Jordan to Cancel Israeli Annexes from 1994 Peace Treaty

REUTERS-Baz-Ratner

Jordanian King Abdullah II informed Israel, on Sunday, that he will not renew two annexes of the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, with regard to territory leased to Israel.

The territories in question are al-Baqura and al-Ghamr, which are also known as Naharyaim and Zofar in the Hebrew language.

King Abdullah II posted a tweet on his Twitter account, which read “Baqura and Ghamr areas have always been our top priority and our decision is to end Article 2 of Annexes I (b) of the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty emanating from our keenness to take whatever is necessary for Jordan and Jordanians.”

Israel leased the land for 25 years upon the signing of the peace treaty, and the deadline for renewing leases of the treaty is this upcoming Thursday, according to Ma’an.

Due to the deadline for renewal approaching, King Abdullah II has faced ongoing pressure from the Jordanian parliament not to renew the leases and to return the territory to full Jordanian sovereignty.
It is noteworthy that 87 lawmakers have also signed a petition regarding the issue.

Last week, mass demonstrations took place in Amman, as well as social media campaigns demanding that Jordan reclaim sovereignty over Baqura and Ghamr, with slogans such as “The people want national honor” and “The story is about national sovereignty.”

Several demonstrators also demanded Jordan to cancel the entire peace treaty with Israel.

October 22, 2018

thanks to: IMEMC

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US military grounds all F-35 fighter jets after last month’s crash

 

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

The US military has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 joint strike fighters after the aircraft’ fuel tubes were suspected to be the cause of a crash last month in which the jet was completely destroyed.

The Defense Department made the announcement in a statement issued on Thursday.

“The US Services and international partners have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft,” the F-35 Joint Program Office said.

“If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced. If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status,” it added.

The program office noted that inspections could be completed within the next two days, adding that the inspections were prompted by “initial data from the ongoing investigation of the F-35B that crashed” close to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in Beaufort, South Carolina, on September 28.

The expensive aircraft was completely destroyed in the crash during training. According to one official, “It’s a total loss.”

Images posted on social media show a plume of black smoke rising above what users described as the crash site.

It was an F-35 “B” variant, which is used by the Marine Corps, and it is capable of taking off from a short runway and landing vertically.

No serious injury was reported after the incident and according to the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the pilot safely ejected and was being evaluated for injuries.

 “The aircraft mishap board is continuing its work and the US Marine Corps will provide additional information when it becomes available,” the F-35 Joint Program Office said in the Thursday statement.

The US military has had a series of aircraft crashes in the past year, including an emergency landing with a Marine Corps F-35B in April, at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

The program office insisted that it will “take every measure to ensure safe operations while we deliver, sustain and modernize the F-35 for the warfighter and our defense partners.”

The F-35 aircraft will become the main fighter aircraft for the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, according to a military official.

Although unit costs vary, the price tag of F-35s is estimated at $100 million each. Future production lots of F-35s are predicted to decrease slightly in price.

The F-35 program, which was first launched in the early 1990s, is regarded as the most expensive weapons system in US history, with its costs estimated to be around $400 billion and a goal to produce 2,500 aircraft in the coming years.

Overall program costs are expected to rise to $1.5 trillion if servicing and maintenance costs are factored in over the aircraft’s lifespan through 2070.

The plane’s state-of-the-art features – radar-dodging stealth technology, supersonic speeds, close air support capabilities, airborne agility and a massive array of sensors – enable pilots to have unparalleled access to information.

However, the program has experienced numerous delays, cost overruns and setbacks, including a mysterious engine fire in 2014 that prompted commanders to temporarily ground the planes.

thanks to: PressTV

Longing for Palestine: Art of Resistance. Palestinians fight back with graffiti, and rap

Water shortages, movement restrictions, and the constant presence of the Israeli military – this is what life looks like for millions of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. With no end in sight to the decades-long conflict, protests and clashes continue. RTD travels to the occupied territories to meet people of the Palestinian resistance, from members of the Tamimi family to activists expressing their anger and pain through art.

thanks to: RT

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#DecretoSalvini contro l’immigrazione selvaggia

E’ fondamentale regolare l’immigrazione. In Palestina gli ebrei sono arrivati come richiedenti asilo, perchè scappavano dai pogrom dell’est Europa. Una volta sul territorio palestinese hanno cominciato ad organizzarsi, ad armarsi, hanno attaccato i Palestinesi e li hanno cacciati dal loro paese. In Italia ci sono quasi 7 milioni di immigrati. Sono troppi. E’ già un numero pericoloso. Bisogna fermarli finchè siamo in tempo altrimenti faremo la fine dei Palestinesi.

https://i2.wp.com/www.infopal.it/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/nakba.jpg

A cura di Parallelo Palestina.

Da “La pulizia etnica della Palestina” , di Ilan Pappe, pag. 106-111.

La Consulta aveva esaminato la bozza del Piano Dalet nella seconda metà di febbraio del 1948. Secondo il diario di Ben Gurion, era domenica 29 febbraio anche se uno storico militare israeliano riporta la data del 14 febbraio81. Il Piano Dalet fu completato agli inizi di marzo. In base ai ricordi di molti generali dell’esercito di quel periodo, la storiografia israeliana in genere afferma che il marzo del 1948 fu il più difficile nella storia della guerra. Ma questa valutazione si basa solo su un aspetto del conflitto imminente: gli attacchi dell’ALA ai convogli ebraici verso i loro insediamenti isolati che agli inizi di marzo sortirono un certo effetto. Inoltre, alcuni ufficiali dell’ALA cercarono a quel tempo di resistere alle offensive ebraiche nei villaggi misti oppure facendo delle rappresaglie e terrorizzando le zone ebraiche con una serie di miniraid. Due di questi attacchi diedero al pubblico la (falsa) impressione che dopo tutto l’ALA avrebbe potuto organizzare una certa resistenza in vista di un attacco ebraico.

Infatti, nel marzo del 1948, iniziò l’ultimo tentativo militare palestinese di breve durata per proteggere la propria comunità.

Le forze ebraiche non erano ancora sufficientemente ben organizzate per poter reagire immediatamente e con successo a ogni contrattacco, e questo spiega il senso di sconforto in alcune parti della comunità ebraica. Tuttavia, la Consulta aveva sempre la situazione sotto controllo. Quando si riunirono di nuovo agli inizi di marzo, non presero nemmeno in esame il contrattacco dell’ALA né pensarono che la situazione in generale fosse particolarmente preoccupante. Invece, sotto la guida di Ben Gurion, stavano preparando un master plan finale.

Alcuni membri della Consulta proposero di continuare con la pulizia etnica come mezzo più efficace per difendere le strade che portavano agli insediamenti isolati. La più pericolosa era la strada Tel Aviv-Gerusalemme, ma Ben Gurion stava già pensando a qualcosa di più ampio. La conclusione che egli aveva tratto dal periodo tra la fine di novembre del 1947 e gli inizi di marzo del 1948 era che, malgrado tutti i tentativi giunti dall’alto, mancasse ancora un comando capace sul terreno. A suo avviso, i tre piani precedenti preparati dall’Haganà per l’occupazione della Palestina mandataria – uno del 1937, gli altri due del 1946 – dovevano essere aggiornati. Quindi ordinò una revisione dei piani, e i due più recenti assunsero il nome in codice di Piano B e Piano C.

Non sappiamo quello che disse Ben Gurion a proposito della pulizia etnica alla Consulta nel regolare incontro del mercoledì pomeriggio, il 10 marzo 1948, ma abbiamo il piano che essi misero a punto, che fu approvato dall’Alto Comando dell’Haganà e successivamente inviato come ordine militare alle truppe in Campo.

Il nome ufficiale del Piano Dalet era piano Yehoshua. Yehoshua Globerman era nato nel 1905 in Bielorussia e imprigionato negli anni Venti per attività anticomunista; fu rilasciato dopo aver trascorso tre anni in una prigione sovietica quando Massimo Gorki, amico dei suoi genitori, intervenne in suo favore.

Globerman fu comandante dell’Haganà in varie zone della Palestina e fu ucciso da sconosciuti che gli spararono in macchina nel dicembre del 1947. Era destinato a diventare uno dei comandanti in Capo dell’esercito israeliano, ma la sua morte prematura significò che il suo nome sarebbe stato associato non alle sue capacità militari ma al master plan sionista per la pulizia etnica della Palestina. Era talmente stimato dai colleghi che gli fu conferito alla memoria il grado di generale dopo la creazione dello Stato ebraico.

Pochi giorni dopo l’uccisione di Globerman, l’unità dei servizi segreti dell’Haganà preparo le bozze di un piano per i mesi seguenti. Col nome in codice di Piano D, esso conteneva sia i parametri geografici di un futuro Stato ebraico (quel 68 per cento a cui mirava Ben Gurion), ma anche il destino di un milione di palestinesi che vivevano in quella zona:

Queste operazioni potranno essere svolte in uno dei seguenti modi: o distruggendo i villaggi (incendiandoli o facendoli saltare in aria e poi mettendo delle mine nei detriti), soprattutto i centri abitati che sono difficili da controllare in modo permanente; oppure con operazioni di setacciamento e controllo con le seguenti modalità: si accerchia il villaggio e si fanno perquisizioni. Se c’è resistenza, le milizie armate dovranno essere eliminate e la popolazione espulsa al di fuori dei confini dello Stato.82 I villaggi dovevano essere completamente evacuati o perché si trovavano in luoghi strategici oppure perché poteva verificarsi una qualche forma di resistenza. Questi ordini furono dati quando fu chiaro che l’occupazione avrebbe sempre provocato una certa resistenza e che quindi nessun villaggio sarebbe stato risparmiato, o a causa della sua posizione o a causa del rifiuto all’occupazione. Questo fu il master plan per l’espulsione di tutti i villaggi nella Palestina rurale. Istruzioni simili furono date, in termini quasi identici, per le azioni che avevano come obiettivo i centri urbani palestinesi.

Gli ordini che arrivavano alle unità sul campo erano più specifici. Il paese era diviso in zone secondo il numero di brigate; per cui le quattro brigate originali dell’Haganà divennero dodici in modo da facilitare la realizzazione del piano. Ogni comandante di brigata ricevette un elenco dei villaggi o quartieri da occupare, distruggere e da cui espellere gli abitanti, con date precise.

Alcuni comandanti mostrarono un eccesso di zelo nell’eseguire gli ordini e presero di mira anche altre località. Alcuni ordini, d’altra parte, si rivelarono troppo ambiziosi e non fu possibile eseguirli nei tempi prestabiliti. Questo significò che alcuni villaggi lungo la costa che avrebbero dovuto essere occupati in maggio non furono distrutti fino a luglio. E i villaggi nella zona Wadi Ara -la vallata che collegava Hadera a Marj Ibn Amir (Emeq Izrael) e Afula (oggi Route 65) – riuscirono a sopravvivere ai ripetuti attacchi ebraici durante tutta la guerra. Ma erano l’eccezione: infatti 531 villaggi, 11 quartieri urbani e città furono distrutti e gli abitanti espulsi per ordine preciso della Consulta, emanato nel marzo del 1948. Allora erano gia stati eliminati 30 villaggi.

Pochi giorni dopo la messa a punto del Piano D, esso fu distribuito ai comandanti delle dodici brigate ora incorporate nell’Haganà.L’elenco che ogni comandante ricevette comprendeva una descrizione dettagliata dei villaggi di sua competenza e la loro sorte: occupazione, distruzione ed espulsione. I documenti israeliani rilasciati dagli archivi IDF alla fine degli anni Novanta indicano chiaramente che, contrariamente a quanto hanno affermato storici come Morris, il Piano Dalet fu inviato ai Comandanti delle brigate non come generiche linee guida da eseguire, ma come precisi ordini operativi83,

A differenza delle bozze generali inviate ai leader politici, gli elenchi dei villaggi che i comandanti militari ricevettero non davano indicazioni dettagliate riguardo l’esecuzione della distruzione o dell’espulsione. Non veniva specificato come i villaggi avrebbero potuto salvarsi, ad esempio con una resa incondizionata, che era invece contemplata nel documento generale. Appare anche un’altra differenza tra la bozza inviata ai politici e quella ricevuta dai comandanti militari: la bozza ufficiale indicava che il piano sarebbe stato attivato solo dopo la fine del Mandato; gli ufficiali in campo ricevettero l’ordine di iniziare le operazioni pochi giorni dopo la sua adozione. Questa dicotomia è tipica del rapporto che esiste in Israele tra l’esercito e i politici ancora oggi. Spesso l’esercito non dà ai politici le giuste informazioni relative alle proprie intenzioni: e quanto fecero Moshe Dayan nel 1956, Ariel Sharon nel 1982 e Shaul Mofaz nel 2000.

Ma la versione politica del Piano Dalet e le direttive militari avevano in comune l’obiettivo generale del piano. In altre parole, anche prima che gli ordini arrivassero alle truppe dispiegate, esse sapevano gia cosa avrebbero dovuto fare. Quella coraggiosa e stimata sostenitrice israeliana dei diritti civili, Shulamit Aloni, a quel tempo ufficiale dell’esercito, ricorda che ufficiali politici speciali andavano di persona a incitare le truppe demonizzando i palestinesi e invocando l’Olocausto come punto di riferimento per le operazioni future, spesso proprio il giorno successivo alla seduta di indottrinamento84.

Dopo l’approvazione della Consulta del Piano Dalet, il capo di Stato maggiore, Yigael Yadin, convocò gli ufficiali dell’intelligence dell’Haganà nella sede del servizio sanitario pubblico, Kupat Holim, in via Zamenhof a Tel Aviv (ancora oggi sede del servizio, di fronte a un noto ristorante indiano). Centinaia di ufficiali affollarono una Sala che normalmente è quella di ricevimento per i pazienti.

Yadin non li informò del Piano Dalet: gli ordini erano stati impartiti quella settimana ai Comandanti delle brigate, ma egli comunicò loro un’idea generale che non doveva lasciare dubbio alcuno sulla capacità delle loro truppe di eseguire il Piano. Gli ufficiali dell’intelligence erano anchein un certo senso politruk (“Commissari politici”), e Yadin si rese conto che doveva spiegare la discrepanza tra le dichiarazioni pubbliche della leadership sull’imminente “secondo Olocausto” e la realtà che le forze ebraiche non avrebbero incontrato resistenza nell’evacuazione pianificata di un territorio che sarebbe stato trasformato nel loro Stato ebraico. Yadin, teatrale come sempre, cercò di colpire i suoi ascoltatori: poiché a loro sarebbero stati impartiti ordini di occupare, conquistare ed espellere una popolazione, meritavano di ricevere una spiegazione sul da farsi, visto poi che si leggeva sui giornali e si sentiva dire dai politici che essi stessi erano “in pericolo di annientamento”. Yadin, alto e snello, che sarebbe diventato una figura ben conosciuta a tutti gli israeliani, informò con orgoglio il pubblico: “Oggi abbiamo tutte le armi che ci servono; sono già state imbarcate e gli inglesi se ne stanno andando via, e appena avremo queste armi la situazione sulle frontiere cambierà del tutto85.

In altre parole, mentre Yigael Yadin descrive le ultime settimane di marzo del 1948 come il periodo più duro della guerra, potremmo invece pensare che la comunità ebraica in Palestina non correva in realtà il pericolo di annientamento: stava solo affrontando alcuni ostacoli sul percorso del piano di pulizia etnica. Queste difficoltà erano la relativa mancanza di armi e l’isolamento di insediamenti ebraici all’interno dello Stato arabo. Particolarmente vulnerabili risultavano alcuni insediamenti nella Cisgiordania e quelli nelle zone nord-occidentali del Negev (Negba, Yad Mordechai, Nizanim e Gat). Questi quattro insediamenti sarebbero rimasti isolati anche dopo l’entrata dell’esercito egiziano in Palestina che li occupò per breve tempo.

Anche alcuni insediamenti nell’alta Galilea non poterono essere raggiunti o difesi facilmente poiché erano circondati da molti villaggi palestinesi che ebbero la fortuna di essere protetti da diverse centinaia di volontari dell’ALA. Lnfine, la Strada per Gerusalemme fu sottoposta a un pesante fuoco di cecchini palestine si, tanto da far si che in quel mese si diffondesse un senso di assedio nelle zone ebraiche della città.

Il mese di aprile del 1948, secondo la storiografia ufficiale israeliana, fu un momento di svolta. Secondo questa Versione, la comunità ebraica isolata e minacciata in Palestina si spostava dalla difesa all’attacco, dopo essere scampata alla sconfitta. La realtà della situazione non avrebbe potuto essere più diversa: lo squilibrio militare, politico ed economico delle due comunità era tale che non solo la maggioranza degli ebrei non correva alcun pericolo, anzi, tra gli inizi del dicembre del 1947 e la fine di marzo del 1948, il loro esercito aveva portato a termine la prima fase della pulizia etnica in Palestina, ancora prima che il master plan fosse messo in pratica. La svolta in aprile fu lo spostamento da attacchi e contrattacchi sporadici contro la popolazione civile palestinese verso la sistematica megaoperazione di pulizia etnica che sarebbe seguita.

thanks to: Infopal

Russian Defense Minister: Israel Bears Full Responsibility For Downing Of IL-20 Off Syrian Coast

Russian Defense Minister: Israel Bears Full Responsibility For Downing Of IL-20 Off Syrian Coast

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu officially stated that Israel bears full responsibility for the downning of Russian IL-20 plane off Syrian coast because its actions had led to this situation.

“The blame for the downing of the Russian plane and the deaths of its crew members lies squarely on the Israeli side,” Shoigu said during a convesation with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on the phone. “The actions of the Israeli military were not in keeping with the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership, so we reserve the right to respond.”

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed that Israeli warplanes used the IL-20 to hide from Syrian air defense fire during the September 17 strike on targets in the war-torn country. MORE HERE

On September 4, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) stated that over the last 1.5 years Israel has carried out around 200 airstrikes on Syria using 800 munitions. The scale of the strikes shows Israel’s long-standing intention to remain a powerbroker in the ongoing Syrian conflict. It’s interesting to note that in most of the cases, the IDF strikes led to a further escalation of the war thus making situation more complicated.

The situation is developing.

thanks to: South Front

Russian Military: IL-20 Was Shot Down By Syrian S-200 Because Of Israeli F-16s Used It As Cover

Russian Military: IL-20 Was Shot Down By Syrian S-200 Because Of Israeli F-16s Used It As Cover

On September 18, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed additional details on the IL-20 disappearance over the Mediterranean Sea last evening.

According to Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, the plane was shot down by Syria’s S-200 air defense system because Israel’s F-16 fighters used it as a cover.

By using the Russian plane as a cover the Israeli air pilots made it vulnerable to Syrian air defense fire. As a result, the Ilyushin-20, its reflective surface being far greater than that of F-16, was downed by a missile launched with the S-200 system,” Konashenkov said. “The bombing raid was not far from France’s frigate The Auvergne and in close proximity to the UIyushin-20 plane of Russia’s Aerospace Force that was about to land.”

Konashenkov added that Israeli warplanes had been carrying out strikes in the area of Latakia and deliberately created a dangerous situation for surface ships and aircraft in that area. He added that Russia reserves the right to give a due response.

We see these provocative actions of Israel as hostile,” Konashenkov said. “Israel did not warn the command of the Russian troops in Syria about the planned operation. We received a notification via a hotline less than a minute before the strike, which did not allow the Russian aircraft to be directed to a safe zone.”

Israel’s Embassy in Moscow has refused to comment on the Russian statement on the IL-20 incident.

Meanwhile, Russian forces found the crash site of the downed IL-20. It’s located in the sea 27km west of the settlement of Banias, the province of Latakia. 8 vessels are participating in the search and rescue operation.

thanks to: South Front

The myth of the Gaza ‘border’

The Green Line disguises the fact that Palestinians in Gaza are no longer being oppressed outside the Israeli state, but are being caged and brutalized inside it.

Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip throw stones in the direction of an Israeli military position on the other side of the border fence, Gaza Strip, December 8, 2017. (Ezz Zanoun/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian activists have long criticized the use of the word “border” to describe the 1949 armistice line that divides Gaza and Israel, and which protestors in the Great March of Return have been trying to cross at great risk to life and limb. By invoking the term, Israel insists that its open-fire policy toward the march is part of its legitimate right to defend its sovereignty and security. It further claims that, because the government dismantled its settlements in 2005, it no longer occupies the Strip and therefore bears no responsibility for its conditions.

These are disingenuous arguments. Israel’s blockade and control of Gaza stretches from its eastern and northern land crossings to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, with Egypt controlling the south. What it calls a “border” is actually a militarized network of naval ships, barbed wire, electronic barriers, lethal no-man zones, and surveillance systems that operate as the fence of an open-air prison. In legal terms, Israel retains “effective control” of the Strip (including people’s movement, its airspace, flow of goods, and other needs of daily life), and therefore remains its occupying power.

An Israeli warship approaches a Palestinian skiff, as photographed from the observation boat Olivia (photo: Rosa Schiano/Civil Peace Service Gaza CPSGAZA)

The human rights community has spent years articulating the nature of Israel’s occupation under international law and the responsibility of third-parties to end it. The law, however, is only worth as much as the will to enforce it; and half a century later, these efforts have failed to produce meaningful outcomes. It is not that the law is incorrect, but that it has been unable to mobilize political action or make Israel’s military rule less sustainable.

The Palestinians’ own ambiguities about the Green Line have further complicated matters. We focus on the military structures that have spawned since 1967, yet emphasize that the real problem is 1948. We cite Israel’s obligation to abide by international law, but chastise the law for being useless in practice. We combine settler colonialism, occupation, and apartheid as lenses to explain the ongoing Nakba, but arrive at different conclusions for what the solution entails. These debates are natural, but they also muddle the struggle’s priorities and the discourse it promotes.

Exploiting these uncertainties, Israel has turned Gaza into an area that is simultaneously separated from and annexed under Israel’s control. It is a purgatory designed to provide whatever answer is most convenient for shirking responsibility and justifying violence at any given time. This has obscured a controversial but perhaps inexorable fact: after 51 years, Gaza can hardly be described as “occupied territory” anymore. It is now a segregated, debilitated, and subjugated part of Israel; a replica of the districts, townships, and reservations that imprisoned native populations and communities of color in apartheid South Africa, the United States, and other colonial regimes. In other words, Palestinians are no longer being oppressed outside the Israeli state; they are being caged and brutalized inside it.

Israeli soldiers look on at protests in Gaza. April 13, 2018. (Oren Ziv / Activestills.org)

The Green Line has been key to disguising this complex system. Like the de facto annexation of the West Bank – where Israel’s growing settlements and military presence have similarly made the “border” there non-existent – Gaza has effectively been absorbed into Israel’s political jurisdiction. Hamas, like the Palestinian Authority, is viewed as a pseudo-government of hostile “enemy aliens,” but one that can be managed in Israel’s domain so long as it is contained behind the fence. The thousands taking part in the March of Return are not “infiltrators” trying to breach a sovereign state, but displaced and disenfranchised “citizens” breaking out of a state-built ghetto. The army is not holding off “foreign invaders,” but is killing and suppressing its own native subjects.

This framing is crucial to understand the scale and severity of Israel’s policies, and to devise stronger paths to correcting their injustices. By tearing off the mask of the Green Line, Palestinians and their allies can reverse Israel’s efforts to isolate Gaza from the West Bank and to deny its people’s rights to their ancestral homes. What Israel fears more than a Palestinian state is a Palestinian population it cannot disown, and the myth that Gaza is “separated” from Israel helps it to balance that fear. That myth must be broken, and that racist fear must be exposed. Doing so would also reveal the political solution: if Palestinians cannot win their independence along the Green Line, they will demand their full equality beyond it. The March of Return is doing just that.

Sorgente: The myth of the Gaza ‘border’

Gazans prepare for ‘Friday of martyrs’ after carnage

Palestinians are gathering for fresh protests in the Gaza Strip after Israeli massacre of more than 60 people in the besieged enclave on Monday. 

The committee which organized weekly “March of Return” rallies has called on the Gazans to come out en masse on the first day of the fasting month of Ramadan, under the slogan “Friday for the martyrs and the wounded.”

Israeli snipers, tanks and armored vehicles remain deployed near the Gaza fence after they killed at least 62 Gazans on the same day the US opened its embassy in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Tens of thousands of people have been protesting along the fortified fence since March 30, calling for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to their homes now inside Israel.

On Thursday, Israel carried out airstrikes on what it described as militant sites in Gaza, apparently targeting Hamas which it accuses of organizing protest rallies. The Palestinian Health Ministry said one man was injured during the attacks.

UN voting to probe Gaza attacks

Israel was also scrambling to thwart a special session by the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday to decide whether to dispatch “an independent commission of inquiry” to investigate allegations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

The team would be mandated to look into “alleged violations and abuses, including those that may amount to war crimes and to identify those responsible,” read the text of a resolution submitted on Thursday night.

The commission should look at “ending impunity and ensuring legal accountability, including individual criminal and command responsibility, for such violations,” it added.

The Israeli mission at the United Nations has been ordered to prevent the investigation, said a Thursday report by Israel’s Channel 10.

Meanwhile, international condemnation of the Israeli killing, which shocked the world by its ferocity, continued. On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the “heinous acts” committed by Israel.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, who was addressing a meeting of the Arab League, called the carnage “a bloody racist massacre committed by the Israeli occupation forces in cold blood against our defenseless people.”

More than 2,700 Palestinians were wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, tank fire and tear gas to target the demonstrators. A Canadian physician was shot by an Israeli sniper in both legs while treating the injured.

“Canada deplores and is gravely concerned by the violence in the Gaza strip that has led to a tragic loss of life and injured countless people,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday.

“We are appalled that Dr Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded – along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children.”

Palestinian protesters have hoped to draw attention to a dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where the economy has collapsed under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade since 2007.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday he had made a rare decision to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for a month, allowing Palestinians to cross during the holy period of Ramadan.

The Rafah crossing is Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world not controlled by Israel, but Egypt has largely sealed it in recent years under a security cooperation agreement with Tel Aviv.

 

Sorgente: PressTV-Gazans prepare for ‘Friday of martyrs’ after carnage

80+ INGOs demand accountability for Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators in Gaza strip

PNN/

AIDA, a network of more than 80 INGOs operating in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), on Tuesday condemned Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators at the border of the Gaza Strip on 14 May 2018. So far, 61 Palestinians have been killed, including one medic and eight children, and over 2,700 others have been injured, the majority by live ammunition fired at protesters by Israeli security forces, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The casualties occurred in the context of protests near the fence with Israel.

“Israel’s continued use of lethal and excessive live-ammunition against protestors is not only deplorable, but also in sharp contravention of international law,” said William Bell, Head of Middle East Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid.

Monday’s demonstration is a culmination of a sequence of protests organized since 30 March 2018 to mark 70 years since the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948. More than 70 % of Gaza’s population are refugees, living under dire circumstances in the besieged Strip.

“The Gaza Strip is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster as a result of 11 years of blockade, which has crippled Gaza’s economy and increased aid dependency, with some 84 % dependent on humanitarian assistance, and an unemployment rate which stands at a staggering 45 %. Gaza is an open air prison for 2 million women, men, boys and girls, living under air, sea and land blockade. People are losing hope that the untenable situation they find themselves in will ever be resolved”, said Chris Eijkemans, Country Director for Oxfam in the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

Since 30 March, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed, and another 12,271 injured, including hundreds of children. In addition, medical personnel and facilities have also come under fire, resulting in the injury of 211 medical staff and damage sustained to 25 ambulances, according to WHO. Hospitals are at the brink of collapse, unable to deal with the vast number of injured as a result of a decade-long blockade and insufficient electricity and medical supplies and equipment. Due to the near impossibility of obtaining a medical referral for surgery outside of the Gaza Strip, 21 Palestinians injured during demonstrations have so far had limb amputations since 30 March.

According to international law, lethal fire may only be used in circumstances where threat to life is imminent. Israeli forces are obliged to exercise restraint and refrain from excessive use of force, and respect Palestinians’ right to life, health and freedom of assembly. Targeting medical personnel is a breach of IHL and is considered a War Crime under the Rome Statute. Preventing injured persons from accessing treatment is a violation of their right to health, and amounts to collective punishment.

AIDA called on third states to condemn Israel’s unlawful killings and to step up their pressure on Israel to immediately halt its practice of using live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators, which runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law, and to lift its unlawful blockade of the Gaza Strip. Echoing the words of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, AIDA urges third states to demand independent and credible investigations into the incidents, and for those responsible to be held to account.

Sorgente: 80+ INGOs demand accountability for Israel’s unlawful killing of demonstrators in Gaza strip – PNN