Washington Report on Middle East Affairs - Action Alert Archives http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives.html Thu, 31 Jul 2014 01:22:46 -0600 Matrix Glitcher v.3.0 en-gb Israel’s Attack on UNRWA School a “Hell of a Pinpoint Operation” http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12677-israel-s-attack-on-unrwa-school-a-hell-of-a-pinpoint-operation.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12677-israel-s-attack-on-unrwa-school-a-hell-of-a-pinpoint-operation.html

Israel’s Attack on UNRWA School a “Hell of a Pinpoint Operation”

Yesterday Israel attacked the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) school in Beit Hanoun, killing 18 and injuring 200, many people critically. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack, calling it appalling. UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness said he’d been trying to coordinate permission from Israel’s military for an evacuation of civilians taking shelter in the school, but permission was never granted.

This is not the first time Israel has fired on civilians taking shelter in a U.N. facility. (See articles about the 1996 Qana massacre in Lebanon on our home page, www.wrmea.org). Since July 7, Israeli attacks have damaged approximately 120 schools. According to the U.N., as of July 24, 149,000 internally displaced people (IDP) were sheltering in 84 UNRWA schools, with tens of thousands of others taking refuge elsewhere. This is more than double the number of Palestinians who took refuge at U.N. facilities during “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009.

Five Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank yesterday, July 24, as 10,000 protesters tried to march from the West Bank city of Ramallah to Jerusalem to show solidarity with Gaza. A sixth Palestinian was shot killed by a Jewish settler.

Today, the last Friday of Ramadan, is Al-Quds Day (Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem), when demonstrators around the world traditionally show their solidarity with Jerusalem and Palestinians.

What You Can Do to Stop the Killing:

  • Read the names of Israeli and Palestinian children who have perished at your next protest. You can download a pdf of all the names from <RememberTheseChildren.org>. Beware: that list, begun in September 2000, when the second intifada began, is 205 pages long, and contains the names, ages and details of the deaths of 131 Israeli and 1,656 Palestinian children—with more names added every day! Perhaps even more shocking than the carnage of the last 17 days are the numbers of children killed by Israeli soldiers or settlers during times of “peace.”
  • Write a letter: In fact there is a letter-writing campaign called “No Dead Kids” to let Congress know it’s time to stop the killing: http://nodeadkids.rallycongress.com/ More than 58,553 letters have been sent! Let Congress know - NO MORE DEAD KIDS!
  • Call your member of Congress and the State Department to say you oppose Israel’s attack on Gaza. Agree with Kerry: “It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation.” (Kerry’s comment on an open microphone July 20—before Israel’s attack on the UNRWA school.) Tell them that not only do you condemn Israel’s attack, you don’t want your tax dollars going to Israel to kill more children.

Two Dozen Killed as Several UNRWA Schools Hit in Gaza

By Mohammed Omer, Thursday, 24 July 2014

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip - At Kamal Adwan hospital, the ambulances arrived unusually full with several injured at once. While this is becoming an increasingly regular sight in Gaza, there was something new about these ambulances that were rushing in people from a UNRWA school at Beit Hanoun.

Every one of those injured or killed had hoped that they would be safe under the UN’s protection. But they were not. In recent weeks, people have been flocking to UN-run shelters and the UN said it was sheltering 117,469 displaced Palestinians sheltering at 77 schools before today's bombing. This is more than double the number at the peak of the 2008-2009 Israeli incursion, but many of these internal refugees now feel like they have been left with literally nowhere else to go, now that even the UN schools have succumbed to the Israeli bombardment.

The scenes at the school in northern Gaza are horrific. The peaceful light blue walls of UNRWA schools are still spattered with blood. The children who once studied here, suddenly forced to see another face of their school.

The black and white floor is covered with pools of blood, with a blood soaked blanket and a pair of lonely sandals scattered nearby. The blood belongs to the people who were fasting and were waiting to break their fast three hours later.

Medics informed MEE that out of this single school massacre, 18 people, including a baby, have been killed and over 200 were injured.

Since the attack the panic levels among the already frightened families have reached new levels. Women and children have now fled the school and are taking refuge in hospitals, but these are also full and struggling to cope.

The sheer influx of wounded is too much for one hospital, forcing causalities to be sent to four different hospitals: Beit Hanoun, Kamal Adwan, al-Awda and Shifa hospital.

It is an exhausting feat for a mother to go by foot, searching haphazardly for her children who could be in any one of these four hospitals scattered throughout Gaza. Several people have still not been accounted for, with relatives continuing their frantic search.

The family of 17-year-old Doaa Abu Awda, was forced to scour the various hospitals for their daughter. The family ran to Gaza City’s Shifa hospital, despite the heavy shelling in the area, after they were told that she sustained injuries and was being treated there. Once they got there, however, they were told by the receptionist that she was not there. The family ran throughout all the corridors, trying to find her, but couldn’t find her anywhere. After exhausting all possibilities, the family made it down to the morgue and, at once, their search come to a tragic end.

Abu Awda was with her family, seeking refuge in a place that she trusted to be safe. More than a thousand Palestinians were in the school in Beit Hanoun seeking refuge with her, when the bombs struck.

“I was sitting in the soccer field when five tank shells hit,” an injured child tries to tell Middle East Eye although he struggles to get the words out.

Another woman, running in terror, screams, “my daughter, my daughter… they had her legs and arms amputated.”

This is one of the most deadly strikes today, and the bloodiest on a UN institution so far. In the last 24 hours, seven UNRWA schools have been hit or damaged by Israeli shelling and earlier on Thursday three UNRWA aid workers were killed when an Israeli shell hit their school. Five people were also injured in a separate attack on a girls’ school, according to the UN.

The incident has further ignited debate about Israel's targeting of civilian sites, especially UNRWA schools and medical facilities that are supposed to be designated safe zones.

Israel insists that it does not purposefully target UN buildings.

"We can't confirm that this is a result of errant fire. In any case, we do not target UN facilities," military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told reporters, while stressing that the military had urged the UN and the Red Cross to evacuate the school for three days leading up to the incident.

UNRWA, however, has challenged this. Spokespeople on the ground told Arabic language media that, while UNRWA was warned, it was not given remotely enough time to evacuate the building.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness also separately wrote on twitter about the incident: “Precise coordinates of the UNRWA shelter in Beit Hanoun had been formally given to the Israeli army.”

The scores of Palestinians who had been sheltering at the school, have now begun lashing out at aid agencies. And people from the school say that they were misled when the International Red Cross Committee informed them that schools were the safest places to go to.

Hamas has also now spoken out about the incident, saying that Beit Hanoun massacre was extremely ominous.

Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman criticised the International Red Cross for its silence and the group has vowed revenge.

“Unfortunately, the Red Cross is not playing any role to scandalise the crimes of occupation and violating humanitarian ceasefire,” he told reporters.

Israel launched its military offensive on 8 July, with the declared objective of deterring Hamas from firing rockets from Gaza. Yet, the rockets are continuing after almost three weeks of war. So far the majority of the targets in Gaza have been civilian, according to the UN.

The bombing of civilian structures is forbidden under international law, although Israel says that Hamas hides rockets beneath many of these structures, declaring the bombings legitimate.

However, in a densely populated area like Gaza, it has proved impossible to find anywhere that is a safe haven from Israeli wrath. The cost to civilian lives has been huge.

The death toll since early morning on Thursday now stands at 112 Palestinians, with further strikes expected throughout the evening. Until now, evenings have seen some of the worst shelling. In the past 17 days of war, more than 805 Palestinians have been killed, another 4,800 injured, while 33 Israeli soldiers and two civilians have been killed.

And the death toll is only set to keep climbing. As the evening began to set in, in Gaza several of the Beit Hanoun families were still looking for missing family members, as were scores of other Gazans who have struggled to make contact with friends and family across the strip.

To the east of Gaza City, the Red Crescent says there are between 30 and 50 people who are missing. No information has thus far emerged regarding their whereabouts.

Um Mohammed Shamali has lost her three brothers and her niece. The last time she was in touch with her brother, he said, “send me an ambulance, please I am injured and bleeding.” Then his mobile phone died and Um Mohammed has heard nothing since.

International aid groups are trying to intensify rescue and search efforts but to little avail. According to UNRWA's Gunness: “Over the course of the day UNRWA tried to coordinate with the Israeli Army a window for civilians to leave but it was never granted.”

This leaves Um Mohammed and the countless others like her with little hope that aid agencies will be able to act as any kind of barrier to further Israeli attacks that look set to continue wreaking a terrible toll on Gaza. (Published by Middle East Eye #GazaUnderAttack)

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Action Alert Archives Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:48:10 -0600
Academics Around the World Condemn Israel’s Attacks http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12675-academics-around-the-world-condemn-israel-s-attacks.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12675-academics-around-the-world-condemn-israel-s-attacks.html

Academics Around the World Condemn Israel’s Attacks

Rectors of 111 Turkish universities have joined with 1,500 other academics around the world—including nearly 70 scholars inside Israel—to condemn the Israeli government’s attacks on Gaza.

Here is a short summary with links:

Nearly 1,500 academics from the around the world, including such well-known scholars as Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk and John Berger, issued an appeal to their Israeli colleagues to speak out against the deplorable actions of their government:

http://haimbresheeth.com/gaza/an-open-letter-to-israel-academics-july-13th-2014/ (Are you an academic? Please add your name. Or forward this alert to a professor you admire.)

In response, to date almost 70 scholars inside Israel have signed on to a public denunciation of their government:

http://haimbresheeth.com/gaza/an-open-letter-to-israel-academics-july-13th-2014/statement-by-israeli-academics-july-2014/

Now, the rectors of 111 Turkish universities have added their voices, not only condemning the Israeli government but, among other actions, vowing to break off academic, cultural and social relations with Israeli universities until the massacre in Gaza has stopped and the blockade has been lifted:

http://haimbresheeth.com/gaza/an-open-letter-to-israel-academics-july-13th-2014/open-letter-bt-rectors-of-turkish-universities/

This is the first time that the international academic community has been mobilized like this; and the first time that large numbers of Israeli academics have made such a public statement. Although the numbers may seem modest—so far—they are significant in view of the retribution that scholars can expect from their own institutions.

American professors are seldom as brave as Harvard’s Professor of International Affairs Stephen M. Walt, co-author with Prof. John Mearsheimer of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (available from the AET Bookstore). Please read his article, published in the Huffington Post on July 22, “AIPAC Is the Only Explanation for America's Morally Bankrupt Israel Policy.” 

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Action Alert Archives Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:33:53 -0600
Read Mohammed Omer’s Gripping Op-ed in Today’s New York Times http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12674-read-mohammed-omer-s-gripping-op-ed-in-today-s-new-york-times.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12674-read-mohammed-omer-s-gripping-op-ed-in-today-s-new-york-times.html

Read Mohammed Omer’s Gripping Op-ed in Today’s New York Times

The Washington Report is proud to announce that an op-ed by our Gaza correspondent, Mohammed Omer, "Darkness Falls on Gaza," has been published in today’s New York Times. Along with countrywide protests and the halt of U.S. flights to Tel Aviv, his riveting description of Gazans living in fear for their lives, and the lives of their children, may at last get the attention of Israelis and their U.S. apologists. It’s time for peace and an end to the Gaza blockade—for, as Omer says, “The siege of Gaza serves no purpose other than to radicalize the next generation.”

Please pass this important op-ed on to your lists. To read more articles by Mohammed Omer:

1. Request a free sample copy of the latest Washington Report.

2. Subscribe to the print or digital edition of the Washington Report.

3. Order solidarity items from Middleeastbooks.com or copies of the Washington Report to hand out at your next protest.

 

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Action Alert Archives Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:22:06 -0600
Send Help to Gaza http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12673-send-help-to-gaza.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12673-send-help-to-gaza.html

Send Help to Gaza

Bloody violence has descended once again on the Palestinians living in Gaza. American-made Israeli jets have dropped bombs on Palestinian homes, businesses, a mosque, and even a rehabilitation center for the disabled, threatening the already-tenuous existence of Gazan families. Despite the pleas of the United Nations, UNRWA, UNICEF, the Arab League, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague the Israelis and Hamas have not agreed to a ceasefire. Innocent civilians of Gaza are paying the price for this violence.

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA):

  • 175 Palestinians have been killed since July 7.
  • 80 percent of those killed were civilians.
  • 36 children have died as a result of Israeli attacks.
  • $60 million is needed to pay for medical supplies and medical referrals out of Gaza.
  • 25,300 children have been traumatized by the bombing and need psychological support.
  • 1,140 Palestinians have been injured. Of those, 296 are children and 233 are women.
  • 5,600 Palestinians have been displaced due to damage to their homes.
  • Another 16,000 Palestinians are taking shelter in UNRWA schools.
  • 32 fishing boats, a source of income for impoverished Palestinians, have been damaged, burned, or destroyed by Israeli attacks.
  • In one airstrike, Israelis killed 18 Palestinians from a single family, including six children and three women, one of whom was pregnant.

The Palestinian people, who have endured so much, need your help in this time of trial.

What Can You Do?

1. Send a financial contribution to an organization working to help Gazans survive this latest catastrophe. Here are some suggestions (in alphabetical order):

American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) 1522 K St. NW, Suite 202 • Washington, DC 20005-1270 • (202) 347-2558 • www.anera.org • Sponsors ongoing programs in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan and provides emergency relief.

Helping Hand for Relief and Development (Helping Hand USA) 12541 McDougall St • Detroit, MI 48212 • 1 (888) 808-HELP • www.HHRD.org • A global humanitarian relief and development organization responding to human sufferings in emergency and disastrous situations anywhere all over the world.

Islamic Relief USA P.O. Box 6098 • Burbank, CA 91510 • 1 (888) 479-4968 • www.irw.org • Works in more than 30 countries to alleviate hunger, illiteracy and diseases, provides rapid relief to victims of man-made and natural disasters.

Jerusalem Fund 2425 Virginia Ave., NW • Washington, DC 20037 • (202) 338-1958 • www.thejerusalemfund.org • Provides grants to hospitals, orphanages, clinics, schools, universities and civil society organization.

Kinder USA P.O. Box 224846 • Dallas, Texas 75222-9785 • (972) 664-1991 • www.kinderusa.org • Supports relief and development programs in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Jordan.

Life for Relief and Development P.O. Box 236 • Southfield, MI 48037 • (248) 424-7493 • www.lifeusa.org • Provides medicines and medical equipment and supports infrastructure development in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.

Médecins Sans Frontiers /Doctors Without Borders 333 7th Ave., 2nd Floor • New York, NY 10001 • (212) 679-6800 • www.doctorswithoutborders.org • Global organization that provides emergency medical relief across the Arab and Muslim world.

Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) 1101 Eighth Street, Suite 100 • Berkeley, CA 94710 • (510) 548-0542 • www.mecaforpeace.org • Works for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children and educating North American and international communities about the effects of the U.S. foreign policy on children in the region.

Near East Foundation 230 Euclid Ave. • Syracuse, NY 13210 • (315) 428-8670 • www.neareast.org • Supports community development and provides humanitarian and emergency assistance in more than 16 countries.

Oxfam America • 226 Causeway Street, 5th FL. • Boston, MA 02114-2206• (800) 77-OXFAM • www.oxfamamerica.org • An international confederation of 17 organizations working in approximately 94 countries worldwide to find solutions to poverty and what it considers as injustice around the world.

Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) • P.O. Box 1926 • Kent, OH 44240 • (330) 678-2645 • www.pcrf.net • Provides free medical care for sick and injured Palestinian children.

Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) • P.O. Box 450554 • Atlanta, GA 31145 • (404) 441-2702 • www.pmrs.ps • U.S.-based support group which receives tax-free donations for this grassroots, community-based Palestinian health organization.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) American Friends of UNRWA Association, Inc. • 1666 K St., NW • Suite 440 • Washington, DC 20006 • (202) 223-3767 • www.friendsunrwa.org • This U.N. agency aids Palestinian refugees through emergency relief such as food and health care, as well as long-term assistance through education and finance programs.

United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) 1330 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 104 • Washington, DC 20037 • (202) 659-5007 • www.helpupa.com • Sponsors health, education and community development programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

World Vision P.O. Box 9716 • Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 • (888) 511-6598 • www.worldvision.org • Global Christian humanitarian organization providing relief in many countries in the Arab and Muslim world.

The Zakat Foundation of America P.O. Box 639 • Worth, IL 60482 • (708) 499-6151 • Fax (708) 499-6154 • www.thezakat.org • Sponsors programs for emergency relief, orphan sponsorship, education, development and health in 10 countries.

International Rescue Committee (IRC) 122 East 42nd St • New York, NY 10168 • (212) 551-3000 • www.rescue.org • IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At the moment IRC is not helping Palestinians but they do help Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

2. Urge U.S. government officials and United Nations representatives to call for a ceasefire. Contact:

3. Call or write your local newspaper or radio station and ask it to cover the crisis in Gaza.

  • Write the editor a letter. Make it brief and to the point.
  • Add comments about Gaza at the end of any article you read in that newspaper about the Middle East.
  • Google a photo about the Gaza crisis. Put the picture on Facebook and get people to like it.
  • Send out tweets using the hashtags #GazaUnderAttack, #Palestine, #FreePalestine, #PrayForGaza, #Israel, #Unite4Gaza, #Gaza2DK, and #Gaza
  • Ask any groups that you work with to take on the cause of getting relief into Gaza.
  • Hold a teach-in about Gaza at your local college or library.
  • Organize a demonstration.

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Action Alert Archives Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:19:53 -0600
You Can Stop the Carnage http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12670-you-can-stop-the-carnage.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12670-you-can-stop-the-carnage.html

Actions You Can Take to Stop the Carnage in Gaza:

According to a White House statement issued yesterday, President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks. “The President expressed concern about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm,” the statement said. “The United States remains prepared to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 cease-fire agreement.”

But that’s not enough. Americans should end aid to Israel unless it stops attacks on Palestinians now.

In its attempt to provide “balance,” U.S. media is showing Israelis intermittently heading for bomb shelters, but packing restaurants, bars and pubs as usual each evening, confident in the knowledge that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system (paid for by American tax dollars) will protect them from any rockets that actually pose a threat. Meanwhile, the residents of Gaza have nowhere to hide: Their homes and towns have no bomb shelters.

While Egypt has opened its borders to ambulances carrying critically wounded patients, Gazan families cannot exit their tiny enclave to find safety in Egypt or other neighboring countries—unlike Syrian and Iraqi civilians who find themselves in harm’s way. More than 1.5 million Gazans are trapped as Israel deploys American-made F-16 fighter jets to fire deadly missiles at homes in crowded neighborhoods. This is in clear violation of the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which states that U.S.-supplied weapons can be used only for “legitimate self-defense” and “internal security.”

Palestinian flags

Here are actions you can take to stop the carnage in Gaza, and prevent Israel’s impending ground attack:

  1. Organize a protest in your hometown…Reach out to universities, churches, mosques and synagogues to ask their members to join your demonstration. A groundswell of U.S. public opinion dissuaded President Obama from attacking Syria. We can stop the carnage in Gaza now.
  2. Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper or TV and radio station. Make it brief and to the point. Add comments about Gaza to any article you read online.
  3. Write or phone the White House, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.
  4. Hang a Palestinian flag outside your home or office to show your support. After the attacks on 9/11, Americans placed flags on their cars and windows. We can do that to show our support for reconciliation and a real peace agreement now. Don’t have a flag? You can order one from Middleeastbooks.com or make one yourself. You can also place a candle in your window to show you want peace.

For more information please visit Rememberthesechildren.org.

Palestinian and Israelis already have lost too many precious children in this conflict. Demand an end to the bloodshed now.

What You Can Do:

1. Urge U.S. government officials and United Nations representatives to tell Israel and Egypt to open the crossings to the Gaza Strip. Contact:

• John Kerry, U.S. State Department: Call 202-647-6575, select option 8 or 202-647-5291 option #1 and ask the operator for the comment line.

• Your elected officials: Visit “Vital Activist Resources” on our Web site to contact your member of Congress or call Congress 202-224-3121 or email through www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

• President Barack Obama: Call 202-456-1111  or Fax: 202-456-2461 or e-mail http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

• Office of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations sgcentral@un.org 

 

2. Call or write your local newspaper and ask them to cover the crisis in Gaza. 

• Write the editor a letter. Make it brief and to the point.

• Add comments about Gaza at the end of any article you read in that newspaper about the Middle East. 

• Google a photo about the Gaza crisis. With a graphic program add the words: Gaza Aid Now. Put the picture on Facebook and get people to like it.   

• Hold a teach-in about Gaza at your local college or library; Hold a demonstration.

 

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:

American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

 

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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Action Alert Archives Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:37:08 -0600
Hoping to Survive in Gaza http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12669-hoping-to-survive-in-gaza.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12669-hoping-to-survive-in-gaza.html

Nowhere to Run

Article and photos by Mohammed Omer in Gaza

Palestinian boy inspecting damage following overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City.

July 9, 2014: I am writing this as ambulance and rescue crews continue to search for bodies. Among the ones they have uncovered so far are those of 4-year-old Mohammed Nawasra, whose body was found underneath the ruins of his home in the Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, his 5-year-old brother, Nidal, and their 29-year-old mother, Sumoud Nawasra. Miriam Nawasra, 83, and Khalaf Nawasra, 29, were found alive, but critically injured. The Nawasra house in Maghazi refugee camp was targeted by an Israeli F-16 missile. No one knows why. Their home was bombed at 5:30 a.m., as the family slept.

Most of the stretchers rescue workers carried into Gaza’s hospitals were filled with arms, legs and scattered pieces of human torso and flesh, torn into pieces by Israeli missiles.

Gaza is currently enduring one of Israel's heaviest bombings. In the last hour, during and after Iftar, the meal breaking the daily Ramadan fast, 80 air strikes were launched on Gaza, according to Israeli sources. These strikes targeted homes, streets, schools, mosques, governmental buildings, greenhouses and agricultural fields.

The number of people killed grows relentlessly. According to Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad Al Bizm, as of today 192 of the injured are children and women, and, in addition to the Nawasra family home, 63 others have been bombed. The list of casualties changes by the minute. [The BBC reported July 10 that as of 10:35 a.m EDT, 80 Gazans have been killed and 540 injured.] The Interior Ministry stated that Israel has launched 780 Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Every few minutes throughout the Gaza Strip one hears the resulting explosions.

As I write this, the Israeli Military has suggested a ground operation may be imminent. Indeed, troops and weapons have been assembling on the border. Israel’s navy has joined the battle as well, and is shelling Gaza from the sea. At this very moment I can hear missiles fired from Israeli warships hitting the homes and fishing boats of Palestinian fishermen.

Palestinian man is sitting on the ruins of what remains from his farm in Gaza City after Israeli airstrike overnight

In Gaza we all suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—it comes with the territory, our territory, that Israel attacks so violently. I don’t want my son to have PTSD. He doesn’t deserve that; he is a child, our gift.

Now, however, F-16s pound Gaza as drones buzz overhead and Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” continues. There is no moment of relief or rest for anyone trapped in Gaza, as Israeli bombs target yet another neighborhood—God help its terrified residents.

As I write this, news arrives of a group of teenagers killed while watching the World Cup match between the Netherlands and Argentina: 6 boys dead and more than 10 injured by a missile which struck the café on the beach in Khan Younis where, like soccer fans around the world, they were watching the game.

Now a haze of smoke arises from nearby buildings struck by Israeli missiles. One thing I do know for sure is that American-made F-16s are sucking the air—and life—out of the lungs of my family and neighbors in Gaza. No sirens, no shelters, no bunkers, no womb to hide in. Only the dead are safe and at rest.

I don't know what else to say. I think we are going to die. It makes me sad that I cannot protect the child I made, I can't protect him from these missiles. I just can't. I don't have the superpower to end this madness.

UPDATED FIGURES: 

Total: 1008 Israeli airstrikes, 839 Palestinian rockets, 138 Pal houses bombed. 90 Pals killed, 633 injured 
 

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

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Action Alert Archives Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:03:30 -0600
June in Numbers http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12668-june-in-numbers.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12668-june-in-numbers.html

 

Washington Report

1902 18th St NW • Washington, DC 20009 | (800) 368-5788 • Fax: (202) 265-4574


 

June in Numbers

IRAQ:

More than 1,000 killed in Iraq violence in June

500,000 existing refugee population in Iraq

300,000 additional refugees throughout June as fighting between Islamist militants and the government continued

(Sources: http://online.wsj.com/articles/refugee-numbers-in-iraq-rise-by-300-000-amid-fighting-1402665943http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/iraq-violence-killed-more-1-000-june-united-nations-n139116http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48117)

SYRIA:

1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon

35 percent of Lebanon’s population are Syrian refugees

30,000 people, including Lebanese, without access to safe drinking water

20 percent unemployment rate in Lebanon, compared to 10 percent last year

(Sources: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jul-04/262612-syrians-to-constitute-third-of-lebanese-population.ashx#axzz36trxe91Yhttp://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/07/04/Lebanon-FM-warns-of-strife-over-Syria-refugee-crisis-.html)

PALESTINE:

Between June 13-June 22:

118 Palestinians injured in Israeli attacks

454 Israeli military raids, 42 settler attacks recorded

471 Palestinians detained, including 11 parliamentarians

22 parliamentarians detained in Israeli prisoners

(Source: PLO media brief)

Gaza: 

1.7 million population

1.2 million Palestinian refugees in Gaza whose families were expelled from their homes in what is now southern Israel

$0 Amount of compensation Palestinian refugees in Gaza have received for the billions of dollars of property taken from them by Israelis in Beersheva, Sderot, etc.

More than 500,000 Gazans still live in the eight recognized refugee camps, “which have one of the highest population densities in the world”

7 years since Israel allowed Palestinians of Gaza to export what they produce

38.5 percent unemployment rate in Gaza as a result of Israeli blockade

25 percent estimated unemployment rate in U.S. during the Great Depression

13.2 percent of children in Gaza suffer from acute malnutrition

18.9 percent of children in Gaza suffer from anemia

10 percent of Gaza’s water is potable

8 years before Gaza becomes “uninhabitable,” according the U.N.

1 Gaza’s only airport was rendered inoperable by Israeli airstrikes

0 Number of ports Israel allows to operate on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast

(Source: UNRWA, http://www.juancole.com/2014/07/numbers-people-there.html)

Compiled by Dina Salah ElDin

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

 

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Action Alert Archives Tue, 08 Jul 2014 19:45:02 -0600
DC Monastery Holds Holy Land Festival http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12667-dc-monastery-holds-holy-land-festival.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12667-dc-monastery-holds-holy-land-festival.html

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Action Alert Archives Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:57:10 -0600
Mourning the Deaths of All Children; Update From Jerusalem http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12666-mourning-the-deaths-of-all-children-update-from-jerusalem.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12666-mourning-the-deaths-of-all-children-update-from-jerusalem.html

Mourning the Deaths of All Children; Update From Jerusalem

Tragically, the bodies of the three Jewish teenagers who had gone missing on June 12 were buried yesterday. Their disappearance and deaths were and continue to be covered extensively by this country’s mainstream media. We mourn their deaths—as we do those of innocent children everywhere.

Early this morning the body of a 16-year-old Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Hussein AbuKhdeir, was found in a Jerusalem forest, the morning after witnesses saw him being forced into a car in front of an East Jerusalem supermarket in what was believed to be a revenge killing for the murder of the three young Israelis. Will The New York Times have several accounts of the lives of Muhammad and his grieving family, as they did of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach? Will we even know what he looked like before his charred body was found?

Since the second intifada broke out in September 2002, 1,657 Palestinian and Israeli children under the age of 18 have lost their lives. Of these, 1,526 were Palestinian and 131 Israeli. We urge you to visit the website www.rememberthesechildren.org, which lists the names of all the young victims of the past 14 years. Each year—each month—we hope that there will be no new names to add. Perhaps the recent tragic events in occupied Palestine will cause the world to recommit itself to a just and peaceful solution to a conflict that continues to claim far too many young lives.

Meanwhile, Washington Report contributor Samah Jabr, who lives in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, as did Muhammad Abu Khdeir, sent us the following account of recent events:

July 2, 2014

Unequal in Life and Death

This morning I woke up to the sound of helicopters, police cars and ambulances, as clashes erupted in our hitherto peaceful East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. Israeli security forces were shooting at Palestinian youth protesting the killing of 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir, who was snatched from our neighborhood on his way to dawn prayer. Eyewitnesses saw Muhammed being forced into a vehicle and informed the police.

A few hours later, Israeli police found his body in the Jerusalem forest, in the village of Deir Yassin—almost like a flashback to a scene from the traumatic massacre inflicted on the village more than six decades ago! Muhammed had been stabbed, his body charred and disfigured. Just the previous night, Israelis had tried to kidnap Mousa Zalloum, 10, who was saved thanks to the brave resistance of his mother, Deema. Both lived to tell their story.

Incitement and Revenge

Immediately following the June 12 kidnapping of three Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank—in an area over which Israel has full military and civilian control—Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced that “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.” The Israeli army proceeded to launch violent raids and impose curfews and closures across the West Bank, killing a dozen youths, re-arresting members of parliament and freed prisoners, and demolishing the homes of suspects before any evidence was provided to the public or to a court of law. It would not surprise me if the accused Palestinians are assassinated, so that only the Israeli narrative survives.

The Israeli military escalation since June 12 was not just about finding the three missing settlers, however. The Netanyahu regime took advantage of the situation to elicit international sympathy following the worldwide criticism of Israel’s role in freezing peace negotiations. Israel imposed collective punishment against the Palestinian people, restricting movement throughout the West Bank and banning non-Jewish Hebronites from leaving the country, implementing brutal incursions and searches into Palestinian homes, towns and refugee camps, arresting many, and killing whoever was perceived as a threat.

These Israeli actions have served to further disempower Palestine’s unity government and fan the flames of polarization. Moreover, Israeli leaders and propagandists created a hostile anti-Palestinian climate characterized by the extreme dehumanization of Palestinians, including children, in official and social media alike. Following the discovery of the three settlers’ bodies, Netanyahu said, “They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” and "They sanctify death, we sanctify life." He also spoke about "a broad moral gulf (that) separates us from our enemies." Benny Kashriel, mayor of the illegal Ma’ale Adumim settlement, called on Israeli authorities to construct new settlement units in the West Bank in response to the killing of the three Israeli settlers. Slogans like "death to the Arabs" and “No Arabs, no terror attacks” became increasingly strident among the Israeli public.

World leaders and diplomats, who don’t know the names of any of the Palestinian kids killed on an almost daily basis, deplored in the strongest terms the killing of the three settlers, mentioning them by name. But what about Youssef Shawamra, 15, who was killed in March while harvesting the wild thorny vegetable gundelia (Akkoub) in Deir Al Asal, south of Hebron; or Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who was watching a World Cup match when the Israelis came to arrest people at Al Jalazoun refugee camp and shot and killed Ahmad as he went out to see what was going on? Saker Daraghmeh, 16, was killed in Tayaseer village near the Jordan Valley while shepherding his cattle. Mahmoud Odeh and Nadeem Nawara, the two teenagers killed while commemorating the Nakba, did not receive anywhere near the international attention bestowed on the three young Jewish settlers! The killing of a Palestinian is not seen as horrific as that of an Israeli; our pain is not sensed as acutely as is theirs. The unfair equating of Palestinian responsibility for the alleged acts of a few individuals with the formal responsibility of a democratically elected Israeli government for the actions of its army is yet another insult to logic and reason often committed by the friends of Israel.

In fact, no Israeli has ever received a serious sentence for killing a Palestinian. Today, following the killing of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, Israeli troops are invading Shuafat—not his killers’ neighborhood! They likely will remain anonymous, their homes will not be demolished, there will be no closure imposed on Israeli neighborhoods, nor will Israeli settlers be prevented from going to work or traveling abroad. The rabbis and settler leaders who incite their followers will continue to do so with impunity.

Since it first occupied our land, Israel has kidnapped our freedom, our lives, and our opportunities. As long as the killing of a gentile is taken more lightly than the killing of a Jew, as long as there is this huge discrepancy in human worth and lack of validation of the Palestinian experience, as long as Israel remains the only author of this land’s narrative and the only political player who counts, death and nihilism will continue to kidnap our life opportunities—Israelis and Palestinians alike.

 

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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Action Alert Archives Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:39:14 -0600
Something to Celebrate: All Charges Dismissed Against Sami Al-Arian http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12665-something-to-celebrate-all-charges-dismissed-against-sami-al-arian.html http://www.wrmea.org/action-alert-archives/12665-something-to-celebrate-all-charges-dismissed-against-sami-al-arian.html

Something to Celebrate: All Charges Dismissed Against Sami Al-Arian

It’s great to have good news to share! We were beyond delighted to hear that the federal government finally has dropped all charges against Dr. Sami Al-Arian, who e-mailed the long-awaited news to the Washington Report: “From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all our friends for standing by our family all these difficult years. Freedom is precious and the victory to attain it is sweet indeed,” he wrote. “My family and I truly appreciate and value your continuous love, support and prayers. We consider our ordeal to be part of the continuous struggle for truth, justice, freedom and dignity.”

True to form, in his e-mail Al-Arian did not forget the many others still awaiting justice: “Today there are hundreds of political prisoners in this country and thousands abroad that also need the support and prayers of conscientious and brave voices like yours,” he reminded his friends and supporters. “We pray in these blessed days of Ramadan that they will also be remembered and provided continuous support in their struggle for justice and freedom.”

STATEMENT FROM AL-ARIAN FAMILY June 27, 2014

We are glad that the government has finally decided to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian. It has been a long and difficult 11 years for our family in what has ultimately been shown to be a political case. We are relieved that this ordeal finally appears to be at an end. We hope that today’s events bring to a conclusion the government’s pursuit of Dr. Al-Arian and that he can finally be able to resume his life with his family in freedom.

We are so grateful to our brilliant attorney, Jonathan Turley and his legal team for their tireless efforts and advocacy on our behalf. Thank you to all of our supporters around the country and across the globe, who have stood behind us throughout the years.

_____________________________________________________

From attorney Jonathan Turley’s blog: federal court drops all charges

The Washington Post handled Dr. Al-Arian’s news in its typically biased manner. The first report by Matt Zapotosky neglected to mention that a jury had failed to convict Dr. Al-Arian of a single charge brought against him: Washington Post

The Associated Press report is an improvement: AP

The Washington Report has covered the persecution of Dr. Sami Al-Arian and other Muslim Americans for many years, including the following articles:

The Ordeal of Dr. Sami Al-Arian:

Related Articles:

Stephen Downs, Esq. and Kathy Manley, Esq., Why All Americans Should Care About the Holy Land Foundation Case, Jan./Feb. 2013 Washington Report, p. 17

John Sugg, What People in Nashville Now Know About Steven Emerson, Jan./Feb. 2011 Washington Report, p. 25

Stephen Downs, Esq., New York State Capital Takes Stand Against Pre-emptive Prosecution of Muslims, July 2010 Washington Report, p. 28

Muslim-American Activism, On the 4th of July, Protesters Call for Freedom for Muslim Prisoners, Sept./Oct. 2009 Washington Report, p. 56

Human Rights, Al-Arian Supporters Hold Press Conference, July 2009 Washington Report, p. 58

James G. Abourezk, What Goes Around, Comes Around, July 2009 Washington Report, p. 24

Muslim-American Activism, Criminalizing Compassion in the “War on Terror, Sept./Oct. 2007 Washington Report, p. 48

Katherine Hughes, Dr. Rafil A. Dhafir at Terre Haute Prison’s New Communications Management Unit, May/June 2007 Washington Report, p. 12

April 2007 PostcardPlease modify Dr. Sami Al-Arian’s current sentence of civil contempt

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AET is a non-profit foundation that publishes the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (www.wrmea.org) and maintains the AET Bookstore (middleeastbooks.com).

Click here to make a secure donation, or send your donation to:

American Educational Trust
1902 18th St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Thank you for your support.

 

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, P.O. Box 53062, Washington DC 20009. Phone: (202) 939-6050, Fax: (202) 265-4574, Toll Free: (800) 368-5788, www.wrmea.org. To donate or subscribe to the Washington Report, please visit our Web site or call 888-881-5861 or e-mail circulation@wrmea.org. The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust, a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states. Material from the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs may be printed without charge with attribution to the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.

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Action Alert Archives Mon, 30 Jun 2014 23:19:57 -0600