Flotilla planned to mark anniversary of deaths in Gaza waters

 

 

By The Daily Star Wednesday, January 19, 2011


BEIRUT: The exiled former Patriarch of occupied Jerusalem Hilarion Kabouji called upon all Arabs Tuesday to support an aid flotilla that could sail to besieged Gaza on May 31, 2011, to mark the first anniversary of deadly Israeli aggression against a similar convoy.

“We all know that Jerusalem is being Judaized, and its history and landmarks are being distorted, they are paying billions of dollars to Judaize  Jerusalem. We Arabs, what are we doing to spare Jerusalem these dangers?” he asked, adding that admiration for Jerusalem should materialize into action, “or else, it will be considered deception.”

“We have to work and make sacrifices,” he added.

Kabouji called upon Arabs to support “Freedom Flotilla II” which would sail to Gaza in a bid to break the maritime blockade on the enclave. Israeli commando units stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31, 2010 and killed nine Turkish activists.

Kabouji made his remarks in the Press Federation headquarters where a news conference was convened by the association “Viva Palestina – The Artery of Life,” which is headed by former British M.P. George Galloway.

The association announced that it would carry out a number of activities in support of Gaza, occupied Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Palestinian cause.

Galloway and a number of individuals who were aboard the first Freedom Flotilla also participated in the news conference.

Kabouji said that when he was appointed a patriarch for Jerusalem in 1964, the Christians in the city constituted 25 percent of the population. “Today, they became one percent.”

Meanwhile, Galloway said the Viva Palestina association would participate in Freedom Flotilla II.

He called upon Arab states to secure ships for the flotilla. “Arabs own many ships … Is there a more noble cause to use these ships than granting them to the flotilla that will sail to Gaza?”

Galloway said the Israeli attack against the Freedom Flotilla did not scare any activist in the world.

“We are not afraid of you. We will return through land … and through sea, and we will prove this to you on May 31,” he said. – The Daily Star

 

The Daily Star – Lebanon News – Flotilla planned to mark anniversary of deaths in Gaza waters.

Amnesty International Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Gaza Conflict

Article Date: 23:32 2011/01/18
Article ID: 0084
London, January 18 (QNA) – Amnesty International said on Tuesday it was marking the two-year “anniversary” of the end of the 2008-9 Gaza conflict with a “global day of action” on 18 January calling for justice for the victims of the fighting. The global day is the launch of Amnesty’s two-month campaign ahead of the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in March, at which the UN is being asked to provide an international justice solution for the victims of the Gaza conflict, Amnesty said. In 22 days of conflict between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, hundreds of Palestinian civilians (including about 300 children) and three Israeli civilians were killed, with many others on both sides injured. The UK government has previously supported moves to ensure that preliminary UN investigations into the conflict are acted on, and Amnesty supporters are now pressing the Foreign Secretary William Hague to ensure that this happens. The organisation is calling on states at the UN’s Human Rights Council to agree a resolution that will refer the issue to the UN in New York – this could in turn trigger a referral to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. To coincide with its day of action Amnesty has released a new “Day In The Life”-style film showing the long-term effects of conflict in the region upon people on both sides of the conflict. In previous statements Amnesty urged Israel to lift the blockade on more than 1.4 million Palestinians cut off from the outside world and struggling with desperate poverty. Amnesty said that the blockade constitutes collective punishment under international law and must be lifted immediately.” As the occupying power, Israel has a duty under international law to ensure the welfare of Gaza s inhabitants, including their rights to health, education, food and adequate housing, Amnesty said. (QNA) M T Z

 

QNA | News | Amnesty International Marks Two-Year Anniversary of Gaza Conflict.

Palestinians Mark the Second Anniversary of Israel’s Three-Week Offensive in Gaza – Palestinians mark second anniversary of Israel’s offensive in Gaza

Palestinian children look at Israeli missiles to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Palestinian children look an Israeli weapon to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Palestinian children look at Israeli missiles to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Palestinian children walk next to a Hamas poster to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Palestinian children look at pictures of Hamas fighters killed to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Palestinian children look at pictures of Hamas fighters killed to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum talks to the media at an exhibit to mark the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week offensive on the Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2010 in Gaza. Approximately 700 Hamas fighters and more than 500 Palestinian civilians were killed during the offensive that took the lives of 13 Israeli soldiers. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

 

Palestinians Mark the Second Anniversary of Israel’s Three-Week Offensive in Gaza – Palestinians mark second anniversary of Israel’s offensive in Gaza – UPI.com.

Two Years After Gaza War, Gaza Remains Sealed-Off, Suffering Continues – International Middle East Media Center

Wednesday December 29, 2010 23:09author by The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights – PCHR Report post

Two years after Operation Cast Lead: Gaza Remains Sealed-Off from outside World, Impunity for War Crimes Prevails

Ahmed Zourob receives dialysis treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Because of the siege, his level of treatment is inadequate and he can no longer obtain the medication he needs (PCHR)
Ahmed Zourob receives dialysis treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. Because of the siege, his level of treatment is inadequate and he can no longer obtain the medication he needs (PCHR)

PCHR Report on Gaza War, Monday, 27 December 2010 11:30

December 27, 2010, marks the two-year anniversary of the beginning of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s 23 day offensive on the Gaza Strip. This offensive – the single most brutal event in the history of the occupation – was characterised by systematic violations of international law. Its aftermath has been characterised by pervasive impunity.

In total, 1,419 Palestinians were killed. 83% of the dead – the overwhelming majority – were civilians, the so-called ‘protected persons’ of international humanitarian law. A further 5,300 were injured, and public and private property throughout the Gaza Strip was extensively targeted and destroyed.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) notes that in the two years since the offensive there have been no concrete steps taken towards the fulfilment of victims’ legitimate rights to the equal protection of the law and an effective judicial remedy. Customary international law and the treaty-based obligations which all States have entered into are unequivocal: if a war crime has been committed, those responsible must be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with international standards. They must be held to account.

Numerous reports of international and national human rights organisations – including those of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the ‘Goldstone Report’), the Independent Fact-Finding Mission mandated by the Arab League, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – concluded that war crimes were committed in the Gaza Strip, and noted that criminal accountability must be the legal consequence.

The Goldstone Report detailed explicit mechanisms to ensure such criminal accountability. As required by customary international law, genuine domestic investigations must be initiated. After six months, if these investigations failed to comply with international standards, the Security Council – acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter – must refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.

It is now two years since the offensive, and no effective domestic investigations or prosecutions have been initiated.

As PCHR has documented, Israel has systematically failed to ensure accountability. In the two years since Operation Cast Lead, the actions of the Israeli authorities have been characterised by a desire to shield those responsible from justice. Only three soldiers have been convicted of committing offensive-related crimes. One soldier was sentenced to seven-months in jail for the theft of a credit card. Two other soldiers were convicted of using a 9 year old boy as a human shield. They were given a 3 month suspended sentence.

This is an insult to victims and to the universal rule of law.

The international community’s response has been silence; through inaction they have implicitly endorsed Israel’s actions during Operation Cast Lead and the impunity that has followed. They have implicitly endorsed the systematic and widespread commission of international crimes.

The rule of law, and victims’ rights, have been sacrificed in the name of politics.

This situation must not be allowed to prevail.

The consequences of impunity are evident in the continuing and escalating violations of international law committed in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The consequences of impunity are evident in the fact that the entire Gaza Strip continues to be subject to an illegal closure. For over 3.5 years, 1.7 million people have been collectively punished and cut off from the outside world. Impunity, and the international community’s failure to prevent this ongoing crime, has resulted in the distinct possibility that the closure will become institutionalised, and effectively endorsed by the United Nations and the international community.

The consequences of impunity are evident in the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank; in the continued construction of the Wall; and in the house demolitions and evictions carried out in occupied East Jerusalem.

Equally, the consequences of sacrificing the rule of international law in the name of ‘political progress’ are evident in the abject failure of the Oslo process.

It is imperative that the international community fulfil its legal obligations, and ensure respect for international law. Those suspected of committing international crimes must be investigated and prosecuted. Israel must be held responsible for its internationally wrongful acts.

Impunity serves only to encourage continued violations of international law. Without accountability, how can the civilians of the Gaza Strip feel safe again?

Two Years After Gaza War, Gaza Remains Sealed-Off, Suffering Continues – International Middle East Media Center.

Protest demonstration outside the Israel Embassy in London

“MrAlexSeymour | December 27, 2010

Protest demonstration outside the Israel Embassy in London to commemorate the second anniversary of Israel’s murderous attack on the civilian population of Gaza on 27/12/2008, a date, which like that of the attack on Pearl Harbour, will live in infamy and will be a bloody stain on the name of the Jewish People for ever.

YouTube – Gaza_massacre_by_IDF_2nd_anniversary.avi.

EU Groups Mark the Anniversary of the Israeli War on Gaza

28.12.10 – 12:45

Rome – PNN – Hundreds of people organized protests in a number of European cities this week marking the second anniversary of the Israeli war on Gaza.

Image

EU Groups Protest Cast Lead of 2008

During the 22-days long offensive, which Israeli called Cast Lead operation, 1,500 Palestinians were killed and as many as 5,000 people were injured. The Israeli army launched attacks from sea, land, and air on December 27 2008 and stopped it on January 18 2009.

The assault was later condemned by a UN investigation, which found evidence that Israel had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.

On Monday Peace campaigners and activists for Palestinian human rights gathered at the Israeli embassy in London. The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has organized the vigil with a coalition of partners across the UK.

Sarah Colborne, PSC’s Director of Campaigns and Operations, said before the action : “The vigil will send a clear message to Israel that its barbarity in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead has not, and will not, be forgotten.

“Israel must be held to account for the crimes it has committed, and is continuing to commit, against the Palestinian people. Allowing Israel to act with impunity simply encourages further war crimes. In the interests of peace and justice for all, Israeli violations of international law must end.” Colborne added.

Image

Palestinian Student Collation in Belgium

Meanwhile in Rome, Italy, scores of protesters marched holding banners demanding the Italian government to support the Palestinians nation in their struggle for legal rights.  Another simmlier protest was organized by the Palestinian Student Collation in Belgium.

Israel’s  siege of Gaza is now in its fourth year. Two years after Operation Cast Lead, the siege means that Gaza’s infrastructure – including schools, hospitals, factories and sewage systems – has still not been repaired and people are still living in the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israeli troops, or in makeshift tents.

PNN – Palestine News Network – EU Groups Mark the Anniversary of the Israeli War on Gaza.

Canadians protest Israel’s Gaza siege

PRESS TV | Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:21AM

File photo
Pro-Palestinian groups in Canada have staged a demonstration to mark the second anniversary of the Gaza war and protest Tel Aviv’s crippling siege of the coastal strip.

Scores of people gathered outside the Israeli consulate in the Canadian city of Toronto on Monday to commemorate the second anniversary of the Israeli carnage in the Gaza Strip.

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched a massive offensive against the densely populated coastal enclave, leaving more than 1,400 Palestinians dead and thousands more injured.

The protesters condemned the Israeli war crimes during the 22-day war and the killing of hundreds of children during the relentless bombardment of civilian positions and residential areas during the onslaught.

The demonstrators also called for an immediate end to the paralyzing blockade of the impoverished Gaza Strip, which is home to nearly 1.5 million Palestinians.

The Monday gathering was also meant to raise awareness of a Canadian aid boat which will set sail for the besieged enclave next spring.

During the past two years, several international groups have attempted to break the siege of Gaza by sea and by land.

On May 31, a Turkish-organized Freedom Flotilla was severely attacked by Israeli navy commandos in international waters.

The bloody takeover of the six-ship convoy left nine Turkish activists dead and injured more than 50 others onboard the civilian fleet.

While the naval closure of the Gaza Strip — tightened since 2007 — stands, the Free Gaza Movement in Canada has organized an aid boat to Gaza.

Set to sail in early 2011, the convoy has already collected USD 125,000 in donations, in the face of enormous efforts from pro-Zionist groups to block further funds for the aid mission.

MRS/HRF

Related Stories:

PressTV – Canadians protest Israel’s Gaza siege.

Israel warlike on wartime anniversary

Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:3AM
Share | Email | Print

Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi
Israeli military chief, speaking on the anniversary of Israel’s deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, says his forces are ready for a new war on the besieged enclave.

Israeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi said on Monday in Tel Aviv, “We see the Hamas as responsible for the situation in Gaza and we take him (Hamas) as accountable for that. We don’t want to escalate the situation but we will be ready for any development,” the Associated Press reported.

The comments came in apparent reference to home-made projectiles, reportedly flown from Gaza, which are seldom known to have caused any casualties or considerable damage to Israeli properties.

Under the pretext of responding to the rocket attacks, Israel’s military launches regular disproportionate attacks on Gaza, not refraining from inflicting human or material losses.

On Sunday, Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the east of the southern city of Khan Younis in the strip, AFP reported. Earlier in the month, at least five people were killed by an Israeli aerial assault on the town of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza.

Ashkenazi said earlier in December that “the next round (of fighting) will be extensive,” Israeli website Ynetnews had reported.

The December 2008-January 2009 operations killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, inflicting a damage of above $1.6 billion on the coastal sliver’s economy.

The war either destroyed or badly damaged thousands of homes in Gaza, putting the enclave on a long road to recovery amid a strict siege, which has been in place since mid-June 2007.

The United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict has found Tel Aviv guilty of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the deadly operation.

The report by the UN mission blamed Israel for deliberate targeting of civilians and using white phosphorus bombs in residential areas, notably on the UN Relief and Works Agency compound in the Gaza City as well as two Gaza-based hospitals.

HN/MGH

Related Stories:

PressTV – Israel warlike on wartime anniversary.

Palestinians rally to mark 2nd anniversary of Israeli invasion of Gaza – International Middle East Media Center

Monday December 27, 2010 22:46author by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC News Report post

A somber gathering in Gaza City marked the day two years ago in which over 200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed within the first two hours of an Israeli invasion that lasted three weeks, and resulted in over 1400 total Palestinian deaths. 14 Israelis, mostly soldiers, were killed in the 3-week long invasion.

Map of Gaza (file photo)
Map of Gaza (file photo)

Similar vigils and marches were held in cities around the world by human rights activists to remember those who were killed, and to call for justice and an end to the siege on Gaza that has deprived the Palestinian population of their livelihood and forced them into abject poverty.

Around 1,000 people gathered in the Ezbat Abed Rabu neighborhood, an area that was completely flattened by Israeli air strikes during the invasion two years ago, leaving dozens of remaining family members who survived the bombing homeless. They continue to live in tents two years later, as Israeli officials continue to refuse to allow building materials into Gaza.

Even donated building materials carried by ship and truck from Europe and other countries have been refused entry by Israeli officials, and were confiscated by the Israeli military and then sold in Israel, with no compensation to the donors.

During Monday’s memorial gathering, a member of the political wing of the Islamic Jihad party, Mohammed al-Hindi, spoke to the crowd about Israel’s increasing armaments at the border, which include dozens of new armored tanks provided by US tax dollars. Al-Hindi said the threat of a new invasion of Gaza is real and imminent, and said that Palestinian resistance fighters are prepared to fight in the case of such an invasion.

He said that recent threats issued by Israeli politicians “ are taken seriously by Palestinian resistance factions”, and that the fighters “are ready for sacrifice” to try to repel the threatened attack.

The Hamas party issued statements commemorating the two-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion, and planted 1,440 trees in northern Gaza – one for each Palestinian killed in the invasion.