Archive | Human Rights

Hunger Striking for Palestinian Rights

Take the Salt Water Challenge


By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • May 23, 2017

Marwan Barghouti has stopped drinking water. He started his hunger strike thirty-six days ago, together with 1,500 other Palestinians who are being held in Israeli prisons. Each day the strikers have been drinking water mixed with salt, the salt needed to keep their electrolytes functioning to stay alive, but their health has reached a critical phase in which they are experiencing vomiting, fainting and loss of vision. Barghouti, who has been in Israeli prisons for 15 years, is wagering with his own life in a bid to obtain better conditions for the 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli detention, most of whom have been imprisoned on faux terrorism related charges by military tribunals that have a 90% conviction rate. Nearly 500 children are among the prisoners, some of whom are only 12 years old, and there are also an estimated 500 Palestinians held in administrative detention, which permits the Israeli authorities to confine them indefinitely without any charges or any trial.

The Israeli authorities describe the hunger strike as a “violation of prison rules.” In the past, they have responded to such protests by bringing in doctors to help restrain and supervise force feeding of the strikers, but the practice proved very controversial among members of the medical profession and has been suspended, though there have been suggestions that “foreign” doctors might be brought in to do the dirty work. So it is to be presumed that the strike will continue until the protesters either win, begin to die or choose to cease and desist.

I have had the pleasure of speaking recently with Marwan’s youngest son Arab, a graduate of St. Mary’s College of California with a master’s degree in financial analysis, who has begun a campaign to publicize his father’s resistance against the Israeli prison authorities. He has been asking supporters to themselves drink salt water as a sign of solidarity with the hunger strikers. Many prominent Palestinians have done so publicly and the practice has become widespread both in Gaza and on the West Bank as well as among activists in Europe and the United States. It is also gaining strength on the social media, most particularly on Facebook, with videos of supporters of the Salt Water Challenge Salt Water Challenge inviting their friends to join the movement. Hunger striking is the ultimate personal statement, a peaceful form of protest that can only be effective if it helps to mobilize other forces to bring about change. With that in mind, the account of the suffering of Marwan Barghouti and his comrades in prison deserves the widest possible dissemination worldwide.

Marwan Barghouti is, not surprisingly, a controversial figure. His resistance to the Israeli occupation of his homeland began early at age 15 when he joined Fatah and eventually went on to co-found the organization’s youth movement. He later assumed leadership of its paramilitary wing Tanzim, though he eventually distanced himself from Fatah due to its corruption and for a short time headed his own reform party. He subsequently rejoined Fatah in 2006 and is now a member of the Palestinian Parliament. He is widely regarded as the most popular of Palestinian leaders even though he is in prison, or perhaps in part because of that.

Barghouti’s biography reads like a work of fiction. One of seven children, his father was a migrant worker. He completed high school while in an Israeli prison, where he learned Hebrew, and then went on to complete a BA in history and political science followed by an MA in international relations, both at the Palestinian Birzeit University. It required 15 years to complete his degrees because he was exiled to Jordan by the Israelis from 1987 to 1994 for his involvement in the First Intifada after being charged with “incitement,” a favorite catch-all phrase frequently used by Israel to indict anyone who is perceived as an opponent or critic when no actual charges can be plausibly supported by evidence.

Marwan Barghouti was indeed prominent in both the First and Second Intifadas due to his undoubtedly correct belief that a powerful Israel had no interest in any peaceful accommodation with the beleaguered Palestinians. He supported sometimes violent resistance and provocations directed at Israeli soldiers and settlers on the West Bank, though he did not consider Israeli citizens inside Israel legitimate targets. In 2002, he was arrested in Ramallah by the Israelis during the Second Intifada and eventually convicted of five counts of murder plus additional charges. He was given the maximum sentence of five cumulative life sentences for the alleged murders plus forty additional years for attempted murder and membership in an illegal organization.

In his trial Barghouti denied everything but refused to defend himself, claiming that the court had no jurisdiction and that he was legitimately resisting the Israeli occupation of his home. No one was able to demonstrate that he had actually killed anyone but the prosecution insisted that he had given the orders to do so. It should be noted that it was a political rather than a criminal event and completely illegal as he was a Palestinian living in Ramallah who was being tried in an Israeli court and sentenced to prison in Israel. The Inter-Parliamentary union subsequently reviewed the case and found that it had violated the accused’s rights and that numerous international legal agreements and norms were contravened.

Since 2002, there have been growing demands for Marwan Barghouti’s release, including from some Israeli politicians and peace groups, based on his relative moderation and desire to see a peaceful transition into a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. He has sometimes been likened to Nelson Mandela as someone who could potentially bring order and justice to an apparently intractable situation. Barghouti is undeniably more popular than either Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah or Ismail Haniya of Hamas. If he were free and an election were held today, he would undoubtedly be elected Palestinian president.

It is important to understand the context of the plight of the Palestinian prisoners to appreciate where Barghouti’s struggle for Palestinian rights derives from. Israel shoots to kill Arab demonstrators, including children, who throw stones. It engages in illegal mass, arbitrary arrests of Palestinians who do not reside in Israel but are nevertheless subject to control by the Israeli military authorities who have a relatively free hand on the West Bank. Once convicted by a military court, which is almost always the case, the prisoners are then held in Israel, a violation of international law, while their homes back in the Palestinian territories are frequently demolished to collectively punish the families. The trip through Israeli security barriers from the West Bank to the prisons requires 20 hours travel each way, leading to a 45 minute visit with a barrier in between so no one can actually see anyone else. A one visit per year limit for anyone over 16 is part of a process intended to further punish the families. Prisoners are routinely tortured by Israel, including the “Palestinian Chair, an excruciating procedure which was developed by the Israel Defense Force’s interrogators and later taught to Americans and used at Abu Ghraib. Hundreds of Arabs have also been killed while in custody and reports of organ harvesting have surfaced in the international media.

Over the past fifty years, an estimated 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned by Israel at one time or another, fully 40% of the adult male population. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers run amok on the West Bank, protected by the police and army as they attack Palestinians at random and systematically destroy their livelihoods. They are rarely arrested and, if they are, they are tried in Israeli civil courts where they are nearly always acquitted. It is a situation that would be unimaginable nearly anywhere else in the world but Israel gets away with it due to a sympathetic Jewish dominated media in the U.S. and lickspittle politicians worldwide who can easily be bought or coerced.

Numerous international laws and the Geneva Conventions have been violated in the horrific treatment of the Palestinians but Israel continues to act with impunity. Israel’s colonial occupation and theft of Palestinian land are illegal and have been frequently condemned by world bodies like the United Nations. The United States agrees that the settlements are illegal, though it avoids the word, but it balks at calling out the brutal Israeli military occupation for what it is. The U.S. has also served as Israel’s protector in the U.N. and elsewhere, meaning that there is no pushback against Israeli actions that is in any way commensurate to the crimes that its government commits.

The current American Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley is a virtual echo chamber for Israel’s Foreign Ministry. She sells out U.S. interests to pander to the powerful domestic Israel Lobby which uses its money and political access to corrupt American politicians as well as judicial processes worldwide, as Alison Weir has recently demonstrated with her brilliant analysis of how any criticism of Israel is now being conflated with anti-Semitism and increasingly regarded as a universal “hate crime.”

Israeli apologists like to frame the Palestinian “problem” as a group of unredeemable terrorists who have to be dealt with harshly, a narrative that portrays all Arabs as a threat. But the reality is that Israel has overwhelming power and exercises brutal control over the Palestinian population, which is treated as if it were subhuman. Indeed, many Israelis believe that Arabs are subhuman and deserve to be “ethnically cleansed.” But a people under occupation, even if relatively powerless, has a right to resist under international law, to include the use of violence, which is what the two Intifadas were all about.

One has to hope that Marwan Barghouti succeeds in his resistance and that his son Arab will be able to reach the widest possible audience to publicize what exactly is going on in Israel’s prisons and by extension in its cruel occupation and settlement of what remains of Palestine. And we should not forget other prisoners of conscience like Israeli nuclear whistleblower Moredechai Vanunu, who has yet again had his liberty restricted by the country’s Supreme Court. Israel is an essentially racist police state in spite of its frequent boasts about its alleged democracy but the important message for us Americans is that we have unfortunately served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s enablers. The Palestinians deserve a state of their own and the time has come for the United States to demand that Israel free all political prisoners like Marwan Barghouti and allow that to happen.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

The tragedy of world-wide forced displacement 

Syrian refugees

By Graham Peebles

It constitutes the greatest humanitarian crisis since the World War II and affecting huge numbers of people and demanding all that is best in us. Yet instead of compassion, understanding and unity, all too often intolerance, ignorance and suspicion characterise the response to the needs of refugees and migrants.

There are now unprecedented numbers of displaced people in our world, with children making up a disproportionate percentage of the total. Figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR – the UN refugee agency) are detailed and shocking and demand our attention: At 65.3 million, “the global population of forcibly displaced people today is larger than the entire population of the UK”. Of this total, almost 25 million are refugees (half are children, many of them unaccompanied), 3.2 million of whom are in developed countries awaiting asylum decisions. The rest, 41 million, are displaced within their own countries – Syria, Colombia, Yemen and Iraq making up the lion’s share.

The movement of large groups of people is most commonly the result of wars of one kind or another. This is reflected in the fact that over half the world’s refugees come from just three countries: Syria (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million) and Somalia (1.1 million). People are also fleeing conflicts in Yemen, Libya, Nigeria and Sudan, and the UN recognises a further five armed conflicts in Africa alone – this does not include Ethiopia, where there is civil unrest, or Eritrea. Add to this list nations ruled by repressive regimes, other countries where economic opportunities are scarce and the magnitude of the migrant crisis begins to surface. It’s worth noting that the overwhelming majority of refugees (people fleeing violence), 90 per cent, are not crowding the cities of industrialised nations, as some duplicitous politicians infer;  they are in refugee camps in poor countries close to their own, living uncomfortable lives of uncertainty and misery.

Mass vulnerability

Most people don’t leave their homeland because they want too. They move because either their town or city is a war zone; because they are being persecuted and are in danger; or because they cannot find work to support themselves. Given the same circumstances wouldn’t we do the same?

Yet in countries throughout the world migrants have become scapegoats for all manner of social-economic ills. They are often publicly vilified and treated like criminals by heavy-handed officials and security personnel, herded into holding camps, processing units and detention centres – which in many cases are worse than prison. “Migrant” in some bigoted quarters has become a dirty word, synonymous with criminality and extremism. They are described as a potential threat to “national security” or as “Islamic terrorists” by those on the very fringes of sanity – flag-waving fanatics who call themselves politicians, but employ the rhetoric of intolerance and fear to ignite tribal instincts that should have been jettisoned in favour of mutual understanding, tolerance and universal brotherhood decades ago.

Migrants are not criminals. They are human beings trying to survive in a hostile, unjust world, a world in which violent conflicts are engineered by the powerful to sustain an insatiable arms industry (worth $1.7 trillion or 3 per cent of global GDP) and maintain geopolitical control. This is a world based on wrong conclusions, where the commercialisation of all areas of life has led to the commodification of everything, including persons – including children. In this world of money and fear the most vulnerable are traded and sold; vulnerability grows out of poverty, and allows for exploitation. And there are few human beings more vulnerable and defenceless than migrants, particularly migrant children

For most people fleeing conflict or economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa (North and sub-Saharan) the primary destination is Europe. In 2016, 363,348 people arrived at one or another Mediterranean port , roughly a third being children, 90 per cent of whom were unaccompanied. Most people cross the sea to Italy or Greece, departing from Libya, of whom 5,078 are estimated to have drowned making the 300-mile crossing during 2016 alone.

Since the ill-judged US-led assault on Libya in 2011, the country has become a chaotic, dysfunctional state racked with terrorism, political instability and crime. In this lawless land Human Rights Watch (HRW) records that hundreds of thousands of innocent migrants (including children), experience torture, sexual assault and forced labour at the hands of “prison guards, members of the Coast Guard forces and smugglers”. Recent investigations by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) found that migrants in Libya are being openly bought and sold as slaves by Libyans; young men from poor families, mainly from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Senegal, are targeted. They pay traffickers hundreds of US dollars to get them to Libya, and once they arrive, IOM reports, they are handed over to smugglers for sale. In other cases migrant boys/men are kidnapped, held for ransom and then auctioned off to the highest bidder. Women and girls are “bought by private [Libyan] individuals and brought to homes where they were [are] forced to be sex slaves”. It’s thought that up to 800,000 migrants are currently congregated in Libya.

When those who survive the horrors of Libya make it to Europe, the nightmare for some is far from over. Save the Children reports that thousands of migrants are trafficked in Europe every year; the majority are women/girls, mainly from Nigeria and Romania, who are forced into prostitution, “made to rent sidewalk space to sell sex”, amid voodoo rituals and violent threats against their families back home. Some are as young as 13. Boys are also victims: “social networking sites like Facebook” are used “to lure boys with the promise of a better life”. The reality is slave labour in Rome or Milan. As the number of unaccompanied children arriving on Europe’s shores doubles year on year, the risks of exploitation and human suffering increase. Europol believes as many as 10,000 “unaccompanied child refugees have gone missing after arriving in Europe”.

Victims of circumstance

The numbers are huge and the demands on countries to meet the needs of millions of displaced people are intense and complex. But as Pope Francis, who is increasingly the voice of reason and common sense, rightly stated, “we must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation… in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome.”

When migrants arrive at their destination, knowing nobody, not speaking the language and with no understanding of the culture, they are faced with the mammoth task of rebuilding their lives. All depends on the support and welcome offered. In the US, despite Trump’s antagonistic rhetoric, the attitude among most Americans is largely positive. According to a Pew research survey, 63 per cent of US adults think immigrants strengthen the country, with only 27 per cent believing migrants take jobs, housing and health care. In Europe however, the picture was less encouraging. In eight out of 10 European nations surveyed 50 per cent or more of adults questioned said they thought refugees increased the likelihood of terrorism, and in none of the 10 countries did a majority believe diversity was positive.

It is essential, and morally just, that all displaced people should be treated kindly, shown understanding and trust. Destination countries should be welcoming, government policies supportive and inclusive, refugees integrated – for as Pope Francis said, “a refugee must not only be welcomed, but also integrated… and if a country is only able to integrate 20, let’s say, then it should only accept that many. If another is able to do more, let them do more”.

Displaced people (refugees or economic migrants) sitting in a refugee camp or sheltering in an abandoned building, waiting to hear the result of an asylum application or in transit somewhere in the world, are victims of circumstance. They are not the ones orchestrating or carrying out the violent conflicts around the world, nor are they responsible for the economic conditions in their native countries. They are victims of a divided world, fragmented by religion, ethnicity, ideology and economics; and with the intensification of these causes the effects increase – displacement of people is one such effect.

The solutions to this major crisis, and indeed many of our problems, would naturally flow from the recognition of the fact that we are brothers and sisters of one humanity. With such an understanding, hostile divisions based on nationalism and ethnicity begin to fade, while the diversity of differing views and cultural traditions enriches and adds to the tapestry of society. This single shift in thinking – simple yet enormous – would facilitate changes in all areas of society; sharing, co-operation and tolerance of others would begin to shape the socio-economic systems, totally changing their nature, allowing social justice to develop, trust to grow and peace to gently settle upon our troubled world.

Posted in Human Rights0 Comments

This week in Palestine: Jewish Nazi forces kill three, refuse to negotiate with hunger strikers


This week in Palestine: Israeli forces kill three, refuse to negotiate with hunger strikers

 Saba’ Obeid, Mohammad al-Kasaji, and Mohammad Bakr were killed by Israeli forces.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights documents crimes committed in the illegally occupied Palestinian territories in weekly reports. We summarize their reports and stories from other news agencies with the goal of informing Americans of the ongoing violence that Palestinian families face each day under Nazi occupation of their ancestral lands. The Jewish Nazi regime receives $3 billion per year in direct military aid from U.S. taxpayers.

May 11, 2017 – May 17, 2017

West Bank

  • The Nazi military continued its 50-year long military Nazi occupation of Palestinian land in the West Bank, under which the 2.8 million Palestinians living there are subjected to a different set of laws and treatment than Nazi Jewish settlers (numbering 588,000) are.
  • Nazi sharpshooter shot 22-year-old Saba’ Obeid in the heart at demonstration supporting the Palestinian mass hunger strike, killing him. Nazi soldiers shot other demonstrators with rubber-coated steel bullets and teargas canisters and prevented journalists from entering the area.
  • Nazi police office killed Jordanian man Mohammad al-Kasaji, 57, in Jerusalem’s Old City after the man reportedly stabbed him. Palestinian sources said the officer is known for assaulting worshipers who come to Al-Aqsa Mosque (a Muslim holy site), including women.
  • Hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners in Nazi camp’s continued their hunger strike, which reached the 4-week mark. Many are now suffering life-threatening conditions, unable to move or stand, are vomiting blood, and and have had their salts confiscated by Nazi camp’s authorities. Many have been placed in solitary confinement, are being transferred from prison to prison, and are forced to stand to be counted or face severe fines in spite of their deteriorating health. Nazi officials continue to refuse to negotiate with them.
  • Nazi forces attacked demonstrations in support of the Palestinian hunger strikers and wounded 40 Palestinians, 13 of them children. Roughly half of the wounded were shot with live bullets or rubber-coated bullets. Nazi forces also damaged three ambulances.
  • Nazi forces attacked the weekly demonstrations against Nazi Separation Wall in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, dispersing the protesters with tear gas and live bullets, and beat some of them.
  • Nazi forces carried out 62 invasions of Palestinian communities, raiding and searching homes, and arrested 79 civilians, 9 of them children. One of those arrested and jailed was 67-year-old academic and writer Ahmad Qatamesh, who already spent 8 years of his life in Nazi camp without any charges or trial. A teenage girl was also arrested after Nazi soldiers invaded her family’s home at 2:00 in the morning.
  • Nazi authorities announced they planned to demolish four buildings in a Palestinian neighborhood because they were built too close to Nazi illegal Apartheid Wall.
  • Nazi police officer hit a Palestinian child with his vehicle in Jerusalem and fled the scene. In a different incident in the West Bank, Nazi Jewish settler hit a Palestinian man with his vehicle and deserted the scene.
  • Nazi forces uprooted 60 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian man.
  • Nazi forces erected several temporary checkpoints, restricting movement for even more Palestinians. (There are 27 permanent checkpoints and hundreds of physical roadblocks placed by Israeli forces. Palestinians are prohibited from using 41 roads totaling 700 kilometers in the West Bank; only Nazi can travel on them.)

Gaza Strip

  • Nazi regime continued its 10-year illegal land, sea, and air blockade of the Gaza Strip, strictly controlling the movement of all 2 million Palestinians living there.
  • Nazi navy forces killed Mohammad Bakr, a 23-year-old fisherman and married father of two, off the shores of Gaza on the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. The Nazi gunmen chased the boat, opened fire on the four cousins on it, shot Mohammad in the stomach, and ordered his cousins to hand him over before taking him away. He died of his wounds later that day.
  • Nazi navy forces opened fire at fishing boats off the coast of the Gaza Strip most days. They arrested six Gaza fisherman, including two children, confiscated a boat, and damaged another.
  • At 1:00 am, Nazi forces raided and searched the home of Hamas leader Essa al-Jabari, 51, interrogated him, pointed weapons at his wife and daughters, and then arrested him and confiscated his car.
  • Nazi forces continued to prevent most Gazans from entering or exiting the Strip (via the Nazi-controlled Erez crossing), allowing less than 2,000 people to travel.
  • Nazi forces arrested a Palestinian patient who was on his way to the West Bank with his mother to receive medical care.
  • Nazi forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands near the border.
  • Nazi forces continued to prevent most exports from Gaza, allowing only some produce items, fish and aluminum scraps. There is just one Nazi-controlled crossing (Kerem Shalom) for the movement of goods. Nazi’s strict limits continue to severely cripple Gaza’s economy. Nazi officials told the U.S. that their goal is to keep Gaza “on the brink of collapse” and “‘functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.”


Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Israeli human rights lawyer in detention without defence or trial, a victim of judicial abuse


Posted By: John Phoenix

Arbitrary detention in Israel

Marianne Azizi writes:

An Israeli human rights lawyer who for over seven years wrote to the United Nations requesting help for children and families damaged by Israeli judicial corruption is now himself a victim of illegal arrest and detention.

Zvi Zer’s impending trial in September this year will be a field day for public officials, including judges and social workers, who have been exposed by two bloggers and by Mr Zer.

On 27 February Israeli police carried out a wave of arrests of activists, some of whom were interrogated and subsequently detained, while others were put under house arrest and had limitations imposed on their use of the internet.

Of those who were detained, three were kept in detention – two bloggers and the human rights lawyer, Mr Zer, described in the Israeli mainstream media as “a cyber terror gang”. The initial flurry of media attention showed that, in the eyes of the elite, the prisoners were already guilty.

After 40 days of interrogations, 91 charges were lodged against the activists, who are accused of insulting public officials. Mr Zer faces 41 charges of conspiracy with the bloggers. The decision was made to hold the prisoners in detention until the end of proceedings – January 2018.

This contravenes both Israeli and international law, and is a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which in part states:

Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Mr Zer’s attorney, Avi Amiram, regards the detention of his client as illegal as almost three months have passed with the police and prosecution failing to provide some 20,000 documents that are essential for the commencement of defence proceedings. Matters have reached the point where the lawyer actually has to purchase the evidence!

Getting a fair trial is also a concern. Mr Zer is the founder of the Coalition for Children and Families Israel – CCF Israel), a civil society body campaigning for justice, including by lobbying the UN and other international organisations. He was targeted in 2012 after a UN rapporteur visited Israel, and has been under scrutiny ever since.

Deemed too dangerous to be placed under house arrest, which in Israel requires an assessment by the welfare services to establish his level of “danger”, he is enduring at first hand the humiliation and degradation experienced by many clients he rescued and petitioned for.

His defence lawyer says Mr Zer is the first lawyer in history to be held in arbitrary detention without evidence.

Detention centres in Israel are full to bursting with people held awaiting evidence. The legal system is crumbling and failing to uphold even its own laws.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Gaza’s Territorial Waters: Fisherman Mohammed Baker Killed by Nazi Naval Forces


Open Fire at Him From 3-Meter Distance Without Posing Any Threat

Yesterday afternoon, 15 May 2017, Palestinian fisherman Mohammed Majed Fadel Baker succumbed to his wounds after the Nazi naval soldiers opened fire from a distance of 3 meters at the boat manned by him, his brothers and cousin in the northern Gaza Sea. This indicates a new crime committed by the Nazi forces though none of the fishermen posed any threat to the live of Nazi soldiers. This also emphasizes continuation of Nazi policy to target the fishermen and their safety and deny them from freely sailing and fishing within the allowed fishing area.

According to PCHR’s investigation, at approximately 08:30 on Monday, 15 May 2017, an Nazi gunboat accompanied with a rubber boat opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat sailing within 3 nautical miles off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Gaza City. The boat was manned by 4 fishermen namely ‘Omran Majed Baker (33), his two brothers; Fadi (32) and Mohammed (25), and their cousin Mohammed Zeyad Hasan Baker (32), and all of them are from Gaza. The fishermen fled by their boat to the south, but the Nazi gunboat manned by 8 soldiers armed with automatic rifles chased the boat and were able to target directly its engine. As a result, the boat stopped off shore in front of the Intelligence Service office, west of Gaza, and ‘Omran was hit with 2 metal bullets to the leg and abdomen. After that, Nazi soldier opened fire from a 3-meter distance at the fishermen, wounding Mohammed Baker with a live bullet to the upper side of abdomen. Mohammed then fell down as part of his bowels got out.

However, Nazi soldiers forced the fishermen to move Mohammed to their boat and then sailed towards Ashqelon. At approximately 16:30 on the same day, Mohammed was announced dead succumbing to his wounds in Barzilai Hospital. His body was then transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza after coordinating with the Palestinian Liaison office.

Mohammed Zeyad Hasan Baker (32), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 08:00, I sailed with my cousins ‘Omran, Fadi and Mohammed Majed Baker from Gaza Seaport along with another fishing boat manned by 4 fishermen. After 15 minutes, We arrived at al-Sudaniya area sailing within 3 nautical miles off al-Waha shore about 1.5 miles off the allowed fishing area. When we started fishing, I saw an Israeli gunboat accompanied with a rubber boat coming from the north and speeding towards us. ‘Omran turned on the engine, headed to the south and stationed off the Intelligence Service office. I then saw the rubber boat speeding towards us and arrived in less than 2 minutes. There were 8 navy soldiers, 4 of whom were masked. The distance between us was about two meters when 2 soldiers randomly opened fire at us while we were trying to avoid being shot. Ten minutes later, the soldiers directly opened fire at us from a 3-meter distance. As a result, Fadi Majed Baker (32) sustained 2 rubber-coated metal bullets to the leg and abdomen. The Israeli gunboat continued chasing us, but suddenly appeared in front of our boat and the soldiers directly opened fire at the boat engine.  As a result, the boat stopped, and Mohammed was wounded and fell down. We shouted to inform the soldiers that Mohammed is wounded.  One of the soldiers then ordered us to come to the boat front while the other soldiers kept shooting above our heads. I carried Mohammed, who was wounded and part of his bowels were out.  He was foaming and then went into coma. The soldier, who was driving the gunboat, ordered me to carry Mohammed while 2 other soldiers took him to the gunboat, sailing towards Ashkelon. Furthermore, the other Israeli boat dragged our boat, which was hit with 6 live bullets, to the Gaza Seaport after an hour, but we lost the fishing net.”

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns this new crime, which led to the death of fisherman Mohammed Baker. PCHR confirms that this crime falls under the continued Nazi attacks against Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip to terrify and deprive them of their right to sail and fish freely.  PCHR hereby:

  1. Calls upon the International community, including the High Contracting Parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention, to intervene to stop all Nazi violations against fishermen and their property and allow them to fish freely in Gaza Sea;
  2. Demands Opening an investigation into the crime that led to the death of Mohammed Baker though he did not pose any threat to the safety and security of the Nazi soldier;
  3. Calls for immediately ending the chasing policy of fishermen and allow them to sail and fish freely;
  4. Releasing those fishermen arrested by Nazi forces; and
  5. Compensating the victims of the Nazi violations for the physical and material damage.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human Rights0 Comments

Armed Drones: America’s Favorite Weapon, Blurring the Line between Warfare and Assassination

Postedby: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

President Barack Obama has received much credit for drawing down American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, but less attention has been paid to his administration’s embrace of armed drones. His expansion of covert drone strikes goes far beyond that of former President George W. Bush, and has blurred the line between warfare and assassination. The classified processes used by the White House for approving these remote killings in foreign countries – countries which the U.S. is not officially at war with – has people questioning not only the Obama administration’s tactics, but also the collateral damage of civilian casualties left in its wake.

Armed Drones: President Obama's Weapon of Choice [INFOGRAPHIC]


Posted in USA, Human Rights0 Comments

1800 Palestinian on hunger strike: The battle for freedom and dignity  

By Mahmoud El-Yousseph
Nearly 1784 Palestinian prisoners have gone on a hunger strike to protest their condition in Israeli jails. There are currently approximately 6,300 Palestinians prisoners in Israel’s prisons. Over 320 of them are youth and children. 600 of them are held under Administrative Detention Act. Which means they are in prison without charge, trial, or release date. 
Among the prisoners, there are 330 of prisoners are from Gaza, 680 from Jerusalem,and the occupied Palestine since 1948, 6,000 from the occupied West Bank, and 34 prisoners from various Arab countries. In addition, Israel continues to hold the remains of 261 Palestinians killed in the line of duty and/or during midnight raids or at checkpoints for no reasons. Thus denying their families of providing proper burial and paying their respects.
I personally know the pain, the agony and the fear of unknown the prisoners families and loved ones are going through. In the past Israel held my father for 18 months in 1948 after he crossed the border from Lebanon to look after his mother and his older brother. During the 1982 Israeli invasion into Lebanon, Israel did the same thing to my younger brother who was visiting our mother and our older brother from Germany with his German wife and their 5 year old daughter. My brother was also held for 18 months
To highlight the plight of the prisoners , On April 17th,  Marwan Barghouti, a Political Palestinian leader and one of the prisoners who have been in prison for 15 years called for the hunger strike for freedom and dignity after he had an OpEd piece published in the New York Time the day before. The Israeli reaction to the strike was to move the prisoner leaders to different prisons and into solitary confinement. The Israel army and Jewish settlers held BBQ parties in front of several prisons in retaliation and Israeli Interior minister said, Israel will not negotiate with the prisoners even if they all die.
Arab American Institute president Dr. Jim Zogby wrote an article on April 24 in which he highlights the Israeli arrogance towards the Palestinian hunger strike and to Barghouti’s OpED in the Times. He stated, ” The Israeli government’s response to Barghouti’s NY Time’s article and to the strike itself, have been revealingly characteristic of their modus operandi. Because the Times initially described Barghouti as a Member of the Palestinian Parliament and a leader, Israel launched a campaign forcing the editors to change their description to note that Barghouti had been convicted of murder and membership in a terrorist organization.”
Dr.Zogby who was the head of ADC (Arab American Anti-Dicrimination Committee) in the 1980s have helped in lobbying for the release of 7000 Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, among them my younger brother, Samih who were held by Israel at Ansar prison during the 1982 Israeli invasion into Lebanon.
Dr. Zoby added, the current Israeli reaction to the Times article, ” What Israel did not mention was the fact that Barghouti’s arrest, trial, and conviction were denounced by the Swiss-based Inter-Parliamentary Union as being “a violation of international law” and having “failed to meet fair-trial standards”. The IPU concluded that “Barghouti’s guilt has not been established”.

Israel who was the first nation to introduce terrorism into the Middle East had the audacity to call the op-ed “journalist terrorism”; accused the Times of “media terrorism”; called Barghouti’s piece “fake news” that was “full of lies”. Former Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, called for an investigation to see who at the Times was responsible for getting and publishing the article. One Knesset Member went so far as to suggest that Israel might close the Times’ Israel bureau. Obviously, whenever ISISrael does not get its way, it resorts to threat and black mail. Someone at the Times should have told the Israelis officials to catch a hike.

Paletinian Prisoner Solidarity Netwark, Samidioun is taking the leading edge on the issue of Palestinian prisoners on their hunger strike inisde Israeli jails. According to Samidoutn, the total number of prisoners who are on hunger strike is 1784 which include women too. They come are from all Palestinian factions.
What are the hunger strikers demand? The prisoners are demanding basic human rights, including an end to the denial of family visits, the right to access higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. They have faced harsh repression, including solitary confinement, denial of legal and family visits and confiscation of personal belongings, including the salt that the strikers use to sustain themselves along with water. I should not here that according to Samidoun, there are 1000 Palestinian prisoners who are not allowed to receive family visits for security reason.
Here are more general information about the prisoners. There are 58 female prisoners (15 of them under age, 2 under held under ADA, 13 injured, and only 30 of them are sentenced.)
There are 320 children prisoners (3 are held under ADA, 270 are sentenced and 47 are held without charges or trial date)
1200 prisoners were intentionally killed in prison since 1967, 72 prisoners died as a result of torture, 57 died due to medical negligent, 74 were murdered right after their arrest, 7 were injured by fire arms inside prison.
What about the prisoners’ health condition?
There are 1200 sick prisoners 34 among them are handicapped, 21 diagnosed with cancer, 2 suffering from kidney problems, 17 suffering from heart problem, 19 prisoners are preeminently staying at Ramla hospital.
Prisoner leaders are those who have served more than 20 in the occupation prisons. 21 of the prisoners have already served over 25 years. 9 prisoners have served over 25 years with the longest serving prisoner Kareem Younis.
As always, Israel never honor its agreements or keep its word. 29 old prisoner prior to signing Oslo agreement in 1993 were never released as agreed upon by Israel. Israel is also holding 13 Palestinian lawmakers ( 4 of them are held under ADA, 2 received high sentence and 6 are detained without charges.)
A good friend of mine from the Jewish Voice for Peace organization sent me this  letter of support for the Palestinian prisoners was signed by several hundred lawyers, legal workers,, law students and legal organization. the signers also expressed support with Palestinian lawyers currently boycotting Israeli military courts. The boycott started on April 18 after Palestinian lawyers were denied legal visit to Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike.

Letter of Support for Palestinian Hunger Strikers from Lawyers, Legal Workers, Law Students and Legal Organizations

Letter of Support for Palestinian Hunger Strikers from Lawyers, Legal Workers, Law Students and Legal Organizations

On Saturday, 6 May, Leila Khaled, the historic Palestinian resistance icon and active present-day political leader, announced an open-ended hunger strike in support of the striking prisoners. Gregory III Lahham, the Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Alexandria and Jerusalem has launched a hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinians in Israeli jails. Lahham, 83, also launched his solidarity strike on Saturday, 6 May.  In an interview with Al-Mayadeen TV, he said “I say to the prisoners, we are with you in your sacrifice for Palestine.” 

George Abdallah and several Arab detainees went on a three-day hunger strike with numerous prisoners from Marroco, Algeria and Tunisia from a French prison  in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. George Abdallah who is a Lebanese Christian who is serving time in French prison since 1984 have invited all international freedom-fighter movements to support to the prisoners who launched a hunger strike under the title of “Freedom and Dignity”. 

The Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church Atallah Hanna announced on Sunday that he will start a hunger strike on Sunday May 7th in solidarity with the striking prisoners. 

On the 15th days of the hunger strike, former PM of Lebanon Saleem Hoss , 88 years also joined in the hunger to express solidarity with the hunger strikers cause. Palestinians refugees in Lebanon launched severs hunger strikes inside tents set up in solidarity and a Catholic Church in the village of  “Maghdooshi” in south Lebanon held a mass and ran the church bells in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Solidarity strikes are spreading through Europe, Canada and the US after Manchester and Edinburgh studnet hunger strikes launched. A hunger strike tents are now set up by activists in Ireland, Scotland, Italy Spain, Belgium, the US and Canada. 3 Jordanian preisoners held in ISraeli jails also joined in.
On Sunday May 7, IOF shot and injured 28 Palestinian protesters near the Palestinain town Nablus and killed in cold blood a 16-year-old Faitme Hjeiji in the occupied East Jerasulem. She was hit by 20 bullets and soldiers prevented local residents from aiding her as she laid montionless. Her mother said she was on her 5th day of hunger strike.
On May 10, there will be a hunger strike camp set up in Karachi, Pakistan to protest the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners.
Finally Israel confessed it can not stop the hunger strike after it failed to have Ahmad Sadaat and Samer Issawi to negotiate on behalf of the prisoners. Samer Issawi who holds the world record in hunger strike has refused to talk to Israeli officials and Mr. Sadaat who is the second most prominent prisoners told his jailers there is only one spokes person for the prisoners and his name is Marwan Barhoughti!
Desperate to put an end to the strike, Israeli officials tried to drive a wedge between the prisoners by:  it leaked fabricated pictures of Mr. Barghouti eating cookie inside his jail cell, trying to show the prisoners’ leader as a cheater who should not be trusted. That too failed as later was discovered that Israel used old pictures.

Photo: Celtic Fans for Palestine
A 16 year old girl Amira from the Palestinian town of Toulkarim in the West Bank had to be rushed to hospital after she went for four days on hunger strike.
All Palestinian prisoners are subjected to systematic ill-treatment, medical neglect, beatings and torture, in Israel’s prisons. Because of all this a fourth of the prisoners (that’s 1784 people) are now on the third week of their hunger strike. Israel’s reaction to the strike is more violence, more torture, more medical neglect. However, the Israeli public reaction to the Palestinian hunger strike can best be described by three words: arrogance, callousness, and ignorance.

Meanwhile, Belgian lawmakers from both the Belgian Senate and House of Representatives have just nominated jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is currently serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The detainees are aware of the life-threatening consequences of the hunger strike, but are determined to continue because they are fighting for basic, fundamental rights. The International Committee of Red Cross warned Israel that it is responsible for the lives of the detainees, and must be held accountable for its ongoing crimes and violations
If the 1800 Palestinian prisoners were to be Christians or Jews, you can bet the sky would fall down over the US and western Europe. This would be a 24/7 in the lame-stream media and all Western public officials would be tripping over each other to the microphone to raise holy hell.
If you are opposed to the Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners and incensed by Israeli total disregard to international laws and human rights, then you are urged you to contact one or more of the following numbers/email listed below to support Palestinian hunger strikers.

Call your country’s officials urgently:

Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
United States President Donald Trump:                     +1-202-456-1111
The embassy of ‘Israel’ in Washing, D.C. email address:
Readers living in different countires, can do the same by calling their public officials and by looking up the embassy of Israell’s contact information in their repective countries and demand Israel ends its illegal, unjust and inhumane treatement of Palestinian prisoners immediately. 

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“All In!” Jewish Voice for Peace Calls for Palestinian Liberation, Participation in BDS

JVP Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson

The 2017 National Member Meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), held at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center, galvanized the energies of the 1,000 advocates—Jews and non-Jews alike—who participated in the March 31-April 2 event. JVP members kicked off the long weekend with a raucous klezmer ensemble and ended with a stirring call to practice a prophetic Judaism insisting on justice for all. Intersectionality and solidarity were the watchwords of this massive, noisy meeting of activists on Chicago’s Near-South Side.

United by the national meeting’s slogan, “All In!”, participants called for an end to Israel’s brutal military occupation in the Palestinian territories, and an end to racism and discrimination against Palestinians within pre-1967 Israel.

More than 45 speakers crowded the speakers’ platform over the three days of plenaries and workshops. One plenary, “Let’s Talk About Zionism,” looked at “the connections between Zionism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism in the Trump-Netanyahu era,” and explored “practical visions for imagining a world beyond Zionism.”

The wide array of workshops ranged from “Local Organizing Challenging Islamophobia and Racism” to “Fighting Anti-Boycott State Legislation: Legal, Media, and Organizing Strategies.”

“Knitting is a good metaphor for the work we’re doing,” declared JVP executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson, JVP’s executive director, referring to the broad coalition of blacks, women, churches, campus groups, and others making up the BDS movement. She highlighted the pioneering work of Jews of color—“Jews of Color and/or Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews” (JOCSM)—who held their own caucus on the JVP national meeting’s opening day.

Robin D.G. Kelley, author and professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of California, remarked that female-dominated JVP is “one of the groups to remind the movement” that the Palestine struggle “is a women’s issue.” Kelley then recalled Martin Luther King’s memorable speech against the Vietnam War, which he delivered at New York’s Riverside Church 50 years ago, on April 4, 1967. One sometimes is called upon “to be a traitor to a nation state in order to be loyal to humanity,” Kelley asserted.

Judith Butler, a University of California Berkeley professor who serves on the JVP advisory board and also on the international board of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, shared her vision of JVP as “an organization of allies.” “We don’t spend a lot of time deciding who is Jewish,” she quipped. “What is Jewish? A kind of living joyously,” Butler continued, “an openness to many voices.” On the other hand, she asserted, “Zionism is ultimately anti-Semitic.…Ashkenazi rule [in Israel] wants to maintain itself at all costs.”

Describing Jewish Voice for Peace as “a cacophonous chorus,” Butler went on to note that JVP has grown to the point where it now numbers 250,000 constituents, with 12,000 financial supporters and 70 chapters coast-to-coast.

“We need to build power,” urged Palestinian organizer Fadi Quran, senior campaigner for Avaaz (a civic organization that promotes global activism) in Palestine. “Power is built on five pillars,” he stated, adding that it is “only through collective genius that we can achieve it.” Quran spoke of (1) military power versus nonviolent resistance, (2) economic power, (3) cohesiveness in the movement, (4) alliances, and (5) moral clarity—“a connection of spirituality” along with “a connection of action.” He modestly but forthrightly predicted, “We’re going to occupy the occupation.”

Rachel Gilmer, a black feminist organizer and author who co-directs the Florida-based youth movement The Dream Defenders, built the case for African-American action in the struggle for Palestinian liberation. Israel has been selling “counter-terrorism” training and equipment “to police around the world,” including U.S. police departments. G4S, the third-largest corporation in the world, has for years been supplying security equipment to Israeli prisons incarcerating Palestinians as well as U.S. prisons incarcerating African Americans and other minorities. “The fight for liberation of Palestinians is our fight—a global war for dignity and self-determination,” Gilmer concluded, addressing African Americans in the Black Lives Matter movement and throughout American society.

Kristian Davis Bailey described how “the Zionist military carries out its military campaigns against indigenous people.” He also examined the design of “settler colonies,” and Jewish settler violence against Palestinians.

Kalia Abiade, journalist and program director of the Pillars Fund, which focuses on Muslim civic engagement in the U.S., reminded the JVP audience of the “well-funded Islamophobiamovement in the United States.” For example, she said, “Act for America (AFA) is an explicitly anti-Muslim organization that claims 800-1,000 members” and is involved in “securing our borders,” supports Israel, and has “state legislators in their pockets.” It also harasses Muslim Student Associations and the leaders of mosques, she noted.

Tareq Baconi, a Palestinian with a Ph.D in international relations from Kings College London, castigated Israeli military tribunals for “the 98.7 percent conviction rate of Palestinians.” On the other hand, the policy fellow at the transnational Palestinian think tank Al-Shabaka condemned the Palestine Authority for acting “as a partner in the occupation.”

A stirring closing plenary provided inspiration and energy for “the fights and work ahead,” reminding national meeting participants that organizing for justice must be “All In!” in “our communities, in our families, in the streets, in our houses of [worship], in the courts, and of course in our hearts.”

Rabbi Alissa Wise, JVP’s current deputy director who co-founded the organization’s rabbinical council, regaled and inspired her audience, saying that JVP should engage “in deep rapid response to whatever crisis” it encounters concerning the Palestinians, in a “loving, intentional” way. “Many more will join” in the effort to build “the world to come!,” the rabbi concluded.

—Paul H. Verduin

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Palestinian Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Palestinian Political Prisoners have been on hunger strike since April 17, as a sign of silent protest against Israel’s illegal detention.

National Coalition for Palestine South Africa (NC4P) is committed to a 24-hour fasting in support of a crisis that is recorded on their history.

Click here to go to the #PalestinianPoliticalPrisoners campaign page.

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Jewish terrorists incite murder of Palestinian south of Nablus


Nazi Jewish settlers at predawn Wednesday preformed sacrilegious rituals and yelled “death to Arabs” at Yitzhar crossroads, south of Nablus.

Palestinians driving in the area said over 100 Nazi Jewish settlers, escorted by heavily-armed soldiers, flocked to the northern entrance to Hawara town, south of Nablus, and yelled anti-Arab chants.

Nazi Jewish settlers further called for revenge against the Palestinians, shouting “Death to Arabs and Muslims.”

On Tuesday evening, a horde of Nazi Jewish fanatics showed up at Hawara checkpoint and on the access road to Bracha illegal Nazi Jewish settlement, illegally built on Palestinian land in Kafr Kalil and Irak Burin, to mark Nazi regime establishment anniversary on the land of Palestine.

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Shoah’s pages


May 2017
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