Archive for October 29th, 2012

29/10/2012

Israel‘s Formula for a Starvation Diet – How 400 Trucks To Feed Gaza Became Just 67

Human Wrongs Watch

By Jonathan Cook* – TRANSCEND – Six and a half years go, shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian national elections and took charge of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

**Photo source: Arab American Newspaper Watan

Although Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the day, few observers treated his comment as more than hyperbole, a supposedly droll characterisation of the blockade Israel was about to impose on the tiny enclave.

Last week, however, the evidence finally emerged to prove that this did indeed become Israeli policy.

After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, as the blockade was tightened still further, the defence ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day.

The Israeli media have tried to present these chilling discussions, held in secret, in the best light possible. Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to “make sure Gaza didn’t starve”.

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29/10/2012

‘Boycott Businesses Profiting from Israeli Settlements’ – UN Human Rights Expert

Human Wrongs Watch

A United Nations independent expert called on the world body’s General Assembly, as well as civil society, to take action against Israeli and international businesses that are profiting from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Gas the Arabs” painted on the gate outside a Palestinian home in Hebron by Isaraeli settlers. It is signed “JDL” (Jewish Defence League) | Photo: Magne Hagesæter

“My main recommendation is that the businesses highlighted in the report – as well as the many other businesses that are profiting from the Israeli settlement enterprise – should be boycotted, until they bring their operations into line with international human rights and humanitarian law and standards,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Richard Falk, said in a news release issued  on 25 October 2012 as he presented a report on his work to the Assembly.

Highlighting the activities of companies such as Caterpillar Incorporated of the United States, Veolia Environment of France, G4S of the United Kingdom, the Dexia Group of Belgium, Ahava of Israel, the Volvo Group of Sweden, the Riwal Holding Group of the Netherlands, Elbit Systems of Israel, Hewlett Packard of the USA, Mehadrin of Israel, Motorola of the USA, Assa Abloy of Sweden, and Cemex of Mexico, Falk noted that a wide range of Israeli and international businesses are involved in the establishment and maintenance of the Israeli settlements.

“All Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have been established in clear violation of international law,” said the Special Rapporteur.

“Yet today Israeli settlements control over 40 percent of the West Bank and between 500,000 and 600,000 Israeli citizens are living in Palestinian territory,” he added. “In the last 12 months alone, the settler population has increased by over 15,000 persons.”

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