"The so-called 'Palestinian autonomous areas' are bantustans...restricted entities within the power of the Israeli apartheid system."
   Nelson Mandela
Events: July 14: VTJP Meeting
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price Palestinian children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Kim Sengupta, The Independent 7/11/2014
     70 per cent of the 700 injured are women or children, say Palestinian medical authorities
     “She was the centre of our life, she was the most precious thing in the world to us, we had waited so long for her. Now we don’t know whether she will wake up again; we don’t know what has happened to her.” Alla al-Masri buried his head in his hands – no longer could he bear to watch his nine-year-old daughter lying on the hospital bed, suffering.
     He and his wife, Hanan, had craved a baby and Mariam came after years of IVF treatment. An only child, she was the apple of her grandparents’ eyes and they had been constantly cautioning her that she should not stray far from home in these dangerous times.
     “Our little girl was playing in our garden when it happened. The Israelis bombed a house across the street: the blast came straight through our house – then I saw my daughter lying in blood,” said Mr Masri. “She was injured badly in the head, so we fear very much.”
     Mariam is one among the extraordinarily large number of children who have been victims since Benjamin Netanyahu’s government launched Operation Protective Edge: 22 are among the 103 dead, and no less than 70 per cent of the 700 injured comprise boys and girls, or women, according to Palestinian medical authorities.
     Ashraf al-Qadri, information director at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City warned of a “catastrophic effect” on young lives if the spiral of violence continues. There is no obvious explanation for this trend in child casualties.
     Many residents, however, maintain that missiles and bombs aimed at the homes of militants considered legitimate targets by the Israelis have also hit neighbouring family homes....
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In Gaza, war clouds teen’s dream of peace
AFP, Ma’an News Agency 7/13/2014
     GAZA CITY (AFP) -- In 2012, Mohamed Abu Aisha took part in a US peace camp with Israelis, but now he wonders if some of them are flying the warplanes overhead in Gaza.
     Standing in the Tuffah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, the 17-year-old stares at the devastation left by an Israeli strike in which 18 people were killed on Saturday night.
     The target appears to have been a Hamas police chief, but the missile killed a significant number of his extended family, with two rockets slamming into the home of a cousin he was visiting shortly after Ramadan prayers.
     "It is a disaster," says Abu Aisha, who lives two streets away.
     "The blast was so big that our house shook. All the dust and debris came in through our windows -- we can't close them because otherwise they shatter when there are air strikes."
     Abu Aisha just graduated from Gaza's American International School and is eager to show off his fluent English.
     He honed his language skills during two months in the United States in 2012, when he took part in a peacemaker's program with Israelis and others living in conflict zones, called Seeds of Peace.
     "It's a program that brings people living in conflict together and allows them to talk to each other," he says.
     It was the first time he had talked at length to Israelis, and he formed cautious acquaintances with some, as he tried to explain things from the Palestinian point of view.
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Given US/UK/Israel wars and lust for more, what do two ‘supreme Law’ treaties say about lawful and unlawful war?
Carl Herman, Washington’s Blog 7/13/2014
     The short answer is war is lawful only in self-defense from armed attack by another nation’s government, and lawful response is to arrest US/UK/Israel leaderships for unlawful Wars of Aggression.
     Background history: It’s easy to document the US as a neocolonial empire; offspring of Europe’s lust for material wealth that spawned two world wars in the century within which all current adults were born.
     All of our families sacrificed through those wars. Please take a moment to feel what they went through. Please take a moment to experience the cumulative costs inflicted by “developed” nations’ imperialism and wars, including Israel’s escalating unlawful War of Aggression on Palestine that make Gaza the world’s largest concentration camp.
     The two world wars begat two treaties to end nations’ armed attacks. They are crystal-clear in content and context: the Kellogg-Briand Pact (General treaty for renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy as official title), and the United Nations Charter.
     Article Six of the US Constitution defines a treaty as US “supreme Law of the Land;” meaning that US policy may only complement an active treaty, and never violate it.
     This is important because all of us with Oaths to the US Constitution are sworn to honorably refuse all unlawful war orders; military officers are also sworn to arrest those who issue them. Indeed, we suffer criminal dishonor if we obey orders for armed attack when they are not “self-defense” as clearly limited by treaty from dear experience of our families’ engagement in world war....
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Reflections at Qalandiya
Tamar Fleishman, Al-Ahram Weekly 7/10/2014
     The brutal indifference of the Israeli checkpoints on the West Bank is an image of the wider occupation.
     Twenty people who had been released from hospitals all around the West Bank gathered at the Qalandiya checkpoint recently in order to receive permits to head home to the Gaza Strip. Since the morning hours they had been standing and waiting, sitting and waiting, pacing and waiting, but not getting their passage permits.
     They were 20 exhausted people who were in need of rest and recuperation: an elderly woman after heart surgery, a baby being carried by her mother, a five-year-old child that kept crying and pulling the plastic cover that protected its eye that had undergone surgery, a woman who still had blood on her arm from an intravenous drip, a woman that was blind in both her eyes, as well as many others. They were all waiting.
     The people had arrived on their own or in pairs, and they teamed up as the hours passed. They sat next to each other, the bundles of one person getting mixed up with the ones placed just beside them, and on the filthy concrete floor were suitcases that had known better days and had taken on the eternal dust of the wretched place.
     It looked like a refugee transit camp, and it was a refugee transit camp. But the refugees were not allowed to transit. After seven hours of nerve-wrecking waiting it was time for excuses to be made.
     At first the computers were blamed, but since no one found this convincing the people at Gaza were the next to take the blame. It was as if the ones over there, the soldiers at the Gaza checkpoint, were from the foreign legion or were mercenaries, and not soldiers in the same army and the same unit as the soldiers who manned the Qalandiya checkpoint, whose duty it is to act as a coordination unit and respond to the needs of the occupied population.
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Urgent call from Gaza civil society: Act now!
Electronic Intifada: 12 Jul 2014 - We ask: how many of our lives are dispensable enough until the world takes action? How much of our blood is sufficient?
Gaza: Signposts on the road to liberation
Electronic Intifada: 12 Jul 2014 - The end of this genocidal war must necessarily mean the end of Oslo.
Israel's incremental genocide in the Gaza ghetto
Electronic Intifada: 13 Jul 2014 - Downsizing the number of Palestinians all over historic Palestine is still the Zionist vision.
Haj Sami Sadeq and the struggle for Al Aqaba
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   Al Aqaba is a small Palestinian village located in the northern Jordan Valley, home to around 300 residents. Since 1999 Haj Sami Sadeq has been the mayor of this town, facing a constant struggle...
Nearly ten years after store closures, old city of Hebron still suffering
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   This report is the second in a new Palestine Monitor series on life in the Old City of Hebron (known in Arabic as Khalil). The Palestine Monitor will publish one report a week on...
Israel’s Atrocity and the West’s Ignorance
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Jul 2014 - By Jamal Kanj Seeing “free” Western media with headlines like “Rockets raining over Israel”, or describing the success of Israel’s Iron Dome defence system in intercepting missiles from Gaza, you would assume there was a war between equals – or even that “poor Israel” was under attack. Many Western readers won’t know that all of the 100-plus killed since Tuesday – and practically all of the 700 injured – are Palestinians, many of them children. Responding to a correspondent who questioned the disproportionate number of civilians killed, including 22 children, CNN anchor Brianna Keilar explained: “Yes, Gaza is just so heavily populated. That’s certainly always a side effect and we’re seeing that there.” Officially, White House spokesman Josh Earnest offered unqualified US support for “Israel’s right to defend itself against these vicious attacks”. Yet when that White House statement was issued on Tuesday, not one single Israeli had been hurt....
An Old Man and a Young Man in Gaza – A Poem
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Jul 2014 - By Heathcote William An old man holds a placard that reads, “You take my water, burn my olive trees, Destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, Imprison my father, kill my mother, Bombard my country, starve us all, Humiliate us all, but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” Here are some ungodly chants From the Zionist Book of Psalms Which are used to justify Laying waste to a whole country And to its inhabitants: “We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages Destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water” Eli Yishai, former Deputy Prime Minister. Amen “There should be no electricity in Gaza, No gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. … We need to flatten entire neighborhoods … flatten all of Gaza” Israeli journalist Gilad Sharon in the Jerusalem Post. Amen “There are no innocents in Gaza. Mow them down … Kill the Gazans...
Zionist Lying Unchecked
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Jul 2014 - By Jamal Kanj Scene one: Disappearance of three illegal Jewish settlers in Hebron. Israel closes the West Bank, demolishes homes of supposed kidnappers, nonstop air raids on Gaza, kills two dozen Palestinians and imprisons more than 600 mostly newly released prisoners. Scene two: The kidnapped 15-year-old Palestinian Muhammad Abu Khudiar. Israel takes very measured response: No military raids searching for the non-Jewish victim, no checkpoints or closure of Jewish only colonies, no home demolishing and certainly no wholesale arrests. Two perpetrators commit congruous offence, yet two different responses under Israel’s Jewish democracy. Going back to scene one. Unpublished news reports indicated that the army knew very early that the missing three illegal settlers were killed. Shots were overheard in a phone call made by one of the settlers and traces of blood were found on the car used in the kidnapping. Meanwhile, military censors imposes a gag order to allow...
Hamas Media War Targets Israelis and Palestinians
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Jul 2014 - The music video opens with Palestinian Hamas fighters in fatigues building, transporting and then firing rockets at Israel — but the triumphant lyrics are being sung in Hebrew, not Arabic. “We prepare a generation of warriors who cling to death like the enemy clings to life,” the words run, with Arabic subtitles. “A (nation) state of weakness and illusion can’t hold out during wars,” it continues, referring to Israel. “They fall apart like spider webs when they meet knights.” The five-minute video is part of a slick propaganda program designed by Hamas and its armed al-Qassam Brigades wing. The program is intended both to rally divided domestic Palestinian opinion behind the group during its current conflict with Israel, but also to address the Israeli public directly. The music video, entitled “Shake Israel’s Security,” is a Hebrew remake of a song that the group released in Arabic in 2012, during its...
Israel Awakens the Palestine It Tried to Crush
Palestine Chronicle: 11 Jul 2014 - By Ramzy Baroud When the bodies of three Israeli settlers – two teenagers, Aftali Frenkel and Gilad Shaar, both 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19 – were found on 30 June near Hebron in the southern West Bank, Israel went into a state of mourning and a wave of sympathy flowed from around the world. The three had disappeared 18 days earlier in circumstances that remain unclear. The entire episode, particularly after its grim ending, seemed to traumatize Israelis into ignoring harsh truths about the settlers and the militarisation of their society. For instance, one of the three has since been accused of humiliating Palestinian prisoners, while another was reportedly an occupation soldier . Amid a portrayal of the three as hapless youths, although one was a 19-year-old soldier, commentators have failed to provide badly needed context to events. Few, if any, assigned the blame where it was most deserved – on expansionist...
In the Case of Israel: Western Hypocrisy at its Best
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Jul 2014 - By Ludwig Watzal The kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and their murder was a despicable crime. Those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice. Everybody condemned this heinous crime, including all Western leaders. After the abduction, the Israeli occupying forces started a search throughout the West Bank that led not only to the killings of a lot of innocent Palestinians but also to the devastation of uncountable homes and the demolition of two houses of assumed suspects. Until now, nobody knows who committed the crime. Collective punishment of the Palestinian collective is the norm in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The principle of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty only applies to the Jewish citizens of Israel and the colonizers in the West Bank. Right from the start, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the abduction. Up till now, he could not deliver single evidence. Instead, the...

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