234 killed outside the temple walls: Revelation 11

Gaza’s Great Return March: 234 killed, 17 investigations, one indictment

Two years after Israeli soldiers killed more than 200 Palestinians during Gaza’s Great Return March, the IDF has done little more than whitewash its own violence.

By Orly Noy November 25, 2020

Razan a-Najjar died about two-and-a-half years ago, but I can still clearly see her in my mind’s eye. The 21-year-old paramedic was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during one of the Great Return March protests in Gaza on June 1, 2018. Witnesses say she was shot as she made her way toward the fence that separates Israel and the Gaza Strip to tend to the wounded, donning a white medical coat.

Pictures of the smiling young woman flooded the online world but were soon lost in the sea of photos and names of those who were killed during the weekly protests, in what quickly became a weekly ritual of death, despair, and blood.

A-Najjar was one of more than 200 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers during the Great Return March protests over the course of 86 weeks, beginning in March 30, 2018. According to the UN, more than 33,000 people were wounded in these protests, some so seriously they were forced to have their limbs amputated. The victims included men, women, children, medical crews, people with disabilities, journalists, and others. I vividly remember those dreaded Fridays, when we would follow the reports from the field with horror, updating by the hour. I remember feeling that what was happening there was atrocious on a different scale. It was inconceivable.

Inconceivable, and yet not entirely surprising. In an interview with +972 Magazine before the protests began, one of the organizers of the march, Hasan al-Kurd, underscored the civilian nature of the planned protests, while at the same time voicing concern over the possibility of a lethal response from the military.

He couldn’t have been more right. When human rights organizations petitioned against the IDF open-fire regulations used in these protests, with one case brought by human rights groups Yesh Din, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Gisha, and HaMoked, and another by Adalah and Gaza-based Al Mezan, the military took the approach that the mass killings and injuries in Gaza were not a matter for criminal investigation. Rather, it claimed the incidents were part of Israel’s armed conflict with Hamas — even if the protesters were largely unarmed civilians who took no part in hostilities.

As such, according to the military, whatever happened during the protests fell squarely under the rules of war, and any complaints about deaths and injuries should be dealt with under a different legal framework. And so, rather than putting these complaints through the usual track for military criminal investigations, they were referred to the oddly-named General Staff Mechanism for Fact-Finding Assessments.

This mechanism, which was established after the 2014 Gaza war, is meant to perform quick factual assessments of suspected breaches of the rules of war. A position paper released this week by human rights group Yesh Din, which relies on figures received from the military, reveals that the main function of this authority is — as always — to whitewash Israeli violence.

Israeli soldiers shoot tear gas is shot at Palestinian protesters on the border with the Gaza Strip, as Palestinians demonstrate to mark Naksa Day, June 8, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The paper also reveals that while the fact-finding authority looked into 234 Palestinian deaths, only 17 investigations have thus far been opened, most of which are still ongoing. Only one indictment has been filed, ultimately resulting in a plea bargain in which the shooting soldier was charged with a disciplinary rather than criminal offense. The indictment itself makes no mention of the offense related to the actual killing, and the soldier was given a lenient sentence of 30 days’ military community work, a suspended prison sentence, and a demotion to the rank of private.

Two years after the Great Return March began, around 80 percent of the incidents forwarded to the fact-finding authority for assessment are still under review or investigation. It is also important to note that the mechanism failed to look into even a single case among the thousands of injuries, many of them severe — including ones that have left victims permanently paralyzed or forced to undergo amputations. These were not deemed worthy of even a performative review.

Furthermore, all the materials collected during the review remain privileged and cannot be used as evidence against suspects on the almost hypothetical off-chance that the army ultimately orders a criminal investigation. An equally interesting detail is the identity of the person at the helm of this authority: Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv, the head of the military colleges.

A footnote in Yesh Din’s position paper provides the following tidbit about Veruv: in 2009, while serving as the commander of the IDF’s Kfir Brigade — the largest of Israel’s infantry brigades, which has a particular history of brutality toward Palestinians in the West Bank — Veruv testified in the trial of Lt. Adam Malul, who had been charged with beating Palestinians. Veruv admitted he allowed soldiers to use physical violence during spontaneous “interrogations” of Palestinian civilians, even when they were passersby who were suspected of nothing and posed no danger.

Palestinian protesters seen at the Gaza border fence, during a Great Return March protest, Gaza Strip, September 28, 2018. (Mohammed Zaanoun/Activestills.org)

Veruv was officially reprimanded for these comments by the General Officer Commanding Army Headquarters. Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed a High Court petition demanding his immediate suspension as well as a criminal investigation. A year later, in June 2010, the Military Advocate General at the time, Avichai Mandelblit, did order a criminal investigation against Veruv and the petition was deleted. The investigation was closed without any action against Veruv in January 2011.

For nearly two years, week in and week out, the military sent trained marksmen with full protective gear to face off against residents of the besieged and battered Gaza Strip who went to protest near the fence. Judging by the cumulative experience gained over 50 years of occupation, each and every one of those soldiers had every reason to believe that no matter what happened when they squeezed that trigger, the system would protect them and cover up their crimes. The 234 dead, 17 investigations, and solitary indictment — for the killing of a 14-year-old boy — that ended in 30 days of military community work, a suspended sentence, and a demotion to the rank of private, prove they were right.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

Israeli military strikes Hamas targets outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli military strikes Hamas targets in Gaza Strip after militants fire rockets

By ET news

The Israeli military said it struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Sunday after militants fired two rockets from the Palestinian territory.

In a statement, the military said fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks hit Hamas underground infrastructure and military posts. It said two rockets were launched into Israel, with one reaching the southern Israeli city of Ashdod and the other stretching into central Israel.

There were no immediate reports of injuries on either side. The military said the rockets landed in open areas.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas officials.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and several smaller skirmishes since 2007. Egypt and Qatar have brokered an informal cease-fire in recent years in which Hamas has reined in rocket attacks in exchange for economic aid and a loosening of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade, but the arrangement has broken down on a number of occasions, including on Sunday.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a crippling blockade on Gaza since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.

Israel launches attack targeting Hamas outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel launches attack targeting Hamas in Gaza

Palestinian men inspect the damage at the site of an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis on Sunday. A rocket was fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the army said, shortly after warning sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 22 (UPI) — Israel said Sunday its military struck Hamas targets in Gaza overnight in retaliation for a rocket fired earlier from the region toward Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said Air Force jets struck two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure and a military compound.

Israel strikes Hamas sites outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel strikes Hamas sites in Gaza Strip after rocket attack

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: November 22, 2020

JERUSALEM — Israeli aircraft on Sunday struck multiple sites in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired earlier from the Palestinian territory, Israel’s military said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

While several militant groups operate out of the Palestinian enclave, Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all rocket fire out of the territory and usually strikes Hamas targets in response.

The Israeli military said in a statement that fighter jets and attack helicopters hit two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure and a Hamas naval forces training compound.

Late Saturday, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket toward Israel, setting off air-raid sirens in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, the Israeli military said.

Israeli police said the rocket caused damage to a structure in the Ashkelon area, roughly 6 miles north of Gaza, but there were no injuries. Israeli media said the rocket struck a factory, causing damage.

Israel and Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel’s destruction, are bitter enemies who have fought three wars and numerous skirmishes since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007.

Israeli army says Gaza militants fired a rocket from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli army says Gaza militants fired a rocket at Israel

INTERNATIONAL

Posted: Nov 21, 2020 / 02:52 PM CST / Updated: Nov 21, 2020 / 03:26 PM CST

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket toward Israel on Saturday night, setting off air-raid sirens in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, the Israeli military announced.

Israeli police said the rocket caused damage to a structure in the Ashkelon area, roughly 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Gaza, but there were no injuries. No other details were provided.

The launch raised the likelihood of an Israeli reprisal in Gaza.

Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all rocket fire out of the territory and usually strikes Hamas targets in response.

Israel and Hamas, an Islamic militant group that seeks Israel’s destruction, are bitter enemies that have fought three wars and numerous skirmishes since Hamas seized power in Gaza in 2007.

Israel strikes Hamas positions outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel strikes Hamas positions

MENAFN

MENAFN – Jordan Times) GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Israeli forces said they struck Hamas positions on  Sunday morning following an alleged rocket attack from the Gaza Strip overnight.

Two rockets reportedly were fired into southern Israel from Gaza late Saturday, although there were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.

Security sources in Gaza said there were a number of strikes overnight, including in Khan Younes, Rafah and Beit Hanoun, without reporting any casualties.

The strike from Gaza — which has not been claimed — comes days after the anniversary of the assassination of senior Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu Al Ata, killed in a strike on his home in Gaza City on November 12 last year.

Ahead of the anniversary, the IDF was reportedly on high alert within the Gaza Strip, where roughly 2 million Palestinians live.

Sources close to Hamas indicated officials from the movement were expected in Cairo later Sunday.

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UN agency chief fears ‘disaster’ outside the Temple Walls as funding runs dry: Revelation 11

UN agency chief fears ‘disaster’ in Gaza as funding runs dry

16/11/2020 – 12:30

A child next to a sack of flour as people come to receive food aid from the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees in the Khan Yunis camp in the southern Gaza Strip SAID KHATIB AFP/File

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

The “worst financial crisis” ever faced by the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees could lead to “disaster” in the Gaza Strip no non and insecurity in Lebanon, the organisation’s chief has warned.

Founded in 1949, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) runs schools and provides health services as well as other humanitarian aid to an estimated 5.7 million Palestinians with refugee status.

“It is in the interest of no one to see schools suddenly suspended… health services being suspended (in Gaza), at a time when people are hit by the (coronavirus) pandemic,” the agency’s chief Philippe Lazzarini told AFP.

“It would be a total disaster,” he added, in an interview conducted by videoconference on Sunday.

Last week, Lazzarini announced that UNRWA faced a $70 million funding shortfall that has jeopardised its ability to pay staff full salaries in November and December.

The shortfall affects 28,000 staffers — mostly refugees themselves — across the Israeli-occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon and Jordan.

The situation is particularly critical in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave of two million people where the unemployment rate is over 50 percent and where the novel coronavirus crisis has led authorities to slash public sector salaries.

– ‘New source of insecurity’ –

After the local authorities, UNRWA, with some 13,000 people on staff, is the main employer in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Islamist group Hamas and under blockade by Israel.

“This population is entirely dependent on international assistance,” Lazzarini said, warning that the suspension of UNRWA programmes could have a “devastating” economic and security impact.

The agency chief expressed fear that “the same could very easily happen with the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.”

Around 180,000 Palestinian refugees reside in Lebanon, out of 470,000 registered in the country, according to UNRWA planning data. Their right to work and own property is restricted.

Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since its 1975-1990 civil war, with soaring unemployment and poverty rates.

And while the situation is dire across Lebanon, “it is even worse for the Palestinian refugees,” Lazzarini said, adding that some 80-90 percent of them rely on UNRWA for assistance.

The suspension of the agency’s aid programmes there could represent a “new source of insecurity” for Lebanon, he warned.

“We are at a time when people expect UNRWA to deliver more,” Lazzarini said.

But it “is also the time where the organisation is facing its worst financial crisis,” he added.

– Pinning hopes on Biden –

Lazzarini was appointed to head the agency in March, after a predecessor was forced to resign late last year amid accusations of mismanagement that led key donors to snap shut their purses.

The developments only added to the agency’s financial woes, coming after US President Donald Trump terminated US contributions to UNRWA in 2018.

Washington had until then been providing the agency with more than $300 million a year.

Around 40 countries initially helped fill the gap, but contributions have since diminished and the novel coronavirus pandemic has also taken a financial toll on donor countries.

Gaza itself registered 490 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, a daily record for the enclave.

Some Palestinians and humanitarian workers are pinning their hopes on US President-elect Joe Biden reinjecting funds into UNRWA’s coffers.

“All the messages indicate that there would be a willingness to restore a long-standing partnership between the US administration and the UNRWA,” Lazzarini said.

But how or when this could translate into concrete actions would need to be discussed once the next US administration is in place, he said.

Until that happens in January, UNRWA will be trying to convince fatigued donors to cover the shortfall up to the end of the year. “We are on the edge of a cliff,” Lazzarini warned.

© 2020 AFP

Israeli army strikes outside the Temple Walls overnight: Revelation 11

Israeli army strikes Gaza Strip overnight

The air and land attack took place shortly after the first anniversary of the assassination of an Islamic Jihad leader

The Israeli army said it struck Hamas positions in the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday morning.

On Twitter, the army said it had “struck Hamas underground infrastructure & military posts in Gaza”. An army source told AFP in a WhatsApp message that fighter jets, helicopters and tanks were deployed.

The air strikes reportedly occurred after two rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip late on Saturday, the Israeli army said, although there were no immediate reports of any damage or wounded. No group has claimed responsibility for the rockets.

Security sources in Gaza said there were a number of strikes overnight, including in Khan Younis, Rafah and Beit Hanoun, without reporting any casualties.

The air strikes came days after the anniversary of the assassination of senior Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu al-Atta, the group’s commander in the northern Gaza Strip, and his wife Asmaa, in a strike on their home in Gaza City on 12 November last year.

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli-led siege since 2007.

Israel Strikes Out in Iran

Israeli agents killed Al Qaeda’s No. 2 official on street in Iran: report

By Tal Axelrod

November 13, 2020 – 10:59 PM EST

Israeli agents assassinated Al Qaeda’s No. 2 official in a shooting in Tehran three months ago, eliminating a mastermind behind the deadly 1998 attacks on American embassies in Africa.

Intelligence officials confirmed to The New York Times that two Israeli agents were acting at the behest of the U.S. when they shot Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah from a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the anniversary of the embassy bombings. His daughter Miriam, the widow of Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza bin Laden, was also killed. 

It was unclear exactly how involved the U.S. was in the clandestine operation. The White House and the National Security Council did not respond to request for comments from The Hill. 

Abdullah’s death had been rumored for months though had not been confirmed until Friday.

Abdullah was one of the terrorist group’s founding members and was believed to be the second-in-command to Al Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri. The U.S. had a $10 million bounty on his head over the 1998 bombings.

The location of his killing is surprising, given that Iran, a Shiite country, and Al Qaeda, a militant Sunni group, are sworn enemies. Al Qaeda and Iran’s proxy groups have fought on battlefields scattered across the Middle East. However, Tehran does have a track record of supporting Sunni groups, including Hamas and the Taliban. 

Israeli Soldiers Invade Palestinian Farmlands Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli Soldiers Invade Palestinian Farmlands In Central Gaza

On Tuesday, Several Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded Palestinian farmlands east of Deir al-Balah city, in central Gaza, and bulldozed sections close to the perimeter fence.

Media sources said the Israeli tanks, and bulldozers, came from the Kissufim military base, across the fence, southeast of Deir al-Balah, and advanced dozens of meters into the Palestinian lands.

They added that the tanks fired many live rounds and smoke bombs during the invasion, and while bulldozing the lands and installing sandhills. Army surveillance drones were also flying over the area.

The invasion is one of the constant violations against the besieged Gaza Strip, and include attacks targeting workers, farmers, and fishermen.