Palestine

Shattered lives in Gaza: how the Israeli army targeted civilians 10 December 2012 Eva Lewis & James Marc Leas

Shattered lives in Gaza: how the Israeli army targeted civilians
10 December 2012     Eva Lewis & James Marc Leas     Palestine and Israel

“My mother, gone. My sisters, gone. My brother, gone. My aunt, gone. My sister-in-law, gone. My nieces, nephews, all gone. Why did they do this? For what?”
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By Eva Lewis & James Marc Leas
Counterpunch

10 December 2012

Palestinian women mourn four-year-old Mahmoud Raed Sadallah, killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrike, 16 November 2012.

THE FATHER OF THE FAMILY, Jamal Mahmoud Yassin al-Dalu, was praying when the missile struck.

It was the afternoon of November 18th, the fifth day of the Israeli attack against Gaza misnamed “Operation Pillar of Defense”.

Jamal’s wife, Tahani Hassan al-Dalu, 52 was at home preparing lunch. His grandchildren, ages 1, 4, 6, and 7 were playing with their toys, waiting to eat.
Also in the house were Jamal’s 73 year old sister, his two daughters, 16 and 25, his son, 29 and his son’s wife, 25. All 10 were killed at once. Three generations of a family wiped out in a single event: five children, 4 women and the father of four of the children.

Two neighbors in an adjoining building, 75 year old Ameena Matar al-Mauzannar and 19 year old Abdullah Mohammed al-Muzannar, were also killed, crushed by collapsing walls.

Two weeks later, there was a vigil with neighbors, friends and family of the 12 victims of the attack.  Children stood with candles on the ruins of the home remembering their loved ones who were killed.

Kitty Holland: Call for ban on imports from Israeli settlements

Kitty Holland - Irish Times

Ireland must move to ban goods imported from illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said.

David Begg, general secretary of Ictu is calling for an “urgent meeting” with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore “to seek an immediate and effective intervention by the Irish Government in light of the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip.”

In a letter to Mr Gilmore, sent over the weekend, Mr Begg calls on the Tánaiste to demand revocation of the favoured trading status Israel enjoys with the EU and an Irish push for an EU ban on trade with Israeli settlements.

In another letter, also sent to Mr Gilmore over the weekend, a coalition of Palestinian agricultural and farming groups calls for “a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements”.

The appropriation of Palestinian land on the West Bank has continued since 1967. According to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem, Israel has established more than 200 settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Some 42 per cent of the West Bank has been occupied by over 500,000 Israeli settlers.

Justin Kilcullen, executive director of Trócaire, says while Palestinians endure check-points, water and medicine shortages, house demolitions and land confiscations, Israeli settlers “enjoy tax-breaks [and] access to swimming pools”.

Among the settlement goods on sale here are agricultural crops, plastic garden furniture made by Keter, and Soda Stream products.

They are labelled as coming from Israel. Their value is small – between €7 and €8 million a year. However Joe O’Brien, advocacy co-ordinator with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) says an Irish ban would be internationally and symbolically “very important”.

‘Meaningful pressure’

ISRAEL BREAKS CEASEFIRE - unpublished letter in Irish Times

Sir,

so Ehud Barak says he will quit politics after the January general election but he refuses to rule out serving again as defence minister (World News 27 November). This sounds a bit like an Israeli ceasefire.

The breaking of the current one occurred last Friday when the IDF shot dead 20-year old Anwar Qudaih near the border. The report by Mark Weiss (26 November) that “both sides continue to observe the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire” is inaccurate and his comment later in the report that “Along some areas of the border, Hamas police kept residents away from the fence, following clashes with Israeli troops on Friday in which a resident was killed and 19 wounded” is deeply mischievous.

Meanwhile the suggestion by Richard Haass (World News, 23 November) that the US Government has a positive role to play in a long term solution is, as one tweet noted last week regarding Tony Blair’s role as middle east peace envoy, “a bit like asking Gary Glitter to chair an enquiry into Jimmy Saville”. Successive US Governments have left a bloody legacy in the Middle East. No real peace will be achieved while they continue to interfere.

Yours etc.

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Steering Committee,
Irish Anti War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

Why Israel did not win its latest war on Gaza

Why Israel did not win its latest war on Gaza
26 November 2012     Adam Shatz     Palestine and Israel
The killing of entire families and the destruction of government buildings and police stations, far from encouraging Palestinians to submit, will only fortify their resistance.

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By Adam Shatz

London Review of Books
23 November 2012

THE CEASEFIRE AGREED by Israel and Hamas in Cairo after eight days of fighting is merely a pause in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

It promises to ease movement at all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, but will not lift the blockade. It requires Israel to end its assault on the Strip, and Palestinian militants to stop firing rockets at southern Israel, but it leaves Gaza as miserable as ever: according to a recent UN report, the Strip will be ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020. And this is to speak only of Gaza.

How easily one is made to forget that Gaza is only a part – a very brutalised part – of the ‘future Palestinian state’ that once seemed inevitable, and which now seems to exist mainly in the lullabies of Western peace processors. None of the core issues of the Israel-Palestine conflict – the Occupation, borders, water rights, repatriation and compensation of refugees – is addressed by this agreement.

The fighting will erupt again, because Hamas will come under continued pressure from its members and from other militant factions, and because Israel has never needed much pretext to go to war.

Civic offices bombed in Gaza within the supposed safe zone that the IDF had directed Gazans to retreat to.

Civic offices bombed in Gaza within the supposed safe zone that the IDF had directed Gazans to retreat to. It’s the video clip on the right on this page.

http://news.sky.com/story/1014721/gaza-israel-and-hamas-ceasefire-under-way - Video: Damage After Gaza Air Strikes

Sky's Stuart Ramsay reports on the blast damage caused by Israeli air strikes in Gaza City.

All ceasefires in Gaza are temporary but what stopped Israel invading this time? 22 November 2012 John Rees Palestine and Israel

All ceasefires in Gaza are temporary but what stopped Israel invading this time?
22 November 2012 John Rees Palestine and Israel
The question, is how did a ceasefire get declared just at the moment when by all the ordinary laws of Israeli politics bombardment should have been followed by invasion of Gaza.
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By John Rees
Stop the War Coalition
22 November 2012

Over 150 were killed in Israel's eight-day bombardment, but Palestinians still saw the ceasefire as a victory for Gaza.
ALL CEASEFIRES in Gaza are temporary and unstable because the underlying problem, the continuing expropriation of Palestinian land by the Israeli state, continues. But each ceasefire marks a particular balance of forces which should be carefully examined.
This ceasefire was declared on the day that a bus bomb exploded in Tel Aviv, after a campaign in which rockets hit Tel Aviv for the first time, and when 75,000 Israeli troops were massed on the borders of Gaza ready for the order to invade to come from what is, even by the extraordinary standards of the state of Israel, a very right wing government.
So the question is how did a ceasefire get declared just at the moment when by all the ordinary laws of Israeli politics bombardment should have been followed by invasion. Rather like the Sherlock Holmes story Silver Blaze where the 'dog that didn't bark in the night' is the vital clue, this is all about something that didn't happen when it should have done.
The vital difference is that Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 happened before the Arab Revolutions and the current misnamed Operation Pillar of Defence has happened in a political landscape still being transformed by those revolutions.

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