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6 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes

13 Nov
Ma’anNewsAgency, Gaza City, 13 November 2018
Six Palestinians were killed and at least 20 others were injured during a campaign of Israeli airstrikes from overnight Monday until predawn Tuesday across the northern besieged Gaza Strip.
Medical sources in Gaza reported that six Palestinians were killed and 20 others were injured during continuous Israeli airstrikes over various parts of Gaza.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza identified the six killed as Muhammad Zacharia al-Tatri, 27, Muhammad Zahdi Awda, 22, Mousa Iyad Ali Abed al-Aal, 22, Hamed Muhammad al-Nahal, 22, and Khaled Riad Ahmad Sultan, 26, and Musaab Hawas, 20.
The story continues below..

In addition, Mahmoud Abu Usba, 40, was killed after a residential building was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza towards the Ashkelon Regional Council, in southern Israel, on late Monday.
Abu Usba was a Palestinian resident of Halhoul City, north of the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, and was a worker in Israel.
Hebrew-language news outlets reported that two Israeli women, who were present in the same residential building were reported to be in critical conditions, due to the hit.
The sites additionally confirmed that some 550 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the Israeli communities surrounding Gaza, which led to 70 Israelis injured and the destruction of several buildings in the communities.
Israeli warplanes targeted and fired at over a hundred Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad movement sites, including an intelligence compound, which is located in the center of Gaza City near a school, a mosque and other diplomatic facilities, an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed.The entire complex itself includes a kindergarten and a warehouse, however, the Israeli army claimed that it is used for intelligence gathering, research and development.
A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli warplanes had targeted and demolished three residential buildings, which were home to three Palestinian families, and another five commercial buildings, including a hotel, in Gaza City.
Following the violent escalation overnight, Hamas’ military wing spokesperson said in a statement that Beer Sheva and Ashdod would be targeted next if “Israel persisted in its aggression.”
The Jihad reiterated the statement by Hamas, saying Gaza factions have the capacity to continue their offensive.
It is noteworthy that Israel is currently not working with the United Nations nor Egypt to reduce tensions.
[Photos: Ma’an News Agency]

Ali Abunimah analyses Israel’s attacks on Gaza

13 Nov

VIDEO: Aljazeera interviews US/Palestinian author and commentator Ali Abunimah on Israel’s covert attacks and current bombardment of Gaza and the response of the Palestinian resistance. [AlJazeera 13 November 2018].

Dr Ramzy Baroud on ‘What’s working & what’s not’

8 Nov

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW: Acclaimed US/Palestinian author and journalist, Dr Ramzy Baroud discusses tactics for building an effective Palestine solidarity movement, with Katie Miranda. Published 26 October 2018.

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a US-Arab journalist, media consultant, an author, internationally-syndicated columnist, Editor of Palestine Chronicle (1999-present), former Managing Editor of London-based Middle East Eye (2014-15), former Editor-in-Chief of The Brunei Times, former Deputy Managing Editor of Al Jazeera online. He taught mass communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology, Malaysia Campus. Baroud also served as head of English’s Research and Studies department. He is the author of three books and a contributor to many others; his latest volume is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London, 2010). His books were translated to several languages including French, Turkish, Arabic, Korean, among others. Baroud has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Palestine Studies from the European Centre for Palestinian Studies at the University of Exeter (2015). The NZ Palestine Solidarity Network hosted a nationwide speaking tour with Dr Baroud earlier this year – see earlier posts on

Ramzy Baroud’s facebook page and website:

Website for the Palestine Solidarity Summit, to hear from 20 leading scholars, activists and writers (free access).


Watch final episodes of doco on US Israel lobby

7 Nov

The Electronic Intifada, 7 November 2018

In the first two parts of the censored documentary The Lobby – USA, released by The Electronic Intifada this week, Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter “Tony” charmed his way into pro-Israel circles.

[See our post on 6 November for episodes 1 and 2:  Ed]

He discovered a network of organizations acting as fronts for the Israeli state to spy on, disrupt and sabotage US supporters of Palestinian rights – especially BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

In the final two parts of of the film, Tony gets a deeper look at Israel’s covert influence campaigns during his internship for The Israel Project.

Watch parts three and four in the videos embedded above and below.

The Electronic Intifada is releasing the leaked film simultaneously with France’s Orient XXI and Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar, which have respectively subtitled the episodes in French and Arabic.

In part three, Al Jazeera interviews Bill Mullen, a professor of American Studies at Purdue University in Indiana, and a leading activist in the BDS movement.

As The Electronic Intifada reported in 2016, Mullen and his family found themselves targeted by an organized smear campaign, starting in March of that year.

Several anonymous websites sprang up, containing fabricated accounts of sexual harassment by Mullen, supposedly by a student.

In the film, Mullen describes the campaign as an attempt to destroy his marriage. His wife, also a professor, was sent a link to one of the sites.

The smear campaign seems to have been manufactured by Israel’s agents in the US.

“These people will do anything”

“One of the [anonymous] accounts explains that in the process of supposedly putting my hand on her, I’d invited her to a Palestine organizational meeting. And I thought, you’re sort of putting your cards on the table there,” Mullen says, explaining how he came to realize that pro-Israel actors were behind the smears.

Mullen recounts how the anonymous websites also used the name of his daughter, which he says was the worst moment for him, when he realized “these people will do anything, they’re capable of doing anything.”

A Students for Justice in Palestine activist who Mullen worked with, speaks anonymously in an interview with Al Jazeera.

She too was targeted by an anonymous smear site, which falsely claimed she engaged in “partying, drinking” and “promiscuity.” She recounts how this led to tension and upset at home, with her parents telling her to end her SJP involvement.

Smear tactics have been common features of “advocacy” for Israel for decades. Israel lobbyists know they cannot win open debate on the actual issues.

Such attempts to target and sabotage activists’ personal lives represent an escalation in tactics in recent years, led by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

These tactics are more reminiscent of Israeli intelligence services’ actions against Palestinian resistance organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the usage of blackmail, disinformation, rumors and sabotage.

This is not entirely surprising considering that the Ministry of Strategic Affairs is largely staffed by Israeli spies.

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With Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Israel finds another natural partner on the Far Right

7 Nov

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Jair Bolsonaro, new president of Brazil [File photos]

By Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, Palestine Chronicle, 6 November 2018

The victory of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s presidential election last week has won Israel a passionate new friend on the international stage. The world’s fifth-most populous nation will now be “colored in blue and white”, an Israeli official said, referring to the colors of Israel’s flag.

The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediately called to congratulate Bolsonaro, a former army officer with a pronounced nostalgia for his country’s 20-year military dictatorship. Critics describe him as a neo-fascist.

According to Israeli media reports, it is “highly probable” that Netanyahu will attend Bolsonaro’s inauguration on January 1.

Photo of Jair Bolsonaro’s two sons, Eduardo and Carlos Bolsonaro, wearing IDF and Mossad shirts during a trip to Israel. Eduardo posted the photo to social media in May 2016

The Brazilian president-elect has already promised that his country will be the third to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem, after the United States and Guatemala. That will further undermine Palestinian hopes for an eventual state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Bolsonaro has told Israel that it can count on Brazil’s vote at the United Nations, and has threatened to close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.

One might imagine that Netanyahu is simply being pragmatic in cozying up to Bolsonaro, given Brazil’s importance. But that would be to ignore an unmistakable trend: Israel has relished the recent emergence of far-right leaders across the Americas and Europe, often to the horror of local Jewish communities.

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215 Palestinian sports groups call for boycott of PUMA

7 Nov

VIDEO: PalPlus English

215 Palestinian sports organisations have called for an international boycott of #Puma over it’s sponsorship of the Israeli Football Association which supports clubs located on land stolen from Palestinians.

Join social media actions and start organizing a #BoycottPuma campaign in your area!

Why Boycott Puma?

Puma is sponsoring the Israel Football Association (IFA), which welcomes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements to participate in its leagues and competitions. The Israeli military occupation expels Palestinian families, including children, from their homes to give way for these settlements. Israeli settlements are considered as war crimes under international law.

Last July it was announced that Adidas was no longer sponsoring the IFA following an international campaign and the delivery of over 16,000 signatures to Adidas headquarters. We can do this again.

Join the #BoycottPuma social media actions and spread the boycott call!

Palestinian athletes and sports clubs have already kick-started the #BoycottPuma campaign! 

Follow their inspiration!

  1. Print a “boycott Puma” sign
  2. Take a photo of yourself or your group holding the sign
  3. Post the photo on social media using the hashtag #BoycottPuma


Ehud Barak says Netanyahu has ‘surrendered to Hamas’

6 Nov

Former Israeli PM, Ehud Barak. (Photo: via MEMO)

Palestine Chronicle, 5 November, 2018

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak yesterday criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and described him as “weak” in response to his dealings with the Gaza Strip, Quds Press reported.

During a meeting with the Israeli TV Channel 10, Barak described Netanyahu as “weak” and “afraid” because he “is unable” to take decisions regarding the Gaza Strip. He added: “Therefore, he should go home”.

Netanyahu had “surrendered” to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, Barak said, describing the government as “confused” and as having “lost its way”.

Barak has been an outspoken critic of the Netanyahu government and said several times that “its policy is to divide the Israeli people into two halves.”

Last month, Barak expressed his pride at having killed more than 300 Palestinians in three a half minutes, referring to the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2008-2009 which started with an attack on a police station that led to the death of more than 300 people most of them were on duty policemen.

[Video published by PalPlus English, 23 October 2018]

Netanyahu advances death penalty bill for Palestinians

6 Nov

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has approved legislation which would make it easier for courts to hand death sentences to Palestinians who have killed Israelis or soldiers.

While Israel has a law permitting the death penalty, no executions have been carried out since 1962.

Under the current law, the death penalty may only be imposed by unanimous decision from a panel of three judges. A bill proposed by Defence Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, which Netanyahu backed yesterday, would remove this requirement, allowing both civilian and military courts to execute Palestinians with a majority decision.

The bill is expected to be brought up at the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in the next few days to prepare the legislation for its first reading in the Knesset.

PRC report to UN on the Great March of Return

6 Nov

Press Release: Palestinian Return Centre, 5 November 2018

PRC Submits Report to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Great March of Return

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) has submitted a report the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The series of demonstrations named by the organizers “Great March of Return” called on Israel and the international community to implement their collective right of return to the lands from which they were displaced in 1948 and after.

PRC collected testimonies with participants, witnesses and victims that took part in the 2018 large-scale demonstrations in the occupied Gaza Strip. PRC’s evidence show that Israeli soldiers shot unarmed protesters, bystanders, journalists and medical staff approximately 150-400m from the fence, constituting extrajudicial executions and deliberate maiming of civilians. Prima facie evidence and testimonies show that none of the Palestinians victims included in this report were endangering Israeli Occupation Forces, who were on the other side of the fence.

On 18 May 2018, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution (S-28/1) in which it decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) in the context of the military assaults on the large-scale civilian protests that began on 30 March 2018, and to report to the Council at its fortieth session in March 2019.

The PRC concluded that the Israeli army’s response to Palestinians protesting against a colonial siege along the 1949 armistice line clearly violates a number of core principles of international humanitarian law. The killing and maiming of protesters, journalists, paramedics and children not engaged in any military activity amounts to a violation of the international legal principles of distinction, proportionality and of precautions in attack. The crimes are also a serious violation of  the International Criminal Court (ICC) Rome Statute and Fourth Geneva Convention. These violations are not occurring in vacuum but are part of the ongoing settler-colonial system of oppression the Israeli regime imposes on the Palestinian people.

Take action. Write/Email to your Political Representative. Here is a site to help with that –

Just try it once. It becomes much easier after that.


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Watch the film the Israel lobby didn’t want you to see

6 Nov

The Electronic Intifada 2 November 2018

The Electronic Intifada has obtained a complete copy of The Lobby – USA, a four-part undercover investigation by Al Jazeera into Israel’s covert influence campaign in the United States.

It is today publishing the first two episodes. The Paris-based Orient XXI has published the same episodes with French subtitles.

The film was made by Al Jazeera during 2016 and was completed in October 2017.

But it was censored after Qatar, the gas-rich Gulf emirate that funds Al Jazeera, came under intense Israel lobby pressure not to air the film.

Although Al Jazeera’s director-general claimed last month that there were outstanding legal issues with the film, his assertions have been flatly contradicted by his own journalists.

In March, The Electronic Intifada was the first to report on any of the film’s specific content. We followed this in August by publishing the first extract of the film, and shortly after Max Blumenthal at the Grayzone Project released others.

Since then, The Electronic Intifada has released three other extracts, and several other journalists have watched the entire film and written about it – including Alain Gresh and Antony Loewenstein.

Now The Electronic Intifada can reveal for the first time that it has obtained all four parts of the film.

You can watch the first two parts in the video embeds above and below.

To get unprecedented access to the Israel lobby’s inner workings, undercover reporter “Tony” posed as a pro-Israel volunteer in Washington.

The resulting film exposes the efforts of Israel and its lobbyists to spy on, smear and intimidate US citizens who support Palestinian human rights, especially BDS – the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

It shows that Israel’s semi-covert black-ops government agency, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is operating this effort in collusion with an extensive network of US-based organizations.

These include the Israel on Campus Coalition, The Israel Project and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Censored by Qatar

The film was suppressed after the government of Qatar came under intense pressure not to release it – ironically from the very same lobby whose influence and antics the film exposes.

Clayton Swisher, Al Jazeera’s head of investigations, revealed in an article for The Forward in March that Al Jazeera had sent more than 70 letters to individuals and organizations who appear in or are discussed in the film, providing them with an opportunity to respond.

Only three did so. Instead, pro-Israel groups have endeavored to suppress the film that exposes the lobby’s activities.

In April, Al Jazeera’s management was forced to deny a claim by the hard-right Zionist Organization of America that the film had been canceled altogether.

In June, The Electronic Intifada learned that a high level source in Doha had said the film’s indefinite delay was due to “national security” concerns of the Qatari government.

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Football for Freedom tournament about to kick off

5 Nov

Connecting together through the beautiful game of Football to bring awareness for refugees and raising funds for Palestinian people in Gaza.

We are organizing a one day fundraiser tournament, Men’s and Mixed 7-A-Side Football.

Tournament details:
Date: 10 November 2018
Time: 9:00am – 4pm
Location: Walter Massey Park, Mangere, Auckland

Registration details:
Team: $250 (up to 12 players per team)
Individual: $25


Email for more info.

***Deadline is Wednesday 7th November***

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Is another full-scale Israeli attack on Gaza imminent?

5 Nov

VIDEO: UpFront, Al Jazeera English, 4 November 2018

Since the Great March of Return began earlier this year, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have protested along the fence with Israel, demanding their right to return to the land they were expelled from more than 70 years ago. According to health officials in Gaza, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed and 18,000 wounded since these latest rallies began. Recently, rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza and three Palestinian children were killed in an Israeli air raid.

Al Jazeera asks – Is another full-scale Israeli attack on the strip inevitable? Mahdi Hasan talks with –

Donald MacIntyre, former Jerusalem correspondent for The Independent and author of the book, ‘Gaza: Preparing for Dawn’, describes it as “a very fragile and dangerous situation”. MacIntyre adds the most positive thing is that “neither Hamas nor Israel really wants a war right now, if it can be avoided.”

Najla Shawa is a Palestinian humanitarian aid worker based in Gaza. When asked what priorities are for people in Gaza, Shawa says they fear continued denial of their rights. “I think … what now people are really … fearing is another political solution that can completely ignore the rights, again, of the people, more than before, more than … previous peace agreements.”

Roger Waters speaks up for Palestinian human rights

5 Nov

VIDEO: Roger Waters stands up for human rights for Palestinians at a media conference before his concert in Montevideo, Uruguay on Saturday. TeleSur video 3 November 2018.

Israeli military violently raid Palestinian family at home

2 Nov

Video filmed by Jannah Karama

B’Tselem, 31 October 2018

Hanaa and Jamal Karamah live with their six children Area H1, Hebron. In Aug-Sept 2018, Israeli soldiers came to their home in the middle of the night four times. First, they demanded that the parents come in for an ISA investigation. After they did not, the soldiers returned on 20 Sept 2018 and arrested them, employing unwarranted violence against several family members. These night raids, which take place also in areas ostensibly under full PA control, have become routine across the West Bank. They are carried out with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses. These actions, which are clearly designed to intimidate the residents, are completely unjustifiable.

B’Tselem – the Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, is a Jerusalem-based NGO that “strives to end Israel’s occupation, recognizing that this is the only way to achieve a future that ensures human rights, democracy, liberty and equality to all people, Palestinian and Israeli alike, living on the bit of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.”

Below is their full report, including testimonials from family members:

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Israeli settlers dump sewage on Palestinian school

2 Nov

Ma’an News Agency, Qalqiliya, West Bank, 1 November 2018

Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Shaare Tikva dumped their sewage into a Palestinian school in the Azzun Atma village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqilia, on Thursday.

Azzun Beit Amin School principal Alaa Marabeh said that the school’s playground was flooded by sewage causing a foul smell inside the school.

The principal added that this is the second time in a period of two months that Israeli settlers dump their sewage on the school property.

Marabeh pointed out that it takes over 10 days for the sewage water to dry, causing health issues for students and community at large.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.

The Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

The majority of settler attacks committed against Palestinians are met with impunity, with Israelis rarely facing consequences for such attacks.

Palestinian Athletes say… Boycott Puma!

1 Nov

Action Alert: Join social media actions and organize a #BoycottPuma campaign to urge the global sportswear manufacturer to end its support for Israel’s illegal settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land.

 By Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), 31 October, 2018

Join social media actions and organize a #BoycottPuma campaign to urge the global sportswear manufacturer to end its support for Israel’s illegal settlements pushing Palestinian families off their land.

Pressure is mounting on Puma to end its sponsorship of the Israel Football Association (IFA). The IFA includes clubs in illegal Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land. More than 200 Palestinian sports clubs have sent a letter urging Puma to end the sponsorship deal.

Just last week, more than 1000 tweets urged Puma to make ending its support for illegal Israeli land grabs a priority for its newly launched #REFORM campaign for social justice.

We know Puma executives are listening. Let’s step up the pressure and convince Puma to take a leap for Palestinian rights.

Today, together with Palestinian athletes, we are launching a boycott of Puma until it ends its complicity in sports-washing Israel’s war crimes and human rights violations.

Join social media actions and start organizing a #BoycottPuma campaign in your area!

Why Boycott Puma?

Puma is sponsoring the Israel Football Association (IFA), which welcomes football clubs based in illegal Israeli settlements to participate in its leagues and competitions. The Israeli military occupation expels Palestinian families, including children, from their homes to give way for these settlements. Israeli settlements are considered as war crimes under international law.

Last July it was announced that Adidas was no longer sponsoring the IFA following an international campaign and the delivery of over 16,000 signatures to Adidas headquarters.

We can do this again.

Join the #BoycottPuma social media actions and spread the boycott call!

Palestinian athletes and sports clubs have already kick-started the #BoycottPuma campaign! 

Follow their inspiration!

  1. Print a boycott Puma sign, see below
  2. Take a photo of yourself or your group holding the sign
  3. Post the photo on social media using the hashtag #BoycottPuma

Organize a Boycott Puma campaign in your area

There are many ways to engage in a boycott Puma campaign. You can organize a consumer boycott of Puma sports gear, promote divestment from the company (selling off its shares by socially responsible investment and pension funds), and campaign for an end to sponsorship deals with the company. Contact us for more information on how to start a Boycott Puma campaign.

Join the Palestinian call to boycott Puma! Together, we can ensure Puma takes a leap for Palestinian rights!

Living under the poverty line in besieged Gaza

1 Nov

The Electronic Intifada, 1 November 2018

The Gaza Strip’s economy is in “free fall” after more than a decade of Israeli siege, The World Bank stated in September.

More than half of Gaza’s two million people live under the poverty line, which the United Nations defines as subsisting on less than about $5 per day, including any aid.

This video shows one such family of seven living in a small metal house in Khan Younis.

“I don’t have a kitchen or anything and I don’t have a decent bathroom,” Samar al-Atrash, the mother of five, told The Electronic Intifada. “We don’t have anything.”

Al-Atrash’s husband, Ismail, has no regular income and cannot provide for the family.

“I bring home two to six dollars to spend on my children,” he said.

“I wish my children could live in a clean house. That’s my life’s wish.”

Video by Ruwaida Amer and Sanad Ltefa.

Israeli airstrike targets group of Palestinians in Gaza

1 Nov

According to Euro-Med, as Gaza protests continue, “one Palestinian is killed every single day” by Israeli forces. (Photo: Abdallah Aljama, Palestine Chronicle)

Ma’an News Agency, Gaza City, 1 November 2018

Israeli drones fired a missile targeting a group of Palestinians near the return camp of eastern al-Breij refugee camp in the central besieged Gaza Strip, on Wednesday afternoon.

Palestinian security sources reported injuries during the airstrike, pointing out that the missile targeted five people.

Israeli sources reported that the airstrike allegedly targeted a group of Palestinian launching incendiary balloons at Israeli communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of the northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier this week, an Israeli airstrike targeted and killed three Palestinian minors northeast of Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip; Israeli forces had then claimed that the airstrike targeted a group of Palestinians who were planting a suspicious object near the border.

According to a report by the Geneva-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med), as Gaza protests exceeded 200 days “one Palestinian is killed every single day” by Israeli forces, noting that “in every 100 Gazans, one injury was recorded.”

Euro-Med described the continued use of excessive force by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters at the Israel-Gaza fence as “deeply shocking,” adding that in the 200 days of protests, Gaza lost 205 residents.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a special situation report, which showed that 14 Palestinians, including four children, were killed and 1,434 were injured by the Israeli forces in the past two weeks in Gaza.

Israeli woman fights for Palestinian rights

30 Oct

Zohar Chamberlain Regev, boat leader on the 2018 Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, says it is important that she fights the injustice against Palestinians. [NSTP/ Mohd Fadli Hamzah]

By Beatrice Nita Jay, New Straits Times, 28 October 2018

BORN and raised in Israel, Zohar Chamberlain Regev, 48, witnessed the unjust treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis.

She recalls an incident when she was 5.

“Back then, my family lived in a kibbutz, a collective community settlement unique to Israel. A Palestinian family also lived there.

“One day, my kibbutz complained to the regional council, which sent their men and demolished the Palestinian’s house.

“This family had young kids, one was more or less my age. They were left homeless. So my family and a few others from the kibbutz brought tents to help them, as a show of sympathy and solidarity.

“The rest of the community did not understand why we were helping them. But to us, they were victims of injustice. They were left without shelter, and at the mercy of the rough weather.

“I did not see them as enemies. They are just like me, humans,” she said.

When Zohar grew up, she decided to dedicate her life to fighting for the Palestinians., This has always been part of her upbringing, thanks to her parents.

“Ours has always been a dissident family. I would follow my father to demonstrations.

“We were part of the protest against the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, calling for an investigation into the incident saw the killing of between 460 and 3,500 civilians, mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shia.

“I believe there needs to be an alternative voice in Israel. The mainstream voice has been telling us that we have a right to the land. But to me, it was a clear case of stealing land from somebody else, which are the unfortunate Palestinians.”

Zohar left Israel for Spain in 2004 to distance herself from what was happening there and to keep fighting for the Palestinian cause.

“It’s difficult to do so if you in Israel, where you see so much of injustice every day.

“I have to live outside Israel to protect myself from the brainwashing.”

She has been involved in the International Freedom Flotilla’s Spanish coalition, Rumbo a Gaza, since 2012. She is also the owner of the Women’s Boat to Gaza, Zaytouna-Oliva, which was seized in 2016.

Most recently, she was the boat leader for the Freedom Flotilla Coalition’s 2018 flotilla, Al-Awda, which was intercepted by Israeli authorities in June.

“My motivation for doing this, apart from the fact that it concerns human rights, is my upbringing as an Israeli Jew.

“We’ve been taught about the sufferings of the Jewish people during the Holocaust and how the world was silent about it. Now the same is happening to the Palestinians in Gaza, and many in the international community are turning a blind eye to it.

“It’s important for me to raise my voice against the injustice. It’s a fight in the name of humanity,” Zohar said in an interview with the New Sunday Times recently.

Her most recent journey to Gaza was cut short when the Al-Awda flotilla boat was intercepted by the Israeli navy 42 nautical miles off Gaza.

“We received messages from the navy through the radio, even though we were in international waters.

“In a matter of minutes, we were surrounded by small rubber fastboats. Soldiers, plenty of them, in white uniform, donning ski masks and sunglasses, jumped into our boat with taser guns.

“Since we were a non-violent movement, we agreed that we would not resist them, other than our chants of ‘Stay Away, Disobey’. It’s useless to tell the soldiers what they were doing was outrageous,” she said.

The Al-Awda boat , which had a Malaysian representative, Dr Mohd Afandi Salleh, on board, was carrying medical supplies.

They were eventually released by the Israeli regime.

However, Zohar believes the journey is much more important than the final goal or destination.

Whether the team arrived in Gaza, the fact that it was going in that direction, showed it was using the freedom of movement to express solidarity with the Palestinians.

“We need to inform the world about the hardship of the Palestinians, offer as much help as possible and raise funds to help their cause.

“I think when we stand in solidarity with the Palestinians, we are also embedding human rights in our work.

“Together, we can protect ourselves from possible aggression in the future.”

‘A cruel choice’: Why Israel targets Palestinian schools

26 Oct

Palestinian students study inside their damaged classroom in al-Sheiaeiya neighborhood east of Gaza City, after Israel’s seven week ‘Operation Protective Edge’ heavy bombardment in 2014. [File photo]

By Ramzy Baroud, Maan News Agency, 24 October 2018

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. NZ Palestine Solidarity Network hosted Ramzy’s speaking tour of NZ earlier this year. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story.

Several Palestinian students, along with teachers and officials, were wounded in the Israeli army attack on a school south of Nablus in the West Bank on October 15. The students of al-Sawiya al-Lubban Mixed School were challenging an Israeli military order to shut down their school based on the ever-versatile accusation of the school being a “site of popular terror and rioting.”

“Popular terror,” is an Israeli army code for protests. The students, of course, have every right to protest, not just the Israeli military Occupation but also the encroaching colonization of the settlements of Alie and Ma’ale Levona. These two illegal Jewish settlements have unlawfully confiscated thousands of dunums of land belonging to the villages of al-Sawiya and al-Lubban.

“The Israeli citizens,” that the Occupation army is set to protect by shutting down the school, are, in fact, the very armed Jewish settlers who have been terrorizing this West Bank region for years.

Israel targets an UNRWA-run school in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, with US-supplied white phosphorous munitions during ‘Operation Cast Lead’, January 17, 2009 (Iyad El-Baba/UNRWA)

According to a 2016 study commissioned by the United Nations, at least 2,500 Palestinian students from 35 West Bank communities must cross through Israeli military checkpoints to reach their schools every day. About half of these students have reported army harassment and violence for merely attempting to get to their classes or back home.

Palestinian school being attacked with tear-gas canisters by Israeli forces in occupied Hebron, 25 October 2018. IMEMC reports: Israeli soldiers fired, Thursday, several gas bombs into the Nahda Basic School for Boys, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, causing dozens of students and teacher to suffer the effects of teargas inhalation, including some students who fainted. Rawhi az-Zaro, the principal of the school, said the soldiers surrounded the school and fired dozens of gas bombs directly into its campus.

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