The Gaza Strip has been closed to Israeli journalists for 11 years but globally, the majority of the mainstream news media have themselves chosen to ignore the crimes against humanity committed by Israel, both in Gaza and in the militarily Occupied West Bank. The news media regularly publicise the human stories of individuals caught up in terror attacks and accidents. Except, that is, when it comes to the victims of Israel’s daily violence and oppression against the Palestinian people, struggling to survive in their homeland. Thanks to cell phones and other digital devices, there is now much graphic evidence of the Israeli military’s cowardly and criminal behaviour.
The provocative position taken by the United States over the status of Jerusalem flies in the face of international law and UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions. This has led, inevitably, to increased protest by the Palestinian people who, subject to Israeli Occupation Military Order 101, are forbidden to peacefully resist the Occupation and are prohibited from attending or organising any assembly, vigil or public protest of a political nature involving more than ten people. Israel’s population-control machine suppresses expressions of protest and free speech with utmost violence. As the year 2017 draws to a close, we take a look at some of the crimes that Israel, encouraged by trumpery from the US, is visiting upon the Palestinian people.
Videos expose Israeli soldiers’ disgusting treatment of defenceless Palestinian children
On 11 December, British sports broadcaster, Gary Lineker, re-tweeted a video of Israeli soldiers abusing Palestinian children. The video was originally tweeted by the Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, the day before. It shows Israeli soldiers rounding up children in the Occupied West Bank city of Hebron in October. In spite of the evidence – and quite unabashed – the Zionist propaganda machine attempted to justify the behaviour. A former Israeli military spokesperson, Peter Lerner, asserted that Lineker had “completely missed the point.” He called the children “a public menace” for throwing stones, utterly ignoring the fact that heavily-armed Israeli Occupation forces menace the population day and night. The soldiers are not there for the benefit of the Palestinian people, and their self-serving excuses are scarcely credible. So a child may actually have thrown a stone at an enemy soldier. The point is, that the soldier is an invader and the stone-throwing is a natural act of Resistance against intolerable provocation. Add to that, the lack of Israeli Army credibility when its soldiers select a particular child to accuse – the soldiers know the military court will find them guilty on the flimsiest of evidence. Peter Lerner resorted in desperation to implying that Lineker may be anti-Semitic because he drew attention to a scene in the video in which several handcuffed boys could be seen confined inside a wire cage. Incredibly, in the face of the video evidence, Lerner accused Gary Lineker of justifying “terror”. See also: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah
Today they took my son
A video of a mother’s anguish as her young son is taken away by the Israeli military. Unable to prevent the cruel and inhumane treatment she knows he is experiencing, the helplessness she feels is unbearable. This seven-minute film is based on a UNICEF report.
Israeli Army admits Palestinian youngster shot by soldiers was not carrying a knife
The Israeli Army said troops spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the fence around the Ariel Israeli Occupation settlement “in a suspicious manner”. The soldiers said they opened fire at one of the ‘suspects’ after he “appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket”. The Israeli military failed to produce any evidence of a knife.
4 Palestinians killed in Israeli air strikes that seriously injured six-month-old baby
The day after Trump’s infamous recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Israel celebrated the apparent US approval of its international law violations by mounting massive and disproportionate military violence against all expressions of outrage. The Palestinian Ministry of Health released a statement, saying that between Friday afternoon – when the Palestinian protests began – and early Saturday morning – when Israeli air strikes targeted Gaza – four Palestinians, two of them Resistance fighters, had been killed. In the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Yunis, 30-year-old Mahmoud al-Masri was shot and killed by Israeli forces and on Friday evening a 54-year-old protester, Maher Atallah, died of wounds inflicted when he was shot by Israeli forces in Northern Gaza. One of the men killed, 29-year-old Ibrahim Abu Thurayya, had lost his legs in previous Israeli offensives on the blockaded Strip. Israeli war planes had targeted three areas in Khan Yunis and Jabaliya. A six-month-old baby was also seriously injured in the air strike.
Israeli Army stun grenade attack on woman’s house triggers fatal heart attack
Sixty-year-old Hamda Zubaidat suffered a heart attack and died shortly after Israeli soldiers fired a stun grenade into her house in the village of Zubaidat, Jericho. The assault was part of an Israeli Army terror rampage through the village that began shortly after midnight.
Israel took his legs now it has taken his life
Wheelchair-bound Abu Thuraya
Ibrahim Abu Thuraya had lost both legs during Israeli Army shelling of the al-Bureij UN refugee camp in the 2008-09 Cast Lead Gaza offensive. He later made his living from his wheelchair by cleaning car windows. This year, seated in his wheelchair on Friday, December 15, Ibrahim was shot dead by an Israeli Army sniper who had safely positioned himself behind the border fence opposite the al-Shujaiyeh neighbourhood. Armed only with fists, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya had offended Israel by loudly protesting and the penalty for that was instant execution, or to put it more plainly, murder. The soldier who committed the crime will remain anonymous, there will be no fuss and the mainstream news media will continue to turn a blind eye – as will our politicians who will continue to expect the Palestinian people to ‘negotiate’ with a brutal regime that is driven by an ideology that places Israel above international law and apart from the norms of civilisation.
The mainstream news media never challenge the assiduously-nurtured impression resulting from Zionist propaganda that Israel is under constant threat from Palestinian missiles. Israel uses this argument to justify its Gaza blockade –but the truth is the reverse. Israel uses the blockade and constant attacks on fishing boats and Gaza’s farmland in order to provoke Palestinian missile launches. These rocket-firings are largely harmless but are of enormous value to Israel in exercising its control of Gaza.
The asymmetrical balance of power in Gaza
In the last quarter of this year to 18 December, there have been 16 reported Palestinian Gaza ceasefire violations. Fourteen of these were missile-firings. The remaining two were attacks on the Israeli military. Over the same period, there have been 199 Israeli ceasefire violations, including 19 air strikes, shelling, three hijackings, a toxic aerial chemical weapons attack on Gaza’s farmland, incursions and destruction of crops, seven Palestinian deaths and 121 wounded. Here are some examples from 29 November to 18 December this year:
Israeli chemical weapon strikes – agricultural sabotage – 3 injured: Khan Yunis – Israeli forces sprayed toxic chemicals from the air, injuring three Palestinians at work on Palestinian farmland. Medical sources in Gaza said the Palestinians suffered chemical burns and severe shortening of breath during the attack and exhibit now symptoms of allergy. Samples of the toxins are being prepared for analysis.
Israeli Army attack – agricultural sabotage: Khan Yunis – an Israeli Army position opened fire at dawn on Palestinian shepherds and farmland in both the al-Qarara area and the al-Zaytoun neighbourhood.
Air strike: Northern Gaza – 14:25, Israeli jet fighters fired missiles into Beit Lahiya.
Air strikes – 6 missiles: Gaza – 16:50, Israeli war planes launched six missiles into the al-Zaytoun neighbourhood, wounding three residents.
Israeli Army attack: Northern Gaza – 14:25, Israeli Army tanks, positioned behind the Green Line, shelled Beit Hanoun in the north and east – eight strikes were recorded.
Israeli Army attack – child wounded – agricultural sabotage: Northern Gaza – afternoon, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened live fire, as well as launching stun grenades and tear gas canisters into east Jabaliya. One unidentified child was wounded.
Israeli Navy hijacking – economic sabotage: Northern Gaza – 18:00-23:50, Israeli gunboats opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya, hijacked a fishing boat and took prisoner five Palestinian refugee crew: Sayyid Nasser al-Halabi, Ayman Ahmad Tolba, Sami Nabil Abu al-Sadiq, Muhammad Ahmad Abu al-Sadiq, and Ihab Ahmad Tolba.
Israeli air strike – death and injuries: Northern Gaza – 21:00, Israeli military aircraft launched missiles into the town of al-Sheikh Ziyad, killing one person, Maher Mohammad Attallah (54), and injuring 16 others.
Israeli air strike – 2 deaths: Gaza – 04:10, Israeli military aircraft carried out air strikes on Gaza, killing two people: Mohammad Mohammad Jabr Sha’ban Al-Safadi (25) and Mahmoud Mohammad Abdel-Qadder Al-Attal (26).
Israeli Army attack – 1 killed and 24 wounded: Northern Gaza – 12:45, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened live fire and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters in Jabaliya, killing one person and wounding another 24, two of them critically.
Israeli Army attack – 13 wounded and 18 tear gas casualties: Gaza – 12:40, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters in the al-Shija’iya neighbourhood, wounding 13 people and causing 18 tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack on UN refugee camp – 9 wounded – tear gas casualties: Central Gaza – 12:25, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in the al-Bureij UN refugee camp. Nine people were wounded. There were several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 5 wounded: Rafah – 13:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened live fire and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators, wounding five residents.
Israeli Army attack – 1 killed and 15 wounded: Khan Yunis – 12:40, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters in Abasan al-Kabireh, killing a resident, Mahmoud Abdel-Majeed Al-Masri, and wounding 15 other people.
Israeli Army attack – 2 wounded: Northern Gaza – 09:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters in Jabaliya, wounding two residents.
Israeli Army attack – 2 wounded: Gaza – 11:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in the al-Shija’iya neighbourhood. Two people were wounded.
Israeli Army attack – 2 wounded in refugee camp: Central Gaza – 10:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas into the al-Bureij UN refugee camp, wounding two people and causing eight tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 2 wounded: Khan Yunis – 08:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at people in Khuza’a town, wounding two residents.
Israeli Army attack – 16 wounded: Rafah – 14:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas canisters at demonstrators in Rafah, wounding 16 unidentified residents.
Israeli Army attack – 32 wounded – 40 tear gas casualties: Northern Gaza – 12:40, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators near the Beit Hanun (Erez) crossing, wounding 32 residents and causing 40 tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 2 killed – including wheelchair-bound man: Gaza – 12:40, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on, and launched stun grenades and tear gas at, demonstrators in the al-Shija’iya neighbourhood, killing two residents: Yasser Naji Ibrahim Sukkar (23) and a disabled man, Ibrahim Nayef Ibrahim Abu Thoria (29), and wounding 16 others.
Israeli Army attack – 8 wounded – 5 tear gas casualties: Central Gaza – 12:40, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in the al-Bureij UN refugee camp. Eight people were wounded and there were five tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 18 wounded – 12 tear gas casualties: Khan Yunis – 12:40, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in the al-Farahin area of Abasan al-Kabira, wounding 18 residents and causing 12 tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 9 wounded – 27 tear gas casualties: Rafah – 13:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters, wounding nine residents and causing 27 tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 4 wounded: Gaza – 13:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on, and launched stun grenades and tear gas at, demonstrators in the al-Shija’iya neighbourhood, wounding four people. There were several tear gas casualties.
Israeli Army attack – 1 wounded in UN refugee camp: Central Gaza – 12:40, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in the al-Bureij UN refugee camp, wounding one unidentified resident and causing several tear gas casualties.
3 Israeli air strikes: Northern Gaza – 02:50, Israeli war planes made three attacks, launching five missiles into the al-Waha and al-Sudaniya areas of Beit Lahiya.
Israeli Army attack – 1 wounded – agricultural sabotage: Northern Gaza – 14:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in Jabaliya. One person was wounded.
Israeli Army attack – 4 wounded – several tear gas casualties: Gaza – 13:30, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at demonstrators in the al-Shaja’ia neighbourhood. Four people were wounded and several others became tear gas casualties.
December 18: another 7 Israeli attacks – and so they continue, day after day.
The mainstream news media choose not to report such attacks, preferring instead to concentrate on protesting Palestinians throwing stones. News of Israeli air strikes, demolished Palestinian houses, ruined crops, home invasions and abducted Palestinian children would call into question the carefully constructed image of ‘a brave little Israel that is only defending itself’. Our Government’s independent stand in supporting international law and refusing to give way to Trump’s threats is right and proper. But is it enough? So long as Israel remains unaccountable for its actions, the atrocities will continue. For the Zionist enterprise, Trump’s irrational performance may yet prove to be an own goal. The world is seen to be divided now between those who believe that might justifies hegemony, which the US has openly joined, and traditional supporters of international law and universal justice. The fault lines have opened and the world can at last see the truth that has so long been buried beneath circumlocution and dishonesty. The two-state solution has evaporated forever and a historic opportunity has taken its place. The world must, with all speed, embrace the possibility of an end to the ideology of apartheid in the Holy Land. Let New Zealand build upon the respect it has earned for sponsoring Security Council Resolution 2334 and take the next step towards a new global understanding of past injustices and future remedies. Make this call to the whole world: One land with justice and equal rights for all!