“Israel’s military detention system arrests, interrogates and prosecutes as many as 700 Palestinian children – as young as 11 years old – every year,” McCollum says. “Abuse is rampant and children often have no lawyer or parent present during detention and interrogation.”
“Israel must end the abusive military detention of Palestinian children,” she adds. “Israeli children, Palestinian children – all children – should be able to live free of systematic, state-sponsored human rights abuses! Respecting the human rights of children is the only path to peace and security in the Middle East.”
McCollum also took to Twitter to demand accountability from Netanyahu:
The boys were shot in cold blood at a Nakba Day protest – their killings caught on video – near the Ofer military prison in the occupied West Bank village of Beitunia.
McCollum initiated another push in June 2016 urging Obama to appoint a special envoy to protect the rights of Palestinian children under Israeli occupation. Lawmakers who signed McCollum’s letter condemned Israel’s rampant use of administrative detention – incarceration without charge or trial – against Palestinian children in Israeli military jails.
“Congresswoman McCollum’s leadership and integrity inspires us,” AFSC’s Jennifer Bing told The Electronic Intifada.
“Her voice is among a growing number of Congress members who are speaking up for the human rights of Palestinian children – children who face systematic oppression and denial of rights by the Israeli army,” Bing added.
Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.
Coercion, violence and threats: Torture, Israeli-style
A recent article published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz has confirmed the extent to which Shin Bet interrogators subject their prisoners to torture.
Methods include slapping the head “to hurt sensitive organs like the nose, ears, brow and lips”, forcing a handcuffed individual to squat against a wall for long periods of time, and placing the suspect bent backwards over a chair with his arms and legs cuffed.
The interrogators’ accounts echo what Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups have long documented. Prisoners’ rights NGO Addameer said that such practices “are known to be routinely and systematically used against Palestinian detainees”. Other torture methods used against Palestinians include sleep deprivation and threats against family members, an Addameer spokesperson told Al Jazeera.
Rachel Stroumsa, the executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), said that her NGO was aware of hundreds of complaints and allegations along these lines.
In addition to interrogation being used to gain information about future acts, “our experience is that torture is also used to obtain confessions regarding past acts”, Stroumsa told Al Jazeera.
In its annual report last year, Amnesty International found that Israeli forces and Shin Bet personnel had “tortured and otherwise ill-treated Palestinian detainees, including children, particularly during arrest and interrogation”, with methods including “beating with batons, slapping, throttling, prolonged shackling, stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats”.
A representative of Defence for Children International – Palestine told Al Jazeera that the group’s research had shown that almost two-thirds of Palestinian children detained in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces had endured physical violence after their arrest.
Interrogators use position abuse, threats and isolation to coerce confessions from some children, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude these confessions.
Ayed Abu Qtaish, accountability programme director at Defence for Children International – Palestine
“Palestinian children are regularly subjected to coercive and violent interrogation techniques intended to extract confessions,” said Ayed Abu Qtaish, the group’s accountability programme director. “Interrogators use position abuse, threats and isolation to coerce confessions from some children, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude these confessions.”
Torture and ill-treatment are so rife, human rights campaigners say, that convictions of Palestinians for “security offences” are fundamentally unreliable, not least because the abuse is part of a wider lack of due process.
According to one study, as many as 91 percent of Palestinian detainees interrogated by the Shin Bet in the occupied West Bank are held incommunicado for either part or all of their interrogation. Stroumsa says this practice is “an enabling element for torture”.
In the military court system, which has a 99 percent conviction rate, Palestinians can be held for 60 days without access to a lawyer – compared with the United States, where the average length of interrogations producing false confessions is 16 hours.
“As Palestinian children continue to experience systematic ill-treatment and denial of due process rights, it becomes evident that military courts have no interest in justice,” Abu Qtaish said.
In addition to the torture and lack of access to counsel, Palestinians are asked to sign confession sheets in Hebrew, which they often do not understand. All of this “creates a coercive environment which results in confessions made under duress”, Addameer noted.
A recent example is the case of Mohammad el-Halabi, a Gaza-based employee of World Vision who was charged by Israel with funnelling money to Hamas. Halabi, who is being tried in a Beer Sheva civilian court, has protested his innocence, saying that he was tortured by his interrogators. These claims were also made by his lawyers, who Halabi was prevented from seeing for three weeks after his arrest.
The new Haaretz report draws attention to a topic that is not often in the limelight. In November 2015, a video of the interrogation of 13-year-old Ahmad Manasra sparked outrage, while Israel’s appearance at the United Nations Committee Against Torture last May – which referred to “coerced evidence” being used in courts – also gained coverage.
But many other events fly under the radar. An academic study published in November 2015 in a peer-reviewed medical journal revealed dozens of cases of sexual torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel.
Activists on the ground say that an international spotlight on Israel’s torture practices is urgently needed, not least because of the institutionalised nature of the problem.
Although an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in 1999 prohibited “physical means” of interrogation, Shin Bet agents were effectively given impunity for torture and ill-treatment by the so-called “necessity defence” or ” ticking bomb” exemption.
According to anti-torture campaigners, this exemption has served as a green light for torture ever since. Since 2001, hundreds of formal complaints have been made against Shin Bet interrogators, but not a single criminal investigation has been opened.
“I think international pressure is essential, and has on some issues proven its efficacy,” Stroumsa said.
“It is also the duty of the international community to speak out on abuses, given the massive economic and political support for the State of Israel from abroad.”
Thirty-five Palestinian children were killed by Israeli soldiers, police and armed civilians during the year, all but four of the deadly incidents taking place in the West Bank. Children account for a third of the 105 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during 2016.
Most, but certainly not all, of those children were killed during the course of what Israel alleges were attacks or attempted attacks, mainly on soldiers at checkpoints in the West Bank.
Two Israeli civilians were killed in such incidents, one a 13-year-old girl stabbed to death in her bedroom in a West Bank settlement, the sole Israeli child killed by a Palestinian during the year.
But in the vast majority of alleged attacks that left a Palestinian child dead, no Israeli civilians or soldiers were injured. In a handful of cases, Israeli soldiers were reported to have suffered only light injuries.
In several incidents, there may not have been any attempted attack when a Palestinian child was shot and killed. Amnesty International has called for one such slaying to be investigated as an extrajudicial execution.
Other children were killed on their way to class, or coming home from a pool party. Several were shot dead while protesting the occupation. A brother and sister were killed in their Gaza home when their neighborhood was hit in an Israeli airstrike.
As Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) points out, “Accountability for shootings [of Palestinian children] by Israeli forces is extremely rare. Only one incident since 2014 has resulted in an indictment.”
The group’s accountability program director Ayed Abu Eqtaish stated: “Intentional lethal force now appears to be routinely used by Israeli forces, even in unjustified situations, with no accountability, putting more and more children at risk.”
These are the Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces in 2016:
Ahmad Younis Ahmad al-Kawazba, 17
Ahmad, from the village of Sair in the southern occupied West Bank, was shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly stabbing and lightly wounding a soldier in the area of the Gush Etzion intersection near the city of Hebron on 5 January.
Hebron’s district attorney said the “autopsy suggested the 17-year-old had been left to bleed to death and had received no medical treatment,” the Ma’an News Agency reported.
Israeli forces shot and killed Alaa al-Din along with two of his adult cousins near the Gush Etzion bloc of Israeli settlements north of Hebron on 7 January. The army claimed the three were “armed with knives” and attempted to attack soldiers. No soldiers were reported injured during the attack. Alaa al-Din was from the Hebron-area village of Sair.
Khalil Muhammad Issa Wadi, 15
Khalil was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to stab a soldier at the Beit Einoun junction near Hebron on 7 January. No Israelis were reported injured during the incident. The boy’s adult brother, Mahmoud, was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the same location in November 2015.
An investigation by the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz found that Adnan, from the village of Shuyukh, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers at the Beit Einoun junction near the West Bank city of Hebron while on his way to physics class on 12 January.
Adnan had traveled to the junction in a taxi van and crossed the road and entered into a second van when another young man in the vehicle jumped out and yelled “God is great” while brandishing a knife or hatchet, according to Haaretz.
The armed young man, Muhammad Kawazba from the village of Sair, was immediately shot and killed. The driver of the van from which Kawazba emerged “tried to drive away as fast as he could, for fear that he too would be shot,” Haaretz added. “The soldiers, seeing the vehicle pulling out, opened fire at it, though they had no idea who was inside it.”
The driver managed to escape on foot while Adnan, still inside the van, was struck in the upper right side of his body and died soon after in hospital.
Ruqayya Abu Eid, 13
Ruqayya was shot dead by a private security guard after she allegedly attempted to stab him in the Anatot settlement near Jerusalem on 23 January.
A Palestinian member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, condemned the girl’s slaying. “Even if she had a knife, it would have been possible to arrest a girl that age instead of killing her,” Esawi Frej of the Meretz party said.
Haaretzreported that Ruqayya died of a single bullet wound to the heart.
“I have no explanation for her decision,” the girl’s father told the paper. “There were two guards there, and they could have overcome her. A little girl. They are trained and armed, you know, so how is it they could not arrest a little girl of 13? Was a girl of 13 a threat to them? Whatever she planned to do, they could still have arrested her.”
Ruqayya was laid to rest in the village of al-Karmel east of the West Bank town of Yatta, near Hebron.
Hussein Abu Ghosh, 17
Hussein was shot dead by an Israeli security guard at a supermarket in Beit Horon settlement near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on 25 January.
The youth was killed along with Ibrahim Usama Allan, 23, after stabbing two Israeli women; one of the women, 24-year-old Shlomit Krigman, died from her injuries the following day. Israeli media reported that Allan and Hussein were shot as they ran, suggesting the two may have been extrajudicially executed.
Israeli forces destroyed Hussein’s family home in Qalandiya refugee camp near Ramallah in April.
Punitive home demolitions, along with other acts of collective punishment, are considered a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Ahmad Hassan Abd al-Latif Tubah, 17
Ahmad, from the village of Kufr Jammal, was killed by Israeli forces after allegedly attempting to stab a soldier near a settlement in the Tulkarm, West Bank, area on 1 February. No soldiers were reported to have been injured.
“According to media reports, he crossed the [Israel’s wall in the West Bank] without an entry permit and was discovered by soldiers who tried to apprehend him. He then pulled a knife on them and was shot,” the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem reported.
Haitham Saada, 14
Haitham died after he was hit by two bullets fired by soldiers near the entrance to Halhoul village, near Hebron, on 5 February. The army said that the boy was preparing to throw a Molotov cocktail at soldiers when he was killed.
“Other than Haitham’s younger cousin, Wajdi, who was also in his class and was with him when he died, and the soldiers, of course, there are no eyewitnesses who can relate what happened and why Haitham was shot and killed,” the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretzreported at the time. “Wajdi was arrested on the spot and is still incarcerated in Ofer Camp, near Ramallah. He has not been allowed visitors.”
Omar Yousif Ismail Madi, 15
Omar was slain by a bullet when Israeli soldiers fired on youths who were throwing stones at them in Arroub refugee camp near Hebron on 9 February. The city’s district attorney told the Ma’an News Agency that the boy “died after being hit by a single bullet that entered his body from the right side of his chest.” The bullet “penetrated the teen’s liver, kidneys, and spleen before exiting his body from the lower left side of his rib cage.”
Nihad Raed Muhammad Waked, 15, and Fuad Marwan Kamal Waked, 15
Nihad and Fuad were shot and killed by Israeli forces after they allegedly opened fire at soldiers on 14 February. No Israelis were injured during the incident near the village of al-Araqa, west of the northern West Bank town of Jenin. Palestinian emergency medics were reportedly prevented from providing treatment at the scene.
“Soldiers reported that one of the Palestinians was armed with a makeshift weapon and another was carrying a knife,” Haaretzreported. The boys’ families “vehemently denied the army’s claim they had fired at the soldiers and said the two were roaming farming lands owned by the family that are adjacent to [Israel’s] West Bank barrier,” the paper added.
“I know the families and the two youths, these are not families that deal with arms or have access to arms,” a teacher in al-Araqa who knew the teens told Haaretz. “These are just kids and to attribute an attempted shooting to them sounds highly unlikely or believable.”
Naim Ahmad Yousif Safi, 16
Naim was shot and killed after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint north of the West Bank city of Bethlehem on 14 February. Israeli police told media the teen approached soldiers while carrying a knife. No Israelis were reported injured during the incident. Naim was from the nearby village of al-Ubediya.
Qusay Abu al-Rub, 16
Soldiers fired on Qusay after he allegedly attempted to stab one of them at the Beita checkpoint near Nablus in the northern West Bank on 21 February. No Israelis were injured during the incident. Palestinian medics were reportedly prevented from accessing the wounded boy. Qusay, from Qabatiya village in the northern West Bank, was the 10th youth from the town to be slain since October 2015.
Mahmoud Shaalan, 16
Mahmoud, a Palestinian American resident of the Ramallah-area village of Deir Dibwan, was shot dead by Israeli forces near a checkpoint in the central West Bank on 26 February. Israel claimed that the boy had tried to stab soldiers when he was killed.
An eyewitness testified to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem that Mahmoud had attempted to cross a checkpoint and was turned away by soldiers.
“As he was walking away from the soldiers, one soldier shot Mahmoud Muhammad Ali Shaalan from some distance away with around three bullets. He immediately fell to the ground, and the soldier then approached and shot him twice more, according to the witness,” Amnesty states.
An autopsy found that no bullets had been fired from close range, throwing into question Israel’s claim that Mahmoud was attempting to stab soldiers when he was killed.
Witnesses toldHaaretz that soldiers prevented a Palestinian ambulance from evacuating the boy, and that his naked body lay on the road for more than two hours.
Fifteen rights and faith groups in the US have called on the Obama administration to investigate the killing. A top US diplomat told concerned groups that the US embassy in Tel Aviv asked Israel to investigate Mahmoud’s death.
Labib Khaldoun Anwar Abd al-Azzam, 17 and Muhammad Hashim Ali Zaghlawan, 17
Labib and Muhammad, both from Qaryut village near the West Bank city of Nablus, were shot dead by Israeli forces on 2 March after allegedly attacking and lightly injuring a settler as he was leaving his home in the Eli colony. The settler was wearing his army uniform, and was en route to the military reserve unit he serves in, Israeli media reported.
Abd al-Rahman Radad, 17
Abd al-Rahman, from al-Zawiya village near the West Bank town of Salfit, was shot and killed by police after he allegedly stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near Petah Tikva, a city in Israel, on 18 March. Graphic video shows Abd al-Rahman lying on the floor of a liquor store, gravely injured and apparently struggling to breathe, as Israelis curse him and call for him to die.
Ahmad Yousif Ismail Amer, 16
Ahmad was shot dead by Israeli forces at a military checkpoint outside of al-Zawiya village near the West Bank town of Salfit on 9 March. The village was blockaded by the military after one of its residents, Abd al-Rahman Radad, allegedly stabbed an Israeli before being shot dead by police.
An army spokesperson told media that an “assailant armed with a knife” approached the checkpoint and soldiers “thwarted” the attack by shooting him dead. No Israelis were injured during the incident.
Another Palestinian was shot during the incident, and a local official said that both wounded Palestinians were left bleeding while Palestinian emergency medics were prevented from reaching them.
Ahmad, from the nearby village of Masha, reportedly left a note bidding farewell to his parents, asking them for their forgiveness.
The Abu Khusa family home, located on the outskirts of Beit Hanoun, had been previously attacked twice by Israel in recent years. They had asked the authorities in Gaza that they be relocated somewhere safer, but their request went unanswered, the family told The Electronic Intifada. They said they did not receive any financial aid to repair damage caused during previous attacks.
Yusif Walid Mustafa al-Tarayra, 17
Yusif, from the village of Bani Naim, was shot dead by soldiers after he hit a military officer with his car in Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron on 14 March. The officer was lightly injured, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
Abdallah al-Ajluni, 16
Abdallah, from the West Bank city of Hebron, was shot dead by Israeli Border Police after he stabbed and lightly injured a soldier at at checkpoint near the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron’s Old City on 19 March.
Israeli police claimed the siblings were carrying knives and attempted to attack soldiers. No Israelis were injured during the incident.
Israel’s justice ministry declined to open an investigation after an initial probe found that the brother and sister were shot by civilian security guards and not by police.
Mahmoud Badran, 15
Mahmoud, from the central West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Tahta, was killed when Israeli forces opened fire on a car of young Palestinians returning from a late-night pool party celebrating Ramadan on 21 June. Five others were injured during the incident, including the driver of the car, who lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a wall.
The army admitted the Palestinians were “mistakenly hit” while soldiers were responding to reports of rock-throwing and firebombing on a highway used by settlers in the West Bank.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said that soldiers prevented paramedics from providing first aid to the injured Palestinians for more than 90 minutes.
One of the survivors told B’Tselem that the shooting came from a civilian car.
“Everything was normal and there was nothing suspicious,” Hadi Badran testified. “Suddenly we were under fire. I looked at the direction the fire was coming from and saw a white civilian car. There were two people there, in civilian clothing, and they were the ones shooting at us.”
“Media reports indicate that the soldiers and officer who opened fire belonged to the Duchifat regiment of the Kfir brigade, and that they were passing by, on their way to take care of logistical matters,” B’Tselem stated, adding that “the soldiers arbitrarily fired at the car, having no indication that any of its passengers had been involved in stone or Molotov cocktail throwing.”
According to the rights group, “This shooting incident is a direct result of military policy which enables, despite the official prohibition in the [Israeli military’s] open-fire regulations, to use deadly fire even in cases where there is no threat to life and even when the soldiers have other, non-lethal, means at their disposal. This policy is backed by the most senior ranking military and government officials who do nothing do change it, despite the lethal results.”
Muhammad Nasir Mahmoud Khalil al-Tarayra, 16
Muhammad was shot dead after after stabbing a 13-year-old girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, in her home in the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron on 30 June.
The New York Times reported that Muhammad then locked himself in the girl’s house for some time while armed residents of the settlement, including the girl’s father, tried to track down who had breached the settlement’s fence.
When they forced their way into her home, Muhammad, from the nearby village of Bani Naim, stabbed one of the armed settlers before being shot dead.
Ariel was rushed to a hospital, where she died a short time later. The US State Department confirmed the girl held American citizenship. Ariel was the only Israeli child killed by Palestinians during 2016.
Israeli forces demolished the home belonging to Muhammad’s family in August.
Muhyee al-Din Muhammad Sudqi Sadiq Tibakhi, 10
Muhyee died after he was shot in the chest and head during confrontations that broke out when Israeli forces raided al-Ram town near Jerusalem on 19 July.
Defense for Children International – Palestine stated that the “boy died from a sponge-tipped bullet to the chest fired by Israeli forces.”
Muhyee is the second Palestinian child to be killed by a sponge-tipped bullet, according to the group. Muhammad Sinokrot, 16, died of his injuries in 2014 after an Israeli Border Police combatant shot the right side of his head, causing a skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. An Israeli investigation of Muhammad’s case was closed without charging the Border Police officer responsible, Defense for Children said.
Abd al-Rahman Ahmad al-Dabbagh, 15
Abd al-Rahman was killed instantly after he was directly hit by a flare bomb fired by an Israeli soldier during a protest near the boundary between Gaza and Israel on 9 September.
After the teen was hit, “Abd al-Rahman was then seen lying on the ground, with his head on fire,” a report on the incident by the human rights group Al-Haq stated.
“His shocked friends ran to help him, but the Israeli soldiers pointed their weapons at them, and stated, ‘whoever will dare and try to approach will suffer the same fate as him,’” Al-Haq added.
Defense for Children International – Palestine published a video still showing Abd al-Rahman lying on the ground, flames and smoke coming from his head.
“An X-ray image shared with DCIP … appears to show the flare punctured and lodged in Abd al-Rahman’s skull above his left eyebrow,” the group stated. The projectile that killed Abd al-Rahman is produced by Chemring Ordnance and AMTEC Corporation, both based in the US, DCIP added.
Firas al-Khadour, 17
A witness to the slaying of Firas denied Israel’s claim that the teen was attempting to attack soldiers with his car when he was killed on 16 September.
The witness, who was riding in the car with Firas when he was killed, said that the vehicle had faulty brakes which failed when it approached the Kiryat Arba settlement near the West Bank city of Hebron, causing it to crash into a bus stop.
After the car was stopped, soldiers opened fire on it from multiple directions, killing Firas and critically wounding the witness.
“Firas began slowing down, but the brakes were not responding at all. The car’s speed was increasing, and he tried to use the handbrakes to stop but that did not work out either,” Raghad, the witness, told Defense for Children International – Palestine. “I was very scared, and the scary part was that we were approaching the entrance of the settlement.”
Both Firas and the witness are from Bani Naim village.
Muhammad Thalji Kayid Thalji al-Rajabi, 15
Muhammad was shot dead after allegedly stabbing and lightly injuring an Israeli soldier near the Tel Rumeida area of the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank on 16 September. Israeli forces reportedly prevented an ambulance from reaching al-Rajabi after he was shot.
Amir Jamal al-Rajabi, 16
Amir was shot and fatally wounded along with Muhannad Jamal al-Rajabi, 21, while brandishing a knife at the Ibrahimi mosque checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron on 19 September. The Palestine Red Crescent Society told the Ma’an News Agency that one of their ambulances was “denied access” to the scene. An Israeli soldier was reportedly lightly injured in the hand during the incident.
Issa Salem Mahmoud al-Tarayra, 15
Issa as slain by soldiers who claimed that the boy was carrying a knife and intended to stab them at a checkpoint near the West Bank town of Bani Naim on 20 September. No Israelis were injured during the incident.
Faris Ziyad Ata al-Bayid, 15
Faris died on 23 December after he was in a coma for 69 days as a result of being shot during confrontations with Israeli forces at the entrance of Jalazone refugee camp near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Faris had attended a march commemorating the killing of Ahmad Sharaka, 14, also from Jalazone camp, shot by soldiers one year prior.
A military inquiry found that the soldiers were justified in opening fire at Faris. The Israeli rights group B’Tselem stated, however, that the shooting was “unlawful,” and that the boy did not pose a lethal danger to soldiers when he was shot.
Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15
Khalid was shot in the back from a distance of approximately 20 meters while running away from soldiers, who accused the teen of throwing stones at them, at the entrance to a grove near Beit Ommar, a village in the southern occupied West Bank, on 20 October.
A military inquiry into the incident determined that “the soldiers’ lives were not in danger, and that they could have acted differently in this case,” according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz. An Israeli army spokesperson said that the incident is being investigated by the Military Police Investigation Unit, and will then be referred to the Military Advocate General.
The Israeli rights group B’Tselem stated that Israeli forces “acted without any justification and did not face lethal danger” when they shot the boy.
Muhammad was shot dead by a private security guard near the Shuafat checkpoint in the Jerusalem area on 25 November. Israeli police claimed that the youth had attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. No Israelis were injured during the incident.
Ahmad was among a group of youths attempting to repel the forces from entering Beit Rima, a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
B’Tselem stated that the youths were “some 10 to 20 meters away from the soldiers and officers, and they were running away from them” when they were fired on. “There was no justification for shooting them and this action was unlawful.”
Names and ages reported here may vary from earlier reporting by The Electronic Intifada. All names, ages and dates of deadly incidents presented here have been verified with Defense for Children International – Palestine, which obtains the child’s government-issued ID card or birth certificate, or both in some cases, typically from the child’s immediate family, to verify name and age.
In the dying days of the Bush administration, and a week before Israel launched an aerial bombing campaign, followed by a land invasion of the Gaza Strip, the U.S. military shipped 989 containers of munitions to Israel.
Each container was 20-feet long with a total estimated net weight of 14,000 tonnes. The shipment reportedly reached Israel last month at Ashod, 40 kiometres north of Gaza. The huge arsenal of munitions will replenish those expended in the Gaza War.
According to Amnesty International in the UK, the shipment included white phosphorous.
MEMO TO ALL THE CHRISTIANS OUT THERE!
“Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us?” (Matthew 13.54-56).
Jesus was part of an extended family. The Bible says he had brothers and sisters. Some churches try to spin that these were only cousins, or Joseph’s from a previous marriage, but Mary, Jesus’ mother, was not an only child. At the very least, Jesus had cousins, Aunts, and Uncles. John the Baptist was Jesus’ second cousin according to Luke 1:5-38.
For the purpose of this discussion, we do not need to go into the question of whether Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married and had a family.
But the fact is that Jesus had kinfolk; blood relations, at least on his mother’s side (although the Bible provides a paternal genealogy for Jesus back to the House of David).
Those kinfolk had children. Those children had children. Those children had children. And so forth.
So here is the deal. Some of the people walking around Palestine, Gaza, and the West Bank are blood relatives of Jesus. Distant blood relatives, but still blood relatives. Given 2000 years, it is possible that the vast majority of present day Palestinians are remote relatives of Jesus.
Israel is killing them.
And YOU are paying for it, which means you share the guilt. YOU are paying for the weapons used to kill the modern day family of Jesus. The moment you sign that 1040 form, you sign a confession, admitting before all the world that you are an accessory in the murder.
Think you are going to get into heaven after an insult like that?
One more thing to consider. Adherents to Christianity are convinced that Jesus will be born again. Ever stop to think what might happen if He were born in recent years, with so many children being killed by Israel attacks on Gaza and USA drone strikes across the Middle East?
Relatives of Palestinian Mohammed Abu Sada, 26, who was killed by Israeli fire near the Gazan border, mourn over his body, November 19, 2016. (Photo by AP)
The Council of Europe’s parliamentary arm has adopted a resolution, slamming the regime in Tel Aviv for “systematic unlawful killings” of Palestinians in the so-called buffer zone between the blockaded Gaza Strip and Israel.
The Council’s Parliamentary Assembly passed the resolution on Tuesday with 46 votes in favor, 12 against and two abstentions during a session at its headquarters in Strasbourg, France.
The resolution was drafted based on a report compiled by Swedish politician and Assembly member Eva-Lena Jansson.
The report charged Israel with “excessive and intentional force without justification against Palestinian civilians in the buffer zone, including against farmers, journalists, medical crews, and peaceful protesters, [which] runs blatantly counter to human rights principles and the international law-enforcement standards.”
“Cases of the deliberate fatal shooting of individuals who posed no imminent danger to life amounts to an appalling pattern of apparently systematic unlawful killings,” it added.
Citing data gathered by a Palestinian NGO, the report said Israeli forces had killed 136 Palestinians in the area, including 20 children, since 2010.
Elsewhere, the unwarrantable shootings against Gaza fishermen — which regularly damage their equipment — have reduced the people of the profession “to severe poverty and unemployment,” the report added.
It also pointed to Israel’s 50-day war against the besieged coastal enclave in 2014, saying the military offensive left a “huge number of people” dead and heavily destroyed civilian structure there.
“It is estimated that over 12,620 houses were totally destroyed [in Gaza] and 6,455 severely damaged. 17,650 families or about 100,000 persons were displaced.”
Since then, the report added, Gaza has become so uninhabitable that many of its residents have joined the influx of refugees into Europe.
Beside monumental damage to the already-shaky infrastructure, the 50-day warfare killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children.
The resolution called for an end to the blockade Israel has kept on Gaza with the cooperation of Egypt, voicing alarm over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the impoverished area.
“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. And then you win.” ~ unsourced, and attributed to Gandhi’s analysis of British empire response to having their hypocrisy exposed: claiming to bring Christian love and progress while looting resources with forced local labor.
‘Fake news’? Time to choose article series (links added as series progresses):
Corporate media fakes us into wars that aren’t even close to lawful, are Orwellian illegal Wars of Aggression (1 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into Orwellian illegal Wars of Aggression with lies known to be lies as they were told (2 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into ongoing bankster looting of increasing total debt impossible to repay, while ignoring solutions worth trillions (3 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into their fake world never admitting to a history of their easily documented lies (4 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into NOT ending poverty for less than 1% of ‘developed’ nations’ income, poverty-murdering ~1 million children every month, since 1997 killing more human beings than all wars & violence in all human history (5 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into Kennedy assassination fairy tales ‘covering’ US .01% coup. Real leadership impossible today under similar threat; why Trump must act for full Truth or submit to be ‘Teleprompter Reader-in-Chief’ for rogue state empire (6 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us by ignoring King Family civil trial verdict that US government assassinated Martin with OVERWHELMING evidence, pretends to ‘honor’ Martin every January. Real leadership impossible today until .01% arrests ends ‘official’ fake news (7 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into 2 central lies for more illegal war on Iran: ‘threat to Israel’ and ‘nuclear program’ EVEN AFTER 12 YEARS of anyone checking the facts soooo easily refuting these claims as known lies (8 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into supporting Israel’s Orwellian illegal War of Aggression on Gaza. Trump initiates War Criminal career funding/cheering Palestinian genocide, war-mongering on Iran (9 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into ignoring a simple definition: US is now a rogue state empire (10 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into ignoring irrefutable US history: colonialism lying and looting goes from Native Americans, to Mexico, and to today’s O.I.L. (Operation Iraqi Liberation) (11 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into obfuscation about Clinton Foundation $2 billion illegal looting (12 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into obfuscation about Hillary/DNC election fraud that stole primary win by Bernie Sanders (13 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into ignoring $6.5 trillion looted by Pentagon = ~$60,000 per average US household (14 of 15)
Corporate media fakes us into ignoring OBVIOUS American response: arrest .01% ‘leaders’ for Wars of Aggression, treason, Crimes Against Humanity, fraud and looting worth tens of trillions (15 of 15)
Truth documented with objective, comprehensive, and independently verifiable facts.
TheWashington Post‘s unsourced “list” places us, Washington’s Blog, as their 7th example of “fake news.” Please take a few moments to read their sensationalistic description of our “Russian propaganda.” Please contrast that “reporting” and this also from The Washington Post, with actual content of this article series.
FisherOfMen’s revealing 14-minute video, beginning with CIA Director Colby’s testimony to the US Senate for the 1975 Church Committee admitting the CIA directs corporate media how to lie to the American public with “fake news” (six similar videos here):
Corporate media fakes us into supporting Israel’s Orwellian illegal War of Aggression on Gaza. Trump initiates War Criminal career funding/cheering Palestinian genocide, war-mongering on Iran (9 of 15)
President Trump lies about Iran’s “nuclear program,” Israel’s genocide on Gaza
Read here for facts on Iran‘s verified compliance with all treaty-required safeguards for lawful use of nuclear energy, and that the 2005 speech cited as a “threat” to Israel is a “fake news” lie that no rational person can support upon reading a speech admonishing Israel to support Palestinian democracy or watch their nation go the way of Iran under the dictatorial and US-supported Shah.
It’s worth ten minutes of reading to distinguish game-changing facts from constant media and “official” spin lying to justify unlawful War of Aggression by Israel on Gaza. Given the public’s general confusion, the following alternative media reporting is crucial to understand because it contrasts the lack of reporting from corporate media and US political “leadership.” This is a central cause of US political collapse because Americans have crippled capacity to access the most important and comprehensive facts:
What is Hamas? Do they threaten Israel?
Does Hamas shoot “rockets” at Israel?
What does it mean Israel “occupies” Gaza? Is that legal?
Are Israel’s armed attacks and military invasions of Gaza justified, or unlawful War of Aggression?
Does Israel use unlawful weapons on Palestinians in Gaza?
Can Israel target children, hospitals, schools, and other civilian-important infrastructure?
Americans receive rhetoric that Hamas threatens destruction of Israel, but without substantiation of this damning claim. This claim is often linked to Iran. One example of such rhetoric is US Senate Resolution 498: “Whereas Hamas is a United States-designated terrorist organization whose charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel…” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Consul General Aharoni make this claim on US television repeatedly, in the most demonizing language imaginable.
Hamas’ Charter reveals US/Israel lies in omission, and more rationally provide direct refutation of this claim. In the section titled, “Our Attitudes Towards:” Section F, “Followers of other religions: the Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement,” Article 31:
“The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement. It takes care of human rights and is guided by Islamic tolerance when dealing with the followers of other religions. It does not antagonize anyone of them except if it is antagonized by it or stands in its way to hamper its moves and waste its efforts.
Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism – to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history are the best witness to that.
It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region [Palestine], because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror. Everyone of them is at variance with his fellow-religionists, not to speak about followers of other religionists. Past and present history are full of examples to prove this fact.
“They will not fight against you in a body, except in fenced towns, or from behind walls. Their strength in war among themselves is great: thou thinkest them to be united; but their hearts are divided. This, because they are people who do not understand.” (The Emigration – verse 14).
Islam confers upon everyone his legitimate rights. Islam prevents the incursion on other people’s rights. The Zionist Nazi activities against our people will not last for long. “For the state of injustice lasts but one day, while the state of justice lasts till Doomsday.”
“As to those who have not borne arms against you on account of religion, nor turned you out of your dwellings, Allah forbiddeth you not to deal kindly with them, and to behave justly towards them; for Allah loveth those who act justly.” (The Tried – verse 8).
The charter continues argument that peaceful coexistence is possible despite a history from the Crusades forward to remove Palestinian political voice through foreign military invasions.
In 2012, Israel assassinated Palestinian Ahmed Jabari, the second-in-command of those leaders in Palestine with military intent, while they were negotiating with him to end hostilities. If that had happened to Israel’s second-in-command of the IDF, Israel would use that rhetoric forever to justify armed attack upon Gaza, as would the US.
1b. Ok, so the threat to Israel is… ? The part of the 1988 Hamas Charter apparently referenced as a threat is a quote in the preamble from Hassan al-Banna in 1948:
“Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it as it had eliminated its predecessors.”
Let’s put the insertion of that quote into context; both from 1988 and 1948:
The 1988 charter was written as the First Intifada began with Palestinians’ political stated goal of a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
al-Banna’s 1948 statement was directly related to the 1948 Palestinian exodus, whereby over 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes in fear of their lives or were forcefully expelled by Israel’s military. One-hour documentary here from Professor Ilan Pappe; 28-minute debate here.
The Palestinians removal from their homes without compensation is a key unresolved point in current Israel-Palestinian conflict, and a primary cause of Gaza’s crowded conditions.
So, given the context that al-Banna was justified in opposing colonialism, spoke against the use of terror, made his quote in response to over 700,000 Palestinians removed from their homes when my own parents were in their early 20’s of age, and Hamas directly advocates for a peaceful two-state solution with honor to all religions, it seems most likely that this quote is being used as propaganda to demonize Hamas.
The term “eliminated” likely means political removal of control much like elimination of British political imperialism.
Importantly, we know for sure that US/UK/Israel openly lies that Iran threatens to “wipe Israel off the map;” directly refuted by the crystal-clear text in question by Iranian President Ahmadinejad in 2005 (more on Iran, and here).
This is game-changing history that proves US/UK/Israel LIES in the most egregious way to accuse another nation to wish destruction upon another nation!
Given this game-changing, objective, and easily verifiable history by taking five minutes to read a speech, we know US/UK/Israel official voice of another nation’s intent of destruction is unreliable testimony.
Another game-changer: Israel attacked the USS Liberty in 1967, despite her clear markings, five by eight foot US flag, and 10 hours of close-range Israel multiple aircraft observations. After the attack, Israeli helicopters with machine guns observed, pulled back, and allowed another attack by Israel fighter jets with torpedoes (apparently the helicopter mission was to kill survivors in the water after sinking the Liberty). Eventually, the US Navy responded with fighter jets forcing the abort of Israel sinking the USS Liberty with deaths of over 300 Americans (34 were killed, 171 wounded). The apparent motivation was for Israel to create a false flag attack, and blame Egypt to manipulate US support of their war.
Another: Israel planted bombs to kill Americans in Egypt in 1954. This false flag operation, known today as the Lavon Affair, was to incite US alliance with Israel against a political enemy of Israel.
Finally: The US government assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to prevent his 1968 summer “Occupy DC” to demand the end of the Vietnam War. This is the legal verdict of the King Family civil trial with overwhelming evidence. If you are not familiar with this game-changer of government to protect their wars of choice, read this now.
Because the US/UK/Israel so brazenly lie and kill to justify military action, does it seem likely they would search for other “threats” to justify wanted wars, such as accusing Hamas of threatening Israel?
You’re welcome to your own conclusions; I’m just providing more comprehensive historical background than you’ll ever receive from US/Israel government and corporate media.
2. Does Hamas shoot “rockets” at Israel?
Again, the repetitive rhetoric of US/Israel government and corporate media make this claim, based upon Israeli government testimony. The “Qassam rocket” is a homemade projectile that appears to have killed 28 Israelis since 2004.
Hamas denies launching rockets, affirms a peaceful two-state solution, and we know that Israel violated the last ceasefire agreement (see “Hamas” section). Given a history of false flag attacks by Israel I’ll explain below, isn’t it possible that Israeli agents fire at least some of these rockets to provide political cover for Israel’s armed attacks?
If Israel is engaged in unlawful war on Gaza, such as subject to military siege by water and land as Israel does by sealing Gaza’s borders and imposing a naval blockade, then any Palestinian is lawfully able to act in defense of Israel’s war acts, including the shooting of homemade rockets.
3. What does it mean Israel “occupies” Gaza? Is that legal?
The humanitarian impact of these deprivationsintensifiedmassively as a result of the wreckage and ruination of Operation Cast Lead, the full-scale military assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009. By the summer of 2012, as the siege was entering its sixth year, the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairsreportedthat forty-four percent of Gazans are food insecure; a severe fuel and electricity shortage results in outages of up to twelve hours a day; and the economy has been so crippled that the GDP per capita is at least seventeen percent lower than in 2005 and the unemployment rate, especially for youth, is higher than ever.
“The short answer is war is lawful only in self-defense from armed attack by another nation’s government, and lawful response is to arrest US/UK/Israel leaderships for unlawful Wars of Aggression.”
They are unlawful Wars of Aggression because Hamas claims it wants peaceful two-state resolution, argues against rocket attacks, and therefore by law this security concern should be applied to the treaty Israel accepts: the UN Security Council.
A “rogue state” means a country that threatens peace, restricts human rights, sponsors terrorism, and seeks weapons of mass destruction. Including the fact that Israel has ~200 nuclear weapons, do the facts argue that not only are Israel’s armed attacks on Gaza unlawful, but their government’s actions meet the definition of a rogue state?
“The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.”
Israel again claims, such as with their armed attacks upon the USS Liberty, any such targets are only damaged by accident. You can conclude for yourself the reliability of such testimony.
Please also consider this visual media on Gaza water (and here),and olive trees destroyed by Israel.
In recent history, the US targeted and destroyed Iraq’s water treatment plants in 1991 to cause civilian epidemics and disease. This would be most dangerous to children and the elderly, with ~500,000 child deaths resulting. This policy would blame Saddam Hussein as the cause for unclean water and epidemics. Is Israel following the same strategy to cause widespread suffering to obtain political control of Gaza?