Bombs Over Damascus: Has israel (apartheid state) Crossed a Russian Red Line in Syria?

Bombs Over Damascus: Has Israel Crossed a Russian Red Line in Syria?

Friday, citing Russian sources the Palestinian-run, London-based, pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that Russia has told Israel it will not tolerate further air strikes near the Damascus International Airport:

According to the report, which cited Russian sources, Moscow has told Jerusalem that it intends to renovate the Damascus International Airport, and that further attacks by Israel will not be welcomed.

The Russians say that the air strikes are causing airlines from the region that want to resume operations in Syria to reconsider their decision.

However, instead of this bringing calm, Israel instead launched a yet another series of attack around Damascus and against its main airport:

For two days in a row, Israel Defence Forces have been carrying out strikes on what the IDF claims are Iranian targets in Syria.

The Russian military has announced that tSyrian air defences had destroyed over 30 cruise missiles and guided bombs, when repelling an Israeli strike.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, the Israeli strike killed four Syrian servicemen and injured 6 others. In addition to this, the air raid has “partially damaged the infrastructure of the Damascus international airport”, the statement says.

The announcement comes shortly after the IDF press service announced that Israel had targeted alleged “military facilities of [Iranian unit] Quds Force in Syria, including weapons depots, mainly in the area of Damascus International Airport, Iranian intelligence center, Iranian training camp” in response to a missile strike in disputed Golan Heights. According to the IDF, during the raid, dozens of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were fired, despite an unequivocal warning not to allow open fire.

Following earlier Syrian TV reports after Damascus had been rocked by powerful blasts, a Syrian military source told Sputnik that Syria’s air defences were able to shoot down a significant part of Israeli guided missiles.

So there are two possibilities. Perhaps Al-Quds, misunderstood its sources or just plain made up the story, or else the Israelis intentionally launched a second series of strikes just to show they will not respect any Russian red lines

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israel (apartheid state) to Shut Down UNRWA Schools in East Jerusalem without Notification

Israel to Shut Down UNRWA Schools in East Jerusalem without Notification

UNRWA has been helping Palestinian refugees since 1949. (Photo: via Facebook)

Israeli authorities are set to shut down schools in occupied East Jerusalem run by United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as of next year.

The move would come as the latest strike against UNRWA, which suffered a financial crisis in 2018 due to the United States ending all its financial funds to the agency, in addition to Israel increasingly restricting its activities in East Jerusalem.

 

Israel’s National Security Council decided during a meeting last month, to revoke permits allowing UNRWA schools in East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood to operate, starting as of next year.

The decision would replace UNRWA schools with schools run by the Jerusalem Municipality, using curriculum by the Israeli Education Ministry.

 

According to UNRWA, the agency runs seven schools in two refugee camps that are located within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, which serve about 3,000 students enrolled.

UNRWA spokesperson, Sami Meshasha, said in a statement that the Agency has not received any official notice from Israeli authorities regarding the reports after Israeli media reported that Israeli officials are set to revoke permits for UNRWA-run schools in East Jerusalem as of next year.

Meshasha said,

“UNRWA’s existence in Jerusalem is not a gift from Israel.”

 

He added,

“There are bilateral agreements binding on Israel to respect the Agency’s installations, jurisdiction and immunity in Jerusalem. In addition, Israel is a party to the 1946 Refugee Convention, and such attempts are in violation of this Convention.”

According to UNRWA, the agency runs seven schools in two refugee camps that are located within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, which serve about 3,000 students enrolled.

 

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that Israel’s decision to shut down UNRWA schools in East Jerusalem,

“Aims at ethnically cleansing the Palestinian citizens living in Shufat refugee camp.”

UNRWA currently provides services to some 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the occupied Palestinian territories, and the besieged Gaza Strip.

(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against Palestinians (10 – 16 January 2019) 

PCHR Weekly Report 

 

18 Jan  7:24 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 10 – 16 January, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. A woman and a child were killed during the 42nd week of the Return and Breaking the Siege March. 143 civilians, including 34 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 3 paramedics, were wounded; the injury of 3 of them were reported as serious.

Shooting:

 

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 42nd week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian, including a child and woman, and wounded 143 civilians, including 34 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 3 paramedics.  The injury of 3 of those wounded was reported serious.  In the West Bank, the Israeli forces wounded 7 civilians, including 2 journalists and a paramedic in separate shooting incidents.

 

In the Gaza Strip, On 11 January 2019, the Israeli forces killed Amal al-Termasi (44) from al-Sheikh Redwan in Gaza City after she was hit with a bullet to the head at approximately 15:50.  At the time of being wounded, she was around 200 meters away from the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israeli in eastern Gaza City.

 

At approximately 05:00 on Monday, 14 January 2019, medical sources at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, declared the death of ‘Abdel Ra’ouf Salhah (13) from Block 8 Street in Jabalia refugee camp, succumbing to wounds he sustained in the northern Gaza Strip in 11 November 2019.  The above-mentioned child was directly hit to the left side of his head with a teargas canister, causing acute bleeding and laceration in the brain in addition to a swelling.  As a result, he was taken for treatment in al-Shifa Hospital, where he stayed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until his death was declared.

 

As part of using excessive force against the peaceful protesters along the Gaza Strip borders, during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 143 civilians, including 34 children, 3 women, 3 journalists, and 3 paramedics.  The injury of 3 of those wounded was reported serious.

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip between 10 and 16 January 2019 According to the Governorate

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 23 8 0 0 1 1
Gaza City 70 16 0 1 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 14 3 3 1 0 0
Khan Younis 23 4 0 1 1 1
Rafah 13 3 0 0 1 1
Total 143 34 3 3 3 3

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating the on-going Israeli policy to target their livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 6 incidents that resulted in the arrest of 2 sibling fishermen and confiscation of their boats.

 

As part of targeting the border areas, on 10 January 2019, Israeli soldiers opened fire at the border area adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel in eastern al-Shija’iyah neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City.

 

On 11 January 2019, Israeli forces fired an artillery shell at a border control point belonging to al-Qassam Brigades in the vicinity of the Return Encampment in Malaka area in eastern Gaza City.

 

On 12 January 2019, Israeli soldiers opened fire at farmers and shepherds in eastern Deir al-Balah in central Gaza Strip and eastern Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip.  Meanwhile, the Israeli forces fired artielly shells at a border control point belonging to al-Qassam Brigades in eastern Shija’iyah neighbourhood in estern Gaza City.

 

On 13 January 2019, Israeli forces sporadically opened fire at farmers and shepherds in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

On 16 January 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at the agricultural lands in eastern al-Maghazi and Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.

 

As part of the airstrikes, on 12 January 2019, Israeli warplanes carried out 4 airstrikes launching 7 missiles at vacant lands and a border control point belonging to the Palestinian armed groups in eastern al-Shija’iyah neighbourhood in eastern Gaza City in the vicinity of al-Rayes Mount in north-eastern al-Tofah neighbourhood.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

On 13 January 2019, Israeli drones fired 2 missiles at a border control point in eastern Khuza’ah village, east of Khan Younis City.  No casualties were reported.

 

In the West Bank, during the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 7 Palestinian civilians, including 2 journalists and a paramedic, in separate shooting incidents.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 100 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 4 similar incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 62 Palestinians, including 9 children, in the West Bank.  Moreover, 11 others, including a child, were arrested in Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 15 January 2019, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into Landfill area, north of the Agriculture School in northern Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.  On 16 January 2019, they also moved 100 meters into the western side of the border fence with Israel opposite to the Memorial Site in the south-eastern side of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.  They levelled and combed lands that were previously levelled amidst sporadic shooting.  However, no casualties or damage to property was reported.

 

Israeli Forces Continued to Create a Jewish Majority in East Jerusalem City:

As part of Seizure of Palestinian Civilians’ property in favour of settlement assocaitions, On Thursday morning, 10 January 2019, the Israeli Law Enforcement Department handed al-Sabagh family a notice to evacuate their building, which shelters 5 families, including 45 persons. The Israeli Execution and Procedure Department gave the family until 21 January 2019 to evacuate the building. Mohammad al-Sabbagh (65) said that this notice came to implement Magistrate’s Court decision against al-Sabbagh family and in favor of settlers. This order came after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the family’s lawyer request to open Sheikh Jarrah’s ownership file and request for a 5-judge panel instead of 3. Mohammad al-Sabbagh confirmed that 48 families are threatened to be expelled in Karm al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah, where al-Sabbagh family lives from 1956. Al-Sabbagh family is one of 19 others who have cases pending in the Israeli courts. The settlement associations seek to expel Palestinian civilians from the aforementioned neighborhood.

Israeli Forces continued their settlement activities, and the settlers continued their attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

As part of settlement crimes and demolitions, 16 January 2016, Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to ‘Abed al-Hadi ‘Ali ‘Abiat (40), in Fasayil village, north of Jericho, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Abed al-Hadi said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli forces accompanied with military bulldozers moved into the village and surrounded his house without a prior warning. They forcibly got him and his children out of the house and then completely demolished the house. He added that his house was comprised of a 30-sqaure-meter room built with concrete and roofed with tin plates.

Following that, the Israeli forces moved into al-Nwei’amah village, north of Jericho, where they surrounded a house belonging to Soliman Abu Kharbeish and completely demolished it.  The house was comprised of 3 rooms, a kitchen and bathroom.

As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented during the reporting period 6 attacks carried out by Israeli settlers.  As a result, 1200 forest tree seedlings were damaged, a civilian car sustained damage and a Fieldworker at “B’tselem’” sustained wounds to his left leg and right hand after he was attacked by one of the Israeli settlers’ dogs in Um al-‘Omar area, east of Yata in southern Hebron.

Use of Force against Demonstrations in Protest against the U.S. President’s Decision to Recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:

 

Israeli forces continued its excessive use of lethal force against peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it was named as “The Great March of Return and Breaking Siege.” The demonstration was in protest against the U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration to move the U.S. Embassy to it. According to PCHR fieldworkers’ observations, the border area witnessed large participation by Palestinian civilians as the Israeli forces continued to use upon highest military and political echelons excessive force against the peaceful demonstrators, though the demonstration were fully peaceful. The demonstration was as follows during the reporting period:

 

 

Gaza Strip:

 

In the 42nd  week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians, including a woman and a child. They also wounded 143 civilians, including 34 children, 3 women, 3 journalists and 3 paramedics.  The injury of 3 of them were reported as serious. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Gaza City: Israeli forces killed Amal Mustafa al-Termassy (44) from al-Sheikh Redwan neighborhood in Gaza City after being hit with a live bullet to the head at approximately 15:50 while she was 200 meters away western the border fence with Israel. Moreover, the Israeli forces wounded 70 civilians, including 16 children and a journalist. Forty-nine civilians were hit with live bullets, 20 were directly hit with tear gas canisters and a civilian was hit with a rubber bullet. The wounded journalist namely Hussain ‘Abed al-Jawad Karssou’ (43) who works as a photojournalist at Global News, was hit with a tear gas canister to the head.

 

 

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrates resulted in the injury of 23 civilians, including 8 children and a paramedic. Six of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 17 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The injury of one of them namely ‘Abed al-Ra’oof Isma’il Mohammed Salha (13) from Jabalia refugee camp, was classified as critical. The wounded child was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the left side of the head, which resulted in severe bleeding and brain swelling and laceration. He was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, where he was admitted to intensive care unit (ICU) until his death was declared at approximately 05:00 on Monday, 14 January 2019. The wounded paramedic, Anas ‘Abed al-Latif Salha (26), who works at the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, was hit with a tear gas canister to the left hand.

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: Israeli forces firing live bullets and tear gas canisters, which continued until approximately 17:00, resulted in the injury of 14 civilians, including 3 children, 3 woman, and a journalist. One of them was hit with a live bullet, another one was hit with a rubber bullet and 12 others were directly hit with tear gas canisters. The wounded journalist identified as Hossny Fouad Hossny Salah (26), from al-Buraij refugee camp, was directly hit with a tear gas canister to the face.  Hossny works as a cameraman at the Agence France-Presse (AFP)

 

  • Khan Younis: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrates resulted in the injury of 23 civilians, including 4 children and a paramedic identified as Mustafa ‘Emad al-Senwar (22). Mustafa is a volunteer at and was hit with a tear gas canister to the neck. He was then admitted to the ICU at the Gaza European Hospital due to his serious health condition. It should be noted that last week, he was also hit with a tear gas canister to the right thigh.

 

  • Rafah: 13 civilians, including 3 children, were wounded. 3 of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 10 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. Moreover, an ambulance belonging to the Ministry of Health was hit with a live bullet damaging its rear window. The injury of one of the wounded civilians was classified as serious.

 

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday, 11 January 2019, started from the center of Kafur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyia, and then headed towards the eastern entrance to the village, which was closed from 15 days in favor of “Kedumim” settlement. The demonstrators chanted national slogans calling for ending occupation and condemning the Israeli forces‘crimes committed against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. The demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms. The Israeli soldiers fired sound bombs, rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, a photojournalist J’afar Zahed Ishtaya (46) was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg.
  • Efforts to Create A Jewish majority

 

Israeli forces escalated their attacks on Palestinian civilians and their property. They have also continued their raids on al-Aqsa Mosque and denied the Palestinians access to it:

 

Arrests and Incursions:

 

  • At approximately 15:00, on Tuesday, 19 January 2019, Israeli Police raided and searched a house yard belonging to Kareem Dawoud Hussein (30), from Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, in search for surveillance cameras. When the aforementioned civilian refused to allow them to enter the house without a court order, the police officers hit him on the head. As a result, he sustained wounds and then fainted. He was then taken into the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion. Kareem said that Ali Marwan lkalouti (26), his brother-in-law, who came to the house when he heard shouting, was arrested at 16:00 and released on bail at 22:00. The Israeli forces imposed a house arrest on ‘Ali for 3 days. Kareem also confirmed that his father Daoud Mohammad Hussein (70), was beaten when he tried to protect his son and refused to let them arrest him. Later, additional police officers were called for backup and they beat everyone in the yard. In addition, Kareem said that his wife Iman Abdul Latif Younis (28), a 3-month pregnant woman, was pushed when she was trying to reach her husband lying on the ground, unconscious and bleeding from the head. She was then taken to the hospital as she suffered a lot of pain and almost lost the child and remained for monitoring for 5 hours.

 

  • At approximately 09:25, on Monday 14 January 2019, a police officer attempted to enter the Dome of the Rock wearing a kippah, which is a symbol of Judaism. When al-Aqsa guards attempted to prevent him, Israeli forces raided the Dome of the Rock, closed it for 5 hours, prevented the worshipers from performing prayers and locked several guards and worshipper inside after closing the gates. At approximately 12:30, while worshipers gathered to protest against what happened, Sheikh ‘Omar Kiswani, director of al-Aqsa mosque, was severely beaten and then taken to the hospital. At 15:30, Dome of the Rock’s gates were reopened and the worshipers were allowed to perform prayers. Following that, the Israeli forces arrested 4 guards belonging to the Islamic Endowment Department (Awqaf). The guards were identified as Loai Abu Sa’ed, Yahia Shehada, Ahmad Abu ‘Alia and Fadi ‘Elian; and the civilian ‘Awad al-Salaima.

 

  • On Monday evening, Israeli forces moved into Baten al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided 2 houses belonging to Adam Abu Ramouz (15) and Baha’ Rajabi (19) and then arrested both of them, taking them to an investigation center in the city.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, on Wednesday, 16 January 2019, Israeli forces moved into Qalandia Refugee Camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Omar Zaied (26) and Mohammad Hammad and then arrested both of them.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Qatanna village, northwest of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Rami Ossama ‘Eissa (21) and then arrested him.

 

Seizing Palestinian Civilians’ Property in Favor of Settlement Associations

 

On Thursday morning, 10 January 2019, the Israeli Law Enforcement Department handed al-Sabagh family a notice to evacuate their building, which shelters 5 families, including 45 persons. The Israeli Execution and Procedure Department gave the family until 21 January 2019 to evacuate the building. Mohammad al-Sabbagh (65) said that this notice came to implement Magistrate’s Court decision against al-Sabbagh family and in favor of settlers. This order came after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the family’s lawyer request to open Sheikh Jarrah’s ownership file and request for a 5-judge panel instead of 3. Mohammad al-Sabbagh confirmed that 48 families are threatened to be expelled in Karm al-Ja’ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah, where al-Sabbagh family lives from 1956. Al-Sabbagh family is one of 19 others who have cases pending in the Israeli courts. The settlement associations seek to expel Palestinian civilians from the aforementioned neighborhood.

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 10:00, on Monday, 14 January, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit al-Jawaia, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. An Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Abdul Mutalib Hammad al-Nawaj’ a notice to stop construction works in an under-construction house built on an area of 100 square meters. Moreover, Moussa Hussein al-Shawaheen was handed a notice to stop construction works in a 60-sqaure-meter barrack and a water well, under the pretext of non-licensing. It should be noted that al-Jawaia area is located to the west of the bypass road (356) and adjacent to “Ma’oun” settlement established on civilians’ lands at the eastern side. Moreover, the Israeli authorities notify this area to stop construction works in addition to confiscating construction material as Khirbat al-Jawaia located within area classified as Area “C”.

 

  • At approximately 06:00, on Wednesday, 16 January 2016, Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to ‘Abed al-Hadi ‘Ali ‘Abiat (40), in Fasayil village, north of Jericho, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Abed al-Hadi said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli forces accompanied with military bulldozers moved into the village and surrounded his house without a prior warning. They forcibly got him and his children out of the house and then completely demolished the house. He added that his house was comprised of a 30-sqaure-meter room built with concrete and roofed with tin plates. ‘Abed al-Hadi pointed out that the Israeli forces handed him a demolition notice on 11 September 2018. He filed a case against the demolition decision, but he was surprised that the decision was carried out before the completion of legal procedures.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

 

  • At approximately 12:30, on Thursday, 10 January 2019, dozens of Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into ‘Ortah village, southeast of Nablus. The settlers performed their religious rituals in al-‘Auzairat in al-Sharda neighborhood in the center of Awarta. They damaged several tombstones of graves and later withdrew.

 

  • At approximately 16:00, on Friday, 11 January 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Homesh” settlement, northwest of Nablus, threw stones at a taxi belonging to al-Qassam Travel Company and damaged to its front and right side. The car is owned by Ahmad Jarra, from Jenin, and driven by Fareed M’arouf Fareed Jaber (48), from ‘Arraba, southwest of Nablus. Meanwhile, the car was coming back from Deir Sharaf village, west of Nablus, and heading to ‘Arraba village. Fareed’s wife, Sondos Mohammad Fareed Jaber (42), and their children Anas (11) and Hala (11) were with him in the taxi. They were then surprised with an ambush set up by 3 settlers, who were hiding behind a dumpster on the road at the entrance of the aforementioned settlement. They then threw big stones at them, causing fear among them.

 

  • At approximately 11:00, on Saturday, 12 January 2019, Naser Nawaj’a, a fieldworker at B’Tselem Center for Human Rights, was wounded to the left leg and right arm after he was attacked by a settler’s dogs in Um ‘Ammer area, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. Naser was along with some activists of Coexistence Organization and members of Maraqa family, who were plowing the land near “Otniel” settlement. Later, Naser was then taken to Yatta Hospital to receive treatment. Naser Nawaj’a said to PCHR’s fieldworker:

 

I headed to Um ‘Ammer area, near “otniel” settlement east of Yatta, with a group of civilians of Maraqa family who has around 4,000 dunams in the vicinity of the settlement, a part of which is suitable for winter planting. The families brought a tractor in order to till the land. At approximately 08:00, we arrived and found a group of activists of “Coexistence Organization” and Police, IDF and Civil Administration patrols in the area. The tractor started to till the land when the patrols left the place. At approximately 11:00, when the farmers were about to finish, Jay, an activist at “Coexistence Organization”, told me that a settler came towards us from the aforementioned settlement. Shortly after that, the settler arrived with 3 dogs. One of the dogs had a muzzle on. Later, the settler removed it and started to scream at Jay in Arabic, “Do not film me.” Jay stepped back and left the bag on the ground, and then the settler threw it at him. Meanwhile, one of the dogs attacked me and beat my right arm then the other attacked me and beat my left leg. Screaming, I took the dogs off me, while the settlers, with his dogs, left to the settlement. Within moments, the police patrols arrived and I saw one of them stopping and talking to the settler. The police officer asked me to file a complaint about happened while a Civil Administration officer said, “You are not allowed to be here and I should be arresting you.” After about 15 minutes, I left the area and headed to Yatta Governmental Hospital where I received treatment. At the same night, Jay, the land owner and I headed to the Israeli Police Station in “Kiryat Arba” east of Hebron and filed a complaint against the settlers. I still feel the pain in my leg and hand where my wounds are clear.”

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli settlers, from “Homesh” settlement, damaged 1200 forest trees seedlings, which were handed in the Agriculture Ministry in Nablus, to the Council of Burqa village, northeast of Nablus, in order to plant them in al-Kubaibat area, northwest of Burqa village. The seedlings were damaged before planting them.

 

  • At approximately 16:00, on Saturday, 12 January 2019, around 50 Israeli settlers gathered near the intersection of Taqqou’a village, southeast of Bethlehem. They then threw stones at the Palestinian vehicles. As a result, the Palestinian civilians were forced to stop at the entrance to Bethlehem until the settlers left late at night.

 

  • At approximately 15:00, on Monday, 14 January 2019, 50 Israeli settlers, under the Israeli forces’ protection, moved into the western entrance to Taqqou’a village, southeast of Bethlehem, and closed it while chanting racist slogans and holding Israel’s flags. The Israeli forces closed the area and prevented Palestinian vehicles from access. An hour and a half later, the settlers left the area and no other incidents were reported.

 

 

  • Recommendations to the International Community

 

PCHR warns of the escalating settlement construction in the West Bank, the attempts to legitimize settlement outposts established on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the continued summary executions of Palestinian civilians under the pretext that they pose a security threat to the Israeli forces. PCHR reminds the international community that thousands of Palestinian civilians have been rendered homeless and lived in caravans under tragic circumstances due to the latest Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that has been under a tight closure for almost 11 years. PCHR welcomes the UN Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334, which states that settlements are a blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions and calls upon Israel to stop them and not to recognize any demographic change in the oPt since 1967.  PCHR hopes this resolution will pave the way for eliminating the settlement crime and bring to justice those responsible for it. PCHR further reiterates that the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are still under Israeli occupation in spite of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan of 2005.  PCHR emphasizes that there is international recognition of Israel’s obligation to respect international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.  Israel is bound to apply international human rights law and the law of war, sometimes reciprocally and other times in parallel, in a way that achieves the best protection for civilians and remedy for the victims.

  1. PCHR calls upon the international community to respect the Security Council’s Resolution No. 2334 and to ensure that Israel respects it as well, in particular point 5 which obliges Israel not to deal with settlements as if they were part of Israel.
  2. PCHR calls upon the ICC this year to open an investigation into Israeli crimes committed in the oPt, particularly the settlement crimes and the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip.
  3. PCHR Calls upon the European Union (EU) and all international bodies to boycott settlements and ban working and investing in them in application of their obligations according to international human rights law and international humanitarian law considering settlements as a war crime.
  4. PCHR calls upon the international community to use all available means to allow the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination through the establishment of the Palestinian State, which was recognized by the UN General Assembly with a vast majority, using all international legal mechanisms, including sanctions to end the occupation of the State of Palestine.
  5. PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations to take all necessary measures to stop Israeli policies aimed at creating a Jewish demographic majority in Jerusalem and at voiding Palestine from its original inhabitants through deportations and house demolitions as a collective punishment, which violates international humanitarian law, amounting to a crime against humanity.
  6. PCHR calls upon the international community to condemn summary executions carried out by Israeli forces against Palestinians and to pressurize Israel to stop them.
  7. PCHR calls upon the States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC to work hard to hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
  8. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under article (1) of the Convention to ensure respect for the Conventions under all circumstances, and under articles (146) and (147) to search for and prosecute those responsible for committing grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions to ensure justice and remedy for Palestinian victims, especially in light of the almost complete denial of justice for them before the Israeli judiciary.
  9. PCHR calls upon the international community to speed up the reconstruction process necessary because of the destruction inflicted by the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
  10. PCHR calls for a prompt intervention to compel the Israeli authorities to lift the closure that obstructs the freedom of movement of goods and 1.8 million civilians that experience unprecedented economic, social, political and cultural hardships due to collective punishment policies and retaliatory action against civilians.
  11. PCHR calls upon the European Union to apply human rights standards embedded in the EU-Israel Association Agreement and to respect its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights when dealing with Israel.
  12. PCHR calls upon the international community, especially states that import Israeli weapons and military services, to meet their moral and legal responsibility not to allow Israel to use the offensive in Gaza to test new weapons and not accept training services based on the field experience in Gaza in order to avoid turning Palestinian civilians in Gaza into testing objects for Israeli weapons and military tactics.
  13. PCHR calls upon the parties to international human rights instruments, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), to pressurize Israel to comply with its provisions in the oPt and to compel it to incorporate the human rights situation in the oPt in its reports submitted to the relevant committees.
  14. PCHR calls upon the EU and international human rights bodies to pressurize the Israeli forces to stop their attacks against Palestinian fishermen and farmers, mainly in the border area.

Fully detailed document available at the official website of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR).

 

Who gets to vote in israel’s (apartheid state) version of democracy?

Who gets to vote in Israel’s democracy

Michael Omer-Man

Israel is about to hold elections, but not everyone living under Israeli rule gets to vote. A breakdown of who has rights and who doesn’t.

Archive photo of a Palestinian citizen of Israel casting a ballot in Abu Gosh, a village outside of Jerusalem, February 10, 2009. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Archive photo of a Palestinian citizen of Israel casting a ballot in Abu Gosh, a village outside of Jerusalem, February 10, 2009. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

On April 9, 2019, Israel will hold general elections. Israelis will head to the polls to choose their elected leaders and representatives. If they are unhappy with the way things are going, like citizens of democracies around the world, their votes will help shape the ideological and political direction of the government and the institutions it controls.

In a vacuum, that sounds like fairly standard democratic practice. But there is nothing standard about Israel’s democracy.

Israeli citizens get to vote in Israeli elections, choosing elected leaders and how they rule the country. But the Israeli government doesn’t just rule over Israeli citizens, or just over Israel, for that matter.

Nearly 14 million people live under Israeli rule. The extent of that control varies, as does the ability of those 14 million people to exercise control over the policies, personalities, and institutions that determine so much about their day-to-day lives.

At the end of 2018, the population of Israel was approximately 8,972,000 people. That includes more than 330,000 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem who do not have Israeli citizenship and thus do not have the right to vote in national elections. It also includes more than 214,000 Jewish Israeli citizens who live in occupied East Jerusalem and more than 435,000 Jewish Israelis who live in the occupied West Bank

Then there is the West Bank, which has been governed undemocratically by the Israeli military since it occupied the territory in 1967. Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed again and again, the Israel will not give up military control over the West Bank — ever.

In that territory, over which Israel plans to rule in perpetuity, live more than 2,623,000 Palestinians — over 2,953,000 including East Jerusalem Palestinians — who do not have the right to vote in Israeli elections. In the West Bank, Israel and its army are responsible for everything from road infrastructure, deciding who may live where, who may build where and what, who is allowed to move between different parts of the territory and when, who is allowed in and out of the West Bank, who is allowed to hold a political protest (only Jews), what the laws are and how they are enforced, and whether they will ever be granted independence.

Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers arrest a Palestinian woman after she allegedly tried to cross a checkpoint with a knife, Hebron, West Bank, on September 27, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Israeli soldiers and Border Police officers arrest a Palestinian woman after she allegedly tried to cross a checkpoint with a knife, Hebron, West Bank, on September 27, 2017. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

The 435,000 Jewish Israelis who live in the West Bank have the right to vote in elections that can determine every one of those policies. They have elected representatives who can work to rectify any grievances they might have regarding how those policies affect their lives. The 2,623,000 Palestinians living in the same territory do not have the right to vote in elections that determine any of those policies. When their lives are negatively affected by the democratic country that rules over so many aspects of their lives, they have zero recourse within that democratic system to address their grievances.

Then there is the Gaza Strip. Despite having withdrawn its troops from inside the Gaza Strip in 2005, Israel and its military still control a great number of significant aspects of life in the strip and the way it is governed. Israel determines what may be imported and exported; who can come in and out of the territory; and who can travel between the West Bank and Gaza. It has unilaterally claimed a buffer zone of farmland inside Gazan territory and enforces who may enter it; it determines and enforces limits to where Palestinian fishermen can fish; it controls the flow of electricity; and even had to give its permission for cash from a third country to be brought into Gaza to pay civil servants’ salaries.

None of the 1,961,000 people living in Gaza get to vote in the democratic elections that could affect those policies, including how much violence Israel uses against them.

Palestinians participate in the Great Return March near the Gaza-Israel fence, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, November 30, 2018. (Abdel Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinians participate in the Great Return March near the Gaza-Israel fence, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, November 30, 2018. (Abdel Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

So when Israel goes to vote this April, when everyone is talking about democracy, remember that out of the more-than 13,556,000 people whose lives are directly affected by Israeli policy, only 8,642,000, or around 64 percent of them have the right to participate in that democracy.

In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Israel exercises absolute and direct control on a daily basis, 650,000 Jewish settlers can vote while 2,953,000 Palestinians in the exact same territory cannot. Put differently, of the 3,603,000 people living in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, only 18 percent, or fewer than one in five can vote in the elections that affect almost every aspect of their lives.

And of the 6,463,000 Palestinians living under varying degrees of Israeli rule in territory fully or partially controlled by Israel, only 1,548,000 — 24 percent, or fewer than one in four — have the right to vote in Israeli elections.

Some statistical notes: Aside from the numbers of Jews and Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, which are from the end of 2016, and therefore can be assumed to be lower than the actual figures, all of the numbers given are official end-of-2018 projections published by the Palestinian Census Bureau and the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, respectively. Both agencies include Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem in their figures, so the aggregate numbers were adjusted accordingly in order to not double count. Lastly, the figures do not refer only to the population of voting age, but the entire population, and therefore does not technically refer to voter eligibility in the current election but rather to whether someone will ever have the right to vote under the current regime’s rules of suffrage. In addition, there is a small number of East Jerusalem Palestinians who have acquired Israeli citizenship over the years, in addition to a small number of Palestinian citizens of Israel who have moved to West and East Jerusalem

War on #BDS: How AIPAC-israel (apartheid state) agenda became US priority

War on BDS: How AIPAC-Israel agenda became US priority

Source: Middle East Monitor

The Israeli-US war declared on the Palestinian boycott movement is coming to a head, culminating in a well-orchestrated effort aimed at suffocating any form of tangible protest of the ongoing Israeli colonization of Palestine.

But an Israeli ‘victory’, even with blind US government support, is still too elusive if at all guaranteed. Killing unarmed protesters at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel is often whitewashed as Israel ‘defending itself’. However, legislating unconstitutional laws against the rights of ordinary people to boycott a state that practices war crimes might not be an easy endeavor.

The fact that 26 US states have already passed legislation or some form of condemnation of the civil act of boycott, as championed in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) should, in fact, raise more awareness of the iniquitous Israeli influence on the United States, rather than actually thwarting BDS.

The US Senate first bill of 2019 (S.B.1) titled: “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019” called on state and local governments to withhold contracts from any individual or business entity that boycotts Israel.

The bill was defeated, which is a promising sign. However, it must be noted as profound, if not altogether outrageous, that a country that is subsisting in a government shutdown and political crisis would find it both compelling and necessary to push for such a law in defense of a foreign country.

The bill will reappear again, of course. Alas, Americans should now get used to the idea that Israel’s priorities, however skewed and irrational in defense of its illegal military occupation of Palestine, will become the main rally cry for the US government for years to come.

While such a notion has proved true in the past, never before did ordinary Americans find themselves the main target in the political agenda of the far-right government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Even the mere protest of this agenda is being shunned. Iconic US civil rights activist, Angela Davis, 74, deservingly celebrated for her contribution to American society for decades, was denied an award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute because of her defense of Palestinians and support of BDS.

This witch-hunt, which has now reached the most admired intellectuals of American society is affecting ordinary citizens everywhere as well, which is an alarming development in Israel’s unchecked power in the United States.

But how did Israel and its supporters acquire such disproportionate influence over the US government and society as a whole?

In short, the Lobby.

Cheered on by American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other pro-Israel lobbies, the US Congress is now leading the Israeli war on Palestinians and their supporters. In the process, they are attempting to demolish the very core of American democratic values.

The build-up to this particular battle, which will certainly be accentuated in 2019, began when AIPAC declared in its “2017 Lobbying Agenda” (PDF) that criminalizing the boycott of Israel is a top priority.

Cuomo  | BDS | Israel

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting BDS against Israel. Kevin P. Coughlin | Office of Governor Cuomo

The US Congress, which has historically proven subservient to the Israeli government and its lobbies, enthusiastically embraced AIPAC’s efforts. This resulted in the Senate Bill S.720, also known as the “Anti-Israel Boycott Act”, which aimed to ban the boycott of Israel and its illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

The bill almost immediately gained the support of 48 Senators and 234 House members. Unsurprisingly, it was drafted mostly by AIPAC itself.

Punishment for those who violate the proposed law ranged from $250,000 to $1 million and 10 years imprisonment.

Anti-Palestinian measures in the US are nothing new. In fact, ardent support for Israel and the complete disregard for Palestinians is the only aspect which Democrats and Republicans have in common. It will remain to be seen if the inclusion of progressive and Muslim women in this current House lineup will change or at least challenge that reality.

For now, the sad truth is that the very individuals who were meant to guard the Constitution are the ones openly violating it. The First Amendment to the US Constitution has been the pillar in defense of the people’s right to free speech, freedom of the press, “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

This right has, however, often been curtailed when it applies to Israel. The Center for Constitutional Rights refers to this fact as “The Palestine Exception“.

Dire as it may seem, there is something positive in this. For many years, it has been wrongly perceived that Israel’s solicitation of American support against Palestinians and Arabs is by no means a foreign country meddling or interfering in the US political system or undermining US democracy.

However, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” is the most egregious of such interventions, for it strikes down the First Amendment, the very foundation of American democracy, by using America’s own legislators as its executors.

But none of this will succeed because simply put, noble ideas cannot be defeated.

Moreover, for Israel, this is a new kind of battle, one which it is foolishly attempting to fight using the traditional tactics of threats and intimidation and backed by blind US support.

The more the lobby tries to defeat BDS the more it exposes itself and its stranglehold on the American government and media.

Israel is no student of history. It has learned nothing from the experience of the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa. It is no surprise that Israel remained the last supporter of the Apartheid regime in that country before it fell.

For true champions of human rights, regardless of their race, religion or citizenship, this is their moment as no meaningful change ever occurs without people being united in struggle and sacrifice.

Top Photo | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 2018 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference, at Washington Convention Center, March 6, 2018, in Washington. Jose Luis Magana | AP

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His latest book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London, 2018). Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara. His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.

UN says israeli (apartheid state) government-backed groups ‘delegitimizing’ human rights NGOs

UN says Israeli government-backed groups ‘delegitimizing’ human rights NGOs
Israeli forces intervene in Palestinians with plastic bullets during a protest after Israeli forces made raid on houses and shops in Ramallah, West Bank on January 7, 2019. ( Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

A United Nations agency has stated humanitarian operations in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are being “undermined by delegitimization, access restrictions, and administrative constraints”.

According to UN OCHA, “attempts to delegitimize humanitarian and human rights organizations operating in the oPt, particularly NGOs, have been on the rise in recent years”.

This has had “a negative impact on the ability of these organisations to deliver assistance and advocate on behalf of Palestinian rights”, the agency added.

The situation is “further compounded by longstanding access restrictions imposed on humanitarian staff and operations, restrictive legislation and attacks on human rights defenders”, UN OCHA said.

UN OCHA believes that “the bulk of the delegitimization attempts have been advanced by a network of Israeli civil society groups and some associated organizations elsewhere, with the apparent support of the Israeli government”.

READ: Humanitarian aid is overtly politicised, just not in favour of the Palestinians 

“Targeted defamation and smear campaigns allege violations of counter-terrorism legislation and international law, or political action against Israel”, the statement continued.

According to UN OCHA, “most of these allegations are baseless or misrepresent and distort critical factual or legal elements”.

“Humanitarian organizations operating in the oPt adhere strictly to the principles of neutrality, impartiality, independence and humanity, and implement rigorous UN, donor and internal standards to ensure compliance with these principles, and all relevant bodies of law. Donor governments additionally impose guidelines that reflect political sensitivities in the oPt context”.

The “accusations being made against humanitarian organizations operating in the oPt have resulted in a range of negative impacts”, the agency elaborated, including “the allocation of time and resources to address allegations; some donors defunding certain activities to avoid risks; impediments by Israeli banks to the transferring of funds and procedures to close down accounts; refusal of Israeli venues to host events involving certain NGOs; and the potential undermining of information disseminated by organizations whose reputation has been damaged”.

When israelis Burn Babies

When Zio-Nazi Burn Babies

From the article Feeding The Monster by Philip Giraldi

A recent story illustrates just how horrible the Israelis can be without any pushback whatsoever coming from Washington objecting to their behavior. As the United States is the only force that can in any way compel Israel to come to its senses and chooses not to do so, that makes U.S. policymakers and by extension the American people complicit in Israel’s crimes.

The particularly horrible recent account that I am referring to describes how fanatical Jewish settlers burned alive a Palestinian family on the West Bank, including a baby, and then celebrated the deaths while taunting the victims’ surviving family when they subsequently appeared in court. The story was covered in Israel and Europe but insofar as I could determine did not appear in any detail in the U.S. mainstream media.

Israeli Jewish settlers carried out their shameful deed outside a court in the city of Lod, chanting “’Ali was burned, where is Ali? There is no Ali. Ali is burned. On the fire. Ali is on the grill!” referring to the 18-month old baby Ali Dawabsheh, who was burnt alive in 2015 by Jewish settlers hurling Molotov cocktails into a house in the West Bank town of Duma. Ali’s mother Riham and father Saad also died of their burns and were included in the chanting “Where is Ali? Where is Riham? Where is Saad? It’s too bad Ahmed didn’t burn as well.” Five year-old Ahmed, who alone survived the attack with severe burns, will have scars for the rest of his life.

Settlers
Demon-possessed land thieves (aka settlers) chant their satanic refrain

The settlers were taunting Ali’s grandfather Hussein Dawabsheh, who accompanied Ahmed, at a preliminary hearing where the court indicted a man who confessed to the murders and a minor who acted as an accomplice. A video of the chanting shows Israeli policemen standing by and doing nothing. The court appearance also revealed that there have been another Molotov cocktail attack by settlers on another Dawabsheh family house in May that may have been an attempt to silence testimony relating to the first attack. Fortunately, the family managed to escape.

And by all accounts this outrage was not the first incident in which the burning of the Palestinian baby was celebrated. A December 15th wedding video showedsettlers engaged in an uproarious party that featured dances with Molotov cocktails and waving knives and guns. A photo of baby Ali was on display and was repeatedly stabbed. A year later, 13 people from what became known as the “murder wedding” were indicted for incitement to terrorism, but as of today no one has actually been punished.

Israelis who kill Arabs are rarely indicted or tried. If it is a soldier or policeman that is involved, which occurs all too often, the penalty is frequently either nothing at all or a slap on the wrist. Indeed, the snipers who fired on Gazans recently were actually ordered to shoot the unarmed civilians and directed to take out anyone who appeared to be a “leader,” which included medical personnel.

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