March 27, 2009

“The Most Moral Army In The World”

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:41 pm by Alexia

Well, that’s what the Israeli Prime Minister claims: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1149572658286

Althoug Ha’aretz thinks differently: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072821.html

This is from the ISM Digest 15 March 2009.  With my emphasis.  You make up your own mind.

1. American citizen critically injured after being shot in the head by Israeli forces in Ni’lin

Tristan Anderson from California USA, 37 years old, has been taken to Israeli hospital Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv. Anderson was unconscious and bleeding heavily from the nose and mouth. He sustained a large hole in the right part of his forehead where he was struck by a tear gas canister. The heavy impact from the tear gas canister being shot directly at him, from about 60 meters, also caused severe damage to his right eye, which he may lose. Tristan underwent brain surgery in which part of his right frontal lobe and shattered bone fragments were removed.

“Tristan was shot by the new tear-gas canisters that can be shot up to 500m. I ran over as I saw someone had been shot, while the Israeli forces continued to fire tear-gas at us. When an ambulance came, the Israeli soldiers refused to allow the ambulance through the checkpoint just outside the village. After 5 minutes of arguing with the soldiers, the ambulance passed.” ­ Teah Lunqvist (Sweden) – International Solidarity Movement

The Israeli army began to use the Rutger rifle and a high velocity tear gas canister in December 2008. The black canister, labeled in Hebrew as “40mm bullet special/long range,” can shoot over 400 meters and weighs 130 grams without the propeller. The gas canister does not make a noise when fired or emit a smoke tail and has a propeller to accelerate the weapon mid-air. A combination of the canister’s high velocity and silence is extremely dangerous and has caused numerous injuries, including a Palestinian male whose leg was broken in January 2009.

Tristan Anderson was shot as Israeli forces attacked unarmed demonstrators, gathered against construction of the annexation wall through the village of Ni’lin’s land. Another resident from Ni’lin was shot in the leg with live ammunition.

Four Ni’lin residents have been killed during demonstrations against the confiscation of their land.

Ahmed Mousa (10) was shot in the forehead with live ammunition on 29th July 2008.  The following day, Yousef Amira(17) was shot twice with rubber-coated steel bullets, leaving him brain dead.  He died a week later on 4 August 2008. Arafat Rateb Khawaje (22), was the third Ni’lin resident to be killed by Israeli forces.  He was shot in the back with live ammunition on 28 December 2008.  That same day, Mohammed Khawaje (20), was shot in the head with live ammunition, leaving him brain dead.  He died three days in a Ramallah hospital.

Residents in the village of Ni’lin have been demonstrating against construction of the Apartheid Wall, deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Ni’lin will lose approximately 2500 dunums of agricultural land when the construction of the Wall is completed. Ni’lin was 57,000 dunums in 1948, reduced to 33,000 dunums in 1967, currently is 10,000 dunums and will be 7,500 dunums after the Wall is built.

Updates: Orly Levi, a spokeswoman at the Tel Hashomer hospital, tells Ha’aretz:

He’s in critical condition, anesthetized and on a ventilator and undergoing imaging tests,” She described Anderson’s condition as life- threatening.

Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack told Ynet: … the firing incident took place inside the village and not next to the fence. There were clashes in the earlier hours, but he wasn’t part of them. He didn’t throw stones and wasn’t standing next to the stone throwers.

There was really no reason to fire at them. The Dutch girl standing next to him was not hurt. It only injured him, like a bullet.

13 March: Anarchists Against the Wall reports on Tristan’s condition (volunteers with AWALLS were present when Tristan was injured and have been at the hospital to oversee his treatment):

The impact of the projectile caused numerous condensed fractures to Anderson’s forehead and right eye socket. During the operation part of his right frontal lobe had to be removed, as it was penetrated by bone fragments. A brain fluid leakage was sealed using a tendon from his thigh, and both his right eye and skin suffered extensive damage. The long term scope of all of Tristan’s injuries is yet unknown.

Gabrielle Silverman, Tristan’s girlfriend who was with him when he was shot, spoke to Bay City News and KTVU:

As of Saturday he was on full life support and heavily medicated at Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv, his girlfriend Gabrielle Silverman said today in a telephone interview.

“My understanding is that they are trying to let his brain rest as much as possible and do as little work as possible,” Silverman said.

Palestinian medics immediately came to their rescue and attempted to place Anderson onto a stretcher. But even then, Silverman said, “The army began firing tear gas directly at us … again and again and again.”

“Tear gas was falling at our feet as were loading him onto the stretcher,” Silverman said.

When the medics had successfully situated Anderson, an Israeli soldier stood in front of the ambulance and would not allow it to move, Silverman said.

Silverman detailed with clear agitation in her voice the circumstances that followed, as Anderson was “getting worse, vanishing further.”

She said they underwent another 15-minute holdup at the checkpoint, the reason being, she said, that “Palestinian ambulances are not allowed to enter into the state of Israel from the West Bank.”

“Tristan’s life was in serious danger. He was bleeding terribly everywhere from the head,” Silverman recounted. “We had to just sit and wait until eventually an Israeli ambulance from God knows where showed up and we had to change to another ambulance.”

Once they had arrived at the hospital, Anderson immediately underwent surgery, Silverman said. Surgeons removed a portion of the right frontal lobe of his brain and used a tendon from his leg to seal up the area to help prevent leakage. They also “tried to put his face back together,” Silverman said.

Video and photo: http://palsolidarity.org/2009/03/5324

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January 9, 2009

Free Gaza Movement: News Release. Emergency Boat to Leave Cyprus for Gaza.

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:31 pm by Alexia

Free Gaza Movement: We are coming back, and we are putting Israel on notice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Larnaca, Cyprus, January 7, 2009)
Today the Free Gaza Movement put Israel on notice that we are sending another emergency boat to Gaza.
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We will announce our exact departure date, time and route in the next few days. We will travel from Cypriot waters, into international waters, then directly into Gaza territorial waters, never nearing Israeli waters.
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The ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have killed over 640Palestinians, including many children and women, and injured
thousands. These acts by Israel are severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined by the Geneva Conventions,both in regards to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in therequirements of the laws of war.
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The United Nations has failed to protect the Palestinian civilian population from Israel’s massive violations of international humanitarian law. Therefore, we concerned citizens from Belgium,Columbia, France, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Jordan,Kuwait, Scotland, Spain, and the United States, feel that it is ourmoral duty to try to do just that.
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The Israeli military violently attacked an earlier attempt by the Free Gaza Movement to send an emergency boat filled with doctors and medical supplies to Gaza. In the early hours of Tuesday, December 30,the Israeli Navy rammed our boat, the DIGNITY, in internationalwaters. Neither the DIGNITY, nor its passengers and crew constituted any kind of threat to Israel, and the Israeli government had been alerted to the boat’s mission, the previous day. Yet we were violently rammed three times on the side without any warning from the Israeli Navy, in an obvious attempt to disable the vessel, jeopardizing the lives of the 16 passengers on board.
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We are not deterred by the violence of the Israeli military and intend to sail to Gaza again and again. We are physicians, journalists,
members of parliament, and human rights observers who intend to reach the people of Gaza to deliver much needed medical aid and witness the atrocities being committed against the Palestinians there.
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We are willing to put our bodies on the line to stop Israel’s unlawful massacres of the Palestinian people (we have received death threats warning us not to repeat our attempt) and bring the attention of the world to the war crimes happening in Gaza against 1.5 million Palestinians.
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Contact:
Huwaida Arraf (Cyprus): +357-96-723-999
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein (Jerusalem): +972-547-366 393
Ramzi Kysia (U.S): +1-703-994-5422
http://www.palsolidarity.org/main/2009/01/07/free-gaza-movement-we-are-coming-back-and-we-are-putting-israel-on-notice

Palestine Latest: 9 January 2009

Posted in General Gaza Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:19 pm by Alexia

To my friends in Gaza, our thoughts are with you in this terrible time.  We can’t be there with you, but we’re doing what we can to try and stop this. Please stay strong.

To everyone else, please support us in our quest to end this invasion of Gaza and help us bring peace and justice to the Palestinians.

From the latest Palestine Solidarity Campaign email

The depravity with which the Israeli Government is inflicting death on the people of Gaza reached a new low today as news began to leak out of yet another Israeli war crime in the town of Zeitoun.


According to the United Nations the events in a second shelter in the town represents ‘one of the gravest events since the beginning of the offensive.’


Eyewitness accounts obtained by the UN describe how, on the 4th January, the IDF rounded up 110 people, half of them children and moved them into a single story home. The IDF told the people they were being led to their safety.


Then 24 hours later the IDF bombed the shelter killing 30 people. According to the Red Cross and the UN, the IDF’s refusal to allow humanitarian access to the area for four days was because of this incident.


Following this incident the Red Cross issued a statement on the deaths of children killed by the Israeli Army in which they said that there had been a 250% increase in deaths to children since the ground invasion.


Read the BBC report here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7819492.stm

Here’s the latest update from the Red Cross

http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/palestine-update-050109?opendocument

Israel allowed the ICRC to get blood supplies (but don’t say how much) and 1000 tetanus injections into Gaza.  The injections are given to the wounded to help reduce the chance of infection.  Only 1000 when there are over 3000 known wounded already.  A pittance, just crumbs from the Israeli table.

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If you live in the UK, the PSC have set up a web page with a pre written letter that they will use to forward to your MP.  It literally takes a couple of minutes and will exert pressure on them to act.  It calls on them to pressure the Government into taking real action that will force Israel to end its invasion and siege on Gaza.

All you have to do is visit http://www.iparl.com/lobby-psc/widget.html and put in your postcode – easy as that.

Please take the time to do this, small actions like this can make a difference.

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Don’t forget there are demonstrations in London and Edinburgh tomorrow.  Last Saturday’s had over 60,000 people there.

NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION: SATURDAY 10 JANUARY
STOP THE MASSACRE : ISRAEL OUT OF GAZA
ASSEMBLE 12.30PM
SPEAKERS CORNER,HYDE PARK   (Nearest tube Marble Arch)
MARCH TO ISRAELI EMBASSY High St Kensington, London W8

MARCH ROUTE: Speakers Corner at Hyde Park, Bayswater, Notting  Hill Gate, left into Kensington Church Street, left into Kensington High Street, past the Israeli Embassy. There will  be rallies with speakers at Speakers Corner and at the end of  the march.

ALL SCOTLAND DEMONSTRATION 10 JANUARY

STOP THE MASSACRE: ISRAEL OUT OF GAZA

DEMONSTRATION IN EDINBURGH
SATURDAY 10 JANUARY 2009
ASSEMBLE 12:30PM
EAST MARKET STREET   Behind Edinburgh Waverley train station
MARCH THROUGH CITY CENTRE TO US CONSULATE

Bring in-date medicine for Gaza, and spare shoes.

Supported by Stop the War Scotland, Glasgow and Edinburgh,  Pauline McNeil MSP, Sandra White MSP, Muslim Association of  Britain, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Glasgow Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Lebanese Community    Scotland, Scottish Afghan Society, Scottish Islamic  Foundation.