“Imad Mughniyeh, Qassem Suleimani Masterminded Gaza Tunnels”

January 9, 2020

Representative of Hamas resistance movement in Lebanon Ahmad Abdu Hadi revealed that Hezbollah top commander Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Commander of IRGC’s Quds Force General Qassem Suleimani had visited Gaza repeatedly and contributed to resistance actions against the Zionist entity in the coastal enclave.

“There are 360-kilometer underground tunnels in Gaza. The idea of these tunnels was introduced by two men: the first was Imad Mughniyeh, while the second was Qassem Suleimani,” Abdul Hadi said in a meeting with journalists on Wednesday.

Martyrs Suleimani and Mughniyeh went repeatedly to Gaza and contributed to the defensive plans by the resistance factions in the besieged strip, Abdul Hadi added.

“Thanks to Suelimani and Mughniyeh the resistance managed to have and produce Kornet rockets and anti-aircraft rockets as well as missiles equipped by three warheads that are capable to reach Tel Aviv.”

Mughniyeh was martyred in a Mossad car bomb attack in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in February 2008. Suleimani was

Source: Al-Manar

IOF Official Warns: Tunnels under Northern Border Pose ‘Major Threat’

Israeli soldier tunnel

December 16, 2019

A senior Israeli official said that tunnels will play a major part in the next armed conflict on the Zionist entity’s northern and southern border.

Maj. Gen. Mickey Edelstein, who heads the military’s counter-tunnel warfare development efforts, described the tunnels as serious threat which the occupation military is gearing up to counter.

He said that some of the tactics already developed for underground warfare will soon become obsolete, as quoted by “Israel Hayom”.

“There is a need to change many of the basic assumptions. The enemy wants to force us to operate above and below ground at the same time, in order to exhaust us and lead to further attacks against civilians,” he told a symposium titled “Subterranean Challenges in War and Peace” on Sunday.

Edelstein said that with respect to urban warfare, buildings that have been cleared of fighters could still pose a risk due to tunnels.

“If in the past there was the question of whether we could counter the terror tunnels without entering them – we won’t have this privilege in the future. There is a 100% chance that we will face the challenge of the tunnels in Gaza and in Lebanon.”

He further noted that the threat posed by tunnels in the northern sector is “unequivocal”.

“Every village has tunnels,” he said, adding that the occupation military is sparing no effort to meet this challenge.

“Tunnel warfare reduced nearly all the advantaged you have when fighting above ground to almost zero, be it with respect to firepower, engaging the enemy, and the troops’ movement,” he explained.

“One of the problems is that we don’t have the intelligence capability to discern the location of each and every tunnel. No one unit can do handle locating a tunnel and neutralize it – we need an entire strategic lineup for that,” the Israeli general said.

Source: Israeli media

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Hamas: Iran Provided Palestinian Resistance with Weaponry & Money

Hamas leader Yahia Sinwar attending a rally in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip January 7, 2016.

November 4, 2019

Gaza’s Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar Monday gave Iran the greatest credit for supporting the Palestinian resistance and providing it with money, expertise and weaponry.

Sinwar stressed that the Palestinian resistance has developed anti-armored missiles, adding that it can fire missiles at Tel Aviv for six consecutive months.

Sinwar also reiterated that the Deal of the Century aims at eradicating the Palestinian cause, adding that the weekly Return Protests achieved many targets.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

الميادين نت 

رئيس المكتب السياسي لحماس في غزة يقول إننا “لن نقدم أي تنازلات استراتيجية مقابل حل مشكلتنا الإنسانية بل سنرغم الاحتلال على كسر الحصار عن شعبنا”، ويشدد على الجهوزية للاحتكام إلى إرادة شعبنا عبر صناديق الاقتراع وشعبنا لم يخذلنا يوماً.

السنوار: حالة الاشتباك المستمرة مع العدو دفعت ببعض العرب الى الهرولة للتطبيع وانهاء قضيتنا

السنوار: حالة الاشتباك المستمرة مع العدو دفعت ببعض العرب الى الهرولة للتطبيع وانهاء قضيتنا

قال رئيس المكتب السياسي لحماس في غزة يحيى السنوار إن العدو صبّ نيرانه في المنطقة على الخلاف الطائفي ليتصارع أطرافها الذين انشغلوا عن القضية الفلسطينية، مضيفاً “واجهنا تحديات كبيرة في العامين الماضيين وعوائق تعترض قضيتنا وتهددها”.
ولفت السنوار إلى أن العدو تحكمه سياسات يمينية متطرفة تصبّ الزيت على النيران في المنطقة وتغتنم الفرص لشطب القضية، موضحاً أن الصهاينة يتحكمون بالادارة الاميركية التي قال رئيسها من قمة الرياض ان القدس عاصمة اليهود ولم يعترض أحد.

كما اعتبر  أن توجهات كبيرة بدأت لدى زعماء عرب في أواسط العام 2017 بالتطبيع مع “إسرائيل” وإجراء محادثات معها، مؤكداً أننات في المرحلة الماضية عملنا خلالها على 6 محاور من بينها العمل لطي الانقسام الداخلي.

كذلك كشف عن مباحثات مع حركة فتح والسلطة ومع الفصائل من أجل إنهاء الانقسام و”أدركنا أن ذلك يحتاج إلى وقت”،مضيفاً لقد “شكلّنا مع الفصائل وبرعاية مصرية لجاناً بهدف ازالة كل العوائق امام انجاز التفاهمات الداخلية”.

وتابع السنوار قائلاً “هناك قوى سوداء مجرمة لم ترد أن تطوى صفحة الانقسام وفي مقدمها جهاز الشاباك الاسرائيلي”.

وأسف السنوار لأن هذه القوى نجحت في إفشال مسعى طي الانقسام عبر أيد داخلية، مؤكداً أن التحقيقات بيّنت أن حادثة محاولة استهداف رامي الحمد لله في غزة كان وراءها الشاباك بأيد داخلية.

هذا ولفت السنوار إلى الموافقة “على مبادرة دفع المسيرة رغم ملاحظاتنا عليها وأبدينا استعدادنا لاجراء الانتخابات وتسهيلها”، مضيفاً “نجحنا في تشكيل غرفة العمليات المشتركة التي تضم 13 جناحاً مسلحاً وهي تمكنت من صد اعتداءات الاحتلال”.

العلاقات مع العرب

رئيس المكتب السياسي لحماس في غزة شدد على النجاح في توحيد الكلمة في وجه محاولات تمرير صفقة القرن،
وعن العلاقات مع الخارج”.

وقال السينوار “سعينا إلى تفكيك أي إشكال بيننا وبين أي قطر عربي أو اسلامي وحققنا انجازاً في العلاقة مع مصر”، مضيفاً “نجحنا في وقف التحريض في الاعلام المصري ضد حماس والمقاومة الفلسطينية فنحن لا يمكننا ان نستغني عن مصر”.

كما طورت الحركة العلاقة مع قطر التي ضخت مبالغ مالية كبيرة في غزة وهي قاربت المليار دولار.

أما عن إيران فقال السنوار

“إن لها الفضل الأكبر بعد الله تعالى في بناء قوتنا ولولا دعمها لما وصلنا إلى ما وصلنا إليه”، حيث “قدمت لنا المال والسلاح والخبرات في حين خذلنا أخوان عرب عند تقديم العون”.

بالمقابل، وبحسب السنوار قال

“هناك دول عربية أوصدت أبوابها قالت إن عليكم التكلم مع الأميركيين اولاً”، مضيفاً “رغم سيل دمنا الهادر.. فتحت عواصم عربية أبوابها أمام الاحتلال وعُزف فيها النشيد الإسرائيلي”.

لدينا في قطاع غزة؟

وكشف السنوار في خطابه، أن

“في القطاع قوة عسكرية يعتد بها ويحسب لها العدو الف حساب ولدينا مئات الكيلومترات من الانفاق والمئات من غرف التحكم والسيطرة وفق الارض وتحتها ولدينا مئات وآلاف الكمائن.إلى جانب ألاف من المضادات من تصنيع غزة والآلاف المؤلفة من القذائف الصاروخية، والمئات من المضادات للدروع التي صنعها شباننا في غزة”.

واستدرك ليقول إن “آلاف العمليات ضد الاحتلال نفذّها ابطال الضفة الغربية في الاعوام الماضية”.

ووجه السنوار حديثه لقادة الاحتلال وتحديداً لرئيس الأركان بني غانتس قائلاً

“نحن في انتظاركم وسنجعلك يا غانتس تلعن اليوم الذي ولدت فيه”.

مسيرات العودة

هذا واعتبر السنوار أن “مسيرات العودة في غزة حققت أهدافاً كثيرة أبرزها إحياء حق العودة وإسقاط نظرية العدو بأن الصغار سينسون، مؤكداً أن حالة الاشتباك المستمرة مع العدو دفعت ببعض العرب إلى الهرولة للتطبيع وإنهاء قضيتنا”.

السنوار: لا بد من لقاء وطني يجتمع فيه قادة الفصائل

كما قال “لن نقدم أي تنازلات استراتيجية مقابل حل مشكلتنا الإنسانية بل سنرغم الاحتلال على كسر الحصار عن شعبنا”، مشدداً على أننا”كنا ولا زلنا جاهزين للاحتكام إلى ارادة شعبنا عبر صناديق الاقتراع وشعبنا لم يخذلنا يوما”.

كذلك، اعتبر أنه لا بد من لقاء وطني يجتمع فيه قادة الفصائل لإزالة أي اشكالية ممكن ان تنشأ في طريق إنجاح الانتخابات.

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (25 April – 01 May 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(25 April – 01 May 2019)

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against the peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip.
  • 115 civilians, including 40 children, 3 women, 4 paramedics and a journalist, were wounded. The injury of 2 of them was reported serious.
  • A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces conducted 75 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 other incursions into Jerusalem.
  • 37 Palestinian civilians, including 4children, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 9 of them, including 3 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.
  • Shooting incidents continued against Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the border areas of the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • 5 houses and 18 other facilities were demolished in addition to forcing a civilian to self-demolish his house and another to self-demolish his balcony.
  • Israeli authorities continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • A house was demolished, and 4 dunums were leveled in al-Dirat village, south of Hebron in addition to uprooting dozens of olive trees in Beit Jala.
  • 3 civilians sustained wounds and bruises after being attacked by settles, west of Ramallah.
  • 8 Shooting incidents were reported against the fishing boats in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • The allowed area for fishing decreased to 6 nautical miles. A fisherman was wounded, 2 others were arrested, and a fishing a boat was confiscated.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year.
  • Israeli forces established 92 permanent checkpoints and 136 temporary checkpoints in the West Bank.
  • Two Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (25 April – 01 May 2019).

 

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized within the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 56th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force against Palestinians protesting against the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, During the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege protests, Israeli forces wounded 115 civilians, including 40 children, 3 women, 1 journalist and 4 paramedics. The injury of 2 of those wounded was reported serious.  Moreover, a fisherman was wounded by the Israeli forces in the Gaza Sea. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian civilian in a shooting incident.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 25 April – 01 May 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 31 12 0 0 1 0
Gaza City 13 1 1 0 1 0
Central Gaza Strip 38 16 1 0 1 0
Khan Yunis 12 4 0 0 1 0
Rafah 21 7 1 1 0 2
Total 115 40 3 1 4 2

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  On 30 April 2019, the Israeli authorities informed the Palestinian side of reducing the allowed area for fishing to 6 miles after weeks of allowing the fishermen to fish in the Gaza Sea up to 15 nautical miles.  As a result, the Israeli naval forces opened fire and chased the fishermen sailing within more than 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Shore, overwhelming many fishing nets.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 8 shooting incidents against the Palestinian fishermen off al-Waha resort shore in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, a fisherman was wounded, 2 were arrested and their fishing boat was confiscated.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 25 April 2019, Israeli soldiers opened fire at the farmers in eastern Shokah village, east of Rafah City.  The shooting recurred at the farmers in the same area on the same day.

 

On 30 April 2019, Israeli forces fired live ammunition and teargas canisters at the shepherds in northern Bouret Abu Samrah area in the northern Gaza Strip.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 2 Palestinian civilians in separate shooting incidents while a child was wounded after being shot by settlers.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 75 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 28 Palestinians, including a child, in the West Bank, while 9 other civilians, including 3 children, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, On 29 April 2019, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a number of residential and agricultural facilities in the villages of Sour Baher and al-Mukaber Mount in addition to the Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a license.  According to PCHR’s investigations, 3 residential houses and 15 other civil facilities were demolished in al-Mukaber Mount village and a shed in Sour Baher village.  Moreover, a Palestinian was forced to self-demolish his house balcony in the latter village while another was forced to self-demolish his house in Qaddoum Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of building without a license.

On 30 April 2019, the Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses and 2 barracks in Yasoul Valley neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of building without a license.  It should be mentioned that those facilities belonged to Anas and Qosai Burqan and used to shelter 11 family members, including 7 children.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

  • As part of house demolitions and notices, on 29 April 2019, the Israeli forces leveled an agricultural land belonging to Walid Zarinah in Beit Jala and uprooted dozens of olive trees. Zarinah said that his land was uprooted with 200 fruitful olive trees as the Israeli bulldozers uprooted dozens of them.

 

  • On 01 May 2019, the Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to the family of Jabrin al-‘Adrah in al-Dirat village, east of Yata, south of Hebron. The 1-story house was built of bricks on an area of 130 square meters and sheltered a family of 7 members, including 5 children.

 

  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 28 April 2019, a group of settlers attacked 3 Palestinian civilians, who were in their agricultural lands in al-Risan Mount area in the western side of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. The settlers managed to catch the 3 civilians and beat them up.  As a result, they sustained bruises in the chest and lower limbs.
  • On 01 May 2019, a group of Israeli settlers from “‘Itsaf” settlement established on the lands of Barwa village, east of Ramallah, cut and destroyed 120 olive trees in the eastern area lands of the village.   Those trees belonged to Ibrahim Hasan Kan’an, ‘Abdullah Barakat, and Yousif Kan’an.

 

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

Thursday, 25 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Kefah Ahmed Abu ‘Ayash (22) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Anas Mahmoud Sa’ed (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:50, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at Palestinian farmers. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 14:50, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al- Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire and fired tear gas canisters at Palestinian farmers near the March of Return encampment. As a result, the farmers were forced to leave the area, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (11) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Deir al-‘Asal, Karza villages and Halhoul in Hebron; Safa, ‘Ein ‘Arik and Betunia villages in Ramallah; Qifin, Ertah and Far’oun villages in Tulkarm; Hares village, north of Salfit; and ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah.

 

 

Friday, 26 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Abdul Qader Haroub (33). They then withdrew from the area and no arrests were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Bani Na’im and al-Samou’a villages in Hebron; Nablus and Tal village, southwest of the city; Sebastia village, northwest of the city; Qabatiyah village, southeast of Jenin; Hares village, north of Salfit; ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; and Seniriya village southeast of the city.

 

Saturday, 27 April 2019:

 

  • At approximately 06:45, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (8) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Dura, al-Majd, Beit Ummer and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron; Baqa western village, north of Tulkarm; al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit; ‘Azzoun and Kufor Qaddoum villages, east, northeast of Qalqiliyah.

 

Sunday, 28 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Mohammed Taha ‘Adarbah (23), Rani Ahmed Hadeeb (18) and ‘Obaid Akram Jawabrah (22).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zohair Khairi Eskafi (40). They withdrew and no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 02:15, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Osamah Nathir Hamed (26) and Abdul Hafith Wasel ‘Azzam (25) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Wahah Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Yatta, Tarqumiyah and al-Thaheriyah villages in Hebron; Kufor Sour and al-Ras villages, south of Tulkarm.

 

 

Monday, 29 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Atil village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zaher Abdul Rahman As’ad Daqqah (43) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Balatah refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Majdi Jamal ‘Awad Hasan Salem Hashash (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Batir village, west of ‘Askar al-Jadeed refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Amjad al-Ashqar (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Balatah refugee camp, east of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 4 civilians, including 2 brothers, namely Yusuf ‘Ali Yusuf al-Safadi (23), Abdullah Jehad Theeb Shehadah (21); Mohammed (23) and Saif Eden Mustafa Ahmed al-Safadi (23).

 

  • At approximately 03:15, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Dan village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ayman Rajeh ‘Abed and then arrested his sons Ehsan (20) and Osamah (22).

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit. They raided ad searched a house belonging to Yusuf Sofian Abu Laila (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 08:15, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (10) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Tarqoumia village, Dura in Hebron; Sabastia village, northwest of Nablus; Jenin Refugee Camp, west of Jenin.Zawata and Agnesina villages, northwest of Nablus; Hebron, Surif, al-Thaheriyah and Hadab villages in Hebron; Qalqiliyah, Ezbet al-Ashqar, Kufor Thuluth and ‘Azzoun villages in Qalqiliyah.

 

 

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

 

  • At approximately 04:40, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Ne’mah village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely Ahmed Nazih Abu ‘Ali (14), Ramzi Medhat ‘Abdoh (22), and Yusuf Hasan Abu ‘Adi (19).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Zeyad Hamed (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli forces informed the Palestinian competent authorities of their decision to reduce the fishing area to 6 nautical miles after weeks of allowing fishermen to freely fish in the Gaza Strip sea at a distance of 15 nautical miles. Therefore, the Israeli forces chased the fishermen, who sailed at a distance of more than 6 nautical miles off the Gaza Strip shore, and opened fire at them. As a result, a number of fishing nets sank into the sea after the fishermen left them fearing for their lives.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred at approximately 19:55 on the same day. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 14:45, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, opened fire and fired flare bombs at Palestinian Shepherds, north of Buret Abu Samrah, north of Beit Lahia. As a result, the shepherds were forced to leave the area fearing for their lives, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces moved into Kufor Thuluth village, in Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Ali Kamel Ahmed Shawahnah (69) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Emrish and Beit ‘Awa village in Hebron; Howarah and Beta villages, south of Nablus.

 

 

Wednesday, 01 May 2019

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Ibrahim al-‘Amour (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Bani Na’em village, east of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they handed summonses to 4 civilians to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. The civilians were identified as Bilal Mohammed Tarirah, Sabri al-Khodour, Mohammed Sa’ed Barakat and Mohammed ‘Ali Manasrah.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mojahed Waddah al-Qutob (28) and ‘Asem Gunaim (27) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khalid Yusuf ‘Ali Jabrin (19), who is arrested. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported. It should be noted that the Israeli forces demolished the family house on 16 December 2018, claiming that Khalid carried out a stab attack.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Ali Qasem al-Shaikh (22) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 07:15, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. The gunboats surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Saleh Mohammed Ibrahim Abu Ryalah (48), from al-Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza City. The board was manned by Saleh’s son Hazem (28) and Khalid Rajab Abu Ryalah (24). The Israeli soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into water and swim towards the gunboats. The fishermen were arrested and their boat was confiscated. As a result, of shooting, fisherman Mohammed Bashir Sha’ban Abu Ryalah (24), who was sailing in another boat, was hit with a rubber bullet to the back. He received medical treatment at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and doctors classified his injury as minor.

 

  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, adjacent to al-Waha Resort, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 2 nautical miles and chased them. The shooting recurred in the area at approximately 23:50. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’, Nuba, Kharas, Deir Samet and Tarousah villages in Hebron; Beit Liqya village, south of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city.

 

 

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

During the 55th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 92, including 22 children, four women, five journalists, and five paramedics. Two of them sustained serious wounds. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 31 Palestinian civilians, including 12 children and a paramedic. Twenty five of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets and 4 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded paramedic was identified as Mohammed Nabil Ibrahim al-Bes (28), who is a volunteer paramedic at “Volunteer Nurse Team” from Beit Lahia, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right foot.

 

  • Gaza City: the Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 13 Palestinian civilians, including a child, a paramedic an a woman. Seven of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 3 were hit with rubber bullets and 3 were directly hit with tear gas canister. The wounded paramedic was identified as Husain Mohsen, who works at the Military Medical Services, was hit with a live bullet to the left hand.

 

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued from 15:00 until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 38 Palestinian civilians, including 16 children, a woman and a paramedic. Eighteen of them were hit with live bullets and their shrapnel and 20 of them were directly hit with live bullets. The wounded paramedic was identified as Ahmed Husain Mohammed Kafinah (32), who works at the Civil Defense, was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the neck.

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued until 19:00, resulted in the injury of 12 demonstrators, including 4 children, and a paramedic. The wounded paramedic was identified as Mohammed Sobhi Abu Ta’aimah (24), who works at Medical Top Team. It should be noted that on 19 April 2019, Mohammed was hit with a tear gas canister to the foot.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at the demonstrators, which continued from 16:30 until 18:30, resulted in the injury of 21 civilians, including 7 children, a woman and a journalist. Nine of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 12 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and 2 were seriously injured. The wounded journalist was identified as Ramadan Ibrahim Khalil al-Sharif (30), who works at Shehab News Agency, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg.
  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested.

 

 

Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing, in the north of the Gaza Strip, is designated for the movement of individuals, and links the Gaza Strip with the West Bank.

 

 Movement at Beit Hanoun (“Erez”) crossing

(24-29 April 2019)

Category 24 April 25 April 26 April 27 April 28 April 29 April
Patients 74 34 87 86
Companions 62 30 77 74
Personal needs 2 2 24 20
Families of prisoners 26
Arabs fromIsrael 23 3 30 13
Diplomats 5
Meetings in Erez
International workers 30 20 9 14
TravelersAbroad 1
Business people+ BMC 1 875 397
Economic and agriculture    interviews
Security interviews 3 8
Death cases
Companions’ Deaths
Return to the West Bank
Christians’ Holidays 45 23 35 34
Conferences and Training courses 2
Permits’ renewal
VIPs
AmbulancesPatient 3 3 3
Ambulancescompanion 3 2 3

 

 

  • Following table illustrates temporary and permanent checkpoints and arrests at these checkpoints in the West Bank from 25 April to 01 May 2019:  
Governorate Permanent temporary Temporary checkpoints Closed Roads Arrested persons
Jerusalem 13 9
Nablus 10 27 2 1
Jenin 5 8 1
Ramallah 11 17 4
Tulkarm 7 7 1
Tubas 2 3 1
Salfit 3 9 1
Qalqiliyia 5 12 4
Hebron 20 30 15
Bethlehem 11 11 2
Jericho 5 3
Al-Karama Crossing
Total 92 136 30 2

 

Arrests at Military Checkpoints:

 

  • At approximately 21:30 on Friday, 26 April 2019, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Hamid Ghazi al-Sirawan (33), from the Old City of Nablus.
  • At approximately 22:30 on Friday, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint established at the entrance to al-Jamala village near the Power Plant of Jenin, arrested Mohamed Ahmed Fayiz Frihat (25), from al-Yamoun village, west of the city.

 

 

  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 25 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Beit Iksah village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shihab Husam Gharib (24) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces arrested Ameer Moneer Zaghir (35|) while getting out of al-Asbat Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque gates, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 19:00 on Saturday, 27 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mo’taz ‘Abdullah Zaytoun (14) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00 on Sunday, 28 April 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested 4 civilians, including 2 children. The arrested civilians were identified as Ayoub ‘Ali Abu al-Humus (19), Yunis Ayman ‘Olayan (23), Moneer Mo’amer ‘Olayan (17), and Mahmoud Naser Mostafa (17).
  • At approximately 14:00 on Wednesday, 01 May 2019, Israeli forces moved into Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ziyad Yousef Motawer (34) and Adham Motawer (28) and then arrested both of them.

 

  • Notices and House Demolitions:

 

  • On Monday, 29 April 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished many residential and agricultural facilities in Surbaher village, al-Mukaber Mount area, and al-Thawri neighborhood, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. According to PCHR’s investigation, the demolished facilities were as follows:

 

In al-Mukaber Mount area:

1- A residential house built of tin plates and belongs to Ahmed Khalaf Ja’abees.

2- A 150-sqaure-meter residential house comprised of 3 rooms; a 140-sqaure-meter barrack; and a 40-sqaure-meter store belong to ‘Emad Abu Sharifa.

3-Two sheds used for breeding livestock and belongs to Jamal Shoqairat.

4- A 40-sqaure-meter shed used as a store; and a 50-sqaure-meter container belong to Mohamed ‘Adel Shoqirat.

5- Two sheds used for breeding livestock and belongs to Fawzi Masouda.

6- Twi sheds used for agriculture and belongs to Ya’qoub Abu Isninah.

7- Five caravans belonging to ‘Awni Othman.

8-An agricultural shed belonging to Isma’il ‘Obaidiyia.

9- Wall built with bricks belonging to Salah Shoqirat and Khalil Shoqirat.

 

In Surbaher village, south of occupied Jerusalem, Mahmoud ‘Abed Rabbo self-demolished his balcony in order to implement the Israeli Municipality decision. The demolition was under the pretext of non-licensing. Moreover, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a shed used for breeding livestock and belongs to Abu Kaf Family.

 

  • On Monday evening, Mohamed Sa’ied Ahmed al-Salimah self-demolished his house located in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mohamed said that on Saturday, 27 April 2019, he demolished parts of his house, which was still under-construction, but the Israeli Municipality staff raided his house along with the Israeli police, demanding him to demolish all the house or the municipality staff will demolish it and fine him. Mohamed said that his lawyer managed to delay the demolition until Thursday morning, 02 May 2019, on one condition that he will pay NIS 10.000. Thus, he was forced to immediately demolish the house by using a bulldozer. Mohamed pointed out that he demolished his house on last Saturday with manual demolishing tools. He added that on Saturday evening he demolished his house by using a bulldozer, which caused damage in nearby building. It should be noted that Mohamed’s house located in the 3rd floor of the abovementioned building and built on an area of 130 square meters.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 30 April 2019, the Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished 2 houses and 2 barracks in Wadi Yasoul neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. The neighborhood’s residents said that the municipality bulldozers accompanied with dozens of soldiers and special focus moved into Wadi Yasoul neighborhood. The Israeli soldiers surrounded the neighborhood, topped the houses and buildings roofs, and then forcibly raided two houses belonging to the siblings Anas and Qusai Burqan to demolish their houses under the pretext of non-licensing. The residents said that the Israeli forces threw a sound bomb inside a house to disperse the residents and forcibly get them out. The soldiers then severely beat Anas with gun butts, pushed and beat his mother and threatened him to beat his pregnant sister. During which, the soldiers indiscriminately sprayed pepper-spray inside and outside the house. The residents pointed out that the Israeli forces also attacked other residents, who were outside the house, fired rubber bullet at them, and pushed and beat them to deny their access to the demolition area. As a result, a 71-year-old elderly sustained wounds to his hand which received 30 stitch. Moreover, Mohamed Abu ‘Eidah sustained wounds to his head after being hit with a sound bomb shrapnel and his head received 10 stitch. Hamza Maragha also sustained wounds to his ear, which received 12 stitch, after being hit with gun butts. The house owner, Anas Burqan, sustained wounds and bruises and then detained until the next day under the pretext of assaulting an Israeli police officer. Moreover, Mahdi and Suhaib Burqan sustained various bruises. Burqan family said that the Israeli forces left 11 family members, including 7 children, homeless after demolishing his house. The family clarified that Anas’s house was built 29 years ago and Qusai’s house was built 27 years ago. Both of the houses were built of tin plates and bricks. The family added that the demolition decision issued against 2 houses only, but the Israeli bulldozers demolished 2 barracks used for breeding livestock, a store, and walls surrounding the land. Moreover, the bulldozers levelled olive, lemon and palm trees. In mid-April, the Israeli Supreme Court dismissed the appeal applied by the house owner against demolishing their houses and allowed to demolish 4 houses. It should be noted that the Israeli Municipality and Courts refused all construction works in Wadi Yasoul neighborhoods under the pretext of being green areas. Around 84 houses were threatened to be demolished.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

  • On Monday, 29 April 2019, the Israeli authorities’ vehicles demolished an agricultural land belonging to Waleed Zarinah in Beit Jala. They also uprooted dozens of olive trees. Waleed said that his land planted with around 200 fruitful olive trees, which the Israeli forces uprooted dozens of them. He added that the Israeli forces declared the area as a “closed military zone” and prevented Palestinian civilians from approaching the area. The Israeli forces also arrested his brother Ayman while he was in the plot of land.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 01 May 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into al-Dirat village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli forces surrounded a house belonging to Jabreen Mahmoud al-‘Adrah (40) while the Israeli Civil Administration officers vacated the house contents. The 130-sqaure-mketer house was comprised of one floor and built with bricks. It sheltered 7 members, including 5 children. The family members were prevented from approaching the house after vacating it and then the Israeli bulldozers started to demolish it under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

  • On Thursday, 25 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into Wadi al-Qut site, south of Beit Ummer, north of Hebron. The Israeli settlers performed their rituals and Talmudic prayers and no more events were reported.

 

  • At approximately 17:30 on Sunday, 28 April 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, some of them were armed, attacked 3 Palestinian civilians while they were in their agricultural lands in al-Risan Mount area in the western area of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. The settlers caught the 3 Palestinians identified as Wesam Ibrahim Matar (49), Zahid Jobran Mohamed Ishtaih (42), and Omar Suliman al-Deek (53). The settlers then beat them, causing bruises to their chest and lower limbs. Meanwhile, the village residents gathered and forced the settlers to leave. The wounded were then taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 01 May 2019, a large number of Israeli settlers, from “Assaf” settlement established on Burqa village lands, east of Ramallah, cut and damaged around 120 olive trees. Ibrahim Hasan Kan’an (55), one of the affected persons, said that at approximately 05:00, around 30 Israeli settlers cut the olive trees and their branches after damaging barbed wires and stone chains surrounding them. The settlers then leave the area and headed to the abovementioned settlement. The settlers cut around 120 olive trees planted 5 years ago and belong to Ibrahim Kan’an, ‘Abdullah Barakat and Yousef Kan’an.

 

  • Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………

Public Document

For further information please visit our website www.pchrgaza.org or contact PCHR’s office in Gaza City, Gaza Strip by email pchr@pchrgaza.org or telephone +972 08 282 4776 – 282 5893

The Mossad Hit List & the Men behind Gaza’s Rockets

Darko Lazar

There is no shortage of reasons why “Israel’s” most recent ground incursion into the Gaza Strip does not exactly scream ‘mission accomplished’.

Requiring air support to make its way out of the Palestinian enclave, the “Israeli” special forces team failed to return to home base without sustaining casualties.

Still, the world’s headlines preferred to focus on Palestinian deaths, and none more so than that of senior Hamas commander Nour Baraka.

From there, the rest of the story pretty much wrote itself.

An “Israeli” hit team infiltrated Gaza to kill a member of the Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, who was supposedly in charge of underground tunnels that stretch from Khan Yunis into Egypt.

But not everyone bought this version of events.

Al-Jazeera’s Wael Dahdouh quickly made his way to the scene of the crime, and later said the “Israelis” “planned something much bigger here, and did not succeed.”

Nour Baraka’s role in maintaining and overseeing Hamas’ infrastructure in Khan Yunis was undoubtedly important. But it was his family tree that likely made him a point of interest for the “Israelis”.

Baraka’s brother, Suleiman, has a PhD in Astronomy and Space Sciences. A recipient of prestigious Western awards, he is formally an employee of NASA. After the “Israelis” martyred his 11-year-old boy in 2008, he made his way back to Gaza where he now works as a college professor.

Dr. Suleiman Baraka’s craft is closely related to astrophysics, aerospace engineering, astronautics, making him an ideal candidate for engineering and modernizing rocket technology.

According to unconfirmed reports, Nour Baraka was martyred after he approached and confronted the occupants of a suspicious van parked outside his home.

Although it is difficult to ascertain who the “Israeli” operatives were actually waiting for, the Gaza incursion follows a string of assassinations targeting the brains behind Hamas’ rocket capabilities.

From Masyaf to Kuala Lumpur

Just three short months before the latest flare-up in Gaza, the government in Damascus accused “Israel’s” Mossad of assassinating Syrian scientist Dr. Aziz Asbar. He was martyred in Syria’s northwestern city of Masyaf when his car exploded.

Dr. Asbar was one of the directors at the Syrian Scientific Research Center [SSRC], where he headed Department 4, which focuses on the development of all of Syria’s ballistic missile and rocket programs.

Syrian rockets have been prominently featured across the battlefields of occupied Palestine throughout the years – most recently so in 2014, when Palestinian resistance factions unleashed the surface-to-surface, M-302s against “Israeli” cities.

The M-302, the range of which varies from 90 kilometers to at least 150, was also fired at “Israel” by Hezbollah in 2006, albeit under the name of Khaibar-1.

Hezbollah would later receive a delivery of the more advanced, Syrian-made M600s, which Dr. Asbar is personally credited with modernizing.

Not surprisingly perhaps, “Israel’s” Intelligence Minister “Israel Katz” did not mince his words when asked about the Mossad’s alleged involvement in Asbar’s murder.

“I welcome his departure from the world,” Katz said in an interview with “Israel’s” Army Radio.

Katz likely welcomed the departure of another Syrian officer, Ahmad Issa Habib, who was said to be in charge of the army’s “Palestine Department”.

The Syrian military intelligence operative was shot in the head by unknown assailants less than a month after Dr. Asbar’s death.

It is only logical to assume that Habib was extensively involved in the transfer of both information and military hardware to Palestinian Resistance factions. 

Sadly, the string of targeted assassinations is not confined to military personnel.

In April of this year, a Palestinian scholar and scientist, Fadi al-Batsh was mowed down in a drive-by shooting in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The 35-year-old Hamas member was an electrical engineer that top Malaysian officials later described as “an expert at making rockets”.

Al-Batsh’s family also accused the Mossad of carrying out the killing.

Indecision and panic grips “Israel”  

During a brief, two-day battle in the immediate aftermath of Nour Baraka’s death, the “Israelis” gave every indication that they were gearing up for yet another full-scale ground war in Gaza.

Avigdor Liberman’s sudden departure from the “Israeli” cabinet over the truce with Hamas is perhaps the most convincing evidence that his men were itching to go after Gaza’s supply lines and rocket stockpile.

So many things, however, went wrong. For starters, the “Israelis” botched the first phase of the operation, as their hit squad was discovered and likely failed to eliminate the designated target.

Then, more sophisticated rocket attacks began inflicting losses on “Israeli” troops, including one that struck a busload of soldiers.

Such failures have clearly restrained Tel Aviv, causing serious reservations about another Gaza war.

More importantly, the “Israeli” military can no longer be certain about what to expect from the other side of the Gaza frontier, prompting more daring assassinations across the Middle East and beyond.

But that’s not all. This strategy also clearly exposes a growing sense of panic in “Israel” about the increasingly likely prospect of being surrounded by long-range, modernized rocket systems. With this behavior trend of someone who has been backed into a corner through failure, there’s plenty of reasons to believe that the “Israelis” with continue to make some fairly rash moves under such duress.

Source: Al-Ahed News

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Unbelievable Jewish terrorism, snipers ordered to shoot children, israeli general confirms

Snipers Ordered to Shoot Children, Israeli General Confirms

Ali Abunimah Rights and Accountability 22 April 2018

Israeli Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel (Wikipedia)

An Israeli general has confirmed that when snipers stationed along Israel’s boundary with Gaza shoot at children, they are doing so deliberately, under clear and specific orders.

In a radio interview, Brigadier-General (Reserve) Zvika Fogel describes how a sniper identifies the “small body” of a child and is given authorization to shoot.

Fogel’s statements could be used as evidence of intent if Israeli leaders are ever tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court.

On Friday, an Israeli sniper shot dead 14-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Ayyoub.

The boy, shot in the head east of Jabaliya, was the fourth child among the more than 30 Palestinians killed during the Great March of Return rallies that began in Gaza on 30 March.

More than 1,600 other Palestinians have been shot with live ammunition that has caused what doctors are calling “horrific injuries” likely to leave many of them with permanent disabilities.

As eyewitnesses and video confirmed, the child Muhammad Ayyoub posed no conceivable danger to heavily armed Israeli occupation forces stationed dozens of meters away behind fences and earthen fortifications on the other side of the Gaza boundary when he was killed.

Even the usually timid United Nations peace process envoy Nickolay Mladenov publicly declared that the slaying was “outrageous.”

Targeting children

On Saturday, Brigadier-General Fogel was interviewed by Ron Nesiel on the Israeli public radio network Kan.

Fogel is the former chief of staff of the Israeli army’s “southern command,” which includes the occupied Gaza Strip.

Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian lawmaker in Israel’s parliament, drew attention to the interview in a tweet.

A recording of the interview is online (it begins at 6:52). The interview was translated for The Electronic Intifada by Dena Shunra and a full transcript follows this article.

The host Ron Nesiel asks Fogel if the Israeli army should “rethink its use of snipers,” and suggests that someone giving orders “lowered the bar for using live fire.”

Fogel adamantly defends the policy, stating: “At the tactical level, any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation.”

He adds: “If this child or anyone else gets close to the fence in order to hide an explosive device or check if there are any dead zones there or to cut the fence so someone could infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel to kill us …”

“Then his punishment is death?” Nesiel interjects.

“His punishment is death,” the general responds. “As far as I’m concerned then yes, if you can only shoot him to stop him, in the leg or arm – great. But if it’s more than that then, yes, you want to check with me whose blood is thicker, ours or theirs.”

Fogel then describes the careful process by which targets – including children – are identified and shot:

“I know how these orders are given. I know how a sniper does the shooting. I know how many authorizations he needs before he receives an authorization to open fire. It is not the whim of one or the other sniper who identifies the small body of a child now and decides he’ll shoot. Someone marks the target for him very well and tells him exactly why one has to shoot and what the threat is from that individual. And to my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder, it goes even higher.”

For “it goes even higher,” Fogel uses a Hebrew idiom also meaning “it costs even more.”

In this chilling statement, in which a general talks about snipers targeting the “small body of a child,” Fogel makes crystal clear that this policy is premeditated and deliberate.

While presenting unarmed Palestinian children as dangerous terrorists worthy of death, Fogel describes the snipers killing them in cold blood as the innocent, vulnerable parties who deserve protection.

“We have soldiers there, our children, who were sent out and receive very accurate instructions about whom to shoot to protect us. Let’s back them up,” he says.

Lethal policy

Fogel’s statements are no aberration but represent Israeli policy.

“Israeli officials made it clear that the open-fire regulations would permit lethal fire at anyone attempting to damage the fence, and even at any person coming within 300 meters of it,” the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem stated in a recent analysis of Israel’s illegal targeting of unarmed civilians who pose no threat.

“Nevertheless, all state and military officials have steadfastly refused to cancel the unlawful orders and continue to issue – and justify – them,” B’Tselem added.

B’Tselem has called on individual soldiers to defy such illegal orders.

Following its investigation of the “calculated” killings of unarmed demonstrators on 30 March, the first day of the Great March of Return rallies in Gaza, Human Rights Watch concluded that the lethal crackdown was “planned at [the] highest levels of the Israeli government.”

Two weeks ago, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court issued an unprecedented warning that Israeli leaders may face trial for the killings of unarmed Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip.

Potential defendants would be giving any prosecutor a gift with such open admissions that killing unarmed people in an occupied territory who pose no objective threat is their policy and intent.

The question remains whether anything will finally pierce the shield of impunity that Israel has enjoyed for 70 years.

Full Transcript

Brigadier-General (Res.) Zvika Fogel interviewed on the Yoman Hashevua program of Israel’s Kan radio, 21 April 2018.

Ron Nesiel: Greetings Brigadier General (Res.) Zvika Fogel. Should the IDF [Israeli army] rethink its use of snipers? There’s the impression that maybe someone lowered the bar for using live fire, and this may be the result?

Zvika Fogel: Ron, let’s maybe look at this matter on three levels. At the tactical level that we all love dealing with, the local one, also at the level of values, and with your permission, we will also rise up to the strategic level. At the tactical level, any person who gets close to the fence, anyone who could be a future threat to the border of the State of Israel and its residents, should bear a price for that violation. If this child or anyone else gets close to the fence in order to hide an explosive device or check if there are any dead zones there or to cut the fence so someone could infiltrate the territory of the State of Israel to kill us …

Nesiel: Then, then his punishment is death?

Fogel: His punishment is death. As far as I’m concerned then yes, if you can only shoot him to stop him, in the leg or arm – great. But if it’s more than that then, yes, you want to check with me whose blood is thicker, ours or theirs. It is clear to you that if one such person will manage to cross the fence or hide an explosive device there …

Nesiel: But we were taught that live fire is only used when the soldiers face immediate danger.

Fogel: Come, let’s move over to the level of values. Assuming that we understood the tactical level, as we cannot tolerate a crossing of our border or a violation of our border, let’s proceed to the level of values. I am not Ahmad Tibi, I am Zvika Fogel. I know how these orders are given. I know how a sniper does the shooting. I know how many authorizations he needs before he receives an authorization to open fire. It is not the whim of one or the other sniper who identifies the small body of a child now and decides he’ll shoot. Someone marks the target for him very well and tells him exactly why one has to shoot and what the threat is from that individual. And to my great sorrow, sometimes when you shoot at a small body and you intended to hit his arm or shoulder it goes even higher. The picture is not a pretty picture. But if that’s the price that we have to pay to preserve the safety and quality of life of the residents of the State of Israel, then that’s the price. But now, with your permission, let us go up one level and look at the overview. It is clear to you that Hamas is fighting for consciousness at the moment. It is clear to you and to me …

Nesiel: Is it hard for them to do? Aren’t we providing them with sufficient ammunition in this battle?

Fogel: We’re providing them but …

Nesiel: Because it does not do all that well for us, those pictures that are distributed around the world.

Fogel: Look, Ron, we’re even terrible at it. There’s nothing to be done, David always looks better against Goliath. And in this case, we are the Goliath. Not the David. That is entirely clear to me. But let’s look at it at the strategic level: you and I and a large part of the listeners are clear that this will not end up in demonstrations. It is clear to us that Hamas can’t continue to tolerate the fact that its rockets are not managing to hurt us, its tunnels are eroding …

Nesiel: Yes.

Fogel: And it doesn’t have too many suicide bombers who continue to believe the fairytale about the virgins waiting up there. It will drag us into a war. I do not want to be on the side that gets dragged. I want to be on the side that initiates things. I do not want to wait for the moment where it finds a weak spot and attacks me there. If tomorrow morning it gets into a military base or a kibbutz and kills people there and takes prisoners of war or hostages, call it as you like, we’re in a whole new script. I want the leaders of Hamas to wake up tomorrow morning and for the last time in their life see the smiling faces of the IDF. That’s what I want to have happen. But we are dragged along. So we’re putting snipers up because we want to preserve the values we were educated by. We can’t always take a single picture and put it before the whole world. We have soldiers there, our children, who were sent out and receive very accurate instructions about whom to shoot to protect us. Let’s back them up.

Nesiel: Brigadier-General (Res.) Zvika Fogel, formerly Head of the Southern Command Staff, thank you for your words.

Fogel: May you only hear good news. Thank you.

Gaza: A Concentration Camp of 1.5 Million People

Source

By Jean Shaoul,

Israel mounts fresh military assault on Gaza

Israeli forces attacked 18 targets in the Gaza Strip belonging to Hamas, which controls the besieged enclave, in the second such action over the weekend.

The strikes followed an explosion during a demonstration of Palestinians on the southern border with Israel Saturday that injured four Israeli soldiers. The Israeli military shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers in response. It was the worst such border incident since Israel’s war against Gaza in 2014 and portends a broader offensive.

None of the militant groups in Gaza has claimed responsibility for the explosion. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused the Popular Resistance Committees, one of the smaller armed groups in Gaza, of detonating the bomb. Nevertheless, as always Israel holds Hamas, the Islamist national bourgeois party that controls Gaza, responsible for the attack.

For months, there have been almost weekly demonstrations against Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the deteriorating economic conditions. Last December, tensions rose after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Earlier this year, Gaza’s traders closed in protest over the deteriorating situation.

Israel’s Army Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot warned the cabinet recently that tensions were rising due to the worsening humanitarian crisis, that demonstrations were increasing in size and that an incident along the fence could spark an escalation of hostilities. His purpose was to get cabinet approval for harsh measures to deal with the crisis in the face of Gaza’s economic collapse.

Conditions in Gaza, a narrow coastal strip on the Egyptian-Israeli border, after 11 years of living under a land, sea and air blockade, are hellish.

Last year, a United Nations report stated that the living conditions for two million Palestinians had deteriorated “further and faster” than the prediction made in 2012 that the enclave would become “unlivable” by 2020. Large numbers of people are destitute. Forty-six percent of the population are without work. Sixty five percent live on $1.90 or less a day. This collapse in purchasing power has led to a huge drop in the number of trucks entering Gaza with food and equipment—from 800-1,200 a day to just 300.

Power shortages mean that most Palestinians are lucky if they get four hours of electricity a day. There is not enough power to pump sewage, so 95 percent of Gaza’s drinking water is not fit to drink. The coastal aquifer is almost unusable and will soon be irreversibly-depleted unless remedial action is taken.

The health system is collapsing, medical supplies are dwindling and clinics are closing, causing untold suffering and unnecessary deaths. Unable to get treatment in Gaza for complicated or chronic medical problems, many seek treatment in Egypt, Israel, the West Bank or Jordan. Yet last year, Israel granted just 54 percent of 25,000 applications for travel permits in time for patients to attend their scheduled appointments, down from 92 percent in 2012. As a result, at least 54 people died in 2017 waiting for visas.

Children are in school for just four hours a day.

There is no escape from this open-air prison. Israel has surrounded the Gaza Strip with a high-tech barrier and spent almost $1 billion building an underground-barrier project to seal its border to the attack tunnels into Israel. It controls two of the three exit points, while Egypt controls the third. Last year, Israel issued one-third of the number of exit visas issued two years earlier and just one percent of the number in early 2000. Movement between the two Palestinian territories, Gaza and the West Bank, in either direction is all but impossible.

The economic and social plight of the two million Palestinians living in the tiny enclave has been dire ever since Israel, with the full support of the US, European Union and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority (PA)—particularly since 2013—imposed a blockade on Gaza. Jordan, by imposing strict transit conditions on Gazans, and Egypt, which controls the Rafah crossing, have played a key role in the siege.

The siege of Gaza was mounted following the unexpected victory of Hamas over Fatah in the January 2006 elections which the major powers had intended as a means of strengthening the hand of Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah leader and PA President. Winning 44 percent of the vote in the West Bank and Gaza, compared to Fatah’s 41 percent, Hamas took 74 of the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council.

Hamas’ election victory was the result of widespread disgust at Fatah’s corruption and subservience to Israel. The Oslo Accords, which Hamas had earlier opposed, had brought wealth for a few and unemployment, poverty and military oppression for the majority, while the Israeli settlements on land to be included in any future state had increased.

Despite Hamas’ willingness to accept some form of a “two state solution” and take a minority role in a coalition with Fatah, Israel and the US rejected this. They demanded Hamas abandon its three core tenets and renounce the use of arms, recognise Israel and sign up to the Oslo Accords in return for international recognition of a Hamas-controlled PA, or face an international boycott. The other members of the Quartet, the UN, European Union and Russia, soon fell in line with Washington’s demands, and the EU too cut its aid to the PA.

The US and Israel were determined to prevent any attempts by Fatah and Hamas to reach an agreement, deepening the split between the two factions in order to divide and rule, while increasing Hamas’ economic dependence on Qatar and Iran.

In June 2006, Israel launched an attack on Gaza, knocking out its power station, making Gaza increasingly dependent on Israel for its electricity and precipitating daily power cuts lasting for hours at a time. Israel tightened its blockade on Gaza after Hamas forestalled and defeated an attempted coup by Fatah in a brief but brutal civil war in June 2007. Three military assaults on Gaza in 2008-09, 2012 and 2014 killed 1,417, 147 and 2,250 Palestinians respectively, and destroyed much of Gaza’s basic infrastructure together with tens of thousands of homes. Around 90,000 of the 500,000 people displaced by the 2014 assault remain displaced or homeless.

The blockade worsened after the military coup in Egypt that toppled the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Mohammed Morsi and the clampdown on the Brotherhood and Hamas—a Brotherhood affiliate—by the military junta of Abdul Fattah el-Sisi.

El-Sisi closed Egypt’s border crossing at Rafah and forced Hamas to close the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt that had provided a means of circumventing Israel’s blockade and a source of income, by taxing the goods brought in, for Hamas.

Last year, Abbas imposed further hardship on Gaza. He stopped paying Israel for fuel for Gaza’s power station and electrical transmission into the Gaza Strip and ended or cut salary payments to thousands of public sector workers. This was to force Hamas into “reconciliation” talks with Fatah that culminated in a Cairo-brokered agreement in October. But the talks have stalled and the promised relief has failed to materialise.

In October, the World Food Programme announced a cutback in its food voucher programme in Gaza due to a budget shortfall.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration withheld $65 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), which supports some 1.2 million in Gaza, as well as $45 million in food aid in the West Bank and Gaza that it had promised for an emergency UNRWA appeal.

UNRWA has for decades provided key social services as well as a vital lifeline for the poorest Palestinians. Now that too has gone and the viability of the agency itself is in question.

*

Featured image is from Defend Democracy Press.

Netanyahu Under Fire for 2014 Gaza War

Local Editor

24-01-2017 | 13:51

A report that could be damaging to “Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu given how he managed the 2014 war in Gaza is likely to be published in the coming days, after regime members of a Knesset subcommittee said they would vote on Tuesday to make the report public.

"Israeli" PM Benjamin Netanyahu

After “Kulanu” MK Merav Ben-Ari, one of the three regime members of the subcommittee, said on Sunday that she would vote in favor of publishing the document, coalition chairman MK David Bitan said on Monday that he and the prime minister were in favor of publishing the report as well.

One of the critical sections of the report drafted by the comptroller deals with concerns that the security cabinet was not warned by the prime minister, the war minister or the “Israeli” Occupation Forces [IOF] chief of staff of the threat posed to the “Israeli” entity by Hamas’ tunnel network ahead of the 55-day “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

It is also believed that the report criticizes the same trio for failing to warn the security cabinet that the chance of war with Hamas was high, and for not providing sufficient information during the operation.

A public letter issued earlier this week by families of 55 soldiers who were killed during the war put pressure on the government to publish the document.

According to “Israeli” website The Jerusalem Post, Ben-Ari said she had not received any direct pressure against publishing the document.

However, she acknowledged, “the way things were going [it looked like] publication would be prevented, but when we got to the moment of truth, however, everyone understood that the professional issues were more important than the political ones”.

The “Israeli” MK stressed on the importance to publish the document because it will have an impact on all “Israelis”, saying that “At the end of the day, the security cabinet needs to know what’s happening ahead of time and [to be able] to prepare for the next operation.”

Ben-Ari said it was “the right of the public to know how the senior leadership of the state acts in such an important time,” and that the report would be crucial in guiding the IOF and the security cabinet in conducting any future wars and operations in Gaza.

She also noted that the report is critical of the prime minister, the war minister and then-IOF chief of staff Benny Gantz, but would not be withheld based on the potential political impact the report might have.

Ben-Ari, together with Bitan and Shas MK Ya’acov Margi, are the coalition members on the subcommittee of the Knesset State Comptroller’s committee, together with subcommittee chairwoman MK Karin Elharar [Yesh Atid] and MK Eyal Ben Reuven [Zionist Union].

It is not yet clear if the section on the security cabinet will be published immediately, or if publication will on the decisions made on whether to publicize two other sections of the report, which will be passed to the subcommittee later this week.

Ahead of Tuesday’s vote, MKs from the entire political spectrum called on the committee members to vote in favor of exposing it to the public.

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who was the “Israeli” entity’s so-called finance minister and a cabinet member during the operation, said in the party faction meeting on Monday that political considerations should not guide the panel members.

“There are already attempts to prevent the publication of the report,” Lapid said. “As someone who knows the details of it and testified in the comptroller’s office more than once – this report should be revealed.”

Lapid also addressed Netanyahu’s concerns in opening the report to the public. “The Prime Minister’s Office is afraid of the report because it shows severe failures.”

Bennett also expressed his support of exposing the details of the report, but added that it should be taken as constructive criticism.

“We should not ignore the ‘Protective Edge’ report but also [should] not make it a reason for [political] beheading,” Bennett said on Monday. “We should learn from it in order to change our security world view from inclusive to defeating; from dragging it over 50 days to winning in five.

“Only exposing the details will provide us a way to move forward,” Bennett added.

Zionist Union co-chairwoman Tzipi Livni, who served as so-called “justice” minister in the cabinet during “Operation Protective Edge”, echoed the notion that the report should be revealed according to the wishes of the bereaved settler families.

“I was in the cabinet during the operation,” she said. “But I wasn’t among those who leaked [details of meetings] to the media, and I will not do so now from the opposition. But the families and the public have the right to know exactly what happened, in order to create a constructive discussion about it.”

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

 

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestine

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (01 – 07 December 2016)

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(01 – 07 December 2016)

w48

 

  • Israeli forces continued to use excessive force in the oPt
  • A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the east of Gaza City, while another was wounded in the east of Bethlehem.

 

  • Israeli forces conducted 49 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 10 ones in occupied Jerusalem.
  • 51 civilians, including 4 children, were arrested.
  • Sixteen of them, including 2 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • 6 fishermen were arrested in the northern Gaza Strip and a fishing boat was confiscated.

 

  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces forced two brothers to self-demolish their houses in Silwan

 

  • Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces demolished 3 dwellings in Fasayel village, north of Jericho, rendering 21 individuals homeless, including 12 children.
  • Israeli forces stopped paving an agricultural road in Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus.
  • Settlers levelled 40 dunums, southeast of Nablus, to expand the borders of “Yesh Kodish” outpost.

 

  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 5 Palestinian civilians, including 2 children, were arrested at military checkpoints.
  • A trader was arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

 

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (01 – 07 December 2016).

 

Shooting:

 

Israeli forces have continued to commit crimes, inflicting civilian casualties. They have also continued to use excessive force against Palestinian civilians participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the majority of whom were youngsters. During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 2 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces stationed at Mazmouriyah checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, opened fire at worker Mousa Dababsah (28) from Yata, south of Hebron when he was on his way to his workplace in occupied Jerusalem.  as a result, he was wounded with a bullet to the left foot.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, on 01 December 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Younis Shore in the southern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire in the vicinity of Palestinian fishing boats within the allowed fishing area.

 

On 04 December 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats.  They surrounded a fishing boat manned by two brother namely Shafiq (27) and Sa’adi al-Sultan.  The Israeli soldiers ordered them to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat.  They were then arrested and taken to an unknown destination.  Meanwhile, the boat and fishing net were confiscated.  On 06 December 2016, in a similar attack, Israeli forces arrested 4 fishermen and confiscated their boat.  The four fishermen were identified as Majed Baker (55); his son ‘Omran (32); Mohammed Baker (31) and Khalil (26).

 

On 05 December 2016, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah shore in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at fishing boats sailing in the sea in the morning and afternoon.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 49 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 10 others in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 51 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. Sixteen of them, including 2 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

Creating Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem:

 

In the context of house demolitions, on 03 December 2016, Israeli forces forced two brothers namely Sa’id and Naser al-‘Abbasi to self-demolish their houses in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, upon a decision by the Israeli Municipality Court under the pretext of building on a “Greenland”.  The two aforementioned civilians built their houses two and a half years ago on an area of 300 square meters and intended to live in them with their families, comprised of 12 members; half of them are children.

 

Settlement activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:

 

On 04 December 2016, Israeli forces prevented paving a 500-meter agircutural road in the eastern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus.  The rehabilitation is part of a rehabilitation of agricultural roads project in the areas near settlements.  The project is funded by the Italian Civil Volunteer Group (GVC) in cooperation with the international French Relief.

 

On 06 December 2016, Israeli forces demolished 3 dwellings in Central Fasayel village, north of Jericho, rendering 21 individuals homeless, including 12 children.

 

In the same context, on 06 December 2016, settlers from “Yesh Kodish” outpost established oon Palestinian lands, southeast of Nablus, levelled an agricultural land belonging to heirs of late Ahmed Naser Haj Mohammed to expand the borders of the aforementioned outpost.  The 40-dunum land is located in the eastern side of Jaloud village,

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

 

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

 

Thursday, 01 December 2016

 

  • At approximately 02:40, Israeli forces moved into Azoun ‘Etmah village, southeast of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched 4 houses after which they arrested 5 civilians and took them to an unknown destination. The arrested civilians were identified as Fahed Ali Saleh Fawzi al-Sheikh (30), Mahdi Saleh Fawzi al-Sheikh (34), Alaa’ Ismail al-Sheikh (28) and the two brothers Anas (23) and Abed Jaser Othman Essa (23). Israeli forces claimed that the abovementioned civilians were arrested on grounds of smuggling Palestinian workers to work in Israel via their personal cars.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Bassam Badawi Ekhleil (52) after locking the 10-member family in one room. Later, Israeli forces withdrew from the village, but no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces stationed at “Mazmuria” checkpoint adjacent to al-Khas and al-Nu’man villages, east of Bethlehem, opened fire at Mousa Mohammed Dababsah (28) from Yatta, south of Hebron, while going to his work in Jerusalem. As a result, he sustained a live bullet wound to the left foot. Mohammed Awad, Director of Emergency Medical Services in PRCS, said that Mousa was hit with a live bullet to the left foot. He added that the Israeli forces handed him to the PRCS ambulance at the checkpoint, where he received first aid and then transferred to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital to receive medical treatment. His medical condition was classified as stable.

 

  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli gunboats stationed off Khan Yunis Shore, south of the Gaza strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within the allowed fishing area. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee for fear of being arrested or wounded, so no casualties were reported.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Surif, Sa’ir an al-Thaheriyah villages in Hebron.

 

Friday, 02 December 2016

 

  • In the early morning, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses. They arrested Malek Maher Hamed (18), Taher Akram Hamed (18) and Muhanad Abdul Halim Shabrawi (17) and later withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses and then handed summonses to 2 civilians in order to refer to the Israeli Intelligence in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem. The abovementioned civilians were identified as Omer Ahmed Ayad Awad (32) and Mohammed Muhsem al-Za’aqiq (40). They also raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Ali Aqel Ekhleil. They later withdrew from the village, and no arrests were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Rumanah village, west of Jenin; Ethna and Deir al-‘Asal villages and al-Aroub refugee camp in Hebron.

 

Saturday, 03 December 2016

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jaber Abdul Karim (55). They handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence services in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir and Kurmah villages in Hebron and Hawarah village, south of Nablus.

 

Sunday, 04 December 2016

 

  • In the early morning, Israeli forces moved into al-Mazra’ah al-Qebliyah village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses. They arrested Mo’men Mohammed Shraiteh (18) and Ali Sufian Buyoud (18) and later withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fathi Zuhdi Muhfouz (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Three Israeli large gunboats surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Tawfiq Mustafa Ahmed al-Sultan (41). The boat was manned by the aforementioned civilian’s brothers; Shafiq (27) and Sa’di (31), form al-Salatin neighbourhood. They were sailing within 800 meters offshore. The navy soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. They arrested the fishermen and confiscated their boat and 10 pieces of fishing net.
  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Eskaka village, east of Salfit, al-Samou’ and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron and Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah .

 

Monday, 05 December 2016

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saher Nafeth Thawabtah (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Jales Mount area, east of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Atiyah al- Zaru al-Tamimi (42) and his son Kefah (20).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatiya village, south of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Loa’y Zayan Zakarnah (18), Mousa Abdul Salam Kamil (21) and Mahmud Abu Ein Abu al-Rub (20). At approximately 05:30, they withdrew taking them to an unknown destination

 

  • At approximately 09:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah shore, in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them. At approximately 17:00, the shooting recurred. As a result, fishermen were forced to flee for fear of being arrested or wounded, so no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 12:30, Israeli forces moved into Deir Netham village, northwest of Ramallah. The soldiers fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at school students and other civilians. As a result, a number of them suffered tear gas inhalation. It should be noted that the Israeli forces have imposed a closure for two weeks at the entrances to the village and used cement cubes to close them. This was due to the fire broke out in “Halamish” settlement established on the lands of Deir Netham and al-Nabi Saleh villages.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Rummanah village, west of Jenin; Sa’ir village and al-Aroub refugee camp in Hebron and Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah.

 

Tuesday, 06 December 2016

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested 4 civilians. The arrested civilians were identified as Sai’d Nabil Dweikat (30), Mohammed Mazen Duiekat (22), ‘Ahed Surhan Duilekat (25) and Muntaser Talal Duiekat (23).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Dheisheh refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdullah Emad Raqban (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Jeet village, northeast of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Ahmed Abu Baker (26) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services. At approximately 02:30, they withdrew from the village and no arrests were reported.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Dura, south of Hebron, and stationed in Karisah neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rezeq Jubran al-Rajoub (60) and arrested him. It should be noted that the abovementioned civilian was released only a week ago after serving a 23-month administrative detention.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces move into Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Saleh al-Kurdi (18) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Hebron and stationed in al-Jeldah neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Basel Ali Sukafi (30) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rajeh Mahmud Abu ‘Ajamiyah (45) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Surrah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron, and then stationed at the village entrance leading to al-Thaheriyah village. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sa’id Saqer al-Sha’rawi (43), a Palestinian police officer. They then arrested the aforementioned civilian and his son Ramadan (23) and later withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 17:30, Israeli forces move into al-Shurfah area in Taqou’a village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Khader Sabbah (12) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 06:00, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. The gunboats surrounded a fishing boat sailing within 4 nautical miles. It was manned by Majed Fadel Hasan Baker (55); his son ‘Omran (32); Mohammed Ziyad Hasan Baker (31) and Khalil Jawhar Khalil Baker (26), all of them are from al-Shati’ refugee camp. The soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The soldiers arrested them and confiscated their boat and fishing nets.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir, Beit Ummer and Karza villages in Hebron.

 

Wednesday, 07 December 2016

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Jala. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amir Khalil ‘Afanah (19) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched houses belonging to Mo’men Nadi ‘Azem (25), Ahmed Jamal ‘Azem (25) and Luqman Ahmed Mohammed al-Sha’er (23). They handed them summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed ‘Ali Rashed Redwan (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Marah Rabah village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Mohammed Maher al-Sheikh (20), Mahmud Ahmed al-Sheikh (22) and Mohammed Ahmed al-Sheikh (21).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Bethlehem and stationed on al-Saf Street in the central city. They raided and searched a house belonging to former prisoner Saleh Walid al-Harimi (20). They then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city.

 

  • Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Ethna and al-Shyoukh villages in Hebron and Tal village in Nablus.

 

  • Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on Friday, 02 December 2016, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Ni’lin villages, west of Ramallah; al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city and Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and houses.  As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises as Israeli soldiers beat them up. At approximately 15:15 on Saturday, 03 December 2016, a similar demonstration was organized in Kafer Qadoum village, but no arrests were reported.

 

Gaza Strip:

 

  • At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 02 December 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Shuja’iya, east of Gaza City, fired live bullets and rubber-coated metal bullets at Palestinian young men, who were on their way to Nahal ‘Oz area, east of al-Shuja’iya, participating in activities held in solidarity with Jerusalem. As a result, Talal Nabil Ali Abu Namous (19) sustained a live bullet wound to the head. Moreover, due to the continuous shooting, civilians, who were in the area, were not able to transfer the wounded civilian and he was left bleeding. After half an hour, a PRCS ambulance transferred him to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza to receive medical treatment. Medical sources classified his condition as moderate.

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested

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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أردوغان يبيع… حماس تضيع… وغزة تغني: أمان ربي أمان

نصار إبراهيم

21 مليون دولار فقط! يا بلاش… هذا هو سعر شهداء «مرمرة» عند السلطان العثماني أردوغان… الذي أقام الدنيا ولم يقعدها إلى أن قعد بكامل وعيه في حضن نتنياهو…

المهمّ… ماذا سيقول أولئك الذين راهنوا وطبّلوا وزمّروا لبطولات أردوغان… حتى قبل أن تبدأ!


قبل ست سنوات أمسك أردوغان «بشنبه» وأقسم أنه لن يتصالح مع «إسرائيل» إلا إذا اعتذرت ورفعت الحصار عن غزة…!

اتفاق «المصالحة»، أو في الحقيقة اتفاق التنازلات التركية بالجملة لصالح «إسرائيل» مدعاة للسخرية والغيظ… فقد قدّم أردوغان لنتنياهو ما لم يكن يحلم به حتى بدون حكاية مرمرة… صفقات غاز… بواخر تركية إلى موانئ «إسرائيل»… التعهّد بالعمل للإفراج عن «الأسرى الإسرائيليين» عند المقاومة… علاقات اقتصادية مميّزة… أن تلتزم تركيا بمنع أية «نشاطات إرهابية» ضدّ «إسرائيل» من أراضيها… والأهمّ أن تقف تركيا إلى جانب «إسرائيل» في المحافل الدولية في حال تمّ تقديم جنودها الذين ارتكبوا مجزرة «مرمرة» لأيّ ملاحقة قانونية هذا وفق الرسالة المكتوبة التي بعث بها «الشجاع» أردوغان إلى نتنياهو وفق ما نقلته الصحف الإسرائيلية .

يعني بعد خمس سنوات من العنتريات كانت النتيجة:

المزيد من التطبيع بين تركيا و«إسرائيل»، التنازل عن شرط رفع الحصار الذي طالما أكد وأصرّ وأقسم أردوغان وهو ممسك بشنبه بأنه سيكون أحد الثوابت في أيّ اتفاق مع «إسرائيل»، وتمّت الاستعاضة عن ذلك بمنح غزة بعض المساعدات الإنسانية كإنشاء محطة تحلية للمياه وبناء مستشفى.

وماذا بعد…؟ لا شيء، لا قبل ولا بعد، هو الانحطاط الذي تعيشه الدول حين تضع مصيرها في يد حفنة من اللصوص، وهنا لا أتجنّى مطلقاً بوصف أردوغان باللصّ، فهذا ليس من باب الشتيمة… بل لأنه لص فعلاً… ولمن ينسى أذكره فقط بصورة الشاحنات التي حملت مصانع حلب الشهباء التي فككتها «عصابات ثورة أردوغان» وقامت بشحنها إلى تركيا جهاراً نهاراً.. وأيضاً قوافل صهاريج النفط السوري المسروق وهي تعمل ليلاً نهاراً بالتنسيق مع القتلة في داعش وعصابات زنكي ومراد وغيرهم… وتفرغها في تركيا.

والآن بعد أن ذاب الثلج وبان المرج.. وبعد أن تمخض الجبل فولد فأراً… ماذا سيقول لنا يا ترى عباقرة «الإسلام» السياسي وخاصة الفلسطينيين منهم الذين رفعوا أردوغان إلى مصاف أمير المؤمنين… حتى أصبحوا يحجون إليه ليتعلموا من مهاراته وحكمته… أيّ خيال سياسي وفكري فقير هذا؟


طيب يا سيد أردوغان ما دمت «براغماتياً وعقلانياً» لهذه الدرجة ونجحت في حلّ خلافاتك مع «إسرائيل»، لماذا لا تمارس سطوتك لتساعد في حلّ المشكلة بين فتح وحماس… أليسوا أوْلى بالمصالحة…؟


المضحك أنّ البعض لا يزال يبرّر لأردوغان فهلويته وتذاكيه… ويعترف بدوره الهامّ في مساعدة الشعب الفلسطيني…

بل وذهب أحمد يوسف القيادي في حركة حماس في مقابلته مع الميادين 26 حزيران 2016 إلى التساؤل الاستنكاري:

كيف سنطلب من أردوغان شيئاً في ظلّ تخاذل العرب…! يا سلام!

ولكن ماذا عن السؤال الحقيقي الحارق

من الذي طعن قلب العروبة دمشق في ظهرها حتى وصل نصل الخنجر إلى قلبها؟ من الذي خذل من يا سيد أحمد يوسف؟ من الذي حمل راية فلسطين وجعلها في مواجهة سورية… من الذي كان حصان طروادة في تدمير مخيم اليرموك… وجعله حاضنة لكل قاتل من داعش والنصرة وجيش الرحمن وجيش الإسلام وجيش السعدان!

يعني سورية لم تقدّم شيئاً للمقاومة أليس كذلك..! بينما «العصملي» أردوغان حرث البحر وفجر الصحراء غضباً… بل وها هو يجبر «إسرائيل» على دفع 21 مليون دولارا…!

بكلمة واحدة كفى إسفافاً… فهذا الأردوغان.. يلوب منذ أشهر وهو يتمنّى على «إسرائيل» المصالحة… ونتنياهو يتمنّع ويتشدّد ويذلّ أردوغان…

هذا هو أردوغان المتغطرس الذي يبرق ويرعد ويهدّد ويتوعّد على مدار ست سنوات بأنه سيقتحم سورية.. وسيقيم أحزمة آمنة في شمالها… وسيصلي في المسجد الأموي… ثم ما يلبث أن يلوذ بالصمت حين لا يستجيب الناتو لعنترياته…

وهو ذاته أردوغان الذي دفعته خفته ورعونته وغباؤه السياسي لإسقاط طائرة السو 24 الروسية… وبعدها راح يتبجّح بأنه لن يعتذر عن هذا العمل.. لكنه اليوم يرجو ويعتذر من بوتين أن يسامحه… ويبدو أنّ هذه الرسالة فاتحة رسائل كثيرة بذات المضمون من الاعتذارات في محاولة لترميم نتائج السياسات الرعناء التي تبنتها تركيا منذ بداية ما يسمّى «الربيع العربي»… لننتظر.


يعني خلصت الكذبة التي اسمها أردوغان حامي حمى الجماعات الإسلامية وزعيم «الأمة الإسلامية»… فهو لا يتعدّى كونه رئيساً لدولة في حلف الناتو.. يعني الحلف الذي يدعم ويحمي «إسرائيل»… وهو الذي يلعب دور رأس الحربة في تدمير سورية وفتح حدود تركيا للقتلة واللصوص ليدمّر أجمل حواضر العرب…

إنه الآن حائر ومرتبك ويبحث عن بصيص مخرج من ورطته في سورية… فقد وصلته رسالة الرئيس بشار الأسد بأوضح ما يكون: حلب ستكون مقبرة لأحلام العثمانيين الجدد… ومن يعِشْ يرَ!

Gaza Despair, israel’s Culpability, Unfit to Print in The Jew York Times (NYT)

Gaza Despair, Israeli Culpability, Unfit to Print in The NY Times

By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | May 23, 2016

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By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | May 23, 2016

Gaza made the front page of The New York Times recently, with an article highlighting the fears of residents who suspect Hamas of building tunnels under and near their homes. The topic was ready-made for the newspaper, fitting perfectly into the Israeli (and Times) spin on the besieged enclave.

According to the accepted narrative, the problems in Gaza are due to Hamas, and Israel is free from blame. Thus we find the tunnel story played prominently on the front page under the headline “As Hamas Tunnels Back Into Israel, Palestinians Are Afraid, Too.”

There is much cause for despair in Gaza—fishermen and farmers come under attack, drinking water is ever more scarce, patients are desperate for adequate medical care—but the Times has failed to highlight any of these issues, which are so clearly due to Israeli actions and policies.

The official Israeli line is that Hamas oppresses the residents under its control, and Israeli political leaders use this charge to help justify their airstrikes on Hamas sites and other actions, such as restrictions on the delivery of building materials to Gaza. The Times has been a willing partner in this effort.

So it is no surprise when the newspaper informs us that Hamas has rebuilt many of the tunnels it used during the assaults on Gaza in the summer of 2014, and this is causing anxiety for some Gaza residents who live near signs of underground construction work. They fear that Israel will bomb their neighborhoods to destroy the tunnels.

The story is just what the Israeli army press office ordered, and the Times willingly promotes this propaganda effort even as it shows little interest in even more urgent concerns that plague the residents of the strip. It had nothing to say, for instance, when Israel arrested 20 Gaza fishermen over less than a week this month and confiscated seven of their boats (here and here) even though they were fishing within the approved limit set by Israel.

Israeli harassment of the beleaguered fishermen has been a constant over the years: According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Israeli forces detained 71 fishermen and confiscated 22 fishing boats in 2015, firing on fishing boats at least 139 times, wounding 24 fishermen and damaging 16 boats. The attacks have continued without letup this year.

The Times, however, has almost totally ignored the subject. The paper took notice briefly last month, when Israel announced new rules allowing Gaza boats to sail farther out to sea, and the story most certainly made the grade because it was a chance to show Israel in a benevolent light. The Times has been silent on the issue ever since.

Farmers with land near the border fence also face frequent attacks by Israeli soldiers who fire live ammunition at workers tending their fields, and Israel has destroyed crops and farm buildings, spraying fields of spinach and peas with herbicides and leveling land with bulldozers.

The Times has failed to report these incursions as well, although the United Nations documents them in weekly reports, and other news sources routinely tell of the assaults.

According to the UN, as of May 16, the Israeli military had made 30 incursions into Gaza this year. Its forces entered the enclave at least 56 times during 2015. These mini invasions—which include tanks, bulldozers and live fire—are breaches of the truce agreement made to end hostilities in 2014, but the Times has not seen fit to report them.

Instead, the newspaper prefers to raise the alarm about possible attacks from Gaza via the tunnels, ignoring the relevant context: the frequent shootings and other assaults by Israeli forces and the nine-year blockade, which finds not a single mention in the tunnel article.

Israel blocks the entry of needed medical supplies into Gaza, denies doctors the right to upgrade their skills in foreign countries and prevents many patients from leaving the enclave to receive the treatment they need. It has destroyed electrical equipment, wells and water treatment plants, and the lack of potable water has reached such a critical stage that only some 5 percent of the water in Gaza is safe to drink.

The Times, however, has shown no interest in exploring these crucial issues. It follows a prescribed narrative in deflecting blame from Israel and demonizing Hamas. The tunnel story fit this bill and thus merited a prime placement on page 1 above the fold.

Hamas does not call for war, but won’t tolerate israel’s incursions into Gaza

Hamas does not call for war, but won’t tolerate Israeli incursions into Gaza 

GAZA (Ma’an) — Deputy head of Hamas’ politburo Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday that while the movement is not calling for a new war in the Gaza Strip, it will not tolerate incursions by Israel or accept a buffer zone.

Haniyeh said during Friday prayers at the Abu Salim mosque in the central Gaza Strip district of Deir al-Balah that Israel’s recent incursions into the border areas in search of tunnels are responsible for the latest escalation of violence in the besieged coastal enclave.
“We do not call for a new war, but we will not allow these incursions or for new realities to be imposed on our people in Gaza. We call for lifting the siege. Enough of this historical injustice suffered by 2 million of our people.”
Israeli military incursions inside the besieged Gaza Strip and near the “buffer zone” have long been a near-daily occurrence, marked by Israeli bulldozers leveling lands inside Gaza territory while accompanied by Israeli military vehicles. Haniyeh said incursions inside Gaza territory are a grave violation of the Egypt-sponsored ceasefire reached in the summer of 2014.
Haniyah highlighted that the efforts underway by Egypt, Qatar, UN envoy Nikolay Mladenov, and Turkey to curb the aggression in the Gaza Strip.
“I hope that statements by the PA (Palestinian Authority) regarding limiting relations with the (Israeli) occupation are implemented on the ground, and that security coordination with occupation must be stopped,” Haniyeh added.
The PA has repeatedly threatened to put an end to the security coordination with Israel over the years. However, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his commitment to security coordination with Israel in an interview in March, arguing that it was a major factor in curbing Palestinian attacks against Israeli targets.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s (PFLP) military wing also released a statement Friday regarding the recent Israeli hostilities, saying it “will not stand idly by while Israel continues its crimes against Palestinian people.”“We affirm that this escalation by the (Israeli) occupation in Gaza is an attempt to test the patience of resistance. […] They have two choices: either to die or leave our lands.”
Israeli airstrikes continued Friday morning for third consecutive day, in response to alleged mortar rounds being fired by Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups on Israeli army targets.
Israeli shelling east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip reportedly killed a Palestinian woman on Wednesday.
The Israeli army accused Palestinian resistance groups of launching mortar attacks in an attempt to disrupt the army’s “operational activity” in search for Hamas-built tunnels leading into Israel.
Israeli outlet Haaretz quoted Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon as saying: “We will not be deterred by these threats by Hamas and will continue operations in light of the violation of our sovereignty, until we find and expose every last tunnel.”
One such tunnel was allegedly discovered Thursday, the second of its kind to be uncovered since Israel’s devastating 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel for decade. The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Gaze Strip and Fatah in control of the occupied West Bank.

Time for the civilised world to step in and save Gaza from israel’s illegal “Collective punishment”

Collective punishment of Gaza

Arab Digest Summary: Gaza still shattered following the last war in 2014. Pledges of aid not honoured. Another war? A cry for help from behind the blockade.

The situation in Gaza remains dire. The population is 1.8 million living in an area of 141 square miles (365 square kilometres), 25 miles long and 3.5 to 7.5 miles deep, one of the most densely populated areas in the world. According to a World Bank fact sheet (apparently dated from just after the war in 2014) unemployment is 45%; economic activity is almost entirely dependent on aid and remittances, and a dynamic private sector is impeded by restrictions imposed by Israel. War damage is put at roughly $3 billion, with severe consequences for water, sanitation, energy, housing, health, education and food.

According to a World Bank report of 18 April the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza after Hamas seized power in 2007, “continues to weigh on the economy” and Egypt’s closure of its border crossing with Gaza, the main gateway for people moving in and out of the territory, has “further exacerbated the situation.”

Only 40% of aid pledged after the war has been disbursed. “20 months after the war, only 9 percent of totally damaged houses and 45 percent of partially damaged houses have been repaired. Over 14,800 families continue to be displaced. For these people in Gaza, there is no escape.”

Arab donors have proved particularly bad payers: Qatar pledged $1 billion and has delivered 15%, Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million and has delivered 10%, the UAE pledged $200 million and has delivered 15%, Kuwait pledged $200 million and has delivered nothing (but Palestinian sources reported on 18 April that the Palestinian authority had received funding from Kuwait to build three hundred homes in Gaza, and 12,000 other Gazans whose homes were damaged in the war would receive cash compensation). The USA, the EU, individual European nations and Turkey have delivered all or most of their pledges.

The Palestinian Authority is losing about $285 million each year due from taxes collected by Israel on their behalf under various agreements dating from the nineteen nineties, and Israel is also holding about $669 million, mostly pension contributions collected from Palestinians working in Israel and their employers.

A UN report of 11 April describes the “fraught conditions” of life in Gaza and concludes that without a lifting of the blockade and progress towards Palestinian reconciliation “coping capacities of exhausted and vulnerable households risk being depleted altogether.” According to another report of 4 April Israel has suspended cement deliveries following allegations that cement had been diverted “from its intended legitimate beneficiaries”.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports that the Palestinian authority is considering holding a Cabinet meeting in Gaza. Earlier this month senior delegations from Fatah and Hamas met in Gaza “in the most high-ranking gathering to convene since a new round of reconciliation talks began in Qatar earlier this year.”

The newly issued annual report by the US State Department on “Human Rights Practices for 2015” includes a long section on the occupied territories; Gaza is included, concentrating almost exclusively on abuse by Hamas including disappearances and torture. According to the executive summary “The most significant human rights abuses were restrictions on civil liberties, particularly by Hamas in Gaza; excessive use of force by Israeli Security Forces (ISF) in a number of their interactions with Palestinian civilians, and arbitrary arrest and associated torture and abuse, often with impunity by multiple actors in the region… The IDF and the Egyptian government maintained severe restrictions on movement into and out of the Gaza Strip and largely limited the travel of Palestinians out of Gaza to humanitarian cases and some business travelers.”

The IDF announced on 18 April the discovery of a tunnel from Gaza into Israel, the first found since the 2014 war, 100 feet underground and several hundreds of yards long. According to Reuters Israel has, with US help, stepped up work on technologies for spotting the secret passages. Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was investing considerable capital in countering tunnels and would respond strongly to any attempt to attack it.

Hamas reportedly said

What the enemy has discovered is only a drop in the sea from what the resistance has prepared to defend its people, to liberate the holy places, its prisoners and land.

The IDF said the tunnel was new, but Hamas said it was old. The Times of Israel comments that “the public mood veers between ‘we need a war’ to ‘we must avoid war at all cost’ (depending on whom you ask) in the pressure cooker known as the Gaza Strip.”

Not all is gloom; two separate Reuters reports yesterday 19 April cover a graffiti artist  who uses Arabic calligraphic design which “adds a certain beauty” and a semi-professional circus school which trains in a garage and performs in schools, hospitals and the streets.

The article below is published on the Consortium News website, “the first investigative news magazine on the Internet”. It is an emotional appeal for help addressed to President Obama by a journalist resident in Gaza.

To subscribe to Arab Digest, find out here



Gaza city in 2015. Photo by Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

 Obama’s Failed ‘Hope’ in Gaza

Eight years ago, President Obama offered “hope” for change in the world, but politics and pressures won out, with his failure nowhere more obvious than in Gaza, as Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer explains in this open letter.

By Mohammed Omer, Consortium News 
April 17, 2016

To President Barack Obama

Dear Mr. President,

As president of the most powerful country on the planet; the loving and protective father of two children; and a man fully aware of the human struggles of so many in the down-trodden communities of many lands, including your own, your eyes must have been opened during the last three — of many — Israeli assaults on besieged Gaza, where I live with my wife and young son.

I recall being in the Netherlands when you were first elected president. Like so many millions around the world, I cheered loudly for you, believing that a fresh wind was blowing through the narrow halls of U.S. politics. I dared to hope that a brave man — a champion of good people who were neglected and abused — had arrived to stand up and ease the pain and injustice inflicted on so many, including my people in Palestine, long tormented and driven from their ancient land, deprived of their human dignity.


Children play on the ruins of demolished homes in Shejayeh, an area which was heavily hit by Israeli cannon shells and F-16 missiles during Israel’s 51-day war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, when more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed and around 100,000 became homeless. Photo by M. Omer

Sadly, however, I perhaps dared to believe too much. As I look around Gaza today and see only the aftermath of more Israeli cruelty and evidence of ever more bloodshed, pain, sadness and destruction, the words “Yes, we can” now drift away with the dust, carried by the winds of despair.

This despair has hung over our heads for at least the past 10 years, the result of Israel’s harsh collective punishment of the 1.9 million human beings who struggle to survive in Gaza. Half of them are children younger than your Sasha and Malia; many are babies, like mine, held in their parents’ arms.

Perhaps, being so far removed from it, you cannot empathize with the effects of collective punishment. Having studied law and worked closely in community projects, however, you surely have an intellectual and historical understanding. I think you know that Israel’s intentions extend beyond removing Hamas — or any other group that would resist an occupier’s expansion and invasion of their homes and leaders.

The U.S. Constitution does not call for the punishment of an entire population simply for voting for the “wrong party.” It and the Bill of Rights guarantee Americans the freedom to express themselves freely and the right to struggle and defend their inalienable rights. The American Revolution was an act of rebellion against oppression and the denial of “self-evident” rights and freedoms.

In Gaza, we are struggling against similar oppression. Israel increasingly confines and punishes us for our struggle, as we use whatever meager means we have to attain the same freedom and human dignity your forbearers fought for.

“Do Americans like us? Does Obama like us?”

What is the bond that binds U.S. politics and power to Israel’s ongoing cruel oppression? How can the U.S. justify its unconditional patronage of Israel escalating infliction of pain upon innocent others? What satisfaction and reward does Israel gain for punishing every aspect of human life for nearly two million good Palestinian people in Gaza, who just want their freedom again?

Three recent wars have whipped, beaten and left homeless many families who are still waiting for short- and long-term protection from cruelty. I met with Ahmed Al Kafarneh, an elderly man of dignity, living with his wife, son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Before the 51-day war in 2014, he, like 100,000 other Palestinians, had built a beautiful home after 20 years of working in Israel — no easy task indeed. Now everything is gone, and he lives with his extended family in a rusty metal shipping container.

Mr. President, it is a cold and wet winter here — the coldest in years. Try to imagine yourself, Michelle, Sasha and Malia sitting on cold metal floors with rain dripping in from more holes in the container roof than you can count.

Are you not the same president who, when proclaiming Israel’s right to defend itself, vowed that you would do everything to protect your children? Does that same determination to protect not apply to our Palestinian children?

It seems you have forgotten our right — not only as Palestinians, but as human beings — to exist in freedom and safety from oppression and disproportionately heavy attacks from the Israeli military. In Gaza, our youngest generation knows only war, displacement, loss, trauma and pain. It faces even more obstacles in the path of “Yes we can” in the form of massive unemployment, repression and isolation caused by Israel’s U.S.-sanctioned economic blockade, denying an entire people free movement and a normal life of choices.

Does that not sound like slavery, Mr. President?

We are locked behind walls, contained like cattle, spied on by armed drones, with Israeli-army snipers patrolling barbed-wire fences, and placed on a “diet” meted out by occupiers and thieves. Is that not extremism? Would you not resist it?

A few days ago, I met with 13 brave and dedicated U.S. doctors who came here to assist the local hospitals — a rare occasion when American doctors get to meet face to face with our own courageous doctors and Hippocratic Oath colleagues. A 24-year-old Palestinian fine arts student paused when she heard of the delegation and asked, “Do Americans like us? Does Obama like us?”

This is why I am writing this open letter to you, Mr. President.

Human beings, of all generations, live here in Gaza, waiting for your replies to these questions. “Change we can believe in,” Mr.President — but it must include our freedom of choice.

Gaza is the size of Manhattan Island. We are human beings like you and your fellow Americans — but we are trapped behind walls and fences we have never lived behind before and don’t want to wake up to tomorrow. Our southern borders are now fenced off by Egypt, locking down Rafah crossing. To the west, our beaches — frequented by children, families and fishermen — are threatened by Israeli naval vessels armed with missiles and water cannons. They confine our fishing boats to 6 nautical miles offshore instead of the designated 20 nautical miles.

Are you aware that 73 Palestinian fishermen were fired upon and arrested in 2015? Or that 55 percent of Gazans suffer from clinical depression, that 43 percent are unemployed, 40 percent fall below the poverty line, and 60 percent are food insecure? Do you know how few hours of electricity we are allowed in 24 hours, with no power for 12 to 16 hours?

The same shortage applies to water, cooking gas and many other basic essentials. As you are served your meal this evening, remember we have half a million gas cylinders waiting to be filled before we can cook or boil water for washing and drinking (a human right).

This is all the more tragic because Gaza could be the perfect neighbor for Israel, living in peace and harmony and sharing mutually beneficial economic and trade relationships. We have many skilled workers and a well-educated young generation. Palestine has always been progressive. The only thing we need is a chance to grow, develop and contribute with dignity and equality.

We want to build bridges of understanding, instead of separation walls of bigotry and hatred. We don’t want Israel experimenting with its new hi-tech weapons on the children of Gaza. Your American-made missiles have been used to attack U.N. schools and shelters — the very schools which offer quality education and steer our children away from extremism. This is usually something to be applauded, not targeted.

You have not seen Khuza’a and the massive destruction that Israel’s war machine left behind. Its children’s feet are cold this frigid winter because water continues to drip from their shell-pocked ceilings onto their beds. You are welcome to visit us at any time, should you choose to place humanitarian considerations over political ones.

It is time for you, Mr. President, to provide the children and youth of Gaza with hope they can believe in. You can do it before you leave office, and all your promises, behind. You can reignite the enthusiasm we felt when you stepped up to address the world, and strengthen your legacy for promoting peace after you leave the Oval Office.

Meanwhile, you are among the very few people on earth who could influence Israel and Egypt to open borders and end the collective blockade. Is not a decade enough? Especially when we know that the ones who suffer from the siege are ordinary people, not political groups such as Hamas. If the aim is for people to look beyond Hamas, they must be given options for the future.

The children and parents of Gaza are waiting for a solution, and you can revitalize the positive energy that came with you and your speeches early in your presidency. Make all people proud — including Americans — of your long-lasting achievements.

Stand up for Gaza, as you always do for Israel, regardless of how badly they treat their fellow man (including yourself). We don’t want or need extremism in any form. We want stability, peace and to live in our homes without drones and tanks threatening us day and night. The young people of Gaza are seeking a better future.

Can we do this? Yes, we can! Step up Mr. President—please.

 

Arab days of shame (MUST READ!)

March 07, 2016

by Ghassan Kadi – Via The Saker

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has finally had it its way. A meeting held last month of GCC and other Arab Foreign Ministers has condemned Iran for the attack on the Saudi Embassy incident, and the Lebanese Foreign Minister Basil; from the 8th of March Coalition pro-Hezbollah camp, abstained from voting. As a result, Lebanon was punished by Saudi Arabia as the latter decided to renege on the $4bn aid promise to the Lebanese Army and Internal Security.

And then just a few weeks later, the Arab Interior Ministers convened in Tunis and declared Lebanon’s Hezbollah a terror organization (1&2). Lebanon’s Interior Minister Mashnouk, a 14th of March Hariri man, also abstained from voting.

The debauched Saudi royals, the same lazy criminals who die from obesity and self-inflicted diabetes whilst they are starving and bombing Yemen, the same people who poured billions upon billions of dollars to kill Syrians in an attempt to create an Islamic state in lieu of its secular government, that scourge of a family that rules with an iron fist wreaking havoc and creating wars between Arabs and Muslims and never once fired a single bullet at Israel, they actually had the audacity to call the shots and had Hezbollah declared as a terrorist organization. Strange days indeed.

What is of significance here is the almost utter silence about this development in Western media. Try to Google this milestone event using any key words, and you will not find any references in the well-established highly-read mainstream Western news agencies. Interesting indeed.

What is even more interesting here as an observer is that quite often Western media go abuzz with what they believe is taking the Arab World by storm, but in reality, no one in the Arab World would be talking about it or least concerned.

The issues of Saudi military land intervention in Syria and their alleged ownership of nuclear weapons for example, are hardly ever discussed in the Levant and the whole Middle East. They are seen as some kind of bad-taste jokes. Such topics seem to only make news headlines in the West.

Back to the Tunis decision. The Arab states that did not vote in favour of the motion are Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria and Iraq. I wonder if the readers are missing something here….Palestine, as represented by Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA), has in fact voted for declaring Hezbollah as a terror organization.

Whilst Hamas is not acknowledged as a representative of the Palestinian people, Ismail Haniyye, who is entirely in Qatar’s pocket, would probably also vote in favour had he been asked to vote. Mahmoud Zahhar, a prominent Hamas leader, has however condemned the decision. This is not surprising given that Zahar went against his rank when Hamas leaders went cahoots with Qatar against Syria. Zahhar had always been the voice of reason in Hamas. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the PFLP and the PFLP General Command have also condemned the decision, but Mahmoud Abbas is quite silent. He is probably feeling too sheepish to make any comments. Even if his heart is with Hezbollah, he cannot go against the Saudi dictates.

The Palestinian position is not taking keen observers by surprise. After all, earlier on, Hezbollah pioneered the tunnel technology and passed on the information to Hamas leaders in order to help with their fight against the Israelis in Gaza. When the “War On Syria” started and Hamas decided to align itself with Qatar against Syria and her people, Hamas passed on this technology to the terrorists. All the tunnels around greater Damascus, and especially in the Jobar region, were built by technology and information that was passed on to the terrorists by Hamas. So for Hamas a would-be vote against Hezbollah is not impossible to imagine.

Hezbollah is receiving quite a bit of support from progressive Arab parties, especially, and whilst its officials made quite a few verbal responses to the Saudis, it seems that Hezbollah is not trying to escalate the situation with the PA. In an Arabic article published on Al-Manar of the 3rd of March 2016 (3) and titled: “The Palestinian Authority And The “Terrorist”

Decision Against Hezbollah), the author (Islam Al-Rawashda) opens his article by saying that it is not surprising to see the Saudis go after Hezbollah. In his next paragraph however, he is questioning how did the PA allow itself to join the “gang” and endorsed the decision against Hezbollah. Isn’t Hezbollah engaged in fighting Israel? Did it not liberate Arab land from occupation? Does is not support Palestine? These are the kind of questions he asked. But the official Hezbollah spokespeople seem to unwilling to engage in making anti-PA statements. Clearly, they don’t want to give their adversaries more ammunition and do not want to be seen standing against Palestinians; not even their corrupt pro-Saudi authority.

The schism inside the Arab World is reaching unprecedented levels. The pro-Western camp represented by Saudi Arabia and its followers has stooped to levels previously seen as unimaginable.

Even as Saudi Arabia is down on its knees financially, bogged down in a war it cannot win in Yemen and losing all control over the “War On Syria”, it still has a few billions stashed here and there to draw from and use to continue to buy friends.

And whilst it continues to spend billions on its terror campaigns and on destabilizing the region, whilst it is supporting all the fundamentalist Madrasas all over the globe, it withheld its promised gift to the Lebanese Army under the pretext that the Lebanese Government and Lebanese Army have become tools in the hand of Hezbollah and Iran.

As the Arab Saudi camp is becoming more audacious, audacious enough for the PA to vote against Hezbollah; the only army that disturbs Israel’s security, the only Arab organization that has taken back land from Israel militarily, the only Arab army that has actually threatened the depth of Israel, then no one should expect any good from other Arab pro-Saudi states that are distant geographically from Palestine. If the Palestinians themselves do not know who their enemies and friends are in standing up against Israel, why should the Moroccans?

And if the Palestinian people did not like what their government has done, why did they not take to the streets in protest? There are some reports of minor dissent, but nothing serious.

There is one word to describe the Palestinian reaction, and the word is “disgusting”, but in this literary context, I shall stick to the word “appalling”.

If we wind the clock back a bit, just a few years earlier, we can clearly remember how both the PA and Hamas have sided against the Syrian government. Here we ought to remember that had it not been for the Syrian government and its support to the different Palestinian organizations in the 1970’s onwards, they would have vanished.

After all, the official Hamas HQ was actually in Damascus for many years, and it was in Syria where Khaled Mashaal operated until he moved to the Five Star Hotels of Qatar and Istanbul.

Palestinians have a great cause, but for a major part, their leaders have been nothing but rascals, ungrateful rascals. And how can we forget what happened to Lebanon?

It was because virtually half of the Lebanese have supported the Palestinian cause that the already existing political/religious division in Lebanon expanded and took the country to Civil War in 1975. The Palestinians played a huge part in pouring oil over fire, and their only objectives were what they could get out of it, and did not give a damn about the destruction that was inflicted upon Lebanon as a result.

And the whole breakdown between Arafat and Assad father in 1976 onwards was based on Arafat’s insistence on the so-called “Palestinian Decision”. Assad tried in vain to convince him that the Arab-Israeli conflict is much bigger than what the Palestinians can handle. He tried to convince him that this matter is as important for Syria as it is for Palestine.

He reminded him that Palestine is the southern region of Syria, but to no avail. Arafat wanted to be the master of his decisions even if this screwed up the entire Arab World around him.

Half a century or so later, Palestinian leaders are not so much as dogmatic and indoctrinated as Arafat was. They are simply up for sale. The PA leaders have grown to love Saudi and other oil money, and Hamas leaders are up for sale and rent by any Sunni Muslim money. There is no difference between the two.

But as the Arab Saudi camp continues to stoop lower and lower, the resistance camp is growing more organized, more powerful, more successful and closer to victory.

Which day in history has marked the biggest day of shame for the Arabs? Arguably, it has always been said that Arab states reached their lowest point in history on June the 5th 1967 during the Six-Days War. The 3rd of March 2016 decree of the Arab interior ministers in Tunis is by far a much lower point, and one wonders if they are poised to stoop even lower. Shame on them.

1. http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/889141

2. http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160303/1035689377/arab-states-hezbollah-terrorist-organization.html \

3. http://www.manar.com/page-29251-ar.html

 

RELATED VIDEO

Egypt collaborating with israel in trying to starve Gaza into submission

Israeli minister embarrassed after revealing security co-operation with Egypt

Close security ties usually kept quiet to spare Arab regime criticism from its people

An Israeli minister has broken one of the Middle East’s key unwritten rules by publicly praising his country’s close security co-operation with Egypt, most of whose citizens fiercely resent its ties to the “Zionist state”.

Yuval Steinitz, the energy minister, revealed on Saturday that Egypt’s decision to flood the underground supply tunnels run by Hamas from the Egyptian Sinai into Gaza had been to a “certain extent at Israel’s request”. Security co-operation with Egypt was “better than ever”, he added.

A Palestinian smuggles a sheep into the Gaza Strip through a tunnel Gaza’s network of tunnels is used to transport anything from donkeys to RPG’s  Photo: AFP/Getty

His words were met with an immediate outcry from commentators and former ambassadors. “He said something that shouldn’t be said in so many words,” Eli Shaked, Israel’s former ambassador to Egypt, told The Daily Telegraph.

Mr Steinitz was forced to retract his comments and apologise for the “unintended impression” his words had given, though by then the damage was done.

His comments followed news reports that Egypt flooded ten of Hamas’s tunnels near the border last Friday, the latest in a long series of moves against the group, with which Cairo has had fluctuating relations.

Israel says it has unearthed 'longest-ever' Gaza  'terror' tunnel This 65 foot deep tunnel was designed to smuggle Palestinian militants into Israel  Photo: AP

Since the coup led by current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013, the Egyptian authorities have turned on it, cracking down on its supply lines and increasing security co-operation along the Israeli border to unprecedented levels.

This is no secret to the outside world, but it is a potential source of instability inside Egypt, where the Arab world’s hatred of Israel is widely shared.

“The security coordination between the two countries is one of the most sensitive issues there is for the security establishment,” the Israeli commentator Yossi Melman wrote in the Ma’ariv daily, adding that the comments reflected “the serious disease of uncontrollable talking” by Israeli officials.

Last week, a screening of an Israeli film in Cairo was cancelled by the Egyptian culture ministry in order to “prevent normalisation,” while this week, an Egyptian parliamentarian is demanding an investigation into how a book penned by an Israeli author on modern Arab society was allowed to feature in an international book fair in Cairo, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Mr Shaked said: “The relationship between Israel and Egypt is going very well. It may be words like these that can embarrass the Egyptian regime and el-Sisi in the eyes of the rest of the Arab world, and the Egyptian public opinion. It can put him under pressure.”

Gaza: Egypt Poisons the Water, Israel Does the Massacres

gazadonkey

Tortilla Con Sal

It seems as though almost the whole world is determined to turn its back on the Palestinians and behave as though the piecemeal, slow-motion destruction of Palestine is not just inevitable, but in fact of no importance. This is particularly obvious in Gaza. In complete violation of the U.N. Charter, the world’s great powers look on complacently while both Egypt and Israel enforce the illegal blockade against Gaza’s people. Under President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, Egypt has used its very real fight against terrorism to justify its role in the blockade. But Egypt is now going far beyond merely sealing its frontier with Gaza by engaging in terrorism of its own – environmental terrorism – to attack the civilian population of Gaza by destroying the aquifer that provides much of Gaza with fresh water for drinking and irrigation.

After Israel’s military campaigns against the civilian population of Gaza it seemed impossible to imagine anything worse than that genocidal armed aggression. But President Al-Sisi’s government has taken up attacking Gaza’s water supply where even the Israeli government has refrained from acting. Egypt is implementing a plan to flood with contaminated seawater the few remaining tunnels that have been Gaza’s economic lifeline for a decade or more. By systematically flooding the frontier area in question, the Egyptian government will poison Gaza’s water supply by irreversibly salinating it. That same aquifer network provides water to Egypt’s own territory and population in the affected area, many of whom have been displaced to make way for the Egyptian government’s plan to flood Gaza’s tunnels.

This plan to destroy Gaza’s tunnels is far from new. Nizar al Wahidi, Director for Extension Projects of Palestine’s Ministry of Agriculture, told our contact, New Zealand writer Huda Julie Webb Pullman, currently in Gaza, that the plan had been proposed seven years ago under President Mubarak who was himself reviving an old Israeli plan to flood Gaza’s tunnels. Back then Palestinian officials suggested that if Egypt wanted to flood the tunnels they should at least do so with fresh water. President Mubarak’s government decided the plan was too expensive and abandoned it. Now President el-Sisi’s government is proceeding with plans to pump a million gallons of seawater a month into its frontier area with southern Gaza for a whole year. The sea water will be pumped from a marine area already contaminated with sewage, creating a grave potential public health risk on both sides of the frontier.

According to Nizar al Wahidi, no Environmental Impact Assessment has been done taking into account the geophysics, hydrology and soil structure. The aquifer is Gaza’s main fresh water resource. Egypt’s plan will render many thousands of hectares of agricultural land permanently unproductive, because the rate of salination will make it impossible to recover the land for agricultural use. Al Wahidi says that for Gaza the plan means the loss of 3,000 water wells in the first year after pumping begins. The water supply to Rafah city located on the frontier will be affected immediately. Right now, the Egyptian authorities have dug the moat that will channel the contaminated seawater to and along the frontier area and also laid the pipes that will inject the water into the tunnels, thus poisoning the aquifer. The last phase of the engineering work to begin implementing the plan is to complete the pumping installation and its intake pipeline from the sea.

The Palestinian authorities have already discovered sinkholes appearing as a result of test flooding by the Egyptian engineers. Mazen Samir al Banna of the Palestinian Water Authority told Webb Pullman he fears full scale pumping may begin within a couple of weeks. Just as the economic blockade of Gaza is illegal so are Egypt’s plans to deny fresh water to people in Gaza. Egypt is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversitywhich came into force on Dec. 29, 1993. That Convention itself is supplemented by other conventions that give more precision to the applicable principles in various relevant areas. In the case of international water management, the U.N. Watercourses Convention is the relevant U.N. instrument. Egypt has not signed that Convention, but the United Nations General Assembly adopted it as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses on May 21, 1997 and the Convention came into force in Aug. 2014. Earlier, in 2008, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 63/124 on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers.

Even without being party to the U.N. Watercourses Convention, Egypt is obliged to follow basic norms of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Article 3 of the Convention states that parties have “the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction”. Article 5 of the Convention states that parties will “cooperate with other Contracting Parties, directly or, where appropriate, through competent international organizations, in respect of areas beyond national jurisdiction and on other matters of mutual interest, for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.” Article 14 of the Convention binds parties to minimize damage to neighboring States.

Egypt’s obligations under Articles 3 and 14 of the Convention on Biological Diversity are spelled out more precisely in the UN Watercourses Convention and the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, particularly the obligation not to cause transboundary impact. Article 27 of the Convention on Biological Diversity provides the procedure to be followed to resolve disputes. In this case Egypt is flagrantly violating its obligation to seek a negotiated settlement to Palestinian objections to its plan to destroy Gaza’s sources of fresh water. Egypt’s government has made clear it has every intention of maximizing the damage to Gaza’s aquifer in categorical violation of its obligation to avoid adverse impact on Palestine, which while still not quite a full State thanks to support for the colonialist arguments of the Israeli government from the United States and its allies, is an independent territory beyond Egypt’s own jurisdiction.

In an email interview this week, we were able to ask Mazen al Banna of Palestine’s Water Authority his view of the Egyptian plan to flood Gaza’s tunnels.

Tortilla con Sal: Is Egypt making any arguments to justify this environmental terrorism?

Mazen al Banna: I do not know the Egyptian argument for this project, but I know that this project will double the siege of Gaza and kill the both the humans and the environment in the southern area of Gaza and it will have indirect consequences on all sectors in Gaza Strip, the existing water crisis, the agricultural, the food security, the economy, the social and at the end the national security of Palestinians .

TcS: Surely such action is completely illegal? What are the relevant international laws? If Egypt’s action affects its own population, presumably they are violating their own laws too, is that true?

Mazen al Banna: In 2009, the U.N. Assembly issued a Resolution I think 63/124. If I am correct the Resolution talks about the law of transboundary groundwater aquifers, it talks about the principles and rules that should govern the relation between the countries that share the same aquifer, one of these is the obligation not to make a major harm even if the activities are done inside the sovereignty of any of these countries .

TcS: Do you think this action is being carried out in coordination with the Israeli authorities? What other political considerations would influence Egypt to take such extreme illegal action?

Mazen al Banna: In history, this project was going to be implemented by the Israeli Occupation in 2003, in the corridor of Philadelphia south of Gaza strip to prevent weapons smuggling as the occupation declared at that time. Then in 2009-2010, Mubarak, the preceding Egyptian President, started to construct the metallic wall and so on, but the Arab Spring caused him not to complete that project. Now the present Egyptian President el-Sisi is doing that, this project is done to double the siege on Gaza’s people.

TcS: If the remaining tunnels are flooded how soon would the population in Gaza begin to suffer the consequences? What would be the immediate effects? What would be the medium and long term effects on Gaza?

Mazen al Banna: The immediate consequences are the collapse of nearby buildings, roads, water and waste water infrastructure, waste water treatment plant in Rafah City in the vicinity of the borders, six municipal wells exist near the borders, they will be affected very soon, agricultural wells near the borders will be affected, so the agricultural sector will be affected and economic and social impacts will result. The medium and long term consequences will be the destruction of agricultural soil, the groundwater aquifer; the drinking water sector (the groundwater desalination plants in the area will not be able to produce desalinated drinking water, so the Palestinian citizen will be thirsty); the agricultural sector and the economical sector – no jobs, poverty increase, high levels of prices regarding agricultural products, we may need to import such products from outside; the social impacts, immigration to outside or to north of Gaza. This will result in putting pressures on the existing natural resources and other resources like lands, high levels of living, on water resources in north of Gaza etc.

The Palestinian authorities are calling on international governments and non-governmental human rights and environmental organizations as well as regional Arab and Islamic organizations to urge the Egyptian government and the Egyptian army to cancel this catastrophic project which will destroy the environment in both Gaza and Egypt as well as devastate both Palestinian and Egyptian lives. As usual, the governments of North America and Europe and their enormous media and human rights apparatus do little more than observe complacently while a foreign government, in this case Egypt, proceeds with the destruction of the Palestinian people’s land and lives.

For more information contact:

Nizar Al Wahidi – Telephone: +970 59 8936 625 / E-mail : nizar_alwahidi@yahoo.com

Mazen Al Banna – Telephone: +970 59 8858 662 / E-mail : bannamazennew@hotmail.com

_______

“Tortilla con Sal is an anti-imperialist collective based in Nicaragua producing information in various media on national, regional and international affairs. In Nicaragua, we work closely with grass roots community organizations and cooperatives. We strongly support the policies of sovereign national development and regional integration based on peace and solidarity promoted by the member countries of ALBA.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Jewish Terrorists

Jewish Terrorists  

Some of my best friends demand that I write an article condemning unconditionally the “administrative detention” of Jewish terrorists.

Three suspected terrorists have already been arrested under this procedure.

They are members of a group following the teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane (the leader is actually his grandson). Kahane was an American Rabbi who came to this country and founded a group branded by the Supreme Court as racist and antidemocratic. It was outlawed. He was later assassinated by an Arab in the US. An underground group of his followers is now active in Israel.

This is one of the groups which belong to a clandestine movement, generally called “Price Tag” or “Hilltop Youth”, that has conducted various acts of terrorism, setting fire to Christian churches and Muslim mosques, attacking Arab farmers and destroying their olive trees. None of the perpetrators has ever been apprehended, either by the army, which acts as a police force in the occupied territories, nor by the police in Israel proper. Many army officers are themselves residents of settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law.

The Israeli public has paid little attention to these outrages, but lately things have happened that shocked even complacent Israelis. One was the firebombing of an Arab dwelling in the small village of Douma in the West Bank. Under cover of darkness, a fire bomb was thrown into the home of a poor Arab family. An 18-month-old baby was burned to death, his father, mother and brother were seriously injured. The father later died in hospital.

Such acts of firebombing are quite usual, though until now the Arab families succeeded in saving themselves.

Another outrage was committed in Jerusalem – against Jews. An ultra-orthodox Jew attacked the annual gay pride march in the center of the city. He succeeded in stabbing several marchers, one of whom – a 16 year-old girl – later died of her wounds. The perpetrator had done exactly the same 10 years ago. He served a long prison term, was released a few weeks ago and did it again. He is an ultra-orthodox Jew, but seemingly has no connection with the Kahanist gang.

This was too much. For years, no one was ever indicted for acts of Jewish terrorism. Many believe that the acts were committed in collusion with the occupation army and the Shin Bet, the interior security service. Now, however, there is a public outcry, and the authorities have come to the conclusion that they must do something.

Hence, the administrative detention orders.

Administrative arrests are a legacy of the British colonial regime that ruled Palestine until May 1948. The Israeli state took it over, changing only some minor aspects.

This form of arrest allows a military commander to put a person in prison without trial. The warrant is in force for six months, but can be renewed without limit. Every few months the prisoner must be brought before a regular judge, but judges interfere only on rare occasions. Mentally, Israeli judges stand at attention when a military officer testifies.

The prisoners have no right to see the evidence against them and confront their accusers, nor are they allowed to be represented by attorney. The official reason is that they cannot be put on trial without “burning” informants and other sources of valuable information that are vital to effectively combat terrorism and save lives.

This instrument is used all the time against Arab suspects. At this moment, many hundreds of Arab administrative prisoners fill the prisons, some of them have been in custody for many years. Since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, hundreds of thousands of Arabs have been incarcerated under this act. For young Palestinians, this is almost a badge of honor.

Hardly any Jew has ever been held in administrative detention. For many years now, this means has not been used against Jews at all. The three Kahanists who were sent to prison this week are the first for a very long time.

Military and civilian officials explain this kind of detention as an essential and irreplaceable means to combat Jewish terrorism. All the Kahanists and other fascist perpetrators are trained to be silent under interrogation. Since they are sure that they will not be tortured, they have no reason to talk. They laugh in the faces of their interrogators.

Arab prisoners, of course, enjoy no such privilege. They know that if they don’t talk, they may be tortured. Under Israeli law, torture is forbidden, but the court allows something called “moderate physical pressure”, which achieves quick results.

Yet even so, many Arabs languish under unlimited administrative detention, because there is not enough legally admissible evidence to indict them in court, without endangering “sources”.

At present, the three Jews held in administrative detention are held in three different prisons, with more to join them soon, the Shin Bet promises.

Many years ago, when I was the editor-in-chief of the Haolam Hazeh news magazine, we published for a time an Arab-language edition. One day, one of my Arab employees – let’s call him Ahmed – was put in administrative detention.

When I started to raise hell, I got a surprise call from the Shin Bet. The relations between this organization and me were strained from the first day of the state. This may be an understatement, since their chief once officially defined me as the “No. 1 enemy of the regime”.

To my utmost surprise, a high-ranking Shin Bet officer invited me for a talk. “I am going to trust you with top secret information,” he said, “because I want you to understand our problems.”

He then told me that his people had caught a messenger who was sent to Israel by one of the major terrorist organizations to contact local collaborators. One of these was our Ahmed.

“What do you want us to do? We cannot put him on trial, because we have no proof that he is member of the organization. But leaving him free could result in deadly terrorist acts. Administrative detention is the only safe option.”

I did not believe that Ahmed was a terrorist. I was still thinking what to do, when I was saved from the dilemma. The Shin Bet agreed to release Ahmed, on condition the he leave the country. He went to the US and obtained a Green Card (perhaps with the help of Shin Bet). At one of my lectures there I saw him sitting in the front row. We embraced.

I am telling this story for the first time in order to illustrate the dilemma. Letting these Jewish fascists roam freely could cost more Arab and Jewish lives, and perhaps a catastrophe, for example if they set fire to the holy Muslim shrines. There seems to be no solid evidence against them. If there are Shin Bet informers in this group, their testimony at a trial would “burn” them.

The Shin Bet and the police are accused by many of us of utter incompetence when confronted with Jewish terrorists, while being extremely efficient when confronted with Arab ones. Worse, we suspect the Shin Bet of being infiltrated by the settlers and of collaborating with them. Depriving the Shin Bet of the means of administrative detention may weaken them even more, or at least provide them with a pretext for total failure.

In my late childhood I witnessed the breakdown of the democratic “Weimar Republic” in Germany. The Nazi hoodlums were roaming the streets, beating up people who looked Jewish, exchanging fire with Communists. The government was ineffective. Police and army were infiltrated by Adolf Hitler’s party. Judges punished the communists severely, but often let the Nazi “patriots” off the hook.

Years later, when Germany lay in ashes, the Weimar Republic (so called, because its constitution was written in Weimar) was accused of cowardice, because it did not dare to use the instruments it had at its disposal – including non-democratic emergency powers – to fight the Nazis in time. Does the Israeli Republic want to risk the same fate?

It is a real dilemma. It demands real answers. Not the easy answers derived from the liberal handbook. Responsible answers. Answers which are relevant to the real world.

I believe that the Kahanists and the other fascist groups in today’s Israel are far more dangerous than most people believe. This is not a handful of wild weeds as we are led to believe. This is a national cancer that can spread quickly in our national body.

I have seen it before.

It is a difficult dilemma. For me, in any case.

Do we approve of administrative detention, detention without trial and democratic safeguards, perhaps saving thereby the lives of Arabs and Jews, perhaps preventing worse disasters?

Or do we uphold strict democratic principles, release all people held in administrative detention, Arabs and Jews alike, knowing that some of them will go on a killing spree?

After much soul-searching, I vote for the second option. Both for moral and pragmatic reasons.

Morally, I do not believe that one can fight the plague with cholera. Administrative detention is a fascist instrument, even when applied to fascists.

Practically, because it will not help. The detainees will be replaced by others, perhaps even worse ones.

There is also the danger that the arrest of a few will serve as an excuse for doing nothing against the many.

To fight this plague, we need better doctors. The Shin Bet, police and army must be cleansed of fascist sympathizers, officers loyal to the Israeli Republic must take their place. Jews and Arabs must receive the same treatment.

As the Bible commanded: “Let your camp be clean!”

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.

Testimony by israeli SSGT “Therefore whoever you see there, you kill.”

“Anything still there is as good as dead”

testimony catalog number: 611701
rank: Staff Sergeant
unit: Armored Corps
area: Deir al-Balah area
period: 2014

We entered a neighborhood with orchards, which is the scariest. There were lots of stories going around about being surprised by tunnels or explosive devices in these orchards. When you go in you fire at lots of suspicious places. You shoot at bushes, at trees, at all sorts of houses you suddenly run into, at more trees. You fire a blast and don’t think twice about it. When we first entered [the Gaza Strip] there was this ethos about Hamas – we were certain that the moment we went in our tanks would all be up in flames. But after 48 hours during which no one shoots at you and they’re like ghosts, unseen, their presence unfelt – except once in a while the sound of one shot fired over the course of an entire day – you come to realize the situation is under control. And that’s when my difficulty there started, because the formal rules of engagement – I don’t know if for all soldiers – were, “Anything still there is as good as dead. Anything you see moving in the neighborhoods you’re in is not supposed to be there. The [Palestinian] civilians know they are not supposed to be there. Therefore whoever you see there, you kill.”

Who gave that order?
The commander. “Anything you see in the neighborhoods you’re in, anything within a reasonable distance, say between zero and 200 meters – is dead on the spot. No authorization needed.” We asked him: “I see someone walking in the street, do I shoot him?” He said yes. “Why do I shoot him?” “Because he isn’t supposed to be there. Nobody, no sane civilian who isn’t a terrorist, has any business being within 200 meters of a tank. And if he places himself in such a situation, he is apparently up to something.” Every place you took over, anything you ‘sterilized,’ anything within a range of zero to 200 meters, 300 meters –that’s supposed to be a ‘sterilized’ area, from our perspective.

Did the commander discuss what happens if you run into civilians or uninvolved people?
There are none. The working assumption states – and I want to stress that this is a quote of sorts: that anyone located in an IDF area, in areas the IDF took over – is not [considered] a civilian. That is the working assumption. We entered Gaza with that in mind, and with an insane amount of firepower. I don’t know if it was proportionate or not. I don’t claim to be a battalion commander or a general. But it reached a point where a single tank – and remember, there were 11 of those just where I was – fires between 20 and 30 shells per day. The two-way radio was crazy when we entered. There was one reservist tank company that positioned itself up on a hill and started firing. They fired lots – that company’s formal numbers stood at something like 150 shells per day. They fired, fired, fired. They started pounding things down two hours ahead [of the entrance].

What did they fire at?
They were providing cover during the entrance [to the Gaza Strip]. They were shooting mostly at al-Bureij, which is a neighborhood with a dominant geographical vantage point, and is also a Hamas stronghold, according to what we were told. I don’t know exactly what they were firing at and what they were using, but I do know they were firing a lot, tearing down that neighborhood, tearing it down to a whole new level. About 150 shells per day. 

It’s a daily event but it’s important to keep mentioning it, Gaza Fishermen Under Israeli Fire

Gaza Fishermen Under Israeli Fire

Israeli naval boats, on Sunday, opened heavy machine gunfire towards Palestinian fishermen while sailing just offshore of Gaza City, within the allotted the fishing zone, according to local sources.

PNN archive image
PNN archive image

WAFA correspondence said that Israeli naval boats indiscriminately opened heavy machine gunfire at fishermen sailing within the unilaterally-imposed six-nautical-miles fishing zone offshore al-Sudaniya area, causing damage to several boats.

No injuries were reported among the fishermen.

Israeli naval boats routinely open fire on Palestinian fishermen sailing within the six-nautical-miles zone and farmlands along the border, flagrantly violating the ceasefire deal.

The deal stipulated that Israel would immediately ease the blockade imposed on the strip and expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast to as much as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually.

Israel has however failed to do so, repeatedly violating the ceasefire deal through opening fire on Palestinian fishermen within the fishing zone and reducing their intake.

Israel has imposed a tightened blockade since 2007 after Hamas took over the Gaza Strip from President Mahmoud Abbas’ security forces.

See: 94 Israeli Ceasefire Violations Since August

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