Israeli white phosphorus attack on the main compound of the United Nations Relief and Welfare Agency (UNRWA) in central Gaza City on 15 January 2009, during Operation Cast Lead.. Photo: HRW/CC
Palestinian families and human rights groups are welcoming a Friday decision that clears the way for the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations against Israel of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of apartheid in occupied Palestinian territories as a long-overdue step toward justice.
Given that the state of Palestine—as recognized by the United Nations and scores of countries, though not the United States nor Israel—is party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s pre-trial chamber I decided by majority that the court’s jurisdiction “extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.” Continue reading →
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he was “not willing to compromise” over Israel’s protracted siege on Gaza. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Abandoning Palestinians and its pledge to fight Israel’s protracted blockade of Gaza, the Turkish government on Monday announced an agreement to normalize relations with the Middle East powerhouse—reportedly just in time for a new, lucrative natural gas deal.
The two countries have been engaged in a bitter dispute since 2010 when the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) attacked the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara, which was carrying humanitarian supplies to the people of the Gaza Strip, killing nine people at the time and and fatally injuring a tenth. Continue reading →
This 13 year old boy is one of six Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza on October 9. Photo via Twitter
Israeli forces on Friday killed six Palestinians, including at least two teenagers, who were taking part in a demonstration along the Gaza border.
Hundreds of protesters were gathered there in solidarity with Palestinians residing in the West Bank, where a spate of violence in recent weeks has added to fears of growing unrest.
An Israeli army spokesperson said there were 200 demonstrators, and that “Forces on the site responded with fire toward the main instigators to prevent their progress and disperse the riot.” According to the army, the protesters were throwing rocks and rolling burning tires toward the military forces. Continue reading →
A Palestinian man holds the hands of his granddaughters near the remnants of the residential towers where the girls used to live, in the city of Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. (Photo: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba)
Citing a series of vicious military attacks in recent years coupled with severe shortages of water, medical supplies, and shelter created by an internationally-backed blockade, a new report issued by the United Nations warns that if current trends continue the Gaza Strip will be virtually “uninhabitable” within five years.
Home to approximately 1.8 million people, Gaza is often referred to the largest open-air prison in the world and the latest report, published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is just the latest official assessment (pdf) to paint a devastating picture of life inside the sealed borders of Gaza which has now faced eight years of economic blockade and three large-scale military operations by Israel since 2009.Continue reading →
Children in Rafah collect water from one of the working public taps July 13, 2014. (Photo: Oxfam International/flickr/cc)
Over 150,000 people and dozens of humanitarian organizations say it is time for world leaders to force Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and allow its residents to recover from last year’s 50-day military onslaught, in what the groups are saying is the largest global appeal of its kind.
Released Wednesday, the anniversary of the formal ceasefire, the call notes: “Not one of the 19,000 homes that were bombed and destroyed has been fully rebuilt.”
The United Nations HRC (Human Rights Council) is scheduled to release a 277-page report this week regarding findings of their investigation into the 2014 Gaza War. The Israeli response to Hamas-fired rockets was a 50-day campaign of shelling, air strikes and ground encroachment resulting in more than 2,256 Palestinians killed, including 1,563 civilians, a U.N. report said last March. Sixty-seven Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel also died in the conflict.
The HRC began their investigation last July, and held earlier findings to consider further evidence.
Tribute to four boys killed on Gaza beach. Image via Twitter.
Most everyone has seen the horrifying footage of the four Palestinian teenage boys running for their lives on the beach last summer. Most of us remember that the Israeli military killed those four children only because they could, not because the boys posed any threat at all. And no one can forget the footage of the families of these kids finding out their most precious thing in life was ripped from them. The Israelis issued a report totally exonerating themselves of all wrong doing for this incident.
The Senator from Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has proclaimed the HRC report to be a waste of time. Israel is now releasing their own findings of their own investigation, and have decided after careful and thoughtful consideration, that the Gaza War campaign was a completely legal military exercise meant only for Israel to protect herself. The UN numbers are disputed, the total devastation is disregarded, and the report is labeled as objective. Continue reading →