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In Wake of Gaza Massacre, Israeli Leaders Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes

World  (tags: Great March of Return 2018, Palestinian peaceful protesters, Nakba, occupied Palestine-siege of Gaza, ICC, Israel, BDS, Gaza Massacre 2018, media, middle-east, news, palestine, world, UnitedNations, Refugees&Relief, usa, violence, war, death, africa )

- 376 days ago -
The use of deadly force against the peaceful protesters was premeditated. The IDF deployed 100 snipers to the border fence between Gaza and Israel, where 30,000 to 40,000 Palestinians had gathered for the Great March of Return


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fly b (26)
Friday April 6, 2018, 6:27 pm
In Wake of Gaza Massacre, Israeli Leaders Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes
Friday, April 06, 2018

On March 30, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers shot 773 unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza, killing 17 and wounding 1,400. Twenty remain in critical condition. The protesters were marching to demand the internationally mandated right of return of refugees to their cities and villages in what now constitutes Israel.

The Israeli leaders who ordered the massacre were in clear violation of international law. They should be prosecuted for war crimes.

Premeditated Use of Deadly Force Against Peaceful Protesters

The use of deadly force against the peaceful protesters was premeditated. The IDF deployed 100 snipers to the border fence between Gaza and Israel, where 30,000 to 40,000 Palestinians had gathered for the Great March of Return. In a damning tweet, later deleted, the IDF wrote, "Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed."

Jihad al-Juaidi, director of the ICU at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, told Al Jazeera that all of the injured people who came to the hospital were shot in the head, pelvic joints or knee joints. "This shows that Israeli forces were shooting-to-kill, or to cause disabilities," al-Juaidi stated.

B'Tselem, a Jerusalem-based human rights organization, characterized the military orders as "shoot-to-kill unarmed Palestinians taking part in these demonstrations."

"Israeli soldiers were not merely using excessive force, but were apparently acting on orders that all but ensured a bloody military response to the Palestinian demonstrations," Eric Goldstein, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's (HRW) Middle East and Africa division, stated.

Senior IDF officers told Haaretz before the protest that a large number of casualties was "a price we would be willing to pay to prevent a breach" of the fence at the border.

Israeli leaders fostered the false narrative that Hamas was sponsoring the protest. Jason Greenblatt, US envoy to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, followed suit, tweeting, "Hamas is encouraging a hostile march on the Israel-Gaza border" and accused Hamas of "inciting violence against Israel."

To read more stories like this, visit Human Rights and Global Wrongs.

But the demonstration was actually organized by several Palestinian civil society organizations. "No Palestinian faction, organization or group can claim this march as its own. Hamas was simply riding the wave," Jamil Khader wrote on Mondoweiss. Palestinian flags, not factional ones, were visible.

Conflating civilians with terrorists and framing the planned response as protection against a security risk, Israeli authorities referred to Gaza as a "combat zone."

Lethal Force Can Only Be Used if Imminent Threat to Life

It is illegal to shoot unarmed civilians under international humanitarian law. Some protesters threw rocks and burned tires near the border fence. But HRW found "no evidence of any protester using firearms or any IDF claim of threatened firearm use at the demonstrations." No Israeli soldiers were killed and "the army did not report any injuries to soldiers."

"Even if a Palestinian was throwing a stone, the chances that under these conditions such an act could cause an imminent threat to life -- the only situation that would justify the use of lethal force under international law -- are infinitesimal," Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on HuffPost. "Indeed, even if Palestinians were trying to climb the fence, that would not give Israel the right to use lethal force."

Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of HRW, concurred, stating, "Israeli allegations of violence by some protesters do not change the fact that using lethal force is banned by international law except to meet an imminent threat to life."

Indeed, the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement specifies, "intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life."

"Senior Israeli leaders who unlawfully called for the use of live ammunition against Palestinian demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to life bear responsibility" for the deaths and injuries, HRW asserted in a statement. That includes Israel's prime minister, defense minister and chief of staff.

B'Tselem, which has called for Israeli soldiers to disobey patently illegal orders, described the legal duty to disobey unlawful orders: "It is also a criminal offense to obey patently illegal orders. Therefore, as long as soldiers in the field continue to receive orders to use live fire against unarmed civilians, they are duty-bound to refuse to comply."

Prosecute Israeli Leaders in International Criminal Court

Israeli leaders responsible for the deaths and injuries on March 30 should be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Under the Fourth Geneva Convention, an occupying power has a legal duty to protect the occupied. Grave breaches of the convention constitute war crimes. They include willful killing; willfully causing great suffering or serious injury; intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population; and intentionally launching attacks with knowledge they will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians The IDF committed all of these grave breaches on March 30.

Furthermore, under international humanitarian law, the IDF failed to comply with the principles of distinction and proportionality. Distinction requires parties to a conflict to direct their attacks only against people taking part in the hostilities. Proportionality prohibits an attack if the damage to the civilian population will be greater than the military advantage anticipated from the attack. The IDF violated both of those principles on March 30.

An independent commission of inquiry convened by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate Israel’s 2014 massacre in Gaza documented the deaths of 2,251 Palestinians, which included 1,462 civilian deaths and the injuring of 11,231 Palestinians. Six civilians and 67 soldiers were killed and 1,600 injured on the Israeli side. The commission concluded that Israel, and to a lesser extent, Palestinian armed groups, had likely committed violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, some constituting war crimes.

Currently, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is conducting a preliminary examination into the 2014 massacre. She should expand her inquiry to include the events of March 30, 2018.

US Vetoes Security Council Resolution Calling for Investigation

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini advocated independent investigations into the use of deadly force by the IDF at the border fence on March 30. But the day after the massacre, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution that called for an "independent and transparent investigation" and affirmed the right of Palestinians to peaceful protest.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defense minister, said the IDF soldiers "deserve a medal" for protecting the border. "As for a commission of inquiry -- there won't be one," he declared on Israeli Army Radio.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised his troops for "guarding the country's borders" and permitting "Israeli citizens to celebrate the [Passover] holiday peacefully," adding, "Well done to our soldiers."

Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace, noted in a statement, "The Israeli military evidently believes that any time Palestinians assert their basic rights in any way, they will be considered violent, and met with deadly violence."

Meanwhile, the Palestinian protests are slated to last until May 15, the day Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or the "great catastrophe" of 1948-9, when Israel expelled 800,000 Palestinians from their lands to create Israel. Approximately 70 percent of the 1.3 million Gazans are refugees.

"I think the only way truly forward is to recognize that there is a root cause: 70 years of Nakba," Wise said.

Marjorie Cohn

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an advisory board member of Veterans for Peace

fly b (26)
Friday April 6, 2018, 6:31 pm
As Gaza Protests Resume, Urgent Call for Israeli Soldiers to Disobey 'Patently Illegal' Orders to Shoot Unarmed Demonstrators. VIDEO

April 06, 2018
Jake Johnson

Despite demand by human rights group and warning from international community, Israeli soldiers reportedly began opening fire on peaceful demonstrators once more during protests Friday along the Israel-Gaza border.

As anti-occupation protests kicked off once more in Gaza on Friday just a week after Israeli soldiers massacred 17 Palestinians and injured over a thousand more, the prominent human rights group B'Tselem launched its first-ever ad campaign calling on Israeli soldiers to disobey "patently illegal" orders to shoot unarmed demonstrators.

"The use of live ammunition against unarmed persons who pose no danger to anyone is unlawful," B'Tselem noted in a statement on Thursday. "It is even more blatantly unlawful in the case of soldiers firing from a great distance at demonstrators located on the other side of the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip."

Titled "Sorry Commander, I Cannot Shoot," the campaign was launched as Israeli officials indicated that they are once again planning to use deadly force against nonviolent demonstrators who come within 100 meters of the border fence separating Israel and the occupied Gaza Strip.

"We have defined the rules of the game clearly and we do not intend to change them," Avigdor Liberman, Israel's defense minister, said earlier this week. "Anyone trying to approach the fence is putting their lives at risk."

B'Tselem argued that such a policy constitutes a clear violation of international law, which restricts the use of deadly force "to instances involving tangible and immediate mortal danger, and only in the absence of any other alternative."

"The responsibility for issuing these unlawful orders and for their lethal consequences rests with the policy makers and—above all—with Israel's prime minister, defense minister, and the chief of staff," B'Tselem concluded. "That said, it is also a criminal offense to obey patently illegal orders. Therefore, as long as soldiers in the field continue to receive orders to use live fire against unarmed civilians, they are duty-bound to refuse to comply."

B'Tselem's ad campaign came as Palestinians began to gather for demonstrations on Friday, which are expected to consist of tactics deployed throughout the week, such as sit-ins, tire-burning, and the non-violent provocation known as "reading books."

According to Haaretz, several Palestinians are in critical condition after Israeli soldiers once more opened fire on peaceful protesters.

"The Palestinian Health Ministry reported of 40 wounded from gunfire, five of which were severely wounded from shots fired to the head and upper body," Haaretz reported. "All were evacuted to hospitals in the Strip, with dozens more being treated onsite mainly for smoke inhalation."

Ahead of Friday's demonstration, top officials—including UN secretary general António Guterres and Elizabeth Throssell, a spokesperson for the human rights council—warned Israel against using lethal forceon unarmed protesters.

Speaking from Geneva, Throssel said that if Israeli troops open fire and it is determined to be unjustified, it would constitute a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, for the wilful killing of civilians.

"I particularly urge Israel to exercise extreme caution with the use of force in order to avoid casualties," Guterres said in a statement. "Civilians must be able to exercise their right to demonstrate peacefully.I call upon all parties on the ground to avoid confrontation and exercise maximum restraint."

fly b (26)
Friday April 6, 2018, 6:32 pm
"As long as soldiers in the field continue to receive orders to use live fire against unarmed civilians, they are duty-bound to refuse to comply."

fly b (26)
Friday April 6, 2018, 6:37 pm
The Failures Of Western Reporting in Gaza. (Please share.)
April 03, 2018
Daily Hampshire Gazette

If a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to call it a “clash.”

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, the best thing to do is to treat the Palestinians as a threat.

Their bodies are weapons, their existence is dangerous. If a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to call it a “clash.” Clashes take place when two armed forces confront each other.

Unarmed Palestinians are armed by the fact of their existence. If Israeli soldiers shoot to death 15 unarmed Palestinians, then the best way to tell that story is to say that “deadly clashes” took place in Gaza (“Deadly clashes in Gaza mark start of Palestinian campaign,” March 31).

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, don’t talk to any Palestinian officials. Talk only to the Israeli military and to the Israeli government. When the Israeli military says that the Palestinians began the “clash” with rocks and “burning tires,” repeat that as the origin for the Israeli use of tear gas and live fire.

Don’t bother to report what you have seen with your own eyes, or to watch videos on YouTube shot from both sides of the perimeter fence. No need to see that video of unarmed men kneeling down to prayer and then Israeli snipers picking them off one by one. Better to be a stenographer for the Israeli army than to be a journalist of the facts.

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, talk to a few Palestinians who say that they will never give up, that they “have nothing to lose.” Offer no context for these statements, nothing to make these statements of futility make sense. Or to appear sympathetic.

Don’t write about the permanent siege on Gaza – its land and sea borders closed by Israeli authorities. Don’t bother with the documentation from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, based in Gaza City.

If you read their weekly reports, you will find that the Israeli navy repeatedly has been bombing the Gaza coastline over the past several weeks — including regular attacks on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya. There you will find reports of Israeli warplanes striking the Beit Hanoun Services Club stadium in northern Gaza. You will find evidence that the Israeli soldiers have been repeatedly shooting at shepherds in the eastern part of Gaza Valley. Israel will not let international human rights agencies to enter Gaza. Israel does not want this context.

If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, don’t ask the Palestinian political groups about the planned six weeks of unarmed protests at the perimeter fence. Don’t bother to report that this is a peaceful protest, something that liberals have often demanded of the Palestinians. Don’t bother to ask why the Palestinian leadership has urged people to be peaceful and why they have asked for this gathering at the fence.

Why mention that March 30 is the anniversary of the 1976 Land Day events in the Galilee, when Palestinians fought to defend their way of life in northern Israel?

Why mention that there is a politics at work here and not merely the instinct of an encaged people?

( Seeing this post, it brought to mind how often I had seen the misuse of the word "clash', by some parties ... to distort facts on the ground, and mislead..)

Colleen L (3)
Friday April 6, 2018, 10:04 pm
Agree that they should be. Thanks Fly

fly b (26)
Friday April 6, 2018, 11:19 pm
Rally in solidarity with Gaza Events for 7 April 2018


fly b (26)
Saturday April 7, 2018, 7:54 am
In Words and Deeds: The Genesis of Israeli Violence.
January 16, 2018
By Ramzy Baroud

Not a day passes without a prominent Israeli politician or intellectual making an outrageous statement against Palestinians. Many of these statements tend to garner little attention or evoke rightly deserved outrage.

Just recently, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, called for more death and injuries on Palestinians in Gaza.

“What is this special weapon we have that we fire and see pillars of smoke and fire, but nobody gets hurt? It is time for there to be injuries and deaths as well,” he said.

Ariel’s calling for the killing of more Palestinians came on the heels of other repugnant statements concerning a 16-year-old teenager girl, Ahed Tamimi. Ahed was arrested in a violent Israeli army raid at her home in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

A video recording showed her slapping an Israeli soldier a day after the Israeli army shot her cousin in the head, placing him in a coma.

Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, known for his extremist political views, demanded that Ahed and other Palestinian girls should “spend the rest of their days in prison”.

A prominent Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, sought yet more punishment. He suggested that Ahed and girls like her should be raped in jail.

“In the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”, he wrote in Hebrew.

This violent and revolting mindset, however, is not new. It is an extension of an old, entrenched belief system that is predicated on a long history of violence.

Undeniably, the views of Ariel, Bennett and Caspit are not angry statements uttered in a moment of rage. They are all reflections of real policies that have been carried out for over 70 years. Indeed, killing, raping and imprisoning for life are features that have accompanied the state of Israel since the very beginning.

This violent legacy continues to define Israel to this day, through the use of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘incremental genocide.’

Throughout this long legacy, little has changed except for names and titles. The Zionist militias that orchestrated the genocide of the Palestinians prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948 merged together to form the Israeli army; and the leaders of these groups became Israel’s leaders.

Israel’s violent birth in 1947- 48 was the culmination of the violent discourse that preceded it for many years. It was the time when Zionist teachings of prior years were put into practice and the outcome was simply horrifying.

“The tactic of isolating and attacking a certain village or town and executing its population in a horrible, indiscriminate massacre was a strategy employed, time and again, by Zionist bands to compel the population of surrounding villages and towns to flee,” Ahmad Al-Haaj told me when I asked him to reflect on Israel’s past and present.

Al-Haaj is a Palestinian historian and an expert on the Nakba, the ‘Catastrophe’ that had befallen Palestinians in 1948.

The 85-year-old intellectual’s proficiency in the subject began 70 years ago, when, as a 15-year-old, he witnessed the massacre of Beit Daras at the hands of Jewish Haganah militia.

The destruction of the southern Palestinian village and the killing of dozens of its inhabitants resulted in the depopulation of many adjacent villages, including al-Sawafir, Al-Haaj’s home village.

“The notorious Deir Yasin massacre was the first example of such wanton killing, a model that was duplicated in other parts of Palestine,” Al-Haaj said.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine at the time was orchestrated by several Zionist militias. The mainstream Jewish militia was the Haganah which belonged to the Jewish Agency.

The latter functioned as a semi-government, under the auspices of the British Mandate Government, while the Haganah served as its army.

However, other breakaway groups also operated according to their own agenda. Two leading bands amongst them were the Irgun (National Military Organization) and Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang). These groups carried out numerous terrorist attacks, including bus bombings and targeted assassinations.

Russian-born Menachem Begin was the leader of the Irgun which, along with the Stern Gang and other Jewish militants, massacred hundreds of civilians in Deir Yassin.

‘Tell the soldiers: you have made history in Israel with your attack and your conquest. Continue this until victory. As in Deir Yassin, so everywhere, we will attack and smite the enemy. God, God, Thou has chosen us for conquest,” Begin wrote at the time. He described the massacre as a “splendid act of conquest.”

The intrinsic link between words and actions remain unchanged.

Nearly 30 years later, a once wanted terrorist, Begin became Prime Minister of Israel. He accelerated land theft of the newly-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, launched a war on Lebanon, annexed Occupied Jerusalem to Israel and carried out the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla in 1982.

Some of the other terrorists-turned-politicians and top army brass include Begin, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan and Yitzhak Shamir. Each one of these leaders has a record dotted with violence.

Shamir served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1986 – 1992. In 1941, Shamir was imprisoned by the British for his role in the Stern Gang. Later, as Prime Minister, he ordered a violent crackdown against a mostly non-violent Palestinian uprising in 1987, purposely breaking the limbs of kids accused of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

So, when government ministers like Ariel and Bennett call for wanton violence against Palestinians, they are simply carrying on with a bloody legacy that has defined every single Israeli leader in the past. It is the violent mindset that continues to control the Israeli government and its relationship with Palestinians; in fact, with all of its neighbors.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is ‘The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story’ (Pluto Press, London). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Saturday April 7, 2018, 10:07 am
Noted and shared all article links over social media.

fly b (26)
Saturday April 7, 2018, 11:47 pm
Palestine Towards Return and Liberation: The Land Day Massacre and the #GreatReturnMarch.

We will be publishing an international list of events and actions that will be regularly updated. See the list of events (below).

The Martyrs of the Land and the Prisoners of Return: A Call to Action for Liberation on Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.

The 30th of March, Land Day, was first inscribed in Palestinian history in 1976, when a mass, popular uprising in occupied Palestine ’48 confronted land confiscation and expropriation at the hands of the settler-colonial Zionist state.

On that day in 1976, six Palestinians were killed as they protested in a general strike against the ongoing Nakba, after thirty years of repression and dispossession. Their names have become indelibly inked in Palestinian history and the history of those who struggle around the world – Kheir Mohammad Salim Yasin, Khadija Qasem Shawahneh, Raja Hussein Abu Rayya, Khader Eid Mahmoud Khalayleh, Muhsin Hasan Said Taha and Raafat Ali Al-Zheiri – shot down as they marched to defend their land.

Today, in besieged Gaza, occupied Palestine, tens of thousands of marchers rose up once again in a mass, popular march commemorating that day 42 years ago with today’s demand to liberate the land, centering the right to return of Palestinian refugees – the Great March of Return. Over 70 percent of the Palestinian population in Gaza are refugees denied their right to return to their homes, lands and villages for 70 years.

And once again, the Israeli state revealed its nature, shooting down 16 martyrs of the land and return in another Land Day massacre, 42 years after the first. The day began with the killing of Palestinian farmer Omar Samour by an Israeli tank shell. This latest murder of a Palestinian farmer further illustrates the unending drive to seize Palestinian land and attack Palestinian productive capacity and self-sufficiently, farmers in Gaza have been under severe attack. The so-called “buffer zone” imposed on farmers in Gaza has seized 30 percent of the land, including the most fertile. Indeed, Palestinian fishers and Palestinian farmers have particularly borne the brunt of repeated Israeli fire, attacks and murders, aimed at eliminating Palestinian self-sufficiency even in the narrow Gaza Strip, hemmed in by sky, land and sea by deadly occupation forces.

And as thousands of Palestinian refugees in Gaza massed in a popular march near the illegitimate colonial barrier and so-called “borders” imposed by the occupation state, occupation forces and sharpshooters opened fire directly on popular demonstrators calling for their rights – for return, liberation, an end to the siege. Their names are now also immortal in Palestinian history and the history of those who struggle – Naji Abu Hajir, Mohammed Kamal Al-Najjar, Wahid Nasrallah Abu Samour, Amin Mansour Abu Muammar, Mohammed Naeem Abu Amr, Ahmed Ibrahim Ashour Odeh, Jihad Ahmed Fraina, Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, Abdel Fattah Abdel Nabi, Ibrahim Salah Abu Shaar, Abd al-Qader Marhi al-Hawajri, Sari Walid Abu Odeh, Hamdan Isma’il Abu Amsha, Jihad Zuhair Abu Jamous, and Bader al-Sabbagh.

They were farmers, students, talented artists, fathers, sons and loved ones, who loved their people, their land, and their vision of freedom, and their loss is painful and immense. It must also be an urgent call to action to honor the sacrifices of the martyrs of the land and return, to demand the freedom of the prisoners and the freedom of all of Palestine – the implementation of Palestinian refugees’ right to return, at the heart of the Palestinian cause.

Of course, this is far from the first such massacre. It comes in a long line of massacres and attacks targeting Palestinian popular resistance, especially that of Palestinian refugees demanding their right to return. We remember the murders of Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria who marched to the borders and braved the crossing to their long-denied homeland in May and June 2011. We also recall the decades of killings of Palestinians labeled “infiltrators” for seeking to return to their own stolen land from exile.

These deaths must not be allowed to pass unnoticed and unremarked, and the movement for which their lives were taken must be supported with the widest popular mobilization. Let us take to the streets in every city in response to this massacre. Land Day has lived on to become an eternal anniversary because, everywhere, Palestinians, Arabs and supporters of the Palestinian cause responded to the land confiscation and the massacres with intensified struggle and resistance. Today’s sacrifices demand the same response.

Infamous IDF general and war criminal Gabi Eizenkot, the promoter of the “Dahiyeh Doctrine” for its murderous assault on the people of the southern suburbs of Beirut in a (failed) attempt to smash the resistance, personally commanded the attacks on Palestinian marchers in Gaza. Of course, Eizenkot and his gunmen did not act alone – they are the vicious arm of an entire state project attacking the Palestinian people’s very existence. And their weaponry is backed up by the United States, Canada European states and other imperialist and colonialist powers, with the complicity of Arab reactionary regimes.

These 16 precious lives deserve all of our mourning, but more urgently, all of our action. Demonstrations, mobilizations, artistic, cultural and legal actions to hold war criminals accountable and to end international imperialist backing for the ongoing war crimes in Gaza and against the entire Palestinian people are all urgently needed – today, tomorrow, in the coming week.

April 17 is Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, a national and international day of action for the freedom of all Palestinian political prisoners, the prisoners of freedom, the prisoners of return and liberation, behind Zionist bars because of their commitment to the freedom of their people and their land. This year, April 17 can and must be a day of mobilization to liberate Palestinian prisoners, free the land and people of Palestine, break the siege on Gaza and confront all imperialist and Zionist attacks.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of Palestine around the world to mobilize in immediate and ongoing response to the Land Day massacre in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and the entire Palestinian people – including all of the millions of Palestinian refugees in exile and diaspora who struggle for their right to return home, the key to Palestinian liberation.

Saturday, 7 April
•7 April, Melbourne: Protest Israel’s Massacre in Gaza
•7 April, Auckland: March of Return – Gaza
•7 April, Bonn: Rally against the Israeli massacre in Gaza!
•7 April, Worcester: Rally for Gaza
•7 April, Manchester: Boycott Barclays – Protest British Imperialist Support for Israel
•7 April, Manchester: Emergency Protest – Stop the Massacres! Stop Arming Israel!
•7 April, London: Protest for Gaza – Stop the Killing
•7 April, Derry: RALLY – Solidarity with Murdered Land Day Protesters in Gaza
•7 April, Dublin: Expel All Israeli Diplomats from Ireland Protest
•7 April, Copenhagen: Boykot Israel on the Streets at Norreport
•7 April, Jersey: Vigil to Support the Great Return March – Gaza
•7 April, Bordeaux: Rally to Support Gaza!
•7 April, Clermont-Ferrand: Rally for the Palestinian People
•7 April, Anaheim: Great Return March – Action in Solidarity
•7 April, Milan: Protest for a Free Palestine
•7 April, Milan: Assemblea #CambiaGiro
•7 April, Nice: Demonstration in Support of the March of Return in Palestine
•7 April, Sheffield: Protest Against Israel’s Killings of Land Day Protesters in Gaza
•7 April, Toronto: Protest the Massacre of Palestinians by Israeli military at the Gaza border
•7 April, Annonay: Rally in solidarity with Gaza
•7 April, Isere: Rally in support of Gaza
•7 April, Digne: Rally in support of Gaza
•7 April, Alès: Rally in support of the Palestinian people
•7 April, Paris: Right to Movement for All!
•7 April, Auxerre: Rally – Palestine Solidarity – Stop Israeli Crimes!
•7 April, Montpellier: Rally for Gaza in resistance!
•7 April, Montargis: Rally to denounce massacres in Gaza
•7 April, Cagliari: Sit-In for Palestine -“Stop the Massacre”
•7 April, Bristol: Protest for Gaza: Stop the Killing #EndTheSiege

Sunday, 8 April
•8 April, Odense: Palestinian Land Day
•8 April, Sydney: Stand with Gaza – Rally for Palestine
•8 April, Berlin: Demo in Solidarity with the Great March of Return
•8 April, Madison: Radiance of Resistance – annual tribute to Rachel Corrie
•8 April, Gothenburg: Stop Israel’s attacks on Gaza!
•8 April, Boston: MAHP-ing Struggles: Palestine, Prisons, Immigration, and HP
•8 April, Calgary: Gaza Massacre Vigil
•8 April, Malmo: Day of the Land
•8 April, Copenhagen: Palestinian Land Day
•8 April, Marseille: Rally in support of the Palestinian people
•8 April, Nanterre: Rally for Gaza

Peggy B (43)
Sunday April 8, 2018, 8:21 am
Sadly, that will never happen.

fly b (26)
Monday April 9, 2018, 12:38 am
'Outdoor Cinema': Photo Shows Israelis Cheering as Palestinians Killed at Gaza Border.
8 April 2018

In two Friday protests the past weeks, at least 29 unarmed Palestinians were killed by Israeli live ammunition while more than 1,000 others were injured.

An image showing a group of young Israelis, sitting by the Gaza border, cheering and applauding the Israeli authorities firing ammunition, bombs at Palestinians, as though they were at an "outdoor cinema," has drawn widespread condemnation from human rights groups and social media users.

An Israeli Channel 2 television news journalist, Nir Dvori, posted the photo Friday, showing the barbaric scene of seven Israelis smiling and waving at the cameras as they sat on an observation tower in Nahal Oz, outside the fenced-off Gaza strip overlooking Palestinians suffering gruesome attacks.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered on Israel-Gaza border as part of the six-week protests, the Great March of Return, which began March 30, marking the Palestinian land day, to demand they be allowed to return to lands they lost in the 1948 war, which also led to Israel's founding.

According to the Daily Sabah, nearly 500 Palestinians were injured Friday, while 33 suffered grave injuries as a result of live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets in the second mass border protest in a week. Many Palestinians suffered tear gas inhalation.

During the latest protest, at least 9 Palestinians were killed, and 1,070 others were injured during clashes with Israeli forces, and at least 5 are in serious condition.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell condemned the brutal killings of Palestinians by the Israeli military and has called for an independent investigation to hold those responsible for the killings accountable.

"Given the deplorable killing of 16 people and the injuring of reportedly more than 1,000 others during protests in Gaza, mostly on 30 March, we are gravely concerned that further violence could occur during demonstrations today and in the coming weeks," Throssel said in a statement.

Further adding, the Israeli authorities have violated the international human rights law in taking up arms against peaceful protesters.

"We remind Israel of its obligations to ensure that excessive force is not employed against protestors and that in the context of a military occupation, as is the case in Gaza, the unjustified and unlawful recourse to firearms by law enforcement resulting in death may amount to a wilful killing, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention," Throssel said in a statement.

On Saturday, a Palestinian journalist covering the Great March of Return in Gaza was killed after being hit by live Israeli ammunition Friday.

According to the NPR, the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate in Gaza said an additional five Palestinian reporters covering the border protests were wounded by Israeli fire.

"We echo the call by the UN Secretary-General for an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents, with a view to holding accountable those responsible."

The Israeli forces are "to respect the rights to peaceful assembly and expression and to use, to the extent possible, non-violent means to discharge their duties."

In accordance with international human rights law, firearms may be used only in cases of extreme necessity, as a last resort, and in response to an imminent threat of death or risk of serious injury," the U.N. high commissioner statement stated.

Throssel pointed out that even if the protesters "attempt to approach or cross the green-line fence," it "does not amount to a threat to life or serious injury that would justify the use of live ammunition."

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour opposition party in the U.K. slammed what he called Western “silence” over Israel’s latest killing spree of Palestinians at Gaza border and urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to join the U.N. in its call for an investigation. Corbyn said protesters had the right to protest and demonstrate freely adding that “firing live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians is illegal and inhumane and cannot be tolerated”.

“The silence from international powers with the responsibility of bringing a just settlement of the Israel-Palestine conflict must end,” he stressed.

Last week, Israel's Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman denounced the calls made by the U.N. and the European Union for investigating the Israeli army’s violent suppression of protests.

Lieberman said, "from the standpoint of the [Israeli Defence Force] soldiers, they did what had to be done," further adding, he thinks, "all of our troops deserve a commendation."

The protests on the besieged Gaza strip will culminate on May 15, a day which marks the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment -- an event Palestinians call the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe."

fly b (26)
Monday April 9, 2018, 12:39 am
YouTube Censors Empire Files' Abby Martin on Israeli Militarism.
6 April 2018

According to The Empire Files' official Twitter account, YouTube sent the program a notice saying "We have received a legal complaint regarding your video."

teleSUR presenter Abby Martin's episode highlighting Israeli military violence against Palestinians has been blocked by YouTube in 28 countries for supposedly violating "local laws," the presenter has announced.

According to The Empire Files' official Twitter account, YouTube sent the program a notice saying "We have received a legal complaint regarding your video," and notifying that the video would be blocked in 28 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Israel and Italy.

The blocked episode featured an interview with journalist Max Blumenthal about the rise in militaristic and racist attitudes toward Palestinians in Israel.

Max Blumenthal later told RT: "My comments were based entirely on my extensive journalistic experience in the region and my analysis was clinical in nature. At no point did I denigrate anyone based on their faith or ethnicity."

Blumenthal believes that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is behind the censoring: it participates in YouTube's flagging system, and considers actions tied to Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) and opposition to Israeli occupation as racism.

Cooperation between Zionist forces and social media to censor pro-Palestine media has been well documented. Last year, journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that social-media giant Facebook was actively working with the Israeli government to engage in censorship.

Tel Aviv believes that 'online incitement' is responsible for resistance to the occupation, and actively seeks to suppress allegedly 'inflammatory' posts.

Evelyn B (63)
Thursday April 12, 2018, 1:38 am
The 'open air cinema' description reminded me of reports during 2014 Gaza offensive - when chairs & other seating were set up on the hillside of Siderot, & the local Israelis would settle there to watch "the show" of Israeli heavy shelling - cheering the explosions, fires, etc ...


B'Tselem releases included an Israeli Judge's judgement from the 1950s which is very pertinent:

"As Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer wrote after last Friday’s events: “If, for instance, using live fire to prevent unarmed civilian demonstrators from even approaching or vandalizing the border fence is seen as justified, this order is highly unlikely to be legal. The fence, even when it marks a border is not more sacred than human life, and that includes the lives of Palestinians living in Gaza.”

An order that permits live gunfire at unarmed civilians is blatantly unlawful. As Justice Benjamin Halevy ruled in the Kafr Qasem case back in the 1950s, the illegality of such orders “is not a question of form, nor is it imperceptible, or partially imperceptible.” On the contrary, it is a case of “unmistakable illegality patently evident in the order itself, it is a command that bears a clearly criminal nature or that the actions it orders are of a clearly criminal nature. It is an illegality that pains the eye and outrages the heart, if the eye be not blind and the heart be not callous or corrupt.”

The responsibility for issuing these unlawful orders and for their lethal consequences rests with the policy makers and – above all – with Israel’s prime minister, defense minister, and the chief of staff. "

fly b (26)
Tuesday May 15, 2018, 12:38 am
“Horrific, unprecedented”: Israel massacres almost 60 Palestinians in Gaza. (PODCAST)
14 May 2018

A report from the Great March of Return, after Israeli forces kill dozens of Palestinians in Gaza; excerpts of talks by Ghada Karmi, Joseph Massad, Ilan Pappe and Salman Abu Sitta.

Read more here:…stinians-gaza

(Photo: Palestinian protesters demand their rights during the Great March of Return, Rafah, Gaza Strip, 14 May. Photo by Mahmoud Bassam/APA Images)

fly b (26)
Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:26 am
UK: Jews deliver message of condemnation to Israel

In a message to world leaders, international organization of Orthodox Jews against Zionism reiterates support for Palestine.



The anti-Zionist Neturei Karta organization has delivered a message of support and solidarity to Palestine as well as one of criticism and condemnation to Israel over its treatment of Palestinian civilians.

In a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday evening, Elahanan Beck, the chief rabbi of Neturei Karta, said “we have to realize and understand -- helping the state of Israel is not in the favor of Jewish people”.

“The Zionists say they want to make a safe haven for Jewish people, they want to help Jews… but this is untrue. The most dangerous place today for Jewish people -- not to speak for Palestinians, but even for Jews -- is in the state of Israel,” Beck said.

Praising Erdogan for withdrawing Turkey’s ambassador to Israel after the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, Beck said: “If you want to help the Jewish people, follow the example of what the Turkish president did: withdraw your ambassador from there and come out in the clear”.

Tensions have risen in the region after President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December and ordered the opening of a new U.S. embassy in the disputed and occupied city, a decision that has earned him global criticism and has broken many agreements regarding Jerusalem’s status.

At least 62 Palestinian demonstrators on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel who were protesting the embassy’s inauguration were killed Monday by the Israeli Defense Forces.

The killings have sparked a global outcry, with many world leaders condemning Israel, which claimed it was in self-defense.

“We are against the state of Israel. We are against occupiers, and we have to bring peace to the region,” Beck added.

fly b (26)
Friday May 18, 2018, 7:31 pm
‘Killing Gaza’: A New Documentary on Palestinians Under Siege. 23:15
May 18, 2018

In their new film “Killing Gaza,” journalists Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal capture the harrowing stories of Palestinians who survived the 2014 Israeli assault, and their struggles to recover and persist under a crippling blockade. Watch video.
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