israeli Soldier Awarded Medal For Bravery After Being Hit By Pebble

Israeli Soldier Awarded Medal For Bravery After Being Hit By Pebble

JUST days after being struck down by a pebble launched from a terrorist 12-year-old Palestinian’s catapult, inspirational IDF soldier and Israeli man, Adam Damkani, was awarded the medal for bravery.

Injured in a series of clashes at the Israeli border, which is somehow situated in the heart of Palestine, the fallen 23-year-old soldier was rushed to hospital in the hopes of not needing a stitch, where a team of medical experts helped dress his injuries with a band aid.

“When we saw the scratch on his head we just had to act immediately,” Israeli red cross member Jacob Alterman recalled, “he was visibly upset and was crying profusely, asking for his family members.

“We were all a little taken aback at the level of his injury. He even flinched when we tried to clean the abrasion with a cotton bud. Hopefully it won’t leave a scar”.

In the tense minutes it took to close the wound, the grandson of four told WWN exactly what he was going through his head at the time.

“You think it won’t ever happen to you,” the now recovered Damkani told us from a Jerusalem intensive care unit, “one minute you’re blowing kids kneecaps out with a 50 cal sniper rifle, and the next you’re hit with a pebble the size of a large pea. I was lucky my eye was covered by the sniper scope or I would have certainly lost the use of it if it hit me.

“The scratch still stings when I touch it and it is all dried up now and a bit scabby, so I could be out of action for a while”.

Despite his extensive injuries, Damkani somehow managed to make it to today’s ceremony where he received his medal for bravery.

“I don’t normally like to make a fuss about these kind of things, it’s all part of the job, but this was a close call and I thank everyone that helped save my life,” the hero concluded.

The IDF soldier was also treated for “trigger finger cramp” and is expected to make a full recovery.

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Hezbollah Denounces Jewish Nation-State Law, Calls on Palestinians to Stick to Resistance, Intifada

July 20, 2018

Hezbollah flag

Hezbollah condemned “the racist law passed by the Israeli Knesset, the so-called the ‘Jewish Nation-State’,” stressing that it comes in the context of the successive steps to Judaize the entire occupied Palestine.

In a statement issued on Friday, Hezbollah stressed that the law passed by Knesset aims at depriving the Palestinian diaspora from returning to homeland and enhancing the process of bring the world Jews to settle in Palestine instead of the native inhabitants.

The statement added that the law passed by the Knesset also aims to consecrate the Judaization of the ‘Hebrew state’ and obliterate the Palestinian cause.

Finally, Hezbollah called on the Palestinians to stick to unity and the path of resistance and Intifada in face of the new Zionist aggression, expressing grief over the weakness of the Arab stance.

“Some Arabs are preoccupied with absurd wars against the liberals in this nation; whereas, they compete to gain the trust of the enemy and serve its interests.”

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations (Translated by Al-Manar English Website)

 

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“israel effectively declares itself an apartheid state”, but still claims to be a democracy

“Israel effectively declares itself an apartheid state”

Palestinian civil society reacts to Israel’s “Jewish Nation-State Law​” which unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian.

Umm al Hiran demolition.jpg

(A Palestinian family in front of the ruins of their home in Umm al-Hiran, a Palestinian community that the Israeli government is destroying so it can build a town for Israeli Jews only in its place. Residents of Umm al-Hiran are Israeli citizens.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: media@bdsmovement.net

July 19, 2018 — Today, Israeli lawmakers gave their final approval to the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian.

Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law, which enjoys constitutional power, as an “apartheid law.”

Adalah, a leading Palestinian human rights organization in Israel, describes how the law “affirms the principle of apartheid in housing, land and citizenship.” It concludes that “this law constitutionally sanctions institutionalized discrimination.”

Najwan Berekdar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, reacted:

As a Palestinian citizen of this state, this bill entrenches my third-class citizenship on the land where generations of my family have lived since long before the state of Israel even existed.

The Jewish-Israeli majority is loudly reminding us indigenous Palestinian citizens of Israel that we are not welcome in our own ancestral homeland. My people have always suffered from legalized racism by the state of Israel and its institutions, but this law makes our apartheid reality the law of the land like never before.

As “non-Jews” we are already not allowed to buy or rent land on 93% of the area controlled by the Israeli state, and many of our communities are declared to be “unrecognized” and bulldozed out of existence by Israeli forces. I received a racially segregated and inferior education in a school system that conspicuously privileges Jewish-Israelis.

Israel is now stripping us of any semblance of equal rights based solely on our ethno-religious identity. It’s even demoting our language from one of the state’s two official languages.

Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) commented:

Israel has dozens of racist laws, including some which strikingly fit the UN definition of apartheid. But with the constitutional power of this Basic Law, Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy.

From now on, it will not just be legal to racially discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. It will be constitutionally mandated and required. This should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable.

Omar Barghouti concluded:

If ever there was a time for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel’s system of oppression, it is now. Israel’s official adoption of apartheid opens the door for the Palestinian people, Arab nations and our allies around the world to pressure the UN to activate its anti-apartheid laws and impose serious sanctions on Israel like those imposed on apartheid South Africa.

We shall double our efforts to further grow the BDS movement for Palestinian rights to hold Israel accountable for all its crimes against our people. No Israeli law will erase our right to self-determination in our homeland or the right of our refugees to return home. No Israeli far-right government, with all the blind support it receives from xenophobic and outright fascist forces in the United States and Europe, will ever extinguish our aspiration for freedom, justice and equality.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights

Trump Administration Reiterates US Backing of israel’s Illegal Gaza Blockade

Trump Administration Reiterates US Backing of Israel’s Illegal Gaza Blockade

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Trump Administration Reiterates US Backing of Israel’s Illegal Gaza Blockade

The US has long supported Israel’s illegal Gaza blockade, a policy of collectively punishing the civilian population of Gaza for living under Hamas’s rule
Key members of the team chosen by US President Donald Trump to revive the effectively defunct “peace process” have written an op-ed in the Washington Post backing Israel’s illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, special representative Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman penned the column, published in the Post on July 19, which blames Hamas for “needlessly prolonging the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

The Trump team pointed out that 53 percent of the people residing in Gaza live below the poverty line, and 49 percent of Gazans are unemployed — consequences of the crippling illegal blockade Israel has imposed on Gaza since shortly after Hamas won legislative elections in 2006.

Without mentioning the blockade, the team argued that Hamas was solely to blame for its consequences, thus effectively endorsing Israel’s policy of collectively punishing the entire civilian population for living under Hamas’s rule.

The collective punishment of civilian populations is a violation of international law and amounts to a war crime.

The Trump team suggested that in order for Gazans’ suffering to come to an end — meaning for Israel’s illegal blockade to end — the Hamas government must either be replaced or acquiesce to Israel and the US’s demands within the framework of the US-led so-called “peace process”.

The US has long demanded that Hamas recognize the state of Israel, abide by the Oslo Accords and other agreements under the “peace process”, and renounce violence.

The US does not demand that Israel recognize the state of Palestine, cease its perpetual violations of the prior agreements as well as international law, or renounce violence, which it routinely resorts to in order to suppress the Palestinians struggling to gain their freedom.

The “peace process” has been sold to the public as a means to achieve peace, but in reality is the means by which Israel and the US have long blocked implementation of the two-state solution.

This solution is premised in international law and calls for Israel to fully withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories, envisioning a viable independent state of Palestine alongside Israel and a just solution for Palestinian refugees.

Israel has rejected the two-state solution since its inception, favoring persistent military occupation of the West Bank in order to facilitate its illegal colonization project.

Israel invaded and occupied the West Bank during the June 1967 war and has ever since been illegally building Jewish settlements there. US government officials have often rhetorically opposed the settlements, but in actual deed have supported their construction, despite the fact that they violate international law.

Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements also violates the Oslo Accords — the same agreement consecutive US executive administrations have demanded that Hamas uphold.

Whereas the two-state solution is premised in international law, the framework for the Oslo “peace process” is premised on a rejection of the applicability of international law toward a resolution. Instead, under this process, the Palestinians must negotiate with their occupier over how much of their own land they will be permitted to exercise some measure of sovereignty over.

This US insistence on rejecting international law was even more loudly pronounced when Trump declared in December 2017 that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and that the US would move its embassy there.

Under international law, all of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are “occupied Palestinian territories”.

Most of the world has already recognized Palestine as a state, as has the United Nations organization since November 2012.

The UN Security Council, of which the US is a permanent member, has also forbidden member nations from establishing their embassies in Jerusalem due to Israel’s illegal measures to annex occupied East Jerusalem. Under international law, these measures are null and void, and the US embassy move, too, is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 478 of 1980, the resolution that forbade member states from establishing Israel embassies in Jerusalem due to fact that Israel’s illegal annexation measures prejudice the rights of the Palestinians.

Trump’s declaration about Jerusalem effectively sealed the fate of the “peace process” as defunct. While he has assembled a team to try to restart the process, so far, it has gone nowhere, and there is little prospect of a revival given how Trump’s action undermined the perception of credibility his predecessor, Barack Obama, had striven hard to maintain with respect to the “peace process”.

While rhetorically expressing support for a Palestinian state, the Obama administration, too, backed Israel’s criminal policies with financial, military, and diplomatic support.

Prior to Obama, the Bush administration, too, lent US backing to Israel’s criminal policies against the Palestinians. After Hamas legitimately won elections in 2006, taking over control of the Palestinian legislature, the US conspired with Israel and Fatah, the party of the illegitimate president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, to overthrow the democratically elected Hamas government.

Abbas’s legal term as president expired in 2009, but he has remained in office, with US and Israeli approval, as a result of his largely successful coup against Hamas. The PA itself was established under the Oslo Accords essentially to serve as Israel’s collaborator in enforcing its occupation regime.

The result of the US-backed coup attempt in 2007 was a civil conflict in Gaza and the expulsion of Fatah by Hamas. Whereas the legitimately elected Hamas government remained as governing authority in Gaza, Abbas illegally replaced the Hamas Prime Minister, Ismael Haniyeh, with Salaam Fayyad.

After the failure of the US-backed coup to overthrow the Hamas government in Gaza, Israel responded by escalating its blockade policy, in place since the 1967 war, by closing land crossings and implementing a virtual siege of the Strip, strictly limiting the movement of goods and people into and out of the territory.

In November 2008, the US embassy in Tel Aviv cabled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to explain how the goal of Israel’s blockade policy was “to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis” — which the Israeli government has defined as nothing short of outright starvation of the population.

Israel’s purpose, the cable reiterated, was “to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse”.

By blaming Hamas for the consequences of Israel’s illegal blockade, the Trump administration is communicating to the Israeli government that it has the full support of the US government for its collective punishment of the civilian population of Gaza.

israel threatening more genocide in Palestine

Israel`s Defense Minister Says “Large And Painful Military Operation” Set For Gaza

After last weekend’s significant escalation in Gaza involving Israeli airstrikes on 40 targets, which reportedly killed two teens and wounded over a dozen others, and over 30 rockets launched by Hamas toward southern Israel, all signs are currently pointing toward a broader outbreak of fighting as in new comments the Israeli defense minister is preparing the public for “a large and painful military operation” to come.

Israeli officials and media have broadly referred to this latest flare-up of hostilities as the biggest attack since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and now Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is warning that Israel is prepared to go to war if Gazans don’t cease releasing incendiary kites and balloons in attempts to set communities and farmlands in southern Israel ablaze.

Gaza during the 2014 war. 

Liberman issued the warning at a press conference in the town of Sderot, which lies close to Gaza and is considered constantly under threat by Hamas rockets. The defense minister said, “We see in the newspapers that you don’t go to war over kites and fires. However, any reasonable person who sees a natural grove burned or thousands of dunams [1,000 square meters] of agricultural fields scorched understands that this situation is unreasonable.”

“We are trying to be considerate and responsible, but the heads of Hamas are forcibly leading us to a situation of not having a choice, to a situation in which we will need to carry out a large and painful military operation — not something that’s just for show, but a large and painful military operation,” he said.

Liberman added further, apparently in reference to the international criticism Israel routinely receives over the indiscriminate nature of Palestinian civilian casualties that result from its offensives: “I think that the only people responsible for this are the heads of Hamas, but unfortunately all the residents of Gaza will be forced to pay the price.” And while referencing the 2014 Gaza war, he indicated Israel is now prepared to “carry out an operation that is of a much wider scope and much more painful than Operation Protective Edge.”

Defense Minister Liberman’s ominous words follow reports that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) held a large-scale military drill simulating a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip early this week, which The Times of Israel described as follows:

The drill in the country’s Negev region, which involved infantry and armored corps, included exercises in urban warfare, with the city of Beersheba serving as a surrogate for Gaza’s cities, Channel 10 news reported. The drill began Sunday and will continue on Tuesday, and exercises include the simulated capture of Gaza City, officials said.

Parts of the exercise were also filmed by local media in order to “send a message” to Hamas, according to IDF officials.

Meanwhile, the army has erected additional Iron Dome Missile Defense systems in central Israel ahead of any potential military escalation. One IDF infantry commander told local media: “We are ready and speaking in terms of war [that could come] tomorrow, it occurs to me that this drill could become a real entry into the Strip.”

Israel has grown increasingly concerned at the trend of Gazans using explosive and incendiary devices released along the Israeli-Gaza border fence to target farmlands in southern Israel.

Large kites or collections of balloons will typically be floated across the fence while carrying burning items attached by a long cord. They’ve also been dubbed ‘Molotov cocktail kites’ and have become the latest improvised means of getting around Israel’s high-tech air defense systems, and have reportedly floated into Israel in the thousands since the ‘Great March of Return’ protests, reportedly destroying thousands of acres of land.

Israeli authorities have specifically attributed over 400 fires which burned more than 6,000 acres to the low-tech incendiary devices, according to a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Last week, just prior to the Israeli air offensive, local authorities counted 21 fires originating in a single day due to burning kites launched from Gaza, impacting mainly farmlands in southern Israel.

Protests along the Israeli-Gaza border fence have now reached over 100 days, with tensions exploding after an incident last Friday wherein Israeli forces shot dead a 15-year-old Palestinian who approached the fence.

 

Video which circulated widely on social media purportedly shows Israeli forces shooting dead the Palestinian teen once he began climb one of the outer barriers separating Gaza from Israel.

The IDF said that one of its soldiers was moderately wounded during last Friday’s protest, and in official statements have sought to justify all lethal force in response to Palestinian attempts to penetrate the fence.

With this week’s uptick in IDF military preparations to invade Gaza, and with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman latest warning for “a much wider scope and much more painful than Operation Protective Edge,” it is very likely that we could witness a return to all out war in the Strip by month’s end.

Global Jewish Groups Issue Joint Statement in Support of #BDS Movement

Global Jewish Groups Issue Joint Statement in Support of BDS Movement

By Telesur,

The BDS solidarity campaign includes 37 Jewish groups in 15 different countries, including South Africa, Brazil and Germany.

An unprecedented joint statement has been issued by dozens of Jewish groups in several countries offering their support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. They affirmed that their condemnation of the Israeli state does not amount to antisemitism.

“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular,” the letter began.

“These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid.”

The letter went on to note that history has made Jewish people “all too aware of the dangers of increasingly fascistic and openly racist governments and political parties.”

“The rise in antisemitic discourse and attacks worldwide is part of that broader trend. At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to – or prejudice against – Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.”

The Jewish-based solidarity campaign was initiated by the Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, a U.S.-based organization, along with 36 Jewish groups in 15 different countries, including South Africa, Brazil and Germany, according to The New Arab.

Activists and supporters of the BDS movement have taken inspiration from the boycott and sanctions campaign undertaken in the 1980s to help bring an end to South Africa.

israelis Just Keep Killing People, Stealing Land

Israelis Just Keep Killing People, Stealing Land

 by Uri Avnery

One can look at events in Gaza through the left or through the right eye. One can condemn them as inhuman, cruel and mistaken, or justify them as necessary and unavoidable.

But there is one adjective that is beyond question: They are stupid.

If the late Barbara Tuchman were still alive, she might be tempted to add another chapter to her groundbreaking opus “The March of Folly”: a chapter titled “Eyeless in Gaza”.

The latest episode in this epic started a few months ago, when independent activists in the Gaza Strip called for a march to the Israeli border, which Hamas supported. It was called “The Great March of Return”, a symbolic gesture for the more than a million Arab residents who fled or were evicted from their homes in the land that became the State of Israel.

The Israeli authorities pretended to take this seriously. A frightening picture was painted for the Israeli public: 1.8 million Arabs, men, women and children, would throw themselves on the border fence, break through in many places, and storm Israel’s cities and villages. Terrifying.

Israeli sharpshooters were posted along the border and ordered to shoot anyone who looked like a “ringleader”. On several succeeding Fridays (the weekly Muslim holy day) more than 150 unarmed protesters, including many children, were shot dead, and many hundreds more severely wounded by gunfire, apart from those hurt by tear gas.

The Israeli argument was that the victims were shot while trying to “storm the fences”. Actually, not a single such attempt was photographed, though hundreds of photographers were posted on both sides of the fence.

Facing a worldwide protest, the army changed its orders and now only rarely kills unarmed protesters. The Palestinians also changed their tactics: the main effort now is to fly children’s kites with burning tails and set Israeli fields near the Strip on fire.

Since the wind almost always blows from the West to the East, that is an easy way to hurt Israel. Children can do it, and do. Now the Minister of Education demands that the air force bomb the children. The Chief of Staff refuses, arguing that this is “against the values of the Israeli army”.

At present, half of our newspapers and TV newscasts are concerned with Gaza. Everybody seems to agree that sooner or later a full-fledged war will break out there.

The main feature of this exercise is its utter stupidity.

Every military action must have a political aim. As the German military thinker, Carl von Clausewitz, famously said: “War is but a continuation of politics by other means.”

The Strip is 41 km long and 6 to 12 km wide. It is one of the most overcrowded places on earth. Nominally it belongs to the largely theoretical State of Palestine, like the West Bank, which is Israeli occupied. The Strip is in fact governed by the radical Muslim Hamas party.

In the past, masses of Palestinian workers from Gaza streamed into Israel every day. But since Hamas assumed power in the Strip, the Israeli government has imposed an almost total blockade on land and sea. The Egyptian dictatorship, a close ally of Israel and a deadly enemy of radical Islam, cooperates with Israel.

So what does Israel want? The preferred solution is to sink the entire strip and its population into the sea. Failing that, what can be done?

The last thing Israel wants is to annex the Strip with its huge population, which cannot be driven out. Also, Israel does not want to put up settlements in the Strip (the few which were set up were withdrawn by Ariel Sharon, who thought that it was not worthwhile to keep and defend them).

The real policy is to make life in Gaza so miserable, that the Gazans themselves will rise and throw the Hamas authorities out. With this in mind, the water supply is reduced to two hours a day, electricity the same. Employment hovers around 50%, wages beneath the minimum. It is a picture of total misery.

Since everything that reaches Gaza must come through Israel (or Egypt), supplies are often cut off completely for days as “punishment”.

Alas, history shows that such methods seldom succeed. They only deepen the enmity. So what can be done?

The answer is incredibly simple: sit down, talk and come to an agreement.

Yes, but how can you sit down with a mortal enemy, whose official ideology totally rejects a Jewish State?

Islam, which (like every religion) has an answer to everything, recognizes something called a “Hudna”, which is a lasting armistice. This can go on for many decades and is (religiously) kept.

For several years now, Hamas has been almost openly hinting that it is ready for a long Hudna. Egypt has volunteered to mediate. Our government has totally ignored the offer. A Hudna with the enemy? Out of the question! God forbid! Would be terribly unpopular politically!

But it would be the sensible thing to do. Stop all hostile acts from both sides, say for 50 years. Abolish the blockade. Build a real harbor in Gaza city. Allow free trade under some kind of military inspection. Same for an airport. Allow workers to find employment in Israel, instead of importing workers from China and Romania. Turn Gaza into a second Singapore. Allow free travel between Gaza and the West Bank by a bridge or an extraterritorial highway. Help to restore unity between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Why not? The very idea is rejected by an ordinary Israeli on sight.

A deal with Hamas? Impossible!!! Hamas wants to destroy Israel. Everybody knows that.

I hear this many times, and always wonder about the stupidity of people who repeat this.

How does a group of a few hundred thousand “destroy” one of the worlds most heavily armed states, a state that possesses nuclear bombs and submarines to deliver them? How? With kites?

Both Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin pay us homage, the world’s fascist dictators and liberal presidents come to visit. How can Hamas pose a mortal danger?

Why doesn’t Hamas stop hostilities by itself? Hamas has competitors, which are even more radical. It does not dare to show any sign of weakness.

Some decades ago the Arab world, on the initiative of Saudi Arabia, offered Israel peace under several conditions, all of them acceptable. Successive Israel governments have not only not accepted it, they have ignored it altogether.

There was some logic in this. The Israeli government wants to annex the West Bank. It wants to get the Arab population out, and replace them with Jewish settlers. It conducts this policy slowly, cautiously, but consistently.

It is a cruel policy, a detestable policy, yet it has some logic in it. If you really want to achieve this abominable aim, the methods may be adequate. But this does not apply to the Gaza Strip, which no one wants to annex. There, the methods are sheer folly.

This does not mean that the overall Israeli policy towards the Palestinians is any more wise. It is not.

Binyamin Netanyahu and his hand-picked stupid ministers have no policy. Or so it seems. In fact they do have an undeclared one: creeping annexation of the West Bank.

This is now going on at a quicker pace than before. The daily news gives the impression that the entire government machine is now concentrating on this project.

This will lead directly to an apartheid-style state, where a large Jewish minority will dominate an Arab majority.

For how long? One generation? Two? Three?

It has been said that a clever person is able to extricate himself from a trap into which a wise person would not have fallen in the first place.

Stupid people do not extricate themselves. They are not even aware of the trap.

Uri Avnery is a peace activist, journalist, writer, and former member of the Israeli Knesset. Read other articles by Uri, or visit Uri’s website.

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