Gaza

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Father Roy writes:  

See my highlights in the report pasted below.  Israel has been accused of violating the truce.  Also in today’s newspaper:  Clinton warns Netanyahu not to punish Palestinian Authority for UN bid and Netanyahu trying to convince Israeli hawks he won Gaza war.  

Peace, Roy

Father Roy

Father Roy

Palestinians: One killed, several wounded by IDF fire on Gaza border

Hamas spokesman accuses Israel of violating the Egyptian-mediated truce, says organization will complain to Cairo; Israeli military spokeswoman says army investigating report.

By Gili Cohen | Nov.23,2012

Israeli gunfire across the Gaza border killed one Palestinian on Friday and wounded several others, medics said, two days after a ceasefire between the territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas and Israel took hold.

A Hamas spokesman accused Israel of violating the Egyptian-mediated truce and said the group would complain to Cairo. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army was checking reports of the incident.

Medics said Anwar Qdeih, 23, was hit in the head by Israeli gunfire after he approached the security fence that runs along the Gaza frontier – an area that Israel has long declared a no-go zone for Gazans.

A relative of the dead man, who was at the scene, told Reuters that Qdeih had been trying to place a Hamas flag on the fence. He added that an Israeli soldier had fired into the air three times before Qdeih was hit in the head by a bullet.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: “We will contact the Egyptian mediator to discuss the incident.”

According to the terms of the accord, both Israelis and Palestinians agreed to stop their hostilities. However, the brief document left details on access to the tense border zone to be worked out in the days ahead.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said on Friday the shooting violated the ceasefire agreement.

Malki, speaking at a meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, called the incident “a clear violation of the agreement and should not be repeated.”

Seven other Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire from the border since the start of the ceasefire, medics said. Six of them were hurt on Friday and one on Thursday, when the Israeli military said 200 Palestinian “rioters” approached the fence.

Israel’s army constantly patrols the border area and says its forces have come under increasing attack this year, with militants planting explosive devices and firing an anti-tank missile on at least one occasion.

The IDF was preparing for possible disturbances in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday morning after worshipers emerged from prayer services at the mosques.

In an effort to minimize potential disturbances, the IDF arrested 55 Palestinians in the West Bank on Thursday.

The Shin Bet security service announced on Thursday that the perpetrators of Wednesday’s bus bombing in Tel Aviv, which wounded 28 people, were arrested later that day. It said the security services had arrested several Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives, most of them from the West Bank town of Beit Lakiya, who had confessed to preparing the bomb, choosing the target and buying the cellphone that detonated it from a distance.

Wednesday’s ceasefire deal ended eight days of fierce fighting that left 163 Palestinians and six Israelis dead.

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Below is the unedited text of the ceasefire agreement reached between Israel and Hamas on Wednesday, courtesy of “Information Clearing House“. It was originally distributed by the Egyptian presidency.

Unfortunately the agreement was violated almost immediately when Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man, Anwar Qdeih, (a 23 year-old), on the border. He was apparently shot through the head while trying to place a Hamas flag on the fence near Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.

Lord, have mercy!

Father Dave

File:Small hamas logo.gif

Text of Israel-Hamas Peace Agreement

November 22, 2012 CAIRO

Agreement of Understanding For a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip

1: (no title given for this section)

A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.

B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.

C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.

D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.

2: Implementation mechanisms:

A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.

B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.

C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.

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This damning analysis was published in Haaretz by veteran reporter, Amira Hass.

Hass is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors. She is unique as an Israeli journalist reporting on the Palestinian situation as she has chosen to live in the West Bank and Gaza and do her reporting from there.

Her reporting of events, and her voicing of opinions that run counter to both official Israeli and Palestinian positions regularly exposes her to verbal attacks and opposition from both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.

Amira Hass

Amira Hass

source: www.haaretz.com…

Israel’s ‘right to self-defense’ – a tremendous propaganda victory 

By Amira Hass 

By supporting Israel’s offensive on Gaza, Western leaders have given the Israelis carte blanche to do what they’re best at: Wallow in their sense of victimhood and ignore Palestinian suffering. Israels right to self defense a tremendous propaganda victory 

One of Israel’s tremendous propaganda victories is that it has been accepted as a victim of the Palestinians, both in the view of the Israeli public and that of Western leaders who hasten to speak of Israel’s right to defend itself. The propaganda is so effective that only the Palestinian rockets at the south of Israel, and now at Tel Aviv, are counted in the round of hostilities. The rockets, or damage to the holiest of holies – a military jeep – are always seen as a starting point, and together with the terrifying siren, as if taken from a World War II movie, build the meta-narrative of the victim entitled to defend itself. 

Every day, indeed every moment, this meta-narrative allows Israel to add another link to the chain of dispossession of a nation as old as the state itself, while at the same time managing to hide the fact that one continuous thread runs from the 1948 refusal to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, the early 1950s expulsion of Bedouin from the Negev desert, the current expulsion of Bedouin from the Jordan Valley, ranches for Jews in the Negev, discrimination in budgets in Israel, and shooting at Gazan fishermen to keep them from earning a respectable living. Millions of such continuous threads link 1948 to the present. They are the fabric of life for the Palestinian nation, as divided as it may be in isolated pockets. They are the fabric of life of Palestinian citizens of Israel and of those who live in their lands of exile. 

But these threads are not the entire fabric of life. The resistance to the threads that we, the Israelis, endlessly spin is also part of the fabric of life for Palestinians. The word resistance has been debased to mean the very masculine competition of whose missile will explode furthest away (a competition among Palestinian organizations, and between them and the established Israeli army ). It does not invalidate the fact that, in essence, resistance to the injustice inherent in Israeli domination is an inseparable part of life for each and every Palestinian. 

The foreign and international development ministries in the West and in the United States knowingly collaborate with the mendacious representation of Israel as victim, if only because every week they receive reports from their representatives in the West Bank and Gaza Strip about yet another link of dispossession and oppression that Israel has added to the chain, or because their own taxpayers’ money make up for some of the humanitarian disasters, large and small, inflicted by Israel. 

On November 8, two days before the attack on the holiest of holies – soldiers in a military jeep – they could have read about IDF soldiers killing 13-year old Ahmad Abu Daqqa, who was playing soccer with his friends in the village of Abassan, east of Khan Yunis. The soldiers were 1.5 kilometers from the kids, inside the Gaza Strip area, busy with “exposing” (a whitewashed word for destroying ) agricultural land. So why shouldn’t the count of aggression start with a child? On November 10, after the attack on the jeep, the IDF killed another four civilians, aged 16 to 19. 

Wallowing in ignorance 

Leaders of the West could have known that, before the IDF’s exercise last week in the Jordan Valley, dozens of Bedouin families were told to evacuate their homes. How extraordinary that IDF training always occurs where Bedouin live, not Israeli settlers, and that it constitutes a reason to expel them. Another reason. Another expulsion. The leaders of the West could also have known, based on the full-color, chrome-paper reports their countries finance, that since the beginning of 2012, Israel has destroyed 569 Palestinian buildings and structures, including wells and 178 residences. In all, 1,014 people were affected by those demolitions. 

We haven’t heard masses of Tel Aviv and southern residents warning the stewards of the state about the ramifications of this destruction on the civilian population. The Israelis cheerfully wallow in their ignorance. This information and other similar facts are available and accessible to anyone who’s really interested. But Israelis choose not to know. This willed ignorance is a foundation stone in the building of Israel’s sense of victimization. But ignorance is ignorance: The fact that Israelis don’t want to know what they are doing as an occupying power doesn’t negate their deeds or Palestinian resistance. 

In 1993, the Palestinians gave Israel a gift, a golden opportunity to cut the threads tying 1948 to the present, to abandon the country’s characteristics of colonial dispossession, and together plan a different future for the two peoples in the region. The Palestinian generation that accepted the Oslo Accords (full of traps laid by smart Israeli lawyers ) is the generation that got to know a multifaceted, even normal, Israeli society because the 1967 occupation allowed it (for the purpose of supplying cheap labor ) almost full freedom of movement. The Palestinians agreed to a settlement based on their minimum demands. One of the pillars of these minimum demands was treating the Gaza Strip and West Bank as a single territorial entity. 

But once the implementation of Oslo started, Israel systematically did everything it could to make the Gaza Strip into a separate, disconnected entity, as part of Israel’s insistence on maintaining the threads of 1948 and extending them. Since the rise of Hamas, it has done everything to back up the impression Hamas prefers – that the Gaza Strip is a separate political entity where there is no occupation. If that is so, why not look at things as follows: As a separate political entity, any incursion into Gazan territory is an infringement of its sovereignty, and Israel does this all the time. Does the government of the state of Gaza not have the right to respond, to deter, or at least the masculine right – a twin of the IDF’s masculine right – to scare the Israelis just as Israel scares the Palestinians? 

But Gaza is not a state. Gaza is under Israeli occupation, despite all the verbal acrobatics of both Hamas and Israel. The Palestinians who live there are part of a people whose DNA contains resistance to oppression. 

In the West Bank, Palestinian activists try to develop a type of resistance different from the masculine, armed resistance. But the IDF puts down all popular resistance with zeal and resolve. We haven’t heard of residents of Tel Aviv and the south complaining about the balance of deterrence the IDF is building against the civilian Palestinian population.  

And so Israel again provides reasons for more young Palestinians, for whom Israel is an abnormal society of army and settlers, to conclude that the only rational resistance is spilled blood and counter-terrorizing. And so every Israeli link of oppression and all Israeli disregard of the oppression’s existence drags us further down the slope of masculine competition. 

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Ricahrd Falk

Richard Falk

Richard Falk is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, the author or co-author of 20 books and the editor or co-editor of another 20 books, speaker, activist on world affairs, and an appointee to two United Nations positions on the Palestinian territories. He has been the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.

Falk is interviewed here by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.

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Now seems like an appropriate time to remember this address given by British MP, Sir Gerald Kaufman, back in 2009, during the last Israeli assault on Gaza.

Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and a Zionist, said: “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town… A German soldier shot her dead in her bed… My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza.”

Kaufman urged his government to impose a complete arms embargo on Israel.

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