Julie Webb-Pullman reports

Gaza

March of Return Updates

38 MARTYRS

31 martyrs have been identified so far:

Rafah Governorate:
1. Mu’tasim Abu Luli
2. Mohamed Abdel-Aal
3. Mohamed Altter
4. Ahmed El Shaer
5. Mohamed Mekdad

Khan Younis Governorate:
1. Anas Qadih
2. Nasser Abu Daqqa
3. Obeida Farhan
4. Izz al-Din al-Aweiti
5. Fadi Abu Salmi (Abu Salah)
6. Jihad Al-Farra
7. Abdel Salam Abdel Wahab
8. Mahmoud Moamer
9. Ahmed Hamdan

Middle Governorate:
1. Izz al-Din al-Sammak
2. Ahmed Awadallah
3. Wael Sheikh Khalil

Gaza Governorate:
1. Jihad Musa
2. Mohamed Harez
3. Shaher Al Madhoun
4. Said Abu al-Khair
5. Mohammed Al Amoudi
6. Moataz al-Nono
7. Mousa Abu Hassanein
8. Ibrahim Al-Zarqa
9. Yahya Al – Dakour
10. Ismail Dahouk
11. Mohammed alkhatib

North Governorate:
1. Musab Abu Laila
2. Mohammed Abu Sitta
3. Mohammed Hamad


Gaza Ministry of Health Update 2pm

14 May, 2018 at 2pm

Gaza Ministry of Health

The toll of the injuries of the Great Peaceful March of Return resulting from the Israeli occupation attacks in the eastern Gaza Strip:

  • 18 martyrs

  • 918 injuries – 584 in hospitals, 334 treated at medical points

    Injuries
    74 injured children plus 1 martyr
    23 women

    Severity

  • 11 critical

  • 39 serious

  • 441 Medium

  • 427 minor


Cause of injuries
448 live bullets
3 metal-coated rubber bullets
64 fragments of the body
83 other injuries.
320 gas.

Place of injuries in the body
32 in the neck and head 

49 in the upper limbs
19 in the back and chest
18 in the abdomen and pelvis
413 in the lower limbs

320 inhalation gas
67 in multiple places

Direct targeting of medical staff and journalists.
1 injury – medical staff

8 injuries – journalists
1 vehicle partially damaged

MARTYRS NAMES

  1. Anas Hamdan Qdeih, 21 years, east of Khan Younis.

  2. Mus’ab Yousef Ibrahim Abu Laila, 28 years, east of Jabalia.

  3. Mohammed Ashraf AbuSettah, 26

  4. Obeida Salem Farhan, 30

  5. Ahmed Abu Daggah, 26

  6. Jihad Mofeed AlFarra, 30

  7. Izz al-Din Musa al-Sammak, 9 years, of Al-Bureij

  8. Izz al-Din Nahid al-Aweiti, 22 years, of Maan.

  9. Fadi Hassan Abu Salmi (Abu Salah) 30, Algerian, killed at Abasan al-Kabeer. Shot in the chest.

  10. Ahmed Awadallah, 24, East of Gaza

  11. Mohammed Fawzi Abu Luli, 20

  12. Hammad Mohammed Mahmoud AbdelAal

  13. Ahmed Adel Musa AlShaer, 16 years

  14. Abdelrahman Abdelrahman Ali Meqdad

  15. Unknown martyr at Al Najjar Hospital

  16. Shaher Al Madhoun

  17. Captain Musa Jaber Abu Hassanein, 36, Civil Defence – while saving injured near the eastern cemetery east of Gaza City.

 

 


MARCH OF RETURN UPDATES

20 DEATHS              500+ INJURIES

Martyrs

      1. Anas Hamdan Qdeih, 21 years, east of Khan Younis.

      2. Mus’ab Yousef Ibrahim Abu Laila, 28 years, east of Jabalia.

      3. Mohammed Ashraf AbuSettah, 26

      4. Obeida Salem Farhan, 30

      5. Ahmed Abu Daggah, 26

      6. Jihad Mofeed AlFarra, 30

      7. Izz al-Din Musa al-Sammak, 9 years, of Al-Bureij

      8. Izz al-Din Nahid al-Aweiti, 22 years, of Maan.

      9. Fadi Hassan Abu Salmi (Abu Salah) 30, Algerian, killed at Abasan al-Kabeer. Shot in the chest.

      10. Ahmed Awadallah, 24, East of Gaza

      11. Mohammed Fawzi Abu Luli, 20

      12. Hammad Mohammed Mahmoud AbdelAal

      13. Ahmed Adel Musa AlShaer, 16 years

      14. Abdelrahman Abdelrahman Ali Meqdad

      15. Unknown martyr at Al Najjar Hospital

      16. Shaher Al Madhoun

 


Great March of Return.. An option feared by the occupation

by Alaa al-Rimawi

MOR

The Zionist entity is gearing up to confront the mass participation and expansion of the Great March of Return amidst internal Israeli conflict on techniques needed to quell this peaceful form of resistance, which is capable of gaining worldwide support.

Anyone can notice the Zionist confusion through the statements issued by Israeli politicians or senior officers of the Zionist army, who differ in their description of the Great March of Return and the techniques needed to quell these peaceful protests. Some of the steps taken by the Zionist occupation and the US to deter it are:
(more…)


Great Return March spokesman: Nikki Haley’s allegations of children used as human shields are naked lies

Press statement regarding Nikki Haley’s accusations of Hamas using children as human shields during Great March of Returm

children

The U.S envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley has repeatedly and unashamedly alleged that Hamas is using children as human shields or powder for Cannon during the great march of Return totally supported by the Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine.

In my capacity as international spokesperson of the great March of Return I can categorically and confidently reject such allegations as brazen and naked lies

Ms. Haley is only regurgitating the very words and notorious propaganda of the military spokesman of the Israeli occupation army dubbed as the Israel Massacres Army by the Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy.

Haley keeps using such cheap propaganda to encourage the Israeli occupation for commit more crimes against the Palestinian people, including children.

Haley is incessantly and impertinently blaming the Palestinian victim and exonerating the Israeli criminal army which kills in cold blood, using sniper fire, live ammunition, tank shells and airstrikes.

She has always been justifying the crimes of the Israeli Occupation Forces who are ordered to shoot to kill and shoot to maim.

Let me remind Ms. Haley that the noble goal of this Great March of Return is to peacefully and nonviolently implement our right of return to the homes and property from which we were uprooted and driven out by the Zionist groups in 1948. This right of repatriation and compensation is provided for by the UN resolution 194 Dec 11, 1948. And reinforced by the UN Resolution 3236- Nov 22, 1974 entitled the inalienable national rights including

Our right to self-determination without external interference

Our right of return

Our right to independence and sovereignty

Our right to use all methods to end the Israeli occupation of our lands.

We have been waiting for justice for the last seventy years. It is high time that our right of Return and compensation was implemented. We cannot wait any longer.

The Palestinian people ask the U.S. envoy Nikki Haley to stop using her doubled standard policy and be honest at least once in her lifetime.

We will continue our peaceful and nonviolent march of Return till we achieve our goals and realize our rights.

We can’t be overcome

We will win

We will return.

Dr. Asad abu Sharkh

International Spokesperson of the Great March of Return

28/4/2018

Saturday

 


The face of Zionist terrorism in Gaza

This child died today, after being shot in the face with a tear gas canister by the Israeli military at yesterday’s March of Return inside the Gaza border.

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Second Palestinian journalist dies from injuries sustained covering Gaza protests

PRESS RELEASE
Committee to Protect Journalists – MENA

Washington D.C., April 25, 2018–Ahmed Abu Hussein, a Palestinian photographer for the Gaza-based Voice of the People Radio, died today from bullet wounds to his abdomen sustained on April 13 while he was covering protests in the northern Gazan city of Jabalia, according to news reports citing Gazan Health Ministry officials. Hussein is the second journalist to die from injuries sustained while covering protests in Gaza that began on March 30, according to CPJ research.

“Protective gear that clearly indicates individuals are members of the press should afford them extra protection–not make them targets,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour. “The death of Ahmed Abu Hussein underscores the need for Israeli authorities to urgently scrutinize its policies toward journalists covering protests and take immediate, effective action.”

Yaser Murtaja, a photojournalist and cameraperson for the Gaza-based media production company Ain Media, was injured when a live round hit him while he was covering protests in the area east of Khan Younis on April 6 and died the next day from injuries, CPJ documented. Both Hussein and Murtaja were wearing protective gear marked with PRESS at the time they were shot. CPJ in a letter April 19 called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to review the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) policy on mass protests and the press and to ensure that the shooting of journalists in Gaza is quickly and thoroughly investigated.


Pregnant women, newborns contaminated with heavy metals linked to Israeli attacks

Shujeiyah400-x-300

Newborn babies and their mothers exposed to Israeli attacks in 2014 have a high level of heavy metal contamination in their hair, reports a study published in the latest British Medical Journal (BMJ Open). The research was carried out in Gaza on 502 women who were pregnant at the time of the 2014 Israeli offensive.

Italian, Finnish and Gazan researchers analyzed the quantities of 23 kinds of metal in the hair of the women and the children they subsequently gave birth to, and compared them with the metal content in women’s hair outside of war zones. They also studied in utero transmission of heavy metals, as well as the hypothesis of contamination unrelated to war.

“Heavy metals used during wars are toxic, teratogenic and carcinogenic, and this study has shown they pose a health risk to pregnant women and their children, now and in the long-term” said lead researcher, Paola Manduca.

Teratogens disrupt the development of the embryo and can cause birth defects, while carcinogens can cause cancer.

“They are known as endocrine disruptors. They remain in the environment, remain in bodies and accumulate due to chronic exposure if their sources are not eliminated from the environment,” said Manduca.

Such sources include weapon remnants themselves, substances released during the explosion of missiles and shells, and contaminated ruins.

Using Plasma-Mass-coupled spectrometry (ICP-MS), the researchers made comparisons with groups exposed to domestic and agricultural chemicals.

Although women’s heavy metal load was higher than that of the newborns, it was not enough of a difference to protect the babies from harm: the study found an increase in birth defects and preterm births from 2011 data.

The rate of birth defects reported in the Gaza study was 4.5%, compared for example to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) figure of 3% for the United States – the Gaza rate is 50% higher.

Equally worrying, the study documented that the frequency of exposure to military attacks was about 70% in the random sample of 502 mothers, suggesting overall contamination of the entire population.

“Surveillance, bio-monitoring and further research on this subject is essential,” said Paola Manduca. “The risk of transgenerational genetic mutations can not be ruled out.”


Palestinian Civilians in Revolt: The ICC and Al Aqsa

Julie Webb-Pullman

Source: TeleSUR

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Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Mohammad Abu Ghannam during his funeral in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of A-tur July 21, 2017 | Photo: Reuters

Israeli authorities routinely violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, transferring nearly 60 percent of Palestinian child detainees from occupied territory to prisons inside Israel.

 

The people of Palestine have had enough: enough of Israeli occupation, enough of the Palestinian Authority’s complicity, and enough of the international community’s inaction.

Since the blatant breach of the principle of self-determination in 1948, which saw the establishment of the ‘state of Israel’ on colonized Palestinian land, Palestinians have been subjected to relentless and progressive genocide and aggression: forced relocation, illegal Israeli settlements, theft of natural resources such as water and gas fields, collective punishment in the form of a suffocating siege of Gaza, and three brutal military offensives within six years that killed thousands of Palestinians, injured tens of thousands more, and destroyed twenties of thousands of homes.

And that was just during declared military offensives – the killing and injuring of Palestinians by Israeli authorities and citizens is a daily occurrence. The United Nations reports that between 01 January and 31 October 2016, Israeli security forces killed at least 94 Palestinians and injured more than 3,200: an average of 9 casualties per day.

All in full view of the United Nations.

All reported in the international media.

All known to the world public.

And all with complete impunity.

The Palestinian Authority has done little. Despite ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in December 2014, and making a retroactive declaration until June 2014 for the Court to have jurisdiction over the Israeli military aggression in Gaza during the summer of 2014, it has failed to make a state complaint to the ICC.

And although the Prosecutor subsequently opened a ‘preliminary examination’ on Palestine, this stalled.

Due to the lack of political will on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which has not filed an ICC complaint and does not support the procedure, Palestinians are taking matters into their own hands. (more…)


Gaza civilians demand action from the ICC

Palestinian victims today urged the Prosecutor of the ICC to move her preliminary examination of Palestine into a full investigation, with a complaint drafted by 40 lawyers from the Gaza Bar representing some 50 Palestinian trade unions, associations and civil society organizations plus 448 individual victims. The action was filed with the ICC by Maître Gilles Devers.

Palestinians file lawsuit against Israel at ICC

The procedure concerns three crimes:
– the blockade of Gaza
– the Israeli aggression in the summer of 2014
– the Israeli settlement of Palestine.

At a press conference in The Hague prior to submitting the complaint to the ICC, Mr Devers said that it was time for prosecutor to move the case forward.

“It is two years since Palestine has been under preliminary examination,” he said. “In Gaza, we think two years is too long.”

At a simultaneous press conference in Gaza attended by the lawyers and complainants, Basman AlAshi, Chief Executive of Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital said there is a wealth of evidence available to the Prosecutor.

“All the prosecutor of the ICC needs to open a full investigation is that there is a reasonable basis for believing that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed. The destruction of Wafa Rehabilitation Hospital, a protected place under the Geneva Convention, provides that basis. So do the attacks on Al Aqsa, Durrah and Beit Hanoun Hospitals.”

Dr Mariam Abu Daqqa described the treatment of women prisoners in Israeli detention, from being arbitrarily detained to torture, being deprived of contact with their children, and appalling living conditions. She also noted the huge number of child prisoners, and the failure of Israeli authorities to accord them even the most minimum standards of treatment demanded by international conventions.

Lawyer Mahmoud Afana emphasised the illegality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, which breaches several aspects of international law, such as the right to self-determination, as well as many of the rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Afana described the ten-year siege of Gaza as collective punishment which constitutes “… a genocidal humanitarian crisis happening in full view of the world.”

Rana Shubeir, speaking on behalf of civil society and young people, said that they are sick of living a life of fear:
fear of being denied travel for study or medical treatment, fear of another aggression, fear of never finding a job in “this black hole of deprivation and suffering.”

“We only want to enjoy the basic human rights which are guaranteed under international and humanitarian law. We want to live knowing that the future of our children will be as bright as their innocent smiles. The only way this can be achieved is through the application of justice – and that is all we ask from the ICC – apply the rules, and open a full investigation into Palestine,” she said.

Gilles Devers emphasised that this action is just the beginning of a long struggle, noting they are well-organized and determined.

He said the group was also hoping to persuade the ICC to open a full investigation “as a matter of urgency” into the situation in East Jerusalem, where Israeli authorities are imposing severe restrictions on and around Al Aqsa Mosque, and violently attacking Palestinians protesting their repressive actions against the third most holy site in islam.

“Justice is the response to violence. We call for the strengthening of this legal action. This action must be intensified. Our strength is the determination of the Palestinian people to defend their rights.”


Wondering when the war will start….

Dead bodies stacked on the floor (400 x 266)

Dead bodies stacked in a refrigerated truck in 2014

This morning I woke to news that three Palestinians had been killed at Aqsa Mosque after allegedly shooting two Israeli police officers dead.

The Israeli occupation immediately locked down the Mosque, preventing worshippers from praying the Jumah prayer there, blocked all entrances, and set up checkpoints at the entrance to the Old City.

Closing the mosque, which is supposedly under the protection of Jordanian King Abdullah, is a blatant provocation, unheard of since 1967.

The closure, that is – provocations are a daily occurrence.

It brings to mind June 2014, when the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli settlers led to a widespread and violent crackdown in the West Bank, escalating in severity until Palestinians eventually responded. The 50 days of military horror that followed in Gaza killed hundreds of women and children, in an extended series of war crimes and crimes against humanity that remain unpunished to this day.

It is hard to see what worse the Israeli occupation could subject Palestinians to – administrative detention that sees hundreds of  women and kids jailed with no charge, along with members of parliament, youth – in fact, anyone who happens to be Palestinian… Beating of Palestinians daily, under any pretext, or none…. Shooting of peaceful demonstrators…. Demolition of the homes of family-members of ‘convicted killers’ (while the families of convicted Israeli killer settlers suffer no such retribution) or anyone whose house an Israeli wants…. Burning of babies, like Ali Dawabsheh…Burning of teenagers like Mohammed Abu Khdeir… Torturing to death innocent detainees, like Arafat Jaradat – and scores more just like him….

But I am sure they will find something even more horrific to visit upon the true owners of Palestine – they always do.

The only questions  we in Gaza are asking today are “What next?” and “When?”

 


Hot weather food for thought

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Forget ice-cream – there’s no electricity for the fridge, so it’s melted. Going to a shop to buy some doesn’t help – you walk in the door and slide several feet in the melt-water from their fridge, almost taking out the shelf of packet-food you grab to steady yourself. You’ll have to settle for a warm bottle of something sickly-sweet, because they don’t even bother stocking ice-cream anymore, and the water is all sold out.

The donkey-drawn vegetable cart outside has a pile of cool green cucumbers, and blazing red tomatoes – gazpacho comes to mind, so you buy a kilo of each. You rush back home trying to get there ‘on the hour’ to catch the elevator during it’s five minutes of operation, mentally calculating what else you need and dismissing it because if it’s the choice between a fresh red pepper and a ten-floor hike in this heat, the pepper loses.

You make it. Dumping the bags on the bench, you go to the fridge and draw back at the musty smell that emanates from within. You can’t figure it out – it can’t be the butter, that melted and had to be thrown out days ago. The cheese left of its own accord the day after. The wizened lemons wouldn’t smell like that, nor the bottle of soy sauce – and there’s not much else left in there.

You open the vegetable crisper and get out an onion that is miraculously still crispish, and the red pepper that looks more like a sun-dried tomato – but hey, it’s going to be liquidised anyway.

The recipe suggests a couple of slices of french bread. In the absence of such a luxury, you open the freezer to get out some pita. You almost fall over backwards – THAT is where the smell is coming from. The precise source is best left undisturbed. The bread, despite being inside a plastic bag, is soggy and wet. You take a piece into your bedroom and set it on the sill in the sun.

Back in the kitchen you chop garlic, the onion, the wrinkly pepper, a couple of cucumbers and the tomatoes and toss them in the blender. Uh oh, no electricity.

You go into the next room and check for the indicator light in the fuse-box – have they turned the generator on yet? Yes! Last month, you bit the bullet and had cables installed to connect you to the neighbour’s generator – for a flat rate per month of only seven times the municipality rate per kw, plus more for whatever extra you use over that allowance, he promised a continuous supply, except for  when the grid is on (two hours a day) and one hour for it to rest – even generators get tired in this heat. But that was the soft-sell – in reality it comes on randomly, sometimes at the same time as the grid – but often not at all, for days on end…

When the electrician came to connect you up, and put in a light so you could see in the kitchen as well as use your laptop and internet, he offered  to connect a wall power-point too. As you carry the blender into your bedroom and unplug the bedside lamp to plug it in, you congratulate yourself on his foresight.

After a few minutes whizzing, you get the now-dry and brittle bread off the sill, and go back to the kitchen for the vinegar and olive oil to drizzle in. You remove the little cap from the blender lid and start it up – and your sheet turns into a Jackson Pollock as the contents spray out.

Undeterred, you pour half into a bowl, and do it in two stages, using two bowls – something you should have done from the beginning because you knew it was too full, but you wanted to save on dishes because there is no water to wash them with because two hours of power a day is not enough for the water pump to fill the roof tanks….

Back to the kitchen – the bed must wait until there is electricity and water sufficient to do a load of laundry…….

You  add the salt and pepper, adjust the seasonings – and now all that is left to do is….chill it for several hours.

The one thing you cannot run off a generator is a fridge – even if you could somehow lug it into your bedroom to plug it in.

You decide that warm gazpacho is actually very tasty.

And that sleeping on the one square foot of clean sheet left really is perfectly bearable…

 

 

 

 

 


Remembering 2014

As we have reached the third anniversary of the most horrific months of my life, I am re-posting a record of a day in Gaza in July 2014

Noor

Noor Abu Jarad, survived but 8 of her family were killed

The scenes as I go to work each day are harrowing – I must walk past the morgue of Al Shifa Hospital. For the first few days I didn’t even realise it was the morgue – a few cars parked outside, small groups of people clustered against the walls, some obviously grieving – in the hospital grounds during a war, not an uncommon sight. But each day the numbers of cars, and of people grew, and one morning the stark reality of what it was hit me. As I walked a car drove past me and stopped, and a man approached it cradling a bright white tightly swaddled body in his arms, that of a very small child. I went around the car to let him through, and met men running with a stretcher with a covered body on it – or so I thought.

As they ran past, a bloodied limb fell onto the ground in front of me. It was not a body on the stretcher, but a collection of body parts – the horrific evidence of the type of weapons being used by Israel, some prohibited, others so new they are still in the testing stages – on Gaza civilians. Norwegian surgeons Mads Gilbert and Eric Fosse who are working in the hospital say they have never seen some of the injuries before, in 30 years of work in war zones.

I carry on, past the young men sitting sobbing against the wall, heads on knees. I can barely restrain my own tears.

The numbers outside the morgue swell, and subside, but the numbers inside continue to grow. Some days I can’t even get through, some days ambulances or cars arrive and bodies are removed in front of my eyes, while relatives scream, faint, or numbly watch as yet another family member is taken from them. The misery, the grief, the sheer human pain is overwhelming. And I walk on past, and go upstairs to report the dead and injured in facts and figures, my heart bursting, my soul shaken, and desperately trying to cling to that thing called humanity when there is so little evidence of it in what I have just seen.

I go upstairs and see the exhausted doctors and surgeons, who two weeks ago were healthy, vibrant human beings now reduced to haggard, pale ghosts of themselves, struggling to keep going, to provide care and save lives when there is so little care to provide, no medicines, no supplies, no equipment, and where lives that might be saved are lost to the sheer numbers demanding their attention. Doctors who must decide on the spot which patients live and which die, not because clinically they couldn’t all be saved, but because there are only resources enough for one.

Doctors, nurses and hospital staff who all now know that even in the hospitals they are not safe, because Israel is now deliberately attacking them.  Three hospitals have had to be evacuated since Thursday, seven hospital staff have already been killed or injured. Ambulance drivers and paramedics who know that when they go to retrieve the injured, they may not return – 12 ambulances have been destroyed, one driver killed and five ambulance officers injured. All in a day’s work – and these people have not been paid for months, they are doing this out of their own sense of compassion and duty.

I go to the wards to interview survivors and their families. One might think that this would be less traumatic – at least they are alive, there is hope. It is not – babies whose bodies are blasted with shrapnel so they look more like a pepper steak than a human baby, unconscious children with tubes going in and out crying for mothers and fathers who will never comfort them because they are dead, mothers sharing a room with several of their children, all sliced, diced, minced or shredded by Israeli arms made in or funded by the US, not knowing if or which of them will get out of there, and if and when they do, will they be able to walk, talk, feed themselves, study, work or have any semblance of the normal future she hoped for them. Fathers collapsed into themselves, wracked with guilt that they did not, could not, protect their family.

I walk outside, and the sky is blue, the sun is shining. Birds are even singing. I want to scream at them “Don’t you know what is happening?” I walk home beneath the ever-present drones, the sound of explosions almost keeping pace with my footsteps. I go back past the morgue, now shut up, and deserted – on the outside at least. A group of children run past carrying bottles of water, giggling and falling over, helping each other up. I pass the maternity ward, see a man in the street calling to his wife, who appears in a window and holds up their new-born baby for him to see.

I wonder, was this deliberate, the siting of the maternity unit next to the morgue? So that as one leaves, the affirmation of life is what remains?

After all, this is Gaza, where mere existence is resistance.


Hemaya: Gaza Inquiry appointments raise questions

PRESS RELEASE
Hemaya Center for Human Rights

hemaya logo (400 x 107)

Hemaya Center for Human Rights is deeply concerned about the events leading to the resignation of Professor William Schabas as Chair of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, and his replacement by Ms Mary McGowan Davis.

We consider that best practice requires that potential conflicts of interest are explored PRIOR to appointment to such inquiries, and we are most concerned that this appears not to have been the case in regard to Professor Schabas. We remain concerned that it has also not been the case re Ms McGowan Davis, given her hasty appointment. (more…)


Huda hits Gaza hard

Laila

This storm Huda is truly the most terrifyingly noisy, bitterly cold and miserable storm imaginable.

Even in a house with fully-glazed windows shut, the wind whistles seemingly straight through them. Imagine how it is for the thousands of families with plastic (if it has not blown away), wood, rusty iron sheets for windows, or none at all – if I couldn’t sleep with four walls, a roof and theoretically intact windows then how could anyone with less? Imagine Gaza’s homeless’ night of bitter hopelessness…

The gusts were so strong I thought the windows were going to blow in. I could not decide whether to drag a mattress into the internal room away from the windows and risk my core body temperature dropping to a hypothermic level, or staying where I was huddled under a quilt and blanket, four layers of clothing and socks, with a coat on and a woollen shawl over my head, where at least I was maintaining an almost normal temperature. Imagine what it was like to be in the ruins of part-destroyed houses – maybe one or two walls, a bit of roof or nylon above your head if it hasn’t been ripped away by the wind – or even just a tent, which thousands of Gazans are forced to live in? With only the few clothes they were able to salvage from the dust and destruction of their homes?

Even with all my windows closed, the wind still forced the rain in, and it still lays in pools on the floor of two rooms. Even with internal doors closed and towels rolled and stuffed along the bottom to stop the draughts the towels literally flew across the floor halfway into the room. The wind even whistled between the joins in the wood of the doors. The internal room, even with all doors closed, was like a wind tunnel. Imagine a room with two walls…or none at all.

How can this family stay warm in this house in Beit Hanoun?

How can this family stay warm in this house in Beit Hanoun?

I took my chances and stayed in my bed – but I could not sleep – the noise was terrifying, the gusts battering against the glass, the rattling and tearing of the frames made any attempt at rest futile. Waiting for the windows to explode or the frames to be ripped from the walls was just like waiting for another Israeli missile during the last aggression – will THIS be the one that gets me? Imagine the families huddled together in the rubble, freezing, wind-battered, terrified, wondering which of them will not wake in the morning, which seems never to come…

Just like unified government. Just like reconstruction materials. Just like the lifting of the siege. Just like Palestinian rights. All promised but never delivered, like a day that never dawns.

Huda. Not just a storm, but an allegory.

The morning may now have broken, the winds died a little – but the bitter cold remains. And while the Palestinian Authority continues the tempest of its soft coup against Hamas, its collaboration with Israel and Egypt, and its apartheid policies against Gaza, there can be no thaw, no calm.

Like Huda, the PA is almost spent. The people who have survived will salvage what they can from the wreckage and work together to rebuild what it has destroyed. Only then can there be a sunny new day for Gaza – and Palestine.


27th Anniversary: Hamas is from the Palestinian people, and for Palestine

by Julie Webb-Pullman

Hamas in Nuseirat Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

Hamas in Nuseirat Photo: Julie Webb-Pullman

“Hamas leaders come from the people,” senior official Dr Salah Al Bardawil told a huge crowd who took to the streets Friday in Nuseirat camp, Gaza, to celebrate 27 years since the birth of the Hamas movement.

“Hamas does not seek power or government, just Palestine’s liberation,” he said. (more…)


Beit Hanoun: Homeless but not utterly hopeless, thanks to NZers

By Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Gaza SCOOP

Receiving clothes, blankets and schoolbags in Beit Hanoun 30/11/14

Receiving clothes, blankets and schoolbags in Beit Hanoun 30/11/14

With the help of New Zealanders the Palestinian Family Charitable Association in Beit Hanoun has done it again – provided warm winter clothes and blankets for some of the neediest children in Gaza as the wintry weather begins to bite.

Not that there are very many children in Beit Hanoun who are not needy – 1,500 apartment blocks were destroyed in this town during the 51 day Israeli offensive in July-August, leaving many thousands homeless and their schools full of displaced families. (more…)


Football no fun anymore for the Bakr boys

by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Gaza SCOOP

Brothers Montasr (left) and Younis Khamis Bakr (Photo: Yousef Al Rantisi)

Brothers Montasr (left) and Younis Khamis Bakr (Photo: Yousef Al Rantisi)

Flashback. July 16, 2014.

Boys. Beach. Sun. Sea. Sand. Football. Fun. An ordinary summers’ day like that in any other coastal city in the world.

Bomb. Blood. Missile. Martyrs. Mayhem. Mourners. An ordinary summer’s day in Gaza 2014.

Three months later the world has all but forgotten the “Bakr Boys,” the group of cousins playing on the beach that afternoon. Four of them – Ismail, Zakaria, Ahed and Mohamed – were killed. Four more survived the horror, physically at least.

Montasr, Hamada, Sayed and Younis are all now out of hospital, and could even play football again, despite legs peppered with shrapnel scars. But they don’t. (more…)


Donors, or enablers? Cairo’s ‘Gaza Reconstruction Conference’

by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Middle East Monitor

Egypt is currently blocking injured Gazans leaving the Gaza Strip, and blocking the flow of reconstruction materials to Gaza

Egypt is currently blocking injured Gazans leaving the Gaza Strip, and blocking the flow of reconstruction materials to Gaza

CAIRO’S Gaza Reconstruction Conference, you ask incredulously? And well you might – after all, Egypt is currently preventing the entry of materials to complete Qatari-funded projects in Gaza addressing the destruction of previous Israeli offensives. Building of roads, housing estates and hospitals have all ground to a halt despite being underway well before the latest Israeli war crimes in Gaza – crimes which have only further increased the need. (more…)


Mass Murder in the Mediterranean: Mohammed’s Story

by the Al Rantisi Family
Source: Middle East Monitor

Mohammed Al Rantisi (right) with his friend and business partner Sajed (left). Their business was destroyed by five missiles from Israeli F16s.

Mohammed Al Rantisi (right) with his friend and business partner Sajed (left). Their business was destroyed by five missiles from Israeli F16s.

Over 400 asylum seekers, including 100 children, were drowned in international waters on their way to Italy after the boat they were travelling on was rammed on 10 September, 2014 by people-smugglers angry because the migrants refused to transfer to a smaller boat.

As a report into the mass murder by human rights organisation EuroMid says, the travellers from the Gaza Strip, Syria, Egypt and Sudan had been promised a safe journey to Europe on a secure and comfortable ship.

One of them was our son and brother, Mohammed Al Rantisi, a 23 year old Management and Technology graduate heading to Europe in search of a brighter future. His favourite song was a message of farewell. (more…)


Gaza is Israel’s Vietnam, with Hamas victorious

by Mike Carlton
Source: Crikey

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Benjamin Netanyahu has ensured that no Israeli will ever again know peace, writes former ABC war correspondent and naval historian Mike Carlton.

So Hamas wins. No matter how Israel and its friends spin it, the raw fact is that this “indefinite ceasefire” leaves Hamas unbeaten in Gaza.

Bloodied and battered, yes, with an echelon of its senior military and political leadership killed by Israeli airstrikes. But it is only down, not out. It lives to fight another day, which means that Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-Right Likud-coalition government have failed, and disastrously so, in their stated aim of ensuring Israel’s security by a crushing military and economic dominance of the Palestinian people. They rolled the dice. They lost. (more…)


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MOH Gaza Final Report

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Gaza Celebrates the Ceasefire!!!!!

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Palestinian MOH-Gaza Update as at 1900 hrs 25/08/2014

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 1900 hours on Monday August 25, 2014.

Total number of victims:13,196 (2,130 Martyrs; 11,066 Injured)
Distributed As
Deaths: 2,130 – 577 children, 263 women, 102 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 11,066 – 3,374 children, 2,088 women, 410 persons over 60 years

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

Fatima was at her front door when a drone struck, killing her niece and grand-daughter, and injuring her two sons and a grandson. She has shrapnel embedded in her head, face, neck and all over her body.

(more…)