Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (18 July – 24 July 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations(18 – 24 July 2019)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory for the week of 8 – 24 July, 2019.

125 civilians were injured during the Great March of Return, in Eastern Gaza, including 53 children, 3 women, 5 journalists and 4 paramedics, by Israeli forces. In the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, 48 civilians were injured, including 5 children and 3 journalists.

Shootings and other threats to bodily integrity

  • At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 18 July 2019, officers from the Israeli “Mista’arvim” undercover unit dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked to al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, driving 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plate. They raided and searched a number of houses from which they arrested Ismail Tawfiq al-‘Essah (19) and Fares Hasan Shamarkhah (35). Meanwhile, tens of children and young men gathered and threw stones, empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers used live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a young man was shot with a live bullet to the right thigh. He was taken to al-Husein Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment.

 

  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli forces raided a sit-in tent established by civilians protesting the Israeli authorities’ decision to demolish 16 residential building in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood in Sour Baher village, south of East Jerusalem, east of Bethlehem. The soldiers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protestors. As a result, journalist Ayat ‘Arqawi (29), was hit with a tear gas canister to the waist and then taken to a medical point to receive treatment.

 

  • At approximately 19:00 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-Issawiya village, north east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched al-Issawiyah Secondary School, blew up the doors and then confiscated flags of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and pictures of Mohammed Sair ‘Obaid, who was killed by Israeli forces in ‘Obaid neighborhood 20 days ago. Meanwhile, tens of Palestinian children and young men attempted to confront the Israeli raid. They threw stones, empty bottles and Molotov Cocktails at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canister at them. As a result, a young man was shot with a rubber bullet to the abdomen. He was taken to al-Maqased Hospital in al-Tour neighborhood, east of occupied Jerusalem, to receive treatment. Mohammed Abu al-Humus, Head of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Issawiyah village, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli forces deliberately used live ammunition and rubber bullets in targeting buildings’ entrances and balconies as live ammunition penetrated houses belonging to al-‘Ajlouni and ‘Obaid families. Israeli forces also attacked and pepper-sprayed and used stun gun against Rami (34) and ‘Ala’a ‘Esmat Obeid (36), who were in front of their commercial shop. Abu al-Humus emphasized ambulances crews of Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) tried to offer first aid for the 2 young men, but Israeli soldiers prevented them and arrested the young men while unconscious and was on the stretcher.

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed off Rafah shore in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles. They surrounded a fishing boat manned by ‘Essam Nabil Nayef al-Aqra’a (29) and his brother Riyad (23), from Deir al-Balah. The soldiers ordered them to take off their clothes, jump into water and swim towards the gunboat. The fishermen were detained and their boat was confiscated. At approximately 07:00 on Monday, 22 July 2019, the Israeli authorities released the fishermen through Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint; their fishing boat is still confiscated.

 

  • At approximately 21:35 on Monday, 22 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia, in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 – 5 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 23 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Wednesday, 24 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported. At approximately 22:30, Israeli forces sporadically opened fire at fishermen in the same area until 23:45, neither casualties nor material damage was reported.

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

  • At approximately 10:30 on Thursday, 18 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Kroum area in northern Nablus. An Israeli bulldozer then uprooted a steel fence surrounding a 750-sqaure-meter plot of land and belonging to ‘Adnan ‘Abed al-Razeq Yaseen ‘Ayyad. The Israeli forces also confiscated a caravan from the land under the pretext of being in Area C. ‘Adnan refuted the Israeli forces’ claims.
  • At approximately 07:30 on Sunday, 21 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit al-Hadidiyah in eastern Tubas. An Israeli bulldozer uprooted a residential tent and livestock barracks belonging to Naje’ Ka’abnah. The Israeli forces then confiscated 2 residential tents, 2 livestock tents, a tent used as a kitchen, a barn, and other contents.
  • At dawn on Monday, 22 July 2019, hundreds of Israeli police officers backed by dozens of military construction vehicles moved into Wadi al-Humus neighborhood, in Sour Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem. They declared it as a closed-military zone and prevented entering or exiting it in order to carry out a large-scale destruction operation in Jerusalem since occupying it in 1967. Israeli forces raided 3 residential buildings belonging to Isma’il Abu Sarhan , Belal al-Kasawani and Ghaleb Abu Hadwan and his son Monther in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood and vacated them for demolition. In the meantime, the Israeli police officers beat the residents and pepper-sprayed them, in addition to firing rubber bullets and sound bombs at many apartments after their inhabitants refused to exit. As a result, 10 persons of Abu Sarhan family sustained bruises and were then taken to hospitals. At approximately 06:00, Israeli bulldozers demolished 10 residential buildings; 3 were inhabited while the others, comprising of 72 apartments, were under-construction. Additionally, 4 floors of Mohamed Idreis Abu Tair building were blew up. It should be noted that the destruction operation was carried out within 18 hours. During the demolition, the Israeli forces detained the buildings’ owners and dozens of persons stood in solidarity with them after forcibly getting them out of the buildings and dispersing them few meters away. It should be noted that around 22 persons, including 14 children, became homeless after demolishing their houses and over 70 families were deprived of living in their under-construction apartments. The destroyed houses belong to:
  • Ghaleb Hawan and his son Monther: a 2-story house built on 210 square meters and sheltering a 10-member family, including 6 children;
  • Isma’il ‘Ebeidiyah: a 2-sotry house built on 250 square meters and sheltering a 7-member family, including 5 children;
  • Belal al-Kiswani: a 1-story house sheltering a 5-member family, including 3 children;
  • ‘Alaa’ ‘Amirah: a 2-story house built on 200 square meters (uninhabited);
  • ‘Ali Khalil Hamadah: a 4-sotry building (under-construction);
  • Ja’afar Abu Hamed: a 1-story house (under-construction);
  • Akram Zawahrah: a 4-sotry building and a penthouse (under-construction);
  • Na’eem Musallam: a 2-sotry building (uninhabited);
  • Tareq Mahameed: his house was located behind the security street from the West Bank side;
  • Ra’fat ‘Obaidat: (under-construction); and
  • Mohammed Idris Abu Teir: a 7-story building comprised of 40 residential apartments (under-construction), where explosives were planted in 4 story in order to blow them up.

It should be mentioned that on 13 June 2019, the Israeli High Court approved the Israeli military’s decision to demolish 16 residential buildings comprised of 100 apartments in Wadi al-Humus neighborhood under the pretext of being near the annexation wall which was established on the village’s lands.  On 20 June 2019, the Israeli forces handed tens of residents’ notices to self-demolish their property by 18 July or the Israeli forces will later do so.  On 21 July 2019, the Israeli High Court rejected the appeal filed by the residents to freeze the demolition orders, and within hours the Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood and started the demolitions.

Wadi al-Humus neighborhood (area: 3,000 dunums; population: 6000) is located on the edge of Sour Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem.  The neighbourhood is not within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries and most of its lands are classified in Area A that is under full control of the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Accords; thus, the buildings’ owners obtained construction licences from the Palestinian Ministry of Local Governance.  Following the construction of the annexation wall in 2003, the neighbourhood was split as some houses ended up in the Israeli side but not under jurisdiction of the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem.

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

Gaza Strip

As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Moreover, Israeli naval forces imposed a blockade, chased fishermen, opened fire at them, and confiscated their fishing equipment. During the reporting period, 6 shooting incidents, chasing fishermen and their boats, arresting and releasing fishermen were documented.

  • Note: No updates occured on the state of the crossing during the reporting

West Bank

In addition to permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of more temporary checkpoints that restrict the goods and individuals movement between villages and cities and deny civilians’ access to their work. Israeli forces established 34 temporary checkpoints, from which they arrested 8 civilians.

The military checkpoint were as follows:

Qalqilyah:

On Thursday, 18 July 2019, Israeli forces established 2 checkpoints at the entrance to Hijjah village, east of Qalqilyah; and at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyah. They then arrested a civilian.

At approximately 15:00 on Friday, 19 July 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the eastern entrance to Qalqilyah.

At approximately 21:50 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jeet village, northeast of Qalqilyah.

At approximately 21:30 on Saturday, 20 July 2019, a similar checkpoint was established at the entrance to ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb village, east of Qalqilyah.

On Monday, 22 July 2019, Israeli forces established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilyah; between al-Nabi Iyyas and ‘Izbit al-Tabeeb villages; and at the entrance to al-Nabi Iyyas village, east of the city.

On Monday evening, Israeli forces established a checkpoint at the entrance to Jayyous village, northeast of Qalqilyah, where they arrested 4 civilians.

Fully detailed document available at PCHR official.

‘Israeli’ Forces Start Demolishing Palestinian Homes in Occupied Al-Quds

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israeli’ occupation forces started destroying homes on the outskirts of the occupied East al-Quds, despite international condemnation and mass protests.

Hundreds of Zionist soldiers and police stormed Sur Baher early on Monday and declared the village a military zone, banning journalists from entering.

“Since 2 am they have been evacuating people from their homes by force and they have started planting explosives in the homes they want to destroy,” said Hamada Hamada, a community leader in Sur Baher.

Meanwhile, Palestinian and international activists, who tried to stop the demolition, were present in the scene and filmed the work.

Adnan Gheith, the Palestinian governor of occupied al-Quds, slammed the demolitions as a war crime.

Back in June, the Zionist court rejected a petition by the owners to cancel the demolitions. A deadline for the residents to abandon the houses expired on Friday.

The Zionist pretext for demolishing the houses is its claim that the original landowners ‘had failed to obtain building permits’ from the occupation regime!

The residents, however, stress that they don’t not need ‘Israeli’ permission to build their homes because they had received approvals from the Palestinian Authority.

Relatively, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates on Sunday called upon the International Criminal Court [ICC] to launch an investigation into the Zionist regime’s mass demolitions in the neighborhood.

The ministry called on the ICC to open an investigation into the ‘Israeli’ regime’s threats to demolish several homes in East al-Quds.

Meanwhile, the United Nations, which recognizes al-Quds as occupied territory, urged the Zionist regime to halt the demolitions.

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (11 July – 17 July 2019)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory for the week of 11- 17 July, 2019.

74 Palestinian civilians injured; 24 of them were children, a woman, 2 journalists including a female, and a paramedic at the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip.

5 civilians, including a child, injured in the West Bank.

  1. Shootings, i.e. killings and injuries
  • At approximately 02:30 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, officers from the Israeli “Mista’arvim”undercover unit dressed like Palestinian civilians sneaked to al-Duheisha refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, driving 2 civilian vehicles with Palestinian registration plate. They raided and searched a house belonging to Sami Ismail al-Ja’fari (33) and then arrested him. Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers while the soldiers fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 civilians were shot with live bullets to the lower extremities. They were taken to Al-Hussein Hospital in Beit Jala for treatment.

 

 

  • At approximately 22:00 on the same Thursday, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence with Israel, northern Beit Lahia in northern Gaza Strip, opened fire and arrested at Majed Mohammed Husein al-Shafei (44) after crossing the village. As a result, he sustained a live bullet to his lower extremities. According to field investigations, al-Shafei left his house in Jabalia approximately 21:30 on the same day and then disappeared. At approximately 11:00 on Friday, 12 July 2019, his brother Mazen received a phone call informing him that his brother is injured and detained by Israeli forces.

 

  • At approximately 10:30 on Friday 12 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip in the vicinity of a Palestinian border control point. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 06:30 on Saturday, 13 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah Shore opened fire at Palestinian Fishing boats sailing within 6 nautical miles. The Israeli gunboats then surrounded one of the boats manned by Mohammed Isma’el Isma’el al-Bardawil (40) and his nephew, Ahmed Wael Isma’el al-Bardawil (16); both from al-Mawasi neighborhood, west of Rafah. The Israeli naval soldiers then ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat. They were arrested and their boat was confiscated. At approximately 18:00, Ahmed was released through Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing while Mohammed al-Bardawil is still under arrest and their fishing boat is still confiscated.

 

  • At approximately 13:35 on Sunday, 14 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Youni in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in eastern ‘Abasan village, west of the border fence. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 16:30 on Monday, 15 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis, in southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at eastern Khuza’ah village. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • Also on Monday evening, Israeli forces opened fire at Fares Ahmed Mahmoud ‘Azem (34), when he was between Ramina and Bazaria villages, east of Tulkarm. As a result, he sustained a live bullet wound to the back, causing him internal bleeding in the lungs. ‘Azem was taken to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm. Due to the serious injury, ‘Azem was transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Israel. An eyewitness stated that:

“At approximately 22:00 on Monday, 15 July 2019, I received a call telling me that a person from my village was wounded and screaming of pain and that the caller is trying to rescure him. I immediately headed to the site and knew that the victim is from Thanabeh village, carries an Israeli ID card and drives a vehicle with an Israeli registration plate. He was taken via an ambulance to Dr. Thabet Thabet hospital in Tulkarm and then transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Israel due to his serious injury.”

 

‘Azem’s father said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“I received the news of my son’s injury and then headed to Israel to follow-up on his health condition. Doctors only informed me that his injury was serious and he suffers from bleeding in the lungs as the bullet penetrated his back to the lungs. We do not know how this happened to our son; he was probably visiting his in-laws in Ramin village. We are waiting until he wakes up to find out what happened with him.”

 

  • At approximately 17:35 on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at ‘Abasan al-Kabirah. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 08:10 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Khuza’ah village. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.
    • Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem

 

  1. Demolitions and attacks on civilian property for settlement expansion

 

  • At approximately 10:00 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Beit Ummer village in northern Hebron. They then stationed in Wadi al-Shaiekh neighborhood, where the Israeli Civil Administration officers handed Mohamed ‘Ali al-‘Alami a 96-hour demolition notice, under the pretext of non-licensing.  Mohamed’s house was under-construction and built on an area of 150 square meters. On 17 April 2018, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the occupied Territory (COGAT), under the direct control of the Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, issued a military order that makes it possible for Israeli forces to demolish Palestinian homes in Area C within 96 hours after delivering demolition orders. Under the order, COGAT excuses itself from informing Palestinian homeowners directly that their homes are slated for demolition and only requires demolition orders be placed “next to” targeted structures 96 hours before Israeli forces arrive to execute demolitions.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Kherbit Shabouqa in western Hebron, where they handed Amjad Nofal Sulimah a notice to demolish his 150-sqaure-meter barn under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C, and gave him until 24 July 2019 to challenge.
  • At approximately 12:30 on Thursday, 11 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles moved into ‘Izbit Salman in southern Qalqiliyia, and demolished an agricultural barrack belonging to Dawoud Mahmoud Yousef Ahmed under the pretext of non-licensing. Dawoud said to PCHR’s fieldworker: “I returned from France 3 months ago and my family told me that they found a notice in my land written on it “this is the second notice to demolish the agricultural barrack”. My family, who live in Qalqiliyia, told me that they did not see the first notice as they usually go there for picnic. On Thursday evening, 11 July 2019, our neighbors phoned and informed us that Israeli forces are demolishing the barrack in our land, so they went there and found the barrack was already demolished. We told both the Israeli and Palestinian Liaisons and they informed us that we could challenge the demolition.”
  • At approximately 14:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces dismantled a sit-in tent established by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in Wadi al-Humis neighborhood in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, protesting at the Israeli decision to demolish 12 residential buildings under the pretext of being near the annexation wall. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces attacked civilians staying in the tent and fired tear gas canisters at them. As a result, dozens of them suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and agricultural crops were burned. It should be noted that the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision to demolish 16 residential buildings, comprising of 100 apartments, few weeks ago under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall and pose a security threat. This gives the green light to the Israeli forces to demolish all buildings near the annexation wall in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem. In 2003, the residents of Surbaher village submitted a petition against the annexation wall route, which passes in the center of their village, so the route was changed and the neighborhood was annexed within the wall.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Wadi al-Ghrouz area in eastern Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area and the construction vehicles demolished a concrete pool used for irrigating plants under the pretext of non-licensing. The pool belongs to Zayid Nimer Mohamed al-Ja’bari (65), whose family attempted to stop the demolition, but Israeli border guard officers attacked and beat them. The Israeli border guard officers also attacked two photographers identified as ‘Abed al-Hafeez Daib ‘Abed al-Hafeez al-Hashlamoun (55), who sustained minor wounds in his hands and legs; and Mashhour Hasan Mahmoud al-Wahwah (34), who sustained minor bruises in his hand. Zayid al-Ja’bari said the Israeli authorities handed him a notice to stop construction works 3 months ago and handed him a demolition notice on 14 July 2019. Zayid was intending to file documents to the Israeli court for challenging the demolition.
  • At approximately 16:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Khelet al-Foron area in eastern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished a water well used for irrigating plants. The well belongs to Nayif No’man Shokri Da’nah, who was handed a demolition notice on 10 July 2019. It should be noted that the well was partially funded by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture.
  • At approximately 17:00 on Tuesday, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into Ghoween al-Foqah area in southern Hebron. The construction vehicles demolished a 100-sqaure-meter barrack built of concrete and tin plates and used for breeding livestock, under the pretext of non-licensing. The barrack belongs to Ahmed Mohamed Mousa Hawamdah (44), who was handed a 96-hour demolition notice on 03 July 2019, so there was no enough time to challenge the demolition.
  • At approximately 04:00 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Khalilah neighborhood in al-Jeep village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. The construction vehicles demolished a 80-sqaure-meter garage and store belonging to Waddah Wasfi Abu Dayyiah, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that the garage and store were demolished for the 3rd time.
  • In the same context, Israeli construction vehicles demolished a 900-sqaure-meter commercial barrack and a concrete floor belonging to al-Natshah family in Beit Haninah village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. The construction vehicles also demolished a 400-sqaure-meter car wash belonging to ‘Atiyah and Bakirat families in Surbaher vilolage, south of occupied Jerusalem.
  • At approximately 13:00 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, Israeli construction vehicles demolished 5 shops built 4 years ago on an area of 250 square meters in Abu Tayieh neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that a large force of Israeli police officers and Special Forces accompanied with bulldozers moved into Abu Tayieh neighborhood, where they surrounded 5 shops belonging to Mohamed Hamdan al-‘Abasi. The shops were demolished after the Israeli Supreme Court refused a petition submitted by Mohamed’s lawyer. The eyewitnesses also said that the Israeli forces forcibly disperse the neighborhood’s residents from the area and beat them up. Meanwhile, the Israeli forces arrested Mahdi Hamdan al-‘Abasi after beating him. It should be noted that al-‘Abasi family headed to the Israeli Supreme Court in order to freeze the demolition order and license the shops, but it refused.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

Gaza Strip

As the Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip enters its 14th consecutive year this July, severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of persons and goods enhance the de facto separation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The most significant implications of the continued Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip are:

  • Movement of goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip is restricted on all three functioning crossings: Rafah border crossing, under Egyptian control; Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint and Karm Abu-Salem Commercial Crossing, under Israeli control.

 

  • The Rafah Border Crossing operates only 5 days a week with severe limitation on travel of persons (300 travelers/day).

 

  • Beit Hanoun checkpoint, designated for the movement of persons, is under severe restrictions for exit and entry of the Gaza Strip. Only limited categories are issued Israeli permits to cross the checkpoint after an exhausting and lengthy security process that may subject civilians to the threat of arrest and often blackmail by Israeli forces.[1]

 

  • Karm Abu-Salem crossing, designated for the movement of goods, bans the export of Gaza Strip products, except for agricultural goods. Also, Israeli forces continue the 12-year ban on the import of 118 goods considered as “dual-use items.” [2] While Israeli authorities announced on Friday, 05 July 2019, that 18 of the banned dual-use items would be allowed into the Gaza Strip; the operating officers at Karm Abu-Salem crossing denied receiving new instructions in this regard.

 

  • Electricity crisis: with power cuts of at least 12 hours a day, the electricity crisis continues to haunt the Gaza Strip and paralyze all sectors of life, including health, education, the economy and the environment.

 

  • Naval blockade: Israel continues to restrict movement within the Gaza Sea, primarily on fishing. Despite imposing a 15-nautical-mile restricted fishing area, Israeli forces launch daily attacks on fishermen while at sea even within 1 – 6 nautical miles, including shootings, arrests and confiscation of fishing boats and equipment. It also restricts the import of necessary fishing equipment.

West Bank

Israeli forces continue to strangle West Bankers with continued restrictions on their freedom of movement, especially with frequent checkpoints between governorates. Currently, 92 permanent military checkpoints exist along the connecting roads between West Bank governorates, some of which have permanent military presence and others are staffed irregularly. Some of these checkpoints act as a terminal into Israel, even though they are located within Palestinian territory.

It should be highlighted that Israel continues to corporatize and privatize its occupation of the Palestinian territory by contracting military security corporations who operate checkpoints with fully armed civilian guards; yet, they act under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense.

Israeli occupation’s presence in the West Bank is not limited to permanent checkpoints, as temporary checkpoints are haphazardly erected across the territory on a daily basis. These temporary checkpoints impede traffic between Palestinian cities, with illegal searches of civilian vehicles and long wait times. These temporary checkpoints are used to ambush civilians as hundreds of arrests are reported at these checkpoints annually.

This week, Israeli forces established 110 temporary checkpoint across the West Bank and arrested four Palestinian civilians. A civilian was arrested while returning via King Hussein Bridge.

Additionally, with the ongoing closure of 30 key roads in the West Bank, Palestinian’s’ freedom of movement is heavily restricted especially in areas adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlements.

Israel allows holders of West Bank IDs (men over 55 and women over 50) to access East Jerusalem without a pre-issued permit; nonetheless, they have to undergo security checks.

In terms of the movement of Palestinians to and from the occupied territory via King Hussein Bridge, Israeli forces continue to impose security measures that threaten the well being of civilians by forcing them to go through a body-search machine that subjects them to harmful radiations. It is also a common practice to arrest civilians at the crossing or deny them travel.

A 6-month research conducted by the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ), stated that Palestinians lose about 60 million hours of work per year, due to the checkpoints and restrictions imposed by the Israeli forces on Palestinian movement between the towns and villages of the West Bank. ARIJ estimated the loss at about $ 270 million per year, according to the wage of workers per hour, in addition to extra fuel consumption at about 80 million liters per year, estimated at $ 135 million. The consumption of this amount of fuel leads to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, by about 196 thousand tons per year.

Full document available at the official website for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

Paramedics without ’Helmets’: The Islamic Health Society Soothes the Wounds of the July 2006 War

Source

Bilal Assaf

Beirut – Amid the ashes of aggression and the smell of death, there must be a touch of hope that a paramedic plants in the heart of an injured person. This wounded person waits for a long time under the rubble for a man in his gray uniform to extend the hand of salvation. These are the young men of [Hezbollah’s] Islamic Health Society – the Civil Defense, who help and support their community at every dangerous juncture.

Talking about the July 2006 war is not complete without remembering those who were soldiers of humanity – the paramedics and the saviors after every attack and massacre. Among them are those who sacrificed their lives for the cries of the babies and the wounded.

Kamal Zuhour, director of operations at the Civil Defense of the Islamic Health Society during the July war, remembers six medics.

“They sacrificed their lives by carrying out rescue operations and providing medical assistance to ensure that people survived,” said Zuhour tells Al-Ahed News. “They are the martyrs of humanity. They watered the earth with their pure blood for people to enjoy dignity and victory.”

Among them are martyr Mustafa Mansour, martyr Ali Fakih, martyr Abdul Raouf Nassar, martyr Imad al-Haj Ali, martyr Abbas Nasrallah and martyr Ahmed Hazini.

Plan of action

During the July aggression, the [Islamic] Health Society set up a plan of action. Ambulances and ambulance crews were deployed in most areas across the South, the southern suburbs [of Beirut] and the Bekaa, especially in the villages that were subjected to continuous bombardment. There were 70 ambulances and more than 200 paramedics, who were ready to face the aggression by carrying out rescue operations and providing medical assistance as well as transporting the bodies of the martyrs.

Zuhour told al-Ahed that the directorate provided first aid to hundreds. The transfers of the injured break down as follows:

439 wounded from the villages of Tyre to Jabal Amel Hospital

198 wounded from Nabatiyeh villages to Nabatiyeh Hospitals and Ghassan Hammoud Hospital in Sidon

119 wounded from the southern suburbs [Dahiyeh] to Beirut hospitals

35 wounded from the villages of Baalbek to hospitals in the area, in addition to dozens of wounded from hospitals in the South to hospitals in Sidon and Beirut. Some 300 units of blood were secured and distributed to the hospitals.

The bodies of hundreds of civilian martyrs were transferred to refrigerators prepared by the Civil Defense in cooperation with hospitals and in preparation for their burial.

The barbaric attacks by the “Israeli” enemy targeted the humanitarian aid crews. The Civil Defense Operations officer at the time said that anything was expected from this barbaric enemy, which did not distinguish between stone and man, children, young men and women. In its eyes everyone was a target that had to be eliminated.

Zuhour asserts that the civil defense suffered its fair share of attacks just like the rest of the people. Three of its ambulances came under attack from the air and were completely destroyed. Despite this blind hatred and barbaric bombardment, Zuhour tells al-Ahed that the paramedics were neither tired nor worried. Instead they were the first to perform their humanitarian duty to rescue and aid the wounded. They had faith in Allah Almighty and believed in martyrdom on his path. They entered villages being bombed by the Zionist enemy and pulled out the wounded and the bodies of the martyrs. They strived to bring in emergency aid and supplies to the villages to strengthen the steadfastness of the people. They also worked to evacuate many families besieged in the villages where confrontations were unfolding and provide assistance for them.

During the war, the Civil Defense coordinated its operations room with those of similar organizations, such as the Lebanese Red Cross, the Risala Scouts and the General Directorate of Civil Defense in order to transport the martyrs and the wounded. The international organizations (the International Red Cross and the United Nations) as well as the High Relief Committee were contacted. Several meeting were held with their representatives in order to provide an international cover for the entry of rescue teams, paramedics and rubble removal vehicles into areas to recover the bodies of martyrs from under the debris.

Imam Hassan (PBUH) Complex Massacre

Zuhour recalls the destruction of a residential complex in the Ruwais area in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the massacre committed there.

“On the eve of the announcement of the cease-fire, the Zionist enemy committed its massacre in the compound of Imam Hassan (PBUH) in the Ruwais area. The complex contained 240 apartments. The enemy’s aircraft bombed the compound with 23 tons of explosives and completely flattened it. The civil defense teams intervened and set up a quick plan to remove the rubble and recover the wounded and martyrs. 43 martyrs were pulled out,” Zuhour said.

“The rescue operations and the removal of the debris went on for 24 hours for the next 20 days,” he added.

On the morning of the cease-fire, the Civil Defense worked in coordination with similar organizations to remove the martyrs from the rubble. It also worked to identify the martyrs and organize funerals in their villages as well as transport their families to where the burials were taking place.

Development of the work of the Islamic Health Society – the Civil Defense after the July 2006 aggression

After the war things weren’t the same. Development, progress and amplified experience are the natural course of any institution or organization seeking to lift society.

“The work of the civil defense expanded dramatically after the war,” Adnan Muqaddam, the director general of the civil defense at the Islamic Health Society tells al-Ahed. He also points to “the restructuring of the civil defense and the increase in the number of staff and equipment in all specialties.”

Following the war, six centers were opened in the Bekaa, six in Beirut and the north and nine in the South. A center specializing in fire training, rescue operations and providing medical assistance was opened in Rasm El-Hadath in the Bekaa.

Furthermore, Muqaddam points to the opening of a big training center located in the South called the ‘Kafra Training Camp’. The camp includes simulations of earthquakes. It specializes in training for rescue operations and providing medical assistance. It also houses several playgrounds and a world-class swimming pool in addition to rappel towers, an athletics field and a field specialized for motorcycle training.

The development was not limited to centers and equipment. The number of personnel also increased.  According to the Director-General of the Civil Defense, the personnel (both staff and volunteers) have significantly increased. Before the war, the civil defense had 75 employees and 200 volunteers. After the war, the number increased to nearly 3,000 members.

Muqaddam explains that during the July war, the “Israelis” destroyed many of the civil defense centers. This made it impossible to carry out training of its members. There was cooperation with international institutions, including the International Red Cross, the Iranian Red Crescent and some European institutions, to achieve this goal. The staff was trained. Instructors were prepared in all specialties that include rescue and first aid. Training courses were conducted outside Lebanon.

Trump’s «Deal of the Century» Hasn’t a Hope of Bringing Peace

By Yehuda Shaul, The Guardian

Here in Jerusalem [al-Quds], we await publication of Donald Trump’s “deal of the century”, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. The US president has promised it will bring an end to a century-long conflict between “Israelis” and our Palestinian neighbors.

But the Trump administration’s vision for peace looks doomed only to further entrench the occupation, as a recent remark from Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s Middle East peace envoy, demonstrated.

Greenblatt retweeted a picture posted by Uri Karzen, a leader in the “Israeli” settler community in the West Bank city of Hebron [a-Khalil]. The picture showed an Iftar celebration in Hebron [al-Khalil] attended by both “Israeli” settlers and a few Palestinians. “We are laying the groundwork for peace,” wrote Karzen. Greenblatt, in his retweet, commended the event: “Groundwork for peace indeed!” he wrote. “A wonderful example of what could be possible.”

As a former “Israeli” soldier who served in Hebron [al-Khalil], the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, I can say first-hand that it is not a model of coexistence, but rather of segregation.

Hebron [al-Khalil] is home to about 230,000 Palestinians. But some 850 “Israeli” settlers live in the city’s heart. I served as one of 650 combat soldiers permanently stationed in the city in order to protect this small and insular group of settlers.

In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, from the adjacent “Israeli” settlement of Kiryat Arba, entered the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron [al-Khalil] and opened fire on Palestinians during morning prayers, murdering 29 and injuring more than 100. Ostensibly to protect settlers from retaliation by Palestinians after the massacre, the army closed Shuhada Street, the city’s central road, as well as the vegetable, wholesale and meat markets. Closures intensified during the second intifada. In the years that followed, “Israeli” policies, including closures of main roads and markets, and settler and army violence made Palestinian life in the city unbearable, turning the once vibrant center into a ghost town.

It was against this backdrop in 2001-2003 that I found myself serving on the military patrol that accompanied engineers to weld shut the doors of Palestinian homes and shops on Shuhada Street, to close roads for Palestinian vehicular and pedestrian traffic, or turn them “sterile” in the parlance of the “Israel” Occupation Forces [IDF]. I can’t forget the graffiti I saw sprayed on some doors: “Arabs to the crematorium”, “Arabs out” or “Revenge” besides Stars of David.

That racism manifested itself in regular violence: settlers attacked Palestinian pedestrians or neighbors, sometimes even sending their children to do the same. As a soldier, I had orders not to intervene. We were there to protect the settlers, I was told, not the Palestinians.

I was not only a bystander to these events. Around the clock, my unit went on missions whose goal we were explicitly told was “to make our presence felt” in order to “create a feeling among the Palestinian population of being pursued”. During these missions, we would enter random Palestinian homes in the middle of the night, waking up sleeping families for the sole purpose of intimidation, or search random shops during daytime hours. These patrols were perhaps the most routine part of my service in Hebron.

In the years since I finished my military service, none of this has changed. Through my work with Breaking the Silence, an organization of “Israeli” veterans I co-founded that works to bring about an end to the occupation, I know that soldiers who served after me continue to this day to make their presence “felt” in all sorts of ways.

Though Greenblatt uses a joint settler-Palestinian Iftar to claim that we are on our path towards peace, that is meaningless when Palestinians still cannot walk on major roads in their biggest West Bank city. Is this the future Greenblatt dreams of for us? Settler violence is still rampant. The more than 100 physical movement obstacles set up by the army inside the city make routine movement a daily ordeal for thousands. Two different legal systems continue to exist in Hebron [al-Khalil], as is true throughout the West Bank – one for Palestinians [military law] and one for settlers [civil law].

The true objectives of more than half a century of “Israel’s” military occupation over the Palestinians are clearer in Hebron [al-Khalil] than anywhere else – to achieve Palestinian subjugation in a segregated and unequal reality.

If we were in 1950s Alabama, would Greenblatt say that a joint meal between white and black people was the way forward? Or would he recognize that the way to achieve equality is to end the legal system of discrimination and ensure the protection of equal rights? Hebron [al-Khalil] is no different – the only solution is the end to the occupation.

Antisemitism is the Answer

May 03, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Gilad Atzmon

In an interview with Israel Unwired, Rabbi Professor Jeffrey Woolf of Bar Ilan University practically admits that antisemitism has a positive impact on Jewish Life.

The Jewish outlet writes

“Just as anti-Semitism existed for thousands of years, it will not be going away today either. Wishing it away, posting on facebook about ‘stopping the hatred’ and even talking about how to stop the hatred won’t help. It just won’t. It is, and always has been, a reality that Jews had to live with both in Christian Europe and in the Muslim Middle East.”

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing according to Rabbi Woolf. In the interview Woolf refers to his teacher who proclaimed that

“the period between 1933-38 was the height of German Jewry…people turned, looked inward and they began to develop themselves as Jews.”

Antisemitism happens to unite the Jews, it brings them closer to themselves. The meaning of this is disturbing yet hardly new. As I argue in The Wandering Who, since Jewishness is defined by negation, the experience of being negated or even rejected is essential to Jewish existence. It is hardly a secret that it was the Holocaust that made the phantasmic promise of a ‘Jewish State’ into a troubling reality. It is the ludicrous fear of Corbyn that unites British Jewry and refines their identity crisis. In fact, the fear of the Goy is as old as the Jews. It is an ongoing saga that stretches from the Pharaoh, to Amalek and the book of Ester to White Nationalism, Bannon and Iran.

Israel Unwired produces the Jewish logos: “Now is the time for each and every Jew to learn, read, and better understand what it means to be a Jew. If all these people hate us, we must strengthen our understanding of our own history and identity.”

The above obviously entails a serious problem. Since being hated is essential for Jewish self-understanding or even existence, the so called ‘Jew-hater’ is reduced into a service provider. It is the so called ‘hater’ who induces Jewish self-realisation and collective consciousness.

This points at a very abusive dynamic between the Jew and the rest of humanity. However, it explains why Israel was so quick as well as effective in making itself hated by its neighbours. For Israel to understand itself as ‘the Jewish state,’ it must be hated. Once it is hated it is ‘entitled to defend itself’ killing civilians with impunity, something which induces more hatred. We are witnessing a snowball of vengeance that produces more hate and carnage with no scope of a better future or any harmony to come. This troubling dynamic explains why Jewish organisations are polling anti-Semitic sentiments 24/7. Rather than making Jews loved and accepted, they relentlessly insist on proving how Jews are actually hated.

I guess that Jesus dissected it all a while back.  Love your neighbour, turn your other cheek and search for grace were his remedies to tribal gravity. Jesus tried to save his brethren by enlightening their life by means of light. Jesus failed in his mission, but he managed to save humanity instead.

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Israeli rabbi: Notre Dame fire divine retribution? Church-burning can be ok

Debris inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 16, 2019, a day after a fire that devastated the iconic building. (Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool/AFP)

A prominent Israeli rabbi suggests that the Notre Dame Cathedral fire may have been divine retribution, indicates that the burning of churches in Israel may be problematic only in that they may be rebuilt.

by Kathryn Shihadah

Times of Israel reported in Radical rabbi says Notre Dame fire retribution for 13th-century Talmud burning that a prominent extremist rabbi believes the Notre Dame Cathedral fire may have been “divine retribution for the mass-burning of Talmud volumes by French Catholic priests” in 1242.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the rabbi of the illegal Beit El settlement, instructs Jews that they need not feel saddened by the fire that devastated the 12th century cathedral, priceless artifacts, and works of art.

Ancient animosity

Aviner said: “Christians must be punished.”

[Christianity] is our number one enemy throughout history. [They] tried to convert us by arguments and by force, carried out an inquisition against us, burned the Talmud, expulsions, pogroms. Western anti-Semitism draws from Christianity’s hatred of the ‘murderers of God.’ It also had a role in the Holocaust.

The first great Talmud burning happened in Paris, right there at the Notre Dame Cathedral square. It was the result of the Paris trial in which Jewish sages were forced to debate Christian sages, and the result was the burning of the Talmud. Volumes of Talmud were brought in 20 carts and burned there, 1,200 Talmud volumes. So [the fire demonstrates] ‘there is justice and there is a Judge.

The 1240 Disputation of Paris, in which rabbis were forced to defend accusations that the Talmud was anti-Christian, was remembered by medieval Jews as a traumatic event. The public “trial” culminated in the burning of some 1,200 volumes of Talmud and other Jewish holy texts in Paris in 1242.

The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports that the burning of Talmuds had been triggered by a Jewish man named Nicholas Donin who had converted to Christianity. Donin traveled to Rome and presented the pope with a list of complaints about the Talmud. Among them the fact that a number of its passages “blasphemed Jesus and Mary, and attacked non-Jews.” During the French disputation about the Talmud, it was Donin who argued against it,* ultimately resulting in the pope’s decree that the books be “burned at the stake.”

Modern directive

In an online discussion as the Notre Dame Cathedral burned, Avner was unwilling to take a definite stand on the “divine retribution” theory. He conceded that “we do not know the secrets of God”; yet he dismissed the possibility that several recent fires in Israel could be punishment.

Aviner does not encourage the burning of churches in general – “for the time being.” However, he hesitated to condemn the practice inside Israel, stating that the  “issue is more complicated” in the Jewish State. When a church is destroyed, it will likely be rebuilt, and building a church in Israel “is a greater transgression than leaving one intact.”

Mondoweiss reports that, far from being a fringe figure, Aviner is “considered to be one most important rabbis of the religious nationalist sector. He is a prolific writer, having published more than 200 books.”

It points out that Aviner does not merely state his own opinion about church-burning, but quotes two sources (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Kasher and the Satmar Rabbi), a fact which “says volumes about the discourse among his followers and students.”

Mondoweiss notes: “Several churches have been burnt in Israel in the last few years, and the police have been spectacularly useless in capturing the arsonists. In several cases, the arson was accompanied by slogans familiar from ‘price tag’ attacks in the West Bank (mostly along the lines of Jewish vengeance).”

The targeting of homes, vehicles, and Palestinian individuals have also been a daily occurrence.


*Editor’s note:

A number of authors have discussed anti-Christian passages in the Talmud. Peter Schäfer’s book Jesus in the Talmud, published by Princeton University Press, notes that the Talmud referred to Jesus as a bastard and his mother Mary as an adulteress; he is depicted as “sitting forever in boiling excrement.”

Israeli author Israel Shahak’s informative book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, also addresses this, as well as other aspects of the Talmud, stating:

According to the Talmud, Jesus was executed by a proper rabbinical court for idolatry, inciting other Jews to idolatry, and contempt of rabbinical authority. All classical Jewish sources which mention his execution are quite happy to take responsibility for it; in the talmudic account the Romans are not even mentioned.

Shahak reports in another book on the subject that a 1996 Ha’aretz article stated the following (bracketed phrases inserted by Shahak]:

A check of main facts of the [Jewish] historiography of the last 1500 years shows that the picture is different from the one previously shown to us. It includes massacres of Christians [by Jews]; mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus that usually took place on Purim; cruel murders within the family; liquidation of informers, often done for religious reasons by secret rabbinical courts, which issued a sentence of “pursuer” and appointed secret executioners; assassinations of adulterous women in synagogues and/or the cutting of their [the women’s] noses by command of the rabbis. Rosen included in his long article many well-documented cases of massacres of Christians and mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus on Purim, most of which occurred either in the late ancient period or in the Middle Ages. (Some isolated cases occurred in sixteenth-century Poland.)

Shahak added: “Rosen included in his long article many well-documented cases of massacres of Christians and mock repetitions of the crucifixion of Jesus on Purim, most of which occurred either in the late ancient period or in the Middle Ages.”


Kathryn Shihadah is staff writer for If Americans Knew. She blogs at Palestine Home


RELATED READING:

Israel is not as Christian-friendly as you think

Everyone could celebrate Easter in Jerusalem except Palestinian Christians

Israel bars Gaza Christians from Easter worship

Israel’s ‘Rule of the Rabbis’ Who Preach Genocide Fuels Holy War

The Moral Decadence of Zionism

What does the Bible really say about modern Israel?

Palestinian Lives Don’t Matter

by Stephen Lendman

Along with the US presence, Israel is the Middle East capital for targeted assassinations, cold-blooded murders, as well a other horrendous human and civil rights violations against an entire population.

Palestinian lives don’t matter, countless numbers murdered and otherwise abused by Israeli forces, accountability never forthcoming. The world community largely turns a blind eye to high crimes too egregious to ignore.

On Monday, 16-year-old Palestinian Osama Hajahjeh was arrested, handcuffed and blindfolded by Israeli forces despite threatening no one.

Shot in one leg, then the other, he fell to the ground and was shot again. A bullet to his groin at point-blank range ruptured an artery, causing heavy bleeding.

Soldiers prevented other Palestinians from providing help. An IDF statement lied, claiming he was involved in “massive stone throwing.” A bystander threatening no one, days before his incident, he was hospitalized.

Let out of school early to attend a funeral, Israeli soldiers lethally shot him. Preventing other Palestinians from reaching him, they let him suffer unattended on the ground, a common IDF practice permitted by ruling apartheid regimes throughout Jewish state history.

B’Tselem denounced what happened, saying “this is an example of Israel’s reckless use of lethal fire, and the fact that the human lives of Palestinians count very little in the eyes of the army.”

Separately, B’Tselem reported on four similar incidents. On March 12, 23-year-old Muhammad Shahin was lethally shot by IDF soldiers despite posing no threat.

He was peacefully watching soldiers clash with Palestinian stone-throwers, live fire taking his life.

On March 20, Ahmad Manasrah, aged-22, was lethally shot by IDF soldiers while helping a family whose car was stuck near a checkpoint because of a mechanical issue. B’Tselem described the incident as follows:

The car in question belonged to the Ghayadah family. ‘Alaa Ghayadah got out of his car to check on the problem. Nearby soldiers shot him in the abdomen.

His wife Maysaa cried for help. “A passing car stopped and its passengers came to her aid…Ahmad Manasrah…tried to help her start the car, but the soldiers at the tower shot him as well, killing him. The military” lied about what happened, unjustifiably justifying cold-blooded murder.

On March 27, clashes erupted between Israeli security forces and a-Duheisheh refugee camp residents. Sajed Muzhar, a 17-year-old volunteer paramedic, rushed to help a wounded Palestinian, attired in a clearly visible medical crew vest.

“He was shot in the abdomen by a member of the security forces and taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds,” B’Tselem explained.

On April 2, Israeli forces stormed East Jerusalem’s Kafr ‘Aqab neighborhood, live fire used against stone-throwers contesting their belligerent presence.

Muhammad Dar ‘Udwan, aged-24, fled the area in the opposite direction. Video footage taken by a local Palestinian resident showed him being lethally shot in the back by soldiers. He threatened no one.

Commenting on the above incidents, B’Tselem stressed how little Palestinian lives, rights and welfare matter to Israel, stressing:

“None of the victims posed a threat to the lives of security personnel. Not one of these incidents should have ended in death.”

“(T)hese are not aberrations, or ‘bad apples.’ These are incidents that occur as part of the routine actions of soldiers and police officers, pursuant to Israel’s dangerous, lethal open-fire policy” – using live ammunition against nonthreatening, unarmed Palestinians.

Whenever Israeli authorities initiate an investigation into what happened during incidents like the above ones, whitewash happens virtually every time.

Palestinians get blamed for high crimes committed against them. It doesn’t surprise. Israel operates like other despotic states. 

Whenever Israeli authorities initiate an investigation into what happened during incidents like the above ones, whitewash happens virtually every time.

Palestinians get blamed for high crimes committed against them. It doesn’t surprise. Israel operates like other despotic states. 

When it comes to Palestinian rights, state terror is official regime policy. So is impunity for cold-blooded killers.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

israeli (apartheid state) Soldiers Who Beat Detained Palestinians Are Part of a Bigger Evil

Israeli Soldiers Who Beat Detained Palestinians Are Part of a Bigger Evil

Most moral army in the world? Keep tripping

Forget “anti-semitism, this is real racism: israelis ‘undergo Jewish DNA test before being allowed to marry’

Israelis ‘undergo Jewish DNA test before being allowed to marry’

MEMO | March 12, 2019

DNA test sample [File photo]

DNA test sample [File photo]

Israel’s rabbinate “has been performing genetic testing on Israelis from the former Soviet Union, to check if they are ‘genetically Jewish’ as a condition for marriage registration”, according to Ynet.

The new site reported that “at least 20 couples have come forward after having been asked to undergo the procedure in the past year.”

“Although the existence of such tests was initially denied by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau admitted to having requested that some couples prove their Jewish status,” Ynet added, noting that “Lau claimed those were isolated incidents and there was no coercion.”

Ynet’s investigation revealed that “the complicated procedure was undertaken not only by the couples themselves but also by their relatives.”

“In one instance, a young woman who went to the rabbinate before her wedding was asked to conduct a DNA test along with her mother and her aunt, in order to eliminate the possibility that her mother was adopted,” the article stated.

“The young woman was told that if she refused the request, her marriage application would be denied,” Ynet added. “The rabbinate has control over Jewish religious rites in Israel.”

“According to the evidence accumulated by Ynet, these instances are examples of what appears to be a growing phenomenon where those applying to register for marriage, are being asked to undergo genetic testing if they want to have their requests granted,” the paper stated.

“Unfortunately, there are immigrants who, despite their eligibility under the Law of Return, are not defined as Jews according to Halacha,” said Lau in response. “In a few cases, there are those who claim to be Jews, but don’t possess the necessary documents to confirm it…or we find contradictions between their statements and what we would uncover about them”.

“In these cases we suggest undergoing DNA tests that would strengthen their claims,” he said. “It’s never forced upon anyone and only used to assist applicants in the research process.”

Zionism Contradicts Judaism

Zionism Contradicts Judaism

New York historian, journalist, and lecturer, Alfred M. Lilienthal, was the leading 20th century American Jewish spokesman against the Zionist project of creating a Jewish state in Palestine. His views gained a wide audience in the United States when his essay, “Israel’s Flag Is Not My Flag,” was published in the September 1949 Reader’s Digest. The following is an excerpt from that article, which was written in the form of a letter to his mother:

The plain fact is that we Jews are not a race and we should not let the Zionists persuade us that we are. Proof to the contrary lies in Palestine, plain for all to see. You had my letter, Mother, from my Army furlough there. I was second to none in my enthusiasm for. what my co-religionists had done for a desert brought to bloom, for clean new cities rising out of age-old sand dunes. All of these wonders had come to pass while only a few fanatics talked of statehood. One evening I went to see a performance of an opera in Jerusalem. In that theater lobby you could distinguish almost at a glance the Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazic Jew from Poland, the Spanish-speaking Sephardic Jew from North Africa or Turkey, the German Jew, Jews from a score of countries all differing in dress, language, manners and mental attitudes. I had visual proof of the arguments of anthropologists. who laugh at the notion of a distinct Jewish race.

Anyone who tells me those foreign Jews are exclusively my people that I should be closer to them than to Bob McCormick, the kid on the block with whom I used to play ball: or to Nick Galbraith, who roomed next to me at Cornell; or Dave Du Vivier with whom I studied in law school that man is talking dangerous nonsense. I have also learned, Mother, that when something. goes wrong in my relations with non-Jews. I avoid the habit of thinking that it happened just because I am a Jew. Such self-pity is comforting, but it is usually wrong and therefore dangerous.

It is dangerous, indeed, because it is precisely the sort of paranoia and us-against-the-world mentality upon which the very dangerous little state of Israel is founded. Take it from Lilienthal, as bad ideas go, this Israel foolishness has to be just about the worst.

The sentiments that Lilienthal expressed in that article, I dare say, were also the sentiments of a very large proportion of American Jews at the time. It is certainly the sort of sensible approach to the Israel issue that I encountered among the first group of Jews that I rubbed shoulders with in graduate school at the University of North Carolina, 1968-1972. In my first year I shared an apartment with two of them and my office mate was also Jewish for most of the time I was there. Several other of my student colleagues in the economics department were also Jewish, as were a few of my professors. Almost all of them were sort of standard left-liberal in their politics and as a consequence their sentiments probably leaned naturally toward the plight of the native Palestinians. The one exception was a professor for whom I was a teaching assistant for one semester, and I was amazed by his extreme Zionist, Israel-first attitude. It was really a brand-new experience for me, and I frankly found it shocking. My thought at the time—which I dared not express to him—was that he was really living in the wrong country. In fact, his son, he told me, was planning to emigrate to Israel. From my admittedly very small sample, I got the impression that his views were that of a quite small minority of American Jews.

Perhaps Lilienthal’s best known book is the brief little 1969 volume, What Price Israel? The reviewing customer, Herbert Fleschner, of Washington, DC, sums it up very well:

This highly intelligent, well-educated man was Jewish. He was strictly against the creation of the State of Israel and said that it would spawn great problems in the Middle East. So it has. The Zionist creators of the State of Israel operated by lies, deception, trickery, subterfuge, and even harassed their own Jewish people in order to force them to immigrate to Palestine. They even had the power to manipulate the delegates of the United Nations who made recommendations for this situation at that time. Enter King David Hotel Bombing into your search engine, and you will discover Menachem Begin, former Prime Minister of Israel, was a Zionist terrorist, who masterminded this bombing, resulting in the death of a great number of people, including the British High Command whose job it was to keep law and order under the British Mandate. An excellent read for those of you who are not afraid to discover the truth. Remember, Lilienthal was Jewish.

He might also have suggested a search of “Menachem Begin Deir Yassin Massacre” to get a bit more of the flavor of the terrorist role that Begin played in the creation of the state of Israel. One of the better articles one comes up with is “Deir Yassin: The Massacre that Sparked the Nakba” by Britt Wilkins on Counterpunch.

The Zionist Connection II

One can also learn quite a bit about Deir Yassin and its foundational importance to Israel in Chapter Five, entitled “What Palestinians?”, of Lilienthal’s 1978, 904-page magnum opusThe Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace? The flavor of that book is well-captured by the opening of his 24th and penultimate chapter, which is headed by a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt, “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.”

In a controversial 1970 Commentary article, Robert Alter raised a most basic question:

Does a Jewish state belong in an area where, even as late as 1947, the majority of the population was Arab? How can Israel be imagined, even in the most diffuse sense, as a continuation of the moral heritage of Judaism if its existence depends upon a manifest historical injustice? (link added)

That Judaic heritage is clear and unmistakable and has been unwavering. Where Zionism is particularist and segregationalist, Judaism has been universalist and integrationalist. Judaism, like its offspring monotheistic faiths, Christianity and Islam, has always represented a moral choice, a spiritual link between man and his Creator in whose ethos there is little room for narrow chauvinism. Whereas Zionism staked its claim to a land that had not belonged to Jews for 2,000 years, Judaism’s power to survive has always depended on its being unrelated to any particular geographic tract. The Jews were chosen by the Lord neither to possess a specific piece of land nor to be favored over others of his children. They were selected for the task of spreading the message that there is one and only one God.

In exchanging their birthright for the “mess” of statehood, and staking the future of American Judaism on the roulette of power politics, Jewish leaders surrendered to the noxious dualism of religion and nationalism.

Fifty years ago, these same Jews had vigorously opposed being classified with Italian, Germans, Czechs, French, etc. on an ethnic basis rather than with Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Muslims, etc., as a religious community. But with the triumph of the Zionist revival in Palestine, the ethnicity of the Jew elsewhere shifted; and without protest the subtle transmutation from Jewish Americans, a religious grouping, into American Jews, an ethnic-national entity, was accomplished. (link added)

To conceal the dual national attachment, the link with Israel was passed off as a religious tie, the worship of Israelism increasingly supplanting Judaism. It was much simpler to write a check to the UJA, and pleasanter than to attend synagogue services. The new idolatry had no time for immutable principles and universal values. Jews accepted situations they otherwise would have rejected, but now welcomed in the name of Israel. (link added)

Opposed to violence and war, Jews accepted Israel’s acts of military might and aggression. Opposed to union of church and state, they accepted such a unity wherever Israel was involved. Long dedicated to integration into the body politic, they moved toward separateness and segregation. Judaistic tradition had placed its followers alongside those who struggled against the limitation of human and civil rights. In the name of Israelism, they sanctioned the suppression of Palestinian Arab civil and human rights within Israel proper and in the occupied territories. Expressed another way, Jews have come to lose their own traditional universal, human ethos through their identification with Israelism. Intellectual and staunch defenders of Israel Arthur Waskow noted pertinently, “and it’s not just politics the Jewish institutions want to avoid; it’s God, too. Try talking of God to a rabbi!—he’s too busy trying to raise money for Israel or the synagogue mortgage.”

Many people might be surprised to learn that today there are still quite a few people who call themselves Jews who think like Lilienthal did. They, like he, would agree that modern-day Israel exemplifies the sort of behavior that the prophets of the Old Testament deplored among the descendants of Abraham. The largest organized group of such people call themselves Neturei Karta. The following is from the “About Us” section of their web site:

The true Jews are against dispossessing the Arabs of their land and homes. According to the Torah, the land should be returned to them.

Neturei Karta deplore the systematic uprooting of ancient Jewish communities by the Zionists, the shedding of Jewish and non-Jewish blood for the sake of Zionist sovereignty and the Neturei Karta favor a peaceful transition from the present Zionist rule to a non-Zionist entity.

According to Judaic Law the Torah has the last word. There is no such thing as a majority of Jews who happen to be Jewish by birth who can alter Torah Law in any way. In fact even the greatest rabbi or as Maimonides writes, “even the greatest prophet” [referring actually to an authentic prophet], has no right to distort or amend even one letter of the Torah.

Rabbi Blau stated shortly before his death that the acceptance by the United Nations of the Zionist state as a member state constituted a grave injustice to the Jewish people. Neturei Karta hope that this great error will be corrected at the earliest opportunity. The Neturei Karta regret that the Zionist state has usurped the holy name of Israel and that the Zionists so often pretend to speak in the name of the Jewish people and assume the right to act on our behalf. Only those rabbis who have not been affected or influenced by the poison of Zionism, can be considered the spiritual leaders of today’s Jewry.

The world must know that the Zionists have illegitimately seized the name Israel and have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people!

The United States really ought to be just about the last place where the Zionist ideology should resonate. The foundational premise for the creation of the state of Israel in the heart of the Arab world is that Jews are discriminated against in countries where they are minorities and in danger of even worse things happening to them, and therefore they must have a state of their own. Nowhere is this premise more absurd than in the United States, which has especially been a land of opportunity for Jews. The statement submitted to the Versailles Peace Conference at the end of World War I by a group of prominent U.S. Jews was, as a consequence, quite representative of Jewish sentiment in the country at the time:

As a future form of government for Palestine will undoubtedly be considered by the approaching Peace Conference, we, the undersigned citizens of the United States, unite in this statement, setting forth our objections to the organization of a Jewish State in Palestine as proposed by the Zionist Societies in this country and Europe and to the segregation of the Jews as a nationalistic unit in any country.

We feel that in so doing we are voicing the opinion of the majority of American Jews born in this country and of those foreign born who have lived here long enough to thoroughly assimilate American political and social conditions. The American Zionists represent, according to the most recent statistics available, only a small proportion of the Jews living in this country, about 150,000 out of 3,500,000. (American Jewish Year Book, 1918, Philadelphia).

At the outset we wish to indicate our entire sympathy with the efforts of Zionists which aim to secure for Jews at present living in lands of oppression a refuge in Palestine or elsewhere, where they may freely develop their capabilities and carry on their activities as free citizens.

But we raise our voices in warning and protest against the demand of the Zionists for the reorganisation of the Jews as a national unit, to whom, now or in the future, territorial sovereignty in Palestine shall be committed. This demand not only misrepresents the trend of the history of the Jews, who ceased to be a nation 2000 years ago, but involves the limitation and possible annulment of the larger claims of Jews for full citizenship and human rights in all lands in which those rights are not yet secure. For the very reason that the new era upon which the world is entering aims to establish government everywhere on principles of true democracy, we reject the Zionistic project of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”.

Zionism arose as a result of the intolerable conditions under which Jews have been forced to live in Russia and Roumania. But it is evident that for the Jewish population of these countries, variously estimated at from six to ten millions, Palestine can become no homeland. Even with the improvement of the neglected condition of this country, its limited area can offer no solution. The Jewish question in Russia and Roumania can be settled only within those countries by the grant of full rights of citizenship to Jews.

We are all the more opposed to the Zionists, because they, themselves, distinctly repudiate the solely ameliorative program. They demand and hail with delight the “Balfour Declaration” to establish “a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”, i.e., a home not merely for Jews living in countries in which they are oppressed, but for Jews universally. No Jew, wherever he may live, can consider himself free from the implications of such a grant.

Leading British and French Anti-Zionists

That very cynical war measure known as the Balfour Declaration, designed to enlist world Jewry on its side by promising other people’s land to the Jews, hardly had the overwhelming support of British Jews, either. The one Jewish member of the British cabinet at the time, Edwin Montagu, was, in fact, about as anti-Zionist as Lilienthal, as we see from his observations here:

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman. I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the “national home of the Jewish people”. I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.

Montagu’s prediction was absolutely accurate with respect to what Zionism has meant for the Muslim and Christian residents of Palestine. The consequent rise of ill will toward Jews in other countries that he foresaw, however, has been forestalled by something that he could hardly have envisioned, that is the creation of the “Holocaustianity” religion, which we shall discuss later, and by the sheer power of money to control public opinion.

Perhaps the most prominent Jewish political figure in France at the time of the Dreyfus Affair around the end of the 19th century was Chamber of Deputies member, Joseph Reinach. His crystal ball at that time with respect to the prospects for Zionism might have been a bit faulty, but he took a similar view to Montagu’s in an article in the newspaper, Le Figaro:

The sole result of this campaign, which in any case is destined for a pitiful failure, would be to give the impression…that those Frenchmen who belong to the Jewish faith are subordinating the idea of the fatherland to I cannot imagine what sort of solidarity which existed in a vague way during barbarous times, which was prevalent no doubt at the origin of civilized societies, but which in modern societies is an anachronism.

Unfortunately, that vicious anachronism is ruling the roost these days. Lilienthal attributes its pivotal rise in the dominant world power coming out of World War II, the United States, to the wave of Jewish immigrants in the early part of the 20th century from Eastern Europe, where they were accustomed to living in a separate “state within a state.” They brought with them, in a word, the ghetto mentality. They might have been virtually all descendants of Khazarian converts to Judaism and not blood heirs to ancient Israel, but they bought heavily into the tribal “chosen people” idea. Arch-Zionist Alan Dershowitz unintentionally revealed the controlling mentality on Fox News in an interview. My grandmother, born in Poland, always wanted to know, he said, “Is it good for the Jews?”

It is not said, but what is implied, is that nobody else and nothing else counts for anything. That is the precise opposite of the universalist sentiment that Lilienthal extols in the Judaism that he embraces, but, unfortunately, it tends to represent the Judaism of the shtetl that so many 20th century immigrants brought with them to the United States.

The Zionist success in the U.S. has also been made possible by the strategic use of money. A case in point, as we learn from Lilienthal, is the transformation of the Jewish-owned New York Times from anti-Zionist to pro-Zionist. They were among the last holdouts in the early 1940’s until succumbing to a massive boycott from their major advertisers, without whose support they would have gone out of business. From that time on they have been little more than propagandists for Israel, just like all the other heavily Jewish-controlled major news organs.

Most recently, the newly elected Muslim Congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, in observing the power of Jewish money in influencing lawmakers, has illustrated the power of money in controlling the news media. They all ganged up on her, calling her anti-Semitic for noting what everyone knows is true. What is illustrated here is that she just didn’t go nearly far enough when she just blamed Jewish money for its power over Republicans. They wield the same power over American politicians of all political stripes and over the news media as well, across the political spectrum.

Why are the Democrats so Russophobic these days other than the fact that Russia is thwarting Israeli ambitions in Syria and in the Middle East generally? The card that the Zionists are predictably playing against her is what Lilienthal calls “anti-anti-Semitism.” They use it like a gun, and, says Lilienthal, “Who is strong enough to remove the gun ever-pointed at the White House by the combined hands of supine politicians, the controlled media and the Zionist lobby?” (p. 808, The Zionist Connection II) The only shortcoming in his observation is that it’s not just the White House at which it is aimed, and he implies that it is only a figurative gun.

Lilienthal also says that it is “Israelism” that has replaced Judaism as the religion of many Jewish Americans. One might say that it is just a subcategory or a supporting tenet of Israelism, but the actual faux religion that has replaced Judaism and they would have it replace Christianity and other religions as well, is what Jérôme Bourbon, the editor of the Paris weekly, Rivarol, calls “Holocaustianity”:

Not only did Professor [Robert] Faurisson by his research and famous phrase of 60 words threaten the ideological foundations of the world order issuing from World War II, but he also called in question the religion, or counter-religion, of “Holocaustianity.” It is a veritable religion, demanding respect and submission. Its false god requires a homage of adoration, a constant burning of incense before it, a flame to be lit like at Yad Vashem, flowers to be offered, and wailing to go up to Heaven, like at the pilgrimages and processions to Auschwitz and elsewhere, while people must beat their breast, crying out “Never again.”

“Holocaustianity,” taught from primary school to the end of one’s days, by television, cinema and every form of entertainment, does in fact ape all features of the Catholic religion. It has its martyrs (the Six Million), its Saints (Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank), its miracles (“Holocaust” survivors), its stigmatists (tattooed camp-inmates), its pilgrimages (to Auschwitz, etc.), its temples and cathedrals (“Holocaust” museums and memorials), its alms-giving to obtain pardon (never-ending reparation payments to Israel and to “Holocaust” survivors), its relics (camp inmates’ teeth, hair, shoes, etc.), its lives of the Saints (books by Elie WieselAnne Frank, etc.), its torture chambers (gas-chambers), its Gospel (the verdict of the post-war Nuremberg military tribunal), its High Priests and Pontiffs (Simon Wiesenthal), its Inquisition (anti-Revisionist civil law-courts), its laws against blasphemy (strictly forbidding any questioning of the “Holocaust”), its Holy City (modern Jerusalem), its preachers and guardians (all instructors and associations in politics, the media, religion, trade unions, sports and economics), its religious Congregations (World Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith, AIPAC, etc., etc.), its Hell (for all nationalists – except Israelis! –, all revisionists, all believers in the deicide and in the New Testament replacing the Old, etc.), and its faithful (almost all of mankind).

However, not only does “Holocaustianity” ape Christianity, it also turns it inside out: instead of love, hate; instead of truth, lies; instead of forgiveness, Talmudic vengeance; instead of respect for elders, the hunting down of aged camp-guards; instead of the spirit of poverty, the pursuit of reparation payments; instead of humility, the drive to dominate; instead of sharing, the pursuit of personal gain, instead of charity, blackmail: instead of respect for others, lynching: instead of quiet and discretion, publicity and noisy accusations in the media; instead of the boundless justice of God, the brazen injustice of conquerors setting themselves up as judges of the conquered, and so on and so on. (links added)

David Martin

Messianic Process Began with IAF Airstrike in Syria, Will End With Israeli Elections

Messianic Process Began with IAF Airstrike in Syria, Will End With Israeli Elections

February 15, 2019

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 22, 2019 , 2:40 pm

“Indeed, my God does nothing Without having revealed His purpose To His servants the Neviim.” Amos 3:7 (The Israel Bible™)

Featured image (Credit: Breaking Israel News)

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation, made a shocking statement, claiming that the Messiah will precede the upcoming Israeli elections. Several rabbis noted that the writing is on the wall and the signs that the process leading up to the Messiah has already begun…for those who have the eyes to see it.

Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, an expert in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) gave a lesson this week in which he discussed how the Messiah was imminent. Rabbi Fish cited Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis of this generation, who began foretelling the arrival of the Messiah just a few years ago.

“It is written that in the days leading up to the Messiah, tzaddikim (righteous men) will begin to announce his arrival but some people, those who have not prepared for His arrival, will laugh at the righteous and the learned,” Rabbi Fish said, warning that it is forbidden to mock the righteous.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a leading authority in Haredi Jewish society, (Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)

Fish emphasized that Kanievsky was especially suited for presaging the arrival of the Messiah. Not only is Rabbi Kanievsky one of the most learned and righteous Jews alive today, there is another indication of his connection to the Moshiach (Messiah). Rabbi Kanievsky’s full given-name is Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim ben (the son of) Miriam. Rabbi Fish noted that first letters of each of Rabbi Kanievsky’s Hebrew names can be rearranged to spell “Moshiach.”

Rabbi Fish related a story that is just now being told within Haredi circles in Israel. A young Torah scholar from outside of Israel was hosted for the Sabbath a few weeks ago at the house of a follower of Rabbi Kanievsky. The young man visited Kanievsky during the Sabbath. He asked the rabbi if he should apply for Israeli citizenship in order to vote for the Haredi party in the Israeli elections being held on April 9.

“There is no need,” Rabbi Kanievsky answered. “The  Messiah will already be here before the elections.”

The young man was unsure that he had heard the rabbi correctly so after he departed from the house, he asked Kanievsky’s grandson, a venerated rabbi in his own right, to confirm the answer. The grandson entered the rabbi’s chamber and asked again: ‘Should the young man apply for citizenship before the elections?’

Rabbi Kanievsky responded, “I already told him that there is no need. The Messiah will be here before the elections.”

Rabbi Fish emphasized the need for Rabbi Kanievsky to make such statements.

“People need to act in practical manners to prepare for the Messiah, not just speak about it,” Rabbi Fish told Breaking Israel News. “Rabbi Kanievsky is calling for all religious Jews and all Jews in general, to come together, to show unity, not just for the Israeli elections or national interests. Our ultimate goal as a nation is to bring the Messiah and we need to be united, to actually love one another to do this.”

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, an expert on Jewish sources concerning the Messiah, normally eschews predictions of the Messiah’s arrival based on a precise date but notes that such a statement made by a scholar and righteous Jew of Rabbi Kanievsky’s stature needed to be related to in a different manner.

“You should know that Jews who live in a Messiah awareness take these predictions seriously,” Rabbi Winston told Breaking Israel News. “People who haven’t been trained properly to see this, can’t see it. They won’t see it even when it is happening in front of our eyes.”

Winston noted that the paradigm for this ability to see the Redemption was implicit in the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

“Moses was walking around for 79 years and when he revealed himself, so many people, Jews and Egyptians, were surprised.”

Winston noted that many people cannot see the beginnings of the Messiah as they are actually appearing because they have been taught that redemption has never happened.

“The modern state of Israel is the second time the Jews have come back to Israel,” Rabbi Winston noted. “There have already been two Jewish Temples in Jerusalem. People who are not educated or living in a Messiah context don’t relate to this so they can’t see it as a possibility even while it is happening.”

Rabbi Winston applied this concept to modern history.

“The Holocaust never happened until it did,” Rabbi Winston said. “So the Jews were surprised by it even though it was building up for years. Today, people learn about the Holocaust as if it could never happen again so even after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and the election of openly antisemitic politicians, they insist it cannot happen again.”

“God can be speaking right at you, saying the Messiah is right in front of you, but if you refuse to hear, you won’t,” Winston explained.

Rabbi Fish agreed, emphasizing that prophetic predictions could materialize while going unnoticed. Eight days ago, Rabbi Fish predicted that the blood moon lunar eclipse that passed over the continental U.S. on Sunday would be a significant omen, even more so because it coincided with the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat.

In fact, an unprecedented daylight airstrike by the Israeli Air Force against Iranian military targets in southern Syria on Sunday led to an intensification of the conflict. An Iranian General declared that his forces were prepared to “destroy Israel” and the Israeli Intelligence Minister referred to the situation as an “open confrontation” with Iran.

“It is true that Rabbi Kanievsky has been saying the Moshiach is imminent for a few years, but that is not really very long when we are speaking about the Messiah,” Rabbi Fish said. “And every time, Rabbi Kanievsky speaks in different terms, describing a different aspect of the process,” he added.

“The Messiah is already active in the world but not everyone is willing to see this,” Fish said. “Some people are unwilling to see this no matter what proof is presented. If the conflict with Syria develops, it will become clear that the process of the Messiah began on Tu B’Shevat.”

Rabbi Fish emphasized that the upcoming Israeli elections are the result of a political divide that may prove to be irreconcilable.

“This could be the end of the Israeli government as we know it,” Fish said. “The conflict is over the law concerning the draft. The Supreme Court gave them three months to solve this. After that, no one knows what will happen.”

“The only solution is unity,” he maintained. “Not the appearance of unity for political purposes but a sincere and deep unity of the Jewish people. The last time we stood together as a nation was in the days of the Temple. If this [political] crisis, or the military crisis, brings us together, the result could be the Messiah.”

Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson (Screenshot)

 

Rabbi Kanievsky’s statement was also discussed by Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, an expert in Torah codes, in a recent video. Using a Torah program that searches for equidistant letter sequences in the Bible, Rabbi Glazerson did a search for relevant expressions concerning Kanievsky’s announcement. He noted that the term “יבוא משיח” (the Messiah will come) appears once in Leviticus 23 adjacent to the letters “תשעט” signifying the current Hebrew year, 5779.

The rabbi also noted that included in the table was the word “מפורים” (from Purim). The holiday of Purim will fall on March 21 this year, three and a half weeks before the Israeli elections.

Also included in the table is the word “תשובה” (repentance) and אמונה (belief).

“Tshuva and belief are what bring the Messiah,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “Even in the times that are suited for the Messiah to come, without tshuva, there can be no Messiah. And faith is what leads to Israel being redeemed.”

How They Do It–Does Racism Now Define Jewish Identity in Israel?

It’s not clear that Israel is more racist these days. But when religious authorities reinforce a race-based Jewish identity and Netanyahu legitimizes Kahane’s heirs, we’ve got a problem

ed note–as the reader will see, our unesteemed Hebraic author is not just some little mealy-mouthed ‘sort of’ Jew whose exposure to Judaism has been limited to dressing up like Krusty the Clown on Purim once a year. As he personally relates it, he attended yeshiva in Israel in his youth and was schooled by rabbis his entire life.

Therefore, by virtue of all of this, he KNOWS what his own religion and culture teach about ‘his people’ and their status as ‘chosen’ and having been selected by yahweh to be the ‘light amongst the nations’ and about being ‘above all others on the face of the earth’.

He knows. He knows it all began with a pennless nomad named Abram wandering around in the desert hearing voices in his head, some telling him to slit his son’s throat and then burn the corpse on an altar as an act of human sacrifice to the deity whose voice he claims to have heard in his head. He also knows that the starting point for the whole ugly affair began with —

‘I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.’

In other words, racism–DNA based narcissism–was something that began literally at the very beginning of the entire Judaic affair, and our un-esteemed Hebraic author knows this, and yet, he asks the question, as if it weren’t already immediately apparent and did not need asking, whether or not the Jewish state has become ‘racist’, when in fact it is as much a question that needs asking as  whether or not water is wet or fire is hot.

But this ‘how they do it’. They ask these questions in such a way as if the answer were not already apparent, and in the process of their typically verbose and circular jabber-jawing, inundate the reader with a bunch of Hebraic hocus-pocus/mumbo-jumbo that results in the reader’s curiosity vis a vis this problematic topic being blunted via the over-saturation of Judaic nonsense.

And what’s worse is how many gullible lap dogs–and particularly those of the non-Hebraic persuasion–will lap it up.

Perhaps the answer to the burning question as to why NOW is the appropriate time for an intellectual exploration of this type is provided thus–

‘We are inundated by surveys and statistics that tell us that racism is on the rise, but none of those who collate these figures can tell us how bad things were before every nasty word was broadcast in real-time on social media and before each act of racial violence was recorded on smartphones and uploaded to the web. I remember growing up in Israel of the late 1980s. Arab workers (no-one called them Palestinian then) were regularly assaulted on the streets, and the stories of abuse of Palestinian detainees one heard from older friends who were soldiers during the early days of the First Intifada were, if anything, worse than the horrific cases happening today. And very little made it into the media.’

In other words, that aparitif known as ‘damage control’, spiced up with a twist of  ‘deflection’ and a pinch of ‘distraction’.

As we like to say, no one ever accused ‘them’ of being stupid.

Haaretz

I don’t have many good things to say about the rabbis who taught me as a teenager. But I had a momentary recollection of positivity early this week when Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that he was trying to get the religious nationalist Jewish Home party to link up with the other far-right parties – including the Kahanist Otzma l’Yisrael, to avoid the right-wing bloc losing votes.

Back in November 1990, when the far right extremist Meir Kahane was assassinated in New York, our yeshiva forbade its students from going to the funeral in Jerusalem. Other religious nationalist yeshivas did the same.

This wasn’t a small thing. Telling yeshiva students you couldn’t go to the funeral of a Jew who had been murdered as a Jew. But there was a very self-conscious effort at the time to make it clear there was a difference between us and the Kahanists.

Fast-forward 28 years, and no senior rabbi or politician has objected to Netanyahu’s indecent proposal. At the most you can hear their muttering, “We’ll have to see in the polls if it makes electoral sense.” Not a peep about how unthinkable the idea of joining a blatantly racist party should, one not morally worth considering, even if it would jeopardize the right-wing’s hold on power.

At this point some readers may be nodding that there isn’t that much difference between the religious nationalist, or Orthodox Zionist, community in Israel and the Kahanists anyway. Both are nationalist-fundamentalists who believe Jews should settle the entire historical homeland and disregard the basic rights of non-Jews living there. How is the old-school genteel national-religious racism better than the in-your-face fascist version of Kahane’s disciples?

But it wasn’t that simple three decades ago and it isn’t today. Not only is that broad section of Israeli society (and Jewish society outside Israel as well) which seeks to live a Torah-observant life, while being part of the modern world, impossible to classify in one religious and political box, with dozens of sub-groups existing on the non-parallel scales of nationalism and piety, but the notion that Israelis have become either more or less racist over the years is highly problematic.

We are inundated by surveys and statistics that tell us that racism is on the rise, but none of those who collate these figures can tell us how bad things were before every nasty word was broadcast in real-time on social media and before each act of racial violence was recorded on smartphones and uploaded to the web.

I remember growing up in Israel of the late 1980s. Arab workers (no-one called them Palestinian then) were regularly assaulted on the streets, and the stories of abuse of Palestinian detainees one heard from older friends who were soldiers during the early days of the First Intifada were, if anything, worse than the horrific cases happening today. And very little made it into the media.

In the 1980s Kahane, who regularly led at his rallies chants of “Death to Arabs,” was an elected member of the Knesset. And when he was barred on the grounds of racism from running again in 1988, he was replaced in the Knesset by members of Moledet, whose official policy was ethnically cleansing the West Bank.

So no, I don’t think Israel is necessarily more racist today than it was then (and I’m not even going further back to the wonderful days of the Mapai governments when Israeli Arabs lived under martial law for decades). In some very small ways, particularly the exhaustingly slow, but increasing presence of minorities in gradually higher levels of public service (where they are still woefully underrepresented) things have actually improved.

What has undeniably changed and for the worse, as Netanyahu’s urging to bring the Kahanists in to the legitimate political tent (back in the day when Kahane was an MK, the other 119 members, including all Likudniks, would boycott his speeches, leaving him to address an empty plenum) perfectly shows, is that we’ve become much more tolerant of racism.

And in many ways tolerating racism, even if we believe ourselves to be non-racist, is equally bad. Treating Otzma L’Yisrael and its ilk as a legitimate party means that racism is an option. And when it’s an option, even if we claim not to choose it, racism permeates everything.

Here’s another example. This week, Haaretz’s Judy Maltz reported that rabbinical courts in Israel are demanding more and more immigrants from the former Soviet Union undergo DNA tests when seeking to marry in Israel and their Judaism is in question.

It’s easy to see this as another worrying sign of growing racism in Israel. Except it isn’t really. The dayanim in the rabbinical courts certainly don’t reflect Israeli society, but instead the ultra-Orthodox rabbinical establishment that has always sought to be the gatekeepers of the Jewish people. This isn’t even about Israel per se, it’s a millennia-old debate over what constitutes Jewishness which began in the Diaspora, weaponized by 21st century technology.

Twenty years ago, I reported in Haaretz on the first cases in which rabbinical courts were using DNA tests. At the time it was seen as a positive development, as the tests were meant to solve issues of mamzerut (bastardy) and allow people to wed in Orthodox marriages. The procedure was sanctioned by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, then the most senior of the ultra-Orthodox poskim (arbiters of halakha) who ruled that DNA testing should be used only to solve problems, not create new ones.

But Elyashiv’s warning has been disregarded, and when it comes to conversion, everything is kosher to reinforce the most reactionary definition of Jewishness.

Is this racism? Not necessarily. The narrow-minded halakhic concept of Jewish identity evolved historically as a reaction to the ruthless persecution of Jews for proselytizing Christians in the early centuries of the Holy Roman Empire. Today, the ultra-Orthodox attitude towards conversion is about intra-Jewish politics and maintaining their hegemony, not race. A convert who has completed the years of rigorous and often callous process of Haredi giyur will be treated as a Jew by the rabbinical courts, no matter the color of their skin.

But while the dayanim live in their own bubble, their actions still resonate. Using DNA profiles for what, for them, is only a technical halakhic decision, reinforces a racist definition of Jewish identity. That may not be their intention, but they don’t really care. They quite literally live in the dalet amot, the rarified – if not alienated – confines of halakha.

I don’t expect Haredi dayanim to exercise more care in their rulings, though I wish they would. But since they exercise inordinate power in Israel, countering their influence means other Jews should reexamine their own definitions of Jewishness. That includes – particularly for religious Jews – making it clear that Kahanism has no place in mainstream politics and Jewishness, but also rethinking attitudes to other forms of Jewish identity.

This week 80 Ethiopians arrived in Israel as new immigrants. They are the first group in about 1000 Ethiopians who have been allowed by the government to emigrate, for reasons of “family reunification.” Over the past 20 years, the Jewish Agency tasked by the government to facilitate the emigration of members of the Falashmura, has done so with gritted teeth, though current chairman Isaac Herzog has reversed that policy.

IOn my visits to the Falashmura compounds in Addis Ababa and Gondar, the Agency’s officials explained to me, usually off-record, that the thousands waiting there for years to be allowed to emigrate were masquerading as Jews and the victims of a cruel manipulation by cynical rabbis and activists making a living off their plight, and by the deluded tikkun olam intentions of American Jewish organizations. They warned that every Falashmura immigrant meant more dozens more relatives who would demand to be let in.

Veteran Ethiopian-Israelis, who belong to the original Beta Yisrael community, have said even harsher things. They described the Falashmura as the descendants of renegades who had converted to Christianity over a century ago, who had conveniently discovered their Jewish roots only when it meant a one-way ticket out of Ethiopia.

I used to accept this view, and wrote in this paper, upon returning from Ethiopia, that successive governments, caving in to pressure and authorizing every few years more Falashmura to emigrate, were “manufacturing Jews.” I’m no longer so sure that’s altogether a bad thing.

Not that we should continue turning a blind eye towards the Ethiopian conversion industry. But however it’s happening, they are arriving and becoming Israeli citizens. And gradually, painfully, slowly, the increasing presence of black Israeli Jews, as we saw last week in the protest in Tel Aviv against police violence towards them, is slowly opening the eyes of Israelis to much broader definitions of Jewish identity and to the pervasiveness of racism which they have tolerated for far too long.

Extremist Rabbis’ Hatred Advisory Opinions Promote Settlements, Encourage Terrorism to Abuse Palestinians

Israeli settlements in West Bank

January 30, 2019

By: Madeeha Araj,

The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his weekly report that the investigations into the killing of Palestinian woman Aisha Moh’d Rabi from Bedia village, who died after throwing stones at her husband’s car in Oct. 018 showed that the terrorist attacks were carried out by a new Jewish terrorist organization against the Palestinians’ property and mosques. The Israeli Prosecution presented diluted indictment against the settler murderer of Aisha, saying it was “unintentional killing”. According to the indictment filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Central Court in Lod, the accused threw a stone weighing around 2 kilos at the Rabi vehicle and killed her near the Za’tara checkpoint south of Nablus.

According to Hebrew sources, the prosecution didn’t intend to file an indictment against other suspected, who were arrested on their involvement in her killing. According to the indictment, the accused and a number of his fellow are members of the Jewish religious institute “Berri Hae’ts” in the settlement of Rahalim, they were at the institute the day she was killed, as they stumbled on a nearby hill overlooking St. 60, and attacked her. Israeli intelligence arrested 5 minors from a settlement near the Za’tara checkpoint on suspicion of “Jewish terrorism” and later found that they are suspected of involvement in the killing of Aisha, but later on 4 of them were released.

Within this context, the ultra-Orthodox rabbi of Safed, a member of Israel’s Supreme Rabbinical Council, Shmuel Eliahu known for issuing provocative opinions against Arabs, revealed a meeting with a number of extremist settlers accused of the killing after they were released from prison. In a sermon posted on YouTube, he said, you are the ones who are paving the way for the religious movement to reach power. He called on the settlers not to fear the prison, which he said was “graduates the kings” and leading them to the leadership of the State, saying that we must make the change. Two years ago, he also issued several opinions urging to harm the Palestinians and their property, allowing Jews to steal Arab property for allegedly being “thieves.” The rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Dov Levyorfakal, said that whoever killed Arabs was a friend. Israeli PM Netanyahu described him as an Israeli leader. For his part, the Israeli Rabbi, Rosen has said that the Lord commanded Joshua ben Nun to kill the giant men, women, children, babies, and even the beasts, adding the Palestinians are the giants of this era, and therefore should be treated as the ancient giants.

In another context, the Israeli occupation authorities plan to evacuate the students of the Khalil Sakakini and Al-Quds Preparatory Schools in the Old City of Jerusalem by providing students with incentives and facilities for transferring them to other schools that follow the municipality of the occupation outside the walls of the Old City. The school principal was informed that it will be closed in 1.9.2019. The students will be transferred to other schools without any explanation for this serious decision. The schools include 385 Palestinian girls, stretches over 200 square meters. It is a-120-year-old building.  They were used as hospital and then as a headquarter for the Ottoman Caliphate. In 1917, the British Mandate turned it into a “police station”.

On the other hand, in Jerusalem, the Central District Court issued a temporary order for the confiscation of a 2.7 dunums in the Mount of Olives area, where the late, Yasser Arafat owned 135 m. of them. Moreover, more than 800 Palestinian families are threatened by forced eviction in their homes in favor for Jewish settlement groups. Israeli courts have filed sues against hundreds of Palestinian families demanding the eviction of their homes. The danger of forced eviction threatens dozens of Palestinian families after an Israeli court ruled in favor of a settlement organization to evict the home of a Palestinian family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, claiming it is owned by settlers.

For his part, Nikolai Miladinov, the UN envoy to the Middle East peace process, attacked Israel’s policies and activities, especially military operations in the Palestinian territories. In a briefing to the Security Council on the Palestinian situation, Miladinov expressed his concern over the increase Israeli military operations in areas A and B in the West Bank. He noted that during the past period, Israel has allowed the construction of 3,100 settlement units in settlements in Area C and prepares plans for the construction of 2,500 additional settlement units and tenders for another 650 units in various settlements, most of which will be built in areas of the West Bank. Nablus and Hebron, besides legitimizing more than one settlement in Hebron. He noted that there are efforts to implement the law of confiscating Palestinian lands and whitening the settlements, which raises fears of annexation in the future. Pointing out that the law will apply to 66 outposts. He stressed the position of the United Nations and the international community that settlements were illegal and represented an obstacle before peace.

For its part, the Israeli Civil Administration confiscated and uprooted about 60 olive trees from the Palestinian lands and demolished retaining walls surrounding agricultural land near the Jab’a military checkpoint. In a development that draws attention that accompanies the campaign for the early elections of the Knesset, the “Nahla” Settlement Movement organized a demonstration outside the headquarter of the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister in West Jerusalem demanding the settlement of more than 2 million Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, demanding the settlement right to strengthen settlement in the Palestinian territories. Nahla also calls for the adoption of a clear settlement agenda and lift the “settlement freeze laws” on the settlements, claiming that “the Arabs are building continuously and sustainably.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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New Evidence in Case of Palestinian Mother Stoned to Death by Right-Wing israelis

Source

 

24 Jan  11:01 AM

Israeli authorities on Wednesday released new information about the death of Aisha al-Rabi, who was killed by a mob of right-wing Israelis in October 2018, stating that they had found DNA of the central suspect in the case on the rock that caused her death.

Of the five right-wing Israeli teens arrested for the crime last month, just one remains in custody – the other four were released without charges. This is despite the multiple eyewitnesses that saw a group of Israelis hurling rocks at al-Rabi and her husband.

Al-Rabi was a mother of eight children who was driving with her husband near their hometown of Bidya, near Salfit in the northern part of the West Bank. They were attacked by a mob of right-wing Israeli youth who threw numerous rocks at the couple, breaking the windshield and killing al-Rabi.

The new evidence, according to Israeli authorities, was uncovered through detailed laboratory analysis of the rock that struck al-Rabi in the head, killing her.

The Israeli settler charged with the killing is expected to be indicted on Thursday.

Israeli authorities arrested five Israeli settlers on December 30th. Initially the authorities did not disclose that the five had been arrested, due to a gag order forbidding the public disclosure of information or comment on a particular matter.

Shin Bet added that the five were students at the Pri Haaretz religious seminary in the Rechelim settlement, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, were arrested “after intelligence efforts connecting them to the death of al-Rabi.”

“The four were released after it was decided that the investigation could continue while they were under house arrest and other limiting conditions,” the Shin Bet noted.

The Israeli settlers who carried out the attack are among the 600,000 Israeliswho live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

Palestinian towns and villages in the Nablus area are surrounded by Israeli settlements and outposts, many of which are protected by the Israeli military and have gained notoriety for being comprised of the most extremist settlers.

However, the Palestinian government has no jurisdiction over Israelis in the West Bank, and violent acts carried out by Israeli settlers often occur in the presence of Israeli military forces who rarely act to protect Palestinian residents.

 

Tales of torture from israel’s prisons

Tales of Torture From Israel’s Prisons

As Israel prepares to worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners, we asked six former inmates about their experiences.

by &
Palestinian boys raise up their hands with chains, during a protest to show their solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, May 4, 2017 [File: Hussein Malla/AP)

Palestinian boys raise up their hands with chains, during a protest to show their solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, May 4, 2017 [File: Hussein Malla/AP)

Earlier this month, Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced plans to “worsen” already horrific conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s jails.

According to the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, there are nearly 5,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, including 230 children and 54 women. Of that number, 481 prisoners are held without trial – under the guise of an unlawful practice known as “administrative detention”. 

Speaking to reporters on January 2, Erdan disclosed some aspects of his plan, but a sinister context was missing from the story.

The minister said the prisoners will be denied “cooking rights”, yet failed to mention that many prisoners, especially during the first stage of their detention, are tortured and denied food altogether. “The plan also includes preventing members of the Knesset from visiting Palestinian detainees,” Erdan added but did not mention how hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are already denied access to lawyers and family visitations on a regular basis.

There is no reason to doubt the Israeli minister’s words when he vows to worsen conditions for Palestinian prisoners. However, the horrific conditions under which thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli jails – which itself is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention – are already at a stage that can only be described as inhumane as they fail the minimum standards set by international and humanitarian laws.

No one is as qualified to describe Israeli prison conditions as Palestinian prisoners, who experienced every form of physical and psychological torture, and have spent years, sometimes decades, fending for their humanity every hour of every day.

We spoke to six freed prisoners, including two women and a child, who shared their stories with us, with the hope that their testimonies would help the world understand the true context of Erdan’s latest plan.

I was only 16 when I decided to wear an explosive belt and blow myself up among Israeli occupation soldiers. It was all I could do to avenge Muhammad al-Durrah, the 12-year-old Palestinian child who was brutally killed by Israeli soldiers in front of television cameras in September 2000. When I saw the footage of Muhammad huddling by his father’s side, as soldiers showered them both with bullets, I felt powerless. That poor child. But I was arrested, and those who helped me train for my mission were killed three months after my detention.

Wafa’ Samir Ibrahim al-Bis was born in the Jablaiya refugee camp in Gaza. She was 16-years-old when she was detained on May 20, 2005. She was sentenced to 12-years in prison after she was convicted of attempting to carry out a suicide mission targeting Israeli soldiers. She was released in 2011 in a prisoner swap between the Palestinian Resistance and Israel [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

I was tortured for years inside the Ramleh prison’s infamous Cell nine, a torture chamber they designated for people like me. I was hanged from the ceiling and beaten. They put a black bag on my head as they beat and interrogated me for many hours and days. They released dogs and mice in my cell. I couldn’t sleep for days at a time. They stripped me naked and left me like that for days on end. They didn’t allow me to meet with a lawyer or even receive visits from the Red Cross.

They had me sleep on an old, dirty mattress that was as hard as nails. I was in solitary confinement in Cell number nine for two years. I felt that I was buried alive. Once they hanged me for three days nonstop. I screamed as loud as I could, but no one would untie me.

When I was in prison, I felt so lonely. Then one day, I saw a little cat walking among the rooms, so I kept throwing her food so that she would be my friend. Eventually, she started coming inside my cell and would stay with me for hours. When the guards discovered that she was keeping me company, they slit her throat in front of me. I cried for her more than I cried for my own fate.

A few days later, I asked the guard for a cup of tea. She came back and said: “stick your hand out to grab the cup”. I did, but instead she poured boiling water on my hand, causing third-degree burns. I have scars from this incident to this day and I still need help treating my hand.

I cry for Israa’ Ja’abis, whose whole body has been burned yet she remains in an Israeli jail.

I often think of all the women prisoners I left behind.

In May 2015, I wanted to visit my family living in the West Bank. I was missing them terribly as I hadn’t seen them for years. But as soon as I arrived to the Beit Hanoun (Eretz) Crossing, I was detained by Israeli soldiers.

My ordeal on that day started at about 7:30 in the morning. Soldiers searched me in such a humiliating way. They probed every part of my body. They forced me to undress completely. I stayed in that condition till midnight.

In the end, they chained my hands and feet, and blindfolded me. I begged the officer in charge to allow me to call my family because they were still waiting on the other side of the crossing. The soldiers agreed on the condition that I use the exact phrase: “I am not coming home tonight,” and nothing more.

Sana’a Mohammed Hussein al-Hafi was born in the West Bank. She moved to the Gaza Strip after meeting her future husband. She spent 10 months in prison and a further five months under house arrest for transferring money to a ‘hostile entity (Hamas)’ [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

Then more soldiers arrived. They threw me in the back of a large military truck. I felt the presence of many dogs and men surrounding me. The dogs barked and the men laughed. I was so scared.

I was taken to the Ashkelon military compound, where I was searched again in the exact same degrading manner, and placed in a very small cell with a dim light. It smelled terrible. It was very cold although it was early summer. The bed was tiny and filthy. The covers too. The soldiers took all of my possessions, including my watch.

I couldn’t sleep, as I was interrogated every few hours. I would sit on a wooden chair for long periods of time to be subjected to the same routine, filled with shouting and insults and dirty language. I was kept in the Ashkelon compound for seven days. They allowed me to shower once, with very cold water.

At night, I heard voices of men and women being tortured; angry shouts in Hebrew and broken Arabic; doors slamming in a most disturbing manner.

At the end of that week, I was transferred to HaSharon prison, where I was relieved to be with other Palestinian female prisoners, some minors, some mothers like me, and some old ladies.

Every two or three days, I was taken out of my cell for more interrogation. I would leave at dawn and return around midnight. Occasionally, I was put in a large military truck with other women and taken to military court. We were either chained individually or to each other. We would wait for hours only to be told that the court session had been postponed to a later date.

In our cells, we struggled to survive under harsh conditions and medical neglect. Once an old woman prisoner collapsed. She had diabetes and was receiving no medical attention. We all started screaming and crying. Somehow, she survived.

I was in prison for ten months. When I was finally released from prison, I was put under house arrest in Jerusalem for another 5 months. I missed my family. I thought about them every hour of every day. No words can describe how harrowing that experience was, to have your freedom taken away, to live without dignity and without rights.

No words.

The day I saw my mother
Fuad Qassim al-Razam

I have experienced both psychological and physical torture in Israeli jails, which forced me to confess to things I did and didn’t do.

Fuad Qassim al-Razam was born in the Palestinian city of Jerusalem. He spent 31 years in prison for killing an Israeli soldier and an armed settler among other charges [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

The first phase of detention is usually the most difficult because the torture is most intense and the methods are most brutal. I was denied food and sleep and I was left hanging from the ceiling for hours. At times I was left standing in the rain, naked, tied to a pole, with a bag on my head. I would be left in that condition the whole day, while occasionally getting punched, kicked and hit with sticks by soldiers.

I was forbidden from seeing my family for years, and when I finally was allowed to see my mother, she was dying. An ambulance brought her to Beir Al-Saba’ prison, and I was taken in my shackles to see her. She was in terrible health and could no longer speak. I remember the tubes coming out of her hands and nose. Her arms were bruised and blue from where the needles entered her frail skin.

I knew it would be the last time I would ever see her, so I read some Quran to her before they took me back to my cell. She died 20 days later. I know she was proud of me. When I was released, I was not allowed to read verses from the Quran by her grave as I was deported to Gaza immediately after the prisoner exchange in 2011.

One day I will visit her grave.

‘They burned my genitals’
Mohammed Abul-Aziz Abu Shawish

I was arrested by Israel seven times; the first time I was six-years-old. That was in 1970. Then, they accused me of throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers. I was arrested again when I was a teenager. That time I was beaten up and an Israeli officer lit a match under my genitals. They stripped my clothes off and placed my underwear in my mouth to muffle my screams. I felt pain when I tried to use the bathroom for many days after that incident.

Mohammed Abul-Aziz Abu Shawish was born in the Nuseirat Refugee camp in Gaza in 1964. His family is originally from Barqa, a village in southern Palestine that was ethnically-cleansed in 1948. He spent 9 years in prison after being charged with possessing a weapon and being a member of the Fatah movement [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

My last imprisonment was the longest. I was detained on April 23, 1985, and remained in jail for 9 years to be released after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Even in prison, our fight for our rights never ceased. We fought through hunger strikes and they fought us back with isolation and torture. As soon as the prison administration would concede to our demands, to end our strike, they would slowly deprive us from everything we had achieved. They would withhold food, prevent family visitations, even prevent us from meeting with our own prison mates. They often confiscated our books and other educational materials for no reason whatsoever.

When I was released on January 8, 1994, I joined the prisoner rehabilitation unit in the Labour Ministry. I tried my best to help my fellow freed prisoners. Since I retired, I wrote a book entitled: Before My Tormentor is Dead, detailing the years of my imprisonment.

I am not a trained writer, I just want the world to know of our plight.

‘They detained my family’
Shadi Farah

I was arrested on December 30, 2015, when I was only 12-years-old. I was released on November 29, 2018. At the time, I was the youngest Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails.

Shadi Farah was arrested in his home in Jerusalem at the age of 12. He was accused of trying to kill Israeli soldiers with a knife they found at his house [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

My interrogation took place in the Maskoubiah prison in Jerusalem, specifically in Cell number four. After days of physical torture, sleep deprivation and severe beating, they imprisoned my whole family – my mom and dad and sisters and brothers.

They told me that my family was held captive because of me and they would only be released if I confessed to my crimes. They swore at me with profanity I cannot repeat. They threatened to do unspeakable things to my mom and sisters.

After each torture session, I would return to my cell so desperate to sleep. But then soldiers would wake me up by slapping my face, kicking me with their boots and punching me in the stomach.

I love my family, and when they used to prevent them from visiting me, it broke my heart.

‘Prisoners are heros’
Jihad Jamil Abu-Ghabn

In prison, my jailers tried to break my spirit and take away my dignity, not just through violence, but also through specific techniques meant to humiliate and demoralise me.

Jihad Jamil Abu-Ghabn spent nearly 24 years in Israeli jails for participating in the first Intifada and for being involved in the killing of an Israeli settler. He was released in 2011 [Courtesy of Ramzy Baroud and Abdallah Aljamal]

They often placed a bag with a most foul smell over my head, which led me to vomit repeatedly inside the bag. When the bag was removed, I would be left with a swollen face and a massive headache from the intermittent deprivation of oxygen.

Throughout my interrogation (which lasted for months), they had me sit on a chair with uneven legs for hours on end. I could never find a comfortable position, which left me with permanent pain in my back and neck.

At times they would introduce ‘prisoners’ to my cell, claiming to be genuine members of the Palestinian Resistance. I would later discover that these prisoners were actually collaborators who were trying to trick me into confessing. We called these collaborators assafir (birds).

Palestinian prisoners are heroes. No words can describe their legendary steadfastness and unfathomable sacrifices.

Yousef Aljamal contributed to this article.

The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. 

Fed up with myths, these American Jews are challenging their israel (apartheid state) education

Fed up with myths, these American Jews are challenging their Israel education

They grew up on the myths of a heroic Jewish state, joined Zionist organizations, and learned the talking points. But something along the way made them question everything.

By Tom Pessah

Members of Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow protest Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., May 14, 2018. (Gili Getz)

Members of Jewish-American anti-occupation group IfNotNow protest Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., May 14, 2018. (Gili Getz)

Some of the strangest encounters I had in the years I spent living and studying in the United States were with American Jews. I often felt like I had been dropped into a musical, with people expecting me to fit the mythical image of how an Israeli was supposed to behave. The only problem: I had no idea what my lines were supposed to be.

I was asked about my time in the Israeli army or about the ins and outs of Jewish religious practice. Pro-Israel students assumed I would be there to validate their advocacy.

Many of them were visibly disappointed when I didn’t play the part. Only gradually did I begin to understand how central Israel education had been in their lives, and just how big of a stumbling block it truly was.

To understand this process better, I spoke with four Jewish American activists, all of them in their late 20s and products of mainstream American Jewish education. Over the last few years they have all joined non-Zionist and anti-occupation groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow. Michal, Susannah, Malkah, and Aaron told me how their Israel education shaped their worldview, and what led them to challenge what they had learned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

An editor’s note: Susannah and Malkah asked to use only their first names; the other two interviewees asked to use aliases, citing fears that using their real names could threaten their status in their communities and future job prospects.

Whether Modern Orthodox, Reform, or Conservative, all of the four interviewees said that Israel was an integral part of their experience in the Jewish community from a young age. None of them could remember a time when it wasn’t a part of their Jewish communal experience.

Illustrative photo of American Jews taking part in New York City's annual 'Celebrate Israel Parade.' (GIli Getz)

Illustrative photo of American Jews taking part in New York City’s annual ‘Celebrate Israel Parade.’ (Gili Getz)

“When I was younger I went to synagogue every week. Israel would inevitably be part of divrei tora (the Rabbi’s talk on topics relating to the weekly Torah portion – T.P.),” says Michal, a former Hasbara Fellow who would eventually be banned from entering Israel because she volunteered with Palestinian organizations in the West Bank.

“On Yom Kippur there was always a plug for Israel. During ne’ila (Yom Kippur’s concluding service – T.P.), in the midst of talking about our sins, being humble, and reflecting on what we’ve done wrong, there is this tonal shift: ‘Look at what we’ve done to create the State of Israel! and here – we’re going to pass around some pledges to give to Israel bonds.’ This is a deeply reflective and somber ritual, and you’re doing a complete 180 to advocate for Israel. This was every Yom Kippur and Shabbat — all the time. We would finish Adon Olam on Saturday morning and the senior rabbi would say from the stage: ‘we’re bringing in an AIPAC delegation and you can sign up.’”

For Susannah, who began in the Reform Movement and would eventually work for Jewish Voice for Peace, Zionism was also part and parcel of her Jewish upbringing. “You don’t really think about Israel and Zionism when you’re a practicing Jew in the Reform Movement. It’s just there.” It was at a summer camp organized by Young Judea, an American Zionist youth movement, where that conflation was most apparent. “It was straight up ‘America and Israel Forever.’ One of the most painful experiences to look back on now is that every morning we would wake up and go to the flagpole. You sing Hatikva and the Star-Spangled Banner. You stand there at attention in front of both flags along with the Israeli scouts who were there. I loved it, because it was just about singing and being with your friends. It felt like a source of pride.”

Illustrative photo of American Jews participating in the annual AIPAC conference in Washington DC. (Gili Getz)

Illustrative photo of American Jews participating in the annual AIPAC conference in Washington DC. (Gili Getz)

Into their teenage years, the aim of building an emotional connection to Israel was replaced by more straightforward advocacy.

“In high school we were encouraged to take part in programs to advocate for Israel,” Malkah explained. The David Project, one of the most well-known American pro-Israel organizations, sent her to a three-day training in Massachusetts, where she says she was exposed to a heavily anti-Muslim agenda. “One video was called Obsession, and it seemed like the main message was about Muslims wanting to violently take control of the world and how we would have to fight back against that.”

“I don’t remember any dissent or discussion,” she continued. “We were all just shocked by the horrible things we were seeing. You see a lot of really scary images in that movie. We didn’t have a lot of time to socialize, there were mainly these sessions and I took a lot of notes. They probably intentionally didn’t give us time to process – you’re being bombarded with someone else’s opinions.”

Malkah recalled coming home from the training and experiencing pushback from her family members who felt that the right-wing views she had been taught were bad for peace. “I’d come back and say everything is justified for national security reasons. My views shifted to the right of center after having had that experience.”

 

Yet taking part in more explicit

Hundreds fill New York City's Washington Square Park to protest President Trump's decision to ban Muslim refugees from entering the U.S., January 26, 2017. (Gili Getz)

Hundreds fill New York City’s Washington Square Park to protest President Trump’s decision to ban Muslim refugees from entering the U.S., January 26, 2017. (Gili Getz)

Israel advocacy also began to sow doubts about their ability to defend the cause.

It was expected in my high school that all the high-achieving students would be going on extra-curricular Israel advocacy programs,” said Aaron, who would later become heavily involved with JVP and now devotes his time to the International Socialist Organization. “All the training sessions were at the local Jewish Community Center. We were told it looked good for college admissions. The manhigim (Hebrew for “leaders” – T.P.) program was focused on preparing us to be advocates for Israel on campuses, which were presented to us as hotbeds of anti-Semitism. The program was mostly a rehearsal of talking points from a liberal Zionist perspective (Israel as a liberal democracy, etc.). I didn’t reject any of that, but I distinctly remember thinking ‘Wow, if we’re the people who will be advocating for Israel, then Israel is screwed.’”

“There was one session we were doing which was a mock debate with a supposed member of Students for Justice in Palestine,” he continues, “I got cast in the role of the anti-Israel debater. I pulled out the ‘key of my grandmother’s house in Yaffa,” he said, referring to Palestinian refugees, many of whom keep the keys to the homes they lost in the Nakba. “At that point the entire room just screeched to a halt and didn’t know how to respond at all. I was still a Zionist, and I was very disappointed that they had no real response to my challenge.”

“Later, a delegation from my high school was sent to an AIPAC conference in Washington, DC. While lining up to enter the conference, I saw the counter-protest and was expecting it to be vitriolic and anti-Semitic. Instead I saw casually dressed people and some Neturei Karta folks waving signs that said “Don’t Bomb Iran!” I remember thinking: “am I on the wrong side of this protest?” I’m here in a suit with a bunch of old men while across the street are some people dressed like I normally do waving signs I don’t really disagree with.”

For Michal, a pro-Israel program in Israel was the tipping point, and the first time she considered that not everything she had been taught about Israel was true. “Aish HaTorah, [the organization] that runs Hasbara Fellowships, were teaching us talking points: here is a template for advocating for Israel on campus, here are the points your opponents will use, and here is how you turn it around on them and humiliate people in the process. Then they would have us practice — one person would play the aggressive pro-Palestine advocate and we would have to use the arguments they gave us. I remember being so embarrassed because I just couldn’t do it. I’m a really bad bullshitter. They’re using the word ‘apartheid,’ and I’m supposed to say ‘there are Israeli Arabs in the cabinet.’ I couldn’t memorize all those steps and then spit them back out like I was supposed to do.”

“What tipped me off was when they took us to Hebron. You walk there and it’s a ghost town with [Palestinian] shops boarded up. There is a barrier in the main street that separates Palestinians from Israelis. And you have menacing settlers. Something felt off: it was the first inkling I had of ‘is this really necessary in order to have this miraculous Israel?’ I didn’t have the words then — it was just a feeling. I didn’t have enough information to understand where this feeling was coming from.”

“I studied Middle East studies in part to be a better Israel advocate,” Michal continued. “But after Hebron I started to think that maybe I shouldn’t be out to get my professors. Maybe I should listen to them. That started the process of actually learning about the occupation and Palestinian experiences and taking them seriously. I studied abroad in Jordan, and after graduating I spent a couple of weeks in the West Bank helping local Palestinian organizations. As a result I was banned from Israel.”

For Susannah and Malkah, one of the factors that turned these doubts into full-blown opposition to Israeli policies was the personal relationships they formed with Palestinians.

Police arrest a young American Jew during a sit-in organized by IfNotNow at the offices of the Anti-Defamation League in New York City to protest the institution’s support for Israel’s occupation policies. (photo: Gili Getz)

Police arrest a young American Jew during a sit-in organized by IfNotNow at the offices of the Anti-Defamation League in New York City to protest the institution’s support for Israel’s occupation policies. (photo: Gili Getz)

When Susannah’s university program required her to do a field study abroad, she chose to go to Israel. Not knowing a lot about local civil society groups, she decided to join the only group that responded to her inquiries — a commune where Jews and Arabs worked and lived together. There she met Ibrahim, a Palestinian from Jaffa who had a cousin in Gaza. Ibrahim witnessed the moment his cousin was killed, as Israel shelled Gaza University during Operation Cast Lead, which Susannah said “shook him to his core.” She would eventually fall in love with him. “That’s how you learn – you fall in love with a Palestinian.”

But personal relationships don’t have to be romantic. Deep friendships also have their effect.

“By 2014 there was a pretty strong push for divestment in my school,” said Malkah. “There were a lot of people in my undergraduate program who were Arab, and some of them were Palestinians. They had family immediately affected by Israel’s policies as well as family histories of expulsion. I remember sitting with them in the school lounge watching folks speak at the divestment hearings for hours, usually until two in the morning. I just sat there and watched people talking so passionately about the subject, and felt that the students who opposed divestment didn’t have compelling arguments. Having been in my high school and in the David Project made divestment a dirty word. But just being in that environment, listening to people talk and having relationships with people affected by these policies — that made a huge difference for me.”

israeli (apartheid state) Police Fire Tear Gas at Palestinian Christians Protesting israeli Exhibit Mocking Jesus Christ

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12 Jan
7:37 PM

Hundreds of Palestinian Christians and their supporters gathered Friday in Haifa, in northern Israel, to protest an Israeli exhibit that featured Ronald McDonald taking the place of Jesus on the cross.

The so-called “McJesus” exhibit was created by Finnish artist Jani Leinon, and has been on display at a gallery in Haifa as part of a gallery exhibition called ‘Sacred Goods’.

It recently came to the attention of church authorities in Haifa, who called for the protest.

The Greek Patriarchate said “While we express freedom of expression, this should not include mocking and targeting our religion and religious figures”.

The Patriarchate added that they blame the municipality of Haifa for this exhibit. They said that the Municipality collects taxes, including from those Christians that were insulted by this exhibit. This was especially insulting because the timing of the exhibit came just as the Greek Orthodox Christians were celebrating Christmas, according to their calendar.

The Israeli authorities claimed that the night before the protest, an unknown person threw a flaming bottle at the museum, causing minimal damage.

During the protest on Friday, Israeli police say that three of their officers were hit by rocks and bottles and injured. Dozens of Palestinian protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.

The Israeli Cultural Minister, Miri Regev, on Thursday weighed in on the issue, saying that she had received “ many complaints of serious offense caused to the Christian community’s feelings”, and asked the Director General of Haifa Museums to remove the controversial artwork.

 

5 Jewish Teens Arrested for Stoning Death of Palestinian Woman

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08 Jan 5:18 AM

Palestinians carry the body of 48-year-old mother of eight, Aisha Rabi, who died of her wounds after the car she was travelling in with her husband was hit by stones, during her funeral in the West Bank village of Bidya, near Salfit, on October 13, 2018. – An Israeli police spokesman confirmed a car had been hit by stones but did not identify the perpetrators. He said an investigation was underway but did not give further details. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Five Jewish teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a Palestinian woman in the West Bank, three months ago.

Aisha Mohammed Rabi, a 48-year-old mother from Biddya, was driving with her husband Yacoub near a West Bank checkpoint south of Nablus when the settlers began to throw stones at their vehicle. Rabi was hit in the head and died shortly after being transported to the hospital.

According to the PNN, Israeli police soon arrived at the scene and opened an investigation. Five teens have been arrested since December 30, as part of a major Jewish terrorism probe in the West Bank. The Shin Bet internal security agency said, in its Sunday statement, that all the suspects were students at the “Pri Ha’aretz” yeshiva, in the nearby settlement of Rehelim. A gag-order has been placed to prevent publication of more details in the investigation, including the names of the attackers.

A group of far-right Israeli activists gathered outside the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest the arrests and call for his intervention on Saturday night.

Palestine In Pictures – April 2018

Blood is seen on the clothes of Palestinian medic Razan al-Najjar, who treats injured Palestinian protesters during Great March of Return protests, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on 1 April. Ashraf AmraAPA images

Thirty-three Palestinians were fatally injured by Israeli occupation forces and armed civilians during the month of April. Four others died of injuries sustained the previous month.

All but three of them were killed in Gaza as Israel continued its lethal crackdown on the Great March of Return protests. Fifty-one Palestinians in Gaza have been killed since the outset of the protests on 30 March.

No Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the month of April, and no Israeli injuries have been reported as a result of the Great March of Return protests.

More than 6,400 Palestinians, including at least 530 children, have been injured during the protests, according to Gaza’s health ministry. Nearly 2,000 people have been wounded by live ammunition. Many of those injured will have disabilities for life.

“Over the course of four Fridays of demonstrations, far more Palestinians have been injured in the Gaza Strip than in the preceding three years combined,” United Nations humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick stated.

Five children and two journalists were among those killed by Israeli forces in Gaza’s eastern perimeter during April.

West Bank slayings

Israeli civilians and soldiers killed three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in April.

Iyad Zabarka, 30, from Qalansawa, a Palestinian town in Israel, was shot dead by a soldier on 3 April after he crashed the car he was driving into a bus stop near the Ariel settlement. The soldier fired on Zabarka when he attempted to flee the scene by foot.

Zabarka was reportedly driving a stolen car and was being pursued by a private security company before the crash.

Muhammad Subhi Anbar, 46, died from his injuries on 8 April after he was shot by private security guards at a military checkpoint south of Tulkarm.

Anbar was hit with three bullets fired by the guards, who claimed that Anbar ran towards them in a suspicious manner. No weapon was found on Anbar and no Israeli was reported hurt during the incident.

Muhammad Abd al-Karim Marshoud, 30, was fatally wounded by an Israeli man after allegedly using a screwdriver to try to stab a second Israeli, who was unhurt, at the Mishor Adumim industrial park in an occupied West Bank settlement east of Jerusalem on 8 April.

It was reported during the month that residents of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran reached an agreement with the Israeli government to relocate to the town of Hura in the southern Naqab region.

A town leader said that the Israeli government’s Bedouin resettlement authority forced residents to sign the agreement in the early dawn hours as police and demolition teams arrived to Umm al-Hiran. Israel plans to build a Jewish-only town in Umm al-Hiran’s place.

Among the structures demolished or seized by Israeli forces in the West Bank during the month were classrooms at a primary school serving 24 students in the herding community of Khirbet Zanuta in southern Hebron and a car wash and public playground for children near the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Israel also punitively demolished a home in the West Bank city of Jenin, displacing seven persons, including two children, on 23 April. The home belonged to the family of a Palestinian imprisoned for his involvement in the killing of a settler in January 2018. Two homes have been demolished or sealed on punitive grounds since the beginning of the year, according to the United Nations monitoring group OCHA.

Rafah crossing opened

Rafah crossing, the sole point of exit and entry for the vast majority of Gaza’s two million residents, was opened by Egypt on 12 to 14 April and for another three days on 28 April.

Rafah crossing has been opened fewer than 20 days so far this year.

Palestinians in Gaza endured rolling power cuts of up to 20 hours per day after the sole power plant in the territory shut down on 12 April due to lack of fuel.

More than 40 Palestinians were reported killed in April as a result of the ongoing war in Syria.

More than a dozen of those killed were civilians who died as the Syrian government and allied forces launched an offensive to purge armed insurgents from Yarmouk refugee camp.

Around 20 Palestinian pro-government fighters were killed during battle in April, most of them in southern Damascus.

Palestinian protesters use a mirror to divert the attention of Israeli soldiers during Great March of Return protests east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on 2 April.Yasser QudihAPA images

Jewish settlers look at garments displayed by a Palestinian vendor in the West Bank city of Hebron on 3 April. Wisam HashlamounAPA images

Palestinian protesters take part in a tent city protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on 4 April. Ashraf AmraAPA images

Israeli soldiers remove a Palestinian flag from the Gaza boundary fence as Palestinian protesters gather on the other side, east of Gaza City, on 6 April. Oren ZivActiveStills

A Palestinian woman uses a slingshot to hurl stones towards Israeli occupation forces at the Israel-Gaza boundary east of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on 6 April. Yasser QudihAPA images

A medic treats wounded journalist Yaser Murtaja, shot by an Israeli sniper while covering Great March of Return protests east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on 6 April. Murtaja died of his injuries hours later. Ashraf AmraAPA images

Palestinian medics hold a protest outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem demanding an end to Israeli attacks on paramedics and journalists in Gaza, 8 April.Wisam HashlamounAPA images

A Palestine sunbird is seen on a tree in the West Bank city of Nablus on 9 April.Shadi Jarar’ahAPA images

Palestinians gather at a Great March of Return site east of Gaza City after Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh spoke during a rally demanding Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homeland on 9 April.Ashraf AmraAPA images

Palestinians hold a symbolic birthday party for Hussein Madi, shot in the heart and killed by an Israeli sniper three days earlier, east of Gaza City on 9 April — what would have been his 14th birthday.Ashraf AmraAPA images

Palestinian pupils attend class in a tent at the site where their school, demolished by Israeli occupation forces, once stood in the West Bank city of Hebron, 10 April.Wisam HashlamounAPA images

Palestinians hold posters depicting Sami al-Janazra, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike in Israeli jail, during a solidarity protest in the West Bank city of Hebron on 10 April.Wisam HashlamounAPA images

A Hamas security officer inspects a site hit by Israeli tank fire on the outskirts of Gaza City, near the boundary with Israel, on 11 April. Israeli tanks targeted sites in eastern Gaza City in what the Israeli army and media reported was a response to an explosive device that was detonated near an Israeli military bulldozer along the boundary with Israel. Ashraf AmraAPA images

Palestinian groom Ramadan Abu Sukkar celebrates during his wedding at the Great March of Return tents east of Gaza City on 11 April. Ashraf AmraAPA images

Israeli soldiers are seen from the Nahal Oz kibbutz as Palestinian protesters burn tires in Gaza’s eastern boundary on 13 April. Oren ZivActiveStills

Relatives of Palestinians jailed by Israel call for their loved ones’ release on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day, West Bank city of Nablus, on 17 April. Shadi Jarar’ahAPA images

A Palestinian man stands next a wall vandalized with Jewish supremacist slogans by suspected Israeli settlers in the West Bank city of Nablus, 17 April. Shadi Jarar’ahAPA images

Dozens of used tear gas canisters are seen next to a home during confrontations between the Israeli army and youth in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on 21 April. Anne PaqActiveStills

A Palestinian boy flies a kite during Great March of Return protests east of Gaza City on 18 April.Yasser QudihAPA images

A counterprotester holds an Israeli flag during a demonstration in front of the QEII Centre in London, where HSBC’s annual general meeting was taking place on 20 April. Activists protested what they called the bank’s complicity with Israel. Ahmad Al-BazzActiveStills

A staff member prepares a prosthetic leg at Gaza’s Artificial Limbs and Polio Center in Gaza City on 24 April. Gaza’s health ministry announced that 17 Palestinians had limbs amputated after being injured by Israeli snipers during Great March of Return protests. Mahmoud AjourAPA images

Palestinian football player Muhammad Abu Obaid, 26, shot in both legs by Israeli occupation forces during Great March of Return protests, at his home in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, 24 April.Mahmoud KhattabAPA images

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian scientist Fadi al-Batsh, assassinated in Malaysia on 21 April, during his funeral in the northern Gaza Strip on 26 April. Reportedly a member of the Hamas movement, al-Batsh was shot dead in a hail of bullets by motorbike-riding assailants as he walked to a Kuala Lumpur mosque for dawn prayers. Mahmoud AjourAPA images

Mourners carry the body of Palestinian journalist Ahmad Abu Hussein during his funeral in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, on 26 April. Abu Hussein died a day earlier, succumbing to his injuries after he was shot in the stomach by an Israeli sniper while covering Great March of Return protests on 13 April. Mofeed Abu ZaidaAPA images

Palestinians confront Israeli occupation forces during Great March of Return protests east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on 27 April. Sanad LatefaAPA images

Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, takes part in a Great March of Return protest east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on 27 April. Sanad LatefaAPA images

Israeli soldiers replace sections of the wall in Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, separating it from Pisgat Zeev settlement, on 27 April after it collapsed the day before due to heavy rainfall and floods.Oren ZivActiveStills

Palestinian leftists protest against suspended public servant salaries in front of the headquarters of the Council of Ministers, Gaza City, on 29 April. The Palestinian Authority suspended payments to 20,000 civil servants in Gaza the previous month. Mahmoud AjourAPA images

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