israel has good reason to fear ICC

Israel has good reason to fear ICC

If, as Israel claims, its actions in the West Bank are lawful, why is the US administration fighting the Palestinian effort to have the matter heard at the International Criminal Court?
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#BDS India Scraps $500M Military Deal With israel

India Scraps $500M Military Deal With Israel Amid Rising Popular Concern About India’s Complicity in Israeli Crimes

BDS | November 21, 2017

In anticipation of this deal to produce missile systems, Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems had entered into a joint venture with its in Indian partner. (Representative Image: Reuters)

Yesterday, media reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense scrapped the $500M deal with Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for its missile systems. Years in the making, the deal had been celebrated in international media and was finalized after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July. In August, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and its Indian partner Kalyani Strategic Systems opened a facility in Hyderabad to manufacture the missile systems.

The deal was cancelled after India’s state-run Defense Research Development Organisation asserted that India should not import this Israeli technology.

Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Stop the Wall Campaign and BNC secretariat member said:

India’s decision to scrap this massive arms deal with Israel is a huge blow to the Israeli weapons industry. This $500 million deal would have fueled Israel’s military industry, which is deeply implicated in war crimes against the Palestinian people.

It is also a major setback for Israel’s propaganda hubris that its technology is indispensable for India’s development and modernization. As many Indians are recognizing, Israel is marketing military and agricultural technologies in India and trying to cement Indian dependence on Israel.

Israel seeks a flow of Indian cash for it’s own profit and to help finance its criminal wars and apartheid regime.

India is by far the globe’s biggest importer of Israeli weapons, and Israel is enjoying almost unparalleled influence in the Indian military system. Israel is equipping the Indian army with Israeli guns, the Indian airforce and navy with Israeli airplanes and missiles, and is also providing communication systems and technology in all levels of the Indian military.

Over the last two decades, Indo-Israeli military relations have continuously increased despite various corruption scandals and technical failures.

Similar patterns have started to surface in other sectors as well. India’s 16 million-strong farmer’s union AIKS has endorsed the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) “in order to stand for the rights of the Palestinian people and to resist the corporate takeover of Indian agriculture sector by Israeli companies.”

Members of Telengana’s state assembly last week denounced state-sponsored trips of Indian farmers to Israel as “a wastage of money.”

Omar Barghouti, co-founder of  the BNC said:

We hope this is the beginning of the end of Indian complicity in Israel’s egregious violation of international law and Palestinian human rights. As Palestinians we ask the Indian people to maintain their proud legacy of commitment to independence,  to growing local knowledge and to respecting other people’s struggles for self-determination.

Israel’s regime of oppression can never be a model for the great Indian nation that once led the non-aligned movement and upheld the right of all nations to self determination and freedom. Israel exports to India what it knows best — technology that represses, militarizes and dispossesses people of their land and water rights. India is better off without that.

Last week it was announced that Indian Oil and Natural Gas Corporations are bidding for drilling rights in gas fields claimed by Israel, despite the many controversies linked to territorial disputes in such fields.  In August, India’s Adventz group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop Israel’s Jerusalem Light Rail, which serves Israel’s settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem in violation of international law.

Omar Barghouti said:

As large multinationals increasingly abandon their illegal projects in Israel due to effective BDS pressure, Israel has started dragging India into deals fraught with legal and political problems. Indian companies would be well advised to avoid getting sucked into Israel’s human rights violations as more and more international corporations refuse to get involved in such complicity.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society. It leads and supports the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. 

HEZBOLLAH FORCES ARE ON HIGH COMBAT READINESS TO CONFRONT POSSIBLE ISRAELI ATTACKS

South Front

21.11.2017

The situation in the Middle East is developing. The expected conflict between the resistance axis, primarily Hezbollah, and the Saudi-Israeli block is the current center of attention.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran wants to deploy its troops in Syria on a permanent basis “with the declared intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel” and threatened that if Tel Aviv fails to receive the international support, it is ready to act “alone.” “Iran will not get nuclear weapons. It will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel,” he said.

Deputy Chairman of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qaouq said his group is ready for any military scenario amid indications that Saudi Arabia is pushing the Israeli regime to launch a new military operation against Lebanon. He said “The resistance movement is prepared to confront anything. It is fully capable of securing victories and repelling any aggressor.” Hezbollah troops have been brought to the highest combat-readiness level, according to media reports.

Speaking to the Saudi newspaper Elaph, Israel’s military chief Gen Gadi Eisenkot called Iran the “biggest threat to the region” and said Israel is ready to share intelligence with “moderate” Arab states like Saudi Arabia in order to “deal with” Tehran.

The statement was followed on November 19 by an emergency meeting in Cairo between Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers, calling for a united front to counter Iran and Hezbollah. The emergency Arab foreign ministers’ meeting was convened at the request of Saudi Arabia with support from the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait to discuss means of confronting Iran. In a declaration after the meeting, the Arab League accused Hezbollah of “supporting terrorism and extremist groups in Arab countries with advanced weapons and ballistic missiles.” It said Arab nations would provide details to the UN Security Council of Tehran’s violations through the arming of Houthi forces in Yemen. The Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the Iranian missiles are a threat to all Arab capitals: “Iranian threats have gone beyond all limits and pushed the region into a dangerous abyss.”

Since intercepting a ballistic missile fired at Riyadh by Iran-affiliated Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Saudis punched up their anti-Iran rhetoric, even going as far as to say the missile was Iranian-made and declared the attack an act of war by the Iranians.

Reacting to the emergency meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, “Unfortunately countries like the Saudi regime are pursuing divisions and creating differences, and because of this they don’t see any results other than divisions.”

As if to demonstrate the way the balance of power is going to look in the region, two separate summits on Syria are to be staged soon. With ISIS crushed and the so-called moderate opposition to Bashar al-Assad also in retreat, three key powers in the region – Russia, Iran and Turkey – will meet in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on November 22 to discuss how to wind down hostilities and draw up a political settlement. On the same day but separately, as many as 30 groups opposed to Assad will gather in Riyadh for three days of talks aimed at forming a broad negotiating team before the UN peace talks resume in Geneva on November 28. Russia, which holds a military advantage in Syria, appears to want to focus on a solution drawn up with the regional guarantors, Iran and Turkey. Significantly, ministers discussed the possibility of Kurdish groups being invited to the congress – something to which the Turks were until recently opposed.

These two summits, pretty much mirroring the sides of the conflict concerning Syria’s fate, are the first step towards ultimately establishing a new balance of power in the region. With the Kurdish question still looming, the Middle East without ISIS is about to change considerably.

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israeli demolition of entire Palestinian villages continues with no end in sight

Source

Israeli demolition of entire Palestinian villages continues with no end in sight (includes videos)

Image of Israeli forces demolishing the Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb for the 111th time in August 2017

Stories keep pouring in of Israel demolishing Palestinian villages; many of the buildings destroyed were donated by EU organizations; schools have been razed; residents are often required to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the destruction of their own homes; nearly 160,000 Bedouins live in “unrecognized” villages built before 1948 that Israel has designated “illegal” and threatens with demolition. Below are three reports, followed by videos and documentaries about previous demolitions:

Israel Demolishes Al-Araqeeb Village For 121st Time

from IMEMC News

The Israeli army demolished, Thursday, the Bedouin village of al-Arakib, in the Negev desert, for the 121st time, rendering all families homeless, yet again. The village was demolished 121 times, while the latest demolition before this one was carried out on October 25.

The village has been under constant invasions and demolitions; its inhabitants have land deeds and receipts of paid taxes dating back to Ottoman times, but the Israeli authorities do not accept these as valid.

The Maan News Agency has reported that, in August of this year, an Israeli court ordered six villagers to pay 262.000 Shekels (approximately $74,508), in addition to 100,000 Shekels ($28,440) for the expenses of its state’s attorney.

The figures above are only for the August demolition, in addition to all accumulated costs of the ongoing Israeli demolitions and destruction of the village since 2010, with a cumulative cost of approximately 1,902,607 Shekels (541,000 USD).

There are 35 Bedouin villages that are not recognized by Israel; nearly 160,000 Bedouins live in “unrecognized” villages in the Negev, built before 1948, but remain “illegal” under Israeli law and face constant threat of demolition and displacement.

In 2005, Israel approved the so-called “Negev Development Plan,” aimed at building shopping centers and tourist areas, but at the same time displacing around some 65.000 Bedouins living in what Israel refers to as “unrecognized villages.”

The plan calls for annexing more than 700,000 Dunams (185329 acres) and displacing the residents by demolishing 14 villages in the area. Al-Arakib village is one of the most impacted “unrecognized villages” in the Negev.

All unrecognized villages in the Negev are under continuing Israeli attacks and violations, as Tel Aviv does not recognize the residents’ right to live on the land — land they inhabited before the 1948 creation of the state of Israel in historic Palestine.


Israel To Displace Entire Palestinian Communities Near Occupied Jerusalem

from IMEMC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to displace and remove dozens of Palestinian Bedouin families living in their communities around occupied East Jerusalem, after deeming their dwellings as “illegal,” to replace them with colonists.

His decision was made after meeting with representatives of the so-called “Jerusalem Belt Forum,” which is actively involved in displacing the Palestinians and replacing them with Israeli colonist settlers, in direct violation of International Law.

The group aims at removing the Palestinians, their residences and dwellings, near Maale Adumim colonies, and held their meeting with Netanyahu, on Thursday evening.

Israeli National News has reported that the meeting was also attended by officials of Netanyahu’s office, in addition to Boaz Ido, who is a board member “Jerusalem Belt Forum,” the head of the Benyamin Regional Council of Settlements, Roni Snir, the head of Gush Katif Council, Danny Tirza, Field Coordinator Yaniv Aharoni, and Kfar Adumim resident and ‘social activist’ Avichai Shurshan.

The group presented Netanyahu with what they called “activities and achievements,” in addition to maps and aerial photographs of constructions in Bedouin communities, financed by the European Union.

The indigenous Palestinians in that area live in tents, mobile homes and several structures, in the area between Maale Adumim and Mitzpe Yeriho colonies.

Israeli Ynet News said that Netanyahu ordered the removal of what was described as “illegal outposts,” and to relocate the inhabitant in Abu Dis town, near Jerusalem, and Jericho.

The Arabs48 news website has reported that Israel is trying to displace what is left of the Bedouin communities in occupied Jerusalem to build and expand its illegal colonies, and link Maale Adumim with Jerusalem.

Israeli National News has reported that Netanyahu ordered his office, the police and the military to increase their deployment and enforcement, and to ensure the removal of the Palestinian communities, dubbed as “illegal outposts.”

On its part, the “Jerusalem Belt Forum” said after the meeting with Netanyahu that they “congratulate him for his willingness to resolve the problems presented to him, regarding the illegal construction carried out by European Funding,” referring to EU projects that tries to help in creating basic infrastructure and to improve the lives of the communities.

It is worth mentioning that the so-called “Jerusalem Belt Forum,” a heavily financed group active in the illegal construction and expansion of Israeli colonies, has been conducting various campaigns to stop what it refers to as “illegal Palestinian constructions,” and to remove the Bedouin committees to “house them in a Bedouin village near Jericho.

Bedouins living around Jerusalem, reside in Area C of the occupied West Bank, and are protected inhabitants under International Law, International Humanitarian Law, and all related protocols and agreements, but are constantly displaced, similar to what is happening in the Negev.

Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention.

On Friday at dawn, Netanyahu ordered the army to remove all Bedouin Palestinians living in their communities, close to Road #1, leading to the Dead Sea.

The army also handed eviction orders to the Bedouin families in Jabal al-Baba area, near al-‘Ezariyya, east of Jerusalem, ordering them to leave dwellings they inhabited for more than fifty years, after they were displaced from the Negev.

Arabs48 quoted resident Atallah al-Jahalin stating that he was born there 43 years ago, in the same dwelling were 57 families, half of them children, reside.


Israeli forces deliver evacuation notices to 300 Palestinians in Bedouin village

from Ma’an News Agency

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Friday reportedly distributed evacuation notices to all 300 Palestinian residents of the Bedouin village of Jabal al-Baba in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, according to official Palestinian Authority (PA)-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that staff from Israel’s civil administration, backed by Israeli army, reportedly stormed the village and ordered its residents to leave their homes.

Jabal Al-Baba, according to Wafa, consists of 100 buildings, 58 of which are houses, while the rest are structures used for agriculture. “Because the community is unrecognized, the people in Jabal al-Baba live without electricity and get water only from tanks filled by trucks,” Wafa said.

Israeli forces have demolished dozens of homes in Jabal al-Baba area, many of them built with assistance from the EU and humanitarian organizations, over the past few years.

In August, Israeli forces demolished a Kindergarten school in the village.

The hill is populated by some 55 Bedouin families who have inhabited the area for 65 years, and face constant threat of being expelled from their homes.

Some 90 Palestinian Bedouins, the majority of them children, were left homeless when Israeli forces disassembled EU-donated mobile homes in the Jabal al-Baba in May 2016.

Jabal al-Baba, like other Bedouin communities in the region, is under threat of forcible transfer by Israel for being located in the contentious “E1 corridor” set up by the Israeli government to link annexed East Jerusalem with the mega settlement of Maale Adumim.

Israeli authorities plan to build thousands of homes for Jewish-only settlements in E1, which would effectively divide the West Bank and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state — as envisaged by the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — almost impossible.

Rights groups and Bedouin community members have sharply criticized Israel’s relocation plans for the Bedouin residing near the illegal Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, claiming that the removal would displace indigenous Palestinians for the sake of expanding Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.


2016 video about Israel’s demolition of school in Bedouin village of Abu Nuwar 

2016 Video of Israel soldiers arresting people protesting demolition of their homes in Umm al-Hiran

2011 Documentary about Al Araqib (aka Al Araqeeb)

2007 Documentary:

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Don’t miss a trick, israel fines PA $18m over killing of 3 israelis in 2001. So how much does israel owe for their Gaza genocide in 2014?

MEMO | November 20, 2017

The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem has ordered the Palestinian Authority (PA) and six Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails to pay NIS62m ($18m) in compensation for Israeli settlers killed in 2001, Quds Press reported on Sunday.

Reporting Israeli media, Quds Press said that the six Palestinians, from the former Fatah’s military wing Al-Aqsa Brigades, were accused of shooting and killing three Israeli Jewish settlers in the south of the West Bank city of Ramallah in August 2001.

Israeli TV Channel 10 and Quds Press said, reported that if the PA refused to pay the money, the Israeli authorities would deduct the money from the taxes it collects on behalf of the PA.

The Israeli court ruled that the NIS62m would be paid for the families of the three dead Israeli settlers and the remaining money to be paid for the legal expenses, including the fees of the layers.

Quds Press said that the Israeli court claimed that the PA had assisted the Palestinian in carrying out the shooting as it supplied them with money and arms.

Global medical watchdog complicit with israeli abuses/torture

Global medical watchdog complicit with Israeli abuses

Derek Summerfield The Electronic Intifada

A boy wears tape on his mouth reading “Break the silence” during a protest against the torture of Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank city of Ramallah in November 2013.

Issam Rimawi APA images

It is now more than 20 years since Amnesty International first concluded that Israeli doctors working with Israel’s security services “form part of a system in which detainees are tortured, ill-treated and humiliated in ways that place prison medical practice in conflict with medical ethics.”

Since then there have been repeated attempts – of which this author has been part – to have the global medical ethics watchdog World Medical Association (WMA) hold the Israeli Medical Association (IMA) accountable for these practices.

But with the latest attempt foundering last year and despite changes in leadership over the years, the conclusion that now has to be drawn is that, when it comes to Israel, the WMA is not fit for the purpose for which it was created after World War II.

The WMA is mandated to ensure that its member associations abide by its codes, in particular its seminal 1975 anti-torture WMA Declaration of Tokyo. This obliges doctors not just to not participate directly in torture but also to protect the victims and to speak out whenever they encounter it.

The significant precedent for our action against the Israeli association was the expulsion from the WMA of the Medical Association of South Africa during the apartheid era on precisely the grounds that doctors became a part of a system in which torture was routine, just as Amnesty International concluded was the case in Israel.

Since then, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has often stated that if the IMA refused to allow doctors to serve in security units commonly deploying torture the practice would come to a halt. The medical presence in these units offers moral legitimation to Israel’s interrogators.

Global action

The first attempt to hold the IMA accountable came in 2009, when some 725 physicians from 43 countries appealed to the WMA, attaching the published findings from a number of human rights organizations including Amnesty, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and the United Against Torture coalition. That effort ended when it became clear that then-president of the WMA, Yoram Blachar, who was also president of the IMA, would not take any action, indeed refused to even acknowledge receipt of the submission.

Rather than investigating the claims made in the appeal, Blachar filed a libel suit in London against the individual who headed the 2009 campaign (and is also the author of this article). We rebutted the suit, which alleged we had duped signatories into signing the petition. Signatories helped us with our successful rebuttal by asserting to the libel lawyers that they were no dupes. Noam Chomsky was among those in public support of our effort.

The latest of these attempts to hold the IMA accountable came last year when 71 UK-based doctors made a fresh appeal to the WMA. This time, the submission also leaned on the 2011 Physicians for Human Rights-Israel report “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim: The Involvement of Medical Professionals in Torture and Ill Treatment in Israel” regarding the work of Israeli doctors in security units where torture of detainees was routine.

Why, the 2016 submission asked, were the doctors posted to these units not protecting detainees and protesting their treatment? And why has the Israeli Medical Association not acted on such reports, as it should according to the standards set down by the World Medical Association?

A hope dashed

This time, we hoped that the international reputation of prominent British medical academic Sir Michael Marmot, who at the time was WMA president, could be brought to bear on a case that has been a standing reproach to the idea that global regulation of the ethical behavior of doctors is even-handed and effective.

Marmot did send us an acknowledgment of receipt (unlike his predecessor) but within days of receiving this, we were staggered to see a letter from Marmot to the Simon Wiesenthal Center published on the center’s website.

Addressed to Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for international relations at the Wiesenthal Center, the letter startlingly stated that, vis-à-vis past claims, “investigations have revealed no wrongdoing or mishandling of the cases by the Israeli Medical Association.”

This is entirely untrue. For many years, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel has tried to get the IMA to conduct such an investigation but found the association consistently unwilling. “Persistently repeated attempts,” the rights group concluded in 2011 in Doctoring the Evidence, “calling the IMA’s attention to cases arousing suspicion of doctors’ involvement in torture and cruel or degrading treatment, have not been dealt with substantively.”

The IMA did in 2009 look into testimonies of victims of torture collected in 2007 by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, but concluded, after a few phone calls, that the accusations were without merit and flawed because they had no evidence “other than the word of the prisoners.” That conclusion effectively delegitimized victim complaints from the outset.

Not fit for purpose

Marmot’s letter to Samuels in effect gifted the IMA a signal propaganda victory. He did not just make inaccurate statements: he effectively offered the IMA instant and public exoneration. Coming from the WMA president himself, presumed to be speaking for the whole organization, this was a real propaganda coup and one taken up by media outlets like The Jerusalem Post, whose report was duly headlined “World Medical Association affirms trust in Israeli doctors in response to BDS campaign.”

With repeated attempts to have the WMA take the IMA to task for a conclusive body of evidence showing the Israeli medical establishment is – at the very least – enabling a system of torture of prisoners, the focus must now shift to the WMA itself.

Unfortunately, as the case with Israel illustrates, the WMA seems unwilling to act against those with powerful friends like the US. It is far less hesitant in raising concerns with other less powerful countries like Iran or Bahrain, to name but two.

We therefore have to conclude that the world’s medical body is complicit with these Israeli abuses and that its purported mission to uphold ethical standards across the globe is a sham.

This is bad news for Israeli doctors thrust into ethically compromised roles. It is worse news for Palestinian detainees with little to protect them.

Derek Summerfield is a London-based medical academic involved in human rights campaigning on Israel/Palestine for 25 years.

 

Hundreds of Palestinians on the brink of expulsion: ‘We just want to live’

Three hundred Palestinians have been ordered to leave their homes and take with them all their belongings within the next eight days. Where are they supposed to go? The military order provides no answers. In the meantime, they wait for the rain that refuses to come.

By Keren Manor / Activestills.org

Members of the Daragma family stand next to a cinder block built outside their tent, which declares the area an open-fire zone, and this is forbidden for entry. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Members of the Daragma family stand next to a cinder block built outside their tent, which declares the area an open-fire zone, and this is forbidden for entry. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

They are about to be expelled from their homes but every person I met on our visit to the community of Ein al-Hilweh in the Jordan Valley asked us if there was news of rain. The farmers and shepherds in Ein al-Hilweh and in the neighboring village of Umm Jamal are worried. It is the middle of November, and without water, their herds of cattle, sheep, chicken and other animals are beginning to die of hunger. There is no water to drink. The dry earth does not provide food for pasture. The small community, which is not connected to running water, depends on rain to grow the crops that provide the little food off of which they and their livestock survive.

Because Israel has designated most of the land in the Jordan Valley as as military firing zones, nature preserves, or security areas for settlements, the villagers are forbidden from going almost anywhere; they risk the confiscation of their tractors and livestock by the army if they do. They are forbidden to approach the springs closest to their homes because of the presence of soldiers and the settlers.

Ein Al-Hilweh, Jordan Valley, November 16, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Ein Al-Hilweh, Jordan Valley, November 16, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

 

The absurdity of the situation reached its peak, the villagers recount, with the construction of a water pipe by Mekorot, Israel’s national water company, that runs next to the village and provides water to the settlements in the area. The pipe leaks, but if the villagers dare to approach it with their flocks, they risk their livelihood being confiscated by the army. In the reality of the occupation, better to waste water than quench the thirst of the wrong population.

The Palestinians are left with two options: to suffer dehydration or pay NIS 120 (nearly $35) for four cubic meters of water from the nearby villages of Bardala or Ein al-Beida—almost five times what the residents of the settlements pay, and 15 times what Israeli farmers pay for a cubic meter of water for agricultural use.

“It is difficult to make a living from livestock. The situation here is difficult,” said one of the members of the Daragma family, with whom we toured the area. How do people survive? we asked. “Many work in the settlements in the Jordan Valley, mainly in the date groves, for NIS 50-70 ($14-20) for eight hours of work a day.”

Ein Al-Hilweh, Jordan Valley, November 16, 2017. Three hundred people and 5,000 animals from two Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley are facing immediate expulsion. (Activestills.org)

Ein Al-Hilweh, Jordan Valley, November 16, 2017. Three hundred people and 5,000 animals from two Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley are facing immediate expulsion. (Activestills.org)

 

But the gaunt cattle, the starving livestock, the water shortage, and the lack of money are not the only worries of the Daragma family. On Thursday, November 9, soldiers arrived in the village and left on the side of the road, by the homes of the villages’ families, an order “relating to unpermitted structures.” Attached to the order was an aerial photo with the areas of the villages of Ein-al Hilweh and the neighboring Umm Jamal demarcated on the photo. Thirty families live in the demarcated area—300 people in total, with 5,000 animals, as of the date the evacuation order was issued.

The order, signed on November 1 by Roni Noma, commander of IDF forces in the West Bank, instructs all the residents of the area to remove their property from the area with eight days of the orders’ signing—but how does it work out if the order was placed on the side of the road eight days after being signed? It doesn’t.

The Daragma family has lived in the area since 1967, and before that lived not far away. They show us the document signed by the Jordanian government with the name of their grandfather listed as owner of the land. The rest of the territory covered by the evacuation order, 550 dunam in total, is either privately owned Palestinian land or owned by the Catholic Church. Where are the people supposed to go when they are expelled? Neither the order nor the Israeli government give an answer.

Qadri Daragma, one of the 300 residents of Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal who are facing expulsion. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Qadri Daragma, one of the 300 residents of Ein al-Hilweh and Umm Jamal who are facing expulsion. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

 

This is not the first time that Palestinian families in the Jordan family have faced expulsion, but it is the first time the army has used this kind of order, called a “Demarcation Order,” against Palestinians. The order was first articulated in 2003, ironically, to be used against illegal Jewish outposts. The use of this kind of order against Palestinians allows for a quicker expulsion, a wider applicability, and is more expedient when it comes to dealing with Israeli bureaucracy—because it applies to entire communities without requiring detailed inspection of all the structures in an area, which has been the Civil Administration’s practice up until now.

Ein5

A Jordanian document showing proof that the land on which Ein Al-Hilweh was built belongs to the Daragma family. (Activestills.org)

 

At a time when the government is busy legalizing formerly illegal outposts and legislating the systematic theft of Palestinian land, it is hardly surprising that the laws meant to enforce legal building in the occupied territories  serve one population and not another. The settlement of Maskiot, established in 2006 for settlers removed from the Gaza Strip, overlooks the villages that stand to be evacuated. To the north and south of these villages there still proudly stand two illegal Jewish outposts—Givat Slait and Um Zuka, which continue to expand despite the orders to halt construction and their residents’ tendency to abuse the Palestinian shepherds.

“The people here are not interested in politics. They just want to live,” one of the Daragma family members said to us. Unfortunately, politics determines the conditions of living—especially if you are a Palestinian.

Just a few days earlier, the same kind of order, also signed by General Roni Noma, was issued against the community of Jabal al-Baba, located in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Jericho. It seems the army has found a substitute to the demolition orders issued by the Civil Administration, which apply to specific structures, as a means to expel entire communities.

More than 1,300 Israelis have signed an online petition created by Zazim that calls on President Rivilin to stop the injustice and the expulsion of the 300 hundred residents of Umm Jamal and Ein al-Hilweh from their homes.

Executive Director of B’Tselem Hagai El-Ad said, “with the orders of the IDF commander in the West Bank in the Jordan Valley and Jabal al Baba we are witnessing a new stage in Israel’s violent process to remove Palestinians from Area C. In the Jordan Valley, in East Jerusalem, in the South Hebron Hills, the fact cannot be ignored: forced expulsion constitutes a war crime.”

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