Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Barcode scanning app used to boycott Israel - download buycott now


More than 400,000 people are boycotting goods produced by Israeli-linked companies using a barcode scanning app.

Buycott allows users to identify the source of products instantly so that purchases do not conflict with their beliefs.

People can set up banned product lists to support their own particular interests or causes, but it is the anti-Israeli lists which have boosted the app's popularity.

Founder Ivan Pardo told Forbes: "I noticed three weeks ago that we were seeing an unusual spike in traffic.

The iPhone app's popularity has soared as a result of the Israeli conflict "Next thing I knew Buycott was a top 10 app in the UK and Netherlands, and number one in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Word was spreading through social media."

The group Long Live Palestine Boycott Israel lists 49 brands to avoid and has 275,000 members.

The firms on the list include hummus maker Sabra, SodaStream due to its operation in the West Bank, and Volvo, whose machinery was used to dismantle some Palestinian settlements.

Another anti-Israel group has more than 100,000 members. more

Hamas armed wing calls for negotiations delegation to leave Cairo


Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida said in a televised speech on Wednesday that Israel had "failed" in its assault on Gaza and called upon the Palestinian negotiating delegation in Cairo to return home.

The speech comes after Israeli airstrikes killed 22 Palestinians over the course of the day, including the wife and baby child of Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif, after a temporary ceasefire unraveled late Tuesday.

Abu Ubaida slammed Israel for the killings, which Israeli military sources had previously claimed had killed Deif himself.

"We tell Israel: you have failed. All you can do is kill children and women. You have failed in all your missions," Abu Ubaida said in his speech.

"Muhammad Deif will enter Jerusalem as the head of the liberating army," he added.

He also warned international airplanes not to use Israel's Ben Gurion Airport, and warned Israelis against gathering in large numbers as the al-Qassam Brigades would renew their rocket fire on Israel. more

Hamas: Israel violated truce after false claim 3 rockets were fired


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Hamas spokesman on Wednesday accused Israel of having violated the temporary ceasefire on Tuesday, saying that Israel had failed to offer a serious partner for peace in ongoing negotiations in Cairo.

Hamas spokesman Moussa Abu Marzouq told Ma'an via telephone on Wednesday that Israel "ended the truce and claimed that three rockets hit Israel, which Hamas had no information about."

Abu Marzouq added that "all options" are on the table now, saying that the group was ready for peace but was not afraid of continuing to defend itself if Israel continued to choose war.

"All options are open now: a new truce, keeping the war going, or signing an agreement," he added.

He said that Egypt is currently making efforts with both sides as part of ongoing attempts to reach a lasting agreement to bring to an end a six-week Israeli assault that has left more than 2,040 Palestinians dead. more

Hamas warns airlines: Avoid Israel starting 6 A.M. Thursday


From Haaretz - Hamas says in an official statement that Israel "failed" to kill the group's military wing's commander Mohammed Deif, and that he will continue to lead the Palestinian struggle. Earlier, Fox News reported that an Israeli intelligence source said Deif was killed in an Israel airstrike on Tuesday.

"The leaders of the enemy were behind their offices looking at the screens and their intelligence and apparatuses made them believe that the moment of celebration was imminent," the Hamas spokesman said. "You have failed and you have missed."

Hamas' spokesman also warned foreign airline carriers to stop flying to Ben Gurion International Airport starting on 6:00 A.M. Thursday. (Haaretz, Reuters) more

Thousands mourn slain wife, baby of Hamas commander


Several thousand mourners on Wednesday joined the funeral procession for the wife and baby son of Hamas's military commander Muhammad Deif, angrily demanding revenge against Israel.

Firing Kalashnikovs into the air, they carried the bodies of 27-year-old Widad and her seven-month-old son Ali, who were among at least four people killed in a deadly air strike on Gaza City late on Tuesday.

The two bodies were wrapped in green Hamas flags as they were carried from the mosque to the cemetery in Jabaliya refugee camp. Mourners also carried the flag-wrapped bodies of two men killed in an air strike Wednesday on a motorcycle, both presumed Hamas militants.

"Revenge, revenge, revenge," shouted the crowd as they walked towards the cemetery waving Hamas flags and denouncing the killing of the second wife and infant son of Deif, head of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

"We were shocked when we heard that Muhammad Deif's wife had been killed. We ask Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades to avenge this killing, this massacre," said a 22-year-old mourner who gave his name as Mohammed. more

Hamas says military chief alive, calling shots in Gaza war


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas said on Wednesday its military commander Muhammad Deif was alive and still calling the shots in the ongoing war with Israel in and around Gaza.

"The head of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades Abu Khaled is still alive and leading the military operation," a source close to the Islamist movement told AFP, using Deif's nom-de-guerre.

His remarks were made after an Israeli air strike leveled a six-story house in Gaza City, killing Deif's wife and infant son.

It was not immediately clear whether Deif had also been killed or injured in the strike, which also killed another woman and a teenager.

Israeli military sources had earlier told Fox News that the leader had been killed in the strike as well, in what would have potentially been a major blow for the group.

Muhammad Deif has been an active leader in Hamas' military wing for decades, and has long been an extremely mysterious figure in the Palestinian resistance movement.

He is said to live completely underground from where he directs Hamas military actions, and a photograph has not been taken of him in decades. more

How many bombs has Israel dropped on Gaza?


From The Electronic Intifada - A few days before he was killed trying to disarm an unexploded Israeli missile, Hazem Abu Murad, the head of Gaza’s bomb squad, estimated that Israel had dropped between eighteen to twenty thousand tons of explosives on Gaza since 7 July.

As I write, Israel has resumed its heavy bombardment after a nine-day truce ended without a long-term ceasefire agreement.

If Abu Murad’s estimate is right, then the explosive power Israel has fired on Gaza by land, sea and air so far is roughly equivalent to one of the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in August 1945.

The bomb dropped on Hiroshima was rated at 13 kilotons – the equivalent of thirteen thousand tons of high-explosive TNT – while the bomb dropped on Nagasaki was rated at 21 kilotons.

Abu Murad, who died along with five other people on 13 August, estimated that about one thousand tons of unexploded munitions remained. There are more than 1,900 people killed in the ongoing Israeli assault – that is more than one out of every thousand of Gaza’s nearly 1.8 million residents.

Israel constantly publishes claims about how many mortar shells or rockets have been fired from Gaza – it claims for instance that 3,360 rockets were fired from Gaza between 8 July and 6 August.

It is well known that the rockets have caused minimal damage and casualties, and most fall in so-called “open areas.”

But even the number, which is supposed to sound impressive and justify the attack on Gaza, is actually minuscule compared with the volume of ordnance Israel fires into Gaza.

Estimates based on partial information from Israeli sources indicate that Israel has fired tens of thousands of artillery shells into Gaza and dropped a bare minimum of six thousand tons of bombs from the air. Abu Murad’s on-the-ground estimate is certainly plausible. more

Israeli ship is blocked from unloading in Oakland for four straight days


San Francisco Bay Area activists have not allowed a vessel from Israel’s largest shipping company to unload in the Oakland Port for four consecutive mornings.

On Tuesday, 19 August, at 6:45am, activists declared yet another victory against the Zim Line, which has been trying to make its way into Oakland since Saturday, 16 August.

Lara Kiswani, the executive director of the local Arab Resource and Organizing Center, told The Electronic Intifada that they are now waiting to hear if the Zim Line will leave the Port of Oakland today with the cargo it brought. “If not,” Kiswani wrote in an email, “we will continue to mobilize until it does.”

Organizers had initially planned a one-day action for 16 August, delaying the weekly, Saturday-scheduled offloading of the Zim ship by just one full work day. Saturday’s success was seamless: the Zim Pireaus avoided the Oakland Port completely, preferring to remain at sea south of Oakland rather than meet the thousands of protesters who had descended onto the docks.

But, fuelled off the initial triumph, activists returned to Berth 57 at the Oakland Port the next evening, on Sunday, 17 August.

At 5pm Sunday, activists released an urgent call for supporters to convene at the port. Within thirty minutes of the call, hundreds of people returned to the docks. Workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) - Local 10 honored the picket line, and refused to unload the ship. more

Israeli Occupation Forces order PFLP leader Khalida Jarrar deportation to Jericho


The Israeli Occupation Forces raided the home of Khalida Jarrar, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, in Ramallah early this morning. The soldiers gave her an order for deportation to Jericho for an indefinite period.

According to information received by PNN, the Israeli soldiers tried to force Khalida to sign the order, which she refused. Then a soldier read the text aloud, saying that the military courts, due to information from the intelligence and security services of the Israeli occupation, have ordered Jarrar to be deported to Jericho within 24 hours and to remain for an indefinite period within the city limits of Jericho; the soldiers left a map of the Jericho city limits. more

Israeli airstrike hits Rafah crossing, injuring 4


An Israeli airstrike targeted the Rafah crossing with Egypt on Wednesday, causing injuries and damages, the director of Gaza border crossings said.

Four Palestinians, two of them children, were injured when Israeli missiles hit the crossing's waiting room, Maher Abu Sabha told Ma'an.

Abu Sabha urged Palestinians not to travel to the Rafah crossing for their own safety.

Israeli warplanes also targeted Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel on Wednesday, he added. more

Israel demolishes 4 Palestinian homes near Nablus


Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished four Palestinian homes in the Nablus village of Aqraba, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that a large group of Israeli soldiers escorted a bulldozer to the village.

Israeli forces then demolished four old houses in the al-Taweel neighborhood which belonged to Muhammad Sudqi Salih and his brother Anwar.

The houses were over 100 years old. more

Palestinians in Israel beaten, arrested for Gaza support


As a Palestinian political activist living in present-day Israel, Tareq Yassin, 23, has grown accustomed to racist intimidation and threats of violence.

Yassin, secretary of the left-wing Hadash political party’s student wing at the University of Haifa, has been targeted for his activism time and again. Yet last month was the first time he was subjected to vigilante violence by right-wing Israelis.

He was punched in the head during a protest in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, where Israel’s ongoing military offensive has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians. “I was attacked by a group of Israeli right-wing racists,” Yassin recalled.

Since Israel began its latest war on Gaza in early July, Palestinian activists in Israel have told The Electronic Intifada that the political climate has become even more frightening than usual as the country spirals into a violently racist frenzy.

Lynch mobs have targeted Palestinians and left-wing Israelis in places like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and Palestinian citizens of Israel across the country have been beaten during protests, attacked by vigilantes, threatened on social media outlets and arrested by police. more

Witnesses: Gaza rockets hit Israeli settlement near Ramallah


Four rockets fired from Gaza late Tuesday hit an illegal Israeli settlement west of Ramallah, causing a fire, witnesses told Ma'an.

Witnesses said a rocket landed in the settlement of Modiit Illit, and that Israeli ambulances and firetrucks rushed to the area.

They said they saw clouds of smoke rising from the settlement, and added that rocket warning sirens could be heard from several Israeli settlements in the Ramallah area.

An Israeli police spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment. more

Official: 20 killed by Israeli strikes since truce collapsed


Renewed Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed 20 Palestinians since a temporary ceasefire collapsed on Tuesday, a health ministry spokesman said Wednesday.

Ashraf al-Qidra said that Zaki Suleiman al-Rai, 54, died from wounds sustained early Wednesday.

The bodies of Mustafa Rabah al-Dalou, 14 and Wafaa Hussein al-Dalou were also recovered from the wreckage of the al-Dalou family home in Gaza City.

Earlier, a two-year-old Palestinian girl was killed in Israeli shelling on the al-Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, al-Qidra said.

She was identified as Nour Muhammad Abu Hasirah.

Before that, al-Qidra said an Israeli airstrike killed an unidentified man near the al-Maqusi residential buildings in western Gaza City. The man's body was taken to Shifa hospital.

Al-Qidra added that civil defense rescue teams had recovered the bodies of a woman and a child from the rubble of the al-Dalou family home in Sheikh Radwan, which was hit by five Israeli missiles. more

Israeli official denies secret deal with US to lift Gaza siege


An Israeli official, Tuesday, denied a report regarding "understandings" between Israel and the US, in regard to a supposed gradual lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

Israeli news website Ynet cited an unnamed government official who apparently said that Israel told Washington it had agreed to incrementally remove the Egyptian-backed blockade of Gaza, first by opening the crossings and, later, additionally permitting the opening of the sea port.

The lifting of the blockade is a key demand of the Palestinian delegation, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency. The demands are in line with the Oslo Accords, which Israel violated, upon the election of Hamas, who they constinue to stigmatize as a terrorist organization.

The Israeli official, speaking to Channel 2 on condition of anonymity, said that no comprehensive agreement for a long-term truce has been made, and that the Israeli delegation remained in Cairo for the sake of undermine the so-called "Egyptian Initiative".

Contrary to other reports, Al Ray stated that Israeli representatives have not left Egypt following an agreement to lift the blockade on Gaza, according to a senior Israeli official involved in negotiations. more

Hamas: Israeli airstrike killed wife, child of Qassam chief


GAZA CITY, (Ma'an) -- Israeli airstrikes killed the wife and child of Hamas' military chief in Gaza overnight, exiled leader Mousa Abu Marzouq said early Wednesday.

"The Israeli occupation took missiles fired from Gaza as a pretext to target a senior Hamas personality," Abu Marzouq wrote on Facebook, referring to Muhammad Deif, the commander of the al-Qassam Brigades.

"The wife of the great leader was martyred with his daughter," in a strike Tuesday night, he said.

An Israeli strike late Tuesday targeted the al-Dalou home in Sheikh Radwan, killing a woman and a young girl, medics said.

Ma'an reporters in Gaza said the attack killed two children, one of whom was Deif's son, and Deif's wife.

Meanwhile, seven Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a home in Deir al-Balah, medics said.

The victims were identified as Raafat al-Louh, his brothers Muhammad and Ahmad, his pregnant wife Nabila, his sons Farah, Maysara, and Mustafa.

Medics were unable to save Nabila's fetus, though she had been nine months pregnant.

Eight others were injured in the attack and evacuated to al-Aqsa Martyrs' hospital in in Deir al-Balah. more