Strike in Al-Quds schools in protest of imposing Israeli curriculum

19 Sep 2022 19:20 

Source: Agencies

A comprehensive strike in all schools in the eastern part of occupied Al-Quds

By Al Mayadeen English 

Palestinian national and Islamic forces and parents’ committees renew Al-Quds residents’ complete rejection of attempts to impose an Israeli curriculum in all schools.

All schools in the eastern part of occupied Al-Quds witnessed Monday a comprehensive strike in protest of imposing Israeli curricula on Al-Quds students.

The strike comes in response to the call of the national and Islamic forces, and the parents’ committees in the eastern part of Al-Quds.

In a joint statement, the forces held the administration of any school, the national, moral, and religious responsibility for deviating from the consensus of the parents, and for violating the national position, which refuses to teach the Israeli curricula.

The forces and parents’ committees renewed Al-Quds residents’ adherence to their firm position of absolute and complete rejection of attempts to impose a false or new curriculum on children in all schools, regardless of their academic references.

The statement stressed the forces and parents’ committees’ rejection of all forms of financial blackmail practiced by the Israeli occupation against school administrations, and the policy of overt and veiled threats against them.

The statement also affirmed the right of the Palestinian people to choose the curriculum that is taught to their children, calling on the relevant international institutions to stand up to their responsibilities and protect Palestinian educational institutions.

The national and Islamic forces and the parents’ committees in Al-Quds called on the Palestinian government to provide alternatives and to secure the actual needs and resources necessary to protect the Palestinian curriculum.

Since 1967, the education sector in Al-Quds has faced several critical problems that obstruct its development and tighten the noose around it. Perhaps the most prominent issue facing this sector is Israeli attempts to Israelaize the curricula in favor of the Israeli occupation.

At the end of last July, the Israeli occupation Ministry of Education issued a decision to withdraw the permanent license from six schools in occupied Al-Quds for a period of one year, under the pretext of incitement against “Israel” and its forces in its textbooks.

Last August, the Israeli Ministry sent a letter to several schools in Al-Quds, entitled textbooks that contain inciting content in the eastern part of Al-Quds schools, threatening to withdraw its license.

Read more: Palestinian Foreign Ministry warns of “Israel’s” plans against Al-Aqsa

‘PAINFUL MARCH FOR FREEDOM’: THE TRIUMPHANT LEGACY OF PALESTINIAN PRISONERS

SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

As soon as I left prison, I went to Nael’s grave. It is adorned with the colors of the Palestinian flag and verses from the Holy Quran. I told my little brother how much I loved and appreciated him, and that, one day, we would meet again in paradise.

The above is part of a testimony given to me by a former Palestinian prisoner, Jalal Lutfi Saqr. It was published two years ago in the volume ‘These Chains Will Be Broken’.

As a Palestinian, born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza, I was always familiar with the political discourse of, and concerning, political prisoners. My neighborhood, like every neighborhood in Gaza, is populated with a large number of former prisoners, or families whose members have experienced imprisonment in the past or present.

However, starting in 2016, my relationship with the subject took on, for the lack of a better term,  a more ‘academic’ approach. Since then, and up to now, I have interviewed scores of former prisoners and members of their families. Some were imprisoned by Israel, others by the Palestinian Authority. I even spoke to prisoners who experienced the brutality of Middle Eastern prisons, from Iraq, to Syria, to Egypt and Lebanon. A few particularly unlucky ones have endured multiple prison experiences and were tortured by men speaking different languages.

Gruesome Details Emerge of Israel’s Torture of Palestinian Prisoners
New allegations reveal the gruesome details of the torture of Palestinian detainees by Israel, specifically its intel agency Shin bet.

Some prisoners, now quite old, were imprisoned by the British army, which colonized Palestine between 1920 and 1948. They were held according to the 1945 so-called Defense (Emergency) Regulations, an arbitrary legal code that allowed the British to hold as many rebelling Palestinian Arabs without having to provide a cause or engage in due process.

This system remains in effect to this day, as it was adopted by Israel following the end of the British Mandate. Following minor amendments in 1979, and the renaming of the law into the “Israeli Law on Authority in States of Emergency”, this is essentially today’s so-called ‘Administrative Detention’. It allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians, practically indefinitely, based on ‘secret evidence’ that is not revealed, even to the defense attorney.

These ‘emergency’ laws remain in place, simply because Palestinians never ceased resisting. Thousands of Palestinians were held without evidence or trial during the First Palestinian Intifada, the uprising of 1987. Most of them were kept in horrific living conditions, in tent cities in the Naqab Desert.

According to the Palestinian Commission on Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, around one million Palestinians were imprisoned between 1967 and 2021. Currently, hundreds of Palestinian ‘administrative detainees’ are held in Israeli prisons, an act that violates international law on various counts – holding prisoners without trial or due process, and transferring prisoners to enemy territories, the latter being a stark violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

Of course, respecting international law has never been Israel’s strongest suit. In fact, Israel continues to deliberately ignore international law in numerous aspects of its illegal military occupation of Palestine, rationalizing such actions on ‘security’ grounds.

Palestinians are also doing what they do best, resist, under the harshest circumstances and by every means available to them. Tellingly, the strongest of such resistance takes place inside prison walls, by gaunt looking, and often dying hunger strikers.

Khalil Awawdeh, a 40-year-old Palestinian from a village near Al-Khalil (Hebron) is the latest prisoner hunger striker to make history, by simply refraining from eating for 180 days. His weight has dropped to 38 kilograms, after losing over 40 kilograms while on hunger strike. The images of his half-naked, skeletal body have been deemed ‘graphic’ and ‘offensive’ to some social media users, and were removed as soon as they were shared. At the end, he could only whisper a few words. Though barely audible, they were filled with courage.

Khalil Awawdeh
Khalil Awawdeh in bed at Asaf Harofeh Hospital in Be’er Ya’akov, Israel, Aug. 24, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

On August 31, Awawdeh ended his hunger strike, after reaching a deal with the Israeli prison administration to release him on October 2. His first words after that agreement were hardly those of a dying man, but of a triumphant leader: “This resounding victory extends the series of great victories achieved by the mighty and honorable people of this nation.”

These words, however, were not unique. They carried the same sentiment communicated to me by every single freed prisoner I have interviewed in recent years. None have any regrets, even those who spent most of their lives in dark cells and in shackles; even those who lost loved ones; even those who left prison with chronic diseases, to die soon after their release. Their message is always that of defiance, of courage, and of hope.

Awawdeh is neither the first, nor the last prisoner to undergo these life-threatening hunger strikes. The strategy may be explained, and understandably so, as the last resort or as acts of desperation by individuals who are left without alternatives. But for Palestinians, these are acts of resistance that demonstrate the power of the Palestinian people: even in prison, handcuffed to a hospital bed, denied every basic human right, a Palestinian can fight, and win. Awawdeh did.

When Jalal Lutfi Saqr learned that his brother Nael was killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, he was a prisoner in Israel. He told me that the first thing he did when he learned of his brother’s death was kneeling down and praying. The following day, Jalal spoke to the mourners in his Gaza refugee camp using a smuggled cell phone by telling them, “Ours is a long and painful march for freedom.

“Some of us are in prison; others are underground, but we will never cease our fight for our people. We must remain committed to the legacy of our forefathers and our martyrs. We are all brothers, in blood, in the struggle and in faith, so let’s remain united as one people, as brothers and sisters, and carry on, despite the heavy losses and tremendous sacrifices.”

Jalal’s call on his people was made twenty years ago. It remains as relevant today, as it was then.

Gilboa Prison: The Zionist Entity’s Guantanamo

September 6, 2022

Related videos

Related Articles

Zionists Tell Tales of Ansariya: The Saddest and Most Painful Days

Al-Ahed News Staff

“It was one of the saddest and most painful days for “Israel” which is currently facing fierce and bitter fighting on two fronts.”

With these words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the disaster that befell the commandos in his army during the failed landing operation in Ansariya.

Netanyahu admitted that the lessons learned from the recent events in southern Lebanon may affect the methods of military operations led by the occupation forces.

Netanyahu’s remarks were made at a press conference following a meeting of his Kitchen Cabinet.

If the results of this operation were so “tragic” for the Zionists, perhaps the failure to achieve the required objective led to more tragedy and frustration among the “Israeli” leaders.

The political correspondent of “Israel’s” Channel One revealed this objective.

“It was a very precise and very specific operation that would have accomplished very important achievements for the “Israeli” security forces against Hezbollah.”

But what happened?

“While a naval commandos unit headed to carry out a qualitative and localized operation, it fell into an ambush by Hezbollah fighters, and bombs were detonated by force,” the military correspondent said.

The official military statement clarifies the details, explaining that “the commandos unit, which was comprised of 16 fighters, including the force’s commander with the rank of ‘Lieutenant colonel’, landed on the coast and was on its way to ambush the (saboteurs) in the village of Ansariya north of Tyre. On its way, it was struck by an explosive device and then a series of explosions and gunfire, which killed the majority of the force, including the force commander.”

The force responded and informed the backup unit of the details of the incident. A rescue team was dispatched to the site in a Yasour transport [CH-53] helicopter.

Navy boats attacked from the sea to assist in the rescue operation.

The rescue operation was difficult and complicated. It continued for many hours due to intense gunfire on the helicopter at approximately 1:30 pm.

Another helicopter arrived and continued to transport the injured soldiers.

According to an “Israeli” radio station, Chief of Staff of the Zionist army Amnon Shahak, Minister of War Yitzhak Mordekhai and the Commander of the Navy followed the developments since the start of the clashes. At dawn, the chief of staff conducted a preliminary inquiry into the circumstances of what happened. He appointed Major General Gabi Ophir to head a special commission to investigate the circumstances of this engagement.

The radio station’s military correspondent (Igal Almeh) revealed in a report that

“the commandos unit is characterized by its high degree of combat capabilities and is doing similar activities in Lebanon and other areas.”

The correspondent added that

“the activities of this unit are usually kept secret. Unfortunately, in the wake of the clash, this operation was revealed.”

As for the missing soldier, the radio station reported that he “was close to the site of the explosions and was killed as a result.”

Meanwhile, Channel One reported that

“the army succeeded in dispatching a Yasour helicopter carrying rescuers who rescued the wounded soldiers and evacuated the dead. It searched for several hours for the missing soldier but without success. After that, the troops were forced to return under heavy fire without the missing soldier.”

The “Israeli” television showed pictures of the Yasour helicopter, which was trying to evacuate the wounded from the battlefield. It was hit by shrapnel from a mortar shell that landed near it.

The enemy’s television channel stated that

“during the landing of the rescue aircraft, it was hit by artillery shells and gunfire. As a result, the helicopter was hit by shrapnel. But the helicopter was able to transport the injured even though it was hit.”

“Israel’s” Channel One said, “The ranks of the soldiers who fell are as follows:

1-            Commander of the naval commando unit

2-            Three captains

3-            Three NCOs [Non-commissioned officer]

4-            Five soldiers

Related Video

When pictures speak volumes: Awawdeh facing death any moment

 August 28, 2022 

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen English 

Pictures of Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh speak volumes of the Israeli intransigence and brutality.

And the international community still maintains silence…

The Prisoners Authority published horrific pictures of prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 6 months now.

His wife and father took pictures of him today, exposing the truth of an ongoing “immoral and inhuman crime against him by the occupation prisons administration, and the Israeli intelligence service that insist on killing him,” even if slowly, according to a statement by the Prisoners Authority.

The Authority’s statement added, “These images are more than enough to awaken the conscience of the world that should hold the [Israeli] occupation accountable.”

Today, the Prisoners Information Office announced that Awawdeh is continuing his open hunger strike for the 166th day, amid critical health conditions.

Awawdeh’s lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, said 3 days ago that he could die at any moment. 

In March, Awawdeh began an open-ended hunger strike to demand his release, knowing that he was arbitrarily arrested as per the Israeli occupation’s arbitrary administrative detention policy, and his lawyer said he has only been only drinking water since.

For their part, Egyptian mediators recently called for the release of Awawdeh under a ceasefire agreement that ended the recent 3-day Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The freedom of Awawdeh was one of the clauses of the agreement between Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Israeli occupation after several days of Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians and wounding hundreds of others.

The head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said on August 7 that “a formula for the Egyptian declaration of the truce agreement has been reached, and it includes Egypt’s commitment to work for the release of the two prisoners, Khalil Awawdeh and Bassam Al-Saadi.”

Related Videos

In an escalating step… the prisoners dissolve the regulatory bodies
The prisoner Khalil Al-Awawda faces the risk of death at any moment

Related Stories

Roger Waters Pays Tribute to Palestinian Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during Concert

August 25, 2022

Roger Waters paid tribute to Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a concert. (Photo: via WAFA)

The legendary star of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, recently paid a tribute to slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a concert in New York.

The 78-year-old songwriter and composer displayed Abu Akleh’s name across the concert’s backdrop along with words saying that her crime was “being Palestinian” and that her punishment was “death”.

On May 11, while covering an Israeli army assault in the northern occupied West Bank refugee camp of Jenin, Abu Akleh, 51, was murdered by a bullet to the head fired by an Israeli sniper.

Last week, Palestinians around the world marked 100 days since Abu Akleh’s killing.

Waters has been vocally advocating for Palestinians and their rights and is known for his support for the BDS movement.

(WAFA, PC, SOCIAL)

Israeli Lawmaker Ben-Gvir Threatens to Kill Palestinian Prisoner, His Family

August 22, 2022

Right-wing Israeli Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir storm the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. (Photo: Video Grab)

Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir has called the family of Palestinian prisoner Nour Eddin Jarbou, threatening to kill them and their son, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Prisoners Affairs Commission, said in a statement that Ben-Gvir told the Jarbou family that he will not leave their son alive and that he and his gang are going to reach him at the Israeli hospital.

Abu Bakr said the threats will be taken seriously since Ben-Gvir is a known advocate of violence against Palestinians.

Jarbou, 27, was detained on April 9 after he was shot several times during an Israeli army assault on the Jenin refugee camp. One bullet hit him in the spine and paralyzed him.

(PC, WAFA, SOCIAL)

ISRAEL BLAMES ITS VICTIMS FOR THE VIOLENCE IT CAUSES

AUGUST 18TH, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

JERUSALEM, PALESTINE – The situation in Palestine can be summed up as follows: Rampant Settler violence and intimidation, state-sponsored racism and violence, modern, comfortable housing and living conditions for Jews only while Palestinians are denied basic services, killing of Palestinians across the board – activists, journalists, fighters, children and citizens of Israel. Palestinian organizations, even ones that are recognized internationally, have no protection and are subject to closure, arrests and confiscation of their property.

Nowhere in Palestine can Palestinians expect to be safe or to enjoy equality, justice or peace of mind. Be they citizens in El-Lyd or the Naqab, residents with limited rights in Jerusalem, or residents with no rights in ghettos across what used to be the West Bank. People living in Gaza, be they active or not, militant or not, men, women or children, Palestinian lives are expendable.

SERVICES DENIED

The misnamed and misunderstood phenomenon of murders within the Palestinian towns of 1948 – Palestinian citizens of Israel – is one example. The apartheid state and its media refer to it as “violence in the Arab society.” However, the violence is not initiated within the society but is skillfully directed and managed by the state and the various state agencies that are charged with overseeing Palestinian citizens. It should be referred to as “Violence directed at the Palestinian citizens of Israel,” but alas, that would recognize that they are Palestinians and that they are citizens who deserve to benefit from the services the state provides its Jewish citizens.

Services like trash collection, water supply, electricity, safe roads, general safety and policing are largely nonexistent in the Palestinian communities of 1948, communities made of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Furthermore, the phenomenon wrongly named “violence in the Arab community” lays the blame for the violence within these communities at the feet of the victims. The toll from this violence is enormous, with a higher rate of murder cases, the majority of which are never investigated, much less solved, is too high for any community.

Israel, of course, likes to place the blame for the violence on the victims themselves. As is well known by now, blaming the Palestinian victims is something that Israel does with great ability and success, thus absolving itself of any responsibility. However, the weapons, the criminals, and the lack of support for the community that is all but begging the authorities to collect the guns and arrest the criminals are all part of Israeli’s reckless disregard for Palestinian lives. All of this is now documented in an outstanding film called “Life in the shadow of Death,” made by Palestinian filmmaker and producer Bilal Yousef.

DAILY TOLL

Palestinians pay an almost daily toll of blood and pain demanded of them by Israel. “Clashes” is the word that the media likes to use when describing this levy, something that is always the result of Israeli forces attacking Palestinians. Perhaps those who publish in the corporate media are comforted by the thought that it was not a massive, immoral army blinded by hatred of Palestinians and love of killing that attacked civilians in their sleep. Perhaps they would rather think it was an actual clash in which Palestinian blood was spilled.

However, regardless of what the media and politicians decide to call it, Israel mobilizes numerically superior forces that are equipped with state-of-the-art weapons systems in order to engage in heavy shelling of residential areas and targeted killing of individuals, mostly remarkable young men. The purpose of the attacks is usually achieved and includes death and injuries to people who at most, were armed with a single semi-automatic rifle.

A Protester stones at Israeli military vehicles during a raid by the Israeli army in occupied Nablus. 3 Palestinians were killed during the raid. Nasser Ishtayeh | Sipa via AP

“Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in overnight Nablus raid.” Headlines like this can be seen almost daily, the name of the city may be Nablus or Jenin or Aida camp near Bethlehem, and the number of young men killed and injured changes. But the deadly spilling of young Palestinian blood is ongoing as the apartheid state tries to satisfy its unquenchable thirst for blood. On top of that, the new prime minister thinks he needs to spill Palestinian blood to boost his own political career so that we may expect more of the same.

The raids are always shown the following day on Israeli news channels. The so-called operations are described as “complex” and “heroic.” One of the recent raids resulted in the killing of an IDF-trained canine, and it too was mourned. According to The Jerusalem Post, when Israel went into Nablus to capture or kill Ibrahim Nabulsi, they surrounded his home, meaning that hundreds of special forces armed and paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars were utilized to conduct raids and intimidation.

The toll paid by Palestinians this year alone is unthinkable. The latest assault on Nablus brings the casualty figures for the West Bank and Gaza close to 150 killed. Inside 1948 Palestine, the number of deaths is between 70-80 killed so far. The year is not yet over. And neither is the Israeli thirst for violence, which means more and more Palestinian mothers can expect to lose their children to Israeli bullets.

PALESTINIAN ORGANIZATIONS RAIDED

As these words are being written, Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq reported that Israeli soldiers stormed its offices in Ramallah, confiscating items, and shutting down the main entrance with an iron plate. The army declared the organization unlawful.

Other groups that were raided this morning are Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research & Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committee and the Union of Health Workers Committees.

Palestinians are at a point where they can find no support anywhere, regardless of the severity of their conditions. Be they simply people who want to live their lives, fighters, activists or organizations dedicated to human rights, they will be killed and harassed.

Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela cancel controversial ‘Tel Aviv’ concert

August 12, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

In a series of concert cancellations, Rodrigo y Gabriela has become one of many artists to terminate their show in “Tel Aviv” following an uproar from human rights activists.

Rodrigo y Gabriela (Guitar.com)

Various artists and musicians have been joining hands in canceling shows in apartheid “Israel”, especially in light of the 2021 and 2022 Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and after a massive global uproar from fans and human rights defenders. 

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), a founding member of the BDS movement, welcomed the decision of the Mexican band, Rodrigo y Gabriela, who announced the termination of their upcoming show hours before it was due to take place in the Tel Aviv Culture Center, just a short drive from where the Israeli occupation killed 48 Palestinians including 19 children and injured 360 more.

Chain of cancellations by global musicians 

Even before the attacks on Gaza, Rodrigo y Gabriela had privately told the Palestinian group Le Trio Joubran that they had ditched the Tel Aviv concert. Le Trio Joubran, renowned oud marvels, had appealed last month to the Mexican band to cancel their appearance by urging on social media: “Please Rod and Gabi, take the right decision”.

During the band’s show at the Esperanzah festival in Belgium, fans waved the Palestinian flags and keffiyehs and urged Rodrigo y Gabriela to cancel the concert in the occupied territories. 

Irish actor Steve Wall also appealed to the band, joined by Mexican and Irish human rights defenders. Rodrigo y Gabriela spent eight years living and working in Dublin, after originating in Mexico and becoming known for heavy metal, nuevo flamenco, and rock. 

While the duo did not publicly address their cancellation of the concert in apartheid “Israel”, they posted a tweet two days before it had been due to take place that their tour was now over – now the third apartheid “Tel Aviv” concert to be canceled this summer. 

Another was US band Big Thief who apologized to their fans in June for their announcement of two shows in apartheid “Israel”, and voiced their opposition to “the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people”. That did not sit well with the venue Barby in which they were supposed to play, calling the band a “bunch of miserable, spineless musicians”.

Read more: South Africans call to cancel Justin Bieber’s concert in “Israel”

Canadian group BADBADNOTGOOD followed suit and announced the cancellation of their concert at Barby as well, as a result of appeals from fans and activists which were privately verified. 

The PACBI urged all artists to reject offers from “Israel’s” cultural sector that is complicit in apartheid and to refuse to “art-wash” “Israel’s” massacres. 

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (Weekly Update 04 – 10 August 2022)

11. 08. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

IOF launched a 3-day military widescale offensive on the Gaza Strip that started on 05 August and ended on 07 August 2022 when an Egypt-brokered ceasefire was declared between Israel and Islamic Jihad.  During the offensive, the israeli occupation forces conducted widescale airstrikes and artillery-shelling against residential houses, agricultural lands, military sites, and crowds.  As a result, 25 Palestinians, including 12 civilians: 3 children and 3 women, were killed and 172 others, including 59 children and 33 women, were injured.  Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating other incidents that inflicted casualties and damage to property.  Moreover, the offensive completely and partially destroyed tens of residential housing units that PCHR is still documenting.

The incidents were as follows

On 05 August, IOF launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip and carried out airstrikes and artillery shelling against houses and military sites.  As a result, 10 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, were killed while tens others were injured, including women and children.  Among those killed was Doniana al-‘Amour (22), who was killed after an artillery shell fell on her house in al-Fokhari village, eastern Khan Younis, while her mother and sister were injured.  Also, Alaa’ ‘Abdullah Riyadh Qaddoum (5), and ‘Emad ‘Abdel Rahim Ibrahim Shallah (52) were killed after IOF’s warplanes fired a missile at a group of people gathering on the street near their houses in Wadi al-Shija’aiya neighborhood, eastern Gaza City; also, a member of the Palestinian armed groups, Yousif Salman Mohammed Qaddoum (24) was killed  in the same strike.  Moreover, IOF’s warplanes targeted a residential apartment in Palestine Tower in central Gaza City, assassinating the commander of al-Quds Brigades, Taysir al-Ja’abari and his companion.

Today in the morning, medical sources at al-Quds Hospital declared the death of Layan Mesleh al-Sha’er (10), succumbing to shrapnel wounds in her head.  Also, members of her family were injured; they were coincidentally passing by a military site when IOF struck it in al-Namsawi neighborhood in Khan Younis.

On 06 August 2022, IOF continued its offensive on the Gaza Strip for the second day in a row and heavily struck houses, agricultural lands, and military sites. As a result, 12 Palestinians, including 6 civilians: a woman and a child with his mother, were killed while tens others were injured.  Among those killed was Nour al-Deen Hussein al-Zuwaidi (18), who was killed in an Israeli airstrike near his house, northeastern Beit Hanoun, along with Ibrahim Shehdah Salah Abu Salah (42), who succumbed to his serious injury on 09 August 2022.  Also, 7 Palestinians, including a child and 2 women, were killed while 35 civilians were injured, including 18 children and 12 women, when IOF’s warplanes launched 6 missiles at a 3-storey house in Rafah refugee camp and destroyed it over its residents, without a prior warning, in addition to destroying 7 neighboring houses. IOF declared that they targeted Khaled Sa’id Mansour (47), the Commander of al-Quds Brigades in the southern Gaza Strip, and his body was retrieved from under the rubble along with his 2 companions.  Meanwhile, the rest casualties were merely civilians living in the neighboring houses: Mohammed Eyad Hassounah (14), Ismail Abdul-Hameed Mohammad Salama/Dweik (30), and his mother, Hana’a Ismail Ali Dweik (50), and Alaa’ Saleh Abdul Mohsen Al-Mallahi (30).

Moreover, IOF’s warplanes struck 3 other multistory houses; one of them is uninhabited in Khan Younis and the 2 others in Gaza City, and destroyed them completely, rendering tens of individuals, including children and women, homeless.

On 07 August 2022, 4 Palestinian civilians were killed in central Gaza City, and others sustained various injuries in Israeli airstrikes conducted only few hours before the ceasefire was declared.  Those killed were identified as: Shadi ‘Emad Nemer Kuhail (27) and Khaled Ayman Jamil Yasin (27), who were both killed after IOF launched a missile at a horse cart at al-Samer Intersection in central Gaza City.  Also, ‘Abdel Rahman Jom’ah Khalaf al-Silik (22), from Shuja’iyya neighborhood, was killed when he was coincidentally passing by in a taxi returning from a shoe shop he owns in al-Shati refugee camp. Moreover, a traffic officer namely Ahmed Sabe’a Dawoud (21), from al-Nafaq Street, was critically injured when he was on duty at al-Samir intersection and then referred to al-Shifa Hospital, where he was pronounced dead in the next morning.

On the same day, IOF’s warplanes launched 2 missiles at a house in al-Tannour neighborhood, Rafah City, and completely destroyed it, rendering a family of 5, homeless.  No casualties were reported.

In the West Bank, Four Palestinians, including 2 children, were killed and 59 others were injured, including 13 children and a woman.  Also, tens others suffocated due to teargas inhalation.  The incidents were as follows:

On 09 August 2022, IOF killed 3 Palestinians, including a child, and wounded 40 others during their incursion into Nablus’s Old City deep inside the Palestinian Authority (PA)-controlled areas in the West Bank. They cordoned off and targeted a residential house with a barrage of bullets and missiles. Among those killed were 2 members of Palestinian armed group members while the child was killed near the area. ( Details available in this press release)

In the evening, IOF killed Mo’men Yasin Jaber (16) and critically wounded 7 others, including 3 children, in clashes between Palestinians and the IOF stationed at a military checkpoint at the entrance to Al-Shuhada street in Hebron, southern West Bank. (Details available in this press release)

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into Palestinian cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 06 August 2022, IOF suppressed a peaceful sit-in on Bab al-‘Amoud stairs in central occupied East Jerusalem against the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip.  IOF attacked and beat up the participants and forcibly emptied the place.  They arrested a Palestinian after beating him.

On 07 August 2022, IOF pushed and beat up worshipers and journalists during the former’s protection of hundreds of settlers, who raided al-Aqsa Mosque yards.  IOF arrested 13 Palestinians, including 4 jouranlists, and assaulted 6 other journalists after breaking their equipment.

On 09 August 2022, 8 Palestinians were wounded with rubber and live bullets in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to al-Bireh.  On the same day, a 2 Palestinians sustained rubber bullet wounds; one in clashes with IOF near Qalendia and the other in clashes near ‘Anata village.  Also, a Palestinian sustained a rubber bullet  and 3 others were arrested, including a child, in clashes with IOF in al-Tour neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.  A child sustained a live bullet wound in clashes with IOF at Beit Ummar village entrance, northern Hebron.

So far in 2022, according to PCHR’s documentation, IOF attacks killed 102 Palestinians, including 71 civilians: 21 children, 8 women (one was journalist Shireen Abu ‘Aqlah), a person with disability, 2 Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers and the rest were activists; 11 of them were assassinated.  Meanwhile, PCHR is still investigating incidents that inflicted casualties in the latest offensive on Gaza. Also, 1229 others were wounded in these attacks, including 187 children, 39 women, and 20 journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Moreover, 3 Palestinian prisoners, including a woman, died in the Israeli jails.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 7 dwellings and a residential tent, rendering 8 families of 44 persons, including 16 children and 8 women, homeless. Also, IOF demolished 8 facilities: mostly livestock barns, and levelled lands in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 04 August 2022, IOF levelled an agricultural land, uprooted 20 olive trees, and closed a well in Teqoa village, eastern Bethlehem.

On 07 August 2022, IOF notified to demolish 2 rooms and a water tank in Marj Na’ajah village, western Jericho.

On 08 August 2022, IOF demolished 9 barracks; 5 are residential housing 25 individuals and 4 are used as livestock barns, in ‘Arab al-Ka’abnah Bedouin Community, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 08 August 2022, IOF demolished an 80-sqm dwelling in Bayrouq village, southern Hebron, rendering a family of 7 individuals, including children, homeless.

On 09 August 2022, IOF demolished a commercial warehouse over its content of spare parts in al- ‘Isawiya village in occupied eAst Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 10 August 2022, IOF demolished a commercial facility for wood trade in Husan village, western Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  On the same day, IOF demolished a residential tent and a livestock barn in al-‘Oja village in Jericho, rendering a family of 6, including 4 children, homeless.  Also, IOF confiscated an excavator and a truck while working in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron.  IOF forced a Palestinian to self-demolish his 50-sqm house in Beit Hanina village, in occupied East Jerusalem, rendering a family of 4, including 4 children, homeless.

Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli occupation forces made 91 families homeless, a total of 541 persons, including 104 women and 255 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 95 houses and 41 residential tents. IOF also demolished 72 other civilian objects, leveled vacant areas of land and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Israeli Setters’ Attacks

on 04 August 2022, settlers from ‘Ali Zehav” vacated truckloads of construction waste and stones in a plot of land, western Kafr al-Deek village in Salfit.

On 05 August 2022, settlers damaged a fence surrounding an agricultural land and cut branches of 16 olive trees in al- ‘Oja area in Jericho.

On 06 August 2022, settlers from “Ramat Yishai” settlement outpost established in place of Usamah Bin al-Monqez School in central Hebron’s Old City threw stones at parked Palestinian vehicles under full view and protection of IOF.  As a result, windows of many vehicles were broken.

On 07 August 2022, under IOF’s protection, settlers raided the Archaeological area in Tuwani village in Hebron and performed religious rituals.

On 09 August 2022, settlers from “Yitsahar” settlement established on the southeastern Nablus lands attacked the outskirts of ‘Orif village and threw stones at a house and a vehicle, causing damage to both.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers conducted at least 166 attacks. In two of the attacks, 2 Palestinians were killed.

Collective Punishment

Under its collective punishment policy against families of Palestinians accused of conducting attacks against IOF or settlers, on 08 August 2022, IOF demolished 2 family houses of 2 Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails in Jenin in the West Bank.  The first 3-sotrey house built on 600 sqms belongs to the family of Prisoner Subhi ‘Emad Sbeihat and housed a family of 6, including his wife, while the second is a 240-sqm house belongs to the family of prisoner As’ad al-Refa’ie and shelters a family of 7, including 3 children.

So far in 2022, IOF demolished 10 houses and sealed another after destroying its internal contents under IOF’s collective punishment policy. Meanwhile, there are many houses threatened of demolition on the same grounds.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians

 IOF carried out 182 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 122 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children and a woman.

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 5211 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 3172 Palestinians were arrested, including 303 children and 27 women.  IOF also conducted 24 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 74 Palestinians, including 41 fishermen, 28 infiltrators, and 5 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

On 08 August 2022, IOF announced the reopening of the crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip to the humanitarian cases; the move is subject to a situational assessment, after they were closed on 02 August 2022.  IOF said that the full opening of the crossings “will be possible later in the day depending on the security situation.”

During IOF’s closure of crossings and offensive on the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian situation seriously deteriorated, threatening the operation of many vital sectors, particularly heath, electricity, water, sanitation, and public services. (More details available here)

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 60 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem arrested 5 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 04 August 2022, IOF closed the entrance to al-Mughaiyer village, eastern Ramallah, with cement cubes and prevented civilians from entering or leaving the village.

So far in 2022, IOF established 2626 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 119 Palestinians at those checkpoints

CROWDFUNDING COLONIALISM: WHO IS BANKROLLING ISRAEL’S LATEST EXCURSION INTO THE WEST BANK?

JULY 22ND, 2022

Source

By Jessica Buxbaum

OCCUPIED WEST BANK — On Wednesday, thousands of Israeli settlers from the Nachala settler group — along with Israeli lawmakers — flocked to the occupied West Bank and established seven illegal outposts in a land grab operation propelled by a massive fundraising campaign.

By Thursday evening, Israeli forces evacuated the day-old outposts and detained and later released 11 settlers. Despite the evictions, Nachala remains determined to continue building on land they claim is only reserved for Jews, with plans to set up new outposts as early as next week.

Nachala, the group responsible for the infamous Evyatar outpost erected last year, has been preparing since April to establish outposts en masse in July. Initially, the plan was to build 28 new outposts throughout the West Bank, but that number was scaled back in recent days. Settlements are legal under Israeli law, but illegal according to international law. Outposts, makeshift encampments built by settlers, are illegal under both Israeli and international law, but some have been retroactively authorized by the Israeli government.

Despite outposts being illegal, Nachala widely advertised its plan on social media and in news outlets. The Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the Israeli army, and Israel Police all issued statements on Tuesday saying security forces will be deployed to thwart any action.

This particular outpost operation was made possible through Nachala’s fundraising efforts, specifically, a crowdfunding campaign that raised over 5 million shekels (or $1.5 million) so far.

Several left-wing organizations have denounced Nachala’s efforts, including Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din, and activist organizations, Peace Now and Looking the Occupation in the Eye. On Wednesday, activists confronted Nachala settlers at several sites throughout the West Bank.

Guy Hirschfeld, an activist with Looking the Occupation in the Eye, told MintPress News the group contacted the Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority, and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz before Nachala’s operation was carried out, but still, nothing was done to prevent Nachala’s plans from being executed, saying,

It’s all by the state and its part of the big plan of ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

THE MONEY BEHIND THE MOVEMENT

Nachala is funded in a myriad of ways. The settlement movement receives money through its financial arm, Geula Titnu La’aretz (in English: “the land shall be redeemed”), a registered non-profit in Israel’s Registrar of Associations, through its public benefit company, Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael or “The National Fund for the Building of the Land of Israel Ltd.,” and through donations. A spokesperson for Nachala did not respond to requests for comment on the organization’s funding and settlement operation tactics.

Similar to how Nachala raised money to build the Evyatar outpost, the settler group has again used the fundraising site Charidy for its recent settlement-building operation. Charidy is an Israeli subsidiary of the American company of the same name. Charidy did not respond to requests for comment on its platform being used to fund illegal activity.

The largest donation was for 1 million shekels (about $290,000) from an anonymous donor. Other significant donations came from Friends of Nachala Toronto and Beit Midrash for the Torah of the Land of Israel, a Jewish study center in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva.

Israeli settlers
Jewish Settlers march in the hills of the Palestinian West Bank to build a new colony outside the settlement of Barkan, July 20, 2022. Ilia Yefimovich | dpa | AP

The Nachala movement also supports itself through Geula Titnu La’aretz and Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael, both of which act as real estate companies. Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael was set up in 2017 to buy privately-owned Palestinian land. Geula Titnu La’aretz has also engaged in real estate deals, although it remains unclear if their land purchases have materialized.

Geula Titnu La’aretz didn’t file annual reports with the Israeli registrar in the last two years, and therefore lost its certification of compliance this year. The latest financial data states it received nearly $140,000 in 2019 — all domestic contributions. Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael received nearly $200,000 in 2020, according to its recent filings. The majority of that sum — about $150,000 — came from abroad. Neither organization’s registrar files provide information on where these donations are from.

While organizations listed in the Israeli registrar are required to report financial data, they do not have to detail where the specific contributions originated. In 2016, Israel passed an amendment to the Transparency Law requiring all non-profit organizations that receive 50% or more of their funding from foreign government entities to disclose these grants. Critics argue this piece of legislation unfairly targets left-wing organizations, specifically human rights groups, which receive a majority of their funding from foreign governments, compared to right-wing groups which receive most of their monies from private entities.

Hirschfeld described how this lack of transparency helps keep Israeli settlement funding a secret. “The right wing doesn’t have to declare where the money is from,” he said.

There is a lot of evangelist money, fascist money from Europe and the state, and things like this, but they don’t have to publish it, so it’s difficult to follow the money of the right-wing organizations.”

Like other Israeli organizations, Nachala has a U.S. wing entitled Friends of Nachala Israel. However, Friends of Nachala Israel does not have a website nor is the organization registered with the Internal Revenue Services, so information on its director or funding isn’t known.

BACKED BY THE STATE

The Nachala movement has received significant backing from Israeli society. Several politicians and prominent rabbis have endorsed Nachala’s operations, including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Israeli members of parliament, Bezalel Smotrich, Simcha Rothman, May Golan, and Orit Strouk.

While Israeli right-wing organizations have been promoting Nachala’s activity, in particular the American non-profit, Americans For A Safe Israel, has openly supported Nachala’s activity online. The group’s followers have also reportedly donated to the Evyatar outpost last year, according to AFSI’s director.

And while Israeli authorities worked to dismantle the outposts, activists assert the Nachala group is supported by the Israeli state, specifically through settlement municipalities. “This plan is being promoted by more than 20 Israeli right-wing movements and bodies led by the Nachala Settlement Movement, with active involvement and support from settlements and regional and local municipalities.” Yesh Din’s executive director, Ziv Stahl, wrote in a letter to the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Thomas R. Nides.

As evidenced on Nachala’s Charidy site, several settlements donated to its campaign, including Gush Etzion, Kedumim, Bet El, and Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, which governs 46 settlements and outposts in the West Bank.

“These settlement municipalities are strongly cooperating with [Nachala],” Dror Etkes, an anti-settlement activist and founder of Israeli land research organization, Kerem Navot, told MintPress News.

Etkes detailed that through local and regional settlement councils, Nachala is provided with road access, electricity, water, building contractors, and other equipment.

“[Nachala’s operation] cannot work without governmental money. It cannot work without consent of the governmental bodies, military, police, and the Civil Administration,” Etkes said, describing how Nachala settlers were surveying the land for weeks prior to building the recent string of outposts. “Not only did the military not stop them, but they actually helped.”

With Israel’s current interim government, Nachala’s plans may not come fully into fruition, given their outposts were torn down in a day. But if a right-wing extremist coalition takes power in November, then Nachala may gain the political reality needed to execute their land grab fantasies.

THE SHAMEFUL UN ‘LIST OF SHAME’: EQUATING BETWEEN THE ISRAELI PERPETRATOR AND THE PALESTINIAN VICTIM

JULY 20TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

We regret we failed to protect you. This was part of a statement issued by United Nations human rights experts on July 14, urging the Israeli government to release Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra. Only 14 years old at the time of his arrest and torture by Israeli forces, Manasra is now 20 years old. His case is a representation of Israel’s overall inhumane treatment of Palestinian children.

The experts’ statement was forceful and heartfelt. It accused Israel of depriving young Manasra “of his childhood, family environment, protection and all the rights he should have been guaranteed as a child.” It referred to the case as ‘haunting’, considering Manasra’s “deteriorating mental conditions”. The statement went further, declaring that “this case … is a stain on all of us as part of the international human rights community”.

Condemning Israel for its ill-treatment of Palestinian children, whether those under siege in war-stricken Gaza, or under military occupation and apartheid in the rest of the occupied territories in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is commonplace.

Yet, somehow, Israel was still spared a spot on the unflattering list, issued annually by the United Nations Secretary-General, naming and shaming governments and groups that commit grave violations against children and minors anywhere in the world.

Oddly, the report does recognize Israel’s horrific record of violating children’s rights in Palestine. It details some of these violations, which UN workers have directly verified. This includes “2,934 grave violations against 1,208 Palestinian children” in the year 2021 alone. However, the report equates between Israel’s record, one of the most dismal in the world, and that of Palestinians, namely the fact that 9 Israeli children were impacted by Palestinian violence in that whole year.

Though the deliberate harming of a single child is regrettable regardless of the circumstances or the perpetrator, it is mind-boggling that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres found it appropriate to equate the systematic violations carried out by the Israeli military as a matter of course and the 9 Israeli minors harmed by Palestinian armed groups, whether intentionally or not.

To deal with the obvious discrepancy between Palestinian and Israeli child victims, the UN report lumped together all categories to distract from the identity of the perpetrator, thus lessening the focus on the Israeli crimes. For example, the report states that a total of 88 children were killed throughout Palestine, of whom 69 were killed in Gaza and 17 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. However, the report breaks down these murders in such a way that conflates Palestinian and Israeli children as if purposely trying to confuse the reader. When read carefully, one discovers that all of these killings were carried out by Israeli forces, except for two.

More, the report uses the same logic to break down the number of children maimed in the conflict, though of the 1,128 maimed children, only 7 were Israelis. Of the remainder, 661 were maimed in Gaza and 464 in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The report goes on to blame “armed Palestinian groups” for some of the Palestinian casualties, who were allegedly injured as a result of “accidents involving children who were near to military training exercises”. Assuming that this is the case, accidents of this nature cannot be considered “grave violations” as they are, by the UN’s own definition, accidental.

The confusing breakdown of these numbers, however, was itself not accidental, as it allowed Guterres the space to declare that “should the situation repeat itself in 2022, without meaningful improvement, Israel should be listed.”

Worse, Guterres’ report went further to reassure the Israelis that they are on the right track by stating that “so far this year, we have not witnessed a similar number of violations”, as if to suggest that the right-wing Israeli government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid has purposely changed its policies regarding the targeting of Palestinian children. Of course, there is no evidence of this whatsoever.

On June 27, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) reported that Israel “had been intensifying its aggression” against children in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2022. DCIP confirmed that as many as 15 Palestinian children were killed by Israeli forces in the first six months of 2022, almost the same number killed in the same regions throughout the entirety of the previous year. This number includes 5 children in the occupied city of Jenin alone. Israel even targeted journalists who attempted to report on these violations, including Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed on May 11, and Ali Samoudi, who was shot in the back on the very same day.

Much more can be said, of course, about the besiegement of hundreds of thousands of children in the Gaza Strip, known as the ‘world’s largest open-air prison’, and many more in the occupied West Bank. The lack of basic human rights, including life-saving medicine and, in the case of Gaza, clean water, hardly suggests any measurable improvement in Israel’s track record as far as Palestinian children’s rights are concerned.

If you think that the UN report is a step in the right direction, think again. 2014 was one of the most tragic years for Palestinian children where, according to a previous UN report, 557 children were killed and 4,249 were injured, the vast majority of whom were targeted during the Israeli war on Gaza. Human Rights Watch stated that the number of killed Palestinians “was the third-highest in the world that year”. Still, Israel was not blacklisted on the UN ‘List of Shame’. The clear message here is that Israel may target Palestinian children as it pleases, as there will be no legal, political or moral accountability for its actions.

This is not what Palestinians are expecting from the United Nations, an organization that supposedly exists to end armed conflicts and bring about peace and security for all. For now, the message emanating from the world’s largest international institution to Manasra and the rest of Palestine’s children will remain unchanged: “We regret we failed to protect you.”

AHMAD MANASRA AND THE CRIME OF EXISTING WHILE PALESTINIAN

JULY 1ST, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

Conversations with Palestinians both young and old almost always end with them saying to me, “you [a Jewish Israeli] can say these things, but if we were to say them we would be excluded from all spaces and we would be called anti-semitic.” A young Palestinian interning in Washington, D.C. told me she felt that she needed an Israeli beside her to give her legitimacy. Not in her own eyes, but in the eyes of the D.C. establishment. Sadly, she is probably correct; in the anti-Arab, and particularly anti-Palestinian atmosphere in Washington, this is very likely true.

About ten years ago my very good friend Bassem Tamimi from Nabi Saleh told me the following story: He was in the United States for a speaking tour and on a certain occasion, an American activist came up and warmly shook his hand. He said to Bassem that since he, Bassem, is a friend of mine, then he too welcomes him. This was the same kind of skewed reality whereby people feel an Israeli is the barometer by which a Palestinian is to be measured. Bassem proceeded to tell the man that although it is true that he and I are friends, and that I slept at his house many times, he does not accept that anyone will judge him on the basis of his friendship with me. That was the end of that conversation and Bassem walked away from this person.

Bassem mentioned this story many, many times during our years of friendship, and he continues to do so, particularly when there are people around who may be thinking the way the man in the story does. I told this young Palestinian the story about Bassem and said that had he not had that kind of integrity, he and I could never have become friends.

A CHASM

There exists a chasm between the reality in Palestine and the way that reality is perceived by the “establishment” in Washington, D.C. Palestinians’ existence in their own country is tantamount to a living hell. Certainly, there are Palestinians who managed to secure a relatively comfortable life within the parameters set for them by Israel, but that does not mean it is any less of a living hell.

The Amnesty International report on Apartheid in Palestine speaks to this issue as well. Just because there are Palestinians who do live well and can survive and work and raise their children somewhat normally within the system of oppression, does not make the system less oppressive or the crime of Apartheid less violent.

One example of this violence is Israel’s administrative detention and torture of Palestinians. Amnesty International published a report about child prisoner Ahmed Manasra, stating that,

Israel continues to perpetrate widespread as well as systematic human rights violations against Palestinians, including children, against a backdrop of decades of state-sponsored discrimination, segregation and persecution.

Had he not been a Palestinian held by Isreal, the entire world would have stood up for Ahmed. Mansara was arrested when he was only 13 years old and was interrogated with no lawyer or parent present. A disturbing video showing his arrest and interrogation went viral.

The Amnesty International report states in no uncertain terms that his arrest and the conditions in which he has been held are tantamount to, “a flagrant violation of international law.” Amnesty goes on to say, “There is evidence that the treatment of Ahmed Manasra fits a wider pattern of discrimination against Palestinian children in the Israeli criminal justice system.” Manasra is, “still in prison despite worsening mental health.”

Amnesty demanded that the Israeli authorities release Manasra and immediately provide him with the medical and mental health care that he needs. Much of the deterioration of his mental health care is directly related to the manner in which both prison authorities and the Shabak – Israel’s secret police – treated him. These include prolonged periods of solitary confinement.

Again, from the Amnesty report:

Ahmad Manasra has been held in prolonged solitary confinement since the beginning of November 2021, in violation of the absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

There is no surprise – much less an outcry – that Israel regularly uses solitary confinement, as does the United States, as a tool for punishing inmates. Amnesty goes on to report that,

The Israel Prison Service asked to renew Ahmad’s solitary confinement for a further six months on 17 April 2022. A hearing that was scheduled to be held on 15 June 2022 with regards to his solitary confinement was postponed to a later date.

Ahmad Manasra’s mental health worsened during his incarceration to a point where there is a concern for his life. In October 2021, an independent Israeli clinical psychologist working with Physicians for Human Rights diagnosed him with severe psychiatric conditions and stated these had developed since his incarceration.

AN ABSURD REALITY

The vicious crimes perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians are well documented by credible agencies with no affiliation to either Israel or the Palestinians, such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. However, when Israel is mentioned in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., there seems to be a sense of awe and admiration. This is also true in many churches and other non-governmental organizations.

Palestinians are far less welcome and when they are invited, they need to be sponsored – if not physically accompanied by an organization that includes Israelis or at least the blessing of Israelis. As was mentioned earlier, while many Palestinians reject this reality, others feel they cannot otherwise have their voice heard.

Perhaps this is a good time to speak of Palestinian generosity. For nearly a century, Palestinians by and large have been trying to make peace with the fact their country was taken and they have been forced to live as refugees or second-class citizens. Palestine, a country that was widely known had all of a sudden become a footnote to Israel. Israelis who consider themselves “progressives” are willing to “give” Palestinians a small portion of Palestine in order to have their own state. However, the real generosity is that Palestinians (in general) agree to the creation of a single democracy with equal rights in all of historic Palestine. Not to confine the Jewish settler-colonizers in small areas within Palestine, but full equality with the very people who killed and tortured them, stole their homes, and deprived them of their land and their rights.

Indeed, it makes more sense that if representatives of Israel are ever welcome anywhere, it should be only when sanctioned by Palestinians. To that end, we must all adopt and demand that sanctions and boycotts be placed on Israel, and without delay.

EVERY BULLET HAS A NAME: IMPUNITY FOR ISRAELI CRIMES AGAINST PALESTINIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

JULY 1ST, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

When Ahed Tamimi tried to defend herself and her home from an armed Israeli officer she became an international heroine. Images of her were plastered everywhere and she was named a “Lioness.” As she candidly admits in her soon to be published memoir (co-written with Dena Takruri) she did not want, nor did she seek this fame. She just wanted to go to school and play soccer.

What Ahed’s story demonstrates is that we have forsaken the Palestinian people. Even Palestinian children are left alone to defend themselves with their bare hands against a vicious occupation force that sends soldiers and officers who are armed to the teeth to attack Palestinians in their homes and are never held accountable for their crimes.

WHO DEFENDS PALESTINIANS?

The answer is no one. When Palestinians risk their lives as they do regularly in their heroic efforts to stay alive and resist oppression, there is no one that stands between them and the Israeli war machine. Ahed Tamimi was recently targeted again. However, the bullet intended for her hit her cousin, who was standing next to her. The soldiers actually called her by name.

Then we saw the same thing in the case of Shireen Abu Akleh, a well-known and respected journalist. Shireen was assassinated in broad daylight. There was no accountability at all, from the shooters to the decision makers who gave the orders. We have come to learn that when Palestinians are targeted we can expect no arrests or serious investigation.

Noted activist Issa Amro is another example. He is thankfully still alive, but there is no certainty that he will be tomorrow. In the city of Hebron where Issa lives and works, soldiers and settlers surround him as he stands in the front line trying to free himself, his city and indeed his country from their brutality. The Old City of Hebron is perhaps one of the most dangerous places to be a Palestinian. Issa is well known for his commitment and dedication to resistance, albeit a dedicatedly unarmed resistance. The soldiers and the settlers recognize him and he is in constant danger.

Issa has been detained, arrested, beaten and dragged to military court enough times to fill the pages of a thick memoir. A new escalation in his persecution seems to have begun in the summer of 2022. In a matter of weeks, his house has been raided several times and he was detained and harassed by soldiers who handcuffed and blindfolded him, keeping him like that for hours.

DEFENDING THE DEFENDERS

People often use the term “for no reason,” when speaking about their unjust harassment, detention, arrest and killing by Israeli forces. However, this term is misleading. In the case of Issa Amro, as in the case of Shireen Abu Akleh, Ahed Tamimi and countless others, there is an excellent reason. The motive for the killing of Shireen and the constant brutal assault on people like Issa is that they have a voice that is heard around the world. Israel is terrified and when an armed bully is scared, it reacts with violence.

Another aspect of Issa Amro’s case is that he was designated a “human rights defender” by the United Nations in 2010. The U.S. State Department followed suit in 2011, as did the European Union in 2013. A 2016 Amnesty International report entitled “Israeli Government Must Cease Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders, Protect Them From Attacks,” lists Issa and several others as human rights defenders and details the ways in which the Israeli government regularly harasses them. Since the report came out, six years have passed and nothing is being done to see to it that these defenders are protected. The question that needs to be answered without delay is, who defends the defenders when they are attacked brutally and with impunity by Israel?

EVERY BULLET HAS A NAME

How far back do we need to go in order to demonstrate how Israel gets away with murder? From its very founding moment, Israeli forces have been murdering Palestinians with impunity. Raids on homes and arrests and detention of political activists have been part of the daily life of Palestinians from the very beginning of the Apartheid regime in 1948.

Israel targets people and then executes its plan whether it is to detain, arrest, or otherwise harass them. In some cases, their targets are shot and killed. When they kill a well-known Palestinian, we hear about it, talk about it and then move on until we hear of another name. Each one of these Palestinians had a bullet with their name on it and it was just a question of time until that bullet found its mark. Unless the supply of bullets to Israel is brought to an end, the killing of Palestinians will continue uninterrupted.

International organizations that claim to stand for the rights of the oppressed need to have their feet on the ground. Like soldiers, they must have people there to stand in the midst so that Palestinians are protected. With all due respect, the designation of a human rights defender may help but it does not guarantee the lives or even the safety of those who carry it. Any organization, governmental or non-governmental that claims to have the interests of the oppressed on its agenda needs to stand in front of Israeli soldiers as they harass and endanger the lives of Palestinians.

NOT ALL SOLDIERS WEAR A UNIFORM

Indeed, some soldiers wear suits. In capitals around the world, representatives of the state of Israel walk around in suits. But they are no less violent and racist than the soldiers in uniform in Hebron or the settlers in El-Lyd or the Yoav unit of the Israeli police that operate in the Naqab. They are all equally dedicated to the destruction of Palestine and to the preservation at all costs of the Apartheid regime.

The soldiers in suits walk through the halls of governments, the offices of big corporations, and the headquarters of NGOs to ensure that the Apartheid regime’s interests are protected. So far the evidence shows that their work is rewarded and their interests are protected.

What is also clear is that the lives of Palestinians, be they unarmed activists or fighters, be they children, women, men, or the elderly, are only worth the price of the bullet that carries their name. And while we will talk and write about the next Palestinian who is killed for a few days, their children will remain orphans for life.

ISRAEL’S DANCE OF FLAGS IS A ZIONIST HATE PARADE AND, BY DEFINITION, AN ACT OF WAR

JUNE 7TH, 2022

Source

By Miko Peled

JERUSALEM – It is sometimes easier to see things from a distance, especially when talking about Palestine, where tragedies follow each other with unbelievable speed. There is no time to recover from one tragedy before two or three more occur, all initiated by Israel with its all-powerful military and then justified or buried by various branches of Zionist groups around the world.

The Dance of Flags, sometimes called the Flags March, takes place in Jerusalem each year around the beginning of June. In 2022 it was preceded by the targeted killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the assault on her funeral procession, followed by the killing of several more young Palestinians. The decision to carry out the ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills took place around the same time, yet not a moment of thought is given to the fact that there is a war going on.

The March of Flags in Jerusalem was an act of war. Israeli assaults on Jenin are an act of war. The displacement of the residents of Masafer Yatta is an act of war. And this is counting only the events that took place in the last few weeks.

THE FLAGS MARCH

Anyone who has witnessed the Dance of Flags firsthand in Jerusalem can attest to the fact that this is, without a doubt, a parade of terror. The thousands of young Israelis get excited for the moment when they enter the Old City of Jerusalem through the Damascus Gate so that they can pound on the doors of Palestinian businesses and terrorize the Palestinians who reside in the Old City.

Each year the organizers of this racist hate parade go through the formality of negotiating with the Jerusalem police regarding the specific route of the march. Every year the police and other government agencies charged with security say that the request to enter the Old City via Damascus Gate is a dangerous idea. And every year the March proceeds as planned through Damascus Gate. Being the masters of the land and wielding a great deal of political power, the organizers of the Dance of Flags always get their way.

DAMASCUS GATE

In Arabic, the Damascus Gate is called Bab el-Amoud, or the Gate of the Pillar. Apparently, in early times there was a large pillar in front of the gate on the inside. Generally, one can tell a great deal about a city just by paying attention to its gates. For example, when entering the Old City via Jaffa Gate and going down into the souk, one sees shops catering to tourists; and, in fact, most tourists and Israelis enter through there. It is considered a more “friendly” part of the Old City. The shops carry all sorts of Judaica, yarmulkes, menorahs and even IDF t-shirts.

When entering from Damascus Gate, one sees fewer tourists. Mostly Palestinians walk through it and the shops sell things that people actually need for their daily lives. Vegetables, bread, sweets, clothes and shoes. The shops that do carry items for tourists carry mostly kaffiyas and items like t-shirts that emphasize Palestine and show the Palestinian colors. The non-Palestinians walking the street down from Damascus Gate are usually hardcore Israeli settlers, who have taken over some of the homes along the road, and soldiers.

Israel Flags March
Palestanians defend against Jewish youth partaking in the Flags March, May 29, 2022. Ariel Schalit | AP

TAKING OVER

It is a straight shot walking from Damascus Gate to the al-Aqsa Mosque, and to the Western Wall – or the Kotel – plaza. The plaza used to be the Mughrabi neighborhood of the Old City. Palestinians live and have businesses in that part of the city, but settlers are targeting and taking homes there at an alarming rate. The homes that have already been taken by settlers are clearly marked and easy to spot. First, a heavy door with a bolt is placed at the front of the home. You don’t see the Palestinian homes with doors like that. An intercom is put in place and very often an armed security guard stands regularly by the door.

A large Israeli flag is displayed on the building, usually hanging from the second story balcony. It is very often that these apartments are right above shops that are still owned and operated by Palestinian merchants who suffer greatly from the settlers’ presence. As one shopkeeper whose store I frequent often said to me once, “Ma fi awsakh minhum” – no one is worse than them.

AN ACT OF WAR

According to the “Law Insider” website, an act of war is defined as follows:

Act of war (whether declared or undeclared), invasion, armed conflict or act of foreign enemy, blockade, embargo, revolution, riot, insurrection, civil commotion, act of terrorism or sabotage.

Another example of a definition is:

Act of war means hostile or warlike action, whether declared or not, in a time of peace or war, whether initiated by a local governmentforeign government or foreign groupcivil unrestinsurrectionrebellion or civil war.

The Flags March held in Jerusalem each year falls under these definitions. It is an invasion of the Old City by a mob large enough to be a small army; it is a riot; it is civil commotion, and it is an act of terrorism that involves sabotage. Even though those who participate in this hate parade are civilians, there is always a heavy military presence that accompanies them. It was reported that in 2022 some three thousand officers were deployed in Jerusalem for the purpose of this march. That represents nearly the entire Jerusalem police force.

Israel Flags
Israeli police snatch a flag from an elderly woman amid the Flags Day march in the Old City, May 29, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Not to be mistaken with traffic police, or cops on a beat looking for criminals, the police force that is deployed in East Jerusalem is of a different kind. This is a militarized police force and the officers are referred to as “fighters,” not officers. They look like soldiers, the arms that they carry are like those of soldiers, but their mandate is to attack Palestinian civilians, something they do with cruelty and brutality.

Zionists always blame Palestinians who respond to Israeli acts of war with acts of armed resistance against civilians. They call it terrorism. There is no question that it is terrible when civilians are killed and injured. The problem is that throughout the entire war Israel has waged against Palestinians it has been targeting civilians. There is no Palestinian military – there never was such a thing – and Israel has consistently, and with planning, targeted and killed Palestinian civilians going as far back as one can remember.

Perhaps it is time to step back and instead of viewing each act of violence perpetrated by Israel separately, instead view them all together as individual acts of a larger war – a war waged against a nation that has never possessed an army.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (Weekly Update 26 May – 01 June 2022)

02, 06. 2022

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

Three Palestinians, including a woman and a child, were killed and 129 others, including 10 children, were injured by Israeli Occupation Forces’ (IOF) fire while dozens of others suffocated and sustained bruises in IOF attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.  Details are listed below:

On 27 May 2022, Zaid Ghuneim (14) was killed in al-Khader village, southern Bethlehem, after IOF deliberately and unjustifiably opened fire at him in their incursion into Um Rukbah area in the village and deployment between houses. (More information available here)

On 01 June 2022, Belal ‘Awad Qobha (24) was killed, and 4 others were injured in clashes during IOF incursion into Ya’bud village in Jenin.  The incursion ended by exploding the family house of Diaa Hamarshah, who was previously killed after carrying out a shooting attack that killed 5 Israelis in Tel Aviv on 29 March 2022.

On 01 June 2022, Ghofran Warasnah (30) was killed with a bullet shot by IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron, allegedly for attempting to carry out a stab attack.  (Further information available here)

Those injured were victims of IOF’s excessive use of force and suppression of peaceful protests and gatherings organized by Palestinian civilians and they were as follows:

On 26 May 2022, a child was wounded with a bullet in clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Howara village, southeastern Nablus.

On 27 May 2022, 4 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly peaceful protest in Qalqilya.

On 28 May 2022, 4 Palestinians, including 4 children, were wounded with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly peaceful protest in Qalqilya.

On 29 May 2022, IOF conducted extensive assaults during their incursion into al-Aqsa yard in East Jerusalem in the morning.  They beat up elderlies, causing them fractures, during IOF’s attempt to empty the yard in order to secure the raid of more than 2600 settlers.  IOF raided the mosque yard through al-Qibli praying hall side and broke the locks f the minaret of the Mughrabi Gate.  They topped the nearby roofs and al-Qibli praying hall roof as well as closing it with chains.  IOF also arrested 10 worshippers when they were near al-Silsilah Gate and obstructed the work of journalists, forcing them to leave the mosque yards.

In the evening, 79 Palestinians were wounded, and 50 others were arrested when IOF suppressed with sound bombs, teargas canisters and rubber bullets tens of Palestinians participating in a peaceful protest and raising Palestinian flags.  The protest coincided with a rally of hundreds of settlers in the Damascus Gate yard as part of their annual flag march where they chanted racist slogans and conducted many assaults under the protection of IOF who closed the entire area.  Also, clashes broke out between Palestinians and IOF and settlers that extended to East Jerusalem’s neighborhoods and villages.

On the same day, 6 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded in clashes with IOF near Howara checkpoint at the southeastern entrance to Nablus.  Also, 2 Palestinians; one was a child, were wounded with bullets in clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into al-Duheisha refugee camp, southwestern Bethlehem.  During the incursion, IOF raided a house, assaulted the residents, and destroyed the internal walls, causing severe damage to the house.  Moreover, 3 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded with live and rubber bullets in clashes with IOF at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, northern Hebron.  A Palestinian was also wounded in IOF’s suppression of a peaceful protest in Husan village, western Bethlehem.  Another Palestinian was wounded with a bullet in clashes with IOF near the Military Checkpoint 300, northern Bethlehem.

On 30 May 2022, 3 Palestinians, including a child, were wounded in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to al-Bira.  Also, a Palestinian was wounded with a bullet and then arrested in clashes with IOF at the entrance to Kharsa village in Hebron. 

On 31 May 2022, 2 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with IOF at the northern entrance to ‘Azoun village, eastern Qalqilya.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire 6 times at agricultural lands in an access restricted area in eastern Gaza Strip. Also, five IOF shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western shore.

So far in 2022, IOF attacks killed 53 Palestinians, including 42 civilians: 12 children, 5 women (one was a journalist) and the rest were activists; 3 of them were assassinated. Also, 841 others were wounded in these attacks, including 84 children, 4 women, and 19 journalists all in the West Bank, except for 9 fishermen in the Gaza Strip.

Land razing, demolitions, notices and settlement activity

Israeli authorities demolished 2 houses and 9 residential tents, rendering 11 families of 75 persons, including 14 women and 26 children, homeless. Also, the Israeli authorities razed 3 dunums and handed 3 demolition notices in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 26 May 2022, IOF razed 3 dunums in Wadi Rahal village, southern Bethlehem, uprooting tens of olive trees.

On 30 May 2022, IOF handed 3 demolition orders to 3 uninhabited houses in eastern Yatta, southern Hebron.

On 01 June 2022, IOF demolished a house in al-Issawiya village in East Jerusalem, for the sixth time in a row under the pretext of unlicensed construction, rendering a family of 8 persons, including 4 women and 2 children, homeless.  On the same day, IOF demolished 9 residential tens and a sheep barn in Masafer Yatta area in Hebron, displacing 9 families of 60 persons, including 23 children.  IOF also demolished a residential barrack, and another used as a sheep barn in addition to 4 fences in Za’im village, northern East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, displacing a family of 5, including 3 children.  Moreover, IOF handed 10 cease-construction notices to facilities in Marda village, northern Salfit.

Since the beginning of 2022, IOF rendered 76 families homeless, a total of 441 persons, including 89 women and 208 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 73 houses and 16 residential tents. IOF also demolished 47 other civilian objects, leveled 246 dunums and delivered 96 notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation.

Settler-attacks on Palestinian civilians and their properties:

Settlers conducted 7 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property in the West Bank.  The attacks included setting fire to agricultural lands and attacking vehicles, houses, and journalists. Details are as follows:

On 27 May 2022, settlers organized a flag rally in Howara village in Nablus and attacked and damaged a coffeeshop on the main street in the village.

On 28 May 2022, settlers conducted attacks on Palestinians during a flag rally organized by the former under IOF’s heavy protection.  The rally took off from the Damasuc gate area towards the streets of Eat Jerusalem’s Old City On the eve of the anniversary of the occupation of the city.  IOF violently assaulted 2 Palestinian children and then arrested them.

On 29 May 2022, in a flag rally in Eat Jerusalem, settlers conducted assaults against Palestinians in the Damascus Gate and several neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.  Settlers assaulted by hands and insults journalists in the area, wounding a number of them.  The settlers also tried to raid houses in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and attacked property as well as breaking car windows.

On 30 May 2022, settlers set fire to agricultural lands in the outskirts of Madma and Burin villages in Nablus as 50 olive trees were burnt. 

On 31 May 2022, settlers assaulted Palestinians in Wadi Rababa neighborhood in East Jerusalem coinciding with an Israel Nature Authority’s razing operation in the area.  Settlers also threw stones at a vehicle and broke its windows in addition to attacking the passengers and causing them bruises and wounds.

So far this year, settlers carried out 140 attacks on Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

 IOF carried out 212 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 117 Palestinians, including 11 children and a journalist, were arrested; most of them were arrested during IOF’s incursion into al-Aqsa Mosque yards and suppression that coincided with the Israeli flag march in East Jerusalem. Moreover, IOF arrested 10 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including 2 infiltrators via eastern Rafah on 26 May and 8 fishermen while sailing off Rafah shore on 31 May.  Six of the fishermen were released the next day (further details available here).

So far in 2022, IOF conducted 3577 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 2495 Palestinians were arrested, including 249 children and 17 women. IOF also conducted 16 limited incursions into eastern Gaza Strip and arrested 52 Palestinians, including 35 fishermen, 14 infiltrators, and 3 travelers via Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing.

Israeli collective punishment and closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly update on the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 108 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 108 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 3 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

So far in 2022, IOF established 1709 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 101 Palestinians at those checkpoints

جبال رودوس القبرصية… «إسرائيل» تتهيّأ لمعركة الصعاب

الأحد 5 حزيران 2022

 نبيه عواضة

نشر موقع واي نت العبري تقريراً تحت عنوان «آلاف المقاتلين في 50 سفينة وطائرة ــ نفذوا ما يشبه الاجتياح على قمم جبال رودوس في قبرص واختتام المناورة الكبرى…»

«عربات النار» هي التسمية «الإسرائيلية» لمناورتها والتي تمثل أكبر مناورة في تاريخ الجيش «الإسرائيلي» والتي استمرت لعدة أسابيع حاكت احتماليات المعركة المقبلة وعلى عدة جبهات.

أشار التقرير ضمنياً إلى أنه «للمرّة الأولى تدرّب الجيش «الإسرائيلي» هذا الأسبوع، وعلى نطاق غير مسبوق، على سيناريوات القتال في عمق أراضي العدو، بمشاركة مقاتلي فرقة النخبة 98، وكلّ من شيتت 13 ووحدة 669، وذلك في الجزيرة المجاورة قبرص… عشرات المداهمات السرية، إنشاء قاعدة أمامية، وأسر جنود من الجيش الإسرائيلي، عمليات خلالها يسير المقاتلين في أراضي العدو المجهولة لعشرات الأميال وهم يحملون عشرات الكيلوغرامات على ظهورهم. وقد راقب الروس والأتراك هذه التدريبات عن كثب. قبل ان يطرح سؤالاً مفاده الحاجة لعملية معقدة وحساسة للغاية كهذه في المستقبل ضدّ حزب الله»؟

فقد اختتمت مناورة الحرب الكبرى التي أجراها الجيش «الإسرائيلي» بنقل آلاف الجنود جواً وبحراً وذلك للقتال في عمق أراضي العدو التي تمّـ محاكاتها في قبرص ــ وذلك بواسطة أكثر من سفينة وفرقاطة وطائرة ومروحية: تحاكي مناورة شهر الحرب التي يجريها الجيش الإسرائيلي، حرب تندلع في ساحتين رئيسيتين تتخللهما أيضاً رشقات للصواريخ والقذائف الصاروخية من سورية وايران، حيث وصلت المناورة إلى ذروة غير مسبوقة هذا الأسبوع مع تشغيل (او تفعيل) فرقة النخبة 98، خارج إسرائيل وفي صفوفها آلاف المقاتلين من لوائي المظليين والكوماندو ووحدة الهندسة يهلوم بالتعاون مع قوات الذراعين الجوي والبحري.

وقد حاكت التدريبات في قبرص قدرات الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في تشغيل آلاف المقاتلين في عمق ساحة القتال مثل لبنان، وذلك من أجل تثبيت الحسم ضدّ العدو، وزعزعته وذلك من خلال الدمج بين هجوم من الجبهة بواسطة قوات كثيفة من ألوية المشاة والدبابات والوحدات الهندسية. ومن العمق، بواسطة طواقم كوماندو على نطاق واسع للقيام بمداهمات على بعد عشرات الأميال من الحدود».

التقرير ذكر أنه ولأجل إجراء المناورة، استأجرت وزارة الدفاع سفناً وبواخر مدنية من إيطاليا واليونان، من أجل نقل القوات من قاعدة حيفا عبر البحر لمسافة تصل لنحو 400 كلم حتى السواحل الغربية لجزيرة قبرص، بالقرب من بافوس، (أصغر مدن قبرص)، وبشكل عام تمّ تشغيل نحو 18 سفينة مختلفة من بينها سفن صواريخ و(دفورها) وقطع بحرية تابعة لشيتت 13، وقد تدرّب الجيش «الإسرائيلي» في السابق على مرافقة (دعم) الغواصات لهذه القوات من خلال المعلومات الاستخبارية والنار، ولكن في هذه المناورة لم تشارك الغواصات. وقد تزامن ذلك مع نقل آلاف الجنود على عشرات الدفعات على متن نحو 30 طائرة هركولس ومروحيات (ينشولف ــ بلاك هوك) ومروحيات قتالية الى جانب قوات تأمين مرافقة لها من وحدة 669.

إذن، المناورة حاكت معركة مفتوحة مع قطاع غزة والتي لا ترتبط بتوقيت او بتوازن قوى، وقد تشتعل نتيجة لأي حدث، «القدس والاقصى عنوان يومي لذلك»، إضافة إلى تقدير اندلاع المواجهات في مناطق فلسطين المحتلة عام ٤٨ (هذا ما يفسّر حصول تدريب عسكري في مدينة أمّ الفحم في منطقة المثلث) كإستعادة أولية لنماذج ما حصل من صدامات داخل المدن المختلطة وما أفرزه ذلك من إعادة النظر بمفهوم «التعايش» إلى درجة وصف بعض الإعلام «الإسرائيلي» ما حصل إبان معركة «حارس الاسوار» أنه خطر وجودي واستعادة لأصل الفكرة ألا وهي الصراع على الأرض. إضافة الى احتمالية نشوء مواجهة مع جبهة الشمال وتحديداً حزب الله، الأمر الذي يتعدى تلقي صليات هائلة من الصواريخ على أنواعها (البعيدة المدى والدقيقة ضمناً قدرتها الاستخبارات العسكرية بنحو ١٠٠٠ صاروخ يومياً) بما فيها المُسيّرات (الانتحارية) وصولاً الى إمكانية حصول «توغل من قوات الرضوان في مناطق ونقاط معينة في الجليل الأعلى». كلّ ذلك مترافقاً مع صواريخ الحشد الشعبي وحركة أنصار الله والمُسيّرات اليمنية التي قال الاسرائيلي انّ ما وصلت به الى ما بعد الرياض وابو ظبي عملياً وحسابياً أصبحت شمالي إيليت (أمّ الرشراش فلسطينياً) ولعمق يمتدّ ٢٥٠ كلم في مرمى الفعل اليمني، (التحدي الثاني وفق تسمية مصلحة تقدير المخاطر في مركز الأمن القومي الاسرائيلي) بمعنى آخر الشعاع الممتدّ من مطار رامونا (طالته صورايخ القسام في معركة سيف القدس) جنوب البلاد وصولاً الى إيليت ساقط عسكرياً.

عاد الجنود الى قواعدهم او الى منازلهم في استراحة قد تكون لحظية وقتية مرتبطة بما يفرزه التطور المفاجئ للميدان او تكون روتينية قبل العودة الى القواعد مع تنشيط للحافزية القتالية وسط تراجعها لدى الجنود، وهو جلّ ما يستطيع ان يقدّمه رئيس الأركان أفيف كوخافي الذي يوشك في العام المقبل ان ينزع بزته العسكرية ويضع الأوسمة في خزانة باستعادة الدور والانتقال الى فعل القيادة السياسية كنسخة معدلة من «حزب الجنرالات».

أحداث القدس الأخيرة لم تسعفه حينما أحجم الميدان عن التدحرج الى معركة يتهيّأ لها بقوة وإدراك وتمكّن لـ «ينتصر» بشيء من الدمار عله يدخل شارع بلفور في القدس حيث مقرّ رئيس الوزراء…!

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

MBS-Kushner investments could complicate vital Saudi regional diplomacy

June 05 2022

Saudi Crown Prince MbS wants Israel onside but has yet to figure out how to move forward without rocking the Saudi boat.

Source

By Agha Hussein

The Saudis need to choose: Will it be regional stability with Tehran or regional confrontation with Tel Aviv? Riyadh cannot have both.

Saudi Arabia is slated for a complete socioeconomic overhaul under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) ambitious Vision2030, which aims to steer the kingdom towards a post-oil economy. For this to be realized, peace and political stability with Saudi’s neighbors is essential.

In this context, Riyadh sees diplomatic engagement with rival Iran as crucial to addressing the security dilemmas the kingdom faces from neighboring Yemen, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, which have the potential to derail progress on Saudi’s reform program.

However, MbS’ recent signals toward Israel could hinder the kingdom’s efforts to formalize the Iran-Saudi diplomatic ‘framework‘ aimed at bringing stability to its borders.

MbS and Israel

On 7 May, The Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – of which MbS is chairman – committed $2 billion to a private equity fund for Israeli tech startups. This represents the first known case of the PIF investing in Israeli businesses.

The fund belongs to Jared Kushner, former US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and informal advisor who worked with MbS to draw Saudi foreign policy closer to Israeli interests.

During the Trump administration, Kushner and MbS formed a close interpersonal relationship. Kushner bypassed the US State and Defense Departments and dealt directly with the crown prince, helping him to consolidate power in return for closer alignment with Israel on Iran.

However, MbS eventually decided that the kingdom needed de-escalation with Iran as a means of addressing its growing security dilemmas in Yemen and the Persian Gulf. Citing the tensions it was causing with Iran, MbS took a step back from his partnership with Kushner by declining to join the August 2020 Abraham Accords struck between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, which Kushner played a lead role in facilitating.

This was followed by an Iraqi-mediated dialogue initiated between Tehran and Riyadh in October 2021, which has continued with a few intervals up to the present.

What about Iran?

Now, the investment in Kushner’s fund says two things about MbS’ current priorities. One, that the crown prince retains interest in finding niches of Israeli-Saudi cooperation, and two, that he intends to do so via the old, familiar approach with Kushner as a key broker and interlocutor.

But this challenges an important element of Iranian-Saudi diplomacy: namely, that both states’ compartmentalize their many differences across West Asia for the sake of detente and stability in their immediate, shared Persian Gulf region.

The Islamic Republic for its part has a very regionalized national security doctrine, which emphasizes keeping Israeli influence away from its own borders. Tehran may interpret MbS’ overtures to Israel as a sign that the Saudi talks are not promising outcomes consistent with its national security objectives.

If this is the case, Iran could decide to withdraw from the talks altogether. Indeed, Iran temporarily halted the Iraqi-brokered dialogue with Saudi Arabia in March when it launched missile strikes at purported Israeli Mossad sites in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

Additionally, since economic diversification is a key pillar of Vision2030, Iran may view the investment in Kushner’s fund as MbS integrating Israel into his own bigger-picture. From Tehran’s perspective, this is counterproductive to Iran’s desired scenario of an Israel-free Persian Gulf and therefore does not bode well for the continuity of Iranian-Saudi diplomacy.

Ties with Turkey

Saudi Arabia’s relations with Turkey, another West Asian powerhouse, have recently thawed under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to mend fences with the kingdom.

While Turkey’s angle has more to do with building economic and security ties, for Riyadh this entente has special importance for its overall regional diplomacy. This is because the tension in Turkish-Saudi ties is associated heavily with the 2018 state-sanctioned murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, reportedly at the personal behest of MbS.

The fallout from the murder made MbS persona non grata for many in the international community, and he remained a pariah until only relatively recently amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis.

This proved especially inconvenient when MbS began his urgent tilt to a more diplomatic foreign policy. Riyadh’s access to various diplomatic channels was suddenly very limited because of MbS’ personal, unilateral control over Saudi decision-making. Indeed, even Saudi Arabia’s (partial) rapprochement with Qatar, ending a three-and-a-half year blockade, required Kushner’s mediation.

Two weeks before Erdogan’s 28 April visit to Riyadh, a Turkish court transferred the trial of Khashoggi’s Saudi assassins to the kingdom. Thus, since Erdogan sees shoring up MbS’ international standing as necessary for their entente, the latter has reason to ensure that Ankara gets a degree of geopolitical value out of it too.

Critically, this is where the risk that MbS’ Israel outreach poses to Iranian-Saudi diplomacy, could spill over to the budding Turkish-Saudi normalization.

Turkey’s overtures to MbS have occurred in parallel with its rapprochement with Israel. If Turkish-Saudi dialogue covers regional agendas instead of just bilateral ones, Iran may well suspect the two of eyeing a bloc and drawing Israel toward it as a mutual ally.

Keeping Israel out

Iran would overplay its hand and damage its diplomatic credibility by raking up Turkey in dialogue with Saudi Arabia, as the latter could interpret this as Iranian heavy-handedness and drop the idea that Iran is able or willing to help it de-escalate matters in Yemen and the Persian Gulf.

Tehran does not want this to happen, as it has tactically benefited from playing the Yemen/Gulf de-escalation card: both to bring Riyadh to the negotiating table, and to show it that avoiding Israel is a worthy trade-off to cool tensions with Iran’s allies in Yemen and even Iraq.

Conversely, if Iran accepts that it cannot force the Turkish factor into its talks with Saudi Arabia, its diplomatic strategy toward Riyadh provides no recourse against the possibility of MbS asking Ankara to help connect him to Tel Aviv.

In this scenario, continuing the Saudi talks presents Iran with a credibility crisis – that of its ability to enforce its national security red-lines by pressuring or incentivizing its neighbors to avoid Israel. This could lead to Tehran abandoning the dialogue with Riyadh, or putting it on ice.

Vision or Mirage?

Saudi Arabia needs harmony, not contradictions and conflicts, between its various diplomatic processes and dialogues, both to properly restore MbS’ international reputation and to provide the stability the kingdom needs for Vision2030’s implementation.

The diplomatic cadre in Riyadh seems aware of this, going by the Saudi Foreign Minister’s statement on 24 May that the kingdom’s hands are ‘stretched out to Iran’.

Currently, Riyadh’s most obvious and potentially impactful option to de-escalate tensions across the region is to continue its dialogue with Tehran. Shelving ties with Israel is a small price to pay for the stability-dividends it offers Saudi Arabia.

LONG MARGINALIZED, THE RIGHT OF RETURN IS ONCE AGAIN A PALESTINIAN PRIORITY

MAY 25TH, 2022

Source

By Ramzy Baroud

The Nakba is back on the Palestinian agenda.

For nearly three decades, Palestinians were told that the Nakba – or Catastrophe – is a thing of the past. That real peace requires compromises and sacrifices, therefore, the original sin that has led to the destruction of their historic homeland should be entirely removed from any ‘pragmatic’ political discourse. They were urged to move on.

The consequences of that shift in narrative were dire. Disowning the Nakba, the single most important event that shaped modern Palestinian history, has resulted in more than political division between the so-called radicals and the supposedly peace-loving pragmatists, the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority. It also divided Palestinian communities in Palestine and across the world around political, ideological and class lines.

Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, it became clear that the Palestinian struggle for freedom was being entirely redefined and reframed. It was no longer a Palestinian fight against Zionism and Israeli settler colonialism that goes back to the start of the 20th century, but a ‘conflict’ between two equal parties, with equally legitimate territorial claims that can only be resolved through ‘painful concessions’.

The first of such concessions was relegating the core issue of the ‘Right of Return’ for Palestinian refugees who were driven out of their villages and cities in 1947-48. That Palestinian Nakba paved the way for Israel’s ‘independence’, which was declared atop the rubble and smoke of nearly 500 destroyed and burnt Palestinian villages and towns.

At the start of the ‘peace process’, Israel was asked to honor the Right of Return for Palestinians, although symbolically. Israel refused. Palestinians were then pushed to relegate that fundamental issue to a ‘final status negotiations’, which never took place. This meant that millions of Palestinian refugees – many of whom are still living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, as well as the occupied Palestinian territories – were dropped from the political conversation altogether.

If it were not for the continued social and cultural activities of the refugees themselves, insisting on their rights and teaching their children to do the same, such terms as the Nakba and Right of Return would have been completely dropped out of the Palestinian political lexicon.

Palestinian refugee
A Family warms themselves by a fire during cold weather in a slum on the outskirts of a Gaza refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

While some Palestinians rejected the marginalization of the refugees, insisting that the subject is a political not merely a humanitarian one, others were willing to move on as if this right was of no consequence. Various Palestinian officials affiliated with the now-defunct ‘peace process’ have made it clear that the Right of Return was no longer a Palestinian priority. But none came even close to the way that PA President Abbas, himself, framed the Palestinian position in a 2012 interview with Israeli Channel 2.

“Palestine now for me is the ’67 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is now and forever … This is Palestine for me. I am [a] refugee, but I am living in Ramallah,” he said.

Abbas had it completely wrong, of course. Whether he wished to exercise his right of return or not, that right, according to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, is simply “inalienable”, meaning that neither Israel nor the Palestinians themselves, can deny or forfeit it.

Let alone the lack of intellectual integrity of separating the tragic reality of the present from its main root cause, Abbas lacked political wisdom as well. With his ‘peace process’ floundering, and with the lack of any tangible political solution, he simply decided to abandon millions of refugees, denying them the very hope of having their homes, land or dignity restored.

Since then, Israel, along with the United States, has fought Palestinians on two different fronts: one, by denying them any political horizon and, the other, by attempting to dismantle their historically enshrined rights, mainly their Right of Return. Washington’s war on the Palestinian refugees’ agency, UNRWA, falls under the latter category as the aim was – and remains – the destruction of the very legal and humanitarian infrastructures that allow Palestinian refugees to see themselves as a collective of people seeking repatriation, reparations and justice.

Yet, all such efforts continue to fail. Far more important than Abbas’ personal concessions to Israel, UNRWA’s ever-shrinking budget or the failure of the international community to restore Palestinian rights, is the fact that the Palestinian people are, once again, unifying around the Nakba anniversary, thus insisting on the Right of Return for the seven million refugees in Palestine and the shattat – Diaspora.

Ironically, it was Israel that has unwittingly re-unified Palestinians around the Nakba. By refusing to concede an inch of Palestine, let alone allow Palestinians to claim any victory, a State of their own – demilitarized or otherwise – or allow a single refugee to go home, Palestinians were forced to abandon Oslo and its numerous illusions. The once-popular argument that the Right of Return was simply ‘impractical’ no longer matters, neither to ordinary Palestinians nor to their intellectual or political elites.

In political logic, for something to be impossible, an alternative would have to be attainable. However, with Palestinian reality worsening under the deepening system of Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid, Palestinians now understand that they have no possible alternative but their unity, their resistance and the return to the fundamentals of their struggle. The Unity Intifada of last May was a culmination of this new realization. Moreover, the Nakba anniversary commemoration rallies and events throughout historic Palestine and the world on May 15 have further helped crystallize the new discourse that the Nakba is no longer symbolic and the Right of Return is the collective, core demand of most Palestinians.

Israel is now an apartheid state in the real meaning of the word. Israeli apartheid, like any such system of racial separation, aims at protecting the gains of nearly 74 years of unhinged colonialism, land theft and military dominance. Palestinians, whether in Haifa, Gaza or Jerusalem, now fully understand this, and are increasingly fighting back as one nation.

And since the Nakba and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees are the common denominators behind all Palestinian suffering, the term and its underpinnings are back at the center stage of any meaningful conversation on Palestine, as should have always been the case.

THE ASSASSINATION OF SHIREEN ABU AKLEH: WHO GAVE THE ORDER?

MAY 23RD, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

JENIN, OCCUPIED PALESTINE – Israel’s announcement that it will not pursue an investigation into the killing of famed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was not surprising. The specific reasons it gave to justify the decision make little difference. However, one thing is certain: It is highly unlikely that the killing of a journalist like Shireen Abu Akleh was the decision of a lone soldier or a commander on the ground.

Abu Akleh was well known and well respected. She was clearly identifiable as a non-combatant and a journalist who posed no threat to Israeli forces. She had been in similar situations before and knew how to take the necessary precautions, including wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest. She had to be shot by a well-trained sniper, and their identity must be known to the Israeli authorities.

There had to have been an order or, at the minimum, approval given by the highest levels of the Israeli defense apparatus, as high as the minister of defense or even the prime minister, before the sniper could execute this assassination. Then, in a pretty transparent attempt to cover up the assassination, Israel pretended to want to conduct an investigation and demanded that the Palestinian Authority, which conducted the autopsy, hand over the bullet that killed Abu Akleh.

Quoting an Israeli military official, The Times of Israel reported that “[t]he Israeli military has identified a soldier’s rifle that may have killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.” However, it continues to claim that “it cannot be certain unless the Palestinians turn over the bullet for analysis.” The attempt to deceive is ever-so-obvious in this statement. Since it had to have been a sniper who aimed and then took the shot, there can be no doubt who pulled the trigger.

PALESTINIAN MILITANTS?

The British paper The Guardian recently wrote, “Abu Aqleh [sic] was killed during an arrest raid by an Israeli commando unit on Palestinian militants.” Statements like this demonstrate the larger problem. The Israeli commando raids have no justification and are responsible for countless deaths of Palestinian civilians. Framing Palestinian fighters – defenders of their camp, their city and their people – as “militants,” and the Israeli invaders as “commandos,” immediately places the blame on the Palestinians and justifies the Israeli attack, thus justifying every Israeli raid.

Palestinian youth aim weapons
Palestinian youth aim weapons at occupying Israeli troops in Jenin, May 13, 2022. Majdi Mohammed | AP

This framing, typical in the media, allows the constant, never-ending killing of young Palestinians by Israel to go on uninterrupted. It begs the question: How many Palestinians need to die before the reporting is honest and Israel is forced to stop the killing?

Every so often, an event causes people to lift their heads and acknowledge that Israel went too far and that maybe something needs to be done. When Shireen Abu Akleh was murdered, there was a moment like that. When, a few days after the killing, her funeral procession was brutally attacked by Israeli forces, that was another such moment. But these moments are few and far between.

And these moments, even when they do come, do not last very long and yield no real results. Sometimes a letter is sent by a member of U.S. Congress; sometimes a few statements are made demanding an investigation into what took place. Then people move on and forget, and the flow of Palestinian blood – mostly young, promising men – continues unabated.

The roll of names of young Palestinians killed by Israel is too long to list; and, besides, by the time you try to write it down, more are added. The ages vary, but many are under 21. The images of weeping parents and siblings – sometimes a wife and a child, if they were old enough to marry – continue to flow as though this were some unavoidable, unpreventable curse.

In an open and frank interview I recently conducted with veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, he speaks of his frustration with the Israeli media and the Israeli audiences that consume it. “The media doesn’t want to report, and the consumers don’t want to know,” Levy passionately exclaimed.

TOEING THE LINE

When the Israeli press report on a killing, they never fail to toe the government line, so the Palestinian is always a terrorist or part of a violent riot. He or they, as the case may be, had to be dealt with, and the courageous Israeli fighters did so. From time to time, to demonstrate just how professional the Israeli forces are, they are shown in action. Images are shown of these forces entering a refugee camp, which, as of late, they have often been doing, particularly in the northern part of the West Bank.

Israel brings in several battalions of commando units, Shabak secret-police units, or anti-terrorist forces, all heavily armed and wearing the best communication and protection equipment in the world, and equipped with unlimited amounts of ammunition. Israeli forces also have the best-trained medics, the finest first-aid capabilities, and helicopters ready to evacuate an injured soldier speedily. Once evacuated, an injured Israeli soldier receives the finest medical care in modern, well-equipped facilities.

Israeli raid
Israeli forces raid a home in Jenin, May 13, 2022, the day of Abu Akleh’s funeral. Majdi Mohammed | AP

All of this to face a few young Palestinians armed with little more than M-16s. The Palestinians have no helmets, no bulletproof vests, possess limited amounts of ammunition, and risk a very high possibility of getting injured or killed. A Palestinian wounded in battle does not have access to the same level of emergency medical care as the Israeli forces. Not even remotely. Palestinian ambulances, if they can even make it to the scene, are poorly equipped, and medical facilities are far and are rarely equipped well enough to deal with severe injuries.

LIFE GOES ON

On the Israeli side, life goes on as though nothing significant happened. Watching the news makes Israeli society numb. Clashes, Palestinians killed, the coalition government facing yet another crisis, Netanyahu may or may not be close to returning to the prime minister’s chair; who knows. From time to time, an Israeli settler or an officer is killed, their name is mentioned in the news, and people cry for a few days and forget. Settlements are being built – so many thousands in the Naqab, thousands more in east Jerusalem – and people of Msafer Yota in the South Hebron Hills are being forced off of their lands, but this is all normal, nothing to worry about. Israelis travel overseas for vacation and go out to cafes and restaurants — new ones open daily. One has to try them all.

%d bloggers like this: