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Israel’s Mockery of Security: 101 Actions Israel Could Take

Photo Source U.S. Embassy Jerusalem | CC BY 2.0
By Sam Bahour | CounterPunch | November 14, 2018

Israel has made a colossal mockery of the concept of security.

In debating an Israeli friend from Jerusalem, I challenged him that Israel consciously plans and uses its military might to damage the Palestinian’s national project to build a state and free itself from Israeli control. Avner, my Israeli friend, argued otherwise, buying into the Israeli state narrative that Israel is “forced” to take measures which negatively affect Palestinians because Israeli security requires it. My knee-jerk reaction as someone living and working under Israeli military occupation for over two decades, was that this was hogwash and, short of ending its illegal (note: legal occupations are temporary by definition) occupation of Palestinians, I claimed that Israel—the occupying power—could immediately take 101 measures to reduce tensions on the ground, without jeopardizing any true and rational security needs. He shrugged and said, “tell me”?

In the years to follow, I have given numerous talks on the state of affairs under Israeli occupation to groups visiting Palestine from all corners of the world. A large number of those talks were to Jewish-American groups—many participants being rabbinical students and mainstream Jewish influencers hosted by the U.S. not-for-profit Encounter—who traveled to Palestine for an Encounter Program. In a recent Encounter talk, one rabbi attentively listened as I made the same claim, Israel can take 101 actions tomorrow morning without jeopardizing security. He raised his hand and asked, where can we get that list?

So, here it is. A quick compilation, with the generous assistance of several friends here in Palestine, and with a few items selected from the umpteen reports being published about the rapidly deteriorating state of affairs. This list is not intended to be comprehensive by any means, but rather a look beyond the daily headlines to give readers, especially those who have bought into the Israeli propaganda—hook, line and sinker—that this military occupation is all about “security”.

I attempted to place a few subtitles to categorize the list, although many items are multifaceted. Space does not allow for a full explanation of each proposed action, so if anyone wants to be directed to a more in-depth explanation of any listed action, or otherwise, please feel free to reach out at the email listed below.

Before offering the list, I must state upfront and clearly, my goal in presenting these ideas is not to assist the powers-that-be to design an embellished military occupation intended as permanent. Rather, my purpose is to reveal Israel’s underlying intentions, its indefinite time frame for continued domination, and the cornucopia of diverse types of actions carefully calculated to humiliate each and every Palestinian, while structurally blocking a path to Palestinian statehood, otherwise known as the two-state solution. That noted, for those who simply cannot fathom the notion of a Palestinian state free from Israeli occupation, I welcome all efforts to get my list addressed while the occupation continues, which would align Israel’s actions somewhat better with the law of occupation, the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention, 12 August 1949).

101 actions Israel could take

Gaza

1) Allow for free movement of goods to/from Gaza

2) Open the Erez [Passenger] Crossing to the West Bank 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the nearly 2 million Palestinian residents of Gaza

3) Permit Palestinians to tap their natural gas wells discovered in the sea of Gaza in 2000

4) Allow access to the Gaza Strip’s land

5) Allow access to the Gaza Strip’s territorial waters, expanding Gaza’s fishing zone: The Government of Israel halved Gaza’s fishing zone from 6 nautical miles to 3 nautical miles; compare that to the twenty-nautical mile limit set by the Oslo Accords. (World Bank)

6) Allow access to the Gaza Strip’s air space, releasing 3G frequencies for wireless internet access for Gaza

7) Keep the Karm Abu Salem cargo crossing open (World Bank)

8) Allow solar panels into Gaza (World Bank)

Jerusalem

9) Stop stripping Jerusalemites of their Jerusalem residency status

10) Eliminate arbitrary taxation regime being applied to Palestinians in East Jerusalem, especially those in the Old City

11) Increase public services to East Jerusalem to align with the level of taxation paid by East Jerusalem residents and with their proportion of the entire city’s population

12) Allow daily mechanism for Palestinians’ freedom of religion, not only on the occasional holidays (entry to Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, e.g.)

Education

13) Remove barriers inside the West Bank between children and their schools

14) Stop soldiers at checkpoints from harassing school age students, stop the delaying and excessive searching of students (and teachers) coming to/from Jerusalem through the Qalandia checkpoint, especially of those who are unaccompanied by parents

15) Provide teachers open access to their workplaces, i.e. crossing checkpoints, etc.

16) Eliminate routine Israeli military forces incursions into schools

17) Allow academic/educational institutions to operate comfortably and freely within Palestinian communities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), including East Jerusalem

18) Recognize/accredit the degrees granted by all Palestinian higher educational institution as legitimate credentials for continuing education in Israel or for professional work permits

19) Stop delaying release of textbook shipments

20) Stop delaying release of, and desist from tampering with, examination papers and answer sheets coming from the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)

21) Stop banning basic laboratory supplies for students’ laboratory experiments

22) Grant permits for school education/recreational trips: an entire generation has never seen the sea

23) Stop systematically targeting schools in marginalized areas like Khan al-Ahmar in the Jordan Valley

24) Allow importing of educational accessories and tools: During the Microsoft International Student Competition, smart pens, circuits, and other similar materials required by participants were discarded at the Israeli border on the pretext that these educational materials were a threat to Israel’s security

25) Allow student travel. During the Microsoft International Student Competition, the Palestinian team won first place over 23 Arab countries in the innovation category and were qualified to compete in the US. One of the students, despite the student having no security issues, and with an official invitation from Microsoft and the US consulate in hand, was unable to get Israeli permission to enter Jerusalem to process his US visa.

Humanitarian

26) Stop the arrests, especially of children: Number of Palestinians who have been held in Israeli jails for periods ranging from 1 week to life, 1967-1988: 600,000; number of Palestinians arrested during the first intifada (1987-94): 175,000

27) Stop the torture: Documented percentage of Palestinian detainees who have been tortured during interrogation: 85%

28) Stop the deportations: Documented number of Palestinians deported between 1967 and 1992: 1,522; between 1970 and 1973: 785; in 1992: 415; number deported from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, 2002-2004: 32

29) Stop the house demolitions: Documented number of Palestinian homes in the oPt demolished by Israeli authorities, June 1967-March 2009: 24,145

30) Stop the killings: Killings during the two Intifadas: Number of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces and civilians, December 9, 1987 to September 28, 2000: in the oPt: 1,489; within the Green Line: 60. Number killed, September 28, 2000 – September 28, 2004: 3,234

31) Release the bodies of killed Palestinians to their families

32) Stop ripping apart bicultural families: Provide clear and easy access via family re-unification for foreign nationals married to Palestinians

33) Stop arbitrary denial of entries and restrictions on visiting foreign nationals, allowing Palestinian firms to recruit Palestinian and international talent abroad by issuance of work visas/permits for any such person who does not have a Palestinian identity card.

34) Respect Palestinian water rights as defined under international law and honor applicable, signed bilateral water-related agreements

35) Stop spraying of herbicides intended to destroy crops, especially on outskirts of the Gaza Strip

36) Respect the Bedouin community’s way of life, stop the displacement of Bedouin communities

Municipalities

37) Reclassify areas currently classified as Area C if they are within defined city boundaries

38) Expedite landfill approvals: The regional landfill in Rammun (center of West Bank) took about 15 years for the Israeli side to approve

39) Expedite cemetery approvals: The new Ramallah cemetery project took about 12 years for the Israeli side to approve

40) Expedite water/sanitation approvals: The project for a central purification plant in Ein Griot has been waiting for Israeli approval for years now

41) Expedite approvals for new or improved transportation routes: The desperately needed Ramallah ring road project, a case in point, has submitted all required details and continues to await Israeli approval

Economic

42) Stop the illegal dumping of Israeli goods and services into the Palestinian markets, Stop unlicensed Israeli firms, such as Israeli telecommunications firms, from illegally selling their services to the Palestinian Authority (PA) areas

43) Stop the arbitrary delays in importation of technology products

44) Release 4G frequencies for West Bank and Gaza

45) Allow for free movement of goods within the oPt

46) Allow for unfettered imports

47) Allow for unfettered exports

48) Allow the entry of Palestinian goods into the Israeli market, as the Paris Protocol (4/94) provided for in a unique economic and trade regime named the Customs Envelope

49) Stop using an Israeli-specific “Dual Use List” for Palestinians, causing unjustified additional restrictions to importation of goods into Gaza and considerable delays and difficulties for West Bank economic projects, such as the Bethlehem Industrial Estate (BMIP)

50) Stop the extensive security checks within the West Bank which pose an economic obstacle to trade

51) Allow for delivery of large machinery/equipment/vehicles related to PA and international projects, especially for agriculture and construction

52) Eliminate all military checkpoints between Palestinian cities/villages inside the oPt

53) Provide humane/non-segregated access to Palestinians via air, sea and land ports

54) Provide PA security forces full access to all oPt areas

55) Provide PA police full control of all oPt roads

56) Stop issuing licenses to Israeli firms quarrying of Palestinian lands in the oPt

57) Remove closures to all entrances to villages and cities in the oPt, as some residents travel 90-120 additional minutes to reach destinations literally minutes away

58) Allow Palestinians full privileges on “Israeli-only” roads

59) Allow 24/7 access on Israeli-issued travel permits

60) Allow Palestinians with multi-day Israeli travel permits to lawfully stay overnight in Jerusalem and Israel

61) Eliminate the recent requirement of a so called “Magnetic Card” required to apply for an Israeli travel permit to Jerusalem or Israel

62) Eliminate the so called “BMC – Businessman’s Card” required to apply for a multi month Israeli travel permit to Jerusalem or Israel, which artificially segments Palestinian society

63) Allow ease of rehabilitation of deteriorating old cities, especially in Hebron and Jerusalem

64) De-monopolize the Israeli/Jerusalem tourism sector (tourism operators, guides, licenses, etc.), ending the demand to adhere to the “Israeli narrative”

65) Apply and enforce the laws and adjudicate violations equally with respect to all residents/citizens under Israeli jurisdiction as an occupying power

66) De-legitimize “open carry” of weapons for Israeli settlers or accord Palestinian farmers the same privileges

67) Secure Palestinian farmers yearlong access to their farm land, not only partial harvesting seasons

68) Maximize allowed farming area, especially near settlements

69) Expedite issuance of land deeds (Tabu), especially in Area C

70) Allow legal building in Areas B and C

71) Allow access to natural water sources in Area C

72) Allow postal mail and packages to reach the Palestinian Post in a timely manner: In August 2018 Israel dumped 10 tons of mail they held up from 2010

Israeli Crossings and Ports

Border Crossings with Jordan / Allenby/King Hussein Bridge (KHB)

73) Open this sole passenger crossing to Jordan 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the nearly 3 million Palestinian residents of West Bank

74) Increase the number of vehicles, load capacity of cargo loading and unloading, and operating hours at the KHB

75) Streamline the logistics for imports entering the oPt: For example, cement silos could be constructed to store bulk cement until transferred by Palestinian trucks into the Palestinian territory.

Border Crossings with Israel

76) Stop restrictions on shipments through cargo crossings from the oPt into Israel, such as limited number and capacity of cargo crossings, limited working hours, and strict security restrictions: This encourages tax evasion and unfair competition in the form of goods smuggled into the oPt by Israeli trucks that freely enter the Palestinian areas via the crossings and need not unload their cargos, unlike the Palestinian trucks. Moreover, Israeli cargo trucks are not subject to inspection by the Palestinian Authorities.

77) Stop random sampling security checks of cargo which cause cargo damage, as well as, long security checks of perishable cargo which is damaged when delayed for a long period for security inspection purposes.

78) Logistical arrangements for the entrance of goods into the Gaza Strip is an ultra-complicated and troublesome task. In addition to the very long waiting hours at Erez Crossing, the facility has unsystematic working hours with the constant possibility of sudden closure for “security” reasons.

Container Ports

79) Allow direct imports to the oPt via a Palestinian clearing agent. Currently, all kinds of raw materials and goods need to be imported through an Israeli agent. Such a procedural requirement incurs high costs for the Palestinian importer for security and customs inspection. Additionally, the Palestinian importer incurs fees of relevant bonded Israeli warehouses and storage facilities as long as the cargo is withheld in the Israeli ports for inspection purposes, sometimes weeks, months or years on end.

80) Allow Palestinians to define their own import needs. Currently the quantity, quality, destination of imported goods and materials are determined according to the outdated Paris Protocol, which provides the annual ceiling of imports per country of origin.

Area C

81) Stop the prohibition of construction in Area C: Obtaining a permit to construct any factory or plant in Area C is made unbearably difficult and the process should be streamlined, simplified, and not subject to arbitrary regulations and delays.

82) As things stand, permits issued for Area C are time-bound and must be renewed on an annual basis, causing significant delays and a barrier to investment; revise these regulations to streamline the process.

83) Streamline the exhausting “security”-driven bureaucratic procedures to establish land titles, especially in Area

84) Expand spatial plans for Palestinian villages in Area C (World Bank)

85) Grant approval to Palestinian business projects in Area C (World Bank)

Constraints on Movement and Permits

86) Issue and abide by clear and lawful policies and procedures for obtaining all types of visas for foreign visitors, including granting visas to international faculty as they return for a new academic year and eliminating denial of long-term visas to international and regional experts working in the oPt

87) Lift the military ban on Palestinian commercial drivers’ entering Israel with a Palestinian-registered vehicle: This ban is enormously expensive for Palestinian employers, who bear the added logistical costs to rent an Israeli truck for the Israeli side of the route travelled, incurring more than double the rental cost of the Palestinian truck alone.

88) Allow for permits to manage commercial operations within Israeli areas, such as the management of warehouses in these areas. Currently, the limitations on permits issued shackle Palestinian firms’ ability to manage their internal affairs.

89) Allow Palestinian clearing agents access to Israeli ports at Ashdod, Haifa or Eilat. Currently, an Israeli agent needs to be hired as a go-between with the Palestinian importer.

90) Many Palestinian companies are active in both the West Bank and Gaza. Allow permits for West Bank company staff to enter the Gaza Strip and vice versa. At present, absent such permits, staff is unable to follow up on work in progress, attend meetings, or participate in training courses.

91) Permit Palestinian firms’ shareholders to travel to/from the West Bank/Gaza Strip to attend the annual general meetings of firms they are invested in. At present, to work around this, firms incur the extra expense of arranging two venues for a meeting; one in the West Bank and the other in the Gaza Strip, to ensure an equal opportunity for all the shareholders in Palestine to attend the meetings, which are connected by video conferencing.

Legal Issues

92) Streamline legal actions for Palestinian firms having issues with Israeli citizens/cheques; currently, the problem of the Israeli citizen/firm’s being subject to another jurisdiction creates manifold obstacles to prompt resolution.

93) Recognize a third country arbitration between Israeli and Palestinian businesses. If a commercial dispute arises between Palestinian and Israeli parties, Israeli laws requires that arbitration be made in Israeli areas for security purposes and for the safety of the Israeli party. This practice is a clear violation of customary international practices and norms that the seat of arbitration should be in a third and neutral country.

94) Stop the military ban on a large number of Gazan traders who have been commercially banned by Israel without due process, rendering them unable to sell or purchase goods and materials.

Quality inspection

95) Stop the discrimination in dealing with standards certificates. The required Israeli quality inspection of imports transshipped through Israel and acquiring of the Israeli Standards Certificate require a lot of time that might extend up to six months with high costs. Currently, Israeli shipments require one certificate for every product being imported, despite the number of times imported, whereas the Palestinian importer must get a new certificate for every shipment of the same product, adding time and cost to every importation of goods.

96) Allow Israeli products entering the Palestinian market to get a Palestinian Standards Certificate. Currently, the Palestinian market is flooded with Israeli products that bypass Palestinian standards certification.

Financial

97) Stop withholding/delaying the various monetary transfers to the Gaza Strip, imposing extra costs to cover transfers

98) Pay the Palestinian Authority seigniorage for their use of Israeli currency

99) Stop delays in transferring payments to Palestinian government, further indebting the PA: VAT and Import duties collected by the Government of Israel (GoI) on behalf of the PA and should be transferred monthly based on an arrangement instituted by the Paris protocol. (World Bank)

100) Stop unilateral deductions from Palestinian funds, further indebting the PA: These are deductions made by the GoI from clearance revenues to settle utility bills owed by Palestinian Local Government Units (LGUs), utilities and distribution companies to Israeli suppliers. (World Bank)

101) Transfer to the Palestinian Authority fiscal losses accumulated over the years. The signed agreements defined specific arrangements through which the GoI collects VAT, import duties and other income, or the so-called clearance revenues, on behalf of the PA and shares it with the latter on a monthly basis. Some of these arrangements have become outdated and others have not been implemented as envisaged by the agreements, resulting in fiscal losses for the PA. The quantified annual loss (excluding revenues collected by the GoI in Area C that could not be quantified due to data constraints) amounts to USD 285 million, or 2.2 percent of Palestinian GDP. (World Bank)

So, here you have it, a detailed sampling of what the Israeli military occupation means from ground zero. These and dozens of other Israeli restrictions are what mainly underlie the inability of Palestinians, individually and collectively, to create a different reality on the ground, let alone properly prepare for a free and independent state.

A longtime Jewish-American attorney friend with whom I shared this list as a draft in process responded unequivocally: These issues, he said, are not Israeli security threats; on the contrary. If they were rationally addressed, the results would serve Israeli security needs. With that, one must step back a bit and reflect on what Israel’s real intentions might be in sustaining its 50-year military occupation through the use of this vast web of “security” regulations.

Sam Bahour is managing partner of Applied Information Management (AIM), a policy analyst with Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, a secretariat member of the Palestine Strategy Group, and chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. He blogs at http://www.epalestine.com. Twitter: @SamBahour

November 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Egypt tortures Palestinian resistance combatants: Report

MEMO | November 12, 2018

“We were a group of 15 combatants returning from a training mission from one of the countries that supports the Palestinian resistance. When we arrived at Cairo airport, we were taken to an underground place. We were blindfolded, handcuffed, and transferred to a number of prisons.” This is a part of a testimony of a Palestinian resistance combatant who was detained in Egyptian prisons and has been released recently.

Al-Khaleej Online will reveal in this investigation that the Egyptian intelligence and national security services tortured a number of Palestinian resistance combatants and students during their travel and study, in order to extract security information related to the Palestinian resistance.

The investigation documented a number of testimonies of more than 20 Palestinians, including those fighting in the Palestinian resistance, who were detained in secret prisons of Egyptian intelligence and national security, and subjected to physical and psychological torture throughout their interrogation period.

According to these Palestinians’ testimonies, the Egyptian officers had mostly asked them about their military action, especially during the waves of escalation with the Israeli occupation, and their way of firing shells from inside the Strip.

The data Al-Khaleej Online has revealed about the Egyptian security’s torture and interrogation of resistance combatants have been confirmed by sources in the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip use Cairo Airport to travel around the world because there is no airport inside the Strip and the occupation does not allow them to travel through Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing.

The Egyptian authorities have been using the so-called “deportation” system for Palestinian travellers wishing to travel outside Egypt. A bus from Rafah Border Crossing is transferred to Cairo Airport under high-security measures. No one from inside the bus would be allowed to leave it until it gets inside the airport. The travellers are then handed over to the security authorities there.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | 6 Comments

President Trump’s Iran Policy – Is It ‘Normal’?

By Ron Paul | November 12, 2018

It’s not often that US Government officials are honest when they talk about our foreign policy. The unprovoked 2003 attack on Iraq was called a “liberation.” The 2011 US-led destruction of Libya was a “humanitarian intervention.” And so on.

So, in a way, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was refreshingly honest last week when, speaking about newly-imposed US sanctions, he told the BBC that the Iranian leadership “has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.” It was an honest admission that new US sanctions are designed to starve Iranians unless the Iranian leadership accepts US demands.

His statement also reveals the lengths to which the neocons are willing to go to get their “regime change” in Iran. Just like then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said it was “worth it” that half a million Iraqi children died because of our sanctions on that country, Pompeo is letting us know that a few million dead Iranians is also “worth it” if the government in Tehran can be overthrown.

The US Secretary of State has demanded that Iran “act like a normal country” or the US would continue its pressure until Iran’s economy crumbles. How twisted is US foreign policy that Washington considers it “normal” to impose sanctions specifically designed to make life miserable – or worse – for civilians!

Is it normal to threaten millions of people with starvation if their leaders refuse to bow down to US demands? Is the neoconservative obsession with regime change “normal” behavior? Is training and arming al-Qaeda in Syria to overthrow Assad “normal” behavior? If so, then perhaps Washington’s neocons have a point. As Iran is not imposing sanctions, is not invading its neighbors, is not threatening to starve millions of Americans unless Washington is “regime-changed,” perhaps Iran is not acting “normal.”

So what is normal?

The continued Saudi genocide in Yemen does not bother Washington a bit. In fact, Saudi aggression in Yemen is viewed as just another opportunity to strike out at Iran. By making phony claims that Yemen’s Houthis are “Iran-backed,” the US government justifies literally handing the Saudis the bombs to drop on Yemeni school busses while claiming it is fighting Iranian-backed terrorism! Is that “normal”?

Millions of Yemenis face starvation after three years of Saudi attacks have destroyed the economy and a Saudi blockade prohibits aid from reaching the suffering victims, but Secretary Pompeo recently blamed Yemeni starvation on, you guessed it: Iran!

And in a shocking display of cynicism, the US government is reportedly considering listing Yemen’s Houthis as a “terrorist” organization for the “crime” of fighting back against Saudi (and US) aggression. Labeling the Yemeni resistance a “terrorist” organization would effectively “legalize” the ongoing Saudi destruction of Yemen, as it could be justified as just another battle in the “war on terror.” It would also falsely identify the real culprits in the Yemen tragedy as Iran, which is repeatedly and falsely called the “number one sponsor of terrorism” by Pompeo and the rest of the Trump Administration neocons.

So yes, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told one wicked truth last week. But before he demands that countries like Iran start acting “normal” or face starvation, perhaps he should look in the mirror. Are Pompeo and the neocons “normal”? I don’t think so.

November 12, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | 9 Comments

Washington Post Publishes Article of Yemen’s Houthi Leader

Head of Yemen’s Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi
Al-Manar | November 10, 2018

The Washington Post has published on Friday the first article of the head of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi.

Houthi leader: We Want Peace for Yemen, But Saudi Airstrikes Must Stop

The continued escalation of attacks against the port city of Hodeida in Yemen by the U.S.-Saudi-Emirati coalition confirms that the American calls for a cease-fire are nothing but empty talk. The recent statements are trying to mislead the world. Saudi leaders are reckless and have no interest in diplomacy. The United States has the clout to bring an end to the conflict — but it has decided to protect a corrupt ally.

Any observer of the crimes committed in Yemen by Saudi Arabia — a campaign that has been accompanied by disinformation and a blockade of journalists trying to cover the war — can offer an account of the indiscriminate killing thousands of civilians, mostly through airstrikes. Their attacks have led to the greatest humanitarian crisis on earth.

The brutality of the Saudi regime was reflected in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And it can be seen in the military escalation and airstrikes in Hodeida and other cities, in defiance of all international warnings.

The blockade of the port city is meant to bring the Yemeni people to their knees. The coalition is using famine and cholera as weapons of war. It is also extorting the United Nations by threatening to cut their funds, as if it were a charity and not a responsibility required under international law and Security Council resolutions.

The United States wants to be viewed as an honest mediator — but it is in fact participating and sometimes leading the aggression on Yemen.

We are defending ourselves — but we don’t have warplanes like the ones that bomb Yemenis with banned ammunition. We can’t lift the blockade imposed on Yemeni imports and exports. We cannot cancel the air embargo and allow daily flights, or end the ban of importing basic commodities, medicines and medical equipment from any place other than the United Arab Emirates, as it is imposing on Yemeni business executives.

And the list goes on. These repressive practices are killing and destroying Yemen.

Yemen was not the one who declared the war in the first place. Even Jamal Benomar, the former United Nations envoy to Yemen, said we were close to a power-sharing deal in 2015 that was disrupted by the coalition airstrikes. We are ready to stop the missiles if the Saudi-led coalition stops its airstrikes.

But the United States’ calling to stop the war on Yemen is nothing but a way to save face after the humiliation caused by Saudi Arabia and its spoiled leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has ignored Washington’s pleas to clarify Khashoggi’s murder.

Moreover, Trump and his administration clearly prefer to continue this devastating war because of the economic returns it produces — they drool over those arms sales profits.

We love peace — the kind of honorable peace defended by our revolution’s leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi. We are ready for peace, the peace of the brave. God willing, Yemenis will remain the callers of peace and lovers of peace.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

Hebron is braving a storm of Judaisation

Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian youth in the West Bank city of Hebron, on 22 September 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]
By Nabil Al-Sahli | MEMO | November 9, 2018

The ongoing and intense settlement activity in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron confirms Israel’s deliberate policy to empty it of its Arab inhabitants and Judaise it. The Palestinian city remains the second most targeted area for illegal Jewish settlements after Jerusalem. The first settlement activity in the West Bank was the establishment of the Kfar Etzion kibbutz in the strategic area bordering Hebron.

We can say with certainty that Israel’s plans for the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron are no less dangerous than its Judaisation plans for Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Over the years, the Israeli settlers have turned a major section of the mosque into a synagogue. We do not doubt that the settlers intend to take over completely in the months and years ahead.

Perhaps it was precisely for that reason that the Israeli government announced recently a new settlement plan targeting the heart of Hebron in order to link the settlements built across the city by means of new illegal blocs. The government is funding the construction of a settlement on Al-Shuhada Street in the old city, taking advantage of Donald Trump’s Presidency in the US to adopt and “legitimise” its settlement policy in Palestine, even though all Jewish settlements across the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, are illegal under international law. This is especially the case in Hebron and Jerusalem, which are both earmarked for even more Judaisation.

The purpose of the latest settlement outpost in Hebron is to create a new military checkpoint to harass and increase the suffering of the Palestinians prior to their eventual expulsion. The site on Al-Shuhada Street belongs to the Hebron municipality. The occupation authorities confiscated it for use as an army base and a location for settlers’ caravans. Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman made the announcement of the 31 settlement units to be built in the heart of Al-Shuhada Street, approved by the so-called Civil Administration and Israeli government, and funded by the latter.

A few months ago Lieberman ordered the establishment of an authority to manage the municipal affairs of the settlement bloc located in the centre of Hebron. This is a Judaisation measure taken against the city’s Palestinian inhabitants with the purpose of strengthening the powers of the settlers who had previously managed their daily affairs by means of a council, which had no “legal” status.

Israel has portrayed this as being necessary to strengthen the Jewish community in the city and as a very important move in order to continue and develop settlement expansion in the West Bank, despite the existence of Palestinian-Israeli arrangements agreed in 1997 that divided Hebron into two parts. The first was the 80 per cent of the city under the complete jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority while the remaining 20 per cent was supposed to be under Israeli security control and Palestinian civil control. Since then, the entire city was supposed to have been under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Hebron municipality (with a population of 260,000 Palestinians and 800 Jewish settlers).

For the purpose of Judaising Hebron and displacing its indigenous Palestinian people, there have been non-stop attacks since the city’s occupation in 1967. There is a consensus among all Israeli parties to establish an administration to manage settler affairs in the city and to promote settlement activity. This explains Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s practical support for intensifying settlement activity in the West Bank, which is basically an execution of the project to annex Palestinian areas to Israel by means of “legitimate” demarcation and recognition of illegal settlements, along with granting them sovereignty.

It is a well-known fact that the establishment of settlements violates all international principles and customs, as well as the UN Charter, which outlines a long series of restrictions imposed on any occupying forces, including Israel’s. The essence of this bans occupiers from settling their own citizens in areas under occupation. This has been reiterated by UN Resolutions which deny any legal status to the Jewish settlements and ban their annexation by Israel. Indeed, the resolutions call for the dismantling of the settlements, not simply “freezing” settlement activity. The settlements in Jerusalem and Hebron are covered by this requirement.

Israel’s construction of additional settlements, and expansion of existing sites, violate Palestinian rights and international laws and conventions. The decision to build settlement blocs in Hebron and establish a council to manage Jewish settler affairs in the city breaches UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Israel should be condemned for treating international law with such contempt.

This article first appeared in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 8 November 2018

Read also:

Israel settlers storm Palestinian homes in Hebron

Israel army ‘violently harasses Palestinian family at home’ in Hebron

November 9, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

MI6 knew that terror-suspect was tortured into giving false Iraq-Al-Qaeda info – report

RT | November 7, 2018

UK ministers relied on questions from a tortured terror suspect to make their case for the Iraq War, the Middle East Eye (MEE) has claimed. British spies fed questions to the suspect even though they knew of his mistreatment.

According to redacted documents, seen by the MEE, an MI6 officer knew that Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi was placed inside a sealed coffin by the CIA at a US-run Afghanistan based prison. Al-Libi – alive inside the coffin – was then taken, aboard a truck, to an aircraft that was to fly to Egypt.

The MI6 officer and his colleagues reported the incident to their department’s London HQ, stating that they “were tempted to speak out” on behalf of al-Libi, but failed to do so, adding: “The event reinforced the uneasy feeling of operating in a legal wilderness.”

Once al-Libi was in Egypt, a country with a well-documented history of human rights abuses, both MI6 and MI5 fed questions to the detainee, receiving reports from his Egyptian interrogators.

Al-Libi, under torture, told his jailers that Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda had links to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. The claim was cited as fact by US President George W. Bush as he made the case for war.

Upon being returned to the CIA, al-Libi stated that he had lied to avoid further torture. By that point the US, along with the UK, had already invaded Iraq.

As well as Bush, al-Libi’s false information was cited by then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell in his infamous speech advocating for war at the UN Security Council on February 5 2003. On the same day, then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair told parliament there were “unquestionably” links between Al-Qaeda and Iraq.

“There is evidence of such links. Exactly how far they go is uncertain. However… there is intelligence coming through to us the entire time about this,” Blair said.

The US had been keen to link Iraq to Al-Qaeda in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In evidence disclosed to the Chilcot Inquiry, Bush had raised the issue in a phone call with Blair, who is said to have replied that he couldn’t accept it without seeing compelling evidence.

READ MORE:

British govt urged to come clean on ‘links to torture’ after Iraq invasion

November 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father and son activists in Dheisheh camp, seized by occupation forces

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – November 1, 2018

Nidal Abu Aker, a longtime community leader and a journalist in Dheisheh refugee camp, and his son Mohammed Abu Aker, a university student, were seized by Israeli occupation forces who invaded the camp in the early morning hours of Thursday, 1 November. Both are prominent advocates for Palestinian rights and former prisoners who have been repeatedly jailed for their commitment to Palestinian liberation.

Israeli occupation forces invaded the home, pushing, shoving and hitting Abu Aker as he resisted the armed soldiers forcing their way inside the family’s house.

They manhandled Mohammed as they pulled him and his father from their home, raising their weapons in a threat to the Palestinian refugees in nearby apartments.

The Abu Aker family are refugees from Ras Abu Ammar in Palestine ’48; their family has lived in Dheisheh refugee camp since the Nakba. Nidal, 50, is married to Manal Shaheen and the father of three children, Mohammed, Dalia and Karmel. A prominent leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, he is also the host of a program about Palestinian prisoners called “In their cells” on Sawt al-Wihda radio station and a co-founder of the Families of Prisoners Association in the camp.

He has spent 17 years in Israeli prisons, through multiple arrests and under 11 years of administrative detention without charge or trial. In 2015, he engaged in a 40-day hunger strike with five more administrative detainees to demand an end to imprisonment without charge or trial. He was arrested for the first time in 1984, and his mother says that he has spent nearly half of his life in Israeli prisons. He was released from his latest stint in administrative detention without charge or trial in July 2018, after two years of imprisonment.

Mohammed, 25, was released in late 2017 after spending two years and two months in Israeli prison on an array of political charges, including support for and membership in a prohibited organization. All major Palestinian political parties are labeled illegal by the Israeli occupation, and people often face this charge for participating in student, labor or youth organizing, as did Mohammed. A student at Bethlehem University, he is known for his role in organizing the Palestinian student movement on campus.

Dheisheh refugee camp has been a site of intense repression and frequent violent raids by Israeli occupation forces. Youth in the camp have been threatened by Israeli military commanders with phone calls and text messages. Raed al-Salhi, an unarmed Palestinian youth was shot dead by occupation forces in an “arrest raid,” shortly after one occupation soldier had threatened to “shoot [Raed] in front of your mother.”

November 1, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Hebron: Seven weeks after the murder of Wael Fatah Ja’aberi by Israeli Forces, family still awaits his body for burial.

International Solidarity Movement | October 28, 2018

Hebron, occupied Palestine – On Monday October 22, the family of Wael Fatah Ja’aberi gathered in Ibn Rush square in downtown Hebron to protest the murder of their son and the decision of Israeli forces not to return his body to their family for more than a month. In September, Ja’aberi was killed in a combined settler and soldier ambush. His body has still not been returned to his family, who have erected an information/communication tent in the main square of downtown Hebron in protest.

A week after the Ja’aberi family erected their protest tent downtown, fathers who lost their sons in similar incidents, gathered in the tent and showed their solidarity.

The Ja’aberi family demanded the body of slain Wael, but is waiting in vain for any answer since September 9, 2018 – the day of the brutal incident.

On Monday evening 9/9/2018, Wael Fatah Ja’aberi, a 37 year old father of two children, was shot down close to his home, near the intersection of the Hebron H1/H2 area division, from the entrance of the illegal settlement Givat Ha’avot, by a settler and a soldier.

According to witnesses, Wael and his 9 year old son were walking from their home to a nearby shop, for which they had to pass the road close to a the entrance of the illegal Israeli settlement Givat Ha’avot .

When they approached the location of the entrance, still 20 meters away from it, a settler together with a soldier ambushed and killed the 37 year old father.

His 9 year old son was lucky to escape and could run back home, in shock of the cruelty he went trough. As it seems, the armed settler fired at Wael and his son, after which a soldier, present at the checkpoint, continued the shooting with several live bullets.

Israeli forces left Ja’abari bleeding to death, without giving or allowing him any kind of medical assistance.

No health care was given or allowed. The Israeli ambulance belongs to Ofer, a paramilitary settler of Kyriat Arba – not a medic.

Video recordings of this fatal incident were posted on the internet. (here, here and here)

The Israeli military claimed afterwards, that it was self defense against a stabbing attack, and did not contact the family. This claim is disputed, however, given Israeli forces’ history of planting knives on murdered Palestinians and given the fact that Ja’abari was walking with his 9 year old child. No footage of the many security cameras on that location has ever been released.

Stealing corpses in the aftermath of a unlawful execution, is a standard procedure of the Occupation. Between 2008 and 2018 Israel held back more then 280 corpses.

October 31, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel revokes work permits for family of killed Palestinian mother

Ma’an – October 22, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The Israel Security Service, the Shin Bet, cancelled Israeli work permits for the husband and brothers of a Palestinian mother who was killed after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle, on Monday.

Aisha Muhammad Talal al-Rabi, 47, a mother of eight children, from the Bidya village near Salfit in the northern West Bank, was killed on October 12th after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at her vehicle as she was passing by near the Zaatara checkpoint in southern Nablus.

Hebrew-language news sites reported that al-Rabi’s husband and brothers were surprised to find out that they were the ones who were punished by having their work permits revoked, instead of holding the Israeli settlers responsible for the attack.

Sources added that the Shin Bet claimed the ban was temporary.

The Shin Bet also mentioned that no one has been detained as the investigation continues.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the killing of al-Rabi and called for international protection for the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.

Additionally, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, condemned the attack and called on the Israeli authorities “to ensure that those responsible are swiftly brought to justice.”

October 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli Special Police remand Jerusalem Governor for four days

Ma’an – October 21, 2018

JERUSALEM – Israeli authorities remanded the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, several hours after he was detained from the Beit Hanina neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, on Sunday.

According to local sources, on Saturday, several vehicles, belonging to the special unit of Israeli forces, intercepted another vehicle that was transporting the Palestinian Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, and detained him without providing a reason.

Sources added that Israeli forces immediately took Ghaith to an unknown location.

However, several hours after his detention, the Israeli authorities remanded Ghaith for four days.

Muhammad Mahmoud, Ghaith’s lawyer, said an Israeli court in Jerusalem referred Ghaith to the court of Ofer, near Ramallah, for allegedly “committing a violation” inside the West Bank.

The exact details of what the “violation” entails remained unknown.

Additionally, Israeli forces detained Jihad Faqeeh, 50, who is the head of the Jerusalem office in the Palestinian Intelligence force, at a military checkpoint near the Qatanna village, also in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem, as he was heading to work in Ramallah City.

October 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Saudi-led military aggression left over 15,000 civilians dead: Rights group

Picture, provided by Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, shows aftermath of Saudi airstrike against Gabal Ras area in Yemen’s western coastal city of Hudaydah on October 13, 2018.
Press TV – October 16, 2018

The Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen says the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the impoverished and conflict-plagued Arab country has claimed the lives of more than 15,000 civilians.

The center, in a statement released on Monday, announced that the aggression has resulted in the death of 15,185 civilians, including 3,527 children and 2,277 women.

A total of 23,822 civilians, among them 3,526 children and 2,587 women, have also sustained injuries, and are currently suffering from the lack of medicine, medical supplies and poor treatment due to the crippling Saudi siege.

The center further noted that the Saudi military aggression has also caused the death of nearly 2,200 Yemenis from cholera.

It highlighted that aerial assaults being conducted by the Saudi-led alliance have resulted in the destruction of 15 airports and 14 ports, and damaged 2,559 roads and bridges in addition to 781 water storage facilities, 191 power stations and 426 telecommunications towers.

The statement went on to say that the incessant Saudi-led bombardment campaign has destroyed more than 421,911 houses, 930 mosques, 888 schools, 327 hospitals and health facilities plus 38 media organizations, halted the operation of 4,500 schools and left more than 4 million people internally displaced.

In addition, the Saudi-led coalition has targeted 1,818 government facilities, 749 food storehouses, 621 food trucks, 628 shops and commercial compounds, 362 fuel stations, 265 tankers, 339 factories, 310 poultry and livestock farms, 219 archaeological sites, 279 tourist facilities and 112 playgrounds and sports complexes.

The Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen then called on the United Nations to shoulder its responsibilities concerning protection of human rights and the rules of international humanitarian law in Yemen.

It also called on the international community to take on its legal, moral and humanitarian responsibilities, stressing the need for urgent international and regional actions to end the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen.

The center finally asked the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to conduct a professional and impartial investigation into the crimes being perpetrated against civilians in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

“Just Another Mother Murdered”

Palestinian children weep in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip (July 15, 2014)

A dozen years ago Alison Weir described how U.S. media ignored a Palestinian death… This pattern has persisted year after year after year… 

By Alison Weir – If Americans Knew October 6, 2006

Almost no one bothered to report it. A search of the nation’s largest newspapers turned up nothing in USA Today, the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Chicago Sun-Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Tampa Tribune, etc.

There was nothing on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, NPR, Fox News. Nothing.

The LA Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Associated Press each had one sentence, at most, telling about her. All three left out the details, the LA Times had her age significantly off, and the Washington Post reported that she had been killed by an Israeli tank shell.

It hadn’t been a tank shell that had killer her, according to witnesses. It had been bullets, multiple ones, fired up close.

Neighbors report that Israeli soldiers had been beating her husband because he wasn’t answering their questions. Foolishly or valiantly, how is one to say, the 35-year-old woman had interfered. She tried to explain that her husband was deaf, screamed at the soldiers that her husband couldn’t hear them and attempted to stop them from hitting him. So they shot her. Several times.

Her name was Itemad Ismail Abu Mo’ammar.

She didn’t die, though. That took longer. It required her life to flow out of her in the form of blood for several hours, as Israeli soldiers refused to allow an ambulance to transport her to help. Her husband and children could do nothing to save her.

Finally, after approximately five hours, an ambulance was allowed to take her to a hospital, where physicians were able to render one service: pronounce her dead, a few days before the commencement of Ramadan, a season of family gatherings much like the Christmas season for Americans. She left 11 children. None of this was in the Washington Post story, which had reported her death in one half of one sentence.

Her husband’s brother, who lived in the same house, was also killed. He was a 28-year-old farmer.

Why did this all happen? The family lived behind a resistance fighter wanted by Israel. They were simply “collateral damage” in a failed Israeli assassination/kidnapping operation.

All together, five Palestinians were killed that day. The other three were young shepherds killed in another area, two 15 years old and one 14, who seem to have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gaza.

None of this was reported in most of America’s news media, and so the American public never learned about a mother bleeding to death in front of her children, or young shepherds being blown to pieces. Apparently, it just wasn’t newsworthy.

A Case Study of “Good” News Coverage

The Washington Post at least mentioned these deaths, so perhaps those who care about journalistic standards should laud the Post for its coverage.

And yet, the Post in its short report got so much so wrong.

In addition to misreporting Itemad’s cause of death and omitting critical facts, the Post’s story portrayed the entire context incorrectly, telling readers that these five deaths had broken a period of “relative calm.”

The fact is that while it was true that in the previous six months not a single Israeli child had been killed by Palestinians, during this period Israelis had killed 75 Palestinian young people, including an 8-month-old and several three-year-olds.

I phoned the Post and spoke to a foreign editor about the need to run a correction, providing information on Itemad’s murder. The editor said that she would pass this on to their correspondent (who is based in Israel), but explained that it was “impossible for him to go to Gaza.” When I disagreed, she amended the “impossible” to “very difficult.” She neglected to mention that the Post has access to stringers in Gaza available to check out any incident the editors deem important.

Next, I wrote a letter to the paper containing the above information. Happily, the Post letters department apparently checked it out and decided it was a good letter. They sent an email informing me that they were considering my letter for publication and needed to confirm that I was the one who had written it, and that I had not sent the information elsewhere.

I replied in the affirmative, we exchanged a few more messages, and everything appeared on target. Normally, when publications contact you in this way, your letter is published shortly thereafter. I waited in anticipation. And waited.

It is now almost two weeks after their report, and I have just been informed that the paper has decided not to print my letter. The Post has apparently determined that there is no need to run a correction.

I think I understand.

Although the Washington Post’s statement of principles proclaims, “This newspaper is pledged to minimize the number of errors we make and to correct those that occur… Accuracy is our goal; candor is our defense,” the American Society of Newspaper Editors clarifies these ethical requirements: corrections need only be printed when the error of commission or omission is “significant.”

And, after all, these were only Palestinians, and it was just another mother dead.


Alison Weir is the founder and executive director of If Americans Knew. She is the author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel


Another Palestinian mother has just been killed. For a list of Palestinian and Israeli women killed see this Timeline.

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 8 Comments