Archive

Archive for the ‘Palestine’ Category

‘Israeli Troops Killed Gaza Civilians in Revenge’ Israeli soldier reveals


Eran Efrati

Former combat soldier and company sergeant of the Israeli army turned whistle-blower Eran Efrati, aged 28, was arrested by the Israeli authorities and questioned concerning his research regarding the use of illegal weapons in Gaza.

On Tuesday, July 29, Efrati announced on Facebook that he received information from sources within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) revealing what he claims to be the real reason for the Shuja’iyya massacre which occurred nine days prior on July 20: namely that civilians were targeted and killed by Israeli soldiers as punishment for the death of soldiers in their units.

In recent weeks I was on the border of Gaza and getting reports from soldiers in the Gaza Strip who leak information out to me. I am in the process of publication of two big stories in major U.S. newspapers, but there are some things I can share with you right now: Soldiers in two different units inside Gaza leaked information about the murdering of Palestinians by sniper fire in Shuja’iyya neighborhood as punishment for the death of soldiers in their units. After the shooting on the Israeli armored personnel carriers, which killed seven soldiers of the Golani Brigade, the Israeli army carried out a massacre in Shuja’iyya neighborhood. A day after the massacre, many Palestinians came to search for their relatives and their families in the rubble. In one of the videos uploaded to YouTube, a young Palestinian man Salem Shammaly calls the names of his family and looking for them between the ruins when he is suddenly shot at in his chest and falls down. A few seconds after that, there are two additional shootings from snipers into his body, killing him instantly. Since the video was released, there was no official response from the IDF spokesperson. Today I can report that the official command that was handed down to the soldiers in Shujaiyya was to capture Palestinian homes as outposts. From these posts, the soldiers drew an imaginary red line, and amongst themselves decided to shoot to death anyone who crosses it. Anyone crossing the line was defined as a threat to their outposts, and was thus deemed a legitimate target. This was the official reasoning inside the units. I was told that the unofficial reason was to enable the soldiers to take out their frustrations and pain at losing their fellow soldiers (something that for years the IDF has not faced during its operations in Gaza and the West Bank), out on the Palestinian refugees in the neighborhood. Under the pretext of the so-called “security threat” soldiers were directed to carry out a pre-planned attack of revenge on Palestinian civilians. These stories join many other similar ones that Amira Hass and I investigated in Operation Cast Lead. The death toll that continues to rise is steadily reaching the numbers of the massacre of 2009.
More than 1,100 have been killed in Gaza, at least 80 percent of them civilians. Today it is cleared for publication that at least 4 soldiers were killed by a rocket in a gathering area outside of Gaza, and another soldier was killed in Gaza. They join 43 soldiers that have already been killed. We know that more acts of revenge will come soon and it is important that we not stay silent. This is the time to take to the streets and to social media. Demand from your representative wherever you are to stop supporting this massacre and to immediately boycott the state of Israel until the occupation ends, the blockade is lifted and Palestinians will be free. We all want to be in the right place at the right time when history knocks on our door, and history is knocking in Gaza right now. You need to decide on which side you want to go down in history.

In addition to being arrested and questioned, Efrati had both his Facebook and email accounts blocked and apparently received death threats aimed at keeping him silent. He wrote:

In recent days I was arrested by authorities and questioned about my research regarding the use of illegal weapons in Gaza, my mail and Facebook accounts were blocked, And I received strong hints that my life is at risk and I need to be silent and keep low. But I’m not going anywhere.
They may close my communication channels again,but that does not mean I’m not here, I’ll find a way to get the information out to you,and I trust you will echo it on, go down with it to the streets ,And demand your representatives, your government to stop funding the slaughter in your name,to boycott Israel and to stop the bloodshed in Gaza. The whole world is watching now, history is being made.
I’m counting on you.

The Shuja’iyya massacre took place during intense fighting between Hamas forces and the Israeli military. The killing resulted in the death of 72 Palestinians, among whom 17 were children. It also resulted in the death of 13 Israeli soldiers.

The video of the wounded Palestinian who was shot by a sniper was released by the International Solidarity Movement and can be viewed below. [Warning: The video is graphic, viewer’s discretion advised.]

The massacre was described by Amnesty International as tantamount to possible war crimes:

The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling of a hospital, add to the list of possible war crimes that demand an urgent independent international investigation, said Amnesty International.

[…]

The Israeli military said that Shuja’iyyeh, a densely populated area with some 92,000 residents east of Gaza City, had been targeted because it was a “fortress” housing rockets, tunnels and command centres. Israeli military and government officials have repeatedly said that civilians were warned to evacuate the area days before it was attacked.

However, many civilians in Shuja’iyyeh and other areas did not evacuate because they had nowhere to go. All the UNRWA schools and other facilities opened as shelters are overflowing. Issuing warnings to evacuate entire areas does not absolve Israeli forces of their obligations to protect civilians under international humanitarian law.

“The relentless bombardment of Shuja’iyyeh and other civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, as well as the continuing indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israel, demand urgent international action to prevent further violations. The UN should impose an arms embargo on all sides, and all states should immediately suspend transfers of military equipment to Israel, Hamas, and other Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip,” said Philip Luther.

Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders accused Israel of indiscriminate bombing:

“While official claims that the objective of the ground offensive is to destroy tunnels into Israel, what we see on the ground is that bombing is indiscriminate and that those who die are civilians,” said Nicolas Palarus, MSF’s project coordinator in Gaza.

At the time of writing, Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” has claimed the lives of more than 1,650 and wounded nearly 9,000 Palestinians. Israel says the assault is targeting Hamas for firing hundreds of rockets across the border into Israel. Seventy-five percent of the Palestinians killed in this offensive have been civilians. Since the offensive started on June 8, 62 Israeli soldiers have been killed in fighting in Gaza, and three civilians killed and around 400 injured in rocket attacks in Israel.

Besides being a member of Anarchists Against the Wall and the pro-BDS Boycott from Within, Efrati was a member of Breaking The Silence*, an Israeli NGO comprised of former IDF soldiers whose aim is “to raise awareness amongst the public about the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.”

Here’s a lecture he gave in Colorado as part of The Soldier and the Refusenik U.S. tour with Maya Wind a few months ago:

This is Israel’s third military operation in Gaza in 6 years. Israel has bombed residential neighborhoods, schools, a playground, hospitals, shelters and refugee camps. On July 28, Israel attacked the only power plant in Gaza, plunging the congested strip of 1.8 million people into darkness. UN shelters are struggling to accommodate more than 250,000 Gaza residents who are fleeing the violence or whose homes have been destroyed by bombings. Six UN shelters have come under attack by Israeli forces. Excessive restrictions from Israel in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank is why most of the world and the United Nations considers this territory “occupied” by Israel.

[*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that Efrati is a member of Breaking The Silence. He is no longer involved in it and has not worked with this organisation for four years.]

Publicity Campaign of Israel playing the good samaritan


By Marivel Guzman

Why now that Israel is bombing every inch of Gaza it is allowing the European Donations to enter Gaza?
Do you wonder the same? When there is time of cease fire of relative calm Israel makes the food go rotten in their warehouse waiting to be transported to Gaza, the trucks  wait hours to enter, and now! all of the sudden it is allowing all these supplies into Gaza.
Now that Israel is killing every Palestinian, now that it is flattening every neighborhood, destroying entire residential buildings, with people or without it, mosques followed  the same luck, schools empty and full of refugees.
These is the most sick joke Israel plays to Gaza and to the world.
Just yesterday bomb one of United Nations Relief and Works Agency, that it knew was being used as shelter as many of 100,000 Palestinians become homeless.
The first news came to us through our friends in Gaza, Prof Abdewahed sent me a private message with the following.

“Two hours ago, in my neighborhood, Israeli drones and F16 demolished a 4 storey building. Casualties rise up dramatically. Its mid-day. 52 have been reported killed today 24 July 2014 Thousands of displaced Palestinians stay at UNRWA schools. One school in north of Gaza in Beit Hanoun village has been targeted minutes ago!!! First reports mention 10 people killed!!! Reports mention 4 artillery rockets have fallen in the yard of the UNRWA school killing 10 and injuring around 150 people. This is beyond the capacity of the ambulances available and the small hospital in the area. 60 martyr so far in today’s bombing!”

Then few minutes later he sent another message
Israeli soldiers in Khuzaa take Palestinian homes as shelters and Palestinians as human shield.
Is this considered war crime? hell it is.
Israel purposely targetted a school that it knew has refugee displaced, majority children.

“106 truckloads carrying over 1,800 tons of food, materials & agricultural supplies crossed into the strip. ” says the I@IsraelMFA  Israel Foreign Min. twitter account.

I save a status from a friend from Gaza, I sent it as a twitter for the record of history.

screen shot of Israel Foreign Minister twitt, published  1:10 PM - 24 Jul 2014

screen shot of Israel Foreign Minister twitt, published 1:10 PM – 24 Jul 2014

 

 

UN Rights Council Probe into Israel allegued ‘war crimes’


As civilian casualties rise in Gaza, UN Rights Council agrees probe into alleged ‘war crimes’

Report from UN.org

A boy looks through a schoolbook as he sits in the rubble of a home destroyed during an Israeli air strike on the city of Khan Yunis. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0894/El Baba

23 July 2014 – The United Nations Human Rights Council today decided to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Meeting in an emergency session today, the Council adopted a resolution agreeing to send the investigative team by a vote of 29 countries in favour, with 17 abstentions and a sole negative vote by the United States, in which it strongly condemned the failure of Israel to end its prolonged occupation of the area.

The Council condemned in the strongest terms the “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” arising from the Israeli military operations since 13 June, and called for an immediate ceasefire.

“The Council further condemned all violence against civilians wherever it occurred, including the killing of two Israeli civilians as a result of rocket fire,” according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In the resolution, the Council also demanded that Israel immediately reopen the occupied Gaza Strip and called upon the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and services to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Navi Pillay, who opened the special session, said that the current is the third serious escalation of hostilities in the area during the six years that she has been the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. As in 2009 and 2012 “children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities” suffer the most.

Meeting in emergency session, the UN Human Rights Council voted to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. UN/Violaine Martin

Kyung-Wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that since the Israeli military launched operation “Protective Edge” on 7 July, over 600 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip and another 3,504 were injured. In addition, 28 Israelis, including the two civilians cited in the Council’s resolution, were killed.

“In Gaza, 443 or 74 per cent of the killed are civilians,” Ms. Kang said. “One third of civilians killed so far are children. One child has been killed each hour in Gaza over the past two days.”

Both officials deplored that every seven-year-old girl and boy in Gaza today has lived their entire life under siege, as the most recent fighting is their third major conflict and humanitarian catastrophe, compounding the humanitarian crisis caused by the seven year blockade of the enclave.

“One child has been killed each hour in Gaza over the past two days,” said Kyung-Wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, told the Human Rights Council. UN/Violaine Martin

“I unequivocally reiterate to all actors in this conflict that civilians must not be targeted,” Ms. Pillay said. “It is imperative that Israel, Hamas and all Palestinian armed groups strictly abide by applicable norms of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.”

She underscored the importance of applying principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives, as well as proportionality and precautions in attack.

“Not abiding by these principles may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the High Commissioner said.

In a refugee camp in the city of Rafah, a Palestinian girl stands in the ruins of her home, destroyed in an airstrike (12 July 2014). Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0911/El Baba

She also called for an end to the culture of impunity and underscored that credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity from earlier escalations of hostilities in Gaza must be properly investigated as “so far, they have not been”.

Noting that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was currently in the region hoping to bolster support for a ceasefire, Ms. Pillay said she hoped that the parties will respond positively, but cautioned that a lasting peace can only begin with respect for human rights and human dignity, and in the full realization of the right to self-determination.

“All these dead and maimed civilians should weigh heavily on all our consciences. I know that they weigh heavily on mine,” she said, adding that efforts to protect civilians so far have been “abject failures”.

A young girl waiting to cross into Egypt with her family cries at the Rafah Border Crossing in southern Gaza. Egypt has opened the crossing to allow injured Palestinians to receive treatment. Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-0902/El Baba

“More powerful entities, such as the Security Council, and individual States with serious leverage over the parties to this dreadful and interminable conflict, must do far more than they have done so far to bring this conflict to an end once and for all,” she urged.

The Human Rights Commissioner had also reiterated her calls for the blockade on Gaza to be lifted. The blockade, which has destroyed the area’s economy, has resulted in high unemployment rates and a growing dependence on international aid.

The latest round of conflict has disrupted water and sanitation services, as well as electricity, including the Gaza Power Plant which was shut down yesterday.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has highlighted the negative impact violence has on children both physically and psychologically. Photo by Shareef Sarhan

The Council also heard from Makarim Wibisono, the Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, who spoke on behalf of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.

He noted that in addition to killing people, the fighting had destroyed homes leaving several thousand families homeless. At the same time, Mr. Wibisono stressed that the right of the Palestinian people to resist occupation could not justify the launching of thousands of rockets and mortars directed against Israeli civilians.

At least 2,000 rockets and mortars have reportedly been fired towards Israel since earlier this month, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Two children stand in front of a house that police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Maghazi refugee camp in Center Gaza Strip. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Meanwhile, over 2,900 targets in Palestine were struck during the same period, the UN agency confirmed.

The fighting has forced approximately 118,000 Palestinians to seek refuge in 77 schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA’s Director of Legal Affairs, Lance Bartholomeusz, told the Council.

This figure is about 6 per cent of Gaza’s population, and double the peak in UNRWA shelters during the 2008 to 2009 conflict, Mr. Bartholomeusz said.

Civilians in Gaza have no safe place to go with 44 per cent of the land declared a ‘no-go zone’ by the Israeli army, according to OCHA.

The UNRWA facilities are not immune to destruction. At least 18 medical facilities, include five UNRWA health clinics have been hit by airstrikes and shelling. In addition, at least one school was hit on Monday alone, then a second time on Tuesday when UN humanitarian workers went to survey the damage.

The UN agency is appealing for $115 million and humanitarian agencies are expected to issue a full Flash Appeal in the coming days, Ms. Kagan said.

The Japanese Red Army’s Black Widow — Fusako Shigenobu


Posted on December 27, 2012 by Akashma Online News

Principal story by John S. Craig, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Japanese Red Army (JRA)

UPDATED with materials from the internet from different sources by Marivel Guzman.
All the information provided in this article is done with the purpose of informing the public of events that occurred more than 30 years ago.  Events that had shaped our present reality.

All the material presented here needs to be revised. The official story had been the only story known to the public at the time of publication from the original sources.

The JRA was considered a terrorist organization by the government of Japan. But there is always the other side of the story. The story behind the curtain that covers the life of ordinary citizens.

As you read this compendium, research the works of Prof. Rachael M. Rudolph, who has done studies on resistance movements and had published books on the matter. Also, consider the role of mainstream media and the dissemination of information, which could have not been verified.

“I regard myself as a political prisoner, in as much as I fought with all my strength to improve Japanese and international society, and to help the Palestinian people,” Fusako Shigenobu.

The JRA was an international group formed in Japan around 1970 after breaking away from the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. Shigenobu was one of the known leaders of JRA up until her arrest in Japan in November, 2000.

The movement was officially disbanded by Shigenobu on 2001 from her prison cell and proclaimed the armed struggle over. “If I am released I will continue the fight, but through peaceful means. The armed struggle was closely related to historical circumstances, and what is right in one time and place may not be right in another,” she said during her interview to the Guardian..

Fusako Shigenobu

Fusako Shigenobu

The JRA’s historical goal has been to overthrow the Japanese government and monarchy and to help foment world revolution. After her arrest, Shigenobu announced she intended to pursue her goals using a legitimate political party rather than revolutionary violence, and the group announced it would disband in April, 2001. JRA may control or at least have ties to the Anti-Imperialist International Brigade (AIIB) and also may have links to the Antiwar Democratic Front—an overt leftist political organization—inside Japan. Details released following Shigenobu’s arrest indicate that the JRA was organizing cells in Asian cities, such as Manila and Singapore. The group had a history of close relations with Palestinian resistance groups—based and operating outside Japan—since its inception, primarily through Shigenobu.

Shigenobu could be very well known  as  on of the survivors of the first Nuclear blast in history; Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a devastating terrorist attack on the unarmed civilian population of Japan.

She was one of the principal leaders of the group known as the Japanese Red Army, Shigenobu, nicknamed “Mata Hari” by her revolutionary colleagues and also known as the “Red Queen of Terror.”

Fusako Shigenobu-The Children of the Revolution, The story told by the daughters of two revolutionary Japanese  leaders of a movement that started on the 60's-May and Bettina.

Fusako Shigenobu-The Children of the Revolution, The story told by the daughters of two revolutionary Japanese leaders of a movement that started on the 60’s-May and Bettina.

Shigenobu was born in 1945 only a few weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Her father was a member of right-wing organization, the Blood Oath League, dedicated to ridding Japan of corrupt politicians. Due to her family’s poverty, she was unable to afford college. A remarkably beautiful young woman, she eventually married and supported herself as a topless dancer writing, “I hated the men who pawed me . . . I had murder in my heart . . . I saw every kiss turn into a rice ball for the Red Army.” Her social misery led her to the promise of communism’s elimination of hunger and social status. Determined to place the JRA on the terror map, she allied her group with terrorists that already had made their mark in the world: the Palestinian terror groups, claiming that the “revolution is my lover.”

At a 1972 meeting the Japanese Red Army was asked by Dr. Wadi Haddad,  a founder of the PFLP, to help avenge the failure of a hijacking of an El Al plane. On May 30, 1972 three Japanese Red Army terrorists, in a suicidal fervor akin to the ancient Japanese spirit of kamikaze, fired indiscriminately in the Tel Aviv airport with VZT-58 Czech automatic rifles killing 24 , and injuring 78. Many of the victims were Puerto Ricans on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

One of the shooters was Takeshi Okudaira, the husband of Fusako Shigenobu. Due to a previous arrest, Shigenobu was unable to leave Japan and travel to the Middle East to expand the Japanese Red Army’s revolution. She married Okudaira and the marriage of convenience allowed her to leave the country with a new name. She then conveniently ordered her husband to be part of a suicide squad that would attack bystanders at the Tel Aviv airport. All three were trained for seven weeks by PFLP. Two of the three attackers were killed, Yasuda Yasuyuki and Okudaira. The surviving Japanese Red Army , Kozo Okamoto, used a fake passport with the name Daisuke Namba, the name of the man who had attempted an assassination of Crown Prince Hirohito in 1923.

The connection with the PFLP had started in 1970 when an Iraqi revolutionary, Bassim, traveled to Tokyo and established contact with the Japanese Red Army. The two groups made a film called Revolutionary War Declared. Okamoto was involved in the showing of the film at a university and eventually became involved in the Japanese Red Army. Before being convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in an Israeli court, Okamoto described the link between his Japanese Red Army and the PFLP as a means to propel the Japanese Red Army on the world stage, claiming the Arab world lacked “spiritual fervor, so we felt that through this attempt we could stir up the Arab world. The present world order has given Israel power, which has been denied the Arab refugees.” The PFLP praised the attack. The PFLP’s Abu Sherif rationalized the atrocity as an attack against Zionism and imperialism. Shigenobu declared the massacre was to “consolidate the international revolutionary alliance against the imperialists of the world.”

Okamoto was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in 1985 during a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Palestinians. During his prison time he converted to Islam, then wished to be converted to Judaism and tried to circumcise himself with a pair of nail clippers. In 1975 he called himself a Christian. When he was released in Libya in 1985 he was greeted as a hero and met by Fusako Shigenobu. He was later arrested in 1997 with five Japanese Red Army companions in Lebanon for carrying false identity papers and again did some jail time.

Black September was encouraged by the success of the Japanese Red Army. In August of 1972, the group successfully destroyed a Trans-Alpine oil terminal at the Adriatic port of Trieste, Italy but failed in another mission when they tried to blow up an Israeli El Al Boeing 707 in mid-air. However, their next and most infamous attack would occur in the RAF’s backyard: the Munich Olympics. Abu Iyad and Abu Daoud were the main masterminds. Iyad would eventually be murdered in 1991 by direct orders of Sadam Hussein through one of Abu Nidal’s hitmen, possibly because Iyad condemned Hussein’s attack on Kuwait.

Shigenobu secretly returned to Japan and was arrested in Osaka in November 2000 and remains imprisoned in Japan. In February of 2006, she was sentenced to 20 years for involvement in kidnapping of embassy workers of a French Embassy in The Hague during a 1974 Japanese Red Army operation. She is also believed to have played key roles in a 1975 seizure of the U.S. consulate in Kuala Lumpu, a 1977 hijacking of a Japan Airlines jet over India, and a bomb attack on a club for U.S. servicemen in Naples in 1988 that resulted in the death of five Americans.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Shigenobu, 63, said: “It is time that Japanese people like me, who fought for a political cause in an attempt to create a better society, are offered a political way out of the deadlock.”

 

%d bloggers like this: