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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

In ‘victory for international law’, UN releases list of firms linked to Israeli settlements

Press TV – February 12, 2020

The United Nations human rights office has released a report identifying companies with business ties to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, a move hailed by Palestinians as a victory for international law.

The office said in a statement on Wednesday that it had named 112 business entities, including 94 based in Israel and 18 others in six different countries. It said it had reasonable grounds to conclude that the firms have ties with Israeli settlements.

“I am conscious this issue has been, and will continue to be, highly contentious,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday.

The office said, “While the settlements as such are regarded as illegal under international law, this report does not provide a legal characterization of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them.”

The move was hailed by the Palestinian foreign minister, who described it as a victory.

“The publication of the list of companies and parties operating in settlements is a victory for international law,” Riyad al-Maliki’s office said in a statement.

The minister also called on UN member states and the UN Human Rights council to “issue recommendations and instructions to these companies to end their work immediately with the settlements.”

The newly released report drew condemnation from Tel Aviv, with Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz saying in a statement, “The announcement by the UN Human Rights Office of the publication of a ‘blacklist’ of businesses is shameful capitulation to pressure from countries and organizations that are interested in hurting Israel.”

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.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.


Below is the full list of companies that do business in illegal Jewish settlements, as indicated in the OHCHR report

Afikim Public Transportation Ltd.

Airbnb Inc.

American Israeli Gas Corporation Ltd.

Amir Marketing and Investments in Agriculture Ltd.

Amos Hadar Properties and Investments Ltd.

Angel Bakeries

Archivists Ltd.

Ariel Properties Group

Ashtrom Industries Ltd.

Ashtrom Properties Ltd.

Avgol Industries 1953 Ltd.

Bank Hapoalim B.M.

Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M.

Bank of Jerusalem Ltd.

Beit Haarchiv Ltd.

Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication

Corp Ltd.

Booking.com B.V.

C Mer Industries Ltd.

Café Café Israel Ltd.

Caliber 3

Cellcom Israel Ltd.

Cherriessa Ltd.

Chish Nofei Israel Ltd.

Citadis Israel Ltd.

Comasco Ltd.

Darban Investments Ltd.

Delek Group Ltd.

Delta Israel

Dor Alon Energy in Israel 1988 Ltd.

Egis Rail

Egged, Israel Transportation Cooperative Society Ltd.

Energix Renewable Energies Ltd.

EPR Systems Ltd.

Extal Ltd.

Expedia Group Inc.

Field Produce Ltd.

Field Produce Marketing Ltd.

First International Bank of Israel Ltd.

Galshan Shvakim Ltd.

General Mills Israel Ltd.

Hadiklaim Israel Date Growers Cooperative Ltd.

Hot Mobile Ltd.

Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd.

Industrial Buildings Corporation Ltd.

Israel Discount Bank Ltd.

Israel Railways Corporation Ltd.

Italek Ltd.

JC Bamford Excavators Ltd.

Jerusalem Economy Ltd.

Kavim Public Transportation Ltd.

Lipski Installation and Sanitation Ltd.

Matrix IT Ltd.

Mayer Davidov Garages Ltd.

Mekorot Water Company Ltd.

Mercantile Discount Bank Ltd.

Merkavim Transportation Technologies Ltd.

Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd.

Modi’in Ezrachi Group Ltd.

Mordechai Aviv Taasiot Beniyah 1973 Ltd.

Motorola Solutions Israel Ltd.

Municipal Bank Ltd.

Naaman Group Ltd.

Nof Yam Security Ltd.

Ofertex Industries 1997 Ltd.

Opodo Ltd.

Bank Otsar Ha-Hayal Ltd.  

Partner Communications Company Ltd.

Paz Oil Company Ltd.

Pelegas Ltd.

Pelephone Communications Ltd.

Proffimat S.R. Ltd.

Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd.

Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing Communication Ltd.

Re/Max Israel

Shalgal Food Ltd.

Shapir Engineering and Industry Ltd.

Shufersal Ltd.

Sonol Israel Ltd.

Superbus Ltd.

Tahal Group International B.V.

TripAdvisor Inc.

Twitoplast Ltd.

Unikowsky Maoz Ltd.

YES

Zakai Agricultural Know-how and inputs Ltd.

ZF Development and Construction

ZMH Hammermand Ltd.

Zorganika Ltd.

Zriha Hlavin Industries Ltd.

Alon Blue Square Israel Ltd.

Alstom S.A.

Altice Europe N.V.

Amnon Mesilot Ltd.

Ashtrom Group Ltd.

Booking Holdings Inc.

Brand Industries Ltd.

Delta Galil Industries Ltd.

eDreams ODIGEO S.A.

Egis S.A.

Electra Ltd.

Export Investment Company Ltd.

General Mills Inc.

Hadar Group

Hamat Group Ltd.

Indorama Ventures P.C.L.

Kardan N.V.

Mayer’s Cars and Trucks Co. Ltd.

Motorola Solutions Inc.

Natoon Group

Villar International Ltd.

Greenkote P.L.C.

February 12, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump’s peace plan calls for a ‘New Palestine’ in Gaza

MEMO | December 17, 2019

Details of US President Donald Trump’s peace deal for the Middle East, dubbed the “deal of the century”, have allegedly been obtained by Lebanese TV station Al-Mayadeen.

While the report has not been officially confirmed, the draft specifies the timetable and methods of the plan and discusses a trilateral peace agreement between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.

A state named “New Palestine” will be established in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, except for the territories already occupied by Israel. This will force Palestine to pay Israel for protection against international aggression.

Jerusalem will not be divided in the agreement and will instead be shared by Israel and “New Palestine” with Arab residents of Jerusalem registered as residents of the new Palestinian state and not of Israel.

The process of the so-called “deal of the century” project announced by the Trump administration to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began with the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s office in Washington and US recognition of Jerusalem as the “unified capital” of the state of Israel.

And which has since seen the US embassy moved to Jerusalem; acceptance of the “legitimacy” of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories; recognising Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights; efforts to have UNRWA closed down; and recognition of the “Jewishness” of the state.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is currently administered by the Islamic Waqf, an arm of the Jordanian Ministry of Sacred Properties, but secured by Israeli police. According to the reported draft, the responsibility for Al-Aqsa Mosque will be put in the hands of Saudi Arabia.

Israeli settlers seen in the the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, on 17 October 2019 [Kudüs İslami Vakıflar İdaresi/Handout/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli settlers seen in the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, on 17 October 2019 [Kudüs İslami Vakıflar İdaresi/Handout/Anadolu Agency]

The Jerusalem Municipality would become responsible for the entire city of Jerusalem, but the Palestinian state would be responsible for education and would pay the Israeli municipality taxes and utilities, which means, Jerusalem will remain united under mostly Israeli control, reported the Jerusalem Post.

The project, which demands immediate demilitarisation of Hamas, as the “New Palestine” will be banned from having an army, has already been approved by the US, the European Union and Gulf states, according to Al-Mayadeen.

Within five years, a seaport and airport will be created for the Palestinian state, and until then, Palestinians will be able to use Israeli ports.

The US, EU and Gulf states, will shoulder the financial burden of the plan, which is expected to cost about $30 billion over a five-year period, the ultra-Orthodox Hamodia newspaper reported.

December 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian Christians that nobody is talking about

Side view of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is opened to worship after the restoration in Jerusalem on 24 March 2017

Side view of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is opened to worship after the restoration in Jerusalem on 24 March 2017
MEMO | October 29, 2019

Palestine’s Christian population is dwindling at an alarming rate. The world’s most ancient Christian community is moving elsewhere. And the reason for this is Israel.

Christian leaders from Palestine and South Africa sounded the alarm at a conference in Johannesburg on October 15. Their gathering was titled: “The Holy Land: A Palestinian Christian Perspective”.

One major issue that highlighted itself at the meetings is the rapidly declining number of Palestinian Christians in Palestine.

There are various estimates on how many Palestinian Christians are still living in Palestine today, compared with the period before 1948 when the state of Israel was established atop Palestinian towns and villages. Regardless of the source of the various studies, there is a near consensus that the number of Christian inhabitants of Palestine has dropped by nearly ten-fold in the last 70 years.

A population census carried out by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2017 concluded that 47,000 Palestinian Christians are living in Palestine – with reference to the Occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Ninety-eight per cent of Palestine’s Christians live in the West Bank – concentrated mostly in the cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem – while the remainder, a tiny Christian community of merely 1,100 people, lives in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The demographic crisis that had afflicted the Christian community decades ago is now brewing.

For example, 70 years ago, Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, was 86 per cent Christian. The demographics of the city, however, have fundamentally shifted, especially after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in June 1967, and the construction of the illegal Israeli apartheid wall, starting in 2002. Parts of the wall were meant to cut off Bethlehem from Jerusalem and to isolate the former from the rest of the West Bank.

“The Wall encircles Bethlehem by continuing south of East Jerusalem in both the east and west,” the ‘Open Bethlehem’ organisation said, describing the devastating impact of the wall on the Palestinian city. “With the land isolated by the Wall, annexed for settlements, and closed under various pretexts, only 13% of the Bethlehem district is available for Palestinian use.”

Increasingly beleaguered, Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem have been driven out from their historic city in large numbers. According to the city’s mayor, Vera Baboun, as of 2016, the Christian population of Bethlehem has dropped to 12 per cent, merely 11,000 people.

The most optimistic estimates place the overall number of Palestinian Christians in the whole of Occupied Palestine at less than two per cent.

The correlation between the shrinking Christian population in Palestine, and the Israeli occupation and apartheid should be unmistakable, as it is evident to Palestine’s Christian and Muslim community alike.

A study conducted by Dar al-Kalima University in the West Bank town of Beit Jala and published in December 2017, interviewed nearly 1,000 Palestinians, half of them Christian and the other half Muslim. One of the main goals of the research was to understand the reason behind the depleting Christian population in Palestine.

The study concluded that “the pressure of Israeli occupation, ongoing constraints, discriminatory policies, arbitrary arrests, confiscation of lands added to the general sense of hopelessness among Palestinian Christians,” who are finding themselves in “a despairing situation where they can no longer perceive a future for their offspring or for themselves”.

Unfounded claims that Palestinian Christians are leaving because of religious tensions between them and their Muslim brethren are, therefore, irrelevant.

Gaza is another case in point. Only 2 per cent of Palestine’s Christians live in the impoverished and besieged Gaza Strip. When Israel occupied Gaza along with the rest of historic Palestine in 1967, an estimated 2,300 Christians lived in the Strip. However, merely 1,100 Christians still live in Gaza today. Years of occupation, horrific wars and an unforgiving siege can do that to a community, whose historical roots date back to two millennia.

Like Gaza’s Muslims, these Christians are cut off from the rest of the world, including the holy sites in the West Bank. Every year, Gaza’s Christians apply for permits from the Israeli military to join Easter services in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Last April, only 200 Christians were granted permits, but on the condition that they must be 55 years of age or older and that they are not allowed to visit Jerusalem.

The Israeli rights group, Gisha, described the Israeli army decision as “a further violation of Palestinians’ fundamental rights to freedom of movement, religious freedom and family life”, and, rightly, accused Israel of attempting to “deepen the separation” between Gaza and the West Bank.

Israel aims at doing more than that. Separating Palestinian Christians from one another, and from their holy sites (as is the case for Muslims, as well), the Israeli government hopes to weaken the socio-cultural and spiritual connections that give Palestinians their collective identity.

Israel’s strategy is predicated on the idea that a combination of factors – immense economic hardships, permanent siege and apartheid, the severing of communal and spiritual bonds – will eventually drive all Christians out of their Palestinian homeland.

Read: Morocco insists that Palestine is one of its core principles

Israel is keen to present the ‘conflict’ in Palestine as a religious one so that it could, in turn, brand itself as a beleaguered Jewish state amid a massive Muslim population in the Middle East. The continued existence of Palestinian Christians does not factor nicely into this Israeli agenda.

Sadly, however, Israel has succeeded in misrepresenting the struggle in Palestine – from that of political and human rights struggle against settler colonialism – into a religious one. Equally disturbing, Israel’s most ardent supporters in the United States and elsewhere are devout Christians.

It must be understood that Palestinian Christians are neither aliens nor bystanders in Palestine. They have been victimised equally as their Muslim brethren. They have also played a significant role in defining the modern Palestinian identity, through their resistance, spirituality, deep connection to the land, artistic contributions and burgeoning scholarship.

Israel must not be allowed to ostracise the world’s most ancient Christian community from their ancestral land so that it may score a few points in its fierce drive for racial supremacy.

Equally important, our understanding of the legendary Palestinian ‘soumoud’ – steadfastness – and solidarity cannot be complete without fully appreciating the centrality of Palestinian Christians to the modern Palestinian narrative and identity.

October 29, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Dream

Al-Haq | October 22, 2019

This is the story of the Palestinian dream, Khaled Abu Joudeh, who decided to build a house for his seven children, in the Kafr Aqab neighbourhood; and under the pretext of its proximity to the Annexation and Expansion wall, the so-called Jerusalem Municipality decided to demolish it on June 12, 2019.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Israel arrests Palestine’s Jerusalem minister

Israeli forces detain Jerusalem Affairs Minister Fadi al-Hadami. (Photo: via Social Media)
MEMO | September 25, 2019

Israeli forces detained Jerusalem Affairs Minister Fadi al-Hadami of the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, according to an official statement, reports Anadolu Agency.

In a statement, the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry said Israeli forces raided the minister’s home and searched it before taking him into custody.

There was no comment from the Israeli military on the arrest.

This is the second time Israeli forces arrested the Jerusalem minister in the last three months.

Israeli forces have escalated their actions against Palestinian activities in Jerusalem since U.S. President Donald Trump recognized the occupied city as Israel’s capital in 2017.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem – occupied by Israel since 1967 – might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

September 25, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

How to confront Israel’s annexation of the occupied West Bank

By Dr Youssef Rizqa | MEMO | September 4, 2019

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is doing everything possible to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is still doing everything possible to coordinate with Israel’s security agencies, suppressing every new resistance cell, most recently the one in Nablus.

If the PA can preserve the Arab nature and character of the West Bank by suppressing resistance and security coordination, then there is no reason for it to complain about Netanyahu’s annexation call. How can the PA complain about Israel to the world, while it helps Israel, facilitates its security measures and prevents its own citizens from resisting illegal settlements and the Judaisation of their land? If the PA is resorting to the outside world and complaining about Israel, why doesn’t it let its people in the West Bank help it to thwart Israel’s plans?

The PA’s policy is strange, as Abbas is fighting Israel abroad in Western countries and international forums, but not at home; nor does he allow the Palestinian factions and citizens to exercise any kind of legitimate resistance to the Israeli occupation. Does he hope to liberate the West Bank of the Israeli settlements by complaining to Western countries? If that was even remotely possible, why couldn’t he prevent Israel from annexing Jerusalem or stop the US from moving its embassy to Jerusalem, even though the entire world, including Britain and France, do not recognise Israel’s annexation of the Holy City?

The correct response to the Jerusalem issue is to activate national resistance, while the appropriate response to Netanyahu’s call to annex parts of the West Bank is to activate the resistance and withdraw from security coordination. There is no other solution that can preserve the Arab nature of the West Bank and prevent illegal settlement expansion.

Abbas cannot walk down the right path — which must surely be the path of his own people — while taking the crooked path, travelling between Western and Eastern capitals and begging them to put pressure on Israel. He has forgotten that countries with specific ideologies and which believe Zionism’s Biblical myths are not influenced at all by external pressure.

Israel and its supporters have the power to exert pressure and influence over others in, for example, the US, where support for the occupation state is strong, as well as among the governing classes in France, Germany and Britain. Ideology must be tackled with ideology; myths must be disproved by established historical facts; and resistance must be used to prevent settlement expansion and Israel’s annexation of the West Bank.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Felesteen on 2 September 2019

September 4, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | 1 Comment