Israeli Soldiers Injure 39 Palestinians In al-Biereh

13 APR
7:40 PM

Israeli soldiers injured, Friday, 39 Palestinians, including 13 medics, in al-Biereh city, in the central West Bank governorate of Ramallah and al-Biereh.

Palestinian medical sources said the soldiers resorted to the excessive use of force against the protesters at the northern entrance of al-Biereh city, and shot two Palestinians with live fire, nine with rubber-coated steel bullets, and seventeen who suffered the severe effects of teargas inhalation.

They added that the soldiers injured 13 medics, including some who suffered burns and others who sustained cuts and bruises, after the army assaulted them with gas bombs, concussion grenades, pepper-spray in addition to physically attacking them while trying to provide treatment to wounded Palestinians.

The wounded Palestinians were rushed to Ramallah governmental hospital, while the army also fired many gas bombs at ambulances and medics.

(Source / 15.04.2018)

Standing up to Apartheid: Contextualizing the Great March of Return

Soldiers - siege

Gaza has been subjected to a suffocating Israeli siege for the past decade

By Haidar Eid – Gaza

In the last 10 years, Israel has launched three massive genocidal wars of aggression on the occupied Gaza Strip. Many civilians were massacred by its indiscriminate bombing, condemned by UN experts and leading human rights organizations as war crimes and “possible” crimes against humanity.

These assaults left thousands of Palestinians dead, predominantly civilians, including hundreds of children. 15.000 more Palestinians were injured.

We, the 2 million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, the overwhelming majority of whom are refugees who were violently expelled and dispossessed from our homes by Zionist forces in 1948, were subjected to three weeks (2009), 2 weeks (2012) and 51 days (2014) of relentless Israeli state terror, whereby Israeli warplanes systematically targeted civilian areas, reduced whole neighborhoods and vital civilian infrastructure to rubble and destroyed scores of schools, including several run by UNRWA, where civilians were taking shelter.

This happened after years of an ongoing, crippling, deadly medieval Israeli siege of Gaza, a severe form of collective punishment described by Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights as “a prelude to genocide.”

In order to understand the mentality behind the killings of tens of civilians, including children, taking place on Gaza borders, one only has to read Israeli generals’ and politicians’ responses.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said there were “no innocent people” in the Gaza Strip after Israeli soldiers shot and killed 32 Palestinians during 10 days of non-violent, peaceful protests of refugees demanding the implementation of UN resolution 194, which calls for their right of return and repatriation, and an end to the 11-year deadly siege.

Liberman claimed that “[e]veryone’s connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas.” His statement came one day before his military said in a tweet that “Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed“.

Matan Vilnai comes to mind, who told Army Radio in 2008, when he was Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister, that “[Palestinians of Gaza] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.”

This mentality is driven by a bigoted ideology that does not see the humanity of the “Other.” They are “two-legged beasts,” in the words of Menachem Begin, and “grasshoppers that have to be crushed after all”, according to Yitzhak Shamir.

As if 11 years of blockade, interrupted by three genocidal wars, were not enough! The attack on Gaza is not yet over: the Palestinians of Gaza are still living with their physical, mental and emotional wounds. Their bodies cannot heal because the medicine that is required is not allowed into the Gaza Strip.

Their homes cannot be rebuilt and the mangled steel and concrete cannot be removed because trucks and bulldozers are not allowed into the Gaza Strip.

Never before in history has a population been denied the basic requirements for survival as a deliberate policy of colonization, occupation and apartheid, but this is what Israel is doing to us, the people of Gaza, today: 2 million people live without a secure supply of water, food, electricity, medicines, half of whom are children under the age of 15.

It is an “incremental genocide” of the kind unparalleled in human history.

No wonder, then, that leading anti-apartheid activists, like Ronnie Kasrils, ex South African Intelligence Minister and member of the ANC, the late Ahmed Kathrada, an ANC leader and Robben Island inmate with Nelson Mandela, and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmund Tutu, believe that what Israel is doing to the Palestinians is far worse than what was done to black South Africans under apartheid. Even former American President Jimmy Carter, on his visit to Gaza, stated clearly that the Palestinian people trapped in Gaza are being treated “like animals.”

We have reached the conclusion that our fight on the ground through a series of marches culminating on May 15th, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, can pose a serious challenge to Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and apartheid if it is accompanied by a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

We do need ordinary citizens of the world to show Israel that we have a common humanity; that if they watch Israeli violence, they will not tolerate it, because silence is complicity; that there is no place for their kind of war mongering and barbarism in the world and that people reject it.

This is exactly what the global anti-apartheid movement managed to do in the 1970’s and 80’s, until the inhumane apartheid system crumbled. It is time to stand up to the only remaining apartheid regime in the world; for that we need to be united.

(Source / 15.04.2018)

Mustafa: Russia Must Change Course & Support Political Transition Without Assad

President of the Syrian Coalition Abdurrahman Mustafa called on Russia to press Bashar al-Assad to step down to allow the initiation of a genuine political process leading to full political transition in line with the Geneva Communiqué of 2012 and UN Security Council resolution 2254.

“We have always called on Moscow to be a neutral party and help ease the violence and transition the country to safety by seriously engaging in the political process aimed at the formation of a Transitional Governing Body (TGB) with full executive powers as was stipulated in international resolutions,” Mustafa said on Saturday.

“Russia has chosen to side with the Assad regime and encouraged him to kill more Syrians and commit various war crimes as well as shielded it against the consequences of the repeated use of chemical weapons,” Mustafa said. He stressed that “Moscow must change course and cooperate with members of the UN Security Council to put an end to the tragedy unfolding in Syria by forcing Assad to step aside and in engage in the political process.”

Regarding the missile strikes that targeted the Assad regime’s military positions at dawn on Saturday, Mustafa underscored that the Assad regime is not killing Syrian civilians with chemical weapons only, but also with conventional weapons. He noted that attacks with conventional weapons have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Mustafa urged the United States, Great Britain and France to expand the military operation to include all the military positions of the Assad regime which have been used to bomb the Syrian civilians and kill their children and women over the past seven years.

The expansion of the missile strikes will force the Assad regime to seriously engage in the political process and to comply with the international resolutions forming the basis of political solution, Mustafa said. He also stressed the importance of holding Assad accountable for war crimes against civilians, especially after his involvement in the use of chemical weapons was confirmed.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department / 15.04.2018)

Israel Says it Destroyed ‘Longest and Deepest’ Hamas Tunnel in Gaza

Israel announced that it destroyed tunnel used by Hamas that extended from Gaza into its territories

The Israeli military announced on Sunday that it destroyed a Hamas tunnel stretching from the Gaza Strip into its territory.

The tunnel crossed into Israeli territory by several meters (yards) but did not yet have an exit point, military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told journalists.

Israel destroyed the tunnel — which it said connected to several others within Gaza and could have been used for attacks — by filling it with material to make it inoperative.

“We filled the tunnel with material that renders it useless for a very long period of time,” Conricus said. Explosives were not used.

“According to our early assessments, this tunnel reaches kilometers, several kilometers, into the Gaza Strip.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said it was the longest and deepest Gazan tunnel discovered by Israel.

“It’s a tunnel that cost millions of dollars to dig, money that instead of going to ease the hardship of Gaza’s residents has sunk in the sand,” he said.

“Residents of Gaza: Hamas is burning your money on tunnels to nowhere.”

Hamas had no immediate comment.

The tunnel came from the area of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip and was being dug in the direction of the Nahal Oz community in Israel, he said.

It was the fifth Gazan tunnel destroyed by Israel in recent months, Conricus said. Israel destroyed it over the course of the weekend.

The operation comes after protests along the Gaza border since March 30 that have led to clashes in which Israeli forces have killed 34 Palestinians and wounded hundreds of others.

Israel alleges Hamas is seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence and said the tunnel destroyed could have been used for that purpose, saying it comes from near an area where demonstrators have gathered.

Israel has faced criticism over its use of live fire along the Gaza border since March 30, while the European Union and UN chief Antonio Guterres have called for an independent investigation.

The military says its soldiers act to stop attacks, damage to the fence and infiltration bids, and says there have been attempts at all three.

Conricus added that Israel had been monitoring the construction of the tunnel for some time.

He revealed that Hamas began building the tunnel following the 2014 war.

Israel has placed a high priority on halting the tunnel threat since Hamas infiltrated Israel during the war. Although they did not manage to reach civilian areas, the infiltrations caught Israel off guard, with one attack killing five soldiers, and terrified the local population.

Israel is erecting a subterranean barrier to detect and prevent attack tunnels. Israel says the barrier, as well as new technological innovations, have rendered the Hamas tunnel project futile.

(Source / 15.04.2018)