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Power to the (Palestinian) People! PDF Print E-mail
Jan 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Jeff Halper
January 23, 2008

The people of Palestine have done it again, taking their own fate in their hands after being let down by their own "moderate" political leadership and, indeed, the entire international community in their struggle for freedom. Early this morning they simply blew up the wall separating Gaza from Egypt, breaking a siege imposed on them by an Arab government in collaboration with Israel.

We, the peoples of the world, should take great pride and encouragement in this quintessentially civil society refusal to accept subjugation, to abandon their fate to governments, including their own, for whom the lives of ordinary people are simply grist for their political charades – Annapolis and its subsequent "peace process" being but the last cynical expression. For the Palestinians represent far more than just themselves. Their refusal to submit to the dictates of governments, or to governments' lack of interest in the well-being of people in general, reflects the desire of billions of oppressed people for identity, freedom, a decent life and actualization of their collective and individual rights and potentials. Most of the oppressed, the "wretched of the earth" as Franz Fanon called them a half-century ago, are too preoccupied with the daunting daily struggle for survival to organize and resist. Others do resist in a myriad of ways, but are most often repressed by their own political and economic "leaders," disappearing anonymously from view. In a few cases they have managed to mount effective resistance to oppression, even to prevail – though the billions spent on "counterinsurgency" warfare by the US, Europe, Russia, Israel and many "developing" nations augur ill for peoples attempting to overthrow oppressive regimes.

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Jewish group condemns Israeli attack on Gaza Freedom Flotilla PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2010 at 12:41 PM
News release – for immediate release May 31, 2010

Montreal -- Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) has expressed shock and outrage in response to the deaths and injuries of participants in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla at the hands of the Israeli navy.

The UN and numerous NGOs have described the conditions in Gaza, caused by the Israeli blockade, as a humanitarian disaster. This flotilla is an heroic attempt to break the blockade, which has inflicted so much needless pain and suffering on the people of Gaza for the past several years,” said IJV spokesperson Larry Haiven. “The flotilla has our organization's full support.”

Instead of responding to this growing concern for the suffering that the people of Gaza caused by the blockade, Israel has reacted by unleashing murderous violence against this non-violent solidarity effort,” Haiven continued.

The international community must stand up to this horrifying instance of state terrorism by taking immediate action to hold Israel accountable for this crime. We must put an end to Israeli impunity,” he concluded.

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Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2010 at 12:40 PM

Haaretz

31.05.10

Over 60 pro-Palestinian campaigners wounded after aid convoy sailing for Gaza Strip ignored Israel's order to turn back, Turkish news reports. IDF confirms two commandos also wounded.

By Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff, The Associated Press and Reuters

Israel Navy troops opened fire on pro-Palestinian activists aboard a six-ship aid flotilla sailing for the Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 and wounding several others after the convoy ignored orders to turn back, Turkey's NTV reported early Monday.

NTV said between 10 and 15 people were killed, with over 60 wounded.

The IDF also confirmed that two navy commandos had been wounded in fight, which apparently broke out after activists tried to sieze their weapons.

According to the army, commandos who stormed the Turkish ferry Marmara, the largest vessel in the convoy, encountered violent resistance by activists armed with sticks and knives.

Earlier Monday, Al Jazeera reported that the Gaza aid flotilla had changed course to avoid a confrontation with Israeli warships.

The Israeli naval vessels reportedly made contact earlier with the six-ship flotilla, which is carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza.

The Israeli navy was operating under the assumption that the activists manning the boats would not heed their calls to turn around, and Israeli troops were prepared to board the ships and steer them away from the Gaza shores and toward the Israeli port city of Ashdod.

Huwaida Arraf, one of the flotilla organizers, said the six-ship flotilla began the journey from international waters off the coast of Cyprus Sunday afternoon after two days of delays. According to organizers, the flotilla was expected to reach Gaza, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) away, on Monday afternoon, and two more ships would follow in a second wave.

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Israel boards Gaza-bound ships, 15 dead - reports PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2010 at 12:37 PM

Toronto Star
May 31, 2010

JERUSALEM—About 15 people were killed on Monday when the Israeli navy intercepted a convoy of aid ships that activists were trying to sail to the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Channel 10 private television network said.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Free Gaza Movement which organized the six-ship flotilla said at least two were killed.

Casualties could hurt Israel’s international image and diplomatic relations, especially its long-time regional Muslim ally Turkey, whose flag some of the aid ships were flying.

Israel has said it was absolutely determined to maintain its blockade of the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, a Palestinian territory of 1.5 million. It has previously halted such activist ships, although others have reached Gaza before.

Amid Israeli military censorship and a refusal of Israeli officials to comment on what appeared to be a continuing operation three hours after dawn broke over the Mediterranean, Channel 10 made clear it was not citing foreign sources.

After initially reporting that at least 10 people were dead, it later said the death toll was between 14 and 16. It said commandos who had boarded the convoy were still conducting searches and encountering what it called violent resistance.

“Two people have been killed on board the Turkish boat and 30 or more were wounded,” said Mary Hughes Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Free Gaza Movement, which was behind the convoy.

“As far as we know IDF (Israeli military) commandos descended on the boat from helicopters and took it over.”

The convoy set off in international waters off Cyprus on Sunday in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade of the Gaza Strip and warnings that it would be intercepted.

The flotilla was organized by pro-Palestinian groups and a Turkish human rights organization. Turkey had urged Israel to allow it safe passage and said the 10,000 tonnes of aid the convoy was carrying was humanitarian.

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Israel storms Gaza-bound aid ships PDF Print E-mail
May 31, 2010 at 12:25 PM
CBC News Monday, May 31, 2010

Israeli Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel regrets the loss of life, but he called the moves from the flotilla "premeditated" and an "outrageous provocation." "The organizers are well known for their ties to global jihad, al-Qaeda and Hamas," he said. "On board the ship, we found weapons prepared in advance and used against our forces."

At least 10 people are dead and dozens are wounded after Israeli commandos stormed a flotilla of six ships trying to deliver aid to Gaza.

The pre-dawn raid happened more than 60 kilometres out to sea in international waters and the two sides are offering conflicting accounts of what happened on the ships.

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The Palestinian-International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza PDF Print E-mail
Nov 01, 2007 at 12:00 AM

For contact: end.gaza.siege@gmail.com

END THE SIEGE

November 2007

On 25 October, a Palestinian patient died at Erez crossing while awaiting being allowed to cross to Israeli hospital. A week ago, a woman died in Gaza hospital with her newly born baby, while awaiting permit to be transferred to Israel for medical treatment.

These are not the first victims, and will certainly not be the last should the current situation continue to prevail.

Last week, the operations rooms in Gaza's main hospital were shut down due to the lack of medical gases, which was not allowed by the Israelis. Today Israel does not allow except 12 basic items to enter Gaza, out of over 9,000 commodities. From soap to coffee, from water to soft drinks, from fuel to gas, from computers to spare parts, from cement to raw materials for industry, all and hundred other items are not allowed into Gaza today.

The Israeli cabinet declared Gaza as hostile entity, and has declared its intentions to further intensify the collective punishment by cutting the electricity power and fuel products. Banks in Israel are also threatening to cut off all financial cooperation with Palestinian banks in Gaza.

Given all this, we have adopted the initiative of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme to launch the Palestinian-International campaign for breaking the siege on Gaza, which has been intensified lately by the strict siege imposed on the Gaza Strip since June 2007.

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B'Tselem: 773 of Palestinians killed in Cast Lead were civilians PDF Print E-mail
Sep 09, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Ynet News                                                                                                                            

09.09.09

"The extremely heavy civilian casualties and the massive damage to civilian property require serious introspection on the part of Israeli society.”

  − B'Tselem report

How many Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead? Eight months after the operation, it seems as though the differences between the two sides' figures are only getting bigger.

A new report published Wednesday by rights group B'Tselem reveals that the IDF killed 1,387 Palestinians, 773 of whom were non-combatants. On the other hand, a report published by the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center shows that at least 1,000 of the Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip were Hamas combatants or were suspected of being combatants, and were therefore marked as targets by the IDF.

According to the B'Tselem data, 773 of those killed did not take part in the hostilities, 320 of whom were minors under the age of 18 and 109 were women (above the age of 18). The rest of those killed were 330 armed combatants, 245 Palestinian policemen – most of whom were killed in aerial bombings of the police station – and 38 others whose participation in the hostilities could not be determined

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Judge blaming Rachel Corrie for her own death highlights Israel’s impunity, family says
The Haifa District court ruled earlier today that the Israeli military is not responsible for killing American activist Rachel Corrie, and that Corrie was to blame for her own death.

Even when she saw the mount of earth moving towards her, she did not move away. The accident was caused by the deceased,” said Israeli Judge Oded Gershon, as he read out a summary of the 62-page ruling in front of a packed courthouse and with Rachel’s mother Cindy, father Craig and sister Sarah sitting in the front row.

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