B’Tselem to UN Secretary General: Protect Lives of Palestinian Protestors
Ahead of today’s UN Security Council at 5:00 P.M. (Israel time), and as the demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel fence are expected to continue, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad sent UN Secretary-General António Guterres a letter listing the names of the 35 Palestinians protestors shot to death by Israeli forces in Gaza in recent weeks, four of whom were minors. El-Ad called upon the UN to do “all that is in its power – and its responsibility – in order to protect Palestinian lives and uphold international norms”, with the goal of immediately ending the illegal shooting of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.
“Many of them died immediately, or shortly after, they were hit”, wrote El-Ad. “Like so many other Palestinians in Gaza, it is highly likely that they never had a chance to leave the small patch of land – roughly half the size of New York City – which is the Gaza Strip. They lived their lives without any political rights, devoid of any hope for a reasonable future, totally subject to the decisions and policies of the Israeli government.”
El-Ad added that extensive past experience clearly shows that Israel has no intention of investigating these fatal incidents and that the recently announced “investigation” into specific incidents is nothing but “part of a façade designed to give the impression that Israel is abiding by its legal obligation to investigate[…] in an attempt to forestall and prevent investigations by international bodies.”
In the letter, El-Ad stressed that “unlike many other states that violate human rights, Israel insists that its unlawful actions are commensurate with international law, basing this argument on dubious legal interpretations that render the norms of international law hollow. Allowing Israel to continue shooting unarmed protesters, under the pretense it is legal, will further undercut the global effort to protect human rights in the post-WWII era, while Palestinians are the ones being made to pay the price.”
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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