Julie Webb-Pullman reports

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Israelis do NOT have any right to self defence from an occupied people

Gaza

It may seem such a basic tenet of international law that it does not need repeating, but clearly the Israelis are slow learners.

So here we go again with yet another lesson in fundamental international law:

First, Gaza is OCCUPIED. The very fact that the Israeli occupation authorities control the land and sea borders and the airspace, and are in a position to determine who can enter the occupied territory, fatally undermines their position that there is no occupation.

Further, both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court have upheld Gaza’s status as an occupied territory.

Second, a state cannot simultaneously exercise control over territory it occupies, and militarily attack that territory on the claim that it is ‘foreign’ and poses a national security threat. To do so, the Israeli occupation authorities are effectively asserting rights of colonial domination that simply do not exist under international law.

However, military or belligerent occupation IS a status recognised by international law – and has accompanying obligations.

An occupying power is responsible for the welfare of the population under its control. The Fourth Geneva Convention imposes obligations on an occupying power in relation to the inhabitants of the occupied territory, who are entitled to special protection and humane treatment. Among other things, the rules prohibit the occupying power from “wilfully killing” or “ill-treating” protected persons.

War Crimes are defined as:

a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949…
b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law….

The actions of the Israeli occupation authorities in conducting military offensive actions against the protected persons of the occupied territory of Gaza therefore are not, and cannot possibly be construed as, self-defence.

But they certainly meet the criteria for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, thus constitute WAR CRIMES.

So please, Israeli apologists – enough of the ‘self-defence’ excuses – they just do not hold any legal water.


Gaza MOH appalled by Israeli border massacre

PRESS RELEASE

Palestinian Ministry of Health – Gaza

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.


Gaza calls for urgent medical equipment

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:

Dr. Ashraf Abu Mhadi
Director General
International Cooperation Department
Ministry of Health
Email: icd@moh.gov.ps
Mobile: 00 970599 854 845
Office: 00 972 8 2826325

 

EGH


B’Tselem: Firing live ammunition at Gaza demonstrators shows appalling indifference to human life

PRESS RELEASE

B’Tselem

The demonstrations held in Gaza today came as no surprise. Israel had plenty of time to come up with alternate approaches for dealing with the protests, apart from firing live ammunition.

The fact that live gunfire is once again the sole measure that the Israeli military is using in the field evinces appalling indifference towards human life on the part of senior Israeli government and military officials.

B’Tselem calls for an immediate halt to the killing of Palestinian demonstrators.

If the relevant officials do not issue an order to stop the lethal fire, the soldiers in the field must refuse to comply with these manifestly unlawful open-fire orders.


Gaza Ministry of Health Detailed Statistics

Ministry Of Health – International Cooperation Directorate 

Detailed Statistics

The Peaceful Great Return March

08:30 PM  14 May 2018
55 Martyrs                 2771 Casualties

Martyrs 

6 children under the age of 18
1 female child

Casualties 

225 Children
79 Females

Medical points 1011
Hospitals 1760

Injuries Severity

🛌 76 Critical, 54 very critical
🛌 1294 Moderate
🛌 1347 Minor

Cause of Injury

1359 Live Ammunition
14 Rubber-coated metal bullets
155 Shrapnel in the body.
263 Others.
980 Gas.
Location of the Wounds

90 Head and Neck
192 Upper Limbs
62 Chest and Back
54 Abdomen and Pelvis
1218 Lower Limbs
980 Gas inhaliation
175 Other

Direct targeting of medical staff and Journalists led to 
1 Martyr – Civil Defense
5 Ambulances were partially damaged
17 Paramedics (gas suffocation and live ammunition)
12 Journalists

​​​​​​International Cooperation Directorate​​​​​​


SA WITHDRAWS ISRAEL AMBASSADOR AFTER GAZA DEADLY ATTACK

SOURCE: EYEWITNESS NEWS

SA flag

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.”


Dear fellow human

My name is Olfat al-Kurd. I live in Shuja’iya in Gaza. I am 37 years old and have four children. In July 2017, I joined the B’Tselem team as one of three field researchers in Gaza. In the past few weeks, since the protests along the fence with Israel began, we have been working around the clock to document, collect eyewitness accounts and testimonies of injured people, and gather information about the demonstrations and casualties.

I attend the weekly protests not only in my professional capacity but also as a Gazan. Some of my photos, posted on B’Tselem’s photo blog, show how most of the protesters gather in tents pitched far from the fence. These families enjoy entertainment stages, live music, food stalls and other family activities. We go there to convey a political message, to demonstrate, but non-violently – we don’t go there with weapons. The soldiers shoot at us nonetheless, and people are injured from live fire and tear gas.

This week, a concerned Israeli colleague asked me why I keep attending the protests, even though it’s dangerous. I replied that I am, of course, afraid, sometimes so much that I fear I won’t come back.

But the truth is that nowhere in Gaza is safe – whether near the border or in our own homes. Israeli planes can bomb any house, anywhere, at any moment. We all live in constant dread of something terrible happening. Everyone in Gaza lost a relative in the last wars. I lost my brother in the 2009 ‘war’.

The festival activities at the protests are a rare opportunity for us to breathe, meet people, and feel that we belong to something larger than ourselves. The open areas near the fence are the vastest in Gaza, but no one has dared go there since the last war. We can’t go to the beach any longer because sewage infrastructure has collapsed as a result of the blockade, and raw sewage flows into the sea. Many Gazans live in abject poverty and cannot afford to sit in a café or a restaurant, so they come to the protests with a coffee thermos and food.

Israel has been holding Gaza under blockade for more than ten years. Some of the young people participating in the protests and being wounded or even killed by soldiers, do not know what it’s like to have running water and a steady supply of electricity. They have never left Gaza and grew up in a prison.

You can’t visit us, Israel doesn’t allow anyone to see what’s going on here. There is no real life in Gaza. The whole place is clinically dead.

The younger generations are crushed by the hopelessness and death everywhere. The protests have given us all a spark of hope. They are our attempt to cry out to the world that it must wake up, that there are people here fighting for their most basic rights, which they are entitled to fulfill. We deserve to live, too.

Sincerely,

Olfat al-Kurd
Gaza Field Researcher
B’Tselem