siege on Gaza

Israel, with Egyptian and western complicity, has waged a strangling siege on Gaza, keeping borders mostly closed and aid and the necessities of life banned from Gaza since Hamas was democratically elected in 2006. In the past year, the siege has grown more voracious, and coupled with Israel’s war on Gaza and its ongoing random attacks from air, land and sea, has devastated every sector of life in Gaza: healthcare, the economy, education…

Convening for Palestine

Delegate Feroze Mithibowala at the conference.

Delegate Feroze Mithiborwala at the conference.

December 8, 2014, Crescent-online

Beirut, Eva Bartlett:
As the Zionist state increasingly and openly reveals its criminal, apartheid nature, more and more citizens from around the world are waking up and standing in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice. Activists, academics, journalists, unions and ordinary people are confronting the lies of Zionist propaganda, rendering the Zionist narrative weak and its genocidal, colonial agenda opaque.

Rather than leaving the issues of justice, the return of Palestinian refugees, the release of Palestinian Political Prisoners from Zionist jails, the Palestinian just struggle for sovereignty, and ending the siege on the Palestinians of Gaza to institutions and governments, Palestinians and supporters take matters into their own hands, among other actions organizing conferences to share strategies and successes and build networks.

Over 80 delegates from around the world attended the Second “Global Convention of Solidarity With Palestine” in Beirut for two days of discussions (December 1-3), including delegates from Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Senegal, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, North America, Britain, Europe, Russia, Iran, among other nations. Notably, delegates from Gaza under siege and other areas of occupied Palestine were unable to make it to the conference due to the Zionist, and sadly the Egyptian, control of border crossings.

Special focus was put on the Zionists’ summer massacre of Gaza and on the ongoing assaults on Palestinians in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the openly-admitted intent to Judaize Jerusalem and all of occupied Palestine.

“Two hundred thousand people came out to demonstrations to support Gaza. That’s even more than when Mandela was released,” said South African delegate Firoz Osman, of Media Review Network.
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Mads Gilbert: “I saw beheaded children in Gaza, I have pictures… what we see in Gaza, is by definition pure state terrorism.”

When he shares stories of Gaza, ‘the Palestinians change from being terrorists to being humans’, Gilbert says [AP]
Dec 7, 2014, Al Jazeera

[not endorsing Al Jazeera, but Mads Gilbert’s words deserve to be heard]

When called to return to Gaza to help out in al-Shifa hospital, doctor Mads Gilbert was denied access with valid papers. 

Gilbert told Al Jazeera that he was turned away at the Erez border crossing after Israeli authorities deemed him a “security risk”. After asking for an explanation, Gilbert was threatened with arrest.

Al Jazeera: Did you just get a note from the Israelis saying you are no longer allowed to come back?

Mads Gilbert: No, actually, I had been in Gaza in June for three weeks on an assignment for the UN and they had applied for a multiple entry visa for me, which I got from the Israeli army. It was a multiple entry visa valid until the 11th of November. So I went in on that to do the job for the UN, stayed for three weeks, wrote up the report and went home to Tromso in Norway to pick up my call in the helicopter.

It is a week-long call. While I was on call in my helicopter, the bombing started. I went back to Amman over the Allenby Bridge to Erez. I showed my papers in the guard house, and he called up and he said ‘you are not allowed in’. I told him that my papers are valid and he said ‘no, we have a security problem with you and I can’t tell you what’.

So I called the commander at Erez and he was very cross and he said ‘we have orders from the higher authority of security and we have a security problem with you’, so I asked if they can tell me what the problem is and he said, ‘it’s none of your business and if you don’t leave the premises we will call the police, I will arrest you’.

So I called my ambassador and I called Tel Aviv. My diplomatic missions there and my minister of foreign affairs called them and they said ‘there is no way he is getting in’.

So I returned to Norway and the Norwegian authorities, my minister for foreign affairs, formally inquired and asked why and they only get the response that there is a security issue from Shin Bet Mossad.

Interestingly, the minister for foreign affairs has been protesting this denial of entry formally; they do not accept it. They have asked Israelis to reverse this denial, citing that it is inconceivable and unacceptable that humanitarian staff should not be allowed in to support Palestinians in a difficult situation on the medical side.

AJ: What do you think the reason is for them not letting you in?

MG: I think the truth is the security risk because when I, as a white medical doctor with blue eyes and white hair, tell the real story of the realities in the sharp end of the Israeli attacks, the Palestinians change from being terrorists to being humans, the numbers change from being numbers to being people, and the children appear as yours and my children.

So when I write my articles and when I do my research, and when I publish in The Lancet and when I write my books, this is actually a danger to the Israeli narrative and, in a way, the global reputation of Israel, which is partially falling apart now.
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The Broken Sparrows of Palestine

IMG_20141104_083919Abdul Rahman Abu Oida, pastels, by Ahmad Barqawi

 

 

By Eva Bartlett, Nov 4, 2014, Crescent International

A teen who loved strawberries, adored children far more…A paraplegic young man with soulful eyes, deaf ears and unfulfilled dreams of being a father…A martyr.

This is the story of Broken Sparrow, one of tens of thousands of Palestinians killed by Zionist colonizers; one of 9,100 Palestinians killed since 2000; one of at least 2,053 Palestinian children killed since 2000 (including at least 527 Palestinian children killed in the July/August Zionist genocide of Gaza); one of many Palestinians I’ve known and mourned.

Broken Sparrow wasn’t always broken, wasn’t born that way. To the contrary, he was once a thriving teen who, like a great majority of his Palestinian brothers and sisters, played football, also lifted weights, and lived as normal a life as one could under the brutal, continually-expanding rule of foreign occupiers. His family were just slightly better off than the 80 percent of nearly 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza who depend on paltry food aid for their malnourished existence. They are not wealthy, but had a proper, rain-proof home and simple but nourishing meals.

Before he was broken, he was Abdul Rahman. Abed.

In the February/March 2008 Zionist massacre of Gaza, in which 16 year old Abed Abu Oida was targeted with a Zionist sniper’s bullet to the spine, at least 114 Palestinians were killed (including 27 children, among whom were 2 infants), and another 154 Palestinian civilians were injured (including 56 children). The majority of those injured, murdered, were in Abed’s northeastern Gaza region, eastern Jabaliya, in a 24 hour period.

Some of the murdered children included four boys (ages 9 to 12) playing football, killed instantly by a targeted Zionist missile strike. Six years later, another four boys (ages 9 to 11) from the Bakr family would be murdered in the exact same fashion, the missiles which hunted them down on Gaza City’s small beach fired by a Zionist gunboat.

In the February/March 2008 bombardment of Gaza, another youth was sniped—to death—while in her family home. PCHR reported:

Twelve year old Safaa Ra’ed Ali Abu-Saif …bled to death after being hit by a single bullet on 1 March, 2008. ‘There was a hole in her chest’ said Ali Abu-Saif. ‘The bullet had entered her left side and exited through her back.’ Safaa had gone upstairs to ask her uncle and aunt to come downstairs with their children for their own safety. Ra’ed and Ali Abu-Saif carried Safaa downstairs, and their neighbours called an ambulance. The neighbours then rang the Abu-Saif family, and told them the ambulance could not come to their house because Palestinian ambulances were being attacked by Israeli tanks.”

Abed’s injury also occurred at his home, the day after Safaa was targeted and murdered.

On the family’s roof, checking the water tank to see why the family suddenly had no water, Abed was shot in the spine by a sniper in the “world’s most moral army” hiding on another rooftop. The bullet destroyed three vertebrae; the shot left Abed paralyzed in a puddle of his own blood until his 13 year old brother 15 minutes later found him and dragged him downstairs. As with Safaa’s case, as with most cases, ambulances were prevented from accessing the area. Abed lay untreated for three hours before he reached a hospital in Gaza City.

At first it seemed that Abed had been lucky: he survived the Zionist sniper’s bullet to his spine; he was sent for care in Egypt while the attacks continued on Gaza.

But when months later I met Abed in a Cairo hospital, he was near-deathly emaciated, with appallingly large bedsores on his backside and feet. These festering bedsores—a result of the poor care he was given in the various Cairo hospitals he was shifted to—would be the cause of other ailments which plagued him and eventually caused his death. Isolated from his family who could not get Egypt’s permission to exit Gaza to be with their paralyzed son, Abed began to succumb to his injury.
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some news from Palestine

Gaza’s Dream[VIDEO]:

 

Press TV, Israel ignoring health conditions of Palestinian inmates:

“The Tel Aviv regime is turning a blind eye to the deteriorating health conditions of about 1,500 sick Palestinians behind bars in Israeli prisons.

Figures show around 100 of the Palestinian inmates with health problems have been diagnosed with cancer and chronic diseases and are in need of immediate care.

Human rights organizations have called on Israel to immediately release the Palestinian inmates diagnosed with serious illnesses.

“Any one visiting the Israeli hospitals, where sick Palestinian prisoners are kept, discovers that the jails might be better. We have always believed that the appropriate solution to treat the prisoners is through releasing them,” said Tayseer al-Ali, with the Palestinian Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights.

Reports say over 7,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails. Approximately 2,000 of the Palestinian prisoners have been arrested over the past few months.

On September 26, the Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies said Israel was holding 540 Palestinians without trial, showing an increase in the number of these cases over the past six years.”

***

Sam Bahour, Why must Gaza wait in the dark?:

“When I asked my colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an impression on me: “I dream of what life would be like with 24-hour electricity.” CONTINUE READING

Gaza, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), Turkey’s dream–the BZ Syria

Sons of Malcolm: Dan Glazebrook Explains Ayn al-Arab (Kobane), Syria On Press TV

***

Crescent International: Buffer zone as part of imperialists’ plan to attack Syria:

“The idea of a “buffer zone” on Syrian territory at the Syria-Turkish border first broached by President Recep Tayip Erdogan of Turey during his visit to the US last month has now been formally embraced by the US and Britain.

As with numerous other developments, the excuse this time is the Takfiri terrorists’ advances in the border town of Kobane. A predominantly Kurdish town, it has been under the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) headed by Saleh Muslim.

The PYD is a close ally of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish group that the Turkish state is at war with. The PYD’s power base is Rojava.

Since mid-July 2012, when the government in Damascus decided to withdraw its forces from the Kurdish majority areas of Syria, it led to the creation of three Kurdish cantons—Afrin, Kobane and Jazira.

While American B-1 bombers have been attacking takfiri positions in Kobane, Turkish troops and tanks near the town sit idly and merely watch American planes fly overhead.
CONTINUE READING

Gaza (whose misery is again excluded from MSM) updates

**A Palestinian boy sits inside the ruins of his family house in the Shejaiya neighborhood of Gaza City which was destroyed during the 50-day Israeli aggression, on September 24, 2014. (Photo: AFP- Mahmud Hams) Al Akhbar

 

Firstly:  Tomorrow (Sep 28) there’ll be an amazing “pro-resistance solidarity event for Gaza and Palestine” (“this will be an indoor rally type of event which will celebrate the Palestinian Revolution, explore its challenges, and there will be slide shows, music and poetry;  organised by the Tricontinental Anti-Imperialist Platform and Invent the Future”), “GAZA AND THE PALESTINIAN REVOLUTION”, in London

…including the following speakers:

Leila Khaled
– Legendary Palestinian revolutionary, PFLP Polit Buro member and Palestinian National Council representative speaking via live video link

Dr Saeb Sha’ath
– Former head of the Palestine General Delegation to Ireland , author and Palestinian political activist.

Ghada Al-Najjar
– Palestinian in Gaza, political activist and Gaza-wide relief worker, via live video link from Gaza

Fouad Shaat
– President of General Union of Palestinian Students in Britain

Shadia Mansour
– Palestinian singer and musician
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“the blockade is ongoing, no matter how you sanitize it linguistically.” -Haidar Eid

Palestinian Resistance are stronger than media allows us to think [photo: from Pal QA]

Haidar Eid (in Gaza):

“Our message to the Palestinian negotiators in Cairo (trans. by Nada Elian): The fact that the six crossings [with Israel] and the Rafah crossing [with Egypt] are not permanently open, and the inability of a single person to leave whenever they want, and the shortage of medicine in pharmacies, and the lack of alternatives to Israeli merchandise, and the absence of a safe maritime channel, all this means the blockade is ongoing, no matter how you sanitize it linguistically.”

***

Israel’s Real Target is Not Hamas:

**excerpts, the whole article is an important read**

“All colonial settler states are based on the violent dispossession of the native peoples – and as a result, their fundamental and overriding aim has always been to keep those native peoples as weak as possible. Israel’s aim for the Palestinians is no different.

Palestinian statehood is clearly an obstacle to this goal; a Palestinian state would strengthen the Palestinians. Genuine sovereignty would end Israel’s current presumed right to steal their land, control their borders, place them under siege, and bomb them at will. That is why Netanyahu’s Likud party platform “flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”; that is why Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated for even suggesting some limited self-governance for the Palestinians; and that is why every proposal for Palestinian statehood, however limited and conditional, has been wilfully sabotaged by successive Israeli governments of all hues.
CONTINUE READING