israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: Gaza’s fishermen and farmers attacked from sea and air

Gaza’s fishermen and farmers attacked from sea and air

Crops on a farm in Gaza, severely damaged by herbicide sprayed by Israeli planes. B’Tselem investigated and published this photo, February 2016.

Israeli forces fire at Gaza fishermen, spray pesticides on Palestinian crops

By Ma’an
May 09, 2017

GAZA CITY — Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, locals told Ma’an.

Fishermen said that Israeli forces shot at Palestinian fishing boats in two separate incidents off the northern coast of Gaza on Tuesday morning.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.

Tuesday morning’s events came a day after Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian fisherman with live fire off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.


Replacing the machine guns with water cannon. The navy does this when a boat has international observers in it. Filmed by International Solidarity Movement

Meanwhile, Gaza farmers told Ma’an that Israeli drones sprayed pesticides on Palestinian crops along the border with Israel in central and southern Gaza on Tuesday morning.

The pesticides, they said, damage crops in the area, which is Gaza’s main agricultural region.

The army spokesperson also said she would look into the case.

Earlier this year, Gazan farmers said that Israeli forces regularly sprayed weed killers on both sides of the border fence to guarantee a clear view of the area for the army.

However, Gaza Ministry of Agriculture agronomist Wael Thabet told Ma’an at the time that the chemicals could travel up to 1,200 metres through the air away from the buffer zone, burning crops and causing Palestinian farmers huge economic losses.

Palestinians who work near the Israeli-designated “buffer zone,” which lies on both the land and sea sides of Gaza, often come under fire from Israeli military forces, as the authorities have not made clear the precise area of the designated zone.


Encounter between Gaza fishermen and Israeli patrol boats

By Harriet Sherwood, Guardian
July 20, 2011 — just a short quote from her Tweets

One IDF boat just circling our boats about 50m away. Other boat a bit further away.

A lot of resources devoted to a few tiny fishing boats.

Sea is calm today – except our little bit. Backwash creating lot of waves. They keep sounding siren. But we have all cut engines.

I’m told that the point of the IDF continually circling us is to create continuous waves and noise. Makes fishing harder.

One fishing boat just been swamped by backwash. They are giving up and going back to port.

The photo below has been used many times in the last three years to illustrate Israeli naval vessels firing at fishing boats from Gaza. No date, no credit,but it appears to be what it says it is.

israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: Israeli Navy Injures A Palestinian Fisherman In Northern Gaza

May 8, 2017 9:49 PM

Israeli navy ships attacked, on Monday evening, several Palestinian fishing boats in Gaza territorial waters, in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip, wounding a fisherman.

Medical sources said the fisherman, identified as Mohammad Abu Ryala, suffered moderate wounds, and was moved to the Indonesian hospital, in northern Gaza.

The attack pushed the fishermen back to shore in fear additional Israeli escalation against them, and their boats.

The fishermen in Gaza are subject to daily Israeli assaults and violations, including many fatal attacks, and incidents that led to injuries, property damage and many abductions, in addition to the illegal confiscation of their boats.

Palestine news

Ave Maria

The music is by Franz Schubert, sung by Dolores O’Riordan, while the images are from the film The Passion of the Christ.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave Ave Dominus
Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus
et benedictus fructus ventris
ventris tui, Iesus.
Ave Maria.
Ave Maria, full of thanksgiving
Maria, full of thanksgiving
Maria, full of thanksgiving
Ave Ave God
Your God
Be blessed among the women
And blessed
And blessed be the product of your womb
Your womb, Jesus.
Ave Maria.

The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004 and was immediately labeled as “anti-Semitic” by its detractors. Though it never won an Academy Award, it holds the all time box office record for an R-rated film, having grossed $370,782,930 in the US and a whopping $611,899,420 worldwide. To the surprise of many, it became a major hit among audiences in the Arab world:

Mel Gibson’s controversial movie “The Passion of the Christ,” is breaking box office records across the Middle East. With the approach of Easter, Arab Christians identify primarily with the religious message. But it’s the film’s popularity among Muslims – even though it flouts Islamic taboos – that’s turning it into a phenomenon.

Islam forbids the depiction of a prophet, and Koranic verses deny the crucifixion ever occurred. For those reasons, the film is banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It’s also banned in Israel – but for other reasons.

“Banned in Israel–but for other reasons.” The above is from an article about The Passion that was published in the Christian Science Monitor on April 9, 2004. You’ll notice that the countries which banned the film–Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain–are today all allied with each other in the support of terrorists in Syria…where the film was not banned.

But to get back to the Christian Science Monitor piece. The article includes a quote from an Israeli Jew, who damns the film as anti-Semitic “both in intent and effect.”

“I have no doubt that the film is anti-Semitic both in intent and effect, but I’m very wary of some Jewish organizations’ reactions to it,” said Yossi Klein Halevi, who is identified as being affiliated with the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

“It needs to be more nuanced,” Halevi complained. “When an evangelical in Colorado Springs sees it, he doesn’t see anti-Semitism. But when Yasser Arafat sees it and calls it an important historic event, he’s responding to that anti-Semitism. And the fact that it’s becoming a major hit in the Arab world, that has consequences… ‘The Passion’ is where Mel Gibson and Yasser Arafat meet, and it isn’t bound by a love of Jesus.”

As alluded to in Halevi’s quote, The Passion was commented upon by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is said to have attended a screening of the film along with Christian leaders. After the screening, an aide to Arafat remarked, “The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion.”

Here again, the passage of history is deeply significant. In October of 2004, Arafat came down with a severe illness, and on November 11 he died at a hospital in Paris. There was suspicion the death was not due to natural causes, but it wasn’t until 2013 that a team of Swiss scientists released the results of a months-long investigation showing Arafat most likely had died of polonium poisoning. Many today speculate that Israel was behind the assassination.

Ariel Sharon, who himself came to a bad end, was the leader of Israel at the time Arafat was poisoned. The former Israeli prime minister suffered from obesity and weighed 254 pounds, and on January 4, 2006, he was overcome by a hemorrhagic stroke. The last eight years of his life were spent in a coma.

“The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion.” When we recall what the people of Gaza in particularly have endured over the years, the analogy has validity. While I am not comparing Yasser Arafat to Jesus, the latter’s words from the Gospel of John, chapter 15, are worth recalling:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Jesus was sent by God to teach humanity how to live in peace. He was born among the Jews not because Jews are “chosen” by God, but because Jews especially were in need of hearing this message. Jesus was the long-awaited Jewish messiah, but because he preached a message of peace rather than war and conquest, the Jews rejected him. Here are the words of Mary in the first chapter of Luke–a passage that is often referred to as the “song of Mary.”

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

Ave Maria, gratia. And if you think about it, you’ll notice another deeply significant sequence of events. Mary’s words that God “helped his servant Israel,” is of course an allusion to the Old Testament narrative. But then came the birth of Jesus; his rejection and the calls for his crucifixion in 30 A.D.; followed by a stupendously stunning Jewish downfall just 40 years later–in 70 A.D.–when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. One wonders if a somewhat similar type downfall may await the modern Jewish state.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Here is another rendition of Ave Maria sung by Dolores O’Riordan, this time accompanied by Luciano Pavarotti:

Ave Maria, gratia. Gratia.

israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: Israeli Planes Spray Herbicides Inside Gaza for the Fourth Time This Year

Destroying Palestinian Agriculture? Israeli Planes Spray Herbicides Inside Gaza for the Fourth Time This Year

SEE ALSO https://uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com/?s=war+on+palestine%27s+food+supplies

By ,

Israeli planes have been reported spraying herbicides over land inside the Gaza Strip on four occasions in 2017, including twice in the last two days.

Israeli planes sprayed herbicides inside the Gaza Strip for the second day running on Wednesday and the fourth time this year, according to local farmers and Israeli rights NGO Gisha. A video published on Wednesday, allegedly of the crop-dusting, shows a plane flying low and spraying over farmland.

Palestinians who reported the incident said that the planes had dusted near the Gaza border fence, and the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture is investigating the extent of the damage from the herbicides sprayed over the last two days. Around 840 acres of crops were damaged during the last round of spraying in January 2017, according to Gisha.

https://web.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fweb.facebook.com%2Fgisha.eng%2Fvideos%2F1365573953528960%2F&show_text=0&width=400

The dusting of Palestinian-owned farmland inside the Gaza Strip did not begin this year. As +972 reported at the time, Israeli planes sprayed herbicides over vegetation in Gaza for several consecutive days in December 2015, damaging over 400 acres of crops.

The IDF confirmed to +972 that it was responsible for spraying the farmland, but didn’t elaborate as to why, beyond the amorphous designation of “security operations.” A number of Palestinian farmers have since demanded compensation from the State of Israel.

Israeli planes have returned to spray herbicides numerous times since the end of 2015. The government, meanwhile, has contradicted itself over the area it claims to have targeted: despite the IDF’s confirmation to +972, and later to Gisha, that it had sprayed herbicides inside the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Ministry of Defense later claimed in a court hearing on the issue that the work had been carried out by private companies — and only on Israeli territory.

Palestinian children take pictures of each other in the no-go zone near Erez crossing, during the weekly demonstration against the occupation in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, February 7, 2012. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Palestinian children take pictures of each other in the no-go zone near Erez crossing, during the weekly demonstration against the occupation in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, Tuesday, February 7, 2012. (Anne Paq/Activestills.org)

Since 2000, Israel has maintained a no-go area inside the Gaza border fence — formally referred to as the “Access-Restricted Area” (ARA) — which currently reaches 300 meters inside Gazan territory. The army enforces this buffer zone with everything from “less-lethal” weapons to live ammunition and tank fire, making it a particularly deadly stretch of land. Israeli bulldozers also reportedly enter the Gaza Strip on a regular basis to level land inside the ARA.

Farmers and scrap collectors who venture near the border are frequently targeted by Israeli sniper fire, including those who were apparently well outside the buffer zone. Most recently, a 15-year-old Palestinian, Yousef Shaaban Abu Athra, was killed when an IDF tank opened fire at him and two companions, who were wounded. The army claimed that the three had been acting suspiciously.

In addition to the land buffer zone, Israel restricts Palestinians to fishing within six nautical miles of the Gaza coast, and the navy regularly opens fire on fishermen who are deemed to have ventured further away from the shoreline.

This year marks a decade since the start of Israel’s siege on the Gaza Strip. Israel controls Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters, as well as all of its land crossings save for Rafah, which is controlled by Egypt and closed on all but the rarest of occasions. Gaza’s exports and imports are also controlled by Israel, as is the movement of people — residents and otherwise — in and out of the enclave.

At the time of writing, the IDF Spokesperson had yet to respond to a request for comment on the latest incident of crop-spraying. Should a response be received, it will be included here.

israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies, how israel worsened a farm crisis in Gaza

How Israel worsened a farm crisis in Gaza

Israeli import restrictions on a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease has harmed efforts to control an outbreak in Gaza. Eyad Al Baba APA images

Israel stands accused of worsening a crisis in Gaza’s livestock sector.

Earlier this year, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease occurred in Gaza. For 17 days, Israel blocked the entry of vaccines required to prevent the virus from spreading, according to Gaza’s veterinary services.

The delay hampered efforts to deal with the outbreak.

By obstructing the delivery, Israel appeared to renege on its own commitments.

In February, the Israeli agriculture ministry announced that it would provide 30,000 doses of a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine to the Palestinian Authority. The provision of these vaccines was presented as a response to the outbreak.

The announcement was made after it was confirmed that cattle had been diagnosed with the disease at an Israeli kibbutz close to the boundary with Gaza. The Palestinian Authority had not informed Israel about how the disease “started its circulation” in Gaza several weeks previously, a statement by the Israeli agriculture ministry claimed.

Hassan Azam, director of the veterinary services administration in Gaza, said last month that most sheep and goats in the territory have been vaccinated, but decried the lack of Israeli response to the ongoing need for vaccines.

He advised The Electronic Intifada on 7 April that a further 102,000 doses are still required for ongoing safety throughout the year – 72,000 for sheep and 30,000 for cows.

The outbreak had harsh consequences for Waleed Abdeen, a farmer in the Khan Younis area of Gaza.

Around 40 of his 400 cows died in the two days following the outbreak.

Paying extra bills for veterinary medicines caused him many problems. “I am on my way to bankruptcy,” he said.

“Big disaster”

The strain of the virus detected recently is known as SAT2, according to Zakaria al-Kafarna, a Gaza-based veterinarian. It is transmitted via the saliva of infected animals.

Foot-and-mouth disease is highly contagious, particularly affecting animals with cloven hooves. While it rarely crosses over to humans, the disease can cause severe economic losses for farmers.

Failure to acquire more vaccines will be a “big disaster,” al-Kafarna said.

Another Gaza-based veterinarian, Muhammad Abu Shaweesh, said that there is a strong likelihood that the virus was spread through the transport of live animals from the Nile Delta, through the Sinai in Egypt, and then into Gaza.

Similar observations were made by the Food and Agriculture Organization, an international body, when an outbreak of the SAT2 virus occurred in Gaza during 2012.

“Blocking the source is the first step” towards dealing with an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, Abu Shaweesh said.

The SAT2 virus was first detected among Egyptian livestock in 1950. Egypt has grappled with a series of outbreaks since then.

Tracing the entry of animals into Gaza has been complicated by the siege which Israel has imposed on Gaza – with Egyptian assistance – for the past decade.

Blockade

The crossing for people and goods at Rafah – on Gaza’s border with Egypt – has frequently been closed because of that blockade. The commercial crossing at Rafah was only opened for three days throughout the month of February.

The siege has forced many people in Gaza to rely on the smuggling of goods via underground tunnels.

Ahmad Nofal lost 30 of his 120 cows because of the recent outbreak.

He is among the farmers in Gaza who believes that the unregulated trade in livestock is the outbreak’s main cause. The agriculture ministry in Gaza inspects animals imported through what Nofal called the “official channels.” Yet animals smuggled into Gaza without the knowledge of the local administration do not undergo health checks, he said.

“The tunnels are the cause,” he added. “The Egyptian cattle entered Gaza through the tunnels and brought the disease with them. They destroyed our farms.”

Sarah Algherbawi is a freelance writer and translator from Gaza.

Hezbollah Denounces Sinful Crime of Assassinating Palestinian Mujahid Mazen Faqha

March 25, 2017

Hezbollah flag

In a statement, Hezbollah hostile spirit of the Zionist evident is evident in the crime and stressed the inevitability of the continuation of the fight against the usurper enemy till expelling it from “our occupied land”.

Offering congratulations and condolences to the Palestinians, Hamas movement and the family of the martyr over Faqha’s assassination, Hezbollah called on punishing all the culprits so that no one dares to undermine the resistance and the mujahideen in the context of serving the interests of the Zionist enemy.

Hamas official, Mazen Faqha, who was freed in a 2011 prisoner swap with the Zionist entity, was assassinated on Friday with four bullets being shot to his head.

Faqha was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinians in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli occupation soldier Hamas had detained for five years.

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations

Gaza: Freed Detainee Mazen Faqha Assassinated with Four Bullets in his Head

Mazen_Faqha

Hamas official, Mazen Faqha, who was freed in a 2011 prisoner swap with the Zionist entity, was assassinated on Friday with four bullets being shot to his head.

Faqha was released along with more than 1,000 other Palestinians in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli occupation soldier Hamas had detained for five years.

Iyad al-Bozum, an interior ministry spokesman in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, said that gunmen opened fire on Faqha in the Tell al-Hama neighborhood.

“An investigation has been launched,” he said, giving no further details.

Faqha was a senior Hamas official in the Israeli-occupied West Bank but after his release the occupation authorities transferred him to Gaza.

Source: AFP

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How israel’s IDF justifies its mass killing

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A Palestinian family sits in their destroyed home in Gaza City, which was attacked by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge, September 2014. Photo by Anne Paq / Activestills.org

Illegitimate Targets on Both Sides of Israel’s Border

The onslaughts on Gaza have introduced to our world three terms that have no right to exist: proportionate killing, collateral damage and target bank.

Amira Hass, Haaretz premium
March 03, 2017

Is it proportionate to bomb the town of Kochav Ya’ir, where top commanders and political officials live, when its residents are asleep or eating dinner with their families? That’s a horrid question that has no right to be asked. But Israel long ago gave an affirmative answer to the general question: Is it proportionate to crush neighbourhoods and bomb homes with entire families in them – children, elderly people, women and babies?

Yes, Israel has said, with its bombing of Gaza and Lebanon. It’s proportionate because we also killed – or meant to kill – military commanders and activists, and senior political officials in Palestinian and Lebanese organizations.

Here’s what the military prosecution wrote about one of the many attacks that killed civilians during the Gaza offensive in the summer of 2014:

“The attack was aimed at … a senior commander, equivalent to deputy brigade commander, in the Palestinian terror organization Islamic Jihad …. In the process of planning the attack, it was estimated that a number of civilians might be found in the structure, and that the extent of harm to civilians would not be excessive relative to the significant military advantage expected to be achieved as the result of the attack …. In retrospect, the target of the attack was seriously wounded and [another two Islamic Jihad operatives] were killed along with four civilians.

“The attack was in line with the principle of proportionality, because when the decision was made to attack it was estimated that the expected collateral damage would not be excessive relative to the military advantage that was expected to be received …. A specific warning before the attack to the occupants of the structure where the target was present, or to the occupants of adjacent structures, was not legally required, and could be expected to frustrate the purpose of the attack.”

These terms have become axiomatic beyond question or reflection. How would these axioms work if we sketched out the target bank in the opposite direction?

Every home where there’s an Israeli soldier or reservist would be a legitimate target for bombing; the civilians harmed would be collateral damage. Every bank in Israel would be a target because Israeli ministers and generals have  accounts there.
The neighbours of the police station on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street ought to move because Shin Bet security service officers operate there regularly and the missile might miss and hit a nearby school. Military bases and Shin Bet centres in the heart of civilian neighbourhoods – at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, in the Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Gilo and Neveh Yaakov, or at the Binyamin Division headquarters near the settlement of Beit El – condemn the neighbours to a proportionate death.

Sheba Medical Centre must be evacuated of all its patients because of the army induction centre at Tel Hashomer; all the university laboratories and high-tech companies should be evacuated because of their links to the arms industry, while the lives of the children of Elbit and Rafael employees are also at collateral risk because their parents help develop weapons that our imagination cannot grasp.

This sounds horrifying, and rightly so. But because this mirror-image monstrous script looks completely imaginary, the horror fades immediately. Surprisingly, the state comptroller criticized the fact that no effort was made to find a diplomatic alternative to the war, but most Israelis only think inside the box, a bloody box. They seek ways to streamline the box, not break it and replace it.

Our wars are a continuation of our policy to deny others their rights. Those who scoffed at Palestinian diplomacy seeking an independent state alongside Israel got boycotts, sanctions and divestment. Those who didn’t listen to the logic of generations of Palestinian popular resistance are paying the price of Qassam rockets, attack tunnels and the fear of suicide bombings. Those who set up the prison that is Gaza got Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ new head in the enclave.

It’s true, our doctrines of repression work − as a proven recipe for escalation. They set the criteria for defining us, Israelis, as “collateral damage” in the eyes of those humiliated by our multifaceted violence.

 

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