Friday, May 29, 2015

Israel's War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

Israel's War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness has no limits. Palestinians are systematically brutalized for not being Jewish.

They're harassed, intimidated, persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered in cold blood. High crimes too grave to ignore have been commonplace since Israel's so-called war of independence.

At the time, 78% of historic Palestine was stolen for exclusive Jewish development. Israel took the rest in June 1967, including East Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem is an international city under a UN protectorate. Israeli claims to the city have no legitimacy. Nor does any nation have the right to breach international laws, norms and standards.

Israel does multiple times daily with impunity. Little reported war on Palestine continues daily.

Attacks on nonthreatening Palestinian fishermen occur almost daily. They're shot at, wounded and arrested.

Their boats and fishing gear are damaged and/or confiscated. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls Israel's policy of preventing Palestinian fishermen from pursuing their livelihoods "a form of collective punishment which is prohibited (under) international humanitarian law and international human rights law."

PCHR described one early May incident as follows:

"Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within less than one nautical mile from the beach."  

"An Israeli gunboat approached a fishing boat belonging to 'Issa Nafez Abu Riyalah and Ra'ed Sa'id al-'Ashi, both from al-Shati' refugee camp in Gaza City."  

"The fishing boat was boarded by Mohammed No'man Rabi'a al-Sultan (23) and Hatem al-'Abed 'Ashour al-Sultan (29). Both are from al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit Lahia."  

"The Israeli naval soldiers forced the fishermen to jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The Israeli soldiers then arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat." 

"As a result of this attack, 17 pieces of fishing nets were lost." The area where the incident occurred experienced "heavy (Israeli) shooting" at Palestinian fishermen.

On Saturday, Maan News reported Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen off central Gaza's coast. They followed other earlier in the week attacks.

Separately on Saturday, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers in eastern Khan Younis. According to Maan News:

"Saturday's events come as Israeli forces have escalated attacks against Gazan Palestinians inside of the Israeli-implemented and controlled buffer zone." 

"Gaza-based Israeli watchdog Al Mezan (Center for Human Rights) documented Israeli forces opening fire in the border areas six separate times during the first ten days of May, leaving four injured including one child."

Al Mezan "reiterate(d) its calls on the international community to promptly intervene in order to halt Israel's violations."

Gaza is occupied Palestinian territory. It's lawlessly blockaded - for political, not security reasons. World leaders do nothing to enforce fundamental international law.

They let Israel operate lawlessly - including committing mass slaughter and destruction at its discretion against Palestinians posing no threat.

The post-Operation Protective Edge ceasefire agreement extended Gaza's fishing zone from three to six nautical miles offshore immediately - expanded to 12 nautical miles by yearend 2014.

Israel reneged on its pledge straightaway. Palestinian fishermen are vulnerable anywhere offshore. Some are shot and killed for the crime of fishing.

Israeli security forces and settlers attack Palestinian farmers with impunity. They're shot at and physically assaulted. Their crops are destroyed.

According to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), about 800,000 olive trees have been lawlessly uprooted since June 1967. 

Palestinian homes, cars and other property are vandalized. Livestock are killed. Water wells are poisoned. 

Mosques are defaced and/or burned. Children are attacked - including going to and from school, at play and in fields helping their parents.

Settler attacks on Palestinians and their property occur almost daily on average.

A new Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights report titled Mock Enforcement "reveal(ed) a worrying picture regarding the conduct of the law enforcement system in general, and (Israeli) police in particular…"

Investigations are routinely whitewashed. Chances for prosecuting and convicting Jews committing crimes against Palestinians "is just 1.9%."

Palestinian rights are systematically violated. Crimes committed against them go unpunished - including cold-blooded murder.

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) called Israel's summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge "a war waged on Gaza's children.

DCIP verified 547 Palestinian children killed - two-thirds aged 12 or younger.

DCIP general director Khaled Quzmar blasted Israel for its repeated wars on Palestine and "complete disregard for international law…" 

"(A)ny meaningful efforts toward implementing comprehensive protections for Palestinian children" are thwarted.

They're deliberately and maliciously targeted as enemies despite posing no threat whatever.

Clear evidence showed Israel targeted schools, private neighborhood residences and children in streets.

On one day alone, Israeli forces murdered 59 Palestinian children. Dozens of entire families were massacred in cold blood.

"More than 1,000 (Palestinian) children suffered injuries that rendered them permanently disabled" for life - according to OCHA.

Amputees like Mohammad Baroud, aged 12, lost both his feet. He'll require medical care and support for the rest of his life.

Many Gazan children lost one or both parents. The emotional scars are "severe and resounding," said DCIP.

Israel is a brutal occupying power - ruthless child killers mass murdering with impunity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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