Dorothy Online NewsLetter

Dear Friends,

 

 

 

For a change only 6 items tonight, though  2 of them (2 and 3) do contain various statistics and reports.  There were additional items, but I think that the 6 below are the more interesting or informative ones.

All my recent posts have been about Gaza, and the same holds for most articles in the local press, as well as TV and radio news.  But things are also happening in Israel and the West Bank.  Item 1 reveals some of what has been happening among Palestinian citizens of Israel, namely police harassment.  Not very pretty.  Surely not typical of a democracy.  But then, who says that Israel is a democracy?

Item 2 is Today in Palestine; within its pages you will learn (in addition to other matters) what is happening to Palestinians in the West Bank.

Item 3 is the PCHR report for today’s events.  Until its writing earlier today, 663 Palestinians had been killed, of whom 541 were civilians, 3,457 had been wounded or injured, and 491 houses had been destroyed.

Item 4 is a Ynet op-ed that argues that since the world is watching, and the pictures are bad, Israel should agree to Hamas demands for a cease fire, but in exchange for Hamas disarmament.

Item 5 is a very interesting article by Chris Hedges arguing that “Israel is captive to its destructive process.”

 

Item 6 reports that after telling hospital personnel to take patients out, Israel bombed it.  I heard someone on this evening’s TV news (a doctor from the hospital, I think) argue that it had never been a storehouse for arms, as Israel claims.  I wonder where the patients were taken to.  In any event, IAF planes bombed it.

 

That’s it for tonight.

All the best,

Dorothy

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1 +972  Magazine Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

Following wave of protests, Israel arrests scores of Arab activists, minors

 

Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel have been detained in recent weeks, including dozens of minors. Abusive interrogations and preemptive arrests suggest that many of the tactics of occupation have crossed the Green Line.

 

http://972mag.com/following-wave-of-protests-israel-arrests-scores-of-arab-activists-minors/94131/

 

By Hagar Sheizaf (Translated by Ofer Neiman)

 

The murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir and the military onslaught in Gaza have brought about a wave of protest among Arab citizens of Israel. Reports on that wave should be supplemented by unprecedented data: more than 410 Arab citizens of Israel have been arrested on various grounds related to their participation in demonstrations since July 5, according to data provided by human rights NGO Adalah.

 

Protests in Arara following the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in East Jerusalem earlier in the week. At least two people were arrested. July 5, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Moreover, police statistics reveal that a significant portion of the detainees in the past week are minors.  Fifty-four minors are reported to have been arrested in the past two weeks in Israel’s northern district alone, comprising one-third of all detainees in that district.

Policemen outside the door

 

“I have been active for 14 years and I have never seen such a wave of arrests of minors,” says Ward Yassin, 34, from Jdeideh el-Makr. “The feeling is that the police have no red lines.” Yassin himself was arrested on Monday, July 7, the day after a demo that took place in his town, attended by around 200 people who were protesting the murder of Abu Khdeir, as well as the assault on Gaza.

 

The arrest of political activists like Yassin represents the second prominent group in the recent wave of arrests, of protest organizers and well-known activists in Arab towns. Dozens of demonstrations have taken place, receiving little media coverage, if any. Some of them escalated into confrontations with the police, which including stone-throwing.

 

“The day after the protest my wife called me, saying there were 30 policemen outside the house as well as a few inside, and they’re turning the place upside-down and searching,” Yassin recounts. A few minutes later, the police arrived in Acre, where he was at the time, and took him in for an interrogation, at the end of which he was told he was under arrest, along with seven young men from the village. All of them are minors.

 

“The police asked whether I had organized the protest and told me I was accused of stone-throwing,” Yassin says. “I knew the police took footage during the protest, so I told them to get the photos so that they would see I hadn’t done anything.” Yassin was released to house arrest the following day, after the court rejected the police’s request to extend his arrest. After his release, he continued to receive threatening phone calls from the police, saying that he would be arrested again if he continued organizing in the village. “I think they were surprised by the protest, and they wanted to deter us,” he adds. “Most of the participants were young, therefore young men became the target for the police.”

 

Confessions in Hebrew

 

During a series of protests held last week in Nazareth, minors were once more the main target of police arrests. According to reports, 11 minors between the ages of 13 and 18 were arrested immediately after the protest held in the city last Saturday. Most of the detainees were released after midnight, and according to testimonies, a significant number of them had not participated and were arrested for being present on the main road where it was held.

“Egregious violations of rights were committed, especially against minors; they treated them in a manner resembling a military regime rather than the arrest of citizens,” says Attorney Suheir Asa’d, who represented some of the detainees. “Minors were interrogated late at night, did not meet a lawyer, and their parents were not present during the interrogation.”

 

Israeli policemen arrest a Palestinian protestor during clashes in Arara, in Israel’s north, in the wake of the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Minors are supposed to be protected by special laws, which prohibit interrogations later than 10 p.m. and require that the minor’s parents be notified. “The officer authorized interrogations without parental presence, seemingly out of fear of obstructing interrogation procedures,” explains Asa’d, “However, one must realize that in most cases this is authorized only in order to protect the minors, in case parental knowledge puts them at risk. In these recent cases, one can assume that the authorization was guided by the protection of police interests rather than that of the minors.”

 

The following day, another protest was held in Nazareth in the early afternoon. After it ended, 30 people were arrested, including 13 minors. Five lawyers waited outside the police station from the afternoon, trying to reach the detainees, but their entrance was not approved until 10 p.m. By then, all the minors, except for one, had already been interrogated. According to Asa’d, “[The police managed to] convince them that a meeting with a lawyer would harm them.”

 

When the lawyers entered the police station, they found out that the minors had to sign documents and confessions in Hebrew, despite the fact that most of them do not have sufficient Hebrew knowledge to understand their contents. Some of the minors remained in custody for several days after the protest, and were released under restrictive conditions, including restraining orders and long-term house arrests.

 

“The policemen took off the keffiyeh and peed on it”

 

“We have testimonies about police brutality during arrests and interrogations following the Nazareth demo. Detainees told us they were slapped, kicked and cursed at,” says attorney Maisa Arshid, who was present at the police station that night. “One of the detainees I represented, a 19-year-old, was bleeding after he had been beaten by the police; he was not taken to the hospital until 3 a.m. Another youth who was arrested on Sunday recounted that after he was taken into the police station, the [policemen] took off his keffiyeh, peed on it and then wrapped it around his neck.”

 

The lawyers reported that minors had been arrested despite suffering from various medical conditions – from asthma to mental retardation. “Almost none of the Nazareth detainees are well-known political activists,” adds attorney Arshid. “Some of them were just passing by; one of them was holding a grocery shopping list in front of the supermarket when he was arrested. The offenses and allegations ascribed to the detainees are not necessarily connected to what really happened.”

 

Police arrest an Arab protester during a demonstration in Nazareth against the Gaza war. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Police arrest an Arab protester during a demonstration in Nazareth against the Gaza war. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

Many of the allegations on which the police based its requests for extended detention are questionable, due to their wide scope and their being based on partial or missing information. For example, the detention of a 19-year-old who was arrested at the demo in Nazareth, and suspected of participating in an illegal gathering and of stone-throwing, was based on his presence at the scene – not on an allegation that he himself took part in the act.

 

It follows that the detainee’s arrest was extended on the basis of a serious offense that was not ascribed to him personally, but rather on the basis of the police’s perception of the detainees and those present at the scene in general. Furthermore, the lawyer in charge of the case says that during his interrogation, the detainee was asked about his political views on the issue of Arab youths refusing the draft, which is completely irrelevant to the cause of his arrest.

 

From Facebook to the police station

 

The political issue comes up again and again in the testimonies of the detainees. The fear that arrests and interrogations are a tool for suppressing the demonstration gets only more substantiated after hearing the story of Rafat Awaisha, 20, from Laqiyeh in the Negev. “I was arrested after I shared a post inviting people to a protest that had been scheduled for the very same day in Laqiyeh,” says Awaisha. “They called me half an hour later from the Be’er Sheva police station and came to take me from the [Ben-Gurion] university dorms.”

 

Awaisha was interrogated and released after an hour. Later that day, his parents called him from their home in Laqiyeh, and told him that the house had been searched. A short time later, he was held for another interrogation, at the end of which he was told he was under arrest. “During the interrogation, they asked me again and again about the post I had published on Facebook, claiming it amounted to incitement,” he says. “I asked them what an invitation to a protest had to do with incitement. But I received no response, only another barrage of questions regarding my profile picture.” Awaisha had changed his profile picture to a photo of Abu Khdeir. The following morning, following a few more hours of interrogation during which he suffered verbal abuse, was pushed and shoved, received no food and did not meet a lawyer, Awaisha was released. The protest in Laqiyeh, which he had promoted on his Facebook account, had already ended by that time.

 

Riot police run during a demonstration in Arara against the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir. (photo: Activestills.org)

 

On the same day, demonstrations were held in other Negev towns, including Ara’ra, Hura, Tel Sheva and Segev Shalom, to protest the murder of Abu Khdeir and the outburst of violence and racism towards Arabs. Mufid Abu Swilab, 30, from Segev Shalom, was arrested along with his brother two days after the demonstration was held in his town.

 

“My brother and I did not even attend the protest about which we were interrogated. However, the police claimed that we threw stones and incited the participants,” says Abu Swilab. “My entire police dossier was based off of intelligence information, and I wasn’t even at the scene.”

 

During the interrogation, Abu Swilab experienced humiliating treatment, with a few policemen addressing him as a ”terrorist.” According to his testimony, he met 30 minors from Ara’ra, Segev Shalom, Um Batin, Laqiyeh and Rahat during his detention, all of whom had all been arrested on charges of stone-throwing and incitement. Some of them are still under arrest, even though they also claim they were not at the demonstrations. Abu Swilab’s arrest was extended by five days, during which he was interrogated at length about his Facebook account. He was released two hours before his trial.

 

“They know that I am a social and political activist in my town and they just wanted to scare me, so they took me for a few days,” says Abu Swilab. “Last Friday there was a protest planned in Segev Shalom while I was detained. They brought me to an interrogation on Friday morning, and asked whether I was the one who planned it.” On the same day, the police published an announcement on a local website, which called on the residents of Segev Shalom not to attend the protest.

 

Like in the West Bank

 

The list of 83 detainees in the Negev over the past two weeks was supplemented last Wednesday by the arrest of Rateb Abu Krinat, the field coordinator for the Negev Coexistence Forum. He was released 24 hours later without any hearing. In another case, nine people were arrested in the town of Tel Sheva while sitting in cafe located two kilometers from a protest. The extension of their arrest was based, inter alia, on an offense based on the military law of the West Bank, and is not valid inside Israel.

 

Police are also arresting activists shortly before planned demonstrations in their cities or towns, and releasing them only after they end. In Acre, three key political activists were arrested shortly before a protest, and were released the following day. Prominent activists in Shfar’am were also arrested a short while before the demonstration; they received a restraining order ordering them to stay away from the city for 15 days. A prominent activist from Majdal Krum was arrested before the demo in his town, and received a similar restraining order for 15 days.

 

“It looks like their main objective is to thwart future political activity,” says Majd Kayyal, who works for Adalah. Kayyal, a journalist and political activist who has recently become well known due to his trip to Beirut and subsequent arrest, was arrested once again last Monday after participating in a demo in Haifa against the killing of civilians in Gaza. “I, along with two other activists, were arrested after the demo ended,” says Kayyal. “It was evident that the police wanted to release us on conditions that would prevent us from attending the protest that was scheduled to take place in Haifa that Friday.”

 

Hanging on to their homes

 

There is no doubt that the wide scope of arrests of young Arab men and Arab political activists in Israel signifies a deterioration in police treatment. Reliance on confidential intelligence as grounds for arrests, as well as the harsh treatment of the detainees, reminds one to some extent of the policy of arrests applied to minors and Palestinian political activists in the West Bank (as stated by some of those interviewed for this report). But could it be that the massive arrests of minors also points to increased participation of a young crowd in these demonstrations?

 

“Protests with a significant number of young people, some of them schoolchildren, took place primarily in Arab towns and villages and not in the mixed cities,” explains Fida Shehade, a political activist from Lydd. “In these places, there are only a few organized political venues and the young people stepped in to fill this vacuum by protesting in an independent and spontaneous basis.”

 

Some of the young protesters said they regarded Palestinians living in Gaza as role models for the struggle of those who are unwilling to give up their homes. “There is a certain generational change, and this is obviously related to Facebook as well – there is a flow of lots of information and photos. The young know what’s going on in Shuafat [East Jerusalem] and Gaza – they are more connected,” adds Shehade.

 

A man sits in a destroyed building which was attacked last night by Israeli airstrike, in Al Tuffah neighborhood, July 16, 2014. As of July 16th, 196 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, and more than 1,400 have been injured.

 

The fact that the protests broke out during Ramadan has also changed the rules of the game: more young people are awake at night, after Iftar, and many demonstrations start accordingly, late in the evening, carrying on into the night. “One has to understand that young Arabs who grew up after 2000 are living with a great deal of police presence around them.” says Shehade. “The encounters of many of them with Jews have been through confrontations with the police or other racism-filled interactions, and we are witnessing the outburst now.”

 

The spokesman of the northern command of the Israeli police had this to say in response:

 

The police has respected the public will to express their protest and has allowed it within the scope of the law. Since some of the protesters did not respect the terms of the protests and the instructions given by the police force at the scene, a few resolute and uncompromising enforcement actions were taken, and they brought about the arrest of the suspects, and life was restored to normal.

 

Since the beginning of the events and during the past two weeks, 175 suspects have been arrested in the northern district (121 adults, 54 minors) on suspicion of various offenses, such as: illegal gathering, stone-throwing, causing damage to property, jeopardizing human life on a transportation route, assaulting police officers and more. So far, 42 people have been charged on the basis of 29 indictments. The investigation continues and additional indictments are expected. The Israel Police is a national police force which belongs to all citizens of Israel and during the events of previous weeks, the police exercised tolerance and sensitivity, without any discrimination towards individuals and groups of society, while maintaining order and the citizen’s personal security.

 

We would like to praise the local leadership, which has assisted the police in calming the protestors, and has chosen to take all measures to prevent any damage to the existing fabric of relations between all religions in the northern district. We reject allegations raised in your letter, according to which the northern district police has implemented a policy of preventive arrests, and we stress that the arrests of suspects took place on the basis of suspicion that criminal offenses had been committed, and in accordance with the grounds stipulated by the law. Regarding the claims made by protesters as presented in your letter, these may be referred to the appropriate authority so that they can be checked in detail.

 

From the spokeswoman of the Negev district:

 

The officers of the Negev region in the southern district have arrested 83 people suspected of being involved in the disturbance of peace and stone throwing towards passing vehicles and the security forces, two weeks ago in the Negev. So far, 25 indictments have been submitted and additional indictments are expected.

 

The police respects the public’s will to express its protest, and allows for protesting under conditions of abiding by the law, keeping the peace and public order, refraining from damaging the people’s property, as well as respecting the lives of drivers and passers by. During the past weeks, incidents in which public order was disturbed took place, as well as stone throwing towards passing vehicles and police forces. These incidents escalated, and following comprehensive and poignant treatment by the southern district police, these have come to an end.

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2 Today in Palestine for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

http://blog.theheadlines.org/theHead/

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3 PCHR statistics and reports for Day 16, Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

Since the Beginning of the Israeli Offensive on Gaza:

663 Palestinians Killed, of Whom 541 Are Civilians, Including 161 Children and 91 Women, and 3,457 Others Wounded, Mostly Civilians, Including 991 Children and 703 Women;

491 Houses Targeted and Destroyed and Hundreds of Others Extensively Damaged;

Thousands of Palestinian Civilians Forcibly Displaced

 

 

http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10531:on-the-16th-day-of-the-israeli-offensive-dozens-of-palestinian-civilians-killed-or-wounded-by-israeli-attacks-more-palestinians-forcibly-displaced-in-border-areas&catid=145:in-focus

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4 Ynetnews  Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

Why Israel should accept Hamas’ terms

 

World is Watching

 

Photo: EPA ‘The world is only interested in Gaza, because that’s where the cameras are’ Photo: EPA

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4548219,00.html

Ben-Dror Yemini

 

Op-ed: In order to win public opinion, Israel must adopt all of Islamic organization’s conditions for ceasefire and add sections benefitting Gaza’s residents – in exchange for Strip’s demilitarization by an international force.

 

We are witnessing unnecessary and irritating bloodshed. It could have ended long ago. It can be ended, maybe, just maybe, as soon as tomorrow.

 

The conditions were already written almost a decade ago – the Quartet conditions. No to violence, yes to recognizing Israel and past agreements. These conditions would have obligated Hamas to work solely on the political track, and would have obligated Israel to lift the siege.

 

Hamas’ refusal has led to two extremely violent rounds, and we are now in the midst of the third one. We are not in Syria, but the sights are becoming similar: Havoc and destruction. It happens in every place controlled by the radical Islam.

 

The Strip’s residents were sentenced to this fate the moment they elected Hamas, in the first stage, and the moment Hamas carried out a violent takeover, in the second stage. Since then they have only been suffering.

 

Hamas belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which has been moving back and forth between the more radical Islam, like al-Qaeda, Taliban and ISIS, and a slightly more moderate version, like the one controlling Tunisia.

 

So far, Hamas has made it clear that it’s on the Taliban side. The section dealing with the annihilation of Jews in the Hamas charter, the clear and murderous anti-Semitic content of its official television station and the declarations of many Hamas leaders about “conquering Rome, London and the two Americas” clarify Hamas’ place.

 

It’s safe to assume that not everyone who voted for Hamas supports every section in its murderous ideology. But as always, what the majority thinks is not important – it’s important what the jihadist faction does.

 

In the current conflict, Hamas turned down the Egyptian ceasefire proposal and presented its own conditions. They include lifting the siege, opening a naval port, etc, etc. They should be accepted, down to the very last one.

 

Not only should they be accepted, but Israel should even adopt them and add sections which will benefit the Strip’s residents – as long as Hamas agrees both to demilitarize the Strip and to accept the Quartet’s conditions.

 

There is no need for the IDF to perform a violent removal of the weapon arsenals: If the Western countries are so concerned about peace in the Middle East, they should send NATO soldiers to implement the demilitarization.

 

Hamas, so far, has proved that it favors the armed struggle and the violence over prosperity. The Strip’s residents are paying a heavy price for that.

 

A generous Israeli proposal will only benefit Israel. if Hamas surprises us and accepts it, it will be a turning point. What Israel wants to achieve through the IDF will be achieved in an agreement. If Hamas rejects the offer, Israel will receive further justification to continue the operation.

 

Let us not delude ourselves: The difficult images from Saja’iyya, which are already flooding foreign networks, will increase the pressure on Israel. This is only the beginning.

 

And as always, in the first stage the protests are staged by the jihadists, the radical left and the far right. In the second stage come the articles turning Israel into a war criminal. In the third stage, the leaders join the media too. We have already been there. It will happen to us again.

 

When Israel embarks on a battle of this kind, it is waging a double battle: One on the ground, the other over the global public opinion. Israel should know that it will not succeed on the ground without succeeding on the public opinion front. The world is not interested in the mass murder committed by ISISI, as we speak, in Syria. Nor is it interested in the abuse of Christians in Musul. The world is only interested in Gaza, because that’s where the cameras are.

 

So Israel must make a move: It must accept Hamas’ conditions, add to them, and announce its agreement to a ceasefire, in exchange for the Strip’s demilitarization by an international force.

 

The bank of targets remains important, but we must not, under any circumstances, give up on the bank of justifications.

++++

5  Truthdig  Monday, July 14, 2014

 

Israel Is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’

 

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/israel_is_captive_to_its_destructive_process_20140714/

 

By Chris Hedges

 

Palestinians salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City. AP/Khalil Hamra

 

Raul Hilberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Destruction_of_the_European_Jews )  in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,” Hilberg wrote.

 

The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including much of their land and often their homes, have suffered from mounting restrictions on their physical movements, been blocked from trading and business, especially the selling of produce, and found themselves increasingly impoverished and finally trapped behind walls and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank.

 

“The process of destruction [of the European Jews] unfolded in a definite pattern,” Hilberg wrote. “It did not, however, proceed from a basic plan. No bureaucrat in 1933 could have predicted what kind of measures would be taken in 1938, nor was it possible in 1938 to foretell the configuration of the undertaking in 1942. The destructive process was a step-by-step operation, and the administrator could seldom see more than one step ahead.”

 

There will never be transports or extermination camps for the Palestinians, but amid increasing violence against Palestinians larger and larger numbers of them will die, in airstrikes, targeted assassinations and other armed attacks. Hunger and misery will expand. Israeli demands for “transfer”—the forced expulsion of Palestinians from occupied territory to neighboring countries—will grow.

 

The Palestinians in Gaza live in conditions that now replicate those first imposed on Jews by the Nazis in the ghettos set up throughout Eastern Europe. Palestinians cannot enter or leave Gaza. They are chronically short of food—the World Health Organization estimates (http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Full_Report_3973.pdf

)  that more than 50 percent of children in Gaza and the West Bank under 2 years old have iron deficiency anemia and reports that malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 are “not improving” and could actually be worsening. Palestinians often lack clean water. They are crammed into unsanitary hovels. They do not have access to basic medical care. They are stateless and lack passports or travel documents. They live with massive unemployment. They are daily dehumanized in racist diatribes by their occupiers as criminals, terrorists and mortal enemies of the Jewish people.

 

“A deep and wide moral abyss separates us from our enemies,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently of the Palestinians. “They sanctify death while we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty while we sanctify compassion.”

 

Ayelet Shaked, a member of the right-wing Jewish Home Party, on her Facebook page June 30 posted an article written 12 years ago by the late Uri Elitzur, a leader in the settler movement and a onetime adviser to Netanyahu, saying the essay is as “relevant today as it was then.” The article said in part: “They [the Palestinians] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

 

The belief that a race or class is contaminated is used by ruling elites to justify quarantining the people of that group. But quarantine is only the first step. The despised group can never be redeemed or cured—Hannah Arendt (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/)  noted that all racists see such contamination as something that can never be eradicated. The fear of the other is stoked by racist leaders such as Netanyahu to create a permanent instability. This instability is exploited by a corrupt power elite that is also seeking the destruction of democratic civil society for all citizens—the goal of the Israeli government (as well as the goal of a U.S. government intent on stripping its own citizens of rights). Max Blumenthal in his book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” (http://www.amazon.com/Goliath-Life-Loathing-Greater-Israel/dp/1568586345)  does a masterful job of capturing and dissecting this frightening devolution within Israel.

 

The last time Israel mounted a Gaza military assault as severe as the current series of attacks (http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/07/israeli-troops-injured-first-gaza-attack-201471342456891706.html)  was in 2008, with Operation Cast Lead, which lasted from Dec. 27 of that year to Jan. 18, 2009. That attack saw 1,455 Palestinians killed, including 333 children. Roughly 5,000 more Palestinians were injured. A new major ground incursion, which would be designed to punish the Palestinians with even greater ferocity, would cause a far bigger death toll than Operation Cast Lead did. The cycle of escalating violence, this “destructive process,” as the history of the conflict has illustrated, would continue at an accelerating rate.

 

The late Yeshayahu Leibowitz, one of Israel’s most brilliant scholars, warned that, followed to its logical conclusion, the occupation of the Palestinians would mean “concentration camps would be erected by the Israeli rulers” and “Israel would not deserve to exist, and it will not be worthwhile to preserve it.” He feared the ascendancy of right-wing, religious Jewish nationalists and warned that “religious nationalism is to religion what National Socialism was to socialism.” Leibowitz laid out what occupation would finally bring for Israel:

 

The Arabs would be the working people and the Jews the administrators, inspectors, officials, and police—mainly secret police. A state ruling a hostile population of 1.5 to 2 million foreigners would necessarily become a secret-police state, with all that this implies for education, free speech and democratic institutions. The corruption characteristic of every colonial regime would also prevail in the State of Israel. The administration would suppress Arab insurgency on the one hand and acquire Arab Quislings on the other. There is also good reason to fear that the Israel Defense Force, which has been until now a people’s army, would, as a result of being transformed into an army of occupation, degenerate, and its commanders, who will have become military governors, resemble their colleagues in other nations.

 

Israel is currently attacking a population of 1.8 million that has no army, no navy, no air force, no mechanized military units, no command and control and no heavy artillery. Israel pretends that this indiscriminate slaughter is a war. But only the most self-deluded supporter of Israel is fooled. The rockets fired at Israel by Hamas—which is committing a war crime by launching those missiles against the Israeli population—are not remotely comparable to the 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs that have been dropped in large numbers on crowded Palestinian neighborhoods; the forced removal of some 300,000 Palestinians from their homes; the more than 160 reported dead (http://www.newsweek.com/thousands-flee-gaza-town-after-israeli-attack-warning-258594 ) —the U.N. estimates that 77 percent of those killed (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/12/israel-northern-gaza-evacuate_n_5580851.html)  in Gaza have been civilians; the destruction of the basic infrastructure; the growing food and water shortages; and the massing of military forces for a possible major ground assault.

 

When all this does not work, when it becomes clear that the Palestinians once again have not become dormant and passive, Israel will take another step, more radical than the last. The “process of destruction” will be stopped only from outside Israel. Israel, captive to the process, is incapable of imposing self-restraint.

 

A mass movement demanding boycotts, divestment and sanctions is the only hope now for the Palestinian people. Such a movement must work for imposition of an arms embargo on Israel; this is especially important for Americans because weapons systems and attack aircraft provided by the U.S. are being used to carry out the assault. It must press within the United States for a cutoff of the $3.1 billion in military aid that the U.S. gives to Israel each year. It must organize to demand suspension of all free trade and other agreements between the U.S. and Israel. Only when these props are knocked out from under Israel will the Israeli leadership be forced, as was the apartheid regime in South Africa, to halt its “destructive process.” As long as these props remain, the Palestinians are doomed. If we fail to act we are complicit in the slaughter.

 

AP/Khalil Hamra

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6 Ynetnews  Wednesday, July 23, 2014

 

 

IDF hits Gaza hospital compound from air

 

IDF says Hamas uses Wafa hospital compound to attack soldiers, fire anti-tank missiles; ground, air forces attack Gaza City where they claim ‘an entire Hamas brigade is active’; 10 terrorists killed.

 

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4548760,00.html

 

Yoav Zitun

 

The IDF said that after days of consideration it has begun to attack the al Wafa Hospital compound in Gaza City’s Shajaiyeh area. The military claimed the hospital has been a hotbed of terrorists activities, with gun and anti-tank missile fire originating from the cite.

 

Later Wednesday, the IDF said it had killed 10 terrorists and found a tunnel which contained IDF uniforms and arms.

 

Israel has long claimed that Hamas and other Gaza terror groups are using civilian centers – like hospitals, mosques and schools – to launch attacks on Israel. Just last week some 20 rockets were found in an UNRWA school.

 

Al Wafa hospital (Photo: EPA)

 

The al Wafa hospital was evacuated last week after a number of phone call warnings from the IDF.

 

The hospital, which serves as a rehab facility had gained attention after a group of activists moved in to be alongside 17 patients could not be evacuated.

 

Photo: EPA

 

Nevertheless, they were moved last Thursday to a nearby hospital as Israel struck targets that rattled the facility.

 

The IDF released aerial photos today that they claim show the locations of Hamas rocket launch sites placed dangerously close to civilian sites. The photos claim to show rocket launchers inside the grounds of a mosque and a playground as well as a rocket launcher that appears to be adjacent to al-Wafa hospital.

 

Photo: EPA

 

Clouds of black smoke hung over the densely populated Gaza in the morning hours, with the regular thud of artillery and tank shells filling the air.

 

“We are meeting resistance around the tunnels … they are constantly trying to attack us around and in the tunnels. That is the trend,” said IDF spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner.

 

He said 30 militant gunman had been killed overnight, bringing the total to 210 since the offensive started.

 

Tank fires on Gaza (Photo: EPA)

 

A Palestinian health official said eight Hamas fighters died in the ferocious battle near Khan Younis, from where the Palestinian Red Crescent was trying to evacuate about 250. Khan Younis has been under Israeli tank shelling and drone strikes since early Wednesday.

 

The Red Crescent said Hamas fighters in the area were deploying rocket propelled grenades and light weapons, including machine guns, against the Israelis.

 

Hundreds of residents of eastern Khan Younis were seen fleeing their homes as the battle unfolded, flooding into the streets with what few belongings they could carry, many with children in tow. They said they were seeking shelter in nearby UN schools.

 

“The airplanes and airstrikes are all around us,” said Aziza Msabah, a resident of Khan Younis. “They are hitting the houses, which are collapsing upon us.”

Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, said its fighters had detonated an anti-personnel bomb as an Israeli army patrol passed, killing several troops. There was no immediate confirmation from Israel.

 

Photo: AP

 

There was also violence in the occupied West Bank, where a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops near Bethlehem. The army said soldiers fired a rubber bullet at him during clashes with Palestinians hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.

According the IDF, they targeted Gaza City’s Shajaiyeh area , dropping over 120 bombs on the area, which they claimed was home to a “Hamas battalion,” a senior IDF source said.

According to the source, a Hamas command center was also to be found in the area, and some 28 tunnels, six of which were destroyed.

“Destroying tunnels is the heart of our current activities, and we are seeing more and more fighting around their entrances. Shajaiyeh terrorists have been dealt a serious blow.”

He further claimed that there was growing pressure on the Palestinian population.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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