Gaza’s Untold Story: From Displacement to Death  

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights  Press Release 17/9/2015

August 26, 2015 marked the first anniversary of Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip, during which 2,219 Palestinians were killed. However, a large part of the story is left untold. Over half of those killed were refugees who were displaced from their homes in Yafa, Salama, Isdud, and many other villages and towns, as a result of and following the Nakba in 1948. The majority of those killed lived in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip within a 30 mile (50 km) radius of their homes of origin. A total of 1,236 refugees were killed during the 2014 offensive, including at least 309 children.

Gaza Untold StoryThis infographic visually represents the untold story of Gaza’s refugees. Created by Visualizing Palestine in collaboration with four Palestinian human rights organizations, Al-Haq, the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights, the Palestine Centre for Human Rights, and Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights, who launched a joint campaign to document Israel’s attacks during the 2014 offensive against the Gaza Strip.

For Palestinian refugees, the Nakba did not end in 1948, as they have experienced a continued denial of justice. There are 1.3 million refugees residing in Gaza who are spread over eight refugee camps, making up almost three quarters of the total population of the Gaza Stip. Refugees residing in Gaza have faced multiple consequent internal displacements due to Israeli policies, including Israel’s three military offensives against Gaza over the last six years. Israel’s deadly military operations, as well as its eight-year closure of Gaza have had devastating effects on the entire population in Gaza. While all Palestinians in Gaza endure harsh living conditions, including irregular electricity and water supplies, these issues are even more acute in the refugee camps.

Since the Nakba in 1948, there has been no true accountability for the myriad of human rights abuses, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed by Israel. The denial of justice that refugees have experienced can only be remedied in one way: for refugees to exercise their right of return. The right of return is clearly provided for under international law, and is a necessary component of the Palestinians people’s inalienable right to self-determination. The international community must take action to ensure that these and other rights of Palestinians are realized and that justice is upheld.

The data compiled and research method used for the creation of this infographic are available here for review.

http://www.mezan.org/en/post/21031

For more information, please contact at Al Mezan Center for Human Rights office in Gaza City

on: +970  8  2820442/7 between 08:00 and 15:00 (6:00-1:00 GMT) Sundays through Thursday.

Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights  
  5/102-1 Al Mena, Omar El-Mukhtar Street,Western Rimal, Gaza City, The Gaza Strip,P.O. Box. 5270
  Telefax: 00970- 8- 2820447  ,  2820442
  info@mezan.org   –   mezan@palnet.com
  www.mezan.org
  www.facebook.com/MezanCenter
  twitter.com/AlMezanCenter
  www.youtube.com/mezancenter

PALESTINIAN OLIVE FARMER TO SPEAK AT TRADE AID

stories of harvest
Saleem Abu Ghazaleh from PARC (Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee) will speak on olive oil and occupation, food and farming.

Come along and learn about the lives and dreams of being a fair trade farmer in Palestine.

WGTN: Tues 15 Sept, 6:00 p.m. at Trade Aid Wgtn, 86 Victoria St. 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1540601522828978/

Organised by Trade Aid NZ — and there may be free samples of a taste of Palestine.  Please share widely and invite your friends on the event page! —

AUCK: Wed 16 Sept, 7pm, Hobson Room, Jubilee Bdg, 545 Parnell Rd
CHCH: Look out at your local trade aid shop in Christchurch too.

Veolia pulls out – shows power of BDS movement

Veolia company has completely withdrawn from providing services to Israeli apartheid, due to pressure from global boycotts.

28/08/2015 Veolia company has announced it will stop providing apartheid train services for Israel and to its illegal settlements. Worldwide pressure on Veolia to pull out has come from global boycotts, dis-investments and loss of government contracts in a number of countries.

dump veolia bannerAotearoa BDS Network is pleased that Veolia has ended support for Israel’s apartheid systems.  Veolia also runs light rail services in Auckland New Zealand. A boycott campaign there, if exposing Veolia’s apartheid light-rail services to illegal Israeli settlements, could have potentially impacted on Veolia’s contracts and brought disinvestments.

 

The French multinational Veolia was targeted for boycotts, dis-investments and sanctions (BDS) because of its complicity with the Israeli occupation in four ways: (1) operating Israeli settler bus lines on segregated roads in the occupied West Bank, (2) operating a landfill dumping Israeli and settler trash on Palestinian land, (3) providing wastewater services to illegal apartheid Israeli settlements in the Veolia train imageoccupied West Bank, and (4) investment in the [East] Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR). The light rail was an apartheid service to connect the illegal settlements with Israel,  further entrenching Israel’s illegal colonization of the West Bank and annexation of East Jerusalem, among other related international law violations.

 

Veolia lost more than $20 billion in contracts following BDS campaigns worldwide, and began by selling off its Israeli bus services in September 2013. Then, this past April 2015, Veolia sold off its illegal Israeli settlement landfill and wastewater contracts. And as of this week, Veolia had sold off its final light rail JLR shares in the occupation, making this one of the most extraordinary global BDS victories to date, showing the unprecedented power of this movement! 

Veolia yellow info graphicThe Palestinian-led BDS movement is forcing major multinational corporations to change their behavior. Just a few weeks after BDS turned 10 years old, this victory illustrates the economic influence that BDS has achieved in its first decade.These corporate changes send a clear message to Israel, to corporations and to governments, that participation in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people is costly and unsustainable. And they send the message to activists worldwide that together we can affect real change, and now is a critical moment to redouble our effort.

In Europe and America Veolia was under particular pressure from boycotts, disinvestments and sanctions (BDS) for providing apartheid services in Israel. In St. Louis, a broad-based coalition of Palestine advocates, environmental justice activists, water workers, Organization for Black Struggle, and others waged a historic campaign to stop a proposed city water contract, forcing Veolia to withdraw its bid — a watershed, precedent-setting win. The United Church of ChristQuaker Friends Fiduciary Corporation, and retirement fund TIAA-CREF Social Choice Fund also divested from Veolia. These among many other successful U.S. campaigns have shown the multinational that no matter where it sought business, it would be held accountable.

Of course we in NZ must still keep an eye on Veolia, given that it is the largest water privatizer in the world. Veolia must still be held accountable for its serious environmental and labour rights violations, mismanagement, corruption, and other disastrous practices for which it is infamous.

And Veolia owes a great debt to the Palestinian communities it has harmed in its violations of human rights and international law, and must pay reparations.Restorative Justice is required.

Nonetheless, let’s take a moment to celebrate this incredible achievement, and get back to the important work of supporting our allies and BDS campaigns for freedom, justice, and equality.

University should not host Bassem Eid

​Palestine Human Rights Campaign appalled that lone Zionist Palestinian propagandist invited to NZ – 27.08.15

bassemThe Palestine Human Rights Campaign is appalled that lobby groups have invited Bassem Eid, founder of the now debunked Palestine Human Rights Monitoring Group, to speak in New Zealand. Zionist lobbying groups have assigned him the task of undermining pro-Palestine solidarity activism with a special focus on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns.

In 2005 Palestinian civil society called for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it ends its occupation of Palestinian lands and complies with international law and respect Palestinian rights.

PHRC spokesperson Tuma Hazou, himself a Palestinian refugee, says ” BDS is a non-violent initiative and allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian people’s struggle for justice. But the growth of global support for BDS has alarmed Israel and a budget of 100 million shekels has been set aside to counter its impact”.

Israeli-sponsored Zionist and pro-Israeli groups have countered with a hasbara (PR) campaign against all BDS initiatives and activists. Bassem Eid teamed with anti-Palestinian former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz as the main speakers at last March’s Stand With Us Anti-BDS Conference in Los Angeles to combat the boycott movement against Israel.

Eid has regularly engaged in outlandish attacks on the growing BDS movement, but finding a Palestinian willing to adopt and parrot the same hysterical, anti-Palestinian ranting makes Eid a particularly valuable asset for racist, Zionist organizations dedicated to undermining Palestinian rights.

Hazou observes that ” Eid has willingly and wholeheartedly embraced his very lucrative role as a token Palestinian working not only to undermine Palestinian solidarity in support of the inalienable Palestinian human rights, but also to blame the Palestinians themselves for their own massacres at the hands of the Israeli military”. Why? Because Eid claims that they fail to rebel against both Hamas in Gaza and Fatah and the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank. He does not criticize Israel for the mass punishment and its war crimes against Palestinians as indicted by the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International and leading Israel human rights organisations such as B’Tselem and the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions.

Bassem Eid has been calling upon the Palestinians to adopt non-violent means to attain their rights, yet he denounces the BDS campaign which is in essence a non-violent strategy adopted by the full spectrum of Palestinian civil society and supported by a growing global human rights movement. Tuma states that “Eid is a lone voice and DOES NOT speak for the oppressed Palestinians, although he shamelessly claims to speak for the “reasonable, peace-loving” element among the Palestinian people. Meanwhile he adopts the most extreme, right-wing Zionist positions and tours the world on behalf of the usurping apartheid Israel”.

The University of Auckland Business School and the Mira Szaszy Research Centre for Maori and Pacific Economic Development should have declined to host Bassem Eid. However the Fabian Society has pulled out of hosting his lecture. Eid has been brought here by the Astor Foundation (a Zionist organisation.)

The promotional materials being circulated about Eid and his lecture, also appear to be highly misleading, claiming that he represents a voice of Palestinian human rights. The Israeli Embassy in NZ was previously promoting Eid’s lecture on their web site, although now that the event has been outed as Zionist propoganda, the embassy seems to have hidden its promotions of it.

This is what the Israeli Embassy of NZ had previously published on its web site and the information which was circulated in Auckland to promote the event:

You are invited to a seminar by Bassem Eid, a human rights activist, political analyst and commentator on Palestinian domestic affairs, at the University of Auckland on Friday 28 August.

Can the plight of Palestinian rights and justice be resolved by the UN and international level initiatives?

Born in Jerusalem, Bassem spent the first 33 years of his life in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Shuafat refugee camp. He became a prominent figure during the Palestinian uprising from 1987 to1993 as senior field researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli information centre for human rights in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

His views are based on years of systematic research of Palestinians, including during the 2014 fighting in Gaza. He speaks about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement and discusses why Europeans stopped funding his Palestinian NGO.

Bassem has spent 26 years researching UNRWA policies and has written extensively on reform.

He travels widely lecturing on the Palestine-Israel conflict. In recent years he has visited Canada, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Korea, Australia and Russia.

This event is bought to you by the Astor Foundation in conjunction with the Mira Szászy Research Centre and the New Zealand Fabian Society.

Please register for the event using the button on the right – we hope to see you there.
Regards,
The Mira Szászy Research Centre

 

This information has since been removed from the Israeli Embassy of NZ website.

Justice for Ali Dawabsheh: silent vigil in Wellington

A group of about 20 Wellingtonians held a silent street theatre and vigil outside the Israeli embassy in Wellington on 4th August 2015 to demand justice for Ali Dawabsheh. About 250 passers by supported the vigil in various ways. The vigil also aimed to raise awareness of the problem of Israel’s military occupation of the occupied West bank; human rights abuses; apartheid; illegal settlements, settler violence, land theft and the horrors of ongoing ethnic cleansing which Palestinians suffer all over the West Bank daily.

Addressing the root causes of these problems would involve Israel ending the occupation and illegal colonisation of the occupied territories; ending apartheid systems and in supporting refugees’ rights.

You can help by asking the NZ Superannuation fund to stop investing in companies which profit from the occupation of the West Bank; and by telling all your friends and family to boycott soda stream — which is produced in an illegal settlement on stolen land in the occupied West Bank. You can also donate money, or time, to help by sending a message through this web site or a facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/aotearoabds
https://www.facebook.com/groups/bdswellington/

To donate money:
The bank account number for donations is under PONEKE PALESTINE, account number: 38-9016-0505506-00

Funds are needed to help us organise and cover costs in Wellington / New Zealand, for organising and advocacy for Palestinian human rights and you are welcome to donate, any amount large or small will all help, whether a one-off donation or a regular weekly or monthly donation. 🙂

On July 31st, a Palestinian home was set on fire by arsonists during the early hours of the morning. The screams of terror and pain from the occupants were heard by neighbours who ran to help, but they were too late. An 18 month old child named Ali was burned to death. Ali’s 4 year old brother Ahmad and his parents Sa’ad and Reham are all in hospital in critical condition. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a hate crime. The perpetrators spray painted the Hebrew word for “revenge” on the walls next to a Star of David. Even the Israeli Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu, has called this an act of terrorism.

Although it is good that the Israeli authorities are rightly viewing this as a horrific crime, it is galling that they condemn this violent act after their invasion of the Gaza strip last year killing 504 children according to the Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights. The murder of Palestinian children is not an unusual event given Israel’s history of genocide and land theft from the indigenous Palestinians.

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has consistently been slaughtering Palestinians and driving them off their own land. The survivors have been subject to an apartheid system not unlike that of South Africa before 1994. Currently the Gaza strip and the West Bank are Palestinian territories, yet Israel continues to put settlers on occupied land in the West Bank in defiance of international law. The residents of the Gaza strip have been blockaded to prevent the entry of resources and are living in the world’s largest open air prison.

Settler violence against Palestinians is hardly an unusual event. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs lists over 2500 acts of violence against Palestinians by settlers, yet only 1.9% of the attacks result in a conviction according to the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.
The attack on the Dawabsheh family was only the most recent development of this decades long crisis inflicted on the Palestinian people. Although this particular crime was only carried out by two or more individuals, all Zionists are indirectly responsible as they have created a culture that encourages the dehumanisation of Palestinians. All of Israel benefits from the same system of apartheid that denies the worth of Palestinian lives. Children like Ali will continue to be killed until the apartheid system is ended.

You can help to end this by supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The BDS seeks to put political and economic pressure on Israel to end apartheid through nonviolent means. Join us at http://www.aotearoabds.org to learn of our campaigns and how you can help.

JERUSALEM: THE EAST SIDE STORY

jerusalemMust see:  Palestinian Documentary Film
(54 min, followed by panel discussion)

SATURDAY 27 JUNE 2015, 7.00 p.m.
84 Taranaki St, Wgtn – Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
http://www.ngataonga.org.nz/now-showing/jerusalem-the-east-side-story

$10 Public; $8 Concession  – fundraiser for Jerusalem Centre for Women, a Palestinian women’s human rights organisation.

JERUSALEM: THE EAST SIDE STORY
Directed by Mohammed Alatar, Produced by Terry Boullata and the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)

‘Jerusalem, the East Side Storyis essential viewing  to understand the situation in East Jerusalem today. Award-winning director Mohammed Alatar reveals the history, of Israel’s occupation, illegal annexation and ethnic cleansing of the old city of East Jerusalem.

The documentary brings the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence to light.

 ‘Jersualem: The East Side Story’ (2007) exposes the past 50 years of Israeli military occupation policies in East Jerusalem, and their devastating impact on the city and its peoples. Before taking on each issue, historical context is clearly presented through archival footage.

Many Jerusalemites tell their story, including Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. The film includes interviews with Palestinian and Israeli leaders, human rights activists and political analysis.

This Wellington screening of Jerusalem: The East Side Story will be followed by apanel discussion with

  • Don Carson (Wellington Palestine Group) 
  • Jenny Hawes (New Zealander recently returned from the Middle East)
  • Monsignor Gerard Burns (head of Caritas, Pacific.)

Funds raised will be donated to the Jerusalem Centre for Women (JCW) 
as requested by film Producer Terry Boullata

More info about The Jerusalem Centre for Women: (JCW)
“… the struggle for women’s rights is a crucial component to achieving human rights for all Palestinians. JCW works for empowering female activists, students, and professionals so that they are able to effectively communicate and participate in Palestinian civil and political society.
It also provides training for a new generation of young leaders dedicated to advancing women´s rights and creating a culture of human rights and democracy in Palestine. JCW is devoted to assisting women to develop their skills and confidence in becoming agents of change and powerful advocates for their communities while resisting Israeli occupation.Furthermore, JCW considers it important to support Palestinian women in apprehending, addressing and altering the male societal patriarchy. With a strong focus on advocacy and media, JCW aims to raise local, national, regional, and international awareness of violations of Palestinian women´s rights by using varied advocacy techniques, including the use of new media, social networking, lobbying, researching, documenting, and disseminating information to key outlets and decision makers.”

JCW’s Advocacy and Human Rights Program works to make international law relevant to the women of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, working with them to challenge and change policies that undermine human rights, empower them, and work towards rights based alternatives.

Colonialism, History and Occupation of Palestine

Nakba Day for Web site without dotNakba Day Talk 2015:  Friday 15TH May, 7pm

Upstairs at Thistle Hall, Arthur St., Wgtn (near Cuba St) (map | Facebook event)

Talk by Mohammad Alzeer,

Palestinian PhD Candidate in Wellington

On Colonialism, History and Occupation of Palestine

We are very fortunate to have the chance to host Mohammad Alzeer’s talk in Wellington.  Followed by question time / panel discussion with people who have visited Palestine.

Do not miss this chance to find out everything you want to know about the history of  Palestine, and to ask questions.

AMIRA HASS IN AUCKLAND – 2 events!

 “Dilemmas of a non-objective journalist”

Weds 6 May 4.30-5.30pm

WG404, Case Study Room in the Sir Paul Reeves Building communications precinct,
AUT University – Gov Fitzroy Place, off Upper St Paul St, City.

Limited seating – be early!

Hosted by Pacific Media Centre and Palestine Solidarity Network

https://www.facebook.com/events/1039149769431981/

http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/events/amira-hass-dilemmas-non-objective-journalist

 

“Israeli-Jewish dissidence in times of bantustanization”

Thurs 7 May at 7pm
Lecture Theatre (Room 102-G36), Old Government House,
University of Auckland, Princes Street, City.

Hosted by Dept of Sociology

Talk by Amira Hass: Understanding Israel, Palestine & the Media

Hass01Open to the public, RSVP now!

Talk by AMIRA HASS, Award-winning journalist

UNDERSTANDING ISRAEL, PALESTINE & THE MEDIA

Monday 4th May at 4.00 p.m; West Foyer, Parliament.

Open to the public, RSVP now!

please RSVP to danton.fletcher@gmail.com by Thurs 30 April 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/events/942427675779282/

The role of journalists in reporting on fiercely contested narratives is an important issue in the media.

Amira Hass is well-known for her reporting from the occupied Palestinian territories since 1991 when she became the only Jewish Israeli journalist to live full-time among Palestinians. Hass has won prizes for her in-depth reporting that runs counter to both official Israeli and Palestinian positions.

This is a rare opportunity for reporters, the public and parliamentarians to meet Amira Hass and ask questions.

Dr. Kennedy Graham, M.P, David Clendon MP and the Wellington Palestine Group invite MPs, members of the Press and the public to a talk by Israeli Journalist AMIRA HASS on “Understanding Israel and Palestine: International Affairs and the Media”.
The talk will be in the West Foyer, Parliament, Monday 4th May at 4.00 p.m; please arrive early and please bring I.D.

RSVPs are essential in order to be admitted. Deadline for registrations is: 12 Noon on Thursday 30th April, — All welcome to reserve your place by contacting Danton Fletcher, Wellington Palestine Group, on danton.fletcher@gmail.com 022-325-6862, with full names of all attendees.

Awards:

Amira Hass was the recipient of the World Press Freedom Hero award (2000) from the International Press Institute ;  Golden Dove of Peace Prize (2001) from Archivo Disarmo , Rome;  she won the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award in 2002; the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2003 and the inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund in 2004. In 2009, Hass received three prizes: the Hrant Dink International Award, with Alper Görmüş; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Reporters Without Borders Prize for Press Freedom, for her independent reporting from the Gaza Strip for the Israel daily Ha’aretz (during  Israel’s offensive against Gaza from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009 known as Operation Cast Lead.)

 

Books:

Hass’s mother, Hanna Levy-Hass, was a holocaust survivor, and Amira Hass translated her mother’s 1946 Diary of Bergen-Belsen: 1944–1945 (Haymarket Books, 2009) and written a forward and afterword.  Amira Hass has also written Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege”, Owl Books. 2000; and also (with Rachel Leah JonesReporting from Ramallah: An Israeli Journalist in an Occupied Land (Semiotexte, 2003.)

Film Fundraiser: Occupation 101

Occ101-2015-03-15-d
Occupation 101 – award-winning documentary film, Sun 15th March 2015 at 4.00 p.m. at 19 Tory Street, at the People’s Cinema.
90 minutes+, followed by discussion.
Directed by Sufyan Omeish and Abdallah Omeish, narrated by Alison Weir

A powerful, thought provoking documentary on the current and historical root causes of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, as well as strategies for solidarity. We will also be showing a short which gives details about the illegal Soda stream factory in an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Just turn up, or pre-buy Tickets for $10, ($5 unwaged negotiable) – please email poneke.palestine@gmail.com if you would like tickets, or would like to help sell tickets. A big thank you to the People’s Cinema and 19 Tory Street also!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1427711800855118/1428626834096948/