Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories

Written by Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem   
Friday, 12 September 2014 08:11

Innocent people under military rule exposed to surveillance by Israel, say 43 ex-members of Unit 8200, including reservists


Forty-three veterans of one of Israel’s most secretive military intelligence units – many of them still active reservists – have signed a public letter refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories because of the widespread surveillance of innocent residents.

The signatories include officers, former instructors and senior NCOs from the country’s equivalent of America’s NSA or Britain’s GCHQ, known as Unit 8200 – or in Hebrew as Yehida Shmoneh-Matayim.

They allege that the “all-encompassing” intelligence the unit gathers on Palestinians – much of it concerning innocent people – is used for “political persecution” and to create divisions in Palestinian society.

The largest intelligence unit in the Israeli military, Unit 8200 intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic.

The signatories say, however, that a large part of their work was unrelated to Israel’s security or defence, but appeared designed to perpetuate the occupation by “infiltrating” and “controlling” all aspects of Palestinian life.

Written in uncompromising language the letter states: “We, veterans of Unit 8200, reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we refuse to take part in actions against Palestinians and refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories.”

They add: “The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.”

Accompanying the letter – published in the Israeli media on Friday, and organised several months before the recent Gaza war – are a series of testimonies provided by the signatories to Yedioth Ahronoth and shared with the Guardian.

Read more on The Guardian

 
 

Israeli military demolishes West Bank dairy factory benefitting orphans despite court appeal

Written by Kelly Lynn   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:37

Then 10-year-old Zahur Said and her friends were on their way to school last Monday, September 1st, Israeli authorities had already been surveying the area for hours.  When she returned, 300 square meters of crumbled concrete and mangled steel was all that remained of the Al Rayyan Dairy Factory in Northern Hebron.

For three years, the factory built in partnership by the Islamic Charitable Society in Hebron (ICS) and Al Rayyan Company has provided a sustainable source of revenue for two orphanages run by the ICS, as well as aiding ten different schools in the area.  It also supplied products like yogurt, milk and cheese to the organizations and families it benefits.

The factory received demolition orders two months ago on June 20th during the Israeli military’s Operation Brother’s Keeper.  Israeli authorities confiscated most of its working machinery two weeks later on July 2nd.  The ICS filed a case with the Israeli military court in the West Bank and had a court date scheduled for September 7th, 2014.  Six days before the case was to be heard, the factory was demolished, with ICS and Al Rayyan sustaining more than two million dollars in losses.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/military-demolishes-benefitting

 
   

Boycott Could Have Major Effect on Israeli Economy

Written by IMEMC News & Agencies   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:34

For the past two months, Palestinians across the West Bank have been boycotting Israeli goods by increasing numbers, as popular campaigns have taken to the street to promote the movement.

Ma'an News Agency reports that, according to economic analysts, the campaign could potentially have a major negative effect on the Israeli economy, and buoy the Palestinian economy as well.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics cites the annual Palestinian consumption of Israeli exports at around $3.5 billion, while Palestinian exports to Israel only amount to about $600 million.

Director-General of Policy and Economic Studies and spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Economy, Azmi Abd al-Rahman, told Ma'an that "If applied well, the boycott could create between 70 to 100 thousand job opportunities in the Palestinian lands by providing billions of dollars annually" -- dollars which were otherwise being siphoned off to Israel.
Read more: Boycott Could Have Major Effect on Israeli Economy

 
   

PROTEST: Oppose the Gaza Massacre! Protest Dinner & Movie with Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Jeff Merkley

Written by AUPHR, JVP, SUPER, SABEEL, LJHL, ISO, OFOR   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 09:37

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise. -- Maya Angelou, Still I Rise

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PROTEST: Oppose the Gaza Massacre! Protest Dinner & Movie with Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Jeff Merkley

When: Wednesday, August 27th 2014 at 4:30pm

Where: 8005 SE Stark St, Portland, OR

Contact: Peter Miller, 503-358-7475, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Facebook: Oppose the Gaza Massacre!

            https://www.facebook.com/events/272453246283461

Israel's Operation Protective Edge, an aerial and ground assault on the Gaza Strip, has killed over 2100 people, mostly civilians, including over 493 children.  140 Gazan families have lost three or more loved ones.  The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to support this carnage.
Read more: PROTEST: Oppose the Gaza Massacre! Protest Dinner & Movie with Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Jeff Merkley

 
   

His Name Was Ahed Zaqout: Former Palestinian Soccer Star Killed in Gaza

Written by Dave Zirin   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:31

All it took was a recording of Donald Sterling insulting Magic Johnson in a derogatory manner for the twenty-four-hour news world to stop on its axis. Now imagine if Donald Sterling—in all of his paranoid, racist fervor—had an army at his disposal and bombed Magic Johnson in his home, killing him in his sleep.

If such a scenario sounds like hacky Phillip K. Dick fan fiction as written by Mike Lupica, then you have not been paying attention to the dystopian, genocidal panorama in Gaza, where no one is safe. You are unfamiliar with the name Ahed Zaqout.

Ahed Zaqout was a 49-year-old sportscaster and television host in Gaza, a national sports voice for a people without a nation. Two decades ago, he was a soccer star: the midfielder for the Palestinian national soccer team. On Wednesday, he was killed in his bed by the bombs of the Israeli Defense Forces.

As Gaza sports journalist Khaled Zaher told Reuters, “Palestine has lost one of its best players, he may have been the best midfielder we ever had.”

Why the IDF was “defending” itself against Zaqout is a mystery. He was no Muhammad Ali, using sports to advance any kind of political cause. He was that most conventional and familiar of person in sports: the ex-star jock turned broadcaster. But in Gaza, what we may see as conventional can become political. Zaqout was someone whose voice, sharp wit, and trenchant analysis was a source of joy and escape for a people under constant siege. Providing escape to the trapped of Gaza was in and of itself a political act.

Read more: His Name Was Ahed Zaqout: Former Palestinian Soccer Star Killed in Gaza
 
   

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