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US’ Greenblatt: ‘Israel is victim in conflict with Palestinians’

MEMO | July 18, 2019

The US Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, has said that Israel is the “victim” in its conflict with the Palestinians and that he “cannot think of single instances” when Israel made a mistake.

In an interview aired yesterday by US broadcaster PBS, Greenblatt was asked what responsibility Israel bears for its now 71-year-old conflict with the Palestinians. The US envoy replied:

I think that Israel is actually more the victim than the party that’s responsible. From the moment of its formation, they were attacked multiple times. They continue to be attacked with terrorism. So — I’m not sure I understand the premise of the question.

He added that he “cannot think of single instances” in which Israel made a mistake or overstepped its authority, saying: “I think that they’re trying their best to succeed. They have actually succeeded in many ways, especially economically, under very, very trying circumstances.”

Greenblatt also doubled down on previous comments in which he argued Israel’s illegal settlements should be referred to as “neighbourhoods and cities”, saying that the term “settlements” is “pejorative”.

On the occupied West Bank – where over 500 illegal settlements are located – and the besieged Gaza Strip, the envoy said: “I would argue that the land is disputed. It needs to be resolved in the context of direct negotiations between the parties. Calling it occupied territory does not help resolve the conflict.”

Under international law, both the West Bank and Gaza Strip remain classified as occupied territories.

Greenblatt’s comments are the latest in a series of controversial remarks that have drawn fierce criticism and rebuke of the US envoy.

Earlier this month, Greenblatt came under fire after criticising the Palestinian Authority (PA) for failing to provide adequate funds for a Palestinian child’s blood cancer medication. This came after Gaza-based Palestinian journalist Fathi Sabbah accused PA Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, and Ahmed Abu Houli, a member of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), of reneging on promises to assist with his daughter Rima’s treatment.

This prompted Greenblatt to write on Twitter: “Mr. Shtayyeh, how about keeping your word & paying for Rima’s treatment? The PA has the funds and it would be a wise and compassionate use of them. Mr. Sabbah, my thoughts are with you and your family. I pray Rima will have a full and speedy recovery.”

Twitter users – including Sabbah – were quick to point out the irony of Greenblatt blaming the PA for the family’s plight while ignoring Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip, regular refusal to grant exit visas for medical treatment, and the US’ almost-unconditional support for Israel.

The US envoy – who is one of the chief architects of the US’ long-awaited “deal of the century” – has also made a number of provocative claims about Israel’s policy in the occupied West Bank.

In June, Greenblatt stood behind comments made by US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, in which the latter stated Israel has “the right” to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Friedman told the New York Times that “under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank”, provoking international outcry and prompting the Palestinian Foreign Ministry to consider filing a complaint against the ambassador at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Greenblatt backed Friedman’s stance, saying: “I will let David’s comments stand for themselves. I think he said them elegantly and I support his comments.” For his part, Friedman has also refused to back down, since claiming he does “not understand why this issue was faced with such criticism. There is no scenario in which Israel is leaving the whole West Bank.”

His comments have been interpreted as an effort to normalise discussion of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed ahead of the country’s April general election that he would annex the territory if he were re-elected.

Though the political elements of the “deal of the century” have not yet been unveiled, the plan is not expected to demand that Israel dismantle its West Bank settlements. Though the US has not yet changed its policy on annexation, the precedent set by President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights as Israeli could pave the way for a similar move in the West Bank.

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel to Demolish Residential Buildings near Jerusalem

Palestine Chronicle | July 18, 2019

Israeli forces today took measurements of 16 Palestinian residential buildings slated for demolition in Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood, located on the edge of Sur Baher, southeast of the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Head of the Wadi al-Hummus Committee Hamada Hamada told WAFA that Israeli forces along with staff from the so-called Israeli municipality took measurements of the 16 buildings, which comprise of 100 apartments, in preparation to demolish them as was confirmed one of the owners Mohammed Abu Tair.

This step, Hamada explained, came after the period given by Israeli authorities to the owners to demolish their apartments on their own came to an end today, thus the demolition will be carried out at any moment.

The owners are expected to pay exorbitant demolition fees as the Israeli authorities will carry out the demolition.

The Israeli high court has recently approved the demolition of the buildings, thus upholding military allegations that the buildings are “close to the Annexation Wall” and “pose a security threat” due to their proximity to the illegal wall.

Palestinian appeals to demolition orders are frequently dismissed by Israeli courts, which are in fact complicit in perpetuating the Israeli policies of forcible transfer and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

The demolition is expected to have a disastrous effect on all other areas of the West Bank adjacent to Israel’s wall, putting these areas at a high risk of mass demolitions under security pretenses and putting the lives of Palestinians living in such areas at the risk of imminent forcible transfer.

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 3 Comments

Palestinians lose $270m per year due to military checkpoints: Study

MEMO | July 15, 2019

Palestinians lose about 60 million work hours per year due to restrictions on movement in the occupied West Bank imposed by Israeli occupation forces, according to a study by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ).

This loss is estimated at $270 million per year, as well as added fuel consumption of 80 million litres, costing up to an additional $135 million and leading to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 196,000 tonnes per year.

The study tracked the movement of citizens through 15 major Israeli military checkpoints between cities in the occupied West Bank as well as 11 crossing points into Jerusalem and Israeli territories. The data was collected from the beginning of January to the end of July 2018, using GPS tracking devices installed on Palestinian vehicles, including public transport and private vehicles. Each device monitored the location, time and speed of the vehicle every ten seconds, giving an accurate idea of the time spent at military checkpoints.

Israel maintains a system of checkpoints that can be closed at any time, preventing Palestinians from travelling to school, hospital or work, or to access their land.

In a July 2018 survey, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHAoPt) recorded that there are “705 permanent obstacles across the West Bank restricting or controlling Palestinian vehicular, and in some cases pedestrian, movement.”

Israel also runs a system of “flying checkpoints” which can disrupt travel at a moment’s notice. OCHAoPt notes that, “between January 2017 and the end of July 2018, Israeli forces employed an additional 4,924 ad-hoc ‘flying’ checkpoints, or nearly 60 a week. These involve the deployment of Israeli forces for several hours on a given road for the purpose of stopping and checking Palestinian drivers and vehicles, but without any permanent physical infrastructure on the ground.”

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli Forces Seize Palestinian Garbage Trucks, Detain Drivers

IMEMC News – July 10, 2019

A group of Israeli soldiers on Wednesday detained Palestinian municipal employees in the village of Beit Fourik, in the northern West Bank, and seized several vehicles used for trash collection.

According to local sources, the vehicles that were seized include a garbage truck, a tractor used for hauling garbage and a third vehicle used in trash collection.

The vehicles were loaded with garbage and were headed to a landfill site east of the village, located near Nablus in the northern West Bank, when they were detained by Israeli soldiers in military vehicles.

The soldiers approached with weapons drawn and ordered the municipal employees out of their vehicles, then held them for several hours in the hot sun, and took the vehicles away to an unknown location.

The Palestinian Wafa News Agency spoke with Ata Samara, a health inspector with the Beit Fourik village council, who told them that this trash collection by the municipality is a daily collection, and this is the first time they have been harassed by Israeli occupation forces.

Samara added that the trash dump is located in Area B of the West Bank, which is administered by the Palestinian Authority but falls under Israeli military rule, adding that the village council was not informed by the army that it would no longer be allowed to dump there. He said the seizure of the truck and car is part of an effort by the Israeli army to make life difficult for the Palestinians in that village.

Without a trash truck or a place to put garbage, the Palestinians of the village will be forced to fend for themselves, which will likely result in a buildup of trash at homes in the village, and unsanitary conditions will result.

Israeli authorities have created multiple landfill sites for Israeli garbage on stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank, and frequently haul and dump Israeli garbage onto Palestinian village land. However, in recent years the Israeli authorities have made it harder and harder for Palestinians in the West Bank to dump their garbage, instead closing off the Palestinian landfills and dumps or putting roadblocks to prevent the Palestinians from reaching them.

Israeli forces have targeted the village of Beit Fourik for collective punishment, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, since March, when an Israeli settler was killed in a settlement nearby.

July 10, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Settler tour exemplifies the difficult reality of occupation in the Old City of Hebron – a photo essay

International Solidarity Movement – July 7, 2019

Hebron, occupied Palestine – Every Saturday, illegal Jewish settlers from around the West Bank take a “tour” of the busy souq (market) in Old City of Hebron, the busiest market street in the area since the closure of Shuhada Street. Local Palestinians believe that the Israeli authorities facilitate the tour as a deliberate method of intimidation, making life intolerable and unsustainable for them in order to prompt displacement.

On the tour, current and prospective settlers are given a skewed history of Hebron which disregards and contradicts the documented history of peaceful coexistence between Arabs and Jews in the city before 1948. Instead, it identifies the land’s heritage as solely Jewish. As shown, the settlers are escorted by numerous Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers, who randomly detain Palestinians for ID checks and prevent free movement in the souq during the duration of the tour.

Military and police can also be seen on the rooftops of Palestinian homes, many of which are now empty as a result of forced evictions for surveillance purposes. Palestinians living in the Old City are under constant threat of home invasions by the Israeli military and Jewish settlers, further contributing to displacement and the theft of Palestinian property.

July 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

For Israel, Annexation of the West Bank is a Long-established Goal

With Benjamin Netanyahu under pressure and the US signalling its support, the time to realise this catastrophic ambition may be fast approaching

By Jonathan Cook • The National • June 17, 2019

When Israeli prime ministers are in trouble, facing difficult elections or a corruption scandal, the temptation has typically been for them to unleash a military operation to bolster their standing. In recent years, Gaza has served as a favourite punching bag.

Benjamin Netanyahu is confronting both difficulties at once: a second round of elections in September that he may struggle to win; and an attorney general who is widely expected to indict him on corruption charges shortly afterwards.

Mr Netanyahu is in an unusually tight spot, even by the standards of an often chaotic and fractious Israeli political system. After a decade in power, his electoral magic may be deserting him. There are already rumblings of discontent among his allies on the far right.

Given his desperate straits, some observers fear that he may need to pull a new kind of rabbit out of the hat.

In the past two elections, Mr Netanyahu rode to success after issuing dramatic last-minute statements. In 2015, he agitated against the fifth of Israel’s citizens who are Palestinian asserting their democratic rights, warning that they were “coming out in droves to vote”.

Back in April, he declared his intention to annex large chunks of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, during the next parliament.

Amos Harel, a veteran military analyst with Haaretz newspaper, observed last week that Mr Netanyahu may decide words are no longer enough to win. Action is needed, possibly in the form of an announcement on the eve of September’s ballot that as much as two-thirds of the West Bank is to be annexed.

Washington does not look like it will stand in his way.

Shortly before April’s election, the Trump administration offered Mr Netanyahu a campaign fillip by recognising Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in 1967.

This month David Friedman, US ambassador to Israel and one of the chief architects of Donald Trump’s long-delayed “deal of the century” peace plan, appeared to offer a similar, early election boost.

In interviews, he claimed Israel was “on the side of God” – unlike, or so it was implied, the Palestinians. He further argued that Israel had the “right to retain” much of the West Bank.

Both statements suggest that the Trump administration will not object to any Israeli moves towards annexation, especially if it ensures their favoured candidate returns to power.

Whatever Mr Friedman suggests, it is not God who has intervened on Israel’s behalf. The hands that have carefully cleared a path over many decades to the West Bank’s annexation are all too human.

Israeli officials have been preparing for this moment for more than half a century, since the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza were seized back in 1967.

That point is underscored by an innovative interactive map of the occupied territories. This valuable new resource is a joint project of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and Forensic Architecture, a London-based team that uses new technology to visualise and map political violence and environmental destruction.

Titled Conquer and Divide, it reveals in detail how Israel has “torn apart Palestinian space, divided the Palestinian population into dozens of disconnected enclaves and unravelled its social, cultural and economic fabric”.

The map proves beyond doubt that Israel’s colonisation of the West Bank was never accidental, defensive or reluctant. It was coldly calculated and intricately planned, with one goal in mind – and the moment to realise that goal is fast approaching.

Annexation is not a right-wing project that has hijacked the benign intentions of Israel’s founding generation. Annexation was on the cards from the occupation’s very beginnings in 1967, when the so-called centre-left – now presented as a peace-loving alternative to Mr Netanyahu – ran the government.

The map shows how Israeli military planners created a complex web of pretexts to seize Palestinian land: closed military zones today cover a third of the West Bank; firing ranges impact 38 Palestinian communities; nature reserves are located on 6 per cent of the territory; nearly a quarter has been declared Israeli “state” land; some 250 settlements have been established; dozens of permanent checkpoints severely limit movement; and hundreds of kilometres of walls and fences have been completed.

These interlocking land seizures seamlessly carved up the territory, establishing the walls of dozens of tightly contained prisons for Palestinians in their own homeland.

Two Nasa satellite images of the region separated by 30 years – from 1987 and 2017 – reveal how Israel’s settlements and transport infrastructure have gradually scarred the West Bank’s landscape, clearing away natural vegetation and replacing it with concrete.

The land grabs were not simply about acquisition of territory. They were a weapon, along with increasingly draconian movement restrictions, to force the native Palestinian population to submit, to recognise its defeat, to give up hope.

In the immediate wake of the West Bank’s occupation, defence minister Moshe Dayan, Israel’s hero of the hour and one of the architects of the settlement project, observed that Palestinians should be made “to live like dogs, and whoever wants to can leave – and we shall see where this process leads”.

Although Israel has concentrated Palestinians in 165 disconnected areas across the West Bank, its actions effectively won the international community’s seal of approval in 1995. The Oslo accords cemented Israel’s absolute control over 62 per cent of the West Bank, containing the Palestinians’ key agricultural land and water sources, which was classified as Area C.

Occupations are intended to be temporary – and the Oslo accords promised the same. Gradually, the Palestinians would be allowed to take back more of their territory to build a state. But Israel made sure both the occupation and the land thefts sanctioned by Oslo continued.

The new map reveals more than just the methods Israel used to commandeer the West Bank. Decades of land seizures highlight a trajectory, plotting a course that indicates the project is still not complete.

If Mr. Netanyahu partially annexes the West Bank – Area C – it will be simply another stage in Israel’s tireless efforts to immiserate the Palestinian population and bully them into leaving. This is a war of attrition – what Israelis have long understood as “creeping annexation”, carried out by stealth to avoid a backlash from the international community.

Ultimately, Israel wants the Palestinians gone entirely, squeezed out into neighbouring Arab states, such as Egypt and Jordan. That next chapter is likely to begin in earnest if Mr Trump ever gets the chance to unveil his “deal of the century”.

June 17, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Saed Bannoura: A Moment that Changed my Life

By Saed Bannoura | International Middle East Media Center | April 29, 2005

On April 22, 1991, I was only 18 years old; I was out with some of my comrades planning to conduct a march and rally in the streets of our town, Beit Sahour, against the Israeli occupation of our land. This march was one of many peaceful protests held as part of what had become known as the ‘first Intifada’ (popular uprising), which had begun in 1987.

That particular day seemed somehow strange to me, and different from previous marches – usually the Israeli army filled the streets of our town during protests, occupying every corner, but on this day the army remained in their camp, and did not show any presence.

Something felt wrong. Deep inside of me I felt that there was something that did not feel right. Where was the army? What I did not realize was that the army was in fact already present, but in a different shape and form.

On that particular day, it was “the death squads” (as they were known to us), known in Israel as the Dovadim, the Israeli special forces, who were policing and patrolling our demonstration. These are forces which are specially trained for assassinations and are well known for their brutality and their ‘shoot to kill’ orders.

Apparently, after the Israeli prisons were filled with Palestinians, and after the Israeli policies of ‘bone breaking’ and long imprisonment failed to stop the uprising, the army decided on a new policy, a policy of ‘assassinating’ the youth, or at least severely injuring and disabling them.

During the first Intifada, an Israeli high official was quoted as saying that the army should not kill the Palestinian youth, because a youth killed by the army would then be honored as a martyr and thousands would follow their lead. He said that it is better to paralyze and disable the youth, knowing the way society looks down on disabled people.

This official decided that the army, especially the well trained ‘death squads’ should ‘give their utmost effort’ to paralyze the youth of the Intifada.

As for me, on that fateful April morning in 1991, I discovered at one point during the demonstration that I was surrounded by a group of masked men who pretended they were also Palestinian protesters. They tried to talk to me in Arabic and ask me about “the location of the soldiers” in an attempt to fool me, but the man who spoke to me didn’t pronounce the Arabic words correctly. It was at that moment I realized that I was actually surrounded by a death squad.

When the man noticed that I had realized their true identify he pulled a small automatic gun from under his shirt, and I ran away knowing that even if I surrendered to him then, I would have been immediately assassinated, as had happened to so many Palestinian martyrs before me.

The man ran after me, along with the other undercover death squad members, until I came to an area were he was standing above me on a hill, just five meters away from me. When he shouted at me again, I began to turn, and I could see his eyes, or at least, what was visible of them from under his mask. It was at that moment that he started to shoot.

After five or six rounds penetrated my chest and back, I fell to the ground, motionless, soaked with my own blood. I could not feel anything, I could not see clearly, and I could not hear anything.

I fell down face first, injuring my face and breaking my teeth on the ground. Then the man approached me and kicked me in my chest, breaking four ribs, in order to flip me over onto my back.

The last thing I heard before I passed out was that man who shot me saying, “After all that, and you’re still alive!?”

Those are words I can never forget, for they revealed to me at that moment the true identity of the Israeli army, the army of criminals and murderers.

In spite of the fact that the Israeli military ambulance was already present in my town when I was shot, apparently they believed that if the death squad was in town, that meant that death was there too, and they didn’t show up until 30 minutes after I was shot.

When the Israeli ambulance crew finally arrived (no Palestinian ambulance was allowed in to take me), the medics told the soldiers that they should impose curfew because “I was dead”. They thought there was no way I could survive such serious wounds – they were sure I would be dead within hours. During the first Intifada the army would impose a curfew every time they killed someone, thus punishing all the Palestinians in the area for the army’s own misdeed.

Military medics tried to give me first aid there on the ground, I was bleeding so much it was flooding the area were I fell.

After the ‘first aid’ they gave me, they drove the ambulance to a military base in Bethlehem – as my body was fighting to stay alive, they went through their procedures, handing over my identity card to the military, filling out forms and filing their report before they even brought me to the hospital. I was driven out of Bethlehem (where there are two hospitals), and all the way to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem, where it would be difficult or even impossible for my family to come see me due to the Israeli-imposed closure and checkpoints.

Meanwhile, a military commander in Bethlehem phoned my father at home, and told him that I was mildly injured in my face, leaving out the five bullets which were lodged in my lung and spine – apparently these bullets did not count as injuries.

When they finally transferred me to the Israeli hospital I was operated on for the entire night. The surgeon who operated on me decided that it was easier to cut off one third of my lung and throw it away with the bullets than to take the care needed to extract the bullets from the lung (a move which led a Palestinian reporter to editorialize that my ‘surgeon had been a butcher in his past profession’ in an article he wrote about my injury).

One of the bullets penetrated my spine – it went through my chest and lodged in my spine, causing paralysis. That fateful bullet has led to me being paralyzed from the waist down, for life.

In the morning, one of the doctors told my mother, “You have a new born baby for a son” – that was me, paralyzed, unconscious and half dead.

I woke up for a few minutes three days after my injury. I did not know anything, did not remember anything, I saw my mother next to me, I tried to speak but that was useless, she was tortured to see me there, I could feel it, and could easily notice her health had deteriorated fearing that I would die at any moment.

I tried to ask her what I was doing there, and she said, “Relax my son, you are alright”, so I did, and “relaxed” for an additional seven days in another coma.

After those seven days, I was transferred out of the intensive care unit to another branch of the hospital, even though I still felt lost and unconscious even when I was awake.

Then, the hospital administration, after failing to make the army pay for my expenses, decided that I should leave, and told my father he must pay for the expenses. When they realized he could not pay, that he was without money, they told my father, “send him to an Arabic hospital, we saved his life, and he must go”.

But I was in no condition to be moved at all. Out of intensive care, my condition deteriorated rapidly, and I had to go back to intensive care for another ten days. When they decided I was “ok” I had to leave, even though I was nowhere near the condition that would normally be acceptable for releasing a patient with such severe injuries – but after all, I was “just a Palestinian”, and didn’t seem to count for much in the Israeli hospital. In fact, the hospital even insisted that a Palestinian ambulance come to fetch me, for they could not bear the expense of using one of their own ambulances to transport me to a Palestinian hospital. So I was transferred (by a Palestinian ambulance) to Al-Makessed hospital in Jerusalem.

I was hospitalized for three months, during which time I kept losing a lot of blood, internally and externally, due to my injuries (and the part of my lung that had been completely cut out). I still couldn’t think straight, couldn’t figure out why I was there – I had only visions spinning in my head, and vague memories.

After that time, I was transferred to Abu Raya Rehabilitation center in Ramallah. By then I started to realize that my life had changed forever.

I received rehabilitation for several months. I can still remember the first time I could dress alone, it felt good to be able to dress or bathe alone after a lot of work and effort – something that, previously, I would never have thought difficult had become such a challenge in my new body.

Ten months after my injury I enrolled as a student at Bethlehem University, and I studied four years, receiving my B.A degree in English and translation.

Now, many years later, am still paralyzed of course, but my life is a clear proof of the failure of the Israeli vision that paralyzing, injuring and killing us will make us give up. I have learned that the bullet which does not kill us makes us stronger.

So I am in a wheelchair, facing difficulties in life, facing repeated infections and bad health, but I am still the man who stood up to the Israeli occupation day after day and said NO to the occupiers.

One day I saw a program on Israeli TV about the special forces, the so-called ‘death squads’ which shot me. They showed scrambled pictures of soldiers talking about the attacks they carried out in Palestinian areas. Most of them are receiving psychological help now, and therapy. At that moment I felt victorious, after all they failed to kill my will and my internal strength, while these men who shoot unarmed youth with impunity are suffering internal torment and anguish for the crimes they have committed. I sit with my full mind, in honor, knowing I have done no wrong, and even after all they have done to me, I am still here willing to liberate my country, even while sitting on my wheelchair.

Its true, I will live my life on this wheelchair, paralyzed, and that is difficult sometimes to accept. They may have been able to take my mobility away, they may have been able to take my life as a completely healthy young man, but what they could not take, and will never be able to take away is my internal strength, my will and my love of my country.

The spirit of revolution, the path of freedom requires sacrifices we need to be ready and willing to make, until we reach our legitimate goal of freedom and liberation.

After the thousands of sacrifices of the Palestinian people, the thousands of martyrs, and tens of thousands of injured and disabled, we know that there can be no solution without liberation. The revolution will resume, even if it pauses for a while.

Palestine is our dream, our heart and life, the spirit of revolution and the longing for freedom can never die. Their tanks, apaches, shells, and bullets of hatred can never win.

June 3, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

Settler filmed starting fire in West Bank field is Israeli soldier

MEMO | May 27, 2019

One of the two Jewish settlers recently caught on video starting a fire in the occupied West Bank is an Israeli soldier, it has been revealed.

According to reports in the Israeli media, “the army knows the identity of the settler”, and “two security sources confirmed the details, saying that the soldier was on leave when the arson took place”.

The military said that “the Israel Police are expected to handle the incident”, while “the police said that they have yet to arrest the soldier”.

The incident took place on Friday, 17 May, when settlers attacked Palestinians and their properties in three West Bank villages.

While the Israeli military initially blamed Palestinians for starting the fires, the army was forced to change its story after a video clip published by human rights NGO B’Tselem clearly showed settlers lighting fires in fields.

In a separate video taken by local Palestinians that day, settlers are seen throwing rocks at villagers’ homes, while Israeli soldiers “can be seen standing among the settlers and doing nothing to stop them”.

To date, no one has been arrested for any of these attacks.

Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank routinely assault Palestinians and vandalise their property, attacks which are almost never investigated or prosecuted by Israeli occupation authorities.

All Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law.

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Armed grown soldiers arrest children, aggressively frisk them

International Solidarity Movement | May 8, 2019

A personal account of detention, racism and broken rules

An international activist who was documenting this incident was also detained by the soldiers, she describes her detention as follows:

I’ve been at Salaymeh checkpoint every other day for a month and a half just trying to document the soldier’s harassment of the children, keeping in contact with the UN, so they can hopefully help if children are arrested. I am always mindful not to antagonize the soldiers and try to interact with them as little as possible. My hope is that an international presence will result in less violence because the soldiers will know they are being watched and may be held accountable.

On the day that I was detained I was filming a soldier as normal, who threatened to arrest another activist who I was with. Because I’d witnessed a lot of broken rules and violence by the army during my time at Salaymeh checkpoint, I knew it was important to keep filming. The commander asked me to move away, and when I kept filming, she told me that she would have another soldier move me with force. When I didn’t stop filming, she told me to come with her and that she had the authority to make arrests. I was very unsure of what to do in this situation – I had been told before that soldiers could not make arrests, but I was confused, and I was afraid of what might happen so I complied and went with her. I later found out that what the commander had said was in fact a lie and that she had absolutely no legal authority to detain me.

I was kept at Salaymeh checkpoint for an hour and a half, being told that the police would come but they never did. I was then put into a military van without being told where I was being taken. They then drove me around the city back and forth for half an hour which was very confusing. I still don’t know why they did this but I believe now that they were trying to shake off the UN who were trying to find out where I was being held in order to assist me. Eventually I was taken to a military base where they were also holding the Palestinian child who had been arrested. We were both held there for over 5 hours. During this time I was marshalled around, sporadically questioned, never given any food or water and never having anything explained to me. I was told that I would never be able to return to the country and that I would be deported that day. The whole time I was denied access to my lawyer and I was never given any reason for why I was being held.

What struck me the most about being detained with the Palestinian child was that as an international I was treated far better. I, an adult, was not handcuffed, and I was allowed to keep my things. He however, a child, was handcuffed, restrained, frisked, and they took his phone and his things. It was shocking and angering to me that this child was treated so much worse than me – it made it very obvious to me that the treatment of Palestinians undoubtedly has its roots in racism. – Full article


Children in Al-Ram living in close proximity to the separation barrier

Defence for Children Palestine – May 9, 2019

The Israeli separation barrier cuts Al-Ram off from East Jerusalem, restricting movement for these two Palestinian siblings who live near the barrier. Sadeen Q., 12, says the Israeli army fires tear gas from behind the barrier into their home. Shawqi Q., 10, dreams of a day when the barrier will be gone. In 2004, the International Court of Justice advised Israel to dismantle portions of the barrier. Israel has yet to comply.


Zaid’s school experience in Nablus is framed by soldiers

Defence for Children Palestine – May 9, 2019

“Soldiers and settlers stormed the school and suddenly broke into the classroom and started to assault the students before arresting me,” said Zaid M., 15., about an Israeli raid during an exam. He says that interrogators threatened to assault him unless he told them which of his peers were involved in stone-throwing. The school’s principal says that weekly army raids and other disruptions negatively impact the school and its students. DCIP has found that children living or studying near Israeli settlements are at higher risk of arrest.


Waiting for reconstruction, Oday lives in a damaged house

Defence for Children Palestine – August 16, 2017

Israel’s 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip in 2014 left thousands homeless. The assault completely destroyed or severely damaged 17,800 Palestinian homes and partially destroyed another 153,200 homes. In the wake of the destruction, the blockade has slowed reconstruction progress. Oday M., 16, from Khuza’a in the southern part of Gaza, has moved back into his partially destroyed house while waiting for construction to finish on a new home.

May 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli forces murder Palestinian after refusing political detention

Palestinian prisoner Amjad Jamal Galag, 30, shot and killed by Israeli forces on 6May, 2019 [Twitter]

Palestinian prisoner Amjad Jamal Galag, 30, shot and killed by Israeli forces on 6May, 2019 [Twitter]
MEMO | May 6, 2019

Israeli occupation forces shot and killed freed Palestinian prisoner Amjad Jamal Galag, 30, from the neighbourhood of Atteel in the occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm, reports Palestine Post 24

Sources said that a group of Israeli occupation policemen attempted to arrest him at an illegal Israeli military checkpoint.

He refused to surrender to the Israeli occupation forces and resumed his way towards occupied Palestine.

The Israeli police chased him and when they could not catch him, they opened fire at his car and killed him.

It is worth noting that the Israeli occupation forces raided tonight several areas across the occupied West Bank and arrested 14 Palestinians from their beds.

Rights groups have recorded several cases when Israeli occupation forces or police executed Palestinians after refusing to be taken to prison.

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Youth under Occupation

Al-Haq – May 6, 2019

Youth under Occupation, a documentary produced by Al-Haq Organization and The Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), which sheds the light on the Israeli violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and their impact on the Palestinian youth, within 18 minutes of testimonies given by four young men and women.

May 6, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israel killed 102 Palestinian journalists since 1972

Palestine Information Center – May 1, 2019

RAMALLAH – The Palestinian Journalists Union in the West Bank on Tuesday said that Israeli occupation forces have killed 102 Palestinian journalists since 1972.

Naser Abu Baker, head of the union, said during his speech for a conference on press freedom in Ramallah that 19 journalists have been killed since 2014.

During the past four months, the Palestinian Journalists Union documented 136 Israeli attacks on Palestinian journalists, and 838 in 2018, including the killing of Yaser Murataj and Ahmad Abu Hussein in Gaza.

In 2018, 52 Palestinian journalists were arrested, and 47 were injured by live ammunition, 189 by tear gas canisters, and 17 by rubber-coated metal bullets.

Baker said that 2018 witnessed an unprecedented increase in the violations and crimes committed against Palestinian journalists, including attacks carried out by settlers.

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , , | 1 Comment