Who protects you from TSA Abusers?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States

The TSA was created as part of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, sponsored by Don Young in the United States House of Representative and Ernest Hollings in the Senate, passed by the 107th U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 19, 2001. Originally part of the United States Department of Transportation, the TSA was moved to the Department of Homeland Security on March 9, 2003. Source

There seems to be a lot of problems associated with this organization. Abuse of power being the worst. This is a rather long story. The facts are frightening to say the least.

To anyone who is going to fly, be warned it may be a very disturbing, humiliating, experience.

The scanners to begin with may be dangerous. Seems they have not been well tested as to side affects.

 Scientists Cast Doubt on TSA Tests of Full-Body Scanners

by Michael Grabell
ProPublica, May 16, 2011

The Transportation Security Administration says its full-body X-ray scanners are safe and that radiation from a scan is equivalent to what’s received in about two minutes of flying. The company that makes them says it’s safer than eating a banana.

But some scientists with expertise in imaging and cancer say the evidence made public to support those claims is unreliable. And in a new letter sent to White House science adviser John Holdren, they question why the TSA won’t make the scanners available for independent testing by outside scientists.

What Kind of Body Scanner Does Your Airport Have?

VIDEO: The Science Behind Airport Body Scanners

The machines, which are designed to reveal objects hidden under clothing, have the potential to close a significant security gap for the TSA because metal detectors can’t find explosives or ceramic knives, which can be just as sharp as the box cutters that hijackers used on 9/11.

They are also important for TSA’s public relations battle over the alternative, the “enhanced pat-down,” which has bred an epidemic of viral videos: A 6-year-old girl is touched from head to toe. A former Miss USA says she was violated. A software programmer warns a screener, “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”

After the underwear bomber tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day 2009, the TSA ramped up deployment of full-body scanners and plans to have them at nearly every security line by 2014.

There are two types of body scanners. Millimeter wave machines emit a radio frequency similar to cellphones. Backscatters work like a fast-moving X-ray. In the latter, the rays bounce off the skin and create a fuzzy white image of the passenger’s body. Because the beam doesn’t go through the body, most of its radiation is received by the skin.

The TSA says the backscatter technology has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Survey teams are using radiation-detecting dosimeters to check the machines at airports. The TSA says the results have all confirmed that the scanners don’t pose a significant risk to public health.

According to the agency and many radiation experts, the dose is so low, even for children or cancer patients, that someone would have to pass through the machines more than a thousand times before approaching the annual limit set by radiation safety organizations.

But the letter to the White House science adviser, signed by five professors at University of California, San Francisco, and at Arizona State University, points out several flaws in the tests. Studies published in scientific journals in the last few months have also cast doubt on the radiation dose and the machines’ ability to find explosives.

A number of scientists, including some who believe the radiation is trivial, say more testing should be done given the government’s plans to put millions of passengers through the machines. And they have been disturbed by the TSA’s reluctance to do so.

“There’s no real data on these machines, and in fact, the best guess of the dose is much, much higher than certainly what the public thinks,” said John Sedat, a professor emeritus in biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and the primary author of the letter.

The same group stirred controversy last year when it sent a letter to Holdren arguing that while the overall dose to the body may be low, the TSA hadn’t quantified the dose to the skin. Last fall, FDA and TSA officials released a study that estimated the dose to the skin to be twice the dose to the body, though still extremely low.

In the most recent letter sent to Holdren on April 28, the professors note that the Johns Hopkins lab didn’t test an actual airport machine. Instead, the tests were done on a model built by the manufacturer, Rapiscan, and configured to resemble a system previously tested by the TSA.

The researchers’ names have been kept secret, and the report on the tests is so “heavily redacted” that “there is no way to repeat any of these measurements,” they wrote.

The physics and medical professors also took issue with the device used to measure the radiation. Although the device, known as an ion chamber, is commonly used to test medical equipment, they argue that the detector gets overwhelmed by the amount of radiation the backscatter deposits in a short time and might not provide accurate readings.

Helen Worth, a spokeswoman for the Johns Hopkins lab, referred questions to the TSA.

Part of the trouble is that there is no ideal device for measuring the radiation dose given by backscatter X-rays, said David Brenner, director of the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research. The machines emit a pencil beam that rapidly moves across and up and down the body, he said.

“We are one of the oldest and biggest radiological research centers in the country, and we find this to be a very hard technical problem,” said Brenner, who was not involved with the letter.

Another issue is that there is a lot of uncertainty with the model used to estimate cancer risk from radiation exposure to the skin, said Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a UCSF radiologist who also was not involved in the letter.

Smith-Bindman, who has testified before Congress about excessive radiation from medical scans, studied the TSA reports and said she wasn’t concerned about the airport X-rays.

The risks are “truly trivial,” she wrote in an article for the Archives of Internal Medicine. A passenger would have to undergo 50 airport scans to reach the level of a dental X-ray, 1,000 for a chest X-ray, and 4,000 for a mammogram.

Though imperfect, the available models predict that the backscatters would lead to only six cancers over the course of a lifetime among the approximately 100 million people who fly every year, Smith-Bindman concluded.

“There’s really unnecessary fear related to these scans,” she said. “What I’m not as comfortable with is that there has not been access to these machines. They are not being tested on the same regulatory basis that we see on medical equipment.”

After her article was published, Smith-Bindman was contacted by a TSA public affairs officer. During the conversation, she suggested that she or other outside scientists be allowed to test the machine. The official was shocked by the suggestion and said such access could tip off people who want to avoid detection, Smith-Bindman said.

“It was not appreciating that there’s legitimate scientific questions that have to be balanced against the security questions,” she said.

The TSA did not respond to ProPublica’s questions about why it wouldn’t allow outside testing. But at a congressional hearing in March, Robin Kane, assistant administrator for security technology, said doing so would expose a lot of sensitive information the agency wouldn’t normally share publicly. The machines had already been tested several times, he said, and if set up securely, the agency would allow more testing.

The available information leaves scientists with little to work with. Peter Rez, the Arizona State physics professor who signed the letter to Holdren, has tried to calculate the radiation by examining the handful of backscatter images that have been released publicly.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group, sued the Department of Homeland Security, TSA’s parent agency, in federal court seeking release of 2,000 backscatter images used in testing. But it has not been successful.

The few images that have been made public do not reveal faces or detailed private features. The TSA says the images Rez used are out of date, but Rez says the current image on TSA’s website is unusable.

Using the earlier images, Rez concluded in the Radiation Protection Dosimetry journal that it was highly unlikely the machines could have produced such high-quality images with doses of radiation as low as those described by TSA. He estimated the dose, while still very small, is 45 times higher than the results measured by Johns Hopkins.

Applying Rez’s numbers, Brenner wrote a paper for the journal Radiology, estimating that 100 additional cancers would develop for every 1 billion scans.

For Rez, the real danger occurs if the machine stops in the middle of a scan, allowing the beam to focus on a tiny area for several seconds. Given that the backscatter works with a wheel rotating at a high speed, and that the agency plans to use the scanners continuously 365 days a year, mechanical failures are likely, he said.

The TSA says that the scanners have safety systems, such as automatic shutoffs and emergency stop buttons, that will kill the beam in the event of any problem that could result in abnormal radiation. How those fail-safe systems work isn’t entirely clear.

When Johns Hopkins researchers visited the Rapiscan facility, the automatic termination appeared to work. But the full results of the shutoff tests are redacted.

What’s more, the test system didn’t have an emergency stop button. Source

The question you must ask yourself: Are they telling the truth, when they say the scanners are safe? They of course show you, in all your glorious nakedness. That in of itself is humiliating on it’s own.

Now we must move on to how this so called Security works.

The beginning starts here:

TSA Worker Crimes

This is a rather long list of crimes perpetrated by the Employees of TSA,

Assault, harassment, theft, trying to buy sex, possessing child porn, rapeStatutory Rape, drugs, drugs smuggling, handguns in luggage, domestic violence, grand larceny, sexually abusing two young girls, federal extortion,  bribery charges, Running Prostitution Ring, cooking meth, taking bribes, Child Molestation,

To name a few: These are the the type of people who work for the TSA.

Go HERE to read about the crimes of TSA Employees, mentioned above.

Now that you know, what type of people are hired, we can move on to the next step in our journey to enlightenment.

TSA agent forces elderly woman to empty colostomy bag

December 6, 2010 By Dead Serious News

Rosemary Fecteau, an 87 year old widow from Hershey, Pennsylvania, plans to sue the TSA for forcing her to empty her colostomy bag during a pat-down.

Fecteau, who has had a colostomy bag since a mosh pit injury two years ago, is claiming that the TSA agent humiliated her in front of hundreds of passengers waiting in the security line at the Orlando International Airport yesterday.  According to Fecteau, she was selected for a pat-down when the full body scanner detected her colostomy bag.  Fecteau, through her lawyer, claims that she told the TSA agent that it was a colostomy bag, but the agent had “never heard of that before.”  After patting down the bag, the TSA agent stated that “something feels very strange in there” and requested that Fecteau empty the contents on the inspection table nearby.  Fecteau claims when she protested, the TSA agent threatened her with arrest and a $10,000 fine.  Fecteau, crying and trembling, emptied her colostomy bag on the table to jeers and laughter from passengers in the security line.  The TSA agent scolded Fecteau.  “Why didn’t you tell me the bag was full of your crap?”

Fecteau was allowed to board the plane after the incident.  A TSA spokesperson who was not aware of this specific incident, said that it appeared the TSA agent involved “acted appropriately”. Source

A TSA spokesperson who was not aware of this specific incident, said that it appeared the TSA agent involved “acted appropriately”.

I be to differ. The agent in question was cruel to and elderly woman. She was absolutely humiliated, beyond anything imaginable. He orders her to empty the bag then goes on to give her Shit for dumping shit out. Excuse the language but this type of behavior is anything but acceptable. The woman had no choice in the matter facing, arrest or a $10,000 fine.

I don’t know what planet the agent is from but on earth this is considered profound abuse of power.

Condoning such an act as the TSA spokesperson did it also an abuse of power in every way imaginable.  How dare anyone condone such an action towards an elderly terrified woman.  TSA says they train their employees to be sensitive. Well that is a load of BS. A blatant lie if you ask me.

Who is protecting people like this Elderly woman so horrifically, humiliated by the TSA?

This is just one incident there are many more.

Check HERE for more nightmares the Elderly and Handicapped  have been put through at the hands of TSA.

TSA Screening Abuse of Children & Minors

The short list:

Detaining and searching 3 year old;s., Exposes 17-Year-Old ’s Breasts, Baby 18 months old ordered off plane, 5th Grader Was Groped By TSA, TSA molesting child, Eight-Year-Old on TSA Terrorist Watchlist, to name a couple of infringements.

TSA Has No Idea How To Screen A 7-Year-Old With Cerebral Palsy

By Chris Morran April 25, 2012

The tiny (potential) terrorists of the world continue to wreak havoc at airport security checkpoints. We already brought you the story of the 4-year-old who dared to hug her grandmother in view of TSA screeners, and now comes the tale of a 7-year-old girl with cerebral palsy whose crutches and leg braces reportedly confounded security personnel at JFK Airport.

The girl’s parents tell TheDaily.com that they know their daughter needs to go through a pat-down when she flies because her crutches and braces throw off the scanners and other detectors.

But, says her father, the family recently missed their flight out of JFK because the TSA screeners were not only rude, but also could not decide how to properly screen his daughter.

Because their daughter is developmentally disabled and can react negatively to being inspected by strangers, the parents say they usually ask the screeners performing the pat-down to introduce themselves to the little girl.

“[T]he woman started screaming at me and cursing me and threatening me,” the father recalls.

Things seemed to be okay after a supervisor decided that searching the girl’s crutches would suffice.

But after the family had been sitting at the gate for an hour, the TSA suddenly decided it hadn’t done its job and it needed everyone to come back to the checkpoint to re-screen the girl.

When that was all done, the family say they attempted to race through the terminal to make their flight but they were too late and had to be re-booked onto a later flight.

The TSA gave Consumerist the following statement:

TSA takes all passengers claims seriously and each one is thoroughly reviewed. A TSA manager determined that a TSA officer did not complete the screening procedure on the child.

When the checkpoint manager learned that the screening was not completed, TSA officers went to the gate and offered to conduct a modified pat-down at the gate, or back at the checkpoint, where there is a separate screening room for privacy. The family ultimately returned to the checkpoint to complete the screening process.

TSA officers strive to screen passengers respectfully while ensuring the safety of all travelers. Source

This type of behavior from TSA employees is not acceptable.

For All Reports on this topic go HERE

TSA Screening Abuse Reports – General Public

The short list:

Sexual harassment, TSA agents ‘laugh at travelers’ naked scanner images in backrooms, vandalizing travelers property, reaching into woman’s bra, Women’s Breasts  exposed by TSA screeners, TSA pulls down man’s pants, ordered to strip naked for airport security while workers took pictures and video, people sexually assaulted, to name a few.

Flier’s TSA ‘grope’ nightmare

By HEATHER HADDON

March 27, 2011

The skies were a little too friendly for a Brooklyn woman who said her security pat-down at La Guardia Airport last week felt more like fondling than frisking.

“If I had been physically attacked, this would have been a very, very similar experience,” said Nancy Campbell, 33, an urban planner who said she was traumatized by a touchy-feely female TSA agent before her flight to Washington Tuesday.

Campbell had already cleared security and was approaching the gate when the young agent stopped her, told her to drop her stuff and demanded she stand spread-eagled.


UNHAPPY LANDINGS: Brooklynite Nancy Campbell claims her search was like a physical attack.

As passers-by gawked, the TSA agent patted Campbell down, touching her breasts, inner thighs and crotch, the freaked-out flier told The Post.

When she protested, the agent said, “You can either continue on flailing about, or you can let me do my job. If you don’t, you can’t fly.”

The petite Brooklynite was in tears when she boarded her plane after the three-minute ordeal.

Hers is just one of the hundreds of complaints heard since Nov. 1, when the Transportation Security Administration started sending some passengers through full-body scanners to better detect explosives. Those who refused the scan would face a more vigorous pat-down.

But Campbell says she was never asked to step through a scanner. The guard provided no other options to the random pat-downs at the gate.

Putting passengers through enhanced pat-downs after they’ve already cleared security is “very, very strange,” said Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the ACLU.

Campbell said two other women were groped during the random checks at Gate 18.

Ann Davis, a TSA spokeswoman, said the agency has randomly screened bags and travelers at gates since 2008.

Davis would not say if the pat-down described by Campbell broke agency protocols or was overly intrusive. When asked about the rules, Davis said she could not discuss them because of security concerns.

“We will certainly look into the specifics of this passenger’s complaint. Officers are trained to conduct these pat-downs in a professional manner,” she said.

The TSA has received 900 complaints from travelers who underwent or witnessed pat-downs and another 4,515 from those against the public friskings in general. Source

For more on this topic Go HERE

Here a link with some of the Lawsuits against TSA

TSA Security Failures & Negligence

TSA Propaganda & Misinformation

This is how the Department of Homeland Security and TSA protects the people of the US.

The above reports are up to April 2013 only.

Thank you, to those who have come forward and reported all the abuses.  Thank you, to all those who have reported and collected all the information. There certainly is a mountain of crimes, being committed in the name of Security.

I will leave you with this last thought.

Disgraced Catholic priest who was defrocked after ‘sexually abusing two young girls’ now works as a TSA airport screener (Thomas  Harkins)

A disgraced priest who was kicked out of the Catholic church after he allegedly abused two young girls has found new employment supervising airport security screeners for the TSA.

The post gives Thomas Harkin access thousands of travelers, including untold numbers of children, as they pass through security checkpoints at Philadelphia International Airport every day.

And now, a third alleged victim has come forward saying that Harkin molested her up to 15 times when she was 11, including in the rectory of Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, New Jersey.

All of the alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s, but none of the alleged victims came forward before the statute of limitations expired, CBS Philadelphia reports.

Harkin could not be prosecuted, but when the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, learned of the allegations in 2002, he was defrocked.

It’s unclear when Harkin landed the job supervising airport screeners, but the Transportation Security Administration says he in is charge of overseeing baggage, not passengers.

Karen Polesir, the Philadelphia spokeswoman with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the TV station she fears Harkin still has access to any passengers coming through the security gates.

New allegations: A third accuser has come forward to say Harkin molested her up to 15 times at Saint Anthony of Padua parish when she was 11

As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that,’ she said.Harkin, when confronted by CBS Philadelphia, denied that the public was in danger, but refused to comment on his job, on the abuse allegations, or the lawsuit filed by his newest accuser.The TSA says it hired Harkin after he cleared a criminal background check. His security record was clean because he was never arrested on the abuse allegations.However, it’s unknown whether he would have been disqualified even if he had been arrested for child molesting, Huffington Post reports.

The TSA says its background checks search for ’28 disqualifying crimes,’ but the agency doesn’t say what the crimes are, so no one can say whether sexually abusing children disqualifies potential screeners.

Harkin refused to speak with a reporter from CBS Philadelphia who confronted him over the allegations

Videos at Source

What do you think?

Who protects you from TSA Abusers?

As of June 1 2013

TSA removes body scanners criticized as too revealing

From June 2011

Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained documents that show how TSA workers got sick with cancer, heart disease and stroke. Source

So what about frequent flyers?  They could get all of the above as well, from the scanners.

Recent

Canada: Father Dan Miller has pleaded guilty to five counts of indecent assault

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March 11-17 2010 Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Salem-News.com

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law escalated in the OPT during the reporting period (11 – 17 March 2010).

(HEBRON) – The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports the latest military action by Israel’s military toward Palestinian civilians. A number of shootings are reported.

They say that during the reporting period, 31 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and 5 women, were wounded when IOF used excessive force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank.

In the same time frame, IOF (Israeli Occupational Forces) issued a military order declaring the area of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein and Ne’lin villages, west of Ramallah, a closed military zone on Fridays, banning access of Palestinian civilians to the area. According to the order, such ban will remain effective until 17 August 2010.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF fired at Palestinian workers and fishing boats. They also fire at a peaceful protest against the security zone IOF plan to establish along the border.

On 12 March 2010, Israeli warplanes bombarded and destroyed a factory of plastics in Khan Yunis.

Incursions: During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 13 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. IOF arrested 27 Palestinian civilians, including two children and a journalist.

In the Gaza Strip, on 12 March 2010, IOF moved into the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of land which they had already razed.

Restrictions on Movement: IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Gaza Strip

IOF have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The Israeli siege of Gaza, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

  • On Friday, 01 January 2010, IOF decided to close the crossing permanently, and to allow the entry of fuels through Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, for security claims.
  • 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
  • The main concern of the population of the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
  • IOF have continued to prevent the entry of raw construction materials into the Gaza Strip for more than two years.
  • IOF have not allowed fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip, excluding few amounts of cooking gas and energy fuel for Gaza Power Plant, since 10 December 2008.
  • The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
  • IOF have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the face of Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits.
  • IOF have imposed additional restrictions on access of international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers to the Gaza Strip. They have prevented representatives of several international humanitarian organizations from entering the Gaza Strip.
  • Living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population have seriously deteriorated; levels of poverty and unemployment have sharply mounted.
  • · At least 800 Gazan prisoners in Israeli jails have been deprived for family visitation for more than two years.
  • IOF have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen along the Gaza Strip coast.

West Bank

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

  • IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
  • There are approximately permanent 630 roadblocks, manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank. In addition, there are some 60-80 ‘flying’ or temporary checkpoints erected across the West Bank by IOF every week.
  • When complete, the illegal Annexation Wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the Wall has already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the Wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, further confiscating Palestinian land.
  • At least 65% of the main roads that leads to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF (47 out of 72 roads).
  • There are around 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without a permit issued by the IOF. These permits are extremely difficult to obtain.
  • IOF continue to harass, and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the Annexation Wall.
  • Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.

Efforts to Create a Jewish Majority in Jerusalem: On Thursday, 11 March 2010, IOF started imposing increased restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the old city. According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of Border Police officers established military checkpoints at the entrances of the old city, on all of the streets inside the walls of the old city, as well as on streets in the immediate vicinity. They prevented all those who were not residents of the old city from entering it. In addition, Palestinians under 50 years of age were not permitted to enter al-Aqsa Mosque, all gates to the al-Aqsa compound, with the exception of al-Majles, Hattah and al-Selselah gates, were closed. On Saturday, 13 March 2010, IOF closed al-Aqsa Secondary School for Girls, the Shari’a Secondary School and the Islamic Kindergarten of al-Aqsa, all of which are located inside al-Aqsa compound. These measures, which are still ongoing, came on the eve of the inauguration of a synagogue in al-Shorfah neighborhood. The synagogue is located 300 meters to the west of al-Aqsa Mosque and was inaugurated yesterday, on Monday, 15 March 2010.

Settlement Activities: IOF have continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

On Thursday morning, 11 March, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem set out plans to build thousands of housing units in Jerusalem, especially in the east and south of the city. The plans are supported by the Israeli government. The distribution of the new unit is like this: 3,000 units in “Gilo” settlement; 1,500 one in “Har Homa” settlement; 1,500 ones in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement; 3,000 one in “Giv’at Matosim” settlement; 1,200 ones in “Ramot” settlement; 600 ones in “Armona Netseev” settlement; 450 in “Neve Yacov” settlement; and 144 ones in “Olive Mount” settlement. A new settlement neighborhood of 13,000 housing unit will also be established near al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem.

On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Elli” settlement attacked Battisha area in the northwest of Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus. They uprooted 40 olive trees.

Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (11 – 17 March 2010)

1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Thursday, 11 March 2010

· At approximately 23:45, Israeli war planes dropped a bomb on al-Shouka village near the Egyptian border, southeast of Rafah, allegedly to destroy tunnels. No casualties or damage were reported.

Friday, 12 March 2010

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Ramallah. A number of Palestinian boys gathered and threw stones at Israeli military vehicles. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the boys. They withdrew from the town later, and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Jenin town and refugee camp. They raided and searched a number of houses, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 09:40, IOF moved nearly 200 meters into the east of Jabalya town in the northern Gaza Strip. They leveled areas of land, which they had already razed. At approximately 11:10, IOF moved south towards the east of al-Tuffah neighborhood in the east of Gaza City. IOF redeployed outside these areas in the evening. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 11:20, Israeli troops stationed on observation towers at Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at a number of Palestinian workers who were collecting bricks and iron bars from the debris of destroyed buildings. The workers fled and no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:10, Israeli gunboats stationed opposite to Beit Lahia beach in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats. Palestinian fishermen were forced to sail back to the beach, and no casualties or damage were reported.
  • At approximately 23:30, Israeli warplanes dropped two bombs on a factory of plastics in al-Satar al-Gharbi area in Khan Yunis. The 1,600-square-meter factor, which belongs to Msallam Mohammed al-Haddad, was destroyed almost completely. A nearby factory was also damaged.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Duhaisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Hamed Mohammed Hammad, 35, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into al-Shurfa neighborhood in al-Bireh. They raided and searched a house belonging to Maher ‘Abdullah Jom’a, and arrested his wife, Amani Jom’a, 37.

Monday, 15 March 2010

· At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Sourif village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians:

  1. Ahmed Jamal Abu Fara, 18;
  2. Adham Hamdi Abu Fara, 18;
  3. Ahmed Shaker al-Heeh, 19;
  4. Bahaa’ Mazen Ehmaidat, 18;
  5. Mahmoud Mousa al-Masri, 18;
  6. ‘Alaa’ Ibrahim Barath’iya, 18; and
  7. Mahmoud Mousa Ehmaidat, 18.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kharbtha Bani Hareth village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and summoned Mohammed Bilal al-Sheikh, 21, and Khaled Nemer al-‘Abed, 26.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Salem village, east of Nablus. They besieged a 5-storey apartment building, in which 5 families counting 30 people live. They ordered resident of the building to get out. Israeli troops verified their identity cards and held them in one room on the third floor, excluding Ibrahim Jameel Eshtayeh, 26, who was held on the second floor. Soon after, Israeli troops searched the building using dogs. At approximately 03:30, Israeli troop withdrew from the area detaining Eshtayeh.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

· At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Reema village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

  1. Ghassan ‘Abbas al-Reemawi, 19;
  2. Saddam Tayseer al-Asmar, 19; and
  3. ‘Orabi Hussein al-Reemawi, 35.

· At approximately 11:00, the Israeli police stormed the African quarter in the old town of Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses and fired tear gas canisters in alleys. A number of old people suffered from tear gas inhalation. The Israeli police arrested 5 Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist:

  1. Haitham Jadda;
  2. Tha’er Seder;
  3. Shadi Seder;
  4. ‘Abdul Qader al-Qadhi; and
  5. Mousa Qous, a journalist.
  • · At approximately 12:05, Israeli troops stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northwest of Beit Lahia town fired into the air to force Palestinian demonstrators who organized a peaceful protest over an Israeli decision to create a 300-meter-wide buffer zone along the border. No casualties were reported.
  • · At approximately 20:30, IOF moved into Madama village, southeast of Nablus. They patrolled in the streets and detonated 3 sound bombs. They also arrested 3 Palestinian civilians in the streets:
  1. Ahmed Jebril Ziada, 25;
  2. Ahmed ‘Abdul Ghani Ziada, 19; and
  3. Wissam Rezeq Ziada, 19.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

· At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses and arrested 3 Palestinian civilians:

  1. Ameer Ibrahim Sabarna, 20;
  2. Ibrahim Sa’id ‘Awadh, 17; and
  3. Eyad ‘Omar Sabarna, 20.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Housan village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Shadi Mohammed Za’oul, 17, and arrested him.
  • At noon, Israeli troops chased a number of Palestinian children into Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, claiming that they threw stones at a checkpoint established at the entrance of the village. Israeli troop fired rubber-coated metal bullet at the children. As a result, Khaled Ahmed al-‘Allami, 14, was wounded in the head.
    1. Mohammed Ahmed Hamad, 18, wounded in the right leg; and
    2. Mohammed Adeeb Abu Rahma, 15, wounded in the back.
    1. ‘Omar Salah Tamimi, 25, wounded in the back;
    2. Shadi ‘Ali Tamimi, 29, wounded in the head;
    3. Majd Daifallah Tamimi, 16, wounded in the back;
    4. Shokri Mahmoud Tamimi, 29, wounded in the left leg;
    5. Ziad ‘Abdul Raziq Tamimi, wounded in the left leg;
    6. Rami Hussein Tamimi, 28, wounded in the back;
    7. Nasser Hassan Tamimi, 27, wounded in the left leg;
    8. Ref’at Wajeeh Tamimi, 23, wounded in the back;
    9. Mohammed Jalal Tamimi, 25, wounded in the right hand;
    10. Ra’fat Wajeeh Tamimi, 24, wounded in the back;
    11. Ra’fat Tal’at Tamimi, 22, wounded in the right hand;
    12. ‘Aatef Mohammed Tamimi, 22, wounded in the back;
    13. Mo’taz Jalal Tamimi, 16, wounded in the left leg;
    14. Ahmed Mohammed Reemawi, 23, wounded in the back;
    15. ‘Abdul Hakim Mohammed Tamimi, 24, wounded in the right leg;
    16. Murad Saif Tamimi, 23, wounded in the back;
    17. Bahaa’ Jalal Tamimi, 23, wounded in the right leg; and
    18. Amjad ‘Abdul Hafiz Tamimi, 23, wounded in the left leg.
    1. An’am Mahmoud Khader, 55, hit by a sound bomb to the right leg;
    2. Majeda Mohammed ‘Alawna, 43, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left leg;
    3. Nada ‘Ersan Twair, 48, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the left hand;
    4. Sa’eda al-Haj ‘Ali, 55, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the back; and
    5. Alaa’ Ibrahim al-Khatib, 17, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the right leg.
    1. Ahmed Fawzi Yousef, 22, wounded by shrapnel from a gunshot to the abdomen;
    2. Mlabbas Hassan ‘Abdullah, 20, wounded by a rubber-coated metal bullet to the jaw; and
    3. Basheer Yousef Mahmoud, 21, wounded by shrapnel from a gunshot to the right thigh.
    • During the reporting period, IOF issued a military order declaring the area of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein and Ne’lin villages, west of Ramallah, a closed military zone on Fridays, banning access of Palestinian civilians to the area. According to the order, such ban will remain effective until 17 August 2010.
    • Following the Friday Prayer on 12 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in Bal’ein village, west of Ramallah. The demonstrators moved towards the Wall and attempted to cross it towards annexed lands. Immediately, Israeli troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the demonstrators. Two Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets:
    • Also on Friday noon, 12 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne’lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall. They clashed with IOF troops positioned near the Wall. IOF troops fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. Dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and other sustained bruises. Israeli troops also arrested Salah Mustafa ‘Amira, 37, a farmer, and Sarita Haim, an Israeli human rights defender.
    • Also following the Friday Prayer on 12 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to land confiscation in Wad al-Raya area between Nabi Saleh and Deir Nizam villages, northwest of Ramallah. When the demonstrators attempted to reach areas of land seized by Israeli settlers near “Halmish” settlement, Israeli troop fired rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 18 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets:
    • Also on Friday noon, 12 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders and peace activists organized a peaceful demonstration in the center of al-Ma’sara village, south of Bethlehem. They moved towards the Annexation Walla in the north and west of the village. Immediately, Israeli troops fired sound bombs and beat a number of demonstrators. As a result, ‘Ali ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 25, and Mahmoud Mousa, 26, sustained bruises.
    • On Saturday morning, 13 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and about 30 international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators moved from the east of the village towards bypass road #60. Israeli troops stationed in the area fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters and chased the demonstrators. They beat a number of civilians, including two journalists while photographing the demonstration: Yusri Mahmoud al-Jamal, 35, a cameraman of Reuters; and Yousef ‘Eissa Shaheen, 22, a cameraman of Palmedia Group. They also arrested two Israeli human rights defenders, two journalists (Nasser Hussin Shyoukhi, 45, and Fadi Eyad Hamad, 25, cameramen of Associated Press), and Yousef ‘Abdul Hamid Abu Maria, 37. They released all detainees, excluding the latter, a few hours later. Additionally, dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
    • Also on Saturday, 13 March 2010, dozens of Palestinian civilians and women’s rights activists organized a peaceful demonstration in celebration of International Women’s Day, near Qalandya checkpoint, south of Ramallah. Israeli troops closed the checkpoint. When the demonstrators attempted to cross the checkpoint towards Jerusalem, Israeli troops prevented them. In response, the demonstrators threw stones at Israeli troops. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the demonstrators. As a result, 5 women were wounded:
    • On Friday, 01 January 2010, IOF decided to close the crossing permanently, and to allow the entry of fuels through Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, southeast of Rafah, for security claims.
    • 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and their rights to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.
    • The main concern of the population of the Gaza Strip is to obtain their basic needs of food, medicines, water and electricity supplies.
    • · IOF have continued to prevent the entry of raw construction materials into the Gaza Strip for more than two years.
    • IOF have not allowed fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip, excluding few amounts of cooking gas and energy fuel for Gaza Power Plant, since 10 December 2008.
    • The Rafah International Crossing Point has been opened for a few days for a number of patients who received medical treatment abroad and needed to return home to the Gaza Strip.
    • IOF have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the face of Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits.
    • IOF have imposed additional restrictions on access of international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers to the Gaza Strip. They have prevented representatives of several international humanitarian organizations from entering the Gaza Strip.
    • Living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population have seriously deteriorated; levels of poverty and unemployment have sharply mounted.
    • At least 800 Gazan prisoners in Israeli jails have been deprived for family visitation for more than two years.
    • IOF have continued to attack Palestinian fishermen along the Gaza Strip coast.
    • Ramallah: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of the Palestinian civilians in Ramallah. IOF troops positioned at Jaba’-Qalandya checkpoint, southeast of Ramallah, have imposed additional restrictions on movement and conducted prolonged checking on Palestinian civilians. During the reporting period, IOF erected a number of temporary checkpoints, and stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. At approximately 11:30 on Saturday, 13 March 2010, IOF established a checkpoint near ‘Attara village, north of Ramallah. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.
    • Nablus: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Friday morning, 05 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed at Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus, imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
    • Hebron: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Wednesday noon, 17 March 2010, IOF closed all entrance and roads leading to Hebron. They also established checkpoints on roads leading to neighboring villages and refugee camps. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles. They also closed a branch road leading to the market in the northeast of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, with cement blocks.
    • On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old town in Hebron arrested ‘Aliaa’ ‘Abdul Majid al-Natsha, 30, claiming that she was carrying a knife.
    • At approximately 16:00 on the same day, Israeli troops patrolling near the Annexation Wall near “Maccavim” settlement to the west of Beit Sierra village, west of Ramallah, arrested Jaber Sameer al-Khattab, 17, while he was grazing animals. They claimed that he broke a gate on the Wall. He was released on bail at night.
    • On Monday evening, 15 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested ‘Omar ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 25, from al-Ma’sara village south of Bethlehem.
    • On Thursday morning, 11 March, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported that the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem set out plans to build thousands of housing units in Jerusalem, especially in the east and south of the city. The plans are supported by the Israeli government. The distribution of the new unit is like this: 3,000 units in “Gilo” settlement; 1,500 one in “Har Homa” settlement; 1,500 ones in “Pisgat Ze’ev” settlement; 3,000 one in “Giv’at Matosim” settlement; 1,200 ones in “Ramot” settlement; 600 ones in “Armona Netseev” settlement; 450 in “Neve Yacov” settlement; and 144 ones in “Olive Mount” settlement. A new settlement neighborhood of 13,000 housing unit will also be established near al-Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem.
    • On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, dozens of Israeli settlers from “Elli” settlement attacked Battisha area in the northwest of Qaryout village, southeast of Nablus. They uprooted 40 olive trees belonging to Mohammed Jaber Mahmoud, Yasser Hassan Mansour, ‘Abdullah Dib and Yousef Raja.
    • On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old town in Hebron arrested ‘Aliaa’ ‘Abdul Majid al-Natsha, 30, claiming that she was carrying a knife.
    • At approximately 16:00 on the same day, Israeli troops patrolling near the Annexation Wall near “Maccavim” settlement to the west of Beit Sierra village, west of Ramallah, arrested Jaber Sameer al-Khattab, 17, while he was grazing animals. They claimed that he broke a gate on the Wall. He was released on bail at night.
    • On Monday evening, 15 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested ‘Omar ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 25, from al-Ma’sara village south of Bethlehem.
    • On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old town in Hebron arrested ‘Aliaa’ ‘Abdul Majid al-Natsha, 30, claiming that she was carrying a knife.
    • At approximately 16:00 on the same day, Israeli troops patrolling near the Annexation Wall near “Maccavim” settlement to the west of Beit Sierra village, west of Ramallah, arrested Jaber Sameer al-Khattab, 17, while he was grazing animals. They claimed that he broke a gate on the Wall. He was released on bail at night.
    • On Monday evening, 15 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested ‘Omar ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 25, from al-Ma’sara village south of Bethlehem.
  • 2. Use of Excessive Force against Peaceful Demonstrations

    IOF have continued to construct the Annexation Wall and inside West Bank territory. During the reporting period, IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities. At least 20 Palestinian civilians, including two children, were wounded, and other sustained bruises or suffered from tear gas inhalation.

    Additionally, dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation, and some of them sustained bruises.

    Dozens of demonstrators also suffered from tear gas inhalation, and other sustained bruises.

    At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 15 March 2010, dozens of students of Bir Zeit University, north of Ramallah, organized a peaceful demonstration in protest to Israeli measures in Jerusalem. They moved towards ‘Attara checkpoint at the entrance of Bir Zeit village, and threw stones at Israeli troops in the area. Immediately, Israeli troops fired at the students. As a result, 3 students were wounded:

    3. Continued Siege on the OPT

    IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Occupied East Jerusalem.

    Gaza Strip

    IOF have continued to close all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for more than two years. The Israeli siege of Gaza, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

    Movement at Border Crossings during the Reporting Period:

    Movement at Beit Hanoun Crossing

    10 – 16 March 2010

    Click on screen shots to enlarge

    Movement at Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) Crossing 10 – 16 March 2010









    Al-Mentar (Karni) Crossing: IOF partially opened the crossing on Wednesday, 10 March 2010, and allowed the entry of 1,287 tons of wheat and 1,326 tons of fodders. They opened it again on Tuesday, 16 March 2010, and allowed the entry of 546 tons of wheat and 351 tons of fodders.

    Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing: IOF have continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the movement of Palestinian civilians. They have allowed only diplomats, a number of international journalists, workers at international agencies and a few patients who suffer from serious diseases to pass through the crossing. They have continued to prevent Palestinian civilians from visiting their relatives who are detained in Israeli jails. As mentioned above, IOF have allowed a few number of patients to pass through the crossing, but under severe restrictions that include prolonged checking.

    Movement at Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing
    10 – 16 March 2010


    The West Bank

    IOF have imposed a tightened siege on the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.

    Jerusalem: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the city. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been denied access to the city. IOF have established many checkpoints around and inside the city. Restrictions of the movement of Palestinian civilians often escalate on Fridays to prevent them from praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque. On Thursday, 11 March 2010, IOF started imposing increased restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the old city. According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of Border Police officers established military checkpoints at the entrances of the old city, on all of the streets inside the walls of the old city, as well as on streets in the immediate vicinity. They prevented all those who were not residents of the old city from entering it. In addition, Palestinians under 50 years of age were not permitted to enter al-Aqsa Mosque, all gates to the al-Aqsa compound, with the exception of al-Majles, Hattah and al-Selselah gates, were closed. On Saturday, 13 March 2010, IOF closed al-Aqsa Secondary School for Girls, the Shari’a Secondary School and the Islamic Kindergarten of al-Aqsa, all of which are located inside al-Aqsa compound.

    Arrests at Military Checkpoints

    On Friday morning, 12 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed in the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque and the old town in Hebron arrested ‘Aliaa’ ‘Abdul Majid al-Natsha, 30, claiming that she was carrying a knife.
    At approximately 16:00 on the same day, Israeli troops patrolling near the Annexation Wall near “Maccavim” settlement to the west of Beit Sierra village, west of Ramallah, arrested Jaber Sameer al-Khattab, 17, while he was grazing animals. They claimed that he broke a gate on the Wall. He was released on bail at night.
    On Monday evening, 15 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed at the Container checkpoint, northeast of Bethlehem, arrested ‘Omar ‘Alaa’ al-Din, 25, from al-Ma’sara village south of Bethlehem.

    Harassment at Military CheckpointsAt approximately 15:30 on Friday, 12 March 2010, Israeli troops stationed at a gate on the Annexation Wall stopped 4 Palestinian farmers from “Deir al-Ghossoun” village, north of Tulkarm, while they were on their way back homes. They forced the farmers at gunpoint to take their clothes off. The farmers are: Mohammed Nihad ‘Atwa, 23; Saleh Radi Daqqa, 28; Zaher Safwat ‘Ouda, 28; and Wa’el Subhi Khalil, 25.

    4. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property

    IOF have continued settlement activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

    …………………………………………………………

    Recommendations to the International Community

    1. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel’s respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

    2. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel’s respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

    3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with its legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.

    4. PCHR calls for the immediately implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.

    5. PCHR recommends international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs to participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and to urge their governments to bring these people to justice.

    6. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.

    7. PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is – not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

    8. In recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

    9. PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel’s respect for human rights in the OPT and to end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

    10. PCHR calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the OPT.

    11. PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace agreement or process must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.

    _____________________________________________________

    Source: PCHR’s office in Gaza City

    A typical week in OPT. Is it any wonder Palestinian’s get angry.

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Published in: on March 20, 2010 at 3:23 am  Comments Off on March 11-17 2010 Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory  
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If Hamas Did Not Exist

‘This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, democracy, justice or peace.’

By Jennifer Loewenstein
December 31 2008

Let us get one thing perfectly straight. If the wholesale mutilation and degradation of the Gaza Strip is going to continue; if Israel’s will is at one with that of the United States; if the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and all the international legal agencies and organizations spread across the globe are going to continue to sit by like hollow mannequins doing nothing but making repeated “calls” for a “ceasefire” on “both sides”; if the cowardly, obsequious and supine Arab States are going to stand by watching their brethren get slaughtered by the hour while the world’s bullying Superpower eyes them threateningly from Washington lest they say something a little to their disliking; then let us at least tell the truth why this hell on earth is taking place.

The state terror unleashed from the skies and on the ground against the Gaza Strip as we speak has nothing to do with Hamas. It has nothing to do with “Terror”. It has nothing to do with the long-term “security” of the Jewish State or with Hizbullah or Syria or Iran except insofar as it is aggravating the conditions that have led up to this crisis today. It has nothing to do with some conjured up “war” – a cynical and overused euphemism that amounts to little more the wholesale enslavement of any nation that dares claim its sovereign rights; that dares assert that its resources are its own; that doesn’t want one of the Empire’s obscene military bases sitting on its cherished land.

This crisis has nothing to do with freedom, democracy, justice or peace. It is not about Mahmoud Zahhar or Khalid Mash’al or Ismail Haniyeh. It is not about Hassan Nasrallah or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. These are all circumstantial players who have gained a role in the current tempest only now that the situation has been allowed for 61 years to develop into the catastrophe that it is today. The Islamist factor has colored and will continue to color the atmosphere of the crisis; it has enlisted the current leaders and mobilized wide sectors of the world’s population. The primary symbols today are Islamic – the mosques, the Qur’an, the references to the Prophet Muhammad and to Jihad. But these symbols could disappear and the impasse would continue.

There was a time when Fatah and the PFLP held the day; when few Palestinians wanted anything to do with Islamist policies and politics. Such politics have nothing to do with primitive rockets being fired over the border, or smuggling tunnels and black-market weapons; just as Arafat’s Fatah had little to do with stones and suicide bombings. The associations are coincidental; the creations of a given political environment. They are the result of something entirely different than what the lying politicians and their analysts are telling you. They have become part of the landscape of human events in the modern Middle East today; but incidentals wholly as lethal, or as recalcitrant, deadly, angry or incorrigible could just as soon have been in their places.

Strip away the clichés and the vacuous newspeak blaring out across the servile media and its pathetic corps of voluntary state servants in the Western world and what you will find is the naked desire for hegemony; for power over the weak and dominion over the world’s wealth. Worse yet you will find that the selfishness, the hatred and indifference, the racism and bigotry, the egotism and hedonism that we try so hard to cover up with our sophisticated jargon, our refined academic theories and models actually help to guide our basest and ugliest desires. The callousness with which we in indulge in them all are endemic to our very culture; thriving here like flies on a corpse.

Strip away the current symbols and language of the victims of our selfish and devastating whims and you will find the simple, impassioned and unaffected cries of the downtrodden; of the ‘wretched of the earth’ begging you to cease your cold aggression against their children and their homes; their families and their villages; begging you to leave them alone to have their fish and their bread, their oranges, their olives and their thyme; asking you first politely and then with increasing disbelief why you cannot let them live undisturbed on the land of their ancestors; unexploited, free of the fear of expulsion; of ravishment and devastation; free of permits and roadblocks and checkpoints and crossings; of monstrous concrete walls, guard towers, concrete bunkers, and barbed wire; of tanks and prisons and torture and death. Why is life without these policies and instruments of hell impossible?

The answer is because Israel has no intention of allowing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state on its borders. It had no intention of allowing it in 1948 when it grabbed 24% more land than what it was allotted legally, if unfairly, by UN Resolution 181. It had no intention of allowing it throughout the massacres and ploys of the 1950s. It had no intention of allowing two states when it conquered the remaining 22% of historic Palestine in 1967 and reinterpreted UN Security Council Resolution 248 to its own liking despite the overwhelming international consensus stating that Israel would receive full international recognition within secure and recognized borders if it withdrew from the lands it had only recently occupied.

It had no intention of acknowledging Palestinian national rights at the United Nations in 1974, when –alone with the United States—it voted against a two-state solution. It had no intention of allowing a comprehensive peace settlement when Egypt stood ready to deliver but received, and obediently accepted, a separate peace exclusive of the rights of Palestinians and the remaining peoples of the region. It had no intention of working toward a just two state solution in 1978 or 1982 when it invaded, fire-bombed, blasted and bulldozed Beirut so that it might annex the West Bank without hassle. It had no intention of granting a Palestinian state in 1987 when the first Intifada spread across occupied Palestine, into the Diaspora and the into the spirits of the global dispossessed, or when Israel deliberately aided the newly formed Hamas movement so that it might undermine the strength of the more secular-nationalist factions.

Israel had no intention of granting a Palestinian state at Madrid or at Oslo where the PLO was superseded by the quivering, quisling Palestinian Authority too many of whose cronies grasped at the wealth and prestige it gave them at the expense of their own kin. As Israel beamed into the world’s satellites and microphones its desire for peace and a two-state solution, it more than doubled the number of illegal Jewish settlements on the ground in the West Bank and around East Jerusalem, annexing them as it built and continues to build a superstructure of bypass roads and highways over the remaining, severed cities and villages of earthly Palestine. It has annexed the Jordan valley, the international border of Jordan, expelling any ‘locals’ inhabiting that land. It speaks with a viper’s tongue over the multiple amputee of Palestine whose head shall soon be severed from its body in the name of justice, peace and security.

Through the home demolitions, the assaults on civil society that attempted to cast Palestinian history and culture into a chasm of oblivion; through the unspeakable destruction of the refugee camp sieges and infrastructure bombardments of the second Intifada, through assassinations and summary executions, past the grandiose farce of disengagement and up to the nullification of free, fair and democratic Palestinian elections Israel has made its view known again and again in the strongest possible language, the language of military might, of threats, intimidation, harassment, defamation & degradation.

Israel, with the unconditional and approving support of the United States, has made it dramatically clear to the entire world over and over and over again, repeating in action after action that it will accept no viable Palestinian state next to its borders. What will it take for the rest of us to hear? What will it take to end the criminal silence of the ‘international community’? What will it take to see past the lies and indoctrination to what is taking place before us day after day in full view of the eyes of the world? The more horrific the actions on the ground, the more obscenely insistent are the words of peace. To listen and watch without hearing or seeing allows the indifference, the ignorance and complicity to continue and deepens with each grave our collective shame.

The destruction of Gaza has nothing to do with Hamas. Israel will accept no authority in the Palestinian territories that it does not ultimately control. Any individual, leader, faction or movement that fails to accede to Israel’s demands or that seeks genuine sovereignty and the equality of all nations in the region; any government or popular movement that demands the applicability of international humanitarian law and of the universal declaration of human rights for its own people will be unacceptable for the Jewish State. Those dreaming of one state must be forced to ask themselves what Israel would do to a population of 4 million Palestinians within its borders when it commits on a daily, if not hourly basis, crimes against their collective humanity while they live alongside its borders? What will suddenly make the raison d’etre, the self-proclaimed purpose of Israel’s reason for being change if the Palestinian territories are annexed to it outright?

The lifeblood of the Palestinian National Movement flows through the streets of Gaza today. Every drop that falls waters the soil of vengeance, bitterness and hatred not only in Palestine but across the Middle East and much of the world. We do have a choice over whether or not this should continue. Now is the time to make it.

-Jennifer Loewenstein is the Associate Director of the Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Source

If Hamas did not exist, Israel would find another scapegoat to blame. This is of course what they have always done.

The Holocaust

By Dahlia Wasfi
December 31, 2008

Holocaust denial is anti-Semitic. But I’m not talking about World War II, Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, or Ashkenazi Jews.  What I’m referring to is the holocaust we are all witnessing and responsible for in Gaza today and in Palestine over the last 60 years.  By definition, a holocaust is a mass slaughter of people or a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life, especially through fire.  There isn’t a more accurate description of the hell that US-armed and –funded Israeli Occupation Forces are unleashing on the people of Gaza at this moment.  Since Arabs are Semites, US-Israeli policy doesn’t get more anti-Semitic than this.

If you think I’m being grandiose, let us look at the words of Matan Vilnai, Israel’s Deputy Defense [sic] Minister, from February of this year: “The more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, they will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves.” In Hebrew, “shoah” refers to the Jewish Holocaust of the 1940’s.  But massive airstrikes are not self-defense if you are the aggressor.  That goes for the whole stupid so-called “War on Terror,” in which not a single one of its victims had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001.  That goes for the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan; that goes for Israel in Palestine.

And that goes for Germany in Poland.  In 1940, the Germans began massing Polish Jews into ghettoes prior to their deportation to extermination camps.  The largest one was the Warsaw Ghetto, where an uprising—a Jewish insurgency—began in 1943.

Today, Gaza is essentially a large ghetto, with a population of around 1.5 million living on about 139 square miles.  Israel controls Gaza’s land border, airspace, water, maritime access, and the flow of goods including food and medical supplies.

Since June 2007, Israel has imposed a blockade on the people of Gaza, slowly starving them to death, slowly killing them by denial of medical care amidst intermittent gunship airstrikes.

These crimes against humanity are, of course, in violation of the Geneva Conventions—international law established after World War II in the spirit of “never again.”  Unlike in Warsaw, Gaza is not the staging area for the extermination camps; Gaza IS the extermination camp.

Qassam rockets fired from Gaza as retaliation for Israeli F-16 airstrikes are the equivalent of the Molotov cocktails used by the resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943.  Like the small arms of the Polish Jews, they are no match for the sophisticated weaponry of the invading army.  This is why the death toll is so high for the people on the ground in Gaza, and minimal for Israelis.

The mainstream media is depicting this as an “all-out war,” as it depicts the illegal occupation of Iraq.  But in both cases, you have a starving, essentially unarmed people being assaulted with F-15s/F-16s, cruise missiles, depleted uranium, cluster bombs, tanks, and artillery.  This is not war; this is mass murder; this is genocide.  And it is American military, financial, and political support that makes this bloodletting possible.

From North America to Germany to Cambodia to Rwanda to Palestine to Iraq, mass murder is wrong.  When Americans are looking for whom to blame, we cannot blame the victims.  Yes, there are many players involved and many governments turning a blind eye to genocide, but don’t we brag about how much better we are than that?  Shouldn’t we stop being complicit in these supreme crimes against humanity?  All we have to do is abide by our own laws, which include all signed international treaties and agreements.

We must end our illegal occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and stop funding and providing armaments for the illegal occupation and stealth of Palestinian land.  In the words of Rachel Corrie, a 23 year old American college student who was murdered in Rafah by the Israeli Occupation Forces on March 16, 2003:

“…Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I’m witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide and I’m really scared, and questioning my fundamental belief in the goodness of human nature. This has to stop. I think it is a good idea for us all to drop everything and devote our lives to making this stop. I don’t think it’s an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel.  Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world…So when I sound crazy, or if the Israeli military should break with their racist tendency not to injure white people, please pin the reason squarely on the fact that I am in the midst of a genocide which I am also indirectly supporting, and for which my government is largely responsible.”

Let us heed her brave wisdom, and end illegal occupation.  If we fail to act, then the next time someone flies airplanes into American buildings, let us not ask ignorantly, “Why do they hate us?”

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Actions we can take to help Palestinians in Gaza