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Home demolitions in East Jerusalem continue

Despite international calls for an end to home demolitions in East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities tore down five Palestinian homes yesterday; claiming they were built illegally. These home demolitions come after repeated calls from the UN and international community to stop settler activity and home demolitions.

The five demolitions took place early morning. Israeli authorities said the homes lacked a permit and therefore were built illegally. Palestinians claim it is nearly impossible to obtain a permit for their homes from the Israeli authorities who rule the area. Palestinians tried to repel the Israeli authorities with rocks but were summarily dispersed and the demolitions went ahead as planned. Read More…

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Israel cabinet rejects UN war crimes report

The Israeli cabinet has rejected last week’s resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which endorsed a report accusing the state of war crimes during the Gaza conflict, accusing the UN of a double standard.

The cabinet said that that the army’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip last December and January was legitimate self-defense.

“Israel will defend itself at any price,” said Cabinet Minister Yossi Peled. “This is a duty and a right.” Read More…

UN rights council endorses Gaza report

The United Nations human rights council has voted in favor of endorsing a report made by South African Judge Richard Goldstone that accuses Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during fighting late last year that left 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead. The report was adopted 25 votes to six with eleven abstentions.

The report calls on the UN to make sure that Israel and Hamas conduct thorough investigations into the alleged war crimes. Should either side fail to do so, the report recommends that cases be sent to the International Criminal Court of Justice. Read More…

On this day October 14, 1953

Israeli military commander Ariel Sharon and his Unit 101 special forces attacked the village of Qibya on the West Bank, destroying 45 buildings, killing 42 villagers, and wounding 15 others.

Qibya Massacre

According to the Mixed Armistice Commission report, approved on the afternoon immediately following the operation, and delivered by Major General Vagn Bennike to the UN Security Council, the raid at Qibya took place on the evening of October 14, 1953 at around 9.30 pm, and was taken by roughly half a battalion strength of soldiers from the Israeli regular army. Read More…

On this day September 16, 1982

A Lebanese militia under the direct command of Elie Hobeika carried out a massacre in the Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila, killing thousand civilians.

Aftermath of massacre of Palestinians

Aftermath of massacre of Palestinians

The massacre was carried out by the Lebanese Forces Christian militia group in connection with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), in control of Beirut.

The IDF allowed militiamen to enter two refugee camps, Sabra and Shatila. The exact number killed by the Phalangists is disputed, with estimates ranging from 328 to 3,500.

The Phalangists stood under the direct command of Elie Hobeika, who later became a long-serving Lebanese Member of Parliament and, in the 1990s, a Lebanese cabinet minister.

In June 2001, Chebli Mallat, a left-wing Maronite lawyer, filed a case against Ariel Sharon in Belgium under a law that allowed foreigners to be sued for crimes against humanity. Elie Hobeika publicly declared his intention to testify against Ariel Sharon about his involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre in a Belgian court’s trial for crimes against humanity. Read More…

Gunman attacks Tel Aviv gay centre

On Saturday evening around 23:00, an armed unknown person with firearms entered the “Aguda” building in Tel Aviv, and opened fire over a gay crowd, during an Israeli Gay Youth (IGY) event and immediately escaped thereafter.

In the shooting, 2 people were killed, and 15 were wounded. The police had launched a search campaign to find the shooter, and in addition immediately closed most of the entertainment places for the gay community that operated during the same time of the shooting event, for fear of additional shooting. Read More…

Israel evicts Palestinian families

Two Palestinian families who have been living in East Jerusalem since 1956, were evicted from their homes on Sunday after an Israeli court rejected their appeal filed against the eviction. The eviction comes after increasing international pressure on Israel to stop settlement activity and end home evictions.

Israeli security forces entered the homes at 6:00 a.m. (local time) and forcibly removed the family and international activists who were also living in the homes. At least 19 children were among those removed. Al Jazeera reports that a family was beaten with batons as they tried to get back into their house. JTA reports that Jewish families moved into the homes shortly after the Palestinian families were evicted. Read More…