Netanyahu Forgets Prayers For World Peace To Make War On Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his visit to Paris, aimed to commemorate the century of Armistice that brought World War One to an end, in order to follow up closely Israeli deadly attacks on Gaza.

Timing is everything in international politics, so as 70 world leaders descended on Paris at the weekend to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice that brought World War One to an end you’d think that most would use the occasion to talk about peace. Not so Israel’s leader Benjamin Netanyahu who, instead of honouring the millions of soldiers who died in the Great War, was busy ramping up the threats to destroy neighbouring Gaza.

At a press conference just hours after the centenary commemorations, Netanyahu held his own media show. “No political solution exists for Gaza,” he told journalists, “just as there isn’t one with ISIS.”

In comparing Hamas with Daesh he was insulting those who are actively involved in trying to negotiate a long-term ceasefire in Gaza, as well as insulting millions of Palestinians by trying to draw parallels between them and the terrorist group. How dare he suggest that they are any less desirous of peace simply because they also seek justice.

One has to wonder why Netanyahu even bothered to go to Paris, because it certainly wasn’t to listen to French President Emmanuel Macron and so many other world leaders as they prayed for peace standing in silence at 11am on 11 November, marking the time and date that the guns fell silent across the Western Front in 1918, heralding the end of a four-year conflict.

Surely a little silence from Netanyahu would not have gone amiss. Instead, he trampled over the lives of the ten million troops and just as many civilians who died in World War One to bang the war drums ever louder in Gaza’s direction.

Where was Netanyahu when Macron made his comment about patriotism? “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” said the French President. “Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. In saying ‘our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: Its moral values.”

Did the Israeli Prime Minister even bother to attend the inaugural Paris Peace Forum which wants to avoid the sort of politics which led to the outbreak of World War One? He must have spent time out of the media glare being briefed on what turned out to be a botched covert operation by Israeli Special Forces miles inside the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday evening. While the death toll of Palestinians in the enclave ran into double figures as a result of the Israeli incursion, a senior Israeli soldier known only as Lieutenant Colonel M was also killed. Israel’s army chief Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot said that M had been killed in a “very meaningful operation to Israel’s security,” adding that the army owed him “more than we can say.”

The coming together of world leaders in Paris on Sunday was to remember and honour the war dead, “lest we forget”. It seems that, within hours, Netanyahu had already forgotten why he was there, and exposed the Zionist State’s fuelling of a dangerous escalation of violence against the Palestinians.

It is shameful that not one world leader in Paris was prepared to stand up and berate the Israeli government for planning and preparing for war at a time when the world came together to pray desperately for peace. We should not be too surprised, though, because for Israel and its supporters — many of whom were among those 70 leading politicians — weasel words, empty prayers and open hypocrisy are par for the course. They’re not only shameful, but also entirely shameless.

(Source / 16.11.2018)

Updates: Israeli Fighters Bombed Residential, Government Buildings

Targeting residential buildings in Gaza turned hundreds of families homeless

On day two for the Israeli offensive on Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation army said that it would continue and intensify its strikes, as well as to target more residential buildings.

Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli occupation said to have agreed on a ceasefire, starting from this evening.

Story Highlights
Israeli occupation rejects Egyptian and UN mediation to reach ceasefire.
Israeli cabinet is to intensify strikes in Gaza.
Former Israeli minister calls for targeted killings.

Death: Palestinian citizen Khalid Ma’rouf, 29, was killed in a fresh Israeli airstrike.

Strikes: Fresh Israeli airstrikes in Rafah.

Death: Body of Palestinian citizen killed in an Israeli airstrike in the east of Gaza City, Mus’ab Hawwas, arrived in hospital.

Death: The Palestinian, who was killed a while ago, was identified as Mus’ab Hawwas, 20.

Death: One Palestinian was killed and torn into pieces in an Israeli strike in the east of the Gaza City.

More strikes: Israeli media reported a spokesperson of the Israeli arm ysaying that it would bound Gaza with more intensive strikes.

Residential buildings: Israeli fighters bombed and completely destroyed five multi-story residential buildings across the Gaza Strip since the night.

Death: One Palestinian, identified as Iyad al-Sultan, a farmer, was killed in an Israeli strike in his farm in Beit Lahiya.

The Israeli bombings turned hundreds of Gaza families homeless. To be without a home at this time of the year, during winter, is very difficult and unbearable.

Hundreds of children have been reported traumatised due to the heavy bombardment of the Israeli fighters and the continuous buzzing of the Israeli drones.

Schools, universities, banks and government offices were asked to close their doors in order to avoid being targeted by the Israeli occupation when there are masses of people there.

Israeli occupation has previously targeted schools and several places previously when there were masses of people and caused tens of casualties at the same time.

One Palestinian youth, Ahmad abdul-Al, from Rafah, was reported dead by an Israeli attack.

Israeli media reported more Israeli tanks and troops heading to the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip, preparing for a massive onslaught.

More Israeli tanks and troops are heading to Gaza.

(Source / 13.11.2018)

Palestinians, Israeli Occupation Said Reached Ceasefire

During the tension, Israeli killed 14 Palestinians and wounded more than 30 others

After three days of tension and Israeli violations, Palestinian resistance in Gaza Strip and the Israeli occupation reportedly reached ceasefire.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas said that it would be committed to the ceasefire as long as the Israeli occupation is committed to it.

Israeli media reported Israeli diplomatic sources that a ceasefire was mediated by Egypt and international brokers.

The joint group of the Palestinian resistance announced they reached a ceasefire, but pledged not to bear any Israeli violation to it.

(Source / 13.11.2018)

Updates: Palestinian Resistance Undermines ‘Complicated’ Israeli Military Operation In Gaza

Seven Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes after uncovering squad of Israeli Special Forces and killing one of them in an exchange of fire

Nouriddin Baraka, the senior Al-Qassam leader, who was killed in an exchange of fire with the Israeli Special Forces in Khan Younis.

Palestinian fighters from Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Palestinian Movement Hamas, undermined on Sunday night “complicated” Israeli military operation in Gaza Strip.

In a statement, Al-Qassam Brigades senior leader in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis Nour Baraka uncovered a squad of Israeli Special Forces three kilometres deep in the east of the city.

“Barak approached the forces and asked them some questions,” the statement said. “When he became sure they were undercover Israeli forces, he asked his bodyguards to surround them.”

Speaking to Days of Palestine, an eyewitness said: “At this point, the Israeli Special Forces, who were in a dark blue vehicle, an exchange of fire erupted between Baraka and his guards and immediately Israeli fighters and drones started bombing towards Baraka and his bodyguards.”

The fighter continued: “The Israeli Special Forces fled, but after a distance, near the eastern fence of the city, the vehicle damaged and they took off under a heavy fire from the Israeli fighters and went through the fence towards their bases in the occupied lands.”

Casualties

Palestinian sources said that Baraka and five other Palestinian fighters from Al-Qassam Brigades and one from the Popular Resistance were killed in the operation.

Israeli media reported Israeli army officials saying that the Israeli Special forces attempted to carry out an intelligence operation of an “utmost importance” to the Israeli security.

They also said that a senior Israeli Special Forces soldier was killed in the failed operation and another was seriously wounded.

According to the Israeli media, the identity of the Israeli soldier, who was killed in the failed operation, would remain unidentified due to security issues.

Senior Israeli military officials said that Israel is not interested in escalating the situation in Gaza and mass media reported that the Egyptians have been trying with the Palestinian resistance to calm down.

Many of the Israeli military analysts and commentators expressed their disappointment with the Israeli Special Forces and said that they “can only make failures.”

“This was the most complicated operation ever carried out by the Israeli Special Forces and the Israeli soldier who was killed in the failed operation was the most senior among those killed since 2014,” the Israeli army reported.

Followed up by Motasem A Dalloul in Gaza

(Source / 12.11.2018)

Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Protester, Wound 141 Others In Gaza

Nineteen children, six women and four paramedics were among the wounded

Israeli occupation troops killed on Friday one Palestinian civilian in Gaza Strip and wounded 141 others during the protests of the Great March of Return.

Medical sources in Gaza said that the Palestinian protester Rami Qahman, 28, was shot in the neck and sustained serious wounds. Later on, the sources said, Qahman succumbed to his wounds in the hospital.

The researcher of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that 19 children, six women, four paramedics and five sustained critical wounds were among the casualties.

According to the PCHR, today’s protesters did not burn tyres and there was nothing to blur the sight of the Israeli snipers in order to make mistakes.

“This proves that the Israeli occupation forces use the lethal force and the policy of shoot-to-kill intentionally,” the PCHR said. “Today’s killing, along with most of the previous killings, is a flagrant violation of the human rights and international law.”

(Source / 10.11.2018)

Fourteen-Year-Old Child Narrates His Agony Inside Israeli Jails

There are about 350 Palestinian children inside Israeli jails

On 5 September 2018, a 14-year-old boy from Qalandiya refugee camp is arrested by Israeli soldiers at 3:00 pm during clashes. He reports being interrogated at midnight without consulting with a lawyer.

I was in the area near Qalandiya checkpoint at around 3:00 p.m. when boys were throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and swearing at them. Then I went to a nearby shop when all of a sudden I was grabbed by the neck by the person who was standing next to me. It turned out he was a soldier in civilian clothes.

Story Highlights
He was arrested during a house raid in the night.
He was interrogated without consulting with a lawyer.
He was interrogated without the presence of any of his parents.
He was handcuffed and strip-searched.
He was sent to a military court.

 

The soldier dragged me to a small room at the checkpoint and left me there on a chair. About an hour later my mother came and both of us waited in the room until around 10:00 p.m. when we were taken to Atarot police station.

We were taken the short distance from the checkpoint to the police station in a military vehicle. We both sat on seats in the back. On the way the soldier who was driving told me not to lie to the interrogator because he knows everything. When we arrived at the police station we were left in an outdoor area until around midnight when I was taken for interrogation and my mother was allowed to accompany me.

The interrogator was dressed in civilian clothes. He told my mother he was going to allow her to attend the interrogation but warned her she was not allowed to say a word or intervene in any way. He threatened to throw her out if she opened her mouth. He told her she could listen but she could not speak.

Then the interrogator told me and my mother we had the right to have a lawyer present. My mother told him she did not have a telephone number for a lawyer and that it was a late hour at night to find a lawyer anyway. The interrogator told her in that case he was going to interrogate me without a lawyer present. Then he started to question me without informing me of my right to silence.

The interrogator asked me what I was doing at the checkpoint. I told him I was with my friends. He asked whether my friends and I were throwing stones at soldiers and I told him we were. Then he asked whether there were soldiers at the checkpoint and I said yes. Then he wanted to know how many and whether there were female soldiers. Then he accused me of swearing at the female soldier and insulting her. Then he asked whether the stones had hit soldiers and I said no. He accused me of lying and thumped the table aggressively. I was scared and started to cry. Then he shouted at me again and wanted to know why I was crying.

Then he repeated the accusation. He told me I called the female soldier a whore. He also told me soldiers saw me throwing stones. Then he asked me what would happen if I am hit on the head by a stone. He wanted to know whether it is possible I would bleed and be hurt. I said yes. Then he also accused me of throwing stones at the CCTV camera and said all the money of my country would not be enough to compensate for the broken camera. I was shivering as he spoke to me because the air conditioner was blowing cold air and I was tired and scared.

Then he showed my mother documents in Hebrew and asked her to sign. When she asked him to translate he told her the document said she was allowed to attend the interrogation. My mother signed the documents.  The interrogation lasted for about 2 hours and I was very tired, hungry and sleepy towards the end.

Then they took my photograph and fingerprints and then took me and my mother to another room where we waited for another 2 hours. I was shackled and handcuffed to the back. The handcuffs were painful and my mother asked the soldier to remove them but he told her he was not allowed to remove them.

I recall a man and woman in military uniform where in the room and they were flirting and kissing and I did not feel comfortable. My mother thought it was disgusting behaviour. They were smoking and blowing smoke in our direction.

Then a commander came and told the soldiers to take my mother to the checkpoint. He told her she could attend my military court hearing later that morning. Then I was taken in a vehicle to Ofer prison. I arrived at Ofer at around 4:30 a.m. At Ofer I was strip searched and taken to Section 13. I ate and slept maybe for an hour. At around 7:00 a.m. I was taken to Ofer military court.

My mother was in court and my lawyer. I was taken to court in shackles but the handcuffs were removed. I did not understand much but I was later told by my lawyer I was going to be released. He told me he was able to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor where my family would pay a 2,000 shekels fine. He told me if I am seen at the checkpoint again I would spend 3 weeks in prison. My mother accepted the deal.

I was released on 6 September 2018 and I went home with my cousin. I arrived home just after midnight. My mother had prepared a nice meal and I ate and went to bed. I was exhausted.

(Source / 10.11.2018)

Israeli Occupation Confiscates 156 Dunams In Ramallah

Through time, Israel confiscated large amounts of Palestinian lands in the area, annexed them to illegal settlements

Israeli occupation authorities have decided to confiscate 156 dunams of the Palestinian lands in central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

Local sources said that the targeted land is located in Al-Laban Village to the west of Ramallah.

Palestinian officials at Al-Laban village council said that the Israeli occupation authorities sent them orders telling them that three lots of lands in the village were confiscated.

The lands are owned by villagers who use them to plant vegetables and fruits.

Prior to this order, the Israeli occupation confiscated large amounts of Palestinian lands over claims of security concerns before annexing them to illegal Israeli Jewish settlements.

(Source / 05.11.2018)

Western Hypocrisy: Khashoggi, Murtaja –2 Deceased Journalists The World Only Remembers One

By Professor Kamel Hawwash

Killing of Palestinian journalist by Israel did not prompt more than a modest coverage by Western media, but killing Khashoggi prompted wide media coverage and actual steps to stop arms’ deals with Saudi Arabia.

Yaser Murtaja was a Palestinian photojournalist who had gone to the Gaza fence with Israel to cover the second Friday of the Great Return March. He was killed by an Israeli sniper on 7 April. There was modest coverage of his death coming on the second Friday of the Great Return March. The world was troubled by the deliberate targeting by highly trained Israeli snipers of Palestinian civilians who posed no threat, but Western governments were hesitant about criticising Israel for targeting men, women, children, medics and journalists. The young medic, Razan Al-Najjar was shot and killed weeks later while tending to the wounded at the Gaza fence. At the same time, Nikki Haley was plotting to scupper a UN Security Council resolution to protect Palestinian civilians.

In its most recent atrocity, Israel targeted and killed three children in Gaza. They identified as Khaled Bassam Mahmoud Abu Saeed, 14; Abdul Hameed Mohammed Abdul Aziz Abu Zaher, 13; and Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Sutari, 13.

I did not know Yasir, Razan, Khaled, Abdul Hameed or Mohammed. However, their loss and the grief I felt when they died lives with me to this day. Why has the world not sanctioned Israel for killing them? Why does it get a pass when it violates basic human rights while other states are held to account?

Reaction to their killings is in sharp contrast to the disappearance and then confirmed killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October, which has captured the world’s imagination. I have not met a single person who has not been aware of the story or who has not followed with absolute horror the sordid details emerging from sources in the Turkish government about his murder and the possible mutilation of his body. Calls for sanctions on Saudi Arabia have been widespread, ranging from ordinary citizens to governments.

I was fortunate to meet Jamal and to chair a session at Middle East Monitor’s conference on the Oslo Accords the Saturday before his return to Istanbul to complete some paperwork at the Saudi Consulate to enable him to marry his fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Never did I or any of us present imagine how events would unfold hours later.

There are many reasons for the coverage that Jamal’s murder received, which set him apart from other journalists that have been targeted for their writings or coverage of important world events including Syria, Iraq and Libya to name but a few. He was a loyal Saudi citizen who had been closely connected with the Royal family but one who felt his freedom to speak under the –effective- rule of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had been curtailed. He was a columnist for the Washington Post.

Khashoggi’s murder pitted two major Muslim states – Saudi Arabia and Turkey – against each other. The murder was not carried out on the streets of Istanbul but inside a diplomatic mission. There were leaks and denials. There were different versions of what happened put out by Saudi Arabia which were at best inconsistent but which turned out to be lies. There was the theatre of Turkey’s President Erdogan’s widely advertised speech, which promised much detail but ended up a masterpiece of political prudence devoid of new information.  The fate of the Saudi Crown Prince and even the Saudi monarchy as we know it hangs in the balance.

To this day, Khashoggi’s body has not been recovered. Questions remain unanswered about who ordered the murder, how it was conducted, what has happened to the body and what actual evidence Turkey holds, leaving much room for speculation. Was Turkey eavesdropping on the Saudi Consulate and therefore was the actual murder recorded on audio or video?

Those are some of the reasons why Jamal’s murder has tantalised the world for the past couple of weeks and will do so as more details are leaked or if Turkey finally decides to make public its evidence, which may include identifying who in the Saudi hierarchy was the most senior person that ordered Khashoggi’s killing.

Western countries have started imposing sanctions on individuals suspected of being part of the murder squad, effectively cancelling visas they may hold, and calls for imposing an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia have been made, especially in Europe. While these have been balanced against the strategic importance of trade with Saudi Arabia, it is at least an indication that Western countries can act to pressure other states accused of committing crimes.

The world moved to impose sanctions on Russia and Iran, while history shows other countries faced sanctions, including Iraq and Libya.

However, it seems that the world is reluctant to sanction Israel whatever it does. In fact, many western countries justify its crimes as a necessary means of “self-defence”. There is no talk of imposing a two-way arms embargo on Israel. The Americans have not considered an end to the $3 billion annual military aid for killing Razan or Yaser. This would be moral, but also a saving for the American taxpayer who does not choose for the American Administration to fund a self-declared Apartheid state with half its overseas aid budget.

The world is right to be outraged by journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing and the manner in which it was carried out. It is right to ask for the truth and then for sanctions to be imposed on those responsible for his horrible murder. However, its hypocrisy in only mildly criticising Israel for killing Palestinian journalists provides it with the impunity it has enjoyed and continues to enjoy. The life of a Palestinian, Saudi or Israeli journalist should be worth the same.

The world’s firmness in dealing with Jamal’s killers may well dissuade other states from committing crimes against journalists, except possibly Israel. No country should be able to act above the law, including Israel.

(Source / 04.11.2018)

Israel, Gaza Close To Ceasefire: Israeli Source

High-level Israeli political source reportedly says new deal to be clinched easing Gaza blockade

Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are close to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, a report said Saturday, citing a high-level Israeli source.

According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, an unnamed senior political figure leaked that a deal was in the making between Israel and the Gazan administration to allow Qatar to provide the enclave with funds to pay its civil servants as well as fuel.

The source added that the Israeli side would audit the funds to ensure they were not being used for “terror activities”.

Since Palestinians began holding regular rallies along the buffer zone on March 30, more than 200 protesters have been killed and thousands more injured.

Demonstrators demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

Egypt, Qatar and the UN have been working towards a ceasefire to ease the blockade in exchange for the termination of the protests.

(Source / 03.11.2018)

An Open Letter To Wife Of Palestinian Hunger-Striker

Palestinian hunger-striker Khader Adnan went on hunger strike protesting against being held in Israeli prisons without a trial

British activist Sarah Wilkinson sends a letter of solidarity and support to the wife of the Palestinian hunger-striker Khader Adnan, who spent a total of 11 years under administrative detention inside Israeli jails.

Dear Mrs Randa Adnan,

I write this letter to you hearing the news that your husband has ended his hunger strike after 58 days. I want to send my warmest wishes to you, for your pain and worry, and for the immense suffering which you, indeed all your family, have been through — not just for these last two months, but for the many years that you have endured this inhumane and unjust persecution at the hands of Israel.

I cannot truly imagine what you have had to contend with, but I have tried, and I kept each and every one of you in my thoughts throughout each day, from dawn till dusk.

As you continue forward, I will remain in steadfast solidarity with you and your cause for freedom, and I will remain forever at your side in spirit.

My voice is small, but it will never be silenced, or fade with time — and I know there are thousands, indeed millions, of equally committed voices of solidarity that will join me at your side.

Dear Mrs Randa Adnan, from one woman to another, I send you the courage of a thousand lions, the hugs of a thousand gentle bears, the healing of a thousand potions and the love of a thousand hearts. Forever in your service,

Sarah Wilkinson

(Source / 31.10.2018)