Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (07 – 13 October 2021)

14.10.2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (07 – 13 October 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine

7 – 13 October 2021

IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

5 Palestinians wounded, including 3 children, in the West Bank

Fishing boat confiscated and 8 IOF shootings at Palestinians’ fishing boats reported at the Gaza sea

IOF shoot at Gaza Municipal Crews putting out a fire at landfill in eastern Gaza

In 154 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 76 civilians arrested, including 22 children, and a woman

Two IOF incursions into eastern Gaza, and two Palestinians arrested while attempting to cross the Gaza border area

IOF arrest Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, head of the Supreme Islamic Council and preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and ban him from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque for a week

3 houses demolished; graveyard bulldozed in occupied East Jerusalem

40 dunums of land received confiscation notice. Works stopped in lands in Hebron and Ramallah.

New settlement road constructed on a bypass road built on Palestinian lands in eastern Bethlehem

Settler-attack: olive trees cut, Palestinian civilians and vehicles assaulted in the West Bank

IOF established 56 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested one Palestinian 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, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. Dozens of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians in Hebron under Israeli military protection.

The Israeli settlement expansion works continued on Palestinian lands and properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity

IOF wounded 5 Palestinians, including 3 children, in excessive use of force in the West Bank: 3, including a child, were wounded in IOF assault on Kafr Qaddum weekly protest; a child in an IOF incursion into Tamun; another child was shot by IOF soldiers in Silwad before arresting him – he was transferred to an Israeli hospital.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 8 times at fishing boats in the Gaza Sea and confiscated 1. IOF opened fire twice on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza and shot at municipal crews putting out a fire at landfill in eastern Juhr al-Dik.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 154 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, 76 Palestinians were arrested, including 22 children and a woman.

Demolitions:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: two residential barracks demolished in Bab al-Shams; graveyard bulldozed; a dwelling dismantled in Abu Nowar Bedouin community.
  • Hebron: cease-construction notice served against a land in Yatta
  • Ramallah: lands bulldozed and cease-construction notice served in Ni’lin
  • Salfit: 40-dunums receive confiscation notice in Yasuf.
  • Bethlehem: new settlement road constructed on a bypass road built on Palestinian lands in eastern Bethlehem

Settler-attacks

  • Hebron: 100 olive tree seedlings cut in Tarqumiyah; shepherd assaulted in eastern ad-Dhahiriya.
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: Palestinian civilians, and a vehicle assaulted – one wounded, several windshields smashed in Beit Iksa.
  • Salfit: vehicles assaulted and vandalized

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement

The Israeli occupation authorities continued to ban the entry of dozens of goods, including construction materials, in collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the Israeli closure imposed on the territory entered its 15th year, without an end in sight that would fulfil Palestinians’ right to enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

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

  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 7 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. The shooting continued until 05:30. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:00 on Friday, 8 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 24 September 2021, IOF stationed on the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, northern Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest led by dozens of Palestinians. IOF chased the protestors and clashed with them; IOF fired bullets, tear gas canisters and stun grenades. As a result, 3 Palestinians, including a child, sustained bullet wounds in the back and extremities.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened fire at them, and fired light bombs in the sky, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:00 on Saturday, 9 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. The shooting recurred at 19:30 and 22:30. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Anas S. Mahmoud (17) and Obada M. Abu-Jum’a after assaulting both of them; IOF was forcing civilians out of Bab al-Amoud in Jerusalem. Dozens of Palestinians had gathered in Bab al-Amoud, protesting the ban on entering the area for the past 3 days. Meanwhile, IOF, mounted police, and canines, chased and assaulted Palestinians. Clashes broke out in the area, IOF fired sound bombs intensely, causing terror among the public.
  • At approximately 08:45 on Sunday, 10 October 2021, IOF stationed along Gaza border area opened in eastern Khuza’a, Khan Younis. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 18:15, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:15, on Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along Gaza border area opened fire in eastern al-Qarara, Khan Younis. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed along Gaza border area opened fire at municipal crews putting out a fire in a landfill in eastern Juhr al-Dik, Gaza. They were forced to flee for safety.

Emad Helles, Head of Solid Waste Treatment Department at the Gaza Municipality, told PCHR’s fieldworker:

“At approximately 19:30, four employees of the Gaza Municipality went to the landfill located east of Wadi Gaza, accompanied by a construction vehicle and a municipal water vehicle to put out a fire that broke out there. After they arrived and as they were trying to put out the fire, an Israeli military SUV came and stopped inside the border fence, about 100 meters from their location. A number of soldiers got out of the SUV and opened fire at them. They were forced to flee, fearing for their lives. About an hour later, the municipal crews returned to the place after coordinating with the occupation authorities through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Office. Within two hours, the municipal crew managed  to put out the fire.”

Helles also reported that military drones were flying over the area as the fire was being put out.

  • At approximately 20:00, IOF assaulted Palestinians in Bab al-Amoud for the 4th consecutive day, chased them in the neighboring areas and assaulted them amidst heavy firing of sound bombs. IOF evacuated the area with force and shut it completely with large police presence. IOF arrested Sultan M. Shwaiki (16) after assaulting him.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 12 October 2021, IOF moved into Tamun in Jenin. Palestinians gathered as IOF entered the village; the soldiers fired rubber and live bullets, tear gas canisters and stun grenades. As a result, a child sustained a live bullet in the left thigh; he was taken to hospital for treatment. Several other Palestinians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation and received treatment in the field.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF gunboats in the southern Gaza sea confiscated a fishing boat (rowboat) and took it to an unknown location. According to fisherman, Ibrahim A. Miqdad (26), IOF confiscated his boat while anchored at 6 nautical miles. At approximately 17:00, he went into sea with two other fishermen to the location where they had anchored his confiscated boat. He said that the boat is used for lighting purposes, and the fishermen left it at sea as a mark of where they work. The boat had a generator, anchors, and flashlights on it.
  • At approximately 19:00, IOF stationed near Silwad entrance, northeastern Ramallah, opened fire at a child standing 100 meters away. They arrested him and took him to a hospital in Israel. The wounded child is 15-year-old Yanal Haytham Ameen Hamed.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF assaulted Palestinians in Bab al-Amoud for the 5th consecutive day, chased them in the neighboring areas and assaulted them amidst heavy firing of sound bombs. IOF evacuated the area with force and shut it completely with large police presence. IOF fired sound bombs, and pumped sewage water at shops, vehicles, and passersby, making the whole area smell unbearably foul. Nonetheless, dozens of Palestinians gathered in protest to IOF practices. Meanwhile, several armed settlers came and provoked Palestinians, insulting them and threatening them. IOF assaulted the Palestinians violently, and arrested 4 children: Yehia Badran (16), Hamza al-Shaweesh (16), Mohammed Abu Snaina (16), and Montaser al-Hassouni (15).
  • At approximately 02:00 on Wednesday, 13 October 2021, IOF moved into Beit Ummar, northern Hebron, and raided Issa Ibrahim Ekhlail’s (24) house. They searched the house and withdrew later. The clashed with Palestinians in the area, fired tear gas and sound bombs at them; the locals threw rocks at the military reinforcements. As a result, several Palestinians suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. IOF soldiers deployed in the area, and smashed Rebhi Tumar Ekhlail’s windshield. IOF later withdrew.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 13 October, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 6 nautical miles and opened fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF assaulted Palestinians in Bab al-Amoud for the 6th consecutive day, chased them in the neighboring areas and assaulted them amidst heavy firing of sound bombs. IOF evacuated the area with force and shut it completely with large police presence. IOF fired sound bombs, and pumped sewage water at shops, vehicles and passersby, making the whole area smell unbearably foul. IOF stopped a vehicle near Musrara roundabout, assaulted the passengers and forced them out while assaulting them. IOF also chased a 16-year-old in the area, causing him to fall and break his leg.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 07 October 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00, IOF arrested Islam Mahmoud Shahwan (25), after raiding and searching his house in Hable village, south of Qalqilya.
  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Mahmoud Khalil Abu Tarboush (46), and his son, Mohammed (19), after raiding and searching their houses in ‘Azza refugee camp, north of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Adham Mohammed Abu Srour (16), after raiding and searching his house in Dawha, west of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested 3 civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Wadi al-Far’a village, south of Tubas governorate. The arrestees are: Abdul Naser Mustafa Abdul Raziq (56), his son Hussam (26), and Basheer Ghassan Abu Khaizaran (45).
  • At approximately 03:10, IOF arrested Yousef Ibrahim Mustafa Afana (22), after raiding and searching his house in Tal village, southwest of Nablus governorate.
  • At approximately 05:10, IOF arrested Hasan Mohammed al-Zaghal (23), after raiding and searching his house in Zububa, west of Jenin.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested Ra’fat Fawwaz al-Zaidani (28), after raiding and searching his house in Dayr Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested the activist Mohammed Abu al-Homos (55), while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Mo’ayad Mujahed ‘Alqam (29), from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron, after stopping his vehicle in al-Mantara area while returning home from his agricultural land. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:05, IOF stationed at al-Jalamah military checkpoint, north of Jenin governorate, arrested Ahmed Bassam Kmeil (26), from Qabatiya, southeast of the city.
  • IOF carried out (9) incursions in Nablus and Jamma’in, southeast of Nablus governorate; Kafr Dan, west of Jenin; Sa’ir, Bayt Kahil, Yatta and Surif villages in Hebron; Beitunia, west of Ramallah governorate; and Jericho. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 08 October 2021

  • At approximately 00:55, IOF stationed at al-Hamra military checkpoint, north of Ramallah, arrested Izz al-Dein Emad Ghareeb, from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin governorate, while passing through the abovementioned checkpoint.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF arrested Nimir Talal Zakarnah (22) and his brother, Mohammed (24), after raiding and searching their house in Qabatiya, southeast of Jenin governorate.
  • At approximately 11:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud Zuhair Ishteiwi (26), while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested (4) children from al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees are: Mohammed Hamza Obaid (13), Montaser Naser Sabtah (15), Fares Ahmed Obaid (14) and Mohammed Alaa Obaid (14).
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Hisham al-Khateeb (32), after raiding and searching his house in al-Jadawil area in Bayt Jala, east of Bethlehem governorate.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron and Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron governorate; and Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Saturday, 09 January 2021

  • IOF carried out (15) incursions in Arraba, Zububa, Ti’anik, Rumana, Tayibe and ‘Anin villages in Jenin governorate; ‘Anata, Kafr al-Labad, Shufa and Far’un villages in Tulkarm governorate; Dayr Balut and Kafr Thulth in Salfit governorate; Halhul, Surif and Bani Na’im in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested (4) children after raiding and searching their houses in Bayt Fajar. The arrestees are: Mousa Mohammed Dairiyyah (17), Reda Hisham Deiriyyah (16), Radi Mahmoud Deiriyyah (16), and Mohammed Rami Taqatiqah (15).
  • At approximately 06:30, a group of undercover “Mista‘arvim” (Israeli Special Unit dressed like Palestinian civilians) sneaked into Jenin, using a Tundra. Four Mista’rivim get out of the tundra carrying bags and stationed on Abu Bakr street, in the city center, and then arrested Bahaa Ibrahim Abu al-Yaja (30), from Jenin refugee camp, west of the city.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Saleem Sheikha, along with his daughter, Nada, after raiding and searching their house in Anata, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF arrested Ikrama Sa’eed Sabri (82), the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, after raiding and searching his house in al-Sawana neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

After releasing Sabri he stated that IOF stormed his house, arrested him, took him to Moscovia Investigation Center and interrogated him for 6 consecutive hours. He clarified that he was interrogated about his speeches in Bab al-Rahma prayer area (Golden Gate), as he was accused of calling for riots inside al-Aqsa Mosque. Sabri indicated that he denied all the charges against him and released on conditions that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for a week.

  • At approximately 13:00, IOF summonsed Jamal ‘Amro (65), a specialist in the Jerusalem Affairs, for investigation at Moscovia Investigation Center in West Jerusalem, after raiding and searching his house in Thuri neighborhood, south of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Mus’ab Obaidiyyah (27), while present near al-Asbat Gate (Lions’ Gate), one of the Aqsa Mosque’s Gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (10) incursions in Usarin, Bayt Wazan, Beit Iba and Sarra in Nablus governorate; Arraba, Silat al-Harithiya, ‘Anin, Tayibe, Rumana and Ti’anik villages in Jenin governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 11 October 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Saleh Jamal Halabiya along with his brother, Jamal, after raiding and searching their house in Abu Dis village, east of the occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 01:30, IOF arrested Sufian Ahmed al-‘Amour (37) and Eissa Mohammed al-‘Amour (38), after raiding and searching their houses in Yatta, south of Hebron governorate.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Dayr Samet, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron governorate. They raided and searched Dawoud Abdul Wahab al-Horoub’s (36) house, but no arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 02:10, IOF arrested Issam Zeyad ‘Amer (23), after raiding and searching his house in Kafr Qallil village, southeast of Nablus governorate.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested (5) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Beita, southeast of Nablus governorate. The arrestees are: Ahmed Abdul Salam Rayyan (32), Arafat Mohammed al-Rafa (42), Rami Jamal Abu Ayyash (25), Ahmed Abdul Hadi al-Shurafa (28), and Suliman Anis Khudair (26).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested (5) civilians, including a child, after raiding and searching their houses in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem. The arrestees are: Mohammed Khader Sbeih (21), Saleh Rizq Mousa (22), Mohammed Hamad Sbeih (16), Ahmed Khaled Mousa (19), and Jehad Omar Salah (22).
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Emran Riyad Haroun (26), after raiding and searching his house in Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF arrested Anas Taqateqa (30), after raiding and searching his house in Umm Salmuna village, south of Bethlehem.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Tulkarm, Far’un, Tulkarm refugee camp and Nur Shams refugee camp, in Tulkarm governorate. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 12 October 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Jehad Omar al-Sir (22), after raiding and searching his house in al-Khader, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Hisham Abdul Qader Dweikat (19) and Abdul Qader Kayed ‘Adili (30), after raiding and searching their houses in Beita, southeast of Nablus governorate.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Wissam Mousa al-Halayqa (39) and Abdullah Zayed al-Halayqa (38), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Shuyukh village, north of Hebron.
  • At approximately 04:30, IOF arrested Abdullah Ahmed Ikhlayil (25) along with his brother, Saif (22), after raiding and searching their house in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
  • At approximately 03:05, Qassam Majd al-Barghouthi (30), after raiding and searching his house in Kaubar, north of Ramallah.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Mousa Mohammed Ladadwah (35), after raiding and searching his house in Abu Shukhaydam village, north of Ramallah.
  • At approximately 05:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Maher Zaytoun (13) and Jehad Kayed al-Rajabi (10), after raiding and searching their houses in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Ayham Sufian al-Hedra (13), after getting out of his school in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Nuba and Dura villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 12 October 2021

  • At approximately 00:30, IOF arrested Mahmoud Ali al-Douri (17) and Qusai Mousa al-Nouri (17), after raiding and searching their houses on al-Saf street in central Bethlehem.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Nedal Mahmoud Ibdah (44), after stopping him on a temporary military checkpoint established near Hares village, north of Salfit.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Ahed Yousef al-Shomali (22) and Ahmed Mohammed Nasri (28), after raiding and searching their houses in Beit Sahur, east of Bethlehem governorate.
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF arrested Murad Barakat Khudair (28), after raiding and searching his house in Beita, southeast of Nablus governorate.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF arrested Mousa Majed Daghlas (26), after raiding and searching his house in Burqa village, northwest of Nablus governorate.

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

Demolitions, Confiscations, and Notices

  • At approximately 08:00 on Thursday, 07 October 2021, IOF demolished 2 residential barracks belonging to Murad and ‘Omran Mohammed Za’atrah for the third time in al-Zanbah area known as Bab al-Shams village in Az-Za’ayyem village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem.

‘Abdel Qader Qleib, Mayor of Az-Za’ayyem village said that IOF demolished 2 residential barracks built of wood, tinplate and cloth belonging to Murad and ‘Omran for the third time in a year.  He added that IOF demolished 2 dwellings belonging to the brothers first time on 14 December 2020 only 3 months after their marriage while in the second time their dwellings were demolished on 16 June 2021.

It should be noted that Bab al-Shams village was established in 2014 in az-Za’ayyem village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, upon a decision issued by the Palestinian Cabinet to challenge the Israeli settlement activity in the area.   Days after establishing it and setting tents, IOF issued a decision to demolish the village.

  • At approximately 10:30, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into Tal Ma’in area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. IOF deployed in the area, and the Civil Administration officer handed Sa’id Hamamdah a notice to stop construction works in his land, according to the Israeli Civil Administration’s claims that he infringed upon the monuments in the area.  The Israeli authorities use different claims for the notices they handed to civilians to prevent them from building in Area C.

On Sunday, 10 October 2021, the Israeli municipality bulldozers continued excavation works in al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery adjacent to al-Yousifiyah Cemetery in al-Asbat Gate area in central occupied East Jerusalem.  As a result, bones and bodies of those who were buried there appeared, enticing rage among civilians who gathered to stop the excavations there.

Head of the Islamic Cemeteries Committee in Jerusalem, Mustafa Abu Zahra, said that the Israeli occupation authorities have continued the razing and excavation works to turn al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery into a park.  While working in the morning, bodies of Muslims buried there were exhumed, so parts of their bodies appeared. Abu Zahra added that the Israeli Antiquities Authority claimed when it arrived at the cemetery that the workers made a mistake as the instructions directed to them were to work on the site and lay sand without any razing work because it already knows there is a cemetery there. Abu Zahra explained that desecration of the cemetery is humiliating, shocking and unjustified. He added that it is clear that the attack on Al-Shuhadaa’ and Yousifiyah Cemeteries has been ongoing for years, until the excavation and razing works reached archaeological ruins close to the threshold of Bab Al-Asbat.

Therefore, tens of outraged civilians gathered to protest against the desecration of the cemetery in front of it and performed the Maghreb and ‘Ishaa at the entrance.  After the protesters finished ‘Ishaa prayer, IOF attacked them and fired sound bombs at them to disperse them forcibly.

It is noteworthy that the al-Shuhadaa’ and al-Yousifyah cemeteries have been under systematic attack over the past years. In 2014, IOF prevented the burial at al-Shuhadaa’ cemetery and removed 20 graves of Jordanian soldiers who were martyred in 1967.  Meanwhile, in November 2020, they demolished the wall of the cemetery adjacent to al-Asbat Gate, removed its archaeological staircase, closed the stairs leading to it, and built the street that leads from the gate to the Friday Market along the northern wall to Burj al-Laqlaq, under the pretext of excavation and maintenance works. It is noteworthy that the Islamic Cemeteries Committee resorted to the Israeli court and submitted documents proving that the cemetery belongs to the Islamic Endowments.  At the time, the court issued a decision to ban any works in the cemetery, but after a while, a person was buried there; as a result, the grave was taken as an excuse to abolish the decision. In late July, the court’s judge responded to the Israeli municipality and Nature Authority’s request to resume razing the cemetery land after seven months of issuing a precautionary order to stop it. The Yousifiyah cemetery is one of the most famous Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem. It is located to the north of Al-Asbat Gate and houses the graves of Palestinian families who live in Jerusalem. It also includes to the north al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery, where the Jordanian soldiers martyred in 1967 are buried.

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 12 October 2021, Israeli Civil Administration crews dismantled a dwelling belonging to Soliman al-Jahalin in Abu Nowar Bedouin Compound, east of al-‘Izzariya village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, for the second time and confiscated it.

Al-Jahalin said that Civil Administration and Israeli police moved into the area and closed it.  They dismantled his dwelling built of tinplate and wood for the second time, and then confiscated it. He added that he lived in the 45-sqm dwelling with his wife and 6 children.

It should be noted that the occupation authorities have sought for years to empty the Bedouin compounds of their residents in East Jerusalem to implement its settlement projects and turn the eastern West Bank into a complete Israeli settlement area.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and a bulldozer and accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into southern Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. IOF deployed in the area while the bulldozer levelled part of an agricultural land.  The Civil Administration officer handed notices to stop construction works under the pretext of unlicensed building.
Affected PersonFamilyChildrenFemaleNotified FacilityArea
Munir Mnawar Ahmed ‘Orabi633A plot of land, where sand piles were put100 sqms
Ahmed ‘Awad Ahmed Mustafa532Retaining walls160sqms

Ahmed Mustafa said that last year IOF demolished in the same area around 600 meters of retaining walls around a 4-dunum plot of land although he prepared the legal papers necessary for the construction license and received a receipt from the Israeli Civil Administration.  Today after building the walls again, IOF handed him another notice for the same land.

  • On Wednesday, 13 October 2021, IOF’s vehicles levelled lands in ‘Osh Ghorab area in Beit Sahour, east of ‘Osh al-Ghorab in Beit Sahour to build a new settlement road leading to the bypass road on the eastern village land.

Director of the Wall and Settlement Commission in Bethlehem, Hasan Ibreijiyeh, said that the settlement road connects ‘Osh Ghorab area with bypass road established on eastern Bethlehem that leads to the settlement established there and connecting it with Har Homah Settlement established on Abu Ghoneim Mount area, east of occupied East Jerusalem.  Breijiyeh added that the settlement road of 670 meters will annex around 2 dunums from Beit Sahour., and that the settlement project in the area will threaten the surrounding areas of 100 dunums, noting that the area has been declared as a military zone where Palestinians are denied access.

  • At approximately 18:00, the Israeli occupation authorities notified to confiscate tens of dunums from Yasuf village lands, east of Salfit, in favor of Tafouh settlement expansion at the expense of the village.
  • Head of the village council, ‘Abdullah ‘Abiyah, said that the Israeli authorities notified a number of villagers to confiscate 40 dunums of 160 dunums in favor of the expansion works in Tafouh settlement and gave them a month to appeal. The Israeli authorities changed this land from agricultural to residential area for the Israeli compounds in 2016 in the eastern area of the village

Settlers’ attacks on civilians and their property:

  • On Thursday morning, 07 October 2021, a group of settlers from “Telem” settlement established on the Palestinian lands of al-Teeba area in Turqomiya, northwest of Hebron cut more than 100 olive seedlings planted 3 years ago in a land belonging to ‘Aziz Jamil Ja’afrah.  Ja’afrah planted the seedlings after the settlers uprooted olive seedlings from his land in August 2020. Only 12 dunums of the land were reclaimed out of 40 dunums, which belonging to the family, within the lands declared by the occupation authorities as State Property in 1982 and where Palestinians are not allowed to reclaim their lands.
  • At approximately 01:00 on Friday, 08 October 2021, a group of Israeli settlers attacked a vehicle belonging to Mohammed Mahmoud Samrin (18) when he was with his 4 cousins on Yafa Street in West Jerusalem. They assaulted him with a sharp tool, causing deep wound in his hand.

Mahmoud Samarin, Mohammed’s father, said that his son was with 4 of his cousins heading at 01:00 from Silwan to Yafa Street in Wedt Jerusalem to buy lunch when a group of settlers intercepted their vehicles and attacked his son by stabbing him with a sharp tool 3 times and damaged the vehicle.  Samarin said that his son sustained a deep injury in his hand that required 30 stitches.  Samarin said that he went to the Hadassa al-‘Isawiya Hospital to see his son, but he was surprised that the medical crews there did not take care of his son and decided to discharge him from the hospital although he was very tired.  When they were on their way out from the hospital to go home, his son fainted, so he took him back to the hospital.  He added when they were at the Emergency Department with his brother, ‘Alaa’, the medical crews there asked them to leave; they were treated in a very humiliating way and pushed out of the department.  When the father refused leaving his son unconscious alone, the emergency crew called the hospital security, who assaulted the father and his brother.  Few minutes later, police raided the department, arrested  and assaulted them and along with Mahmoud’s cousins, Mohammed Issa Samarin and Mohammed Ziad Samarin; there were beaten and electrically shocked.  They were then taken to Salah al-Deen police station and after hours they were tried and it was decided to release them on bail of 500 shekels for each and house arrest for 3 days.

  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 09 October 2021, a group of Israeli settlers broke the windows of civilians’ cars in Beit Iksa village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem.

Mayor of Beit Iksa, Sa’adah al-Khatib, said that settlers of Har Shamwil settlement complex established on the village lands broke windows of 5 vehicles parked near the gates separating the village lands from occupied East Jerusalem.  The cars’ owners are forced to park there before going to their workplaces.  Sa’adah added that the settlers have sought to isolate the area and to be used by the villagers.  He said four months ago there was a similar incident when settlers burnt four vehicles in the same area, broke their windows and punctured the tires.

  • At approximately 16:00, settlers from Sham’ah settlement established on the Palestinian lands that were confiscated from eastern Ad-Dhariya village, south of Hebron, assaulted Sa’id Mahmoud Khdeirat (44) when he was herding his sheep in the pastoral lands near Zanouta village, forcing him to leave the area under threat.  They chased him and one of them pushed him to the ground.  A number of villagers then arrived and took him to a clinic in Ad-Dhariya village.
  • At approximately 05:00 on Wednesday, 13 October 2021, a group of settlers assaulted Palestinians’ vehicles parked at the western entrance to Merda village in Melh al-Ghoul neighborhood in Salfit. The settlers punctured some of the vehicles’ tires and wrote racist slogans on vehicles and walls.

Dr. Manif al-Khafsh said that at the Dawn prayer, residents of Melh al-Ghoul neighborhood woke up to see that their vehicles were attacked by settlers while they were asleep.  Their tires were also punctured while hostile slogans were written on the vehicles and walls. The vehicles belong to Hussam Hassan ‘Abdullah Suleiman, Yasser Ibrahim Ibdah, Sa’eed ‘Awad Ibdah, Shawkat Shawqi Abu Baker and his two brothers, Nader and Imad. 

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

The Gaza Strip:

The Israeli authorities continued to impose collective punishments against the people of the Gaza Strip, including tightened restrictions on imports and exports, causing a serious deterioration in Palestinians’ enjoyment of their economic and cultural rights.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 56 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested one of them. IOF reinforced its restrictions on civilians’ freedom of movement at its permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and shut some checkpoints for several hours on multiple occasions.

Here follows PCHR documentation of restrictions on the freedom of movement and IOF-established temporary checkpoints across the West Bank this week:

Jerusalem:

  • On Sunday, 10 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint in al-Sheikh ‘Anbar neighborhood in al-Tour neighborhood.
  • On Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at Joret al-‘Inab Intersection in Silwan village.

Ramallah:

  • On Friday, 08 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and al-Mazra’a ash-Sharqiya villages.
  • On Sunday, 10 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint under ‘Ein Yabrud Bridge.
  • On Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints on the main road leading to al-Jalazone refugee camp near Beit El settlement and on al-Dalb Valley Road near Ras Karkar village.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 07 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the southern Jericho entrance.
  • IOF also tightened its military restrictions at al-Hamra military checkpoint, north of Jericho, blocking traffic.
  • On Saturday, 09 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the ‘Ein Dyouk village intersection and at the northern entrance to Jericho.

Bethlehem

  • On Thursday, 07 October 2021, IOF established closed al-Container checkpoint and reopened it after 30 minutes, blocking traffic, IOF also established 3 military checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Teqoa villages and ‘Aqbet Hasnah area.
  • On Friday, 08 October 2021, IOF tightened restrictions at the Container checkpoint and blocked traffic. IOF also established 4 checkpoints at Janata, Teqoa and Beit Fajjar villages and in ‘Aqbet Hasnah area.
  • On Sunday, 10 October 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Teqoa, Beit Fajjar, Nahalin and Wadi Foqin villages.
  • On Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints in ‘Aqbet Hasnah area and at the entrance to Teqoa village.
  • On Tuesday, 12 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Nahalin village.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 07 October 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at entrances to Beit Ummar, Sa’ir and Bani Na’im villages.
  • On Friday, 08 October 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to northern Yatta, Beit ‘Awwa, Bani Na’im villages and southern Hebron.
  • On Saturday, 09 October 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawwar refugee camp, Surif village, Western Hebron and Beit ‘Aynoun Road.
  • On Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Ummar, al-Hadab, Beit ‘Aynoun, al-Fawwar refugee camp and southern Hebron.
  • On Wednesday, 13 October 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to western Hebron, Surif village and northern Yatta.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 08 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at ‘Arraba village Intersection in Jenin.
  • On Saturday, 09 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at ‘Arraba village Intersection in Jenin.
  • On Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at Kufeirit village intersection in Jenin.

Nablus:

  • On Thursday, 07 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Bita village in Nablus.
  • On Friday, 08 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the Shavi Shamron intersection and at Deir Sharaf Intersection in Nablus.
  • On Monday, 11 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at al-Moraba’ah intersection in Nablus.

Qalqilya:

  • On Saturday, 10 October 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at entrance to the entrances to Qalqilya, Seer, ”Azoun, Kafr Thulth and ‘Izzbt-Atabib villages in eastern Qalqilya.

‘Israel’ Plans to Expand Settlements near Occupied East Al-Quds, Golan Heights

October 12, 2021

‘Israel’ Plans to Expand Settlements near Occupied East Al-Quds, Golan Heights

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist entity plans to construct hundreds of new settler units near occupied East al-Quds and the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights, despite international outcry against the Tel Aviv regime’s unlawful land grab policies.

According to a report published by TV7 ‘Israel’ news channel, Karta Company will build 104 settler units and several commercial structures in Har Gilo settlement, about five kilometers south of al-Quds.

Karta chairman Amichai Neiman described the multi-million-dollar project as “strategically important” since “it would be located at one of the highest points of the holy city, along the light railway and with a breathtaking view.”

He said the project is among those his company is set to undertake across al-Quds, including construction of thousands of settler units.

About 600,000 Zionist occupy over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

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

All ‘Israeli’ settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land.

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

The occupation regime seized the Golan Heights from Syria in the closing stages of its 1967 Six-Day War on Arab countries, which also saw the regime occupy the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip.

Tel Aviv unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 in a move not recognized by the international community.

Syria has repeatedly reaffirmed its sovereignty over the Golan Heights, saying the territory must be completely restored to its control.

المطلوب فلسطينياً في عام الانتظار

أكتوبر/ 7تشرين الأول 2021

 سعادة مصطفى أرشيد*

جرى الاتصال الأول بين الرئيس الفلسطيني والرئيس الأميركي بعد سنة تقريباً من انتخاب الأخير، وكان ذلك أثناء معركة سيف القدس بين المقاومة في غزة والاحتلال، وكما كان بسبب تداعياتها والخشية الأميركية – «الإسرائيلية» من امتدادها شعبياً للضفة الغربية وللداخل الفلسطيني المحتل، فالشعب الفلسطيني كان قد أبدى حتى حينه، مقداراً عالياً ولافتاً من التوحد في الدفاع عن القدس، وذلك في المقدمات التي سبقت المواجهة العسكرية (سيف القدس)، والتي رفعت راية القدس واتخذتها عنواناً، الأمر الذي تجلى في مواجهات باب العمود، ثم حي الشيخ جراح وتهجير سكانه من الفلسطينيين وإسكان مستوطنين غاصبين غرباء في بيوتهم، وفي الدفاع عن المسجد الأقصى في مواجهة الجمعيات التلمودية والاستيطانية المتطرفة والمدعومة من جهات سياسية عليا في تل أبيب، ونذكر كيف زحف الفلسطينيون من سائر الضفة الغربية ومن أعالي الجليل إلى النقب، وفي أجواء القيظ والحر وصيام رمضان، واجتازوا كلّ العراقيل التي وضعت في طريقهم للوصول بأعدادهم الغفيرة للرباط في باحات الحرم القدسي .

في تلك المهاتفة اليتيمة، أسمع الرئيس الأميركي الرئيس أبو مازن كلاماً طيباً، طربت له الأوساط الفلسطينية، إذ أكد التزامه والتزام بلاده بموقف قال إنه (ثابت)، وهو ما تسعى إليه الإدارة الأميركية، يؤمن بحل الدولتين، ويرفض السياسات الاستيطانية في الضفة الغربية، كما يرفض أي تغيير في الوضع القائم في الحرم القدسي، ثم على رفض تهجير المقدسيين من منازلهم في القدس الشرقية المحتلة (في إشارة إلى حي الشيخ جراح)، كما أكد أن سياسة بلاده ترفض الإجراءات الأحادية من قبل أي طرف .

تفاءلت أوساط رام الله بذلك وعقدت الآمال العريضة على تلك المكالمة، وبناء عليها تم العمل على عقد قمة بين الرئيسين، وكان الموعد المفترض أن يكون اللقاء على هامش افتتاح أعمال الدورة الأخيرة للجمعية العمومية، لكن اعتذار البيت الأبيض حال دون ذلك، وأذاع حالة من الإحباط، بخاصة عندما رددت الصحافة أقوالاً نسبت لموظفين أميركان كبار، تقول إن ليس للرئيس الأميركي في هذه المرحلة ما يبحثه مع الرئيس أبو مازن، الأمر الذي تجلى في عدم سفر الرئيس إلى نيويورك والاكتفاء بإرسال كلمة مسجلة عبر فيها عن إحباطه، كما عن تساؤله حول جدية ما قاله الرئيس بايدن له، وعن شكوكه في المسار السياسي الذي سار فيه والذي لم يأت بنتيجة، هكذا قال أبو مازن .

طرح الرئيس في خطابة المسجل ما يبدو وكأنه يمنح العالم و»إسرائيل» فرصة أخيرة، ومهلة مقدارها سنة واحدة، وذلك للعودة إلى مسار عملية التفاوض الذي يؤتي نتائج تحقق إقامة الدولة الفلسطينية على حدود الرابع من حزيران 1967، وإلا فإنّ القيادة الفلسطينية ستكون مضطرة للذهاب باتجاه خيارات أخرى ستكون على طاولة رام الله وأجندتها، ومنها العودة للمطالبة وتنفيذ قرار التقسيم (181)، الأمر الذي يطرح سؤالاً استفهامياً كبيراً، إذ طالما أن «الإسرائيلي» ومن ورائه العالم، غير مستعدّ للقبول بكلّ هذه التنازلات فهل سيقبل بالعودة إلى قرار كان قد صدر قبل خمس وسبعين سنة؟ وإذا كان ذلك ممكناً، فلماذا لا نطرحه من اليوم، لا بل لماذا لم نطرح هذا الخيار من قبل؟

يحار الفلسطيني أمام ما تقدّم، إذ إنّ ميزان القوى الحالي هش وضعيف ومائل في غير مصلحته، وأن تعديل هذا الميزان لصالح الكفة الفلسطينية ورفع منسوب القوة، أمر ليس بالسهل ولكنه أيضاً غير مستحيل إن توافرت الإرادة السياسية أولاً، ومن ثم العمل الجادّ والمثابر ثانياً، بعيداً من منطق شراء الوقت وانتظار المعجزة، ومحاولة كل طرف من طرفي الانقسام التنصل من واجباته وتحميل الآخر مسؤولية إفشال الاتفاق، أو وضع شروط تعجيزية، فالموضوع من الأهمية والجدية بمكان يحتاج للاستعداد لخسارة مكاسب شخصية لحساب مصالح عليا، وهو الأمر الذي يبقى موضع شك في ظل بعض من التركيبة الحالية، التي ترى تناقضاً بين مكاسبها وبين المصلحة العليا .

يحتاج الفلسطيني إلى إبداء قدر من الجدية والمسؤولية، وإلى إعادة تعريف المشروع الوطني، وذلك بالشروع في إعادة بناء النظام السياسي الجديد، من خلال انتخابات سياسية، والعمل على إنهاء الانقسام، وفي ظن كاتب المقال أن هناك ظروفاً دولية وإقليمية مواتية لعمل جاد ينتهي بالنجاح – مرة أخرى إن توافرت الإرادة السياسية -، إذ إن لحظه فراغ جزئي يعيشها العالم، تنشغل بها الإدارة الأميركية وتحالفها الإنكليزي – الأسترالي في التموضع في جوار الصين، وتخرج من تحالفها قوى أطلسية – غربية، لطالما كانت في صفها، وتطلب – تأمر – الإدارة الأميركية من حلفائها ومحسوبيها تهدئة الأوضاع وتخفيض التوتر على مستويات عدة، الأمر الملاحظ في زيارة قائد الجيش السوري للأردن، ثم المكالمة الهاتفية بين الرئيس السوري والملك عبدالله، وفي تحسّن العلاقات المصرية – السورية ولقاء وزيري خارجية البلدين على هامش الجمعية العمومية، وكذلك في الغزل السعودي – الإيراني، وفي المبادرة اللبنانية ووصول ناقلات النفط الإيرانية من دون أن يعترضها أحد، وفي عدم ذهاب «الإسرائيلي» إلى جولة تصعيد في غزة واستبدال ذلك برفع مستويات القتل والاغتيال بالضفة الغربية إرضاء لجمهورهم المتطرف .

استعاض بايدن عن لقائه بأبي مازن، بإيفاد المبعوث الأميركي للشرق الأوسط هادي عمرو إلى المنطقة، حيث اجتمع بالرئيس أبو مازن والقيادة الفلسطينية الاثنين الماضي في رام الله، ووفق ما أوردته وكالة الأنباء الفلسطينية الرسمية (وفا) أن الرئيس أعاد على مسامع ضيفة مضمون خطابة المسجل، وذكره بحديث بايدن الهاتفي، وأكد استعداد السلطة الفلسطينية للذهاب إلى عملية سياسية قائمة على قرارات الشرعية الدولية، وعلى عقد مؤتمر تحت رعاية الأمم المتحدة والرباعية، فيما لم تورد وكالة الأنباء شيئاً عما قاله المبعوث الأميركي، أما ما لم يقله أبو مازن، أنّ كلام ليل بايدن سريعاً ما يمحوه نهاره، وأنه في حين يقول للفلسطينيين كلاماً طيباً ولسبب ظرفي مؤقت، فإنه يقول ويفعل من أجل عكسه لصالح «الإسرائيلي» الذي يتمتع بدعمة اللا محدود، كل ذلك يؤكد أن الفلسطيني الرسمي لم يغادر المربع الذي تموضع به منذ عام 1993 .

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*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في الكفير – جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

Zionism’s Anthem: The Danger Lurking in “Jerusalem of Gold”

August 31st, 2021

By Miko Peled

Source

Dome of the Rock Feature photo
Should the Al-Aqsa Mosque be destroyed, the match will be lit by a fanatic settler, but it is decades of Zionist indoctrination and Israeli policies that will be responsible for the destruction.

JERUSALEM — The risk of Israel destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and replacing them with a so-called Jewish temple is real and present. Building a temple in place of the mosque and golden dome that grace Jerusalem today has been a long-time Zionist aspiration, expressed in songs, tales, and, over the last decade, provocations that could lead to the spark Zionists need to raze the Haram Al-Sharif.

One example of Zionist propaganda that lays claim to the Haram Al-Sharf is the iconic Hebrew song “Jerusalem of Gold.” Written by the Israeli national poet Neomi Shemer, it is often presented as a simple song that expresses the yearning of the Jewish people for their lost, historical capital. However, it isn’t hard to see that the song, its writer, and the people who commissioned the song had a very clear political agenda.

The song begins with the following lines:

Mountain air as clear as wine

And the fragrance of pines

Is carried in the evening wind 

With the sound of ringing bells

And in the slumber of tree and stone

Trapped in its dream 

The city that sits alone

And in its heart a Wall

Jerusalem of gold

And bronze and light

To all your songs

I am a violin…

The image of Jerusalem as a lone city sitting alone and secluded, a haunted city with nothing but a past, reflects a romanticized idea that protestant evangelicals and dreamy Zionists share, but it is not a true reflection of the Jerusalem of 1967. The song goes on with the following lines:

How the water wells dried up

The city square is empty

And no one ascends to the Temple Mount

In The Old City

And not a soul goes down the Dead Sea

By way of Jericho.

The city of Jerusalem was divided in 1948 between the newly formed states of Jordan and Israel, and both sides were populated. The Western side was subjected to an ethnic cleansing campaign that emptied it of its indigenous Palestinian population and settled by Zionist immigrants making it an Israeli-Jewish-only city. The Eastern side of Jerusalem, including the Old City, remained in Arab hands and came under Jordanian rule.

The markets in the Old City were filled with people; worshipers on the Haram Al-Sharif (The Temple Mount) prayed; and the water wells were not dried up. Only for Neomi Shemer, who at the time was Israel’s national poet and songwriter, East Jerusalem — and especially the Old City — was empty because, as she put it, “a world without Jews is empty.”

Reading the lines of her song one could almost forget that the Old City of Jerusalem, to which Neomi Shemer was referring, was in fact an Arab and predominantly Muslim city for over 1,500 years. The city also included, among several other minorities, a small, impoverished community of Jews.

Naomi Shemer pictured in July, 2004. Photo | Flash90

A family connection

To add a disclaimer, I must confess that Neomi Shemer was a close friend of my family. Her mother, Rivka Sapir, and my grandmother Sarah both came to Palestine as young Zionist pioneers in the early part of the twentieth century. Even though they settled in different parts of the country — Rivka in the northern settlement of “Kvutzat Kinneret,” a settlement on the banks of Lake Tabariya, and my grandmother Sarah in Jerusalem — they remained the closest of friends for over fifty years. Neomi Shemer and my father were friends growing up, though my father was her senior in age, and the two families were close for decades.

Neomi Shemer admittedly had a deep admiration for the young Zionist men of that generation — men who, like my father, had dedicated their lives to the military arm of the Zionist colonial project, and in fact created the military machine known as the Israeli Army, or IDF.

Determined to “complete the job”

By the 1960s, my father and his generation of officers were all generals and had become the subject of enormous national admiration within the young Zionist state. Their intention — indeed their ambition to “complete” the conquests of 1948 by taking the West Bank and East Jerusalem — was not a secret. Neomi Shemer, like so many other Israelis, shared that ambition, which was an Israel that stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

It wasn’t until May of 1967 that the opportunity arrived to realize the ambition to take the rest of Palestine. Israeli intelligence made it clear that the Arab armies were no match for the Israeli Defense Forces and, with this knowledge, they began to campaign to get popular support to complete their ambition of conquest.

A brilliant campaign

The campaign had several parts. One had to do with perpetuating the lie that the Arab armies were poised to attack and that the “Jewish State” was under an existential threat. This argument was used to pressure the Israeli government, which was at that time hesitant about initiating yet another war, to give the green light to start a preemptive strike.

The other front was more visionary and included the song “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” or “Jerusalem of Gold.” Only Neomi Shemer could have written this song. She knew how to play on the chords of national sentiments more than any other songwriter, and indeed she was tasked with the job. The mayor of Jerusalem at the time was the ambitious Teddy Kolek, who no doubt could already taste having the magnificent Old City of Jerusalem under his control. He had the song commissioned just weeks before the war.

With her background, her ability to romanticize Zionism and the achievements of Zionism, and her deep and personal connections to the generals of the IDF, who were chomping at the bit to start a war, Neomi Shemer was sure to deliver the goods. And indeed she did.

Israel’s nineteenth Independence Day was held on the 9th of May that year. The military parade customary on Independence Day was a more modest version, as the military was already preparing for war. The song “Jerusalem of Gold” was performed for the first time by Shuli Natan, a young female singer who was until that moment unknown and was personally chosen by Shemer. It was an astounding success and, overnight, the song was heard throughout the entire country.

The Temple Mount

On June 4, after two stormy meetings between the IDF top brass and Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, the green light was given to conduct a preemptive strike against Egypt. The mandate from the government was to attack Egypt only. However, there is evidence indicating that the popularity of the song had given impetus to the popular demand for Israel to take the Old City of Jerusalem. This meant opening the war to an eastern front and taking the entire West Bank from Jordan. The generals were only too happy to do this, and indeed they did it without waiting for government approval.

The conquest of the Old City was made all the more dramatic as the song had become popular to the point that it was being constantly played on Israeli radio and in every home. I myself remember the song playing before and during the war, as my father spent days and nights at IDF headquarters and my older brother, a young officer at the time, on the Egyptian front. Then came the famous announcement by Colonel Mordechai Gur, commander of the IDF paratrooper Brigade who took the Old City:

I am not a religious man, but I am touching the stones of the Kotel (the Western Wall), I am touching the stones of the Kotel with my bare hands!”

Later on, Colonel Gur called out what became the most iconic statement of the war: “Har Habayit Beydeynu!” or “The Temple Mount is in our hands!”

Immediately after the war, and once the eastern part of Jerusalem including the Old City was conquered by the Israeli army, Neomi Shemer went on tour to perform in front of the victorious troops who were still at the front. At that point she added the following lines to the song:

We have returned to the Water Wells

To the Market and the City Square

A Shofar calls on the Temple Mount

In The Old City

And once again we will go down to the Dead Sea

By way of Jericho.

Neomi Shemer performing her most famous song, “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.”

Criticism

After the war there was some criticism of the song for its implication that there were no people in the Old City before Israel had occupied it. However, just as the Zionists did not see the Palestinains as people in 1948, Nemoni Shemer did not see them in 1967. In an interview she gave in response to the criticism, she said, “People criticize me because I say that no one was there when it was full of Arabs,” and then she added, “This made me extremely angry. For me a place without Jews is empty.”

A national symbol

It is said that when a conflict is political it is solvable, but if it becomes religious then it is far more dangerous because each side believes that God is on their side. In the case of Jerusalem, and especially the Haram Al-Sharif, the opposite is true. Zionists have been able to create a yearning among non-religious Israelis to see a “Jewish” temple built in place of the glorious Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, as a national aspiration.

It is as though Israel will not be complete until such a temple — the temple of King David — once again sits there instead of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. As I look back at my own childhood, I can recall countless folk songs in which the building of the temple is mentioned and repeated as a yearning, as a national aspiration of all Jews, religious and non-religious, including ones like myself who were raised completely secular.

Quiet can be a dangerous thing

In a video in Hebrew that came out in 2019, one of Israel’s beloved national public figures, Yehoram Ga’on, who made a career as a singer and actor, speaks to this yearning. He speaks about the “injustice” of denying Jewish people access to the Temple Mount, “the holiest place for the Jews.” In this video, he refers specifically to the fact that on “Jerusalem Day” that year the Temple Mount will be closed to Jewish people because it fell on the last day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Ga’on says that the government — or the “kingdom,” as he refers to it — prefers “quiet” over allowing Jewish people to access what is rightfully theirs. “This is a knockout victory [of] the Islamic calendar over the Jewish calendar,” he says, meaning that, because the dates of their holiday collided with ours, we capitulated for the sake of “quiet.” He explained:

The kingdom does not want to mobilize the army, police and border police to face off crowds who call out ‘With blood and spirit we will free Palestine,’ because the kingdom wants quiet.

All we asked is that we too are allowed to enter the Mount — is that too much to ask?”

Ga’on then went on to say that this desire for quiet means that the Jews have to give in and to forgo their own rights, their beliefs, their existence, and that this is a desecration of the memory of those who gave their lives in battle. The video is peppered with clips of Palestinian “violence,” which contradicts the presumption of “quiet,” and proposes that, even with this egregious injustice to the Jews, Israel does not have the quiet it desires because the Arabs are violently demanding more and more.

The innocence of his proposition could make one believe that indeed Jewish Israelis were the ones living under occupation; that Jewish Israelis are denied rights; that they are the ones who are struggling to survive in an oppressive, apartheid regime that wants to get rid of them. Listening to his reasoning — his quiet, reasonable voice — one could almost be convinced that a terrible wrong has been done to the Jews in Jerusalem.

The ability to exclude the context from every argument is a tactic that Zionist propagandists have used for many decades. They gloss over almost an entire century of ethnic cleansing, violence, racist policies, an apartheid regime, and a concerted effort to rid Palestine of its people and its landmarks.

Fifteen hundred years of history, fifteen hundred years of worship, and maintaining what is one of the most wonderful structures known to humanity are meaningless in the eyes of Zionists. As an example, Al-Aqsa and the structures that surround it are older and in many ways more beautiful and certainly more significant than the Taj Mahal. Now imagine someone coming to claim that the Taj Mahal is sitting on an ancient temple and must be destroyed.

Whether it is Neomi Shemer or Yehoram Ga’on, both of whom are Zionist cultural icons, the message is the same: Only Jews matter. As we look at the short history of Israel, we can see clearly that the role of Zionist zealots was always instrumental in achieving Zionist goals. If it weren’t for zealots, fanatic Zionist settlers, there would be no Zionist state, no settlements in the West Bank, and no State of Israel. The Zionist movement was always a step ahead, indoctrinating, supporting, and funding the zealot settlers who then took things into their own hands and created facts on the ground.

Should the Al-Aqsa Mosque be destroyed, the match will be lit by a fanatic settler, but it is decades of Zionist indoctrination and Israeli policies that will be responsible for the destruction. And all that will be left for the rest of the world to do is look at the ashes in shame.

Legalized Apartheid: The Israeli Supreme Court Just Cemented Jewish Supremacy into Law

July 16th, 2021

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

JERUSALEM — In November of last year, an Israeli judge invoked the controversial Jewish Nation-State Basic Law when striking down a lawsuit against the city of Karmiel over funding transportation for two Palestinian students.

In his ruling, the chief registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court, Yaniv Luzon, said that establishing an Arabic-language school in Karmiel or funding transportation for Palestinian Arab students would “damage the city’s Jewish character” and may encourage Palestinian citizens of Israel to move into Jewish cities, thereby “altering the demographic balance.”

Luzon cited Section 7 of Israel’s Jewish Nation-State Law, writing:

The development and establishment of Jewish settlement is a national value enshrined in the Basic Law and is a worthy and prominent consideration in municipal decision-making, including the establishment of schools and the determination of policies relating to the funding of [school] busing [of students] from outside the city.

The students’ father, Kasem Bakri, said of the judge’s decision, “The municipality treats my sons as guests in the best of times and as enemies in the worst of times.” The family was fined 2,000 shekels (roughly $600) and ordered to pay all of the court’s expenses.

The court ruling came just before a Supreme Court hearing on 15 petitions submitted by human rights organizations and Palestinian political leaders challenging the Nation-State Law in December. After only one discussion on the law, the high court last week rejected the petitions and upheld the 2018 law in a 10 to 1 decision.  The single dissenting opinion was from the only Palestinian justice on the court, Justice George Kara.

Swift condemnation of the Supreme Court’s decision

“The Israel Supreme Court approved a law that establishes a constitutional identity, which completely excludes those who do not belong to the majority group. This Law is illegitimate and violates absolute prohibitions of international law,” Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote in a press release. Adalah, one of the law’s petitioners, deemed this piece of legislation “a law that clearly shows the Israeli regime as a colonial one, with distinct characteristics of apartheid.”

Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid
Activists drop a banner reading “Israel: Not a Democracy. Apartheid” from atop the Israeli military court in Jaffa, July 12, 2020. Photo | Activestills

“The Supreme Court refrained from doing what was essential — to defend the basic right to equality,” Dr. Yousef Jabareen, chair of the Human Rights Forum in the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and a former member of the Knesset, said in a statement, adding:

The so-called ‘Jewish Nation-State’ law formalizes in Israeli constitutional law the superior rights and privileges that Jewish citizens of the state enjoy over its indigenous Palestinian minority, who comprise roughly 20% of the population.”

What is the Jewish nation-state law?

In 2018, the Knesset voted to approve the nation-state law by 62 to 55. The basic law essentially legalizes Israel’s apartheid nature and states the following:

  • Exercising the right to national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.
  • The name of the state is ‘Israel.’
  • A greater, united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The director of the land and planning rights unit at Adalah, Adv. Suhad Bishara, helped formulate Adalah’s petition against the nation-state law. “The overriding objective of the basic law is to violate both the right to equality and the right to dignity of the Arab citizens of Israel,” she said.

Additionally, the law promotes Jewish settlement and views it as a national value. It also demotes Arabic from one of the two official languages to a “special status.” With the nation-state law’s basic tenets, Palestinian history and identity are effectively erased from the land.

Emphasizing the law’s notion of Jewish settlement and demotion of Arabic, Amnon Be’eri-Sulitzeanu — co-director of Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli nonprofit focused on Jewish-Arab partnership — said the legislation institutionalizes inequality between Israeli Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel. “It’s creating a situation in which, according to our basic laws, there is a sector in society that is not equal,” Be’eri-Sulitzeanu told MintPress News. “This is something that no democracy can allow.”

In a tweet, Abraham Initiatives advocated for repealing the law, writing that it “establishes the status of Arab citizens in Israel as second-class citizens.”

The nation-state law’s impact

Only a few years old, the nation-state law has already proven it can serve as a legal tool for discrimination and racial segregation.

The Bakri family in Karmiel sued the local municipality over their school transportation costs. Since there isn’t an Arabic-language school in Karmiel, the Bakri children were forced to travel nearly four miles to the town of Rameh for their education. According to the Bakris, the traffic often made the commute more than 30 minutes and cost the family 1,500 shekels (or roughly $460) each month. The family’s lawsuit requested reimbursement for their transportation costs totaling 25,000 shekels (about $7,683).

Nizar Bakri, the children’s uncle and the attorney who filed the lawsuit, condemned the magistrate court’s dismissal of the suit, saying, “The court’s decision wasn’t based on law; it was based on Jewish existence.” Following the ruling, Nizar Bakri filed an appeal with the Haifa District Court. The district court denied the Bakris’ appeal in February but determined the lower court’s reliance on the nation-state law was “fundamentally wrong” and “liable to damage the public’s trust in the courts.”

“The court may have unequivocally ruled that the registrar of the Krayot Magistrate’s Court made a mistake in the use of the nation-state law and its connection to this case, but this ruling should not satisfy the opponents and victims of the nation-state law,” Nizar Bakri told Haaretz.

For Adalah’s Bishara, the district court’s opposition to the magistrate’s court’s use of the nation-state law is irrelevant when it comes to future court decisions, as the grounds for discrimination are officially embedded into law. She explained:

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s explicitly mentioned or not because it’s the legal, constitutional framework that’s there that sets the basic principles of supremacy and of the right to self-determination only for one national ethnic group in the state. This sends a very clear message to all the authorities that you can not only go on with what you have been doing so far in terms of violating the rights of the Palestinian citizens as individuals and as a group, but this will certainly give you more backing to deepen these policies.”

Bishara told MintPress that she anticipates the legislation will add another dimension to Israel’s ongoing discrimination and have huge implications for Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line — not just 1948-occupied Palestine. “Since it speaks about the land of Israel as the historic land of the Jewish people and Jewish settlement as a constitutional value, this combination of both becomes very problematic both in Israel proper and in the Occupied Territories,” she said.

Israel’s long list of discriminatory laws

Globally, the state of Israel touts itself as the “only democracy in the Middle East,” but Dr. Jabareen said the nation-state law “prioritizes the Jewishness of the state over its democratic character,” specifically in “omitting any reference to democracy or equality.” He added:

The nation-state law further marginalizes the Arab-Palestinian community and entrenches Israel’s regime of racial discrimination and deterioration into apartheid. It will lead to more racist, anti-democratic laws, adding to the more than 50 laws already on the books that disadvantage non-Jewish citizens.”

Eyal checkpoint Israel
Palestinian workers cross the Eyal checkpoint, January 10, 2021. Keren Manor | Activestills

According to an Adalah database, Israel has more than 65 laws discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). These laws encompass nearly every facet of daily life, from property and housing rights to citizenship and finances. The following are just a few notable examples:

  • The Admissions’ Committees Law, which permits towns built on state land to deny housing to Palestinians based upon the criterion of “social suitability.”
  • The Nakba Law, which bans groups or schools receiving government funding from commemorating Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign against Palestinians during the state’s founding (known as the Nakba or Catastrophe).
  • The Boycott Law, which prohibits calls to boycott Israel. This legislation effectively outlaws the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • The Absentees’ Property Law, which categorizes individuals who were expelled or fled their property after November 1947 as absentees and thereby having no ownership claims to their properties. However, Jews who lost property during this time are allowed to reclaim their land through the Legal and Administrative Matters Law. These laws are often used to displace Palestinian communities, as has been witnessed in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
  • The Law of Return, which guarantees citizenship to all Jews. No law exists guaranteeing Palestinians the right to citizenship — even if they were born in what is now considered modern-day Israel.
  • The Citizenship Law, which bans citizenship rights to Palestinians living in the OPT who are married to Israeli citizens. Settlers living in the Occupied West Bank are exempt. Israel’s new government failed to extend the law this month, but reunification still remains a significant problem for many Palestinian families.

Codifying apartheid into law

While the principles outlined in the nation-state law have always been part of Israel’s foundation and way of governing, enacting this legislation turns these de facto concepts into de jure ones and opens the floodgates for further inequity.

“This nation-state law is validating racist behavior against Palestinian Arabs,” Kasem Bakri said.

Despite the controversial legislation remaining, Kasem Bakri is steadfast. “I exist here as an Arab person and I have the right to be here,” he said. “Palestinians exist here like the cactus and the olive trees. We will never be gone from here.”

“Israel” Denies Palestinian Families Their Right to Live Together

16 Jul 2021

Source: The Washington Post

By Al Mayadeen

Human rights advocates stressed that “Israel” is turning a fundamental right — to live with one’s spouse and children — into a crime.”

The family reunification ban was enacted in 2003
The family reunification ban was enacted in 2003

Human rights activists reported that the so-called “Israel’s Citizenship Law”, which has been in effect for 18 years, has turned a fundamental right — the ability to live with one’s spouse and children — into a crime, according to a report published by “The Washington Post”.

In cases of family reunification of Palestinian citizens with relatives within occupied Palestine, as in the West Bank, Al-Quds, and Gaza, as well as in several Arab nations, the law prohibits or restricts the awarding of citizenship, residency licenses, and stay permits.

Furthermore, the same report said that advocates described the said Israeli law as discriminatory because it is only applied to Palestinians.

In the aftermath of the Palestinian uprising known as the second Intifada, the family reunification ban was enacted in 2003 as a temporary security measure. Since then, the law has been renewed every year. Israeli lawmakers recently admitted that the initiative continues to gain support, in part due to a desire to preserve Israeli settlers.

Human rights advocates say that Palestinians from Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem) are often among those affected by the Citizenship Law.

Furthermore, Palestinians expect that the new Israeli government — led by two supporters of the law, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid — would renew the law when it comes up for a routine vote this month.

“The Hamas” are Coming: A View of the Violence from Inside Israel

By Miko Peled

Source

There are never Palestinians, never people, only “The Hamas.” The Hamas thinks;” “The Hamas believes;” “The Hamas should know;” “When the Hamas understands, he will stop;” and finally, “When The Hamas is hit hard he will never dare to attack Israel again.”

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — After less than 48 hours in Jerusalem, it’s clear to me that the slaughter in Gaza will not end anytime soon. There is broad popular support in Israel for the endless bloodshed and Benjamin Netanyahu is as strong as ever both domestically and internationally.

According to the Israeli press, Netanyahu and his cabinet all received calls from President Joe Biden and members of his cabinet demonstrating their undying, never-ending, and unconditional support for the bloodletting of Palestinians. As hard as this is to see — particularly from Jerusalem, where I am less than an hour drive from Gaza — there should be no surprise.

When Joe Biden says he is a Zionist, he means he supports apartheid, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine. It means that he will give unlimited money and weapons to Israel to execute the cruelest, bloodiest, most racist policies against the Palestinians, no questions asked.

“The Hamas”

All morning long (and it’s only 9 a.m.) the Israeli TV (all channels) displays guests of expert panelists, former IDF generals, and colonels (who knew there were so many?) who spew lies to excuse, justify, and even glorify the IDF actions in Gaza.

“We all support the IDF and its commanders,” they say as reports of more death and destruction come out of the Gaza Strip. There was some memo no doubt that told everyone on TV to say “The Hamas” whenever they talk about Palestinians in Gaza.

There are never Palestinians, never people, only “The Hamas” — and “The Hamas” is, by the way, male and singular (in Hebrew). “The Hamas thinks;” “The Hamas believes;” “The Hamas should know;” “When the Hamas understands, he will stop;” and finally, “When The Hamas is hit hard he will never dare to attack Israel again.”

Needless to say, none of the panelists are Palestinians. Instead, Israeli news programs have their “Arab Affair” experts on, their “The Hamas” experts, and their experts on the “Arab community in Israel.”

Israeli Jews know enough to analyze, explain and mostly justify Israeli violence against Palestinians everywhere, yet nowhere does one hear that the indigenous people of Palestine — the people to whom this country belongs, and who have been wronged in so many ways — are speaking up.

Regular people — enormous suffering

This morning I received an email from a friend in East Jerusalem. In this email, she poses a question that is perhaps impossible to answer:

Yesterday my youngest grandson who turned 15 at the beginning of this month was walking in our neighborhood towards the barbershop to have a haircut when he was stopped by 10 soldiers who beat him up before letting him go. Why? Can anybody who has any common sense answer me? There were no demonstrations, and the people in our neighborhood were going about their own business. The soldiers were in their full gear and were not in any danger.”

How can one explain the actions of armed, racist gangs who wear an official uniform, who represent the State and use their power and status and weapons to beat and intimidate people who want to live a normal life? It is not unlike trying to understand the actions of former Minneapolis police officer and now inmate Derek Chauvin, who calmly and coldly murdered George Floyd in broad daylight, in front of people holding cameras and taking videos. Can a rational, healthy mind explain any of this?

The bodies of children killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza’s ash Shati refugee camp, May 15, 2021. Mohammed Zaanoun | Activestills

General strike

A general strike was declared in Palestine on May 18 and the subsequent rallies and protests that took place throughout Palestine left several Palestinians dead and wounded. In advance of the strike, some Israeli employers already said that any Palestinian not showing for work that day would be fired. About one-third of the Israeli economy relies heavily on the Palestinian citizens of Israel. In Israeli hospitals, large numbers of doctors, nurses, and maintenance staff are Palestinian citizens of Israel. They have the capacity to bring the hospitals and the Israeli economy to its knees.

It was reported that the supervisor for Palestinian schools within 1948 Palestine in the Northern District already requested the names of any teachers who did not show up for work in Qalasawe and Taibe, two large Palestinian cities. According to Israeli law, the firing of an employee must be done in person and the employee may have a representative and the various unions to provide legal representation free of charge. The big question mark remains: Will Palestinian citizens of Israel be able to avail themselves of this service and this law?

I was also warned by friends that when I come to visit people anywhere in the area of the “Small Triangle” — or the cities of Qalansawe, Taibe, and Tira — to come during the day. After dark, I was warned, the roads are closed because of protests and the police arrest, beat up, and shoot indiscriminately.

Jerusalem

Towards the end of the 1967 Israeli assault on Arab lands, the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem was occupied by Israel, including the Old City and the al-Aqsa Mosque. This assault had enormous consequences and in Israeli collective memory there is one sentence that is the most iconic of the entire war. When the Haram al-Sharif was taken by Israeli forces, the commander reported “Har Ha’bait Beyadeinu” — The Temple Mount is in our hands. The most iconic photo from that war is that of the conquering soldiers by the Western Wall.

The commander, Mordechai Gur, was not a religious man. His soldiers were not religious people and in those days one did not see the religious Zionists that one sees in Israel today. This comment was made because even secular Israelis look at the Haram al-Sharif — the al-Aqsa compound — and believe it should be used as a national symbol, a place that represents something that Israel lost and deserves to take back. And so, the desire to see al-Aqsa destroyed and a structure they call a temple built instead is not merely a religious sentiment but a neo-fascist and nationalistic one as well.

Violence, racism, neo-fascist attitudes, and a toxic mix of religion and nationality make Zionism very dangerous. From Gaza to al-Aqsa, from the Naqab in the south to the Wadi Ara in the north, we are seeing the dangerous elements of Zionism at work.

فلسطين عادت قضيّة عربيّة

ابراهيم الأمين

إذاعة النور | رئيس تحرير جريدة الأخبار الأستاذ إبراهيم الأمين

الإثنين 17 أيار 2021

ثلاثة عقود مرت، وبرنامج العمل الذي تقوده الولايات المتحدة بدعم من دول الاستعمار في أوروبا وتوابعهما من العرب والفلسطينيين، ينجح في جعل القضية الفلسطينية «مسألة إنسانية» تخصّ مجموعة من البشر تواجه مشكلة مع عصابة تستولي على حقوقها المدنية. وتهنا في حروب متنوعة، انتهت الى رفع سقف القوى الحليفة لأميركا داخل العالم العربي ضد التدخل في القضية الفلسطينية باعتبارها قضية لا تخصّ إلا الفلسطينيين، وإلى تشرذم فلسطيني داخلي على شكل تقسيمات جعلت الفلسطينيين يعيشون في عدة مربعات تواجه كل الأزمات السياسية والاقتصادية والهوياتية، من غزة الى القدس والضفة وفلسطينيّي الـ 48، وصولاً الى أهل الشتات. ولم يكن في العالم أبداً من نصير لإعادة الاعتبار الى القضية الفلسطينية كقضية عامة، تخص العرب والمسلمين وأحرار العالم، إلا قلّة قليلة، حافظت على موقفها ودورها حتى اللحظة، متجاهلة كل الضغوط وكل الإهمال وحتى كل المزايدات الفلسطينية نفسها. وهذه القلّة، لم تعد قلّة، بل صارت قوة كبيرة في المنطقة اسمها محور المقاومة بقيادة إيران!
لم يكن يرد، ولن يرد، في عقل أي منخرط في معركة تحرير فلسطين، أن الدور المركزي سيكون لغير الشعب الفلسطيني. ولم يفكر، ولن يفكر عاقل مهتم باستعادة فلسطين، أن يتصرف بمعزل عن الدور المركزي للشعب الفلسطيني وقوى المقاومة فيه في هذه المعركة الكبرى. لكن ما يحصل بين جولة وأخرى من جولات المواجهة مع العدو، أن يخرج علينا، من فلسطينيين ذوي نزعة انعزالية، ومن عرب جاهروا بتحالفاتهم مع إسرائيل، ومن أصوات في العالمين الإسلامي والغربي، من يعيد على مسامعنا معزوفة: بناء القيادة الفلسطينية المستقلة القادرة على اتخاذ القرار المناسب في المواجهة مع العدو، وتحدد سقف المطالب كما سقف المواجهة.

اليوم، ونحن في قلب معركة قاسية هدفها الواضح والمعلن، تثبيت معادلات تعيد وصل بعض ما انقطع من التواصل السياسي والنضالي بين التجمعات الفلسطينية داخل فلسطين وخارجها، تعود هذه الأصوات لتخرج على شكل نصائح لقوى المقاومة أو على شكل ضغوط على قوى وقواعد شعبية فلسطينية. وهؤلاء لا يستهدفون فقط حصر القضية الفلسطينية بكتلة ومكان وزمان، بل يسعون أساساً الى إشاعة وهم بأن المقاومة الفلسطينية قادرة من دون عون جدي من خارج الأسوار على فرض معادلات عسكرية وأمنية وسياسية جديدة. هؤلاء الذين تحالفوا مع الشيطان في مواجهة قوى وحكومات من محور المقاومة بذريعة الدفاع عن الشعوب وعن القرار الوطني المستقل، هم أنفسهم اليوم، من يحاولون الإيحاء، بأن المقاومة الفلسطينية قادرة وحدها، من دون دعم وإسناد حقيقيين، على بناء قدرات عسكرية يمكنها قلب المعادلات. وهم يعرفون تمام المعرفة أن الأمر ليس على هذا النحو، وبالطبع ليس المقصود بهذا الكلام تبخيس الجهد الهائل لقوى المقاومة الفلسطينية في بناء القدرات الذاتية، بل المقصود القول بوضوح إن المقاومة في لبنان لم تكن قادرة على طرد الاحتلال الإسرائيلي عام 2000، أو إفشال حربه في عام 2006 من دون دعم واضح ومباشر وقوي من حكومات محور المقاومة ولا سيما دمشق وطهران. وهذا يقودنا الى تكرار ما قاله يحيى السنوار، قائد حماس في غزة، عن دور قوى وحكومات محور المقاومة في بناء الترسانة العسكرية لكتائب القسام، كما هو ذاته الكلام الذي يقوله قادة «الجهاد الإسلامي» وبقية الفصائل، بما في ذلك جناح رئيسي في كتائب شهداء الأقصى التابع لحركة فتح.

آن الأوان للخروج من الخطاب الانعزالي بحجّة القرار الفلسطيني المستقلّ، والمقاومة خيار وحيد ولا تنتصر من دون سند خارجي


المسألة هنا تتعلق بالمسار المقبل من المعركة. وهو مسار يجب أن يكون واضحاً ومن دون أي محاولة لـ«الزعبرة»، أنه يتعلق بخيار المقاومة المسلحة كورقة أساسية في جعل العدو ينظر الى الأمور بطريقة مختلفة. وهذا يعني أن من غير المتوقع السماح للمتطفلين بالعودة الى لعبة هدفها الفعلي خلق إطار مانع للتقدم خطوة نوعية نحو بناء الجبهة العربية والإسلامية وحتى العالمية الهادفة الى استعادة الحق في فلسطين.

وهؤلاء المتطفلون ثلاثة أنواع:

واحد جرّبناه ولا يزال ينشط باسم السلطة الفلسطينية وبقايا الهيكل المتهالك لمنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية. وهو يضم جيشاً كبيراً يشمل منظّرين ومسؤولين وأكاديميين ورجال أمن ورجال أعمال ومنظومة اجتماعية لها متفرعاتها داخل فلسطين وخارجها. وهؤلاء يشبهون أهل السلطة عندنا في لبنان الذين لا يغادرون مواقعهم إلا طرداً. وسنشهد نشاطاً لهؤلاء تحت عنوان أنهم البديل من المقاومة مع رهان بأن العدو والغرب سيعطيانهم دوراً من جديد. وهم يعرفون مسبقاً أن الدور الوحيد الذي يريده العدو منهم ليس سوى فتح حرب أهلية ضد قوى المقاومة وجمهورها.

نوع ثان، هو الفريق الذي انخرط في مشاريع التطبيع المباشرة، وهؤلاء يمثلون حكومات ومنظومة مصالح معقدة على أكثر من صعيد. وسيعودون الى النغمة القديمة بأن المقاومة ليست خياراً، وأنه إذا قررت مجموعة ما اللجوء الى المقاومة، فلتفعل ذلك وحدها، وهي تكون مسؤولة عما تقوم به، وأن هذه الجهات ستدافع عن مصالحها، وهي واضحة أنها مصالح متقاطعة مع العدو الإسرائيلي. وسيهوّل هؤلاء علينا بأن المشكلة أصلها وفرعها الخلاف الفلسطيني ــــ الفلسطيني، لنشهد ولادة نماذج جديدة كمحمد دحلان ومن على شاكلته.

النوع الثالث وهو الأكثر خبثاً، ولن يكون الأكثر إعاقة للمشروع الجبهوي الجديد. لكنه الفريق الذي اشتغل خلال العقد الأخير على فكرة «الديموقراطية»، وهو الفريق المنتشر في مختلف الأوساط الثقافية والإعلامية وجماعات النشاط المجتمعي المدني، وتربطه صلات قوية بمراكز القرار المعادي في الغرب كما في عواصم عربية لا تهتم فقط بتهديم دول المقاومة الاجتماعية وقواعدها، بل بجعل قضية فلسطين قضية لا تخص شعوب هذه الدول. وقد أنفقت خلال العقد الماضي مليارات الدولارات، وخصوصاً في دول الطوق، من مصر الى الأردن وسوريا ولبنان وحتى العراق، من أجل إشغال هذه الشعوب بقضايا تشكل هماً حقيقياً عند هذه الشعوب، لكن إدارتها لا تتم على النحو المفترض من قبل هؤلاء. وهذه المجموعات عملت على كل الخطوط، من إعلاء شأن التوترات المذهبية والسياسية وتقديم العنصر الإيراني كمركز خطر يساوي الخطر الصهيوني، بالإضافة الى الجهد غير المسبوق لجعل الناس يتصرّفون على أن ما يجري في فلسطين كأنه يحصل في كوكب آخر، بل أكثر من ذلك، عُمل بقوة في بلدين مثل العراق وسوريا على تحويل الفلسطينيين والقوى الإسلامية منهم على وجه التحديد الى خصوم وإلى شركاء في الأزمات الوطنية التي عاناها البلدان.
يعرف هذا النوع الثالث، والأكثر خبثاً، أن ما شهده لبنان والعراق وسوريا في الأيام القليلة الماضية، لم يكن حدثاً عادياً أو مفتعلاً أو عابراً. في لحظات قليلة، عادت قضية فلسطين وقضية القدس لتكون عنواناً حارّاً، جعل الناس يتعاملون مع نصرة الفلسطينيين كقضية تفكير في كل لحظة. وإذا كان هناك من يحاول ابتزاز قوى المقاومة بضرورة انخراطها المباشر في المعركة، فيكفي القول لهؤلاء بأن التنسيق اليومي جارٍ وقائم ميدانياً بين قيادة المقاومة في غزة وقيادة محور المقاومة من لبنان الى سوريا الى إيران وحتى اليمن. لكن المسألة تتعلق بالموجة الشعبية التي تعيد الاعتبار الى القضية الفلسطينية ليس بوصفها قضية تحتاج الى تضامن إنساني، بل لكونها جزءاً من قضية التحرر التي تحتاج إليها كل هذه الدول للتخلص من عبء الاستعمار الغربي المباشر أو من خلال إسرائيل.

وهذا ما يجعل الناس معنيّين بالقول صراحة:

بعد اليوم، ليس هناك على وجه الكرة الأرضية مَن يمكنه التصرف بالحقّ العام في فلسطين. وإن محور المقاومة، ينظر الى ما يجري الآن من مواجهات عسكرية ومدنية وسياسية بوصفها درساً استثنائياً يبنى عليه للمرحلة المقبلة… وإن خيار المقاومة ليس مطروحاً للتشكيك، بل على أصحاب الخيارات الأخرى البحث عن وسيلة إما لإعادة التموضع بصورة تتطلّب مراجعة حقيقية، أو الاستعداد للابتعاد عن المشهد بفعل قوة الفعل المقاوم نفسه.

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القـدس رايتـنـــا – محمد سيف الدولة

 

الصفصاف

في الحروب القديمة، كان لكل جيش من المتحاربين راية، يحملها مقاتل شجاع، يتم انتقاءه بعناية، مهمته الوحيدة هي الإبقاء عليها مرفوعة مرفرفة على الدوام. وكان يكلف بالصمود حتى اللحظة الأخيرة مهما كانت الصعاب او اشتد الكر والفر او حمى وطيس المعركة.

وفى مواجهة احتمالات الهزيمة، كان يوصى بان يكون هو آخر المتراجعين أو المنسحبين، وان يحاول إن جُرح أو ضُرب في مقتل، إن يرفع رايته عاليةً ولو لبضعة دقائق إضافية، الى ان يتسلمها منه مقاتل جديد.

لماذا؟

لأنه فى ذروة القتال حين يكون كل إمرئ مشدودا بكل جوارحه الى ظرفه الخاص من كر وفر، وهجوم ودفاع، وحين تكون حياته على المحك، كانت أطرف الأعين تسترق لمحات خاطفة الى راياتها. فان وجدتها متقدمة ومقتحمة لصفوف العدو، دل ذلك على ان النصر قريب، فزادهم ذلك همة وحماسة وقدرة على التحمل ومواصلة القتال.

وان تراجعت الرايات، أدركوا ان أحوال المعركة لا تسير لصالحهم، فتهتز ثقتهم قليلا او كثيرا، فيتدبرون أمرهم، ويبحث قادتهم عن خطط وتكتيكات جديدة.

 كانت حركة الراية ومكانتها وموضعها أثناء المعارك تقوم بنفس الدور الذي تقوم به اليوم البيانات العسكرية وأجهزة الإعلام وإدارات الشئون المعنوية.

وكان ظهور راية الجيش المهاجم فى قلعة العدو، بمثابة إعلان ان الحصار قد نجح وان الحصن على وشك السقوط.

وان سقطت الراية، واختفت ولم يعد هناك من يرفعها، كان هذا مؤشرا على هزيمة أصحابها واندحارهم.

***

ان القدس بهذا المعنى البسيط، هى رايتنا كعرب ومسلمين، وسقوطها يختلف عن سقوط غيرها من المدن العربية، كحيفا ويافا وغزة ورام الله وبغداد. فسقوطها يعنى سقوط حامل الراية، الذى مات او استشهد او انكسر او جبن عن ان يحمل رايته ورمز أمته.

فالحروب الصليبية التى دارت معاركها من 1096 حتى 1291، شاهدت سقوط عديد من المدن والإمارات العربية والإسلامية في يد الغزاة، ولكن كان لسقوط القدس عام 1099 دويا أليما، وكأنها عاصمة الأمة.

وكذلك شاهدت نفس هذه الفترة انتصارات ومعارك تحرير عربية إسلامية كثيرة فى عهود عماد الدين زنكى، ونور الدين محمود، والناصر داوود الايوبى، والظاهر بيبرس، والمنصور قلاوون.

ولكن كان لتحرير القدس على يد جيش صلاح الدين عام 1187 وقعا مختلفا ودلالة تاريخية فارقة.

 وعندما مات صلاح الدين، كان لا يزال هناك عدد من الامارات الصليبية فى اراضينا، ولكن معركة حطين كانت هى الضربة القاصمة التى توالى بعدها انهيار المشروع الصليبى بأكمله.

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لماذا للقدس هذه المنزلة؟

اولا ــ لما لها من قدسية خاصة منذ أسرى الله سبحانه و تعالى بالرسول عليه الصلاة والسلام الى المسجد الأقصى. وهو الرسول الذى مثلت رسالته، نقطة تحول فارقة فى تاريخ هذه المنطقة، فبها أسلمنا وتعربنا، وخرجت الى الحياة امة وليدة جديدة، كانت لقرون طويلة، واحدة من القوى الكبرى فى العالم.

وثانيا ـ  لان القدس هى البوابة التي كان المعتدون على مر التاريخ سواء من الصليبيين الفرنجة او من الصهاينة، يحاولون الولوج منها إلى أوطاننا، بذرائع دينية كاذبة؛

فهى ارض المسيح التى يجب تحريرها من العرب الكفرة، وفقا لخطبة البابا أربان الثاني فى فرنسا عام 1095 م.

وهى الأرض المقدسة لليهود، التى ذكرت فى التوراة اكثر من 660 مرة، وفيها هيكلهم المزعوم، والتي احتلها الغزاة العرب المسلمون على امتداد 14 قرنا، حسب فتاوى الحاخامات والقادة الصهاينة المعاصرين.

فجميع الغزاة، استخدموا القدس لاختلاق مشروعية دينية مقدسة لغزواتهم، علهم ينجحون بذلك فى انتزاع مشروعية قومية، مشروعية لاغتصاب أوطاننا والبقاء فيها.

وكان رد أسلافنا على مر التاريخ، هو القتال لطرد الغزاة وتحرير الأرض المغتصبة، انطلاقا من الحقيقة التاريخية الموضوعية، وهى ان هذه أرضنا نحن، التى تعربت وتعربنا معها منذ الفتح الإسلامي، وعشنا فيها قرونا طويلة، و لم نغادرها أبدا منذ ذلك الحين، فاختصصنا بها دونا عن غيرنا من الشعوب والأمم.

 أما المقدسات الدينية فإنها لا تعطى وحدها، أهل هذا الدين أو ذاك، أى حق في امتلاك الأرض التى تحتضن مقدساتهم. فالأمم ليست مقدسات فقط، وإنما هي ايضا شعب وارض وتاريخ طويل ولغة واحدة وحضارة متميزة ولا نقول ممتازة.

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وهكذا كانت القدس على الدوام رمزا للجميع: رمزا لهويتنا العربية والإسلامية، وهى هوية صادقة وحقيقة موضوعية ثابتة تاريخيا.

وكانت أيضا رمزا كاذبا ومختلقا ومزعوما للصهاينة ومن قبلهم الصليبيين.

***

وبالتالي فان حماية القدس من السقوط، هي فى الأولوية دائما، لان حمايتها تمثل حائط صد ضد تحصين الاغتصاب الصهيوني بمشروعية دينية زائفة.

ولان الدفاع عنها هو دفاع عن اختصاصنا التاريخي بكل فلسطين، بل وكل الأرض العربية.

ولأنها قضية لا يملك أحدا فى السلطة الفلسطينية من جماعة أوسلو، ان يدعى اختصاصه وانفراده بها، فهى قضية كل العرب مسلمينو ومسيحيين وكل المسلمين من غير العرب، وليست قضية فلسطينية فقط، وهو ما يستدعى من ناحية أخرى إخراجها من أجندة المفاوضات العبثية بين السلطة والصهاينة.

ولأنها قادرة برمزيتها المقدسة، على تعبئة جماهيرنا في كل مكان للاشتباك مع العدو الصهيوني، فهي البوابة الأنسب لهذه المهمة.

وأخيرا وليس آخرا، لأنها قضية ملحة وعاجلة، حيث يقوم العدو الآن بتصعيد وتكثيف العدوان عليها، لهضمها وابتلاعها فى اقرب وقت.

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التهويد قديم :

ومسلسل اغتصاب القدس وتهويدها قديم، بدأ منذ بدايات الانتداب البريطاني على فلسطين عام 1922، عندما تركزت الهجرات اليهودية الوافدة، غرب المدينة القديمة، لتكون نواة ما يسمونه الآن بالقدس الغربية. ثم توالى المسلسل باغتصاب القدس الغربية عام 1948 ضمن ما تم اغتصابه من فلسطين. وقام الصهاينة بطرد ما يقرب من 60 ألف عربي منها. ثم جاء احتلال ما تبقى من فلسطين عام 1967، وما تلاه عام 1980من ضم القدس الشرقية إلى الغربية تحت اسم القدس الموحدة عاصمة لدولة الكيان. لتتابع الاعتداءات ببناء أحزمة من المستوطنات لحصار المدينة القديمة من الشرق لعزلها عن محيطها العربي، والحيلولة دون امتدادها وتوسعها فى هذا الاتجاه ايضا، لوأد أى مشروع لاسترداد القدس الشرقية فى اى مفاوضات مستقبلية. وذلك من خلال زرع اكبر عدد من المستوطنات والمستوطنين الصهاينة فى القدس الشرقية ليبلغ عددهم فيها اليوم ما يزيد عن 300 ألف مستوطن، ويبلغ عددهم فى الضفة الغربية ما يقرب من 700 الف.

ولنتذكر معا أن جملة عدد اليهود فى كل فلسطين عام 1917 لم يتعدَ 60 الف، وهو ما جعلهم يكتفون بطلب حق اقامة وطن قومى لهم هناك، ولكن عام 1947 عندما بلغ عددهم 650 الف، كان لديهم الجرأة ان يطالبوا بدولة وليس بمجرد وطن، وهو ما اخذوه بالفعل من الامم المتحدة فيما سمى بقرار التقسيم.

 ولكن الآن بلغ عددهم كما أسلفنا 700 الف يهودي فى الضفة الغربية وحدها. فلنا ان نتصور حجم المشكلة وعمق التهويد الذي تم هناك. والذي يستكملونه على قدم وساق بالتربص بالمسجد الأقصى وإزالة منازل أهالينا المقدسيين وغيرها من الإجراءات اليومية التى كادت ان تنجح فى التهويد الكامل لمدينتنا المقدسة.

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والراية على وشك السقوط:

وطوال هذه العقود، لم تتوقف مقاومتنا للمشروع الصهيوني عامة، ولتهويد القدس على وجه الخصوص، فمنذ ثورة البراق فى أغسطس 1929 وإعدام قادتها الثلاثة، الشهداء عطا الوزير ومحمد جمجوم وفؤاد حجازي فى سجن عكا في 17 يونيو 1930، مرورا بانتفاضات 1987 و 2000، وما تلاها من صمود ومقاومة بطولية ضد حروب الاحتلال على غزة، بالاضافة الى الاشتباكات الدائمة التى يمارسها شعبنا الأعزل هناك يوميا، في مواجهة ماكينات القتل والابادة والتهجير والأسر الصهيونية.

إن أبطالنا المقدسيين، يلتزمون بوصايا الأجداد، فهم لا يزالون يحملوا الراية، ويحفظونها من السقوط بما تبقى لهم من طاقة. ولكن جروحهم أُثخنت، وهم في انتظار مقاتلين جدد، يشدون من أزرهم، ويتسلمون منهم الراية التي كادت ان تسقط، فهل من مجيب؟

Seif_eldawla@hotmail.com

Forced Evictions of Palestinians for Exclusive Jewish Development

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Theft of Palestinian land followed the infamous 1917 Balfour Declaration that called for establishment of a nation for Jews on their historic land.

Endless conflict, occupation, dispossession, and repression — along with social and cultural fragmentation — define conditions for beleaguered Palestinians.

They’ve endured over 100 years of suffering with no end of it in sight because the world community is dismissive of their rights.

Israeli land theft for exclusive Jewish development began in earnest during its so-called 1947-48 war of independence.

Around 78% of historic Palestinian land was stolen, the rest during Israel’s preemptive 1967 Six Day War.

Israeli laws illegitimately legitimized theft of Palestinian land for exclusive Jewish use.

Israel’s Basic Law affirms that “ownership of Israel Lands, being the lands in Israel of the State, the Development Authority or the Keren Kayemet Le-Israel (KKL — Jewish National Fund, JNF), shall not be transferred either by sale or in any other manner.” 

Israeli laws prohibit Arabs from buying, leasing or using land exclusively reserved for Jews — part of what apartheid is all about.

Most often, Israeli courts rubber-stamp land theft when Arab owners petition for justice routinely denied them.

The same goes for nearly all issues related to their rights and well-being.

Since mid-April, Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and surrounding areas over ordered forced evictions of Palestinian families.

Last month — together with about 190 other organizations — the US Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called on the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, to investigate, when the CCR called “war crimes and crimes against humanity in (Occupied) Palestine.”

Eight or more Sheik Jarrah Palestinian families face unlawful forced eviction.

Israel’s Jerusalem District Court ordered six families to vacate their homes by May 2, others by August 1.

CCR and other groups urged the ICC to intervene on behalf of Palestinian rights, saying the following:

“(W)e ask that you include as part of the investigation the war crimes of forcible transfer of parts of the population of the occupied territory (art. 8(2)(b)(viii) and 8(2)(a)(vii)), transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its civilian population into the territory it occupies (art. 8(2)(b)(viii)), destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully (art. 8(2)(a)(iv))  and, as these forced evictions are part of an ongoing, widespread and systematic attack against Palestinian civilians, the crimes against humanity of deportation or forcible transfer (art. 7.1(d)), persecution (art. 7.1(h)), apartheid (art. 7.1(j)) and other inhumane acts causing great suffering or serious injury to inter alia mental health (art. 7.1(k).”

In 2018, the ICC expressed concern about Israel’s planned eviction of the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar.

At the time, it accused Israel of “extensive destruction of property without military necessity and population transfers in an occupied territory,” adding:

These actions “constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute.”

The same applies to what’s ongoing in Occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheik Jarrah neighorhood.

Long-suffering Palestinians justifiably accuse Israel of discriminatory mistreatment throughout the Occupied Territories.

Its legal system and courts systematically deny Palestinians justice afforded Jews alone.

CCR and allied organizations called on the ICC to condemn Israeli forced evictions from Sheikh Jarrah.

They also urged the ICC to warn Israeli perpetrators that their actions may constitute crimes of war and against humanity.

Continuing their daily police state crackdown on fundamental Palestinian rights, Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Friday where tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered for prayer on the holy month of Ramadan’s last Friday. 

They attacked Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem neighborhoods with rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas, and beatings.

Palestinians inside the mosque — Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca’s Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina — were assaulted the same way.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, over 200 people were injured from clashes with Israel police in the mosque and elsewhere in Jerusalem, dozens hospitalized.

A field hospital was set up to treat the injured.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli forces lethally shot two Palestinians.

In response to Israeli violence, Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh accused the Netanyahu regime of “playing with fire,” adding:

“This is a battle you can’t win.”

Islamic Jihad’s Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhalah warned Israel of a strong response against its ongoing violence.

According to Palestinian eyewitnesses in Jerusalem on Friday, Israeli forces aimed potentially lethal rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians’ heads and faces to seriously injure, disable or kill.

Red Crescent health workers confirmed that many Palestinians suffered wounds to their head and/or eyes.

Israeli forces attacked an East Jerusalem clinic involved in treating injured Palestinians with stun grenades.

Throughout Ramadan, Israeli security forces greatly restricted Palestinians’ access to Al-Aqsa and other Muslim holy sites in the Territories.

At the same time, extremists settlers participated in “Death to Arab” marches in Jerusalem — unrestricted.

Since mid-April, Sheik Jarrah Palestinians have been demonstrating daily against forced Israeli evictions from their homes — for the crime of being Arabs in an apartheid Jewish state.

Violently attacked by Israeli security forces and extremist settlers, they continue demonstrating peacefully for their rights at risk of being lost.

Days earlier, Israel’s Supreme Court postponed their forced eviction before perhaps ruling on the issue during or after a Monday May 10 hearing.

On Sunday May 9, one of the holiest Ramadan nights, massive crowds of Palestinian worshipers are expected to converge on the Al-Aqsa compound and mosque.

Sunday is also Jerusalem Day. It commemorates Israel’s illegal seizure and annexation of what the UN considers an international city, the capital of no single country.

Along with tens of thousands of Palestinians expected to rally throughout the city Sunday, extremist Israeli settlers and likeminded ultra-nationalists are likely to turn out in large numbers for “Death to Arab” marches — risking clashes between both sides.

Another day and night of violence is highly likely, perhaps exceeding what’s gone on so far.

One Sheik Jarrah resident likely spoke for others, saying:

“Our people will remain steadfast and patient in their homes, in our blessed land.”

Following Friday prayers, thousands of Palestinians chanted what’s been heard before during Jerusalem protests, saying:

“With our soul and blood, we will redeem you, Aqsa.”

An unanswered question is whether what’s gone on for weeks is the beginning of a Third Intifada.

It’s possible if daily Israeli violence continues and its High Court upholds illegal dispossession of Sheik Jarrah families from their homes.

A Final Comment

Last Friday, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville said the following:

If implemented, Sheik Jarrah evictions “would violate Israel’s obligations under international law” — pertaining to its illegal seizure and occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, adding:

“We call on Israel to immediately halt all forced evictions, including those in Sheikh Jarrah, and to cease any activity that would further contribute to a coercive environment and lead to a risk of forcible transfer.”

Like the US and its key Western partners, Israel long ago abandoned the rule of law, operating exclusively by its own rules.

The US under both right wings of its war party has always been dismissive of Palestinian rights while pretending otherwise. 

It showed in an unacceptable statement by deputy State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter.

Calling on both sides in Jerusalem “to ensure calm and act responsibly to deescalate tensions and avoid violent confrontation” stopped short of condemning Israeli violence like many times before.

Since establishment of Israel on stolen Palestinian land in 1948, the US and West looked the other way in response to the Jewish state’s highest of high crimes.

At the same time, the West has always been dismissive of Palestinian rights, according to the rule of law.

Dominant hardliners in the US and West today don’t give a hoot about them — one-sidedly supporting Israel like always before.

Huge Explosion in Al-Quds, Israel Bombs Syria, Syria Bombs Israel, Israel Stunned

ARABI SOURI 

Explosion in Al Quds, Israel Bombs Syria, Syria Bombs Israel

A huge explosion in the occupied Palestinian capital Al-Quds (Jerusalem) took place in the afternoon, half a day later Israel bombs targets near Damascus, Syria retaliates by bombing near Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor not from the borders with Egypt, Israel bombs again near Damascus wounding 4 Syrian Army soldiers and issues all conflicting reports, Israelis are stunned.

The massive explosion was in a company linked to the Israeli war ministry that Israeli officials claimed was a controlled explosion which neither the company nor the Israeli officials bothered to inform their public about who obviously panicked.

What could be more plausible is an Iranian retaliation avenging numerous Israel sabotaging and assassinations against the Iranian nuclear program hurting Israel where it’s trying to make some advances to catch up with the successful Iranian satellite launching project, especially that Israel is copying a ready satellite missile

The videos is also on YouTube and BitChute.

‘Mr. Security’, this is what the embattled Israeli PM Netanyahu calls himself, wants a cover-up for this incident, Israel’s own media not buying the story of a ‘controlled explosion’, imagine the other side.

At 1:38 am, Israel fired missiles from over the occupied Syrian Golan towards some targets near the Syrian capital Damascus. Syrian Army’s air defense units shot down most of the incoming missiles, 4 Syrian Army soldiers were wounded and the bombing caused material damage, a Syrian military spokesperson stated to SANA.

Syria fired a missile that crossed all Israel defenses from the north to the south and lands near the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona, and yes, Israel has a military nuclear program which it sentenced its own scientist who exposed it for a lengthy-term in prison but that didn’t cause the international nuclear watchdog or the UNSC to bother themselves to inspect, Israel is part of the NATO and stooges alliance dominating the UNSC.

The Syrian missile blew up in a target about 30 kilometers from the Dimona reactor, most observers see this as a message to Israel especially that Russia had already warned Israel that Syria may lose patience toward the Israeli attacks.

After that silence, Israel stunned, new rules of engagement are established.

Moscow Warns Israel on Repeated Bombing: Syria May Lose Patience

https://syrianews.cc/moscow-warns-israel-about-repeated-aggression-syria-may-lose-patience/embed/#?secret=NYPYL2KArs

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Israeli Violence Against Palestinian Protesters in Occupied Jerusalem

 April 25, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Time and again, when Palestinians protest legitimately against Jewish state viciousness, Israeli soldiers and other security forces attack them with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, toxic tear gas, and other repressive tactics.

For 11 straight nights, Palestinian residents of Israeli Occupied Jerusalem rallied against assaults and other provocations by police, extremist settlers, and likeminded far-right Jewish hooligans.

According to the Palestine News & Information Agency (WAFA) on Saturday:

“The Jerusalem uprising… expanded to reach the West Bank and Gaza.”

Over 100 Palestinians were injured, nearly two dozen hospitalized, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported. 

WAFA said Saturday night clashes were “in support of the Jerusalem uprising and against Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the holy city.”

What’s going on began on the first day of Ramadan after “Israeli police cut off wires to loudspeakers at Al-Aqsa Mosque minarets in Jerusalem to prevent the call for prayer that alert people to the start and end of the fast as well as the time for prayers,” adding:

For the past 11 nights, “police harassed Jerusalem residents leaving Al-Aqsa Mosque” — Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca’s Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.

Two nights ago, extremist “Israeli members of the Lahava terror group that advocates killing Palestinians in Jerusalem and taking over their homes joined the police in attacking the city’s Palestinian residents.”

During the weekend, Arab-hating settlers “attacked Palestinian homes and property in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at homes and cars.”

Israeli police and other security forces do nothing to deter them when these incidents happen.

Since the Jerusalem uprising began, “Israeli police (permitted) intrusions” by extremist Jews into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

They’re “allow(ed) to hold rituals in violation of the status quo and the sanctity of the holy site as a Muslim-only worship area, provoking strong reaction from people and countries, such as Jordan, the official custodian over the Muslim and Christian holy places in occupied East Jerusalem,” WAFA explained.

Extremist Jews marched from Jerusalem’s Zion Square to the Old City, chanting: “Death to Arabs.”

In parts of the city, police set up checkpoints, closing off areas to prevent Palestinians from observing traditional Ramadan activities, including prayer at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Over the weekend, Israeli warplanes and ground forces terror-bombed and shelled Gaza in response to Strip support for abused Palestinians in Jerusalem.

The city is the epicenter of longstanding struggle. 

Israeli Jews consider it their capital, a national and religious center. 

For Christians, it’s where Jesus lived and died, and for Muslims, it’s home to the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In June 1967, Israel illegally occupied the city. 

On July 30, 1980, the Knesset introduced the Jerusalem Law, officially annexing it as Israel’s unified capital.

On March 1, 1980, Security Council Resolution 465 declared that “all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation.”

These actions also “constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

On July 4, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICC) ruled that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law.”

Nothing changed. Like the US and other Western countries, Israel operates exclusively by its own rules.

Illegal settlements continue expanding exponentially on stolen Palestinian land.

Israel wants territory from Jordan’s border to the Mediterranean Sea developed for exclusive Jewish use.

Note: Separately on Saturday, scores of Israeli Peace Now activists rallied against police violence and rights of Arab Jerusalem residents, the group’s head Shaqued Morag, saying:

“We want to send a message both to the (Netanyahu regime) and to our Palestinian neighbors that we won’t stay silent in front of the violence and the incitement and the racism.” 

“We will defend the right of everybody to live in Jerusalem peacefully.”

For his part, Netanyahu warned that his regime is “prepared for all scenarios” —suggesting that if protests continue, so will police state violence.

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (25 – 31 March 2021)

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 – 31 March 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

25 – 31 March 2021

  • IOF excessive use of force in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem: 4 Palestinians wounded, including 2 children
  • Three IOF shootings reported at agricultural areas (east) and three others on fishing boats in Gaza sea
  • In 121 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 62 civilians arrested, including 3 children and 2 women
  • IOF delivers cease-construction notice against a retainment wall and a house in Hebron and Bethlehem
  • Settler-attacks: Palestinian civilian wounded, and assault on a vehicle; stone chains destroyed, and olive trees cut in Salfit and Bethlehem
  • IOF established 55 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 3 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 207 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:

Four Palestinians, including two children, sustained wounds as a result of IOF excessive use of force against civilians in the West Bank: a child was wounded at the weekly Kafr Qaddum protests in Qalqilya; another in a protest in Beit Dajan in Nablus; another child sustained wounds in an IOF raid on a former Palestinian prisoner’s house in occupied east Jerusalem, noting that the prisoner was released that same day after 20 years in Israeli prisons. Dozens of others suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others were wounded in IOF assault during raids on Palestinian houses across the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, 3 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands eastern Gaza; and 3 at fishing boats in the Gaza sea.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 121 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, 62 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 children and 2 women, including a journalist who was detained while conducting an interview. She was detained for several others before her release.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted two limited incursions into eastern Deir Balah.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented the following incidents:

  • Hebron: cease-construction notice served against a house in eastern Yatta.
  • Bethlehem: cease-construction notice served against a retaining wall in Tuqu.

Settler-attacks: PCHR fieldworkers reported and documented 3 attacks:

  • Bethlehem: Palestinian civilian assaulted in southern Bethlehem.
  • Salfit: vehicle assaulted; agricultural room destroyed; stone chains destroyed, and 15 olive trees cut.

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 21:30 on Thursday, 25 March 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 agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF stationed along the Gaza’s border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Al-Fukhari village, east of Khan Yunis. At approximately 12:00, IOF re-opened fire at agricultural lands; no causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, north of Qalqilya, suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinian young men. IOF chased Palestinians gathered in the area, clashed with them, and fired sponge bullets, sound bombs and teargas canisters at them. As a result, a 17-year-old child was hit with a teargas canister in his foot.
  • 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. The protestors chanted slogans again against the Israeli occupation and settlers. IOF immediately suppressed the protest and fired live and rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, a 44-year-old male and a 26-year-old male were shot with rubber bullets in their lower limbs and taken to Rafidia Hospital. Also, many civilians suffocated due to teargas inhalation.
  • At approximately 07:50 on Saturday, 27 March 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 sporadic fire around them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Sunday, 28 March 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, opened heavy fire around them and fire sound bombs at them until 09:00, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli authorities suppressed activities organized by the Women Centre that belongs to al-Zaytoun Mount Club in al-Tur neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, to celebrate Mother’s Day. Israeli authorities claimed that the celebration is funded by the Palestinian authority (PA). Mohammed al-Sayyad, Secretary of al-Zaytoun Mount Club, said that Israeli Intelligence Service along with IOF raided al-Zaytoun Mount stadium during the preparation for the launch of the event, which is annually held to celebrate the Mother’s Day. Al-Sayyad clarified that IOF stopped the event, got the attendees out of the stadium, and arrested Head of the Women’s Centre, Ikhlas al-Sayyad, along with the young man, Malek Ghazi al-Moghrabi, after severely beating him up. Al-Sayyad pointed out that IOF hanged a ban order signed by the Minister of Internal Security in the Israeli government on the stadium gate and warned of holding the event in another place in the city. Lawyer Heba al-Qadoumi said that the Israeli Intelligence Service banned for the 2nd time an event organized by al-Zaytoun Mount Club during this month; the first event was on the Women’s Day and the second was on the Mother’s Day, noting that these events were organized at call of the villagers and without any coordination with Palestinian official bodies. Al-Qadoumi pointed out that IOF released Ikhlas al-Sayyad few hours after interrogating her. Also, Malek al-Moghrabi was released, on condition of house arrest for 5 days.
  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 29 March 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, opened heavy fire around them and fire sound bombs at them, causing fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 22:00 on Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF raided a house belonging to a former prisoner, Majd Abed al-Raheem Barbar (45), in Ras al-‘Amoud neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and arrested him a day after his release from the Israeli jails, noting that he served 20 years in prison. IOF also indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters in the area. Barbar family said that IOF raided a tent established by the family near their residential building entrance to receive visitors welcoming him. The family clarified that IOF arrested their son Majd under the pretext of organizing a celebration in his house yard and raising Palestinian flags. The family added that IOF pepper-sprayed some visitors, pushed and beat them up and indiscriminately fired sound bombs and teargas canisters in the area. As a result, many civilians, including Majd’s mother and wife, suffocated due to teargas inhalation. Also, child Mohammed Hitham al-Daddou (11) was shit with a rubber bullet in his right hand. The family pointed out that the Israeli authorities extended Majd’s detention for next day evening in order to appear before the Israeli court, which decided to release him, provided that the family will not fire fireworks, they will preserve social distance among the visitors and wearing masks, and they will not organize any celebrations in the house yard. The Palestinian Red Crescent Crews stated that they treated 14 persons when IOF raided Majd’s house; 12 of those suffocated due to teargas inhalation; one was beaten up by IOF, and another one was shot with a rubber bullet. Some of those wounded were taken to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tur neighborhood for treatment.
  • It should be noted that in afternoon, IOF moved into Al-Eizariya village, where they raided the Red Palace Hall near the village entrance, prevented holding a celebration for Majd Barbar and warned the hall owner of hosting Barbar family.

Incursions and arrests

Friday, 25 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hamza Naser Abu ‘Ajamiya (21) and Abdullah Khaled Abu Hadeed (18). Meanwhile, IOF handed Oday Adnan Shehada (25) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Beit Kahil, north of Hebron, and stationed in the center of the city. IOF deployed between civilians’ houses and arrested (20) civilians and took them to a detention center at “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city, and released them later. (PCHR keeps records of the names of the arrestees).
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Jawhar Naser Jawhar (25) and Mohammed Abdullah Jaffal (17) and arrested them. IOF took them to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 02:20, IOF moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and arrested Hammam Ahmed al-Banna (25).
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Murad Mohammed Idris’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 06:30, IOF established a temporary military checkpoint on the entrance of Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. They stopped and arrested Amjad Khaled Fayed (19) and Tamer Ahmed al-Saffouri (19), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Ras Atiya village, south of Qalqilya. They raided and searched Ibarhim Hazem ‘Arrar’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Saouane neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched Sheikh ‘Akrama Sa’eed Abdullah Sabri’s (82) house, the Head of the High Islamic Supreme Council, and handed him a expandable decision signed by the Israeli minister of interior affairs , Aryeh Deri, that bans him from travelling for a month.

It should be noted that IOF arrested and interrogated Sheikh Sabri and banned him from entering the Aqsa Mosque several times, latest of which was on 10 March 2021, after announcing his intention to join a religious meeting in Bab al-Rahma in the al-Aqsa Mosque.

  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Dura, Beit Ummar, Bani Na’im villages in Heborn; al-Mughayyir, northwest of Ramallah; and Sebastia, northwest of Nablus. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 26 March 2021:

  • At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Illar village, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Samer Mwafaq Abu Hafiza’s (24) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Hebron, and stationed at several neighborhoods in the city. They raided and searched several houses and arrested (3) civilians, including former minister and deputy. The arrestees are: Issa Khairy al-Ja’bari (55), the Palestinian minister of local government, was arrested 9 times and spent 10-years in the Israeli prisons, and he was arrested without searching his house; Hatem Rabah Qfaisha (68), former Hamas Movement Deputy; and Mazen Jamal al-Natsha (46), a leader at Hamas Movement in Hebron.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Nuba and Halhul in Hebron; and Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 27 March 2021:

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Illar, north of Tulkarm. They raided and searched Sameer Abdul Khaliq Abu Sa’da’s (27) house, and arrested him.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF stationed at Bab al-Hadid “Iron Gate”, one of the Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, severely beaten and arrested Murad Mohammed al-Tarhouni (21), and took him to one of the police center in the city.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Hassan Ghayatha (28), while present near “Kfar Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem. IOF took him to one of the detention centers and released him after several hours. It should be noted that Ghayatha is a person with disability.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Sa’ir, Beit Ummar, and al-Shuyukh villages in Hebron governorate; Ras Karkar, west of Ramallah; and Aboud, northwest of the city. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 28 March 2021:

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Ahmed Mohammed Ghazzawi’s (28) house, claiming that he attempted to run over an Israeli soldier near “Ma’ale Adumim” settlement, east of the occupied East Jerusalem. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Mohammed Murad Abu Hammad (13) and Mohammed Fayez al-Debs (20), from Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, while present near Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque, north of the city.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Hebron, Bani Na’im, and Tarrama villages, in Hebron governorate. No arrests were reported.

Monday, 29 March 2021:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Riyad al-Qarrawi (20) and Mahdi Abu al-Hawa (20), and took them to unknown destinations.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF reinforced with 4-military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again at approximately 16:00.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed at the entrance of Salem court, west of Jenin, arrested Mohammed Husain Bani Ghurra (17), from Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. IOF claimed that he attempted to smuggle a bombshell into the court.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Muna Azmi al-Qawasmi, a journalist at Jerusalem Newspaper, and the former prisoner Sedqi Suliman al-Maqt (54), after conducting an interview in the yards of the Aqsa Mosque. IOF took them to al-Kishle police center, where their mobile phones were confiscated, and they were interrogated for hours and accused of inciting riots. Later IOF released them on condition that banning his entry to the Aqsa Mosque for 7 days, which may be renewable. It should be noted that al-Maqt is from Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, and he was released in January 2020, during a prisoner exchange deal, after he spent 32-years in the Israeli prisons.
  • At approximately 15:00, the Israeli Intelligence Services handed the Jerusalem Affairs Minister, Adnan Adel Ghaith (46), a new military decision that bans his entry to the West Bank for another 6-months for unjustified/false security reasons. Jerusalem governorate stated that this is the fifth decision in raw that bans the entry of Ghaith to the West Bank and to his workplace, north of Jerusalem. it should be noted that IOF arrested and interrogated Ghaith over than 27 times since he was signed as a governor.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed at Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem, arrested Ramzi Naser Abu Ajamiyya (20), from al-Dheisha refugee camp, south of the city, while passing through the checkpoint. IOF took him to an unknown destination.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, southwest of Jericho; and Ti’inik village, west of Jenin. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Jenin. They raided and searched Ahmed Huthaifa al-Jamal;s (20) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Ram village, north of the occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Emran Mousa Zawahra’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • Around the same time, IOF moved into Yasuf, east of Salfit. They raided and searched Nour Jamal Azzam’s (23) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into the southern side of Hebron, and stationed in Kiton area. They raided and searched Mohammed Hamed Barqan’s (36) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOD moved into Ein Musbah neighborhood in Ramallah. They raided and searched Abdul Majid Majed Hasan’s (22) house and arrested him. It should be noted that Hasan is a university student.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mus’ab Mohammed Srour’s (32) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit. They raided and searched two houses belonging to Mo’nis Jamal Mer’i (24) and Saher Ammar Mer’i (26), and arrested them.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Jom’a Khaled Abu Mfareh (24), from Teqoa, east of Bethlehem, after summonsing him to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Tubas and Tammun, southeast of Tubas; Qalqilya, Jericho, Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, near Jericho; and Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Tubas, north of the West Bank. They raided and searched Abdul Wahab Shadi Daraghmah’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:20, IOF moved into Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched Ayman Rami Zeid’s (19) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:50, IOF moved into Deir Jarir village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched Mu’in Abdul ‘Alim Olwi’s (21) house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF reinforced with 4 military vehicles moved 50-100 meters to the west of the border fence, east of Deir al-Balah. They combed and leveled lands and deployed again at approximately 16:00.
  • At approximately 08:00, IOF moved into Samu village, south of Hebron. They deployed in the Old City of Hebron, closed the main street of the city to provide protection to settlers to perform their religious rituals in an old Roman synagogue in the city center. The closure continued until at approximately 10:00.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli infantry unit moved into Bab al-Zawiya area in Hebron. Meanwhile, several military vehicles came and closed the road to Bir al-Hams, and forced the stores’ owners to close their stores, and prevented the Palestinian vehicles from moving to provide security for a group of settlers to perform their religious rituals in an old building called “Etni’il Tomb”, until at approximately 11:30. Meanwhile, a group of Palestinian activists attempted to obstruct the settlers’ way and reopened their stores and rose banners that calls for the eviction of settlers out of Hebron. IOF responded by attacking the Palestinians and arrested the activist Wael Mohammed Amro (25) and took him to police center in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF arrested Emran al-Ashhab (41), the employee at Islamic Waqf rehabilitation committee, while present in the Aqsa Mosque’s yards in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. IOF took him to al-Kishle police center, in the Old City.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Beita village, southeast of Nablus; and Beit Ur al-Fauqa village, in Ramallah. No arrests were reported.

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

Demolition and Confiscation of Civilian Property

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into At-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They deployed around a house belonging to ‘Omer Mohammed Rab’ie while plowing the land around the house.  The soldiers tried to confiscate an excavator that was working there while the villagers intervened and prevented them. Before leaving, the Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Rab’ie a notice to stop construction works in the area under the pretext of monument destruction. 
  • At approximately 17:00 on Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF handed a citizen from Teqoa village, a notice to stop the construction of a retaining wall around his land, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Director of Teqoa village, Taysir Abu Mefreh, said that IOF notified Sami ‘Ali Ibrahim al-Ta’amrah to stop the construction of a retaining wall around a plot of land he owns in Kherbet al-Deir, west of the village, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Settler attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property

  • At approximately 17:00 on Thursday, 25 March 2021, settlers beat up Ahmed Sa’id Sbeih (39) when he was in his land in al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, causing him bruises and wounds.

As’ad Sbeih said that his brother Ahmed was surprised with 4 Israeli settlers storming his land in ‘Ein Qasis area, west of al-Khader village.  When he tried to ask them about their presence in his land, they started beating, pushing and kicking him.  As a result, he sustained bruises and injuries all over his body and was referred to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital to receive treatment.

  • At approximately 16:30 on Sunday, 28 March 2021, a group of settlers from Brukhin village, established on west Salfit lands, attacked Rami Tahsin ‘Abdel Jawad (41), and damaged his family agricultural room in Wadi Sousia area, north of Kafr al-Deek village, west of Salfit.

Rami Tahsin ‘Abdel Jawad said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I was working in the village lands when someone called me to say that there were settlers damaging the agricultural room in Wadi Sousia.  I immediately stopped working and headed to the land.  When I arrived, the settlers ran away to the top of the Mountain and started throwing stones at me and my car, breaking its windshield.  I could not bear it and called the settlement’s guard.  An Israeli officer arrived, and I told him that I will not leave until they fix what they ruined.  The officer told me to calm down and I will get what I want.  All they did is trying to calm me down, and nothing happened as the officer told me to go and file a complaint to Ariel police station.  I refused and went back.  It was all in vain although I took photos of the settlers and the settler who damaged my car.”

  • At approximately 11:30 on Monday, 29 March 2021, a group of settlers from Rafafa settlement established on west Salfit lands attacked an agricultural road and destroyed the stone chains established there in Kherbet al-Nafakh, turning it into a road for settlers’ motorbikes. The settlers also cut 15 olive trees in lands belonging to heirs of Yousif Hasan Souf; Hussein Hasan Jaber; ‘Aref Hussein Saleh Souf and ‘Aisha Mahmoud ‘Abdel Qader Qasem.

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  55 temporary checkpoints, where they searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs and arrested 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 Saturday, 27 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Eizariya village, east of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Anata village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 31 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jab’ village, northeast of the city.

Bethlehem:

  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Jannatah and Tuqu villages, east of the city.
  • On Sunday dawn, 28 March 2021, IOF closed al-Container checkpoint, east of the city, and re-opened it later. IOF also established a checkpoint at the entrance to Wadi Fukin village, west of the city.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the western entrance to Tuqu village, at Nahalin village’s intersection and near al-Nashash intersection, south of the city.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.
  • On Wednesday, 31 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Tuqu village, east of the city.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the main entrance to Aboud village, northwest of the city.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Abu Mash’al and Nabi Salih villages.
  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Ofra “settlement and at the entrance to Nabi Salih village.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to Nabi Salih,  Deir Abu Mash’al  and Abwein villages.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint near Atara village’s bridge.

Jericho:

  • On Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the Dead Sea intersection and at the southern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Jericho, at the entrance to Ein ad-Duyuk village, and on al-Mo’arajat road.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the norther entrance to Jericho, near the Dead Sea intersection and on al-Mo’arajat road. 

Nablus:

  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of Deir Sharaf village, west of the city.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of “Shafi Shimron” settlement, west of the city.

Jenin:

  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 25 March  2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrance to Sa’ir, as-Samu and Idhna villages, at the western entrance to Hebron.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the entrance to Fawwar refugee camp.
  • On Saturday, 27 March 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and at the entrances to Deir al-‘Asal and al-Moreq villages.
  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to as-Samu and Susya villages, at the northern entrance to Yatta city, and at the southern entrance to Halhul city.
  • On Tuesday, 30 March 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Awwa, Idhna and Khasa villages, and at the northern entrance to Hebron.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 25 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the eastern entrance to the city and at the entrance to Izbat al-Tabib village, east of the city.
  • On Friday, 26 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint between Jayyous and Nabi Ilyas villages, east of the city.  

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 28 March 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Kifl Haris village, north of Salfit.
  • On Monday, 29 March 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the northern entrance to Slafit and at the entrance to Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit.

An Old Green Colonial Trick: Israel Masking Land Grabs as Environmental Conservation

Al-Walaja Feature photo

By Jessica Buxbaum

Source

“More and more open areas in East Jerusalem are being designated as preservation or national parks, and this is clearly in order to prevent Palestinian urban development.” — Sari Kronish, Israeli planning rights organization Bimkom

OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM — For decades, a Palestinian village on the southern tip of Jerusalem has lived on and cultivated the land. But a series of recent efforts by Israel is not only threatening their way of life but potentially displacing them from their homes.

On January 25, the Jerusalem District Planning Committee rejected the residents of Palestinian village al-Walaja’s plan to legalize their homes and further develop the community. Instead, the committee declared their land an ancient agricultural area in need of environmental conservation that should be transformed into a national park.

The notion of environmental integrity struck Amy Cohen, director of international relations and advocacy at Israeli non-profit Ir Amim, as contradictory.

“The planning committee and the [Israel] Civil Administration within the West Bank [have] been promoting and advancing plans within the same area for Jewish settlers,” Cohen said. “It shows massive discrimination in how [Israel] treats Palestinian areas in order to suppress the residential development.”

The committee’s decision paves the way for the lifting of the demolition freeze on 38 al-Walaja homes. On April 26, Israel’s Supreme Court will convene for a hearing on al-Walaja’s 2018 petition over its resident-initiated outline plan.

al-Walajeh Map
The portion of al-Walaja (spelled Al Walajeh on this map) facing mass demolitions is shaded in brown within the purple circle between the apartheid wall (red line) and the Jerusalem municipal border/annexation line (blue line). Credit | Ir Amim

Ibrahim A’raj, 37, grew up in al-Walaja. The home he built for his family in 2016 is now under threat of demolition. A’raj expects the court will not rule in al-Walaja’s favor in April and his house will be demolished.

“It’s not logical or legal,” A’raj said, referring to the Planning Committee’s rejection of the development plan for environmental reasons. “The village is surrounded by settlements and the wall, which destroyed the nature and environmental landscape.”

The Planning Committee did not respond to requests for comment.

Zones and no permits

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, it took the northern section of al-Walaja as well. Today, al-Walaja is split between Jerusalem and Areas B and C of the West Bank, so one-third of the land is controlled by the Jerusalem Municipality and the rest by the Bethlehem Governorate.

The Jerusalem area of al-Walaja has been at risk of forced displacement for a decade as a result of the Planning Committee’s refusal to discuss an outline plan. This refusal has made it impossible for the community to obtain building permits, so A’raj had to construct his house without one.

Amid the absence of building permits, demolition orders have increased. More than 20 homes have been razed in al-Walaja since 2016.

An isolated village cut off from its surroundings

Israeli authorities have prevented al-Walaja from developing while expanding Jewish settlements around the village and the apartheid wall (the barrier separating the West Bank and Israel).

Construction of the wall on three sides of al-Walaja cut off the village from nearly 300 acres of its agricultural land and turned that land into Nahal Refaim National Park. Har Gilo settlement lies to the south of al-Walaja. The Israel Civil Administration’s proposed expansion of the Har Gilo settlement to the west of the village will extend the wall, thereby enclosing al-Walaja and fully isolating it from its surroundings. The Civil Administration did not respond to requests for comment.

“The wall and the settlements deprived us from accessing our own land that we worked so hard to cultivate,” A’raj said, mentioning how the villagers are now blocked from the olive trees they harvested before the wall was built.

al-Walaja wall
Ancient agricultural terraces in al-Walaja (left) and Israel’s destruction of ancient terraces to build the wall (right). Photos | B’Tselem

Al-Walaja residents experience harassment daily from Israeli settlers and authorities. A’raj explained:

The Civil Administration confiscates our equipment when we start building a new house. The settlers around us use drones to take pictures when we start building and send them to the Civil Administration. The police put checkpoints at the entrance of the village and sometimes inside the village and the Walaja Bypass Road [connecting Har Gilo settlement to Jerusalem] gets a lot of traffic, so it limits our movement.”

A’raj lamented that if his home is demolished, he will likely leave al-Walaja, the place he’s called home his whole life. “It’s a huge tyranny that I have to leave my own house and my own land,” he said.

Israel doesn’t provide alternative or temporary housing for Palestinians whose homes they demolish. Sari Kronish — East Jerusalem planner for Bimkom, an Israeli planning rights organization — described the government’s lack of consideration in helping displaced families find housing as one of the “dark sides of the Israeli regime at the moment.”

“The very sad reality is that the authorities don’t offer [the uprooted Palestinians] anything. They just treat them as lawbreakers who are receiving their penalty,” Kronish said. “People just become homeless and become displaced.”

Ir Amim’s Cohen emphasizes that what Israel is enacting isn’t just the wide-scale displacement of Palestinians but also an attempt at annexation. She elaborated:

It’s an acute humanitarian toll that’s exacted upon the families, but it is also in service to the Israeli objective of consolidating control, which completely undermines any sort of conditions for a two-state solution based on two capitals. Because if you can completely segment Palestinian contiguity and advance steps toward de facto annexation of these areas, then you’re foiling a prospect of an agreed resolution.”

Not just al-Walaja

In what many Palestinians have described as a continuation of the Nakba (Israel’s 1948 ethnic cleansing campaign in Palestine), Israel is currently in the process of expelling thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem under the pretext of preservation.

“More and more open areas in East Jerusalem are being designated as preservation or national parks, and this is clearly in order to prevent Palestinian urban development,” Kronish said.

In the Al-Bustan neighborhood of the East Jerusalem district of Silwan, mass dispossession looms over the residents in order to make room for the touristic venture, Garden of the King. The community of Sheikh Jarrah is experiencing displacement at the hands of settler groups for the Shimon HaTzadik National Park.

Israel has long employed the practice of stealing Palestinian land and claiming it for recreational purposes. Many of Israel’s prized national parks were built on top of Palestinian villages destroyed during the Nakba. In Jerusalem, for instance, the remains of the village of Lifta are now a national park and hotel. Garbage and graffiti adorn what’s left of Lifta’s stone houses. Most of the village’s inhabitants, who were expelled in 1948, and their descendants live in refugee camps around Jerusalem — unable to return to home.

“It’s a form of institutional confiscation and settlement in the guise of green protection,” Kronish said.

Displacing indigenous peoples under the claim of conservation is an inherently settler-colonialist tactic spanning regions and centuries. Most well-known national parks in the United States like Yellowstone and Yosemite were once Native American tribal territories. In order to create an “uninhabited wilderness,” the federal government first had to remove the native peoples living on that land.

Modern environmentalism ignorantly dictates Some environmentalist assumptions suggest humans cannot coexist with wildlife. But that racist assumption idea ignores the history of indigenous communities living with and preserving nature.

Native Americans understood how to sustainably tend to the land. And just as in al-Walaja, maintaining the land is part of their livelihood.

Kronish explained:

This type of agricultural lifestyle is very dependent on people living [on] and working the land harmoniously. Once people are displaced, attempts at preservation become artificial. The residents would argue that by continuing to live there, they are more able to continue to preserve. For them, it’s not a question of preservation. It’s a question of a way of life and connection to the land.”

Investigation to Move Forward: Everything You Need to Know about ICC Latest Ruling on Israeli War Crimes (SPECIAL REPORT)

February 6, 2021

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (Photo: UN Website)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

On Friday, February 5, the last hurdle in the way of an international investigation into war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been removed, as the International Criminal Court in the Hague has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

“Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court .. decided, by majority, that the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in Palestine, a State party to the ICC Rome Statute, extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” the ICC said in a press release that was made available to international media, including The Palestine Chronicle.

The Investigation

After years of haggling, the ICC had resolved in December 2019 that, “there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation into the situation in Palestine, pursuant to Article 53(1) of the Statute.”

Article 53(1) merely describes the procedural steps that often lead, or do not lead, to an investigation by the Court.

That Article is satisfied when the amount of evidence provided to the Court is so convincing that it leaves the ICC with no other option but to move forward with an investigation.

Indeed, Bensouda had already declared late last year that she was,

“satisfied that (i) war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip… (ii) potential cases arising from the situation would be admissible; and (iii) there are no substantial reasons to believe that an investigation would not serve the interests of justice.”

The Reactions

The decision, then, has angered Israel and its Western allies, who insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction, since Palestine, they alleged, is not an independent state. 

As soon as Bensouda made her decision, although, after much delay, the US administration swiftly moved to block the Court’s attempt at holding Israeli officials accountable. On June 11, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order slapping sanctions on members of the global judicial body, citing the ICC’s investigations of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Israeli war crimes in Palestine.

In an historic irony, Germany, which had to answer to numerous war crimes committed by the Nazi regime during World War II, stepped in to serve as the main defender of Israel at the ICC and to shield accused Israeli war criminals from legal and moral accountability.

Germany, among others, then argued that the ICC had no legal authority to discuss Israeli war crimes in the occupied territories. These efforts, however, eventually amounted to nil.

Dr. Triestino Mariniello, member of the legal team for Gaza victims at the ICC,  told Palestine Chronicle TV: 

“There are at least eight countries that are openly against an investigation of the Palestinian situation. Germany is one. Some of the others came as a surprise, to be honest, for at least four other countries, Uganda, Brazil, Czech Republic, and Hungary had explicitly recognized that Palestine is a State under international law, yet are now submitting statements before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber saying that this is not true anymore.”

The Pre-Trial Chamber

Consequently, Bensouda referred the matter to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, requesting a “ruling on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in the State of Palestine”.

The pre-trial chamber consists of judges that authorize the opening of investigations. Customarily once the Prosecutor decides to consider an investigation, she has to inform the Pre-Trial Chamber of her decision.

According to the Rome Statute, Article 56(b), 

“… the Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor, take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the defence.”

According to Dr. Mariniello:

 “This request to the Pre-Trial Chamber was not necessary, for a simple reason: because the situation is being referred by the State of Palestine. So, when a State party refers a situation to the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor does not need authorization by the Pre-Trial Chamber.”

The Court’s Jurisdiction

The State of Palestine became a signatory of the Rome Statute in January 2015. By accepting the jurisdiction of the Court, Palestine became a State Party. 

The Pre-Trial Chamber 1 reiterated that Palestine is a State Party, therefore the Court has jurisdiction over its territory. Dr. Mariniello told The Palestine Chronicle: “The Pre-trial Chamber did not only recognize that Palestine is a State, they also stated that the Court’s jurisdiction extends to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza. What we feared was a further fragmentation of the Palestinian territory” but, according to the ruling, this was not the case.

A Victory

“It is a landmark decision since all the comments expressed by the legal team representing the Gaza victims have been approved. Therefore, they rejected all the arguments by civil society organizations or even states who were trying to persuade the Court that Palestine is not a State,” Dr. Mariniello added.

Professor Richard Falk, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, told Palestine Chronicle TV that the ICC investigation is a “breakthrough”.

“It’s a breakthrough even to consider the investigation, let alone the indictment and the prosecution of either Israelis or Americans that was put on the agenda of the ICC, which led to a pushback by these governments … Israel has denounced the Court as if it is improper to examine any State that claims the matter of geopolitical impunity. So you have a core denial of the rule of law.”

The Narrow Scope

Professor Falk elaborated, 

 “The scope of the investigation is something that is ill-defined, so it is a matter of political discretion,” Professor. Falk said, adding that “the Court takes a position that needs to be cautious about delimiting its jurisdiction and, therefore, it tries to narrow the scope of what it is prepared to investigate. I don’t agree with this view … but it does represent the fact that the ICC, like the UN itself, is subject to immense geopolitical pressure”.

The legal representatives of the ‘Palestinian Victims Residents of the Gaza Strip’ had expressed their concern on behalf of the victims regarding “the ostensibly narrow scope of the investigation into the crimes suffered by the Palestinian victims of this situation.”

The ‘narrow scope of the investigation’ has thus far excluded such serious crimes as Crimes Against Humanity. According to the Gaza legal team, the killing of hundreds and wounding of thousands of unarmed protesters participating in the ‘Great March of Return’ is a crime against humanity that must also be investigated.

The ICC’s jurisdiction, of course, goes beyond Bensouda’s decision to investigate ‘war crimes’ only.

Article 5 of the Rome Statute – the founding document of the ICC – extends the Court’s jurisdiction to investigate the following “serious crimes”:

(a) The Crime of Genocide

(b) Crimes Against Humanity

(c) War Crimes

(d) The Crime of Aggression

It should come as no surprise that Israel is qualified to be investigated on all four points and that the nature of Israeli crimes against Palestinians often tends to constitute a mixture of two or more of these points simultaneously.

That in mind, according to Mariniello,

“The scope of the investigation is not binding for the future. The Prosecutor can decide, at any moment, to include other crimes. We hope it will happen because, otherwise, many victims will never get justice.”

What Now

Mariniello told The Palestine Chronicle,

 “Now, the hard work starts for the legal representatives of the ‘Palestinian Victims Residents of the Gaza Strip’, we cannot lower the guard. We need to work so that the ICC Prosecutor can identify the people responsible for international crimes and their criminal behavior as soon as possible.”

The Prosecutor

The decision that there were sufficient elements to investigate war crimes committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territories was taken by ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, who is currently nearing the end of her term. 

A new prosecutor should be elected soon.

(Managing Editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Romana Rubeo, composed this report) 

Realities of politics and Palestinian aspirations حقائق السياسة وأماني الفلسطيني

**Please scroll down for the Arabic version **

Palestinian politician residing in Jenin, Occupied Palestine

Saada Mustafa  Arshid_

Many Arab and Palestinian policies are built on the fact that Joe Biden’s presidency will  be a natural extension of the policies of the Obama administration, in which Biden was vice president, and president Biden is the same person. I think that’s an inaccurate estimate. The man has a strong personality, he is experienced and experienced in both domestic and foreign politics, and his long experience in Congress has given him the experience and statesmanship he needs, and then there is a lot of water that has taken place  in the valleys of politics  both in Washington and  in the Middle East during the four years  of Trump’s administration, which  has been full of events, which makes the new president obliged to deal  with  those  variables, albeit with a different mentality and policies. If he ever talked about a two-state solution, he ever talked about a two-state solution, it goes back  to a long time ago, and that  does not  mean that he will remain steadfast when he speaks. The new U.S. State Department, which supports the two-state solution, a state (Israel) as a Jewish state and besides it a Palestinian state without sovereignty and dignity, without borders without crossings, without sovereignty over its airspace or the hollow of its territory, without its Jerusalem and some of the West Bank. Last Tuesday, exaggerated statements were made in Ramallah following a speech by the Acting United States Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Richard Wells, in which he said: We will restore relations with the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people, and that many mistakes were made by the administration of former President Trump in this context and must be corrected, but it does not specify what are those mistakes, and it seems certain that the subject of Jerusalem and the transfer of the embassy to it are not one of those mistakes, as well as the annexation of the West Bank from the Jordan, settlements and  goods that have become sold in the United States and written on them.  By Israel, these mistakes may not go beyond cutting off financial aid, closing the PLO office in Washington, and closing the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that the election of Biden was in some respects a coup in the Arab balances  that  have  repercussions on the Palestinian affairs, and he acknowledged in the certainty of many Arab leaders that Trump will remain in the White House for a second term, which led them to invest in supporting his re-election financially and politically, and indeed At the  expense of national security through the processes of normalisation and alliance in its political, security and then economic forms, and this has put them in trouble with the new administration, which has enough files and tools to their necks, making it their plans and dreams and illusions autumn papers, blowing the wind. Biden’s victory, at the same time, was a victory for other regional  powers, which entered into a bitter and strained conflict with the Trump administration, Iran  breathed a sigh of relief, even if there were adjustments to the  nuclear deal with the Obama administration, but with Biden’s arrival, she had passed the difficult stage and had come out  of the bottle, as well as Qatar, a permanent ally of democratic administrations in Washington, and a victory for Qatar’s Muslim Brotherhood allies and Qatar’s Palestinian guests, i.e. Hamas, while at the same time defeating Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and its Palestinian guest, while dealing with an adversary with the Trump administration can be optimistic (and perhaps He is overly optimistic, as we see the Palestinian Authority, which see President Mahmoud Abbas’ call for Trump’s house to be  ruined, has been met with caution, and those who have treated the Trump administration cautiously in its last year find an opportunity to build better relations with the new administration, as Jordan has. Some Arabs are optimistic under Biden, including the Palestinians, as they carry expectations and aspirations above what they can afford, and what comes out of the new U.S. administration is nothing more than delusions and signs that may be misleading — such as talking about a two-state solution — because there are no clear policies or strategies that can be read or built upon yet, This is while the Arab, Islamic and international violations are expanding, with new countries candidates for normalisation, and others in the process of transferring their embassies to Jerusalem, while (Israel) exchanges with Sudan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates embassies, missions, economic and cultural  missions and iron domes, an Arab who was the back of Palestine Its issue and the rights of  its people  will  be at its best only a neutral  intermediary, in the Palestinian (Israeli) relationship, while the Palestinian is totally  absent  from any comment, condemnation or criticism of this nefarious behaviour.

حقائق السياسة وأماني الفلسطيني

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Untitled-726-780x470.png
سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في جنين – فلسطين المحتلة

سعادة مصطفى أرشيد

يتمّ بناء كثير من السياسات العربية والفلسطينية منها على أنّ رئاسة جو بايدن ستكون امتداداً طبيعياً لسياسات إدارة الرئيس الأسبق أوباما، التي كان فيها بايدن نائباً للرئيس، وانّ الرئيس بايدن هو الشخص ذاته. وفي ظني أنّ ذلك تقدير غير دقيق. فالرجل يملك شخصية قوية، وهو مجرّب ومتمرّس في السياسة الداخلية والخارجية على حدّ سواء، وقد منحته تجربته الطويلة في الكونغرس ما يحتاجه من خبرة وحنكة، ثم أنّ مياهاً غزيرة قد جرت في وديان السياسة سواء في واشنطن أو في الشرق الأوسط خلال السنوات الأربع من حكم ترامب والتي كانت مليئة بالأحداث، ذلك ما يجعل الرئيس الجديد ملزماً بالتعامل مع تلك المتغيّرات وإنْ بعقلية وسياسات مختلفة. وإذا كان قد تحدث ذات يوم عن حلّ الدولتين، فإنّ ذلك يعود الى زمن مضى، ولا يعني ذلك أنه سيبقى متمترّساً عند كلمته، فالسياسة أمر دائم التغيّر ولا ثوابت فيها، وكذلك مفهوم حلّ الدولتين الذي يحتمل أكثر من تفسير، مما يدعم هذه النظرة ما قاله منذ أيام، وزير الخارجية الأميركي الجديد بلينكن أمام الكونغرس، من أنه يدعم حلّ الدولتين، دولة (إسرائيل) كدولة يهودية وإلى جانبها دولة فلسطينية منزوعة السيادة والكرامة، بلا حدود بلا معابر، بلا سيادة على أجوائها أو جوف أرضها، بلا قدسها وبعض من الضفة الغربية. الثلاثاء الماضي، صدرت تصريحات مبالغة في تفاؤلها من رام الله اثر حديث أدلى بها القائم بأعمال مندوب الولايات المتحدة في هيئة الأمم السفير ريتشارد ويلز، قال فيه: سنعيد العلاقات مع القيادة الفلسطينية والشعب الفلسطيني، وإنّ أخطاء عديدة كانت قد اقترفتها إدارة الرئيس السابق ترامب في هذا السياق ويجب تصحيحها، ولكنه لم يحدّد ما هي تلك الأخطاء، ويبدو أنّ من الأكيد أنّ موضوع القدس ونقل السفارة إليها ليسا من تلك الأخطاء، وكذلك ضمّ أراضي الضفة الغربية من أغوار ومستوطنات وبضائعها التي أصبحت تباع في الولايات المتحدة ومكتوب عليها أنها من إنتاج (إسرائيل)، ولعلّ تلك الأخطاء لن تتجاوز قطع المساعدات المالية وإغلاق مكتب منظمة التحرير في واشنطن، وإغلاق القنصلية الأميركية في القدس الشرقية.

مما لا شك فيه أنّ انتخاب بايدن كان في بعض جوانبه انقلاباً في التوازنات العربية التي لها انعكاساتها على الشأن الفلسطيني، فقد وقر في يقين عديد من القادة العرب أن ترامب باق في البيت الأبيض لفترة رئاسية ثانية، الأمر الذي دعاهم لأن يستثمروا في دعم إعادة انتخابه مالياً وسياسياً، لا بل وعلى حساب الأمن القومي من خلال عمليات التطبيع والتحالف بأشكاله السياسية والأمنية ثم الاقتصادية، وهذا الذي أوقعهم في مأزق مع الإدارة الجديدة التي تملك من الملفات والأدوات ما يكفى لليّ رقابهم، فجعل ذلك من خططهم وأحلامهم وأوهامهم أوراق خريف، تذروها الرياح. فانتصار بايدن، كان في الوقت ذاته انتصاراً لقوى إقليمية أخرى، دخلت في صراع مرير ومجهد مع إدارة ترامب، إيران تنفست الصعداء، حتى لو جرت تعديلات على الاتفاق النووي الذي أبرمته مع إدارة أوباما، لكنها مع مجيء بايدن، قد تجاوزت المرحلة الصعبة وقد خرجت من عنق الزجاجة، وكذلك قطر، الحليف الدائم للإدارات الديمقراطية في واشنطن، وانتصار لحلفاء قطر من الإخوان المسلمين وضيوف قطر من الفلسطينيين وأقصد هنا حركة حماس، وفي الوقت ذاته هزيمة للسعودية ومصر والإمارات وضيفها الفلسطيني، فيما يستطيع من تعامل بخصومة مع إدارة ترامب بأن يتفاءل (وربما يبالغ في تفاؤله) كما نرى السلطة الفلسطينية التي ترى أنّ دعاء الرئيس أبو مازن على بيت ترامب بالخراب قد تمّت الاستجابة له، ومن تعامل بحذر مع إدارة ترامب في عامها الأخير، أن يجد فرصة لبناء علاقات أفضل مع الإدارة الجديدة، كما حال الأردن. يبدي بعض العرب تفاؤلاً برئاسة بايدن، ومنهم الفلسطينيون، إذ يحملون الأمور توقعات وأماني فوق ما تحتمل، فما يصدر عن الإدارة الأميركية الجديدة ليس أكثر من تهويمات وإشارات قد تكون مضللة – كالحديث عن حلّ الدولتين – إذ لا سياسات أو استراتيجيات واضحة يمكن قراءتها أو البناء عليها حتى الآن، هذا فيما يتسع الخرق العربي والإسلامي والعالمي، بدول جديدة مرشحة للتطبيع، وأخرى بصدد نقل سفاراتها للقدس، فيما تتبادل (إسرائيل) مع السودان والمغرب والإمارات السفارات والبعثات والملحقيات الاقتصادية والثقافية والقباب الحديدية، وهو العربي الذي كان ظهيراً لفلسطين ومسألتها وحقوق شعبها، لن يكون بأحسن أحواله إلا وسيطاً محايداً، في العلاقة الفلسطينية (الإسرائيلية) فيما يغيب الفلسطيني تماماً عن أيّ تعليق أو إدانة أو انتقاد لهذا السلوك الشائن.

A New Year’s Wish

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Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

PHILIP GIRALDI • JANUARY 5, 2021 
Source: The Unz Review

Let’s remove Israel from American politics

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pollard-and-Netanyahu-600x337.jpg

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

During his 2016 campaign Donald Trump swore that he would be the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, a pledge that some of us viewed skeptically as Trump was also committed to bringing the troops home from “useless wars” in Asia, most of whom were in the Middle East supporting Israeli interests. More recently Trump admitted that America was in the Middle East to “protect Israel” and he has indeed proven to be the great benefactor he promised to be in responding fully to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wish list. Trump has increased tension dramatically with Iran, moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, and has basically given Israel the green light to do whatever it wants on the Palestinian West Bank, including getting rid of the Palestinians. And as all that has played out the Israelis have attacked and killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, Syria and the West Bank with impunity, protected by the U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council against any consequences for their actions while a subservient Congress gives Netanyahu twenty-eight standing ovations and bleats that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Trump has made the United States completely complicit in Israeli war crimes and has committed a few of its own to include the widely condemned assassination of the senior Iranian official Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad one year ago.

Israel more-or-less openly admits that it controls the actions of the United States in its region, its leaders having boasted how the U.S. federal government is “easily moved” when it comes up against the Israeli Lobby. Nor is there any real secret to how the Lobby uses money to buy access and then exploits that access to obtain real power, which is then used to employ all the resources of the U.S. government in support of the Jewish state. The top donor to the Democratic Party, Israeli-American Haim Saban has stated that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel. This single-minded focus to promote Israel’s interests at the expense of those of the United States makes the Israel Lobby the most formidable foreign policy lobby in Washington and it recalls the warning once issued by George Washington in his Farewell Address, where he stated that “permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachments for others should be excluded, and that in place of them just and amicable feelings toward all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges toward another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

The complete contempt that the Israelis and Israeli supporters in the U.S. have for other Americans and their interests was on full display last week when convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard flew “home,” meeting Netanyahu as he disembarked from a private plane that had departed from Newark New Jersey before being given a hero’s welcome.

Pollard is the most damaging spy in American history, having stolen the keys to accessing U.S. communications and information gathering systems. He was an unlikely candidate to become a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, and one review board determined that he had been hired in the first place under pressure from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A month after Pollard’s arrest in 1985, C.I.A director William Casey stated: “The Israelis used Pollard to obtain our war plans against the USSR – all of it: the co-ordinates, the firing locations, the sequences, and Israel sold that information to Moscow for more exit visas for Soviet Jews.” According to a C.I.A. after-the fact-damage assessment “Pollard’s operation has few parallels among known U.S. espionage cases…. his first and possibly largest delivery occurred on 23 January [1984] and consisted of five suitcases-full of classified material.”

Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger wrote a forty-six page review of the case that remains largely classified and redacted to this day, detailing what incredible damage Pollard had done. Part of the document states: “In this case, the defendant has admitted passing to his Israeli contacts an incredibly large quantity of classified information. At the outset I must state that the defendant’s disclosures far exceed the limits of any official exchange of intelligence information with Israel. That being the case, the damage to national security was complete the moment the classified information was given over. Ideally, I would detail…all the information passed by the defendant to his Israeli contacts: unfortunately, the volume of .data we know to have been passed is too great to permit that. · Moreover, the defendant admits to having passed to his Israeli handlers a quantity of documents great enough to occupy a space six feet by ten feet… The defendant has substantially harmed the United States, and in my view, his crimes demand severe punishment… My foregoing comments will, I hope, dispel any presumption that disclosures to an ally are insignificant; to the contrary, substantial and irrevocable damage has been done to this nation. Punishment, of course, must be appropriate to the crime, and in my opinion, no crime is more deserving of severe punishment than conducting espionage activities against one’s own country.”

The Pollard trip to his “home” occurred because Donald Trump had obligingly lifted the travel restrictions on him the week before, one more favor to Israel. At the airport, Pollard and his wife knelt to kiss the Israeli soil before Netanyahu handed him an Israeli citizen ID and welcomed him. The 737 luxury-fitted executive jet Pollard and his wife flew on belongs to Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, chief donor to the Republicans and to Donald Trump. Adelson is married to an Israeli and famously has said that he regrets having worn a U.S. Army uniform when he was drafted, much preferring instead that he might have done military service in the Israel Defense Force.

I should point out that permitting dual nationals with singular loyalty to a foreign nation to have such significant influence over the two leading political parties in the U.S. by virtue of money alone is a recipe for disaster, and so it has proven. What were Trump and Hillary Clinton thinking when they tied themselves to Adelson and Saban? Or were they thinking at all?

The Israeli boosters in the United States have flat out corrupted our political process to get where they are. They have bought or intimidated every politician that matters to include presidents, congressmen and even those in state and local governments. Anyone who criticizes Israel or Jewish collective behavior in support of the Israeli state is subject to character assassination and blacklisting a la Mel Gibson and Rick Sanchez. Those who persist are denounced as anti-Semites, a label that is used liberally by Zionist groups.

Anyone who is bold enough to either criticize the Israelis or defend the Palestinians is targeted, and if they happen to be in Congress like Cynthia McKinney, Pete McCloskey, Paul Findlay, James Traficant, William Fulbright and Chuck Percy they are first vilified in the media and then set up against a very well-funded candidate to drive them from office. The end result is that when Israel kills civilians and rampaging armed settlers destroy their livelihoods the United States government chooses to look the other way and shower the rogue state with money so it can continue to do its dirty work.

The corruption extends to the state level, where twenty-six governments have passed Israel lobby-promoted legislation that limits free speech rights if anyone seeks to criticize Israel. This sometimes includes forcing employees, under threat of dismissal, to sign a pro-Israel oath and promise not to support any boycott of the Jewish state. The massive interference in the internal governance of the United States by Israel and its U.S. born lackeys far exceeds that of any other country, including inappropriately vilified Russia or China.

It is well past time to get rid of the Israel parasite that feeds on the American government and people. The special relationship with Israel, sanctified in the halls of Congress and by a Jewish dominated media, does nothing good for the United States and for the American people. Israel’s constant interference in the U.S. political system and economy comes at a huge cost, both in dollars and in terms of actual American interests.

And then there are the hot buttons which, if the U.S. actually had a functional government that is responsive to the people, should have been pushed long ago. Israel is ranked by the FBI as the number one “friendly” country in terms of its spying against the United States. Pollard is an exception, but Israeli spies are routinely slapped on the wrist when caught and never face prosecution. The Mossad agents who were the “Dancing Shlomos,” celebrating while the twin towers went down on 9/11, were allowed to go home. And Israel has never truly paid any price for the horrific bombing and torpedoing of the U.S.S. Liberty fifty-three years ago, which killed 34 Americans and injured over one hundred more. The completely unprovoked attack took place in international waters and was later covered-up by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Congress. May they burn in hell. The surviving crew members are still waiting for justice.

So, let’s all resolve for 2021 to do whatever we can to pull the plug on Israel. Let Israel pay its own bills and take care of its own defense. American citizens who prefer the Jewish ethno-religious state to our constitutional republic should feel free to emigrate. Lacking Washington’s backing, Israel will also be free to commit atrocities and war crimes against all of its neighbors but without the U.S. United Nations veto it will have to begin facing the consequences for its actions. But most of all, as Americans, we will no longer have to continue to carry the burden of a country that manipulates and uses us and also has a certain contempt for us while doing so. And maybe just maybe freeing the United States from Israel could lead to an end to all the wars in the Middle East that Washington has been waging in spite of the fact that we Americans are threatened by no one in the region and have no real interest whatsoever in prolonging the agony of staying there.

US Congressman Pledges to Resume US Aid to Palestinians

January 7, 2021

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs. (Photo: File) Committee

US Congressman Gregory Meeks, the new Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has said he was looking forward to resuming humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, as part of a push by President-elect Joe Biden for a two-state solution.

Speaking to the Agence France-Presse on Tuesday, Meeks said he supports the return of the Palestinian diplomatic representation to the United States after the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump closed the PLO office in Washington.

“I’m a firm believer in the two-state solution, providing both parties with self-determination… So we may need to restart the US assistance to Palestinian people, demonstrating that the United States is ready to lead again,” said Meeks.

“We may therefore need to mobilize US aid to the Palestinians to show that the United States is ready to take over the leadership again,” he added.

In 2018, the Trump administration canceled more than $200 million in aid intended for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Trump administration also stopped the US contribution to financing the budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and canceled aid worth $25 million for Palestinian hospitals in occupied East Jerusalem.

Trump provided unswerving support to the Israeli occupation, violating the international consensus, and in 2017 recognized both parts of Occupied Jerusalem as its capital. This position led the Palestinian Authority to cut off all contacts with the US administration, and the United States responded by closing the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Hezbollah on Suleimani’s 1st Martyrdom Anniversary: We’ll Raise Resistance Flag in Al-Quds

أنبكيك؟ وهل نحن إلا أنت؟ - haramoon.com
طريق القدس

January 1, 2021

On the first martyrdom anniversary of Suleimani and Al-Muhandis, Sayyed Safieddine said the Axis of Resistance became after the assassination of the two top commanders more determined to liberate the region form the US occupation.

“The Resistance is more determined to take the path of Jihad and confronting the US schemes,” the prominent Hezbollah official addressed the attendees at Tehran University.

“We will liberate the region from all these devils. We will raise the Resistance flag in Al-Quds.”

Sayyed Safieddine lashed out at US president Donald Trump by saying: “We will take revenge from the US. Trump, who imagine that he would undermine the Axis of Resistance by assassinating martyr Suleimani will meet a destiny like that met by Saddam Hussein.”

“When ISIL appeared, with its flagrant atrocities, the entire world was astonished and helpless. Only commanders Suleimani and Al-Muhandis stood firm against the terrorist group and save the nation.”

Source: Al-Manar English Website

غزة تحي ذكرى الشهيد القائد قاسم سليماني (شهيد القدس) - صور | وكالة أنباء  التقريب (TNA)

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Political Jesus

PEPE ESCOBAR • DECEMBER 23, 2020

Hieronymus Bosch, The Adoration of the Magi: detail featuring the splendid African Balthasar and, partially naked, at the entrance of the hut, the Anti-Christ.

Let’s hit the road in the search for the real Jesus.

Galilee, Year 27: baptized by an itinerant preacher, John the Baptist. That’s when the story really begins. We know virtually nothing of his life till then.

Galilee is ruled by shabby client kings of the Roman empire – first Herod, then his son Herod Antipas. Jesus only enters imperial jurisdiction later, when he moves to Judaea, a Roman province since Year 6.

Galilee is all about agricultural and fishing land, surrounded by way more sophisticated Greeks and Phoenicians. Jesus grows up in a context of simple peasant life; increasing taxes; population explosion; and then non-stop fragmentation of peasant land, causing the proverbial pressures on traditional family life.

Social oppression inevitably had to engender resistance – in the form of budding peasant unrest. Talk about quite fertile ground for the proliferation of charismatic spiritual leaders.

Yet who was Jesus The Man, really? A Jewish holy man? A prophet? A magician? A miracle man? A peasant leader? A revolutionary? Prefiguring Walt Withman, he did “contain multitudes”. He was indeed all things to all men.

What we seem to know for sure is that he had charisma in spades – and exuded natural authority.

The Synoptic Gospels point to problems with Mom and his brothers. Yet he never abandoned his followers – those twelve specials, all from very humble backgrounds, except Matthew (a tax collector).

He lived on the (dusty) road – full time, and that was not exactly comfortable. He was at ease with everyone – prostitutes included.

As a preacher, he was a master of P.R. He talked in parables – easily grasped by small agricultural communities. That’s where he felt really at home.

So Jesus was a rural, not urban, phenomenon. He specially appealed to those who were ill – mentally and physically. He built up a solid reputation as a healer: all those miracle cures – especially exorcisms. And the whole lot interpreted as a sign of holiness.

Jesus was a Palestinian Jew. His followers were overwhelmingly Jews – those peasants destabilized by heavy taxation of their lands and ingloriously clashing with the corruption of Herod’s political machine.

Jesus focused on the imminence of God’s kingdom. But what did he really mean? The Gospels don’t make it easier. Much of his preaching is inclusive. Yet sometimes he would refer to a “Last Judgment” in which the wicked will be punished and the good will be rewarded.

Essentially, he was a millenarian prophet. But as much as he was striving for moral renewal, he was delivering a social message – where the “kingdom” to come represented the Triumph of the Outcast. What that really mean, in practice, was possibly a renewal of family and village community life.

Whatever he was really up to, the Powers That Be feared Jesus. After all he was way too popular. And even if he did not advise armed resistance, Power could not but be very worried by a charismatic leader with miraculous attributes dazzling the crowds.

Jesus may have sensed he was a target. And that’s what may have provoked the move to Judaea – possibly in Year 30. And then to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem may have been the Holy Grail. The apex of his mission – as he finally sensed he was ready to confront the powers behind the Temple.

He made a Jerusalem entrance that was nothing short of epic, riding a donkey – as if fulfilling a prophecy (Zechariah) that “a king” would enter Jerusalem on a donkey. In Matthew, the crowds actually call him “Son of David”.

Jerusalem was buzzing with people getting together for Passover. And last but not least, Roman governor Pontius Pilate and his troops were also in town, freshly arrived from Caesarea – the Roman HQ in the province – and obsessed with maintaining order.

Enter Caiaphas, the high priest: a canny, vastly experienced political operator, who managed for years to get the support of the Jews while placating his Roman overlords.

Now imagine the scene – worthy of a Scorsese epic: an outsider, itinerant preacher from Galilee, arriving in the mean streets with his posse, all speaking in weird accents, with the crowds shouting he may be the Messiah.

And then, the ultimate set piece: he enters the Temple, by himself, and overthrows the tables of the moneylenders. What did he really want?

That’s Political Jesus 1 and 2.

1. To graphically stress the end of the old order – Temple included – and the coming of the “new kingdom”.

2. To express – politically – the growing popular revolt against the ruling elite.

And by a simple twist of fate, that’s when he sealed his destiny.

Blowback was instantaneous. The Jewish priests had to be placated. They feared Roman retaliation. And then Caiaphas saw his opening, telling them – according to the Gospel by John – “it is better for one man to die for the people”.

And that’s how Jesus the Outsider was used as only a pawn in their game to maintain order in Jerusalem.

He was now free to enter History as a larger than life Martyr, Savior, and Myth.

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