A well-known Israeli politician and parliament member has branded Palestinians as terrorists, saying mothers of all Palestinians should also be killed during the ongoing Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, Daily Sabah reported.
Ayelet Shaked of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.”
“They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” Shaked said, adding, “They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.”
The remarks are considered as a call for genocide as she declared that all Palestinians are Israel’s enemies and must be killed.
On Monday (July 7) Shaked quoted this on her Facebook page:
“Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”
The development comes as many officials from various countries have slammed Israel’s airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. The Turkish prime minister is the latest to condemn the offensive, accusing Israel of massacring the Palestinians.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at Israel, saying it is committing state terrorism against the Palestinians in the region. Speaking in parliament, he also questioned the world’s silence toward Tel Aviv’s ongoing atrocities.
Reacting to Shaked’s remarks, the Turkish premier said Israel’s policy in Gaza is no different than Hitler’s mentality.
“An Israeli woman said Palestinian mothers should be killed, too. And she’s a member of the Israeli parliament. What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler’s?” Erdogan asked.
The developments come as the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has recently said women and children make up a sizeable number of Palestinian fatalities caused by Israeli attacks on the besieged region.
Ayelet Shaked represents the far-right Jewish Home party in the Knesset.
Mothers of all Palestinians must be killed: Israeli MP
Hewlett Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) owns Electronic Data Systems, which heads a consortium providing biometric monitoring of checkpoints, including four built inside the West Bank in violation of international law (Betunia, Tarqumia, Qalandia, and Bethlehem checkpoints). HP also supplies printers to the IDF, which enforces the occupation. The Israeli Navy has chosen HP Israel to implement the outsourcing of its information technology infrastructure. Under the project, HP Israel will assume full responsibility for the management and operation of the Navy’s IT infrastructure, including computer and communications centers. With the aid of these communications centers, the Israeli Navy has attacked ships carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. It regularly attacks Gaza’s fishermen within Gaza’s own territorial waters, and has often shelled civilian areas in the Gaza Strip, killing Palestinians. A Hewlett Packard subsidiary, HP Invent, is listed among companies outsourcing IT services to a company called Matrix, which employs settlers in the illegal settlement of Modi’in Illit to do much of its IT work at low wages.
“Wake up my son! I bought toys for you, please wake up!” These were the heart-wrenching pleas of Salman Abu Namous, who was begging his four-year-old son Sahir to come back to life. Sahir was killed on Friday by shrapnel from a missile launched by Israel. His cousin described his killing: “He was playing and smiling next to his mother when missile shrapnel divided his head.”
Israel’s defence minister has confirmed that military plans to ‘uproot Hamas’ are about dominating Gaza’s gas reserves.
Yesterday, Israeli defence minister and former Israeli Defence Force (IDF) chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon announced that Operation Protective Edge marks the beginning of a protracted assault on Hamas. The operation “won’t end in just a few days,” he said, adding that “we are preparing to expand the operation by all means standing at our disposal so as to continue striking Hamas.”
This morning, he said:
“We continue with strikes that draw a very heavy price from Hamas. We are destroying weapons, terror infrastructures, command and control systems, Hamas institutions, regime buildings, the houses of terrorists, and killing terrorists of various ranks of command… The campaign against Hamas will expand in the coming days, and the price the organization will pay will be very heavy.”
But in 2007, a year before Operation Cast Lead, Ya’alon’s concerns focused on the 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered in 2000 off the Gaza coast, valued at $4 billion. Ya’alon dismissed the notion that “Gaza gas can be a key driver of an economically more viable Palestinian state” as “misguided.” The problem, he said, is that:
“Proceeds of a Palestinian gas sale to Israel would likely not trickle down to help an impoverished Palestinian public. Rather, based on Israel’s past experience, the proceeds will likely serve to fund further terror attacks against Israel…
A gas transaction with the Palestinian Authority [PA] will, by definition, involve Hamas. Hamas will either benefit from the royalties or it will sabotage the project and launch attacks against Fatah, the gas installations, Israel – or all three… It is clear that without an overall military operation to uproot Hamas control of Gaza, no drilling work can take place without the consent of the radical Islamic movement.”
Operation Cast Lead did not succeed in uprooting Hamas, but the conflict did take the lives of 1,387 Palestinians (773 of whom were civilians) and 9 Israelis (3 of whom were civilians).
Since the discovery of oil and gas in the Occupied Territories, resource competition has increasingly been at the heart of the conflict, motivated largely by Israel’s increasing domestic energy woes.
Mark Turner, founder of the Research Journalism Initiative, reported that the siege of Gaza and ensuing military pressure was designed to “eliminate” Hamas as “a viable political entity in Gaza” to generate a “political climate” conducive to a gas deal. This involved rehabilitating the defeated Fatah as the dominant political player in the West Bank, and “leveraging political tensions between the two parties, arming forces loyal to Abbas and the selective resumption of financial aid.”
Ya’alon’s comments in 2007 illustrate that the Israeli cabinet is not just concerned about Hamas – but concerned that if Palestinians develop their own gas resources, the resulting economic transformation could in turn fundamentally increase Palestinian clout.
Meanwhile, Israel has made successive major discoveries in recent years – such as the Leviathan field estimated to hold 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – which could transform the country from energy importer into aspiring energy exporter with ambitions to supply Europe, Jordan and Egypt. A potential obstacle is that much of the 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1.6 billion barrels of oil in the Levant Basin Province lies in territorial waters where borders are hotly disputed between Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Cyprus.
Amidst this regional jockeying for gas, though, Israel faces its own little-understood energy challenges. It could, for instance, take until 2020 for much of these domestic resources to be properly mobilised.
But this is the tip of the iceberg. A 2012 letter by two Israeli government chief scientists – which the Israeli government chose not to disclose – warned the government that Israel still had insufficient gas resources to sustain exports despite all the stupendous discoveries. The letter, according to Ha’aretz, stated that Israel’s domestic resources were 50% less than needed to support meaningful exports, and could be depleted in decades:
“We believe Israel should increase its [domestic] use of natural gas by 2020 and should not export gas. The Natural Gas Authority’s estimates are lacking. There’s a gap of 100 to 150 billion cubic meters between the demand projections that were presented to the committee and the most recent projections. The gas reserves are likely to last even less than 40 years!”
As Dr Gary Luft – an advisor to the US Energy Security Council – wrote in the Journal of Energy Security, “with the depletion of Israel’s domestic gas supplies accelerating, and without an imminent rise in Egyptian gas imports, Israel could face a power crisis in the next few years… If Israel is to continue to pursue its natural gas plans it must diversify its supply sources.”
Israel’s new domestic discoveries do not, as yet, offer an immediate solution as electricity prices reach record levels, heightening the imperative to diversify supply. This appears to be behind Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement in February 2011 that it was now time to seal the Gaza gas deal. But even after a new round of negotiations was kick-started between the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority and Israel in September 2012, Hamas was excluded from these talks, and thus rejected the legitimacy of any deal.
Earlier this year, Hamas condemned a PA deal to purchase $1.2 billion worth of gas from Israel Leviathan field over a 20 year period once the field starts producing. Simultaneously, the PA has held several meetings with the British Gas Group to develop the Gaza gas field, albeit with a view to exclude Hamas – and thus Gazans – from access to the proceeds. That plan had been the brainchild of Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair.
But the PA was also courting Russia’s Gazprom to develop the Gaza marine gas field, and talks have been going on between Russia, Israel and Cyprus, though so far it is unclear what the outcome of these have been. Also missing was any clarification on how the PA would exert control over Gaza, which is governed by Hamas.
According to Anais Antreasyan in the University of California’s Journal of Palestine Studies, the most respected English language journal devoted to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel’s stranglehold over Gaza has been designed to make “Palestinian access to the Marine-1 and Marine-2 gas wells impossible.” Israel’s long-term goal “besides preventing the Palestinians from exploiting their own resources, is to integrate the gas fields off Gaza into the adjacent Israeli offshore installations.” This is part of a wider strategy of:
“…. separating the Palestinians from their land and natural resources in order to exploit them, and, as a consequence, blocking Palestinian economic development. Despite all formal agreements to the contrary, Israel continues to manage all the natural resources nominally under the jurisdiction of the PA, from land and water to maritime and hydrocarbon resources.”
For the Israeli government, Hamas continues to be the main obstacle to the finalisation of the gas deal. In the incumbent defence minister’s words: “Israel’s experience during the Oslo years indicates Palestinian gas profits would likely end up funding terrorism against Israel. The threat is not limited to Hamas… It is impossible to prevent at least some of the gas proceeds from reaching Palestinian terror groups.”
The only option, therefore, is yet another “military operation to uproot Hamas.”
Unfortunately, for the IDF uprooting Hamas means destroying the group’s perceived civilian support base – which is why Palestinian civilian casualties massively outweigh that of Israelis. Both are obviously reprehensible, but Israel’s capacity to inflict destruction is simply far greater.
In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, the Jerusalem-based Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (Pcati) found that the IDF had adopted a more aggressive combat doctrine based on two principles – “zero casualties” for IDF soldiers at the cost of deploying increasingly indiscriminate firepower in densely populated areas, and the “dahiya doctrine” promoting targeting of civilian infrastructure to create widespread suffering amongst the population with a view to foment opposition to Israel’s opponents.
This was confirmed in practice by the UN fact-finding mission in Gaza which concluded that the IDF had pursued a “deliberate policy of disproportionate force,” aimed at the “supporting infrastructure” of the enemy – “this appears to have meant the civilian population,” said the UN report.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is clearly not all about resources. But in an age of expensive energy, competition to dominate regional fossil fuels are increasingly influencing the critical decisions that can inflame war.
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an international security journalist and academic. He is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It, and the forthcoming science fiction thriller, ZERO POINT. ZERO POINT is set in a near future following a Fourth Iraq War. Follow Ahmed on Facebook and Twitter.
IDF’s Gaza assault is to control Palestinian gas, avert Israeli energy crisis
The US has said it is “profoundly troubled” by footage that allegedly shows a US teenager being brutally beaten by Israeli police.
Tariq Abu Khdeir, a 15-year-old American citizen from Florida, was detained by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem following violent protests over the killing of the 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the cousin of Tariq.
Khdeir is thought to be shown being repeatedly punched and kicked by police in the video filmed by a witness at the scene in East Jerusalem and posted online by Tel Aviv news site +972, while images have been released by Khdeir’s family showing his swollen and bloodied face.
The teenager’s mother told Sky News that she was “in a state of shock” and described the alleged attack on her son as an “act of attempted murder”.
The US state department confirmed that Khdeir is being held by Israeli authorities, and said: “We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force.” The US has called for an investigation into the incident.
On Sunday Khdeir was brought before a Jerusalem district court, where police requested to extend his detention.
He has been freed on bail pending an investigation. His bail conditions include 10 days house arrest, a $2,857 fine and a ban on him entering Shuafat, a Palestinian Arab Neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, according to Al Jazeera.
Police say the US teen was one of six masked rioters caught and detained at the protests, three of whom were found to be carrying knives. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the video allegedly showing Khdeir being beaten is “biased”, claiming that the teen resisted arrest, attacked officers, and was carrying a slingshot for lobbing stones when he was seized.
The incident happened days after Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s charred body was found dumped in woodland, hours after he was kidnapped from his neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. Initial autopsy findings have indicated that he was “burnt alive”.
New video footage has emerged that is thought to show the faces of Khdeir’s two alleged abductors.
The video, which was posted online by Electronic Intifada, a news site that covers Palestinian issues, shows two men pointing and walking towards a specific spot while on a pavement, in front of a car.
The video is claimed to show the same footage of Khdeir’s kidnap that was caught on CCTV cameras and obtained by the Guardian, but from a different angle.
Many have said Khdeir’s death was a revenge killing made after the three young Israelis were abducted on 12 June, and whose bodies were found discarded in the occupied West Bank on Monday.
Additional reporting by Press Association.
US-Palestinian teenager filmed ‘being beaten by Israeli police’ in house arrest
SodaStream, which has its main factory in the West Bank and makes home carbonation products, has closed its EcoStream shop in Brighton and one of Britain’s biggest retailers John Lewis will no longer stock its products after two years of protests.
EcoStream, which sold recyclable bottles produced by the Israeli-owned SodaStream Corporation, was closed despite reporting running a profit since it was opened two years ago.
EcoStream bottles were produced at a factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone in the Israeli West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.
The EcoStream store in Brighton, on England’s south coast, was closed Monday and the department store chain John Lewis announced Tuesday that it will be withdrawing all SodaStream products from its shelves.
SodaStream did not link the decisions to the protest campaign against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank.
In a statement issued Wednesday in relation to the closure of store in Brighton and John Lewis’ decision to pull its products, SodaStream did not mention the protests, which are known as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“Following a two-year test period, the company has decided to focus its business efforts on other channels. The business in the UK is on a high growth pattern, with over 20 percent year-on-year growth and rolling out to new retail stores across the country,” said a spokeswoman for the company, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
SodaStream’s decision to close the shop follows two years of weekly Saturday demonstrations outside the store by the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
In London, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has also organized protests every fortnight outside John Lewis’ flagship Oxford Street store. The protest group has also been in direct communication with the CEO of John Lewis, Andy Street, urging him to put ethics before profits.
Sarah Colborne, the director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, attributed the closure of the Brighton store as well the decision by John Lewis, directly to the pressure from the BDS movement.
“The news that SodaStream is closing its main UK store and that John Lewis is taking Soda Stream products off its shelves is a major success for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” she said, according to Haaretz.
SodaStream by locating its factory in an illegal settlement is complicit in Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land,” she added.
But SodaStream maintains that its operation in the West Bank contributes to Israeli-Palestinian coexistence and says its Mishor Adumim factory employs hundreds of Palestinians.
Scarlett Johansson sparked a heated debate earlier this year, when she accepted the role of spokeswoman for SodaStream, much to the dismay of supporters of the BDS movement.
But Johansson hit back at her critics, saying some of them were motivated by anti-Semitism, and that SodaStream did a lot of good for the environment.
“I’m not an expert on the history of this conflict, and I’ve never professed to be. But it is a company that I believe in, that I think has the ability to make a huge difference environmentally. [CEO] Daniel Birnbaum has said many times that this factory is one he inherited and that he doesn’t want to fire people – the majority of those people being Palestinian,” she said.
Israel’s SodaStream closes main UK store after 2-yr boycott campaign
The Presbyterian Church on Friday became the most prominent religious group in the US to endorse divestment as a protest against Israeli policies toward Palestinians, voting to sell church stock in three companies whose products Israel uses in the occupied territories.
The church’s General Assembly, meeting in Detroit, voted by 310-303 to sell stock in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. Two years ago, the assembly rejected a similar divestment proposal by two votes.
The American Jewish Committee, a policy and advocacy group based in New York, said the vote was “driven by hatred of Israel”. But Heath Rada, moderator for the church meeting, said immediately after the vote that “in no way is this a reflection of our lack of love for our Jewish brothers and sisters”.
The decision is expected to reverberate beyond the 1.8 million-member church. It comes amid discouragement over failed peace talks that have left activists desperate for a way to effect change and as the broader movement known as BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) has gained some momentum in the US, Israel’s closest and most important ally.
Presbyterians who advocated for divestment insisted their action was not part of the broader boycott movement. Israeli officials, along with many American Jewish groups, denounced the campaign as an attempt to delegitimise the Jewish state.
Separately, the assembly also voted to re-examine its support for a two-state solution.
In a statement on its Facebook page, the Israeli Embassy in Washington denounced the Presbyterian Church resolution as “shameful”.
“Voting for symbolic measures marginalises and removes its ability to be a constructive partner to promote peace in the Middle East,” the statement said.
Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the BDS movement, praised the vote as a “sweet victory for human rights”. He said Presbyterian supporters of Palestinian rights have introduced divestment into the US mainstream and have given Palestinians “real hope in the face of the relentless and intensifying cruelty of Israel’s regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid”.
Representatives of the Presbyterian socially responsible investment arm told the national meeting in Detroit that their efforts to lobby the three companies for change had failed.
Carol Hylkema of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network, a Presbyterian group that advocates for Palestinians and spearheaded the drive for divestment, said their action was modelled on the divestment movement to end apartheid in South Africa. The 2012 assembly had endorsed a boycott of Israeli products made in the Palestinian territories.
“Because we are a historical peacemaking church, what we have done is, we have stood up for nonviolent means of resistance to oppression and we have sent a clear message to a struggling society that we support their efforts to resist in a nonviolent way the oppression being thrust upon them,” said the Reverend Jeffrey DeYoe, of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network.
Two smaller US religious groups have divested in protest of Israeli policies: the Friends Fiduciary Corp, which manages assets for US Quakers, and the Mennonite Central Committee. Last week, the pension board of the United Methodist Church, the largest mainline Protestant group in the US, revealed plans to sell holdings worth about $110,000 in G4S, which provides security equipment and has contracts with Israel’s prison system. However, the United Methodist Church had rejected church-wide divestment.
Motorola Solutions said in a statement that the company follows the law and its own policies that address human rights. Hewlett-Packard said its checkpoints for Palestinians were developed to expedite passage “in a secure environment, enabling people to get to their place of work or to carry out their business in a faster and safer way”. Caterpillar has said it does not sell equipment to Israel, just to the US government.
A church spokeswoman estimated the value of Presbyterian holdings in the companies at $21m.
The United Methodist Church’s pension board is selling its shares in a British company that supplies security equipment to Israel for use in prisons and in the West Bank.
A press release issued by United Methodist Kairos Response, a movement within the church that advocates on behalf of Palestinian Christians, said the decision to divest from G4S was “due in part to concerns about the company’s involvement in human rights violations in the Israeli prison system and the military occupation of Palestinian territories.”
The move comes just days before another mainline Protestant denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is scheduled to consider five resolutions that would advance divestment from companies that deal with Israel’s military and one that would reconsider whether the church supports a two-state solution.
Despite the Kairos Response press release, it is unclear whether G4S’s work with Israel was actually a factor in the pension board’s decision to divest. The board recently decided to divest from all companies doing business with private prisons, something G4S does.
A call to the pension board was not returned by deadline.
Noam Marans, director of interreligious and intergroup relations at the American Jewish Committee, who has been closely following the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, said the decision on G4S does not reflect the United Methodist Church’s position on Israel divestment. In 2012 the church voted 685-246 against divestment from U.S. companies doing business with Israel.
“This is a transparent media stunt on the eve of the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly trying to prejudice that deliberation of anti-Israel and pro-divestment resolutions in Detroit next week,” he said.
The United Methodist Church’s pension board manages a more than $20 billion portfolio. However, according to The New York Times, the church had only $110,000 worth of stock holdings in G4S.
“This is the first time that a United Methodist general agency has included human rights violations related to Israel’s illegal settlements and military occupation in a decision to divest from a company,” David Wildman, executive secretary for human rights and racial justice at the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, said in the Kairos Response press release. “We celebrate this strong human rights message both to G4S specifically and to other companies whose business operations support longstanding human rights abuses against Palestinians.”