Israeli terror in Gaza and Palestine is barbaric , women and children are murdered for all the world to see and our politicians in the west or gulf states are all silent, shame on them.
UN urges Israel and Gaza to ‘step back from the brink’ of war
By Judith Vonberg CNN
(CNN) — The United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for Israel and Gaza “to step back from the brink” of war and revive the reconciliation process, calling for Palestinians to keep protests peaceful and for Israel to show restraint in its response.
Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East, was speaking just hours after an escalation in violence that saw 200 projectiles fired towards Israel from Gaza and dozens of airstrikes launched in response, according to Israel Defense Forces.
“Yesterday we were on the brink of war,” Mladenov told a press conference in Gaza on Sunday. “And it has taken the concerted efforts of everyone to make sure that we step back from confrontation. A confrontation that nobody wants, nobody needs, and a confrontation from which everybody will lose.”
Mladenov highlighted the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza and the deteriorating political and security situation in the region.
“People’s life (in Gaza) has become more difficult as people have limited money, the economy has collapsed, electricity and water are scarce,” he said. “We cannot stand idle when we see two million Palestinians in Gaza living in such terrible conditions as they do now.”
‘One child being killed is too much’
He appealed to Palestinians “to keep the protests peaceful,” and urged Palestinian factions to stop firing rockets, mortars and incendiary kites and “to give peace a chance.”
Addressing Israel, he called for the state to be “restrained in its responses to the situation in Gaza,” adding: “I appeal to snipers not to shoot children.”
“Even one child being killed is too much. Too many children have been killed in the past few weeks.”
Israel has been criticized for the use of live fire on Palestinians at the Gaza border fence as tensions have risen since the start of the “Great March of Return” protests in April.
Eight children were among 60 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces on May 14, when demonstrators gathered at the fence to protest the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.
Israel denies using excessive force against protesters and accuses Hamas, the group that runs Gaza, of orchestrating the protests.
‘One step away from another confrontation’
The weeks since May have seen several further bouts of violence, both at the border fence and in the form of incendiary kites and air strikes.
Speaking early Sunday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that Israel now regarded arson attacks in the same way it regarded rockets and mortars, meaning there could be no ceasefire with militants in Gaza if they kept launching incendiary kites and balloons over the fence.
In his comments, Netanyahu singled out Hamas: “Whoever hurts us, we will hit them with great strength. This is what we did yesterday. I hope that they got the message; if not, they will get it later.”
Two Palestinian teenagers were killed in Israeli airstrikes Saturday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, in what the IDF called its single largest bombing campaign in Gaza since the 2014 war.
Israeli medical service spokesman Zaki Heller said that four Israelis were injured in rocket fire.
“We are one step away from another confrontation,” Mladenov. “Everybody needs to take a step back.”
Need to ‘get back to the reconciliation process’
The UN coordinator also called on the international community “not to forget the people of Gaza, not to forget the Palestinians who have lived for generations without a state” and to work with the UN to chart “a political way forward.”
“The only realistic perspective today is this: avoid war, fix the humanitarian problems of Gaza, and get back to the reconciliation process.”
Mladenov also assured Palestinians that the UN will not leave Gaza, despite the “significant financial problems” faced by the UN Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides humanitarian aid, education, social services and medical care to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
In January this year, the US announced that it would hold back more than half its scheduled $125 million from UNRWA, a move that sparked outrage from humanitarian organizations. The US called for reforms at UNRWA and higher contributions from other countries.
The announcement came two weeks after US President Donald Trump had complained about the lack of “appreciation or respect” from Palestinians who receiving aid.
HIRED assassin has attempted to murder two senior drug cartel members outside one of the Costa del Sol’s most popular luxury nightclubs, it can be revealed.
A Dutchman and his Belgian associate were shot at as they got into their car following a night of partying at Olivia Valere nightclub, in Marbella.
The Olive Press can reveal the victims were alleged top dogs in organised crime in Europe.
One victim, known as B.A, is a high-level player from Antwerp and the other, referred to as M.H, was visiting from Rotterdam.
According to a well-placed source in Belgium, B.A is a ‘high-level player’ in the import of cocaine into Europe, while M.H is described as ‘a big deal in Rotterdam’.
According to Spanish police, a hired assassin had been waiting for the pair in the shadows of the car park next to the club on August 4.
LUXURY CLUB: Olivia Valeres
As soon as they got into their car, they both received shots to the shoulder and chest.
Police believe the attack was a settling of scores and that the intention was to kill them, given that they were shot in the upper body.
They were taken to hospital but their injuries were not serious and they avoided surgery.
Detectives from UDYCO, the National Police crack Drugs and Organized Crime unit has taken over the investigation.
They do not believe the shooting is linked to two other shootings this month in Mijas and Estepona.
This year has seen a spate of drug-related assassinations as the import of narcotics via the Costa del Sol and Cadiz continues to soar.
One man was murdered in front of his family by suspected Colombians outside a church in San Pedro earlier this year.
EVEN LITTLE RUSSIA,(TORREVIEJA) ON THE COSTA BLANCA DOES NOT GET THIS LEVEL OF SHOOTINGS.
The Israeli government has recently claimed that it can “legislate anywhere in the world”, that it is “entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries”, and that “is allowed to ignore the directives of international law in any field it desires”. This was written in an official response letter to the Supreme Court last month.
On the face of it, these are audacious claims. Is it really that bad? I would say that it’s even worse. The background to these statements is a new law from last year, which legalizes outright theft of Palestinian land.
Several Palestinian human rights organizations have challenged the law in court. The plaintiffs are Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza) on behalf of 17 local Palestinian authorities in the West Bank. The Israeli government was represented by a private lawyer, Harel Arnon, because Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit refused to defend the law in court, since he deemed it illegal by international law already when it was first passed.
The Settlement Regularization Law was passed in February last year, in order to retroactively legalize thousands of settler homes and structures built on Palestinian private land, to avert the possibility that the Supreme Court might one day sanction their removal. Before the law was passed, Israeli law still considered such structures illegal, even though under international law, absolutely all the settlements are a flagrant violation of international law, be they located on private land or not.
It was not only Haaretz that called the law a “theft law” – it was also longtime Likudniks such as lawmaker Benny Begin; Former Likud minister Dan Meridor called it “evil and dangerous”; even Prime Minister Netanyahu was warning that passing it may end up getting Israeli officials to the International Criminal Court in The Hague; attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s stated refusal to defend the law in court was met with reassurance by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked that the state could simply get a private attorney (which it did). The contentious matter was not only the theft itself – but the application of Israeli law enacted directly by the Knesset (rather than by the Military occupation authority), that was seen as a precedence leading to de-facto annexation. As Dan Meridor wrote in his Haaretz opinion piece just ahead of the final vote on the law:
“The Knesset has never enacted legislation regulating Arabs’ property ownership in Judea and Samaria. The Knesset was elected by Israelis and legislates for them. The Arabs of Judea and Samaria did not vote for the Knesset, and it has no authority to legislate for them. These are basic principles of democracy and Israeli law. As a rule, elected officials legislate for their constituents and those within the area of their jurisdiction, not others. No government in Israel has applied its sovereignty to the West Bank – not former Likud prime ministers Menachem Begin or Yitzhak Shamir. They understood the obvious: If you want to pass legislation for the West Bank, you have to extend your sovereignty and allow the residents of Judea and Samaria the right to become citizens and vote in Knesset elections. And the meaning is clear.”
I should add a critical note here about Meridor’s central claim – that it is in fact erroneous regarding the West Bank, in that East Jerusalem is by international law a part of the West Bank, and Israel has applied its sovereignty unilaterally upon it (de facto since 1967, and in quasi-constitutional basic law in 1980, in defiance of international law and UNSC resolutions). The fact that Meridor simply considers East Jerusalem a part of Israel, and now goes to admonish Israel for basically doing the same (de facto annexation) regarding the rest of the West Bank, only goes to show that this is a case of the blind leading the blind.
But let us now return to the recent ‘theft law’ legislation from last year: The pressure to legitimize Israel’s own crimes became too great to oppose even from the right. The looming ‘danger’ that Meridor mentioned, of enacting de-facto annexation and possibly having to extend Palestinians the right to become citizens, was overweighed by the greed for the land. Israel’s famous equation of “maximum Jews, maximum territory, minimum Palestinians” came this time to mean that Israel would risk enacting state legislation in an area where Jews were still generally not a majority, in the hope that it would help them become it. Thus the law was passed by 60-52, and the land-grab was made legal by the Israeli Knesset. It was estimated that the law would retroactively legalize about 4,000 settler homes.
In the recent court case, the plaintiffs challenging the law pointed to the obvious illegality:
“Adalah and fellow petitioners argued that the Knesset is not permitted to enact and impose laws on territory occupied by the State of Israel. Thus, the Knesset cannot enact laws that annex the West Bank or that violate the rights of Palestinian residents of the West Bank.”
The State of Israel, in the recent response letter (Hebrew) to the court (filed August 7th), claimed in its defense that:
 ‘The Knesset has no limitation which prevents it from legislating extra-territorially anywhere in the world, including the area [‘Judea and Samaria’]’.
Having made that statement, the Israeli government goes on to rebuff the plaintiffs’ claim that it cannot legislate there and goes further to suggest that it is not at all subject to the directives of international law:
 ‘…Although the Knesset can legislate [concerning] any place in the world, although it is entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries through legislation that would be applied to events occurring in their territories […], although it is within the authority of the Government of Israel to annex any territory […], although the Knesset may ignore directives of international law in any area it pleases […] despite all these, the plaintiffs seek to define a “rule” by which precisely in Judea and Samaria the Knesset is prohibited from legislating anything, and that precisely there, and nowhere else in the world, it is subject to the directives of international law’.
Adalah Attorneys Suhad Bishara and Myssana Morany, were in disbelief:
“The Israeli government’s extremist response has no parallel anywhere in the world. It stands in gross violation of international law and of the United Nations Charter which obligates member states to refrain from threatening or using force against the territorial integrity of other states – including occupied territories. The Israeli government’s extremist position is, in fact, a declaration of its intention to proceed with its annexation of the West Bank.”
Adalah has posted about this and provided some quotes from the above. You would think that such proclamations by the Israeli government would really hit the mainstream news cycle, yet it seems to have so far gone relatively unnoticed.
Several of my contacts have responded to this little-reported news with a certain disbelief – could it really be that Israel is openly stating that it is above international law?
Indeed, as I had mentioned above, it is not exactly a secret that Israel is now acting in brazen defiance of international law. Its own highest legal authorities are completely aware of it. But what we also need to see is that it has been doing this for a very long time, in fact, since its inception. As I had mentionedat the time of the passing of the Regularization Law, legalizing the theft of Palestinian land has been Israeli policy since day 1. Attorney Harel Arnon was using this notion as precedence in defense of the recent law, noting (in pt. 4):
“The honourable court has never passed legal critique upon central legislation of the Knesset also in cases where it contradicted, by the method of the plaintiffs, the directives of international law in cases which were more clear (the enactment of Israeli legislation in the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem)”…
That’s a very valid point. Israel’s unilateral annexations of the Syrian Golan and East Jerusalem are direct violations of international law, and they are condemned very clearly in United Nations Security Council resolutions. If the Israeli court approved it then, why should it not approve it now?
Attorney Arnon used a Supreme Court quote from an earlier case (pt. 12), where the court opined that “the mere enactment of a random Israeli norm upon an anonymous place outside the country, does not necessarily make that anonymous place a part of Israel”. This was relating to the West Bank, where Israel indeed enacts Israeli law upon settlers, even in places where it has not annexed territory.
See, this is part of the basis by which Arnon claims that “Israel can legislate anywhere in the world”. The essence of this is “if we could do it before, why cant we do it now”?
This point should be taken very seriously. The Israeli Supreme Court has often been perceived as a tool of the Israeli occupation. Thus even in very clear cases such as the 2004 International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Israel’s ‘security barrier’, where the ICJ deemed it wholly illegal (because it was mostly built on Palestinian, not Israeli, territory), the Supreme Court still managed to deflect this and claim that international law did not apply to Israel in this way. The Supreme Court has repeatedly managed to avoid and deflect these bigger issues and allow for Israel’s continued creeping annexation. This is a current, ongoing issue. Israel is preparing to demolish the Palestinian West Bank village of Khan al Ahmar, with the approval and sanction of the Supreme Court. B’Tselem:
“On Thursday, 24 May 2018, three Israeli Supreme Court justices – Noam Sohlberg, Anat Baron and Yael Willner – ruled that the state may demolish the homes of the community of Khan al-Ahmar, transfer the residents from their homes and relocate them. This ruling removes the last stumbling block in Israel’s way in the matter, lifting the impediment which had thus far served to defer the transfer of the community, a war crime under international law”;
“The Israeli Supreme Court in the Service of the Occupation: In their ruling, Justices Amit, Meltzer, and Baron described an imaginary world with an egalitarian planning system that takes into account the needs of the Palestinians, as if there had never been an occupation. The reality is diametrically opposed to this fantasy: Palestinians cannot build legally and are excluded from the decision-making mechanisms that determine how their lives will look. The planning systems are intended solely for the benefit of the settlers. This ruling shows once again that those under occupation cannot seek justice in the occupier’s courts. If the demolition of the community of Khan al-Ahmar goes ahead, the Supreme Court Justices will be among those who will bear responsibility for this war crime” (my emphasis).
Attorney Arnon brought up the Adolf Eichmann case in the response letter:
“The Court further implemented this doctrine in the famous Eichmann (1962) case, regarding ex post facto penal legislation: ‘[W]here [there is a conflict between the provisions of domestic law and a rule of international law], it is the duty of the court to give preference to and apply the laws of the local legislature`”.
It is smart to bring up the Holocaust in Israel. There’s often a particularly soft spot for that, and that can spill over to melt the ‘pedantic’ limitations of customary law. Eichmann was indeed kidnapped by Mossad in Argentina, 1960. He was given the death sentence in Israel and hanged in 1962. This is extra-territorial spy activity and extra-territorial enactment of jurisdiction. As it involved the Holocaust, few would dare challenge it. This lines up with Golda Meir’s claim that “after the Holocaust, Jews are allowed to do anything”.
And so Israel’s private attorney Harel Arnon is essentially saying: if we could do it to Eichmann, why can’t we do it to the West Bank?
Arnon is not directly implying that Palestinians are Nazis, although such comparisons do occasionally feature in opinions of leading pundits in Israel, such as those of Yoaz Hendel, former director of communications and public diplomacy for Prime Minister Netanyahu.
All this may go to explain the relative media silence there has been about the proclamations made in this letter. The world knows it has allowed Israel to get away with so much criminality, and the West knows that a lot of that has had to do with its own Holocaust guilt. That made it weak and reduced its willingness to take Israel to task for its violations. And maybe people are feeling that they shouldn’t be throwing stones in a glass house. But we must see what is happening – Israel is overtly legalizing theft. The brazen proclamations saying that international law does not apply to Israel should have been shocking – but sadly, they are not. Because we know it has been the policy for so long. And since the reaction has been weak, Israel, like a spoiled brat, has learned that it can get away with it, and that it can become ever more obnoxious without it suffering any cost.
Indeed, one is left to wonder, who will stop the Jewish State? After all, international law does not have the automatic enforcement mechanisms as domestic law, and the international bodies that were meant to hold Israel accountable to international law, have so far largely failed to do so, at least where Palestinians are concerned. In a time when the American superpower stands firmly on Israel’s side in violation of international law, as with the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and the endorsement of Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, it is hard to see why Israel would or should believe that international law applies to it at all. This is the light in which we may understand the language in that letter. It’s so brazen, because there is not even a sense of need to portray any semblance of respect towards international law. Israel is now undertaking a bonanza of theft in broad daylight, with a chauvinist sense that nothing will stop it. That’s what really transpires from the language of that letter.
It’s OK to drop a jaw at this. The language in that letter should serve as a wake-up call. But then we must also collect ourselves and remind ourselves that it is up to grassroots pressure to change this situation and protect the Palestinians from the unhindered Israeli military and legislative colonialist onslaught, enacted by the ‘eternal victims’.
H/t Linda Cooper
An Israeli embassy official who plotted to “take down” MPs regarded as hostile has also set up a number of political organisations in the UK that operated as though entirely independent.
Shai Masot was filmed covertly as he boasted about establishing several groups, at least one of which was intended to influence Labour party policy, while appearing to obscure their links to Israel.
The disclosure comes as Labour demanded the government launch an immediate inquiry into “improper interference in our democratic politics”. A former Tory government minister also called for an inquiry into the Israeli embassy’s links with two organisations, Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).
Meanwhile, Masot is being sent back to Israel in disgrace, and a civil servant and Conservative official who was also filmed discussing ways to discredit MPs has resigned from her post.
Masot and Maria Strizzolo, a manager with the Skills Funding Agency and aide to Robert Halfon, an education minister, were filmed by a man they knew as Robin, who they believed to be an LFI activist but who was actually an undercover reporter with al-Jazeera’s investigative unit.
Among the MPs that Masot and Strizzolo discussed “taking down” was Sir Alan Duncan, a foreign minister and a vocal supporter of a Palestinian state.
In the latest recordings, Masot boasts of establishing organisations “in Israel and here [in the UK]”. When asked what he means, the Israeli official replies: “Nothing I can share, but yeah,” adding: “Yeah, because there are things that, you know, happen, but it’s good to leave those organisations independent. But we help them, actually.”
LFI and CFI are established organisations, founded in the 1950s and 1970s respectively to support Israel and combat antisemitism. The footage taken by al-Jazeera shows Masot wanted Robin to head up a new organisation, Young Labour Friends of Israel.
At a meeting last July, Masot explains that he had the idea for a group called Young Conservative Friends of Israel in 2015, and wanted to set up a Young Labour Friends of Israel at that time. “When I tried to do the same in Labour they had a crisis back then with Corbyn. So instead of that I took a delegation to Israel … I took a Fabians group to Israel,” he says.
Masot also says in the footage of that meeting that he does not wish to see Jeremy Corbyn win the leadership contest with Owen Smith. During another meeting, he describes Corbyn as “a crazy leader”.
“I would prefer that the party will not stay with Corbyn,” he says. Referring to a number of Labour MPs who had recently visited the West Bank, he adds: “Some of them are against Corbyn, so who knows?”
Masot advised Robin that he should launch the Young Labour Friends of Israel by first organising a reception, and then setting up an email list. LFI needs to be rejuvenated by a new youth group, he adds.
“Not a lot of young people want to be affiliated. For years, every MP that joined the parliament joined the LFI. They’re not doing it any more in the Labour party. CFI, they’re doing it automatically. All the 14 new MPs who got elected in the last elections did it automatically. In the LFI it didn’t happen. We need to get more people on board. It’s a lot of work, actually.”
At a meeting the following month, Masot suggests Robin might want to be chairman of the group he is establishing. He also says Robin should not tell other people that the embassy has established the group. “LFI is an independent organisation. No one likes that someone is managing his organisation. That really is the first rule in politics.”
In September, while on a train to Liverpool for the Labour conference, Masot tells Robin he is also establishing a group called City Friends of Israel. Once in Liverpool, the footage shows Masot introducing Robin at conference social events as the “Young LFI chairman”.
The disclosure that Masot was also attempting to influence Labour affairs by establishing new political groups is likely to enrage the party’s leaders, who have already characterised the threat to “take down” MPs as a serious national security issue.
The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, said: “The exposure of an Israeli embassy official discussing how to bring down or discredit a government minister and other MPs because of their views on the Middle East is extremely disturbing.
“This is a national security issue. The embassy official involved should be withdrawn and the government should launch an immediate inquiry into the extent of this improper interference and demand from the Israeli government that it be brought to an end.”
One former minister in David Cameron’s government said the embassy’s efforts to exert improper influence on British public life went far further than any plot to “take down” unhelpful members of parliament.
Writing anonymously in the Mail on Sunday, the former minister said: “British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence at the heart of our politics, and those in authority have ignored what is going on.
“For years the CFI and LFI have worked with – even for – the Israeli embassy to promote Israeli policy and thwart UK government policy and the actions of ministers who try to defend Palestinian rights.”
The former minister said there needed to be a full inquiry into the Israeli embassy’s links with CFI and LFI, and that while political parties should welcome funding from the UK’s Jewish community, they should not accept any engagement linked to Israel until it ceases new developments on Palestinian land.
“This opaque funding and underhand conduct is a national disgrace and humiliation and must be stamped out,” he wrote.
After an apology from the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, the British government said it considered the matter closed. However, Alex Salmond, the Scottish National party’s foreign affairs spokesman, said this position was not acceptable.
“I would expect the UK government to fully investigate this matter so that we can be confident our elected officials are free to carry out their jobs to the best of their ability and without fear of having their reputation smeared by embassy officials who do not agree with their views.”
Masot’s precise role at the embassy is unclear. He is known to be a former officer in the Israeli navy and is thought to remain an employee of the Israeli defence ministry. His embassy business card describes him as a senior political officer, but the embassy says he is not a diplomat.
In his LinkedIn profile, Masot says his work includes “founding several political support groups in the UK to maximise the Israeli ‘firewall’”. He also says he helped to secure “adjustments to legislation” in the UK.
Former diplomats said Masot was highly unlikely to be operating without authority. Sir William Patey, a former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan, said: “The idea that he would be operating on his own I find fanciful. We know there is a lobby in this country that seeks to portray in the best possible light and seeks to isolate and denigrate critics of Israeli policy.”
A senior Conservative said: “No MP who has taken an active interest in the affairs of the Middle East, not least the central issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, will be unaware of the strength of the Israeli lobby. Like Israel itself they are powerful and effective and sail pretty close to the line of what is normally acceptable.”