by Julie Webb-Pullman
Yesterday I went shopping. Like billions of people throughout the world, I went to the market to buy fruit and vegetables. Like a fraction of a percent of them, I did so beneath falling bombs.
Because I was shopping in Gaza.
Gaza, where we eat our bread with blood. Gaza, where the babies are bathed with tears. Gaza, where we LIVE.
We live despite media misinformation that paints Israel as the victim – a media that harms us every bit as much as every Israeli missile.
We live in the face of the lie of Israeli self-defense, of Israeli “response to rocket fire” – which ignores the root cause planted, watered and fertilized by Israeli snipers last Friday, when they shot dead Palestinian teenager Raed Khalil Abu Tair, on crutches and hundreds of meters away from the fence.
THAT was the seed from which this situation grew. And it is a seed that feeds our defiance, resistance, and our very will to live in Gaza.
I refuse to be cowed by Israeli bombs. I refuse to shiver and shake from fear in an inside room. I defy Israeli brutality, I refuse to let it define my life.
Instead, I LIVE.
I went shopping to Saha market, and between the blasts I bought a pair of sandals, and a sunhat each for my friend’s daughters. Yes, I jumped with each bomb – then continued with what I was doing – getting on with LIFE.
I bought fruit and vegetables – eggplant, capsicum, potatoes, tomatoes, onions – ordinary, and life-giving. Oranges and kiwifruit – vitamin-packed jewels to add a sparkle no drone can dim.
I went next to the Curiosity Shop to see if he had a traditional Ramadan lamp – he didn’t.
I jumped in a car and went to Jundy; a missile struck behind us, the people in the car craned to see, people in the street all hurried towards it. I got out of the car and went into a dress shop, looking for something light to wear inside for summer.
More bombs fell.
I went to the supermarket, bought dates, water, tomato paste. I got home, put on a load of laundry because there was electricity, and unpacked the shopping.
I began preparing the vegetables for dinner.
There was a massive explosion; I went to the balcony, and saw palls of smoke rising from behind the supermarket – and realized I had forgotten to get coffee.
I will have to go and get some tomorrow.
Palestinian Ministry of Health – Gaza
Four Palestinians have been killed and over two hundred injured by Israeli military attacks inside Gaza today in an attack on civilians that has rocked the Strip.
Condemning the attacks on protesters of the Great March of Return as war crimes, the Deputy Minister of Health Dr.Yousef Abu Alrish is calling for an immediate international response.
“These blatant war crimes must stop. Our hospitals are already reeling under the strain of trying to treat thousands of innocent victims of the last four months with few resources,” he said.
“The international community must act now to prevent a complete bloodbath, and collapse of the health sector.”
The four dead have been identified as Mahmoud Khalil Qishta, 23 years; Mohammed Riyad Farhana, 31 years; Sha’aban Rajab Abu Khater 26 years; and Mohammed Sharif Badwan, 24.
The closure of the crossings this week and resulting reduction in medicines and supplies has left Gaza’s already-struggling hospitals in a critical situation, he said.
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967
GENEVA (15 May 2018) – A UN human rights expert has called on the Israeli Government to immediately cease its lethal assault against protesters at the Gaza fence, who appear to pose no credible threat to Israeli military forces on the Israeli side of the fence.
Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, condemned Israel’s excessive use of force towards largely unarmed demonstrators at the Gaza fence on Monday, which has left 58 Palestinians dead, and almost 2,800 wounded. He expressed grave fears this figure could rise sharply in coming days unless Israeli authorities uphold their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
“This blatant excessive use of force by Israel – an eye for an eyelash – must end, and there must be true accountability for those in military and political command who have ordered or allowed this force to be once again employed at the Gaza fence,” he said. (more…)
Gaza has put out an urgent call for medical equipment to cope with the numbers of injured in yesterday’s massacre by Israeli forces.
The sheer numbers will put a strain on services for weeks and months to come.
If you can help, please contact the Director of the Gaza Ministry of Health International Cooperation Directorate to get instructions on how to donate:
Hamas political bureau member, Khalil al-Hayya, said that the patience of resistance factions, especially the al-Qassam Brigades, is running out and a retaliation is imminent following the massacre of Gazan civilians by the Israeli Occupation on Monday.
In a press conference held by Hamas during the Great March of Return and after the massacre of dozens of unarmed Palestinians, al-Hayya said that the Palestinian resistance factions are standing side by side the Palestinian people and have their full support.
He added, “the shedding of our people’s blood today stains the faces of those normalizing with the Israeli Occupation and bargaining on the Palestinian cause with shame.”
Al-Hayya called on Arab and Islamic uprisings to condemn the Israeli Occupation, describing the uprisings as “a natural response to this Israeli aggression against innocent Palestinian civilians.”
Al-Hayya stressed that Jerusalem is a red line and the transfer of the US embassy is an explicit attack on the history, rights and legitimacy of the Palestinian people.
“The American administration bears all the consequences of the implementation of this unjust decision, and this terrible crime will not pass unaccountable,” al-Hayya confirmed.
He reiterated his movement’s rejection of Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”, indicating that the movement will do everything it can to exterminate it, and that it will stand against all projects aiming to liquidate the Palestinian cause.
Unity in the field
The Hamas leader praised the unified work that took place during the Great March of Return and called on for the continuation of the peaceful protests until the rights of the Palestinians are fully retained.
“Our people who are living the bitterness of the Nakba will not remain silent and will not retreat until their ambitions and goals of returning back to their homeland are achieved”.
He concluded that the violent and lethal response of the Israeli Occupation to the peaceful Marches confirms the Zionist occupation’s terrorist nature calling on the Arabs to stop the series of normalization and cut its ties with the Occupation.
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville
Subject: (1) Gaza
We condemn the appalling, deadly violence in Gaza yesterday during which 58 Palestinians were killed and almost 1,360 demonstrators were injured with live ammunition by Israeli security forces. Of those injured, 155 are in critical condition. Six children and a health worker were among those who lost their lives, and 10 journalists suffered injuries from gunshot wounds. The already crumbling health care system in Gaza has been placed under incredible strain and those suffering life-threatening injuries face a nightmarish scenario in the absence of adequate hospital beds and medical services. We are still witnessing cases in which injured demonstrators are effectively prevented by Israel from exiting Gaza for treatment.
The rules on the use of force under international law have been repeated many times but appear to have been ignored again and again. It seems anyone is liable to be shot dead or injured: women, children, press personnel, first responders, bystanders, and at almost any point up to 700m from the fence.
A number of the demonstrators approached the fence, threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces personnel, and flew kites laden with petrol soaked material. Some tried to damage the fence that separates Gaza from Israel. Others burnt tires. Israeli forces responded with tear gas, plastic bullets and various types of live ammunition, some causing horrific wounds and lifelong disability. We stress, again, that lethal force may only be used as a measure of last – not first – resort, and only when there is an immediate threat to life or serious injury. An attempt to approach or crossing or damaging the fence do not amount to a threat to life or serious injury and are not sufficient grounds for the use of live ammunition. This is also the case with regards to stones and molotov cocktails being thrown from a distance at well-protected security forces located behind defensive positions.
Again, we call for independent, transparent investigations in all cases of death and injury since 30 March. Since 30 March, 112 Palestinians, including 14 children, have lost their lives at the fence and thousands have been injured.
We are extremely worried about what may happen today – an emotional day on all sides – and in the weeks ahead. We urge maximum restraint. Enough is enough.
(Arabic version available on http://www.ohchr.org/AR/Pages/Home.aspx)
Statement by UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness
Jerusalem 14 May 2018
UNRWA is dismayed by the deaths and injuries in Gaza today of dozens of civilians, including children. The Agency unreservedly condemns the excessive use of force employed against demonstrators, who have the right to peaceful assembly and expression.
The population in the Gaza Strip has been exposed to the consequences of repeated armed conflicts and a stifling blockade over the past decade. Today’s violence and loss of life will add yet another layer of trauma onto an already untenable situation.
UNRWA is specifically alarmed by the impact the latest developments have had on Palestine refugees, who constitute over 70 percent of Gaza’s population. Since 30 March, when what has become known as the “Great March of Return” started, at least 4 UNRWA students have been killed and some 125 injured.
Behind the numbers, there are shattered lives, destinies and limbs. In many cases the injuries sustained are very severe and likely to result in life-long disabilities. UNRWA supports calls for investigations into these grave incidents in accordance with international standards to ensure accountability for violations of international law.
The risk is high to see similar violence occur again in the coming days. Collective international mobilization is therefore urgently required to prevent further loss of life and injury. Every additional casualty is a defeat for humanity.
COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS
Beirut, May 14, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the use of gunfire by Israeli forces against journalists covering protests today in the Gaza Strip. At least seven Palestinian journalists have been injured by Israeli gunfire while covering today’s demonstrations, according to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), reports shared on social media by media outlets and journalists, and CPJ interviews with local journalists Saud Abu Ramadan and Moneeb Saada.
Thousands of Palestinians have been protesting for seven consecutive weeks over Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their pre-1948 homes, news reports said. Today marks the 70th anniversary of what Israel claims as its independence day and Palestinians call Nakba Day to commemorate their displacement from Israel. Today’s protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip also coincided with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, according to news reports.
“The number of Palestinian journalists injured by gunfire in Gaza has grown by the week,” CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour said from Washington, D.C. “The fact that Israeli authorities have ignored demands that they halt the use of live fire against journalists reinforces the perception that they do not want the world to see what is happening in Gaza.”
The following journalists were injured by gunfire today:
- Omar Hamdan, a cameraperson for the state-owned Algerian Television, was hit in his left leg by a live round while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to news reports, the PJS, reports shared on social media by news outlets, and local journalists Ramadan and Saada.
- Mohammed Abu Dahrouj, a cameraperson for the media production company Zain Media, was hit in his right leg by a live round while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to reports shared on social media by news outlets, the PJS, Ramadan, and Saada.
- Abdullah al-Shorbagi, a reporter for the local Hamas-affiliated Khan Younis Media Network, was hit in the left foot by a live round while covering protests east of Khan Younis, according to his employer, the PJS, reports shared by local journalists and news outlets on social media, Ramadan, and Saada.
- Farhan Hashem Abu Hadayd, a reporter for the local news website Safad Press, was hit in his left leg by a live round while covering protests east of Rafah, according to news reports, the PJS, reports and pictures shared by media outlets, and local human rights activist Mohammed Abdullah.
- Yasser Qudeih, a freelance photographer for the Hamas-affiliated daily Palestine, was hit in his abdomen by a live round while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to reports shared on Facebook by news outlets, Ramadan, and Saada. He is currently under observation in the intensive care unit at the European Hospital in Gaza, according to Saada.
- Nihad Fuad, a reporter for the community radio station Forsan al-Erada, was hit in the head by a live round while covering protests in the southern Gazan city of Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, according to Facebook reports by media outlets, Ramadan, and Saada. He has been transferred for treatment to the European Hospital in Gaza, according to Saada.
- Wael Dahdouh, a reporter for the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, was injured in the right hand by gunfire while covering protests east of Gaza City, according to his employer, news reports, reports on social media, Ramadan, and Saada.
In addition to the seven journalists injured by direct fire, Mohammed al-Duwaik, a cameraperson for the local news agency Itehad Press, was hit in his arms by shrapnel from an explosive device while he was covering protests east of Gaza City, according to Al-Duwaik and the PJS.
The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately reply to CPJ’s email requesting comment.
Since the protests began on March 30, 2018, CPJ has documented that live rounds fired by the Israel Defense Force have hit at least 22 journalists, two of whom–Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein–later died from their injuries.
SOURCE: EYEWITNESS NEWS
JOHANNESBURG – The South African government has condemned in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of over 40 people following a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
In a statement released on Monday evening, the Department of International Relations (Dirco) says: “The latest attack has resulted in scores of other Palestinian citizens reported injured, and the wanton destruction of property.”
It adds: “Given the indiscriminate and gravity of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.”
Motasem Dalloul, Palestinian journalist and Middle East Monitor’s Gaza correspondent, is now in a critical condition, and has been moved to the intensive care unit in Shifa hospital.
Dalloul was shot in the abdomen and back by Israeli snipers using explosive bullets while he covered the #GreatReturnMarch protests at the border on Friday, 11 May.
- Israeli fighter jets attack four sites in Gaza
- Israel cuts off the electricity line supplying the Shujeiyah area of Gaza
- Another journalist is targeted and injured: Wael Al-Dahdouh, a correspondent for Al-Jazeera
ISRAELI WARPLANES ATTACKING GAZA NOW
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Gaza SCOOP
Israel’s chickens are coming home to roost, along with those of the UN and the international community. How can anyone be surprised?
You cannot subject a people to 50 years of illegal occupation and expect no response. To illegal demolition of their houses, arbitrary detention, torture and inhumane prison conditions and expect no response. You cannot subject a people to ongoing theft of their land for the construction of illegal settlements, to living behind an illegal apartheid wall and expect no response. You cannot subject a people to an illegal siege and expect no response.
The international community has sat on its hands while the Israeli rogue state rode roughshod over the few rights left to Palestinians, with total impunity.
The UN has not enforced international law even ONCE in response to at least 80 breaches of UN Security Council Resolutions. The US has vetoed many more.
Endless negotiations with dishonest brokers have yielded less than nothing for Palestinians – less land, less water, less natural resources, less houses, less jobs, less opportunities, less travel. It is nothing less than scandalous that this has all taken place under the watch of the Useless Nations. (more…)
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Gaza SCOOP
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…)
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Middle East Monitor
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…)
by Mike Carlton
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…)
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)
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
by Maisam Abumorr
Source: Al Jazeera
I remember when I attended a three-day workshop on international law and human rights by the ICRC in Gaza, one of the attendees asked the trainer: “What do I do to be qualified to obtain those human rights?” The trainer replied without much thought: “Nothing. You should be a human, that’s all”.
The question now is, what am I supposed to do/be to be qualified as a human? As far as I can tell, I live like normal humans do. I love, I hate, I cry, I laugh, I make mistakes, I learn, I dream, I hurt, I get hurt, I love pizza, I watched Titanic 6 times, I have a crush on Bradly Cooper, I get sick, I sometimes tell lame jokes to which only I laugh and last time I checked myself in the mirror I very much looked human. (more…)
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 2000 hours on Monday August 04, 2014.
Deaths: 1,865 – 429 children, 243 women 18-60 years, 79 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 9,536 – 2,877 children, 1,853 women 18-60 years, 347 over 60 years.
ICU: 153 patients
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
August 04, 2014
The Ministry of Health Gaza condemns in the strongest possible terms the Israeli breaking of the humanitarian ceasefire in a murderous attack on the Al-Bakri family home in Al-Shaati refugee camp in west Gaza City, killing an eight-year-old child and injuring 30 other people, mostly women and children.
This attack on a home in one of the most densely populated residential areas on earth only minutes after the commencement of a humanitarian ceasefire can only be seen as a calculated and deliberate attack on civilians. (more…)
On Thursday July 31, 2014 the New Zealand parliament condemned Israel for its attack on an UNRWA schoopl in Jabaliya, in a motion passed without dissent.
The text of the motion, proposed by Green MP Kennedy Graham,is as follows:
“That this House note the comment of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon regarding the latest shelling of a school in Gaza: ‘nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children. I want to make it clear that the precise location of the Jabaliya elementary girls school had been communicated to the Israeli military authorities 17 times, as recently as last night just a few hours before the attack. They were aware of the coordinates and exact locations where these people are being sheltered’. And that this House condemn Israel’s action and calls for an immediate ceasefire to prevent the loss of further innocent life.”
The Ministry of Health in Gaza reports the following statistics as at 2000 hours on Sunday August 03, 2014.
Deaths: 1,803 – 401 children, 238 women 18-60 years, 74 persons over 60 years
Injuries: 9,324 – 2,805 children, 1,823 women 18-60 years, 343 over 60 years.
ICU: 140 patients
Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine
August 03, 2014
The Ministry of Health Gaza is reeling from the reports coming out of Rafah, where scores have been killed and injured today, including 10 dead and over 30 injured in yet another attack on an UNRWA school, this time the Anas Ibn Malik Prepatory School sheltering thousands of forcibly displaced persons.
A group of women, children and older people were sitting against the wall at the entrance to the school seeking shade from the sun when they were struck.
This atrocity follows dawn attacks in Rafah on the Ghoul and Abu Jazzar family homes which left 18 dead and dozens injured, and brings the number killed in Gaza today to at least 118. (more…)