Archive | Human Rights

Nazi Soldiers Open Fire On Homes In Southern Gaza

NOVANEWS

gaza-fence-soldiers-e1471134740984A Palestinian child was reportedly injured on Friday evening after being struck by Nazi bullet in Beit Lahiya in the north of the Gaza Strip after Nazi forces opened live fire at homes in the area.

According to medical sources, the six-year-old girl was injured in her stomach, and described her injury as moderate.

The child was taken to al-Shifa hospital in Gaza city and was later transferred to a hospital in the north of the besieged enclave.

 

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

Nazi forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS
 (12 – 18 January 2016)

Israeli Forces Demolish Civilian Faculties in Qalendia Refugee Camp.
  • Nazi forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank.

–          7 Palestinian Civilians were wounded, including a child and woman, in the West Bank.

  • Nazi forces continued to target the Gaza Strip border areas, but no casualties were reported.

–         A military checkpoint established by Palestinian armed groups was destroyed and another civilian was wounded.

  • Nazi forces conducted 60 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 3 limited ones into the Gaza Strip.

–         62 civilians, including 17 children; woman and PLC Member, were arrested in the West Bank.

–         23 of them, including 13 children and the woman, were arrested in illegally occupied Jerusalem.

  • Nazi forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

–         A Civilian was forced to self-demolish his house in al-‘Issawiyah village.

–         5 brothers were forced to self-demolish 8 commercial and agricultural facilities and another civilian to remove 4 containers in al-Mukaber Mount.

–         A livestock and poultry barn was demolished in Ras al-Mukaber Mount neighbourhood.

  • Nazi Jewish Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.

–         An agricultural road, dwelling and 4 other facilities were demolished in Kherbet Tana, southeast of Nablus.

–         A 172-dunum land was levelled, and 1200 old olive trees were uprooted in ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqilya, for the interest of establishing a bypass road.

  • Nazi forces continued to target Palestinian Fishermen in the Gaza Sea.

–         Two fishermen were wounded, 5 others were arrested and two boats were confiscated.

  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

–         Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

–         7 Palestinian civilians, including a child and journalist, were arrested at military checkpoints.

–         Nazi forces arrested 3 Palestinian traders at Beit Haoun “Erez” Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.

–         Nazi forces detained a number of Gaza prisoners’ families at Erez Crossing and prevented a woman from visiting.

Summary

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (12 – 18 January 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed two Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank.  Nazi forces also wounded ten other civilians, including a child and woman; 3 of whom were in the Gaza Strip and the rest were in the West Bank.  In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas.

In the West Bank, on 16 January 2017, during clashes between young men and Nazi soldiers at the southern entrance to the village, Nazi forces killed Qosay ‘Amour (17) after directly shooting at him and wounded his brother.  Both live in Taqou’a village, southeast of Bethlehem.

In a new crime of excessive use of armed force, Nazi forces stationed at “Checkpoint 104”, west of Tulkarm, shot dead Nedal Mehdawi (44) from Shweikah Suburb and living in Western Baqah village in occupied Palestine 1948.  Nazi forces claimed that Mehdawi threw stones at the Nazi soldiers and then pulled out a knife trying to stab one of the.  As a result, the Nazi soldiers opened fire at him and he was immediately killed.  Investigations indicate that the Nazi forces could have used less lethal force and arrested him.

On 13 January 2017, 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded during their participation in Bal’in village, northwest of Ramallah.  On the same day, 3 other civilians during a protest against the Nazi soldiers who moved into Hezma village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.

 

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8722

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

Assassination of a Saint: The US Trial for the Killing of El Salvador’s Oscar Romero

"Learn from History", 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Óscar Romero was known as the voice of the voiceless. During a time of great repression and violence in El Salvador, from 1977 to 1980, he was the Catholic archbishop of the nation’s capital and a leading figure in Central America. Romero gained admiration throughout the world because he had the courage to speak out in favor of the millions of Salvadorans without money or power who suffered terribly at the hands of the autocratic military. In specific and strident terms, he denounced Salvadoran soldiers for torturing and killing innocent civilians, and he criticized the economic elites – known as the oligarchs – for underwriting the violence. For that, Romero was murdered on March 24, 1980, while saying mass in a chapel on the grounds of a hospital for cancer patients.

The shooting of Archbishop Romero made headlines around the globe and helped spark a twelve-year civil war in El Salvador that left over 75,000 people dead. Although a single gunman fired the fatal bullet, the plot to assassinate Romero sprang from a death squad network of military leaders, wealthy businesspeople and former soldiers. The U.S. government had played an important role in the development of these paramilitary forces in El Salvador, and several Salvadorans implicated in the death squads lived in or traveled to the United States. Some developed relationships with influential figures in Washington.

Starting in 2002, as a young attorney with the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA), I had the honor of investigating Romero’s murder and participating in a lawsuit against one of the killers, Álvaro Saravia. CJA became involved in the case because Saravia was living freely in California, and a key part of the organization’s mission is to take legal action against human rights violators found in the United States. During the case, my colleagues and I, working with Salvadoran partners, met with members of the group that murdered Romero, spoke to witnesses about the funding of the death squads, and eventually won a $10 million verdict against Saravia. My new book, Assassination of a Saint, tells the story of our investigation and lawsuit and explains the complex historical context that led a group of men in a heavily Catholic country to murder the most prominent figure in the Catholic Church.

This will be an important year for Romero’s legacy. After decades of inaction, the Vatican has now declared Romero a martyr, and Pope Francis appears set to canonize Romero as a saint in 2017. The Salvadoran Supreme Court has also invalidated a long-standing amnesty law, opening the possibility that conspirators still living in El Salvador could one day face accountability there. While the authorities have yet to pursue a prosecution, and the country continues to suffer widespread violence and corruption, the historic developments in San Salvador and Rome provide a measure of hope for the future and reinforce Romero’s enduring message of peace and justice.

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Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record

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Rex_Tillerson

During his Secretary of State confirmation hearing, recently retired ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson came under questioningby Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) about his stance on Saudi Arabia’s awful human rights record, a country which contains the biggest oil reserves on the planet and is a long-time ally of the U.S.

While Tillerson offered mild criticism of Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, LGBQT people, and others, several Senators found his response far from full-throated and said as much. A DeSmog investigation shows that Exxon has long been involved in Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas industry. Not only did the company, through its predecessor Standard Oil, help launch the industry there and co-owned the country’s first major export pipeline, but to this day it maintains deep business ties with Saudi Arabia and the industry in a variety of sectors, both there and in the U.S.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will vote on whether to confirm Tillerson on January 23, and Rubio’s vote one way or the other could make or break President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Tillerson for Secretary of State. It appears human rights will play a central role in Rubio’s decision, which he has not yet made. However, Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has threatened to bring Tillerson’s nomination to a full floor vote regardless of whether he passes in committee.

Corker took $6,000 in campaign contributions from Exxon during his 2006 electoral victory effort and another $10,000 for his 2012 re-election effort.

Exxon’s Saudi America

Exxon and Saudi Arabia have state-side projects too. Currently, Saudi state-owned company Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is working alongside Exxon through the company Gulf Coast Growth Ventures to permit and build a natural gas refinery facility along the Gulf of Mexico to manufacture plastics.

“Sites under consideration are in St. James and Ascension Parishes, Louisiana and San Patricio and Victoria Counties, Texas,” details the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures website. “We are very early in the process and have extensive studies and due diligence to perform before making a site selection decision among the four sites under consideration.”

Though not clarified on the company website, presumably that gas would be obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), given the horizontal drilling technique’s rampant use in Texas’ Eagle Ford, Barnett, and Permian Basin shale formations, as well as in Louisiana’s Haynesville Shale basin. The facility’s website only maintains that “feedstock for the facility will be acquired from domestic sources,” but industry publication Platts reported that much of that could be sourced from the Eagle Ford.

Meanwhile, a grassroots movement has arisen in opposition to the plant’s proposed site in Portland, Texas, calling itself Portland Citizens Unite. While Exxon has made appearances at city council meetings to advocate for the facility, it’s a hard sell. Portland’s city council passed a resolution on January 3 in opposition to the plant’s proposed locale.

Portland, Texas Exxon Saudi Arabia Plant

Image Credit: City of Portland, Texas

Exxon and SABIC have also created a front group supportive of the project named We Are United for Growth, which showed up in green t-shirts (to represent giving the project a “green light”) at a recent Portland City Council meeting. SABIC says that it expects a final decision on whether to go ahead with the project by sometime during the second quarter of 2017.

Exxon in Saudi Arabia

Back in Saudi Arabia, Exxon also has a heavy footprint. In a 2016 company brochure, Exxon boasts of its close ties to the Saudi petrostate via three crucial petrochemical refining facilities.

“Today, ExxonMobil is one of the largest foreign investors in the Kingdom and also one of the largest private sector purchasers of Saudi Aramco crude oil,” reads the brochure. “Through our joint venture (JV) interests, we have participated in the petroleum refining and petrochemicals manufacturing industries in the Kingdom for over 35 years.”

Take the Saudi Yanbu Petrochemical Company (YANPET), a 50-50 joint venture between Exxon and SABIC, open in Saudi Arabia since the 1980s. This facility, similar to the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures one, creates the chemical compound ethylene, which is then used to manufacture plastics. YANPET is viewed as a worldwide model in the industry.

“Yanpet is a fully integrated plant, making it one of the largest and lowest-cost producers in the world,” writes Exxon. “It is recognized as a petrochemical industry global pacesetter.”

Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery (SAMREF) is another of the major Exxon co-owned refineries in Saudi Arabia, this time with Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco owns and operates the Ghawar Field, the largest onshore oil field in the world, as well as the Safaniya Field, the world’s largest offshore oil field.

Opening in 1984, SAMREF situates itself as “one of the most sophisticated refineries in the Middle East, supplying products to a number of markets around the world,” according to Exxon. “SAMREF processes approximately 400,000 barrels per day of Arabian crude, and approximately half of its output is consumed domestically.”

And then there’s the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Company (KEMYA), a 50-50 SABIC-Exxon joint venture, which also manufactures plastics. On the supply side, Exxon owns a 49 percent stake in the Arabian Petroleum Supply Company (APSCO).

“APSCO operates its aviation fueling services in almost 21 national and international airports. APSCO is a long term supplier of aviation fuels to the national carrier, Saudi Arabian Airlines at several airports in the kingdom,” details its website. “Also, APSCOprovides bunkering and marine lubricants in several national and international ports on a 24 hours basis, utilizing a fleet of bunkering ships.

Exxon and Saudi Aramco are among the largest emitters of carbon in the world, according to a groundbreaking 2014 study by Richard Heede, completed for the Climate Accountability Institute.

Image Credit: CarbonMajors.org

“Often Been Reluctant”

The kindred bond between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia centering around fossil fuels is well-documented, becoming a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy after the famous handshake between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Saudi Arabia founder Abdulaziz Ibn Saud in 1945.

In fact, as a parting gift from the White House, the Obama administration offered $115 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia in September.“We’ve often been reluctant to put as much pressure on states that we are dependent upon for oil, than in situations with states where we’re not dependent on oil,” said U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) during Tillerson’s January 12 confirmation hearing.

Would Rex Tillerson, given the corporate ties that bind him to Saudi Arabia and his long-standing support for the country, reverse course on this status quo as U.S. Secretary of State? That’s doubtful, to say the least.

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PCHR Follows up with Concern Excessive Use of Force by Security Services to Disperse Demonstration in Jabalia Refugee Camp

 

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الوصف: 04f0d7f835eec0d2c2a147316b2c4b46

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) follows up with concern the latest incidents in Jabalia refugee camp, where Hamas security services used excessive force against civilians, including journalists. PCHR stresses the significance of adhering to the legal and international standards when dealing with civilians in all circumstances. PCHR calls upon the Attorney General to follow up the incidents and ensure compliance with legal procedures. Moreover, PCHR emphasizes that the security services’ duty is to maintain security and protect public property within the law with strict commitment to the relevant international standards, especially the 1979 Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 16:15 on Thursday, 12 January 2017, a peaceful demonstration was organized in the center of Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, protesting the aggravating electricty crisis. The protest came upon an invitation from youth groups on “Facebook”. Around 500 protesters peacefully made their way from Jabalia refugee camp towards al-Hojha Stree and then to al-Fakhoura area and Beit Lahia housing Project. They arrived at the Gaza Electricity Distribution Corporation (GEDCO) building located behind the Engineers Syndicate in Beit Lahia. Around 5000 persons then joined the demonstration chanting slogans against GEDCO.  Hamas police officers were there, so altercations occurred between them and the protestors. A number of youngsters then threw stones at the GEDCO building and police officers, who in response fired live bullets in the air and attacked civilians with batons. As a result, 7 civilians sustained bruises and were taken to Kamal ‘Odwan Hospital and the Indonesian Hospital.

Moreover, Hamas police officers attacked journalists while covering the protest. Journalist Mohamed Abed al-Razeq Abdullah al-Baba (48), a photojournalist at the AFP, sustained an incised wound to the head after being beaten by the Hamas police. They also confiscated his camera and the memory card. Iyad al-Buzom, Spokesperson of the Interior Security, then came to the hospital to officially apologize for al-Baba and returned the camera

During the protest, a number of civilians were arrested by the police officers. PCHR’s fieldworker said that following the protest, security officers raided many houses and arrested activists. Some of them are so far under arrest.

PCHR stresses that security services’ duty is to maintain security and protect civilians and public and private property from any riot or violence acts during peaceful demonstrations and protests. PCHR also underscores that security services should comply with the principles of proportionality and legality of using force and condemns any random or excessive use of force. PCHR also stresses that use of force is not the solution and further complicates matters.  PCHR also emphasizes the right to freedom of expression and opinion and right to peaceful assembly, but also protestors should abide by law and maintain the peaceful nature of the demonstration in addition to not attacking the police or property.  In light of the above-mentioned, PCHR:

1-      Calls upon the Attorney General to investigate the yesterday incidents in Jabalia refugee camp, including beating civilians and a journalist and the security officers’ violations, and hold those responsible accountable;

2-      Calls upon the security services in Gaza to respect law and human’s dignity, take all necessary procedures to stop those violations and respect civilians’ public freedoms and press freedoms guaranteed under the international human rights standards and

3-      Calls upon the security services to release all civilians arrested on grounds of the protest.

 

 

 

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Nazi  forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

NOVANEWS
(05 – 11 January 2016)

 

 

  • Nazi forces killed a Palestinian civilian at point-blank range in al-Far’ah refugee camp, in front of his mother.

  • A Palestinian civilian was killed after running over Nazi soldiers in occupied Jerusalem

–         A Palestinian photojournalist was wounded, and then he and a reporter were beaten by Nazi soldiers.

 

  • Nazi forces continued to target the Gaza Strip border areas, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • Nazi forces conducted 54 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

–        58 civilians, including 9 children and 3 women, were arrested.

–        18 of them, including 6 children and the 3 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • Nazi forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

–        A decision to suspend the residency of 12 members of al-Qunbar family in al-Mukaber Mount.

–        Settlers seized a building in al-Rababah Valley neighbourhood in Silwan

–        Lands of East Sawahrah were levelled, claiming they are State lands.

  • Nazi Jewish illegal Settlement activities continued in the West Bank.

–        Agricultural roads and a waterline were levelled in al-Ras al-Ahmar area in the Northern Valley.

–        A 1700-meter agricultural road was levelled in Masafer Yata

 

  • Nazi forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 9th year.

–        Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.

–        4 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were arrested at military checkpoints.

 

Summary

 

Nazi violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (05 – 11 January 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Nazi forces killed two Palestinian civilians.  The first one was killed after carrying out a run-over attack, targeting a number of Nazi soldiers in East Jerusalem.  The second one was killed in a new cold-blooded crime in al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas.  Nazi forces also wounded a Palestinian photojournalist and then beat him and another reporter.  In the Gaza Strip, Nazi forces opened fire at Palestinian farmers in the border areas.

 

In the West Bank, On 98 January 2017, Nazi forces killed Fadi al-Qunbar (28) from al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, when he drove his truck into a group of Nazi soldiers, who were in the bus station near “Armon Hanatziv” settlement established on the lands of the aforementioned village.  As a result, 3 Nazi soldiers and an officer were killed.

 

In a new crime of extra-judicial execution, on 10 January 2017, Nazi forces shot dead in cold blood Mohammed al-Salhi (30) in al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas, with five bullets from a gun with a silencer.  As a result, he was killed in front of his elderly mother.

In the same context, Nazi forces wounded the photojournalist of “TransMedia” Agency, al-Muthana al-Deek, with a gas canister to his right leg while he was covering a protest organized by dozens Palestinian civilians and activists in the Northern Valley against settlement activities. After he was wounded, the Nazi soldiers beat him and the “Palestine Today” Reporter, Amoun al-Sheikh.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting the border areas, on 10 January 2017, Nazi forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Nazi opened fire at the agricultural fields, east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip, to the west of the abovementioned border.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

The full report is available online at:

http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=8695

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

Nazi Forces Execute Palestinian Civilian at Point-Blank Range in al-Far’ah Refugee Camp

NOVANEWS

 Image result for Israeli Forces Execute Palestinian PHOTO

In an extra-judicial execution crime, on Tuesday dawn, 10 January 2017, Nazi forces shot dead in cold blood a Palestinian civilian in al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas, in front of his mother.  The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) stresses that this crime was committed after the Nazi political and military leaders gave the Nazi soldiers the green light to shed the Palestinian blood and tolerated the soldiers for their crimes against Palestinian civilians.

According to PCHR’s investigations and the mother’s testimony, Fawziyah Mahmoud Khamis Salhi (67) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that at approximately 02:00 on the above mentioned day, Nazi forces moved into al-Far’ah refugee camp, south of Tubas.  They surrounded the family house of Mohammed Subhi Ahmed Khamis Salhi (33) near an UNRWA School for Girls and the camp sports club, seemingly in order to arrest him.

A number of Nazi soldiers jumped from the outer wall of the 1-storey house. Mohammed and his mother then heard noise in the corridor and went out of their bedroom.  When his mother saw the soldiers, she stood between them and her son.  An Nazi soldier then ordered her to sit on a plastic chair there, but when she refused, the soldier forcefully seated her. She then twice stood between the soldiers and her son.

However in the third time she stood, the Nazi soldier forcefully pushed her and seated her on the chair.  The Nazi soldier then pulled out a gun with a silencer and directly fired 5 bullets at Mohammed at point-blank range.  As a result, the bullets penetrated his neck, chest, hand, armpit, pelvis and thigh from the left side of his body and killed him in front of his elderly mother.

The mother said that she did not hear any sound of shooting, but saw sparkles coming from the gun.  After that, her son swayed and fell on the ground.  His body was put on a litter and then taken by an ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) to Tubas Turkish Governmental Hospital in Tubas, where medical sources announced him dead.  It should be mentioned that the Mohammed previously served a 3-year sentence in the Nazi camp.

PCHR strongly condemns this new crime, coinciding with the trial of Nazi soldier Elor Azaria, who killed a Palestinian young man namely ‘Abdel Fattah al-Sharif (20) in Hebron on 24 March 2016 when the latter was wounded and immobilised and with calls from Nazi leaders, including Naziyahu, to pardon the soldier if being convicted.  As these calls encourage the Nazi soldiers to shed the Palestinian blood, PCHR hereby:

  1. Demands the United Nations to provide international protection for Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) and ensure guarantees to protect civilians in the oPt;
  2. Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to oblige the Nazi regime to apply the Geneva Conventions in the oPt in its capacity as a Member State to these conventions;
  3. Demands the states signing the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations by exercising their Universal Jurisdiction to hold the Nazi regime war criminals to account regardless of the criminals’ nationalities and the place where the crimes were committed and put an end to their impunity and
  4. Appeals the abovementioned states to extend their Jurisdiction to account war criminals regardless of their origins, not to be obedient to the Nazi regime pressure that aims to limit the states’ jurisdiction in order to keep the Nazi regime war criminals’ impunity.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human Rights, UK, West Bank0 Comments

Nazi regime: Fury at Nazi Azaria verdict

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Fury at Azaria verdict is Israel’s Trump moment
Murderer Elor Azaria treated as hero

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

The United Kingdom has Brexit. The United States, an incoming President Trump. And Israel now has Elor Azaria. It may not have the same ring, but ultimately the turning point could prove as decisive.

Two fallacious narratives have greeted the army medic’s manslaughter conviction last week, after he was filmed firing a bullet into the head of a wounded and helpless Palestinian, 21-year-old Abdel Fattah Al Sharif.

The first says Azaria is a rotten apple, a soldier who lost his moral bearings last March under the pressure of serving in Hebron. The second – popular among liberals in Israel – claims the conviction proves the strength of Israel’s rule of law. Even a transgressing soldier will be held accountable by the world’s “most moral army”.

Telling reaction

In truth, however, the popular reaction to the military court’s decision was far more telling than the decision itself.

Only massed ranks of riot police saved the three judges from a lynching by crowds outside. The army top brass have been issued bodyguards. Demands to overrule the court and pardon Azaria are thunderous – and they are being led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Azaria is no rogue soldier. He is “everyone’s child”, according to much of the public. The unexceptional nature of his act is vouched for by the complete indifference of his colleagues as Azaria pulled the trigger. Polls show overwhelming support – 84 per cent – for Azaria among 18- to 24-years-olds, the age of Israel’s conscript army.

The trial, meanwhile, reflected not the law’s sanctity – it is 12 years since the last soldier, a Bedouin, was convicted of manslaughter. It revealed only the growing pressures on Israel. Cameras in phones are making it harder to cover up soldiers’ crimes. By prosecuting Azaria in a case where the filmed evidence was unequivocal, Israel hopes to ward off war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court.

As Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea noted, Azaria’s defence team also erred. Riding a wave of populist indignation, they accused Azaria’s superiors of lying and bullying. Prosecutors had already reduced a murder charge to manslaughter. The court would probably have settled for convicting a repentant Azaria of misusing a firearm. But given the defence’s framing of the case, the judges had to choose: side with the soldier or the army.

Rot all around

Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria’s trial exposed not only a deep social fissure, but also a moment of transition. Those who see a virtuous system punishing a rotten apple are now outnumbered by those who see a rotten system victimising a hero.

Polls show the Israeli public’s faith plummeting in most institutions, from the courts to the media, which are seen, however wrongly, as dominated by the “extreme left”. Only the army is still widely revered.

That is in part because so many Israeli parents must entrust their sons and daughters to it. To doubt the army would be to question the foundational logic of “Fortress Israel”: that the army is all that prevents Palestinian “barbarians” such as Sharif from storming the gates.

But also, unlike those increasingly despised institutions, the army has rapidly adapted and conformed to the wider changes in Israeli society.

Settlers and “settlerism”

Rather than settlers, we should speak of “settlerism”. There are far more settlers than the 600,000 who live in the settlements. Naftali Bennett, leader of the settlers’ Jewish Home Party and education minister, lives in Ranana, a city in Israel, not a settlement.

Settlerism is an ideology, one that believes Jews are a “chosen people” whose Biblical rights to the Promised Land trump those of non-Jews such as Palestinans. Polls show 70 per cent of Israeli Jews think they are chosen by God.

The settlers have taken over the army, both demographically and ideologically. They now dominate its officer corps and they direct policy on the ground.

Azaria’s testimony showed how deep this attachment now runs. His company, including his commanders, often spent their free time at the home of Baruch Marzel, a leader of Kach, a group banned in the 1990s for its genocidal anti-Arab platform. Azaria described Marzel and Hebron’s settlers as like a “family” to the soldiers.

By their very nature, occupying armies are brutally repressive. For decades the army command has given its soldier free rein against Palestinians. But as settler numbers have grown, the army’s image of itself has changed too.

It has metamorphosed from a citizens’ army defending the settlements to a settler militia. The middle ranks now dictate the army’s ethos, not the top brass, as ousted Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon discovered last year when he tried to stand against the swelling tide.

This new army is no longer even minimally restrained by concerns about the army’s “moral” image or threats of international war crimes investigations. It cares little what the world thinks, much like the new breed of politicians who have thrown their support behind Azaria.

The soldier’s trial, far from proof of the rule of law, was the last gasp of a dying order. His sentence, due in the next few days, is likely to be lenient to appease the public. If the conviction is nullified by a pardon, the settlers’ victory will be complete.

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

Nazi Jewish settlers attempt to ‘silence documentation and resistance’

NOVANEWS

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian videographer of Hebron shooting in attempt to ‘silence documentation and resistance’.

jewishcensorship

Mondoweiss

Emad Abu Shamsiyah first started receiving death threats in March, after a video he filmed for Israeli rights group B’Tselem, which captured Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting dead Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was released to the public. The video sparked a media frenzy surrounding the incident, and directly led to the initial indictment of Azaria. Shamsiyah has not had a good night’s rest since.

kosher censorship

Shamsiyah lives in the city-center of Hebron — arguably the most contentious city in all of the occupied West Bank — and the only city-center where Palestinians and Israeli settlers live side-by-side.

During the case, Shamsiyah was frequently accosted by Israeli settlers near his home, who demanded he change his testimony. After last week’s ruling, which found Azaria guilty of manslaughter, the threats against Shamsiyah have reached a new level, as 67 percent of the general Israeli population supports a full pardon for Azaria.

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The lack of support for the manslaughter ruling has translated into anger among Israeli settlers, who have a neighbor directly responsible for the main evidence in the case. As a result, Shamsiyah cannot walk the streets of his neighborhood without fearing for his life.

“It was already bad before, but after the court ruling, all these threats started to come in through my Facebook, telling me I will die and that people want to murder me,” Shamsiyah told Mondoweiss on Thursday.

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“There are memes on Facebook with my picture on them calling for my death,” he said. “My son’s can’t sleep at home because it’s so dangerous for them. The area around my house has been declared a closed military zone.”

Shamsiyah is one of more than 200 Palestinians that have been equipped with cameras and training by B’Tselem, which started the program in 2009 in the hopes that documentation would “expose the Israeli and the international publics to the reality of life under occupation.

Talal Idries, a tour guide in Hebron told Mondoweiss that he supports Shamsiyah’s work, but he is skeptical that documentation does any good, when the entire Israeli justice system “works against Palestinians.”

“Yes the court’s found Azaria guilty, but it is all a show for the international stage, so that Israel looks like it has justice — but watch, he will be pardoned,” Idries said.

“The settlers who attack Shamsiyah are not punished, just as the soldier who killed [Sharif] will not be punished. There is no judging an Israeli when the action he took was against a Palestinian. Palestinians don’t get justice here, Israel is happy for violence against Palestinians.”

An Israeli soldier guards a checkpoint, a few hundred feet from another checkpoint, in the old city of Hebron, very near to where Elor Azaria shot dead Abed al-Fattah Sharif. (Photo: Sheren Khalel/Mondoweiss)

An Israeli soldier guards a checkpoint, a few hundred feet from another checkpoint, in the old city of Hebron, very near to where Elor Azaria shot dead Abed al-Fattah Sharif. (Photo: Sheren Khalel/Mondoweiss)

Ayman Samir, a young man from Hebron, frequently hangs out around his uncle’s shop in front of the Ibrahimi Mosque near the site of the shooting. Samir told Mondoweiss that he believes the settler attacks against Shamsiyah are not just allowed by the Israeli forces patrolling the area, but encouraged.

“Of course the Israeli settlers target him,” Samir said. “The people who are activists, or the people who try to document Israeli violations, are being targeted by the Israelis all the time, because they don’t want to allow people to see the reality of how life is here.”

“They are trying to put a lot of pressure and harassment on Palestinians who use the camera as a tool to document Israeli attacks on Palestinians. By attacking someone like Shamsiyah, they are trying to kill Palestinian non-violent resistance” he said, sitting in his uncle’s shop, directly across from Israeli soldiers on the other side of the road. “All of it is used to scare the Palestinian people — it’s a deliberate policy that aims to end Palestinian resistance — the basic goal is to stop anyone from documenting any Israeli attacks or violations.”

In the 13 months following the start of an uptick in violence in October 2015, 236 Palestinians like Sharif were killed by Israeli forces and civilians. During the same period 34 Israelis — many of which were soldiers — were killed in Palestinian attacks, according to Ma’an News Agency’s documentation.

Hebron has been the epicenter of the violence, as 31 percent of all Palestinians killed were shot dead in the district.

Due to the circumstances of the killings, groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have deeply criticized Israel’s rules of engagement, with both groups calling on Israel to end its practice of “extrajudicial killings,” citing the Azaria’s case specifically.

While Amnesty International said in a report that the manslaughter ruling against Azaria “offers a small glimmer of hope amid the rampant impunity for unlawful killings” in the occupied Palestinian territory, Palestinians seem skeptical, as most of the population expects calls for a complete pardon by Israeli officials and the general public to come to fruition.

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

Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria verdict exposes a moment of transition in I$raHell

NOVANEWS
Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria verdict exposes a moment of transition in Israel

Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria verdict exposes a moment of transition in Israel

The United Kingdom has Brexit. The United States, an incoming president Trump. And Israel now has Elor Azaria. It may not have the same ring, but ultimately the turning point could prove as decisive.

Two fallacious narratives have greeted the army medic’s manslaughter conviction last week, after he was filmed firing a bullet into the head of a wounded and helpless Palestinian, 21-year-old Abdel Fattah Al Sharif.

The first says Azaria is a rotten apple, a soldier who lost his moral bearings last March under the pressure of serving in Hebron. The second – popular among liberals in Israel – claims the conviction proves the strength of Israel’s rule of law. Even a transgressing soldier will be held accountable by the world’s “most moral army”.

In truth, however, the popular reaction to the military court’s decision was far more telling than the decision itself.

Only massed ranks of riot police saved the three judges from a lynching by crowds outside. The army top brass have been issued bodyguards. Demands to overrule the court and pardon Azaria are thunderous – and they are being led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Azaria is no rogue soldier. He is “everyone’s child”, according to much of the public. The unexceptional nature of his act is vouched for by the complete indifference of his colleagues as Azaria pulled the trigger. Polls show overwhelming support – 84 per cent – for Azaria among 18- to 24-years-olds, the age of ­Israel’s conscript army.

The trial, meanwhile, reflected not the law’s sanctity – it is 12 years since the last soldier, a Bedouin, was convicted of manslaughter. It revealed only the growing pressures on Israel. Cameras in phones are making it harder to cover up soldiers’ crimes. By prosecuting Azaria in a case where the filmed evidence was unequivocal, Israel hopes to ward off war crimes investigations by the International Criminal Court.

As Israeli columnist Nahum Barnea noted, Azaria’s defence team also erred. Riding a wave of populist indignation, they accused Azaria’s superiors of lying and bullying. Prosecutors had already reduced a murder charge to manslaughter. The court would probably have settled for convicting a repentant Azaria of misusing a firearm. But given the defence’s framing of the case, the judges had to choose: side with the soldier or the army.

Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria’s trial exposed not only a deep social fissure, but also a moment of transition. Those who see a virtuous system punishing a rotten apple are now outnumbered by those who see a rotten system victimising a hero.

Polls show the Israeli public’s faith plummeting in most institutions, from the courts to the media, which are seen, however wrongly, as dominated by the “extreme left”. Only the army is still widely revered.

That is in part because so many Israeli parents must entrust their sons and daughters to it. To doubt the army would be to question the foundational logic of “Fortress Israel”: that the army is all that prevents Palestinian “barbarians” such as Sharif from storming the gates.

But also, unlike those increasingly despised institutions, the army has rapidly adapted and conformed to the wider changes in Israeli society.

Rather than settlers, we should speak of “settlerism”. There are far more settlers than the 600,000 who live in the settlements. Naftali Bennett, leader of the settlers’ Jewish Home Party and education minister, lives in Ranana, a city in Israel, not a settlement.

Settlerism is an ideology, one that believes Jews are a “chosen people” whose Biblical rights to the Promised Land trump those of non-Jews such as Palestinans. Polls show 70 per cent of Israeli Jews think they are chosen by God.

The settlers have taken over the army, both demographically and ideologically. They now dominate its officer corps and they direct policy on the ground.

Azaria’s testimony showed how deep this attachment now runs. His company, including his commanders, often spent their free time at the home of Baruch Marzel, a leader of Kach, a group banned in the 1990s for its genocidal anti-Arab platform. Azaria described Marzel and Hebron’s settlers as like a “family” to the soldiers.

By their very nature, occupying armies are brutally repressive. For decades the army command has given its soldier free rein against Palestinians. But as settler numbers have grown, the army’s image of itself has changed too.

It has metamorphosed from a citizens’ army defending the settlements to a settler militia. The middle ranks now dictate the army’s ethos, not the top brass, as ousted defence minister Moshe Yaalon discovered last year when he tried to stand against the swelling tide.

This new army is no longer even minimally restrained by concerns about the army’s “moral” image or threats of international war crimes investigations. It cares little what the world thinks, much like the new breed of politicians who have thrown their support behind Azaria.

The soldier’s trial, far from proof of the rule of law, was the last gasp of a dying order. His sentence, due in the next few days, is likely to be lenient to appease the public. If the conviction is nullified by a pardon, the settlers’ victory will be complete.

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

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