Israel carried out Gaza strike that killed 5 minors


A Palestinian girl lays roses on the grave of one of the children of Nijim family at Al-Faluja cemetery in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022. A Palestinian human rights group and an Israeli newspaper reported Tuesday that an explosion in a cemetery that killed five Palestinian children during the latest flare-up in Gaza was caused by an Israeli airstrike and not an errant Palestinian rocket. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

FARES AKRAM and SAM McNEIL, Associated Press, August 16, 2022

JEBALIYA, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian human rights group and an Israeli newspaper reported Tuesday that an explosion in a cemetery that killed five Palestinian children during the latest flare-up in Gaza was caused by an Israeli airstrike and not an errant Palestinian rocket.

It was one of a number of blasts during the fighting that did not bear the tell-tale signs of an Israeli F-16 or drone strike, and which the Israeli military said might have been caused by rockets misfired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

The five children, aged 4 to 16 years old, had gathered in the local cemetery, one of the few open spaces in the crowded Jebaliya refugee camp, on Aug. 7, hours before an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire ended three days of heavy fighting.

Residents said a projectile fell from the air and exploded in the cemetery. When The Associated Press visited the site, it saw none of the usual signs of an airstrike by an Israeli F-16 or drone, adding to suspicions that the blast was caused by an errant rocket. Both the Israeli military and Palestinian rights groups said at the time that they were still investigating the blast.

On Tuesday, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said its investigation of shrapnel and other evidence led it to conclude that the blast was caused by an Israeli airstrike.

“This was a missile fired from an Israeli aircraft,” said Raji Sourani, the director of the group, as he displayed pictures of what he said was a fragment showing the missile’s serial number.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper meanwhile cited unnamed Israeli defense officials as saying the military’s investigation had concluded that the five were killed by an Israeli strike.

Asked about the Haaretz story, the military said it was still examining the event. It said that throughout the the latest round of fighting, it had targeted militant infrastructure and “made every feasible effort to minimize, as much as possible, harm to civilians and civilian property.”

At a sit-in held by family members at the site of the explosion on Tuesday, Sahar Nijm said the loss of her son Mohammed was made even more painful by the suggestion he was killed by a Palestinian rocket.

“We always heard about other massacres, but when it happens to you, you really feel the oppression,” she said. “Especially when (Israel) denies this in order to portray us as oppressors and terrorists before the international community."

Diana Nijim said her son Hamid was desperate to go outside after sheltering indoors for the first two days of fighting. She said he and the other children went to the cemetery because it was the only open space in the neighborhood where they could play.

“This is the cruelest crime in the world," she said. "This is deliberate. They want to uproot us.”

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Gaza is Not a Breaking News Cycle



The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy

August 11, 2022

 

Good Morning,

As you might have seen or heard, Israel launched yet another assault on the besieged Gaza strip, with bombardments and airstrikes killing 45 Palestinians and injuring more than 360, so far.

With the announcement of yet another precarious ceasefire, the international community’s attention is likely to move away from Gaza, yet again, leaving its people to mourn and rebuild in isolation under Israel’s 15 years of ongoing military siege. With this being Israel’s fifth assault since 2009 it is crucial to educate and inform ourselves and each other on Gaza, and to fight against its invisibilization and its dehumanization as mere periodical news cycle. Gaza has an ancestral history that is an integral and enmeshed part of Palestinian history. We must fight to keep it as part of the whole, and look ahead with a long-term vision, united against Israel’s intention to fragment and isolate Palestinians everywhere. 

This is why we are sharing with you again our latest Palestinian Takes email from June on Gaza, marking the passage of 15 years of Israel’s military siege. The email includes various Palestinian perspectives and resources on Gaza’s present and past, intertwined to bring us to the current moment.

The Nakba in 1948 and “the Gaza strip”:

  • Gaza has been inhabited since around 1500 BC, a thriving port for multiple cultures. Right before the Nakba of 1948, Gaza was one of many of Palestine’s districts, including the areas of Bir Al Sabi’ (Beersheba). As Israel’s ethnic cleansing operations began, 49 villages of the Gaza district were destroyed and more than 200,000 Palestinians were expelled from the southern and coastal areas of Palestine to smaller parts of Gaza district, which came to be known as the Gaza strip, as we learn in the Interactive Encyclopedia of the Palestine Question.
  • Since 1948, Gaza has become the epitome of the Palestinian refugees’ right of return movement, embodied more recently by the Great March of Return, that was co-initiated by Ahmad Abu Artema: “I wondered what would happen if 200,000 protesters gathered near the Israel fence with Gaza Strip, and entered the lands that are ours”.

The centrality of Gaza to iconic Palestinian food and land cultivation:

  • At home, on the sidewalks or dangling from the roofs of the shops at the markets or crossroads, this is how the branches of the unripe dates, called the “red gold”, announce they’re in season, a fruit after which the city of Deir Al-Balah (Land of Unripe Dates) is named.
  • Famous recipes have been curated by Palestinian chef Laila Haddad in The Gaza Kitchen cookbook, documenting people’s history and daily life through traditional dishes like the Rumaniyya (eggplant lentil pomegranate bowl) and Dagga (hot tomato and dill salad).
  • With its long Mediterranean coastline, fishery became a major source of food culture and sovereignty for many families. Yet, following the Israeli blockade in 2007, fishermen were systematically prevented from accessing the sea beyond 20 nautical miles, which gradually decreased to 3 nautical miles, while regularly being targeted and shot at by the Israeli naval army.
  • “In a few years there will be no more fishing at all, we will have to forget our profession and become traders”, said Gaza fishermen in a documentary on the topic.

    Fishermen on a Gaza Beach, 1987
    (Palestinian Museum Digital Archive)

A testing ground for apartheid, weapons and colonial repression:

  • In 1948, Palestinian refugees “were not expecting that their exodus would be prolonged for seven decades, and that they would be subjected to condescending efforts to void their right to return.” writes Jehad Abu-Salim.
  • In the span of two decades, the Israeli regime has led four aerial bombardment campaigns, killing and injuring thousands of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza, intentionally treating it as a testing ground for its military capabilities before it is exported all over the world.
  • “All the injustices Palestinians in Gaza face are a direct consequence of the continued denial of freedom, dignity and return. Overshadowing it with a humanitarian crisis is depriving the people in Gaza of their political will and reducing them to poor, powerless and passive subjects.” – writes Abir Kopty.
  • This thematic chronology by the Interactive Encyclopedia of the Palestine Question is an important resource covering how main events unfolded in the Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009, 2012 and 2014-2015.
    This visual by Visualizing Palestine explains how the Israeli closure on Gaza started long before the blockade and in the height of the 1990s peace process.

We will never forget and never forgive: Palestinian testimonies from under the rubble:

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If Not Now Says “#DropAIPAC”


Join the Movement of Jews, Orgs, and Politicians Pledging to #DropAIPAC

AIPAC endorsed 109 insurrectionist Republicans and spent $25 million to defeat candidates supporting Palestinian rights and progressive causes. Their actions this year aid the right-wing movement threatening our planet and democracy, and should have no place in our community or our politics.

AIPAC claims to speak on behalf of the Jewish community but embraces right-wing antisemites, Islamophobes, and white nationalists such as Donald Trump, Christian Zionist John Hagee, Rep. Jim Jordan, and Muslim Ban lawyer Frank Gaffney.

AIPAC endorsed 109 Republican candidates who supported Trump’s “Big Lie” to overturn the 2020 election. And AIPAC’s Super PAC — funded primarily by Republican billionaires — spent 25 million dollars on misleading advertisements to defeat seven progressive candidates, including targeting women of color and a former synagogue president fighting for health care, climate solutions, and responsible foreign policy.

So long as donors, U.S. politicians, and Jewish orgs like youth groups and synagogues work with AIPAC — and so long as those watching stay silent — AIPAC will have the credibility and funding to continue working against Palestinian rights and against democracy.

By pledging to #DropAIPAC, I or my organization pledges to drop:

  • AIPAC’s annual policy conference
  • Donating to AIPAC
  • Meeting with AIPAC lobbyists
  • Hosting or participating in AIPAC events
  • Traveling on AIPAC trips to Israel

The majority of American Jews disagree with AIPAC’s anti-Palestinian racism and recognize that Jewish and Palestinian safety is intertwined. We stand committed to fighting for equality, justice, and a thriving future for all Jews, Israelis, and Palestinians.

Join the Movement

Bus company boots Palestinians at Jewish passengers’ behest

Company says passenger impersonated government official, pressuring rookie driver to force workers off

Palestinian laborers ride a bus en route to the West Bank from working in Tel Aviv area, 2013. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
Palestinian laborers ride a bus en route to the West Bank from working in Tel Aviv area, 2013. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Michael Horovitz, Times of Israel, 9 August 2022

A public transportation company apologized on Tuesday after it was revealed that one of its drivers had removed 50 Palestinian workers from his bus at the behest of several Jewish passengers who refused to ride with Arabs onboard.

Tnufa issued the apology after it was approached by the Haaretz daily, which had spoken with one of the Palestinian passengers, many of whom were forced to find alternative, more expensive routes back to their homes in the West Bank last Thursday.

The Palestinian passenger, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Haaretz that he and a group of other construction workers waited at Tel Aviv’s Hamasger Junction for Bus 288 back to the West Bank only to see several of those buses pass them without stopping. Eventually, an empty bus stopped for them and roughly 50 Palestinian workers got on.

When it arrived in Bnei Brak, an ultra-Orthodox suburb of Tel Aviv, three Jewish passengers boarded and immediately began urging the driver to kick the Palestinians off the bus. The driver eventually agreed to pull over and made a phone call to whom the Palestinian assumed was his boss. After ending the call, the driver ordered the Palestinians off the bus, in what constituted illegal conduct.

The bus company claimed that it conducted an investigation after the Haaretz inquiry and found that one of the Jewish passengers pretended to be a Transportation Ministry employee and intimidated a recently hired driver into kicking the Palestinians off the bus. The imposter told the driver he would lose his job or be heavily fined if he didn’t comply, Tnufa’s CEO Mikhael Kopilovsky claimed.

Take Action Together for Gaza

Jewish Voice for Peace, August 7, 2022

Just over a year since its last horrific attack on Gaza, the Israeli government launched yet another round of catastrophic bombings, massacring Palestinian families. This is the fifth attack by Israel of this magnitude since it placed Gaza under a crippling blockade of land, air and sea 15 years ago.

We’ll hold this 30 min online space each day as long as we need to, to take collective action in solidarity with Gaza. We’ll call our electeds to demand that Israel stop its attacks and end the brutal military siege of Gaza, as well as make demands of other key institutions complicit in this murderous regime.

Please share widely and invite others to join. May our heartbreak and rage lead us towards collective action.

Register at jvp.org/actionforgaza

Israel attacks Gaza as election approaches

‘Sacrificial pawns’: After deadly air raids on Gaza, analysts question Israel’s motivation amid political turmoil


A wounded Palestinian child is carried to a hospital following an Israeli air raid on the Gaza Strip on Friday [Anas Baba/AFP]

Al Jazeera Staff, 5 Aug 2022

Israel’s attack on Gaza on Friday was weeks in the making, a deliberate act to gain legitimacy with its public, say Palestinian observers, as Israel braces for new elections in November.

On Friday, Israel launched missiles throughout the besieged Palestinian enclave, killing 10 people, including a five-year-old girl, a 23-year-old woman, as well as Taysir al-Jabari, a commander of Islamic Jihad’s military wing.

Islamic Jihad group said it fired more than 100 rockets into Israel in retaliation for the air raids. The violence raised fears of another war on Gaza by Israel, just 15 months after a month-long conflict that killed more than 260 people.

“Everyone is nervous, there is no appetite for war,” said Tamer Qarmout from the Doha Institute of Graduate Studies, who hails from Gaza and has family there.

“Gaza has witnessed four or five major conflicts over the last 15 years. We’re still talking about the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Gaza has never really recovered, it just lives from conflict to conflict,” he told Al Jazeera.

Israel’s deadly attacks came after Israeli forces arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a senior member of the armed group, earlier in the week. Al-Saadi was detained during an Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Jenin, during which a teenager was killed.

‘Shock and awe’

Prior to the assassination of al-Jabari, Israel tightened its grip on the coastal enclave, already 15 years under a brutal blockade, by shutting down all border crossings.

Israel also closed roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border as it braced for a response after al-Saadi’s arrest.

Friday’s attack came on the heels of previous assaults, including drone strikes on the Gaza Strip, leading some observers to suggest the current escalation is a calculated move. The West Bank, too, has also seen a rise in Israeli attacks by soldiers and settlers alike, as well as arrests of Palestinians and home demolitions.

“Israel is arming its settlers in the West Bank to shoot and kill Palestinians and not to [do so] under the chain of command of the military. So what we’re seeing right now is an intensification of Israel’s military strategy of ‘shock and awe’,” said Mariam Barghouti, a Ramallah-based researcher.

“Let’s also keep in mind that Israeli elections are coming this November, and there’s this trend of Israeli leaders to use Gaza as a weapon to rally the Israeli settler population.”

Attack Gaza PIJ
Palestinian women appear shocked following Israeli air raids on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday [Said Khatib/AFP]

‘It’s a contest’

Israel appeared intent on escalating the situation when Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Thursday that Israel “will not shy away from using force to restore normal life in the south of the country, and we will not stop the policy of arresting terrorist operatives in Israel”.

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🔥 Israel is bombing Gaza

Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action) condemns Israel’s raids on civilian areas in Gaza City today which have killed several Palestinians already, including a 5-year-old girl, and injured dozens more. Israel has a long history of committing war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza, including bombing residential areas indiscriminately, and killing thousands of Palestinian civilians since Israel imposed its illegal siege on Gaza 15+ years ago.

This latest unprovoked aggression comes on the heels of weeks of Israeli escalation in the occupied West Bank and after four days of tightening the illegal and suffocating siege on the Gaza Strip, imprisoning Gaza’s population, and preventing the entry of basic goods. It also comes on the heels of President Biden’s visit to Israel last month, in which he reaffirmed U.S. complicity in Israel’s occupation by describing the U.S. commitment to maintaining Israel’s “qualitative military edge” over its victims as “unshakable.” This commitment takes the form of nearly $4 billion in funding for the Israeli military, even as this military continues its pattern of crimes against humanity and war crimes targeting the Palestinian people. If this is not enablement of Israel’s atrocities, what is?

We call on the Biden administration to end its egregious policy of impunity for Israeli crimes and to immediately demand an end to Israel’s military assault on Gaza. We also call on the administration to pressure Israel to end its illegal siege on the Gaza Strip, which is in its 16th year and has brought misery and death to its besieged population for far too long.

Palestinians deserve to live in freedom, without worrying about whether their children will have a future or whether they will be killed by an Israeli military strike at any moment. As Americans, we cannot remain silent while these crimes are being committed with our tax money, which Israel’s apartheid government receives more of in military funding than any other country on the planet.

Change comes through action! For this reason, we invite you to participate in our Virtual Palestine Advocacy Days (VPAD2022) in September to lobby our elected officials on behalf of the oppressed Palestinian people. We must continue placing pressure on our government to do the right thing by firmly standing against Israel’s serious crimes and egregious human rights violations.

Gaza Is Palestine

As salaamu alaykum.

The Gaza Is Palestine campaign, led by us and Adalah Justice Project, is an effort to build upon the historic global movement that took on new life in spring 2021 — and we want you to take part.

Massive global demonstrations in solidarity with Palestinians are changing the tides — and we can build on that momentum together.

This summer marks 15 long years of the blockade and siege on Gaza.

We’re proud to join Adalah Justice Project in launching a new 3-minute video, narrated by Palestinian artist Malak Mattar, imploring those in the U.S. to take action to stop the congressional funding that makes the siege of Gaza possible.

Watch the video:

Share it on Twitter.

The goal is not perpetual resilience, perpetual rebuilding after violence. The goal is freedom.

Palestinians in Gaza must be free to travel, to study, to work, to dream, to live, to start a family without the fear they will be taken.

Earlier this month, the 2023 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill was released.

This funding bill represents the United States’ global priorities for health, infrastructure, and security. As expected, the draft budget contains $3.3 billion for Israel (with an additional $500 million for weapons expected in the defense appropriations bill). That’s $3.8 billion for apartheid Israel.

In contrast, all funding for addressing climate change and other environmental issues globally is set at $3.6 billion.

Last year, we saw unprecedented support for Palestinian life swept the mainstream media, our progressive movements, and even the halls of Congress.

It’s up to us to make sure that we don’t move backwards. Share the video now.

Thank you for being in the struggle with us.

In solidarity,
Ishraq, Lau, Granate and the MPower Change team

P.S. You can send an email to your member of Congress right now if you haven’t before, making it clear to them: Congress needs to stop funding the blockade and attacks on Gaza. Thank you.