Five EU nations complain to Israel over land grab

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ISRAELI SETTLEMENT – An Israeli soldier walks through the Gevaot settlement in the Gush Etzion settelment bloc near the West Bank city of Bethlehem Photo: ABIR SULTAN/EPA

 

Published by The Telegraph

Five EU nations have lodged a joint protest to the Israeli Government amid mounting criticism over Israel’s seizure of almost 1,000 acres of Palestinian-claimed land.

Five EU nations have lodged a joint protest to the Israeli Government amid mounting criticism over Israel’s seizure of almost 1,000 acres of Palestinian-claimed land.

Ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy and Spain and Germany’s deputy ambassador formally complained to Israel’s National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen on Tuesday about the government’s plan to seize land in the Gush Etzion area close to Bethlehem for the construction of what is expected to be Israel’s largest settlement in 30 years.

“We gave him a clear message that it was a very bad decision and with terrible timing and that we hope it will be reversed,” one European diplomat told Haaretz.

Mr Cohen reportedy told the ambassadors there were heavy political pressures within the government to speed up construction in the settlements.

Israel’s announcement of the land confiscation order was said to be in response to the killing of three Jewish youths in the area in June. Their deaths led to the 50-day war in Gaza, in which over 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis died.

A US state department spokesperson has described the land confiscation as “counterproductive”.

Last week Palestinian families received eviction orders from Israeli occupation forces, warning that their houses would be demolished in preparation of a land seizure.

Israeli authorities have given the Palestinians and human rights organizations 45 days to submit their legal objections to the decision in Israeli courts.

Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building in the West Bank must stop before any comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.

There are now 350,000 Israelis living in more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel seized the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. They are illegal under international law and seen as an obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state.

 

Israel extends ceasefire for 24 hours, Gaza death toll surpasses 1,000

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Palestinians walk on the rubble as they enter the northern district of Beit Hanun to check their homes in the Gaza Strip during an humanitarian truce on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed)

Over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed since Israel started its military operation in Gaza, officials said. As world leaders called for a full truce, Israel extended the humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza for 24 hours.

The ceasefire has been prolonged until Sunday at midnight, the country’s cabinet decided late Saturday .

At the request of the United nations, the cabinet has approved a humanitarian hiatus until tomorrow (Sunday) at 24:00,” an unnamed official said in a statement.

However, Israel warned that it will retaliate if Hamas fires rockets from Gaza territory. In addition, the IDF “will continue to neutralize the terror tunnels inside Gaza. Four terror tunnels were neutralized in Gaza on Saturday, despite the ceasefire that was in place from 8:00 a.m.,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Hamas rejected Israel’s 24-hour extension of the humanitarian ceasefire, a spokesman for the group said, as cited by AFP.

The Israeli Security Council is set to reconvene on Sunday morning to reevaluate the situation.

The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s 19-day operation has reached 1,032 people, Gaza’s Health Ministry told AFP.

On Saturday, Hamas ignored an Israeli announcement that it would extend the 12-hour truce by four hours and resumed firing rockets into from Gaza.

Despite the 12-hour cease-fire, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has urged the Palestinians, who earlier left their homes in Gaza, to “refrain from returning.

The IDF shall respond if terrorists choose to exploit this time to attack IDF personnel or fire at Israeli civilians,” the military’s spokesperson also said in a statement, adding that Israel will continue “the operational activities to locate and neutralize tunnels in the Gaza Strip” during the ceasefire.

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Shajayia #gaza 4:49 AM – 26 Jul 2014

However, thousands of Palestinians ignored IDF warnings and returned to their Gaza homes to find scores of houses demolished and wreckage blocking the roads.

The residents encountered widespread destruction in the northern town of Beit Hanoun.

Nothing is left. Everything I have is gone,” a Palestinian woman from the town told AP.

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Palestininans go their way past rubbles and a mini ferris wheel in the northern district of Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip, during an humanitarian truce, on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Marco Longari)

At least 100 bodies were recovered from the rubble in Gaza on Saturday, with many of them being partially decomposed, Ashraf al-Kidra, a Palestinian health official, said.

Al-Kidra spoke of 20 members of an extended family, including at least 10 children, who were killed by tank fire that hit a building on the edge of the town of Khan Younis.

Their funeral took place on Saturday, with hundreds of men marching, chanting “There is only God!” while carrying the bodies wrapped in white cloth.

Israeli military’s death toll in the ground offensive has reached 40, with the IDF announcing that three of their soldiers were killed in Gaza in the early hours on Saturday.

Paris meeting calls for ceasefire extension

Western foreign ministers from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Turkey and the US have called for an extension of the 12-hour cease-fire between Hamas and Israel during their meeting in Paris.

All of us want to obtain, as quickly as possible, a durable, negotiated ceasefire that responds both to Israeli needs in terms of security and to Palestinian needs in terms of the social-economic development [of Gaza] and access to the territory of Gaza,” Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister, stressed.

His British counterpart, Philip Hammond, added that “the necessity right now is to stop the loss of life” in Gaza.

And we stop the loss of life by getting this ceasefire to roll over for 12 hours, 24 hours or 48 hours – and then again until we have established the level of confidence that allows the parties to sit round a table to talk about the substantive issues,” Hammond explained.

Debris and smoke fill the air during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Gil Cohen Magen)

Debris and smoke fill the air during an Israeli strike on Gaza City early on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Gil Cohen Magen)

Israel has replied to calls from the international community and agreed to extend the Gaza humanitarian truce by four hours – until midnight (21:00 GMT), a source in the country’s government told Reuters. However, the proposal was rejected by Hamas and minutes after the ceasefire expired, shelling of Israel resumed.

Israel launched a major air campaign in Gaza on July 8 and later sent ground troops into Hamas-ruled territory.

The IDF say that Operation Protective Edge is aimed at halting Palestinian rocket fire and destroying Hamas’s cross-border tunnels. On Saturday, at least four more tunnel shafts were discovered by the IDF. The military vowed to continue their mission in the strip.

A Palestinian woman pauses amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip during an humanitarian truce on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed)

A Palestinian woman pauses amid destroyed buildings in the northern district of Beit Hanun in the Gaza Strip during an humanitarian truce on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Mohammed Abed)

Rescue workers carry the body of a member of al-Najar family, after removing it from under the rubble of their home following an Israeli air strike on Khan Yunis in the southern of Gaza strip, on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Said Khatib)

Rescue workers carry the body of a member of al-Najar family, after removing it from under the rubble of their home following an Israeli air strike on Khan Yunis in the southern of Gaza strip, on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Said Khatib)

Palestinian relatives bury one of several children from the al-Najjar (Najar) family, killed in an Israeli air strike on their house in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Said Khatib)

Palestinian relatives bury one of several children from the al-Najjar (Najar) family, killed in an Israeli air strike on their house in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Said Khatib)

 

Israel Invades Gaza, 264 Gazans and 2 Israelis Dead, But U.S. Media Has Moved On

By Global Research News
Global Research, July 19, 2014
firedoglake.com

Region: Middle East & North Africa
Theme: Crimes against Humanity, Media Disinformation
In-depth Report: PALESTINE

israelmapIsrael invades Gaza, the number of dead soars (UPDATED) (UPDATE 2: Gaza deaths soar to 264 on day 11 of Israel assault), but the media has moved on. The Malaysian passenger jet tragedy is huge news, but does Israel’s invasion really not warrant even a mention on the Yahoo! News U.S. home page?

 

 

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That’s so odd that I start to question my own reality. Did Israeli missiles really kill four boys yesterday while they were playing soccer or hide-and-seek on a Gaza beach? Or was that just an ‘anti-Israel’ nightmare? Erase Gaza from your minds my fellow Americans, there’s a Malaysian Airlines tragedy to ponder!

But then, go to the UK’s Yahoo! News and the Israeli invasion of Gaza is back on, it’s real again. All very strange, how our U.S. media masters treat us. Like guinea pigs in a carefully controlled disinformation experiment.Much Gaza news disappeared today, but while it was ‘hot’ half a day ago, we had this from famous American ‘liberal’ Bill Maher:

“Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who’s trying to kill u – u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her.” Yeah, say it loud misogynist man! And then there was the case of the man who reported too well and had to be removed immediately from your television. (Ayman Mohyeldin “was instrumental, both in social media and on the air, in conveying to the world the visceral horror of the attack” on the four boys.)

But at least Israel can rest comfortably today, the paralyzed, bed-ridden terrorists of El Wafa Hospital*** will threaten it no longer: Israel destroys el-Wafa hospital as staff evacuates all patients. Even better, Alan Dershowitz tweets, today’s a great beach day in Tel Aviv. And to make your beach day even better:

‘Tel Aviv municipality to install giant screens to watch IDF offensive …’ (See the ‘screenshot’ of the Times of Israel frontpage here) [Parody Alert!]

(Steven Salaita writes: “Many think@bouno479′s parody of Israelis watching the bombing on a big screen is real. Think about that for a sec.”)

***’The Israelis … have destroyed the only rehab clinic in the West Bank and Gaza. They are not solving the issues; they are creating more suicide bombers. You cannot solve issues like this at all. They are the ones creating suicide bombings, not us.’ – El Wafa Hospital Director Basman Alashi

Copyright firedoglake.com 2014