We Are Not Numbers video being shown in Washington, DC
When Israeli snipers target people participating in or even located near Gaza’s Great Return March, it’s not just their bodies they kill or maim, it’s their dreams. This is the story of Alaa al-Dali. Thank you to the Freedom Flotilla Coalition for its support and funding.
Washington, D.C. | November 24, 2019 | adc.org — The targeting of human rights and peace activists by Israel continues to reflect the fact that it is indeed an apartheid state with complete disregard for international and human rights. Recently Israel has ramped up their denial of entry of peace activists and continues to move to deport human rights advocates. Within the next few hours Mr. Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is scheduled to be deported despite outcry from the international community. The deportation of Mr. Shakir, and other peace activists, signifies that the apartheid state of Israel will do everything it can to prevent the truth from being shown to the world.
Mr. Shakir serves as HRW’s Israel & Palestine Director – he is being removed by Israel for peaceful, human rights advocacy focusing on ending the illegal occupation and illegal settlements. ADC joins a global chorus of voices calling against the deportation of Mr. Shakir and other human rights activists. The work of human rights activists across the world is important to shedding the truth on many of the atrocities we see across the globe. By silencing these voices governments are shielding themselves from international law and continue to oppress millions.
In addition to the deportation, ADC continues to hear from Americans who are denied entry by Israeli authorities into Palestine via the unilaterally controlled international border crossings. The systemic denial of entry leads to a separation of families, extreme hardship, and loss of business or educational opportunities. The denial of entry also serves a clearer objective, just as the deportation of activists like Mr. Shakir – it prevents the international community from witnessing and reporting first-hand about the apartheid policies undertaken by Israel.
Mr. Shakir, along with the thousands of others who have been deported or denied entry, pose a threat to Israel because they will report the truth, and Israel is threatened by the truth. Despite being met with worldwide condemnation, Israel continues its occupation of Palestine, and has shown a complete disregard of international law. The deportation of Mr. Shakir signals that the apartheid state is doubling down on its oppressive policies and will do everything it can to stop the truth from being told.
Illness caused by water pollution is a leading cause of child mortality in the Gaza Strip, says a study by the RAND Corporation, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz.
The study shows that water pollution accounts for more than a quarter of illnesses in Gaza and that more than 12 percent of child deaths up until four years ago was linked to gastrointestinal disorders due to water pollution. Since that time these numbers have continued to grow.
The collapse of water infrastructure has led to a sharp rise in germs and viruses such as rotavirus, cholera and salmonella, the report says.
The data appear in a study by Dr. Shira Efron, a special adviser on Israel and policy researcher at RAND’s Center for Middle East Public Policy; Dr. Jordan Fishbach, co-director of the Water and Climate Resilience Center at RAND; and Dr. Melinda Moore, a senior physician, policy researcher and associate director of the Population Health Program at RAND.
Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | November 18, 2019 – Moments ago Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Trump Administration will no longer view Israeli settlements as against international law. This is another step taken by the Trump Administration to thwart and bury the idea of a peace process, and further solidifying Israel as an apartheid state. This administration’s complete disregard for international law, and over four decades of American policy, undermines and delegitimizes the U.S. on the global stage – the international community overwhelmingly considers the settlements illegal.
ADC is committed to a just and lasting peace in the region, and any peaceful resolution of the conflict requires the cessation of expansion and dismantlement of all settlements; an end to the collective punishment imposed on the Palestinian population as a result of Israeli occupation policies; an end to the siege of Gaza; the exercise of the democratic rights of Palestinians in electing their government; the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and the upholding of the right of return of the Palestinian refugees under international law.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention explicitly states that “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.” Israel has been illegally settling on Palestinian land since 1948 with impunity, and encouragement from the U.S. With his remarks today Secretary Pompeo did not address whether or not Israel violated international law, instead he indicated that international law is meaningless – which is a mark of an authoritarian regime.
The Trump Administration has given a green light to Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government to continue the annexation of Palestinian land. These actions are extreme positions that undermine any possibility of peace. These actions continue to legitimize violence and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. This will only lead to the furtherance of an Israeli apartheid state where Palestinians are treated as second class citizens.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) recently told an audience in his Madison WI district that the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), of which he is co-chair, is planning (depending on how Israel’s government-forming works out) to send a delegation to Palestine.
“But,” he noted to applause, “the permission has to include Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.” The two first-term members are both members of the CPC.
Pocan added, “We’re also saying we have to go into Gaza. And we have some commitments from our leadership, who say they’re going to help us do this– which we never had when Paul Ryan was Speaker.”
Pocan made these comments on October 27 during the introduction he gave to Gaza-Palestinian Yousef Aljamal, who gave a speech, “Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Youth Under Siege and Occupation.”
The event was held at Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, WI. The primary organizer was the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, and it had several other co-sponsors. This event was part of the nationwide speaking tour for Aljamal that Just World Ed organized under the title “Crisis in Palestine.”
Christ Presbyterian kindly made and posted a great video of the afternoon’s proceedings, which can be viewed in full here. (The images in the main part of this blogpost are all stills from the video.)
On Nov. 12, 2019 the Israeli military assassinated Baha Abu al-Ata, a leading member of Islamic Jehad in Gaza, and his wife—sparking more violence in Gaza. Shortly after the killing, Islamic Jehad fired rockets into Israel. In response, Israel has launched extensive bombing attacks on Gaza, killing at least 34 Palestinians and injuring many others. One Israeli has been injured as a result of Palestinian rockets fire. So far, Hamas has refrained from engaging in violence during this latest attack. A ceasefire was announced on Nov. 14, but bombing continued on the night of Nov. 14. If the ceasefire does not hold and Israel continues its disproportionate and deadly attacks on Gaza, there is significant risk of continued escalation.
Political action is needed now in the U.S. to protect this ceasefire and to ensure a halt to attacks on Gaza. But simply ending violence is not enough—there must be an end to the 12-year blockade of Gaza, the systematic inequality and human rights abuses faced by Palestinians, and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
Here’s what you need to know about the recent bombings:
Israel’s assassination of Baha Abu al-Ata was the start of the latest violence.
Israel has accused Abu al-Ata for a number of rocket attacks on Israel over the last several months, justifying his assassination as retaliation for those attacks. However, those attacks were carried out in the context of daily Israeli attacks on Gaza, including shooting across the boundary fence, shooting at protesters, ground incursions, shooting at fishermen, and shelling/bombing.
On 5 May, Israeli airplanes struck targets in Gaza.
The bombings came with the usual tragic consequences: 25 Palestinains were killed, among them 14 civilians. Four Israeli civilians also died in rocket fire from Gaza.
It was one of those “spikes in tensions” that for the briefest of moments shines a media spotlight on Gaza.
That spotlight didn’t stay long enough to see what else happened. As calm returned, a contractor, Muhammad Abu Jebah, gathered together a group of laborers to extract metal from the rubble of the Abu Qamar building, which was destroyed in one of the bombing raids.
Abu Jebah thinks of it as a new industry, one that arose after Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli attack on Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009, and one that illustrates the lengths to which Palestinians in Gaza have to go to survive.
Trucks and bulldozers move in first to clear the rubble. Then a team of men filter through the building to smash concrete and extract the metal inside.
Once that is done, they realign the metal and reconstitute any large stones.
An International Coalition Of 14 Countries And Organizations Dedicated To Breaking The Illegal Israeli Blockade of Gaza
45% of the 2 million people who live in Gaza are children under the age of 15. 70% of Gazans are refugees from other parts of Palestine, forced from their homes in the West Bank 70 years ago by Israeli militias. Yet the world stands by as the illegal and inhumane Israeli blockade limits electricity to just a few hours a day, makes 90% of water undrinkable, and denies access to food and medical supplies.
US Boats to Gaza is dedicated to bringing international attention to the illegal Israeli blockade on Gaza, until the world stands for human rights for Palestinians.