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VIDEO REPORT: Ramadan in Gaza tainted with destruction

29 May

 

The Electronic Intifada, 28 May 2019

Ramadan in the Gaza Strip is different this year.

The fasting month for Muslims began with Israel’s assault, which killed more than 25 Palestinians.

Many who survived the attacks were left homeless after Israel demolished residential and commercial buildings.

“[The Israeli army] told us that within five or six minutes, not a single person should be in the building,” Majdi Dughmush told The Electronic Intifada. His home was destroyed during the attack on the Abu Qamar building in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City on 5 May.

“People were barely able to leave and alert each other to leave.”

“The joy of Ramadan is gone, the bombing left a huge impact,” Muhammad Zayda, another resident of Abu Qamar, told The Electronic Intifada.

“We had bought everything for Ramadan and it was all destroyed at the same time.”

Still, Palestinians in Gaza insist on resisting Israeli oppression by celebrating the arrival of Ramadan.

“We will celebrate Ramadan the way we do every year, with our religious tradition, with our customs,” said Ahmad al-Jaouni, who sells qatayif – cheese or nut-filled pastries traditionally eaten during the month.

“The Palestinian people were born amid challenges, born to challenge difficulties. We will overcome and victory is ours.”

Video by Ruwaida Amer and Sanad Ltef

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com See: https://electronicintifada.net/conten…

Israel funds global campaign to discredit BDS activism

28 May

EuroPal Forum chairman Zaher Birawi

Middle East Monitor, 25 May 2019

EuroPal Forum warned of an Israeli government programme aiming to fund activities and campaigns against BDS [Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions].

The chairperson of the London-based forum, Zaher Birawi, declared that Israel aims to limit the influence of the BDS across the West. The occupation considers BDS a real threat that may discredit Israel internationally.

For the first time, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs officially announced financial grants to anti-BDS movement activists and organisations worldwide. This will be to fund various events and to promote campaigns and initiatives through social media.

The ministry declared allocating 5.7 million shekels, which is equal to US$1.6 million, for the project and that the funds would be distributed following the requests submitted by pro-Israel activists around the world.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has announced Thursday that.. it would award anti-BDS activists and organizations around the world with 5.7 million shekels ($1.6 million) for events and online initiatives combatting the boycott movement. [Haaretz 16 May 2019]

The ministry plans to announce the initiative in several countries, including the US, France, Italy, Spain, Britain, Germany, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina.

“It is no surprise that the occupying state supports the organisations and groups serving its false story of the conflict in the world. This is well-known, for since this ministry has been established, the Israeli lobby has devoted considerable sums of money to this purpose,” said Birawi.

“However, the most striking thing is the ministry’s official announcement of the grants acquired through submitting official requests to organise events, activities and campaigns having political nature in countries that are supposed to prevent such campaigns from taking place on their territory and consider them as interfering in their internal affairs.”

Birawi pointed out that the Israeli government aims to distort the BDS and all pro-Palestine individuals, human rights advocates and defenders of the values ​​of freedom and justice.

[Ed: See also our earlier report on 5 February 2019, headed: Israel Launches Smear Campaign, Labels BDS Activists ‘Terrorists in Suits’ https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/israel-launches-smear-campaign-labels-bds-activists-terrorists-in-suits/ ]

 

 

Beware of Arab anger

28 May

Algerian demonstrators march during a protest in Algiers on March 29, 2019 [File: Toufik Doudou/AP]

By Ramzy Baroud, Opinion: Al Jazeera, 28 May 2019

The Arab streets will not accept the ‘deal of the century’ and any attempts to impose it will end in disaster.

As the announcement of the deal of the century approaches, the Arab world is growing increasingly tense. Widespread rumours about the contents of the proposal have fuelled public outrage across the region.

By now, it is perfectly clear that the deal of the century is not a peace plan, nor was it ever intended to be, despite what its chief architect and White House adviser Jared Kushner has been claiming. It is yet another American imperial undertaking that is driven by the misguided notion that it is in the best interest of the American people that Israel remains the regional hegemon and is enabled to swallow the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories.

It is a new Sykes-Picot that aims to divide and weaken the Arabs once more so that Israel may reign supreme a while longer. But just as British-French colonial designs were rejected, so will Kushner’s deal. In its failure, however, it will likely fuel popular anger and endanger the survival of Arab regimes.

Palestine: The Arab cause

Since the early decades of the 20th century, Palestine has served as a meeting point for all Arabs, a just cause for their collective fight and a rallying cry against western colonialism and its offshoot, the Zionist movement.

Unlike most Arab countries which gained their independence in the mid-20th century, Palestine remains captive to the very colonial forces that had subjugated Arabs for decades. The suffering of Palestinians under Zionist colonialism and occupation remains a bleeding Arab wound and a painful reminder of the collective failure to do away with western domination of the region. Freedom from western colonialism will never truly be achieved as long as the Palestinians continue to endure daily violence, a protracted siege and military occupation.

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Request govt cancel multi-million dollar military purchase from Israel

24 May

Three of Roboteam’s robotic solutions. Along the besieged Gaza border fence, an unmanned ground vehicle has patrolled since 2014. It carries a 360-degree camera and loudspeaker. Later models are mounted with a weapon. [photo credit: SHAI DVIR]

Palestine Solidarity Network (NZ) press release, Thursday, 23 May, 2019

The Palestine Solidarity Network has written to Minister of Defence Ron Mark asking him to urgently cancel a reported New Zealand Defence Force multi-million-dollar purchase of military equipment from an Israeli company.

The report from the Jerusalem Post [in full below] is here:

https://www.jpost.com/Jpost-Tech/Tel-Aviv-company-to-supply-robots-to-New-Zealand-Defense-Force-590394

Military equipment from Israel is tested on the civilian population of occupied Palestine by a brutal Israeli regime which murders unarmed civilians – particularly young boys – with impunity.

The government will be complicit with this ruthless occupation and associated war crimes should the deal go ahead.

We have requested an urgent meeting with the minister to discuss the proposed purchase.

Palestinian groups have repeatedly called for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against the Israeli regime which across the world is seen as an apartheid state. New Zealand gave support to the struggle against apartheid South Africa through boycotts and we should do the same to help isolate apartheid Israel.

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Israel’s settler railway could be going nowhere fast

24 May

The Jerusalem light rail linking Israel’s illegal West Bank colonies is a symbol of oppression to Palestinians. [Faiz Abu Rmeleh ActiveStills]

By Ali Abunimah, Activism & BDS: Electronic Intifada, 24 May 2019

Trade unions and human rights organizations in France are celebrating as a victory the withdrawal of train manufacturer Alstom from the Jerusalem light rail.

Meanwhile it has also been confirmed that a Greek-led consortium failed to submit a bid.

France’s Alstom confirmed to media last week that it had dropped plans to bid on the extension of the Israeli railway that links settlements in the West Bank to each other and to Jerusalem. [See https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/bds-news-major-victory-as-global-firms-exit-israel/ ]

Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is a war crime.

Alstom’s would-be Israeli partners had revealed earlier this month that the French firm had backed out, citing concerns over how the settler railway violates Palestinian human rights and international law.

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Gaza boy killed by explosive grenade fired at his face

23 May

Adham Nidal Amara (DCIP)

By Maureen Clare Murph, The Electronic Intifada, 21 May 2019

A Palestinian boy killed by Israeli occupation forces during protests in March was fatally injured by an explosive grenade, an investigation by the human rights group Al-Haq has found.

Adham Nidal Amara, 17, was directly injured in his face, killing him, as he took part in the rallies marking the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return protests east of Gaza City on 30 March.

Two other teens, Tamer Hisham Abu al-Khair, 19, and Bilal Mahmoud Shaban Najjar, 16, were shot and killed by Israeli forces while protesting in Gaza that day. A fourth person, Faris Yusif Faris Abu Hijris, 26, succumbed to wounds sustained during the protests two days later.

Unprecedented injury

The injuries to Amara’s face, destroying his lower jaw, had not been seen before, even during a year of protests in which Israeli forces had inflicted what doctors said were typical of war wounds.

More than 200 Palestinians, including 44 children, have been killed during the protests and thousands more injured. Some 1,400 Palestinians were shot by live ammunition during protests on 14 May 2018 alone, the deadliest single day of protests since their launch.

The “severity of the deep injury which completely disfigured [Amara’s] jaw” made it difficult for the pathologist who performed an autopsy on the boy to determine what caused it, according to Al-Haq.

Amara was standing 150 meters from the Gaza-Israel boundary fence when he was shot. An eyewitness told Al-Haq that he saw Amara fall to the ground and recorded video of the injured boy.

“The boy’s lower jaw and mouth were completely shattered with blood profusely flowing from the wound,” the witness said. “I did not notice any traces of smoke emanating from the wound, so I thought at the time that the cause of his injury was an explosive bullet in the face.”

When Amara’s body was washed for burial, his uncle “documented that a solid light-green object had been found inside [Amara’s] mouth,” according to Al-Haq.

The rights group stated that the bullet “is consistent with a 40 mm grenade cartridge, which may be launched from a direct-fire weapon.”

Al-Haq added that the ammunition may be a type of explosive grenade prohibited under international law. The Israeli military’s use of such weaponry “may amount to war crimes,” the group stated.

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Reporters Without Borders: Israel shot journalists intentionally

22 May

VIDEO REPORT: Yasser Murtaja was one of the journalists shot dead by Israeli forces while covering the Great March of Return last year. A photographer with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency, Murtaja was shot in the stomach in Khuza’a in the south of the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Murtaja, 30, was hit despite wearing a blue flak jacket marked with the word “press”, indicating he was a journalist. [Al Jazeera, 7 April 2018]

Palestine Chronicle, 22 May, 2019

The director-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said yesterday that the Israeli army had deliberately targeted journalists in the occupied Gaza Strip.

Christophe Deloire was speaking to the Jerusalem Post, having received the Dan David Prize in Tel Aviv on behalf of the international press freedoms watchdog.

Deloire told the paper: “It is a war crime to target journalists because they are journalists. When Israel shot those journalists [during the Great Return March protests], it was intentional.”

He added: “The journalists could be clearly identified as journalists, with cameras and jackets and it could not be just by chance.”

Referring to the United Nations’ Commission of Inquiry into the Gaza protests, Deloire pointed out that the report “confirmed what we already considered a fact”.

According to the Jerusalem Post, last week RSF formally asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate suspected war crimes by the Israeli military against Palestinian journalists covering protests in Gaza since March 30, 2018.

The RSF chief also had a warning for Israelis about deteriorating press freedoms at home.

Deloire told the paper, a reference to Likud election posters: “I am sure it does not happen in many countries that you have billboards with faces of journalists mentioning that they will not decide.”

Deloire also criticized the prohibition on Israeli journalists entering the Gaza Strip.

(Sources: Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

The international community makes a mockery of human rights

21 May

By Ramona Wadi, Commentary, Middle East Monitor, 17 May 2019

While Palestinians commemorated their ongoing Nakba and perpetual trauma inflicted by Zionist settler-colonialism, the US and Israel lauded each other on the 1st anniversary of Donald Trump’s unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the US Embassy relocation from Tel Aviv. In the words of US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, “We created a new shrine in the ancient city of Jerusalem, and we’re proud of it.”

Last year, when the US and Israel hosted a ceremony to mark that particular collaboration in violating international law and Palestinian rights, Israel Defence Forces snipers were busy a few kilometres away killing and severely injuring refugees demonstrating for their legitimate right to return to historic Palestine.

The international community, meanwhile, continues to demonstrate its disdain for Palestinian rights. There is no point in “rejecting” unilateral transgressions if no measures are taken to stop them reoccurring. This is not to say that the UN and the EU, for example, have taken an ineffective stance. On the contrary, both organisations basically endorse and lend support to the ongoing colonisation of Palestine by the Zionist state of Israel.

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Israel Lobby influence in New Zealand

20 May

By Leslie Bravery, Opinion, The Daily Blog,19 May, 2019 

In a Press Release published on 28 April, ACT MP David Seymour took our Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Paul Hunt, to task because he had “failed to condemn” what he asserted was “the anti-Semitism of UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn.” Hate speech against Corbyn, fostered by the Israel Lobby, is spreading and now being openly expressed in New Zealand – but more on that later. David Seymour also commented: “Mr Hunt appears to believe that prejudice is acceptable when it is committed by people who share his political beliefs.”

At the extreme end of crudity, Lindsay Perigo on Sunday 28 April commented: “There is now apparently a police-compiled Enemies List circulating among New Zealand’s totalitarian Globalist elite, such as Comrade Ardern, Comrade Andrew Little, Comrade Winston Peters and new Human Wrongs Commissar Comrade Paul Hunt, a lackey of raving anti-Semite and hard-core socialist Comrade Jeremy Corbyn, all advancing the agenda of the most evil man on the planet, George Soros.” Perigo goes on to ask: “Why was this Islamo-Marxist fascist Paul Hunt brought over to destroy our Bill of Rights?! At whose expense?!”

Note that Hunt is actually a New Zealand and British national. He holds a Master of Jurisprudence from the University of Waikato, where he was a Senior Lecturer in Law from 1992-2000. In 1985, Paul Hunt began work as a human rights lawyer in Israel/Palestine working for Quaker Peace and Service. Between 1985 and 1987, he researched the Israeli Military Court system, living variously in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. His humanitarian-oriented work for the UN has embraced civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and he has worked extensively for the UN World Health Organisation, supporting issues such as health and economic, social, and cultural rights. Our Chief Human Rights Commissioner has served on the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1999-2002) and as a Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council (2002-2008).

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Israeli army finds ‘no evidence’ it’s snipers killed amputee

20 May

In this VIDEO REPORT from The Star Online,(above) headed ‘U.N. decries Israel’s killing of Gaza amputee’ published 20 December, 2017, the United Nations human rights office said the killing of a wheelchair-bound protester by the Israeli military during clashes in Gaza [the previous] Friday was a ‘truly shocking’ act. Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh, 29, had been shot in the head, and his death drew international attention.

But; surprise! surprise! – 17 months later the Israeli army has announced that their army had ‘closed a criminal investigation’ into killing of Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh. The Times of Israel reported on 17 May 2019: “The Israeli army on Friday closed a criminal investigation into the death of a paraplegic Palestinian man shot during clashes on Gaza’s border with Israel in 2017, saying the probe found no evidence that its soldiers fired the fatal bullet.”

This VIDEO by Al Jazeera English, published on 16 December 2017, reported on the funeral in Gaza of Palestinian amputee funeral of Palestinian amputee Ibrahim Abu Thurayeh killed by Israeli fire.

50 Palestinians injured in Nakba Day protests in Gaza

16 May

Nearly 50 Palestinians in Gaza were injured while taking part in peaceful protests to commemorate 71 years since the Nakba. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestine Chronicle, 16 May, 2019

Nearly 50 Palestinians in Gaza were injured by Israeli gunfire while taking part in peaceful protests to commemorate 71 years since the Nakba.

The spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, Ashraf Al-Qudra, said that 47 Palestinians were [injured] while taking part in the protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Supreme National Authority for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege called for protests to be held today. Thousands came out to support calls for Palestinians to be allowed to return to the homes from which their families were forced out to make way for the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

The group added that protests would continue until Palestinians were given their rights.

Palestinians in the besieged enclave launched the Great March of Return on March 30, 2018, on what is known as Land Day. They have continued the protest every Friday for over a year since with more than 305 killed while taking part in the peaceful demonstrations, according to the Ministry of Health, and 17,335 more injured as a result of Israel’s heavy-handed response to protesters.

Last year’s Nakba Day protests ended with 60 dead Palestinians. Another died of his wounds a day later.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

[For the Palestinians, Nakba Day is an annual day of commemoration of the forced displacement that preceded and followed the establishment of the sate of Israel in May 1948. An estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages destroyed.

‘The Nakba’ is Arabic for ‘the Catastrophe’. The Nakba continues as most Palestinians are still refugees today. The day was inaugurated by Yasser Arafat in 1998. Ed]

 

Ali Abunimah: Gaza in the aftermath of Israel’s attacks

15 May

VIDEO: An important interview with acclaimed US/Palestinian author, Ali Abunimah, in the wake of Israel’s intensive bombing attacks of Gaza last week.

Ahed Tamimi speaks at huge London rally for Palestine

14 May

VIDEO: Iconic Palestinian teenage activist Ahed Tamimi, addressed the big London rally last weekend to mark the 71st anniversary of the Nakba [RT]

Middle East Monitor, 13 May 2019

Thousands of people marched through central London on Saturday to mark the seventy-first anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (Catastrophe), which coincides this year with plans for a new deal that will liquidate the Palestinian issue. The demonstration was organised by the Palestinian Forum in Britain (PFB), Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and Stop the War Campaign (STW).

“Free Palestine”, and “End Siege in Gaza” protesters shouted, carrying pro-Palestinian placards.

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BDS news: ‘Major victory’ as global firms exit Israel

14 May

Stampede for the exit: France’s Alstom is the latest major global firm, after Germany’s Siemens, Canada’s Bombardier and Australia’s Macquarie to quit the tender to expand Israel’s settler railway on occupied Palestinian land. [OZinOH]

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 14 May 2019

France’s Alstom quits settler railway, Israeli partners say

Israel having trouble finding global firms willing to expand Jerusalem light rail, which links its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem.

Two Israeli companies sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday asking for an urgent extension of the deadline for bids to build the next phase of the Jerusalem light rail.

The Israeli firms, Dan and Electra, asked for the delay after it emerged that French train maker Alstom intends to pull out of their consortium bidding to expand the settler tramway – citing human rights concerns.

This is the latest sign of trouble for Israel’s effort to expand the tramway which links Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to each other and to occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank is a war crime.

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Jeremy Corbyn: ‘We can not stay silent’

14 May

IMEMC News & Agencies, 13 May 2019

Jeremy Corbyn: We Cannot Stay Silent At Continued Denial Of Justice To Palestinians

The leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, MP Jeremy Corbyn, reiterated, this weekend, his party’s support for the Palestinian cause, condemning human rights violations by Israel.

In a Facebook post, Corbyn wrote, “We cannot stand by or stay silent at the continuing denial of rights and justice to the Palestinian people… The Labour Party is united in condemning the ongoing human rights abuses by Israeli forces, including the shooting of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza – most of them refugees or families of refugees – demanding their rights.”

Corbyn also condemned the Israeli aggression on Gaza, last week, in which 25 Palestinians and four Israelis were killed in retaliatory strikes, describing it as “distressing and dangerous – and a reminder of the risk that full-scale conflict can return at any time.”

“The silence of many governments, including our own, has been deafening,” he remarked, adding: “The UK government should instead unequivocally condemn the killing of demonstrators – including children, paramedics and journalists – and other civilians, and freeze arms sales to Israel.”

Corbyn called for a sustainable peace that delivers peace, justice and security to both Palestinians and Israelis, saying that it “cannot be achieved while the illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian land continues, along with the multiple human rights abuses faced by Palestinians on a daily basis and actions of the Israeli government in flagrant disregard of international law.”

Meanwhile, the UK opposition leader said, according to Days of Palestine, that “If President Trump’s Middle East plan is, as expected, an attempt to bury the Palestinians’ right to a viable state alongside Israel, we will call on our government and the international community to reject it decisively.

“No peace plan can succeed at the expense of the rights of the Palestinian people. That’s why a Labour government will recognise a Palestinian state and press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations, aimed at achieving a lasting settlement based on UN resolutions, international law and justice that has been too long denied.”

A bloody weekend in Gaza

14 May

A body of Palestinian child arrives at a hospital following an Israeli airstrike in Sheikh Zayed district, in the northern Gaza Strip on May 5, 2019. Israel continued to bomb today high-rise buildings in the Gaza Strip, apartments and cars causing the high number of dead and wounded among the civilian population.. Photo by Ramez Habboub

By Hamza Abu Eltarabesh, The Electronic Intifada, 13 May 2019

In the early evening of 4 May, Mazouza Abu Arar was kept busy trying to make her grandchildren less afraid. They had heard the sound of explosions at various times that day.

Mazouza went into the courtyard of her home in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. She organized a small celebration for Ramadan, which would begin the following day. Joined by members of her extended family, she distributed lanterns and sweets among her grandchildren.

Suddenly, the family’s home was hit by a projectile.

A toddler Saba Abu Arar and her aunt Filastin Abu Shihma were killed. Filastin was pregnant with a boy. She had planned to call her son Abdallah.

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Open letter to Winston Peters

13 May

This video posted on Youtube by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on 27 January 2019 shows Netanyahu’s “warm welcome” for NZ Defence Minister Ron Marks. The NZ delegation included National MP and Associate Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tim Macindoe.

By John Minto, The Daily Blog, 10 May, 2019 

Open letter to Winston Peters, Minister of Foreign Affairs

On 30 April pro-Zionist lobbyist Mark Jennings wrote an opinion piece on the Newsroom website in which he says:

“The new relationship comes as New Zealand and Israeli governments look close to signing an innovation agreement which will formalise the developing relationship”

We are appalled the government appears to be considering an even closer relationship with Israel despite the ongoing theft of Palestinian land, the ongoing brutal Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza while Israel continues to thumb its nose at international law and United Nations resolutions.

On top of this the recent, and ongoing, murders of young unarmed Palestinians by Israeli army snipers should surely rule out any such agreement as signalled by Mark Jennings.

We would welcome your assurance the New Zealand government will not sign up to any “innovation agreement” with the Israeli government. The Palestinian people deserve to have our support for the boycott of Israel rather than our implied support for racism and brutality as embodied in the policies and practices of Israel’s Netanyahu regime.

We look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Na,

John Minto,

Christchurch human rights activist and writer.

Auckland rally for Free Palestine

3 May

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.

The Palestine Solidarity Network invites supporters to join the monthly rally for Free Palestine on this Saturday 2 March from 2pm at Aotea Square, Auckland CBD

Mandela’s Grandson: Use every opportunity to make Palestinian struggle visible

3 May

Chief ZMD Mandela, is a member of the South African Parliament and of the Pan African Parliament (PAP).[File photo. afropalforum]

Palestine Chronicle, 1 May 2019

‘We must use every opportunity to make the Palestinian struggle visible’ (full speech)

The grandson of late iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela has called on the Palestinians to follow the footsteps of South Africans while struggling against the “apartheid” state of Israel at the Pro-Palestine Conference held on April 27-29 in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

At the conference, organized by the Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University’s Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), over 25 speakers from nearly 10 countries, discussed around the theme: ‘The Question of Palestine: Examining History, Geopolitics, and Future Prospects’. Speakers included Salman Abu Sitta, Rabab Abdulhadi, Ilan Pappe, Rawan Al-Damen, Na’eem Jeenah and Ramzy Baroud.

Chief ZMD Mandela, MP and Member of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) remembered how Palestinian and South African fates lie together and highlighted the importance of making Palestinian struggle visible and intensifying every protest campaign against the Apartheid State of Israel.

This is the full text of the speech delivered by Chief Mandela on April 27 , which he contributed to The Palestine Chronicle:

The Great Struggle for Freedom: Parallels between South Africa and Palestine

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ICC public hearing on Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara

1 May

 

 

Middle East Monitor, 30 April 2019

International Criminal Court (ICC) is to hold a public hearing tomorrow to look into the Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla the Mavi Marmara in 2010, the International Committee for Breaking the Siege announced yesterday.

Five of the Appeals Chamber judges are to attend the hearing, a statement by the organisation said, adding that they would look into the Public Prosecutor’s decision based on which no investigation was opened on the case.

Earlier, the Appeals Chamber turned down an appeal made by the Public Prosecutor against the Pre-Trial Chamber which requested that the Public Prosecutor review her decision on closing the case without investigation.

“Holding a hearing on this issue is considered very important as it came as a result of the efforts exerted by the legal team of the Freedom Flotilla, which is being recruited by the Turkish IHH, the owner of the Mavi Marmara and member of the Freedom Flotilla,” the statement said.

READ: Mavi Marmara victims condemn Israel threats against ICC

It added: “This hearing could be decisive regarding the position of the Public Prosecutor, who was given an ultimatum until the middle of May to give a final decision on the case filed against the occupation state in 2013.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer of the Mavi Marmara said in a statement that “victims from 37 states have been calling for justice in the wake of the Israeli attack against the Mavi Marmara and Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.”

He added: “We are sending an open call for the Public Prosecutor and the ICC to start an investigation and achieve justice.”

For his part, Zaher Birawi, the head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege, said: “The Public Prosecutor of the ICC has been refusing to investigate the [Israeli] crime.”

Birawi expressed hopes that this hearing would be the start of change at the ICC, and an investigation in to Israeli crimes would be launched.

READ: ICC ‘significantly progressed’ in preliminary examination of alleged war crimes in Palestine

The Mavi Marmara given a huge farewell before departing Turkey to lead the ill-fated six-ship international flotilla determined to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza in 2010. [Photo: MEMO]

We remember the ten humanitarians on board the Gaza aid vessel Mavi Marmara killed by Israeli commandos on 31 May 2010:

Ibrahim Bilgen
Ali Haydar Bengi
Cevdet Kiliçlar
Çetin Topçuoglu
Necdet Yildirim
Fahri Yaldiz
Cengiz Songür
Cengiz Akyüz
Furkan Dogan
Ugur Suleyman Soylemez

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