- Egypt announced today it is permitting 92 injured to receive medical treatment in Egyptian hospitals.
- Rafah crossing will stay open until Monday, in both directions.
- Gazans donated more than 600 units of blood in less than 24 hours, demonstrating their humanity.
by the Al Rantisi Family
Source: Middle East Monitor
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…)
by Saleh Orouq
After I was chosen for a week summer school in New York from among more than 15,000 applicants -yes, more than 15,000 applicants-, I got jubilant to the extent that I couldn’t study for my final exams. I got so happy that I unvoluntarily kissed my brother before even telling him that I was chosen; I rushed and kissed my parents and my little brother as well. I promised my little brother to buy him the best gift I could get from the U.S.
My friends, my true ones, were so happy that I got such an opportunity of lifetime. I planned to have sheets on which my friends’ names to be written and to picture these sheets in front of the Statue of Freedom- I don’t know why I just smiled mockingly while typing “Freedom”. (more…)
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Gaza is today reeling from the brutal massacre of scores of people in the Shajaiyah neighbourhood east of Gaza City. Israeli tanks relentlessly shelled the area overnight, cutting off electricity and water supplies. Families huddled together, unable to flee because of the danger.
As day broke 40,000 people fled, carrying whatever they could. Bodies began arriving at Shifa Hospital from dawn – some 70 bodies were brought in but scores more dead and wounded still lay in the streets.
Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum today condemned the massacre.
“This is a war crime, why is there such a deafening silence from the world, from Egypt, from Mr Abbas, from the Arab countries? This encourages the occupation to continue such massacres,” he said in Gaza City.
Read more HERE
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Source: Middle East Monitor
The cynical ‘ceasefire’ chorus being sung by Israel and Egypt is merely yet another movement in the well-orchestrated Israeli-Egyptian three-penny opera.
The way in which the ‘negotiations’ were carried out was more farce than finale – Egypt wrote the libretto for the Israeli impresario, leaving the Palestinians in the wings.
The terms themselves are a three-act charade. The Israeli-Egyptian duet omits a core Hamas demand – any mention of the release of more than 50 Palestinian prisoners released in the 2011 Shalit swap who were re-detained during the recent West Bank ‘search’ for three missing Israeli settlers.
Nor does it commit to either re-open the Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt, or to lift the crippling – and illegal – Israeli siege of Gaza, merely saying that “crossings shall be opened and the movement of persons and goods through (them) shall be facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground.” Both of these are core demands of the entire Palestinian resistance – Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP and everyone in between.
Any ceasefire that does not change the fundamental paradigm, a hermetically-sealed Gaza and a ‘normal Israel,’ will garner only encore after encore, as every previous performance has done. Read more HERE
In the last hour, Israeli warplanes targeted the following sites in the Gaza Strip:
– The military Site “Abu Atayah” of Nasser Saladin Brigades, west of Rafah.
– The military Site “Saad Sayel” of Qassam Brigades east of Rafah.
– A piece of agricultural land near the site of “Safina” northwest of Gaza City.
No injuries have been reported as a result of the attacks.
In response, Palestinian resistance have launched new rocket attacks, and Israeli planes are flying west of Gaza.
The escalation of hostilities in the past few days was set off by an Israeli airstrike which killed three members of islamic Jihad on Tuesday. Ismail Abu Judah, 23, Shahir Abu Shanab, 24, and 33-year-old Abd al-Shafi Muammar were all killed in southeast Khan Younis near the Sufa crossing.
Khaled al-Batch, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, last night announced they had agreed to restore the calm, but the truce was shortlived, perhaps because of the way it was negotiated.
Ma’an reported that an Egyptian official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that Egyptian national security services contacted Israel and the Islamic Jihad, but not Hamas, in order to negotiate the re-activation of the 2012 ceasefire.
al-Batch told Associated Press, “As long as the occupation [Israel] honors the calm, we will honor the calm and instructions are being given right now to al-Quds brigades, our military wing, about this understanding.”
Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad told al-Mayadeen channel that the group was “not informed by Egypt about any agreement, and the Egyptian side should have coordinated with Hamas.”
Other signs that hostilities are likely to continue are that on Thursday, Israeli armed forces called up its air force reserves, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The Israeli Cabinet met on Thursday morning to dicsuss the situation in Gaza, and the decision to call the reserves was made by Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya’alon. Haaretz noted that calling up reserves requires the approval of the Knesset security and foreign committee, and a waiting period of 48 hours.
Only one thing is certain – as long as Israel coninues to occupy Palestinian territory, as long as Israel and Egypt continue their siege of the Gaza Strip, and as long as the international community continues to ignore Israel’s gross breaches of international law and the impending humanitarian crisis in Gaza, peace will be but a dream.
WTF? Israel carries out ANOTHER blatant act of piracy in international waters? And expects the world to believe the fiction they were headed for Gaza? A country under Israeli naval blockade for the last seven years??? Even the BB boys Bush and Blair managed better Words of Mass Deception than THAT!
Of course it is AIPAC week, so we can expect a series of attention-seeking missiles across the bows to distract the public from the spectacle of servility and sycophancy assaulting our senses from Washington. But a freaking great shipload of M302’s to go where even Gaza’s fishermen fear to row?!! I don’t think so.
Such nonsense is surpassed only by Netanyahu’s AIPAC-aired demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, which is neither part of the agreed negotiating terms nor even part of any recognised approach to international diplomacy. Does EVERY country have to recognise Israel as such? When and where can we all join the “Israel is a Jewish state” club? At the same time as we join the “Egypt and the Ukraine are democracies” clubs, perhaps?
Not only is it AIPAC week, but also Ukraine week, where the self-proclaimed government in Kiev just appointed dual Israeli-Ukranian citizen Igor Kolomoysky as governor of Dnepropetrovsk. He also happens to be the third richest man in the Ukraine, which may help overcome the difficulty of governing a Ukranian region from his home in Switzerland…
And Cairo week was also a bit of a coup, with a court managing to ban purported activities in Egypt of Palestinian political party Hamas. Who cares about legal niceties such as presenting evidence, or the right to mount a defence when you have enough kangaroos jumping around to keep all eyes off who is filling their pouches?
And Gaza week – well, that is every week. Forget the truce – that is only for the Palestinians. Israel assassinated two young men this week in a drone strike, in a blatant breach. And militants aren’t their only targets. From the scrap collector shot in the head to the middle-aged woman shot in the stomach, the football players shot in the legs and feet to end their potential careers, civilians are being killed and maimed daily. Since 20 December 2013, 55 Gazan civilians have been injured ON THEIR OWN SIDE OF THE BORDER by Israeli soldiers – 43 by live fire, 10 by rubber-coated metal bullets, and two hit in the head by canisters.
But that’s Israel. That’s Egypt. That’s Gaza.
Gaza, the elephant at the so-called peace talks.
Gaza, already reeling from seven years of siege and the theft of its water by Israel, now facing certain strangulation from the south.
Gaza, the Yarmouk about to happen, but from which everyone turns away.
Gaza, bordered by the magnificent Mediterranean – but which they can barely enter. Gaza, Bordered by Egypt, whose enmity has now been slammed on the tabletop, and by Israel, whose ongoing crimes speak for themselves – to a deaf world.
Gaza, land of life and love, and love of life and Allah, whatever the faction.
Gaza, between the devils and the deep blue sea.