Bernie Sanders condemns Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters

from the Daily Sabah

S. Senator from Vermont and former Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized Israel’s violent response to Palestinian protesters and urged the U.S. administration to work towards improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Sanders, who is Jewish, said in a tweet on Saturday that the killing of Palestinian protesters near the Gaza border was tragic, calling the situation in the blockaded enclave a “humanitarian disaster.”

“The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.” Sen. Sanders

The senator also said that the United States must play a positive role in ending the blockade and help Palestinians and Israelis build a future together that “works for all.”

The 76-year-old senator has become the first prominent U.S. politician to openly criticize the Israeli response to the peaceful protesters. Turkey has condemned the country for the killings while the EU said: “Israel has the responsibility to use it proportionately.”…

[read more here]

Abbas announces ‘day of mourning’ as Gaza death toll reaches 16

from al Araby

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas declared Saturday as a day of national mourning for the 16 Gazans killed by Israeli forces while commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

Friday became the conflict’s worst single day of violence since the 2014 Gaza war with some 1,600 injured, over 700 of them by live bullets and the remainder by rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas inhalation.

At least 20 are in critical condition in Gaza’s hospitals, which have been overwhelmed by the skyrocketing number of casualties occurring over just several hours on Friday.

Abbas called on the United Nations to provide international protection for the defenseless Palestinian people, pointing out that the especially high number of Palestinian casualties seen on Friday confirms the need for intervention by the international community…

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Israel kills 15 Palestinians in Gaza

by Maureen Clare Murphy from Electronic Intifada

Fifteen Palestinians were reported killed in the Gaza Strip on Friday as Israel used massive violence against tens of thousands of demonstrators who had gathered along the Gaza-Israel boundary.

Nearly 1,500 were injured, according to Gaza’s health ministry, nearly half by live fire. Twenty were said to be in critical condition.

“Medical facilities in Gaza, which have already been overstrained by the longstanding shortages of medical supplies, electricity and fuel, are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of casualties,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated

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UN Security Council holds emergency meeting over deadly Israel-Palestine border clash

from RT

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting concerning ‘Great Return’ protest clashes along the Israeli-Palestine border. The UN chief has called for an investigation into the violence that reportedly killed 16 Palestinians.

In a statement issued in the wake of the UN Security Council emergency meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “his thoughts are with the families of the victims” that were killed or injured during the violent clashes at the Gaza border.

“The Secretary-General calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents,” the statement, issued by his office, reads.

The meeting was called by Kuwait, which, along with Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and other countries with predominantly Muslim population, voiced their anger over the way the Israeli army retaliated against mass unrest that erupted along the border with Gaza Strip on Friday.

The meeting was set to kick off at 6:30 pm local time [10:30 pm GMT]. It was initially reported that the meeting would proceed behind closed doors, meaning that neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives would be able to partake in the discussion. However, the session was ultimately held in the open…

The Israeli representatives, meanwhile, chose not to attend the meeting because it coincided with the start of the Passover holiday. Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, was present at the meeting and took to the floor after all the UNSC permanent and non-permanent members made their statements…

Some 1,416 people were injured in the altercation and at least 16 were killed, according to figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry. Roughly half of the injuries were inflicted by live fire…

[read more here]

#greatreturnmarch : 14 Protesters Killed and Over a Thousand Injured by IDF… on the FIRST DAY of the Protest

by Scott Creighton

a photo from when Pope Francis visited Palestine

The Great Return March was planned as a peaceful demonstration by the people trapped in Gaza. It was to kick off a 45-day long demonstration, a sit-in or a camp-in like the Water Protectors staged in North Dakota not that long ago. It is slated to go on till May 15th… Nakba Day.

Today was the first day of the event and thousands of families from “the largest open air prison in the world” gathered at the fences that separate them from their ancestor’s homes in what is now called Israel. All across Gaza they pitched tents, set up camps and made ready for a week of civil disobedience directed toward their Israeli captors. These camps are a hundred or so yards from the border fences erected by Israel. At one point they decided to march through the “no-man’s land” enforced by the IDF. It’s essentially a “no-walk zone” maintained by the Israeli military via threat of instant, merciless death.

On the top of the dirt hill, this side of the fence, you can see the Israeli snipers laying on the ground.

Today marks what the Palestinians call Land Day on which they try to remind the rest of the world they have no right of return to the homes their families occupied for hundreds of years prior to 1948.

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#GreatReturnMarch : World stands by Palestine as Israel kills peaceful protesters

from al Araby

Tens of thousands of Gaza residents are taking part in a large-scale protest along the Israel-Gaza border.

The peaceful protests, which began on Friday, included cultural events such as traditional Palestinian dabka dancing for the thousands of families, women and children attending. But demonstrations soon turned sour after at least 12 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured by Israeli forces.

While Israel unleashes its heavy-handed response on protesters, millions across the world are keeping an eye on the planned six-week protest – dubbed ‘Great March of Return’ – using social media to stand with the Palestinians from the besieged Gaza strip…

[read more here]

CrossTalk on Anti-Russia Hysteria: Crisis Point?

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! For well over the last year and a half this is the message western audiences have been served up 24/7. What is behind this hysteria? What does this message aim to achieve? How is Russia supposed to react? Importantly, are we facing a possible conflict?