Evidence of Israeli apartheid, pillage & murder handed to Hague court

22 Sep

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders are personally liable for war crimes, say human rights investigators. (via Facebook)

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 21 September 2017

Evidence of Israeli apartheid, pillage and murder handed to Hague court

Four Palestinian human rights organizations on Wednesday handed 700 pages of evidence of Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.

This comes as two Palestinian communities in the West Bank face imminent, total Israeli destruction.

The crimes detailed in the dossier include persecution, apartheid, the extensive theft, destruction and pillage of Palestinian property and evidence of the “wilful killing and murder” of hundreds of Palestinians since 2014.

Shawan Jabarin, director of the human rights group Al-Haq, said the dossier “provides a compelling and reasonable basis” for the prosecutor to open an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by Israel in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

This is the fourth dossier the human rights groups have provided the court. While it focuses on the West Bank, the previous files related to crimes committed by senior Israeli civilian and military officials during the 2014 attack on Gaza.

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Roger Waters: BDS is one of ‘most admirable’ displays of resistance in the world

21 Sep

VIDEO: Democracy Now, broadcast 14 September 2017

Democracy Now spend the hour with the world-famous British musician Roger Waters, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. An excerpt of this interview can be viewed above.

In recent years, he has become one of the most prominent musicians supporting BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Waters was scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in Long Island, despite attempts by Nassau County officials to shut down the concerts citing a local anti-BDS bill.

Despite this, Roger Waters has continued to speak out.

Last week, he wrote a piece in The New York Times titled “Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates.” In the op-ed, he criticized a bill being considered in the Senate to silence supporters of BDS. (DemocracyNow.org)

Video: Gaza after 10 years of Israeli siege & attacks

20 Sep

Video by Middle East Eye, published 8 September 2017

Video: Soldiers assault woman as they weld her door shut

19 Sep

Video: Soldiers assault woman who resists as they weld her door shut

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 15 September 2017

This video shows Israeli occupation forces violently assaulting and attempting to handcuff 55-year-old Zleikhah al-Muhtaseb in a family-owned building in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli forces invaded the home in order weld shut one of its two entrances, and Zleikhah tried to stop them.

Zleikhah’s niece Rania al-Muhtaseb lives in the building with her husband Bassem and their three children.

The building has a back door towards Hebron’s market, and a front entrance towards the Ibrahimi mosque.

The front entrance goes out into an area heavily controlled by Israeli occupation forces which family members cannot easily cross except by passing through military checkpoints.

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Expressing solidarity while conducting trade with Israel is hypocrisy 

12 Sep

By Miko Peled, American Herald Tribune, 11 September 2017

Israel is all geared up for war against the call for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and the de-legitimization of the Zionist state. The ministry of strategic affairs headed by Gil’ad Erdan – which is charged with this task – is now equipped with a budget, a former Israeli army general, retired Brig. General Sima Vakini-Gil who acts as the ministry’s General Director and a new assistant to the General Director, Tsahi Gavrieli who has brought a new wind to the sails of the anti-BDS ship. Gavrieli brought in a team that includes legal experts, economists and media people and according to a story recently published in Hebrew on Ynet they call on the Israeli public to take part in the campaign. According to the story, some parts of the campaign are overt and some covert, and the ministry will no longer be on the defensive but take an active, offensive position. Israelis are now encouraged to join this campaign with apps like ACT.IL which shows how to take the fight on social media and combat the “slurs” against Israel.

According to Gavrieli the BDS movement is losing ground in the US, and he brings as examples recent laws passed by over twenty states that criminalize the call to boycott Israel. Among those states are California, New York and New Jersey, to name a few. Currently there is a bill being proposed in the United States Senate that proposed to make the call to boycott Israel a federal offense that will carry a twenty-year prison sentence and a one million dollar fine. This bill was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU in a letter that was sent to members of the United States Senate. Gavrieli also claims that the BDS call is a “masked attempt to de-legitimize Israel by calling for Palestinian rights.” He said that the claim made by the BDS movement that Israel is an apartheid regime “is insulting to South Africans” and that it is “baseless.” “I call on every Israeli,” says Gavrieli “to take part in this.”

The aims of the BDS movement could not be more clearly stated, and all one needs to do is read them to see that the lies being spread by the State of Israel and its supporters, are unfounded. The call for BDS calls to impose Boycott, divestment and sanctions on the state of Israel until such time that the military occupation is ended, Palestinian citizens of Israel enjoy equal rights, and Palestinian refugees are permitted to return to their homes and their land. There is no racism, no hate and no discrimination of any kind is suggested or implied. It is an unequivocal demand to bring the Zionist State to do what is needed to achieve these goals. We must remember that negotiations with consecutive Israeli governments have all failed and Israel has made it clear that it has no intention to end its policies of occupation, killing, dispossession and racist discrimination and its demand that the Palestinians capitulate. 

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Israel, Palestinian Authority, partners in silencing critics

8 Sep

Issa Amro taken from PA courtroom yesterday. His detention was extended. He remains on hunger strike, refusing food, water & medicine

Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 7 September 2017

The Palestinian Authority has extended the detention of Issa Amro, a prominent activist against Israeli colonization in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Amro was arrested Monday by the PA’s Preventive Security force, after he criticized its earlier arrest of Ayman al-Qawasmi, the director of Hebron’s Minbar al-Hurriya radio station.

Amro will be held for at least another four days.

On Wednesday, nine members of the US Congress wrote to Abbas urging Amro’s release.

Amro is reportedly being held under the draconian Electronic Crimes law decreed by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in July.

He remains on a total hunger strike, refusing food, water and medicine, according to Youth Against Settlements, the group he leads.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday joined other groups that have sharply condemned Amro’s arrest, which is part of a much wider crackdown on free speech and journalists by Abbas’ authority.

Amro is already facing trial in an Israeli military tribunal on trumped-up charges designed to repress his activism against settlements.

In June, 32 US lawmakers signed a letter expressing support for Amro in the face of Israel’s baseless charges.

Radio station closed by Israel

Meanwhile, the PA released al-Qawasmi on Wednesday. On 31 August, days before his arrest by Palestinian forces, the Minbar al-Hurriya radio station he runs was violently raided by Israeli occupation forces.

Israel ordered the station closed for six months, accusing it of “incitement.”

Al-Qawasmi’s arrest reportedly came after he criticized PA leaders for failing to protect Palestinians from such Israeli attacks.

Israeli forces close down Minbar al-Hurriya radio station in Hebron [Photo: Screen grab from Al-Huriya website]

Israel frequently claims that Palestinian media that report on the occupation are guilty of “incitement” as a pretext for shutting them down.

But Minbar al-Hurriya denies it has broadcast any material that could have provoked violence or what Israel calls terrorism.

Following the detentions of al-Qawasmi and Amro, MADA, a Palestinian group that documents violations against journalists said it condemns the PA’s “arrest of journalists and activists for expressing their opinions and demands an end to this policy.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged Israel to “allow the al-Hurriya media network and its affiliates to resume work without fear of harassment,” and had also called on the PA to release al-Qawasmi.

“It seems the only thing Israel and the Palestinian Authority have in common right now is their desire to silence their critics in the media,” the watchdog’s Middle East program head Sherif Mansour said.

[See earlier reports on kiaoragaza.net posted on 1 September and 5 September 2017. Ed]

Three years after the war: Gaza youth speak out

7 Sep

Moath Alhaj, a young artist from a Gaza refugee camp, passed away in his sleep. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle, 6 September 2017

Three Years after the War: Gaza Youth Speak Out

“At bedtime, I am afraid to turn the lights off. I am not a coward, it is just that I worry that this bulb hanging from the ceiling is the last light that remains (shining) in my life.”

Soon after he penned these words, Moath Alhaj, a young artist from a Gaza refugee camp, passed away in his sleep. After disappearing for two days, Moath’s friends broke down the door of his house, and found him huddled with his blanket in a place in which he lived alone for 11 years.

Moath lived in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, one of Gaza’s most crowded camps, a name which is associated with historic hardship, war and legendary resistance. Raised in the United Arab Emirates, Moath returned to Gaza to join the Islamic University, but remained there, experiencing three wars and a decade-long blockade.

Somehow, the young man maintained a semblance of hope as expressed in his many drawings and emotive commentary.

Moath learned to live in his own world ever since he was young. The outside world to him seemed unpredictable and, at times, cruel.

When his mother passed away, Moath was only 1-year-old. He father died of cancer in the UAE and, due to circumstances beyond his control, Moath lived alone. Keeping him company were his friends in the neighborhood, but mostly it was his self-effacing, yet profound artistic expressions.

“Smile, may the war feel shame,” was one of his cartoons. In it, a little girl with a flowery dress turns her back at the reader, looking the other way.

Moath’s art characters always had their eyes closed, as if they refuse to see the world around them, and insist on imagining a better world inside their own thoughts.

Caption added to Moath’s cartoon: “Sleep in peace, Moath – the shattered dream is in your heart.”

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