Extending Israeli Sovereignty Promotes Regional Stability and Other Lies

History denied does not make it so.

 These refugees did originate from this area. It’s an act of historical antisemitism to deny it.

While you want to explore whether or not these people were residents of Palestine, At the same time, keep in mind – Who denies it and what is the benefit?

There are many historical documents that detail their history, but maybe you will believe your own eyes with pictures.

Viewing these pictures, it’s striking to me all of the history and culture that has been lost, and it’s such a shame because it was exotically beautiful.

The Zionist narrative:

In 1948, when five Arab militaries invaded the newly independent Jewish state, hundreds of thousands of Arabs found themselves displaced.

Rather than following standard protocol to resettle the refugees among neighboring populations who shared their culture, the U.N. created a class of multi-generation “Palestine refugees” to include the descendants of any non-Jews with ancestors living between 1947 and 1949 in the territory of Mandatory Palestine.

The U.N. then created a new bureaucratic agency—UNRWA—whose entire existence and budget was contingent upon ensuring that they remain refugees.

The 20-plus Arab states, who should have welcomed their Arab brethren, chose to weaponize them instead.***

People who’s ancestors never stepped foot on Palestine land. EVER. the Arab armies were no match for the Rothschild backed Jewish army.

The Jews had trained for years already and accumulated and smuggled weapons through the Jewish mob.

When they chased off the British, the British left an established government, convenient for these foreign Jews* and they left weapons behind as well.

An established government and an army. Then the Jewish refugees poured in from boats and lived in the Palestinian’s fully furnished homes after the Palestinians were massacred and pushed out into West Bank villages like Gaza.

Rabbi Israel Zolli coordinated the exodus of hundreds of thousands of British Empire “Jews” from Germany, Poland, and Hungary to Palestine.

‘israel’ is falsifying Palestinian history and stealing its heritage

The pillaging from the Gaza Strip of thousands of historical artifacts, some dating back to the time of Alexander the Great, at the hands of the Israeli occupation has stripped Gaza of its rich history

Palestine is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of antiquities, competing with Egypt in the Arab world.

At least 22 civilizations have left their mark on Palestine, the first of which were the Canaanites; their presence is still visible today.

Since 1948, successive Israeli governments have paid particular attention to the antiquities that have a distinct Arab and Palestinian identity.

Committees of Israeli archaeologists were formed to research in every part of Palestine on which Israel was founded.

The aim remains to create a fake historical narrative by Judaising Palestinian antiquities.

 

Historical monuments in major Palestinian cities, such as Acre, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Tiberias, have not been spared from this process.

Moreover, Israel has used various institutions to Judaise Palestinian fashion through systematic cultural theft and forgery.

Even local recipes are not spared. Israel has participated in international exhibitions to display Palestinian fashion and cuisine labelled as “Israeli”.

This is how Palestine’s heritage and history dating back thousands of years are being stolen by the Israeli occupation and the “mafias” selling invaluable antiquities.

This is happening at a time when Palestinian parties are taking action and calling for the protection of their legacy, history and civilisation.

WATCH: Israeli forces shoot Palestinian ‘for fun’

Zionism Defined

In this context, studies have indicated that there are over 3,300 archaeological sites in the occupied West Bank alone.

A number of researchers confirm that, on average, there is an archaeological site every half a kilometre in Palestine which indicates the true identity and history of the land.

It is important here to mention the devastating effects of the Israeli separation wall on the future of Palestinian antiquities and monuments.

The ongoing building of the wall on Palestinian land in the West Bank will ultimately lead to the annexation of over 50 per cent of the occupied territory.

It will also include over 270 major archaeological sites, in addition to 2,000 archaeological and historical locations.

Dozens of historically important sites and monuments have been destroyed in the course of the construction of the wall.

Specialized studies of Palestinian antiquities indicate that, since occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip in June, 1967, Israel has been able to steal and sell even more Palestinian artifacts from the West Bank.

This phenomenon was exacerbated by the outbreak of the Aqsa Intifada at the end of September 2000.

The Palestinian Authority’s Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage has pointed out that more than 500 archaeological sites and more than 1,500 landmarks have been stolen and destroyed by Israeli thieves and the occupation.

It is a simple fact that, as the work of Salman Abu Sitta has demonstrated, more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages have been destroyed and wiped off the map by Israel since 1948.

The Department also confirmed that the cultural and economic resources of Palestine continue to be depleted by Israel.

READ: Israel forces Palestinian to demolish his own house

Palestinian studies indicate that the reason for this ongoing Nakba is the collapse of any system to protect Palestinian areas due to Israeli control.

Such protection falls under the direct management of the occupation, which basically means that the Israeli army is free to destroy cultural heritage sites, as has happened in Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem, and other Palestinian cities, towns and villages.

Archaeological theft and the violation of Palestinian heritage sites is one of the biggest challenges facing Palestinians as they seek to preserve their culture and physical presence in their homeland, which is threatened by Judaisation and targeted by systematic Israeli policies.

We need to raise awareness in Palestinian society to confront this new-old challenge imposed by Israel.

We also need to boost our capacity to fight Israel’s theft of our history at the local, regional and international levels.

This may be reinforced through Palestine’s full membership in relevant international organisations, including UNESCO.

Cultural diversity in Palestine dates back thousands of years. It is shameful that we are allowing this to be whitewashed out of history as Israel seeks to “prove” its fake narrative of the “Jewish state”, to the exclusion of the indigenous people.

Israel tanks invade Gaza, open fire at farmers

The Jewish Zionists’ eventual triumph over the British military and success in establishing the state of Israel was due to the Zionists’ skillful use of political propaganda and terrorism”.

February 15, 2021

A number of Israeli tanks today carried out incursion in the east of the city of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip and opened fire at Palestinian farmers, Palestinian security sources said.

According to the sources, three bulldozers and three tanks breached the borders and trampled on agricultural land and farms inside Gaza.

They destroyed land and building dirt mounds and opened fire and shot smoke canisters.

Israeli occupation drones were flying overhead during the incursion.

On Sunday, six Israeli tanks invaded areas east of Bet Lahiya and opened fire at Palestinian farmers, apparently to force them to leave their farms as they razed several agricultural facilities.

Palestinian farmers and fishermen suffer almost daily attacks at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.

Palestine in 2020: Reflections on a turbulent year

 

People already living precarious and insecure lives were and continue to be more vulnerable to infection.

[Over 80 percent of the population in Gaza relies on international assistance to survive, and cases of disease and malnutrition are on the rise. More than 50 percent of the population is unemployed, and 90 percent of businesses closed as a result of the blockade. Hospitals are out of up to 40 percent of needed supplies and medicine. Approximately 96 percent of water is undrinkable. And electricity is only available for approximately four hours per day. Gaza contains the refugees from the 1948 Zionist terrorism and expulsion and the 1967 terrorism and expulsion. The Zionists kill and harass fisherman, farmers and children.
Prevailing systems of inequality, oppression and other forms of domination exasperated the situation and, in many cases, rendered them systems of co-morbidity. The rest of the Palestinians live in villages under menacing occupation.]

In Palestine, the lockdowns, curfews and inability to travel were not new.

The pandemic simply added another layer of precarity to the lives of Palestinians under Israel’s military occupation. 

But Covid-19 was not the only thing that happened this year in Palestine.

Rather, it became the backdrop for Israel’s accelerated territorial expansion and the political normalisation of its settler colonial project.

Christianity meltdown in its own birthplace? Western churches ignore multiple warnings – Redress Information & Analysis

“We are still suffering because of one political declaration from a Western Empire, based on a twisted theological premise. Even some churches and few Christian leaders supported the establishment of the colonial state in our land, and totally ignored – even dehumanized – the nation, our people that had already existed here for centuries and paid the price for atrocities committed in Europe.”

The year started with the Trump administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’, or officially “Vision for Peace, Prosperity and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People“.

The ‘peace plan’ effectively proposed encasing Palestinians in the West Bank in a series of Bantustans (excluding Area C – 60 percent of the land) with Israel holding on to its illegal settlements.

Gaza, meanwhile, would be maintained as a besieged enclave while the rights of Palestinians in exile, including those of refugees, would be forsaken.

In exchange they would be granted some economic incentives to “boost” the Palestinian economy.

The Palestinian leadership outright refused it, with President Mahmoud Abbas declaring “a thousand times no”.

Just another white man’s occupation

Other reactions were rather muted, including many EU states who simply declared their commitment to the two-state solution, whilst the UK considered it a “serious proposal“.

Despite the pomp and ceremony describing the deal as ground-breaking, this was not a new formula for “peace”.

In fact, the ‘Deal of the Century’ was merely a culmination of US foreign policy which has consistently trampled on fundamental Palestinian rights in favour of maintaining Israeli domination.

Read more: The day after annexation: Israel, Palestine
and the one-state reality

A few months later the deal seemed to dissipate, not because of a lack of support from the international community but rather (as many Palestinians pointed out) because it presented nothing new – already reflecting the de facto reality on the ground. 

Later in the summer, Israel threatened to pass legislation that would enable the de jure annexation of large swathes of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank on 1 July.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrewdly created a huge crescendo leading up to the date and many in the international community, particularly EU states, rushed to provide statements of “concern” and “condemnation,” whilst simultaneously offering no consequences should the annexation go ahead.

For its part, the Palestinian Authority responded by “halting” security coordination with Israel.  

The 1st of July came and went without annexation and the international community breathed a sigh of relief, declaring it a win for the international legal regime and for Palestinian rights.

Yet the reality of both the de jure and de facto annexation of Palestinian land, from East Jerusalem to Israeli settlements, were ignored.

“Look! Shoot faster! I am in a rush to move in.”

Since then, Netanyahu has continuously reiterated his intentions to annex more and more of the West Bank.

All the while Israeli policies of disOne day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital.

Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25)possession and territorial expansion continued apace.

We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not…You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world. -Chaim Weizmann

2020 saw the highest number of home demolitions in more than four years, with nearly 900 Palestinians displaced.

At the same time, Israel approved over 12,000 West Bank settler homes, the highest on record for eight years.

The early political theatrics of the ‘Deal of the Century’ continued into the year when a series of normalisation agreements with various Arab states, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, were announced.

These agreements by the signatory regimes were dubbed as historic.

Yet, official and unofficial Arab normalisation with Israel, and the undermining of the Palestinian cause, has been ongoing for decades.  

Egypt was the first Arab country to normalise in 1979 in return for the Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had captured in 1967.

Jordan followed suit in 1995 and in return got substantial economic aid and diplomatic support from the West.

Read more: Israel normalisation deals reflect the rupture between repressive regimes and Arab societies

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have held increasingly frequent meetings with Israeli officials and experts over the last decade regarding security technology, most of which has been used to spy on political opposition and activists.

 Similarly, Morocco has had relations with Israel dating back to the 1950s, including arms deals and Israeli training for Moroccan security forces and intelligence agents. 

It is therefore unsurprising that these countries should officialise long standing relations. What is worrying is that the agreements include weapons deals and security collaboration, a boon for authoritarianism.

Whilst a renewed era of human rights abuses looms across the region, the internal situation is equally challenging for Palestinians, who are increasingly fragmented socially, geographically, and politically.

Such divides were acutely accentuated under Covid-19, with increased restrictions on movement for different categories of Identity Card holders and an increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor.  

Official and unofficial Arab normalisation with Israel, and the undermining of the Palestinian cause, has been ongoing for decades

The Palestinian leadership has proved impotent amidst the external political manoeuvres of this year, with a strategy limited to rhetorical outrage and holding out for a Joe Biden victory in US presidential elections.

The Palestinian leadership’s impotence has also been coupled with increasing authoritarianism, as was demonstrated with the arrest and interrogation of an activist who criticized the resumption of Palestinian Authority (PA) security coordination with Israel. 

The election of Biden to the White House presents the prospect of returning to “normal” and “business as usual” in terms of US foreign policy, and his team have already expressed the desire to return to the prior framework of peace process negotiations.

Meanwhile, they have also stated that they will not be reversing several landmark policy changes under the Trump administration, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, and US-backed normalisation deals with Arab states.

Read more: Palestine’s olive harvest marred by rising
Israeli settler violence

Biden, who has described himself as a Zionist, has a mainstream establishment US foreign policy perspective on the Middle East, which includes a pro-Israel stance.

Indeed, as vice-president in the Obama administration he oversaw the largest military aid package in US history – $38 billion – to Israel. 

This does not bode well for Palestinian rights. Biden has promised to reverse Trump’s huge aid cuts to Palestinians, meaning US money will flow back into the coffers of the Palestinian Authority.

But this model of an “economic peace” is antithetical to Palestinian liberation, coercing the Palestinian leadership into political surrender via economic incentives.

The reality of 2020 and its challenges, from global and regional political shifts to internal stagnation, have rendered it even more difficult to imagine Palestinian liberation.

Yet the pandemic also presents us with a “portal” and an opportunity to be hopeful, as Arundhati Roy wrote earlier this year: “We can choose to walk through [the portal], dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us.

Or, we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”

This will necessitate conversations on radical change, and Palestinians have no choice but to abandon the “dead ideas” that have long been a smoke screen for the continued colonization of Palestine.

SOURCE

Lydda Air Port. Palestine Airways plane close-up

1948: The British commander of Transjordan’s Arab Legion, had toured Palestinian Arab towns, including Lydda and Ramle, urging them to prepare to defend themselves against the Zionist horde.

The PLUNDER and LOOTING of Palestinian homes, farms, plantations, banks, cars, ports, railroads, schools, hospitals, trucks, tractors, etc. in the course of the 1948 war were a crime on a massive scale. For example, the looting of Lydda City was described by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Abandoned Property in mid-July, 1948:

“From Lydda alone, the army took out 1,800 truck-loads of property.” (1949, The First Israelis, p. 69)

It should be noted that the great majority of the Palestinian people have been dispossessed for the past five decades, meanwhile, their properties are being used by mostly European Jews (who were victims of similar war crimes committed by anti-Semitic Europeans). Prior to being ethnically cleansed in 1948, the Palestinian people owned and operated 93% of Palestine’s lands, and contributed up to 55-60% of its national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Zionists capture Lydda: Palestine’s main railway junction and its airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) were in Lydda, and the main source of Jerusalem’s water supply was 15 kilometers away.

American President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary are welcomed at the Gaza airport by President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat and wife Soha. (Photo by Ira Wyman/Sygma via Getty Images)

“The airport used to be packed with thousands of travelers and we received presidents and world leaders,” he said, pointing to parts of the site in various stages of decay.
“Now it’s turned into a ruin, a waste dump. It’s a tragedy.”

Daifallah Al-Akhras, the chief engineer of the airport, admitted he wept on a recent visit to the terminal.

“We built the airport to be the first symbol of sovereignty,” he said. “Now you don’t see anything but destruction and ruin.”

When the airport opened in late 1998 it was one of the most tangible symbols of the Oslo accords.

Many saw the deals as paving the way to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, but their five-year transitional period expired without a resolution to the conflict.

The airport was opened despite the assassination of the most senior Israeli signatory to Oslo, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, by a Jewish ‘radical’ opposed to the agreements.

By 1998 the accords were fraying, but Clinton, along with his wife Hillary, still attended the ceremony to inaugurate the Yasser Arafat International Airport.

Built with funding from countries across the globe, it hosted the newly formed Palestinian Airlines and was able to handle hundreds of thousands of passengers a year, with many airlines opening up routes there.

Once a commercial airport was established, the Palestinian Authority moved forward with a plan to establish a flag carrier for the embattled country.

The airline was officially announced in 1995 with financial backing coming from the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, who donated two Fokker 50s and a Boeing 727 to help start operations.

The newly-formed Palestinian Airlines would also join the Arab Air Carriers Organization, with its introduction to the alliance coming in 1999.

While the airline officially started operations in 1997, limits were quickly established on where it could fly.

The Yasser Arafat International Airport was still under construction in Gaza, leaving the airline to commence service in the Egyptian towns of Port Said and Arish to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Amman, Jordan.

Once the airline’s home in the Gaza Strip was completed, all operations were transferred to the new airport.

Palestinian Airlines quickly expanded to include service to additional countries including Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The airline would also come to take hold of an Ilyushin Il-62 to help with their expansion plans.

While the airline was expanding, it was not completely free of Israeli restrictions.

Under the Oslo II Accord, Israel had the right to restrict the airport’s schedule, which frequently saw the airport shuttered during the nighttime hours.

The airport’s security was also administered by the Israeli government due to fears that the Palestinians would lapse on security due to the economic instability of Gaza.

Unfortunately, the Oslo II Accord soured over time and increased tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians led to the breakout of the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

Palestinian Airlines was forced to suspend operations while Israel and Palestine escalated their conflict.

Fearing that the Palestinians would use Yasser Arafat Airport for weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip, Israel made the airport a primary target, destroying both the radar and control towers in 2001 before carving up the runway using bulldozers in 2002.

In addition to its smuggling fears, Israel also claimed that the dismantling was in response to a Palestinian raid that killed four Israeli soldiers.

The destruction of Yasser Arafat International Airport did not sit well with Palestinians or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

For Palestinians, the ruins of the airport were a symbol of a potential nation now reeling from the Second Intifada and a sign that Israel and Palestine may never trust each other.

Meanwhile, the ICAO saw Israel’s destruction of the airport as a violation of Palestine’s right to operate a commercial airport and strongly condemned the Israelis for their actions.

The ICAO called for Israel to pay for any repairs from the damages caused to the airfield, which Israel ignored.

With no home airport inside Palestine, the flag carrier fled back across the border and restarted operations at El Arish International Airport in Egypt.

However, getting Palestinians to Arish was a struggle, as Egyptian security could take up to a day processing those traveling into and out of the country.

To attempt to ease the issue, the airline still manned the ticket counters at Yasser Arafat Airport, hoping to sell tickets to passengers inside Gaza and simplify their flying experience.

With this restriction, and the flag carrier operating 30 miles from its home opposite a major international border, the consumer base for Palestinian Airlines slowly dried up. The airline removed the Boeing 727 and Ilyushin Il-62 from its fleet before suspending operations outright in 2005.

The Palestinian Authority would hold on to the two Fokker 50s and lease them to other airlines while they waited for a chance to restart operations.

That chance would finally come in 2012, when the airline announced it would restart service using its Fokker 50s and a route map that would, yet again, be based in Arish, Egypt with flights to Cairo, Amman and Jeddah.

But much like their previous experience at Arish, Palestine was at too much of a disadvantage to make use of their airline.

The airline would last less than two years before re-suspending operations.

The Palestinian Authority returned to leasing their Fokker 50s, with Niger Airlines currently being the home for the two aircraft.

Despite having no current operations, the airline is still an active member in the ICAO, IATA and Arab Air Carriers Organization.

While Palestine hopes to have the airline flying again, the prospect of coming home to Gaza grows bleaker and bleaker.

The airport sustained more damage in recent years, with the terminal and ramps areas taking heavy bombings by Israeli forces in 2014.

Given that the Egyptian rehabilitation attempts have proven too costly for the airline, Palestinian Airlines is currently a flag carrier with no home, no service and no clear future.

The Illegal Blockade of Gaza

1936 Zionist Crocodile: “Don’t be afraid, I will swallow you peacefully”

The purpose of the blockade was described by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weissglass as being “like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”

Far from receiving UN sanction for its imposed blockade, Israel continues it in violation of Security Council Resolution 1860 of January 2009, which called for “the unimpeded provision and distribution throughout Gaza of humanitarian assistance, including of food, fuel and medical treatment”.

Israel is also a party to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits any acts constituting collective punishment of a civilian population: “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited” (Article 33).

After Hamas won legislative elections in 2006, Israel and the US conspired with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party to overthrow the new Hamas government. The coup attempt failed in Gaza, however, where Hamas expelled Fatah and consolidated its rule. In response, Israel implemented a policy of blockading Gaza in order to punish its residents for having Hamas as their governing authority.

The purpose of the blockade was described by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weissglass as being “like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.”

“Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions”, a 2008 State Department cable to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed, “that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”

The cable reiterated, “As part of their overall embargo plan against Gaza, Israeli officials have confirmed to econoffs [US embassy economic officers] on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge”.

It is Israel’s intent with its blockade to collectively punish the civilian population of Gaza, and regardless of intent, that is the blockade’s effect. Therefore, the blockade is a violation of international law.­

Continuing, Israel is legally obligated under the Fourth Geneva Convention to allow humanitarian shipments into Gaza: “To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical supplies of the population; it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the occupied territory are inadequate” (Article 54).

Additionally, “If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all means at its disposal”, including “consignments of foodstuffs, medical supplies and clothing.” Israel is obligated to “permit the free passage of these consignments” and to “guarantee their protection” (Article 59).

There is no allowance under international law for the types of restrictions that Israel still continues to impose on Gaza that harm the general economy, such as restrictions on the importation of cement needed for construction projects or the movement of other goods and people in and out of the Strip.

Lapidoth acknowledged that “A blockade has to permit the passage of humanitarian assistance if needed”; but, she argued, “the San Remo Manual includes two conditions (in Article 103): first, the blockading party may decide where and when and through which port the assistance should reach the coast. In addition, the state may require that a neutral organization on the coast should control the distribution of the items.”

However, these conditions would only apply in cases where there was a legitimate and lawful blockade to begin with and thus didn’t apply to Israel’s unilateral blockade, which the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international bodies and human rights organizations had authoritatively declared to be an illegal act of collective punishment.

Examining what the San Remo Manual actually has to say about the matter is revealing.

It applies to “armed conflict at sea” (Article 1). Yet there was no armed conflict at sea in this case. Gaza had no navy (nor an army or air force, for that matter). Attacks against Israel were limited to rockets and mortars fired by militant groups from land against targets on land. But for the sake of argument let’s just assume that the San Remo Manual was applicable.

It explicitly states that the “principles of necessity and proportionality apply equally to armed conflict at sea” (Article 3) and that “Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between civilians or other protected persons and combatants and between civilian or exempt objects and military objectives” (Article 39).

It defines “military objectives” as “those which . . . make an effective contribution to military action” (Article 40).

Any attacks must be “limited strictly to military objectives”, and merchant vessels not making a military contribution “are civilian objects” (Article 41).

Any attacks that “are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering” or that “are indiscriminate” because they “are not, or cannot be, directed against a specific military objective” are strictly “forbidden” (Article 42).

A further obligation is to “take all feasible precautions in the choice of methods and means in order to avoid or minimize collateral casualties or damage”. Also forbidden is any attack that “may be expected to cause collateral casualties or damage which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the attack as a whole” (Article 46).

Additionally, among the vessels that “are exempt from attack” are “vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations”, as well as “passenger vessels when engaged only in carrying civilian passengers” (Article 47).

Finally, any blockade that “has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival”, or which causes “damage to the civilian population” that “is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade”, is strictly “prohibited” (Article 102).

It is eminently clear that according to the very document Lapidoth cited to justify Israel’s actions, the attack on the Mavi Marmara was illegal, as is Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Lapidoth did acknowledge in passing that “there is the condition that a state may not starve the civilian population”, but she offered no further comment. Even if one could argue that blocking humanitarian supplies was not Israel’s “sole” purpose, the fact remained that the continued suffering of the civilian population was a known consequence of the blockade, which was by any rational measure indiscriminate, disproportionate, and otherwise excessive in relation to any possible military objective.

Ignoring all of the above, Lapidoth argued further that a “merchant ship may be visited, searched, or captured”, and that “it may be attacked” if it “resists”. She asserted that any ship “that clearly intends to breach” a lawful blockade could be “dealt with while it is still on the high seas.” From this, she concluded that Israel’s capture of the flotilla ships “in international waters” was “legal”.

But, again, this wrongly assumes a lawful blockade to begin with, and, furthermore, the San Remo Manual explicitly states that the “visit and search” of “merchant vessels” may occur only when “there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are subject to capture” (Article 118).

No such grounds existed with regard to ships Lapidoth acknowledged were “engaged in humanitarian missions” and which were thus exempt from attack regardless of the lawfulness of the blockade itself.

Furthermore, the flotilla ships were forcibly redirected to Israel, while the San Remo Manual specifically states that only “with its consent” may a merchant vessel “be diverted from its declared destination” (Article 119).

Lapidoth cited previous blockades, such as during the Korean War and the Iran-Iraq War, without explaining what relevance those instances had to this case. She again proclaimed that Israel “acted in compliance with international law because it has fulfilled all the conditions for a lawful blockade”, including having “notified the relevant authorities of its blockade in Gaza”.

In fact, Israel had not fulfilled all the conditions for a legal blockade, as we’ve just seen. When Lapidoth said “all the conditions”, she just meant those she had cherry-picked to support her case, the obvious reason for her omission of all the other conditions being that Israel hadn’t met them; hence to mention them would have proved problematic for the conclusion she desired to arrive at.

Finally, Lapidoth addressed the question of whether Israel was the legal Occupying Power in Gaza. “Some say that since Israel is still in control of Gaza’s airspace and adjacent sea, Israel is still the occupier”, she wrote, without bothering to identify who “Some” were—i.e., UN bodies, the ICRC, human rights organizations, etc.; essentially, the entire international community.

“According to another opinion,” she wrote—i.e., Israel’s—“under the Hague Regulations of 1907 (Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land), occupation has to include full control of the area. (‘Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.’—Article 42), and of course Israel does not control the whole territory of Gaza. Therefore, it is not responsible for what happens there.”

She concluded, “In my opinion, since Israel is not in control of Gaza, it is not the occupier, but in those areas in which Israel still has control—which means sea and airspace—Israel is responsible.”

Yet all one must do to recognize the fallacy of this argument is to read what Article 42 of the Hague Regulations of 1907 actually says, which she conveniently quoted for us. It simply does not say that a country must “control the whole territory” for it to be considered occupied.

It is extraordinary that Lapidoth could proclaim that Israel was in control “only” of Gaza’s sea and airspace, as if there was no sign of its blockade policy at Gaza’s borders. Israel cannot on one hand place Gaza’s land, sea, and airspace under its military control while on the other maintaining that the conditions of occupation do not exist, that “it is not responsible for what happens there.”

Apologists for the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara have claimed that the nine activists were killed in an Israeli act of “self-defense” against passengers aboard the ship who attacked Israeli commandos with clubs and knives. However, it must be recognized that: (a) the inherent right to self-defense against armed aggression belongs not to commandos illegally storming peaceful vessels on humanitarian missions in international waters, but to the civilian passengers aboard; and (b) the Israeli attack, being against a civilian and not a military target and in enforcement of an unlawful blockade of Gaza, was a war crime in and of itself, with the murder of nine peace activists being an additional crime for which there is no justification under international law.

To illustrate the absurdity of the logic of Israeli apologists, we may contemplate a simple thought experiment: an armed robber who has broken into a home and killed the homeowner argues before the court that he committed no crime because the homeowner attacked him with a knife, and therefore his act of killing was an exercise of his right to self-defense. Would any self-respecting judge or jury member take this legal defense seriously?

Likewise, the arguments used to defend Israel’s criminal blockade and murderous attack on the Mavi Marmara cannot be taken seriously. They are not intended to be taken seriously. They are intended only to fool those who wish to be fooled and blinded, as anyone with eyes to see can see.

SOURCE

A Palestinian Memory: Israel’s Offensive on Gaza 12 Years Later

Most Palestinian refugees live in or near 68 Palestinian refugee camps across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel attacks them all everywhere and all who help them.

Image result for then and now pictures of Palestine | Palestine, Then and now pictures, Injustices in the world

‘The rationale for Palestine occupation is not peace; it is power.’

Since Operation Cast Lead, Israel launched Operation Pillar of Cloud in 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – the deadliest yet, killing over 2,000, 500 of whom were children. Even in times of “peace” in between and since, there are regular airstrikes.

Today in Gaza, 97% of the water is unfit for human consumption, there is only a few hours of electricity per day and huge areas remain rubble.

70 years after the Nakba, where Palestinians were forced off their land and most of Gaza’s population is made of refugees from this event, Palestinians in Gaza are fighting for their right to return to their hometowns.

“When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.” Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

December 27, 2020
Twelve years ago, on December 27, 2008, I was sipping a cup of coffee as I took a short break from my university assignments.

I was an undergraduate student preparing for my final exams when the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out more than 60 air strikes against Hamas-run police stations, buildings, facilities, and military sites, killing approximately 200 Palestinians in the first few hours of the intensive air offensive.

Palestinians in Gaza are used to hearing sounds of explosions as they became part of their daily life routines – just like growing up under siege and occupation.

They are used to the sounds of explosions and the buzzing of drones; helicopters and fighter jets hovering above their heads, day and night; missiles fired at targets in Gaza; or Israelis just killing their boredom by producing sonic bombs, breaking the sound barrier and smashing some windows.

Gazans’ Shocked

But the bombing I heard in 2008 was unusual even for Gaza.

The electricity went out, and I turned on my cell phone’s built-in radio only to discover that the signals of many local radio stations were no longer working.

I went out to try to find out what happened as rumors had started to circulate: some said Israel had targeted the Hamas-run Al-Abbas Police Station in Gaza city.

Others claimed the target was the Abu Middain Police Station, east of Nuseirat refugee camp, while others yet said it was the building of the Ministry of Interior. It turned out that all these sites were targeted along with many more.

Pro-Palestinian supporter prays during the protest of Israeli attacks on Gaza after Israeli army resumed airstrikes, following the expiry of a three-day ceasefire with Palestinian factions in Utrecht, Netherlands on August 10, 2014. Photo Anadolu Images

The intensive bombing campaign, which Israel later named “Operation Cast Lead,” was shocking even for Palestinians for two reasons. The number of sites targeted at the same time was unprecedented with nearly 60 sites simultaneously targeted by air strikes that caused huge explosions.

The second reason was that the military offensive started on a Saturday; Saturday is holy for the followers of the Jewish faith and a symbol of peace. Despite this, Israel chose a Saturday, violating the holiness of the Jewish Sabbath, to take the lives of hundreds of Palestinians.

The Israeli offensive lasted for 23 days, claiming the lives of more than 1,500 Palestinians, injuring some 6,000 others, completely destroying 4,100 houses, and partially destroying 17,000 others.

One of the victims was my neighbor Ahmed Altawil, an eight-year-old child whose family had evacuated their house following a rumor that the mosque next to their house would be bombed.

While playing football near his uncle’s home, an Israeli strike killed him, ending his short life way too early.

In 2014, the very same mosque was leveled to the ground, which caused a serious damage to Ahmed’s family house.

One of the victims was my neighbor Ahmed Altawil, an eight-year-old child whose family had evacuated their house following a rumor that the mosque next to their house would be bombed.

While playing football near his uncle’s home, an Israeli strike killed him, ending his short life way too early.

One of the stories that Israel’s Operation Cast Lead left in the collective memory of Palestinians in Gaza is that of the Al-Samouni family.

An Israeli officer asked the Al-Samouni family to stay in one room in their house in Al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza after the Israeli army occupied the entire area.

Following this, the Israeli forces bombed the house while they were still inside, killing 29 people of the same extended family.

To add insult to injury, the Israeli Prosecution decided to close the investigation against the military officer who ordered the bombing. Justice for the Al-Samouni family and thousands of other Palestinian families is still to be served.

Will Justice be Served?

WANTED Zionist criminals

Today, Israeli leaders, such as Tzipi Livni and Ehud Olmert, who are responsible for the alleged crimes committed against the Palestinians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead are still free.

The chances of bringing them to justice for killing Palestinians are minimal.

Read: Israeli Occupation and the Palestinian Identity

However, there is a slightly better possibility of convicting them on charges of corruption, such as the case on trial at the moment against Netanyahu.

Despite the very low chances of holding Israeli leaders criminally responsible for their alleged crimes in Gaza, especially these days with the rising tides against the Palestinians, politically, legally and economically, Palestinians have not lost hope.

The efforts made by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into possible Israeli war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories offers some hope that one day justice could be served.

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A view of a collapsed building in Al Katiba region after Israel carried out airstrikes in Gaza City, Gaza on July 14, 2018. Photo by Ali Jadallah, Anadolu Images

At the same time, preserving the memory of Palestinian victims is equally important.

It is important to tell the stories of Palestinians who lost their lives because of Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

A child like my neighbor Ahmad Altawil is not a mere number: he had a family and his death was deeply mourned.

There are many stories that deserve to be told about Ahmad: his great love of football, for one, cut short by an Israeli strike that took his life in 2009, or the other air strike that destroyed his family’s house in 2014.

Preserving the memory of Palestinian victims is important, so is to tell the stories of Palestinians who lost their lives because of Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

Preserving these memories is essential for the victims, their families, and for any future justice for the Palestinian people.

 

A War on Memory

In the same context, Israel’s war on Palestinians, including Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008, is a war on memory and narrative as well as a war on the psychical presence of Palestinians, who are projected as the opponents of Israel’s settler colonial project, a master plan built on the notion that Palestinians are the unwanted Others.

Preserving this memory feeds into what Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish spoke of as “the invaders’ fear of memories,” keeping the Palestinian memory alive despite all attempts to erase it is a form of resistance too.

Read: Arab Emancipation and the Liberation of Palestine

The world has to remember that as long as justice is not served in Palestine, the entire Middle East cannot achieve peace and security- even if governments claim otherwise.

The youngest Palestinian children whose parents were killed in 2008 would turn 11 today, which means that the feeling of being oppressed has become generational and Israel will come to a point where it can no longer maintain a reality, the backbone of which is oppressing Palestinians.

One lesson from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead and other military onslaughts in Gaza is that using excessive force against Palestinians has only made them more determined over the years.

The brightest example of this determination is the Great March of Return, where Palestinians in Gaza, 75% of whom are refugees, following three destructive Israeli onslaughts, took the initiative and called for their return to their homes and towns according to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194.

Israel needs to understand that it can’t continue its denial of the reality in Gaza, and that the Palestinians’ memories of their lives, the wars, and the lives of their ancestors in historic Palestine will continue to serve as fuel to the fire of their memories.

These memories will continue to live until the historical injustice in Palestine is addressed.

We Grow, They Bulldoze, We Re-Plant

By Eva Bartlett

February 10, 2013

Tawfiq Mandil, 45, stands amongst hundreds of Palestinian farmers, activists, and international supporters in the Gaza Strip’s eastern Zeitoun district, about half a kilometre from the border with Israel.

They are renewing a call for the boycott of Israeli goods.“The Israeli army destroyed my house and my five dunums of land (a dunum is 1,000 square metres) on the last day of the attacks in 2009, as well as 20 other homes,” he says.

With signs reading ‘Boycott Israeli Agricultural Products’ and ‘Support Palestinian Farmers’, Mandil and others protesting Israeli oppression of Palestinian farmers joined together Saturday to plant olive trees on Israeli-razed farmland and to implore international supporters to join the boycott of Israeli agricultural produce.

Mandil believes that the boycott is his only hope for justice for Palestinian farmers being targeted by the Israeli army and oppressed by Israel. “We hope that it will put pressure on Israel to stop targeting us and allow us to farm our land as we used to.”

ITS THOSE EVIL ZIONISTS! : forwardsfromhitler

With an Israeli surveillance blimp hovering above and within sight of a remotely-controlled machine gun tower, the significance of the rally’s location near the ‘buffer zone’ was not lost.

Israeli authorities prohibit Palestinians from accessing the 300 metres flanking the Gaza-Israel border.

In reality, the Israeli army regularly attacks Palestinians up to two kilometres from the border in some areas, rendering more than 35 percent of Gaza’s farmland off-limits.

“By engaging in the trade of settlement produce, states are failing to comply with their obligation to actively cooperate in order to put the Israeli settlement enterprise to an end.

Therefore, a ban on settlement produce must be considered amongst those actions that third party states should undertake in order to comply with their international law obligations.”

The Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq released a position paper last month condemning the Israeli settlement produce trade.

The paper, ‘Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States Under International Law’ highlights the means by which Israeli settlements benefit from the oppression of Palestinian farmers.

https://www.quotemaster.org/images/21/21ac9525c4e940ca1739159d281beab6.jpg

We are all Palestinians!

“While the EU has been quite outspoken in condemning settlements and their expansion, they continue to import produce from these same settlements and in doing so, help to sustain their very existence,” Al-Haq director general Shawan Jabarin notes in the Al-Haq press release.

“More than 80 Palestinians have been injured and at least four Palestinians killed by Israeli attacks in the border regions since the November 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian resistance,” says Adie Mormech, 35, a British activist living in Gaza.

This is in addition to the many Palestinians killed and hundreds injured in previous years of Israeli army attacks on the border regions.

“There is simultaneous action happening in the occupied West Bank,” says Mormech. “They’re planting near Yitzhar colony, which is notorious for its violence against Palestinians.

Quds News Network on Twitter: "Zionist quotes that should never be forgotten on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. (2/2) #Nakba #Nakba72… "

Around the world, an estimated 30 countries are holding actions in solidarity with Palestinian farmers and fishers.”

Um Abed, 65, from Zeitoun is defiant. “Today we’re planting olive trees. God willing next year we’ll plant lemon, date and palm trees. We grow, they bulldoze, we re-plant.”

The boycott action follows a growing number of initiatives emerging in recent years from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian students in Gazan universities stepped up the Boycott call in 2012, releasing Youtube videos calling for political action, not aid, from international supporters.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has attracted international support, including the backing of numerous UK and North American universities and scholars.

Increasing numbers of cultural and religious associations, such as the Quakers’ Friends Fiduciary Corporation, are divesting from corporations that profit from or support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

The United Church of Canada endorsed the boycott of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in August 2012.

Quotes about Zionism (70 quotes)

Dr Haidar Eid, professor at Gaza’s Al-Aqsa University and PACBI member, outlines what BDS entails.

“We are calling for implementation of UN Security Council resolution 242, which calls for withdrawal of occupation forces from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and east Jerusalem.

The second demand is the implementation of the United Nations resolution 194, the return of all Palestinian refugees to the towns and villages from which they were ethnically cleansed in 1948.

The third demand is the end to Israel’s apartheid policies in Palestine 1948. We want equality.”

While civil society and students have been in the forefront of BDS actions in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas government has also taken steps calling for boycott.

Joe Catron, an American activist based in the Gaza Strip, explains one recent government-led campaign.

“The Adidas campaign began in March 2012, when Adidas was sponsoring a marathon through parts of Jerusalem, including parts that are internationally recognised as occupied.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports here called upon the Arab League to boycott Adidas in response to this, which a number of countries did.”

In September 2012, Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture decided to ban most Israeli fruits entering Gaza.

“Palestinian farmers can grow the fruits we consume,” said marketing director in the ministry Tahsen Al-Saqa.

“We need to support and protect our own farmers. They’ve been economically devastated by the Israeli ban on exporting since 2006.”

“Boycott is the key, and it is growing,” says Adie Mormech. “The momentum is so much now that it is not going to stop. It’s going to be like South Africa.”

 

 

 

 

 

Those People in Gaza: Where Do They Come From, And Why Are They So Mad?

1948 “The birth of a new specimen of human being”

Zionist writer Ahad Ha’am, “Emet me-Eretz Israel” (Truth from the Land of Israel), 1891 in Kol Kitvei Ahad Ha’am (Complete Works of Ahad Ha’am), (Tel Aviv, 1946), pp. 24-29 [Below narrative]

lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2009/01/a-land-without-a-people.html

“We tend to believe abroad that Palestine is nowadays almost completely deserted,

Young turks_grand serai_jaffa

Jaffa, Palestine: Palestinians gather at the Grand Serai (local government offices) in July 1908, to celebrate the al-Hurriyah Revolution (i.e. the Young Turks Revolution) against Sultan Abdul Hamid and in favor of the restoration of the constitution and the holding of Parliamentary elections. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora).

a noncultivated wilderness, 

Jaffa beach front_pre1914

Jaffa, Palestine: General view of the city from the sea looking east, pre-1914. (Matson Collection, 1898-1914).

and anyone can come there and buy as much land as his heart desires.

Jaffa clock tower pre1914

Jaffa, Palestine: Street scene in the old city next to the Jaffa’s famous Clock tower, pre-1914 (Matson Collection). 

But in reality this is not the case.

The bazaar in jaffa 1896

Jaffa, Palestine: The bazaar in 1896.

It is difficult to find anywhere in the country Arab land which lies follow; 

Jaffa and its orange groves pre-1914

Jaffa, Palestine: General view of Jaffa and its orange groves, facing south; before 1914. (Matson Collection)

the only areas which are not cultivated are sand dunes or stony mountains,

Harvesting jaffa oranges

Jaffa, Palestine: Harvesting the oranges. (Matson Collection)

which can be only planted with trees,

Sorting jaffa oranges 1920s

Jaffa, Palestine: Sorting and packing citrus fruits, 1920’s.

and even this only after much labor and capital would be invested

Packing jaffa oranges

Jaffa, Palestine: Oranges being wrapped for sale. (Matson Collection). 

in clearance and preparation…

Jaffa oranges for export

Jaffa, Palestine: Boxed Jaffa oranges being loaded for export, early 1920’s. Jaffa oranges were Palestine’s leading export. After 1948, Jaffa’s nationalized orange groves and the established markets for their products provided the major source of income for the new state of Israel. 

We tend to believe abroad that all Arabs are desert barbarians,

Al-Ameiryah High School_staff

Jaffa, Palestine: The staff of the Government Secondary Boys’ School (al-Ameiryah High School) in 1923. Seated center is Salim Katul, author of a series of textbooks in Arabic on the natural sciences.

an asinine people who does not see or understand what is going on around them.

Orthodox elementary school_jaffa

Jaffa, Palestine: Elementary school pupils at the National Christian Orthodox School (1938).

This is a cardinal mistake…

Jaffa secondary school

Jaffa, Palestine: Carpentry class at the Government Secondary Boys’ School, 1924. The inscription over the door reads, “The least worthy of you are the least learned”.

[When] the day will come in which the life of our people in the Land of Israel 

Orthodox school band_jaffa

Jaffa, Palestine: The band of the National Christian Orthodox School (1938)

will develop to such a degree that they will push aside the local population by little or by much,

Al-Ameiryah boy scouts

Jaffa, Palestine: Wolf Cubs and Boy Scouts with camping gear, at the Government Secondary Boys’ School, 1924.

then it will not easily give up its place…

Jaffa high school soccer team

Jaffa, Palestine: The Government Secondary Boys’ School first XI (Soccer) in 1923.

One thing we certainly should have learned from our past and present history,

Jaffa demonstration 1933

Jaffa, Palestine: Palestinians demonstrate in Jaffa’s central square against the plans of the British government to increase Zionist immigration into Palestine, 27 October 1933.

and that is not to create anger among the local population against us… 

Musa Pasha Kathem
Jaffa, Palestine: British Soldiers clubbing Palestinian dignitary Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husseini at the 27 October 1933 demonstration against British policy on Zionist immigration into Palestine. Musa Kazim Pasha al-Husseini died six months later, 27 March 1934, at the age of eighty-one, having never recovered from the effects of this beating. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora).

We have to treat the local population with love and respect, justly and rightly.

Arab revolt_jaffa demo 1936

Jaffa, Palestine: The beginning of the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. British riot police clash with Palestinian demonstrators protesting Britain’s pro-Zionist policies (specifically increasing Zionist immigration into Palestine), Central Square, Jaffa, 12 June 1936. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora).

And what do our brethren in the Land of Israel do? Exactly the opposite! 

Stop and search_arab revolt_jaffa

Jaffa, Palestine: British soldiers search one of Jaffa’s residents during the Arab Revolt, 1936.

[T]hey behave toward the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, 

Jaffa palestine_punitive demolitions1

The Punishment of Jaffa, Palestine: British soldiers cordon off Jaffa’s old city in preparation for the punitive demolition of Palestinian buildings in reprisal for the Arab Revolt against British policy in Palestine; 1936.

infringe upon their boundaries, 

Jaffa palestine_punitive demolitions4

The Punishment of Jaffa, Palestine: British soldiers carry out punitive demolitions in the old city, in reprisal for the Arab Revolt against British policy in Palestine; 1936.

hit them shamefully without reason, and even brag about it.

Grand saraya truck bomb 1948
Jaffa, Palestine: The ruins of the Grand Serai (local govt offices, see the first photo in this post).
A truck loaded with explosives covered with oranges was parked outside the entrance on 4 January 1948 by members of the Zionist militant organization, Lohemai Herut Israel (the Stern Gang). The resulting explosion destroyed the building and killed 26 Palestinian civilians. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora)

Jaffa was the most advanced city in Palestine, and had approximately 70,000 Palestinian inhabitants. The U.N. assigned Jaffa to Arab Palestine in UNGAR 181 of 29 November 1947.
But Jaffa was always going to be vulnerable to Zionist attack as it was an Arab enclave surrounded by Jewish Palestine, and abutted Tel Aviv, which contained the greatest concentration of Jewish population anywhere in Palestine.
In the last four months of British rule, contemporary British Palestine Police and British Army records report the following Zionist attacks on the citizens of Jaffa. I have excluded from the list attacks against military targets:
1 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1200 hours, Jaffa. An explosion occurred in an Arab owned block of flats in Suq El Yehud, near Manshieh Police Station. The flats were completely demolished and slight damage was caused to the police station. Mohammed Ahmed Ismail, aged 20 of Manshieh Quarter, was slightly injured in the hand by glass splinters and was discharged after treatment.

An Arab has reported to police that earlier he had seen four Jews carrying a barrel-shaped object. CO 537/3855

1 JANUARY 1948 During the afternoon of 1 January, a bunch of Irgun Z’vai Leumi thugs dressed in battledress and steel helmets drove at speed through Jaffa and fired at Arabs sitting outside a cafe. They killed two and wounded nine others before crashing through an Arab road block and disappearing into Tel Aviv. To emphasize the illusion that the British are responsible for all disorder in the country, they were wearing the flashes of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. WO 275/64

1 JANUARY 1948
Small party of Jews entered block of flats 40 yards in rear Shell Petrol Station, Jaffa, and placed a bomb which demolished the block of flats. So far, 1 Arab injured by flying debris. WO 275/64

4 JANUARY 1948 At 12:25 p.m. two Jewish terrorists, one driving a truck loaded with time bombs and the other driving a jeep, both as usual in British uniforms, drove to the end of a lane between the Arab welfare and relief centre in Jaffa housing children and the Barclay’s Bank.

The truck was driven in the lane and left there, and the driver was picked up by the jeep driver who was waiting for him. As they drove away, the whole town was rocked by a powerful explosion and many distant buildings were damaged by the concussion.

The welfare centre was demolished. Seventeen Arabs were killed in this coldblooded murderous attack and 106 were wounded. Among those killed and seriously wounded were women and children. (United Nations Security Council Official Records, Supplements – 1948).

4 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1240 hours, Jaffa. The Old Serrai in Clock Tower Square which houses the offices of the Arab National Committee, was completely destroyed by an explosion which killed 15 and injured 98 persons.

Buildings nearby including Barclay’s Bank, the Central Police Station and several shops and houses were also extensively damaged. Full details of how the attack was carried out are not yet available, but it is believed the attackers arrived at the scene in two vehicles? a 3-ton truck laden with orange boxes and a saloon car. Proceeding up Bustros Street towards Clock Tower Square? the truck turned left into the narrow lane between Barclay’s Bank and the Old Serrai.

The saloon car was seen to park some 20 metres north of Central P.S. near the road leading to the port area. The truck was parked at a point about 20 yards along the above mentioned lane. Two persons, dressed as Arabs, were seen to alight from the truck and walk across the square.

They got into the waiting car which drove off in the direction of the Ajami Quarter. Almost immediately following the departure of the car, the explosion occurred. Tons of masonry from the Old Serrai building completely blocked the land running beside it, A fire subsequently broke out in Barclay’s Bank but was extinguished.

A strong-room situated in the upper storey of the bank was blown in and a considerable amount of money was salvaged and taken into police custody. The entire area was wired off to facilitate salvage operations and to prevent looting.

It is reported from TeI Aviv that Irgun Z’vai Leumi have claimed responsibility for this outrage. Tension has risen to a high pitch in Jaffa as a result of this attack, and a certain degree of anti-Government feeling has been expressed.

Details of the casualties are as follows:- Dead: 1) Mohammed Abdul Hallak (aged 12); 2) Abudul Sattah Wahab Jaber (20); 3) Ali Kastika; 4) Mohammed Said Abu Hassan (40); 5) Ahamad Derdanji (45); 6) Ahmad Hawari; 7) Yusef Abu Sheikh (25); 8) Ahmad Faris Shehadi (25); 9) Sa’ad Abil Majid Zein (25); 10) 15 unidentified. Injured: 1) Said Kheber Said (25) – serious; 2) Abed Ahmad Duknak ( 10) – serious; 3) Abed Mahmoud Shulayeh (17) – serious; 4) Ashraf Tewfik Lufti (28) – serious; 5) Naji Said Mughrabi – serious; 6) Mohammed Ibrahim Mughrabi – serious; 7) Taha Abu Rabah (35) – serious; 8) Mohammed Hassan Ibrahim (20) – serious; 9) Rasmiyeh Saba (22) – serious; 10) Abed Mustafe Abu Wazni (30) – serious; 11) Hishan Alami (35) – not serious; 12) Ibrahim Mustafa Najar (25) – not serious. All the above named are in the Dajani Hospital. 13) Huda Abu Labm (20) – not serious; 14) Said Afif Atout (19) – not serious; 15) Rafik Salami (27) – not serious; The above three are in the Government Hospital, 16) Ahmad Mahmoud Taher (30) – serious; 17) Ahmad Ahmad Nel(25) – serious; 18) Ali Hassan Ashoura (20) – not serious; 19) Ahmad Ismail Abu Shabayeh (22) – not serious; 20) Rais Hassan Abu Chouleh (70) – not serious. The above-mentioned five are in the French Hospital. Seventy-eight other persons were treated in hospitals for slight injuries but were not detained.
CO 537/3855

8 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0245 hours, Jaffa. Unknown persons placed a bomb against the house of Haj Abed El Jaber Lahloub, situated at the western side of Beit Dajan village. The bomb exploded causing extensive damage to the house? but no casualties.
CO 537/3855

9 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0730 hours, Jaffa. Near Jaffa Railway Station; two ‘buses conveying Arab railway employees to Lydda were fired upon from automatic weapons from Jewish houses overlooking their station. Hassan Hilu of Jaffa sustained a slight bullet wound in the leg, and two other Arabs were slightly injured by glass splinters.
CO 537/3855

10/11 JANUARY 1948 Gaza, 2130 hours. Shots are reported to have been fired from a passing vehicle into an orange grove on Sawafir Sharki lands near the main GadJaffa road. At 0800 hours on 11 January, 1948, the body of a labourer, Abdul Khader Mohammed En Nasri of Jaffa, was found in the grove. He has sustained bullet wounds.
CO 537/3855

14 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0730 hours, Jaffa. Abdul Fattah Hassan Khalil, an employee of the Palestine Railways, was shot and injured in the foot while walking in Jaffa Railway Station. The bullet came from the direction of a house occupied by Jews and situated north of the station. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. His condition is not serious. CO 537/3855

14 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1000 hours, Jaffa. Two unidentified Arabs were shot and killed by unknown persons in Arlin Street, Manshieh Quarter.
CO 537/3855

20 JANUARY 1948 1430 hours, Jaffa. On the Manshieh beach, Abed Mohammed Jerieh (25) and Khader Mohammed El Jaber (201, both of Manshieh, were hit by bullets fired from the direction of Tel Aviv. The first named was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa, but was found to be dead on arrival. Jaber was admitted to the Dajani Hospital in serious condition.
CO 537/3855

20 JANUARY 1948 1430 hours, Jaffa. On the Manshieh beach, Abed Mohammed Jerieh (25) and Khader Mohammed El Jaber (201, both of Manshieh, were hit by bullets fired from the direction of Tel Aviv. The first named was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa, but was found to be dead on arrival. Jaber was admitted to the Dajani Hospital in serious condition.
CO 537/3855

20 JANUARY 1948 1630 hours, Jaffa. In Salameh Road, a woman, Sisteh Nesrameh (33, of Jaffa, was hit in the arm by a bullet fired from the direction of Tel Aviv. She was admitted to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. Her condition is not serious.
CO 537/3855

21 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0001 hours, Jaffa. A party of Jews opened fire on the Municipal Slaughter House on the Jaffa/Jerusalem road, causing no known casualties or damage. A quantity of first aid kit and bottles containing what is believed to be an incendiary liquid were left behind by the attackers.
CO 537/3855

21 JANUARY 1948 0900 hours, Jaffa. Following a report that armed Jews, who had arrived in a truck, had been seen digging holes north of Jaffa Railway Station, police found four gun emplacements and an unexploded mortar bomb.
CO 537/3855

21 JANUARY 1948 1100 hours, Jaffa. Ten Arab houses in Arlin Street were blown up by Jews, the explosions being followed by heavy firing. No casualties have been reported.
CO 537/3855

21 JANUARY 1948 Jewish terrorists were seen trying to enter certain Arab houses in the border area of Jaffa-Tel Aviv. 

22 JANUARY 1948 1100 hours, Bassa Lands, Jaffa. The following persons were shot on BassaLands by Jewish snipers, believed to have been positioned in the vicinity of the Spirit Factory in Abu Kebir on the JaffaIJerusalem road: Dead – Sulieman Hassan Nattar (25), of Trans-Jordan. Seriously injured – 1) Abdul Khadar Nattar (28), of Trans-Jordan; 2) Harned Naher Saleh Tadder (25), of Trans-Jordan; 3) Mohammed Hajeh Hijaz, of Bassa; 4) Mohammed Zafer Hijazi, of Bassa.
CO 537/3855

22 JANUARY 1948 1800 hours, Jaffa. The body of Abdul Natif Omar (25), of Nablus, was admitted to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. He had been shot dead by Jewish snipers near the Spirit Factory in the Abu Kebir area.
CO 537/3855

23 JANUARY 1948 1345 hours, Jaffa. At Salama village, Sheikh Ibrahim Moghrabi, aged 21, of Salama, sustained severe bullet wounds in the back when fired upon by Jewish snipers.
CO 537/3855

23 JANUARY 1948 1511 hours, Jaffa. Arab traffic was fired upon from one of the Miqveh Israel Colony orange groves, and the fire was returned by the crew of an armoured car. No casualties have been reported.
CO 537/3855

25 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1145 hours, Jaffa. Two Arab houses in Arlin Street, Manshieh Quarter, were blown up by Jews and completely destroyed. No casualties have been reported.
CO 537/3856

25 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1300 hours, Jaffa. The body of Mohammed Khalil Khalaf, aged 20 of Manshieh Quarter, who is stated to have been killed by a bomb thrown from the Manshieh Quarter during the morning, was admitted to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3856

25 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1700 hours, Jaffa. The following casualties were caused when a bomb exploded in an Arab house in Jabaliya Quarter: Dead – Shafic El Asfar (25); Sami El Asfar (30).
CO 537/3856

27 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1745 hours, Jaffa. In Manshieh Quarter, Mohammed Khalil Omar, aged 20 of Qalqiliya, was seriously wounded in the stomach by a bullet fired by a Jewish sniper from the direction of Tel Aviv.
CO 537/3856

1 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1645 hours, Jaffa. Hula1 Salim (451, of Jaffa, was admitted to the Government Hospital with a bullet wound in his side. His condition is serious. He was shot from the direction of Tel Aviv while walking on Bassa Lands.
CO 537/3856

1 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1700 hours, Jaffa. Ismail Salmi Hussein (43, of Jaffa, was shot on Bassa Lands by a bullet from the direction of Tel Aviv. He was removed to the Government Hospital, where his condition is not serious.

2 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. Approximately 1645 hours, Jaffa. Unknown persons blew up the houses of Mohammed Natour and Ali Sambo, the bakeries of Abu Sbuhi El Asfour and Subhi El Asfour and an Arab Girls’ School, all situated in Hassan Bey Street. Damage is roughly estimated at LP, 70,000.
CO 537/3856

4 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 0730 hours, Jaffa. Whilst walking near an Arab road block on the Jerusalem road on the outskirt of Jaffa, Ibrahim Hanna Bamdah, aged 20 of Jaffa, and a thirty-yearold Arab woman from Jaffa named Hameeni were shot and killed by unknown persons.
CO 537/3856

8 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1450 hours. In the Manshieh Quarter, Naif Yusef Saleh Ed Din of Syria, who was living in Jaffa, was shot and slightly wounded by snipers. He was removed to the Government Hospital where his condition is reported to be not serious.
CO 537/3856

10 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. The house of Mohammed Salim Kalha in the Manshieh Quarter of Jaffa was burnt and completely destroyed by Jews. The damage is estimated at LP.8,000.
CO 537/3856

11 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 2200 hours, Jaffa. In Ajami Road, Jaffa, Yousef Salah Ed Din (30) of Beit Rima, Ramallah Sub-District, was shot in the head and killed by unknown persons.
CO 537/3856

12 FEBRUARY 1948 Cemeteries of all the Christian communities in Jaffa are grouped in one locality, each having its own guard. Zionist terrorists from the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Bath Yom opened fire and hurled hand grenades on the Christian cemeteries. Five Christian Arabs were killed, including three girls aged five, eight and eleven.
United Nations Security Council Official Records, Supplements – 1948.

12/13 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. Night, 12/13 February, 1948, Jaffa. It is reported that the house of Eid Hasim Esh Shatra in Jebaliya Quarter was destroyed by Jews. The damage is estimated at LP. 7,200.
CO 537/3856

13 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1030 hours, Jaffa. A party of Jews directed fire from three mortars at the Jaffa Railway Station Goods Yard. The bombs exploded causing no damage or casualties. The attack was accompanied by small arms fire for approximately five minutes.
CO 537/3856

13 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1300 hours, Jaffa. The following persons were ! injured when a mortar bomb struck their house in Jabaliya Quarter: Seriously Injured – Fattah Sawan (20). Slightly injured – Othman Sawan (12); Ina’am bint Mahmoud Sawan; Mafeedem bint Mahmoud Sawan (10). All were removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3856

15 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1230 hours, Jaffa. Three of four mortar bombs, believed to have been fired from Tel Aviv, exploded in the area of Jaffa Railway Station. There were no casualties. Municipal Police replied with rifle fire with no known results. CO 537/3856

16 FEBRUARY, 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. In the Jabaliya Quarter, Ihsan Said Masri (35) of Jaffa was shot dead by a Jewish sniper from Holon.
CO 537/3856

17 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 0030 to 0600 hours, Jaffa/T.A. border area. Numerous explosions and automatic fire were heard from the Abu KebirJSalameh Road and Tel Er Rish areas. No casualties were reported. Jews were alleged to be firing from the Hatiqva Quarter to Holon under cover of this fire.
CO 537/3856

20 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 21 30 hours, Jaffa. Abdul Mahdi El Azzar (23) of Jebeliya Quarter was shot and killed by Jewish snipers.
CO 537/3856

22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1130 hours, Jaffa. In Manshieh Quarter, Ali Abu Adwan (35) of Manshieh Quarter was shot in the head by a Jewish sniper firing from Tel Aviv. He died in the French Hospital at 1430 hours.
CO 537/3856

22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1200 hours, Jaffa. At Tel Er Rish, Kassim Mohammed Saleh (20) of Tel Er Rish was shot by a Jewish sniper and died from his wounds upon admission to the French Hospital.
CO 537/3856

22 FEBRUARY 1948 1230 hours, Arab bus fired on between Jaffa and Ramle. 2 Arabs wounded.
WO 261/573

22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Othman Khalil Boutanji (22) of Dura village was shot and slightly wounded by unknown persons on Bassa lands. He was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
CO 537/3856

22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1600 hours, Jaffa. In Manshieh Quarter, Amneh bint Sulieman El Ashi (12) of Manshieh Quarter was shot in the abdomen and seriously wounded by unknown persons. She succumbed to her injuries at 2130 hours in the Dajani Hospital.
CO 537/3856

23 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 0930 hours, Jaffa. In the Jabaliya Quarter, Hassan Hussein Saleh (3 1) of Jabaliya was wounded in the right hand by a bullet from the direction of Bat Yam brewery. He was slightly injured and discharged after treatment at the Govemment Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3856

23 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1515 hours, Jaffa. In Jaffa Port, Abed Abdullah Halabi (30) of Jaffa was shot and slightly wounded in the leg by unknown persons. He was removed to the Government Hospital. His condition is not serious.
CO 537/3856

25 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 2200 hours, Jaffa. The body of Samis Khorub (27) of Jabaliya Quarter was admitted to the Government Hospital. He had been killed when a mortar bomb exploded in the Jabaliya Quarter. Two other Arabs were at the same time admitted to the hospital, suffering from shock caused by the same explosion.
CO 537/3856

1 MARCH 1948 Lydda. Morning, Jaffa. In Tel Er Rish, Ahmed Mustafa Ahmed (27) of Tel Er Rish was shot and killed by unknown persons. His body was taken to the French Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3856

2 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0940 hours, Jaffa. Jewish snipers positioned in a house between the Migdem Chocolate Factory and a distillery on the Assem Bey Road commenced firing into the area between the Jaffa/Jerusalem road and the Abu Kebir track. An Arab woman, Aisha Hassan Sadem (45) of Jaffa, was seriously wounded. She was removed to the Government Hospital. A military armoured car in the vicinity was fired on. A police armoured car returned the fire with no known result.
CO 537/3856

2 MARCH 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. Ahmed Taher of Manshiya Quarter, complains that during recent disturbances, his house and shop in Carmel Street were blown up and completely destroyed. The value of the property is estimated at LP. 5,500.
CO 537/3856

4 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0200 until 0230 hours, Jaffa. Several explosions and heavy firing were heard from the Bassa lands area. It was subsequently revealed that an Arab owned textile factory on Salameh Road was blown up and completely destroyed. There were no known casualties.
CO 537/3856

5 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1645 hours, Jaffa. A police armoured car patrolling the Abu Kebir area reported that a low-flying monoplane opened fire with automatic weapons into Abu Kebir. Arab witnesses state that this machine also dropped two grenades in the vicinity of the Iron Foundry on the JaffaIJerusalem road.

Mohammed Ibrahim Berbasi was admitted to the Dajani Hospital with a bullet wound in the thigh which he stated was caused by fire from a low-flying plane over Tel Arish. A later account described the ‘plane as being light grey or white with R.A.F. markings on both wings, and the letters ‘VOL’ and some figures on the fuselage.
CO 537/3856

8 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0700 hours, Jaffa. Ahmed Arhan Abu Fammad (32) of Tell Er Rish, who was admitted to the French Hospital at 0500 hours, suffering from wounds received from an exploding mortar bomb in the Tell Er Rish quarter, succumbed to his injuries. The bomb is said to have been fired from the direction of Holon.
CO 537/3856

8 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0930 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Abdullah Yanani (30) of Jaffa, was shot and fatally injured in Arlin Street, Manshieh, by a Jewish sniper. The body was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
CO 537/3856

8 MARCH 1948 Lydda. Approximately 2200 hours, Jaffa. Hassan Khalil Sarkoury (26) of Jebeliya Quarter was injured in the right shoulder when a bomb was thrown by Jews on the Bat Yam/Jebeliya border. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. His condition is not serious.
CO 537/3856

9 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0930 hours, Jaffa. In the Jabaliyeh Quarter, Shafiq Ahmed (22) was wounded in the head by splinters believed to have been caused by a mortar bomb. He was removed to Government Hospital, condition not serious.
CO 537/3856

10 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1510 hours, Jaffa. Arabs employed at the iron foundry situated on the JaffaIJerusalem road near Holon were fired upon by Jews from the direction of Miqve Israel colony. The Arabs returned the fire, which ceased when police armoured cars appeared on the scene. There were no casualties.
CO 537/3856

13/14 MARCH 1948 Jerusalem. Night, Jaffa. On Bassa lands, the ice factory of Hassan Tewfic Abu Ghazaleh, of Jaffa, was attacked by Jews, with mortars and small arms fire. The factory watchman, Ibrahim Getani (22) of Jaffa, was slightly injured and removed to the Dejani Hospital. The building was partly demolished, damage being estimated at approximately LP. 6,000.
CO 537/3856

14 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0130 hours, Jaffa. In the Abu Kebir Quarter, Ali Hassan el Weish (23) of that quarter was killed by snipers. His body was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3856

16 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1530 hours, Jaffa. In Tel er Rish Yousef Ali Abdul Khalil(26), of Mi’ilya village, was shot and fatally wounded by snipers from the Holon area. His body was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3856

18 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1430 hours, Jaffa. On Bassa lands, Ahmed Hussein Tustani (35), of Hebron, was shot and fatally wounded by a sniper from the direction of Tel Aviv. The body was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
CO 537/3856

18 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. The body of Said Butros (25) of Tel er Rish was admitted to the French Hospital in Jaffa. He had been killed by snipers’ bullets in Tel er Rish.
CO 537/3856

18 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1630 hours, Jaffa. Jews blew up eight unoccupied Arab houses in Arlin Street, Manshieh Quarter. They also fired at the Manshieh Police Station and at a police armoured car which approached the scene. The fire was returned by the police, but there were no known casualties.
CO 537/3856

19 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1030 hours, Tel Aviv. A Jewish snipers’ position in Abu Kebir Quarter directed moderate automatic fire into Salama Road, Jaffa. A police arrnoured car proceeded to the scene at approximately 1 100 hours, and the area then became quiet. No casualties have been reported.
CO 537/3856

22/23 MARCH 1948 Lydda. Between 2350 hours 22 March, 1948, and 0145 hours 23 March, 1948, Jaffa. Jebeliya Quarter was attacked by Jews. During the course of the attack, eleven houses and a small mosque were demolished, believed by mortars. The following casualties were admitted to the Government Hospital from the quarter on the morning of 23 March, 1948: Seriously Injured- Dahiel Eissa Ed Dibis (45); Mohammed Marouf El Kaban (35); Abdul Fattah Samara (27).
CO 537/3857

23 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1130 hours, Jaffa. Jewish snipers near Bassa lands commenced firing into King George Avenue, Jaffa. Two Arabs were killed, Ali Darwish Wazieh (12) of Jaffa and Hassan Muharram (30) of Jaffa. At approximately 1230 hours, the Jewish snipers post was silenced by military using two pounders.
CO 537/3857

24 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0230 hours, Jaffa. Several heavy mortar bombs fired from the direction of Tel Aviv in the area of the Hassan Bey Mosque. Some damage was caused to the surrounding wall of the Mosque and to a nearby house. No casualties have been reported.
CO 537/3857

24 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. Ahmed Sabri el Rehawi (20) of Syria, was slightly wounded in the leg by a bullet fired by unknown persons near the Bat Yam Mental Home. He was admitted to the Government Hospital.
CO 537/3857

24 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1935 hours, Jaffa. Jews from Abu Kebir opened fire with mortars on the flour mill in Salama Road. Arabs replied and firing was still continuing at 2000 hours. No further details are yet available.
CO 537/3857

25 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1600 hours, Jaffa. Ali Morffi el Rahidi (35) of Egypt was admitted to the Government Hospital suffering from a bullet wound in the back which he sustained when a Jewish armoured car fired at him in Zarmuqa village. His condition is serious.
CO 537/3857

25 MARCH 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. The house of Farid Jaber in Karton Quarter was destroyed by fire in unknown circumstances. The damage caused is estimated at L.P. 5,000. On the same day at Jaber’s orange grove, situated in Salameh village, damage estimated at L.P. 13,000 is stated to have been caused by Jews using explosive charges.
CO 537/3857

1 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 0955 hours, Jaffa. A mortar bomb, believed to have been fired from Bat Yam, exploded on the house of Assad El Dejani, near Ajami P.S. Slight damage was sustained by the building, but no casualties were caused.
CO 537/3857

1 APRIL 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. Salim Rajab Sha’aban El Moghrabi reports that his house on the Bat YamlJebeliya border was demolished by Jewish mortar fire.
CO 537/3857

2 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1700 hours, Jaffa. Ali Abu Hajas (30), of Manshieh Quarter, was shot and seriously wounded by Jewish snipers in Arlin Street. He was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
CO 537/3857

3 APRIL 1948
Lydda. 0700 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Ahmed Eissa (291, of Egypt, was shot and slightly injured by Jewish snipers in the Karm Et Tut area. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.

CO 537/3857

3 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1100 hours, Jaffa. Four mortar bombs, believed to have been fired from Tel Aviv area, and one mine exploded in the Suq El Yehud causing damage to unoccupied property. The exploding of the mine is believed to have been detonated by one of the bombs. No casualties have been reported.
CO 537/3857

3 APRIL 1948 Lydda. Night, Jaffa. An Arab house, situated in the Jebaliyeh Quarter of Jaffa, was blown up and extensively damaged by Jews and an occupant, Fathmi Shlean (68), was killed.
CO 537/3857

3 APRIL 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. Mohammed Ahmed Eissa, of Kami Et Tut, was shot and seriously injured, by unknown persons, whilst in his village.

He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa, where he died shortly after admission.
CO 537/3857

6 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1630 hours, Jaffa. Jews opened fire on swimmers near the Jaffa Club. The following casualties were caused: Dead – Subhi Ibn Adib Jabour (27), of Jaffa. Serious – Mohammed Ibn Akawi (12), of Jaffa. Slight – Mohammed Mahmoud Kana’an (20), of Jaffa. CO 537/3857 

8 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 0 100 hours, Jaffa. Jews opened mortar fire on the Manshieh Quarter and bombs fell near the Manshieh Police Station and in the Jaffa railway yard. A municipal policeman, No. 1 13, Abdullah Eissa Salim (26), of Jaffa, was slightly injured by splinters whilst on duty in the Suq el Yehud.

A house in the railway yard was destroyed, and Hassan Abu Shimes (35), of Manshieh, was seriously injured. Three mortar bombs exploded in the vicinity of the C.S. Jaffa, and the following two Arabs were injured: Deeb Ahmed Hamed (60), of Jaffa – serious; Yousef Abu Jabrin Bader (25), of Jaffa – not serious.
CO 537/3857

10 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1445 hours, Jaffa. Ahmed Abu Kalim (23), of Manshieh Quarter, was shot and seriously wounded by Jewish snipers whilst in Qaswan Street. He was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
CO 537/3857

10 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1730 hours, Jaffa. Moussa Madon (23), of Ajami Quarter, was shot and killed and Lutfi Ghawi (25), also of Ajami, was slightly wounded while they were walking in El Lisaf Street.

Both were hit by shots fired from the direction of the Railway Station and were removed to the French Hospital.
CO 537/3857

10 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1810 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Abdul Rahman Jainaf (55), of Jaffa, was shot and slightly injuredin Manshieh Quarter by a Jewish sniper. He was removed to the French Hospital, Jaffa.
CO 537/3857

14 APRIL 1948 0230 hours to 0600 hours, 14 April, Jews mortared Jaffa, particularly Manshiya Quarter. No known casualty.
WO 275/66

25 APRIL 1948 Irgun Z’vai Leumi attack Jaffa. Army intervenes and fighting stops. Approximately fifty Arab casualties. Jews blow two gaps in the bridge at Jisr al Majami.

Army reoccupies Sheikh Jarrah, meeting initial resistance from Hagana, but later a truce is negotiated and both sides ordered cease fire. Two Jews killed and two wounded. Four British Soldiers slightly wounded. Jews attack At Tireh, south of Haifa.
WO 261/574

26 APRIL 1948 1030 hours, 26 April, 2 R IR F road block at Jaffa congested by Arab lorries and buses carrying refugees. Congestion cleared and traffic passing road block estimated at rate of 20 vehicles per hour. Refugees fired on by Jewish sniper as they moved off. No casualty.
WO 275/66

26 APRIL 1948 At 1135 hours, 26th April, there was heavy mortaring of Manshieh Quarter, Jaffa, and Manshieh Police Station was attacked by Jews with arrnoured cars, grenades and small arms.

No casualties yet reported.
CO 733/477

26 APRIL 1948 Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Jews attacked Arab quarter Jaffa with mortars and automatics and penetrated as far as the railway station. The Mayor of Tel Aviv was told that unless attack was stopped, military would employ force.

This had the desired effect, and the situation is now quiet. Fifty Arab civilians are believed killed.
CO 537/3875

Our brethren are right when they say that the Arab honours only those who show valour and fortitude;

On 24 April 1948, the Irgun militant Zionist organization opened an attack on the Manshiyeh residential quarter of Jaffa, a narrow Palestinian suburb located beside the sea and largely surrounded by Tel Aviv.

For four days and nights, under the direction of Menachem Begin, the Irgun indiscriminately shelled the quarter with mortars. 

Hansard, the official record of proceedings in the U.K. Parliament, reported:

“On the 5th of May, 1948, the question of the attack by the Irgun Z’vai Leumi on Jaffa was raised.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies was asked whether he had any statement to make on the present situation in Jaffa. Mr. Rees-Williams, the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies answered as follows:

In the early hours of 28th [sic] April a heavy attack on the Arab town of Jaffa was made by the Irgun Zvai Leumi, the method adopted being an indiscriminate mortar bombardment, apparently designed to create panic among the civilian inhabitants.

British forces intervened, supported by aircraft, and in the course of the afternoon the Jews retired to their original positions. By nightfall the border was quiet except for occasional sniping.

A cease-fire was ordered for both sides by the military commander and was observed. British troops then occupied a line between Arabs and Jews on the Tel-Aviv- Jaffa border. On the evening of 30th April, the cease-fire order was broken by fire from the Jewish side, which was quickly silenced by military action. Latest reports indicate that the town is now quiet.

As a rough estimate, some 30,000 Arabs left Jaffa and more are leaving. The Arab mayor is still in Jaffa and municipal services are functioning, although with difficulty… “. (Hansard, House of Commons Debates, May 5, 1948, p. 1238).

The day after the Irgun offensive began, Haganah troops launched Operation Chametz against Jaffa, to isolate and conquer the city.

Irgun troops attack palestinian jaffa_1948
Jaffa, Palestine: Irgunists moving through holes blasted in Palestinian houses. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora)

but this is the case only when he feels that the other side has justice on his side.

Al-Manshiyya jaffa_may 1948

Jaffa, Palestine: The ruins of the Manshiyeh quarter, after indiscriminate bombardment by the Irgun.  

It is very different in a case when [the Arab] thinks that his opponent’s actions are iniquitous and unlawful;

Palestinian refugees from jaffa May 1948

Jaffa, Palestine: Palestinian residents salvage whatever possessions they can carry as they flee the city. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora)

 

By the end of April, the combined Haganah-Irgun offensive had completely encircled Jaffa. Three weeks earlier, the Irgun had attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. The civilian population of Jaffa was well aware of what had happened to the inhabitants of Deir Yassin when the Irgun overran their village, and fear that the same would happen at the fall of Jaffa was influential on the decision of many residents to flee:

We all heard about the massacre. I remember that I read extensive coverage of the horrors in our press, which republished a story from the New York Times. Besides this terrifying news, the Arabs in Jaffa feared they would not be able to defend their honour if they were attacked by the Jews. They were afraid that their women would be subject to the humiliation of Deir Yassin. I was young, but I sensed just how much this worried the people in Jaffa. Having four sisters was enough reason for us to leave, as the Jews considered everything and everyone in the villages they invaded as theirs”.

in that case he may keep his anger to himself for a long time,

Fleeing jaffa harbor_may 1948

Jaffa, Palestine: Palestinians driven into the sea at Jaffa Harbor, late April 1948.  With the land routes cut off by the Haganah, tens of thousands of the citizens of Jaffa and neighboring villages fled by boat: south to Gaza and Egypt, and north to Lebanon. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora)

but it will dwell in his heart

Jaffa refugees_gaza

Jaffa Harbor, Palestine: Palestinian refugees flee Jaffa by boat for Gaza, Apr-May 1948. By the time Jaffa finally fell on 13 May 1948, fewer than 4,000 of its 70,000 residents remained.

and in the long run he will prove himself to be vengeful and full of retribution.

Jewish refugees resettled in jaffa_1949

Jaffa, Israel: Jewish refugees from Europe are resettled in ethnically-cleansed Jaffa, 1949.

Gaza is a one-way ticket

Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

Hamas participated in the Palestinian legislative elections for the first time in 2006 and won. Therefore, Hamas was “legally and democratically elected” for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

These electoral process took place under presence of international observers supplied by the European Union (EU).

Last year, [2019] Prime Minister Netanyahu took unprecedented steps to ban members of the United States Congress from entering the country.

That move came on the heels of an increase in demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and ongoing detention of Palestinian children.

After Hamas’ election, Israel imposed a land, air and sea blockade on the strip, which human-rights organizations say has stifled the economy and had devastating effects on life in Gaza.

An estimated 80% of the 1.3 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza rely on aid and over half a million live in refugee camps.

Between 1948 and 1966 — just months before the 1967 occupation began — Israel employed a military government to rule over the tens of thousands of Palestinians who had remained inside the newly-

established state.
Even though they were granted Israeli citizenship, these communities were placed under curfew and could only travel by permit.

The Invading Zionists left the Palestinians homeless and destitute dependent on foreign aid

Israel’s permit regime and separation policy are thus far from a unique invention; “It’s a very colonial and imperial way to subdue populations,” explains Berda.

Still, she adds, Israel has taken that colonial repertoire “to an extreme, because it is the most sophisticated population management system in the world right now.”

For Baconi, annexation cannot be understood separately from the Gaza blockade, which in turn cannot be disconnected from the practices affecting Palestinian refugees and citizens of Israel.

“These are all policies aimed at ensuring the least number of Palestinians are in the land, the most land is controlled by the Israelis, and that there’s a framework put in place to ensure a Jewish supremacist state,” he says.

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Norman Finkelstein’s new book indicts the ICC for whitewashing “israel”

“The prime impetus. . . was almost certainly to stem the rising tide of humanitarian vessels destined for Gaza.” He concludes that the fundamental truth is that the attack was a key part of “an Israeli plan or policy targeting humanitarian missions destined for Gaza so as to perpetuate crimes against humanity in Gaza.”

This May 31 marks 10 years since Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Humanitarian Flotilla in international waters and killed 10 people. Norman Finkelstein, one of the world’s most effective critics of Israel, is observing the occasion with a persuasive indictment of Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, for refusing to take legal action over Israel’s lethal attack on the Mavi Marmara, the Flotilla’s flagship.

At first glance, Finkelstein’s new book resembles a legal brief. But start reading more closely, and you soon see his trademark indignation, intense and eloquent. The Comoro Islands, where the Mavi Marmara was registered, brought the Gaza Flotilla case to the ICC in 2013, and Finkelstein points out that the chief prosecutor since then has tried to bury it 3 times. He is not diplomatic; he charges that she “defiled her office by refusing to investigate credible allegations of Israeli criminality.”

Finkelstein, with his characteristic Talmudic scholarship, scrutinizes various human rights reports on Israel’s killings on the ship, examining them alongside the Israel government’s own alleged self-inquiry. He points out, chapter and verse, just how Fatou Bensouda accepted Israel’s version of events (which Amnesty International described as a “whitewash”) while dismissing contradictory reports from the U.N. Human Rights Council and the U.N. Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry.

He argues that as a consequence Bensouda “grossly misrepresent[ed] the facts of the assault” itself. But even worse — she took Israel’s armed commando attack as an isolated event, instead of connecting it to even larger Israeli crimes: “the illegal Israeli blockade and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.”

Let’s start with the actual Israeli assault. Bensouda echoed Israel’s alibi; it planned to stop the Flotilla peacefully, its commandos met with resistance when they boarded the Mavi Marmara, after which perhaps some excesses happened but the actions of a few Israeli soldiers didn’t rise to the level of a case that the International Criminal Court should take up. Finkelstein crushes this version. If Israel truly expected to act nonviolently,

then why did they deploy an elite commando unit trained to kill, not the Israeli coast guard or a police-like unit accustomed to handling civil resisters?

His indignation rises further when he considers Israel’s allegations that some of the passengers on the ship planned “extremely violent” resistance. He asks why these allegedly violent resisters “didn’t manage to kill any of the commandos,” but Israeli soldiers who were supposedly “rehearsed in the moral imperative to execute the operation ‘without any injuries’ ended up killing 10 passengers by shooting each of them multiple times, five in the head and even at point-blank range.”

(Another reason the outside world was confused about what happened on the Mavi Marmara was awful mainstream press coverage. At the time, this site noted that the New York Times religiously transmitted the Israeli version, but did not interview one single eyewitness from on board the ship.)

But Bensouda’s ignoring the Israeli siege of Gaza is the even greater injustice. Finkelstein concludes:

She refused to pronounce the blockade illegal, she effectively ignored the humanitarian catastrophe induced by the blockade. . . Had she properly rooted the assault [on the Mavi Marmara] in its critical context, the Prosecutor would have been hard-pressed to curtly dismiss the charge of Crimes against humanity.

Norman Finkelstein has a sharply different interpretation of the Israeli attack. He makes “the reasonable inference that Israel sought a bloody confrontation, although probably not on the scale that ensued.” He adds, “The prime impetus. . . was almost certainly to stem the rising tide of humanitarian vessels destined for Gaza.” He concludes that the fundamental truth is that the attack was a key part of “an Israeli plan or policy targeting humanitarian missions destined for Gaza so as to perpetuate crimes against humanity in Gaza.”

What’s worse, in the past 10 years Israel’s plan has largely worked. Resistance inside Gaza does continue, but the besieged territory is poorer and more isolated than ever. Finkelstein includes a long Appendix detailing Israeli crimes during its 2014 invasion of Gaza, and he traces the ongoing impunity right back to the failure of justice for the 10 dead on the Mavi Marmara. (He has even more detail in his vital longer work from 2018: Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom.)

I Accuse! ends on a slightly upbeat note. In a last-minute postscript, Finkelstein notes that on December 20, 2019 Prosecutor Bensouda announced that, in response to a referral from the “State of Palestine,” the Court will open an investigation — although not into the Gaza Flotilla. He closes:

It is imperative to stay vigilant. The evidence amassed in these pages makes clear that the Prosecutor will not be persuaded by facts and reason but, instead, by the political forces at play behind closed doors and in the court of public opinion. Whereas Israel will bring to bear every squalid and sordid instrument in its arsenal, the forces arrayed against it will be able to draw on the mighty weapons of Truth and Justice. All eyes are now riveted on the Chief Prosecutor as the unfolding drama decides which side will prevail in this epic struggle.

“israeli” Zio-Nazi Terrorist Tell of Killing Gaza Civilians

Out of everything I’ve read and heard about Palestine, I did not grasp the reality until I visited myself. The reality is beyond the imagination and there are really no words to describe it. You feel it as much as see it.

The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists…” Edgar Hoover

An “israeli” terrorist prays atop his tank near the Gaza border on Jan. 28, 2008

‘That’s what is so nice  about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon… and you can just shoot him’

(Editor’s note: the “israeli” newspapers Haaretz and Maariv published some testimonies of “israeli” soldiers who fought in the war in Gaza.  The following story appeared in the weekend edition of Haaretz and was published in the March 27 edition of the AJW in an abridged form.)

By AMOS HAREL / Haaretz

Less than a month after the end of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, dozens of graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory program convened at Oranim Academic College in Kiryat Tivon. Since 1998 the program has prepared participants for what is considered meaningful military service.

Many assume command positions in combat and other elite units of the “israel” Occupation Forces (IOF). The program’s founder, Danny Zamir, still heads it today and also serves as deputy battalion commander in a reserve unit.

War in Gaza Aftermath

The previous Friday, Feb. 13, Zamir had invited combat ‘soldiers’ and officers who graduated the program for a lengthy discussion of their experiences in Gaza. They spoke openly, but also with considerable frustration.

Following are extensive excerpts from the transcript of the meeting, as it appears in the program’s bulletin, Briza, which was published on March 18. The names of the ‘soldiers’ have been changed to preserve their anonymity.

The editors have also left out some of the details concerning the identity of the units that operated in a problematic way in Gaza.

Danny Zamir: “I don’t intend for us to evaluate the achievements and the diplomatic-political significance of Operation Cast Lead this evening, nor need we deal with the systemic military aspect [of it].

However, discussion is necessary because this was, all told, an exceptional war action in terms of the history of the IOF, which has set new limits for the army’s ethical code and that of the State of “israel” as a whole.

“This is an action that sowed massive destruction among civilians. It is not certain that it was possible do have done it differently, but ultimately we have emerged from this operation and are not facing real paralysis from the Qassam [rockets].

It is very possible that we will repeat such an operation on a larger scale in the years to come, because the problem in the Gaza Strip is not simple and it is not at all certain that it has been solved. What we want this evening is to hear from the fighters.”

Aviv: “I am squad commander of a company that is still in training, from the Givati Brigade. We went into a neighborhood in the southern part of Gaza City. Altogether, this is a special experience.

In the course of the training, you wait for the day you will go into Gaza, and in the end it isn’t really like they say it is. It’s more like, you come, you take over a house, you kick the tenants out and you move in. We stayed in a house for something like a week.

“Toward the end of the operation there was a plan to go into a very densely populated area inside Gaza City itself. In the briefings they started to talk to us about orders for opening fire inside the city, because as you know they used a huge amount of firepower and killed a huge number of people along the way, so that we wouldn’t get hurt and they wouldn’t fire on us.

“At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, “cruel”] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then… I call this murder… in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified — we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?

“From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn’t fled. I didn’t really understand: On the one hand they don’t really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they’re telling us they hadn’t fled so it’s their fault… This also scared me a bit.

I tried to exert some influence, insofar as is possible from within my subordinate position, to change this. In the end the specification involved going into a house, operating megaphones and telling [the tenants]: ‘Come on, everyone get out, you have five minutes, leave the house, anyone who doesn’t get out gets killed.’

“I went to our soldiers and said, ‘The order has changed. We go into the house, they have five minutes to escape, we check each person who goes out individually to see that he has no weapons, and then we start going into the house floor by floor to clean it out… This means going into the house, opening fire at everything that moves , throwing a grenade, all those things.

And then there was a very annoying moment. One of my soldiers came to me and asked, ‘Why?’ I said, ‘What isn’t clear? We don’t want to kill innocent civilians.’ He goes, ‘Yeah? Anyone who’s in there is a terrorist, that’s a known fact.’

I said, ‘Do you think the people there will really run away? No one will run away.’ He says, ‘That’s clear,’ and then his buddies join in: ‘We need to murder any person who’s in there. Yeah, any person who’s in Gaza is a terrorist,’ and all the other things that they stuff our heads with, in the media.

“And then I try to explain to the guy that not everyone who is in there is a terrorist, and that after he kills, say, three children and four mothers, we’ll go upstairs and kill another 20 or so people.

And in the end it turns out that [there are] eight floors times five apartments on a floor — something like a minimum of 40 or 50 families that you murder.

I tried to explain why we had to let them leave, and only then go into the houses. It didn’t really help. This is really frustrating, to see that they understand that inside Gaza you are allowed to do anything you want, to break down doors of houses for no reason other than it’s cool.

“You do not get the impression from the officers that there is any logic to it, but they won’t say anything. To write ‘death to the Arabs’ on the walls, to take family pictures and spit on them, just because you can. I think this is the main thing in understanding how much the IOF has fallen in the realm of ethics, really. It’s what I’ll remember the most.”

“One of our officers, a company commander, saw someone coming on some road, a woman, an old woman. She was walking along pretty far away, but close enough so you could take out someone you saw there. If she were suspicious, not suspicious — I don’t know. In the end, he sent people up to the roof, to take her out with their weapons. From the description of this story, I simply felt it was murder in cold blood.”

Zamir: “I don’t understand. Why did he shoot her?”

Aviv: “That’s what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon, you don’t have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him. With us it was an old woman, on whom I didn’t see any weapon.

The order was to take the person out, that woman, the moment you see her.”

Zvi: “Aviv’s descriptions are accurate, but it’s possible to understand where this is coming from. And that woman, you don’t know whether she’s… She wasn’t supposed to be there, because there were announcements and there were bombings. Logic says she shouldn’t be there. The way you describe it, as murder in cold blood, that isn’t right. It’s known that they have lookouts and that sort of thing.”

Gilad: “Even before we went in, the battalion commander made it clear to everyone that a very important lesson from the Second Lebanon War was the way the IOF goes in — with a lot of fire. The intention was to protect soldiers’ lives by means of firepower.

In the operation the IOF’s losses really were light and the price was that a lot of Palestinians got killed.”

Ram: “I serve in an operations company in the Givati Brigade. After we’d gone into the first houses, there was a house with a family inside. Entry was relatively calm. We didn’t open fire, we just yelled at everyone to come down. We put them in a room and then left the house and entered it from a different lot.

 A few days after we went in, there was an order to release the family. They had set up positions upstairs. There was a sharpshooters’ position on the roof. The platoon commander let the family go and told them to go to the right.

One mother and her two children didn’t understand and went to the left, but they forgot to tell the sharpshooter on the roof they had let them go, and it was okay and he should hold his fire and he… he did what he was supposed to, like he was following his orders.”

Question from the audience: “At what range was this?”

Ram: “Between 100 and 200 meters, something like that. They had also came out of the house that he was on the roof of, they had advanced a bit and suddenly he saw them, people moving around in an area where they were forbidden to move around.

I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to… I don’t know how to describe it…. The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, [are] something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers.

So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way.”

Yuval Friedman (chief instructor at the Rabin program): “Wasn’t there a standing order to request permission to open fire?”

Ram: “No. It exists, beyond a certain line. The idea is that you are afraid that they are going to escape from you.

If a terrorist is approaching and he is too close, he could blow up the house or something like that.”

Zamir: “After a killing like that, by mistake, do they do some sort of investigation in the IOF? Do they look into how they could have corrected it?”

Ram: “They haven’t come from the Military Police’s investigative unit yet. There hasn’t been any… For all incidents, there are individual investigations and general examinations, of all of the conduct of the war. But they haven’t focused on this specifically.”

Gazans Dig Dead from Rubble in Scenes of War Devastation — Naharnet

Moshe: “The attitude is very simple: It isn’t pleasant to say so, but no one cares at all. We aren’t investigating this. This is what happens during fighting and this is what happens during routine security.”

Ram: “What I do remember in particular at the beginning is the feeling of almost a religious mission. My sergeant is a student at a hesder yeshiva [a program that combines religious study and military service].

Before we went in, he assembled the whole platoon and led the prayer for those going into battle. A brigade rabbi was there, who afterward came into Gaza and went around patting us on the shoulder and encouraging us, and praying with people.

And also when we were inside they sent in those booklets, full of psalms, a ton of psalms. I think that at least in the house I was in for a week, we could have filled a room with the psalms they sent us, and other booklets like that.

“There was a huge gap between what the Education Corps sent out and what the IOF rabbinate sent out. The Education Corps published a pamphlet for commanders — something about the history of “israel’s” fighting in Gaza from 1948 to the present.

The rabbinate brought in a lot of booklets and articles, and… their message was very clear: We are the Jewish people, we came to this land by a miracle, God brought us back to this land and now we need to fight to expel the gentiles who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.

This was the main message, and the whole sense many soldiers had in this operation was of a religious war. From my position as a commander and ‘explainer,’ I attempted to talk about the politics – the streams in Palestinian society, about how not everyone who is in Gaza is Hamas, and not every inhabitant wants to vanquish us.

I wanted to explain to the soldiers that this war is not a war for the sanctification of the holy name, but rather one to stop the Qassams.”

Zamir: “I would like to ask the pilots who are here, Gideon and Yonatan, to tell us a little about their perspective. As an infantryman, this has always interested me. How does it feel when you bomb a city like that?”

Gideon: “First of all, about what you have said concerning the crazy amounts of firepower: Right in the first foray in the fighting, the quantities were very impressive, very large, and this is mainly what sent all the Hamasniks into hiding in the deepest shelters and kept them from showing their faces until some two weeks after the fighting.

“In general the way that it works for us, just so you will understand the differences a bit, is that at night I would come to the squadron, do one foray in Gaza and go home to sleep. I go home to sleep in Tel Aviv, in my warm bed. I’m not stuck in a bed in the home of a Palestinian family, so life is a little better.

“When I’m with the squadron, I don’t see a terrorist who is launching a Qassam and then decide to fly out to get him. There is a whole system that supports us, that serves as eyes, ears and intelligence for every plane that takes off, and creates more and more targets in real-time, of one level of legitimacy or another.

In any case, I try to believe that these are targets [determined according to] the highest possible level of legitimacy.

“They dropped leaflets over Gaza and would sometimes fire a missile from a helicopter into the corner of some house, just to shake up the house a bit so everyone inside would flee. These things worked. The families came out, and really people [i.e., soldiers] did enter houses that were pretty empty, at least of innocent civilians. From this perspective it works.

“In any case, I arrive at the squadron, I get a target with a description and coordinates, and basically just make sure it isn’t within the line of our forces. I look at the picture of the house I am suppose to attack, I see that it matches reality, I take off, I push the button and the bomb takes itself exactly to within one meter of the target itself.”

Zamir: “Among the pilots, is there also talk or thoughts of remorse? For example, I was terribly surprised by the enthusiasm surrounding the killing of the Gaza traffic police on the first day of the operation: They took out 180 traffic cops. As a pilot, I would have questioned that.”

Gideon: “There are two parts to this. Tactically speaking, you call them ‘police.’ In any case, they are armed and belong to Hamas… During better times, they take Fatah people and throw them off the roofs and see what happens.

“With regard to the thoughts, you sit with the squadron and there are lots of discussions about the value-related significance of the fighting, about what we are doing; there is a lot to talk about. From the moment you start the plane’s engine until the moment you turn it off, all of your thoughts, all of your concentration and all of your attention are on the mission you have to carry out.

If you have an unjustified doubt, you’re liable to cause a far greater screw-up and knock down a school with 40 children. If the building I hit isn’t the one I am supposed to hit, but rather a house with our guys inside — the price of the mistake is very, very high.”

Question from the audience: “Was there anyone in the squadron who didn’t push the button, who thought twice?”

Gideon: “That question should be addressed to those involved in the helicopter operation, or to the guys who see what they do. With the weapons I used, my ability to make a decision that contradicts what they told me up to that point is zero. I dispatch the bomb from a range within which I can see the entire Gaza Strip. I also see Haifa, I also see Sinai, but it’s more or less the same. It’s from really far away.”

Yossi: “I am a platoon sergeant in an operations company of the Paratroops Brigade. We were in a house and discovered a family inside that wasn’t supposed to be there. We assembled them all in the basement, posted two guards at all times and made sure they didn’t make any trouble.

Gradually, the emotional distance between us broke down — we had cigarettes with them, we drank coffee with them, we talked about the meaning of life and the fighting in Gaza. After very many conversations the owner of the house, a man of 70-plus, was saying it’s good we are in Gaza and it’s good that the IDF is doing what it is doing.

“The next day we sent the owner of the house and his son, a man of 40 or 50, for questioning. The day after that, we received an answer: We found out that both are political activists in Hamas. That was a little annoying — that they tell you how fine it is that you’re here and good for you and blah-blah-blah, and then you find out that they were lying to your face the whole time.

“What annoyed me was that in the end, after we understood that the members of this family weren’t exactly our good friends and they pretty much deserved to be forcibly ejected from there, my platoon commander suggested that when we left the house, we should clean up all the stuff, pick up and collect all the garbage in bags, sweep and wash the floor, fold up the blankets we used, make a pile of the mattresses and put them back on the beds.”

Zamir: “What do you mean? Didn’t every IOF unit that left a house do that?”

Yossi: “No. Not at all. On the contrary: In most of the houses graffiti was left behind and things like that.”

Zamir: “That’s simply behaving like animals.”

Yossi: “You aren’t supposed to be concentrating on folding blankets when you’re being shot at.”

Zamir: “I haven’t heard all that much about you being shot at. It’s not that I’m complaining, but if you’ve spent a week in a home, clean up your filth.”

Aviv: “We got an order one day: All of the equipment, all of the furniture — just clean out the whole house. We threw everything, everything, out of the windows to make room. The entire contents of the house went flying out the windows.”

Yossi: “There was one day when a Katyusha, a Grad, landed in Beersheva and a mother and her baby were moderately to seriously injured. They were neighbors of one of my soldiers. We heard the whole story on the radio, and he didn’t take it lightly — that his neighbors were seriously hurt.

So the guy was a bit antsy, and you can understand him. To tell a person like that, ‘Come on, let’s wash the floor of the house of a political activist in Hamas, who has just fired a Katyusha at your neighbors that has amputated one of their legs’ — this isn’t easy to do, especially if you don’t agree with it at all.

Little boys killed while playing on the Gaza beach by Zio-Nazi snipers for fun.

When my platoon commander said, ‘Okay, tell everyone to fold up blankets and pile up mattresses,’ it wasn’t easy for me to take. There was lot of shouting. In the end I was convinced and realized it really was the right thing to do.

Today I appreciate and even admire him, the platoon commander, for what happened there. In the end I don’t think that any army, the Syrian army, the Afghani army, would wash the floor of its enemy’s houses, and it certainly wouldn’t fold blankets and put them back in the closets.”

Zamir: “I think it would be important for parents to sit here and hear this discussion. I think it would be an instructive discussion, and also very dismaying and depressing. You are describing an army with very low value norms, that’s the truth… I am not judging you and I am not complaining about you.

I’m just reflecting what I’m feeling after hearing your stories. I wasn’t in Gaza, and I assume that among reserve soldiers the level of restraint and control is higher, but I think that all in all, you are reflecting and describing the kind of situation we were in.

“After the Six-Day War, when people came back from the fighting, they sat in circles and described what they had been through. For many years the people who did this were said to be ‘shooting and crying.’ In 1983, when we came back from the Lebanon War, the same things were said about us. We need to think about the events we have been through. We need to grapple with them also, in terms of establishing a standard or different norms.

“It is quite possible that Hamas and the Syrian army would behave differently from me. The point is that we aren’t Hamas and we aren’t the Syrian army or the Egyptian army, and if clerics are anointing us with oil and sticking holy books in our hands, and if the soldiers in these units aren’t representative of the whole spectrum in the Jewish people, but rather of certain segments of the population — what are we expecting? To whom are we complaining?

“As reservists we don’t relate seriously to the orders of the regional brigades. We let the old people go through and we let families go through. Why kill people when it’s clear to you that they are civilians? Which aspect of Israel’s security will be harmed, who will be harmed? Exercise judgment, be human.”