‘Utter horror and heartbreak’ over Israel’s latest murders

18 Jul

VIDEO INTERVIEW: The RealNews, 18 July 2018

After weeks of fatal attacks on Palestinian protesters in Gaza, Israel has launched one of its worst airstrikes in years, killing two teenagers and wounding at least 25 people.  Aaron Maté from the RealNews talks with Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada about the “utter horror and heartbreak” of the Israeli military’s murder of yet more Palestinian children.

Quote of note: “Well, it’s utter horror and heartbreak to see the families of two more children, Amir and Louay, who were close friends. In fact, they were 14 years old, it emerged from the investigation of the human rights group Al Mezan. And they had gone out to play together when Israel carried out an airstrike in the heart of Gaza City, which killed them as they were playing on the roof of this unfinished, unoccupied building. They had no reason to think anyone was going to bomb it. And at least two dozen more people were injured in that attack. And the health ministry headquarters in Gaza also sustained quite severe damage, including damage to ambulances and equipment. Now, that horrible act came a day after Israel killed another child, Othman Hilles. It’s killed now two dozen children in Gaza since the start of the year among 150 people, and the vast majority, like these children, unarmed civilians.”

The Great March of Return: Dreaming of freedom

18 Jul

VIDEO by IMEU, published 18 July 2018

Meet Ahmed Abu Artema – the Great March of Return began as his dream: a dream to “fly free like birds” over Israel’s militarized fence encaging Gaza.

The dream turned into reality when tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees braved sniper fire for the freedom to return to their homes and land Israel banned them from.

The Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) website: https://imeu.org/

Mike Treen reports as Sicily welcomes Freedom Flotilla

17 Jul

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A gallery of photos by Mike Treen, as our NZ rep on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza joins in the big welcoming rally in Palermo, Sicily. The rally combined with a huge march in support of refugees.

Watch this space for on-going reports from Mike and others on the four-boat international flotilla – which is due to depart for Gaza later this week after an intensive training programme in Palermo on non-violent resistance and safety at sea.

All four Freedom Flotilla boats arrived earlier today (Monday) in Palermo. Al Awda (The Return), Freedom, Mairead and Falestine are reunited as of Monday July 16, after more than two months sailing from Scandinavia to Sicily. They have traveled over 4000 nautical miles and visited over 15 European ports.

A Flotilla spokesperson said they “were delighted to be welcomed for three days of solidarity events with our local hosts (Palermo capitale di solidarietà con la Palestina) prior to departure towards Gaza on Thursday July 19. Our arrival Monday coincides with the arrival of the Caravana Abriendo Fronteras (Opening Boarder Caravan, in support of refugee rights) in Palermo.”

Regular updates can be viewed on this website and the flotilla website: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/

Palestine Solidarity Network deplores Israeli attacks

17 Jul

Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reports from Gaza. 14 July 2018

NZ Palestine Solidarity Network – Press Release 15 July 2018

Two more Palestinian children were killed by an Israeli missile yesterday as Israel intensified its bombing of the Gaza Strip. According to the health ministry the victims were 15-year-old and 16-year-old boys with at least 25 others injured in the Israeli air attacks.

Absent from recent news reports has been that Israel shut the only commercial crossing for goods in and out of Gaza, cutting off vital supplies to the territory and prompting warnings from international officials and human rights groups that Gaza’s already dire humanitarian situation could deteriorate dramatically.

Then on Friday, Israeli forces fatally wounded two Palestinians, including a child, and injured dozens more, as snipers continued to use live fire against civilians who posed no conceivable danger.

Israel has killed some 150 Palestinians in Gaza and injured 4,000 more with live fire since the Great March of Return protests began on 30 March, the vast majority of them unarmed civilians.

Israel, with U.S. backing, has laid a brutal siege on the Gaza Strip since 2007. It has blocked off air, land and water access to the Strip — nothing goes in, nothing comes out.

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Gaza siege tightens: borders close, fishing zone limited

17 Jul

Xinhua News, Gaza, 16 July 2018

Israel decided to tighten its blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip since 2007 to put more pressure on the Islamic Hamas movement to stop releasing flaming balloons and kites into Israel, a Palestinian official said Monday.

Fire caused by incendiary kite [Ynet]

Raed Fattouh, chairman of the committee to coordinate the shipment of goods from abroad to the Hamas-ruled enclave, told reporters that Israel has officially informed the committee on the closure of the sole commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel.

“The Israeli side informed us that Kerem Shalom commercial crossing is closed for shipment of all goods until further notice, except for necessary medicines,” said Fattouh.

Meanwhile, Nizar Ayyash, chairman of Gaza Fishermen Association, also told reporters that the Israeli side informed the Palestinian liaison office that the Israeli army decided to reduce the area for fishing in the sea of Gaza from six nautical miles to three nautical miles.

Egypt also announced to close the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza due to technical problems.

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Roger Waters endorses the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza

16 Jul

VIDEO: published 16 July 2018

Please support our NZ participation in the international Freedom Flotilla, set to sail from Sicily to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza this week – with veteran human rights defender & union leader, Mike Treen on board the lead boat.



Gauze for Gaza: Your donations are needed!

16 Jul

International and local volunteers prepare emergency medical supplies next to the Freedom Flotilla boat, the Al Awda in the port of Naples yesterday.

2018 international Freedom Flotilla message, 16 July 2018

The four flotilla boats and participants are due to gather in Palermo, Sicily today, to prepare to sail across the Mediterranean to break the blockade of Gaza later this week. Our NZ representative, veteran human rights defender & union leader, Mike Treen is already in Palermo (reports from Mike soon).

Here is an important message from the Freedom Flotilla Coalition:

Gauze for Gaza: Your donations are needed!

Imagine you were critically injured and taken to an emergency room that doesn’t even have the most basic medical supplies: sutures to sew up wounds, sterile gauze for dressings. Trained doctors and other medical professionals are there to help save your life and heal your wounds, but the lack of basic supplies prevents them from doing their job.

This is a scenario most of us will never face, of course, but it is the grim reality for many Palestinians in Gaza. This is why the Freedom Flotilla Coalition is bringing much-needed medical supplies to Gaza on our boats departing from Palermo next week – and you can help us do more.

Medical facilities in Gaza have been overwhelmed with injuries to treat, particularly over the last three months since the Israeli Occupation Forces began firing on unarmed demonstrators at the Great March of Return. Thousands of seriously wounded Palestinians require urgent medical care, and there are not enough sterile trauma supplies to treat them all properly. Even the simplest, most basic supplies are not available in sufficient quantities.

Take gauze for example. As one of our medical colleagues pointed out, historically gauze was named for Gaza, the medieval city where this delicate fabric came from. Nowadays, sterile gauze is needed for dressing wounds, like those inflicted by Israeli Occupation Forces’ snipers – but there is not enough gauze in Gaza to treat all the wounded who need dressings.

This week we purchased 5,000 euros worth of gauze and sutures in Naples. These 14 boxes of medical supplies, delivered to Al Awda (The Return) Friday afternoon and loaded on board by local and international volunteers (see video and photos), include three kinds sterile gauze packs and two sizes of sutures, both desperately needed according to medical colleagues in Gaza. The funds for this emergency purchase were advanced by the Freedom Flotilla but we need your donations to make up our budget for other costs. See below for information about how to donate, or follow this link. If we receive enough funds before we sail next week, we will put even more supplies on board our Flotilla boats bound for Gaza.

There are already more donations on their way, including from the Flotilla campaign MyCARE Malaysia and from medical colleagues in England (UPDATE: more boxes of supplies arrived in Naples on Saturday!). Before sailing we will prepare a complete inventory and seal each box: whatever happens, we will insist that our complete manifest of everything on board must be delivered to Palestinian hospitals in Gaza where it is needed.

Of course, we know that everything we can bring by sea will be no more than a drop in the bucket, compared with the huge and ongoing medical needs in Gaza today. We received the full list of medications needed in Palestinian hospitals in Gaza for the next three months, and it is staggering. It includes many delicate and heat-sensitive medications that we cannot risk shipping by sea.

The only sustainable way to ensure that Palestinians in Gaza receive the medical treatment they deserve is to end the blockade, permanently and unconditionally. When Palestinians achieve full freedom of movement as set out in international law, they will no longer need international aid.

That is why the Freedom Flotilla sails to end the blockade of Gaza: for the right to a just future for Palestine.

To support the work of the Freedom Flotilla and our 2018 sailing against the blockade, you can donate to the following link.  If you want to donate specifically for medical supplies, please note “medical supplies” this with your donation:



International and local volunteers inventory emergency medical supplies in the port of Naples.

Call for NZ Govt to demand Israel end blockade of Gaza

13 Jul

Mike Treen addresses a recent packed-out farewell event in Auckland

Press statement from Roger Fowler, spokesperson for Kia Ora Gaza.

This statement includes a copy of our letter to Foreign Minister Winston Peters and a photo (above) of NZ’s participant on the 2018 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, Mike Treen.

Media and supporters are welcome to speak with Mr Treen before he departs NZ to join the flotilla in Sicily – 9pm tonight (Fri 13 July) at the Auckland International airport departure lounge, or ring him on 029-5254744.

Roger Fowler’s contact details – Cell: 021-2999491   Email: office@kiaoragaza.net    Website: www.kiaoragaza.net


We call on the NZ Government to urgently demand the Israeli authorities end the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, and allow the 2018 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza safe and unhindered passage to their destination – the port of Gaza.

Kia Ora Gaza has sent a letter to our NZ Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, on 5 July asking him to demand that Israel ends the 11-year inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and the allow ‘safe and unhindered passage’ for the four-boat Freedom Flotilla currently heading for the port of Gaza. 

NZ veteran human rights defender and union leader, Mike Treen will travel to join the flotilla in Sicily this weekend, as our NZ civil society representative on this international humanitarian mission to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of the two million Palestinians confined in the Gaza Strip.

Here is our letter to Foreign Minister, Winston Peters, sent on 5 July. To date we have only received an automatically generated acknowledgement from his office.

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Sweden calls for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza

13 Jul

– it’s time for NZ to also make a stand

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström

Middle East Monitor, 7 July 2018

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström called on Friday for the Israeli government to lift its 12-year-old siege of the Gaza Strip and to allow medical aid into the coastal enclave, Egypt’s Al-Shaab newspaper has reported.

“Israel has to lift the siege it imposes on Gaza, open border crossings and secure the arrival of medical and food assistance,” Wallström told the Swedish parliament. The minister pointed to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory. She has made several comments against the illegal and inhumane Israeli siege.

Wallström also pointed out that the ongoing Great March of Return protests that started on 30 March in Gaza have seen Israeli snipers kill 136 Palestinians and wound more than 15,000 others, including children.

The Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting along the boundary of the Gaza Strip, particularly after Friday prayers. They are calling for the Israeli siege to be lifted and to be allowed to exercise their right to return to their homeland from which they have been driven by Zionist militias and the Israeli security forces since 1948.

Kia Ora Gaza has sent a letter to our NZ Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, on 5 July asking him to demand that Israel end the inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip and the allow ‘safe and unhindered passage’ for the Freedom Flotilla currently heading for the port of Gaza.

NZ veteran human rights defender and union leader, Mike Treen will travel to join the flotilla in Sicily this weekend, as our NZ civil society representative on this international mission to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of the two million Palestinians confined in the Gaza Strip.

Here is our letter to Foreign Minister, Winston Peters. To date we have only received an automatically generated acknowledgement from his office.

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Solidarity message from Sam Huggard, CTU Secretary

12 Jul

Please accept my apologies at tonight’s farewell for Mike [Treen].

I’m at rallies in Christchurch and Dunedin today supporting nurses, midwives and health care assistants on strike for the first time in a generation – taking a stand for a better health system for them and for all of us.

Am with you in spirit though and am pleased to offer the CTU’s best wishes to you Mike for your solidarity role in the Kia Ora Gaza mission.

When we act together in solidarity with people living in conflict zones, we can move towards a more peaceful world – even starting from the other side of the globe.

Mike, your participation in the Freedom Flotilla embodies the solidarity and the power to keep global attention focused on Palestine that we can help bring to bear.

The effort of the Flotilla to highlight the inhumanity of the current Israeli blockade, and to try to get much-needed medical supplies to Gaza, is a positive, non-violent and principled approach. New Zealand’s continued participation in this international action is a positive way to show working people’s commitment to human rights – wherever in the world they are being denied.

The union movement in NZ has a very clear view on Palestine, and I want to acknowledge your union Unite’s role in putting this on the agenda for unions in our 2009 resolution.

New Zealand unions are committed to seeing Israel withdraw from the occupied territories and abide by UN resolution 242 which requires Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders. Our efforts wont cease until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self determination.

Mike, you go with a long history in the struggle for justice and human rights for Palestinians, and you go also with our solidarity, our support, and our very best wishes.

In unity,

Sam Huggard – CTU Secretary.

NZ Council of Trade Unions.

Video: The Freedom Flotilla is en route to the Gaza Strip

12 Jul

VIDEO REPORT: TRT World, 11 July 2018

Gaza Flotilla: ‘Freedom Flotilla’ en route to the Gaza Strip

A flotilla of small boats is slowly making its way towards the coast of the Gaza Strip. On board are activists trying to raise awareness about an Israeli blockade of Gaza that’s been in place for more than 10 years. Today, 80 percent of people there rely on humanitarian aid to survive. TRT correspondent Francis Collings is on board one of the ships, the Al Awda. He explains why it’s a journey that carries a great deal of risk.

UPDATE: The Al Awda and Freedom have arrived in Naples, Italy, to a rousing dock-side reception. The smaller sailing boats, Mairead and Falestine are on their way from Marseille in southern France. All four boats are due to arrive in Palermo, Sicily, this weekend, to prepare for the final leg across the Mediterranean sea to the port of Gaza. Our NZ representative, Mike Treen will board the lead flotilla boat, Al Awda, in Palermo.


Tightening closure imposed on Gaza Strip for 11th year

11 Jul

Karm Abu Salem checkpoint- the only commercial crossing between Israel and Gaza

Statement by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Gaza City, 10 July 2018

Tightening Closure Imposed On the Gaza Strip For 11th  Year, Israeli Authorities Impose Closure On the Only Commercial Crossing in the Gaza Strip “ Karm Abu Salem” and Reduce Fishing Area

PCHR strongly condemns the Israeli authorities decision to tighten the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and close the only commercial crossing “Karm Abu Salem” and warns of its consequences on the entry of goods and basic needs for the Gaza Strip population. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and all humanitarian organizations to immediately intervene in order to stop this decision, lift the closure, and open all crossings to ensure the entry of all the Gaza Strip population’s needs, especially basic goods.

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Union leader Mike Treen to join Gaza-bound flotilla

11 Jul

Kia Ora Gaza press release, Wednesday 11 July 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner and union leader, Mike Treen [pictured above], is about to join the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla determined to challenge Israel’s 11-year inhumane naval blockade of Gaza later this month.

Treen says it is “a great honour to be asked to participate and a chance to deepen solidarity between workers in New Zealand and Palestine. 

“We need an international campaign to isolate apartheid Israel in the same way we did against Apartheid South Africa,” said Mr Treen. “I see my participation in this trip as logical continuation and extension to my participation in the Biko Squad against the Springbok Tour of New Zealand.”

Supported by New Zealand/Palestine solidarity group, Kia Ora Gaza, and hundreds of Kiwi donors, Treen will be New Zealand’s representative on this humanitarian solidarity mission, following in the wake of Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson who joined the Women’s Boat to Gaza two years ago. Treen flies to Sicily this weekend to board the leading flotilla boat, a former Norwegian fishing trawler [the Al Awda, pictured below.]

Kia Ora Gaza has written to the Minister of foreign affairs, Hon Winston Peters asking him to demand that Israel allows the flotilla “safe and unhindered passage” to Gaza.

The fleet of four boats carrying prominent human rights defenders from over 20 countries, and a quantity of much-needed medical supplies, expects to be intercepted and detained by the Israeli navy before reaching their destination, as most previous efforts have. If they break through the blockade and reach Gaza, the boats will be donated to the Gazan fishermen. The flotilla’s progress can be followed on Facebook and the website: www.kiaoragaza.net

There was worldwide outrage when eight years ago Israeli commandos raided a similar Gaza-bound peace flotilla in international waters, killing 10 civilians and wounding dozens more.

Often referred to as ‘the world’s largest open-air prison’, Gaza is home to 2 million Palestinians, most of whom are impoverished refugees confined to the tiny coastal enclave by Israel’s harsh siege.

Israel – a colonial occupation with one of the strongest military forces in the world, continually bombards Gaza with sophisticated weapons as an on-going illegal act of ‘collective punishment’. Gaza has no army, no navy and no air force. Medical and other civil services are in a state of near collapse.

This week Israel has imposed even tighter restrictions on Gaza at the only border crossing for goods, prohibiting all imports & exports, and enforced a reduced fishing zone from nine nautical miles to six.

Treen says, “these attempts to strangle the lives and hopes of millions of human beings is a war crime that should be met with worldwide condemnation and action to break the blockade now. 

“The time for worldwide action by governments and civil society is now. I hope my participation in this new attempt to break the naval blockade can contribute towards that goal.” 

A farewell function is planned for Thursday, 6.30pm at the Auckland Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland. Supporters also plan to see him off at the Auckland International Airport on Friday night at 9pm.

Mike Treen
National Director
Unite Union
09 8452132 ext 20
029 5254744

One of the four flotilla boats, the Al Awda, as she departed Copenhagen at the start of the journey. NZ representative Mike Treen will soon board the Al Awda for the final leg to Gaza.


Post script: For more information on Israel’s tightening closure imposed on Gaza this week see our story: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/tightening-closure-imposed-on-gaza-strip-for-11th-year/

Website for the 2018 Freedom Flotilla: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/

IDF uses Gaza as a showroom for new weapons to sell

11 Jul

IDF (Israeli Defence Force) soldier flies a drone near Kissufim, Israel. June 5, 2018 © Amir Cohen / Reuters

RT, 6 July 2018

IDF uses Gaza as a lab and showroom for new weapons and tech it plans to sell – report

Human rights campaigners claim that the Israeli army and defense corporations exploit the deadly Gaza protests to test and advertise hardware like drones, sniper rifles and ‘smart’ fences.

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Flotilla bringing needed medical supplies to Gaza

10 Jul

In the past 15 weeks, more than 130 Palestinians in Gaza have been executed by Israeli snipers, more than 4,000 have been wounded and 15,000 injured with tear gas. At least 43 people have had their legs amputated due to the types of bullets the Israeli Occupation Forces are using and hundreds more will have long-term debilitating injuries from these bullets. The medical system in Gaza is overwhelmed and urgently needs medical supplies.

Although the Freedom Flotilla Coalition continues to see our mission’s goal as political solidarity rather than charity or aid, the need for medical supplies in Gaza is too urgent to ignore. As a result, our Right to a Just Future for Palestine flotilla that is on its way to Gaza will carry as many medical supplies as our four boats can safely hold. These are medical supplies that have been specifically requested by Palestinian medical authorities in Gaza – all of them are in short supply due to the blockade.

We demand that the Israeli government does not interfere with our boats as they approach, dock and unload in Gaza, in order to deliver the medical supplies directly to hospitals in Gaza City, less than one 1.6 km from the Gaza City harbour. Whatever happens to our boats, we hold the Israeli government accountable for the safe reception of these life-saving supplies by Palestinian medical authorities in Gaza.

As an occupying state that has placed a land, air and sea blockade on Gaza, international law mandates that Israel must allow medical supplies into Gaza. The Freedom Flotilla Coalition and its worldwide allies, including those in Israel, will keep the international community and governments informed of any delays in delivering these critical medical supplies to Gaza.

People anywhere who wish to contribute to towards the cost of these medical supplies can make donations through any one of our campaigns, designating your donation “Medical supplies for Gaza”: https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/donate. We will use your donations to purchase medical supplies close to our last port of call, Palermo (please do not send us medical supplies though as we do not have the capacity to move additional items to our departure point). Together, we can help end the illegal blockade of Gaza.


Warm receptions for the Freedom Flotilla boats in every port as they head to Gaza. Video by MEMO in Spain.

Our two NZ/Aotearoa representatives on the flotilla are crewman Youssef Sammour and veteran human rights defender and union leader, Mike Treen. Mike will soon depart to join the flotilla in Sicily this weekend. Supporters are welcome to attend a farewell function from 7pm on Thursday 12 July at the Auckland Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn.

Donations for this important solidarity mission can be deposited with our Kia Ora Gaza Trust account: Westpac 03-0211-0447718-000. Or mail your cheque to Kia Ora Gaza Trust, PO Box 86022, Mangere East, AK 2158. Email office@kiaoragaza.net for an e-receipt.

Freedom Flotilla boats on the long journey to Gaza

6 Jul

UPDATE: Freedom Flotilla to Gaza in Ajaccio July 5-July 8.
Sailing for the Right to a Just Future for Palestine

By David Heap, Freedom Flotilla 6 July 2018

The Freedom Flotilla ship #AlAwda (The Return) arrived in the port of Ajacio, Corsica on Thursday July 5, where it will remain moored at the quai d’honneur until Sunday July 8.  This boat and other Flotilla vessels have been visiting many European ports over the last two months on their way to challenge the illegal and cruel Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza in late July.

The Freedom Flotilla is sailing in 2018 for the right to a just future for Palestine. We challenge the blockade of Gaza and demand an end to our governments’ complicity with the blockade, which has created a humanitarian crisis, with civilians lacking clean water, electricity, and medical care. For more information about our mission and about the blockade of Gaza, see  https://jfp.freedomflotilla.org/about-just-future-palestine

Participants on board Al Awda include Zohar Chamberlain Regev, Israeli Spanish resident and Freedom Flotilla Coalition boat leader; Dr. Fauziah Mohd Hasan and Norsham Binti Abu Bakr, both from Malaysia; sailor and human rights advocate Charlie Andreasson from Sweden; Emilia Nacher Verdaguer, from Spain; Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former State Department diplomat; and Awni Farhat, a Palestinian researcher and human rights worker from Gaza.

Local supporters will greet AlAwda Thursday evening around 19h00 at the quai d’honneur in the centre of the port of Ajaccio. There will be a dockside press conference Friday July 6 at 11 am, and a musical evening with Jean Mattei Saturday July 7 in the port. Other political and community meetings are planned during the visit. Voir le communiqué de presse de Corsica-Palestine ici.

For more information, follow our voyage:

Website: jfp.freedomflotilla.org
Twitter @GazaFFlotilla


NZ/Palestinian maritime engineer Youssef Sammour is a crewman on the Freedom, and NZ veteran human rights campaigner and union leader, Mike Treen will join the Al Awda in Sicily in mid-July.
Support our two NZ participants on board the flotilla – deposit your donation now with Kia Ora Gaza’s Westpac account: 03-0211-0447718-000. Send your deposit details to office@kiaoragaza.net for an e-receipt. Our Appeal target is $40,000 to meet our share of the costs of purchase & refitting the boats, and travel expenses.

Another chapter in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine…

6 Jul

The demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar

Israeli police violently attacked and evicted Palestinian residents of Khan Al-Ahmar neighbourhood near East Jerusalem yesterday morning, Shehab.ps has reported.

Palestinian and foreign activists have been trying to stop the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in the area.

Israeli military police wounded 15 people and arrested 35 others who had formed a human chain in front of the bulldozers.

About 250 Palestinians have been living in this area since they were driven out of their homes in the Negev in 1948. They have no basic services like electricity, water, paved roads, communication and sewage networks.

The eviction came after an Israeli court decided to demolish the area and move its residents to a residential compound in Abu-Dis.

This morning Israeli authorities announced the area of Khan Al-Ahmar a closed military zone and prevented anyone from entering or leaving. [Middle East Monitor, 5 July 2018]Israeli forces can be seen violently attacking Palestinians as they evict them from their homes in Khan Al-Ahmar village of Jerusalem on 4 July 2018 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

An earlier report by Jeff HalperMiddle East Monitor, 5 July 2018.

The countdown begins. The Bedouin community of Khan Al-Ahmar and its famous tyre-and-adobe school are poised to be demolished in the next day or two by the “Civil Administration”, Israel’s Orwellian name for its military government in the Occupied Territory.

The demolition of Khan al-Ahmar is merely another chapter in a process of displacement that has been going on for 70 years. The Bedouin group inhabiting Khan Al-Ahmar are Al-Jahhalin, a tribe expelled from the Negev desert of Israel in 1952 to make way for the new town of Arad. Simply dumped over the border (although some Jahhalin still have Israeli citizenship), they found a niche in the Judean Desert between Jerusalem and Jericho where they could continue their lives as nomadic herders.

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Gaza women protest against blockade & for right of return

5 Jul

Hundreds of women turned up near the eastern Gaza fence to call for an end to the blockade and the right of return (MEE/Mohammed Asad)

By Maha Hussaini, Middle East Eye, 4 July 2018

‘Resistance is female’: Gaza women protest for their right of return

GAZA – Hundreds of Palestinian women and girls gathered on Tuesday near the eastern fence separating the coastal enclave from Israel, in what the organisers called the “Palestinian Women for the Return and Breaking the Siege” protest.

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Auckland Rally for Palestine

4 Jul

Rally for Palestine – add your presence and make a difference at the only regular public expression of support for Palestine in Auckland!

Aotea Square, Queen Street, Auckland from 2pm to 3pm, this Saturday 7 July 2018 and every first Saturday of each month.

We seek to bring pressure on the New Zealand Government to join the majority of the international community in requiring Israel to recognise and support the following principles:

A just peace in Palestine/Israel depends upon the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the dismantling of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel, recognising that the further partitioning of Palestine in order to create the so-called two-state solution would lead only to further injustice and suffering.

Acceptance of the primacy of international law as the basis for the ending of military occupation and all forms of ethnic discrimination.
The international community’s responsibility for upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the urgent need for the state of Israel to be called to account for its gross abuses of Palestinian human rights. Justice requires the establishment of a single state in Palestine/Israel, bi-national, secular and democratic, with full and equal citizenship rights for all.

NZ Palestine Solidarity Network:


Kia Ora Gaza: http://www.kiaoragaza.net

Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) Auckland: http://www.palestine.org.nz

Palestine Human Rights Campaign Waikato: facebook.com/palestinewaikato

Christchurch Palestine Association: facebook.com/groups/ChchPA

Global Peace and Justice Auckland: http://www.gpjanz.wordpress.com

Te Tau Ihu (Nelson) Palestine Solidarity: facebook.com/TeTIPalestine/

University of Auckland Students for Justice in Palestine: facebook.com/sjpuoa

12 year old boy among two killed by Israeli fire in Gaza

2 Jul

Relatives of Muhammad al-Hamayda mourn at the hospital morgue in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, after the 24-year-old was shot dead by Israeli snipers during a protest.[Ashraf Amra APA]

By Maureen Clare Murphy The Electronic Intifada, 30 June 2018

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including a child, in the occupied Gaza Strip on Friday.

The Israeli military also carried out airstrikes in eastern Gaza City on Thursday night. No injuries were reported.

Yasir Amjad Musa Abu al-Naja – only 12 years old, according to the rights group Al Mezan – and Muhammad Fawzi Muhammad al-Hamayda, 24, died after being shot in the head and stomach, respectively, in two separate incidents in southern Gaza.

The pair were killed during the 14th consecutive week of the Great March of Return protests along Gaza’s eastern perimeter.

Abu al-Naja was the second Palestinian child slain by Israeli forces in Gaza this week. Abd al-Fatah Abu Azoum, 17, was slain after being targeted by tank fire early Thursday.

Israel has killed around 150 Palestinians in Gaza so far this year, including more than 20 children.

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