Israel

After 77 days on hunger strike in protest against his arbitrary detention by Israeli forces, Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq is on the verge of death. Al-Qeeq is currently in detention in a hospital in the northern city of Afula; his petition to be transferred to a clinic in Ramallah has been rejected by the Israeli government. His lawyer says he refuses to stay in Israeli hospitals and will only accept medical treatment in the West Bank. He was arrested on November 21 last year on charges of being an activist with the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
Ezra Nawi. Israel has arrested three human rights defenders amid what appears to be a concerted campaign to sabotage domestic groups documenting Israeli abuses of Palestinians, Electronic Intifada said on January 21.
“Stop the blackmail: Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.” Paris, July 2014.
Israel has detained at least 1200 children since October 1. As the latest upsurge in mass Palestinian resistance to Israel's occupation entered its third month, the world marked the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29.
Marda Permaculture Farm in the West Bank. Photo from mardafarm.com. Ownership of the land of Palestine is hotly contested, so it is little surprise that the Earth itself is often the first casualty of Israel's occupation.
Israeli military jeep broadcasting threat to gas residents, Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem, occupied West Bank, October 29. Still from video by Yazan Ikhlayel. Israel has introduced dramatic new restrictions on Palestinians living in the city of Hebron in response to recent violence and mass resistance in the occupied West Bank.
Israel is carrying out summary executions of Palestinians, Amnesty International has confirmed. Sometimes it lets injured Palestinians bleed to death. The human rights group says it has “documented in depth at least four incidents in which Palestinians were deliberately shot dead by Israeli forces when they posed no imminent threat to life, in what appear to have been extra-judicial executions.”
Israeli occupation forces executed an injured Palestinian in Hebron on October 29, an eyewitness told Electronic Intifada on October 30. Video corroborates this clear case of extra-judicial execution, a war crime and part of a pattern of such killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. Last month, 71 Palestinians had been killed according to the Palestinian Authority health ministry on October 30. This number includes five Palestinians who died as a possible result of tear gas inhalation, delayed medical treatment due to checkpoints and medical neglect by prison authorities.
Once again, the United States and Israel voted against a motion to end economic sanctions at the United Nations General Assembly on October 27. Similar motions have been adopted by overwhelming majorities at the UN for the past 23 years. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented a report that concludes that the economic sanctions, which have caused about US$833.8 billion in damages to the Caribbean island, should be lifted. Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez addressed the UN, calling the blockade a “flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights of all Cubans”.
Members of an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network study tour in front of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in January last year. Photo from APAN.org.au.
Bedouins living in Israel's southern Negev region protest against government plans to confiscate their land.
Hundreds of university professors in Britain have declared a boycott of Israeli schools in an effort to draw attention to the Israeli government's many human rights offenses against Palestinians and violations of international law, TeleSUR English said on October 28. The petition, titled “A Commitment by U.K. Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians”, was printed as a full-page advertisement in the October 27 Guardian.
Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly asserted that Adolf Hitler had no intention of exterminating Europe's Jews until a Palestinian persuaded him to do it. The Israeli prime minister's attempt to whitewash Hitler and lay the blame for the Holocaust at the door of Palestinians signals a major escalation of his incitement against and demonisation of the people living under his country's military and settler-colonial rule. It also involves a good deal of Holocaust denial.
Some things are recurring in the Israel-Palestine conflict. One is that the Israeli version of events is generally the direct opposite of reality. Another is that Western politicians and media uncritically accept the Israeli narrative. A third recurring feature of the conflict is that the most compelling evidence contradicting the Israeli version events is the body count.
Henning Mankell, the creator of the Swedish detective Wallander and activist for Palestinian and African rights, died at home on October 5 aged 67. He had been diagnosed with cancer early last year. Many fans of crime fiction will remember Mankell best for his Wallander novels — dark Scandinavian crime stories featuring a cynical, aging detective. Yet his stand for Palestinian rights is also an important part of his legacy.
Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace Albuquerque Chapter. For most of its existence since 1948, Israel has had the support of most Jews in the US. There have always, however, been some dissident voices, especially among Jewish members of socialist and communist groups.

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