Palestinian fisherman shot dead by Egyptian forces

A Palestinian fisherman stands on his boat in Gaza City on 26 February 2017 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images]

A Palestinian fisherman stands on his boat in Gaza City on 26 February 2017

The Palestinian health ministry yesterday said that a fisherman was shot dead by the Egyptian naval forces as he was fishing off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip.

The head of the Fishermen’s Union Committee, Zakaria Bakr, told Safa that the 32-year-old Mustafa Abu Ouda had been fishing alone in his boat off the coast of the southern border town of Rafah.

Palestinian fishermen suffer from strict Israeli restrictions on fishing, in addition to the Egyptian navy’s hurdles near the southern border of Gaza.

In recent years, at least three Palestinian fishermen were reported dead by Egyptian fire.

Read: Gaza Fisherman battles poverty with boat made of plastic bottles

(Source / 08.11.2018)

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar: Muslims Are Actual Terrorism Victims

Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb gives an interview to Agence France Presse on June 9, 2015 in Florence

Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb said Monday that despite Muslims being described “by brutality and violence….they are only victims of terrorism,” explaining that the reasons behind terrorism are not Islam or any other religion, but global regimes that trade religions, and morals for power.

During his speech in the opening of the Al-Azhar’s international symposium under the theme “Islam and the West: Diversity and Integration,” Tayeb added that the eastern civilization respects religion and science regardless of their source.

Tayeb continued that the terrible silence on terrorism enabled armed political movements to link Islam to other terrorist crimes.

In his speech before the attendees, Belgian former Prime Minister Yves Leterme said that the West knows that Islam is devoted to democracy and equality, stressing the importance of dialogue to achieve its goals.

Former president of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic stated that the Islamic culture is based on rejecting violence and on respecting others. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that believers will work devotedly to lay a common ground through which risks can be faced and peace attained.

The three-day seminar, held at Al-Azhar Conference Center, will discuss a number of topics related to Islam and Europe, including tension between Muslims and others in Europe.

(Source / 23.10.2018)

IOA closes Ibrahimi Mosque to Muslim worshipers

Ibrahimi Mosque al-Khalil

The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Wednesday closed the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil city before Muslim worshipers in order to allow Jewish settlers to  mark Yom Kippur at the Islamic holy site.

According to director of the Ibrahimi Mosque Sheikh Hafdhi Abu Asnaina, the IOA will also close the Mosque before Muslims next Tuesday and Wednesday to allow settlers to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The Mosque will be closed for another Jewish occasion on October 27.

The Mosque had already been closed for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur last Sunday.

(Source / 19.09.2018)

PCHR: “Within less than 24 hours, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child”

19 SEP
3:18 AM

Date: 18 September 2018: Within less than 24 Hours and Without Posing Any Threat to Life of Soldiers: Israeli Forces Kill 4 Civilians, including Child, in Two Crimes in Southern and Northern Gaza Strip.

Within less than 24 hours, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 44 others, including 7 children, 2 women, 3 journalists and 2 paramedics in 2 separate crimes.

The first was in the southern Gaza Strip When Israeli warplanes launched missiles to kill 2 civilians; one of them was a child, without any justification or threat to the life of soldiers while the second was in the northern Gaza Strip when Israeli forces used excessive force against peaceful protesters near Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

PCHR’s investigations into the first case emphasize that the two killed were civilians who were present near the barbed-wire fence that is around 50 meters away from the main border fence.

Although no circumstances clarified the reason behind their presence in the scene, they did not pose any threat to the life of soldiers as both were unarmed; moreover, targeting them violates the principle of necessity and distinction.

In the second case, the investigations indicate that the Israeli soldiers used lethal and excessive force against the peaceful protestors who posed no threat or danger to the life of the soldiers in the protests area.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 22:30 on Monday, 17 September 2018, the Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip opened fire at the area near the border fence in eastern al-Qedra, northeast of the city.

After around 20 minutes, an Israeli drone launched 2 missiles at the same area.  Later, the Spokesperson of the Israeli forces,

Avichay Adraee, declared on twitter that a military drone “attacked saboteurs who suspiciously approached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and planted a suspicious object near it”.  However, this was refuted by the PCHR’s investigations.

At approximately 00:15 on Tuesday, an ambulance crew belonging to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) arrived in the vicinity of the area, and the ambulances stopped at the end of Street 2 to the east.

After coordinating with the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the ambulances started entering the border area and searching for possibly wounded persons.  Meanwhile, the Palestinian Liaison via phone directed the ambulance crew to where the two persons killed exactly was after the former’s contacted with the Israeli Liaison.

The PRCS crew said to PCHR’s fieldworker that at approximately 00:50 that near the barbed-wire fence established in the Palestinian territories, east of al-Qedra, that is around 50 meters away from the main border fence, they found two bodies of civilians dressed in civilian clothes.

One of them turned into pieces while the second was wounded with shrapnel throughout his body and features of his face was unclear due to the targeting.

The ambulance crew carried the two killed, taking them 300 meters away where the ambulances were parked.  They were then taken to Naser Hospital in Khan Younis.

Moreover, neither firearms nor suspicious objects were found near the bodies unlike what have been said by the Israeli Forces’ Spokesperson.

On Tuesday Afternoon, 18 September 2018, families of the 2 persons killed identified them after their photos were published on social media.  They were namely as Naji Jamil Hasan Abu ‘Aasi (17) and ‘Alaa Ziad Jamil Abu ‘Aasi (20); who are both from Bani Suhaila.

Though the circumstances have not clarified the reason behind their presence in the scene, they posed no threat to the life of Israeli soldiers as they were both civilians and unarmed, noting that the area was calm and did not witness any protests.  Moreover, many infiltrations into Israel for work there were reported in that area.

At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, 18 September 2018, Israeli forces stationed at the Beit hanoun “Erez” Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip fired live bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse hundreds of civilians who were protesting near the crossing upon calls from the National Committee of March for Return and Breaking the Siege to participate in the “Together for the Rights of Refugees and Breaking the Siege” activity.

The Israeli Forces’ shooting resulted in the killing of 2 civilians who were identified as Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Abu Naji (32) from Beit Lahia Housing Project who was hit with a bullet to the chest; and Ahmed Mohammed Muhsen ‘Omer (24) from al-Shati’ refugee camp who was hit with a bullet to the chest.  Both of them were taken to the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia.

Moreover, 44 civilians, including 7 children, 2 women, 3 journalists and 2 paramedics, were wounded.  Seven of the wounded were hit with bullets while the rest were directly hit with tear gas canisters in addition to dozens who suffered tear gas inhalation.  Further, a tear gas canister hit and broke the window of a PRCS ambulance.

PCHR condemns these crimes which further prove that Israeli forces continue to use lethal forces against Palestinian civilians to kill them even though the later posed no threat to the life of soldiers.

PCHR emphasizes that continuously targeting civilians, who exercise their right to peaceful assembly or while carrying out their humanitarian duty is a serious violation of the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, the ICC Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention.

Thus, PCHR calls upon the ICC Prosecutor to open an official investigation in these crimes and to prosecute and hold accountable all those applying or involved in issuing orders within the Israeli Forces at the security and political echelons.

PCHR also reiterates its call upon the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligations under Article 1; i.e., to respect and ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and their obligations under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

(Source / 19.09.2018)

IOF violently quells West Bank weekly protests, injuries reported

Violently WB

Dozens of Palestinians suffered different injuries after Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) violently supressed West Bank weekly protests.

In al-Khalil, a number of Palestinians suffered from tear-gas suffocation as Israeli forces suppressed a peaceful protest in Qalqas village demanding the opening of its entrance.

In Ramallah, Israeli forces injured five Palestinians by rubber-coated steel rounds after attacking Palestinian protesters who were demonstrating in Ras Karkar village against the imminent confiscation of lands by the occupation authorities.

The protesters were calling for the revocation of Israeli plans to confiscate large tracts of land belonging to Palestinians from the village and from nearby villages for settlement expansion purposes.

Also in Ramallah, several Palestinians suffocated after Israeli forces quelled two marches in the villages of Bal’in and Ni’lin.

Forces fired teargas to disperse hundreds of Palestinians who took place in the two marches against Israeli settlement activities and the Israeli Apartheid Wall, causing many cases of suffocation from teargas inhalation.

In the meantime, the firing of teargas canisters by the Israeli forces in Bal’in caused fire to erupt in a tree-planted area, and dozens of olive trees were reportedly burnt as a result.

(Source / 08.09.2018)

Myanmar used weapons made in Israel to slaughter Rohingya Muslims

PALESTINOW.COM — “Israeli weapons are used in the ethnic and religious cleansing carried out by the Myanmar army against the Rohingya minority, resulting in the persecution of 700,000 Muslims who were slaughtered and expelled from their country, ”said Israeli writer and journalist Tsur Shezaf in an article published by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

Shezaf asserted that “Israel contributed to the grievances of Rohingya Muslims through its refusal to abide by the UN international boycott resolutions to prevent supplying Myanmar with arms.”

He also noted that Israel continues, through its army, security services and military industries, sending various weapons to the Armed Forces of Myanmar, including military technology.

Shezaf added that “Israel and Myanmar have longstanding historical ties, and it is not reasonable that we repeat today the same mistakes that we made in South Africa, during the apartheid regime, with Myanmar which is committing ethnic cleansing crimes. Currently, Israel is contributing to a new tragedy.”

He confirmed that “Israel’s continued support for Myanmar’s actions, through sending arms and military supplies despite the mass killings, property destruction and rapes committed by the Army. This is an unjustifiable imbecility. This will result in the creation of new refugee camps around Myanmar, specifically in Bangladesh, and from there more armed groups will surface.

Shezaf also noted that “the Rohingyas are subjected to systematic deportation and ethnic cleansing by the Myanmarese and Buddhists in the western side of Myanmar. They are forced to stay in refugee camps set up by Bangladesh on small areas, sheltering one million women, toddlers, men, elders and infants.”

He pointed out that some Rohingya women are still having babies as a result of rapes committed by the Myanmar army, police and Buddhist monks.

Shezaf concluded: “Millions live amidst poor environmental circumstances, where they cannot have a minimum of decent living conditions.  Today, after Rohingyas’ lives became almost impossible, the UN woke up and officially declared that Myanmar, including the army, the police as well as the Buddhist establishment and even the Prime Minister and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, are all responsible for killing an entire population.”

(Source / 31.08.2018)

Israel’s policies in Gaza are genocidal

Razan al-Najjar helping injured man

Razan al-Najjar, the 21 year old Gaza medic killed by an Israeli sniper on June 1, treating an injured man, undated photo from Palestine Live on twitter

The 1948 Genocide Convention clearly states that one instance of genocide is “the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part.” No matter whether this happens at a fast rate, or in “slow motion.” That is what has been done to Gaza since the imposition of the blockade by Israel, and the subsequent massacres which led to the death of more than 4000 Palestinians in three successive genocidal wars.

Palestinians of Gaza live an ongoing, illegal, crippling Israeli siege that has shattered all spheres of life, prompting the former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Richard Falk, to describe it as “a prelude to genocide”. In 2009, the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by the highly respected South African judge, Richard Goldstone, found Israel guilty of “war crimes and possible crimes against humanity,” as did major international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The Goldstone report, for example, concludes that Israel’s war on Gaza was “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.”

The same scenario was repeated in 2012, and a worse one in 2014 only because Israel feels that it can carry on its war crimes with full impunity. And last week Israel has decided to tighten the siege by closing the only commercial crossing, even to increase its attacks by targeting peaceful protesters demanding the implementation of UN resolutions, and an end to this deadly, hermetic siege.

In her visit to Gaza, Professor Sara Roy, an expert on Gaza, describes the Strip as “a land ripped apart and scarred, the lives of its people blighted. Gaza is decaying under the weight of continued devastation, unable to function normally…” Professor Roy concludes that “[T]he decline and disablement of Gaza’s economy and society have been deliberate, the result of state policy–consciously planned, implemented and enforced… And just as Gaza’s demise has been consciously orchestrated, so have the obstacles preventing its recovery.” In addition to Israel’s daily attacks and air strikes, Gazans also suffer from the contamination of water, air and soil, since the sewage system is unable to function due to power cuts necessitated by lack of fuel to the main generators of the Gaza power grid. Medical conditions due to injuries from internationally prohibited butterfly bullets and other illegal Israeli weapons as well as from water contamination cannot be treated because of the siege. In addition to the ban on building materials, Israel also prevents many other necessities from being imported: lights bulbs, candles, matches, books, refrigerators, shoes, clothing, mattresses, sheets, blankets, tea, coffee, sausages, flour, cows, pasta, cigarettes, fuel, pencils, pens, paper… etc. In Gaza, people are wondering whether the current Israeli government, the most fascist in the county’s history, might even discuss a ban on Oxygen! Add to this the punitive measure taken by the PA, and the drastic cuts endorsed by UNRWA, not to mention the constant closure of the Rafah crossing–the only exit Gaza has to the external world– leading to one of the highest unemployment rates and poverty on the face of earth.

In fact, the conclusion Gazans have reached is that Israel is intent on destroying Gaza because world official bodies and leaders choose to say and do absolutely nothing. The brazen refusal of Israel to cooperate with the decision of the International Community to re-construct Gaza, for which several billions of dollars were pledged in Sharm El-Sheikh, should not be tolerated. Israel’s attacks have damaged or completely destroyed many public buildings and have according to the UN’s own Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports severely damaged or completely destroyed some thousands of family dwellings, schools, universities and factories. Many other Palestinians who have spent the past several winters and summers in tents and caravans have also been promised the means to rebuild homes and schools, though to date nothing has been done to alleviate their suffering.

The practice of wanton willful killing of civilians exemplified in the extra-judicial sniping of non-violent protesters at the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip is not an isolated incident. It is part and parcel of an ongoing, comprehensive policy targeting the civilian Palestinians of the Gaza strip and systematically denying them their rights to movement, work, medical care, study, livelihood and increasingly life itself. But it is also a reflection of the nature of the state of Israel.i. e., a settler-colony. Israel’s leading, anti-Zionist historian, Ilan Pappe,  sheds light  on the driving ideology behind this genocidal policy:

Zionism is, in essence, a settler colonial movement, which was interested in having as much of the land of Palestine with as few Palestinians on it as possible. As the late scholar of settler colonialism, Patrick Wolfe, has put it; the encounter between the settlers and the indigenous population triggered ‘the logic of the elimination of the native’. In some places, such as North America, annihilation was literally a genocide of the native; in Palestine it was a different kind of elimination, obtained through segregation, ethnic cleansing and enclavement

In spite of Israel’s alleged unilateral withdrawal from the Strip in 2005, it still maintains a permanent military presence in Gaza’s territorial waters and controls the movement of people and goods onto the strip by land and water in addition to movement within the strip through targeting anyone entering the “no go” zone designated by the Israeli military. Israel also continues to control Gaza’s population registry. Yet, Israel claims that it is no longer the occupying power in the Gaza strip and uses this excuse, in addition to the results of 2006 democratic elections, to intensify its policy of siege and lethal attacks on Gaza’s civilians.

And now, Israel has decided to become openly an apartheid state by legalizing racial discrimination. I have tried very hard to find out whether there are constitutions or laws in the world similar to Israel’s “new” Nation-State Basic Law which aims to establish a legal basis for Jewish supremacy and racism against indigenous Palestinians, including those living in what has become the largest open-air prison on earth; only South Africa under apartheid and America in the eras of slavery and segregation.

So, what to do?!

In a piece published in MEE, Gideon Levy asks “Israel, where is your outrage at the legislation of Apartheid?” Actually, we are not expecting a settler-colonial community to act against its own racism. The outside world has to intervene. Hence our call for #BDS. But, in Palestine, we are in urgent need of serious discussions about a program of radical political transformation, what with the disastrous failure of the existing programs, right and left, a program that divorces itself from the racist two-state solution, one that endorses a more inclusive program that guarantees the rights of all segments of the Palestinian people.

(Source / 04.08.2018)

UN: Over 1,400 Palestinian protesters in Gaza may suffer long-term disability

Palestinians, who were wounded by Israeli soldiers during a protest, organized to mark 70th anniversary of Nakba, also known as Day of the Catastrophe in 1948, and against United States' plans to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, receive treatments at European Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on 17 May, 2018 [Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency]

Injured Palestinians can be seen after they were wounded by Israeli soldiers during the Great March of Return in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 May 2018

Some 1,400 Palestinians shot by Israeli forces during “Great March of Return” protests in the occupied Gaza Strip face the possibility of “long-term disability”, a United Nations agency has said.

The UN OCHA report, contributed by the World Health Organisation and the Disability Working Group, describes how Gaza’s “health sector has continued to struggle with the cumulative caseload of serious injuries, particularly those requiring long-term rehabilitation”.

One obstacle, for example, is that “the import to Gaza of materials required for the production of artificial limbs, including carbon fibre and epoxy resins, is restricted, due to Israel’s consideration of these materials as ‘dual use’ items, which could be used also for military purposes.”

Since the start of demonstrations on 30 March up to 30 June, says the report, a total of 15,501 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces, of whom 8,221 required hospitalisation. Among the latter, 63 per cent were limb injuries, and nearly half (4,023) were the result of gunshot wounds.

Official: 137 Palestinians killed in Gaza’s Great Marches of Return

As of 3 July, 53 Palestinians had received lower limb amputations and eight had upper limb, with 11 of the amputees children. “Additionally, at least ten other Palestinians have been left paralyzed following spinal cord injuries,” OCHA added.

As of 26 June, meanwhile, more than 1,400 Palestinians “with severe injuries are at risk of longer-term physical disability”, including “454 patients who suffered severe vascular injuries and 954 patients who sustained comminuted fractures”.

Deaths and injuries from Gaza demonstrations and other incidents 30 March to 30 June 2018 [UN OCHA]

(Source / 13.07.2018)

Top Egypt court orders temporary YouTube ban over Prophet Mohammad video

Youtube screenshot [File photo]

Egypt’s top administrative court ruled on Saturday that regulators must block the video file-sharing site YouTube for one month over a video that denigrates the Prophet Mohammad, a lawyer who filed the case told Reuters.

A lower administrative court had ordered that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology block YouTube, owned by Google, in 2013 over the video, but the case was appealed and its ruling stayed during the appeal process.

The ministry at the time said it would be impossible to enforce the ruling without also disrupting Google’s Internet search engine, incurring potentially huge costs and job losses in the Arab world’s most populous country.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was not immediately available for comment. YouTube appeared to be working in Egypt on Saturday as of 1250 GMT.

The film “Innocence of Muslims”, a low-budget 13-minute video, was billed as a film trailer and made in California with private funding. It provoked a wave of anti-American unrest in Egypt and other Muslim countries when it appeared in 2012.

Mohamed Hamid Salem, a lawyer who filed the case in 2013, said the ruling also orders that all links that broadcast the film be blocked.

The ruling is considered final and cannot be appealed.

(Source / 27.05.2018)

Charlie Hebdo joins media campaign against Muslim girl in France

Student Union Leader at Paris’ Sorbonne University, Maryam Pougetoux, stirred controversy in France after she appeared on TV wearing a headscarf

Student Union Leader at Paris’ Sorbonne University, Maryam Pougetoux, stirred controversy in France after she appeared on TV wearing a headscarf

atirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo has joined a campaign of hatred waged by politicians and media circles in against Student Union Leader at Paris’ Sorbonne University, Maryam Pougetoux, who appeared on television wearing a headscarf.

The magazine published a provocative cartoon depicting Pougetoux as monkey wearing the Muslim headscarf with the caption “they chose me to head the UNEF” (French National Student Union).

Commentators said the cartoon is the latest in the magazine’s long history of abuse against Islam and Muslims.

French Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, stirred controversy when he criticised Pougetoux’s attire saying he was shocked to see the 19- year-old girl appear on French television, saying it is clear that young Muslims are planning to fight a cultural battle.

Meanwhile, Pougetoux defended herself in an interview, saying her headscarf has nothing to do with politics and stems from personal faith.

Maryam appeared in a documentary on French television to discuss student protests over education reforms proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

France: Jewish deputy mayor complains of ‘too many Arabs’

(Source / 25.05.2018)