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Dying alone: When we stopped caring for Palestinian prisoners

16 Oct
Gazans protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoner Maher al-Akhras. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle, 14 October 2020 |

“No one cares about the prisoners.” Over the past few years, I have heard this phrase – or some variation of it – uttered many times by freed Palestinian prisoners and their families. Whenever I conduct an interview regarding this crucial and highly sensitive topic, I am told, repeatedly, that ‘no one cares.’

But is this really the case? Are Palestinian prisoners so abandoned to the extent that their freedom, life and death are of no consequence?

The subject, and the claim, resurfaces every time a Palestinian prisoner launches a hunger strike or undergoes extreme hardship and torture, which is leaked outside Israeli prisons through lawyers or human rights organizations. This year, five Palestinian prisoners died in prison as a result of alleged medical negligence, or worse, torture.

Even international humanitarian aid workers, like Mohammed el-Halabi, are not immune to degrading treatment. Arrested in August 2016, el-Halabi is yet to be charged for any wrongdoing. News of his plight, which originally received some media attention – due to his work with a US-based organization – is now merely confined to Facebook posts by his father, Khalil.

As of October 1, el-Halabi has been paraded before 151 military trials, yet unaware what the charges are. The cherished Palestinian man, who has played a major role in providing cancer medicine to dying children in Gaza, now holds the record of the longest military trial ever carried out by the Israeli occupation.

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Mark Ruffalo calls out Israel’s Apartheid

10 Oct

VIDEO by Middle East Monitor 9 October 2020.

Palestine Chronicle, 10 October 2020

Hollywood A-lister Mark Ruffalo called out Israeli apartheid during an interview on the Mehdi Hasan Show aired yesterday.

Speaking to the British journalist, Ruffalo said: “My connection to Palestine came through Palestinians and hearing their stories and then watching this asymmetrical warfare being enacted upon them.”

“That kind of inequality, that kind of oppression, that kind of apartheid.”

The Avengers star has a long history of speaking out for Palestinian rights, during Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, Ruffalo slammed the Israeli army for blowing up Al-Wafa Hospital killing dozens of patients.

There is no reason why an ally of America shouldn’t be held to the standards of any other country in the world, especially an ally. And what I see there is wrong,” he added.


6 Oct

Palestinians are not numbers

24 Sep

 On the future of the Palestinian discourse 

Palestinian youth posing in front of a graffiti “We Are Not Numbers” [Twitter]

By Ramzy Baroud, Opinion, Middle East Monitor, 22 September 2020

Palestine can never be truly understood through numbers, because numbers are dehumanising, impersonal, and, when necessary, can also be contrived to mean something else entirely. Numbers are not meant to tell the story of the human condition, nor should they ever serve as a substitute for emotions.

Indeed, the stories of life, death – and everything in-between – cannot be truly and fully appreciated through charts, figures, and numbers.  The latter, although useful for many purposes, is a mere numerical depository of data. Anguish, joy, aspirations, defiance, courage, loss, collective struggle, and so on, however, can only be genuinely expressed through the people who lived through these experiences.

Numbers, for example, tell us that over 2,200 Palestinians were killed during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip between July 8 and August 27, 2014, over 500 of them being children. Over 17,000 homes were completely destroyed, and thousands of other buildings, including hospitals, schools, and factories were either destroyed or severely damaged during the Israeli strikes.

This is all true, the kind of truth that is summarised into a neat infographic, updated occasionally, in case, inevitably, some of the critically wounded eventually lose their lives.

But a single chart, or a thousand, can never truly describe the actual terror felt by a million children who feared for their lives during those horrific days; or transport us to a bedroom where a family of ten huddled in the dark, praying for God’s mercy as the earth shook, concrete collapsed and the glass shattered all around them; or convey the anguish of a mother holding the lifeless body of her child.

OPINION: We Are the Children of Gaza, the Poet, the Fashionista and the Footballer

It is easy – and justifiable – to hold the media accountable for the dehumanisation of the Palestinians or, sometimes, ignoring them altogether. However, if blame must be apportioned, then others too, including those who consider themselves ‘pro-Palestine’, must reconsider their own position. We are all, to an extent, collectively guilty of seeing Palestinians as sheer victims, hapless, passive, intellectually stunted, and ill-fated people, desperate to be ‘saved.’

When numbers monopolise the limelight in a people’s narrative, they do more damage than merely reduce complex human beings to data; they erase the living, too. Regarding Palestine, Palestinians are rarely engaged as equals; they persist at the receiving end of charity, political expectations, and unsolicited instructions on what to say and how to resist. They are often the fodder for political bargains by factions or governments but, rarely, the initiative takers and the shapers of their own political discourse.

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Palestinians face consistent COVID testing kit shortages

23 Sep

A health worker, affiliated to Palestinian Health Ministry, collects a nasal swab sample for a coronavirus (COVID-19) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in Gaza City, Gaza on 21 September 2020 [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency. MEMO]

By Yumna Patel, Mondoweiss, 23 September 2020

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), local news this week was inundated with warnings of testing kit shortages in the West Bank and Gaza, the latter of which has seen a worrying spike in cases recently. 

The Palestinian Minister of Health Mai al-Kalia told the Voice of Palestine radio on Tuesday that Israel “obstructed” the entry of 100,000 COVID-19 testing swabs that were destined for the West Bank in coordination with the United Nations (UN). 

As a result, she said, the MOH will only have enough swabs to last them for three days, after which time the West Bank would run out of the testing kits. 

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Remembering Sabra and Shatila

18 Sep

On September 16, in 1982, several thousand Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon were brutally massacred. (Photo: File)

Palestine Chronicle, 17 September 2020

On this day, September 16, in 1982, several thousand Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon were brutally massacred by the Lebanese phalange militias at the behest of the Israeli military, which had besieged and bombarded the area for days. 

The massacre took place during Israel’s occupation of Lebanon, soon after the Israeli occupation army, under the leadership of late Israeli leader Ariel Sharon, had occupied the Lebanese capital, Beirut. 

Working closely with Lebanese militants, the Israeli army allowed the militias access to the camps and, knowing fully that civilians were being massacred inside the camps, the Israeli military prevented any Palestinian from escaping. 

The massacre claimed the lives of at least 3,000 Palestinian refugees. 

For three days of constant killings, the Israeli military continued its siege and prevented international humanitarian workers and journalists from entering. At night, Israeli soldiers fired flares to keep the night sky lit so as to allow the militiamen to see their way through the narrow alleys of the camps.

The massacre went on from September 16-18.

As the bloodbath concluded, Israeli bulldozers began the task of digging mass graves with the hope of concealing the extent of the crime. 

In 1983, Israel’s Kahana Commission found that Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Defense Minister at the time, bore “personal responsibility” for the slaughter of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.

The massacre at Sabra and Shatila was a direct consequence of Israel‘s violation of the American-brokered ceasefire and the impunity bestowed on Israel by the United States and the international community to do as it pleases in occupied Lebanon. 

This massacre, as well as other massacres against Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, went unpunished by the international community.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Trump, Israel, Bahrain & UAE “normalise” relations

17 Sep

Dr Yara Hawari of the Middle East Institute summed up well yesterday’s signing of an agreement to “normalise” relations between the US, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Israel is a racist apartheid state with laws discriminating against Palestinian Israelisand an army renowned for its murderous brutality against any Palestinian resistance to its racist rule. The United Arab Emirates has no elections, no political parties. It’s a medieval regime which tortures anyone resisting its autocratic rule. Bahrain is another tinpot despotic regime. It has two houses of parliament – the lower house is elected but all 40 people in the upper house are appointed by the King who has the final say on everything. The US is a declining empire at war with itself.

These are the four countries making “peace” with each other.

It’s no surprise these four are joining together to betray the Palestinian people. The US and Israel have conspired to do so for over 70 years. The UAE and Bahrain are joining the betrayal because they need modern weapons to put down popular uprisings of their people.TDB Recommends NewzEngine.comnull

Meanwhile around the world the great mass of humanity supports the Palestinian struggle. Our weapon against today’s betrayal is BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions – against Israel until it abides by international law and United Nations resolutions.

BDS is growing in strength and it will be as important for the struggle against Israeli apartheid as it was for the struggle against South African apartheid.

John Minto is National Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa.



Palestinians stage ‘day of uprising’ against normalisation deal

17 Sep

 Palestinians protest against normalisation in Ramallah, the occupied West Bank, on 15 September 2020 (MEE/Shatha Hammad)

By Shatha Hammad, Mohammed al-Hajjar, Ramallah, Gaza City, Middle East Eye, 16 September 2020

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank launched protests denouncing the normalisation deals signed in Washington on Tuesday between Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Hamas movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, have condemned the US-brokered accords as a “stab in the back” to their people.

Starting early on Tuesday, protests in the occupied West Bank were held in Ramallah, Tulkarem, Nablus, Jericho, Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron, among other smaller localities, as well as in Gaza City. 

Protesters chanted and held posters denouncing normalisation and calling for Arab unity against Israel’s occupation.  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top diplomats from the UAE and Bahrain signed the agreements to normalise ties on Tuesday, without any progress on an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who was in Beirut for a meeting with secretaries of Palestinian factions on Tuesday, told President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call that all Palestinian factions were united against the deal, and “will not allow the Palestinian cause to be a bridge for recognition and normalisation with the occupying power at the expense of our national rights, our Jerusalem and the right of return”.

On Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh described the accords as another “black day” for the Arab world.

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How Israel lit match for deadly fire

17 Sep

The Nuseirat market fire ultimately cost 22 people their lives.[Ashraf Amra APA]

By Hamza Abu Eltarabesh, Gaza, The Electronic Intifada 16 September 2020

The Israeli siege of Gaza affects us in myriad ways.

It is not just about being starved of fuel and electricity, as we have been recently.

Of course, that is bad enough. The vulnerable are even more vulnerable, nights are dark, work is almost impossible to do – if you are lucky enough to have any – and there is no relief from sweltering summers.

But Israel’s blockade is all encompassing. It affects every aspect of our lives here, from our ability to travel and trade, to career prospects, to whether or not we will eat tomorrow.

And it has knock-on effects. Things happen that normally wouldn’t happen.

Things that shouldn’t happen.

In March, a fire broke out in Nuseirat refugee camp that ultimately would take the lives of 22 people.

The fire started in a bakery. It was the result of poor judgement from many local parties.

But while the authorities put the blame on those parties, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the match that really lit the fire was struck in 2006, when Israel decided that it would punish Palestinians for electing Hamas in parliamentary elections.

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Calls to end Gaza siege grow alongside new COVID cases

11 Sep

VIDEO REPORT: Israel has reopened its only border crossing with Gaza after reaching an agreement with its rulers, Hamas, to end two weeks of hostilities along the border. The ceasefire deal, brokered by Qatar, will allow for critical supplies, including fuel, to cross into Gaza. AlJazeera.

By Maureen Clare Murphy, Electronic Intifada, 9 September 2020

International development agencies working in occupied Palestinian territory are calling on Israel “to end all collective punitive measures against the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.”

The Association of International Development Agencies warned that “Gaza’s existing deep and protracted humanitarian crisis now threatens to intensify rapidly” as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the territory continues to rise.

The capacity of Gaza’s health care system has eroded severely due to Israel’s blockade, imposed for more than 13 years.

Gaza’s hospitals have contended with multiple Israeli military offensives and Israel’s widespread use of live fire against protesters, causing thousands of catastrophic injuries.

Now medics are faced with a new crisis as the first cases of coronavirus outside of Gaza’s quarantine centers were detected late last month. As of Tuesday, there were nearly 1,200 active cases of COVID-19 in the territory – all but 30 of them community transmitted infections.

The sharp increase in infections has raised the specter of a “nightmare scenario” of an outbreak “beyond the coping capacity of Gaza’s healthcare system, long on the brink of collapse,” the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians stated on Monday.

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Urgent letter to PM from Alternative Jewish Voices and Wellington Palestine

11 Sep

Wellington Palestine, 10 September 2020

To the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern

Dear Prime Minister,

An appeal to intervene on behalf of the people of Gaza.

While Aotearoa New Zealand has been patiently managing the long tail of our second COVID-19 outbreak, the occupied Gaza Strip first identified community transmission of COVID-19 on August 24.  Today there are more than 1200 cases in its crowded cities and refugee camps.

We, the citizens of Aotearoa NZ, are failing a community in immediate danger. Why is Gaza our responsibility?  

The UN General Assembly and Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the International Committees of the Red Cross, human rights and legal NGOs all agree that International Humanitarian Law and the laws of occupation apply in full throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  Occupied people are legally protected people.  The duty of states like New Zealand, and one of the first duties of the occupying power, Israel, is to uphold the rights of the occupied people of Palestine. 

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The New Zealand election and justice for Palestine

9 Sep

– some suggested questions for candidates

By Neil Ballantyne, Wellington Palestine, 7 September 2020

The upcoming New Zealand election gives citizens the opportunity to ask questions of prospective parliamentary candidates and stand a better than usual chance of actually getting an answer. Although election campaigns are often focussed on domestic matters, they are also times when the attitudes of candidates to global, human rights issues can be tested.

As someone who supports Palestinian human rights we urge you to use your own versions of the questions below to seek a clear commitment from prospective parliamentary candidates to justice for Palestine.

You should be able to ask one or more of these questions at a face-to-face meeting, or by email. If you are emailing we suggest that you personalise the email by letting the candidate know you are a constituent and saying why the issue is important to you. You might also want to let them know you are a member, or supporter, of Wellington Palestine.

It’s not just about knowing who supports Palestine, it’s also about the misunderstandings that we might be able to challenge and change in future.

If you do ask a question please send us a note citing the candidates name, the questions asked and the responses made. Also, please let us know if you asked a question and no response was made.  Send your responses to:

Q1. Opposing illegal settlement expansion and annexation.

In defiance of international law, Israel has continued to expand settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It has also declared an intention to annex Palestinian territory. As an MP in the incoming parliament, would you agree to sanction Israel for its actions by, for example, banning the import of settlement goods into New Zealand and ensuring the Superannuation Fund is not investing in companies with business arrangements in the illegal settlements?

Q2. Lifting the blockade of Gaza.

Since 2007 Israel has maintained an illegal land, sea and air blockade of Gaza. The two million Palestinians who live there have been described as living in the largest open air prison in the world. With the number of COVID-19 cases in the territory climbing higher every day, and a humanitarian disaster now looming, how would you use your influence as an incoming MP to pressure Israel to lift the blockade? 

Q3. Opposing the use of Israeli military detention on Palestinian children. 

The reports of numerous international, human rights organisations have highlighted the mistreatment of Palestinian child prisoners in Israeli military detention. As an incoming MP how would you use your position to condemn Israel’s use of military courts and military detention for Palestinian children?  

Q4. Recognition of Palestinian statehood.

As an incoming MP, would you use your position to urge New Zealand to join the 138 states that already recognize the State of Palestine, and speak up for a just end to the military occupation?

Q5. Freedom of speech and the BDS movement

In several countries, the pro-Israel lobby has been successful in using false accusations of antisemitism to shut down criticism of Israel and to ban the peaceful, non-violent activity of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. As an incoming MP would you act to ensure freedom of speech and support the campaigning activity of the BDS movement?

Wellington Palestine website:


Image credit: Keith Miller

Gaza records 98 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

4 Sep

Using humble means, a refugee worker sterilizes the streets in Al-Shati refugee camp. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestine Chronicle, 4 September 2020

Some 98 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Gaza Strip, a report by the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

The report said that a total of 581 people have contracted the deadly virus in the Strip. They include 500 active cases, the report said, 463 of which are from the community and 37 from the quarantine centers.

Some 76 people recovered and five died, it added, all of whom suffered serious diseases prior to being infected with the coronavirus.

The ministry said it is still looking for possible cases in the community from those who mixed with infected people.

Authorities have imposed a full or partial curfew across the Gaza Strip since August 24, following the diagnosis of the first case of COVID-19 in the community.

Under pressure from the Palestinian resistance, Israel agreed to allow the entry of medical equipment necessarily needed for testing and treating COVID-19 patients.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people. 

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Break the government’s protective cone of silence

28 Aug

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa, Newsletter Special, 28 August 2020

Break the government’s protective cone of silence around Israel


  • 12 noon
  • parliament steps
  • Wednesday 2 September – the last sitting day of this parliament

(If you can’t make the rally, you can email the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters. Suggested text can be found below.)

For over a year the Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has been trying to get the government to speak up for Palestine but we have met a blank wall. Winston Peters as Foreign Minister has maintained a protective cone of silence around Israel and its brutal military occupation and blockade of Gaza. The Labour leadership has refused to step in where Peters has failed.

Over the past year the government has:

  • Refused to speak up and pressure Israel to allow Palestinians to bring in medical supplies and equipment to deal with a coronavirus outbreak in Gaza – our 22 March letter to the Prime Minister, signed by many prominent New Zealanders, has been ignored. Within the last week Covid 19 has broken out with Community transmission within Gaza for the first time. Practising social distancing and frequent hand washing are impossible in this densely populated area where 97% of the water is unfit to drink. Gaza’s severely degraded medical facilities and lack of medical supplies caused by the Israeli blockade means GAZA is struggling.
  • Refused to stop buying military equipment from Israeli companies Elbit System and Roboteam by the New Zealand Defence Force under Ron Mark as Minister of Defence. Mark is a well-known apologist for Israel and demonstrated this in January last year in this nauseating display of fawning to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu – a person who should be facing war crimes indictments. Warning: Video is vomit inducing – viewer discretion advised.
  • Expressed serious concern about Israeli plans to annex further vast swathes of Palestinian land under the Trump so-called “deal of the century” but refused to announce any sanction on Israel in the event of annexation.
  • Refused to speak out against the frequent outrages committed by the Israeli military against Palestinians and Palestinian communities but has been quick to condemn Palestinians for rockets fired from Gaza in response to Israeli war crimes.

It’s time parliament stood up for Palestine and broke Winston Peter’s protective cone of silence around Netanyahu’s racist apartheid regime.

2 September is the last sitting day of parliament. Come to the protest. See the poster above for details.  Get your friends and family in Wellington to come. Spread the word. Be there if you can!

Speak up for Palestine!

Not in Wellington? You can still do your bit. . .

Please write to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs calling on New Zealand to speak up against the Vicious, Illegal Blockade of Gaza.

Below is the letter we sent to the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister. If you can back this up with your own messages to this pair then that would be helpful and important.

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26 Aug

UNRWA Calls for Unimpeded Passage into Gaza for Vital Goods

26 Aug

The Shati (Beach) Refugee Camp, in the besieged Gaza Strip. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

Palestine Chronicle, 26 August 2020

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) called on Tuesday for all vital goods to be granted unimpeded passage into the besieged Gaza Strip, including fuel for electricity.

UNRWA made the appeal against the background of 14 years of an illegal blockade and the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The agency in Gaza is extremely concerned about the closure of the lone power plant since last Tuesday, 18 August,” UNRWA said. “The closure of the plant has caused the power feed to decline to two or three hours per day, followed by 20 hours of interruption.”

This, explained UNRWA, will have a negative impact on the wellbeing and safety of the people of Gaza and devastating effects on the Strip’s vital services, including hospitals.

“Thus, this puts at risk the lives and health of nearly two million people, including 1.4 million registered Palestine refugees.”

The official statement from the UN agency pointed out that,

“Under international humanitarian law, the passage of all relief consignments, in this case, fuel for electricity, should not be prevented.”

Commenting on the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Director of UNRWA Affairs in the Palestinian territory, Matthias Schmale, said that the call is being made to all concerned parties to maintain a supply of electricity that is sufficient to meet the basic needs of the civilian population.

“UNRWA is, furthermore, concerned about other measures perceived as punitive to the civilian population, such as closing down the fishing zone, as well as the escalating tensions and military activities.”

Ten nights of Israeli bombing raids

Gaza, Schmale pointed out, has now been hit by air raids for more than ten nights in a row.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Gaza under Israeli attack – day six video update

19 Aug

VIDEO: Dr Ramzy Baroud and Romana Rubeo from the Palestine Chronicle update viewers on day six of Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Palestine Chronicle update, 19 August 2020

Israeli helicopters bombed several sites to the east of Rafah city in the southern besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Israeli helicopters carried out a raid on a plot of agricultural land, located near the non-operational Gaza Airport, to the east of Rafah, causing material damage.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces opened fire towards a site to the north of Beit Lahia town, while the Israeli navy fired a few missiles into the sea offshore the northern besieged enclave.

The airstrikes and shelling resulted in material damage. No human casualties were reported.

The latest attacks follow a week of heightened tensions, during which Israel closed the Karem Abu Salem goods crossing with the strip, shut down the coastal fishing zone, and halted the supply of fuel, forcing Gaza’s sole power plant to stop operating.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people. 

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)



Call for NZ to condemn Israeli bombing of Gaza

18 Aug

Smoke and flames rise after war planes belonging to the Israeli army carried out airstrikes over the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, August 12, 2020. [Said Khatib/AFP via Getty]

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa statement, 18 August 2020

Call for New Zealand government to speak up and

  1. Condemn Israeli bombing of Gaza and 

  2. Call for lifting of the Israeli blockade on the besieged Palestinian enclave

The Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa has written to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs calling on the government to speak up on behalf of the besieged people of Gaza who are once more under bombardment by Israeli bombs during the global Covid 19 pandemic.

Israel claims its attacks are in retaliation for incendiary balloons sent from Gaza which have caused fires in Israel. However this is the micro issue. It is subterfuge. The cause of the conflict is the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

We have previously requested the government speak out calling for the end of the Gaza blockade because of the global pandemic but the Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister have been silent.

Previously this government has condemned Palestinian resistance but has simply called for “restraint” on the part of Israel. It’s a racist, one-sided policy of support for the aggressors and a kick in the teeth for the Palestinian victims.

This must change.

Gaza schools opened last Sunday after five months of suspension due to Covid-19 only to be hit the same night by an Israeli missile. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency tweeted that Beach Co-Educational School ‘D’ “was affected” by an Israeli air strike which has been found to be an unexploded Israeli bomb which targeted the school.


An Israeli drone targeted a UNRWA primary school in the Al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza city, 13 August 2020 ([Photo: Palestine Chronicle via Twitter]

Israeli brutality knows no bounds when it comes to attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

They are relying on complicity by silence from countries such as New Zealand to continue their abuses of Palestinian human rights.=

It’s time for change. The New Zealand government must act immediately to uphold both international law and minimum human rights standards and demand:

NZ must demand:

  1. An immediate end to Israeli military attacks on Gaza, and
  2. The immediate and total lifting of the illegal siege of Gaza

NZ must then follow these up with concrete action which suspends all bilateral agreements between Israeli entities and New Zealand until Israel complies with international law and all United Nations resolutions.

John Minto

National Chair

Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

Israel launches air strikes on Gaza, fires upon Palestinian fishing boats

17 Aug
Smoke and flames rise after Israeli army war planes carried out air strikes over Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on Sunday (AFP)

Middle East Eye, 16 August 2020

Israel said on Sunday that it had launched air strikes on Gaza and closed down the fishing zone near the besieged area in response to rockets and firebombs attached to balloons fired into Israel.

The attacks come after a week of heightened tensions, including skirmishes near the fence separating the Palestinian enclave from Israel, Israel’s army said. 

Long-simmering Palestinian anger has flared further since Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday agreed to normalise relations, a move Palestinians saw as a betrayal of their cause by the Gulf country.

Hamas, which governs the besieged Gaza Strip, condemned the agreement under which Israel said it had agreed to suspend the annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank.

However, hours later Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he remained “committed to annexing parts of the West Bank”.

Over the past week, Israeli forces have conducted night-time raids on targets associated with Hamas. 

The Israeli army said among the targets struck were a “military compound and underground infrastructure” belonging to Hamas. 

The army added that dozens of Palestinians had “burned tyres, hurled explosive devices and grenades towards the border” with Israel. 

Fishing boats fired on

Israel said that earlier on Sunday two rockets had been fired into Israel from Gaza and intercepted by its Iron Dome defence system. 

Israel has closed the Karem Abu Salem crossing with the Gaza Strip, and following rocket fire on Saturday the Israeli military “shut down the fishing zone… until further notice”.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said on Sunday that the Israeli navy had opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats, spraying fishermen with water cannons.

Israel has maintained a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, which critics say amounts to collective punishment of the impoverished enclave’s two million residents.

Egypt also upholds the siege, restricting movement in and out of Gaza on its border.

Half of the population live in poverty, according to the World Bank.

Constant surveilance: Israeli drones over Gaza

11 Aug

VIDEO by Middle East Eye, 21 July 2020

“Everytime you hear it you feel like something really bad is about to happen.”

Palestinians in Gaza speak about the trauma and fear they feel being under constant surveillance by Israel’s drones. Middle East Eye Website:


Sign the petition: Stop Israeli killer drones.

By Leslie Bravery, Opinion, Daily Blog, 9 August 2020

Droning mercilessly on . . . and on – Israeli surveillance and terror

For Palestinian in Gaza, living with an almost non-stop air raid atmosphere, life is never peaceful or normal. The children describe the constant sound of Israeli drones as scary, and adults find their invasive and intolerably routine presence downright painful. Mothers fret for their children under the constant noise, that goes on even at night.[See above video.Ed]

For Israel, the world’s biggest exporter of these population-control military machines, the testing of spy drones in Gaza brings great profit. The military application is paramount – so much so that as drone operations now make up 80% of Israeli Air Force flights. Among Gaza’s residents, there is the constant apprehension and fear of imminent air strike. They happen without warning. A 14-year-old boy and his friend were killed in such a strike. The mother of one of the boys tells of the stress she feels now because of her other children‘s terror at the sound of approaching Israeli drones.

On 21 July, close to Hebron, two Palestinian boys (aged 11 and 14) were burned, one of them severely, after an object had fallen from an aircraft during an Israeli military training exercise. The device burst into flames when handled by one of the boys.

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