Thursday, 28 June 2012

UK foreign office funded report slams Israel's inhumane treatment of Palestinian child prisoners

An important report published by a group of British lawyers, funded by the Foreign Office, has highlighted the inhumane treatment of Palestinian child prisoners by Israel.

In the report’s damning conclusion, the lawyers stated that the reluctance to treat Palestinian child prisoners in accordance with international law may stem from the Israeli view that every Palestinian child is a ‘potential terrorist’ which leads to a ‘spiral of injustice’.

It shows how Israeli settlers and Palestinians are subject to different laws, so a Palestinian child can be held for up to 90 days without access to a lawyer and for 188 days without charge, whereas an Israeli child could only be held for two and 40 days respectively. When arrested, Palestinian children are not informed of their right to silence or a lawyer and are routinely held in solitary confinement. At present, 192 Palestinian children are imprisoned in Israeli jails, 39 of these are under the age of 16. more

Sign the Palestine Solidarity Campaign petition for Palestine's child prisoners

Grants for medical treatments abroad a "lifeline" for Gaza children

GAZA, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Mona Abu Aasi, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl from Shatti (Beach) Refugee Camp in western Gaza City, left Gaza few days ago to the Italian city of Florence after she had finally received a grant abroad to treat her brain cancer.

Abu Aasi had been suffering from cancer for several years due to lack of medical services in Gaza and ongoing Israeli siege until Relief Palestine, a non-profit American Charity Organization that has been operating for 20 years, offered her the medical grant.

Receiving the grant from the charity organization, which has been helping Palestinian and Arab children suffering from serious diseases, ended the torture and pain of the girl's family helpless to treat her disease.

Farah Abu Halima, a 5-year-old girl who had suffered a lot from a second degree burns after being badly injured in Israeli shelling in eastern Gaza city, has travelled to the United States and Dubai for treatment.

Steve Susbi, an American activist and director of Relief Palestine, told Xinhua in an interview that those children have been either injured in war or infected with chronic and serious diseases, but they can't find a proper medical treatment in Gaza due to lack of medical services.

"The organization was founded in 1992 and it focuses on providing proper and free medical treatment to children who can't be cured in their countries," said Susbi.

Relief Palestine has branches and volunteers in the United States, mainly in San Francisco, Boston, New Jersey and San Diego, as well as the United Arab Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. Ailing children usually stay with local Arab and Palestinian families. more

Video: Max Blumenthal on the pro-Israel lobby's campaign of hate against Islam in America

By Max Blumenthal

Nine years after 9/11, hysteria about Muslims in American life has gripped the country. With it has gone an outburst of arson attacks on mosques, campaigns to stop their construction, and the branding of the Muslim-American community, overwhelmingly moderate, as a hotbed of potential terrorist recruits. The frenzy has raged from rural Tennessee to New York City, while in Oklahoma, voters even overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure banning the implementation of Sharia law in American courts (not that such a prospect existed). This campaign of Islamophobia wounded President Obama politically, as one out of five Americans have bought into a sustained chorus of false rumors about his secret Muslim faith. And it may have tainted views of Muslims in general; an August 2010 Pew Research Center poll revealed that, among Americans, the favorability rating of Muslims had dropped by 11 points since 2005....

...Besides providing the initial energy for the Islamophobic crusade, conservative elements from within the pro-Israel lobby bankrolled the network's apparatus, enabling it to influence the national debate. One philanthropist in particular has provided the beneficence to propel the campaign ahead. He is a little-known Los Angeles-area software security entrepreneur named Aubrey Chernick, who operates out of a security consulting firm blandly named the National Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination. A former trustee of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which has served as a think tank for the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a frontline lobbying group for Israel, Chernick is said to be worth $750 million.

Chernick's fortune is puny compared to that of the billionaire Koch Brothers, extraction industry titans who fund Tea Party-related groups like Americans for Prosperity, and it is dwarfed by the financial empire of Haim Saban, the Israeli-American media baron who is one of the largest private donors to the Democratic party and recently matched $9 million raised for the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces in a single night. However, by injecting his money into a small but influential constellation of groups and individuals with a narrow agenda, Chernick has had a considerable impact. more

Hamas says one of its leaders has been assassinated in Damascus

GAZA CITY, GAZA STRIP — Hamas said Thursday that one of its members was assassinated in his home in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

An official in the Palestinian militant movement said Kamal Ghanaja was a former aide to Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior commander who was himself assassinated in Dubai in 2010.

The official said Hamas had been informed that a group of people entered Ghanaja's home, killed him and took some files. He said a senior member of the movement has gone to Damascus to follow the official investigations.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Hamas in a statement posted on its website that it was working to identify the assassin and that Ghanaja's "noble blood shall not be shed in vain." more