Henny A.J. Kreeft
Website URL: www.khamakarpress.com
Palestinians carry their belongings in Khuzaa, east of Khan Younis, on 3 August 2014 following Israeli air strikes and shelling
The Israeli military opened fire on a mass march of civilians who were carrying white flags and calling out “peaceful, peaceful” as they tried to exit Khuzaa village in southern Gaza, which had been under siege for three days, corralling them back into the village.
Those who were trapped in the village had tried to coordinate a safe evacuation with the International Committee of the Red Cross, but Israel’s shelling would not let up.
This is one of the many disturbing findings from one of the only international and independent fact-finding missions that Israel has allowed to access the Gaza Strip since the 26 August ceasefire that ended 51 days of intensive bombing.
Last week the mission published “No Safe Place,” a more than two hundred-page report on their findings from their forensic investigation. The mission’s aim was to assess the types, causes and patterns of injuries and deaths and to collect evidence for potential use in local or international justice mechanisms.
The investigation devotes special attention to the siege on Khuzaa, detailing the attempts civilians made to flee Israeli fire and finding that the army used people as human shields, executed civilians at close range, and intentionally neglected mortally wounded children. During the four days of heavy bombardment of the village, scores were critically injured. While the report refers to twelves deaths specifically, it says the total number of casualties remains unknown.
The report also finds that most of those who were killed during the summer assault were crushed to death, frequently in their homes, and often with other members of their family by their side. More than 142 families lost at least three members in a single strike. Recent casualty counts estimate the total killed as at least 2,257and as high as 2,310.
Organized by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel and Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the investigation team consisted of international experts from the fields of forensic pathology, emergency medicine, pediatrics and health and human rights.
The delegation interviewed 68 injured patients and reviewed 370 digital images and records of those killed and the report includes transcripts of interviews with injured civilians and medical professionals. While limited in scope and access, the report concludes that evidence suggests several serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
All of Gaza a battlefield
The report confirms what was reported at the time: indiscriminate and total bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
While in some cases the Israeli military dropped warning leaflets or sent “warning strikes” or “roof taps,” this did not save lives as there were no clear boundaries of where the battlefield was. The army targeted possible escape routes, ambulances carrying wounded people, and individuals attempting to flee.
The mission found that the rate of injury and death overwhelmed the capacities of hospitals in the Gaza Strip, and the destruction of medical facilities further undermined medical workers’ ability to adequately treat patients. Doctors testified that they were forced to take shortcuts like not using sterile gloves or sterile gauze and had use makeshift suture material. Some patients reported that they found maggots in their wounds after leaving the hospital.
For those needing rehabilitation, their options are now worse. Gaza’s sole public rehabilitation hospital, al-Wafa, was completely destroyed during the war. And while there are other private or nongovernmental medical rehab facilities, there is a lack of cohesion in providing services to the population in part because many international groups refuse to coordinate with Hamas government authorities.
The majority of the 68 patients interviewed suffer insomnia, flashbacks, nightmares, screaming, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression and unstable emotional states.
Doctors and nurses said that the trauma they saw was not just a from the attacks, displacement, threats of joblessness and poverty, but also the sense of total isolation from the rest of the world. Those interviewed said that Gaza’s dire situation affects individuals’ life choices, like whether or not to get married and have children.
Medics under attack
Yousef al-Kahlout, a 32-year-old medic with the Palestine Red Crescent Society, said Israel’s tactics posed a danger more grave last summer than in previous wars. Ambulances came under repeated attack and first responders were put at risk by Israel’s method of striking a single target multiple times in close succession, a method called “double tapping.”
The report adds that the Israeli military would often refuse to coordinate with theInternational Committe of the Red Cross to allow local medics into an area to evacuate casualties, forcing them to enter dangerous areas at their own risk.
Even when the Israeli military would coordinate with the Red Cross to allow Red Crescent staff to enter an area, medics would come under fire.
Powerful explosives used indiscriminately
Huge numbers of injuries and deaths last summer were caused by the indiscriminate use of large amounts of powerful explosives, the report states.
One weapon used to inflict such destruction is called an “explosive barrel” by local residents and “Tzefa Shirion” (Viper Armour) by the Israeli military. Its stated purpose is to clear landmines for advancing troops, but Israel used it in at least two neighborhoods in Gaza: Khuzaa and Khan Younis. The device can be rolled out from a tank or dropped from the sky; as the barrel rolls forward, its explosives are detonated and a corridor is created for the military.
The mission also found evidence corroborating the use of flechette shells, which indiscriminately spray thousands of tiny darts, and evidence suggesting the use of Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME), an experimental weapon that was previously used in Israel’s 2008-2009 military attack on Gaza. Doctors also found computer chips with SONY markings embedded in bodies like shrapnel.
The publication ends by encouarging the pursuit of justice, while also acknowledging the deep sense of pessimism Palestinians have towards any international mechanism to deter Israel’s constant attacks on Gaza. One head nurse atal-Shifa hospital said: “Many felt that ‘another report’ documenting their pain and suffering would be ineffective in addressing the root causes of the morbidity and mortality they experience daily.”
(Source / 29.01.2016)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– As the Palestinian people are about to mark the 68th anniversary of the Nakba Day (catastrophe), an Israeli statistical report has showed that the number of Jewish settlers living in the 1948 occupied lands increased to over six million people. According to the Israeli central bureau of statistics, there are 6,377,000 Jewish settlers in the 1948 occupied lands, comprising 74.8 percent of the total population, as well as 1,771,000 Arabs and 374,000 minority groups. By comparison, the nascent occupation state of Israel had a population of just 806,000 in 1948. On May 15, the Palestinian people will be commemorating the Nakba Day of 1948, when they were savagely attacked, slaughtered and driven from their homes into refugee camps by Zionist terrorist groups. This was the day when the Zionists established their deformed state on the skulls of their victims.
(Source / 10.05.2016)
Israeli court refused to release any CCTV video for the incident except the one released by Israeli authorities
Ahmed’s uncle told Days of Palestine and Middle East Rising that specialised doctors proved he was hit in the head so that he lost his memories.
Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Israeli District Court in Jerusalem convicted Palestinian boy Ahmed Manasrah, 14, of attempted murder and possession of a knife.
The boy was allegedly accused of attacking Israeli settlers in the illegal Israeli Jewish settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev in occupied East Jerusalem on October 12, 2015.
Ahmed was seen in a video suffering serious wound after an Israeli drive ran over him and other Israelis insulting him, preventing medical aid for him and shouting: “Die, son of a whore.”
Hassan Manasrah, Ahmed’s cousin who was with him, was shot dead by the Israeli border guards, claiming he had a knife and attempted to stab them.
Based on a CCTV camera videos, which a Canadian investigator hired by Middle East Rising proved they were doctored, and a violent interrogation conducted by several harsh Israeli interrogators, the Israeli court convicted Ahmed of stabbing an Israeli settler of his age and carrying a knife.
The teen was hospitalised in an Israeli hospital and was handcuffed and leg-chained to his bed during his treatment. Israeli authorities claimed he received decent treatment, but his father reiterated that office of the Israeli PM published fake pictures for him being served decently.
Lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Committee (PPC) Tariq Barghouth said the decision is appealable. “We hope the Supreme Court will view this humanitarian case differently,” he said.
“Once again, the Israeli court proves its racist treatment of the Palestinians,” the lawyer said, noting the “double standard” of the Israeli justice system when it comes to punishing Palestinians accused of committing crimes against Israelis, compared to cases of settlers attacking Palestinians.
Manasra’s trial was postponed several times until he turned 14 in January, the age of legal liability for only the Palestinians in the Israeli law. For Israelis, legal liability is 16.
(Source / 10.05.2016)
Israeli proposed law is even to oblige Palestinians in cities of Arab majorities to raise the Israeli flag
Zionists occupied Palestine and announced the establishment of their state on the ruins of hundreds of Palestinian villages, cities and thousands of skulls. Now, they want Palestinians to raise their flag.
Days of Palestine, Jerusalem -Israeli Culture, Sport Minister Miri Regev to oblige all culture and sport centres in Israel, including Arabic institutes to raise Israeli flag on Nakba Day.
Israeli news website YnetNews reported informed sources saying that “personal judgment should not factor in here [raising the Israeli flag].”
Regev has instructed the ministry’s Director General Yossi Sharabi, YnetNews reported, to prepare the initiative, which includes all places built by the state. The initiative is to be discussed by the Knesset in the upcoming meeting.
According to the Israeli news website, if Regev’s proposal was approved, it would impose raising the flag at sensitive locations such as the Arabic-speaking Al-Midan Theater in Haifa and the Doha Stadium in Sakhnin, whose population is predominantly Arabs.
Returning back to her first day when she took office, YenetNews said that Regev promised to promote the Israeli flag’s prominence through legislation and regulations.
It added: over the last few days, the Ministry has conducted a legal assessment of the issue, and is due to put forth a proposal that is expected to pass without legal difficulties during the Knesset’s summer session, which will begin later in May.
(Source / 10.05.2016)
Israeli Defense Ministry is working on building a new, much larger settlement in the northern West Bank
In recent years, the Israeli government has tended to resolve complaints about blatantly illegal settler outposts built on privately owned Palestinian land by retroactively legalizing the seizure of the land. This has been virtually obligatory for the far-right government, which depends heavily on settler votes for its narrow majority.
In the case of Amona, however, settler demands don’t seem to be working, with the Israeli High Court demanded the outpost be leveled by the end of 2012. You’ll notice, of course, that it is now 2016, but officials say it’ll probably have to happen by year’s end, and the court ruling makes retroactive legalization all but impossible.
Still, placating the settlers is job one, and despite expressions of outrage by them, the Israeli Defense Ministry is working on building a new, much larger settlement in the northern West Bank, which house the Amona residents plus a bunch of new settlers.
New ground was scheduled to be broken recently, and the Defense Ministry even tried to expel some existing settlers who were already using the land where the construction is to take place, though Amona condemnations are slowing the process, with many demanding retroactive legalization, and likely to continue holding out until the government either caves or gives them large reparations on top of the new homes.
(Source / 09.05.2016)
Majd Yusif Atwan, 22, was detained on April 19 for alleged ‘incitement.’
A lawyer for the Palestinian Authority’s committee for prisoners’s affairs said Monday that Israel’s Ofer military court has sentenced a young Palestinian woman from the southern occupied West Bank district Bethlehem to 45 days in prison over charges of incitement on her Facebook account.
Jamil Saadah told Ma’an that Majd Yusif Atwan, 22, was detained on April 19 for alleged “incitement,” and was also ordered to pay a fine of 3,000 shekels ($794) on Monday.
In recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by “incitement.”
Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.
More than 200 Palestinians and almost 30 Israelis have been killed since October, although the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths saw a dramatic drop over the last two months, with Israeli leadership suggesting its severe security measures were responsible for the emerging trend.
However, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found in a poll last month that support for stabbing attacks had seen a decline in the West Bank in recent months — “due, it seems, to a rising perception in its inefficacy.”
(Source / 09.05.2016)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Student Union at Chile’s universities has voted on Monday to approve a resolution prohibiting any academic interaction with Israel or its institutions. According to a report by Israel Radio, “some 56 percent of students at the University of Chile’s Law School voted in favor of banning activities in their faculty that involve the participation of functionaries of the State of Israel or that are funded by the Israeli embassy.” Over 64 percent voted that University of Chile, the largest and one of the most prestigious in the country, should not maintain links with Israeli universities, which they said “directly contribute to the violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.” The Palestinian students in Chile celebrated the vote, calling it a demonstration against Israeli Apartheid policy.
(Source / 09.05.2016)
RAMALLAH, (PIC)– MP Bassem al-Za’arir said that the arrest of Sheikh Salah aims at muting the free voices defending the Aqsa and Occupied Jerusalem and constitutes an attempt to end Jerusalem Intifada. In a press statement on Monday, Za’arir opined that Sheikh Salah, who is a key figure and key component of Jerusalem Intifada, has become a model for the defense of Occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque as well as other sacred places. He called for massive support for Occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa holy site after the arrest of Sheikh Salah, saying that his detention will not weaken the determination of the Palestinian people.
(Source / 10.05.2016)
Environmental Terrorism Cripples Palestinian Farmers Israeli settlers are hacking down Palestinian olive trees in an act of environmental terrorism aimed at intimidating their Palestinian neighbours and economically crippling many Palestinian farmers who rely on harvesting olives to make a living.
Israel prevents Palestinian cancer patients from treatment. Muntzer is 8 years old and from the Gaza Strip. He suffers from Lymphoma, a blood cell tumour developing from lymphatic tissues.Israeli Major General and coordinator of Israeli government activities in the Occupied Palestinian territories,