Palestinians Claim UN Protection and Prepare Lawsuits

 

Palestinians Claim UN Protection and Prepare Lawsuits.

This is a repost of Stuart Littlewood’s post on dissidentvoice.org

Littlewoods interview questions to Hanan Ashrawi are those everyone has wanted answered, they are questions ringing loudly  through the tweets and posts flying about Palestine’s ongoing oppression and destruction under Israels cowboy boots (bought in US).

Littlewoods comment……………………. “The most worrying thing is how laid-back the PLO is in a crisis.”……and later “In the fog of inaction, indifference and sheer cowardice one is left to speculate… Are these manoeuvres by the Palestinians being kept out of the public domain for dark motives, such as a desire on the part of the usual suspects to give the Israelis a clear and uninterrupted run at totally destroying Gaza and exterminating its ‘nuisance’ inhabitants once and for all?

Nah, surely not…”

Why would we not be wary?

 

Ceasefire brief

Rafah 2hrs into the ceasefire. Smoke billows from buildings following Israeli military strikes near Rafah in the Gaza Strip that killed at least eight people two hours into a three-day ceasefire Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2712656/Israel-Hamas-agree-72-hour-humanitarian-ceasefire-starting-morning.

Rafah 2hrs into the ceasefire. Smoke billows from buildings following Israeli military strikes near Rafah in the Gaza Strip that killed at least eight people two hours into a three-day ceasefire
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2712656/Israel-Hamas-agree-72-hour-humanitarian-ceasefire-starting-morning.

Israel declared the Gaza ceasefire over today and killed more than 50 Palestinians in renewed shelling, saying militants had breached the truce shortly after it began by apparently capturing an Israeli soldier.

Israel and Hamas accused each other of breaking the ceasefire little more than an hour after it took effect at 8am (6am GMT).

see full Daily Mail Article here

 

LANCET POSTS OPEN LETTER FROM DOCTORS “FOR THE PEOPLE IN GAZA”

Vol 84 Issues 9981 of the Lancet published this online dated 23rd July 2014

Full text here with Supplementary Material and References.

4 Doctors on behalf of 24 signatories write…..

An open letter for the people in Gaza

Paola Manduca, Iian Chalmers, Derek Summerfield, Mads Gilbert and Swee Ange on behalf of 24 signatories
We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years.
On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.
We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.
We are appalled by the military onslaught on civilians in Gaza under the guise of punishing terrorists. This is the third large scale military assault on Gaza since 2008. Each time the death toll is borne mainly by innocent people in Gaza, especially women and children under the unacceptable pretext of Israel eradicating political parties and resistance to the occupation and siege they impose.
This action also terrifies those who are not directly hit, and wounds the soul, mind, and resilience of the young generation. Our condemnation and disgust are further compounded by the denial and prohibition for Gaza to receive external help and supplies to alleviate the dire circumstances.
The blockade on Gaza has tightened further since last year and this has worsened the toll on Gaza’s population. In Gaza, people suffer from hunger, thirst, pollution, shortage of medicines, electricity, and any means to get an income, not only by being bombed and shelled. Power crisis, gasoline shortage, water and food scarcity, sewage outflow and ever decreasing resources are disasters caused directly and indirectly by the siege.1
People in Gaza are resisting this aggression because they want a better and normal life and, even while crying in sorrow, pain, and terror, they reject a temporary truce that does not provide a real chance for a better future. A voice under the attacks in Gaza is that of Um Al Ramlawi who speaks for all in Gaza: “They are killing us all anyway—either a slow death by the siege, or a fast one by military attacks. We have nothing left to lose—we must fight for our rights, or die trying.”2
Gaza has been blockaded by sea and land since 2006. Any individual of Gaza, including fishermen venturing beyond 3 nautical miles of the coast of Gaza, face being shot by the Israeli Navy. No one from Gaza can leave from the only two checkpoints, Erez or Rafah, without special permission from the Israelis and the Egyptians, which is hard to come by for many, if not impossible. People in Gaza are unable to go abroad to study, work, visit families, or do business. Wounded and sick people cannot leave easily to get specialised treatment outside Gaza. Entries of food and medicines into Gaza have been restricted and many essential items for survival are prohibited.3 Before the present assault, medical stock items in Gaza were already at an all time low because of the blockade.3 They have run out now. Likewise, Gaza is unable to export its produce. Agriculture has been severely impaired by the imposition of a buffer zone, and agricultural products cannot be exported due to the blockade. 80% of Gaza’s population is dependent on food rations from the UN.
Much of Gaza’s buildings and infrastructure had been destroyed during Operation Cast Lead, 2008—09, and building materials have been blockaded so that schools, homes, and institutions cannot be properly rebuilt. Factories destroyed by bombardment have rarely been rebuilt adding unemployment to destitution.
Despite the difficult conditions, the people of Gaza and their political leaders have recently moved to resolve their conflicts “without arms and harm” through the process of reconciliation between factions, their leadership renouncing titles and positions, so that a unity government can be formed abolishing the divisive factional politics operating since 2007. This reconciliation, although accepted by many in the international community, was rejected by Israel. The present Israeli attacks stop this chance of political unity between Gaza and the West Bank and single out a part of the Palestinian society by destroying the lives of people of Gaza. Under the pretext of eliminating terrorism, Israel is trying to destroy the growing Palestinian unity. Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas whereas the truth is that the Gaza Strip is sealed by the Israelis and Egyptians.
Gaza has been bombed continuously for the past 14 days followed now by invasion on land by tanks and thousands of Israeli troops. More than 60 000 civilians from Northern Gaza were ordered to leave their homes. These internally displaced people have nowhere to go since Central and Southern Gaza are also subjected to heavy artillery bombardment. The whole of Gaza is under attack. The only shelters in Gaza are the schools of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), uncertain shelters already targeted during Cast Lead, killing many.
According to Gaza Ministry of Health and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),1 as of July 21, 149 of the 558 killed in Gaza and 1100 of the 3504 wounded are children. Those buried under the rubble are not counted yet. As we write, the BBC reports of the bombing of another hospital, hitting the intensive care unit and operating theatres, with deaths of patients and staff. There are now fears for the main hospital Al Shifa. Moreover, most people are psychologically traumatised in Gaza. Anyone older than 6 years has already lived through their third military assault by Israel.
The massacre in Gaza spares no one, and includes the disabled and sick in hospitals, children playing on the beach or on the roof top, with a large majority of non-combatants. Hospitals, clinics, ambulances, mosques, schools, and press buildings have all been attacked, with thousands of private homes bombed, clearly directing fire to target whole families killing them within their homes, depriving families of their homes by chasing them out a few minutes before destruction. An entire area was destroyed on July 20, leaving thousands of displaced people homeless, beside wounding hundreds and killing at least 70—this is way beyond the purpose of finding tunnels. None of these are military objectives. These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future, as well as also demolishing their homes and prohibiting the means to rebuild.
Weaponry known to cause long-term damages on health of the whole population are used; particularly non fragmentation weaponry and hard-head bombs.4, 5 We witnessed targeted weaponry used indiscriminately and on children and we constantly see that so-called intelligent weapons fail to be precise, unless they are deliberately used to destroy innocent lives.
We denounce the myth propagated by Israel that the aggression is done caring about saving civilian lives and children’s wellbeing.
Israel’s behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. Even those of us who want to go and help are unable to reach Gaza due to the blockade.
This “defensive aggression” of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity must be stopped.
Additionally, should the use of gas be further confirmed, this is unequivocally a war crime for which, before anything else, high sanctions will have to be taken immediately on Israel with cessation of any trade and collaborative agreements with Europe.
As we write, other massacres and threats to the medical personnel in emergency services and denial of entry for international humanitarian convoys are reported.6 We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues. We urge readers not to be silent too. Gaza trapped under siege, is being killed by one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated modern military machines. The land is poisoned by weapon debris, with consequences for future generations. If those of us capable of speaking up fail to do so and take a stand against this war crime, we are also complicit in the destruction of the lives and homes of 1·8 million people in Gaza.
We register with dismay that only 5% of our Israeli academic colleagues signed an appeal to their government to stop the military operation against Gaza. We are tempted to conclude that with the exception of this 5%, the rest of the Israeli academics are complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza. We also see the complicity of our countries in Europe and North America in this massacre and the impotence once again of the international institutions and organisations to stop this massacre.

ON A SOCCER WIN, A DEAD COACH AND GAZA

A game adored by most of the planet.

May 2014 Palestinian Soccer team wins AFC Challege Cup

A game that saw Palestine’s National team win 1-0 against the Philipines in the AFC Championships in May this year. They had an unbeaten record in the championships and had not conceded one goal.

“A second half free-kick from tournament leading scorer Ashraf Al Fawaghra proved the difference as Palestine won the final edition of the AFC Challenge Cup with Friday’s 1-0 victory over the Philippines at the National Stadium also securing qualification for the next year’s AFC Asian Cup.” see here

Then………………………

July 30th Gaza City

“In a separate attack, one Palestinian was killed in an apartment building known as the Italian Residential Tower in Gaza City. He was the coach of the Palestinian National Football Team. He has been identified as”……….

 ‘Aed Zaqqout, Gaza.

Although ‘Aed does not appear in the post announcing the win see here he is mentioned as having a coaching role and having been killed by Israeli fire on 30th July. see here

One Palestinian in a residential tower?

What does that mean?

Was he targetted? (they deliberately assassinate political cartoonists too you know see here)

Is Israel afraid of Hamas tunnels (must have meant more shekels for some Jewish merchant) or are they afraid of Palestinians remaining strong and vibrant with a sense of who they are?

There will be NO fun, NO goods, NO LIFE

There will be NO fun, NO goods, NO LIFE

Gaza Palestinians watch their team win the Soccer final

Congratulations Palestine see you in 2015 in Australia, just don't dare ask for asylum here!

Congratulations Palestine see you in 2015 in Australia, just don’t dare ask for asylum here!

Gaza in your backyard

A.P photo of Israeli's watching the bombing of Gaza.

A.P photo of Israeli’s watching the bombing of Gaza.

Rather than just post the latest Situation Report (Sitrep) from Gaza through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) I have decided to provide a very brief summary of the 9 page report. see full list of current worldwide reports in new window here

These reports are provided daily, but for me in Australia it always seems they are not up to date as we are so many hours ahead. The US is even further behind, something that always pleases me somewhat even if it doesn’t really have much relevance! In a strange way its very affirming, just confirming for me how much our psyche relies on many strange and irrelevant arbitrary measures.

On talking with a friend yesterday it struck us that the blunt hand of ‘local’ comparitives seemed to strike the chord people needed to take register the depth of meaning of what is going on in Gaza. This is something that may otherwise be ‘too much’ to consume in one go or just ‘too far’ from their reality. This is particularly necessary for people to engage empathically with the Palestinian situation. A simple example we took was to look at the area of Gaza and the number of people who live there and try to fathom what that means in terms of our knowledge of local population and geographical spread.

GAZA (from CIA World Factbook, notice they have already apparently accommodated recent deaths as it is a July 2014 estimate! -commendable site moderation guys !)

  • Total Area: 360 sq km
  • Population: 1,816,379 (July 2014 est.)

So just to show you (if you live elsewhere check for you nearest comparison city here ) compared to Sydney with a population of 4.576 million (2010) ……. Gaza imposed over SydneyGaza is often cited as one of the most heavily populated regions of the world (heavily disputed by Israeli hasbara) we look more closely at this as average data can mask significant variations within urban areas. (For example, London and Athens have similar population densities but the core densities in Athens are considerably higher than in London. The Athens suburbs however, are among the least dense in the world.)

Some local Aussie comparisons,

  • Sydney        2037 sq k’s        population density (PD) of 2000 (people/sq k)
  • Darwin        1200 sq k’s        PD 216 people/sq k
  • Gaza Strip      44 sq k’s         PD 16,500 people/sq k

That’s 8.5 people for every Sydneysider!

So now let’s look at the major populated areas in Gaza (3 weeks ago) and the identified  people who are now dead in each community.

 

Area Name/proximity

Confirmed Dead (MMIC) names

Population figures  2006

Gaza City/surrounds include Shaja’eeya

295

830,700

Khan Yunisinc Ref Camp Southern area

323

179,800

Gaza Beach

5

Rafah Egypt border south

112

71,000

Jabalia Ref Camp and Northern area

72

82,900

now ‘mostly deserted’

Beit HanounNorthern area

41

32,200

now mostly deserted

Beit Lahiya Nth border area with Israel

32

59,500

Deir al-Bala, Al Buriej Al Maghazi Tilbani and Nusseirat Central includes refugee camps

98

62,200

Deir al Bala only

No area listed

174

Total (includes 315 children)

1151 identified

1359 reported killed

Gaza Strip map 2013 http://smpalestine.com/2013/04/04/resource-map-of-gaza-strip/

Gaza Strip map 2013 http://smpalestine.com/2013/04/04/resource-map-of-gaza-strip/

Some areas are sites of extreme devastation- Beit Hanoun in the North, Khan Younis in the south and Shaja’eeya east of Gaza City towards the eastern frontier with Israel  were crowded urban neighborhoods less than three weeks ago. Now they have been literally emptied, residents dead or joining more than 160,000 internally displaced traumatised people including large numbers of women and children see more here

The situation in Gaza has been described by an overwhelmed and crying UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness when explaining how “the rights of Palestinians… are wholesale denied” see here .

    • Whole urban communities have been forceably evicted not ‘displaced’
    • More than 5000 homes have been flattened
    • !3,000 UNRWA staff work in the Gaza Strip, to provide medical and humanitarian aid and shelter to more than 200,000 homeless and traumatised Palestinians
    • 68 families have lost three or more family members in the same incident

In addition to this wholesale slaughter by Israel, environmental issues of extensive repeated and ongoing bombardment by Israel include desertification, salination of fresh water, sewage treatment issues and water-borne disease, soil degradation, depletion and contamination of underground water resources. Issues that can only bring further tragedy. There is no time to renew from the last barrage of what Israel disgustingly calls ‘moving the grass’ to ensure Palestinians remain focused on survival.

We must not forget the recent ‘news’ that Israel has determined a 3km buffer zone to ‘protect themselves from tunnels’. A reduction in Gaza land of what the UN say is 44%.

The Israeli military, relentlessly and methodically, is driving people out of the 3-kilometer (1.8 mile) buffer zone it says it needs to protect against Hamas rockets and tunnels. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the buffer zone eats up about 44 percent of Gaza’s territory. Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=544_1406734466#B2WIu8q0Shs7PzPd.99
The Israeli military, relentlessly and methodically, is driving people out of the 3-kilometer (1.8 mile) buffer zone it says it needs to protect against Hamas rockets and tunnels. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the buffer zone eats up about 44 percent of Gaza’s territory.
Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=544_1406734466#B2WIu8q0Shs7PzPd.99

Oh yes and then there’s the sea blockade.

The Turkish humanitarian relief organisation (IHH) is currently organising a “Freedom Flotilla II” which will carry humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip See here

When Israel was declared in 1948 on 78% of Palestine, the Jewish state had depopulated (through massacres, expulsion orders, and fear tactics) over 400 villages and forced 726,000 Palestinians into the life of refugees. As Moshe Dayan (The murdering Israeli Militarist with the eye patch) put it, “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either.” source here. The 1967 War saw them occupy all of Palestine.

Though many have seen this map sequence it is still not known to most people when they open there mouths about Israels right to exist as a state.

Though many have seen this map sequence it is still not known to most people when they open there mouths about Israels right to exist as a state.

The current Gaza invasion of Israel under the highly orchestrated and planned ‘Operation Protective Edge’ has merely overshadowed what has been occurring all along with the 8yr Gaza blockade. Similarly, it has overshadowed the Apartheid lives of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Israeli ‘sweeps’ of West Bank Palestinian homes  under the cowardly lie of searching for kidnapped boys they knew were dead was without morality and provocative.

A 72 hr ceasefire was called today and has already been broken not 3hrs in by Israel. They don’t want a united Hamas Fatah Palestinian Authority nor do they want peace –

They want Palestine.

Prominent Israeli's on Gaza

 

Next Post: Challenging the Israeli  ‘Hamas Rocket’  storyline?

 

Hallmark of Savagery: Video of Israeli “Double Tap” at the Shujaiyya Market in Gaza

I know it has been some time since a post – no excuses, but today this post comes from willylomn@wordpress.com from a consummate and trustworthy blogger Scott Creighton. In the light of a 48hr ceasefire that is well overdue and Israeli troops recalcitrantly remaining in Gaza I am reposting. More from me today