Al-Naqab and Diyar Bir Al-Sab’…The social composition and the people

16 Jan2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Sabreen Al-A’sam

Although the Israeli occupation displaced a large portion of the people of Diyar Bir Al-Sab’ (al-Naqab) in 1948, these lands are still attributed to their owners, some of whom are descendants of tribes originating from the Arabian and Sinai peninsulas.

Some of Al-Naqab’s Bedouins are descendants from Bedouin tribes in the Arabian Peninsula

Diyar Bi’r Al-Sab’, otherwise known as the desert of Al-Naqab, comprises almost half the historical area of the land of Palestine, meaning close to 12,577,000 dunums (1 dunum ~ 1,000  square meters).

Although it’s called a desert, it actually isn’t one; yet, it is a mix of very fertile agricultural land, dry rocky mountainous lands, and sandy lands, and all of them have large amounts of groundwater, according to studies performed by Arab experts in the field, not to mention sizeable mineral riches found in the region.

This large area has been inhabited by Bedouins for hundreds of years, during which they owned title deeds that were written with legible legal wording since the days of the Ottoman Empire. The British mandate also issued them specific deeds that asserted their ownership of the lands. These vast lands are still attributed to their owners, those currently living there, or those displaced, as the Israeli occupation forcibly displaced a large number of them in the Nakba of 1948.

It also worked during the 1950s to forcibly displace a large number of the rest and concentrate them in an area called Al-Siyaj (the fence), robbing them of a large portion of their lands, which it later turned to a closed militarized zone, despite people still living there. The Bedouins were thus left with only 2% of their lands; still, Israeli occupation authorities try today to confiscate what little they have left, and forcibly remove them to ghettos that lack even the basic elements of a normal life.

Bedouin society: A sacred outlook on land

Al-Naqab’s Bedouins are former nomads that used to travel with their cattle according to the seasons from one area to another, each within the recognized boundaries of their lands, as Bedouin tribes have always respected others’ lands, which for them was something they held very sacred, like one’s honor. Later on, they became semi-nomads that lived on raising cattle and agriculture in unrecognized villages, while those who were forcibly concentrated in sedentary towns developed a more comfortable lifestyle, much like that of towns and cities. Still, people still raise cattle in these towns under very restricted conditions.

The Bedouin society is a traditional and conservative society. Some of Al-Naqab’s Bedouin tribes are descended from the Arabian peninsula’s bedouin tribes, and some from the Sinai peninsula’s. In Al-Naqab, a clan is a specific social unit, and the tribe is a grouping of clans that existed in Palestine before 1948, a small number of which remained after the Nakba. In Al-Naqab, clans are split into Rub’, the Rub’ into big families (Hama’el), and each big family split into smaller families.

Al-Naqab historian Dr. Mansour Al-Nasasirah says in his book Badw Al-Naqab wa Bir Al-Sab’ (The Bedouins of Al-Naqab and Bir Al-Sab’: 100 Years of Politics and Resistance) that out of 95 clans that existed in the south of Palestine during the British mandate, only 19 remained in Al-Naqab and Bir Al-Sab’ after the Nakba. These 19 were forcibly gathered after 1948 and taken directly to the Al-Siyaj area northeast of Bir Al-Sab’ until 1967. 

It should be said that the number 19 here goes back to the Israeli concept of the remains of the clans that were recognized, despite there being a much larger number of clans, but the idea was to group the ones that were left under these 19 in order to better control them after 1948. These were the clan leaders that Ben-Gurion’s government ‘acknowledged’.

Al-Nasasirah also clarifies that the policies that were applied against Al-Naqab’s Bedouins in the 1950s, after they were grouped in Al-Siyaj, included the separation of clans while keeping peaceful clans intact, forcefully ejecting clans that remained in the western and northern regions of Al-Naqab to Al-Siyaj, appointing new clan leaders, confiscating their lands by passing new laws, robbing them of their historical ownership, and conducting censuses that aim to keep them under strict observation at all times.

A systemic attack on Al-Naqab’s traditions

The people of Al-Naqab respect each other’s land ownership, even if they’re not registered on paper, and they are arbitrated in accordance with the binding Bedouin traditions and rulings in these matters. Land, just as one’s family, is considered something that cannot be assaulted or taken for granted. These traditions were, however, not listed in the rules of the occupation, especially in this period of time. Al-Naqab was a very neglected region for them, until the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion drew attention to it and built his residence there, as he famously said “we wish to protect the desert in Al-Naqab, to protect the vacuum.”

Lastly, censuses show that the population of Al-Naqab is about 380,000, half of whom live in sedentary villages and the other half still steadfast in their villages – which the Israeli occupation authorities do not acknowledge – under living conditions that can be said at best to be unsuitable for human life and the modern way of living in the third millennium. They live in these villages without any infrastructure, water, electricity, schools, or infirmaries, in houses that are all made of tin that can neither protect them from the heat of summer nor from the cold of winter.

The Negev Intifada and Existential Danger.. Where will things go?

Al-Naqab Is Rising!

January 15, 2022 

By Al-Ahed News

What to know about Palestine’s al-Naqab, the area that constitutes 40% of historical Palestine.

Palestine in the face of Palestinicide

15 Jan 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Susana Khalil

Today, some Arab tyrannies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, seek to submit to this colonial-imperial force, putting the Arab-Persian world at risk.

Palestine in the face of “Palestinicide”

Zionism is a European colonial movement. The English historian Keith Whitelam conceptualizes it as the continuation of Colonial Europe. In 1948, Zionism succeeded in imposing a colonial regime in Palestine called “Israel”. It is classic colonialism, but it differs from historical colonialism in that it does not come from a people, but from a movement that aromatically falsifies history and disguises itself as a people, i.e. the “Jewish people”. Jews, Muslims, and Christians are not peoples, they are religions, and it is sad to have to explain this, at this point in human history and to a supposedly enlightened, educated, and secular world.

The West supposedly has to its credit a worthy history of fighting for secular values, which cost them blood. Secularism is today part of its identity and culture and is a sentiment, but it is inept and structurally ignorant to believe and feel that Jews are a people. To address this issue is to be discriminated against, even by pro-Palestinians. Beyond being a rotten Western taboo, it has its reckless consequences due to sophisticated totalitarian censorship, clear Western obscurantism.

The ideologues of Zionism foresaw that in their colonial enterprise, the day the native achieves his independence, they, as colonizers who do not come from a people but from a movement that seeks to become a people, do not have a point of return as happened in classical colonialism, that they as Jews would return to their respective original homelands. That is why Zionist colonialism has as its nature the very end of that native people in order to settle and ensure the foundations of a “nation-state” called “Israel”. This principle not only remains in force but also advances. Today, some Arab tyrannies, in order to perpetuate themselves in power, seek to submit to this colonial-imperial force, putting the Arab-Persian world at risk.

The colonial and expansionist regime of “Israel” withdrew from the Sinai territories in Egypt, conditioning and subjugating the Egyptian dictatorship. There is a false withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, conditioning and subjugating a caste of Palestinian traitors of the so-called Palestinian Authority. They maintain a military invasion in the Golan Heights in Syria. They unilaterally withdrew from South Lebanon, without conditioning and subjugating the Lebanese government or any Lebanese caste, and this exception is because they were overthrown by the Lebanese armed resistance of Hezbollah. The international Zionist lobby is the mastermind of the barbaric US imperial military invasion of Iraq, for the alleged establishment of democracy, and for the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There will be no justice in the Arab-Persian world, except through the abolition of “Israel’s” colonial expansionist anachronism.

The worst thing about the Oslo Accords is not Zionist colonialism that managed to infiltrate through the Palestinian Authority, but the “memoricide” exercised by that Palestinian Authority, erasing the essence or the raison d’être of what the cause of liberation of the native Palestinian people against the Israeli colonial yoke is. And this “memoricide” takes place when the armed struggle is abandoned, so people are encouraged to follow the “peaceful” approach of struggle, which already existed, that is to say, the cultural, legal, academic, political, financial, economic, media, intellectual, humanitarian, religious, artistic, culinary, and historical struggle, which already existed and must exist; it is vital and magical. But the point is that on the stage, in the peaceful universe, the raison d’être of the Palestinian Cause is censored, evaded. In fact, almost nobody talks about the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, anymore.

I do not remember the author of the phrase: “If you want peace, prepare for justice.” The Palestinian people are facing the most powerful fascist movement of our historical time. Zionism is neoliberal and non-neoliberal imperialism itself.

Armed struggle is not easy and neither is it a guarantee for the liberation of historic Palestine. The peaceful struggle is not easy; it focuses on human rights, and in many cases, it does not address the essence of the Palestinian Cause. Both fronts are important, all fronts of struggle are important.

From the peaceful stage, as a native Palestinian from the Diaspora, the daughter of peasant survivors of Al-Nakba, I fight against the colonial yoke of Israel, I fight for the National Liberation of my Palestinian people against a colonial force.

From the peaceful scenario, does the colonial regime of “Israel” have the right to exist? From the noblest of my soul, I say no. The so-called Israeli population would become Palestinian. Just to raise this is outrageous. I do understand and comprehend the reaction of not understanding; comprehending and accepting the right of native people to decide for themselves. I understand the atheists of freedom and justice.

Some might defend the existence of that colonial, imperial regime and anachronism and believe they have the right to do so, but what is not morally acceptable and constitutes an outrage to human dignity is censoring defending the others’ right to voice their rejection in the universe of debate. That is contrary to the free-thinking world.

There are those who lovingly state, I support “Israel”, and to those I say, support it in your country. why don’t you give it your homeland? There must be a debate, and this is part of the human condition.

I believe that we Palestinians must reposition ourselves, renaissance the root of our cause, be reiterative, not fall into distractions, and not submit to the reality of a contour or conjuncture. This implies intellectual courage and deep human fortitude in the face of so much censorship, fear, demonization, and threat. We must make our intellectual peaceful revolution. We must kick the table and be a rebellion of lucid intellectual light. Therein lies not only the beauty of the Palestinian Cause, but the beauty of being Palestinian.

… More than an intellectual challenge, it is to liberate intellectual fear, for Zionism itself is an intellectual, academic, media, legal, historical, moral, aesthetic, religious, archeological, sociological and philosophical fraud.

The Palestinian Liberation Cause is a direct cause for the protection of the Arab, Persian, and Kurdish world from Israeli expansionist colonialism. As I heard, it was said in the neighborhood of El Guarataro, in Venezuela, the liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world.

Let us free ourselves from the self-censorship that sets the trap for us. We must be strategic, intelligent, and subtle. We will not receive any subsidy, if we do so, we will be rejected, demonized.

They operate an extermination plan against the Palestinian people; they not only colonized the homeland, but also its history, its cuisine, and its most popular artistic expression. And it is logical to say that, for example, they colonized the falafel and the embroidery. That is proof and sample that it is colonialism that does not come from a people, it needs to disguise itself as a people and take it from the native people. They are extermination modalities; they must expel Palestine from history.

It is all about being honest, the world, yes, the world is at risk in the face of Zionism. The Palestinians have an appointment with history and it is to liberate today, in the 21st century, their people from the anachronistic and expansionist colonial regime of “Israel”. Likewise, the Palestinians have a debt with humanity itself and it is to extirpate Zionism, the most powerful fascism of our time, for this we need everybody in, which is the struggle of our time.

Let me be riddled and demonized with the filthy and bastard accusation of the Zionist supremacy of anti-Semitism. Anyway, as Ernesto Guevara used to say, “How can my life matter if what is in danger is humanity.”

Yes, the liberation of Palestine is the liberation of the world, that is to say, taking steps against imperial, colonial atrophy and barbarism synchronized by Zionism.

The gloomy thing is that if we let the Palestinian people disappear, they will sadly exist in the echo of humanity as the cursed people, that by not liberating its noble cause, humanity remains in darkness. In this case, the outcome would be a cursed Palestinian, a traitor Arab.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

‘Israel’ Occupation Forces Palestinian Man To Demolish Own Store in Al-Quds

January 14 2022

By staff, Agencies

The ‘Israeli’ occupation forces obliged a Palestinian man to demolish a commercial unit in the occupied al-Quds, as the Tel Aviv regime continues to press ahead with its illegal settlement expansion and land grab policies across the Palestinian territories despite international outcry.

Palestinian media outlets reported on Thursday that the ‘Israeli’ occupation authorities left Jamal Mohammad Ali with no choice but to totally knock down a commercial store belonging to him in Shuafat refugee camp.

The Palestinian man had to begin demolishing the structure, which had an area of 150 square meters and was still under construction, with his own hands to avoid paying unreasonable demolition costs to the Zionist occupation municipality.

Also on Wednesday, the occupation forces tore down about a dozen Palestinian-owned buildings and structures in the occupied West Bank city al-Khalil. They forced their way and carried out a large-scale demolition campaign east of Yatta town, south of al-Khalil.

At least five houses, five agricultural facilities, and a water well were demolished during the campaign.

The Tel Aviv regime routinely demolishes Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, claiming that the structures have been built without the so-called permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own houses or pay the costs of the demolition if they do not.

The Tel Aviv regime plans to force out Palestinian families from different neighborhoods in East al-Quds in an attempt to replace them with settlers.

The United Nations has reported a 21 percent increase in the number of Palestinian structures that were confiscated or destroyed this year.

Meanwhile, the international community considers ‘Israeli’ settlement construction illegal under international law. Nearly 700,000 Zionists occupy illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned Tel Aviv’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Israeli settlers continue violations, storm village of Awarta

Jan 11 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen Net

The Israeli settlers storm several areas of the occupied West Bank, desecrating several Islamic sites, as IOF break into Birzeit University.

Israeli settlers raided historical and religious sites in the Palestinian village of Awarta.

Israeli settlers stormed the Palestinian village of Awarta, southeast of Nablus, under the heavy guard of the Israeli occupation forces (IOF).

Local media sites and activists on social media published disturbing scenes of Israeli settlers raiding and seizing historical and religious sites in the Palestinian village.

In the same context, heavily-armed Israeli occupation forces have violently raided “Abu Al-Shahid” roundabout in the town of Al-Ram, north of occupied Al-Quds, arresting a Palestinian citizen from Silwan.

As part of the IOF’s continuous aggressions against Palestinians, Israeli special forces blatantly raided Birzeit University’s campus in the occupied West Bank on Monday and fired live bullets at students, wounding and detaining a number of them.

It is worth mentioning that daily assaults on education facilities by IOF and Israeli settlers in Palestine constitute grave violations of Palestinian children’s and youth rights’ to education.

The Deputy Dean of Student Affairs at the Birzeit University, Fadl Al-Khalidi, told Al Mayadeen that “the Israeli occupation carried out a planned attack to arrest the students protesting against decisions in favor of the Israeli occupation.”

The Israeli occupation has detained hundreds of Palestinian students. In 2021, 55 students were arrested at Birzeit university, and 66 students are presently being incarcerated in Israeli occupation prisons, including 8 who are being kept under administrative detention, according to local Palestinian sources. They are among more than 4,500 Palestinian prisoners held by Israeli occupation authorities.

Read More: A New School Year; Not for Children in Gaza

Israeli Special Forces Detain Birzeit University Students (VIDEO)

January 10, 2022

Israeli special forces Monday afternoon detained several students in front of the Birzeit University, north of Ramallah, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Local sources and eyewitnesses told WAFA that Israeli special forces used a white van with a Palestinian registration plate to sneak their way into the university campus and abducted two students from the gate of the campus.

Israeli soldiers opened fire to keep students away as they carried out their operation, injuring two.

Birzeit University is one the oldest and largest Palestinian universities in the West Bank, with around 14,500 registered students in 2020, according to university records.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

Artists boycott Sydney Festival 2022 over Israeli funding

9 Jan 2022

Net Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

In response to the Israeli occupation attempting to art-wash its crimes, various acts boycott the Sydney Festival 2022 in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Protesters wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration against “Israel” at the Town Hall in Sydney on May 15, 2021 (AFP)

30 acts, including bands, individual artists, companies, and panel members, canceled their performances or attendance at Sydney Festival 2022 that kicked off in Australia on Thursday.

The cancellations came over Israeli funding of the festival and the festival’s support for “Israel” while ignoring the regime’s oppression of Palestinians on their indigenous land.

The festival’s board accepted some $14,300 in a donation from the Israeli embassy in Australia, which were given in support of a show based on work by an Israeli choreographer and an Israeli dance company.

The Israeli occupation’s donation earned it a listing as a “star partner” on the website’s festival.

Artists withdrew to boycott the Israeli occupation’s crimes against Palestine and Palestinians, highlighting the occupation’s apartheid practices toward Palestinians.

Those who withdrew include Belvoir theatre production of Black Brass, comedians Tom Ballard and Nazeem Hussain, and other local bands, dancers, and performers.

Ballard explained that his decision to withdraw came “after listening to the calls to boycott the Sydney Festival over its decision to accept funding from and partner with the Embassy of Israel.”

“I love to tell jokes,” he said, “But standing up for human rights and standing against a system of apartheid is more important,” calling on the festival to review its decision and return the funding in question.

Musical artist Marcus Whale announced his withdrawal on Monday, clarifying that it was a boycott.

“The Israeli Embassy […] collaborates with Western cultural institutions to pain Israel as a liberal democracy on one hand, while enforcing brutal occupation and apartheid with the other,” the young artist tweeted.

Some acts did not fully withdraw from the festival, but they announced they would be participating independently, i.e. without sponsorship, and those include the acclaimed play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner and Return to Sender.

“In light of Sydney Festival seeking and accepting funding from the Israeli embassy, Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner has no other choice but to withdraw and boycott the festival,” the cast said.

“We will not be coerced into complicity,” they added, asserting that they came to this decision together to “stand in solidarity with the Palestinian cause and with all Indigenous People’s right to sovereignty and liberation,” they added in an Instagram post while calling “Israel” “another oppressive settler-colony.”

Despite the artist boycott, the Sydney Festival board said it was keeping the show sponsored by the occupation, claiming it “collectively affirms” its “respect for the right of all groups to protest and raise concerns.”

The Palestinian Justice Movement Sydney had called for a boycott in December upon knowing that the board accepted the donation in May. The campaign said the festival was contributing to the normalization of an apartheid state.

Israeli fear of Tehran laying hands on Pyongyang missiles showcased

Jan 09 2022

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen Net

An article on The Jerusalem Post by its intelligence analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob showcases Israeli concerns of DPRK hypersonic weapons being delivered to Iran.

An image provided by the DPRK showing the missile test launch on January 5

North Korea’s latest missile test on Wednesday sparked concerns in “Israel” that the country’s hypersonic missile technology would find its way to Iran.

Since Israelis themselves weren’t able to independently confirm if this was indeed a hypersonic missile test, analysts have already begun to study the implications of the launch (the DPRK says it is indeed a hypersonic missile). Moreover, the timing of the launch, amid the ongoing Vienna Talks, has Israeli analysts fearing possible messages in support of Iran and against the US.
 
An article on The Jerusalem Post by Israeli intelligence analyst Yonah Jeremy Bob reveals that Israeli fears stem from the fact that ballistic missiles would be easier to shoot down if they were launched from Iran (although this becomes less true in the case of Lebanon). 

However, hypersonic missiles are a different thing altogether, since they are “much faster and take a different flight path than a regular ballistic missile, flying part of its journey lower to the ground where it is harder to detect by radar and is also considered more maneuverable.”
 
“Put simply, a hypersonic missile is much harder to shoot down,” he adds.

Iran getting a transfer of hypersonic missile technology from the DPRK, aside from Israeli fears of Iran growing closer to nuclear weapons (which the latter has denied on multiple occasions), would elevate the ballistic missile threat posed by the Islamic Republic on the Israeli occupation. 

As for the message the analyst thinks North Korea may be trying to deliver to Iran (other than the one it is delivering to the US), “Kim could be signaling to the Islamic Republic that it does not need to negotiate or play ball with the West.”

Though a lot of this is analytical guesswork, as not much is known about the test, the intelligence specialist says that whatever the answers, “none of them are good news for the US or Israel.”

Israeli Circles Expect More Hunger-Strike Challenges after Abu Hawash Victory

January 8, 2022

The Zionist circles expected that the Palestinian prisoners may resort to the hunger-strike policy in order to follow the victorious path of the released prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash.

The Zionist media reflected the enemy’s frustration about the success of Abu Hawash and the Palestinian resistance in imposing the release decision on the occupation court.

The Zionist occupation court decided  on Tuesday the release of Abu Hawash, who concluded a 141-day hunger strike. It is worth noting that the Israeli court had suspended his administrative detention on December 26, 2021, without releasing him, which was rejected by Abu Hawash.

The Israeli circles considered that Abu Hawash has become a symbol of steadfastness for the Palestinians, adding that the Palestinian resistance, which threatened to fire missiles at the occupied territories if he dies, managed to impose its conditions on Tel Aviv.

The Zionist media considered that the ongoing tensions pertaining the prisoners may enhance a prisoner swap deal between ‘Israel’ and the Palestinian resistance.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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As Israel Plots Endgame in Occupied Golan, Bennett Must Remember Lessons of the Past

January 5, 2022

Israeli Government approves a plan to double the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the Golan Heights. (Photo: via Prime Minister of Israel Twitter page)

By Ramzy Baroud

With Syria still embroiled in its own war, Israel has been actively rewriting the rule book regarding its conduct in this Arab country. Gone are the days of a potential return of the illegally occupied Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty in exchange for peace, per the language of yesteryears. Now, Israel is set to double its illegal Jewish settler population in the Golan, while Israeli bombs continue to drop with a much higher frequency on various Syrian targets.

Indeed, a one-sided war is underway, casually reported as if a routine, everyday event. In the last decade, many ‘mysterious’ attacks on Syria were attributed to Israel. The latter neither confirmed nor denied. With the blanket support given to Israel by the Donald Trump administration, which recognized Israel’s illegal annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights of 1981, Israeli reluctance to take credit for the frequent and increasingly destructive and bloody air raids has dissipated.

Briefly, some in the Israeli government were concerned by the possible repercussions of the advent of Joe Biden to the White House in January 2021. They worried that the new president might reverse some of the pro-Israel decisions enacted by his predecessor, including the recognition of the “Sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” due to the “strategic and security importance to the State of Israel”. Biden, a long-time supporter of Israel himself, did no such thing.

The initial concern about a shift in US policy turned into euphoria and, eventually, an opportunity, especially as Israel’s new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is eager to break the Right’s historic dominance over the Jewish settlement movement in occupied Palestinian and Arab lands.

“This is our moment. This is the moment of the Golan Heights,” Bennett declared triumphantly at an Israeli government cabinet meeting held specially to officiate plans regarding the further colonization of the Golan on December 26.

The following statement by Bennett speaks volumes about the context of the Israeli decision, and its future intentions: “After long and static years in terms of the scope of settlement, our goal today is to double settlement in the Golan Heights.” The reference to ‘static years’ is an outright rejection of the occasional freezing of settlement construction that mostly took place during the so-called ‘peace process.’ Bennett – who, in June 2021, was embraced by Washington and its western allies as the political antithesis to the obstinate Benjamin Netanyahu – has effectively ended any possibility of a peaceful resolution to Israel’s illegal occupation of the Golan.

Aside from predictable and clichéd responses by Syria and the Arab League, Israel’s massive push to double its settlement activities in the Golan is going largely unnoticed. Not only Israel’s right-wing media, but the likes of Haaretz are also welcoming the government’s investment – estimated at nearly $320 million. The title of David Rosenberg’s article in Haaretz tells the whole story: “Picturesque but Poor, Israel’s Golan Needs a Government Boost to Thrive.” The article decries government ‘neglect’ of the Golan, speaks of employment opportunities and merely challenges Bennett’s government on whether it will “stay the course”. The fact that the occupation of the Golan, like that of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, is illegal under international law is absent from Israeli media coverage.

Namely, Israel’s main focus currently is to normalize its occupation of Arab land entirely. But if that mission has failed over the course of 54 years, can it succeed now?

For Israel, the illegal settlement enterprise, whether in the Syrian Golan or in occupied Palestine, is synonymous. It is inspired by deep-rooted ideological and religious beliefs, compelled by economic opportunities and political interests and assuaged by the lack of any meaningful international response.

In the case of the Golan, Israel’s intention was, from the onset, to expand on its agricultural space, as the capture of the fertile Syrian territory almost immediately attracted settlers, who set the stage for massive agricultural settlements. Although the home of merely 25,000 Jewish settlers, the Golan became a major source of Israeli apples, pears and wine grape production. Local tourism in the scenic Golan, dotted with numerous wineries, thrived, especially following the Israeli annexation of the territory in 1981.

The plight of the steadfast Golan Arab Druze population of nearly 23,000 is as irrelevant in the eyes of Israel as that of the millions of occupied Palestinians, whether under siege in Gaza or living under a perpetual occupation or apartheid in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Golan population is equally isolated and oppressed but, like the Palestinians, continues to resist despite the heavy price of their resistance. Their hardship, however, is likely to increase with the expected doubling of the Jewish settler population.

Israel is, of course, aware that popular uprisings will eventually be mounted in response to its latest colonial endeavors, but various factors must be giving Bennett the confidence to continue with his plans. A major source of reassurance is that it could take Syria years to achieve any degree of political stabilization before mounting any source of challenge to the Israeli occupation. Another is that the Palestinian leadership is in no mood for confrontation, especially that it is, once again, on good terms with Washington, which has resumed its funding of the PA soon after Biden’s inauguration.

Moreover, in Israel, the anti-settlement movement has long subsided, crystallized mostly into smaller political parties that are hardly critical in the formation or toppling of government coalitions.

More importantly, Washington has no interest to initiate any kind of diplomatic efforts to lay the ground for future talks involving Israel, the Palestinians and certainly not Syria. Any such attempt now, or even in coming years would represent a political gamble for Biden’s embattled administration.

Israel understands this absolutely and plans to take advantage of this opportunity, arguably unprecedented since the Madrid talks over thirty years ago. Yet, while Bennett is urging Israelis in their quest for settlement expansion with such battle cries as “this is our moment’, he must not underestimate that the occupied Palestinians and Syrians are also aware that their ‘moment’, too, is drawing near. In fact, all popular Palestinian uprisings of the past were initiated at times when Israel assumed that it had the upper hand, and that people’s resistance has been forever pacified.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website iswww.ramzybaroud.net

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestine (30 December 2021 – 05 January 2022)

January 6 2022

Israeli Human Rights Violations in Palestinie

30 December 2021 – 5 January 2022

  • IOF shoot and Kill Palestinian with mental health issues on Haris intersection, northern Salfit
  • 16 Palestinians wounded, including 5 children and 1 in critical condition, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
  • 8 IOF shootings reported against agricultural lands, and 4 against fishing boats in the Gaza Sea
  • 103 IOF incursions in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 78 Palestinians arrested, including 7 children
  • Demolitions and notices in occupied East Jerusalem: 5 houses demolished, 2 of them self-demolished; 5 other establishments demolished, including a medical center; several demolition and cease-construction notices served against Palestinians in the city
  • Demolition notices served against 8 houses, a mosque, a civilian establishment in Bethlehem; and 8 tents removed in Tubas (2 residential and 6 for cattle)
  • Settler-attacks in the West Bank: damage includes cutting of trees and attacks on Palestinian vehicles and houses
  • IOF established 35 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 1 Palestinian

Summary  

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse, and arrests against civilians. This week’s events witnessed an escalation in Israeli demolitions and demolition notices against Palestinian properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip has entered its 15th year under occupation and closure, as Israel has continued to exercise the worst known collective punishment in human history, exacerbating humanitarian hardships across the territory.

IOF shooting and violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian with mental health issues and wounded 16 civilians, including 5 children, as they continue to exercise excessive use of force in the West Bank. On the 31st of December 2021, IOF killed Amir Atef Khader Rayan, a 36-year-old male with mental health issues. Rayan was killed near Haris intersection in northern Salfit, allegedly for attempting a stab attack. Filed investigations indicate that the victim was several meters away from where the Israeli soldiers stood, meaning he did not pose any form of threat to them. This crime reflects the unjustifiable leniency in IOF shooting standards and a disregard for Palestinians’ lives.

Additionally, PCHR documented the following incidents:

  • 3 Palestinians wounded, including one in critical condition in Jerusalem;
  • 2, including 1 child, wounded in Nablus;
  • 11, including 4 children, wounded in Qalqilya.

In the Gaza Strip, PCHR documented 8 instances of IOF opening fire, and 4 shootings on fishing boats.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 103 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings. During this week’s incursions, 78 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 13 incidents:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 5 houses demolished, including 2 self-demolished, in Sur Baher, Silwan and Beit Hanina. A commercial facility was self-demolished in the old city. Wide-scale distribution of demolition notices against houses, commercial and agricultural establishments. Also, IOF disbursed summonses against Palestinians, issued a cease-construction order of a mosque, and confiscated a tin-plated greenhouse in Isawiya. A commercial barracks demolished, and a container confiscated in al-Za’im. A health center used as a Covid-19 vaccination hub was also demolished in Jabel Mukaber, as well as 2 barracks used for cattle in Anata.
  • Bethlehem: demolition notices served against 8 houses, a mosque, and a civilian facility in Nahalin.
  • Tubas: 2 residential tents removed, as well as 6 others used for cattle, along with 80 steel barriers, and 15 cattle feeders in the northern Jordan valleys.

Settler-attacks: 

PCHR documented the following attacks by settlers in the West Bank:

  • Nablus: Palestinian lands in Burin attacked; 46 olive trees cut; a vehicle struck, and its windshield shattered; civilian homes attacked in Burqa.
  • Hebron: a house attacked in Tel Rumeida.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued its collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the 15-year Israeli closure imposed on the territory deepened the population’s humanitarian and living crises. Unemployment has skyrocketed at 45% of the population, 63% of whom are youth.

More than half of the Gaza Strip’s population suffer from poverty, as the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics data shows that 53% of the Gaza Strip population is impoverished and more than 62.2% are food insecure, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Additionally, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the Second Intifada in 2000, restricting civilian movement with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian are also subjected to arrests, especially at al-Karama border crossing located alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

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

Thursday, December 30th, 2021:

  • At approximately 00:00 on Thursday 30th of December 2021, IOF arrested Mohammed Rateb Sar’awi (30) and his cousin Malek ‘Issa Sar’awi (27) after they raided Adam Housing Compound in Kafr ‘Aqab village, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. During the incursion, tens of young men gathered near the compound and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF, who immediately fired live and rubber-coated bullets at them.  As a result, three were wounded with live bullets; one of them sustained serious wounds.  They were identified as follows: Mohammed Nafez Farhan was wounded with a bullet in his abdomen and sustained serious wounds while Eyad Mohammed al-Shahrouri and Samed Mohammed ‘Afanah were wounded in their lower limbs.  All of them were taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive medical treatment.
  • At approximately 07:30, IOF stationed along the border fence east of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip, opened fire at the agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00 IOF arrested Monther al-Rowidi (21) and Ihab Abu Sneinah (19) after raiding and searching their houses during their incursion into al-‘Ain neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.  During the incursion, tens of young men gathered at the neighborhood entrance and threw stones and empty bottles at IOF and their vehicles.  They set fire to an Israeli police watchtower with surveillance cameras.  IOF immediately attacked the protesters and fired rubber-coated metal bullets and teargas canisters at them.  The clashes continued in their neighborhood for hours and extended to Beer Ayoub neighborhood, where intense clashes broke out between dozens of young men and IOF, which drowned the neighborhood with skunk water.

Friday, December 31st December 2021:

  • On Friday morning, 31st of December 2021, IOF killed a Palestinian with a disability (a mental disorder), near Haris village intersection, north of Salfit. They claimed that he has attempted to carry out a stabbing attack. Statements collected by the victim’s family refute the Israeli allegation, and IOF have yet to release any images or videos of the incident despite the abundance of surveillance cameras at the site.
  • According to information obtained by PCHR’s fieldworker, at around 09:00, IOF stationed near Haris village intersection, north of Salfit, opened fire at a person after he stepped out of his car and headed towards a bus station, where IOF were standing.  As a result, he was wounded, fell on the ground, and was left to bleed to death.  IOF announced that they blocked an attempted stabbing attack by a Palestinian at the intersection stating that he stepped out of his car with a knife in his hand and ran toward the Israeli bus stop, and that the IOF opened fire at him, killing him. No injuries were reported among the soldiers.

Following the incident, IOF closed the intersection and roads in the area and blocked traffic.  They stopped the car that carried the Palestinian victim and arrested its driver, later identified as ‘Omar Mohammed ‘Ali Abu ‘Ali (19) and his cousin Mohammed Abu ‘Ali (25), who was also in the car at the time.  Later, the person killed was identified as Amir ‘Atef Khader Rayyan (36), a father of five. Rayyan’s body remains in Israeli custody.  According to the family, the victim had a mental disorder that was diagnosed a year ago and was in therapy.

The driver, ‘Omer Abu ‘Ali, Ameer’s brother in-law, told the victim’s father before his arrest that Amir asked him to drive him to the hospital; he asked him to stop at the intersection as he needed to vomit.  Amir got out of the car and ran towards the bus station, where the soldiers were standing. They opened fire at him, wounding him in the abdomen.

According to field investigations, there were meters between the place where IOF stationed and the place where the victim was targeted.  This means that there was no imminent threat to the soldiers’ lives and proves IOF’s unjustified lenient shooting standards in disregard with Palestinians’ lives, noting that a similar incident ocurred at the same intersection last year.

  • At approximately 10:20, IOF stationed along the border fence east of al-Bureij in central Gaza Strip, opened fire and teargas canisters at the shepherds.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 12:15, a peaceful protest took off Bita Park, southeast of Nablus, towards al-Houta area to the east of Mount Sabih, east of the village, where IOF established “Avatar” settlement outpost 8 months ago.  The protestors raised Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the Israeli occupation and settlers.  When they arrived, they were surprised with IOF taking their positions near the Mount, so intensive clashes broke out.  The protesters fired stones at IOF, who continued to fire live and rubber-coated bullets as well as teargas canisters at the protesters. During the clashes, which continued until around 16:00, 2 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded bullets in their lower limbs and were taken to the Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus for treatment while others suffocated due to teargas inhalation, but were treated on the spot.
  • At approximately 12:30, IOF stationed at the southern Qalqilya checkpoint suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinians.  IOF chased the protesters, and clashes broke out.  IOF fired sponge-tipped bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 5 protesters were wounded with bullets, including a child; all of them were wounded in the limbs except one in the abdomen. 
  • At approximately 14:30, IOF suppressed a weekly protest against the occupation and settlement activity in Sheikh Jarrah, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, and attacked the protesters by pushing and beating them.

Dozens of Sheikh Jarrah residents and international activists gathered at the main entrance to the neighborhood as usual on Fridays and took off to the eastern side of the neighborhood.  However, IOF prevented them from moving forward and chased them into the eastern and western sides of the neighborhood.  IOF surrounded them from all sides and prevented them from approaching the land of Salem family, who is threatened with forced displacement. After IOF suppressed the protesters, dozens gathered in the western side of the neighborhood in solidarity with the Salem family and raised Palestinian flags and pictures of Salem’s family.  They chanted slogans in Arabic, English and Hebrew against the occupation, settlement and displacement of Sheikh Jarrah’s families, and others in solidarity with the people of Silwan, Bil’in, Bita, prisoners, and Jerusalem. IOF surrounded the activists, beat, and pushed them, confiscated Palestinian flags, and beat Mohammad Khader Abu al-Hummus (56), an activist, after breaking his crutch. They also arrested Ahmed al-Shweiki (12).

  • Around the same time, IOF suppressed a peaceful protest of dozens from Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, against the Israeli municipality’s ongoing house demolitions in the village.

Dozens of civilians gathered near the Mount intersection in the village and raised banners against the house demolitions in the village and forced displacement of their residents under the pretext of unlicensed construction.  They also chanted slogans against the municipality’s attacks on the village neighborhoods.  IOF surrounded the protesters and pushed and beat them.  They dispersed the protesters and chased some young men after firing teargas canisters at them.  They also arrested ‘Alaa Nayef Ja’abis (21).

  • At approximately 16:20, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of al-Na’aymah Street, east of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence.  Neither injuries nor damage was reported.

Saturday, 1st of January 2022:

  • At approximately 08:50 on Saturday, 01 January 2022, IOF gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia and al-Soudaniyah, west of Jabalia northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire near them.  The shooting recurred at 18:30, enticing fear among fishermen and forcing them to leave.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Gaza Valley village “Johr al-Deek”, southeast of Gaza, opened fire at the agricultural lands.  No causalities were reported.
  • At approximately 12:30 on the same day, IOF stationed at the southern Qalqilya checkpoint suppressed a protest organized by dozens of Palestinians.  IOF chased the protesters, and clashes broke out.  IOF fired sponge-tipped bullets, teargas canisters and sound bombs at them. As a result, 6 protesters were wounded with bullets, including 3 children; all of them were wounded in the limbs except one in the back. 
  • At approximately 13:50, IOF stationed along the border fence opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of al-Qararah, east of Khan Younis.  No casualties were reported.

Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:

  • At approximately 07:30 on Sunday, 02 January 2022, IOF stationed along the border fence opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis.  No casualties were reported.

Monday, January 3rd, 2022:

  • At approximately 06:30 on Monday, 03 January 2022, IOF’s gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire near them.  As a result, fishermen fled away out of fear.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:00, tens of young men gathered near the annexation wall next to al-Quds University in Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.  They set fire to tires and attempted to destroy parts of the wall in protest against the ongoing administrative detention of Hisham Abu Hawwash and in solidarity with him during his hunger strike which lasted for 140 days.  IOF attacked the protesters and heavily fired teargas canisters at them.  As a result, dozens suffocated.  During the clashes, which continued in the village for hours, IOF fired live and rubber bullets at the protesters who threw Molotov Cocktails at an IOF camp in the Mount area in the village.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 05 January 2022, IOF stationed along the border fence, east of Deir al-Balak in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:05, IOF’s gunboats stationed off al-Wahah shore, northwest of Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, chased Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and heavily opened fire near them.  IOF also fired sound bombs and flare bombs in the sky, enticing fear among fishermen and forcing them to flee away.  No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 23:40, IOF stationed along the border fence opened fire at the agricultural lands, east of al-Fokhari village, southeast of Khan Younis.  No casualties were reported.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, December 30th, 2021 

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Hizma village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, where they stormed and searched Palestinians’ houses and arrested 25 of them. At approximately 08:00, all the arrestees were released. (PCHR keeps record of their names). It should be noted that Hizma village is subjected to IOF daily violations, including closing its entrances, storming it, arresting its villagers, and interrogating them.
  • At approximately 02:25, IOF arrested Ziyad Mohammed Yaseen Jaradat (65) and his two sons Tareq (41) and Mohammed (39) after raiding and searching their house in Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF moved into Deir Sammit village inm Hebron. They raided and searched Hasan Shaher Hasan al-Sharawnah (26)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF summoned via a phone call 10 members and leaders of Fatah Movement in occupied East Jerusalem, to interrogate them next day evening, which marks the anniversary of Fatah Movement launch, in ‘Oz investigation center in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, and in Moscovia investigation center in West Jerusalem. The summoned persons were identified as: Secretery of Fatah Movement, Shadi Motwer; Fadi Motwer; Naser ‘Ajjaj, ‘Ahed al-Reshiq; Hadallah al-Goul, Eyad Basheer; Ahmed al-‘Abasi; Ayman al-Shurbati; Yaser Darwish; and ‘Amer ‘Awad.
  • Member of Fatah Movement, Eyad Bsheer, said that on Thursday evening, which marked the anniversary for the launch of Fatah movement, he received two phone calls from Israeli Intelligence Service summoning him for interrogation in ‘Oz investigation center in Jabel Mukaber village and in Moscovia investigation center in West Jerusalem, about incidents occurred in occupied East Jerusalem and demolishing Basheer family’s house and erupting clashes in Jabel Mukaber village. Basheer indicated that on Friday evening, he was interrogated in Moscovia investigation center about the restrictions on Fatah Movement to prevent its members from commemorating its launching anniversary. Also, Basheer was handed a notice to ban him from entering al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, where they raided and searched Mohammed Maher Zaytoun (13) and Omar Ahmed Aby Mayalah (14)’s houses and arrested them.
  • IOF carried out (5) incursions in Arraba and Ya’bad villages, southwest of Jenin governorate; in Tubas City; Tammun village, southeast of Jenin; and in Halhul city in Hebron.  No arrests were reported.

Friday, December 31st, 2021

  • At approximately 15:00, IOF moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem, where they raided and searched Hisham Maher Mahmoud Taqatqh (17)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Anas Omar Kan’an (31), from Jab’ village, south of Jenin, while he was present in al-Aqsa Mosque yard in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (3) incursions in Sebastia, Burqa, and Iraq Burin villages in Nablus.  No arrests were reported.

Saturday, January 1st, 2022

  • At approximately 01:20m IOF moved into Idhna village in Hebron. They raided and searched Palestinians’ houses, from which they arrested Ahmed Islimiyia (26), Akram al-Qisi (24) and Isma’il Tamizi (25).
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested ‘Ali Sabi Abu Diyab (26), from Silwan village, while he was in French Hill area, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:

  • At approximately 03:00, IOF handed Khalil ‘Emad al-‘Amour (27) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence in “Gush ‘Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem, after raiding and searching his house during their incursion into Teqoa village, east of the city.
  • At approximately 03:30, IOF arrested ‘Omar Hisham Abu Kamlah (35) and Mohammed ‘Adnan Taher Jaber (33) after raiding their houses during the incursion into ‘Anabta village, east of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 20:30, IOF arrested Ra’fat Rasem al-Barghouthi (25), from Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, at the Military Court Checkpoint near “Beit El” settlement, north of al-Bireh.
  • IOF carried out 3 incursions into Beit Ummar village, Dura, and Bani Na’im village in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Monday, January 3rd, 2022:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested 3 children after raiding and searching their houses during IOF’s incursion into Silwan village, south of occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees were identified as Nasim Zuhair Dmeiri (15) and Ahmed (13) and Mahmoud (15) ‘Ez al-Deen Shobaki.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses during IOF incursion into Silat al-Harithiya village, west of Jenin.  The arrestees were identified as ‘Omran Hasan Sadeq Abu al-Kheir (38), Mohammed Yasin Hasan Jaradat (39) and Khaled Mohammed Mas’oud Jaradat (30).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Sa’ed Abu al-Bahaa’ (45), a former prisoner, after raiding and searching his house in Bitounia village, north of Ramallah.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Ahmed Zaid al-Nibali (47), after raiding and searching his house in al-Masayef neighborhood in central Ramallah.
  • At approximately 03:05, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses in Beit Liqya village, southwest of Ramallah.  The arrestees were identified as Najeeb Ahmed Najeeb Mafarjah (37), a former prisoner, Mohammed Saleh Mousa (26) and Laith Mahmoud Mafarjah (24).
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF arrested Kattab Ashraf al-Shurbati (20) and Mohammed Mahmoud ‘Atiq (20) after raiding and searching their houses in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians from al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, when they were near a building in al-Ram village, north of Jerusalem.  The arrestees were identified as Saleh Bader Abu ‘Asab (22), Mahmoud Zidan Mahmoud (43) and Ahmed Kayed Mahmoud (27).
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF arrested Hadi Derbas (18) when he was on Jaffa Street in West Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 23:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Ayman Abu al-Humus (21) after raiding and searching his house in al-‘Issawiya village, northeast of occupied east Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (6) incursions in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit, ‘Azzoun and Qalqilya City, Saffarin and Ramin villages, east of Tulkarm and Tulkarm. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Yahia Merwan Salim Yousef (23), after raiding and searching his house in al-‘Arouj village, east of Bethlehem.
  • At around 02:00, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians after raiding and searching their houses in Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem.  The arrestees were identified as Wasim ‘Abeidat (20), Saif Halsah (18) and Mohammed Subaih (21).
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Bahaa’ Mohammed Abu Yabes (28) after raiding and searching his house in al-Dheisha refugee camp, southwest of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 14:00, IOF arrested Mahdi Hussein al-Shahrour (35), from Turqumiya, west of Hebron, after stopping and searching his vehicle near Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF arrested Wasim Murad al-Rajabi (13) after raiding and searching his house in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem.

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Abu Dis village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched Ahmed Salah (47)’s house and arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:20m IOF moved into Burqa village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched 3 houses, from which they arrested Taleb Ghasan Taleb Saif (20), ‘Esam Ayman ‘Abed al-Latif Abu Omar (20) and Khuzam Iyad Daghlas (20).
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF moved into Beita village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched Nabil Ahmed ‘Awad Diyab (24)’s house and then arrested him.

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

Land razing, demolitions, and notices:

  • On Thursday morning, 31 December 2021, ‘Ali Dabash implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished his house in Sur Baher village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Bushra Dabash, ‘Alis’ wife, said that her family comprised of 11 members, including 9 children, has been living in the house for 6 years. She indicated that the 180-square-meter house included 6 rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Over the past years, Israeli authorities pursued her family and imposed a construction fine on them estimated at NIS 25,000. She added that her family several times headed to the municipality to freeze the demolition or delay it, but the municipality handed her a final demolition order 2 weeks ago. The municipality asked her if her family wants to self-demolish the house or the municipality staff do so, in exchange for taking demolition fees estimated at more than NIS 100,000. She also pointed out that self-demolition of the house was a very difficult choice, especially in the cold weather and her who children became homeless.
  • On Saturday, 01 January 2022, Rami Yunis ‘Owidah implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished his house in Wadi Qaddoum neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Owidah said that he lives in a room and living room in Silwan village, along with his mother, his wife and their 5 kids.

In 2019, he built a new house to live in it with his family. He indicated that the 70-square-meter house was comprised of 2 rooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom. He added that he could not complete the house construction due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, but he was intending to live in it within few weeks. ‘Owidah pointed out that in last August, he received an administrative demolition notice, and he managed to delay the demolition several times, but the Israeli District Court issued a self-demolition notice against his house and gave him until 09 January 2022 to implement the decision. Also, the court ordered him to pay 25,000 NIS in order to freeze the demolition. He said that he was forced to self-demolished the house to avoid paying more than NIS 100,00 as construction fees for the municipality staff, and to stop IOF storming to his house which caused fear among his children. ‘Owidah indicated that his children lost their hopes and dreams after demolishing their house and he stressed that he attempted several times to license the house, but in vain.

  • At approximately 10:00, Jamal Abu Nijmah implemented the Israeli Municipality’s decision and self-demolished his commercial facility in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, north of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Abu Nijmah said that in 2010, he built a small cafeteria and a 35-square-meter room above it, but the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition order against it and gave him until the end of this week to implement the demolition or he will be fined. He added that in 2000, the municipality built a road in his land and demolished a store that was built on the land, and IOF now forced him to demolish his cafeteria, his only source of income.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Monday, 03 January 2021, IOF distributed demolition notice to 8 inhabited and under-construction residential houses, a mosque, and a civilian facility in Nahalin village, west of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mayor of Nahalin village’s municipality, Saleh Fanoun, said that IOF notified to demolish houses and facilities in al-Raha and Qurnet al-‘Adasa areas, southwest of the village. He indicated that the notified houses and facilities were:
  • Husam Mahmoud Najajrah’s under-construction house (one floor);
  • Bahaa Yehia Najajrah’s 1-storey-house;
  • Shadi Ahmed Zayid’s 2-stroey-house;
  • Ghanem Hasan Najajrah’s under-construction house (2 floors);
  • RaiedYousef Shakarna’s under-construction house (3 floors);
  • Mohammed Hani ‘Awad’s 2-storey-house;
  • Mohammed Yehia Najajrah’s 1-storey house;
  • Mohammed Yousef ‘Awad’s under-construction house (2 floors); an under-construction mosque, and
  • Sameh ‘Atif Najajrah’s facility.

It should be noted that Nahalin village is subjected to unprecedented settlers’ attacks, as during the past month, Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential house and 4 agricultural rooms and greenhouses, and distributed dozens of demolition notices to houses and facilities in the village. Also, IOF confiscated more than 97% of Nahalin village lands, as its area decreased since 1948, from 23,000 dunums to 7,000, of those there is 1,000 dunums taken for the structural scheme and cannot be surpassed in construction; while 3,000 other dunums remain under the threat of confiscation.

  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli Municipality distributed notices to demolish houses and commercial and agricultural facilities, and distributed summonses to citizens. They also hung a cease-construction notice on al-Taqwa Mosque in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. Activist and Member of Isawiya follow-up committee, Mohammed Khader Abu al-Humus, said that municipality staff along with police officers moved into the southern side of Isawiya village, where they photographed residential houses, hung demolition notices, and distributed summonses to refer to the municipality. Abu al-Humus clarified that the municipality staff photographed al-Taqwa under-construction Mosque and other buildings surrounded int. They also hanged a cease-construction notice on the mosque, under the pretext of non-licensing, or the mosque will be demolished upon an administrative demolition notice. Abu al-Humus indicated that the municipality staff handed other citizens notices to demolish their agricultural facilities in the village, including two barracks belonging to Naser ‘Obaid and Ahmed ‘Abed al-Nabi.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Tuesday, 04 January 2022, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished a commercial barrack and confiscated a container in Az-Za’ayyem village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Abed al-Rahman Abu Irmilah, a commercial barrack’s owner, said that IOF raided his barrack without prior warning and demolished it. He added that the 200-square-meter barrack belongs to his factory, which was previously demolished by IOF at the entrance to al-Ram village, east of occupied East Jerusalem, 2 months ago. He said that IOF confiscated a container for goods and threatened him not to construct any building on the land.
  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 04 January 2022, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished a building belonging to ‘Abdullah al-Sheikh Medical Center in al-Qonbur neighborhood in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.

Executive Director of ‘Abdullah al-Sheikh Medical Center, Ghasan Jalajel, said that Israeli municipal bulldozers demolished a tip-plate building (85 sqm) annexed to the ‘Abdullah al-Sheikh Medical Center. The building includes an emergency room for vaccination against the Coronavirus. Jalajel clarified that the vaccination room is annexed to the medical center a year and a half ago and const at least 250,000 NIS, in order to provide services for thousands of people in the village, as more than 1200 citizens got vaccinated. Jalajel added that the medical center has received a demolition notice from the Israeli municipality 4 months ago, and the center managed to stop the demolition and obtained a decision to delay the demolition a week ago. He pointed out that the court judge requested an inquiry from the municipality until the ninth of this month, to obtain its response about the reason for demolishing the medical center. He said that he and the employees were shocked by demolishing the center without prior warning and not allowing them to get its contents out. Also, IOF pushed him and forcibly deported him from the area.

  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli military construction vehicles demolished Suhaib al-Rajbi’s house in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Rajbi said that he built a new floor above his house (established more than 23 years ago) in Beit Hanina village. He added that he resides there along with his wife and their 3 children. Al-Rajbi indicated that 3 years ago, the Israeli Municipality issued a demolition decision against his house and imposed construction fines on him, and he paid them monthly. He said that during the 3 years, he paid 428,000 NIS as construction fines and for the lawyer and other fees in order to delay or freeze the demolition. He pointed out that he was shocked as his house was stormed and surrounded in the morning by a large number of police officers, border guard officers and municipality staff. He immediately phoned the lawyer, who obtained a decision from the court to stop the demolition, but the municipality staff insisted on going through with the demolition and only allowed al-Rajbi to get out his family’s clothes. Al-Rajbi added that his father’s house which is home to his mother and his three brothers was affected by the demolition, as its walls cracked. It should be noted that the demolition order did not include his father’s house. Al-Rajbi clarified that over the past years, he tried to license the house several times, which cost him more than 10,000 NIS, but the municipality obstructed all his attempts to license it.
  • At approximately 10:30, IOF accompanied with Israeli Civil Administration officers and two bulldozers moved into Kherbet Ibziq in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas City. They demolished two residential tents, 6 livestock tents, 80 steel boards, and 15 cattle feeders. Also, more than ten tons of fodder belonging to Mohammed ‘Ali Nasarallah and his son Mahmoud have been damaged. IOF also demolished two residential tents, 3 livestock tents, a water tanks, a number of steel boards, and a fodder store belonging to ‘Adel Nasrallah Hroub.
  • At approximately 11:00, IOF confiscated an agricultural room built of tin plates and iron in Isawiya village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Activist and Member of Isawiya follow-up committee, Mohammed Khader Abu al-Humus, said that the municipality staff moved into the eastern side of Isawiya village, and dismantled Sa’d Mostafa’s agricultural room built of tin plates and iron on an area of 15 square meters, under the pretext of non-licensing.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF completed the demolition of Attah Ja’afrah’s house in Jabel Mukaber village, southeast of occupied East Jerusalem, noting that they began to demolish the house in the mid of December 2021, under the pretext of non-licensing.

Ja’afrah said that he has built his 90-square-meter house sheltering 11 members, including 6 children, since 2010. He indicated that 10 years ago, the Israeli Municipality pursued him and issued a demolition decision against his house. He said that over the past years, he attempted to freeze the demolition decision, despite imposing heavy fines on him by the Israeli municipality and courts. Ja’afrah added that 15 months ago, the Israeli court issued a final demolition decision against his house and notified him that it will impose a large amount of money on him if he does not self-demolish the house. Ja’afrah could not self-demolish the house, so the municipality staff demolished it partially on 14 December 2021, and completed the demolition in the evening.

  • At approximately 23:00, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished two livestock barracks in al-Fahiday neighborhood in Anata village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Majed al-Fahidat said that IOF surrounded the neighborhood in the morning and demolished his barrack and another barrack belonging to his brother Saleh without prior warning. He indicated that, the barracks, which have been established for10 years on an area of 130 square meters, shelter 50 livestock.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, Israeli municipality bulldozers demolished Sultan Sa’ied al-Helasi’s house on Wadi al-Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Al-Helasi said that his 65-square-meter house has built since 2015, and he has been lived in it along with his wife and their 4 kids. He indicated that 4 years ago, the Israeli Municipality pursued him and issued a demolition decision against his house, in addition to imposing a construction fine on him estimated at NIS 33,000. He added that he attempted to license the house, but in vain. Al-Helasi pointed out that the municipality notified him 2 months ago to demolish his house and threatened him to impose a fine of NIS 100,000 on him if he does not self-demolish the house. Accordingly, at the beginning of December 2021, al-Helasi was forced to evacuate his house, removed all windows and doors, and made holes on its walls, but the municipality insisted to demolish the house completely. Al-Helasi said that municipality staff moved into the neighborhood today and closed all streets leading to the house after the military construction vehicles were unable to reach the house. After that, the municipality staff started to demolish the house and destroy its walls via automatic saws.

Setters’ Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and their Property:

  • On Thursday morning, December 30th, 2021, a group of settlers from “Yitzhar” settlement, which is established in southeastern Nablus, attacked Palestinians agricultural lands in Burin village, and cut 46 olive trees belonging to Nimer Mahmoud ‘Issa and Muhaimen Mousa.
  • At approximately 20:30, a group of settlers, from “Homesh” settlement, which is established in northern West Bank, attacked the vehicle of Malek Kamal Tawfiq, from Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus, and broke its rear window while he was passing through Bizzariya village’s intersection, northwest of Nablus.
  • At approximately 21:00 on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, a group of settlers, from “Ramati Yishai” settlement outpost, which is established on Palestinians’ confiscated lands in Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron, threw stones at Tayseer ‘Adnan Abu ‘Ishaa’ (55)’s house located near the settlement outpost, and cursed him. As a result, some of the house windows were broken. After that, the Israeli police arrived at the area and took the settlers away from the neighborhood.

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

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 35 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs, and arrested one of them. IOF reinforced its restrictions on civilians’ freedom of movement at its permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and shut some checkpoints for several hours on multiple occasions.

Jerusalem:

  • On Thursday, December 30th 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-‘Ein neighborhood in Silwan village.
  • On Tuesday, January 4th, 2022, IOF established a checkpoint near Abu Dis village.

Bethlehem:

  • On Thursday, December 30th, 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Shawawrah and al-Freidis villages as well as in ‘Aqbet Hasnah leading to western Bethlehem villages.
  • On Friday, December 31st, 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beir Fajjar village.
  • On Sunday, January 2nd, 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the western entrance to Husan village near al-Nashash intersection.
  • On Monday, January 3rd, 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Jannata village and in ‘Aqbet Hasnah leading to western Bethlehem villages.
  • On Tuesday, January 4th, 2022, IOF established 3 checkpoints near al-Nashash intersection, in ‘Aqbet Hasnah area leading to western Bethlehem villages, and at the entrance to Beit Fajjar village.

Ramallah and al-Bireh:

  • On Friday, 31 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to al-Mughayyir village, east of Ramallah.
  • On Saturday, 01 January 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the intersection of “Beit El” settlement on the main road to al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah and at the entrance to Deir Nidham village.
  • On Sunday, 02 January 2022, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh and Turmus ‘Ayya villages.
  • On Monday, 03 January 2022, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Deir Nidham village, northwest of the City.

Jericho:

  • On Friday, 31 December 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to southern and northern Jericho.
  • On Saturday, 01 January 2022, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jericho.
  • On Tuesday, 04 January 2022, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the southern and northern entrances to Jericho and the entrance to ‘Aqbet Jaber refugee camp.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 30 December 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at Idhna village and Halhoul Bridge in Hebron.
  • On Sunday, 02 January 2022, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to al-Fawwar refugee camp, al-Shyoukh village, northern Yatta and northern Hebron.

Jenin:

  • On Friday, 31 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Romanah village, west of Jenin.

Qalqilya:

  • On Thursday, 30 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the eastern entrance to Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Thursday, 30 December 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Qarawet Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit

Jewish Settler Runs over, Kills Palestinian Man near Ramallah –

January 6, 2022

Mustafa Falaneh, 25, was killed when a Jewish settler ran him over near Ramallah. (Photo: via Social Media)

A Jewish settler on Thursday ran over and killed a Palestinian man as he was on his way to work, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The victim was identified to be Mustafa Falaneh, 25, from the village of Safa, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

According to a relative, Falaneh was crossing the street when he was run over by a Jewish settler, who willed him. Falaneh was a father of a one-and-a-half-year-old girl.

In a separate incident, another settler ran over and wounded Shafiqa Bisharat, 48, from a Nablus-area village, who was admitted to hospital for treatment. Witnesses said that the settler had attempted to run over sheep in the area and was harassing Palestinians on the road before hitting Bisharat.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry warned against the rise in incidents involving Israeli settlers running over Palestinians. The PA ministry expressed its fears that such deadly incidents are often premeditated. Moreover, it condemned what it described as Israeli police indifference.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

WATCH: Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Young Man in Refugee Camp near Nablus

January 6, 2022

Bakeer Hashash, 21, was killed by Israeli occupation forces near Nablus. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli forces killed early Thursday a Palestinian young man during a dawn raid in the Balata refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Palestinian security sources told WAFA that clashes broke out after the Israeli forces raided the Nablus-area suburb of Balata al-Balad, and opened fire towards Palestinian youths critically injuring Bakeer Hashash, 21.

Hashash was rushed to a hospital in Nablus to get urgent medical treatment. However, he succumbed to his wounds, hours later.

Israeli forces have killed thousands of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank throughout the years, and several international human rights groups say Israeli forces have used excessive force in attacking and subduing Palestinians.

(The Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)Hash

“Israel’s” weapon of choice: Anti-Semitism

Jan 06 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Narjes El Zein

Once and for all, let us settle the debate and put things into perspective… What is anti-Semitism? And how is it used to criminalize any act of solidarity with the Palestinians?

  • Here is how any act of solidarity with Palestine is dubbed as anti-Semitic.

Between the corridors of political discourse in Hollywood, there is a reality that is seldom talked about and always intentionally ignored. It is a fact that is always whispered, spoken in secrecy, never fully vocalized, except by those who are brave enough to withstand the repercussions of supporting the Palestinian people. 

Careers have been ruined, sidetracked, and completely ravaged, all under the pretext of anti-Semitism. But in reality, all what those public figures have done was stand on the right side of history.

10 points for Gryffindor

Emma Watson is one of the latest Hollywood stars that has faced hatred and social media trolling as a result of her political stances and rightful support for the oppressed

Watson, an award-winning actress and activist, utilized her personal Instagram with over 64 million followers to post a message expressing solidarity with the Palestinian cause… However, her post seemed to upset and trigger pro-“Israel” online commentators, prompting them of course to accuse the British star of anti-Semitism.

What happened with Watson is one of the latest controversies that reignited questions over the link between advocating Palestinian rights and randomly accusing people of being racist or anti-Semitic.

Some of the other celebrities and public figures that had been subjected to hate due to their support of the Palestinian cause are: Sally RooneyBella HadidMark RuffaloSusan Sarandon, and many others.

So once and for all, let us settle the debate and put things into perspective… What is anti-Semitism? 

Anti-semitism

The term anti-Semitism refers to any kind of hostility, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, anti-Semitism is defined as [an act of] hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group. 

However, in 2016, a new definition of anti-Semitism has been reintroduced by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which includes among its “contemporary examples” of anti-Semitism “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination.”

As such, it goes without saying that anti-Semitism should not be defined by Israelis. 

Such re-definitions and endeavors to plagiarize terminologies express a systematic attempt to impose anti-Zionism as Jew-hatred in order to vilify and assume that “Israel” hatred is equivalent to Jews hatred. 

But, is the criticism of “Israel” anti-Semitic?

To answer this question, we must first address the following: 

Is every Jew Israeli? 

Most Jews do not live in “Israel” and not every inhabitant of “Israel” is Jewish. Claiming the contrary is false and even insulting to a vast number of Jews, who neither are Israeli nor do they possess this “connection” or “attachment” to “Israel”.

And the best proof of that is the Jewish opposition to the Zionist movement long before the “state of Israel” was declared in 1948. 

Thus, being a Zionist and being Jewish are not the same thing.

What is Zionism?

Zionism is a political and colonial movement, supported by plenty of non-Jews, including Western governments. It emerged in 19th Century Europe and was aimed at establishing a Jewish “homeland” in historic Palestine by any means necessary. 

And what we mean by any means necessary includes, but is not limited to: waging wars and carrying out endless aggressions, killing Palestinians (the original rightful owners of the land), stealing properties from the original rightful owners of the land leading to their displacement, and the orphaning of thousands of children, as well as segregation and apartheid policies. 

Thus, the implementation of the Zionist project necessitates the violent ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population and the building of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

Thus, Zionism itself is a racist ideology, based on the horrific war crimes practiced each and every day against Palestinian people, and it can only be realized through a colonial-settler project. 

Deliberately confusing ideological terms, symbols, and images has long been a tactic of propagandists whereby they manipulate the term “Zionist” to become a code word for “Jew”. 

This is absolutely not a minor speech “slip-up”, rather it is a long-term systematic strategy that Zionists and “Israel” continue to deploy every day to this very day.

Ideological warfare

How can you win against your opponent in the ideological arena? 

Simple: Manipulate the masses to reinforce the idea that criticizing you or the institution that you belong to is a “swearword” and it is an extremely discriminatory and bigotry act. 

Year after year, Zionists understood that they could capitalize on anti-“Israel” sentiments and brand them as anti-Semitic, especially when addressing the Western public opinion. Thus, any call for the end of the Zionist colonization project would be confronted with the conjuring of the argument of anti-Semitism. 

They are deliberately confusing anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism to discredit all attempts to attack apartheid “Israel”. 

So let us make one thing clear: Just as anti-Zionism is in no way the equal of anti-Semitism, the legitimate opposition of the “existence” and actions of apartheid “Israel” in no way reflects anti-Jewish prejudice. 

A camouflage to silence opposition

But, if we dig deeper to understand the reasoning behind this terminology usage in contemporary speech and in the present conflict in interpretation, in addition to the observation of the loosely related group of attitudes… we understand the motives behind it. 

Defining anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism and using the two terms interchangeably reduces the threat of attacking and calling out Israeli policies, which leaves “Israel” free to entrench and impose its own agenda to further expand within historic Palestine and deny millions of Palestinians their most basic rights.

Accusations of anti-Semitism are deployed to establish an environment that intimidates all sorts of people and urges them to attack and delegitimize criticism of Israeli policies. 

Debunking the myth

The brutal policies of the Israeli government, such as the systematic killing of Palestiniansdenying Palestinians their basic rights, imprisonment of women and childrenneglect of prisoners’ rights, and the building of settlements… to name a few, reflect the indignant and corrosive measures of Zionism, and Zionism only. 

Anti-Semitism has become a means to intimidate individuals and prevent them from voicing their support and expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people and standing against the many, many, many injustices the Palestinians are enduring each and every day. 

So to get to the bottom line, is Emma Watson (along with the other pro-Palestinian celebrities) an anti-Semite just for voicing her support for the Palestinians? 

No.

Is amplifying the voice of an oppressed nation anti-Semitic? 

No.

Quite the contrary.

Because at the heart of it and taking all the facts and stories happening every day into consideration, the rhetoric that does not speak of the sufferings of the indigenous Palestinian people emerges as one of the crudest forms of anti-HUMANITY! 

Israel’s New Air Force Head Talks Scared and Tough on Iran: He Has Little Reason to be Either

January 05th, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

Two things prevent an all-out war between Israel and Iran. The first is that Israel knows that attacking Iran will end in a total Israeli defeat. The second is Iran’s exercise of discipline in the face of ongoing threats by both the U.S. and Israel.

JERUSALEM – As 2021 came to a close, Israel had raised the so-called “Iran Threat” issue to a whole new level. Upon his promotion in December to Commander of the Israeli Air Force, General Tomer Bar was asked by the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot (Ynet), “Are you able to attack Iran tomorrow?” His answer was “Yes!” He was then asked, “Will you be able to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities?” His reply: “There is no scenario where we act over there, and I don’t return and say ‘mission accomplished.’”

In the summer of 2020, The Times of Israel reported that Israel had what it called a “Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate,” which focuses principally on “Israel’s fight against Iran.” The wording, “Israel’s fight against Iran,” is particularly apt: though more often than not it is described as “Iran’s fight against Israel,” it is, in fact, Israel that is a threat to Iran and not the other way around.

Returning to the interview with the Israeli Air-Force commander, it is as though Israel cannot wait for the opportunity to attack, and indeed, the Ynet reporter who interviewed General Bar was eager. “Bar,” the story continues, “who will be tasked with carrying out a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities should one be ordered, understands that he may be required to carry out one of the most complex operations in the country’s history.” Interesting choice of words, considering this possible mission is described as a complex, even daring mission rather than pure madness.

Tomer Bar
General Tomer Bar, commander of the Israeli Air-Force on the front page of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot

Not leaving out any details, the interview with Bar continued, “I must assume that it might happen during my tenure, and I understand the magnitude of such an order… Preparations have been underway for a while, including procurement of the F-35 jets and missile defense systems.” If such an order is given, “there is no way that I will fly 1,000 kilometers and come home without succeeding in my mission.”

According to the Jerusalem Post, however, this might not be as simple as General Bar thinks. The U.S. has so far rejected an Israeli request to fast-track the delivery of two tanker aircraft, which are needed to allow the Israeli fighter jets to refuel on their way to Iran. If plans for a possible military option against Iran’s nuclear plan move forward, Israel will need these tankers. When asked about the U.S. refusal to expedite the sale of refueling aircraft despite Israel’s request, Bar said the matter has not been finalized and that he “remains hopeful the necessary aircraft would be supplied early.” One would think they were planning a party.

Iran under threat

Iran has been facing continuous threats of attack from Israel and the United States for far too long. With a population of close to 85 million and a record of not having invaded or initiated a war against another country, one is puzzled at the persistent anti-Iranian rhetoric in the United States and Israel. Furthermore, even if we consider Iran’s unrelenting support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice and the Iranian refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine, the Israeli threats seem unjustified. Iran’s positions, while obviously unwelcome to the Israeli government, have remained essentially unchanged and stable for decades and there is no threatening drumbeat coming from Tehran.

Since Iran has had to live under these ongoing threats of attack and has been the victim of crippling U.S. sanctions, it is no surprise that it has invested in building what seem to be impressive military capabilities. According to a report by the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA:

Iran has adapted its military capabilities and doctrine to account for developments by the United States and its allies. Although still technologically inferior to most of its competitors, the Iranian military has progressed substantially over the past few decades.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard
Iraniran troops march during a military parade marking the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war. Photo | AP

Furthermore, the report states:

Iran continues to rely on its unconventional warfare elements and asymmetric capabilities – intended to exploit the perceived weaknesses of a superior adversary – to provide deterrence and project power. This combination of lethal conventional capabilities and proxy forces poses a persistent threat.

The problem with this analysis is the idea that Iran is the one that poses a threat. On the contrary, Iran is the one under threat. Furthermore, at least one of the “proxy forces” the report refers to is Hezbollah, an organization created to respond to the brutal Israeli assaults against Lebanon and the consequent 20-year occupation of southern Lebanon.

Finally, the report points out that Iran has a “substantial arsenal of ballistic missiles” and that this arsenal is “designed to overwhelm U.S. forces and our partners in the region.” This is the most effective deterrent Iran has against an impending Israeli attack.

Iran versus Israel

Iran has over 80 million people with an official defense budget in 2019 of approximately $20.7 billion, or roughly 3.8% of GDP. Israel has a combined population of around 12 million, though fewer than half are actual citizens with rights, and has a defense budget of just under $19 billion. The debate over a possible war between Israel and Iran is a favorite among pundits. As a result, one can find a great deal of information comparing the sizes and capabilities of the two militaries.

piece in Business Insider from August 2021 titled, “A shadowy fight between Israel and Iran is at risk of becoming a bigger war. Here’s how their militaries stack up,” is one of many such articles. It concludes that an allout war between the two countries is unlikely but we are likely to see more of the “shadowy” assaults like the attack on a vessel in the Arabian Sea, which was owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer. In 2018 Newsweek published a piece called, “How Does Israel’s Military Compare to Iran?” The article claims that, while “Israeli military might is underscored by its top notch military-industrial complex, Iran’s military is aging and sub-par.” Still, Newsweek admits, “[b]oth nations have considerable military clout, and any prolonged confrontation between them would be bloody.”

One would do well to remember that, with all the admiration for Israeli military capabilities and technological superiority, Israel has never fought a war against a disciplined, well-trained, well-equipped, highly motivated military force.

Protesters wave Palestinians flags in front of Israeli solders on Gaza's border with Israel, east of Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. A leading Israel human rights group urged Israeli forces in a rare step Wednesday to disobey open-fire orders unless Gaza protesters pose an imminent threat to soldiers' lives. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Despite the IDF’s superior military might, most of Israel’s battlefield experience comes from facing off with unarmed protesters. Photo | AP

Israel did attack its neighboring countries and destroy their militaries several times, but then it retreated to the safety of its borders. Iran is not such a proximate neighbor and, should Israel need to deploy forces, something it never had to do in the past; it would be a logistical nightmare. Even assuming Israel would rely only on its air force, Iran is a large country, and it is a long flight to Iran and back. Logistically, this would demand an enormous effort by Israel while the Iranians would have to do nothing but wait and then use their air defenses and long-range missiles. Furthermore, should a war take place on Iranian soil, there is no military force large, effective or motivated enough to defeat Iran.

Israel’s last face-to-face encounter with a well-disciplined and motivated fighting force was in 2006 in Lebanon. Israeli ground forces encountered Hezbollah fighters, and things did not go well for the Israelis, who were forced to retreat in humiliation. Israeli officers who participated in that assault against Lebanon said there were serious logistical and intelligence flaws, and this was just a few short kilometers from their home base. Imagine what would happen if they were thousands of miles from home.

As the new year begins, we should be thankful that the United States, having suffered two colossal military defeats in the last two decades — one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan — has no stomach or resources to attack a formidable country like Iran. Apart from that, it would be fair to say that two things prevent an all-out war between Israel and Iran. The first is that Israel knows that attacking Iran will end in a total Israeli defeat. The second is Iran’s exercise of discipline in the face of ongoing threats by both the U.S. and Israel.

Photo-Shopped History: Editing Out Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Support for Palestine

January 04th, 2022

By Clinton Nzala

Source

Rewriting history – essentially negating the historical relations between the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the ongoing struggle to free Palestine – serves the interests of mainstream Western media and their acolytes.

On January 1, 2022 – as South Africa buried one of its most illustrious sons and anti-apartheid icons, Archbishop Desmond Tutu – the hypocrisy of the corporate media was on full display. Reuters described him as “Africa’s ‘moral compass’.” Al Jazeera referred to him as “South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon.” CNN published articles referring to him as the “voice of justice.” and South Africa’s national conscience.” South Africa’s largest media outlet, SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) took the cake with an article titled: “Dalai Lama’s representative at Tutu’s funeral urges the world to think about China-Dalai Lama issue.”

While corporate media outlets literally trampled each other while competing to give the most glowing tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they all shamelessly omitted his public and unwavering support to the people of Palestine and their daily struggle against the grip of Israeli occupation. Anyone with basic knowledge about the history of the Bishop would have expected his solidarity with Palestine to feature in any report on his life. There is simply no journalist or historian, worth their salt, who can talk about the Bishop and fail to mention his energetic and almost lifelong support of the Palestinian cause.

Desmond Tutu’s views and opinions on the Palestinian question are well documented; journalists do not need to dig too deep to find them. In an editorial published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2014, he pointed out the many parallels between the Israeli occupation and the apartheid government of South Africa, writing:

I have been to the Occupied Palestinian territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”

A year earlier, the Bishop placed emphasis upon this comparison in an interview with The Washington Post, reminding readers that “What’s being done to the Palestinians at checkpoints, for us, it’s the kind of thing we experienced in South Africa.”

Desmond Tutu
Jewish activists holds a picture of Tutu during a flashmob in support of boycotting Israel in Tel Aviv, November 15, 2010. Photo | Activestills

Desmond Tutu was also a staunch supporter of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, for doing business with Israeli occupiers, he believed, dangerously perpetuated the status quo. In the Haaretz article, he pointed out:

Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.”

At first glance, one would get the impression that the failure by mainstream media to mention this important fact about Bishop Tutu was possibly the result of excessive drinking during the festive period. While intoxicating beverages may have played a role in this slight of facts, such an omission is by design, courtesy of the South African and international media. Rewriting history – essentially negating the historical relations between the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the ongoing struggle to free Palestine – serves the interests of mainstream Western media and their acolytes.

Conveniently selective editing

The African National Congress (ANC) and its leaders have a profound and long-standing relationship with the people of Palestine. It has been cemented by the shared experience of being subjected to brutal and murderous regimes in their respective countries. Made uncomfortable by this solidarity, the Israel lobby has spared no efforts to diminish, discredit or erase this relationship from public view. To achieve their objective, they now target mainstream consumers of corporate media, the so-called drivers of public opinion. Far too many editors have fallen for these schemes, rendering themselves butchers of the truth and facts.

Distorting history – African history, in particular – does not start with Bishop Tutu. From the continent and beyond, we also witness how Nelson Mandela’s legacy is scrambled and nullified. How many corporate media editors would fight for front-row seats at the unveiling of a statue in Madiba’s honor but not whisper a single word regarding his criticism of Israel’s apartheid policies and love and admiration for the Cuban Revolution?

While The New York Times said Mandela’s voice helped slay apartheid, and the BBC noted the “Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped end the racist regime in South Africa,” they all skipped the question of Palestine. How convenient.

Unwilling to offer a complete and coherent version of history and global icons such as Bishop Tutu, the mainstream instead provides viewers a photo-shopped edition. No amount of doctoring, however, can erase the brave and morally upright stance that the Bishop took on the Palestinian question. The best way we can honor his memory and legacy is to follow in his principled support of the sons and daughters of Palestine who aspire for freedom.

To Bishop Tutu, I say, “Hamba Kahle Mkhonto!” (You lit the torch of resistance and we shall follow in your footsteps!)

Exclusive: Occupation failed in bid to kill Abu Hawash – PIJ official

4 Jan 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen Net

PIJ official Mohammad Shallah tells Al Mayadeen Net the occupation sees that every time the PIJ pressures the occupation, it wins.

Victorious Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash

Initial information says the Israeli military prosecution informed lawyer Jawad Boulos of its approval of releasing prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash on February 26, meaning he can end his hunger strike, Palestinian Islamic Jihad senior official Mohammad Shallah told Al Mayadeen Net on Tuesday.

It is up to the prisoner to agree to the deal, Shallah said, adding that his approval means the decision went into force, and he can go back to his life. However, he will remain under supervision and detention until his release in February.

The PIJ official said information the group received lately suggested that “the Israelis were determined to kill Hisham, as it sees that every time the PIJ pressured it, it won, and then the PIJ would go to the media, expose the occupation’s crimes, and celebrate its victory.”

“The Israeli occupation was asking mediators with the PIJ to tone down their threats,” Shallah revealed, asserting that the PIJ did not listen to any mediators, “But we are thankful for their efforts.”

According to the senior official, PIJ had fully coordinated with Al-Quds Brigades and Al-Qassam Brigades in case the Israeli occupation “made the decision to drag us into a battle, and we were expecting the occupation to stall until the martyrdom of Hisham.”

Shallah explained that what they expected from the occupation was the reason behind their calls to protests and preparing the people through marches and protests.

“The Israeli occupation got our message, and it was convinced that we were completely serious, determined, and unwavering; PIJ was determined to liberate the prisoner,” he asserted.

Had Abu Hawash been martyred, he stressed, “We would have seen that as an assassination, and there would have been a response.”

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash is expected to end his hunger strike in the coming hours, Al Mayadeen correspondent reported.

“Abu Hawash’s decision to end his hunger strike comes after reaching an agreement that stipulates that he would be freed on February 26,” our correspondent added.

40-year-old Hisham Abu Hawash, from Dura, Al-Khalil, has been on hunger strike for 141 days in protest of his administrative detention as warnings over the deterioration of his health grow.

Abu Hawash has been in prison since October 2020, and the Israeli occupation forces have issued three administrative detention orders against him since his arrest, one of which was issued after the 70th day of his hunger strike.

He is a father to five children, and his total time in prison amounts to eight years, 52 months of which were spent in administrative detention.

ما الذي كشفه المتحدث باسم جيش العدو عن تحطم «عطاليف»؟

الثلاثاء 4 كانون الثاني 2202

الأخبار 

قال المتحدّث باسم جيش العدو الإسرائيلي، ران كوخاف، اليوم، إن «سقوط المروحية العسكرية مساء أمس، في البحر قبالة شاطئ حيفا (المحتلة) ومقتل ضابطَين في سلاح الجو إثر هجوم سيبراني، تبدو إمكانية ضئيلة جداً وغير صحيحة»، مع ذلك استدرك بالقول إنه «من السابق لأوانه تأكيد ذلك».

وأضاف كوخاف خلال مقابل أجرتها معه إذاعة «أف أم 193 : «نفحص كافة الخيارات، لكني لا أعتقد أن هذه كانت عملية معادية وهذا هو الاتجاه الذي سيتبيّن أنه صحيح. وقد تردّدت أمس تقارير كثيرة، ومعظمها ليس صحيحاً وسابقة لأوانها».

ولم ينفِ كوخاف الإمكانية، قائلاً إنه «عملياً، نحن لا نعرف حتى الآن الإجابة على السؤال حول سبب سقوط المروحية». وأشار إلى أنه «نحن في بداية التحقيق وكافة الاتجاهات مفتوحة أمامنا. وأنا أيضاً رأيت التقارير حول مشاهدة كرة نار التي ربما تدلّ على خلل تقنيّ في المحرك أو شيء آخر. لكني لا أعرف الإجابة بشكل مؤكد على هذه الأمور. لقد ارتطموا بالمياه من دون بلاغ مسبق بجهاز الاتصال». وأشار إلى أن «الطياريْن لم يتمكنا من إطلاق نداء استغاثة».

من جهتها، نشرت صحيفة «يديعوت أحرونوت»، اليوم، تفاصيل تحقيقات تحطّم المروحية التي قُتل فيها نائب قائد قاعدة «رامات دافيد» الجوية، المقدّم إيرز سحياني، والرائد حين فوغل، فيما تمكّن شخص ثالث من النجاة.
وبحسب التحقيقات الأولية، فقد تمكّن ضابط الدورية الذي نجا، من إرسال تقرير أوّلي إلى قاعدة وحدته عبر الهاتف الخليوي، حيث قدّم معلومات عن الحادث لجلب القوات إلى المنطقة.

ومنذ ساعات الصباح الأولى، يواصل الجيش الإسرائيلي البحث عن مزيد من حطام المروحية، ووفقًا للصحيفة العبرية، فقد تمكّن الجيش من تجميع الصورة الكاملة للحادث.

وخلال ساعات الليل، أمر قائد الجبهة الداخلية الإسرائيلية، اللواء أوري غوردين، بمنع دخول المدنيين المنطقة الساحلية في حيفا، حيث تحطمت المروحية.

وكانت المروحية من السرب 193، قد غادرت الليلة الماضية من قاعدة «رمات دافيد» في مهمة تدريبية قبالة سواحل حيفا. ولسبب غير معروف، اصطدمت المروحية بالبحر في طريق عودتها إلى القاعدة. وبعد أكثر من ساعة، تم العثور على القتيلين، سحياني فوغل.

من جهته، قال القائد السابق لسلاح الجو الإسرائيلي، اللواء إيتان بن الياهو، في مقابلة مع «يديعوت»، إن المعلومات الأولية تفيد بوقوع خلل فني على متن الطائرة.

وأضاف بن الياهو، أن «الظلام الدامس الذي خيّم على المكان قبيل تحطم المروحية، بالتزامن مع اقترابها من البحر، بسبب الخلل الفني، أدّى إلى تحطّمها».

وأكد أن هذا النوع من المروحيات مجهّز بتقنيات كبيرة تمكّنها من الطفو على سطح البحر؛ وتحطّمها يضع تساؤلات كبيرة، مستدركاً قوله إن «وجود ناجٍ سيساعد في فك الشيفرة». وبعد الحادث، أصدر قائد سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي، عميكام نوركين، قراراً بوقف الطلعات الجوية لسرب طائرات «الوطواط»، وشكّل لجنة تحقيق لمعرفة أسباب الحادث.

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Israeli Media: Agreement Reached to End Palestinian Prisoner’s Hunger Strike after 141 Days

January 4, 2022

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash. (Photo: via Social Media)

An agreement was reportedly reached Tuesday afternoon to end Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawwash’s hunger strike after 141 days, after negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials with Egyptian mediation, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Abu Hawwash has completed his 141 days of hunger strike in an Israeli prison in protest of imprisonment without trial, known as ‘administrative detention’. 

According to the terms of the agreement, Abu Hawwash “is expected to remain in the Israeli hospital he is currently kept in for medical follow-up until February 26, after which he will be released to his home,” Haaretz reported, adding that the administrative detention order against him will not be renewed.

Abu Hawwash, a 40-year-old resident of the town of Dura, near Hebron, in the Southern-occupied West Bank, is a father of five children. He was arrested by Israel on October 27, 2020, and has been held under administrative detention ever since.

Several human rights groups, along with the European Union, had expressed concern about Abu Hawwash’s deteriorating health conditions. 

On Monday, US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib said in a tweet that she held the Israeli government responsible for the safety and health of the Palestinian hunger striker, also calling on US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to demand an end to Israel’s administrative detention policies against Palestinians.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

More on the topic

Palestinian prisoner Abu Hawash seizes his freedom

4 Jan 2022

The prisoner Abu Hawash defeats the occupation in the battle of the empty intestines

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen Net

Al Mayadeen correspondent reports that hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash has seized his freedom from the Israeli occupation.

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Abu Hawash wins his freedom
Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash is finally free

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash is expected to end his hunger strike in the coming hours, Al Mayadeen correspondent reported.

“Abu Hawash’s decision to end his hunger strike comes after reaching an agreement that stipulates that he would be freed on February 26,” our correspondent added.

Al-Khalil, West Bank, is seeing several celebrations over Abu Hawash’s victory in the battle of empty stomachs.

Abu Hawash’s freedom marks another milestone in the battle of empty stomachs, which saw six Palestinian prisoners gaining their freedom from the Israeli occupation after the latter administratively detained them.

This comes after the Palestinian resistance factions warned the Israeli occupation of repercussions if anything happens to Abu Hawash.

“Any harm done to the life of prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash would constitute an offensive action and aggression against our people, and the resistance will remain the shield and sword defending our prisoners,” the factions said Tuesday.

Senior leaders from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad held talks to discuss the latest developments on the case of hunger-striking prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash on Monday.

The sources said an escalation would take place if Hisham Abu Hawash loses his life.

The 141st day

The Palestinian Prisoners Media Office announced on Tuesday that Palestinian prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash would continue his hunger strike for the 141st consecutive day, despite his dangerously critical health condition.

On Monday, the European Union expressed its concern regarding Abu Hawash’s critical health condition, calling on “Israel” to end the policy of administrative detention.

Hisham’s brother, Imad, had said he stopped taking saline, which poses a serious threat to his intestines and could cause them to rot.

His family voiced grave concern over his life, saying the battle for his freedom became one of breaking his will to stop individual hunger-strikes, “Even if it is at the expense of Hisham’s life.”

Imad Hawash said his brother’s lawyer, Jawad Boulos, conveyed a very worrying image about Hisham, saying he was not moving, could barely hear those talking to him, and was barely able to say a few words.

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Celebrations in front of the house of the prisoner Hisham Abu Hawash after he snatched a victory in the battle of the empty intestines

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“Israel” Is Bluffing About Striking Iran, But May Go To War With Syria In 2022

2 Jan 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Robert Inlakesh

“Israel” has been doing its very best to sabotage the Iran Nuclear Deal talks and prevent sanctions relief or de-escalation between Tehran and Washington.

“Israel” Is Bluffing About Striking Iran, But May Go To War With Syria In 2022

In a bid to increase tensions between Washington and Tehran, the Israeli regime intensified its propaganda surrounding conspiracy theories of a “secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.” In the process, “Tel Aviv” also intensified its attacks against Syria and made a number of embarrassing predictions about when Iran would get its hands on the nukes.

2021 began with tensions between “Israel” and Iran from the get-go, with “Israel” having used its intelligence agency, Mossad, to carry out an assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in late November of 2020. “Israel” was also revealed to have been involved in former US President Donald Trump’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC)’s Quds Forces.

When President Joe Biden first took office, he did so after vowing to repair the US’ standing in the region, with part of this strategy – which he laid out to US voters – was reviving the Obama-era Nuclear Deal.

Yet, despite 7 rounds of indirect negotiations – through two separate Iranian administrations – having taken place in Vienna between Washington and Tehran, no deal has been reached. Instead, Iran has been subjected to constant antagonism by the Biden administration and the Israeli regime.

Since the beginning of 2021, “Israel” has been vowing to act alone against Iran if the United States does not do what it’s told. Instead of holding strong, later in August, Joe Biden sat across from his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett and told the world that if diplomacy fails, the US is prepared to take to “other options”. After speculation that this had meant that the US was considering a strike on Iran, US Central Command (CENTCOM)’s General Kenneth McKenzie made it clear and stated that military options have been prepared. “Israel” is very happy with this stance, yet it is not clear whether the US would follow through on any such “option”.

Despite this, “Israel” has been doing its very best to sabotage the Iran Nuclear Deal talks and prevent sanctions relief or de-escalation between Tehran and Washington. In order to fear-monger further, the Zionist entity has produced some of its most embarrassing predictions on when Iran will acquire nuclear weapons yet.

For around 30 years, since 1992, “Israel’s” leading politicians have continuously speculated as to when Iran will acquire a nuclear weapon. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former President Shimon Peres were some of the first to make wrong predictions. Now the legacy of false predictions by “Israel” is being carried on by its current ruling class, and its false alarmism has come to the point that it is hardly worth the media even reporting it to save “Israel” from further embarrassment.

Here are just a few of the most well-known cases from 2021 of “Israel’s” predictions; In January, the head of “Israel’s” occupation military, Aviv Kochavi, said that Iran would have nukes in “months, maybe even weeks”. Benny Gantz, “Israel’s” Minister of War, later stated in August that Iran is “10 weeks” away from amassing enough nuclear material for the bomb. This was then followed by a claim that will take a little longer to be proven incorrect, as “Israel’s” Avigdor Lieberman claimed that the new prediction was that Tehran would have their WMD in “five years, tops”. But the cherry on top was really the late December reporting, emanating from Israeli media, which suggested, “citing Defense Ministry intelligence”, that Iran was “6 weeks away” from getting nukes.

The allegation that Iran has a “secretive nuclear weapons program” is simply put, a far-fetched conspiracy theory. There is no authoritative organization or international body that claims to possess any evidence of this, nor do they make the assumption that Iran has such a program. Yet despite this, the United States, Britain, and “Israel” all put on their tin-foil hats and are going along with the conspiracy theory. The reason for this is not driven by their actual beliefto do with them actually believing what they are saying, just like it was not the case they believed Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, besides the chemical weapons they sold him. This is just official propaganda to usher in public support for their aggressive foreign policy position on the Islamic Republic.

Despite the tough rhetoric, however, it is more than likely that instead of “Israel” striking Iran directly, they will continue their aggression against the Syrian government’s forces and civilian infrastructure. In 2021, “Israel” struck the port of Latakia, Syria’s lifeline civilian port, twice and upped airstrikes against Syria’s air defense systems, weapons depots and other military, as well as civilian, targets. For “Israel”, their own military intelligence indicates that the primary battleground will be inside Syria for the objective of “combatting Iran”. Although “Israel” is not striking Iranian-backed targets in Syria, as Syrian Opposition media claims without evidence, they are able to justify their attacks with this line of propaganda.

From the Israeli regime’s perspective, the new administration in the Zionist Entity has to appear to be outperforming or at least matching the intensity of the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Striking Syria has always been a way for the regime to show its people that it is fighting Iran actively. Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, who entered into a power-sharing agreement to force out Netanyahu’s Likud Party, know that if their coalition falls apart, their political careers are done, and even if they finish their joint term as Prime Ministers, if they perform badly they will be pushed out of leadership positions in the future. So, in order to impress the Israeli settler public, they must appear to be attacking Iran and its allies, additionally influencing the United States to stay away from the Nuclear Deal.

For “Israel” to start a war with Iran, is to essentially commit suicide and they know this well. That is why if any war is to take place, it is more likely going to be between Syria and “Israel”. The biggest possibility is another round of tensions between the Gaza Strip and “Israel’s” occupation army and another uprising by Palestinians across the occupied territories. In the event that this escalation occurs over an Israeli violation of Palestinian rights in Al-Quds, most notably at Masjid Al-Aqsa, it is also possible that Yemen’s Ansarallah and Lebanese Hezbollah will too get involved this time around.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

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