israeli Soldier Awarded Medal For Bravery After Being Hit By Pebble

Israeli Soldier Awarded Medal For Bravery After Being Hit By Pebble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Advertisements

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

July 20, 2018

Hezbollah flag

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Related Videos

Related Articlea

 

israel threatening more genocide in Palestine

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

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

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

Gaza during the 2014 war. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Global Jewish Groups Issue Joint Statement in Support of BDS Movement

By Telesur,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

israelis Just Keep Killing People, Stealing Land

Israelis Just Keep Killing People, Stealing Land

 by Uri Avnery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The main feature of this exercise is its utter stupidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For how long? One generation? Two? Three?

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

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

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

‘Jewish nation state’: How israel enshrines apartheid into law

‘Jewish nation state’: How Israel enshrines apartheid into law

The law is only the latest attempt to legislate discrimination against Palestinians

Ben White's picture

On Thursday, the Israeli government formally passed the “Jewish nation state”law. With the Knesset’s summer recess on the horizon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to pass the law ahead of the break.

“This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the history of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Knesset after the vote.

The initiative has risen to the top of the news agenda in Israel, with high-profile interventions from opponents and supporters. Last Tuesday, President Reuven Rivlin warned in a public letter of what he believes are the dangers inherent in the law – especially an article designed to protect and promote the existence of Jewish-only communities.

Lobbying efforts

Ahead of the vote, a number of Jewish American leaders have strongly urged Netanyahu to reconsider, intensifying their lobbying efforts to prevent the bill’s passage.

These responses have, regrettably but predictably, been characterised by a failure to understand or take sufficiently into account how Israel’s status as a “Jewish state” has always been reflected in legislation and practice, and, crucially, how this has impacted on Palestinians since 1948.

The omission of the experience of Palestinian citizens in this ‘Jewish and democratic’ state is compounded by an analysis that fails to look deeper into why this legislation is being proposed at all

Many discriminatory laws are already on the books, and legal ways to create segregated communities in Israel already exist. There is no right to equality, and Israel is not a state of all its citizens. The much-heralded Declaration of Independence is not a constitutional law, and the Basic Law already privileges the protection of a “Jewish state” over equality for non-Jewish citizens. 

As a UN special rapporteur put it in 2012, Israeli authorities already pursue “a land development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities”. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has similarly noted “the enactment of a number of discriminatory laws on land issues which disproportionately affect non-Jewish communities”.

Indeed, the issue of Jewish-only communities, which has dominated recent criticism over the law passed on Thursday, is often debated without reference to the fact that Israel already has hundreds of such segregated communities, thanks to the role of “admission committees”.

Traced back to the Nakba

A decade ago, Human Rights Watch reported on how these committees “are made up of government and community representatives as well as a senior official in the Jewish Agency or the Zionist Organisation, and have notoriously been used to exclude Arabs from living in rural Jewish communities”.

Such decades-old institutionalised discrimination, which can be traced all the way back to the Nakba, makes a mockery of the claim by the Israel Democracy Institute’s Mordechai Kremnitzer that the new law would somehow constitute “the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state”.



Palestinians gather at the site of a tent protest on 8 April 2018 in Gaza (AFP)

The new law does, however, represent an innovation, both legally and politically, as analysed by legal rights centre Adalah in a new position paper published on Sunday; enjoying the status of a Basic Law, the Jewish nation state law would anchor racist practices in the constitution.

Coverage by Western media has, on the whole, reproduced the lacuna of the law’s Israeli critics. Yet, the omission of the experience of Palestinian citizens in this “Jewish and democratic” state is compounded by an analysis that fails to look deeper into why this legislation is being proposed at all.

The “Jewish nation state” law is not the product of a right-wing tussle between Likud and Jewish Home, or Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett. Rather, tracing the origins of this proposed legislation reveals that it is, in essence, pushback against the efforts by Palestinian citizens over the last two decades to affirm their national identity and demand a state of all its citizens.

Doubling down

Not long after former Shin Bet head Avi Dichter began efforts to pass a “Jewish nation state” bill in 2011, Israeli journalist Lahav Harkov – now news editor of the Jerusalem Post – praised the initiative by citing “campaigns to delegitimise Israel on the rise both inside and outside the country”.

Thus, the response from the Israeli political establishment to a mobilised Palestinian citizenry demanding genuine equality has been to double-down on discrimination, and to defiantly and ever-more explicitly assert and legally protect the existence of a “Jewish state”.

READ MORE►

At 70, Israel more than ever deserves a cultural and academic boycott

But this is not without its advantages, as highlighted by the furore over the new law. For what the draft legislation threatens is not the existence of a “democratic” Israel, but rather critics’ idea of a “Jewish and democratic” state (or at least the plausibility of maintaining this idea).

Through its crudeness, the law threatens Israel’s ability to continue long-standing, institutionalised discrimination with no international cost, a prospect flagged through the warnings of Israel’s attorney general and Jewish American leader Rabbi Rick Jacobs.

Demographic war

“The true face of Zionism in Israel,” wrote Orly Noy in +972 magazine last week, is “an inherent, perpetual demographic war against its Palestinian citizens. If Israel seeks to be Jewish and democratic, it needs to actively ensure a Jewish majority.”

The “Jewish nation state” law is part of this historic and ongoing demographic war – one that is testimony to the activism of Palestinian citizens and an effort to stifle it.

As Israel consolidates the de facto single state between the river and the sea, this won’t be the last attempt to see the apartheid reality on the ground further reflected in legislation.

Ben White is the author of the new book Cracks in the Wall: Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel. He is a freelance journalist and writer and his articles have been published by Al Jazeera, al-Araby, Huffington Post, the Electronic Intifada, the Guardian’s Comment is Free and more.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Photo: Israeli flags fly near the Dome of the Rock in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on 5 December 2017 (AFP)

Gaza Patients Appeal to the World to Save Their Lives

Gaza Patients Appeal to the World to Save Their Lives

By Middle East Monitor,

Patients in Gaza’s hospital’s organised a sit-in in central Gaza City to appeal to the international community, Quds Press reported, Tuesday.

The sit-in included those wounded by Israel as well as rights groups. It took place in front of Erez Crossing where Gazans can pass through to receive treatment in Israel or Palestinian hospitals in West Bank.

Speakers at the sit-in said that Gaza’s hospitals suffer from shortages in medicines, lab equipment and testing materials due to the Palestinian Authority (PA) sanctions and the Israel’s siege of the strip

First aid crews and patients lying on stretchers take part in a protest against the impairment of health due to Israel's over a decade long blockade in front of Beit Hanoun Border Gate in Gaza City, Gaza on 17 July, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

First aid crews and patients lying on stretchers take part in a protest against the impairment of health due to Israel’s over a decade long blockade in front of Beit Hanoun Border Gate in Gaza City, Gaza on 17 July, 2018 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

The patients called for the international community to save their lives by lifting the siege and sanctions.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf al-Qidra, called for an, “immediate and unconditional end of the suffering of the Gaza patients.”

Al-Qidra said that the Israel had killed 141 Palestinians and wounded 16,000 others during the protests of the Great March of Return. This put a heavy burden on the ministry of health and consumed most of the medical supplies.

%d bloggers like this: