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Politics before and after the Gaza flotilla

Dr Saeb Shaath

Dr Saeb Shaath

 

By:   Saeb Shaath

28.07.10

Palestinians have refused to surrender. The Collective Punishment unleashed on them by the combined might of Israel and the United States has failed to crush the extraordinary resistance mounted by the Palestinian people.

 

Regardless of the unconscionable suffering and desolation that Palestinians continue to endure as a result of Collective Punishment a brutal and nihilistic concept that mistakes force for power – Palestinians have refused to surrender. From the early days of the last century to the continuing daily struggle faced by thousands of Palestinians at this very moment, their resistance has deflected, confused and thwarted the Imperialists’ designs for the Arab World.

 

The USA, which was, after all, built on the extermination of the Native Americans, will not hesitate to annihilate the mass of Palestinians who continue to resist and make a stand against the Imperial hegemony on which the USA’s supranational supremacy depends.

 

The stubborn resistance of the Palestinians has already forced Uncle Sam and his cronies to play the political game; recognizing the legitimacy of the PLO, taking part in the Madrid peace conference on the Middle East, the signing of the Oslo accords between the Zionist Entity and the right wing of the PLO, the road Map; the game-playing has continued, right up to yesterday’s display of shuttle diplomacy by George Mitchell.

 

Official Israeli and American policy has consistently rejected the equal status of the Palestinian people, let alone their right to a Palestinian identity. The US has refused to acknowledge the historically persistent and appalling violation of Palestinian rights by the Zionist entity of ‘Israel’. With bewildering conceptual back-flips, and a Herod-like washing of hands, they have denied the Palestinian reality. This has assured them their role as Imperialist master, along with their satellite nations and puppet Zionist entity, over historical Palestine.

 

Two watershed episodes have occurred since the occupation and decimation of Iraq – a cynical and murderous act of invasion which resulted in the slaughter of one and a half million Iraqi citizens.

 

This delivered into Western hands one of the biggest prizes in human history; Arabian oil. At the same time, they act as the war has secured the future of the US’s Zionist avatar in Palestine and guaranteed, at colossal cost, the domination of Zionist Israel over Arabs, Turks and extending the process to swallow the Persians.

 

The first of these crises was the criminal war against Gaza, which was characterised by breath-taking brutality against an unarmed civilian society.

 

On the first day of the criminal war on Gaza, 300 Gazans were killed in four minutes. By the time the 22-day criminal assault was over, Palestinian casualties numbered almost 1,400. Four fifths of these were civilians and 350 children.

Statistics, however, cannot begin to express the unspeakable effects of the illegal weaponry inflicted, indiscriminately, on the people of Gaza. And, in the aftermath of the massacre, babies are still being born, on a daily basis, with birth defects caused by the depleted uranium and tactical nukes used by the criminal Zionist war machine.

 

Right now, we in Irish Medical Aid are facing huge logistical problems in sending special milk for such infants, who are born GA lactose intolerant. The special milk that is essential to keeping these infants alive is unavailable in Gaza. We sent an urgent consignment of the special milk to Gaza from Ireland. Miraculously, some got through. The Zionist Israeli Fascists fiercely obstructed the passage of the rest, in spite of the fact that we are using World Health Organisation facilities.

 

During its onslaught, Israel systematically destroyed and ruined 58,000 homes, 280 schools,1,500 factories, water and sewage installations and 80 per cent of agricultural land and crops. The cost to Gaza’s civilian infrastructure was estimated at $3 to 3.5 billion ‘total economic cost’.

 

Naturally, I avidly followed the events unfolding in Gaza minute by minute, especially in terms of the escalating health crises. I saw images and incidents which broke my heart to pieces, especially as the victims and the martyrs of this devastation are people with whom I shared my life; neighbours, childhood friends, relatives.

My grief was sharpened by the destruction of my family home, and of a school which was incredibly close to my heart as I contributed to its development in Gaza city. As an educational institute, it impressed any visitor ‘the International  school’ in Gaza. It cost over £10 million to build, equip and refurbish, but its value for the young people of Gaza was immeasurable in monetary terms. It was my kids school.

 

The goals of this criminal war were:

 

·          To restore Israel’s deterrence capacity, which it had lost in its 2006 war against Lebanon, by using massive lethal force against a defenceless Palestinian society in Gaza?

 

·        To pursue the destruction of the Palestinian civil society as an incubator of the Palestinian resistance, and its heart in Gaza.

 

·        To decimate the Palestinians in Gaza, so allowing the Zionist entity to retain the valuable sections of the West Bank, and to force the Palestinians to accept this.

 

However, the resistance, in spite of the catastrophic costs incurred by the Palestinian people, stayed resilient, startling the Zionist entity with its strength. The biggest bombshell faced by ‘Israel’ was the power and defiance of the society they sought to break. So, then, their criminal war did not achieve any of its goals, apart from a senseless bloodbath and the demolition of the Palestinian’s civil society infrastructure.

Politics before the flotilla and politics after the flotilla:

 

The second turning point was the attack on the Turkish humanitarian aid flotilla in the early hours of the morning of 31st of May 2010. The killing of the International AID workers and humanitarian activists in the midst of international waters marked a new era in international politics and activism. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that we can now speak of politics before the flotilla and politics after the flotilla.

 

Our gathering here today is a manifestation of that statement. We are here in direct recognition and expression of the most profound solidarity with the justice of the Palestinian cause, and with the courageous struggle carried by the Palestinian people and its international supporters, who reject the double standards and hypocrisy of the international community in terms of the USA and its puppets.

 

Today, in the great Irish city of Derry, we reject the imperialist and racist views with which their propaganda industries do their utmost to brainwash us.After the tragedy of the flotilla, the politics of direct people action, people power and people resistance have been galvanised, and are now in full swing in support of Palestinians in their hour of need. We are all a vital part of this Noble cause.

 

The Governments are supposed to be a group of civil servants with whom we have a social contract , they perform the tasks that we contracted them to carry out on our behalf. They are paid to carry out the mandates that we give them. Do they do that?

 

Those civil servants are, in fact, servants only to the concerns of thieving banks and corporate multinationals, whose interest is maintaining the status quo which allows them to make vast amounts of money from war. It is in their interest to kindle paranoia; to terrify us with the threat of ‘the Others’, the ‘Barbarians’. It is in their interest to invent terror groups, phantoms that allow them to keep their own state terror war machines destroying nations and countries around the Middle East and the world.

Is that the social contract, we the people, are party to? What of our interests?

 

It is in the interest of the people is to stop criminal acts against nations and populations, and to live in peace with them – not to use our monies and names to supply Zionist Israel with weapons to destroy the Palestinians, and the leeway to use them. Opening our markets for them to sell their stolen goods makes every one of us directly party to Zionist and the Imperialist crimes.

 

We told Bush, and his then lapdog Blair, ‘Not in Our Name’. Now we say we are with Palestine. We are taking direct action against anyone who supports the Zionist war and the human rights atrocity of the blockade on our brothers, sisters and comrades in Palestine.

 

 

Speech by  Saeb Shaath, Guild Hall, Derry, Ireland

 

Articles

Bahrain… The Tragedy of a Nation

Bahrain… The Tragedy of a Nation

 

“The Tragedy of Nation”… These words accurately sum up the current situation in Bahrain. The ruling AlKhalifa regime keeps escalating its horrendous crimes against the Bahrain people; but perhaps that is to be expected when such a brutal regime has the backing and approval of the west, and the deafening silence of the so-called international community to support.

 

Almost everyone in Bahrain has been touched by the regime’s repression, one way or another. Women, children, and even the elderly have either been arbitrarily arrested, falsely accused and unjustly convicted, or even murdered in cold blood. However, the regime’s crimes continue to increase in both brutality and violence, and a closer look to the recent history of the AlKhalifas reveals that this regime does not acknowledge nor respect the teachings of any religion, and it certainly does not adhere to or recognize the concept of human rights. Even the holiest of sanctities are not off limits for this regime, which has demolished dozens of mosques and destroyed many houses of worship and historical religious sites. Every time the locals would try to rebuild a mosque, the regime would send its dirty thugs on bulldozers to tear down the humble construction. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the AlKhalifa regime has recently constructed a public park in place of the historical mosque of “Abou Thir Al Ghiffari” that the authorities had previously demolished.[1]

 

Zahra AlShaikh, Habib AlMubarak, Son Hussein AlMubarak

Zahra AlShaikh, Habib AlMubarak and Son Hussein AlMubarak

 

Of course, the AlKhalifa regime went beyond the destruction of religions sites. The regime forces, along with the occupying Saudi forces, have arrested and imprisoned women[2], and subjected them to torture and sexual harassment. This regime has even imprisoned doctors and nurses and tortured them almost to death. The sole crime that these medical professionals had allegedly committed was treating wounded protesters, who were shot with internationally banned exploding bullets fired by the regime forces. The regime has also recruited foreign mercenaries from Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen, etc, granted them the Bahraini nationality, and used them to repress the Bahraini people more effectively. Clearly, the AlKhalifa regime and the occupying Saudi forces have become quite the masters at terrorizing an entire nation. The regime sends its mercenaries on four-wheel-drive vehicles to run over and kill protesters and any other children or youth present in the streets. These mercenaries, sometimes alongside members of the ruling family[3], are also commissioned to torture the detainees and tear their bodies apart. Even the families of martyrs are not exempt from being targeted by the AlKhalifa regime and its mercenaries: many of the parents and relatives of martyrs have been incarcerated and accused of “inciting hatred against the regime”, while others have been targeted with live rounds while they were commemorating the martyrdom of their sons[4]. The fascist AlKhalifa regime has stooped low enough to prevent some families from burying their martyrs by detaining the corpses of martyrs for a period of over 75 days. As for members of the opposition and human rights activists, their fate in Bahrain is almost always incarceration and severe torture. Bahraini authorities also tend to revoke the nationality of various detainees and activists. It is quite ironic for the AlKhalifa family, which practiced piracy before being appointed by the British colonists as the rulers of Bahrain, to now revoke the nationality of native Bahraini citizens, and even naturalize mercenaries who clearly do not meet the official naturalization requirements!

 

The AlKhalifas are not satisfied by merely targeting those who criticize or oppose them. Apparently, arrests, barbaric torture, and even murder, are no longer sufficient to satisfy this regime’s thirst for blood. The AlKhalifas have begun arresting and imprisoning the family members of detainees, even newborn babies. This is where the story of the “AlShaikh” family comes in to exemplify the misfortunes suffered by the Bahraini people. In October 2014, the AlKhalifa regime forces arbitrarily arrested Habib AlMubarak (28 years old), and falsely implicated him in an arson case. Habib was incarcerated at the Dry Dock Prison. On October 27th, 2014, Habib’s wife, 24-year-old Zahra AlShaikh, went to visit him, and she took her 6-month-old infant, Hussein, with her to see his father. However, instead of being permitted to see her husband, Zahra too was detained by the AlKhalifa authorities. She was imprisoned with her infant, Hussein. It is worth mentioning that Zahra had been previously arrested and assaulted by the regime forces back in 2012. During her brutal arrest at an anti-regime protest in Manama in 2012, agents of the regime assaulted Zahra and forcefully removed her headscarf. Zahra was sentenced to one year in prison after being accused of “participating in an illegal gathering” and “biting” a member of the regime’s security forces who had tried to sexually assault her. During her previous incarceration, Zahra was subjected to brutal torture and sexual harassment. She was stripped of all her clothing and photographed naked. After two months of incarceration, Zahra’s condition deteriorated significantly, and she was even transferred to a psychiatric facility, where she was she was locked up for another two months. Even though she had served a total of four months from her one year sentence, the Bahraini authorities claim that she has yet to serve another ten months.[5]

 

An entire family now finds itself behind bars without just cause. Zahra is in prison with her newborn son, Hussein, whose father, Habib, is also imprisoned under false accusations based on confessions signed under extreme torture and duress. Due to the deplorable conditions in the ratty old AlKhalifa prison cells[6], Zahra fears for the life of her infant son. She shivers uncontrollably because of the cold weather, and she tries her best to keep Hussein warm. She fears the worst. Hussein was born prematurely at 25 weeks, and at birth, he suffered from neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and from bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In addition, the infant was afflicted with both anemia and juvenile osteoporosis. All these conditions made Hussein fragile and prone to illness; as a result, he is in need of constant medical attention. Unfortunately, Hussein has fallen ill since his incarceration. His doctor affirms that Hussein now suffers from growth retardation and from an infection in his stomach. During his latest visit to the hospital, Hussein was being fed through an IV; however, one of the Yemeni mercenaries started to manipulate the IV to increase the flow rate, and this caused the infant severe pain. Zahra was appalled by the behavior of the mercenary, whose heart was clearly devoid of mercy. When Hussein started to cry from the pain the mercenary had caused him, Zahra yelled, “Are you trying to kill my son?!” The mercenary ordered the transfer of Zahra and Hussein back to their prison cell, accusing Zahra of assaulting him and swearing at him. The authorities insist on depriving Hussein of medical care, even though the doctor has emphasized that the infant needs medical attention and constant monitoring. Zahra has begun a hunger strike since December 20th to protest against her continued incarceration and against the authorities’ cruel insistence on depriving Hussein of medical care.  

 
Ahmad & Abbas AlShaikh 

Ahmad & Abbas AlShaikh

 

The amount of pain and suffering inflicted on Zahra and her family does not seem to be sufficient for the tyrants of Bahrain, who insisted on further exacerbating the ordeal of this family. On December 28th, 2014, the AlKhalifa forces, backed by the Saudi occupying forces, carried out an illegal nocturnal raid against the Bahraini village of Sanabis. During this raid, over 23 of the village’s youth were arbitrarily arrested. Ahmad AlShaikh (19 years old), and Abbas AlShaikh (18 years old) were both amongst detainees from the Sanabis raid. Ahmad and Abbas are Zahra AlShaikh’s brothers. They too have been imprisoned under false accusations. Words fail to describe what I feel when I imagine what the mother of the detainees Zahra, Ahmad, and Abbas must be feeling. Not only are her two sons and daughter imprisoned and at the mercy of the AlKhalifa thugs, but her son-in-law and grandson are also behind bars. Expecting the worst is logical when one’s loved ones are incarcerated in Bahrain, since the most heinous types of physical and psychological torture are customarily practiced against every single detainee, regardless of age, gender, or medical condition. When some detainees are finally released, they suffer from various illnesses and disabilities. Others don’t make it out alive. Even though this mother is well aware of this tragic reality and of the dangers surrounding her loved ones, she cannot change the dreadful situation she finds herself in. Her only choice is to remain patient and hopeful that her sons and daughter, as well as her son-in-law and grandson, will be liberated, sooner or later. She holds her head up high since she has complete faith in God, and she knows that tyranny and oppression will come to an end. She knows that her family members are among the heroes of Bahrain.

 

The patience of families such as the AlShaikh family, and the sacrifices of the Bahraini people overall, will certainly pay off. The determination of this nation, the hardships endured by the detainees, the agony of the families, and the blood of the martyrs will undoubtedly liberate Bahrain from the AlKhalifa reign of terror. The AlKhalifas are headed for eternal damnation, whereas the martyrs and prisoners, as well as their families, will be immortalized in history. After all, they are a people who will not be deterred by oppression or threats of death from attaining freedom.

 

By: Eye Witness

[1] “Bahrain: In Complete Disregard to Religious Freedom, Authorities Decide to Turn Site of demolished Historical Mosque into a Park”: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6213
 
[2] “Bahraini Regime Forces Assault Women During An Illegal Raid in Aali” (Arabic Article): http://mirrorbh.no-ip.org/news/12152.html
 
[3] “Royal Treatment: Bahraini princess & princes accused of torturing activists”: http://rt.com/news/princess-torture-bahrain-detention-665/
 
[4] “Bahrain Security Forces Weaponize Tear Gas Canisters”: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/7181
 
[5] “Bahraini Authorities Detain a Mother and Her Infant Son Based on Confessions Extracted Under Severe Torture” (Arabic Report) http://ebohr.org/ar/?p=3495
 
[6]“Locked Inside a Nightmare”: http://bahrainrights.org/en/node/6917

 

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The 18th Day of the Israeli Offensive on Gaza

808 Palestinians Killed, of Whom 666 Are Civilians, Including 194 Children and 107 Women, and 4,417 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 1,280 Children and 892 Women;
552 Houses Targeted and Destroyed and Hundreds of Others Extensively Damaged;
Thousands of Palestinian Civilians Forcibly Displaced

On the 18th Day of the Israeli Offensive on Gaza:Israeli Warplane Attack Shelter of Displaced Civilians Killing 11 and Wounding Dozens; Israeli Forces Attack Medical Crews and Ambulances; Israeli Forces Attack Gaza from the Air, the Sea and the Ground; M
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00

 

 

Since the Beginning of the Israeli Offensive on Gaza:

808 Palestinians Killed, of Whom 666 Are Civilians, Including 194 Children and 107 Women, and 4,417 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 1,280 Children and 892 Women;

552 Houses Targeted and Destroyed and Hundreds of Others Extensively Damaged;

Thousands of Palestinian Civilians Forcibly Displaced

 

Israeli occupation forces have continued their brutal and immoral offensive on the Gaza Strip for the 18th consecutive day, and have continued the policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law, which ensure protection for civilians in times of war, and in violation of the principles of necessity, proportionality and distinction. Israeli forces have continued their aerial, ground and sea attacks throughout the Gaza Strip, causing more civilian casualties and damaging civilian facilities. Israeli forces escalated their attacks throughout the Gaza Strip. They attacked civilians, houses and other civilian facilities.  In a new serious crime, Israeli forces attacked a shelter for displaced civilians at an UNRWA school in the northern Gaza Strip, killing 11 civilians, including 7 children and 2 women, and wounding dozens of others.  Israeli forces also attacked hospitals, medical crews and houses.    Israeli warplanes bombarded a number of houses without prior warnings.  Israeli forces continued their incursions in several areas in the Gaza Strip, and more Palestinian civilians were forced to leave their homes in border areas. The ICRC and medical crews have not been allowed in some areas that were subject to Israeli attacks in order to recover dead and wounded Palestinian civilians.  These areas, especially al-Shuja’iya neighborhood in the east of Gaza City, and Khuza’a village east of Khan Yunis, have been subjected to continuous Israeli attacks.

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PCHR field worker have been unable to collect information from border areas in the Gaza Strip, because the situation is extremely dangerous in these areas.  The following details are based on the information which the field workers have been able to collect.

From 10:00 on Thursday, 24 July 2014 to 10:00 on Friday, 25 July 2014, according to the information PCHR has been able to obtain, 65 Palestinians, 61 of whom are civilians, including 18 children and 11 women, were killed.  Additionally, 471 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were wounded – this number includes 150 children and 88 women.  Israeli warplanes also targeted and destroyed 28 houses.

The latest developments since the press release issued by PCHR yesterday noon have been as follows:

The Northern Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes launched 13 airstrikes and Israeli tanks and gunboats fired dozens of shells targeting houses, an UNRWA shelter, agricultural plots and open areas.  As a result of these attacks, 18 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children and 3 women, were killed, and 170 others, including 77 children and 43 women, were wounded. Israeli warplanes bombarded 8 houses and destroyed one of them.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

– At approximately 13:25 on Thursday, 24 July 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Khader Khalil Khader al-Louh, 52, when he was walking near al-‘Atatra square in Beit Lahia.  He was instantly killed.

– At approximately 13:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a number of children who were bring some of their belongings from their houses, which they had evacuated, in al-Qaraman Street in Beit Hanoun Street.  As a result, 3 children were killed: Mohammed Jihad Saleem Matar, 12; Amena Jihad Saleem Matar, 10; and Do’aa Ra’ed Yousef Abu ‘Ouda, 17.

– Also at approximately 13:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Tamam Mohammed ‘Abdul Rahman Hamad, 66, when she was on the roof of her house in al-Qaraman Street in Beit Hanoun.  She was instantly killed.

– At approximately 14:50, Israeli tanks that had moved into Beit Hanoun fired 5 shells at Beit Hanoun UNRWA Elementary School in Beit Hanoun which has been used by UNRWA as a shelter for dozens of Palestinian civilians who have been forcibly displaced from the border areas in Beit Hanoun.  As a result of the attack, 11 Palestinian civilians, including 7 children and 2 women, were killed: ‘Awadh ‘Abdul Majid Hassan Abu ‘Ouda, 39; Bilal Ahmed Tawfiq al-Shanbari, 21; ‘Abed Rabbu Jamal Ayoub al-Shanbari, 17; Suha ‘Abed Rabbu Mohammed Mosleh, 2; Mohammed Akram ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al-Kafarna, 15; Fatema Mohammed Ayoub al-Shanbari, 47; ‘Abed Rabbu Shaiboub Ahmed al-Shanbari, 16; Palestine Hussein Hassan al-Shanbari, 40; Miriam Shaiboub Ahmed al-Shanbari, 11; ‘Ali Shaiboub Ahmed al-Shanbari, 9; and Hassan ‘Abdullah Mustafa al-‘Athamna, 59. Additionally, 110 civilians, including 55 children and 31 women, were wounded.  According to UNRWA sources, the number of civilians who had shelters at the school was 800.  Since Wednesday, 23 July 2014, UNRWA has not been able to provide food and services to those civilians because of Israeli attacks.  So, UNRWA sent a message to those civilians via the ICRC that who wished to leave the school could do that under the ICRC’s escort.  The ICRC evacuated 40 civilians from the school.  On Thursday morning, 24 July 2014, UNRWA declared that it would close the shelter because the area was dangerous.  During the course of coordination for safe evacuation of those civilians, Israeli tanks attacked the school.

– At approximately 21:30, medical sources at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City declared that Mahmoud As’ad Mohammed Ghaben, 23, died of wounds he had sustained on Saturday, 19 July 2014, when Israeli forces attacked Palestinian civilians in Beit Lahia.

– At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 25 July 2014, an Israeli tank fired a shell at a cow farm in al-Karama Street in the east of Jabalya.  As a result, Ibrahim ‘Abdul Rahman ‘Abdullah al-Sama’na, 17, a worker in the farm, was killed.  The farm was also damaged.

– Israeli warplanes also bombarded 8 houses, destroying one of them completely and the other 7 ones partially.  Israeli tanks fired dozens of shells at Palestinian houses in various areas in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

Gaza City:

Israeli warplanes launched several airstrikes and Israeli gunboats and tanks fired shells targeting houses, agricultural plots and open areas. As a result of these attacks, 3 Palestinian civilians were killed, and the bodies of 2 civilians were recovered from al-Shuja’iya neighborhood.  Additionally, 26 Palestinians, including 3 children and 3 women, were wounded.  Six houses and a flat were also bombarded and destroyed.

The most significant attacks in Gaza City were as follows:

– At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, 24 July 2014, medical crews were able to recover the bodies of twins who were killed in al-Shuja’ya neighborhood on 20 July 2014: Anas and As’ad Akram Eskafi, 18.

– At approximately 15:30, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Nour al-Din Ibrahim Nour, 21, and Tha’er ‘Aahed ‘Ouda Shamali, 18, were killed by Israel shelling in al-Shuja’iya neighborhood.

– At approximately 16:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a 5-storey house belonging to Mahmoud Ahmed Noufal, in which 40 people live, in al-Shifa area.  The house was extensively damaged.

– Also at approximately 16:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a house belonging to Hammad Abu Khousa, in which 8 people live, in al-Shifa area.  The house was extensively damaged.

– At approximately 19:30, the vicinity of al-Dura Pediatric Hospital in al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City was subject to intense Israeli shelling.  According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Health, as a result of the selling Ibrahim al-Sheikh ‘Omar, 2, who was receiving medical treatment in the hospital was killed.  The building was also extensively damaged.  Additionally, 30 civilians were wounded.

– At approximately 20:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at house near the Latin Church in Gaza.  As a result, Ibrahim Jihad Ja’far Abu Laban, 27, was killed.

– At approximately 22:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a 6-storey house belonging to Munther Hassouna Fattouh in al-Nasser Street.  A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane bombarded and destroyed the house.

– At approximately 01:30 on Friday, 25 July 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a flat on the 4th floor of Palestine building opposite to Palestine Stadium.  The flat was destroyed.

– At approximately 06:00, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at 4-storey house belonging to Younis ‘Omar Siam, in which 5 people live, in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood.  A few minutes later, an Israeli warplane bombarded and destroyed the house.

– Also at approximately 06:00, Israeli warplanes launched a missile at a 2-storey house belonging to Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Jaber al-Madhoun, in which 12 people live, in Sheikh Radwan neighborhood.  The house was destroyed.

 

The Central Gaza Strip:

Israeli warplanes launched 15 airstrikes and tanks fired dozens of shells targeting houses, a mosque, agricultural lands and open areas.  As a result of these attacks, 5 Palestinians, including 4 civilians, were killed – the civilian victims include 3 women.  Additionally, 60 Palestinians, including 8 women and 8 children, were wounded.  Eights houses were also destroyed.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

– At approximately 10:30 on Thursday, 24 July 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house belonging to al-Burdaini family, in which Salam Farid Abu ‘Abda and his family live, in al-Zahra’ town, south of Gaza City.  Soon after, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it.  As a result, Abu ‘Abda’s wife, ‘Ola Khalil Hassan Abu ‘Aabda, 20, was killed, and her 3 children were wounded.

– At approximately 16:30, medical crews recovered the body of a member of a Palestinian armed from the east of Wadi al-Salqa village, east of Deir al-Balah.

– At approximately 00:00 on Friday, 25 July 2014, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a 4-storey house belonging to the sons of ‘Abdul Malek Salman Mo’alla, in which 40 people live, in the west of al-Nussairat refugee camp.  Soon after, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it.  Rescue crews are still searching under the debris as a member of the family is believed to be under the debris.

– At approximately 00:30, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at a house belonging to Mohammed Ma’ali Abu Samra in Deir al-Balah.  The house was extensively damaged.

– Also at approximately 00:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at 3-storey house belonging to Ahmed Hussein al-‘Attar, in which 15 people live, in Deir al-Balah.  Soon after, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house and destroyed it.

– At approximately 02:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at 2-storey house belonging to Ibrahim Mahmoud al-Sheikh ‘Ali, in which 5 people live, in Deir al-Balah refugee camp.  Soon after, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at the house.  As a result, the owner’s wife, Shaima’ Hussein al-Sheikh ‘Ali, 23, pregnant in the 9th month, was killed, but the life of her baby was saved.  Seven civilians were also wounded.

– At approximately 02:15, a 5-storey house belonging to the Shaltout family in al-Zawaida village was hit by a number of Israeli artillery shells.  A flat on the third floor was extensively damaged, but no casualties were reported.

– At approximately 03:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house belonging to Rajeh ‘Abdul Rahman Fayad in Deir al-Balah.  As a result, Fayad’s daughter, Maram, 26, was killed, and his mother and his wife were wounded.

– At approximately 07:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile in the vicinity of a house belonging to the Eqtaifan family in Deir al-Balah.  As a result, ‘Eid Mohammed Eqtaifan, 23, was killed and 4 members of the family were wounded.

 

Khan Yunis:

Israeli warplanes launched 38 airstrikes targeting houses, agricultural plots and open areas in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis.  Israeli tanks also fired dozens of shells at agricultural and open areas.  As a result, 25 Palestinians, including 5 children and a woman, were killed. A woman died of previous wounds. Medical crews were able to recover the bodies of 4 Palestinians, including a chil, who were killed in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Yunis.  Additionally, 180 Palestinians, including 30 women and 45 children, were wounded.  Four houses were also attacked and damaged.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

– At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 24 July 2014, 2 ambulances of Palestine Red Crescent Society, which transported 10 paramedics, escorted by an ICRC vehicle, headed to Khuza’a village to evacuate casualties, following coordination between the ICRC and Israeli forces.  Israeli forces obstructed the passage of the ambulances for 2 hours, during which time they searched the ambulances using sniffer dogs.  When they entered the village, the medical crews were able to recover the bodies of 4 Palestinians, and 4 wounded persons who were in the streets and inside houses. When they were leaving the village, Israeli forces stopped the ambulances and arrested 4 persons who accompanied the wounded persons.  The victims whose bodies were recovered were identified as: Rasmi Saleem Abu Raida, 55; Ahmed Mohammed Qudaih, 19; Rami Ra’ed Talab Qudaih, 18; and Bader Hatem ‘Amish, 9. Additionally, the body of Anas Qudaih, 7, who was killed by Israeli shelling in Khuza’a village, was brought to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis.

– In the morning, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a house belonging to Rezeq Abu Daqqa in al-Fukhari area in the southeast of Khan Yunis.

– At approximately 11:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians in ‘Abassan village, killing one of them, Hanafi Mahmoud Kamel Abu Yousef, 42.

– Also at approximately 11:00, medical crews declared that Mohammed ‘Abdul Hamid Sha’athj, 29, died of wounds he had sustained when Israeli warplanes bombarded al-Manara neighborhood in the south of Khan Yunis a few day ago.

– At approximately 12:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians in al-Satar al-Gharbi area, killing 3 of them, including a child: Ahmed ‘Abdul Karim Hassan, 51; Mohammed Isma’il Khader, 54; and Mahmoud Suleiman al-Astal, 17.

– At approximately 17:50, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a Palestinian who was walking near al-Sa’ad Wedding Hall to Khan Yunis – Rafah road, wounding him.  When a number of civilian bystanders rushed to offer him help, the Israeli drone fired another missile at them.  As a result, 5 civilians were wounded: Mohammed ‘Abdullah Mohammed al-Najjar, 50; Ahmed Mohammed ‘Abdullah al-Najjar, 17; Ahmed Talal al-Najjar, 29; Ashraf Ibrahim Hassan al-Najjar, 22; and Mahmoud Jihad ‘Awadh ‘Aabdin, 12.

– Also at approximately 17:50, a shell fired by an Israeli tank landed near a house belonging to the al-Astal family in al-Satar al-Gharbi area in the north of Khan Yunis.  As a result, Sanaa’ Hassan ‘Ali al-Aastal, 45, was killed together with her 2 sons: Nabeel and Ashraf Mahmoud Mohammed al-Astal, 13 and 28 respectively.

– At approximately 18:50, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Ata ‘Asfour in ‘Abassan village, east of Khan Yunis.  The house was destroyed and Hani Jalal Ibrahim ‘Asfour, 34, and Mohammed Yousef Mohammed al-Qarra, 39, were killed.

– Also at approximately 18:50, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians in al-Jiya Street in al-Qarara village, northwest of Khan Yunis.  As a result, Ahmed Mousa Mohammed ‘Awadh, 27, was killed, and another one was wounded.

– At approximately 20:45, Israeli drones fired 3 missiles at a number of Palestinian civilians in Ma’an area in the south of Khan Yunis.  As a result, 4 civilians were wounded: Mohammed Rateb Abu Jazar, 26; Hisham Mohammed Abu Jazar, 23; Mohammed Farhan Abu Jazar, 19; and Shadi Suleiman Kaware’, 31.

– In the evening, Israeli warplanes launched 4 strikes at open area in the west of Khan Yunis.  Israeli tanks positioned to the east of Khan Yunis also fired a number of artillery shells at the town.

– At approximately 22:40, Israeli warplanes launched 5 airstrikes at agricultural plots and open areas in various areas in Khan Yunis.

– At approximately 23:30, Israeli warplanes launched 4 missiles at an ambulance of the Palestinian Ministry of Health at Saladin Street that has evacuated wounded persons to the European Gaza Hospital.  The driver, Mohammed Mustafa Abu Jummaiza, 47, lost control and the ambulance hit cement blocks.  The driver and the medical crew stepped out of the ambulance and fled to a nearby house.  While they were running, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians who attempted to help them.  As a result, 3 civilian were wounded.  Half an hour later, an ambulance of Palestine Red Crescent Society arrived at the area and evacuated the three civilians and one of the paramedics.  While the ambulance was traveling towards the European Gaza Hospital, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles near it.  The ambulance was damaged and the driver, Salem Abu al-Khair, was wounded.  All those who were in the ambulance got out of it and ran towards a nearby house.  They were eventually able to leave the area through coordination between the ICRC and Israeli forces. Since the beginning of the current Israeli offensive on Gaza, Israeli forces have attacked 5 ambulances.

– At approximately 00:00 on Friday, 25 July 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a house belonging to Nasser ‘Abdu Shurrab in al-Manara neighborhood in the south of Khan Yunis.  The house was destroyed.

– At approximately 01:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a water well in the center of Bani Suhaila.  The well was destroyed and a nearby mosque was damaged.

– At approximately 01:55, Israeli warplanes launched 3 airstrikes at agricultural lands in al-Satar al-Gharbi area.

– At night, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at a house in ‘Asfour area in ‘Abassan village.  As a result, ‘Ali Mohammed ‘Asfour, 58, was killed inside his neighboring house.

– At approximately 03:55, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house belonging to Salah al-Bardawil, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Hamas, in al-Qarara village.  Three minutes later, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at the house and destroyed it.

– At approximately 04:10, medical crews recovered the body of Suleiman Ibrahim al-Shawaf, 22, and 2 wounded persons from ‘Abassan village.  The victims were attacked earlier by an Israeli drone.

– At approximately 04:30, an Israeli drone fired a missile at Mohammed Sameer ‘Abdul ‘Aal al-Najjar, 25, when he was on his way to the mosque for the Dawn Prayer in the west of Khan Yunis.

– At approximately 09:00, medical sources at the European Gaza Hospital declared that Mohammed Ibrahim al-Khatib, 27, was killed by Israeli shelling in the east of Khan Yunis, without providing more details.

 

Rafah:

Israeli warplanes launched 18 airstrikes and Israeli tanks fired dozens of shells targeting houses, agricultural lands, open area and a vegetable refrigerator in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.  As a result, 11 Palestinians, including 8 civilians, were killed – the civilian victims include 3 children and 3 women.  Additionally, 35 Palestinians, including 17 children and 4 women, were wounded.    Two houses were also destroyed.

The most significant attacks were as follows:

– At approximately 11:40 on Thursday, 24 July 2014, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Nasser village, northeast of Rafah.

– At approximately 11:50, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot near Rafah International Crossing Point.

– At approximately 12:00, medical sources at an Egyptian hospital declared that a member of a Palestinian armed ground died of wounds he had sustained when an Israeli drone attacked him on 18 July 2014.

– At approximately 12:25, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a member of a Palestinian armed group in Musabbeh neighborhood in the north of Rafah.  No casualties were reported.

– At approximately 13:00, medical sources at an Egyptian hospital declared that Yasmeen Ahmed Abu Mour, 27, died of wounds she had sustained by Israeli artillery shelling on 22 July 2014.

– At approximately 15:00, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a number of Palestinian civilians in al-Siamat neighborhood in the north of Rafah.  As a result, Ameer ‘Aadel Siam, 12, and ‘Essam Faisal Siam, 26, were killed. Four children and an old man were also wounded.

– At approximately 15:05, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Nasser village, northeast of Rafah.

– At approximately 15:10, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a member of a Palestinian armed group near al-Farouq Mosque in al-Shaboura refugee camp.  He and 2 civilian bystanders were wounded.  One of these civilians, Mahmoud Selmi Abu Rwaished, 49, died of his wounds.

– At approximately 15:15, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at a member of a Palestinian armed group in the Hijazi are in the north of Rafah, killing him instantly.

– At approximately 20:00, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in Musabbeh neighborhood in the north of Rafah.

– At approximately 20:10, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an agricultural plot in al-Nasser village, north of Rafah.

– At approximately 20:45, an Israeli warplane launched a missile at an open area in the northwest of Rafah.

– At approximately 21:00, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at a member of a Palestinian armed group who was riding a motorbike in Tal al-Sultan neighborhood in the west of Rafah.  As a result, he and 4 civilian bystanders were wounded.

– At approximately 23:00, medical sources at the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis declared that Leila Ibrahim Zo’rob, 40, died of wounds she had sustained when Israeli warplanes bombarded her house.

– At approximately 02:55 on Friday, 25 July 2014, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles at a vegetable refrigerator belonging to Anwar Madhi in Musabbeh neighborhood in the north of Rafah.

– At approximately 03:00, medical sources at the European Gaza Hospital declared that Rasha ‘Abed Rabbu ‘Afana, 28, died of wounds she had sustained by Israeli artillery shelling on 21 July 2014.

– At approximately 07:00, Israeli warplanes launched 2 missiles without a prior warning at a house belonging Saladin Ahmed Abu Hassanain, 47, a leader of the al-Quds Brigades (the armed wing of Islamic Jihad) in al-Shaboura refugee camp.  Abu Hassanain and 2 of his children, Hadi, 12, and ‘Abdul Aziz, 14, were killed.  His son Ahmed, 18, and a neighbor were also wounded.  The house and 2 neighboring houses were destroyed.

– At approximately 09:25, an Israeli drone fired a missile at a house belonging to Eyad Hassan Ramadan in al-Shaboura refugee camp. As a result, Ramadan’s grandchild, 6-year-old Mira Zaid Eyad Ramadan, was seriously wounded.

 

PCHR reiterates condemnation, expresses utmost concern for these crimes, and:

1) Warns of deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip in light of this continuous Israeli military escalation, threats to expand military operations, and the continued tightened closure of the Gaza Strip;

2) Calls upon the international community to act immediately to stop these crimes, and renews the call to the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their obligation under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure that it is respected at all times, and their responsibilities under Article 146 to pursue perpetrators of serious violations of the Convention, which are determined in Article 147, which lists violations of the Convention amounting to war crimes; and

3) Calls for establishing a UN fact-finding mission to investigate suspected war crimes committed by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and take necessary steps to prosecute responsible for them

source: PCHR

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West bans Press TV to keep intel grip

Saeb Shaath صائب شعث

Saeb Shaath   صائب شعث

A political analyst says the recent bans against Press TV are due to its extensive coverage of events threatening the monopoly of the Zionist-controlled Western media on information.

“The Zionist regime – Israel, who controls large chunks of the Western media networks – [and] its Western imperialist masters are after suppressing uncensored, unpackaged news or facts. They want to bring a monopoly on knowledge and information,” Saeb Shaath, an author and Middle East expert from Belfast, told Press TV on Monday.

On June 19, communications satellite services provider Intelsat said it would no longer provide services to Iranian channels, including the English-language news channel, Press TV. The decision has been made under the pretext that the company should be abiding by the sanctions against the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

Intelsat noted that it had been ordered by the US government to avoid extending IRIB’s license, saying it would stop providing services to Iranian channels as of July 1.

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Following Press TV’s coverage of events such as the US police brutality against the Occupy Wall Street movement, riots in London, unrest in Spain and Greece and the racism exercised by the Canadian administration against the country’s indigenous population, many people in the West consider Press TV as a reliable source of information, said Shaath.

Describing Press TV’s coverage of the Israeli attack against Gaza in 2008 as “very effective” in mustering international support for the Palestinian cause, Shaath said the Iranian news channel’s reports prevented Israel from telling lies and “focused on Israeli occupation of Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Press TV and other Iranian channels have come under an unprecedented wave of attacks by European governments and satellite companies since January 2012. They were taken off air in several Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Spain.

The following is an approximate transcript of the  interview with Saeb Shaath, author and Middle East expert .

Press TV: Why is it that Iranian media are increasingly becoming the target of satellite providers?

Shaath: I want to focus on Press TV and the Iranian media in here. From previous experience, the Zionist regime – Israel, who controls large chunks of the Western media networks – its Western imperialist masters are after suppressing uncensored, unpackaged news or facts. They want to bring a monopoly on knowledge and information.

The Press TV network became a global network and for a large sector of Western people are a reliable source of information and the news. From Press TV, they discovered the brutality of American police against the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Press TV showed them the real pictures of riots taking place in London two years ago, covered the Greek and Spanish uprising and other Western European hotspots, and showed the racism of the Canadian establishment against the indigenous Canadian people.

That coverage cost corporate Western media dearly and exposed, putting it politely, they were very economical with the truth. The corporates demanded a move from the Western imperialist establishments against Press TV.

Very effective Press TV was in exposing Israeli war crimes during the war it waged on Gaza in the year 2008. That helped in galvanizing world public opinion behind the Palestinian cause and denied Israel in telling lies upon lies , and focused on Israeli occupation of Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people, it exposed the lies and hypocrisies of the US and EU who are backing Israel to the public opinion.

Press TV as well was instrumental in telling the people and the public opinion the lead story behind the Zionist-backed gangs invading Syria, trying to repeat the NATO scenario in Libya.

This knowledge put them in an awkward position, it showed why they are punishing the only state who is supporting the Palestinians  resistance Syria.

Press TV: Can Iran take legal action against this move by Intelsat?

Shaath: Yes, of course Iran can take legal action. There are a lot of laws in place in the EU, in Britain and in the States.

If they want to deny Iran using this legal system, then that in its own will expose their hypocrisies, that will expose them as an imperialist power. They want to deny Iran its own power, its own ability to tell the people its side of the story. This is like the Spanish inquisition in action today.

The Iranian people, they successfully carried such cases in England against even banning or sanctioning their banks, so they can do it as well for lifting that kind of ban from the media. I encourage them to do so.

GMA/HSN

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