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Posts tagged ‘IDF’

Israel’s alleged impersonation of Gaza aid workers raises concern

Since the exposure of Israeli undercover forces by Hamas fighters in the occupied Gaza Strip on November 11, an incident that triggered the most intense round of escalation since 2014, a number of reports have emerged about the circumstances surrounding Israel’s thwarted raid.

On November 22, Hamas published photos of individuals it said were involved, images that Israel’s military censor immediately subjected to a publication ban. Read more

Analysis: What does Gaza escalation mean for appetite for calm?

As recently as Sunday morning, all signs pointed to a longer-term truce taking hold between Israel and Palestinian factions in the besieged Gaza Strip.

But only a four hours later, that prospect seemed far more distant.

On Sunday evening, the Israeli army launched a secret operation in the coastal enclave that killed seven Palestinians, including a senior commander of the armed wing of Hamas, the group administering the Strip, as well as one of its soldiers. Read more

How Israel upholds ‘security’ of apartheid

Three thousand, seven hundred and four. That’s how many live ammunition gunshot injuries were inflicted by Israeli snipers on Palestinian demonstrators inside the Gaza Strip over a seven-week period beginning on 30 March. 3,704. In addition to 130 Palestinians killed during the same time frame.

One million, three hundred thousand. That’s how many bullets were fired by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territory during the first few days of the Second Intifada. 1.3 million.  Read more

Palestinians are killed not because Israeli soldiers disobey orders but because they follow them

It is now over a week since an Israeli sniper shot and killed Palestinian journalist Yaser Murtaja, as he covered the ongoing “Great Return March” protests in the occupied Gaza Strip. Incredibly, at the time of writing, the Israeli military has still not offered any explanation of why he was shot.

The killing of Murtaja has prompted widespread condemnation. He is, however, just one of 35 Palestinians killed – including three children – by Israeli forces since 30 March, with a further 1,500 protesters shot by Israeli live fire (see these AP reports). Read more

It’s no surprise the ICC is warning that it may intervene over the Israel-Gaza border clash

Yesterday, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) warned that the use of live fire by Israeli soldiers against Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip could “constitute crimes under the Rome Statute”.

The ICC’s intervention, in the context of its ongoing preliminary examination into potential crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), is unsurprising given three factors: the number of casualties, the orders given to Israeli soldiers, and the minimal likelihood of accountability. Read more

Pre-meditated murder in Gaza

A week on from Israel’s deadly crackdown on Palestinian protests in the occupied Gaza Strip on Land Day it is clear that the killing of demonstrators constituted a case of pre-meditated murder. The evidence is overwhelming and almost entirely provided by Israeli officials themselves.

First, consider the Israeli authorities’ preparations and open threats in the lead up to Friday, 30 March. Two days in advance, the head of the Israeli armed forces proudly told local media that there would be more than 100 snipers positioned around the Gaza Strip, mostly from “special units,” who would be authorised to live fire on Palestinian demonstrators. Read more

Sorry COGAT, infographics can’t whitewash Israel’s occupation

A key element of Israel’s military regime in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), an occupation that will complete fifty years in June, is the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, which is overseen by the Ministry of Defence.

COGAT, whose operating budget in 2015 was nearly half a billion shekels, describes itself as “responsible for implementing the government’s policy in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip.” Read more

Elor Azaria and the Israeli army: One conviction doesn’t change systematic impunity

Israeli soldier Elor Azaria was convicted yesterday of the manslaughter of Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sharif, a 21-year-old Palestinian killed by a shot to the head as he lay wounded and motionless after an alleged attack on uniformed occupation forces in Hebron in March 2016.

Azaria’s sentence has yet to be handed down – and his defence team could well appeal. Furthermore, a number of Israeli ministers have already demanded that Azaria be pardoned, a call supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, and 70 per cent of the Israeli public. Read more

Gaza: Will the next war be the last?

In a recent, controversial interview with Al-Quds newspaper, Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed that the next war on the Gaza Strip would be the last. Was this just bluster, or does it represent a shift in Israeli strategy towards Gaza and Hamas?

Analysts are divided. “No one has a clear-cut answer about this,” Adnan Abu-Amer, political commentator and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Gaza’s Al-Ummah University, told Al Jazeera. But if there is a war, he continued, “it will be fiercer than ever, and Israel won’t let it last 51 days”. Read more

Is Israel gearing up for another offensive in Gaza?

More than two years have passed since the conclusion of ‘Operation Protective Edge’, Israel’s most recent, and most devastating, offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Superficially, things remain calm – but disturbing developments in recent months suggest that the Israeli government may be preparing for a renewed – and even more brutal – attack on the enclave.

There are three clearly identifiable trends in terms of a shift in Israeli policy towards Gaza. Read more