Tuesday, 14 May 2013

International Criminal Court launches inquiry into Israeli raid on Gaza flotilla

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched a preliminary inquiry into an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla which left nine Turkish activists dead.

ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said it would establish whether there were grounds for a full investigation.

The move follows a request from the Comoros islands, in which one of the vessels was registered.

The boats were trying to transport aid supplies to Gaza in May 2010.

The Free Gaza Flotilla, which had more than 600 pro-Palestinian activists aboard several ships, was trying to break Israel's naval blockade.

The activists were killed when Israeli commandos boarded the lead flotilla vessel, Mavi Marmara.

"My office will be conducting a preliminary examination in order to establish whether the criteria for opening an investigation are met," Ms Bensouda said in a statement on Tuesday. more

World Press Photo Of The Year winner Paul Hansen denies Israel supporter's claim ‘Gaza Burial' was faked

Paul Hansen's winning image 'Gaza Burial'

A Swedish photographer who won the 2013 World Press Photo award has denied claims his image was faked with Photoshop.

Paul Hansen’s picture of two Palestinian children killed in an Israeli missile strike being carried to their funeral, secured the accolade in what is one of photojournalism’s most prestigious contests.

The picture, named 'Gaza Burial' was shot on November 20 and shows a group of men marching the dead bodies through a narrow street in Gaza City.

The victims, a brother and sister, are wrapped in white cloth, with just their faces showing.

On Monday Extremetech.com published claims by forensic image analyst Neal Krawetz, suggesting the image is a composite of three different photos, with various limbs spliced together from each of the pictures and further manipulation of the mourner’s faces.

It adds: “Basically, Hansen took a series of photos – and then later, realizing that his most dramatically situated photo was too dark and shadowy, decided to splice a bunch of images together and apply a liberal amount of dodging (brightening) to the shadowy regions.”

Hansen has vehemently denied the claims, telling News.com.au the “photograph is certainly not a composite or a fake.”

He added: “I have never had a photograph more thoroughly examined, by four experts and photo-juries all over the world.”

Contest rules regarding photo manipulation state: “The content of the image must not be altered. Only retouching which conforms to the currently accepted standards in the industry is allowed.”

Hansen continued: "In the post-process toning and balancing of the uneven light in the alleyway, I developed the raw file with different density to use the natural light instead of dodging and burning. In effect to recreate what the eye sees and get a larger dynamic range.

"To put it simply, it's the same file - developed over itself - the same thing you did with negatives when you scanned them." more

Adel Baker, a fisherman from Gaza, now fighting for his life in hospital

On May 1st many countries celebrate the achievement of workers on Labor Day weekend. In Gaza too, workers celebrated labour day in a demonstration in the centre of Gaza City. Yet, for the Palestinian fishermen there was nothing to celebrate.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning on May 1st 2013, a Palestinian fisherman was seriously injured when Israeli naval vessels off the coast of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats that were within 3 nautical miles of the Gaza coast.During the attack, a piece of the engine that is used to pull in the nets, smashed into the head of 51 year old Karim Adel Al Baker from Gaza City, leaving him seriously injured.

Adel Najjar Baker was transported to the hospital and then to the European Hospital in Khan Younis. We headed to the hospital to check on his condition.Adel is in the Intensive care unit. A document in the hospital room reads,“Time of admission: 5am”We spoke with Dr. Yasser AlKhaldi, head of the Intensive Care Unit of the European hospital. Dr. AlKhadi told us that Adel has suffered a serious head injury and that he had arrived at the hospital unconscious.The doctor added that Adel has undergone surgery to relieve the pressure from the bone fragments from the skull and that he was now under artificial ventilation.

Adel has suffered a depressed skull fracture (a depressed skull fracture is a break to the bone of the skull with depression caused by the bone going into the brain).Dr. AlKhaldi added that there was an improvement to the condition of Adel and they have started to reduce the sedatives. more

Israeli forces detain 2 trying to cross Gaza border into Israel

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli forces on Tuesday morning detained two Palestinian men from the central Gaza Strip after they tried to cross through a border fence into Israel.

A Ma’an reporter said 28-year-old Mahmoud Ubeid and 15-year-old Raof Ubeid managed to pass through the fence around 8 a.m. before Israeli troops spotted them and detained them. more

Nakba Day: Israeli troops attack Bethlehem rally

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) – Several Palestinians were injured by tear gas on Tuesday during a rally marking Nakba Day, which kicked off from Bethlehem's Duheisha refugee camp.

A Ma'an reporter said about 300 Palestinians marched on the main road in Duheisha camp headed towards displaced Palestinian villages south of Bethlehem.

As the rally arrived in the old town of al-Khader and headed to the bypass Israeli road, Rt. 60, Israeli soldiers attacked the rally with tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets.

Israeli troops also detained the coordinator of a popular committee against settlements Mazin al-Azza. more

Israeli occupation delivers demolition notices to 14 homes in Jericho

On Monday 13th May, Israeli Occupation Authorities handed the residents of al-Awja village, notices to demolish 14 houses.

Local sources said that Israeli authorities have issued a decision to demolish 14 houses located in al-Najadeh neighborhood in al-Awja village in Jericho Governorate, south of the Jordan Valley, on claims they were built without a legal authorization. more