Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza Strip, Resistance responds

December 4, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes on several sites in Gaza Strip; Palestinian resistance confronted the aggression with anti-aircraft fire and surface-to-air missiles.

Israeli strike on Gaza

Israeli warplanes launched, at dawn today, Sunday, airstrikes on several sites in the Gaza Strip. Al Mayadeen’s correspondent in Gaza reported that the Israeli warplanes launched a series of airstrikes on the Qadisiyah site – a resistance site west of , in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli warplanes also raided agricultural fields in the eastern districts of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, before renewed air raids struck east of Khan Yunis, as per our correspondent.

In response, the Palestinian Resistance announced that its air defenses confronted the hostile Israeli air force in the skies of the Gaza Strip with anti-aircraft fire and surface-to-air missiles.

Simultaneously, warning sirens sounded in the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli occupation claimed that the airstrikes “targeted a rocket manufacturing center, and a tunnel”.

Commenting on the Israeli aggression, Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem asserted, “The Palestinian resistance will continue to defend the Palestinian people everywhere and will not allow the Israeli occupation to change equations.”

“The Israeli occupation has expanded its aggression against our Palestinian people by bombing the Gaza Strip following its execution of Palestinian martyr Ammar Mifleh in Huwara (Nablus),” added in a statement. 

Read more: Israeli media claims Gaza fired rocket toward occupied territories

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Drowning by sea or despair: Gaza’s two bleak choices

December 02 2022

Source

Yousef Fares

Seven young men from the Gaza Strip died on 23 October when their boat sank off the Tunisian coast. Among dozens of other refugees attempting to reach Europe, these Palestinian names were added to a list of more than 110 victims who have died in similar circumstances since 2007.

In early November, another boat sank in the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece, however, the fate of the 10 young men from Gaza who were on board the boat remains unknown. In the same month, it was reported by Wafa news agency that five Palestinians were rescued from a migrant boat wreck, also in the Aegean.

The exodus of Palestinians from Gaza – or their displacement through living conditions that make survival difficult – dates back to the end of the 1960s, with Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip. After the Israeli “withdrawal” in 2005, followed by the internal conflict between Fatah and Hamas in 2007, and then latter’s control of the Strip, the desire for Palestinians to immigrate only increased, especially among Gaza’s youth.

‘Abnormal lives’

According to a survey published in September by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza, nine out of ten young people said they believed they were living abnormal lives. Of the respondents, 40 percent between the ages of 18 and 29 said that they do not hope to find a job within the next 15 years. The ICRC also contextualized their plight in light of Israel’s on-going economic and political blockade of Gaza:

“Fifteen years of restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of goods and People in and out of Gaza have significantly contributed to a steady deterioration in the economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza. This has limited access to essential services, jobs and opportunities outside of the occupied Palestinian territory.”

In a survey conducted by Al-Aqsa University, 51 percent of young people in Gaza said they would like to emigrate. During the preparation of this report, 26 young people out of 30 expressed the desire to migrate, including 15 of them who confirmed that they are seriously working on it.

Although there is no official data on the number of people who have emigrated from the densely-populated Gaza Strip since 2007, unofficial figures indicate that about 100,000 people have left Gaza during the past 15 years.

Human rights researcher Abdullah Sharshara attributes these numbers to “the psychological impact left by 15 years of Israeli control over the details of life in Gaza.”

“Israel has created expelling living conditions for the population,” Sharshara told The Cradle. “It launched destructive wars, imposed a suffocating blockade, destroyed infrastructure, bombed the power plant, and increased poverty rates among the population, which led to a collective feeling that Gaza is no longer a safe place to build a happy future,” he explained.

Israel’s motives behind Gazan migration

All of the integral components of Palestinian society – be it the resistance factions or the civil and official institutions – agree that the emigration of Palestinian youth ultimately serves Israeli interests, especially if it leads to a brain drain and the younger generation’s disengagement from Palestinian national concerns.

In an article published by the Regional Thinking Forum website in early March 2021, Israeli researcher Omri Sheffer Raviv revealed that successive Israeli governments since 1969 have worked to encourage the emigration of young people from Gaza.

Raviv argued that Israel’s goal in the late 1960s was to try to empty the Strip of a large mass of its population, with the aim of bringing it under the authority of Tel Aviv with the least amount of burden. However, after the Israeli “withdrawal” from Gaza in 2005, the Occupation state lost its ability to directly control the flow of migration, so its focus shifted to creating “expelling living conditions” for the Palestinian population, such as the blockade, successive crises, and seasonal wars.

Israel has launched four devastating wars against Gaza in 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021, in addition to more than 20 battles between those wars, in which around 4,300 Palestinians were killed and tens of thousands injured.

Raviv also revealed that in 2019, Israel, in coordination with some European countries, worked to facilitate the emigration of the residents of the Gaza Strip, and even to officially organize emigration trips.

Tel Aviv also expressed its willingness to build an airport in the southern Negev region, adjacent to Gaza, in order to transport Palestinians to new lives overseas. This approach has not been denied by any Israeli officials. Rather, former Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked promoted it for years, going so far as to criticize her government and army for denying Gazans the ability to leave the Strip.

A new Nakba

Researcher in Israeli affairs, Ismail Muhammad, believes that the policies adopted by the Occupation state through the blockade, legal restrictions, repeated wars, manufacturing electricity and water crises, and the systematic destruction of the Palestinian economy, have entrenched in the collective mind of the new generations that there is no aspired future in their country. This in turn pushes them to search for individual salvation.

If the goal in the 1960s was to reduce the population mass in order to contain the Gaza Strip and dissolve it geographically within Israel’s borders, then the goal after the 2005 “withdrawal” turned to viewing Gaza as an independent entity, which would be a part of future negotiations for a final Palestinian solution – possibly an alternative to their occupied homeland.

Muhammad told The Cradle that by encouraging immigration, Israel seeks to achieve “the displacement of competencies and scientific capabilities in order to prevent the resistance from benefiting from them, in addition to disrupting the wheel of development, so that Gaza remains dependent on the Occupation state in the industrial, medical and agricultural fields.”

He further points out that the number of doctors with rare specializations who emigrated from Gaza exceeded 600 until last year, in addition to thousands of engineers, teachers, and other professionals.

According to Muhammad, the second Israeli goal is to foster an entire generation who oppose the resistance.

“The focus here is on a young generation living a life full of unresolvable crises. This leads to emptying Gaza of its human reservoir, which is its capital in its extended confrontation with the occupation.”

Death boats to Europe

Although the path of illegal immigration to Europe via “death boats” is fraught with dangers, this does not diminish the determination of dozens of families and young people to embark on such a misadventure.

Ahmed, who is in his twenties, says:

“I graduated from Al-Aqsa University ten years ago in English literature. I was first in my batch. I never wanted to migrate, nor did I plan to. Like any young man, I want to work and secure my future, but all roads in Gaza are closed. Life inside Gaza prison is more difficult than anywhere else. I am looking for any way to leave, and I do not rule out death boats, because here we are living in a state of death.”

However, death by drowning is not the only danger facing migrants. The 12 young men who drowned in a boat off the Tunisian coast at the end of last October had been kidnapped by a local Libyan militia that demanded a ransom for their release.

“The kidnappers demanded $10,000 for their release. We told them that if we had that kind of money, they wouldn’t have emigrated. In the end we paid $500 for each of the boys,” Muhammad al-Shaer, Haidar’s brother, who was among the 12 young casualties, revealed to The Cradle.

Palestinians hold a passport that allows them to enter 37 countries without prior visas. However, none of these countries offers them any privileges such as a monthly salary, health insurance, or citizenship.

The root cause of the migrant crisis

Therefore, young Palestinians try to risk traveling to Europe through two main, danger-fraught routes: The first, which is most common, is to travel to Turkey, crossing the Aegean Sea to Greece, and the second, is to travel to Egypt, then onto Libya, and from there to Italy’s shores. Both routes are dangerous and accompanied with a high-level of risk.

Despite the recurrence of drowning incidents and the increase in the number of victims, neither local Gaza authorities, nor Palestinian resistance factions, nor their civil society institutions have made any notable effort to limit this phenomenon. Yet as has been shown, the crux and main cause of the issue lies with the ethnic-cleansing policies of the Israeli government.

‘Israeli’ Warplanes Conduct New Aerial Aggression in Gaza Strip

Nov 04 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Local Palestinian media reported a new aggression by the ‘Israeli’ occupation warplanes on Palestinian resistance group’s positions in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning.

According to Palestine Today’s news Arabic-language website, Palestinian sources reported the attack of Zionist regime’s warplanes on Palestinian resistance group’s positions in the Gaza Strip on Friday morning.

According to this report, the Zionist warplanes targeted a Palestinian resistance group’s position in the center of the Gaza Strip with three airstrikes on Friday morning.

The report added that the sound of explosions was heard in the center of Gaza al-Maghazi crossing.

The sources added that the Zionist warplanes continued to fly in the sky of the Gaza Strip at different altitudes and the attacks did not cause any casualties.

The Shehab News Agency also reported that the Zionist regime’s warplanes bombed a resistance group’s position in the Bureij refugee camp located in the Gaza Strip.

Shehab also added that Zionist bombardments on Friday morning caused a power outage in many parts of al-Maghazi camp in central Gaza.

At the same time, Palestinian resistance responded to the attacks with their anti-aircraft machine guns in the north of Gaza.

The ‘Israeli’ military spokesman claimed that three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the Zionist settlements adjacent to Gaza on Thursday evening and that the airstrikes were a response to them.

Palestinian sources announced on Thursday evening that the siren went off in occupied Palestinian lands in a number of Zionist settlements near Gaza.

The Hebrew media outlets claimed that at least one rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip towards the Zionist settlements.

Meanwhile, the Zionist military claimed to have intercepted a rocket that had been fired from the Gaza Strip.

The ‘Israeli’ military radio said that sirens went off in the Zionist settlements adjacent to Gaza.

Hamas in Gaza: Supporting Al-Aqsa and supporting the West Bank

Ukrainian Army War Crimes Include Shelling of Ambulences, Firetrucks, and Rescue Workers in the Donbass Republics—Similar to Israelis and U.S. Backed Terrorists in Syria

October 24, 2022

September 23, 2022, Covert Action Magazine

Eva Bartlett

Local residents describe the perpetrators of these crimes—who have received lavish U.S. funding—as “shameless,” “scumbags” and “terrorists.”

Heroic rescue workers in Donbas should be accorded rights under international law to help people without being targeted

In the more than eight years of bombing the civilians of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Ukraine has committed untold numbers of war crimes. These include bombing residential areas, marketshospitals, schools, parks—including with prohibited heavy weapons and banned cluster munitions—and, since late July, raining banned “Petal” mines down on populated civilian areas, including the very center of Donetsk, including as recently as September 7.

A lesser-known war crime is Ukraine’s routine targeting of ambulances, fire trucks, medics and rescuers, and their headquarters and stations. Many of the times Ukraine bombs such heroic rescuers, it is when they are on the way, or already on site, to help civilians often themselves just bombed by Ukraine.

On August 21, Ukrainian shelling of the DPR’s Gorlovka wounded twelve, including five firefighters.

The day prior, Ukrainian shelling targeted an ambulance station in the LPR’s Lysychansk, wounding several and damaging some of the ambulances.

On June 23, the Kievskiy District of Donetsk came under repeated shelling over the course of the two hours I was visiting the Emergency Services headquarters there. On the grounds, I saw the remnants of a “Hurricane” missile from a previous Ukrainian attack.

The previous day, Ukrainian forces targeted an Emergency Services fire truck on call, leaving the driver hospitalized in critical condition. According to his colleagues, they saw a drone above them just prior to Ukraine’s strike. The targeting was unquestionably deliberate.

On June 18, Ukraine targeted a central Donetsk district after Emergency Services had arrived, killing a firefighter and the driver, and injuring three more rescuers.

In early June, heavy Ukrainian shelling of Kuibyshevsky District, Donetsk, destroyed an ambulance and seriously injured the driver.

Donetsk ambulance destroyed by Ukrainian shelling while out on a call. [Source: Photo courtesy of Eva Bartlett]

Ukraine’s attacks on emergency workers is not new; Ukraine has been doing so for years.

In June 2021, during a humanitarian cease-fire, Ukrainian forces targeted an ambulance which had arrived to evacuate three injured DPR soldiers.

In October 2019, Ukrainian forces fired an anti-tank guided missile at a DPR military ambulance en route to help a child, wounding the driver and a paramedic.

In August 2018, Ukrainian forces fired a missile at a DPR ambulance, killing the driver and two female paramedics.

When I first visited the DPR in September 2019, going to hard-hit areas around Gorlovka, I was told by Zaitsevo administration that ambulances could not reach the villagers.

“The paramedics don’t go farther than this building; it’s too dangerous. If somebody needs medical care near the front lines, someone has to go in their own car and take them to a point where medics can then take them to Gorlovka. The soldiers also help civilians who are injured.”

This is something I was very familiar with in Gaza, occupied Palestine, where Israeli soldiers routinely fire at Palestinian farmers and other laborers on agricultural land, a policy of harassment to drive Palestinians off their land. In most cases, ambulances likewise could not reach the injured due to Israel’s policy of targeting ambulances. Consequently, seriously injured Palestinians bleed to death.

In Zaitsevo, I was told this had happened there, too. “A woman died due to huge blood loss because no one could reach her house to take her away in time. She was injured in the shelling and bled to death.”

Targeting medics and other rescuers ensures those in need of help are deprived of it, and increases the likelihood that people who might have lived instead die of their injuries.

The intentional targeting of ambulances and medics, as well as fire trucks and other emergency services vehicles and workers, is against international law.

Speaking to DPR Rescuers

During my June and August 2022 visits to the DPR, I interviewed a number of Emergency Services workers and medics.

According to Konstantin Zhukov, the Chief Medical Officer of Donetsk Ambulance Services, the ambulance services workers face shelling daily, constantly, and many employees have been wounded while working. One of the ambulance stations was completely destroyed by Ukrainian shelling.

Outside, I spoke with Tatyana Golota, an emergency physician, and Alena Kondrasheva, a paramedic.

Both reiterated that it is normal coming under repeated Ukrainian fire. They spoke of Ukraine shelling after medics and emergency services workers had arrived to help civilians.

They showed me an ambulance completely destroyed by Ukrainian shelling. It was new and had only been operational a few months before being destroyed.

“That day we were at work and heard about the brigade coming under fire. The doctor had gone to help people, and the driver, by chance, walked away to try to get a mobile signal. At that moment, there was a direct hit on the vehicle.”

Also in Donetsk, I spoke with Sergei Neka, Director of the Department of Fire and Rescue Forces of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

He likewise said rescuers increasingly come under fire when they go out on a call, sometimes making it impossible to reach the people in need.

According to him, from February 24, 2022, to when I spoke with him in August, four people were killed and 40 injured, as well as significant damage to equipment and buildings.

“Our units arrive at the scene of the accident and Ukraine begins to shell it. A lot of equipment has been damaged and destroyed.”

I asked about the impact of the “Petal” mines Ukraine has been dropping on the city, and was told a 21-year-old employee was injured by a PFM-1S mine after a region was cleared, the mine falling from the building and the unsuspecting rescuer stepping on it, losing his foot.

In Makeevka, just east of Donetsk, I went to an orphanage that had been shelled with the mines. Most of the clean-up was completed by the time I arrived on the second day of de-mining, but one remained. I watched a sapper find and detonate it, and although I had previously seen a group of eight mines detonated, creating a massive blast, the force of the single mine was still quite powerful.

According to Dmitry Chamota, Head of Donetsk Emergency Services Deminers, they found 26 PFM-1 mines scattered around the grounds of the orphanage, including on the playground.

In June, I met Andrey Levchenko, Chief of Kievskiy District Emergency Ministry. Over the course of the two hours at his station, Ukraine was intensively shelling the district, leading us to take cover inside the building lest the property be targeted again.

We did venture outside between bouts of shelling, where Levchenko pointed out damage to the buildings and the shell of the Ukrainian-fired Hurricane MLRS which struck the premises.

The building has blown out windows, sandbagged windows to attempt to protect the workers; some days prior, the chief’s office had been damaged by shrapnel from the shelling. Thankfully, he had just stepped out a minute before the blast.

He showed me the fire truck damaged on June 22, pointing out the many shrapnel holes and noting one of the rear tires had been blown out.

Two of the employees who had been out on that call spoke to me about that day, saying that, after Ukrainian shelling of the district, they received a call that people were trapped inside a building with the door blocked after the shelling. A fire was spreading to the second and third floors, and that people were unable to escape. As the rescuers assessed the situation, a shell hit a wall near the truck and wounded the driver.

They said that, prior to the shelling, they saw a drone overhead. This, combined with the facts that they were uniformed and the fire truck was clearly marked and in a civilian area where people were calling for help, makes it credible to believe Ukraine deliberately targeted the rescuers.

Of Ukraine’s heightened shelling over the past many months, Levchenko said it was constant and daily. “Before, if we speak about 2014-2015, twenty minutes, one hour maximum. Now six-seven hours non-stop, every day.”

He said that the Ukrainian forces shell, wait until rescuers arrive and then shell again. “They wait for 30 minutes for us to arrive. We arrive there, start assisting people, and the shelling resumes.”

This is something I witnessed for myself when, on August 4, Ukraine bombed the hotel in which I was staying, the fourth and fifth shells landing 50 meters away and then directly beside the hotel, respectively. When the fifth struck, shattering inwards the lobby glass doors, I had fortunately just stepped out of the lobby where 30 seconds earlier I had been speaking to journalists who had run in from the street.

When it seemed the shelling had stopped, journalists went outside to document the damage. Sadly, a young woman outside the hotel had been killed by the shelling. Five others just two streets away were also torn apart by the bombs, including a promising 12-year-old ballerina, her grandmother, and her world famous former ballerina ballet teacher.

Emergency Services arrived and, not long after, Ukraine resumed its shelling. Fortunately, they were able to get inside, but this is just one example of Ukraine’s double strikes.

According to Levchenko, Ukraine does not only shell two times, but that they sometimes shell three times: “They wait again, our guys hide in the shelters, as soon as we go out, put out the fire, help people, there could be people under the debris, doors stuck, people can’t get out and get to the basement…then shelling resumes.”

He described the people engaging in this sort of warfare against civilians and rescuers as “Shameless. Scumbags. Terrorists.”

He is not wrong.

Targeting Rescuers: A Terrorist Tactic Adopted by U.S. Allies in Ukraine, Israel and Syria

As the DPR Emergency Services chief pointed out damage to the fire truck, I was reminded of Israel’s attacks on Palestinian medics and fire brigades in Gaza, including during the December 27, 2008-January 18, 2009, Israeli war on Gaza, where I was living at the time.

During those three weeks, I rode in the medics’ ambulances, documenting the destruction and the victims of Israel’s war crimes, but also in a sense as a human shield, in the hope that Israel would not strike ambulances in which a handful of internationals and I were riding.

As it turned out, by the end of the Israeli massacre of Gaza, Israeli forces killed 16 medical rescuers, four in one day alone. Another 57 were injured. At least 16 ambulances were damaged, with at least nine completely destroyed.

One of the murdered was a 35-year-old paramedic, Arafa Abd al-Dayem, who I had accompanied the night prior to his murder. As I wrote of that evening“The dead, a 24-year-old night watchman, had no warning of the at least 2 missiles which leveled the school and tore him apart. The medics work to load the corpse, first having to replace the flat tire. Working frantically, still fearful of potential strikes, they crowd the ambulance, hoist the van, replace the flat. A missile hits 50 meters away. Surely, undoubtedly, those warplanes above us know—from the markings of the ambulance, the clothes of the medics, the crystal clear photos their drones can take—that we are civilians and medics below. Yet they fire.”

Arafa was killed later that day, when Israeli forces fired a flechette shell directly at his ambulance, shredding him with the dart-like flechettes, causing massive internal bleeding in his abdomen, blood in his lung, shock, and death.

A surgeon I interviewed later when writing about Israel’s widespread use of flechettes in Gaza told me that flechettes cause more injuries than other small munitions precisely because they spread in a larger area. And while the darts appear innocuously small, their velocity and design enable them to bore through cement and bones and “cut everything internal.” Accordingly, the prime cause of death is severe internal bleeding from slashed organs, particularly the heart, liver and brain.

One of the injured, Hassan al-Attal, 35, was a medic whose ambulance I was in when he and another medic came under Israeli sniper fire while attempting to retrieve a corpse from the street just beyond the ambulance. The sniper fire reached the ambulance itself. Hassan was wounded in the leg. This was during a few hours of supposed cease-fire. But in any case, the medics never should have been targeted.


As I wrote“Although the Geneva Conventions explicitly state that ‘medical personnel searching, collecting, transporting or treating the wounded should be protected and respected in all circumstances,’ throughout Israel’s invasion this was not the case. Indeed, as the injured and emergency workers testify, Israeli forces targeted and prevented medical workers from reaching the wounded.

Without coordination, many ambulances did not dare risk Israeli gunfire and shelling, meaning hundreds of calls went unanswered, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Denied medical care, many victims succumbed to their wounds.”

Israeli forces killed 13 Civil Defense workers and injured 31, also destroyed six civil defense stations and damaging four.

From that same article“Civil Defense workers, like medics, are protected under international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention states not only that emergency workers must be respected and allowed to do their work, but that their buildings, equipment and vehicles must not be targeted.

Yousef al-Zahar, director-general of Civil Defense in Gaza, told me at the time, ‘Targeting the Civil Defense centers and teams is an obvious indicator that the Israeli forces intended to paralyze Civil Defense activities in the Gaza Strip to raise civilian victims’ numbers in the casualties.’”

According to statistics from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health and the PRCS, from the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 to when I wrote the 2010 article, Israeli Forces have killed at least 56 medical rescuers, including paramedics, drivers, doctors and volunteers—an average of one rescuer every two months—and have injured at least another 500 medical rescuers.

Likewise, British journalist Vanessa Beeley has written at length about Syrian rescuers targeted by terrorist factions in Syria, their equipment stolen. In one of her articles, she cited a Commanding Officer of the Real Syria Civil Defense in an Aleppo district describing a scenario which Donbas and Palestinian rescuers would recognize:

“They (terrorists) targeted us deliberately in order to destroy our equipment & structures. They wanted to prevent us being able to work for our people. They would target our crew with sniper fire and explosive bullets. Their main mission was to kill the crew and destroy our base so we couldn’t care for the people of Aleppo.”

In that same article, she noted that “terrorist groups systematically carried out double-tap attacks” on the rescuers, just as Israel does to Palestinian rescuers and Ukraine to Donbas rescuers.

Ukraine Continues Killing Donbas Rescuers

On September 1, 13 DPR Emergency workers were killed and 9 injured from Ukrainian shelling. According to a representative of the Emergency Situations, the shelling was intentional.

“The missiles exactly hit residential buildings. The vehicle was outside and it was hit with shrapnel and pieces of the destroyed building. But again, you can see it’s an emergency vehicle—a fire vehicle. This is a war crime.”

The following day, two more Emergency Services workers were killed and two injured by Ukrainian shelling of their fire truck, in Makeevka. They were en route to put out a fire. Images accompanying the news show a mangled bright red fire truck, unmistakably a rescue services vehicle.

When in August I spoke with the Director of the Donetsk Department of Fire and Rescue of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, he told me that, at that time, four Emergency Services workers had been killed and 40 injured by Ukrainian shelling.

With Ukraine’s targeting of Emergency Services in September, the number of rescuers Ukraine has killed is now at least 19, with another 51 injured.

A funeral ceremony of farewell to two dead employees of the 14th fire and rescue unit of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the DPR was held in Makeevka” Photo courtesy DPR Ministry of Emergency Services. [Source: vk.com]

I had the chance to speak with the mother of a young firefighter, Pavel (“Pasha”) Legonkiy, killed by Ukrainian shelling on June 18, 2022. He and other Emergency Services personnel had gone to the site of a Ukrainian shelling, in central Donetsk. A Ukrainian double-tap strike killed Pasha and the driver, injuring three others.

Svetlana spoke proudly of her courageous, compassionate son.

“He loved his work very much. He lived for this work. It was his duty to help people. My son dreamed of starting a family, dreamed of having children, dreamed of working! And one shell that you sent here ended his life.”

These men and women know very well the threats they face when going out on a call, but go anyway, to help their citizens under Ukrainian attacks.

The two women I spoke to at Donetsk Ambulance Services replied to my question about whether they considered stopping their work.

“I’m really scared, everyone is scared. But what can we do? How about the patients? They are people like me, they hurt and are even more scared. They are waiting for our help. While you are driving you feel fear, but as soon as you get to the place of the tragedy, the fear goes away and you just start doing your job and forget about this fear.”

The Kievskiy Emergency Ministry Chief, Andrey Levchenko, said of the rescuers, “They are all heroes. If it were possible, I would give a medal to every one of them, to honor their work, to support them. But they don’t do that for the medals, no way. Nobody ever said, ‘we’re not going, we don’t want to,’” he said, referring to when rescuers go out on calls.

He is right. These rescuers are heroes, putting their lives on the line every time they go out to help a person in need, knowing full well Ukraine frequently strikes an area a second and a third time, specifically to target rescuers. While they might not receive or want medals, they should be afforded their right under international law to rescue people without fear of being shelled by Ukraine.

RELATED LINKS:

UNDER FIRE FROM UKRAINE AND MISPERCEIVED BY THE WEST, THE PEOPLE OF THE DPR SHARE THEIR STORIES

The pretext of “security” along Gaza’s buffer zone

In Just Under Three Weeks, Ukrainian-Fired Prohibited “Petal” Mines Maim At Least 44 Civilians, Kill 2, in Donetsk Region

Ukraine bombed a Donetsk hotel full of journalists – here’s what it felt like to be inside at the time

Ensuring maximum casualties in Gaza

Israeli Sniper Targets Uniformed Medics: what I witnessed in Gaza

Israeli attacks on emergency workers still affecting Gaza’s safety

REAL Syria Civil Defence Describe Terrorist ‘Double Taps’ and Chemical Weapon Attacks in Aleppo

Previous Posts

The Evolution of The Palestinian Resistance and Its New Strategy

22 Oct 2022 23:3

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

The bravery and defiance of Ibrahim Nablusi, immortalized him as a heroic martyr and saw tens of thousands pack the streets of Nablus city, where the resistance fighter was killed, in order to attend his funeral.

There have been at least 11 large-scale Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip, four wars, and hundreds of attacks against the territory, resulting in the untold misery of the Gazan civilian population

The ongoing Palestinian uprising, along with the revival of the armed struggle inside the occupied West Bank, has largely been characterised by its tendencies as a popular movement, namely that there has been a chaotic reaction from the occupier. The past months’ developments have been an indicator of a major shift from the initial stages of the uprising and it’s time to take note.

The Palestinian armed uprising, inside the West Bank, can largely be traced back to the 11-day war that broke out in May, 2021, between the Palestinian resistance in Gaza and the Israeli military. Following this, although the armed fighters had been previously active, in September of 2021  when the ‘Jenin Brigades’ were officially formed and the action they began to take shook “Israel” to its core. 2022 has been a more violent year for the West Bank, than the besieged Gaza Strip, with the majority of Palestinians killed by the occupation forces this year being inside the West Bank, with nearly 170 dead so far.

The scenes of armed resistance attacks, which occur multiple times per day at this time, against Israeli forces and settlers, have brought back the tactics and brutality of the Zionist regime never witnessed inside the West Bank since the Second Intifada (2000-2007). Although the initial attacks that came from groups such as the Jenin brigades, the Tulkarem brigades, and the Nablus brigades, seemed to have been loosely organized and worked primarily to inspire later action, along with shaking up the Israeli “security system”, this seems to be no longer the case. What has marked a seismic shift in the conflict between the occupier and the resistance inside the West Bank, has been the introduction of the Areen al-Oussoud, or Lions’ Den group, that declared themselves out of the old city of Nablus on September 2nd. 

The Gaza based resistance movement

Since the armed resistance in the West Bank was either destroyed or disbanded in the early 2000’s by the Israeli military and Palestinian Authority (PA), the armed struggle has been isolated into the hands of the movements operating out of the Gaza Strip. For a long time, there has been a successfully implemented strategy, by the Israelis and Americans, to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, during this time the resistance in Gaza – headed by Hamas primarily – had taken over the path of armed struggle.

There have been at least 11 large-scale Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip, four wars, and hundreds of attacks against the territory, resulting in the untold misery of the Gazan civilian population. Since the imposition of the siege, by not only “Israel” and Egypt but more importantly by the collective Western governments, the strategy has been to pressure the Palestinian people who live inside the territory to overthrow Hamas as their democratically elected government. This strategy, implemented since the 2006 – not 2007 when the siege was tightened significantly and is often framed as having started – the sanctions against Gaza have failed to bring the resistance to its knees and this is owed to the resounding resilience of the Palestinian people.

For most of the history of the Hamas rule of Gaza, it had been “Israel” that had taken most of the initiative to strike first and to be on the offensive. It has been noted by many analysts and historians, that despite the bravery and constant innovations of the resistance, “they had largely proven ineffective at inflicting significant defeats upon the enemy”. The strategic thinking of the resistance began to undergo significant shifts, however, dating back to 2015, but truly showing steadiness from 2017, during the major dispute between Qatar and many of the Gulf States, in addition to other pro-Western reactionary Arab regimes.

In 2018, during the Great March of Return, the armed resistance movements – which had not been constantly fighting each other but had also not participated in a real unified command – decided to form the ‘Joint Operations Room’ of the Palestinian resistance. Although during most of 2018, the Israeli military would routinely attack the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and was constantly on the offensive, this would change by November of that same year.

Israeli agents had infiltrated the Gaza Strip in 2018, plotting to either assassinate or kidnap a commander in the armed wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam brigades, named Nur Baraka. The Israeli agents were discovered and fled, one of them was shot dead in the process, whilst Israeli drone strikes were launched against the Gaza Strip. What ensued was a complete embarrassment for the Israeli political establishment, not only was the Israeli raid a complete failure, but the resistance showed a new unified strategy that we had not seen the likes of before. “Israel’s” then-minister of war, Avigdor Liberman, was so embarrassed that he resigned from his position. 300 rockets were fired at “Israel”, whilst the resistance fired anti-tank munitions that killed Israeli soldiers. A video was also released by the Sala al-Din brigades, which showed that at least 5 Israeli soldiers had been killed or mortally wounded in an explosive attack, an event that had happened in February but was covered up by the Israelis. The armed movement had laced Palestinian flagpoles with explosives, waited for Israeli soldiers to pull them down, and then detonated the devices.

Then, in early May 2019, the armed resistance movements in Gaza chose to strategically escalate tensions and open up a limited battle with the Israeli military, around 2 weeks prior to “Tel Aviv’s” hosting of the Eurovision song contest. In November 2019, “Israel” attempted to gain back some of its strategic initiatives, by attempting to isolate and target the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement in both Gaza and Syria. Despite assassinating leading figures in the PIJ movement, most prominently Baha Abu Al-Atta, the attack did little to change the course of the armed struggle.

Fast forward to May 2021, when the battle of Saif al-Quds was declared by the Israeli military, the people of Palestine had unified against the ongoing desecration of the Holy Sites in the old city of al-Quds. Saif al-Quds was when the Joint Room came to real prominence and it was clear that all the groups resisting Israel were unified, this provided inspiration to the rest of the Palestinian population in the other occupied Palestinian territories. Until this moment, despite “Israel’s” three-day attack against the PIJ movement, back in August, Tel Aviv has failed to achieve the equation it had before 2018. The Zionist regime went from attacking Gaza at will, constantly launching any strikes it wanted, to being deterred from striking Gaza unless it was willing to commit to an all-out war and now it is the resistance in Gaza that plots to strike first,  of strategic initiative.

Lessons learnt and the evolution of the West Bank struggle

One of the major issues that caused the setback of August this year, which had caught the resistance by surprise, was a fault made in the rhetoric of the Gaza-based resistance. “Israel” exploited this weakness in order to inflict a psychological blow against the resistance as a whole, it was clear that the resistance had not prepared for the scenario that befell them and although they reacted in a very rational way, within their means, the Israelis managed to score a pyrrhic victory on the propaganda front. The problem was, not that the resistance had acted in the wrong manner, but had projected great strength and made threats that weren’t intended on being followed through with, in the way that many had interpreted them.

“Israel’s” attack on Gaza in August may have resulted in political points for Prime Minister Yair Lapid and a distraction from the maritime border dispute with Lebanon if only the regime did not get greedy. Days later, the Israeli military sent in special forces units to assassinate the 19-year-old resistance fighter, Ibrahim Nablusi, yet, his killing served the opposite of its intended purpose. The bravery and defiance of Ibrahim Nablusi, immortalized him as a heroic martyr and saw tens of thousands pack the streets of Nablus city, where the resistance fighter was killed, in order to attend his funeral. As his mother held a pride-filled smile, whilst carrying her son’s body, thousands chanted Ibrahim Nablusi’s name and all over the West Bank young resistance fighters pledged to avenge his martyrdom. Instead of beating down the spirits of the Palestinian people and their belief in the armed struggle, Israel strengthened the resistance.

The mistake in the rhetoric of the Gaza-based resistance has undoubtedly been addressed now also, shown clearly through the statement released last Friday by the Joint Operations Room. This joint statement marks a turning point in the course of the armed struggle, as they not only have shown growth in their strategic rhetoric, but also they were dressed in a very interesting way. It should be noted that the Joint Room, which comprises all the serious armed movements in the Gaza Strip, dressed in military uniform, keffiyeh and did not wear anything to distinguish the resistance faction. This is symbolically powerful, as simultaneously the Lions’ Den group in Nablus is also refraining from identifying themselves with any single political or military party/movement. 

The armed groups that have been formed throughout the West Bank are made up of young people, mostly between the ages of 18 to 25, who come from many different political backgrounds and choose to work together as a unified force. The Lions’ Den group has also received a lot of popular support for its methods, managing to amass demonstrators that will take to the streets of Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and beyond in order to support the resistance group. Unlike unity agreements that have been signed on paper in the past, this unity agreement has manifested itself in the physical world between armed resistance factions. It is clear that the resistance in Gaza is always taking notes of the popular will of the Palestinian people, it is adapting to this and is learning from their past mistakes in order to implement a strategy to escalate the armed struggle against the occupier. 

What is happening now with the development of the armed struggle; the unifying efforts of the younger generation and the resistance in Gaza, must be analyzed as part of this new chapter that has been opened in the history of the Palestinian struggle. This movement is becoming ever more unified, it is from the masses and in many ways is driven by the younger generation of Palestinians, it cannot be defeated by small Israeli military operations and soon this will escalate, paving the way to a completely new political landscape inside all of occupied Palestine.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

65 Organizations Call on New UN Human Rights Chief to Prioritize Palestine

October 19, 2022

Volker Türk is the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (Photo: Jean Marc Ferré, via UNHCR Website)

Dozens of Palestinian and international organizations have called on the new UN human rights chief to prioritize the human rights situation in Palestine.

In a letter on Monday, the organizations welcomed new United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, who officially began his new role that day.

Among the 65 signatories were the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer and legal NGO Al-Haq, in addition to Jewish Voice for Peace and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign in the UK.

“The Palestinian people [have been] denied their right to self-determination, they have been enduring over seven decades of Israel’s settler-colonialism and apartheid, and 55 years of belligerent occupation,” the organizations wrote.

“Gaza residents [have been] surviving in near-unliveable circumstances for 15 years, and Palestinian refugees [are] unable to exercise their right of return.”

The groups said they want the human rights situation in Palestine to be at the top of Türk’s agenda.

“For far too long, the question of Palestine has been treated as an exception to the implementation of international law,” they added.

The letter raised Israel’s use of administrative detention against Palestinians, which allows it to jail detainees indefinitely without charge.

Moreover, the letter addressed the 5,330 Palestinians killed by Israel’s “five full-scale military offensives” in Gaza between 2008 and 2022. It also drew attention to the recent increase in its military incursions into occupied West Bank cities.

(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)

البحر الأبيض المتوسط وفرص إضعاف الحصار على لبنان وغزَّة

22:09  الجمعة 14 تشرين الأول 2022

البحر الأبيض المتوسط وفرص إضعاف الحصار على لبنان وغزَّة

عمرو علان 

من المعلوم أن عمليات الإعداد وتطوير القدرات التسليحية للقوى العسكرية لا تكون بطريقة اعتباطية.

رغم دخول الحروب العصرية مرحلة “حروب الجيل الخامس”، بحسب تقديرات البعض، والحديث المتزايد عن دور الذكاء الاصطناعي في حروب المستقبل، بما يوحي أحياناً بأنَّ الحرب باتت مختلفة في الجوهر عن حروب الحقب الماضية، فإنَّ واقع الحال يشير إلى عدم تبدُّل الأهداف الإستراتيجية للنزاعات الدولية كثيراً، فتأمين مصادر الطاقة والسيطرة على ممرات النقل، لا سيما البحرية منها، ما زال يؤدي دوراً حاسماً في صعود القوى الدولية وهبوطها.

لذلك، خلال المرحلة الدولية الراهنة التي يتم فيها رسم معالم نظام عالمي جديد، ويترتب على نتيجة مسار الأحداث فيها صعود حضارات وهبوط أخرى، نجد أنَّ القوى الدولية الكبرى، وتلك الإقليمية الفاعلة، تولي عملية التحكّم في المضائق والممرات المائية الحيوية اهتماماً خاصاً، كمضيقي هرمز وباب المندب، وبحري آزوف والأبيض المتوسط، ولا يبدو أنَّ تبدُّلاً حقيقياً سيطرأ على هذه الأهداف الإستراتيجية للنزاعات الدوليَّة قبل أن تصل الحضارة الإنسانية إلى مستوى “النوع الأول” من الحضارات على “مقياس كارداشيف لتصنيف الحضارات”، وقبل أن تقطع شوطاً معتبراً فيه على أقل تقدير، وذلك لن يتحقق إلا لقرون قادمة.

من هنا، نلحظ أن خيار تطوير القدرات الهجومية العسكرية البحرية التي أولتها دول “محور المقاومة” وحركاته اهتماماً ملموساً في السنوات الأخيرة ضمن تكتيكاتها القتالية بات يعطي مفاعيله في عمليات رسم معادلات الحرب وتحقيق المكاسب الميدانية. 

وقد تجلى ذلك في عدَّة محطات مهمة خلال الأعوام الماضية. مثلاً، كانت قدرات إيران العسكرية البحرية قد شكَّلت إحدى وسائل الردع الفعَّالة التي اعتمدتها في مواجهة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، لثنيها عن الإقدام على عدوان عسكري عليها، إذ كان باستطاعة إيران في تلك الحالة تعطيل حركة الملاحة عبر مضيق هرمز؛ ذلك الممر المائي الحيوي الذي يمر عبره ما يزيد على 20% من صادرات موارد الطاقة الأحفورية في العالم.

وفي محطة مهمة أخرى، نجد أنَّ التنافس على السيطرة على مضيق “باب المندب” يعد واحداً من الخلفيات الرئيسة للحرب التي تشنها السعودية على اليمن. لذلك، كان من ضمن إستراتيجية صنعاء العسكرية تطوير قدرات بحرية هجومية مؤثرة يمكن الاعتماد عليها في التأثير في حركة الملاحة البحرية في باب المندب والبحر الأحمر.

أما في لبنان، وفي محطة ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع العدو، وسعي الدولة اللبنانية لفرض حقّها في استخراج الغاز الطبيعي من حقول شرقي المتوسط واستثماره، نجد أنَّ قدرات حزب الله البحرية الهجومية كان لها الدور الحاسم في حصول الدولة اللبنانية على مسودة تفاهم حول ترسيم الحدود البحرية مع العدو، وحول حقّه في استخراج موارده الغازية واستثمارها، بصرف النظر عن الجدل القائم حول إذا ما كانت تلك المسودة قد أعطت للبنان كامل حقوقه.

 ما يهم في هذا المقام، بعيداً من النقاش الدائر حول خطوط الترسيم البحرية اللبنانية: الخط 29، والخط 23، وخط “فريدريك هوف”، والخط “الإسرائيلي” رقم 1 البري، بعيداً من هذا النقاش، على أهميته ووجاهته، يبقى واقع الحال أن الكيان الموقّت ما كان ليعطي لبنان أياً من حقوقه لولا تلويح حزب الله بقدراته البحرية العسكرية.

ولولا إمكانات حزب الله البحرية العسكرية تلك، القادرة على استهداف مصادر استخراج الطاقة في شرقي المتوسط، والقادرة على عرقلة حركة نقل الطاقة عبر البحر الأبيض المتوسط أيضاً، ما كان الأميركي في وارد السماح للبنان بالاستفادة من ثرواته من الغاز الطبيعي، بما يتضمَّنه ذلك من ضرب لأساسات سياسة الحصار غير المعلن التي ينتهجها الأميركي ضد لبنان منذ حين.

إذاً، بناءً على الوقائع السالفة الذكر، يمكن أن نخلص إلى أنَّ الجهد الذي صرفته دول وحركات المقاومة على تعزيز قدراتها البحرية العسكرية وحسن توظيف تلك القدرات تكتيكياً في الميدان أثمر نتائج ملموسةً في مصلحتها، وحقّق لها مكاسب ميدانيةً وسياسيةً، ولا سيما في الحالة اللبنانية. وبناءً على هذه الخلاصة، يبرز تساؤلٌ عما إذا كان من الممكن لفصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية الاستفادة من هذه التجارب في فك الحصار المفروض على غزة.

بدايةً، من المعلوم أن عمليات الإعداد وتطوير القدرات التسليحية للقوى العسكرية لا تكون بطريقة اعتباطية، بل تكون استجابةً للإستراتيجيات والتكتيكات العسكرية المرسومة، وضمن الإمكانات المتاحة وظروف الميدان؛ فمن خلال تتبع مسيرة دول “محور المقاومة” وحركاتها نجد أنها عملت منذ البدايات على توظيف سلاح “صواريخ أرض أرض” بطريقة مميزة، بهدف التغلب على معضلة التفوق الجوي الكاسح لمصلحة العدو. وقد كان ذلك ضمن إستراتيجية “الحرب غير المتكافئة” الشاملة التي اعتمدتها قوى المقاومة في مواجهة الأعداء عموماً.

وقد تم تعميم تجربة “صواريخ أرض أرض” بعد نجاحها في جنوب لبنان إبان الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، فصارت إيران بعد ذلك من أكبر القوى الإقليمية من ناحية قدراتها الصاروخية، وباتت فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزَّة تتمتع بقدرة صاروخية يحسب لها الحساب، إذ استنسخت تكتيكات إطلاق الصواريخ من منصات مخفية وتحت الأرض.

وعقب حرب لبنان في تموز/يوليو 2006، التي اختبر فيها حزب الله بنجاح باهر تكتيكات ميدانية ضد سلاح المدرّعات الإسرائيلي، وذلك باستخدام سلاح “كورنيت” الروسي المضاد للدروع، اتخذ قائد حرس الثورة الإسلامية آنذاك، الشهيد اللواء قاسم سليماني، قراراً بنقل تلك التجربة إلى فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية في غزة، بالتعاون مع كل من حزب الله والدولة السورية التي زودت القطاع بهذا النوع من السلاح من مخزون الجيش العربي السوري في ذلك الوقت. وقد كان لتكتيك استخدام سلاح “كورنيت” في القطاع دورٌ أساسيٌ في تحديد نتائج حروب غزَّة اللاحقة.

أما راهناً، وفي ظلِّ التوتر الدولي القائم حول الطاقة، وحول الممرات البحرية لنقلها، وارتفاع أهمية أسلحة البحر الهجومية بناءً على ذلك التوتر، ربما بات من المجدي أن تبدأ فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينيّة، وبالتعاون مع أركان “محور المقاومة”، بتسخير الموارد من أجل تعزيز قدرات القطاع البحرية العسكريّة، سواء بالعتاد المطلوب أو بالتقنيات اللازمة لتصنيع العتاد المناسب؛ فإذا كان “محور المقاومة” قد نجح في هذه العملية في اليمن، فلا بد من وجود إمكانية لتكرار الأمر في غزة.

ويدور الحديث هنا بالنسبة إلى غزَّة عن خطة متوسطة المدى أو قصيرة المدى في أفضل الأحوال، بحسب ظروف الميدان، إلا إذا كانت غزَّة قد تسلَّحت بالفعل على هذا الصعيد، مع العلم بأن لا مؤشرات تدل على هذا الأمر.

في كلِّ الأحوال، لا يجوز إهمال أمرين مفصليين عند التفكير في تكتيك استخدام البحر كوسيلة لتخفيف الحصار عن غزة، قياساً على تجربة حزب الله الأخيرة في لبنان. أولاً، لا يجوز بحال تجاهل حقيقة أنَّ حساب “موازين القوى” يختلف إلى حد بعيد من عدة أوجه بين الساحتين اللبنانية والفلسطينية.

لا ينسحب هذا على صعيد قدرة حزب الله التسليحية المتفوقة نوعاً وكماً فحسب، والفروق في طبيعة الميدان التي تتيح للحزب هامشاً أعظم في المناورة، واستفادة الحزب من خطوط إمداد فعالة، لكن أيضاً يجب أن يوضع بالاعتبار، عند حساب “موازين القوى”، حساسية ساحة فلسطين بالنسبة إلى الاحتلال مقارنةً بأي ساحة “معادية” أخرى، فسقف المعادلات التي يمكن إرغام الإسرائيلي على تجرُّعها من دون الدخول في جولة حرب قاسية يعد أعلى من السقف الذي يمكنه قبوله في فلسطين من دون الدخول في حرب يكون من شأنها تبديل التوازنات القائمة بصورة جوهرية.

وبناءً عليه، يمكن القول إنَّ المراهنة على السلاح البحري الهجومي وحده تعد مراهنةً واقعيةً، إذا ما كان الهدف هو تخفيف الحصار، لا إنهاءه بشكل كلِّي عن القطاع، مع أنَّ تخفيف الحصار، الذي يمكن لفصائل المقاومة في غزَّة تحقيقه في هذه الحال، وضمن الظروف الإقليمية والدولية الراهنة، قابلٌ لأن يكون تخفيفاً حقيقياً وذا آثار ملموسة على حياة سكان القطاع.

أما الأمر الثاني، فهو أنه لا يجوز بأي حال أن يتحول تكتيك تطوير السلاح البحري الهجومي في غزَّة إلى بديل من تكتيك المقاومة في تفعيل العمل المقاوم في الضفة، فساحة الضفة لا تزال تحظى بموقع الصدارة من الناحية الإستراتيجية في مشروع التحرير المركزي، ناهيك بأنه ضمن ظروف العدو الموضوعية المستجدة، وضمن تراجع القبضة الأمنية لسلطة “التنسيق الأمني” في رام الله، إضافة إلى الظروف الإقليمية والدولية الراهنة المحيطة، بات من الممكن لساحة الضفة تحقيق إنجاز يفوق بكثير أي إنجاز يمكن لساحة غزَّة تحقيقه على مستوى المشروع الوطني.

ختاماً، يفتح الاشتباك العالمي الدائر بين الدول العظمى آفاقاً جديدةً أمام فصائل المقاومة الفلسطينية، بما يجعل فرص تخفيف مفاعيل الحصار المفروض على غزَّة بصورة ملموسة أكثر واقعيةً، وذلك عبر المناورة على عقدة الطاقة والممرات المائية، لكن يبقى إنهاء الحصار عن غزَّة بصورة كلية أمراً يلزمه تغيير في “موازين القوى” الحاكمة حالياً، والطريق الأقصر لذلك، والأكثر جدوى وطنياً وإستراتيجياً، يمر عبر تصعيد الفعل المقاوم في الضفة، وتحويل المقاومة فيها إلى حال يحاكي مقاومة غزة، وهذا بات أمراً متاحاً ضمن المستجدات الفلسطينية والإقليمية.

THE ISRAEL FILES: WIKILEAKS DOCS SHOW TOP HOLLYWOOD PRODUCERS WORKING WITH ISRAEL TO DEFEND ITS WAR CRIMES

SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2022

Source

THE ISRAEL FILES IS A NEW MINTPRESS SERIES EXPLORING AND HIGHLIGHTING THE MANY REVELATIONS ABOUT THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE THAT WIKILEAKS DOCUMENTS DISCLOSED. IT HOPES TO SHED LIGHT ON MANY OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND UNDERREPORTED REVELATIONS THE PUBLISHING GROUP EXPOSED. 

By Alan Macleod

As Israel was launching a deadly assault on Gaza, killing thousands of civilians and displacing more than 100,000 people, many of America’s top TV, music and film producers were organizing to protect the apartheid state’s reputation from widespread international condemnation.

Together, the Sony Archive – a cache of emails published by Wikileaks – prove that influential entertainment magnates attempted to whitewash Israeli crimes and present the situation as defending itself from an impending “genocide”, liaised with Israeli military and government officials in order to coordinate their message, attempted to cancel those who spoke out against the injustice, and put financial and social pressure on institutions who hosted artists criticizing the apartheid government’s actions.

AS ISRAEL ATTACKS, HOLLYWOOD PLAYS DEFENSE

“[Israel’s message] Must be repeated ad infinitum until the people get it,” wrote Hollywood lawyer and producer Glenn D. Feig, in an email chain to many of Tinsel Town’s most influential executives. This was in response to the unprovoked 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza, one of the bloodiest chapters in over half a century of occupation.

Named “Operation Protective Edge”, the Israeli military engaged in seven weeks of near-constant bombing of the densely populated coastal strip. According to the United Nations, over 2,000 people were killed – a quarter of them children. 18,000 houses were destroyed, leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.

The Israeli military deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure, knocking out Gaza’s only power plant and shutting down its water treatment plants, leading to economic, social and ecological devastation in an area Human Rights Watch has labeled the world’s largest “open air prison”.

Many in Hollywood expressed deep concern. “We must make sure that never happens again”, insisted producer Ron Rotholz. Rotholz, however, was not referring to the death and destruction Israel imposed on Gaza, but to the fact that many of the entertainment world’s biggest stars, including celebrity power couple, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, had condemned Israel’s actions, labeling them tantamount to “genocide.”

“Change must start from the top down. It should be unheard of and unacceptable for any Academy Award-winning actor to call the legitimate armed defense of one’s territory…genocide” he continued, worrying that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a worldwide campaign to put economic pressure on Israel in an attempt to push it to meet its obligations under international law – was gaining steam in the world of the arts. Israel’s legitimacy rests upon political and military support from the U.S. Therefore, maintaining support among the American public is crucial to the long term viability of its settler colonial project.

Rotholz then attempted to organize a silent, worldwide pressure campaign on arts venues and organizations, including the Motion Picture Academy in Hollywood and the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, to stamp out BDS, writing,

What we can do is urge the leaders of major film, TV and theater organisations, festivals, markets and potentially the heads of media corporations to issue official statements condemning any form of cultural or economic boycotts against Israel.”

Others agreed that they had to develop a “game plan” for opposing BDS.

Of course, when influential producers, festivals and heads of media corporations release statements condemning a certain position or practice, this is, in effect, a threat: stop taking these positions or suffer the professional consequences.

LOACH ON THE BRAIN

The Sony emails also reveal a near obsession with British filmmaker and social activist Ken Loach. The celebrated director’s film, “Jimmy’s Hall” had recently been nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and in the wake of Israel’s assault on Gaza, he had publicly called for a cultural and sporting boycott of the apartheid state.

This outraged many in Hollywood. Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, a film producing company responsible for financing more than 200 movies, demanded that not only Loach, but the whole Cannes Film Festival be cancelled. “The studios and networks alike must join together and boycott cannes,” he wrote. “If we don’t we are sending a message that another holocaust is fine with Hollywood as long as it is business as usual,” he added, framing the Israeli attack on a near-defenseless civilian population as a Palestinian genocide of Israelis.

Others agreed. Ben Silverman, former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios and producer of shows such as “The Office”, “The Biggest Loser” and Ugly Betty” said that the industry should “boycott the boycotters”. Rotholz, meanwhile, wrote to the head of the Cannes Film Festival, demanding that he take action against Loach for his comments. “There is no place for [Loach’s intolerant and hateful remarks] in the global world of film and filmmakers”, he insisted.

.

Others came up with another way of countering Loach. “How about we all club together and make a documentary about the rise of new anti-Semitism in Europe,” suggested British film producer Cassian Elwes, adding,

I would be willing to contribute and put time into it if others here would do the same. Between all of us I’m sure we could figure out a way to distribute it and get it into places like Cannes so we could have a response to guys like Loach. Perhaps we try to use it to rally support from film communities in Europe to help us distribute it there”.

“I love it,” replied publishing oligarch Jason Binn, “And I will promote it in a major way to all 3.2 million magazine subscribers across all on and offline platforms. I can even leverage Gilt’s 9 million members,” he added, referring to the shopping and lifestyle website he managed.

“Me too,” said Amy Pascal, the Co-Chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Meanwhile, Mark Canton, producer of movies such as “Get Carter”, “Immortals” and “300” busied himself drumming up more Hollywood support for the idea. “Adding Carmi Zlotnik to this growing list”, he replied, referencing the TV executive.

This whole correspondence was from an email chain of dozens of high-powered entertainment figures entitled “Happy New Year. Too bad Germany is now a no travel zone for Jews,” which ludicrously claimed that the European country had become a Muslim-controlled Islamic theocracy.

“It is horrible. But in the end, it is no surprise, because apologists for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians will go to any length to prevent the people opposing them,” Mr. Loach said, when asked for comment by MintPress. “We shouldn’t underestimate the hatred of those who cannot tolerate the idea that Palestinians have human rights, that Palestine is a state; and they have their country,” he added.

SHUTTING DOWN FREE EXPRESSION

The pro-Israel group in Hollywood also put serious pressure on American institutions to crack down on support for Palestinian human rights. Silverman revealed that he had written to Peter Gelb, the general manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera, in an effort to shut down a performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer”, an opera that tells the story of the 1985 hijacking of an airliner by the Palestine Liberation Front. “I suggest though that we each call him on Monday at his office at the Met and your point about the Met’s donors’ leverage is important,” he advised the other entertainment oligarchs, thereby shining a light on how the powerful move in secret to silence speech they do not approve of, and how they use their financial clout to coerce and strong-arm others into toeing their line. A lot of pressure was necessary, because, as Silverman explained, “as members of the artistic community it is very hard to be pro free speech only some of the time and not all of the time.”

Ultimately, the performance did go ahead, but not without a large and coordinated protest both inside and outside the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, as individuals attempted to shut down the performance, claiming it was “antisemitic.”

LIAISING WITH THE IDF

The email conversations of many of Hollywood’s most influential individuals show that they believe they are on the verge of a worldwide extermination of Jews, and that Israel – and themselves – are the only things standing in the way of this impending fate. As Kavanaugh wrote, “It’s our job to keep another Holocaust from happening. Many of you may think that can’t happen, that is extreme…[but] If you pull newspapers from pre Holocaust it seems eerily close to our world today.”

Rotholz was of a similar opinion, writing that,

It is imperative that leading figures in the LA/NY film, tv, media, digital and theater communities who support a strong and potent Jewish state develop a strategy for liasing with colleagues in London and Europe and also with the creative communities here and in Europe to promote and explain the Israeli cause.”

The Sony Archive emails also show that, not only were Tinsel Town’s top brass coordinating strategies to silence critics of Israel, but that they were also closely liaising with the Israeli government and its military.

Producer George Perez, for example, messaged his colleagues in the chain email to introduce them to an IDF colonel, stating (emphasis added),

Everyone please use this “reply all” list from here on.  I have included Kobi Marom a retired commander in the Israeli army. Kobi was kind enough to give my family and I a jeep tour of the Golan Heights during our June trip to Israel.  He also took us to visit an army base on the border of Israel and Syria, an area which has been in the news lately.  Hard to imagine that the “kids” that we met at the base are most likely engaged in combat with our enemies.”

Seeing as the large majority of those who died were Palestinian civilians, it is unclear whether he considers all Palestinians or just Hamas as enemies of Hollywood. Perez also noted that “Kobi works closely with the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF) who are in need of donations,” and advised that Hollywood needed to “dig deep to help in the constant struggle for the survival of Israel.”

Hollywood celebrities including famed producer Haim Saban and actress Fran Drescher, pose with IDF soldiers at the FIDF Western Region Gala

The group also attempted to recruit Israeli-American movie star Natalie Portman into their ranks. But the Academy Award-winning actress appeared more concerned that her personal details were being shared. “How did I get on this list? Also Ryan Seacrest?” she replied, before directly addressing Kavanaugh, writing,

[C]an you please remove me from this email list? you should not be copying me publicly so that 20 people i don’t know have my personal info. i will have to change my email address now.  thank you”.

While Portman’s open contempt for the group of rabidly pro-Israel producers is notable, more so was Kavanaugh’s response, which revealed how close the connection between the Israeli state and Hollywood is. Kavanaugh wrote back,

Sorry. You are right Jews being slaughtered for their beliefs and Cannes members calling for the boycott of anything Israel or Jewish is much much less important than your email address being shared with 20 of our peers who are trying to make a difference. my deepest apologies…I had lunch yesterday with Israel consulate general who brought J street up to me. He was so perplexed confused and concerned when he heard you supported them that he begged me to connect you two.”

Thus, the leaked emails prove beyond any doubt that both the Israeli government and the IDF liaise with some of the most powerful people in the entertainment world in order to push forward a pro-Israel message and stamp out any deviance from that line.

HIP HOPPERS FOR APARTHEID

While their efforts at recruiting Portman fell flat, one star who responded enthusiastically was hip hop mega producer Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records and the brother of Joseph “Rev.Run” Simmons, one third of Run DMC. Simmons has recently been the subject of controversy, after 20 women have come forward, charging him with rape or other sexual misconduct.

The emails reveal that promoting engagement with Israel within the African-American community is one of Simmons’ primary interests. When asked if he had any ideas how to improve Israel’s image, he said, “Simple messaging from non Jews specifically from Muslims promoting peace and Israel’s right to exist…We have resources and the desire to win rather than lose the hearts of young Muslims and Jews.”

What these resources were, he explained,

We have hundreds of collaboration programs between Imams Rabbis and their congregations We have many respected imams who would join former chief rabbi metzker (spelling) rabbi Schneier and non Jews in promoting the Saudi peace plan”.

“Through this campaign we will be helping Israel,” he concluded.

TURNING THE TIDE

Despite the best efforts of Simmons and others, however, American public opinion has, in recent years, begun to turn against Israel. Young Americans, in particular, are more likely to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people and support an independent Palestinian state.

Much of this has to do with the rise of social media and a new generation of activists breaking through the barriers to highlight injustices being carried out by their government. Today, Americans are more likely to see first-hand, unvarnished accounts of Israeli brutality on social media platforms. As veteran political scientist Noam Chomsky explained to MintPress last year, “The veil of intense propaganda [is] being lifted slowly, [and] crucial U.S. participation in Israeli crimes is also coming more clearly into view. With committed activism, that could have salutary effects.”

Despite the best efforts of Simmons and others, however, American public opinion has, in recent years, begun to turn against Israel. Young Americans, in particular, are more likely to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian people and support an independent Palestinian state.

Much of this has to do with the rise of social media and a new generation of activists breaking through the barriers to highlight injustices being carried out by their government. Today, Americans are more likely to see first-hand, unvarnished accounts of Israeli brutality on social media platforms. As veteran political scientist Noam Chomsky explained to MintPress last year, “The veil of intense propaganda [is] being lifted slowly, [and] crucial U.S. participation in Israeli crimes is also coming more clearly into view. With committed activism, that could have salutary effects.”

Nevertheless, U.S. government support for Israel continues to rise. Between 2019 and 2028, it is scheduled to send nearly $40 billion in aid, almost all of it military, meaning that American taxpayer funds are contributing to Palestinian oppression and displacement.

Loach was even more upbeat on the issue, telling us that those who stand in the way of justice will be judged poorly by history, stating,

The denial of human rights of the Palestinians is one of the great crimes [of the modern era] and Palestinian rights is one of the great causes of last century and this century. We should all support the Palestinians. If you have any care for human rights, there is no question: the Palestinians have to be supported. And these people who oppose them, in the end, will fade away. Because history will show this was a terrible crime. Palestinians suffered ethnic cleansing of their homeland. We have to support the Palestinians, full stop.”

Those people, however, have no intention of “fading away”, and continue to organize on behalf of the Israeli government. Thanks to the leaked documents, those who care about Palestinian self-determination have a clearer understanding of how they operate.

Palestinians in Gaza Rise against PA ‘Security Coordination’ with Israel (PHOTOS)

September 21, 2022

Tepresentatives of major Palestinian clans and tribes demand the immediate release of Shtayyeh. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

‘The National Committee of Palestinian Tribes, Clans and Families in the Gaza Strip’ urged in a statement the Palestinian people to rise up against the latest measures by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to arrest a leading fighter in the West Bank city of Nablus. 

On Tuesday, PA security forces arrested Musab Shtayyeh, a decision that led to widespread protests in Nablus and across the occupied Palestinian territories. 

In their statement, representatives of major Palestinian clans and tribes demanded the immediate release of Shtayyeh, and an end to all ‘security coordination’ between the PA and the Israeli occupation. 

The Palestine Chronicle attended the large assembly held in Gaza City on Tuesday. 

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine ( Weekly Update 08 – 14 September 2022)

15. 09. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

A child was killed, 8 others were wounded, and dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 08 September 2022, IOF killed Haytham Hani Mubarak (17) from Beitounia, West of Ramallah, with several bullets at the DCO checkpoint near the entrance to Beitin village, east of Ramallah, and kept his body in custody, claiming that Mubarak tried to stab a soldier with a knife, yet there was no eyewitness to the incident.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force during IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 08 September 2022, A Palestinian was injured with a rubber bullet in the foot in IOF clashes following their incursion into Qalandia refugee camp in East Jerusalem. Also, a Palestinian was injured with a live bullet when IOF opened fire at Palestinians, who tried to confront settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah.

On the same day, IOF violently attacked Palestine TV journalist, Yousuf Mohammad ‘Aadi (36), when he was on Al-Wad Street in East Jerusalem, causing him bruises, wounds and fractures before arresting and later releasing him on bail the following day. ‘Aadi said to PCHR’s staff that IOF violently assaulted him and dragged him to the ground when he started screaming for help to passersby, who tried to intervene, but the soldiers prevented them and continued hitting him on the head, grabbed his hair and yanking him many times to the ground between the iron bars of a barrier.  Although he fainted, they continued beating him and then tied him up and arrested him.

On 09 September 2022, 4 Palestinians were shot by IOF’s rubber bullets in clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya. On the same day, an elderly suffocated due to teargas inhalations and others were sustained brises and suffocated during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest in support of Al-Nabi Samuel village residents, near al-Jib military checkpoint, northwestern East Jerusalem. In addition, 2 Palestinians were wounded and 5 suffocated during IOF suppression of a peaceful protest against land confiscations and settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah.

In the Gaza Strip, 2 IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shore, and 2 other shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 120 Palestinians, including 85 civilians: 25 children, 8 women; 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers; and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Thirty-two of those killed, including 19 civilians: 8 children and 3 women were in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Also, 1,316 Palestinians, including 204 children, 40 women, and 22 journalists, were wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 4 Palestinian prisoners, including a woman, died in the Israeli prisons.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF forced 2 Palestinians to self-demolish 2 houses and an animal barn in East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 08 September 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his under-construction house in Silwan village in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, they demolished retaining walls in al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 09 September 2022, IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish a barrack he owned and used as an animal barn in Al-Isawiya village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 12 September 2022, IOF forced a widow to self-demolish her house in Silwan village in occupied East Jerusalem under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering her and her 3 children homeless.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 113 families homeless, a total of 670 persons, including 130 women and 310 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 118 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 90 other civilian economic objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks

On 08 September 2022, an Israeli settler threw stones at a vehicle travelling on Bypass Road (60) near Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron, and broke its windshield. On the same day, 2 Palestinians were injured and sustained bruises while 5 cars were badly damaged  as a result of the settlers’ attacks in Sinjil village in Ramallah

On 13 September 2022, a Palestinian sustained wounds and fractures when Israeli settlers assaulted him in his land near at-Tuwani village close to Havat Ma’oun settlement outpost, south of Hebron. When a Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance arrived and tried to evacuate the injured, the settlers intercepted it and damaged its tires. IOF arrested the injured and took him via an Israeli ambulance to Soroka Hospital.  He was then referred for investigation to the police station in Kiryat Aba’ settlement, claiming that he attempted to kill a settler. Later on, IOF backups arrived in the area, opened fire, and fired tear gas canisters at the Palestinians there.  As a result, some of them suffocated.  Also, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians and interrogated them about a settler’s injury in clashes against Palestinians in the area.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 180 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 210 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 78 Palestinians were arrested, including 5 children and a woman. In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out 4 limited incursions into eastern Khan Yunis, eastern Gaza Valley village, southeast of Gaza, and Deir Al-Balah in the central governorate.

On 08 September 2022, IOF arrested 2 Palestinians, including a child, while trying to infiltrate via the border fence, east of Rafah, and released them the next day. On 13 September 2022, the Israeli Naval Forces arrested 4 fishermen after intercepting their boat off Gaza Valley shore.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 6,140 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 3,618 Palestinians were arrested, including 339 children and 32 women. IOF also conducted 32 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 84 Palestinians, including 49 fishermen, 30 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 100 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 4 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 08 September 2022, IOF established a military watchtower near the western entrance to Taqou’ village, east of Bethlehem.

On 11 September 2022, IOF closed the metal detector gate established at the western entrance to Husan village in Bethlehem and later reopened it.

So far in 2022, IOF established 3,105 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 146 Palestinians at those checkpoints

‘Our Gas is Our Right’: Palestinians in Gaza Rally for Access to Mediterranean Gas (PHOTOS)

September 14, 2022

Palestinian activists take part in a rally at the Gaza City Port to demand their right to receive gas from maritime fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Wafa Aludaini

Palestinian activists took part in a rally at the Gaza City Port on Tuesday to demand their right to receive gas from maritime fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and to pressure the Israeli occupation to lift the siege. 

Palestinian groups in Gaza inaugurated a banner at the Gaza Port reading “Our Gas is Our Right”. 

Suhail al-Hindi, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said: “Tens of thousands of families in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line as the Israeli occupation is still depriving us of our rights.”

Al-Hindi added that Palestinians have a right to their natural resources and gas, as well as to a waterway connecting Gaza to the rest of the world. 

“This land is our land, and this sea is our sea,” al-Hindi stated, warning Israel that “the resistance has the capacity to defend our people and our rights.”

Al-Hindi called on the international community to pressure Israel to put an end to the military occupation and the siege. 

“Your silence in front of injustice committed in Al-Aqsa, in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza will lead to an unavoidable explosion in the region.” 

(All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

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Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

 SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 

PROTESTOR HOLDS SIGNS SUPPORTING BDS, THE MOVEMENT FOR BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, AT ‘TEL AVIV SUR SEINE’ IN PARIS, AUGUST 13, 2015. (PHOTO: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Source

By Haider Eid

“If only it (Gaza) would just sink into the sea
– Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 1992

In 2008 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and American-made F16 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians. Israel, with the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment, decided to come back into Gaza four times since then and repeat the same crimes by launching areal strikes, killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of children, women, elderly, and injuring thousands. In fact, over the past 15 months alone, apartheid Israel has carried out two extensive military assaults on Gaza, killing hundreds, including more than 80 children, and injuring thousands, destroying vital infrastructure, while maintaining its 15-year illegal siege on the 2.4 million Palestinians here.

Israel’s airstrikes which always damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict. 

But Israel continues to get away with these war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “international community” does not seem seriously interested in the suffering of the native Palestinians. Neither does it even try to show concrete sympathy with those children who get killed in broad day light. After all, they are not Ukrainians, i.e., white.  In fact, while the American president apparently thinks that while “Israel has the right to defend itself,” the same right does not apply to Palestinians. This is in spite of the multi-tiered oppression of Palestinians by Israel, from apartheid to military occupation and colonization, and in spite of the deadly, hermetic siege imposed on Gaza for more than 15 years, so much so that Israel has even been using ‘calorie count’ to limit Gaza food during the blockade. 

This, however, has been Israel’s policy for a long time. In 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin wished that Gaza “would just sink into the sea.” The Oslo Accords, signed by Rabin, brought more misery into the lives of the 2 million inhabitants of this besieged, impoverished, occupied, small strip of land. The fact that Gazans are not born to Jewish mothers is enough reason to deprive them of their right to live equally with the citizens of the state of Israel. Hence, the Israeli logic goes, like the Black natives of South Africa, they should be isolated in a Bantustan, in accordance with the Oslo terms, without calling it so; and if they show any resistance to this plan, they must get punished severely by transforming the entire strip into an “open-air prison.” 

Both the US and the European Union display ignorance in the face of the brutal reality caused by Israel to GazaAs a result of Israel’s blockade on most imports and exports and other policies designed to punish Gazans, about 70% of Gaza’s workforce is now unemployed or without pay, according to the United Nations, and about 80% of its residents live in grinding poverty. About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. or international agencies; an increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. And fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza ‘s fishermen. No wonder, a report by the UN predicted that by 2020, Gaza would become “unlivable.” 

We are left with one option: people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The UN, EU and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. The corpses of hundreds of dead children and women have failed to convince them to act. We are, therefore, left with one option; an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council, namely, the option of people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign ultimately contributed to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.

Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza, like Soweto and Sharpeville, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it until it complies with international law. Like black South Africans, Palestinians deserve freedom, justice and equality.  Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 01-07 September 2022)

08. 09. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

Five Palestinians were killed, and 31 others were injured, including 9 children, a woman and a paramedic, while dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Also, a Palestinian detainee died due to medical neglect policy.  Details are as follows:

On 01 September 2022, IOF shot dead Yazan Na’iem ‘Afanah (24) after being wounded in his chest during their incursion into Ramallah in the West Bank. (Details available in this press release).

On 02 September 2022, Fadi Mohammed Ghattas (24), from Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, was killed after IOF fired 6 live bullets at him and left him to bleed for 40 minutes at the entrance to Beit ‘Einun Road in northern Hebron.  IOF took the dead body and kept it in custody, claiming that he stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier. Later, IOF summoned Ghattas’s father for interrogation and to identify the corpse.

On 03 September 2022, Palestinian Detainee Mousa Haron Abu Mehamid, from Bethlehem, died at the Israeli hospital “Assaf Harofeh.” ( Details available in this press release).

On 05 September 2022, IOF killed Taher Zakarna (19) after they fired a live bullet at his head during the suppression of protestors after IOF moved into Qabatia village, southeast of Jenin in the West Bank. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested two Palestinians. (Details available in this press release).

On 06 September 2022, Mohammed Saba’nah was killed, and 17 other Palestinians were injured, including 6 children, a woman and a paramedic, by IOF fire during the latter’s incursion into Jenin, northern West Bank, and demolition of the house of a Palestinian who was killed after carrying out a shooting attack in Israel in April. The house demolition falls under IOF’s collective punishment policy against the families of Palestinians who are allegedly accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli targets. (Details available in this press release).

On 07 September 2022, Yunis Ghassan Tayeh (21) was killed by IOF fire during the latter’s incursion into al-Far’a refugee camp, south of Tubas in the West Bank. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested Yunis’s uncle. (Details available here)

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 02 September 2022, 7 Palestinians, including 2 children, were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes that followed IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.  On the same day, several Palestinians sustained wounds after being beaten, and others suffocated due to teargas inhalation, while 4 Palestinians, including a child, were arrested during IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest organized in solidarity with Nabi Samuel villagers near al-Jeeb military checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 06 September 2022, a child was hit with a stun grenade in his head during clashes with IOF at the western entrance to al-‘Arroub refugee camp in Hebron. On the same day, 5 Palestinians sustained wounds after IOF opened fire and fired teargas canisters during their incursion into Jalazone refugee camp, north of al-Bireh city. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, including 2 siblings.

On 07 September 2022, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet after IOF opened fire at him, noting he was riding his motorcycle by Salem Palin in Nablus. IOF then arrested him.

In the Gaza Strip, 2 shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 4 other shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza Strip shore. On 01 September 2022, a burnt boat was pulled out of Khan Yunis Sea, and it turned out that Israeli gunboats fired several live bullets at the boat. 

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 116 Palestinians, including 84 civilians: 24 children, 8 women, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settler and the rest were activists; 15 of them were assassinated. Thirty-two of those killed, including 19 civilians: 8 children and 3 women were in the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. Also, 1,308 Palestinians were wounded in IOF’s attacks, including 204 children, 40 women, and 22 journalists, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Moreover, 4 Palestinian detainees, including a woman, died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 3 houses, rendering 4 families of 18 persons, including 6 women and 7 children, homeless. Also, IOF demolished 9 civilian economic facilities and razed a plot of land and property in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 02 September 2022, upon an Israeli municipal demolition decision allegedly for unlicensed construction, a Palestinian self-demolished his house in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering his family and his two brothers’ families of 11 persons, including 4 women and 3 children, homeless.  On the same day, upon a similar decision, a Palestinian self-demolished part of his 80-sqaure-meter house in occupied East Jerusalem. The house sheltered a family of 7 persons, including 2 women and 4 children.

On 03 September 2022, IOF’s bulldozers razed 8 dunums in Sinjil village, east of Ramallah. The levelled land is located in an area of 5200 dunums that IOF attempt to seize them, as these dunums are surrounded by 3 Israeli settlements and a military camp.

On 03 September 2022, IOF razed 8 dunums in Sinjil village, eastern Ramallah.  This plot of land is part of 5200 dunums, which IOF try to seize, and is surrounded by 3 settlements and an Israeli camp.

On 06 September 2022, IOF demolished 2 agricultural facilities, sealed off a water well and seized two containers full of construction equipment in Al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. Also, IOF demolished for the second time a 95-meter retaining wall surrounding a plot of land in Jabal Mukaber in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 07 September 2022, IOF demolished a house and 7 civilian economic facilities, including 3 livestock barns, a carwash, tires shop, and 2 stores, in the rented Islamic Endowment property (Waqf) at ‘Anata entrance in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 112 families homeless, a total of 666 persons, including 129 women and 307 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 116 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 89 other civilian economic objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

On 02 September 2022, under IOF’s heavy protection, hundreds of Israeli settlers accompanied by the Extremist Israeli Member of Knesset (MK), Itamar Ben Gvir, moved into Nabi Samuel village in occupied East Jerusalem. They roamed its streets raising Israeli flags and attempted to provoke Palestinians. The settlers then gathered at the village’s entrance opposite to a protest organized by the village’s residents.

On 06 September 2022, Israeli settlers, under IOF’s protection, attacked Palestinian houses in Khelet al-Nahlah and Khalayil al-Louz areas opposite to “Efrat” settlement, south of Bethlehem. They attempted to raid the houses by force, beat their residents and threw stones at them. As a result, many residents sustained bruises. Also, IOF attacked the residents, who tried to confront the settlers, and arrested 6 of them. 

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 178 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 190 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 96 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and a female journalist.  In the Gaza Strip, on 07 September 2022, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern al-Bureij camp in central Gaza Strip and into eastern Khuza’a in Khan Yunis.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 5,930 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem; during which, 3,540 Palestinians were arrested, including 334 children and 31 women. IOF also conducted 28 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 78 Palestinians, including 45 fishermen, 28 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

IOF maintains an illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly- update on the state of Gaza crossings in July.

On 06 September 2022, Mohammed Yaser al-Leddawi (32), from Rafah, died after IOF obstructed his travel to receive treatment at Patient’s Friends Society Hospital in Nablus and at Al-Mutala’ Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, after he applied for a travel permit 8 times in a row to receive treatment for lymphoma.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 104 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 8 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 04 September 2022, IOF closed the metal detector gate established at the main entrance to Nabi Saleh village in Ramallah, and reopened it on 07 September 2022, as part of the collective punishment policy for an alleged shooting at the military watchtower established there.

So far in 2022, IOF established at least 3,005 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 142 Palestinians at those checkpoints

A Turkish warship docks in Haifa Port for first time in 12 years

September 3, 2022

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen English 

A Turkish military frigate docks for the first time in over a decade as part of a NATO patrol.

The Turkish frigate TCG Kemalreis (F-247)

    A Turkish warship docked Saturday in the Haifa port in occupied Palestine as part of a mission for NATO forces in the region, for the first time in 12 years.

    The Israeli Kan channel reported that the Turkish frigate TCG Kemalreis (F-247), accompanied by the USS Forrest Sherman, an American-guided missile destroyer arrived at the Haifa port as part of a NATO patrol.

    A spokesperson for Haifa Port mentioned that the frigate will remain in the port for several days.

    Kan cited the captain of the Turkish warship as saying that the Israeli Ministry of Interior prevented the navigators from disembarking the TCG Kemalreison under the pretext of not holding official passports, adding that they were planning to tour Haifa and occupied Al-Quds.

    The captain added that the navigators and soldiers on board the military naval vessels of the fleets of NATO countries travel using cards issued by the alliance.

    Israeli media pointed out that this is the first Turkish warship to dock in an Israeli port since 2010, noting that the ship is participating in maneuvers carried out by NATO in the Mediterranean.

    The Jerusalem Post quoted an Israeli occupation forces (IOF) spokesperson as saying that “The docking is part of Israel’s cooperation with and support of NATO.”

    The arrival of the Turkish warship comes in light of the recent improvement in relations between the Israeli occupation and Turkey after years of estrangement.

    Relations between Ankara and “Tel Aviv” had reached their lowest level after Israeli occupation commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara ship that was carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in 2010, which led to the deaths of nine Turks.

    After a reconciliation deal in 2016, tensions escalated again between the two sides when both exchanged withdrawing ambassadors in 2018 over the IOF killing Palestinian protesters in Gaza, and after the US moved its embassy to occupied Al-Quds.

    However, in recent months, Israeli-Turkish relations have witnessed a remarkable improvement. In March, Israeli occupation President Isaac Herzog visited Ankara and met his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    In August, Turkey and “Israel” agreed to mutually reappoint ambassadors and restore full diplomatic ties.

    The announcement came less than two weeks after the Israeli occupation launched a brutal aggression on Gaza that left at least 49 martyrs, including 16 children.

    It is noteworthy that according to The Jerusalem Post, Turkey and “Israel” had for years “been close allies in the defense industry, security cooperation, intelligence sharing, and military training.”

    When pictures speak volumes: Awawdeh facing death any moment

     August 28, 2022 

    Source: Al Mayadeen

    By Al Mayadeen English 

    Pictures of Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh speak volumes of the Israeli intransigence and brutality.

    And the international community still maintains silence…

    The Prisoners Authority published horrific pictures of prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 6 months now.

    His wife and father took pictures of him today, exposing the truth of an ongoing “immoral and inhuman crime against him by the occupation prisons administration, and the Israeli intelligence service that insist on killing him,” even if slowly, according to a statement by the Prisoners Authority.

    The Authority’s statement added, “These images are more than enough to awaken the conscience of the world that should hold the [Israeli] occupation accountable.”

    Today, the Prisoners Information Office announced that Awawdeh is continuing his open hunger strike for the 166th day, amid critical health conditions.

    Awawdeh’s lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, said 3 days ago that he could die at any moment. 

    In March, Awawdeh began an open-ended hunger strike to demand his release, knowing that he was arbitrarily arrested as per the Israeli occupation’s arbitrary administrative detention policy, and his lawyer said he has only been only drinking water since.

    For their part, Egyptian mediators recently called for the release of Awawdeh under a ceasefire agreement that ended the recent 3-day Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

    The freedom of Awawdeh was one of the clauses of the agreement between Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Israeli occupation after several days of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians and wounding hundreds of others.

    The head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said on August 7 that “a formula for the Egyptian declaration of the truce agreement has been reached, and it includes Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners, Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam Al-Saadi.”

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    DELIBERATE MISREPRESENTATION: WESTERN MEDIA BIAS MAKES ISRAELI WAR ON PALESTINIANS POSSIBLE

    AUGUST 26TH, 2022

    Children and relatives of the five Palestinian children from Najm family who were killed in the last conflict between Palestine and Israel, hold placards during a rally in Jabalia, northern of Gaza strip. (Photo by Nidal Alwaheidi / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)


    RAMZY BAROUD

    While US and western mainstream and corporate media remain biased in favor of Israel, they often behave as if they are a third, neutral party. This is simply not the case.

    Take the New York Times coverage of the latest Israeli war on Gaza as an example. Its article on August 6, “Israel-Gaza Fighting Flares for a Second Day” is the typical mainstream western reporting on Israel and Palestine, but with a distinct NYT flavor.

    For the uninformed reader, the article succeeds in finding a balanced language between two equal sides. This misleading moral equivalence is one of the biggest intellectual blind spots for western journalists. If they do not outwardly champion Israel’s discourse on ‘security’ and ‘right to defend itself’, they create false parallels between Palestinians and Israelis, as if a military occupier and an occupied nation have comparable rights and responsibilities.

    Obviously, this logic does not apply to the Russia-Ukraine war. For NYT and all mainstream western media, there is no question regarding who the good guys and the bad guys are in that bloody fight.

    ‘Palestinian militants’ and ‘terrorists’ have always been the West’s bad guys.  Per the logic of their media coverage, Israel does not launch unprovoked wars on Palestinians and is not an unrepentant military occupier or a racist apartheid regime. This language can only be used by marginal ‘radical’ and ‘leftist’ media, never the mainstream.

    The brief introduction of the NYT article spoke about the rising death toll, but did not initially mention that the 20 killed Palestinians include children, emphasizing, instead, that Israeli attacks have killed a ‘militant leader’.

    When the six children killed by Israel are revealed in the second paragraph, the article immediately, and without starting a new sentence, clarifies that “Israel said some civilian deaths were the result of militants stashing weapons in residential areas”, and that others were killed by “misfired’ Palestinian rockets.

    On August 16, the Israeli military finally admitted that it was behind the strikes that killed the 5 young Palestinian boys of Jabaliya. Whether the NYT reported on that or not matters little. The damage has been done, and that was Israel’s plan from the start.

    The title of the BBC story of August 16, ‘Gaza’s children are used to the death and bombing’, does not immediately name those responsible for the ‘death and bombing’. Even Israeli military spokesmen, as we will discover later, would agree to such a statement, though they will always lay the blame squarely on the ‘Palestinian terrorists’.

    When the story finally reveals that a little girl, Layan, was killed in an Israeli strike, the language was carefully crafted to lessen the blame on her Israeli murderers. The girl, we are told, was on her way to the beach with her family, when their tuk-tuk “passed by a military camp run by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad”, which, “at the exact moment, (…) was targeted by Israeli fire”. The author says nothing of how she reached the conclusion that the family was not the target.

    One can easily glean from the story that Israel’s intention was not to kill Layan – and logically, none of the 17 other children murdered during the three-day war on Gaza. Besides, Israel has, according to the BBC, tried to save the little girl; alas, “a week of treatment in an Israeli hospital couldn’t save her life”.

    Though Israeli politicians have spoken blatantly about killing Palestinian children – and, in the case of former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, “the Palestinian mothers who give birth to ‘little snakes’” – the BBC report, and other reports on the latest war, have failed to mention this. Instead, it quoted Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who reportedly said that “the death of innocent civilians, especially children is heartbreaking.” Incidentally, Lapid ordered the latest war on Gaza, which killed a total of 49 Palestinians.

    Even a human-interest story about a murdered Palestinian child somehow avoided the language that could fault Israel for the gruesome killing of a little girl. Furthermore, the BBC also labored to present Israel in a positive light, resorting to quoting the occupation army’s statement that it was “devastated by (Layan’s) death and that of any civilians.”

    The NYT and BBC have been selected here not because they are the worst examples of western media bias, but because they are often cited as ‘liberal’, if not ‘progressive’, media. Their reporting, however, represents an ongoing crisis in western journalism, especially relating to Palestine.

    Books have been written about this subject, civil society organizations were formed to hold western media accountable and numerous editorial board meetings were organized to put some pressure on western editors, to no avail.

    Desperate by the unchanging pro-Israel narratives in western media, some pro-Palestine human rights advocates often argue that there are greater margins within Israel’s own mainstream media than in the US, for example. This, too, is inaccurate.

    The misnomer of the supposedly more balanced Israeli media is a direct outcome of the failure to influence western media coverage on Palestine and Israel. The erroneous notion is often buoyed by the fact that an Israeli newspaper, like Haaretz, gives marginal spaces to critical voices, like those of Israeli journalists Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

    Israeli propaganda, one of the most powerful and sophisticated in the world, however, can hardly be balanced by occasional columns written by a few dissenting journalists.

    Additionally, Haaretz is often cited as an example of relatively fair journalism, simply because the alternatives – Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and other rightwing Israeli media – are exemplary in their callousness, biased language and misconstruing of facts.

    The pro-Israel prejudices in western media often spill over to Palestine sympathetic media throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, especially those reporting on the news in English and French.

    Since many newspapers and online platforms utilize western news agencies, they, often inadvertently, adopt the same language used in western news sources, thus depicting Palestinian resisters or fighters, as ‘militants’, the Israeli occupation army as “Israeli Defense Forces” and Israeli war on Gaza as ‘flare ups’ of violence.

    In its totality, this language misinterprets the Palestinian struggle for freedom as random acts of violence within a protracted ‘conflict’ where innocent civilians, like Layan, are ‘caught in the crossfire.’

    The deadly Israeli wars on Gaza are made possible, not only by western weapons and political support, but through an endless stream of media misinformation and misrepresentation. Though Israel has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians in recent years, western media remains as committed to defending Israel as if nothing has changed.

    Feature photo | Children and relatives of the five Palestinian children from the Najm family who were killed by Israel in its latest military assault on Gaza, hold placards during a rally in Jabalia, Gaza. Nidal Alwaheidi | Sipa via AP Images

    Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is ‘Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out’. His other books include ‘My Father was a Freedom Fighter’ and ‘The Last Earth’. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News

    At a Massive Rally, Islamic Jihad Leader Says Israel Reneged on Its Truce Committments (PHOTOS)

    August 26, 2022

    Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the first post-war rally organized by the Islamic Jihad Movement in Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

    By Palestine Chronicle Staff

    Hundreds of Palestinians took part on Thursday in the first post-war rally organized by the Islamic Jihad Movement in the besieged Gaza Strip. 

    A Palestine Chronicle correspondent in Gaza attended the rally, entitled ‘The Road to Jerusalem’.

    During the rally, the leader of the group, Ziad Al-Nakhala, released pre-recorded remarks, accusing Israel of reneging on its commitments under a truce that ended a deadly three-day Israeli assault earlier this month.

    “The enemy is still evading the commitments it made to our brothers in Egypt,” The New Arab reported al-Nakhala as saying.

    “The enemy government must bear full responsibility for that,” al-Nakhala added. 

    On August 5, Israel launched what it called a ‘preemptive’ military operation on the Gaza Strip. The three-day intense bombardment killed 49 Palestinians, including 17 children, and wounded over 350 more.

    (All Photos: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle) 

    Israel troubled by Yemen’s booming military capabilities: Report

    Israeli media has been trying to position Yemen as a new threat for Tel Aviv, just as its army readies for a possible conflict with Hezbollah

    August 26 2022

    (Photo credit: MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)

    ByNews Desk- 

    Sources close to Yemen’s Ansarallah resistance movement say Israel’s allegations that its jets attacked the Yemeni capital on 7 August are “evidence” of Tel Aviv’s growing concerns about Sanaa’s military capabilities.

    Last week, Israeli chief of staff Aviv Kochavi said the Israeli army struck “a third country” during their bombardment of the Gaza Strip at the start of this month.

    Kochavi did not name the third country, however, Israeli media later claimed the target of the attack was the Al-Hafa military base on the Naqam Mountain, west of Sanaa, adding that the blast killed several Lebanese and Iranian operatives.

    Speaking to Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the Yemeni sources called Tel Aviv’s claim “incorrect speculation,” and alleged that the explosion in Sanaa that day was the result of “the detonation of the remains of mines in the Al-Hafa area.”

    The sources go on to say the allegations stem from Israel’s “terror over the development of Sanaa’s military capabilities.”

    “Israel realizes that Yemen possesses great defensive and offensive capabilities that are capable of striking it,” Al-Akhbar’s sources say, adding: “Israeli fears of Yemeni drones and missiles have escalated since the beginning of the year.”

    Ansarallah officials have often regarded Israel as the most prominent threat to Arab national security, and acknowledge that Tel Aviv has been participating in the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen.

    “All Israeli movements in the region are being monitored,” the Yemeni sources claim.

    As Israel prepares for a possible conflict with Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah over control of a gas field in the Mediterranean, Hebrew media outlets have begun planting the seeds of the “danger” posed by Yemen.

    According to a “high-ranking security source” that spoke with Israel’s i24NEWS, Israel is considering the possibility of opening a front in the south of the occupied territories to confront Ansarallah missiles.

    The security source goes on to claim that “the real danger facing Israel lies in Yemen,” and that the possibility of Ansarallah targeting Israel “is now a reality.”

    Earlier this year, the Sanaa-based National Salvation Government (NSG) banned any normalization process with Israel, and criminalized any contact with the state or its citizens.

    Fake Neutrality: How Western Media Language Misrepresents Palestinians, Shields Israel

    August 24, 2022

    A vigil near the graves of Palestinian children who were killed in the latest Israeli war on Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

    By Ramzy Baroud

    While US and western mainstream and corporate media remain biased in favor of Israel, they often behave as if they are a third, neutral party. This is simply not the case.

    Take the New York Times coverage of the latest Israeli war on Gaza as an example. Its article on August 6, “Israel-Gaza Fighting Flares for a Second Day” is the typical mainstream western reporting on Israel and Palestine, but with a distinct NYT flavor.

    For the uninformed reader, the article succeeds in finding a balanced language between two equal sides. This misleading moral equivalence is one of the biggest intellectual blind spots for western journalists. If they do not outwardly champion Israel’s discourse on ‘security’ and ‘right to defend itself’, they create false parallels between Palestinians and Israelis, as if a military occupier and an occupied nation have comparable rights and responsibilities.

    Obviously, this logic does not apply to the Russia-Ukraine war. For NYT and all mainstream western media, there is no question regarding who the good guys and the bad guys are in that bloody fight.

    ‘Palestinian militants’ and ‘terrorists’ have always been the West’s bad guys.  Per the logic of their media coverage, Israel does not launch unprovoked wars on Palestinians, and is not an unrepentant military occupier, or a racist apartheid regime. This language can only be used by marginal ‘radical’ and ‘leftist’ media, never the mainstream.

    The brief introduction of the NYT article spoke about the rising death toll, but did not initially mention that the 20 killed Palestinians include children, emphasizing, instead, that Israeli attacks have killed a ‘militant leader’.

    When the six children killed by Israel are revealed in the second paragraph, the article immediately, and without starting a new sentence, clarifies that “Israel said some civilian deaths were the result of militants stashing weapons in residential areas”, and that others were killed by “misfired’ Palestinian rockets.

    On August 16, the Israeli military finally admitted that it was behind the strikes that killed the 5 young Palestinian boys of Jabaliya. Whether the NYT reported on that or not matters little. The damage has been done, and that was Israel’s plan from the start.

    The title of the BBC story of August 16, ‘Gaza’s children are used to the death and bombing’, does not immediately name those responsible for the ‘death and bombing’. Even Israeli military spokesmen, as we will discover later, would agree to such a statement, though they will always lay the blame squarely on the ‘Palestinian terrorists’.

    When the story finally reveals that a little girl, Layan, was killed in an Israeli strike, the language was carefully crafted to lessen the blame on her Israeli murderers. The girl, we are told, was on her way to the beach with her family, when their tuk-tuk “passed by a military camp run by the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad”, which, “at the exact moment, (…) was targeted by Israeli fire”. The author says nothing of how she reached the conclusion that the family was not the target.

    One can easily glean from the story that Israel’s intention was not to kill Layan – and logically, none of the 17 other children murdered during the three-day war on Gaza. Besides, Israel has, according to the BBC, tried to save the little girl; alas, “a week of treatment in an Israeli hospital couldn’t save her life”.

    Though Israeli politicians have spoken blatantly about killing Palestinians children – and, in the case of former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, “the Palestinian mothers who give birth to ‘little snakes’” – the BBC report, and other reports on the latest war, have failed to mention this. Instead, it quoted Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who reportedly said that “the death of innocent civilians, especially childr is heartbreaking.” Incidentally, Lapid ordered the latest war on Gaza, which killed a total of 49 Palestinians.

    Even a human-interest story about a murdered Palestinian child somehow avoided the language that could fault Israel for the gruesome killing of a little girl. Furthermore, the BBC also labored to present Israel in a positive light, resorting to quote the occupation army’s statement that it was “devastated by (Layan’s) death and that of any civilians.”

    The NYT and BBC have been selected here not because they are the worst examples of western media bias, but because they are often cited as ‘liberal’, if not ‘progressive’, media. Their reporting, however, represents an ongoing crisis in western journalism, especially relating to Palestine.

    Books have been written about this subject, civil society organizations were formed to hold western media accountable and numerous editorial board meetings were organized to put some pressure on western editors, to no avail.

    Desperate by the unchanging pro-Israel narratives in western media, some pro-Palestine human rights advocates often argue that there are greater margins within Israel’s own mainstream media than in the US, for example. This, too, is inaccurate.

    The misnomer of the supposedly more balanced Israeli media is a direct outcome of the failure to influence western media coverage on Palestine and Israel. The erroneous notion is often buoyed by the fact that an Israeli newspaper, like Haaretz, gives marginal spaces to critical voices, like those of Israeli journalists Gideon Levy and Amira Hass.

    Israeli propaganda, one of the most powerful and sophisticated in the world, however, can hardly be balanced by occasional columns written by a few dissenting journalists.

    Additionally, Haaretz is often cited as an example of relatively fair journalism, simply because the alternatives – Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and other right-wing Israeli media – are exemplary in their callousness, biased language and misconstruing of facts.

    The pro-Israel prejudices in western media often spill over to Palestine’s sympathetic media throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world, especially those reporting on the news in English and French.

    Since many newspapers and online platforms utilize western news agencies, they, often inadvertently, adopt the same language used in western news sources, thus depicting Palestinian resisters or fighters, as ‘militants’, the Israeli occupation army as “Israeli Defense Forces” and the Israeli war on Gaza as ‘flare ups’ of violence.

    In its totality, this language misinterprets the Palestinian struggle for freedom as random acts of violence within a protracted ‘conflict’ where innocent civilians, like Layan, are ‘caught in the crossfire.’

    The deadly Israeli wars on Gaza are made possible, not only by western weapons and political support, but through an endless stream of media misinformation and misrepresentation. Though Israel has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians in recent years, western media remains as committed to defending Israel as if nothing has changed.

    – Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

    Sayyed Nasrallah Receives Nakhala: Leaders Discuss Future Role of the Axis of Resistance

    August 24, 2022 

    By Al-Ahed News

    Hezbollah Secretary General His eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah received Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement’s Secretary General Ziad Nakhala.

    The two resistance leaders tackled the latest events that took place in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, assessed the battle the latest battle against the ‘Israeli’ enemy on the field, political, and media levels, and discussed all the political developments in the region and the roles the different sides of the Axis of Resistance are expected to play in the future.

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