Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 25, 2007

A Week In Gaza

A deadly week in "unoccupied" Gaza:

August 19, 2007: IDF kills Gazan thought to be laying bomb
August 20, 2007: Six Hamas militants killed in IDF strike
August 22, 2007: IAF kills gunman, wounds companion near Karni crossing
August 22, 2007: IAF airstrike kills Hamas militant in Gaza Strip
August 25, 2007: IDF kills five Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza gunfights

The above pieces are mostly daily collections. While the headline tells the worst, a lot of "minor" stuff is reported, if at all, in half sentences therein and here and there. Is there a central site for daily war news in Gaza and the Westbank?

Somewhat related a recommandable read:

Norman Finkelstein: There Went a Man - Remembering Raul Hilberg

Posted by b on August 25, 2007 at 9:15 UTC | Permalink

Comments

I realise that B was just recreating the tenor of the Ha'aretz articles but I don't reckon that any of those Palestinians who were killed by the IDF can be labelled "Hamas" or militant. Not only are such labels used to dehumanise the dead, to make them seem like some entity other than a former living, breathing person with all the usual virtues and weakness, in many cases the label will not be correct.

That is the IDF has a habit of claiming that anyone who walks into the path of one of their missiles, bombs, shells or napalm pods is a terrorist. Calming it down a bit into militant or even Hamas supporter doesn't make the claim any truer.

Any Palestinian, particualrly a young male is considered fair game especially if they have the gall to be observing the agressions being prepared against Palestine by the IDF in the occuppied west bank territories. Remember that term? The Occupied West Bank? That is still the official internationally recognised nomenclature for those places the Zionists claim as Israel.

A young bloke watching what the perpetrators of the biggest and longest home invasion in modern history are up to in places still recognised as belonging to the Palestinian people by international law, can not possibly be regarded as anything other than a victim of aggression.

As for Finkelstein and/or Hilberg; I reckon the sooner everyone stops providing any linkage at all between the current, still able to be stopped before it is completed, genocide of the Arab people of Palestine and the historic fact which cannot be changed, much less prevented genocide of European Jewry, the sooner it will be that the murder of Palestine will be ended.

The two only have relevance in the minds of the Palestinian outrage enablers. What are they trying to say? That two wrongs do make a right? Or "We are the living proof of the victim turned perpetrator cycle"?

The only angle I can think of which may have merit would be drawing up a Venn diagram of two sets. The people who created, maintained, and profited from the Holocaust Industry, particularly the second round of European reparations, would be one set.

The other set would be of those who perpetrated, maintain, and profit from the amerikan-Israeli aid money-go-round.

I have no doubt there would be a common subset of people who profited from both scams, but the only question would be, how big is that?

The amount of money would be large - probably running into tens .if not hundreds of billions.

However judging by the recent demonstrations in Israel by Holocaust survivors angry at their monthly allowance of a few shekels in reparations doled out to them by the Likud fat asses, it is a safe bet that numbers of ppeople in this amoral subset would be quite small. Undoubtedly restricted to a few political and religious 'leaders'.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 25 2007 10:33 utc | 1

Thank you, b, for staying on top of this.

I went searching for a video of what it is like to live in Gaza and I found an amazing one, a British documentary from 1 year ago. The unusual thing about this documentary is that it really projects you right into what a Palestinian living in Gaza experiences, day after day -- and this was a year ago -- before all that has happened since.

Please take the time watch this video. It is excellent, and all in English, filmed by a very brave team.

Dispatches: The Killing Zone

I will keep looking -- perhaps I can find a more recent one as well.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 11:40 utc | 2

Central site for war news in Gaza

This is not exactly only war news, but it is pretty detailed news of events, so it is the closest thing I can think of.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 11:43 utc | 3

PS - I should have clarified that the news site linked to in #3 covers the West Bank as well, not just Gaza.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 11:46 utc | 4

International Middle East Media Center: Stories, Breaking News, Radio reports, etc.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 25 2007 11:54 utc | 5

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza

They have a Weekly Report documenting human rights abuses in Gaza.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 12:48 utc | 6

Sorry once again PHCR covers events in Gaza AND the West Bank. Sorry for the oversight.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 12:51 utc | 7

Gaza: Contextual Overview

Here is a good background report from the Israeli Human Rights center B'Tselem about the state of affairs in Gaza. I am not sure when it was written, but appears to be fairly recent. It does a good job of detailing how much control Israel still has in the Strip despite the "withdrawal" and what its obligations under international law should be. It also places the issue of the firing of Qassam rockets in proportion.

If you click through the links to the right, you will be taken to each of the chapters.

This is not specific to violence and human rights abuses per se, but it does help to inform your overall understanding of the situation in Gaza. Recall that Gaza is one of the most densely populated pieces of land in the world.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 13:04 utc | 8

Here is the link to the B'Tselem report again, since it did not work:

Gaza: Contextual Overview

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 13:32 utc | 9

This is a HUGE scandal and hardly anyone has noticed (only 14 Google news hits - no US media):

Britain refuses entry visas to Gaza soccer players

Britain has refused entry visas to young Palestinian soccer players because it fears they may not be able to return home to Hamas-controlled Gaza following a three week trip and training camp in northern England.

"We were terribly shocked. The rejection has badly affected the spirit of the players," said team manager Abdel-Hai Abu Saleem.

A British consular official in Jerusalem wrote to members of the squad, which goes by the name Palestine, to tell them they would not be allowed to enter the United Kingdom because they were unable to produce Israeli assurances that they could return home at the end of the trip.

The squad is made up of players under the age of 19.

The players were due to stay in England for three weeks and play matches in the towns of Chester and Blackburn in preparation for an official Asian championship qualification tournament in Uzbekistan in November.
...
Abu Saleem said the British consulate's fears were unfounded and that recently the same team travelled to Norway and that Norwegian officials helped them to secure their departure and return to Gaza via the Erez Crossing.

"The British officials are making weak excuses ... They think that because Gaza is a poor place the players will not come back. We love Gaza and we will not abandon it," he added.

Posted by: b | Aug 25 2007 15:38 utc | 10

40 Palestinian journalists protest Hamas' crackdown on media in Gaza

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 22:47 utc | 11

Salam Fayyad and US target Islamic charities in Gaza by freezing their funds in order to destroy the social welfare network that has gained Hamas so much support in Gaza.

Fayyad ostensibly intends to put an alternative support structure in place, but will he succeed? And how much suffering will ensue in the interim? What blowback will result for the PA in the wake of such tactics?

Posted by: Bea | Aug 25 2007 22:52 utc | 12

Update on the Fuel & Electricity Situation in Gaza

EU Resumes Fuel Payments

On Tuesday, the EU decided to resume fuel payments while it investigated the matter through an audit and on-the-ground inspections of the matter in Gaza, according to Mario Mariani, who heads the EU's Temporary International Mechanism (TIM). The program pays the Gaza Generating Company's fuel bill and provides financial support for the Palestinians in Gaza as long as the money is not going to Hamas.

Gee, you think they would have tried the audit approach first before cutting off power to an impoverished, imprisoned population.

Israel expected to resume fuel shipments to Gaza today. Parts of Gaza have been without electricity for five days due to Israel's decision to suspend fuel shipments last week. In some cases, this meant no water either.

In the absence of electricity, shops in Gaza City's main market set up noisy, smoke-spewing generators in the streets to run their lights. Families ran to the grocery stores every few hours to buy food because they could not keep it refrigerated at home. And streets were jammed with cars and irritable motorists because traffic lights were out....

At a falafel stand in downtown Gaza City on Tuesday, people waiting in line covered their noses with their hands to avoid the fumes of the gas generators and the stench from a pile of garbage that had been mounting for nine days due to a strike by unpaid municipal workers.

It is not entirely clear to me how the EU decision and Israel's fit together. Were the EU payments necessary for Israel to ship the fuel? Or were they unrelated? Nor is it clear in the article how many Gazans were actually personally affected, since at least Israel's suspension of fuel seems to have caused only the Gaza Generating Company, which supplies only 25% of the Strip's electricity, to shut down power. It is not clear in the article what happened to the other 75% of the power supply, which comes from the Israeli electricity company (70%) and Egypt (5%). It is also not clear whether this had anything to do with trying to permanently weaken or cripple the Gaza Generating Company in order to put it out of business and secure virtually sole control over Gaza's electricity. This was done previously with other Palestinian-run electricity companies, notably in Jerusalem, but that may have been a different situation in that Israel intended to retain permanent control over all of Jerusalem, unlike in Gaza, or so one assumes.

"For two days we have not received fuel," the chairman of the Gaza Generating Company, Rafik Malikha, told a press conference in Gaza City. "The Israeli side is preventing vehicles from approaching the crossing....

Almost all supplies for the impoverished Gaza Strip, including food, fuel and raw materials, come from Israel and through crossings controlled by Israel. The passages are frequently closed by Israel, which cites attempts by Palestinian militants to attack them.

Israel closed all of the crossings after the Islamic Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, partially opening them a few days later. The United Nations has warned of a growth in poverty since Hamas' wrested control of Gaza, with unemployment on the rise and humanitarian aide in high demand.

In general, the supply of basic utilities and the installation of infrastructure (such as highways, electric grids, etc) is a reliable clue to Israel's actual long-term intentions in any area, declared intentions not withstanding, so it is worth watching. In this case, it seems more like a continuation of the Fatah-Hamas power struggle by other means. What a travesty.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 26 2007 12:30 utc | 13

Burning Mounds of Uncollected Garbage

To add to Gaza's many woes, the garbage collectors have been on strike for two weeks due to unpaid salaries (again, most likely a result of the internal power struggle in the government). As a result:

...rubbish is piled high in the streets. On Friday, the Gazan population began to burn their rubbish.

Local residents of Gaza complained of rubbish blockading the homes of people all over the strip. Now the thick smoke from the rubbish is blacking-out the sky.

A woman in Gaza, Om Abdullah, described the stench created by the burning rubbish around her home last night, "this pollution is making my children sick," she said....

Ma'an attempted to speak to paediatricians in Gaza to find out the impact of the burning rubbish on children's health. The doctors apologized and said they were unavailable for interview due to an overwhelming number of patients needing treatment.

Just imagine, the air filled with the smoke and fumes from all those plastics in the garbage.... the smoke filling your streets and entering your home... that is likely to be massively unhealthy, no? Not to mention the risk of disease and the stench from garbage that has rotted in the heat for two whole weeks...

Posted by: Bea | Aug 26 2007 12:40 utc | 14

An additional report on the same events mentioned in b's post:

Israel kills 12 Gazans including two children, in 24 hours

After providing specifics on who was killed and how, the article concludes:

Since the start of August 2007, 22 Palestinians have been killed and 37 injured by IOF owing to the use of excessive and indiscriminate force in the Gaza Strip alone. Al Mezan asserts that these conducts represent grave breaches of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Regrettably, these conducts have continued under full silence from the part of the international community, which has failed to observe its legal and moral obligations towards Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Al Mezan [Center for Human Rights in Gaza] therefore renews its calls upon the international community to intervene and bring to an end the human rights violations conducted by IOF, and to provide effective protection for the civilian population of the OPT.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 26 2007 22:09 utc | 15

A new wrinkle in the sad saga of Gaza:

Israel is [now] allowing in food, medicines and fuel, which it sees as essential aid, but not paper, even though many would see education as a vital sector in need of all the support it can get.

"Some 200,000 children will go into our classrooms on 1 September, and won't have the books they need," John Ging, the Gaza director of UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, told IRIN.

The shortage has emanated from Israel's refusal, so far, to allow five trucks of paper into the impoverished territory, needed to print the textbooks. Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June, Israel has clamped down on the borders, bringing imports and exports almost to a halt with the exception of basic humanitarian goods.

The latest development serves as an indicator of the difference of opinion between many aid organisations and Israel on what is considered "humanitarian aid".

Posted by: Bea | Aug 26 2007 22:28 utc | 16

Sorry, I hit Post too fast on #16. Here is the kicker:

Officials in Israel, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the state is concerned the paper might be used to print books with Hamas ideology imbedded within them, or for other propagandist endeavours.

However, Gershon Baskin, the Israeli director of the Israel-Palestine Centre for Research and Information, who is campaigning to get the paper in, said so far there is no indication Hamas will change the curriculum.

"It remains a concern," he admitted. "But by not allowing them to print books, will the thoughts and ideas go away? If they want to teach [radicalism], someone can teach without a book," said Baskin.

Not letting in the paper is "denying children their right to education", he concluded.

So much for "withdrawal!!!!!!"

Posted by: Bea | Aug 26 2007 22:30 utc | 17

a people & their land - the lives of a people under occupation

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 27 2007 0:24 utc | 18

killed for crawling suspiciously

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 27 2007 8:43 utc | 19

When there is a will, it seems there can be a way.

A nice story about Jews and Gazans for once, even if utterly trivial:

The Border Opens for Boarders

Posted by: Bea | Aug 27 2007 9:41 utc | 20

This article in the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly has some more interesting details on the causes of the fuel situation in Gaza. I have no idea whether this is accurate or not, but it is a major and highly responsible newspaper.

There is virtual unanimity in Gaza that the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is responsible for this state of affairs [i.e., the electricity shutoffs], no matter how much that government attempts to put the blame on Hamas.

Even the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a close ally of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a vehement critic of Hamas's bid to resolve its rivalry with the ruling Fatah movement militarily, has had little choice but to agree that the Fayyad government has persuaded the European Union to cease its funding for the fuel needed to operate Gaza's power station in order to turn the people of Gaza against Hamas.

Not long after statements by Fayyad's minister of information to the effect that Hamas planned to levy a tax on Palestinians' electricity consumption in order to fund its operations, the EU took the bait.

EU Commission spokeswoman Antonia Mochan announced that in the light of information that Hamas intended to tax electricity consumption in Gaza, the EU stopped paying for the fuel that helps produce the electricity.

"We are ready to resume payment of these fuel deliveries within hours once we have assurances these taxes will not be introduced," she said.

The Hamas government, led by Ismail Haniyeh, has adamantly denied that it had any intention of levying such a tax. According to Ahmed Youssef, political spokesman for Haniyeh, rumours of an electricity tax and of using revenues from this to fund Hamas have no basis in fact.

"Rather, they are part of the intensification of the siege of Gaza, which aims to turn Palestinian public opinion against Hamas," Youssef said.

The conflicting reports issuing from the Fayyad government, and the subsequent exposure of the falsity of these reports, leave little doubt that this is the case.

Last week, a Fayyad government spokesperson claimed that the Israeli army had informed his government that it would not permit the shipment of fuel oil across the border into Gaza.

On Sunday, the Israeli Southern Command's civil liaison bureau announced that the Fayyad government had omitted the fuel oil used to operate the Gaza power station from its requests for fuel, but that the moment that it asked for the fuel deliveries to resume the Israeli army would lift the barriers to let them through.

It was only then that the Fayyad government, reeling from the shock of this embarrassing revelation, attempted to cast the blame for the halt in fuel oil deliveries on Hamas, on the grounds of Hamas's alleged plan to tax electricity consumption.

As though to aggravate the embarrassment of Abbas and his advisors, Israeli Channel 2 political commentator Amnon Abramovich, regarded as one of the most reliable Israeli journalists, revealed portions of the minutes of the last meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jericho.

At the meeting, the Israeli prime minister had cautioned the Palestinian president that, "you must realise that if you sit and talk with Hamas again we won't be able to continue working with you."

According to Abramovich, Abbas was desperate to reassure Olmert of his commitment to remaining tough on Hamas. He listed the actions he had already taken, such as banning the organisation's activities, rounding up and detaining activists, and closing down its offices in the West Bank.

He also insisted that he was doing everything possible to incite Palestinian opinion in Gaza against Hamas, one measure towards which would be to cut off the electricity in that sector.

Further corroboration of this intent is to be found on several Palestinian Internet news sites, which quote Saadi Al-Karnaz, secretary-general of the Fayyad cabinet, as saying that the electricity in Gaza would be cut off in order to drive Palestinians there to rebel against Hamas.

The Abbas/Fayyad camp must be growing desperate indeed if it feels it must resort to such a form of collective punishment in order to vent its frustration at Hamas's ability to secure and consolidate its hold over Gaza.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 27 2007 9:51 utc | 21

@r'giap

Thanks for the movie link. I watched it and it was very good. I hope others do too.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 27 2007 10:25 utc | 22

I don't mean to beat this topic to death but I can't resist adding this one to this thread. Even TIME Magazine is reporting that the fuel stoppage by the EU was a hoax played by Abbas' government to turn Gazans against Hamas, and that it was not the only one:

Sources in Ramallah, one close to the Palestinian President and another from within the Fatah movement's ruling council, have told TIME that Abbas's advisers provoked the power cut by falsely warning the Europeans that Hamas was pocketing the electricity bill payments. Abbas's office has publicly denied trying to influence the Europeans; and the E.U. has declined to reveal the source of its initial allegation that Hamas was pocketing the electricity bill payments.

If the charge is true, it would not be the first attempt by Abbas to use collective punishment as a means of turning Gaza's 1.5 million Palestinians against Hamas. Abbas has revoked all passports issued in Gaza, effectively stripping Gazans of any chance to travel abroad for studies, business or medical care. He told Gaza cops that he would keep them on the payroll, but only if they didn't show up for work. And, he is using the same tactic with Gaza's garbage collectors; the city stinks with piles of trash rotting in the Mediterranean sun. So far, Abbas has failed to ask Cairo to open the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border with Gaza, stranding thousands of Palestinians trying to enter or leave the coastal strip.

Although Abbas's tough tactics with Hamas have the backing of the Israelis and the Bush Administration, who see him as a moderate alternative to Hamas, his crackdown on Gaza is unpopular within Abbas's own Fatah movement. A powerful faction within Fatah is urging Abbas to patch up with Hamas, which was freely elected as the Palestinian government in January 2006. "He is becoming deaf and blind," says one senior Fatah official. "He's cutting himself off from the Palestinians to get closer to the Israelis and the Americans.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 27 2007 14:07 utc | 24

no bea, on the contrary, you must bee insistant - it is of the highest priority

because i am more or less bed ridden - i consacrated a lot of time in watching many many documentaries on the situation in the occupied territories

the state of israel has become as loathsome as the state of south africa under vorster & all his sordid spiritual sons

it is as every bit corrupt, every bit as violent, every bit in ignorance of internationa law

& it will end in the same way

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 27 2007 16:05 utc | 25

Gazan baby dies after 4-hour wait to cross border

GAZA CITY: An ill, one-year-old Palestinian baby died in his father's arms on Sunday after the pair passed several hours under baking sun waiting to cross from the Gaza Strip into Israel, medics said. Ibrahim Abu Nahel and his father arrived at the Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel at 8 a.m. on Sunday, with the aim of traveling to the Yehelov Hospital near Tel Aviv to get treatment for the baby's heart condition, they said. The pair waited for four hours in the sun for the Israeli authorities to allow them to pass through, despite having had a permit to enter the Jewish state, and Nahel died, they said. The cause of death was not immediately known. - AFP

Posted by: b | Aug 27 2007 16:18 utc | 26

& debs

i think what hilberg can teach us in his magisterial lessons is exactly how the state or israel has reproduced the methodology of terror & extermination of an unwanted people

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 27 2007 16:20 utc | 27

Blogger Laila Haddad offers a simple and easy way to significantly help in Gaza: A donation of $1 can provide 1 month of access to a recreational center for a traumatized child in Rafah.

Help Fida: Save the LifeMakers Center in Gaza

Please give whatever you can.

Thank you.

Posted by: Bea | Aug 30 2007 1:30 utc | 28

Too late for these ...

Israeli Airstrike Against Rocket Sites in Gaza Strip Kills 3 Palestinian Children

Three Palestinian children were killed Wednesday in an Israeli airstrike against rocket launch sites in the northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian health officials identified the dead as cousins Yahiya and Mahmoud Abu Ghazallah, 10 and 12 years old respectively, and another cousin, Sara, 12, who died of her injuries hours after the late afternoon attack.

Posted by: b | Aug 30 2007 7:10 utc | 29

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