China: World Must fix ‘Historical Injustice’ Against Palestine

Source

teleSUR | April 13, 2017
“This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue,” Wang said.

On Thursday China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, said Palestinians must be able to build an independent state to correct a “historical injustice.”

A boy waves the Palestinian flag in the occupied West Bank

A boy waves the Palestinian flag in the occupied West Bank | Photo: Reuters

RELATED:
China Wants East Jerusalem as Capital of Palestine

In a press conference in Beijing with Palestine’s Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, Wang reiterated China’s longstanding support for an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Wang noted that 70 years after the U.N. General Assembly passed Resolution 181 calling for the creation of an independent Palestine alongside Israel, Palestinians are still being denied their independence.

“This is unfair. This kind of historical injustice must be corrected. It cannot continue,” Wang said.

Wang further noted the urgency of restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which remain stalled in the face of Israel’s continued construction of illegal settlements and a U.S. administration seemingly hell-bent on entrenching the most extreme of Israel’s apartheid policies.

Palestine’s al-Maliki said he hopes China will play a greater role in brokering a peace agreement.

“And we do encourage China to do more of this kind of approach, in order to see peace ultimately achieved in our region,” he said.

While it has traditionally played a minor role in the region, last year China’s President Xi Jinping committed US$7.6 million in aid to Palestine in a historic address to the Arab League.

Wang’s statement came as a group of Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s Nafha prison announced they would join the upcoming mass hunger strike, led by imprisoned Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, scheduled for April 17, Palestinian Prisoner’s Day.

In a statement released on Wednesday the prisoners — who come from several different political factions of the Palestinian independence movement — said they would unite in their demands for an end to repeated humiliations and deprivations at the hands of Israeli authorities.

“We shall gain our dignity and rights by facing the arrogance of the occupier with our empty stomachs, armed by the justness of our cause and popular support.”

EU Blasts Israel for Razing, Seizing Palestinian Homes

[ Ed. note – Another EU official has dared open his mouth and criticize Israel. I wonder how much longer he will have a job. They generally don’t seem to last too long. ]

Press TV

The European Union (EU) has lashed out at Israel for pursuing the policy of demolishing and confiscating Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, calling on the Tel Aviv regime to end its practice.

EU’s ambassador to the occupied territories, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, made the criticism in a message delivered to Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Director General Yuval Rotem during a meeting last week, with envoys from all EU member states present.

“The practice of enforcement measures such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes and humanitarian assets (including EU-funded) and the obstruction of delivery of humanitarian assistance are contrary to Israel’s obligations under international law,” Faaborg-Andersen said.

He further urged “Israel, as the occupying power, to meet its obligations vis-à-vis the Palestinian population … [and] completely stop these demolitions and confiscations and allow full access of humanitarian assistance.”

In February, Israeli forces distributed 42 demolition orders in the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in Area C of the occupied West Bank.

Tents, huts and a school, many of them funded by the EU, are among the structures that will be destroyed.

Delegations from EU embassies have regularly visited the village, hoping to secure an Israeli Supreme Court injunction against the demolitions.

“We’re not giving up,” said an EU diplomat, whose name was not mentioned in the report.

International bodies and human rights groups say Israel’s sustained demolitions of Palestinian homes are aimed at uprooting Palestinians from their native territories and expropriating more land for the expansion of settlements.

Tel Aviv has accelerated its land grab and settlement construction activities in the occupied Palestinian lands after pro-Israel US President Donald Trump took office earlier this year.

Latest figures provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs show a sharp rise in Area C demolitions by Israeli forces over the past year.

Between 450 and 560 Palestinian structures were torn down each year from 2012-2015, compared to 876 recorded in 2016 and 121 in January 2017, according to the available figures.

Erasing Palestinian Identity with a ‘Museum of Tolerance’

Posted on April 3, 2017

[ Ed. note – Back in late February/early March I posted a couple of articles on the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem. The cemetery dates back some 1,400 years, and many Palestinians who are alive today have ancestors that are buried there. But the cemetery has been slated to become the site of a “Museum of Tolerance” that is being built by the Simon Wiesenthal Center with the support and approval of the Israeli government.

The article below by Aya Hijazi provides an update on where things currently stand with that project as well as some information on how the “museum of tolerance,” as it were, is being viewed, ironically, as an attack upon Palestinian culture and identity. Hijazi describes it as “spacio-cide,” a term which encompasses “urbicide” (violence or destruction upon a city) as well as “memoricide” (erasing memories of the past), and which, Hijazi argues, “provides a holistic description of Israeli colonial practices.”

Hijazi writes from a Muslim perspective, and if the article has a shortcoming it is that she fails to mention that Christians are buried in Mamilla as well. However, for those interested in the cemetery’s Christian past, I recommend you read my March 3 article, “A Massacre of Christians By Jews: 614 A.D.–An Untold Chapter of History.” The post includes an article by Israel Shamir who refers to the year 614 as “the most dreadful year in the history of Palestine until the Twentieth Century,” and who relates how Jews joined forces with an invading army of Persians that year to slaughter large numbers of Christians living in Jerusalem. As I commented:

Christians should ponder the manner in which historical narratives are often manipulated, and should ask themselves why this chapter of history is not more widely known. They should ask themselves something else as well: how insulting, offensive, and provocative is it for a Jewish organization like the Simon Weisenthal Center to propose building a “museum of tolerance” on top of a graveyard containing the bodies of thousands of Christians who were slaughtered by Jews?

The sign shown in the photo above, which has the museum opening in 2017, is slightly off in its projected date. As you will read below, the project has been beset with numerous delays brought on by a variety of factors including the resignation of architects. According to the author, the museum now “is scheduled to be finished in spring of 2018, to coincide with the seventieth anniversary celebration of Israel’s Independence Day.”

Hijazi’s article was originally published in the Autumn 2016 edition of the Jerusalem Quarterly, published by the Institute for Palestine Studies, and is reprinted here with permission. ]

Toward Spacio-cide:

Building the Museum of Tolerance Over
The Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem

By Aya Hijazi

The Zionist project has worked for decades to Judaize the land of Palestine through various means of destruction, expansion of colonial settlements, control over territory, archeological excavations to find biblical roots, and the massive displacement of non-Jewish populations. The city of Jerusalem is a crucial component of this Zionist agenda. As a result of the growing idea of Jewish Jerusalem, existing Palestinian landscape, holy sites, and cultural heritage came to be seen as a barrier to the settlement of Israeli Jews in the city. Practices to Judaize Jerusalem not only change the surface terrain and remove the visible layer of the Palestinian Arab presence in the city, but also expand to the invisible subterranean layer.

The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem has declared its dedication to the preservation of the whole city. In 2014, for example, deputy mayor and chairman of the Regional Planning and Building Committee Kobi Kahlon told Ha’Aretz, “the plan that the municipality has worked on is proof that conservation is not the opposite of development, and that the design values of the past can strengthen the public sphere and make it a center of interest on a national and international scale.” 1 The vocal commitment to preserve Jerusalem contradicts the inherently disruptive archeological excavations and development projects to Judaize the city. A recent example of these disruptive practices was the 2004 decision taken by the Israeli government in conjunction with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles to establish a “Museum of Tolerance” in Jerusalem. This project, modeled after similar ventures in Los Angeles and New York, includes the construction of two buildings–one called the Center for Human Dignity and the other a Museum of Tolerance–on a site in West Jerusalem that is of holy significance to Palestinians: the Mamilla (Ma’man Allah in Arabic) cemetery.

This ancient cemetery held thousands of human remains of prominent Muslim leaders and influential Palestinian figures. 2 After several battles to halt the excavations and stop the construction of the museum, the Israeli High Court ruled in 2008 that the construction of the museum was lawful. The center for Constitutional Rights in New York filed a petition with the United Nations on behalf of Palestinian Jerusalemite families who have ancestors buried in Mamilla, requesting that the cemetery be preserved and declared a protected heritage site. 3 This has not stopped the Israeli government and the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) from bulldozing more graves, causing an uproar and disputes, including physical clashes between the Israeli police and officials from al-Aqsa Association for Endowment and Heritage, who tried to preserve what was left of the cemetery. 4 Today, between the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem and other projects intended for other parts of the cemetery–including apartment complexes, a commercial mall, a hotel, nightclubs, and pubs–the cemetery and its gravestones have almost vanished. 5 Meanwhile, the museum is scheduled to be finished in spring of 2018, to coincide with the seventieth anniversary celebration of Israel’s Independence Day. 6

This type of discrimination against Palestinian cultural heritage, which transforms the Palestinian landscape, represents not only an attack on physical well-being and living places, but an attack on Palestinian space and memory. This essay uses the Mamilla case to demonstrate that the battle over urban space in Jerusalem goes beyond the virtual division of the city between “East” and “West.” 7 It emphasizes the importance of Palestinian symbolic sites in preserving their cultural and historical ethos, inscribing their national and historical identity, and perpetuating their sensory experience of the city. This ethos and these identities are targets of deliberate destruction as part of a larger Israeli colonial task of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The example of the Museum of Tolerance illustrates how the Israeli occupation, as a modern colonial project, is implemented not only by state politicians and military forces, but by archeologists, urban planners, and architects, too.

Toward Spacio-cide

A number of studies have described Israel’s exclusionary demographic, geographic, and political strategies toward East Jerusalem, including the physical destruction of East Jerusalem and the militarization of the city’s borders. 8 This has been crucial to document and explain the immediate threat to the lives of Palestinians in the city, as well as the ongoing suppression of Palestinian society as a whole under a strict Israeli military regime. Presenting the crisis of Arab Jerusalem as a problem of territoriality and Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem, however, is counterproductive to appreciating the symbolic significance of the whole city and its value to its Palestinian inhabitants, a value that transcends the places in which they now live, as crucial as these places are.

Israel’s invention of its own history does not only rest on colonial military, political, and economic domination alone, but on cultural practices as well. As Derek Gregory explains, the land was taken from Palestinians in multiple ways, from “poetry to politics.” 9 Moreover, Gregory argues that Israeli domination plays out in “the intimate mini-topographies of homes, field, and cemeteries.” 10 The battle over Jerusalem thus involves not only soldiers and bulldozers, but also urban planners, architects, and engineers–all put to work not only to destroy the spaces inhabited by Palestinians, but also to erase Palestinian collective memory in places that Palestinians can no longer inhabit, such as West Jerusalem. In the case of the Mamilla cemetery, the site is being physically destroyed with bulldozers, in a process that can be referred to as “urbicide,” a term coined by Marshall Berman and other architects from Bosnia and defined as “the deliberate wrecking or killing the city.” 11 The attack on the cemetery as a site of remembrance can also be referred to as a case of “memoricide,” defined as “the erasure of the history of one people in order to write that of another people’s over it.” 12 However, the attack does not stop there: with the construction of the Museum of Tolerance, the attack on the site becomes multilayered and can be referred to as “spacio-cide,” a term that provides a holistic description of Israeli colonial practices.

Sari Hanafi coined the term spacio-cide to explain how Israeli colonialism, through strategic planning, targets Palestinian society as a whole. 13 Hanafi states: “spacio-cide is mainly land confiscation in order to construct Jewish settlement, house demolition, and population transfer.” 14 However, Hanafi explains space only as public, lived places; here, though, there is a need to add another element to this spatial ideology. Space should also encompass memory, ideas, and historical narratives that nurture the human experience of their surroundings. This is not only found in places of everyday usage, and in houses where we live, but also in human sites of remembrance. Drawing and expanding on the term spacio-cide is a perfect opportunity to emphasize the value of memory and historical narrative–intangible but crucial spatial notions–found in other places that produce meaning, and to emphasize the Israeli abuse of these elements to diminish any hope for a Palestinian identity, sovereignty, and self-determination.

Here it is worth clarifying that the terms “place” and “space” are frequently used interchangeably; however, for cultural geographers they are distinct, in that:

Space is the more abstract. Space suggests dimensionality (depth, volume, area), infinitude, and emptiness, as in “outer space”…space is far from devoid of entanglement in social relations. Indeed, space is socially produced. Place is the less abstract of the two notions, invoking familiarity, finitude, and immediateness. Place is space infused with meaning. In its most simple expressions, place is often equated with locality, as in “you are here.” 15

This definition of space allows an analysis of not only Judaization as a project of territorial expansion, but also the shaping of public culture and the politics behind it. For Hanafi, “the Israeli target is the place,” 16 in that it targets land to transfer Palestinians away from it, mainly by attacking the places in which they live and systematically destroying their public places, including political institutions and anything else that represents their national belonging. Hanafi elaborates that, in contrast to urbicide, “the weapons are not so much tanks, but bulldozers that have destroyed streets, houses, cars, and…olive groves. 17 The multidimensional nature of space is still shaped in materialistic forms, where he talks about the vandalism and control of water aquifers, bridges, and tunnels. Additionally, by suggesting that the Israeli colonial project is spacio-cidal and not only genocidal, Hanafi explains that the Israeli occupation is about land grabbing, territory, exodus, and house demolitions and not only the number of those that are concerned with Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, including the city of Jerusalem (East and West) through Israeli municipal master plans. These urban planners also produce modern disciplinary and exclusionary form of domination through the urban development and aesthetics.

Hanafi sees ethnic cleansing as a component of spacio-cide, suggesting that ethnic purification of land happens through the transfer of people. 18 Following Ilan Pappe, however, this essay suggests that ethnic cleansing is not a component of spacio-cide, but the other way around: urbicide, spacio-cide, memoricide, genocide, and so on, are all conceptually linked by ethnic cleansing. 19 The destruction of the Mamilla cenetery, which represents not only Palestinian but Muslim history, has become part of that ethnic cleansing. Between the cemetery and the museum, this case study exposes a clash of historical nationalisms and the battle for belonging.

The Story of the Cemetery

In Jerusalem, the graves are assorted like lines [on a page] of the city’s history, and its soil is the book. 20

Belief systems, rituals, and traditions around death and memorialization vary considerably in communities around the world. Cemeteries become sites that expose the relations between places and histories, between spaces and memories, where imprints of the dead become physical markers that produce narratives, facts, and sources. Cemeteries become symbolic sites that give meaning to individual and collective identity, sites not only to honor and respect the dead but also to support the living in their pursuit of existence on a specific land: “historic and present-day cemeteries, as liminal places, bridge notions of self and other, time and space…past and present homeland. Such landscapes encode, reproduce, and initiate constructions of memory.” 21 Cemeteries and memorial rituals thus serve to construct identity, ethnicity, and memory. 22

When communities remember victims of atrocities, or convey atrocity to the living, graves can become “the material expression of rights and obligations between generations.” 23 The mass graves of Rwanda, products of the 1994 genocide, are powerful places for grieving and honoring the victims of this dark event. In some places, such as the memorial in the Ntamara church, where around five thousand people were massacred, bodies of the dead are not buried underground, but left as they were. Visitors are not permitted inside the church, but visitors outside are directed to walk on wooden pews, which stand on top of a floor covered with the bones and human remains of the people massacred. 24 The dead become a representational collective for the living.

Cemeteries found on locations subject to war, population change, and/or other disruptions can also become sites of conflict. Memory on those sites becomes contested, malleable, and subjected to discovery and rediscovery. Some burial sites convey competing social and political ideas and interests. Green Point, a site in colonial Cape Town that contained a number of graveyards in the 1820s, witnessed continuous conflict. In the 1960s and 1970s, black residents living there were forcibly removed from the area. Later, in the early 2000s, the site experienced gentrification. Bones surfaced during construction and authorities issued a permit to exhume the human remains. 25 The response was angry. In public statements, people argued against the exhumation on the basis of rights and morality. In one public meeting, a man shouted, “why are white people…scratching in our bones? This is sacrilege.” 26 The exhumations prompted the reexamination of slave histories, colored identities, and regional politics in opposition to African national heritage. 27 In Poland, Jewish communities emphasize the importance of this sacrilege to them by residing in some areas just to commemorate the dead; “instead of people, their gravestones,” Young explains. Additionally, preservation and reparation of gravesites in Warsaw and Auschwitz serve to continuously remember the Holocaust among Jewish communities. 29

The significance of the Mamilla cemetery reflects religious, national, and historical Muslim and Palestinian roots in Jerusalem. The angry outcry of families and human rights organizations in response to the excavations of the site refer to all three of these aspects. The sanctity of the dead is a religious concern and the preservation of Palestinian memory on the polarized lost landscape of West Jerusalem is a national and historical one. Muslims take the sanctity of the dead seriously. Muslims take care to assure that no one should walk over any individual grave, and the sacredness of cemeteries for Muslims is eternal. 30 Palestinian families view the excavation of the cemetery as a human rights violation. It also triggers their awareness of the fragility of their rights as citizens in Jerusalem.

In several petitions filed with the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the petitioners and the Islamic waqf (endowment) authority, the legal custodian of the site, requested an urgent investigation to Israel’s degradation and damage of non-Jewish sacred sites. 31 They demanded Israel stop further construction of the museum; document and indicate the locations all the remains, including those exhumed; recover and rebury the remains; and, finally, declare the cemetery a site of historic antiquity. 32 Saleh Hijazi, a Middle East and North Africa researcher for Amnesty International and one of the petitioners, explains, “the petition speaks the language of human rights…for the protection of Palestinians in Jerusalem,” adding:

the land and the human remains are two inseparable issues when it comes to a case like Mamilla. The case has much to do with cultural and religious rights as it does with land ownership…it is an issue of colonialism and the rights of indigenous populations.

According to a recent article in Ha’Aretz, thousands of graves have been exhumed. 34 Ahmad Amara, the lawyer in charge of defending the Mamilla cemetery from 2004 until 2007, received permission to enter the fenced site when the excavation began. He witnessed the bones being desecrated at the site, as they were “thrown” in cartons and put to the side. 35 Nir Hasson, an Israeli journalist, described the archeological excavation as violating ethical practices: human remains were put in boxes and labeled “scattered items,” while other bones and skeletons were damaged or entirely smashed. 36 Gideon Suleimani, a senior IAA archeologist assigned to excavate the Mamilla site, withheld approval of construction in order to first evaluate its archeological value and the quantity of human remains there. The IAA pressed ahead, however, pressured by both politicians and entrepreneurs to finish the job as fast as they could. Suleimani described it as an “archeological crime.” 37

The IAA defended its actions by avowing that they had moved the unearthed bones to a nearby Muslim cemetery, while the Wiesenthal Center claimed that “the remains were handled in keeping with the highest standards and the High Court’s guidelines.” 38 However, as disputes over the site continued, a spokesman for the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem referred to the tombstones as “fictitious.” 39 The Wiesenthal Center continued to suggest that the part of the Mamilla site chosen for the museum was a former parking lot used by all residents of the city and claimed that the cemetery has been inactive for decades. 40 This seemed to contradict earlier statements by representatives of the Wiesenthal Center, which admitted to the existence of graves on the site. The Israeli Religious Affairs Ministry had acknowledged the existence and importance of the Mamilla cemetery in 1948, stating: “Israel will always know to protect and respect this site.” 41 In 1986, responding to UNESCO’s protestations of the destruction of other parts of the Mamilla cemetery, Israel claimed that: “no project exists for the de-consecration of the site and that on the contrary the site and its tombs are to be safeguarded.” 42

Claims that the excavation was carried out according to the highest moral, professional, and legal standards were further undermined by the secrecy with which it proceeded. The site was fenced with barbed wires for several years after the excavation commenced, and workers were subject to intense security and as quickly as possible. One worker explained:

We were like a small army…and an area managers above them, and the archeologists above them…from 40-70 workers per shift. You have to arrive 15 minutes before your shift and wait by the gate, you have to show your ID at the entrance. They take your phone. 43

The Wiesenthal Center claimed that these efforts were taken to protect the site and workers from an attack of “Muslim extremists seeking a foothold in Jerusalem.” 44 Previously, the Wiesenthal Center stated that those who signed a petition to cease further excavations and to preserve the cemetery were part of an Islamic movement attached to terrorist organizations. 45 These petitioners that they refer to are regular Palestinian citizens in the city of Jerusalem, local and international human rights organizations, and the al-Aqsa Association made up of Muslim citizens in Israel. One Palestinian man who has family buried in the cemetery stated: “I am not a fanatic Muslim…if they leave our forefathers lay in peace in their graves, that would be the best example for tolerance.” 46

The excavation of the dead, which interrupts the fabric of the past, is a traumatic experience for Palestinian families in Jerusalem. Diana Dajani, whose family ancestors are buried in the site, said in a press release: “the importance does not only come from the fact that it is a cemetery that we have our ancestors buried in, but the importance is that we have been in this city for many, many centuries.” 47 Palestinian pride in the cemetery reflects how it has marked the memory of their heroes in public space for centuries. Some two thousand graves lie in four layers under the chose museum site. 48 These layers date back to the seventh century CE and hold the remains of companions of Prophet Muhammad and soldiers of Sal al-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladin). 49 Saladin is a hero for Arab Muslims because he recaptured Jerusalem and freed it from the Crusaders in 1187. He is an icon that represents sovereignty and freedom but also the stature of Jerusalem as a holy city for Arabs. 50 The burial of his soldiers in Mamilla allows Palestinians to celebrate the glory of Arab victory in Jerusalem’s history.

The historical power granted to Palestinians through sites like the Mamilla cemetery–and indeed, Palestinian memory itself–threatens Zionist thought. The cemetery, as a visible site, and the dead, as the invisible proof, intrude on Zionist history-making on the land. Discrimination against the Palestinian “other,” exemplified by the destruction of Mamilla cemetery, emerges from the inconvenience of their presence for the construction of a biblical Jewish homeland; this presence thus needs to be erased. This is not the first Israeli act to prevent or disrupt forms of commemorative memory construction for Palestinians. Despite the significance of the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948, when thousands of Palestinians were killed and hundreds of thousands exiled, it wasn’t until 1983 that the first Palestinian memorial monument was seen in public to commemorate the dead. Made by a young artist, the monument was built in the Arab town of ‘Ilabun in the Galilee and recalled the execution and expulsion of a significant number of Arabs by the IDF on 30 October 1948. 51 Israeli authorities restricted Palestinian memorials to commemorate atrocities, such as the 1956 Kafr Qasim massacre. In other cases, Israeli authorities vandalize and destroy memorials, such as the post 1967 war memorial in East Jerusalem. 52

Cultural knowledge production can be as powerful an instrument of domination as a bulldozer. The museum plays a critical role in the imagining of a nation-state, and its mission, language, and form all echo the Israeli modern colonial project. Thus, the Wiesenthal Center actives a rhetorical discourse that produces Muslims and Palestinians as a criminal “other” to justify its construction atop the Mamilla cemetery of a museum that promotes “an exceptional experience that fosters tolerance, acceptance of ‘the other,’ and the fight against expressions of hate and racism.” 53

The Story of the Museum

None of us are outside geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also abut ideas, forms, about images and imaginings. 54

Rabbi Marvin Hier, one of the most influential rabbis in the United States, was inspired by the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem to establish the Wiesenthal Center in 1993. In response to criticism and lawsuits, the Wiesenthal Center split into two sections: one deals with issues of prejudice and racisms for blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in the United States, and the other covering the Holocaust. 55 A controversial figure, Hier managed to include a passage in California state law making a visit to the museum compulsory for public school students and security forces. 56

Designed by an Israeli architect, the Wiesenthal Center is one of three Jewish memorials currently built in Los Angeles, alongside the Jewish Martyrs Memorial and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park 57 These are three of a large number of memorials around the United States, including the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Memorials in the United States are themselves part of a larger series of commemorative sites for the Holocaust around the world, including in Germany, France, and Holland, and the memorial camps of Majdanek and Auschwitz. 58.

Andreas Huyssen argues that Western societies have become “obsessive” with memorial representations around the Holocaust. 59 The Holocaust has become, in Huyssen’s words, a “universal trope for historical trauma.” 60 Promoters for these memorials feel it is logical for symbolic sites to be built even in places where Jews were not murdered. 61 However, the overabundance of Holocaust commemorations results in its commodification. Museums and memorials bring together memory, entertainment, and trauma, and in doing so end up silencing or marginalizing local histories. 62 In Berlin, for example, the memorial built in 2005 to commemorate European Jews has met serious objections from Sinti and Roma communities in Germany who felt that the “hierarchical” memorial prioritized some victims over others. 63

Several Holocaust memorial sites have been built in Israel, including the Beit Hatsfout museum in Tel Aviv; the Chamber of the Holocaust, which contains ashes of Jews incinerated during the Holocaust, located outside the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem and Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum, also located in Jerusalem. Beyond these sites, James E. Young describes Israel’s entire landscape as a memorial one, where streets and buildings are dedicated to Holocaust victims. 64 Even though memorials worldwide might serve different political, religious, aesthetics, or even commercial purposes, memorials in Israel (where the Holocaust did not occur), serve a very specific national ideology:

Israel’s overarching national ideology and religion, perhaps its greatest “natural resource” may be memory itself: memory preserved, restored, codified. In cultivating a ritually unified remembrance of the past, the state creates a common relationship to it. 65

If memory is draped over the entire landscape, then the landscape has the power to represent and reproduce beliefs and experiences that manifest toward an imagined historical national Israeli identity.

Given the proliferation of sites to memorialize and commemorate the Holocaust, globally and in Israel itself, then what will the museum of tolerance, itself a copy of to “museums of tolerance,” add to Jerusalem? What will this museum cover that two preexisting Holocaust museums in Israel do not already?” 66 The Wiesenthal Center itself describes the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem as a multimedia museum for children and adults, as well as a theatre and an educational center. It announced it a project of the twenty-first century that will deal with “contemporary issues crucial to Israel’s future–intolerance, anti-Semitism, terrorism, Jewish unity and mutual respect, and human dignity for all.” 67 Hijaze suggests that: “the museum is a public relations initiative, which can work to help the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians while giving a righteous image of Israel.” 68 The museum makes the cemetery invisible and substitutes it with a visible work of art, thus both distracting from and justifying Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

 photo gehrytolerance_zps4myzeluc.jpg

Conceptual drawing of the Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance by architect Frank Gehry 

A marketing tool even more attractive than the Wiesenthal Center’s promotional language is the involvement of international celebrities. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hollywood star and then governor of California, attended the Museum of Tolerance  Jerusalem’s groundbreaking ceremony in 2004, where he made the analogy that “building museums of tolerance would promote tolerance just as building fitness clubs promote health.” 69 When the project first started, the Wiesenthal Center invited Frank Gehry, a world famous architect, to design the museum and make it the largest, most expensive museum in the world. 70 Gehry eventually pulled out of the project, and the Israel-based Chyutin Architects won the project in a closed competition. Chyutin also walked away, and now the contract for the museum is with the Los Angeles office of Aedas and its Jerusalem-based project affiliate, Yigal Levi Architects. (None of the aforementioned parties have commented on the project, with Gehry’s partner merely mentioning that the project was politically sensitive.)

Although Yigal Levi Architects who have offered a comparably demure “low-rise elongated structure,” 72 Gehry’s initial design was striking. One observer described it as a “supernatural edifice resembling nothing so much as a crab in the process of hatching a sapphire spider with huge, glassy eyes. It is neither beautiful nor ugly; it is striking and odd.” 73 If many found Gehry’s design “foreign,” the Israeli High Court found it “architecturally and artistically unique,” especially suited for developing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. 74 The museum appropriated Israeli urbanism within an overall project of commodification. 75 Here the museum is used to promote the Israeli tourist industry and assert control over the space of the city. 76 Its language of combating anti-Semitism and terrorism works to celebrate Israeli heroes by demonizing the Palestinian enemy, and in effect allows the museum to be implanted as a “foreign” object in Jerusalem’s historical landscape, built in the name of modernity, civilization, and development. The Wiesenthal Center stated in the “important facts” section on its website: “if cities were not allowed to be built on the relics of previous civilizations, there would be no modern-day Rome, Jerusalem, or Cairo.” 77

This discriminatory architectures excludes Palestinians from Jerusalem’s urban space. The fundamental task of building is to control the environment: “architecture is said to establish place by the construction of boundaries, not in the space of geometry or physics but in commonsense space.” 78 In iuts act to establish place,” the Museum of Tolerance engages in spacio-cide: it starts by removing the dead from the cemetery, regulating Palestinian memory by deeming it invisible, and completes the operation by asserting a giant “cultural” building to dominate that space through form, language, and image. This elemental force of controlling public space is modern colonialism.

Conclusion

Techniques of modern colonization have haunted Palestinian society from a very early stage. As a result, commemorative and spatial production has been and still is one way for Palestinians to organize their lives and ascribe meaning to them, amid their struggle against the continuous and endless losses they are bombarded with, and while they adapt to the physical barriers that hold them hostage. This spatial production, however, is also being attacked. Palestinians not only face geographical losses at the expense of Israeli territorial expansion, but also the erosion of their spatial status quo. Dominance is achieved not only through destruction, but simultaneously through modern design. Through the exploitation of culture and erasure of memory, Israel attacks both “place” and “space” to displace Palestinian bodies, Palestinian identity, and the Palestinian ethos throughout historic Palestine.

Jerusalem is a uniquely valuable city to Palestinians, viewed as the capital of Palestine which should, in theory, serve as Palestinians’ center of socioeconomic, political, and cultural affairs, while remaining the holy city that embraces the sanctity of all three Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Zionist ideology, however, has worked for years to establish Jerusalem as a purely ethnic Jewish city and the capital of Israel, not only by excluding Palestinian civilians from its urban development, but also rendering the targets of spacio-cide. In the case of the Mamilla cemetery and the Museum of Tolerance, it is possible to expand Sari Hanafi’s understanding of spacio-cide to understand how the attack on space also involves an attack on culture, memory, and symbolic spaces for Palestinians. The destruction of the Mamilla cemetery and the desecration of the human remains in it, and building over it the “Center for Human Dignity” and “Museum of Tolerance,” also illuminates the key institutional role played by archeologists, architects, and urban planners who are able to destroy Palestinian public representations and construct over them Israeli public re-representations in the name of modernity.

Finally, although analysis of Israeli spacio-cide and spacio-cidal practices reveal the cruelty of the occupation, especially forms of cruelty often left unnoticed, this does not mean that such a strategy can truly succeed in cleansing Palestinian existence from the land of Palestine. Among various forms of resistance in which Palestinians have become proficient over many decades, future research should pay attention to techniques of resistance that refuse, undermine, and defy spacio-cide.

Aya Hijazi is an international consultant currently working on stabilization programs for Syria, based in Turkey. She completed a BA in Anthropology and Sociology with a focus on Rhetoric at Drake University in the United States and an MSc in Urbanization and Development at the London School Economics in the UK.

“Toward Spacio-cide: Building the Museum of Tolerance Over the Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem” was originally published in the Jerusalem Quarterly and is reprinted here with permission.

 

Endnotes:

  1. Moti Bassok, “Jeruusalem Committee Approves Master Plan to Preserve Historic Neighborhoods,” Ha;Aretz, 2 June 2014, online at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/business/.premium-1.596550 (accessed 10 October 2016).
  2. Nir Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report, Part I: Holes, Holiness and Hollywood,” Ha’Aretz,  18 May 2010, online at http://www.haretz.com/museum-of-tolerance-special-report-introduction-tolerance-takes-its-toll-1.290946 (accessed 17 August 2016) See also: Asem Khalidi, “The Mamilla Cemetery; A Buried History,” Jerusalem Quarterly 37 (Spring 2009): 104-9.
  3. Isabel Kershner, “Museum Creates New Jerusalem Divide,” New York Times, 11 February 2010, online at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/world/middleeeast/11jerusalem.html (accessed 17 August 2016).
  4. Maan News Agency, “Isra’il tujarrifu ‘ashirat al-qubur fi maqbarat Ma’man Allah bi-l-Quds” [Israel Bulldozes Dozens of Graves in Mamilla Cemetery in Jerusalem], MaanNews.net, 6 August 2010, online at http://www.maannews.net/Content.aspx?id=305813 (accessed 16 August 2016).
  5. Pablo Castellani and Chiara Cruciati, “Israel’s Destruction of Mamilla Cemetery Part of Effort to Remove Palestine from Jerusalem,” Mondoweiss, 27 August 2015, online at mondoweiss.net/2015/08/destruction-palestine-jerusalem/ (accessed 24 August 2016).
  6. Esther Hecht,  “Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem Moves Forward,” Architectural Record, 22 July 2016, online at http://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/11815-museum-of-tolerance-jerusalem-moves-forward (accessed 13 October 2016).
  7. There is no divider between “East” and “West” Jerusalem; hence, for the  purposes of this paper, this division becomes insignificant with regard to defending the historical sanctity and protection of the city as a whole.
  8. See, for example: Martin Coward, Urbicide: The Politics of Urban Destruction (New York: Routledge, 2009; Stephen Graham, “Lessons in Urbicide,” New Left Review, 19 (2003): 63-77; Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq (Maidan, MA: Blackwell, 2004); Yosef Rafeq Jabareen, “The Politics of State Planning in Achieving Geopolitical Ends: The Case of the Rcent Master Plan for Jerusalem,” International Development Planning Review 32, no. 1 (January 2010): 27-43; Philipp Misselwitz and Tim Rieniets, eds., City of Collision: Jerusalem and the Principles of Conflict Urbanism (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2006; Eyal Weizman, Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation (London: Verso, 2007); Wendy Pullan, “Contested Mobilities and the Spatial Topography of Jerusalem,” in Contested Spaces: Sites, Representations, and Histories of Conflict, ed. Louise Prussic, Jim Aulich, and Graham Dawson (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  9. Gregory, Colonial Present, 88
  10. Gregory, Colonial Present, 88
  11. Graham, “Lessons in Urbicide,” 63. See also: Coward, Urbicide.
  12. Haifa Rashed, Damien Short, and John Docker, “Nakba Memoricide: Genocide Studies and the Zionist/Israeli Genocide of Palestine,” Holy Land Studies 13, no. 1 (2014): 1-34. See also: Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006).
  13. Sari Hanafi, “Spaciocide,” in City of Collision, ed. Misselwitz and Reiniets, 93-101
  14. Sari Hanafi, “Explaining Spacio-cide in the Palestinian Territory: Colonization, Separation, and State of Exception,” Current Sociology 61, no. 2 (Mar. 2013): 190-205
  15. “Introduction to Part Five,” in The Cultural Geography Reader, ed. Timothy S. Oakes and Patricia L. Price (New York: Routledge, 2008), 254
  16. Hanafi, “Spaciocide,” 93.
  17. Hanafi, “Spaciocide,” 93.
  18. Hanafi notes: “[Israeli] sovereignty reduces the subjective trajectories of individuals to the subjective trajectories of individuals to bodies. These, indistinct, displaced, localized, and colonized bodies come to be classified and defined as refugees, stateless people.” Hanafi, “Spaciocide,” 96.
  19. Pappe, Ethnic Cleansing.
  20. Tamim al-Barghouti, “Fi al-Quds” [In Jerusalem], available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZTSLDVeH5M (performance) and http://www.adab.com/modules.php?name=Sh3er&doWhat=shqas&qid=76853 (text) (accessed 18 September 2016).
  21. Doris Francis, Leonie Kellaher, and Georgina Neophytou, “The Cemetery: A Site for the Construction of Memory, Identity, and Ethnicity,” in Social Memory and History: Anthropolotical Perspectives, ed. Jacob J. Climo and Maria G. Cattell (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2002), 95.
  22. Francis, Kellaher and  Neophytou mention how in the seventeenth century, immigrant Jews bought land for burial as their first property. The annual remembrance rituals in these cemeteries combine memorial prayers in Hebrew and the Israeli national anthem with the singing of “God Save the Queen” Francis, Kellaher, and Neophytou, “The Cemetery,” 100, 107.
  23. Francis, Kellaher, and Neophytou, “The Cemetery,” 97.
  24. Sean Field, “‘No One Has Allowed Me to Cry’: Trauma, Memorialization, and Children in Post Genocide Rwanda,” in Contested Spaces, ed. Prussic, Aulich, and Dawson, 211-232.
  25. Nick Shepherd and Christian Ernsten, “The World Below: Post-Apartheid Urban Imaginaries and the Bones of the Prestwich Streed Dead,” in Desire Lines: Space, Memory, and Identity in the Post-Apartheid City, ed. Noëleen Murray, Nick Shepherd, and Martil Hall (New York: Routledge, 2007), 215-232
  26. Shepherd and Ernsten, “World Below,” 217.
  27. Shepherd and Ernsten, “World Below,” 222.
  28. James E. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), 207.
  29. Young, Texture of Memory, 207.
  30. Francis, Kellaher, and Neophytou, “The Cemetery.”
  31. In a report by the UN General Assembly, the Palestinian delegation objected to the excavations and expressed their deep concern at: “the excavation of ancient tombs and the removal of hundreds of human remains from part of the historic Ma’man Allah (Mamilla) Cemetery in the holy city of Jerusalem in order to construct the ‘Museum of Tolerance’ and calls upon the Government of Israel to immediately desist from such illegal activities therein.” See: “13/…The Grave Human Rights Violations by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Including Jerusalem,” UN Human Rights Council, 19 March 2010, Agenda item 7, 2-3, online at documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/LTD/G10/124/03/PDF/G1012403.pdf (accessed 13 October 2016).
  32. “Petition  for Urgent Action on Human Rights Violations by Israel: Desecration of Ma’man Allah (Mamilla) Muslim Cemetyery in the Holy City of Jerusalem,” 10 February 2010, online at http://www.mamillacampaign.org/photos/pdfs/All_Petition.pdf (accessed 5 August 2010).
  33. Personal communication, 19 July 2010.
  34. Castellani and Cruciati, “Israel’s Destruction.”
  35. Personal communication, 22 April 2010.
  36. To view images of the bones, see the photographic evidence provided in Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Repport, Part I.”
  37. Petition for Urgent Action,” 14.
  38. Nir Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report: In Response to the Revelations,” Ha’Aretz, 18 May 2010, online at http://www.haaretz.com/magazine/2.278/museum-of-tolerance-special-report-in-response-to-the-revelations-1.290925 (accessed 19 May 2010).
  39. Ethan Bronner, “Gravestone Removals Add Fuel to Jerusalem Museum Dispute,” New York Times, 13 August 2010, online at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/14/world/middleeast/14israel.html (accessed 19 May 2010).
  40. See Simon Wiesenthal Center, “Important Facts on the Israeli Sureme Court Ruling in Favor of the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem,” online at http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/pp.asp?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=5794545 (accessed 13 October 2016).
  41. “Petition for Urgent Action,” 19.
  42. “Petition for Urgent Action,” 19.
  43. Nir Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report Part II: Secrets from the Grave,” Ha’Aretz, 18 May 2010, online at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/museum-of-tolerance-special-report-part-ii-secrets-from-the-grave-1.290941 (accessed 13 October 2016).
  44. Bronner, “Gravestone Removals.”
  45. Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report: In Response to the Revelations.”
  46. Len Ly, “Museum Digs Up Controversy in Jerusalem,” Neon Tommy, 26 April 2010, video online at http://www.mamillaacampaign.org/template.php?id=78 (accessed 13 October 2016).
  47. “The Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem,” News from Within podcast, 5 March 2010 online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34s8oCuKP21 (accessed 13 October 2016).
  48. “Petition for Urgent Action.”
  49. Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report, Part I.”
  50. In outlining his peace program to the Knesset in 1977 during his visit to Jerusalem, Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt at the time stated: “Jerusalem should be a free city open to all believers…we should revive the spirit of Omar al-Khattab and Saladin, in other words, the spirits of tolerance and respect of law.” Henry Cattan, Jerusalem (London: Croom Helm, 1981), 26.
  51. Tamir Sorek, “Cautious Commemoration: Localism, Communalism , and Nationalism in Palestinian Memorial Monuments in Israel,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 50, no. 2 (2008): 337-368.
  52. Sorek, “Cautious Commemoration,” 346.
  53. Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report: In Response to the Revelations.”
  54. Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (London: Vintage 1993), 6.
  55. Young, Texture of Memory, 207
  56. Young, Texture of Memory, 306; Hasson, Museum of Tolerance Special Report, Part I.”
  57. Young, Texture of Memory.
  58. Young, Texture of Memory.
  59. Andreas Huyssen, “Present Pasts: Media, Politics, Amnesia,” Public Culture 12, no. 1 (2000): 21-38, quote at 26.
  60. Huyssen, “Present Pasts.”
  61. Knischewski and Spittler, “Competing Pasts,” 168
  62. Huyssen, Present Pasts.”
  63. Knischewski and Spittler, “Competing Pasts,” 168.
  64. Young, Texture of Memory, 247.
  65. Young Texture of Memory, 250.
  66. Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report, Part I”; Amara, personal communication, 22 April 2010.
  67. Simon Wiesenthal Center, “Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem,” undated [2010] online at http://www.wiesenthal.com/arf/cf%7B54d385e6-flb9-4e9f-8e94-890c3e6dd277%7D/MOTJ%20PACKET.PDF (accessed 13 October 2016).
  68. Personal communication, 19 July 2010.
  69. Hasson, “Museum of Tolerance Special Report, Part I.”
  70. Esther Zandberg, “Surroundings No Tolerance for Jerusalem’s Uniqueness,” Ha’Aretz, 5 November 2008, online at http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/culture/leisure/surroundings-no-tolerance-for-jerusalem-s-uniqueness-1.256638 (Accessed 24 April 2010).
  71. Michael Z. Wise, “Unbuilt: Architect Frank Gehy Withdraws from Plan to Build Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem,” Tablet, 14 January 2010, online at http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/23575/unbuilt (accessed 12 October 2016). An image of Gehry’s design can be found in Zandberg, “Surroundings No Tolerance,” and Wise, “Unbuilt.”
  72. Hecht, “Museum of Tolerance.”
  73. Noga Tarnopolsky, “Death in Jerusalem,” Guilt & Pleasure
  74. Zandberg, “Surroundings No Tolerance”; Wise, “Unbuilt.”
  75. Huyssen, “Present Pasts.”
  76. Ivan Karp writes: “the discussion of the poetics and politics of the museum display illustrated how the selection of knowledge and the presentation of ideas and images are enacted with the power system.” Ivan Karp, “Introduction,” in Museums and Communities: The Politics of Public Culture, ed. Ivan Karp, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Steven D. Lavine (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press 1992), 1.
  77. This language, no longer present on the Wiesenthal Center’s Website, can still be found, for example, in a 15 November 2011 post by the Jerusalem, Capital of Israel Facebook group titled “Construction of the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem,” online at http://www.facebook.com/notes/jerusalem-capital-of-israel/construction-of-the-museum-of-tolerance-in-jerusalem/276971902345613/ (accessed 12 October 2016). The Wiesenthal Center, meanwhile, continues to quote approvingly from the Israeli Supreme Court: “Almost every place you dig in Jerusalem you’re going to come into contact with ancient civilizations. Is it better to let this site remain a parking lot, or build a center for human dignity there, which would teach young people mutual respect and social responsibility?” See: Simon Wiesenthal Center, “Important Facts on the Israeli Supreme Court Ruling.” (emphasis in original).
  78. Karsten Harries, The Ethical Functiion of Architecture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997), 141.

 

Empire Files: Israeli Army Vet’s Exposé – “I Was the Terrorist”

 

 

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the “State” of Palestine (09-15 March 2017)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(09-15 March 2017)

 

  • Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in occupied Jerusalem.
  • 11 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded in the West Bank.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the border areas in the Gaza Strip, and no arrests were reported.
  • Israeli forces conducted 80 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one was conducted in the central Gaza Strip.
  • 80 civilians, including 9 children and 4 women, one of whom is a PLC Member, Samira al- Halyqa, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 35 of them, including 5 children and 2 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
  • 3 children were arrested while sneaking through the border fence into Israel to look for work and were then released after interrogation.
  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Two houses were demolished and a civilian was obliged to self-demolish his house.
  • Closure of Arab Studies Society’s Mapping and arresting its director.
  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • A mobile house was confiscated in Farosh Beit Dajan village, while a vegetable stall was demolished.
  • Israeli settlers uprooted and stole (143) olive trees, south of Nablus.
  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (09-15 March 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian civilian in occupied Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, the Israeli forces wounded 11 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, in the West Bank. The Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea and open fire at farmers in the border areas.

 

In the West Bank, in new crime of using excessive force, on Monday, 13 February 2017, Israeli officers killed Ibrahim Mahmoud Matar (25), from al-Mukaber Mount, southeast of occupied Jerusalem. Israeli forces claimed that Ibrahim entered the Israeli police office in Lions Gate (al-Asbat), took a knife out and then stabbed 2 Israeli soldiers. After that, Ibrahim was shot dead by another Israeli soldier.

 

On 10 March 2017, Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian civilians, who were at the western entrance to Selwad village, northeast of Ramallah, and wounded 2 of them.

 

On 11 March 2017, a 16-year-old male was hit with a tear gas canister at his head, when Israeli forces raided Birzeit, north of Ramallah. Moreover, the Israeli forces fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians.

 

On 11 March 2017, a Palestinian civilian was hit with a live bullet to the leg, when Israeli forces moved into Sabastiyia village, northwest of Nablus. During which, a number of Palestinian young men protested against them.

 

On 15 March 2017, 5 civilians, including 2 siblings, were wounded, when Israeli forces moved into al-Duhaisha refugee camp and al-Dawha village nearby, south of Bethlehem. One of whom was wounded as he was at the roof of his house in al-Dawhah village. when the wounded’s brother along with his 3 friends rushed to take him to the hospital, the Israeli forces opened fire at the car carrying them. As a result, 4 other civilians were wounded.

On the same day, a Palestinian worker, from al-‘Obaidiya village, east of Behtlthem, was wounded while he was near ” Mazmouriya” checkpoint, east of the city, attempting to go to his work in occupied Jerusalem.

 

On the same day, Fatmah Jabrin ‘Aye Abdul ‘Aziz Taqatqah (16) from Sahlet ‘Eid neighborhood in al-Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, was shot by the Israeli forces. The Israeli forces claimed she attempted to carry out a ran-over attack in the intersection of “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city, but she was arrested.  After that, Fatama was taken to “Shaare Zedek” Medical Centre in Jerusalem. Fatmah’s family refused the Israeli claims and said that she lost control of her vehicle.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting border areas, On 09 March 2017, ,  Israeli forces stationed in the vicinity of “Kissufim” military site established along the border fence between the Gaza Strip an Israel, northeast of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired several artillery shells and opened fire at agricultural lands in al-Qararah and al-Salqa Valley areas, west of the abovementioned border fence amidst firing several flare bombs, but no arrests were reported.

 

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, On 14 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 80 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and its suburbs, and conducted 11 raids in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 80 Palestinian civilians, including 9 children and 4 women. Thirty five of them, including 5 children and 2 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem. Among those arrested was a Member representing Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) identified as Samira al-Halyqa (53).

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 15 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into the east of Gaza Valley (Johr al-Deek) in the central Gaza Strip. They leveled the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel after which they re-deployed along the border fence.

 

Creating Jewish Majority in Occupied East Jerusalem:

 

Concerning house demolitions, on Saturday, 11 March 2017, the Israeli Municipality obliged ‘Arafat Qara’een to self-demolish part of his family house in Wadi Helwa neighborhood, south of the Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Qara’een said that the part, which was demolished comprised of a 20-square-meter room used as a store built 2 years ago.

 

On 14 March 2017, Israeli forces accompanied demolished an under-construction residential building in al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem. The 250-square-meters building, which was comprised of 2 floors, belongs to Majdi Mostafa.

 

On the same day, Israeli forces demolished a house in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City. The house belongs to Mohamed Abu Saleh and was comprised of 2 rooms built in an area of 50 square meters. It should be noted that Mohamed along with his family comprised of 3 members, were intending to live in the house soon.

 

In the context of imposing restrictions on Palestinian associations, on 14 March 2017, Israeli forces raided the Mapping and Survey Office of the Arab Studies Society- Orient House in Beit Hanina neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem.  The police officers arrested the Office Director and maps and settlement expert, Khalil Tufakji, and took him to an unknown destination after confiscating his cell phone and some contents of the office.  The Israeli police closed the office for 6 months upon an order from the Israeli Interior Minister, Gelad Ardan.

 

Settlement Activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:

 

On 14 March 2017, Israeli forces confiscated a mobile house in Farosh Beit Dajan village. The house belongs to Tawfiq Abed al-Raheem Haj Mohamed, who works as Headmaster of the village’s school. The abovementioned house was built on an area of 25 square meters and shelters 8 members, including 3 children. Moreover, the bulldozer demolished a vegetable stall located in the village’s main street. The 30-square-meter stall belongs to Yaser Ibrahim Aub Murtada.

 

In the same context, on 10 March 2017, Israeli settlers, from “Rhalim” settlement, uprooted 143 olive trees from al-Sawiyia villages’ lands, south of Nablus. The land belongs to Haytham Ahmed Mohamed Abu Kafanah and Suhail Abed al-Raheem Suliman. Both of them are from the abovementioned village.

 

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

 

 

Details

 

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

 

Thursday, 09 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli forces accompanied with 4 military jeeps and an armored personnel carrier moved into Rafat village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched a house belonging to Emad Raja Mas’oud ‘Ayyash (24) and took his ID card. As soon as the soldiers identified Emad, they arrested him and then took him to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Samira Abdullah Abdul Rahim Halayqah (53), a PLC Member representing the Reform and Change Bloc of Hamas Movement. The Israeli forces arrested Samira and confiscated her cell phone and 2 laptops. On Sunday, 12 March 2017, the Israeli Authorities brought her before the military court in “Ofer” military camp, west of Ramallah. The Military Attorney General (MAG) accused Samira of incitement against the Israeli forces on her Facebook page and demanded to detain her for 5 days, but her lawyer refused the allegation submitted by the MAG. At the end of the hearing, the judge issued a decision to postpone for one day.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Qablan village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Jehad Saleh Hamed Nashatah (43) and ‘Asef Yusuf ‘Adel ‘Omlah (30) and took them to Howara military camp, south of the city. After interrogation, the Israeli forces released them at approximately 144:00 on the same day.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Laban Eastern village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Suleiman Mohammed Suleiman ‘Owais (25).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Thanabah village, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mahmoud Husain Mahmoud Abu Hamrah (20).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested ‘Essa Omer Mustafa ‘Oudah (24).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into several neighborhoods in Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested ‘Ali Majed al-‘Ajlouni (31), his brother Morsi (28) and Rami ‘Ali Edrees (29).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Ezbet al-Jarad, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mothannah Fo’ad Abdul Rahim Robo’ (23).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Badras village, wet of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hazem Mahmoud Hanoun (21) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit ‘Awaa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Mahmoud Ra’ed Masalmah (16) and Mo’tasem Farouq Masalmah (17).

 

  • At approximately 23:35, Israeli forces stationed in the vicinity of “Kissufim” military site established along the border fence between the Gaza Strip an Israel, northeast of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, fired several artillery shells and opened fire at agricultural lands in al-Qararah and al-Salqa Valley areas, west of the abovementioned border fence amidst firing several flare bombs, but no arrests were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘Ourta village, southeast of Nablus; ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; Sa’ir and Beit Ummer villages in Hebron and Kufor Malek village, northeast of Ramallah.

 

Friday, 10 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 17:00, Israeli forces fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinians, who were near the western entrance to the village, northeast of Ramallah. As a result, some of the civilians were wounded as the Israeli forces arrested Jehad Mohammed Maousa Hammad and took him to an unknown destination.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir, al-Shyoukh, Karmah and Beit Marsam villages in Hebron.

 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli forces moved into Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They fire live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at Palestinian civilians. As a result, a 16-year-old male from al-Mazra’ah al-Qebliyah village, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head. In the same context, the Israeli forces arrested Mos’ab Ibrahim Said (28).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (10) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Jayous village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, Hablah village, south of the city and ‘Azoun village, east of the city; al-Shyoukh, Surif, Sa’ir Beit Awa, al-Mawreq villages and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron; Beit Rema village, northwest of  Ramallah.

 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Howarah village, south of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mahmoud ‘Ali Mohamme Sa’adah (41).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Osama Abdul Jaber Foqahaa’ (26) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into Sarda village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Batol al-Ramhi (24) and then arrested her.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Nablus al-Jadidah neighbourhood, south of Nablus; Sebastia village, northwest of the city; ‘Ourta village, southeast of the city; Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah; Kufor al-Deek, al-Zawiyah villages, west of Salfit; al Thaheriyah, Abu al-‘Asjahand Karzah villages in Hebron.

 

Monday, 13 March 2017

 

  •  At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rabe’I Jawad Za’aqiq (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to  Malek ‘Ali al-Ja’bari (22) and then arrested him.

 

  •  At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Bani Na’im village, east of Hebron. They raided an searched a house belonging to Abdul Rahim Mahmoud Tarairah (30) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jom’ah Ibrahim al-Dusouqi (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Tareq Maher Zakarnah (28).

 

  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces stationed at the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel at “Nahal ‘Oz” site, east of al-Shuja’iya neighbourhood, east of Gaza, arrested 3 children after they sneaked into the abovementioned border fence. The arrested civilians were identified as Mohammed Mahmoud Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi (16), Makram Mustafa Yusuf Moqbel (15) and ‘Alaa’ Jamil Sabri Abu Khater. All  of them are from al-Jurun neighbourhood in Jabalia al-Balad in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces moved into Taqqou’ village, southeast of Bethlehem. The soldiers chased a number of school students, who were returning to their homes. They then arrested Mohamme Saleem al-Badan (17), a high school student.

 

  • In the evening, Israeli forces moved into Bil’in village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Abdul Khaleq Eyad Burnat (16) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported:Dura, Taffouh and al-Samou’i villages in Hebron; Rantees village, northwest of Ramallah.

 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Marah Rabah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Habib Mohammed al-Saheikh (24) and Ayman Abdul Hai al-Sheikh (21).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces move into Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron, and stationed in Shu’ob Theeb area. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested ‘Esam Suleiman ‘Atawnah (31).

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Jala. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Noor al-Jawarish (22).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Nablus and stationed in al-Ma’ajin area. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Essam Mustafa al-Shunnar (20).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Suleiman Nader Masalmah (20).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit Ummer village, north of Hebron. They raided and searched 3 houses and destroyed the houses contents. They then arrested 3 civilians namely Ibrahim Mohammed ‘Awad (22),’Ali Mohammed Za’aqiq (21) and Wael Khalil Abu ‘Ayash (25).

 

  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Qabatiya village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Khalid (49) and Amin Mohammed Ismail Sabaa’nah (38).

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

  • At approximately 19:30, Israeli forces moved into Sabastiyia village, northwest of Nablus. A number of youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who immediately fired live bullets at them. As a result, a 17-year-old child sustained a live bullet wound to the leg. He was transferred to Najah Medical Hospital.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beta village, southeast of Nablus; Karisah, Emrish and Sa’ir villages in Hebron an Birzeit village, north of Ramallah.

 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Duhaisah refugee camp and al-Dawhah village nearby, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Morad al-Zaghari (24) and then arrested him. In the meantime, dozens of youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who randomly fired live bullets at them. As a result, Eyad Ibrahim Ramadan (40) was hit with a live bullet to the leg as he was at the roof of his house in al-Dawhah village. Eyad’s brother Mahmoud and his friends namely Ahmed al-Je’awi (30), Mo’ath Abu Nassar (22) and Mohammed Fares Fararjah (20) rushed to help him and take him to the hospital. The Israeli soldiers then opened fire at their vehicle. As a result, Mahmoud sustained a bullet shrapnel wounds to the head while the three others sustained live bullets wounds to the leg. The five injured civilians were transferred to Bethlehem Hospitals to receive medical treatment.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aawourah village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Salamah Khaseeb (26) and then arrested him.

 

  •  Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir ‘Ammar village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Mohammed ‘Oudah (44) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Laith Sabri al-Barghuthi (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Yasser Bilal Mahmoud Yamin (21), a student at al Sharia School at al-Najah National University in Nablus, and Mos’ab Tawfiq al-Hendi (27).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Deir Ghsanah village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Amr Mahmoud al-Barguthi (21) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Oudai Abdul Razeq al-Tamimi (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Hebron and stationed in al-Salam neighborhood. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Zughair family after which they arrested Mos’ab Neal Zughair (22) and Abdullah Ahmed Zughair (19).

 

  • In the morning, Ahmed Radaidah (27), a worker from al-‘Abidiyah village, east of Bethlehem, was wounded near Mazmouriya checkpoint, east of the city, while he attempted to go to his work in Jerusalem. The PRCS said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the PRCS’s crews received the worker from the Israeli forces at abovementioned checkpoint as he sustained a live bullet wounds to the left thigh. He was then transferred to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital, where his wounds were classified as moderate. Eyewitnesses said that Ahmed was shot while he was in Abu al-Hamz Valley area attempting to go to his work in Jerusalem.

 

  • At approximately 07:00, Israeli forces accompanied with 4 military bulldozers moved about 100 meters, west of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Gaza Valley (Johr al-Deek) in the central Gaza Strip. The bulldozers leveled the lands adjacent to the abovementioned border fence. The incursion continued until 13:00 on the same day as the Israeli forces redeployed along the border fence.

 

  • At approximately 16:30, Fatmah Jabrin ‘Aye Abdul ‘Aziz Taqatqah (16) from Sahlet ‘Eid neighborhood in al-Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, was shot by the Israeli forces. The Israeli forces claimed she attempted to carry out a ran-over attack in an intersection of “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of the city, but she was arrested. An ambulance of MDA to “Shaare Zedek” Medical Centre in Jerusalem. Kareem Ajwa, lawyer for the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, who was able to visit the child in the hospital, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that she was put in the intensive care under artificial respiration device. He also said that her medical condition is serious after she sustained a live bullet wound to the head. Later the Israeli forces moved in the abovementioned town, closed the main and western entrances to it, prevented the civilians from movement and checked their ID cards. They also summoned Fatmah’s father to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service, the Shabak, in “Gush Etzion” settlement. The family refused the Israeli claims that their daughter attempted to carry out a ran-over. They said that she usually drives the car as she is a lonely sister among her brothers. They added that Fatmah enjoys an excellent social life and believe that what happened was that she lost control of her vehicle.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Nablus, Tubas and Tammoun villages, east of the city; Bani Na’im and al-Thaheriyah villages in Herbron.

 

 

  • Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 10 March 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of the city; at the entrance to al-Jaalzone refugee camp, north of the city; and in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

 

 

Gaza Strip

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 10 March 2017, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and made their way to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. They gathered into the east of al-Shuja’iya neighborhood, east of Gaza City, and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at them. No casualties were reported.

 

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested

Palestinian Martyred in Al-Quds after Stabbing two Occupation Soldiers

Israeli occupation soldiers shooting

March 13, 2017

Israeli occupation police killed on Monday a Palestinian after he attacked and wounded two border with a knife near an entrance to the old city of al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The attacker, who was a resident of occupied East al-Quds, entered a border guard post and wounded the two before being shot dead. One of the guards was seriously injured, the other more lightly, occupation police added.

Occupation authorizes annexed Arab East al-Quds after the 1967 war.

The occupied territories have been since October 2015 rocked by a wave of unrest due to strict Israeli measures especially in al-Quds and near al-Aqsa Mosque, with Zionist settlers, backed by IOF, repeatedly storming the holy compound.

Palestinians have been retaliating for the Israeli attacks by stabbing attempts. However, the occupation authorities have been using such attempts as a pretext to kill Palestinians.

Since October 2015, 255 Palestinians have been martyred while 40 Israelis have been killed.

Source: AFP

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Hezbollah: Bassel Al-A’raj Proved That Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Bassel 3

March 9, 2017

Hezbollah praised the Palestinian martyr Bassel al-A’raj who was killed earlier this week during heroic clash with Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

In a statement released by the Party’s Media Relations Office, Hezbollah congratulated the martyrdom of al-A’raj who “mixed the words with blood and proved that actions speak louder than words in the struggle against the Zionist enemy which has been targeting the Palestinian people in a bid to wipe them off their roots and land.”

“Hezbollah denounces the horrific killing of this hero by occupation soldiers in Bireh town of the West Bank, in which dozens of bullets went into his blessed body,” the statement said, noting that the killing “indicates the level of spite by the Israeli enemy against anyone who raises the banner of resistance.”

Meanwhile, the Lebanese resistance party stressed that al-A’raj’s martyrdom proves that the Palestinian people are sticking to the resistance path, noting that the martyr had contributed to documenting the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians throughout the history.

“As Hezbollah offers its condolences to the martyr’s family and all the Palestinian people as well, it stresses the importance of supporting the resistance in Palestine in all means.”

Source: Hezbollah Media Relations

 

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