- Written by Webmaster Webmaster
- Published: 19 November 2014 19 November 2014
The following statement was issued by the Rasmea Defense Committee on Nov. 10, 2014:
In a travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh today was found guilty of one count of Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization. For over a year, Rasmea, her supporters, and her legal team have been battling this unjust government prosecution, saying from the start that the immigration charge was nothing but a pretext to attack this icon of the Palestine liberation movement. And although there is real anger and disappointment in the jury’s verdict, it was known as early as October 27th that she would not get a full and fair trial.On that day, Judge Gershwin Drain made a number of rulings that made her defense virtually impossible. The government’s indictment stated that she had unlawfully gained U.S. citizenship because she had allegedly answered a number of questions falsely on her visa application in 1995 and her naturalization application in 2004. She had been in this country as a lawful permanent resident for almost 20 years, and a citizen for over nine, when she was arrested on October 22nd, 2013.
- Published: 13 November 2014 13 November 2014
Amnesty International released a report today [Nov. 5, 2014], “Families Under the Rubble- Israeli attacks on inhabited homes” (pdf) , accusing Israel of committing war crimes by targeting and killing scores of Palestinian civilians with no warning during Operation Protective Edge, last summer’s slaughter in Gaza.
Citing the report Amnesty International News quotes Amnesty Director of Middle East and North Africa Programme Philip Luther saying Israeli forces “brazenly” flouted the laws of war and “deliberately flattened entire homes full of civilians” without any warning:
“[D]isplaying callous indifference to the carnage caused….The report exposes a pattern of attacks on civilian homes by Israeli forces which have shown a shocking disregard for the lives of Palestinian civilians, who were given no warning and had no chance to flee.”….
“Even if a fighter had been present in one of these residential homes, it would not absolve Israel of its obligation to take every feasible precaution to protect the lives of civilians caught up in the fighting. The repeated, disproportionate attacks on homes indicate that Israel’s current military tactics are deeply flawed and fundamentally at odds with the principles of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther.
The report focuses in specific (often gruesome) details of Israeli attacks on 8 multi storied residential homes, where 104 civilians were massacred, including 62 children. Noting Israeli officials have failed to acknowledge any of the attacks detailed in the report, much less justify or explain the rationale behind any of them, Amnesty concludes by recommending Israel cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry set up by
the UN Human Rights Council and allow access to relevant personnel and documents as well as provide access to Gaza to facilitate and investigation of international law “by all parties to the conflict.”
“The onus in[sic] on the Israeli government to explain what the intended target was in each of these attacks, in what way the target was a lawful military objective, what the means and methods of attack used were and why they were selected.”
The Israeli government has responded by saying it is conducting its own investigation of the instances in the report and accusing Amnesty of serving “as a propaganda tool for Hamas and other terror groups.” Israel has also questioned the credibility of Amnesty’s use of field workers to collect the data for the report, a strategy the organization was forced to use because Israel will not allow them to enter Gaza.
Amnesty says that ultimately the International Criminal Court should be given the authority to investigate. From Amnesty News:
Given the failure of Israeli and Palestinian authorities to independently and impartially investigate allegations of war crimes, it is imperative that the international community support the involvement of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Amnesty International is renewing its calls on Israel and the Palestinian authorities to accede to the Rome Statute and grant the ICC the authority to investigate crimes committed in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The organization is also calling for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Israel and the OPT to the ICC so that the prosecutor can investigate allegations of crimes under international law by all parties.
Israel has continued to deny access to Gaza for international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and the organization has been forced to conduct its research for this report remotely, supported by two fieldworkers based in Gaza. Israel has also announced that it will not co-operate with the Commission of Inquiry established by the UN Human Rights Council.
“Failing to allow independent human rights monitors into Gaza smacks of a deliberately orchestrated attempt to cover up violations or hide from international scrutiny. Israel must cooperate fully with the UN Commission of Inquiry and grant international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International immediate access to Gaza to prove its commitment to human rights,” said Philip Luther.
- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/amnesty-international-committing#sthash.Tg00rAKg.dpuf
- Written by Arnie Voigt Arnie Voigt
- Published: 27 March 2014 27 March 2014
To all our Sabeel-Colorado trip friends:
On most of our Sabeel-Colorado trips we have visited Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. Usually Mark Brown, the Lutheran World Federation representative in Jerusalem, or his assistant -- has explained how an institution of mercy has to function under conditions of occupation.
Caught under the grinding political realties, Augusta Victoria has not received payment for medical services she has performed. Help is needed to restore this funding lest the services be curtailed and greater suffering ensue.
So, now I am asking you to write/phone your elected officials in Washington and ask them to make this request of USAID. The situation at Augusta Victoria is explained below. Please google your senators and congresspersons to obtain the needed contact information.
- The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has run Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) for over 65 years. AVH provides life-saving care (specifically, providing oncology care not available elsewhere in Gaza or the West Bank). AVH is part of a consortium of East Jerusalem hospitals.
- A large percentage of AVH patients are referred to AVH by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has not paid their bills to AVH in 14 months. The debt is now 25 million USD for AVH and nearly 40 million USD in total for the East Jerusalem and some West Bank hospitals. The debt is increasing 1.5 million USD each month for AVH. AVH bears the largest burden of this debt because of the expensive nature of the care.
- The PA has been unable to pay because some of the funding they receive from the Oslo agreement has been withheld to pressure them in the current peace negotiations.
- 200 million USD already has been appropriated by Congress to the PA and is now available for disbursement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). We wish to request that 40-50 million USD of that amount be designated for humanitarian health care in East Jerusalem. This would help to cover the 25 million USD debt that AVH is now bearing.
- Our request is that elected officials make phone calls to USAID urging them to designate a portion of the 200 million USD for bills the PA has already incurred related to health care.
- In addition to the life-saving care provided by AVH, it also plays an important role in building Palestinian institutions and capacity for health care. The Hospital’s life-saving work also can help maintain a favorable atmosphere amongst Palestinians for a final status agreement between them and the Israelis.
Your follow up to what we experienced on our Sabeel trips is deeply appreciated.
Thank you, and blessings,
Arnie Voigt, arnievoigt AT msn DOT com
- Written by US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation
- Published: 27 February 2008 27 February 2008