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Gaza protests: The latest updates

Israeli forces fire tear gas towards Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.

On Line Agencies

The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe - a reference to the forced removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages to clear the way for Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 173 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 18,000 people, according to health officials in Gaza.
In the latest round of violence, a 15-year old Palestinian boy was killed early Thursday morning while he was in one of the main “right of return” encampments set up along the fence with Israel. The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the death of a Palestinian teen after he was shot in the head by Israeli sniper fire east of Rafah in the southern strip.
Earlier on Tuesday, three Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem after they were shot by Israeli forces in separate events on Tuesday.
In northern Gaza, thousands of protesters demonstrated on Tuesday afternoon near the Israeli checkpoint crossing Erez, referred to by Palestinians as the Beit Hanoun crossing.
The protest was called for by the National High Committee to Break the Siege and was against the cuts in funding by the United States to the main United Nations refugee agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
Protesters also demanded an end to the 12-year blockade imposed on the coastal enclave.
Two men were killed as Israeli forces opened fire on the protesters. Gaza’s health ministry identified the men as Mohammad Abu Naji, 34, and Ahmad Mohammad Omar, 20.
More than 30 others were wounded, the ministry added.
A wounded protester received treatment after Israeli forces used live fire on an anti-occupation rally near the Gaza Strip’s northern border [Anadolu Agencu]
Two Palestinians were killed overnight by Israeli air attack in Khan Younis on Monday night. The bodies of two Palestinians were recovered by Red Crescent medics on the fence in the southern Gaza Strip, after an Israeli warplane targeted them during night time.
Gaza’s health ministry later identified the men as 18-year-old Naji Abuasi and 21-year-old Alaa Abuasi.
In a statement, the Israeli army said they targeted a group of “terrorists” who were seen acting in a “suspicious” way near the fence in the southern Gaza Strip.

US stops funding UNRWA
Last month, the US declared it would halt all funding to UNRWA, creating a $300m deficit. Palestinian refugees benefit from a number of services the UN agency provides, ranging from schools, health centres, vocational training, and food handouts.
In a separate incident, Israeli forces in East Jerusalem shot dead a Palestinian man after they alleged he was about to carry out a stabbing attack against an Israeli in the Musrara neighbourhood near Damascus Gate.
Witnesses, however, told local Palestinian media agency Wafa that the man, 26-year-old Mohammed Yousef Alayan from Qalandiya refugee camp, was not armed and had gotten into an argument with the Israeli man.
Upon the intervention of Israeli forces, the witnesses said, Alayan tried to get away but was shot down with a barrage of bullets.
Police then closed off the area and prevented medics from reaching Alayan, whose body is still held by the Israeli army.

Hamas leader vows to keep demanding right of return
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or the Catastrophe, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya visited protesters east of Gaza City, vowing to continue weeks of protests along Israel’s border.
“Our message today is the Return March and siege-breaking is going on and that the massacre the Israeli occupation committed against our revolting and returning youths will only increase our steadfastness, determination and sticking to the right of return,” said Haniyeh.
“We are coming to tell the whole world: no to the deal of the century and no to the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and Jerusalem is our eternal capital, the capital of the Palestinian state and Jerusalem’s identity will not be changed by a resolution from Trump nor Netanyahu.”

Arab League calls on ICC to investigate ‘Israeli crimes’
The Arab League’s Permanent Committee on Human Rights called on the International Criminal Court prosecutor to urgently investigate “the crimes of the Israeli occupation” against Palestinians.
“Israel is an oppressive and murderous entity, and its politicians and officers must be taken to the International Criminal Court,” Amjad Shamout, the committee’s chairman, said in a statement.
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned the “massacres” of Palestinians, which he said resemble “war crimes”.
In a statement, he called on the international community to “protect the Palestinian people, who have chosen the path of peaceful struggle and have been confronted with brutality, violence and murder”.

UN Middle East Envoy urges quick action to ‘prevent war’
Nikolay Mladenov, UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has called on the international community to act quickly and effectively to end the “senseless violence” in the Gaza Strip.
“For it to end, it needs every one of us to put in their best effort into preventing an explosion that can drag the whole region into another deadly confrontation,” he told an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
“The international community must step in and prevent war”, he said.
He called on Israel and Hamas to exercise restraint and to avoid any further escalation, while also urging Israel to investigate any incident that led to the loss of lives.

EU sounds alarm over Gaza violence
The European Union says a recent escalation of violence “has brought Gaza and Israel dangerously close to yet more conflict”, adding that an urgent “de-escalation” was needed to keep civilians from further risk.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed at least three people in Gaza, including a 23-year-old woman, who was almost nine months pregnant, and her 18-month-old daughter.
The Israeli military launched more than 140 attacks after about 150 rockets were fired from the coastal enclave.
A statement by Hamas’ military force said it was responsible for the rockets. It said the Palestinian “resistance” had fired a large number of projectiles at “enemy positions in the Gaza envelope”.
“The rocket fire from Gaza towards communities in southern Israel as well as other violent actions and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian militants are totally unacceptable,” an EU foreign affairs spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
“While having the right to defend itself, Israel is expected to continue to exercise restraint and do everything to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. The death of a pregnant Palestinian mother and her child in this latest escalation is a tragic loss.”

Britain, Germany, back independent probe into Gaza killings
The United Kingdom on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into the violence at the Gaza border with Israel after the United States blocked a United Nations Security Council statement calling for a probe.
Germany also announced its support for an independent inquiry into the deadly violence.
“It is our view that an independent investigation commission can clarify the violent incidents and the bloody violations at the border area,” said government spokesman Steffan Seibert.

US blames Hamas for Gaza violence
White House spokesman Raj Shah has accused Hamas’ leaders of making a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt” after the killing of at least 55 Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces.
Speaking to reporters at a White House briefing, Shah also declined to join with other countries - including France and Britain - in calling for Israel to exercise restraint in its response to the demonstrations.
The White House instead reiterated the Trump administration’s refrain that Israel had a right to defend itself.
“The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas,” Shah said. “Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response.”

US shares blame for ‘Gaza massacre’
However,. Turkey has accused the United States of sharing responsibility with Israel for a “vile massacre” along the Gaza border.
“The United States, unfortunately, took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli government in this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara.
“This is a vile massacre, and we condemn it strongly,” he added.
Yildirim said the events were “incompatible” with the US acting as a mediator or protector of world peace.

UN rights chief decries Israel’s excessive use of force in Gaza
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has condemned Israel’s use of “excessive force” against Palestinian protesters, saying its security forces must be held to account for the many deaths and injuries sustained by Palestinians in the past month.
“The loss of life is deplorable, and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators - not once, not twice, but repeatedly,” Zeid said.
In the past four weeks, 42 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,500 injured along the fence in Gaza, with no reports of Israeli casualties.

UN warns Israeli forces to respect ‘right of peaceful assembly’
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell has expressed concern over further violence during Friday’s demonstrations and in the weeks ahead.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Throssell said: “We remind Israel of its obligations to ensure that excessive force is not employed against protesters and that in the context of a military occupation, as is the case in Gaza, the unjustified and unlawful recourse to firearms by law enforcement resulting in death may amount to a willful killing, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Comment

Israeli forces fire tear gas towards Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza.

On Line Agencies

The Great March of Return rallies culminated on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba, or Catastrophe - a reference to the forced removal of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages to clear the way for Israel’s establishment in 1948.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 173 Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave and wounded more than 18,000 people, according to health officials in Gaza.
In the latest round of violence, a 15-year old Palestinian boy was killed early Thursday morning while he was in one of the main “right of return” encampments set up along the fence with Israel. The Gaza health ministry has confirmed the death of a Palestinian teen after he was shot in the head by Israeli sniper fire east of Rafah in the southern strip.
Earlier on Tuesday, three Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip and occupied East Jerusalem after they were shot by Israeli forces in separate events on Tuesday.
In northern Gaza, thousands of protesters demonstrated on Tuesday afternoon near the Israeli checkpoint crossing Erez, referred to by Palestinians as the Beit Hanoun crossing.
The protest was called for by the National High Committee to Break the Siege and was against the cuts in funding by the United States to the main United Nations refugee agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
Protesters also demanded an end to the 12-year blockade imposed on the coastal enclave.
Two men were killed as Israeli forces opened fire on the protesters. Gaza’s health ministry identified the men as Mohammad Abu Naji, 34, and Ahmad Mohammad Omar, 20.
More than 30 others were wounded, the ministry added.
A wounded protester received treatment after Israeli forces used live fire on an anti-occupation rally near the Gaza Strip’s northern border [Anadolu Agencu]
Two Palestinians were killed overnight by Israeli air attack in Khan Younis on Monday night. The bodies of two Palestinians were recovered by Red Crescent medics on the fence in the southern Gaza Strip, after an Israeli warplane targeted them during night time.
Gaza’s health ministry later identified the men as 18-year-old Naji Abuasi and 21-year-old Alaa Abuasi.
In a statement, the Israeli army said they targeted a group of “terrorists” who were seen acting in a “suspicious” way near the fence in the southern Gaza Strip.

US stops funding UNRWA
Last month, the US declared it would halt all funding to UNRWA, creating a $300m deficit. Palestinian refugees benefit from a number of services the UN agency provides, ranging from schools, health centres, vocational training, and food handouts.
In a separate incident, Israeli forces in East Jerusalem shot dead a Palestinian man after they alleged he was about to carry out a stabbing attack against an Israeli in the Musrara neighbourhood near Damascus Gate.
Witnesses, however, told local Palestinian media agency Wafa that the man, 26-year-old Mohammed Yousef Alayan from Qalandiya refugee camp, was not armed and had gotten into an argument with the Israeli man.
Upon the intervention of Israeli forces, the witnesses said, Alayan tried to get away but was shot down with a barrage of bullets.
Police then closed off the area and prevented medics from reaching Alayan, whose body is still held by the Israeli army.

Hamas leader vows to keep demanding right of return
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or the Catastrophe, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya visited protesters east of Gaza City, vowing to continue weeks of protests along Israel’s border.
“Our message today is the Return March and siege-breaking is going on and that the massacre the Israeli occupation committed against our revolting and returning youths will only increase our steadfastness, determination and sticking to the right of return,” said Haniyeh.
“We are coming to tell the whole world: no to the deal of the century and no to the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and Jerusalem is our eternal capital, the capital of the Palestinian state and Jerusalem’s identity will not be changed by a resolution from Trump nor Netanyahu.”

Arab League calls on ICC to investigate ‘Israeli crimes’
The Arab League’s Permanent Committee on Human Rights called on the International Criminal Court prosecutor to urgently investigate “the crimes of the Israeli occupation” against Palestinians.
“Israel is an oppressive and murderous entity, and its politicians and officers must be taken to the International Criminal Court,” Amjad Shamout, the committee’s chairman, said in a statement.
Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit condemned the “massacres” of Palestinians, which he said resemble “war crimes”.
In a statement, he called on the international community to “protect the Palestinian people, who have chosen the path of peaceful struggle and have been confronted with brutality, violence and murder”.

UN Middle East Envoy urges quick action to ‘prevent war’
Nikolay Mladenov, UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has called on the international community to act quickly and effectively to end the “senseless violence” in the Gaza Strip.
“For it to end, it needs every one of us to put in their best effort into preventing an explosion that can drag the whole region into another deadly confrontation,” he told an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
“The international community must step in and prevent war”, he said.
He called on Israel and Hamas to exercise restraint and to avoid any further escalation, while also urging Israel to investigate any incident that led to the loss of lives.

EU sounds alarm over Gaza violence
The European Union says a recent escalation of violence “has brought Gaza and Israel dangerously close to yet more conflict”, adding that an urgent “de-escalation” was needed to keep civilians from further risk.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed at least three people in Gaza, including a 23-year-old woman, who was almost nine months pregnant, and her 18-month-old daughter.
The Israeli military launched more than 140 attacks after about 150 rockets were fired from the coastal enclave.
A statement by Hamas’ military force said it was responsible for the rockets. It said the Palestinian “resistance” had fired a large number of projectiles at “enemy positions in the Gaza envelope”.
“The rocket fire from Gaza towards communities in southern Israel as well as other violent actions and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian militants are totally unacceptable,” an EU foreign affairs spokesperson said in a statement on Friday.
“While having the right to defend itself, Israel is expected to continue to exercise restraint and do everything to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. The death of a pregnant Palestinian mother and her child in this latest escalation is a tragic loss.”

Britain, Germany, back independent probe into Gaza killings
The United Kingdom on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into the violence at the Gaza border with Israel after the United States blocked a United Nations Security Council statement calling for a probe.
Germany also announced its support for an independent inquiry into the deadly violence.
“It is our view that an independent investigation commission can clarify the violent incidents and the bloody violations at the border area,” said government spokesman Steffan Seibert.

US blames Hamas for Gaza violence
White House spokesman Raj Shah has accused Hamas’ leaders of making a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt” after the killing of at least 55 Palestinian protesters by Israeli forces.
Speaking to reporters at a White House briefing, Shah also declined to join with other countries - including France and Britain - in calling for Israel to exercise restraint in its response to the demonstrations.
The White House instead reiterated the Trump administration’s refrain that Israel had a right to defend itself.
“The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas,” Shah said. “Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response.”

US shares blame for ‘Gaza massacre’
However,. Turkey has accused the United States of sharing responsibility with Israel for a “vile massacre” along the Gaza border.
“The United States, unfortunately, took its place without complaint alongside the Israeli government in this massacre of civilians and became a party to this crime against humanity,” Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters in Ankara.
“This is a vile massacre, and we condemn it strongly,” he added.
Yildirim said the events were “incompatible” with the US acting as a mediator or protector of world peace.

UN rights chief decries Israel’s excessive use of force in Gaza
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has condemned Israel’s use of “excessive force” against Palestinian protesters, saying its security forces must be held to account for the many deaths and injuries sustained by Palestinians in the past month.
“The loss of life is deplorable, and the staggering number of injuries caused by live ammunition only confirms the sense that excessive force has been used against demonstrators - not once, not twice, but repeatedly,” Zeid said.
In the past four weeks, 42 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,500 injured along the fence in Gaza, with no reports of Israeli casualties.

UN warns Israeli forces to respect ‘right of peaceful assembly’
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Liz Throssell has expressed concern over further violence during Friday’s demonstrations and in the weeks ahead.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, Throssell said: “We remind Israel of its obligations to ensure that excessive force is not employed against protesters and that in the context of a military occupation, as is the case in Gaza, the unjustified and unlawful recourse to firearms by law enforcement resulting in death may amount to a willful killing, a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”


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Brazil: Deaths related to military intervention in Rio de Janeiro increase 150 percent in August

Online Agencies

Just one day after the Institue of Public Security (ISP) released its findings, the Brazilian military began operations in three favela communities in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Data released by the ISP on Friday shows that citizen deaths directly related to the military intervention in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro increased by 150 percent in the month of August. It’s a 150 percent jump, going from 70 deaths in August 2017 to a whopping 175 deaths last month.
The rate of other forms of violence also increased, by 13 percent, when comparing the months of August 2017 and 2018. This indicator includes murders, robberies followed by death and bodily injury followed by death, a total of 552 victims have been recorded in the state of Rio de Janeiro last month.
A total of 1,850 soldiers are being employed according to military officials, with the mission of investigating allegations of criminal activity, particularly those related to drug-trafficking. Another 50 military police officers are also participating mission.
The Complexo do Alemao was also the scene of a large military and civilian police incursion on June 27, 2007, that left 19 people dead. Shortly after the event, the Order of Attorneys of Brazil released a statement saying that at least 11 of the victims had absolutely no involvement in drug-trafficking activities.
Complexo da Mare is the favela where slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, Marielle Franco, was raised. Six months have passed since her assassination and her case remains unsolved.
Another resident of Complexo da Mare, Marcos Vinicius da Silva, a 14-year-old student, died in June after being shot in the stomach during military and civil police operation into the Complexo da Mare. The youngster, donned in his community school uniform, was walking to class when the shooting erupted around nine o’clock in the morning local time.
At least six other people were killed during the operation. Local residents described scenes of security forces firing high-powered rifles from helicopters and tanks, known as caveirao or blindados, causing panic throughout the community.

Comment

Online Agencies

Just one day after the Institue of Public Security (ISP) released its findings, the Brazilian military began operations in three favela communities in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Data released by the ISP on Friday shows that citizen deaths directly related to the military intervention in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro increased by 150 percent in the month of August. It’s a 150 percent jump, going from 70 deaths in August 2017 to a whopping 175 deaths last month.
The rate of other forms of violence also increased, by 13 percent, when comparing the months of August 2017 and 2018. This indicator includes murders, robberies followed by death and bodily injury followed by death, a total of 552 victims have been recorded in the state of Rio de Janeiro last month.
A total of 1,850 soldiers are being employed according to military officials, with the mission of investigating allegations of criminal activity, particularly those related to drug-trafficking. Another 50 military police officers are also participating mission.
The Complexo do Alemao was also the scene of a large military and civilian police incursion on June 27, 2007, that left 19 people dead. Shortly after the event, the Order of Attorneys of Brazil released a statement saying that at least 11 of the victims had absolutely no involvement in drug-trafficking activities.
Complexo da Mare is the favela where slain Black activist and Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, Marielle Franco, was raised. Six months have passed since her assassination and her case remains unsolved.
Another resident of Complexo da Mare, Marcos Vinicius da Silva, a 14-year-old student, died in June after being shot in the stomach during military and civil police operation into the Complexo da Mare. The youngster, donned in his community school uniform, was walking to class when the shooting erupted around nine o’clock in the morning local time.
At least six other people were killed during the operation. Local residents described scenes of security forces firing high-powered rifles from helicopters and tanks, known as caveirao or blindados, causing panic throughout the community.


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