15 May 2021 – Nakba Day: Israel Punishes Media For Reporting Its Escalation In Palestine

15 May 2021 — Moon of Alabama

Today is Nakba day which commemorates the violent expulsion of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes which began 74 years ago and is still continuing.

Just yesterday Fares Akram. Associated Press reporter in Gaza, wrote in a diary about his families expulsion and his life under colonist bombing:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — On Friday morning, a military airstrike smashed my family’s farm in the northern Gaza Strip into a jagged mass of metal and splintered trees. An Israeli bomb had slammed into the yard, carving a crater into the dirt and leaving rubble in its wake.

The conflict, once again, hit home.

The first Gaza war taught me that while our lush citrus grove might offer some breathing space from the congestion and difficulties of city life, it’s no refuge. A previous Israeli airstrike killed my father, Akram al-Ghoul, on January 3, 2009. As fighting raged, he’d insisted on sleeping at the farm to tend to the cattle and chicken, and to nurture the trees.

In all, six of my relatives, three close friends and several colleagues have died in the three bloody wars and countless battles between Israel and Hamas. Each time the violence erupts and I report as a journalist on the people who lost their homes, their children or their lives, the memories creep back. I always think, “That could be me.” When the thundering bombs, buzzing drones and pounding artillery refresh the pain and trigger the old fear, I seek refuge in work.

The Associated Press office is the only place in Gaza City I feel somewhat safe. The Israeli military has the coordinates of the high-rise, so it’s less likely a bomb will bring it crashing down.

Today Fares Akram and Joseph Krauss report:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli airstrike destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets hours after another Israeli air raid on a densely populated refugee camp killed at least 10 Palestinians from an extended family, mostly children, on Saturday.

The strike on the high-rise came nearly an hour after the military ordered people to evacuate the 12-story building, which also housed Al-Jazeera, other offices and residential apartments. The strike brought down the entire structure, which collapsed in a gigantic cloud of dust. There was no immediate explanation for why it was attacked.

This was the second high rise housing media studios, offices, telecommunication equipment as well as residential apartments that Israel destroyed in its current attack.

Earlier today AP had accused the Israeli military of intentionally misinforming the media to trick the resistance in Gaza. (The trick did not work.)

In a statement AP’s president condemned today’s strike and wrote:

The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.

Well, yes. The Israeli military will congratulate itself for achieving that aim.

Tow days ago I developed the idea that the resistance, Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine, Hizbullah in Lebanon and Ansar Allah in Yemen, may be planing more of the events than a superficial view reveals:

While the conflict was, without doubt, started by the colonial occupiers the course of the recent escalation seems to be managed by the resistance side. It may well be part of a larger plan.

While I am still not sure that all of this is part of a plan – from Hizbullah’s speech, over unrest in Jerusalem, Gaza missiles, pogroms, to now missiles from Lebanon – it surely looks like a well rehearsed and coordinated (re-)action of the resistance front.

Since then more events seem to fit into the picture.

Yesterday and over night anti-Arab violence and Palestinian protests within Israel continued as new unrest unfolded in the West Bank where the occupation army killed at least 10 Palestinians.

Protesters in Jordan arrived at the border to the West Bank and tried to break through the border fence. Jordanian riot police held them back.

At the Lebanese border to Israel protesters crossed over from Lebanon into a disputed area when Israeli forces fired at them. One Lebanese man was killed and another wounded. Such death usually trigger the eye-for-an-eye rule that governs the relation between Hizbullah and the Israeli army. Hizbullah could have used the incident to escalate but didn’t.

Also yesterday Hizbullah’s Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem visited Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership in Lebanon. This is highly significant as Hamas had been on the wrong side of the war in Syria.

David A. Daoud translates what Naim Qassem said:

1-Hezbollah delegation, headed by Qassem and which included Politburo members Mahmoud Qmati and Hajj Hassan Hoballah, met w/PIJ Sec.Gen. Ziad Nakhala; Hamas leadership in Lebanon Usama Hamdan, Ali Barakeh, Ahmad Abdulhadi; discussed latest developments on Palestinian front

2-Qassem: We came on directions from Sec.Gen. Hassan Nasrallah to meet PIJ, Hamas leadership to confirm that we are with them, and w/Palestinian resistance, and people who now confront the Israeli enemy

3-Qassem: We know now we are in the phase of creating a new equation inside Palestine, which confirms the unity of the Palestinian lands, and the uprising (lit. movement) tying Jerusalem, the lands of ’48 (i.e. Israel), West Bank, and Gaza

4-Qassem: this is happening evenly between these different parts of the Palestinian people, so the Israeli will understand that Palestinian people will not accept its occupation of any part of this land (i.e. entire land between Jordan River and Mediteranean)

5-Let them understand Jerusalem is holy of holies of all palestinians, but also all peoples of the region, world, of lovers and supporters of the Resistance, who believe in always focusing on Palestine; they are all in one trench and camp

6-Qassem: We can therefore say that today a new equation is being created in Palestine, and that question of Jerusalem today has assumed its full Palestinian dimension, in opposition to all normalization moves led by Israel, USA;

7-Qassem: this is beginning of burial of normalization, with blood and sacrifices of martyrs.

8-Qassem:

Hezbollah is always w/ the Palestinian resistance, jihad of the Palestinian people, liberating Jerusalem; we are with them in material support, backing, solidarity in all paths; we will always carry out our duties as different stages and phases required

9-Qassem: We therefore stress that what Palestinian people and their viable leadership are doing is object of support and backing; in the end, we believe resistance is only solution, there is none other, despite efforts of different forces

10-Qassem: We don’t bet on America, or great powers, or those who talk about political settlements; we bet on the living Palestinian youths, who are actively moving; anyone w/Palestine today must be w/ the resistance; whoever isn’t w/Resistance isn’t w/Palestine

11-Qassem: Palestine doesn’t need fervent speeches, it needs jihad, martyrdom, and sacrifices

The resistance is united but it is still not clear if Hizbullah will actively join the fight. It may not yet be the right time.

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai –

10:39 UTC · May 15, 2021

Palestinian groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad prefer that #Hezbollah doesn’t get involved in the battle now and allows the world focus to remain on #Gaza. Any outside intervention- I was told – serves #Israel to play the victim and disperse the attention away from the main cause.

Today Hizbullah called on its supporters in south Lebanon to protest at the border to Israel. Any small conflict there could escalate towards war within just a few hours.

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