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Israel declares it is above the law

MEMO | September 21, 2018

Israel’s critics often describe the country as being above the law, but until now this has never been brazenly declared by its government. Documents published this week shows a legal representative of the Israeli government audaciously claiming that Israel can “legislate anywhere in the world,” that it is “entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries,” and that it “is allowed to ignore the directives of international law in any field it desires”.

The bold declaration was made in legal materials recently submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court in which the government representative said that the Knesset is allowed to ignore international law anywhere it desires.

These remarks were made last month in a written response the government filed to the Israeli Supreme Court relating to the petition against the Settlement Regularisation Law filed by Palestinian legal groups, Adalah, The Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Centre (JLAC), and Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Gaza). Their petition was made on behalf of 17 local Palestinian authorities in the West Bank.

The Palestinian plaintiffs challenged an Israeli law passed last year which aimed to retroactively legalise thousands of settler homes and structures built on Palestinian private land, to avert the possibility that the Israeli Supreme Court might one day sanction their removal. Before the law was passed, even Israeli law considered such structures illegal, not to mention that all settlements are a flagrant violation of international law.

In a statement by Adalah, the legal centre said that “fellow petitioners argued that the Knesset is not permitted to enact and impose laws on territory occupied by the State of Israel. Thus, the Knesset cannot enact laws that annex the West Bank or that violate the rights of Palestinian residents of the West Bank”.

In its defence government lawyer, Attorney Arnon Harel said in a statement in which he referred to the West Bank as “Judea and Samaria” that “the Knesset has no limitation which prevents it from legislating extra-territorially anywhere in the world, including the area [‘Judea and Samaria’]”.

In the government statement, which is likely to evoke outrage, Harel rebuffs the legal groups claim by insisting that the plaintiff argument is baseless because Israel is entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries and the West Bank is no exception.

“Although the Knesset can legislate [concerning] any place in the world, although it is entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries through legislation that would be applied to events occurring in their territories […], although it is within the authority of the Government of Israel to annex any territory […], although the Knesset may ignore directives of international law in any area it pleases […] despite all these, the plaintiffs seek to define a ‘rule’ by which precisely in Judea and Samaria the Knesset is prohibited from legislating anything, and that precisely there, and nowhere else in the world, it is subject to the directives of international law,” the Israeli government said.

In their response Adalah said: “The Israeli government’s extremist response has no parallel anywhere in the world. It stands in gross violation of international law and of the United Nations Charter which obligates member states to refrain from threatening or using force against the territorial integrity of other states – including occupied territories. The Israeli government’s extremist position is, in fact, a declaration of its intention to proceed with its annexation of the West Bank.”

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli settler runs over Palestinian teen in Hebron City

Ma’an – September 21, 2018

HEBRON – A 16-year-old Palestinian teen was hospitalized after an Israeli settler “deliberately” ran him over, on Friday, in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that an Israeli settler deliberately ran over the Palestinian teen with his vehicle in Hebron City.

The teen was identified by locals as Munir Abdullah Gharib, 16.

Mounir suffered injuries from the attack and was immediately transferred to the Alia Governmental Hospital in Hebron for necessary medical treatment; his condition remained unknown.

Incidents involving Israeli settlers hitting Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are a relatively regular occurrence, and are usually treated by Israeli security forces as accidents, even in cases when witnesses claim the car rammings were deliberate.

Some 800 notoriously aggressive Israeli settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.

Palestinian residents of the Old City of Hebron face a large Israeli military presence on a daily basis, with at least 32 permanent and partial checkpoints set up at the entrances of many streets.

Additionally, Palestinians are not allowed to drive on al-Shuhada street, have had their homes and shops on the street welded shut, and in some areas of the Old City, are not permitted to walk on certain roads.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers move freely on the street, drive cars and carry machine guns.

September 21, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian Dies after Brutal Assault by Israeli Forces

Mohammed Al-Rimawi (24) was beaten to death in his bedroom by the Israeli forces in Beit Rima. (Photo: via Facebook)
Ma’an – September 18, 2018

RAMALLAH – A 24-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his injuries, on Tuesday morning, after he was brutally assaulted by Israeli forces as they detained him from his home in the Beit Rima village in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah in predawn raids.

The Palestinian liaison identified the youth as Muhammad Zaghlul Rimawi (al-Khatib), 24.

Muhammad’s brother, Bashir Rimawi, told Ma’an that some 40 Israeli soldiers raided their house in Beit Rima on predawn Tuesday, assaulted Muhammad while he was still laying in bed, wearing his nightwear, which Israeli forces ripped off of his body.

Bashir added that Israeli forces continued to brutally beat his brother, while unconscious, carried him outside the house and took him to an unknown location.

Bashir said that the Palestinian liaison contacted the family later and informed them that Muhammad had succumbed to his wounds; no other information was given regarding Muhammad’s death or when would his body be returned to the family for funeral processions.

The Israeli authorities reportedly transferred Muhammad’s body to Abu Kabir Forensic Center in Jaffa for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

The Rimawi family accuse Israeli forces of being responsible for the death of their son, Muhammad, due to the brutal assault he was subjected to during his detention hours before being declared dead.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) also confirmed that Muhammad’s death resulted from excessive beating by Israeli forces.

PPS held Israel fully responsible for the killing of Muhammad Rimawi, “whose death was added to a long list of crimes and unjust executions carried out against Palestinian detainees and prisoners inside detention centers and prisons.”

The Addameer human rights organization said that the excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers during Rimawi’s detention was the cause for his death.

Addameer added that Rimawi did not pose any threat to the soldiers to require them to use such excessive force against him, pointing out that this is a violation of the international humanitarian law which bans the use of force against civilians who do not pose any real and direct threat.

The organization considered the use of such lethal force in this manner extrajudicial execution.The number of killed Palestinian detainees and prisoners since 1967 has risen to 217, according to a report by PPS; 75 of whom were executed after detention, 72 died of torture, 62 of “medical neglect” and seven were “directly shot and killed by Israeli soldiers and guards inside jails and detention centers.”

PPS also warned against the continued silence of the international community and international organizations, which allow Israeli forces to kill Palestinians “in cold blood,” without any restraint to the ongoing crimes.

According to the testimonies of hundreds of Palestinian detainees and prisoners, who were transferred for interrogation and into detention centers, 95% of them were subjected to both physical and mental abuse, PPS reported.

PPS pointed out that Rimawi is the 3rd Palestinian to be tortured to death by Israel this year; Palestinian Yassin al-Saradih from Jericho was assaulted to death by Israeli forces following his detention on February 22nd, 2018, and prisoner Aziz Eweisat from Jerusalem, who was killed after being assaulted by Israeli “Nahshon” forces inside Israeli jails on May 19th, 2018.

September 18, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 2 Comments

Family of 9 homeless as Israel demolishes Hebron home at behest of settlers

MEMO | September 4, 2018

At approximately 4am yesterday, Israeli forces entered the Palestinian village of Khirbet Qawasis and demolished the home of Yousef Abu ‘Aram following protests by settlers from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yaier.

The soldiers then stormed the village of Zuwaidin and destroyed several community bathrooms legally built on the side of a main road to the village. Soldiers prevented local activists from leaving their vehicles to film the demolition.

“We are sad and upset about what happened today,” says Yousef. “The Israeli authorities want to move us from our land and take it, but we will not move.”

Yousef had completed construction of the house on his land in the southern West Bank governorate of Hebron only a fortnight ago; a house he had hoped would protect his seven children from the coming winter.

“The situation is really bad,” says Yousef, who had intended to plough the land and nurture his trees in the South Hebron Hills, just a few metres from the settlers’ road to Mitzpe Yaier.

“They have left a family of seven children and their parents with no shelter, and now we sit under the trees and will be sleeping on the ground and covering ourselves with the sky.”

Israeli settlers routinely harassed Yousef during the construction of his concrete house and the Israeli Civil Administration, under pressure from the settlers, confiscated some of his building materials. The fate of the house was due to be determined at a court hearing scheduled for yesterday, however the Israeli Civil Administration unlawfully demolished the home ahead of the hearing.

Tariq Hathaleen, human rights activist in the occupied West Bank [File]

“It’s a new thing for settlers to go out to Palestinian houses to protest against the buildings,” says human rights activist, Tariq Hathaleen, who lives in the nearby village of Umm Al-Khair. “The military want to satisfy the settlers, so if there are building materials they confiscate them. If there’s a tent, they will dismantle it and take it away. If it’s a building, the Civil Administration will work very hard to demolish it.”

Hathaleen says that the rate of demolitions is increasing in the South Hebron Hills, where some 30 Palestinian villages can expect as many demolitions to occur in a month as they once did in a year.

“The number is increasing because of the settlers’ pressure. Not just them, but also because of settler NGOs, like Regavim, that works in the South Hebron Hills and across Palestine. They have people who drive cars around Palestinian villages and they also fly drones. Once they catch a Palestinian building a house, they inform the Civil Administration and the military.”

Regavim, a pro-settler not-for-profit that has received millions of shekels of public funds, is leading the legal battle to demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya.

According to B’Tselem, Israel demolished at least 1,342 Palestinian residential units in the West Bank between 2006 and 30 June 2018, displacing 6,024 people including at least 3,040 children. Israel has aggressively pursued a policy of demolishing Palestinian homes, schools, health facilities and other essential infrastructure since it began occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. These demolitions are a violation of The Hague and Fourth Geneva Conventions.

Israeli authorities deny most Palestinian applications for the necessary building permits in Israeli-controlled “Area C”, which accounts for around 60 per cent of the West Bank, forcing Palestinians to build without permission and live under constant threat of demolition.

Meanwhile, Jewish-only settlements like Mitzpe Yaier continue to expand on Palestinian land with the backing of the Israeli government. Around 600,000 Israelis live in over 250 settlements and outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids occupying powers from transferring their civilians to occupied territory. Settlements are usually built on stolen Palestinian land in “Area C”, where Khirbet Qawasis is located.

Israel has demarcated approximately 70 per cent of Area C for unlawful settlement expansion, as well as outposts, firing zones, state lands and national parks. This policy has fractured Palestinian land and created a hostile environment for Palestinians living nearby.

“Every day we hear of a new incident of settler violence happening,” says Hathaleen. “Two people from the South Hebron Hills were attacked this year. These people were attacked in less than one week.”

According to Hathaleen, both incidents involved settlers from the illegal Israeli outpost Havat Maon. His friend Sami was injured in one incident after settlers drove their motorcycle down a Palestinian road directly at him, running him over and breaking his leg in three places. The other incident involved a shepherd, who was walking with his flock when settlers attacked him with wooden sticks, leaving him with a broken leg and injuries to his head and hand. One of the settlers tried to shoot the shepherd several times but the gun did not fire. “This man was lucky to survive,” says Hathaleen, who adds that Palestinian shepherds are routinely attacked by Israeli settlers and soldiers if they aren’t accompanied by international volunteers. “Settlers don’t attack Palestinians in front of cameras.”

Many settlers carry government-issued weapons with them outside their homes. Settlers usually attack Palestinians in groups, and attacks often involve throwing stones at people and their property; firing live ammunition at or near Palestinians, homes and schools; the burning of trees and agricultural land; and vandalising vehicles and other property.

According to UN OCHA, an average of seven incidents of settler violence a month led to Palestinian casualties in the first four months of 2018. An average of 14 incidents a month caused property damage. Israeli human rights group Yesh Din reports that only 8.1 per cent of investigations into ideologically motivated offenses against Palestinians have led to an indictment since 2005, and 82 per cent of investigations were closed due to police failures.

READ ALSO:

Israel demolishes Palestinian school near Hebron

Report by Sawsan Bastawy@SawsanHefny

September 4, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Israeli occupation bans Palestinian student from his university campus

Photo: Yousef Dweikat and the order barring him from his university. Via Hadf News.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – August 29, 2018

Palestinian student Yousef Dweikat was banned from entering the campus of his university, An-Najah National University in occupied Nablus, on Tuesday, 28 August 2018. Dweikat, 20, a student at the Faculty of Engineering at the university and an activist with the Islamic Bloc student organization, was summoned to meet with Israeli occupation intelligence in the Salem military base.

When he presented himself, he was presented with an order barring him from his own university campus for the next six months. A Palestinian refugee who lives in Balata refugee camp, Dweikat, an electrical engineering student, is a former prisoner; he was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in March 2017 and jailed for six months for his involvement in student activities.

In an interview with Quds News, Dweikat called upon the university “to create solutions and alternatives so that this type of decision does not affect a larger number of university students.” He noted that the Israeli occupation had used a similar policy against university students in the 1980s and is now returning to those practices. Dweikat also said that his education was already delayed because of his previous detention and that he had already registered for the new year, paid his university fees and prepared to start the new semester. “My family and I are tense and frustrated. We do not know what we can do next to confront this unjust decision,” he said.

This is only the latest violation of the Palestinian right to education by the Israeli occupation. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education, there are over 300 Palestinian university students imprisoned in Israeli jails. Each year, especially around the time of student council elections, universities face invasions and attacks on active students. Student leaders like Omar Kiswani, president of the Bir Zeit University student council, have been seized from campus in violent raids.

In addition, as the Palestinian Right to Enter campaign notes, international academics – including Palestinians born in exile with foreign passports – are routinely denied entry to Palestine by Israeli occupation forces at colonially controlled borders. By denying entry to scholars invited to teach, lecture or study at Palestinian universities, the Israeli occupation seeks to isolate Palestinian educators, scholars and students from their international peers.

These routine violations of Palestinian academic freedom – along with the racial exclusion of international students, particularly those identified as Arabs, Muslims or Palestinians – have added impetus to the ongoing call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions. The US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is urging universities, students and faculty to take a pledge to boycott “study abroad” programs run by Israeli institutions, “We Will not Study in Israel Until Palestinians Can Return: Boycott Study Abroad in Israel!” Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network is one of the endorsers of this call.

As many students head back to university around the world, solidarity with Palestinian students and scholars is particularly critical. These arrests and bans are an attempt to dismantle Palestinian students’ ability to learn, organize and uphold their identity, existence and struggle on campus. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network urges supporters of Palestine on campuses around the world to join the campaign to boycott Study Abroad, support the academic boycott of Israel and hold events and activities to highlight the violation of Palestinian rights to education, particularly the imprisonment of Palestinian students.

August 29, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces ransack Nablus print shop, confiscate equipment

Ma’an – August 27, 2018

NABLUS – Dozens of Israeli forces raided and ransacked a Palestinian print shop on predawn Monday near the Balata refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.

Locals said that Israeli forces raided the al-Manahil print shop and confiscated print equipment before closing down the shop on Monday.

Sources added that some 18 Israeli military vehicles entered the refugee camp and demolished the gates of and the interior content of the print shop.

The shop belonged to Palestinian resident, Ghassan Thuqan, who was previously detained by Israeli forces last year, along with his two sons.

Sources mentioned that Israeli forces closed down the shop under the pretext that the structure was allegedly being used for “terrorist operations.”

It is noteworthy that the print shop was fully licensed and legal; the owner had not received a prior notice that his business was suspected of wrongdoing by Israeli forces.

No detentions nor injuries were reported from the raid.

The video below shows Israeli forces raiding the area and confiscating print equipment:

August 27, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | 1 Comment

Detained Journalist Released Under Strict Conditions

IMEMC | August 22, 2018

Israeli Authorities released a Palestinian journalist from the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday evening after forcing him to pay a fine, in addition to preventing him for working in his profession for two months.

The journalist, Ala’ Rimawi, was abducted, along with three other reporters, on July 30th, 2018, for working for the Palestinian Al-Quds Satellite News Agency, after the military and the Israeli political leadership, decided to classify it as a “terrorist agency.”

The three other journalists have been identified as Hosni Anjass, Mohammad Alwan and Qoteiba Hamdan.

It is worth mentioning that Rimawi launched a hunger strike on the first day of his imprisonment on July 30th, 2018.

The ruling to release Rimawi was made by the military court in Ofer prison, built on Palestinian lands in Betunia city, west of Ramallah; the Israeli prosecutor’s office filed three appeals demanding keeping the journalist in prison.

The court ordered the detainee to pay a 10.000 Israeli Shekels fine, in addition to preventing him from resuming his journalism profession, and forcing him under house arrest, for two months.

August 22, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel releases Palestinian mail held since 2010

MEMO | August 14, 2018

Israeli occupation forces yesterday gave the Palestinian Authority tonnes of post which it has been holding since 2010, Felesteen.ps reported.

PA Minister of IT and Communications, Allam Mousa, said in a statement that Israel stopped tonnes of Palestinian mail arriving from Jordan since 2010.

Palestine signed an agreement of direct mail delivery to Jordan with Israel in 2016, noting that agreement was brokered by the Global Mail Union.

He added: “Israel, in violation of international law, has not yet implemented the agreement and does not allow the export or import of mail directly through Jordan.”

Israel controls the movement of Palestinian trade and people through international crossings and borders.

Occupation authorities have also been holding back postal revenues due to the Palestinians worth thousands of dollars, Mousa added.

August 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel’s Culture Ministry funds settlers ‘squatting illegally’ in Palestinian home

MEMO | August 14, 2018

Israel’s Culture Ministry has been funding a Jewish religious institute “whose founders illegally took over a Palestinian home in the central West Bank”, reported the Times of Israel.

According to the report, “an investigation into the financials of the Mishpetei Eretz (‘laws of the land’) institute revealed that it has received at least NIS 200,000 ($54,786) annually for the past three years from the Culture Ministry.”

In total, the settlement-based academy has received 781,617 shekels ($214,039) in government funding since 2015.

The state funds have come “despite a 2013 Jerusalem District Court decision concluding that the compound housing the institute still belongs to its original Palestinian owners, and that the settler group claiming to have purchased the building had forged the necessary documents.”

The Israeli army, meanwhile, has not tried “to remove the squatters”, but instead, has “built a fence around the compound with the stated goal of protecting its Israeli inhabitants.”

“We see here another example that reveals the corrupt system that Israel maintains in the West Bank,” the Kerem Navot settlement watchdog said.

“Rather than enforce the law, and evict and punish the settlers who invaded the property, the IDF [army] issued a corrupt military order based on security needs that de facto enables them to stay there.”

In a Facebook post summarising the story, Kerem Navot further slammed Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev for “subsidising criminals”.

August 14, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli plan to isolate four Palestinian villages from Bethlehem

Palestine Information Center – August 11, 2018

BETHLEHEM – The Israeli occupation government has embarked on carrying out a massive settlement project that will lead to the isolation of four Palestinian villages from Bethlehem in the West Bank as a prelude to annexing them as Israeli state land.

The new plan is aimed at turning the villages of Battir, Wadi Fukin, Nahalin and Husan, which are located in the west of Bethlehem province, into communities under Israel’s sovereignty after isolating them from Bethlehem.

The area where those villages are located is called locally Arqoub villages and there are about 20,000 Palestinian citizens living there.

According to the plan, Israel intends to expand Road 60 that lead to the illegal settlement of Beitar Illit, which was built on annexed land in Bethlehem, and connect it with roads between these villages to make this new expanded road available only for Jewish settlers.

On the ground, Israeli engineers and surveyors started to put up signs and numbers in the heart of Nahalin town to prepare for the plan.

August 11, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel celebrates 40 years of illegal settlement

MEMO | August 10, 2018

Two thousand Israelis yesterday gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the illegal West Bank settlement of Shiloh, south of Nablus.

The celebration was attended by Israel’s Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel, who is a member of the Religious-Zionist Jewish Home party. According to Arutz Sheva, the head of Israel’s “Binyamin Regional Council”, the group which oversees 42 of Israel’s illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank, also attended. Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sent a letter of congratulations to the illegal settlers, claiming historic links between the Bible and the modern-day occupied Palestinian territory.

Uri Ariel has a long history of pro-settlement activity, previously serving as head of Beit El council, an illegal Israeli settlement situated north east of Ramallah. Ariel was also previously secretary general of the Yesha council.

In July it emerged that Uri Ariel had previously approved plans to demolish Khan Al-Ahmar, the Palestinian Bedouin village that has been slated for demolition. The plans, which were made in the late 1970s, proposed a “Jewish corridor” of illegal settlements be built on some 100,000 to 120,000 dunams (25,000 to 30,000 acres) of Palestinian land, including the villages of Hizme, Anata, Al-Azariya and Abu Dis on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Demolishing these villages would make way for expanding two illegal settlements – Ma’ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim – situated on the Jerusalem-Jericho road.

Shiloh was one of the first locations targeted for illegal Israeli settlement as early as 1974 by Gush Emunim, the orthodox right-wing settlement movement that rose to prominence in the wake of the 1973 War. Gush Emunim was later succeeded by the Yesha council that Uri Ariel previously affiliated with. During the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s, Shiloh was identified as an example of an area that should be returned to Palestinian control given the high density of Palestinians living in the area.

Illegal settlement in the West Bank has been pursued as a policy by the State of Israel since it occupied the territory in the 1967 Six Day War, along with the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem states that, as of the end of 2015, there were 127 Israeli government-sanctioned settlements in the West Bank (not including occupied East Jerusalem and Hebron). When combined with 100 non-recognised outposts and 15 Israeli neighbourhoods inside the Jerusalem Municipality, these settlements are inhabited by approximately half a million illegal settlers.

August 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Farmer terrorism’ is the new Jewish settler slogan justifying the destruction of crops

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO | August 7, 2018

In less than three months, Jewish settlers have destroyed over 2,000 trees and grapevines in the occupied West Bank. Rights group B’Tselem has issued a detailed report on this destruction, including testimony from Palestinian farmers. Bales of hay and barley fields were also destroyed. The destruction wrought by Israel’s settler-colonists equates Palestinian agriculture to terrorism; slogans sprayed on Palestinian property following the destruction included “No to farmer terrorism”.

The personal testimonies show that Israel has once again refused to act in order to deter settler violence against Palestinians and their land. Ultimately, the aim is to displace Palestinians forcibly by terrorising those seeking access to their own land. “This process has erected invisible walls throughout the West Bank, which Palestinians know crossing will expose them to violence and even danger to their lives,” says B’Tselem.

Israel is using complementary forms of violence: direct destruction by targeting crops and using the same destruction to levy a psychological threat against the colonised population. In the documented cases, the destruction was so severe that new plants have to be cultivated, thus having a negative impact on the sliver of economic independence that Palestinians can gain from agriculture. There is an outcome of resilience mingled with imposed resignation; the farmers will still tend to their fields yet the threat of another round of settler violence fuelled by impunity is always imminent. No matter how well rights organisations document the violations, though, the Palestinians have no recourse other than awareness. This is partly because Israel has moved ahead in terms of normalising colonial expansion.

Hassan ‘Issa discovered that 168 out of 250 grapevines in his fields had been destroyed by settlers. “What happened to my vines feels like a terrible injustice, and I feel incredibly frustrated and sad.” It is painful to read this. Compare the vagueness of ‘Issa’s statement — made in the knowledge that there are no rights for the colonised in apartheid Israel — with the threat left by the settlers: “No to farmer terrorism.” The value of people and land is misplaced to set the accelerated pace for forced displacement and a re-enactment of the image of Palestine being barren, one of the false premises behind Palestine’s colonisation by Israel. The only difference is that Israel now prefers sustained acts of violence that are documented and discussed almost routinely.

“Farmer terrorism” is, of course, a complete falsehood, yet it is on such premises that expansion has been facilitated. The more that Israel utilises such absurd claims, the further it is removed from reprimand by the international community. This lends Israel ample time and space — and total immunity — to construct its variety of “terror” narratives to make such purported threats endemic to its settler-colonial presence. Why would anyone even seek to challenge the notion of “farmer terrorism”? At first glance, it is void of any logic; a second reading flaunts its depravity, embodied by state and settlers alike.

Palestinian resilience has always laid bare the Zionist myths. Having no other means to sustain itself, Israel is eager to create the conditions for myths to become a manifested reality, even if it means acknowledging Palestinian existence through accusations which serve to embellish its purported “security concerns”. Nothing, though, justifies the wanton destruction of crops by illegal Jewish settlers or anyone else.

August 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment