Thursday, 24 July 2014

2 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in protest march near Ramallah


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces late Thursday as over 10,000 marched from a Ramallah-area refugee camp toward Jerusalem in protest of Israel's Gaza offensive, a Ma'an reporter at the scene said.

The slain Palestinians were identified as 19-year-old Mohammad al-Araj and 27-year-old Majd Sufyan, a Ma'an reporter at the scene said.

At least 108 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli fire during the march, at least 60 of them with live bullets.

Earlier, Palestinians marched from al-Amari refugee camp toward Qalandia checkpoint, a militarized crossing point between Ramallah and Jerusalem through Israel's separation wall.

Soldiers shot live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets into the crowd, in addition to tear gas. more

IOF arrests 931 Palestinians in 3 weeks on West Bank as protests intensify


PNN - The Israeli Occupation Forces declared yesterday in a press release that they arrested 931 Palestinians from Jerusalem and Palestinian cities occupied in 1948 in the past three weeks. Most of the 931 Palestinians were arrested under the pretext that they had participated in demonstrations against Israel.

They also informed that 295 of those arrested were from Jerusalem and the other 636 from different Palestinian cities inside the state of Israel. more

Update 20.09 GMT - Maan reports: Thousands of Palestinians march in protest toward Qalandia checkpoint

Jews Say: End the War on Gaza — No Aid to Apartheid Israel!


Statement of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, July 22, 2014 (200 initial signers, endorsing allies forthcoming)

On July 12, 2014, Gaza civil society issued an urgent appeal for solidarity, asking: “How many of our lives are dispensable enough until the world takes action? How much of our blood is sufficient?”

As Jews of conscience, we answer by unequivocally condemning Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza, whose victims include hundreds of civilians, children, entire families, the elderly, and the disabled. This latest toll adds to the thousands Israel has killed and maimed since its supposed withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

In response to this crisis, we urgently reaffirm our support for a ban on all military and other aid to Israel.

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. opposed the Vietnam War with his famous declaration: “For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”

Today, *we* cannot be silent as the “Jewish state” — armed to the teeth by the U.S. and its allies — wages yet another brutal war on the Palestinian people. Apartheid Israel does not speak for us, and we stand with Gaza as we stand with all of Palestine.

In the face of incessant pro-Israel propaganda, we heed Malcolm X’s warning: “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

For Israel’s relentless war on Gaza is no more an act of “self-defense” than such infamous massacres as Wounded Knee (1890), Guernica (1937), the Warsaw Ghetto (1942), Deir Yassin (1948), My Lai (1968), Soweto (1976), Sabra and Shatila (1982), or Lebanon (2006).

Rather, it is but the latest chapter in more than a century of Zionist colonialism, dispossession, ethnic cleaning, racism, and genocide — including Israel’s very establishment through the uprooting and displacement of over 750,000 Palestinians during the 1947-1948 Nakba. Indeed, eighty percent of the 1.8 million people sealed into Gaza are refugees.

Like any colonial regime, Israel uses resistance to such policies as an excuse to terrorize and collectively punish the indigenous population for its very existence. But scattered rockets, fired from Gaza into land stolen from Palestinians in the first place, are merely a response to this systemic injustice.

To confront the root cause of this violence, we call for the complete dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime, throughout historic Palestine — from the River to the Sea. With that in mind, we embrace the 2005 Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which demands:

* An end to Israeli military occupation of the 1967 territories

* Full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel

* Right of return for Palestinian refugees, as affirmed by UN resolution 194

Sign petition at http://chn.ge/1o76rOC

Click more to see initial signators

UK government's business dept. blockaded as protestors step up Gaza fight


The Department for Business was blockaded over its continued military contracts with Israel last night, as protestors demanded a total military boycott of the country.

The action came as Britain abstained from a UN vote establishing an investigation into war crimes in Gaza.

Over 25 protestors managed to get inside the building in the evening and blockade the doors.

Demonstrators then put up sheets of papers with the names of the 650 Palestinians who had been killed at that point in the military intervention.

Since then, the number has soared past 690, including one child every hour for the last two days, according to Save the Children.

"Israel has been deliberately targeting civilians and entire families have been killed. What more has to happen before the UK agrees to stop arming Israel?" a London Palestine Action campaigner said.

"Rather than supporting Israel's brutal apartheid system by sanctioning arms exports to Israel, the UK government should be imposing a military embargo and sanctions." more

Dozens feared dead as Israel shells UN shelter in Beit Hanoun


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces have shelled a UN school in Beit Hanoun, with at least 17 dead and 200 injured as many more are feared killed among the hundreds who had taken shelter there with Israeli coordination.

The shelling of the school, which is affiliated with the UN's Palestine refugee agency UNRWA, is the fourth time in two days that Israeli forces have bombed schools serving as shelters for the displaced in the besieged Gaza Strip.

A local radio station quoted an eyewitness as saying that immediately before the shelling, a man who introduced himself as a Red Cross official had asked displaced people taking shelter at the school to gather in the yard because they would be evacuated to another shelter.

An UNRWA official intervened when he saw people gathering and argued that there had been no coordination with UNRWA, telling them to go back to their rooms. During the argument, Israeli artillery shells started to hit the school.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness tweeted in response to the attack that the "Precise co-ordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army."

He added: "Over the course of the day, UNRWA tried 2 coordinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians 2 leave & it was never granted."

Spokesman for the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said that ambulances have started to evacuated victims to three hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip in addition to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. more

Ambulances still having difficulty reaching Gaza border town victims - Israel refuses truce


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Ambulance and rescue teams are still unable to easily access the village of Khuzaa east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip in order to help victims of the Israeli assault in the village.

On Thursday, medics said that Israel military forces stopped and inspected an ambulance as it was leaving the area.

On Sunday, meanwhile, Israeli forces informed Gaza medical authorities that they would need to arrange with the Red Cross to coordinate with the Israeli army in order to reach border areas, but ambulances have complained that this coordination has not been forthcoming.

As a result, tens of thousands of Palestinians living in border areas have had their access to medical services drastically curtailed, with dead bodies piling up and the injured unable to leave for hospitals.

Locals did however tell Ma'an that despite the obstacles, on Thursday ambulances managed to access the western outskirts of the village and evacuate six bodies from Israeli shelling the night before. more

Israel bans radio advert listing names of children killed in Gaza


The Israeli Broadcasting Authority has banned a radio advertisement from a human rights organisation which listed the names of some of the scores of children killed in Gaza since the conflict began 17 days ago.

B'Tselem's appeal against the decision was rejected on Wednesday. It intends to petition Israel's supreme court on Sunday in an effort to get the ban overturned.

The IBA said the ad's content was "politically controversial". The broadcast refers to child deaths in Gaza and reads out some of the victims' names.

In its appeal, B'Tselem demanded to know what was controversial about the item. "Is it controversial that the children [aren't] alive? That they're children? That those are their names? These are facts that we wish to bring to the public's knowledge."

In a statement, the human rights group said: "So far more than 600 people have been killed in bombings in Gaza, more than 150 of them children. But apart from a brief report on the number of fatalities, the Israeli media refrains from covering them." By Thursday morning, the death toll in Gaza had exceeded 700.

B'Tselem went on: "IBA says broadcasting the children's names is politically controversial. But refusing to do so is in itself a far-reaching statement – it says the huge price being paid by civilians in Gaza, many of them children, must be censored." more

Brazil and Ecuador recall ambassadors to Israel in protest at 'disproportionate force'


Brazil follows Ecuador's decision a day earlier, as well as the UN human rights council's decision to open commission of inquiry into Israel' 'war crimes.'

Brazil decided Thursday to recall its ambassador in Tel Aviv to protest what it has called "disproportionate use of force by Israel" in the Gaza Strip.

"The Brazilian government considers unacceptable escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine. We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children resulted," the Brazilian government said in its statement. "The Brazilian Government reiterates his call for an immediate ceasefire between the parties." more

Israeli military falsifies photograph to justify bombing el-Wafa hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was launched. The building in the picture marked ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital is in fact not the el-Wafa hospital but the Right to Life Society.​

​“Israel has targeted our hospital based on false and misleading claims. They are targeting medical facilities, the wounded, the sick, and our children, all over the Gaza Strip. They want us to know that nowhere is safe.” Said executive director of el-Wafa hospital, Dr. Basman Alashi.​
​According to the Gazan Ministry of Health, seven out of 13 hospitals, including el-Wafa, have been severely damaged.

Al Atatra Medical Clinic and 12 ambulances have been completely destroyed, seven other clinics have been damaged, 12 medical staff members have been injured, and three have been killed. El-Wafa hospital was bombed once again by the Israeli military today after Dr. Alashi, received two phone calls from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations (UN). They passed a message from the Israeli military that, “there are activities in the hospital and the Israeli military may take a bigger action against el-Wafa.”

Dr. Alashi explained to both callers that the hospital is empty; all patients were evacuated on the 17th of July and that the hospital holds seven million dollars worth of essential medical equipment, as well as two safes that were irretrievable during the emergency evacuation.

“I will hold Israel personally responsible for seven million dollars if they have destroyed the hospital. It has already been bombed and shelled, I don’t understand what they are trying to achieve.” Dr. Alashi stated to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Ally Cohen, media coordinator for the ISM states, “anyone on the ground in Palestine knows that the Israeli military are constantly releasing completely fabricated information and reports. The only difference in this case, is that we can prove it.” more

al-Qassam Brigades says killed 8 Israeli soldiers in Gaza attack, destroyed APC


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-affiliated al-Qassam Brigades said on Thursday that they had killed eight Israeli soldiers in northeastern Gaza City in what was potentially the deadliest attack on the military since the ground invasion began last week.

Al-Qassam Brigades said that they infiltrated into the eastern part of al-Tuffah neighborhood earlier on Thursday and launched an attack on Israeli soldiers deployed there.

The group claimed to have destroyed an armored personnel carrier with an RPG 29, a rocket-propelled grenade.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment. more

34 Palestinians killed Thursday, including 10 from one family - total dead 729


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- 34 Palestinians were killed by Israeli shelling and airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Thursday morning, bringing the Palestinian death toll on the 17th day of the offensive to 729, with more than 4,000 injured.

The attacks come a day after Israeli forces said that three soldiers were killed and 28 injured in fighting on Wednesday, bringing total military casualties to 32 in what has been the deadliest assault for Israel since attacking Lebanon in 2006.

At least four were detained and dozens injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank, meanwhile, as clashes erupted across the region in solidarity with the Gaza Strip after a youth was killed in a similar protest near Bethlehem the day before.

The continued Israeli violence comes as John Kerry shuttles between Jerusalem and Cairo in order to push for a ceasefire, which Hamas has said can only come after Israel lifts its crippling eight-year siege of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas has also insisted that resistance groups in Gaza will maintain their armed capabilities in the case of any ceasefire, after EU leaders called on them to disarm. more

73 Palestinians killed on Wednesday in Gaza, total death toll at 695


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Unceasing Israeli attacks on Gaza left 73 Palestinians dead on Wednesday, bringing the death toll since the beginning of Israel's offensive on the Strip to 695.

A Palestinian health ministry spokesman said that 13 people had been killed since sundown, when Palestinians across Gaza broke their Ramadan fast for the day.

Thirty-one of Wednesday's dead were killed in the southern Khan Younis area, Ashraf al-Qidra said.

After intense Israeli strikes on the Khazaa and al-Fakhari neighborhoods overnight and early Wednesday, medics told Ma'an they spent the day pulling bodies from the rubble and searching for injured.

However, they said their work was impeded as Israeli forces prevented them from entering the area several times. Ambulances have still not reached some of those injured or killed by strikes on Khuzaa, the medics said.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human rights estimated on Wednesday that 81.5 percent of those killed in the Israeli offensive were civilians. more