Is Haifa Nuclear Bomb has become True? هل باتت نظرية قنبلة حيفا النووية أمرا واقعا؟

 

 

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International Criminal Court Gets Slammed; Russia, Other Countries, Withdraw from Body

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By Richard Edmondson

The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, seems to feel that the only people capable of committing war crimes are Africans.

You can go here to view a list of 32 people indicted by the ICC since the year 2005. All of them are from Africa. The list includes such notable U.S. enemies as Muammar Gaddafi and his son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Some African nations have said ‘enough is enough’ and ended their membership in the court, and just last week Russia announced that it too will follow suit.

The International Criminal Court, or ICC, was set up with the passage of the Rome Statute, an international treaty adopted in Rome in 1998. The treaty formally went into effect in 2002, and the ICC began operations that same year. States which have either ratified or become signatories to the treaty become, in turn, members of the ICC. Currently 124 countries, at least officially, hold such membership. These are each allowed one voting representative on the Assembly of State Parties. The ASP is a legislative body set up to provide “management oversight” of the ICC, but usually it only meets once a year.

The court was given a mandate to investigate and prosecute crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression. There’s lots of that going on in the world, you know. Crimes against humanity for instance entail large-scale attacks against civilian populations. Just off the top of our heads we might think of, oh, say, Israel’s attacks against Gaza and its deliberate targeting of hospitals, UN schools, and residential buildings.

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Or take the category “war crimes”–crimes falling under this classification include the torture of prisoners, oh, such as occurred in US-run torture facilities.  Heck, we even have Obama admitting, “We tortured some folks.”

But up until January of this year, just about the only armed conflict venues the ICC had ever launched formal investigations into were in… Africa.

Ah! But on January 27, 2016, in a rare departure, the ICC announced it wouldlook into some alleged crimes committed outside of Africa.

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Umm…to be sure, the scope of this new investigation will not cover US officials such as, say, Alberto Gonzales, or the US treatment of prisoners in Iraq; and…well…neither is the ICC investigating Israel for its firing of white phosphorus shells into a UN compound in Gaza City on January 15, 2008, or the Jewish state’s use of the controversial “Hannibal Directive” during its 2014 war on Gaza, a measure which resulted in the deaths of 190 civilians in the town of Rafah on August 1, 2014–the date Palestinians have since come to refer to as “Black Friday.”

No.

Specifically the ICC has begun, or found itself compelled to begin, an investigation into the Russia-Georgia war over South Ossetia that occurred in 2008. And just to make sure the world understands it is being fair and impartial, the court has announced it has “gathered information on alleged crimes attributed to the three parties involved in the armed conflict – the Georgian armed forces, the South Ossetian forces, and the Russian armed forces.”

So yes, the court is now investigating Russia.

But as I say, the only indictments so far have been of Africans.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that last month three African countries announced their withdrawal from the court. The three countries are: South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia. The Parliament of Kenya has also voted to leave the ICC. And in 2015, the African National Congress issued a public statement in which it asserted that the “ICC is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended.”

But perhaps the real blockbuster came last week when Russia announced it, too, will be withdrawing from the Rome Statute and the ICC. This took place via an announcement posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry on November 16.

Interestingly, on that same day, November 16, University of Illinois Law Professor Francis A. Boyle sent out an email containing a scathing indictment of the ICC, the legal scholar denouncing the court as “a joke and a fraud.”

The comments of both Boyle, who has an extensive background in international law, and the Russian government, were prompted by a recently-released ICC report blandly entitled, “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2016,” that was  published on the ICC’s website on November 14.

The report (available here in PDF) offers the results of a “preliminary investigation” into nine different conflict areas in the world. The ICC views a preliminary investigation as a necessary step in order to determine “whether a situation meets the legal criteria” needed to warrant a full investigation. In other words, the ICC is investigating whether or not to do an investigation.

Of the nine different conflict areas, two are of particular interest: Palestine and Ukraine. Russia’s main concern, as you might expect, would be the findings pertaining to the latter. The concerns expressed by Boyle, on the other hand, were focused on the section of the report dealing with Palestine. Let’s take Palestine first.

The ICC on Palestine

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ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

The report is a declaration of activities undertaken by the branch of the ICC known as the Office of the Prosecutor, referred to in the document as “OPT”, or simply “the Office.” The OPT’s main area of inquiry is the 2014 Gaza conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge. By contrast, Operation Cast Lead, the bloody conflict which took place in 2008-09, goes completely unmentioned, and the term “white phosphorus” does not appear anywhere in the report.

While the report does supply a “contextual background” to the Israel-Palestine conflict–in the course of which the Six-Day War is mentioned, as are Israel’s “unilateral withdrawal” from Gaza in 2005 and the election of Hamas the following year–most of the section on Palestine, as I say, deals with the events of 2014.

“All parties are alleged to have committed crimes during the 51-day conflict,” the report states, and the words “alleged” or “allegedly” are employed repeatedly throughout.

Alleged crimes said to have been committed by Palestinians include “attacks against civilians,” “use of protected persons as shields” and “ill-treatment of persons accused of being collaborators.” A single paragraph is devoted to each category, following which the report moves on to “Acts allegedly committed by the IDF,” and here the “alleged” crimes include “attacks against residential buildings and civilians,” “attacks against medical facilities and personnel,” “attacks against UNRWA schools,” and “attacks against other civilian objects and infrastructure.” Once again, a single paragraph is devoted to each alleged crime.

The ICC says it has reviewed “over 320 reports as well as related documentation and supporting material” in the course of conducting its preliminary investigation. The report also mentions a trip to Israel by the OPT that took place October 5 to 10, 2016. The visit is said to have been facilitated by “Israeli and Palestinian authorities,” but apparently did not include a visit to Gaza. At least none is mentioned. One place they did visit, however, is Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where supposedly the OPC staff “engaged with the law faculty.” Why there was need for such an engagement is not clear, although the report does say the trip to Israel as a whole was undertaken for purpose of “raising awareness about the ICC” as well as to “address any misperceptions” about the judicial body.

Boyle’s comments about the ICC report, or at least his “alleged” comments, we might say, were posted at the Al-Awda Yahoo group (Yahoo login required), and were also sent out by email.

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In addition to branding the ICC “a joke and a fraud” the comment also makes reference to the visit to Hebrew University, which indeed is described on page 32 of the report.

The ICC’s “conclusion and next steps” in regard to its investigation on Palestine will be aimed at “continuing to engage in a thorough factual and legal assessment of the information available, in order to establish whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.” It will also “assess information on potentially relevant national proceedings, as necessary and appropriate.”

The ICC on Ukraine

Like Boyle’s posted comment, Russia’s announced withdrawal from the ICC also came on November 16–in a statement posted on the website of the nation’s Foreign Ministry. The statement does not single out Ukraine or the ICC report specifically. Its criticisms of the court are generalized. But the timing, just two days after the report’s publication, would strongly suggest that the one was prompted by the other.

The ICC report portrays the Maidan protests largely as a spontaneous popular uprising, making no mention of the US role in the overthrow of the Yanukovych government. Reference to the leaked phone conversation between the State Department’s Victoria Nuland and Jeffry Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, in which the two discussed who would become the new Ukrainian head of state, is completely omitted. “The protest movement continued to grow in strength and reportedly diversified to include individuals and groups who were generally dissatisfied with the Yanukovych Government and demanded his removal from office,” says the report, and the narrative adhered to is primarily that of the US:

On 21 February 2014, under European Union mediation, President Yanukovych and opposition representatives agreed on a new government and fixed Presidential elections for May 2014. However, on 22 February 2014, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove President Yanukovych, and he left the country that day to the Russian Federation.

In other words, it was all legal and on the up-and-up.

The relaying of events in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine also follows a similar pattern. The Crimean referendum of March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of voters chose to rejoin Russia, is referred to as “the alleged decision of residents of Crimea to join the Russian Federation,” with the report mentioning that the referendum “was declared invalid by the interim Ukrainian Government.” The “interim Ukrainian Government” means, of course, the government installed by the US, though the report doesn’t say so.

While occasional reference is made to crimes committed by “all sides” or “both sides” in the Ukrainian conflict, clearly the main focus is on the alleged transgressions of Russia and, to a lesser extent, those of armed opposition groups in Donbass that are allied to Russia. The crimes cited include:

  • Harassment of Crimean Tatar population
  • Killing and abduction
  • “Ill treatment”
  • Detention
  • Disappearance
  • Torture

The report also talks about destruction of property, including homes and schools, asserting that this has occurred “in both government-controlled territory and in areas controlled by armed groups.” But its fundamental conclusion is that the situation in Ukraine is legally classified as an “armed conflict.” As such, “the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol factually amounts to an on-going state of occupation.” Occupation by Russia, that is. Furthermore, “a determination of whether or not the initial intervention which led to the occupation is considered lawful or not is not required.” Or in other words, while Russia conceivably may have had some valid concerns (though the report leaves it entirely up to the reader’s imagination to guess what these might be), none of these will be taken into consideration by the ICC.

As noted above, the statement put out by the Russia Foreign Ministry makes no direct reference to the November 14 report, and its criticisms of the ICC are of a mostly generalized nature:

The ICC as the first permanent body of international criminal justice inspired high hopes of the international community in the fight against impunity in the context of common efforts to maintain international peace and security, to settle ongoing conflicts and to prevent new tensions.

Unfortunately the Court failed to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal. The work of the Court is characterized in a principled way as ineffective and one-sided in different fora, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is worth noting that during the 14 years of the Court’s work it passed only four sentences having spent over a billion dollars.

And while Ukraine isn’t specifically mentioned, the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia is:

The Russian Federation cannot be indifferent to the Court’s attitude vis-a-vis the situation of August 2008. The Saakashvili regime’s attack on peaceful Tshinval, the assassination of the Russian peacekeepers resulted in the Court’s accusations against South-ossetian militia and Russian soldiers. Eventual investigation of actions and orders of Georgian officials was left to the discretion of the Georgian justice and remains outside of the focus of the ICC Prosecutor’s office attention. This development speaks for itself. We can hardly trust the ICC in such a situation.

The statement also acknowledges the widespread dissatisfaction with the ICC by countries in Africa:

In this regard the demarche of the African Union which has decided to develop measures on a coordinated withdrawal of African States from the Rome Statute is understandable. Some of these States are already conducting such procedures.

Conclusions

While some of those indicted over the years by the ICC may well have deserved it, at the same time, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that the court has been used as a tool by powerful countries. Yes, it’s true, the ICC is conducting an ongoing “preliminary investigation” into the conflict in Afghanistan. The November 14 report in fact includes a section on Afghanistan which addresses crimes committed by the three main parties to the conflict: the Taliban, Afghan government forces, and the US-led international forces. With regard to the latter, the ICC states it has “a reasonable basis to believe” that the US “resorted to techniques amounting to the commission of the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and rape.”

Yet elsewhere in the same section, a somewhat contradictory view is offered:

Having reviewed information on a large number of incidents attributed to the international forces, the Office has determined that, although these operations resulted in incidental loss of civilian life and harm to civilians, in most incidents the information available does not provide a reasonable basis to believe that the military forces intended the civilian population as such or individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities to be the object of attack.

The report goes on to discuss “a few other incidents,” said to involve international forces, though without offering much hope of a prosecution due to “a paucity of the information” concerning them.

The chances of the ICC prosecuting any US official for war crimes seems slim, and indeed as the New York Times put it in a report published on November 14, the court’s prosecutor “has been considering whether to begin a full-fledged investigation into potential war crimes [committed by the US] in Afghanistan for years.”

Or to be more precise, for years the prosecutor has been “investigating whether to investigate” the US.

Interestingly, the Times article goes on to note as well that the court has been “under great pressure to show that it is unbiased in its targets for investigation.”

I have yet to point it out, but I will do so here: the ICC report of November 14 also contains no mention of Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

In the wake of Moscow’s announcement of its withdrawal from the ICC, two Russian writers, Dmitry Rodionov and Sergey Aksenov, published a commentaryon the issue, noting, as did the Foreign Ministry, that the judicial body had spent more than $1 billion over the 14 years of its existence and in the process had handed down only four sentences. They comment:

…The Hague prosecutor called the Crimean referendum “illegal” and the situation on the peninsula “occupation.” The fact that Russian troops were present on the peninsula according to agreements with Ukraine is ignored by the report.

For all of next year and perhaps even longer, the ICC will gather evidence on Crimea. Hague investigations are usually dragged on for years. For example, the court’s prosecutor received permission to investigate the events in South Ossetia from 2008 only this year….

According to lawyer Ilya Novikov, the court’s negative decision on Crimea could potentially result in formal charges and ICC arrest warrants. This will enable the countries complying with the Rome Statue to arrest Russian citizens and send them to the Hague court.

Assistant professor of political theory at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Kirill Koktysh, has pointed out that the ICC’s legal position is incorrect. It was not an annexation that took place in Crimea like the Hague asserts, but a secession: first Crimea seceded from Ukraine and only then joined Russia. According to Koktysh, the ICC’s initiative resembles a PR action rather than a strict legal procedure.

Whether the ICC is engaging in a “PR action,” as the Russians comment, or whether the court is a “joke and a fraud,” as Boyle would seem to have it, the upshot is that for the entire 14 years since the court came into existence, the biggest war criminals in the world have skated away scot-free.

Israel Absolves Itself from 2014 Naked Aggression on Gaza

Stephen Lendman

Israel remains unaccountable for decades of racist ruthlessness – massacring, persecuting and otherwise collectively punishing Palestinians for not being Jewish.

Operation Protective Edge was its third war on Gaza in five-and-a-half years – premeditated naked aggression against a largely defenseless population, 1.8 million people trapped under lawless siege, no safe havens for protection.

Israel’s war had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. Claiming it was a ruse, media scoundrels reporting it like gospel.

Attacking the Strip targeted Palestine’s legitimate government, democratically elected in January 2006, the PA installed as a puppet regime serving Israeli interests.

War was about preventing Palestinian self-determination. It was to maintain occupation harshness.

It was to keep stealing Palestinian land. It was to expand settlements exponentially. It was to control all valued parts of Judea and Samaria.

It was to keep Palestinians confined on isolated bantustans on worthless scrubland. It was to steal their resources.

It was to assure diaspora Palestinians don’t return. It was to maintain Gaza’s blockade while pretending otherwise when hostilities ended.

It was to have Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital. It was to undermine Fatah/Hamas unity.

It was to let Israel commit high crimes against peace with impunity – any time against invented enemies, unrestrained by inviolable international laws.

It was to show Palestinians they’re defenseless against overwhelming Israeli might. It was to enlist popular homeland support for what demands universal condemnation.

Wars on Gaza, anywhere in Palestine or regionally can be launched at Israel’s discretion – with full US support and encouragement, most other nations turning a blind eye, supporting naked aggression, mindless of the cost in Palestinian lives and suffering.

Whenever Israel investigates its high crimes of war and against humanity, whitewash follows. On Thursday, it summarily closed 13 investigations into Operation Protective Edge criminality committed by its soldiers in summer 2014.

Over 2,100 Palestinians died, mostly civilians, including over 500 children and 300 women, over 11,000 injured, many maimed for life.

Virtually every child was traumatized by war, requiring professional help in most cases unavailable. Only three Israeli soldiers were held accountable for crimes involving looting – not mass murder and destruction, affecting residential areas most.

Dozens of entire families were wiped out, scores more lost three or more members. Promised relief following war’s end never materialized.

A UN warning about Gaza becoming uninhabitable by 2020 goes unheeded. It’s virtually this way now.

Israeli-imposed dire conditions created a humanitarian catastrophe. Little is being done to help long-suffering people, illegally blockaded by Israel for over nine years.

Naked aggression could be launched against them any time at Israel’s discretion. Slow-motion genocide stalks Palestine – its epicenter in Gaza.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Israeli escalation in Gaza seeks to ‘change equation’ – but at what cost?

Posted on August 23, 2016

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By Ben White

Late on Sunday night, the Israeli Air Force launched dozens of airstrikes against targetIsraeli military fighter jets in the Gaza Strip – as many as 50, according to an official source – after a single rocket had struck Sderot earlier in the day, causing no damage or injuries.

The airstrikes, which primarily struck sites used by Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), constituted, in the words of one analyst, a “deliberate escalation” by Israeli authorities.

Since the August 2014 ceasefire that ended ‘Operation Protective Edge’, Hamas has not fired a single rocket out of the Gaza Strip into Israel. In May, AQB fired mortar rounds in response to Israeli forces’ efforts to locate cross-border tunnels – but that’s it.

Smaller groups, however, have fired some 40 rockets over the last two years, according to Israelisources, including 14 in 2016. None have resulted in casualties. This latest rocket launch was reportedly claimed by ISIS-affiliated group Ahfad al-Sahaba.

Israel has typically responded to each rocket with limited strikes on AQB facilities, claiming that Hamas is responsible for all attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. A deadly such airstrike in March, which killed two Palestinian children, highlighted the – at best – irresponsibility of Israel’s approach, which apart from the human cost, has always risked “paving the way towards a new escalation.”

So what is behind the new developments? Some Israeli commentators have suggested that Israel seized an opportunity presented by the rocket launch to “deprive Hamas of operational assets.” There has also been speculation that the influence of hawkish Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is behind the intensification in response.

One key question is whether this will now become the standard Israeli response to isolated projectile fire. Hamas spokesperson Ismail Ridwan said that the movement will not allow Israel to “impose new equations and change the rules of engagement” in the Gaza Strip, placing full responsibility for the “escalation and its repercussions” on the occupation.

Ridwan also called for Egypt to “rein in the Israeli occupation”, in Cairo’s capacity as the sponsor of the ceasefire agreement that ended ‘Operation Protective Edge’. Other Palestinian factions slammed the airstrikes, which they admit took them by surprise.

Israel’s unprecedentedly intensive series of airstrikes came a few days after Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank arrested Hamas’s representative on the Palestinian Central Elections Commission, the body charged with organising October’s municipal elections.

Israeli officials are worried that the Palestinian local elections scheduled for October will see breakthroughs for Hamas in West Bank municipalities, and have warned their Palestinian Authority “counterparts” of the risks in allowing the elections to go ahead.

It is clear why Israel has an interest in thwarting or undermining elections in which Hamas is a participant, not least because successful polls with Hamas’s involvement are deemed a necessary prerequisite to progress on the stuttering national unity front.

Hamas, for its part, decided to head to elections partly as a result of the challenges the movement is facing – and Israel seems determined to heighten the pressure. Numbers released in the last fortnight confirmed that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip actually tightened during July, data that Palestinians in Gaza say “refutes Israel’s claims that it has eased the closure of the Gaza Strip.”

The blockade persists in spite of warnings by Israeli military officials that Gaza’s economic recovery is essential from the point of view of maintaining ‘calm’. On Sunday, AQB spokesperson Abu Obeida told a rally in Rafah that “the enemy’s [Israel] leadership keeps committing mistakes and repeats the same stupidities by maintaining the siege imposed on our people.”

Today, meanwhile, following the recent indictments of Gaza-based World Vision and UNDP employees, Lieberman has sought to revive the idea of linking reconstruction to disarmament.

For Hamas, an unrelenting blockade, intensified periodic airstrikes, and an inability to meaningfully participate in local elections, may mean that the pressure on the movement proves too great.

Veteran Israeli defense analyst Yossi Melman, writing in The Jerusalem Post on what he called the “massive Israeli attack”, acknowledged that “Hamas’s argument that Israel intends to ‘change the equation’ is correct.” His conclusion was stark: “The seeds for another war were sowed this week.”

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THE DAY ISRAELI TERRORISM STOLE MY LIFE

Omar

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Omar Khader (center) with his brothers and cousin. Musab (left).

by Omar Khader

I was born in Gaza, Palestine. My whole life I have lived under illegal military occupation. I have seen many wars on my people, but the most difficult was the 2008/2009 war and the 2014 war.

My brother, Musab, was my best friend. We were two years apart in age. We grew up together. We went to the same school and we did everything together. We even slept in the same bed. We laughed ourselves to sleep. We were one soul in one body.

One morning, during the terrifying 2008 war on Gaza, Musab woke me up and said he will go with Father to our house. Yes, it was the 2008 war which was one of the vilest and ugliest wars endured by the Palestinian people. The Israeli occupation used internationally banned weapons on defenceless civilians, such as White Phosphorous.

My family moved out into my grandparents house when the war began. Many refugee’s were created and people were forced to leave their homes because of the war.

That day was like the past days where we were forced to listen to the sounds of explosions.

After we had our breakfast, Musab, came near me and said, “I will go with my father to our home, to bring some things from there.” When we left our home, we did not take anything with us from the house. Also, Musab wanted to feed his chickens. I tried to stop him but he said, “there is a cease-fire and every thing will be ok. “ So I said “ok,” but inside I felt fear.

I went to the youth to ask them if there really is a cease-fire or not. They told me “yes there is.” Then I said every thing will be ok and Musab left.

After one hour, while I was talking to my cousin, Musab called me to ask me to help him transfer the municipal water from a water car, into the my grandparents tanks. We help him, but he was the active one of us. Musab was the most loved member of our family because he was always busy helping everyone.

At 3pm, while I sat with my cousin, Musab called me once again. He looked at me and said, “I want to go with Father as you know and Mother wants me to go with her to our sister’s house.”

He then suggested I go with Mother. I looked at him and said “ok, but take care yourself.” He said, “everything will be ok,” then he left. While he was leaving, I said to him, “Don’t forget to bring me my clothes!” He smiled and said, “I will not forget that.”

Then he was gone. I did not know that would be the last time I would see him.

مصعب خضر-1
Musab Khader

As we arranged, he went with Father and I went with Mother to our sister’s house. While I was walking with Mother in the street, I was looking into her face and I was seeing something strange. She did not talk to me on the road. She was quiet the entire way to my sister’s home. Mother stayed there just 5 minutes, then she decided to leave. My sister and I were surprised by our Mother’s behaviour. I said “ok, let’s go back home.”

Walking back at home, I could see my mother was feeling something terribly wrong. I began thinking of Father and Musab. When we got to my grandparent’s house, she did not enter the house. She stopped and was thinking. I went directly to her and took hold of her hand. We entered the house together. We were there a few minutes and then we heard a big explosion in the street.

On my way to see what happened outside, my cousin Ahmed rushed to me crying and said, “your brother Musab was murderd!”

OMG! When I heard those words, I fell to the ground. After 2 minutes, I gathered my strength and went out to see what was there. I saw a lot of people crowded around my Father, who was drowned in Musab’s blood.

I saw my most beloved brother laying down on the ground, his body mutilated. I went straight to Father, looked into his eyes and asked, “did my brother Musab, die?” He pulled me to him, hugging me so hard and said, “yes, he in heaven now.”

I fell to the ground crying. When Father and Musab got to our home, Musab wanted to feed the chickens, which were in a small room near the house. While he was opening the door, the Israeli occupation targeted him with a rocket, killing him.

Father was near Musab when the rocket struck him. Father was not hurt. He stood up and screamed for Musab, but he did not answer. Then, Father came close to my brother and found him dead, near the chickens he had been feeding.

Father carried Musab’s body back home to us. It was the most difficult moment for him, seeing his son killed in front of his own eyes.

20160207_153524 (1)My relatives began preparing for the funeral. They wrapped Musab’s body in white cloth. After 30 minutes, we carried his body to the mosque.

All our relatives prayed together for Musab’s soul. I was crying while I prayed. I could think only of my father in that moment. Our relatives prayed for our protection and asked Allah to bless us with patience.

When my relatives began to place Musab’s body in the grave and I watched them putting my brother in the ground, I could not see that. I fell, fainting. When I woke up, I sat up, next to Musab’s grave and cried and cried. I did not want to leave him, but my family forced me to. They carried me home.

When I got to my grandparent’s house, I saw my sisters and Mother crying. When they saw me, they hugged me hard and kissed me.

I could not sleep that night. I was sitting near my father, who was crying and thanking Allah for taking Musab to a better place.

I got hurt when I lost my brother, deep inside my soul. Even until these days. He was everything to me. We could not believe he was gone.

My brother was not a terrorist as the Israeli occupation said he was. He was murdered at 14-years-old. He did not have any weapons in his hands when he was killed. Musab had a very kind heart. He was feeding chickens when the occupation murdered him. They killed him because he is Palestinian. Yes, they killed him because they love to killchildren.

Yes, they killed him because they fear Palestinian children! Because they know we grow up under occupation and one day we will reject it. One day we may leave Palestine, to follow our dreams, but the desire to return to our homeland is always too strong.

Our pure desire’s can never be defeated. We always return. And our children are born with and carry the desire within them, to return to our blessed homeland. We will never give up the hope that we can one day return to Palestine.

Yes, they killed my brother but they cannot kill our hope. Yes, we will never give up and we will never give in to our genocide.

We will continue in this way to defend our lands and our traditions. Yes we will send our message to the world, that we are not numbers! We are human beings, just like you and we have the right to live in peace.

I hate the wars that I have endured. I love peace and I will do everything for my country and for my people to live in peace.

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Omar Khader is a student of English Literature at Alazhar University in Gaza, Occupied Palestine. He is a Middle East Rising contributor.

Gaza in Context… Watch it!!!

July 27, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

Downing Street Protest Against Israel, Held Saturday, July 8

Londoners refusing to remain quiet in the face of Israeli war crimes and occupation. The protest is taking place on the second anniversary of the Israeli assault upon Gaza known as “Operation Protective Edge.” The 51-day attack, which began on July 8, 2014, resulted in the deaths of more than 2,100 Palestinians, including 448 children.

In the next video Chris Gunness, of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, discusses the Gaza blockade and its impact on the local population. Why, if Israel’s only concern is security, is the Jewish state imposing a blockade on Gaza exports?

Wounded, killed or left homeless–children of the 2014 conflict:

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massacre

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RT report from August 1, 2014–“It’s not a war, it’s a massacre”

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