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Mon14May: 60 GAZA protesters shot dead, 5000 wounded

 
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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:54 pm    Post subject: Mon14May: 60 GAZA protesters shot dead, 5000 wounded Reply with quote

Total number murdered by Israeli soldiers in April and May, around 120.


As US opens Jerusalem embassy

How the Gaza massacre exposed international cowardice
https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/indepth/opinion/gaza-massacre-exposed-in ternational-cowardice-180516073934658.html

As Palestinians were getting killed in Gaza, political leaders around the world switched to their usual doublespeak.

by Andrew Mitrovica 16 May 2018

Cowardice.

No other word suffices. No other word captures the signature essence of diplomats - from Canada, the United Nations, Europe - and their obscene, code-word-laced responses to the massacre of Palestinians, including an eight-month-old child.

When the shocking, sprawling human carnage that revealed itself in Gaza on Monday demanded an unequivocal denunciation of the state-sanctioned murder of innocent children, women and men, predictably, they equivocated.

Worse, in prevaricating, they sided, in effect, with the murderers, as cowards are apt to do. In that urgent moment, they hid behind strikingly similar tweets or press releases to point an accusatory finger at the victims; to absolve the perpetrators of their complicity and guilt; to refashion history by insisting that the "violence" did not constitute a massacre, but a "conflict" between two equivalent adversaries; to imply that the victims invited their fates; and to suggest that the victims are propaganda props of "terrorists".

So, it doesn't matter what these genteel diplomats say or do at the UN or anywhere else. The transparent cowardice on display since the Bloody Monday massacre in Gaza will always be their contemptible, incriminating legacy.

Exhibit A: Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland. After remaining silent while Palestinian after Palestinian was summarily executed week after week by Israeli soldiers, Freeland finally and, no doubt, grudgingly, posted a 45-word tweet oozing with gooey insincerity where she feigned "concern" and "sadness" for all those "dead" Palestinians.

Of course, in her perfunctory tweet, Freeland failed to describe how all those suddenly "dead" Palestinians had been shot in the head and stomach with butterfly bullets by Israeli thugs in uniforms. Instead, she wrote that "all parties to the conflict" bore the responsibility to "protect" civilians.

Despite oodles of eye-witness accounts and photographic evidence, the former journalist was unable to discern that one "party" - armed Israeli thugs - are doing all the killing and maiming, while unarmed Palestinians are doing all the dying and suffering.

Still, Freeland left it to a compliant underling to invoke the ever-at-the-ready Hamas card to infer that all those Palestinian children, women and men were being killed and maimed because of the "involvement [of a] terrorist organisation" in orchestrating a bold Palestinian expression of human dignity and self-determination.

In this tired, inevitable regard, Freeland was parroting Donald Trump's historically illiterate mouthpiece at the UN, Niki Haley, who told the Security Council yesterday that while she was also "concerned by the violence in the Middle East," Israel had shown admirable "restraint" in the face of Hamas' and Iran's "provocations" and "incitements."

There you have it. Canada and America agree: Iran and its new "proxy", Hamas, not Israel, bear ultimate responsibility for the massacres in Gaza. The revisionism is as instructive as it is appalling.

That Freeland's "people" denounced Hamas, on cue, was serendipitous. In 1997, Canada recalled its ambassador to Israel after it was revealed that bumbling Israeli spies were carrying doctored Canadian passports in a botched attempt to poison Hamas leader, Khaled Meshaal, in Jordan.

The ensuing bi-lateral furore prompted Israel's foreign minister to promise the then Liberal foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy, that his country's assassins would never use Canadian passports in such plots again. (Israel lied and resumed poaching Canadian passports for covert ops while Axworthy was shaking hands with his duplicitous opposite.)

Exhibit B: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The tweet by the UN's top diplomat about the butchery in Gaza was a near-verbatim facsimile of Freeland's and Haley's statements. He wrote that he was "concerned by the escalation in violence" and urged "everyone" to show "restraint."
Haley to UN: Israel acted 'with restraint' in deadly Gaza clashes

Guterres' stammering, fill-in-the-blanks diplomacy and false equivalency belie the fact that 109 Palestinians have been slaughtered since the Great March of Return began on March 30 and not one Israeli soldier has been killed or injured in that time.

Given this lethal equation, it's Palestinians who have demonstrated remarkable resiliency, purpose and "restraint". Indeed, "restraint" has never been part of the Israeli army's lexicon. The countless dead and scarred Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank are an undeniable testament to that fact.

The UN's shameful false equivalency even extended to the minute of silence observed by members of the Security Council who met in an emergency session yesterday to ostensibly "discuss" the mass murder of Palestinians.

"I should like to take a moment to remember those killed yesterday in Gaza, as well as all those Palestinians, Israelis and others who have died as a result of the conflict that has endured for far too long," the Security Council's president said, with all the solemnity she could muster.

There was no "conflict" in Gaza on Monday. There was a massacre. On one side of a barbed-wired fence, cowardly Israeli snipers, sporting high-powered weapons, picked off their quarry with precision, impunity and the blessing of a rancid, racist right-wing Israeli government and millions of complicit Israelis.

On the other side of the fence, brave Palestinians marched as one people - defiant, proud and free - intent on returning to their stolen homes on stolen land.

At the end of the awful day, 60 Palestinians were dead, with thousands more grotesquely injured. One of the killed was eight-month-old Laila Anwar al-Ghandour. She died of tear gas inhalation at dawn on Tuesday at the supposed behest of Hamas, the diabolical theory goes.

Exhibit C: The European Union. The EU's statement was slightly more verbose. But drained of the de rigueur language, it repeated, like a metronome, the words "conflict," "restraint," and "Hamas". Once again, the word "massacre" wasn't employed.

Meanwhile, over at the somnolent Hague, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor kept huffing and puffing about how she was keeping a studied eye on Gaza and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute crimes.

These blue-chip diplomats and officials want to deny what we have seen. They not only want to blur the monstrous truth but bury it deep inside a maze of diplomatic double-speak. They want to re-write the horror of what has happened and is happening in Gaza. They want to mollify the murderers at the expense of the ceaseless pain and loss of their victims.

Others, thankfully, have resisted and taken a laudable stand in solidarity with Palestinian humanity and righteousness.

The Irish Prime Minister Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was "profoundly shocked" and summoned the Israeli ambassador to convey the Irish people's outrage and dismay directly. Turkey and South Africa have recalled their ambassadors from Israel.

However symbolic, these important acts are a powerful and tangible antidote to the cowardice of charlatans who claim to be "saddened" by the "violence" in Gaza, but do nothing while Palestinian kids are slain and dismembered for playing football on a beach, flying kites and waving flags in Palestine.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial stance.

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TonyGosling
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

59 killed, 2,700 wounded in Gaza, Israel faces diplomatic fallout
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/article/NH/20180515/NEWS/180519889

Protesters take part in a march to parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday to protest against the use of the deadly force used by Israeli troops against Palestinians at the Gaza border on Monday. Scores of people were killed and more than two thousand were injured in protests as the US opened its controversial new embassy in contested Jerusalem.
Protesters take part in a march to parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday to protest against the use of the deadly force used by Israeli troops against Palestinians at the Gaza border on Monday. Scores of people were killed and more than two thousand were injured in protests as the US opened its controversial new embassy in contested Jerusalem. Nasief Manie — The Associated Press

By Fares Akram and Karin Laub, The Associated Press

Posted: 05/15/18, 8:04 AM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago
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Protesters attend a demonstration near Israel’s consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday. The placards, left, read in Turkish: “Hell for the oppressors”. Speaking late Monday, the Turkish government’s spokesman announced three days of mourning after Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinians, most by gunfire, as they protested the Gaza blockade and the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
Protesters attend a demonstration near Israel’s consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday. The placards, left, read in Turkish: “Hell for the oppressors”. Speaking late Monday, the Turkish government’s spokesman announced three days of mourning after Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinians, most by gunfire, as they protested the Gaza blockade and the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Emrah Gurel — The Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip >> Israel faced a growing backlash Tuesday and new charges of using excessive force, a day after Israeli troops firing from across a border fence killed 59 Palestinians and wounded more than 2,700 at a mass protest in Gaza.

Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador, while Ireland and Belgium summoned Israeli envoys. Leading European countries and the U.N. human rights office called for an investigation of the bloodshed.

Israel says it has the right to defend its border against a possible mass breach and accuses Gaza’s Hamas rulers of trying to carry out attacks under the cover of the protests. A military spokesman said Tuesday that 14 of those killed a day earlier were involved in attacks.

Monday marked the deadliest day in Gaza since a 2014 cross-border war with Israel, and was part of a high-stakes campaign by the Islamic militant Hamas to break a decade-long border blockade.

Gaza Health Ministry, which provided the toll from Monday’s violence, said a 9-month-old girl died from tear gas exposure, but medical officials later cast doubt on that claim, saying the infant had a pre-existing medical condition. It remained unclear Tuesday where and how the child died.

In jarring contrast to the Gaza bloodshed, the U.S. held a festive inauguration ceremony for a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem at the same time Monday, just several dozen miles (kilometers) away. The juxtaposition of violence on the Gaza border and festivities attended by a Trump administration delegation — captured on split screens in TV broadcasts around the world — briefly drew attention to the plight of Gaza and its 2 million people.

The relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv, condemned by Palestinians as blatantly pro-Israel, further dimmed prospects of what President Donald Trump had once touted as plans to negotiate the “deal of the century.” The Palestinians seek Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as a capital.

The high casualty toll revived international criticism of Israel’s open-fire policies. Rights groups have said the use of potentially lethal force against protesters who pose no immediate threat to soldiers’ lives is unlawful. The military has said presumably less lethal rubber-coated steel pellets are not effective in keeping demonstrators from the fence.

Germany, Belgium and Ireland called for an investigation of the violence.

In Brussels, Prime Minister Charles Michel called the Israeli actions “unacceptable violence” and said there was a “clear lack of proportionality.” Michel said the violence and killings would be moved onto the calendar of the European Union summit in Sofia on Wednesday and Thursday.

German spokesman Steffen Seibert said the violence “concerns us greatly,” but also accused Hamas of cynically escalating the unrest.

Ireland’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador to express “shock and dismay.” Turkey asked Israel’s ambassador to leave temporarily and the country lowered flags to half-mast to mark three days of mourning. China called on Israel to exercise restraint. On Monday, South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel until further notice.

The U.N. human rights office said Israel has repeatedly violated international norms by using deadly live fire to repel protesters from its border with Gaza, suggesting its forces should instead arrest those who reach the fence.

The U.N. Security Council planned to meet Tuesday to discuss the violence, though it was not clear what might come out of the session.

For Hamas, which seized Gaza in 2007, Monday’s border protest was the culmination of a weekslong campaign to try to break the blockade. The group has led weekly protests near the border with Israel since late March.

On Tuesday, there were no signs that Hamas had made a breakthrough in shaking off the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt. Egypt extended the opening of its border crossing with Gaza, initially set to continue for four days, by two more days, until Thursday. Typically, the Rafah crossing is closed for most of the year.

In recent days, there had been negotiations between Egypt and Hamas, presumably on easing the blockade in exchange for ending the protests.

Hamas has said protests would continue in a weekly format, but it was not clear if it would be able to maintain momentum during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins this week.

Khaled Batsh, the head of a grassroots organizing committee, said the next mass march would be held June 5, to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Mideast war in which Israel captured Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Protest organizers said Tuesday was set aside for funerals, in an apparent attempt to lower expectations of another mass protest later in the day. Thousands joined funeral processions Tuesday, though many of those killed Monday had been buried the same day, in line with Muslim tradition.

Hamas had initially said mass border protests would continue Tuesday, which marks the 70th anniversary of what Palestinians call their “nakba,” or catastrophe — the uprooting of hundreds of thousands in the Mideast war over Israel’s 1948 creation. In the West Bank, sirens sounded for 70 seconds Tuesday to mark the “nakba.”

The border marches are seen as Hamas’ last hope of ending the blockade, which has made it increasingly difficult for the group to govern. Other tactics, including three wars with Israel and attempts at reconciliation with the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, have failed.

The Gaza Health Ministry said eight minors were among those killed by Israeli fire, and that a 9-month-old infant, Layla Ghandour, had died of tear gas exposure. However, a medical official cast doubt on the report, saying the infant had a serious pre-existing medical condition.

The baby’s family said Tuesday that Layla had been taken to the area of the protests by relatives in a mix-up and that she was with her grandmother near the border fence when tear gas fell.

Some 1,360 Palestinians were wounded by gunshots, 130 of whom were in serious or critical condition, the ministry said.

The large number of wounded placed a new burden on Gaza’s already struggling hospitals, where key medicines and surgical supplies were lacking even before the latest bloodshed, in part because of the border closures.

Hospitals and other key installations in Gaza, such as sewage treatment and water pumping stations, heavily rely on generators because of hours-long power cuts every day. Gaza’s power crisis was further aggravated last week when Palestinian vandals destroyed the fuel terminal at Israel’s only cargo crossing into the territory, halting the flow of fuel and gas.

Israel has defended its actions over the past few weeks, saying Hamas is trying to carry out attacks under the cover of protests. The Israeli military said its aircraft had struck 11 “terror targets” in a Hamas military compound Monday and that tanks targeted two Hamas posts. It said Gaza activists used 10 explosive devices and firebombs against troops and that shots were fired at soldiers positioned along the border.

Laub reported from Amman, Jordan. Associated Press writers Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, and Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem contributed.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

40 Dead, 5,511 Wounded: UN Releases Figures on Palestinian Casualties in Gaza's Mass Protests on Israel Border
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/40-dead-5-511-wo unded-un-figures-on-casualties-in-gaza-mass-protests-1.6030556

Hamas says the protests will continue even after Nakba Day on May 15

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Palestinians mark 70 years since the ethnic cleansing of their homeland during the creation of Israel.
17 hours ago
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/gaza-protest-latest-updates-180 406092506561.html

The Israeli military has conducted overnight air strikes on the Gaza Strip's northern areas, claiming it was targeting Hamas positions.

The development comes after the Israeli army shot dead 62 Palestinians protesting near the fence with Israel to call for their right of return.

Palestinians were marking 70 years since the Nakba, or Catastrophe, the day on which the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948 in a violent ethnic cleansing campaign.

Throughout the past seven weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting as part of a weeks-long movement calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the homes and villages they were forcibly expelled from by Zionist militias in 1948.

Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 111 Palestinians in the coastal enclave and wounded about 12,000 people....

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