of truth (is worth this accusation). But a world that remains silent in the face of millions of people dying of hunger, what does the death of thousands of people killed and bombed mean to him, and hundreds of thousands injured? How could they matter to them? Although the whole world and the UN recognize this situation. Simply because it is Saudi Arabia, the ally of the United States, the West, who pays fortunes, the hundreds of billions of dollars that it pays to the United States. And Trump is coming now to take from them the money they have left.

But as for the poor Yemeni people, they have no money to pay to the United States, they have no money to pay to Trump, they have no money to pay to the British prime minister or to the French President so that they move and say “Enough, we will end the siege, the war and the aggression against Yemen.”

Well, let’s look at Syria. A few days ago, a massacre was perpetrated against the inhabitants of Fou’a and Kafraya who left their besieged towns in the Al-Rachidin district at the entrance to the city of Aleppo. A bloodthirsty suicide bomber came with a van, and attacked the bus convoy. What was in the convoy? 5,000 civilians, an overwhelming majority of civilians, most of whom were women and children. In short, the attack caused hundreds of martyrs, wounded and disappeared. What did the world do? What did it do?roo

In the agreement, the Syrian State and ourselves have guaranteed the safety of the evacuees (of the terrorist enclaves of) Madaya, Zabadani, Biqqin, Sarghaya, Blodan and Borj Blodan, so that they be conveyed to a safe point beyond the city of Aleppo. Imagine that a person (there are no suicide bombers in our camp), by mistake, took a machine gun and fired (on their convoy), or fired a RPG rocket on a bus and killed a certain number of persons. Who would have spared us (his condemnations)? Who would have spared the Syrian army, Hezbollah and the parties that guaranteed this agreement? The Security Council, the US, Trump and the whole world would have entered in a great anger, and may even have launched an air attack (against Syria).

So look at the existing situation, the actual situation. Of course, I do not bring anything new. I only want to confirm a long-established idea, which is confirmed every day, every day, every day, in the face of the people opposing our point of view, whom we would like to see bring us the least evidence, the least element (which confirms their vision).

But when the Khan Sheikhoun event happened and the regime was accused of using chemical weapons, well, guys, do an investigation, but they do not want to do anything, no investigation. My dear friends, who proved that the regime really used chemical weapons? Yes, he did (so they say). Well, what is the proof? No one has any evidence. Well, are these images that have circulated, are they made up or is it the truth? Nobody knows. Well, send a commission of inquiry, for example, Russia, Iran, other countries of the world… Oh, we’re just asking for a commission of inquiry, but the US does not want a commission of inquiry. They do not accept inquiry! We just want to know the truth, in order to condemn the criminal who used chemical weapons, whoever he may be. But they refuse any commission of inquiry.

On the contrary, from the very first moment, Trump and the American administration, as usual, established themselves as Attorney General, Investigator, Judge and Executioner, and they came to strike at Shu’eirat airport, and considered to have achieved a great feat. And congratulations began to be fired from all sides, from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, some Gulf countries, political forces (who said) “Congratulations, God bless you and reward you, give you a fine end And increase your resources.” Is it not what they told them?

Well, on what basis? For the one who is targeted here (Bashar al-Assad) is not a collaborator, a follower or a submissive, they want to subjugate, humiliate and break him. This is the equation.

Today, if we came to any corner of a country not aligned with the USA, and imagine there was a city completely besieged, with hundreds of men and women standing under the sun, day and night, to protect a pure man, a great scholar in Bahrain, His Eminence Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem, and this for 7 or 8 months, soon a year, in a very severely besieged region. It is a forgotten thing, which does not interest anyone in the world. Because these people are in a subdued, aligned, part of the (American) project, and therefore no pressure will be exerted on the issue. Why would they ask them anything? They will be congratulated instead for the beautiful kohl of their eyes, and will be told “Very well, continue.”

That’s it. It is not necessary that I multiply the examples, I was rather long already, but the conclusion that must be drawn is this: O our brothers, O our sisters, O our people (and we express ourselves with experience, and these examples only confirm the idea, which is ours from the beginning), today if our territory is liberated, if our prisoners in the Israeli jails have returned (there are still files awaitng), if our country is free in the face of Israeli threats, no one has played any role in this, neither the UN Council, the US, the West, the Union of Arab International resolutions or anyone at all.

It is thanks to you alone, the noble people, the Army, the People and the Resistance, the martyrs, the wounded. Today, if Lebanon enjoys freedom, dignity and security, it is thanks to your lofty souls, your wounded bodies, the pure blood of your martyrs, and the blood of your bodies, which was poured on the land of that country and in that region. Only, only, only (thanks to you and no one else).

Do not expect anything from this world, this international community, America and the West, do not expect justice, impartiality, or the recognition of truth. That does not mean we do not ask for it, but we do not expect anything. And in any case, we do not regret that they ignore us, that they do not take the required position and that they exert no pressure (on the oppressors). For basically they are the enemy, so beware of them! The basis of our ills is them. The very people we are asking for positions, declarations and measures are the problem at the first level. As for the others, they are merely instruments, they merely follow, they are merely the pawns of a game of chess which serve the projects of domination of our countries. What do they want, friends? They want to plunder our choices, our resources, our oil, our gas, and now they want to plunder us more. We do not have time to talk about the new American policy: more obvious looting, explicit looting.

It is therefore necessary that we rely on our presence in the squares and fields (of battle), on our strength. What I have always said to you today, all the events and developments that are happening, I repeat to you again: we live in a world of wolves. There is no international law, there is only the law of the jungle. The strong eats the weak. If we are weak, we shall be eaten. If we are stronger, the world will respect us.

When we have a weight on equations and interests… This world seeks interests, it does not seek principles or values. Therefore, our strength is there, our interests are there, and our destiny and our future stop at our strength, our unity, our presence, the endurance of our people, the conscience of our (Islamic) Community.

These are the lessons we must learn from what is happening now. […]

Translation: http://www.sayed7asan.blogspot.fr

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

US boosting Israeli military aid by millions: Netanyahu

Press TV – May 24, 2017

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the US has increased its military aid to Tel Aviv by tens of millions of dollars.

“Three days ago, the US added another $75 million to the aid package,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday, without giving a time frame for the money’s arrival.

The announcement comes just days after Netanyahu personally greeted US President Donald Trump on his first visit to Israel.

Trump had arrived from Saudi Arabia where he signed a massive $110 billion arms deal with Riyadh.

Based on a September 2016 agreement, the US will be bankrolling Israel’s military spending to the tune of around $38 billion dollars effective from 2019 for the next 10 years.

Under the deal, Israel will be allowed to upgrade most of its fighter aircraft, improve its ground forces’ mobility and strengthen its missile systems.

Washington has also been providing Israel with $3.1 billion annually since a 2007 agreement with the administration of former President George W. Bush.

In April, Washington approved a proposal to sell Israel more weapons, including naval guns and technical support worth an estimated $440 million.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism | , , , | 3 Comments

Hunger Striking for Palestinian Rights

Take the Salt Water Challenge

Salt

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 23, 2017

Marwan Barghouti has stopped drinking water. He started his hunger strike thirty-six days ago, together with 1,500 other Palestinians who are being held in Israeli prisons. Each day the strikers have been drinking water mixed with salt, the salt needed to keep their electrolytes functioning to stay alive, but their health has reached a critical phase in which they are experiencing vomiting, fainting and loss of vision. Barghouti, who has been in Israeli prisons for 15 years, is wagering with his own life in a bid to obtain better conditions for the 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli detention, most of whom have been imprisoned on faux terrorism related charges by military tribunals that have a 90% conviction rate. Nearly 500 children are among the prisoners, some of whom are only 12 years old, and there are also an estimated 500 Palestinians held in administrative detention, which permits the Israeli authorities to confine them indefinitely without any charges or any trial.

The Israeli authorities describe the hunger strike as a “violation of prison rules.” In the past, they have responded to such protests by bringing in doctors to help restrain and supervise force feeding of the strikers, but the practice proved very controversial among members of the medical profession and has been suspended, though there have been suggestions that “foreign” doctors might be brought in to do the dirty work. So it is to be presumed that the strike will continue until the protesters either win, begin to die or choose to cease and desist.

I have had the pleasure of speaking recently with Marwan’s youngest son Arab, a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California with a master’s degree in financial analysis, who has begun a campaign to publicize his father’s resistance against the Israeli prison authorities. He has been asking supporters to themselves drink salt water as a sign of solidarity with the hunger strikers. Many prominent Palestinians have done so publicly and the practice has become widespread both in Gaza and on the West Bank as well as among activists in Europe and the United States. It is also gaining strength on the social media, most particularly on Facebook, with videos of supporters of the Salt Water Challenge Salt Water Challenge inviting their friends to join the movement. Hunger striking is the ultimate personal statement, a peaceful form of protest that can only be effective if it helps to mobilize other forces to bring about change. With that in mind, the account of the suffering of Marwan Barghouti and his comrades in prison deserves the widest possible dissemination worldwide.

Marwan Barghouti is, not surprisingly, a controversial figure. His resistance to the Israeli occupation of his homeland began early at age 15 when he joined Fatah and eventually went on to co-found the organization’s youth movement. He later assumed leadership of its paramilitary wing Tanzim, though he eventually distanced himself from Fatah due to its corruption and for a short time headed his own reform party. He subsequently rejoined Fatah in 2006 and is now a member of the Palestinian Parliament. He is widely regarded as the most popular of Palestinian leaders even though he is in prison, or perhaps in part because of that.

Barghouti’s biography reads like a work of fiction. One of seven children, his father was a migrant worker. He completed high school while in an Israeli prison, where he learned Hebrew, and then went on to complete a BA in history and political science followed by an MA in international relations, both at the Palestinian Birzeit University. It required 15 years to complete his degrees because he was exiled to Jordan by the Israelis from 1987 to 1994 for his involvement in the First Intifada after being charged with “incitement,” a favorite catch-all phrase frequently used by Israel to indict anyone who is perceived as an opponent or critic when no actual charges can be plausibly supported by evidence.

Marwan Barghouti was indeed prominent in both the First and Second Intifadas due to his undoubtedly correct belief that a powerful Israel had no interest in any peaceful accommodation with the beleaguered Palestinians. He supported sometimes violent resistance and provocations directed at Israeli soldiers and settlers on the West Bank, though he did not consider Israeli citizens inside Israel legitimate targets. In 2002, he was arrested in Ramallah by the Israelis during the Second Intifada and eventually convicted of five counts of murder plus additional charges. He was given the maximum sentence of five cumulative life sentences for the alleged murders plus forty additional years for attempted murder and membership in an illegal organization.

In his trial Barghouti denied everything but refused to defend himself, claiming that the court had no jurisdiction and that he was legitimately resisting the Israeli occupation of his home. No one was able to demonstrate that he had actually killed anyone but the prosecution insisted that he had given the orders to do so. It should be noted that it was a political rather than a criminal event and completely illegal as he was a Palestinian living in Ramallah who was being tried in an Israeli court and sentenced to prison in Israel. The Inter-Parliamentary union subsequently reviewed the case and found that it had violated the accused’s rights and that numerous international legal agreements and norms were contravened.

Since 2002, there have been growing demands for Marwan Barghouti’s release, including from some Israeli politicians and peace groups, based on his relative moderation and desire to see a peaceful transition into a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. He has sometimes been likened to Nelson Mandela as someone who could potentially bring order and justice to an apparently intractable situation. Barghouti is undeniably more popular than either Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah or Ismail Haniya of Hamas. If he were free and an election were held today, he would undoubtedly be elected Palestinian president.

It is important to understand the context of the plight of the Palestinian prisoners to appreciate where Barghouti’s struggle for Palestinian rights derives from. Israel shoots to kill Arab demonstrators, including children, who throw stones. It engages in illegal mass, arbitrary arrests of Palestinians who do not reside in Israel but are nevertheless subject to control by the Israeli military authorities who have a relatively free hand on the West Bank. Once convicted by a military court, which is almost always the case, the prisoners are then held in Israel, a violation of international law, while their homes back in the Palestinian territories are frequently demolished to collectively punish the families. The trip through Israeli security barriers from the West Bank to the prisons requires 20 hours travel each way, leading to a 45 minute visit with a barrier in between so no one can actually see anyone else. A one visit per year limit for anyone over 16 is part of a process intended to further punish the families. Prisoners are routinely tortured by Israel, including the “Palestinian Chair”, an excruciating procedure which was developed by the Israel Defense Force’s interrogators and later taught to Americans and used at Abu Ghraib. Hundreds of Arabs have also been killed while in custody and reports of organ harvesting have surfaced in the international media.

Over the past fifty years, an estimated 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned by Israel at one time or another, fully 40% of the adult male population. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers run amok on the West Bank, protected by the police and army as they attack Palestinians at random and systematically destroy their livelihoods. They are rarely arrested and, if they are, they are tried in Israeli civil courts where they are nearly always acquitted. It is a situation that would be unimaginable nearly anywhere else in the world but Israel gets away with it due to a sympathetic Jewish dominated media in the U.S. and lickspittle politicians worldwide who can easily be bought or coerced.

Numerous international laws and the Geneva Conventions have been violated in the horrific treatment of the Palestinians but Israel continues to act with impunity. Israel’s colonial occupation and theft of Palestinian land are illegal and have been frequently condemned by world bodies like the United Nations. The United States agrees that the settlements are illegal, though it avoids the word, but it balks at calling out the brutal Israeli military occupation for what it is. The U.S. has also served as Israel’s protector in the U.N. and elsewhere, meaning that there is no pushback against Israeli actions that is in any way commensurate to the crimes that its government commits.

The current American Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is a virtual echo chamber for Israel’s Foreign Ministry. She sells out U.S. interests to pander to the powerful domestic Israel Lobby which uses its money and political access to corrupt American politicians as well as judicial processes worldwide, as Alison Weir has recently demonstrated with her brilliant analysis of how any criticism of Israel is now being conflated with anti-Semitism and increasingly regarded as a universal “hate crime.”

Israeli apologists like to frame the Palestinian “problem” as a group of unredeemable terrorists who have to be dealt with harshly, a narrative that portrays all Arabs as a threat. But the reality is that Israel has overwhelming power and exercises brutal control over the Palestinian population, which is treated as if it were subhuman. Indeed, many Israelis believe that Arabs are subhuman and deserve to be “ethnically cleansed.” But a people under occupation, even if relatively powerless, has a right to resist under international law, to include the use of violence, which is what the two Intifadas were all about.

One has to hope that Marwan Barghouti succeeds in his resistance and that his son Arab will be able to reach the widest possible audience to publicize what exactly is going on in Israel’s prisons and by extension in its cruel occupation and settlement of what remains of Palestine. And we should not forget other prisoners of conscience like Israeli nuclear whistleblower Moredechai Vanunu, who has yet again had his liberty restricted by the country’s Supreme Court. Israel is an essentially racist police state in spite of its frequent boasts about its alleged democracy but the important message for us Americans is that we have unfortunately served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s enablers. The Palestinians deserve a state of their own and the time has come for the United States to demand that Israel free all political prisoners like Marwan Barghouti and allow that to happen.

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 2 Comments

This week in Palestine: Israeli forces kill three, refuse to negotiate with hunger strikers

This week in Palestine: Israeli forces kill three, refuse to negotiate with hunger strikers

Saba’ Obeid, Mohammad al-Kasaji, and Mohammad Bakr were killed by Israeli forces.
If Americans Knew

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights documents crimes committed in the occupied Palestinian territories in weekly reports. We summarize their reports and stories from other news agencies with the goal of informing Americans of the ongoing violence that Palestinian families face each day under Israel’s occupation of their ancestral lands. The Israeli government receives $3 billion per year in direct military aid from U.S. taxpayers.

May 11, 2017 – May 17, 2017

West Bank

  • The Israeli military continued its 50-year long military occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, under which the 2.8 million Palestinians living there are subjected to a different set of laws and treatment than Jewish settlers (numbering 588,000) are.
  • An Israeli sharpshooter shot 22-year-old Saba’ Obeid in the heart at demonstration supporting the Palestinian mass hunger strike, killing him. Israeli soldiers shot other demonstrators with rubber-coated steel bullets and teargas canisters and prevented journalists from entering the area.
  • An Israeli police office killed Jordanian man Mohammad al-Kasaji, 57, in Jerusalem’s Old City after the man reportedly stabbed him. Palestinian sources said the officer is known for assaulting worshipers who come to Al-Aqsa Mosque (a Muslim holy site), including women.
  • Hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails continued their hunger strike, which reached the 4-week mark. Many are now suffering life-threatening conditions, unable to move or stand, are vomiting blood, and and have had their salts confiscated by Israeli prison authorities. Many have been placed in solitary confinement, are being transferred from prison to prison, and are forced to stand to be counted or face severe fines in spite of their deteriorating health. Israeli officials continue to refuse to negotiate with them.
  • Israeli forces attacked demonstrations in support of the Palestinian hunger strikers and wounded 40 Palestinians, 13 of them children. Roughly half of the wounded were shot with live bullets or rubber-coated bullets. Israeli forces also damaged three ambulances.
  • Israeli forces attacked the weekly demonstrations against Israeli’s Separation Wall in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, dispersing the protesters with tear gas and live bullets, and beat some of them.
  • Israeli forces carried out 62 invasions of Palestinian communities, raiding and searching homes, and arrested 79 civilians, 9 of them children. One of those arrested and jailed was 67-year-old academic and writer Ahmad Qatamesh, who already spent 8 years of his life in Israeli jails without any charges or trial. A teenage girl was also arrested after soldiers invaded her family’s home at 2:00 in the morning.
  • Israeli authorities announced they planned to demolish four buildings in a Palestinian neighborhood because they were built too close to Israel’s illegal Apartheid Wall.
  • An Israeli police officer hit a Palestinian child with his vehicle in Jerusalem and fled the scene. In a different incident in the West Bank, a Jewish settler hit a Palestinian man with his vehicle and deserted the scene.
  • Israeli forces uprooted 60 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian man.
  • Israeli forces erected several temporary checkpoints, restricting movement for even more Palestinians. (There are 27 permanent checkpoints and hundreds of physical roadblocks placed by Israeli forces. Palestinians are prohibited from using 41 roads totaling 700 kilometers in the West Bank; only Israelis can travel on them.)

Gaza Strip

  • Israel continued its 10-year illegal land, sea, and air blockade of the Gaza Strip, strictly controlling the movement of all 2 million Palestinians living there.
  • Israeli navy forces killed Mohammad Bakr, a 23-year-old fisherman and married father of two, off the shores of Gaza on the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. The Israeli gunmen chased the boat, opened fire on the four cousins on it, shot Mohammad in the stomach, and ordered his cousins to hand him over before taking him away. He died of his wounds later that day.
  • Israeli navy forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip most days. They arrested six Gaza fisherman, including two children, confiscated a boat, and damaged another.
  • At 1:00 am, Israeli forces raided and searched the home of Hamas leader Essa al-Jabari, 51, interrogated him, pointed weapons at his wife and daughters, and then arrested him and confiscated his car.
  • Israeli forces continued to prevent most Gazans from entering or exiting the Strip (via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing), allowing less than 2,000 people to travel.
  • Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian patient who was on his way to the West Bank with his mother to receive medical care.
  • Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands near the border.
  • Israeli forces continued to prevent most exports from Gaza, allowing only some produce items, fish and aluminum scraps. There is just one Israeli-controlled crossing (Kerem Shalom) for the movement of goods. Israel’s strict limits continue to severely cripple Gaza’s economy. Israeli officials told the U.S. that their goal is to keep Gaza “on the brink of collapse” and “‘functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”

Read the full PCHR report, which also contains daily summaries. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) also publishes a “Protection of Civilians” report on the occupied Palestinian territories every two weeks. Their latest report covers May 2 to May 15.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hamas rejects US president’s description of terror group

Press TV – May 21, 2017

Hamas has roundly dismissed US President Donald Trump’s allegations against the Palestinian resistance movement, stating his description of the anti-Israel group exhibits his “complete bias” in favor of the Israel regime.

“The statements describing Hamas as a terror group are rejected. They are a distortion of the image of our popular resistance and cause, and show full bias towards the Israeli Occupation,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, Arabic-language Safa news agency reported.

He added, “Hamas is a national liberation movement that is legitimately defending the rights of the Palestinian nation and fighting against terrorism.”

“It is the Zionist entity that is practicing mass murder against our people and committing crimes against humanity, particularly the siege of the Gaza Strip, through the support of US officials,” Barhoum pointed out.

The statement came hours after Trump addressed the leaders of 55 Muslim countries in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh, and described Hamas as a terror organization.

The Israeli military frequently targets the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls, with civilians being the main victims of such attacks.

Israel has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014. The 50-day military aggression, which ended on August 26, 2014, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – were also wounded in the war.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty in the coastal enclave.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Occupation’s Accomplice

By Meghna Sridhar Tripp Zanetis | Jacobin | May 18, 2017

Mass incarceration is a central pillar of Israeli occupation. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are waging a hunger strike to fight it.

On April 17, on the anniversary of Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, over 1,500 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons launched a mass hunger strike. A month later, 834 of the prisoners remain on empty stomachs — with several dozens now placed on “close medical watch” by Israeli authorities. The strike has drawn a wave of solidarity among Palestinians and has been met with severe repression by Israeli authorities.

Weeks before the strike erupted, we visited the military courts in the West Bank as a part of a delegation from Stanford Law’s International Human Rights Clinic. Observing the court proceedings drove home how the prison system serves as a core pillar of the occupation — and why the prison strike has attracted so much support among Palestinians.

The prisoners are demanding better conditions: improved access to family visits and phone calls; access to books, newspapers, mail, and educational opportunities; and an end to administrative detention and solitary confinement.

Yet at the heart of their struggle lies a more insidious problem: the sprawling military court system that has stripped them of their dignity and incarcerated over one in three Palestinian men since 1967. Palestinians imprisoned in Israel are sentenced by a court system run by the Israeli military, without any of the safeguards of the Israeli civilian courts. These military courts are predicated on a legal double standard: they only prosecute crimes against Israeli citizens or property; they do not prosecute crimes committed by Israeli settlers living in the Occupied West Bank, or crimes with Palestinian victims.

As strike leader and political prisoner Marwan Barghouti has put it, Israel’s military courts are an “accomplice in the occupation’s crimes.”

Israeli authorities have cracked down swiftly on the hunger strike — not only have they punished those who have protested, but they are also reportedly looking into setting up a separate military hospital to force feed those still on strike. Far-right National Union activists, meanwhile, have organized a barbecue outside the prison, seeking to mock the hungry prisoners with the wafting scents of grilled meat. And Pizza Hut released an advertisement taunting Barghouti to end the strike with a slice of their pizza.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon has said that the Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners, but “convicted terrorists and murderers” who were “brought to justice.”

Our observations of the military courts — and the statistics — tell a different story. The courts prosecute between five hundred and seven hundred children each year — 79 percent, between 2010 and 2015, for stone throwing, which under the Israeli military’s own classification is only a “public order” offense. This crime generally involves youth throwing stones at military targets so distant that no bodily harm occurs.

Several other offenses that the military courts process are also nonviolent in nature. Incitement — a catch-all crime that could include posting anti-occupation status on Facebook — increasingly appears on the docket. Infiltration — which involves Palestinians illegally entering Israel in order to work, usually as manual laborers — also accounts for a fair share of the men brought before military courts.

There is a good reason that the practice of trying civilians — especially children — in military courts for such a prolonged period of time is unprecedented in an ostensible democracy. International law does allow military courts for civilians in the exceptional case of belligerent occupation. But the international laws governing occupation never contemplated a situation of a fifty-year occupation. And Israel’s military courts prove exactly why.

A staggering 99.74 percent of the cases heard in military court end in conviction: once accused, a Palestinian has little chance of mounting a successful defense. Evidence, especially when it pertains to children, is often the result of coerced confessions — but exclusion motions throwing out such illicitly obtained evidence are rarely successful. The court proceedings are entirely in Hebrew — a language almost all defendants, and most of their lawyers, don’t speak. Translations are often inadequate, or sloppy: we witnessed a translator walk out of the court midway through a proceeding. Most cases are resolved through guilty pleas — because, according to the attorneys we interviewed, defendants and defense lawyers alike are often punished for attempting to take cases to trial.

Palestinian prisoners, in short, are not just faced with harsh prison conditions, in prisons that their families have limited or no access to. They arrive in these facilities after facing a dehumanizing trial in a language that they do not speak, where the presumption of innocence does not apply, and where they face little chance of defending themselves successfully. When they put their bodies on the line with a hunger strike, they are doing so because the system offers them no other option.

That system must fall.

Mass incarceration is a central pillar of Israeli control over the West Bank. Improving prison conditions or adding procedural protections will not solve the problem. Only ending military control over the civilian population will deliver justice to the striking prisoners, as well as the millions suffering daily indignities on the outside.

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli settlers reportedly destroy Palestinian-owned water well near Bethlehem

Ma’an – May 3, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Israeli settlers destroyed a Palestinian-owned water well on Tuesday in the town of al-Khader south of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, according to official Palestinians news agency Wafa.

Hasan Brijiyeh, a local activist from the separation wall and settlements’ committee in Bethlehem, told Wafa that a group of Israeli settlers destroyed the well under the protection of Israeli forces, identifying the owner of the well as Ahmad Ghnaim.

The 100-square-meter well was built almost 250 years ago, according to the report, and is located near the illegal settlement outpost of Sde Boaz, built on Palestinian-owned land.

Two weeks ago, Wafa reported that Israeli settlers from Sde Boaz razed privately-owned Palestinian land in the Wadi al-Ghawit area in the western outskirts of al-Khader, and physically assaulted the Palestinian landowner.

Sde Boaz, also known as Nevi Daniel North, was established in 2002 when settlers from the established illegal Nevi Daniel settlement took over a hilltop about 1.5 kilometers north of Nevi Daniel.

Israeli settlers from Sde Boaz destroyed over 300 newly planted grape vines belonging to the Sbeihs in 2014.

Some 600,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The international community regards all settlements built on occupied Palestinian land to be illegal, though the Israeli government distinguishes between the state-sponsored settlements and dozens of unauthorized outposts like Sde Boaz.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the outpost “Regularization law” in February, which could grant official Israeli governmental recognition to more than a dozen illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank established on private Palestinian lands.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli terrorists incite murder of Arabs south of Nablus

Palestine Information Center – May 3, 2017

NABLUS – Israeli settlers at predawn Wednesday preformed sacrilegious rituals and yelled “death to Arabs” at Yitzhar crossroads, south of Nablus.

Palestinians driving in the area said over 100 Israeli settlers, escorted by heavily-armed soldiers, flocked to the northern entrance to Hawara town, south of Nablus, and yelled anti-Arab chants.

The Israeli settlers further called for revenge against the Palestinians, shouting “Death to Arabs and Muslims.”

On Tuesday evening, a horde of Israeli fanatics showed up at Hawara checkpoint and on the access road to Bracha settlement, illegally built on Palestinian land in Kafr Kalil and Irak Burin, to mark Israel’s establishment anniversary on the land of Palestine.

May 3, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

UNESCO: Israel is an ‘occupying power’

MEMO | May 2, 2017

UNESCO today voted in favour of a resolution which describes Israel as an “occupying power” and denies its sovereignty over occupied Jerusalem.

Twenty-two countries voted in favour of the resolution which was submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan.

The text which was voted on included the following phrase:

All legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and must be rescinded forthwith.

This led ten countries to vote against the resolution including the Italy, UK, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece and Germany, Paraguay, Togo and the Ukraine.

However it does state that Jerusalem is an important city to the “three monotheistic religions”, a clause a previous UNESCO vote passed in October last year did not include.

Twenty-three countries abstained.

Read Also: ‘Israel blackmails developing countries for votes at UN’

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Israel denies compensation to family of toddler burned to death

Palestine Information Center – May 1, 2017

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israel will not pay terror victims’ compensation to Ahmed Dawabsha, a Palestinian boy whose parents and brother were killed in a 2015 arson attack carried out on their home by Israeli settlers, Israel’s war minister Avigdor Lieberman told a Knesset member in an official correspondence on the issue.

Writing to Joint (Arab) List MK Yousef Jabareen in response to a question as to why the now-orphaned Ahmed has not yet received money from Israel, Lieberman said the 6-year-old, who was badly injured in the attack, does not qualify as a “terror victim” and will therefore not receive compensation.

According to the Times of Israel daily, the current law stipulates that Israel must compensate Israelis affected by terrorism, but does not apply to Palestinians “who are not citizens or residents of Israel,” Lieberman wrote.

In January 2016, then-attorney general Yehuda Weinstein rejected a request from Jabareen for Dawabsha to be recognized as a terror victim.

“The compensation should be a right, not a gift,” he claimed. “The state needs to give him full compensation due to the severe incident he has suffered.”

Jabareen said the family would now “turn to the courts” in order to seek both recognition and compensation for Dawabsha.

Two homes in Duma, south of Nablus, were set alight in the July 31 attack. In the attack, Ali Dawabsha,18 months old, was burned to death and father Saad Dawabsha, his wife Riham and their son Ahmad, who was four at the time, were critically injured. Saad died in August and Riham in September. The only surviving member of the family, Ahmed, received months of treatment for severe burns.

Responding to Lieberman’s letter, Jabareen accused the war minister of implementing a racist policy towards the Palestinians.

“The defense minister’s position is based on racial discrimination,” Jabareen said in a statement. “If we were talking about Jewish settlers hurt by Palestinians, the victims would automatically receive compensation.”

The attack caused massive outrage in the occupied Palestinian territories and around the world.

In January 2016, a 21-year-old Israeli settler—Amiram Ben-Uliel—and an unnamed 16-year-old minor were indicted for carrying out the Duma terror attack.

May 1, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 3 Comments

Hamas outlines its vision for Palestine in the 21st century

By Dr Daud Abdullah | MEMO | May 1, 2017

One hundred years of oppression have not diminished or erased the Palestinian hope for freedom. Throughout this year, 2017, they are marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which started their tragedy. The occasion is about the past, as well as the future. And, it is in this context that the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has launched its new General Policies and Principles Document.

When Hamas issued its founding Charter in August 1988, the occupied territories were in the grip of the First Intifada (uprising). Both the content and tone of its message was then largely one for its followers and the “stone-throwing generation” who had risen up against the occupation. Thirty years on, things have changed drastically. The occupation has become more inhumane while transforming itself into a system of apartheid rule. A new political framework is, therefore, needed to give not just hope, but direction to the Palestinian people as well.

Politics aside, Hamas is plainly positioning itself to occupy the moral high-ground left vacant by other national forces. The leadership which brokered the ill-fated Oslo Accords two decades ago still remains in power; albeit now discredited and mistrusted by large sections of Palestinian society. Despite their best efforts, they seem incapable of shaking off the image of a self-serving and corrupt elite.

Rightfully, Palestinians yearn for an all embracing and inclusive leadership; one that honours their sacrifices, respects their will and pursues their legitimate rights. With this in mind Hamas has carefully framed its General Policies Document in a language that resonates with Palestinians of all political and religious persuasions. While affirming a willingness to recognise a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, Hamas, nonetheless, remains committed to its declared objective of a free Palestine, from Naqurra in the north to Rashrash in the south, and from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.

No doubt, some may argue that this new document has been long overdue. The truth, however, is that Hamas has over the years shown a capacity to critique its political positions and explore options that were not mentioned in its founding Charter as long as they did not compromise national interests. Hence, while still in prison Sheikh Ahmad Yassin proposed a long-term cessation of hostilities (hudnah) with Israel for the first time in 1994. In 1997 he told the Associated Press that Hamas would accept a ten-year truce if Israel would withdraw its troops and settlers from all of the West Bank and Gaza.

Similarly, Dr Abdel Aziz Rantissi, another founding leader of the movement, told Reuters on 27 January 2004: “We accept a state in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. We propose a 10-year truce in return for [Israeli] withdrawal and the establishment of a state.” Two years later, in May 2006, these very ideas were adopted in the document that came to be known as the National Conciliation Document of the Palestinian prisoners. It was signed by representatives of the four largest Palestinian factions: Marwan Barghouthi of Fatah, Sheikh Abdel Khaliq Al-Natsche of Hamas, Sheikh Bassam Al-Saadi of Islamic Jihad and Abdel Rahim Malouh of the PFLP.

Many of the points embodied in the Prisoners Document such as the acceptance of a state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of return and the right to resist are all now asserted in Hamas’ new General Policies Document. Having signed up to the Prisoners Document Hamas has, furthermore, demonstrated a willingness to be part of a national project that secures the rights of all Palestinians and not only its supporters.

Since the Lebanese-based Al-Mayadeen TV station published a leaked draft copy of the new document cynics have wasted no time searching for contradictions and compromises. Apart from the issue of a state within the 1967 borders, they point to the fact that whereas the founding Charter identified the movement as an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood this new General Policies Document makes no such mention. Nor does it deny its ideological links with the Brotherhood. As for any supposed organisational connection and the co-ordination of political strategies within a unified leadership, that was never the case. Indeed, what Hamas does in its new General Policies Document is to identify itself as a national liberation movement.

Hamas of 2017 is a significantly different body from what existed in the late 20th century. Today, for better or worse, it finds itself in a position where it has to administer the Gaza Strip and provide jobs and social services for its two million people. Its regional and international standing has also changed. Hence it has to respond to all the challenges that these entail. Foremost among these is to maintain adherence to its strategic political positions such as the right to resist, non-recognition of Israel and adherence to the liberation of Mandatory Palestine. At the same time, it has to avoid being crippled by ideological dogma.

The new General Policies Document is an attempt to do just this. Its completion shows an honesty to acknowledge and correct errors. For example, in 1988 the founding Charter framed the conflict in these words;  “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious.” This is manifestly wrong. The conflict has always been one between the Palestinian people and the Zionist colonisers who conquered Palestine and now occupy it.

Hamas’ founding Charter was written in the last quarter of the 20th century. Politics is never static anywhere; and it certainly is not in Palestine. Conditions change rapidly. The wider region is itself in a state of continuous flux where alliances are formed and broken. By taking this audacious step to write this new General Policies and Principles Document Hamas is laying out its vision for Palestine in the 21st century. One that would guide and enable the Palestinian people to liberate their land and enjoy the security and freedom from oppression and discrimination that they richly deserve. It is a vision and framework to create opportunities that would ultimately lead to the control and development of their natural resources, as well as realise their full human potential.

Is there any justification to deny them these fundamental human rights?

May 1, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment