In a completely unprecedented move, a delegation from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague is to visit Israel to assess whether the country is to be tried for
war crimes carried out during the 51-day military aggression carried out against Gaza in 2014.
More than 2,200 Palestinians, including 490 children, were killed in what the Israeli military called ‘Operation Protective Edge’. Over 11,100 others, including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people, were also wounded in the assault.
This morning, 31st August, Israeli occupation forces accompanying 4 armoured bulldozers raided the al-Bureij refugee
camp, located in the central Gaza strip, and leveled lands in the Deir Al-Balah district.
It was reported that four Israeli bulldozers crossed into the Gaza Strip from Israel and raided the east side of the camp as Israeli drones flew overhead. Witnesses also added that Israeli soldiers randomly opened fire, though at this time no injuries have been reported.
It is important to remember that Israel claim to longer occupy Gaza since their ‘disengagement’ in 2005. However since this ‘disengagement’ the Israeli military have continually made significant incursions into Gaza and after the last military assault on the Gaza strip in 2014, the occupation forces have maintained a presence on a sizeable tranche of land within the strip which they deem a security buffer zone, and from which they can launch further incursions.
As of August 22, the United Nations had documented 45 Israeli military incursions into the Gaza Strip.
The US State Department has urged citizens to leave Gaza ‘as soon as possible’.
This warning is being widely interpreted by Gazans that a further onslaught by the Israeli military is likely expected soon.
Similar warnings were issued by the US State Department shortly before the commencement of the devastating campaigns of aggression by the Israeli military in 2008, 2012 and again in 2014.
On Sunday the Israeli Air Force launched dozens of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip after a single rocket had struck the southern Israeli City of Sderot earlier in the day, causing no damage or injuries.
The Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran is to be demolished to make way for a Jewish-only settlement called “Hiran”. The ‘nucleus’ of the settlement has been funded by the JNF-USA, “which funnels tax-exempt charitable donations from Americans to the Israeli-government-backed settlement organization the Jewish National Fund.”
There are currently questions being asked about the JNF-UK which appear to also be using tax-exempt donations AND tax-payers money in the form of ‘Gift Aid’ to financially assist illegal settlements in occupied Palestine.
This is just one example of a much larger issue which sees many Palestinian Bedouin villages, deemed ‘unrecognized’ by the Israeli Government, despite as is the case with Umm al-Hiran being established by the State itself, being bulldozed to make way for Israeli settlements.
Read more at Electronic Intifada here
This week the Scottish Conservatives sent their first ever delegation to Israel to build closer ties with the far right Israeli administration. The delegation consisted of nine Conservative MSPs, including several shadow cabinet ministers, the chief whip and the party’s director.
Whilst there they ‘met with Israeli MKs, local businessmen and security officials and received briefings by the IDF at the Syrian border.’
However I think we can be pretty sure that they would have made no effort whatsoever to visit occupied Palestine… to go and see how ordinary Palestinians survive in overcrowded refugee camps under constant terror day and night from the Israeli occupation forces.
You can also bet that the delegation of Tory MSPs never made arrangements to interview any of the Palestinian children presently illegaly held under administrative detention (imprisonment without charge) in Israeli prisons to find out about the heinous treatment they endure… to investigate the allegations of torture against these young children.
Do we expect any Parliamentary questions from the Holyrood opposition on these subjects when they return and get back to work? No, not likely! No, from what I hear we’ll see praise upon praise heaped onto the Israeli authorities… we’ll hear talk of the necessity to build more bridges with this under siege democracy, bullied by all of its violent neighbours, and we will, ironically, hear MSPs commend Israel for letting Turkish aid convoys into the besieged open air prison that is Gaza
If you can make it, make sure you get along to Glasgow’s Govanhill Baths next Tuesday evening.
Prize-winning Palestinian photographer Hamde Abu Rahma will be speaking about his experiences as a photojournalist in the occupied West Bank at the launch of his first solo UK exhibition.
Tuesday 09th September 6:30pm
99 Calder Street
Glasgow G42 7RA
The Palestinian Journalists’ Forum has denounced Google for deleting the name of Palestine from its maps and replacing it with Israel.
In a statement released yesterday, the forum said Google’s decision to remove Palestine from its maps on 25 July “is part of the Israeli scheme to establish its name as a legitimate state for generations to come and abolish Palestine once and for all.”
Read more at Middle East Monitor:
Yesterday, 3rd August, the Israeli parliament passed a bill into law which would permit the imprisonment of Palestinian children aged 14 and younger.
The ‘Youth Bill’ allows Israeli authorities to imprison Palestinian children if convicted of “terrorism” against Israeli civilians or military personnel.
The intention of this new law is to punish primarily Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinian minors from the occupied WestBank have long since been at the receiving end of the Israel occupation forces military court system.
Read the full story here:
Credit Ma’an News Agency
Only last week Israeli occupation forces blocked 6 players from Palestinian football team Shabab Khan Younis from passing through a checkpoint, as a consequence the Cup Final they were participating in had to be cancelled.
This week, the Israeli Government are preventing the head of the Palestinian Olympic team, Issam Qishta, from leaving Gaza to join the 22 strong Palestinian Olympic squad in Brazil.
In addition, the Palestinian team has had to buy equipment and supplies upon arriving in Brazil after Israeli authorities had refused to allow their much needed equipment to leave occupied Palestinian territory with them.
Read more here.