Relentless Provocation

By   /   April 16, 2016  /   19 Comments

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One of the most frequently repeated excuses for Israeli aggression, including the ruinous blockade of Gaza, is the claim that Palestinian missiles are constantly raining down on Israel from Gaza.

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One of the most frequently repeated excuses for Israeli aggression, including the ruinous blockade of Gaza, is the claim that Palestinian missiles are constantly raining down on Israel from Gaza. The following Gaza Ceasefire Violations Summary for the first quarter of 2016 may prove useful for anyone who is engaged in combating Israeli hasbara. This summary is frequently updated.

Gaza Ceasefire Violations Summary
for first quarter of 2016 [as at 31 March]
See on-line daily In Occupied Palestine: http://www.palestine.org.nz/

Israel claims that its periodic blitzes on the Gaza Strip, with their massive tolls of slaughter and economic sabotage, are necessary to stop missiles from Gaza being fired towards Israel. What the mainstream news media fail to report, and Israel’s supporters choose to ignore, is that every missile-firing from Gaza occurs after prolonged and relentless Israeli provocation. [See The balance and timing of this year’s Gaza ceasefire violations, below]

An Israeli air strike on 12 March caused the deaths of a ten-year-old Palestinian boy and his six-year-old sister. The boy was Yassin Abu Khoseh. His little sister, Issra, died in hospital later. Medics said the pair were hit by fragments from a missile fired by Israeli aircraft. The children’s brother, Ayyoub (13), suffered moderate injuries in the air strike. The children’s father said that he was asleep when their home was hit and, awakened by the blast, rushed to see if the children had been hurt. “My boy was killed instantly, drowning in his own blood; my daughter was very seriously injured.” His other son said that when he looked at his brother and sister, he found them bleeding heavily from injuries to their heads and various parts of their bodies. The Israeli attack was in response to rockets fired from Gaza that had landed harmlessly in open areas in southern Israel, causing no deaths or injuries. Imagine the outcry and headlines had Palestinian missiles fired from Gaza killed two Israeli children!

The balance and timing of this year’s Gaza ceasefire violations:
Palestinian ceasefire violations in the first three months of this year were a response to over 270 ceasefire violations by Israel aimed at civilian targets, mostly farmers and fishing boats, since 1 January this year.

Israel does its utmost to provoke missile-launchings from Gaza. From 1 January to 10 March, there were just three Palestinian Gaza ceasefire violations. They had all been directed at Israeli blockade-enforcing military targets, taking place on 23 January and 2 and 7 March. As a result of Israeli aggression in Gaza, there have been, so far this year, four Palestinian deaths, including those of three children. Fifty-three Palestinians have been wounded and, in addition, Israel has hijacked five Palestinian fishing boats.

Latest update, as at 1 April 2016:

Israeli ceasefire violations
January: 090
February: 113
March: 137
April: 51
Total: 391

Toll:
4 dead (3 children)
60 wounded/injured
2 abducted
5 hijackings
1 fishing boat sunk

At around 9am on Thursday, 31 March, four Israeli bulldozers entered the Gaza Strip at El Fakhuri. Meanwhile, more than 30 tanks were placed along the fence-line, threatening Palestinian farmers who, in spite of the danger, kept working their land. In less than a month, the wheat harvest season will start. The families who own land near the border don’t know what will happen then, as no one seems to do anything to stop the systematic aggression. This harvest is vital for the families’ ability to feed their children. So ended the first quarter of 2016 for the people of Gaza!
Palestinian ceasefire violations

Total 5:

January 23
Armed Palestinian Resistance: Gaza – 11:30, Palestinian Resistance fighters opened fire on an Israeli military vehicle near al-Shuja’iya. Israeli forces returned fire.
March 2
Armed Palestinian resistance: Khan Yunis – 12:00, Palestinian Resistance fighters opened fire on an Israeli military vehicle in al-Qarara. Israeli forces returned fire.
March 7
Armed Palestinian resistance: Central Gaza – 08:00, a Palestinian Resistance fighter opened fire on an Israeli military vehicle behind the border, east of the al-Maghazi refugee camp. The Israeli Army returned fire, wounding one person.
March 11
Palestinian missile attack: Northern Gaza – 22:30, Palestinian Resistance fighters launched four missiles towards the Green Line that landed harmlessly on open ground in southern Israel.
March 15
Palestinian missile attack: Northern Gaza – 23:30, Palestinian Resistance fighters fired missiles towards the Green Line.

Toll:
No deaths, injuries or damage.

The persecution and provocation continue
Since the first quarter of this year came to an end, and until posting this article, there have been no more missile-firings from Gaza – but there have been 51 further Israeli ceasefire violations, including shelling by the Israeli Navy of Palestinian fishing boats, with the sinking of one of them. Seven people in Gaza have been wounded by Israeli military action already this month.

On 3 April this year it was reported that Israel had severely restricted cement supplies to Gaza. Raed Fattouh, head of the Palestinian Commission to Co-ordinate the Entry of Goods into the Gaza Strip, said that Israel had “officially and completely” halted all cement consignments to Gaza’s private sector, although projects being carried out by UNRWA are, for the moment, still getting supplies of the much-needed material. Gaza’s Economy Ministry says that the amounts of cement currently entering Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing – which links Egypt, Israel and the Gaza Strip – fail to meet the minimum requirements of the Strip’s roughly 1.9 million inhabitants. The Ministry has appealed to the UN and other international institutions to pressure Israel to reverse its decision.

Israel strongly opposes the idea of allowing the port of Gaza to reopen and is determined to block any hope of revival for exports. At the time of signing the 2014 ceasefire agreement, the Deputy Minister in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Ofir Akunis, commented on demands that a date should be set for Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied territories, saying that a return to the 1967 border would be “national suicide” and adding that the likelihood of that happening “is similar to the chance that Israel will agree to a seaport and airport in Gaza.” The World Bank reported in May 2015 that the blockade had slashed Gaza’s GDP by 50% since 2007. Commercial life being brought to a standstill is bound to exacerbate feelings of despair.

The voices of UN bodies and many NGOs:

Statement: Israel, as the occupying power, is the main duty bearer and must comply with its obligations under international law. In particular, it must fully lift the blockade, within the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1860 (2009). The fragile ceasefire must be reinforced, and the parties must resume negotiations to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. All parties must respect international law and those responsible for violations must be brought to justice. Accountability and adherence to international humanitarian law and international human rights law are essential pre-requisites for any lasting peace. Also imperative, Egypt needs to open the Rafah Crossing, most urgently for humanitarian cases, and donor pledges must be translated into disbursements.

Signatories included: UN OCHA oPt, UN OHCHR, UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), UN Women, World Food Programme, World Health Organisation ActionAid, Handicap International, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), Medecins du Monde, Mennonite Central Committee, Oxfam, Save the Children International, and World Vision Jerusalem-West Bank-Gaza.

NZ’s shameful, contrasting silence
Even now, when New Zealand’s voice can be heard at the Security Council, our Government obdurately remains aloof from world opinion, keeping silent and refusing to demand that the UN Security Council take action to require Israel to abide by international law and lift the Gaza blockade. Our Government is silent, the news media are silent and our Parliamentary representatives remain sufficiently unmoved to raise their voices while a third generation of Palestinians is forced to grow up under malevolent, foreign military terror. On 15 April, former New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark, told an informal meeting of candidates for the position of Secretary-General of the United Nations General Assembly that she was “acutely aware that what the United Nations does or does not do affects the everyday lives of countless millions of people.”

Our duty to bear witness and arouse awareness
Helen Clark also declared in front of the meeting that “we owe it to all of us to work together to build a better, fairer and safer world.” So long as our elected representatives choose to cover for Israel and our news media go on treating as unnewsworthy, the horrors suffered daily by blockaded and militarily-occupied Palestinians, it is up to the rest of us to speak out and act. We have abundant evidence to share – not simply with each other – but with all those who are being misled, misinformed and subjected to sterile silence. Write, shout, rally and march, do whatever we’re good at. Let those of us who are aware of the truth urgently and persistently communicate with our law-makers, the news media, religious and other community leaders as well as our friends. Reach out to everyone and do all that we can to inform. Witness for truth – and dispel the silence!

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About the author

Leslie Bravery

Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible!

19 Comments

  1. OneTrack says:

    “The Israeli attack was in response to rockets fired from Gaza that had landed harmlessly in open areas in southern Israel, causing no deaths or injuries.”

    So Hamas fired first! Again! Doesn’t this negate the thrust of your entire argument?

    Easy fix – Stop firing missiles into Israel. You say it wouldn’t work but you have never actually tried it, have you.

    • Translation; you want Palestinians to surrender to Israeli aggression.

      You support warmongering imperialism, Onetrack, we get that. You support Israeli occupation and illegal settlement on the West Bank and Golan Heights – a problem you pointedly ignore. You support the Berlin Wall, oops, I meant Israeli Wall. And you support the blockade of Gaza to achieve your goal of crushing resistance to Israel’s designs on it’s neighbours.

      Understood.

      What I find curious is that you expect others to agree with your pro-Israeli stance. Or do you think other readers will be swayed by your support for aggression against a defenceless people?

      • i'm right says:

        “support for aggression against a defenseless people?”, and that’s where your argument fails, but you believe in it just like the Europeans did and now look at France/Belgium and not forgetting Germany! I’ll give it 2-3 years and the cult of Islam will be driven out of Europe. One thing the world is now realising (and will stop) is ANY mass migration of Islam into non Islamic country is a recipe for disaster.

    • Tim O'Shea says:

      “Easy fix – Stop firing missiles into Israel. You say it wouldn’t work but you have never actually tried it, have you.”

      I’ve got a much easier fix for you Netanyahu cheerleaders, namely:

      * Stop stealing Palestinian land
      * Stop the illegal siege on Gaza
      * Stop illegal settlers from attacking Palestinian children on their way to school
      * Stop dragging Palestinian kids out of their beds in the middle of the night and traumatising them with beatings and torture until they sign false confessions
      * Stop imprisoning hundreds of Palestinian men and women children as young as 12 for simple daring to protect their homes
      * Stop attacking Palestinian fisherman and farmers as they try to make a living for themselves
      * Stop murdering Palestinian men, women and children every day on false pretences
      * Stop spraying Palestinian farmland with poison
      * Stop pulling out and destroying their olive trees
      * Stop destroying Palestine homes with bulldozers and
      * Dismantle the Israeli apartheid state
      * Allow Palestinians free movement in their own country
      * Allow Palestinians to return to their own country
      * Start to obey international law on human rights
      * Stop bombing Gaza every few years and targeting schools, hospitals, ambulances, power plants, UN shelters, water and sewerage treatment facilities
      * Start treating Palestinians (and black people) with respect, rather than as sub humans

      “You say it wouldn’t work but you have never actually tried it, have you?”

      Your poxy missiles excuse just doesn’t wash, as independent evidence clearly shows. These home made devices are as ineffectual as they are inaccurate, and are used infrequently, and in RESPONSE to the persecution of civilian populations who are exposed to appalling treatment on a daily basis.

      Your propaganda is weak and is convincing nobody.

      There is an avalanche of evidence of Israel’s wrong doings, persecution and crimes against humanity.

      There is NO evidence whatsoever of a “hail of missiles” falling on Israeli towns – in fact, I CHALLENGE you to put your money where your mouth is and show us the evidence that you have.

      In turn, I can point you to a mountainous pile of indisputable evidence of the totally disproportionate response by the IOF – using the latest US killing technology – missiles, tanks, artillery, jet fighters, attack helicopters, drones, navy rockets – against people in an open air prison who have no modern army, no air force, and no Navy to defend themselves from Israel’s illegal invasions, bombardments, and massacres of unarmed innocents.

      The BDS movement is growing and you can’t do stop it with online trolling and the buying of politicians – we WILL exercise our right to stop buying any product that supports the Zionist regime of Israel.

      We will continue to support the Palestinians struggle against their oppressors. We won’t rest until the crimes perpetuated against Palestinians are punished, and the Palestinian people are free.

    • Andrea says:

      On one side we have the rightful owners of olive groves and pastures fetching in the harvest and on the other we have young louts in uniform assaulting, threatening and murdering those landowners.

      You may well disbelieve the words and testimony of Palestinians. Fair enough. Do you also discredit the word of Quakers? They’re not known as an agressive Christian sect… They were targetted by Israeli military while helping Palestinians with an olive harvest.

      And as for people who target the sewage treatment plant, the water and power supplies…Vicious and soulless.

      If all they’re getting are a few pitiful rockets while they flash about in top-of-the-line war machines to blitz villages, schools, camps and towns, pick on the Bedouin, mine areas and leave nasty lethal bits about to maim kids…

      Despicable. I’d want them out, gone, departed, and I have no truck whatsoever with any of the desert religions. This isn’t religion: this is bullying and theft. And, before you twitch your knee – they’re both semitic people. Park the ‘racist’ card, please. Not all people of that faith are scoundrels, either. They see no reason to replicate the shoah.

      As for people ranting about Islam – it wasn’t so long ago it was the Romish branch of the Christian religion that was all about ‘breeding its way to world domination’. Now blessedly in decline. Whew!

      Stupid patriarchal religions. Stuffing up the environment and breeding hate. ‘And you don’t count the dead when God’s on your side’ (Bob Dylan)

  2. i'm right says:

    Onetrack is correct Frank, although being a leftie apologist you will not see it that way for the poor oppressed Islam cult followers. Even although you know Palestine is the gateway for Iran/Iraq/Egypt/Syria natives to attack Israel, I have no sympathy as it was the Palestinians who voted for Hamas….If your neighbour was throwing rocks at your house Frank (or the house the readers of TDB are living in) but not actually doing any damage, that’s all OK eh?, but if one of the stones breaks your window and you retaliate with a bigger stone and break 2 of theirs in the hope they will stop?, or you get arrested and plead your case that they started it but the judge/jury ignored your side?….always remember TDB readers, Islam hate you all just as much as they hate Israel, one is an Infidel the other is a Jew, no different in their eyes!

    • What do you mean “Onetrack is correct”? You’re both anonymous supporters for the Israeli war policy and agression against defenceless Palestinians. For all we know (and I suspect this to be the case) you’re “both” either the same person, or know each other.

      If your neighbour was throwing rocks at your house Frank

      You idiot, the Israeli’s are throwing more than just “rocks” at Palestinians!

      • George Hendry says:

        Greetings Frank 🙂

        Usually Leslie’s impeccably researched blogposts have received an almost nil response. This one seems to have broken that mould at last.

        I’d assume it’s because the message is getting mainstream traction at last. Eg recently on RNZ , and not long after primetime !!! a Palestinian author was interviewed (you probably recall it, the one that told of all the checkpoints between the Palestinian refugees and the short distance from when they subsist now to their former homes which were stolen from them).

        Also reassuring are the standard ineffectual responses from our two Israel government apologists. Indefensible then, nothing new now.

    • Tim O'Shea says:

      What complete bloody rubbish ! There is one rule for Palestinians and one for Zionist settlers, as you well know !

      If a settler attacks and kills a Palestinian (never mind throwing stones) – nothing is done. If a Palestinian throws a stone, he gets shot. If he survives, he spends years in prison. Meanwhile, the settler gets his photo outside the court smiling as he’s released without charge.

      Would you like me to point you to examples of this ?

      “Palestine is the gateway for attacks on Israel” ? Are you on drugs ? Israel never gets attacked by it’s “sworn enemy”, ISIS. We all know why that is, you dick !

      “Never let facts get in the way of a good story” – is that a Zionist mantra, by any chance?

      “Islam hate you all just as much as they hate Israel” – now I’m on the floor trying not to choke myself laughing !

      How can “Islam” hate us, mate ? Do you mean Muslims? I know LOTS of Muslims, and none of them hate us! On the contrary, they are always peace abiding, loving, caring, generous people.

      However, I can understand these people hating the cruel nations that bomb the shite out of them day after day in long, unprovoked oil wars – if my family was killed in a US / Israeli / Saudi attack, I would hate those countries too – it is a normal human reaction.

      What I do not understand, however, is how a nation that was based on an escape from appalling atrocities bestowed on its people 70 years ago can then, in any way, justify equally atrocious behaviour towards the people of another nation, especially one that welcomed Jewish refugees all those years ago, and who’s people are now either banished from, or prisoners in, their own country.

      Who gave the oppressed the right to become the oppressor ?

  3. Andrew says:

    Europe is slowly learning what it’s like to live in an irregular war, like Israelis have suffered for 60 years.

    The Muslim invaders in Europe have been out-breeding Europeans for a couple of decades now and the results are almost inevitable.

    Soon you will see that they will exercise their voting power and get reforms which will roll back progressive politics in Europe by a hundred years or more.

    Get prepared for a Europe where women are second class citizens, and have to accept rape as a fact of life. Where gay people not only can’t marry, they are attacked in the street.

    Already we see British Police appeasing ‘minorities’ – as in the case of the Pakistani rape gangs. They will look the other way because nobody wants to be sloganized as ‘racist’ by the left wing thought police.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/250769/hundreds-more-muslim-rape-gang-cases-discovered-uk-robert-spencer

    Already police in Scotland arrest people for the mildest criticism of Islam on Facebook.

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/16/man-arrested-facebook-posts-syrian-refugees-scotland

    Soon politicians will be salting their manifestos with pro-Muslim policies in order to win elections. I guess we’ll first see local government unofficially giving the nod to Sharia courts.

    My message to you: Careful what you wish for! By undermining the only liberal government in he middle east you are setting an awful precedent which you may later regret.

    • Andrew, you are quite mad.

      • Tim O'Shea says:

        You are sick.

        Refugees (Muslims and others) are fleeing the Middle East BECAUSE of the constant wars that are perpetuated by the US, Saudi and Israel- they are escaping for their lives rather than for a holiday in Europe so that they can rape white women, you cretin! If these poor people refuse to fight for ‘ISIS” they are killed. ISIS is the creation of USIS (US – Israel – Saudi) – everyone knows this !

        The picture you paint of a caring and tolerant democracy in Israel is pure fantasy !

        I have no concerns about “Sharia Law” or any of the other cliches that you come up with.

        I am far more concerned with the adverse affects of Israeli Zionist influence on OUR democracy than any Islamophobic propaganda that you turkeys spew out.

        Give it a rest, mate !

    • Andrea says:

      Calm down, dear.

      “Get prepared for a Europe where women are second class citizens”

      Europe is no different from the rest of the patriarchal world. Women have their bums pinched, get killed by their partners, earn less than blokes, literally end up holding the baby and the abuse etc ad nauseum. Good ol’ Christianity, yes? The sort that run down Muslim women crossing the road, perhaps?

      What on earth do you think feminism is about, eh? Or is it all ‘man-hating’ and other touchy sentiments?

      Manchilds. The world is plagued with manchilds….

    • Steve King says:

      Are you off your meds again, bro?

  4. Jax says:

    Good grief. Whaleoil must be almost empty today.
    With a fifth of their pro Israel membership on here.

    Can’t add more to what Tim has covered so completely and eruditely.
    Quite frightening how many hasbara brainwashed are in denial in NZ too now and spreading their fear-mongering nonsense here. A country where we actually have more of a chance of being hurt by an Islamaphobic muppet with a stye in his eye, a racebaiter bigot or a visitor from a myriad of nations ill equipped to travel on our roads, than any Muslim with extreme views.
    Actually more wary of the so called Christian worshippers in their black shirts.