Interview with Norman Finkelstein about his new book
"Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom"
Head of Southern Command says massive project which includes underwater barrier is aimed at detecting, destroying tunnels and will be completed regardless of Hamas actions
The Israel Defense Forces is tackling the threat posed by tunnels that Hamas builds from Gaza into Israel by constructing a massive barrier. The project, estimated to cost 3 billion shekels ($833 million), will include a concrete wall fitted with sensors and reaching dozens of meters deep into the ground and standing six meters high from ground level.
Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir told reporters on Wednesday that building the barrier could cause an escalation, but said the army will continue building the barrier even if Hamas targets the work there.
"I think the other side will have to reevaluate the situation in view of the barrier’s construction," he said. "If Hamas chooses to go to war over the barrier, it will be a worthy reason (for the IDF) to go to war over " but the barrier will be built."
[ mehr ]
[ Video-Aufzeichnung ( ca. 1h) ]
With the anniversary of Israel's war on Gaza, activists, analysts, and policymakers have been writing about the situation on the ground one year later, and how the political landscape has (or hasn't) changed. The 51-day onslaught devastated this besieged parcel of land by the Mediterranean Sea and left thousands dead, wounded, homeless, jobless, poor, and hungry.
As U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces plans to set up an investigation into the attacks on United Nations facilities during Israel’s recent assault on the Gaza Strip, we broadcast the speech of world-renowned political dissident Noam Chomsky, who recently spoke in the hall of the U.N. General Assembly at an event sponsored by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. "The pattern that was set in January 1976 continues to the present," said Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Israel rejects a settlement of these terms and for many years has been devoting extensive resources to ensuring it will not be implemented with the unremitting and decisive support of the United States — military, economic, diplomatic and ideological.
[ mehr ] [ Kommentar von Jascha Jaworski ]
In a special session of the Russell Tribunal held in Brussels on September 24th, Israel’s military operation Protective Edge was critically scrutinized from the perspective of international law, including the core allegation of genocide. The process featured a series of testimonies by legal and weapons experts, health workers, journalists and others most of whom had experienced the 50 days of military assault.
A jury composed of prominent individuals from around the world, known for their moral engagement with issues of the day that concerned their societies, and also the wellbeing of humanity, assessed the evidence with the help of an expert legal team of volunteers that helped with the preparation of the findings and analysis for consideration by the jury, which deliberated and debated all relevant issues of fact and law, above all the question of how to respond to the charge of genocide.
A chronology of disproportionate attacks on Gaza
The latest Israeli military operation in Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Before the July 2014 offensive, the last large-scale escalation was in November 2012, when the Israeli military bombarded the Gaza Strip with air strikes for eight days.
Known as Operation Pillar of Defence, the strikes killed 171 Palestinians, including more than 100 civilians.
In 2008-2009, Israeli soldiers launched a 22-day military operation in Gaza, dubbed Operation Cast Lead. About 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the offensive.
[ Übersicht ]
Israel claims that its offensive on Gaza is a war on terror; in fact, it is an act of state terrorism.
Posted here is a Joint Declaration of international law experts from around the world who are listed below as endorsers. I am among the endorsers, and the text was initially drafted by several international law scholars. We welcome additional signatures that can be sent to me in the comments section, with affiliation noted for identification, and names will be periodically added to the text. I view this as an important expression of professional judgment and individual conscience relating to Israeli behavior in Gaza commencing on 8 July that has already taken so many innocent lives and caused such widespread devastation. Please join us and spread the word!
The email Mads Gilbert, professor of medicine at the University of North Norway (Tromso), sent to a friend on July 19 was a cri de coeur. He had spent two weeks in Gaza during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead attack in the winter of 2008-09, tending to the wounded and the dying in Al-Shifa hospital, and again for another week during a similar assault (Operation Pillar of Cloud) in 2012.
As then, Gilbert is now once again caring for streams of patients rushed into Al-Shifa (the name means “healing”) from the Gaza killing fields. I reproduce the email in its entirety because it is the first lengthy account by a physician writing directly from a hospital about the region’s injured and dying in the course of Israel’s latest hostilities. Al-Shifa has been under bombardment and shellfire; other health care facilities as well as ambulances and medical personnel have been attacked. Gaza’s only rehabilitation hospital, Al-Wafa, has been destroyed.
Stop the War's Chris Nineham on the sham 'truce' that was a prelude to a long-planned ground assault and why this Saturday's Gaza Under Attack national demonstration is so important.
[ vollständiger ]
Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, and head of the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel’s governing Likud party offers his plan for the solution to Gaza:
My Outline for a Solution for Gaza
The civilian population of Gaza are trapped in an overcrowded war zone with no form of exit. This situation reveals a serious gap in international humanitarian law
As the hideous Israeli assault on Gaza, named Operation Protective Edge, by the IDF enters its second week, overdue international appeals for a ceasefire fall on deaf ears. Bibi Netanyahu tells the world that no outside pressure will alter Israel’s resolve to reach its military and political goals to disable Hamas for the indefinite future. The purported justification for such aggression is to make sure this time that Israelis will never again have to seek shelter from Hamas rockets, which could require a prolonged military campaign combining ground forces with a continuing air and naval assault.
In a September 2006 article for The Electronic Intifada, I defined the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an incremental genocide.
Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action — then and now — within a wider historical context.
This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.
The Israeli navy harasses Gazan fishermen even within 3-mile limit from shore
The international steering committee of Freedom Flotilla II just concluded its planning meeting in Paris, a few weeks before the scheduled departure of the flotilla to Gaza.
Freedom Flotilla II will leave during the third week of June, with ships departing from various European ports including Marseilles. We"re very pleased to announce the recent addition of a Swiss-German boat to the flotilla. In July 2010 Germany's Bundestag passed a resolution calling for an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
A number of our respective governments have said the same. The UN Human Rights Committee Fact Finding Mission into the 2010 flotilla attack found Israeli"s blockade on Gaza to be unlawful. The International Committee of the Red Cross has said that Israel must end its illegal closure of Gaza.
Israeli military attaché has failed to travel to London with his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over fears that he will be arrested over Operation Cast Lead war crimes in Gaza.
All States and the international community must urgently take measures against Israel's violations of international law
The attack by Israeli commandos on the "freedom Flotilla" on 31 May 2010 off the coast of the Gaza Strip is in violation of several fundamental principles of international law:
Public Statement condemning the assault on a Gaza-bound vessel
t is with great distress that the World Council of Churches received the news that the Israeli naval forces stormed a Gaza-bound vessel carrying humanitarian aid in international waters before dawn on Monday, killing at least 10 civilians and injuring many more. We condemn the assault and killing of innocent people who were attempting to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, who have been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007. We further condemn the flagrant violation of international law by Israel in attacking and boarding a humanitarian convoy in international waters. We pray for all those who are affected by the attack, especially the bereaved families.
Israel’s killing of 19 innocents with 60 more injured must have maximal consequences
Israel impunity is a threat to all
A government of pyromanics sets fire to the region
Uri Avnery: "This night a crime was perpetrated in the middle of the sea, by order of the government of Israel and the IDF Command
A warlike attack against aid ships and deadly shooting at peace and humanitarian aid activists
At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla
Over 60 pro-Palestinian campaigners wounded after aid convoy sailing for Gaza Strip ignored Israel's order to turn back, Turkish news reports. IDF confirms two commandos also wounded.
[ Bericht bei Ha'aretz (00:18) ]
Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet
Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza. Up to 16 people were killed and dozens injured when troops stormed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, the Israeli Army Radio said.
[ Bericht bei Al Jazeera (06:08) ]
After Monday's ocean bloodbath, Israel must work fast to prevent third intifada
If rumors are confirmed that Muslim leader Raed Salah is among casualties of Israel's raid on a Gaza aid convoy, the country's Arab population could explode.
[ Bericht bei Ha'aretz (10:48) ]
A Special Place in Hell / The Second Gaza War: Israel lost at sea
We are no longer defending Israel. We are now defending the siege, which is itself becoming Israel's Vietnam.
[ Bericht bei Ha'aretz (12:24) ]
Operation Mini Cast Lead
Like in "Mini-Israel," the park where there is everything, but smaller, Israel embarked yesterday on a mini Operation Cast Lead. Like its larger, losing predecessor, this operation had it all: the usual false claim that is was they who had started it - and not the landing of commandos from helicopters on a ship in open sea, away from Israeli territorial waters. There was the claim that the first act of violence came not from the soldiers, but the rioting activists on Mavi Marmara; that the blockade on Gaza is legal and that the flotilla to its shores is against the law - God knows which law.
[ Kommentar bei Ha'aretz (01.06.2010, 01:42) ]
The State of Israel has no interest in flooding television screens all over the world with footage of its navy violently assaulting against peace activists at sea. It is time to remove the suffocating siege and allow residents of Gaza to have free contact with the outside world, freely operate sea and air ports of their own like any country in the world.
[ 25.05.2010: War In Context Freedom Flotilla carrying aid to Gaza ]
[ 25.05.2010: Haaretz Turkey to Israel: Lift blockade of Gaza ]
[ 22.05.2010: Haartez 'Freedom Flotilla' aid convoy sets off for Gaza ]
[ 15.05.2010: Noam Chomsky about Freedom Flotilla ]
Britain has slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel, refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4.5 gunships because they participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
Britain's Foreign Office informed Israel's embassy in London of the sanctions a few days ago. The embassy, in a classified telegram to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, said the decision stemmed from heavy pressure by both members of Parliament and human rights organizations.
Cynthia McKinney is a former US Representative who served from 1993-2003 and from 2005-2008 . She was the 2008 Green Party presidential nominee and has been an active member of the Free Gaza Movement. In 2004, The Backbone Campaign awarded her the fifth annual Backbone Award "because she was willing to challenge the Bush administration and called for an investigation into 9/11 when few others dared to air their criticism and questions." Here, Ishmahil Blagrove, Jr. talks to McKinney about her experience with the situation in Gaza and her views on today’s political landscape.
Palestinians claim children were used as human shields and hospitals targeted during 23-day conflict
Israeli "Defense" Forces in Gaza:
During Operation "Cast Lead", Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive.
The soldiers are graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College in Tivon. Some of their statements made on Feb. 13 will appear Thursday and Friday in Haaretz. Dozens of graduates of the course who took part in the discussion fought in the Gaza operation.
The statements of the Israel Defense Forces soldiers from the Yitzhak Rabin preparatory course provide the first, uncensored look at what occurred in some of the combat units in Operation Cast Lead.
It seems that what soldiers have to say is actually the way things happened in the field, most of the time. And as usual, reality is completely different from the gentler version provided by the military commanders to the public and media during the operation and after.
In the wake of an Haaretz expose, the Israel Defense Forces on Thursday ordered an investigation into soldiers' accounts of alleged misconduct and serious violations of the army's rules of engagement.
Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit instructed the Military Police Investigation unit to launch the probe after soldiers were quoted as telling a military cadet academy that combat troops in Gaza fired at unarmed Palestinian civilians and vandalized property during Operation Cast Lead.
There is evidence that Israel committed war crimes during its 22-day campaign in the Gaza Strip and there should be an independent inquiry, UN investigator Richard Falk said Thursday.
The mental anguish of the civilians who suffered the assault is so great that the entire population of Gaza could be seen as casualties, said Falk, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
As the UN and human rights groups demand independent investigations into the conduct of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, the world’s attention is focusing on whether Israeli or Hamas officials could face prosecution for war crimes.
Whatever the inquiries find, bringing suspected war criminals to court will be far from straightforward.
[ 20.01.2009: Who will save the Palestinans? ]
[ 19.01.2009: Outcry over weapons used in Gaza ]
Barack Obama is not even President yet but he may have just played a central role in getting to a ceasefire in the current Gaza Israel crisis -- just by being there. All the signals are that we are in a final and ugly escalatory cycle in advance of hostilities being ceased and that the proximity of this war ending to next week's inauguration of the new president is not coincidental.
As Israel’s barbaric war in Gaza enters its third week, there are four main reasons why its wholesale slaughter of Palestinian civilians continues unchecked.
Your piece on British Muslims' attitudes over the Gaza conflict (Gaza conflict fuelling anger in UK, Muslims warn Brown, 8 January) said that the UK's position on Gaza could provoke domestic terrorist attacks. Nothing justifies violent extremism and in fact the UK has led international efforts for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire. Criticisms of our approach are neither fair nor accurate.
The devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided.
Urgent Appeal for Israel to Immediately Cease Its Murderous Bombing, Siege and Threatened [now a tragic event] Invasion of Palestinian GazaInitiated by 2008 U.N. Human Rights Award winner Ramsey Clark.
Please help mobilize to stop the attack on Gaza: Since the launch of the
brutal invasion of Gaza, the International Action Center has been mobilizing
non-stop to protest U.S./Israeli war crimes and to demand an end to the
attack on the people of Gaza. In New York City, Boston, Los Angeles,
Atlanta, Philadelphia, and dozens of cities across the U.S., we have been
working in coalition with antiwar, community, Arab, and Muslim organizations
to take to the streets.
Human rights group Amnesty International on Friday accused the United States of having a "lopsided" response to the crisis in Gaza and told the top U.S. diplomat to press all sides to reach an immediate cease-fire.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Amnesty's U.S. branch said the U.S. government must not ignore Israel's "disproportionate response" against Gaza and policies the group said had brought Hamas-ruled Gaza to the brink of "humanitarian disaster."
For eighteen months the entire 1.5 million people of Gaza experienced a punishing blockade imposed by Israel, and a variety of traumatizing challenges to the normalcy of daily life. A flicker of hope emerged some six months ago when an Egyptian arranged truce produced an effective ceasefire that cut Israeli casualties to zero despite the cross-border periodic firing of homemade rockets that fell harmlessly on nearby Israeli territory, and undoubtedly caused anxiety in the border town of Sderot. During the ceasefire the Hamas leadership in Gaza repeatedly offered to extend the truce, even proposing a ten-year period and claimed a receptivity to a political solution based on acceptance of Israel's 1967 borders. Israel ignored these diplomatic initiatives, and failed to carry out its side of the ceasefire agreement that involved some easing of the blockade that had been restricting the entry to Gaza of food, medicine, and fuel to a trickle.
Palestinians in Gaza believed Israel had called a 48-hour lull in retaliatory attacks with Hamas when Israel Air Force warplanes launched a massive bombardment of militant installations in the Gaza Strip, a UN official said Monday.
Karen Abu Zayd, commissioner of the UN Relief and Works Agency which helps Palestinian refugees, raised the possible violation of an informal truce in a video press conference with UN reporters from her base in Gaza.
The world isn't just watching the Israeli government commit a crime in Gaza; we are watching it self-harm. This morning, and tomorrow morning, and every morning until this punishment beating ends, the young people of the Gaza Strip are going to be more filled with hate, and more determined to fight back, with stones or suicide vests or rockets. Israeli leaders have convinced themselves that the harder you beat the Palestinians, the softer they will become. But when this is over, the rage against Israelis will have hardened, and the same old compromises will still be waiting by the roadside of history, untended and unmade.
Let’s be crystal clear. Israel’s massive attacks on Gaza today have one overarching goal: conflict management. How to end rocket attacks on Israel from a besieged and starving Gaza without ending the impetus for those attacks, 41 years of increasingly oppressive Israeli Occupation without a hint that a sovereign and viable Palestinian state will ever emerge.
Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public - all these stood behind the Israel Defense Forces "Cast Lead" operation against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, which began Saturday morning.
The disinformation effort, according to defense officials, took Hamas by surprise and served to significantly increase the number of its casualties in the strike.
[ vollständiger Artikel ] [ in Deutsch ]
The Alternative Information Center (AIC) condemns today’s deadly attack by the Israeli Air Force on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of (at this moment) over 150 Palestinians. The AIC calls on social movements throughout the world to mobilize against these Israeli war crimes and demands that the international community implement sanctions against Israel and indict Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and other Israeli political and military leadership for these blatant war crimes, committed as part of Israel’s election process.
Israel’s military attack on the Gaza Strip is not, as Israel is attempting to claim today, retaliation against Gazan resistance to the Israeli occupation and ongoing siege of the Gaza Strip, but part of a publicly admitted political goal of eliminating the Hamas government in Gaza. Israel is exploiting the last moments of the Bush administration to implement the deadly but ineffective neoconservative policies of utilizing military force to effect political change.
Demonstrations against the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip are planned for the major cities of the West Bank, and a joint Palestinian-Israeli demonstration will be conducted tonight in Tel Aviv.
The Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip represent severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.