“How was it that a man could not walk onto his own property, visit the grave of his wife, eat the fruits of forty generations of his ancestors’ toil, without mortal consequence?”
― Susan Abulhawa (Palestinian-American witer and political commentator)
Apparently UK’s The Sunday Times published an anti-Israel cartoon on Holocaust day. The cartoon seems to depict Israel’s prime minister, Benjamim Netanyahu, paving a wall with blood, the blood of Palestinians.
The cartoon apeared in the paper on Sunday and was drawn by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe with a caption thet read “Israeli elections- will cementing peace continue?”
European Jewish Congress President, Dr. Moshe Kantor, stated that “This cartoon would be offensive at any time of the year, but to publish it on International Holocaust Remembrance Day is sickening and expresses a deeply troubling mindset. This insensitivity demands an immediate apology from both the cartoonist and the paper’s editors.”
The Holocaust was a terrible tradegy, it was. However, currently the Jews are doing to the Palestinians what was done to them. The Palestinians are experiencing their own Holocaust, therefore I do not find this cartoon to be offensive, not one bit.
In fact, rather than being offensive, this cartoon speaks the truth. It shows how Benjamin Netanyahu is a hypocrite. His people endured pain and suffering during World War 2 and now he is inflicting the same, if not worse, pain and suffering among millions of innocent Palestinians.
The only reason anyone would find this cartoon “offensive” is because it speaks the truth and they are denying the truth.
Let us not forget that the Palestinians are suffering just as the Jews did.
We learn about the Holocaust year after year in school, yet we never learn about the present day Holocaust occuring in Palestine.
It’s time for some change.
Health Minister director general instructs all gynecologists in Israel’s four health maintenance organizations not to inject women with long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera if they do not understand ramifications of treatment.
A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.
Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.
The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago.
Gamzu’s letter instructs all gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”
He also instructed physicians to avail themselves of translators if need be.
Gamzu’s letter came in response to a letter from Sharona Eliahu-Chai of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, representing several women’s rights and Ethiopian immigrants’ groups. The letter demanded the injections cease immediately and that an investigation be launched into the practice.
About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community. According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”
At least five young unarmed people shot by soldiers despite rules permitting live fire only in extreme circumstances
At least five unarmed young Palestinians, including a 21-year-old woman, have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers in 13 days since the start of the year, prompting mounting concern about the unwarranted use of live fire. A sixth was killed on his 17th birthday last month, and a seventh death this month is disputed by the Israeli military.
The commander of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in the West Bank, Brigadier-General Hagai Mordechai has ordered all commanders to reiterate to all soldiers the rules of engagement, a military spokesman told the Guardian.
The use of live fire is permitted only in extreme circumstances, and shooting to kill only in a life-threatening situation. “None of [the dead] posed a threat that justifies the use of lethal force,” said Sarit Michaeli, of the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem and the author of a report published on Monday which analyses the IDF’s use of crowd control weapons in the West Bank. “Swift action by the army is required to transmit a clear message to soldiers that the lives of Palestinians have equal value and that firing live ammunition in non-life threatening situations is illegal.”
The youngest to be killed was 15-year-old Salah Amarin, who died last Wednesday, five days after being shot in the head during clashes near Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. According to the IDF, he had been launching stones from a slingshot.
The same day as Amarin died, Lubna al-Hanash, 22, was shot in the face while walking on a college campus south of Bethlehem. According to the IDF, a routine patrol in the area had opened fire in self-defence after being “confronted by Palestinians with Molotov cocktails”. But Suad Jaara, a friend who was injured in the shooting, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an: “An Israeli soldier was shooting from his rifle while a white car was parked on the roadside. There was no one in the area except Lubna and I.”
Sixteen-year-old Samir Awad was shot on 15 January after crossing a fence that forms part of the security barrier near his home in the village of Budrus. He had just completed school exam before a midterm break from school when he was grabbed by soldiers, broke free and ran away. Soldiers opened fire, hitting him from behind in the back and the head. The IDF said Awad was “attempting to infiltrate into Israel”.
Three days earlier, Uday Darwish, 21, was also shot in the back while running away from soldiers after attempting to cross the separation barrier south of Hebron, according to Palestinian sources. The IDF said “soldiers at the scene fired towards his legs”.
Last month, Mohammed al-Salaymeh was killed by a female soldier at a checkpoint in Hebron while en route to buy a cake to celebrate his 17th birthday. The IDF said he had brandished a toy gun. Grainy video footage of the incident appears to show the youth struggling with a soldier, and then being shot three times. The third and final shot is fired as Salaymeh is leaving the scene.
In Gaza, Anwar al-Mamlouk, 19, was shot in the abdomen 50 metres from the border fence on 11 January by Israeli soldiers, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.
Three days later, a 21-year-old farmer, Mustafa Abu Jarad died after being shot in the head. The IDF denied it was responsible.
According to B’Tselem, IDF regulations say live fire is permissible “in a case of violent rioting by the separation barrier, when there appears to be a real threat of damage to, or breaching of, the barrier, and when less severe methods have proved to be ineffective, the commander of the force may, as a last resort, authorise the firing of single shots of live ammunition at the legs of those people identified as central agitators”.
At least 46 Palestinians have been killed since 2005 by live ammunition fired by soldiers at stone-throwers, says its report, Israel’s Use of Crowd Control Weapons in the West Bank. The most common crowd control weapons are tear gas, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and “skunk” – the use of foul-smelling liquid in water cannon.
“Live ammunition is the most lethal means used by security forces at West Bank demonstrations,” says the report. “The Israeli military’s standing orders explicitly state that live ammunition may not be fired at stone-throwers.”
The IDF said the report relied on “a biased narrative” and “specific incidents … are exceptions to IDF policy rather than the rule”. It added: “Every soldier who is expected to contend with these situations regularly trains with riot dispersal means and is carefully taught the rules of engagement.”
The Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad called for “strong condemnation from the international community” of the recent spate of deaths from live fire, and urged “immediate intervention to compel Israel to desist from these serious attacks on our people”.
The UN special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, has also raised concerns about the use of live fire by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.
In an editorial published before the most recent two deaths, the liberal daily Haaretz said the “basic problem emerging from these cases … is in soldiers and commanders’ overly-free interpretation regarding the circumstances permitting killing Palestinian civilians who only approach the fence, or even try to cross it, without endangering the lives of Israeli soldiers or civilians.”
It added: “The consecutive incidents in which Palestinians were killed in recent days give the feeling that Palestinian blood may be shed with impunity.”
Israel is always claiming that they only target “terrorists” in order to “defend” themselves when in reality they are willing to kill anyone. It’s like a game for them. A disgusting and inhumane act that the world continues to ignore.
Najib Razak crossed into Gaza via its land border with Egypt for what he describes as a humanitarian visit.
Malaysia’s prime minister has defied Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip to visit the Palestinian enclave, a move that has earned the ire of West Bank leaders, despite Najib’s pledge of solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Najib Razak, along with a group of Malaysian ministers, crossed into Gaza on Tuesday via its land border with Egypt for what he described as a humanitarian visit.
He told a joint news conference in Gaza City with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya that he came “to express my solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
“This is a humanitarian visit to express our deep concerns for what happens to the Palestinian people in Gaza and to express our opposition to the aggression on Gaza,” he added.
But the visit drew criticism from the office of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, who also heads the Fatah movement.
“The Palestinian presidency announces its rejection and condemnation of the Malaysian prime minister’s visit to Gaza,” a statement carried on the official WAFA news agency said.
“It undermines Palestinian representation and reinforces the division and does not serve Palestinian interests,” it continued, saying Abbas’ bureau would ask Kuala Lumpur “for clarification.”
Call for reconciliation
Najib said his visit was intended “to show solidarity” and called for renewed reconciliation efforts between the Hamas and the rival Fatah party, including attempts to form a consensus government to pave the way for new elections.
“We believe in this unity government and we pray to Allah that the talks will be successful and a united government will become a reality in the near future,” Najib said.
Najib visited a Gaza university and government offices, as well as the family of top Hamas military chief Ahmed Al-Jaabari, whose assassination by Israel in November started an eight-day war in which more than 160 Palestinians and six Israelis died.
Before leaving for Egypt, he laid the first stone at a Malaysian-funded school.
Najib was the second world leader in recent months to defy the five-year blockade and accept an invitation from Hamas, which Western states regard as a terrorist group.
Qatar’s emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, made a brief visit to Gaza in October and promised $400 million in aid for infrastructure.
On February 9, Moncef Marzouki, Tunisian president, is scheduled to make his first trip to the coastal strip, according to Hamas officials.
The visits have been made possible in part by Egypt’s decision to loosen some of the restrictions on travel through its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, the only entry point to bypass Israel.
Army removes encampment in the occupied West Bank saying the tents and building were on land owned by Israel.
The Israeli army has removed a Palestinian protest encampment of four tents and a building under construction near a village in the occupied West Bank, military sources said.
In addition to demolishing the structures near Beit Iksa, on the northwestern outskirts of Jerusalem, early on Monday “20 Palestinians at the site were evicted without incident,” the sources said.
On Sunday night, the army issued “invasion removal orders” to the encampment, saying three of the tents and the building were on land owned by Israel, and the fourth tent was on the route of a planned separation barrier.
Activists on Friday set up the encampment to protest against Israel’s intention to confiscate at least 124 acres of land near the village, naming the camp Bab al-Karama, Arabic for Gate of Dignity.
Bab al-Karama was inspired by a separate Palestinian protest camp of 24 tents set up on a disputed piece of land on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem that was dismantled by police last week.
Activists had established that camp, which they dubbed Bab al-Shams, or Gate of the Sun in Arabic, in a bid to draw attention to Israeli plans to build in the area, known as E1.