|[ 16/01/2011 – 04:27 PM ]|
AMMAN, (PIC)– Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a political bureau member of Hamas, has affirmed that his movement had received warnings from Egypt and a number of international official parties, which he did not name, that Israel was planning a new war on the Gaza Strip.
Zahhar told the Jordanian paper Al-Ghad published on Sunday that Palestinian resistance factions were anticipating the Israeli aggression and preparing for it.
He did not rule out a new Israeli war on Gaza due to the Arab and international silence regarding what the Palestinian people are suffering in the occupied lands.
The Hamas leader said that Palestinian forces and factions in Gaza agreed on an understanding to guide armed struggle, explaining that they would refrain from any armed activity that does not serve national interest and escalate whatever may entail positive results.
The agreement stipulates responding to Israeli attacks and incursions while refraining from armed struggle in the event the Israeli aggressions came to a halt, Zahhar elaborated.
In the same context, Ehab Al-Ghussain, the spokesman for the interior ministry in Gaza, said that the agreement does not mean giving up resistance, but rather denying Israel any pretext to launch a new war.
He told a local radio station on Saturday that controlling the field condition is one of the methods of running the battle with the “enemy”.
A young Palestinian was wounded by Israeli forces, on Sunday morning, in the northern Gaza Strip, medics claimed on Sunday.
(photo from http://jnoubiyeh.com)
The victim, known as 21-year-old Ramadan Subih, was shot in his left leg while collecting gravel from destroyed buildings in in Beit Lahiya, north of the Gaza Strip. The young man was evacuated to hospital in moderate condition.
An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the use of gunfire but said she was not aware of any injuries.
The army spokeswoman also pointed out that troops, stationed along the Gaza border, initially fired warning shots in the air after seeing several Palestinians approaching and urging them to stop.
Earlier on Sunday morning, Ma’an News said another 21-year-old man, who sustained burns last week inside a smuggling tunnel in Rafah, died Saturday evening of his wounds.
Israeli troops continue targeting unarmed civilians and workers along the border area of the Gaza Strip. The number of casualties in similar incidents has gone up to 110.
Palestinian resistance factions lately agreed on retaining calm along the borders of Gaza to prevent any possible Israeli attack on the coastal enclave.
|[ 08/01/2011 – 08:17 AM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– Israeli navy vessels opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza Strip on Friday night but no casualties were reported.
Security sources said that the gunboats repeatedly targeted fishing boats off the Sudaniya area north of Gaza Strip forcing fishermen to return to the shore fearing for their lives.
Gaza fishermen are systematically attacked by Israeli gunboats deployed off the coast of the Strip.
Meanwhile, Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said its fighters engaged an Israeli army unit east of Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza Strip on Friday evening.
It added that the fighters fired a mortar shell at the Israeli occupation forces (IOF), noting that Israeli helicopter gunships raided the scene of the attack.
The National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also declared responsibility for firing two mortar rounds at an IOF position on Friday night.
Both armed wings said the attacks were in response to Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people and aggression on Gaza.
Two years ago Israel launched a ferocious campaign, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead” on the Gaza strip, claiming it to be a retaliatory action aimed at Hamas.
The Israeli occupying forces had imposed a brutally harsh blockade on Gaza, impoverishing the population and severely blighting their day-to-day lives.
Two Norwegian doctors, envoys from NORWAC (Norwegian Aid Committee) managed to get over the Rafah crossing and into Gaza with little more than two boxes of medicine and their belongings on New Year’s Eve.
Mads Gilbert and Erik Fosse, who worked in Al Shifa hospital, bore witness to the shocking events in Gaza and conveyed their experiences to the world by reporting their observations and later on publishing a book.
At the time the Israeli army was trying their best to keep aid and the media out, though claiming otherwise.
The book, Eyes in Gaza presents the views of these two observers, who were not aligned with either side ‘participating’ in the war. Their account reflects the tremendous shock and outrage they felt at the brutality and cruelty of the Israelis.
“Could such a well-organised and experienced army as Israel’s have carried out a comprehensive massacre on defenceless, unarmed Palestinian civilians?” Gilbert wonders. “As a defence mechanism we refused to believe such things were real.”
The history of the Israeli-Palestinian war is subtly included in the book, usually in small notes that are akin to observations and do not irk the reader, rather it flows casually throughout the events of the war.
As Al-Shifa hospital became flooded with the wounded and dead, the severity of ‘Operation Cast Lead’ became blindingly apparent. The sheer number of the wounded alone was enough to overwhelm the hospital staff. The blockade aggravated the situation further, creating chronic shortages in everything from grain, flour and electricity to medicines and other hospital supplies.
The continuous flow of victims included a boy with a fatal splinter injury to his brain, another hit by an Israeli rocket and a DIME bomb victim who died after his lower body was blown off. But reporting these atrocities earned Gilbert the name, “the Hamas propaganda doctor” as dubbed by Fox news.
After the Israeli army hit a vegetable market on 3 January 2009 Gilbert sent a message to his international contacts pleading that “they have bombed the central market in Gaza city two hours ago. 80 are injured, 20 killed, all came here to Shifa. We are wading in death, blood and amputees. Many children, a pregnant woman. I have never experienced anything so terrible. Now we hear tanks. Pass this on, send it on, shout it out. Anything. Do something!”
What of the aid sent from the international community? They were ‘conveniently’ hindered by the Israeli army. There were incidents such as what happened to the Dignity from Cyprus. This aid boat was stopped by the Israeli navy, which fired at it and rammed it until finally it changed course.
The Israeli war crimes in Gaza were not limited to the blatant attacks on the civilian population, in what was nothing short of a massacre, but also to the use of very problematical tactics and weapons. These included DIME weapons and using the people of Gaza as human shields, according to an Israeli NGO, Breaking Silence (Shovrim Shtika).
The death toll reached 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians including 300 children. 13 Israelis died in the campaign.
The doctors explain that the prevailing dialogue surrounding Palestine and Israel “influence our understanding of reality.” Palestine has almost disappeared. Words like “settlements” give the impression that the land was empty, as the Israelis have often claimed, when they established their communities. The correct terms are “occupation” and “colonisation.”
Gilbert and Fosse tell readers in their jointly-written foreword that “words are powerful.”
UK, December 26, (Pal Telegraph) – We the Palestinians of the Besieged Gaza Strip, on this day, two years on from Israel’s genocidal attack on our families, our houses, our roads, our factories and our schools, are saying enough inaction, enough discussion, enough waiting – the time is now to hold Israel to account for its ongoing crimes against us. On the 27th of December 2008, Israel began an indiscriminate bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
The assault lasted 22 days, killing 1,417 Palestinians, 352 of them children, according to main-stream Human Rights Organizations. For a staggering 528 hours, Israeli Occupation Forces let loose their US-supplied F15s, F16s, Merkava Tanks, internationally prohibited White Phosphorous, and bombed and invaded the small Palestinian coastal enclave that is home to 1.5 million, of whom 800,000 are children and over 80 percent UN registered refugees. Around 5,300 remain permanently wounded.
This devastation exceeded in savagery all previous massacres suffered in Gaza, such as the 21children killed in Jabalia in March 2008 or the 19 civilians killed sheltering in their house in the Beit Hanoun Massacre of 2006. The carnage even exceeded the attacks in November 1956 in which Israeli troops indiscriminately rounded up and killed 275 Palestinians in the Southern town of Khan Younis and 111 more in Rafah.
Since the Gaza massacre of 2009, world citizens have undertaken the responsibility to pressure Israel to comply with international law, through a proven strategy of boycott, divestment and sanctions. As in the global BDS movement that was so effective in ending the apartheid South African regime, we urge people of conscience to join the BDS call made by over 170 Palestinian organizations in 2005. As in South Africa the imbalance of power and representation in this struggle can be counterbalanced by a powerful international solidarity movement with BDS at the forefront, holding Israeli policy makers to account, something the international governing community has repeatedly failed to do. Similarly, creative civilian efforts such as the Free Gaza boats that broke the siege five times, the Gaza Freedom March, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and the many land convoys must never stop their siege-breaking, highlighting the inhumanity of keeping 1.5 million Gazans in an open-air prison.
Two years have now passed since Israel’s gravest of genocidal acts that should have left people in no doubt of the brutal extent of Israel’s plans for the Palestinians. The murderous navy assault on international activists aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea magnified to the world the cheapness Israel has assigned to Palestinian llife for so long. The world knows now, yet two years on nothing has changed for Palestinians.
The Goldstone Report came and went: despite its listing count after count of international law contraventions, Israeli “war crimes” and “possible crimes against humanity,” the European Union, the United Nations, the Red Cross, and all major Human Rights Organizations have called for an end to the illegal, medieval siege, it carries on unabated. On 11th November 2010 UNRWA head John Ging said, “There’s been no material change for the people on the ground here in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, no economy…The easing, as it was described, has been nothing more than a political easing of the pressure on Israel and Egypt.”
On the 2nd of December, 22 international organizations including Amnesty, Oxfam, Save the Children, Christian Aid, and Medical Aid for Palestinians produced the report ‘Dashed Hopes, Continuation of the Gaza Blockade’ calling for international action to force Israel to unconditionally lift the blockade, saying the Palestinians of Gaza under Israeli siege continue to live in the same devastating conditions. Only a week ago Human Rights Watch published a comprehensive report “Separate and Unequal” that denounced Israeli policies as Apartheid, echoing similar sentiments by South African anti-apartheid activists.
We Palestinians of Gaza want to live at liberty to meet Palestinian friends or family from Tulkarem, Jerusalem or Nazareth; we want to have the right to travel and move freely. We want to live without fear of another bombing campaign that leaves hundreds of our children dead and many more injured or with cancers from the contamination of Israel’s white phosphorous and chemical warfare. We want to live without the humiliations at Israeli checkpoints or the indignity of not providing for our families because of the unemployment brought about by the economic control and the illegal siege. We are calling for an end to the racism that underpins all this oppression.
We ask: when will the world’s countries act according to the basic premise that people should be treated equally, regardless of their origin, ethnicity or colour – is it so far-fetched that a Palestinian child deserves the same human rights as any other human being? Will you be able to look back and say you stood on the right side of history or will you have sided with the oppressor?
We, therefore, call on the international community to take up its responsibility to protect the Palestinian people from Israel’s heinous aggression, immediately ending the siege with full compensation for the destruction of life and infrastructure visited upon us by this explicit policy of collective punishment. Nothing whatsoever justifies the intentional policies of savagery, including the severing of access to the water and electricity supply to 1.5 million people. The international conspiracy of silence towards the genocidal war taking place against the more than 1.5 million civilians in Gaza indicates complicity in these war crimes.
We also call upon all Palestine solidarity groups and all international civil society organizations to demand:
– An end to the siege that has been imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of their exercise of democratic choice.
– The protection of civilian lives and property, as stipulated in International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law such as The Fourth Geneva Convention.
– The immediate release of all political prisoners.
– That Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip be immediately provided with financial and material support to cope with the immense hardship that they are experiencing
– An end to occupation, Apartheid and other war crimes.
– Immediate reparations and compensation for all destruction carried out by the Israeli Occupation Forces in the Gaza Strip.
Boycott Divest and Sanction, join the many International Trade Unions, Universities, Supermarkets and artists and writers who refuse to entertain Apartheid Israel. Speak out for Palestine, for Gaza, and crucially ACT. The time is now.
Besieged Gaza, Palestine
List of signatories:
General Union for Public Services Workers
General Union for Health Services Workers
University Teachers’ Association
Palestinian Congregation for Lawyers
General Union for Petrochemical and Gas Workers
General Union for Agricultural Workers
Union of Women’s Work Committees
Union of Synergies—Women Unit
The One Democratic State Group
Arab Cultural Forum
Palestinian Students’ Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel
Association of Al-Quds Bank for Culture and Info
Palestine Sailing Federation
Palestinian Association for Fishing and Maritime
Palestinian Network of Non-Governmental Organizations
Palestinian Women Committees
Progressive Students’ Union
Medical Relief Society
The General Society for Rehabilitation
General Union of Palestinian Women
Afaq Jadeeda Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Deir Al-Balah Cultural Centre for Women and Children
Maghazi Cultural Centre for Children
Al-Sahel Centre for Women and Youth
Ghassan Kanfani Kindergartens
Rachel Corrie Centre, Rafah
Rafah Olympia City Sisters
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
Al Awda Hospital, Jabaliya Camp
Ajyal Association, Gaza
General Union of Palestinian Syndicates
Al Karmel Centre, Nuseirat
Local Initiative, Beit Hanoun
Union of Health Work Committees
Red Crescent Society Gaza Strip
Beit Lahiya Cultural Centre
Al Awda Centre, Rafah
Photo: Sameh Habeeb
|[ 26/12/2010 – 04:36 PM ]|
GAZA, (PIC)– The “creativity” studies and training foundation released Sunday the first ever electronic encyclopedia that documents Israel’s late 2008 early 2009 war on the Gaza Strip to mark the war’s second anniversary as it approaches.
The encyclopedia, dubbed “the Gaza Holocaust”, is the product of drawn out efforts by the foundation’s strategic research and studies center, said foundation head Mohammed al-Madhoun. “More than 120 of the foundation’s field researchers contributed to this remarkable work, as well as many more from research centers, rights foundations, and ministries.”
The idea, sparked at the time of Israel’s aggression, was to document the suffering and crimes that occurred during the war. “The encyclopedia contributes to the decay of Israel’s legitimacy in the framework of a battle that stripped Israel of its moral and humanitarian legitimacy.”
The reference book attempts to correct the past mistake of not recording Israel’s crimes. “The encyclopedia therefore protects history from being falsified, and provides a reliable reference with voice and picture.”
The name “the Gaza Holocaust” was part of the name battle that Israel had been playing in an attempt to monopolize names. The named heroic disaster was therefore named the holocaust.
Madhoun called on media agencies to deliver the encyclopedia to every household in the world. “The encyclopedia should be translated into English, and then continued to be developed and supported with more data and documents.”
He added that the reference followed a new approach in documenting history and building cases against criminals in light of the current information revolution.