Amnesty Calls for Arms Embargo as Israel Continues to Kill Gaza Protesters (VIDEO)

Protest 5th week

Palestinians continue protesting for the fifth week in row in Gaza as part of the Great March of Return

Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them, Amnesty International revealed today, based on its latest research, as the “Great March of Return” protests continued in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military has killed 40 Palestinians and injured more than 5,000 others – some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries – during the weekly Friday protests that began on 30 March.

Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel following the country’s disproportionate response to mass demonstrations along the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel.

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Ben White@benabyad

Breaking – @Amnesty urges “governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel”, in light of its military’s “murderous assault against protesting Palestinians” in the Gaza Strip.

“For four weeks the world has watched in horror as Israeli snipers and other soldiers, in full-protective gear and behind the fence, have attacked Palestinian protesters with live ammunition and tear gas. Despite wide international condemnation, the Israeli army has not reversed its illegal orders to shoot unarmed protesters,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over. The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel. A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza. These people are merely protesting their unbearable conditions and demanding the right to return to their homes and towns in what is now Israel.”

Daniel Wickham@DanielWickham93

Amnesty: Governments should impose arms embargo on Israel over its ‘murderous assault’ on Palestinian protesters in Gaza – ‘evidence suggest(s) that many were deliberately killed or injured while posing no immediate threat to the Israeli soldiers’ https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/ 

Israel: Arms embargo needed as military unlawfully kills and maims Gaza protesters

amnesty.org

In most of the fatal cases analyzed by Amnesty International victims were shot in the upper body, including the head and the chest, some from behind. Eyewitness testimonies, video and photographic evidence suggest that many were deliberately killed or injured while posing no immediate threat to the Israeli soldiers.

Rohan Talbot@rohantalbot

.@Amnesty statement echos concerns raised by MAP about the type and extent of injuries being caused to protesters, “typical of war wounds not observed since the 2014 conflict.”https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/  pic.twitter.com/yamoHVzm6i

Rohan Talbot@rohantalbot

.@Amnesty also highlights the extreme burden placed on ‘s health system amid ongoing resource shortages, delays to exit for care, and attacks on paramedics trying to treat the wounded. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/04/israel-arms-embargo-needed-as-military-unlawfully-kills-and-maims-gaza-protesters/  pic.twitter.com/sZW1xe3fMK

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Doctors at the European and Shifa hospitals in Gaza City told Amnesty International that many of the serious injuries they have witnessed are to the lower limbs, including the knees, which are typical of war wounds that they have not observed since the 2014 Gaza conflict.

Doctors also said that they have observed another type of devastating injury characterized by large internal cavities, plastic left inside the body but no exit wounds.

Ruptly

@Ruptly

Mourners gather after 2nd journalist shot by Israeli forces in Gaza protests dies

According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, as of April 26, the total number of injured is estimated at 5,511 – 592 children, 192 women and 4,727 men – with 1,738 injuries from live ammunition. Approximately half of those admitted to hospitals suffered injuries to the legs and the knees, while 225 sustained injuries to the neck and head, 142 others were shot in the abdomen and pelvis, and 115 were injured in the chest and the back. So far, the injuries have resulted in 18 amputations.

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PACBI

@PACBI

cyclists, just KM from stage 3, Israeli weapons are crushing Palestinian bones. Médecins Sans Frontières says +50% of patients in MSF clinics in Gaza “have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverized the bone” http://bit.ly/2HJOUNz 

Four children aged between 14 and 17 are among those killed due to injuries sustained during protests. Two journalists have also been shot dead, despite both wearing protective vests that clearly identified them as members of the press, while several others have been injured.

(Source / 28.04.2018)

Injured Prisoner Named ‘2018 Woman of Palestine’

Woman prisoner

Palestinian woman prisoner wins the Palestine’s ‘Woman of Year’ award

An injured Palestinian mother has been given the 2018’s “Woman of Palestine” award in an honorary ceremony held Thursday in Gaza.

“Palestinian women have been deeply involved in the Palestinian struggle,” Women’s Affairs Minister Haifa al-Agha said in a speech delivered at the award ceremony.

32-year-old Israa Jaabees was detained by Israel in 2015 after being shot at by Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem. Jaabees sustained serious burn injuries on several parts of her body, for which she requires a number of surgical procedures, according to Palestinian officials.

Marwa tweeted:

“She is provided with no medication; suffers tragic detention conditions and she’s not allowed to see her only son. Isra al-Ja’abees is an epitome of hardship among hundreds of women prisoners in the occupation’s jails.”

مَروى♡@ma_rwa99

لا تتلقى العلاج وتعاني من ظروف اعتقال مأساوية ويحرمها الاحتلال من رؤية ابنها الوحيد،، الأسيرة معاناة واحدة من بين مئات الأسرى والأسيرات المرضى في سجون الاحتلال .

“They remain a powerful symbol of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and had played a vital role standing up to the [Israeli] occupation”.

The Israeli authorities accuse Jaabees of having attempted to attack Israeli soldiers with a bomb-laden vehicle — claims she and her family vehemently deny.

During an international campaign to release her, Palestinian activists recounted what happened to Isra to fend off Israel’s allegations. The poster below reads:

“On the day of the arrest, while Isra was transporting her furniture to her new house, the car’s airbag exploded and fire spread out inside; Isra went out asking the Israeli police for ambulance but they left her out; they called up more forces; Isra’s wounds covered most of her body, and her fingers had to be amputated later on.”

The head of the “Committee of the Families of the Jerusalem Prisoners” said an appeal to reduce the 11-year sentence against Isra due to her health status has been refused by the High Court of Justice, a prisoners’ affairs NGO said.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 6,400 Palestinians are currently in Israeli custody, including dozens of women and scores of minors.

The “Woman of Palestine” award is given annually by the ministry to Palestinian women who have accomplished notable achievements.

(Source / 28.04.2018)

Three Killed, 349 Wounded Wounded’ as Palestinians March on Gaza Border

Three Palestinians were killed and at least 349 Palestinians were wounded Friday as thousands participated in the “March of Return” along the Israel-Gaza border for the fifth week in a row, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Ten of the wounded in this week’s protest, themed ‘rebellious youth,’ are reportedly journalists and medical staff according the Health Ministry.

Of the wounded, at least 75 of which by live Israeli fire, four were medical staff and six were journalists, reported the ministry.

Two of the wounded are said to be in critical condition, two in very serious condition and 73 in moderate condition.

The committee organizing the protests said this week’s march is dedicated to “rebellious youth” to honor the thousands of young people who have come to protest every week at the area along the border fence.

The organizers said that this week, too, the marches are supposed to remain a nonviolent mass protest. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, youths scattered sand bags in several locations along the border earlier this week for protection against sniper fire.

On Friday, the UN Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that Israel must address the use of excessive force in Gaza, and that the loss of life is “deplorable,” and that “the number of injuries is staggering.”

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(Source / 28.04.2018)

Great Return March becomes ‘theater’ of resistance

Reading chain

Another activity at the march was a “reading chain”

While Israel and some Western media label Gaza Palestinians’ ongoing, six-week protest a “riot,” what visitors and participants see on the ground is completely different. The tire and (Israeli) flag burning that may seem “riotous” to some are actually carefully planned by a coordinating committee to obscure the vision of Israeli snipers (the former) and serve as a peaceful outlet for frustration and anger (the latter). And while those activities are occurring on the front lines of the border protest, the “Great Return March” (so-named because of the desire of the refugees in Gaza to return to the homes they were forced to evacuate in 1948), also is hosting many family-oriented cultural celebrations. On any given day, you may encounter women cooking Bedouin bread, young men dancing dabka and children flying kites.

“By including cultural activities in the Great Return March, we send a reminder message to the world that we will never forget our heritage and customs, which remind us of home,” says organizer Ahmed Abu Ertima. “At the same time, these cultural demonstrations show we are peaceful in the demand for our rights.”

Thousands of Gaza families take their children and head off to the border to participate in the Great Return March every day, raising the Palestinian flag and chanting the event’s motto, “We have the right to return to our ancestral land.” They sit on the ground, in sight of stolen lands just a few hundred meters away, while listening to their elders’ tales about their ancestral villages and towns.

Elsewhere, depending on the day, visitors may stumble on a wedding celebration at one of the five protest encampments along the border. No one is keeping count, but photos of at least three march-camp marriage parties have appeared on social media.

Mohammed Daloul, a 22-year-old groom, is among those who celebrated their marriage at a protest site. He invited all of his friends via social media, along with the hundreds of other Palestinians gathered at the border, just a few hundred meters away from the eyes of Israel’s snipers.

The celebration prominently featured patriotic songs, such as those of Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, the Arab Idol singer whose tunes call for freedom and dignity. While the booming music carried clearly to the Israeli side of the border, the guests roared even louder, chanting for their right to return to their land. Daloul waved a Palestinian flag.

“This is a ‘return marriage celebration’,” said Ayman, a friend of the groom who asked that his last name not be used. “We want to show the world our demonstrations are peaceful, a legal way to demand our right of return.”

Daloul added, “Despite the joy I feel tonight, it won’t really be complete until we return to our homes, which were stolen by Israeli occupation.”

During the second Friday of the Great Return March, protest organizers staged a series of “reading chains,” with participants literally sitting on the ground in a line, reading and discussing issues such as colonialism and imperialism. The reading selections are designed to raise awareness among youth raised under occupation and blockade of the forces that have shaped their lives, while confronting Israeli soldiers with peaceful resistance.

On another day, young women wanting to leave their “mark” on the protest painted tires—which later would be burned to produce the smoke that effectively obscured the vision of Israeli snipers—bright pink, purple, blue and yellow, forming a line snaking throughout the camps.

While there is a central coordinating committee for the march, the cultural activities are in large part driven by individual initiative. “These kinds of things can’t be controlled,” notes Abu Ertima. That means sometimes the demonstrators engage in some activities, like burning Israeli flags, that the organizers would prefer they didn’t. But the majority contribute to the overall festive and harmonious atmosphere. Preservation of Palestinian culture is the focus of many of the activities.

Um Wael (“mother of Wael”), 77 and originally from Julis village (only 29 km from Gaza), refuses to give up her dream of returning. “I still remember the Nakba [catastrophe], which happened when I was only 6 years old. I remember a life of hard work, but blissful independence, before Israel forcibly displaced us and we had to move to this desperate life here in Gaza,” she said. “I won’t stop telling my grandsons and granddaughters about their origins. We believe one day we will return. If not me, my grandkids will.”

The Great Return March is in its fourth week, and the number of killed now is 40. But the frustration and despair fostered by 11 years of blockade continue to drive many Gaza residents to participate in, and even live, at the march. Once they get glimpse of their homeland across the border, they glimpse freedom. Gaza’s borderline has become a theater for artists and poets to convey a message to the world that they demand the basic liberties they have been denied for too long.

(Source / 28.04.2018)