Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jabaliya refugee camp

Time for serious Outrage:

US resupplying Israel with ammunition and additional $300 million military hardware

Even after condemning shelling of Gaza schools, playgrounds, hospitals, Mosques, electrical power, and UN institutions…

Published July 30, 2014

(Just a reminder of the preemptive genocide war on the Palestinians in Gaza)

An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip July 28, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

An Israeli mobile artillery unit fires towards the Gaza Strip July 28, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

That afternoon, CNN reported that the United States military will be honoring a request from Israel for assistance in the midst of their weeks-long campaign against militants from Hamas residing in Gaza City.

(Assistance is getting a terrible bad connotation)

According to the network, Pentagon officials have confirmed that the US will honor a request from Israel for several types of ammunition, including 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers.

(And what about missiles for the Iron Dome that proved totally ineffective and pretty costly?)

The exchange will not be an emergency sale, the unnamed officials said, and is coming from a stockpile of weapons maintained by the US in Israel worth more than $1 billion.

Only moments beforehand, however, the White House officially spoke out against an attack attributed to the IDF from earlier that day on an UN Relief and Works Agency school in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp.

Officials in Gaza say the shelling killed at least 15 and wounded 90 others, and is but the latest strike waged by the IDF in a war against Hamas that continues to claim the lives of Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire.

“The United States condemns the shelling of a UNRWA school in Gaza, which reportedly killed and injured innocent Palestinians – including children – and UN humanitarian workers,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for US President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, said in a statement.

We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in UN designated shelters in Gaza.

We also condemn those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza. All of these actions, and similar ones earlier in the conflict, are inconsistent with the UN’s neutrality.

This violence underscores the need to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible.”

The White House neglected to blame Israel by name for the attack, but both a military spokesperson and a lieutenant colonel in the IDF admitted the nation’s role in the offensive to New York Times journalists reporting from Gaza on Wednesday.

Palestinian militants “opened fire at Israeli soldiers from the vicinity” of the school early Wednesday, the spokesperson told the paper, and Israeli troops “responded by firing toward the origins of the fire.”

Pierre Krähenbühl, the commissioner-general of the UNRWA, tweeted that Wednesday’s attack was the 6th time one of his organization’s school have been hit by one of these strikes.

“Children, woman and men killed [and] injured as they slept in place where they should have been safe and protected. They were not. Intolerable,” he wrote in one Twitter post’ “Our staff leading [international] response are being killed. This is a breaking point,” in another.

Last week, the UN Human Rights Council agreed to investigate the “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” that have been attributed to Israel since their latest campaign on Gaza launched on June 13.

29 countries approved the motion, with the US being the only abstainer.

As Israel’s operation escalated through the weekend, on Monday the UN Security Council finally called for both Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian cease-fire into the Eid period and beyond.”

Just two days later, the Pentagon will reportedly now re-supply one of the two parties at war with additional ammunition.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said earlier this week that at least 1,242 people there have died since the latest Israeli operation began. As many as 80% of the dead may be civilians and over 300 dead are children so far and counting, the UN has estimated.

(A reminder: the latest counts were 2,200 killed,600 of them were childrenand 11,500 injured just in Gaza)

 

Documentary: How Western media covered Israel Gaza attack?

Only two English-language journalists, Ayman Mohyeldin and Sherine Tadros, reported from Gaza as it suffered an all-out attack from Israel in late 2008 and early 2009. The War Around Us is a powerful new documentary through the eyes of these two reporters.

Sarah Irving, posted in The Electronic Intifada on 15 June 2012:

 In The War Around Us, reporter Sherine Tadros reflects on the roles and responsibilities of journalists during wartime. 

“Directed by Abdallah Omeish (Occupation 101), The War Around Us is 75 minutes long.

Tightly focused and intentionally restricted in its scope and aims, it follows in chronological order the course of the conflict, intercut with post facto interviews with Mohyeldin and Tadros.

At the time, both were reporting for Al Jazeera English. Mohyeldin was based in Gaza, but Tadros was there on an assignment to cover reactions to the election of US President Barack Obama.

With apparently free access to Al Jazeera footage of the attack, as well as images from the Palestinian news agency Ramattan, the film is extremely graphic and disturbing.

Scenes include that of a mother and her two dead children lying side-by-side on a hospital floor; another man screaming with grief as the body of his little girl flops on a blanket; young men lying in the courtyard of a police station hit by Israeli air strikes, each with one hand raised as they say the final prayers of the dying.

A victim of the horrific burns inflicted by illegal white phosphorous munitions (made in the US, fired by the Israeli military) lies in a hospital bed; huge pools of blood lie clotting on the steps of a school in Jabaliya refugee camp run by the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA).

Icy fury

Less graphic but equally devastating is the interview footage.

Rima, a beautiful and intensely dignified young mother, tells Tadros how her children no longer say they are afraid of dying — they just want to make sure that they die along with her so they’re not left alone.

John Ging, then a leading figure in UNRWA, speaks with icy fury as desperately needed food supplies burn behind him.

And 16-year-old Ahmad Samouni’s face writhes in pain: He is describing how he was lying for days surrounded by the bodies of his family, waiting for the Israeli army to allow ambulances to fetch him.

Many viewers think they are perhaps inured to the kind of violence we regularly see on YouTube and activist media.  Watching news media footage — where cameramen have often risked their lives to chase the most graphic images, and which has been edited and soundtracked for intensity and impact — for over an hour is hard to stomach, even now.

It is a relief that the film intercuts the material from the attack on Gaza with extended interviews with Mohyeldin and Tadros.

The two reporters reflect on the roles and responsibilities of journalists in such a situation, on their “anger” at finding that they were the only mainstream Western journalists reporting from inside Gaza, and on the personal impacts of covering such a horrific story.

“Where was the outrage?”

Mohyeldin, already a seasoned conflict reporter when he was posted to Gaza, is the more political one in his comments. He is patently furious at the Western media for their failure to adequately deliver to their audiences the truth of what he calls in the film “a story of great shame to humanity.”

American and British news channels “neglected the story and then had the audacity to question the only journalists on the ground … they tried to spin it in a way that would marginalize or diminish what was happening.” Mohyeldin went on to condemn the “silence of the international community. Where was the outrage?”

Tadros’s comments are more personal. A newcomer to frontline reporting, she is frank in saying that she will never put herself in that position again.

Hugely affected by the mothers and children she interviewed — in their homes and hospital beds — she recounts how, coming home to London after the attacks, she couldn’t hold her one-year-old nephew because she imagined blood seeping through his clothes. She also describes vividly the difficulty of facing death day after day, not from one’s own perspective, but from that of the family, thousands of miles away, who are powerless to help.

Tadros admits that during the attacks, Mohyeldin found her to be a “princess.”

But behind-the-scenes footage shows a drained, haggard woman working 19 hours a day, snatching sleep on an office floor, desperate to achieve her role of showing the human impacts of a conflict which much of world was seeing only from Western reports in southern Israel or the insidious lies of Mark Regev and Avital Leibovich, chief mouthpieces for the Israeli government and military.

Specific aim

Ayman Mohyeldin, in a question and answer session following a screening of the film in Amman, acknowledged criticism of the documentary for its focus on two mainstream journalists, rather than telling the story from a Palestinian perspective.

Although Mohyeldin has a Palestinian mother, he doesn’t labor this as a claim to authenticity. Instead, he insists that the film has a very specific aim — to speak to Western audiences, to use himself and Tadros, two Western journalists of Arab origin, as a bridge to the sympathies of Western viewers, and to “make people question their own media for not telling [the truth about the attacks].”

Ultimately, The War Around Us is a damning critique — from within the industry — of the Western media’s reporting of Palestine, as well as a powerful tool in the hands of Palestine solidarity campaigners.

There is no way to walk away from this film not feeling angry and deeply distressed, but also with a visceral and fundamental grasp on the depth of Israel’s denial of the Palestinian right not only to life and liberty but, in Ayman Mohyeldin’s words, “of the right to aspire.”

Apparently, Israel started the genocide after it managed to “coax” all Gaza-based foreign correspondents to vacate the region…

For details of future screenings of The War Around Us, see http://thewararoundus.com.

Sarah Irving is a freelance writer. She worked with the International Solidarity Movement in the occupied West Bank in 2001-02 and with Olive Co-op, promoting fair trade Palestinian products and solidarity visits, in 2004-06.

Sarah is the author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine and co-author, with Sharyn Lock, of Gaza: Beneath the Bombs.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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