The Inequitable Spirit of Zionism Grips the Globe

Zara Ali

In spite of how contemporary intellectuals tend to perceive Zionism depending upon their personal affiliations and individual inclinations, irrespective of the various known versions of this rather modern creed, and regardless of the assortment of interpretations presented as an argument by proponents of each, the truth of the matter is mankind has not furnished and history has not witnessed another idea as inherently devious and inhumane in its essence as Zionism – no matter how you sugar-coat it.  And you do not have to be an historian, academic, activist, or carry any other fancy intellectual title to understand this – you just have to be a human being with the most basic common sense and the most elementary concept of common civility.

Formally introduced to the world in 1897, ostensibly as a response to the rise of anti-semitism in Europe, Zionism essentially intended to infuse the world Jewry with the passion of pan-Jewish nationalism in a bid to Return to Zion i.e. to establish a Jewish homeland in the Promised Holy Land – a Jewish state in historic Palestine wherein Jews will no longer face the discrimination extended to their minority existence elsewhere.  This was Theodore Herzl’s (the founding father of the Zionist movement)‘secular’ answer to over 2,000 years of Jewish Diaspora all the while drawing upon Jewish religious connection to Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael.

Hence migration of European Jews to Palestine and the Jewish purchase of Palestinian land commenced with an aim to ‘create facts on the ground’ despite orthodox Jews’ initial opposition to Zionism.  As had been originally proposed by Zevi Hirsch Kalischeras, as far back as in 1836, the Rothschild embarked on a mission to grab Palestinian land by hook or by crook – employing deceptive tactics that are nowadays peddled as ‘cooperation from treacherous absentee Palestinian Arab landlords’.  The first Kibbutz was established in 1909 by European Jews and from 1922-35 the Jewish population, which had already risen from a meagre 3% in 1880 to 9% in 1922, soared as high as 27%.  During this period, the deep-seated Scriptural belief that Palestine was promised to them by God combined with the anti-Semitic effect of various ‘controlled conflicts’ instigated by Western Imperialism, remained critical in propelling Jews toward their ‘ancestral home’.

Well abetted by the clandestine Sykes-Picot Agreement that in 1916 proposed British and French ‘spheres of influence’ in a colonised South-western Asia in the aftermath of the yet to occur fall of Ottomans (1918-1922), the unstinting patronage extended by the infamous Balfour Declaration in 1917, and the cover of legitimacy provided by the League of Nations’ British Mandate of Palestine in 1923, not to forget Hitler’s rise to power in the run up to WW2, the migration of Jews on one hand and the rather strategic displacement of tens of thousands of Palestinians on the other, continued.  Arabs did raise their voice, and episodes of mob violence against the Jews also occurred, but by and large the Arab opposition to the British designs impelled by the Zionists, was ruthlessly suppressed.  The Arab revolt of 1936-39 was squashed by the British colonists not only by employing Zionist Militia but also by making effective use of the rather self-centred territorial interest of the disingenuous non-Palestinian Arab elite.  Despite the façade of the 1939 White Paper that limited Jewish migration and land purchase, in an alleged attempt to mark an end to the British-Zionist alliance, the clandestine affair between the two never came to an end at any point in time – not to this day.  By 1948 when the British Mandate of Palestine was about to end, the deliberate distribution of Jewish settlements which had progressively spread on the Palestinian lands, came to determine the map of partition proposed by United Nations  – later adopted by the UN General Assembly as Resolution 181.  The UN Plan of Partition awarded 55% of the land to Israel, encompassing many a cities with Palestinian Arab majority and the vital coastline from Haifa to Jaffa, thereby depriving the indigenous Palestinian population of key agricultural lands and seaports.  Arabs rejected the proposed partition, and argued it violated the principle of national self-determination outlined in United Nations’ charter however the Jewish Agency for Palestine accepted the same.  And soon after, the 1948 war broke out.  The British departed at the end of their Mandate (which interestingly coincided with the start of the war) but assisted by shipments of arms from the West, the Zionist paramilitary groups set out on the path of violent genocide – large scale attacks, massacres, destruction of entire villages – all aimed at expulsion of Palestinians from Eretz Yisrael.  The neighbouring Arab states i.e. Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Jordan invaded what was now Israel – they claimed they sought to save Palestine from the Zionists – the armistice agreements signed in 1949 and what ensued however did tend to suggest somewhat otherwise – with around 78% of historic Palestine confiscated by Israel, East Jerusalem and the hill country i.e. the West Bank ended up under Jordan while Egypt assumed control of the coastal plain around the Gaza strip effectually putting an end to the likelihood of a Palestinian state as initially proposed in the UN Partition Plan.  Despite the fact the state of Israel had been recognised by the international community (with the exception of 31 nations) based on its 1948 borders, following the second Arab-Israel war in 1967, Israel came to occupy not only the rest of Palestine i.e. East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, but also the Syrian Golan Heights and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.  And in spite of UN resolution 242 adopted in 1967, the Zionist state continues to occupy the aforementioned regions with the exception of Sinai.  Not only that, Israel in fact claims ‘innocence’ on the pretext that the status of these territories was ambiguous and that Israel took control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan while the Gaza strip was taken from Egypt’s dominion.  Essentially the pre-emptively dispersed expanse of less arable land, which was meant to constitute the Palestinian state as per the United Nations’ flawed Partition Plan in 1948, was first bestowed upon Jordan and Egypt in exchange of a truce in 1948 and then seized by the Zionist entity in 1967 when the passage of 19 years had efficaciously cooled down the heated uproar against the stealing of Palestine while the intensity of commotion caused by the merciless displacement of well over 700,000 Palestinians had been dampened partly because of the fast evolving Geo-political panorama and to a degree due to the increasingly selfish interests of the nations of the world.

With inordinate impunity furnished by a mute West and a meek East that have been held hostage to the absolute financial power of the Rothschild for at least a century, the Zionist entity has since brazenly persisted in its disdain for anything remotely humane, ethical, or rational.  The story of the colossal injustice perpetrated by it has unfolded progressively, and revealed the most ignoble facets of human existence.  It has not only exposed the unscrupulous spirit sitting at the core of Zionism itself, but also underlined the fact if permitted man’s weakness of flesh renders him rather predisposed to not only endorsing the most unlawful of acts but also glorifying them as the most virtuous.

Fernando Barral, the Spanish psychiatrist who in 1970 interviewed the deceased Zionist puppet, the decorated American War Veteran-Senator John McCain, thus articulated McCain’s psychological constitution:  “From the moral and ideological point of view he showed us he is an insensitive individual without human depth, who does not show the slightest concern, who does not appear to have thought about the criminal acts he committed against a population from the almost absolute impunity of his airplane…  I noted he was hardened, that he spoke of banal things as if he were at a cocktail party.”  Today the images of mockingly gleeful snipers of ‘the most moral army in the world’ defending a stolen territory with live ammunition, callously fired upon unarmed and effectively imprisoned rightful owners of the land, demanding their recognised right to return home (UN Resolution 194), categorically depict a similar psychological make-up – apparently quite naturally bred by Zionism.

Had there been no real time large-scale evidence falling in line with the aforementioned assessment, and had we observed only a few odd instances of behaviour characterised by an absolute lack of intellect and conscience at the individual level, we may not have been able to ascertain the nature of what actually sits at the core of Zionism and rules the Zionist mind-set.   And had not countless shameful tales emerged from the long history of brutality embodied by the actions of the Zionist entity subsequent to its unlawful inception, custodians of Zionism could have still had some weight to their argument.  But in the face of innumerable ignominious real time manifestations of pan-Jewish nationalism, not a hologram of occurrences in a different subset of time and space, and the unceasing exhibition of unscrupulousness on part of Israel and her lobbyists, allies and friends, it sounds ridiculously bizarre to continue contending the innocence and purity of Zionism’s nationalistic character.

In fact the attempt to debate the veracity of Zionism as a purely nationalist notion intended to unite world Jewry in the ‘Promised Holy Land’ and to ‘address threats toEretz Yisrael’ thereafter, only serves to highlight Zionism’s inherent inequity.  After all did not the initiators of the Zionist movement imagine to make ‘home’ for a marginalised people, adherents of Judaism, on a land that essentially belonged to someone else, because the self-proclaimed  ‘chosen race’ held the Scriptural belief this land had been promised to it by God? “Can you think of another historical moment when people ‘returned’ to an imaginary ‘homeland’ after 2,000 years and asked the indigenous population to move out to make room for the former ‘residents?”

The problem is truth is self-evident and it cannot be suppressed forever – you can just not kill the thing.  Unless one does not have qualms about living a deeply delusional existence, with a dysfunctional psyche, and a dead conscience, one may not find it possible to see Zionism as much more than an epitome of intellectual and moral depravity – a classic religio-political conglomerate, which remained in the making for eons before its deliberate conception in the 19th century and has since effectively dominated the globe, in unison with Colonialism and Capitalism – infusing planet earth with a very unwholesome spirit – the spirit of Pre-eminence and Exceptionalism – with the sole objective of world-wide subjugation of the common man to the coldblooded, illogical and decadent core of the Zionist psyche.  In fact it will not be an exaggeration to state the Zionist philosophy has made it permissible for ‘Might is Right’ to emerge as a widely practiced modern day norm – not just at the macro but also at the micro level – and nothing could have been more tragic for mankind than returning to the Law of the Jungle in the 21st century.

Thus today we literally have an ‘Axis of Evil’ that dominates the power centres of the modern world.  It comprises of the serpent-like 1% global elite in control of the treasure of an entire planet – it manipulates the common man only to rob him of his right to life – it wages wars indiscriminately at the drop of the hat wherever and whenever deemed profitable and under whichever pretext it fancies – it tramples upon the life and honour of entire nations leaving behind ardently created quagmires studded with five-star destruction and misery – it lies passionately and deceives unceasingly with outright contempt for human intellect – it infiltrates naïve minds with a plethora of unwholesome notions only to muddle the boundary between truth and falsehood and do away with the very notion of ‘right and wrong’.  And it does it all with the sole objective of transforming the mass population of this globe into a gathering of zombies, intellectually depraved and morally corrupt obedient slaves, who could be effortlessly employed to serve the will and the whim of the ‘chosen few’.

From Palestine to Kashmir injustice reigns – from Libya to Afghanistan discord rules – Iraq and Syria stand in absolute ruins – Yemen writhes under the burden of genocide – black lives in Africa never mattered and they still do not count – multitudes of migrants continue to pour into a Europe made affluent by the stealing of others’ wealth as they escape what now stands distraught by White man’s wars only to encounter hatred from other White men – and all the while the authors of this harrowing tale continue to dismiss ‘the whining yelpings of base-bred mongrel-multitudes’ with utmost arrogance thereby manifesting the rewritten Sermon on the Mount:

“Blessed are the Iron-handed, the unfit shall flee before them. Cursed are the Haters of Battle, subjugation is their portion”

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (21 February – 27 February)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations (21 – 27 February 2019)

01 Mar 6:13 AM

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 21 – 27 February, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip, and killed a Palestinian child in eastern Gaza City. 117 civilians, including 19 children, eight women, a journalist, and a paramedic, were wounded. The injuries of three were reported 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 48th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 117 civilians, including 19 children, 8 women, a journalist, and a paramedic, while participating in the Return March. The injury of three of them was reported serious. In the West Bank, 4 civilians, including a child, were wounded by the Israeli forces in different shooting incidents.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in new crime of excessive use of force, on 22 February 2019, Israeli forces killed Yousef al-Dayiah (14), from al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City. Yousef was wounded at approximately 16:50 after being hit with a live bullet to the chest while present 50 meters away from the border fence, east of al-Shuja’aiyia neighborhood. His death was declared at 18:10.

 

In the same context, Israeli forces wounded 117 civilians, including 19 children, 8 women, a journalist, and a paramedic. The injury of three of them was reported serious.

 

 

Injuries in the Gaza Strip from 21 to 27 February 2019 According to the Governorate

 

Governorate Injuries
Total Children Women Journalists Paramedics Critical Injuries
Northern Gaza Strip 29 6 4 0 0 2
Gaza City 51 7 4 0 0 0
Central Gaza Strip 13 2 0 0 0 0
Khan Yunis 22 4 0 1 1 1
Rafah 2 0 0 0 0 0
Total 117 19 8 1 1 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 11 incidents were as follows: 6 incidents in western al-Sodaniyia shore, 4 incidents off al-Waha resort and 1 incident off Khan Yunis shore.

 

  • As part of targeting the border areas, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah, opened fire at agricultural lands.

 

  • On 23 February 2019, =Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, east of Khan Yunis, opened fire at agricultural lands, east of Khuza’ah village.

 

  • On 25 February 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence with Israel, opened fire at Palestinian shepherds, east of Dir al-Balah in the center of the Gaza Strip. On 26 February 2019, the Israeli shooting recurred at agricultural lands, east of Dir al-Balah in the center of the Gaza Strip. No casualties and damages to property were reported.

 

  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded four Palestinian civilians, including a child and a journalist, in different shooting incidents.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 81 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 55 Palestinians, including 3 children. Moreover, the Israeli forces conducted a wide-scale arrest campaign in occupied East Jerusalem, where they arrested 73 civilians, including a child. Among the arrestees were the governor of Jerusalem, the two leaders Khader ‘Adnan and Tareq Qa’dan, and the two sheikhs ‘Abed al-‘Azim Suhlob and Najeh Bakirat. Moreover, the Israeli forces insulted Palestinian civilians, whose houses were stormed in addition to confiscating their money and vehicles.

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 24 February 2019, Israeli forces moved around 100 meters into the west of the border fence with Israeli, east of al-Buriej Camp in the center of the Gaza Strip.

 

On 26 February 2019, the Israeli forces moved 100 meters into the southeast of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli vehicles leveled and combed lands previously leveled.

 

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

 

  • As part of Israeli settlers’ attacks and demolition, on 21 February 2019, Israeli soldiers accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration Officer uprooted 300 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago from a plot of land belonging to al-Warasnah and al-‘Ayaydah familes in Was Aseer area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. The soldiers confiscated the seedlings under the pretext that the land belongs to the state lands.

 

On 27 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Khelet al-Dabi’ village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They uprooted 50 olive seedlings planted a year ago from a plot of land belonging to ‘Ali Mohamed Jaber Dababsah.

 

  • As part of the Israeli settlers’ attacks against the Palestinians civilians and their property, PCHR’s fieldworkers documented during the reporting period 4 attacks carried out by Israeli settlers. Those attacks were as follows:

 

On 21 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Talmoun” settlement, punctured the tires of 10 vehicles belonging to the residents of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. They also wrote 2 racist slogans and drew David Star on 2 of the mentioned vehicles.

 

On the same day, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus from the eastern side. The settlers were under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians, who gathered to confront the setters. As a result, Hamam Anwar ‘Abed al-Hafiz Shehahda (18), was hit with a stone to the right leg, causing rupture in ligaments and fracture in his right leg.

 

On 22 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Bani Qadim “ and “ Asfar“ settlement, which is established on Palestinian civilians’ lands, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron, uprooted 200 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago in Mares Ras al-Hait area.

 

On 23 February 2019, an Israeli settler attacked Husam ‘Abed al-Raheem Abu Hadeed (48) and punched him while heading to his work in the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee.

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:

 

 

 

On Friday, 22 February 2019; the 48th week of the March of Return and Breaking Siege activities, Israeli forces wounded 117 civilians, including 19 children, 8 women and a paramedic. The injuries of three of them were reported as serious. The incidents were as follows:

 

  • Northern Gaza City: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of 29 civilians, including six children and four women. Sixteen of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, eight were directly hit with tear gas canisters and five with rubber bullets. The injuries of two of them were reported serious while the others’ injuries were between moderate and minor.

 

  • Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the killing of Yussuf Sa’eed Hussein al-Daya (14), from Zeitoun neighborhood, east Gaza City. At approximately 16:30, Yussuf was hit with a live bullet to the chest while he was around 50 meters away from the border fence, east of Shuja’iyya neighborhood. His death was declared at 18:10. Furthermore, 51 civilians, including seven children and four woman were wounded. Twenty-three of them were hit were hit with live bullets and shrapnel, 25 with were directly hit with tear gas canisters and three with rubber bullets.

 

  • Central Gaza Strip: The Israeli shooting and throwing tear gas canisters at Palestinian demonstrators, which continued until 17:30, resulted in the injury of 13 civilians. Eight of them were hit with a live bullet and shrapnel and five were directly hit with tear gas canisters.

 

 

  • Khan Yunis: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators in Khuza’a village resulted in the injury of 22 civilians, including four children and a paramedic. Four of them were hit with live bullets and shrapnel and 18 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. Doctors classified the injury of one of them as serious others’ injuries were between moderate and minor. The wounded paramedic was identified as Fares Hassouna Ahmad al-Qedra (30), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the head, and the wounded journalist was identified as Muneeb Sameer Ahmad Abu Hatab (23), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the chest.

 

  • Rafah: The Israeli shooting at Palestinian demonstrators resulted in the injury of two civilians with live bullets and shrapnel.

 

 

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, on 22 February 2019, a peaceful demonstration started in front of ‘Ali al-Bakka’ Mosque. Dozens of civilians, from Hebron, along with local and international human rights defenders participated in the demonstration to commemorate the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre “the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre”. This massacre was carried out by an Israeli settler namely Baruch Goldstein against the worshipers at al-Ibrahimi Mosque on 25 February 1994. The demonstrators also called for opening al-Shohadah Street, which was closed since the mentioned date. The demonstration entitled: “Dismantle the Ghetto” and organized by national parties in the city. The participants raised Palestinian flags and banners calling for ending the closure in the center of Hebron and chanted national slogans. They then arrived at the municipality old building near Ossama Ibn al-Monqeth School and gathered, while a large force of Israeli soldiers were in the place. After that, the participants headed to the entrance to the closed al-Shuhada Street, where Shotir (al-Shuhahda) military checkpoint established. They chanted slogans for around 15 minutes in front of the checkpoint before throwing stone at the soldiers. Dozens of Israeli border guard officers fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the participants and stone-throwers and chased them on Wad al-Tuffah Street. As a result, many participants suffered tear gas inhalation. In the meantime, the Israeli border guard officers attacked press crews and prevented them from approaching the checkpoint. Moreover, the Israeli border guard officers pushed the participants by hands and threatened a number of them of opening fire at them if they present in the area. The young men continued to throw stones at the Israeli border guard officers, who fired rubber bullets at them. A number of the Israeli border guard officers surrounded the press crews, forced them to retreat and fired sound bombs at them. As a result, Mashhour Hassan al-Wahwah (35), a photojournalist at the Palestine News Agency “Wafa”, sustained shrapnel wound to his left foot. A journalist, Moss’ab Shawer al-Tamimy, said to the PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli border guard officers violently attacked the journalists, pushed them and shouted at them. He added that an Israeli border guard officer pointed the rifle at his chest and threatened him of opening fire at him if he would not leave. He added that the journalists were forced to leave after firing a sound bomb, which deliberately fell over them.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders headed to al-Naqar agricultural area, which is located in the northern side of al-Moghir village, northeast of Ramallah, in order to peacefully protest against Israeli settlers’ attempts to seize and confiscate Palestinians’ lands. When the Palestinian civilians arrived at the area, Israeli soldiers fired live and rubber bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs at the demonstrators. As a result, 3 civilians, including a child, were hit with live bullets and taken via a PRCS ambulance to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive treatment.
  • 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:

 

  • On Thursday, 21 February 2019, Israeli forces arrested 4 Palestinian civilians, from occupied Jerusalem, claiming that they participated in opening al-Rahma Gate. The arrested civilians identified as Fadi al-Motwer, Hijazi Abu Subieh, Jehad Qus, and Murad Misk were then taken to an investigation center in the city.

 

  • On Friday, 22 February 2019, Israeli forces raided dozens of houses in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. They then arrested 38 civilians and took them to an investigation center. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested civilians.

 

  • On Saturday, 23 February 2019, Israeli forces raided many houses in occupied East Jerusalem and its suburbs. They then arrested 4 civilians under the pretext of participating in opening al-Rahma Gate, which was closed since 2003 upon a court decision, in al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City. The arrested civilians were identified as Naser Qus, Head of Palestinian Prisoner’s Club; ‘Ali ‘Ajjaj; Hussni al-Kilani; and Samer al-Qabbani, a guard at the al-Aqsa Mosque.

 

  • On Sunday, 24 February 2019, Israeli forces arrested Shiekh ‘Abed al-‘Azim Suhlob, Khateeb of al-Aqsa Mosque; and Shiekh Najeh Bakirat; Director of Heritage Foundation  at al-Aqsa Mosque. Both of them were arrested under the pretext of participating in opening al-Rahma Gate. The Israeli authorities handed them a decision to deport them from the al-Aqsa Mosque for 7 days.

 

  • On Tuesday, 26 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Izariyia village, east of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched houses, from which they arrested Mahmoud Khakled Damdoum (25) and Ahmed Jawad Othman (14).

 

  • On Wednesday, 27 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to the governor of Jerusalem ‘Adnan Gaith and arrested them. He was then taken to al-Maskobiyia Police Center in West Jerusalem. On the same day evening, the Israeli forces released him upon the Magistrate Court decision.

 

  • On Wednesday, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyia village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. They raided and searched dozens of houses, arrested 22 civilians and then took them to investigation centers. PCHR keeps the names of the arrested civilians.

 

 

Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • On Thursday, 21 February 2019, Israeli soldiers accompanied with the Israeli Civil Administration Officer uprooted 300 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago from a plot of land belonging to al-Warasnah and al-‘Ayaydah familes in Was Aseer area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. The soldiers confiscated the seedlings under the pretext that the land belongs to the state lands. It should be noted that it was the second time that the Israeli forces and settlers attacked the lands. In February 2019, the Israeli settlers uprooted 400 olive seedlings from the mentioned plot of land. Before their withdrawal, they handed a notice to the family members, who arrived at the area, ordering them to evacuate the land during 45 days and challenge before the competent authorities.

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Thursday, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Ethna, west of Hebron, and stationed in the western area. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed Tayseer Mohamed Tamizah a notice to stop construction work in a 50-sqaure-meter agricultural room built with bricks, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • At approximately 11:00 on Monday, 25 February 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 vehicles and a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Qinan Nayyas area, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration officer handed 3 civilians notices to stop construction work in their houses, under the pretext of non-licensing in area classified as Area C, according to Oslo Agreement. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities targeted the lands of the mentioned area. In 2015, the Israel authorities declared the confiscation of 100 dunums from those lands under the pretext of being state lands. The notices were as follows:
    • A 180- square-meter house built of concrete and belongs to Mohamed Hamdan Hammad Haliyqah (32).
    • A 150-sqaure-meter under-construction house built of concrete and belong to Ahmed Jaber Mohamed Warasnah (28).
    • A 70-sqaure-meter house built of concrete and belongs to Mohamed Ahmed Warasnah (50).

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 27 February 2019, Israeli forces moved into Khelet al-Dabi’ village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. They uprooted 50 olive seedlings planted a year ago from a plot of land belonging to ‘Ali Mohamed Jaber Dababsah. Khelet al-Dabi’ village is located in the east of Yatta village, where 100 persons live. Most of the village’s houses are built with bricks and roofed with tine plates. The Israeli forces handed the village residents notices to stop construction work in addition to demolition notices. The Israeli forces also handed the residents decisions to evacuate their lands under the pretext of being state lands.

 

Israeli settlers’ attacks:

 

  • At Thursday dawn hours, on 21 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “ Talmoun” settlement, punctured the tires of 10 vehicles belonging to the residents of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. They also wrote 2 racist slogans and drew David Star on 2 of the mentioned vehicles. Akram Abu Fakhidah said to PCHR’s fieldworker that when they checked the surveillance cameras fixed on his shop door, it turned out that 2 masked persons one of them carrying a bag wrote slogans and punctured the tires of his truck. He added that the two persons wandered on the street, punctured the tires of vehicles parked on the street sides and wrote racist slogans. Akram stressed that the two persons were settlers because they wrote slogans in Hebrew and drew David Star. The attacked vehicles belong to:
    • Hamidan Mohamed Mahmoud Dar Sa’d.
    • Sa’d Mohamed Dar Sa’d.
    • Akram Abu Fakhidah.
    • Montaser Nofal.
    • Kareem Saleh Dar Sa’d.
    • Adham Mazloum.

 

  • At approximately 13:30 on Thursday, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yatizhar” settlement, attacked ‘Oreef village, south of Nablus from the eastern side. The settlers were under the Israeli forces’ protection. The settlers threw stones at Palestinian civilians, who gathered to confront the setters. As a result, Hamam Anwar ‘Abed al-Hafiz Shehahda (18), was hit with a stone to the right leg, causing rupture in ligaments and fracture in his right leg. He was then taken to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus.

 

  • On Friday, 22 February 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Bani Qadim “ and “ Asfar“ settlement, which is established on Palestinian civilians’ lands, east of al-Shayyoukh village, north of Hebron, uprooted 200 olive seedlings planted 2 years ago in Mares Ras al-Hait area. The olive seedlings belong to al-Warasnah Family. Yousef Warasnah (47) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “My family owns hundreds of dumuns in eastern al-Shayyoukh village. In the previous years, we planted part of the land with olive seedlings and reclaimed another part through funded projects. Two months ago, we planted 200 olive seedlings cost NIS 2300. On Friday, 23 February 2019, I headed with my family to plant olive seedlings. When we arrived at the land, we found the olive seedlings planted 2 months ago were uprooted and damaged. The Palestinian shepherds told me that the Israeli settlers uprooted the seedlings and damaged them.”

 

 

  • At approximately 07:30 on Saturday, 23 February 2019, an Israeli settler, who lives in a settlement outpost in Hebron’s Old City, attacked Husam ‘Abed al-Raheem Abu Hadeed (48) and punched him while heading to his work in the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee. As a result, he sustained bruises, swelling over left side of head and severe pain in his jaw. Husam said to PCHR’s fieldworker that: “I was heading to my workplace in Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, where I work as a warehouse secretary. I passed through Abu al-Rish checkpoint, south of the al-Ibrahimi Mosque. When I arrived at al-Shari’a Court, I saw a number of Israeli soldiers along with an Israeli settler in his twenties stood in the area. After I walked around 20 meters, the settler chased me and cursed me. Few minutes later, the settler attacked and punched me to my head. I shouted at the Israeli border guard officers, who were 20 meters away. They came and took the settler. I headed to my work and then went to a medical center, because I was suffering from swelling over the left side of my head and severe pain in my jaw.”

 

 

  • 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).

 

No Justification for israel (apartheid state) to Shoot Protesters with Live Ammunition: Report

No Justification for Israel to Shoot Protesters with Live Ammunition: Report
By United Nations Human Rights Council

GENEVA (28 February 2019): The United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory today presented its findings. The report focuses on the demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, referred to as the “Great March of Return and the Breaking of the Siege”.

“The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel,” said the Chair of the Commission, Santiago Canton of Argentina.

The Commission was mandated by the Human Rights Council in May 2018 to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in the context of the large-scale protests that began in Gaza on 30 March 2018. The Commission comprises Santiago Canton of Argentina (Chair), Sara Hossain of Bangladesh and Betty Murungi of Kenya.

More than 6,000 unarmed demonstrators were shot by military snipers, week after week at the protest sites by the separation fence.

The Commission investigated every killing at the designated demonstration sites by the Gaza separation fence on official protest days. The investigation covered the period from the start of the protests until 31 December 2018. 189 Palestinians were killed during the demonstrations inside this period. The Commission found that Israeli Security Forces killed 183 of these protesters with live ammunition. Thirty-five of these fatalities were children, while three were clearly marked paramedics, and two were clearly marked journalists.

According to the Commission’s data analysis, the Israeli Security Forces injured 6,106 Palestinians with live ammunition at the protest sites during this period. Another 3,098 Palestinians were injured by bullet fragmentation, rubber-coated metal bullets or by hits from tear gas canisters. Four Israeli soldiers were injured at the demonstrations. Four Israeli soldiers were injured at the demonstrations. One Israeli soldier was killed on a protest day but outside the protest sites.

“There can be no justification for killing and injuring journalists, medics, and persons who pose no imminent threat of death or serious injury to those around them. Particularly alarming is the targeting of children and persons with disabilities,” said Sara Hossain. “Many young persons’ lives have been altered forever. 122 people have had a limb amputated since 30 March last year. Twenty of these amputees are children.”

The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.

Unless undertaken lawfully in self-defence, intentionally shooting a civilian not directly participating in hostilities is a war crime. The Commission found reasonable grounds to believe that individual members of the Israeli Security Forces, in the course of their response to the demonstrations, killed and injured civilians who were neither directly participating in hostilities, nor posing an imminent threat. These serious human rights and humanitarian law violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The Commission took note of the Israeli claim that the protests by the separation fence masked “terror activities” by Palestinian armed groups. The Commission found however that the demonstrations were civilian in nature, with clearly stated political aims. Despite some acts of significant violence, the Commission found that the demonstrations did not constitute combat or military campaigns.

The applicable legal framework was thus based in international human rights law. This assessment did not change even though the commission’s investigation revealed that some demonstrators were members of organized armed groups.  Others were members of political parties.  International human rights law prohibits the use of force based solely on a person’s actual or alleged affiliation to any group, rather than their conduct.

The Commission found that some members of the Higher National Committee organising the protests, which includes Hamas representatives, encouraged or defended demonstrators’ use of indiscriminate incendiary kites and balloons, causing fear among civilians and significant damage to property in southern Israel. The Commission concluded that Hamas, as the de facto authority in Gaza, failed to prevent these acts.

The Commission conducted 325 interviews with victims, witnesses and sources, and gathered more than 8,000 documents. An integral part of the investigation was comprehensive analysis of social media, and of vast amounts of audio-visual material showing incidents, including drone footage.

The Commission was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to focus on accountability and identify those responsible for violations and alleged international crimes.

“The Commission will place the relevant information in a confidential file to be handed over to the High Commissioner of Human Rights, to provide access to this information to national and international justice mechanisms. The International Criminal Court is already concerned with this situation,” said Betty Murungi.

As the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return on 30 March draws closer, the Commissioners urged all concerned to exercise restraint.

The large-scale killing and maiming of 30 March last year, when 18 people were killed and over 700 people shot, and of 14 May, when 60 people were killed and over 1100 people shot, must not be repeated. “The shooting must stop,” said Sara Hossain.

“The onus is now on Israel to investigate every protest-related killing and injury, promptly, impartially and independently in accordance with international standards, to determine whether war crimes or crimes against humanity were committed, with a view to holding accountable those found responsible”, said Santiago Canton. “We also urge the organisers, the demonstrators, and the de facto authorities in Gaza, to ensure that the Great March of Return is entirely peaceful, as it is intended to be.”

“The Commission finds that these protests were a call for help from a population in despair”, Santiago Canton reminded. “Not only Israel but also the de facto authorities led by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have responsibilities towards them. The Commission calls on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza, and on all three duty bearers to comply with their responsibilities and improve the living situation in Gaza.”

The Israeli authorities did not respond to repeated requests by the Commission for information and access to Israel and to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

A fuller report, containing detailed factual and contextual information and legal analysis will be published and presented to the Human Rights Council on 18 March 2019 in Geneva.

-ENDS

To access the Commission’s short report and for more information, visit the report’s webpage.

Media Contacts:
Johan Eriksson: +41 76 691 10 82, mediacoioptprotests@ohchr.org
Rolando Gómez: +41 22 917 97 11, rgomez@ohchr.org
Cédric Sapey: +41 22 917 9845, csapey@ohchr.org

Media interviews can be requested at number +41 22 917 81 82

B-roll for broadcasters can be downloaded here:
Video 1 (Incident Compilation at Gaza separation fence during protests)
Video 2 (Ahmad Abu Artema: the Reasons; The Voice from the Other Side of the Fence) [shotlist & storyline]
Video 3 (Minors injured) [shotlist & storyline]
More videos are also available on: http://www.youtube.com/c/UNHumanRightsCouncil

The press conference will be carried live on http://webtv.un.org/  and live broadcast

More broadcast material will be available at https://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/

Netanyahu Finds israeli (apartheid state) Ultra-Right Parties Suited to His Political Purposes

Netanyahu Finds Israeli Ultra-Right Parties Suited to His Political Purposes

The members of Otsma Yehudit are thugs and some have been designated as terrorists, and Netanyahu has more stately manners. But their objectives and their actions are in perfect sync.

JERUSALEM, OCCUPIED PALESTINE As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters into an alliance with the Israeli equivalent of neo-Nazis, media outlets — including the Washington Post and The Forward — and even AIPAC express uneasiness. However, for Netanyahu, this political partnership makes sense ideologically and politically. Netanyahu shares the racist-nationalist ideology of these extremist groups and, since there is a mad rush to the right within Israel’s political parties, Netanyahu, wanting to win the race, is now in an alliance with the most right-wing group on the Israeli political map — and that is saying a lot!

The Partners

Otsma Yehudit, or Jewish Might, states in its party platform, in the “Enemies of Israel” section:

The fight against the enemies of Israel will be toal and without compromise. There will be no compromises or negotiations. The party will act to enforce Israeli sovereignty on all parts of Eretz Israel that were liberated in the 1967 war and it will work to sort out the status of the enemies of Israel in the Arab states that surround Israel.”

The platform also states that the party will act to see that all the enemies of Israel will emigrate and leave the country, returning to their countries of origin — and this out of a desire to keep Israel’s Jewish character. The party will fight without compromise to end the theft of land and will act to redeem the lands of Israel in the Naqab, the Galilee and elsewhere in the spirit of the JNF.

On the issue of Government and Morals, the charter states that the Jewish character of the state will take precedence over any “universal values:” “We do not wish to lose the Jewish state by war or peace or Western Democracy.”

To clarify some of the terminology, the “enemies of Israel” are the Palestinians, whom this party calls to expel. Their countries of origin are, according to this party, other Arab states. The general prevailing view among radical Zionists is that Palestine belongs to the Jews and that the Palestinians are invaders

The JNF, or Jewish National Fund, has been the major force behind Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the covering of destroyed Palestinian villages with forests. On its website JNF claims that “We planted more than a quarter-billion trees in what was once a barren desert.” Which is true — except for the part about it being a barren desert. JNF further states that “We see the Negev and Galilee regions blooming with new families attracted by vibrant communities, meaningful work and affordable housing.” Again this is true — except for the fact that these new vibrant communities exclude the indigenous Palestinian Bedouin for whom the Naqab has been home since time immemorial. Furthermore, all of the development takes place on Bedouin lands.

Habayit Hayehudi (the Jewish Home) was established by Naftali Bennett, who now serves as Minister of Education. Bennett left the party to create a new party — a secular, right-wing party for “Israeli, right-wing Jews” — called “Yamin Hadash” or New Right.

Though one is a religious party using religious values as its core values, and the other calls for unity between religious and secular Israeli Jews, on the issue of the Land of Israel they are identical: The Land of Israel belongs to the Jews; Jews and only Jews have national rights on the land; there will be no compromises or negotiations on the land; settling the land with Jews is a national priority. They also claim they believe that minorities should have citizenship rights.

This last clause is problematic because if it is a Jewish state with Jewish symbols and priority is given to the settling of the land with Jews, this already negates the possibility that equal rights will be offered to the minorities. These minorities, who are the Palestinians, are in fact the majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, so once again there is a clear inconsistency here that can be attributed to the fact that they have no intention of giving any rights to Palestinians.

In addition to that, Palestinians, being the indigenous people of the land, should be provided not only citizenship rights but national rights.

Though these two parties are now running against each other, it is likely that they will sit together in a coalition government once Netanyahu is elected.

 

The main player

The only stable party that remains significant in today’s Israeli political map is the Likud party, which is headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Its charter resembles that of the other parties, which so many find hard to stomach:

Protecting the rights of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel as an eternal and unquestionable right. Developing and settling all parts of the land of Israel and extending Israeli sovereignty onto all parts of the Land of Israel.”

The Likud too calls for equal rights to all citizens and encouraging minorities to be included in the state. Since the Likud has a history of governing otherwise, particularly in the last decade under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, it is clear that these calls are merely lip service.

 

Hypocrisy

In an interview I gave recently, I stated that the entire orchestra of people and organizations that criticize Netanyahu for his political alliance with these right-wing parties is pure hypocrisy. He shares their ideology and it makes political sense for him to align with them. Comparing them to the KKK or to Neo-nazis is not wrong, but one must remember that they are the cutting edge of Zionism and the State of Israel.

They are the “soldiers” who push the limits and allow the official state policies to move forward. The members of Otsma Yehudit are thugs and some have been designated as terrorists, and Netanyahu has more stately manners. But their objectives and their actions are in perfect sync.

Top Photo | An election campaign poster with the image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lies among ballot papers at his party’s election headquarters, in Tel Aviv. Dan Balilty | AP

Miko Peled is an author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. He is the author of “The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

israel (apartheid state) says “No” to clean running water for Palestinian villages

Israel says “No” to clean running water for Palestinian villages

Israel says “No” to clean running water for Palestinian villages

While illegal, unauthorized Israeli settlements nearby enjoy full access to water, twelve Palestinian villages lose their water supply as Israeli forces systematically destroy their EU-donated water system.
On February 13, 2019, Israeli forces arrived near the village of a-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills. The forces used excavating equipment to unearth and destroy stretch of pipe, which was laid just months ago and supplied water to over 1,000 Palestinians. Residents say that without the system, “water has become every family’s largest expense.”

by Amira Hass, Ha’aretz

The dream that came true, in the form of a two-inch water line, was too good to be true. For about six months, 12 Palestinian West Bank villages in the South Hebron Hills enjoyed clean running water. That was until February 13, when staff from the Israeli Civil Administration, accompanied by soldiers and Border Police and a couple of bulldozers, arrived.

The troops dug up the pipes, cut and sawed them apart and watched the jets of water that spurted out. About 350 cubic meters of water were wasted. Of a 20 kilometer long (12 mile) network, the Civil Administration confiscated remnants and sections of a total of about 6 kilometers of piping. They loaded them on four garbage trucks emblazoned with the name of the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan on them.

The demolition work lasted six and a half hours. Construction of the water line network had taken about four months. It had been a clear act of civil rebellion in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King against one of the most brutal bans that Israel imposes on Palestinian communities in Area C, the portion of the West Bank under full Israeli control. It bars Palestinians from hooking into existing water infrastructure.

A little background

The residential caves in the Masafer Yatta village region south of Hebron and the ancient cisterns used for collecting rainwater confirm the local residents’ claim that their villages have existed for decades, long before the founding of the State of Israel. In the 1970s, Israel declared some 30,000 dunams (7,500 acres) in the area Firing Range 918.

In 1999, under the auspices of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the army expelled the residents of the villages and demolished their structures and water cisterns. The government claimed that the residents were trespassing on the firing range, even though these were their lands and they have lived in the area long before the West Bank was captured by Israel.

When the matter was brought to the High Court of Justice, the court approved a partial return to the villages but did not allow construction or hookups to utility infrastructure. Mediation attempts failed, because the state was demanding that the residents leave their villages and live in the West Bank town of Yatta and come to graze their flocks and work their land only on a few specific days per year.

But the residents continued to live in their homes, risking military raids and demolition action — including the demolition of public facilities such as schools, medical clinics and even toilets. They give up a lot to maintain their way of life as shepherds, but could not forgo water.

“The rainy season has grown much shorter in recent years, to only about 45 days a year,” explained Nidal Younes, the chairman of the Masafer Yatta council of villages. “In the past, we didn’t immediately fill the cisterns with rainwater, allowing them to be washed and cleaned first. Since the amount of rain has decreased, people stored water right away. It turns out the dirty water harmed the sheep and the people.”

Palestinian children fill plastic gallons with drinking water from a vendor in Khan Younis. (AP)

Because the number of residents has increased, even in years with abundant rain, at a certain stage the cisterns ran dry and the shepherds would bring in water by tractor. They would haul a 4 cubic meter (140 square foot) tank along the area’s narrow, poor roads — which Israel does not permit to have widened and paved. “The water has become every family’s largest expense,” Younes said.

In the village of Halawa, he pointed out Abu Ziyad, a man of about 60. “I always see him on a tractor, bringing in water or setting out to bring back water.”

Sometimes the tractors overturn and drivers are injured. Tires quickly wear out and precious work days go to waste. “We are drowning in debt to pay for the transportation of water,” Abu Ziyad said.

In 2017, the Civil Administration and the Israeli army closed and demolished the roads to the villages, which the council had earlier managed to widen and rebuild. That had been done to make it easier to haul water in particular, but also more generally to give the villages better access.

The right-wing Regavim non-profit group “exposed” the great crime committed in upgrading the roads and pressured the Civil Administration and the army to rip them up. “The residents’ suffering increased,” Younes remarked. “We asked ourselves how to solve the water problem.”

The not very surprising solution was installing pipes to carry the water from the main water line in the village of Al-Tuwani, through privately owned lands of the other villages. “I checked it out, looking to see if there was any ban on laying water lines on private land and couldn’t find one,” Younes said.

Work done by volunteers

The plumbing work was done by volunteers, mostly at night and without heavy machinery, almost with their bare hands. Ali Debabseh, 77, of the village of Khalet al-Daba, recalled the moment when he opened the spigot installed near his home and washed his face with running water. “I wanted to jump for joy. I was as happy as a groom before his wedding.”

Umm Fadi of the village of Halawa also resorted to the word “joy” in describing the six months when she had a faucet near the small shack in which she lives. “The water was clean, not brown from rust or dust. I didn’t need to go as far as the cistern to draw water, didn’t need to measure every drop.”

Now it’s more difficult to again get used to being dependent on water dispensed from tanks.

The piping and connections and water meters were bought with a 100,000 euro ($113,000) European donation. Instead of paying 40 shekels ($11) per cubic meter for water brought in with water tanks, the residents paid only about 6 shekels for the same amount of running water. Suddenly they not only saved money, but also had more precious time.

The water lines also could have saved European taxpayers money. A European project to help the residents remain in their homes had been up and running since 2011, providing annual funding of 120,000 euros to cover the cost of buying and transporting drinking water during the three summer months for the residents (but not their livestock).

The cost was based on a calculation involving consumption of 750 liters per person a month, far below the World Health Organization’s recommended quantity. There are between 1,500 and 2,000 residents. The project made things much easier for such a poor community, which continued to pay out of its own pocket for the water for some 40,000 sheep and for the residents’ drinking water during the remainder of the year. Now that the Civil Administration has demolished the water lines, the European donor countries may be forced to once again pay for the high price of transporting water during the summer months, at seven times the cost.

For its part, the Civil Administration issued a statement noting that the area is a closed military zone. “On February 13,” the statement said, “enforcement action was taken against water infrastructure that was connected to illegal structures in this area and that were built without the required permits.”

Ismail Bahis should have been sorry that the pipes were laid last year. He and his brothers, residents of Yatta, own water tankers and were the main water suppliers to the Masafer Yatta villages. Through a system of coupons purchased with the European donation, they received 800 shekels for every shipment of 20 cubic meters of water. But Bahis said he was happy he had lost out on the work.

“The roads to the villages of Masafer Yatta are rough and dangerous, particularly after the army closed them,” he said. “Every trip of a few kilometers took at least three and a half hours. Once I tipped over with the tanker. Another time the army confiscated my brother’s truck, claiming it was a closed military zone. We got the truck released three weeks later in return for 5,000 shekels. We always had other additional expenses replacing tires and other repairs for the truck.

Nidal Younes recounted that the council signed a contract with another water carrier to meet the demand. But that supplier quit after three weeks. He wouldn’t agree to drive on the poor and dangerous roads.

On February 13, Younes heard the large group of forces sent by the Civil Administration beginning to demolish the water lines near the village of Al-Fakhit. He rushed to the scene and began arguing with the soldiers and Civil Administration staff.

Border Police arrests

Border Police officers arrested him, handcuffed him and put him in a jeep. His colleague, the head of the Al-Tuwani council, Mohammed al-Raba’i, also approached those carrying out the demolition work to protest. “But they arrested me after I said two words. At least Nidal managed to say a lot,” he said with a smile that concealed sadness.

Two teams carried out the demolition work, one proceeding toward the village of Jinbah, to the southeast, the second advanced in the direction of Al-Tuwani, to the northwest. They also demolished the access road leading to the village of Sha’ab al-Butum, so that even if Bahis wanted to transport water again, he would have had to make a large detour to do so.

Younes was shocked to spot a man named Marco among the team carrying out the demolition. “I remembered him from when I was a child, from the 1980s when he was an inspector for the Civil Administration. In 1985, he supervised the demolition of houses in our village, Jinbah — twice, during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr [marking the end of the Ramadan holy month],” he said.

“They knew him very well in all the villages in the area because he attended all the demolitions. The name Marco was a synonym for an evil spirit. Our parents who saw him demolish their homes, have died. He disappeared, and suddenly he has reappeared,” Younes remarked.

Marco is Marco Ben-Shabbat, who has lead the Civil Administration’s supervision unit for the past 10 years. Speaking to a reporter from the Israel Hayom daily who accompanied the forces carrying out the demolition work, Ben-Shabbat said: “The [water line] project was not carried out by the individual village. The Palestinian Authority definitely put a project manager here and invested a lot of money.”

More precisely, it was European governments that did so.

From all of the villages where the Civil Administration destroyed water lines, the Jewish outposts of Mitzpeh Yair and Avigayil can be seen on the hilltops. Although they are unauthorized and illegal even according to lenient Israeli settlement laws, the outposts were connected almost immediately to water and electricity grids and paved roads lead to them.

“I asked why they demolished the water lines,” Nidal Younes recalled. He said one of the Border Police officers answered him, in English, telling him it was done “to replace Arabs with Jews.”


Amira Hass is a Ha’aretz correspondent

Britons who fight for israel (apartheid state) must also be held to account when they return to the UK

Britons who fight for Israel must also be held to account when they return to the UK

Israel soldiers fire tear gas at Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank city of Hebron on 16 November 2012 [ Wisam Hashlamoun/Apaimages]

By Yvonne Ridley | MEMO | February 25, 2019

The thorny issue of foreign soldiers serving in the Israeli military is back in the headlines, triggered by the debate over the future of Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who ran away from home to join terror group Daesh in Syria. Thousands of young men and women from around the world, including Britain, Canada and America, volunteer to fight in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), which faces regular accusations of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and human rights abuses. The IDF’s treatment of Palestinians is brutal, even for an occupation army.

A letter written by the Britain’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, back in 2014 to the then Home Secretary Theresa May has just resurfaced. “I am aware of the Government’s policy of detaining and prosecuting those British citizens travelling to fight in the current Middle East conflicts,” wrote the Labour MP. “Will you be warning any British citizens considering engagement with the IDF that, in line with established British Government practice (e.g. the deprivation of British citizenship from, to date, at least 40 UK passport holders who have been involved in the Syrian civil war), such engagement may put their British citizenship in jeopardy?”

McDonnell wrote to May given the seriousness of the then Israeli military offensive on the Palestinians in Gaza and the apparent escalation of Israeli attacks. “I urge you to address these questions promptly so that any British citizen currently participating or planning to participate in these attacks is warned of the potential consequences and thus may be deterred from acting in this way.” He demanded that action should be taken against British-Israeli dual nationals, pointing out that some may even be implicated in war crimes, at the height of the aerial bombardment on Gaza in which hundreds of innocent women, men and their children were killed.

Several years down the line, and now Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, once one of the most powerful Muslim women in the British government, has said that British citizens who volunteer for the Israeli army should be prosecuted like others who fight for foreign forces. The former Senior Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs said that people should only be legally allowed to fight for the country where they are registered as a citizen. Warsi quit her role in the Foreign Office back in 2014 after calling the war in Gaza “morally indefensible”. Since then she appears to have been airbrushed from Conservative Party politics.

The British government’s current policy on the issue is, suggested Baroness Warsi, flawed and contains loopholes. “If you go out there and fight for any group,” she explained, “you will be subject to prosecution when you get back. If you go out and fight for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, I presume, under our law, that is okay. That can’t be right.” She claimed that the only reason we allow the loophole to exist is because of the IDF. “We are not brave enough to say that if you hold British citizenship, you make a choice. You fight for our state only.” The Yorkshire-born baroness said that this message has to go out loud and clear. She has made her views known at a time when Muslims in Britain continue to face questions about their loyalty.

“We don’t talk about it in relation to other communities,” she added. “We accept that other communities hold multiple identities. Let’s just shut down this loophole. If you don’t fight for Britain, you do not fight.”

Mick Napier, a co-founder of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) pointed out that Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the United Nations all consider the IDF to be guilty of the most egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Clearly any British citizens serving in that army have questions to answer because they may have witnessed or been involved in war crimes. This must not be swept under the carpet.”

Indeed, he added, there is “well-documented evidence” of war crimes carried out by Israel on the Palestinian people and their children. “Those involved should be held to account under international law. Israel’s soldiers, regardless of nationality, like the misguided characters who joined Daesh, have to be held accountable for their actions.”

IDF recruits don’t necessarily have to be born in Israel or even hold dual citizenship. Anyone can join through the so-called “Mahal” programme if they meet specific background and age requirements. While British citizens fighting for some foreign forces have faced prosecution on their return to Britain, those who temporarily join up with the IDF have not. Nor have those fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria faced prosecution even though Britain’s NATO ally Turkey regards many of the Kurdish militia groups as terrorist organisations.

Israel’s Mahal initiative is for men under the age of 24 and women under 21. Applicants don’t have to hold Israeli citizenship or even be practising Jews. If they can prove that they have at least one Jewish grandparent they can sign up for 18 months in the IDF.

The whole question of loyalty and citizenship has been in the headlines a lot over the past few days. It can have serious implications. Last week, for example, an American appeal court ruled that a $1 billion lawsuit by Palestinians and Palestinian Americans against casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and other supporters of Israel for genocide and other war crimes can go forward. The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court ruling dismissing the case because it felt that a court could not rule on political and foreign policy issues.

The lawsuit, reported MEMO, alleges a conspiracy by the pro-Israel defendants to expel non-Jews from the West Bank and Jerusalem, and accused them of committing or aiding in genocide and other war crimes. The other defendants named in the lawsuit include Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison, Bank Leumi and Bank Hapoalim; construction and support companies such as Hewlett Packard and Volvo; and 13 non-profit organisations. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said that the court can decide whether the defendants named in the lawsuit conspired to remove non-Jews from the West Bank or committed war crimes “without touching the sovereignty question, if it concluded that Israeli settlers are committing genocide.”

Meanwhile, the British Government will this week ask MPs to outlaw membership or support for Lebanon’s Hezbollah in any form; those who ignore the new legislation will face up to 10 years’ in prison. The plan to extend the existing ban on Hezbollah’s military wing to the organisation as a whole, even though Hezbollah MPs serve in the government, in Beirut will be discussed on Friday.

The British government announced that the group will be “proscribed” from this Friday as a terrorist organisation over its “attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East”; ministers claim that they can no longer distinguish between Hezbollah the political party and its already-banned military wing.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who is embroiled in the citizenship row over runaway Daesh bride Shamima Begum, announced the move. “My priority is to protect the British people,” he claimed. “As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology, which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.”

Other groups earmarked for British designation as terrorist organisations include Ansaroul Islam and JNIM, which operate in the Sahel region in Africa; and the Turkish Marxist-Leninist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKC), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front/Armed Propaganda Units (DHKC/SPB), which are aliases of the Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Party—Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi-Cephesi) which is already proscribed. Organisations which are believed to be aliases of Daesh, including: Jaysh Khalid Bin Walid and Khalid Ibn Walid Army, are also scheduled to be banned by the British.

Will a strong stance be taken against British citizens who enlist in the Israel Defence Forces? It is unlikely, given the strong Zionist leanings of government ministers and MPs across the House of Commons. It is not that long ago, remember, that the British government changed the procedures governing universal jurisdiction to accommodate visits by Israeli politicians believed to be responsible for war crimes.

This is not about saying that those fighting for Daesh are the same as those in IDF uniforms. It is about having laws and applying the law to everyone. IDF members have, literally, got away with murder for many years. The British government must apply the same principles to everyone, so that Britons who fight for Israel will also be held to account when they return to the UK. Isn’t that what democracy and the rule of law is all about?

Has the Elite’s Slavish pro-israel (apartheid state) Agenda Finally Gone Too Far?

Has the Elite’s Slavish pro-Israel Agenda Finally Gone Too Far?

By Craig Murray | February 25, 2019

Hezbollah’s defeat of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the July war of 2006 was heroic and an essential redress to the Middle East power balance. I supported Hezbollah’s entirely defensive action then and I continue to applaud it now. That, beyond any shadow of a doubt, makes me guilty of the criminal offence of “glorifying terrorism”, now that Sajid Javid has proscribed Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. I am unrepentant and look forward to the prosecution.

A large majority of the public, and certainly almost everyone who remembers that 2006 invasion, would revolt from my being prosecuted on those grounds. The very absurdity of it is a sure measure that Sajid Javid has simply gone too far in naming Hezbollah – the legitimate political party representing in parliament the majority rural population in Southern Lebanon – as a terrorist organisation.

Together with the largely manufactured “Corbyn anti-semitism” row, Javid’s move is aimed at achieving in the UK the delegitimisation of political opposition to Israeli aggression and absorption of the occupied territories and the Golan Heights, in the way that has been achieved in the USA. However, there is a much better educated population in the UK and a great deal of popular awareness of decades of Israeli crimes. In fact, the continuing resilience of the Labour vote shows that at least over a third of the British population does not buy the “anti-semitism” tag applied to all those concerned at the continued plight of the Palestinians.

Hezbollah has never been implicated in any terrorist attack on the UK. Its military posture in Southern Lebanon vis a vis Israel is entirely defensive; it evolved as a military force in reaction to wave after wave of Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in which the Israeli “Defence” Force casually decimated Shia communities en route to attacking Palestinian refugee camps. Hezbollah has never invaded Israel. Hezbolla has played an effective and laudable role in assisting the defeat of Isis and their Jihadist allies in Syria.

Oh look, I just “glorified terrorism” again.

Javid’s move is primarily aimed at pleasing Israel and looking to score political points over Jeremy Corbyn, whose past contacts with Hezbollah can now be deemed terrorist. But it is also a move to please the UK elite’s other paymaster, Mohammed Bin Salman, by further forwarding his attempt to delegitimise and to subjugate Arab Shia communities. Coupled with the irony of announcing DFID support of £200 million for Yemeni victims of our very own bombs and “military support”, this is a shameful week for British foreign policy.

I first became devoted to the Palestinian cause as a first year student at Dundee University, when I watched a film about Israeli destruction of Palestinian olive trees in the occupied territories, to devastate their economic base and force families to leave. That film made me cry.

It is a matter of despair that, 42 years later, this practice continues, and indeed has been ongoing for that entire time. I find this almost as heinous as the continuing killing and imprisonment of Palestinian children. I find it a useful exercise every morning to ask yourself this question:

How many children has the Israeli “Defence” Force killed since the MSM last reported one?

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