B’t Selem, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories
Issued today Thursday its finding on the Israeli war conduct during the Attack on the Gaza Strip in November 2012. Here is the synopsis of thereport from their official website.
“After several months of field research and crosschecking data, human rights organization B’Tselem published a report today (Thursday, 9 May 2013) reviewing harm to civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense. The report provides statistics on the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed over the course of the operation, which lasted from 14 to 21 November 2012. The report challenges the common perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was “surgical” and caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, the report finds that there was a significant difference between the first and the final days of the operation: of the uninvolved Palestinian fatalities, 80% were killed in the last four days of the operation.”
Stephen Hawking is backing the academic boycott of Israel by pulling out of a conference hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem as a protest at Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.
“Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, had accepted an invitation to headline the fifth annual president’s conference, Facing Tomorrow, in June, which features major international personalities, attracts thousands of participants and this year will celebrate Peres’s 90th birthday.
Hawking is in very poor health, but last week he wrote a brief letter to the Israeli president to say he had changed his mind.”
Tanzania has arrested four men from Saudi Arabia and four Tanzanians in connection with the bombing of church on Sunday that killed two people, an attack that has heightened sectarian tensions in the east African nation.
Investigators said they were still determining the type of device used in the attack on the Catholic church in Arusha, a town in the north of the nation of about 45 million people that is roughly evenly split between Muslims and Christians.
A statement from President Jakaya Kikwete’s office on Monday said two people had now died from the blast after the death toll had previously been put at one. Sixty people were injured.
The Vatican’s ambassador to Tanzania, Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla, was attending the official opening of the church when the explosion occurred. He escaped unharmed.
“So far eight people have been arrested, including four nationals from Saudi Arabia and four Tanzanians,”
The number of those killed has now risen to three. It sounds that the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia will not allow for any coexistence among religious communities anywhere they can reach. They can only thrive on stirring up sectarian violence. That is the only thing that can make them politically relevant. These are the American and Western allies for you! Wahhabi Islam is the official doctrine of the Saudi State. Wahhabi movements in the Muslim world are believed to be financed by the Saudi government, either directly or through the encouragement of private donnations to conceil the financial links between extremist Islamic movements and the members of the Saudi royal family. Saudi Arabia which is well known for its huge oil exports, is also the major exporter of religious extremists.
The security forces of the ousted HAMAS government now in control of the Gaza Strip crushed today, Tuesday, a mass rally to protest the Israeli aggression against Syria. The rally was organized by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, PFLP, in the city of Khan Younis. The PFLP is one of a handful of Palestinian secular leftist political factions who still believe in the notion of armed struggle as a means for the liberation of Palestine. The participants in the rally carried signs with photos of Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah in addition to the Syrian and Palestinian flags. They also carried other banners with an X sign on the photo of Yousof al-Qardhawi who is expected to arrive to the Gaza Strip leading a delegation of the Muslim Ulama, (men learned in religious affairs). Al-Qardhawi who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement is mocked for his close association with the prince of Qatar, who is leading a pro-western Arab alliance to bring down the regime of Bashshar al-Asad in Syria. The Israeli air strikes against Syria in the weekend created a strong impression that the pro-American and Western Arab alliance opposed to the Syrian regime is in cohort with the Zionist state. The ousted HAMAS government in the Gaza Strip fined itself in a difficult position. In one hand it tries to distinguish itself from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank through its insistence on the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation by all means, including armed struggle, but on the other hand it is at odds with its closest ideological allies in the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria who maintain suspicious relationships with the United States and Israel. What complicate matters even more for HAMAS are the most recent Saudi Qatari concessions promising to modify the “Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 by accepting the notion of land swaps to accommodate the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. It is worth mentioning here that Khaled Mish’l HAMAS’s head of political Bureau has moved his headquarter from Damascus to Qatar after the break out of the Syrian civil war.
The HAMAS security forces used clubs and sticks to break the rally which lead to three light injuries. Journalists at the scene were forbidden from taking pictures or reporting the crack down on the rally. A number of the journalists present at the scene were detained and taken for interrogation by Hamas security. The Palestinian Union of Journalists condemned Hamas’s action and demanded an immediate release of the journalists. A statement by the Palestinian Union of Journalists criticized the assault and the arrest of reporters in this arbitrary fashion as against the Palestinian law which guarantees the freedom of reporting and flow of information, and demanded an immediate investigation of this incident.
The head of the information office of the ousted Hamas government in Gaza, Ehab al-Ghusayn expressed his rejection and apology for what happened. He made this clear on his facebook page considering what happened in Khan Younis to a number of journalists while doing their work at the hand of the police regrettable. He added that he requested the creation of a committee to investigate this incident and find out who is responsible for it and hold them accountable. However, his facebook statement did not refer to the violent treatment of the other participants in the rally.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislations in the Israeli Cabinet approved last night a draft law which would displace 30 thousands of the Arab Bedouins of the Negev Desert. This draft law is known as the Prawer-Begin law, after the two Israeli cabinet members who drafted it. It calls for the forced destruction of up to 35 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages with approximately thirty thousand inhabitants and their forced relocation into other areas. There are approximately seventy and ninety thousand Arab Bedouins living in what is so called unrecognized communities in the Negev Desert, because the state refuses to recognize them. All their villages have been in existence before 1948, the year that witnessed the creation of the apartheid Zionist State. These villages have been neglected by the successive Israeli governments and were denied basic services such as electricity and running water, in spite of the cooperation of their inhabitants with the Zionist state and their acceptance to serve in the Israeli army. This new piece of apartheid legislation, once approved by the Knesset and become a law would destroy a deep-rooted community and its social fabric and the confiscation of this community’s long-held land properties. It is not ironic that the apartheid government in Israel intends to make more space for the construction of new Jewish settlements on the ruins of the villages it plans to destroy, because the Zionist doctrine is predicated on the supremacy of the Jews to the non-Jews in “Arretz Israel”.
This draft law went through several readings and some committee members registered three reservations before the legislation can be brought to a vote in the Knesset. First, the government must determine the exact location where the displaced Bedouin communities would be moved to, and to decrease the amount of land compensations given to them. The government must show a specific and detailed map of this matter. Secondly, the government must shorten the period of the implementation of the plan from five to three years. Finally, the appointment of the Minister of Housing and Construction, Uri Ariel, who is a Jewish Settler living in one of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank to oversee the implementation of this law.
Adalah, the Arab-Israeli organization for the defense of the legal rights of Arabs in Israel criticized this draft legislation as racist for its targeting a specific area and a specific non-Jewish community based on this community’s ethnic and religious affiliation. The draft law was written without consulting with the Bedouin communities. The draft law also refused to discuss the alternative proposals of the people whose lives would be disturbed once this becomes a law and put into effect.
It is important to remind the readers of this blog that this Israeli attitude is consistent with the Zionist practices since the creation of Israel. In the early 1950’s, the Israeli government, under security pretexts forcibly removed thousands of Palestinian families in the Galilee, and other locations close to the armistice lines into other areas. Using the claims of consolidation of Arab properties, the government put the Palestinian populations it forcibly removed in isolated communities and with huge losses in acreage of their land during the process of determining land compensation. Many Jewish settlements were established on the ruins of the Palestinian communities who had just been removed. For the Arab Bedouins of the Negev Desert the situation is even worse. Most of the villages do not have written documentations to prove their ownership of the land. Most of their transactions before the creation of Israel in 1948, during the periods of the Ottoman rule of Palestine and the subsequent British Mandate were done through oral agreements. The Bedouin communities who have deep roots in the area and clear traditions and customs to mediate disputes, honored their oral commitments, knew the boundaries of their properties, and recognized each other’s spheres. However, the Israeli government does not recognize the legal validity of oral transactions and is using the absence of written documentation of ownership as an excuse to confiscate their land.
President Obama, in an interview broadcast just hours later Sunday, said Israel is justified in preventing the provision of weapons to Hezbollah.“We coordinate very closely with the Israelis, recognizing that . . . they are very close to Syria, they’re very close to Lebanon,” Obama said in the interview, recorded Saturday with the Spanish-language Telemundo, after an earlier Israeli attack reported late Friday.
Notice Barak Bush Obama’s expression, “we coordinate very closely with the Israelis.”
Syrian Rebels May Have Used Sarin.
“United Nations human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical workers indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said Sunday. The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces using chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said Carla Del Ponte, a commission member.. Our investigators have been in neighboring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals,’ Ms. Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television. According to their report of last week, which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated. This was use on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,’ she added.”
To me the question is: If this report is confirmed, what would the United States and its Western allies do? If the report is accurate, which I have a feeling that it is, the Syrian rebels must have obtained this deadly Chemical Weapon from either Turkey, or Israel. These are the only two countries that have such weapon in the area, and both have a keen interest in implicating the Syrian regime with the use of Chemical Weapons to invite American and Western military intervention to topple the regime of Bashshar al-Asad. Would the United States attack Israel or Turkey for the use of Chemical weapons in Syria? Would the U.S. congress begin to discuss military and economic sanctions against Israel or Turkey? Unfortunately, every observer in the world knows that American foreign policy in the Middle East is drafted in Tel Aviv except the American public, who is led to believe that their government is telling them the truth.