Haaretz reported earlier Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aborted last week plans for an unusual military move in the Gaza Strip, which would likely have had far-reaching implications.
He did so at the last moment due to a legal opinion by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit that the plan required the approval of the security cabinet.
Officials involved in the matter said in response to the report that the attorney general was the one who asked the senior adviser to update election board chief, Justice Hanan Melcer, about a possible escalation.
The dramatic discussion over a potential military action began Tuesday night. A few hours earlier, Netanyahu had gone through a disturbing experience: Gaza-based Islamic Jihad operatives fired a Katyusha rocket at the southern city Ashdod, [Ashdod is occupied Palestine land, the owners are currently locked up in Gaza] where he was speaking at a campaign rally.
After the rally, Netanyahu convened senior defense officials at army headquarters in Tel Aviv for urgent consultations. Afterward, his office distributed a picture of him with the senior officials in question – Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, National Security Adviser Ben-Shabbat, Military Intelligence director Tamir Hayman and Netanyahu’s military secretary, Avi Blot. All wore grave faces.
Some of those at the discussion had reservations about the force of a possible attack for two reasons: The possibility of sustaining collateral damage and the risk that a Palestinian response would include massive rocket fire by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that would drag the two sides toward war.
In addition, although nothing was said directly to Netanyahu, some participants were concerned that some of the prime minister’s motives were connected to the election.
The dispute continued during the following two days, as well. Mendelblit played a major role after being brought into the discussions at a later stage. He warned Netanyahu of the legal requirement to involve the security cabinet in any decision that could lead to a war.
But Netanyahu did not bring the decision to a vote before the security cabinet and in the end stopped pressing the heads of the defense establishment to act. Early Wednesday morning the army conducted a minor air raid, hitting several Hamas targets in Gaza without causing any casualties.
“Sderot cinema. Israelis bringing chairs 2 hilltop in sderot 2 watch latest from Gaza. Clapping when blasts are heard.” Sderot is Palestine land and the owners are locked up in Gaza.
The endgame is to wear away hope until nothing but acceptance of Israel’s total and complete victory feels possible.
I was a student at An-Najah University in the West Bank in 1999 when I was arrested at an Israeli checkpoint for not having a residency permit.
During the court case that ensued, the Israeli judge told me that when it came to my punishment, I had a choice: prison or the cemetery.
He was not using the word “cemetery” literally. He meant exile to the Gaza Strip, from where I had come. Isreal’s policies, I realized then, were intentionally designed to turn Gaza into a huge, living graveyard, a cemetery.
The 52-year (71, actually) occupation, decade-long siege, and repeated attacks on Gaza are meant to drum this reality into Palestinians in the occupied territories and beyond.
The recent Israeli military escalation in Gaza had the same logic, even if the motivations were different.
While Israel did not diverge in its degree of force or its targets, including civilian women and children, the political machinations behind it were specific to the
Obviously Rothschild Israel is the biggest power on earth because there seems to be no one can stop this.
Netanyahu used the escalation to show his far-right coalition partners his determination and ability to subdue Gaza
Recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to form a coalition that will keep him in power until the end of his term.
Netanyahu used the escalation to show his far-right coalition partners his determination and ability to subdue Gaza.
Former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, after all, resigned in November 2018 in protest against what he claimed was a weak Israeli response to Hamas rocket fire.
Lieberman rejected the truce that Egypt had brokered and demanded a draconian change in policy.
Hence, the recent directives of the Israeli political-military cabinet led by Netanyahu, to intensify strikes against Gaza, are an implied invitation to Lieberman and his bloc to join Likud and its coalition once again.
Everything Israel says (in defense of itself) is a lie.
Divide and rule
Netanyahu’s recent attack on Gaza also involves maintaining a division among Palestinians in the occupied territories, in particular the separation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel’s periodic attacks on Gaza are designed to weaken and embarrass Hamas, but not dislodge it from power, ensuring that the Fatah-Hamas rivalry remains. *(Isreal uses Gaza as a weapons lab. The others in the West Bank are used for terrorist training, Palestinians are useful for this purpose only)
In the West Bank, Netanyahu is pursuing a policy of steady annexation with US and Arab support.
He also wants to maintain a weak Palestinian Authority (PA) under Fatah that continues security coordination with Israel so that the direct costs of Israel’s occupation are subsidised by foreign donors.
No matter what the Zionists devils do, we will never accept them, and we will fight against them.
Israel’s periodic attacks on Gaza are designed to weaken and embarrass Hamas, but not dislodge it from power, ensuring that the Fatah-Hamas rivalry remains.
Moreover, Netanyahu wants a Palestinian negotiating partner that he can easily dismiss as unwilling to accept peace on Israel’s terms and unable to implement any agreement.
As such, it is in Israel’s interest that Hamas stays in power in Gaza and the PA continues in the West Bank, provided that both parties remain on the brink of an abyss and unable to overcome their predicament.
The hidden hand is not so interested in hiding, since they are certain they’ve got it in the bag. (All of us)
Indeed, Netanyahu declared during the election that he would continue to sustain this division by preventing Gaza from returning to the PA at all costs.
Essentially, he desires a stability through which he can control Palestinian land and people and continue to convince a toothless international community that occupation and violence against Palestinians is necessary for Israeli security.
In this fashion he can achieve his goal of perpetuating the occupation without taking responsibility.
Instead, local powers will bear the blame for the persistent lack of peace, while he devotes himself to expanding normalization with Arab states without the obstacle of the Palestinian cause.
The spirit of defeat
In the long term, Netanyahu aims to engender a spirit of defeat in Palestinians. This will be achieved by wearing Palestinians down in both Gaza and the West Bank through continued excessive force and a multitude of “disciplinary” measures, such as closed borders and checkpoints, segregated roads, home demolitions, collective punishment, and assassinations.
His ideal result: for Palestinians to give up and recognise Israel’s victory, a strategy that American historian Daniel Pipes has dubbed “the victory caucus”.
Israel believes that the key to this victory hinges on the subjugation of Gaza, which is a prelude to the subjugation of the West Bank.
While the fun lasted, huh? Yossi Cohen and Yovel Mor Yosef, who were killed in the shooting attack at Givat Assaf in the West Bank on December 13, 2018.
Hamas’s Ismail Haniya with Palestinian Fatah delegation chief Azzam al-Ahmad during a reconciliation meeting in Gaza (AFP)
Israel’s goal is to uproot Gaza from its national context and isolate it in particularly dire living conditions, thereby subjugating the people of the besieged enclave while also communicating to Palestinians everywhere that struggle and resistance are futile.
Israel is a terrorist entity created and support by top of the food chain.
Furthermore, if Israel can subjugate Gaza with little or no international criticism, especially from the US, then it can do the same in the West Bank.
In the West Bank, the right-wing settler movement is essential to the success of this strategy.
The settlers believe Israel has a historical and religious right to the occupied territory, despite generations of Palestinians living on that land, and they have support from the Trump administration.
A genuine reconciliation
All the while, the UN promotes compensatory discourse, such as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s constant warnings against Gaza’s worsening situation.
Such discourse implicitly shows the UN’s failure to counter Israeli policies and practices, as well as a renunciation of international responsibility to recognize and advocate for Palestinian rights.
The BBC’s sophisticated distortion of Palestinian protest and Israeli power
The recent escalation, like all previous ones, was subdued, but the calm will not last. Netanyahu will rekindle the Gaza front whenever his policies require it, whether to preserve his government coalition or perpetuate division between the West Bank and Gaza in the event of a potential Palestinian rapprochement.
Challenging this cycle of violence and death requires genuine Palestinian reconciliation that empowers the Palestinian people and reinforces their existence on their land.
This should involve all factions coming together to draft a national agenda capable of defying the occupation and resisting Israel’s attempts to oppress and subdue Palestinians.
The agenda should express the demand for the right to a decent life – an outcome that is only possible with the end of the siege and military occupation of Palestinian land and the Palestinian people.
Well, that’s never gonna happen, Talal Ahmad Abu Rokbeh (author of this admirable post). But indeed, right thinking people will keep throwing the proverbial rock at the devil wherever he shows himself if for no other reason than to be on the right side. Ameen.
Israelis need to know, is it on or off? Today, tomorrow? Yes or no? It erodes the public’s faith in the actions of the political leadership and will reawaken doubts as to their decisions!
But this thundering silence, compared to the regular blabber during normal times, and especially given the deceptive denials on Thursday night, is grating. It erodes the public’s faith in the actions of the political leadership and will reawaken doubts as to their decisions, even if a decision is made in the end to escalate steps taken against Hamas (i.e. all and any Palestinians).
The government’s silence about Gaza, compared to its regular running off at the mouth, has eroded the public’s faith in its leaders.
Thursday night, before midnight, at the time that the newspapers were about to close their weekend print editions, the Al-Jazeera television network cited Egyptian sources as saying that a cease-fire had been reached between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
A few minutes later, a foreign diplomat who is involved in the talks seconded the claim. Both sides agreed to stop shooting and the understandings would take effect at midnight, he said. The Israelis were actually the ones to rush to deny the claims, in a text message sent out to reporters. “The report on a supposed cease-fire is not correct,” read the message.
Now it’s Friday morning, and in what is difficult to describe as a surprise, it seems once again as if the Palestinian and Egyptian version of the events behind the scenes is much more trustworthy that the Israeli version. During the night, no exchanges of fire were recorded along the border with the Gaza Strip. Not a single rocket was fired – and despite the threatening briefings the television stations received from security cabinet members on Thursday, Israeli Air Force planes remained on the ground too.
The Home Front Command lifted its special restrictions for civilians in the south on Friday morning. Even if Israel is hiding behind the statement “quiet will be met with quiet,” and has declared it is not conducting negotiations with Hamas, in practice this is a cease-fire.
It is also a replay, beat by beat, of the way in which one of previous rounds of escalation in Gaza ended at the end of May. Then too, an announcement of a cease-fire came from Cairo and Gaza late at night, and then too, a vehement Israeli denial was issued – as usual, attributed to “senior officials” – which turned out to be baseless the next morning. The only difference is that every time, fewer journalists fall into the trap. Those who managed to check things out with officers in the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday were generally more cautious in their forecasts.
But in this case, it seems most of the blame does not lie with the media. Fifteen minutes before the evening news broadcast, 15 minutes before the newspapers went down to print – these are the times of maximum spin. When the journalists and columnists are obligated to publish their information quickly, at the height of a security crisis, the machines of deception go into action.
As usual, no one in the cabinet thought this morning that they had to be accountable to the public. The decisions on the policies concerning Gaza directly affect hundreds of thousands of Israelis: Residents of the region near the Gaza border, residents of the entire south of Israel, and parents of IDF combat soldiers who hear on the news that a ground offensive against Gaza is under consideration.
Nonetheless, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and most other ministers have avoided explaining their considerations to the public. Even their very active Twitter accounts have gone almost silent since the latest escalation began on Tuesday. So what if we said and promised and lied? Today is the beginning of a new day. You’ll soon forget.
A thundering silence
In practical terms, it is possible to find logic in the security cabinet’s policy. Netanyahu has been doing quite a lot over these past few weeks to avoid a costly and superfluous war. There is no need to rush to enter Gaza when all alternative channels have not been completely exhausted, while it is also not clear what Israel wants to achieve.
But this thundering silence, compared to the regular blabber during normal times, and especially given the deceptive denials on Thursday night, is grating. It erodes the public’s faith in the actions of the political leadership and will reawaken doubts as to their decisions, even if a decision is made in the end to escalate steps taken against Hamas.
Blowing a tactical smokescreen around the IDF’s plans is legitimate in a near-war situation. This is how Israel acted on the eve of beginning Operation Cast Lead in 2008. But so far, this looks like an effort to mislead for internal political reasons, whose main consideration is to defend against political criticism.
Killing people from preventable diseases as a result of the collapse of infrastructure, lack of food and health care, and displacement is also an element of genocide.
“There is scarcely a field, from Art and Literature, to Academics and Political Economy, from Politics and Media, to the most secret domains of sensuality and criminality, in which the Jewish spirit cannot be clearly traced and has not imparted a peculiar warp to the affairs of life.”
Water Works in Gaza Destroyed
What is left of the Water and Sanitation Works, al-Mughrraqa City, Gaza.
Overnight on August 8-9, Israeli warplanes bombed the Water and Sanitation system for al-Mughraqa City in Gaza.
Attacks against Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population
Article 54(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides:
It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.
“My olives. My olives!!”
An elderly Palestinian man protests Israeli occupation forces destroying his olive trees, which represent his only source of income.
Since 1967, Israel has destroyed 800,000 Palestinian owned olive trees.
PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, GAZA, PALESTINE – 2018/07/17: A general view of the arts and handcraft village that was damaged by the Israeli air strikes in Gaza City.
Jomma Alzaem was still looking frantically for his rare antiques amid the rubble in Gaza’s Arts and Crafts Village on Wednesday, four days after it was severely damaged during Israeli air strikes.
Israel said the strikes across Gaza were against Hamas, the group that rules the isolated Palestinian territory. One strike hit an unfinished building right next to the village, where Mr Jomma owned a brass shop.
“I believe that Israel wanted to target the village, not the building. They targeted Palestinian heritage, a heritage that they don’t own,” Mr Jomma, 67, told The National.
“I spent years collecting the brass. I had items about 100 years old. My shop was considered as a tourist attraction, and now all of the brass and relics are under rubble.”
The Great March of Return protests acted as a laboratory for Israel to trial its latest technologies in a real-life situation. This provides concrete evidence of the technologies’ efficacy, which can then be used as fuel for international arms trade deals.
Gaza Strip—Thousands of Palestinians protested along Gaza’s sealed border with Israel [occupied Palestine] , engulfing the volatile area in black smoke from burning tires to try to block the view of Israeli snipers. Palestinian resistance is covered by international law, even armed struggle, while the Zionist occupation is illegal and barring the Palestinians from returning to their homes since 1948.]
Israeli occupation forces used “strange” and “unknown” gases against unarmed, peaceful protesters in Gaza, Quds Press reported the central commission for documentation and pursuit of Israeli war criminals –Tawtheeq saying.
Head of the commission Imad Al-Baz told Quds Press that Israel used strange gases against the protesters for the first time last Friday as Palestinians continued their peaceful activities as part of the Great March of Return.
The gases caused protesters’ bodies to convulse and tremble, he explained. Many lost consciousness as a result for several hours, he added.
“We do not know the kind of gases which were used for the first time,” he said, “but we took cultures from the blood and urine of those affected and we expect the results will be shocking.”
Israeli occupation forces used unmanned drones to drop the gas on the demonstrators, Al-Baz said.
Protesters were being targeted in their lower body, Al-Baz said, with many shot with live ammunition in their genitals..
The following lists the consecutive attacks on the Gaza strip: “There is something wrong with a regime that requires a pyramid of corpses every few years”. G. Orwell
2000: Muhammad al-Durrah incident
Father and son shot by Zionist Occupation forces.
2004 May: Operation Rainbow (2004)
2004: Operation Forward Shield
2004 September: Operation Days of Penitence
2005: (Israeli disengagement from Gaza)
2006: Operation Summer Rains
Gazans examine a bridge destroyed by Israeli F-16 warplanes as part of Operation Summer Rain
2006: Gaza beach explosion (2006)
7-year-old girl who lost her parents and five of her brothers in Friday’s Gaza beach by Occupation militant shelling
2006: 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict
2006: 2006 shelling of Beit Hanoun
2006 November: Operation Autumn Clouds
2008: Beit Hanoun April 2008 incident
2008 February: Operation Hot Winter
2010 May: Gaza flotilla raid (in international waters)
IDF personnel began firing on the Mavi Marmara from both the speedboats and helicopters before boarding had commenced, 9 activists executed, another activist died later.
2011: August 2011 Gaza Strip air raids
2012 March: March 2012 Gaza–Operation Returning Echo
2012: Operation Pillar of Defense
2014: 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict
2018: The Great march of Return
25 May 2018: Israeli forces have injured 109 demonstrators
15 May 2018: two Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, and 417 injured
14 May 2018: 55 Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli forces, including six children, 2,771 injured.
For the past 11 years, Israeli journalists have been forbidden from entering Gaza. This has affected not only their reporting, but also the way fellow Israelis understand what is happening there.
“She is a veteran journalist, who has covered a number of bloody conflict zones. She’s clearly upset. “Yesterday was madness,” she says. “At a certain point I stopped counting the number of people wounded who were evacuated from the area.” She describes one scene at the main protest in Jabaliya, across from Kibbutz Nir Oz.
“The people who stood next to me, hundreds of meters from the fence, who did nothing, were shot by snipers. Someone who stood near me was shot between his eyes,” she says. In another case, she said she saw the driver of a few foreign journalists shot while he was standing alongside them.” https://972mag.com/how-do-israeli-jou…
IDF has shot over 500 Palestinians in the head during #Gaza protests.
“Journalists — of any nation — are present in areas of confrontation to report on events. The army of a democratic country should not harm reporters who are doing their jobs. For this reason we view the fact that reporters were hurt gravely.”
This video has been shared a lot. I thought I’d share myself. Israeli forces beat up medics trying to help wounded Palestinians.This is what Palestinians go through on a daily basis. #Gazapic.twitter.com/jC8z0C3Q7E
The media watchdog group Reporters Without Borders accused the IDF of the “deliberate shooting” of journalists.
The Israeli military has reacted with deadly and purposeful force, killing and wounding at seemingly random. And still people have come from all over Gaza to demonstrate and protest their right of return to the lands from where they, their parents and grandparents, were once evicted.
Israel shoots an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning photographer because she was capturing Israeli brutality https://t.co/G7rxxwFl9x
With them we came, the journalists, watching and filming, bearing witness to the events as they transpired and talking to people to hear their stories and motivations.
Israeli occupation forces are likely targeting Palestinian journalists in an attempt to prevent them from covering Israeli violations against Palestinian people.
On Sunday overnight, a group of around 200 Israeli settlers broken into the houses of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron while IDF forces prevented journalists from getting close to the targeted area, Safa news agency reported.
And from that relatively mundane example to the deadly, journalists have been very much in the line of fire.
Watch how these fully armed Israeli soldiers enjoy beating these defenceless Palestinian children.
Zionists are pros when it comes to remote controlled bombs. They are masters at the art of deception.
We love our job
Israeli forces have been using the Great Return March and its thousands of protesters as a sort of “testing ground” for new forms of weaponry and crowd control, say physicians in the Gaza Strip. They talk of exploding bullets and and an unknown gas that causes severe convulsions and loss of consciousness, among other symptoms.“We are being used as guinea pigs to test new weapons, as we have in past Israeli wars on Gaza,” says Ashraf al-Qedra, MD, spokesperson for the Gaza Health Ministry.
Bullets that shatter
The most damaging of the new weapons are explosive bullets, which shatter into many fragments in the body. To date, local government statistics show that 1,935 unarmed protesters have been shot by Israeli snipers with live bullets. No estimate is available for how many of those involved “exploding” bullets, but in the experience of Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF), it’s high.
“Half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone,” says Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, head of the MSF mission in Palestine. “These patients will need to have very complex surgical operations and most of them will have disabilities for life.”
Ingres adds that the number of injured treated in MSF clinics in Gaza since the protest began March 30 is more than the number seen throughout all of 2014, when Israel launched its last major war on the Strip.
“This type of ammunition is unfamiliar to us,” says al-Qedra. “What is so damagng about this type of bullet is the path it takes in the body.”
An explosive bullet shatters into fragments in the body, often at high speed. It smashes through organs and tissue, shreds blood vessels and pulverizes bones.
Among the victims of these explosive bullets is the slain journalist Yasser Murtaja, who was hit in his abdomen and died after 12 hours of severe bleeding, and the 11-year-old Abdelrahman Nofal, one of 701 minors injured in the protests to date (along with five killed).
Doctors were forced to amputate one leg, in which they said several bones were literally missing and his blood was “poisoned.” Fragments from the exploded bullet penetrated the boy’s other leg as well, but it was saved.
“Yasser Murtaja couldn’t recover from injury because the bullet fragments destroyed his colon, spleen, liver and ureter. He died despite having two surgeries,’’ explains al-Qedra.
Poison in the shepherd fields
Palestinian children burning to death by Israel’s white phosphorous
In a call for an international arms embargo against Israel, Amnesty International states, “Many [protesters] have suffered extreme bone and tissue damage, as well as large exit wounds measuring between 10 and 15 mm, and will likely face further complications, infections and some form of physical disability, such as paralysis or amputation.
Reports of the high number of injuries to the knees, which increase the probability of bullet fragmentation, are particularly disturbing. If true, they would suggest that the Israeli army is intentionally intending to inflict life-changing injuries.”
Israel’s use of internationally prohibited exploding bullets on unarmed civilians, is a war crime
Amnesty goes on to say that a forensic pathologist who reviewed photographs of the injuries reports that they some appear to be caused by U.S.-manufactured M24 Remington sniper rifles filled with 7.62 mm hunting ammunition, which expand and mushroom inside the body.
Rule 15 of customary international humanitarian law states that, “In the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid, and in any event to minimize, incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects.”
Another new tactic Israel is using to disperse the protesters is a type of chemical with effects much more severe than the typical teargas. Canisters containing the new type of gas are either dropped on the crowds by drones or fired by soldiers.
‘’It’s a dangerous chemical weapon that causes bizarre symptoms we’ve never seen before: violent convulsions, severe shaking in all parts of the body, coughing and vomiting, fast heart rate, an increase in body temperature and loss of consciousness for more than an hour,” says Ayman al-Sahabani, MD, head of the emergency department at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. “We took blood and urine samples from patients to determine the composition of this chemical, but have not been able to identify it.’’
To date, government statistics show that 820 protesters have been injured by inhaling some type of gas, including this unidentified chemical. Even protesters who stay 800 meters away from the separation fence have been succumbing to the effects of the gas. “Dozens” of them, doctors say, have returned to the hospital after being released because they experience symptoms once again.
Gaza’s hospitals are overwhelmed with the number of injuries caused by Israeli snipers; not knowing just what they are dealing with when patients come in makes the odds of patients’ survival that much lower.
First of all, as Amira Hass, the respected journalist from Haaretz, pointed out today in the newspaper, the blockade of Gaza, in its milder form, but still severe form, it goes back 27 years. It started in 1991 during the first intifada. The blockade was then significantly, qualitatively intensified after the Hamas won the parliamentary elections—what Jimmy Carter, who was an observer, called a completely and honest—completely honest and fair elections, in January 2006.
The immediate reaction of Israel, followed by the United States and then the EU, was to impose this brutal blockade on Gaza, which at a certain point even blockaded, prohibited chips, potato chips, baby chicks, chocolate from entering Gaza. And then, after Hamas preempted a coup, orchestrated by the United States, Israel and elements of the Palestinian Authority in 2007, Israel ratcheted up the blockade of Gaza.
Palestinian children wait for donated food while Israel eats theirs.
Now, who is responsible for the current crisis in Gaza? First of all, we have to be clear about—OK, let me start with who’s responsible. As you are no doubt aware, there’s been a—there’s a proliferation of reports, from the World Bank, from various U.N. agencies, UNCTAD, the IMF.
They put out report after report after report after report. And there’s a complete—there’s a consensus. There’s a consensus that the proximate cause of the horror in Gaza, the proximate cause, is the Israeli blockade. It’s not Hamas. There might be some Hamas responsibility, but it’s so marginal, so minimal, as compared to that blockade.
Children caged by occupation forces swinging their guns in Hebron
Now, we have to be clear, and I don’t want to get too dramatic about it, too emotive about it, but we have to be clear about that blockade. Number one, it’s a flagrant violation of international law, because it constitutes a form of collective punishment. Number two, since 2012, the United Nations—and these are very staid, conservative bureaucrats, who don’t use—they don’t use poetic language.
They start, in 2012, by saying—issuing a report in the interrogative: Will Gaza be livable in 2020? In 2015, UNCTAD issued a report. It then used the declarative. It said, on its present trajectory, Gaza will be unlivable in 2020. Now, bear in mind, literally unlivable. These are U.N. reports by professional economists. By 2017, the U.N., Robert Piper, he said, “We were too optimistic. Gaza passed the unlivability threshold years ago. Gaza, as we speak, it’s unlivable.”
Now, what does that mean concretely? Ninety-seven percent of Gaza’s drinking water is contaminated. Now, bear in mind, of the 2 million people in Gaza, 1 million or more, 51 percent, are children. One million or more are children. Sara Roy, who’s the world’s leading authority on Gaza’s economy—she’s at the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies—in the latest edition of her standard work on Gaza’s economy, she says, “Innocent people, most of them young, are slowly being poisoned by the water they drink.”
Now, Sara is a very respected, cautious economist, or political economist, as she calls herself. “Innocent people, most of them children, are slowly being poisoned.” That’s what Gaza is today.
Now, to get back to Nikki Keddie—Haley, excuse me—to get back to Nikki Haley, she said, “What country in the world would do anything different to protect their border?” Let’s be clear: That is not a border, and that is not a border fence. Baruch Kimmerling, the sociologist in Hebrew University, the late sociologist, he said Gaza is the biggest “concentration camp” ever to exist.
David Cameron, the conservative British prime minister, he said Gaza is an “open-air prison.” Haaretz, the most respected of Israel’s newspapers, referred to the “Palestinian ghetto.” Israel’s snipers are poised not on a border. They’re poised on the perimeter—call it a concentration camp, call it a ghetto, call it an open-air prison.
And the people of Gaza—it’s unusual in the world today. As the United Nations Relief and Works Agency pointed out, they said Gaza is different than all the other humanitarian crises. Why? If there is a natural disaster, like a drought, people move. If there’s a human-made disaster, like Syria, people move. Gaza is the only place on Earth where the place is unlivable and the people can’t move. They can’t leave. They’re trapped.
And then that raises, for me, what’s the fundamental question. Even the human rights organizations which haven’t been bad, even they refer to Israel’s use of excessive force. They refer to Israel’s use of disproportionate force. Implicit in that language is, Israel has the right to use proportionate force. Israel has the right to use moderate force. In fact, leaving aside the legalities and the technicalities, let’s just look at the picture raw.
Israel doesn’t have the right to use any force. Two million people, half of whom are children, are trapped, caged in an unlivable space where they are, to quote Sara Roy, “slowly being poisoned.” Unless you believe that Israel has the right to poison 1 million children, it has no right to use any force against the people of Gaza. They have the right to break free from the cage Israel has created for them.
Palestinian Christians and Muslims call on faith communities to help end Israeli occupation
While the US officially and illegally transferred its embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli forces killed scores of demonstrators in Gaza
GAZA CITY – The contrast could not have been more jarring on Monday between Jerusalem and Gaza, even as a mere 75 kilometres separated the two.
As American and Israeli officials inaugurated the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem – an Israeli victory over the international community’s rejection of its claim to Jerusalem as its capital – Israeli forces gunned down Palestinian protesters in Gaza, the death toll rising inexorably throughout the day.
‘Friends, what a glorious day, remember this day. This is history. Mr Trump, by recognizing history, you made history’ – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exuberantly hailed the embassy move as a “historic” moment.
“Friends, what a glorious day, remember this day,” the Israeli leader said in a triumphant address on Monday. “This is history. Mr Trump, by recognising history, you made history.
“All of us are deeply moved and grateful. The embassy of the most powerful nation on earth, the United States of America, opened here.”
“People in Jerusalem celebrating the Embassy Move and people in Gaza trying to ruin that celebration.”- former Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner
Israel shoots 15 yr old Gaza child in the head.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner also gave a speech at the ceremony, during which he hailed US support for Israel, seemingly casting aside concerns about the Israeli army’s actions in Gaza occurring at the same time as his speech.
“We stand with Israel because we both believe in human rights, democracy worth defending, and believe that we know that it is the right thing to do,” Kushner said.
Meanwhile, just outside the new embassy, Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem were brutally repressed by Israeli forces.
MEE witnessed dozens of unarmed Palestinians beaten and arrested by Israeli security forces outside the embassy, eliciting cheers from Israeli demonstrators who came out to support the embassy’s opening.
‘Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, and Trump and the USA cannot decide to give our land to Zionists’
– Samira Mohsen, 27, protester in Gaza City
“Burn them”, “shoot them”, “kill them”, the Israelis chanted.
Meanwhile, former Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner complained on social media, implying Palestinian deaths in Gaza were an attempt to rain on Israel’s parade.
My feed is a mixture of people in Jerusalem celebrating the #EmbassyMove and people in #Gaza trying to ruin that celebration.
But in Gaza, Palestinians expressed their deep anger and disbelief at the celebration occuring in Jerusalem as hundreds were indiscriminately shot by Israeli forces.
According to Gaza’s health ministry, fifty-eight Palestinians had been killed and 2,410 had been wounded by Israeli forces in the bloody culmination of the six-week “Great March of Return” in Gaza which had already claimed 49 lives before Monday.
In total, 101 Palestinians have been killed during demonstrations in Gaza since 30 March.
The scenes in Gaza in the zone close to the fence separating the small Palestinian enclave from Israel were ones of chaos and blood since the morning, with numerous demonstrators shot in the head, neck or chest.
A number of bodies were trapped close to the fence, army fire too heavy for ambulances to reach them.
“A lot of Palestinians died today for the sake of Palestinians peacefully protesting, and we won’t give up on the blood they shed,” Wadee Masri, 52, told Middle East Eye. “I came here to participate in the march, to prove that I am a person that has a right to return to my land.
Protester near the Gaza border on Monday (MEE/Mohammed al-Hajjar)
“Celebrations today in Jerusalem make me feel sad for what the US did against Palestinians,” he added. “There is no peace without Jerusalem. We will live and die fighting for Jerusalem.”
International groups decried the situation in Gaza as a “bloodbath”.
“The policy of Israeli authorities to fire irrespective of whether there is an immediate threat to life on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza, caged in for a decade and under occupation for half a century, has resulted in a bloodbath that anyone could have foreseen,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
Jamal Zahalka, a political leader for Palestinian citizens of Israel, told MEE that Israel and the US bore responsibility for the violence in Gaza.
‘Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, and Trump and the USA cannot decide to give our land to Zionists’
– Samira Mohsen, 27, protester in Gaza City
“This is a violation of international law. Trump and the US are responsible for all the blood that has been shed since the US decision,” Zahalka said.
“Those who are celebrating today [the US embassy inaguration] have blood on their hands.”
But despite the trauma of the deadliest day in Gaza since the 2014 war, Samira Mohsen, a 27-year-old protester east of Gaza City, remained defiant despite the heavy toll of the day’s demonstrations.
“One day we will be celebrating in Jerusalem, we will pray there, no one will ban us,” she told MEE. “My dream is to see Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine, and Trump and the USA cannot decide to give our land to Zionists.”
Israel, using illegal explosive bullets wounded 4,279 Gazans since March 30. Israel shoots 84 Palestinian school children in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis & legs — 7 are critical
After conducting medical examinations, it turned out that Israeli occupation forces used live explosive bullets and poisonous tear gas while quelling the peaceful marches of return. Most of the shots were in the neck, chest, abdomen and the pelvis. Many children had fractures in the limbs as well.
Gaza girl shot during the peace march.
‘Explosive bullets’ have been cited in state practice as weapons that violate this norm in some or all circumstances.
A trauma doctor treating the 750 severely injured Gazans in the Great March of Return massacre offers evidence that the IDF used exploding bullets to maximize the damage done.
After conducting medical examinations, it turned out that Israeli occupation forces used live explosive bullets and poisonous tear gas while quelling the peaceful marches of return. Most of the shots were in the neck, chest, abdomen and the pelvis. Many children had fractures in the limbs as well.
The prohibition of exploding bullets, under customary international law, on the use of means and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause unnecessary suffering applies in international and non-international.
Abdul Rahman Noufal, a native of the Nuseirat during his participation in the peace march. His leg has been amputated.
Expansion, or hollow point, bullets are specialized bullets designed to deform upon impact because of a collapsible space within the projectile tip. The result is that a single projectile will inflict greater overall damage to a target, allowing an increased transfer of kinetic energy compared with a standard bullet. The “benefits” include a decreased risk of ricochet because the overall penetration distance is reduced; however, some of the older ammunition failed to expand on impact as a result of pieces of clothing obstructing the cavity.
Israel accuses the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against it’s citizens and recently attacks Syria targets killing Russians and Iranians who are in Syria legally. US-Israel has for decade after decade had a monopoly on chemical weapons use, and supply their proxies. They also routinely violate the airspace and borders of any country they wish, at will. It’s not like there isn’t proof, what don’t people get about US-Israel?
The snipers lined themselves up on the hill and started to target the unarmed boys one by one. The scene looked like a hunting trip with automatic rifles, ending with the prey hitting the ground with bullets in their heads. Hundreds were injured in just a few hours, and about 20 lost their lives. None of the victims were armed, nor did they pose any danger to heavily-armed soldiers or the integrity of the border with Israel.
Soon after writing this, the IDF deleted its six-tweet thread.
The massacre was obviously premeditated; planned in advance by an Israeli leadership aiming to contain major peace — and peaceful — rallies, which the Palestinian refugees decided to organize throughout the weeks from 30 March onwards in order to ask for their legitimate rights.
The whole world witnessed what happened last Friday when tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip declared their adherence to their rights and ownership of their original homes and land in the parts of Palestine that the Israeli occupation usurped in 1948. In Gaza, the refugee population of over 2 million people forms the majority; they live in both overcrowded and isolated areas. The UN has already declared that by 2020 the Strip will be “unlivable”, owing to the scarcity of resources and the lack of access to potable water and basic services.
There is no need for the world to devise complex solutions for a besieged area where most of the people are refugees. The practical option is easily available by enabling them to return to their homes, land and resources, from which they were ethnically-cleansed by Israeli forces during one of the cruelest military operations that the twentieth century witnessed. Since then, the Israeli authorities have refused to comply with UN resolutions, including General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948, and they more or less ignore international laws and conventions, as well as the human rights and access to justice that they provide.
The Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip refuse to waive their rights and do not appear to be likely to do so under any circumstances. This steadfastness has pushed Israel’s leaders to wish mass destruction upon the people of Gaza, who are increasing in number before their eyes and insist on restoring their rights and pursuing popular uprisings. Israel’s desire was given voice by former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who wished that he could wake up one morning and find the Gaza Strip sinking into the sea. Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli fanatic, and Gaza has remained steadfast year after year.
Rabin’s wish was never fulfilled, but the Israeli leadership has worked quietly to plunge Gaza into darkness by cutting off electricity supplies for most of the day, every day; preventing medical supplies from entering the enclave, and preventing patients from travelling abroad. Gaza has been overwhelmed by economic and social troubles caused by the Israeli-led siege. It is clear that the UN prophecy about the Gaza Strip is going to be achieved if it has not reached that stage already.
To the amazement of many, though, the Palestinian people have not yet raised the white flag, nor have they renounced their rights. Rather, they have sent a clear message of defiance and determination to the Israeli occupation authorities and the rest of the world with the Great March of Return.
Every single one of those who took part in the march had his or her own story. Mohammed Ayyash, for example, is a boy in a family which hails originally from Jaffa. He took part in the march while using his own invention to protect him from the tear gas that the Israelis dropped on the crowds from drones flying overhead.
He had a look of defiance as he sat quietly, apparently indifferent to the gas swirling around him. The mask on his face contained some green onion. He was inspired by the experience of his father who, when he was his son’s age during the First Intifada, which erupted 30 years ago, used onions to reduce the harmful effects of tear gas.
That is how Palestinians resort to simple solutions made from the land that they cling to so as not to surrender in the face of Israel’s power, which harnesses the world’s most up-to-date technology and equipment to strengthen its occupation, aggression and intimidation. Generations of Palestinians have inherited and in turn passed on their experiences in challenging the occupation, regardless of the huge sacrifices that they have made for freedom in successive uprisings and acts of resistance, up to and including the “Great March of Return”.
If any ministers from the Netanyahu government happened to see the image of “the boy using onions” on the Gaza border, they might have to acknowledge that history is not yet over in Palestine and that they will face more troubles with this new Palestinian generation prepared to challenge Israel’s current hegemony. Those arrogant ministers may recall Rabin’s wish to wake up to find that Gaza has sunk into the sea. It hasn’t; it won’t; they might.