UN Special Coordinator: All Israeli Settlement Activities Are Illegal

Source

 On Saturday, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, expressed that the United Nations’ view on Israeli settlements activities is that they are, in fact, illegal and the growing number of settlements is concerning.

During a briefing, Mladenov said, according to the PNN, that the continued breach of resolution #2334, adopted by the UNSC in December of 2016, pronouncing the illegality of continued settlement building, is concerning and that it should be stopped immediately.

Furthermore, Mladenov condemns the constant Israeli disregard to international law by demolishing Palestinian homes over the West Bank and Jerusalem, in order to build new settlement units. He pointed out that 5,500 settlements units were announced to be built in January 2017, and that 145 houses were demolished in Area C, in addition to 48 other demolitions in East Jerusalem.

03/19/17 The UN Report Israel Does Not Want You To Read

israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: Palestinian farmers really have it rough

Small farmers struggle worldwide, but Palestinian farmers really have it rough


Fawzi Ibrahim, a Palestinian farmer, waited two months for the Israeli army to give him access to his wheat fields this year. He had only two days to try to plow and plant 50 acres of wheat, under the guard of Israeli army soldiers. The Israeli settlement of Esh Kodesh is behind him on the hill, and settlers watch from the road. (Anne-Marie O’Connor/For The Washington Post)

March 21

— Palestinian farmer Fawzi Ibrahim is proud of his heirloom corn, whose kernels ripen in iridescent shades of red, blue and gold like jewels.

But what makes it priceless are the obstacles he faces to grow his crops.

Small farmers struggle worldwide. But international experts say Palestinian farmers face disabling odds in the 60 percent of the West Bank that is under full Israeli control and is home to some 400,000 Jewish settlers.

As settler agricultural start-ups get prioritized access to water, export markets and development rights, the Israeli occupation is roiling the centuries-old pastoral life of Palestinian farmers, experts say, adding fuel to a conflict in which land is a trigger.

For years, Israeli settlers have chased Ibrahim’s tractor, threatened him, yelled at his Israeli soldier escorts, tried to burn his fields and warned that letting him farm would risk bloodshed, according to the Israeli group Rabbis for Human Rights.

Ibrahim must coordinate with the Israeli army because his land is in a security zone abutting Israeli outposts, the group said. But he and his lawyer waited eight weeks for permission to plant 50 acres of winter wheat in just two days, under the guard of two jeeploads of Israeli soldiers. A human rights worker and Israeli settlers looked on.

Ibrahim said he fears he will suffer thousands of dollars in farming losses again this year.

“They’re making us poor,” he said.

A recent U.N. report said the Israeli occupation has set off a “continuous process of de-agriculturization” in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, depriving the Palestinian economy of potential agriculture revenue of $700 million, by World Bank estimates, as Israeli settlers bar Palestinians from crops, grazing lands and springs.

The World Food Program is providing food assistance to 75,000 Palestinians in Area C, according to local spokesman Raphael du Boispean.

A December report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said Israeli settlements have overtaken a half-million acres of former Palestinian lands in Israel-controlled Area C, which was placed under full Israeli control in 1990s accords. B’Tselem said 200,000 to 300,000 Palestinians live in Area C.

“What the Israeli settlers are doing in those areas is a disaster,” said Avshalom Vilan, executive director of Israel’s powerful Farmers Federation, a mainstream private farmers group. “They’re stealing from the lives of their Palestinian neighbors, and making their lives impossible.

“It’s in Israel’s interest for Palestinian farmers to work their land peacefully,” Vilan said. “We will all pay for this.”

Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesman of the Jewish settlement in Hebron, said that “life will be much easier for Palestinian farmers under a one-state solution, in which minorities are incorporated into the state of Israel.”

“Jews live in the settlements because they are the heartlands of the Bible and Jewish history,” Fleisher said. “Many of us are also in the settlements to thwart the two-state solution, because we think it’s wrong, unjust and dangerous.”

Spokesmen for the Israeli settlers’ Yesha Council, the Agriculture Ministry and the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.

Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Unit, or COGAT, said 5 percent of Palestinian fields “adjacent to Israeli villages” in the West Bank require Israeli permission and escorts “to ensure that their work goes undisturbed . . . while implementing their right to cultivate their land.”

COGAT said it provided 600 such escorts in 2016 for the Palestinian olive harvest, a target of Israeli settler attacks.

The Rand Corp. said settler attacks quadrupled from 2006 to 2014 and are “an important trigger of Palestinian retribution.”

A 2013 World Bank report said the agriculture contribution to the Palestinian economy declined by more than half in Area C in the past two decades, with Palestinians losing access to water and land, and less than 1 percent of land designated for Palestinian construction.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlement agriculture rose 35 percent, by World Bank estimates, with growing exports to Europe and Russia.

COGAT said Israelis provide training to Palestinian farmers and operators of a German-financed wastewater treatment plant, and oversaw the shipping of 113,000 tons of Palestinian produce outside the West Bank in 2016 — a tiny fraction, said Palestinian Authority official Marwan Durzi, of the export potential of 2.6 million tons of Palestinian agriculture.

Durzi said settler appropriation of springs forces Palestinian villagers to drastically reduce village herds, while Israeli authorities deny Palestinians permits for wells and cisterns and demolish nonpermitted irrigation.

Since most Palestinian families in Area C live partly on farming, “it’s crippling,” Durzi said.

Ibrahim was a scion of a prosperous family in the 1980s, when Israelis took 2,000 acres of family farmland and olive groves in the West Bank, ending his agronomy studies at Texas A&M University.

Israeli rights groups helped him recover 100 acres.

Ibrahim watches subsidized Israeli agriculture start-ups flourish on land he claims at Shvut Rachel, a Jewish outpost founded in the name of Rachela Druck, a settler killed in a 1991 Palestinian attack on a bus. Shvut Rachel’s most famous onetime resident, Jack Teitel, was convicted in 2013 for killing two Palestinians.

Alleged Hamas militants shot Israeli student Malachy Rosenfeld on the highway as he traveled through the area in 2015 — just a few miles from Ibrahim’s land.

In January, Israeli authorities indicted four Israeli settlers who lived on a hilltop near Ibrahim’s fields in Geulat Zion — once home to an Israeli accused of the 2015 firebomb killing of a Palestinian mother, father and baby in nearby Duma — after Israeli undercover police allegedly caught them going after Palestinian farmers with stones and truncheons.

Settlers “do what their government wants them to do,” Ibrahim said. “They want them to take the land.”

Ibrahim said his family once farmed alfalfa and barley on land seized for vineyards by the Esh Kodesh outpost, which has Israeli-supplied water.

But Aaron Katsof, an Esh Kodesh vintner   insisted that “there was nothing here.”

An Israeli court ordered a settler to clear his vineyards off a parcel of Ibrahim’s land by December 2015, and though the settler finally moved this year, he was convicted of kidnapping and beating a Palestinian shepherd, and Ibrahim says he is still afraid to reclaim the land.

Ibrahim remembers the days when younger Palestinians waited for the harvest to marry, and patriarchs lived well from the land.

To Ibrahim’s generation, he said, “land is life.”

Diabetes has forced him to rely on a cane, but Ibrahim said he is determined to end his days as a farmer.

“If I leave, they’ll take the land,” he said. “Then I’ll have nothing.”

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism against the State of Palestine (16-22 March 2017)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory 

Israeli forces continue systematic crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt)

(16-22 March 2017)

 

  • Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
  • 3 civilians, including a child, and 2 Israeli activists, were wounded.
  • Israeli warplanes targeted two training sites for the Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.
  • House Demolitions on grounds of collective punishment.
  • Israeli forces closed with cement the family house of Fadi Qunbor in al-Mukaber Mount, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces continued to target the border areas in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of 4 sheep.
  • Israeli forces conducted 70 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one was conducted in the southern Gaza Strip.
  • 58 civilians, including 8 children, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 5 of them, including 3 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem and its suburbs.
  • Among those arrested was a PLC Member.
  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • Two barracks for livestock and horses were demolished
  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank.
  • Israeli settlers uprooted 75 olive seedlings, south of Nablus.
  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip Sea.
  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were arrested at military checkpoints in the West Bank.

 

 

Summary

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (16-23 March 2017).

 

Shooting:

During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian children and wounded 3 others, including a child, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Meanwhile, they wounded two Israeli activists in the West Bank.  In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the sea and open fire at the farmers in the border areas.  Moreover, the Israeli warplanes carried out many airstrikes against training sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups.

 

In the West Bank, in a new crime of using excessive force, on 17 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed at the entrance to al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, a Palestinian child and seriously wounded another.  The shooting occurred from a distance of 10 meters after two boys threw two Molotov Cocktails at an Israeli military vehicle stationed near the Israeli watchtower established at the entrance to the camp. The Israeli soldiers opened fire at the Palestinian civilians who hurried to rescue the two children in order to hinder saving their lives.

 

On the same day, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian civilian when they raided Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus, so a number of Palestinian children and youngsters gathered to throw stones at the Israeli vehicles.

 

On the same day as well, two Israeli activists were wounded while participating in Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqilya.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in a new crime of excessive use of force, on 22 March 2017, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and seriously wounded a young man after firing artillery shells at them when both civilians were near the border fence with Israel in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City.  PCHR’s investigations emphasized that the shelling incident violates the principle of necessity and distinction, the use of force was excessive, especially the victims were only civilians and unarmed.

 

In the context of airstrikes, on 16 March 2017, Israeli warplanes carried out 2 airstrikes against two training sites belonging to the Palestinian armed groups, north and west of the Gaza Strip.  As a result, the two sites sustained damages.  The airstrikes caused strong explosions that rocked the area, so civilians, especially women and children, were terrified.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

In the context of targeting border areas, On 18 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip an Israel, fired an artillery shell at a vacant land, north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.  As a result, 4 sheep grazing in the area were killed.

 

On the same day, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in the villages of Khuza’ah and ‘Abasan.  No casualties were reported.

 

On 19 March 2017, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence opened fire at agricultural lands in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City in the southern Gaza Strip.  No casualties were reported.

 

In the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the sea, On 17 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off Rafah shore opened fire at the Palestinian fishing boat sailing there.  However, no casualties were reported.

 

On 22 March 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, sporadically opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them. However, neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 70 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and limited on into the Gaza Strip. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 58 Palestinian civilians, including 8 children. Five of them, including 3 children, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem. Among those arrested was a Member representing Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) identified as Mohammed al-Tol (60).

 

In the Gaza Strip, on 22 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into the eastern side of al-Qararah village, northeast of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. They leveled the lands adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel after which they redeployed along the border fence.

 

House Demolitions on grounds of collective punishment

 

On 22 March 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of occupied Jerusalem, and stationed in al-Qunbor neighborhood.  They surrounded a house belonging to the family of Fadi Qunbor, and then a cement mixing truck arrived and poured cement inside the house.  The 2-stroey house used to shelter his wife and 4 children.  It should be mentioned that Israeli forces killed the aforementioned civilian on 08 January 2017 when he ran over a number of soldiers in a bus station near “Armon HaNetziv” settlement, which is established on the above-mentioned village lands.  As a result, a number of the soldiers were killed while the Israeli authorities so far keep al-Qunbor’s body in custody and refuse to hand it for burial.

Creating Jewish Majority in Occupied East Jerusalem:

 

In the context of house demolitions, on 11 March 2017, the Israeli Municipality demolished two barracks for horses and livestock belonging to Ayoub Shkeirat and Bassam Shkeirat in the village of Al-Mukaber Mount under the pretext of building without a permit.

 

Settlement Activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property:

 

In the context of Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 16 March 2017, Israeli settlers from “Yitsihar” settlement and under the Israeli forces’ protection attacked Burin Secondary School, south of Burin village, south of Nablus village, and threw stones at the school outside walls and iron fence.

 

On 17 March 2017, Israeli settlers uprooted 75 olive seedlings from a land belonging to Haitham Abu Kafanah in al-Wad area in the north-western side of al-Sawiyah village, south of Nablus.

 

On 18 March 2017, Israeli settlers from “Kiryat Arba” settlement, east of Hebron, threw stones at a vehicle belonging to ‘Aref Jaber (48) from Jaber neighbourhood.  As a result, the car’s windscreen was broken.

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure of the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

The illegal closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007 has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.  The Israeli authorities impose measures to undermine the freedom of trade, including the basic needs for the Gaza Strip population and the agricultural and industrial products to be exported. For 9 consecutive years, Israel has tightened the land and naval closure to isolate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and other countries around the world. This resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights and a deterioration of living conditions for 2 million people.  The Israeli authorities have established Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shaloum) as the sole crossing for imports and exports in order to exercise its control over the Gaza Strip’s economy.  They also aim at imposing a complete ban on the Gaza Strip’s exports. The Israeli closure raised the rate of poverty to 65%. Moreover, the rate of unemployment increased up to 47% and youth constitutes 65% of the unemployed persons.  Moreover, 80% of the Gaza Strip population depends on international aid to secure their minimum daily needs. These rates indicate the unprecedented economic deterioration in the Gaza Strip.

 

In the West Bank, Israeli forces continued to suffocate the Palestinian cities and village by imposing military checkpoints around and/or between them. This created “cantons” isolated from each other that hinders the movement of civilians. Moreover, the Palestinian civilians suffering aggravated because of the annexation wall and checkpoints erected on daily basis to catch Palestinians.

 

 

Details

  1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas, and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 00:30, Israeli warplanes targeted a site affiliated with Palestinian armed groups, southwest of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. The attack rocked the area and resulted in material damages at the site. The attack also caused fear among children and women, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron, and stationed in Baten al-Hawa area. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Sharif al-Hih (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses, after which they arrested 3 civilians namely Mo’ath Khaled Ahmed Daraghmah (27), Loai Rashed Abdul Razeq Daraghmah (28) and Mohammed ‘Azem Daraghmah (20). The soldiers also raided and searched a house belonging to Moneer Basel Sawaftah (24) to arrest him, but he was not at home. Therefore, the soldiers arrested his mother and brothers as hostages until Moneer turned himself in at “Tayasir” checkpoint, east of the city. Basel Theeb Abdullah Sawaftah (54), Moneer’s father, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

“At approximately 03:00 on Thursday, 16 March 2017, I walk up on the sound of footsteps around my house, so I went to the living room in the second floor. Suddenly the door was opened and I heard a voice telling me: IDF, raise your hands. A number of soldiers then entered the living room as I turned on the lights. A soldier asked me who is in the house and ordered me to call for them to come. They then gathered us in the living room and asked me about my son Moneer (24). When I told the soldier that Moneer was not at home, he said that I have 10 minutes to bring him or he will damage the house contents. I told him that Moneer’s cell phone is not with him, but he did not care. Only 10 minutes later, the soldiers brought my sons, Qassam (26) and Mohammed (22), handcuffed. The Israeli soldiers then started to search the house and damage its contents until 05:00. An officer threatened me to arrest my wife Ebtesam Fayez Daraghmah (42) and my son Mohammed, but I told him to arrest me because we have a 2-year-old toddler, who needs his mother. The officer did not care and then arrested my wife and sons and gave me until 06:00 to bring Moneer to the abovementioned checkpoint. Few minutes after the Israeli forces left, Moneer came back and I told him what happened. He decided to turn himself in for his mother. Moneer, his uncle and I went to the abovementioned checkpoint where the soldiers arrested him and released his mother.”

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Tammon village, southeast of Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Abullah Jehad Tawfiq Bani ‘Oudah (28).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Zeta Jama’in village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Suleiman Eslam Saleh Zetawi (25).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Ethna village, west of Hebron, and stationed in ‘Aziz Valley area. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zaid Ahmed al-Masri (37) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested 3 civilians namely Ayman Ahmed Abu ‘Arab (41), his son Ahmed (20) and Yazan Abu Shalabayah (20).

 

  • At approximately 12:15, Israeli warplanes fired 2 missiles at a training site for al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas Movement), opposite to the Equestrian Club, southwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip. As a result, the attack that rocked the area in the northern Gaza Strip, caused fear among women and children, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah; Birzeit village and al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah; al-Samou’i and Beit Ummer, al-Rayhiyah and Tawous villages in Hebron.

 

Friday, 17 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 08:50, Israeli gunboats opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing off Rafah shore, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces moved into Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus. A number of child youngsters gathered and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers. The soldiers fired lived bullets at the youngsters in response. As a result, a 20-year-old civilian sustained a live bullet wound to the right foot and was taken to Rafedia Hospital. His condition was classified as minor.

 

  • In a new crime of excessive use of force, Israeli forces stationed at al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron killed a Palestinian child and seriously wounded another.

According to PCHR’s investigations and statements of eyewitnesses, at approximately 20:00, a number of children and youngsters were wandering in al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron adjacent to Bypass Road (60) where an Israeli watchtower is established. Two children approached the watchtower and threw Molotov Cocktails at a military vehicle stationed there. In the meantime, 3 soldiers stationed in a tinplate cabin at the entrance to the camp. When the soldiers stepped out, the two children ran away. The soldiers then fired 4 live bullets at them.  As a result, Murad Yusuf Mohammed Abu Ghazi (17) was hit with a bullet that entered his heart and exited his chest.  Ghazi ran for more than 40 meter and then fell on the ground. Meanwhile, Saif Saleem Rushdi (14) was hit with a live bullet that entered the back and exited the chest. Saif ran about 200 meters until he fell on the ground. A number of the neighborhood residents rushed to save Abu Ghazi’s life, but the soldiers opened fire at them to prevent them from reaching Abu Ghazi. After that, Dr. Jawad Abu ‘Awad and another civilian were able to reach him and took him to Dr. Ismail Abu Mahfouth Clinic while Abu Ghazi was still bleeding. The doctors could not offer first aid, so they transferred him via a private car on the road leading to Sa’ir village.  The entrance of the camp was closed, so they had to drive about 8 kilometers until they found a PRCS ambulance. The ambulance then transferred the two children to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron. Abu Ghazi was announced dead, but Rushdi was admitted to the OR to undergo an urgent surgery. He is still in the intensive care unit. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR that the shooting was direct from less than 10 meters.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Qalqiliyah, Hablah, south of the city, al-‘Ouja village, north of Jericho, ‘Ein Yabrud village, northeast of Ramallah and al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of the city.

 

Saturday, 18 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 09:50, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel fired an artillery shell towards a vacant land adjacent to Abu Haloub agricultural land, north of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. The land is located about 2000 meters away to the southern side of the border fence. As a result, 4 sheep belonging to Mohammed Mat’an Suleiman Beli (60) died while grazing out of his farm, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

  • At approximately 14:00, following the funeral procession of Morad Abu Ghazi, who was killed the previous day by the Israeli forces, dozens of angry young men from al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, gathered and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers. The Israeli soldiers fired live bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at the young men in response. As a result, a number of young men suffered tear gas inhalation. After that, the Israeli forces raided and searched the houses overlooking the camp and topped their roofs. Some of the houses’ owners were identified as Khader Sa’id Jawbrah, Ahmed Abdul Razeq Abu Kheiran, Na’im Hasan Jawabrah and Jawad Abdul Fattah Jawabrah.

 

  • At approximately 14:30, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire at agricultural lands in Khuza’a and ‘Abasan al-Kabirah, west of the abovementioned border fence. The shooting sporadically continued for more than an hour, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (9) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Beit Dajan, ‘Ourta, Beit Furik and Beta villages in Nablus, al-Samou’i, al-Thaheriyah an Ethna villages in Hebron, Kufur Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah; Yasouf village, east of Salfit an Qarawet Bani Hassan village, west of the city.

 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, southeast of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Moayad Salah Taqatqa (22).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Husan village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Hasan Ahmed Sabatin (22) and Yazan Mnawer Sabatin (21).

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Um Salamonah village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging after which they arrested Jamil Ibrahim Taqatqa (18)

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched 3 houses belonging to Mohammed Khaled Abu Helwa (21), Ibrahim Nedal Ibrahim Hattab (21) and Mohammed Nedal Ibrahim Hattab (19) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into the southern area of Hebron. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ma’moun Husain Salah al-Natshah (17) and Mohammed Hesham al-Ja’bari (17) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Samou’i village, south of Hebron, and stationed in Safi neighbourhood near Abu Baker al-Seddiq. They raided and searched a 4-story building inhabited by Mohammed Khader al-Hawamdah and his 3 sons. The Israeli soldiers forced the four families to leave the house while they searched and then started searching it. They then arrested Mohammed and his 4 children; Khalil (33), ‘Ali (29), Yusuf (25) and Ahmed (22).

 

  • At approximately 10:30, Israeli forces accompanied with 2 military jeeps moved into Beta village, southeast of Nablus. They stationed near Beta Secondary School for Boys. A number of students, who were in front of the school, rushed inside it except ‘Enad Raghed ‘Enad al-Jaghub (17), who was slowly walking. A soldier called him and ordered him to set on his knees and put his hands on his head as they approached him, put him on the ground, searched him and took him to a jeep where they handcuffed him. An officer called ‘Enad’s father and introduced himself as “Robin”. He informed ‘Enad’s father that his son is detained for throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers. After an argument between the officer and ‘Enad’s father, the officer beat up the child. After that, the officer re-called the father and ordered him to come to the entrance of the village to take his son. ‘Enad’s father and a group of the village residents went to the abovementioned entrance and took his son. He then transferred him to Rafidia Governmental Hospital in Nablus to receive medical treatment for the bruises throughout his body.

 

  • At approximately 15:00, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel opened fire at agricultural lands in al-Shawkah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, but no casualties were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Jenin; al-Thaheriyah an Ethna villages in Hebron.

 

Monday, 20 March 2017

 

  •  At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Abu Sunienah neighbourhood, east of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Naser Mahmoud Abu Sunienah (30) and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service, the Shabak, in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into the ‘Ein al-Sultan refugee camp, west of Jericho. They raided and searched a house belonging to Wadi’ ‘Essa Jebril Manasrah (18) and then arrested him.

 

  •  At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Oudai Hasan Abu Haniyah (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • Round the same time, Israeli forces moved in Marj Na’jah village, north of Jericho. They raided and searched a house belonging to Saleh Ibrahim Nemr Sawarkah (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Tulkarm, and stationed in al-Karmel neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Thaer ‘Ali Daqamesh (28) and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Service, the Shabak, in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

 

  • At approximately 05:00, Israeli forces moved into Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Estabraq Yahyah al-Tamimi (22) and then arrested her. It should be noted that Estabraq was a former member of the Student Union in Birzeit University.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (6) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Tarqumiya village and Halhoul in Hebron; Shaqba village in Ramallah;  Bedia and al-Zawiyah villages, west of Salfit.

 

Tuesday, 20 March 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Thaheriyah village, south of Heron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Ismail al-Tal (60), a PLC Member representing the Reform an Change Bloc of Hamas Movement, and then arrested him. They later withdrew taking him to an unknown destination.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces move into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Murad Suleiman Ibrahim ‘Ata (17).

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Abdul Rahman Fathi Zedan Khazem (22) and Mahmoud Saleh Shraim (20)

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Yatta, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Sharefi al-Najjar and then arrested his son Mokhles (16) and his wife Tamara al-Zain (44).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aboud village, northwest of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Mohammed Rashad Husain al- Barghouthi (37), Mohammed ‘Essam al- Barghouthi (20)

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Zababdah village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Mustafa Shrqawi (19) and Hammam Najeh Mur’i Sharqawi (19).

 

  • At approximately 05:30, Israeli forces moved into Kafel Hares village, north of Salfit. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Khalil Foad Khalil Abu Ya’qoub (22) and Ahmed ‘Ali Saleh (21). They also handed ‘Ali Mahmoud Abdul Hamid al-Qaq (24) a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service.

 

  • In the evening, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Bilal Abdul Majeed Ahmed Hammad (27) and Nader Abdul Ghani Mobarak (54).

 

  • At approximately 23:30, Israeli forces moved into Ni’lin village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Hasan Rebhi Nafe’a (23).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’i, Surif, Deir al-‘Asal villages and al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron.

 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

 

  • In a new crime of excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and seriously wounded a young man after firing artillery shells at them when both civilians were near the border fence with Israel in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City. PCHR’s investigations emphasized that the shelling incident violates the principle of necessity and distinction during which the use of force was excessive, especially the victims were only civilians and unarmed.

According to PCHR’s investigations and the testimony of an eyewitness, at approximately 00:00, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence off al-Nahdah neighborhood in al-Shokah village, east of Rafah City, fired around 15 artillery shells at 3 Palestinian civilians, who were only 300 meters away from the above-mentioned fence.  According to the eyewitness, those civilians intended to sneak into Israel for work.  The artillery shells directly hit one of them namely Yousif Sha’ban Ahmed Abu ‘Azrah (16), from al-Shabourah refugee camp in Rafah City, to the upper part of his body.  Meanwhile, Mohammed Wahid ‘Atallah al-‘Akar (25), from Yibna refugee camp in Rafah, sustained shrapnel wounds to the chest and abdomen.  The child died on the spot while al-‘Akar was transferred to the European Hospital in Khan Younis due to his serious wounds.  The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Palestinian Liaison told the PRCS they received information from the Israeli Liaison there is a dead body in the aforementioned area.  The PRCS immediately headed to the scene to find the child’s dead body 300 meters away from the fence while they found al-‘Akar lying around 500 meters away from the fence.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Sera village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses then arrested ‘Ali Ahmed Nemer Khetab (20).

 

  •  At approximately 03:15, Israeli forces moved into Beit Sahour and stationed in the area of Engineers” Housing project. They raided and searched a 3-story building inhabited by 2 families of ‘Esam Qamisah (57) and Sami (60) after breaking the main doors. The soldiers locked the 2 families in one room and questioned them. The Israeli forces later withdrew, but no arrests were reported.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mohammed Saleh Hassunah (50).

 

  • At approximately 05:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Jaftalak village, north of Jericho. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Abdullah Fouad Tariq (23). Seven hours later, the Israeli forces released him.

 

  • At approximately 06:30, Israeli forces accompanied with a car of the Civil Administration moved into Kherbet Bzaiq in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mahmoud Mohammed ‘Ali Nassrallah al-Haroub (24). They confiscated a tractor belonging to Mohammed al-Haroub. They also confiscated a car belonging to Hayel Husain Mahmoud Turkman and took both vehicles to Nahal” military camp in al-Maleh area.

 

  • At approximately 07:15, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives. The shooting recurred until 09:00, but no casualties were reported.

 

  • At approximately 07:20, Israeli forces accompanied with military jeeps moved about 100 meters into the east of al-Qararah, north east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. They conducted leveling and digging along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel for hours and then redeployed along the abovementioned border.

 

  • Use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrations protesting settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall

 

West Bank:

 

  • At approximately 12:40, on Friday, 17 March 2017, Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized a protest in the center of Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, and then made their way to the eastern entrance of the village in protest against closing that entrance since the beginning of al-Aqsa Intifada with an iron gate. When the protesters approached the entrance, Israeli forces fired live bullets, metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 2 Israeli activists (not identified) were hit with 2 metal bullets to the hand and face.

 

  • Following the Friday prayer, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of the city; at the entrance to al-Jaalzone refugee camp, north of the city; and in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

  House Demolition on Grounds of Collective Punishment

 

  • On Wednesday morning, 22 March 2017, Israeli forces accompanied with large numbers of border guards, police officers and Intelligence officers moved into al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of Jerusalem and stationed in al-Qunbor neighborhood. The soldiers surrounded a house belonging to Fadi Ahmed Hamdan Qunbor and close the roads to it. They also prevented the vehicles and civilians from entering the main street in the neighborhood. Following that, the a cement mixer truck arrived at the area and began pouring the cement inside the abovementioned house. The house is comprised of two floors; the first of which is comprised of a room, bathroom and kitchen while the second is comprised of a living room in which Qanbar’s wife and 4 children (the eldest son is 7 years old and the youngest is 9 months) lived. It should be noted that on 08 January 2017, Israeli forces killed Fadi Qanabr (28) after he ran over Israeli soldiers, who were at a bus station near “Armon HaNetziv” settlement established on the lands of the abovementioned village. He killed a number of them, and his body is still under the Israeli custody.

The Israeli forces previously took punitive measures. In a dangerous precedent, on Tuesday, 10 January 2017, the family of Fadi al-Qunbar received orders to suspend their residencies (withdrawing the blue IDs), in addition to cancelling family reunion applications of other relatives following the run-over attack carried out by Fadi in “Armon Hanatziv” settlement. Fadi’s family said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli forces raided Fadi’s family house and handed them 12 orders issued by the Israeli Interior Minister to suspend the residency and reunion applications of several family members, The people who received such orders are:

  • Menwa Qunbar- Fadi’s mother: A decision to suspend her residency in Jerusalem.
  • Suha Qunbar- Fadi’s sister: A decision to suspend her residency in Jerusalem.
  • Murad Aweisat- Suha’s husband: A decision to cancel his “reunion” application as well as cancelling the reunion applications and residency of their two children (Nagham 11, and Wadi’a, 17).
  • Dia’ Aweisat (21)-Fadi’s nephew (Hind’s son): A decision to suspend his residency and cancel his “reunion” application.
  • Manal Qunbar- Fadi’s sister in law (Sami’s wife): A decision to suspend her residency and cancel his “reunion” application.
  • Ahmad Hussein Qunbar- Fadi’s cousin.
  • Mohammad Hussein Qunbar- Fadi’s cousin.
  • Salah Hussein Qunbar- Fadi’s cousin.
  • Zakaria Hussein Qunbar- Fadi’s cousin.
  • Younes Hussein Qunbar- Fadi’s cousin.
  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

Israel continued to impose a tight closure on the oPt, imposing severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Gaza Strip

 

Israeli forces continuously tighten the closure of the Gaza Strip and close all commercial crossings, making the Karm Abu Salem crossing the sole commercial crossing of the Gaza Strip, although it is not suitable for commercial purposes in terms of its operational capacity and distance from markets.

Israeli forces have continued to apply the policy, which is aimed to tighten the closure on all commercial crossings, by imposing total control over the flow of imports and exports.

 

Israeli forces have continued to impose a total ban on the delivery of raw materials to the Gaza Strip, except for very limited items and quantities. The limited quantities of raw materials allowed into Gaza do not meet the minimal needs of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.

 

Israeli forces also continued to impose an almost total ban on the Gaza Strip exports, including agricultural and industrial products, except for light-weighted products such as flowers, strawberries, and spices. However, they lately allowed the exportation of some vegetables such as cucumber and tomatoes, furniture and fish.

 

Israel has continued to close the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for the majority of Palestinian citizens from the Gaza Strip. Israel only allows the movement of a limited number of groups, with many hours of waiting in the majority of cases. Israel has continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via the Beit Hanoun crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel also continued applying the policy of making certain civilian traveling via the crossing interviewed by the Israeli intelligence service to be questioned, blackmailed or arrested

The UN’s moral failure on israeli apartheid

The UN’s moral failure on Israeli apartheid

Apartheid - wrong for South Africans and wrong for Palestinians

By Lawrence Davidson

Moral failure

On 15 March 2017 the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published a report on Israeli practices and policies toward the Palestinians. Using international law as its comparative criterion, the report came to a “definitive conclusion” that “Israel is guilty of apartheid practices.” The term apartheid was not used in the report merely in a “pejorative” way. It was used as a descriptor of fact based on the evidence and the accepted legal meaning of the term.

Such was the immediate uproar from the United States and Israel that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a moment of moral failure, ordered the report’s withdrawal. The head of ESCWA, the Jordanian diplomat Rima Khalaf, decided that she could not, in good conscience, do so and so tendered her resigation.

Reportage

The initial New York Times (NYT) coverage of the incident paid little attention to the accuracy of the report, an approach which, if pursued, would have at least educated the newspaper’s readers as to the real conditions of Palestinians under Israeli domination. Instead, it called the report, and those involved in producing it, into question. For instance, the NYT told us that “the report provoked outrage from Israel and the United States”. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki R. Haley, was quoted as declaring that, “when someone issues a false and defamatory report in the name of the UN it is appropriate that the person resign”. At no point in the NYT story was it noted that Ms Haley’s charge that the report was false, was itself false. Other coverage by the NYT improved only slightly.

The NYT did pay attention to the fact that, among the authors of the report, was former UN human rights investigator Richard Falk. Falk served six years as UN spacial rapporteur for the occupied territories. According to the NYT, his presence had to “gall[ed] many Israeli supporters who regard him as an anti-Semite”. There is something troubling about a newspaper that claims to represent the epitome of professional journalism reporting such slurs without properly evaluating them. Richard Falk, who is Jewish, has an impeccable record of both academic achievement and public service. His reputation for honesty and dedication to the cause of human rights exemplifies the best practice of Jewish values. Thus, he has every right to say that “I have been smeared in this effort to discredit the report” – a study which “tries its best to look at the evidence and analyse the applicable law in a professional manner”.

Israel’s behaviour

An objective consideration of Israel’s behaviour makes it hard to escape the brutal reality of its officially condoned practices.

On 17 March 2017, at the same time as the forced withdrawal of the ESCWA report, the US State Department released a report on “grave violations against Palestinian children living under Israeli military occupation”. This was part of the department’s annual “country reports on human rights practices”. Among the problems cited were Israel’s practice of unlawful detention, coerced confessions and excessive use of force, including torture and killings.

Usually these annual human rights reports are made public by the secretary of state. This year Rex Tillerson, who presently holds the office, was nowhere in sight. And, of course, President Trump failed to issue any of his characteristic tweets in reference to the Israel’s barbaric behaviour.

Earlier, on 8 February 2017, it was reported that “Israel has banned anesthesia gas from entering the Gaza Strip.” There is a current backlog of some 200 patients in Gaza requiring surgical care, and some will die due to Israel’s ban.

A week later, on 14 February 2017, it was reported that Israeli officials were blackmailing Palestinian patients seeking permission to enter Israel for necessary medical treatment. A 17-year-old Gazan boy who suffered from congenital heart disease and needed a heart valve replacement “was explicitly told that in order to [leave the Gaza Strip and] have his operation, he would have to cooperate with the security forces and spy for Israel”. He refused and subsequently died. This is not a new or unusual tactic for the Israelis.

Blackmail all around

The moral failure at the UN, represented by the withdrawal of the ESCWA report, is the result of Secretary-General Guterres’s decision to acquiesce in a denial of reality – the reality of Israel’s practice of apartheid.

On the other hand, it probably also stems from Guterres’s acceptance of the reality of US financial leverage along with the apparent threat to bankrupt the UN. This is, of course, a form of blackmail. Significantly, US use of its financial clout at the UN mimics the same practice by the Zionist lobby in the halls of Congress.

Obviously, the UN, to say nothing of US politicians, needs alternate sources of income. My wife Janet once suggested that the UN be awarded the right to exploit and profit from all undersea resources. Not a bad idea. Likewise, US politicians should agree to, or be forced to rely upon, government-based campaign funding rather than be pressed into putting themselves up for sale.

However, such changes do not appear imminent. As it stands now, reality in Palestine is what the Americans and Israelis say it is because politicians and international leaders literally can’t afford to challenge their corrupted views.

Why The UN Branded israel An Apartheid State

Why The UN Branded Israel An Apartheid State

By Juan Cole

boycott israel apartheid palestine

Apparently the Trump administration at Israeli urging threatened to defund the UN if this report was not withdrawn. The UN Secretary-General caved, and the executive director of ESCWA (who was also an under-secretary general of the UN), Rima Khalaf, has resigned. The legal case built by the ESCWA report remains sound.

A shouting match has been provoked this week by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, which issued a report this week concluding definitively that Israel is guilty of Apartheid practices toward the Palestinians. The report is careful to say that it is not using the term merely as a pejorative but is rather appealing to a body of international law with precise definitions, definitions that Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians easily and transparently meet. Here’s the short blog version of the report, which runs to 76 pages.

Apartheid is a Dutch word meaning “apartness” and was used to describe the system of racial segregation deployed by the ruling Afrikaner minority in South Africa 1948-1991. In international law, however, it has been generalized to any government practicing systematic racial domination.

Article II of the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973) defines it this way:

“The term “the crime of apartheid”, which shall include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practiced in southern Africa, shall apply to… inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”

The 2002 Rome Statute, which has 150? signatories among the nations of the world, and which established the International Criminal Court, contained a definition of Apartheid.

“The crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts . . . committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime…”

Apartheid is one of the listed “crimes against humanity” along with enslavement, torture, war rape, and forcible deportation. A crime against humanity is the systematic and continuous commission of war crimes.

Because of these international law instruments (the Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty), Apartheid now refers to a generalized crime, not just the policy of the old South African government.

As a result, the Court can under some circumstances charge individual politicians with the crime of Apartheid. Those circumstances are that

1) the country has signed the Rome Statute or

2) that the UN Security Council has forwarded the case of a war criminal to the ICC.

Neither of these circumstances fits Israel, since it is not a signatory and the US would veto any attempt to charge a major Israeli politician at the International Criminal Court. This inability to bring Israeli officials to the Hague, however, is merely procedural. As a matter of law, Israel can still be guilty of Apartheid practices.

The UN report is concerned with specific legal infractions as spelled out by international law, and with the intention behind those infractions. Intent to dominate another people is important to the definition of Apartheid.

The report points out that

“The Israel Lands Authority (ILA) manages State land, which accounts for 93 per cent of the land within the internationally recognized borders of Israel and is by law closed to use, development or ownership by non-Jews.”

Going back to the colonial Jewish National Fund, there has been a practice that once land is owned by Zionist institutions, including the Israeli state, it can never be sold to a non-Jew– it is permanently taken off the market on a racial basis.

The Law of Return is another discriminatory practice. Any Jew anywhere in the world can emigrate to Israel. But no Palestinian family expelled in 1948 can return to their ancestral homeland.

Jewish councils may reject applications for residence from Palestinian-Israelis. An Israeli Jew who married an American Christian is allowed to bring the spouse to Israel; but an Israeli Jew who married a West Bank Palestinian may not.

The report argues that in the Israel-Palestinian context, Palestinians are a “race.” I would add that the exclusion of Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens underlines this definition, since one characteristic of race is endogamy or marrying within the in-group.

Other UN decisions have recognized the Palestinians as a people entitled to self-determination (and indeed such recognition goes back to the correspondence of League of Nations states overseeing the British Mandate over Palestine in the 1920s).

The document says:

“This report finds that the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an apartheid regime. It first examines Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid how the history of war, partition, de jure and de facto annexation and prolonged occupation in Palestine has led to the Palestinian people being divided into different geographic regions administered by distinct sets of law. This fragmentation operates to stabilize the Israeli regime of racial domination over the Palestinians and to weaken the will and capacity of the Palestinian people to mount a unified and effective resistance.”

As for the specifics of Apartheid in the Occupied West Bank, the UN document observes that this territory is virtually a textbook case in Apartheid governance:

“Domain 3 is the system of military law imposed on approximately 4 .6 million Palestinians who live in the occupied Palestini an territory, 2 .7 million of them in the West Bank and 1.9 million in the Gaza Strip. The territory is administered in a manner that fully meets the definition of apartheid under the Apartheid Convention: except for the provision on genocide, every illustrative “inhuman act” listed in the Convention is routinely and systematically practiced by Israel in the West Bank. Palestinians are governed by military law, while the approximately 350,000 Jewish settlers are governed by Israeli civil law. The racial character of this situation is further confirmed by the fact that all West Bank Jewish settlers enjoy the protections of Israeli civil law on the basis of being Jewish, whether they are Israeli citizens or not. This dual legal system, problematic in itself, is indicative of an apartheid regime when coupled with the racially discriminatory management of land and development administered by Jewish – national institutions, which are charged with administering “State land” in the interest of the Jewish population.”

The Executive Summary is here.

 

If it looks like apartheid

If it looks like apartheid

The separation wall runs round the West Bank supposedly along the Green Line as marked by the 1949 armistice agreement but in fact making many incursions into and across Palestinian land. Here it detours  to enclose the Shuafat refugee camp. Photo by Ahmad Gharabli /AFP

UN report: Israel has established an ‘apartheid regime’

Report breaks new ground on the UN’s examination of the situation in occupied Palestine by using the word ‘apartheid’.

By Ben White, Al Jazeera
March 15, 2017

A new United Nations report accuses Israel of having established “an apartheid regime that oppresses and dominates the Palestinian people as a whole”.

The publication comes amid renewed debate about whether, through its settlement policy and rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the Israeli government is creating – or even has already created – a de facto “one-state”, which critics warn would constitute a form of apartheid.

It urged governments to “support boycott, divestment and sanctions [BDS] activities and respond positively to calls for such initiatives”.

The report – Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid – was commissioned and published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and launched in Beirut.

John Reynolds, a lecturer in law at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, told Al Jazeera the report “breaks new ground in the context of the UN’s analysis of the situation in Palestine”.

The report was authored by two critics of Israeli state practice: Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, and Richard Falk, former UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, and professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.

Noting how “the expert consensus [is] that the prohibition of apartheid is universally applicable and was not rendered moot by the collapse of apartheid in South Africa”, the report argues that Israel is “guilty of policies and practices that constitute the crime of apartheid”, a “crime against humanity under customary international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”.

The report is a “detailed analysis of Israeli legislation, policies and practices” that highlights how Israel “operates an apartheid regime”, including through “demographic engineering”.


Palestinians climb over the Israeli wall in a-Ram, north of Jerusalem, on their way to al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem to attend the second Friday prayer in the fasting month of Ramadan, 19 July 2013. Photo by Activestills.org

Palestinian citizens of Israel are described as “subjected to oppression on the basis of not being Jewish”, it said.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem similarly experience “discrimination in access to education, healthcare, employment, residency and building rights”, as well as “expulsions and home demolitions”.

Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are governed by “military law” alongside Jewish settlers “governed by Israeli civil law”, the report said.


Martial law: Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian protesting against Jewish settlements, in Jalazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah, West Bank. Soldiers have the power to arrest and hold in administrative detention  any Palestinian  who annoys them June 12, 2015.  Photo  by Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian refugees and exiles are “prohibited from returning to their homes in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory” on the basis that they “constitute a ‘demographic threat’ and that their return would alter the demographic character of Israel”.

Israeli authorities failed to respond to Al Jazeera’s request for a comment.

As well as urging governments to back BDS, the report recommends that the UN and its member states should “revive the Special Committee against Apartheid, and the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid (1976-1991)”, which would then “report authoritatively on Israeli practices and policies relating to the crime of apartheid”.

The report also suggests an advisory opinion be sought from the International Court of Justice “as to whether the means used by Israel to maintain control over the Palestinian people amount to the crime of apartheid”.

David Keane, associate professor in law at Middlesex University, said the new report differs from previous ones on the subject because it “expressly attaches the apartheid label”.

water-graph-ewash

Natural resources – land, water, stone –  are distributed with no attempt at parity.

 

There was no immediate response from Israel to the report, which could contribute to an already deteriorating relationship between the government of Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu and the United Nations.

“For Palestinians and their allies, the report will help to provide a solid basis for their work,” Nadia Hijab, executive director of al-Shabaka – The Palestinian Policy Network – told Al Jazeera .

Citing the reputation and credibility of the authors, Hijab described the report as “a clear, concise document” whose recommendations are “timely and much needed”.

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.

LINK

To download the report from the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) click here

Theft & destruction, the two basic principals of israel

Israeli settlers steal 150 olive trees from Palestinian land in Nablus

Palestine Information Center – March 12, 2017

NABLUS – Israeli settlers uprooted and stole 150 olive trees from Palestinian land in Nablus’s southern town of al-Sawiya on Sunday morning.

Anti-settlement activist in the northern West Bank, Gahssan Dughlas, said al-Sawiya farmers were shocked as they caught sight of the uprooted olive trees, planted over a decade ago in their land.

The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) have been preventing the owners of the targeted land lots, located near the border fence of Rahalim illegal outpost, from reaching their lands. Only those who obtain a permit from the IOA are allowed access into their tracts.

Jericho: Israeli Forces Uproot 350 Palm Trees

IMEMC News & Agencies | March 9, 2017

Israeli forces have uprooted some 350 palm trees and bulldozed lands in Jericho city, Jordan Valley.

Journalist Adel AbuNemah, reported to the PNN that the land was razed and the trees were uprooted, even though it is located in area B and not C, as Israel claims.

The land is private property of farmer Mohammed Awajneh, who said that his land was among other agricultural lands razed by Israeli bulldozers without prior notice.

The trees were planted two years ago.

According to the Palestine Information Center (PIC), around 150,000 Palestinian citizens live in 542 residential communities located partially or completely within Area C, while 325,000 Israeli settlers live in the same area in 135 settlements and about 100 outposts, in violation of the international law.

70% of the lands of Area C are located within the boundaries of the local councils of the Israeli settlements; therefore, Palestinians are prohibited from using or developing them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wNJ7FnlgMY

%d bloggers like this: