Friday, 22 August 2014

A visit to the East Jerusalem hospital treating children injured by Israeli strikes on Gaza

Rich henna cups Alaa Abu Zeid’s eleven-year old bicep and glitter dots her forehead. She is the star of the second floor of St. Joseph Hospital in East Jerusalem where children who have been transferred from Gaza are receiving surgery after sustaining injuries from Israeli air strikes. Her recovery room is where the ten other children who were medically evacuated are allotted henna and glitter tattoos to splash onto the scant bits of their mottled skin that is free of burns.

Alaa was injured in Rafah when an F-16 dropped explosives on her house killing her seven months pregnant mother, brother and eight other members of her family. During Alaa’s first week in the hospital, all of the staff and the other patients hid the fact of her family’s tragedy. They waited a week until she made it through surgery on her leg, which had the flesh torn off of it during the bombing. In the operation a portion of her left leg was moved to her right. Once she was stable, a social worker told her that most of her family was dead.

When Alaa is left alone she cries, so she is never left alone.

After her operation Alaa was on oxygen support and complained of the smell of the clean air. “She said I like the smell of gas and benzene,” said Tarek Bakri, 28, an engineer by profession and a volunteer who visits with Alaa daily over the past three weeks. “The children are excited when they smell the fuel that runs the generator,” he said. more

Video: Chicago Jewish activists disrupt Rahm Emanuel, Michael Oren at Israel fundraiser

On Thursday night activists from Jewish Voice for Peace–Chicago (JVP-Chicago) disrupted the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Chicago “Israel Emergency Campaign” fundraiser at the Chicago Hilton, which was addressed by prominent officials and an Israeli soldier. The disruptions took place as dozens of Chicagoans rallied outside calling for an end to the attack on Gaza and for Israeli war criminals to be brought to justice.

The video above shows two activists, Lynn Pollack and K. Émilie, standing up during a speech by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and shouting “We are Jews, Shame on You! Stop killing children now!”

Emanuel stands silently while a man grabs a sign out of the activists’ hands. As the two are led out by security personnel they continue to shout their message to jeers from the audience. more

PCHR Calls for Stopping Extra-Judicial Executions in Gaza

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is following up with concern reports of extra-judicial executions carried out in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli offensive, which has been ongoing for 47 days. These executions have targeted persons suspected of collaboration with Israeli occupation forces.

The latest of such executions took place at approximately 09:00 (local time) on Friday, 22 August 2014, when at least 9 persons, including 2 women, were executed by firing squad in al-Katiba yard in the west of Gaza City. Identities of those persons are still unknown to PCHR, as the executions were carried out under strict security measures.

PCHR calls upon the Palestinian National Authority and resistance groups to intervene to stop such extra-judicial executions whatever their reasons or motives are. more

Haniyeh: Hamas will not accept less than end to blockade

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Friday said that the Palestinians would not accept anything less than an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza, as Israeli forces continued to attack the besieged enclave.

Haniyeh accused Israel of using negotiations as a cover for their crimes and said it must accept the "fair demands" made by the Palestinian delegation, adding that Hamas would not accept anything less than an end to Israel's assault and the seven-year blockade.

Palestinians have demanded in indirect negotiations in Cairo that Israel end its eight-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has crippled the tiny coastal enclave's economy and led to widespread suffering, as well as re-open an airport and seaport, among other demands. more

Oregon protesters occupy offices of Israel-affiliated security firm G4S

A group of Palestine supporters occupied the office of the prison and security contracting firm in Portland Oregon on Thursday afternoon, calling on the company to end its affiliation with the Israeli prison system - a system which brutalizes inmates, imprisons children in adult facilities and engages in torture.

G4S has multiple contracts with the Israeli government and military, including running several of the prison facilities which illegally imprison Palestinians without charge or trial. The company has also recently been awarded a contract with the city of Portland to provide security for several city-owned buildings, including Portland's City Hall.

The activists billed the action as a ‘Rally Against the Profiteers: End the Occupation, Break the Siege‘, and dozens of Portlanders joined the direct action to shut down the company's local operations for the day.

They initially occupied the company's office in Portland, and then were forced out by security, although activists tried to pull the door to the office open to continue their occupation of the firm. After being pushed outside, police arrived on the scene and the protesters held up their hands saying "Hands Up, Don't Shoot", in a reference to the chant that has become emblematic of police violence across the U.S. following nearly two weeks of protests in Ferguson, Missouri. more

In their press release following the action, the activists stated, "At 2:30pm, Thursday, August 21, 30+ community members gathered at the local office of G4S, a multinational security business targeted for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions due to complicity in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine and siege of Gaza. Organizers delivered a set of demands and held a rally outside G4S. more

11 alleged collaborators killed in Gaza - update 18 executed

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Eleven Palestinians were killed by Hamas on Friday for allegedly collaborating with Israel.

A Ma'an reporter said two bodies were found near the al-Azhar University in Gaza City while several others were taken to al-Shifa medical center.

Al-Ray News Agency, affiliated with Hamas, reported that 11 Palestinians were killed.

The 11 suspected collaborators were killed at a Gaza police station and had been sentenced by courts, The Associated Press reported.

A day earlier, Hamas executed three alleged collaborators with Israel and arrested seven others.

It is believed the executions and arrests took place following the assassination of three senior Hamas military commanders at dawn on Tuesday.

Information passed to Israel's security services by Palestinian collaborators is often being used to make arrests and assassinate high-profile political and militant figures.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel is punishable by death. more

Israeli airstrikes kill 4 Palestinians in Gaza

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Airstrikes killed four Palestinians in Gaza early Friday as Israel's military assault on the besieged enclave continued.

Yassin Hamed Abu Hamda and Mahmoud Qashlan were killed by strikes in al-Nuseirat refugee camp while Mahmoud Talaat Shreiteh, 14, and Bashir Ahmad Shreiteh, 35, were killed in central Gaza.

Israel's air-force targeted an apartment in the al-Sheikh Zayed towers in Jabalia, storehouses in Rafah, a concrete producing workshop in central Gaza and a poultry farm.

The al-Astal and Shbir family homes were hit by missiles, with no injuries reported.

At least 38 Palestinians were killed on Thursday, including three senior Hamas military commanders who were targeted in Rafah. more

Thousands march in funeral of 3 Hamas commanders

Thousands of Palestinians marched in the funerals of three Hamas leaders and seven members of the Kallab and Younis families in Rafah on Thursday, as Israel continued to pound Gaza throughout the day.

Representatives and members of a wide variety of Palestinian political factions marched in the funerals, which set off from al-Awdah Mosque in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

In addition to the three Hamas commanders Muhammad Abu Shammala, Raed al-Attar and Muhammad Barhoum that were killed in Israeli airstrikes, Hasan Hussein Younis, 75, his wife Amal Ibrahim Younis, Ahmad Nasser Kallab, 17, Nathira Kallab, Aisha Attiya, and children Abdullah Kallab and Youssef Kallab were also mourned in the funeral march.

A Hamas spokesman said earlier that the killing of Hamas commanders would not break the will of Palestinians nor of the Palestinian resistance, adding that Israel will pay for their deaths. more