Palestine

This amounts to one arms shipment every 1.5 days.

By Sharon ZhangTRUTHOUT

U.S. officials have secretly sent Israel over 100 shipments of weapons, amounting to thousands of bombs and arms, just since October 7, arresting new reporting finds as the Biden administration scrambles in public to contain a splintering of his Democratic base amid its support of Israel’s genocide of Gaza.

ammunition for various guns
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that members of Congress were informed of the sales, which were all separate, by U.S. officials in a recent classified meeting. This is far more weapons sales than previously made public by officials; before this, only two arms transfers to Israel were publicly reported, both having been approved by President Joe Biden invoking emergency powers to bypass Congress and both garnering strong opposition by pro-Palestine advocates.

The cache of weapons includes precision-guided munitions, small diameter bombs, bunker busters, small arms (like firearms), and more, The Post reported. They have been sent as experts have repeatedly said that Israel is committing war crimes in its indiscriminate bombing campaign in Gaza, and despite U.S. laws prohibiting military assistance being sent to countries committing human rights violations.

https://truthout.org/articles/report-us-has-secretly-sent-israel-over-100-weapons-shipments-in-last-150-days/


To Stop the Cycle of Violence, the U.S. Must Quit Supporting Israel's Occupation

We condemn the attacks by Hamas deliberately targeting Israeli civilians for killing and kidnapping. And we condemn Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza, which is again killing large numbers of Palestinian civilians. We grieve for all the lives lost and for all those injured and traumatized.

The root of the current violence is the oppression and abuses suffered daily by Palestinian people as a whole under decades of cruel Israeli occupation and expansionism. Leading human rights groups -- from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch to Israel’s B'Tselem -- have concluded that Israel’s occupation policies amount to a form of apartheid.

Until Israel’s military occupation is ended, these cycles of terror and war and trauma will repeat.

Click to email your Representative and Senators, and President Biden.



South Africa Urgently Appeals to ICJ on Gaza Famine

Describing the situation in Gaza as “now so terrifying as to be unspeakable,” Pretoria is asking the World Court to take further measures to stop Israel’s genocide.

South Africa presenting its genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice at the Hague, Jan. 12, 2024. (ICJ, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

By Pearls and Irritations

South Africa on Wednesday filed an urgent request with the International Court of Justice for the indication of additional provisional measures and the modification of the court’s order of 26 January 2024 and decision of 16 February 2024 in the case concerning Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel), according to the ICJ in a March 6 press statement

In its request, South Africa states that it is

“compelled to return to the Court in light of the new facts and changes in the situation in Gaza — particularly the situation of widespread starvation — brought about by the continuing egregious breaches of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide . . . by the State of Israel . . . and its ongoing manifest violations of the provisional measures indicated by this Court on 26 January 2024.”

It requests the court to indicate further provisional measures and/or to modify the provisional measures indicated in its order of 26 January 2024, pursuant to Article 41 of the Statute of the Court and Article 75, paragraphs 1 and 3, and Article 76, paragraph 1, of the Rules of Court, respectively, “in order urgently to ensure the safety and security of 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, including over a million children.” 

It urges the court to do so without holding a hearing, in light of the “extreme urgency of the situation.”

The situation in Gaza described by the ICJ as “perilous” on 16 February, “is now so terrifying as to be unspeakable… justifying — and indeed demanding — the indication of further provisional measures of protection,” argued South Africa.

South Africa’s has requested that the ICJ make the following additional provisional measures and modification to existing measures:

  1. “All participants in the conflict must ensure that all fighting and hostilities come to an immediate halt, and that all hostages and detainees are released immediately.
  2. “All Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide must, forthwith, take all measures necessary to comply with all of their obligations under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
  3. “All Parties to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide must, forthwith, refrain from any action, and in particular any armed action or support thereof, which might prejudice the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts, or any other rights in respect of whatever judgment the Court may render in the case, or which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.
  4. “The State of Israel shall take immediate and effective measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance to address famine and starvation and the adverse conditions of life faced by Palestinians in Gaza, by: (a) immediately suspending its military operations in Gaza; (b) lifting its blockade of Gaza; (c) rescinding all other existing measures and practices that directly or indirectly have the effect of obstructing the access of Palestinians in Gaza to humanitarian assistance and basic services; and (d) ensuring the provision of adequate and sufficient food, water, fuel, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation requirements, alongside medical assistance, including medical supplies and support.
  5. “The State of Israel shall submit an open report to the Court on all measures taken to give effect to all provisional measures ordered by the Court to date, within one month as from the date of this Order.”

“Palestinian children are starving to death as a direct result of the deliberate acts and omissions of Israel — in violation of the Genocide Convention and of the Court’s Order. This includes Israel’s deliberate attempts to cripple the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (‘UNRWA’), on whom the vast majority of besieged, displaced and starving Palestinian men, women, children and babies depend for their survival,” write South Africa.

This article is from Pearls and Irritations.


https://www.commondreams.org/

Broad Coalition Launches CeasefireAction.com to Build Pressure on Congress Ahead of Israel's Planned Attack on Rafah

WASHINGTON - Today, March 5, 2024, Demand Progress, Oxfam America, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Win Without War, Common Defense, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and 23 partner organizations launched CeasefireAction.com, a grassroots action tool to apply urgent pressure on members of Congress to call for an immediate, permanent ceasefire. We see this as particularly timely given Israel is reportedly planning to launch a ground offensive in Rafah on March 10th, the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. More than 1.4 million people are currently sheltering in Rafah, the last safe zone in Gaza.


Internal Afghanistan News Update

March 4, 2024

Asia/Pacific Team

Black Alliance for Peace Solidarity Network

This internal initiative will continue with the Asia/Pacific Team’s objective of raising peoples’ awareness of U.S. imperialism targeting Afghanistan, providing monthly round-ups of recent news pieces leading up to the publication of our public Afghanistan News Updates which will now come out on a quarterly basis. The next Afghanistan News Update #21 is due at the end of March 2024. 

We hope this initiative will encourage more Solidarity Network member participation leading up to the publication of the Afghanistan News Update #21. Members are encouraged to constructively respond with any questions, comments, action items or news of their own, and to consider joining the Asia/Pacific Team which this work falls under.

New details on the U.S.-created “Afghan Fund” emerge in SIGAR report 

In January, new details emerged about the U.S. control of Afghan sovereign funds through congressional testimony submitted by SIGAR (Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction). The testimony (link here) clarified several details about the “Afghan Fund”, a Swiss-based fund holding $3.5 billion of Afghan assets, or half of the $7 billion in assets held in the United States that were seized by US officials and withheld from Afghanistan’s sovereign control via an executive order.

According to the SIGAR testimony, “the Fund will not be used to provide humanitarian or development assistance.” Instead, the US’s “short-term goal in setting up the Fund is to ‘promote monetary and macroeconomic stability’; the long-term goal is for unused monies to be returned to DAB [Afghanistan Central Bank], to recapitalize the bank.” Note that the priority of “monetary and macroeconomic stability” is commonly used by neoliberal economists as policy preferences—often conditions for loans from the International Monetary Fund—for central banks shorn of democratic, sovereign control to ensure that sovereign assets are used only to facilitate trade and capital flows rather than serving nationally-determined development priorities.

Despite these goals, SIGAR found that as of September 2023, none of the Afghan Fund’s funds have been disbursed and there were no plans for future disbursements other than operational costs. Yet the SIGAR testimony was also hopeful that another $2 billion of Afghan assets frozen by European countries would eventually be deposited into the Afghan Fund, while the rest of the $3.5 billion seized in the U.S. could also go to the Afghan Fund depending on the outcome of lawsuits by families of victims of 9/11.

The US justifies its seizure of the assets primarily on the basis of the Taliban not doing enough to comply with U.S. security interests in Afghanistan, their “security obligations,” and secondarily on the basis of the Taliban not doing enough to protect women’s rights. Yet on the latter, a January 2024 report by UNDP indicated that Afghanistan’s sharp economic decline in the last two years, triggered in large part by the U.S.-led seizing of assets, has disproportionately hurt women and girls.

Afghanistan continues to face a major humanitarian crisis

The people of Afghanistan are still enduring severe health emergencies, with women's and children’s health being particularly impacted by the country’s compounding humanitarian crisis. However, such dire challenges in addressing people’s healthcare needs do not simply start with the Taliban’s de facto takeover in 2021, nor are they consequences of recent environmental catastrophes, according to a recent article in Peoples Dispatch. Rather, the ongoing health catastrophe stems directly from the U.S./NATO occupation of the country in which capitalist institutions pushed forth the NGO-ization of Afghanistan’s health system, at the expense of a robust public health sector. Further, around half a million Afghan refugees fleeing deportation from Pakistan have returned with nowhere to go and little means to make a living. 

Just as Gaza’s medical infrastructure has been decimated by the zionist entity of Israel’s genocidal bombing campaign, Afghanistan’s health system continues to be strangled by the ongoing economic warfare waged by the U.S. and its Western allies.

The United Nations held its second meeting of Special Envoys and Special Representatives on Afghanistan in Doha Qatar

On February 18 and 19, the United Nations held its second meeting of Special Envoys and Special Representatives on Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar. However, the conference's stated goals for international engagement and dialogue on women’s and girls’ rights were not met as the UN sidestepped Afghanistan’s sovereignty and failed to convene directly with the Afghan people, including the de facto authority of the Taliban.

The UN’s failure to engage in dialogue with the Taliban and reports that the UN invited National Resistance Front (NRF) affiliates while canceling the participation of Afghan women from inside the country, goes against what Afghans on the ground have been advocating for: engagement is essential in addressing the pressing humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and is the only alternative to unwanted military intervention.

Yue Xiaoyong–China's special envoy on Afghan affairs who attended the UN meeting– reiterated the need for direct dialogue while also calling on the U.S. to end its economic warfare against the Afghan people by unfreezing the country’s sovereign assets and lifting unilateral sanctions. By ignoring the calls of Afghans within Afghanistan, the UN continues to prove its allegiance to Western imperialism, just as it has done in Haiti as it continues to prop up imperialist interventions in violation of Haiti’s sovereignty.  

New documentary shines light on trauma faced by ex-Guantanamo detainees, a disproportionate majority of whom were Afghan with one Afghan still illegally imprisoned today

In a new documentary titled “Return to Afghanistan: An ex-Guantanamo Detainee Confronts Trauma” by Al Jazeera, the founder of the international organization CAGE, Moazzam Begg, returns to Afghanistan for the first time since the U.S./NATO withdrawal. In Afghanistan, Begg advocates for the freedom of Muhammad Rahim, the last Afghan held in Guantanamo Bay. He also confronts the trauma he suffered at the hands of the U.S./NATO military forces.

Palestinians inspect the damage done to a local mosque and surrounding homes in the Shaboura camp in Rafah, southern Gaza.


MONDWEISS

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 139: As Palestinians in north Gaza starve, Israel attacks MSF building in Rafah

The situation in Gaza grows worse by the day as Palestinians are starved and Israeli forces turn hospitals into morgues. In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, tensions rise as Ramadan approaches. 

Casualties

  • 29,410+ killed* and at least 69,465 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
  • 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
  • Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
  • 576 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**

*This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 36,500 when accounting for those presumed dead.

** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

Key Developments

  • Palestinian child fatally shot by Israeli forces’ bullets in Qalqilya city, in the occupied West Bank according to Wafa.
  • UNOCHA: 100 children among 394 Palestinians killed in occupied West Bank since October 7th.
  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: Lawyer killed along with 2-year-old daughter and six other family members in Israeli attack in Rafah. 
  • UNOCHA: Israeli settlers carried out 573 recorded attacks against Palestinian people and their property since October 7th.
  • Israeli forces set up a checkpoint exclusively to stop and search Palestinians at Damascus Gate, the entrance to the Muslim Quarter in the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem. 
  • Ten Israeli captives were killed by Israeli air strikes in Gaza, an Israeli report says. 
  • UNOCHA: Israeli demolitions led to the displacement of 830 people, including 337 children, with 131 homes demolished since October 7th.
  • One killed and eight wounded in a shooting attack by three Palestinians near the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank. Two gunmen were killed, one arrested. 
  • US intelligence assessed with “low confidence” that a handful of UNRWA staff participated in October 7th attacks on Israel, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Doctors Without Borders: Israel attacked “clearly marked” MSF shelter in Gaza, killing two family members of workers sheltering there.
  • Israeli Knesset votes strongly in favor of a measure rejecting unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by international actors.
  •  UN official: Besieged Nasser Medical Complex has become a “place of death”, as Israeli forces continue to target medical facilities.
  •  Breaking the Silence: ‘looting has never been normalized in the way it has over the last four months. It’s never been done with such glee, knowing that the Israeli public and the world are watching”

Israel fires on MSF building in Rafah, killing two 

The bombardment of Gaza has continued for the139th day and the Palestinian death toll is steadily increasing. Nowhere is safe for civilians in the besieged enclave as the Israeli military is attacking the area with wild abandon. 

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Overnight on Wednesday, stretching into the early hours of Thursday morning, an intense bombing campaign took place across Gaza’s southernmost city, Rafah, reported Hani Mahmoud from Gaza for Al Jazeera.

“Overnight, we’re looking at attacks in the eastern part, the northern part, and even the western part where literally hundreds of thousands of people have been sheltering,” Mahmoud said, describing the sounds of systematic home demolitions in the north. 

“This is absolutely terrifying in a densely populated area. Right now, Rafah has been a center for Israeli attacks,” Al Jazeera correspondent Tareq Abu Azzoum added.

The Israeli military has also continued its attacks on Gaza City, where the military demanded all residents of the Zeitoun and Turkmen neighborhoods urgently move to al-Mawasi area in Rafah’s outskirts in the south of the Gaza Strip. To do so, they would have to travel more than 30km through ongoing attacks and bombed roads of the war zone. 

Avichay Adraee, a spokesman for the Israeli army, told the Palestinians on X that the evacuation order comes “for your safety”, despite there being no safe place in the war-torn and besieged enclave.

Israeli attacks on the supposed ‘safe areas’ have continued. On Wednesday, a shelter run by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) in al-Masawi was targeted by Israeli forces.

According to the statement, an Israeli tank fired on the building, sheltering 64 MSF employees and family members, killing the wife and daughter-in-law of an MSF worker. Nearby shelling prevented an ambulance from reaching the facility to assist the wounded for more than two hours.

Israeli forces had been “clearly informed of the precise location of this MSF shelter in al-Mawasi” and that the building was additionally identified with a large MSF flag, the organization added. 

“These killings underscore the grim reality that nowhere in Gaza is safe, that promises of safe areas are empty and deconfliction mechanisms unreliable,” said MSF general director Meinie Nicolai. “The amount of force being used in densely populated urban environments is staggering, and targeting a building knowing it is full of humanitarian workers and their families is unconscionable.” 

Just a few hours after the evacuation order in Gaza City, Israeli forces killed journalist Ihab Nasrallah and his wife in Zeitoun. Their three children were also badly burned, reported Wafa, citing medical sources. 

In Nuseirat, in central Gaza, air strikes on the home of the al-Daalis family killed 17 people and wounded dozens of others, who were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in neighboring Deir el-Balah, Wafa added.

Families across the Gaza Strip have continued to shelter in the ruins of schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) because they have nowhere else to go, the UN agency says in a post on X.

“Entire neighborhoods are gone without a trace. Military operations relentlessly continue. No place is safe.”

Hospitals are ‘a place of death’

Civilians across the besieged enclave areas are still unable to receive proper healthcare amid Israel’s ruthless offensive, which Palestinains say has turned hospitals into morgues. 

In Khan Younis, the situation is especially difficult as the two leading hospitals, al Amal and Nasser, remain under military siege and many critically ill patients have been trapped inside the hospitals for weeks. 

During an evacuation mission to Nasser Hospital, Jonathan Whittal, a senior humanitarian affairs officer with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), described “appalling” conditions, which have transformed “a place of healing” to “a place of death.”

“There are 150 patients in one of these buildings. They have no food and water, no electricity. There’s very few doctors and nurses that are remaining inside this hospital. The conditions are appalling,” Whittall said in a video on X.

“There are dead bodies in the corridors. Patients are in a desperate situation. This has become a place of death, not a place of healing.”

“This is a preventable tragedy that should not have happened.” 

Medical workers have said they do not want to be evacuated but instead have called for the protection of medical facilities and for critical functions of the hospital to be restored so they can continue treating patients there. 

“The last week has been miserable; it’s been a nightmare [for workers in the hospital under Israeli siege]. The things they’re seeing are traumatizing, and they’re asking for some sort of help. They’re asking, actually, not to be evacuated from the hospital but for the hospital to function. For the lights to be turned back on, for the medicine they need to treat the 150 patients that remain,” Dr. Thaer Ahmad, a US-based emergency physician who spent several weeks volunteering at Nasser Hospital in January, told Al Jazeera.

“I spoke to one of the last surgeons remaining there, who sent a message to a group of physicians here in the [United] States, and he asked us to advocate for the patients who are there. He told us, ‘I’m staring at patients, and they need my help, they need my care, and there’s nothing that I can do.'”

Similarly, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is warning of the dire situation at al-Amal Hospital “due to the ongoing siege and targeting by the Israeli occupation for the 30th consecutive day”.

The PRCS is, once again, calling on the international community to take immediate action to protect the hospital and “to lift the imposed siege before it is too late and the hospital is forced out of service.”

‘Gazans on the brink of death’

Israel’s ongoing blockade is still starving Palestinians across the Gaza Strip.

Israel is bringing over 2 million people in Gaza to the brink of death, especially the 400,000 living in the northern area of the besieged enclave, according to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

“Israel’s prevention of aid trucks from entering and its occasional targeting of the few allowed in is already resulting in the death of children, elderly, and patients due to hunger,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The sight of thousands of children holding empty pots and standing in long lines waiting for any meal or food rations dominates life in northern Gaza.” 

Ismail al-Thawabteh, the head of Gaza’s government media office, says that residents of the northern Gaza Strip have been eating animal feed for three consecutive weeks, reported Al Jazeera.

If the world fails to force Israel to allow humanitarian aid into the besieged coastal enclave, a humanitarian catastrophe affecting hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will take place, warned al-Thawabteh.

UNOCHA has said only four humanitarian aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip on Sunday, far below the average of 47 trucks per day between February 9 and 15 and a steep decline compared with 133 trucks per day the week before. It is important to note that before October 7, about 500 humanitarian aid trucks entered the Gaza Strip daily. 

“Between January 1 and February 15, less than 20 percent of missions (15 out of 77) planned by humanitarian partners to deliver aid and undertake assessments in areas to the north of Wadi Gaza were facilitated by the Israeli authorities fully or partially and 51 per cent were denied (39 out of 77),” OCHA said in a statement.

“Access of missions to support hospitals and facilities providing water, hygiene, and sanitation (WASH) services were among those overwhelmingly denied” by Israel, OCHA added. 

Hamas said in a statement on Telegram: “We call on the World Food Program and all UN agencies, including UNRWA, to put pressure on the occupying power, by announcing a return to work in the northern Gaza Strip in accordance with their international mandates to relieve our people from the dangerously increasing threat of famine, in compliance with their legal and humanitarian responsibilities,” reported Al Jazeera

UNRWA ‘still waiting’ for Israel to share evidence of claims against the agency

Meanwhile, UNRWA’s future is uncertain after Israel is leading a global campaign to defund the UN organization, which is the primary aid distributor in the Gaza Strip. 

While several major donor nations, including the US, have frozen vital aid to the agency due to the allegations, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said on Monday that the agency is still waiting for Israel to share evidence of its claims.

A new report by US intelligence has assessed with “low confidence” that a handful of staff members at UNRWA participated in the October 7 attacks on Israel, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing officials familiar with the findings.

The “low confidence” assessment indicates that the intelligence officials find Israel’s claims that a dozen UNRWA employees took part in the attacks plausible but can’t offer a more decisive confirmation as they lack independent evidence.

Similarly, the intelligence officials also weren’t able to verify Israel’s claims that a large number of UNRWA staff have links to Hamas. Israel has claimed that 10 percent of UNRWA’s 12,000 staff in Gaza have some kind of affiliation with the group.

Pressure mounts in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem

On Thursday, at least one person was killed and eight wounded when three Palestinian gunmen opened fire at motorists near an Israeli checkpoint near occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police said, adding that two gunmen were killed, and a third was arrested.

A police spokesperson said the gunmen were Palestinians but gave no further details, according to Al Jazeera.

In response to the attack, Israel’s National Security Ministry, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has called for an escalation in the collective punishment of Palestinians.

 “The freedom of life of the citizens of Israel prevails over the freedom of movement of the residents of the PA! We need to place more and more barriers and close roads on the Authority’s roads,” he said on X.

Similarly, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has demanded the approval of a plan to build thousands of new illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“The serious attack on Maale Adumim must have a decisive security response but also an answer from the settlements,” he wrote on X.

“I demand the prime minister approve the convening of the higher planning council and immediately approve plans for thousands of housing units in Maale Adumim and the entire region,” he said.

“Our enemies know that any harm to us will lead to more construction and more development and more of our control across the entire country.”

United Nations resolutions repeatedly affirmed that Israel’s establishment of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity. Most states and international bodies have long recognized that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. 

Hamas has said the attack was a “natural response to the [Israeli] occupation’s massacres and crimes in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank,” as cited by Al Jazeera. 

Tensions across occupied Palestine have been increasing amid Israel’s state-sanctioned violence against Palestinians. 

The day before the attack, a Palestinian child was fatally shot in the heart by Israeli forces in Qalqilya in the northern occupied West Bank, according to Wafa.

About 394 Palestinians have been killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7, including 100 children, according to OCHA.

The UN agency added that since October 7, Israeli demolitions have led to the displacement of 830 people, including 337 children, with 131 homes, and Israeli settlers carried out 573 recorded attacks against Palestinian people and their property. 

Israel has also been tightening security in East Jerusalem as Ramadan approaches. On Wednesday, journalist Hamdah Salhut reported that Israeli authorities set up a checkpoint for Palestinians at Damascus Gate, a central entry point for Palestinians trying to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

“Palestinians at the gate told me this is “the reality of life under occupation,” Salhut said in a social media post, expanding that Jewish Israelis bypass the security check. 

US congressman: ‘Kill them all’

Republican US Congressman Andy Ogles sparked anger when he appeared to call for the mass killing of Palestinians when confronted by activists calling for a ceasefire. 

A woman was telling Ogles about the footage of Palestinian children killed by Israel. He responded, “I think we should kill them all if that makes you feel better – everybody, Hamas.”

The comment has left Palestinian rights advocates questioning why the comment has not garnered a forceful rejection from mainstream politicians.

“Not a peep from Congressional leadership in response to this murderous statement and open support for genocide,” Jewish Voice for Peace Action said on X.

The same politicians brushing aside his comment are the ones who criticized Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, in November over her criticism of Israel.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on every member of Congress to condemn Republican Congressman Andy Ogles for appearing to call for the mass murder of Palestinians.

CAIR Deputy Director Edward Mitchell said in a statement: “If a member of Congress had called for every Israeli child to be killed, the entire American political establishment would rightfully condemn such remarks and call for, at the least, censure.”


Rafah: The penultimate step in Israel’s march of genocide.

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Israel bombarded Nasser Complex in Khan Younis, killing and injuring patients and those sheltering inside. Egyptian human rights group reports construction underway on detention zone ahead of a possible mass expulsion from Gaza into Sinai.


 

EDITORIAL

Editorial | Tammy Baldwin should join Bernie Sanders in questioning military aid to Israel

  • Jan 31, 2024

In the face of the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, which has left more than 25,000 people dead, displaced almost 2 million and destroyed much of the region’s civilian infrastructure, the outcry against the wrongheaded policies of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu grows ever louder.

Last week, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, responding to South Africa’s allegation that Israel is committing genocide, adopted provisional measures that require Netanyahu’s government to take steps to prevent genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, to prevent and punish incitement to commit genocide against Palestinians, and to assure basic services and humanitarian assistance can get to Gazans.

“The World Court’s landmark decision puts Israel and its allies on notice that immediate action is needed to prevent genocide and further atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza,” explains Balkees Jarrah, the associate international justice director for Human Rights Watch. “Lives hang in the balance, and governments need to urgently use their leverage to ensure that the order is enforced. The scale and gravity of civilian suffeGaza driven by Israeli war crimes demands nothing less.

The Israeli government rejects the ICJ’s determination. So, too, does the Biden administration.

But the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem observes:

“The provisions of international humanitarian law require that every one of the bombed targets (in Gaza) be defined as a military objective that makes an ‘effective contribution’ to Hamas’ actions, and that its destruction offers Israel a ‘definite military advantage.’ Even if the thousands of targets Israel has struck meet these criteria, the law requires that the resulting harm to civilian life and property be proportionate. Yet there is no way to reconcile Israel’s strikes with these rules. Any claim to the contrary is not only legally flawed but morally unacceptable.”

B’Tselem, which monitors human rights issues in the occupied Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, is mindful of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants on Israeli kibbutzim and a music festival that left more than 1,200 Israelis dead and 250 others kidnapped. The group recognizes that Israel has a right to self-defense.

“However,” it explains, “the right to self-defense does not confer the right to employ unlimited, indiscriminate violence, nor does it allow parties to ignore the provisions of international humanitarian law and commit war crimes. Israel certainly cannot rely on this right to justify a policy that does away with any protection of civilians and assumes there are no bystanders in Gaza.”

The United States has similar responsibilities. “We must understand,” explains U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, “that Israel’s war against the Palestinian people has been significantly waged with U.S. bombs, artillery shells, and other forms of weaponry. And the results have been catastrophic.”

As Congress has been working to pass a supplemental funding bill that includes as much as $14 billion in unconditional military aid for the Netanyahu government, Sanders says, “Enough is enough. Congress must reject that funding. The taxpayers of the United States must no longer be complicit in destroying the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.”

That’s a principled position. But, so far, it’s been a lonely one.

In mid-January, Sanders made a baseline request of the Senate. In the face of Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza, he asked his colleagues: “Do you support asking the State Department whether human rights violations may have occurred using U.S. equipment or assistance in this war?”

Only 10 senators — Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, and Democrats Laphonza Butler of California, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Mazie Hirano of Hawaii, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Peter Welch of Vermont — sided with Sanders.

Many constituents of U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, were disappointed that she did not join them. We share their frustration.

Baldwin offered a thoughtful assessment of the crisis in late December, when she said, “The Netanyahu government’s indiscriminate bombing and military approach has led to unacceptable bloodshed in Gaza and does not appear to be moving us closer to our ultimate goals of removing Hamas from power and achieving a lasting peace in the region through a two-state solution.”

At the time, Baldwin called for the immediate resumption of a humanitarian cease-fire — agreed to by Israel and Hamas — in order to ensure the unconditional release of all hostages and full humanitarian access to Gaza. She also called for “adherence to international humanitarian law by all parties and the protection of all civilians and civilian sites.”

How does Baldwin reconcile her stated position with her failure to vote for the resolution that was proposed by Sanders? To us, it makes no sense to recognize that Israel has engaged in “indiscriminate bombing” that “has led to unacceptable bloodshed in Gaza,” and then refuse to support an effort to determine the extent to which Israel is relying on U.S. equipment in this war.

Further, we see no justification for approving additional U.S. military aid for Israel until a determination has been made regarding the role that U.S. weapons may be playing in increasing the death toll in Gaza.

We hold out little hope that U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, will ever do the right thing for the right reason. But we respect Baldwin enough to hope that she will give serious consideration to the arguments being made by Sanders and a growing number of her constituents.


Let’s Talk about Palestine

a UC Berkeley Teach-In Serie

 

Islamophobia, Race, and the Racialization of Palestine

with Dr. Hatem Bazian and Dr. Keith Feldman

moderated by Dr. Ussama Makdisi 

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

4 pm in the Maude Fife Room (315 Wheeler Hall)

 

On Apartheid, Occupation, and the Law

with Dr. Samera Esmeir and Dr. Wadie Said

moderated by Dr. Hatem Bazian

Thursday, March 14, 2024

4 pm in the Maude Fife Room (315 Wheeler Hall)

 

Palestinian Literature and the Writing of Trauma

with Dr. Ahmad Diab and Dr. Stefania Pandolfo

moderated by Dr. Mohamed Wajdi Ben Hammed

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

4 pm in the Maude Fife Room (315 Wheeler Hall)

 

All events are open to the public and will be livestreamed at www.youtube.com/@UCBMELC

 

Coordinated by the Department of  Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures  (MELC)

Co-sponsored by: Ethnic Studies, Rhetoric, Critical Theory, ICCTP, CMES

contact: [email protected]


Cutting aid to refugees, US advances Israel’s war on Palestinian existence

While rushing weapons to the Israeli government's assault on Gaza, the Biden administration embraces Israeli allegations about UNRWA without bothering to investigate them.

FEB 1

Please write an email or phone the WI Senate leaders-
Hello friends on staff of Senators LeMahieu and Kapenga -
 
I am writing today as the bloodshed continues in Israel and Palestine.  The war needs to end. 
 
Would you please allow Senate Joint Resolution 92 to move forward in the Wisconsin Legislature?  The resolution is a sensible one, calling for an end to the mass murder that is war. 
 
Over 10,000 children have been killed and half the buildings in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed.  Bombing of civilians creates more terrorists than it kills. 
 
Thank you.

2023 - 2024 WISCONSIN LEGISLATURE

2023 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 92

November 21, 2023 - Introduced by Senator Larson, cosponsored by
Representatives Hong, Madison, Clancy, Joers, Myers, Moore Omokunde,
Shelton, Stubbs and Wichgers. Referred to Committee on Senate
Organization.

1Relating to: a call for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and in
2Gaza and the West Bank.

3Whereas, all human life is precious, and the targeting of civilians, no matter
4their faith or ethnicity, is a violation of international humanitarian law; and
5Whereas, between October 7 and October 23, 2023, armed violence has claimed
6the lives of over 5,000 Palestinians and over 1,400 Israelis, including Americans, and
7wounded thousands more; and
8Whereas, this violence is an extension of a decades-long conflict stemming from
9failed policies inflicted on both Israelis and Palestinians; and
10Whereas, hundreds of thousands of lives are at imminent risk if a cease-fire is
11not achieved and humanitarian aid is not delivered without delay; and
12Whereas, this conflict is perpetuating a dangerous and costly lack of access to
13basic housing needs, compounding this health and humanitarian crisis; and
14Whereas, the federal government holds immense diplomatic power to save
15Israeli and Palestinian lives; now, therefore, be it

1Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the Wisconsin
2Legislature urges support for facilitating de-escalation and calling for a cease-fire
3to urgently end the current violence in Israel and in Gaza and the West Bank; and,
4be it further
5Resolved, That the Wisconsin Legislature urges support for an immediate
6release of all hostages and cessation of hostilities toward civilians by all parties in
7this war; and, be it further
8Resolved, That the Wisconsin Legislature urges support for promptly sending
9and facilitating the entry of humanitarian assistance including food, water, and
10medical supplies into Gaza; and, be it further
11Resolved, That the Wisconsin Legislature urges the end of the long-time
12occupation of Palestinian territories in order to ensure safety and
13self-determination for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Making Gaza Unliveable

BY JOSHUA FRANK - JANUARY 12, 2024 -Tom’s Dispatch

On a picturesque beach in central Gaza, a mile north of the now-flattened Al-Shati refugee camp, long black pipes snake through hills of white sand before disappearing underground. An image released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shows dozens of soldiers laying pipelines and what appear to be mobile pumping stations that are to take water from the Mediterranean Sea and hose it into underground tunnels. The plan, according to various reports, is to flood the vast network of underground shafts and tunnels Hamas has reportedly built and used to carry out its operations.

“I won’t talk about specifics, but they include explosives to destroy and other means to prevent Hamas operatives from using the tunnels to harm our soldiers,” said IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi. “[Any] means which give us an advantage over the enemy that [uses the tunnels], deprives it of this asset, is a means that we are evaluating using. This is a good idea…”

While Israel is already test-running its flood strategy, it’s not the first time Hamas’s tunnels have been subjected to sabotage by seawater. In 2013, neighboring Egypt began flooding Hamas-controlled tunnels that were allegedly being used to smuggle goods between the country’s Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. For more than two years, water from the Mediterranean was flushed into the tunnel system, wreaking havoc on Gaza’s environment. Groundwater supplies were quickly polluted with salt brine and, as a result, the dirt became saturated and unstable, causing the ground to collapse and killing numerous people. Once fertile agricultural fields were transformed into salinated pits of mud, and clean drinking water, already in short supply in Gaza, was further degraded.

Israel’s current strategy to drown Hamas’s tunnels will no doubt cause similar, irreparable damage. “It is important to keep in mind,” warns Juliane Schillinger, a researcher at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, “that we are not just talking about water with a high salt content here — seawater along the Mediterranean coast is also polluted with untreated wastewater, which is continuously discharged into the Mediterranean from Gaza’s dysfunctional sewage system.”

This, of course, appears to be part of a broader Israeli objective — not just to dismantle Hamas’s military capabilities but to further degrade and destroy Gaza’s imperiled aquifers (already polluted with sewage that’s leaked from dilapidated pipes). Israeli officials have openly admitted their goal is to ensure that Gaza will be an unlivable place once they end their merciless military campaign.

“We are fighting human animals, and we are acting accordingly,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said shortly after the Hamas attack of October 7th. “We will eliminate everything — they will regret it.”

And Israel is now keeping its promise.

As if its indiscriminate bombing, which has already damaged or destroyed up to 70% of all homes in Gaza, weren’t enough, filling those tunnels with polluted water will ensure that some of the remaining residential buildings will suffer structural problems, too. And if the ground is weak and insecure, Palestinians will have trouble rebuilding.

Flooding tunnels with polluted groundwater “will cause an accumulation of salt and the collapse of the soil, leading to the demolition of thousands of Palestinian homes in the densely populated strip,” says Abdel-Rahman al-Tamimi, director of the Palestinian Hydrologists Group, the largest NGO monitoring pollution in the Palestinian territories. His conclusion couldn’t be more stunning: “The Gaza Strip will become a depopulated area, and it will take about 100 years to get rid of the environmental effects of this war.”

In other words, as al-Tamimi points out, Israel is now “killing the environment.” And in many ways, it all started with the destruction of Palestine’s lush olive groves.

Olives No More

During an average year, Gaza once produced more than 5,000 tons of olive oil from more than 40,000 trees. The fall harvest in October and November was long a celebratory season for thousands of Palestinians. Families and friends sang, shared meals, and gathered in the groves to celebrate under ancient trees, which symbolized “peace, hope, and sustenance.” It was an important tradition, a deep connection both to the land and to a vital economic resource. Last year, olive crops accounted for more than 10% of the Gazan economy, a total of $30 million.

Of course, since October 7th, harvesting has ceased. Israel’s scorched earth tactics have instead ensured the destruction of countless olive groves. Satellite images released in early December affirm that 22% of Gaza’s agricultural land, including countless olive orchards, has been completely destroyed.

“We are heartbroken over our crops, which we cannot reach,” explains Ahmed Qudeih, a farmer from Khuza, a town in the Southern Gaza Strip. “We can’t irrigate or observe our land or take care of it. After every devastating war, we pay thousands of shekels to ensure the quality of our crops and to make our soil suitable again for agriculture.”

Israel’s relentless military thrashing of Gaza has taken an unfathomable toll on human life (more than 22,000 dead, including significant numbers of women and children, and thousands more bodies believed to be buried under the rubble and so uncountable). And consider this latest round of horror just a particularly grim continuation of a seven decade-long campaign to eviscerate the Palestinian cultural heritage. Since 1967, Israel has uprooted more than 800,000 native Palestinian olive trees, sometimes to make way for new illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank; in other instances, out of alleged security concerns, or from pure, visceral Zionist rage.

Wild groves of olive trees have been harvested by inhabitants of the region for thousands of years, dating back to the Chalcolithic period in the Levant (4,300-3,300 BCE), and the razing of such groves has had calamitous environmental consequences. “[The] removal of trees is directly linked to irreversible climate change, soil erosion, and a reduction in crops,” according to a 2023 Yale Review of International Studies report. “The perennial, woody bark acts as a carbon sink … [an] olive tree absorbs 11 kg of CO2 per liter of olive oil produced.”

Besides providing a harvestable crop and cultural value, olive groves are vital to Palestine’s ecosystem. Numerous bird species, including the Eurasian Jay, Green Finch, Hooded Crow, Masked Shrike, Palestine Sunbird, and Sardinian Warbler rely on the biodiversity provided by Palestine’s wild trees, six species of which are often found in native olive groves: the Aleppo pine, almond, olive, Palestine buckhorn, piny hawthorne, and fig.

As Simon Awad and Omar Attum wrote in a 2017 issue of the Jordan Journal of Natural History:

“[Olive] groves in Palestine could be considered cultural landscapes or be designated as globally important agricultural systems because of the combination of their biodiversity, cultural, and economic values. The biodiversity value of historic olive groves has been recognized in other parts of the Mediterranean, with some proposing these areas should receive protection because they are habitat used by some rare and threatened species and are important in maintaining regional biodiversity.”

An ancient, native olive tree should be considered a testament to the very existence of Palestinians and their struggle for freedom. With its thick spiraling trunk, the olive tree stands as a cautionary tale to Israel, not because of the fruit it bears, but because of the stories its roots hold of a scarred landscape and a battered people that have been callously and relentlessly besieged for more than 75 years.

White Phosphorus and Bombs, Bombs, and More Bombs

While contaminating aquifers and uprooting olive groves, Israel is now also poisoning Gaza from above. Numerous videos analyzed by Amnesty International and confirmed by the Washington Post display footage of flares and plumes of white phosphorus raining down on densely populated urban areas. First used on World War I battlefields to provide cover for troop movements, white phosphorus is known to be toxic and dangerous to human health. Dropping it on urban environments is now considered illegal under international law, and Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on earth. “Any time that white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering,” says Lama Fakih, director for the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch (HRW).

While white phosphorus is highly toxic to humans, significant concentrations of it also have deleterious effects on plants and animals. It can disrupt soil composition, making it too acidic to grow crops. And that’s just one part of the mountain of munitions Israel has fired at Gaza over the past three months. The war (if you can call such an asymmetrical assault a “war”) has been the deadliest and most destructive in recent memory, by some estimates at least as bad as the Allied bombing of Germany during World War II, which annihilated 60 German cities and killed an estimated half-million people.

Like the Allied forces of World War II, Israel is killing indiscriminately. Of the 29,000 air-to-surface munitions fired, 40% have been unguided bombs dropped on crowded residential areas. The U.N. estimates that, as of late December, 70% of all schools in Gaza, many of which served as shelters for Palestinians fleeing Israel’s onslaught, had been severely damaged. Hundreds of mosques and churches have also been struck and 70% of Gaza’s 36 hospitals have been hit and are no longer functioning.

A War That Exceeds All Predictions

“Gaza is one of the most intense civilian punishment campaigns in history,” claims Robert Pape, a historian at the University of Chicago. “It now sits comfortably in the top quartile of the most devastating bombing campaigns ever.”

It’s still difficult to grasp the toll being inflicted, day by day, week by week, not just on Gaza’s infrastructure and civilian life but on its environment as well. Each building that explodes leaves a lingering cloud of toxic dust and climate-warming vapors. “In conflict-affected areas, the detonation of explosives can release significant amounts of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter,” says Dr. Erum Zahir, a chemistry professor at the University of Karachi.

Dust from the collapsed World Trade Center towers on 9/11 ravaged first responders. A 2020 study found that rescuers were “41 percent more likely to develop leukemia than other individuals.” Some 10,000 New Yorkers suffered short-term health ailments following the attack, and it took a year for air quality in Lower Manhattan to return to pre-9/11 levels.

While it’s impossible to analyze all of the impacts of Israel’s nonstop bombing, it’s safe to assume that the ongoing leveling of Gaza will have far worse effects than 9/11 had on New York City. Nasreen Tamimi, head of the Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority, believes that an environmental assessment of Gaza now would “exceed all predictions.”

Central to the dilemma that faced Palestinians in Gaza, even before October 7th, was access to clean drinking water and it’s only been horrifically exacerbated by Israel’s nonstop bombardment. A 2019 report by UNICEF noted that “96 percent of water from Gaza’s sole aquifer is unfit for human consumption.”

Intermittent electricity, a direct result of Israel’s blockade, has also damaged Gaza’s sanitation facilities, leading to increased groundwater contamination, which has, in turn, led to various infections and massive outbreaks of preventable waterborne diseases. According to HRW, Israel is using a lack of food and drinking water as a tool of warfare, which many international observers argue is a form of collective punishment — a war crime of the first order. Israeli forces have intentionally destroyed farmland and bombed water and sanitation facilities in what certainly seems like an effort to make Gaza all too literally unlivable.

“I have to walk three kilometers to get one gallon [of water],” 30-year-old Marwan told HRW. Along with hundreds of thousands of other Gazans, Marwan fled to the south with his pregnant wife and two children in early November. “And there is no food. If we are able to find food, it is canned food. Not all of us are eating well.”

In the south of Gaza, near the overcrowded city of Khan Younis, raw sewage flows through the streets as sanitation services have ceased operation. In the southern town of Rafah, where so many Gazans have fled, conditions are beyond dire. Makeshift U.N. hospitals are overwhelmed, food and water are in short supply, and starvation is significantly on the rise. In late December, the World Health Organization (WHO) documented more than 100,000 cases of diarrhea and 150,000 respiratory infections in a Gazan population of about 2.3 million. And those numbers are likely massive undercounts and will undoubtedly increase as Israel’s offensive drags on, having already displaced 1.9 million people, or more than 85% of the population, half of whom are now facing starvation, according to the U.N.

“For over two months, Israel has been depriving Gaza’s population of food and water, a policy spurred on or endorsed by high-ranking Israeli officials and reflecting an intent to starve civilians as a method of warfare,” reports Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch.

Rarely, if ever, have the perpetrators of mass murder (reportedly now afraid of South Africa’s filing at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, accusing Israel of genocide) so plainly laid out their cruel intentions. As Israeli President Isaac Herzog put it in a callous attempt to justify the atrocities now being faced by Palestinian civilians, “It’s an entire nation out there that is responsible [for October 7th]. This rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved, it’s absolutely not true. They could’ve risen up, they could have fought against that evil regime.”

The violence inflicted on Palestinians by an Israel backed so strikingly by President Biden and his foreign policy team is unlike anything we had previously witnessed in more or less real-time in the news and on social media. Gaza, its people, and the lands that have sustained them for centuries are being desecrated and transformed into an all too unlivable hellscape, the impact of which will be felt — it’s a guarantee — for generations to come.

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch.


JOSHUA FRANK is the managing editor of CounterPunch. He is the author of the new book, Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America, published by Haymarket Books. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

International Court of Justice Rules That Israel Must Cease Fire

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, January 26, 2024

The International Court of Justice has ruled that Israel must cease its warmaking in Gaza — cease committing and inciting genocidal acts — and that the case charging Israel with genocide must proceed.

This was a make or break moment for international law, or rather a break or make-a-first-step moment. There is hope for the idea and reality of international law, but this is only a beginning.

The president of the International Court of Justice, who read the ruling, is Judge Joan Donoghue, former top legal advisor under Hillary Clinton at the U.S. State Department during the Obama Administration. She previously was the lawyer for the United States in its unsuccessful defense before the ICJ against charges by Nicaragua of minining its harbor.

The court voted for portions of this decision by 15-2 and 16-1. The “No” votes came from Judge Julia Sebutinde of Uganda and Ad Hoc Judge Aharon Barak of Israel.

The case presented by South Africa was overwhelming (read it or watch a key part of it), and Israel’s defense paper-thin. And the case just grew more overwhelming during the bizarre delay (yes, courts are slow, but this genocide is swift).

People all over the world built the pressure to move South Africa to act and other nations to add their support. Over 1,500 organizations signed a statement. Individuals signed a petition by CODEPINK, and sent almost 500,000 emails to key governments’ United Nations consulates through World BEYOND War and RootsAction.org. Click those links because more emails are needed now. While several nations have made public statements in support of South Africa’s case, we need them to file papers officially with the International Court of Justice. To reach out to additional national governments, go here.

Governments that have made statement in support of the case against genocide include Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan, Bolivia, the 57 nations of the Organization of Islamic Countries, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Maldives, Namibia, and Pakistan, Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba.

Germany has backed Israel’s defense against the charge of genocide, which has been denounced by Namibia, victimn of a German genocide. Prominent Jews have denounced Germany’s shameful action.

Mass demonstrations in the streets of the world have continued in support of peace and justice, and to a far greater extent than major media outlets have reported.

Here’s a discussion of this campaign for justice with Sam Husseini on Talk World Radio.

Prior to today’s ruling from the International Court of Justice, the U.S. government pointedly refused to say whether it would comply with ruling, despite insisting that other nations comply with rulings by the ICJ.

Hamas said that it would cease fire if Israel does, and release all prisoners if Israel does

Germany, to its credit, reportedly said that it would comply.

Arming a genocide is complicity in genocide. While Israel gets most of its weapons from the United State, other weaponry comes from Germany, Italy, the UK, and Canada — at least some of which nations also provide parts to U.S. weaponsmakers that provide weapons to Israel. Italian opposition demanded an end to it. And then the Foreign Minister claimed Italy had stopped shipments on Oct 7. Meanwhile, Canada is coming under pressure to cease shipments and prevarications. In Canada, Members of Parliament are among over 250 people hunger striking for an arms embargo on Israel.

People in the United States can tell Congress to stop arming Israel here or here.

President Joe Biden already faces a lawsuit for aiding and abetting genocide in Gaza. In November 2023, Palestinian human rights organizations, along with Gaza- and U.S.-based Palestinians, filed suit in a U.S. federal court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the Biden Administration for failing to prevent genocide, and for aiding and abetting genocide. The plaintiffs seek an order to end U.S. military and diplomatic support to Israel. A hearing to address the government’s motion to dismiss will be held at 9 a.m. PT / 12 noon ET today, Friday. The hearing will be webstreamed to the public.  You are encouraged to tune in and witness the U.S. government’s attempts at avoiding accountability and justify its support for the genocide that is happening in Gaza.


ICJ lands stunning blow on Israel over Gaza genocide charge!

A different Biden approach could have shaped war efforts and prevented this from happening in the first place.

AMERICANS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE

ICJ LANDMARK DECISION UNDERSCORES THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE HARSH REALITIES SURROUNDING ISRAEL’S PERSISTENT GENOCIDAL ATTACKS ON GAZA

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) welcomes the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to issue provisional measures against Israel for its genocidal acts in Gaza. The case was brought by South Africa on December 29th, 2023, accusing Israel of “genocidal acts.”

This morning, the ICJ issued a decisive rebuke of Israel’s brutal aggression in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 26,000 Palestinians, most of whom are civilians. Although it’s an interim judgment, the ICJ ruled that Israel must take immediate measures to halt all genocidal acts in Gaza.

The court’s president, Judge Joan Donoghue, stated that Israel must abide by the Genocide Convention and “take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope” of the convention, in particular, the killing of civilians, inflicting bodily or mental harm, and deliberately inflicting conditions calculated to bring about the physical destruction of Palestinians in Gaza. 15 out of the 17 judges agreed that the numerous and highly inflammatory comments made by some senior Israeli officials, which could be interpreted as an endorsement of deliberately harming civilians, gave “plausibility” to South Africa’s allegations that Israel has genocidal intent against Palestinians in Gaza.

In summary, the provisional measures demand the following of Israel:

  1. Israel must halt attacks on Palestinians
  2. Halt incitement against Palestinians as a group
  3. Ensure Humanitarian aid
  4. Preserve evidence
  5. Submit a response to the court within one month

The ICJ’s omission of the term “ceasefire” in its ruling is not a loophole but a glaring call to action. The prescribed provisional measures are unequivocally contingent upon a cessation of hostilities/ceasefire. Israel’s ruthless assault on Palestinian civilian life has resulted in the tragic murder of hundreds of thousands of lives within a mere 112 days, obliterating dozens of family bloodlines. The indiscriminate attacks persist unabated, inflicting untold suffering on the densely populated Gaza Strip, with no foreseeable conclusion in sight.

This ICJ victory is a critical milestone; its importance should not be undermined, and we believe it will eventually arrive at the proper conclusion that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. It exposes the complicit position of the Biden administration, which chose from day one to act as an accomplice of Israel and defend its crimes by considering the case filed by South Africa “meritless.

AJP calls on the Biden administration to end its complicity in the war crimes Israel is committing, halt all weapons transfer to it, and immediately call for, facilitate, and impose an indefinite ceasefire on Israel. We must have a permanent end to all attacks on Palestinian life, including an end to the siege on Gaza and the occupation of Palestine.


We Charge Genocide: International Day of Action for Permanent Ceasefire Now!

Defense for Children International - Palestine v. Biden was filed in November by the Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel Van Der Hout LLP against the President, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense on behalf of two Palestinian human rights organizations and eight Palestinians in the U.S. and Palestine. The case challenges the U.S. government's failure to prevent and complicity in Israel’s unfolding genocide of the Palestinian people and asks the court to order the Biden administration to cease diplomatic and military support and comply with its legal obligations under international and federal law. The hearing on the preliminary injunction motion and the government’s motion to dismiss the case took place on Friday, January 26,2024.


Inter-Faith Leaders of Greater Milwaukee Issue Call:

Ceasefire and End to Hostilities in Holy Lands

WUWM coverage of yesterday's news conference

We, faith leaders in Milwaukee, as signed, have joined together to bring a unified moral voice to the growing catastrophe in Gaza and increasing violence throughout Israel and Palestine. We are religious and lay leaders of the three Abrahamic Religions of the world (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as well as Eastern religious traditions.

We represent the voices of many who grieve the death of innocent human beings in a land called holy by our traditions. We mourn the decades of occupation and oppression, of terrorism and military violence. 

We are anguished by the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel and by the brutal and ongoing death and destruction brought upon the people of Gaza and the West Bank by Israel. Time and again it has been demonstrated that there will be no military solution to this conflict.

As Jews, as rabbis, as Christians, pastors and priests, as Muslims, imams and lay leaders, as Buddhists, as human beings—we are pleading with our communities to rise through despair and grief to save valuable human lives on all sides of this conflict and to call for a complete ceasefire now, brokered by the United Nations.

  • We call for an end to all bombing and ground war..
  • We call for an end of settler and IDF violence in the Occupied West Bank. 
  • We call for the release of all Israeli and international hostages being held in Gaza and all civilian Palestinians being held by Israel.
  • We call for the immediate flow of aid to Gaza for humanitarian relief.
  • We call for immediate engagement by the international community toward a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine.

As Americans, we call upon our leaders to stop supporting and enabling this conflict.  Ceasefire is the only way to prevent more death and destruction. We call on Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson, and Representative Gwen Moore to reflect on the suffering of the victims of war, especially the children, and to change their stance from a temporary “pause” on the killings to a “ceasefire.”  

We make a stand for a sustainable peace, now. This peace must include a fight against rising antisemitism and Islamophobia in our communities.

We invite all people of faith, as well as others of good conscience, to join us in this call for a complete ceasefire NOW!


Contact:
Rev. Dr. Lisa Bates-Froiland
[email protected]
414-238-1043


PEACE ACTION WI FOR GAZA!

Peace Action WI Steering Committee at Gwen Moore's Office, Jan 16, 2024.

Peace Action WI  to U S representative Gwen Moore

Dear Congresswoman Gwen Moore:

We have reviewed your January 5 statement on the ongoing Israel-Hamas War (a.k.a. Israeli  war on Gaza). We appreciate the opportunity to give our response.

Specifically, your statement says “the Biden administration needs to prioritize moving towards a humanitarian ceasefire, the safe return of all remaining hostages, the secure delivery of humanitarian aid, etc.”

This is insufficient.  Gaza is the victim of an ongoing genocide as South Africa has shown in their case in the International Court of Justice. Other genocide and holocaust experts have come to the same conclusion. This horrific crime against the people in Gaza demands an IMMEDIATE AND PERMANENT CEASEFIRE and an IMMEDIATE AND PERMANENT END TO MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL.  Not another nickel for Israel’s crimes. Our government needs to MASSIVELY AND IMMEDIATELY INCREASE HUMANITARIAN AID to the people of Gaza.  

The United States government can and should end this genocide immediately.  Congress needs to demand, not ask, that the Biden administration demand, not ask, that Israel stops this genocide.  The Biden administration needs to use all mechanisms at its disposal to force Israel to end this genocide.

Members of Congress who have not called for an immediate ceasefire are complicit in this genocide. Members of Congress who vote for more military aid to Israel are accomplices to this genocide.

We are giving you a transcript of the genocide case brought by South Africa against Israel. We are asking you to read it. We are also giving you a copy of the names of 2800 children who were killed in Gaza in just 3 weeks from Oct 7 to October 27. This list does not include the children buried under the rubble or who have died of hunger and disease. 

Congresswoman Moore, you have spent your career working for legislation to protect women and children. Therefore, we urge you to read these documents in the hope they will inspire you to take bold action to stop the genocide in Gaza. We urge you to write a letter to President Biden that demands an immediate and permanent ceasefire, an end to all military aid to Israel and a massive and immediate increase in humanitarian aid to Gaza.   

We also urge you to cooperate with your colleagues in co-sponsoring H.R.3103, Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act.         

Finally, we urge you to call a town hall meeting so you can dialogue with your constituents on the steps you are taking to end this genocide, stop the child casualties and stop the spread of this war.         

On behalf of the Peace Action of Wisconsin Steering Committee

Contact: 414-269-9525


Secretary-General Antonio Guitierrez

 
 

New York, 15 January 2024

Good afternoon.   

More than 100 days have passed since the horrific 7 October attacks by Hamas that claimed the lives of more than one thousand Israelis and others, and resulted in the brutal seizing of hostages. 

Every day I think of the anguish of the families I met.   

I once again demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. In the interim, they must be treated humanely and allowed to receive visits and assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross.   

The accounts of sexual violence committed by Hamas and others on October 7th must be rigorously investigated and prosecuted. 

Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians – or the launching of rockets towards civilian targets. 

At the same time, the onslaught on Gaza by Israeli forces over these 100 days has unleashed wholesale destruction and levels of civilian killings at a rate that is unprecedented during my years as Secretary-General.   

The vast majority of those killed are women and children. 

Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.  

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is beyond words.  Nowhere and no one is safe.   

Traumatized people are being pushed into increasingly limited areas in the south that are becoming intolerably and dangerously congested.    

While there have been some steps to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance into Gaza, life-saving relief is not getting to people who have endured months of relentless assault at anywhere near the scale needed.   

The long shadow of starvation is stalking the people of Gaza – along with disease, malnutrition and other health threats. 

I am deeply troubled by the clear violation of international humanitarian law that we are witnessing. 

Last week, Under-Secretary-General Sigrid Kaag began her work as Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza – in line with Security Council Resolution 2720.   

I ask all states and parties to the conflict for their full cooperation, as she also works with members of the Security Council and regional actors to deliver on the mandate set in the resolution.   

An effective aid operation in Gaza – or anywhere else -- requires certain basics.   

It requires security.  

It requires an environment where staff can work in safety.  

It requires the necessary logistics and the resumption of commercial activity. 

The obstacles to aid are clear – and they have been identified not only by the UN, but by officials from around the globe who have seen the situation for themselves. 

First, the United Nations and our partners cannot effectively deliver humanitarian aid while Gaza is under such heavy, widespread and unrelenting bombardment.  

This endangers the lives of those who receive aid – and those who deliver it. 

The vast majority of our Palestinian staff in Gaza have been forced to flee their homes.  

Since October 7th, 152 UN staff members have been killed in Gaza – the largest single loss of life in the history of our organization -- a heart-wrenching figure and a source of deep sorrow.   

Still, aid workers, under enormous pressure and with no safety guarantees, are doing their best to deliver inside Gaza.  

We continue to call for rapid, safe, unhindered, expanded and sustained humanitarian access into and across Gaza. 

Second, the aid operation faces significant hurdles at the Gaza border.  

Vital materials – including life-saving medical equipment and parts which are critical for the repair of water facilities and infrastructure – have been rejected with little or no explanation, disrupting the flow of critical supplies and the resumption of basic services. 

And when one item is denied, the time-consuming approval process starts again from scratch for the entire cargo.   

Third, the aid operation faces major impediments to distribution within Gaza. 

This includes repeated denials of access to the north, where hundreds of thousands of people remain.  

Since the start of the year, just 7 of 29 missions to deliver aid to the north have been able to proceed. 

Large stretches of agreed routes cannot be used due to heavy fighting and debris, with unexploded ordnance also threatening convoys. 

Humanitarian notification systems to maximize the safety of aid operations are not being respected.   

In addition, frequent telecommunications blackouts means humanitarian workers cannot seek out the safest roads, coordinate aid distribution or track the movements of displaced people who need assistance.  

We are seeking to ramp up the response – but we need basic conditions in place.  

The parties must respect international humanitarian law –respect and protect civilians, and ensure their essential needs are met.  

And there must be an immediate and massive increase in the commercial supply of essential goods.   

The UN and humanitarian partners cannot alone provide basic necessities that should also be available in markets to the entire population.  

Ladies and gentlemen of the media,  

Meanwhile, the cauldron of tensions in the occupied West Bank is boiling over with heightened violence compounding an already dire fiscal crisis for the Palestinian Authority.   

Tensions are also sky-high in the Red Sea and beyond – and may soon be impossible to contain. 

I have serious concerns about daily exchanges of fire across the Blue Line.   

This risks triggering a broader escalation between Israel and Lebanon and profoundly affecting regional stability.   

Tens of thousands of people in northern Israel and southern Lebanon have been displaced by the fighting and humanitarian access in Lebanon continues to be constrained. 

I am profoundly worried by what is unfolding.

It is my duty to convey this simple and direct message to all sides:   

Stop playing with fire across the Blue Line, de-escalate, and bring hostilities to an end in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1701.   

Ladies and gentlemen of the media,  

I have outlined concerns about a wide range of issues: the unprecedented level of civilian casualties and catastrophic humanitarian conditions in Gaza; the fate of the hostages; the tensions that are spilling [over] across the region. 

There is one solution to help address all these issues.   

We need an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.  

To ensure sufficient aid gets to where it is needed.  

To facilitate the release of the hostages.  

To tamp down the flames of wider war because the longer the conflict in Gaza continues, the greater the risk of escalation and miscalculation.   

We cannot see in Lebanon what we are seeing in Gaza.  

And we cannot allow what has been happening in Gaza to continue.   

Thank you. 

 


BLACK AGENDA REPORT

Over 800 Organizations Globally Sign On To Letter Urging International Support For South Africa’s Genocide Case Against the State of Israel

New Coalition Calls for Global Mobilization As Hearing Before the World Court Begins on January 11

CONTACTS:

Adrienne Pine, Popular Resistance, 202-652-5601, [email protected]
Lamis Deek, Palestine Assembly for Liberation,  212-226-3999, [email protected]  
Genie Silver, WILPF US, 610-283-1376, [email protected]  

United States - The newly-formed International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine (ICSGP) issued a sign-on letter* on January 3, 2024 that garnered over 800 organizational endorsements from around the world in less than one week. In addition to the initiating organizations noted here , signing organizations represent broad social movements, including World March of Women and the International People’s Assembly, Palestinian-led and Palestinian solidarity movements such as Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions and the Palestinian NGO Network, as well as human rights and legal groups, unions, and religious organizations of all faiths. 

“It is important for La Via Campesina to support the South African initiative. What is happening in Palestine is an atrocity. In particular, the use of starvation as a weapon of war is part of a strategy of genocide that we need to denounce. The expulsion of farmers and land grabs in Gaza as well as the West Bank, is also part of a strategy of ethnic cleansing,” said Morgan Ody of the Confédération paysanne (France) and General Coordinator of La Vía Campesina International. “La Via Campesina calls upon the governments of the world, and in particular progressive governments and those in the Global South, to do everything in their power to stop Israel’s apartheid and colonization. Those governments have the responsibility to coordinate their efforts in order to ensure a future for Palestine and for all Palestinian people, and to make sure that those responsible for Israel’s crimes against humanity are held accountable.”

The coalition letter urges all signing organizations to press their “governments to immediately file a Declaration of Intervention in support of the South African case against Israel at the International Court of Justice to stop the killing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” So far, Malaysia and Turkiye, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57 member countries on four continents, have publicly supported South Africa’s case. Jordan reports that it intends to take the more legally substantive step of submitting a Declaration of Intervention. Members of ICGSP are working closely with a number of other countries that are in the process of doing the same. 

“The South African filing before the ICJ marks a critical juncture which tests the global will to salvage the laws and systems which were designed to safeguard not merely human rights; but to preserve humanity itself,” emphasizes Lamis Deek, co-founder of The Global Legal Alliance for Palestine and the PAL Commission on War Crimes. “Genocide is the highest crime and none has been so publicly documented as the Israeli Genocide in Palestine. The sincerity of states' commitment to the principles of the Geneva and Genocide Conventions is now under heavy scrutiny. The very least states can do is to submit Declarations of Intervention as a small part of fulfilling their obligations under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention, to assure their people—and humanity—that they have lost neither their moral compass nor abdicated their obligations under international law.

The sign-on letter states:

“Many countries have rightly expressed their horror at the State of Israel's genocidal actions, war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed against Palestinians. Israeli Occupying Forces have bombed hospitals, residences, United Nations refugee centers, schools, places of worship and escape routes, killing and injuring tens of thousands of Palestinians since October 7, 2023. More than half of the dead are women and children. Israeli leaders have made brazenly genocidal statements openly declaring their intention to permanently and completely displace Palestinians from their own land.”

Despite the clear evidence of genocidal actions being committed daily by Israeli Occupying Forces, the State of Israel is actively soliciting nations to deny its atrocities and denounce South Africa’s case. At this moment, the United States, a major backer of the Israeli State that has vetoed three resolutions calling for a ceasefire in the United Nations Security Council, stands alone in denying that Israel is committing genocide.

Edith Ballantyne, former Secretary General and International President of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, warns, “I write from my personal experience over ten decades, spanning two world wars and living through fascism, with the absolute conviction that the basis of the conflict must be solved in a legal, political and non-violent way as the only means to achieve permanent peace desperately needed by the world’s peoples and for the survival of our planet.” She adds, “Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was involved in the Middle East conflict since the 1920s when it recognized that what was happening in Palestine was destined to be catastrophic. The genocidal war the government of Israel is waging in the Occupied Palestinian Territories against the Palestinian People must be stopped. I urge all to challenge their governments to live up to the principles of the UN Charter and international law, including human rights and humanitarian law.”

The International Court of Justice, also called the World Court, will hear South Africa’s case against the Israeli State on January 11 and 12, 2024. The ICSGP is calling on endorsing organizations to join actions of support at The Hague during the hearing and to hold local rallies and vigils, including expressions of gratitude and solidarity at South African embassies, this week. Details about the hearing and where to watch it are here: https://www.icj-cij.org/sites/default/files/case-related/192/192-20240103-pre-01-00-en.pdf

*The full text of the letter and an updated list of signers can be found here: https://bit.ly/Genocide_Convention_Letter


Mistahi Corkill- This song goes out to all human beings worldwide who support the historical just cause for a free Palestine.


Click to view more photos by Paul Becker

News and voices from the genocide:


Bernie Sanders-

As Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee it goes without saying that I spend most of my time focusing on domestic issues. How do we improve our dysfunctional health care system and lower the cost of prescription drugs? How do we make childcare and higher education affordable for working class families? How do we increase wages in America and make it easier for workers to join unions? These, and many other issues, are what I and the Committee focus on.

But, given the enormous international crises the world is now experiencing, I must tell you that I find myself spending more and more time on foreign affairs — especially the horrific war taking place in Gaza.

In my view, the current issue we face with Israel-Gaza is not complicated. While we recognize that Hamas’ barbaric terrorist attack began this war, we must also recognize that Israel’s military response has been grossly disproportionate, immoral, and in violation of international law. In essence, the right-wing Netanyahu government of Israel has not just gone to war against Hamas. It has gone to war against the entire Palestinian people and the results have been catastrophic.

Most importantly for Americans, we must understand that Israel’s war against the Palestinian people has been significantly waged with U.S. bombs, artillery shells, and other forms of weaponry. In other words, we are complicit in this war.

Since October 7th, over 22,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bombs and over 57,000 have been wounded. Seventy percent of these victims have been women and children.

Since the beginning of this war 1.9 million Palestinian men, women, and children have been driven from their homes — 85% of the total population of Gaza. Despite the sharing of coordinates with Israeli forces, 40 UN facilities have sustained direct hits, 61 UN installations have suffered collateral damage, and 134 UN workers have been killed. The UN reports that over 234,000 housing units have been damaged and more than 46,000 homes completely destroyed, amounting to nearly 70 percent of the housing stock, a figure confirmed by academic analysis of satellite radar data. Today, not only are the vast majority of people in Gaza homeless, they lack food, water, medical supplies, and fuel. A recent UN report indicates that half of the population of about 2.2 million are at risk of starvation and 90 percent say that they regularly go without food for a whole day. The chief economist at the World Food Program said the humanitarian disaster in Gaza was among the worst he had ever seen. This cannot be allowed to continue.

To put this in historical perspective the destruction in Gaza is now equivalent to that of Dresden, where two years of bombing during World War II made the city’s name synonymous with total destruction. Robert Pape, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, has documented that the Allied bombing of Dresden from 1943 to 1945 severely damaged 56% of its non-industrial buildings, half of its homes, and killed about 25,000 people. Meanwhile, the horrific fire-bombing of Japanese cities in 1945 destroyed 40% of the urban area of the 66 cities attacked, leaving 30% of Japan's population homeless. Gaza has passed these nightmarish thresholds in less than months.

My friends, we cannot turn our backs on the kind of suffering and inhumanity that is currently taking place in Gaza — especially when it is significantly caused by U.S. military support.

If thousands of innocent people can be killed by indiscriminate bombing. If millions of impoverished men, women, and children can be driven from their homes and denied the food, water, medical care, and fuel they need. If many hundreds of thousands of children undergo extraordinary psychic trauma as they witness horrific scenes of death and wanton destruction. If all this is accepted and allowed to happen without a response from us, then what we become responsible for is not just the nightmare in Gaza. It is the nightmare for all of humanity. Human cruelty and barbarism, already widespread on this Earth, will descend another notch lower — setting the stage for even worse horrors in the future.

Congress is working to pass a supplemental funding bill that includes $10 billion of unconditional military aid for the right-wing Netanyahu government to continue its brutal war against the Palestinian people. Enough is enough. Congress must reject that funding. The taxpayers of the United States must no longer be complicit in destroying the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.

Together we must find a better way forward.

In solidarity,

Bernie



https://ajpaction.org/the-united-states-should-not-fight-israels-war/


New Filings in Gaza Genocide Lawsuit: Palestinians Refute Biden Admin Arguments That Court Cannot Review Its Role in Furthering Israel’s Genocide

Contact: [email protected]

Declarations included from former Biden State Department official Josh Paul and from plaintiffs 

December 23, 2023, New York – Hours after the U.S. abstained on a United Nations Security Council resolution that it had delayed for days seeking to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza, Palestinian organizations and individuals filed a reply last night to the U.S. government’s response to their genocide caseDefense for Children International-Palestine v. Biden. The filing supports the Palestinian plaintiffs’ request that the court immediately order the U.S. to stop supporting Israel’s unfolding genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and opposes the government’s efforts to have the case dismissed. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel Van Der Hout LLP submitted detailed, sobering declarations from several of the plaintiffs (linked below) and from Josh Paul, the former high-ranking State Department official who resigned to protest U.S. support for and continued transfer of arms to Israel that would be used to commit human rights abuses and lead to significant civilian casualties in Gaza. The plaintiffs’ declarations describe additional harms and deaths –  including at least 50 members of Al Haq’s Ahmed Abofoul’s extended family – suffered since they filed their complaint in mid-November, underscoring the need for an immediate injunction.  

“The death count is unfathomable to me,” plaintiff A.N. wrote in one of the declarations submitted. “To be no longer in the dozens, nor the hundreds, even the thousands, and now the tens of thousands is something that I don’t have the capacity to process. I really can’t even count the dead, people under the rubble, or picture children dying from starvation.” 

The case, filed on November 13, charged President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin with failing in their legal responsibility to prevent – and their complicity in – Israel’s unfolding genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. It seeks an emergency court order to halt U.S. military and diplomatic support for Israel’s assault, including by enjoining the transfer of more weapons and support to the Israeli government. In its response, the government does not contest that Israel is committing genocide or that it is complicit in it, but rather focuses on technical jurisdictional issues, arguing that the court cannot review its policy choices and that it is Israel, an “independent actor,” causing plaintiffs’ injuries. 

Last night’s filings refute those arguments and others, explaining that the court has a constitutional duty to enforce defendants’ legal obligations to prevent and not be complicit in genocide, and that it is clear, as both Israel and the U.S. have acknowledged, that Israel’s genocide could not happen without U.S. weapons and diplomatic cover. 

“Israel is killing Palestinian children in Gaza – more than 8,000 so far – and is starving the rest, including our clients’ families, as Biden, Blinken, and Austin rush more weapons and block international efforts to stop them,” said Maria LaHood, Deputy Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “While the world watches in horror, feeling powerless, the court has the power, and the duty, to enforce the laws put in place to stop genocide and complicity in it. The rule of law, and our very humanity, depend on it.”  

Josh Paul, the former State Department official, wrote in a declaration, “the United States provides and transfers to Israel a vast amount of military critical technologies and capabilities; that the United States is aware that these military critical technologies and capabilities will be used in ways that are contrary to U.S. law and Israel’s own commitments to the U.S. under applicable processes and agreements, and other requirements including international law; that the U.S. is willing and able to address such violations when they arise, or could arise, with other partners; and, that should the court direct the suspension of such military transfers and assistance to Israel, it would—‘more likely than not,’ to borrow a phrase from the Biden Administration’s own Conventional Arms Transfer Policy—have an impact on the Israeli military operations of concern to the Plaintiffs in this case.”

The filing also detailed information that has come to light since the complaint was filed, including reports on the transfer and use of U.S. weapons. The filing cites reports from early December that the United States had transferred to Israel at least 15,000 bombs, and more than 50,000 155mm artillery shells, which are inherently indiscriminate. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu also thanked President Biden on December 10th for the urgent shipment of 14,000 tank shells. Israel’s bombing and siege of Gaza has killed over 20,000 Palestinians in 76 days, including more than 8,000 children. 

The plaintiffs in Gaza describe not only the fear and anxiety of the Israeli military assault, but the drastic deterioration of conditions of life for the people of Gaza: Dr. Omar Al-Najjar wrote in his declaration, “We are seeing enormous amounts of children with severe dehydration, febrile convulsions, and infectious diseases, including hepatitis and mumps. There are no oral rehydration salts in the Gaza Strip, which is a fluid and electrolyte therapy especially for dehydrated children with severe diarrhea. I have never seen these levels of malnutrition especially amongst children that I’m seeing now.” 

The complaint was brought by the Palestinian human rights groups Al-Haq and Defense for Children International – Palestine; Palestinians who live in Gaza – Dr. Omar Al-Najjar, Ahmed Abu Artema, and Mohammed Abu Rokbeh; and Palestinians in the U.S. with family members who live in Gaza – Mohammad Monadel Herzallah, Laila Elhaddad, Waeil Elbhassi, Bassim Elkarra, and “A.N.” They are seeking an emergency court order to halt U.S. support for Israel’s genocidal assault. 

The original complaint was accompanied by a declaration from William Schabas, the world’s leading legal expert on genocide, and a second declaration from the genocide and Holocaust scholars Dr. John CoxDr. Victoria SanfordDr. Barry Trachtenberg.

The government’s next filing is due January 12, and the court will hear arguments on January 26, 2024.

The San Francisco law firm of Van Der Hout LLP is co-counsel in the case. 

For more information, see the Center for Constitutional Rights’ case page

Below are each of the Plaintiffs’ Declarations:

Josh Paul’s expert declaration is here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.

 

Declarations included from former Biden State Department official Josh Paul and from plaintiffs 

 

President Biden: Learn the Names of Children You’ve Helped Israel to Murder

By Norman Solomon, World BEYOND War, December 26, 2023

To: President Joe Biden

You’ve often spoken of how much you care about children and how terrible it is when they’re murdered. “Too many schools, too many everyday places have become killing fields,” you said at the White House last spring on the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Uvalde. At the time of that tragedy in Texas, you had quickly gone on live television, speaking gravely.

“There are parents who will never see their child again,” you said, adding: “To lose a child is like having a piece of your soul ripped away. . . . It’s a feeling shared by the siblings, and the grandparents, and their family members, and the community that’s left behind.”

And you asked plaintively: “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies?”

This year you’ve asked similar questions many times, as in the aftermath of shootings at a grade school in Nashville, Michigan State University and the University of Nevada.

The massacre in Uvalde took the lives of 19 children. For nearly three months, the ongoing massacre in Gaza has taken the lives of that many children every few hours.

In mid-November, after five weeks of Israel’s bombing of Gaza, the director-general of the World Health Organization reported that children were being killed at an average rate of six per hour, adding that “nowhere and no one is safe.” Palestinian civilians of all ages continue to undergo slaughter, with the death toll surpassing 20,000.

You have continued to voice support for Israel’s military assault on Gaza and its residents. After 10 weeks of the carnage, when you got around to expressing a bit of concern about Israel’s “indiscriminate bombing,” you were meanwhile still doing everything you could to greenlight and fast track massive U.S. shipments of weapons and ammunition to Israel so that the indiscriminate bombing could continue.

Even your belated and inadequate words on Dec. 12 about “indiscriminate bombing” apparently caused you to have second thoughts. The next day, Voice of America reported that “the White House appears to be walking back” your comment about “indiscriminate bombing.”

Most important, of course, are not words but deeds. As commander-in-chief, since early October you have approved large-scale shipments to Israel of 2,000-pound bombs — described by the New York Times as “one of the most destructive munitions in Western military arsenals,” a weapon that “unleashes a blast wave and metal fragments thousands of feet in every direction.”

In a Dec. 21 video report based on analysis of “aerial imagery and artificial intelligence” — headlined “Visual Evidence Shows Israel Dropped 2,000-Pound Bombs Where It Ordered Gaza’s Civilians to Move for Safety” — the Times indicated that “Israel used these munitions in the area it designated safe for civilians at least 200 times.” Those 2,000-pound bombs have been “a pervasive threat to civilians seeking safety across south Gaza.”

Since the war in Gaza began 11 weeks ago, the Times reported, “the U.S. has sent more than 5,000 2,000-pound bombs” to Israel. And after a long phone conversation with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu on Dec. 23, you told the press: “I did not ask for a ceasefire.”

With your ongoing help, Israel is continuing to murder children and other civilians in Gaza just as methodically as the gunman murdered children at the elementary school in Uvalde. And you have continued to provide weaponry for the murders just as surely as the gun shop in Uvalde sold firearms and ammunition to the man who went on to kill at the elementary school.

But that is an unfair comparison — unfair to the Uvalde gun-shop owner, who did not know the intended use of the weapons and ammo. But you know what the billions of dollars’ worth of weapons and bombs gifted by the U.S. government are being used for.

When three 9-year-old students were among those shot to death at a school in Nashville last March, you spoke about them the next day. “A family’s worst nightmare has occurred,” you said. “Those children should all be with us still,” you said. And you said: “We know the names of the victims.”

But you don’t know the names of the children you’ve helped to murder in Gaza. And there are so many.

_________________________________

Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of many books including War Made Easy. His latest book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, was published in 2023 by The New Press.



Israel Palestine News

Pope says children dying in Gaza are the “little Jesuses of today”: Day 79

Dec 25, 2023

Pope says children dying in Gaza are the “little Jesuses of today”: Day 79

Scouts hold a sign in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, on the day of a visit by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, to the Old City of Bethlehem (photo)

Pope Francis speaks about Palestine on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; deadly airstrikes in Gaza, raids in West Bank; another video released of stripped Palestinian hostages

In his Christmas Day address, Pope Francis calls for end to ‘appalling harvest’ of civilians in Gaza; children dying in wars, including in Gaza, are the “little Jesuses of today.” Addressing thousands of people from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, he pleaded for an end to Israel’s “appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims” in Gaza as he called for a solution to “the desperate humanitarian situation” in the besieged enclave.

RECOMMENDED READING: Bethlehem’s bombed-out nativity sculpture sends a powerful message

Speaking at Christmas Eve mass, Pope Francis began with a lament – “Tonight, our hearts are in Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace is once more rejected by the futile logic of war, by the clash of arms that even today prevents him from finding room in the world.” He spoke just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to fight deeper into the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

Aftermath of Israeli air attacks on homes at Maghazi camp
Aftermath of Israeli air attacks on homes at Maghazi camp (photo)

Israel’s attack on Maghazi camp, which killed over 100, was a ‘complete and real extermination.’ It was one of the deadliest attacks in two and a half months of war. One survivor said, “this place witnessed what humans could not bear and we continue to search under the rubble with our hands.”

In the West Bank: An ongoing raid on the town of Burqa, northwest of Nablus, has lasted about 20 hours. Late Sunday, the Israeli army stormed the village, closed all its entrances, raided some 200 homes, and carried out widespread arrests, according to Ghassan Daghlas, the acting governor of Nablus. He said, “I am currently inspecting the homes that were raided. What I see in the house that I am now in is disaster and massive destruction.”

At least eight Palestinians across the occupied West Bank have sustained injuries as a result of attacks by Israeli forces and illegal settlers, according to Ahmed Jibril, the director of ambulance and emergency services at the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRCS).

Israeli forces reportedly conducted massive raids on two refugee camps in the West Bank town of Tulkarem overnight. 

Palestinians survey the damage of an Israeli attack on the Maghazi refugee camp.
Palestinians survey the damage of an Israeli attack on the Maghazi refugee camp. (photo)

STATISTICS OCTOBER 7 – DECEMBER 24:

Palestinian death toll since October 7: at least 20,506* (~20,203 in Gaza* (over 8,663 children), and at least 303 in the West Bank). This does not include an estimated 8,000 more still buried under rubble. Euro-Med Monitor reports 27,137 Palestinian deaths.

*IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incidentIsrael is blocking an international investigation.

Palestinian injuries since October 7: at least 58,665** (including at least 55,000 in Gaza** and 3,665 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to provide an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. 

It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. in Gaza**. About 1.9 million people have been displaced (about 85-90% of the population).

Reported Israeli death toll since October 7: ~1,139  (7 killed in West Bank, 157 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and 5,431 injured, approximately 36 children).

NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.

Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates hereFor more news, go here and here. Live broadcast news from the region is Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org 

 


 
 

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 80: Israel kills at least 100 Palestinians in Christmas Eve attacks

 
Mustafa Abu Sneineh
 
‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 80: Israel kills at least 100 Palestinians in Christmas Eve attacks

At least 100 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on Khan Younis and Al-Maghazi refugee camp, as a new Euro-Med Monitor report documents brutal Israeli crimes against civilians sheltering in Palestinian schools, including executions.

 

Read more


Meet the Companies Profiting From Israel's War on Gaza

"As global resistance to war and apartheid grows, it is important that the public know exactly who is making this violence possible."

 

Forcible Disappearance of Gazan Detainees... A Continuing Crime Against Humanity

addameer.org
 
18-12-2023

Since the commencement of the comprehensive aggression against Palestinians, the occupying authorities have conducted widespread arrest campaigns affecting various segments of the Palestinian population in different locations. The number of detainees from the West Bank and Jerusalem since the 7th of October until today has reached (4575) detainees, aside from hundreds of cases of arrests from Gaza.

Amid the complete isolation imposed on prisoners, specifically from Gaza, and with the International Committee of the Red Cross being denied visits, and lawyers barred from visiting detainees from Gaza, an article published in the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz” revealed the heinous crimes committed against male and female detainees in the "Sdeh Teiman" and "Anatot" army camps. The article highlighted that a number of detainees have been killed inside these camps without any confirmation yet regarding their numbers or identities. It also pointed out that the detainees endure extremely harsh conditions, being handcuffed and blindfolded most of the time. There are children and elderly Palestinians inside the "Sdeh Teiman" camp, while women are held in the "Anatot" camp in addition to the "Sdeh Teiman" camp. Prisoners in these camps sleep on very thin mattresses on the floor.

In the same context, there are over 30 Palestinian female detainees from Gaza in Damon Prison, suffering harsh conditions. Among the prisoners are children, elderly, sick, and wounded women. The eldest among them is an 82-year-old suffering from Alzheimer's disease. These detainees from Gaza are prohibited from communicating or interacting with other female prisoners in different cells within the prison. They have been barred from visits by lawyers until today. Moreover, they are provided with inadequate and poor-quality meals, and they are allowed only a short shower time, not exceeding 15 minutes, for more than 30 detainees. Additionally, their rooms are raided and searched daily.

Furthermore, two days ago, a large force of soldiers stormed the room of the detainees from Gaza, interrogated them, and transferred five of them to an undisclosed location.

The crimes of occupation aren't limited to forcibly concealing Gaza detainees in military camps. The law is also manipulated to hide detainees. Since the aggression began, the occupying authorities have amended military orders and laws to facilitate the prolonged detention of Palestinians without due legal process. They amended the Unlawful Combatant Law multiple times, allowing the issuance of an unlawful combatant order for up to 42 days instead of 7 days. The judicial review sessions now occur within 45 days instead of 14, and detainees can be prevented from meeting their lawyer for 80 days. Regarding emergency regulations preventing detainees under interrogation from meeting their lawyers, the prohibition period extends to 90 days. These amendments, prolonging the duration detainees are prohibited from meeting their lawyers and the periods they must appear before a judge, constitute another form of enforced disappearance. Lawyers are unaware of the detainee's whereabouts or the conditions they face. These amendments aim to prevent lawyers from monitoring and documenting the crimes and violations against Palestinian detainees.

In this context, the complicity of Israeli judges in the crime of enforced disappearance becomes evident. Judges' approval of extending the detention of detainees for prolonged periods while preventing them from meeting their lawyers is tantamount to judicial endorsement of torture, ill-treatment, and an attempt to conceal these crimes from lawyers and human rights organizations working in the field, especially in the absence of any international monitoring of the conditions of detention.

Enforced disappearance is considered a crime against humanity according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court[1]. Given the International Criminal Court's reluctance to play its role in swiftly and effectively investigating occupation crimes and the clear bias shown by the prosecutor against Palestinians, we call on states to uphold their responsibilities, which include working towards a swift and effective investigation to hold the occupying state accountable for all its crimes over the past 75 years. This should be done in accordance with its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.


[1] Article (7)(1)(I), Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

 
Questions and comments may be sent to [email protected]
 
December 18, 2023 Palestine News Roundup

What does it mean to erase a people – a nation, culture, identity? In Gaza, we are beginning to find out: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/dec/18/gaza-israel-destroying-culture-and-identity
 
Israel Subjects Female Gaza Prisoners to ‘Torture and Abuse’ – Rights Group: https://www.palestinechronicle.com/israel-subjects-female-gaza-prisoners-to-torture-and-abuse-rights-group/
 
Palestinian detainees from Gaza die in Israeli custody, says report: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-palestine-war-detainees-die-custody-gaza-report
 
Israel faces new calls for truce after killing of hostages raises alarm about its conduct in Gaza: https://apnews.com/article/israel-hamas-war-news-12-17-2023-22e6e6ac2098dbf29c89c1a49980907b
 
Hostages Mistakenly Killed by Israeli Troops Made SOS Sign With Leftover Food: https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-hostages-mistakenly-killed-by-idf-in-gaza-made-sos-sign-with-leftover-food?ref=home
 
Israeli military opens probe after videos show Israeli forces killing 2 Palestinians at close range: https://apnews.com/article/israel-palestinians-west-bank-gaza-war-east-jerusalem-shooting-army-23338c903c08bdd3e5fade3e2a048ab1
 
Pope Sounds Off After Israeli Sniper Kills 2 at Catholic Church in Gaza: https://www.thedailybeast.com/pope-francis-laments-israeli-snipers-killing-of-mother-and-daughter-in-gaza-church?ref=home
 
Cardinal condemns ‘cold–blooded’ killing of two women in Gaza church: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/18/women-mother-daughter-gaza-church-israel-cardinal-vincent-nichols
 
Israeli airstrikes kill at least 100 as calls grow for Gaza ceasefire and hostage talks: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/17/israeli-airstrikes-kill-dozens-gaza-calls-for-ceasefire-hostage-talks-grow-public-anger-hostages
 
Auschwitz Museum Decries Israeli Mayor's 'Sick' Call to 'Empty' Gaza: https://www.commondreams.org/news/israel-genocidal-statements
 
Israel Is Starving Gaza Civilians as 'Method of Warfare': Human Rights Watch: https://www.commondreams.org/news/gaza-starvation
 
Biden Takes Political Risk by Ignoring Public Clamor for Gaza Cease-Fire: https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/joe-biden-israel-gaza
 
Largest Health Union in US Calls for Cease-Fire in Gaza: https://www.commondreams.org/news/health-union-ceasefire
 
Martyrdom of several Gaza detainees in Israeli custody: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311395/
 
Gaza: Death toll surges to over 19,453 civilians: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311392/
 
Hamad: The only achievement of Israel is war crimes, genocide: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311388/
 
IOF kills four Palestinians, including two children, in Al-Faraa refugee camp: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311379/
 
US-backed Israeli genocide in Gaza enters day 73: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311373/
 
Israel continues its war on Gaza hospitals amid calls for international investigation: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311369/
 
Israeli police release Sheikh Sabri, ban him from talking to media: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311366/
 
Palestinian factions: Hamas is an integral part of the Palestinian people: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/18/311362/
 
IOF sends Palestinian into tunnel strapped with bombs: https://english.palinfo.com/news/2023/12/17/311347/
 
US will continue to provide arms to Israel: Pentagon chief: https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/12/18/Defense-Secretary-Austin-heads-to-Israel-as-US-urges-a-targeted-approach-in-Gaza
 
South Africans joining Israeli forces in Gaza risk prosecution at home: https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/12/18/South-Africans-joining-Israeli-forces-in-Gaza-risk-prosecution-at-home
 
Hamas’ armed wing posts video showing Israeli hostages pleading for release: https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2023/12/18/Hamas-armed-wing-posts-video-showing-Israeli-hostages-pleading-for-release
 
Israel attacks hospitals in Gaza’s north and south: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/maureen-clare-murphy/israel-attacks-hospitals-gazas-north-and-south
 
Israel’s war on Gaza never ended: https://electronicintifada.net/content/israels-war-gaza-never-ended/42911
 
‘Bloodbath’: Israel continues to target Gaza hospitals and civilians: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/12/18/bloodbath-israel-keeps-hitting-gaza-hospitals-amid-international-uproar
 
 
 
Upcoming Solidarity Rallies and Events
 

(“My children have digestive problems and vomit all the time, and I cannot find a way to treat them,” Naima Al-Tatri said from Rafah yesterday. “Hospitals are full.”

 

“We thought we would be safe in Khan Younis,” Batoul Mohamed Abou Ali wrote. “We thought wrong.”

 

“In the face of daily massacres by [Zionist] forces, retaliating for their shameful failures in battle, your unwavering support is a bright hope in these dark times,” Mustafa Elmasri wrote. “We remain unbroken, resilient, and more determined than ever.”)

Popular Resistance

INTERNS ACCUSE CONGRESS OF SUPPRESSING CALLS FOR CEASE-FIRE

The Workers In 71 Congressional Offices Have Recorded A Total More Than 690,000 Calls For A Cease-Fire.

But most are “unnoticed and unheard,” an open letter said.

Congressional interns and fellows released a letter on Monday accusing Congress of having “suppressed and ignored” a tidal wave of constituent support for a permanent cease-fire in the Israel-Gaza conflict.

More than 140 interns and fellows signed the letter, and 71 disclosed the number of calls and emails in support of a cease-fire that their offices have recorded. Those 71 offices (out of the total of 535) have received a total of 693,170 messages supporting a cease-fire since Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip began in early October.

But in spite of constituents’ outreach, most senators and representatives have refused to publicly support a cease-fire — and privately, the letter said, many senior staffers responsible for briefing members of Congress are downplaying the number and intensity of the calls.

“In some cases, Members of Congress are not being adequately briefed about the volume or contents of these messages,” the letter says. “In several instances, senior staff have deliberately provided inaccurate information about these data to Members. In other cases, Members have willfully ignored the pleas of large swaths of their constituents.”

Congressional phone lines have been clogged with calls for a cease-fire almost since the very start of hostilities, staffers have previously reported.

Following a Oct. 7 attack on Israel in which Hamas killed more than 1,200 Israeli civilians and took more than 200 hostage, Israel has bombed much of the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have killed an estimated 18,000 Palestinians, a large share of them children, according to the Gaza health ministry.

The indiscriminate nature of the retaliation, coupled with the Biden administration’s steadfast support for its closest military ally, has sparked nationwide protests in the U.S. and profound outrage among many of the president’s own voters.

“While we refrain from telling our bosses how to do their jobs, as congressional interns and fellows, we owe it to the American people to expose the patent malpractice of Congress,” the letter says. “We can no longer stand by while the voices of constituents are suppressed and ignored by their elected officials.”

The letter came together after interns and fellows in several offices witnessed senior staff downplaying the number of calls and emails supporting a cease-fire, one of the letter’s organizers told HuffPost. In his office, a senior staffer quoted a number to the congressman that was 3,000 less than the actual number of callers, the organizer said.

“It’s very deliberate,” he said. “They see these overwhelming numbers, and they decrease it.”

Letter To Congress

Signers of the letter work in Democratic and Republican offices and are remaining anonymous out of fear of career retaliation. The organizers, who spoke with HuffPost on the condition they not be named, verified the identities of those who signed.

Because interns answer the vast majority of constituent calls, many of those who signed the letter have personally fielded thousands of calls from constituents demanding a cease-fire.

“Out of the tens of thousands of calls made to our office, one in particular stood out to me: A constituent called in tears to share that her husband’s family had been killed in a hospital bombing in Gaza,” wrote one of the letter’s signers. “She had pleaded with me to change the Member’s stance on the war.”

One intern told HuffPost she signed the letter out of frustration with what she sees as apathy in her office, in contrast to the outrage she was hearing on the phone.

“The desperation of constituents, the frustration of constituents day in and day out was really consistent,” she said. “A lot of times they’re angry, threatening to pull votes, threatening to organize against the member. I’m not seeing the seriousness of that reflected.”

 2023
 
This Hanukkah, we must choose to defy the forces of vengeance

It has been 63 days since the atrocities carried out by Hamas in southern Israel, and since Israel began its nightmarish assault on the Gaza Strip. October 7, the first day of the war, was also the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which occurs on the last day of the holiday of Sukkot. Now, two months later, we find ourselves beginning the next Jewish holiday: Hanukkah. But this Hanukkah feels more complicated than any I can remember. 

A week before the start of Hanukkah, Israeli soldiers brought a huge hanukkiah — a nine-branched candelabrum lit by Jews around the world during the eight-day festival — into Gaza. The soldier holding the camera proudly smiles and announces that it is “the first hanukkiah in Gaza,” while the other soldiers around him cheer, the rubble of Palestinian homes and buildings visible in the background. A headline about the hanukkiah in the right-wing Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom proudly stated: “We will drive out the darkness with light.” But looking at soldiers assembling a hanukkiah on top of the ruins of Gaza, where the army has killed more than 17,000 Palestinians in the past two months, was a moment of deep darkness for me. 

This image brought to mind a Hanukkah photo from a very different place and time: one in which a hanukkiah sits on a windowsill while, in the background, a swastika flag hangs from a building. The photo, taken in 1931 in Kiel, Germany, strikingly captures the eve of Nazism’s ascension. That hanukkiah was lit by Rabbi Dr. Akiva Posner and his wife, Rachel — my great-uncle and great-aunt. 

The photo of a Hanukkah menorah with Nazi flags waving across the road, taken by Rachel Posner, wife of then-Kiel Rabbi Akiva Posner, in Kiel, Germany, 1931. (Courtesy)

The fact that this photo is part of my own family archive has always made me proud. Like any photo, it can be read in different ways. For me, it represents a legacy of defiance, the importance of celebrating one’s Jewishness as a subversive act, and the significance of holding on to ritual even in the face of grave danger. It symbolizes the power of resistance and moral courage, which are core to the kind of Jewishness I seek to embody.

The hanukkiah lit in Kiel against the backdrop of a swastika feels like the polar opposite of the hanukkiah standing on the ruins of Gaza. While the Kiel hanukkiah celebrates defiance in the face of oppression and the sanctity of ritual, the Gaza hanukkiah glorifies death and destruction. 

This death and destruction is not an accident or an unintended consequence of Israel’s military operation in Gaza: Israeli officials have called for a permanent forcible transfer of Palestinians in Gaza, and, as our recent investigation demonstrated, the army is fully aware of civilian casualties when choosing its targets. Among the Israeli public, too, there is increasing legitimacy for calls to “flatten Gaza” and decreasing concern for the collective punishment being carried out against civilians. 

In less than a century, we have moved from lighting candles against a backdrop of the genocide of Jews to a world in which there are Jews lighting candles to affirm, legitimize, and celebrate a genocide that they themselves are involved in committing. 

Reflecting on the brave acts of Jewish resistance and defiance throughout history, including my own family lighting that hanukkiah against the backdrop of the swastika, ought to push us in the Jewish community to consider more seriously how we can use our faith, tradition, and culture to bring about a more just world. Jewish history is rich with examples of how we have opposed fascism and resisted racism throughout history. Turning to those examples at this difficult time can help us in fighting the widespread hatred, fear, and vengeance that are currently so prevalent in Israeli society.  

Looking to our history for inspiration does not mean romanticizing those moments in which Jews were under horrific attacks and dealt with grave danger, bolstering an image of the Jew as constantly suffering and a pariah by disposition and destiny. But the violence and racism inflicted upon us as Jews should be a constant reminder to cherish humanity above all and resist racism enacted in our name. 

As I prepare to light my own hanukkiah, it feels unbelievable that the war is still raging, that the Israeli army is continuing its unchecked attacks on Gaza, and that Israeli hostages are still being held captive. This Hanukkah, may the Kiel hanukkiah serve as a call to celebrate and treasure life. 

Inspired by the defiance embodied in my family’s hannukiah, we must call to prioritize bringing home all of the hostages, to stop the immense death and suffering being inflicted on Palestinians, and to achieve a political resolution that ensures all human lives between the river and the sea are protected. We must demand that genocides are a thing of the past and work to bring light into our midst through resistance to racism and fascism — including when it comes from those who claim to speak in our name.

There is always another way to read history and to brush against its grain in support of the crucial value of humanism. In this horrific moment in Israel-Palestine, my great-aunt and great-uncle’s hanukkiah teaches us to not be afraid to dissent, and to fight to drive out the darkness and bring in the light.

Happy Hanukkah,
Dana Mills
Resource Development Manager, +972 Magazine


‘It would’ve been better if they shot us’: Palestinians recount prison abuse

Newly released inmates detail cases of humiliation, torture, rape threats, and a prisoner beaten to death by Israeli forces in the weeks since October 7.

https://www.972mag.com/palestinians-abused-israeli-prisons-torture/


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Israel expands its mass starvation campaign to include more than 65 percent of the Gaza Strip


Ralph Nader > Special Features > An Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress

An Open Letter to Members of the United States Congress

November 28, 2023

 Hamas-Israel-Gaza-Genocide

We are writing to exercise our First Amendment to petition Congress for redress of grievances.  We are urging Congress to end the United States’ unconditional, close, and continual military and intelligence support of Israel in its ongoing physical destruction of 2.3 million Palestinians residing in Gaza. The United States is responsible for genocide under any plain reading of the Genocide Convention.

Congress commands plenary power over the foreign policy of the United States. It employed the power of the purse to end United States combat in Indochina on August 16, 1973. It prohibited the CIA from intermeddling in Angola with the Clark Amendment in 1975. And by statute, Congress has insisted that Israel receive weapons that ensure a Qualitative Military Edge over its neighbors.

Words only diminish our revulsion at the congressional dereliction in enabling President Joe Biden to transfer weapons and share real-time intelligence with Israel to destroy Palestinian civilians in Gaza in violation of multiple laws: the Genocide Convention, the federal prohibition of genocide,18 U.S.C. 1091, the Leahy Amendments, the Declare War Clause of the Constitution, and the statutory restriction on the use of American arms for defensive purposes only.

Why has Congress neglected public hearings to expose and redress these offenses to the rule of law?

Congress should enact a Joint Resolution endorsing a two-state solution featuring a Palestinian state initially administered by a United Nations caretaker mission to organize free and fair elections.

The United States’ current unlawful foreign policy is indistinguishable from “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” voiced by Thucydides in History of the Peloponnesian War.

Section 2 of the Genocide Convention defines the crime as including “intentionally creating conditions of life calculated to physically destroy a racial, religious, ethnic, or national group in whole or in part.” Evidence in the public domain authoritatively establishes that Israel is intentionally creating conditions of life in Gaza intended to physically destroy the 2.3 million Palestinian occupants. Israeli officials, without dissent, announced a siege of Gaza including the genocidal refrain, “no food, no water, no power, no electricity, no medicine, no shelter, no anything.” See e.g., “‘Erase Gaza’: Conflict Unleashes Inflammatory Rhetoric From Israeli Leaders,” New York Times, A7, November 16, 2023. Palestinians are even prohibited from collecting or storing rainwater which is considered the property of the Israeli government.

The siege of Gaza’s population has been fortified by a land invasion and bombings of hospitals, clinics, ambulances, bread bakeries, water mains, schools, apartment buildings, marketplaces, fleeing refugee families to nowhere, journalists, mosques, churches, and clearly marked United Nations schools and relief sites. Death certificates are prepared before the ink on birth certificates dries. Fires cannot be extinguished. Diseases are spreading. Deaths are at least 20,000 and probably twice or three times that number increasing by the hour, from lack of water, food, and urgent medical treatment, for those homeless battered families being driven south under Israeli bombardment and communications blackouts. There are no safe sanctuaries whether in North or South Gaza – even in hospitals they blockaded. Gaza is a free fire zone for the IDF.

Israel has turned its brutal war machine on the entire Palestinian population in Gaza. Israel’s President declaimed, “It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. It’s not true about civilians not aware, not involved. It’s absolutely not true.” An Israeli Knesset member echoed, “The Children of Gaza brought it upon themselves.” The Defense Minister insisted, “We are fighting human animals and will treat them accordingly.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu added that the Gaza conflict is between 21st century progress and “the barbaric fanaticism of the Middle Ages” and a “struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness.” He reminded Israeli Jews of the Lord’s ordering the destruction of Amalek in the Book of Samuel, “This is what the Lord Almighty says,” the prophet Samuel tells Saul. “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

The Nazis in World War II attempted to conceal the Holocaust fearing legal accountability.  Israel’s genocide is unfolding in plain view confidant of impunity, including unconditional callous congressional support and gross misdirection of taxpayer dollars for violence, in lieu of satisfying the critical needs of the American people.

Congress is poised, without even public hearings and witnesses, to spend an additional $14.3 billion of taxpayer dollars to compensate for a staggering blunder of Israeli intelligence. Why?

Israel has taken an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth standard of justice of Leviticus to a criminal, genocidal level: 10,000 eyes for an eye, 10,000 teeth for a tooth. It is turning Gaza into a vast sick and dying huddle of civilian families exposed to American bombs and missiles. As the Washington Post reported, “hunger, thirst and disease are quickly spreading.” Babies are dying alone having lost their parents.

Had the touted Israeli defenses and intelligence not been colossally AWOL, the October 7th attack could never have occurred. As one elderly Holocaust survivor told The New York Times, “It should never have happened…”

President Biden has made the United States a belligerent and co-belligerent with Israel against Hamas without a constitutionally required declaration of war by Congress. Systematically providing the IDF with massive weapons made us a co-belligerent and sharing real-time battlefield intelligence made us a belligerent.

Such presidential wars are impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors as Mr. Biden himself vigorously underscored in his presidential campaign for the 2008 Democratic nomination in an interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball on December 4, 2007.

Listen further to the fundamental, historical provocation of the war as elaborated by David Ben-Gurion, founder and first Prime Minister of Israel:

“If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true, God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?” Printed in “The Jewish Paradox,” (p. 121) by Nahum Goldmann.

Ben Gurion’s recognition was echoed by Israel’s acclaimed war hero Moshe Dayan. Standing close to the Gaza border in 1956 eulogizing a 21-year-old Israeli security officer who had been slain by Palestinian and Egyptian assailants, Dayan reflected, “Let us not today cast blame on his murderers. What can we say against their terrible hatred of us? For eight years now, they have sat in refugee camps of Gaza and watched how, before their very eyes, we have turned their land and villages, where they and their forefathers previously dwelled, into our home.”

Also often forgotten by most Members of Congress is P.M Netanyahu’s widely quoted strategy of supporting and funding Hamas over the years to thwart a two-state solution with the Palestinian Authority. Roger Cohen of the New York Timeswrote on October 22, 2023, “All means were good to undo the notion of Palestinian statehood. In 2019, Mr. Netanyahu told a meeting of his center-right Likud party: ‘Those who want to thwart the possibility of a Palestinian state should support the strengthening of Hamas and the transfer of money to Hamas. This is part of our strategy.’”

The “From the river to the sea” expression originated with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party pressing for a “Greater Israel” in all of Palestine, not with Hamas. Further, the idea is also consistent with peaceful coexistence between Palestinians and Jews, by people advocating a one-state solution.

Dante observed, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” The Congressional positions against Palestinian civilians, three-quarters of whom are children and women, are far beyond neutrality. Read the front-page article of the New York Times (November 26, 2023) headlined: “Israel Has Killed More Women and Children Than Have Been Killed in Ukraine.”

Congress should follow the example of President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 who interceded in the Suez crisis to stop the attacks by Israel, France, and the United Kingdom, on Egypt. He also initiated the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Sinai.

Congress should conduct public hearings in the House and Senate featuring prominent and longtime Israeli peace advocates, holding past high-level government positions, along with Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups. Their voices have been excluded from Capitol Hill since 1948. You know why? Shame!

Congress cannot escape the judgment of history which will endure for the ages over its defining role in the annihilation of innocent Palestinian families – mostly children and women – inside Gaza – long described as Israel’s illegally blockaded open-air prison.

We look forward to a congressional response, from U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives respectful of citizen petitions.

Sincerely,

Bruce Fein, Esq.

Ralph Nader, Esq.


 

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People - Question of  Palestine

29 November 2023 – Special Meeting at UN Headquarters in New York

Date: Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

10:00 am - 1:00 pm EST

Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) Logo

At the Arab Film and Media Institute (AFMI) we seek to continually change the narrative, share our stories, and foster understanding of our common humanity through art and storytelling.  In this dire time, we want to share a selection of films that showcase the history, culture and people of Palestine.

Our hope is that this free program, entitled PALESTINIAN VOICES, can be a resource to provide insight into the current situation unfolding in Gaza and the people being affected.

PALESTINIAN VOICES will run through the entire month of November.  You can watch most of the films in this series online and from anywhere in the world.  A few titles are limited to viewers in the United States and some films will also screen in person in select cities.

Additionally, we have joined a global effort organized by Film Lab Palestine to present in-person screenings of an Arab Film Festival favorite, Gaza Surf Club on November 2, 8pm local time.  Check below for listings near you.


Christian Organizations Demand Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza

USA - November 20, 2023

What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so. When you want a piece of land, you find a way to seize it. When you want someone’s house, you take it by fraud and violence.

—Micah 2:1–2 (NLT)

As a diverse coalition of Christian voices longing for justice and peace in the Holy Land, we are horrified at the loss of innocent life in Israel and the genocidal massacre, destruction and inhumane siege on civilians in Gaza. We are likewise heartbroken and outraged by the cruelty and complicity of U.S. government officials, and the cowardice or callous indifference of many of our religious leaders and institutions. 

In response, we call on our members and constituencies to demand:

  1. An immediate ceasefire by all parties;

  2. The adequate provision of humanitarian aid;

  3. Accountability for the perpetrators and enablers of war crimes, in accordance with international law;

  4. The comprehensive dismantling of the brutal and dehumanizing regime of Israeli apartheid, including its occupation and blockade, with full rights and equality for all living in the Holy Land, and the right of return for all refugees; and,

  5. An end to US military aid to Israel, an end to settler violence and IDF complicity in the West Bank, the release of all Palestinian and Israeli hostages, administrative detainees, and political prisoners, and full compliance with international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions.

The laws of armed conflict are clear. Neither civilians nor civilian institutions can be targeted. Yet, Palestinians in Gaza have been under the most intense and indiscriminate Israeli bombardment ever, targeting homes, markets, schools and universities, hospitals, health workers, journalists, and the entire civilian infrastructure, while cutting off all food, water, medicine and fuel. Since October 7th, Israeli forces have murdered upwards of 12,000 Palestinians in Gaza, 5000 of whom are children. Over a million and a half have been displaced, particularly as a result of “evacuation” orders, which amount to ethnic cleansing. Furthermore, prominent Israeli genocide scholar Raz Segal has described what Israel is doing in Gaza as “a textbook case of genocide.” Over 800 international scholars, including world authorities on genocide studies, as well as US and Palestinian human rights organizations and UN experts have all warned of an unfolding genocide. Israel’s genocidal war on Palestinians, supported militarily and politically by the US and major European powers, is undermining the legitimacy of international law in the eyes of many states.

We confess that we ourselves, our religious leaders, and our institutions have too often dismissed the example of Jesus when we have stood with the status quo and allied ourselves with the powers that be. Too often, we have failed to name and confront false prophets who provide ideological cover for authority and its abuses, destructive wars, and the neglect, exploitation, and sacrifice of those most vulnerable upon the altars of profit and politics. Religious devotion is being weaponized in the service of profound evil. In Palestine/Israel, there are countless ways in which religious ideologies and institutions have been employed in the service of violent dispossession and oppression, working to provide theological justification, financial capital, and political cover for decades of land confiscation, ethnic cleansing, settlement activity, and apartheid. And now, genocide itself.

Hearing the voice of the biblical prophets, however, and recognizing how often Jesus draws from them in his life and ministry, must dispel any notion that God stands with the status quo or alongside the agents of imperial violence. As followers of Jesus, along with those who seek to stand in the tradition of the biblical prophets, we are morally bound to raise our voices and stand against the perpetrators of grave injustice—particularly genocide, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid—and their ideological enablers. As people of faith, we must expose, condemn, and confront injustice and deconstruct death-dealing theologies and ideologies wherever they are found.

We acknowledge the reality that Zionism emerged within a context of abhorrent, deplorable anti-Jewish discrimination and violence, and we lament that Palestinians have been unjustly paying the price for centuries of western bigotry.

The eyes of history are upon us. We therefore: confess our complicity; raise our collective voice in protest; renounce the complicity and cowardice of our leaders and institutions along with the ideological justifications constructed in defense of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid; and call for an accountability for war crimes undertaken now in Gaza and throughout historic Palestine.

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people of the land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy. Likewise, help us to eliminate our cruelty to these, our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this world; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

—adapted from The Book of Common Prayer

 

 

Israel is Shutting Down its Human Laboratory in Gaza

Israel uses Palestinians imprisoned in Gaza as human guinea pigs for its weapons and technology industries.

NOV 17

 

CAIRO, Egypt: The Palestinians are human laboratory rats to the Israeli military, intelligence services and arms and technology industries. Israel’s drones, surveillance technology — including spyware, facial recognition software and biometric gathering infrastructure — along with smart fences, experimental bombs and AI-controlled machine guns, are tried out on the captive population in Gaza, often with lethal results. These weapons and technologies are then certified as “battle tested” and sold around the world. 

Israel is the 10th biggest arms dealer on the planet and sells its technology and weapons to an estimated 130 nations, including military dictatorships in Asia and Latin America. Israeli weapons sales totalled $12.5 billion last year. Its close relationship with these military, internal security, surveillance, intelligence-gathering and law enforcement agencies, explains the fulsome support Israel’s allies give to its genocidal campaign in Gaza. When Colombian President Gustavo Petro refused to condemn the Oct. 7 attack by Palestinian resistance groups as a “terrorist attack” and said “terrorism is killing innocent children in Palestine,” Israel immediately halted all sales of defense and security equipment to Colombia. This global cabal, dedicated to permanent war and keeping its populations monitored and controlled, has hundreds of billions of dollars a year in sales. These technologies are cementing into place a supranational corporate totalitarianism, a world where populations are enslaved in ways that past totalitarian regimes could only imagine. 

The genocidal assault on Gaza is another chapter in the century-long ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by the Israeli settler colonial project. It is accompanied, as is true for all settler colonial projects, by the theft of natural resources, land, water and the natural gas in the Gaza Marine fields, 20 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, which could contain up to 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. In a world of diminishing resources, especially water in the Middle East, and the dislocations caused by the climate crisis, Gaza is the prelude to a frightening new world order. As democracies wither and die, as economic inequality expands, as poverty and desperation mounts, the global ruling class will increasingly do to us - once we become restive and attempt to rebel - what they are doing to the Palestinians. 

It is not a far cry from Gaza to the camps and detention centers set up for migrants fleeing to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. It is not a far cry from the carpet bombing in Gaza to the endless wars in the Middle East and the global south. It is not a far cry from the anti-terrorism laws used to criminalize dissent in Israel to the anti-terrorism laws introduced in Europe and the U.S.

On Oct. 7, Palestinians in Gaza escaped from their laboratory cage. They went on a killing spree against their sadistic masters. Almost 12,000 Palestinians have been killed and some 30,000 wounded, including 4,700 children, since Oct. 7 in the hurricane of shells, bullets, bombs and missiles that are turning Gaza into a wasteland. Nearly 3,000 Palestinians are missing or buried under the rubble. Soon Palestinians will be convulsed by infectious diseases and starvation. Those who survive, if Israel succeeds in its ethnic cleansing, will become refugees, yet again, over the border in Egypt. There remain plenty of Palestinian test subjects in the West Bank. Gaza will be closed for business.

Israel, which is not a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty, has long supplied some of the most heinous regimes on the planet with weaponry, including the apartheid government of South Africa and Myanmar. India is Israel’s largest purchaser of military drones. Israel provided UAVs, missiles and mortars to Azerbaijan for its invasion and occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, which displaced 100,000 people, more than 80 percent of the enclave’s ethnic Armenians. Israel sold napalm and weapons to the Salvadoran military, as well as the murderous regime of General José Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala, when I covered the wars in the 1980s in Central America. Israeli-made Uzi submachine guns were the weapons of choice for Central American death squads. Israel also sold weapons to the Bosnian Serbs, despite international sanctions, when I covered the war in Bosnia in the 1990s, a conflict that took the lives of 100,000 people. 

“Israel is a key player in the EU battle to both militarize its borders and deter new arrivals, a policy that hugely accelerated after the massive influx of migrants in 2015, principally due to the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan,” writes Anthony Loewenstein in “The Palestine Laboratory: How Israel Exports the Technology of Occupation Around the World,” “The EU has partnered with leading Israeli defense companies to use its drones, and of course years of experience in Palestine is a key selling point.” 

“The similarities between the US–Mexico border and Israel’s wall through the occupied territories are growing by the year,” he writes. “One informs and inspires the other, with tech companies always looking for new ways to target and capture perceived enemies. The use of high-tech surveillance tools to monitor the border was backed by both Republicans and Democrats. One company during the Trump years, the billionaire Peter Theil–backed Brinc, tested the possibility of deploying armed drones that would taser migrants with a stun gun along the US–Mexico border.”

Heron TP “Eitan” drones, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries - Israel’s largest aerospace and defense company and the country’s largest arms exporter - are used by Frontex, the European Union’s external border and coastal agency, to monitor and deter migrant and refugee boats in the Mediterranean. The drones, which fly up to 40 hours continuously, can be modified to carry four Spike rockets with fragmentation sleeves of thousands of 3mm tungsten cubes that puncture metal and “cause tissue to be torn from flesh,” in essence shredding the victim. They are routinely used on Palestinians.

“It’s almost impossible to cross the Mediterranean [as a migrant],” Felix Weiss, of the German NGO Sea-Watch, told Loewenstein. “Frontex has become a militarized actor, its equipment coming from war zones,” he added. 

Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest private weapons firm, supplies U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with hi-tech surveillance towers which it uses along the border with Mexico. It also supplied the CBP with its Hermes drone in 2004 in order to test the feasibility of using UAVs on the border. 

Pegasus, a phone-hacking tool produced by the Israeli NSO Group, a cyber intelligence agency, was used by Mexican drug cartels to target the journalist Griselda Triana, after her husband Javier Valdez Cárdenas, also an investigative reporter, was assassinated in 2017. The Mexican government is directly implicated in targeting journalists and civil society members with Pegasus spyware, according to research and analysis by Canada’s Citizen Lab. After the reporter Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in Oct. 2018, it was discovered that an NSO client targeted the phone of his fiancé, Hanan Elatr. Pegasus transforms a cellular phone into a mobile surveillance device, with microphones and cameras activated without the user’s knowledge. 

Skunk water, a putrid smelling liquid, was tested and perfected on Palestinians, often with Israeli film crews recording the attacks to show potential clients the effectiveness of the chemical. 

“Israeli forces routinely douse entire Palestinian neighborhoods in skunk water, deliberately spraying it into private homes, businesses, schools and funerals in what the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem calls ‘a collective punitive measure’ against Palestinian villages that engage in protest against Israel’s colonial violence,” The Electronic Intifada reported in 2015. That same year, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department purchased 14 canisters of skunk to use against protesters following demonstrations that erupted after the police killing of unarmed African American teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Israel created a sophisticated facial recognition system, Red Wolf, to document every Palestinian in the occupied territories. The technology “is used extensively” to “consolidate existing practices of discriminatory policing, segregation, and curbing freedom of movement, violating Palestinians’ basic rights,” Amnesty International explains in its recent report titled “Automated Apartheid.” The French investigative outlet Disclose revealed that French police have been unlawfully using facial recognition software provided by the Israeli tech firm BriefCam for eight years. BriefCam’s technology allows users to “detect, track, extract, classify [and] catalog” people “appearing in video surveillance footage in real-time.”

AI-machine guns, manufactured by the Israeli company SMARTSHOOTER, can fire stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets as well as tear gas. They were perfected in trials on the Palestinians in the West Bank. SMARTSHOOTER was recently awarded a contract to supply the British Army with its SMASH “automatic targeting and firing system” which can be attached to small arms such as automatic rifles. 

Israel, according to Jeff Halper in his book “War Against the People,” has done cutting edge work on cyborg soldiers. It developed a radar system that sees through walls, he writes. As The Electronic Intifada explains, Israel’s military-industrial complex has built “a tank named Cruelty, a 20-gram drone in the shape of a butterfly, a stealth ‘wonder boat’ called the Death Shark, a series of weapons named after insects or natural phenomena (bionic hornets, smart dust, dragonfly drones and smart dew robots), cybernetic insects, a 600-building ‘urban warfare’ training center nicknamed Chicago and a one-megaton bomb containing electromagnetic pulse capability.”

Harper notes that during the occupation of Iraq, the U.S. military replicated the tactics used by Israel against the Palestinians. It constructed a security barrier around the Baghdad Green Zone, imposed closures on towns and villages, carried out targeted assassinations, copied Israeli torture techniques and used checkpoints and roadblocks to isolate towns and villages. 

Israel trains and equips U.S. police forces, teaching aggressive tactics, backed up by heavy military hardware and vehicles, which were used in Ferguson and Atlanta during the police confrontations with activists who were protesting Cop City.

Harper calls this the “Palestinianization” of global conflicts. 

“With so many Israeli companies involved in maintaining the infrastructure around the occupation, these firms found innovative ways to sell their services to the state, test the latest technology on Palestinians, and then promote them around the world,” Loewenstein explains. And while “the defense industries are increasingly in private hands,” following decades of neoliberal privatization, “they continue to act as an extension of Israel’s foreign policy agenda, supporting its goals and pro-occupation ideology.”

The global ruling class will counter the destabilizing forces of inequality, curtailment of civil liberties, collapsing infrastructure, failing health systems and increasing shortages caused by an accelerating climate crisis, by branding all who resist as “human animals.” This new world order began in Gaza. It ends at home.


AOC leads Democrats urging Biden to call for Gaza ceasefire over children’s rights

Exclusive: Twenty-four representatives led by Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan (WI) and McCollum ‘express deep concern about intensifying war’ in letter

 Washington bureau chief
Wed 15 Nov 2023 12.00 EST

Twenty-four Democrats in Congress have urged Joe Biden to end “grave violations of children’s rights” by pushing for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

In a letter to the US president seen by the Guardian, representatives led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin and Betty McCollum of Minnesota say at least 4,500 children have been killed and at least 1,700 reported missing during Israel’s withering offensive.

“We write to you to express deep concern about the intensifying war in Gaza, particularly grave violations against children, and our fear that without an immediate cessation of hostilities and the establishment of a robust bilateral ceasefire, this war will lead to a further loss of civilian life and risk dragging the United States into dangerous and unwise conflict with armed groups across the Middle East,” the letter begins. “Further, we write urging clarity on your strategic objectives for achieving de-escalation and stability in the region.”

It is co-signed by congressmen and women including Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Joaquin Castro, Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, Summer Lee, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Notable among the signatories are Raúl Grijalva and Mary Gay Scanlon, who have neither previously called for a ceasefire nor signed on to a recent ceasefire resolution in the House of Representatives.

Displaced Palestinians arrive in a safer zone south of Gaza City on 12 November.
Displaced Palestinians arrive in a safer zone south of Gaza City on 12 November. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Biden has been unwavering in his support for Israel since Hamas’s terrorist attack on 7 October killed more than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals. But as the death toll in Gaza mounts the president, under pressure from his left flank, is now asking the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to restrain some tactics to ease civilian suffering.

Last week Israel agreed to put in place four-hour daily humanitarian pauses in its assault on Hamas in northern Gaza but so far the White House has resisted demands for a ceasefire, contending that it would give Hamas time to regroup. John Kirby, a spokesperson for the national security council, told reporters on Tuesday: “I want to be clear, when we’re talking ceasefire versus pause, there’s a difference. So, we don’t support a ceasefire. We think that’s going to benefit Hamas.”

The issue has also divided Democrats in Washington, where the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, and the House Democratic leader, Hakeem Jeffries, joined a “March for Israel” on the National Mall on Tuesday.

Wednesday’s letter reaffirms the 24 members’ “unequivocal condemnation” of the attacks on Israel on 7 October and notes that Israeli authorities so far have confirmed the identities of 516 civilians killed, including 31 children, and at least 20 children who have been abducted by Palestinian armed groups.

But the signatories say they have “dire concerns” about the scale and scope of Israel’s response in which the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have now killed more than 11,078 Palestinians, nearly half of whom were children.

Citing UN figures, the letter says at least 4,500 children have died and at least 7,695 have sustained injuries in Gaza over the past 30 days. In addition, about 3,250 Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 1,700 children, have been reported missing and are presumed to be trapped or dead under the rubble, awaiting rescue or recovery. And during the same period Israeli forces or settlers have killed 51 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank.

“We are profoundly shocked by the grave violations of children’s rights in the context of armed conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the members write. “International norms require that all parties to an armed conflict protect children and prevent the commission of grave violations against them, including killing and maiming, attacks on schools and hospitals, recruitment and use of children, abduction of children, and denial of humanitarian access.”

The letter notes that nearly half the 2.2 million Palestinians living in Gaza are children. They are imperiled by Israeli airstrikes on residential buildings and civilian infrastructure as well as Israel’s restrictions on food, water, fuel and other humanitarian assistance.

Internally displaced Palestinian children light a fire to boil a kettle after overnight rainstorms in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on 15 November.
Internally displaced Palestinian children light a fire to boil a kettle after overnight rainstorms in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on 15 November. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

The letter also commends White House efforts to expand humanitarian supplies but warns that these have had limited impact on the ground and risks undermining US credibility in the region. “We urge an immediate cessation of hostilities in order to stop the bombing and provide much-needed relief to Palestinian civilians.”

The members welcome Biden’s past remarks acknowledging US mistakes in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC and thank him for calling for a humanitarian pause for the sake of aid and diplomacy.

“However, given the present lack of an apparent and clear strategic plan, we encourage a redoubling of efforts to achieve rapid de-escalation through a ceasefire and robust, regional engagement that includes international humanitarian organizations.

“We understand that the Administration has serious concerns regarding the objectives and consequences of a large-scale ground offensive, and we urge you to press this case directly.”

The letter is endorsed by organisations including MoveOn, Amnesty International, Center for Jewish Nonviolence, Churches for Middle East Peace, Oxfam America, Working Families Party, the Institute for Policy Studies’ New Internationalism Project and Jewish Voice for Peace Action.


Common Dreams

Omar Plans Bill to Prevent Biden From Selling $320 Million of Bomb Kits to Israel

"It is an important statement that there are those in the U.S. who care about this issue and are not willing to simply stand by," said a former State Department official who resigned over continued arms transfers to Israel.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is reportedly planning to introduce legislation this week to block the Biden administration's proposed $320 million sale of bomb guidance kits to the Israeli government, which has dropped tens of thousands of tons of explosives on the besieged Gaza Strip in just over a month—obliterating the enclave's civilian infrastructure and killing more than 11,000 people.

HuffPostreported Monday that Omar is expected to file a measure known as a "resolution of disapproval," which if passed would prevent the administration from transferring the military equipment to Israel, barring a veto from U.S. President Joe Biden.

Late last month, the Biden administration notified Congress of its intention to transfer Spice Family Gliding Bomb Assemblies, kits that transform unguided bombs into GPS-guided weapons (SPICE stands for Smart, Precise Impact, and Cost Effective). The Biden administration has also proposed a waiver that would allow it to approve future weapons sales to Israel without notifying Congress.

Israel has been using the bomb kits—which are made by Rafael USA—during its assault on Gaza. Earlier this month, the Israeli military dropped at least two 2,000-pound bombs on the Gaza city that's home to the territory's largest refugee camp, The New York Timesreported.

"The bombs are usually outfitted with guidance kits called Joint Direct Attack Munitions, turning them from so-called dumb bombs into precision, GPS-guided weapons," the Times noted.

Since the deadly Hamas-led attack of October 7, Israel has dropped more than 25,000 tons of explosives on Gaza, the equivalent of two nuclear bombs, according to the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

The Israeli government's indiscriminate bombing campaign and mass atrocities in Gaza have not stopped the Biden administration from backing Israel's military and pledging unconditional support, despite growing warnings that such support is rendering the U.S. complicit in genocide and other war crimes.

Human Rights Watch has demanded an arms embargo on Israel and Palestinian armed groups, accusing both sides of war crimes.

Josh Paul, a former State Department official who resigned last month over continued U.S. arms transfers to Israel, applauded Omar's impending effort to block the sale of bomb kits in an interview with HuffPost while acknowledging that it's an "uphill battle."

"It is an important statement that there are those in the U.S. who care about this issue and are not willing to simply stand by," said Paul.

Jon Rainwater, executive director of Peace Action, also welcomed Omar's planned legislation as "very good news."

Omar, the deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is one of the few members of Congress who have vocally criticized the Biden administration for continuing to provide military assistance to Israel as it relentlessly bombards Gaza, killing thousands of children and displacing 70% of the enclave's population. The bombing campaign has killed one of every 200 people in Gaza, The Washington Postreported.

Last week, Omar expressed alarm about the Biden administration's push to circumvent congressional oversight of its arms transfers to Israel, which have thus far been shrouded in secrecy.

"This is particularly concerning, given the wanton killing of civilians, and constant reports of war crimes and human rights abuses, likely using U.S. weapons," said Omar.

Late Monday, Omar joined rabbis and fellow members of Congress in demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza.


IOF target anyone trying to leave Al-Shifa Hospital, killing 30 so far

Israeli occupation forces are shooting to kill any unarmed Palestinian trying to exit Al-Shifa Medical Complex, resulting in the martyrdom of at least 30 Palestinians.

The government Media Office in Gaza announced that more than 30 unarmed Palestinians were killed by Israeli occupation forces (IOF) in Al-Shifa Hospital, as they opened fire on families who tried to leave the hospital.

The Office stressed that the occupation's aggression and assault on Al-Shifa Medical Complex, its departments, and everyone in it, including patients, displaced Palestinians, and the medical staff, amounts to yet another war crime committed by the Israeli occupation.

It is also important to underline that while Al-Shifa was getting invaded, the occupation also cut off all communications from the hospital. The communication blackout started at 1:00 pm today, on Wednesday, according to what was reported by Al Mayadeen’s correspondent.

The IOF have converted Al-Shifa Hospital into a military barracks, handcuffing a large number of its attending doctors and indiscriminately opening fire throughout the health facility as they storm patient wards without constraints Al Mayadeen's correspondent reported earlier in the day.



Yesterday, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a historic federal lawsuit against President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Austin for failing to prevent and aiding and abetting the genocide of the Palestinian people. 

DCIP is the lead plaintiff, alongside Al-Haq, Palestinians in Gaza including our field researcher Mohammad Abu Rukbeh, and Palestinian-Americans in the United States. 

Under both international and U.S. law, the Biden administration has the legal obligation to stop U.S. support for the genocide that Israeli forces are unleashing against the Palestinian people. Instead, they have repeatedly pledged unwavering support for Israel as Israeli forces target civilian infrastructure like hospitals, schools, bakeries, and water stations. At least 4,650 Palestinian children have been killed, and an additional 1,755 children are missing—most of whom are presumed dead under the rubble. The Biden administration must stop encouraging this genocide immediately.

Contact your member of Congress today to say that they too must abide by their legal and moral obligation to stop U.S. support for the genocide of the Palestinian people. 

Message your elected officials today »

This lawsuit has already received major media coverage in Al Jazeera. the Intercept, the Guardian, Middle East Eye, and other publications. The Biden administration will be forced to respond soon, and it's crucial that we continue building pressure on Congress. Elected officials must answer the question: Are you with the genocide-supporting Biden administration, or against?

In solidarity,

Brad Parker
Senior Adviser, Policy & Advocacy
Defense for Children International - Palestine


Israeli war crimes and propaganda follow US blueprint

Israel's war crimes in Gaza and the propaganda by which it justifies them are based on the weak—and incorrect—interpretations of the Geneva Conventions that the U.S. has relied on throughout its recent wars.

Image Credit: Yasser Qudih

We have both been reporting on and protesting against U.S. war crimes for many years, and against identical crimes committed by U.S. allies and proxies like Israel and Saudi Arabia: illegal uses of military force to try to remove enemy governments or “regimes”; hostile military occupations; disproportionate military violence justified by claims of “terrorism;” the bombing and killing of civilians; and the mass destruction of whole cities.

Most Americans share a general aversion to war, but tend to accept this militarized foreign policy because we are tragically susceptible to propaganda, the machinery of public manipulation that works hand in hand with the machinery of killing to justify otherwise unthinkable horrors.

This process of “manufacturing consent” works in a number of ways. One of the most effective forms of propaganda is silence, simply not telling us, and certainly not showing us, what war is really doing to the people whose homes and communities have been turned into America’s latest battlefield. 

The most devastating campaign the U.S. military has waged in recent years dropped over 100,000 bombs and missiles on Mosul in Iraq, Raqqa in Syria, and other areas occupied by ISIS or Da’esh. An Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report estimated that more than 40,000 civilians were killed in Mosul, while Raqqa was even more totally destroyed.

The shelling of Raqqa was the heaviest U.S. artillery bombardment since the Vietnam War, yet it was barely reported in the U.S. corporate media. A recent New York Times article about the traumatic brain injuries and PTSD suffered by U.S. artillerymen operating 155 mm howitzers, which each fired up to 10,000 shells into Raqqa, was appropriately titled A Secret War, Strange New Wounds and Silence from the Pentagon.

Shrouding such mass death and destruction in secrecy is a remarkable achievement. When British playwright Harold Pinter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, in the midst of the Iraq War, he titled his Nobel speech “Art, Truth and Politics,” and used it to shine a light on this diabolical aspect of U.S. war-making.

After talking about the hundreds of thousands of killings in Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chile and Nicaragua, Pinter asked: “Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes, they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy.”

“But you wouldn’t know it,” he went on.”It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”

But the wars and the killing go on, day after day, year after year, out of sight and out of mind for most Americans. Did you know that the United States and its allies have dropped more than 350,000 bombs and missiles on 9 countries since 2001 (including 14,000 in the current war on Gaza)? That’s an average of 44 airstrikes per day, day in, day out, for 22 years.

Israel, in its present war on Gaza, with children making up more than 40% of the more than 11,000 people killed to date, would surely like to mimic the extraordinary U.S. ability to hide its brutality. But despite Israel’s efforts to impose a media blackout, the massacre is taking place in a small, enclosed, densely-populated urban area, often called an open-air prison, where the world can see a great deal more than usual of how it impacts real people. 

Israel has killed a record number of journalists in Gaza, and this appears to be a deliberate strategy, as when U.S. forces targeted journalists in Iraq. But we are still seeing horrifying video and photos of daily new atrocities: dead and wounded children; hospitals struggling to treat the injured; and desperate people fleeing from one place to another through the rubble of their destroyed homes.

Another reason this war is not so well hidden is because Israel is waging it, not the United States. The U.S. is supplying most of the weapons, has sent aircraft carriers to the region, and dispatched U.S. Marine General James Glynn to provide tactical advice based on his experience conducting similar massacres in Fallujah and Mosul in Iraq. But Israeli leaders seem to have overestimated the extent to which the U.S. information warfare machine would shield them from public scrutiny and political accountability. 

Unlike in Fallujah, Mosul and Raqqa, people all over the world are seeing video of the unfolding catastrophe on their computers, phones and TVs. Netanyahu, Biden and the corrupt “defense analysts” on cable TV are no longer the ones creating the narrative, as they try to tack self-serving narratives onto the horrifying reality we can all see for ourselves.

With the reality of war and genocide staring the world in the face, people everywhere are challenging the impunity with which Israel is systematically violating international humanitarian law.

Michael Crowley and Edward Wong have reported in the New York Times that Israeli officials are defending their actions in Gaza by pointing to U.S. war crimes, insisting that they are simply interpreting the laws of war the same way that the United States has interpreted them in Iraq and other U.S. war zones. They compare Gaza to Fallujah, Mosul and even Hiroshima.

But copying U.S. war crimes is precisely what makes Israel’s actions illegal. And it is the world’s failure to hold the United States accountable that has emboldened Israel to believe it too can kill with impunity.

The United States systematically violates the UN Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of force, manufacturing political justifications to suit each case and using its Security Council veto to evade international accountability. Its military lawyers employ unique, exceptional interpretations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, under which the universal protections the Convention guarantees to civilians are treated as secondary to U.S. military objectives. 

The United States fiercely resists the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), to ensure that its exceptional interpretations of international law are never subjected to impartial judicial scrutiny.

When the United States did allow the ICJ to rule on its war against Nicaragua in 1986, the ICJ ruled that its deployment of the “Contras” to invade and attack Nicaragua and its mining of Nicaragua’s ports were acts of aggression in violation of international law, and ordered the United States to pay war reparations to Nicaragua. When the United States declared that it would no longer recognize the jurisdiction of the ICJ and failed to pay up, Nicaragua asked the UN Security Council to enforce the reparations, but the U.S. vetoed the resolution.

Atrocities like Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the bombing of German and Japanese cities to “unhouse” the civilian population, as Winston Churchill called it, together with the horrors of Germany’s Nazi holocaust, led to the adoption of the new Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949, to protect civilians in war zones and under military occupation.

On the 50th anniversary of the Convention in 1999, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which is responsible for monitoring international compliance with the Geneva Conventions, conducted a survey to see how well people in different countries understood the protections the Convention provides. 

They surveyed people in twelve countries that had been victims of war, in four countries (France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.) that are permanent members of the UN Security Council, and in Switzerland where the ICRC is based. The ICRC published the results of the survey in 2000, in a report titled, People on War—Civilians in the Line of Fire.

The survey asked people to choose between a correct understanding of the Convention’s civilian protections and a watered-down interpretation of them that closely resembles that of U.S. and Israeli military lawyers. 

The correct understanding was defined by a statement that combatants “must attack only other combatants and leave civilians alone.” The weaker, incorrect statement was that “combatants should avoid civilians as much as possible” as they conduct military operations.

Between 72 percent and 77 percent of the people in the other UNSC countries and Switzerland agreed with the correct statement, but the United States was an outlier, with only 52 percent agreeing. In fact 42 percent of Americans agreed with the weaker statement, twice as many as in the other countries. There were similar disparities between the United States and the others on questions about torture and the treatment of prisoners of war.

In U.S.-occupied Iraq, the United States’ exceptionally weak interpretations of the Geneva Conventions led to endless disputes with the ICRC and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which issued damning quarterly human rights reports. UNAMI consistently maintained that U.S. airstrikes in densely populated civilian areas were violations of international law. 

For instance, its human rights report for the 2nd quarter of 2007 documented UNAMI’s investigations of 15 incidents in which U.S. occupation forces killed 103 Iraqi civilians, including 27 killed in airstrikes in Khalidiya, near Ramadi, on April 3, and 7 children killed in a helicopter attack on an elementary school in Diyala province on May 8th.

UNAMI demanded that “all credible allegations of unlawful killings by MNF (Multi-National Force) forces be thoroughly, promptly and impartially investigated, and appropriate action taken against military personnel found to have used excessive or indiscriminate force.” 

A footnote explained, “Customary international humanitarian law demands that, as much as possible, military objectives must not be located within areas densely populated by civilians. The presence of individual combatants among a great number of civilians does not alter the civilian character of an area.”

UNAMI also rejected U.S. claims that its widespread killing of civilians was the result of the Iraqi Resistance using civilians as “human shields,” another U.S. propaganda trope that Israel is mimicking today. Israeli accusations of human shielding are even more absurd in the densely populated, confined space of Gaza, where the whole world can see that it is Israel that is placing civilians in the line of fire as they desperately seek safety from Israeli bombardment.

Calls for a ceasefire in Gaza are echoing around the world: through the halls of the United Nations; from the governments of traditional U.S. allies like France, Spain and Norway; from a newly united front of previously divided Middle Eastern leaders; and in the streets of London and Washington. The world is withdrawing its consent for a genocidal “two-state solution” in which Israel and the United States are the only two states that can settle the fate of Palestine.     

If U.S. and Israeli leaders are hoping that they can squeak through this crisis, and that the public’s habitually short attention span will wash away the world’s horror at the crimes we are all witnessing, that may be yet another serious misjudgment. As Hannah Arendt wrote in 1950 in the preface to The Origins of Totalitarianism.

“We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself time will bury in oblivion. The subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition. This is the reality in which we live. And this is why all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past, or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are vain.”

Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies are the authors of War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict, published by OR Books in November 2022.


THE ELECTRONIC INTFADA

Does Israel want to exterminate Gaza’s children?

Gaza’s children are living through a horror movie during the day and a nightmare after dark.

Gaza’s children did not choose this situation. It was imposed on them by Israel.

Gaza’s children did not choose death.

They have big dreams that they think about every day. They believe that their parents are superheroes who can make those dreams come true.

Their parents have told the children that dreams can be realized when they grow up.

But the reality – a reality imposed by Israel – is that so many children in Gaza do not grow up. They are killed before they can grow up.

The children of Gaza are experiencing the worst days of their lives. They know that Israeli warplanes are targeting them.

It is by no means the first time that children have been targeted. Children comprised a large proportion of Gaza’s martyrs during a major Israeli attack in May 2021.

But the intensity of the current war is unprecedented.

The number of children confirmed to have been killed is now approaching 5,000. As Gaza’s hospitals are being attacked and forced to close and the health ministry is unable to update casualty data – and huge numbers are trapped under rubble – the real figure for child deaths is far higher.

“Terror every day”

Some of those killed were newborn babies.

Is killing childhood in Gaza really the goal of Israel’s war?

Israel is displaying its inhumanity by robbing children of their right to live in peace.

Children fear the sound of missiles and explosions.

They are exhausted because they are deprived of sleep and rest.

They have to move with their parents from one place to another.

They hope to find safety. But there is none.

Sarah al-Saadi is aged 14. “This is not a war,” she said. “This is the extermination of children. How can the world look at the scenes of children under the rubble as if it is something normal?”

“No one feels for us,” she added. “I have not heard anyone saying, ‘Stop the war for the sake of Gaza.’ We live in terror every day. We are afraid of the sounds of missiles and the sounds of tank shells. They never stop.”

Sarah and her family have taken shelter in a school run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA). They went there, she said, “to escape death.”

“We walked for a long distance under bombardment. They [the Israelis] showed no mercy or pity to the children.”

Sarah has talked to other children at the UNRWA school about her experiences.

“We all need to speak and be heard,” she said. “This is a very scary world. We are children. And like the other children of the world, we have the right to learn, the right to play and the right to live in peace.”

Is death approaching?

Many children have written their names on their hands and feet. They have done so to ensure that if they die, they will not die anonymously.

They will not be numbers.

Many children cried before writing their names. They felt that death was approaching them.

“I saw many videos of children who were torn to pieces,” said Reem Salama, 10. “Nobody knew who they were. I saw pictures of children writing their names on their hands. That’s why I sat in the schoolyard and wrote my name on my hands and feet. Other children came around and I wrote their names for them. I felt sad but this is life in Gaza.”

“Instead of learning, playing, watching TV, spending time at home, we are writing our names on our bodies,” she added. “We are afraid that we will die without anyone knowing about us.”

Adults are struggling to offer children comfort as Israel’s bombardment continues.

Khaleda Zakaria, 45, said, “This is a war against children. I cried so hard when I saw children writing their names on their hands and feet. Some of them asked me, ‘Does this mean we are going to die?’. I told them, ‘No, this is just a game.’”

Zakaria notes that problems associated with trauma – such as bed-wetting at night and trembling during the day – are widespread.

“The sounds of missiles frighten them a lot,” she said. “They experience fear and anxiety all the time. If a missile falls next to us, they cannot sleep at all during the night out of fear that someone will target them. I have five children and they are all living through the same terrible experience. I just wish the war would end and I often pray for that.”

Children are unable to attend classes and routines that give their lives some stability have collapsed.

“I used to complain about how I had to wake up early for school,” said Ahmad Abu al-Rous, 13. “I couldn’t wait until the weekend or until we had vacations. Now, I hope that school will start again. I miss my friends.”

“I miss my grandfather and my grandmother and other relatives,” he said. “I miss my home. We had to leave it because of the bombing. I am tired of sleeping in classrooms and searching for water for my family. I am tired of the sound of missiles. I am tired of everywhere being crowded. I hope the war stops. I hope that the world hears our voices.”

Ruwaida Amer is a journalist based in Gaza.


scheerpost.com

‘Can You Hear the Screams?’ Physician Says Western Leaders Complicit in Israeli Attacks on Gaza Hospitals

"When are you going to stop this?" Dr. Mads Gilbert asked U.S. President Joe Biden and the leaders of European nations.
An injured toddler cries as she awaits treatment at the emergency ward of the al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on November 5, 2023. 

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

ANorwegian physician who has volunteered in Gaza for decades said Friday that Western leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, are complicit in Israel’s intensifying assault on the Palestinian enclave’s hospitals, which are overwhelmed with airstrike victims and displaced people seeking refuge.

In a video message posted to social media as Israeli forces bombarded al-Shifa—Gaza’s largest hospital—and other medical facilities, Dr. Mads Gilbert asked, “Can you hear the screams from innocent people, refugees sheltering, trying to find a safe place, being bombed by the Israeli attack forces this morning inside the hospital, hospitals that are the temples of humanity and protection?”

“When are you going to stop this?” Gilbert added, with audio of screams from Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital playing in the background. “You’re all complicit.”

Gilbert’s plea for immediate action from world leaders who are supporting and arming Israel’s military came as Israeli forces surrounded al-Shifa and other hospitals in northern Gaza, claiming that Hamas is using the facilities as command centers—an assertion that hospital directors have denied.


Targeting hospitals is a war crime under international law.

Israeli airstrikes and sniper fire on Gaza hospitals have forced thousands of people who were sheltering at the facilities to flee, but many others “remain trapped inside,” the U.K.-based humanitarian group Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) said Saturday.

The charity said it has heard “chilling testimony from inside Gaza’s largest hospital, al-Shifa,” including reports that “the intensive care unit has been bombed and damaged.”

“Staff moving between buildings have been shot at and critically wounded,” said MAP, which is calling for a cease-fire. “Those who have tried to flee have come under fire, and lie dead or wounded in the street as rescue is impossible. With the mortuary shut down, a hundred bodies are piled up and cannot be buried.”

“Power has gone out, and staff are having to hand ventilate critically ill patients to keep them alive,” the group continued. “At least one patient in intensive care has already died. Babies in the neonatal intensive care unit which MAP has supported over many years are beginning to die from lack of oxygen. More will die soon unless the power supply is restored. Day after day, week after week, we have been warning of catastrophic consequences if world leaders fail to protect healthcare in Gaza. Our worst fears are coming true.”

Doctors Without Borders, which has been providing emergency assistance in the Gaza Strip, offered a similarly harrowing account.

“We are currently unable to contact any of our staff inside al-Shifa, and we are extremely concerned about the safety of patients and the medical staff,” the group said late Friday. “Patients are still in the hospital, some in critical condition and unable to move.”

Mohammed Obeid, a Doctors Without Borders physician at al-Shifa, said that “there is a patient who needs surgery. There is a patient who’s already asleep in our department. We cannot evacuate ourselves and [leave] these people inside. As a doctor, I swear to help the people who need help.”

Early Saturday, the group wrote on social media that its staff “are witnessing people being shot at as they attempt to flee the al-Shifa hospital.”


Chris Hedges: The Horror, The Horror

Israel's genocidal attacks, which are killing hundreds of Palestinians a day, including some 160 children, have expanded to shelling the remaining hospitals in Gaza.

By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

DOHA, Qatar: I am in the studio of Al Jazeera’s Arabic service watching a live feed from Gaza City. The Al Jazeera reporter in northern Gaza, because of the intense Israeli shelling, was forced to evacuate to southern Gaza. He left his camera behind. He trained it on Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest medical complex. It is night. Israeli tanks fire directly towards the hospital compound. Long horizontal red flashes. A deliberate attack on a hospital. A deliberate war crime. A deliberate massacre of the most helpless civilians, including the very sick and infants. Then the feed goes dead.

We sit in front of the monitors. We are silent. We know what this means. No power. No water. No internet. No medical supplies. Every infant in an incubator will die. Every dialysis patient will die. Everyone in the intensive care unit will die. Everyone who needs oxygen will die.  Everyone who needs emergency surgery will die. And what will happen to the 50,000 people who, driven from their homes by the relentless bombing, have taken refuge on the hospital grounds? We know the answer to that as well. Many of them, too, will die.

There are no words to express what we are witnessing. In the five weeks of horror this is one of the pinnacles of horror. The indifference of Europe is bad enough.  The active complicity by the United States is unfathomable. Nothing justifies this. Nothing. And Joe Biden will go down in history as an accomplice to genocide. May the ghosts of the thousands of children he has participated in murdering haunt him for the rest of his life. 

Israel and the United States are sending a chilling message to the rest of the world. International and humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention, are meaningless pieces of paper. They did not apply in Iraq. They do not apply in Gaza. We will pulverize your neighborhoods and cities with bombs and missiles. We will wantonly murder your women, children, elderly and sick. We will set up blockades to engineer starvation and the spread of infectious diseases. You, the “lesser breeds” of the earth, do not matter. To us you are vermin to be extinguished. We have everything. If you try and take any of it away from us, we will kill you. And we will never be held accountable.

We are not hated for our values. We are hated because we have no values. We are hated because rules only apply to others. Not to us. We are hated because we have arrogated to ourselves the right to carry out indiscriminate slaughter. We are hated because we are heartless and cruel. We are hated because we are hypocrites, talking about protecting civilians, the rule of law and humanitarianism while extinguishing the lives of hundreds of people in Gaza a day, including 160 children.

Israel reacted with indignation and moral outrage when it was accused of bombing the al-Ahli Arab Christian hospital in Gaza, which left hundreds of dead. The bombing, Israel claimed, came from an errant rocket fired by Palestine Islamic Jihad. There is nothing in the arsenal of Hamas or Islamic Jihad that could have replicated the massive explosive power of the missile that struck the hospital. Those of us who have covered Gaza have heard this Israel trope so many times it is risible. They always blame Hamas and the Palestinians for their war crimes, now attempting to argue that hospitals are Hamas command centers and therefore legitimate targets. They never provide evidence. The Israeli military and government lie like they breathe.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), which has staff working in Al-Shifa, issued a statement saying patients, doctors and nurses are “trapped in hospitals under fire.” It called on the “Israeli government to cease this unrelenting assault on Gaza’s health system.”

“Over the past 24 hours, hospitals in Gaza have been under relentless bombardment. Al-Shifa hospital complex, the biggest health facility where MSF staff are still working, has been hit several times, including the maternity and outpatient departments, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries,” the statement read. “The hostilities around the hospital have not stopped. MSF teams and hundreds of patients are still inside Al-Shifa hospital. MSF urgently reiterates its calls to stop the attacks against hospitals, for an immediate ceasefire and for the protection of medical facilities, medical staff and patients.”

Three other hospitals in northern Gaza and Gaza City are encircled by Israeli forces and tanks, in what a doctor told Al Jazeera was a “day of war against hospitals.” The Indonesian Hospital has reportedly also lost power. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that 20 of 36 hospitals in Gaza no longer function.

Israel and Washington’s cynicism is breathtaking. There are no differences in intent. Washington only wants it done quickly. Humanitarian corridors?  Pauses in the shelling?  These are vehicles to facilitate the total depopulation of northern Gaza. The handful of aid trucks allowed through the border at Rafah with Egypt? A public relations gimmick. There is only one goal – kill, kill, kill. The faster the better. All Biden officials talk about is what comes next once Israel has finished its decimation of Gaza. They know Israel’s slaughter will not end until Gazans are living in the open without shelter in the southern part of the strip and dying because of a lack of food, water and medical care. 

Gaza before Israel’s ground incursion was one of the most densely populated spots on the planet. Imagine what will happen with 1.1 million Gazans from the north piled on top of over 1 million in the south. Imagine what will take place when infectious diseases such as cholera become an epidemic.  Imagine the ravages of starvation. The pressure will build to do something. And that something, Israel hopes, will be to push the Palestinians over the border into the Sinai in Egypt. Once there, they will never return. Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Gaza will be complete.  Its ethnic cleansing of the West Bank will begin.

That is Israel’s demented dream. To achieve it, they will make Gaza uninhabitable.

Ask yourself, if you were a Palestinian in Gaza and had access to a weapon what would you do? If Israel killed your family, how would you react? Why would you care about international or humanitarian law when you know it only applies to the oppressed, not the oppressors? If terror is the only language Israel uses to communicate, the only language it apparently understands, wouldn’t you speak back with terror? 

Israel’s orgy of death will not crush Hamas. Hamas is an idea. This idea is fed on the blood of martyrs. Israel is giving Hamas an abundant supply.


Statement by 150 rabbis calling for ceasefire


 More than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel as countries around the world withdraw their ambassadors from Israel. But when the one Palestinian member of Congress, Rashida Tlaib, speaks in support of the Palestinian people, she is censured by the House of Representatives. Brian Becker is joined by Vijay Prashad, the Executive Director of the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and a prolific author, most recently publishing a new book with Noam Chomsky called “The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power.” He also spoke at the biggest march for Palestine in U.S. history last week, the November 4th National March on Washington.


Peace Action

First of all, I want to say that I am so grateful for the outpouring of activism by our members to stop the violence in Israel and Gaza. While we mourn the horrific death toll, which now exceeds 10,000 lost lives – over 4,000 of them children – I am also inspired by your activism. We are up against powerful political headwinds, but we’re making slow but sure progress in gaining support for a ceasefire. 

Today I’m writing to you about an upcoming Senate vote on the bombs, shells and other weapons that are causing so much death and destruction in Gaza. Many of those weapons are stamped with “Made in the USA” on them. In fact, they ought to also say “Paid for by U.S. taxpayers.” It’s chilling to recognize that you and I are paying for many of the bombs causing the destruction we’re seeing in Gaza. 

As if annual U.S. military support to Israel of $3.8 Billion dollars isn’t enough, Congress is now considering a supplemental funding bill for $14.5 billion dollars in military hardware to Israel. Given how our weapons are already being used in widespread and evident war crimes it would be unconscionable to approve this additional money.[1]

To make matters worse, the Biden administration has requested an unprecedented emergency “waiver” for military aid to Israel that reduces Congressional oversight and public transparency about aid transfers to Israel. At a time when thousands of civilians are being killed, many likely by U.S.-provided weapons, we need more transparency and oversight, not less.

Here’s what I’m asking you to do:
1. Call the Congressional switchboard at 1-202-224-3121
2. Ask to be connected to one of your Senator’s offices. (Afterwards, you can repeat for your other Senator). 
3. Once connected, say:

“Hello, my name is (your name) and I am a voting constituent from (city). I am calling today because I am horrified by the destruction and loss of life in Gaza. I oppose U.S. military support for the violations of human rights by Israel. I urge the Senator to oppose additional guns, artillery shells, and bombs to Israel which would mean that the U.S. is aiding and abetting these human rights violations. I oppose the president’s effort to take away Congressional oversight authority for military aid to Israel. Given the violations happening it’s critical that there be transparency about these arms transfers. I urge my Senator to vote no on the supplemental spending bill for military aid to Israel.” 

Make no mistake, the aid the U.S. sends to Israel is lethal aid. The weapons the U.S. sends include rifles that can be used by right-wing militias in the West Bank to attack Palestinian civilians.[2] Indeed, there’s been a large spike in violence in the West Bank since October 7. Other weapons include artillery shells which a recent Oxfam report warned are “a weapon of choice in Israel’s ground operation in Gaza, which will cause untold harm to civilians as it intensifies further.”[3] These unguided weapons are inherently indiscriminate with wide area impacts. 

Many of the bombs dropped on Gaza come from the U.S. as well, along with the fighter jets dropping them. Whether the bombs are technically “precision-guided munitions” or not, when they hit hospitals, mosques, apartment blocks, refugee camps, and schools, they end up killing civilians. That’s why groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are calling for “a comprehensive arms embargo on all parties to the conflict.”[4]

It’s important to note that none of the bombing going on is bringing the hostages back, or actually making Israelis safer. Many of the Israeli families of the hostages are asking for the focus to be put on the release of the hostages and oppose a ground invasion that could lead to the hostages being killed. Many support a prisoner swap to release the hostages.[5] 

We have our work cut out for us! We need to move key leaders in the Senate onto our side in opposing U.S. complicity in the disastrous war. That can in turn put pressure on the administration – and Israel. We need to keep pushing for a ceasefire. Once the war ends, we can breathe a small sigh of relief. But we must then work to end U.S. support and complicity in the decades-long occupation of the Palestinian people once and for all. No rest for the peacemakers!

Thank you for all that you are doing for peace right now.

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

Sources:
[1] https://time.com/6331133/israel-gaza-biden-military-support/

[2] “The Government Encourages the Settlers to Attack and Gives Them Permission to Kill Us”, Theia Chatelle,  The Nation, November 7, 2023

[3] OXFAM BRIEFING NOTE | OCTOBER 2023  ARTILLERY SHELLS TRANSFER  

[4] Damning evidence of war crimes as Israeli attacks wipe out entire families in Gaza, Amnesty International, October 27, 2023

[5] Families of Hamas' hostages and many in Israel say they support a prisoner swap, Daniel Estrin, NPR, November 6, 2023

 


 

bombs on Gaza.jpg


US Congresswoman Tlaib is Censured for Her Criticism of Israel

  • Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (L), Nov. 7, 2023.

    Michigan congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (L), Nov. 7, 2023. | Photo: X/ @DrRhondaFine

 November 8, 2023

Rashida Tlaib is a Democratic politician who was born in Detroit to working-class Palestinian immigrants.

On Tuesday night, the United States House of Representatives approved a motion of no confidence against Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib due to her criticism of Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip.

RELATED: 

China Calls for Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in Gaza

Introduced by Republican Representative Rich McCormick, the resolution was approved by 234 votes in favor and 188 votes against. Among the representatives who voted in favor of censuring Palestinian-American Congresswoman Tlaib were 22 Democratic legislators.

The resolution accused Tlaib of "promoting false narratives about the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack on Israel and calling for the destruction of the State of Israel."

Criticism of Tlaib from U.S. lawmakers increased when she posted a video that included the slogan "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." In response to their criticisms, Tlaib published a message in which she stated the following:

"It's a shame my colleagues are more focused on silencing me than they are on saving lives, as the death toll in Gaza surpasses 10,000. Many of them have shown me that Palestinian lives simply do not matter to them, but I still do not police their rhetoric or actions. Rather than acknowledge the voice and perspective of the only Palestinian American in Congress, my colleagues have resorted to distorting my positions in resolutions filled with obvious lies. I have repeatedly denounced the horrific targeting and killing of civilians by Hamas and the Israeli government and have mourned the Israeli and Palestinian lives lost," she said.

"Meanwhile, each day that passes without a ceasefire brings more death and destruction upon innocent civilians, who have nowhere safe to go, drawing outrage and condemnation from the American people and the international community. A majority of Americans support a ceasefire, but this Congress isn't listening to their voices," Tlaib added.

"I will continue to call for a mutual ceasefire, for the release of hostages and those arbitrarily detained, for the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid, and for every American to be brought home. I will continue to work for a just and lasting peace that upholds the human rights and dignity of all people, centers peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, and ensures that no person, no child has to suffer or live in fear of violence."

Rashida Tlaib is a 47-year-old attorney who has served as a three-term Democrat congresswoman for the state of Michigan.

"She is the first woman of Palestinian descent in Congress and, alongside Ilhan Oman, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress," Al Jazeera recalled.

"Tlaib and Omar are a member of 'The Squad', an informal group of progressive members of Congress that includes Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez among others. She was born in Detroit to working-class Palestinian immigrants and still has family in the West Bank occupied by Israel," it added.


A Human Tidal Wave for Palestine in the Streets of the US Capital

By Deisy Francis Mexidor on November 5, 2023 in Washington DC

photo: Adrian A.

More than 300 thousand people gathered yesterday in Washington DC to send a strong message to the US government that they stand with the people of Palestine.

The march was the largest in the history of the United States in support of Palestine and was the culmination of weeks of protests in cities across the country with a clear indication that the Biden administration does not represent the sentiments of the people when it comes to Palestine.

Freedom Plaza, photo: Deisy Francis Mexidor

People made great efforts to come from all over this expansive country to join DC residents at Freedom Plaza to express their rejection of the Israeli war of genocide in Gaza which could not happen without the military and financial support of the US government. All of which comes from funds that are badly need for infrastructure projects and social programs for the millions of poor people existing here in the richest country in the world.

There were some who recalled that they could feel a new energy which was reminiscent of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam War.

Outraged by the crime committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories in the face of the passivity of the world and the silence of the hegemonic media, which hardly dedicates any space to these protests, there can be no doubt that a huge community is building around the condemnation.

Men, women, youth, seniors, children, groups and individuals joined the chorus of voices that on Saturday afternoon expressed loudly the feelings of an important segment of the population of this country.

“We do not want the murder of women and children, nor the colonization of the Palestinian. We are witnessing the total disregard for life with these genocidal crimes of Israel, it is something completely inhumane, “ said Morgan Henderson, who lives in the capital, to Prensa Latina.

For her part, Sapphire Ahmed, from New York, said she attended the rally because it is paradoxical that “we don’t have medical care, we don’t have enough money for housing or for our children, or for higher education; however, millions of dollars go to Zionist Israel”.

The massive demonstration descended like a torrent through the different arteries of the city converging onto Pennsylvania not far from the White House.

Among flags, slogans and expressions of rejection of the genocide, there were also some reminders to President Joe Biden that they will remember the role that his administration played leading up to his re election campaign in 2024.

The protest was a culmination of other significant recent protests against war including Jewish peace groups who occupied the congressional office building on Capitol Hill demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, and other actions were also reported in different metropolitan areas of the country over the last few days.

In addition, members of the CodePink organization interrupted Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s speech several times as he attempted to justify the request for millions of dollars in funding for the wars in Israel and Ukraine before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Michigan Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only member of the U.S. Congress of Palestinian origin, has accused Biden of supporting genocide in Palestine.

Tlaib warned that Americans will remember when the current occupant of the executive mansion is up for re-election next year how he responded to the war between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

In a video posted on X, Tlaib urged Biden to call for a cease-fire in the conflict, something he and his administration has rejected to stay in line with Israel.

“Sir. President, the American people are not with you on this one,” Tlaib stated in the video, adding, “We will remember you in 2024.” For some analysts, Biden’s ironclad backing of the Zionist regime could prove a stumbling block on his path to a second term in the context of his shaky approval rating on a number of issues, including inflation and violence.

50,000 demonstrate for Gaza in San Francisco. photo: Bill Hackwell

At this point Biden’s unpopularity at 57 percent and  there are grim predictions of an eventual tie between the Democrat and Republican Donald Trump, despite his whole mountain of legal troubles.

The show of support for Palestine in the United States, that included a coinciding march and rally of over 50,000 people in San Francisco, was part of the world day of support for the cause of that people, held in Chile, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil and Argentina, among other countries.

“This massive turnout is a resounding rejection of the policies of the Biden administration, which is shamefully taking part in Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Without the support of the US government, Israel’s terrible crimes would not be possible,” said ANSWER Coalition Executive Director Brian Becker.

Statements from WNPJ groups and their national affiliates on Palestine/Israel/Hamas

Including World BEYOND War, UNA, Madison Friends, Madison Rafah Sister City Project, WILPF, Palestine Partners, Veterans for Peace, Peace Action, Interfaith Peace Working Group, Unitarian Universalists, Poor People's Campaign, Family Farm Defenders, as part of La Via Campesino, Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Madison Democratic Socialists of America, Building Unity, and more....


The Impact of U.S. Policy on Israel as War Crimes Against Gaza Continue

Dr. Gerald Horne is a prolific author and historian. He joins us from Houston to discuss U.S. and Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and the impact on international and domestic affairs.


 

The Math of Murder

The subjugation and annihilation of innocent civilians, bombed into the dust of "collateral damage," does not support America, Israel or the West's claim for moral high ground and a path to peace.

NOV 2

Wounded Palestinians arrive to al-Shifa hospital, following Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, central Gaza Strip, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)

On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bombed a Palestinian refugee camp with 100,000 inhabitants, producing a hellscape of casualties, 50 dead, 150 injured, with buildings in collapse at the periphery of  massive bomb crater.   The stated public intention was to kill a single Hamas commander.

There are two million Palestinians warehoused in the sliver of land 26 miles long and between 2-7 miles wide, a containment camp holding indigenous peoples of the region hostage, known as the Gaza Strip. 

Mr. Netanyahu has vowed to wipe out Hamas, which is estimated to have at least 40,000 members.  If the ration of 50 -1 holds up, that is 50 Palestinians will die for every Hamas member killed -- then every single Palestinian in Gaza would be killed.  This is not without possibility, perhaps the colonizers’ plan.

A refugee camp was bombed again by Israel yesterday, killing 80 Gazans, and, I suppose, another Hamas commander. 

There is no refuge in Gaza refugee camps.  Gaza is a walled-in slaughterhouse of broken people living on wretched, borrowed time, without food, water, electricity, sanitation, without hope to be spared pain and intense human suffering, until being relieved of their consciousness by sudden death descending into the Gaza maelstrom as a spectral Grim Reaper.  

The broken bodies of at least 300 Gazans, pulverized by massive bombs, are being pulled each day from the wreckage of their land.

The further prosecution of this war is counterproductive to the security and survival of Israel and its citizens, who live in an increasingly hostile environment as the images of the plight of Gazans are broadcast to billions world-wide and to hundreds of millions of enraged Muslims and Arabs in the region.

To watch this relentless bombing, and to maintain silence reduces the experience to war porn, and desensitizes and dehumanizes the viewer in vicarious complicity. 

The objectification and dehumanization of the Palestinians, the overt racism and the obtuseness which accompanies the mounting death toll, marks a victory for propagandists, but a constitutes a moral calamity for Israel, the United States and all other complicit countries. 

Our lack of moral code, empathy, inhuman response and willingness to escalate the destruction of innocent people as collateral damage is short sighted and dangerous to say the least.  We are inviting objectification, dehumanization and destruction to our own doors.

The murderous actions of Israel, supported by the United States in Gaza, will come home.  Each new atrocity visited upon Gazans threatens the long-time survival and the security interests of Israel and the United States. These murderous actions, informed by a murderous consciousness, bring the world to the edge of a major war.

Vengeance will lead to vengeance. Depravity breeds depravity.  There is ultimate danger swirling in the human dust that used to be the wretched refugee camp of Jabalia in Gaza.   It is dark, magical thinking which fails to comprehend the mortal consequences for the people of Israel and of the United States who support the extermination of the Palestinians.

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This has not stopped the media and political leaders who are ignorantly salivating over the promise of retaliation, domination, an opportunity for destruction.

President Biden and congressional leaders of both political parties from readying legislation to intensify the attacks on Gazans.

U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, if they leave the country at all, should go for diplomacy, for humanitarian relief, and to help restore and rehumanize the victims of violence on all sides, including the Israeli families who suffered from the horrific criminal attacks of October 7th by Hamas which resulted in over 1,400 deaths.   

Instead, our government brings fire to a tinderbox.

It is not just that this war must stop and must never start again.  The moment requires new thinking to deal with the preconditions of war, the age-old challenges to peace in the Middle East and globally.  

This cannot happen with current leaders who are filled with megalomaniacal fantasies, as they breath in the Apocalypse and exhale death and destruction. 

The decision to create a new day, averting ultimate disaster, awaits the people of Israel.  We in the United States also face an urgent consideration: 

Do our leaders, in our name, escalate or deescalate? 

Do we/they pursue restorative justice or retribution?   

Can we continue to maintain the life of our own society while our government uses our tax dollars to seed death world-wide?

As we choose, so chooses the world.  I choose empathy. I choose to be a bridge builder. I choose to lead pathways to peace. It is time to reengage with our own humanity.

It is only in re-sensitizing and in embracing our own humanity that we will ever be able to bring healing to traumatized communities, which ever side of the fence they dwell.


RT

Gaza now a ‘graveyard’ for children – UN agency

UNICEF has decried the Israel-Hamas war, saying its worst fears about the staggering child death toll are being realized
Gaza now a ‘graveyard’ for children – UN agency

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reiterated its call for a humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, saying the conflict is killing thousands of kids in Gaza and putting many more at risk from the violence and a water crisis. 

“Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children,” UNICEF spokesman James Elder told reporters on Tuesday in Geneva, “It’s a living hell for everyone else.” He noted that more than 3,450 children in the Palestinian enclave have already been killed, and the death toll rises significantly every day.

Elder made his comments as Israel escalated its ground offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas terrorist attacks that killed an estimated 1,400 people on October 7. Gaza’s water system also has been crippled by the conflict, contributing to an overall death toll of more than 8,000 in the territory.

“The threats to children go beyond bombs and mortars,” Elder said. He added that Gaza’s water production capacity has been cut to 5% of its normal level, putting more than 1 million children at risk of dying from dehydration. Many children have been sickened by drinking salty water out of desperation. 

Elder noted that even before the latest war between Israel and Hamas, more than three-fourths of Gaza’s children were identified as needing mental health support because of the trauma they had faced. “When the fighting stops, the cost to children and their communities will be borne out for generations to come,” he said. 

With Gaza’s children “living through a nightmare,” the UNICEF spokesman said, Israel must end its siege of the territory. He called for all access crossings into Gaza to be open, allowing for the safe passage of food, water, fuel, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid. “And if there is no ceasefire – no water, no medicine, and no release of abducted children – then we hurtle toward even greater horrors afflicting innocent children.” 

Israel’s government has blasted the UN, arguing that the body has not sufficiently condemned the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7. West Jerusalem’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, announced on Monday that members of his delegation would respond by donning yellow stars, alluding to the labels that Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. “From this day on, each time you look at me, you will remember what staying silent in the face of evil means,” he said in a speech to the UN Security Council.


Sign to support immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine

Rashida Tlaib

Between Saturday, October 7 and Wednesday, October 25, at least 6,500 Palestinians (including 2,700 children), 1,400 Israelis, and 30 Americans have been killed. Many more have been wounded and traumatized, and 1.4 million people in Gaza have been displaced with their homes destroyed.

Israel’s government has been dropping around a thousand bombs a day on 2.2 million trapped Palestinians in Gaza—over half of whom are children. This includes white phosphorus bombs, an illegal incendiary weapon that burns through skin down to the bone.

This collective punishment of Palestinian civilians is a moral outrage and an egregious violation of humanitarian law.

The answer to war crimes is not war crimes.

Saying that there are no innocent civilians in Gaza and calling Palestinians “animals,” Israeli politicians have openly broadcast their collective punishment of civilians. The Israeli government has cut off water, food, fuel, medicine, and electricity to Gaza, while refusing to accept Palestinian Americans from Gaza or to allow the delivery of adequate humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Unfortunately, many U.S. political leaders are silent and refuse to call for an end to the violence. Instead they want to send massive amounts of weapons to Israel’s military, while dehumanizing and disregarding Palestinian civilians. The Biden administration, most of Congress, and U.S. State Department officials refuse to pursue de-escalation and facilitate a ceasefire.

But morally courageous Democrats just introduced the Ceasefire Now Resolution in Congress.

The resolution urges the Biden administration to call for an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Israel and occupied Palestine, to send humanitarian aid and assistance to people under siege and trapped in Gaza, and to save as many lives as possible in the region.

In announcing the Ceasefire Now Resolution, Representatives Cori Bush (MO-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), André Carson (IN-07), Summer Lee (PA-12), and Delia C. Ramirez (IL-03), alongside Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07) are some of the only members of Congress calling for a ceasefire. Since the resolution's introduction, six more Democrats have co-sponsored it.

The hate and racist rhetoric coming out of Washington D.C. is pushing incendiary, hateful, and dehumanizing anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim rhetoric that must be called out. A 6-year-old boy—Wadea Al-Fayoume—was stabbed to death in Chicago for being Palestinian American.

In recent days, hundreds of thousands of people rallied in cities across the U.S. for a ceasefire. Hundreds of Jewish Americans have been arrested while protesting to end this unfolding genocide against Palestinians. We must keep showing massive public support for ending the violence.

Please sign onto the Ceasefire Now Resolution if you agree: The U.S. government must urgently save Palestinian, Israeli, and American civilian lives. We must bring Americans in Israel and occupied Palestine safely home, and push Israel’s government to stop the siege on Gaza and ensure humanitarian aid to Gaza.

In endorsing the resolution, Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace Action, said: “We call on every member of Congress who values the preciousness of human life to join them in demanding a ceasefire now.”

Another endorser of the resolution, Rachel Gilmer, Co-Director of the Dream Defenders, said: "Every member of congress who does not sign onto this resolution is complicit in genocide. The question is simple: will you support a ceasefire and humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza or the continued massacre of innocent people?”

The only Palestinian American in Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib said that her colleagues are trying to silence her voice “because I want the violence to stop, no matter whether it’s toward Israelis or toward Palestinians.” She said: "I cannot believe I have to beg our country to value every human life, no matter their faith or ethnicity. We cannot lose sight of the humanity in each other."

Right now the focus is on ending the violence and saving as many lives as possible. In the long-term, we must keep building the movement to end the Israeli government’s apartheid system against Palestinians. Everyone in the region deserves to live safely, in freedom and with equal rights. No one is safe with the current status quo.


Continuing the tradition of massive civil disobedience, 1,500+ demonstrators mobilized by Jewish Voice for Peace filled the terminal for a sit-in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, with 348+ arrested. Police closed the station on Oct 27, 2023

https://youtu.be/rXwj1QQddes?si=hltFfv8Tp2TgOGmf

 

Worldwide Protests Against the Genocide of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel, which is supplied with weapons from the US:

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/V0a6hxpFVDk?feature=share

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/gndR544m4DU?feature=share

Charging the US and Israel with Genocide in the International Criminal Court

The United States is not a state party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute), which founded the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2002.

The US opposes the work of the ICC in relation to its own citizens as Washington still has not signed the Rome Statute and has even established a "Hague invasion clause" which allows the US military to liberate citizens of US or its allies if they are held by the ICC.

The US government has said that it will not cooperate with the ICC and has threatened retaliatory steps against ICC staff and member countries should the court investigate or charge the US or allied country citizens. National Security Advisor John Bolton indicated that the US would also take action against the ICC if court investigations concerned Israel. No change in policy has been announced.


JVP-logo

We shut down Grand Central station to demand a ceasefire.

We’re watching a genocide unfold in real time. In just three weeks, the Israeli military has killed over 8,000 Palestinians in Gaza, among them over 3,000 children. That’s more than the annual number of children killed in conflicts across the globe since 2019. 

As the Israeli military plunged Gaza into darkness on Friday — cutting off all internet access and cell service in the besieged enclave — thousands of Jews and allies held a historic sit-in that shut down New York City’s iconic Grand Central Station to say, “Ceasefire now.” “Let Gaza live.” Banners covered the train schedules, reading “Never again for anyone” and “Palestinians should be free.”

Thousands chanted, 500 participated in civil disobedience, and over 350 people were arrested, including rabbis, elected officials, elders, and celebrities. This sit-in, which was organized by JVP, was the largest act of civil disobedience in New York City since the Iraq War…


The ‘Genocide Moment’


OCT 29 

Listen to this Article: "Exterminate all the Brutes"

All settler colonial projects, including Israel, reach a point when they embrace wholesale slaughter and genocide to eradicate a native population that refuses to capitulate.


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Israeli targets journalists, kills their families as Big Tech & Biden admin silence Palestinians

With Israeli airstrikes on Gaza killing at least twenty Palestinian journalists—and the Biden administration working to muzzle others—Big Tech is quietly coordinating with Tel Aviv to muzzle Palestinian media outfits. 

Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip killed three Palestinian journalists on October 25 in one of the deadliest days for local reporters since the military’s bombing campaign began nearly three weeks before. As the hours passed, footage appeared showing the moment Ramallah-based journalist Mohammed Farra learned that his wife and children were all killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza’s Khan Younes neighborhood. 

Similarly heart-rending scenes would play out more than once over the course of the day. Elsewhere in the besieged coastal enclave, an Israeli airstrike killed the wife, son, daughter and infant grandson of Al Jazeera Arabic’s Gaza bureau chief, Wael Dahdouh.

more


Veterans For Peace Statement on Gaza

October 24, 2023

On October 12, Veterans For Peace issued this statement about the conflict between Hamas and Israel, in which we condemned the horrific violence on both sides, particularly the killing of civilians. We added our voice to the many calls for a ceasefire and negotiations toward a political solution because there is no military one.

Since then, conditions have worsened – terribly. If a ceasefire isn’t declared, the killing and wounding in Gaza will increase dramatically, given announced plans to intensify bombing and conduct what is likely to be a months-long ground invasion.

Marjorie Cohn, VFP Advisory Board member and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, joined many others in defining what’s happening in Gaza as “genocide,” and the U.S. role as  “complicity in genocide.”

We take those terms very seriously.

On October 20, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported that 4,127 people, including 1,661 children have been killed and 13,162 people have been injured. Since then, 400 people were killed in 24 hours on October 22.  

This Gaza surgeon’s eyewitness report from Al-Shifa hospital, where thousands have taken refuge, is one of many reports that describe “Hospitals in Gaza on the brink of collapse, power set to run out in matter of hours,” “Gaza conditions worsen amid warnings that shortages could ‘kill many, many people,’” and more.

The only thing worse to read are the statements of Israeli officials ordering much more of the same. Prime Minister Netanyahu declared, “This is a struggle between the children of light and the children of darkness, between humanity and the law of the jungle.” Major General Gassan Alian added, “Human animals must be treated as such. There will be no electricity and no water [in Gaza], there will only be destruction. You wanted hell, you will get hell.” And Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops: “I have released all the restraints…”

Members of Veterans For Peace know what happens when those are the “rules of engagement” and what a “free fire zone” is.

Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, warned of a new instance of mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and called for an immediate ceasefire.” She added, Palestinians have no safe zone anywhere in Gaza, with Israel having imposed a “complete siege” on the tiny enclave, with water, food, fuel and electricity unlawfully cut off.

How could anyone, at the very least, not support a ceasefire…Mr. President?

Biden ordered our UN ambassador to veto the UN resolution calling for a ‘humanitarian pause,’ so he can have more time to let American on-the-ground diplomacy “play out.” The tragedy and hypocrisy in that statement are monstrous, but surely delight the weapons makers who profit savagely from the billions of dollars our taxes buy for Israel year in and year out.

Our government, with many billions of our tax dollars, has fanned the flames beneath the pressure cooker of occupation for decades. We cannot pretend ignorance. One of our members saw a tragic similarity between what he witnessed in Palestine and what he did as an occupier in Iraq.


VFP urges our members and supporters as emphatically as we can: Take action NOW – no matter how large or small – but do it now. We must do everything we can to prevent even greater disaster!

Join in a local protest or organize one yourself. Certainly picket, and think seriously about occupying local offices of Members of Congress who do not support HR 786 for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid. Tell your friends what’s happening. Write a letter to the editor. But do it now!

Without a ceasefire, this war, like all wars, will dangerously escalate.  The U.S. has sent aircraft carrier battle groups into the eastern Mediterranean and more troops into neighboring countries; Israel has bombed two airports in Syria; Shia militias have attacked U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria.

To American troops deployed to the Middle East:  follow your conscience.  Remember that what you do as a member of the United States military will be with you for the rest of your life. We in Veterans For Peace have learned from our experiences with war and death to be life affirming.  Join us for peace.


GLOBAL RESEARCH

Israeli Bombs Have Destroyed Over 52,000 Homes, Leaving 1 Million Homeless

Beit Hanoun is vanishing, air strike after air strike, house after house. All or most of the residents of the town in the northeastern Gaza Strip have fled in recent days, after the Israeli army peremptorily ordered them to leave their homes and head south. And it might take years until they are able to return – or they might never do so, if Israel establishes a “buffer zone” in the north of the Strip.

The air strikes that began after Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7 have already destroyed or severely damaged 52,000 homes, according to the Euro-Med Monitor. According to the Geneva-based human rights center, before the air strikes the number of housing units in the northern districts of Gaza was about 260,000. More than a quarter of them have been affected by air strikes, and 20 percent of the houses are no longer habitable. Beit Hanoun has been the hardest hit, with about 60% of its buildings destroyed or damaged. These numbers will only grow in the coming years, together with the expected destruction that will come to the south of the Strip as well.

An estimated one million Palestinians are currently homeless. The spokesperson of the Israeli military, Daniel Hagari, admitted that air raids on Gaza are taking place at a level “not seen in decades.”

On Thursday, six U.N. special rapporteurs accused Israel of committing crimes against humanity in Gaza:

“There are no justifications for these crimes, and we are horrified by the lack of action by the international community,” they wrote in a statement.

The Netanyahu government and the military leadership are saying that they will change the face of Gaza forever and that they will fight Hamas until it is wiped out in order to release the 203 Israeli and foreign hostages taken on October 7 by the Islamic movement. On Friday, through the mediation of Qatar, the armed wing of Hamas released two women, Judith and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter with dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship, on humanitarian grounds. The two women were handed over to the International Red Cross. After arriving in Egypt, they were expected to be back in Israel the next day.

This development will not have the slightest effect on the Israeli military offensives on the horizon. On the ground around Gaza, everything suggests that the invasion will come in a matter of days. This is also indirectly confirmed by the decision of Israel and the United States not to take part in the “peace summit” in Egypt. The Netanyahu government, riding on the strong support at all levels that Joe Biden assured them of on Wednesday, has no intention of agreeing to a ceasefire, as Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah would like, both of whom are concerned about the possibility that the war will end with the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to their countries, not only from Gaza but also from the West Bank. There are many future scenarios to consider.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday that achieving Israel’s goals will be neither quick nor easy:

“We will overthrow the Hamas organization. We will destroy its military and governmental infrastructure. It is a phase that will not be easy. It will have a cost,” he told members of a parliamentary committee.

In support of the Gaza war, Joe Biden is expected to send an emergency request to Congress to approve new funding to support Israel and Ukraine. The Jewish state will get $14 billion in U.S. arms and aid. During his address to the nation, the U.S. president addressed “other hostile actors in the region,” who, he said, needed to know that Israel was “stronger than ever” and thus “prevent this conflict from spreading.”

But his unconditional support for Israel is beginning to generate discontent in the Arab capitals allied with the U.S. and those that have normalized relations with Tel Aviv. In the days after October 7, the Emirates and Bahrain had both condemned Hamas. But then, according to Arab analysts, Biden’s words categorically ruling out any Israeli responsibility in the explosion that devastated Gaza City’s Al-Ahli hospital on Tuesday – which left 471 Palestinians dead, according to the Health Ministry – were poorly received in Abu Dhabi and Manama. From that point on, the two countries called for a ceasefire and condemned Israeli policies toward Palestinians. Their positions were also influenced by the wave of outrage across the region and protests in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and other countries.

The “concern” for Palestinian civilians expressed by Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken is failing to reassure Arab leaders allied with Washington in the face of images from Gaza that show two million Palestinians subjected to continuous bombardment by the Israeli air force, which has left 4,137 dead and some 13,000 wounded according to Health Ministry figures.

The stories of despair and terror that Gaza civilians are managing to convey to the outside world are giving rise to fear and frustration among other Palestinians and Arabs, and among those in the rest of the world who are following the fate of so many innocent people. The humanitarian emergency is more and more serious: finding clean water and food is difficult, and some hospitals have stopped functioning. In others – as Al Jazeera reported on Friday – they are disinfecting surgical instruments with vinegar. Everything is lacking, starting with the diesel fuel needed to keep autonomous electricity generators running.

The smell of death wafts across the streets everywhere, unbearable – the stench of the corpses left under the rubble of houses and buildings, at least 1,400 according to health authorities. The Palestinian Red Crescent denounced on Friday that it had received a threat from Israel that it would bomb the Al-Quds hospital in Gaza City, which houses more than 400 patients and some 12,000 displaced people. By Friday night, there had been no denial from the Jewish state.

Israel did admit to causing severe damage to the buildings of the St. Porphyry Orthodox Church in Gaza city, resulting in the death and injury of several people. Nonetheless, the IDF military spokesperson denied that the church had been the target of the airstrike, which he said had targeted a “Hamas command center” in the vicinity. The Orthodox Church reported 18 dead Palestinians, both Christians and Muslims who believed they had found safe haven at St. Porphyry.

Meanwhile, the much-needed humanitarian and hospital aid remained stuck at Gaza’s gates on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. Joe Biden himself promised on Friday that they would enter on Friday or Saturday. Finally, on Saturday evening, it was confirmed that the first 20 trucks had been allowed to enter the strip.

A Textbook Case of Genocide

Israel has been explicit about what it’s carrying out in Gaza. Why isn’t the world listening?

Raz Segal
October 13, 2023

Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on October 12th, 2023. AP Photo/Hatem Ali

ON FRIDAY, Oct 9, Israel ordered the besieged population in the northern half of the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south, warning that it would soon intensify its attack on the Strip’s upper half. The order has left more than a million people, half of whom are children, frantically attempting to flee amid continuing airstrikes, in a walled enclave where no destination is safe. As Palestinian journalist Ruwaida Kamal Amer wrote today from Gaza, “refugees from the north are already arriving in Khan Younis, where the missiles never stop and we’re running out of food, water, and power.” The UN has warned that the flight of people from the northern part of Gaza to the south will create “devastating humanitarian consequences” and will “transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.” Over the last week, Israel’s violence against Gaza has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, injured thousands, and displaced more than 400,000 within the strip. And yet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised today that what we have seen is “only the beginning.”

Israel’s campaign to displace Gazans—and potentially expel them altogether into Egypt—is yet another chapter in the Nakba, in which an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes during the 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel. But the assault on Gaza can also be understood in other terms: as a textbook case of genocide unfolding in front of our eyes. I say this as a scholar of genocide, who has spent many years writing about Israeli mass violence against Palestinians. I have written about settler colonialism and Jewish supremacy in Israel, the distortion of the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry, the weaponization of antisemitism accusations to justify Israeli violence against Palestinians, and the racist regime of Israeli apartheid. Now, following Hamas’s attack on Saturday and the mass murder of more than 1,000 Israeli civilians, the worst of the worst is happening.

Under international law, the crime of genocide is defined by “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such,” as noted in the December 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In its murderous attack on Gaza, Israel has loudly proclaimed this intent. Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant declared it in no uncertain terms on October 9th: “We are imposing a complete siege on Gaza. No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.” Leaders in the West reinforced this racist rhetoric by describing Hamas’s mass murder of Israeli civilians—a war crime under international law that rightly provoked horror and shock in Israel and around the world—as “an act of sheer evil,” in the words of US President Joe Biden, or as a move that reflected an “ancient evil,” in the terminology of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. This dehumanizing language is clearly calculated to justify the wide scale destruction of Palestinian lives; the assertion of “evil,” in its absolutism, elides distinctions between Hamas militants and Gazan civilians, and occludes the broader context of colonization and occupation.

The UN Genocide Convention lists five acts that fall under its definition. Israel is currently perpetrating three of these in Gaza: “1. Killing members of the group. 2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. 3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” The Israeli Air Force, by its own account, has so far dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world—almost as many bombs as the US dropped on all of Afghanistan during record-breaking years of its war there. Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the weapons used included phosphorous bombs, which set fire to bodies and buildings, creating flames that aren’t extinguished on contact with water. This demonstrates clearly what Gallant means by “act accordingly”: not targeting individual Hamas militants, as Israel claims, but unleashing deadly violence against Palestinians in Gaza “as such,” in the language of the UN Genocide Convention. Israel has also intensified its 16-year siege of Gaza—the longest in modern history, in clear violation of international humanitarian law—to a “complete siege,” in Gallant’s words. This turn of phrase that explicitly indexes a plan to bring the siege to its final destination of systematic destruction of Palestinians and Palestinian society in Gaza, by killing them, starving them, cutting off their water supplies, and bombing their hospitals.

It’s not only Israel’s leaders who are using such language. An interviewee on the pro-Netanyahu Channel 14 called for Israel to “turn Gaza to Dresden.” Channel 12, Israel’s most-watched news station, published a report about left-leaning Israelis calling to “dance on what used to be Gaza.” Meanwhile, genocidal verbs—calls to “erase” and “flatten” Gaza—have become omnipresent on Israeli social media. In Tel Aviv, a banner reading “Zero Gazans” was seen hanging from a bridge.

Indeed, Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza is quite explicit, open, and unashamed. Perpetrators of genocide usually do not express their intentions so clearly, though there are exceptions. In the early 20th century, for example, German colonial occupiers perpetrated a genocide in response to an uprising by the Indigenous Herero and Nama populations in southwest Africa. In 1904, General Lothar von Trotha, the German military commander, issued an “extermination order,” justified by the rationale of a “race war.” By 1908, the German authorities had murdered 10,000 Nama, and had achieved their stated goal of “destroying the Herero,” killing 65,000 Herero, 80% of the population. Gallant’s orders on October 9th were no less explicit. Israel’s goal is to destroy the Palestinians of Gaza. And those of us watching around the world are derelict in our responsibility to prevent them from doing so.


Mondoweiss

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 19: 700 Palestinians killed in Gaza in 24 hours

The number of Palestinians killed in Israel’s deadly bombardment of Gaza Strip surpassed 6,000 people as Gaza's Ministry of Health announced the death of 700 people in just 24 hours.

Holding Israeli and U.S. Leaders Accountable for the Genocide of Palestinians

By Marjorie Cohn
Netanyahu and Gallant are committing genocide in Gaza. Biden and Blinken are aiding and abetting Israeli genocide.

 


In the deadliest night of bombardment since the beginning of the war, Israel kills 400 people in a single night as hospitals reach breaking point amid shortages of fuel and medicine. Popular calls for ceasefire continue to be ignored internationally.

Key Developments 

  • Four hundred Palestinians killed in the last 24 hours, according to Palestinian health officials.
  • At least 120 newborn babies sustained by incubators at risk of death under relentless Israeli bombardment of Gaza, as hospitals run low on fuel, says UN.
  • The Israeli military threatens to bomb Al-Quds Hospital, says the Palestinian Red Crescent, urging intervention by the international community. 
  • At least 18 Palestinian journalists killed in Gaza since October 7. 
  • At least 30 bodies recovered by emergency workers in Jabalia refugee camp, most of them women and children, following Israel’s most recent attacks on the camp. Gaza’s civil defense says several people still trapped under the rubble. 
  • Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian discuss stopping Israel’s “brutal crimes” in besieged Gaza in a phone call overnight on Sunday.
  • At least 406,000 internally displaced people are sheltering in 91 UNRWA installations across Gaza — an increase of 22,000 people over the past 24 hours, says the organization. Since October 7, at least 12 internally displaced people seeking shelter at UNRWA schools have been killed and almost 180 injured, they included. 
  • At least 29 UNRWA staff have been killed since October 7, half of whom were teachers.

In the last 24 hours, Israel’s army hit the Gaza Strip with the deadliest round of relentless bombardment since it began 17 days ago, killing at least 400 Palestinians. Wafa reported at least 25 Israeli air attacks on residential areas, many of them hitting civilian homes with no warnings. 

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 70 of those killed happened overnight on Sunday as Israel carpet bombed the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp near two hospitals in Gaza City, Al-Shifa and Al-Quds. 

Israeli airstrikes were recorded near Al-Quds Hospital by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, causing fear and panic among internally displaced civilians and medical staff. Al Jazeera also reports that Israeli airstrikes were fired for hours in the vicinity of the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza’s northern city of Beit Lahia, causing what the hospital’s director described as “serious damage and injuries.” 

Five residential towers were leveled in Rafah, killing at least 50 people, a number likely to rise as many have yet to be rescued from under the rubble, reported Al Jazeera on Monday morning. 

Overnight on Sunday and early Monday, Wafa reported that Israeli airstrikes killed 23 people in Khan Younis, while killing 17 people in Al-Fallujah and injuing dozens of others in an Israeli attack on a residential apartment in the northern Gaza Strip. 

The Israeli army said it attacked over 320 military targets overnight in the Gaza Strip.

Civilians call for a ceasefire as collapsing hospitals demand fuel

Hospital staff are pleading with the international community to support them as they slowly collapse under the pressure of 17 days of siege and constant bombardment. Palestinians in Gaza say that humanitarian aid is insufficient and are demanding a ceasefire. 

Since Israel cut off electricity, hospitals across the Gaza Strip are dependent on generators that are powered by fuel, which is quickly running out. Thirty-four trucks with humanitarian aid have arrived in Gaza through the Rafah crossing, none of which have included fuel and are nowhere near enough to meet the needs of the 2 million people living there. 

On Sunday, the Indonesian Hospital hospital’s Director, Atef al-Kahlout, told Al Jazeera they were struggling and may have to halt surgeries if Israel doesn’t allow fuel into the Strip. 

“We will face a catastrophe if we don’t get more fuel,” he said. 

“Medical personnel are exhausted. They have been on duty 24 hours a day since the Israeli attack began to attend to patients who continue to arrive every minute,” al-Kahlout added.

Similarly, at Al-Shifa Hospital, where the highest number of wounded patients and medical staff are currently based, the director, Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya, says they are now on the brink of a “real disaster” as their fuel sources dwindle and may only last for another 48 hours. 

The aid has been taken to a UNRWA-designated warehouse in Deir el-Balah. It is still unclear how they will be distributed, considering Israel’s preconditions on how and where they should be delivered. 

In a statement from Biden on Sunday, he announced that Netanyahu has agreed to allow a “continued flow” of humanitarian assistance to Gaza under the condition that none of it reaches Hamas. 

As Israeli aggression continues, fighting escalates in the region 

Despite the U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s pressure on Israel to delay their ground invasion to allow time for more U.S. military assets to arrive in the region, as well as to allow diplomatic efforts to try and release captives inside Gaza, the military continues to launch smaller-scale raids on the area. 

Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant says that the attack on Hamas could last “months.”

“It will take one month, two months, three months, and at the end there will be no more Hamas,” he declared.

On Sunday, the Israeli army raided the Gaza Strip to “thwart terrorist infrastructure” and locate Hamas captives in Khan Younis. During the raid, the Israeli military announced that one of its soldiers was killed by an anti-tank missile reportedly shot by Hamas. 

Three Hamas fighters were also injured as they pushed Israeli forces out of the Gaza Strip, the Qassam Brigades announced on Telegram. 

“Fighters engaged an armored Israeli force in a well-prepared ambush to the east of Khan Yunis, just moments after it crossed the border by a few meters,” they said. 

“The fighters bravely engaged with the infiltrating force…and they returned to their bases safely,” the statement further noted.

Israel has also escalated its attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to Al Jazeera, Israel’s newly introduced use of airstrikes targeting and killing Hezbollah cells may lead to Hezbollah’s escalation of tactics as rules of engagement continue to develop. 

Early on Monday, the Israeli military said it hit two Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, claiming they were planning on launching anti-tank missiles and rockets toward Israel. 

Hezbollah said one of their fighters was killed the same day, and Lebanese media reported an Israeli air attack in southern Lebanon; however, Reuters news agency says it is unclear if the two sides were referring to the same set of incidents. On Sunday, Hezbollah announced that they have been attacking several Israeli posts along the border between Lebanon and Israel, adding that 12 of their fighters had been killed over 24 hours, bringing their death toll up to 25 since October 7.

On the same day, the Egyptian military reported shell fragments from an Israeli tank hitting the Egyptian border and injuring at least seven people, including Egyptian border guards. The Israeli military confirmed the report, saying it “accidentally” hit the Egyptian position near their border with Gaza. 

Israel’s mass arrest campaign continues

Israeli forces continue to storm the West Bank, where they are arresting Palestinians at an alarming rate.

Wafa reports that Israeli forces arrested over 120 Palestinians on Monday alone, the majority of whom were detained after Israeli forces raided their homes.

Since October 7, Israel has detained approximately 1,300 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society and Detainees Commission. On top of that, Israeli forces have arrested 4,000 laborers from Gaza, effectively doubling the number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails from just over 5,000 to more than 10,000 in just two weeks. 

The rights groups say that around 300 detainees are being held in administrative detention, allowing Israel to hold Palestinians indefinitely under “secret evidence” without charge or trial. 

International community leaning toward de-escalation tactics

As Israel continues to bombard the Gaza Strip, the situation in the region intensifies, causing many international leaders to call for a de-escalation.  

China’s state media has reported that Beijing is willing to do “whatever is conducive” to promote dialogue and achieve a ceasefire. Zhai Jun, a Chinese diplomat who described the situation as “very serious,” says China will continue their close communication with all international parties. 

Zhai Jun has recently been in contact with various foreign ministers, including those from Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Norway, as well as representatives from the UN and EU.

Meanwhile, leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the U.S. underscored their support for Israel in a joint statement in which they also called on Israel to follow international law and protect civilians. 

In the statement, the leaders claim they want to “prevent the conflict from spreading” and find a “political solution and durable peace” in the region using diplomatic efforts that include “key partners in the region.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also discussed the captives taken by Hamas “and the need for their immediate release” with the president of Israel, Isaac Herzog. 

“I also expressed my concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza and my support for the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security,” Trudeau added. 

According to Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will travel to Israel this week to meet with the Israeli prime minister. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, announced plans late on Sunday that the U.S. would increase military resources in the region to enhance the U.S. presence in the region and bolster its support for Israel in response to “recent escalations by Iran and its proxy forces.”

“If any group or any country is looking to widen this conflict and take advantage of this very unfortunate situation…our advice is, don’t,” Austin warned on ABC’s This Week program.


MILWAUKEE INDEPENDENT

JUSTICE FOR PALESTINIANS: THOUSANDS MARCH IN MILWAUKEE TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF GAZA


teleSUR

Israeli Bombings Kill 29 UNRWA Workers So Far

UNRWA facilities destroyed by the Israeli bombing, Gaza, Oct. 22, 2023.

22 October 2023

So far, Israeli bombings have left 14,245 people injured and some 1,450 people still missing under the rubble, 800 of whom are children.

On Sunday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reported that 13 of its officials died in the last few hours, bringing its death toll to 29 workers.

RELATED: 

US Stance on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Threatens Stability

"It is no confirmed that 29 of our colleagues in Gaza have been killed since October 7. Half of these colleagues were UNRWA teachers. As an Agency, we are devastated. We are grieving with each other and with the families," UNRWA posted on the social network X.

According to the latest UNRWA report, 17 staff were wounded and 20 displaced people were injured when an attack hit a building adjacent to a UNRWA school, where some 5,000 internally displaced people were sheltering.

Since Oct. 7, "almost 180 internally displaced persons sheltering in schools have been injured and 12 of them have died," the UN agency noted.

 In 16 days, Israeli bombings have killed 4,650 Palestinians, including some 1,900 children, over 1,000 women, and 187 elderly people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

Israeli bombings have left 14,245 people injured and some 1,450 people still missing under the rubble, 800 of whom are children.

UNRWA detailed that almost 406,000 internally displaced people are taking refuge in 91 of its facilities in the Middle, Khan Younis, and Rafah areas. This figure represents an increase of 22,000 internally displaced people over the last 24 hours.

Convoy of Relief Trucks en Route to Gaza Through Rafah Crossing


Let Them Eat Cement

Israel is not only decimating Gaza with airstrikes but employing the oldest and cruelest weapon of war — starvation. Israel’s message, on the eve of a ground invasion, is clear. Leave Gaza or Die.

Israel, with the backing of its U.S. and European allies, is preparing to launch not only a scorched earth campaign in Gaza but the worst ethnic cleansing since the wars in the former Yugoslavia. The goal is to drive tens, most probably hundreds of thousands of Palestinians over the southern border at Rafah into refugee camps in Egypt. The reverberations will be catastrophic, not only for the Palestinians, but throughout the region, almost certainly triggering armed clashes to the north of Israel with Hezbollah in Lebanon and perhaps with Syria and Iran. 

The Biden administration, slavishly doing Israel’s bidding, is fueling the madness. The U.S. was the only country to veto the U.N. Security Council resolution calling for humanitarian pauses to deliver food, medicine, water and fuel to Gaza. It has blocked proposals for a ceasefire. It has proposed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that says Israel has a right to defend itself. The resolution also demands Iran stop exporting arms to "militias and terrorist groups threatening peace and security across the region." 

The U.S. and its Western allies are as morally bankrupt and as complicit in genocide as those who witnessed the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews and did nothing.

The conflict, which has taken the lives of 1,400 Israelis and at least 4,600 Palestinians in Gaza, is widening. Israel carried out a second airstrike on two airports in Syria. It daily trades rocket barrages with Hezbollah militias. U.S. military bases in Iraq and Syria have been attacked by Shia militias. The USS Carney, a guided missile destroyer, shot down three cruise missiles on Thursday, apparently launched by the Houthis in Yemen and heading towards Israel. 

Israel is also struggling to quell daily violent clashes in the occupied West Bank. It carried out an airstrike on Sunday on a mosque in the Jenin refugee camp – the first air strike in the West Bank for two decades - that killed at least 2 people. Armed Jewish settlers have been rampaging through Palestinian towns in the West Bank. At least 90 Palestinians in the West Bank have been killed by armed settlers or the Israeli military since the Oct. 7 incursion into Israel by Hamas and other resistance fighters, according to the U.N.’s humanitarian office. Some 4,000 workers from Gaza and 1,000 Palestinians in the West Bank have been arrested in the past two weeks, doubling the number of Palestinian prisoners to 10,000 held by Israel, over half of whom are political prisoners

“Many of the prisoners have had their limbs, hands and legs broken … degrading and insulting expressions, insults, cursing, tying them with handcuffs to the back and tightening them at the end to the point of causing severe pain … naked, humiliating and group search of the prisoners,” the Palestinian Authority’s Commission for Detainees’ Affairs, Qadura Fares, said at a press conference.

B'Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization, told the BBC that since the Oct. 7 attack, it had documented "a concerted and organized effort by settlers to use the fact that the entire international and local attention is focused on Gaza and the north of Israel to try to seize land in the West Bank."

Inside Israel, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Jerusalem IDs are being harassed, detained, arrested and expelled from jobs and universities in what is described as a “witch hunt.” More than 152,000 Israelis have been evacuated from towns and villages near the borders of Gaza and Lebanon.

The U.S., in an effort to thwart a military response by Iran that could trigger a regional war, is deploying an additional 2,000 troops to the Middle East. It will redeploy one of its strike groups to the Persian Gulf and send additional air defense systems to the region. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its strike group — which last weekend was being deployed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to join the USS Gerald R. Ford — has been redirected to the Persian Gulf. A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile battery, and Patriot missile defense system battalions, have also been sent to the Persian Gulf.

Israel has unleashed its Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – Death, Famine, War and Conquest. 

It has given Gazans two choices. Leave Gaza or die.

Palestinians will be killed not only from the bombs and shells, and eventually, with the ground invasion, bullets and tank shells, but from hunger and epidemics such as cholera. Without water, fuel and medicine and with the breakdown of sanitation, diseases will spread swiftly. The U.N. states that hospitals in Gaza “are on the brink of collapse.” Thousands of patients will die once fuel runs out for hospital generators.

A doctor from al-Shifa hospital in Gaza reported in an interview Saturday, “We are collapsing.” He spoke of a lack of oxygen, light and medical supplies, no water in some departments, concerns about cholera and the loss of doctors killed by Israeli airstrikes, including a dentist killed in Israel’s bombing of an Orthodox church that left at least 18 dead, including several children.   

The handful of trucks, 37 so far, of aid into Gaza is a cynical public relations gimmick demanded by the Biden administration. It will do little to alleviate the Israeli-engineered humanitarian crisis. The U.N. says it needs at least 100 aid tracks a day. Gaza’s last functioning seawater desalination plant shut down on Sunday because of a lack of fuel. 

Israel has no intention of lifting the total siege on Gaza. It announced it will increase its airstrikes. It will continue, as it has for the past two weeks, to extinguish the lives of Palestinians and terrorize and starve them into leaving Gaza. 

The ground assault on Gaza will not be quick. It will involve weeks, perhaps months, of street fighting. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin compared the looming battle in Gaza to the U.S. assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul, held by ISIS, in 2014. It took the U.S. nine months to recapture Mosul.

When Israel says this will be a “long war” they are, for once, telling the truth.

Israel has requested more military aid from Washington, $14.3 billion including $10.6 billion for air and missile defense. It will get it. Israel is rapidly depleting its stocks as it pounds Gaza, including in the south of Gaza where hundreds of thousands of displaced families from the north have fled. 

Israel will not permit the distribution of the $100 million in U.S. aid pledged for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, at least not until their scorched earth campaign is finished. But by then, Gaza will be unrecognizable. Israel will have annexed part or all of it. Maybe the money can go to building more illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. And pledging aid is not the same as appropriating it. So perhaps that, too, is part of the illusion.

Egyptian officials are acutely aware of what comes next. Up to half, maybe more, of the 2.3 million Palestinians will be pushed by Israel into Egypt on Gaza’s southern border and never be allowed to return.

“What is happening now in Gaza is an attempt to force civilian residents to take refuge and migrate to Egypt, which should not be accepted,” Egyptian president Abdulfattah al-Sisi warned.

Reports out of Egypt contend that Washington has promised to forgive much of Egypt’s massive $162.9 billion debt, as well as offer other economic incentives in exchange for Egypt’s acquiescence to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The refugees, once they cross the border into Egypt, will be left to rot in the Sinai. 

“There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale. The international community must do everything to stop this from happening again,” said Francesca Albanese, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.

Israel has long used war to justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Government officials have openly called for another Nakba, or “catastrophe,” the term for the events of 1947-1949 when over 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from historic Palestine and driven into refugee camps to create the state of Israel. During the 1967 war, which led to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel ethnically cleansed another 300,000 Palestinians during the Naksa, or “day of the setback,” which is commemorated every year by Palestinians.

Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, however, is not limited to wars. There has been an ongoing slow motion ethnic cleansing as Israel has steadily built more Jewish-only colonies and incrementally seized Palestinian land. Palestinians, denied basic civil liberties in Israel’s apartheid state, have been robbed of assets, including, often, their homes. They have faced mounting restrictions on their physical movements. They have been blocked from trading and business, especially the selling of produce. They have found themselves increasingly impoverished and trapped behind walls and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank. At the same time, they have endured periodic Israeli airstrikes, targeted assassinations and near daily attacks by armed Jewish settlers and the Israeli army.

Israel prevented Palestinians who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip from returning at the rate of about 9,000 Palestinians per year following the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, until the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, according to the Israel human rights group HaMoked. Israel has also revoked the residency permits for some 14,000 Palestinians who lived in East Jerusalem since 1967 according to B’Tselem

Israel demolished 9,880 structures, including over 2,600 inhabited residential buildings, displacing over 14,000 people and affecting 233,681 in the West Bank alone between Jan. 1, 2009 and 7 Oct. 7, 2023, according to data from the  U.N Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Since the Oct. 7 attack, a further 38 homes and other structures were demolished in the West Bank affecting an additional 13,613 people and displacing at least 73.

Less than 2.2 percent of Palestinian requests for construction permits made between 2009 and 2020 were approved, according to data from Peace Now and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The number of Israeli colonists in the occupied territories, however, has gone from zero before the June 1967 war, to between 600,000 to 750,000 spread out across at least 250 settlements and outposts throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, all of them in violation of international law.

Israel makes no secret about its intentions. 

Israel’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, told troops preparing to enter Gaza, “I have released all the restraints.” 

Knesset member Ariel Kallner, part of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, called on X, formerly known as Twitter, for “a Nakba that will overshadow the Nakba of 48.”

The Israeli army mobilized Ezra Yachin, a 95-year-old army veteran, to “motivate” the troops. Yachin was a member of the Lehi Zionist militia that carried out numerous massacres of Palestinian civilians, including the Deir Yassin massacre on April 9, 1948, where over 100 Palestinian civilians, many women and children, were slaughtered. 

"Be triumphant and finish them off and don’t leave anyone behind. Erase the memory of them," Yachin said addressing Israeli troops.

"Erase them, their families, mothers and children,” he went on. “These animals can no longer live." 

"Every Jew with a weapon should go out and kill them,” he said. “If you have an Arab neighbor, don’t wait, go to his home and shoot him.” 

Where are our humanitarian interventionists? The ones who wept crocodile tears about the human rights of Ukranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Libyans and Afghans, to justify massive arms shipments and war? Where is the old anti-war wing of the Democratic Party and the liberal class? What has happened to the public intellectuals who used to decry the slaughter of innocents and the U.S. war machine? Where are the jurists who uphold the rule of international law? Why are the few lonely voices speaking out about Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians attackedcensored and doxxed?

“The previous president wanted to ban us and probably put us in concentration camps,” said Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who is of Palestinian descent, at a rally in support of a ceasefire on Oct. 20 in Washington in front of the U.S. Capitol. “This one wants us just to die. That’s how it feels. Shame on them.”

Israel will not halt its genocidal campaign in Gaza against the Palestinians until there is a U.S. arms embargo on Israel. Our weapons systems, munitions and attack aircraft sustain the slaughter. We must terminate the $3.8 billion in military aid that the U.S. gives to Israel each year. We must support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and demand suspension of all free trade and other agreements between the U.S. and Israel. Only when these props are knocked out from under Israel will the Israeli leadership be forced, as was the apartheid regime in South Africa, to integrate Palestinians into one state with equal rights. As long as these props remain, the Palestinians are doomed. 


Statement from the United Nations Association of Greater
Milwaukee (UNA-GM) Board of Directors on the Crisis in the Middle East
October 20, 2023

The members of the United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee (UNA-GM)
Board of Directors are devastated by the war occurring between Israel and Hamas.
The United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee is committed to upholding the
values and principles of the United Nations and the United Nations Association of the
United States of America (UNA-USA) including peace and the preservation of human
rights for all.
The United Nations Association of Greater Milwaukee Board of Directors is in
agreement with and supports the statement from UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres on October 19 th , 2023 including his call for an immediate humanitarian
ceasefire to provide sufficient time and space to help realize his two appeals and
to ease the epic human suffering we are witnessing.

____________________________________________

Statement from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

October 19, 2023

“…I feel, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, the obligation to say a few
words about the catastrophe unfolding in the Middle East.
The region is on the precipice.
Immediately before departing for Beijing, I made two urgent humanitarian
appeals:
To Hamas, for the immediate and unconditional release of the hostages.

To Israel, to immediately allow unrestricted access of humanitarian aid to
respond to the most basic needs of the people of Gaza - the overwhelming
majority of whom are women and children.
I am fully aware of the deep grievances of the Palestinian people after 56 years of
occupation.  But, as serious as these grievances are, they cannot justify the acts
of terror against civilians committed by Hamas on October 7 that I immediately
condemned.
But those attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian
people.
Each of my two humanitarian appeals have a value in themselves.
They are not bargaining chips. They are simply the right thing to do.
And I am horrified by the hundreds of people killed at Al Ahli hospital this same
day, in Gaza, by a strike that I strongly condemned earlier today.
I call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to provide sufficient time and
space to help realize my two appeals and to ease the epic human suffering we are
witnessing.
Too many lives - and the fate of the entire region - hang in the balance.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

____________________________________________

Additional information and resources

Additional information and resources on the “Crisis in the Middle East” that is
curated and updated daily by the Better World Campaign, a partner organization
with the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), can be found by
clicking on the following link:

https://betterworldcampaign.org/other-issues/mideast-crisis

The Better World Campaign (BWC) is the premier advocacy organization devoted to
fostering a strong partnership between the United States and the United Nations – a
vision that promotes core American interests and builds a more secure, prosperous,
and healthy world. We encourage U.S. leadership to work hand-in-hand with the UN to
tackle the world’s biggest issues by engaging policymakers and the American public to
build support for the UN’s life-saving work.

____________________________________________

On-Line Briefing for UNA-USA Members on the “Crisis in the Middle
East” – October 25 th , 2023 from 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm CT
In order to help provide context and analysis of the situation, UNA-USA has
coordinated with Jeff Feltman, Senior Fellow at UN Foundation, and former U.S.
Ambassador to Israel, to provide an online briefing exclusively to UNA-USA
members on October 25, 2023 from 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm ET.
Jeff Feltman previously served as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs
for six years, briefing the UN Security Council, guiding special envoys, and overseeing
political mediation efforts.
Before the UN, he was a U.S. Foreign Service officer, Assistant Secretary of State for
Near Eastern Affairs from 2009 to 2012 and U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon from 2004 to
2008. He also had postings in Irbil, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Tunisia, Tel Aviv, Budapest,
and Port-au-Prince.
Use the link below to register for the online briefing on October 25 th , 2023

by Jeff Feltman.

https://unfoundation.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAtdeGpqDItHdTXho98KzCBmPM

krAjd0nF8#/registration

____________________________________________
Steve Watrous – President of the UNA of Greater Milwaukee
On behalf of the UNA of Greater Milwaukee Board of Directors

[email protected]


Coalition Calls for Peace and Justice in Gaza

 

OCT. 16, 2023

UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

BUREAU CONDEMNS KILLING AND WOUNDING OF CIVILIANS IN GAZA AND CALLS FOR AN IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE

17 October 2023

Following is a statement by the General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, issued today: 

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People strongly condemns the killing and wounding of civilians and the targeting of civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. It expresses grave concern at the humanitarian disaster being imposed by Israel, the occupying Power, against the Palestinian civilian population.

It calls on the international community to put aside divisions and uphold the political, legal, humanitarian and moral obligations invoked by this dangerous crisis. The international community must act with urgency for an immediate ceasefire, to deliver humanitarian assistance to all those in need, and for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict, which has been too long delayed.

International humanitarian law is unequivocal about the need to protect civilians and persons under occupation and during armed conflict. The current escalation in Gaza, coming after decades of denying the rights of the Palestinian people, has already broken the limits of international law and is providing ample evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Ongoing indiscriminate and collective punishment, military attacks on densely populated areas as well as against hospitals, places of worship, and schools where civilians seek refuge are war crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The rapidly rising casualty toll, with thousands of civilians killed and wounded, including women and children, and the deliberate deprivation of food, water, electricity and medicines to the over 2.3 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are shocking and unjustifiable, constituting grave breaches of international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.

There is no military solution to this conflict. Only a solution that recognizes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including to self-determination and freedom, can bring peace and security to the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

The Bureau appeals to everyone to work for an immediate ceasefire to halt the violence and bloodshed, to halt the evacuation orders and the forced displacement of traumatized civilians, and to ensure safe and unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian aid and medical assistance to civilians and protected persons. It calls on the International Criminal Court to dispatch an urgent fact-finding mission to the region to investigate potential war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

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Center for Constitutional Rights
 

 

On the heels of President Biden’s visit to Israel and as the Palestinian death toll in Gaza passes 3,300, expert attorneys from the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights released a legal and factual analysis of Israel’s unfolding crime of genocide against the Palestinian people and U.S. complicity in this grave international law violation.

The release of the briefing comes soon after the U.S veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning both Hamas’s attack on Israel and all violence against civilians and calling for humanitarian access to Gaza. It also comes as President Biden seeks to secure additional, unconditional military support for Israel.

According to the emergency briefing paper, there is a credible case, based on powerful evidence, that Israel is attempting to commit, if not actively committing, genocide in the occupied Palestinian territory, and specifically against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

The legal and factual analysis provided by the Center for Constitutional Rights describes how, through its ongoing unconditional military, diplomatic, and political support to Israel, the United States is not only failing to prevent genocide, but is complicit. Under international law, the United States – and responsible U.S. citizens, including and up to the President – can be held accountable for their role in furthering genocide.

As scholars and observers increasingly warn of genocide, and as protestors rise up against Israel’s gravest atrocities against Palestinians since 1948, the Center for Consitutional Rights has been asked by Palestinian partners on the ground to offer this analysis as we strengthen our collective efforts towards accountability and freedom. The emergency briefing paper calls on the United States to take all necessary measures to secure a ceasefire, pressure Israel to end all military operations, end all U.S. military aid to Israel, and ensure the provision to Palestinians in Gaza of urgently needed basic necessities for life. The experts also stress in the briefing paper the urgent need to address the root causes of the current catastrophe, especially the 16-year closure of Gaza, the 56-year illegal occupation, and the apartheid regime across all of historic Palestine.

Access the Emergency Legal Briefing here and the resource page here.

 


Israel’s Culture of Deceit

Israel, which always seeks to blame Palestinians for the atrocities it carries out, is the least trustworthy source about the bombing of the hospital in Gaza.

OCT 18, 2023

Israel was founded on lies. The lie that Palestinian land was largely unoccupied. The lie that 750,000 Palestinians fled their homes and villages during their ethnic cleansing by Zionist militias in 1948 because they were told to do so by Arab leaders. The lie that it was Arab armies that started the 1948 war that saw Israel seize 78 percent of historic Palestine. The lie that Israel faced annihilation in 1967, forcing it to invade and occupy the remaining 22 percent of Palestine, as well as land belonging to Egypt and Syria. 

Israel is sustained by lies. The lie that Israel wants a just and equitable peace and will support a Palestinian state. The lie that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. The lie that Israel is an “outpost of Western civilization in a sea of barbarism.” The lie that Israel respects the rule of law and human rights. 

Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians are always greeted with lies. I heard them. I recorded them. I published them in my stories for The New York Times when I was the paper’s Middle East Bureau Chief.

I covered war for two decades, including seven years in the Middle East. I learned quite a bit about the size and lethality of explosive devices. There is nothing in the arsenal of Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) that could have replicated the massive explosive power of the missile that killed an estimated 500 civilians in the al-Ahli Arab Christian hospital in Gaza. Nothing. If Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad had these kinds of missiles, huge buildings in Israel would be rubble with hundreds of dead. They don’t. 

The whistling sound, audible on the video moments before the explosion, appears to comes from the high velocity of a missile. This sound gives it away. No Palestinian rocket makes this noise. And then there is the speed of the missile. Palestinian rockets are slow and lumbering, clearly visible as they arch in the sky and then tumble in free fall towards their targets. They do not strike with precision or travel at close to supersonic speed. They are incapable of killing hundreds of people.

The Israeli military dropped “roof knocking” rockets with no warheads on the hospital in the days leading up to the Oct. 17 strike, the familiar warning given by Israel to evacuate buildings, according to al-Ahli hospital officials. Hospital officials also said they had received calls from Israel saying “we warned you to evacuate twice.” Israel has demanded that all hospitals in northern Gaza be evacuated.

Following the strike on the hospital, Hananya Naftali, a “digital aide” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted on X, formerly Twitter: “Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas terrorist base inside a hospital in Gaza.” The post was quickly deleted.

Since the Oct. 7 incursion into Israel by Palestinian resistance fighters, which reportedly left some 1,300 Israelis dead, many of them civilians, and saw some 200 kidnapped as hostages and taken to Gaza, Israel has carried out 51 attacks on healthcare facilities in Gaza that have killed 15 healthcare workers and injured 27, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Out of 35 hospitals in Gaza, four are not functioning due to severe damage and targeting. Only eight of the 22 UNRWA primary healthcare centers are “partially functional,” the WHO says.

The brazenness of Israeli lies stunned those of us who reported from Gaza. It did not matter if we had seen the Israeli attack, including the shooting of unarmed Palestinians. It did not matter how many witnesses we interviewed. It did not matter what photographic and forensic evidence we obtained. Israel lied. Small lies. Big lies. Huge lies. These lies came reflexively and instantly from the Israeli military, Israeli politicians and Israeli media. They were amplified by Israel’s well-oiled propaganda machine and repeated with a cloying sincerity on international news outlets. 

Israel engages in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic regimes. It does not deform the truth, it inverts it. It paints a picture that is diametrically opposed to reality. Those of us who have covered the occupied territories have run into Israel’s Alice-in-Wonderland narratives, which we dutifully insert into our stories — required under the rules of American journalism — although we know they are untrue.

Israel has invented an Orwellian lexicon. Children killed by Israelis become children caught in crossfire. The bombing of residential districts, with dozens of dead and wounded, becomes a surgical strike on a bomb-making factory. The destruction of Palestinian homes becomes the demolition of the homes of terrorists. 

The Big Lie — Große Lüge — feeds the two reactions Israel seeks to elicit — racism among its supporters and terror among its victims. The Big Lies fosters the myth of a clash of civilizations, a war between democracy, decency and honor on one side and Islamic terrorism, barbarism and medievalism on the other. 

George Orwell in his novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” called the Big Lie “doublethink”. Doublethink uses “logic against logic” and “repudiate[s] morality while laying claim to it.” The Big Lie abolishes nuances, ambiguities and contradictions that can plague conscience. It is designed to create cognitive dissonance. It permits no gray zones. The world is black and white, good and evil, righteous and unrighteous. The Big Lie allows believers to take comfort — a comfort they are desperately seeking — in their own moral superiority even as they abrogate all morality. It feeds, what Edward Bernays called, the “logic-proof compartment of dogmatic adherence.” All effective propaganda, Bernays writes, targets and builds upon these irrational “psychological habits.”

Israeli supporters thirst for these lies. They do not want to know the truth. The truth would force them to examine their racism, self-delusion and complicity in oppression, murder and genocide. 

Most importantly, the Big Lie sends an ominous message to the Palestinians. The Big Lie states that Israel will wage a campaign of mass terror and genocide and never take responsibility for its crimes. The Big Lie obliterates the truth. It obliterates the dignity of human thought and human action. It obliterates facts. It obliterates history. It obliterates comprehension. It obliterates hope. It reduces all communication to the language of violence. When oppressors speak to the oppressed exclusively through indiscriminate violence, the oppressed answer through indiscriminate violence. 

The cartoonist Joe Sacco and I watched Israeli soldiers taunt and shoot small boys in the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza. We interviewed the boys and their parents afterwards in the hospital. In a few cases we attended their funerals. We had their names. We had the dates and locations of the shootings. 

Israel’s response was to say that we were not in Gaza. We had made it up.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister and Israeli Defense Force (IDF) spokesperson immediately blamed the killing of the Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022, on Palestinian gunmen. Israel disseminated footage of a Palestinian fighter they said shot and killed the journalist, who was wearing a flak jacket and helmet marked “PRESS.”

Benny Gantz, who was at the time Defense Minister, stated that “no [Israeli] gunfire was directed at the journalist,” and that the Israeli army had “seen footage of indiscriminate shooting by Palestinian terrorists”.

This lie was peddled until video footage examined by B’Tselem, The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, identified the location of the Palestinian gunman depicted in the video. The video, the human rights organization found, was taken in a different location from where Shireen was killed.

When Israel is caught lying, as it was with the murder of Shireen, it promises an investigation. But these investigations are a sham. Impartial investigations into the hundreds of killings by soldiers and Jewish settlers of Palestinians are rarely carried out. Perpetrators are almost never brought to trial or held accountable. The pattern of Israeli obfuscation is predictable. So is the collusion of nearly all of the corporate media along with Republican and Democratic politicians. U.S. politicians decried the murder of Shireen and dutifully repeated the old mantra, calling for a “thorough investigation” by the army that carried out the crime.

A few months later, Israel admitted that there was a “high possibility” that an Israeli soldier killed the journalist by accident, but by then the eruption of street protests and rage over the killing of the journalist was over and her murder largely forgotten. 

By the time the conclusive proof comes out about the bombing of the hospital, it too will be a distant memory.

There is dramatic footage captured in September 2000 at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip — where I saw a nineteen-year-old boy shot and killed by an Israeli sniper — by France 2 TV, of a father trying to shield his traumatized 12-year-old son, Muhammad al-Durrah, from Israeli gunfire that ultimately killed him. 

The killing of the boy resulted in the typical propaganda campaign by Israel. Israeli officials spent years lying about the killing, first blaming the Palestinians for the shooting, later suggesting that the scene was faked, and finally insisting the boy was still alive.

When an Israeli soldier, in 2003, murdered the 23-year-old student and American activist Rachel Corrie, by crushing her to death with a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the illegal demolition of a Palestinian doctor’s home, the Israeli army said it was an accident for which Corrie was responsible.

The Israeli military has killed “at least” 20 journalists since 2001, with no accountability, according to a 2023 report by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.  “Immediately after a journalist is killed by security forces, Israeli officials often push out a counter narrative to media reporting,” the CPJ concluded. This includes blaming the deaths on “indiscriminate fire” by Palestinians or attempts to discredit those killed as “terrorists.”

Israel blocks the work of independent human rights organizations into atrocities and war crimes it commits in Gaza and the West Bank. It refuses to cooperate with the International Criminal Court into possible war crimes in the Occupied Territories. It does not cooperate with the U.N. Human Rights Council and prohibits the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, from entering the country. Israel revoked the work permit for Omar Shakir, the Director of Human Rights Watch (Israel and Palestine), in 2018 and expelled him. In May 2018, Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy published a report calling on the European Union and European states to halt their direct and indirect financial support and funding to Palestinian and international human rights organizations that “have ties to terror and promote boycotts against Israel.”

After the bombing of the hospital, Israel first released a video that purported to show Palestinian Islamic Jihad rockets which struck the hospital. The Israelis hastily removed the video when journalists noticed that time stamps showed the images were taken 40 minutes after the strike on the hospital. 

Israeli propagandists — aware that Palestinian rockets have little explosive power — then claimed that Hamas stored munitions under the hospital. This caused the massive explosion, they said. But if this was true, it would mean there would be a secondary explosion. There was none. And now Israel has released what they say is a recording of two Hamas militants discussing the missile strike on the hospital. The militants ask each other, in a self-incriminating conversation that is too ridiculous to believe, if Hamas or PIJ carried out the strike. Please. How was Israel completely in the dark about an incursion by thousands of armed Palestinian militants from Gaza into Israel on Oct. 7 and able to capture this incriminating conversation by two supposed militants?  

“Israel has a whole unit of ‘mistaravim’, Israeli Jewish undercover agents trained to pose as Palestinians and secretly operate among Palestinians,” the reporter Jonathan Cook writes. “Israel produced a highly popular TV series about such people in Gaza called Fauda. You have to be beyond credulous to think that Israel couldn’t, and wouldn’t, rig up a call like this to fool us, just as it regularly fools Palestinians in Gaza.”

Israel has also long targeted medical facilities, ambulances and medics, as Middle East scholar Norman Finkelstein points out. It bombed a Palestinian children’s hospital during the 1982 war in Lebanon, killing 60 people. It also carried out missile strikes on clearly marked Lebanese ambulances during the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon. It damaged or destroyed 29 ambulances and almost half of Gaza’s health facilities, including 15 hospitals, during the 2008-2009 assault on Gaza known as Operation Cast Lead. It routinely prohibited wounded Palestinians from being picked up by ambulances during this operation, often leaving them to die. During Operation Protective Edge, the 51-day assault on Gaza in 2014, Israel destroyed or damaged 17 hospitals and 56 primary healthcare centers and damaged or destroyed 45 ambulances. 

You can see my interview, released today, with Professor Finkelstein about Gaza and Israel here.

Amnesty International, which investigated the Israeli attacks on three of these hospitals in 2014, dismissed the “evidence” for the attacks offered by Israel as false. “The image tweeted by the Israeli military does not match satellite images of the al-Wafa hospital and appears to depict a different location,” the report read.

Expose Israeli lies and you are attacked by Israel and its supporters as an anti-Semite and apologist for terrorists. You are banished from mainstream media. You are denied forums to speak about the issue and, as has happened to me, disinvited from university events.

It is an old game, one I have played as a reporter many, many times. I bear the scars of the lies spewed out by Israel and its lobby. Meanwhile, Israel continues its butchery, endorsed and even lauded by Western political leaders, including Joe Biden, who accompany the torrent of lies from Israel like a Wagnerian chorus. 

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Middle East Eye

Israel-Palestine: More than 1,000 Palestinian children killed in Gaza air strikes, NGO reveals

Israeli offensive killing a child every 15 minutes in besieged enclave

The NGO emphasised that the numbers, based on those provided by the Ministry of Health, only account for people admitted to hospitals. With an estimated 1000 Palestinians still under rubble according to the Ministry of Interior, the death toll is likely to be higher.

The DCI said that the cutting of electricity and fuel supplies to Gaza means that Palestinian children are suffering the psychological impacts of the “increasingly dire humanmade humanitarian crisis”.


Follow our live blog for all the latest on the Israel-Palestine war

Lack of electricity has exacerbated food scarcity, making refigeration impossible. Additionally, the cutting of water to Gaza means many children are now resorting to contaminated water sources, according to Unicef.

"The repercussions of this war will not only affect the victims we have lost... but the psychological impact on us civilians and our children will be catastrophic,” said Mohammad Abu Rukbeh, a senior Gaza field researcher at DCI's Palestine branch.

According to the NGO, the psychological toll on children who have survived the air strikes in Gaza is compounded by pre-existing traumas sustained from a 16-year siege on the strip.

'The emotional repercussions for these children are profound'

- Defence for Children International

Prior to the current offensive, one in four Gaza children were already in need of psychosocial support, over half were dependent on humanitarian assistance for their survival, with four out of five living with depression, grief and fear.

"The emotional repercussions for these children are profound, as they grapple not only with the pain of the current situation in their city but also with the daunting challenge of navigating life without the foundational support of their families," the NGO said.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian politician MK Aida Touma-Sliman said in the Knesset that "no child, neither Jew nor Palestinian, is guilty and that no child should be a victim of this blood cycle".

In response MK Merav Ben-Ari, a member of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said: "The children in Gaza brought it upon themselves."


 REUTERS

36 Photos

Israeli air strikes hit Gaza as Palestinians flee

SENSITIVE IMAGES THAT MAY OFFEND OR DISTURB Thousands of Palestinians fled the northern Gaza Strip before an expected Israeli ground assault, while Israel said it would keep two roads open to let people escape.


 

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
Flash Update #11

17 October 2023

OCTOBER 10, 2023

Statement of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area

 

We are deeply concerned and saddened by the recent escalation of violence in the region, particularly the attacks on Israel by Hamas. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the conflict, including innocent civilians.

At the heart of this long-standing conflict are deeply rooted historical, political, and humanitarian issues that have caused immeasurable pain and suffering on all sides. We firmly believe that the only way to resolve this conflict is through peaceful means, dialogue, and diplomacy. We urge all parties involved to:

Cease Hostilities: We call upon all parties to immediately halt all acts of violence and engage in constructive dialogue. The cycle of violence has brought untold suffering to the people of the region and has only perpetuated the conflict.

Protect Civilians: It is imperative to prioritize the protection of civilians, including women and children, who are the most vulnerable in times of conflict. All parties must abide by international humanitarian law and ensure the safety of non-combatants.

Resume Negotiations: We encourage all stakeholders to return to the negotiating table with a commitment to finding a just and lasting solution to the conflict. A peaceful resolution based on the principles of mutual recognition, coexistence, and security is the only way forward.

International Engagement: We call upon the international community to intensify efforts to mediate and facilitate a peaceful resolution. The support of the global community is essential in helping the parties involved to reach a sustainable agreement.

Humanitarian Aid: We urge unrestricted access for humanitarian organizations to provide assistance to those affected by the conflict. Humanitarian aid is essential to alleviate the suffering of those in need.

In times of crisis, we must come together to promote dialogue, understanding, and reconciliation. Only through a commitment to peace and a genuine desire for a better future can we hope to break the cycle of violence and bring about a more stable and secure region for all.

KEY POINTS

  • Hundreds of fatalities in Al Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza were reported as this Flash Update was being finalized (22:00). The compound hosted patients and internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking safe shelter.

  • As hostilities entered the eleventh day, heavy Israeli bombardments on Gaza, from the air, sea and land, have continued almost uninterrupted. In the last 20 hours (as of 17:30), 192 Palestinians have been killed, bringing the cumulative fatality toll in the Gaza Strip to 3,000, including at least 853 children, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza (excluding Al Ahli hospital casualties). Hundreds of additional fatalities are believed to be trapped under the rubble.

  • The number of IDPs in Gaza is estimated at about one million, including about 352,000 IDPs staying in UNRWA schools in central and southern Gaza alone, in increasingly dire conditions. This afternoon (17 October), an UNRWA school in Al Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza, sheltering some 4,000 IDPs, was hit during an Israeli airstrike, killing at least six people.
  • The Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office stated on Tuesday that there are “appalling reports that civilians attempting to relocate to southern Gaza were struck and killed by an explosive weapon,” and urged Israel “to avoid targeting civilians and civilian objects or conducting area bombardments, indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks.”
  • The complete siege of Gaza continues. The Rafah Crossing has remained closed, preventing the entry of desperately needed humanitarian aid, including food, water and medicines awaiting on the Egyptian side.
  • The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs stressed today (17 October) the need for a humanitarian suspension of hostilities enabling the delivery of aid, along with some respite from the bloodshed.
  • Gaza has been under full electricity blackout for the seventh consecutive day. Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) managed to deliver locally stored fuel to Gaza’s largest hospital (Shifa), enabling the operation of generators for a few more days. Other hospitals are operating at a bare minimum capacity.
  • The average water consumption for all needs (drinking, cooking and hygiene) is currently estimated at three litres per day per person in Gaza. There is increasing water consumption from unsafe sources, placing the population at risk of death or infectious disease outbreak.
  • The Palestinian armed groups’ indiscriminate rocket firing towards Israeli population centres continued, with no new Israeli fatalities reported (as of 21:00 17 October). Overall, more than 1,300 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli authorities, the vast majority on 7 October.
  • At least 199 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals. On 16 October, UN’s emergency relief chief Martin Griffiths expressed deep concern about the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and about the fate of Israeli hostages, stressing that “they have to be let out straight away.”
  • In the West Bank, since the afternoon of 15 October, Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians, bringing the fatality toll by Israeli forces and settlers since 7 October to 61, including 16 children.
Read the full update

NPR

Hundreds killed in explosion at a crowded Gaza hospital

LISTEN· 7:377-Minute ListenPLAYLIST

Wisconsin-Based Coalition for Justice in Palestine calls for an end to intimidation and bullying of democratically elected officials calling for a fair Resolution from the Wisconsin State Assembly

October 13, 2023

A broad coalition of Wisconsin organizations that work for peace and justice formed on October 8th to respond to the false and one-sided narratives regarding Israel’s war on Gaza and the continued oppression of the indigenous Palestinian population. 

The coalition’s member organizations include Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace–Milwaukee, Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, Islamic Society of Milwaukee, Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice, Milwaukee Anti-war Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Students for Democratic Society, Adalah Justice Group, Syrian American Medical Society-Milwaukee, Peace Action Wisconsin, Students for Justice in Palestine at UWM, Marquette University and UW-Madison, Arab and Muslim Women’s Research and Resource Institute, Muslim American Society, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Friends of Palestine WI, Milwaukee Islamic Dawa Center, Al-Quran Foundation, Catholics for Peace and Justice, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Black Youth Project 100, We Are Many - United Against Hate, MKE4Palestine, United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), and Sunseekers Milwaukee.

In a joint statement, they said, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Israeli and Palestinian lives, and condemn unequivocally the decades of provocation including the years by one of the most extreme supremacist Israeli governments in history.

“We are also alarmed by the one-sided narrative in mainstream U.S. media and from President Biden’s administration that posits Israel as a victim and ignores the tremendous suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza under decades of brutal Israeli occupation.”

This new Wisconsin coalition is calling for a correction of false narratives and an end to U.S support of Israeli apartheid and the subjugation of  Palestinians.  It is demanding a ceasefire, humanitarian aid and safety for civilians, thousands who are injured, and an end to the forced dehydration and starvation of the civilian population of Gaza.

This coalition is extremely distressed that so many of the elected representatives that have worked with our organizations for years failed to give thought and consideration to the indigenous 2.2 million Palestinian civilians, Muslim and Christian who are facing imminent genocide in Gaza.  We note these representatives have often stood against false and one-sided narratives targeting Black Americans, Latinos, the LGBTQ people, and other marginalized and oppressed people. When did it become acceptable for these representatives and the Wisconsin Assembly as a whole to support one of the most racist and supremacist governments in the world?

As is seen more often in authoritarian countries, when representatives Ryan Clancy, Darrin Madison, and Lakeshia Myers took a more nuanced position, acknowledging the indigenous Palestinian children and civilians who are suffering, state elector Ann Jacobs threw around the word “antisemitism” and asked for Clancy to be ousted. 

As a coalition of 27 organizations, with more joining each day, representing thousands of voters,  we stand unequivocally behind the right of our democratically elected representatives to vote their conscience without intimidation and bullying.  We commend Representatives Clancy, Madison and Myers for their principled and moral stand and we call upon our elected leaders to demand that food, water, electricity, medicine and safety be available to innocent civilians in Gaza, of whom half are children.


Israel’s Official Ethnic Cleansing Program

 Jewish Currents

A Textbook Case of Genocide

Israel has been explicit about what it’s carrying out in Gaza. Why isn’t the world listening?

Raz Segal
October 13, 2023

Palestinians look for survivors after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on October 12th, 2023. AP Photo/Hatem Ali

ON FRIDAY, Israel ordered the besieged population in the northern half of the Gaza Strip to evacuate to the south, warning that it would soon intensify its attack on the Strip’s upper half. The order has left more than a million people, half of whom are children, frantically attempting to flee amid continuing airstrikes, in a walled enclave where no destination is safe. As Palestinian journalist Ruwaida Kamal Amer wrote today from Gaza, “refugees from the north are already arriving in Khan Younis, where the missiles never stop and we’re running out of food, water, and power.” The UN has warned that the flight of people from the northern part of Gaza to the south will create “devastating humanitarian consequences” and will “transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation.” Over the last week, Israel’s violence against Gaza has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, injured thousands, and displaced more than 400,000 within the strip. And yet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised today that what we have seen is “only the beginning.”

Israel’s campaign to displace Gazans—and potentially expel them altogether into Egypt—is yet another chapter in the Nakba, in which an estimated 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes during the 1948 war that led to the creation of the State of Israel. But the assault on Gaza can also be understood in other terms: as a textbook case of genocide unfolding in front of our eyes. I say this as a scholar of genocide, who has spent many years writing about Israeli mass violence against Palestinians. I have written about settler colonialism and Jewish supremacy in Israel, the distortion of the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry, the weaponization of antisemitism accusations to justify Israeli violence against Palestinians, and the racist regime of Israeli apartheid. Now, following Hamas’s attack on Saturday and the mass murder of more than 1,000 Israeli civilians, the worst of the worst is happening.

Under international law, the crime of genocide is defined by “the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such,” as noted in the December 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. In its murderous attack on Gaza, Israel has loudly proclaimed this intent. Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant declared it in no uncertain terms on October 9th: “We are imposing a complete siege on Gaza. No electricity, no food, no water, no fuel. Everything is closed. We are fighting human animals, and we will act accordingly.” Leaders in the West reinforced this racist rhetoric by describing Hamas’s mass murder of Israeli civilians—a war crime under international law that rightly provoked horror and shock in Israel and around the world—as “an act of sheer evil,” in the words of US President Joe Biden, or as a move that reflected an “ancient evil,” in the terminology of President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. This dehumanizing language is clearly calculated to justify the wide scale destruction of Palestinian lives; the assertion of “evil,” in its absolutism, elides distinctions between Hamas militants and Gazan civilians, and occludes the broader context of colonization and occupation.

The UN Genocide Convention lists five acts that fall under its definition. Israel is currently perpetrating three of these in Gaza: “1. Killing members of the group. 2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group. 3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” The Israeli Air Force, by its own account, has so far dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world—almost as many bombs as the US dropped on all of Afghanistan during record-breaking years of its war there. Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the weapons used included phosphorous bombs, which set fire to bodies and buildings, creating flames that aren’t extinguished on contact with water. This demonstrates clearly what Gallant means by “act accordingly”: not targeting individual Hamas militants, as Israel claims, but unleashing deadly violence against Palestinians in Gaza “as such,” in the language of the UN Genocide Convention. Israel has also intensified its 16-year siege of Gaza—the longest in modern history, in clear violation of international humanitarian law—to a “complete siege,” in Gallant’s words. This turn of phrase that explicitly indexes a plan to bring the siege to its final destination of systematic destruction of Palestinians and Palestinian society in Gaza, by killing them, starving them, cutting off their water supplies, and bombing their hospitals.

It’s not only Israel’s leaders who are using such language. An interviewee on the pro-Netanyahu Channel 14 called for Israel to “turn Gaza to Dresden.” Channel 12, Israel’s most-watched news station, published a report about left-leaning Israelis calling to “dance on what used to be Gaza.” Meanwhile, genocidal verbs—calls to “erase” and “flatten” Gaza—have become omnipresent on Israeli social media. In Tel Aviv, a banner reading “Zero Gazans” was seen hanging from a bridge.

Indeed, Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza is quite explicit, open, and unashamed. Perpetrators of genocide usually do not express their intentions so clearly, though there are exceptions. In the early 20th century, for example, German colonial occupiers perpetrated a genocide in response to an uprising by the Indigenous Herero and Nama populations in southwest Africa. In 1904, General Lothar von Trotha, the German military commander, issued an “extermination order,” justified by the rationale of a “race war.” By 1908, the German authorities had murdered 10,000 Nama, and had achieved their stated goal of “destroying the Herero,” killing 65,000 Herero, 80% of the population. Gallant’s orders on October 9th were no less explicit. Israel’s goal is to destroy the Palestinians of Gaza. And those of us watching around the world are derelict in our responsibility to prevent them from doing so.


Dave Lippman, “The Star of Goliath”: a 24 minute video from 2015 describes some of the history of Palestine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9nbxMT4-qw


 

Hostilities in the Gaza Strip and Israel
Flash Update #9

15 October 2023

 

KEY POINTS

  • Heavy Israeli bombardments on Gaza, from the air, sea and land, have continued almost uninterrupted. Over the past 24 hours (as of 22:00), there have been Palestinian 455 fatalities in Gaza and 856 injuries, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.
  • Mass displacement from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip has continued since Israel’s evacuation order on Friday. By Saturday afternoon, nearly 600,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) were hosted in the central and southern parts of Gaza alone, in increasingly dire conditions; since then, this figure has raised significantly.
  • Palestinian armed groups in Gaza continued firing rockets indiscriminately towards Israeli population centres, including at the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. No Israeli fatalities were reported during the past 24 hours (as of 21:00) in this context, but dozens were wounded.
  • An almost full evacuation of Sderot city, in southern Israel, was completed today (Sunday). Smaller Israeli communities around Gaza have been fully vacated in previous days, while a large proportion of Ashqelon city’s residents have also reportedly left.
  • Today (Sunday), Israel partially resumed water supply to the eastern Khan Younis area. Concerns about dehydration and waterborne diseases remain high given the collapse of water and sanitation services, including today’s shutdown of Gaza’s last functioning seawater desalination plant.
  • Fuel reserves at all hospitals across Gaza are expected to last for about additional 24 hours. The shutdown of backup generators would place the lives of thousands of patients at risk.
  • On Sunday, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt Lynn Hastings, called for a humanitarian ceasefire.
  • In the West Bank, since Saturday afternoon, Israeli forces killed one Palestinian boy and another boy died from wounds sustained previously, bringing the fatality toll by Israeli forces since 7 October to 56 Palestinians, including 15 children.
Read the full update

Veterans For Peace Hamas-Israel Statement

October 12, 2023

Veterans For Peace is an organization of former soldiers and allies who know too well the costs of war – the obvious, visible wounds; the unseen wounds that curse us and our families for generations and the cost to society of maintaining a military larger than the next ten nations combined. Bitter experience taught us that war is insanity and suffering.

We oppose all targeting of civilians. We denounce Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians and deplore Israel’s crushing response in Gaza. We also recognize this war did not start last week, it has gone on for decades. Over $150 billion of our tax dollars have provided Israel unlimited weaponry and diplomatic cover has allowed it to expand its occupation such that 16 years ago former President Jimmy Carter clearly labeled it apartheid.

Our government fans the flames beneath the pressure cooker of occupation and our taxes make us complicit. We should not pretend shock at a violent response after Palestinian homes are destroyed to make way for Israeli “settlers” and Gaza is locked down, year after year, by a draconian air, sea and land blockade. History is defined by when you start the clock.

In the war of competing propaganda, we recognize that U.S. officials fabricate incidents for corporate media consumption, such as President Biden claiming he saw photos of beheaded Israeli children. Hours later, as reported by news outlets from the Palestine Chronicle to Business Insider, a White House spokesperson had to "walk back" Biden's claims. But just like the Bush administration claims in 1991 that Iraqi soldiers threw Kuwaiti babies out of incubators, once the lie is out, the truth rarely catches up.

This cycle of violence, coupled with the reality that war is an uncontrollable force with its own agency and purposes, results in the terrors we witness.

Neither side has a military path to victory, which is why we strongly oppose our government’s plans to send troops, aircraft carriers and more munitions and President Biden’s promise to fully support Israel’s assault on the people of Gaza.  We support a ceasefire, negotiations and release of prisoners from all sides.  

Only a political process will dismantle the apartheid system, answer the grievances of the Palestinian people, create a democratic system that provides rights for all the people of Israel and Palestine, and finally bring lasting security and peace.  Without that political process, the cycle of violence will magnify, dooming more generations of Israelis and Palestinians.

We lift up the words of our brother and sister military veterans, both Palestinian and Israeli, members of Combatants for Peace:

Our hearts are with all of the victims and their families, and we hope for the safe return of those held captive, and for the safety of the civilians trapped inside Gaza...Together, we must retain our humanity, and value all life as sacred and cherished...The only solution is ending the occupation, uniting Israelis and Palestinians and focusing our collective efforts on achieving peace.”


Logo

Days 4-5: Israel destroys entire residential neighborhoods and intensifies mass killings of Palestinians in Gaza

Date: 11 October 2023

On the fifth consecutive day, Israel has persisted in its military offensive on the Gaza Strip, employing immense destructive firepower. The Israeli military have launched airstrikes which have brought about the devastation of complete residential neighborhoods, streets and infrastructure and mass killings of the inhabitants of those neighborhoods. Civilians and civilian infrastructure have been deliberately targeted.

As a result of the escalating intensity of airstrikes, moving, as they do, from one location to another, there is no safe refuge in Gaza. The Israeli bombardment has caused substantial damage to shelters; even those sites designated by international law for special protection to ensure the safety of civilians have been targeted. The relentless wave of hundreds of airstrikes has resulted in significant killings and injuries among the civilian population, with many still trapped beneath the rubble, beyond the reach of search and rescue teams.

According to the Ministry of Health, as at 14:00 p.m. on 11 October 2023, some 1,100 Palestinians, including 326 children, have been killed in Israel’s military attacks. The number of injuries has reached 5,339, with 60% of those being children and women. These numbers will inevitably rise, as dozens of people are still trapped under the rubble. Furthermore, Israeli airstrikes have led to the destruction of thousands of homes and private and public buildings.

Evidence from the ground, including photos and video, show the emission of white smoke coinciding with Israeli shells being directed at specific neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip, suggesting that white phosphorus may have been used. More investigation will determine. The potential use of white phosphorus and other internationally banned ammunition and weaponry by the Israeli military within densely populated civilian areas, as well as other aspects of the current offensive, will require the scrutiny of an international inquiry.

The following highlights the most severe Israeli attacks carried out in Gaza between midday on 10 October and midday on 11 October 2023, as monitored and documented jointly by Al-Mezan, Al-Haq, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: 

  • In the North Gaza District, Israeli military forces carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Tuesday 10th October, destroying three houses, with their residents still inside, in Jabaliya, and killing 26 Palestinians, including 13 children and seven women, with eight people still unaccounted for.
  • From yesterday evening (10 October) until dawn today (11 October), Israeli warplanes launched dozens of intensive and destructive airstrikes on the Al-Karama neighborhood, west of Jabaliya, targeting roads and numerous houses, without prior warning. These attacks killed a significant number of Palestinians such that our fieldworkers were unable to provide an accurate number as many people remain under the rubble, and are yet to be documented. Further, an ambulance was targeted during the evacuation of the wounded near Al-Karama towers, killing a number of Palestinians and injuring paramedics.
  • At dawn today (11 October), the areas of Al-Qarm, Ezbet Abdrabbo, and Al-Sikka, east of Jabaliya and its refugee camp, were targeted by warplanes and artillery. There were dozens of artillery attacks and airstrikes. The attacks resulted in the destruction of entire neighborhoods, and hindered the access of ambulance and rescue teams to the area. In the morning, rescue teams managed to recover dozens of bodies, with 24 identified so far. A considerable number of bodies remain unidentified, and others are still under the rubble. Thousands of survivors have fled from the area.
  • In Gaza City, Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes on residential neighborhoods coupled with intense shelling from artillery and naval vessels. The attacks resulted in the destruction of numerous houses and residential buildings belonging to the Al-Tatar, Eslim, Marouf, Abu Shammala, Ashour, and Naffar families. Israeli warplanes also targeted a residential neighborhood in Al-Sahaba Street, destroying several houses belonging to the Hijazi, Al-Safadi, Atallah, and Al-Sik families. Furthermore, Israeli warplanes resumed the targeting of the Islamic University compound and bombed the Al-Fakhoura Scholarship Program building. The attacks killed 57 Palestinians, including 20 children and 11 women, with ongoing search and rescue efforts for dozens of bodies under the rubble.
  • In the Middle Area District, Israeli forces conducted a series of airstrikes on neighborhoods, residential apartments and agricultural lands, coupled with intense shelling from heavy weapons and naval vessels. Israeli warplanes targeted residential areas, most notably in the three densely populated refugee camps of Al-Bureij, Al-Nusairat,  and Deir al-Balah.  Prominent institutions such as the Islamic National Bank were attacked. The intense airstrikes resulted in significant damage to infrastructure and electricity networks, and caused considerable destruction to multi-story houses and residential apartments belonging to the Al-Hasanat, Al-Naqib, Musallam, Jouda, Al-Araj, Al-Najjar, Ramadan, and Ismail families. These attacks killed 49 Palestinians, including 15 children and 12 women; dozens were injured. Civil defense and medical teams are still searching for missing people under the rubble. Further, Israeli naval shelling destroyed 13 Palestinian fishing boats, and damaged ten others along the coast of Deir al-Balah. Some houses remain inaccessible to rescue teams due to limited resources.

 

  • In Khan Younis, Israeli forces targeted several houses and apartments belonging to the Al-Astal, Awad, Ismail, Aram, Al-Agha, Abu Shab, and Al-Qidra families. The attacks killed 43 Palestinians, including 16 children and 12 women. Among those killed were two members of Hamas political bureau, Zakaria Abu Muammar and Jawad Abu Shammala. Israeli forces continued to target entire residential neighborhoods with aerial and artillery bombardment in the eastern areas of Khan Younis, including Khuza’a, Abasan al-Kabira, Abasan al-Jadida, Al-Qarara, and Al-Fukhari. Most of the residents of those areas had left their homes earlier having received warnings and orders from the Israeli forces to evacuate. The attacks led to massive destruction in several residential neighborhoods, including a significant number of homes, shops and infrastructure. Civil defense teams continue to search for missing people under the rubble.

 

  • In Rafah, Israeli warplanes carried out numerous airstrikes targeting several homes and apartments, as well as the Islamic National Bank and the Postal Bank. The attacks killed 16 Palestinians, including four children, a woman and a journalist. Civil defense teams continue to search for missing people under the rubble. Furthermore, Israeli forces bombed the Rafah border crossing gate between Gaza and Egypt for the third time, with the apparent aim of blocking entry and exit from Gaza, and preventing the entry of Egyptian relief trucks carrying fuel and goods into the Gaza Strip.
  • According to United Nations estimates, more than 200,000 people have been internally displaced, with over 137,000 seeking shelter in more than 80 UNRWA schools across the Gaza Strip.
  • Human rights organizations continue to receive complaints from many people in shelters regarding the lack of services, including bedding and food. An urgent response from the UN is required to ensure the provision of basic needs for the survival of the people.
  • Furthermore, the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza was severely damaged due to airstrikes in the surrounding area.  The international UN staff in Gaza moved to another building within the same compound.
  • UNRWA has reported direct and collateral damage to at least 18 of its facilities, including schools sheltering displaced civilians. Additionally, nine UNRWA staff members and 30 students have been killed since the beginning of the Israeli offensive.
  • Palestinian human rights organizations warn of a looming humanitarian catastrophe that will impact the lives of around 2.3 million citizens in the Gaza Strip. The complete closure imposed by Israel will lead to a total power outage within hours, due to the depletion of fuel supplies and the shutdown of Gaza’s sole power plant. Shockingly, Israel, since the beginning of the offensive, has terminated the supply of (120) megawatts of electricity to Gaza.
  • According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Israeli forces have targeted nine healthcare facilities, including seven governmental hospitals, destroyed 15 ambulances, and killed six medical personnel while injuring 16 others.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Al-Haq, and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights express their absolute condemnation of the ongoing Israeli aggression and the atrocities inflicted upon civilians, alongside the widespread and systematic destruction of civilian property – actions constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity. We warn that the intensified assaults by the Israeli military in densely populated areas, coupled with the total closure and the disruption of essential services, including power, water, food, and medical supplies, represent a threat to the lives of the 2.3 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.

Therefore, we reiterate our calls on the international community, especially the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, for urgent and effective intervention, coupled with tangible measures to bring about a cessation of the killing and the employment of starvation as a weapon of war, thereby averting a looming humanitarian crisis. The international community must also exert pressure on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, provide international protection for civilians, and guarantee the unimpeded distribution of medical, relief, and fuel supplies, mitigating the precipitous deterioration of the humanitarian situation on the ground. Furthermore, we call on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in accordance with the Rome Statute, to investigate Israeli crimes, especially indiscriminately and disproportionately targeting civilian homes and killing entire families, and to prosecute and hold accountable every individual who has carried out or ordered the commission of these crimes.


https://electronicintifada.net/

Israeli attacks wipe out 44 Gaza families

Aerial view of people standing on top of debris

Palestinians search the rubble of destroyed buildings following an Israeli strike in Rafah, southern Gaza, on 7 October.

 Ahmed TawfeqAPA images

While Israel appeared to be readying for a ground invasion of Gaza, Palestinians were digging through the rubble for survivors and victims of Israeli airstrikes with their bare hands on Thursday.

Forty-four families have lost most of their members in individual attacks since Israel began its campaign of death and destruction by air, land and sea in revenge for a surprise offensive led by Hamas guerrillas from Gaza on Saturday.....


 Israel Is Using Starvation as a Weapon of War Against the Palestinian People

A full-scale ground offensive on Gaza is imminent, even as Palestinians are already suffering collective punishment.

After Hamas launched more than 2,000 missiles from Gaza and sent hundreds of fighters into Israel on October 7, killing hundreds of civilians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas. But Israel’s retaliation, including massive bombing from the land, air and sea, and its collective punishment of Gazans — denying them food, water, electricity and gas — reveals that Netanyahu has actually declared war on the Palestinian people, especially those in Gaza.

Israeli warplanes are conducting indiscriminate bombings throughout Gaza, targeting homes, schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian buildings. As of October 10, Israel had reportedly used 1,000 tons of explosives and targeted 500 locations, primarily in civilian residential areas.

“The quantity of injured people arriving to our hospitals is huge and will mean we will not be able to accept more patients in Gaza,” Ashraf Al-Qidra, spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Health, told PBS. “I send water to those who have had their houses demolished. All those who have been displaced don’t have anything. All they have is suffering, fear and horror,” Ahmed Youssef Mekhimar, a resident of Gaza, said. Shames Ouda told PBS, “This power station served all Gaza Strip, and now is turned off, Gaza without fuel, without electricity, without Internet, without food. Gaza dying. The people will pay the price of this war.”

A full-scale Israeli ground offensive on Gaza is reportedly imminent, with 360,000 Israeli Occupying Force reserve troops poised to invade. In 2014, Israeli forces bombed and invaded Gaza, killing 2,251 Palestinians, most of them civilians, in “Operation Protective Edge.”

Netanyahu warned Gazans to “leave now” as Israeli forces would “act with all force.” But the people in Gaza cannot leave. Except for one border crossing with Egypt, Israel controls all ingress and egress into the Gaza Strip. As of October 11, Israel has bombed the Egyptian border crossing twice, and Egypt has refused to allow refugees through.

More than 1,200 Israelis and 1,354 Palestinians have been reported killed and thousands wounded on both sides. Israel said that additionally 1,500 bodies of Hamas members have been found inside Israel.

In the face of the tragic deaths of Palestinian and Israeli civilians, President Joe Biden issued a statement saying the United States “unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza,” and pledged “all appropriate means of support” to Netanyahu. He did not decry the loss of Palestinian lives.

Biden called Hamas’s attack “pure, unadulterated evil” in an October 10 news conference. But he refused to urge Israel to exercise restraint in its retaliation against the Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement that U.S. Navy vessels, including an aircraft carrier and a guided missile cruiser, had been sent to the Eastern Mediterranean.

“What is happening in Gaza is complete and utter extermination of the non-Jewish population in occupied Palestine,” Refaat Alareer, a Palestinian academic and writer based in Gaza City, told Democracy Now! “We are dealing with a systematic, structural, colonial attempt to annihilate and exterminate the Palestinians, with the aid and support of the West and American tax money.” Alareer noted, “America is sending $8 billion. This is really insane. America is also sending warships and bombs and bullets for Israel to kill more and more Palestinians.”

“You cannot say ‘nothing justifies killing Israelis’ and then provide justifications for killing Palestinians. We are not sub-humans,” Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN, stated outside the UN Security Council on October 8. “We will never accept rhetoric that denigrates our humanity and reneges our rights. A rhetoric that ignores the occupation of our land and oppression of our people.”

Palestinians Have a Lawful Right to Resist Israeli Occupation “by All Available Means”

The Palestinians have a lawful right under international law to resist Israel’s occupation of their lands, including through armed struggle. In 1983, the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for their independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial domination, apartheid and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”

Israel claims that it has the right to self-defense against Palestinian attacks. In his October 7 statement, Biden said Israel has a right of self-defense.

But under international law, Israel, an occupying force, does not have the right to use military force in self-defense against people under its occupation.

Targeting civilians and civilian objects constitute war crimes under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, whether committed by Israel or by the Palestinians. The presence of noncivilians within civilian populations does not deprive the population of its civilian character under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention.

On October 9, Palestinian resistance forces claimed to have captured at least 130 Israeli troops and citizens, and are holding them hostage to exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Hamas has threatened to kill a civilian hostage each time Israel bombs Palestinian civilians in their homes without warning. The taking of hostages is considered a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Even if some of the actions taken by the Palestinians in their resistance are illegal under international humanitarian law, there is no legal justification for Israel to claim it is acting in self-defense under the UN Charter.

Collective Punishment and Using Starvation as a Weapon Are War Crimes

Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Often called the largest open-air prison on Earth, the Gaza Strip is home to more than 2 million Palestinians in this 365-square-kilometer area. Israel controls Gaza’s land, air and maritime borders.

Israel’s Minister for the Advancement of the Status of Women May Golan said at a meeting of the Israeli government, “All of Gaza’s infrastructures must be destroyed to its foundation and their electricity cut off immediately. The war is not against Hamas but against the state of Gaza.”

Israel has imposed a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared, “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” adding that “we are fighting animals and are acting accordingly.”

Using starvation as a weapon of war constitutes a war crime under Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention. Gallant’s order is a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute. It is also a call for genocide, prohibited by the Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute, since many Gazans will die as a result of the siege.

The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the punishment of people in an occupied territory for offenses they didn’t personally commit. Israel’s reprisals against civilians for actions they did not take constitutes collective punishment, which amounts to a war crime.

Earlier this year, the International People’s Tribunal on U.S. Imperialism, for which I served as a juror, examined 15 countries in the Global South to assess the impact of economic coercive measures on the lives of their people. In May, we heard testimony from witnesses in Gaza as Israeli bombs were dropping on their neighborhoods. The tribunal concluded that Israel’s siege in the Gaza Strip is a form of warfare used as “an integral tool of imperialist aggression designed to facilitate the theft of global south wealth and uphold racial hierarchy.” The siege on Gaza is “just as deadly” as other forms of warfare, the tribunal found.

Root Cause of Hamas Attack Was “Cruelty of a Half-Century of Abusive Occupation”

“Although the Hamas attack included war crimes against innocent civilians, its root cause was the cruelty of a half-century of abusive occupation by Israel that violated the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people, and relied on apartheid practices of governance, according to reports by the leading human rights organizations in the U.S. and Israel,” Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied Since 1967, told Truthout.

Falk attributes the timing of Hamas’s attack to “the extremism of the Netanyahu coalition government” that “provoked resistance by its complicity with settler violence and violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, and by erasing Palestine from its official maps of the Middle East and negotiating a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.” Falk called the Hamas attack “a shrill reminder to Israel and the world that ‘we Palestinians are still here and will not be erased and forgotten.’”

In an October 8 statement, Palestinian human rights organizations cited “compelling evidence” that the Israeli authorities had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity against Gaza’s civilian population, including illegal indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. They urged the international community, including the UN Security Council, to take immediate action to stop Israel’s revenge and reprisal against Gazan civilians, including the imposition of sanctions and an arms embargo on Israel. They also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to expedite its pending investigation into the situation in Palestine as promised in December 2022. The ICC launched an investigation in 2021 of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both Israel and the Palestinians, but the probe has stalled due to pressure from the U.S. government.

The Security Council, which has an obligation under the UN Charter to restore international peace and security, has done nothing to stop the carnage because its permanent members cannot agree on a course of action. While the U.S. demanded a blanket condemnation of Hamas’s actions, Russia and China refused to agree to the unilateral denunciation of Hamas; they favored calling for an immediate ceasefire and the beginning of a peace process that has been frozen for years.

“The bloodshed of today and the past 75 years traces back directly to U.S. complicity in the oppression and horror caused by Israel’s military occupation,” Jewish Voice for Peace said in an October 7 statement titled “The Root of Violence is Oppression.” Jewish Voice for Peace blamed the U.S. government which “consistently enables Israeli violence and bears blame for this moment. The unchecked military funding, diplomatic cover, and billions of dollars of private money flowing from the U.S. enables and empowers Israel’s apartheid regime.” Moreover, Jewish Voice for Peace noted, “Those who continue calling for ‘ironclad’ U.S. support for the Israeli military are only paving the path to more violence.”

Jewish Voice for Peace demanded “that the U.S. government immediately take steps to withdraw military funding to Israel and to hold the Israeli government accountable for its gross violations of human rights and war crimes against Palestinians.”

U.S. congressmembers Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Cori Bush (D-Missouri) have called for an end to the U.S. government’s unconditional financial support of Israel’s military occupation and apartheid government. The United States has been providing Israel with $3.8 billion a year in military assistance.

While Western countries and their media decry the loss of Israeli lives, they don’t express similar outrage at the deaths of Palestinians. This hypocrisy is racist and ignores the context of decades of settler colonialism and Israeli apartheid.

We must pressure the U.S. government to call for an immediate ceasefire and stop sending weapons to Israel. “There is no military solution here,” Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, told my cohost Heidi Boghosian and me on Law and Disorder radio.

The consequences of allowing Israel to continue and escalate its aggression against the Palestinian people are unimaginable.


WILPF Urgent Response in Palestine   
 


The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is deeply saddened at the ongoing and escalating loss of life in Palestine and Israel, which takes place in the context of ongoing Israeli occupation, war crimes and impunity. We denounce all attacks against civilians by all parties. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are a crime under international law and cannot be justified. Please read and share WILPF’s statement and demands on the escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel.

As we write this Action Alert, the Israeli government is indiscriminately shelling the Gaza Strip; 1537 people in Gaza have been killed so far and civilians were told to evacuate northern Gaza, impacting up to one million people and continuing the cycle of ethnic cleansing. In addition, the Israeli government is collectively punishing the Gaza population by enforcing a complete siege; no water, food, electricity or fuel is allowed into the territory. This was described by many Human Rights organisations as a call for genocide.  

Take action!


In an attempt to support  your efforts to mobilise in response to the unfolding situation, we want to share with you some resources and guidance on what you can do to help stop the ongoing atrocities and loss of life, support demands for a just and sustainable peace, and act in solidarity with Palestinians:

  • Countering disinformation and influencing the narrative: In light of the concerning reports of disinformation and the spread of false narratives of the conflict, we are sharing with you a set of resources to help ensure that we all have access to accurate and reliable information. (see list under)

  • Amplify Palestinian voices and demands: By sharing first hand testimonies, demands and supporting grass-root organising, we can amplify the voices of those most impacted by the violence and injustice.

  • Join mobilisations in your own country whenever it is safe and secure: 

    • Ask for the protection of civilian lives by joining mobilisations and doing actions and campaigns that are relevant locally. 

    • Support actions that help end complicity in Israel's crimes against the Palestinians such as calls for and applications of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, check the BDS movement → URGENT ACTION ALERT for meaningful support for Palestinians

    • Advocate for your government, local councils and EU agencies in your country to hold Israel accountable, including through imposition of economic sanctions, incremental restrictive measures, ban on arms trade, restrictions on individuals and companies involved in the settlements, and suspension of all security cooperation and free trade agreements with Israel.        

  • Donate and share donation campaigns to support the victims:

  • Let us know what reliable sources you are reading, what actions you are taking, what statements, demands and voices you think should be amplified and what campaigns should be supported. Sources and campaigns in your own languages and from your own contexts are important. We want to know and amplify a global response against war crimes, occupation and impunity. You can reach out to us at [email protected] or connect through our social media platforms.

List of Trusted Sources


Media Outlets: Palestinian voices on Twitter:

Instagram accounts in English:

Instagram accounts in Arabic:

Instagram accounts in Spanish:

Read statements and appeals of local Palestinian movements and international campaigns and organisations


If you have any additional sources to contribute or wish to participate in the dissemination of mobilizations and solidarity demonstrations taking place in your respective countries, please don't hesitate to share them with us.

Two Palestinians in Gaza Describe “Horror” on 6th Day of Israeli Bombing

“Within days we will have nothing in Gaza,” says Yousef Hammash of the Norwegian Refugee Council.


BOTH ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS ARE VICTIMS OF ISRAEL’S APARTHEID SYSTEM

The answer to Hamas’s horrifying crimes isn’t to kill innocent Gazans — it’s to change the conditions from which this brutality sprang.
By Phyllis Bennis | October 12, 2023

Originally published in Inside Sources.

The violence in Gaza and Israel is bringing horrifying new levels of human suffering to both Israelis and Palestinians.

Both sides have committed heinous violations of international law, and all attacks on civilians must be condemned. But if we’re serious about preventing such horrors in the future, we have to go beyond condemnation.

A lesson we ignore at our peril is that oppression undermines not only the rights, dignity, and lives of the oppressed, but eventually the security of the oppressors as well. The apartheid system that’s been suffocating Palestinians for so long is now also undermining the safety of ordinary Israeli civilians. They’ve become victims of the same system.

We can’t understand how we got here — or how to end the crisis — until we grapple with the immensity of Palestinian suffering. And for us in the United States, it means confronting the role our government and tax dollars play in enabling that oppression to continue.

Explosions of violence never just happen. Since 2007, Gazans have lived under siege, prohibited from leaving their open air prison by a high-security militarized wall and platoons of Israeli soldiers.

Well before the latest escalation, the transit of most goods was banned. Gazans couldn’t get construction materials to repair the apartment blocks, power plants, water treatment facilities, hospitals, school, mosques, and churches that Israel bombed repeatedly — in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2018, and 2021.

Emergency medical permits were often denied, leaving many Gazans to die without care.

Electricity was already limited. A 72-year-old woman in Gaza told a reporter last January, “It is hard to imagine, but we used to experience 24 hours of electricity each day in Gaza; now we are lucky if we get six.”

Water was already unavailable except by expensive purchases from Israeli water companies. And food has long been scarce — by the age of two, 20 percent of Gaza’s children are already stunted.

Now that long-running siege is much worse.

On October 9, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called for a “total siege” of Gaza. “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas — it’s all closed,” he said. For Gaza’s already impoverished and malnourished population, that’s not just collective punishment — it’s genocide.

Hospitals will be unable to treat patients. Families will starve or die of thirst.

Gallant is transforming an existing long-term risk of early death into an immediate, lethal threat. It’s a policy consciously and specifically designed to kill innocent children, babies, elders — everyone.

Human rights experts, UN officials, faith leaders, and others have warned for years that the systemic oppression rights groups now identify as apartheid would one day be too much to stand. Resistance would be inevitable.

For decades, Palestinian resistance has taken overwhelmingly non-violent forms. But the world didn’t hear — or if it heard, it didn’t answer. When the UN warned in 2012 and 2015 that by 2020 Gaza would be “unlivable” without a “herculean effort” by the international community, the world didn’t respond.

This time the resistance took a violent form, including Hamas targeting civilians in horrifying and illegal ways. Those illegitimate acts must be condemned. But if we’re serious about preventing violence — all violence — we need to remember they didn’t come out of nowhere.

We need to change the conditions from which this brutality sprang.

Sending more bombs, warplanes, guns, and bullets won’t solve the problem. We’ve been providing Israel billions of our tax dollars — supplying 20 percent of Israel’s entire military budget — for years. And we’ve done it without putting any conditions on an Israeli military that’s enforced a brutal siege and is indiscriminately bombing Gaza today.

That must end. We also need to stop protecting Israel from being held accountable in the International Criminal Court, and we need to stop vetoing virtually every UN resolution criticizing Israeli violations of human rights.

None of those things makes any attacks on civilians legal or morally acceptable. And Hamas’s cruelty must not be used to justify more brutality against millions of innocent Gazans, half of whom are under 19 and have lived through at least five Israeli wars already.

We need an immediate ceasefire right now. And we need to hold our own government accountable — which includes stopping Washington’s enabling of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

Palestinians have been paying the price for this apartheid system for generations. In the recent attacks, innocent Israelis paid a huge price for that system as well. It’s time to end it.

Phyllis Bennis

Middle East expert Phyllis Bennis is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, and serves as International Adviser for Jewish Voice for Peace. Her books include Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer.


WOMEN UNITED FOR HUMANITY

To Women Leaders and Supporters of Women Throughout the Global Community: 

This is an Urgent Personal Appeal to Help Release All Children  and Women Who Were Abducted into Gaza by Hamas 

We are a group of Israeli women of different ages and backgrounds, voluntarily organized following the hideous  events of October 7th, when Hamas infiltrated Israel cities, towns and villages, brutally murdering hundreds of  civilians, including entire families, innocent partygoers, as well as hundreds of soldiers, policemen and  firefighters. Adjusted to our population, it's as if we have faced TEN 9/11 events in a single day.  

Hundreds of women and children lost their lives, some were brutally raped. During this ongoing massacre,  Hamas terrorists have kidnapped civilians, including over 100 women, children, and infants.  Among the kidnapped women are:  

Doron Asher, 34, is a mother of two young girls aged 5 and 3. She was kidnapped and both of her daughters  .  

were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. Terrorists broke into their home, abducting them from the sheltered room,  while other terrorists were mass-murdering their Kibbutz neighbours. 

Noa Argamani, 25, is a young woman in her early 20s. She participated in a party near the town of Re’im, the  entire event was attacked by Hamas. Hundreds of partygoers were murdered, thousands injured, and she was  kidnapped and filmed by her monsterous captors. 

Carmela Dan, 80, is a grandmother that was kidnapped from her home together with her 13 year old  granddaughter with special needs, while they tried to hide from rockets in the sheltered room.  

As a woman yourself, and as a responsible and compassionate member of the international community, we beg  and urge you to use your influence and authority, and do whatever is in your power to promote the  immediate release of all kidnapped Israelis, starting with women and children.  

THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: 

• Reach Global Leaders. The path to releasing civilians is via internationally mediated negotiation.  Approach your government officials, as well as any officials you have access to in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt  and within the Palestinian leadership. Require immediate negotiations to release abducted civilians. 

Consider economic and political pressure to promote the negotiation, according to your position and reach. • Delegitimize Hamas. During these attacks, Hamas committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and  genocide. Promote their investigation by the International Criminal Court.  

• Speak Truth to Your Audience. Address this atrocity in your home country and with any public you can  reach, be it within your organization or as through media interviews and posts. Promote coverage of the  stories of the abducted civilians in any media outlet you have access to.  

• Forward this Letter. Reach more women in power within your network, and empower them to take a stand.  

Such efforts do not clash with solidarity with Palestine people. However, their freedom can NEVER be  achieved through mass-murder, rape and kidnapping of innocent women and babies. Your position and influence can play a pivotal role in resolving this crisis. Please choose the paths that are  available to you, and act.  

Thank you,  

in the name of The Women of Israel

Secretary-General's remarks to the press on the situation in the Middle East

António Guterres

The UN Special Coordinator and I are engaging with leaders in the region to express our concern, our outrage, and to advance efforts to avoid any spillover to the wider Middle East. This most recent violence does not come in a vacuum. The reality is that it grows out of a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year long occupation, and no political end in sight. It’s time to end this vicious circle of bloodshed, hatred and polarization.

I have just concluded an extraordinary meeting of senior UN leaders to discuss the unprecedented developments in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
 
Let me begin by repeating my utter condemnation of the abhorrent attacks by Hamas and others against Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery, which have left over 800 Israelis dead and more than 2,500 injured.
 
Sadly, these numbers are expected to rise as the attacks are ongoing and many remain unaccounted for.
 
In addition, over one hundred, possibly more, Israelis – civilians and military – have been reported captured by armed groups, including women, children and the elderly.
 Some are being held hostage inside Israel and many others have been taken inside the Gaza Strip.
 
Meanwhile, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have launched thousands of indiscriminate rockets that have reached central Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
 
I recognize the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people.  But nothing can justify these acts of terror and the killing, maiming and abduction of civilians.
 I reiterate my call to immediately cease these attacks and release all hostages.
 

In the face of these unprecedented attacks, Israeli airstrikes have pounded Gaza.
 I am deeply alarmed by reports of over 500 Palestinians -- including women and children -- killed in Gaza and over 3,000 injured. Unfortunately, these numbers are rising by the minute as Israeli operations continue.
 
While I recognize Israel’s legitimate security concerns, I also remind Israel that military operations must be conducted in strict accordance with international humanitarian law. 
 Civilians must be respected and protected at all times.Civilian infrastructure must never be a target.
 
We already have reports of Israeli missiles striking health facilities inside Gaza as well as multi-storied residential towers and a mosque. 
 
Two UNRWA schools sheltering displaced families in Gaza were also hit.

Some 137,000 people are currently sheltering in UNRWA facilities – with the number increasing as heavy shelling and airstrikes continue.
 
I am deeply distressed by today’s announcement that Israel will initiate a complete siege of the Gaza Strip, nothing allowed in – no electricity, food, or fuel.
 
The humanitarian situation in Gaza was extremely dire before these hostilities; now it will only deteriorate exponentially.
 
Medical equipment, food, fuel and other humanitarian supplies are desperately needed, along with access for humanitarian personnel.
 Relief and entry of essential supplies into Gaza must be facilitated – and the UN will continue efforts to provide aid to respond to these needs.

I urge all sides and the relevant parties to allow United Nations access to deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians trapped and helpless in the Gaza Strip.
 
I appeal to the international community to mobilize immediate humanitarian support for this effort.
 
The UN Special Coordinator and I are engaging with leaders in the region to express our concern, our outrage, and to advance efforts to avoid any spillover to the wider Middle East.

Even in these worst of times – and perhaps especially in the most trying moments – it is vital to look to the long-term horizon and avoid irreversible action that would embolden extremists and doom any prospects for lasting peace.
 This most recent violence does not come in a vacuum. The reality is that it grows out of a long-standing conflict, with a 56-year long occupation and no political end in sight.

It’s time to end this vicious circle of bloodshed, hatred and polarization.
 Israel must see its legitimate needs for security materialized – and Palestinians must see a clear perspective for the establishment of their own state realized.
 
Only a negotiated peace that fulfills the legitimate national aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis, together with their security alike – the long-held vision of a two-State solution, in line with United Nations resolutions, international law and previous agreements – can bring long-term stability to the people of this land and the wider Middle East region.


Orinoco Tribune: Venezuela Statement About Gaza Strip Crisis October 7: “the escalation is the result of the inability of the Palestinian people to find a space in multilateral international legality to assert their historical rights.” It calls for “the end of violence throughout the Palestinian territory through direct dialogue and compliance with Security Council resolution number 2334, which requires Israel to “immediately and completely” cease all settlement and occupation activities in the Palestinian territory, as the sole pathway to achieve peace.”

Orinoco Tribune: President Maduro Condemns Genocide of Palestinians in Gaza  October 9: “The world has to react and say no to the genocide against the people of Gaza, no to the genocide against the Palestinian people.” “It is in the hands of the United States and Europe to stop this escalation… and to ensure that a regional war does not end in a world war.” Maduro recalled that the United Nations in 1967 established rulings for the establishment of two States (Palestine and Israel), a decision of mandatory compliance that has been violated by all the governments of Israel. “Let us demand a ceasefire, let us demand respect for the rights of the people and demand that immediate peace negotiations be initiated to restore the historical rights to independence, territory and peace of the Palestinian people.”

Maduro denounced “how their territory was plundered and how for 75 years the Palestinian people have been subjected to what today is considered a new apartheid. What is happening in the Gaza Strip has been described by the United Nations and human rights organizations as a new apartheid.” The Palestinian people have been “indiscriminately bombed, killed daily, imprisoned, children, girls, women,” the president pointed out and criticized the so-called international media that keep silent about the massacres committed against them. 

“What is happening right now is the beginning of an escalating war that is dangerous for the peace and security of everyone on planet, and it is the result of the constant violation of the United Nations agreement, the constant violation of human rights of the Palestinian people.” See also TeleSur: Maduro Condemns Israeli Aggression Against Palestine 

Ultima Noticias: Vice President Delcy Rodríguez: Stop the genocide against the Palestinian people “The life of a Palestinian child is worth the same as the life of an Israeli child. The life of an Israeli child is worth the same as that of a Palestinian child, which is why we ask that the violence stop. At this time they have already cut off the electricity to Gaza, the power plant is no longer working,” “Stop the genocide against the Palestinian people, this is a situation (the actions of the Hamas group) derived from the accumulation of frustrations, for decades, of the Palestinian people who did not find in multilateral spaces how to claim, how to assert their historical rights.”

Evo Morales Stands with Palestine “The Bolivian people will always condemn the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories, the systematic aggressions against the Palestinian people, and their struggle for independence. Those are the real causes of the conflict, not to denounce them is to be an accomplice,” said Evo on X. He condemned “the imperialist and colonial actions of the Zionist Israeli government.” “When a people defends its sovereignty they call it terrorist. But when the United States finances wars, armed invasions, coups d’état, and assassinations, they speak of democracy.” See here and here and here.

Cuba’s ICAP Statement in Solidarity with Palestine For 75 years, the Palestinian people have faced, in an unequal struggle, the growing hostility of the Israeli state, which has sought to displace them from their own territory, disregarding United Nations resolutions and violating basic human rights. The battle fought by this heroic people calls upon us to redouble our efforts in condemning the crimes that Israel continues to commit against a nation defending its legitimate rights. We extend our solidarity and unconditional support to our Palestinian brothers and sisters, whose cause we defend as our own.

CubaDebate: Israel continues attacks and increases destruction in the Gaza Strip  For the fifth consecutive day, the Israeli occupation continued its aggression against the Gaza Strip, already reduced practically to rubble by the criminal bombings. According to the Al Mayadeen correspondent, the enemy military carried out more than 200 raids throughout the Al-Furqan neighborhood, and Israeli planes attacked the vicinity of the Gaza seaport. As a result of so much massacre, many families remain trapped in the basements of the destroyed buildings and ambulance teams cannot reach them, the correspondent details. In its latest statistics, the Palestinian Ministry of Health put the number of Palestinians dead at 922, including 260 children and 230 women. The people of Gaza are going through a terrible situation. Many places are attacked without warning, and innocent civilians are also attacked without warning. They are not to blame, they did nothing to be attacked and they are dying like this.

Granma: Israel, in an extermination plan? Fairness is not a standard for a Zionist Government that has shown no limits to its cruelty, by unleashing a barrage of bombings that have devastated, in full view of the entire world, densely populated civilian areas, even using white phosphorus, a war crime, according to International Law. From the West, the usual support for the aggressors, with the United States at the head.

Nicaragua Government and National Assembly both reaffirm solidarity with Palestine “The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, and the People of Nicaragua, Always in Solidarity with the Palestinian Cause, Always Fraternal and Always Close; in condemning the barbarism unleashed yet again between two Brotherly Peoples and from our own experiences of imposed wars, calls the World to reflection and respectful action, based on the Values, Culture and forms of Family and Community Life, which have been ignored, altered and squandered by imperial voracity, by selfishness, folly, insensitivity, and contempt in not recognizing the Palestinian State, that is regard thy Neighbor, as thy equal.”

National Assembly: “We condemn the occupation of the Gaza Strip, which generates a serious humanitarian situation for the Palestinian people, an occupation that produces victims and pain in the population. Faced with this situation, we express our solidarity with the Palestinian people who have been historical victims of attacks that deteriorate the family, infrastructure, cultural spaces and means of subsistence of the Palestinian people.”


‘This Is Not What Fighting Hamas Looks Like’: Israel Orders All of Northern Gaza to Evacuate

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams, October 13, 2023
https://worldbeyondwar.org/this-is-not-what-fighting-hamas-looks-like-israel-orders-all-of-northern-gaza-to-evacuate/

The Israeli military on Friday ordered the entire population of northern Gaza—roughly 1.1 million people—to evacuate to the southern half of the occupied territory within 24 hours, prompting fears of an even worse humanitarian catastrophe as Israel readies a ground invasion and continues its disastrous bombing campaign.

The order, initially issued to the United Nations, impacts nearly half of Gaza’s population and comes after hundreds of thousands of the enclave’s residents were already displaced by Israeli airstrikes, which have killed more than 1,500 people.

U.N. spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said in a statement that the organization “considers it impossible for such a movement to take place without devastating humanitarian consequences.”

Dujarric added that the order must be “rescinded” to avert “a calamitous situation.”

News of Israel’s directive sparked alarm and confusion on the ground in northern Gaza, which includes densely populated Gaza City—home to the territory’s primary hospital.

Al Jazeera reported that one of its journalists in Gaza City “saw residents packing up whatever belongings they could as they began evacuating towards the south in cars, vans, and any other vehicle that was available.”

“In northern Gaza, residents early in the morning of Friday said the streets were empty as people stayed inside their homes trying to decide what to do next following Israel’s evacuation orders,” the outlet noted. “There were no cars on the road except for ambulances. Because of the internet outages and collapse of phone networks, Palestinians said information was scant and most still had not heard direct orders from the army to evacuate.”

“We fear that Israel may claim that Palestinians who could not flee northern Gaza can be erroneously held as directly participating in hostilities, and targeted.”

Aid groups and human rights organizations expressed horror in response to the Israeli military’s evacuation order, which observers warned is a prelude to “mass atrocities.”

Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said that without “any guarantees of safety or return,” the order “would amount to the war crime of forcible transfer.”

“The collective punishment of countless civilians, among them children, women, and the elderly, in retaliation for acts of horrible terror undertaken by armed men is illegal under international law,” said Egeland. “My colleagues inside Gaza confirm that there are countless people in the northern parts who have no means to safely relocate under the constant barrage of fire.”

“We fear that Israel may claim that Palestinians who could not flee northern Gaza can be erroneously held as directly participating in hostilities, and targeted,” Egeland continued. “The United States, the U.K., the European Union, and other Western and Arab nations who have influence over the Israeli political and military leadership must demand that the illegal and impossible order to relocate is immediately rescinded.”

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, said in response to the order that “a million people in northern Gaza are not guilty.”

“They have nowhere else to go,” the group added. “This is not what fighting Hamas looks like. This is revenge. And innocent people are being hurt.”

The order was delivered amid warnings that Gaza’s healthcare system is on the verge of total collapse, overwhelmed by the influx of thousands of airstrike victims and hampered by Israel’s total blockade, which has cut off the enclave’s supply of electricity, food, fuel, and other necessary supplies.

Gaza’s lone power plant has stopped operating due to a lack of fuel, forcing already-strained hospitals to operate on generators. The International Planned Parenthood Federation said Friday that “over 37,000 pregnant women will be forced to give birth with no electricity or medical supplies in Gaza in the coming months, risking life-threatening complications without access to delivery and emergency obstetric care services.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that “time is running out to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe if fuel and lifesaving health and humanitarian supplies cannot be urgently delivered to the Gaza Strip amidst the complete blockade.”

“Hospitals have only a few hours of electricity each day as they are forced to ration depleting fuel reserves and rely on generators to sustain the most critical functions,” the WHO said. “Even these functions will have to cease in a few days, when fuel stocks are due to run out. The impact would be devastating for the most vulnerable patients, including the injured who need lifesaving surgery, patients in intensive care units, and newborns depending on care in incubators.”

Despite such dire warnings, the U.S.—Israel’s largest supplier of weaponry and military aid—has thus far not called for a cease-fire or an end to the siege.

As The Associated Press reported Friday, “A visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, along with shipments of U.S. weapons, offered a powerful green light to Israel to drive ahead with its retaliation in Gaza after Hamas’ deadly attack on civilians and soldiers, even as international aid groups warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis.”


Wisconsin Muslim Journal

WISCONSINITES FEARFUL FOR FAMILY MEMBERS IN GAZA

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ISRAEL CAN’T IMPRISON TWO MILLION GAZANS WITHOUT PAYING A CRUEL PRICE

Oct 10, 2023 Haaretz

“HOSTAGES?” HOW THE U.S. MEDIA IS DISTORTING THE NEWS FROM PALESTINE

Oct 10, 2023     Mondoweiss


 ttps://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/oct/11/israel-hamas-attack-gaza-9-11-cautionary-tale

The attack on Israel has been called a ‘9/11 moment’. Therein lies a cautionary tale | Kenneth Roth

Hamas’s appalling attack on Israeli civilians has been widely described as the country’s “9/11 moment”. It is an appropriate description of such wanton cruelty. But the analogy carries a cautionary note as well.

The US government lost the world’s sympathy, and the moral high ground, when its response to 9/11 degenerated into a highly abusive war in Iraq, systematic torture, and endless detention without trial in Guantánamo. The Israeli government should be careful not to replicate this path to opprobrium. Indeed, such an abusive response may be exactly what Hamas wanted to provoke.

 

Whose heart could not go out to the young people who gathered for an all-night music festival in the desert, only to have the revelry broken at dawn by Hamas militants shooting people at random and killing a reported 260? That massacre was compounded by Hamas’s slaughter in various Israeli communities bordering Gaza, its abduction of what appears to be 100 or more civilian hostages, and its indiscriminate rocket attacks into civilian neighborhoods.

Yes, Palestinians were understandably frustrated as Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government kept expanding the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, boxing in the people of Gaza with a punitive blockade, and imposing an discriminatory and oppressive rule on millions of Palestinians under occupation that has been widely described as apartheid. To make matters worse, one Arab government after another has been normalizing relations with Israel after at most token concessions to the Palestinians that did nothing to change their persecution. Still, none of that justifies resort to war crimes, as Hamas has done.

It is a basic premise of international humanitarian law that war crimes by one side do not justify war crimes by the other. Of necessity, given the passions, charges and counter-charges of most wars, the duty to comply with the rules designed to spare civilians as much as possible the hazards of war is absolute, not contingent on the behavior of opponents.

The Israeli government already seems to be flouting those rules. The declared siege of Gaza, blocking food, water, and electricity, violates the duty to allow humanitarian aid to civilians in need, as the people of Gaza certainly are as they suffer massive Israeli bombardment. In the first day of those airstrikes, the Israeli military targeted four large apartment towers. In the past, Israel has purported to justify such attacks because of an ostensible Hamas office somewhere in the complex, but the civilian cost of rendering hundreds of Palestinians homeless is wholly disproportionate. One attack hit a market, reportedly killing dozens. The UN says two hospitals have been hit.

Though apparently less frequently than in the past, the Israeli military has at times been issuing warnings to Palestinian civilians, which it is required to do whenever feasible, but that does not provide carte blanche to attack. In the 2006 war against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, the Israeli military issued similar warnings and then attacked anyone who remained as if they were all Hezbollah fighters, even though many civilians were unable or unwilling to flee. In Gaza, the Israeli military is reportedly flattening neighborhoods after such warnings – attacks that not only endanger any civilians who remain but also seem more designed to punish the civilian population than to target Hamas fighters who impose their will on the people of Gaza by force.

There is also something cruel and otherworldly about the Israeli government’s warning to the people of Gaza to flee. Where? From one densely populated Gaza neighborhood to another as they are pummeled in turn? To Egypt, which has helped Israel reinforce the blockade and has shown no inclination to welcome the 2.2 million residents of the territory? After the warning, the Israeli military bombed the crossing to Egypt. And if people escaped Gaza, would Israel ever let them return, or would this be another one-way flight as in 1948?

Already we are hearing the usual refrain – that Hamas is responsible for the loss of civilian life because it is using civilians as “human shields”. But “shielding” refers to purposefully using the presence of civilians to prevent an attack, not mere fighting from urban areas, especially when that is what so much of Gaza is. Sometimes Hamas undoubtedly violates that rule, but the duty to protect civilians from harm lies foremost with the attacker.

Civilian deaths in Gaza are climbing rapidly and will undoubtedly soon far surpass the toll from Hamas’s initial attacks. Things will only get worse if Israel proceeds as expected with a ground invasion. The government will try to exculpate itself by saying that it is not deliberately killing civilians, as President Biden stressed in his remarks on Tuesday. But it makes little difference to the dead whether they were purposefully targeted or killed because of the Israeli government’s desultory compliance with international humanitarian law.

Israel had every reason to respond militarily to the atrocious Hamas assault on its civilians. But a good reason to fight is no reason to violate the rules governing that fight. If the Israeli government responds to its 9/11 moment with George W Bush-like indifference to those rules, it will soon follow the route of his government from global sympathy to global outrage. I only hope that the prospect of such a trajectory gives it pause.

  • Kenneth Roth, former executive director of Human Rights Watch (1993-2022), is a visiting professor at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. On Twitter he is @KenRoth



JVP-logo

Jewish Voice for Peace calls on all people of conscience to stop imminent genocide

The Israeli government has declared a genocidal war on the people of Gaza. As an organization that works for a future where Palestinians and Israelis and all people live in equality and freedom, we call on all people of conscience to stop imminent genocide of Palestinians. 

Jewish Voice for Peace mourns deeply for the over 1,200 Israelis killed, the families destroyed, including many of our own, and fears for the lives of Israelis taken hostage. Many are still counting the dead, looking for missing loved ones, devastated by the losses. 

We wholeheartedly agree with leading Palestinian rights groups: the massacres committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians are horrific war crimes. There is no justification in international law for the indiscriminate killing of civilians or the holding of civilian hostages. 

And now, horrifyingly, the Israeli and American governments are weaponizing these deaths to fuel a genocidal war against Palestinians in Gaza, pledging to “open the gates of hell.” This war is a continuation of the Nakba, when in 1948, tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing violence sought refuge in Gaza. It’s a continuation of 75 years of Israeli occupation and apartheid

Already this week, over 1,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed.  The Israeli government has wrought complete and total devastation on Palestinians across Gaza, attacking hospitals, schools, mosques, marketplaces, and apartment buildings.  

As we write, the Israeli government has shut off all electricity to Gaza. Hospitals cannot save lives, the internet will collapse, people will have no phones to communicate with the outside world, and drinking water for two million people will run out. Gaza will be plunged into darkness as Israel turns its neighborhoods to rubble.  Still worse, Israel has openly stated an intention to commit mass atrocities and even genocide, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying the Israeli response will “reverberate for generations.”  

And right now, the U.S. government is enabling the Israeli government’s atrocities, sending weapons, moving U.S. warships into proximity and sending U.S.-made munitions, and pledging blanket support and international cover for any actions taken by the Israeli government. Furthermore, the U.S. government officials are spreading racist, hateful, and incendiary rhetoric that will fuel mass atrocities and genocide. 

The loss of Israeli lives is being used by our government to justify the rush to genocide, to provide moral cover for the immoral push for more weapons and more death. Palestinians are being dehumanized by our own government, by the media, by far too many U.S. Jewish institutions. Defense Minister Yoav Gallantsaid that Israel is “fighting human animals” and should “act accordingly,” As Jews, we know what happens when people are called animals.

We can and we must stop this. Never again means never again — for anyone. 

We call on all people of conscience to stop the imminent genocide of Palestinians. We demand our government work towards de-escalation, that it immediately stop sending weapons to the Israeli military. A future of peace and safety for all, grounded in justice, freedom and equality for all, is still the only option.


Americans for Peace Now Outraged by Hamas Attack; Stands in Solidarity with Israel 

Americans for Peace Now (APN) is horrified and outraged by Hamas’ attack on Israel, which includes rockets fired at civilian population centers, a ground invasion into Israeli border communities and the taking of Israeli civilian hostages. 

We unequivocally condemn these horrific acts of terror.

The targeting and kidnapping of civilians is an inexcusable, outrageous war crime. 

APN, its staff and Board members, as well as its tens of thousands of supporters and activists across the nation, stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Israel. We send them our condolences and honor their strength on this calamitous day. 

 

Dear Friend of APN,

Like all of you, I woke up this morning into a nightmare. After a quick glimpse at the headlines from Israel, I called my youngest child, who is there, to make sure that they are safe, spoke to my brother, whose son is currently serving in the IDF, and checked in with my niece who lives in Tel Aviv. 

They are all safe. As are family members of other staff who are currently in Israel. 

For us, like so many of you, war in Israel is not just international news. It is personal. Yes, I care deeply about the political issues that arise from this. And yes, there will be a time to talk about those. And you know that I will do so. But today, now, I stand in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in Israel who have lost more of their brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters than on any other single day in Israel’s history.

What is unfolding before us is an Israeli national nightmare.

Not since Israel’s 1948 War of Independence have its enemies held entire Israeli communities at gunpoint. Tragically, Hamas guerillas did that early this morning in seven Israeli southern towns and kibbutzim. They broke the Gaza border wall and fences, stormed into Israel, entered several communities across the border, killed civilians and soldiers, injured others, and captured dozens of civilians, soldiers, and police officers, who are now held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

As I write to you, there still are Hamas terrorists in Israeli southern towns and kibbutzim, exchanging fire with Israeli security forces, and in at least two cases, barricaded in apartments, holding civilian hostages. As I write, firefights are still ongoing in no less than 22 Israeli southern communities. The toll is very high. According to Israeli media reports, more than 150 Israelis have been killed and some 1,100 are injured, many of them badly. 

We don’t know how this war – and it is war – will unfold. Israel is already bombing Gaza. There is a serious risk that Hezbollah will join the fighting from Lebanon. There is also a risk of security deterioration in the West Bank. 

Earlier today, we issued this statement, and we and our partners at Shalom Achshav will continue to follow the events in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank and will provide you with information and analysis.

Thanks to all of you who have reached out to us today to share your care and concern. We will continue standing in solidarity with the people of Israel and advocating for peace.


CODEPINK.ORGLETTER TO BIDEN: STOP ARMING ISRAEL

Tell President Biden & Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III: Occupation is Indefensible — Stop Supporting Israeli Apartheid!

Palestinians have suffered at the hands of Israel for 75 years, and the inevitable outcome of Israeli oppression erupted on October 7. The US has played a significant role in this suffering by maintaining its position as the biggest funder of Israel’s military. Despite Israel’s brutal violence against Palestinians year after year, the US has repeatedly expressed its support for the violent occupying forces. CODEPINK calls on the US to IMMEDIATELY cease all military aid to Israel. Help us move towards peace by signing the petition below, demanding the Biden administration withdraw all support for Israel and instead call for justice for the people of Palestine which will lead to peace.


 

Email header for the West Bank Dispatch newsletter. We see a fire burning in a nighttime protest in Palestine. A protestor stands with their back to the camera waving a Palestine flag.

Israeli Defense Minister orders full siege of Gaza “No power, no food, no gas”

  • Palestinian Ministry of Health (as of 11:00 am local time): 493 killed in Gaza including 91 children; 16 killed in West Bank including three children
  • UN OCHA: More than 17,500 families, comprising over 123,538 people, have been internally displaced in Gaza
  • Israel continues massing for invasion, 300,000 reservists called up
  • U.S. orders aircraft carrier strike group to Mediterranean to assist Israel
  • Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant: “I ordered a full siege on the Gaza Strip. No power, no food, no gas, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

Fighting between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions, led by Hamas in Gaza, continued into their third day on Monday, with the violence continuing to expand across occupied Palestine, particularly in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

As of Monday morning local time, the death toll inside Gaza had surpassed 493, with more than 2,700 injuries, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Israeli media have quoted Israeli military sources saying that its forces have killed “hundreds more” Palestinian fighters and Gazans who broke through the Israeli barrier on Saturday during gun battles inside Israeli territory. The Israeli death toll also continued to skyrocket, with official sources reporting at least 700 deaths and over 2,380 injuries, though the number is expected to continue climbing.

 

Meanwhile in the West Bank, the death toll rose to 15 Palestinians
killed by Israeli gunfire since Saturday, with eight Palestinians killed
between Sunday evening and Monday morning. On Sunday night the Israel army announced widespread closures across the West Bank, with some Palestinian outlets reporting that the lockdown could last for two weeks.

Israeli air forces continued its bombing campaign of the Gaza Strip overnight on Monday, with locals in Gaza saying the bombardment has been “nonstop” since Israel launched “Operation Iron Swords” on Saturday morning.

According to the latest reports from the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 17,500 Palestinian families, comprising over 123,538 people, have been internally displaced in Gaza since Israel’s bombardment began.

The majority Palestinians in Gaza, who number more than two million, are facing prolonged blackouts, as Israel continues to cut power to the majority of the strip. On Monday Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement that he “ordered a full siege on the Gaza Strip. No power, no food, no gas, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly.”

Gaza has been under complete Israeli siege since 2007, with Israel controlling the land and sea borders, as well as air space around Gaza, controlling the movement of people and goods in and out of the Strip.

The events on Saturday morning, when Hamas launched “Operation Al Aqsa Flood”, marked the first time in 16 years since Gazans successfully broke through Israel’s siege, breaching several areas along the highly militarized Israeli border fence, as well as temporarily taking control of Israeli-controlled pedestrian and commercial crossings into the Strip.

As of Monday afternoon local time, Israeli airstrikes on Gaza were ongoing, with the Israeli army announcing “widespread” airstrikes across Gaza around 1:15 pm local time. The spokesperson for the armed wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement that Israeli airstrikes killed four Israeli captives in Gaza, along with a number of fighters.

Palestinian rocket fire also continued to be reported on Monday, with at least one rocket landing in an area near the Ben Gurion Airport, though no injuries or damages were reported, Israeli media said. Rockets also landed in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, injuring a number of Israelis.

Reports indicated the Israeli electricity and petroleum plant in the southern city of Ahkelon had caught fire following a barrage of rocket fire from Gaza. Also on Monday afternoon, the Al-Qassam Brigades revealed “Mutabar-1″its locally-made air defense system which it says it has used during “Operation Al Aqsa Flood”.

Gaza destruction

Israeli airstrikes pounded the Gaza Strip overnight Monday and into the morning and afternoon, with dozens of airstrikes reported across the Strip. While Israel claims it is targeting Hamas posts across the Strip, Palestinians on the ground say that the Israeli bombardment has targeted entire residential buildings, schools, mosques, as well as open markets in Gaza.

Among the targets on Monday were the Rafah and Khan Younis areas of the southern Gaza Strip, as well as the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern strip, one of the most crowded refugee camps in Gaza. According to local reports, more than 50 Palestinains were killed in a single round of airstrikes on the refugee camp just before 2:00 p.m. local time on Monday afternoon. Over 120 more people were injured.

Inside the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood close to the eastern border of Gaza, Palestinians described the situation as “frightening.” At the entrance of the neighborhoods, dozens of cars, loaded up with peoples furniture were seen trying to evacuate the neighborhood. Families evacuated the neighborhood en masse after witnessing a “terrifying night” of relentless airstrikes targeting the neighborhood and surrounding areas.

Locals told Mondoweiss that they were forced to change their mind about sheltering in place, after hearing the relentless screams of their neighbors and people in the streets overnight. Dust and rubble filled the homes of residents of eastern Gaza, as airstrikes pounded areas close to the borders.

Mondoweiss correspondent Tareq Hajjaj said that he went back to his home in al-Shujaiyya on Monday morning after evacuating with his family on Sunday afternoon. He described complete destruction, saying that a bomb had dropped around 15 meters away from his home.

“My home was full of dust and black smoke. I couldn’t stay for more than a few minutes. I left without even locking my home,” Hajjaj said. “The sounds and the smoke that rises after every bomb gives people the feeling that this will be the last moment of their lives.”

“I have lived through more than five wars so far. This is the most devastating I have seen so far,” Hajjaj said. “People are running with their children and bags of whatever they could salvage from their homes, as dust continues to rise around them.”

According to UNRWA, more than 74,000 Palestinians are sheltering in the agency’s schools across the Gaza Strip. At least one school in the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza was targeted by an Israeli airstrike, though no one was hurt.

The Ministry of Health has called on doctors and nurses to volunteer. The main hospital in Gaza, al-Shifa hospital released a statement saying it is facing a significant shortage of power, medical supplies, and staff.

Battles in ‘Gaza envelope’ continues, calls for emergency Israeli unity government

Early Monday afternoon the Israeli military said it had “regained control of all Gaza border towns” that had been temporarily captured by fighters from Gaza over the weekend, but that its forces were still searching for Palestinian fighters that remained inside various locales inside southern border towns.

Contradictory to Israel’s claims that it had regained control over all the border towns, local reports from Palestinian media and Telegram channels indicated that armed clashes between Palestinian fighters and Israeli forces were ongoing in at least two locations, Zikim and Sderot.

Just a few hours prior, the Israeli military was still battling Palestinian fighters in the border town of Sderot, where some of the fiercest fighting took place over the weekend, Israeli media reported.

According to an Israeli army spokesman, the fighting has largely stopped in the several towns that had been taken by Palestinian fighters, and that the army had evacuated 15 out of 24 towns on the Gaza border. More towns are expected to be evacuated in the coming days.

Since Saturday the Israeli army has also drafted 300,000 reservists, the quickest mobilization of reservists in Israeli history, an army spokesperson said.

As the Israeli Security Cabinet officially announced a state of war on Sunday, Israel’s political echelon continued talks on Monday of forming an emergency unity government. According to Israeli media, certain members of Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition, like Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, have called for the immediate formation of an emergency government with the opposition.

“Unity and cohesion are the imperative of the hour in order to defeat our enemies,” Smotrich said in a statement. “Never mind [negotiation] teams, and never mind negotiations.”

Opposition leader and former Netanyahu ally, Avigdor Liberman said on Sunday that his joining of the current government would be conditioned on Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Galalnt, and others publicly announcing the intention to “eliminate the Hamas terror organization and all its terrorist leaders,” and that he would “not suffice with anything less,” Israeli media reported.

Members of Netanyahu’s own coalition, including National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, echoed those same calls, saying he would only agree to a unity government if its “stated goal is the total defeat of Hamas and the shattering of its military and political might.”

While debates on the forming of a unit government continued, the U.S. announced Sunday that it was ordering the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, along with its 5,000 U.S. sailors, deck of warplanes, cruisers and destroyers to sail to the eastern Mediterranean to “be ready to assist Israel.”

The USS Gerald Ford is the largest aircraft carrier in the world to date, and marks a significant show of strength and support on part of the US. Over the weekend, U.S. President Joe Biden also reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. would also be sending weapons and munitions reinforcements, including additional bolstering of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system, Al Jazeera reported.

Hamas released a statement following the announcement, saying it was a clear “aggression” against Palestinians. “The announcement of the U.S. that it will provide an aircraft carrier to support the occupation is actual participation in the aggression against our people,” the statement said.

Armed clashes erupt in West Bank, death toll rises

At least nine Palestinains were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank between Sunday afternoon and Monday, with several instances of armed confrontations reported in various areas of the occupied territory.

According to the Ministry of Health, since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood began on Saturday, 16 Palestinians have been killed and more than 80 people have been injured.

On Sunday night protests erupted in the vicinity of the Qalandiya military checkpoint and the nearby Qalandiya refugee camp. As Israeli forces suppressed protests, armed Palestinian fighters also confronted Israeli soldiers, leading to a gun battle.

Local Palestinian media reported that a number of Palestinians were injured with live ammunition. Three Palestinians, including one minor, were killed during the confrontations on Sunday night, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. They were identified as Mohammad Hmaid, 24, Amjad Khadeir, 36, and Yasser al-Kisba, 17. A fourth Palestinian, also a child, that was injured during the Qalandiya confrontations succumbed to his wounds early Monday morning, and was identified as 16-year-old Adam al-Joulani.

Between Sunday night and Monday afternoon, three Palestinians were killed in the Hebron district in the southern West Bank. On Sunday night, a Palestinian was killed during confrontations that erupted between local residents and armed Israeli soldiers in the city of Hebron. He was identified by Palestinian media as Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Zghayyar.

A second Palestinian was killed in the Hebron district on Monday morning, and was identified by the MOH as 18-year-old Rajeh Taha, who was reportedly killed as he allegedly attempted to break into the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba using a tractor. Also on Monday, a Palestinian identified as 28-year-old Ahmed Khaled Abu Turki, 28, was shot and killed by Israeli forces after soldiers opened fire on his vehicle as he was driving near the city of Hebron. According to Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency, soldiers reportedly attacked Wafa correspondents and other Palestinian journalists, broke their cameras, and opened fire on them in the Hebron area.

In the Jericho district, a Palestinian man was killed on Sunday after he was shot by Israeli forces during confrontations near the entrance of the city. He was identified as Abdel Halim Abu Sneina. Another Palestinian was killed in the Nablus district, in the town of Beita, according to the MOH. His identity remained unknown.

In-Depth: Beyond October


Despite what you think, Palestinians are not celebrating death

Palestinians do not rejoice over death but at the idea that we have a chance for freedom. I do not rejoice over death. I rejoice over the possibility to live.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.

Maya Angelou

Despite what you might think, no Palestinians are not celebrating death. We do not look at the news and rejoice over the number of Israelis killed. We do not salivate at the sight of blood-drenched bodies. Despite what you might think, we are not well. We do not look at death and feel happiness.

The “joy” you might be seeing is the idea that, for the first time in history, we might have a chance to reclaim our land. We might have a chance to end the occupation, we might have a chance to open Gaza’s borders, to visit our family without reprisal, and to escape from torturous prisons – this time without a spoon in our hand.

Yet, even then, what is it to label it as “joy.”

more........


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Statement from the Oldest Peace Organization in the U.S. on the Outbreak of Another Gaza War

 

October 7, 2023 – The Fellowship of Reconciliation is horrified at the new war that has just broken out in Israel/Palestine. FOR, a pacifist organization since its conception in 1914 in Europe and 1915 in the United States, condemns the initiation of this latest stage of violent conflict. In condemning Hamas’s attack launched on Shabbat and Simchat Torah, we are also led to condemn Israel for its decades of occupation, siege, and human rights violations and abuses that have led up to this moment. 

 

At least 100 Israelis have been killed, over 900 wounded. Dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians are missing and Hamas is reporting that they have been taken hostage.. The Health Ministry in Gaza is reporting around 200 Palestinians killed so far by Israeli air strikes and over 1,600 injured and we expect this number to climb exponentially in the coming days. Among the strikes that Israel has already conducted, was the bombing of the tall Palestine Tower in Gaza City, which houses media institutions, offices, as well as apartments. According to Palestinian sources, the Department of Charitable Institutions building in Gaza City has been completely destroyed by airstrikes.

 

FOR unequivocally condemns actions of violence that avoid the harder battles of justice. The killing and maiming of civilians, whether by Hamas rockets or Israeli airstrikes are unjustifiable, a war crime under international law. Also, unjustifiable are the actions of Israel that led to this current war: decades of military occupation with no end in sight, apartheid policies, recurrent massacres, and a siege so brutal that has turned Gaza into the largest open-air prison on earth.

 

FOR recognizes and condemns the failure of the Biden administration to pursue a peaceful solution to this entrenched conflict while providing Israel with almost $3.8 billion annually in unconditional military aid. Even while pursuing normalization agreements between Israel and Arab countries, the U.S. has not worked to bring an end to the occupation or demanded an improvement in the rights and status of Palestinians. To call Hamas’s actions “unprovoked,” as the White House initially did in a statement today, is to put one’s head in the sand, ignoring decades of settlement building, land confiscation, child arrests, home demolitions, and the like, as well as recent of settler and military violence against Palestinians. Just one day before the initiation of this current conflict the Israeli military protected an extremist Israeli pogrom in the West Bank village of Huwara, resulting in the death of a 16-year-old Palestinian child.

 “While horrified by Hamas’s actions and praying for all those, both Israeli and Palestinian, who have been killed, injured, and kidnapped, I am also deeply fearful of the death toll that is yet to come in Gaza,” said FOR Executive Director Ariel Gold. “Past Israeli military actions in Gaza have taken the lives of countless children, women, men, and the elderly and traumatized an entire generation. Whether this current war results in another status quo in Gaza, as past wars have, or a reoccupation of Gaza by Israel, this violence will not aid the aims of safety, equality, freedom, and peace for all people between the river and the sea. In the words of renowned theologian, political analyst, and former FOR executive director, A.J. Muste, ‘There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.”


Israel, and US, Bear Full Responsibility
for the Ongoing Bloodshed 
!

This is the Inevitable Result of 75 Years of Illegal Occupation
and Brutal Violation of Palestinians’ Human Rights

“We are in a state of war.... The enemy will pay a price like they have never known before,” declared Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, immediately after the beginning of the Hamas forces’ military operation against Israel.

Netanyahu’s words conceal a fundamental historical fact: Israel has been in a state of war against the people of Palestine, whom he now blatantly calls “the enemy,” for the past 75 years. The “enemy” he is referring to are the Palestinian people, who have been enduring 75 years of violent occupation, bombings, mass arrests and imprisonment, torture, assassinations, and exile at the hands of the Israeli State, just because they would refuse to submit to the illegal occupation of their land and the blatant violation of their fundamental human rights by the Israeli occupation forces.

More deceiving is the claim that this was a “surprise” attack by the Palestinians. But looking back at the shameful history of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people in the past seven decades, and its recent offending actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, no rational mind would be “surprised” by the Palestinian reaction.

The historically inevitable bloodshed that has started, and has already taken too many lives, is the Israeli States’ own doing. The State of Israel has no other party to blame for this human catastrophe than itself.

However, this is not where the blame stops. The government of the United States is equally — if not more — responsible for the current tragedy. Decades of unconditional support for the Israeli State’s violations of international law and human rights, tens of billions of dollars’ worth of military aid to Israel with eyes closed to the atrocities and terrorism committed by Israeli military and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories, and persistent blocking of every effort by the international community to call Israel into account for its illegal actions, all have contributed to this horrendous situation.

We call upon the international community to take every necessary collective action to stop this bloodshed based upon the globally recognized international law and the United Nations Charter.

This bloodshed will not be the last until the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is ended and the human rights of the Palestinian people are recognized and fully realized.

U.S. Peace Council

October 8, 2023


JOIN A PROTEST NEAR YOU: Free Palestine!

People all around the world are mobilizing to stand with the Palestinian people's struggle! The ANSWER coalition and other organizations are initiating or supporting demonstrations in these cities. Check back to this page for frequent updates 


On October 7th, the world woke up to powerful and historic images of Palestinian freedom fighters breaking through the open air prison that is Gaza via land, sea and air. The unified Palestinian Resistance – consisting of all the different Palestinian political and resistance factions – is responding to the brutal siege of Gaza, 75 years of ongoing colonialism, and the continued settler colonial violence and dispossession that has been backed from its origins by western imperialism. From the early 20th century British mandate over Palestine to the US’ ongoing military, political and diplomatic support for the settler colony, imperialist powers have sought to ensure a permanent military occupation to support their aims of regional domination and capital accumulation. 

The International People’s Tribunal on U.S. Imperialism held 15 country hearings examining the impact of economic coercive measures on the lives of people in the Global South, including on the Gaza Strip.  Gaza is at the heart of the siege on Palestine and the Palestinian people as a whole. Our hearing on Gaza was among the most devastating. Several of our expert witnesses put their lives at risk providing their testimony while their civilian neighborhoods were being bombed. This tragic backdrop intensified when an expert witness shared his heart-wrenching experience of losing his entire family (including his wife and four of his children) to the Zionist bombardment of their residential building in May 2021. Based on their statement, the Tribunal findings were clear: sanctions, including the siege on Gaza, are a form of warfare and an integral tool of imperialist aggression designed to facilitate the theft of global south wealth and uphold racial hierarchy in the world system. In the case of Gaza specifically, the siege is key to Israel’s settler colonial project, and, together with other war crimes, amounts to a crime against humanity, as well as the crimes of apartheid and genocide.

Although sanctions, blockades and economic coercive measures are often held up as a more “humane” option to military intervention, the hearing on Gaza made clear that they can be just as deadly and are often implemented in tandem with other forms of warfare, sharing similar logics and effects. Gaza is subject to a particularly intensified form of coercive economic measures imposed upon this 365-square-kilometer area, home to over 2 million Palestinians, most of whom were displaced during the Nakba in 1947-48. They have been denied their right to return home ever since. These measures include the denial of travel, closing of crossings, closing of trade, subjection of trade to agreements by the occupation forces, naval blockade, banning of exports, prohibition of necessary items for home-building and electricity production, and international prohibitions and criminalization of dealing with the government of Palestinians in Gaza.  On more than five occasions in the past 15 years, Israel waged  aerial bombing campaigns targeting civilian neighborhoods, schools, infrastructure and media institutions. As with other forms of settler colonial violence imposed on the Palestinian people, and similar to the impact of sanctions on other global South states, the siege on Gaza has undermined the health, food sovereignty and ability of the people to access the basic essentials of life.

The hearing also made clear that these coercive economic measures, which stretch beyond Gaza to the entire Palestinian population, have contributed to the vilification and de-legimitisation of the Palestinian cause, in direct service of Israel’s claim that it is waging a defensive war against a “terrorist enemy”. The economic coercive measures include the listing of Palestinian political parties and resistance organizations by the United States and its partners as “Foreign Terrorist Organizations” for their efforts to oppose apartheid and colonialism, as well as the listing of many more as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” These designations not only allow the criminalization of third parties for engaging with those who are actively opposing apartheid and other war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the crime of genocide in Palestine, but also provide for the freezing of assets of such designated parties. Such designations, a form of persecution of those who resist, amount to aiding and abetting apartheid, attempted genocide and other war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Genocide is the intentional destruction of a people in whole or in part, according to the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention which defined genocide as acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group. 

This criminalisation and de-legitimization of resistance, also mirrored within some factions of the so-called left in the global North, which fail to actively and unapologetically support armed anti-colonial resistance and the inherent right of colonized peoples to self-defense, is an imperialist strategy to block any form of meaningful resistance against and accountability for Israel’s long-standing war on the Palestinians as well as its allies. 

The violent arrest yesterday by the German government of 4 Palestinian activists from one of the Tribunal’s sponsoring organizations, Masar Badil (The Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path movement ) is evidence of ongoing imperialist complicity in zionist crimes. This is reinforced by President Biden’s announcement of “all appropriate means of support“, potentially amounting to billions of dollars – on top of the annual $3.8 billion provided by the US to Israel. As the Biden administration worked on inflaming the situation further by sending troops to the Eastern Mediterranean, it promised as “an emergency military aid package”. The EU’s statement of “solidarity” and continued support for settler colonial violence was another clear expression for the support of Europe’s colonial legacy and racial injustice.. 

The People’s Tribunal stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their righteous struggle for justice and to free the land and the human being. Palestinians have a moral and political as well as legal right to armed resistance and by the same standards are owed the right to return and reparations.

This right is enshrined in the UN Charter as well as the 1970 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2625 which explicitly endorsed a right to resist “subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation”. This right was further reinforced with UNGA Resolution 3246, which “Affirms the legitimacy of armed resistance by oppressed peoples in pursuit of the right to self-determination, and condemns governments which do not support that right.” 

As solidarity protests across the world can attest, the global majority support this right and understand the symbolic importance of the Palestinian national liberation struggle to the liberation of all oppressed peoples. None of us can truly be free until Palestine is Free.  

Get all of the details on the tribunal, watch past hearings and find out about our latest work at sanctionstribunal.org.


Boycott Propaganda! A Webinar on Ethical Travel to Palestine

With the huge push to boycott Birthright and similar propaganda trips to Israel, many wonder whether it’s possible to travel to Palestine ethically.

Join CODEPINK and hear from our guest speakers George Rishmawi and Reema Rustom, about how to travel to Palestine while supporting BDS, why doing so is important, and their respective work in this field. Their perspectives as Palestinians directly impacted by Israel’s tour economy is extremely valuable and crucial to consider. Individuals who took ethical trips to Palestine will also share their experiences, and the attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions to our guests. We hope you can join us!

Join with the Party for Socialism and Liberation at George Floyd Square to say "Free Palestine, free all Palestinian political prisoners, end all U.S. aid to the Israeli apartheid regime!

WHERE: George Floyd Mural - 2312 N Holton St, Milwaukee, WI 53212

WHEN: Monday, October 9th, 5PM

Join us on Indigenous Peoples’ Day as we say no to colonialism! Stand in solidarity with the self-determination of the Palestinian people. Resistance is justified when people are occupied!

The unrelenting oppression, murder, torture and occupation carried out by the Israeli apartheid regime has precipitated a counter-offensive by Palestinian resistance forces. The Israeli war machine and its attendant systems of oppression are bought and paid for by U.S. imperialism. U.S. tax dollars fund the grinding oppression of the Palestinian people to the tune of $4 billion each year.



Hi Pamela,

You're getting this email because you wrote to Imagine Dragons' management to let them know crossing a picket line is never a good look.

Now we need your help to get the attention of another artist.

Next week pop star Bruno Mars is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv. His performance will take place at Hayarkon Park, on the lands of the ethnically cleansed Palestinian village of Al-Shaykh Muwannis.

Adalah Justice Project - along with a broad coalition of Palestinian, Jewish, and human rights organizations - have joined together to call on Bruno Mars to respect the Palestinian picket line and cancel his performance. 
TELL BRUNO MARS: Don’t play apartheid Israel.

Countless artists have joined the cultural boycott of Israel, to stand with the Palestinian people until they have full equality, justice, and freedom.

Together, let’s push Bruno Mars to follow the lead of these artists and stand up for justice. 


The South African apartheid government also invited big-name musical acts to distract from its abuses. Conscientious artists, then and now, knew that boycotting the apartheid state could help grow the movement and shift public opinion.

Inspired by this history, over 1,500 musicians have joined #MusiciansforPalestine in recent years, refusing to perform in Israel while the state carries out a system of segregation, oppression, and war crimes against Palestinians. 

Let’s push Bruno Mars to add his name to that list.

 

With love and solidarity,

Audrey Bruner
Digital and Development Director
Adalah Justice Project

P.S. Tell Bruno Mars to stand for justice and cancel his show in apartheid Israel.

Stripped, Beaten, and Blindfolded: ongoing violence and abuse of Palestinian children detained by Israeli military

The latest in a long string of NGO reports on Israel’s serious and widespread abuse of Palestinian children – including arrest, abuse, and threats. Each year, 500-700 face prosecution in a military court system that lacks basic safeguards for a fair trial.

Reposted from Save the Children, July 10, 2023

Ramallah, 10 July – Palestinian children in the Israel military detention system face physical and emotional abuse, with four out of five (86%) of them being beaten, and 69% strip-searched, according to new research by Save the Children. Nearly half (42%) are injured at the point of arrest, including gunshot wounds and broken bones. Some report violence of a sexual nature and some are transferred to court or between detention centres in small cages, the child rights organisation said.

The new research comes as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 presents evidence today to the Human Rights Council on Palestinian children in detention. It is estimated that there are between 500 and 1000 children held in Israeli military detention each year.

Save the Children says these practices are a major and long standing human rights concern and is calling for the Government of Israel to end the detention of Palestinian children under military law and their prosecution in military courts.

Save the Children and a partner organisation consulted 228 former child detainees from across the West Bank, detained from between one and 18 months, and found that most children are beaten, handcuffed and blindfolded during arrest. They are also interrogated at unknown locations without the presence of a caregiver, and are often deprived of food, water and sleep, or access to legal counsel, according to the research. The main alleged crime for these detentions is stone throwing, which can carry a 20-year sentence in prison for Palestinian children.

 Read More


 

 

Al-Shabaka Policy Memo

[email protected] www.Al-Shabaka.org July 2023

Overview
In March 2023, after months of protests over Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial judicial overhaul, Israel
gave far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir the go-ahead to establish a national guard. The
force, to be composed of an initial 1,800 officers and with an operating budget of one billion NIS ($273
million), will primarily assist Israeli police during “security” emergencies. Approval of the national guard has
stirred wide-ranging opposition, from a former Israeli police chief to Palestinian human rights organizations.
Unlike other Israeli forces, the national guard is designed primarily to target Palestinian citizens of Israel.
This policy memo examines the emergence of the national guard in order to understand its implications for
Palestinian citizens of Israel. It proposes recommendations to
relevant stakeholders for how to challenge the new force and
protect Palestinians.
Why a National Guard?
The call to establish a national guard has its roots in the
Palestinian Unity Intifada. Prompted by Israel’s assault
on Palestinian worshippers in the al-Aqsa mosque and its
subsequent bombardment of Gaza in May 2021, thousands
of Palestinian citizens of Israel protested in cities across the
1948 territories. The protests led to outbreaks of violence and
targeted attacks against Palestinians, especially in cities with
larger Palestinian presences. For Israel, the widespread and
ongoing nature of the uprising required a response beyond the capacity of its police.
To quell future Palestinian mobilization and resistance without depleting existing resources, then-Prime
Minister Naftali Bennett announced the establishment of the Israel National Guard in June 2022. However,
due to government instability and budgetary constraints, the creation of the national guard was stalled until
early 2023. In April, the new Israeli government approved the national guard as part of a compromise with
Ben-Gvir in exchange for his support to suspend the planned judicial overhaul.
Implications for Palestinian Citizens of Israel
While Bennett’s initial proposal envisioned the national guard as part of Israel’s border police, the approved
iteration will fall directly under the supervision of Ben-Gvir’s office. Consisting of thousands of police
officers and volunteer civilian personnel, the national guard will be tasked with sustaining Ben-Gvir’s longstanding commitment to Palestinian subjugation and erasure.

ISRAEL’S NATIONAL GUARD: A TOOL FOR PALESTINIAN ERASURE
By Ahmed Omar
1 [email protected] www.Al-Shabaka.org July 2023
Al-Shabaka Policy Memo
“Consisting of thousands of
police officers and volunteer
civilian personnel, the national
guard will be tasked with
sustaining Ben-Gvir’s longstanding commitment to
Palestinian subjugation
and erasure.”
Ben-Gvir’s anti-Palestinian positions are well documented. The national security minister was convicted in
2007 of racist incitement and support for the Kahanist terror group, Kach, which advocated for the ethnic
cleansing of Palestinians. Since joining the government in 2022, Ben-Gvir has championed motions to impose
the death penalty on Palestinians, significantly increase gun permits for Jewish Israelis, grant immunity to
Israeli soldiers and police officers from trials and investigations, and broaden the so-called Dromi Law, which
legalizes violent “self-defense” of property.
While the jurisdiction of the national guard has yet to be officially defined, it is clear that the force’s primary
focus will be on targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel. As national security minister, Ben-Gvir’s portfolio
includes the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee – areas he has referred to as a
security issue and as being in states of “complete anarchy” because of their large Palestinian populations.
During his election campaign in 2022, he pledged to restore security to both the Negev and the Galilee.
With the national guard, Ben Gvir is hoping to do just that. Likely to be heavily armed – with both weaponry
as well as surveillance tools — the national guard will be utilized to deter and violently disperse Palestinian
mobilization across the 1948 territories. In the short-term, Israel’s national guard will undoubtedly be deployed
to facilitate the arbitrary arrest, harassment, assault, and criminalization of Palestinian citizens at exponentially
growing rates. In the long-term, the national guard threatens to disrupt Palestinian community cohesion and
further institutionalize Israel’s system of apartheid. Increasing rates of arrest and detention will only render
Palestinians more vulnerable to Israel’s discriminatory policies, including punitive home demolitions, expulsion
through deportation, and denaturalization.
Policy Recommendations
In order to challenge Israel’s national guard, the following steps must be taken:
• Palestinians and allies should coordinate specific campaigns calling for sanctions against Ben-Gvir and
demand an end to his impunity.
• Civil society groups, activists, and allies must follow the leadership of Palestinian organizations in 1948
territories and raise awareness of the national guard through campaigns that expose it and its leaders for
their blatant racism, discrimination, and violence.
• Palestinians from across Palestine should expand efforts to defy Israel’s forced fragmentation and engage
in collaborative and strategic organizing.
• Allies and policymakers alike must recognize that Israel’s system of apartheid extends from the river to the
sea, and refute any assertions that it is geographically limited to the West Bank and Gaza.


PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT

EACH YEAR THE ISRAELI MILITARY DETAINS AND PROSECUTES AROUND 700 PALESTINIAN CHILDREN. HELP US END THIS.

The Palestinian Children and Families Act seeks to promote justice, equality and human rights for Palestinian children and families by prohibiting Israeli authorities from using U.S. taxpayer funds to detain and torture Palestinian children, demolish and seize Palestinian homes, and further annex Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

WHAT DOES THE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT DO?

This bill aims to promote and protect the human rights of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation and to ensure that United States taxpayer funds are not used by the Government of Israel to support the military detention of Palestinian children, the unlawful seizure, appropriation, and destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the occupied West Bank, or further annexation of Palestinian land in violation of international law.

The Palestinian Children and Families Act was reintroduced to the 118th Congress by Rep. Betty McCollum on May 5, 2023.

WHAT ACTIVITIES DOES THE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT PROHIBIT USING U.S. FUNDS?

The bill specifically notes that funds will be prohibited for the following uses:

1. Supporting the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children in violation of international humanitarian law or to support the use against Palestinian children of any of the following practices:

  • Torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment
  • Physical violence, including restraint in stress positions.
  • Hooding, sensory deprivation, death threats, or other forms of psychological abuse.
  • Incommunicado detention or solitary confinement
  • Administrative detention, or imprisonment without charge or trial
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Denial of access to parents or legal counsel during interrogations
  • Confessions obtained by force or coercion

2. Supporting the seizure, appropriation, or destruction of Palestinian property and forcible transfer of civilians in the Israeli-controlled and occupied West Bank in violation of international humanitarian law.

3. Deploying, or supporting the deployment of, personnel, training, services, lethal materials, equipment, facilities, logistics, transportation, or any other activity to territory in the occupied West Bank to facilitate or support further unilateral annexation by Israel of such territory in violation of international humanitarian law.

HOW DOES THE PALESTINIAN CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT HOLD ISRAELI AUTHORITIES ACCOUNTABLE?

The bill requires the Secretary of State to certify annually to the Foreign Affairs Committees and Appropriations Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that U.S. financial assistance to Israel was not used to support any of the prohibited activities.

Additionally, the Secretary of State will need to submit reports on a description of the nature and extent of detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli military forces or police in violation of international humanitarian law; the seizure, appropriation, or destruction of Palestinian property in the Israeli-controlled and occupied West Bank by Israeli authorities in violation of international humanitarian law; and Israeli settlement activities, including an assessment of the compliance of the Government of Israel with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016). 

Finally, the bill requires the Comptroller General to submit an annual report to Congress that identifies the specific programs and items funds for offshore procurement in Israel have been allocated to, including specific armed forces branches, units, and contractors; assesses executive branch compliance with legislative requirements governing offshore procurements in Israel; identifies, in detail, all end-use monitoring the Government of Israel is subject to with respect to United States-origin defense articles; and analyzes the effects of offshore procurements on Israel’s military budget and domestic economy since 1991, including an assessment of the manner and extent to which these funds have directly or indirectly supported illegal Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.

HOW DOES H.R. 3103 RELATED TO PREVIOUS LEGISLATION CHAMPIONED BY REP. MCCOLLUM?

The Palestinian Children and Families Act is the fifth piece of legislation introduced by Congresswoman McCollum that focuses on Palestinian human rights, and the fourth that clearly highlights Palestinian children's rights and the Israeli military detention and court system.

In the 117th Congress, Rep. McCollum introduced the original Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, or H.R. 2590, which gained the support of 33 members of Congress. Rep. McCollum introduced two bills, H.R. 2407 and H.R. 8050, during the 116th Congress, which ended in January 2021. H.R. 2407, the Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act, introduced in April 2019, sought to ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds provided to the Government of Israel were not used to support the widespread and institutionalized ill-treatment of Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces and prosecuted in Israeli military courts lacking basic fair trial protections. At the end of the 116th Congress, H.R. 2407 had the support of 25 members of Congress.

She introduced H.R. 8050, The Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act, in August 2020. That bill would have prohibited federal departments or agencies from recognizing, or implying recognition of, any claim by Israel of sovereignty over any part of the occupied West Bank in violation of international humanitarian law or customary international law. It also sought to prohibit the use of certain federal funds to support specified activities in West Bank territory that has been unilaterally annexed by Israel or to facilitate or support such annexation. 11 members of Congress cosponsored H.R. 8050.

McCollum’s groundbreaking legislation H.R. 4391 or the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act was introduced in November 2017 in the 115th Congress and gathered support from a total of 31 members of Congress. H.R. 4391 was the first-ever bill introduced in Congress that focused on Palestinian human rights. 

BACKGROUND ON PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN ISRAELI MILITARY DETENTION

Children under 18 years old represent around 45 percent of the 2.9 million Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children each year in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections.

Children within the Israeli military detention system commonly report physical and verbal abuse from the moment of their arrest, and coercion and threats during interrogations. Under Israeli military law, Palestinian children have no right to a lawyer during interrogation.

Ill-treatment of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank has been widely documented. In 2013, UNICEF released a report titled Children in Israeli military detention: Observations and recommendations. The report concluded that “ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.”

Subsequent UNICEF reports show that widespread ill-treatment of Palestinian children detained by Israeli forces is the norm rather than the exception.

Regardless of guilt or innocence, children in conflict with the law are entitled to special protections and all due process rights under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

International juvenile justice standards, which Israel has obliged itself to implement by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 1991, demand that children should only be deprived of their liberty as a measure of last resort, must not be unlawfully or arbitrarily detained, and must not be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Despite sustained engagement by UNICEF and repeated calls to end night arrests and ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention, Israeli authorities have persistently failed to implement practical changes to end violence against child detainees.

Reforms undertaken by Israeli military authorities so far have tended to be cosmetic in nature rather than substantively addressing physical violence and torture by Israeli military and police forces.

In a military detention system where fair trial guarantees are denied and nearly three out of four Palestinian children experience some form of physical violence after arrest, failing to demand Israeli authorities comply with international law simply works to enable abuse and perpetuate injustice against Palestinian children.

Peace Action is a sponsoring organization of a letter by Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Senator Bernie Sanders pressing the Biden administration calling out Israel’s decades-long oppression of Palestinians in the face of recent violence by the government and settlers. We can now push members of Congress to sign on to the letter as it is circulated for signatures. 
The letter pushes the administration to ensure U.S. law is followed -- namely the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act that says that US weapons can only be used for purposes of self-defense and cannot be used to commit human rights abuses

https://jewishcurrents.org/progressives-in-congress-urge-the-biden-state-department-to-investigate-israeli-use-of-us-weapons

Stop the Violence Against Palestinian Communities

Have you been watching what’s going on in Israel and the West Bank?

Violence by Israeli forces and Israeli settlers in the Palestinian territories is escalating like never before. Meanwhile, Israel’s new extreme-right government is doubling down on its authoritarianism. It’s time for Congress to speak out. 

Luckily, Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Sen. Bernie Sanders are rallying members of Congress to speak out against the rising violence by Israeli authorities. And they are pushing for an end to a blank check from the U.S. to the Israeli government in terms of U.S. aid. 

Can you add your name to support this effort today?

Bowman and Sanders are gathering signatures on a Congressional letter to the Biden administration that condemns the far-right government's violence against Palestinians. It calls out the expansion of settlements and land annexation that fosters greater conflict and leads to shameful dispossession for the Palestinians. Lobbyists for hawkish Israeli policies will oppose this effort, so YOUR VOICE is needed to make sure your member of Congress supports this letter. 

At last, members of Congress are calling to enforce U.S. laws that prohibit U.S. aid from being used to abuse human rights. The letter asks the administration to ensure “that all future foreign assistance to Israel, including weapons and equipment, is not used in support of gross violations of human rights.” 

Help Sanders and Bowman by pushing your members of Congress to support this effort. 

This action can build momentum toward real accountability. Israel has historically been the greatest recipient of aid from the U.S. – and almost all of that aid is military aid. That makes you and I complicit when that “aid”, i.e. those weapons, are used to violate human rights. It’s time to end U.S. complicity in the oppression of the Palestinian people.


The Right to Return


 If Americans Knew

"Empowered by American money, Israel is occupying land that does not belong to it, is breaking numerous international laws and conventions of which it is a signatory, and is promulgating policies of brutality that have been condemned by the United Nations, the European Union, the National Council of Churches, Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, and numerous other international bodies. This truth is also rarely reported."

U.S. Aid to Israel and to Palestinians

The U.S. provides Israel nearly $10.5 million* in military aid per day,
while it gives the Palestinians $0.71 million** per day in foreign (non-military) aid.

“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives over $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America's entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”

- John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt
"The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"

*Source: The Congressional Research Service's report "U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel," written by Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, updated February 18, 2022.

According to the report, the United States gave Israel $3.3 billion for Fiscal Year 2021 in direct bilateral military aid (also referred to as Foreign Military Financing or FMF). Congress also authorized $500 million for "joint" U.S.-Israel missile defense programs (designed to protect Israeli territory from potential outside threats), bringing total military aid to Israel to $3.8 billion per year.

Put another way, American taxpayers give Israel nearly $10.5 million per day.

'The Staggering Cost of Israel to Americans' Booklet
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Over the last 20 years, the U.S. has slowly phased out economic aid to Israel and gradually replacing it with increased military aid. In September 2016, the United States and Israeli governments signed a new ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) where the U.S. pledged to give Israel $38 billion in military aid ($33 billion in FMF grants plus $5 billion in missile defense) over the course of 10 years (FY2019 to FY2028). This new MOU replaces the $30 billion 10-year agreement signed by the Bush Administration that expired in 2018.

Israel receives 53% of total U.S. foreign military aid

Israel is by far the largest recipient of U.S. foreign military aid. According to theCRS report, the President's request for Israel for FY 2022 will encompass approximately 53% of total U.S. foreign military financing worldwide. The report continues, " Annual FMF grants to Israel represent approximately 16.5% of the overall Israeli defense budget. Israel’s defense expenditure as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product (5.6% in 2020) is one of the highest percentages in the world."

(Like many government policies, this disbursement of U.S. tax money is not because it serves American interests, but instead is the result of special interest lobbying.)

Contrary to ordinary U.S. policy, Israel has been and continues to be allowed to use approximately 26.3% of U.S. military aid to purchase equipment from Israeli manufacturers. According to CRS, “no other recipient of U.S. military assistance has been granted this benefit.”

Thanks in part to this indirect U.S. subsidy, Israel’s arms industry has become one of the strongest in the world. Between 2001 and 2008, Israel was the 7th largest arms supplier to the world, selling $9.9 billion worth of equipment. And it continues to grow stronger. In 2021, Israel sold $11.3 billion in military goods to other countries.

The former assistant Secretary of Defense from 2007 to 2009 asked, "How inexplicable is it that we are competing against the Israelis in the Indian defense procurement market at the same time we are subsidizing the Israeli defense industry?"

A U.S. government source estimates that Israel is using approximately $1.2 billion each year (38.7% of the aid it receives from the U.S.) to "directly support its domestic budget rather than to build on its arsenal of advanced US equipment."

The United States also contributes funds for a joint U.S.-Israeli Missile Defense Program designed to thwart short-range missiles and rockets fired by non-state actors (such as Hamas and Hezbollah) as well as mid- and longer-range ballistic missiles (this refers to Iran and/or Syria's arsenals). Arrow II, Arrow III, David's Sling, and Iron Dome refer to different projects under the umbrella of this Missile Defense program. For FY2022, Congress authorized $500 million for the second year of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

By all accounts the United States has given more money to Israel than to any other country. The Congressional Research Service’s conservative estimate of total cumulative US aid to Israel from 1946 through 2021 is $150 billion (not adjusted for inflation).

The United States has granted more total aid to Israel since World War II than to any other country.

Cumulative US foreign assistance obligations between 1946 and 2019 to the top ten recipients. Inflation-adjusted to 2019 dollars. (source)

In a Washington Report article published in October 2013, Shirl McArthur writes, “[T]he indirect or consequential costs to the American taxpayer as a result of Washington’s blind support for Israel exceed by many times the amount of direct U.S. aid to Israel. Some of these ‘indirect or consequential’ costs would include the costs to U.S. manufacturers of the Arab boycott, the costs to U.S. companies and consumers of the Arab oil embargo and consequent soaring oil prices as a result of U.S. support for Israel in the 1973 war, and the costs of U.S. unilateral economic sanctions on Iran, Iraq, Libya and Syria. (For a discussion of these larger costs, see ‘The Costs to American Taxpayers of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: $3 Trillion,’ by the late Thomas R. Stauffer, June 2003 Washington Report, p. 20.)”


Palestinians

**Source: The Congressional Research Service's Report “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians”, written by Jim Zanotti, Analyst in Middle Eastern Affairs, dated May 18, 2018. (See also, U.S. Resumption of Foreign Aid to the Palestinians, April 14, 2021, and The Palestinians: Overview, Aid, and U.S. Policy Issues, July 18, 2022)

The U.S. government has never provided Palestinians with military aid. "The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4870), which passed the House in June 2014, contained provisions that would prohibit funds made available by the act from being obligated to the PA (§10033) or from being used to transfer weapons to the PA (§10024)."

Aid to Palestinians is largely designated for humanitarian and development needs that result from the Israeli occupation and to the Palestinian Authority for policing on behalf of Israel. Such funds are only authorized once Congress has received proof that they will be used for "non-lethal assistance." The most recent CRS report on Palestinian aid states that Palestinian groups received $219 million in economic assistance and $40 million for non-lethal security for FY 2022.

Regarding U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, many Palestinian experts assert that the support actually helps Israel maintain its illegal occupation of Palestinian land. "Security collaboration" between the PA and Israel means that Palestinian police are being outsourced to monitor and respond to Palestinians resisting the Israeli occupation or protesting against Israel's assaults on Gaza.

In addition, much of the "humanitarian aid" is dispensed on behalf of Israel.

(Source)

(For expenditures on behalf of Israel, go here.)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided the Palestinian people with some indirect economic assistance through funds distributed to U.S.-based NGOs operating in the West Bank and Gaza. According to CRS, "Funds are allocated in this program for projects in sectors such as humanitarian assistance, economic development, democratic reform, improving water access and other infrastructure, health care, education, and vocational training." The program is subject to a vetting process and to yearly audits...

Since its creation in 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has received financial backing from each presidential administration, whether Democrat or Republican. The UNRWA “provides food, shelter, medical care, and education for many of the original refugees from the 1947-1949 Arab-Israeli war and their families—now comprising approximately 5 million Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza." (Learn more about Palestinian refugees.)

Though the United States’ yearly allocation to the UNRWA typically amounted to less than one tenth of its military aid to Israel each year, the funds nonetheless made up nearly a third of the agency’s annual budget. In August of 2018, the Trump administration’s State Department issued a press release announcing an indefinite cessation of all UNRWA funding from the United States effective immediately, a decision described by the UN Commissioner-General as the agency’s “greatest financial crisis in its history.” UNRWA funding resumed under the Biden administration in 2021.

Additionally, "about $50 million in US assistance to the Palestinians does not flow directly to the PA but instead to Israel, which uses the money in part to pay off Palestinian debts to Israeli service providers such as electricity companies."

U.S. aid to the PA also makes it easier and cheaper for Israel to spend its own US aid on security for its Jewish-only settlements built on confiscated Palestinian land, which is illegal under international law. Recent research has shown that at least 78% of international aid money to the West Bank and Gaza ends up in Israel's economy.


Join us for an upcoming NLG screening of Boycott

We are delighted to invite you to a special screening of Just Vision’s new documentary, Boycott, on Wedn. March 15th at 6-8pm CDT. Following the screening, we look forward to hosting a Q&A with the film’s Director Julia Bacha and movement attorneys Meera Shah from Palestine Legal and Lauren Regan from the Civil Liberties Defense Center.

Boycott follows a news publisher, an attorney, and a speech therapist, who, when forced to choose between their jobs and their political beliefs, launched legal battles that continue to expose an attack on the ability of progressive movements to hold power to account. The film traces the impact of legislation and executive orders passed in 34 states designed to penalize individuals and companies that choose to boycott Israel due to its ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights.

The film’s story is becoming increasingly more urgent. This February, the Supreme Court declined to hear one of the legal cases spearheaded by the ACLU and featured in the film. This missed opportunity to acknowledge the political pedigree of boycott as a cornerstone of civil rights movements across US history should trouble all those fighting for  justice. Meanwhile, copy-cat anti-boycott bills targeting those fighting for climate justice, safe abortions, gun control, trans liberation, and Indigenous self-determination continue to be aggressively pushed by the conservative lobby all across the country.

Click here to RSVP. Upon registering, you will receive an email with a unique Zoom link to join the screening and discussion.

As Boycott continues to make its way across the country, we are thrilled to be sharing this timely story with the National Lawyers Guild. We hope you can join us. 

All the best,
National Lawyers Guild, including the following national committees: the United People of Color Caucus, Anti-Racism Committee, International Committee, and Palestine Sub-Committee

THE HORRIFIC SETTLER ATTACKS ON PALESTINIAN VILLAGES ARE THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF ZIONISM

28 FEBRUARY 2023 PRESS RELEASE/STATEMENT

On Sunday in the occupied West Bank, we saw the inevitable outcome of Zionist ideology: Israeli settlers destroying Palestinian homes, livelihoods, and lives in an effort to force Palestinians from their land.

In the worst settler attacks in decades, nearly 300 Israeli settlers rampaged through the Palestinian villages of Huwara, Zatara, and Burin on Sunday, burning homes to the ground, lighting vehicles on fire, and injuring 350 Palestinians. At least one Palestinian, 37-year-old Sameh al-Aqtash, was killed, just days after returning from volunteering with relief efforts in Turkey. Sameh was the father of three children, the youngest a four-month-old girl.

During the attacks, the Israeli military not only failed to protect Palestinians from the settler violence, but also prevented ambulances and medics from treating the injured. Video footage showing Israeli soldiers standing by while settlers undertook attacks next to them makes it indisputably clear: The Israeli settler movement is supported and enabled by the Israeli state.

This mass violence is what Zionism has always been leading towards; Zionism has always required the displacement and removal of Palestinians from their lands to make way for a Jewish state.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, the current far-right extremist Israeli government is escalating the ethnic cleansing begun in 1948 with the Nakba, when 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their land. Make no mistake — the Israeli government’s oppression of Palestinians and occupation of their land is the root cause of every violent death.

Stefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
“Members of the Israeli Cabinet publicly encouraged the ransacking of Palestinian villages, and the Israeli military actively enabled the settlers’ violent attacks on Palestinians. As U.S. Jews, we cannot just watch in silent horror as the state of Israel perpetuates settler violence. We have to act. We choose the struggle for justice over silence and complicity.”

Beth Miller, Political Director, Jewish Voice for Peace Action
“The Israeli settlers burning down Palestinian homes and attacking Palestinians in the street are supported by the Israeli military and the Israeli government. The same Israeli military that receives $3.8 billion every year from the United States. As long as the U.S. government continues to offer blanket support to Israel, it is also supporting violent settler mobs. The first step to ending this violence is to demand more from our own leaders — we have to end U.S. funding to the Israeli military.”


Israeli forces gun down Palestinian father & 2 others, another dies of wounds

Israeli forces gun down Palestinian father & 2 others, another dies of wounds

Fifteen days into 2023, thirteen Palestinians have been killed by Israel. The latest victim, Ahmad Kahala, was shot Sunday at point-blank range, and medics were blocked from saving his life.
Saturday, Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinians, Ezzeddin Hamamra, 24, and Amjad Khaliliyya, 23; the same day, Yazan Ja’bari, 19, died from wounds inflicted by Israeli soldiers earlier this month.
Israel has one of the most powerful armies in the world.

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10 am Pacific – 1 pm Eastern – 7 pm central Europe – 8 pm Palestine
Event in English with Spanish and Arabic interpretation

REGISTER TO JOIN: https://bit.ly/hlf5event

The Holy Land Five are five Palestinian charity workers in the United States who were relentlessly harassed, targeted and pursued in a travesty of justice, until they were finally convicted for their work providing for people in Palestine living in poverty. Three of the Five remain imprisoned in the U.S. today: Ghassan Elashi and Shukri Abu Baker, both sentenced to 65 years, and Mufid Abdulqader, sentenced to 20 years.

Recently, Within Our Lifetime, together with organizations like the Coalition for Civil Freedoms and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, re-launched the campaign for their release. Join the Masar Badil for a discussion about the case, the campaign to free these Palestinian political prisoners in U.S. jails, and how you can get involved — in North America and around the world.

Hear from: Nerdeen Kiswani (Within Our Lifetime); Zaira Abu Baker (daughter of Shukri Abu Baker); Charlotte Kates (Samidoun)

Learn more about the case:
https://wolpalestine.com/campaigns/freethehlf5/
https://freedomtogive.net
https://samidoun.net/2022/11/free-the-holy-land-5-join-the-global-campaign-to-liberate-these-palestinian-prisoners-in-the-u-s-freethehlf5/

Organized by the Masar Badil (Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement), with Alkarama Palestinian Women’s Mobilization and Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network


From: Fault Lines

The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

Fault Lines investigates the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli military forces.

https://www.aljazeera.com/program/fault-lines/2022/12/1/the-killing-of-shireen-abu-akleh

Read more summary

Free Palestine 

From among the rubble we make life ⁦🇵🇸 Life goes on  

https://twitter.com/SaraFaridio/status/1587183314129018883?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1587183314129018883%7Ctwgr%5E47ba5eee161fd0ff585a71c9d23cc1e52fca6d55%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.telesurenglish.net%2Fnews%2FUN-Asks-to-Investigate-Murder-of-Palestinian-Teenager-20221116-0010.html

A four-year-old #Palestinian girl who was hit in the head with a bullet several days ago died at Hadassah University Hospital on Monday #PalestinianLivesMatter

https://twitter.com/i/status/1268376678897721345

UN Asks to Investigate Murder of Palestinian Teenager

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/UN-Asks-to-Investigate-Murder-of-Palestinian-Teenager-20221116-0010.html

At Least 6 000 Palestinians Detained by Israeli Forces in 2022

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During the current year, the number of detainees includes 739 minors and 141 women.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/At-Least-6-000-Palestinians-Detained-by-Israeli-Forces-in-2022-20221108-0015.html


 

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People | United Nations

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed annually on or around 29 November, solemnly commemorating the adoption by the Assembly, on 29 November 1947, of resolution 181 (II), which provided for the partition of Palestine into two States. The observance is held at United Nations Headquarters, the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna and elsewhere. The event includes special meetings at which statements on the question of Palestine are made by high-level officials of the United Nations and intergovernmental organizations and representatives of civil society. The observance also includes cultural events. At other locations, various activities are organized on the occasion of Solidarity Day by governmental bodies and CSOs in cooperation with United Nations information centres around the world. It is also traditionally the day that the United Nations General Assembly undertakes its annual debate on the question of Palestine.

As customary, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (Solidarity Day) will be marked by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) in a Special Meeting where UN Members States express their solidarity with the Palestinian people, through messages by Heads of States and Government. Similar events are held at UNOG, UNON, UNOV and UNICs around the world.

This year, the Special Meeting will be held in person on Tuesday, 29 November from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (New York time) and will be livestreamed on UN WebTV.

The International Day of Solidarity provides an opportunity for the international community to focus its attention on the fact that the question of Palestine remains unresolved and that the Palestinian people are yet to attain their inalienable rights as defined by the General Assembly, namely, the right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty and the right to return.

The Special Meeting will be presided by the Chair of the Committee, Ambassador Cheikh Niang, who will deliver opening statement, followed by remarks by the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Security Council, and by the Secretary-General, delivered by his Chef de Cabinet. The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine will deliver a statement on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine. Mr. Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights organization, will also share his remarks.

During the event, a video will be screened, which is part of a virtual exhibit titled “Portraits of Palestine,” to be launched online the same day and consisting of videos depicting individual Palestinians’ stories of resilience. The Permanent Observer for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Chair of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, as well as representatives of other intergovernmental organizations will deliver statements in the second part of the Meeting.


Peace Action

Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist, was a deeply respected expert in Middle Eastern affairs. On May 11th this year, she was in the West Bank wearing her distinctive blue protective vest and helmet emblazoned with the word “PRESS”. She was gathered with a number of other journalists near the entrance of the Jenin Refugee Camp reporting about near-daily raids by the Israeli Defense Forces. At 6:30 a.m. shots rang out coming from the direction of a Israeli military convoy. 

Shireen slumped over immediately. Her colleagues couldn’t get her to respond. When they tried to get her to safety they were repelled by more shots. Losing her created an incalculable void for her family. But the loss also touched the thousands that counted on her work as well as for the many Arabs, particularly women, hoping to work in the field who saw her as a trailblazing role model. 

Representative André Carson (D-IN) just announced that he is introducing the Justice for Shireen Act, which would have the US government push for accountability and an independent investigation. Can you lend your voice today to move this critical effort forward? 

Peace activists know we can’t trust military spokespeople. We also know how important journalists are in covering war and oppression. Israeli officials have dodged and weaved and repeatedly changed their stories. They even tried to pin the blame on journalists saying they were “armed with cameras”. Israeli internal investigations have avoided holding anyone accountable. But media outlets and human rights organizations have done investigations showing that Shireen was shot dead by the IDF in an attack that targeted the journalists and perhaps even the high profile Shireen.[1] It is time for the U.S., Israel's biggest benefactor, to do its own investigation. 

Please write your Rep. today and ask that they cosponsor the Justice for Shireen Act. 

The bill is simple but potentially groundbreaking. The Justice for Shireen Act requires the Biden administration to report to Congress about the individuals and units responsible for the killing of Shireen, as well as if U.S. weapons were used. A long term goal of ours has been to restrict U.S. aid so that aid can't be used to support Israel’s brutal oppression and apartheid policies. There are U.S. laws on the books that are supposed to block U.S. support to military units that engage in human human rights violations. It’s time to enforce that law. 

Can you write today and ask that your Representative stand up for justice and against this violence?

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that they are launching their own investigation into the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh. This is a positive step that, if it results in concrete action, would be an unprecedented demand for accountability within the U.S. relationship with Israel. But we need Congress, using Rep. Carson’s legislation, to keep the pressure on to ensure there is real accountability and real consequences. Then we’ll need to build on that to start to truly dismantle the whole system of oppression that the Palestinians suffer under. 

Shireen’s family has led an impressive grassroots movement for justice. Momentum is growing in Congress. We need to turn that into concrete results. There needs to be grassroots pressure to ensure that the U.S. takes decisive action. This movement needs your voice to be strong and persistent. 

Can you take action today for justice for Shireen?

Thank you for all you do for peace, 

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action


 

Dear Pamela, 


With no exaggeration, living in Palestine this past year has been heartbreaking. 


There seems to be no limit to the violence Israel wages on the Palestinian people.  I live near the place where 10 days ago, Israeli soldiers shot and killed Fulla Malsameh, a Palestinian girl about to celebrate her 16th birthday. Whenever I drive past this spot, I am reminded of the countless lives the occupiers have taken this year. Last night in Nablus, 16-year-old Ahmed Shehadeh was shot with a bullet to the heart and died instantly. He is the 200th Palestinian and 55th child murdered by Israeli occupying forces in 2022.
 

Driving across the West Bank, I see the intensification of settler colonialism and occupation. More soldiers, more flying checkpoints, more harassment, and more settler attacks.  
 

No Palestinian is untouched. We are losing our land, our homes, our children, our brothers and fathers, and quite frankly, our minds. There is no room for normalcy. In 1948 lands, the Israeli government used the U.S. playbook of planting drugs in Palestinian communities fueling crime and corruption. In Gaza, the 15-year siege continues to deprive the lives of two million people. In Jerusalem, Palestinian families are under the daily threat of being forced to demolish or leave their homes.  In the West Bank, we are confronted by gun-wielding settlers who want to see us dead and Israeli soldiers who do precisely that on command.  And in the refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan – Palestinian refugee families are experiencing life-threatening poverty. 
 

All this paints a bleak picture. 
 

But I promise you that we have not given up. Palestinians continue to resist. We are harvesting our olives, we are teaching our children, and we are building a strong community to weather the storm. 

Adalah Justice Project

 

 

 

An FBI investigation into the killing of Shireen is proof that our continuous pressure is critical, and it works

Americans for Justice in Palestine (AJP Action) welcomes the U.S. Justice Department’s announcement that the FBI will be conducting an independent investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli military. AJP Action, along with our partners and supporters, has spent considerable energy in recent months lobbying Congress and the State Department, as well as petitioning the White House, to launch this investigation instead of taking Israel’s self-exoneration at face value, and we are glad that the Biden administration has finally come around to doing the right thing.

“While we applaud this critical step to investigate Shireen’s killing, justice will not be served until her killers are held accountable and face the consequences of their murderous actions,” said AJP Action Executive Director Osama Abuirshaid.

“We hope that the Biden administration is committed to seeing this process all the way through. This is critical for Shireen’s family, but also for the sake of all journalists who are targeted by oppressive governments to know they won’t be allowed to get away with it.”

Shortly after the FBI investigation was announced, the Israeli government indicated that it will not cooperate with this investigation. Israel has a lengthy history of refusing cooperation in investigations of its crimes by independent actors–a practice aimed at covering up the atrocities that have become routine against Palestinians.

“It is simply unacceptable that Israel gets billions of our tax dollars every year and then refuses to cooperate with U.S. investigations into the killing of American citizens,” said AJP Action Advocacy Director Ayah Ziyadeh, adding: “It is time to end U.S. funding for the Israeli military until Israel complies with U.S. and international law and respects the basic human rights of Palestinians.” 

The announcement of an FBI-led investigation is a step in the right direction, however, our work doesn’t end here. We are deeply committed to continuing to pressure our government until Israel is held responsible for its crime and justice is served. 

 

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action

 


Israel is waging a full-scale assault on Palestinians.

"JVP Wire" <[email protected]

In the past month, the Israeli military has killed at least 29 Palestinians, almost half of them children and teenagers. Earlier this week, the Israeli military killed six Palestinians across the West Bank. Meanwhile, its 13-day siege of Nablus continues, preventing Palestinians from accessing hospitals or healthcare.
This is a one-sided war where the Israeli military – one of the most powerful in the world – is surrounding Palestinian cities, trapping hundreds of thousands of Palestinians inside, and is then invading to murder Palestinians in cold blood every single night.
The Israeli government, on the brink of elections, is escalating its violence against Palestinians to maintain its brutal apartheid regime, and to steal more and more Palestinian land.
Palestine is under attack, and the media has been all but silent. 
Still worse, what little coverage has appeared in mainstream U.S. media is echoing the talking points of the Israeli military, which has a well-documented history of lying to the media and is obscuring the full picture of Israel’s brutal, decades-long oppression of Palestinians and occupation of Palestinian land.

Demand better from the NYT

This is a growing emergency that isn't getting the attention or context it deserves. 

Demand Israeli authorities immediately end solitary confinement of Palestinian child detainees

President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

We, the undersigned, urge you to demand that Israeli authorities immediately end the practice of using solitary confinement on Palestinian child detainees, whether in pretrial detention for interrogation purposes or as a form of punishment. The prohibition must be enshrined in law.


Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire brings together sixteen essays and poems by twelve Palestinian writers. The book includes political essays, personal narratives, economic analysis, and poetry. The book is edited by American Friends Service Committee staff Jehad Abusalim, Jennifer Bing, and Mike Merryman-Lotze and published by Haymarket Books. Read the full press release here.

AFSC is excited to host a speaking tour featuring Asmaa Abu Mezied and Yousef Aljamal, contributors to the Light in Gaza anthology in the following U.S. cities in October.

Saturday, October 29: Milwaukee, WI
Islamic Resource Center 5235 S 27th St, Greenfield, WI 53221
1:00 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. CT
Co-sponsors: Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, Milwaukee 4 Palestine, PSL Milwaukee


16 Palestinian children in Gaza dead after Israeli military offensive


 

U.S. progressives condemn Israeli army crackdown on Palestinian rights groups– but Israel lobby is quiet

Israel's openly-fascistic move of shutting down seven Palestinian human rights groups was widely condemned by American progressives. But rightwing Israel lobby groups were silent.

.net/2022/08/u-s-progressives-condemn-israeli-army-crackdown-on-palestinian-rights-groups-but-israel-lobby-is-quiet/

 


Israel demands full impunity for killing Shireen Abu Akleh – and the Biden administration agrees

Monday, September 12th 2022


Ottawa, September 14, 2022

 “The challenges of journalism under Israeli Military Occupation” with Mondoweiss Senior Palestinian correspondent Mariam Barghouti, and experienced Canadian journalist Warren Caragata.

here is the link to the recording of the event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCszECW_8aE

 

Our webinar was organized in the wake of the killing of well known Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces in May of this year. We wanted to get a better understanding of what it is like to be a journalist in Ramallah, under the hostile eyes of Israeli forces, and sometimes those of the Palestinian Authority as well.

Mariam’s articles appear regularly in Mondoweiss, a high-quality US based digital publication dedicated to news about Israel, Palestine and the middle east.

In our interview with her, Mariam pointed to a number of other sources of information for news from the West Bank and Gaza.  Here are five usually reliable sites:

Los Angeles Times 

 Number of Palestinian dead is highest in years as Israel steps up West Bank raids

JOSEPH KRAUSS and JALAL BWAITEL 
At least 85 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank this year as Israeli forces have carried out nightly raids in cities, towns and villages, making it the deadliest in the occupied territory since 2016….
 It includes several civilians, including a veteran journalist and a lawyer who apparently drove unwittingly into a battle zone, as well as local youths who took to the streets in response to the invasion of their neighborhoods.
The length and frequency of the raids has pulled into focus Israel's tactics in the West Bank, where nearly 3 million Palestinians live under a decades-long occupation and Palestinians view the military’s presence as a humiliation and a threat.
Israeli troops have regularly operated across the West Bank since Israel captured the territory in 1967….
Palestinians say the raids are aimed at maintaining Israel’s 55-year military rule over territories they want for a future state — a dream that appears as remote as ever, with no serious peace negotiations held in more than a decade..
Israel stepped up the operations this past spring after a string of deadly attacks by Palestinians against Israelis killed 17 people, some carried out by militants from the West Bank. There have been no deadly attacks since May, but the relentless military operations have continued.
With four months still to go this year, the 85 Palestinian dead in the West Bank and East Jerusalem already is the highest yearly toll since 2016, when 91 Palestinians were killed at the tail end of a previous wave of violence, according to data compiled by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.
The Palestinian Health Ministry's tally includes…  the veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and a 58-year-old man who was shot in the head outside a bakery earlier this month….
The dead include 17 teens under the age of 18, as well as six women, according to the health ministry…
Israel is also holding more than 600 Palestinians without charge or trial in what's known as administrative detention — the highest number in six years…
Rights groups say that while some Israeli missions are aimed at combating specific threats, others are intended as a show of force, or to protect the growing population of Jewish settlers.
Ori Givati is the head of Breaking the Silence, an Israeli group opposed to the occupation that gathers testimonies of former Israeli soldiers. Some soldiers recall carrying out mock arrests, in which fully armed soldiers raid a home in the middle of the night — for training purposes.
Even more common, Givati says, are so-called “stimulus and response” operations, which he said he took part in himself when he served in the West Bank. In those, Israeli troops roll through Palestinian areas, sometimes with lights and speakers on, hoping to lure stone-throwers or gunmen into the streets so they can arrest or confront them.
“The way we occupy the Palestinians is by creating more and more friction, making our presence felt," Givati said. "We invade their towns, their cities, their homes.”
…Israel says it investigates all cases in which Israeli troops are suspected of killing civilians, but rights groups say most of those investigations are quietly closed, with soldiers rarely facing serious repercussions.
There were two notable exceptions this year.
The killing of Abu Akleh, a veteran on-air correspondent who was a U.S. citizen, prompted numerous independent investigations that concluded she was likely killed by Israeli fire. Israel denies targeting her and says it is still investigating.
There was also the death in January of Omar Assad, a 78-year-old who died shortly after Israeli soldiers bound and blindfolded him and left him in the cold. In that case, senior officers were reprimanded and stripped of leadership roles. Assad, too, was a U.S. citizen.

Ali Abunimah From the Editors 22 August 2022  Why Palestine is central to anti-imperialist resistance | The Electronic Intifada

I joined Rania Khalek on her BreakThrough News show Dispatches for a wide-ranging discussion about Palestine, the right to resist and geopolitics.

Khalek started by asking me why Palestine is still central to anti-imperialist resistance.
 
I told her that it’s because Israel is the keystone of American imperialism in the region.
 
Palestine remains the last old-fashioned European-style guns-and-jackboots settler-colony and a major unfinished decolonization struggle of the 20th century.
 
Israel could not maintain its colonial regime without the support it receives from the United States and Europe.
 
In many European and American imaginations – though I doubt they would put it this way – Israel represents the lost colonial past that they yearn for. Instead, the West talks about its admiration for Israel in terms of “shared values.”
 
Israel is their settler-colony: Its defense and maintenance provides a justification for US and European hegemony in Southwest Asia – although Europe can be seen more as the wagging tail of American empire, rather than a power in its own right.
 
And for people around the world, the struggle of the Palestinians represents a David and Goliath story, where the Palestinian David holding very few weapons is arrayed against the Zionist Goliath.
 
Those are some of the reasons why the Palestinian struggle remains central. It’s also the context in which we can understand Israel’s most recent massacre in Gaza: This is colonial warfare aimed at subduing natives who refuse to be subjugated by their conquerors.

“To kill and kill and kill”

I told Khalek that Israel’s view is that if it ever stops killing Palestinians it will cease to exist. This is because it is engaged in a demographic war to maintain a regime founded on ethno-racial dominance.
As Israeli government adviser Arnon Sofer put it a year before Israel’s 2005 withdrawal of its soldiers and settlers from the interior of the Gaza Strip, “If we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.”
 
“If we don’t kill, we will cease to exist,” Sofer said. “The only thing that concerns me is how to ensure that the boys and men who are going to have to do the killing will be able to return home to their families and be normal human beings.”
 
As the traumatized survivors of Israel’s successive assaults on Gaza can attest, Sofer meant what he said.
 
These conditions have made it necessary for Palestinian resistance groups to develop their abilities to fight back, or at least create some measure of deterrence to make Israel think twice before launching its next assault.
 
Those Israeli attacks, it should be emphasized, are almost always violations by Israel of whatever ceasefire ended the last round of blood-letting, and Israel’s bombardment of Gaza earlier this month was no exception.
 
Although the situation remains extremely unbalanced, the resistance groups in Gaza went from using missiles that could reach a kilometer or two beyond Gaza’s boundaries to one where they can now reach Tel Aviv and even force a shut down of Israel’s main airport.
 

Is Palestinian rocket fire illegal?

Khalek and I discussed both the means and legitimacy of Palestinian armed struggle and the support it receives from Iran, in the context of the regional confrontation between US and Israeli-aligned forces and regimes, on the one hand, and local resistance on the other.
 
I also elaborated on an argument I recently made on Twitter, countering the regular international condemnations that Palestinian rocket fire in response to Israeli attacks is illegal and even a war crime.
If Palestinians in Gaza have no other means to defend themselves or deter Israeli attacks – because no one is willing or able to provide them with the kind of high-precision weapons Israel has – then the rockets cannot be illegal.
 
International humanitarian law cannot lead to a perverse situation where only technologically advanced states have a presumed right to self-defense, while the only means available to a colonized and occupied people are rendered criminal. In such a situation, the only effective means of defense and deterrence must be deemed lawful by necessity.
 
The legal doctrine of necessity is commonly formulated as: “That which is otherwise not lawful, is made lawful by necessity.”
 
While its parameters and interpretations vary, what it generally means is that a person can employ normally unlawful means in self-defense when there is no realistic alternative and the means used cause less harm than the danger they are intended to prevent.
 
This is arguably the case with Palestinian missiles. In the recent escalation in Gaza, for instance, “indiscriminate” weapons fired by Palestinians in response to Israel’s surprise attack, caused no serious injuries or deaths, while Israel’s “precision” weapons killed dozens of Palestinians, including many children.
 
Moreover, Palestinian resistance groups limited and calibrated their response to Israel’s attack, with the goal of achieving a ceasefire. That strategy arguably avoided much greater harm especially for Palestinians, but also for Israeli civilians….
 
As the Chicago Antiwar Coalition (CAWC) has said: We in the Peace & Justice Movement should stand behind the demand for a just solution as codified in UN resolutions 242,338, 194 and numerous others... The Palestinian people will continue to resist plans of the ruling elite of the Israeli Zionists and U.S. imperialists for the liquidation of their rights. And the international community will continue to organize Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) campaigns across the world and isolate Israel as the criminal apartheid state that it is What do you think?--Neal


Israeli forces raid and seal shut Defense of Children Int'l Palestine office, leaving official notice declaring organization unlawful

AUG 18, 2022

Ramallah, August 18, 2022—Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International - Palestine’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank early Thursday morning.

Israeli forces raided DCIP’s headquarters located in Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, located just south of Ramallah around 5:55 a.m. on August 18. More than a dozen Israeli soldiers forced open the office’s locked front door and removed a computer, photocopier, printer, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel’s military courts, CCTV footage showed. They exited the office after 45 minutes, welding shut the entry door and leaving a notice taped to the door ordering the office closed declaring DCIP an illegal organization. It is unclear exactly what items were confiscated.

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The Israeli arms companies that will profit from the latest assault on Gaza

 

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action
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The Biden Administration must stop supporting Israel’s crimes 

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) condemns Israel’s raids on civilian areas in Gaza City today which have killed several Palestinians already, including a 5-year-old girl, and injured dozens more. Israel has a long history of committing war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza, including bombing residential areas indiscriminately, and killing thousands of Palestinian civilians since Israel imposed its illegal siege on Gaza 15+ years ago.

This latest unprovoked aggression comes on the heels of weeks of Israeli escalation in the occupied West Bank and after four days of tightening the illegal and suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip, imprisoning Gaza’s population, and preventing the entry of basic goods. It also comes on the heels of President Biden's visit to Israel last month, in which he reaffirmed U.S. complicity in Israel’s occupation by describing the U.S. commitment to maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its victims as “unshakable.” This commitment takes the form of nearly $4 billion in funding for the Israeli military, even as this military continues its pattern of crimes against humanity and war crimes targeting the Palestinian people. If this is not enablement of Israel’s atrocities, what is?

We call on the Biden administration to end its egregious policy of impunity for Israeli crimes and to immediately demand an end to Israel’s military assault on Gaza. We also call on the administration to pressure Israel to end its illegal siege on the Gaza Strip, which is in its 16th year and has brought misery and death to its besieged population for far too long.

Palestinians deserve to live in freedom, without worrying about whether their children will have a future or whether they will be killed by an Israeli military strike at any moment. As Americans, we cannot remain silent while these crimes are being committed with our tax money, which Israel’s apartheid government receives more of in military funding than any other country on the planet. 

Change comes through action! For this reason, we invite you to participate in our Virtual Palestine Advocacy Days (VPAD2022) in September to lobby our elected officials on behalf of the oppressed Palestinian people. We must continue placing pressure on our government to do the right thing by firmly standing against Israel's serious crimes and egregious human rights violations. Click here to register, for FREE, now!

Sign up for VPAD here
 
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Attack on Gaza: Stand with Palestine, the Palestinian people and their Resistance!

5 August 2022

Israeli occupation forces have once again launched a military aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. This aggression has already taken the lives of 9 martyrs of the Palestinian cause — including a 5-year-old girl and senior leader of the Palestnian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, Tayseer al-Jabari — and wounded 55. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all supporters of the Palestinian cause to take action to defend Palestine, the Palestinian people and their Resistance against the Zionist onslaught.

This attack on Gaza specifically comes hand in hand with a series of arrest raids and assassinations targeting Palestinians throughout occupied Palestine, and specifically the arrest of fellow leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, Bassam al-Saadi in Jenin, in which occupation forces killed 17-year old Dirar al-Kafrini. Al-Saadi was beaten during the attack and taken to a hospital before occupation forces posted photos of his wounded face.

For the past several days, Israeli politicians, analysts and Zionist media have been rampant with speculation, especially as the settlements around Gaza have been under curfew, that the response of the Palestinian resistance could undercut the occupation’s ability to arrest and attack Palestinian leaders freely without repercussions. Amid upcoming Israeli elections and internal political chaos among Zionist forces, an assault on Gaza gives current prime minister Yair Lapid and war minister Benny Gantz the opportunity to “campaign” for votes through aggression against the Palestinian people.

The Israeli occupation is calling this aggression an attack on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement, but in reality, it is an attack on the entire Palestinian people — in Gaza, throughout occupied Palestine from the river to the sea — and their comprehensive resistance in all forms. Of course, the Palestinian people in Gaza are over 70% refugees, denied their right to return home for 75 years. The Palestinian people and their resistance are unified in confronting this assault and struggling for liberation.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges all friends and supporters of Palestine to join together in standing with besieged Gaza, the Palestinian people and their resistance throughout occupied Palestine and in exile and diaspora. As the Masar Badil statement urged, “We call on all to immediately start organizing mass, political and media events in all locations in the diaspora and around the world in order to defend our steadfast Palestinian people against the Zionist aggression and its ongoing tightening of the siege on the Gaza Strip.”

It is clear that the United States, Canada, the European Union countries, Britain and other imperialist powers are fully responsible for the crimes of the occupation, providing it with the weaponry that has been used to commit these killings, and has enabled the ongoing Nakba targeting the Palestinian people for the past 75 years, providing it with military, political, economic and diplomatic support. Rather than recognizing the Palestinian resistance’s legitimacy, these imperialist powers target the resistance organizations with “terrorist designations” and repression. This makes it more urgent for our movements to declare collectively: Resistance is not terror! As we take to the streets and mobilize to stand with the Palestinian people and their resistance, we urge all to take the following actions:

1. Mobilize actions, demonstrations and creative interventions – Take to the streets to defend the Palestinian people and their resistance! As was made clear during the Unity Intifada/Seif al-Quds in May 2021, there is a vast depth of support for the Palestinian people everywhere around the world, including inside the imperialist powers. It is our responsibility to act and make it impossible to continue their support for the crimes against the Palestinian people.

2. Build the boycott of Israel – This is a critical moment to escalate the campaign to isolate the Israeli regime at all levels, including through boycott campaigns that target the occupation’s economic exploitation of the Palestinian land, people and resources as well as those international corporations, like HP and G4S, that profit from the ongoing colonization of Palestine.

3. Support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people – This aggression is an extension of the siege on Gaza that has been imposed on the resisting and steadfast Strip for over 15 years. At this time, it is important to provide economic and practical support at a popular level to sustain the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in confronting these crime

 


 

 

A conversation with Toufic Haddad and Hadeel Assali, two Palestinian academics who study the political economy and geography of Palestine, to examine the impact of 15 years of Israel’s blockade.

The webinar was moderated by Jehad Abusalim of the American Friends Service Committee. This event is part of our Gaza is Palestine webinar series.

 

People around the globe have been campaigning and fighting to end Israel’s brutal siege of the Gaza Strip.

Just yesterday, the Presbyterian Church’s International Committee unanimously passed an overture calling on Israel to lift the siege on Gaza. Adalah Justice Project organized video testimonies that were heard by the committee to bring Palestinian voices to the conversation. The overture will now be presented to the entire General Assembly of the Church for approval.

There is so much more to do, but we know every action we take creates openings for a free Palestine.

 

You can watch our thought-provoking conversation with Hadeel and Toufic in its entirety by clicking here
 

We must stretch our imaginations to envision what Gaza can be. As Hadeel reminded us, before there was the Gaza Strip, there was Palestine. 

 

With hope and solidarity,

Sandra Tamari

STOP THE WALLPALESTINIAN GRASSROOTS ANTI-APARTHEID WALL CAMPAIGN

https://www.stopthewall.org/

POSTED INFROM PALESTINE

Call to Action: Join the Masafer Yatta World Tour

The ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta is well under way. Israeli military and settlers are demolishing homes at increasing speed – and they want the world ignore it!

That’s why yesterday, June 13, 2022, the Israeli military delivered the final demolition order for the center run by Youth of Sumud, in the village of At-Tuwani, Masafer Yatta, South Hebron Hills.
The Arabic word ‘sumud’ means steadfastness and Youthth of Sumud peacefully resist Israeli apartheid by helping indigenous Palestinians retain their lands and livelihoods and mobilizing global support.
Their center is where local organizing takes place and international activists are hosted.
The aim of this further demolition is clear: to repress popular action in Masafer Yatta and hide the ethnic cleansing in front of the world.

Youth of Sumud (YOS) will continue to resist on the ground and we call on you to connect with YOS and the people in Masafer Yatta, amplify their voices and build pressure on Israel to stop the ethnic cleaning of Masafer Yatta Now!

Let’s stop the destruction of Youth of Sumud Center and the ethnic cleansing of the people.

Masafar Yatta, south of Hebron, is composed of 20 Palestinian villages. Palestinians have been living and herding their livestock there since generations. On May 4, Israeli courts gave the green light for the demolition of 8 of these villages (hamlets), home to some 1300 people. Israel can now advance the ethnic cleansing of the area, annex it and further colonize it with illegal settlements.

Demolitions have already started and, if this continues, it would be the largest expulsions carried out by Israel since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

Removals of Palestinians, or ethnic cleansing such as in Masafer Yatta, are a core element of Israel’s regime of apartheid.


Act Now: Israel is trying to prevent us from visiting Palestine

Did you know that new Israeli procedures set to be implemented next month will greatly restrict our ability to travel to the West Bank, live, work, teach, study, and reunite with family members there? They’ll even force U.S. citizens to provide Israel with incredibly intrusive information about the personal details of anyone we plan to…

READ MORE



American Muslims for Palestine

https://www.facebook.com/watch/ampalestine/

 Women For Palestine

https://www.facebook.com/watch/WomenForPalestine/

Jewish Voice for Peace

https://www.facebook.com/watch/jewishvoiceforpeace/

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History of Palestine videos

https://www.facebook.com/watch/Historyofpslestine/


Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) is proud to endorse a Dear Colleague Letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and spearheaded by Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO). In the letter, Rep. Bush and several other members call out Israeli war crimes and demand that the U.S. push for Israel's continuous demolitions and displacement campaigns to end. The letter specifically demands the following: 

  1. Immediately send a clear message to Israel not to expel the indigenous Palestinian residents of the village of Masafer Yatta.
  2. Call on the Israeli government to end all military training exercises and building activities that will pressure or force the residents of the historic villages of Masafer Yatta to permanently or temporarily leave their homes, or that would otherwise make life unlivable.
  3. Publicly state that any action by the Israeli government to forcibly transfer Palestinian residents of Masafer Yatta would be a war crime in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  4. If Israel proceeds to forcibly displace the indigenous Palestinian residents, the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Israel should immediately send observers to document the mass transfer, including details of the military units involved in these operations and the use of any U.S. weapons. 

Contact Congress Here

AJP Action reaffirms its call on Congress to demand the State Department rebuke Israel for the forced displacement of over 1000 Palestinians, a clear and reprehensible violation of international and human rights law. Take 1 minute of your day to watch this testimonial from a resident of Masafer Yatta, Ali Awad, who describes his dream of living in his homeland without the threat and reality of expulsion and intimidation.

Just last week, our Executive and Advocacy Directors met with the Office of Israeli and Palestinian Affairs (NEA/IPA) at the State Department to deliver a petition calling for Israel to not be admitted into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The petition specifically calls on Secretary Blinken to demand Israel end the disparate treatment of American travelers as a non-negotiable condition in the bilateral relations between the two countries. As a state that constantly violates international law, international conventions, and U.S. laws, Israel does NOT deserve, nor does it meet the requirements, to be admitted into the VWP.

Thanks to all of you, we delivered this petition with almost 4,000 signatures! See what our team had to say here.
 

Thank you for taking action against injustice and standing for Palestine; we won’t stop until it’s free. 

Contact Congress Here
 

Masafer Yatta. More than 1300 Palestinians in the south Hebron hills face imminent displacement from their ancestral lands. This is the largest single displacement of Palestinians since 1967. 

Our speakers Basil Al-Adraa and Ryah Al-Aqel made it clear that the Palestinians of Masafer Yatta will not leave their land and will continue to fight for their existence. 

But they cannot not win alone. International pressure is urgently needed.

Here is what you can do to help save Masafer Yatta.


From Masafer Yatta to Jenin to Haifa, we will continue to rise up for Palestine. 


With hope and solidarity,
Sandra Tamari


NAKBA DAY-  Nakba 74- 74 years of Palestinian resistance. It's also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, which was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948 by Israeli colonialism.  

We do no forget the mass displacement of the Palestinian people from their cities and villages, massacres of civilians, and the razing to the ground of many Palestinian villages that occurred in 1948. For centuries, Palestinians had been living in vibrant towns and cities in Palestine. But in 1948, people who wanted to establish Israel on land where Palestinians were already living forced nearly 75% of the Palestinian population out of their homes and off their land, separating families and destroying entire communities. Today, the Palestinians are among the largest displaced population with over 2 million people who can't return to their homeland.

Palestinians mark 68th 'Nakba Day'Nakba Day - WikipediaComrade - May 15, 1948 - Nakba Day, "Day of the Catastrophe." It's an  annual day of commemoration of the mass displacement of the Palestinian  people from their cities and villages, massacres

NAKBA DAY-  Nakba 74- 74 years of Palestinian resistance. It's also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, which was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948 by Israeli colonialism.  


The testimony of Du’aa al-Masri, whose daughter Fatimah died at the age of 19 months after Israel refused to allow her to exit Gaza for medical treatment

ears, Du’aa and Jalal al-Masri unsuccessfully tried to have children. Du’aa underwent multiple miscarriages and many expensive, painful treatments. Until finally, in 2020, their firstborn daughter, Fatimah, pictured here on a family outing to the Gaza beach, came into the world. At nine months old, she needed lifesaving treatment, but Israeli policies have rendered the healthcare system in Gaza unable to provide the care she needed. 

Israel would even not let her leave Gaza to receive treatment elsewhere. Fatimah passed away on March 25, 2022, at the age of 19 months. In a testimony she gave B'Tselem field researcher Olfat al-Kurd on 30 March Du’aa al-Masri recalled: 


My husband, Jalal al-Masri (38), and I got married in 2012. For eight years, we unsuccessfully tried to have children. I’ve had several miscarriages and went through lots of treatments, which we sold everything we had to pay for. In the end, I managed to conceive and have Fatimah in 2020, after eight years of suffering from the treatments and medications. She gave me such joy.

Fatimah was born healthy, but at nine months old, she started coughing. A cardiologist who examined her found she had a hole in her heart. She was discharged from the hospital with an inhalation device that was supposed to help her breathe.

Last October, the doctors told us the hole had grown, and she had to go get treatment at al-Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem. We got a referral for treatment outside the Strip right away.

We made an appointment for her for 28 December 2021, and put my mother’s name down as an accompanying person - Yasmin al-Masri (46). The evening before, my mother got a text message that the application was still under review. We had no choice, and we made another appointment for 6 January 2022, but all we were told was that the application is still under review, so we made an appointment for 13 February 2022, and we missed it again - again we were told the application was under review.

Over this time, Fatimah’s condition deteriorated, and she became very sick. The doctors suggested we try to expedite the application. We made another application and got an appointment for 27 March 2022, but the Israeli DCO rejected it because it was less than 14 days since we made the last application. I went back to the hospital and asked for a coverage guarantee for a later date and a new medical report. We filed the application again and got an appointment for 5 April 2022. Fatimah died before, on 25 March 2022.

On that day, at 10:30 A.M., Fatimah woke up and had breakfast. I picked her up and washed her face. She said to me: Mama, I love you. I love baba. As I held her, I felt she was already unconscious. I opened the door of the house and started screaming. My brother-in-law Adham (40) took her from me, and we drove to the hospital right