Israeli settlers attack Palestinians, steal land with impunity. Imagine outrage & calls for sanctions if any other state did it

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April 16, 2021, RT.com

-by Eva K Bartlett

Every aspect of their existence on occupied Palestinian land is illegal. Still, the violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against civilians continues, propped up by Israel’s legal system and the world’s blind eyes.

Periodically, we will hear in the news something about the illegal colonies (settlements), but increasingly rarely over the years, and generally without a human face: just numbers and false promises to end the expansion of these colonies choking Palestinians from their land.

Recently, UN Special Rapporteurs and experts shed light on the uptick of brutality and land theft by Israeli colonists. In a new UN report, they noted:

In 2020, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) documented 771 incidents of settler violence causing injury to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9,646 trees and 184 vehicles mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Ramallah. Already, during the first three months of 2021, more than 210 settler violent incidents were recorded, with one Palestinian fatality.”

Stop for a moment and imagine this was a report on violent incidents by Russia, Syria, Venezuela, or any of the nations in NATO’s crosshairs. Media would be howling with outrage and faked tears, with demands for heads to roll, or at least for perpetrators to face justice.

But this is occupied Palestine, where the Israeli legal system serves continued colonist expansion and terrorism against Palestinians. And, let’s be clear, what the colonists do to Palestinians is indeed terrorism.

Colonists have burned alive a Palestinian youth, shot and killed Palestinian civilians, have run people over, including children, leaving them to die. They routinely attack farmers trying to work their land or harvest their olives. 

They hail stones, large rocks, sewage and waste onto Palestinians walking or living below their illegally occupied homes, steal Palestinians’ flocks of sheep (or poison them), even uproot and thieve their olive trees.

This has been going on for decades, and the so-called international community allows it, in spite of overwhelming documentation of these crimes.

Israeli rights group B’Tselem has been reporting on such attacks since 1989. A 2017 B’Tselem article noted:

Thousands of testimonies, videos and reports, as well as many years of close monitoring by B’Tselem and other organizations, reveal that Israeli security forces not only allow settlers to harm Palestinians and their property as a matter of course – they often provide the perpetrators escort and back-up. In some cases, they even join in on the attack.

After more than 25 years of this work, there is no escaping the conclusion that the authorities merely make a show of law enforcement in this context and that, with few exceptions, they have no interest in seriously investigating settler violence against Palestinians.”

*Above images from web

Disturbing memories of colonist brutality

In 2007, I witnessed and heard of colonist violence and land theft when I spent eight months in the West Bank as an activist documenting the crimes against Palestinian civilians by both the Israeli military and the illegal colonists.

The city of Hebron has some of the most violent squatters, who, like colonists all over the West Bank, walk with guns slung over their back and routinely attack and abuse the Palestinian residents, including children. 

In fact, during my two-week stay in Hebron in mid 2007, one of the things I and other activists did was simply to stand on shara Shuhada, the once vibrant main street, now a shuttered ghost town.

We stood, or sat, on that street for hours, in the heat of the day, to deter colonists from attacking children going to or from school, or adults going to market, work or mosque. It seemed a colossal waste of time, but there had been many precedents of Israeli colonists stoning or beating Palestinians.

South of Hebron, in a desert-like hamlet called Susiya, over the course of many months I stayed in the makeshift tent and metal structures of the Palestinians living there. Prior to their shantytown, they, and generations before them, had lived in stone houses and even cave dwellings. But, they were evicted in the 1980s, when Israel declared the area an archaeological site.

As I wrote, “We stayed with them in hopes of preventing the inevitable attacks by the nearby colonists. Hajj Khalil, an elder in his eighties, had been brutally beaten by colonists the year before I met him.”

Eva K Bartlett, 2007

The recent UN report also noted:

“Settler violence was predominantly ideologically motivated and primarily designed to take over land but also to intimidate and terrorize Palestinians. The violence and intimidation often prevents Palestinians from accessing and cultivating their land, and creates a coercive environment pressuring Palestinians to stay away from certain areas or even move.”

Indeed, in the Susiya region, I witnessed land being stolen and quickly annexed by the illegal Jewish colonists.

As I wrote, “The elderly Palestinian landowners have been harassed and threatened, and physically abused. They have been moved off of the land by menacing of the illegal colonists. The owners of the land very much want to use it for agricultural purposes and have tried–mostly unsuccessfully–to file complaints at the nearest police station, Kiryat Arba, nearly two hours away. These illegal tactics have been largely successful in the region, with many Susiya residents and landowners leaving their land for nearby cities and towns.”

During the olive harvest that year, I accompanied Palestinian farmers to their orchards in a northern West Bank region. Not long after they had begun collecting olives, six masked colonists descended a hill, slinging hefty stones at us, for forty minutes stoning and then physically hitting people in our group.

I wrote about that at the time, noting, “One of the six attackers slung a large rock at me. Hitting my camera hand, the rock missed my temple. One of the farmers, on the other hand, was not so fortunate, with severe gashes on his head from multiple stone strikes.

On another occasion, the Palestinians had the needed paperwork to be on their land (that’s right, they have to ask their occupiers for permission to access their land for limited amounts of time, to harvest their olives), and had only just begun to harvest when gun-toting colonists dressed in white descended the hill and began menacing the Palestinians.

What did the Israeli army do? Point their guns at the farmers and tell them to take a hike. Get off their land. The setters have spoken…

There are far worse examples. My encounters and documentation at the time was more on the crimes of the Israeli army against Palestinians. But, B’Tselem has pages of reports and videos of Israeli colonists’ attacks on Palestinians.

In 2015, Haaretz reported colonists had “firebombed” a West Bank house, the ensuing fire burning to death an infant.

The youth I mentioned earlier, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was indeed burned alive by Israelis, in mid-2014. As I wrote some years ago, “Khdeir went missing while going to mosque for morning prayers in occupied Jerusalem. His slight body was found a few hours later charred and beaten. The autopsy report “showed soot in the victim’s lungs and respiratory tract, indicating he was alive and breathing while he was being burnt.”

In a rare instance of justice, the colonist was sent to prison for life for his crime.

But as Israeli rights group Yeshe Din in December 2019 reported, most attacks go unpunished. 

According to their research, “Israeli Police failed in the investigation of 82% of the files opened between 2005 and 2019. 91% of all investigation files were closed without an indictment. After 15 years of monitoring Israeli law enforcement authorities in their handling of complaints filed by Palestinian victims of ideological crimes committed by Israelis, the picture that emerges demonstrates that the State of Israel is failing in its duty to protect Palestinians in the occupied territories from those who would harm them and, in fact, leaves them defenseless as they face assault and harassment.”

In their 2017 report, B’Tselem further noted, “Violent actions of settlers against Palestinians are not exceptions to a rule. Rather, they form part of a broader strategy in which the state colludes, as it stands to benefit from the result. Over time, this unchecked violence is gradually driving Palestinians from more and more locations in the West Bank, making it easier for the state to take over land and resources.

That is the essence: the crimes of Israel’s colonists actually benefit Israel in occupying more and more Palestinian land. So there is incentive to look away, close investigations, let the attacks and murders continue.

In researching for this article I came across yet another account of colonists beating a Susiya resident I knew. The article described an attack in December 2020 on 78 year-old Khalil Haraini. In which, “about 10 settlers rushed out from behind a hill, armed with pistols, rifles, clubs, axes and iron chains. One of them assaulted the elderly farmer, knocking him to the ground. Settlers then beat him with their clubs.

Although I’m not naive enough to believe anything will change after a UN report here or there, I feel the need to write about it still, 13 years after meeting people like Khalil Haraini or the farmers I accompanied.

Their hell continues and, tragically, no one is going to rein in the terrorists known as Israeli settlers. 

RELATED:

-Stealing Palestinian Land in Susiya

illegal colonists assault Palestinian farmers & me

Observations from Occupied Palestine, part 1

Observations from Occupied Palestine: Gaza

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestinei (08 – 14 April 2021)

Source

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (08 – 14 April 2021)

 April 15, 2021

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

08 – 14 April 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: Palestinian child lost his eye by IOF’s shooting while 4 other civilians were injured, including a journalist.
  • Three IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas
  • In 135 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 94 civilians arrested, including 6 children, 3 women and a candidate running for elections
  • Ramadan Iftar Meals Banned entry, al-Aqsa Mosque raided, and the loudspeakers for the Addhan damaged.
  • Children activity “Tamr Hendi” banned in East Jerusalem
  • 13 dunums confiscated and construction of 2540 housing units approved in 2 settlements in occupied Jerusalem
  • A house and an agricultural room demolished in Bethlehem while a house notified of stopping construction works in Hebron
  • IOF established 53 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 7 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. IOF arrested the representative of “Jerusalem is Our Destiny” list running for Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections while Ramadan Iftar meals were banned entry into al-Aqsa Mosque, which was raided and the wires of the loudspeakers used for addhan were cut.  Moreover, 13 dunums were confiscated this week and construction of hundreds of housing units were approved in 2 settlements in East Jerusalem. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR documented 200 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

Five Palestinians, including a child and a photojournalist, were injured due to IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: the child was injured in his eye in clashes with IOF in Hebron; as a result, he lost his eye while the fourt civilians, including the photojournalist, were all injured in suppression of a protest in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.  Also, dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assaults during house raids across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 135 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 94 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children and 3 women.  In the Gaza Strip, IOF carried out a limited incursion into eastern al-Maghazi refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 6 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: 13 dunums confiscated from Hizma village and construction of 2540 housing units approved in “Givat Hamatos” and ” Har Homa” settlements.
  • Bethlehem: an agricultural room demolished in al-Khader village, and a house demolished in ‘Osh al-Ghorab neighborhood in Beit Sahour.
  • Hebron: construction works stopped in a house upon a notice in Susya village, south of Yatta, 2 tents and an iron fence used as a sheep barn dismantled, south of Dura.


Settler-attacks:
 PCHR fieldworkers reported settlers’ riots in the eastern outskirts of ‘Ein Yabud village, east of Ramallah.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF declared complete closure of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip crossings for “Independence Day.”  According to the IOF’s announcement, the closure started at 19:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and last until 00:00 on Friday, 15 April 2021. IOF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases”.

This comes in a time when the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 10:30 on Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Deir al-Balah city, in the center of the Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Friday, 09 April 2021, a group of Palestinian young men gathered in al-Zawiyia Gate area in the center of Hebron, and threw stones at the military checkpoint (56), which is established on the closed al-Shuhada Street. IOF chased Palestinian young men, fired sound bombs, and teargas canisters at them. As a result, many stone-throwers suffocated due to teargas inhalation. IOF continued to chase the young men into Abu al-Humus road, which leads to al-Shiekh neighborhood’s entrance, and indiscriminately fired rubber bullets at them and at shops. As a result, ‘Izz al-Deen Nedal al-Batsh (13) was shot with a rubber bullet in his right eye while he was in his father’s grocery shop and was taken to Hebron Governmental Hospital. Al-Batsh was then referred to St John Jerusalem Eye Hospital, where he underwent a surgery to remove his eye completely due to a laceration. Clashes between IOF and Palestinian young men continued until 17:30; no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men and international and Israeli activists in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against the displacement of 19 Palestinian families from the neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem, in favor of settlers. The protestors gathered near the neighborhood entrance, raised banners against the ethnic cleansing and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation, settlement and ethnic cleansing decisions issued in favor of Israeli settlers. Afterwards, Israeli police arrived at the area and surrounded it. They then attacked the protestors and forcibly tried to disperse them. Meanwhile, hand to-hand fighting occurred between the protestors and IOF, who fired rubber bullets at the protestors. As a result, Mahmoud ‘Eliyan, a photojournalist at Al-Quds Newspaper, was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg, in addition to 3 other protestors. In addition, IOF beat the Israeli Knesset Member, Ofer Kseif, pushed him to the ground and tore his clothes in addition to arresting three Israeli activists, who protested against the demolition and displacement decisions. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) stated that its crews treated on the spot nine injuries in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood; 5 were beaten and 4 were shot with rubber bullets.

The Israeli Knesset Member, Ofer Kseif, stated to Israeli media that the Israeli police do not allow people to protest, and despite telling them that he is a Knesset Member, they beat them and broke his glasses. As a result, he sustained wounds and bruises in his left eye. Kseif pointed out that Israeli police only provides protection for settlers, who attack and seize Palestinians’ houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

  • At approximately 20:30 on Saturday, 10 April 2021, a large number of IOF accompanied with a Skunk carrying vehicle moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, after an Israeli bus, which accidentally entered the village, was set on fire. IOF closed the village, established checkpoints at its entrances and then pulled the bus out of the village. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF, who attacked the stone-throwers and fired teargas canisters at them. IOF also raided and searched several houses, where they arrested 3 civilians, including 2 children. The arrestees were identified as Hasan Yaser Darwish (14), Ahmed ‘Issam Darwish (20) and his brother Majed (16).
  • At approximately 22:30 on Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village, and fired flare bombs in the sky. No causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, a large number of IOF backed by military vehicles moved into Aqabat Jaber camp, southwest of Jericho, and established a checkpoint at the camp’s entrance. During which, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and Molotov Cocktails at the IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters heavily at the young men. As a result, dozens of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village; no causalities were reported.
  1. Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 08 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Beit Furik village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched Ma’rouf Khatatba’s house, in Bir al-Shid area. Meanwhile, IOF moved into al-Qubbah neighborhood. They raided and searched Mohammed Nasrallah al-Shambar’s house, confiscated 25,000 NIS, and handed them a warrant of the confiscated money.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Karisa village, east of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched Rizq Musallam al-Rajoub’s (55) house, and took him to an unknown destination. It should be noted that al-Rajoub is a leader in Hamas Movement, and he was arrested several times.
  • At approximately 01:15, IOF moved into al-Masaken al-Sha’biya neighborhood, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ibrahim Alaa al-Dein Bushaqar (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Anas Isma’el Mousa’s (22) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Rajeh Ghazi Shubeita (19) and Mohammed Zuhair Abed (17), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into Birzeit, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Adham Omar Abu ‘Arqoub’s (23) house, and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Kafr Malik village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Khaled Ahmed Ba’irat’s (42) house, and arrested them.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved into Wadi Abu al-Samen area, south of Hebron. They deployed in the area, closed the road leading to houses belonging to Abu Sbaih family, raided and searched several houses, and demolished walls around the houses. IOF claimed that they found military equipment, arrested (6) civilians, including a father and his 3 sons, before they withdrew at approximately 11:00. The arrestees are: Jehad Khalil Abu Sbaih (44), Hamza Khalil Abu Sbaih (49), Dawoud Mohammed Abu Sbaih (50), and his sons; Wael (20), Basel (19), and Na’el (24).
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Ashraf Abdul Jabbar al-Hasanat (47), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, when he was near the main entrance to the camp. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stormed Sons of Jerusalem Sport Club, at al-Sa’diya neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF hanged a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security to ban an event for children titled “Tamr Hindi”, which was to supposed to be held at the Club’s stadium in the afternoon. IOF claimed that the abovementioned event is funded by the PA and left a summons for the Club’s Manager, Samira Riyad al-Jo’ba, to refer to Mascovia police center, and arrested the member of the Administrative Board, Subhi Syam.

The project coordinator at the club, Murad al-Ashhab, said to PCHR’s field worker that on Wednesday, IOF raided the club and started asking questions about “Tamr Hindi” event for children, after seeing the  advertising leaflets that were distributed to the children in al-Sa’diya neighborhood. On Thursday, IOF raided the club again and hanged a decision, signed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security banning the event, and notified the employees of that. In addition, IOF left a summons for the Club’s Manager, Samira Riyad al-Jo’ba, to refer to Mascovia police center, and arrested the member of the Administrative Board, Subhi Syam after raiding his house. They were interrogated for 3 hours about the event celebrating the reopening of the club after its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, and then they were released after warning them of holding any event in the upcoming days under the pretext of being sponsored by the PA. Al-Ashhab added that at approximately 13:30, IOF stormed the club again to make sure that no events were held inside the club, and ordered all the employees and children, who were playing football, to leave.

Al-Ashhab said that the event was an entertaining day for children, and the employees were preparing various games for them.

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Yehya Ayyad (28), from Abu Dis village, southeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while crossing a temporary checkpoint established near “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, east of the occupied city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stopped a car in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested Ahmed Dawoud al-Hidra (17) and Mahmoud Khalil al-Hidra (17), from the abovementioned neighborhood. They were taken to one of the police centers, interrogated for several hours and then were released.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at a temporary military checkpoint established near “Psagot” settlement, east of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate, arrested Abdul Rahman Jamil Matariyya (17), from al-Bireh.
  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin; Sebastia, Salem, Deir al-Hatab, Azmut, Kafr Qallil, and Rujeib villages in Nablus governorate; Bani Na’im and al-Majd villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 09 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Abu Freiha area in Beit Sahur, east of Bethlehem governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ra’ed Ibrahim ‘Abayat (42), and handed Abdullah Mohammed Abu ‘Abayat (26) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services.
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF moved into Hizma, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jareh Farouk Salah al-Dein (48) and Ibrrahim Ali Salah al-Dein (30), and arrested them.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Jamma’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to the prisoner Nafiz Nayef Haj Husein (42), in the eastern side of the village, arrested his wife, Elham ‘Aaref Haj Husein (40), and confiscated her husband’s monthly salary, (4,000 NIS). Elham was taken to “Ariel” settlement, near Salfit, interrogated about the salary for 3 hours, and released next day morning. IOF informed her not to receive any salary for her husband.
  • At approximately 02:45, IOF moved into Jenin, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Ghassan Mansour (19), and Ahmed Eyad al-Sa’di (19).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Iraq Burin village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Osama Mohammed Qa’dan (25) and Amro Jubran Qadous (21).
  • At approximately 10:20, IOF moved into al- Nassariya village, northeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Amro Husny Jabara (30).
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Beita, southeast of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 10 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Dura and Sa’ir villages, in Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Isma’el Hussein al-‘Awawda (33), and Isma’el Fawzi al-Tarwa (40).
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Beit Ummar, and Surif villages, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 11 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Harmala village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians; Fadi Adel Attallah (22), Hamza Awad Attallah (24), Ibrahim Wajeeh al-Sabbah (23), and Bassam Ibrahim al-Zeir (38).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Mahmoud Ahmed Abu al-Rab (19), Mohammed Tayseer Thyab (20), and Mohammed Najeh Kmeil (20).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Hebron. They deployed in several neighborhood in the city, raided and searched three houses and arrested (3) civilians. The arrestees are Mustafa Kamel Shawar, Anas Ameer Rasras (51), and Omar Abdul Qader al-Qawasmah (52).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Mohammed Waheed Abu Maria’s (29) house and arrested him. Meanwhile, IOF handed Hatem Ahmed Rasheed Abu Maria (31) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hindaza village in Bethlehem. They blew up the door, raided and searched Hasan Mohammed Wardian’s (62) house, one of the candidates on the Hamas-affiliated list “Jerusalem is Our Destiny”, after 5 days of his arrest.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mujahed Sa’ed al-Shunni (22) and Yousef Monthir Alian (22), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF backed by five military bulldozers moved 50-100 meters into the east of al-Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip to the west of the border fence. They leveled and combed lands, and deployed inside the border fence after several hours.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF severely beaten and arrested Adam Qara’in (18), from Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, when he was at Ras al-Amud neighborhood. Qara’in sustained wounds and bruises, and he was taken to one of the detention centers in the city before he was referred to Hadassah Medical Center to receive treatment.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Arraba and Mirka villages, southwest of Jenin; Dura, Idhna, Deir Sammit and Samu villages, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 12 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF stationed at al-Container military checkpoint arrested Hammad Ahmed Abu Maria (28), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 01:40, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched 2 houses and arrested Mahmoud Naser Ma’ali (24), and Abdul ‘Alim Olwi (52). Later, IOF released Olwi.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mohammed Sameer Abu Obaida (23), and his brother, Ramiz (19).
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF moved into Urif village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Ahmed Fo’ad Sabbah (24).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Burqin, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Yazan Atef Obaidy (26).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched Yehya Mohammed Mir’ai’s (24) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (10) civilians. The arrestees are: Mohammed Mahmoud al-‘Amour (22), Mohanad Nimir al-‘Amour (23), Mohammed Rebhi al-‘Amour (22), Sufian Awdat Allah al-‘Amour (26), Mohammed Ibrahim al-‘Amour (25), Anas Adel al-‘Amour (25), Oday Izzat al-‘Amour (20), Mohammed Ali al-’Amour (22), Shady Nayef al-‘Amour (23), and Bara’ Ta’ed al-‘Amour (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed in ‘Asida area. IOF raided and searched Hammad Ahmed Abu Maria’s (36) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Arraba, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Mona Hussain Qa’dan (48).
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Yasid village, north of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Shams Ghaleb Mashaqi (31), a Masters Student and novelist.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; Ahmed Khwais (49), Mohammed al-Sayyad (49), and Tawfiq Abu Sbeitan (50).
  • At approximately 23:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into al-Balu’ neighborhood, in al-Bireh, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Najeh Abdullah Dar ‘Assi’s (47) house, detained his family in one room and arrested him. It should be noted that ‘Assi is a candidate on the “Jerusalem is Our Destination” electoral list and its representative in the West Bank in the 2021 Legislative Council elections scheduled on 22 May 2021.

Alia Abdul Samad, Najeh ‘Assi’s wife, said to PCHR’s field worker that:

IOF backed by four military vehicles stationed near our building, where we live in the second floor. We heard knocks on our door, so my husband went to open the door.  We were surprised with 17 Israeli soldiers shouting and then held my husband and handcuffed him.  The soldiers spread in the house and held me and my children; Mohammed (10), Abdullah (14), and Sadil (18), in the living room. They ordered my husband to give them his cell phone  and confiscated it. I tried to give my husband a jacket and shoes to wear due to the cold weather, but the soldiers refused, threatened me at gunpoint and one of them ordered me not to move and stay with my childrenBefore they withdrew, IOF arrested Najeh and took him in one of the military vehicles stationed in front of our house.  The lawyer informed us then that Najeh was taken to “Ofer” detention center in Beitunia village, west of Ramallah.”

  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Nablus, Tulkarm, Shufa, and Far’un villages in Tulkarm goverorate; Bani Na’im and Surif, in Hebron; Ramallah, Deir Abu Masha’al, and Shuqba, near Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF moved into Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Mukhtar ’Amer Qara’een’s (19) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Nawwaf Ayman Abu al-Hawa’s (20) house and arrested him.
  • In the evening, IOF tightened its restrictions on the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, established checkpoints and increased the number of its forces, especially at the gates of the Aqsa Mosque on the first day of Ramadan. Few minutes before Iftar, IOF banned distribution of hundreds of Iftar meals on the people fasting in al-Ghazaly yard, near al-Asbat gate (Gate of the Tribes), one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates, and confiscated them. And before the Isha Prayer, IOF stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, and raided the minarets there after breaking the doors. They cut all the loudspeaker cables in the Mosque to mute the Addhan, the Taraweeh and Isha prayers so it cannot be heard in al-Buraq yard, west of the Mosque. IOF claimed that they were disturbing the settlers’ Talmudic prayers and rituals.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Nablus, Beit Furik, and al-Badhan in Nablus governorate; Mirka, southeast of Jenin; al-Jalamah village, north of Jenin; Jaba’, Silat al-Dhahr, and Fandaqumiya, south of Jenin; al-‘Aroub refugee camp and Bani Na’im, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF chased, attacked and arrested (6) civilians near Bab al-‘Amoud neighborhood, in the occupied East Jerusalem, claiming that they were throwing stones at three Israeli busses carrying settlers. Eyewitnesses said that IOF vacated the terraces of Bab al-Amud by force, beat up the people there and chased them.  They arrested (6) civilians and took them to al-Bareed police center on Salah al-Dein street in the city. The arrestees were Mo’taz Mahmoud al-Hajj, Qusai Ashour, Ahmed al-Rashq, Ali Hamdan, Mohammed Isma’el and Nabil Shreiteh.
  • At approximately 06:00, Ahmed Marwan Abu Jom’a (20) surrendered himself to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskobiya police center, in West Jerusalem, after IOF raided his house, on Monday, to arrest him, but nobody was home.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Jawad Eisa Jaradat (24), from Sa’ir, north of Hebron, after stopping him at a temporary military checkpoint established at the northern entrance of the village.
  • At approximately 18:45, IOF arrested Mahmoud Shawish (26), when he was in al-Aqsa Mosque’s yards, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 19:10, IOF arrested Mohanad al-Bashiti (24), while present at Bab Hutta area, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates, in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Thursday morning, 08 April 2021, IOF handed citizens from Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, decisions to confiscate 13 dunums from their lands in the village to build a new street.
  • Shokri Radaydah, Mayor of Hizma, said that the decision issued by the IOF include 13 dunums from the village lands extending from the village entrance in the western side to the northern side in order to build a new high Radaydah added that in addition to the 13 dunums, the 150 dunums located behind the street will be affected as well as IOF will control the access of the owners into their lands by establishing 3 gates as declared by the IOF.  Radaydah said that if IOF decided to continue building the road in the future, hundreds of other dunums will be confiscated.
  • In the same morning, the Israeli Municipality in Jerusalem approved the construction of 2000 housing units in “Givat HaMatos” settlement established on the lands of Beit Safafa village and 540 housing units in “Har Homa” settlement established on Abu Ghneim Mountain, south of Jerusalem.

Ha’aretz said that the final approval on the construction of the housing units in Har Homa settlement, south of Jerusalem, just needs the approval of the Ministry of Interior’s District committee. However, Ha’aretz added that construction of more than 2,000 additional housing units is slated to begin in “Givat Hamatos” settlement near Har Homa, south of Jerusalem.  The construction in the two settlements would cut off the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa from the West Bank and would block any possible division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians as part of a solution to the conflict.

  • At approximately 18:00 on Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF demolished an agricultural room belonging to Salah al-Deen Ahmed Salah in al-Bireh and al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem for the second time under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Salah al-Deen Salah said that an Israeli military force stormed his land and demolished the room in addition to confiscating its contents.  Salah added that the room is built of steel and wood and this kind of rooms does not need a license as it is used for storage and agricultural purposes.  Salah said that this is the second time IOF demolish the room as it was demolished last January.

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF backed by 2 military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle belonging to the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Susya village, south of Yatta, south of Hebron. The soldiers deployed between the houses while the Civil Administration officer handed Khalil Hussein Mohammed Shreih a notice to stop construction works in his under-construction house of 200 sqms under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.
  • Around the same time, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer moved into Khelet Taha area, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. The soldiers deployed in the area and the Civil Administration officers started dismantling 2 tents of shed cloth and steel pillars set on 10 sqms in addition to an iron fence used as a sheep barn belonging to ‘Eid Soliman Saray’ah (40) from Yatta, south of Hebron.  It should be noted that the Israeli authorities declared Um Hothwah area as a state property declared in 1981.  In the last few months, the settlers built a settlement road connecting that area with “Negohot” settlement.
  • In the same morning, IOF demolished a house belonging to Shaker Nayef Ja’abees in Marj al-Ghozlan area in ‘Osh al-Ghorab neighborhood in Beit Sahour, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of its location near the main street.

Hussein Breijiyieh, Director of the Annexation and Settlement Resistance Commission, said that IOF demolished a 80-sqm house in Marj al-Ghozlan area in Beit Sahour belonging to Shaker Ja’abees from Jerusalem after giving him 96 hours to demolish it and vacate the contents.  It should be noted that Shaker Ja’abees self-demolished his house in Jabal Mukaber neighborhood in 2013 pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction, and he moved to live in his parents’ house with his wife and 5 children.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 13:00 on Friday, 10 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Ofra” settlement, east of Ramallah, attacked the eastern outskirts of ‘Ein Yabrud village, east of Ramallah. The settlers rioted the area while the villagers attempted to confront them and threw stones at them.  Immediately, the settlers opened fire and fled away; no injuries were reported.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF declared complete closure of the West Bank and all of the Gaza Strip crossings for “Independence Day.”  According to the IOF’s announcement, the closure started at 19:00 on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, and last until 00:00 on Friday, 15 April 2021. IOF said exceptions would be made for “humanitarian, medical and special cases”.

This comes in a time when the Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals 53 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 7 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Biddu and Anata villages, and near Jab’ village’s intersection, northeast of the city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, northeast of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF closed Kalandia checkpoint, under the pretext of finding a suspicious object, and reopened it later.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near Dar Salah village’s bridge, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and under Al-Khader village’s bridge, south of the city.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village and at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and in ‘Aqbet Hasna area, west of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in ‘Aqbet Hasna area, west of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Turmus Ayya and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Al-Bireh city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit_Ur_al-Fauqa and Turmus Ayya villages, and at the intersection of Taybeh village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Al-Jiftlik village, north of the city.
  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho and at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village.

Nablus:

  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 13 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, and at the intersection of “Yitzhar” settlement, east of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 08 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Beit Awwa  villages and at the southern and northern entrances to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 09 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Al-Majd villages.
  • On Saturday, 10 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village, at the western entrance to Hebron, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Monday, 12 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Al-Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Wednesday, 14 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Surif, Ash-Shuyukh and Beit Kahil villages.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 11 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Salfit, Kafr ad-Dik and Qarawat Bani Hassan villages.

Just Like in the US, Policing in Israel is Rooted in Racist Violence

April 15th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

In the US, policing can be traced back to nineteenth-century slave patrols. In Israel, security forces have roots in Haganah, a Zionist militia group involved in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

HAIFA, ISRAEL — Israeli state violence manifests in several ways—police killings, home demolitions, displacement and detentions—but each is grounded in the same colonialist ideology spanning decades.

In the U.S., policing can be traced back to the nineteenth century slave patrols designed to control and suppress Black people. In Israel, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Israeli security agency, Shin Bet, have roots in the Haganah, a Zionist militia group involved in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine (known as the Nakba) before Israel became a state.

The Haganah’s off-shoot organizations—Irgun and Lehi—committed atrocities like the Deir Yassin massacre. On April 9, 1948, these Zionist fighters stormed the village of Deir Yassin, “executed over 100 men, women and children, and then burned their dead bodies.”

Israeli history of the Haganah often tries to separate it from the right-wing Irgun and Lehi paramilitary organizations, but massacres were a core part of the Haganah’s strategy. During the Nakba, the Haganah carried out bombings, executions, and even castration.

Miko Peled, a human rights activist whose father served in the Israeli Army and was part of the Haganah, considers the Zionist group a terrorist organization.

“Their entire existence was to execute the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. So, there’s no way to execute ethnic cleansing other than [by] terrorizing the population,” Peled said, adding:

The Haganah became the Israeli Army after May of 1948, but in terms of their mode of operations and ideology, they were really just the same terrorist organization glorified now as an army.”

Haganah Israel
Zionist militia members walk in front of an Arab hotel bombed by Haganah in Jerusalem, May 6, 1948. Jim Pringle | AP

While the IDF originates from the Haganah, the Israel Police derives from the Palestine Police Force. Established by the British, the organization grew from a primarily Palestinian institution at its founding in 1920 to one mostly comprised of British and Jewish officers by 1948.

Specifically, the Jewish forces dominated the Notrim, a branch of the service defending Jewish settlements. The majority of its members were recruited from the Haganah. The Notrim became what is known today as the Israeli Military Police. Between 1947 and 1948, Palestinian police officers joined Arab forces defending Palestine, while Jewish police collaborated with Zionist militias.

Peled explained that these interconnections between the different police and military forces still exist:

The police, the military, and the Shabak [Shin Bet] all work together. A lot of officers retire from the military and go to the police or the Shabak. They were all raised on the same ideology and the mode of operation is Palestinian lives don’t matter.”

The violence and racist beliefs of slave patrols, the Haganah, and the Palestine Police Force can still be witnessed today in American policing and the Israeli Army.

The police brutality crisis in Israel-Palestine

On March 29, Munir Anabtawi’s mother called police to help subdue her mentally ill son, who had a knife, in their home in the Wadi Nisnas neighborhood of Haifa. The police arrived but instead of diffusing the situation, an officer shot Anabtawi twice in the chest, killing him.

The incident sparked renewed concern over the Israel Police’s treatment of marginalized communities, specifically of Palestinians with and without Israeli citizenship.

Anabtawi, 33, was a Palestinian citizen of Israel. His killing is still under investigation, but the officer who fatally shot him is now back at work after Israel’s Ministry of Justice accepted his claim he shot in self-defense. According to the officer, Anabtawi tried to stab him. A knife was found at the scene.

Munir Anabtawi
Palestinians from the occupied city of Haifa protest following the murder of Munir Anabtawi, March, 30, 2021. Photo | Activestills

Both Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and the Commander-in-Chief of Police have come out in support of the officer.

Alber Nahas, the lawyer for the Anabtawi family, disputes the police’s self-defense reasoning. He argues the police are professionals and should know how to de-escalate a confrontation without killing an individual.

“They could have shot him in the legs, not the chest,” Nahas told MintPress.

The Israel Police placed a gag order on Anabtawi’s case to stop further reporting. Anabtawi’s family requested an autopsy be performed by their own representative. Yet Nahas said the autopsy’s results remain unknown as a result of the gag order.

A day after Anabtawi’s death, crowds waved Palestinian flags outside his family’s home in protest of the police killing.

In recent weeks, massive demonstrations have erupted across Palestinian communities inside Israel over police brutality against Palestinian citizens of Israel and law enforcement’s mishandling of violence stemming from organized crime.

Video footage from a February protest in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel shows police officers using excessive force against participants. The severe use of tear gas and stun grenades by police resulted in a protester requiring head surgery.

In February, Ahmad Hejazi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and a bystander, was fatally shot when police opened fire during a crime scene.

These actions have pushed human rights organizations such as Adalah (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) and Palestinian members of Israel’s parliament to charge that police officers view Palestinian citizens as enemies of the state.

“The killing of 33-year-old Munir Anabtawi is merely the continuation of the aggressive treatment practiced by the police toward Arab citizens,” Ayman Odeh — head of the Joint List, a coalition of Israel’s main Arab political parties — told the Times of Israel. “The police see Arab citizens as enemies, not equal citizens.”

According to the Mossawa Center, an advocacy organization for Palestinians in Israel, Israeli police have killed 62 Palestinian citizens of Israel, and 47 of those deaths can be attributed to racism. Suha Salman Mousa, Mossawa’s executive director, explained how this violence is rooted in racism.

Since 2000 we see that the chief of police, the police officers, and the whole system are dealing with Arab citizens of Israel in a different way. And this is part of the racism we suffer from. We suffer from racism in the form of police brutality, we suffer from racism in laws approved by the Knesset [Israeli parliament], and we suffer from racism with home demolitions. We suffer from racism in all aspects of life, and one of them is police brutality.”

Black Lives Matter, Palestinian Lives Matter

Last year, in the wake of the horrific police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, Palestine-Israel was having its own Palestinian Lives Matter movement.

On May 30, 2020, Israeli border police fatally shot Iyad Hallak, a Palestinian man with autism, in Jerusalem. The reason for the deadly firing? Officers suspected Hallak was armed. It was revealed after his death that he wasn’t carrying a weapon.

Palestinians and Israeli activists made a connection between Floyd and Hallak’s deaths. Floyd’s face was painted on the Apartheid Wall, the barrier separating the West Bank and Israel. Activists demonstrating against Hallak’s killing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem held signs reading “Palestinian Lives Matter,” an obvious reference to the ongoing civil rights struggle in the U.S.

George Floyd mural
A mural depicting George Floyd on Israel’s apartheid wall in the Palestanian city of Bethlehem, April 9, 2021. Maya Alleruzzo | AP

Anabtawi’s killing brings back to mind Hallak’s. “[Anabtawi] could have been taken over without live fire, according to his sister,” Palestinian member of the Knesset Ahmad Tibi said. “The names Iyad Hallak and Mustafa Yunis Zel come up again. Very light hand on the trigger.”

Just as Black individuals are seen as suspects by American police, so are Palestinians by Israeli forces.

“Whenever the police see an Arab, he immediately becomes a target,” one of Hallak’s relatives, Hatem Awiwi, told Al-Monitor days after his death.

For Mousa, police violence in the U.S. and Israel-Palestine is the product of a shared pervasive issue: “If you compare it with Black Lives Matter and the police officers in the U.S., it’s racism. It’s almost the same.”

An American-Israeli police alliance

American police killed 1,127 people in 2020 — 28% of those killed were Black; the U.S. population is just over 12% Black.

On the other side of the world — in Palestine-Israel — the numbers tell a similar story. In 2019, 13 people are known to have been killed by the police, 11 of them were Palestinians and two others were of Ethiopian descent.

Despite the difference in statistics, an ongoing exchange of militant practices and abusive tactics entwines the two organizations together.

In 2002, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) launched a law enforcement exchange between Israeli and American police forces. Its success birthed an official exchange program between the allies, under which every year hundreds of American police officers travel to Israel for training with military and police personnel. Thousands more participate in conferences and workshops led by Israeli officials in the U.S.

According to a 2018 report by Researching the American-Israeli Alliance (RAIA), while the exchanges are touted as an opportunity for American police to partner with a foreign ally and gain invaluable counter-terrorism experience, they actually reinforce discriminatory practices embedded in law enforcement. Specifically, these exchanges enhance strategies of surveillance, racial profiling, and forceful suppression of protests among American police officers. RAIA wrote:

Upon their return, U.S. law enforcement delegates implement practices learned from Israel’s use of invasive surveillance, blatant racial profiling, and repressive force against dissent. Rather than promoting security for all, these programs facilitate an exchange of methods in state violence and control that endanger[s] us all.”

Overall, this “Israelization” of the U.S. police leads to increased militarization of an already heavily militarized police force.

In Israel, citizens are obliged to spend two years in the army. The Anabtawi family’s lawyer said he would like to believe police officers coming from the IDF understand the difference between a citizen and an enemy. Alber Nahas explained:

When you are with the army, you are fighting the enemy. If you are fighting the enemy, it’s easier to shoot, to kill the enemy, but the police should not look at the Arab people, the citizens inside the country, as enemies. So, the government should better educate the police so this doesn’t happen.

Because the statistics are saying to us that there are more Arabs who were killed by policemen than non-Arabs. And this shouldn’t be accepted as a human being.”

أبو جهاد خليل الوزير أول الرصاص أول الحجارة…أنا أشتبك.. فأنا موجود!

خليل الوزير “أبو جهاد”

محمد صادق الحسيني

سُمّي بالرجل الثاني للثورة الفلسطينية ونائب القائد العام لقوات العاصفة، وجياب  الثورة الفلسطينية لشدة شباهته بجياب فيتنام، لكننا كما عرفناه في اللحظات الاستثنائية على امتداد سنوات العمل الفدائي فهو الرجل الطاهر وقاهر الجنرالات كللاً ومللاً وإحباطاً ويأساً وقنوطاً…!

الرجل المهذّب والمؤدَّب والخجول الذي يعتني بهندامه ويحرص على تمشيط شعره حتى وهو ذاهب الى معسكر التدريب واهدأ رجال الثورة على الإطلاق وأكثرهم وداعة ووسامة وخُلُقاً في كل أيام السنة حتى لتظنه أبعد ما يكون عن الحرب والسلاح…!لكنه هو نفسه صاحب الروح العاصفة التي تنتفض من داخله وسرعان ما يظهر لك بركاناً ثائراً يمتلئ دفعاً وعنفواناً وروحاً حربية لا تهدأ ولا تكل ولا تمل بعد ثوانٍ من جلوسك إليه..

شخصيته الهادئة هذه لا تقوى على السكينة بعد دقائق من الحوار معه إذ سرعان ما يشي لك بأن كل كيانه يحنّ للاشتباك مع العدو كما يحن الطفل لحليب أمه، وتدفعه المشاعر الجيّاشة للانتقال إلى فلسطين المستولية على وجوده أساً كان المكان أو الزمان الذي تواجد فيهما وهو الذي تنقل في كل الساحات حاملاً هموم شعب الجبّارين الحافلة بالمفاجآت والمتغيّرات…!

وقد تكثّفت كل هذه السمات لدى قائد الفدائيّين الشعبيّ الذي لم يستقرّ له قرار، بطريقة حوّلته عملياً إلى غرفة عمليات متنقلة ومتحرّكة خاصة بعد أن تسلّم، مسؤولية القطاع الغربي – أي فلسطين المحتلة – وهي التسمية التي تعود الى حقبة تمركز الفدائيين الفلسطينيين في الاردن، حيث كانت الجبهة مع العدو مقسمةً الى ثلاثة قواطع، هي: القطاع الشمالي والقطاع الأوسط والقطاع الجنوبي.

فمن المعروف أن الشهيد أبا جهاد كان قد عكف منذ توليه هذه المسؤولية خلفاً للشهيد كمال عدوان، على إحداث انقلاب استراتيجيّ في مفهوم الحرب الشعبية طويلة الأمد وتطويرها وتعميقها، وهي الحرب التي كانت تمارسها قوات الثورة الفلسطينية، منذ انطلاق الثورة بتاريخ 1/1/1965.

وقد تمثلت الفكرة المركزية، لديه، في تطوير هذا المفهوم، في إيجاد أو بناء القاعدة الجماهيرية القادرة على تحويل هذه الفكرة (فكرة الانقلاب الاستراتيجي) الى خطوات عملية تتبلور في كل إنسان فلسطيني، بحيث تتحول شخصية الواحد من السكان الى قوة فاعلة في مواجهة العدو وإضعاف سيطرة الغاصب والمحتل العسكرية على الأرض التي يحتلها، من خلال استنزافه الدائم في معركة لا يمكن له أن ينتصر فيها حتى صارت عقيدة عمله الكفاحية الفدائية تقول: أنا الفلسطيني أشتبك إذن أن موجود.

بدأ أبو جهاد بإعادة هيكلة تنظيم حركة فتح وإنشاء أطر جديدة لهذا التنظيم، كحركة الشبيبة (الفتحاوية)، التي بدأت تنشط في الثانويات والجامعات داخل الأرض المحتلة، تمهيداً لإشراك كل جماهير الشعب الفلسطيني في الأرض المحتلة في استنزاف جيش العدو ومشاغلته والمشاغبة عليه في كل وقت وحين.

وبالتوازي مع بناء التنظيم والخلايا الفدائية المسلحة، داخل فلسطين المحتلة، واصل الجنرال أبو جهاد من موقعه كنائب القائد العام لقوات الثورة الفلسطينية، إلى بناء وتطوير الوحدات القتالية الفدائية القادرة على اختراق إجراءات العدو الأمنية والوصول الى عمق تشكيلات العدو وبنيانه وتنفيذ عمليات فدائية كبرى ضد قواته ومنشآته في فلسطين المحتلة.

ولعل من المفيد في ذكرى استشهاده الثالثة والثلاثين 16 – 4 – 1988 الإضاءة على بعض تلك العمليات الفدائية الكبيرة، التي شكلت ضربات موجعةً جداً للعدو والتي قلبت معادلة الصراع معه، ومن بينها العمليات التالية:

عملية فندق سافوي في تل أبيب، والتي نفّذتها قوة فدائية، قوامها ثمانية فدائيين، بتاريخ 6/3/1975، حيث سيطرت على الفندق، بعدما لم تتمكن من الوصول الى وزارة الدفاع الإسرائيلية والسيطرة عليها، حسب الخطة الأساسية للعملية. حضر إلى مكان العملية كلّ من رئيس وزراء العدو آنذاك، اسحق رابين، ووزير حربه، شمعون بيرس، ورئيس أركان جيشه، الجنرال مردخاي غور، وقاموا بالإشراف شخصياً على محاولات القوات الخاصة الإسرائيلية لاقتحام الفندق وقتل الفدائيين الفلسطينيين، حيث حاولت هذه القوات مرة أولى وثانية وفشلت فيهما، مما جعلها تقوم بقصف الفندق بمدفعيّة الدبابات وتنفيذ عملية إنزال قوات محمولة على سطح الفندق والاشتباك من جديد مع المجموعة الفدائية، التي قاتلت ببسالة حتى نفاد ذخيرتها، واستشهاد سبعةً من أفرادها ووقع الثامن أسيراً بعد إصابته بجراح، في ما قُتل من قوات العدو المهاجمة 56 عنصراً وأصيب ما يربو على 100 جندي بجراح مختلفة، بينهم العقيد عوزي يائيري، ضابط الاستخبارات العسكرية الإسرائيلية، الذي وضع خطة اغتيال القادة الفلسطينيين الثلاثة، كمال عدوان وأبو يوسف النجار وكمال ناصر في بيروت بتاريخ 10/4/1973، والذي شارك في تنفيذ العملية على الأرض أيضاً.

عملية الساحل، بقيادة الفدائية دلال المغربي، والتي تمّ تنفيذها بتاريخ 11/3/1978 وأطلق عليها اسم: عملية الشهيد كمال عدوان، حيث وصلت تلك القوة إلى السواحل الفلسطينية، على متن باخرة تجارية كانت تحمل الزوارق المطاطية التي استخدمها الفدائيّون في الوصول من نقطة انفصالهم عن الباخرة الأم حتى وصولهم إلى ارض فلسطين، شمال تل أبيب، وقيامهم بالسيطرة على عدة حافلات عسكرية إسرائيلية واشتبكوا مع دوريات العدو، التي بدأت مطاردتهم فوراً، الى أن وصلت الحافلات الى منطقة هرتسيليا حيث قامت قوات خاصة إسرائيلية بالهجوم من الجو والبر على الحافلات التي كان يستقلها الفدائيون مع الرهائن الصهاينة.

وقد اشتبك الفدائيّون الفلسطينيون، لمدة تزيد على الساعتين، مع القوات الخاصة والمروحيات العسكرية الإسرائيلية، التي كانت تساند وحدات العدو، وتطلق النار من الجو على الفدائيين، الذين استشهدوا جميعاً باستثناء واحد منهم وقع في الأسر بعد أن نفدت ذخيرته. أما خسائر العدو فقد وصلت إلى 79 قتيلاً بالإضافة الى ما يزيد على 123 جريحًا جرى إخلاؤهم جواً من أرض المعركة.

علماً أن الجيش الصهيوني قد بدأ بعمليات التمهيد الناري، لشنّ هجوم، واسع على قواعد الفدائيين في جنوب لبنان، اذ عمدت مدفعية العدو بفتح نيرانها على طول الحدود اللبنانية مع فلسطين المحتلة، بينما بدأ الطيران الحربي المعادي، عند الساعة الواحدة من فجر 15-3-1978 بتنفيذ غارات جوية كثيفة على أهداف للقوات المشتركة، اللبنانية الفلسطينية، في جنوب لبنان وجنوب العاصمة بيروت، وأتبع ذلك بعمليات إنزال جوي في منطقة العزية/ قضاء صور، وبدأ اجتياحه البري لجنوب لبنان في عملية عسكرية واسعة النطاق أسماها العدو: عملية الليطاني. ولا يخفى على أحد طبعاً أن العملية كان مخططاًلها مسبقاً وبانتظار التنفيذ فقط، إذ لا يعقل أن يجري التخطيط لعملية عسكرية واسعة النطاق وتحريك قوات برية وبحرية وجوية كبيرة خلال ثلاثة أيام فقط.

محاولة الهجوم البحري على ميناء ايلات سنة 1985. وهي عملية تم خلالها تجهيز باخرة، في ميناء من موانئ إحدى الدول العربية، لتنفيذ عملية بحريّة لتدمير ميناء إيلات عن بكرة أبيه وإخراجه من الخدمة لسنوات طويلة، حيث تم تدريب مجموعة من الضفادع البشرية الفلسطينية على قيادة السفينة ثم تم تحميلها بمئات الأطنان من المواد المتفجرة، كي يتم تفجيرها عند دخول الباخرة الى الميناء، بالتزامن مع قصف صاروخيّ، بمئة وستين صاروخ غراد، لمنطقة الميناء، كان يفترض أن ينفذ من منطقة العقبة الأردنية المقابلة لإيلات، لكن تآمر جهاز مخابرات إحدى الدول العربية، المشاطئة لخليج إيلات، ورصدها للسفينة المسلحة ونقل معلومات حولها للعدو، قد أفشل العملية، حيث بادر العدو إلى مهاجمة السفينة على مدخل خليج العقبة واشتبكت معه المجموعة الفدائية لحوالي ساعة ونصف. وقد أسفرت العملية عن استشهاد المجموعة الفدائية المكونة من تسعة مقاتلين وإيقاع عدد من القتلى والجرحى بين جنود العدو.

أما كبرى ثمار جهود الشهيد أبو جهاد المتواصلة لإحداث انقلاب استراتيجي، في المواجهة مع العدو الصهيوني، فقد نضجت في شهر 12/1987 عندما انفجرت الانتفاضة الشعبية الفلسطينية، التي شاركت فيها جماهير الشعب بكل فئاتها وفي كل المناطق المحتلة، في الضفة والقطاع وحتى تلك المحتلة عام 1948 والتي خلدت في التاريخ باسم انتفاضة الحجارة. حيث قام الشهيد أبو جهاد، عبر القيادة الوطنية الموحدة للانتفاضة التي شكلها ورعاها داخل فلسطين المحتلة، بمتابعة كافة التفاصيل الميدانية والعملياتية، بما في ذلك عمليات الإمداد والتمويل والدعم الإعلامي والسياسي والديبلوماسي، على امتداد العالم. حيث قام بإنشاء غرف عمليات قيادة وسيطرة في اكثر من دولة في العالم لمتابعة أدق تفاصيل الانتفاضة بهدف تطويرها ودفعها الى الأمام.

نجح الشهيد أبو جهاد اذاً، في جعل المواجهة مع العدو حرباً شعبية طويلة الأمد، استمرت لسنوات بعد استشهاده، سنة 1988. أي أنه أحدث تحولات استراتيجية عبر انخراط كل جماهير الشعب في العمل الوطني المباشر في الميدان، وإن باستخدام أبسط وسيلة اشتباك ألا وهي الحجارة فق ط.كما أنه نجح، من خلال هذه الانتفاضة بفرض حرب استنزاف طويلة الأمد على جيش العدو الصهيوني، الذي اضطر الى نشر ثلاث فرق كاملة، في الضفة والقطاع، محاولاً قمع الانتفاضة وإخمادها من دون جدوى.

وبعد هذا النجاح الهائل، في إشراك الشعب بأكمله في مقاومة الاحتلال، تابع الشهيد أبو جهاد جهوده لتعزيز الصمود الشعبي وتوجيه المزيد من الضربات العسكرية الموجعة للعدو، تعزيزاً للشعب الثائر ولممارسة المزيد من الضغط على قادة العدو، رئيس الوزراء اسحق شامير ووزير دفاعه اسحق رابين ورئيس الأركان الصهيوني دان شومرون، الذين أمعنوا في تكسير عظام الفلسطينيين وفشلوا في إخماد ثورتهم.

وفي هذا الإطار قام الشهيد أبو جهاد، بوضع خطة لتوجيه ضربة عسكرية استراتيجية، للعدو الصهيوني، من خلال مهاجمة مفاعل ديمونا النووي الإسرائيلي لتكون بمثابة قوة ضاربة في طليعة المواجهة، حيث تمّ تدريب وتجهيز ثلاثة من الفدائيين الفلسطينيين ونقلهم إلى داخل الأرض المحتلة بعد عملية رصد واستطلاع دقيقة لمحيط المفاعل والإجراءات الأمنية الإسرائيلية، المتبعة لحمايته.

وفي صباح يوم 7/3/1988 تمكّن الفدائيون الثلاثة من الوصول الى نقطة، تبعد سبعة كيلومترات فقط عن مركز المفاعل، وقاموا بالسيطرة على حافلة تحمل ضباطاً وخبراء نوويين إسرائيليين وانطلقوا بها الى مركز المفاعل. وعلى الفور تمّ تفعيل اجراءات التأمين وقامت المروحيّات العسكرية الإسرائيلية بمحاصرة الحافلة ومن على متنها بالنيران ثم قاموا بإنزال قوة صهيونيّة مجوقلة عند نقطة اشتباك قريبة من الحافلة. وقد بادر الفدائيون قوات العدو بوابل من النيران واشتبكوا مع قوات العدو لمدة تزيد عن الساعة إلى أن نفدت ذخيرتهم واستشهدوا جميعاً.

كانت تلك هي المرة الأولى التي يتخذ فيها قائد عربيّ قراراً بالهجوم المباشر على هذا الموقع الإسرائيلي الحصين والاستراتيجي وهو ما اعتبرته القيادة العسكرية والسياسية الإسرائيليتان تجاوزاً خطيراً لكل الخطوط الحمر، الأمر الذي أدى بها الى اتخاذ قرار باغتيال الشهيد خليل الوزير / أبو جهاد.

وقد تم تنفيذ عملية الاغتيال في ضواحي العاصمة التونسية، تونس، حيث تم إنزال القوة المكلفة بعملية الاغتيال، وبتواطؤ من أجهزة نظام الرئيس التونسي السابق زين العابدين بن علي، بحراً على شاطئ مدينة المرسى التونسية التي تبعد بضعة كيلومترات فقط عن مقر قيادة الشهيد ابو جهاد. تسللت تلك القوة الى الموقع وقامت باغتيال الحراس الليليين للموقع واقتحمت المبنى، حيث يقيم الشهيد أبو جهاد، والذي تصدّى لجنود العدو بما يملك من أسلحة نارية واشتبك معهم داخل المقر الى أن نفدت ذخيرته وارتقى شهيداً، بعد أن أصيب بثلاث وسبعين رصاصة معادية. علماً أن العقل الذي خطط للعملية وقادها، من على متن طائرة قيادة عسكرية إسرائيلية، كانت تحلق على بعد مئتي كيلو متر شمال مكان العملية، هو الجنرال ايهود باراك، الذي تولى لاحقاً وزارة الدفاع ثم رئاسة الوزراء في كيان العدو.

وعلى الرغم من الخسارة الكبيرة التي مُني بها الشعب الفلسطيني، بشهادة مؤسس وقائد انتفاضة الحجارة الفلسطينية أبو جهاد، إلا ان هذا الشعب قد واصل انتفاضته، بقيادة القائد العام لقوات الثورة الفلسطينية، الأخ الشهيد ابو عمار، الذي قاد هذا الشعب الى عودة جزئيّة الى الوطن المحتل، لا بل الى إقامة سلطة وطنية فلسطينية، مرغماً العدو الصهيونيّ على التفاوض مع قيادة هذا الشعب، ممثلاً بمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية رغم ما شاب هذه العملية التفاوضية من أخطاء فادحة وعثرات، لكن ما يُكتب لأبي جهاد ومقولته الثورية أنا اشتبك إذن أنا موجود أنه هو مَن أسس عملياً لاعتراف العدو بوجود الشعب الفلسطيني لعقود طويلة من الزمن. الأمر الذي شكل محطة هامة من محطات نضال الشعب الفلسطيني لتحرير وطنه فلسطين وإقامة دولته الوطنية المستقلة على أرضه كل أرضه، طال الزمان أم قصُر.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

Palestinian Child’s Eye Blinded by Israeli Rubber Bullet in Al-Khalil (Hebron)

April 10, 2021

A 13-year-old Palestinian child lost his right eye today after he was shot at by Israeli occupation forces in the neighborhood of Bab al-Zawiya, in the southern West Bank city of Al-Khalil (Hebron), according to medical sources.

Izz el-Din Nedal al-Batsh lost his eye after Israeli occupation soldiers fired a rubber-coated round directly at him. The child’s father said his son was standing inside a commercial store in the neighborhood when the bullet hit his eye.

Clashes were taking place between the Israeli occupation forces and Palestinian teenagers near the area where the child was shot by the soldiers.

In November 2019, Palestinian videographer Muath Amarneh was blinded in one eye after being shot by an Israeli sniper while covering protests in Al-Khalil (Hebron).

Source: Agencies

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (01 – 07 April 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (01 – 07 April 2021)

April 8, 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (01 – 07 April 2021)

Palestinian civilian killed and his wife wounded after targeting their vehicle at a military checkpoint, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem

IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank: 18 Palestinians wounded, including 2 journalists

Four IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas and seven on fishing boats in Eastern and Western Gaza Strip

In 177 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 67 civilians arrested, including 3 children, a woman and a journalist

Candidate for Legislative Council elections arrested in Bethlehem, 2 others summoned and an elections-related event banned in occupied East Jerusalem

Two houses demolished; one self-demolished, and eight facilities in addition to a settlement road built in occupied East Jerusalem

Settler-attacks: a settlement road built in Bethlehem and assaults on farmers and agricultural lands in Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah

IOF established 88 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 9 Palestinian civilians on said checkpoints

Summary                                                                                        

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse and attacks on civilians that are mostly conducted after midnight and in the early morning hours. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. PCHR documented 204 violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by IOF and settlers in the oPt.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF killed Osama Mohammed Sedqi Mansour (42) and wounded his wife when they stopped their car at a military checkpoint and opened fire at it. IOF claimed that they opened fire at the car after the driver had attempted to run over Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. According to the wife’s testimony and investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the car without any justification as they checked the passengers’ IDs and allowed them to pass.

Also, 18 Palestinians, including two journalists, sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: six civilians were wounded during suppression of a peaceful protest in Al-Mughayyir village in Ramallah; two journalists at the weekly Kafr Qaddum protests in Qalqilya; eight others in IOF incursion into Askar refugee camp and during the suppression of a peaceful protest in Beit Dajan; an intelligence officer wounded in IOF incursion into Tubas; and another wounded near the annexation wall.

Dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assaults during house raids across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 4 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern and western Gaza; and 7 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 177 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 67 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children, a woman and a journalist.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 4 incidents:

  • East Jerusalem: a house was self-demolished in Jabel Mukaber village; a settlement road was built in eastern Issawiya village; 2 farmers were demolished; and a residential house, 3 barracks, 2 containers and a shop were demolished in al-Za’rawa and Habayil al-‘Arab areas in Issawiya village.
  • Qalqilya: a barrack for construction material was demolished.


Settler-attacks:
 PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 4 attacks:

  • Bethlehem: a settlement road was built.
  • Nablus: an assault on Palestinian farmers in Jalud village.
  • Hebron: opening fire at Palestinian Land and Water Settlement Commission during land-surveying in Hebron.
  • Ramallah: an assault on an agricultural area near the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • Bethlehem: lands razed in Kisan for construction of a settlement road
  • Nablus: 25 tree seedlings uprooted.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life. The United Nations confirmed that the Gaza conditions are worsening, with deteriorating health, power, and water services. The UN emphasized that the Gaza Strip requires immense efforts in the housing and education sectors and to create job opportunities.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 00:20 on Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF moved into Nablus, north of the West Bank, and stationed in the eastern side to secure the entry of dozens of buses carrying Israeli settlers to Joseph tomb, where settlers perform prayers. Meanwhile, a number of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at the IOF’s vehicles. IOF responded with teargas canisters to disperse the young men. As a result, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot.
  • At approximately 05:15, a group of Israeli undercover units “Mista’arvim” sneaked into Tubas city in two civilian cars. They surrounded Ahmed Jamal Ahmed Daraghmah’s (23) house located near the Intelligence Service office in the city. Few minutes later, several Israeli vehicles moved into the city to back up the undercover units. During which, IOF opened fire at a Palestinian Intelligence officer namely Mohammed Rushdi Habeeb al-‘Aydi (27), who got out of the Intelligence Service office to take the guarders back into the office. As a result, al-‘Aydi was shot with a live bullet below his left armpit, and sustained shrapnel wounds in his chest. He was then taken to Tubas Turkish Hospital for treatment. Also, IOF raided Daraghmah’s house and arrested Kamal Jamal Ahmed Daraghmah (29) in order to force his brother Ahmed (23) to surrender himself. In the evening, Ahmed surrendered at Tayaseer military checkpoint, east of Tubas city, while Kamal was released.
  • At approximately 12:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands and Palestinian shepherds, east of Khuzaʽa village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 02:40 on Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF moved into Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones at IOF’s vehicles. IOF immediately fired live bullets and teargas canisters at them. Clashes erupted between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers and continued until the morning. As a result, 5 civilians were wounded as follows:
  • A 20-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his right foot.
  • A 24-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his right leg.
  • A 25-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his left leg.
  • A 23-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his chest.
  • A 27-year-old male was shot with a live bullet in his abdomen.

Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. After that, IOF arrested Na’im Ahmed al-Shennawi (25) and later withdrew, taking him to an unknown destination.

  • At approximately 11:30 on Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF stationed at the eastern entrance to Al-Mughayyir village, northeast of Ramallah, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men against the closure of the mentioned entrance with sand berms for several weeks. When the protestors arrived at the area, IOF chased them and fired rubber and live bullets and teargas canisters at them. As a result, 6 civilians were wounded as follows:
  • A 40-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • A 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg.
  • A 23-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his left leg.
  • 19-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his thigh.
  • A 25-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his right foot.
  • A 28-year-old male was shot with a rubber bullet in his right leg.

All of them sustained minor wounds and received treatment on the spot by the Palestinian Red Crescent society crew. In addition, dozens of civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation and received treatment on the spot. Also, the windshield of Faraj Hussain al-Na’san’s vehicle was broken with a sound bomb.

  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased young men gathered in the area, clashed with them and fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, two photojournalists were wounded and identified as:
  • ‘Abdullah Saleem Shtawi (26), a photojournalist at B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, who was hit with a sponge grenade in his back.
  • Bashar Mohammed Nazal (30), a photojournalist at Palestine TV, who was hit with a sponge grenade in his hand.
  • At approximately 13:30, a peaceful protest took off in front of Beit Dajan village council, east of Nablus, north of the West Bank, at the call of the villagers and with the participation of the National Action Factions in Nablus, towards lands under the threat of confiscation, east of the village. The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers. When the protestors arrived at the area, they found a large number of Israeli soldiers awaiting them. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were wounded with rubber bullets in their heads and taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of al-Qarara village; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 03 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Soudaniya Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them. At 21:15 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened fire at Palestinian fishing boats until 00:20. As a result, many fishing nets were lost, while fishermen out of fear were forced to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF stationed in a military watchtower established near the annexation wall gate in kherbet Um al-Lahem in Qatanna village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, opened fire at Ya’qoub Hussain Mohammed al-Faqeih (20) while crossing through the annexation wall holes to work in Israel. Al-Faqeih’s family said that IOF opened fire at their son before arresting him, but few hours later IOF released him.
  • At approximately 00:00 on Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF accompanied with a Skunk carrying vehicle moved into Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and stationed in ‘Obaid neighborhood. They established military checkpoints at the village’s entrances, searched Palestinian civilians and checked their IDs. During which, Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones, Molotov Cocktails and fireworks at IOF and their vehicles. IOF suppressed the protestors, fired rubber bullets and heavy teargas canisters at them and pumped wastewater at residential houses. Also, IOF arrested Reda Mohammed ‘Obaid (14) after raiding his house, and later withdrew.
  • At approximately 05:30 on Sunday, 04 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Soudaniyia Shore, west of Jabalia camp, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them. At 09:00 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Abasan al-Kabira and al-Qarara villages; no casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, opened sporadic fire at border area, causing fear among Palestinian farmers. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Monday, 05 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded his wife when they stopped their car at a military checkpoint and opened fire at it. IOF claimed that they opened fire at the car under after the driver attempted to run over Israeli soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. According to the wife’s testimony and investigations conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the Israeli soldiers opened fire at the car without any justification as they checked the passengers’ IDs and allowed them to pass.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 01:00 on Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF moved into Bir Nabala village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem, and raided residential houses and an auto repair shop. They then headed to nearby al-Jib village, where they raided a car showroom at the village entrance to confiscate the surveillance camera recorders. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian young men gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF and their vehicles. IOF immediately suppressed the protestors, fired live and rubber bullets at them and established a military checkpoint near a tunnel between Biddu and al-Jib villages, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF also stationed at the military checkpoint, searched Palestinian vehicles and checked the passengers’ IDs. At approximately 02:45, IOF stopped a vehicle belonging to Osama Mohammed Sandouqa Mansour (42) and his wife Somaia ‘Izzat ‘Abed al-Nabi al-Kaswani (36), checked their IDs, asked them where they are coming from and then allowed them to pass. When Osama drove 50 meters away from the checkpoint, IOF opened fire at his car, wounding him with two live bullets; one of them penetrated his head.  Moreover, his wife sustained shrapnel wounds in her back. Both of them were taken to Ramallah Governmental Hospital, where Osama was pronounced dead at 03:10 while his wife’s injuries were classified minor.

Later, IOF claimed that: “In a military operation in Bir Nabala village and after establishing a military checkpoint on a road to stop vehicles’ movement in order to back up IOF’s operation in the area, the soldiers at the checkpoint spotted a vehicle, which first stopped at the checkpoint and then drove fast towards them, attempting to run over the soldiers in a way that threatened their lives.  As a result, the Force responded with gunfire to control the threat.”

PCHR’s investigations and Osama’s wife testimony refute the Israeli claims, as Osama obeyed the soldiers’ order and stopped his vehicle and answered their questions. The soldiers checked Osama and his wife’s IDs and then allowed them to pass, noting that he did not drive his car except after the soldiers asked him to do so. When Osama drove his car, the soldiers were behind him, and they opened fire at his vehicle from the back. It should be noted that Osama has 5 children.

  • At approximately 10:30 on Wednesday, 07 April 2021, Israeli gunboats stationed off Waha Shore and off al-Soudaniyia Shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, north of the Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire around them. At 16:00 on the same day, Israeli gunboats reopened fire at Palestinian fishing boats, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 01 April 2021:

  • At approximately 00:15, IOF moved into Khillet Aked village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They deployed between civilians’ houses, stormed Nayef Hussain Shawamra’s (65) house, held all his family in one room, damaged the house contents and confiscated 30,000 NIS. IOF handed the family a warrant of the confiscated money and no arrests were reported. After the withdrawal, the family realized that a 100-gram of gold was stolen from the house.
  • At approximately 14:00, Israeli Intelligence Services handed Anwar Sami Obaid (23), from Issawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, a decision that bans his entry to Jerusalem. IOF claimed that Obaid was invloved in a security incident where he lives and urges others for terrorism.

It should be noted that Obaid was arrested and interrogated dozens of times by IOF and spent a total of 5 years in the Israeli prisons in separate periods; in the last arrest, he was released on one condition that he is banned entry to the occupied Jerusalem for 4 months after he spent 4 months under house arrest.

  • Around the same time, IOF moved into al-Walaja village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Mahmoud Ismael Abu al-Tin’s (19) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched Yousef Mohammed Abu Maria’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:30, IOF stormed a tent established to celebrate and welcome the release of Ghazi Mohammed Kan’an (48), in Ras al-Amoud village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and arrested his brother, Isma’el (56). Kan’an family stated that IOF stormed the tent where they were gathering to welcome their son, who spent 11 years in the Israeli prisons, after an hour of his arrival, and threatened to re-arrest him if they organized a welcoming ceremony for him.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF stationed at Za’tara military checkpoint, southeast of Nablus, arrested Hasan Nasrallah al-Sha’er (24), from Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF stationed at Beit Furik military checkpoint, northeast of Nablus, arrested Mo’men Mahmoud Jaber (19), from Nablus. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (13) incursions in Bir al-Basha Arranah, Beit Qad, Deir Ghazaleh and Faqqoa villages, in Jenin governorate; Anabta, Kafr al-Labad and Ramin, east of Tulkarm; Azzun, east of Qalqilya; Dura and Idhna, in Hebron; Surda, north of Ramallah; Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 02 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron. They raided and searched Hani Mujahed Abu al-Siba’s (44) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, and stationed at Qa’ al-Hara area. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mohammed Awad Za’aqiq (17) and Fahmi Abdul Hameed Za’aqiq (16), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Qalandiya military checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ahmed Ra’fat al-Ghaleet (22), from al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, while crossing the checkpoint. IOF took him to “Ofer” police station, west of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 18:10, IOF moved into Zububa, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Omar Abdul Rahman Obaidiya (17).
  • IOF carried out (12) incursions in Nablus, Burqa, Bizzariya and Salem villages in Nablus governorate; Bir al-Basha, Ya’bad, Atatra, and Silat al-Dhahr in Jenin governorate; Yatta, Bani Na’im, Simia, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate, no arrests were reported.

Saturday, 03 April 2021:

  • At approximately 11:30, IOF arrested Mazen Subhi Nabtiti (49), from Tulkarm, when he was near Inab military checkpoint, east of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Mahmoud al-‘Amour (24) and Mohammed Ra’ed al-‘Amour (26), while crossing a temporary military checkpoint near the western entrance to Teqoa, east of Bethlehem. IOF took them to one of the detention centers in the city and released them several hours later.

Sunday, 04 April 2021:

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into al-Thuri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Tawfiq Rafiq al-Shwaiky’s (29) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Bassam Obaid (24), while on duty in French Hill neighborhood “Giv’at Shapira”, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to one of the police centers in the city.
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF stationed at “Mevo Dotan” military checkpoint, southwest of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Ma’moun ‘Amaranah (19), from Ya’bad, southwest of the city. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Beit Ummar, Hebron, Tarqumiyah, and Sa’ir villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 05 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Isawiya, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians; including a father and his son. The arrestees were identified as Faisal Lo’ay Obaid (20), Lo’ay Faisal Obaid (43), and Mohammed Waleed Obaid.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Sa’ir, north of Hebron, and stationed in al-‘Aroud area. They deployed between civilians’ houses and stormed Sa’ed Nimir Farroukh’s (33) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (4) civilians: Journalist Khaled Mohammed Mutair (29), Mahmoud Ibrahim Mutair (27), Rami Mansour (22), and Mo’men Mansour (23).
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ma’en Abdul ‘Alim Olwi’s (21) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF backed by several military vehicles moved into Kobar village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched 4 houses and arrested (4) civilians: Watan ‘Assef al-Barghouthi (24), Mustafa Ra’ed al-Barghouthi (20), Mohammed Fahmi Asfour (28), and Assem Nabil al-‘Abed (23).
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF stationed at a temporary checkpoint established near the entrance to al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, arrested Shadi Hussain Safi (24) and took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Dura, Beit Kahil, and Bani Na’im villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 06 April 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hebron and stationed at Nanqar area. They raided and searched Ja’far Nouh Abu Aysha’s (44) house, detained his family in one room, damaged the house contents and withdrew. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tell village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Nasr al-Dein Hamza Ishtayya (18).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into al-Saf street in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Adel Issa Hijazi’s (48) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Hindaza area in Bethlehem. They raided and searched Hasan Mohammed Wardian’s (62) house, and arrested him. It should be noted that Wardian is one of the candidates for the legislative elections representing the Hamas Movement list “Jerusalem is Our Destination”.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Fureidis village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched Nader Mohammed Abayat’s (52) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, ‘Ayyad Jamal al-Harimi (28) surrendered himself to the Israeli authorities, after IOF stormed his house in Bethlehem and threatened to arrest his mother if he did not surrender himself.

Nadi al-Aseer stated that Ayyad was arrested several times since he was a child, the latest of which was 2 months ago as he spent 18 months in the administrative arrest. It should be noted that in 2016, ‘Ayyad was on a hunger strike for 45 days in protest against his arrest.

  • At approximately 11:00, IOF banned a meeting to discuss the legislative elections at the Ambassador Hotel in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The Civil Society organizations invited for this meeting titled “International Law Guarantees the right Palestinians in East Jerusalem to vote”.

It should be noted that before the meeting, IOF imposed and established checkpoints in the neighborhood, banned civilians from reaching the Ambassador Hotel, stopped and searched the vehicles of PLC candidates within Fatah list identified as as Naser Mohammed Qaws, Ghada Mohammed Abu Rabea’, Awad al-Salayma and ‘Ahed al-Rashq, and handed them summonses to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in al-Maskobiya investigation center in West Jerusalem, under the pretext of organizing banned activities in Jerusalem. Additionally, IOF arrested the Secretary-General of Fatah Movement in Jerusalem, Adel Abu Zneid, and the Ambassador Hotel’s manager, Sami Abu Dayyah. It should be noted that the Israeli Authorities ban any activities or events relevant to the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, and prosecute their organizers or supporters.

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Anaghim Nader Awad (21), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, after stopping her at a temporary military checkpoint established at the eastern entrance to the city.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF stationed at Qalandiya checkpoint, north of the occupied East Jerusalem, arrested Ziyad Fareed Shehada (52), from Qalandiya refugee camp, while crossing the checkpoint.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Burqa, northwest of Nablus; Salfit, Sa’ir and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 07 April 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Yamun village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Jehad Mohammed Nawahda (59), and his son, Osaid (23).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. They raided and searched four houses and arrested (4) civilians, including a child. The arrestees were identified as Yousef Abdul Hamid Abu Maria (45), Adyar Ivan al-Salibi (28), Amro Khaled ‘Allami (30), and Majdi Mershed al-Za’aqiq (17).
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yatta, south of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched several houses and arrested 3 civilians and released them after 3 hours. The arrestees were identified as Thabit Mohammed al-Surai’ (39), Shaher Ayed Abu Rabi’a (40), and Khalil Yousef Abu Arram (30).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF moved into ‘Anin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jamal Tayseer Yasin (38), who was arrested yesterday when he was at his work in Israel. IOF withdrew and no items were confiscated.
  • At approximately 02:40, IOF moved into Jalbun village, northeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Fo’ad Najeh Abu al-Rab (21).
  • At approximately 03:40, IOF moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Hussam Khader al-Wawi’s (30) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF moved into Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah, and stationed at the center of the village. They deployed between civilians’ houses, stormed some of them and arrested (7) civilians. The arrestees were identified as: Nidal Hasan Samhan (43), Anas Mohammed Samhan (29), Mahmoud Khaled Samhan (27), Mohammed Taha Abu Fkheida (35), Abdullah Mohammed Samhan (26), Ahmed Zaghloul Samhan (24), and Mo’ayad Fares Samhan (49).
  • At approximately 05:10, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Haidr Abdul Hafiz Mukho’s (48) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Ras Khamis neighborhood in Shu’afat refugee camp, northeast the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Jasem Sandouqa’s (42) house and arrested him.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Ti’nik, west of Jenin; Nuba, Surif, and al-Aroub refugee camp, in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

III. Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • On Saturday afternoon, 03 April 2021, ‘Amer Shqeirat self-demolished his house in Jabal Mukaber, east of occupied East Jerusalem, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Shqeirat said that the Israeli Municipality has haunted him since last year and imposed on him a fine of 60,000 shekels, which he pays in monthly installments.  Shqeirat added that IOF raided his house on 14 March and handed him a notice to demolish his house within 21 days or the municipality’s crews will carry out the demolition and fine him with the expenses.  Shqeirat said that he had to vacate the house and then demolish it with a bulldozer to avoid paying more money for the Israeli Municipality.  He added that the house was built on an area of 120sqms that includes 3 rooms and its facilities, where he lived with his wife and 4 kids.

  • On Sunday morning, 04 April 2021, the Israeli Civil Administration bulldozers levelled lands located in eastern al-Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, to build a settlement road within the E1 Scheme, which aims to isolate the northern West Bank from the eastern West Bank.

Member of the al-‘Issawiya Follow-up Committee, Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, said that the Israeli Civil Administration vehicles accompanied with IOF stormed lands belonging to Mustafa and Abu Riyala families between the villages of al-‘Issawiya and az-Za’ayyem, east of the occupied city.  Abu al-Hummus added that the vehicles levelled the lands planted with crops and seedlings and started building a road within the E1 settlement scheme.

  • At approximately 08:15 on Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF backed by 7 military vehicles moved into Jinsafut village, east of Qalqilya, and demolished a barrack for construction materials belonging to Mahmoud Yousif Mohammed Sokar.

The barrack’s owner said to PCHR’s fieldworkers:

“At approximately 08:15, a worker in the barrack called to tell me that IOF came to demolish the barrack, so I went there immediately to find that they had already started the demolition.  They removed the ceiling, tiles, gypsum and the electrical panel and took the glass door along with everything in addition to high quantity of steel although they told me they will only remove the frame. They also damaged all the goods since the rubble and paints fell on them, noting that I did not receive any prior notice.”

  • On Wednesday morning, 07 April 2021, IOF bulldozers levelled 2 farms and demolished a house, 3 barracks, 2 containers and a shop in al-Za’rourah and Habayel al-‘Arab areas in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Member of al-‘Issawiya Follow-up Committee, Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, said that IOF’s vehicles stormed a 700-sqm farm belonging to Majed Diab and started levelling it and demolishing everything there.  Abu al-Hummus added that the IOF’s vehicles demolished a 70-sqm house built there of 2 rooms and their facilities and sheltering Majed Diab, his wife and 3 kids in addition to a garage established there 7 years ago and a barrack for horses.  They also demolished the fence surrounding the farm.  Abu al-Hummus added that the IOF’s vehicles also levelled another farm belonging to Adeeb Jamil Abu al-Hummus and demolished 2 containers used as storehouses for auto spare parts and a barrack for horses in addition to confiscating the horses.  Abu al-Hummus said that the IOF’s vehicles demolished a fence and barrack belonging to Farouq Mustafa and then withdrew.  He added that IOF previously handed the facilities’ owners demolition orders and imposed on some of them fines of thousands of shekels.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 03:00 on Friday, 02 April 2021, dozens of settlers levelled and built a settlement road between the areas of al-Khemar and Kherbet Mousa in Battir village, west of Bethlehem.

‘Omer al-Qaisi, one of the owners of the affected lands in the area, said that a group of settlers under IOF’s protection parked their bulldozers in lands connecting Kherbet Mousa and al-Khemar areas and started building an agricultural road of 100 meters long and 6 meters wide for settlement purposes.  As a result, vacant areas of land were damaged and dozens of trees were uprooted.

  • At approximately 14:00 on Saturday, 03 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Esh Kodesh” settlement outpost established in southeastern Nablus attacked a group of farmers while working in their lands, east of Jalud village, and prevented them from doing their work at gunpoint. During which, at least 5 settlers; some of them masked, attacked with sticks and stones a 70-year old man, Walid Isma’il ‘Abdel Hafez Shweiki from Jerusalem.  The settlers also attacked a plot of land belonging to Jawad Jamil Yousif Hussein from Qasra village and uprooted 100 olive, pine and cypress seedlings.  They also damaged the power line poles and network on the road between Qasra village and Jalud village before going back to their settlement outpost.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Sunday, 04 April 2021, one of the settlers in “Havat Talia” settlement outpost established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from eastern Yata, south of Hebron, opened fire at the Lands and Water Authority employees who were land-surveying in an area near Tuwani village, east of Yatta, to force them to leave the area, which is within Area C. Meanwhile, IOF and Israeli police arrived at the scene and took the settler away.  No injuries were reported among the employees.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 05 April 2021, a group of settlers from “Halmish” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of northwestern Ramallah attacked an agricultural area near the entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of the city, and tried to remove the barbed-wire fence surrounding the land. A number of villagers gathered in the area to confront the settlers and threw stones at them while IOF stationed at the watchtower there fired teargas canisters to disperse the villagers. As a result, many of them suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip still suffers the worst closure in the history of the Israeli occupation of the oPt as it has entered the 14th consecutive year, without any improvement to the movement of persons and goods, humanitarian conditions and bearing catastrophic consequences on all aspects of life.

The West bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals  88 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 9 of them. IOF closed many roads with cement cubes, metal detector gates and sand berms and tightened their measures against individuals’ movement at military permanent checkpoints.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints near Biddu village’s tunnel and at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint under a tunnel established between Biddu and Al-Jib villages, northwest of the city.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Marah Rabah village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village and in ‘Aqabet Hasna area, west of the city.
  • On Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, and at the entrance to Jannatah village, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, at the entrance to Jannatah village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Tuqu village and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 07 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern and western entrances to Tuqu village, east of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the main entrance to Aboud village, northwest of the city, and near Atara village’s bridge.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at “Hallamish” settlement intersection, and at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Ras Karkar villages.
  • On Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Aboud, Nabi Salih, Deir Abu Mash’al and Beitin villages, and on a road connecting between Ras Karkar and Deir Ibzi villages.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih and Ein Yabrud villages.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints under Ein Yabrud’s bridge, near Atara village’s bridge, at the intersection of Ein Siniya village, and at the entrance to Al-Mughayyir village.
  • On Wednesday, 07 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint, north of the city, tightened their measures at the checkpoint, obstructed vehicles’ movement and checked passengers’ IDs. They also established a checkpoint at the intersection of Al-Auja village.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern and southern entrances to Jericho, and at the entrance to Fasayil village.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at Al-Auja village’s intersection.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • Nablus:
  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city, on Al-Badhan village’s road and at “Yitzhar“intersection, southeast of the city.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Abu al-‘Asaja and Idhna villages, at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to as-Samu village and at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron, at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp, and at the entrances to Beit Ummar and Beit Awwa
  • On Sunday, 04 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Bani Na’im village and at the northern entrance to Hebron.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Sa’ir village, at the western entrance to Hebron and at the northern entrance to Yatta city.
  • On Tuesday, 06 April 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Idhna village and at the southern entrance to Hebron.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 01 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Azzun, Jayyous and Sir villages, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Immatain and Izbat al-Tabib villages, east of the city.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Azzun village, east of the city.

Salfit:

  • On Friday, 02 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Qarawat Bani Hassan, Bruqin and Kafr ad-Dik village, west of the city.
  • On Saturday, 03 April 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Istiya, Deir Ballut and Kafr ad-Dik villages, west of Salfit.
  • On Monday, 05 April 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bruqin village, west of the city.

Will Israeli Supremacism continue to get a free pass?

Germany, France slam US over sanctions against ICC chief prosecutor |  Africa | DW | 04.09.2020

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her inquiry will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor -April 9, 2021

…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: Israel does not really mind being a rogue nation, but would prefer the fact not get too much widespread attention. But this is exactly what the good people at the ICC had finally decided to do.

The Zionist regime, as expected, has responded that the ICC can stuff its investigation of Israel’s war crimes against the Palestinians where the sun does not shine. Everyone knows this is true, but most pretend that Israel is a ‘special’ situation.

In effect Israel is allowed to ‘do onto others that you would not want them to do onto you’ because they are…you know…special. Different rules apply for Israelis and their supporters that don’t apply to you and I, because, you know, we are not one of them.

Historical and contemporary media have swallowed this free pass for Israeli supremacism as some form of dispensation it must pay for the ‘Big H’, guilt for not preventing it. I am not even going to use the word, because the Israelis have inflicted the ‘Big H’ on the Palestinians and write it off as a just security matter.

The last time looked we had 75 to 80 million dead from WWII related causes, a number heavily biased because it left out a chunk of the 50 million Chinese dead estimates. One special group has reserved for themselves to be annointed the most horrible thing that happened during WWII, and everyone else can not only go to the back of the bus, but jump off or be thrown off.

That has always stuck me as rather impolite, and hence I have never had warm and fuzzy spot for Israeli, Zionist, Jewish supremacism, for those who practice it.

They may consider me a bad person for this, but I would consider it just a rational observation. I would even be open to hearing their raionale for one group being allowed to hold the number one supremacism spot as an unquestionable right, and dish out to the Palestinans whatever horrors it many want and that be no one else’s business

Jim W. Dean ]

First published … April 09, 2021

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will tell the International Criminal Court that it will not cooperate with its investigation into possible war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu said in a statement that Israel will respond to a notification letter from the ICC, telling it that Tel Aviv does not recognize the tribunal’s authority.

Last month, ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced in a statement the launch of a war crimes investigation into the Palestinian territories, which have been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

She said her inquiry will be conducted “independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.” The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed the prosecutor’s announcement.

It is “a long-awaited step that serves Palestine’s tireless pursuit of justice and accountability, which are indispensable pillars of the peace the Palestinian people seek and deserve”, the PA foreign ministry said in a statement.

Hamas resistance movement also praised the ICC’s move.

“We welcome the ICC decision to investigate Israeli occupation war crimes against our people. It is a step forward on the path of achieving justice for the victims of our people,” Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman said.

“Our resistance is legitimate and it comes to defend our people. All international laws approve legitimate resistance,” Qassem noted.

Palestine was accepted as an ICC member in 2015, three years after signing the court’s founding Rome Statute, based on its “observer state” status at the United Nations.

Both Israel and the United States have refused to sign up to the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to be the only global tribunal trying the world’s worst crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

BIOGRAPHY

Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor

Managing Editor

Jim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. 

Read Full Complete Bio >>>

Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014https://www.veteranstoday.com/jim-w-dean-biography/jimwdean@aol.com

Land Day 2021: Existence, Resistance, Resurgence

March 30, 2021

A child raising a Palestinian flag on Land Day. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud, The Palestine Chronicle)

“In 2019 I went to Palestine twice,” wrote Ibtisam Barakat, “one time with Palestine Festival of literature in April.” When an officer informed her at the border that she didn’t exist in Israeli records, Barakat started to cry. She “cried for two weeks nonstop. Nothing and no one could stop [her], not even a delicious falafel sandwich.” All that time, recalled the Palestinian-American poet, she “ate falafel and cried.”

On Land Day 2021, Barakat’s words are more relevant than ever. Forty-five years ago, on March 30, 1976, Israeli police murdered six Palestinian protestors as they were calling attention to the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land. Since then, notes Yara Hawari, March 30 has been commemorated as Land Day.

An important “event in the Palestinian collective narrative,” explains Hawari, it incorporates resistance to colonization, in particular “colonial policies of erasure,” efforts by Israelis to erase all Indigenous presence on the land. Indeed, since 1948, Palestinians have defied those policies with characteristic sumud (resilience), both by holding fast to a collective narrative that incorporates individual perspectives.

When Barakat returned to Palestine, an officer asked why she was coming back a second time in one year. At the time, she had no idea how to reply. “Now,” she explains, she knows “the world was going to change and the universe knew that I needed to see Palestine twice in a year” before it became impossible. “Seeing my Palestine or not seeing my Palestine is a spiritual experience for me,” she says, thereby calling attention to her individual refusal to be erased that is in turn part of a collective experience.

On March 30, 2018, Palestinians in Gaza began a series of weekly demonstrations that would last for months, resulting in a staggering number of deaths and injuries from Israeli snipers that drew the attention of the media. What did not get covered so much were the cultural aspects of the rallies—storytelling, cooking traditional dishes, performing dabke, and even weddings took place—thereby passing down traditions to a younger generation.

“What is largely missing from the discussion on Gaza is the collective psychology behind this kind of mobilization,” writes Ramzy Baroud, “and why it is essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true position, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.”

In the same way that Barkat worked through her grief at being told of her non-existence, so Palestinians on a collective scale have maintained a narrative that resists the official story. As Baroud explains,

“For 70 years, Palestinians have embarked on that journey of recreation of the self. They have resisted, and their resistance in all of its forms has molded a sense of collective unity, despite the numerous divisions that were erected among the people. The Great March of Return is the latest manifestation of the ongoing Palestinian resistance.”

Two years later, in 2020, the spread of Coronavirus added to ongoing problems. In order to provide a safe space to commemorate the day, Samidoun: Palestinian Solidarity Network issued a virtual call to action:

“Mark Palestine Land Day (Yawm Al-Ard), a day of remembrance for six Palestinian citizens who were murdered by Israelis while protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunums of their land. March together online on the second anniversary of the Great March of Return.”

Thanks to donations from Russia and the UAE, Gaza recently initiated a vaccine program in an effort to confront the virus pandemic and break the cycle of deaths.

According to Hawari, Land Day commemorates ongoing resistance, but it also “reminds us how the domination of space is an integral aspect of the Zionist settler-colonial project.” Moreover, she points out, “settler-colonial states the world over are in a constant process of colonizing more and more indigenous land while squeezing indigenous peoples into as little space as possible.”

In order to steal more land, colonists in both Israel and North America developed the myth of the vacant land. For example, on March 8, 1969, Golda Meir reportedly asked: “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.”

Propaganda around the Indigenous in North America sounds much the same. As Steven Salaita tweeted: “you’ll never understand Zionism without a concomitant understanding of Manifest Destiny,” a phrase devised in 1845 to explain that the United States was destined—by God, its advocates believed—to expand its territory across the entire North American continent.

“Of all myths associated with American Indians,” explains Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes), “no myth is as pervasive as the myth of the vanishing Indian.”

In my American history classes, there would invariably be the student who said that Native people no longer exist, despite the fact that just by looking around the classroom that student might have reached a different conclusion. Nevertheless, because dominant society has been “indoctrinated with the idea of the vanishing Native their whole lives,” Gilio-Whitaker asserts, “the assumption that there is no such thing as real Natives anymore is like a software program constantly running in the background.”

To these deniers, the “real Indians were the ones who dressed in buckskins and hunted buffalo and deer for their living, and didn’t speak English,” Gilio-Whitaker notes, and, in reality, they have “been gone a long time.”

Despite all of the efforts to deny their existence, which makes it all the easier to steal land and resources, both Palestinians and Indigenous people in the States are still around. The commemoration of Land Day attests to that, as do efforts on the part of Native Americans to make their presence known.

Quoting Gerald Vizenor, a citizen of the White Earth Nation, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz calls attention to his notion of “survivance”:

“Survivance is an active presence: it is not absence, deracination, or ethnographic oblivion, and survivance is the continuance of narratives, not a mere reaction, however pertinent. Survivance stories are renunciations of dominance, the unbearable sentiments of tragedy, and the legacy of victimry” (An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, 2014, p. 217).

Decades after their displacement, the Palestinians long for a place, a homeland that could provide them with grounding to affirm that they exist. In the introduction to Nakba: Palestine, 1948 and The Claims of Memory (2007), Ahmad Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod write that “making memories public affirms identity, tames trauma, and asserts Palestinian political and moral claims to justice, redress, and the right to return” (p.2).

Memory, then, “continuance of narratives” as Vizenor calls it, serves as an expression of the need to officially exist. Manifested in events like Land Day, alternative histories affirm what happened in the past but also what should be done in the present to assure that all formerly oppressed peoples have a future.

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

Related

Land day: Israel’s programme of Palestinian land theft goes on undisturbed

Palestinian protesters mark Land Day in the Umm Al-Hiran village in the Wadi Atir area of the Negev (Naqab) desert (AFP)
Ghada Karmi is a former research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. She was born in Jerusalem and was forced to leave her home with her family as a result of Israel’s creation in 1948. The family moved to England, where she grew up and was educated. Karmi practised as a doctor for many years working as a specialist in the health of migrants and refugees. From 1999 to 2001 Karmi was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she led a major project on Israel-Palestinian reconciliation.

Ghada Karmi

30 March 2021 13:32 UTC | Last update: 

For Palestinians, Land Day continues to be an inspiration and a tribute to the just struggle of an unbowed people for their land

The centrality of the struggle for land has always been fundamental to understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It is at the heart of two major events whose anniversaries fall due on 30 March. The first, Land Day, commemorates the surge of Palestinian resistance to the takeover of their land by Israel in 1976; and the second marks the start of the Great March of Return in 2018, when thousands of Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated for the right of refugees to return to their confiscated lands in Israel.

From the start the Zionist movement was predicated on the acquisition of an empty territory on which to establish a state exclusively for Jews. Since no such land was available in the Palestine of the time, it had to be carved out, first by purchase, and later by war.

The land-grabbing journey

As Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the country in increasing numbers after 1917, Zionist organisations such as the Jewish National Fund and the Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association set about buying Palestinian land, provided it was untenanted at the time of purchase.

Today, Israel’s settlements have meant that Palestinian ownership of West Bank and East Jerusalem land has shrunk to under 13 percent

Many Arab landowners living outside Palestine, in addition to a minority of Palestinian peasants, sold them land. These sales were mainly motivated by economic necessity, since the Zionist organisations had access to foreign funds unavailable to Arabs.

Years of intense Zionist effort, however, yielded disappointing results. By 1947, and despite their funding and connections to powerful supporters of Zionism, these organisations had acquired no more than a meagre 6.7 percent of Palestine’s land.

But this disappointment was soon reversed by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. In that war Israel captured 78 percent of Mandate Palestine, taking large swathes of Palestinian land, mostly untenanted thanks to population flight and expulsions in the war. 

After 1948 the new Israeli state swiftly enacted a series of laws designed to acquire more Palestinian land by pseudo-legal means. These included the 1950 Absentee Property Law, permitting the state to take over Palestinian land and property in their owners’ absence; and soon after, the 1953 Land Acquisition Law, which introduced a new category of “state lands” and “closed areas”.

This had the effect of making the state the majority owner of the land, which was to be permanently out of the reach of its previous Palestinian owners.

Subsequent events up to and including the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, that put Israel in occupation of the rest of Palestine, have been stages on the same land-grabbing journey. Today, Israel’s settlements have meant that Palestinian ownership of West Bank and East Jerusalem land has shrunk to under 13 percent. That is set to diminish further as the settlement process continues with further land loss. 

Palestinian children hold up pictures of keys, symbolising the homes they left behind (AFP)
Palestinian children hold up pictures of keys, symbolising the homes they left behind (AFP)

This is the background to the dramatic protests of Land Day in 1976. Their trigger at the time was the Israeli government’s plan to expropriate thousands of dunums of Arab land in the Galilee to build Jewish industrial villages. In line with the Israeli government’s 1975 “Galilee Development Plan” to expand Jewish settlement, it would accelerate Judaisation of what was a majority Arab area. 

A turning point

On 30 March a general strike was called, and widespread demonstrations in Arab towns erupted from the Galilee to the Negev. Thousands marched in protest, while solidarity demonstration were held in the Occupied Territories and the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.Land Day: A potent symbol of the Palestinian struggle

Unexpected at the time from what had been a largely quiescent Arab population, Israel was alarmed and deployed thousands of police, army units and tanks to quell the protests. Six Arabs were killed, hundreds wounded, and hundreds more arrested.

Land Day, as it became known, was a turning point. It was the first time since 1948 that the Arabs in Israel acted as a national collective, refusing to accept the theft of their land after years of control by Israel’s military rule. Land Day was an expression of national pride and self-confidence. It marked the assertion of an Arab presence that Israel’s politics could no longer ignore, and the starting point for Arab political participation in Israel. 

From that time to this, Land Day has been commemorated annually by Palestinians everywhere. In 2018 it was marked by the start of another great Palestinian protest over land. The Great March of Return saw 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza demonstrate near the Israeli separation fence of electrified barbed wire and sensors. It was a peaceful protest, demanding the right of refugees to return to their lands and an end to the blockade of Gaza. Intended to last from 30 March to 15 May, Nakba Day, the same protests took place every Friday.

A double heroism

As in 1976 Israel retaliated with murderous violence. Between 30 March and 15 May 2018 an estimated 110 protesters were killed, and 13,000 wounded by a combination of sniper fire and drones. By the time the March of Return was halted by Hamas in December 2019, 214 people had been killed, and 36,000 wounded. Of these, 1,200 needed long term rehabilitation following bone infections and limb injuries. Israeli soldiers seemed to be using a “shoot-and-maim” policy, deliberately targeting the legs of protestors to cause maximum disability.

Land Day marked the assertion of an Arab presence that Israel’s politics could no longer ignore

Gaza’s health system, damaged by years of blockade, understaffing, and equipment and power shortages, has been unable to cope with the toll of so many injured. Yet that did not stop Palestinian youth braving death and injury each week for nearly two years, and creating a new Palestinian legend to commemorate on 30 March. 

Israel never changed course in the face of that double Palestinian heroism celebrated on Land Day. It went on to build “Development towns” for Jews, 26 by 1981, with the effect of altering the Galilee’s demography in favour of Jews.

In Gaza, likewise, the blockade continues, and Israel’s pretext of its brutality as self-defence against the Great March of Return has been accepted by many Western governments. Its programme of Palestinian land theft goes on undisturbed.  

But for Palestinians on 30 March, Land Day continues to be an inspiration, and a tribute to the just struggle of an unbowed people for their land.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Related

Historical References:

Faced with ICC Investigation, Apartheid Israel Asserts Moral Superiority Over The Victims of Its Terror

Having created enemies by its own criminal behavior, Israel then claims the right to protect itself from the very people it alienated through these criminal acts.

Source

March 29th, 2021

By Miko Peled

Israel ICC Feature photo

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Israel’s army chief of staff, General Aviv Kochavi, recently commented on the International Criminal Court (ICC) decision to investigate Israel for war crimes. In his speech, General Kochavi said:

There is a moral abyss that exists between us and our enemies. They do everything in order to target civilians; we do everything to prevent hurting their civilians. They rejoice when our civilians are killed; we investigate when theirs are killed.”

Sounds like a pretty good opening statement for his defense once the trial at The Hague commences. The only problem is, none of what he said is true.

As these words are being written, Israel is in the process of figuring out the results of its fourth elections in two years. These elections mark what could be the final step in a political strategy that would make Machiavelli proud. This strategy is one that was planned and executed brilliantly by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that brought about the total disintegration of his opposition. 

All that is left of those who ran against him are tiny fragments. The hungry politicians who lead these fragments cannot possibly compete with Netanyahu’s domestic political acumen. 

Similarly, no Israeli politician is able to compete with Netanyahu’s gravitas in the international arena. This is something that was clearly demonstrated by the recent visit to Tel-Aviv by the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, and the Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, to discuss cooperation among the three countries.

“A moral abyss”

The speech given by the Israeli army chief represents a righteous indignation that is typical of Israeli officials. He says that “a moral abyss” exists between Israel and its enemies, and that is a very interesting choice of words. One might think it is self-defeating for the Israeli military and political officials to bring up morality. And yet, here is yet another general who made a career of killing civilians and maintaining a brutal military regime claiming moral superiority.

In truth, a moral abyss does exist between Israel and the Palestinian people. A quick comparison shows the following: From its very founding, Israel had invested billions of dollars in developing and maintaining its military; Palestinians have never had as much as a tank, much less a military force.

For decades Palestinians have been searching for ways to make Palestine peaceful again. Palestinians had suggested establishing a secular democracy with equal rights. When that was rejected, they had agreed to end their resistance and recognized the State of Israel. Then the Palestinian Liberation Organization entered negotiations with Israel and accepted that all it would receive was a small Palestinian State on less than one-quarter of historic Palestine.

When this proved to be impossible, the Palestinians initiated a peaceful, dedicated, and morally just campaign of boycott, divestment, and sanction against the State of Israel. The demands set out by this call are all remedial and are all rooted in international law.

During these same decades, Israel had been engaged in dispossession, land theft, and violence. Palestinians are targeted by Israel regardless of their status or geographic location. Be they citizens of Israel, residents of the West Bank or Gaza, internally displaced, or refugees in camps outside of Palestine, Palestinians are living without rights — pushed off of their lands, prevented from access to basic resources like water, roads, and health care — and are killed on a daily basis.

Israel will not even provide Palestinians with a Covid vaccine. So yes, General Kochavi is right about the moral chasm. However, he and his army have nothing to be proud of.

“Our enemies”

One constantly hears that Israel is surrounded by enemies and that therefore it has no choice but to maintain a strong military force and strike whenever and wherever it sees a threat.

This is not unlike criminals who steal and are then afraid of retribution from their victims or the authorities. The criminals are constantly in need of more weapons, more recruits, and they must always hit first in order to strike fear into their potential enemies.The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating FoundersSelf-Hating Jews: Miko Peled dives into the history of Zionism and its founder’s prosperity for racism and their disdain for non-secular JewsMintPress News Miko Peled | Mar 24

The Anti-Semitic Birth of the Zionist State: A History of Israel’s Self-Hating FoundersSelf-Hating Jews: Miko Peled dives into the history of Zionism and its founder’s prosperity for racism and their disdain for non-secular JewsMintPress News Miko Peled | Mar 24

The State of Israel was established by acts that constitute crimes. Killing, mass displacement of a civilian population, theft of property and money, and the creation of an apartheid regime. Israel then built a military force that to this day continues to terrorize Palestinians and occasionally its neighboring countries, referring to them all as “enemies.”

One could argue, and indeed should argue, that Israel created enemies by its own criminal behavior. Then Israel feels it has the right to protect itself from the very people it alienated through criminal acts.

The State of Israel was established by acts that constitute crimes. Killing, mass displacement of a civilian population, theft of property and money, and the creation of an apartheid regime. Israel then built a military force that to this day continues to terrorize Palestinians and occasionally its neighboring countries, referring to them all as “enemies.”

One could argue, and indeed should argue, that Israel created enemies by its own criminal behavior. Then Israel feels it has the right to protect itself from the very people it alienated through criminal acts.

They rejoice

Driving south from Jerusalem towards Gaza, one reaches an intersection just north of the first entry point into Gaza, called Erez. Then you drive down a road that goes along the Gaza Strip just east. At one intersection there is a gas station and a dirt road that winds from behind the gas station and up a sandy hill.

At the top of the hill, there are a few trees — one can see the Mediterranean from there, and also Gaza City. When Israel drops bombs on Gaza one can see the smoke and hear the explosions from that spot. Someone dragged up a couch and a few chairs, turning this spot into a favorite for Israelis who enjoy the spectacle.

A Danish news report shows Israelis watching the 2009 bombing of Gaza. TV2 Denmark | YouTube

In fact, a piece in the British paper The Guardian describes the place and the scene during the 2014 assault on Gaza: “People drink, snack and pose for selfies against a background of explosions as Palestinian death toll mounts in ongoing offensive.”

It goes on, describing what I too personally witnessed:

A group of men huddle around a shisha pipe. Nearly all hold up smartphones to record the explosions or to pose grinning, perhaps with thumbs up, for selfies against a backdrop of black smoke…Some bring their children.”

“We investigate”

Kochavi claimed the army investigates, though clearly Israel’s investigations of its own crimes are few, far between, and rarely end up with the violators being held accountable.

“We do everything to prevent killing their civilians,” he says, which should make us wonder in what world General Kochavi lives. Israel not only does not do anything to prevent the death of civilians but for decades has been targeting civilians in both Palestine and Lebanon. This is obvious because, as stated earlier, Palestinians have never had an army.

As the world wonders what the next Netanyahu government will look like, it is clear that Palestinians will continue to live in fear of Israeli terrorism. One has to wonder at what point the world is likely to end the destruction of Palestine and its people by Israel.

Feature photo | Palestinians block Israeli soldiers targeting peaceful protesters near a Jewish settlement Beqa’ot in Jordan Valley in the West Bank, Feb. 29, 2020. Majdi Mohammed | AP

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

U.S. A FRIEND WITH WHEAT IS A FRIEND INDEED

South Front

29.03.2021 

The current state of affairs in northeastern Syria is bordering on the absurd.

In an unexpected twist, US-backed militants seized a shipment of US-made missiles that were en route to other militants also supported by America. The shipment included 2 TOW anti-tank guided missiles, 24 AK-type assault rifles, a designated marksman’s rifle, two gun tubes and ammo.

On March 28th, the Syrian Task Force, a joint force of the Turkish Police, Counterterrorism Unit and the National Syrian Army (SNA) took the weapons shipment.

Most SNA factions were once backed by the US, which supplied them with TOW ATGMs until late 2017. They are also currently and continually supported by Turkey.

Turkey said that the weapons consignment was seized because it was heading towards the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).  The SDF is the most important US ally in Syria, but it is comprised of the PKK and YPG, whom Ankara deems as terrorist organizations.

US forces in Syria need all the support they can get, and as such they are delivering supplies to its presumed allies.

On March 27th, in addition to smuggling oil, a large US convoy smuggled 38 trucks of Syrian wheat from the Hasaka governorate into northern Iraq. Just days earlier, on March 25th, 18 more trucks with wheat were taken out of Syria.

In Hasaka, the SDF is carrying out its expansionist work, displacing home-owners in the vicinity of a helipad. The positions are to be used to counter the attacks and movements of Turkish-backed militants coming from Ras al-Ayn and Afrin.

And sure enough, Turkish forces, as well as militants backed by Ankara, renewed shelling on the Hasaka countryside. They shelled the two villages of al-Khashma and al-Dardara to the north of the town Tal Tamer on March 27th.

In response to Turkey’s shelling and attacks, the SDF carried out an operation towards Raqqa. As a result, eight Turkish-backed militants were either killed or wounded. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, SDF fighters blew up a militant position near the town of Umm al-Manajir in the northern outskirts of the town of Ain Issa.

Still, even without the SDF attacking any positions, in Afrin the Turkish-backed militants continue fighting even amongst themselves. On March 27th, militants of the Hamza Division clashed with a group which recently defected from the division and joined the al-Sham Corps. At least 11 were either killed or injured.

Northern Syria appears to be in a perpetual state of chaos, with several sides attempting to steal away resources to forward their own interests. Turkey, the US, and the militants that they back are taking the chance to do so, since the Damascus government and Russian support are more focused on Greater Idlib, and the ISIS-infested central region.

Related

A DECADE OF SYRIAN PAIN | Mideastream

Mar 17, 2021

After a decade of unfathomable violence and human tragedy that has made Syria the west’s defining war of the early 21st century, the fighting has tapered off but the suffering hasn’t. In 2011,

Obama led the west in its largest adventure yet in west Asia, thinking that Syria looked like just another domino about to fall in the whirlwind of uprisings sweeping the Middle East. Ten years later, President Bashar Assad is still there leading the heroic SAA which eliminated western-backed Daesh terrorism from more than 70% of the country as reconciliation and reconstruction define the upcoming decade for Syria.

Israeli Violence in Arab Cities Reaches Intolerable Levels

By Lucas Leiroz de Almeida

Global Research, March 12, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 27 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

***

Much is said in the international media about the Palestinian issue, but the internal ethnic crisis in Israel is ignored. Levels of violence against Arabs in Israeli territory have increased exponentially and this has led to the revolt of several social leaders in these Arab communities. The Israeli authorities justify their violence on the basis of a “policy to combat organized crime”, but, in fact, this rhetoric has been used simply to cover up the killings of Arab youth and children.

On March 10, in a shootout in the Arab-Israeli city of Jaljulia, Muhamad Abdelrazek Ades, a 14-year-old teenager was murdered and his friend, Mustafa Osama Hamed, a 12-year-old child, was injured and is hospitalized in serious condition. Local residents accuse the police of having acted negligently and shot indiscriminately at the population. A member of the Muhammad’s family said the boys left the house at the time of the shooting and were hit by about 20 shots at close range. The case would be tragic if it were unique, but this is a growing phenomenon. Muhammad has been the 23rd fatal victim of Israeli police violence against Arab citizens since the beginning of this year.

More and more young Arabs in Israel are dying in police operations carried out with malpractice and neglect. The head of the Jaljulia city hall, commenting on the case, said that the violence against the Arab community exceeded all possible limits and that the country is at a real civil war. In fact, the situation is one of absolute insecurity for the Arabs. For them there are no laws or guarantees, just endless violence.

The case of Muhammad and Mustafa triggered revolt in the Arab community. Israeli police, on the other hand, respond to criticism only by stating that it was “a mistake” and emphasizing that the families of the youth were involved in organized crime. And, in fact, this has been the practice of the Israeli authorities in cities with an Arab majority: systematically exterminating young people whose families are supposed to be involved in the crime. The high degree of marginalization and exclusion to which the Arabs are subjected on Israeli soil makes organized crime a recurrent practice in some of these communities, especially with regard to economically motivated crimes. However, the Israeli police does not act to combat such crimes using intelligence techniques or investigating the real offenders, but simply systematically exterminating members of these communities, in an act of true ethnic and social cleansing.

Apartheid in Israel

Police violence is also intense when Arabs take to the streets to protest and claim their civil rights. In Umm al Fahem, in northern Israel, protests have been almost daily. In a recent demonstration, the number of 10,000 participants was reported, a record for popular demonstrations in these regions. The reason for such an exponential increase is certainly due to the fact that weeks ago, in protests with a much smaller number of participants, police officers wounded 35 protesters, even though the acts were peaceful. In the same vein, after Muhammad’s death, a general strike was declared in Jaljulia. The unnecessary violence of the police only encourages more and more people to take to the streets and with this an endless cycle of popular dissatisfaction and police brutality emerges.

In institutional politics, the Arab community is agitated as much as possible. Community members in Parliament have publicly condemned the recent attacks. The Arab Deputy Aida Touma Silman made harsh statements against the Israeli police, but also emphasized the importance of fighting organized crime, saying that Arab criminals are also responsible for the killings. Although combating all forms of crime is necessary in any region of the planet, it is important to note the high degree of asymmetry in police violence. There is nothing that can explain how a child is shot 20 times at close range simply because his family is involved with criminal organizations.

In parallel to the unrest, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last week that his government will invest around 45 million dollars to combat violence in the Arab cities. The Arab community leaders did not interpret the government’s attitude as positive, as they rightly believe that this money will be used not to improve social rates in these cities, but to further arm the police and generate more chaos and violence.

In fact, international society remains silent on this, when it should not. Tel Aviv is responsible for the death of every Arab youth. When the policemen who executed the shots against children are spared from any punishment, the state practically takes part in favor of the violence.

*

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Lucas Leiroz is a research fellow in international law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Featured image is from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER DEPLOYS IN MEDITERRANEAN AS DAMASCUS PREPARES TO PUSH ON THE NORTHWEST

South Front

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and its Carrier Strike Group have entered the Mediterranean Sea.

This makes it, currently, the closest aircraft carrier to the Middle East. It has been quite a while since the US hasn’t had one of its super warships deployed in or near the Persian Gulf.

Starting in the spring of 2019, the U.S. Navy has been publicly ordered to keep a near-constant presence in the region, as if this were something new.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that a global posture review is taking place, and it would be reconsidered whether a carrier was even needed in the region. Still, the Mediterranean Sea is quite nearby, and the removal of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) from the Persian Gulf was a political move.

It’s Lloyd Austin’s dream to have a CSG in every hotspot in the world, but resources don’t allow for that.

Still, the US has the amphibious warship USS Makin Island (LHD-8) in the Persian Gulf with a detachment of F-35B fighter jets, so it still has a hefty presence. Further, it is without a doubt possible for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and its CSG to operate without issue in the Middle East, be it Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, from its current place of deployment.

In Syria itself, as the primary US competitor, alongside Iran, Russian forces are preparing to set up a permanent military base near the city of Palmyra in the Badia Desert. This is not yet confirmed, but according to satellite photos it has a helipad as a runway.

This base is likely planned to support the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) further in their push against both ISIS and Turkish proxies.

On March 9th, the SAA carried out heavy shelling on the positions of Turkish proxies in the village of Jabal Al-Zawiya, in southern Idlib.

Separately, Pro-Turkey opposition factions reportedly thwarted an attempt by the SAA to advance on the Qalaat front in the northern countryside of Latakia. Attacks are frequently repelled in Twitter posts, but nowhere else, demonstrating that the propaganda wing of the Turkish proxies is quite active.

In the days leading up to this, the SAA has been preparing for a large push in the province of Aleppo.

This is likely an attempt to form a uniform front, which can exert equal pressure along the frontline and thin the enemy’s forces to provide opportunity for a breach.

Turkey and its proxies are sure to offer heavy resistance to any advance by the SAA, but so far it appears that this may not be enough.

Rethinking Israel’s Blank Check in Light of Palestinian Teen’s Death with US Weapon

Ali Abu Aliya
As Americans become increasingly critical of the Israeli government, foreign assistance is put under a new microscope.
by Jessica Buxbaum

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

JERUSALEM — Last year, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager with an American gun. Now human rights organizations, activists, and politicians are calling on the United States to investigate the killing and stop the flow of military support to Israel.

On Dec. 4, 2020, Israeli forces fatally shot Ali Abu Aliya in the stomach while he was watching a protest against the establishment of a new settlement in the West Bank. It was his fifteenth birthday. According to Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), Aliya wasn’t participating in the demonstration and did not pose a threat to Israeli soldiers.

“Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present,” DCIP said. “However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that do not appear to be warranted and may amount to extrajudicial or [willful] killings.”

Aliya’s death drew international condemnation and prompted the Israeli military police to launch a criminal investigation. In the U.S., calls are growing for President Joe Biden’s administration to investigate Aliya’s killing, given that he was shot with a weapon made on American soil.

American dollars fueling human rights abuses

Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance, acquiring an estimated $3.8 billion annually in aid. Roughly $800 million of the funds is dedicated to purchasing weaponry from inside Israel. In addition to American dollars maintaining Israel’s occupation of Palestine, American weapons are also being used in the deadly violence against Palestinians.

Aliya was shot with a Ruger rifle, a gun manufactured in the U.S. by Connecticut-based Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. This isn’t the first instance of the Ruger firearm being used by the Israel Defense Forces. The Ruger 10/22, the semiautomatic sniper rifle that killed Aliya, has been used by Israeli forces as far back as 1987 during the First Intifada (Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation). Despite Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s code of ethics, the company has a distribution partnership with Israel.

The Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 contain provisions barring the sale of American weaponry to countries engaging in gross violations of human rights. And under the nation’s Leahy Law, the U.S. government is prohibited from providing assistance to foreign security forces committing human rights violations, such as extrajudicial killing.

With these laws in mind, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) — along with 29 human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, and DCIP — sent a letter to the State Department urging the agency investigate Aliya’s death “as a possible case of extrajudicial killing that is subject to sanctions under the Leahy Law.”

“The United States is obligated to investigate whether our tax dollars have contributed to gross violations of human rights,” AMP’s advocacy director, Raed Jarrar, told MintPress News. “Every year around 1,000 foreign units will get suspended,” Jarrar said. “It’s a very strong system that works very well in other parts of the world, but it has not been implemented a single time in Israel.”

The State Department responded to AMP’s letter addressing military training in the U.S. but not the larger issue of the U.S.’s yearly, billion-dollar military aid package to Israel. Currently, AMP is drafting a coalition response to the State Department. “What we are trying to do now is to say ‘enough is enough,’” Jarrar said. “It is time to hold Israel and all other foreign countries accountable. It’s time to hold all countries to the same standard.”

For Jarrar, the Biden administration’s decision on whether to follow through with the AMP letter’s requests is not just a matter of morality but a matter of law. “If the Biden administration chooses to break U.S. law and continue to equip and arm foreign units accused of gross violations of human rights, that will not only be a political issue, it’ll also be a legal violation,” Jarrar said.

A new administration, a new congress: greater accountability?

Human rights organizations aren’t the only ones pushing for an end to military support to Israel in light of Aliya’s killing. Just a few days after Aliya’s death, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) entered a statement into the Congressional Record, calling on the then “incoming administration of President-Elect Biden to investigate Israel’s killing of Ali Abu Aalya, as well as Israel’s ongoing pattern of using state sponsored military violence against Palestinian children.” McCollum explained:

 Members of Congress and the American people deserve to know whether U.S. taxpayer funding to Israel’s Ministry of Defense is being used directly or indirectly to facilitate or enable violence against Palestinian children. Committing human rights abuses with impunity and with U.S. taxpayer aid is intolerable and there must be accountability on the part of the U.S. Government.”

McCollum introduced a bill in 2019 and a bill in 2020, both of which focus on U.S. military funding to Israel. Promoting Human Rights for Palestinian Children Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act bars foreign funds from being used for the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of children. The bill currently has 24 cosponsors. The Israeli Annexation Non-Recognition Act, currently with 11 cosponsors, bans certain funds from supporting activities in West Bank areas annexed by Israel and activities facilitating annexation.

Grassroots activists are pressuring congressional leaders to stop the flow of American weapons to Israel. The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights launched a call to action demanding Congress hold Israel accountable and cease arms sales. And, on a more local level, Massachusetts Peace Action released a similar direct-action initiative for Massachusetts residents to urge their representatives to support the aforementioned bills.

The U.S. has been a great ally to Israel since the state’s inception, with some experts even arguing that Israel can’t survive without American financial support. But as Americans become increasingly critical of the Israeli government, foreign assistance is put under a microscope.

Recent polls have shown that Americans—particularly Democrats, Millennials, and Gen-Z’ers—believe Israel has too much influence on American politics and support conditioning aid to Israel. This public shift is reflected in congressional support. “There’s been a really magnificent movement in Congress in the last two years.” AMP’s Jarrar said, continuing:

When I moved to Washington, D.C. 15 years ago, we used to have four or five members of Congress willing to step outside of the pro-Israel, hardcore line. And now sometimes we have 50 or 60 members of Congress who sign on to letters demanding accountability and justice in Israel and Palestine. So, the tide is definitely shifting and this administration feels the heat from Congress and change will come.”

Whether it’s Rep. McCollum, “the squad,” or Sen. Bernie Sanders, more and more of Congress’ progressive wing is speaking out against Israel’s actions. The majority of Americans and Congress are still largely supportive of Israel, but voices from the pro-Palestinian camp are getting louder.

With a slew of domestic problems spurred by the coronavirus, Americans want greater transparency when it comes to how their tax dollars are spent. And they appear less willing to tolerate their government’s complicity in human rights abuses in foreign nations.

“Public opinion has been shifting not only on Israel, but on the idea that the United States government can give its allies a blank check,” Jarrar said. “There’s a clear movement saying our government has to stop contributing to human rights abuses abroad. And Israel is no exception to that.”

Israel: How a Trifecta of Court Cases Could Cement King Bibi’s 12-Year Reign

Image result for Israel: How a Trifecta of Court Cases Could Cement King Bibi’s 12-Year Reign

By Miko Peled

Source

Three separate court cases have converged in Israel to provide Netanyahu the cover he needs to maintain power amid an endless stream of controversies.

Three judicial matters have been in Israeli headlines recently, all of them very serious in nature and all likely to serve Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli elections.

The first is the indicted prime minister’s court hearing in early February regarding his ongoing corruption case. The second is that the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that the territories Israel occupied in 1967 are within its jurisdiction, meaning that many Israelis may well be the subject of war-crimes investigations. The third is an Israeli court ruling from January 2021 banning the 2003 film “Jenin, Jenin,” made by Palestinian actor and director Mohammad Bakri. The film documents the atrocities committed by IDF forces in the Jenin refugee camp in the spring of 2002. All three are likely to raise serious concerns among the highest echelons of the Israeli government.

Yet even as these court cases loom over him, his government, and the Israeli military, and with national elections rapidly approaching, for Netanyahu these crises present opportunity. Taking the familiar pages from the Trump playbook, Netanyahu can turn every accusation of corruption into an attack by liberals, any claims of war crimes, or even misconduct by Israeli forces, into an attack on all Jews by antisemitic forces. Only in Netanyahu’s Israel could so many problems be a blessing.

Indeed, Netanyahu and his supporters claim that the corruption charges against him represent persecution of the prime minister by the liberal press and a biased judicial system. He is leading the charge to attack the ICC and has already stated that its decision is antisemitism raising its ugly head again. As for “Jenin, Jenin,” it is being universally condemned in Israel and is characterized as libelous and totally false.

When you are Benjamin Netanyahu, the best card player in the casino of Israeli politics — when you are the one who knows how to play everyone else in the room, possessing decades of experience — there’s nothing better than a good crisis. It helps to rally people around you. As a matter of fact, dealing with crises is what Netanyahu does best.

Indictment? No problem!

According to the Times of Israel, because Netanyahu’s corruption case has been in the news cycle for close to five years already, “[a]ny political fallout is already baked into the views, poll responses, and voting calculations on all sides.” In other words, nobody cares, and the election results will not be affected in any significant way.

Furthermore, the Times states that many of Netanyahu’s supporters “agree with Netanyahu that he is being unfairly targeted by a politicized prosecution.” Those who feel that the accusations of corruption against him have merit argue that “the advantages he brings as a leader far outstrip any possible malfeasance claimed in the indictment.” In fact, polls quoted in the Times show that “up to 54 percent of Israelis think he’s the best prime ministerial candidate.”

a politicized prosecution.” Those who feel that the accusations of corruption against him have merit argue that “the advantages he brings as a leader far outstrip any possible malfeasance claimed in the indictment.” In fact, polls quoted in the Times show that “up to 54 percent of Israelis think he’s the best prime ministerial candidate.”

Making a deal with the devil

When no crisis is available, Netanyahu creates his own. Tensions along the border with Syria, a threat from Iran, or an impending War on Gaza are the usual favorites and work very well.

In recent days Netanyahu and his Likud Party signed an agreement with the most right-wing elements in the Zionist political spectrum. The worst neo-fascist religious fanatics within Israel have always been his natural allies and he has now come to an official agreement with them on a vote-sharing deal called “surplus votes.” Under the agreement, “Likud promised that Netanyahu would include Religious Zionism MKs ‘in any government he forms.’” That means that after Knesset votes are counted and applied towards seats in the Israeli Parliament, any leftover votes must be shared with Israel’s militant, right-wing religious fanatics.

Surplus vote-sharing agreements are widely used in Israeli elections and allow parties to ensure that extra votes do not go to waste. Instead, the parties utilize them through special agreements with other parties.

While the vote-sharing agreement has irked many in the center and what is sometimes referred to as the center-left of Israeli politics, it shows once again that Netanyahu calls the shots as he sees fit. If other members of the Knesset and even of his own party are unhappy, well then, they are welcome to go elsewhere. However, with nowhere else to go, year after year and election after election, not only do members of his party come running to him, members of the other parties do too.

The parties with which Netanyahu’s Likud signed the vote-sharing agreement include the far-right Religious Zionism Party and the openly racist “Otzma Yehudit,” or Jewish Might. Members of these parties support an ideology that includes expelling Palestinians who refuse to declare loyalty to Israel and accept diminished status in an expanded Jewish state. Some party members also support LGBT conversion therapy. These fanatic religious-Zionist parties represent armed gangs that openly terrorize Palestinians across the country.

The International Criminal Court ruling

After lengthy deliberations that led to a landmark decision, the International Criminal Court ruled that it has jurisdiction over war crimes committed by Israel in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. This ruling opens the door to possible criminal charges against Israeli military personnel and potentially even against government officials.

Netanyahu called the international tribunal’s decision “pure antisemitism,” a meritless claim he failed to explain. The ruling addresses specific incidents in which the Israeli military was involved and has absolutely nothing to do with Jewish people.

After nearly 20 years, court ruling bans Jenin Jenin

Israel’s Central District Court has banned the screening of the 2003 documentary film “Jenin Jenin” and ordered the confiscation of all copies of the film in the country. In addition, the court ordered the film’s director, Mohammed Bakri, to pay Lt. Col. Nissim Magnagi, one of the reservist officers who was allegedly present during the assault on the Jenin refugee camp and was shown for a brief moment in the film, 175,000 shekels in damages on top of 50,000 shekels in legal expenses.

One has to question the merits of banning a film in 2021 when it was made in 2003. There are no public screenings of the film and the only viewers that watch it do so online — and that of course cannot be banned. The fine, however, is a blow and it has yet to be seen what will happen when the decision reaches a higher court for appeal.

Of the three judicial issues stated here, only one pertains to Netanyahu and is likely to have little or no effect on his chances to win the elections. The other two only confirm what the Israeli electorate already believes, that the International Criminal Court is antisemitic and that a film made by a Palestinian showing Israeli military crimes must be a vicious, libelous lie, and the common wisdom is that Netanyahu knows better than anyone how to deal with the anti-Semites.

The Israeli electorate is used to both crises and to the controversy surrounding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The results of the next election, just like the results of the three previous ones, are almost guaranteed to go in his favor.

Political commentary in the time of resistance: «Israel» in the position of defense not at the site of the attack…التعليق السياسي في زمن المقاومة : «إسرائيل» في موقع الدفاع لا في موقع الهجوم

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

Political commentary in the time of resistance: «Israel» in the position of defense not at the site of the attack…

Dr. Adnan Mansour

Despite all the statements, warnings, threats of war, which are launched from time to time by “Israeli” political and military leaders against Lebanon and its resistance, despite the war games and provocations, fortifications, iron domes, and the continued aggressive violations of Lebanese sovereignty by land and by sea and air, a reality that cannot be ignored, surrounding the Zionist entity, makes it handcuffed to any future adventure to launch a large-scale aggression against Lebanon, particularly the resistance in it, for many reasons that it cannot stop there, or ignore its repercussions.

For decades since the Zionist entity occupied Palestine in 1948, Israel has been the initiator of any aggression against Arab states, bearing in mind strong support from the West, particularly the United States, which provides it with the means and political cover, and international support during and after the war. This is how Israel has been launching aggression after aggression, since 1955 on the Gaza Strip, 1956 against Egypt during the triple aggression against it, the June 1967 war, the aggression against Beirut International Airport in 1968 and the bombing of civilian aircraft there. The aggression that resulted in the invasion of Lebanese territory in 1982, the aggression of the “Grapes of Wrath” in 1996 and the bombing of power plants in 1999 reached the height of the attacks, which was the large-scale destructive war waged by the enemy against Lebanon in 2006.

“Israel” in its wars always felt its qualitative military superiority, which puts it every time in the position of attack, where it is fighting its wars, moving its battles out of the occupied Palestinian territories, bombing, striking, controlling the territories and making the occupation a fait accompli, reinforced by the support and partiality of the West, without regard to the law and the international community, and the relevant UN resolutions.

A new phase began with the early 1980s, establishing strong equations that began to fluctuate later, the balances, standards, and military standards that prevailed for a period of time, which were permanently in the interest of the enemy.

For the first time, Israel found itself, and its political and military leaders, that they are facing a new situation, and in front of a resistance that is difficult to contain, break or defeat, given the strength it enjoys, the deep belief in its cause and mission, and its diligence in defending the land and people. Resistance imbued with a well-established doctrine, high spirits, reinforced, fortified by thousands of fighters and martyrs hungry to face the occupying aggressors.

The resistance to the widespread “Israeli” aggression against Lebanon in 2006 constituted a milestone and a major strategic turning point in the history of the Arab “Israeli” conflict, as it defeated the “Israeli” army, without achieving its goals to eliminate the resistance, and without allowing its ally the United States create a “New Middle East”. The positions and objectives inside the “Israeli” were bombed for the first time since the establishment of the entity in 1948, where the enemy has not been able to understand what happened to its army at the hands of the resistance, and the repercussions whose effects continue to interact, worry the enemy, and constitute a constant obsession and terror for him, which makes him and the repercussions that still affect the enemy, worry the enemy, and constitute a constant obsession and terror for him, making him calculate a thousand accounts of the resistance before he engages in any military adventure, or war resorted to it.

Today, 15 years after the Zionist aggression, Israel and its military apparatus, as well as external organs, have learned with certainty the readiness, capabilities, equipment, ability of the resistance, the wisdom of its leadership, the metal of its men, its fighters, its mujahedeen, and the cohesion of its popular incubator, which makes it ready to repel any aggression and to destroy “Israeli” installations wherever they are in occupied Palestine. The “Israeli” arm is no longer long alone, wandering whenever it wanted, and destroying whenever it wanted. A long arm is opposed by a longer arm. The “Israeli” entity no longer accepts any aggressive adventure of its army, as no one knows the dire post-war consequences that the “Israelis” will face, which will certainly not be in their favor, and will no longer provide them with the security and stability they want.

The “Israeli” threats will not work, as it is for internal consumption and to accommodate the acute political problems and crisis that Netanyahu and his staff are experiencing. Today, Israel no longer enjoys the open public cover for its wars, by major countries that were constantly standing by it and justifying its aggression. Today it is under the microscope, given its continuous violations of laws and legitimacy, committing massacres against humanity, demolishing Palestinian homes, displacing them, confiscating their lands, in addition to a growing popular awareness and understanding in European and global societies that sympathizes with the Palestinians and their rights, and criticizes and condemns inhuman practices against them. All this puts “Israel” in a dilemma, making it handcuffed, and in a position of defense in front of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, and not on the site of the attack. All this puts “Israel” in a dilemma, making it handcuffed, and in a position of defense in front of the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine, and not on the site of the attack.

The equation on the ground has changed in terms of quantity, quality, ability, planning and implementation, and this is what forced the enemy to be in an unenviable position, despite the enormous military arsenal it possesses, so that today it is satisfied with provocations and demonstrations, and military maneuvers, and the threat and intimidation it launches from from time to time, in order to vent its congestion, and to raise the morale of its citizens, rather than a large-scale war, which, according to the estimates of foreign military circles following the “Israeli” in its security, will not be in accordance with the estimates of the foreign military services pursuing the “Israeli” in its own right and security.

It remains for the resistance, its role, its readiness, and free decision of it chooses, in the right place and time, as it will not deter it from defending its entire territory and liberating what it occupied when needed.

The “Israeli” era that prevailed from the beginning of the fifties to the nineties, and the entity’s monopoly over the war decision, has passed away, to be replaced by the era of resistance over the area of ​​the region, imposing its will and writing an honorable history for the nation and its people, while it is facing the state of occupation and aggression.

*Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates

التعليق السياسي في زمن المقاومة : «إسرائيل» في موقع الدفاع لا في موقع الهجوم

د. عدنان منصور _

رغم كلّ التصريحات، والتحذيرات، والتهديدات، والتلويح بالحرب، التي يطلقها القادة السياسيون والعسكريون “الإسرائيليون” من آنٍ الى آخر ضدّ لبنان ومقاومته، ورغم المناورات الحربية والاستفزازات، والتحصينات، والقبب الحديدية، والخروق العدوانية المتواصلة للسيادة اللبنانية براً وبحراً وجواً، فإنّ حقيقة لا يمكن تجاهلها، تحيط بالكيان الصهيوني، تجعله مكبّل اليدين أمام أيّة مغامرة يقوم بها مستقبلاً، لشنّ عدوان واسع النطاق، على لبنان، وبالذات على المقاومة فيه، لاعتبارات عديدة لا يمكن له عدم التوقف عندها، أو التغافل عن تداعياتها.

لقد عمدت “إسرائيل” على مدار عقود منذ احتلال الكيان الصهيوني لفلسطين عام 1948، أن تكون البادئة في شنّ أيّ عدوان على دول عربية، واضعة في حسابها، دعماً قوياً من الغرب، لا سيما الولايات المتحدة التي توفر لها الإمكانات والغطاء السياسي، والدعم الدولي أثناء الحرب وبعدها. هكذا كانت “إسرائيل” تشنّ العدوان تلو العدوان، منذ عام 1955 على قطاع غزة، وعام 1956 على مصر أثناء العدوان الثلاثي عليها، وحرب حزيران عام 1967، والعدوان على مطار بيروت الدولي عام 1968 وتفجير الطائرات المدنيّة فيه، والعدوان الذي أسفر عن اجتياح الأراضي اللبنانية عام 1982، وعدوان “عناقيد الغضب” عام 1996 وقصف محطات الكهرباء عام 1999 وصولاً إلى ذروة الاعتداءات، وهي الحرب التدميرية الواسعة النطاق التي شنّها العدو على لبنان عام 2006.

لقد كانت “إسرائيل” في حروبها، تشعر على الدوام بتفوّقها العسكري النوعيّ الذي يجعلها كلّ مرة في موقع الهجوم، حيث كانت تخوض حروبها، وتنقل معاركها الى خارج الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، تقصف ولا تُقصف، تضرب ولا تُضرب، تسيطر على الأراضي وتجعل من الاحتلال أمراً واقعاً، يعززه تأييد وانحياز غربي وقح لها، من دون أيّ اعتبار للقانون والمجتمع الدولي، وللقرارات الأممية ذات الصلة.

كان التفوّق العسكري الجوي “الإسرائيلي” على الدوام يغطي السماء الفلسطينية، يدفع بالعدو كي يتمادى في عدوانه وعنجهيّته وغروره، حتى جاء الوقت الذي بدأت فيه المعادلات العسكرية والبشرية النوعية ترسم خريطتها على الأرض. إذ بدأت مرحلة جديدة مع مطلع الثمانينيات، تؤسّس لمعادلات قوية بدأت تقلب في ما بعد، التوازنات والمعايير، والمقاييس العسكرية التي كانت سائدة لفترة من الزمن، والتي كانت تصبّ بشكل دائم في صالح العدو.

للمرة الأولى وجدت “إسرائيل” نفسها، وقادتها السياسيون والعسكريون، أنهم أمام وضع جديد، وأمام مقاومة يصعب احتواؤها، أو كسرها او هزيمتها، نظراً لما تتمتع به من أسباب القوة، والإيمان العميق بقضيتها ورسالتها، واستبسالها في الدفاع عن الأرض والإنسان. مقاومة مشبعة بعقيدة راسخة، وبالمعنويات والروح القتالية العالية، معزّزة، ومحصّنة بآلاف المقاتلين والاستشهاديين المتعطشين لمواجهة المعتدين المحتلين.

لقد شكلت المقاومة للعدوان “الإسرائيلي” الواسع النطاق على لبنان عام 2006، علامة فارقة ومنعطفاً استراتيجياً كبيراً في تاريخ الصراع العربي “الإسرائيلي”، حيث ألحقت الهزيمة بالجيش “الإسرائيلي”، من دون أن يحقق أهدافه في القضاء على المقاومة، ومن دون أن يتيح لحليفته الولايات المتحدة إنشاء “الشرق الأوسط الجديد”. إذ كانت المواقع والأهداف في الداخل “الإسرائيلي” تقصف للمرة الأولى منذ إنشاء الكيان عام 1948، حيث لم يستطع العدو حتى اليوم استيعاب ما حلّ بجيشه على يد المقاومين، والتداعيات التي لا تزال آثارها تتفاعل، تقلق العدو، وتشكل هاجساً ورعباً دائماً له، يجعله يحسب ألف حساب للمقاومة قبل أن يخوض أيّ مغامرة عسكرية، أو حرب يلجأ إليها.

اليوم ومع مرور خمسة عشر عاماً على العدوان، الصهيوني، تعلم “إسرائيل” وأجهزتها العسكرية، كما الأجهزة الخارجية، علم اليقين مدى استعداد، وقدرات، وتجهيزات، واقتدار المقاومة، وحكمة قيادتها، ومعدن رجالها، ومقاتليها، ومجاهديها، وتماسك حاضنتها الشعبية، ما يجعلها على أتمّ استعداد لصدّ أيّ عدوان، وأن تلحق الدمار بالمنشآت “الإسرائيلية” أينما كانت في فلسطين المحتلة. لم تعد الذراع “الإسرائيلية” طويلة وحدها تعربد متى شاءت، وتدمّر متى ما أرادت. فالذراع الطويلة تقابلها ذراع أطول، والدمار الذي كان يلحقه العدو بنا، لن يكون بعد اليوم بعيداً عنه ومحصّناً بقبَبه الحديدية. كما أنّ الكيان “الإسرائيلي”، لم يعد يتقبّل أيّ مغامرة عدوانية لجيشه، حيث لا أحد يعرف النتائج الوخيمة ما بعد الحرب التي سيواجهها “الإسرائيليون”، وهي بالتأكيد لن تكون في صالحهم، ولن توفر لهم بعد ذلك الأمن والاستقرار الذي يريدونه.

إنّ التهويل والتهديد والترهيب، والتخويف، والوعيد “الإسرائيلي”، لن يجدي ولن ينفع، فهو للاستهلاك الداخلي، ولاستيعاب المشاكل والأزمة السياسية الحادّة التي يعاني منها نتنياهو وشلته. فـ “إسرائيل” اليوم لم تعد تتمتع وتحظى بالغطاء العلني السافر المكشوف لحروبها، من قبل دول كبرى كانت تقف باستمرار الى جانبها، وتبرّر عدوانها، فهي اليوم تحت المجهر، نظراً لخروقاتها المتمادية المستمرة للقوانين والشرعية الدولية، وارتكابها المجازر ضدّ الإنسانية، وهدمها منازل الفلسطينيين، وتهجيرهم، ومصادرة أراضيهم، وملاحقتها أمام محكمة الجنايات الدولية، بالإضافة الى إدراك وتفهّم شعبي متنام في المجتمعات الأوروبية والعالمية، يتعاطف مع الفلسطينيين وحقوقهم، وينتقد ويدين الممارسات اللاإنسانية ضدّهم. كلّ ذلك يضع “إسرائيل” في مأزق، يجعلها مكبّلة اليدين، وفي موقع الدفاع أمام المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين، وليس في موقع الهجوم.

إنّ المعادلة على الأرض تغيّرت كمّاً ونوعاً، واقتداراً، وتخطيطاً وتنفيذاً، وهذا ما أجبر العدو أن يكون في موقع لا يُحسَد عليه، رغم الترسانة العسكرية الهائلة التي يمتلكها، بحيث يكتفي اليوم بالاستفزازات والاستعراضات التي يقوم بها، والمناورات العسكرية، والتهديد، والتهويل الذي يطلقه من وقت الى آخر، تنفيساً لاحتقانه، ورفع معنويات مواطنيه، عوضاً عن حرب واسعة يشنّها، لن تكون وفقاً لتقديرات الدوائر العسكرية الأجنبية المتابعة للشأن “الإسرائيلي” في صالح العدو وأمنه، واستمرار وجوده.

يبقى للمقاومة دورها، وجهوزيتها، وقرارها الحرّ الذي تختاره، في المكان والزمان المناسبين، حيث لن يثنيها عن الدفاع عن كامل أرضها وتحرير ما احتلّ منها حين تدعو الحاجة ويدق النفير.

إنّ العصر “الإسرائيلي” الذي ساد من مطلع الخمسينيات الى التسعينيات، واحتكار الكيان لقرار الحرب قد أفل، ليحلّ مكانه عصر المقاومات على مساحة المنطقة، يفرض إرادته، ويكتب تاريخاً مشرّفاً للأمة وشعوبها، وهي في مواجهة دولة الاحتلال والعدوان.

*وزير الخارجية والمغتربين الأسبق

Israel asked Russia’s Help in Returning an Israeli ‘Girl’ Arrested in Syria

 ARABI SOURI 

Russia President Putin and Israel War Criminal Netanyahu

Israel is pressuring its Russian ally to secure a release of an ‘Israeli girl arrested after Syria by mistake’ offering to release two kidnapped Syrians in exchange, multiple sources confirmed.

SANA, the Syrian official news agency, reported on the news and confirmed there’s a Russian mediation ongoing effort to release the ‘girl’ in exchange with Nihal Al Maqt and Dhiyab Qahmouz, two Syrians kidnapped by the illegal Israeli occupation forces in the Syrian Golan.

Nihal Al Maqt, the sister of the legendary ‘Syrian Mandella’ activist Sidqi Al Maqt who spent 32 years in Israeli detention centers and was released 8 months after Russian military police operating in Syria snatched part of the remains of an Israeli IDF terrorist killed in Lebanon and was buried in the Yarmouk Camp for Palestinian refugees in Damascus.

Syrian Hero Nihal Al Maqt from the Golan kidnapped by Israel
Syrian Hero Nihal Al Maqt from the Golan kidnapped by Israel
Syrian Hero Dhiyab Qahmouz from the Golan kidnapped by Israel
Syrian Hero Dhiyab Qahmouz from the Golan kidnapped by Israel

Nihal was sentenced last June 2020 by a so-called ‘Israeli court’ to 3 years in an Israeli detention center, she’s been prosecuted since 2017 for campaigning to release her brother Sidqi Al Maqt from the Israelis.

Dhiyab Qahmouz was kidnapped from the Syrian village of Al Ghajar in the occupied Syrian Golan in September 2016 along with his two brothers and his cousin, he’s been held captive by Israel since.

Israelis kidnap Syrians, Lebanese, and Palestinians from their homes to later use them in its bargaining deals to secure the release and return of its people killed and arrested in Syria and Lebanon, it does so to boost the ever-diminishing morale among its settlers that they have some value. There are thousands of women, children, and men held captive in Israeli detention centers and Israel refuses all international ‘shy’ requests to release them, of course, no such requests come from its sponsors in the fake humanitarian NATO countries.

Ever since the European radical settlers were exported to Palestine early last century and the region suffers from one war crime after the other by those settlers and their western sponsors.

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The criminal court decision is an achievement that must be maintained قرار محكمة الجنايات إنجاز تجب صيانته

**English Machine translation Please scroll down for the Arabic original version **

The criminal court decision is an achievement that must be maintained

Saadah Mustafa Arshid

Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, occupied Palestine.

On the fifth of February, the Palestinian achieved a remarkable achievement, according to what the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs. Judge Fatuben Souda announced: This court found that the Protocol of Rome, signed in 2002, which governs its work, allows the imposition of its legal jurisdiction on the Palestinian territories occupied in the 1967 war, i.e. Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

This resolution marked an important point in favour of Palestine in its conflict with the occupying Power, and represented a happy event in a political atmosphere that did not look good. Although Palestinian diplomacy and some local associations have an undeniable role in this achievement, the role and thanks largely to Mrs. Fatuben Souda, who has always stood against (Israel) in her defense of the Palestinians who are subjected to Anglo Zionist aggression. Mrs. Fatuben Souda was attacked and criticized, especially by the previous American administration, and was subject her to sanctions, including the freezing of her financial assets in American banks and preventing from entering the United States. State Department of the new administration issued a statement expressing concern about the court exercising its powers over the (Israeli) military, while Netanyahu added, saying that the court has proven that it is a political rather than a judicial body, and that such decisions would undermine the right of democracies to defend themselves against terrorism.

The ICC, based in The Hague, was established in 2002 under the Rome Protocol to try individuals accused of war crimes, genocide, killing of civilians and crimes against humanity. The message of the Ethics and Human Rights Tribunal is that it will not allow these criminals to be above legal accountability, to escape punishment for crimes committed by some States. Some countries headed by the United States and Israel, with a black and bloody record opposed the establishment of the court, and later refused to sign the Rome Protocol, and submit to its jurisdiction. The extension of the court’s sovereignty over the Palestinian territories would place hundreds of (Israeli) military and senior officers in the (Israeli) army, facing accountability and the possibility of arrest, and with them, of course, a number of politicians, businessmen and senior corporate managers who are retired officers, in the event that they travel to the signatory countries of the convention. Perhaps this decision will have legal and political dimensions that go far beyond that. On the one hand, this decision will place (the Israeli state) since its establishment under accountability for the massacres against Palestinians and forced mass deportation, which are issues that are not subject to the statute of limitations. On the other hand, the decision recognizes the legal personality of the Palestinian state over the entire land occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and therefore the court refuses to recognize the annexation measures that have been or will be undertaken by (Israel) in Jerusalem and other territories.

However, the sad Palestinian, has become accustomed to a narrow and short space of joy, as experience and history have told him that heroic sacrifices paid on the scale of the nation, homeland, did not have results commensurate with their size and inputs, and that victories, if not preserved, nurtured, developed and invested in the field of politics Perceived, knowledgeable, and driven patriotism, they will be blown off by the wind and sold or given up cheaply. Here lies the concern, and it is worth paying attention to the maintenance of this profit. Life is a struggle that accumulates, not negotiations, as the late negotiator Saeb Erekat put it.

The concern about this achievement lies in two issues, the first is international and the second is internal Palestinian: Internationally, Judge Fatuben Souda’s mandate ended after fierce battles between her and the supporters of official crime and heroes of genocide and war crimes. In the past days hostile actors, led by England, this time, and with the support of (Israel) and the United States, were able to install a new public prosecutor to inherit Mrs. Bin Souda, who is the Anglo-Pakistani lawyer Karim Ahmed Khan, and the Hebrew channels rushed to welcome this news, saying that Karim Khan is the best for (Israel), as well as the United States, and since the decision to include the Palestinian territories under the custody of the Court has become a fait accompli, and it is not possible to reverse it, what Karim Khan can do is to is to delay the procedures, or to put obstacles in the way of hearing cases against the (Israeli) and American soldiers, and possibly tampering with evidence, which makes the decision greatly lose its judicial effectiveness.

Palestinians, circles in Ramallah are optimistic about the return of democrats to power in Washington, and the authority talk about optimism about returning to negotiations, as they see that the atmosphere of the new American president is supportive for that. This is an early optimism that is misplaced, and shall have an impact on the activation of the authority, for the cases filed against the (Israeli) military.

In the last days of 2008, (Israel) launched a massive aggression against Gaza, using the dirtiest and deadliest weapons it possessed, and spared the worst of its hatred, bloody and brutality, to the point that it struck the world at the time with astonishment. The aggression caused unprecedented devastation in Gaza in in all its areas, with 1,285 martyrs, 900 civilians, while 14 (Israelis) were killed, 11 of them soldiers. As a result, the United Nations Human Rights Commission formed an investigation committee, headed by Judge Goldstone from South Africa, and the commission was known by his name later. The Commission, was tasked with investigating whether war crimes had been committed in that aggression. Nearly 600 pages, in which the Commission stressed that (Israel) did not hesitate to commit war crimes, before the aggression by besieging Gaza and imposing collective sanctions on its citizens, and during the war in using civilians as human shields, and throwing phosphorous bombs and shells stuffed with nails, with suspicions of using depleted and undepleted uranium, At the time, local and international human rights organizations celebrated the fair report, as well as the friendly circles of Palestine, but the unpleasant surprise was that the PA, through its ambassador in Geneva, requested to withdraw the report and not discuss it. With the appointment of a new US envoy to the Middle East – George Mitchell, PA has decided that the conditions are ripe for a return to the policy of negotiation, and that the presentation of the Goldstone report would strain the atmosphere of that negotiation, which ultimately yielded nothing.

Today, we wonder: Is the Biden administration about to enter us into a new negotiating pattern, and does the new negotiating system need to calm down the atmosphere that has only been soured by the ICC decision? This is what needs vigilance and attention

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*Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, occupied Palestine.

قرار محكمة الجنايات إنجاز تجب صيانته

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سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد*

حقق الفلسطيني في الخامس من شباط إنجازاً لافتاً، بما أعلنته المدعية العامة في محكمة الجنايات الدولية السيدة القاضية فاتوبن سودا، فقد وجدت هذه المحكمة انّ بروتوكول روما الذي تمّ التوقيع عليه عام 2002، الناظم لعملها، يسمح بفرض ولايتها القانونية على الأراضي الفلسطينية التي احتلت في حرب 1967، أيّ غزة والضفة الغربية شاملة القدس الشرقية.

سجل هذا القرار نقطة مهمة لصالح فلسطين في صراعها مع دولة الاحتلال، ومثل حدثاً سعيداً وسط أجواء سياسية لا تبدو طيّبة. هذا وإنْ كان للدبلوماسية الفلسطينية وبعض الجمعيات المحلية دور لا ينكر في تحقيق هذا الإنجاز، إلا أنّ الدور والفضل الأكبر يعودان إلى المدعية العامة، السيدة فاتوبن سودا، التي لطالما وقفت في مواجهة (إسرائيل) في دفاعها عن الفلسطينيين الذين يتعرّضون لعدوانها والولايات المتحدة واتهمتها بارتكاب جرائم حرب في أفغانستان، والغرب عامة، وتعرّضت للهجوم والانتقاد، خاصة من الإدارة الأميركية السابقة التي عرضتها للعقوبات ومنها تجميد الأصول المالية الخاصة بها في المصارف الأميركية ومنعها من دخول الولايات المتحدة، فيما هاجمتها الإدارة الجديدة عبر وزارة الخارجية التي أصدرت بياناً يعبّر عن قلق أميركا من ممارسة المحكمة صلاحياتها على العسكريين (الإسرائيليين)، فيما أضاف نتنياهو قائلاً إنّ المحكمة قد أثبتت أنها هيئة سياسية لا قضائية، وإنّ قرارات كهذه من شأنها أن تقوّض حق الديمقراطيات في الدفاع عن نفسها في مواجهة الإرهاب.

أنشئت محكمة الجنايات الدولية عام 2002 بموجب بروتوكول روما، واتخذت من لاهاي في هولندا مقراً لها، وجعلت من مهماتها محاكمة الأفراد المتهمين بارتكاب جرائم حرب، وجرائم الإبادة الجماعية وقتل المدنيين، والجرائم ضدّ الإنسانية، فرسالة المحكمة الأخلاقية والحقوقية أنها لن تسمح لأولئك المجرمين من أن يكونوا فوق المساءلة القانونيّة، وأن يفلتوا من العقوبة على ما اقترفت أيديهم من جرائم، عارضت بعض الدول ذات السجل الدمويّ والأسود إنشاء المحكمة، ولاحقاً رفضت التوقيع على بروتوكول روما والانضمام لها والخضوع لولايتها، وعلى رأس تلك الدول الولايات المتحدة و(إسرائيل). من شأن بسط سيادة المحكمة على الأراضي الفلسطينية، أن يضع المئات من العسكريين (الإسرائيليين) وكبار الضباط في الجيش (الإسرائيلي)، أمام المساءلة وإمكانيّة الاعتقال، ومعهم بالطبع عدد من السياسيين ورجال الأعمال وكبار مدراء الشركات من الضباط المتقاعدين، وذلك في حال سفرهم للدول الموقعة على الاتفاقية، ولعلّ هذا القرار أن يكون له أبعاده الحقوقية والسياسية التي تتجاوز ذلك بكثير فمن جانب، سيضع هذا القرار (الدولة الإسرائيلية) منذ قيامها تحت المساءلة لما ارتكبت من مجازر بحق الفلسطينيين وترحيل جماعي قسري، وهي مسائل لا تسقط بالتقادم، ومن جانب آخر، فإنّ القرار يعترف بالشخصية القانونية للدولة الفلسطينية على كامل الأرض التي احتلت عام 1967، بما فيها القدس وبالتالي فإنّ المحكمة ترفض الاعتراف بإجراءات الضمّ التي قامت أو ستقوم بها (إسرائيل) في القدس وغيرها من الأراضي. لكن الفلسطيني الحزين، قد اعتاد على أن تكون فسحة فرحه ضيقة وقصيرة، فالتجربة والتاريخ قد أخبراه أنّ البطولات والتضحيات على جسامتها، التي سفحت على مذبح الوطن، لم تأت نتائجها متناسبة مع حجمها ومدخلاتها، وأن الانتصارات إنْ لم يتمّ صونها ورعايتها وتطويرها واستثمارها في حقل السياسة الوطنية المدركة والعارفة والسائرة نحو الهدف، فإنها ستذروها الريح وتباع أو يتمّ التنازل عنها بثمن بخس، وهنا يكمن القلق، ويجدر الانتباه لصيانة هذا الربح. فالحياة هي نضال يتراكم لا مفاوضات، حسب تعبير المفاوض الراحل صائب عريقات. يكمن القلق على هذا الإنجاز في مسألتين الأولى دولية والثانية فلسطينية داخلية: دولياً انتهت ولاية السيدة القاضية فاتوبن سودا، بعد معارك ضارية بينها وبين أنصار الجريمة الرسمية وأبطال الإبادة وجرائم الحرب، استطاعت في الأيام الماضية الجهات المعادية وعلى رأسها إنجلترا هذه المرة، وبدعم من (إسرائيل) والولايات المتحدة، من تنصيب مدّعٍ عام جديد يرث السيدة بن سودا في المنصب وهو المحامي الانجلو – باكستاني كريم أحمد خان، وسارعت القنوات العبرية إلى الاهتمام والترحيب بهذا الخبر قائلة إنّ كريم خان هو الأفضل لـ (إسرائيل)، وكذلك الولايات المتحدة، وبما أنّ قرار شمول الأراضي الفلسطينية تحت وصاية المحكمة قد أصبح أمراً واقعاً، ومن غير الوارد الرجوع عنه، فإنّ الذي يستطيع أن يفعله كريم خان هو المماطلة في الإجراءات، أو وضع العراقيل أمام النظر في القضايا المرفوعة ضدّ العساكر (الإسرائيليين) والأميركان، وربما التلاعب بالأدلة، مما يفقد القرار كثيراً من فاعليته القضائية.

فلسطينياً، تتفاءل أوساط رام الله بعودة الديمقراطيين للحكم في واشنطن، ويتحدث أهل السلطة عن تفاؤلهم بالعودة للتفاوض حيث يرون أنّ أجواء الرئيس الأميركي الجديد داعمة لذلك، وفي ذلك تفاؤل مبكر في غير محله، الخشية أن يكون لذلك أثر على تفعيل السلطة، للدعاوى المرفوعة ضدّ العسكريين (الإسرائيليين)، وللتذكير، ففي الأيام الأخيرة من عام 2008، شنّت (إسرائيل) عدواناً واسعاً على غزة، استعملت فيه أقذر وأفتك ما لديها من سلاح، ونفّست عن أبشع ما تضمره من حقد ودموية ووحشية، لدرجة أصابت العالم في حينها بالذهول، سبّب العدوان دماراً غير مسبوق أصاب غزة في جميع مناحيها، مع 1285 شهيداً، 900 من المدنيين، فيما قتل 14 (إسرائيلياً)، 11 منهم عسكريون، اثر ذلك شكلت لجنة حقوق الإنسان التابعة للأمم المتحدة لجنة تحقيق، برئاسة القاضي غولدستون من جنوب أفريقيا، وقد عرفت اللجنة باسمه في ما بعد، كانت المهمة الموكلة إليها التحقيق في ما إذا ارتكبت جرائم حرب في ذلك العدوان، عملت اللجنة باجتهاد وتابعت أدق التفاصيل، استمعت للشهود، فأحصت الأدلة والبيّنات، ثم أصدرت تقريرها من قرابة 600 صفحة، أكدت فيه أنّ (إسرائيل) لم تتورّع عن ارتكاب جرائم حرب، قبل العدوان بحصارها لغزة وفرضها عقوبات جماعية على مواطنيها، وأثناء الحرب في استخدامها المدنيين كدروع بشرية، وإلقائها القنابل الفوسفورية والقذائف المحشوة بالمسامير، مع شكوك باستخدامها اليورانيوم المنضّب وغير المنضّب، احتفلت في حينه منظمات حقوق الإنسان المحلية والدولية بالتقرير المنصف، كذلك الأوساط الصديقة لفلسطين، ولكن المفاجأة غير السارة كانت بأن طلبت السلطة الفلسطينية عبر سفيرها في جنيف بسحب التقرير وعدم مناقشته، وقيل في ذرائع السلطة ما قيل مما لا أودّ ذكره باستثناء ما قيل بعد فترة من الزمن، بأنّ السلطة قد ارتأت في تعيين مبعوث أميركي جديد للشرق الأوسط – جورج ميتشل، أنّ الظروف مواتية للعودة للسياسة الراسخة، سياسة التفاوض، وأنّ طرح تقرير غولدستون من شأنه توتير أجواء ذلك التفاوض، الذي لم يسفر عن شيء في نهاية الأمر. نتساءل اليوم: هل إدارة بايدن في صدد إدخالنا في نسق تفاوضيّ جديد، وهل يحتاج النسق التفاوضيّ الجديد إلى تهدئة الأجواء التي لم يوترها إلا قرار محكمة الجنايات الدولية؟ هذا ما يحتاج إلى اليقظة والانتباه…

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*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة.

ROCKETS POUND US BASE IN NORTHERN IRAQ LEADING TO CASUALTIES

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The United States has already started bearing the consequences of the decision of the Biden administration to halt the troop drawdown from the Greater Middle East.

On February 15th, 14 rockets struck the area of the US military base near Erbil International Airport, 4 of them within the compound, 10 of which were near strikes. One private contractor was killed and 5 were injured. In a rare event, 1 US service member was also wounded.

The location of the attack coincides with Turkey’s operation “Claw Eagle 2” which targets the alleged Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions. Most of northern Iraq was on edge, as a result.

Turkey and the US, as NATO allies appear to not be cooperating whatsoever, as they’re pursuing separate goals in largely the same areas of the Middle East.

Ankara’s activities contribute to the chaos of the Middle East situation, as it targets the PKK, while the US mostly targets and is targeted by Iranian-backed forces.

Another US ally, this time one that aligns its activities with it – Israel struck unknown targets around Damascus.

It launched missiles from the occupied Golan Heights, and many of them were intercepted by Syrian air defenses, however, some landed on their targets. It is unclear what was targeted and what the damage was.

There have been no strikes by Israel through Lebanese airspace after a drone was downed, and Hezbollah vowed to attempt to destroy any Israeli aircraft that encroaches on its airspace.

Movements throughout the Middle East are beginning for the US and its allies.

In Iraq, many of the targeted convoys in the last several weeks have reached their destinations.

With a lack of reports of convoy targeting, it would appear that the currently static positions are under threat.

Iran is continuing its movements, undermining US and Israeli influence, and it has had general success in recent weeks. The US is fighting back against it.

On February 11th, a truck moving supplies for an Iranian-backed unit, al-Haydariyun, was targeted near Syria’s border with Iraq.

According to the Resistance Media Network, the truck was targeted by a drone likely operated by the US military.

In Yemen, the US said it would attempt to impose a peace deal, on its own terms. It claims to stop supporting Saudi Arabia’s genocidal intervention. Washington, however, also continues providing defensive services and intelligence.

Following Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech, the time for the US to move has come. In the coming days, the “fight against ISIS” is sure to ramp up, alongside various other movements throughout the Middle East.

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