Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Children who Kill Never had a Chance

Posted in My notes by beyondtheborder on April 14, 2009

When you Johann Hari’s article, “Children who Kill Never had a Chance“, think of the children of Gaza… The children who were found clinging to their mother’s dead corpses for 48 hours while Israeli soldiers were less than 100 yards away… The children who want to die to reunite with their parents in paradise… the children who lived through a 22 day massacre… And in five to ten years, when you hear the stories of heart-broken Israeli families who just lost their children to suicide bombs, you’ll know who to blame.

War-shocked Gaza children ‘want to die’

Posted in Operation Cast Lead by beyondtheborder on April 12, 2009
Palestinian boys wounded by an Israeli tank shell wait for treatment at Shifa hospital in Gaza in January

Palestinian boys wounded by an Israeli tank shell wait for treatment at Shifa hospital in Gaza in January

“At the bravest times they’ve thought, ‘I want to die. My father was dead in the Israeli attack – I want to be with them. So I want to die. There’s nothing good about this life. At least when I die, I will be with my parents, and it will be heaven and paradise’.”

For full article, visit http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/13/2541280.htm?section=world

Gazan children to be screened for long-term effects of white phosphorus smoke

The children, 300 from the Afaluna Society for Deaf Children and 700 associated with the Culture and Free Thought Association in Gaza will be screened with particular attention to the long-term effects of the use of white phosphorus weapons by Israel during its war against the Gaza Strip.

Children requiring follow-up treatment and medications will be seen by both Japanese and Jordanian doctors, who are supporting the initiative.

For full article, visit http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=37056

437 children killed, 1872 injured in Israel’s offensive

Posted in Arab-Israeli Wars, News Excerpts, Operation Cast Lead, The Gaza Strip by beyondtheborder on April 11, 2009

In interviews with human rights groups, several children said that they spend days next to their dead parents as the Israeli shelling was ongoing and medics could not enter the shelled areas to search for survivals.

Anne Finman of the UNICEF stated that she visited a UNICEF Psychological Support Center and the Red Crescent Society in Gaza last March, and witnessed children drawing missiles that targeted their homes; one child drew a dark area under her drawing and said that this is “a place for burying the dead”

For full news article, visit http://www.imemc.org/article/59886

Independent fact-finding mission into violations of human rights in the Gaza Strip during the period 27.12.2008 – 18.01.2009

Posted in Official Publications, Operation Cast Lead, Publications by beyondtheborder on April 10, 2009

In their concluding remarks, the experts say:

“The underlying meaning of the attack on the Gaza Strip, or at least its final consequence, appears to be one of creating terror without mercy to anyone. Nearly all the people we spoke to slept cuddled together with the other members of their family in a central room of the house during the three weeks of attack. No one knew where or when the next bomb or explosion would occur. It appears that the wide range of attacks with sophisticated weaponry was predominantly focussed on terrorising the population. …”

For full article, visit http://www.phr.org.il/phr/article.asp?articleid=708&catid=54&pcat=-1&lang=ENG

To download full report, click here.

From Witness to Memory: Gaza March 2009

Posted in Operation Cast Lead by beyondtheborder on April 10, 2009

I am watching the children running down a dirt laneway, running home from school, laughing and chasing each other, glancing at me as they pass, a stranger simply crouching in a field staring glassy-eyed at their existence. I stand up and look back towards the house to see a young girl from the family running towards me and as she approaches she looks at me straight in the eyes and I notice she too is crying, and she notices I am crying, I look away and she looks where I’m looking and then sits in the dirt, we don’t speak, she takes out a pen and paper and starts writing a letter, she writes a few lines and then scrunches up the paper and throws it away. She starts writing again and I crouch down to her level, she asks, “why are you crying?” I point to my eyes and say, “because of what we see in Gaza”. She nods. I ask her “why are you crying?” “Yusef” she says, “I miss him”, then she reaches out and hugs me, we hug, and cry, and it all feels strange and awkward and comforting at the same time, she stands up and takes my hand and leads me back to the house, I am not ready to go, but I follow her.

A missile found in the Abed Rabu home

A missile found in the Abed Rabu home

To read the rest of Jessie Boylan’s account of the horror she witnessed in Gaza, click here.

Sharp rise in reports of military and police violence in the West Bank since Operation “Cast Lead”

Posted in Beatings, Abuse and Killings, The West Bank by beyondtheborder on April 8, 2009

Since the beginning of Operation “Cast Lead”, B’Tselem has documented 24 cases in which Palestinians reported being severely beaten by police officers and soldiers. As it is impossible for B’Tselem to document each and every case of violence by security forces in the West Bank, the above figures necessarily reflect only a portion of the violent incidents that actually occurred. B’Tselem referred all the documented cases to the law-enforcement authorities. Although some of the cases occurred more than two months ago, the authorities have yet to complete an investigation into a single case.

For full article, visit http://www.btselem.org/english/press_releases/20090325.asp

Excerpt from Nassim Shalaldeh’s Testimony
Age: 26 Years Old

My brother Muhammad, who sat on the ground, gave the policeman his ID card. He said, “Here it is, my identity card.” The policeman, out of nowhere, kicked him hard in the side. Muhammad cried out in pain. Sanad and I got up. I pushed the policeman, so he’d stop hitting my brother. I said, “Why are [typo in Hebrew] you beating him? He didn’t do anything. He gave you his identity card in a respectful manner.” The policeman replied, “Sit down or I’ll shoot you.” There weren’t any other policemen at the time. It was around 7:15 P.M.

For full testimony visit http://www.btselem.org/english/testimonies/20090314_BP_assault_workers_from_Sair_Witness_Nasim_Shalaldeh.asp

Excerpt from Ghassan ‘Odeh’s Testimony
Occupation: Contractor

In the meantime, some more Border Police jeeps and army jeeps arrived. Lots of people stopped and watched. People tried to get the policemen away from my sons. Muhammad managed to get away, I don’t know how. A Palestinian ambulance arrived. Mahmoud was on the ground. He was unconscious and his head was bleeding. I thought he was dead, and I started to shout, “My son is dead, my son is dead.” The officer grabbed me by the throat and choked me. I saw Mahmoud being put into the ambulance. Policemen cuffed me with plastic cuffs, blindfolded me, and took me to a jeep. I heard gunfire. I think the policemen fired in the air to move people back.

For full testimony visit http://www.btselem.org/english/testimonies/20090304_bp_assault_father_and_sons_in_huwara_witness_ghasan_odeh.asp

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk

Posted in Official Publications, Operation Cast Lead, Publications by beyondtheborder on April 8, 2009

The graph below, based on Israeli sources, shows the number of Palestinian rockets and mortar shells fired each month in 2008, with the period of the ceasefire stretching basically from its initiation on 19 June to its effective termination on 4 November when Israel struck a lethal blow in Gaza that reportedly killed at least six Hamas operatives. It dramatically demonstrates the extent to which the ceasefire was by far the most secure period with respect to the threats posed by the rockets:

picture-1

The authors of a study based on the data displayed in the graph above5 concluded that “the ceasefire was remarkably effective; after it began in June 2008, the rate of rocket and mortar fire from Gaza dropped to almost zero, and stayed there for almost four months.” The experience of the temporary ceasefire demonstrates both the willingness and the capacity of those exerting control in Gaza to eliminate rocket and mortar attacks.

To download Richard Falk’s full report, click here.

150 thousand Gazans still without tap water

Posted in Humanitarian Crisis, The Gaza Strip by beyondtheborder on April 8, 2009

Monther Shoblak, director-general of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility, estimates that 50,000 people lack tap water after losing their homes and that a further 100,000 have no running water because of damage caused to the water network. Six wells were completely destroyed in the bombing campaign and another eleven are not functioning.

Severe bombing damage to waste-water treatment plants in the Beit Hanoun and Zeitoun areas of Gaza City have added to the difficulties. For 20 nearly three weeks untreated raw sewage was discharged into the surrounding land, contaminating groundwater.

For full article, visit http://www.imemc.org/article/59823

Cut to pieces: the Palestinian family drinking tea in their courtyard

Posted in Arab-Israeli Wars, News Excerpts, Operation Cast Lead, Videos by beyondtheborder on April 8, 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sitting around drinking tea with the family in their small courtyard, Mounir heard the loud buzzing of an Israeli drone, clearly visible in the sky above.

He went inside for a moment and, as he returned, he saw a ball of light hurtling down toward him. There was a loud explosion and he was thrown backward. He gathered himself and stumbled out into the courtyard, where he saw the scene he says will never leave him.

“We found Mohammed lying there, cut in half. Ahmed was in three pieces; Wahid was totally burnt – his eyes were gone. Wahid’s father was dead. Nour had been decapitated. We couldn’t see her head anywhere.”

For full article, visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/23/gaza-war-crimes-drones