Revanchist Israel Bent on Territorial Expansion. Towards “Greater Israel”?

Global Research, July 15, 2019

Israel is the only nation without official borders. From its inception it was planned this way to extrajudicially annex more territory.

A territorial expansion plan was drawn up in the 1980s as part of the US/Israel plan to redraw the Middle East map to their advantage, wanting subservient puppet regimes installed in partitioned Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and other Arab countries.

In 2006, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya wrote about “(t)he (US-Israeli) Project for a New Middle East.”

Their objectives remain unchanged, including the creation of “arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and borders of” Central Asia and North Africa.

Endless US-led NATO wars rage in this broader region, no end of them in prospect. Beginning weeks after 9/11, what followed was well planned in advance.

The mother of all false flags launched Washington’s escalated imperial agenda in this oil and other resource-rich part of the world.

US forever wars are part of its divide, conquer and control strategy, the human cost of no consequence. Israel shares the same objective regionally that Washington aims for worldwide.

In 1982, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs senior advisor Oded Yinon published a document for regional conquest and dominance — titled “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s.”

Israel Shahak (1933 – 2001) published a translated/edited version titled “The Zionist Plan for the Middle East.”

It’s considered the most explicit, detailed statement of Zionist rage for redrawing the Middle East map to serve Israeli interests.

Its two essential premises include the following:

To survive, Israel must dominate the region and become a world power.

Achieving its imperial aims requires dividing Arab nations into small, easily controlled states – partitioning them along ethnic and sectarian lines as weakened Israeli satellites.

According to Yinon,

“(t)he existence, prosperity and steadfastness of (Israel) depend(s) upon its ability to adopt a new framework for its domestic and foreign affairs,” based on securing its material needs through winnable resource wars and Arab world divisions.

“All the Arab States east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with inner conflicts even more than those of the Maghreb” (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, and Western Sahara).”

Gulf states are “built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil.” Jordan is in reality Palestine, Amman the same as Nablus.

Other regional states are similar, including Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and others.

The US, NATO, Israeli scheme is all about creating endless regional violence and chaos, exploited to their advantage for gaining control over regional nations and their valued resources.

In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine, siezing the rest in June 1967, including Jerusalem, a UN-designated international city the US and Israel consider the exclusive Jewish state capital, no matter how contrary to international law.

Israel illegally occupies most all valued West Bank land and Jerusalem. It always aimed for maximum Jews and minimum Arabs throughout historic Palestine.

On Friday, UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Occupied Palestine Michael Lynk said actions of the Jewish state “occupying power (are) bent on further (illegal) territorial annexation.”

During a visit to Amman, Jordan, the Netanyahu regime denied him permission to enter Occupied Palestine.

My earlier articles about Israel/Palestine explained the following:

Occupied Palestinians live in limbo, controlled by a repressive foreign army and a system of institutionalized and codified racism.

They’re denied self-determination, the right of citizenship, and control over their daily lives, what’s fundamental for all free socities.

Living in a constant state of fear, they suffer from economic strangulation, collective punishment, denial of free movement and expression, along with enduring virtually every form of indignity, degradation, and crime against humanity imaginable.

Their population centers are isolated from each other for easier control and theft of their land.

They endure curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints, electric fences, other barriers, mass arrests, imprisonments, torture, separation walls, bulldozed homes, and targeted killings.

Their fundamental rights affirmed under international law are denied by oppressive Israeli regimes, ruling by what Edward Said called “refined viciousness.”

They’re punished by inadequate or denied vital services, punitive taxes, regular neighborhood incursions, land, sea and air attacks, imprisonment of lawmakers for belonging to the wrong party, ethnic cleansing, and slow-motion genocide for praying to the wrong God.

Challenging Israeli authority verbally, in writing, or by peaceful demonstrations risks arrest, injury, or death.

Israel is to Palestinians what Nazi Germany was to Jews, slow-motion extermination compared to industrial scale.

Two million besieged Gazans endure the world’s largest open-air prison, an entire population enduring mass suffocation.

Lynk slammed the Netanyahu regime for failing to fulfill its “obligations as a UN member to cooperate fully with Experts of the United Nations.”

He expressed special concern for Gazans, enduring protracted humanitarian crisis conditions enforced by Israel.

“Palestinians seeking redress through the Israeli legal system face a multitude of obstacles such that ultimately, justice is elusive and largely impossible to obtain,” he stressed, adding:

“Israel’s conduct of the 52-year-old occupation is an affront to modern international law.”

“The United Nations has stated on numerous occasions that the Israeli settlements are illegal, its annexation of East Jerusalem is unlawful, and its violations of the human rights of the Palestinians breach international covenants and treaties.”

“Now is the time for the international community to hold Israel fully accountable for its actions, and to determine whether (its) role as the occupying power has crossed the bright red line into illegality.”

There’s no ambiguity about Israeli high crimes of war and against humanity, its vicious persecution of defenseless Palestinians.

Yet the world community has done nothing to hold the Jewish state accountable, nothing to seek redress for the Palestinian people.

As long as Israel has US support, it’ll continue getting away with mass murder and a whole lot more. They’ll be no end to Palestinian suffering.

Fulfillment of Netanyahu’s campaign pledge to annex illegal settlements if implemented will be the latest Israeli affront to their fundamental rights.

Israel has never been held accountable for “its prolonged occupation, annexation and defiance of international (laws, norms, and standards) with respect to settlements, the separation wall, and collective punishment,” said Lynk.

Nor is it likely ahead unless international tribunals fulfill their obligations to hold serial lawbreaker Israel and its officials accountable for their high crimes.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at


Recorded Moments of War, Suffering, Resistance and Victroy

Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (04 July – 10 July 2019)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (04– 10 July 2019)

Israeli violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory

4-10 July 2019

  • West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
    • 6 civilians injured;
    • 55 civilians arrested, including 6 children;
    • 75 incursions into Palestinian territory;
    • 113 temporary checkpoints established;
    • 100 demolition notices distributed in occupied East Jerusalem;
    • Settler attacks: 1500 olive trees burnt; 10 cars vandalized and tires punctured; and
    • 4 water wells and a building foundation destroyed; a construction vehicle confiscated.
  • Gaza Strip
    • 88 civilians injured: 33 children; 7 women; 2 journalists and 2 paramedics at the Great March of Return; and
    • 4 shootings against fishermen at sea and farmers in eastern Gaza


During the reporting period, PCHR documented 300 violations of the international human rights law and international humanitarian law (IHL) by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel continues to enjoy a status of impunity assured by the silence of the international community; thus, it is unhindered in violating Palestinian human rights.

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces injured 88 Palestinian civilians, including 33 children, 7 women, 2 journalists and 2 paramedics at the Great March of Return. In addition, Israeli attacks against fishermen continued this week as 2 incidents were reported of Israeli gunboats opening fire at fishing boats within the Gaza Sea.

While in the West Bank, 6 Palestinians were injured: 4 during a protest at Kuffor Qadoum; 1 on a military checkpoint west of Jenin; and 1 during an Israeli raid on his house in Qalqilya.

Israel carried out 75 incursion into Palestinian territory and raided civilian houses enticing fear among residents. These raids are usually violent and include use of live ammunition and teargas, arrests, random searching and vandalization of private property. This week, 51 Palestinians were arrested, including 6 children; and many others sustained bruises.

Additionally, 9 incidents were documented by PCHR under expanded settlement activity as 100 housing units received demolition notices in Silwan under a plan to establish a park.  Also, 4 water wells were destroyed, hundreds of trees were uprooted and a truck was confiscated by Israeli forces.

As settler violence continues without accountability, 2 incidents were documented in the West Bank: the first in Nablus where houses were vandalized with racial slurs and 10 car-tires were punctured; the second took place in Bourin village, in the southeast of Nabuls, where they set fire in agricultural lands, burning 1500 olive trees.

It should be highlighted that Israel continues its closure policy on the Gaza Strip for the 14th consecutive year, severely restricting the freedom of movement of persons and goods and isolating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and the rest of the world. Meanwhile the West Bank is rendered into isolated entities with at least 30 key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation, 92 permanent military checkpoint operating across the territory and dozens of temporary ones erected on a daily basis.

This report focuses on 5 thematic violations by Israeli forces, including excessive use of force, incursions into oPt, attacks on civilian property, settlement expansion efforts and settler violence, as well as the Israeli closure policy and restrictions on the freedom of movement.

  1. Violation of the right to life and to bodily integrity

This week, Israeli forces wounded 94 Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank; 88 civilians in Gaza, including 33 children, 7 women, 2 journalists and 2 paramedics during Israeli forces suppression of the March of Return and Breaking Siege. In the West Bank, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded; 4 of them were in Kafer Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah; 1 on a military checkpoint west of Jenin; and 1 during an Israeli raid on his house in Qalqilya.

  1. Excessive Use of Force against the Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip

Israeli forces continued to use excessive lethal force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip within the “Great March of Return and Breaking Siege”; and in the West Bank against the settlements, confiscation of lands, and Israeli crimes. According to PCHR’s documentation, on the 65th Friday, 05 July 2019, the border area witnessed large participation from Palestinian civilians. The incidents during this week were as follows:

  • Northern Gaza Strip: Approximately 16:00, thousands of civilians, including women and children, swarmed to the central tent of the Great March of Return, east of Jabalia, Abu Safiyah land in the northern Gaza Strip. The activities continued until 19:30 on the same day. Though the demonstrations were fully peaceful, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence deliberately and randomly fired live and rubber bullets as well as tear gas canisters at the civilians. As a result, 18 were wounded: 7 with live bullets, 3 with teargas canisters and 8 with rubber bullets. There were 9 children among the injured, including Nazih ‘Adel Abu Salem (13), a deaf child, who was shot with a rubber bullet to the right foot.


  • Gaza City: At approximately 17:00, hundreds of civilians, including women and children, marched towards the central tent of the Great March of Return in eastern Malakah area. A few groups walked up to 50 meters from the border and attempted to throw stones at soldiers using slingshots. The activities continued until 19:00 on the same day. Despite the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, Israeli forces directly stationed along the border fence fired live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters at the participants, wounding 7, including a child: 4 were shot with live bullets; and 3 were directly hit with teargas canisters. Among the wounded was Rami Ghassan Ahmed Salem (16), who was hit with a live bullet to the right foot.
  • Central Gaza Strip:  Approximately 15:00, around 1200 participants (women, men, young men, elderlies, children and entire families) swarmed to the Return encampments, which are 400 meters away from the border fence with Israel in eastern al-Buriaj. Hundreds  peacefully approached the border fence in the vicinity of and north of Nabhan area, south of Um Hassania area, 30 – 250 meters away from the border fence. The young men threw stones at Israeli forces stationed there; the latter responded with live ammunition and teargas canisters. Also, an Israeli drone fired teargas canisters on the camp’s central gathering area. The Israeli forces further pumped wastewater at the protestors. The clashes, which continued until 19:30, resulted in the injury of 28 protestors, including 8 children, 3 women and a journalist; 21 injures resulted from the injury of live bullets and their shrapnel, 5 with rubber bullets and 2 were directly shot with tear gas canisters. The journalist identified as Sami Jamal Musran (34), a photojournalist at al-Aqsa TV Channel from al-Nuseirat, was shot with a rubber bullet to the chest while wearing his “PRESS” flak jacket. Fortunately, Musran was not hurt and received treatment on the spot.
  • Khan Younis:  Approximately 1500 civilians participated in the protests organized in Khuza’ah, east of Khan Younis where speeches were delivered and national songs were chanted. Meanwhile, dozens of protesters approached the border fence, and attempted to throw stones at the Israeli soldiers sheltered in military vehicles behind sand berms along the border.  Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters at the protesters, injuring 16 civilians, including 2 children and 2 paramedics; 9 of which were transferred to hospitals. Five civilians shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 5 with rubber bullets and 6 with teargas canisters directly targeting them. One of the children, Rami Mustafa Khalil Barikh (13), was seriously injured in the head by a teargas canister and his condition was deemed critical while Hamdi Hani al-Hendi (13), was hit with a rubber bullet to the left leg. The 2 wounded paramedics, who work at Watan Medical Team were identified as Nahlah As’ad Ahmed Jarghoun (25), who was hit with a tear gas canister to the left foot, and Mustafa Khalid Mohammed (21), who was shot with a tear gas canister to the right side of the abdomen. Dozens of civilians, including paramedics, also suffered teargas inhalation.


  • Rafah: At approximately 17:00, around 1500 civilians participated in the protests east of Shoka village, east of Rafah. The gathering witnessed lively speeches, folklore and scout songs. Meanwhile, dozens of protesters approached the border fence and threw stones. The Israeli soldiers used live and rubber bullets and teargas canisters against the protestors. The incidents, which continued until 19:30, resulted in the injury of 26 civilians, including 13 children, 3 women and a journalist; 2 shot with live bullets, 18 with rubber bullets and 6 with targeted teargas canisters. The journalist sustained minor wounds in his left leg when hit with a teargas canister and was identified as Atta Bassel Mahmoud Fujo (22). Doctors classified 2 civilians’ injuries between moderate and minor while 6 others were transferred to Abu Yusuf al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah and Gaza European Hospital in Khan Younis.
  1. Excessive Use of Force against Protests in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  • At approximately 13:30 on Friday afternoon, 05 July 2019, Palestinians from Kufor Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah organized their peaceful weekly protest, and then headed to the eastern village entrance that has been closed for 15 years in favor of “Kedumim” The demonstrators chanted national slogans demanding end of the occupation and protesting the Israeli forces’ crimes against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The protestors threw stones at the Israeli soldiers stationed behind sand berms while the soldiers fired rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 4 civilians shot with rubber bullets (Names of the wounded civilians are available at PCHR)


  • Shooting and other violations of the right to life and bodily integrity


  • At approximately 07:30 on Friday, 05 July 2019, Israeli gunboats stationed northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, chased, opened fire and pumped water at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles. As a result, the fishermen fled fearing for their lives. No casualties or material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 08:30 on Saturday, 06 July 2019, Israeli soldiers stationed along the border fence east of al-Shawkah village, in the southern Gaza Strip, fired sound bombs at Palestinian farmers near Sofa military site, forcing them to leave the area.
  • At approximately 02:20 on Monday 08 July 2019, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Taleb Eghbarah (38) amidst firing rubber bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. As a result, he was shot with a rubber bullet to the left leg and taken to Dr. Darwish Nazal Governmental Hospital in Qalqiliyah for treatment.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 09 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed at Salem military checkpoint, west of Jenin, opened fire at Jalal Mahmoud Husein Jalghoum (50), from Jalqamous village, wounding him at the lower limbs and then arrested him. The Israeli forces claimed that he tried to throw a Molotov Cocktail at soldiers stationed at the checkpoint. He was taken to a hospital in Israel. It turned out later that Jalal suffers from psychological and mental illness.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed off shore, west of al-Sudaniyah shore, west of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 4 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee fearing for their lives, but neither casualties nor material damage was reported.
  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, Israeli forces stationed along the border fence, in eastern Khan Younis, opened fire at agricultural fields and Palestinian shepherds, east of al-Fukhari and Khuza’ah. The shooting continued for few minutes, but no casualties were reported.


  1. Incursions and Arrests

Israeli forces made 75 incursions in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which they raided and searched houses, terrifying and attacking residents. There were incidents where Israeli forces fired live and rubber bullets, as well as tear gas canisters. As a result, 51 civilians, including 6 children, were arrested while many others sustained bruises. The Israeli forces further arrested 4 civilians at temporary checkpoints in the West Bank.

Thursday, 04 July 2019:

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Nabil Sabah (22) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mohammed Jamal al-Zubeidi (19) and Abdullah Mohammed Jalamnah (21) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 02:15, Israeli forces moved into Barqin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Ashraf (34) and Nasser Zedan Mohammed al-Jada’a (32) and then arrested them.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Wad village in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem. they raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Orabi Mahmoud al-Resheq (24) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 04:30, Israeli forces arrested Madlin ‘Ammar ‘Essa (26), Director of (al-Aqsa Envoys) Project at the Aqsa Association for the care of Islamic endowments and sanctuaries, at al-Asbat Gate in East Jerusalem’s Old City. Ms. Essa was taken to al-Mascobiyah center in the occupied East Jerusalem for investigation. The next day, she was conditionally released and banned from entering al-Aqsa Mosque for 1 month.
  • Israeli forces carried out (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: ‘Ourta, Tal and Beit Furik villages in Nablus; Halhoul, Beit al-Roush, Beit ‘Omrah, Beit ‘Awa villages in Hebron.


Friday, 05 July 2019:

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron and stationed in al-Matinah neighbourhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mos’ab Mohammed al-Hour (35) and then arrested him.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Silah al-Harithiyah village, west of Jenin; Sebastia village, northwest of Nablus; Sa’ir and Karza villages in Hebron.

Saturday, 06 July 2019:

  • At approximately 00:00, Israeli forces moved into the central neighborhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a house belonging to the family of Ibrahim Ahmed al-Zahgal (14) and then ordered the family to surrender him, although he was not at home. The soldiers detained Ibrahim’s father (43) for few hours inside the police vehicle to pressurize him. Later, al-Zahgal surrendered to the Israeli forces, who heavily beat him and took him to a detention center in the city.
  • At approximately 13:00, Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Anwar Jamjoum (18) and Nassar Jamjoum (19), who were near al-Rahmah Gate, east of al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem’s Old City, taking them to a detention center.
  • At approximately 22:00, Israeli forces stationed at Za’tarah checkpoint, south of Nablus, arrested Mohamed ‘Abed al-Latif Mohamed As’ad Khalaf (27), from Burqeen village in western Jenin, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • At approximately 23:00, Israeli forces arrested Fadi ‘Ali ‘Edwan (34), from Qalandia refugee camp, while present near Dir ‘Ammar camp, claiming that he carried out a run- over attack near Hizmah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem. It should be noted that Fadi is Mohamed ‘Ali ‘Edawn’s brother, who was executed by the Israeli forces near Kafur ‘Aqab village on 02 April 2019.


  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Deir al-‘Asal and al-Shoyoukh villages and Dura in Hebron.

Sunday, 07 July 2019

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Thaheriyah village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ahmed Wa’el al-Tal (26) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Mohammed al-Kar (35) and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taqou’a village, east of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Omer Yazid al-‘Amour (23) and handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of the city.
  • At approximately 20:00, Israeli forces arrested Ahmed Mohammed Darwish (21) near al-‘Isawiyah village, northeast of occupied East Jerusalem, taking him to “Salah Eden” police center for investigation.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces stationed at a military checkpoint near al-‘Aroub refugee camp arrested Mohamed ‘Abed al-‘Aziz Sharouf (30), from Noba village, west of Hebron.
  • Israeli forces carried out (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Barta’a village, southwest of Jenin; Salem and Beit Dajan villages, east of Nablus; al-Fawar refugee camp; al-Shoyoukh, Deir al-‘Asal and al0Mawreq villages in Hebron.

Monday, 08 July 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Halhoul north of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and then handed summonses to 7 civilians, from Zama’ra Family namely; Mohammed (22), Baha’ (19), Saber (24), Mohammed W. (26), Ahmed (28), Sajd (22) and Anan (21).to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Services in “Gush Etzion” settlement, south of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested 4 civilians namely; Abdul Jabbar Mohammed Ahmed Jarrar (53), Mohammed Ahmed Mahmoud Souqeya (43), Khaled Mohammed Amin al-Hajj (51), and Nidal Hashem Bahjat Abd al-Hadi (50).
  • At the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jenin refugee camp, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses from which they arrested 3 civilians namely; Majdi Raja Mahmoud Abu al-Haija (45), Ibrahim Hasan Ali Jaber (53), and Joma’a Asa’ad Khalifa Abu Jabal (48).
  • At approximately 02:15, Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Mahmoud Abdullah Abdul Rahman Qasrawi (35) and Sultan Ahmed Mohammed Khalaf (40) and then arrested them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Salem village, east of Nablus. They raided and searched a house belonging to Obadiah Kamal Jabour (27) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:45, Israeli forces moved into Kafer Dan village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to ‘Allam Mohammed Fo’ad ‘Ahed Salah (45) and Maher Tahseen Nayef ‘Abed (40) and then arrested them.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Zabuba village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hasan Mahmoud Ahmed al-Zaghel (53) and arrested him.
  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into several neighborhoods in al-Issawiyah village, northeast of East Jerusalem under the continued collective punishment policy for the 4th consecutive week. They raided and searched dozens of houses by blowing up their doors, causing fear among their residents. They arrested 8 civilians including a girl and 2 children namely; Bara’a Wael Mahmoud (20), Walid Zeyad Obaid (17), Mohammed Ramzy Mhaisen (15), Mohammed Zakarya Alian (19), Majd Mousa Halaiqa (26), ‘Ali Mohammed Obaid (19), Saleh Bader Abu Asab (19) and Yazan Ayman Obaid (20).
  • At approximately 03:40, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Lo’ay Mansour ‘Edwan (25) and the arrested him.
  • At approximately 16:00, Israeli forces moved into the central neighborhood in Silwan village, south of East Jerusalem’s Old City. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Mazen Shuweiki (7) and Mahmoud ‘Ezz Eden Shuweiki (11).


  • Israeli forces carried out (7) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir and Beit Ummer villages in Hebron; Qalqiliyah; ‘Azzoun, al-Nabi Elias villages and ‘Ezbat al-Tabib in Qalqiliyah; al-Zawiyah village, west of Salfit.

Tuesday, 09 July 2019:

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Ertas village, south of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ehab Mohammed Banourah ‘Ayesh (25) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Beit ‘Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mo’tasem Fareq Masalmah (19) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Hazem Mohammed Abu Kifah (22) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Hebron and stationed in al-Sheikh neighborhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Khader Edrees (48) and then arrested his sons ‘Adnan (22) and Tareq (23).
  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Badras village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Malek Na’im Marar (29), a sergeant at the Palestinian National Security Service, and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Nablus. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Ahmed al-Shakhshir (27) and Sami Hani Abdul Sattar al-Ma’ani (28).
  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Abdul Karim Hammad (21) and then arrested him.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Betunia village, west of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Taha Zahed ‘Armoush (28) and then arrested him.
  • At approximately 10:00, Israeli forces established a military checkpoint at ‘Araba village intersection, south of Jenin, where they stopped Palestinians’ vehicles and checked their IDs. The Israeli forces then arrested Islam al-Shalabi (22), from Jenin, and took him to an unknown destination.
  • Israeli forces carried out (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir, Beit Ummer, al-‘Aroub refugee camp and Beit Marsam villages in Hebron.

Wednesday, 03 July 2019:

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Husan village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Bassam Mohammed ‘Atiyah Shushah (38) and Mohammed Sabri Sa’eed Shushah (33) and the arrested them.
  • At approximately 19:00, large Israeli forces moved into al-‘Issawiyah village, northeast of East Jerusalem. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Samir Obeid (21), who was killed by Israeli forces 2 weeks ago in ‘Obeid neighborhood. According to Mohammed Abu al-Hams, Member of the Follow-up Committee in al-‘Issawiyah village, Israeli forces moved into ‘Obeid neighborhood, destroyed ‘Obeid’s memorial statute, which was established in the place of his death using hand tools. They also forcibly prevented the residents from approaching the area. Abu al-Hams added that the Israeli forces attempted to break into the house, but failed after the residents confronted them. During their withdrawal, the Israeli forces attacked young men, women and elderlies firing rubber bullets and sound bombs at them randomly. As a result, 4 civilians injured and were taken to medical clinics to receive medical treatment. Na’im Hamdan (63), a diabetic, fainted after being beaten and sustained bruises after soldiers forcibly handcuffed him. Moreover, 3 civilians sustained tear gas inhalation and burns after being pepper-sprayed. Israeli forces also arrested and beat Mos’ab Amin Moheisen (16), causing him bruises and Mohammed Abu Sbaih (17) and both were taken to Salah Eden Police Center in Jerusalem.
  • Israeli forces carried out (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Hebron and Surif villages north of the city; Howaah village, south of Nablus.
  • Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem
    1. Demolitions and attacks on civilian property for settlement expansion


  • At approximately 09:00 on Thursday, 04 July 2019, the Israeli Municipality staff backed by Israeli police officers moved into several neighborhoods in Silwan village, south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. According to Fakhri Abu Diyab, Spokesperson of the Committee for Defending Lands and Facilities in Silwan village, the municipality staff distributed dozens of demolition notices to the residents of Wadi Qaddoum and al-Bostan neighborhoods, claiming that their houses are built on lands that belong to the Israeli Municipality. He added that these multi-story houses were built many years ago and their owners pay fines to the municipality. He also said that the municipality is planning to demolish 100 housing units in al-Bostan neighborhood in order to establish a new park. It should be highlighted that residents have exhausted all legal channels to defer the Israeli municipality from demolishing their houses over the course of the past 14 years.
  • Around the same time, Israeli forces accompanied by officers of the Israeli Civil Administration and backed by military construction vehicles moved into Kherbit al-Dakika in southern Hebron and raided a natural reserve, where they uprooted hundreds of trees, demolished 4 wells and confiscated barbed wires, under the pretext of being a military training area.
  • At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and officers of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Zaif area in southern Hebron. They raided a construction site belonging to ‘Issa ‘Ali Khalil Abu ‘Arram (40) and confiscated a truck as well as construction materials under the pretext of working near Bypass Road (60) without prior permission.
  • At approximately 05:00 on Monday, 08 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and officers of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into al-Qatie’ area in northern Hebron. The military vehicles demolished the concrete foundations of a 140-sqaure-meters house belonging to Mohamed Khalil ‘Abed al-Fattah Sabarnah, under the pretext of non-licensing in area C. It should be noted that the Israeli authorities notified Mohamed to stop construction works on 07 April 2019, and handed him a 7-day demolition notice on 08 June 2019.
  •  At approximately 11:00, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and officers of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit Bani Dar in southern Hebron. Israeli soldiers were deployed in the area and the Israeli Civil Administration officers dismantled a 400-sqaure-meter barrack belonging to Hussain Ahmed al-Jamal (38) and confiscated it, under the pretext of non-licensing.  The barrack was made of tin plates and used as a garage.
  • At approximately 11:00 on Tuesday, 09 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and officers of the Israeli Civil Administration moved into Kherbit al-Bierouq in southern Hebron, where a 20-sqaure-meter agricultural room belonging to Rashid Suliman Abu Hadeed (93) was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing. In a sudden move, the Israeli authorities gave residents 4-day demolition notices, denying them sufficient time to challenge the decision within legal routes.
  • At approximately 10:00 on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, Israeli forces backed by military construction vehicles and Israeli Civil Administration officers moved into al-Ras area in western Hebron, where a 200-sqaure-meter barrack belonging to Daib Mostafa al-Batran (40) was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.
  • After 25 years of legal battles between Siyam family and al-Elad Settlement Association over property rights of an estate in Wadi Helwa neighborhood in Silwan village, Israeli courts gave a verdict in favor of the settlement. On Wednesday, 10 July 2019, Israeli soldiers forcibly evicted the family, and emptied the estate, while settlers attacked the Palestinian villagers. On 07 July 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court refused a petition filed by Siyam family to freeze and delay the decision issued by the District Court in late June.  The eviction was carried out before the scheduled Supreme Court session to decide on the land’s ownership, noting that Siyam family provided documents proving their claim to the land.
  1. Israeli Settler Violence;
  • At approximately 02:00 on Sunday, 07 July 2019, Israeli settlers moved into the western neighborhood of ‘Ortah village, southeast of Nablus. They attacked and punctured 10 tires of Palestinian civilians’ vehicles, in addition to vandalizing houses and vehicles with racist slurs (A complete list of damage available).
  • At approximately 14:15 on Wednesday, 10 July 2019, a group of Israeli settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, set fire to civilians’ lands in Bureen and Hawarah villages, south of Nablus. As a result, at least 1500 fruitful olive trees were burned in Karm sleem, al-Romana and al-Kharnaq areas. The Chairman of Bureen village Council said that the Israeli forces used a firefighting helicopter to extinguish the fires.
  1. Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods

The Gaza Strip

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

The implications of the continued closure policy have been catastrophic for the economic, cultural and social rights of the Gaza Strip population. As a result, unemployment rates have reached over 52%, 72% among the youth (15 – 24). According to the Household Expenditure and Consumption Survey, released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in 2018, more than half of its population (2 million) are poor (53%) and approximately 68% are food insecure.

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

  • Movement of goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip is restricted on all three functioning crossings: Rafah border crossing, under Egyptian control; Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint and Karm Abu-Salem Commercial Crossing, under Israeli control.
  • The Rafah Border Crossing operates only 5 days a week with severe limitation on travel of persons (300 travelers/day).
  • Beit Hanoun checkpoint, designated for the movement of persons, is under severe restrictions for exit and entry of the Gaza Strip. Only limited categories are issued Israeli permits to cross the checkpoint after an exhausting and lengthy security process that may subject civilians to the threat of arrest and often blackmail by Israeli forces.[1]
  • Karm Abu-Salem crossing, designated for the movement of goods, bans the export of Gaza Strip products, except for agricultural goods. Also, Israeli forces continue the 12-year ban on the import of 118 goods considered as “dual-use items.” [2] While Israeli authorities announced on Friday, 05 July 2019, that 18 of the banned dual-use items would be allowed into the Gaza Strip; the operating officers at Karm Abu-Salem crossing denied receiving new instructions in this regard.
  • Electricity crisis: with power cuts of at least 12 hours a day, the electricity crisis continues to haunt the Gaza Strip and paralyze all sectors of life, including health, education, the economy and the environment. According to the Gaza Power Authority, the Strip needs at least 500 megawatts of electricity for normal use during this time of the year; however, only 195 megawatts are available (120 from Israel and 75 from the local power plant).
  • Naval blockade: Israel continues to restrict movement within the Gaza Sea, primarily on fishing. Despite imposing a 15-nautical-mile restricted fishing area, Israeli forces launch daily attacks on fishermen while at sea even within 1 – 6 nautical miles, including shootings, arrests and confiscation of fishing boats and equipment. It also restricts the import of necessary fishing equipment.

This week, Israeli forces denied the Rafah Services football team from going to the West Bank via Beit Hanoun Checkpoint for the Palestine Football Championship 2018-2019 final. The game was postponed indefinitely pending permits for the players.

The West Bank including occupied East Jerusalem

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

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

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

This week, Israeli forces established 113 temporary checkpoint across the West Bank and arrested four Palestinian civilians.

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

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

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



[1] For more information on Israeli violations of the right to the freedom of movement, please see PCHR monthly updates “State of Gaza Strip’s Crossing”:


Israel’s Scheme to Bury the Nakba. “The Ethnic Cleansing oF Palestine”

July 10, 2019

Israel’s 1947-48 Nakba against the Palestinian people was and remains one of history’s great crimes — what Ilan Pappe called “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” in his book by this title.

Establishment of the Jewish state came at the expense of the Palestinian people, their descendants and refugee population.

The final master plan’s goal aimed to create a state with maximum Jews and minimum Arabs — by any means, including mass murder of defenseless people.

Around 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their homeland, many thousands slaughtered in cold blood.

The six-month campaign beginning in late 1947 destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in cities like Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

According to Nuremberg Principles, ethnically cleansing people from their land is a high crime against humanity.

Israeli accountability was never forthcoming for mass-murder; destruction of homes, villages, crops and other property; countless atrocities; showing no mercy to defenseless men, women, children.

Nuremberg-level crimes were  expunged from official Israeli historiography, replaced by the myth that Palestinians left voluntarily, fearing harm from invading Arab armies.

A Palestinian shared memories of that nightmarish experience, saying the following:

“I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try.”

“First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries.”

“My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days.”

“The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen.”

“I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?”

“We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills. I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt’s two-year-old son, sick with typhoid.”

Survivors remember the horror of Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, soldiers representing the soon to be announced Israeli state entered the village violently. They machine-gunned houses randomly. Many inside were slaughtered.

Remaining villagers were assembled and murdered in cold blood. Among them were children, infants, the elderly and women, some raped before slaughtered. Estimates placed the death toll at up to 120.

An eyewitness recounted the horror as follows, saying:

“I was (there) when the Jews attacked…(They) closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us.”

“Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge.”

“The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They enter(ed) houses and kill(ed) women and children indiscriminately. The (village) youths…fought bravely.”

Fighting killed dozens more. Many other villages met the same fate. It was well planned, systematic slaughter — a pattern Israel followed throughout its history with much more powerful and banned weapons.

According to a Haaretz investigative report, Israel’s ministry of war’s secretive security department (Malmab) has been tasked with making the Nabka disappear, saying:

Its teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents…conceal(ing) (them) as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.”

Haaretz learned Malmab (a Hebrew acronym) “concealed testimony from IDF generals about” about mass slaughter of Palestinians and destruction of their towns and villages, as well as dispossession of Bedouins during Israel’s first 10 years of statehood.

Former security department head Yehiel Horev told Haaretz he began the project to erase Israel’s ugly past — even though detailed information about the Nakba has been published.

His aim and others involved was and continues to be an effort to reinvent history, a common practice in many countries with disturbing pasts authorities want expunged from the public record — notably burying the historical record of horrific mistreatment of Black African slaves and Native Americans by US ruling authorities.

Documents on Israel’s nuclear weapons development and hostile relations with regional countries, along with on the Nabka, are concealed in vaults.

Haaretz’s detailed account is titled “Burying the Nakba: How Israel Systematically Hides Evidence of 1948 Expulsion of Arabs” — historical documents concealed from public view.

Along with burying Israel’s ugly past, Malmab aims to undermine the credibility of published documents.

History the way it should be published and taught isn’t pretty. The truth is there for historians seeking it.

Pappe’s “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” and Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” reveal the public record citizens of these countries, and everyone else, have a right to know.


Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

عملية دهس جنود صهاينة في القدس.. التوقيت والرسائل

يوليو 9, 2019

حسن حردان

ان العملية الجديدة التي نفذها، مقاوم فلسطيني، اول امس في القدس المحتلة، بدهس مجموعة من جنود الاحتلال، بسيارته، لحظة نزولهم من حافلتهم العسكرية، وأدت إلى إصابة أربعة جنود بينهم ضابط، تشكل استمراراً لعمليات شبان الانتفاضة الفلسطينية المتواصلة على نحو متقطع، نظراً للظروف الموضوعية التي تواجه الشعب العربي الفلسطيني تحت الاحتلال والمتمثلة في تقطيع أوصال المناطق الفلسطينية، وإقامة جدار الفصل العنصري، وانتشار مئات الحواجز العسكرية الصهيونية.. الخ وهذا يؤكد مجدداً فشل كل الإجراءات الأمنية الصهيونية المتخذة والمتجددة في أعقاب كل عملية فدائية، في وقف مثل هذه العمليات لعدم القدرة على امتلاك معلومات مسبقة عنها.. غير أن ما يميز العملية الجديدة إلى جانب كونها تأتي في سياق المقاومة الشعبية ضد الاحتلال ومستوطنيه، التوقيت، واختيار المكان، والرسائل التي تبعث بها في هذا الظرف بالذات التي تواجه فيها قضية فلسطين مخططاً خطيراً يستهدف تصفيتها..

على صعيد التوقيت، تأتي العملية لتشكل ردا مباشرا على صفقة القرن الأميركية الصهيونية الهادفة الى مقايضة الحقوق الوطنية للشعب الفلسطيني بحفنة من الدولارات، والقول بأن المقاومة الشعبية بكل أشكالها هي السبيل لمواجهة مثل هذه الصفقات الاستسلامية، وان شعب فلسطين وفي المقدمة الجيل الذي نشأ في ظل اتفاق أوسلو، لم تتراجع عزيمته أو يقبل التعايش مع الأمر الواقع ويسلم بالتخلي عن قضيته وحقوقه في وطنه..

وعلى صعيد المكان، فإن حصول العملية في القدس المحتلة يأتي في سياق ازدياد المقاومة في مواجهة اشتداد الهجوم الصهيوني الاستيطاني على الأرض والمقدسات في المدينة في محاولة لإحداث تغيير في هويتها العربية والوضع الديمغرافي فيها..

أما لناحية الرسائل التي أريد توجيهها من خلال هذه العملية فهي:

الرسالة الاولى: التأكيد بأن المقاومة والانتفاضة الفلسطينية متواصلة ولن تتوقف كما يراهن الاحتلال من خلال تشديد عملياته القمعية والإرهابية، وان أمن جنود الاحتلال والمستوطنين لن يتحقق ولن ينعم الكيان الصهيوني بالاستقرار طالما أن الشعب العربي الفلسطيني مسلوبة حقوقه ويفتقد للأمن ويحرم من حقه في تقرير مصيره على أرضه..

الرسالة الثانية: موجهة ضد الأنظمة الرجعية العربية المنخرطة في مخطط التآمر على قضية فلسطين، والقيام بمساعدة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب ورئيس حكومة العدو بنيامين نتنياهو على محاولة تمرير صفقة القرن وتمكن الكيان الصهيوني من حسم الصراع لمصلحة روايته المزيفة، وتشريع وجوده كدولة يهودية عنصرية على أرض فلسطين المحتلة ونفي وجود الشعب الفلسطيني وحقوقه فيها، وبالتالي إقامة العلاقات الطبيعية مع هذا الكيان الاحتلالي وتمكينه من التسيّد على المنطقة وإلغاء هوية وعروبة الأمة العربية.. فالعملية تسقط محاولات هذه الأنظمة بث ثقافة الاستسلام والتسليم بالأمر الواقع وعدم الجدوى من مقاومته، وهي توجه صفعة قوية لهذه الأنظمة الخائنة لقضية الأمة المركزية، مؤكدة بأن شباب فلسطين متمسكون بالمقاومة الشعبية بكل أشكالها في مواجهة المحتل، وان ثقافة المقاومة ستبقى هي السائدة لتحرير فلسطين لا سيما أن التجارب أثبتت أن هذه المقاومة هي الوحيدة القادرة على تحرير الأرض واستعادة الحقوق وحماية عروبة فلسطين، من جنوب لبنان إلى قطاع غزة، فيما الدخول في مسار التفاوض وتوقيع الاتفاقيات مع المحتل لم يعد أرضاً محتلة ولا حقوق سليبة، بل على العكس فإن الاحتلال ازداد غطرسة وسرقة للحقوق والأرض في ظل اتفاقيات أوسلو ووادي عربة وكامب ديفيد.. التي شجعته على التمادي في استيطان وتهديد الأرض الفلسطينية وتنفيذ مخططاته لاغتصاب الحقوق الوطنية للشعب العربي الفلسطيني..

الرسالة الثالثة: فهي موجهة إلى ترامب ونتنياهو، بأن شباب فلسطين يرفضون الاستسلام والتخلي عن حقوقهم مقابل حفنة من الدولارات، وهم مستعدون لمواصلة المقاومة وتقديم التضحيات في سبيل الحفاظ على الحقوق ورفض التخلي عنها..

الرسالة الرابعة: الرد القوي على الممارسات الإرهابية التعسفية للاحتلال وسياساته القائمة على التنكيل والعقاب الجماعي والتي كان آخر فصولها ضد سكان بلدة العيسوية في القدس المحتلة حيث اقدم الاحتلال على محاصرة البلدة ونشر الحواجز على مداخلها والقيام بعمليات قمع واعتداء وإعدام أحد شباب البلدة إثر مواجهات اندلعت بين شبان العيسوية وجنود الاحتلال.. كما جاءت العملية الفدائية رداً مباشراً على مشاركة السفير الأميركي الصهيوني الانتماء فريدمان، في افتتاح طريق تحت بلدة سلوان في القدس المحتلة بما يمكن المستوطنين الصهاينة من الوصول إلى المسجد الأقصى، نظمته جمعية ايعاد الاستيطانية والتي حمل خلالها فريدمان مطرقة بيده للمشاركة مع قادة الاستيطان في هدم الجدار لفتح طريق العبور للمستوطنين.. بما يؤكد تماهي إدارة ترامب مع اليمين الصهيوني المتطرف.. الأمر الذي دفع صحيفة هآرتس الصهيونية إلى وصف هذا التصرف للسفير الأميركي بانه «انفصال مقلق عن الواقع»…

خلاصة القول، إن عملية الدهس في القدس جاءت لتؤكد من جديد بأن مقاومة شبان الانتفاضة لم تتوقف وهي تتكامل مع مسيرات العودة المتواصلة على حدود قطاع غزة مع الأراضي المحتلة عام 1948.. وترسم المشهد الفلسطيني في مواجهة الاحتلال واستهداف قدراته.. وإفهامه بأن المقاومة الفلسطينية لم ولن تستكين وهي مستمرة دفاعاً عن الحقوق وعروبة فلسطين والمقدسات، وأن الاحتلال مهما تجبّر وارتكب الجرائم ضد الفلسطينيين لإخماد مقاومتهم وإخضاعهم، لن ينجح في تحقيق اهدافه، لأن إرادة المقاومة لدى أبناء فلسطين أقوى من جبروت وإرهاب المحتل..

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Ex-Bahrain official: israel aims to ‘destroy society’ in Middle East


MEMO | July 4, 2019

Former Bahraini minister of education and political analyst Mohammed Al-Fakhro warned that Israel is working to draw out a new Sykes-Picot agreement for the entire Arab region.

Speaking at the international cultural festival of Assilah in Morocco, Fakhro said the Arab countries are targeted by external and internal parties, adding that there are real attempts by these parties to continue to occupy the Palestinian territories.

He added that Israel, along with other foreign parties, wants the Arab countries to be engaged in “endless conflicts related to geography, sectarianism, religion, tribalism and other conflicts that destroy society”.

He added that those hostile to the Arab world seek to link Arab societies to “globalisation, so that Arab land becomes a market for goods produced by others”.

Al-Fakhro stressed that the scheme aims to keep Arab countries in “technological, scientific and cultural” backwardness.

Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs

By Hagar Shezaf

Since early last decade, Defense Ministry teams have scoured local archives and removed troves of historic documents to conceal proof of the Nakba

July 05, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –   Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

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Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

“At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.

An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”

“The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

The Israeli version

One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

Read a translation of the document here

This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ‘whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ‘friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”

An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

Short fuse

In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:

Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”

Peled: “All, all. Yes.”

Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”

Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”

Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”

Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”

Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”

Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”

Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”

Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”

Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”

Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:

Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”

Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”

Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”

Lev Tov: “That were standing?”

Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”

Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”

Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

Crates in vaults

The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.

The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.

“In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.

One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.

A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

“A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered…. The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

Nuclear excuse

It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.

“I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”

In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”

In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”

Unauthorized secrecy

About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.

Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”

Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.

Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”

The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

What Malmab says

Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.

“I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”

From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

“What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?

“The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?

“I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.

“The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?

“I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.

“If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.

This article was originally published by “Haaretz” –

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