Israel has banned Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who has helped Palestinians during conflicts for over 30 years, from entering Gaza, following his outspoken criticism of the Israeli government. Oslo has asked Jerusalem to reverse the decision.
“I was asked by the Norwegian authorities to go down to continue working in Gaza. When we arrived at the Erez Crossing, I was told by Israeli soldiers that I could not go into Gaza. I had to turn back to Norway,” said the 67-year-old, who was attempting to return to the region for the first time since the end of Israel’s Gaza offensive, which ended in August, as reported by Norway’s VG newspaper.
“I have never broken any Israeli laws. It’s provocative, unreasonable and totally unacceptable.”Continue reading »
The killing of nine Gaza Freedom Flotilla protesters in 2010 by Israeli forces lacked “sufficient gravity” to come under its jurisdiction, the ICC said, adding that there was reason to suspect war crimes were committed.
“Following a thorough legal and factual analysis of the information available, I have concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court were committed on one of the vessels, the Mavi Marmara, when Israeli Defense Forces intercepted the ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla,’” the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor Fatou B. Bensouda said in a statement. Continue reading »
The EU’s newly appointed foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini has called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the next few years, saying that the European community should ‘move forward’ with its role in the Middle East.
“I would be happy if by the end of my term, a Palestinian state existed,” the 41-year-old former Italian foreign minister said in her first newspaper interview as successor to Britain’s Catherine Ashton in the post of EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. Continue reading »
Israel has said it’s shutting the only two operating Gaza border crossings indefinitely. This comes a day after a projectile hit Israel from the strip, but caused no damage. Border closures threaten to isolate already devastated Gaza completely.
The move will affect both the Kerem Shalom and Erez border crossings, Haartez reported, quoting Israel’s defense establishment. The authorities have notified the Palestinians of the decision.
Meanwhile, the three other crossings into Gaza are still not operational and the passage from the area into Egypt – the Rafah crossing – remains closed.
From now on and until further notice, only critical humanitarian aid going into Gaza will be allowed via the Erez crossing. Continue reading »
It is astonishing that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age according to the explicit goals of an Israeli military doctrine known as “Dahiya”, has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting.
According to the United Nations, 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 600,000 Palestinians – nearly one in three of Gaza’s population – homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian help. Continue reading »
Arms trade campaigners are taking the government to court over the failure to suspend or revoke export licences for military equipment to Israel. Lawyers representing the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) have told the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) that the failure to freeze the licences was unlawful since there was a risk the equipment would be deployed in Gaza.
Andrew Smith, of CAAT, told The Guardian: “The UK government’s response to the bombardment of Gaza was unacceptable. Vince Cable [the business secretary] himself oversaw a review that identified 12 licences for arms that he accepted were likely to have been used in Gaza. Cable refused even to suspend them at the time, saying that he would only do so if the violence continued. The violence continued, more people died, and yet he failed to follow through on his word.”Continue reading »
The video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel’s 2008-09 “Operation Cast Lead,” and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa. (Screengrab: The Times of Israel)
A video distributed by the Israeli military in July suggesting that Palestinian fighters had fired from the Al Wafa Rehabilitation and Geriatric Hospital in Gaza City was not shot during the recent Israeli attack on Gaza, and both audio and video clips were manipulated to cover up the fact that they were from entirely different incidents, a Truthout investigation has revealed.
The video, released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on July 23, the same day Israeli airstrikes destroyed Al Wafa, was widely reported by pro-Israeli publications and websites as proving that the hospital was destroyed because Hamas had turned the hospital into a military facility. But the video clip showing apparent firing from an annex to the hospital was actually shot during Israel’s 2008-09 “Operation Cast Lead,” and the audio clip accompanying it was from an incident unrelated to Al Wafa. Continue reading »
The damage caused by the Israeli military operation in Gaza makes it impossible for thousands of people to return home, despite the ceasefire, due to lack of services, water and electricity, Ramesh Rajasingham of the UN humanitarian agency OCHA told RT.
The UN has released a new report stating that the number of people displaced in Gaza is still rising, despite a truce put in place after a full-scale operation by Israel against Hamas that claimed the lives of 2,210 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and over 70 Israelis. Continue reading »
Israel has the right to shell Palestinian hospitals and schools out of self defense as long as Hamas stores rocket launchers next to them, US Sen. Elizabeth Warren said during a town hall meeting in Massachusetts this week.
Warren, darling du jour of American liberals, defended her vote to send more defense funding to Israel in the middle of its recent fierce offensive on Gaza, saying she believes civilian casualties are the “last thing Israel wants,” according to the Cape Cod Times.
“But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they’re using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself,” she said.
Israel and Palestinian authorities reached a long-term ceasefire agreement this week after Israel started its campaign in Gaza on July 8. The death toll from the Gaza conflict has reached at least 2,120 people, of which 577 are children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Continue reading »
British lawmaker George Galloway has been taken to hospital after being attacked in London.
Galloway was attacked by a pro-Israeli man in the western part of the city on Friday.
The MP was posing for a picture with some of his fans in Golborne Road, in Notting Hill neighborhood, when the attack took place.
Galloway’s spokesman said the attack appeared to be “connected with his comments about Israel,” as the attacker was shouting comments about the Holocaust. He added that the British MP sustained bruises as the result of the assault and was in “a pretty bad shape.”
“George was posing for pictures with people and this guy just attacked him, leapt on him and started punching him,” the spokesman said. Continue reading »
Hamas signs off on Palestinian efforts to join International Criminal Court as international legal experts demand accountability
The push to engage the International Criminal Court in an investigation into possible war crimes by Israel for it military attacks on the civilian population of the Gaza Strip is gaining steam among Palestinian political factions as well as members of the international legal community.
On Friday, an international coalition of legal advocacy organizations wrote to the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, urging her to initiate an investigation into serious crimes committed by Israeli forces during it ongoing military operation against Palestinians living in Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge. Continue reading »
IDF air strikes have leveled two multi-story buildings in Gaza; both are said to have housed Hamas facilities. The new tactic of bringing down entire buildings has been tested amid a new escalation of tensions in the Israeli-Gaza conflict.
A seven-story office building in the Gaza Strip’s southern town of Rafah was completely destroyed by an Israeli strike on Sunday morning, according to eyewitnesses. It’s not yet clear if there were injured or dead in the attack
Another strike in the same city hit a two-story shopping center, wounding seven and badly damaging the building.
The Israeli military claim both the buildings housed facilities linked to Palestinian militants. One of the offices in the leveled seven-story Zourab building belonged to the Hamas-run interior ministry, AP reports. Continue reading »
sraeli Major-General Giora Eiland has urged that all food and water be cut off to Gaza’s nearly 1.8 million Palestinian residents – a major war crime and precisely the “starve or surrender” policy which the United States has condemned when used in Syria.
Eiland, the Israeli government’s former national security advisor, argues that Gaza should be considered an enemy “state.”
“Since Gaza is in fact a state in a military confrontation with us, the proper way to put pressure on them is to bring to a full stop the supplies from Israel to Gaza, not only of electricity and fuel, but also of food and water,” he wrote in a Hebrew-language op-ed on Mako, a website affiliated with Israel’s Channel 2 television.
“A state cannot simultaneously attack and feed the enemy, while he is shooting at you, because this gives the other country a breathing space – and again I am referring to Gaza as a country, because the regime there is supported by its people,” Eiland adds.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian civilians on Sunday to leave immediately any site where militants are operating, one day after Israel took the Gaza war to a new level by flattening a 13-storey apartment tower.
Israeli aircraft fired a non-explosive rocket at the building as a signal to residents to get out before attacking it on Saturday. Seventeen people were wounded in the strike on the structure, which Israel said had housed a Hamas command centre.
“I call on the inhabitants of Gaza to evacuate immediately from every site from which Hamas is carrying out terrorist activity. Every one of these places is a target for us,” Netanyahu said in public remarks at a cabinet meeting. Continue reading »
Venezuelan ambassador to Egypt, Juan Antonio Hernandez, said Wednesday that an Israeli aircraft attacked the Venezuelan humanitarian delegation in Rafah along the border post between Egypt and Palestine. The delegation was delivering twelve tons of aid to the Palestinian people. No one was injured during the attack.
The F-16 airplane dropped a missile very close to the humanitarian site, though it did not explode. The ambassador confirmed that the missile fell approximately 50 to 70 meters from the site. Continue reading »
Hamas has executed 18 Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel after three of its own military commanders were killed Thursday in an Israeli airstrike that may have been conducted on the basis of intelligence given by informants.
Eleven of the suspected informers were killed Friday at an abandoned Gaza police station following a hastily arranged trial and sentencing. Photos on the internet showed bodies lying in pools of blood.The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that two of the dead were women. Continue reading »
At least 469 children have been killed and over 3,000 injured in Gaza since the start of the Israeli offensive, a senior UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official said, adding that more than 370,000 Palestinian kids require “immediate psychosocial first aid.”
Nine children have died in Gaza violence since Wednesday, the chief of UNICEF’s Gaza field office, Pernilla Ironside, said at a press conference on Thursday in New York.
“There isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement,” Ironside said. Continue reading »
Today, August 20, 2014, the wife (Wadad, 28) and son (Ali, 8) of Mohammed Deif, Commander of Gaza’s Army were buried after the failed Israeli fifth attempt to assassinate the Palestinian leader. “Hamas is not a terror organization but a state in the making,” claims Yediot Ahronot, Israel’s largest paid newspaper.
Last month, during Operation Strong Cliff,* the IDF fired a missile on his home, despite knowing that he seldom was there. Does this count as an assassination attempt?
Yesterday, he apparently survived. Gaza answered with missiles on Israel, and the IDF is ready to attack Gaza again. The National Security Cabinet is meeting while these lines are written while all Hebrew media agree that the assassination of his wife and child will backfire.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an exclusive article for Haaretz, calls for a global boycott of Israel and urges Israelis and Palestinians to look beyond their leaders for a sustainable solution to the crisis in the Holy Land.
By Desmond Tutu
The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel’s disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.
If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine – in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities – this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world. Continue reading »
Earlier today, just a few hours before the ceasefire collapsed, sources in Jerusalem have disclosed that Israel and the US have agreed to gradually lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip, starting with the land crossings and eventually opening up sea traffic. Hamas, so it seemed, has achieved all of its objectives in the latest round of violence. With sparse resources, limited fire power and obsolete ballistic technology, Hamas managed to bring Israel to its knees.
Plainly, the war was unwinnable for the IDF. Israel invaded the Gaza strip without establishing its own military objectives. The Israeli Government sent its soldiers into the streets of Gaza without understanding its own military, political or diplomatic aims. Both the IDF and the Israeli government were attempting to appease Israeli popular demand for revenge. The Israeli people felt humiliated by the Palestinian rockets. These largely harmless homemade rockets interfered with Israeli escapist philosophy. The rockets’ flare reminded Israelis that there are another people who claim the land, and this people, the Palestinians, are named after the land. Once again polls confirmed that Israelis were bloodthirsty, they wanted to wipe out the Palestinians for good, and the populist Netanyahu government rushed to deliver.
But here is a little surprise; Haaretz reported today that Netanyahu tried to hide the Egyptian cease-fire proposal from his cabinet. His deceit came about because Netanyahu understood that the Egyptian draft represented a total defeat for the Israelis. Israel could have lifted the blockade on Gaza and let the Palestinians have a seaport and an airfield without dragging the region into another war. Netanyahu could have ‘freed’ the Gazans without perpetrating another set of colossal crimes against humanity. Continue reading »
They are considering making the action a weekly event, to coincide with the arrival of new vessels
Pro-Palestinian protesters on Monday continued a campaign to block an Israeli commercial vessel from docking in Oakland, California, for a third day.
About 20 protesters arrived at the port at 5 a.m. local time to block the container ship, owned by Zim Shipping Services Ltd., one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, from entering the Port of Oakland and unloading cargo. Two demonstrators were detained and cited, according to the Oakland Police Department. Continue reading »
The United States and some other Western countries are reportedly exerting significant pressure on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prevent an investigation into Israel’s war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to The Guardian on Monday, Palestinians had demanded that the court in The Hague examine Israel’s war crimes based on a Palestinian request in 2009. However, The Guardian reported that due to US pressure, the ICC is divided on whether it should launch an investigation.
According to the report, the UK and France, which are both among the biggest contributors to the ICC budget, also try to prevent investigations into war crimes committed by Israel. Continue reading »
The UK government is being taken to court over its continuing multi-million pound program of selling arms to Israel after claims they could have been used in Gaza. Unless it stops, its issuing of licenses to arms manufacturers will be legally challenged.
The lawsuit comes from the UK-based Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which is represented by law firm Leigh Day. The firm wrote to the UK’s business secretary, Vince Cable, stating that the government was acting unlawfully and that a judicial review of its activities would be carried out if it refuses to stop the exports, the Guardian reports. Continue reading »