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  • November 16: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 41
    Humanitarian & fuel updates, hospital crises, evacuation update, West Bank & Israel news, international community actions, and more

    Kathryn Shihadah November 16, 2023
    November 16: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 41
    Palestinians walk through the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City (photo)
    Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here. For more news, go here and here. Live broadcast news from the region is here.

    Some people are led to be skeptical of the Al Jazeera news network. However, the network has won several Emmys, a Peabody and the Overseas Press Association’s Edward R. Murrow award, among many other honors. The New York Times reports that “its reporting hews to international journalistic standards and provides a unique view on events in the Middle East.” it’s important to remember that all news sources may potentially have bias. For example, CNN uses anchors who used to work for the Israel Lobby, who have lifelong attachment to Israel, and who often exhibit pro-Israel spin and omission in their broadcasts. Similarly, Fox News is strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who has a similarly strong attachment to Israel, and who may have fired Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host, in part due to the host’s opposition to war and his pattern of failing to exhibit sufficient devotion to Israel).

    Latest statistics:

    Palestinian death toll: 11,196* (10,999 in Gaza** (including at least 4,707 children and 3,155 women), and at least 197 in the West Bank). *IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation.

    Palestinian injuries: 30,076** (including at least 29,000 in Gaza** and 2,750 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. The Associated Press has reported ~32,000 in Gaza, while the UN number is somewhat lower. Our total for Gaza and the West Bank is based on the conservative figure.

    It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. About 1.6 million people have been displaced; 3,640 are missing (1,770 children) and presumed to be under rubble.

    Israel has now killed more Palestinians in a little over a month than in all the previous 22 years combined.

    Reported Israeli death toll has been reduced to ~1,200*** (The Israeli spokesman said the original figure of deaths on March 7 was an “initial estimate” – killed in West Bank, 53 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,400 injured). The names of the 1,175 identified (about 33 of them children) are here.

    ***NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers.

    Hover over each bar for exact numbers.
    Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org

    Humanitarian aid: Since 21 October, 1,139 trucks carrying mainly medicines, food and water have entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, representing a fraction of the needs. Due to the absence of fuel, on 14 November, UNRWA’s solid waste removal services began shutting down, posing an environmental hazard, with about 400 tons of rubbish per day accumulating in overcrowded camps and IDP shelters.

    Fuel to Gaza: On 15 November, some 23,000 litres of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, the first such delivery since 7 October. The Israeli authorities have restricted the use of this fuel only to use for UNRWA trucks distributing aid. The entry of fuel for all other purposes remains banned including for hospital generators and water and sanitation facilities. Given UNRWA requires about 160,000 litres of fuel per day to run basic humanitarian operations, it has had to halt key services. The small amount that entered Gaza was too late in the day to refuel the trucks for aid delivery.

    Deadly attacks over the past 24 hours included: on 14 November, in the afternoon, airstrikes reportedly hit Al Mohophin School, in Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood, Gaza city, killing 17 people; the same day, at about 20:30, airstrikes reportedly hit a residential building in As Saftawi area, north of Gaza city, killing 13 people, including six women; on midday 14 November, airstrikes reportedly hit a building in Al Qarara, east of Khan Yunis, killing nine people; on 15 November, at around midday, airstrikes reportedly hit As Salhi Towers area, in Nuseirat, killing 14 people.

    Propaganda photo, then a bullet to the head: The Israeli army released a propaganda photo of one of its soldiers helping an elderly Palestinian man with a walking stick in an attempt to showcase its “safe corridor” for civilians fleeing northern Gaza. Shortly afterwards, 79-year-old Bashir Hajji was executed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers, according to Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor.

    Hajji’s granddaughter, Hala Hajji, told the Euro-Med Monitor team that he was executed after the photo was taken with one bullet to the head and back. “He died tired, cold, thirsty & hungry,” she wrote in a post on Instagram, confirming her grandfather’s death.

    OCHA reports arrests, beatings on evacuation route: Those fleeing to southern Gaza along the so-called safe “corridors” established by Israeli forces face arrest and the UN has received reports of beatings and people being stripped of their clothes by Israeli soldiers. (02:57 GMT) Palestinians fleeing south are “reporting the presence of dead bodies in the streets”.

    New evacuation orders in southern Gaza: The Israeli army dropped leaflets last night and in the early hours of this morning ordering residents on the eastern side of Khan Younis, close to the Israel border, to move to the western side because it is “safe.”

    Khan Younis is located in the southern half of the Gaza Strip. Tens of thousands of people displaced from the north have already sought refuge there in schools and tents, causing severe overcrowding amid shortages of food and water.

    RECOMMENDED READING: South Africa: World must urge Israel to stop ‘crime against humanity’ in Gaza

    Israeli troops brought boxes with them into Al Shifa Hospital, produced a weapons cache: When Israeli troops entered the hospital, they brought in boxes marked “baby food” and “medical supplies,” then later released a video it said showed some of the materials it allegedly recovered inside the hospital, including automatic weapons, grenades, ammunition and flak jackets.
    In one hospital department, “the soldiers [allegedly] located an operational command centre and technological assets belonging to Hamas, indicating that the terrorist organization uses the hospital for terrorist purposes,” an Israeli military statement said. According to a video released on X (see below), they found a laptop.
    There is no indication that Israeli troops’ boxes were inspected before they entered the hospital, or that any third party accompanied them on their inspection.
    Israeli army deletes, reposts video allegedly inside al-Shifa Hospital: According to the Israeli publication Haaretz, the Israeli military had taken down a social media post uploaded on X on Thursday, which showed what Israel claimed was proof of weapons being kept inside Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital. The Israeli military did not publish any explanation for the deletion of the post.
    The video, showing Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, was later reposted by the Israeli army with some parts being blurred out, raising questions about the authenticity of the evidence being presented in the clip.
    RECOMMENDED READING: Israel fails to show evidence of Hamas command center at al-Shifa hospital

    Another raid at Al Shifa, including ‘strip searches’ of Palestinians: Israeli forces launched another raid at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City in the early hours of Thursday. The Israeli army has confirmed that it is conducting a military operation in the hospital.

    There are reports of some 200 people being blindfolded and interrogated and taken to unknown areas; their fate is unknown.

    An entire building at al-Shifa Hospital – the specialized surgeries building – has been completely damaged from the inside, in addition to Israeli forces blowing up a warehouse for medicine and medical equipment inside the hospital. Israeli bulldozers and vehicles also reportedly completely destroyed the southern entrance to al-Shifa Hospital and all vehicles in its courtyard.

    Medical sources told Wafa that the Israeli army installed facial recognition cameras and electronic gates in the hospital courtyard while strip-searching Palestinians in the medical complex. Israeli forces also reportedly arrested a number of displaced people and the families of those who were killed and wounded, who were seeking shelter there.

    The Red Cross and UNRWA are calling for the evacuation of the 650 patients at al-Shifa Hospital to other facilities. The patients would be put in tents or in a school near the European [Gaza] Hospital. The director-general of Gaza hospitals is demanding that patients be transferred to Egypt.

    Al Ahli Hospital targeted: Journalist Ismael al-Ghoul reported from near the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City that Israeli air strikes have targeted the perimeter of the hospital. The attacks could be seen as an indicator of preparations for raiding the medical facility. Ahli Arab Hospital is only providing basic medical services, as it was targeted earlier in the war. This video shows the intensity of the bombing.

    Out of 24 hospitals with in-patient capacity in the north, only one, Al Ahli in Gaza city, is presently operational and admitting patients. Eighteen hospitals have shut down and evacuated since the start of hostilities, including three – An Nasr, Ar Rantisi and Al Quds – over the past three days.

    RECOMMENDED READING: What we know about the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital blast

    Gaza City will soon be “uninhabitable”: Ha’aretz reports on what Israeli troops are doing besides ransacking Al Shifa hospitals:

    [D]ozens of battalion combat teams…are going from house to house [in Gaza City]…They’re taking no risks, and as nearly all of the million-plus population who lived in the area just six weeks ago have now fled south [NOTE: sources like Al Jazeera report that “hundreds of thousands” still remain in Gaza City]…this means that any building that is any way suspected of harboring weapons or tunnel entrances is bombed or bulldozed, or both.

    We may be very near the point where there are more Israeli soldiers in Gaza City than Gazans, and the issue of trying to avoid more civilian casualties will no longer exist because all those who can will have left.

    Wide swaths of the city and its surroundings have already been destroyed, and it’s only a matter of weeks before the largest Palestinian city is rendered totally uninhabitable.

    The article does not say what will happen to those Gazans who have been unable or unwilling to leave their homes.

    3 Palestinians killed in West Bank in alleged shooting attack: Three suspected Palestinian assailants allegedly opened fire at a checkpoint on a road between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday, wounding six security force members before the assailants were shot dead. The suspects arrived in a vehicle from the direction of Bethlehem, Shabtai told reporters at the scene, and opened fire when the Israeli forces there began questioning them. They were killed when the Israeli forces shot back, he said. One of the soldiers has died of his wounds.

    RECOMMENDED READING: Reports of harsh conditions and abuse in Israeli security prisons where Palestinians are being held for social media posts

    Palestinian lawmaker in Israel sanctioned: The Israeli Knesset’s Ethics Committee has temporarily sanctioned two Palestinian lawmakers, citing “inflammatory remarks” made after the 7 October Hamas-led incursion into southern Israel. MK Aida Touma-Suleiman of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality and MK Iman Khatib Yassin of the United Arab List were banned from taking part in Knesset hearings and votes for two months. They also face salary deductions.

    “Knesset Ethics Committee suspended me for 2 months for criticising the Israeli army’s action in Gaza,” Touma-Suleiman wrote on X. “Silencing of critical voices of Palestinian citizens and anti-war activists is rampant these days. The war must cease, persecution must end.”

    “Wake up. This is genocide”: Countries must “wake up” to the massive violations that Israel is committing in Gaza, a Palestinian ambassador told UN member states Thursday, insisting it was a “genocide.” “You should wake up in this room. This is a massacre, this is genocide, and we’re seeing it on TV. It cannot continue,” Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi told a gathering of UN member states in Geneva.

    US doesn’t use its veto: The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip” to allow for aid delivery and medical evacuations, after four failed attempts to respond to the Israel-Hamas war. It was adopted by 12 votes in favor, zero against and three abstentions – Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. It additionally asked for the unconditional release of captives held in Gaza.

    “It is binding international law, but we know that there are many Security Council resolutions that are binding international law that Israel does not comply with. But I think it will add added pressure on Israel, particularly as the US allowed this resolution to go through – it could’ve used its veto,” said Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays.

    Int’l civil society answers call to challenge Israel: An international delegation of writers, lawyers, journalists, and activists arrived in Cairo, Egypt this week to exert pressure to secure the safe passage of food, water, fuel, & medical aid to 2.3 million Palestinians facing starvation and death as genocidal Israeli airstrikes continuously pound defenseless civilians. They have submitted a request to Egypt for permission to travel to Rafah. Their effort is in response to the Palestinian and Arab calls for civil society to challenge Israel’s “deadly occupation.” They add,

    We urge all peoples and governments to act urgently to end this horror. There are hundreds of aid trucks currently parked in the desert waiting to enter the Rafah Crossing. We demand they be allowed to reach Palestinians whose needs are dire and desperate.

    The Washington Post reports: Israel has killed more than 11,100 Gazans. That’s one out of every 200 people, 0.5% of the population.

    US distances itself from Al Shifa raid: The United States has denied giving Israel a green light for a raid on al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip after backing Israeli claims that the medical facility was being used for military purposes. Speaking on Wednesday, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby countered accusations from Hamas that President Joe Biden’s administration was complicit in the raid.

    The US had previously stated that an intelligence assessment backed up Israel’s claims that al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza, sat atop a large Hamas command center.

    Americans’ support for Israel, war reaches a new low: A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday shows that 32 percent of respondents said “the US should support Israel” when asked what role Washington should take in the war. This is down from the 41 percent who shared this opinion in a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in October. Meanwhile, 68 percent of respondents in the poll said they agreed with a statement that “Israel should call a ceasefire and try to negotiate.”

    RECOMMENDED READING: How Israel and the West smear the Palestinians as antisemitic

    Many groups urge Biden administration to change Israel policy: More than 500 political appointees and staff members representing some 40 government agencies sent a letter to President Biden on Tuesday protesting his support of Israel in its war in Gaza. A group of more than two dozen Democratic members of US Congress has signed a letter urging the Biden administration to agree to a ceasefire and an end to Israel’s assault on Gaza.

    In the past 24 hours, two Israeli soldiers were reportedly killed in Gaza, bringing the total number of soldiers killed since the start of ground operations to 53, according to official Israeli sources.

    The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centres has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities. (Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7, as reported by Ha’aretz. Ten Israelis were killed – 4 of them Palestinian Israelis.




    https://israelpalestinenews.org/november-16-todays-news-palestine-israel-day-41/
    November 16: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 41 Humanitarian & fuel updates, hospital crises, evacuation update, West Bank & Israel news, international community actions, and more Kathryn Shihadah November 16, 2023 November 16: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 41 Palestinians walk through the rubble of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City (photo) Find previous daily casualty figures and daily news updates here. For more news, go here and here. Live broadcast news from the region is here. Some people are led to be skeptical of the Al Jazeera news network. However, the network has won several Emmys, a Peabody and the Overseas Press Association’s Edward R. Murrow award, among many other honors. The New York Times reports that “its reporting hews to international journalistic standards and provides a unique view on events in the Middle East.” it’s important to remember that all news sources may potentially have bias. For example, CNN uses anchors who used to work for the Israel Lobby, who have lifelong attachment to Israel, and who often exhibit pro-Israel spin and omission in their broadcasts. Similarly, Fox News is strongly influenced by Rupert Murdoch, who has a similarly strong attachment to Israel, and who may have fired Tucker Carlson, the network’s most popular host, in part due to the host’s opposition to war and his pattern of failing to exhibit sufficient devotion to Israel). Latest statistics: Palestinian death toll: 11,196* (10,999 in Gaza** (including at least 4,707 children and 3,155 women), and at least 197 in the West Bank). *IAK does not yet include 471 Gazans killed in the Al Ahli hospital blast since the source of the projectile is being disputed; although much evidence points to Israel as the culprit, experts are still looking into the incident. Israel is blocking an international investigation. Palestinian injuries: 30,076** (including at least 29,000 in Gaza** and 2,750 in the West Bank). **NOTE: it is impossible to offer an accurate number of injuries in Gaza due to the ongoing bombardment and communication disruption. The Associated Press has reported ~32,000 in Gaza, while the UN number is somewhat lower. Our total for Gaza and the West Bank is based on the conservative figure. It remains unknown how many Americans are among the casualties. About 1.6 million people have been displaced; 3,640 are missing (1,770 children) and presumed to be under rubble. Israel has now killed more Palestinians in a little over a month than in all the previous 22 years combined. Reported Israeli death toll has been reduced to ~1,200*** (The Israeli spokesman said the original figure of deaths on March 7 was an “initial estimate” – killed in West Bank, 53 in Gaza), including 32 Americans, and ~5,400 injured). The names of the 1,175 identified (about 33 of them children) are here. ***NOTE: It is unknown at this time how many of the deaths and injuries in Israel may have been caused by Israeli soldiers; additionally, since Israel has a policy of universal conscription, it is unknown how many of those attending the outdoor rave a few miles from Gaza on stolen Palestinian land were Israeli soldiers. Hover over each bar for exact numbers. Source: IsraelPalestineTimeline.org Humanitarian aid: Since 21 October, 1,139 trucks carrying mainly medicines, food and water have entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing with Egypt, representing a fraction of the needs. Due to the absence of fuel, on 14 November, UNRWA’s solid waste removal services began shutting down, posing an environmental hazard, with about 400 tons of rubbish per day accumulating in overcrowded camps and IDP shelters. Fuel to Gaza: On 15 November, some 23,000 litres of fuel entered Gaza from Egypt, the first such delivery since 7 October. The Israeli authorities have restricted the use of this fuel only to use for UNRWA trucks distributing aid. The entry of fuel for all other purposes remains banned including for hospital generators and water and sanitation facilities. Given UNRWA requires about 160,000 litres of fuel per day to run basic humanitarian operations, it has had to halt key services. The small amount that entered Gaza was too late in the day to refuel the trucks for aid delivery. Deadly attacks over the past 24 hours included: on 14 November, in the afternoon, airstrikes reportedly hit Al Mohophin School, in Sheikh Radwan neighbourhood, Gaza city, killing 17 people; the same day, at about 20:30, airstrikes reportedly hit a residential building in As Saftawi area, north of Gaza city, killing 13 people, including six women; on midday 14 November, airstrikes reportedly hit a building in Al Qarara, east of Khan Yunis, killing nine people; on 15 November, at around midday, airstrikes reportedly hit As Salhi Towers area, in Nuseirat, killing 14 people. Propaganda photo, then a bullet to the head: The Israeli army released a propaganda photo of one of its soldiers helping an elderly Palestinian man with a walking stick in an attempt to showcase its “safe corridor” for civilians fleeing northern Gaza. Shortly afterwards, 79-year-old Bashir Hajji was executed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers, according to Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor. Hajji’s granddaughter, Hala Hajji, told the Euro-Med Monitor team that he was executed after the photo was taken with one bullet to the head and back. “He died tired, cold, thirsty & hungry,” she wrote in a post on Instagram, confirming her grandfather’s death. OCHA reports arrests, beatings on evacuation route: Those fleeing to southern Gaza along the so-called safe “corridors” established by Israeli forces face arrest and the UN has received reports of beatings and people being stripped of their clothes by Israeli soldiers. (02:57 GMT) Palestinians fleeing south are “reporting the presence of dead bodies in the streets”. New evacuation orders in southern Gaza: The Israeli army dropped leaflets last night and in the early hours of this morning ordering residents on the eastern side of Khan Younis, close to the Israel border, to move to the western side because it is “safe.” Khan Younis is located in the southern half of the Gaza Strip. Tens of thousands of people displaced from the north have already sought refuge there in schools and tents, causing severe overcrowding amid shortages of food and water. RECOMMENDED READING: South Africa: World must urge Israel to stop ‘crime against humanity’ in Gaza Israeli troops brought boxes with them into Al Shifa Hospital, produced a weapons cache: When Israeli troops entered the hospital, they brought in boxes marked “baby food” and “medical supplies,” then later released a video it said showed some of the materials it allegedly recovered inside the hospital, including automatic weapons, grenades, ammunition and flak jackets. In one hospital department, “the soldiers [allegedly] located an operational command centre and technological assets belonging to Hamas, indicating that the terrorist organization uses the hospital for terrorist purposes,” an Israeli military statement said. According to a video released on X (see below), they found a laptop. There is no indication that Israeli troops’ boxes were inspected before they entered the hospital, or that any third party accompanied them on their inspection. Israeli army deletes, reposts video allegedly inside al-Shifa Hospital: According to the Israeli publication Haaretz, the Israeli military had taken down a social media post uploaded on X on Thursday, which showed what Israel claimed was proof of weapons being kept inside Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital. The Israeli military did not publish any explanation for the deletion of the post. The video, showing Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, was later reposted by the Israeli army with some parts being blurred out, raising questions about the authenticity of the evidence being presented in the clip. RECOMMENDED READING: Israel fails to show evidence of Hamas command center at al-Shifa hospital Another raid at Al Shifa, including ‘strip searches’ of Palestinians: Israeli forces launched another raid at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City in the early hours of Thursday. The Israeli army has confirmed that it is conducting a military operation in the hospital. There are reports of some 200 people being blindfolded and interrogated and taken to unknown areas; their fate is unknown. An entire building at al-Shifa Hospital – the specialized surgeries building – has been completely damaged from the inside, in addition to Israeli forces blowing up a warehouse for medicine and medical equipment inside the hospital. Israeli bulldozers and vehicles also reportedly completely destroyed the southern entrance to al-Shifa Hospital and all vehicles in its courtyard. Medical sources told Wafa that the Israeli army installed facial recognition cameras and electronic gates in the hospital courtyard while strip-searching Palestinians in the medical complex. Israeli forces also reportedly arrested a number of displaced people and the families of those who were killed and wounded, who were seeking shelter there. The Red Cross and UNRWA are calling for the evacuation of the 650 patients at al-Shifa Hospital to other facilities. The patients would be put in tents or in a school near the European [Gaza] Hospital. The director-general of Gaza hospitals is demanding that patients be transferred to Egypt. Al Ahli Hospital targeted: Journalist Ismael al-Ghoul reported from near the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City that Israeli air strikes have targeted the perimeter of the hospital. The attacks could be seen as an indicator of preparations for raiding the medical facility. Ahli Arab Hospital is only providing basic medical services, as it was targeted earlier in the war. This video shows the intensity of the bombing. Out of 24 hospitals with in-patient capacity in the north, only one, Al Ahli in Gaza city, is presently operational and admitting patients. Eighteen hospitals have shut down and evacuated since the start of hostilities, including three – An Nasr, Ar Rantisi and Al Quds – over the past three days. RECOMMENDED READING: What we know about the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital blast Gaza City will soon be “uninhabitable”: Ha’aretz reports on what Israeli troops are doing besides ransacking Al Shifa hospitals: [D]ozens of battalion combat teams…are going from house to house [in Gaza City]…They’re taking no risks, and as nearly all of the million-plus population who lived in the area just six weeks ago have now fled south [NOTE: sources like Al Jazeera report that “hundreds of thousands” still remain in Gaza City]…this means that any building that is any way suspected of harboring weapons or tunnel entrances is bombed or bulldozed, or both. We may be very near the point where there are more Israeli soldiers in Gaza City than Gazans, and the issue of trying to avoid more civilian casualties will no longer exist because all those who can will have left. Wide swaths of the city and its surroundings have already been destroyed, and it’s only a matter of weeks before the largest Palestinian city is rendered totally uninhabitable. The article does not say what will happen to those Gazans who have been unable or unwilling to leave their homes. 3 Palestinians killed in West Bank in alleged shooting attack: Three suspected Palestinian assailants allegedly opened fire at a checkpoint on a road between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday, wounding six security force members before the assailants were shot dead. The suspects arrived in a vehicle from the direction of Bethlehem, Shabtai told reporters at the scene, and opened fire when the Israeli forces there began questioning them. They were killed when the Israeli forces shot back, he said. One of the soldiers has died of his wounds. RECOMMENDED READING: Reports of harsh conditions and abuse in Israeli security prisons where Palestinians are being held for social media posts Palestinian lawmaker in Israel sanctioned: The Israeli Knesset’s Ethics Committee has temporarily sanctioned two Palestinian lawmakers, citing “inflammatory remarks” made after the 7 October Hamas-led incursion into southern Israel. MK Aida Touma-Suleiman of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality and MK Iman Khatib Yassin of the United Arab List were banned from taking part in Knesset hearings and votes for two months. They also face salary deductions. “Knesset Ethics Committee suspended me for 2 months for criticising the Israeli army’s action in Gaza,” Touma-Suleiman wrote on X. “Silencing of critical voices of Palestinian citizens and anti-war activists is rampant these days. The war must cease, persecution must end.” “Wake up. This is genocide”: Countries must “wake up” to the massive violations that Israel is committing in Gaza, a Palestinian ambassador told UN member states Thursday, insisting it was a “genocide.” “You should wake up in this room. This is a massacre, this is genocide, and we’re seeing it on TV. It cannot continue,” Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi told a gathering of UN member states in Geneva. US doesn’t use its veto: The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses and corridors throughout the Gaza Strip” to allow for aid delivery and medical evacuations, after four failed attempts to respond to the Israel-Hamas war. It was adopted by 12 votes in favor, zero against and three abstentions – Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom. It additionally asked for the unconditional release of captives held in Gaza. “It is binding international law, but we know that there are many Security Council resolutions that are binding international law that Israel does not comply with. But I think it will add added pressure on Israel, particularly as the US allowed this resolution to go through – it could’ve used its veto,” said Al Jazeera’s diplomatic editor James Bays. Int’l civil society answers call to challenge Israel: An international delegation of writers, lawyers, journalists, and activists arrived in Cairo, Egypt this week to exert pressure to secure the safe passage of food, water, fuel, & medical aid to 2.3 million Palestinians facing starvation and death as genocidal Israeli airstrikes continuously pound defenseless civilians. They have submitted a request to Egypt for permission to travel to Rafah. Their effort is in response to the Palestinian and Arab calls for civil society to challenge Israel’s “deadly occupation.” They add, We urge all peoples and governments to act urgently to end this horror. There are hundreds of aid trucks currently parked in the desert waiting to enter the Rafah Crossing. We demand they be allowed to reach Palestinians whose needs are dire and desperate. The Washington Post reports: Israel has killed more than 11,100 Gazans. That’s one out of every 200 people, 0.5% of the population. US distances itself from Al Shifa raid: The United States has denied giving Israel a green light for a raid on al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip after backing Israeli claims that the medical facility was being used for military purposes. Speaking on Wednesday, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby countered accusations from Hamas that President Joe Biden’s administration was complicit in the raid. The US had previously stated that an intelligence assessment backed up Israel’s claims that al-Shifa Hospital, the largest in Gaza, sat atop a large Hamas command center. Americans’ support for Israel, war reaches a new low: A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday shows that 32 percent of respondents said “the US should support Israel” when asked what role Washington should take in the war. This is down from the 41 percent who shared this opinion in a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in October. Meanwhile, 68 percent of respondents in the poll said they agreed with a statement that “Israel should call a ceasefire and try to negotiate.” RECOMMENDED READING: How Israel and the West smear the Palestinians as antisemitic Many groups urge Biden administration to change Israel policy: More than 500 political appointees and staff members representing some 40 government agencies sent a letter to President Biden on Tuesday protesting his support of Israel in its war in Gaza. A group of more than two dozen Democratic members of US Congress has signed a letter urging the Biden administration to agree to a ceasefire and an end to Israel’s assault on Gaza. In the past 24 hours, two Israeli soldiers were reportedly killed in Gaza, bringing the total number of soldiers killed since the start of ground operations to 53, according to official Israeli sources. The firing of rockets by Palestinian armed groups towards Israeli population centres has continued over the past 24 hours, with no reported fatalities. (Information on rocket attacks is here.) It appears that the last time a rocket killed an Israeli was October 7, as reported by Ha’aretz. Ten Israelis were killed – 4 of them Palestinian Israelis. https://israelpalestinenews.org/november-16-todays-news-palestine-israel-day-41/
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    November 16: Today’s news on Palestine & Israel – Day 41
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  • The 'Hamas human shield' justification for Israeli war crimes
    Zionist projection is the default Hasbara strategy

    vanessa beeley

    What separates Israel, the United States and other democracies when it comes to incredibly difficult situations like this is our respect for international law and, as appropriate, the laws of war. We do everything we can, in these situations, to avoid civilian casualties.

    That is in direct contrast with Hamas which uses people as human shields. It [Hamas] actually seeks to put Palestinian civilians in situations where they could be harmed. This is very much part of the game plan. We know Israel will take all the precautions it can, just as we would, again that is what separates us from Hamas and terrorist groups that engage in the most heinous kind of activities

    US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken

    If you actually listen to the clip of Blinken justifying Israeli brutality you will hear how he stumbles over his words. He knows he is lying in my opinion. The 4000 plus dead children, 10,328 dead civilians, 26000 injured and 2300 missing believed buried under the rubble of Israeli bombs does not substantiate Blinken’s claims of adherence to international law.

    The Israeli bombing of humanitarian convoys, ambulances, paramedics, Civil Defence headquarters, journalists - 50 killed so far, hospitals, makeshift refugee centres, places of worship - mosques and churches, schools, UNWRA facilities, humanitarian aid supplies including essential bottled water supplies, sewage treatment plants, bridges, solar panels, electricity and internet, media buildings, fisherman’s boats, flour stores, burning of food crops - all these targets are in direct violation of any rule of war or human rights conventions.

    The deliberate policy of starvation and the cutting off of water, food, fuel and electricity supplies is a genocidal policy:

    According to Euro-Med Monitor, the Israeli war of starvation has taken very dangerous turns, including cutting off all food supplies to the Northern half and bombing and destroying factories, bakeries, food stores, water stations, and tanks throughout the entire enclave.

    Soaring malnutrition cases especially among pregnant women and children. A Euromed report confirms that “women and children in Gaza are disproportionately suffering from the effects of Israel's war. Approximately 52,500 infants in Gaza are currently at risk of starvation, death, dehydration, and other health hazards due to overcrowding, in addition to 55,000 pregnant women, of whom 5,500 are expected to give birth this month.”

    “According to Euro-Med Monitor, getting bread in the Gaza Strip has become an existential challenge, since Gaza’s sole mill there is still unable to grind wheat because of a shortage of fuel and electricity. Since October 7, 11 bakeries have been bombed and destroyed, while the ones that are still operating face tremendous difficulties due to fuel and flour shortages.”

    Israel has been blatant about its genocidal policies. Blinken disappears the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from West Bank and Gaza in his statement. Israeli Heritage Minister, Amichai Eliyahu, has not only described the bombing of Gaza as “amazing”, he has recommended nuking Gaza and sending Palestinians to Ireland or the desert. According to a Times of Israel article:

    Eliyahu also voices his objection during the interview to allowing any humanitarian aid into Gaza, saying “we wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid,” and charging that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.”

    “They can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.”

    He says the northern Strip has no right to exist, adding that anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag “shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.”

    Corpses rotting under rubble, shallow and hastily dug mass graves. Chemicals believed to be used by Israel in the bombing campaigns including White Phosphorous - all these factors spell disaster when the rains come.

    Gaza is a strip of land the size of the Isle of Wight ( 40km X 12km) with a population of 2.2 million civilians. With the forced evacuation by Israel from the north to the south - you will have 2.2 million civilians living in an area half its original size.

    Israel has destroyed Gaza’s ability to desalinate water to provide clean drinking water or to effectively pump sewage out of the strip. When the rains come, disease will be rife with sewage, decaying bodies, chemicals, disease flooding the enclave.

    Even in so-called peace time children are used to wading through sewage to get to school. Children are forced to swim in raw sewage in the sea off the Gaza coast. This pollution will be exponentially increased by the latest Israeli aggression.

    Added to this, the targeting of hospitals and health centers will result in chronic illness patients dying from lack of available treatment. Euromed - “more than 2,000 cancer patients, more than 1,000 patients in need of dialysis to survive, 50,000 cardiovascular patients, and over 60,000 diabetics—urgently need access to basic healthcare services considering the severe shortage of medications, medical supplies, fuel, food, and clean water.” These patients are not given priority because of the massive influx of emergency cases from the Israeli bombing raids. As Euromed Monitor reports:

    Eighteen out of 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip have stopped operating so far, according to local health officials there. Overall, 120 health institutions have been targeted, while more than 48 primary care centres (70%) are now out of service due to the ongoing Israeli raids and the fuel crisis.

    The Hamas Human Shield trope

    The claim that Hamas or as I prefer to call it, the Palestinian Resistance coalition, use Palestinian civilians as human shields is consistently used to justify the Israeli bombing of civilian targets as mentioned above. The bombing of an ambulance carrying wounded for evacuation at the Egyptian Rafah border was justified by the Israeli claim that Hamas fighters were on board. Claims that are never substantiated or investigated.

    In my experience in both Gaza during Israeli aggression 2012 and in Syria on various frontlines - it is normal for the injured or civilian evacuees to be escorted for their safety by military, in Syria by the Syrian Arab Army. I do not know if this was the case in Gaza but it is a legitimate reason for military escort. The civilian bodies that were brought from the ambulance into hospital however contradict Israeli claims. Israel has, so far, failed to provide evidence of its claims that resulted in the deaths of civilians including children.

    Gaza is a strip of land 40km by 12km. It is a densely populated enclave with buildings arranged in close proximity, schools, hospitals, residential areas all on top of each other. Israel claims that the Palestinian Resistance is using their own families, children and civilians as “human shields” while carpet bombing entire residential areas to allegedly wipe out ‘Hamas’.

    The denials of Hamas using human shields

    2014 - BBC’s Jeremy Bowen wrote for the New Statesman - ‘I saw no evidence of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields’. Bowen described his experience in Gaza:

    I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. I saw men from Hamas on street corners, keeping an eye on what was happening. They were local people and everyone knew them, even the young boys.

    Also in 2014 a Truthout article was published - ‘Congress utilizes myth of human shields to justify [Israeli] war crimes’

    According to the report ‘no Gaza eyewitness found evidence of Hamas using human shields’ during the 2014 Israeli aggression against the Gaza strip which followed a similar pattern to the ongoing 2023 mass bombing of civilian infrastructure - a war crime in itself. From the report:

    Human Rights Watch cited evidence of Israel “blatantly violating the laws of war designed to spare civilians,” including attacks on heavily-populated neighborhoods and shooting at fleeing civilians. Similarly, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem challenged its government’s claims that they had “no intention of harming civilians,” noting how after “weeks of lethal bombardments by Israel in the Gaza Strip which have killed hundreds of civilians and wiped out dozens of families, this claim has become meaningless.” United Nations officials in the Gaza Strip also charged Israeli forces with engaging in serious violations of international law, following a series of attacks against six UN schools where Palestinians were seeking refuge, and where no Hamas weaponry or fighters were present, killing 46 civilians.

    None of the claims by the US State Department or individual Representatives that Hamas used civilians as human shields have been evidenced according to the Truthout report.

    Again in 2014 the Belfast Telegraph correspondent, Kem Sengupta, based in Khan Younis, southern Gaza reported on the ‘myth of Hamas’ human shields’ - Gazans deny being put in the line of fire. Sengupta writes:

    What used to be a three-storey house had been turned into debris sunk into a deep crater with twisted steel rods jutting out. Twenty-six people were killed in the mostly deadly air-strike so far in this bloody conflict. Twenty-four of them were from one family, the Abu Jamaa.

    Around the same time that attack was taking place on Sunday evening, Benjamin Netanyahu was charging Hamas on TV with using “human shields” to gather “telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause”.

    Amnesty International, following an extensive investigation after the 2014 war, found no evidence that “Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to ‘shield’ specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.”

    In 2018 the Independent ran a headline - ‘Israeli army edits video of Palestinian medic its troops shot dead to misleadingly show she was 'human shield for Hamas'

    The edited clip was condemned by Palestinians and rights activists as attempt to ‘justify’ 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar’s death - an IOF sniper shot her in the chest during protests on the Gaza-Israel border on 1st June 2018 as she attended to wounded and unarmed protestors also targeted by IOF snipers.

    Israeli government and military officials tweeted out a video labelled ‘Hamas use of human shields must stop’ showing an excerpt of an interview with Al Najjar. The reality is that the young nurse does not mention Hamas and states clearly that she was there to save the wounded at the front lines.

    “The IDF always accuses Palestinians and Israeli human rights orgs of editing documentation of it human rights abuses. But it edited this video of Razan al Najjar to discredit her after murdering her. Absolutely despicable and hypocritical,” Israeli-American writer Mairav Zonszein said on Twitter.

    From personal experience, Hamas officials have always been very against civilians protesting at the border areas because of the high risk of injury and sniping by the IOF.

    In 2013 I went with protestors to Beit Hanoun, north-east Gaza, to confront the IOF prison guards who encircle the Gaza strip with apartheid walls and barbed wire - converting the enclave into an open air concentration camp.

    The automatic gun turrets that are found along the walls are set to fire at a varying distance. Israel changes the distance without ever informing Gazan farmers -so one day the safe distance is 4 meters, some days it is 6 meters - when farmers cross the red line, they are fired upon by the automatic machine gun turrets.

    We stood on high ground next to the wall. We could see the IOF vehicles and guns trained on us. After about an hour of protests, Hamas cars arrived and asked us to leave the area for our own safety.

    Razan Al Najjar was shot in the chest deliberately by the IOF. She presented no danger to the IOF. She was attending to the wounded during the Great March of Return that began in March 2018. The peaceful march demanded the end of the blockade on Gaza and the right to return for Palestinian refugees.

    The IOF responded to these unarmed civilian demonstrations with the use of tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition. ‘Among the casualties of the first year are 227 UNRWA students who were injured and 13 who were killed.’

    Watch this video - Great March of Return, a mother’s perspective:



    6 months after the start of the Great March protests, Amnesty International reported:

    According to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, since the start of the protests, over 150 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations. At least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition. According to Israeli media, one soldier was moderately injured due to shrapnel from a grenade thrown by a Palestinian from inside Gaza and one Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinian sniper fire near the fence that separates Gaza and Israel outside of the context of the protests.

    Legitimate calls for Israeli authorities to lift their 11-year illegal blockade on Gaza and to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their villages and towns have not been met.

    The claim that Al Najjar was a Hamas human shield is a cynical ploy by the Zionist forces to provide justification for their targeting of unarmed civilians who have a legally justified cause to protest under international law. Those that so often call for Palestinians to protest peacefully should understand that there is no effective ‘peaceful’ protest against the IOF.

    In 2021 Law4Palestine - ‘Under Scrutiny: Allegations of Use of Human Shields by Palestinian Armed Groups and the International Criminal Court Investigation’

    What is certain, so far, is that the allegation that the armed groups are using human shields is unsubstantiated, and even the Prosecutor’s Office does not seem to have evidence on this regard, because the evidence at our disposal is the same as that which was available to the Prosecutor’s Office at this stage of the investigation.

    Israel will try to defend itself – whether through the Court or through its political discourse – regarding the commission of war crimes by claiming that the PAGs are terrorist groups and that the war on Gaza was a war on terror where terrorists do not shy away from using civilians as human shields. However, it will face obstacles relating to the characteristics of the Palestinian situation in the Gaza strip and the possibilities of taking “all the possible limits of necessary measures and precautions” to protect civilians and spare them from military attacks.

    Detailed investigations following the 2008-2009 and 2014 conflicts by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and others have failed to find a single documented case of any civilian deaths caused by Hamas using human shields.

    Not one.

    The following video by journalist Abby Martin demonstrates the hypocrisy of ‘human shield’ claims by Washington and Tel-Aviv:

    Now let’s look at Israel’s proven use of Palestinian children and civilians as human shields

    So not only is the Palestinian use of human shields a myth lacking any evidence, it is in fact Israel who is infamous for using human shields in its oppression of the Palestinians. Examples of this are incredibly easy to find even with the most rudimentary of research. Like much Israeli propaganda, it seeks to turn reality upside down and accuse the Palestinians of the crimes that Israel so often commits. This is a prime example of baseless dehumanization that many eagerly embrace because they have come to internalize a demonized image of Palestinians based on Israeli propaganda.

    Decolonize Palestine

    The evidence of Israel using Palestinians as human shields is voluminous, I will cite a number of cases and then offer links to additional reports.

    May 2023 in Ramallah - a report by Defence for Children (DCI) claims that Israeli forces have used at least five Palestinian children as human shields so far this year, including two toddlers.

    Israeli forces then threatened his sons Nidal, 9, and Karam, 11, in addition to his twin nephews, Ahmad and Mohammad, both two years old, and forced them to stand in front of Israeli military vehicles while Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and live ammunition at Palestinians confronting the group of soldiers.

    Israeli special forces forced Anas to stand and walk in front of them for several minutes while handcuffed as they confronted two Palestinian men and fired live ammunition. Before killing the two Palestinian men, Israeli forces forced Anas to sit on the floor of a house next door, blindfolded.

    “International law is explicit and absolutely prohibits the use of children as human shields by armed forces or armed groups," said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces intentionally putting a child in grave danger in order to shield themselves constitutes a war crime.”

    While Israeli forces used the Shalloun family as human shields in Aqbat Jabr refugee camp, one soldier ordered mother Samia to put her two-year-old nephew Mohammad on the ground and raise her hands. Mohammad cried as an Israeli military dog approached him, and as Samia lowered her hands to move him away from the dog, the Israeli soldier put his gun to Mohammad’s head, saying, “Move again and I’ll shoot him.”

    Since 2000, DCIP has documented at least 31 cases involving Palestinian children being used as human shields by the Israeli army. Last year, Israeli soldiers forced 16-year-old Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle in Jenin as armed Palestinians fired heavily in their direction.

    A 2013 report by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child describes a litany of abuses of children by the IOF and security forces including their use as human shields:

    Almost all those using children as human shields and informants have remained unpunished and the soldiers convicted for having forced at gunpoint a nine-year-old child to search bags suspected of containing explosives only received a suspended sentence of three months and were demoted.

    Further details of this case can be found in this Guardian report.

    Two Israeli soldiers who used a nine-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield were given suspended sentences and demoted after being convicted of "inappropriate conduct".

    The unnamed soldiers, from the Givati Brigade, ordered Majeh Rabah, from the Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza City, to check bags for explosives in January 2009, towards the end of Israel's three-week offensive.

    Also in the report from Human Rights Watch.

    2014 - a report from ReliefWeb based on the original report by DCI Palestine:

    Ramallah, August 21, 2014—Israeli soldiers repeatedly used Ahmad Abu Raida, 17, as a human shield for five days while he was held hostage during Israel’s ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

    Ahmad, from Khuza'a, near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, was just 16 years old when he was taken from his family on July 23. He was forced at gunpoint to search for tunnels for five days, during which time he was interrogated, verbally and physically abused, and deprived of food and sleep. Ahmad told DCI-Palestine in a sworn testimony that Israeli soldiers attempted both to extract information from him regarding Hamas members, and recruit him as an informant, before releasing him on July 27.

    "The Israeli military has consistently accused Hamas of using civilians - particularly children - as human shields, but this incident represents a clear case of their soldiers forcing a child to directly assist in military operations," said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. "Israeli officials make generalized accusations while Israeli soldiers engage in conduct that amounts to war crimes."

    A report in Mondoweiss at the same time records accounts of Israeli forces using civilians as human shields:

    Ayman Abu Toaimah, 32, a resident of Khuza’a recalls, “As Israeli invading troops advanced to the village they besieged it and used residents as human shields. When the Israeli army arrested people and then released some of them, they were told they are free to go back to the village, but as they were fleeing they came under fire and some of them shot dead. These people were used as human shields.”

    Abu Saleem, 56, a resident of Khuza’a echoed Abu Toaimah, “Israelis claim that Hamas is using us as human shields– how? This is a lie, we do not see fighters in the streets. It’s them, the Israelis who used us as human shields in Khuza’a and Shuja’iyeh. They turned our houses into military posts, terrified residents in the houses. They attacked innocent civilians with their bombs, and missiles, they attacked chicken farms, they burned our crops, they have no mercy.”

    May 2022 a Palestinian teenage girl was used by the IOF as a human shield during a military raid in Jenin:

    According to DCIP, during a raid on the morning of May 13th, Israeli soldiers forced 16-year-old Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb, to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle for two hours as the vehicle came under fire from Palestinian gunmen, while Israeli soldiers sat inside the vehicle.

    Breaking the Silence documents abuses of Palestinians by the IOF based on accounts from former IOF soldiers. A ‘moving human shield’ is one such report:

    Apparently, that captain had gone to Takua, which is a pretty hostile village—they were throwing stones at the jeep. So he just stopped a Palestinian guy who was passing, forty-something years old, and tied him to the hood of the jeep, a guy just lying on the hood, and they drove into the village. No one threw any more rocks. A human shield. Yes. But not just a human shield—first of all, a human shield is bad enough—this was a moving human shield. Tied to the hood of the jeep and they drove with him tied there. Drove with him through the village, it’s horrific.


    22nd April 2004, a 13 year old boy called Mohammed Said Essa Badwan/Badran was used as a human shield. Mohammed was peacefully taking part in spontaneous demonstration in Biddo against the building of the Annexation Wall. Around noon, following the launch of sound bombs and teargas canisters by the soldiers, some nearby youth started throwing stones. At this point, two Israeli Border Guards arrested Mohammed, beat him and forced him to sit on the hood of their jeep, tying his arm to the windshield screen and then using him as a human shield.

    Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who heads the organisation Rabbis for Human Rights, was present and tried to intervene for the release of the child but was instead arrested and beaten. Mohammed was reported to have been repeatedly hit by the soldiers while he was tied to the vehicle. Although he begged them to release him because he was scared and in pain, they would not. He also reportedly suffered from exposure to the teargas used by the soldiers, since he could not move nor was he given any protection. After about four hours, Mohammed was untied, forced into the jeep and taken first to Al-Sahl, an area in which the Annexation Wall is being constructed. He was then questioned by a military officer. Finally the child was released in the neighbouring village of Al-Kalaileh where he had to wait, alone and in the dark, for a relative to come and pick him up.

    Ramallah June 4th 2013 - ‘Israeli soldiers proudly paraded the handcuffed teen up and down the street, making a public spectacle of him in the occupied West Bank town of Abu Dis.’

    Armed with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas, on Friday, April 19, at least 10 Israeli soldiers confronted the crowd of protesters using 17-year-old Muhammad Rabea as a human shield. They forced him to walk at gunpoint with his hands raised in the air as they approached the protesters.

    Prior to being abused as a human shield, Muhammad had been savagely beaten by the IOF forces that had grabbed him from the streets. He was hit on the forehead with a rifle stock, kicked repeatedly on the legs, hit at the base of his neck by steel helmets. He was bundled in the back of the military jeep, verbally and physically abused, his hands tied by plastic cords. He was forced to sit in a revolving chair while IOF soldiers kicked him as the chair spun in the back of the jeep.

    “One of the soldiers sprayed the keffiyeh (scarf) I was wearing with pepper spray before tying it tightly over my eyes, burning them,” he says. “Each time I coughed, he told me to shut up and kicked me. I wasn’t allowed to cough.”

    At the military camp, soldiers forced him to stand facing a metal pole. Muhammad said the soldiers ripped his jacket and searched him, while an army dog clawed his back and calves. Following the search, soldiers knocked him down on the ground where he laid for two hours in pain as they continued to kick him in his legs, back and stomach. One of the soldiers removed the keffiyeh over his eyes and poured gasoline on it, burning it in front of him. The soldiers re-blindfolded him with a black piece of cloth and continued to hit him on the head with their helmets.

    Btselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) 2017:

    Since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, Israeli security forces have repeatedly used Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip as human shields, ordering them to perform military tasks that risked their lives. As part of this policy, soldiers have ordered Palestinian civilians to remove suspicious objects from roads, to tell people to come out of their homes so the military can arrest them, to stand in front of soldiers while the latter shoot from behind them, and more. The Palestinian civilians were chosen at random for these tasks, and could not refuse the demand placed on them by armed soldiers.

    Using civilians to get wanted persons out of a house is known as “neighbor procedure.” This procedure does not differ significantly from other ways in which the military has used Palestinian civilian. It, too, too, constitutes illegal exploitation of civilians to perform military tasks and places them in real danger. This was made irrefutably clear in an incident that took place in 2002. On 14 August, soldiers sent Nidal Abu Mukhsan, a 19-year-old from the village of Tubas, to the home of Nasser Jarar, a Hamas activist, and ordered him to get Jarar out of the house. When Abu Mukhsan approached the house, Jarar, apparently thinking that the person knocking at the door was a soldier, shot and killed him.

    2012 report from the Institute for Middle East Understanding:

    In 2007, B'Tselem releases a report documenting 14 cases in which Israeli soldiers have used Palestinian civilians - including boys and girls as young as 11-years-old - as human shields to protect themselves in dangerous situations. In one case, a 14-year-old girl in Gaza is shot in the stomach and leg after soldiers used her as a human shield during an incursion.

    In May 2011, two dozen former Israeli soldiers come forward to provide eyewitness accounts of the abuse of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military, including their use as human shields.

    2021 - Human Rights Watch - A Threshold Crossed, Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.

    When Palestinians Became Human Shields: Counterinsurgency, Racialization, and the Great Revolt (1936–1939) - Cambridge University Press

    Using Palestinians as human shields began under the British Mandate in Palestine that ended in 1947. In frustration at the relative success of Palestinian rebels who rejected the influx of European Jews to dispossess Palestinians of their land, the British turned to the use of human shields to defuse Palestinian guerilla military campaigns from 1936-38.

    The regularization of human shielding served as proof of “the dark path of repression” foreseen and warned against by the Peel Commission. Footnote125 It was also elemental to an ongoing process of colonial racialization that robbed the Palestinians of their humanity, stripped them of any figment of legal rights or protections, and denuded them of the most basic security of life. Indeed, with the systematic use of human shields, the colonial regime veered towards the “negation of all law” so feared by top civilian officials and took Palestinian society with it into the ensuing abyss.

    Conclusions

    US law requires Biden to impose sanctions on Hamas for using human shields.

    The Hill

    According to a report in The Hill, the “Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act” passed both houses of Congress unanimously in 2018. The Shields Act, as it is known, specifically requires the president to submit to Congress a list of persons he determines to be involved in the use of human shields.

    Biden should move swiftly to impose the sanctions already required by his determination that Hamas is using human shields.

    There is no evidence of Hamas using civilians as human shields - there is a plethora of evidence that Israel has historically exploited Palestinians as human shields putting the lives of children at risk on multiple occasions, torturing and traumatising them in the process. This is completely ignored by Washington. No sanctions on Israel?

    It can be argued that Israel has deliberately put its own civilians in danger as human shields by facilitating settlement in contested zones beyond the green line - as for example in the case of the Kibbutz Be’eri when it is now proven that Israeli civilians were not only killed by the IOF gunfire during battles with Palestinian Resistance factions but were also shelled by Israeli tanks two days after the 7th October when the IOF took a decision to eliminate their own civilians alongside Resistance militants.

    They [Israelis] are directly put in danger as a sacrifice to Israel’s expansionist colonial designs, which they can then blame on Palestinians to further accelerate this same project.

    Decolonize Palestine

    ‘Israel justifies its violent attacks by continuously accusing Hamas of using human shields, desperately hoping to stir moral indignation while also trying to muster a legal defence for the indefensible.’

    The subtext is that civilised people protect their children while Palestinians sacrifice them.

    Under this pretext all Palestinians become legitimate targets and Israel can be exonerated of all blame. It is a criminal manipulation of reality to enable justification of genocide and the US and UK are upholding it - thus they are complicit in genocide.

    The director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Craig Mokhiber, resigned on Tuesday, writing:

    “As a human rights lawyer with more than three decades of experience in the field, I know well that the concept of genocide has often been subject to political abuse. But the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate. In Gaza, civilian homes, schools, churches, mosques, and medical institutions are wantonly attacked as thousands of civilians are massacred. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, homes are seized and reassigned based entirely on race, and violent settler pogroms are accompanied by Israeli military units. Across the land, Apartheid rules.

    “This is a text-book case of genocide. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine. What’s more, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault. Not only are these governments refusing to meet their treaty obligations ‘to ensure respect’ for the Geneva Conventions, but they are in fact actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities.”

    See full letter, news report and interview from Wednesday morning with Mokhiber.


    Journalist Sam Husseini wrote on X - I asked the State Dept on Tuesday about the recent DAWN MENA report documenting the Biden administration's efforts to pay for Israeli plans to "ethnically cleanse" Palestinians to Gaza. The spokesperson refused to comment on the funding request:

    If you really want to understand Washington’s defence of Israeli war crimes and human rights abuses including a de facto genocide of the Palestinian people, you need look no further than this extraordinary admission by Robert F. Kennedy Jr:

    Palestinian life is expendable if it ensures US unipolar supremacy. Heck, even the lives of Israelis are superfluous when faced with US protection of its global hegemony. If it is not yet clear that tropes such as “Hamas atrocities” and “Hamas human shields” are nothing more than fig leaves for US proxy war crimes in defence of US global military adventurism - then we are headed for a very ominous future.

    Thank you for reading.

    ***

    Please do consider subscribing to my substack. Every little amount does help me to keep pushing back against the lies that threaten us all.
    The 'Hamas human shield' justification for Israeli war crimes Zionist projection is the default Hasbara strategy vanessa beeley What separates Israel, the United States and other democracies when it comes to incredibly difficult situations like this is our respect for international law and, as appropriate, the laws of war. We do everything we can, in these situations, to avoid civilian casualties. That is in direct contrast with Hamas which uses people as human shields. It [Hamas] actually seeks to put Palestinian civilians in situations where they could be harmed. This is very much part of the game plan. We know Israel will take all the precautions it can, just as we would, again that is what separates us from Hamas and terrorist groups that engage in the most heinous kind of activities US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken If you actually listen to the clip of Blinken justifying Israeli brutality you will hear how he stumbles over his words. He knows he is lying in my opinion. The 4000 plus dead children, 10,328 dead civilians, 26000 injured and 2300 missing believed buried under the rubble of Israeli bombs does not substantiate Blinken’s claims of adherence to international law. The Israeli bombing of humanitarian convoys, ambulances, paramedics, Civil Defence headquarters, journalists - 50 killed so far, hospitals, makeshift refugee centres, places of worship - mosques and churches, schools, UNWRA facilities, humanitarian aid supplies including essential bottled water supplies, sewage treatment plants, bridges, solar panels, electricity and internet, media buildings, fisherman’s boats, flour stores, burning of food crops - all these targets are in direct violation of any rule of war or human rights conventions. The deliberate policy of starvation and the cutting off of water, food, fuel and electricity supplies is a genocidal policy: According to Euro-Med Monitor, the Israeli war of starvation has taken very dangerous turns, including cutting off all food supplies to the Northern half and bombing and destroying factories, bakeries, food stores, water stations, and tanks throughout the entire enclave. Soaring malnutrition cases especially among pregnant women and children. A Euromed report confirms that “women and children in Gaza are disproportionately suffering from the effects of Israel's war. Approximately 52,500 infants in Gaza are currently at risk of starvation, death, dehydration, and other health hazards due to overcrowding, in addition to 55,000 pregnant women, of whom 5,500 are expected to give birth this month.” “According to Euro-Med Monitor, getting bread in the Gaza Strip has become an existential challenge, since Gaza’s sole mill there is still unable to grind wheat because of a shortage of fuel and electricity. Since October 7, 11 bakeries have been bombed and destroyed, while the ones that are still operating face tremendous difficulties due to fuel and flour shortages.” Israel has been blatant about its genocidal policies. Blinken disappears the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from West Bank and Gaza in his statement. Israeli Heritage Minister, Amichai Eliyahu, has not only described the bombing of Gaza as “amazing”, he has recommended nuking Gaza and sending Palestinians to Ireland or the desert. According to a Times of Israel article: Eliyahu also voices his objection during the interview to allowing any humanitarian aid into Gaza, saying “we wouldn’t hand the Nazis humanitarian aid,” and charging that “there is no such thing as uninvolved civilians in Gaza.” “They can go to Ireland or deserts, the monsters in Gaza should find a solution by themselves.” He says the northern Strip has no right to exist, adding that anyone waving a Palestinian or Hamas flag “shouldn’t continue living on the face of the earth.” Corpses rotting under rubble, shallow and hastily dug mass graves. Chemicals believed to be used by Israel in the bombing campaigns including White Phosphorous - all these factors spell disaster when the rains come. Gaza is a strip of land the size of the Isle of Wight ( 40km X 12km) with a population of 2.2 million civilians. With the forced evacuation by Israel from the north to the south - you will have 2.2 million civilians living in an area half its original size. Israel has destroyed Gaza’s ability to desalinate water to provide clean drinking water or to effectively pump sewage out of the strip. When the rains come, disease will be rife with sewage, decaying bodies, chemicals, disease flooding the enclave. Even in so-called peace time children are used to wading through sewage to get to school. Children are forced to swim in raw sewage in the sea off the Gaza coast. This pollution will be exponentially increased by the latest Israeli aggression. Added to this, the targeting of hospitals and health centers will result in chronic illness patients dying from lack of available treatment. Euromed - “more than 2,000 cancer patients, more than 1,000 patients in need of dialysis to survive, 50,000 cardiovascular patients, and over 60,000 diabetics—urgently need access to basic healthcare services considering the severe shortage of medications, medical supplies, fuel, food, and clean water.” These patients are not given priority because of the massive influx of emergency cases from the Israeli bombing raids. As Euromed Monitor reports: Eighteen out of 35 hospitals in the Gaza Strip have stopped operating so far, according to local health officials there. Overall, 120 health institutions have been targeted, while more than 48 primary care centres (70%) are now out of service due to the ongoing Israeli raids and the fuel crisis. The Hamas Human Shield trope The claim that Hamas or as I prefer to call it, the Palestinian Resistance coalition, use Palestinian civilians as human shields is consistently used to justify the Israeli bombing of civilian targets as mentioned above. The bombing of an ambulance carrying wounded for evacuation at the Egyptian Rafah border was justified by the Israeli claim that Hamas fighters were on board. Claims that are never substantiated or investigated. In my experience in both Gaza during Israeli aggression 2012 and in Syria on various frontlines - it is normal for the injured or civilian evacuees to be escorted for their safety by military, in Syria by the Syrian Arab Army. I do not know if this was the case in Gaza but it is a legitimate reason for military escort. The civilian bodies that were brought from the ambulance into hospital however contradict Israeli claims. Israel has, so far, failed to provide evidence of its claims that resulted in the deaths of civilians including children. Gaza is a strip of land 40km by 12km. It is a densely populated enclave with buildings arranged in close proximity, schools, hospitals, residential areas all on top of each other. Israel claims that the Palestinian Resistance is using their own families, children and civilians as “human shields” while carpet bombing entire residential areas to allegedly wipe out ‘Hamas’. The denials of Hamas using human shields 2014 - BBC’s Jeremy Bowen wrote for the New Statesman - ‘I saw no evidence of Hamas using Palestinians as human shields’. Bowen described his experience in Gaza: I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. I saw men from Hamas on street corners, keeping an eye on what was happening. They were local people and everyone knew them, even the young boys. Also in 2014 a Truthout article was published - ‘Congress utilizes myth of human shields to justify [Israeli] war crimes’ According to the report ‘no Gaza eyewitness found evidence of Hamas using human shields’ during the 2014 Israeli aggression against the Gaza strip which followed a similar pattern to the ongoing 2023 mass bombing of civilian infrastructure - a war crime in itself. From the report: Human Rights Watch cited evidence of Israel “blatantly violating the laws of war designed to spare civilians,” including attacks on heavily-populated neighborhoods and shooting at fleeing civilians. Similarly, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem challenged its government’s claims that they had “no intention of harming civilians,” noting how after “weeks of lethal bombardments by Israel in the Gaza Strip which have killed hundreds of civilians and wiped out dozens of families, this claim has become meaningless.” United Nations officials in the Gaza Strip also charged Israeli forces with engaging in serious violations of international law, following a series of attacks against six UN schools where Palestinians were seeking refuge, and where no Hamas weaponry or fighters were present, killing 46 civilians. None of the claims by the US State Department or individual Representatives that Hamas used civilians as human shields have been evidenced according to the Truthout report. Again in 2014 the Belfast Telegraph correspondent, Kem Sengupta, based in Khan Younis, southern Gaza reported on the ‘myth of Hamas’ human shields’ - Gazans deny being put in the line of fire. Sengupta writes: What used to be a three-storey house had been turned into debris sunk into a deep crater with twisted steel rods jutting out. Twenty-six people were killed in the mostly deadly air-strike so far in this bloody conflict. Twenty-four of them were from one family, the Abu Jamaa. Around the same time that attack was taking place on Sunday evening, Benjamin Netanyahu was charging Hamas on TV with using “human shields” to gather “telegenically dead Palestinians for their cause”. Amnesty International, following an extensive investigation after the 2014 war, found no evidence that “Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to ‘shield’ specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.” In 2018 the Independent ran a headline - ‘Israeli army edits video of Palestinian medic its troops shot dead to misleadingly show she was 'human shield for Hamas' The edited clip was condemned by Palestinians and rights activists as attempt to ‘justify’ 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar’s death - an IOF sniper shot her in the chest during protests on the Gaza-Israel border on 1st June 2018 as she attended to wounded and unarmed protestors also targeted by IOF snipers. Israeli government and military officials tweeted out a video labelled ‘Hamas use of human shields must stop’ showing an excerpt of an interview with Al Najjar. The reality is that the young nurse does not mention Hamas and states clearly that she was there to save the wounded at the front lines. “The IDF always accuses Palestinians and Israeli human rights orgs of editing documentation of it human rights abuses. But it edited this video of Razan al Najjar to discredit her after murdering her. Absolutely despicable and hypocritical,” Israeli-American writer Mairav Zonszein said on Twitter. From personal experience, Hamas officials have always been very against civilians protesting at the border areas because of the high risk of injury and sniping by the IOF. In 2013 I went with protestors to Beit Hanoun, north-east Gaza, to confront the IOF prison guards who encircle the Gaza strip with apartheid walls and barbed wire - converting the enclave into an open air concentration camp. The automatic gun turrets that are found along the walls are set to fire at a varying distance. Israel changes the distance without ever informing Gazan farmers -so one day the safe distance is 4 meters, some days it is 6 meters - when farmers cross the red line, they are fired upon by the automatic machine gun turrets. We stood on high ground next to the wall. We could see the IOF vehicles and guns trained on us. After about an hour of protests, Hamas cars arrived and asked us to leave the area for our own safety. Razan Al Najjar was shot in the chest deliberately by the IOF. She presented no danger to the IOF. She was attending to the wounded during the Great March of Return that began in March 2018. The peaceful march demanded the end of the blockade on Gaza and the right to return for Palestinian refugees. The IOF responded to these unarmed civilian demonstrations with the use of tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition. ‘Among the casualties of the first year are 227 UNRWA students who were injured and 13 who were killed.’ Watch this video - Great March of Return, a mother’s perspective: 6 months after the start of the Great March protests, Amnesty International reported: According to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, since the start of the protests, over 150 Palestinians have been killed in the demonstrations. At least 10,000 others have been injured, including 1,849 children, 424 women, 115 paramedics and 115 journalists. Of those injured, 5,814 were hit by live ammunition. According to Israeli media, one soldier was moderately injured due to shrapnel from a grenade thrown by a Palestinian from inside Gaza and one Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinian sniper fire near the fence that separates Gaza and Israel outside of the context of the protests. Legitimate calls for Israeli authorities to lift their 11-year illegal blockade on Gaza and to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their villages and towns have not been met. The claim that Al Najjar was a Hamas human shield is a cynical ploy by the Zionist forces to provide justification for their targeting of unarmed civilians who have a legally justified cause to protest under international law. Those that so often call for Palestinians to protest peacefully should understand that there is no effective ‘peaceful’ protest against the IOF. In 2021 Law4Palestine - ‘Under Scrutiny: Allegations of Use of Human Shields by Palestinian Armed Groups and the International Criminal Court Investigation’ What is certain, so far, is that the allegation that the armed groups are using human shields is unsubstantiated, and even the Prosecutor’s Office does not seem to have evidence on this regard, because the evidence at our disposal is the same as that which was available to the Prosecutor’s Office at this stage of the investigation. Israel will try to defend itself – whether through the Court or through its political discourse – regarding the commission of war crimes by claiming that the PAGs are terrorist groups and that the war on Gaza was a war on terror where terrorists do not shy away from using civilians as human shields. However, it will face obstacles relating to the characteristics of the Palestinian situation in the Gaza strip and the possibilities of taking “all the possible limits of necessary measures and precautions” to protect civilians and spare them from military attacks. Detailed investigations following the 2008-2009 and 2014 conflicts by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and others have failed to find a single documented case of any civilian deaths caused by Hamas using human shields. Not one. The following video by journalist Abby Martin demonstrates the hypocrisy of ‘human shield’ claims by Washington and Tel-Aviv: Now let’s look at Israel’s proven use of Palestinian children and civilians as human shields So not only is the Palestinian use of human shields a myth lacking any evidence, it is in fact Israel who is infamous for using human shields in its oppression of the Palestinians. Examples of this are incredibly easy to find even with the most rudimentary of research. Like much Israeli propaganda, it seeks to turn reality upside down and accuse the Palestinians of the crimes that Israel so often commits. This is a prime example of baseless dehumanization that many eagerly embrace because they have come to internalize a demonized image of Palestinians based on Israeli propaganda. Decolonize Palestine The evidence of Israel using Palestinians as human shields is voluminous, I will cite a number of cases and then offer links to additional reports. May 2023 in Ramallah - a report by Defence for Children (DCI) claims that Israeli forces have used at least five Palestinian children as human shields so far this year, including two toddlers. Israeli forces then threatened his sons Nidal, 9, and Karam, 11, in addition to his twin nephews, Ahmad and Mohammad, both two years old, and forced them to stand in front of Israeli military vehicles while Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and live ammunition at Palestinians confronting the group of soldiers. Israeli special forces forced Anas to stand and walk in front of them for several minutes while handcuffed as they confronted two Palestinian men and fired live ammunition. Before killing the two Palestinian men, Israeli forces forced Anas to sit on the floor of a house next door, blindfolded. “International law is explicit and absolutely prohibits the use of children as human shields by armed forces or armed groups," said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “Israeli forces intentionally putting a child in grave danger in order to shield themselves constitutes a war crime.” While Israeli forces used the Shalloun family as human shields in Aqbat Jabr refugee camp, one soldier ordered mother Samia to put her two-year-old nephew Mohammad on the ground and raise her hands. Mohammad cried as an Israeli military dog approached him, and as Samia lowered her hands to move him away from the dog, the Israeli soldier put his gun to Mohammad’s head, saying, “Move again and I’ll shoot him.” Since 2000, DCIP has documented at least 31 cases involving Palestinian children being used as human shields by the Israeli army. Last year, Israeli soldiers forced 16-year-old Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle in Jenin as armed Palestinians fired heavily in their direction. A 2013 report by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child describes a litany of abuses of children by the IOF and security forces including their use as human shields: Almost all those using children as human shields and informants have remained unpunished and the soldiers convicted for having forced at gunpoint a nine-year-old child to search bags suspected of containing explosives only received a suspended sentence of three months and were demoted. Further details of this case can be found in this Guardian report. Two Israeli soldiers who used a nine-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield were given suspended sentences and demoted after being convicted of "inappropriate conduct". The unnamed soldiers, from the Givati Brigade, ordered Majeh Rabah, from the Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza City, to check bags for explosives in January 2009, towards the end of Israel's three-week offensive. Also in the report from Human Rights Watch. 2014 - a report from ReliefWeb based on the original report by DCI Palestine: Ramallah, August 21, 2014—Israeli soldiers repeatedly used Ahmad Abu Raida, 17, as a human shield for five days while he was held hostage during Israel’s ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. Ahmad, from Khuza'a, near the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, was just 16 years old when he was taken from his family on July 23. He was forced at gunpoint to search for tunnels for five days, during which time he was interrogated, verbally and physically abused, and deprived of food and sleep. Ahmad told DCI-Palestine in a sworn testimony that Israeli soldiers attempted both to extract information from him regarding Hamas members, and recruit him as an informant, before releasing him on July 27. "The Israeli military has consistently accused Hamas of using civilians - particularly children - as human shields, but this incident represents a clear case of their soldiers forcing a child to directly assist in military operations," said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. "Israeli officials make generalized accusations while Israeli soldiers engage in conduct that amounts to war crimes." A report in Mondoweiss at the same time records accounts of Israeli forces using civilians as human shields: Ayman Abu Toaimah, 32, a resident of Khuza’a recalls, “As Israeli invading troops advanced to the village they besieged it and used residents as human shields. When the Israeli army arrested people and then released some of them, they were told they are free to go back to the village, but as they were fleeing they came under fire and some of them shot dead. These people were used as human shields.” Abu Saleem, 56, a resident of Khuza’a echoed Abu Toaimah, “Israelis claim that Hamas is using us as human shields– how? This is a lie, we do not see fighters in the streets. It’s them, the Israelis who used us as human shields in Khuza’a and Shuja’iyeh. They turned our houses into military posts, terrified residents in the houses. They attacked innocent civilians with their bombs, and missiles, they attacked chicken farms, they burned our crops, they have no mercy.” May 2022 a Palestinian teenage girl was used by the IOF as a human shield during a military raid in Jenin: According to DCIP, during a raid on the morning of May 13th, Israeli soldiers forced 16-year-old Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb, to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle for two hours as the vehicle came under fire from Palestinian gunmen, while Israeli soldiers sat inside the vehicle. Breaking the Silence documents abuses of Palestinians by the IOF based on accounts from former IOF soldiers. A ‘moving human shield’ is one such report: Apparently, that captain had gone to Takua, which is a pretty hostile village—they were throwing stones at the jeep. So he just stopped a Palestinian guy who was passing, forty-something years old, and tied him to the hood of the jeep, a guy just lying on the hood, and they drove into the village. No one threw any more rocks. A human shield. Yes. But not just a human shield—first of all, a human shield is bad enough—this was a moving human shield. Tied to the hood of the jeep and they drove with him tied there. Drove with him through the village, it’s horrific. 22nd April 2004, a 13 year old boy called Mohammed Said Essa Badwan/Badran was used as a human shield. Mohammed was peacefully taking part in spontaneous demonstration in Biddo against the building of the Annexation Wall. Around noon, following the launch of sound bombs and teargas canisters by the soldiers, some nearby youth started throwing stones. At this point, two Israeli Border Guards arrested Mohammed, beat him and forced him to sit on the hood of their jeep, tying his arm to the windshield screen and then using him as a human shield. Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who heads the organisation Rabbis for Human Rights, was present and tried to intervene for the release of the child but was instead arrested and beaten. Mohammed was reported to have been repeatedly hit by the soldiers while he was tied to the vehicle. Although he begged them to release him because he was scared and in pain, they would not. He also reportedly suffered from exposure to the teargas used by the soldiers, since he could not move nor was he given any protection. After about four hours, Mohammed was untied, forced into the jeep and taken first to Al-Sahl, an area in which the Annexation Wall is being constructed. He was then questioned by a military officer. Finally the child was released in the neighbouring village of Al-Kalaileh where he had to wait, alone and in the dark, for a relative to come and pick him up. Ramallah June 4th 2013 - ‘Israeli soldiers proudly paraded the handcuffed teen up and down the street, making a public spectacle of him in the occupied West Bank town of Abu Dis.’ Armed with live ammunition, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas, on Friday, April 19, at least 10 Israeli soldiers confronted the crowd of protesters using 17-year-old Muhammad Rabea as a human shield. They forced him to walk at gunpoint with his hands raised in the air as they approached the protesters. Prior to being abused as a human shield, Muhammad had been savagely beaten by the IOF forces that had grabbed him from the streets. He was hit on the forehead with a rifle stock, kicked repeatedly on the legs, hit at the base of his neck by steel helmets. He was bundled in the back of the military jeep, verbally and physically abused, his hands tied by plastic cords. He was forced to sit in a revolving chair while IOF soldiers kicked him as the chair spun in the back of the jeep. “One of the soldiers sprayed the keffiyeh (scarf) I was wearing with pepper spray before tying it tightly over my eyes, burning them,” he says. “Each time I coughed, he told me to shut up and kicked me. I wasn’t allowed to cough.” At the military camp, soldiers forced him to stand facing a metal pole. Muhammad said the soldiers ripped his jacket and searched him, while an army dog clawed his back and calves. Following the search, soldiers knocked him down on the ground where he laid for two hours in pain as they continued to kick him in his legs, back and stomach. One of the soldiers removed the keffiyeh over his eyes and poured gasoline on it, burning it in front of him. The soldiers re-blindfolded him with a black piece of cloth and continued to hit him on the head with their helmets. Btselem (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories) 2017: Since the beginning of the occupation in 1967, Israeli security forces have repeatedly used Palestinians in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip as human shields, ordering them to perform military tasks that risked their lives. As part of this policy, soldiers have ordered Palestinian civilians to remove suspicious objects from roads, to tell people to come out of their homes so the military can arrest them, to stand in front of soldiers while the latter shoot from behind them, and more. The Palestinian civilians were chosen at random for these tasks, and could not refuse the demand placed on them by armed soldiers. Using civilians to get wanted persons out of a house is known as “neighbor procedure.” This procedure does not differ significantly from other ways in which the military has used Palestinian civilian. It, too, too, constitutes illegal exploitation of civilians to perform military tasks and places them in real danger. This was made irrefutably clear in an incident that took place in 2002. On 14 August, soldiers sent Nidal Abu Mukhsan, a 19-year-old from the village of Tubas, to the home of Nasser Jarar, a Hamas activist, and ordered him to get Jarar out of the house. When Abu Mukhsan approached the house, Jarar, apparently thinking that the person knocking at the door was a soldier, shot and killed him. 2012 report from the Institute for Middle East Understanding: In 2007, B'Tselem releases a report documenting 14 cases in which Israeli soldiers have used Palestinian civilians - including boys and girls as young as 11-years-old - as human shields to protect themselves in dangerous situations. In one case, a 14-year-old girl in Gaza is shot in the stomach and leg after soldiers used her as a human shield during an incursion. In May 2011, two dozen former Israeli soldiers come forward to provide eyewitness accounts of the abuse of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli military, including their use as human shields. 2021 - Human Rights Watch - A Threshold Crossed, Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution. When Palestinians Became Human Shields: Counterinsurgency, Racialization, and the Great Revolt (1936–1939) - Cambridge University Press Using Palestinians as human shields began under the British Mandate in Palestine that ended in 1947. In frustration at the relative success of Palestinian rebels who rejected the influx of European Jews to dispossess Palestinians of their land, the British turned to the use of human shields to defuse Palestinian guerilla military campaigns from 1936-38. The regularization of human shielding served as proof of “the dark path of repression” foreseen and warned against by the Peel Commission. Footnote125 It was also elemental to an ongoing process of colonial racialization that robbed the Palestinians of their humanity, stripped them of any figment of legal rights or protections, and denuded them of the most basic security of life. Indeed, with the systematic use of human shields, the colonial regime veered towards the “negation of all law” so feared by top civilian officials and took Palestinian society with it into the ensuing abyss. Conclusions US law requires Biden to impose sanctions on Hamas for using human shields. The Hill According to a report in The Hill, the “Sanctioning the Use of Civilians as Defenseless Shields Act” passed both houses of Congress unanimously in 2018. The Shields Act, as it is known, specifically requires the president to submit to Congress a list of persons he determines to be involved in the use of human shields. Biden should move swiftly to impose the sanctions already required by his determination that Hamas is using human shields. There is no evidence of Hamas using civilians as human shields - there is a plethora of evidence that Israel has historically exploited Palestinians as human shields putting the lives of children at risk on multiple occasions, torturing and traumatising them in the process. This is completely ignored by Washington. No sanctions on Israel? It can be argued that Israel has deliberately put its own civilians in danger as human shields by facilitating settlement in contested zones beyond the green line - as for example in the case of the Kibbutz Be’eri when it is now proven that Israeli civilians were not only killed by the IOF gunfire during battles with Palestinian Resistance factions but were also shelled by Israeli tanks two days after the 7th October when the IOF took a decision to eliminate their own civilians alongside Resistance militants. They [Israelis] are directly put in danger as a sacrifice to Israel’s expansionist colonial designs, which they can then blame on Palestinians to further accelerate this same project. Decolonize Palestine ‘Israel justifies its violent attacks by continuously accusing Hamas of using human shields, desperately hoping to stir moral indignation while also trying to muster a legal defence for the indefensible.’ The subtext is that civilised people protect their children while Palestinians sacrifice them. Under this pretext all Palestinians become legitimate targets and Israel can be exonerated of all blame. It is a criminal manipulation of reality to enable justification of genocide and the US and UK are upholding it - thus they are complicit in genocide. The director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Craig Mokhiber, resigned on Tuesday, writing: “As a human rights lawyer with more than three decades of experience in the field, I know well that the concept of genocide has often been subject to political abuse. But the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate. In Gaza, civilian homes, schools, churches, mosques, and medical institutions are wantonly attacked as thousands of civilians are massacred. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, homes are seized and reassigned based entirely on race, and violent settler pogroms are accompanied by Israeli military units. Across the land, Apartheid rules. “This is a text-book case of genocide. The European, ethno-nationalist, settler colonial project in Palestine has entered its final phase, toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine. What’s more, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe, are wholly complicit in the horrific assault. Not only are these governments refusing to meet their treaty obligations ‘to ensure respect’ for the Geneva Conventions, but they are in fact actively arming the assault, providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities.” See full letter, news report and interview from Wednesday morning with Mokhiber. Journalist Sam Husseini wrote on X - I asked the State Dept on Tuesday about the recent DAWN MENA report documenting the Biden administration's efforts to pay for Israeli plans to "ethnically cleanse" Palestinians to Gaza. The spokesperson refused to comment on the funding request: If you really want to understand Washington’s defence of Israeli war crimes and human rights abuses including a de facto genocide of the Palestinian people, you need look no further than this extraordinary admission by Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Palestinian life is expendable if it ensures US unipolar supremacy. Heck, even the lives of Israelis are superfluous when faced with US protection of its global hegemony. If it is not yet clear that tropes such as “Hamas atrocities” and “Hamas human shields” are nothing more than fig leaves for US proxy war crimes in defence of US global military adventurism - then we are headed for a very ominous future. Thank you for reading. *** Please do consider subscribing to my substack. Every little amount does help me to keep pushing back against the lies that threaten us all.
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    Elevate your style with a trendy Pokemon Denim Jacket. This versatile piece combines fashion and fandom, featuring iconic Pokemon graphics on durable denim. Perfect for both casual outings and showcasing your love for the franchise. Stay cozy and stylish while catching 'em all in this must-have jacket. Make a bold statement with POKEMON DENIM JACKET! https://catchycustom.com/collections/denim-jackets/products/pokemon-denim?variant=46542744781114
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  • Premium Custom Denim Jackets in UAE are in High Demand
    https://catchycustom.com/collections/denim-jackets
    Denim jackets are a fashion statement made by the younger generation. With various customised denim jackets available on Catchy Custom, you can choose the one that best suits your style. But let's consider that a denim jacket can be styled according to your preferences, and wherever you go, you will leave a style statement that will further inspire others.
    Premium Custom Denim Jackets in UAE are in High Demand https://catchycustom.com/collections/denim-jackets Denim jackets are a fashion statement made by the younger generation. With various customised denim jackets available on Catchy Custom, you can choose the one that best suits your style. But let's consider that a denim jacket can be styled according to your preferences, and wherever you go, you will leave a style statement that will further inspire others.
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  • “One day you will find a crumpled disposable mask in the pocket of an old down jacket. And you will smile nostalgically as you adjust your bulletproof vest.”
    “One day you will find a crumpled disposable mask in the pocket of an old down jacket. And you will smile nostalgically as you adjust your bulletproof vest.”
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  • Today we were here in Ketchikan, Alaska one of the ports of call of our cruise ship. This port of call is one of the famous and Iconic places in Alaska especially known for its best supplies of King crab and Salmon.
    We arrived here in Ketchikan approximately 7am wherein I managed to go ashore at 2Pm after my duty and we had a general drill mandated by IMO (International Maritime Organization).
    This place is always raining, and it is very seldom you will experience clear sky. so I walked around and check if there were any changes since the last time I was here. The first stop I went to is the store of Harley Davidson, where I checked what they have and if they have something that I am looking for a "Leather Jacket", but unfortunately they dont have it. They have only baseball caps and T-Shirts only.
    after I went to the store in Harley Davidson, while raining I decided to dine in one of the asian restaurant, which is very popular to all seafarers who misses their traditional food.
    so I decided as well to dine in and update my software in my laptop
    so I spent approximately an hour here and ordered a Pad Thai a favorite of mine.
    I will be definitely be back to this place. so the overview of this place was so amazing, along the way back to the ship I found this statue besides our ship
    but ofcourse unfortunately we need to go back to the ship as soon as possible to avoid getting late at work and i dont want to be on trouble.j
    and this is the upper view of Ketchikan from the ship upper deck
    Today we were here in Ketchikan, Alaska one of the ports of call of our cruise ship. This port of call is one of the famous and Iconic places in Alaska especially known for its best supplies of King crab and Salmon. We arrived here in Ketchikan approximately 7am wherein I managed to go ashore at 2Pm after my duty and we had a general drill mandated by IMO (International Maritime Organization). This place is always raining, and it is very seldom you will experience clear sky. so I walked around and check if there were any changes since the last time I was here. The first stop I went to is the store of Harley Davidson, where I checked what they have and if they have something that I am looking for a "Leather Jacket", but unfortunately they dont have it. They have only baseball caps and T-Shirts only. after I went to the store in Harley Davidson, while raining I decided to dine in one of the asian restaurant, which is very popular to all seafarers who misses their traditional food. so I decided as well to dine in and update my software in my laptop so I spent approximately an hour here and ordered a Pad Thai a favorite of mine. I will be definitely be back to this place. so the overview of this place was so amazing, along the way back to the ship I found this statue besides our ship but ofcourse unfortunately we need to go back to the ship as soon as possible to avoid getting late at work and i dont want to be on trouble.j and this is the upper view of Ketchikan from the ship upper deck
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    13
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  • Pumpkin got in the ocean today...not by choice lol

    She did have her life jacket on though :)
    Pumpkin got in the ocean today...not by choice lol She did have her life jacket on though :)
    Like
    10
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  • Revenge of the dues! Just went for a walk and got a huge pooop ???? on my jacket ????
    OR maybe this means great luck ?????
    Revenge of the dues! Just went for a walk and got a huge pooop ???? on my jacket ???? OR maybe this means great luck ?????
    Like
    Haha
    14
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