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The Nakba of Sheikh Jarrah: How Israel uses ‘the law’ to ethnically cleanse East Jerusalem

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | March 23, 2021

A Palestinian man, Atef Yousef Hanaysha, was killed by Israeli occupation forces on 19 March during a weekly protest against illegal Israeli settlement expansion in Beit Dajan, near Nablus, in the northern West Bank. Although tragic, this news reads like a routine item from occupied Palestine, where the shooting and killing of unarmed protesters is part of the daily reality. That reality, though, is part of a wider, more sinister development.

Since right-wing Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced in September 2019 his intention to formally and illegally annex nearly a third of the occupied Palestinian West Bank, tensions have remained high. The killing of Hanaysha is only the tip of the iceberg. In occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, a massive battle is already underway. On one side, Israeli soldiers, army bulldozers, and illegal armed Jewish settlers are carrying out daily missions to evict Palestinian families, displace farmers, burn orchards, demolish homes and confiscate land. On the other side, Palestinian civilians, often unorganised, unprotected and leaderless, are fighting back.

The territorial boundaries of this battle are largely located in occupied East Jerusalem and in so-called “Area C” of the West Bank — which covers nearly 60 per cent of the total area of the occupied territory — which is under complete and direct Israeli military control. No other place represents the perfect microcosm of this uneven war than the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 10 March, fourteen Palestinian and Arab organisations issued a “joint urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Procedures on forced evictions in East Jerusalem” to stop the Israeli evictions in the area. Successive decisions by Israeli courts have paved the way for the Israeli army and police to evict fifteen Palestinian families — 37 households of around 195 people — in the Karm Al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah as well as Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood in the town of Silwan.

These imminent evictions are not the first, nor will they be the last. Israel occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem in June 1967 and formally, though illegally, annexed it in 1980. Since then, the Israeli government has vehemently rejected international criticism of the occupation, declaring instead that Jerusalem is the “eternal and undivided capital of Israel”.

To ensure that its annexation of the city is irreversible, the Israeli government approved the Master Plan 2000, a massive scheme that was undertaken to rearrange the boundaries of the city in such a way that it would ensure the permanent demographic majority of Israeli Jews at the expense of the city’s indigenous inhabitants. The Master Plan was no more than a blueprint for state-sponsored ethnic cleansing, which saw the destruction of thousands of Palestinian homes and the subsequent eviction of numerous families.

While news headlines occasionally present the habitual evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, and other parts of East Jerusalem as if it is simply a matter of counterclaims between Palestinian residents and Jewish settlers, the story is, in fact, a wider representation of Palestine’s modern history. Indeed, the innocent families which are now facing “the imminent risk of forced eviction” are re-living their ancestral nightmare of the Nakba, the very deliberate ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine in 1948.

Two years after the native inhabitants of historic Palestine were dispossessed of their homes and lands and ethnically cleansed, Israel enacted the so-called Absentees’ Property Law of 1950. The law, which has no legal or moral validity, simply granted to the State the properties of Palestinians who were driven out or fled from the war, to do with it as it pleases. Since those “absentee” Palestinians have never been allowed to exercise their legitimate right of return, as enshrined in international law, the Israeli law was state-sanctioned theft on a grand scale. It aimed ultimately to achieve two objectives: to ensure that Palestinian refugees do not return or attempt to claim their stolen properties in Palestine; and to give Israel a legal fig leaf for permanently confiscating Palestinian land and homes.

The Israeli military occupation of the remainder of historic Palestine in 1967 necessitated, from an Israeli colonial perspective, the creation of fresh laws that would allow the State and the illegal settlement enterprise to claim yet more Palestinian properties. This took place in 1970 in the form of the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. According to the new legal framework, only Israeli Jews were allowed to claim lost land and property in Palestinian areas.

Many of the evictions in East Jerusalem take place within the context of these three interconnected and strange legal arguments: the Absentees’ Property Law, the Legal and Administrative Matters Law, and the Master Plan 2000. Understood together, we can easily decipher the nature of the Israeli colonial scheme in East Jerusalem, where Israeli Jewish individuals, in coordination with settler organisations, work together to fulfil the vision of the State.

In their joint appeal, Palestinian human rights organisations describe how the flow of eviction orders issued by Israeli courts culminate in the construction of illegal Jewish settlements. Confiscated Palestinian properties are usually transferred to a branch within the Israeli Ministry of Justice called the Israeli Custodian General. The latter holds on to these properties until they are claimed by Israeli Jews, in accordance with the 1970 Legal and Administrative Matters Law. Once Israeli courts honour Jewish individuals’ legal claims to the confiscated Palestinian lands, these individuals often transfer their ownership rights or management to settler organisations. In no time, the latter utilise the newly-acquired property to expand existing settlements or to start new ones. All settlements are, of course, illegal under international law.

While the Israeli State claims to play an impartial role in this scheme, it is actually the facilitator of the entire process. The final outcome manifests in the ever-predictable scene, where an Israeli flag is triumphantly hoisted over a Palestinian home and a Palestinian family is assigned a tent from the UN and a few blankets.

While the above picture can thus be dismissed by some as another routine, common occurrence, the situation in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has become extremely volatile. Palestinians feel that they have nothing more to lose and Netanyahu’s government is more emboldened than ever. The killing of Atef Hanaysha, and others like him, is only the beginning of an imminent and widespread confrontation.

March 23, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

As Israel plans to evict up to 550 Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Biden regime remains silent

By Robert Inlakesh | RT | March 18, 2021

Igniting tensions in East Jerusalem, Israeli settler organisations are seeking to uproot up to 550 Palestinians from the city, to the complete silence of a Biden administration that claims to seek a two-State solution.

In what could become one of the largest expulsions of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, Israeli settler organisations are working with the country’s legal system to evict 24 families from their homes.

During October, 2020, the Israeli magistrate court of Jerusalem ordered the expulsion of 12 families, out of the 24 living inside the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah. In addition to their expulsion from their homes, the Palestinian families were also ordered by the court to pay $20,000 in legal fees.

The expulsion order, which is likely to be completed with the destruction of Palestinian property, after it is seized to make way for illegal Israeli settlers, is set to be enforced as early as May. As it stands, four Palestinian households – comprising 27 people – will be forced out onto the street no later than May 2, while three other families are set to be forced out in August.

Israeli settler organisations based in the Karm al-Jaouni area are behind the expulsion orders, claiming that the land on which Palestinians live, in Sheikh Jarrah, was once owned by Jews prior to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Despite Palestinian attempts to present their legal case that the settler organisations are lying about this and have no proof, Israeli courts refuse to see the evidence. It is also important to note that, while the Israeli legal system will recognise the claims of Jewish Israelis to land allegedly owned previously by Jews, this right is not granted to Palestinians.

On the issue of the Sheikh Jarrah evictions, Fadi al-Hidmi, Palestinian Authority Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, stated that the international community is obligated to step in. “What is taking place is a systematic, programmed process of replacing the Palestinians expelled from their land and property with foreign settlers,” he said.

Last night, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement also released a statement, vowing a response to the actions of Israel in Sheikh Jarrah. The PIJ proclaimed that Israel “will pay the price for this aggression.”

In the 1970s, following the June 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem, Israel began implementing a “demographic balance” policy. The aim for the Israeli authorities is to limit the percentage of Palestinians living in the city to 30% or less. While Israel claims that Jerusalem is its undivided capital, the Palestinian Authority only seeks to gain back East Jerusalem, which is considered under international law to be an illegally occupied territory.

Despite the Biden Administration having stated consistently that it seeks a two-State solution and that this is the only solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict, it continues to ignore the ongoing ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem. Not only does Biden not confront Israel on the issue of its illegal settlements and home demolitions in Jerusalem, but it has worked to attack the International Criminal Court (ICC) which is poised to investigate the settlement issue.

Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is a supporter of the notion of a two-State solution weighed in on the announcement from the ICC that it would investigate alleged Israeli War Crimes, stating “The United States firmly opposes an @IntlCrimCourt investigation into the Palestinian Situation. We will continue to uphold our strong commitment to Israel and its security, including by opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly.”

If there is to be a two-State solution, the capital of the future Palestinian State will have to belong in currently occupied East Jerusalem. However, this is being made more and more impossible by the day, with the systematic expulsion of Palestinian residents from the city, along with the expansion of key settlements such as Atarot, Ramat Shlomo and Givat Hamatos, which divide the city from the West Bank.

Along with Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli Settler organisations are also heavily targeting the area of Silwan, from which at least 36 families have been expelled since the beginning of 2020, according to Israeli NGO Peace Now. In East Jerusalem as many as 200,000 Israeli settlers live, with about 2,500 hardline settlers residing in properties surrounding Palestinians in areas like Silwan.

Earlier this week, 11 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police forces, who reportedly raided the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab as a bulldozer made an opening in the wall surrounding the area. Local youths then acted to tear down the fences built around the construction site, for what has been described as a Judaization project in the area.

An Israeli NGO called Grassroots Jerusalem states that the presence of illegal Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem causes great agitation to Palestinian residents. The NGO claims that settlers have “been responsible for forced evictions and terrorism.”

Last year almost 1,000 Palestinians were made homeless due to Israeli house demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with over 10,000 settler units having been approved.

If the Biden Administration continues to remain silent and shield Israel from prosecution for its violations of International Law in East Jerusalem, the two-State solution that the US claims to seek will only become more difficult to achieve. In order for there to be a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, Israel’s illegal settlements have to halt further construction, evacuate all settlers and the annexation of the territory – since 1980 – has to be reversed. None of the steps necessary to facilitate a two-State solution includes shielding war crimes, and what we are seeing is exactly that.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist, and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News and Press TV. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’.

March 19, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to displace 1,550 Palestinians to build park in Jerusalem

MEMO | March 18, 2021

More than 100 Palestinian homes face demolition and about 1,550 residents, including more than 800 children, will be made homeless at the hands of Israel’s Jerusalem Municipality, Arab48 reported yesterday.

This comes as the Israeli municipality cancelled all agreements with the Palestinian residents of the Silwan neighbourhood.

According to Arab48, the Israeli municipality rejected plans it had requested as an alternative to the demolition of the Palestinian homes, instead it is set to demolish the Palestinian homes and turn the area into The King’s Garden, claiming that it was a garden for Israeli kings thousands of years ago.

The municipality had agreed to provide Palestinians with land in other areas to build new homes, but it suddenly backtracked on this decision.

The legal battle has cost the Palestinian community more than $500,000.

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a statement that the “massive destruction and displacement operation against the population may amount to ethnic cleansing and a war crime.”

March 18, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

Palestinians are warning that Israel intends to grant citizenship to Jerusalemites

By Dr Adnan Abu Amer | MEMO | March 9, 2021

In recent weeks, Israel has circulated reports that tens of thousands of Palestinians residing in occupied Jerusalem may obtain Israeli citizenship, even though there are 330,000 of them in the eastern part of the city. The Israeli Interior Ministry has published guidelines to apply for citizenship under clause 4a of the Citizenship Law. It is worth noting that this is happening after almost 55 years of the Israeli occupation of the city, during which time only 15,000 Palestinians in the city have obtained citizenship.

A third of Palestinian Jerusalemites possess temporary Jordanian passports; the remainder have no citizenship, but their status in Israel is permanent residency. The use of the new procedure to implement an old legal clause may lead to a change in the relationship of the political forces within Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents and their relationship with the Israeli authorities, as the situation in this city is unique.

Since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has taken no steps to promote citizenship for the Palestinians living there, given their lack of interest and Israeli opposition to such a move. The Palestinians have generally refrained from applying for Israeli citizenship because it could be interpreted as recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the city.

International bodies have not demanded that Israel should grant citizenship to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem because, according to international law, the city is occupied territory and its annexation by the occupation state is not recognised. Hence, procedures expressing sovereignty, including granting citizenship, are not legally valid. Statelessness has not had a great impact on the lives of Jerusalemites with Jordanian passports, albeit not full citizenship, which allowed them to move around the world.

For many years, residents of East Jerusalem enjoyed the status of “adequate residency” despite the difficulty of maintaining such status, which prompted many to move to suburban neighbourhoods outside the municipality and remote villages. Until the 1990s, this did not have long-term consequences as there was a geographical connection between Israel and the West Bank that allowed Jerusalem’s residents to move freely between their homes and their places of work and study in the West Bank.

During the first Palestinian Intifada in 1987, Israel restricted movement between East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The building of the separation wall has since tightened restrictions on such movement. Living in the suburbs outside the municipality could lead to loss of residency rights, and then the loss of access to the city itself. This has led to a growing interest among residents of East Jerusalem to obtain Israeli citizenship as the only guarantee against losing the right to enter the city.

Israeli citizenship requires the renunciation of previous citizenship, fluency in Hebrew, and a permit from the security services because it is not only a request to enter Israel but also naturalisation for those who live there. Naturalisation is subject to the discretion of the Minister of the Interior who may impose political considerations. There is also a new clause stipulating that citizenship is granted to those born after the establishment of the state who have no other citizenship and have lived in Israel for five consecutive years.

Clause 4a in Israel’s Citizenship Law provides an opportunity for 20,000 Jerusalemites to obtain citizenship, and an additional 7,000 every year henceforth if this significant increase in the percentage of East Jerusalem citizens goes ahead. This will have a great impact on the identity and status of the Palestinian community in East Jerusalem.

If Israel grants citizenship to so many Palestinian Jerusalemites, it will strengthen the state’s claim of sovereignty over the occupied city. The problem for the Palestinians, of course, is the Israeli occupation, not the question of citizenship. Having more Jerusalemites with Israeli citizenship will reduce even further the possibility of East Jerusalem being the capital of an independent state of Palestine.

Since 1967, Israel’s control over Jerusalem has been based on the inferior status of the Palestinians in it, as residents, not citizens. In the past decade, petitions to the Supreme Court have forced the government to deal with citizenship requests. Three years ago, the Netanyahu government reduced a third of the population of Jerusalemites by shrinking the municipal border, stifling planning in Palestinian neighbourhoods, and increasing the number of demolitions of their homes.

Despite all of the Israeli policies to expel Palestinians from Jerusalem, the Palestinians remain determined to stay in their city. They may be weak and persecuted, but they have enough steadfastness to force the Israeli authorities to grant them their rights.

However, this is only part of the picture. There are also those in East Jerusalem who deny the legitimacy of the Israeli government and oppose citizenship because the right-wing in Israel sees Palestinian citizenship as evidence of the “unity of Jerusalem” but does not give all residents the same rights as the Jewish population.

The citizenship issue will not change the right-wing policy which is based on inequality in Jerusalem as elsewhere. Hence, it will not threaten the Israeli occupation, which is reassuring for right-wing Israelis.

Naturalisation in its current form serves the logic of Israeli sovereignty throughout occupied Jerusalem and contradicts the idea of demographic separation that characterises the Zionist left-wing. There are fears that the Jewish majority in the city will be at risk, which is a racist position that implies the arbitrary suppression of the Palestinians.

Israel has opted for the policy of occupation and apartheid towards Jerusalemites, after the failure of the two-state solution. Supporters of the state justify this at the expense of the basic rights of the Palestinian Jerusalemites. If the latter are fed up with waiting for a state of Palestine and want to see what they can achieve on an individual basis with Israeli citizenship, who is to argue?

The Jerusalemites have the right to live a “normal” life and be respected by the Israeli authorities, as well as have the freedom to choose the means to achieve their goals, even if they live under constant persecution. However, the reality is that they should be allowed to do so without having to submit to Israeli citizenship plans that serve a malicious settler-colonial occupation rather than the rights of the people.

March 9, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel’s killing of Palestinian man at checkpoint was ‘extrajudicial execution’, concludes report

Ahmed Erekat, a 27 year old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli soldiers near a checkpoint in Abu Dis

Ahmed Erekat, a 27 year old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli soldiers near a checkpoint in Abu Dis on 23 June 2020
MEMO | February 24, 2021

Further doubts have been raised over Israel’s killing of Ahmad Erekat. The 27-year-old was shot dead in June at an Israeli military checkpoint near the town of Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. Israeli police claimed that Erekat was a “terrorist” conducting an attack.

But a new report by Forensic Architecture, a British research body based at Goldsmiths, University of London, has challenged the Israeli narrative following a “frame-by-frame” analysis of the security camera footage which clearly showed Erekat’s movement prior to his killing.

The report found that Erekat posed no “immediate threat” to Israeli soldiers; that he was denied medical treatment after he was fatally shot; his body was treated in a “degrading” manner and that following his death his family was subjected to collective punishment.

Details of the report, which includes the reconstruction of the scene using available film, including security footage published by police, cast “significant doubt” over the Israeli narrative. It cited collision experts who concluded that Erekat’s car was not accelerating significantly. “Our analysis also comes across evidence that raises the possibility that Erekat braked before impact with the checkpoint,” the report said.

Collision expert Dr Jeremy J Bauer concluded that “the driver did not rapidly accelerate into the checkpoint. Had the driver truly wanted to maximize the chance that he would surprise the guards and strike them with his vehicle, he could have accelerated to the maximum capacity of the vehicle.”

After the impact, video footage shows Erekat leaving the vehicle unarmed and moving away from the soldiers, raising his hands in the air. He is first shot when standing around four metres away from the nearest soldier. He then continues to move backwards as he falls to the ground. Israeli soldiers fired six shots in the space of two seconds.

Detailed analysis of the footage contradicts the Israeli army’s claim and confirms that Erekat did not pose any immediate threat. It also found that Israeli forces offered no immediate medical aid, even while Erekat was clearly alive. The killing amounted to an extrajudicial execution, it concluded.

February 24, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 3 Comments

Hundreds of Palestinian children ethnically cleansed by Israel as world remains silent

An Israeli soldier detains a Palestinian boy during an anti-Israel protest in al-khalil in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on November 29, 2019. (Via Reuters)
By Robert Inlakesh | Press TV | October 8, 2020

Israel has demolished hundreds of Palestinian homes, this year, leaving hundreds more without a place to live. Yet despite the fact that Israel is set for a record number of home demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds, the International Community not only refuses to act but also remains silent.

In East Jerusalem al-Quds alone, since 2004, Israeli home demolitions have left 3,459 Palestinians homeless (including 1,847 minors), which is concerning enough, without the added stress to local Jerusalemite Palestinians of this year being on track to break all previous records for the number of home demolitions since 1967.

What the refusal to confront this issue shows is the complete lack of care from the international community and also when it is properly investigated, that house demolitions in of themselves, reveal that inside of Israel itself, there is no democracy for Palestinians.

In order to understand the issue of house demolitions, we have to differentiate between the succinctly three different circumstances under which Palestinians experience this form of ethnic cleansing. The three key areas are inside of what is now Israel, inside of East Jerusalem al-Quds and inside of the West Bank. The Gaza Strip is not included due to the fact that these demolitions are not undertaken in the same way, but rather occur primarily due to airstrikes.

House demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds

So far this year, according to Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem, 89 housing units and 27 non-residential buildings were ordered to be demolished in East Jerusalem al-Quds by the Israeli regime. Israel is in fact on track for a record number of house demolitions in the occupied territory this year, according to Israeli paper Haaretz, which will inevitably cause a record number of homeless cases.

Something key to understanding cases of home demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds is the ongoing effort to Judaize the city. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem al-Quds do not have Israeli citizenship or Palestinian citizenship, but rather Jerusalem ID cards. If Palestinians choose to live outside of the territory for more than 7 years or claim citizenship of any country (normally Jordan), they can also be stripped of this right to their ID and be expelled. As a result of such policies, significant numbers of Palestinian Jerusalemites have been forced out of Jerusalem al-Quds. Also on top of this is the issue of illegal settlement expansion, with hundreds of thousands of settlers moving into the area.

Despite the oppressive policies, Palestinians make up 40% of the total population of Jerusalem al-Quds, yet are only granted roughly 7% of the total building permits for the city.

The issue of Israeli issued building permits is the main reason for the forced destruction of Palestinian properties in Jerusalem al-Quds. Palestinians have to pay, often unaffordable, prices to apply for permits, yet the approval is near impossible even when they do pay. The reason it is nearly impossible, is because of Israeli implemented building schemes, under which Israel has designed a system built to bolster Jewish construction and prohibit Palestinian construction.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, later formally annexing it in 1980, meaning that Israel imposes its own law of Palestinians living in the territory and has even built a wall through areas which constitute part of the East Jerusalem al-Quds territory. However, the Israeli application of its own laws over Palestinians is in violation of International Law as the territory is still considered as occupied territory, meaning that the laws of occupation apply to the area.

When Palestinians build and are not granted a permit, or start construction whilst the permit is processing – sometimes delayed until years later before a decision is made by Israel to destroy the home – or are told an old building has not got updated papers, the building is ordered to be demolished.

When Israel orders a home demolition, the pain does not end there, Palestinians are required to pay for the Israelis to forcibly evict their family and demolish their home. This has forced many to pay for bulldozers themselves in order to destroy their own home, so that they do not have to pay for Israel to do it, which often carries a fee double or triple the amount. For Palestinians who cannot afford demolition costs, they are forced to destroy their own homes by hand.

House demolitions in al-Naqab

According to a report released in June, by ‘The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality’, during the years 2017, 2018 and 2019, Israel ordered the demolition of 2,000 homes in the al-Naqab (Negev in Hebrew).

Key to this issue is the fact that Bedouin Palestinians living in the Naqab are Israeli citizenship holders, some of which serve in the occupation army, yet are still persecuted and pushed out of their home lands. At this point, Palestinian Bedouin’s can only inhabit 12% of their ancestral homelands and if they live in villages “unregistered” by the Israeli regime, they are “transferred” to overcrowded villages and camps, reminiscent of the way in which native Americans were crowded into reservations.

This year alone, hundreds of Bedouins have been made homeless, compounded by the fact that the pandemic is affecting these communities badly and they are still being crammed into overcrowded camps.

Some villages have even been demolished over 100 times. The 17th of September for instance was the last time an entire village was demolished for the 178th time in a row.

House demolitions inside West Bank

From the start of 2020 until the 31st of August, 78 housing units were demolished in the West Bank, leaving 320 people homeless, including 166 minors according to Human Rights Organization B’Tselem.

In the West Bank, according to the United Nations, roughly 1.5% of building permits are approved by Israel, making it nearly impossible to obtain one. This is despite the fact that Israeli settlements and outposts continue to rapidly expand into West Bank territory. If a Palestinian does wish to attempt to attain a permit, it will often cost roughly around $30,000 US just to file the application, a price most just cannot afford, or even for those who can afford the price, it’s too much of a gamble.

Often used propaganda, by Israel and its supporters, suggests that house demolitions are primarily done as a reaction to “Palestinian terrorism” and therefore they argue it’s justified. However, this is not the case. In fact, when Israel does blow up the homes of Palestinians in the West Bank, after the Palestinian in question has been alleged to have committed a violent attack against an Israeli occupation soldier or illegal settler, it is not him who suffers for it.

Palestinians that either attempt to attack an Israeli, or are wrongly accused of it, are almost always shot and killed by the occupation forces. Following this, the family is not able to even grieve in peace, as family homes, sometimes housing multiple families are blown up leaving the entire family homeless. This policy has been described by Israeli Human Rights Group B’Tselem as follows: “Demolishing the homes of relatives of Palestinians who harmed or attempted to harm Israeli civilians or security personnel is prohibited collective punishment, and is one of the most extreme measures used by Israel. Over the years Israel has demolished hundreds of homes, leaving homeless thousands of people who had done no wrong and were not suspected of any wrongdoing. It is an immoral and unlawful policy. The fact that the High Court of Justice has upheld it does not make it legal, rather, it makes the justices accomplices to the crime.”

Despite the fact that these Israeli policies of house demolitions, ultimately aimed at ethnically cleansing Palestinians, are ongoing and have grown more aggressive over the past year, the story is relatively untouched by West Media and largely ignored by the International Community.

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli authorities destroy Palestinian family home in Silwan, East Jerusalem

Defence for Children Palestine | September 23, 2020

Manal A., 6, shares the story of Israeli authorities demolishing her family’s home in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces regularly demolish Palestinian homes that are built without permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

Demolition Under Occupation

Al-Haq | September 24, 2020

Dramatic increase in the average of Palestinian structures demolished by Israeli occupation authorities during 2019.

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | 3 Comments

PLO: “Israel is Implementing its Annexation Scheme on the Ground Without any Deterrence.”

By Ali Salam | IMEMC | August 3, 2020

European diplomats signed a letter denouncing Israel’s plans to begin construction on the E1 project in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

Executive Member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) pressured EU officials to act on its words, and force Israel to abandon its plans.

A European Union (EU) representative, with 15 ambassadors, recently submitted a letter in opposition to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, regarding its intention to start building in E1 area, east of occupied Jerusalem.

“We welcome the protest letter… however, we believe that the EU, as well as the governments of these 15 states (including Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) should… deter Israel from persisting on the path of illegality, impunity, and de facto annexation.” Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said.

“While the international community is concerned with the ‘possibility’ of annexation, Israel is implementing its scheme on the ground without any deterrence,” she continued, “This includes the siege and ethnic cleansing of Silwan, Al-‘Isawiya, and Wadi Al-Joz (Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem) by way of home demolitions and systemic violence.”

Dr. Ashrawi pressed that states “must not allow Israel to persist in this cynical ruse. The principle of accountability is undermined and rendered irrelevant when international actors insist on giving Israel a free pass on egregious violations of Palestinian rights and international law.”

August 3, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

‘Steal Of The Century’: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe (Part 1)

Robert Inlakesh | June 5, 2020

The ‘Steal Of The Century’ (Part 1) is a documentary, by Robert Inlakesh, filmed on the ground in occupied Palestine, investigating the peace process, Donald Trump’s proposed ‘Deal of the Century’ and why the Palestinian people have unanimously rejected it. It also seeks to show the occupation faced by the Palestinian people, as well as the a brief look into the history of Palestine-Israel.

This documentary brings you exclusive never before seen footage from Palestine, including interviews with Ahed Tamimi, Jana Jihad, Issa Amro and others.

June 5, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Palestinian president ends agreements with Israel, US over annexation

Press TV – May 20, 2020

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared an end to all agreements with Israel and the United States in response to an Israeli regime’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Abbas announced in a statement on Tuesday that he intends not to abide by security agreements and understandings signed between Tel Aviv and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as well as cooperation with the United States.

“The Palestine Liberation Organization and the state of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the commitments based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones,” Abbas said in the statement.

The Palestinian president stressed that the move was in reaction to the Israeli regime’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley, which had been envisaged in US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century unveiled earlier this year.

“We place full responsibility on the US administration for the occupation of the Palestinian people, and consider it a key partner in Israel’s actions and decisions against the rights of the Palestinian people,” Abbas underlined.

Earlier in the day, Germany and the Palestinian Authority released a joint statement expressing “grave concern” over Israel’s declared intention to proceed with the annexation plan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a number of criminal indictments, has time and again announced that he would start plans for annexing more areas in the occupied West Bank on July 1, in accordance with Trump’s peace scheme, further infuriating Palestinians.

The American president officially unveiled his scheme, the so-called deal of the century, in January at the White House with Netanyahu on his side, while Palestinian representatives were not invited.

The proposal gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders, enshrining the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allowing the regime to annex settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

Trump’s highly provocative scheme, which further denies the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homeland, is also in complete disregard of UN Security Council resolutions and rejected by the vast majority of the international community.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. But Israel’s aggressive settlement expansion and annexation plans have dealt a serious blow to any prospects of peace.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

May 20, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 1 Comment

New settlement on Qalandia Airport Land to isolate East Jerusalem

By Madeeha Araj – PNN – February 24, 2020

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report, that although the Israeli-American “Deal of the Century” proposes the right to establish a ‘special Palestinian tourism zone’ in the Atarot area (i.e. the old Qalandia Airport north of Jerusalem), to support Muslim tourism, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing is planning to build a new settlement there, to be larger than “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Qalandia airport has been closed by Israeli authorities since the outbreak of the second Intifada, in the year 2000.

In an obvious escalation to isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings, the Occupation Government decided to build the new settlement as the Israeli PM Netanyahu vowed to build 9,000 settlement units, commercial centers and a hotel, as well as water tanks and others, adding that the number of units will reach 11,000, by 2030. Thus, signs and marks were placed by the Israeli occupation, on 21 Palestinian homes in order to be demolished.

Within his campaign for the upcoming Knesset’s elections, the Israeli PM, Netanyahu, announced plans to build 5,200 new settlement units in Jerusalem, including 2,200 in the “Har Homa” settlement, and 3,000 settlement units in the “Givat Hamtus” settlement, which means increasing the number of settlers there up to 10.000 settlers. For his part, Minister of the Occupation Army, Naftali Bennett, decided to hold a meeting for the Higher Planning Committee affiliated to the Israeli Civil Administration, to approve the building of 1900 settlement units in the West Bank, in the Ramallah Governorate, of which 600 settlement units in the Eili settlement, and 534 units in the Shvut Rachel settlement.

It is also noted that the Israeli Government plans to control Areas B in the West Bank, as the Minister of the Israeli Occupation Army, Naftali Bennett decided to prevent the Palestinians from building in these areas under security pretext. Accordingly, the Israeli occupation forces started to build a 7-kilometer settlement road with a cost of NIS 100s of millions, including tunnels and bridges south of Nablus, extended from the Za’tara village through Hawara town, and Beita and Udala villages, which means confiscating about 406 dunums of 7 Palestinian villages.

For their part, a delegation from the American Congress visited settlements, and the Ibrahimi Mosque’s courtyard in Hebron, and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, and the Gush Etzion’s pool as well. The delegation consisted of 2 Congress members, who said that these areas have to be part of Israel.

On the other hand, the UN Human Rights Office issued the black list of companies operating in settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. For his part, Michael Link praised the decision, saying it is ‘an important step.’ Adding that because of settlements, thousands of Palestinian dunums were confiscated, thousands of homes and properties were destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees were displaced, and several natural resources were leveled.

With regard to the giant American corporations that encourage settlement, the Financial Times newspaper conducted an extensive investigation on the Amazon corporation that provides free shipping to all Israeli settlements, but it does not provide the same free service to the Palestinians unless they include Israel as their country during the completion of the registration process. The newspaper pointed out during its investigation that the free shipping includes orders that exceed US$ 49, noting that the company started its activity there in last November. It stipulated that it provides the same free service to the Palestinians, in case they mentioned that they live in Israel.

February 24, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Profiting from Loss: How Business in Illegal Israeli Settlements Continues Unchecked

UN efforts to protect Palestinian land from economic exploitation are failing, and exposing the hypocrisy of western states 

By Jonathan Cook – The National – February 18, 2020

After lengthy delays, the United Nations finally published a database last week of businesses that have been profiting from Israel’s illegal annexation and settlement activity in the West Bank.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, announced that 112 major companies had been identified as operating in Israeli settlements in ways that violate human rights.

Aside from major Israeli banks, transport services, cafes, supermarkets, and energy, building and telecoms firms, prominent international businesses include Airbnb, booking.com, Motorola, Trip Advisor, JCB, Expedia and General Mills.

Human Rights Watch, a global watchdog, noted in response to the list’s publication that the settlements violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. It argued that the firms’ activities mean they have aided “in the commission of war crimes”.

The companies’ presence in the settlements has helped to blur the distinction between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. That in turn has normalised the erosion of international law and subverted a long-held international consensus on establishing a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Work on compiling the database began four years ago. But both Israel and the United States put strong pressure on the UN in the hope of preventing the list from ever seeing the light of day.

The UN body’s belated assertiveness looks suspiciously like a rebuke to the Trump administration for releasing this month its Middle East “peace” plan. It green-lights Israel’s annexation of the settlements and the most fertile and water-rich areas of the West Bank.

In response to the database, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to intensify his country’s interference in US politics. He noted that his officials had already “promoted laws in most US states, which determine that strong action is to be taken against whoever tries to boycott Israel.”

He was backed by all Israel’s main Jewish parties. Amir Peretz, leader of the centre-left Labour party, vowed to “work in every forum to repeal this decision”. And Yair Lapid, a leader of Blue and White, the main rival to Netanyahu, called Bachelet the “commissioner for terrorists’ rights”.

Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, accused the UN of “unrelenting anti-Israel bias” and of aiding the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

In fact, the UN is not taking any meaningful action against the 112 companies, nor is it encouraging others to do so. The list is intended as a shaming tool – highlighting that these firms have condoned, through their commercial activities, Israel’s land and resource theft from Palestinians.

The UN has even taken an extremely narrow view of what constitutes involvement with the settlements. For example, it excluded organisations like FIFA, the international football association, whose Israeli subsidiary includes six settlement teams.

One of the identified companies, Airbnb, announced in late 2018 that it would remove from its accommodation bookings website all settlement properties – presumably to avoid being publicly embarrassed.

But a short time later Airbnb backed down. It is hard to imagine the decision was taken on strictly commercial grounds: the firm has only 200 settlement properties on its site.

A more realistic conclusion is that Airbnb feared the backlash from Washington and was intimidated by a barrage of accusations from pro-Israel groups that its new policy was anti-semitic.

In fact, the UN’s timing could not be more tragic. The list looks more like the last gasp of those who – through their negligence over nearly three decades – have enabled the two-state solution to wither to nothing.

Trump’s so-called peace plan could afford to be so one-sided only because western powers had already allowed Israel to void any hope of Palestinian statehood through decades of unremitting settlement expansion. Today, nearly 700,000 Israeli Jews are housed on occupied Palestinian territory.

On Monday European Union foreign ministers were due to meet to discuss their response to the plan. Tepid criticism was the most that could be expected.

The actions of several European states continue to speak much louder than any words.

On Friday, Germany followed the Czech Republic in filing a petition to the International Criminal Court at The Hague siding with Israel as the court deliberates whether to prosecute Israeli officials for war crimes, including over the establishment of settlements.

Germany does not appear to deny that the settlements are war crimes. Instead, it hopes to block the case on dubious technical grounds: that despite Palestine signing up to the Rome Statute, which established the Hague court, it is not yet a fully fledged state.

So far Austria, Hungary, Australia and Brazil appear to be following suit.

But if Palestine lacks the proper attributes of statehood, it is because the US and Europe, including Germany, have consistently broken promises to the Palestinians.

They not only refused to intervene to save the two-state solution, but rewarded Israel with trade deals and diplomatic and financial incentives, even as Israel eroded the institutional and territorial integrity necessary for Palestinian self-rule.

Germany’s stance, like that of the rest of Europe, is hypocritical. They have claimed opposition to Israel’s endless settlement expansion, and now to Trump’s plan, but their actions have paved the way to the annexation of the West Bank the plan condones.

Back in November the European Court of Justice finally ruled that products made in West Bank settlements – using illegally seized Palestinian resources on illegally seized Palestinian land – should not be labelled deceptively as “Made in Israel”.

And yet European countries are still postponing implementation of the decision. Instead, some of them are legislating against their citizens’ right to express support for a settlement boycott.

Similarly, Europe and North America continue to afford the Jewish National Fund, an entity that finances settlement-building, “charitable status”, giving it tax breaks as it raises funds inside their jurisdictions.

The Israeli media is full of stories of how the JNF actively assists extremist settler groups in evicting Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem. But Britain and other states are blocking legal efforts to challenge the JNF’s special status.

Soon, it seems, Europe will no longer have to worry about its hypocrisy being so visible. Once the settlements have been annexed, as the Trump administration intends, the EU can set aside its ineffectual agonising and treat the settlements as irrevocably Israeli – just as it has done in practice with the Israeli “neighbourhoods” of occupied East Jerusalem.

Then, the UN’s list of shame can join decades’ worth of condemnatory resolutions that have been quietly gathering dust.

February 18, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment