Sunday, 8 May 2016

Media promote Israeli distortions as civilians dodge airstrikes in Gaza

From the Electronic Intifada - In recent days, has Israel launched a series of aggressive military actions in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing a Palestinian woman and injuring several other people, including three children.

And like clockwork, mainstream Western media swooped in to throw the narrative in Israel’s favor, brushing aside Israel’s relentless violations of the Gaza ceasefire and its killings of dozens of civilians in the besieged territory.

But first, the facts.

Israel started it

As is almost always the case, the Israeli military initiated the latest round of violence with ground incursions into Gaza as part of a supposed mission to destroy cross-border tunnels.

This is the same pretext Israel used to justify its ferocious military assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, which killed 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians, 551 of them children.

The independent inquiry commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council into the 2014 assault found that Hamas “tunnels were only used to conduct attacks directed at IDF [Israeli army] positions in Israel in the vicinity of the Green Line [the Israel-Gaza boundary], which are legitimate military targets.”

Despite this, Israel continued to whip up fears – often aided by pliant outlets such as The New York Times – about Palestinian “terror tunnels” leading into kindergartens, as a way to justify Israel’s cruelty towards Gaza.

The Israeli army claims to have located such a tunnel in recent days based on information it says it extracted from a captured member of Hamas.

It is also possible that Israel is using this as an opportunity to test out anti-tunnel technology it has been developing with a $120 million grant from the US administration of President Barack Obama.

Hamas insists the tunnel Israel discovered is old and predates the 2014 war. more

Hunger strike of prisoner Janazra enters day 67

RAMALLAH, (PIC)-- Palestinian prisoner Sami al-Janazra, 43, has entered the 67th day of his hunger strike in the isolation section of Ela prison, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society on Sunday.

Janazra started his hunger strike on the third of March after he received an extension to his administrative detention.

During the days of his hunger strike, the Israeli jailers transferred him from Negev prison to several jails, where he suffered, during one of those transfers, a head injury after he fell unconscious on the ground. more

Israel forces open fire on Palestinian farmers in southern Gaza

Israeli forces on Sunday morning opened fire on Palestinians farmers in the southern Gaza Strip, local sources said.

Locals told Ma’an Israeli forces deployed east of Khan Yunis opened fire on farmers, preventing them from reaching their lands. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they could not confirm the incident.

The incident comes after Israeli forces targeted the southern region of the small Palestinian territory with airstrikes for four consecutive days beginning Wednesday evening. Several were injured and a Palestinian woman was killed by Israeli shelling. more

Hamas: Israel and 'accomplices' responsible for death of 3 siblings in Gaza fire

A senior Hamas official blamed Israel and its “accomplices” -- an implicit jab at the Palestinian Authority -- for the house fire that killed three siblings and left three others seriously burned on Friday night in al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

On Saturday during the funeral for the three children, Ismail Haniyeh said: “The enemy’s warplanes have been burning lands and houses, while Israel’s crippling siege imposed on Gaza and its accomplices are now burning our children.”

The house fire was caused by candles that the family used during a power cut, Gaza’s civil defense services told Ma’an Friday. Local medical sources identified the victims as three-year-old Yusra Muhammad Abu Hindi, two-year-old Rahaf Muhammad Abu Hindi, and two-month-old Nasser Muhammad Abu Hindi.

“Should Gaza -- whose people live under a crippling blockade -- be blamed?” he asked, likely implying that Hamas, the Gaza Strip's de facto ruling party, could not be held responsible for the besieged coastal enclave’s energy crisis.

“Who has been taking $70 million dollars a month in taxes from Gaza? Who has been collecting fuel taxes? Who refused to enlarge the power supply from Egypt to the Gaza Strip and refused to build a pipeline to provide Gaza’s power station with gas to increase its capacity?” Haniyeh continued, listing a set of policy decisions imposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). more