Update: 6:35 pm
The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza is reporting that 701 people have been injured during the Return March protests. 17 of those injured are said to be medical personnel.
Update: 5:30 pm
The Palestinian Ministry of Health is reporting that over 500 Palestinians have been injured during today’s protests, 122 by live fire.
Killing kids Israel claims it’s their right of defense
Israeli troops have shot dead seven Palestinian protesters and wounded at least 200 along the Israel-Gaza border, Palestinian medical officials say, raising the death toll to 27 in the week-long disturbances.
1) 27 Palestinians were killed over the past week and at least 200 wounded Friday by Israeli gunfire
2) Israel has come under international criticism for its use of force
Israel said it acted in self defence and that many killed were militants
They said the demonstrators, including two teenage boys aged 16 and 17, were killed at protest sites along the frontier during a round of daily demonstrations that began on March 30 and are known as “The Great March of Return”.
Soldiers have a privilege. Every three or six months they move to a different area. They see only a fraction of Gaza’s despair, but before they even have a chance to process or think about it, they move on to see the despair in Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus.
This weekend in Gaza, Palestinians buried their dead after Israeli soldiers killed at least 18 Palestinian protesters and wounded hundreds more on Friday. About 30,000 Palestinians had gathered near the fenced barrier separating the Gaza Strip from Israel, both protesting the stifling blockade on their territory and mourning the dispossession of their ancestral lands at the hands of the Israeli state.
As in many other Palestinian protests that take place in the occupied territories, most protesters were unarmed and nonviolent. Families picnicked in the shadow of the Israeli border and flew Palestinian flags. But like so many other Palestinian protests, this one ended in tears.
The Israeli army snipers who were ordered to shoot unarmed Palestinian protesters last Friday at the Gaza border, killing 17 outright and wounding hundreds of others, were acting according to the contemporary script of Middle Eastern dictators.
The Israeli army initially admitted in a tweet that the tactic was premeditated and precise, but then deleted the tweet, as the Israeli peace group B’tselem pointed out:
The Israeli Knesset is fast tracking a “nation-state bill” which opposition groups have denounced as “institutionalising the apartheid regime”. Knesset members approved the final draft of the bill defining Israel exclusively as a nation for Jews.
The “Zionism’s flagship bill”, as it’s been described by Israeli politicians, will permit Jewish-only communities and mark a dangerous turning point for Palestinians whose democratic rights will come under greater threat.
Critics say the bill will effectively block any chance for Israel’s large Palestinian minority – 20 per cent of the population – to reform Israel in the future into a normal, Western-style democracy. Palestinian members of the Knesset condemned the move saying the bill “institutionalises an apartheid regime in the most blatant way”.
Paradoxically, Trump’s rash intervention this week is potentially a good thing. Inadvertently, it allows for a more accurate, realistic framework in which to bring about a peaceful settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This conflict is at the root of the region’s never-ending tensions.
The United States is no longer mistaken as a neutral mediator. Its role as a self-appointed honest broker is over.
What’s needed now is an international, multilateral forum in which Palestinians are at last afforded real equality under international law. The Palestinian sovereign right for national status must be advocated in the context of an illegal occupation by Israeli forces. The full sanction of international law must be applied against Israeli transgressions going back to at least the 1967 war.
American chicanery, as illustrated again this week by Trump, is part of the problem. It can never be part of the solution, and it is good that Washington’s
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New photos recently emerged, and were also published by Israeli TV Channel 2, of Israeli soldiers — mostly masked — expressing their support to the “Lehava” Israeli terrorist organization, largely ignored by western corporate media agencies, especially in the United States, while explicitly calling for the killing of Palestinians.
They even carry flags which are similar to those used by ISIS, and are open in their calls, including “Death to Arabs,” and racist graffiti against not only followers of the Muslim and Christian faiths, but insults and profanities targeting Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammad, as well.
Channel 2 published clips of soldiers who participated in various events, either through public protests in occupied Jerusalem, or on their personal Facebook pages, showing not only their support to terrorist Baruch Goldstein, but also to Eden Natan Zada, an active Israeli military soldier who, on August 4, 2005, boarded an Arab bus in Shfa Amr, and opened fire with his military-issued weapon, killing four and wounding at least twelve others.
He was beaten to death after he emptied his clip, and was trying to reload for a new round of shooting to continue his terrorist attack.
Baruch Goldstein, an Israeli terrorist from the illegal settlement of ‘Kiryat Arba’, in the southern West bank city of Hebron, who holds dual US-Israeli citizenship, opened machine-gun fire at Muslim worshipers during prayer. He killed 29 Palestinians and injured 135. On the same day, outside the mosque, the Israeli army opened fire towards fearful and panicky worshipers and killed at least ten civilians.
Following the incident, al-Ibrahimi Mosque was converted into a military post and, later, divided into two parts, one side for Muslims and the other for Jews. Thus, the mosque became a point of conflict and constant tension that has marred its former sanctity.
Israeli sources said that a large number of soldiers have posted statuses on social media websites, including symbols and pictures of themselves carrying Israeli-issued weapons, and expressing strong support to Lehava.
Posing for “selfies” and other photos, soldiers on active military duty, and many like-minded fanatics wearing shirts carrying Lehava symbols, all expressed support for Lehava and terrorist attacks against Palestinians, and wrote texts in this regard, including messages supporting, among many others, Zada and Goldstein.
The soldiers called for the killing of Palestinians, and praised terrorist Baruch Goldstein, who massacred dozens of worshipers in Hebron’s al-Ibrahimi Mosque.
They also expressed joy over the brutal death of the Dawabsha family, while others said that they will not “follow military directives that contradict the Halacha.”
Lehava calls for the use of excessive force in murdering Palestinians, while its supporters openly express their support for the terrorist Israeli attack which led to burning the Dawabsha family to death, as they slept in their home, on July 31, 2015.
Ali Dawabsha, only 18 months of age, was burned to death in his crib, after Israeli terrorists firebombed his home. His father, Sa’ad Dawabsha, succumbed to his wounds a week later, and his mother, Reham Dawabsha, also died of her wounds, leaving Ahmad, five years of age, orphaned and suffering with severe burns.
Lehava considers itself an integral part of the Kach movement, formed by Jewish-American terrorist Meir Kahane, who was also the founder and national chairman of the so-called “Jewish Defense League” terrorist organization, before his assassination in 1990.
Although Israeli is aware of their activities, their attacks and plans against the Palestinians, their lands and holy sites, senior member and figures remain at large, not even wanted by authorities, while some also attend government sessions in occupied Jerusalem.
One example of this is Benzi Gofstein (Ben-Zion Gopstein), a student of Meir Kahane, the director of Lehava, and a former member of the Kiryat Arba’ settlement council (2010-2013).
Gofstein even appeared inside the Israeli Knesset on November 11, attending one of its sessions, an issue which shows the level of extremism and fanaticism that the Netanyahu-led Israeli government has sunk to.
Lehava, an acronym which means, in Hebrew, “Preventing the Assimilation in the Holy Land,” is actively involved in attacks against the Palestinians, and works for preventing relationships between Jews and Arabs.
The presence of Gofstein in the Knesset, during its Internal Affairs Committee meeting, caused tension and chaos.
Israeli Ynet news site said that the session was co-chaired by Member of Knesset (MK) Michal Rozin of the Meretz Party, and Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home Party, who personally sponsored Gofstein’s attendance.
Gofstein was even given the podium to speak, and, after he started, several MK’s began shouting insults at him and each other, with many right-wing members expressing their support for him, and favor in allowing him to speak.
His fanatic and terrorist ideology isn’t a secret, it is well known to Israel itself, yet, he is given time to speak in the Knesset.
Back in early August, a Haredi website called “Kikar Shabbat,” reported that Gofstein allegedly called for the burning of all churches and “idols, symbols of worship,” and that he expressed willingness to spend 50 years in jail, in order to achieve that goal.
Several Members of Knesset, including Meretz MKs Rozin Michal Robin, Tamar Zandberg, Issawi Faraj, Zionist Union MKs Yoel Hasson and Itzik Shmuli, and Joint List MK Dov Khenin were removed, while Gofstein stayed.
Many leftist members of Knesset, Arabs and Jews both, called for his removal, and some even dubbed him as the “ISIS representative in the Knesset.”
Even Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli started shouting at Gofstein, telling him that he “brings shame on Israel,” and added that he was a member of “ISIS with a Kippah,” before addressing leftist Mks, dubbing them as “traitors.”
The Israeli Defense Minister had previously requested information from Israel’s domestic security agency, “Shin Bet,” regarding members of Lehava and other like-minded groups in the country, to discuss the possibility of officially declaring them to be terrorist organizations… but, such information never even reached his office.
Deputy Defense Minister, Eli Ben-Dahan, said that there are no attempts, or even thoughts, regarding outlawing Lehava or labeling it as a terrorist organization, and that he even made inquiries in the Knesset with regard to the issue.
After photos surfaced, of various Israeli soldiers carrying government-issued weapons and declaring their support to Lehava, Kach and other terrorist groups, and supporting the killing and execution of Palestinians, Israeli military and security services said that “they will investigate the issue and take the proper actions.”
Terrorist groups, including those behind “Price Tag” attacks, are responsible for hundreds of violations and crimes, including the burning of several churches and mosques in different parts of occupied Palestine, in addition to burning Palestinian homes and farmlands, and flooding agricultural lands with waste-water.
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