Israeli racism in quotes #17

31 May

If you can stomach it – see yesterday’s post for the previous 16 quotes from Israel’s leaders, in this series: https://kiaoragaza.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/israeli-racism-in-quotes/

Kushner in Israel as US ‘deal’ faces new political hurdle

31 May

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is in Israel ahead of the Bahrain conference [File: Joshua Roberts/Reuters]

AlJazeera News, 31 May 2016

US President Donald Trump‘s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on the final leg of a regional tour to boost support for a US-led economic conference in Bahrain, where the first part of the long-anticipated Israel-Palestine peace plan [‘The Deal of the Century”] is due be unveiled.

Kushner had been preparing the plan for months and said he was waiting for Israel’s April election and also the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but Israel on Thursday scheduled a new election for September after Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government.

The US State Department said the the Bahrain conference would go ahead, despite Israel’s snap election.

Netanyahu brandished an official US State Department map, (signed by US President Trump with his penned comment:”Nice”) that had been altered to incorporate the occupied Golan Heights as part of Israel. [Ariel Schalit/AP Photo]

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Empty chairs at medical conference on Palestine: Gaza doctors denied permits

31 May

Renowned Norwegian surgeon, Dr. Mads Gilbert, addressed the Lancet Palestine Health Alliance conference in Jordan on how he seeks to describe reality using scientific tools, what he calls “evidence-based solidarity,” to strengthen advocacy and justice. As opposed to humanitarian work, this “medical solidarity” involves, “going there, working under Palestinian leadership. They say ‘When you come we are not alone.’” His goal is to do medical care, gather data, and tell the world what he has seen in a systematic way.  “As an activist, the tool is evidence; medicine and science may be more dangerous to the oppressor than slogans. We produce irrefutable evidence.”

By Alice Rothchild, Mondoweiss, 30 May 2019

In late March and early April 2019 I travelled to Jordan and the West Bank (Palestine) with two colleagues, Sonia Dettman and S. Komarovsky, first to attend the Lancet Palestine Health Alliance conference in Amman and then to explore and better understand the lives of refugees and the workings of UNRWA, with a focus on the status of refugee health.

The 10th Annual Lancet Palestine Health Alliance (LPHA) conference titled “Health of Palestinians inside and outside the occupied Palestinian territory” was part serious scientific meeting, part determined act of political and cultural resistance, and part joyous celebration.  The meetings were organized by the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit University in collaboration with the Faculty of Health Sciences at the American University of Beirut and hosted by the Jordan University of Science and Technology. Professor Rita Giacaman, Director of the Institute of Community and Public Health at Birzeit, is the visionary spark that brings scientists from all over the world to present, critique, debate, and stand in solidarity, particularly over rather large amounts of excellent food, this being a Palestinian event, and a presentation of the Palestinian History Tapestry project.

The conference was held (like scientific meetings all over the world) in the Grand Hyatt in Amman, Jordan (which I learned after multiple attempts to communicate with the Uber driver is called the Grand Hy-yett with an accent on the second syllable – see cultural confusion).  After the formal opening speeches, the schedule included topics like “Appraising the methodological quality of the Clinical Practice Guideline for Diabetes Mellitus using the AGREE ll” (Mahmoud Radwan from Tehran University) and “Anti-D versus immunoglobulin for the treatment of Acute Immune Thrombocytopenia in children: A 10 year Palestinian experience” (Mohammed El-Habil from Al-Rantisi Pediatric Hospital, Gaza).  

But there was much that I would not see at a medical conference anywhere else in the world: “Health attacks and protection strategies during Gaza’s Great March of Return: A mixed methods study utilizing data from WHOs Surveillance System for Attacks on Healthcare” (Walaa Shehada and Hyo Jeong Kim from WHO West Bank and Gaza Strip).  Or “Executions and maiming of unarmed demonstrators during 30 weeks of the Great March of Return” (Khamis Elessi from Islamic University, Gaza). Or “Spatial Agency among children living in Dheisheh refugee camp: engendered space and place as risk and protection from political and military violence in a refugee camp in occupied Palestine” (Guido Veronese from University of Milan). The extensive poster sessions also reflected this broad look at health from a more traditional to a global/political/contextual lens. The researchers from Gaza were mostly not able to obtain permits and their absences were noted by empty chairs at the time of their presentations or blank walls at their poster sessions. Some were able to deliver their papers via the internet which was an act of resistance in itself, a symbolic breaking of the siege.

Some of the attendees at the 10th Annual Lancet Palestine Health Alliance conference in Amman, Jordan. (Photo: ICPH/LPHA)

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Israeli racism in quotes

30 May

A media campaign entitled ‘Israeli Racism in Quotes’, was launched recently by EuroPal Forum in the UK, to mark the 71st anniversary of the “Nakba” (Catastrophe) and focuses on using imagery to raise awareness about the extent of the discrimination against Palestinians in Israeli public life.

A key part of this initiative has consisted of the daily release of imagery and the sending of letters to human rights organizations and politicians, with the intention of fostering awareness about the discriminatory rhetoric that is rife in Israeli politics and among the country’s spiritual leaders.

Here is a selection of those images and direct quotes that reveal the deep-seated racism that permeates Israel’s leadership:

‘Deal of the century’ creates window for Palestinian unity

29 May

By Ramzy Baroud, Arab News, 29 May, 2019

Palestinian groups — Fatah, Hamas and others — should not confine themselves to simply rejecting the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century.” Instead, they should use their resistance to the new American-Israeli plot as an opportunity to unify their ranks.

Leaked details of the deal confirm Palestinians’ worst fears: It is a complete American acquiescence to the right-wing mentality that has ruled Israel for more than a decade. According to the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, a demilitarized state, “New Palestine,” will be established on territorial fragments of the West Bank, as all illegal Jewish settlements would permanently become part of Israel. If the Palestinians refused to accept Washington’s diktats, according to the report, they will be punished through financial and political isolation.

This is certainly not an American peace overture, but an egregious act of bullying. However, it is hardly a deviation from previous rounds of “peace-making,” where Washington always took Israel’s side, blamed Palestinians and failed to hold Tel Aviv to account. Washington has never refrained from supporting Israeli wars against Palestinians or even conditioned its generous aid packages on the dismantling of the illegal Jewish settlements.

The only difference between the US “peace process” of the past and today’s “deal of the century” is in the style and tactics, as opposed to the substance and details.

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Understanding Hamas: a new political discourse

29 May

The Europal Forum recently hosted a seminar in London on Hamas’s politics and the future of Peace in Middle East, entitled: ‘Understanding Hamas: New Political Discourse in Theory and Practice.’ The above video by Al Hiwar TV presents the full panel discussion.

Zaher Birawi, chairman of EuroPal Forum said many politicians in the UK realised that alienation of Hamas has not helped in promoting peace and dialogue in the Middle East such as former Home & Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. Former PM Tony Blair met with Hamas leaders many times during recent years.

Dr Daud Abdullah, director of Middle East Monitor said: “Consistent themes articulate the need of pluralism and inclusion of all political parties regardless of ideologies. It is an important display of recognition of the will of people.”

“The gap between Fatah and Hamas is a gap created by the methodology of the political parties. One believes in the right to resist, the other follows route of negotiations. Both parties have not been able to find a formula for common methodology. This presents a stumbling block”

Dr Atef Alshaer, lecturer at University of Westminster said: “Hamas’s new document had a certain positive reaction in taking Hamas out of the initial designation of being a terrorist organisation. Hamas cleared the accusations of anti-semitism as they declared their struggle is against Zionism and not against Jews. Hamas holding firmly its position and principles regardless of the immense pressures against it, is a testimony to its maturity. Ignoring Hamas’s efforts in trying to appease in its approaches and discourse leads to radicalisation.”

Dr Azzam Tamimi, an academic and broadcaster said: “Hamas came under immense pressure from its remaining allies… who advised them if they say a word here or there, it might open doors. That didn’t happen and the compromise did not open any doors.”

He added: “Hamas’s best choice would have been to remain steadfast and not give an impression of a slightest compromise. You do not make compromises when you are under pressure. None of their compromises have worked.”

[Ed: Although Kia Ora Gaza is totally independent and neither supports nor opposes Hamas, the movement plays a pivotal role in the quest for peace in the Middle East that needs to be understood. We have shared the EuroPal seminar video above to help expand this understanding.

As US/Palestinian author Ramzy Baroud has said: “Hamas is still understood within limited confines of an ever-redundant discourse obsessed with Israel’s security, and later with an imagined Iranian threat. A new understanding is desperately required, one that is sensible enough to take into account the uniqueness of the Palestinian narrative itself, Palestinian history, the struggle and rights, as opposed to Israel’s security – the cornerstone of western media reporting on Palestine and the Middle East.”]

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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