Thursday, 23 May 2013

Hunger-striker agrees to Gaza deportation for 10 years

HEBRON (Ma’an) – Palestinian prisoner Ayman Abu Dawood on Thursday accepted an Israeli proposal to send him to the Gaza Strip for 10 years after he ends a hunger strike he started on April 14.

Abu Dawood notified his lawyer Fadi Qawasmi in person about accepting the Israeli suggestion. Qawasmi has visited Abu Dawood at Affula prison, according to the senior lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society Jawad Bolous.

According to the agreement, Abu Dawood will be sent to the Gaza Strip three months from now. more

Amnesty: Israel, Hamas committed war crimes in Gaza assault

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and other violations of international humanitarian law during Israel's assault on Gaza in November 2012, Amnesty International said Thursday.

In the London-based rights group's annual report, released Thursday, Amnesty said the Israeli air force carried out bomb and missile strikes on residential areas, including strikes that were "disproportionate and caused heavy civilian casualties."

It said that in most cases, Israel did not present evidence that these specific sites had been used for military purposes, while the Israeli navy launched "indiscriminate attacks" on populated coastal sites.

The group also said the military wing of Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups fired rockets and other weapons into Israel, killing civilians and damaging civilian property.

It also said armed groups were responsible for the deaths of at least two Palestinians after rockets fell short of their targets in Israel.

The report accused Hamas as well as the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority of abuses including arbitrary arrests of political opponents and torture in Palestinian prisons.

Hamas denies

A Hamas spokesman dismissed the report as unfair. more

'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman

In his new documentary, ‘The Lab,’ Yotam Feldman explores how Israel’s weapons industries interacts with the country’s politics, economy and military decision-making. Israeli weapons, military technology and know-how become more valuable because they have been field-tested in its wars and combat against Palestinians and neighboring countries. A conversation with Yotam Feldman about his film, arms dealers and Israel’s war economy.

Perhaps we should start with the question of Israel’s international standing. In recent years it is often termed as “growing global isolation.” This isolation may diminish at times, but there is a wall-to-wall consensus about Israel becoming less popular with every war and military operation. You say that in fact the opposite is true. In your film, one can see officers from armies the world over coming to Israel to purchase arms – from Europe, India, Latin America, and of course – the U.S. So is this talk of criticism and isolation a show in which everyone partakes? Or is this criticism another force that we need to take into account?
I think that a view of Israel as an unrestrained savage that resides in a brutal neighborhood and therefore has to exercise excessive/immense albeit necessary force, has taken hold. It follows that this view is usually condescending-forgiving. More importantly, I believe that Israel’s security marketing succeeds where Israeli Hasbara [advocacy] is less fruitful. Many people fail to make the connection between Israel’s hi-tech weapons and the unrestrained military force about which one can read in reports by human rights NGOs. People think of these as two disparate phenomena merely existing in spatial and temporal proximity. If you read the Goldstone Report about the bombing of the ceremony at the police academy in Gaza on the first day of Cast Lead, and then read a marketing brochure of Rafael about the operational experiment involving “Spike 4″ (the missile used by Israel in that incident), some effort is required in order for you to realize that these are different accounts of one historical event. The same goes for the drones used for assassinations in Gaza. On the other hand, It is possible that the Europeans understand all this and simply don’t care.