Israel forces shoot 20 Palestinians during rallies

23 May

Israeli soldiers in Hebron (Photo: Maan)

The Palestine Chronicle report, 22 May 2017

At least 20 Palestinians were shot and injured – one seriously – during clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank districts of Ramallah and Hebron on Monday afternoon, as clashes also broke when Israeli forces suppressed demonstrations launched in solidarity with more than 1,300 Palestinian prisoners who entered their 36th day on hunger strike.

Israeli forces fired both live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian protesters who marched from Ramallah city to Israel’s Qalandiya military checkpoint, according to Palestinian medical sources.

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Call for global 24 hour solidarity hunger strike

23 May

UK Palestine solidarity group Football Against Apartheid along with England based Palestinian group; 17 of April has called on all campaigners for a free Palestine across the globe, to support a world-wide 24hour hunger strike starting at 10:00 on Thursday 25 May in support of 1600 Palestinian Political Prisoners now on Day 36 of their hunger strike.

“We ask all supporting groups to meet briefly at 10:00 local time in a prominent national square or other important meeting point of national importance, to launch your hunger strike at 10 am local time on Thursday 25 May to raise awareness about the critical phase of the hunger strike, and the abusive behaviour of their Israeli Apartheid captors, which include forcing the very weak prisoners to stand for roll call whilst they are already too weak to get to their feet, removal of vital salt from the prisoners, keeping prisoners in solitary confinement and are now threatened with force-feeding by doctors brought in from abroad especially to force feed prisoners – as Israeli doctors have agreed not to assist the Apartheid State with force feeding.”

They ask groups to make a very short video of the participants saying very briefly why they have joined the action and post a video on YouTube.

NZ Palestine Solidarity Network invites supporters to participate in this global event on Thursday, and also to join the PSN “Salt Water Challenge” rally from 3pm on Saturday 27 May at the Aotea Square, Auckland CBD, to express support for the Palestinian hunger strikers.

Palestinian mass general strike – supporting hunger strikers

23 May

Businesses in Hebron shut down on May 22, 2017, in observance of the general strike.

Ma’an News Agency report, Bethlehem, 22 May 2017

Palestinians observe general strike in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners

Palestinians observed a general strike on Monday, shuttering businesses and institutions en masse in support of more than 1,300 Palestinians who have been on hunger strike in Israeli prisons since April 17. Palestinian activists also blocked roads in the central occupied West Bank to prevent commuters from accessing Ramallah.

The media committee for the Freedom and Dignity hunger strike said in a statement that it was “the first time since the First Palestinian Intifada (1987-1993) that a general strike was observed in occupied West Bank, the Palestinian territory occupied in 1948 (present-day Israel), and in the diaspora.”

The committee urged Palestinians to gather at one of the many sit-in tents established throughout the occupied territory in support of the strike at 11 a.m. to prepare for political rallies organized for later in the day.

The statement also called upon Palestinians to undertake a 12-hour “hunger strike,” and fast between 10 a.m to 10 p.m. on Monday in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners, who are calling for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — among other demands for basic rights.

The Higher Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel held a meeting at Tayibe city hall in central Israel, and stressed that all Palestinian citizens of Israel should join general strike, with the exception of schools and emergency services.

Meanwhile, schools, banks, and public transit in the occupied West Bank shut down in observance of the strike, though hospitals and emergency services remained open.

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Murder In The Mediterranean – The Perils Of Fishing In Gaza

22 May

Palestinian police officers sit in a small boat as they pass near an Israeli naval vessel while searching for the body of a Palestinian killed after the Israeli Navy sunk his his fishing boat in the waters near Rafah, off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, Saturday Dec. 3, 2005.

OPINION by Ian Berman , MintPress 20 May 2017

Murder In The Mediterranean – The Perils Of Fishing In Gaza

In 2016 alone, there were at least 126 incidents in which small wooden fishing vessels were fired on by the Israeli Navy.

On Al Nakba Day of all days, the Israeli Navy killed another Palestinian fisherman, Muhammad Majid Bakr.  The second in this year alone.  The Israeli Navy claims Bakr’s fishing trawler responded neither to their calls, nor warning shots, after deviating “from the designated fishing zone in the northern Gaza Strip.”

The boundaries of the fishing zone off Gaza are arbitrarily determined by Israel and enforced by its Navy.  These boundaries follow neither international law (12 nautical miles (nm); 22.2 km; 13.8 mi), nor the Oslo Accords that Israel signed (20 nm; 37.0 km; 23.0 mi).   “In the years before 2006, fishermen could go out 10 nm to 12 nm, but from 2006 until 2012 the zone was limited to 3 nm.”  In 2012, Israel agreed to increase the zone to 6 nm, but later cut it back.  The cease-fire agreement to the 2014 assault on Gaza restored the 6 nm zone.  Since then the zone’s boundaries have changed too.  The difference between 6 nm and 9 nm is significant.  Within the 6 nm zone, the fishing areas are sandy and not conducive to larger fish.  The best fishing is found in rocky areas which extend into the 9 nm area.

Since Israel follows neither the international boundaries of territorial waters, nor the boundaries that it agreed to at Oslo, Israel’s Navy is imposing an illegal blockade.  This is an act of war.  Further, even if the blockade was legal, to fire upon and kill unarmed civilians that pose no threat is a war crime.  

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Israel Siphoning Natural Gas from Gaza Says Dutch Report

22 May

AN IMPORTANT TWO PART VIDEO REPORT:

International Middle East Media Centre, 21 May 2017

US and Israeli companies are working with Israeli approval to siphon natural gas from Gaza’s territorial waters, even though this is illegal according to international law, says TRNN’s Shir Hever, interviewed here by  Sharmini Peries from The Real News.

PART ONE:

 

PART TWO:

 

Shir Hever is an Economist working at The Real News Network. His economic research focuses on Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory; international aid to the Palestinians and to Israel; the effects of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories on the Israeli economy; and the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns against Israel. His first book: Political Economy of Israel’s Occupation: Repression Beyond Exploitation, was published by Pluto Press.

Israel’s 10 yr blockade of Gaza: ‘a crime against humanity’

19 May

 

VIDEO: The on-going closure of Gaza – the impact on daily life

A short documentary by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, and Al-Haq, illustrating the impact of the closure on daily life in Gaza, 22 November 2016.

 

UN Special Rapporteur calls on Israel to comply with international law

19 May

Press release: Office of the High Commissioner
United Nations Human Rights Council

UN Special Rapporteur on OPT calls on Israel to comply with international law on detention

GENEVA 16 May 2017 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Michael Lynk, today urged Israel to comply with international law and international standards for detention.

The expert’s call comes as the ongoing hunger strike by approximately 1,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails enters its second month. They are requesting better and consistent access to health care, more liberal family visit policies, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention.

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