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 →
Palestinian workers queue up along the separation barrier often called the apartheid wall by critics as they wait to clear an Israeli military checkpoint. (Photo: delayed gratification/Flickr/cc)
The prominent Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem on Monday defiantly defended its position that Israel is an apartheid state after the country’s education minister banned members of groups that call the Jewish state “false, derogatory names” from entering its schools.
Last week, B’Tselem published a position paper that cited “a wide array of Israeli policies” it said are “advancing and perpetuating the supremacy of one group—Jews—over another—Palestinians” before concluding that “we must look at the full picture and see it for what it is: apartheid.” Continue reading →
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu receive Pfizer C. POVID-19 vaccine, kickstarts vaccination drive. Screenshot: YouTube
As vaccinations for the deadly COVID-19 virus begin to be delivered in large numbers, Israel has been receiving a great deal of praise in global media for its handling of the fight against the pandemic — one that has cost the lives of over 1.8 million people worldwide in the last 12 months.
Israel has gone into vaccine “overdrive,” announced the Financial Times, noting that the country of 9 million people has become the “world leader” and an example to follow. Detailing its achievements, it told readers that, “At one vaccination site, people waited no longer than 10 minutes each to be assigned to receive a jab, with one of 10 booths being kept empty to handle overflows,” also noting that the high tech system texts citizens an exact time of arrival, to further help with crowd control. The Wall Street Journal celebrated that Israel had vaccinated more than 10% of its population in just two weeks. Other outlets like the BBC noted that the government was prioritizing the elderly, with over 40% of over 60s having already received the first dose of a two injection procedure. “Israel could become [the] 1st nation to vaccinate all its citizens,” ran an Economic Times’ headline. Continue reading →
On December 21, the United States Congresspassed the COVID-19 Relief Package, as part of a larger $2.3 trillion bill meant to cover spending for the rest of the fiscal year. As usual, US representatives allocated a massive sum of money for Israel.
While unemployment, thus poverty, in the US isskyrocketing as a result of repeated lockdowns, the US found it essential to provide Israel with $3.3 billion in ‘security assistance’ and $500 million for US-Israel missile defense cooperation. Continue reading →
Mike Pompeo at the Psagot Winery—located on stolen Palestinian land in the illegal Israeli settler colony of Psagot. Photo: Secretary Pompeo/Twitter
Palestinian officials and international peace activists condemned a Trump administration order that went into effect earlier this week requiring goods produced in a large portion of the illegally occupied West Bank of Palestine to be labeled “Made in Israel.”
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol on Wednesday announced that “for country of origin marking purposes, imported goods produced in the West Bank, specifically in Area C under the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement… must be marked to indicate their origin as ‘Israel,’ ‘Product of Israel,’ or ‘Made in Israel.'” Continue reading →
Sahrawi demonstration against the Moroccan occupation, November 2020. Photo: Nushatta Foundation/Twitter
Sahrawi independence advocates defiantly dismissed an announcement Thursday by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States would open a “virtual” diplomatic mission in Western Sahara as a first step toward establishing a permanent consulate in the Moroccan-occupied territory.
Pompeo said in a statement that the U.S. was “inaugurating a virtual presence post for Western Sahara, with a focus on promoting economic and social development, to be followed soon by a fully functioning consulate.” Continue reading →
Under cover of the U.S. presidential election, the Israeli military bulldozed an entire Bedouin community in the illegally occupied West Bank of Palestine on Tuesday, leaving scores of people—including more than 40 children—homeless during a cold, driving rainstorm.
Just hours before the cold front rolled through the West Bank, Israel Defense Forces troops razed the Bedouin hamlet of Khirbet Humsa, near Tubas in the Jordan Valley, forcing 74 people including 41 children—one just three months old—out into the approaching storm. Continue reading →
Health staff from the Shaboura Health Centre in Rafah, Gaza, run by UN relief agency UNRWA, deliver medications directly to elderly Palestine refugees in the wake of COVID-19, so as to reduce their chances of exposure.. Photo: UNRWA/Khalil Adwan
Gaza residents are sifting through trash to find food amid soaring poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and a crippling 13-year Israeli-Egyptian blockade, the head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said Monday.
Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), toldThe Guardian that “there is despair and hopelessness” not only in Gaza but throughout Palestine and the Palestinian refugee diaspora in neighboring and nearby nations. Continue reading →
The Trump administration on Wednesday announced sanctions targeting International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, the court’s prosecution jurisdiction division director. (Photo: ICC)
Human rights advocates the world over condemned the Trump administration on Wednesday for imposing sanctions on two top officials at the International Criminal Court—just the latest act of retaliation for the Hague-based ICC’s ongoing investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by U.S. forces and others in Afghanistan during the so-called War on Terror.
“The Trump administration’s perverse use of sanctions, devised for alleged terrorists and drug kingpins, against prosecutors seeking justice for grave international crimes, magnifies the failure of the U.S. to prosecute torture,” said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “The administration’s conjuring up a ‘national emergency’ to punish war crimes prosecutors shows utter disregard for the victims.” Continue reading →