Arab countries, led by Egypt, have never accepted this Israeli nuclear monopoly, nor has Iran.

Iran and most Arab states believe that the creation of a NWFZ (Nuclear Weapons Free Zone) is a necessary first step toward a comprehensive peace. The denuclearization of the Middle East would eliminate what the Iranians and Arabs see as nuclear intimidation by Israel and would lead to broad regional arms-control measures and lay the foundations for lasting peace.

Since the first and only use of atomic bombs in 1945, the fear of nuclear-weapons proliferation has intensified. Many policy makers and scholars have argued that, without global efforts to stop or slow the process, dozens of countries will acquire a nuclear arsenal.

After lengthy and complicated negotiations, a majority of countries signed the NPT in 1968; the treaty entered into force two years later. Article VII states, “Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of states to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories.”1

This is particularly relevant to the Middle East. Israel, which has never signed the NPT, is believed to be the only nuclear power in the region. Arab countries, led by Egypt, have never accepted this Israeli nuclear monopoly, nor has Iran. Since the mid-1970s, they have sought, unsuccessfully, to pressure Israel to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, join the NPT and establish a Middle East nuclear-weapons-free zone (MENWFZ).

The Israeli Approach

Israel has always held a skeptical view of global arms-control and disarmament treaties. Instead, Israeli leaders have stressed that the proliferation of WMD in the Middle East will have to be dealt with in a regional framework. Five characteristics of the Israeli stand on the issue of a MENWFZ can be identified.

New York Times 1899. The colonization of Palestine was long planned before WW2 by the Zionist movement which most of the Jewish population had nothing to do with. They would not have migrated to the desert voluntarily so a ‘holocaust’ mostly made of myth was created to terrorize the Jews into migrating, feeling they had no alternative.

 First, the Holocaust LIE: the state of Israel was created following the Holocaust, when millions of Jews were killed by the Nazis.  This dramatic experience shaped the Israeli collective psyche, particularly in the first few decades after the formation of the state.

Israeli leaders believe that nuclear weapons will shield them from a future Holocaust; they see nuclear weapons as the last line of defense or as an “insurance policy” to guarantee their survival. The refusal of some regional states to recognize Israel feeds this belief and the need to maintain the “nuclear option.”

Second, Israeli leaders believe that their country’s nuclear deterrent should be seen as a stabilizing factor in the Middle East. They argue that Israel’s presumed nuclear capability has forced the nation’s adversaries to accept that it is there to stay.

Given Israel’s conventional military superiority and its nuclear arsenal, the Jewish state has become an indispensable part of the Middle East landscape. This conventional and unconventional strength, the argument goes, has forced the Arabs to come to the negotiating table and reduced incentives for an all-out war.

Third, Israeli policy has been able to maintain a monopoly over the “nuclear option,” to deny its adversaries such capabilities (the so-called Begin Doctrine). To achieve this, Israel has employed diplomatic and military pressure against potential nuclear proliferators.

This pressure culminated in the attacks that destroyed Iraqi nuclear facilities in 1981 and Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007. Despite Iran’s claims that its nuclear program is for civilian energy production, Israel is widely believed to be behind the assassination of a number of Iranian nuclear scientists.

Fourth, Israel has been hesitant to fully endorse the global nonproliferation regime. It has “never placed its Dimona nuclear facility under the IAEA safeguards, nor has it since 1970 allowed any other type of inspection visits to that site.”

Israel has not signed the NPT or the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), and although it did sign the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), it has not ratified either. Despite this hesitancy, Israeli analysts argue that the nation has abided by the norms and rules of the global nonproliferation regime.

Fifth, Israeli leaders have repeatedly confirmed that a comprehensive peace between Israel and all Arab states and Iran is a prerequisite to joining a NWFZ. Israel, they insist, will not give up its “nuclear option” unless all its neighbors recognize and establish diplomatic and commercial ties with the Jewish state.

Peace treaties would not be sufficient; rather, complete normalization of relations is a necessity to assure the Israelis that they have been fully accepted by their neighbors.

These characteristics of the Israeli stance on nuclear proliferation suggest that the country is unlikely to relinquish its nuclear arsenal and join the NPT and the nonproliferation regime any time soon. The few statements made by Israeli leaders regarding nuclear weapons indicate a strong perceived connection between their nation’s survival and the maintenance of a nuclear-weapons capability.

The Arab/Iranian Approach

While there is no united Arab/Iranian approach on the creation of a MENWFZ, Iran and most Arab states share the following sentiments.

First, the Arabs and Iranians do not see the Israeli nuclear arsenal as a “weapon of last resort” or an “insurance policy” to ensure the survival of the Jewish state. Rather, military asymmetry and Tel Aviv’s nuclear capability are seen in Tehran and most of the Arab capitals as enforcing the occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories.

Second, Iran and many Arab governments view the Israeli nuclear arsenal as a primary threat to the region’s security and a key factor in its instability. The fact that Israel is the only (presumed) nuclear power in the region underscores and feeds a sense of Arab and Iranian technological and military inferiority.

Third, Iran and many Arab governments accuse Western powers of applying a double standard in regard to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. In Arab and Iranian eyes, the United States and major European powers have allowed, and even helped, Israel to acquire nuclear weapons but have strongly resisted any attempt by Iran or Arab states to develop a similar capability.

Many Arab officials have argued that, as long as Israel maintains its “nuclear option,” Iran and other regional powers will have incentives to seek one. The most effective way to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambition, some Arabs argue, is to “pressure” Israel to dismantle its nuclear weapons and join the NPT.

Fourth, several Arab countries have unsuccessfully sought to buy or build nuclear weapons. In order to maximize international pressure on Israel, Iran and all Arab states signed and ratified the NPT, leaving Israel as the only nonsignatory in the region. Furthermore, Egypt, a leading Arab state and a close ally of the United States, has championed Arab efforts to resist an Israeli nuclear monopoly.

For several years, Egyptian leaders called upon other Arab states not to sign the CWC until Israel joined the NPT. These efforts have largely failed. Most Arab states and Iran have signed and ratified both the CWC and the BTWC.

Fifth, Iran and most Arab states believe that the creation of a NWFZ is a necessary first step toward a comprehensive peace. The denuclearization of the Middle East would eliminate what the Iranians and Arabs see as nuclear intimidation by Israel and would lead to broad regional arms-control measures and lay the foundations for lasting peace.

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2017 is the year of sad anniversaries for Palestinians

100 Years of Pro-Israel Activism: How a Special Interest Lobby Enabled the Colonization of Palestine. If Americans Knew!

2017 is the year of anniver­saries for Palestinians. Sadly, none can be celebrated.

The first of these will be May 15th — the 69th an­niversary of the catastrophe, known as the Nakba when Israel was cre­ated in the Palestinian homeland without their permission. It also marks the period when 750,000 Palestinians were driven out to neighboring countries by Zionist gangs and Israeli armed forces.

Early June brings the 50th an­niversary of the six-day war, when Israel captured the remainder of historic Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai. While Sinai was returned to Egypt, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights remain occupied. This occupation is seen as illegal by the international community. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan is not recognized by any other country.

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Israeli armored troop unit entering Gaza during the Six-Day War, June 6

June also marks the tenth anni­versary of Israel’s blockade on Gaza.

In November, two events that ir­revocably changed the future of his­toric Palestine will be marked. No­vember 29th is the 70th anniversary of the UN General Assembly passing Resolution 181, which recommend­ed the partition of Palestine at the end of the British Mandate.

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In practice, Zionists did not accept the UN Partition Plan. Zionists seized areas beyond the proposed Jewish State and did not recognize the International Zone. Using force and terrorism months before May 1948, Jews seized land beyond the UN proposed borders. The UN Plan was used as a pretense for taking over most of Palestine.

NOTE: This is a critical fact often omitted when the history is presented and this leads to a very distorted view of what happened in 1948. The misleading story often told is that “Jews declared Israel and then they were attacked.” The fact is from November 1947 to May 1948 the Zionists were already on the offensive and had already attacked Arabs.

In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had driven 300,000 non-Jews off their land. In the months before Israel was declared, the Zionists had seized land beyond the proposed Jewish State. SEE Sources or this blog entry: Sources for the Israeli/Palestinian situation 1947-1948

November 2nd is perhaps the most significant anniversary. This year marks the centenary of what the Balfour declaration, the letter from British Foreign secretary Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild of the Zionist Federation in which he stated:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

The declaration was made before Britain was given the mandate on Palestine and without any consulta­tion with the indigenous popula­tion of Palestine. Through this, Britain prom­ised a land it did not have to a people who did not live on it without consulting those whose land it was.

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem (1867-1948) “We wish to express our definite opposition to a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”

Last December, in a speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel, British Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the Balfour declaration as “one of the most important let­ters in history” and that “it demon­strates Britain’s vital role in creating a homeland for the Jewish people”. She said “it is an anniversary we will be marking with pride”.

Image result for Balfour's original sin

 

In his address to the UN General Assembly in 2016, Palestinian Presi­dent Mahmoud Abbas stated: “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declara­tion, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injus­tice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, includ­ing by the recognition of the state of Palestine…This is the least Great Britain can do.”

It seems Abbas’s words fell on deaf ears. Not only has Britain refused to apologize, May recently rolled out the Downing Street red carpet for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In the meantime, Israel continues to violate UN resolutions with im­punity and Palestinians can expect more bad anniversaries to mark.

Image result for king netanyahu

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An Invisible Hell On Earth, in Broad Daylight

35

“I think that everyone who lives with the contradictions of Zionism condemns himself to protracted madness. It’s impossible to live like this. It’s impossible to live with such a tremendous wrong. It’s impossible to live with such conflicting moral criteria. When I see not only the settlements and the occupation and the suppression, but now also the insane wall that the Israelis are trying to hide behind, I have to conclude that there is something very deep here in our attitude to the indigenous people of this land that drives us out of our minds.”
(Haim Hanegbi, 8 August 2003)

‘We can see a growing feeling of helplessness,’ Hasan Zeyada, head of Gaza Community Center’s mental health programme, said [Reuters]

“Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen, before Israel goes under.”-Moshe Dayan, Israeli military leader and politician

 2015

Palestinians continue to suffer a year after Egypt tightened its severe blockade on Gaza in coordination with Israel.

Travelling has become nearly impossible since Egypt has started a crackdown on Hamas Hamas Hamas, the Palestinian movement that governs Gaza, which the Zio-Egyptian regime  has accused of being involved in the deadly attacks last October.

As a result, Egypt shut the Rafah border, the only remaining gateway for Palestinians in Gaza to the outside world, after Israel had imposed a siege on the Strip in 2007. With this total closure, 1.8 million Palestinians are “locked in and denied free access to the world”, as the UN Agency OCHA wrote in a report in July, a condition which is weighing heavily on people’s psyche.

Image result for palestinians in cages

Palestinians r herded through cages like cattle – what I learned crossing Israeli checkpoint.

 

2016 NOW

Travellers and brokers say Egypt is charging up to $10,000 to give Palestinians permission to cross at Rafah.

“I knew I might be locked in for months if I came [to Gaza],” says Mohammed Saftawi, a 25-year-old PhD student in Gent who came to conduct research for his thesis. Saftawi has involuntarily been in Gaza since August. “The price you pay if you decide to come to Gaza is high.”

Gaza Strip Egyptian officers are asking for bribes of up to $10,000 from Palestinians in Gaza desperate to leave the besieged coastal enclave, according to Gaza brokers who coordinate the bribe payments, former Palestinian border officials and travellers.

The willingness to pay such high fees to leave Gaza may reflect residents’ desperation to escape the coastal enclave, which has endured three major Israeli military operations since 2008, leaving the most densely populated place on earth in ruins.

Gaza’s infrastructure is so damaged that a United Nations report last year predicted that, if current trends persist, the enclave would become “uninhabitable” by 2020.

“You are simply herded through cages and turnstiles like cattle until a disembodied voice emanates from a loudspeaker to tell you you’re doing it wrong. Even then, they speak in Hebrew knowing that the Hebrew-speaking settlers don’t pass through here at all.” Léa Georgeson Caparros writes about crossing Qalandia with PalFest 2015

Léa Georgeson Caparros writes about crossing the Qalandia checkpoint while traveling in the occupied Palestinian territories with the Palestine Festival of Literature in May 2015.
“Exploiting the genuine security related worries of the Israeli people and the majority’s wish for a political parting from the Palestinians, the Sharon government is constructing a system of fences that will not achieve separation, that will not draw a border, and that will not, eventually, bring security. What we are facing in the “fence” is yet another typical, thoroughly calculated “Sharonic” act of deception.
 
The real purpose of the walls is very different. They are intended as another layer–maybe the ultimate one–in the complex matrix of control which constitutes the Israeli occupation: the settlements, the roads, the roadblocks, the curfews, the closures, and the use of brute military force. The walls that Sharon is building now are intended to render Israel’s hold over the land it captured in 1967 irreversible.
 
They are the last nail in the coffin of the two-states solution. We shall wake up, in another year and a half from now, to a drastically different reality: a cruel state consisting of pens enclosures will stretch between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean.”
(Yigal Bronner, 23 September 2003)
 

Israeli Occupation Forces shut down independent Palestinian radio station

August 31, 2016

In an effort to combat Palestinian independence, Israeli authorities are focusing on sources of  communication between Palestinians, including the Palestinian leadership as well as the Palestinian media.

Israeli occupation forces forces, working with Israel’s police and the Shin Bet (Israel’s security Agency), on Tuesday night shut down the Palestinian Alsnabal radio station after it repeatedly broadcast independently of the occupation regime.

An occupation spokesman said the forces arrested five station employees and confiscated equipment while operating in Dura, in the Hebron area.

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You’re under arrest for illegal communication

Alsnabal routinely broadcast independently, congratulating resistance for endurance against Israel attacks on Palestinians.

In the past months, Israel has been operating to shut down Palestinian media outlets and publications which operate independently   of Israeli occupiers and called for Palestinian perseverance . Independent Palestinians are NOT ALLOWED AND WILL BE KILLED OR AT LEAST ARRESTED FOREVER.

Israel maintains that one of the driving forces behind the almost year-long wave of resistance  against occupation violence is incitement by the Palestinian leadership and clergy through its state and local media.

 

Israeli soldiers routinely shoot heads of injured Palestinians, court told

Court hears evidence of how Israeli soldiers routinely shoot injured Palestinians in the head

A military court has heard evidence that Israeli soldiers routinely shoot at the heads of injured Palestinians as part of their combat strategy.

This is not new, I have been reading of shooting Palestinian children in the head, Christian and Muslim cases from now going back to the arrival of the Zionist Jews from Europe into Palestine.

30 August 2016

Shooting at the heads of incapacitated alleged Palestinian attackers is a common practice by Israeli occupation forces, a settler security chief told a military court hearing on Sunday.

Eliyahu Liebman testified as a witness for the defense in the trial of Elor Azarya, an Israeli soldier indicted for manslaughter after he was caught on video shooting the head of a wounded and incapacitated Palestinian lying in the street, killing him.

Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif and Ramzi al-Qasrawi were fatally wounded after they allegedly attempted to stab soldiers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in late March. Multiple videos of the scene show al-Sharif and al-Qasrawi in the street, badly injured. But video released thus far only shows the fatal shooting of al-Sharif.

Several years ago, I was researching the cause of death of Palestinian
children killed by Israeli forces during the first months of the
Second Intifadah, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
As I counted up the numbers, I was chilled to discover that the single
most frequent cause of death in those beginning months was “gunfire to
the head.”-Allyson Weir

“In terrorist incidents I witnessed, I saw with my own eyes that in every instance in which a terrorist attacked, soldiers shot him in the center of mass until he was neutralized … and [shot] a bullet to the head to ensure that the terrorist could not set off a suicide belt or continue the attack.

These soldiers never went to court,” Liebman, the longtime civilian security chief for Jewish settlers in Hebron, told the court.

“A ‘neutralized terrorist’ means: either he attempted to carry out an attack and was shot in the chest and killed and then shot in the head to make sure – as is taught in the IDF [Israeli army] according to the rules of opening fire – or it means that the terrorist was checked by a sapper and was cuffed by the hands and feet,” Liebman added.

That protocol may have been implemented in other occasions in recent months.

In the Christmas Day slaying of Mahdia Hammad, a 40-year-old mother from Silwad village near the West Bank city of Ramallah, a combatant with Israel’s paramilitary Border Police “thrust his rifle into the bullet-riddled car and fired another volley into [Hammad’s] head, even though she was certainly dead by then,” the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reported that soldiers shot at the head of Mazen Oraibi at point-blank range after Oraibi was already dead. Oraibi, a Palestinian Authority security forces officer, was killed after he allegedly opened fire on soldiers at a checkpoint in December.

 

Palestinian children burning to death by Israel's white phosphorous

Palestinian children burning to death by Israel’s white phosphorous

The above are  small Palestinian children burning to death, following the phosphor explosives bombardment by Jewish soldiers on their school.

That protocol may have been implemented in other occasions in recent months.In the Christmas Day slaying of Mahdia Hammad, a 40-year-old mother from Silwad village near the West Bank city of Ramallah, a combatant with Israel’s paramilitary Border Police “thrust his rifle into the bullet-riddled car and fired another volley into [Hammad’s] head, even though she was certainly dead by then,” the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reported that soldiers shot at the head of Mazen Oraibi at point-blank range after Oraibi was already dead. Oraibi, a Palestinian Authority security forces officer, was killed after he allegedly opened fire on soldiers at a checkpoint in December.

Another soldier under investigation

Another Israeli soldier who shot an unarmed Palestinian in the West Bank on Friday is being investigated for involuntary manslaughter, Israeli media reported on Monday.

The army has admitted that Iyad Zakariya Hamad, 38, posed no threat when he was shot near a military post at the entrance to the village of Silwad, near Ramallah, Haaretz stated.

The army maintains that Hamad was running toward a military post and did not heed soldiers’ orders to halt when he was shot.

A Palestinian paramedic told Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy that he believes Hamad was shot in the back. “He saw an entry wound in the victim’s back and an exit wound in his chest,” Levy said of the paramedic.

In Hebron, an Arab town with about 400 Jewish settlers, Chris Brown of the Christian Peacekeepers Team told us of escorting children to school through army barricades, where the soldiers point guns at them, and past hostile settlers who hurl abuse and sometimes physically attack these children. Over 600 Palestinian children have died in the current conflict, many at the hands of the Israeli army, which seems to have declared war on babies.- realitytourblog

A witness told the Israeli rights group B’Tselem that Hamad, who was on his way to a mosque for Friday prayers, “had lost his way, panicked when he saw the soldiers at the checkpoint and ran,” according to Levy.

The soldier under investigation, who was not named by media, is from the ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda battalion. Last year, soldiers from that unit were caught on video brutally beating a Palestinian father, and, in a separate incident, filmed themselves shooting an unarmed person in Silwad.

Hamad is the 220nd Palestinian slain by Israeli uniformed forces and armed civilians during a new phase of deadly confrontation that began in October, according to the Ma’an News Agency. More than 30 Israelis were killed during that same period.

Dozens of Palestinians were shot dead during what Israel says were attacks or alleged attacks on soldiers and civilians. Human rights groups have condemned Israel’s reflexive use of deadly force in such incidents, saying it amounts to an unofficial shoot-to-kill policy encouraged by Israel’s top leadership.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has also called for full investigation of incidents in which Israeli forces have caused death and injury. And in a rare display of protest, a ranking US Senator, along with 10 members of Congress, called on the State Department to investigate possible extrajudicial executions by Israeli military and police.

Videos viewed as threat

Video footage of many of such incidents – not only Elor Azarya’s killing of Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif– shows that lethal force was used against Palestinians when they posed no immediate, life-threatening danger.

It was revealed during the Azarya trial that Israeli forces are instructed to quickly clear the scene when Palestinians are shot dead, to discourage documentation of the incident that would fuel Palestinian outrage.

During his June testimony, Israeli colonel Yariv Ben-Ezra referred to the case of Hadil Hashlamoun, a young woman who was shot dead at a checkpoint in Hebron last September.

Video of the incident showed the young woman bleeding to death on the sidewalk without receiving first aid as Israeli settlers and soldiers stand around, some of them smiling and laughing.

Israel claimed that Hashlamoun had tried to stab a soldier, but photos and eyewitnesses contradicted the army’s narrative. Amnesty International described the incident as an extrajudicial execution.

“We noticed that the long time that her body remained at the scene, while being filmed and photographed, created an entire wave of revenge and solidarity attacks – not just in Hebron, but all over the West Bank,” Ben-Ezra said.

“From one incident to the next, we got a better understanding, and in light of the lessons we learned and the investigations we conducted, we realized that as soon as there is an attack in a crowded urban area, which is flooded with cameras on both sides, we must clear the scene as fast as possible, to prevent revenge and solidarity attacks. That is how we trained the soldiers,” Ben-Ezra added.

Only a handful of prosecutions

Since the year 2000, in only a handful of cases were soldiers prosecuted for manslaughter in relation to the slaying of Palestinians, according to Haaretz.

Of the four cases identified by the paper, in addition to Azarya and the unnamed soldier who killed Iyad Hamad, only one soldier was convicted of manslaughter and served a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence. In other cases, soldiers were convicted of lesser charges and demoted in military rank.

Ben Dery, a military police combatant, is currently on trial for manslaughter in the shooting and killing of Nadim Siam Nuwara, 17, who was seen on video being fatally wounded during a Nakba Day protest in May 2014.

Dery is accused of switching “the blanks in his M16 with live bullets, although the forces on the scene had been instructed to use rubber-tipped steel bullets,” according to Haaretz.

Another Palestinian boy, Muhammad Abu al-Thahir, 16, was killed during the same demonstration as Nuwara. No one has been charged with killing Abu al-Thahir.

The Israeli military ordered Fakher Zayed, the Palestinian whose security cameras recorded the footage of the youths being shot, to dismantle his cameras or face legal proceedings.

The video starts out with an old comic book character, Hermes. Although they did not have comic books back then, it would have been if they could have all read and written down their thoughts. The movie clips, the men’s clubs that anyone can join even todau. the statues, the rituals, the politicians, wars, the bankers, the revolutions, more movie clips, the media, the royalty, peasants, nothing changes…and on and on.

700 Israeli attacks on Gaza since 2014 ceasefire

“When what is called Israeli jet planes bomb defenceless targets in Gaza, that is US jet planes with Israeli pilots,” he said. “And the same with the high-tech munition and so on and so forth. So this is, again, sadism masked as compassion. Those are the actions.”- Noam Chomsky

Peace before Israel

Posted September 28, 2015 so of course the number is significantly higher now since Israel has not stopped attacking! When it comes to Israel, nothing ever gets better!

During Fiscal Year 2016, the U.S. is providing Israel with at least $10.2 million per day in military aid and $0 in military aid to the Palestinians.

0 Israeli homes have been demolished by Palestinians and at least 48,488 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel since 1967.

Israel has opened fire on the Gaza Strip on “at least 696 occasions” since the August 2014 ceasefire, the UK government has told Parliament.

These incidents are in addition to 29 strikes on Gaza conducted in response to alleged rocket fire.

The figures were provided by Tobias Ellwood, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, citing UN agency figures, and in response to a question by Labour MP Alex Cunningham.

On September 4, Cunningham asked “how many times the Israeli military have opened fire into Gaza since August 2014; and what steps his Department is taking to prevent future such incidents.”

Answering a week later, Ellwood stated.

We are aware of Israeli forces responding to alleged (nobody ever really knows, Israel just says so) rocket fire from Gaza with 29 strikes since the 26 August 2014 Gaza ceasefire agreement. According to figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israeli forces have opened fire into the Gaza Access Restricted Areas on land and sea on at least 696 occasions since then.

He added that British officials in Tel Aviv have “raised our concerns over the Israel Defence Force’s use of live fire in Gaza with the Israeli Government. We are continuing to urge the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza.”

صيادون، حيفا، فلسطين ١٩٣٢ Fishermen, Haifa, Palestine 1932 Pisadores, Haifa, Palestina 1932:

Palestine fisherman: peace before Israel.

As described by Middle East Monitor here, Israeli forces’ attacks on the Gaza Strip are routine, targeting farmers, fishermen, and unarmed civilian protesters. Israel’s unilateral imposition of a ‘no go’ buffer zone by the border fence and at sea is an important part of the ongoing blockade.

Earlier this month, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights said it had documented 82 incidents by land in 2015 to date, in addition to 88 incidents of Israeli forces opening fire on fishermen. These attacks have killed 2 and injured 54.

On September 17, Israeli forces permitted Palestinian farmers to access their land close to the border fence “for the first time in 15 years.” It remains to be seen how this works out in practice; on September 21, Israeli forces crossed the fence again and bulldozed agricultural land.