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Jeremy Corbin: Wests Support of Israeli Violence Is Shameful

World  (tags: Israeli Violence, shame, shameful, U.K., U.K. Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party, palestinian human rights violations, Palestinian protestors, Gaza Strip, world news-U.S. media/news, crimes against humanity/Palestinians )

- 104 days ago -
The United Kingdoms Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has criticized Israels killing of Palestinian protesters, along with the silence and support of Western governments, as shameful


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fly bird (26)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 4:12 am
The United Kingdom’s Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has criticized Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters – along with the “silence” and “support” of Western governments – as “shameful.”

“The killing of Razzan Najjar, the 22-year-old medical volunteer shot by an Israeli sniper in Gaza on Friday, is the latest tragic reminder of the outrageous and indiscriminate brutality being meted out, under orders from the (Benjamin) Netanyahu government. […] The silence, or worse support, for this flagrant illegality, from many Western governments, including our own, has been shameful.”

Corbyn said the United Kingdom, as a permanent U.N. Security Council member, has a “particular responsibility” to ensure there is accountability and “effective international action to halt the killings.”

The Labour leader said:

“The U.K. government’s decision not to support either a U.N. Commission of Inquiry into the shocking scale of killings of civilian protesters in Gaza, or the more recent UN resolution condemning indiscriminate Israeli use of force – and calling for the protection of Palestinians – is morally indefensible.”

Last week, the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinians after it had passed the vote. The United Kingdom abstained from the vote, while France, Russia, Bolivia, China, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Peru, Sweden, and Ecuatorial Guinea backed the Kuwait-proposed measure.

The United States had put forward a countermeasure condemning and blaming the Palestinian group Hamas for the violence, a measure that did not receive the support of any other country in the 15-member council.

(TeleSur, PC, Social Media)

fly bird (26)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 1:44 pm
Remote control repression: Israel tested its latest weapons against the Great March of Return
May 23, 2018

Over the course of the Great March of Return protests which started on 30 March, 115 Palestinians were killed and a further 13,000 were injured. Many were shot by live ammunition fired from Israeli positions behind the nominal Gaza-Israel border. Tear gas rained down on protesters from unmanned drones that hovered in the skies. Butterfly bullets shattered the limbs of scores of Palestinians.

This was the repression of protesters by remote control. It was cold, clinical and calculated, with devastating results. Israel is one of the world’s leading developers of high-tech weapons and munitions, and the Great March of Return presented an ideal opportunity to experiment with its latest products. With a guinea pig population of almost two million Palestinians held under siege in Gaza, Israel can boast of its technology and weaponry as being “battle proven” in a corporate world unconcerned about ethics.

Much focus has been given to Israel’s use of drones to drop tear gas on Palestinian protesters and journalists covering the protests. The drones were first seen back in March when footage by Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV appeared to show small aerial devices dropping gas canisters on anyone close to the Gaza-Israel border. The Times of Israel reported that “a spokesperson for the Israel Defence Forces said the UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] was not operated by the army but by the Border Police.” The Border Police declined to comment.

In an investigation into Israel’s use of drones in this way, Middle East Eye (MEE) noted that “there appear to be three types of drones being used to disperse the gas.” The first is known as the “Cyclone Riot Control Drone System” and is developed by Israeli company ISPRA. The others are believed to have been used for the first time against Great March protesters, with MEE explaining that one is “a drone that releases gas directly from the craft like an aerosol” and the second “a helicopter-style drone which carries rubber bursting grenades with metal tops that disperse gas as they fall.”

Yet drones are not the whole story. Not only has Israel fired live ammunition into crowds of protesters, but reports have also surfaced about the use of “butterfly bullets”. According to an article by Al Jazeera earlier this month,

Medics on the ground say Israeli forces are shooting at demonstrators with a new type of round — never seen before — known as the ‘butterfly bullet’, which explodes upon impact, pulverising tissue, arteries and bone, while causing severe internal injuries.

It is believed that it was these “butterfly bullets” that killed Palestinian journalists Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu-Hussein, who were shot while reporting from Gaza despite being clearly marked as Press. The pair were shot in the abdomen which, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf Al-Qedra, resulted in “all of their internal organs [being] totally destroyed, pulverised.” He added that the bullets are the deadliest that the Israeli army has ever used.

READ: Medics in Gaza report Israel forces using devastating ‘butterfly bullet’

Israel’s use of these new bullets has been extensive. According to a report by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders), “half of the more than 500 patients we have admitted in our clinics have injuries where the bullet has literally destroyed tissue after having pulverised the bone.” The report also noted that the number of patients treated in MSF clinics in the first three weeks of the Great March of Return alone “[was] more than the number we treated throughout all of 2014, when Israel’s military Operation Protective Edge was launched over the Gaza Strip.”

Israel’s use of its latest technology against Palestinians is nothing new. Writing in 2006 in the wake of Israel’s “disengagement” from Gaza, during which time Israel withdrew some 8,000 illegal settlers from their positions in the Strip, Darryl Li of the University of Chicago referred to Gaza as a “laboratory”. According to Li, Gaza is “a space where Israel tests and refines various techniques of management, continuously experimenting in search of an optimal balance between maximum control over the territory and minimum responsibility for its non-Jewish population.” He quoted Amos Yadlin, then head of Israeli military intelligence, as saying: “Our vision of air control zeroes in on the notion of control. We’re looking at how you control a city or a territory from the air when it’s no longer legitimate to hold or occupy that territory on the ground.”

It is clear that Israel’s use of new technologies to quell the Great March of Return, therefore, forms just one part of its continuing quest to exert control over Gaza and its besieged population. Drones provide a detached method of control that requires minimal risk for Israel’s own forces and creates space to argue that “its hands are clean” when it comes to international PR. Simultaneously, the devastating effect of the newly-introduced “butterfly bullet” represents a new level of disregard for Palestinian life, as Israel tests its new technologies on a captive population for which it seeks to bear “minimum responsibility”.

The Great March of Return protests acted as a laboratory for Israel to trial its latest technologies in a real-life situation. This provides concrete evidence of the technologies’ efficacy, which can then be used as fuel for international arms trade deals. ISPRA, the company that manufactures the “Cyclone Drone” mentioned above, claims on its website to offer “smart solutions for crowd control” based on “technical knowhow with practical field experience.” As “a leading global supplier for police and defence forces around the world including USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, Central & South America and Africa,” ISPRA and others like it will no doubt benefit in financial and reputational terms from the “successful” way that its products were used against Palestinian protesters in the Great March of Return. As long as international defence and police forces around the world continue to purchase such products, Palestinians will continue to pay with their lives.

READ: Israel army changed open fire regulations in Gaza

fly bird (26)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 1:45 pm

Israeli army to probe death of Gaza medic as video shows paramedics approaching border.
Shot in the back?!!

fly bird (26)
Thursday June 7, 2018, 8:30 pm
Israeli forces shoot and kill Izz al-Din Tamimi in Nabi Saleh.

Nabi Saleh, occupied West Bank — Janna Jihad woke up to gunshots and commotion outside her window around 10 a.m Wednesday morning, a familiar sound in the central occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, home of imprisoned teenage activist Ahed Tamimi.

Israeli forces had just shot her distant cousin, 21-year-old Izz al-Din Tamimi, at least two times with live ammunition during confrontations that erupted following an Israeli military raid on the village.

“They were just 10 meters from my bedroom window, in our garden. I saw someone who was injured and there was a lot of blood,” Janna, a local teenage journalist, told Mondoweiss, added that she saw Tamimi with a bullet wound to the neck and chest.

“We tried to take him to the hospital but they [soldiers] were beating and kicking him, and wouldn’t let us. They arrested him and took him into their military jeep, and then into the military tower in the village for more than half an hour.”

According to Janna and her mother, Nawal, Izz Tamimi was left bleeding for over thirty minutes before an ambulance arrived and Israeli forces handed his body over to be evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah.

But by the time the ambulance arrived, he was dead.

Video of the events on Wednesday corroborate Janna and Nawal’s testimony. Filmed by Nabi Saleh resident Mohammad Atallah Tamimi, the video seems to being just moments after the shooting took place.

The video, which was live streamed, showed nearly a dozen Israeli soldiers crowding around a bloody and unresponsive Tamimi, seemingly trying to place him on a stretcher.

Mohammad and other residents can be heard imploring soldiers to take Izz to the hospital for treatment. In the video, Mohammad can also be heard saying that Israeli forces targeted Izz from a point blank range.

Footage showed Israeli forces firing sound bombs in the direction of the crowd as they followed soldiers to the jeep.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that Tamimi was participating in stone throwing against the armed soldiers when he was shot.

According to the spokesperson, during the confrontation with soldiers, Tamimi allegedly “flanked the troops and hurled the rock, striking a soldier’s head.”

“In response, the soldier who was hit by the rock fired towards the Palestinian, who was injured and medically treated by IDF troops at the scene. Despite this, the Palestinian died,” the spokesperson said.

Despite Tamimi allegedly striking a soldier in the head, the Israeli army spokesperson told Mondoweiss that no Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident, adding that the situation was being “examined.”

The testimony of the Israeli army and the suggestion that Tamimi was killed in self defense is highly disputed by Palestinians in Nabi Saleh, who claimed that two days prior to his killing, Tamimi was threatened by Israeli soldiers.

“After Izz al-Din was killed, I went to his mother’s house to pay my respects, and she told me that two days ago soldiers came to her house and told her ‘we will kill your son and leave you crying’,” Nawal Tamimi told Mondoweiss.

Izz al-Din Tamimi was reportedly wanted for stone-throwing by soldiers, and according to locals, prior to the alleged threats made against him to his mother, Israeli soldiers had tried and failed on five separate occasions to arrest the young man.

“I think that they killed him on purpose. I think that they came to kill him,” Jihad told Mondoweiss, noting that several other young men were throwing stones at soldiers, but “they didn’t shoot at anyone else, just at him.”

Jihad, who began her career as the “youngest journalist in Palestine” after two members of her family were killed when she was just seven years old, implored the international community to “stand with us and support all the children and young men and women in Palestine who are targeted by the Israeli occupation.”

The case of Izz al-Din Tamimi’s death has been likened to the January killing of 16-year-old Musaab Tamimi, in Nabi Saleh’s sister village of Deir Nitham.

Musaab Tamimi was also shot in the neck during confrontations with Israeli soldiers, jut days after allegedly receiving death threats from Israeli soldiers.

The Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is well known internationally for their activism against the Israeli occupation, which maintains a heavy, near-constant presence in their village.

The village has been in the spotlight since 17-year-old Ahed Tamimi was arrested and sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier in attempts to prevent him from encroaching on her family’s property.

Since then, dozens of Ahed’s close and distant family members have been arrested and imprisoned by Israeli forces, in what locals have called a campaign of collective punishment against the village.

According to locals, there are currently 18 members of the Tamimi family in Israeli prison, including six minors.

fly bird (26)
Friday June 8, 2018, 8:38 pm
Palestinian Courage Should Spur International Action
by Rick Sterling / June 6th, 2018

After 70 years, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is still unresolved. The conflict simmers for a few years, then erupts again with new massacres and violence. This article describes recent events, the failure of the “two state solution” and need for a different approach.

In the past couple months, Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers have killed 118 Palestinian protesters and seriously wounded many thousands more. The protesters were unarmed and no threat to the soldiers. Gaza hospitals overflow with victims.

In the wake of this violence, human rights groups filed a legal petition to make it unlawful for Israeli soldiers to fire on unarmed protesters. Last week the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition.

Israeli violence is usually portrayed as a “response” to Palestinian violence, but the reality is the opposite. The sequence of recent events is as follows:

– From the end of March til May 25, Palestinians in Gaza protested against their oppression as close as they could get to the border fences. About 118 were killed and many thousands seriously injured by Israeli snipers. They were all shot inside Gaza.

– On May 27 – 28, the Israeli military launched tank mortars at Palestinian military outposts inside Gaza, killing four.

– Next day, on May 29, Palestinian militants launched unguided mortars into nearby Israel. Most of them fell harmlessly and there were no Israeli casualties.

– Next day, on May 30, Israeli jets and helicopters launched guided missiles and bombs on 65 different locations within Gaza.

Clearly, the violence started with Israelis killing protesters and then militants inside Gaza, but it’s not portrayed that way. Time magazine began its article with, “Palestinian militants bombarded southern Israel….”

Pro Israel advocates wish to prevent people from seeing what is really happening. They know the potential damage if people see video such as Israeli snipers celebrating the shooting of unarmed protesters. To prevent this, a proposed law will make it illegal to photograph or video record Israeli soldiers. Palestinian journalists have condemned this attempt to criminalize journalism.

The Reality of the Israeli Occupation

Israel calls itself the “Startup Nation” because of the economic and technological achievements. But in Gaza and the West Bank, Israeli policies and actions strangle the economies and worsen living conditions.

Palestinians in Gaza are kept separate from Palestinians in the West Bank. There is no trade, travel or inter-family visitation. This is in violation of international agreements including the Oslo Accords.

The claim that Israel “departed” Gaza is false. Israel controls the borders, sky and waters around Gaza, a coastal strip just 5 miles wide by 25 miles in length. Unemployment in Gaza is approaching 50%, the highest unemployment in the world. Fisherman are prevented from going out into deeper waters and shot at when they go beyond Israel’s imposed zone. Gazan farmers cannot export independently. Israel frequently blocks the import and export of crops and products. It is almost impossible to leave Gaza. Even outstanding students winning international scholarships may have their exit denied. The electrical and water treatment facilities have been bombed and destroyed by Israel. Nearly all the drinking water is contaminated. Israel restricts the amount of food permitted to enter Gaza so there is continual shortage leading to nutritional deprivation, stunted growth and anemia.

This situation is not new. Eighteen years ago, Israeli journalist Amira Hass described the history, the facts and statistics as well as her personal experience living in Gaza in the profound book Drinking the Seat at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege. The situation was extremely grim then but keeps getting worse.

At the northern Gaza border, Israel is now building a sea barrier extending far out into the Mediterranean. It will be above and below the water line. A major reason for this expensive project is to block sewage and pollution from the waters in front of Gaza. Because of Israeli attacks on sewage treatment and electrical infrastructure, sewage flows into the sea. Last summer, Zikim Beach in southern Israel had to be closed due to the inflow of sewage from Gaza. The ‘sea barrier’ now in construction will block the sea currents. This will keep the Israeli beach clean and greatly compound the problem in Gaza.

The strangulation, impoverishment and oppression is not confined to Gaza. In the West Bank, Israeli settlements continue to expand. This increases the number of check points, restrictions and repression. Travel from Bethlehem to Jerusalem is impossible for most Palestinians. The majority of West Bank water from the aquifers is transferred to Israel or provided cheaply to settlers while Palestinians must buy water and store it in tanks on their rooftops. In the last few years, Israel has made it increasingly difficult or impossible for humanitarian groups to provide medical support including breast cancer screening. A compelling new book titled The Other Side of the Wall describes the daily struggle in the West Bank where Palestinians and international allies protest against the theft of land, abuses, random killings and imprisonments.

Defiant Courage

There seems to be a trend toward greater Palestinian unity and strategic agreement. The tens of thousands of Palestinians protesting in Gaza were unarmed and united behind the Palestinian flag rather than separate party or movement flags of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, DFLP, etc..

The Palestinian protesters in Gaza show remarkable courage. Beginning on Friday March 30, they have returned week after week despite seeing thousands of their fellows shot and wounded or killed.

In an article titled “The Gaza Fence that Separates the Brave from the Cowardly“, Amira Hass wrote:

The desperate courage demonstrated by tens of thousands of citizens of Gaza over the past few weeks in general and on Monday in particular hints at the energies, the talents, the dreams, the creativity and the vitality of the inhabitants of this strip of land – who have been subjected to a 27 year policy of closure and siege aimed at suffocating and crushing them.

Steadfast and Persistent

Palestinian resistance continues despite Israeli violence and bloodshed. Seven years ago Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon held “March of Return” protests at the northern borders. Israeli soldiers killed 13 and wounded many more.

In recent days, Gazans have again challenged the Israeli port blockade which prevents ships from departing or arriving. International solidarity with the Palestinian cause is also persistent. Three ships (two Swedish and one Norwegian) recently departed Scandinavia heading for the Mediterranean Sea and Gaza. Named the 2018 Freedom Flotilla, the ships are carrying dozens of international citizens to again demand that Israel stop its blockade of Gaza.

Despite the huge imbalance today, time may be on the side of the Palestinian cause. Systemic apartheid in South Africa existed for a long time and seemed strong. But ultimately it collapsed quickly. The same may unfold in Israel/Palestine.

Today, South Africa is an important supporter of the Palestinian cause. South Africa was the first nation to recall its ambassador to protest the “indiscriminate and grave Israeli attack” in Gaza.

Israel has the military might but Palestinian resistance and courage persists. The Palestinian population is steadfast, persistent and growing. They have increasing number of allies who support their cause. Young American Jews are unlike their parents and increasingly critical of Israeli policies. Some courageous Israelis, such as Miko Peled, speak out unequivocally that Israeli apartheid must end and be replaced by one state with democracy and equality for all. A million registered Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon and Syria, patiently waiting. They have not forgotten their legal claim and right to return.

The recent bloodshed and massacres underscore the fact that there is no solution on the current path. It only leads to increasingly unlivable conditions in Gaza plus more illegal settlements and oppression in the West Bank. The so-called “two state solution” has been dead for many years and should be forgotten. As happened in South Africa, the international community can and should help. It is time to increase international pressure and expand BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel to help bring a peaceful end to this conflict with its constant oppression and recurring massacres.

The alternative is very grim. As described by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy:

The truth is that Israel is well prepared to massacre hundreds and thousands, and to expel tens of thousands. Nothing will stop it. This is the end of conscience, the show of morality is over. The last few days’ events have proved it decisively. The tracks have been laid, the infrastructure for the horror has been cast. Dozens of years of brainwashing, demonization and dehumanization have borne fruit. The alliance between the politicians and the media to suppress reality and deny it has succeeded. Israel is set to commit horrors. Nobody will stand in its way any longer. Not from within or from without.

Palestinian courage should spur international action.

• First published in RT
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