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Football Dreams Battle Israeli Bullets

Health & Wellness  (tags: Muhammad Khalil Obeid, Israeli sniper, Alaa al-Dali, israeli assault on 2018 Great March of R, Palestinian human rights, charities-humanitarian Gaza, endthe siege, travel-Germany-Turkey for surgery, international football, )

- 162 days ago -
Muhammad Khalil Obeid has not given up on his dream to play football internationally, despite being shot in both his knees


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fly b (26)
Tuesday May 8, 2018, 5:50 pm
Muhammad Khalil Obeid is refusing to abandon his dream of becoming a professional football player.

After being shot in both knees by an Israeli sniper on 30 March, Obeid requires major surgery to have any chance of resuming his beloved game. Doctors have told the 23-year-old he would need to travel from Gaza to Germany or Turkey for that surgery.

Overcoming initial despair and determined that the operation take place, he has decided to search for a charity that will pay his costs.

“I dream of playing in Europe, I will not kill my dream,” he said. “And I will not let the Israeli occupation kill my dream.”

Obeid had been part of al-Salah club in Gaza since he was 17. As well as being a talented football player, he finished first in a Gaza marathon that he ran last year.

He is one of 27 competitive athletes injured during the Great March of Return between late March – when the protests began – and late April, according to Gaza’s youth and sports ministry.

A video which Obeid made capturing the moment he was shot during the protests has been widely viewed on the Internet. Obeid was accompanied by several other sports enthusiasts from the Deir al-Balah area of central Gaza at the time he was shot.

Life-changing injuries

A recent investigation by Amnesty International concluded that Israel may be deliberately causing life-changing injuries to people such as Obeid, who have taken part in the Gaza protests.

Amnesty has also cited evidence that Israel is using high-velocity rifles and bullets that expand on impact to cause maximum harm against protesters. Many of the weapons used by Israel against protesters are US-made.

Ata Ahmed Abu al-Hossna was shot by Israeli forces on Friday, 6 April – one week after Obeid.

The 27-year-old spent much of that day at a protest tent near Jabaliya, northern Gaza. When he saw youth burning tires – an effort to thwart Israel’s detection of targets for sniper fire – Abu al-Hossna decided that he should join them. Shortly afterwards, Israel began shooting live ammunition in the direction of demonstrators.

As he tried to flee for safety, Abu al-Hossna was shot in the left leg. “I do not remember what happened after that,” he said.

Young man with bandaged leg holds a trophy as he lies across a bed in a sparely furnished room
Athlete Ata Ahmed Abu al-Hossna wants the leadership of global sports bodies to visit Gaza to see how Israel “destroys our dreams.”
(Amjad Ayman Yaghi)

When he regained consciousness the following day, Abu al-Hossna was in the intensive care unit of Gaza’s Indonesia Hospital. As the bullets had caused severe damage to the arteries in his legs, he needed prompt surgery, which took place that Sunday.

He is waiting for a follow-up operation.

Abu al-Hossna has learned from his doctors that it could take 18 months before he will be able to walk on his left leg again.

The likelihood that he will have to give up football has depressed him so much that he cannot even watch the sport on television. “I sit alone in my room,” he said.

As well as playing as a forward for the Namaa football team, Abu al-Hossna had taken part in running and table tennis competitions.

He argues that representatives of the world’s major sporting organizations should visit Gaza. “These envoys should come and see how the Israeli occupation destroys our dreams,” he said. “We try to follow our dreams despite being under siege.”

Deep sadness

Alaa al-Dali, a 21-year-old cyclist, had qualified to represent Palestine at the Asian Games being held in Indonesia this summer.

Going there will not be possible. On 30 March, he was shot in his right leg by an Israeli sniper. The damage caused was so severe that the leg later had to be amputated.

Al-Dali had gone to the first Friday in the Great March of Return with some friends. They joined the protest in Rafah, a city in southern Gaza. Al-Dali had gone to the protest by bike and was dressed in cycling shorts and jersey.

He was shot below the knee that afternoon.

Man with amputated leg uses a crutch with one arm while holding on to the seat of his bicycle with his other arm
Cyclist Alaa al-Dali’s leg was amputated weeks before he was set to represent Palestine at the Asian Games.
(Amjad Ayman Yaghi)

The al-Dali family has accused Israel of denying Alaa permission to leave Gaza for specialist treatment in the occupied West Bank. After he was denied permission to travel, doctors decided it was necessary to amputate his leg. The amputation took place in mid-April.

The thought that he won’t be able to attend the Asian Games makes him “go into a deep sadness and cry,” al-Dali said. He is nonetheless determined to have a prosthetic leg fitted so that he can resume cycling.

With bitter irony, al-Dali was shot at a time when Israel was courting cycling fans internationally. The 2018 Giro d’Italia – a major bike race – recently opened in Jerusalem as part of an Israeli propaganda exercise.

Al-Dali stressed it is necessary that the focus on Israel’s human rights abuses be maintained. “The Israeli occupation has committed brutal crimes against us,” he said. “The world needs to know that the Israeli occupation is cruel.”

Amjad Ayman Yaghi is a journalist based in Gaza.

fly b (26)
Tuesday May 8, 2018, 5:52 pm
Are Israeli Snipers Who Shoot Palestinian Protesters In Gaza Really Protecting Their Border?
May 8, 2018

Israeli snipers have been shooting Palestinian protesters within the Gaza Strip, claiming that, in doing so, they are protecting Israel’s borders and sovereignty. Is their claim genuine?

Since 30 March, hundreds of Israeli soldiers, including a reported 100 snipers stationed along the eastern border of the Gaza Strip, have been shooting at unarmed Palestinian protesters who are taking part in the activities of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, they have killed 46 protesters and wounded around 8,000 others, including 25 who have had at least one of their limbs amputated.

The snipers have been shooting mercilessly at Palestinian women, children and men, young and old alike, with no consideration for international laws and conventions. They completely ignore calls for them to stop their brutal crackdown on the 2 million people besieged in the tiny coastal enclave.

Human rights groups in Palestine, Israel and other parts of the world, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as UN officials, have accused Israel of using lethal force against the Palestinians in Gaza. Amnesty has twice called for an international arms embargo on Israel to deter its brutal targeting of unarmed civilians.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have defended their snipers defiantly, despite the fact that they have killed and maimed civilians who were merely exercising their right to demonstrate in their own land, while calling for the implementation of a UN resolution granting them the right to return to their land; it’s a resolution which the international community has failed to implement for 70 years.

Just one day after killing 17 Palestinian protesters near the high security fence that Israel has erected around the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Israeli snipers for “guarding the country’s borders” and allowing “Israeli citizens to celebrate the [Passover] holiday peacefully.” He told the soldiers, “Well done.”

Netanyahu’s words of praise were among many spouted by officials and members of the public in Israel. The shootings have been under the pretext of protecting Israel’s supposed borders, but since its creation on Palestinian land in 1948, Israel has never identified its borders; it is unique among UN member states in that it has never declared its borders, giving the game away that Israel is an expansionist, colonial state. Nevertheless, the so-called Green Line — or the Armistice Line — which is the demarcation line set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreement that ended the war between Israel and the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, has become the de facto border for the occupation state.

The Armistice Agreements did not dictate that the demarcation line was to be a permanent border, though; it was intended to serve as a temporary border line until a permanent agreement could be reached. The Armistice Agreement with Egypt stated quite categorically that “the Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary.” That the Armistice Line does not give or deprive defence forces of any right to the disputed land was set out by renowned Palestinian researcher Dr Salman Abu Sitta in an article published in October 2010.

According to article VI of the Israeli-Egyptian Armistice Agreement, the Armistice Line is “a line from the coast at the mouth of the Wadi Hasi in an easterly direction through Deir Suneid and across the Gaza-Al Majdal Highway to a point 3 kilometres east of the Highway, then in a southerly direction parallel to the Gaza-Al Madjal [Majdal] Highway, and continuing thus to the Egyptian frontier.”

Of course, this was not merely a mutual Israeli-Egyptian agreement; it was international because it was based on the terms of a UN Security Council resolution. Article VI of the Armistice agreement literally reads: “Armistice Demarcation Line shall be as delineated in paragraph 2.B (i) of the Memorandum of 13 November 1948 on the implementation of the Security Council resolution of 4 November 1948.”

Hence, even if we agree that the snipers are protecting Israel’s border, they must have been stationed more than three kilometres and at some points five kilometres back from the fence that they actually claim as the border. Abu Sitta revealed in his article a secret deal signed between the Israeli occupation authorities and the Egyptians on 22 February, 1950 that changed the Armistice Line, but this is still illegal because it was a violation of the UN Security resolutions related to stopping the war between Israel and the Arab states.

In addition, if we assume that the existing fence is the real border, the Israelis, according to UN Resolution 194, are not entitled to prevent the Palestinian protesters to get close to the border — where they would in any case still be within Gaza — and even cross it because this resolution, which has been reaffirmed by several subsequent Security Council resolutions, stipulates that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.” International law gives the Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes regardless of borders, fences or whatever.

As such, if the Palestinians are not violating any article of any international laws, while the Israelis are, when will the world wake up and stop Israel’s brutal violations and help the Palestinians achieve their freedom? Those snipers who are shooting unarmed Palestinian civilians are not protecting their border; they are challenging international law. They should be stopped.

~Middle East Monitor/Days of Palestine

05/03/18 Palestinians Face Explosive Bullets, Dangerous Gas Bombs (VIDEO)

fly b (26)
Tuesday May 8, 2018, 6:46 pm
Gaza is Under Siege But Not Alone! Let’s Build Towards a Military Embargo.

Strengthening, mainstreaming and popularizing Palestinians’ call for a two-way military embargo on Israel is the most effective response to Israel’s ongoing massacre. This means working to end all weapons sales and purchases to and from Israel, and ending military or police partnerships with the Israeli state.

We are witnessing Israel’s ongoing massacre against unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza. Through inspiring popular demonstrations, they are protesting Israel’s 12-year siege, and demanding their UN-sanctioned right of return to the homes they were ethnically cleansed from.

Palestinian activists in Gaza are asking, “What is the world doing while Israel’s massacre is live streamed?” It’s up to us to make sure they are not facing Israel’s crimes alone.

We must channel our rage at Israel’s atrocities into effective actions to hold Israel accountable. Together, we can escalate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns.

Our concrete, strategic solidarity will send a strong message of support to Palestinians in Gaza: You are not alone, and we will work to hold Israel accountable for its murder of Palestinian protesters.

Strengthening, mainstreaming and popularizing Palestinians’ call for a two-way military embargo on Israel is the most effective response to Israel’s ongoing massacre. This means working to end all weapons sales and purchases to and from Israel, and ending military or police partnerships with the Israeli state.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee, Palestinian civil society’s largest coalition, calls on people of conscience, unions, municipalities, political parties, social movements, student groups, academics, artists, churches and LGBTQI groups, around the world to:

•Plan actions to intensify and amplify campaigns that are linked to the call to end military and security ties with Israel. For example, a protest against G4S, HP, or complicit banks (like Axa and HSBC) and companies with military ties, spreading campaigns to end partnerships with Israeli police, such as the Deadly Exchange campaign, etc. Include the hashtag #MilitaryEmbargo or #StopArmingIsrael

•Demand a position and/or debate on a military embargo against Israel in your parliament: Pressure your political parties, elected representatives and government to end military ties with Israel.

•Pass a motion to demand a military embargo against Israel at your city council, church, union or other civil society organizations. These motions are essential to popularize the demand for a military embargo on Israel, a demand which we can build in a sustained manner from the grassroots level.

•Organize a protest to pressure your government: Mobilize protests to pressure your government to end military and security ties with Israel.

•Write your local paper to express why you support a military embargo.

Visit the BNC’s military embargo campaign page for more information.

Please write to us with your action plans, questions and photos!

Two million Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip are showing incredible courage and determination to attain their rights. The #GreatReturnMarch continues despite Israel’s deliberate murder of more than 30 unarmed protesters and injuring of over 3,000. Palestinian journalists, children, women, youth and medical personnel have all been among those targeted.

Together, we can ensure they are not alone!

Animae C (507)
Wednesday May 9, 2018, 8:45 am
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