Amnesty: Israel settlement ‘amounts to war crimes’

‘The construction and maintenance of settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, breaches international law and amounts to war crimes,’ Amnesty International says

Amnesty International stressed yesterday that Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem “breaches international law and amounts to war crimes.”

On its official website, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philippe Nassif, said: “Today, the United States government announced to the rest of the world that it believes the US and Israel are above the law: that Israel can continue to violate international law and Palestinians’ human rights and the US will firmly support it in doing so.

“Today’s announcement does not and will not change the law which is crystal clear: the construction and maintenance of settlements in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, breaches international law and amounts to war crimes.”

“It does, however, place the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, at increased risk by giving Israel the green light to continue with its settlement building and expansion policy which sit at the heart of human rights crisis in the area.”

“The US announcement not only goes against the international consensus on the illegality of Israeli settlements but also goes against the US’s legal obligation to respect and ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions.”

Phillippe concluded: “We are unafraid to say clearly and without ambiguity: no US announcement can change the law and we will continue to work hard to ensure that international law and human rights are respected, protected and those perpetrating violations will be held to account.”

(Source / 20.11.2019) 

Palestinian journalist had his eye removed after being shot by Israel

Backed by the US, Israeli forces enjoy full immunity so as they continue to attack Palestinian journalists

Doctors removed on Tuesday morning eye of Palestinian journalist Muath Amarneh, who was shot by Israeli occupation forces while covering their violations on Friday in West Bank city of Al-Khalil.

Shooting the photojournalist prompted outrage among Palestinian and international journalists on social media and solidarity protests in the occupied territory.

Muath, from the Bethlehem-area Dheisheh refugee camp, was covering Israeli attacks on protests in the town of Surif alongside several of his colleagues when he was hit.

Amarneh was targeted by an Israeli sniper, his colleagues said, despite the fact he was wearing a press vest and helmet when he was shot

Israeli police claimed that Amarneh was not targeted, but that he was standing too close to protesters, while his colleagues insisted he was standing among them as all of them were far away from the protesters.

An injured and bloodied Amarneh was evacuated to the nearest hospital in Al-Khalil, before eventually being transferred to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where he has since been receiving treatment.

‘Muath’s Eye’

Photos of Amarneh with a bloodied eye, wearing his press vest and still holding his camera, went viral over the weekend on social media, prompting widespread denunciation from Palestinians across the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, as well as in the world.

Palestinian journalists and activists from across the territories posted photos of themselves on social media with one eye covered, with the hashtag “Muath’s Eye”, in Arabic.

Meanwhile, many international journalists across the globe put their hands or placed badges on their eyes and posted their pictures on social media and wrote they are doing this in solidarity with Amarneh.

Protests and sit-ins were organised in Amarneh’s hometown of Bethlehem, the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, and Gaza City.

Hundreds of journalists took part in the Bethlehem sit-in, wearing their press vests and symbolically wearing eyepatches.

Israeli forces violently dispersed the Bethlehem protest, heavily firing sound bombs and tear gas at journalists as they approached the permanent Israeli military base at the northern end of the city.

It is worth noting that the Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists do not stop. In October alone, reports counted more than 600 Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists and mass media.

wife of Muath.jpg
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(Source / 19.11.2019) 

US: Israeli settlements not opposed to international law

Mike Pompeo rolls back decades of policy and disregards international law in bombshell statement

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday evening Trump administration believes Israeli Jewish settlements in the occupied are no longer illegal.

The establishment of Israeli settlements “is not, per se, inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo said, rolling back decades of policy in Washington.

Pompeo’s move throws out a 1978 State Department legal opinion that stated that Israeli settlements violate international law.

Written by then-State Department legal adviser Herbert Hansell, the 41-year-old legal opinion has long been the basis of US policy towards Israeli settlements.

Hansell said at the time that Israel was “a belligerent occupant” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Syrian Golan Heights.

Pompeo’s announcement comes after a series of staunchly pro-Israel measures taken by US President Donald Trump since he came into office, including a contentious decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump also recognised Israel’s hold on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights in March, a move that drew international criticism and raised fears that the US administration would green-light Israel’s annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories.

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which the US is a signatory, an occupying power cannot move its civilian population into territory it occupies.

There are approximately 200 official Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with around 620,000 residents, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

The group said on Monday that the Trump administration’s “farcical announcement doesn’t just green-light Israel’s illegal settlement project, but also other human rights violations around the world by obliterating the principles of international law”.

The move also pushes “the world over 70 years backwards”, B’Tselem said.


(Source / 19.11.2019) 

Israeli Jewish rabbi: Burning Christian churches in Israel justified

The rabbi said he is ready to spend 50 years in prison for burning a chuch

The Israeli Jewish Rabbi Benzi Gopstein has said that Christian churches in Israel must be burnt because Christians worship idols and idols must be destroyed.

Gopstein, the head of Lehava group, made his remarks at a panel discussion for Jewish yeshiva students when asked by a fellow panellist if he believed burning down churches in Israel was justified.

“Did the Rambam [Maimonides] rule to destroy [idol worship] or not? Idol worship must be destroyed. It’s simply yes – what’s the question?” Gopstein told the panel.

His comment alarmed his questioner Benny Rabinovich, a journalist, who told him: “Benzi, I must say I’m really shocked by what you’re saying here. You are essentially saying we must go out and burn down churches. You’re saying something insane here.”

Told by another panellist, Moshe Klein, that the discussion was being filmed and that his remarks could lead to his arrest, Gopstein answered: “That’s the last thing that concerns me. If this is truth, I’m prepared to sit in jail 50 years for it.”

Gopstein later tried to evade accusations of inciting his followers to fire-raise, saying it was the government’s responsibility to carry out what he presented as a religious teaching of the 12th century Jewish philosopher, Maimonides.

In 2015, Shin Bet – Israel’s domestic intelligence agency – concluded that there are no legal grounds for outlawing Lehava, despite a request from the then Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon to consider doing so.

Lehava – whose name means “flame”- regularly holds open gatherings in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, where members distribute literature warning of the dangers of relationships between Jewish women and Arab men.

The group held a demonstration at which members chanted “death to the Arabs” outside a wedding between a Muslim and Jewish woman who had converted to Islam in 2014.

(Source / 19.11.2019) 

UN overwhelmingly vote to extend UNRWA mandate

UNRWA currently supports 5.5 million Palestine refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria

The Fourth Committee of the UN General Assembly has voted to extend mandate of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) until 2023.

In a statement, a copy of which sent to Palestine Post 24, the UN said that the UN General Assembly will vote in plenary session next month on the resolution adopted by the Fourth Committee.

UNRWA was established 70 years ago and provides essential services to Palestine refugees based on a mandate given to it by the General Assembly which is renewed every three years.

The statement added: “UNRWA is experiencing the worst financial deficit in its 70 year history and is seeking to overcome a financial gap of nearly US$ 89 million before the end of the year.”

Commenting on the vote, the Acting Commissioner- General of the UNRWA, Christian Saunders, said: “The fact that 170 UN Member-States reaffirmed their trust in UNRWA and expressed support for it to continue providing its essential assistance for the next three years is a confirmation of the vital role that the Agency plays in supporting the needs of Palestine refugees.”

UNRWA currently supports 5.5 million Palestine refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

The agency provides services in the fields of health, education, microfinance, protection and relief and social services, with over half a million girls and boys attending its 709 schools and some 8.5 million patient visits provided in 2018 alone in 22 health centres across the five fields of operations.

The resolution approved on Friday affirms that Palestine refugees continue to have essential needs – that in the absence of a just and lasting solution to their plight – UNRWA continues to meet through its programmes and service delivery.

The vote is also seen as a confirmation of the strong support Member States have for the robust measures being undertaken by the Agency to address the issues identified by the recent investigation, as well as for the broader reforms underway to enhance the Agency’s ability to respond to the needs of Palestine refugees.

“We are extremely grateful to UN Member States, donors and partners for this overwhelming vote of confidence in the Agency” said Saunders. “We will ensure that their trust and continued support are well placed.”

(Source / 17.11.2019) 

After killing 36 Gazans, Sanders said: Israel must lift its siege imposed on Gaza

Sanders blamed Palestinians for firing rockets at the Israeli occupation and did not mention that Israel killed 36 Palestinians, including eight children

In the wake of killing 36 Palestinians in Gaza and wounding 111 others, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called for Israel to lift its siege imposed on Gaza and end its occupation.

Commenting on the Israeli occupation attack on Gaza, Sanders tweeted: “Palestinians should not have to live under occupation and blockade.”

Sanders insisted that his country should exert efforts in order to end the 12-year-old Israeli siege imposed on more than 2 million people.

“The US must lead the effort to end the crisis in Gaza and the persistent violence that threatens everyone,” he added.

Sanders initially blamed the Palestinians for making the Israeli occupiers live in fear under the rocket salvos.

He ignored the fact that the Palestinian rockets fired at the Israeli occupation are primitive and do nothing compared to those of the Israelis which destroy complete neighbourhoods.

“Israelis should not have to live in fear of rocket fire,” he started his tweet.

It is worth noting that during a tow-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, Israel killed 36 Palestinians, one third of them were children and wounded 111 others, while no Israeli was even wounded.

All the 40 people reported wounded in Israel suffered from trauma. All the 2 million people in Gaza also suffered from trauma.

(Source / 17.11.2019) 

Israel’s precision propaganda tries to justify the slaughter of innocents

To justify killing Palestinians, Israeli army uses videos about terror attacks including 9/11, Mumbai, Manchester, Paris, Sweden, Indonesia and Nigeria, none of which had anything to do with the Palestinians

By Yvonne Ridley 

Each claimed targeted killing carried out by the Israeli occupation army included several innocent civilians. Sometimes, the targeted killings just slaughter women, children and infants.

The seriously misnamed Israel Defence Forces (IDF) and its supporters get very upset when members of the fifth largest army in the world are accused of targeting innocent women and children. They issue vehement denials to the world even though that is exactly what happens as a direct consequence of firing high explosives into densely populated civilian areas.

Even as the bombs are falling, Israeli propaganda goes into top gear. An IDF tweet yesterday announced dramatically: “BREAKING: We just targeted Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza, Baha Abu Al Ata. Al Ata was directly responsible for hundreds of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. His next attack was imminent.” This was followed quickly up by another post which claimed that the deadly attack was a “precision strike”.

That claim is debateable. What the IDF hasbara team failed to mention was that while targeting Abu Al-Ata the occupation army also killed his wife, and seriously injured four of their children and a neighbour. There was nothing “precision” or “surgical” about this strike; it was arguably a war crime.

When you lob Hellfire missiles — “used in a number of targeted killings of high-profile individuals,” explains Wikipedia — and other so-called smart bombs into a civilian area you will kill civilians. Non-combatant civilians were not protected in such a way during World War Two, which is why Article 33 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions was drawn up. It states that no one should be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.

Now we have to sit back and witness the twin obscenities not only of Israel ignoring the Geneva Conventions and killing civilians, but also of pro-Israel lobbyists defending such action. Among the many tweets posted in support of the military strike, one which caught my eye came from the public relations director of a German NGO; Josias Terschüren challenged me when I had the temerity to point out that there was no such thing as a “surgical strike” in civilian areas.

“Apparently nobody but the targeted terrorist and his wife died in the surgical strike and two of his children were severely wounded,” tweeted Terschüren. “This can happen and has happened to other terrorist family members. No civilians were hurt.”

In this man’s eyes, therefore, neither Abu Al-Ata’s wife nor his children can be regarded as innocent civilians; they are members of a “terrorist family”.

When I challenged him on this, the public relations director of the Berlin-based Holocaust charity “Initiative 27. Januar” responded: “I was referring to your critique of Israeli strikes in densely populated areas. All I wanted to express was, that apart from his family members no other civilians were hit. While unfortunate and sad, this is not uncommon in cases of terrorists‘ family members.”

I’m not sure if Terschüren, who describes himself as “Conservative” and “Christian”, deliberately pushes out this vile propaganda or is a victim of Israeli propaganda himself, because that is a weapon which the IDF uses and abuses with great skill.

Consider this, for example: “This morning we killed an Islamic Jihad commander in #Gaza,” tweeted the IDF yesterday. “This is why you should care.” The accompanying video included news clips about terror attacks including 9/11, Mumbai, Manchester, Paris, Sweden, Indonesia and Nigeria, none of which had anything to do with the Palestinians. Trying to link Palestinian resistance groups to transnational terrorist attacks elsewhere is simply dishonest. They are not branches of Al-Qaeda or Daesh, no matter how many times the IDF and Israel’s lackeys try to convince us otherwise. It simply isn’t true.

That, though, is what we have come to expect from a country which cannot justify its state terrorism in any other way. “Lies, damn lies and Israeli propaganda,” as Mark Twain might have said. Sadly, such propaganda seems to work, judging by social media; those who are anti-Palestinian fall for it hook, line and sinker, probably because it fuels their own inherent racism and hatred.

The IDF has been busy with more “surgical strikes” since the murder of Abu Al-Ata and his wife. The death toll as I write is 23 Palestinians, of which pro-Israel lobbyists claim just 12 were “confirmed to be members of terror groups”. The strikes were not so surgical after all.

Perhaps the 18 innocents caught up in all of this were the wives and children of the “terrorists”. So that’s all right then, according to Israel’s deluded and blinkered war crime apologists. Their sophistry to justify the murder of innocent men, women and children is sickening.

(Source / 16.11.2019) 

Gaza death toll rises to 34, wounded to 100

Parent and their four children were among the death

At least 34 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza, including parents and their four children, as the military continued its air campaign for a third day.

The latest flare up was triggered by Israel’s assassination of a top member of the Islamic Jihad on Tuesday morning, and is showing little sign of easing.

Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza said that 100 people had also been wounded during the bombardment.

According to the Palestinian ministry in Gaza, the Israeli occupation fighters targeted the house of Abu-Malhoos family in the city of Deir al-Balah, in the middle of the Gaza Strip, and killed all of its dwellers.

The ministry named the family members as father Rasmi al-Sawarka, 45, mother Yosra al-Sawarka, 43, Mariam al-Sawarka, 45, Mohannad al-Sawarka, 12, Mu’az al-Sawarka, 7, and Waseem al-Sawarka, 13.

Here are the names of the martyrs:

1. Asma Mohammad Hassan Abul-Ata, 39,

2. Bahaa Saleem Hassan Abul-Ata, 42,

3. Mohammad Atiyah Maslah Hamouda, 20,

4. Ibrahim Ahmad Abdul Latifa al-Dhabous, 26,

5. Zaki Adnan Mohammad Ghanameh, 25,

6. Abdallah Oudh Sakib al-Bolbeesi, 26,

7. Abdul-Salam Ramadan Ahmad Ahmad, 28,

8. Rani Fayez Rajab abu-Nasr, 35,

9. Jihad Ayman Ahmad abu-Khatir, 22,

10. Wael abdul-Aziz Abdullah abdul-Nabi, 43,

11. Khalid Maudh Saalim Farraj, 38,

12. Ibrahim Ayman Fathi abdul-Aal, 17,

13. Ismail Ayman Fathi abdul-Aal, 16,

14. Ahmad Ayman Fathi abdul-Aal, 23,

15. Rafat Mohammad Salman Ayyad, 54,

16. Islam Rafat Mohammad Ayyad, 24,

17. Ameer Rafat Mohammad Ayyad, 7,

18. Alaa Jaber Abd Shteiwi, 30,

19. Mahmoud Daham Mahmoud Hathat, 19,

20. Suhail Khidr Khalil Qaniteh, 23,

21. Yousef Rizeq Khalild abu-Komeel, 35,

22. Mu’min Mohammad Salman Qadoum, 26,

23. Mohamed Abdulla Shurrab, 28,

24. Haitham Hafez al-Bakri, 22,

25. Obada Hassan al-Kordi, 28,

26. Mohammad Hassan abu-Mu’amar, 25,

27. Rasmi al-Sawarka, 45,

28. Yosra al-Sawarka, 43,

29. Mariam al-Sawarka, 45,

30. Mohannad al-Sawarka, 12,

31. Mu’az al-Sawarka, 7,

32. Waseem al-Sawarka, 13.

33. Firas al-Sawarka, and; 

34. Salim al-Sawrka. 

(Source / 14.11.2019) 

Watch and cry; daughter screams: ‘I want to go with my dad’

Abul-Ata and his wife were killed in a predawn attack carried out by an Israeli fighter. Three of their daughters and a neighbour were wounded in the attack

By Motasem A Dalloul 

During the farewell of her father, who was killed by Israel, Layan Bahaa abul-Ata, 9 years old, screamed: “I want to go with my dad.”

Layan told Palestine Post 24 that her father promised to celebrate her birth day “tomorrow”, but “I got up to find him dead.”

Her birthday is on 12 November and her father told her that he had prepared a surprise for her and wanted to celebrate Layan’s birthday in the morning.

“Suddenly, sound of a huge explosion woke me up,” she said. “I threw myself from my bed and ran towards my parents’ room. I saw nothing because of the heavy smoke. I found the room had collapsed over the bodies of my parents.”

The Israeli occupation killed Abul-Ata in a predawn aerial attack on his house on !2 November. In the attack, he was killed, his wife and three of their children were wounded.

“It was shocking,” Layan said. “I expected this moment, but I did not think it would be very soon,” she added, noting that she knew her father was wanted for Israel over his resistance activities against the Israeli occupation.

Motasem A Dalloul@AbujomaaGaza  

Who can bear this?!!

Daughter of Palestinian father killed in #Israeli_airstrike in #Gaza screaming during the farewell: “I want to go with my dad.”#GazaUnderAttack #Gaza_Under_Attack

فيديو مُضمّن

١٠٤٧:٢٢ م – ١٣ نوفمبر ٢٠١٩المعلومات والخصوصية لإعلانات تويتر(Source / 14.11.2019) 

Netanyahu warns to expand military offensive on Gaza

Ongoing mediation efforts aiming to reach a ceasefire have not made breakthroughs yet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday that Israel would expand the military offensive on Gaza as 24 Palestinians have been killed and 69 others wounded.

The Israeli occupation launched deadly strikes against commander of the Islamic Jihad early on Tuesday, triggering a wave of tit-for-tat rocket salvoes and air strikes.

Since then, the Israeli military has been carrying out deadly strikes in Gaza which resulted in the death of 24 Palestinians, including a father on his two little children.

Abu Musaab al-Breem, spokesman of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, said: “What’s going on is retaliation for the assassination of Abul Atta [the eIslamic Jihad commander] and is coordinated by all Palestinian factions.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ordered the assassination, on Tuesday accused Abul Atta of masterminding recent attacks against Israel and planning more in the near future.

Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Islamic Jihad must stop rocket attacks or “absorb more and more blows”.

“They have one choice: to stop these attacks or absorb more and more blows. Their choice,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting, adding that Israel was not seeking a further escalation.

(Source / 13.11.2019)