Twitter storm protests ICC delay in investigating Israel crimes

Tension raises between Israeli police and Palestinians outside of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Eastern Jerusalem on January 29, 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

Tension raises between Israeli police and Palestinians outside of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Eastern Jerusalem on January 29, 2020

A “Twitter Storm” has been launched by a Palestinian rights organisation in response to the International Criminal Court’s decision to delay the investigation into Israel’s human rights violations and war crimes in the occupied West Bank.

Despite having found a reasonable basis to mount an investigation of “the situation in Palestine,” after a five-year preliminary examination, the ICC has decided to hear briefs submitted by numerous countries regarding its jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced on 20 December that she was “satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine.”

However, some countries have filed amicus briefs to the ICC asking permission to present legal arguments against the tribunal’s jurisdiction to adjudicate war crime suits against Israel, reported the Jerusalem Post.

BLOG: International complicity aids US-Israel efforts against the ICC

Some of the countries include Canada, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Brazil.

They argue that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the case because Palestine does not meet the criteria of statehood.

In addition, they also claim that the ICC does not possess the necessary jurisdiction to open criminal investigations and rule on matters related to suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Therefore, Al Haq, a Palestinian rights organisation that challenges human rights abuses, launched a Twitter campaign which included “excerpts submitted by civil society, academics and practitioners in support of opening an investigation and ending impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Maha مها@MahaAbdallah  

#ICC Prosecutor found a reasonable basis to initiate an #investigation into the #PalestineSituation & to believe that #warcrimes & #crimesagainsthumanity are being committed in the #WestBank, including East #Jerusalem & #Gaza. #Justice4Palestine #EndImpunity @IntlCrimCourt

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1411:30 – 10 Mar 2020Twitter Ads information and privacy

The Palestinians have asked the ICC to investigate Israeli war crimes committed in the occupied territories, relating to illegal settlements, land expropriation and the killing of civilians during Israeli offensives on Gaza.

The ICC does not investigate states, but officials who are accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

VIDEO – Gaza: The Undrinkable Water of a Land Under Siege

Experts say Israeli policies and wars are to blame for a deepening water crisis in Gaza that will have detrimental effects on public health, especially on the most vulnerable segment of society: children.

Ahmed Hills – Water and Environmental Expert

“96% of Gaza’s residents rely on groundwater for their daily needs, including drinking water. More than 35% – 40% of the Gaza Strip’s sewage is not connected to a sewage system because of the Israeli blockade and the Palestinian political division. So, Gaza’s groundwater is exposed to pollution. Only 2% of Gaza’s groundwater is drinkable, and that does not cover people’s needs.

The valleys of the Gaza Strip are dry in general. Huge dams were built on its upstreams with a calculated capacity to block as much rainfall as possible, which would fall on all of Palestine and flow into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation built the dams and rebuilt reservoirs next to them, filling up the reservoirs with the water it blocks.”

Khalid Al-Tibi – Director of Gaza’s Environmental Health Department

“The segment of society most affected by polluted water are children and the elderly. Polluted water can cause serious health problems, especially diarrhea, typhoid or paratyphoid, which is caused by salmonella microbes. All these diseases can develop in children when they drink polluted water.”

Monther Shublaq – Director of Coastal Municipalities Water Utility

The most significant challenges that led to our water disasters have been the three Israeli wars on the Gaza Strip. The wars continuously destroyed all the reservoirs, wells and pipelines. Israel is not subject to any reliable system. Some projects have been delayed for four or five years. There was talk of bringing heavy equipment for the water authorities, such as drills, in order to maintain the pipeline, wells and networks. This equipment was bought in 2015, so it’s been five years and this equipment is still at a storage unit in the West Bank.”

Ahmed Al-Hor – Water Vendor

“The percentage of people who can’t afford to buy water is between 80% to 90%. The situation is difficult. Sometimes, I know a customer does not have drinkable water, and I ask him if he wants to buy it, but he replies ‘no,’ because he doesn’t have money.”

Walid Badwan – Gaza Resident

“I fill my gallon containers with water from this street tap because I cannot afford to buy water at all. Water is essential for my home, but I cannot buy it. I walk long distances to get drinkable water. This is, of course, a burden on me and my children. Usually the tap water is cut off for half of the day. And when tap water is available, it is not good for drinking.”

Mohamed Abo Al-Kher – Gaza Resident

“Tap water causes diseases like kidney stones. Every month, when I have enough money, like 5 shekels ($1.50), I buy water. Sometimes I have to borrow money.”

Khalid Al-Tibi – Director of Gaza’s Environmental Health Department

“Private desalination plants remove salt and harmful chemicals from polluted water. Then the water is sterilised and sold to citizens for drinking. But this is a temporary solution, not a strategic one until we get our water rights from the Israeli occupation.”

Ahmed Hills – Water and Environmental Expert

“When water is drawn from wells or taken from desalination stations, it is exposed to different types of bacteria, viruses and parasites, especially during the distribution process.”

Khalid Al-Tibi – Director of Gaza’s Environmental Health Department

“Water [from private desalination plants] doesn’t meet the required health standards for human consumption. Calcium deficiencies lead to osteoporosis and lack of fluoride leads to tooth decay.”

 (Source / 10.03.2020) 

41 Palestinian Children Arrested by Israeli Forces in February

Israeli authorities, in February, arrested a total of 41 Palestinian children, imprisoning 20 of them in Ofer prison, according to the Committee of Prisoners and Former Prisoners.

The Committee explained that, of the children arrested last month;

  • 20 were kidnapped from their homes,
  • 6 from the streets,
  • 1 for not having permission,
  • 6 were summoned for interrogation and then arrested, and
  • 8 were arrested at military checkpoints.

The committee said that two of the children arrested in February were brutally beaten during their arrests and interrogations, while many others were forced to pay heavy fines, estimated at 41,000 Shekels (over $11,000).

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

GERMANY BANS PALESTINIAN WRITER ENTERING COUNTRY OVER PALESTINE SUPPORT

Berlin (QNN)- The German authorities decided to prevent the Palestinian writer Khaled Barakat from entering the country for four years, in compliance to pressure from the zionist lobby.

Barakat has been denied a renewal of his residency and forced to leave the country six months ago.

The German police had arrested Barakat in June 2019 while he was in Germany to participate in a seminal about Trump’s Middle East plan. He was given one month to leave the country.

The German police claimed in a 24-page statement that Barakat “constitutes a security risk” because of “his beliefs and continuous talking about liberating Palestine from the river to the sea” and “working on a strategy to liberate Palestine” in addition to “insisting that ‘Israel’ has no right to exist”, which German authorities deem to be anti-semitic.

The German authorities also claimed that its decision was taken because of Barakat’s influence on the beliefs of Arabs in the country, which confirms that the decision is political and it has nothing do with security or legal aspects.

Barakan was prosecuted before by the German authorities over his support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS).

The German Parliament had ruled that BDS is anti-semitic, a motion which was seen by human rights activists as a violation of freedom of speech.

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

ISRAEL FAILS TO PROVIDE REAL-TIME CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR PALESTINIAN CITIZENS

Magen David Adom worker wears protective clothing as a preventive measure against the coronavirus seen outside the special emergency Call Center in Kiryat Ono on February 26, 2020

Haifa (QNN) – Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel has sent an urgent letter to Israeli Health Ministry officials on behalf of Arab lawmaker Sami Abu Shehadeh (Balad/Joint List) demanding that the ministry provide all real-time coronavirus-related updates and information also in Arabic.

Adalah and member of the Israeli parliament, Knesset, Abu Shehadeh, in the urgent letter addressed to Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, demand that all information and directives relating to coronavirus be immediately made accessible to the Arabic-speaking public on all its communications platforms, social media, and smartphone apps.

Palestinian citizens of Israel constitute approximately 20 percent of the country’s total population, according to 2019 data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

An examination of the Israeli Health Ministry’s website revealed that ongoing updates related to coronavirus are being issued only in Hebrew; Arabic-language updates are issued only after significant delays. In addition, the ministry’s social media posts and smartphone app are accessible only in Hebrew.

Adalah Attorney Aiah Haj Odeh stressed in the letter that Israel’s failure to provide up-to-date virus-related information in Arabic not only violates the right to equality but also constitutes an immediate danger to public health.

“The Israeli government has been discriminating against Palestinian citizens for years, failing to provide essential information and services in Arabic. There is now an urgent public interest in regular, real-time updates – accessible in all languages – relating to coronavirus. Inequality in access to information can harm all citizens. The coronavirus does not discriminate according to the ethnic identity of its victims, and the Israeli Health Ministry must therefore provide equal services for all citizens,” said Odeh.

“The handling of this epidemic requires access to information for the entire public – certainly also in Arabic for Arab citizens. Unfortunately, the lack of Arabic-language updates and information on all platforms – and the concurrent investment in dissemination of only Hebrew-language information – highlights the depth of inequality even when it comes to the right to health. Now – in the midst of a global epidemic – we must all do everything we can to eradicate coronavirus, and the primary tool at our disposal is accessible information,” commented Knesset Member Sami Abu Shehadeh.

Adalah said later today that over the past several hours there has been an increased effort on the part of the Israeli Health Ministry to retroactively supply Arabic-language information on coronavirus. Adalah Attorney Aiah Haj Odeh emphasized, however, that the information is not transmitted in real time and it is still missing essential details, including the latest guidelines for individuals required to remain in quarantine.

In addition, Adalah stressed that there is still no information in Arabic on Health Ministry social media platforms and the ministry’s coronavirus app is not offered in Arabic.

“We demand that the Israeli Health Ministry unequivocally commit to providing all information in Arabic – just as it is in Hebrew – before we turn to the courts,” said Adalah Attorney Aiah Haj Odeh.

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

ISRAELI POLICE ALLOW 45 EXTREMIST SETTLERS TO STORM AL AQSA MOSQUE, EXPEL ONE WORSHIPER

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli police on Tuesday allowed dozens of Israeli extremist settlers to break into Al Aqsa mosque.

QNN reporter said that 45 settlers broke into Al Aqsa mosque from al Magharbeh gate before provocatively touring the holy mosque and perform rituals near the Mercy gate.

Meanwhile, Israeli cops and special forces protected the settlers during their raid.

It is worth mentioning that over 2000 settlers, including soldiers and students of extremist religious institutions, broke into the holy mosque during February.

On the other hand, Israeli police ordered to prevent Imran Abu Sbeih (23 years old) from entering Al Aqsa mosque for a month.

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

Arab MKs ‘terrorists wearing suits,’ Israeli minister says

Israeli opportunist Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White party, is seeking help of Arab MKs to form government after failing to get majority enough for the mission

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz, from the Likud party of the corrupt Crime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has described Israeli Arab MKs as “terrorists wearing suits.”

Speaking to Israeli radio station Makan about the possibility that the Joint List of Arab parties in Israel may help form the next government, Katz said: “Arab MKs are terrorists wearing suits.”

“We heard Benny Gantz, chairman of Blue and White, speaking about forming a minority government supported by the Joint Arab List,” he said.

He added: “Such matter has not taken place even in the era of Rabin. They opposed the Arab League’s decision to recognise Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. They are terrorists wearing suits.”

Arab MK Mtanes Shehadeh replied to Katz, saying: “Sadly, we got used to Israeli leaders’ attacks on the Arab community. Currently, they are under pressure due to the results of the elections and the rise in the number of seats for Arab MKs.”

He also said: “They do not want equality for the Arab community. The attacks on the Joint List and its leadership are an attempt to delegitimise it before the Israeli community.”

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

Report: 21 Gaza residents lost eyes due by Israeli army snipers

Local and international rights groups and official bodies, including the UN have confirmed that the Israeli occupation used excessive and lethal force against peaceful protesters in Gaza

At least 21 Palestinians from Gaza lost one or two eyes during past two years as they demonstrated peacefully near eastern fence in Gaza Strip, report revealed this week.

In an detailed investigation, the Israeli rights group B’Tselem said that a 16-year-old boy completely lost his sight.

The personal tragedy of each of them those lost their eyes is added to the horrific toll of the victims of the excessive and lethal force used by the Israeli occupation army.

Official statistics stated that the Israeli aggression on the Palestinians in Gaza during the past two years led to:

  • More than 315 martyrs,
  • 8,000 wounded with live ammunition,
  • 2,400 wounded with steal coated with rubber bullets; and,
  • about 20,000 injured by tear gas canisters.

B’Tselem and many other rights groups and international bodies, including the UN have confirmed that the Israeli occupation used excessive and lethal force against peaceful protesters in Gaza.

This Israeli army policy of shooting to maim or kill is illegal, unethical and expresses disregard for the life and safety of the Palestinians.

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

Coronavirus And Israeli-Extremists Clasping Hands Against The Palestinians

On the 6th of March, Palestine declared a state of emergency in the occupied West Bank over Coronavirus. The Palestinian authority declared that 7 people tested positive and as a result the Nativity Church and all of Bethlahem was ordered to closedown. 

This only a small part of Zionists comments on news of suspecting cases of #coronavirus at a hotel in the city of Bethlehem.

That’s exactly the Israeli racial discrimination, please RETWEET#IsraeliCrimes #Act4Palestine pic.twitter.com/2R84dyDwZV

— Janna Mahmoud (@jannamahmoud3) March 6, 2020

After the widespread news and social media horror over the epidemic that took 3,600 lives so far and still counting, the Israeli side and online pro-Israeli activists managed to see a “positive” side in Coronavirus invading the Palestinian territories; a new justified reason for limiting Palestinians’ movement and containing them even more than usual in front of the eyes of the world.

In reality, for the Palestinians, this is still apartheid and racial discrimination at its finest.

Many Israelis’ took the opportunity to spread their own hate statements all over the internet. Some described the coronavirus invading the West Bank as great news and others hoped that it spreads faster and kills better.

This is only a small part of Israeli zionists comments on news of suspecting cases of #coronavirus in the city of Bethlehem – #Palestine
No humanity at all ..???? pic.twitter.com/1f3207Jzyb— Adham Migdad (@adhammigdad) March 7, 2020

Still, some argue these biased groups evidently lack knowledge on how epidemics work. By the end of the day, Coronavirus does not choose its patients based on their background, ethnicity or race. And so one’s wisest option is to be careful what they wish for, for this is bad news for all. 

(Source / 10.03.2020) 

Israeli Occupation Authorities Extend Administrative Detention Of Student Shada Hasan

Photos File

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Sunday extended the administrative detention of Palestinian university student Shada Hasan, 20, for the second consecutive time.

According to Wa’ed Society for Detainees and Ex-Detainees, the IOA renewed the detention of Shada, from Ramallah city, for another three months administratively, with no trial or indictment.

Israeli soldiers kidnaped Shada, chairwoman the student conference at Birzeit University, from her home in Ramallah in December 12, 2019.

The prisoner’s mother expressed her belief that her daughter was detained administratively as part of Israeli efforts to prevent Birzeit University students from participating in or carrying out any national activity.

There are 42 female prisoners in Damon and Hasharon jails, four of them detained administratively.

One of those prisoners is 17-year-old Afnan Abu Sneineh from al-Khalil province.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, “administrative detention is incarceration without trial or charge, alleging that a person plans to commit a future offense. It has no time limit, and the evidence on which it is based is not disclosed. Israel employs this measure extensively and routinely, and has used it to hold thousands of Palestinians for lengthy periods of time.”

(Source / 10.03.2020)