The War on Innocence: Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Court

Palestin Children feature photo

Since the start of the Second Intifada, the popular uprising of 2000, some 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained and interrogated by the Israeli army.

On July 29, 4-year-old Muhammad Rabi’ Elayyan was reportedly summoned for interrogation by the Israeli police in occupied Jerusalem.

The news, originally reported by the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA), was later denied by the Israeli police, likely to lessen the impact of the PR disaster that followed.

The Israelis are not denying the story in its entirety, but are rather arguing that it was not the boy, Muhammad, who was summoned, but his father, Rabi’, who was called into the Israeli police station in Salah Eddin Street in Jerusalem, to be questioned regarding his son’s actions.




The child was accused of hurling a stone at Israeli occupation soldiers in the Issawiyeh neighborhood, a constant target for Israeli violence. The neighborhood has also been the tragic site for house demolition under the pretext that Palestinians there are building without permits. Of course, the vast majority of Palestinian applications to build in Issawiyeh, or anywhere in Jerusalem, are denied, while Jewish settlers are allowed to build on Palestinian land, unhindered.

With this in mind, Issawiyeh is no stranger to the ridiculous and unlawful behavior of the Israeli army. On July 6, a mother from the beleaguered neighborhood was arrested as a means to put pressure on her teenage son, Mahmoud Ebeid, to turn himself in. The mother “was taken by Israeli police as a bargaining chip,” Mondoweiss reported, quoting the Jerusalem-based Wadi Hileh Information Center.

Israeli authorities are justified in feeling embarrassed by the whole episode concerning the 4-year-old boy, thus the attempt at poking holes in the story. The fact is WAFA’s correspondent in Jerusalem had, indeed, verified that the warrant was in Muhammad’s, not Rabi’s, name.

While some news sources bought into the Israeli ‘hasbara’, readily conveying the Israeli cries of ‘fake news’, one must bear in mind that this event is hardly a one-off incident. For Palestinians, such news of detaining, beating and killing children is one of the most consistent features of the Israeli occupation since 1967.

Just one day after the summoning of Muhammad, Israeli authorities also interrogated the father of a 6-year-old child, Qais Firas Obaid, from the same neighborhood of Issawiyeh, after accusing the boy of throwing a juice carton at Israeli soldiers.

“According to local sources in Issawiyeh the (Israeli) military sent Qais’ family an official summons to come to the interrogation center in Jerusalem on Wednesday (July 31) at 8 am,” reported the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC). In one photo, the little boy is pictured while holding up to a camera the Israeli military order written in Hebrew.

The stories of Muhammad and Qais are the norm, not the exception. According to the prisoners’ advocacy group, Addameer, there are currently 250 children in Israeli prisons, with approximately 700 Palestinian children going through the Israeli military court system every single year. “The most common charge levied against children is throwing stones, a crime that is punishable under military law by up to 20 years,” Addameer reports.

Indeed, Israel has so much to be embarrassed about. Since the start of the Second Intifada, the popular uprising of 2000, some 12,000 Palestinian children have been detained and interrogated by the Israeli army.

But it is not only children and their families that are targeted by the Israeli military but also those who advocate on their behalf. On July 30, Palestinian lawyer, Tariq Barghouth, was sentenced to 13 years in prison by an Israeli military court for “firing at Israeli buses and at security forces on a number of occasions.”

As flimsy as the accusation of a well-known lawyer firing at ‘buses’ may sound, it is important to note that Barghouth is well-regarded for his defense of many Palestinian children in court. Barghouth was a constant source of headache for the Israeli military court system for his strong defense of the child, Ahmad Manasra.

Manasra, then 13-years of age, was tried and indicted in Israeli military court for allegedly stabbing and wounding two Israelis near the illegal Jewish settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in Occupied Jerusalem. Manasra’s cousin, Hassan, 15 was killed on the spot, while wounded Ahmad was tried in court as an adult.

It was the lawyer, Barghouth, who challenged and denounced the Israeli court for the harsh interrogation and for secretly filming the wounded child as he was tied to his hospital bed.

On August 2, 2016, Israel passed a law that allows authorities to “imprison a minor convicted of serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder or manslaughter even if he or she is under the age of 14.” The law was conveniently crafted to deal with cases like that of Ahmad Manasra, who was sentenced on November 7, 2016 (three months after the law was approved) to 12 years in prison.

Manasra’s case, the leaked videos of his abuse by Israeli interrogators and his harsh sentence placed more international focus on the plight of Palestinian children in the Israeli military court system.

“Israeli interrogators are seen relying on verbal abuse, intimidation and threats to apparently inflict mental suffering for the purpose of obtaining a confession,” Brad Parker, attorney and international advocacy officer at Defense for Children- Palestine, said at the time.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Israel, as of 1991, is a signatory, “prohibits torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Yet, according to Parker, “ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli military and police is widespread and systematic.”

So systematic, in fact, that videos and reports of arresting very young Palestinian children are almost a staple on social media platforms concerned with Palestine and Palestinian rights.

The sad reality is that Muhammad Elayyan, 4, and Qais Obaid, 6, and many children like them, have become a target of Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

This horrendous reality must not be tolerated by the international community. Israeli crimes against Palestinian children must be effectively confronted as Israel, its inhumane laws and iniquitous military courts must not be allowed to continue their uncontested brutalization of Palestinian children.

Feature photo | Israeli police detain a Palestinian boy during the demolition of a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, May 29, 2013. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a widely published and translated author, an internationally syndicated columnist and editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, 2018). He earned a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter (2015), and was a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, UCSB. Visit his website at  www.ramzybaroud.net.

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

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Washington and Organized State Terrorism

ST

The US President Donald Trump today embodies the American bullying with all its aggressiveness, the dealer of political positions doesn’t know about the corridors of international politics, except what uncover the aggressive mentality inherent in the successive American administrations. He is a blind, fanatic and ignorant of the facts of history and does not know what the essence of critical issues on the international scene and makes decisions away from understanding the reality of what is going on in the world, just to tell the world that he is a powerful and brutal authority.

Trump’s ominous decision on the occupied Syrian Golan revealed unequivocally the extent of his naiveté and contempt for international legitimacy. He admitted that he was ignorant of the realities of history and how he dealt with the hot international issues. However, he wanted to prove that he is the most loyal to the Zionist rulers, unlike his predecessors of US presidents who tried hard through deception, hypocrisy and continuous military support to carry out the same Zionist agenda, but Trump excelled at them all in arrogance and insolence.

Although Trump’s decisions are politically and legally worthless, they do illustrate the agendas of US politics on the international arena, which only knows the language of threat, violence, pressure, blackmail, using all political means and economic terrorism to achieve US interests. Even that the traditional allies of Washington are not immune to that reckless policy but it will be doomed to inevitable failure because the will of the peoples will say their word in the end and it is certainly stronger than America’s arrogance and conceit.

The reckless decisions of the American administration towards many historical facts such as the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Israeli entity and the Golan under Israeli sovereignty and the classification of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity and other racist colonial resolutions, all this will be met with reactions to defend the right, sovereignty and dignity. This means that the US policy, through its aggressive policy, creates crises in the region, through supporting terrorism to serve the schemes of American-Zionist domination on the wealth of the region.

No longer a secret to anyone who has sight and insight and follow the American policy that the US administration is trying to drag the region into an extremely dangerous unknown fate through practicing state terrorism by raising an accusation against states, entities and parties that oppose its policy. This act has been demonstrated recently by the classification of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity, which raises the level of tension in the region and the risk of sliding into confrontations and wars that no one can predict of their disastrous consequences.

The US administration’s decision against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is a precedent in international history. There has never been a state that classified a part of the armed forces of another state as a terrorist entity, which is at the same time a blatant attack on the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which fights terrorism. Arrogance and terrorism as a strategy to serve the Israeli occupation entity and to encourage terrorist organizations that spread terrorism in the region, which places the region in front of a barrel of powder that can explode at any time.

What the US administration is doing of the deployment and support to organized state terrorism will never achieve its colonial agenda and will not give the racist entity only a fake force that will later be discovered it is weaker than the cobweb.

Thanks to the will and determination of the peoples of the region to defend their rights, sovereignty and dignity. The statement issued by the Islamic Republic to classify the US forces in Asia as a terrorist entity is a good example that the American-Zionist schemes will never pass, and the US administration and the Israeli entity will not reap from their aggressive policy except disappointment and humiliation.

Sharif Al -Khatib

Editor-in-Chief

sharifalkh@gmail.com

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Trump Declares Iran Guard ‘Terrorist’ – War To Follow?

Trump Declares Iran Guard 'Terrorist' - War To Follow?

VIDEO | 11.04.2019 | VIDEOS

Trump Declares Iran Guard ‘Terrorist’ – War To Follow?

For the first time ever, the United States has declared a foreign country’s military force a “terrorist organization.” Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has most recently been fighting al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria.

Saudi Crackdown: Mother of 4 Detained from Shia Town since Two Weeks So Far

By Zeinab Daher

While the entire world decries Saudi Arabia’s notorious human rights record, the tyrant kingdom doesn’t make any effort to prove the opposite.

Two weeks ago, and still counting, the Saudi regime forces stormed the house of the Abdullah Abu Abdallah family in the town of Awamia, in the Shia-populated Qatif eastern province.

Without any earlier notice, Saudi forces broke through the house on February 7, 2019, and detained Ms. Mariam Ali Al-Qaysoum after damaging everything inside the house. They insulted residents of the house and hit them with rifle heels, then directed the rifles to the heads of children and women there.

Meanwhile, nothing has been heard so far from Ms. Mariam since the moment she was detained without charge. She just called her family a couple of days after being held, informing them that he was at the jail of the Saudi Secret Police Agency in Dammam.

Mariam is a mother of three boys and a girl. She is the sister-in-law of detained Saudi activists Mohammaed, Salem and Abbas, as well as martyr Ali Abu Abdallah.

Pakistan Envoy: Some Countries Want to Create Misunderstanding between Islam Abad, Tehran

Source

February 19, 2019

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Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said some countries, which are actually promoting terrorism, are trying to create misunderstandings between Iran and Pakistan; however, peace lovers across the world are aware of conspiracies behind such inhuman attacks.

Talking to IRNA news agency in Islamabad the ambassador said Iran and Pakistan are fully aware of the challenges of terrorism and have the ability to take practical steps to address the issue.

He warned that some countries which don’t want to see close relationship between Iran and Pakistan could take negative steps to disrupt this strong relationship.

He said that Iran expects Pakistan to take practical steps and intelligence based operations on joint border to eliminate terrorism and respond positively for joint cooperation with Iran.

Mehdi Honardoost noted that Iran and Pakistan hold very important position in the Islamic world and the region, but unfortunately, some regional countries instead of spending their money on the welfare of poor Muslim people are wasting their money to divide the region of the Middle East.’

He strongly believed that close cooperation among regional states is a key to solve regional issues and countering the conspiracies of imperialist forces against Muslim world. He regretted that some regional countries are pursuing agenda of anti-Islam forces by spending huge amount of money to promote terrorism.

The Iranian envoy said that today serious efforts are needed to root out terrorism but the policy of double standards, classifying good or bad terrorists and using the phenomenon of terrorism as a tool is a major hurdle in this regards.

He said for the last forty years Iran has been rendering immense sacrifices to eliminate the menace of terrorism and has suffered huge human and financial losses in this regards.

He added that despite all these sacrifices the statement of Saudi official against Iran shows that he wants to distort the facts and tries to divert the world’s attention from the “Saudi aggressive approach.”

The diplomat expressing his views said that unfortunately in recent days the world has witnessed tragic incidents in South and West Asia which also affected close cooperation among the regional states.

‘Iran believes in regional cooperation and our collaboration with Pakistan is a major part of that,” noted the ambassador.

Mehdi Honardoost added that last week suicide attack on a bus carrying the Islamic Republic Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel martyred 27 and wounded 13 in southeastern Iran.

He said Jaish al-Adl, claimed responsibility for the incident that is backed by some aggressive countries of the region.

He further added, ‘We believe that the aim of this attack is to harm the close relationship between Iran and neighboring countries and to create instability in the region.’

Mehdi Honardoost said that no country in the world can escape from its responsibility to eliminate terrorism and the cooperation among the regional countries to address the issue is inevitable.

He was of the view that so-called alliance against terrorism is a mere eye wash. “We need a strong will and determination to root out terrorism,” said the Iranian envoy.

Source: Websites

Saudi Arabia Heart of Evil in Region, World: IRGC Official

By Staff, Agencies

The second-in-command of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC] slammed Saudi Arabia as “the heart of evil” in the Middle East region and the entire world as well, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic has been making plans for defeating its enemies and avenging the blood of its terror victims.

Speaking during a ceremony commemorating the victims of a recent terrorist attack in southeastern Iran on Tuesday, Brigadier General Hossein Salami warned that the assault, which was carried out by Saudi-backed terrorists, is not just one isolated terrorist incident; rather, it stems from “a dangerous strategy” which has emerged at the global level.

Iran’s IRGC forces “have been standing up to the ominous triangle of the US, the Zionist regime and the regional Arab reactionary governments, and that is no easy task,” Salami said.

“Today, Saudi Arabia is the heart of evil in the region and the world,” the IRGC official added.

Last week, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province, killing 27 IRGC personnel and wounding 13 others.

The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group, based in Pakistan and linked to al-Qaeda and the Saudi regime, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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Hate Fest In Warsaw

By Eric Margolis

February 16, 2019 “Information Clearing House” -Warsaw, Poland is not a fun place to visit in darkest February, but that is where the US just staged an anti-Iranian jamboree of 60 client states that brought derision and scorn from Europeans and much of the Mideast.

The point of this cynical exercise was to lay the diplomatic groundwork for an anti-Iranian coalition to act as a fig-leaf for an upcoming attack on Iran planned by President Donald Trump and his close ally, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

The real question is who is calling the shots in bleak Warsaw, Trump or Bibi Netanyahu? It seems to many that the Israeli tail is again wagging the American dog.

This is thanks to the power of America’s born-again evangelicals, hoodwinked into believing that a Greater Israel is somehow a key part of the Second Coming of Christ.

A Fox News poll this week finds that a quarter of these credulous folks believe that God actually summoned Donald Trump to become president. This may even be more than the number of Americans who believe that Elvis is still alive. More proof that the Republicans have pretty much become a theological party.

The three horseman of the hard right Republican Apocalypse, Vice president Mike Pence, Insecurity advisor John Bolton, and State Secretary Mike Pompeo (who reportedly keeps an open bible on his desk) joined their voices to the Warsaw jamboree to excoriate Iran for being a ‘sponsor of terrorism,’ and a danger to world peace and stability.

The never understated Bibi Netanyahu, whose nation has at least 100 nuclear weapons, claimed Iran, which has no nukes and feeble armed forces, was planning a ‘second Holocaust’ for Israel.

An over-excited Netanyahu even tweeted that the Warsaw meeting was preparing for `war with Iran.’ He was forced to retract his tweet. But he did get to sit next to the delegate from war-torn Yemen, a stooge put into place by the Saudis and Emiratis whose aggression against Yemen has so far cost hundreds of thousands of lives, mass starvation and epidemics.

This week a newly energized US House of Representatives voted for an end to their nation’s support for the Saudi-led war in the Mideast’s poorest nation. The Senate, still controlled by Republican Crusaders, will be likely to vote down the sensible House proposal.

Another participant at Warsaw was the largest Arab nation, Egypt. This nation just extended the rule of its military dictator, Field Marshall al-Sisi, to 2034. It was Sisi, backed by Saudi money, who overthrew Egypt’s first democratic government in history, killing and jailing thousands.

In a slap in the face to Washington, Europe’s leaders, France, Germany and the European Union government, either refused to attend the Warsaw hate-fest against Iran or sent low-level paper-passers.

Ironically, while Trump’s people were fulminating against Iranian ‘terrorism,’ it was Iran that was the victim of terrorist attacks. An attack from a Pakistan-based Sunni Jaish al-Adl extremist group linked to the CIA killed 27 soldiers and wounded a similar number. Iran has been the target of constant attacks since its 1979 revolution by groups linked to the US, and from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other US regional vassals.
Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is even a long-term lobbyist for the hyper-violent Marxist Iranian extremist group, the MEK which was even branded a ‘terrorist group’ by the US government.

The Warsaw jamboree was also supposed to set the stage for Trump’s much ballyhooed Mideast ‘peace’ plan. Run by son-in-law Jared Kushner, the full plan is expected to be released in April, right after Israeli elections. It will likely consist of trying to buy off Palestinian land claims with US taxpayer money and some cash from the Saudis. America’s Arab client states in the region will all provide polite applause.

The Warsaw jamboree produced no evident results and left the US even more isolated than before. Europe is moving ahead with a financial mechanism to permit trade with Iran that circumvents US sanctions. US intelligence itself reports that Iran is not working in nuclear weapons. Europe wants to trade with Iran.

America’s anti-Iran campaign has just suffered another blow. This after Washington badly damaged relations with China and Canada over the arrest of the daughter in Vancouver of the founder of Huawei over charges it traded with Iran. Most non-Americans view this as an outrage. But the later-day Crusaders around Trump don’t seem to care that they are damaging America’s reputation and making a mess of its foreign policy.

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Nation – Pakistan, Hurriyet, – Turkey, Sun Times Malaysia and other news sites in Asia. ericmargolis.com

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2019

EU Adds Saudis To Terror-Funding List

EU Adds Saudis To Terror-Funding List

Source: ZeroHedge

The European Union seems confused…

Reuters reports that, according to two sources, the European Commission has added Saudi Arabia to an EU draft list of countries that pose a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against terrorism financing and money laundering.

The move comes amid heightened international pressure on Saudi Arabia after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2.

The EU’s list currently consists of 16 countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and North Korea, and is mostly based on criteria used by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body composed by wealthy nations meant to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Saudi Arabia missed out on gaining full FATF membership in September after it was determined to fall short in combating money laundering and terror financing.

The government has taken steps to beef up its efforts to tackle graft and abuse of power, but FATF said in September that Riyadh was not effectively investigating and prosecuting individuals involved in larger scale money laundering activity or confiscating the proceeds of crime at home or abroad.

The provisional decision to add Saudi Arabia needs to be endorsed by the 28 EU states before being formally adopted next week.

And this is where we get a little confused… because while Europe lists Iran as a state sponsor of terror, it is also, reportedly, at an “advanced stage” of completion of its special purpose vehicle to help European companies bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran.

Citing three European diplomats, Bloomberg reports that the European Commission said it’s seeking to launch “very soon” with the official unveiling could come as early as Monday.

“The SPV preparations have progressed; they are at an advanced stage,” the spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, told reporters in Brussels.

“I hope that we can announce the launch very soon.”

Progress had been slow as the EU, led by France, Germany and the U.K., has struggled to find a government willing to host the vehicle, which risks drawing criticism from the American administration.

The Trump administration has considered such efforts an attempt to evade its “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran. The U.S. will fully enforce its sanctions and hold accountable any individuals or entities that undermine them, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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