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Just saw Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin’s phenomenal and moving documentary film about Mahmoud Darwish, Sajjal Ana ‘Arabi [Write Down: I am an Arab] at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Highly recommended!!! Definitely put it on your “to-see” lists.

“Sadly, or gladly, every Palestinian thinks I represent him… I don’t like to represent. I can barely represent myself.”

Hundreds of Palestinians abducted from Gaza by occupation forces, many remain missing

August 5, 2014

Over 200 Palestinians have been abducted by occupation soldiers on the borders of Gaza during the ground invasion of Gaza, transferred to undisclosed locations, interrogated, and abused, while those same occupation forces killed over 1850 Palestinians, wounded nearly 10,000 and destroyed thousands of homes.

These civilians, who refused or who were unable to leave their homes due to massive aerial bombing and shelling, were transferred to special camps set up inside occupied Palestine ’48, and interrogated for hours or days by military forces and the Shin Bet. Over 75 of them were released and left outside Beit Hanoun, and the remaining Palestinian civilians from Gaza remain unaccounted-for and under arrest, as well as wounded people, some of whom were released without treatment after two days of interrogation. Paramedics and wounded people were arrested on July 24 as they left Khuza’a.

Issa Qaraqe, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, cautioned on August 4 that some Palestinians who were captured by the occupation army may have been shot immediately after their arrest, as were civilians attempting to leave Khuza’a. Some of those detained were taken to occupation hospitals and another portion are still under interrogation. He warned that some of the missing may have been murdered by occupation forces or allowed to bleed to death without medical treatment, and called upon the International Committee of the Red Cross to act urgently to determine the fate of the Palestinians arrested in Gaza by the occupation forces and the circumstances of their detention.

Addameer issued the following statement on the urgent situation of Palestinians arrested from Gaza:

24 July 2014, occupied Ramallah – As the brutal assault in Gaza continues onto its seventeenth day, Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association expresses deep concern regarding the newly launched mass arrest campaign launched by the Israeli forces.

At least 150 Palestinians were arrested overnight in Gaza and forcibly transferred to an undisclosed detention center where they are now undergoing interrogation by Special Unit 504 in coordination with the intelligence services. The detainees are expected to undergo interrogation by the Shin Bet as well.

Also among those who have been arrested in recent days are ‘Ammar Shami, who was injured during the shelling and is now hospitalized during his detention. Addameer’s colleagues from Al-Mezan in Gaza are representing Shami as well as nine other detainees: Mahmoud Abu Saeed, Afif Al-Jarah, Imad Al-Jarah, Abd Al Rahman Balousha, Hassan Al-Astal, Mohammad Al-Agha, Ahmad Abu Lahiya, Ibrahim Abu and Mohammad Al-Qudra. The ten detainees have lawyers bans for a period of ten days, making the circumstances of their interrogation and detention unknown.

Considering the arbitrary nature of these arrests, Addameer raises concerns that the detainees will be subject to Israel’s “Unlawful Combatants Law.” This law allows for Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to be detained for an unlimited amount of time without being charged or brought to trial. Under this law, detainees are issued a permanent detention order and are then brought before an Israeli District Court only once every six months for judicial review of their order. In practice, the Unlawful Combatants Law contains fewer protections for detainees than even the few that are granted under administrative detention orders in the West Bank.

In addition to the egregious war crimes committed by Israel in this latest round of aggression on Gaza, in which over 703 Palestinians have been killed, the majority of them civilians, and thousands injured, Addameer is concerned about the continued violation of international humanitarian law in regards to the prisoners. The forcible transfer of prisoners by the Occupying Power is in gross violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Furthermore, although the circumstances of the detainees interrogation are currently unknown, photos of the detainees indicate that they have been stripped of their clothing, detained in crowded areas and in some cases, blindfolded. This degrading and humiliating treatment is also in violation of IHL and IHRL, as well as the dignity of the prisoners and the Palestinian people. Israel’s well-known systematic and widespread use of physical and psychological torture against Palestinian prisoners also raises concerns for the treatment of the detainees as well.

Addameer calls on all international bodies to intervene immediately to implement international human rights and humanitarian law in the Gaza Strip, call for a ceasefire and hold accountable the perpetrators of the war crimes committed against the Palestinian people in the International Criminal Court.

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House arrest: Israeli court refuses to jail brutally beaten 15yo Palestinian-American

via rtamerica 

The brutally beaten, 15-year-old US-Palestinian cousin of murdered teen Mohammad Abu Khdeir has been placed under house arrest, despite police demands to keep him in custody. Tarek Abu Khdeir was accused of attacking police officers at a protest.

An Israeli court ruled that Tarek Abu Khdeir should be subject to house arrest in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Sunday. Court spokeswoman Luba Samri said that police had asked the judge to extend the remand of the teenager, claiming that he attacked police officers during violent protests over the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammad Abu Khdeir.

Tarek’s parents maintained his innocence and claim Israeli police officers committed an unprovoked attack on their son while he was handcuffed. On Saturday a video, showing how two officers violently beat Abu Khdeir while he was lying on the floor, appeared on local television, provoking outrage and condemnation on social media.

Following the uproar, the US government released a statement expressing deep concern over the incident.

“We can confirm that Tarek Khdeir, an American citizen, is being held by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. [Tarek Abu Khdeir] was visited by an official from the US Consulate General in Jerusalem today,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement, adding that the US was profoundly troubled by the reports.

Members of the Israeli police force claim the video was “edited and tendentious” and was not an accurate reflection of events. They say Tarek was detained during the arrest of six other masked men, some of whom were armed with knives. The police are conducting an inquiry into the incident.

Tensions have been building over the past week in the area after the abduction and murder of Mohammad Abu Khdeir who was found dead in the woods on Wednesday. Israeli officials suspect Jewish nationalists may have committed the crime as a reprisal for the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli teenagers on June 12. The Israeli authorities have arrested six people in connection with Mohammad’s murder, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Sunday.

Mohammad Abu Khdeir’s death sparked fury in Palestinian neighborhoods with violent protests erupting in East Jerusalem. The Arab teen was buried on Friday after it was revealed in an autopsy that he had been burned to death by his captors.

His funeral drew thousands of mourners, but quickly descended into a full-blown rally with participants turning their anger on police, burning tires and throwing stones. Israeli police deployed stun grenades and tear gas to bring the crowds under control.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the death of Mohammad Abu Khdeir and said he would act calmly and responsibly in the light of growing Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.

An entirely reasonable set of conditions

Hamas has offered Israel a 10-year truce if it accepts 10 conditions. The Jerusalem Post reported this, based on an Israeli Channel 2 newscast. According to Ma’ariv (Hebrew) these are the conditions:

  1. Withdrawal of Israeli tanks from the Gaza border.
  2. Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three West Bank settler teens.
  3. Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people.
  4. Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision.
  5. Increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 kilometers.
  6. Internationalizing the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the U.N. and some Arab nations.
  7. International forces on the borders.
  8.  Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque.
  9. Prohibition on Israeli interference in the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
  10. Reestablishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.
Are these demands unreasonable or extreme? Why not accept them? What does Israel actually want?

Gaza teen’s war tweets make her a social media sensation

As bombs explode in Gaza, Palestinian teenager Farah Baker grabs her smartphone or laptop before ducking for cover to tap out tweets that capture the drama of the tumult and fear around her.

The 16-year-old’s prolific posts on Twitter have made her a social media sensation through the month-old conflict. Once a little known high school athlete, Baker’s following on the Web site has jumped from a mere 800 to a whopping 166,000.

Living near Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, where her father is a surgeon, provides Baker with a live feed of blaring ambulance sirens in addition to blasts from Israeli air strikes and shelling attacks.

Reuters photo and story

Please read this

so today i woke up by alarm sirens,

The beginning of summer vaction, Israel, 8:50, rockets fired at Israel from Gaza. rocket number? 226 in the past 24 hours. and it keeps going. in south Israel right now there’s siren after siren, missile after missile 24/7. And i wanted to Increase the awareness, right now we suffer from a serious rockets attack and half of our country going back and forth from shelters every few minutes, and above all - living in fear. (A video from a couple of days ago - Alarm sirens in a swimming Pool) I went through the Israel tag on tumblr, Twitter, whatever, and everything there is just so wrong that i had to say something.

First, fabricated photos that being posted by Palestinians of bleeding children and women crying to make us look like monsters, truth is that those photos are from wars in iraq and syria and have nothing to do with Israel and i’m fucking tired of it, lies (here’s a bbc Video research on this exact topic). we’re being attacked by a ruthless terrorist organization, they have made hundreds of terror attacks through the years and lately, murderd Innocent people, and it’s certainly not the first rocket attack, but nahh, Israel is a crule terror state that even dares (!!!) defend itself from over 7,000 rockets in the past ten years. are we attacking back? well, now, yes, yesterday Israel started an operation called “Operation Protective Edge” to attack back, but Unlike Hamas that fires rockets almost blindly to intentionally harm Israeli civilians, the IDF fires only where Hamas places the weapons and in the houses of the terrorists that fires them, IDF has no intention to harm innocent civilians, but sadly, Hamas hate us more then they care about their civilians, they do all this from densely populated areas and put their civilians in great danger. 

I’m just asking you not to believe to every photo description you see and to know that is more complicated than you think. We have one jewish state in the whole plante, and if you try looking for it in a globe you’ll see it’s so small that even the name can’t fit in, so that’s what we have and we want to keep it safe. we have the right to defent ourselfs.  

*the underlined stuff are links to news websites and proofs for what i’m saying.
*a link to the story of how it started in the last few weeks. 

GAZA CITY : Flyers are dropped over Gaza City by the Israeli army urging residents to evacuate their homes on July 30, 2014. Israeli bombardments early on July 30 killed “dozens” of Palestinians in Gaza, including at least 16 at a UN school, medics said, on day 23 of the Israel-Hamas conflict. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED

It refuses to acknowledge that Palestinian queers are among those who are harassed, brutalised, displaced, bombed, and incarcerated. Whatever liberties might be extended to Jewish queers in Israel, being queer does not save Palestinians from the constant and brutal assault that forms the conditions of their lives. The Israeli army does not give a “free pass” to queer Palestinians; in fact, its soldiers target LGBTQ Palestinians.
We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.
— 

Nelson MandelaAddress by President Nelson Mandela at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 4 December 1997, Pretoria.

May you rest in Peace, and may Palestine find peace soon as well. 

KHAN YUNIS : Palestinian youths practice their Parkour skills over the ruins of houses, which were destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war between Israel and Hamas-led militants in the Gaza Strip, on November 14, 2014, in Khan Yunis’ Khuzaa neighbourhood in the southern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border. The 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants killed at least 2,143 Palestinians, nearly 70 percent of them civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED

As civilian casualties mounted on Monday in the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military reminded the world that it had warned people living in targeted areas to leave. The response from Palestinians here was unanimous: Where should we go?

United Nations shelters are already brimming, and some Palestinians fear they are not safe; one shelter was bombed by Israel in a previous conflict. Many Gaza residents have sought refuge with relatives, but with large extended families commonly consisting of dozens of relatives, many homes in the shrinking areas considered safe are already packed.

Perhaps most important, the vast majority of Gazans cannot leave Gaza. They live under restrictions that make this narrow coastal strip, which the United Nations considers occupied by Israel, unlike anywhere else.

Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2010 called Gaza “an open-air prison,” drawing criticism from Israel. But in reality, the vast majority of Gazans are effectively trapped, unable to seek refugee status across an international border. (Most are already refugees, those who fled from what is now Israel and their descendants.)

A 25-mile-long rectangle just a few miles wide, and one of the most densely populated places in the world, Gaza is surrounded by concrete walls and fences along its northern and eastern boundaries with Israel and its southern border with Egypt.

Even in what pass for ordinary times here, Israel permits very few Gazans to enter its territory, citing security concerns because suicide bombers and other militants from Gaza have killed Israeli civilians. The restrictions over the years have cost Palestinians jobs, scholarships and travel.

Egypt has also severely curtailed Gazans’ ability to travel, opening its border crossing with the territory for only 17 days this year. During the current fighting between Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza, only those with Egyptian or foreign passports or special permission were allowed to exit.

Even the Mediterranean Sea to the west provides no escape. Israel restricts boats from Gaza to three nautical miles offshore. And Gaza, its airspace controlled by Israel, has no airport.

So while three million Syrians have fled their country during the war there, more and more of Gaza’s 1.7 million people have been moving away from the edges of the strip and crowding into the already-packed center of Gaza City.