Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Take action:add your name to the call for a military embargo on Israel

Israel has once again unleashed the full force of its military against the captive Palestinian population, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, in an inhumane and illegal act of military aggression.

Israel’s ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and arms trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world.

Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Adolfo Peres Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Rigoberta Menchú and Betty Williams have published an open letter calling on the UN and governments around the world to impose a military embargo on Israel.

Other signatories include Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, playwright Caryl Churchill, US rapper Boots Riley, João Antonio Felicio, the president of the International Trade Union Confederation, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions.

By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

TAKE ACTION NOW - add your name to the call for a military embargo using the form on the right (click on 'more' link below to go to the BDS page where you can sign the petition)

The call will be presented to the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights when they take up their post in September 2014. Read our fact sheet on the military embargo
#StopArmingIsrael more

Scottish government calls for arms embargo on Israel over Gaza attacks

Alex Salmond will today back calls for the United Kingdom government to impose an arms embargo on Israel following its military actions in Gaza, ahead of his live TV debate on Scottish independence with Alistair Darling.

The demand comes after former Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi dramatically quit the government over David Cameron's "morally indefensible" position on the Middle East conflict and called for Britain to stop selling weapons to Israel.

The Huffington Post UK has learned that the Scottish cabinet approved the position at a meeting on Tuesday morning. The Scottish government's external affairs minister Humza Yousaf will announce the move to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

The foreign and defence policy of Scotland is set by the Westminster government.

In a statement Yousaf said he condemned Hamas rocket attacks but said Israeli government's response has been "heavily disproportionate as is evident by the mounting civillian death toll".

"The UN has said that there is a strong possibility that violations of international law have occurred and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described the shelling of a UN school in Rafah recently as a 'criminal act'," he said.

"With mounting evidence of possible violations of international law the UK must ensure that it is not complicit in the killing of innocent civillians through its supply of arms. There must be an immediate embargo an arms sales to Israel and an investigation into whether or not UK arms supplies might have been used in violations of international law. more

Gazans succumb to wounds sustained in Israeli offensive - death toll now 1,875

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinians have succumbed to wounds sustained in the Israeli offensive on Gaza since the start of a 72-hour ceasefire Tuesday, a health ministry spokesman said.

Fayiz Ismail Abu Hammad, 34, succumbed to wounds he sustained during an Israeli shelling on Khan Younis, Ashraf al-Qidra said.

He said Salah Ahmad al-Ghouti, 22, succumbed to wounds sustained during shelling on Rafah on Monday.

And 12-year-old Nidal Raed Eleiwa also succumbed to his wounds.

The latest deaths brought the death toll of the Israeli assault on Gaza to 1,875, al-Qidra said.

Some 9,567 Palestinians have been wounded throughout the offensive. more

Palestinian FM seeks war crimes case against Israel at ICC

(Reuters) - Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said there was "clear evidence" of war crimes by Israel during its offensive in Gaza as he met International Criminal Court prosecutors on Tuesday to push for an investigation.

Malki visited The Hague shortly after Israel and the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement that rules Gaza entered a 72-hour truce mediated by Egypt in an effort to pave the way for an extended ceasefire.

Israel and the Palestinians traded accusations of war crimes during the Israeli military onslaught into Gaza, during which Hamas kept up rocket fire into the Jewish state, while defending their own actions as consistent with international law.

Last week, the United Nations launched an inquiry into human rights violations and crimes alleged to have been committed by Israel during the offensive given the far higher toll of civilian death and physical destruction on the Palestinian side.

Malki, visiting the court to lobby for action against Israel over its Gaza incursion, said the Palestinians aimed to formally joint the ICC to open the legal avenue for an investigation.

"Everything that has happened in the last 28 days is clear evidence of war crimes committed by Israel, amounting to crimes against humanity," he told reporters in The Hague. more

7 bodies recovered as medical teams rush to eastern Gaza

AZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian medical teams rushed to areas in the eastern Gaza Strip to search for bodies and survivors on Tuesday immediately after a ceasefire went into effect at 8:00 a.m., an official said.

Ministry of Health sources say five bodies have been recovered fom rubble in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Two have been identified as Hamza al-Qadi and Khamis Hamdan.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said two bodies were recovered in Juhr al-Dik southeast of Gaza City.

Rescue teams had been unable to access areas hit by Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling in eastern Gaza before the ceasefire, al-Qidra said. more

Foreign office minister resigns from British government to protest Gaza war policy

Lady Warsi, the senior Foreign Office minister, has resigned from the government in protest at its policy on Gaza, in a decision that Downing Street says it is checking.

Warsi said on her Twitter account on Tuesday: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the prime minister and tendered my resignation. I can no longer support government policy on Gaza”.
@SayeedaWarsi - With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza

Israeli army announces withdrawal from Gaza

The Israeli army said on Tuesday it would withdraw completely from the Gaza Strip, when an agreed ceasefire with Gaza militants came into effect at 08:00 am.

The army will deploy outside Gaza in defensive positions when the three-day ceasefire begins, army spokesman Peter Lerner told journalists.

Shortly before the start of the 8:00 a.m. truce, militants in Gaza fired some 17 rockets at Israel, the Israeli army said in a statement.

"Eleven of them hit and six were intercepted by the Iron Dome over the area of Gush Dan, Ashdod, and Be'er Sheva."

In Gaza, two Palestinians succumbed to wounds sustained in earlier Israeli attacks, a health ministry spokesman said. more