Israeli War Crimes ~ Genocide and Murder

11180656_1126511507372230_5183280730115773528_nI have been doing research for my book, Faces of Palestine, for five months now and my research is ongoing.  In this time, I have had the privilege to be introduced to, meet, and interview many Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza.  Individuals and families, students, doctors and teachers.  Community leaders and more.

I have written articles about the Zionist Occupation, illegal settlements and settlers, their crimes against the Palestinians, their breaking of international laws and ongoing human rights violations.

I am also privileged and honored to have been asked by the Chief Editor of two well-known Palestinian News Agencies in Palestine to come on board with them as a regular feature writer, editor and contributor and to both their main website and social media sites.

I will continue to do so.  To write and fight for a free Palestine.  I have developed a growing international following through my writing and again I am grateful.  My articles are being translated and shared in other countries.

It is through this international networking effort of writers, journalists, photographers, videographers, press and activists, exposing the ongoing Israeli atrocities, crimes, genocide, murder and apartheid of Palestinians that we will see real change.  In addition, the growing ongoing movements of BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) that we see continued crippling of the Israeli government economically.

During my ongoing research, I have seen countless, graphic photographs and video footage of murdered Palestinians, men, women and children at the hands of IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces).  Many of these photographs and videos are taken raw, in the moment as things happen and through the power of social media, the truth is getting out.  Israel cannot control the flow of information exposing them; Israel can no longer hide their crimes and the world is beginning to take notice.

I have a very thick skin when it comes to such graphic content and maintain composure and objectivity.  It is a must as a writer and freelance journalist.  However, I am human also and what I witnessed and now much of the world has witnessed, that took place yesterday in Hebron, West Bank, is something that will haunt me forever.  The cold-blooded murders of two young Palestinian men, Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi and Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, both age 21.  Shot by IOF for “alleged” altercation between themselves and an IOF solider.

Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif was killed instantly, but Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi still laid on the street, shot, but alive and moving.  Surrounded by Israeli ambulances and first responders who denied him any medical assistance as is typical of the Israeli Zionists; who take pride in allowing their Palestinian victims to bleed out in the streets.  This is a well-known and internationally documented fact.

942298_211644429190839_2160598003568398314_nAs Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi lay in the street, an IOF Soldier cocks his rifle, and finishes Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi off by shooting him point-blank in the head and his blood is seen flooding the pavement beneath him.  This is cold-blooded murder.  Part of the systematic and premeditated genocide of Palestinians at the hands of IOF and illegal Zionist settlers, incidents that occur daily all over the West Bank and Gaza.  Israeli rights group B’Tselem released the raw, unedited video showing this young man’s execution (see link below).

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

The video shows that no attempt is being made by Israeli first responders to help this young man yet there are two ambulances present.  Numerous IOF soldiers and armed Israeli settlers are seen casually walking around this man, laying the street.

“A voice is heard (on the video) stating in Hebrew, “The terrorist is still alive, the dog,” and then, “The dog is still alive.”

At 1:48 into the video, a soldier cocks (and this can be heard) and aims his weapon, approaches al-Sharif, and shoots him in the head. The video then shows blood streaming from the man’s head.

One of the ambulances is then seen circumnavigating around al-Sharif’s body. It slows down and a man is heard saying, “There is nothing to do, go.”

The Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported: “The shooting was carried out while two officers stood nearby, and the two did not seem to respond to the incident. A few seconds before the shooting, they move aside and further away from the Palestinian who was lying on the ground. A voice can be heard saying ‘Okay, okay’ afterward. After a minute, the removal of the Palestinians’ bodies began.”

HEBRON MurderIOF are encouraged by the Zionist government to shoot and kill Palestinians at will whether perceived threat is real or not.  There is no accountability and no recourse for the Palestinians against these war crimes, these crimes against humanity.  Over 250 Palestinians, men, women and children have been executed in the streets since October 2015 and these numbers grow every day.  IOF sees Palestinians as less than human, and treat them less than animals.  IOF are trained and rewarded for every Palestinian they kill and they take great pride in these heinous accomplishments as seen on their smiling faces as they carry the bodies of these young Palestinian men away.

Again, Israel cannot hide their crimes anymore.  I have been trying since yesterday to make sense of such inhumanity as I have seen at the hands of occupation. There is no way to make sense out of what is senseless. The Zionist Regime in Israel is the epitome of evil in this world. The Zionists have no heart and no soul. They are murderers. They are criminals. Whether they are soldiers or settlers, they are criminals. Guilty of murder, of crimes against humanity, of crimes against children. How many more Palestinians must die before our eyes daily before the world will make the genocide stop? How many more crimes against humanity must the Zionist Regime commit before the world says enough?  #End_Occupation #End_Israeli_War_Crimes #Free_Palestine #Save_Humanity

Non-Violent Resistance

12802832_10207624467422724_3862330094032505984_nTomorrow we will hold our normal peaceful Friday demonstrations which we have held for 11 years now. The Weekly Friday Bil’in peaceful demonstrations include Palestinian, Israeli and International activists.

The demonstrations always start peacefully from the Palestinian and International activist side… every week we take the same path, we march towards the wall on our land. The soldiers are always waiting for us, at least 2 hours before we arrive. When we reach about 200 meters in distance from the soldiers they open direct fire on us with tear gas bombs and rubber bullets…

For anyone who may believe our demonstrations are violent they are misled by Israeli propaganda! In the 11 years time of these peaceful protests we have not heard of ANY Israeli Occupation Soldiers being injured, HOWEVER, we have had two Bil’in Palestinian villagers killed (by tear gas bombs) and thousands of Palestinian, Israeli and International demonstrators injured and some very seriously again caused by tear gas, rubber bullets, and direct soldier assault. Hundreds of demonstrators including Internationals have also been arrested and many deported during these demonstrations.

Hundreds of very old olive trees on this land have been burned during the demonstration, by the soldier tear gas.

Once the soldiers start shooting some Palestinian kids throw stones.. its their way of releasing and demonstrating their anger and frustration and resistance against this illegal occupation AND the Israeli THEFT of the our village lands, which lands have still not been returned.

Our village land has been stolen since 2005 – and we no longer have any access to it – a new Israeli settlement has since been built on OUR land.

Please remember that our village and our daily lives are under the constant real threat of harassment by the Israeli occupation soldiers who by day or night have and can drive through our village dropping sound bombs and tear gas without any reason .. and who also conduct night raids and home invasions and arrest demonstration participants, including kids!

Please understand… we are doing our very best… in these difficult circumstances!  Haitham Khatib

Senseless Harassment, Brutality and Murder

Where is the humanity in Israel, in Occupied Palestine?  The only humanity that exists are the Palestinians themselves, a diverse people of Arab Jew, Arab Christian and Arab Muslim, that have lived together, intermarried and prospered for generations before Nakba of 1947-1949.

Every day Palestinians are harassed in the streets, in their homes, some brutally beaten and others killed in cold blood for alleged crimes that go unsupported by evidence, families left with little to know recourse.

QusayAt the time of writing… another young Palestinian youth has been gunned down.

There is a saying in English – “same shit – different day”.. this is inhumane madness. This young Palestinian, no longer a small child, but not yet a man, has been gunned down, executed for alleged attempt to assault an IOF Soldier, claims that go unsubstantiated by IOF, and no one holds them to account.

LOOK! please look, at these pictures, look at the face of Qusay Abu Al Rab, age 16. Where is the justice for him? What is the world doing to stop this genocide of Palestinians?

The media focus seems only to view conflicts selectively chosen by executives and governments that decide what should be seen and how to “spin” the commentary on what is shown.  You will not see the daily incidents of cold-blooded murder in Palestine on you local news.  I leave you the reader to question why that is?

Myself and others like me however, work to expose the atrocities, the humanity that is being extinguished a little more every, single day in Palestine at the hands of the Israeli Occupation government and their forces.  Every international activist and humanitarian aid worker that I have had the pleasure of getting to know and talk to, who have spent ample time on the ground with their organizations in Palestine attest to the truth of what is happening there.  They have seen it first hand.

12733567_10153957108478832_1554418332003708011_nChildren cannot live without the sight of IOF and their guns every day.  IOF’s presence is as static as the buildings and trees that blanket the land.  Always armed, always ready.  Highly trained and skilled military who use their training and skills to serve as thugs, as executioners under the guise of “protecting Israel”.   Protecting Israel from what exactly – peaceful people, Jew, Christian and Muslim alike, who want nothing more than to live, exist and thrive in peace.  The Zionist Occupation does not want this.  Palestinians are all of the above, Jew, Christian and Muslim.  The Zionist IOF are mandated to extinguish them all at will.  This is the truth.

Yesterday, in Jerusalem, during a news report being filmed live, IOF executed in broad daylight, Mohammad Khalaf, shooting him with multiple rounds of live fire, his body riddled with more than 50 bullets.

 

The claim by IOF is that this young man attempted an assault against them.  I have watched and re-watched this video, I do not see such attempt.   What I do see is inhumanity at the most heinous.  Unwarranted use of force.  Another senseless murder in cold blood.

Palestinians cannot breathe for fear they will be shot.  Palestinians cannot peacefully walk in their cities and villages without random stops, checkpoints, harassment and provocations all at the hands of IOF.  This video taken on February 19, 2016 attests to such harassment.

 

Home-invasionChildren in Palestine cannot sleep safely in their homes.  Anxiety and fear rule their nights.  All too often IOF at random conduct nightly home raids, never explaining why to the homeowners, and if any explanation is given it is always the same one “this has been deemed a closed military zone”.  What does that mean exactly?  Sleeping children, in their homes warrant the title of “closed military zone”.  The first picture is of such a home invasion that took place in Hebron, Palestine.

 

Gaza-Home-Invasion1This next photo is of another IOF home invasion in Gaza.  What kind of threat can an innocent sleeping child pose to warrant an IOF Soldier armed to extremes standing over her?

These are the faces of Palestine, the innocent people of Palestine; and these are the faces of the IOF, Israeli Occupation Forces, funded, trained and supported by western governments.  This is what your tax dollars are paying for.  All the money sent in aid and support to Israel is paying for these inhuman, heinous crimes against humanity and the world turns a blind eye.  When is the conscience of the world going to kick in?  When are the people going to take a stand against their governments, their corporations, and independent financial supporters and say – enough is enough!

Silence condones violence.  Complacency is guilt by association.  Stand for humanity, for human rights, and hold Israel to account.  Not doing so is equal to the blood of innocents being on your hands.

 

 

Resistance To Occupation

bilin

 

Today marked the 11th Anniversary of peaceful, non-violent resistance and demonstrations in Bil’in, Palestine.  Many attended today’s demonstration and peaceful protest in Bil’in; Palestinian families, men, women and children, international and Israeli activists against the Occupation of Palestine; Jew, Muslim and Christian all in solidarity with Palestine, protesting peacefully and demonstrating in unity.

However, today’s event was met with aggressive and brutal assault by IOF who bombarded the peaceful crowd of people with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Reports at the time of writing… five people were injured and many others were affected with respiratory difficulties from inhaling the tear gas.

The resistance movement in Bil’in specifically, is as strong today as it was 11 years ago.  This speaks to the resilient spirit and will for freedom that all a Palestinians crave and fight for daily.  The weekly peaceful, non-violent demonstrations against the Occupation of their land and country is forever determined, with many supporters standing with the Palestinian people on the ground in Palestine and internationally. The Palestinian people are undeterred by the aggressive and hostile counter efforts of IOF making their presence at these demonstrations known and felt, smelled and tasted. Still, the Palestinians resist to exist and nothing will change this as they fight for their freedom.

12744072_10207527811406384_8385312092911760881_nMy partner and co-author, Haitham Khatib was there as always, faithfully filming and taking photographs. The IOF’s presence was forceful and the use of tear gas excessive. Here Haitham is helping his friend and colleague, a cameraman with Palestine TV who had been shot directly at with a tear gas bomb. This is how Occupation meets peaceful demonstration – with hostility and barbaric means.  Even with masks and face coverings the intense tear gas permeates through, burning eyes, skin and lungs.  Haitham was joined with two of his long time friends and colleagues that have come every year without fail to cover these events, to continue to document and report on the ongoing resistance and hostilities.

AliAli dar Ali

 

Shmikh al Jagoop

 

 

 

Shmikh al Jagoop

 

 

 

There is added importance to today’s demonstration and that is the need to gather to encourage and to strengthen, to hold on to hope that an end to occupation, an end to apartheid, and an end to the genocide committed daily by the IOF Soldiers and illegal Zionist settlers will soon become things of the past.

11 years11 Years of Resistance and still Palestine will resist ever determined, ever hopeful.

Palestine will be free!

 

 

 

 

 

The Darkness Amidst the Light

12717567_10207461494028491_7780378066106641359_nThe story of Palestine and her people cannot be accurately told without reflecting on the darkness of occupation amidst the light that shines in spite of it, the light of Palestine and her people.

Daily, Palestinian people in cities and villages throughout the country are subjected to repeated trauma, psychological warfare, and heinous brutality, inhumane criminality, and outright slaughter of innocents.

At the time of writing, there was yet another *IOF Raid of the village of Beet A’oor, near the village of Bil’in outside of Ramallah City in the West Bank of Palestine.

This is the third raid in a weeks time in and around these villages and each time, the quiet peacefulness, the momentary stillness of the night when the Palestinians can, if only for a short time in their sleep, escape the darkness, not of the night skies, but the darkness in the humanity that surrounds them and that darkness is occupation.

We hear the term PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder used often to describe the psycho-emotional state of someone who has been subjected to horrific circumstances that have left them living in a constant state of fear, anxiety, and worse.  We see this condition in soldiers who have fought in wars, in people who have lived through and survived wars, torture, rape and more.  Imagine now, that every man, woman, and especially child, in Palestine lives with this condition to one degree or another every, single day of their lives.  The difference being, there is no “post”, this is a constant in their lives.

12549118_10207349185580850_6749160876028093984_nThese raids happen in the dead of night, almost always between the hours of 1am and 3am.  Many *IOF *APC vehicles filled with soldiers, armed with rifles, guns, tear gases, and sound bombs, storm into these villages, shooting guns, throwing tear gas, and sound bombs through the streets, under the windows of sleeping children and mothers.

The men, the fathers, grandfathers, husbands, brothers, rarely ever sleep during these hours.  They lay awake, in a constant state of apprehension and expectation of the next raid.  More often than not, they lay awake in the main rooms of their homes, fully dressed and ready to defend their families, and those like Haitham Khatib, photographer and videographer, and others like him, rise to capture the evidence as it happens, to then share with the outside world, what is happening, what they are subjected to constantly.

The objective of the IOF using such tactics is to instill a sense of fear, uncertainty, and sheer anxiety, especially in the children exposed to this almost daily.  This is barbarism on such a depraved scale, there is no conscience, no humanity, no morality among the IOF and the occupation government that controls them.  The Palestinian people have the same human rights as the rest of world, to live, to exist with dignity and strength, to thrive, to sleep in peace, in freedom from this tyranny.

I choose to use my gift for writing to give a loud voice in support, solidarity and unity to and for the Palestinian people, their lives, their stories, their tragedies, and their triumphs.

The majority of the free world believes in freedom; freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to human rights – we all need to raise our voices and take a stand against the ongoing torment, genocide and apartheid taking place in Palestine everyday.

Haitham AL Boo Age 16 Halhool Village near Hebron 03 05 2016Children and youth are being killed daily by IOF.  Innocent lives taken, leaving families broken and traumatized in the wake of such barbaric acts and crimes.

Examples like the senseless and unwarranted killing of Haitham AL Boo, age 16 from Halhool village near Hebron, slaughtered on February 5, 2016.  In the eyes of Israel, the lives of Palestinians, especially children and youth, bear no value and are free to exterminate at will.  It does not matter what any of these children could possible have done, they do not deserve to be slaughtered like animals.  The reality is, these young people, some in showing their resistance, are typically armed with no more than a few stones to throw against armed tanks and APC Vehicles.

Haitham Al Boo’s story, is but one of hundreds and thousands like his.  According to 2015 reports from the Defense for Children International – Palestine, almost 2,000 children have been killed by live fire just in the West Bank alone since the year 2000.  This number increases weekly.  In an article from Aljazeera news from October 2015,  “Israel violates international law by killing Palestinian children..”, “Israeli forces have been using “disproportionate violence” against Palestinian children as they killed at least ten this month during the ongoing unrest that engulfs Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.”  “Between October 6 and 12, at least 201 Palestinian children were injured by Israeli soldiers or settlers in the West Bank and Gaza, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.” To read the full Aljazeera article, click on this link – Israel ‘using excessive force’ on Palestinian children.

Mohammed Abu Khader age 16, of PalestineEven when Israel’s IOF are held to account, it is a joke.  Take for example the recent court case regarding the murder of Mohammed Abu Khader age 16, of Palestine, who was kidnapped during the month of Ramadan in 2014 and was burnt alive in Jerusalem by a group of inhumane occupation settlers. This was a heinous act of racist violence against not only a Palestinian youth, but against humanity itself. The occupation court ruling has sentenced the members of the accused group of settlers to only 21 years in prison  with the possibility of release after only 10 years. How is this acceptable? How is this justice for such a horrific crime? The family of Mohammed Abu Khader must live with the painful loss of their son and live with no justice for his horrific murder.  (*note that the typical sentence length for murder in Israel is usually a life sentence, commuted to 30 years).

 

*IOF =Israeli Occupation Forces

*APC = Armored Personnel Carriers