West Bank / Jerusalem / Historic Palestine
Israeli forces shoot, kill 12-year-old Palestinian boy near Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 10 Aug — A 12-year old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli soldiers while playing in front of his home in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron in the southern West Bank early Sunday, medics told Ma‘an. Palestinian medical sources at Hebron’s al-Ahli Hospital told Ma‘an that Khalil Muhammad Ahmad al-Anati arrived at the hospital after being shot in the back. They said that the gunshot entered through the victim’s lower abdomen and exited through his groin. Doctors tried their best to resuscitate the boy and stop severe bleeding, but they announced his death shortly after he arrived in the emergency room.
Locals told Ma‘an that shortly before the boy was killed an Israeli military force escorted Israeli engineers into a neighborhood known as Nabat al-Haffara for unknown reasons. “We don’t know what they (the Israelis) were doing,” Yussef al-Anati told AFP, crying, his shirt soaked in blood after carrying his nephew to hospital. “Khalil was playing in front of the house, then we heard gunfire. The kid was screaming and fell down,” he said. “He was shot in the back and the bullet exited through his stomach.” A few young men hurled stones at the soldiers in response to the military incursion, and the soldiers subsequently opened fire at the boys, locals said. A bullet hit al-Anati while he was standing in front of his home. He was evacuated to the hospital in a private car…
At least 17 Palestinians have been killed across the West Bank in the last month, amid widespread public anger and growing protests over an Israeli assault on Gaza that has killed more than 1,915 Palestinians in the last four weeks.
Israeli forces kill Fatah activist in Nablus raid
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — Israeli forces killed a 24-year-old Palestinian man in Nablus overnight Sunday during a raid in the village of Qabalan, local officials and witnesses said. Qabalan mayor Hisham al-Azaar told Ma’an that Israeli forces killed Zakariyya Mousa Dawood al-Aqra, 24, after laying siege to a building in the village. Al-Aqra’s brother is reported to live in one of the apartments in the three story building, which Israeli forces attacked with grenades and heavy gunfire.
A neighboring apartment of 45-year old Kamal Farah al-Azaar was also attacked during the bombardment, injuring his wife Inshirah, 38, his daughters Nawal, 7, Manal, 15, and his 4-year old son Jalal. Bulldozers then destroyed part of the building before Israeli soldiers entered and shot al-Aqra dead, witnesses said. Zakariyya was a prominent Fatah activist who Israel accuses of shooting and injuring an Israeli soldier a few weeks ago … The sources highlighted that Israeli forces detained three young Palestinian men during the operation in Qabalan. According to the sources, Bilal Kamal al-Azaar, 23, his 21-year old brother, and Alaa Hasan Abdul-Rahim were detained.
As Gaza grinds on, West Bank deaths mean frustration and grief
RAMALLAH (Middle East Eye) 9 Aug by Bethan Staton — Residents of the al Amari camp were sombre today as they mourned the death of Mohammed al-Qatary. Killed yesterday by Israeli forces, the 20-year-old is one of 18 Palestinians to be killed in the West Bank since the escalation in Gaza this month. At his funeral, friends and relatives marched toward Psagot, an Israeli settlement that borders Ramallah. Weeks earlier, settlers took aim at a Palestinian funeral march there. On Saturday, some expected violence, and injuries were reported. But by mid-afternoon, many residents were returning to al Amari. At the camp, the air was grief-stricken – but the sadness of the mourners was not only for Qatary. “For all the people in the West Bank, their emotions and feelings are with Gaza,” Ghaleb al Bis, the gregarious UNRWA Director of al Amari Camp, told Middle East Eye. “The thing happening in Gaza is a big thing, like an earthquake, and it is reflected in people here. What’s happening there is not war: it’s just destruction, it’s revenge. “We hope that the funeral will pass without accident,” al Bis said. “But the war on Gaza is the reason these things are happening in the West Bank. Like all people in the world we hate funerals, we hate bloodshed. We want to live our lives in peace.”
Settlers raid Salfit-area village in apparent price tag attack
SALFIT (Ma‘an) 10 Aug — A group of Israeli settlers on Sunday torched a Palestinian vehicle in the central West Bank village of Yasuf east of Salfit in the northern West Bank. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that the attackers infiltrated the village from the nearby illegal settlement of Tappuah. The sources added that they poured fuel on a minibus belonging to Atalah Yasin Jufa and set it ablaze, causing serious damage. The attackers also sprayed racist “price tag” slogans on the walls near the vehicle before they fled the scene. Fire fighters from Salfit civil defense arrived and put out the fire.
Israeli soldiers suppress rally in support of Gaza, many Palestinians suffocate
JENIN (WAFA) 10 Aug – Several Palestinians suffocated on Sunday as Israeli army shot tear gas canisters towards Palestinians, who rallied in protest of Israel’s ongoing aggression on Gaza, at al-Jalameh checkpoint, to the north of Jenin, according to local and security sources
Palestinian hospitalized after Israeli police assault
SALFIT (Ma‘an) — A Palestinian man was seriously injured late Saturday after Israeli police officers pepper sprayed him in the face near the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel in the central West Bank, Palestinian security sources said. The sources said Muhammad Salim Buziah was taken to a public hospital in Salfit on Saturday night. They said Israeli police officers attacked him with pepper spray at a main square near the Ariel settlement before confiscating his private vehicle for unknown reasons.
Israel denies Muslims entry into al-Aqsa to allow settlers’ visits
JERUSALEM (WAFA) 10 Aug – Israeli police on Sunday closed the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, denying entry for Palestinian women and youngsters, while the elderly were asked to hand in their ID cards before they could enter the mosque, according to media sources. A WAFA correspondent said the tight Israeli measures came as police allowed Jewish settlers and foreign tourists to enter the mosque through the Moroccan Gate. He quoted an Islamic Waqf staff as saying that these measures are also a prelude for implementing the temporal division of the Mosque; police denies Palestinian worshipers entry from 7:00 am to 11:30 am, while settlers are allowed entry except on Friday and Saturday; the gates are open then for Muslim worshipers. Earlier on Sunday, Israeli police prevented women from entering the Mosque for the dawn prayers, leading them to perform the prayers outside the gates. The women gathered to protest the Israeli tight measures by chanting religious slogans.
Israeli police detain Palestinian man with improvised guns near Acre
ACRE, Israel (Ma‘an) 10 Aug — Israeli police early Sunday detained a Palestinian man suspected of developing improvised weapons in northern Israel, a police spokeswoman said. Spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that police found improvised handguns and ammunition in a car near the village of Shaab near Acre (Akka). Police took the driver — a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the village of al-Mashhad — into custody, the statement said. It said the man admitted he had developed the weapons and was testing their efficiency. The suspect was to appear in court on Sunday.
Assailants open fire on Israeli army near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 9 Aug — Unknown assailants opened fire at an Israeli military point early Saturday in the al-Tur area south of Nablus, while Palestinian youths struck an Israeli settler’s vehicle with rocks and injured the occupants. Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an that armed men fired at an Israeli military site near Nablus, while soldiers responded with live fire. No injuries were reported in the incident. In an apparently unrelated incident, witnesses said that Palestinian youths threw rocks at a car belonging to a settler on the road near Itamar settlement, causing damage to the car and injuring multiple settler occupants. An ambulance arrived in the area following the incident.
15 injured in clashes east of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 9 Aug — More than 15 Palestinians were injured in clashes near Nablus on Friday as rage mounted across the West Bank over Israel’s 33-day assault against the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 1,900. The injured in the clashes with Israeli forces at Beit Furik checkpoint east of Nablus included two journalists. Palestinian medical sources said that several young men were struck by live ammunition and were evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus during the clashes with Israeli forces in the area. The sources highlighted that Palestinian photojournalist Alaa Badarna was hit by a rubber-coated bullet in the leg. Another photojournalist, Abdul-Rahim al-Qusini, reportedly was beaten by Israeli soldiers. Among the other young men who were injured during the clashes were 21-year-old Ghazi Mahmoud Abu al-Jabaan, 20-year-old Saddam Hussein Bani Audah and 20-year-old Samir Abu al-Reesh. Palestinian security sources said Israeli forces detained five young men during the clashes after beating them severely. Usayd Tawfiq Hanani, 18, and Madyn Wael Hanani, 19 were among the detainees.
Detentions / Court actions
Ten to face charges in assault of East Jerusalem Arabs
Haaretz 11 Aug by Nir Hasson — Ten suspects, including three minors, are to be indicted Monday in the July 25 beating of two young Palestinian men in Jerusalem. Amir Shweiki and Samer Mahfouz, both 20, from Beit Hanina, were in the area between the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina and the Jewish neighborhood of Neveh Ya’akov, in northern Jerusalem, when they were attacked without prior provocation. They were severely beaten with iron bars and baseball bats. Shweiki was injured seriously, and is still hospitalized in the neurosurgery department at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem. Mahfouz sustained mild injuries in the attack, but he was readmitted to the hospital last week after his condition worsened. “A man came from the direction of Neveh Ya’akov,” Mahfouz told Haaretz after the attack. “He said, ‘Give me a cigarette.’ I told him I don’t have any, and he heard I’m Arab and went away, coming back with his friends, maybe 12 people. They had sticks and iron bars and they started hitting us hard over the head.” Three of the 10 suspects, who were arrested by the Jerusalem Police’s Nationalist Crime Unit, are minors. Other arrests are expected, the police said. The attack on Mahfouz and Shweiki was the worst of several incidents over the past several weeks in which Palestinians in Jerusalem have been harassed or assaulted by Jews in what are considered hate crimes. Taxi drivers have been beaten or sprayed with tear gas, passengers on the city’s light rail have been harassed and passersby have been assaulted verbally and physically.
Israel to indict 6 Palestinians captured in Gaza
BEERSHEBA (Ma‘an) 10 Aug — The Israeli Chief Military Prosecutor plans to indict six Palestinians who were captured by Israeli forces during the ongoing military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Israeli sources told Ma‘an that the six detainees to be indicted by the prosecutor’s southern command are affiliated to the Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The individuals were detained during the Israeli ground invasion and are reportedly accused of involvement in firing rockets and digging tunnels. It was not initially clear whether Palestinians captured by Israeli forces in Gaza were being held as prisoners of war or being treated as detainees from an occupied territory, similar to West Bank detainees. A spokeswoman for the Israel Prison Services did not have any information regarding the report, and could not comment on whether Palestinians from Gaza were detainees or prisoners of war. Earlier in the week, the Israeli army previously admitted that 159 Palestinians had been captured during the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip and that they had been transferred to the Shin Bet intelligence agency for questioning. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Ministry accused Israel of “withholding” crucial information on the detainees that would allow the ministry to keep track of them, including their ID numbers, locations, and conditions. More than 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, including more than 1,500 captured by Israel in just the last two months.
Israeli delegation arrives in Cairo for truce talks
CAIRO (AFP) 11 Aug — An Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo on Monday for indirect negotiations with Palestinians on a durable truce in Gaza, officials at the airport and the Israeli defense ministry said. The Palestinian delegation meanwhile was already locked in talks with Egyptian intelligence mediators, who will relay their demands to the Israeli negotiators, a Palestinian official said.
72-hour Gaza ceasefire takes effect
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an/AFP) 11 Aug — A 72-hour ceasefire brokered by Egypt went into effect at midnight Monday, hours after Israeli bombings killed four Palestinians and armed groups fired rockets toward Israel. Palestinian factions agreed on the new 72-hour halt to hostilities in Cairo. Officials said that during the three-day ceasefire, there will be extensive negotiations to reach a more lasting truce. Meanwhile, humanitarian aid is expected to flow through Gaza crossings.
A Palestinian source in Cairo told AFP that the Egyptian mediators had received “simultaneous consensus” from both the Israeli and Palestinian side. In order to reach a lasting truce in Gaza, Palestinians have demanded Israel end its eight-year siege on the Strip, release dozens of prisoners whom Israel has re-arrested that were released in 2011 as part of the Shalit exchange, re-open a seaport and airport in Gaza, and create a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Egypt, for its part, insisted on a lifting of Israel’s blockade on Gaza. “This siege should be lifted in accordance to Israel’s responsibilities as an occupation force,” the foreign ministry in Cairo said in a statement…
On the ground, Gazans endured yet another day of fear Sunday as the air force hit dozens of targets, killing four Palestinians only hours before the ceasefire went into effect. Militants also launched dozens of rockets over the border.
Cairo delegation says next 3 days last chance for Gaza truce
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — The Palestinian delegation in Cairo has told Egyptian mediators that the next three days will be the last chance for reaching a comprehensive truce agreement with Israel, an official said Sunday. Qays Abu Layla, deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, told Ma’an from Cairo that as of Thursday all Israeli responses to ceasefire initiatives have been negative, with Israeli officials seeking a return to the pre-war status quo. “The Israeli delegation didn’t bring anything new during Thursday’s meeting. They are talking about types and quantities of commodities to be allowed into Gaza, as well as merchants and other minor issues. Their response was completely negative, and so we rejected it,” Abu Layla said. The Palestinian delegation has been demanding an end to the Israeli blockade, the release of re-arrested prisoners, reconstruction of Gaza, building a seaport and airport, removing the buffer zone, and enlarging the fishing zone. “The Israeli delegation told the Egyptians that the airport and seaport issues are out of question, and with regards to other Palestinian demands, they brought nothing new at all,” the DFLP official added. Israel demanded that PA security services take control of all Gaza crossings but the details have not been discussed further, Abu Layla said, adding that Hamas would not oppose the presence of PA security personnel. The Egyptians have not made concrete proposals for the Rafah crossing, Abu Layla said, but have stated that their priority is security. It has been suggested that some 1,000 officers of the PA presidential guard would be deployed at the crossing and along the Egyptian-Gaza border.
4 killed in Israeli strikes ahead of Gaza ceasefire
GAZA (Ma‘an) 10 Aug updated 11 Aug — Four Palestinians were killed and several others were injured Sunday in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip hours ahead of a new 72-hour ceasefire expected to come into effect at midnight. Hassan Kawaree, Omar Jarbou, and a third unidentified man [Ehsan Mahrous al-Aagha, 23] were killed in an airstrike that targeted a motorbike in Khan Younis.
Earlier Saqir Rayhan, 45, was killed and four others were injured in an airstrike on Beer al-Naaja in northwestern Gaza. They were taken to Kamal Adwan Hospital.
Israeli airstrikes also targeted the house of Gaza City mayor Nizar Hijazi, the al-Atar family home in al-Atatra, and the Abu Rabie family home in northern Gaza.
Anwar Mustafa al-Zaaneen, , died at al-Shifa hospital of injuries sustained in shelling in the northern Gaza Strip. He worked for the al-Mizan human rights organization.
Another Israeli airstrike targeted the al-Mazeen family home in Khan Younis. Three Palestinians were injured in attacks on the same city.
Also, four Palestinians were injured in an airstrike targeting the home of Samir al-Halabi in Beit Lahiya.
Israeli jets targeted the Shamlakh family home in the vicinity of Sheikh Ajleen mosque in western Gaza.
The death toll for Sunday reached 18 by nightfall, including 10 bodies that were pulled from under the rubble of previous attacks.
Including two children, four Palestinians killed in Gaza
IMEMC/Agencies 10 Aug by Saed Bannoura — One Palestinian was seriously injured when the army fired a missile into a car in Beit Hanoun, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. The Ministry of Health denied reports of his death, and said the wounded man is in the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital.
A woman was killed and her family was injured when the Israeli air force fired a missile into a home in the Bani Soheila area, east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The slain woman has been identified as Amani Abed al-Bakara, 35.
Also, a Palestinian child, identified as Ahmad Mohammad Atiyya al-Masri, 14, was killed and at least three Palestinians were injured when an Israeli drone fired a missile into Deir al-Balah, in Central Gaza. [Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said warplanes targeted a group of people in Deir al-Balah, killing 37-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad al-Jourani.]The army also fired a missile into a home in al-Meghraqa area, in Central Gaza, destroying it.
More missiles were fired into farmlands in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, in Kherbit al-‘Adas, near Rafah, in southern Gaza, and various areas close to the border with Egypt. A city council worker was seriously injured when the Israeli air force fired a missile into a car belonging to the Beit Hanoun Municipality.
Initial information also indicates three seriously wounded Palestinians, including two in Egyptian hospitals, died of their injuries.
Medical sources in the Jabalia refugee camp, in northern Gaza, stated that at least 10 Palestinians were injured when the army bombarded a home in the camp. The wounded were moved to the Kamal ‘Adwan Hospital in Beit Lahia, while two of them were moved to the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza City, due to the seriousness of their condition.
Late on Saturday at night, a Palestinian Aaya Nour ash-Sha’er, 13, died when an Israeli missile hit her family home in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli air force also fired missiles into border areas in Rafah, causing damage to several homes.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health in Gaza said around 1920 Palestinians have been killed, and Israeli fire and shells in the Gaza Strip have injured more than 9875, since July 8. Among the killed are at least 449 children, 243 women and 87 elderly, while among the wounded are at least 3004 children, 1907 women and 359 elderly.
2 Palestinians killed in Rafah strike
Ma‘an 9 Aug — Israeli warplanes struck Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip late Saturday, killing two Palestinians and leaving several others injured, a health ministry spokesman said. Ashraf al-Qidra said an airstrike hit a civilian car in the al-Barazil neighborhood in eastern Rafah, killing Said Aatif Tamraz, 26, and Muhammad Adil al-Ayidi, 28. Their bodies were taken to Abu Yousef Najar hospital, al-Qidra said.
Israeli warplanes bomb cemetery in central Gaza City
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Aug — Israeli warplanes bombed Sheikh Radwan cemetery in central Gaza City late Saturday, a Ma‘an reporter said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Beloved Gaza traffic policeman among casualties of war
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 9 Aug — Gaza’s most famous traffic policeman Muhammad al-Mubayyid was killed during the recent Israeli assault as he tried to save his grandmother from her home, Gaza police said Saturday. Gaza police spokesman Ayman al-Batneiji told Ma‘an that al-Mubayyid was one of the most active traffic policemen on the force, and used to stand guard at the most crowded squares in Gaza City, al-Saraya and al-Ittisalat. Al-Batneiji said that he was a Gaza City landmark, and almost every driver in the city remembered him. Al-Mubayyid was killed in Israeli shelling after most of his family had fled their home in al-Shaaf in Shuja‘iyya, one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in Gaza. After he had escorted family members to a shelter outside the neighborhood, he returned to check on his grandmother, who had refused to leave her home. It was there that the Israeli shell struck, killing both of them together in her apartment. The building was completely leveled in the strike, which occurred on July 21.
The strike came amid a major Israeli onslaught on the neighborhood, which killed more than 100 in less than two days. l-Mubayyid was also a soccer player at the Hitten sports club.
448 children killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, UN says
Electronic Intifada 9 Aug by Charlotte Silver — The 72-hour ceasefire had barely expired when Israeli airstrikes on Gaza resumed on Friday. As Israel claimed it is targeting “terror sites,” its first victim was a 10-year-old child in Gaza City. Ibrahim Dawawsa, 10, was killed while playing with some friends in the yard of a mosque close to his home, when a missile ended his life and injured his two young friends. During the nearly month-long military offensive on Gaza prior to the short ceasefire, Israel killed 448 children and injured 2,502, according to United Nations’ estimates. As of 8 August, the death toll in Gaza had reached 1,922. During each day of the ceasefire, the UN’s estimate of the number of children killed rose, as fieldworkers were able to recover the bodies of those killed—some buried in the rubble for weeks. One of the most serious incidents the UN discovered during the first 24 hours of the ceasefire was the badly decomposed bodies of eight members of the Wahdan family, left under a destroyed home in Beit Hanoun. The dead, which included three children under the age of 15, four women and two people over 60, are believed to have been killed by an airstrike soon after the Israeli ground invasion on 18 July. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights listed the names of the killed, which includes two-year-old Ghena Younis Saqr; Hussein Hatim, 9; Ahmed Hatim, 13; Zeinab Hatim, 22; Somoud Hatim, 22; Baghdad Hatim, 51; Suad Ahmed, 65; and Zaki Abdel, 67.
‘Please don’t shoot me': Evidence of a summary execution in Gaza
KHUZA‘A (Middle East Eye) 10 Aug by Mohammed Omer — Raghad Qudeh had nowhere to run except the home of her uncle, Mohammed Tawfiq Qudeh, 64, who had a basement. For two consecutive nights, Israeli forces had used all manner of weapons and missiles to hit her family home. “They use pesticides, as if they are just killing insects,” Raghad said. Then on Friday, 25 July, next door to Raghad’s house, the home of her neighbour, Helmi Abu Rejela, was hit and the bodies of his family lay under rubble. After the bombing, Israeli soldiers were shooting all around Raghad’s house. In a moment of calm, Raghad and her family found shelter at her uncle’s house, next door.In his basement, Raghad gathered with 21 members of her family, including her sisters and her mother. No one wanted to leave. Others in their neighbourhood had tried to escape their homes and been injured or killed. Some who were told to evacuate by masked Israeli special forces were killed by snipers at the entrance of the town in southern Gaza. “We stayed hiding until Friday at noon,” Raghad said as tears fell from her eyes. “Israeli bulldozers came closer to my uncle’s home, destroying the side and Israeli troops broke into the house.” As a bulldozer then crashed into the home and the family feared that the house would collapse into the basement, soldiers entered the house by breaking down a door. “We closed the curtains, and were terrified when a bullet hit the door, and voices shouting to us to get out,” she said. ‘Please don’t shoot me’ Raghad’s uncle, Mohammed, told his family he would open the door and talk peacefully with the soldiers, explaining to them that there were only civilians in the house. “He courageously went outside, with a white flag, just to talk with them saying, ‘I am a peaceful man and have only women, children and elderly here’,” Raghad said. Her uncle, Mohammed, usually based in Spain, showed the soldiers his Spanish Permanent Residency card (he also held a resident permit) and spoke to them in English, Hebrew, Arabic and Spanish. He told his family that using the languages would help to avoid any misunderstandings. He moved closer, speaking softly and politely in all four languages. ”Please don’t shoot me,” he said. Suddenly, a muffled shot came from a short, blond-haired, blue-eyed soldier holding an M-16 in his shaking hands. He was only about 20 years old, Raghad said. “I looked the soldier in the eye and his eyes seemed wet,” she said. “My father only said, ‘Please don’t shoot us, we are peaceful people’,” his 35-year-old daughter, Buthina Qudeh, said in despair. “But the soldier shot him anyway.” Raghad is still in shock. She never imagined Israeli troops would kill an unarmed civilian man … Raghad retells the events of that day outside the same home which used to be a small farm with goats, doves, chicken and dogs. All of the farm animals have been killed, their bodies scattered around what used to be a lovely garden amid a stench of dead meat. One can’t tell if this comes from the animals or the human dead bodies next door. [it gets worse...]
Proof that Israel uses Palestinians as human shields
Witness [Ramadan Mohamed Qdeih, son of Mohammed Qdeih in article above]: “Israeli soldiers used us as human shields after shooting my old father in the heart, twice.” While Israeli soldiers invaded Gaza, the media was exploding with the Israeli induced propaganda which states “Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields” Who really uses Palestinians as human shields? In this video, a witness that was used as a human shield by Israeli soldiers speaks of his experience. And how he was used as a human shield being placed behind a window while Israeli soldiers were shooting at Gaza’s resistance soldiers right next to him. Making it impossible for resistance in Gaza to shoot back out of fear of shooting their own people. This witness was not only used as a human shield, but witnessed his own father get shot in the heart, twice, after trying to explain that he wants nothing but peace.
Families bombed at home – Gaza, July 2014
[This is posted from B'Tselem's Facebook page because their website has been repeatedly shut down by some who dislike its reporting, and in fact is down now at this is written. This post deals with only one family. Try to access the full site using the URL in this FB post - it may be back up] 10 Aug — According to B’Tselem’s initial information, the a-Najars’ home in Beit Hanoun was bombed on Saturday 26 July 2014, while the family was preparing for the early dawn meal before the daily Ramadan fast. Twenty members of the extended family were killed, including some who had fled there from other areas in the town. Three other relatives were injured. We’ve posted an infographic depicting 36 bombings of civilian homes, killing mostly women & minors. http://www.btselem.org/gaza_strip/201407_families
Wounded Gazans arrive in Turkey for treatment
ANKARA (Reuters) 11 Aug — Four wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip arrived in the Turkish capital early Monday after being flown in for medical treatment, with more expected, in a move announced by Prime Minister and President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Our wounded from Gaza have started to come,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters at the airport in Ankara, where he greeted the Palestinians, three women and a youth who were then taken to hospital. “In the first stage we plan to bring to Turkey, and treat, maybe 200 patients,” Davutoglu said, adding that further patients would be brought by planes in groups of around 40 after agreeing the move in talks with Israel and Egypt. Davutoglu told Reuters in an interview last Wednesday that Turkey was seeking to establish an air corridor to evacuate possibly thousands of injured Palestinians, and Erdogan confirmed the move in his first speech after his victory in a presidential election.
What the world builds, Israel bombs
GAZA CITY (The National) 9 Aug by Hugh Naylor –/ International donors are wary of funding another rebuilding effort in Gaza, with the European Union divided over increasing pressure on Israel for a lasting solution to the Palestinian issue. “There’s huge concern that whatever we help rebuild will be destroyed again,” said a European diplomat in charge of his country’s development aid in Israel and the Palestinian territories. “We need fundamental changes to the situation on the ground so that we don’t repeat what keeps on getting repeated.” Palestinian officials said last week the Israeli offensive that began on July 8 caused US$6 billion (Dh22bn) worth of damage … “Huge swathes of Gaza have been leveled. We cannot rebuild it with our hands tied behind our backs,” Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), said on Saturday. “It is time for Israel to enable, not disable. It is time for the world to recognise the blindingly obvious — that the Gaza conflict requires a political solution.”
Video: Deprived of water in Gaza
EWASHPalestine 7 Aug — Since the start of the Israeli assault on Gaza on 7 July 2014, codenamed “Protective Edge”, the water and wastewater infrastructure in Gaza has been heavily affected by Israeli airstrikes and shelling. Main water supply and wastewater as well as electricity infrastructure has been hit. As a result services have been cut or severely disrupted, affecting the entire population in Gaza. Up to 25 per cent of Gaza’s population were displaced. The 1.8 million people in Gaza, living in homes and shelters have extremely restricted access to water and sanitation. Fatma, 45, was displaced with her family and sought shelter at a school in Ash Shuja‘iyeh. She speaks about the problems with water, sanitation and hygiene that her family faces amongst the many other displaced.
Gazans struggle with rising prices as bombs fall
GAZA CITY (AFP) 10 Aug — Israeli bombardment has left large swathes of Gaza in ruins, and the enclave’s already shattered economy is also feeling the pinch as prices for staple foods have started to climb. The market in Gaza City’s al-Shati refugee camp was bustling Saturday, but many of the camp’s hard-up residents are buying less. Israel’s offensive on the enclave has hit agricultural areas badly, pushing up prices. Khaled Ighrad, 48, who was buying food with his wife and one of his six children, has had to cut back on some key items for his family. The price of eggs has doubled from 10 shekels ($3) to 20 ($6) since Israel launched a campaign of air strikes on July 8. “I’m not buying a whole box of eggs, I’m buying half. I’ll buy this and it lasts us for two days,” he said, wistfully looking at the trays of eggs on the stall in front of him. “Prices have gone up because things like meat and eggs are produced on the border area. We don’t go to the border area anymore, so the people only went during the ceasefire.”
All your Gaza questions answered in 1 interactive map
Forward 7 Aug by Anne Cohen — Confused about Gaza? You’re not alone. Le Monde has created an animated map to help people who can’t tell Gaza from the West Bank navigate the facts. Say what you will about supposed French bias against Israel, the map is fairly informative, easy to follow and essentially lays out the bare bones of a very long and complex conflict — a good tool for someone who hasn’t been following the situation too closely. Watch for yourself: [many may find some of the explanation too close to the Israeli line, but the map is informative and helpful]
More stories from Gaza
GAZA, Occupied Palestine 9 Aug by Sarah Algherbawi — It is extremely difficult to find a starting point when trying to write about martyrs. The death toll till is now 1898 people, including 433 children, 243 women, and 85 elderly, while the number of injured people is 9837. They have left thousands of stories, and incurable pain, behind.
I’m Ibraheem Ismaeel Al-Ghoul. You can find me in the photo on the left. I had a twin brother. We lived together for nine months inside mom’s womb and only ten days out. I thought we’d also share our lives, play together, go to kindergarten, school, and university together, and have the same friends. I though we would be friends forever. My twin was killed before we could even grow a little and see life outside. I lost my other half, Mohammed. My twin brother wasn’t my only loss. I also lost my mother, my father and my older brother Wael. I’m so sorry I will never have the chance to know them, nor my two lovely sisters, Hanady and Asma’a – they were also killed. My brothers and sisters were kept inside an ice cream freezer. You can see them in the photo on the right. There was no room for more dead people at the hospital. There’s no room for more pain either.
On Sunday, 3rd of August, the Al-Ghoul family lost 10 members, including Ibraheem’s family and five members of his uncle’s family.
Mohamed will never see his father’s face again; will he see his mother’s?
Middle East Monitor 9 Aug by Motasem Dalloul — Nine year-old Mohamed Badran was looking forward to hugging his parents and playing with his six brothers during the three-day annual holiday that follows the holy month of Ramadan. Despite the fact that the Israeli war has devastated any hope of happiness in Gaza, Mohamed remained hopeful. But days later, with his mother and his uncle standing beside him in Al-Shifa Hospital, Mohammed told MEMO: “All my dreams were shattered after two Israeli tank shells darkened my life and wounded all my brothers.” After the dawn prayer of the first day of the holiday, Eid Al-Fitr, Mohamed and his family members were sleeping peacefully in their house. Mohamed prepared the new clothes and toys his mother had bought him and his brothers to wear for the holiday. He went to bed, looking forward to his mother waking him up in the morning. He did not know at that moment he was going to close his eyes forever. Two merciless Israeli tank shells hit his house, destroying his bedroom and wounding him and his six brothers … Mohamed and one of his brothers sustained serious injuries. Although he did not lose his sight, he lost his two eyes. Doctors have said there is a slight opportunity he will be able to see the light again through a donated or artificial eye … Mohamed’s story became well-known to people in Palestine and abroad. Many doctors and charities offered to treat him and help him see light again and hope slowly returned to Mohamed that he would one day see the faces of his parents again. But amidst this increasing hope, the Israeli occupation killed Mohamed’s father this morning while he was performing the dawn prayer in Al-Qassam Mosque in Al-Nusairat Refugee camp. An Israeli F16 rocket landed during the prayer, killing five and wounding around ten others. Nidal Badran, Mohamed’s father, was among the dead. Now Mohamed has lost complete hope of seeing his father’s face again.
Activism / Solidarity / BDS
PHOTOS & VIDEOS: Largest pro-Gaza protest in history just reached 150,000
Countercurrentnews 9 Aug — The United Kingdom’s largest demonstration for Gaza has just made history. Not only was it the biggest protest in solidarity with Gazan civilians in the UK, but it was also the largest in the world, at any time in history. So many people turned up that when the front of the march reached Hyde Park, the back still had not left the BBC. We marched to demand an end to Israel’s barbaric assault on Gaza, to call on the British government to implement an immediate embargo on arms sales to Israel, and to show Palestinians facing Israel’s war crimes that they are not alone … [AFP: This was the third major demo in London in a month.]… The protest was not against Jews, but against the aggression of the Israeli State against Gazan civilians. A huge number of Jewish protestors came in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Barnaby Raine, who organized the Jewish protestors’ involvement with the march explains why he was there demanding justice [See also Annie Robbins' astonishing cumulative collection of photos of Gaza demos worldwide]
Druze youth refuses to serve in Israeli military
Electronic Intifada 11 Aug by Patrick Strickland – Anan Shaheen refused to serve in Israel’s military when he arrived for a compulsory registration appointment yesterday. Expecting to be imprisoned like many Palestinian conscientious objectors from the Druze religious community before him, military registration officers nonetheless gave the 18-year-old an exemption on the spot. Most Palestinian citizens of Israel are not required to serve in Israel’s military, which has for decades occupied Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian land in violation of international law. Yet unlike their Christian and Muslim compatriots, most Palestinian Druze males have been required to complete three years of military service since 1956, when the Israeli government struck a deal with a minority of Druze religious leaders acting without popular consent … Conscripting Druze is part of Israel’s broader colonial strategy of sowing divisions among Palestinians, as well as categorizing Palestinians by the types of identification cards and their geographical locations (such as the West Bank or the Gaza Strip). Druze who declare their refusal either do so openly and risk imprisonment or by intentionally failing a mental aptitude test, known as a “Profile 21.”
Palestine present more than ever in Latin American politics
Al Jazeera 9 Aug by Dima Khatib — Governmental and popular solidarity with Palestine is unprecedented following the latest Israeli invasion of Gaza – “Let’s advocate for Palestine’s right to be a full member at the United Nations.” The voice is very familiar to any Venezuelan or anyone living in Venezuela. Heard in small recorded sentences, it comes out every now and then, scattered between commercial ads on a local radio station. “We want peace. We want the aggression on Palestine to stop. We want peace in the World.” Another sound clip comes up after a hip-hop song. It is the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ voice. And those are bits and pieces from his long speeches where he would often mention Palestine, explaining its history and calling for its freedom. On another pro-government local radio station a broadcaster reminds a fellow broadcaster as they share the latest updates from Gaza that the story is not about three Israeli teens, kidnapped and murdered a few weeks ago. It is the story of a land, the broadcaster continues, that Israel occupies without any right and thus depriving Palestinians of it. He continues: “Imagine that our country Venezuela would be reduced to just two small states, not geographically connected, and the rest would be occupied by a new state, I mean another country. That is exactly how Gaza and the West Bank are now. Unbelievable, isn’t it?” … A few blocks away, the headquarters of Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, known as the Yellow House (Casa Amarilla) has been the central point for collecting donations for Gaza: food, medicine, clothes and more. Since the start of the current Israeli offensive on Gaza, this would be Venezuela’s second humanitarian shipment to Gaza, by air and by sea, in coordination with the Embassy of Palestine in Caracas…
The left in Latin America has traditionally supported Palestine, but this time around they have been joined by the moderate pragmatic left. Even Colombia, Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s ally in the region criticised Israel. The current offensive on Gaza triggered five Latin American countries – Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, El Salvador and Chile – to recall their ambassadors from Tel Aviv. Both Chile and Brazil also suspended trade talks with Israel. Venezuela and Bolivia qualified Israel’s offensive as genocide. Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his country would from now on require visas for all Israeli citizens wishing to visit Bolivia. He also declared Israel a “terrorist state”.
Today, efforts in Venezuela to support Palestine and to spread awareness about the Palestinian cause stem from the political leadership. But elsewhere in Latin America it is sometimes the opposite. Such is the case in Chile, where the Palestinian community is considered the biggest in all of Latin America and comprises influential figures: politicans, artists, entrepreneurs and writers. Mauricio Abu Ghosh, president of the Palestinian Federation of Chile, the most active pro-Palestine civil society entity in the country, says that popular solidarity with Palestine in Chile at the moment is unprecedented. He explains: “The last four years we witnessed a leap in communication thanks to social media. Today 95 percent of Chileans commenting on Palestine online are in favour of Palestine despite efforts by the Zionist lobby to always portray Jews as the permanent victim.” … The media battle has been very tough. Most local media seem to follow a pro-Israeli editorial line and give pro-Israeli voices a lot of space, repeating the same line about Hamas being a terrorist organisation and about Israel’s alleged “right to self-defence” … Nevertheless, what may be called the Palestinian lobby in Chile has managed to penetrate the media, to expose a different point of view through several prominent faces of the Palestinian community.
Thousands rally in Santiago in support of Gaza
SANTIAGO (WAFA) 10 Aug – Thousands rallied on Sunday in the Chilean capital of Santiago in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza, following 34 days of ongoing Israeli aggression.The protesters waved Palestinian flags and banners calling for the boycott of Israel and supporting Gaza and Palestine. Protesters carried banners reading ‘Gaza resists,’ ‘Palestine exists,’ ‘shame on Israel,’ and that ‘they’re worse than Nazis’, calling upon the Chilean President to sever the diplomatic relations with Israel.
To be noted, Chile recalled its ambassador from Israel last week in protest of the Israeli aggression on the strip.
Hamdallah praises Italy’s €17 million aid to Gaza
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 10 Aug – Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Sunday praised the Italian government’s 17 million Euros of aid support to the Gaza Strip. During a meeting with Britain’s Vice-Consul in Jerusalem, Benjamin Saul, and his accompanying delegation at the PM’s office in Ramallah, Hamdallah praised the Italian government’s financial support to Gaza and the sending of a team of NHS medical experts to the strip.
UK to send NHS medics to help those injured by Gaza crisis
ReliefWeb (DID) 9 Aug — The UK, which has already contributed over £17 million to help those affected by the conflict in Gaza, has activated its International Emergency Trauma Register to deploy a world class team of NHS staff directly to the region within the next 48 hours to help treat hundreds of those affected by the crisis. Announcing the package, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The conflict in Gaza has taken a terrible toll. The UK has been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts to help those affected and it is right that we see what more we can do. The NHS has always stepped up to the plate to help those in need and this expert team will play a crucial role in helping hundreds caught up in this conflict.” The initial team will be made up of a combination of doctors, nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and paramedics from the specialties of emergency medicine, orthopaedic trauma surgery and plastic surgery. They will initially be based with Medical Aid for Palestinians at Al Mokassed hospital, East Jerusalem. Once access to Gaza becomes possible, UK medics will then move there, with UK charities UK Med, Save the Children and Medical Action for Palestine facilitating this operation. The medics will co-ordinate with local health authorities, charities, the UN and Red Crescent, and other international medical teams. Medics will also explore whether there is need for them to assist elsewhere in the region.
Turkey pledges ‘mobile homes’ to displaced Gazans: Minister
Middle East Monitor 10 Aug by Nour Abu Eisha for Anadolu Agency — Turkey has pledged to provide “mobile homes” to house Palestinian families displaced by a deadly Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian minister said Saturday. “We have received pledges to provide us with mobile homes to house the displaced families,” Minister of Public Works and Housing Mufeed al-Hassayna told Anadolu Agency. He said that his ministry has asked for 3500 mobiles homes to be allowed into the Gaza Strip.
Tunisian aid plane sent for Gaza
ISTANBUL (PIC) 9 Aug — A Tunisian plane, loaded with 14 tons of medical supplies and food items for Gaza, took off from Carthage Airport on Friday evening heading for Egypt. The Tunisian authorities had already flown last month 16 tons of medical and food supplies to Gaza through Egypt. The transfer of aid supplies for Gaza take place under the supervision of the Tunisian presidency and is supported by the Tunisian association for cooperation and social networking and the Tunisian Red Cross.
Kuwait delivers urgent medical aid to Gaza Strip
CAIRO, Aug 9 (KUNA) — Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) delivered today medical aid to the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to distribute them to hospitals that lack medical materials due to Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip. A KRCS team of volunteers has delivered tons of medical aid to its Palestinian counterpart to hand them to hospitals in Gaza, Khaled Al-Zaid, head of KRCS mission for the relief of the Palestinian people in Gaza, stated to KUNA. Medical aid will continue, whether through purchasing from the Palestinian market or the Kuwaiti airlift for transportation of medications and medical supplies, Al-Zaid said, pointing out that an aircraft loaded with other tons of medications will arrive next Sunday and will be delivered to the Palestinians.
Starbucks insists it doesn’t back Israel — pushes back on rumors
Forward (JTA) 10 Aug — Starbucks issued a statement saying the company and its CEO do not provide any financial support to Israel or its army, in the wake of such rumors. Howard Schultz, Starbuck’s CEO, is Jewish. The company updated a four-year-old statement on its website after the spread of false “rumors that Starbucks or Howard provides financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army,” the statement said. The statement, a fact sheet in Q and A form, was updated on August 5.
“Starbucks has been and remains a non-political organization. We do not support any political or religious cause. Additionally, neither Starbucks nor the company’s chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz provide financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army in any way,” the statement said. The company said in its statement that it closed its Starbucks stores in Israel in 2003 due to “on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market.” The company has stores in 65 countries, including nearly 600 stores in 12 Middle Eastern and North African countries such as Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
We can’t just tweet in the face of genocide
Red Pepper August — Ewa Jasiewicz, activist with London Palestine Action, explains how you can join the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel’s massacre and occupation … Actions speak louder than letters and are faster than lobbying. Actions are also more empowering and more effective at engaging the public. There’s no time like the present, leave your computer at home and hit the streets. Here are some effective, low cost, high impact collective actions you can take:
Soldiers probed for ‘fraternizing with minorities’
Haaretz 10 Aug by Gili Cohen — Israeli soldiers are routinely investigated on suspicion of “fraternizing with minorities,” generally a euphemism for Arabs, even though no such offense exists. This, according to the transcript of a Military Police interview, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, as well as statements by former officers from the Military Advocate General Corps. Last month a young soldier was arrested on suspicion of using and trafficking in illegal drugs. In her interview, she mentioned to investigators that she was friends with a Bedouin man, a civilian who dealt drugs. The soldier’s arrest report states that she was suspected of the following offenses: trafficking, use and possession of dangerous drugs, fraternizing with minorities and violating military discipline. The interview transcript also indicated that she was suspected of these offenses, despite the fact that fraternizing with minorities is a nonexistent offense. In his client’s first session in military court, the soldier’s lawyer, Yuval Kagan, asked whose decision it was to investigate the soldier in connection to the fraternization “offense.” He noted that in any case the Bedouin was an Israeli citizen, eliminating the possibility that his client was suspected of contact with a foreign agent. Officers who were familiar with similar cases in the past spoke about them with some derision, due to the fact that the “offense” did not actually exist and also because the officer who handled one case was himself a member of the minority Druze community.
Judge with strong Israel ties refuses to step down in case against Palestinian-American
Electronic Intifada 6 Aug by Charlotte Silver — Last Thursday, 31 July, Federal Judge Paul D. Borman refused to recuse himself from presiding over the upcoming trial of Rasmea Yousef Odeh. In October 2013, Odeh, a Palestinian-American community leader from Chicago, was accused of lying on her immigration forms by failing to disclose a criminal conviction meted out by an Israeli military court in 1969. Odeh is pleading not guilty to the charge, and will argue that the conviction was based on a confession extracted through torture, including sexual assault and rape, that led to a diminished capacity at the time she submitted her immigration and naturalization forms. Odeh’s defense had submitted the motion for recusal on 14 July. Pointing to Borman’s lifelong activism on behalf of Israel, the defense attorneys argued that his bias would preclude a fair and impartial trial for Odeh. A significant component of Odeh’s defense will be based on demonstrating that there is an inherent lack of due process and fairness in the Israeli military court system — which has a conviction rate of 99.7 percent, according to 2010 data leaked to the Israeli paper Haaretz.
Analysis / Opinion
Why Israel and Palestine should get rid of their borders and become two overlapping states / Mathias Mossberg and Mark Levine
Huffington Post 7 Aug — As the latest truce between Israel and Hamas hopefully takes root in Gaza, the world is confronted with a humanitarian disaster of monumental proportions … A long-term solution for Israel and Palestine must be achieved lest there be another bloody war in a couple years. Our proposition? Do away with borders between the two communities. An emphasis on territorial borders lends itself to fighting between nation states. Thus, for the last half decade, a group of Israeli, Palestinian and international scholars have developed a solution based on a new notion of sovereignty that — instead of tied to land — is tied to citizens. We propose Israel and Palestine share the land — all of it — as two overlapping, or “parallel,” states. In this scenario, citizenship would follow the citizen wherever she may live within the region of Israel/Palestine. We call it a “parallel states” scenario because it envisions two states existing in parallel, with overlapping sovereignty across the entirety of historic Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. The two states would retain their separate identities, national symbols and political structures. But they would be distinguished by their lack of internal borders, allowing free movement and access to land, resources and economic opportunity for the citizens of both states. A joint defense policy, economic policy and legislative policy would replace existing divisions and ensure the fundamental interests of both states. Here are further specifics of the framework … This scenario would eliminate numerous sticking points in the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace processes — including the issue of sharing or dividing the city of Jerusalem and the issue of Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas. It would allow both peoples’ “right of return” to their historic homeland without upsetting the demographic balance within each state. It could keep Israel demographically Jewish and Palestine demographically Palestinian.
A European green light to kill, destroy, and pulverize Gaza / Amira Hass
Haaretz 11 Aug – If the security of Jews in the Mideast were of real interest to European countries like Germany and Austria, they wouldn’t continue subsidizing the Israeli occupation — In its ongoing silence, official Germany is collaborating with Israel on its journey of destruction and death, waged against the Palestinian people in Gaza. Germany isn’t alone – Austria’s silence is also deafening. Actually, why single out these two countries? On the second or third day of the war, Chancellor Angela Merkel wasn’t the only one to declare that she stood beside Israel. The entire European Union supported Israel and its right “to defend itself.” Yes, France and Britain did some squirming last week, making a few feeble sounds of protest. But the EU’s original stance, stated on July 22, still resounds. It accused the side under prolonged Israeli siege of causing the escalation. This is the side that, despite all the European declarations on its right to self-determination and an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, is still under Israeli occupation after 47 years. EU member states and, obviously, the United States, gave Israel a green light to kill, destroy and pulverize. They placed the brunt of the blame on the people launching the rockets, the Palestinians. The rockets are disrupting the “order” and the “quiet,” endangering the security of Israel, which is so weak and vulnerable, always attacked for no reason whatsoever. Basically, the United States and Europe are endorsing the status quo under which the Gaza Strip is severed from the West Bank. The Israeli siege of Gaza and the oppression of the Palestinian population in the West Bank are Israel’s quiet, order and security. Whoever dares to violate this must be punished. In their passionate declarations on Israel’s right to defend itself, EU officials fail to mention the Palestinians’ right to security or protection from the Israeli army. Europe and the United States didn’t give Israel the green light to escalate — to destroy, kill and inflict suffering on an unprecedented scale — at the outbreak of the current hostilities. They already gave it back in 2006, when they spearheaded the boycott of the Hamas government, elected in a democratic vote.
From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the Arab world has abandoned the Palestinians / Mehdi Hasan
Huffington Post The Blog 8 Aug — Forget for one moment the timid pronouncements of Barack Obama and David Cameron. When will Arab rulers dare raise their voice against Israel’s pounding of Gaza? “I have never seen a situation like it, where you have so many Arab states acquiescing in the death and destruction in Gaza and the pummelling of Hamas,” the former US diplomat Aaron David Miller, who advised Presidents Clinton and Bush on the Middle East, told the New York Times on 30 July. Their silence, he said, “is deafening”. But their silence isn’t the worst part; their complicity is. Take the collective punishment of the 1.8million inhabitants of Gaza which is referred to as the “blockade”. Israeli officials may have bragged to their US counterparts that they wanted to “keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse without quite pushing it over the edge”, but they couldn’t have maintained their seven-year siege of Gaza without help.Remember: Israel controls only three sides of the strip. Who controls the fourth? Egypt, the proud, self-styled “heart of the Arab world”. Yet, from Air Chief Marshal Hosni Mubarak to General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Arab Republic of Egypt has been a keen accomplice in Israel’s strangulation of Gaza … On 1 August, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia released a statement denouncing the killings in Gaza as a “collective massacre” but conveniently, as the Associated Press pointed out, “stopped short of directly condemning Israel” and “did not call for any specific action to be taken against Israel”. Meanwhile, the kingdom’s Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al ash-Sheikh, claimed that pro-Palestinian demonstrations were “just demagogic actions that won’t help Palestinians” … Then there is Syria. The Respect MP, George Galloway, may have praised the Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad once as the “last Arab ruler” because of the latter’s supposed willingness to stand up to Israel, but Assad’s brutal security forces have bombed and besieged the Palestinian refugees of Yarmouk, on the outskirts of Damascus … The rest of the Arab countries don’t have much better records. In Lebanon, 400,000-odd Palestinian refugees languish in refugee camps where the conditions are nothing short of horrific. They are prevented by law from working in the public sector or using state medical and education facilities and are also barred from buying property.
A closer look at the Gaza Marine Offshore Field
Natural Gas Europe 15 July – Is the move by the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza really about natural gas? A statement of the Israeli defence minister leads to believe so. Israel’s attack on Gaza would be to control the gas and prevent Gaza from developing its offshore resources and hence strengthening economically. Does Israel need to attack Gaza to control its natural gas? This article will not discuss the motives of Israel’s assault or assess the veracity of the various allegations but will rather give a closer look at Gaza’s offshore riches. USGS estimated the Levant basin to contain as much as 122 Tcf. A lot has been said about Israel’s giant 19 Tcf Leviathan field (recently even upped further) and Tamar 10 Tcf field. A lot has been said about Cyprus 5 Tcf (in gross mean resource) Aphrodite field and the island’s efforts to develop an onshore LNG facility to export the gas via LNG and attract neighbouring countries’ gas for processing and shipping. A lot has also been said about Lebanon’s struggle to launch its first licensing round and begin the exploration of its waters believed to contain as much as 95 Tcf of natural gas (and 850 million barrels of oil). Very little has been said about Gaza, however located in the same agitated Eastern Mediterranean currently experiencing a gas bonanza.