Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (30 May – 12 June 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations  (30 May – 12 June 2019)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 30 May – 12 June, 2019.

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child while attempting to enter al-Aqsa Mosque, to perform prayers. 17 civilians, including 6 children, were wounded in the West Bank. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian ambulance officer succumbed to his wounds. 50 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and a paramedic, were wounded on the 60th Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege.

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized within the activities of “Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege” in the Gaza Strip, which witnessed the 60th Friday of the peaceful protests along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli forces used force against civilians who participated in the demonstrations organized against the Israeli incursions into the West Bank cities and villages.  In the West Bank, the Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 17 civilians, including 6 children, in separate incidents.  In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces wounded 50 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and a paramedic, during their participation in the Great March of Return.

In the West Bank, on 31 May 2019, in a new crime of excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed ‘Abdullah Loay Ghaith (16) while attempting to enter al-Aqsa Mosque to perform the last Friday Prayer in Ramadan.  When he attempted to sneak into the city along with his cousin for not obtaining an entry permit, the Israeli police officers (Border Guard) opened fire at him, wounding him with 2 bullets to the lower back of the thorax.

In the same context, Israeli forces wounded 17 Palestinian civilians, including 6 children.  Ten of them, including 2 children, were wounded during their participation in Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest, northeast of Qalqiliya.  Six of them, including 4 children, were wounded while protesting against the Israeli forces’ incursion into Nablus to secure the entyry of hundreds of settlers into the eastern area of the city to perform rituals in Josef Tomb.  Moreover, a civilian was wounded in Romanah village, west of Jenin, with a bullet which was fired from the side of the annexation wall.

In the Gaza Strip, at approximately 13:00 on Monday, 10 June 2019, Palestinian medical sources announced the death of ambulance officer, Mohammed Sobhi Salamah al-Judaili (36), from al-Buraij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, succumbing to wounds he sustained at approximately 18:10 on Friday, 03 May 2019. Al-Jadili was hit with a rubber bullet to the nose, causing fractures to the nose and skull, while on duty within the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) team, east of Abu Safiyah Hill in the northern Gaza Strip. Mohammed attempted to put 2 wounded civilians in the Great March of Return inside an ambulance which was around 200 meters away from the western side of the border fence.

 

In the same context, the Israeli forces wounded 50 Palestinian civilians, including 11 children and a paramedic, in excessive use of force against the peaceful demonstrators on the 60thFriday of the Great March of Return in the eastern Gaza Strip.

 

As part of targeting the Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, the Israeli forces continued to escalate their attacks against the Palestinian fishermen, indicating an ongoing Israeli policy of targeting fishermen’s livelihoods.  During the reporting period, PCHR documented 3 incidents off the northern and southern Gaza shores.  It should be noted that the Israeli forces declared on 11 June 2019 that the allowed area for fishing decreased to 6 nautical miles under the pretext of incendiary balloons fired from the Gaza Strip.  Next day afternoon, the spokesperson of the Israeli Forces, Avichay Adraee, declared a total naval blockade off the Gaza Strip shore until further notice; thus, fishermen are not allowed to sail or fish in the sea.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 83 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 37 Palestinians, including 2 children and a woman, in the West Bank, while 45 other civilians, including 3 women, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

In the Gaza Strip, on 04 June 2019, Israeli forces moved 100 meters into al-Shokah village, east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.  They combed lands in front of the Return encampment before redeploying along the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

 

As part of settlement expansion, demolitions and house demolition notices, on 10 June2019, Mervat Jamal Abu Kaf self-demolished her house in Qisan area in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, to implement the Israeli Municipality order, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mervat said that she was forced to demolish her house after a decision issued by the Israeli court because she could not pay demolition costs estimated at NIS 70,000 for the Israeli Municipality. She added that the court’s decision was issued after she paid a construction fine estimated at NIS 60,000.  Mervat lived in her 125-sqaure-meter house along with her 6 children.

 

On the Same day, the Israeli forces forced a Palestinian civilian to self-demolish his residential building, which was under-construction, in Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

On 11 June, the Israeli forces demolished a house and a residential building in addition to 2 commercial facilities in the villages of sour Baher and al-Mukaber Mount village, south of occupied East Jerusalem.

 

On 12 June 2018, Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential building, 7 stores and a gas station in the vicinity of Qalendia checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Settlement activities and settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property

 

  • As part of the house demolitions and notices, The Israeli authorities issued a military order to confiscate 80 dunums belonging to Palestinian civilians in order to build a new settlement street for “Alon Moreh“ settlement established in northeast of Nablus. The street is 12 kilometers long and 13 meters wide.
  • On 11 June 2019, Israeli forces uprooted 550 forest trees and fruitful olive trees in addition to destroying 2 wells in Kherbet Abu Kbaish, east of Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas. Most of those trees were donated by the Brazilian Consulate.

 

  • On the same day, the Israeli forces destroyed an under-construction house comprised of 2 floors and 4 residential apartments in addition to a roof of 500 square meters. They also backfilled a well of 150 cubic meters in Khelet al-Surbati area near Jabal Jawhar neighborhood in southern Hebron.  The demolition came under the pretext of non-licensing in Area C.

 

  • On the same day, the Israeli authorities issued 2 military orders; one to change the boundaries in order to seize Palestinian agricultural lands in ‘Asirah al-Qibliyah village, southeast of Nablus, and another to confiscate 1.5 dunums from the Palestinian agricultural lands in Burin village, southeast of Nablus. This order was on grounds of building a new security street in favor of Barakha settlement established in northeastern Burin village, east of Nablus.  On the same day, the Israeli forces destroyed a residential room and 4 barracks for grazing sheep and horses in Beer ‘Onah village, north of occupied East Jerusalem.

 

  • On 12 June 2019, Israeli forces demolished 5 residential tents, 5 tents used for sheltering livestock, a tent used as a kitchen, livestock barn and water tanks in addition to backfilling a well in Kherbet al-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Valleys in eastern Tubas.

 

  • On the same day, the Israeli forces demolished a tin-plate house of 30 square meters in Um al-Kheir village, southeast of Yata, south of Hebron, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • On the same day, the Palestinian Civil Liaison handed the head of Burin village, southeast of Nablus, a military order which was given by the Israeli liaison about the confiscation of 1.5 dunums from the Palestinian agricultural lands in favor of building a new security street, which is 1.5 kilometers long, for Barakha settlement established in northeastern Burin village.

 

As part of settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property, on 05 June 2019, Israeli settlers, from “Ahiya” settlement, which is established in the southern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the village outskirts from the southern side. The settlers threw stones at Jaloud Secondary School, broke 2 windows and set fire to olive fields. As a result, over 1000 olive trees planted 65 years ago were completely burned.

 

On 06 June 2019, Israeli settlers seized agricultural lands in al-Makhrour area in Beit Jala, under the pretext of owning them. Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance in Bethlehem, said that the settlement association “Kern Kemet” seized, reclaimed and planted 4 dunums from Palestinian lands in Beit Jalaand in addition to setting barbed wires around them to place mobile homes on them.

 

On 08 June 2019, settlers attacked a land belonging to the heirs of the late Ismael Mousa in Al-Khader village in southern Bethlehem. Maryam Mousa, one of the heirs, said that her family was surprised with raiding her 8-dunum land by settlers in Wad Abu Bajeer area in al-Khader village. She also added that the settlers placed water pipes and planted the land with hundreds of olive, apricot, and peach trees.

Ambulance Officer Succumbed to his Wounds:

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Monday, 10 June 2019, Palestinian medical sources announced the death of Mohammed Sobhi Salamah al-Judaili (36), from al-Buraij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, succumbing to wounds he sustained at approximately 18:10 on Friday, 03 May 2019, while on duty east of the Return encampment, east of Abu Safiyah Hill, northeast of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. Al-Jadili, who was an ambulance officer at Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), was hit with a rubber bullet to the nose fired by Israeli soldiers. As a result, he suffered fracture to the skull while he was transferring 2 civilians wounded in the Return March inside the ambulance, which was around 200 meters into the west of the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

According to the testimony of his colleague, (Y. A), after Mohammed was injured, he was taken to the medical point belonging to the Ministry of Health and then transferred to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to receive medical treatment. Doctors found out that Mohammed suffered from fracture to the nose and skull. He was later transferred to al-Quds Hospital of the PRCS in Tal al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City. Mohammed stayed at al-Quds Hospital waiting a medical referral for treatment in a hospital in the West Bank. Mohammed left the hospital to spend Eid al-Feter holiday with his family on Sunday, 02 June, 2019. On the same day evening, Mohammed suffered a seizure and fainted and then his heart suddenly stopped. He was then taken to al-Aqsa Hospital in the central Gaza Strip where he stayed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until receiving a referral to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, West Bank. Mohammed death was announced at approximately 13:00 on Monday, 10 June 2019 succumbing to his wounds.

 

 

  • House Demolitions:

 

  • At approximately 14:00 on Monday, 10 June 2019, Mervat Jamal Abu Kaf self-demolished her house in Qisan area in Surbaher village, south of occupied East Jerusalem, to implement the Israeli Municipality order, under the pretext of non-licensing. Mervat said that she was forced to demolish her house after a decision issued by the Israeli court, because she could not pay demolition costs estimated at NIS 70.000 for the Israeli Municipality. She added that the court’s decision issued after paying a fine estimated at NIS 60.000. Mervat said that the demolition decision was unjust and deprived her of living in conditions of safety and stability with her 6 children. Mervat clarified: “ My blind husband, Hasan Khalil Abu Kaf, died after suffering from incurable disease and I paid the fine in installments and took care of  my children alone, but the Israeli Municipality did not take into account this”  Mervat added that she lives in her 125-sqaure-meter house along with her 6 children 6 years ago. Her house was comprised of 4 rooms, a living room, kitchen, and bathroom. She pointed out that she was forced to live in one room in her father- in-law house because she became homeless. Jaber ‘Omirah, Head of the organizing committee of Dir al-‘Amoud, al-Mentar and al-Qisan in Surbaher village, said that the abovementioned areas are located within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, but their lands are not organized. He added that the Jerusalem municipality staff demolished several houses in these areas and around 250 Jerusalemites are suffering from paying construction fines, under the pretext of non-licensing. He clarified that  Dir al-‘Amoud, al-Mentar and al-Qisan areas are built on an area of 5000 dunums and around 5000 people are living in these areas. He pointed out that the committee called upon the Jerusalem Municipality years ago to organize these areas, but in vain.

 

  • On Monday, 10 June 2019, the Israeli Municipality forced ‘Imran ‘Alqam to self-demolish his residential building, which was under-construction, in Sho’fat refugee camp, north of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. ‘Imran ‘Alqam said that he along with his relative started to demolish the building, but the municipality forced him to use a bulldozer while demolishing the building and he refused because his house is adjacent to his neighbor’s house. In this case, the neighboring houses will sustain damage and he will force to pay compensation for them. ‘Imran clarified that he was forced to stop self-demolition because the Israeli municipality insistence to use the bulldozer. The municipality warned him that it will demolish all the building by using a bulldozer within few days. He pointed out that in this case he will force to pay over NIS 70000 for the municipality staff. He added that the building is comprised of 4 apartments, each of them is built on an area of 300 square meters. ‘Imran emphasized that he attempted to license the building, but the municipality refused under the pretext of being close to the annexation wall. It should be noted that the building is adjacent to “Bazat Ze’ev“ settlement, which is established on Beit Hunina village’s lands, and settlers are allowed to build on it .
  • On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, Israeli vehicles demolished a residential house, an under-construction building and a commercial facility in Surbaher village and al-Mukaber Mount area, south of occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli Municipality staff along with Israeli vehicles moved into Surbaher village, under the protection of dozens of infantry Israeli soldiers and police officers. They surrounded an under-construction building belonging to Wesam Jabbour and closed all streets leading to it before demolishing it. They then raided a house belonging to Ahmed ‘Afana and then demolished it. Wesam Jabbour said that the Israeli bulldozers raided his under-construction building and surrounded it without a prior warning. He pointed out that the Israeli Municipality staff raided the building 2 days ago and informed him to stop construction works. Jabbour clarified that the building was comprised of 2 floors, each of them built on an area of 350 square meters.

Ahmed ‘Afana said to PCHR’s fieldworker that he built the house 5 years ago and around 5 persons are living in it. He added that the Israeli forces prevented his family from vacating the house content and then demolished it. The Israeli bulldozers also demolished a commercial facility for selling Aluminum in al-Mukaber Mout area, under the pretext of non-licensing.  The 90-sqaure-meter facility, which belongs to ‘Esam Mohamed Ja’abees, built 7 years ago. ‘Esam said that the Israeli bulldozers demolished large part of the facility, noting that the municipality demolished it despite of giving him until the beginning of July to demolish it.

 

  • At approximately 07:00 on Wednesday, 12 June 2019, Israeli bulldozers along with dozens of infantry soldiers moved into the vicinity of Qalandia checkpoint, north of occupied East Jerusalem. They then demolished a residential building, a petrol station and 7 shops along the main street, adjacent to the checkpoint at the entrance to Qalandia refugee camp, under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

  • The Israeli authorities issued a military order to confiscate 80 dunums belonging to Palestinian civilians in order to build a new settlement street for “Alon Moreh“ settlement established in northeast of Nablus. At approximately 10:00 on Monday, 10 June 2019, ‘Azmout and Dir Hatab villages’ council received from the Palestinian Liaison a copy of the Israeli military order to confiscate 80 dunums belonging to Palestinian civilians in order to build a new settlement street. The street is 12 kilometers long and 13 meters wide and it belongs to “Alon Moreh“settlement, which is established in the southeastern side of ‘Azmout village and in northern Dir Hatab village.

 

  • At approximately 06:00 on Tuesday, 11 June 2019, Israeli forces backed by 2 bulldozers moved into Kherbet Abu Kbaish, east of Tamoun village, southeast of Tubas. The Israeli bulldozers uprooted 550 forest trees and fruitful olive trees in addition to destroying 2 wells. The uprooted trees planted 8 years ago. The Israeli authorities declared the area as a nature reserve. The demolition resulted in the uprooting of 240 olive trees belonging to Jehad, ‘Adullah and Mohanad Yousef Mostafa Bani ‘Odah, in addition to destroying an agricultural well belonging to Jehad Yousef Bani ‘Odah. Moreover, 310 forest trees were uprooted and an agricultural well was destroyed. Both of them are donated by the Brazilian Consulate.

 

  • At approximately 08:00, an Israeli force accompanied with a number of military vehicles, a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and 3 diggers moved into Khelat al-Sharbati area near Jawhar Mount neighborhood, in the southern area in Hebron. The diggers demolished an under-construction house, 2 floors (4 apartments), a 500-square-meter roof, and a 150- cubic- meter well belonging to Lafi Zayed Jamal al-Rajbi (49). The demolition was under the pretext of non-licensing in Area classified (C). it should be noted that the Israeli authorities handed Lafi a notice to halt construction in the house on 20 February 2019, a year after he began building the house.

 

  • On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, Israeli authorities issued 2 military orders; one of which was to change borders and seize agricultural lands belonging to Palestinian civilians in ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyah village, southeast of Nablus while the other order was to confiscate 1.5 dunums of agricultural lands belonging to Palestinian civilians in Burin village, southeast of Nablus. At approximately 11:00 on the same day, the Palestinian Liaison in Nablus handed the Head of ‘Asirah al-Qabaliyah village Council a military decision to change borders and seize around 5 dunums and 455 meters to expand the military camp established in al-Shaqa’eq area reaching al-kuroum area in Area classified (B) in favor of Yitzhak settlement in the southern area of the abovementioned village.

 

  • In the same context, Israeli forces demolished a residential room and 4 barracks to raise livestock and horses belonging to Mohammed Mousa Zarinah in Beir ‘Ounah area, north of Beit Jala under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the Israeli forces moved into Ber ‘Ounah area on the same morning, closed it and prevented civilians from reaching it. They then demolished 4 agricultural facilities and barracks, each of them was built on an area of 120 square meters in addition to a residential room belonging to Mohammed Mousa Zarinah. The eyewitnesses emphasized that the Israeli forces randomly fired rubber bullets during the demolition process. As a result, Mohammed Mousa was hit with a rubber bullet to the foot. the soldiers also attacked his family members. It should be noted that the Israeli forces demolished several houses belonging to Zarinah family in that area few months ago under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 12 June 2019, Israeli forces accompanied with 3 jeeps of the Israeli Civil Administration and 2 bulldozers moved into Kherbit Ras al-Ahmar in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers uprooted tents and demolished houses and barns belonging to 4 families. The damage were as follows:

 

Name Damage
1.  ‘’Allan ‘Izzat Bani ‘Odah –         2 residential tents–         2 tents for livestock–         A mobile bathroom

–         A 200-sqaure-meter barn

–         A water tank

2 .    Baker ‘Allan Bani ‘Odah –         A residential tent–         A tent for livestock
3. Jameel Suliman Mofdi Bani ‘Odah –          A residential tent–         A tent as a kitchen–         A 300-sqaure-meter barn

–         20 water tanks

 

4. Suliman Jameel Mostafa Bani ‘Odah –         A residential tent–         A tent for livestock–         10 water tanks

 

Following the demolition in Ras al-Ahmar area, the bulldozer headed to Kherbit Tayaseer and al-‘Aqabah in northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas. The bulldozers demolished a water well.

 

  • At approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 12 June 2019, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into Um al-Khair village, southeast of Yatta, south of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished a 30-sqaure-meter house built of tin plates and belong to ‘Ali Issa al-Tabni (39).  Ten persons, including 7 children, were living in the house. The house was demolished under the pretext of non-licensing.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces backed by military vehicles and accompanied with a vehicle of the Israeli Civil Administration and a bulldozer moved into Kherbit Khashem al-Daraj, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Israeli Civil Administration staff uprooted and confiscated barbed wire and demolished a 30-sqaure-meter barn built of tin plates and sheds. The barn belongs to Ahmed ‘Odah al-Tebni (44).

 

  • At approximately 11:00, the Palestinian Liaison handed the council of Bureen village, southeast of Nablus, an Israeli military order to confiscate 1.5 dunums belonging to Palestinian civilians in order to build a security street for “Berkha “ settlement established in the northeastern side of Bureen village.

 

  • Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian civilians and property

 

 

  • At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 02 June 2019, Israeli forces closed the bypass roads and streets in the vicinity of Al-Walja, Al-Khader, Housan villages and leading to Nahaleen and Fouken villages in western Bethlehem and Bait Fajjar village, south of the city. Moreover, they closed a road near tunnels established on Beit Jala village’s lands. As a result, vehicles’ movement was obstructed for hours in order to secure Marathon organized by dozens of Israeli settlers, from settlements established in western, southern and northern Bethlehem. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces established many military checkpoints on streets to prevent the entry of vehicles and secure the Marathon. The eyewitnesses clarified that this Marathon caused a traffic jam and provoked Palestinian civilians because the Israeli participants raised political banners against Palestinians and called for expelling them from their lands.

 

  • At approximately 10:20 on Wednesday, 05 June 2019, coinciding with the first day of ‘Eid Al-Fitr, about 12 Israeli settlers, from “Ahiya “ settlement, which is established in the southern side of Jaloud village, southeast of Nablus, attacked the village outskirts from the southern side. The settlers threw stones at Jaloud Secondary School, broke 2 windows, and set fire to olive fields. As a result, over 1000 olive tree planted 65 years ago were completely burned. These trees belong to the heirs of the late Ibrahim ‘Abed Haj Mohammed, Tawfeeq ‘Abdullah Haj Mohammed, Ahmed ‘Abd Al-Hadi Hammoud, and Hamza Saeed Issa.

 

  • On Thursday, 06 June 2019, Israeli settlers seized an agricultural land in al-Makhrour area in Beit Jala, under the pretext of owning it. Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance in Bethlehem, said that the settlement association “Kern Kemet” seized, reclaimed and planted 4 dunums from Palestinian lands in Beit Jala, them, in addition to setting barbed wires around them to place mobile homes on them. Barijiyah added that this attack reflects the Israeli plans to target al-Makhrour and al-Qaysar areas, west of Bethlehem. He pointed out that the Israeli settlers claim that these lands are belonging to them, but they could not prove that. It should be noted that the Palestinian lands’ owners have all documents that prove their ownership.

 

  • On Saturday morning, 08 June 2019, settlers attacked a land belonging to the heirs of the late Ismael Mousa in Al-Khader village in southern Bethlehem. Maryam Mousa, one of the heirs, said that her family was surprised with raiding her 8-dunum land by settlers in Wad Abu Bajeer area in al-Khader village. She also added that the settlers placed water pipes and planted the land with hundreds of olive, apricot, and peach trees.

 

 

  • Recommendations to the International Community

 

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

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

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

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صفقة القرن: سقوط يتهيّأ وتداعيات تعقبها؟

يونيو 11, 2019

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

قد يكون تراءى للبعض خاصة من أولئك الذين يؤمنون ويتصرفون على أساس انّ إرادة اميركا وقرارها قدر لا يُردّ، ان يكون تراءى لهم انّ سعي اميركا لتصفية القرار الفلسطينية عبر ما اسمي «صفقة القرن» بات امراً نهائياً مؤكداً، وانّ مواجهته ستكون عقيمة فاشلة. وقد غاب عن هؤلاء انّ إرادة الشعوب إذا فعلت تبقى هي الأقوى، غاب عنهم انّ مساعي كثيرة لطمس جريمة اغتصاب فلسطين خلال الأعوام السبعين الماضية لم تنجح في تحقيق المُراد، وبقيت القضية الفلسطينية عند الأمتين العربية والإسلامية وأحرار العالم القضية المركزية الأولى التي يتمّ التمسك بها ويرفض تصفيتها مع سعي دائم الى إعادة الحقوق الى أصحابها، ولا يغيّر من هذه الحقيقة خيانة بعض الأنظمة الرسمية لهذه القضية وارتهانها للعدو الإسرائيلي وأميركا.

اليوم ومنذ ان صعد ترامب الى كرسي رئاسة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ويتصاعد الحديث عن قضية فلسطين وتصفيتها الى ان عبّر عنه بعنوان «صفقة القرن» التي تختصر بإعطاء فلسطين كلها لـ «إسرائيل» واعتبارها وطناً قومياً لليهود، وتوطين الفلسطينيين المهجّرين من أرضهم حيث هم خارجها وبخاصة في سيناء والأردن ولبنان وإقامة نظام إقليمي ذي طبيعة مركبة سياسية أمنية اقتصادية بإدارة «إسرائيلية» وقيادة ورعاية أميركية، عملية تتمّ بتمويل عربي مع بعض الدعم الطفيف من أميركا وأوروبا واليابان.

وفي التنفيذ، تمّ اعتماد سياسة القضم المتدرّج والابتلاع لقمة لقمة، فكانت مواقف أميركا من مسألة القدس وإعلانها عاصمة للكيان الصهيوني ثم مسألة إسقاط صفة المحتلّ عن كلّ أرض تحتلها «إسرائيل» الآن، ثم اعتبار الجولان جزءا من «إسرائيل»، ثم التضييق على وكالة غوث اللاجئين لتصفيتها وإسقاط مصطلح لاجئ فلسطيني من التداول لإسقاط حق العودة، ووصل قطار التنفيذ الآن الى بناء النظام الدولي لتمويل الصفقة، ولأجل هذا كانت الدعوة الى ما اسمي «ورشة البحرين»، من أجل «الازدهار والسلام» أيّ ازدهار «إسرائيل» وسلامها.

هذه المشهدية والتسلسل المتتابع للخطوات التنفيذية أقنعت البعض كما سبق القول، بانّ صفقة القرن في طريقها الواثق للنجاح الأكيد… فهل هذا الظنّ أو الاعتقاد في محله؟ وهل يمكن الركون الى هذه العناصر للقول بنجاح القرار الأميركي بتصفية القضية الفلسطينية، وتنفيذ الخطة المسماة صفقة القرن؟

انّ البحث في المقلب الآخر، وتجميع العناصر وتحليلها، يؤدّي الى نتيجة مغايرة للتسليم المتقدّم ذاك ويقودنا الى القول بأنّ أميركا تعمل للتصفية مع «إسرائيل» ومعها بعض أنظمة العرب الرسمية، لكن هناك كتلة كبرى مقاومة لهذه الصفقة تملك من القدرات والمكانة وتتمتع بمزايا من شأنها ان تعرقل التنفيذ أولاً وان تسقط الصفقة ثانية، وقد بدأت هذه الكتلة الممانعة المقاومة باتخاذ المواقف التي تنبئ بأنّ تهيئة بيئة إسقاط صفقة القرن قائمة على قدم وساق، لا بل انّ الاعتقاد بسقوط الصفقة بات أقوى بكثير من الظنّ بإمكان نجاحها، ويمكن ان يبرّر هذا الاعتقاد بفشل أميركا الأكيد في خطتها الإجرامية بما يلي:

1 ـ إجماع فلسطيني محكم وشامل على رفض التنازل عن الحقوق الوطنية في فلسطين بشتى وجوهها بما في ذلك حق العودة وحق تقرير المصير وحق إقامة الدولة الفلسطينية الكاملة السيادة والناجزة الاستقلال، هذا الرفض يعني بكلّ بساطة: الزواج لن يحصل إذا كان رفض من العريس او من العروس. فالفلسطينيون هم الطرف الأول والأساسي في الصفقة لأنهم هم أصلاً أصحاب الحقوق المنوي تصفيتها وشطبها.

2 ـ رفض دولي وإقليمي للصفقة مع تمسك بما نصّت عليه القرارات والمبادرات السابقة بحلّ الدولتين. اذ رغم كلّ ما يُقال عن سيطرة أميركية على قرارات الأمم المتحدة ومجلس الأمن فيها فإنّ هناك متغيّرات دولية جعلت مجلس الأمن يتفلت من هذه السيطرة نوعاً ما مع وجود فيتو صيني روسي فاعل بوجه أميركا، وقد رفضت كلّ من روسيا والصين الخروج على الشرعية الدولية في مسألة فلسطين، ما يعني عدم السير بصفقة القرن، والأمر ذاته ظهر في منظمة التعاون الإسلامي التي أكدت على هذه الشرعية ورفضت التنازل عن الحقوق الوطنية الفلسطينية ثم كانت أغلبية المواقف الدولية بما في ذلك الأوروبية التي تختصر بعبارة وجوب احترام الشرعية الدولة او قول الآخرين «لا نقبل بما يرفضه الفلسطينيون» عبارة كافية للقول بانّ هناك عقبة دولية كبرى أمام الصفقة.

3 ـ الوهن والضعف المستشري في بنية أطراف الصفقة: من المعروف انّ الصفقة أرسيت على قوائم ثلاث ترامب ونتنياهو ومحمد بن سلمان، وهؤلاء الثلاثة يعانون اليوم من حالة وهن تستشري في أوضاعهم وتمنعهم من التحرك الآمن لتنفيذ مشاريع استراتيجية كبرى بحجم صفقة القرن، حيث نجد ترامب في وضع مهتزّ داخل أميركا مع شحذ وشهر سيف العزل بوجهه إضافة الى انه أصلاً يستعدّ للدخول في السنة الأخيرة لولايته وهي سنة الانتخابات، ونتنياهو تعثر في تشكيل الحكومة ما اضطره للذهاب الى انتخابات مبكرة غير مضمونة النتائج، والأخير ابن سلمان يغرق في وحول اليمن ويخسر المواقع في العسكرية في جيزان وتتعرّض مرافقه النفطية لتهديدات جدية تجعله في وضع يتنافى مع مستلزمات إطلاق صفقة استراتيجية كبرى.

4 ـ عجز معسكر العدوان على سورية من احتواء الخسارة فيها وتحييد سورية عن الهمّ الإقليمي العربي الأساسي. حيث انّ سورية استطاعت بعد عظيم الإنجازات التي تحققت في معركة الدفاع عن نفسها، استطاعت مؤخراً ان تفشل حرب الاستنزاف التي جرت إليها، وان تنطلق وبثبات واضح في معركة تحرير إدلب، المعركة التي تجهض استراتيجية أميركا إطالة امد الصراع وتسرع في استعادة سورية دورها الاستراتيجي العربي والإقليمي في المحافظة على حقوق الأمة عامة والفلسطينيين خاصة، وقد أثبتت التجارب السابقة ان لا حلّ ولا سلام ولا هدوء في المنطقة انْ لم يقترن بتوقيع سوري، وسورية ترفض صفقة القرن علانية ووضوحاً.

5 ـ اشتداد التماسك في محور المقاومة وتنامي قدراته المختلفة بما في ذلك العسكرية والسياسية، وعلى هذا الصعيد يسجل أمران… الأول بنيوي وفيه عودة بعض الفصائل الفلسطينية التي اختارت الطريق الخطأ خارج المحور، والثاني التوسع الجغرافي والعسكري لمحور المقاومة وقدرته على ممارسة الحرب الشاملة الواسعة التي يعجز العدو عن إنهائها، والمعروف المؤكد عليه انّ محور المقاومة وفي ظلّ إجماع فلسطيني على رفض الصفقة سيكون في خدمة هذا الإجماع لمنع تمرير الصفقة.

ـ إحجام مصري أردني عن منح التسهيلات التنفيذية التي تتطلبها الصفقة ومن المعروف انّ على الدولتين أعباء يشترط القيام بها لإنجاز الصفقة، فعلى مصر ان تعطي أرضاً في سيناء وعلى الأردن ان يفتح باب التوطين لمليوني فلسطيني وان يراجع نظامه السياسي ليصبح الأردن بمثابة الوطن البديل. وكلا الأمرين مرفوضان من قبل أصحاب العلاقة كما يبدو.

لكلّ ما تقدّم نكاد نقول انّ المشهد بات محبطاً لأميركا واتباعها، ولا يشجع على القول بانّ نجاح الصفقة أمر مضمون، لا بل العكس تماماً نقول انّ المشهد يكاد يقطع بفشل الصفقة، قول يعززه أيضاً ان وقت صاحب المشروع وأطرافه قد ضاق كثيراً، فترامب يستعدّ في الخريف المقبل لإطلاق سنة الانتخابات الرئاسية مع ما يستلزم انشغاله بها ونتنياهو مضطر لخوض انتخابات مبكرة في أيلول أيضاً ما سيحرمه من بذل الجهد والقدرة على القرار للعمل من أجل الصفقة المترنّحة ولهذا نرى انه من المجدي النظر الى المستقبل وفيه فشل الصفقة المرتقب، وتوقع بعض التداعيات لفشلها خاصة في:

أ ـ الأردن: الذي سيضطر الى إعادة النظر في الكثير من المواقف والسياسيات الخارجية والداخلية وان يكون أقلّ تبعية لدول الخليج التي دعمت الصفقة على حساب الكيان الأردني ومصالحه.

ب ـ لبنان الذي سيؤدّي به فشل الصفقة الى إعادة النظر بخطة التجويع للتركيع ثم المقايضة مع التوطين وقد تكون خطة سيدر وموازنة التقشف المبحوث المطروحتين من ضحايا فشل صفقة القرن.

ج ـ سورية التي سيرتدّ فيها فشل الصفقة على خطة أميركا الرامية الى إطالة الحرب والتمهيد للتقسيم وإذا عطف الأمر على العناوين الأخرى المتقدّمة الذكر أمكن القول بانّ تسارع عمليات إنهاء الازمة السورية سيكون منطقياً.

د ـ فلسطين وهي الأساس، وانّ اهمّ ما سيسجل فها تبريد في العلاقات الداخلية بين الأطراف الفلسطينية مع تعثر ضمّ الضفة وسقوط خطة تهجير فلسطيني 48، ومراجعة لبعض سياسات السلطة تجاه «إسرائيل».

Israeli military analysts admits: “Israel Can’t Win the Next War.”

June 03, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Gilad Atzmon

Ynet’s headline yesterday acknowledged what has been obvious to many Middle East commentators: Israel can’t win the next war. The most respected Israeli military correspondent Ron Ben Yishai’s headline reads as follows: “Why won’t we win the next war?” Though most of Ben Yishai’s Hebrew articles are reprinted in Ynet’s English edition, this article is yet to be translated and for obvious reasons. It is probably too upsetting for Diaspora Jews.

Ben Yishai’s rationale is clear and sound: Israel can’t deal with military casualties. Israeli security matters have been politicised. Field commanders are regularly subject to legal proceedings that lead to heavy penalties including suspensions. Consequently, many of them have lost their motivation. Israeli society is too sensitive to kidnappings and hijackings and finally, parents are too involved in IDF matters.

Ben Yishai concludes that Israel is too weak “whether it is a war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria or all of them, we will not win!”

Ben Yishai is honest enough to admit publicly that Israel’s enemies understand the psychological, spiritual, cultural and political fabric of Israeli society. They are aware of Israel’s weaknesses and the IDF’s paralysis and they act upon these. According to Ben Yishai, the Shiite axis, Hamas and the Salafi-Jihadists all understood that they “could not destroy Israel with one or two violent military moves, therefore they went on to wage a war of strategic attrition against us.” Any violent round or war whose results are inconclusive in favour of Israel, Ben Yishai says, are going to be seen as another nail in the Zionist’s coffin.

“They see the public hysteria over losses on our side. They notice the media frenzy that weakens the confidence of Israeli citizens, they see the national probing committees punishing Israeli commanders after each round of violence which leads to mistrust in the political class and its decision-making process.” Ben Yishai points out that Israel’s enemies seem to believe that when “Iran achieves a credible capability to threaten Israel with nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles,”  the Israeli society will collapse into itself. The Jews who seek a better life and are ‘spoiled enough’ to act upon it will be scattered over the world to look for a quieter and safer place under the sun.

None of these observations are new to me. Already in the 1980s, in the wake of the first Intifada, I heard Israeli generals admitting in the open that ‘for the Palestinians to win all they need is to survive.’ Palestinian analysts have been commenting for years that ‘Israel may have many lethal bombs but the Palestinians have one bomb, the demographic bomb.’ I have repeatedly argued in my writings that Israel hasn’t won a single war since 1967. Even when it won on the battlefield (like in 1973), it failed to achieve its military objectives. Bizarrely enough, Israel’s greatest military victory in 1967 inflicted on the country some political, strategic and demographic problems that have made the future survival of the Jewish State in its current form an unrealistic scenario. Like Ron Ben Yishai (yet way ahead of him), I have been arguing that Israel lives on borrowed time.

But Israel and the IDF are not alone. The American, British and French armies, alongside NATO in general, are also incapable of winning wars. The Soviet army was literally defeated in Afghanistan for the same reasons. Modern armies do not win wars, they are good in spreading collateral damage. It may even be possible that modern armies are not supposed to win wars. Their real task is to sustain the military-industrial complex by means of constant conflict.

A clash with Hamas, for instance, leads to a growing demand for the Israeli Iron Dome. Britain, America and France launch one criminal war after the other, they never win but they clearly sustain the production of killing machines.  Russia actually won a war recently together with Iran. This translated immediately into weapon-buying.

But it goes further. Western armies are set to follow military objectives that are defined by democratically elected governments. In the post-political era, the entire political class is disturbingly dysfunctional and totally unique in its inability to produce educated decisions, let alone set military objectives.

President Trump’s belligerent rants against Syria, Iran and North Korea are perfect examples of the above. Trump threatens to launch wars as often as he changes his socks, but he never provides his generals with an adequate set of objectives.  Obama,  Cameron and Sarkozy weren’t any better. They didn’t manage to set the objectives for Libya’s invasion or any other criminal Neocon conflict they launched.

Interestingly enough, I allow myself to suggest that one of the only state leaders who is fully aware of the inability of modern armies to win wars is Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli PM is aware of the fact that his army is weak and the Israelis are even weaker. Unlike his predecessors, Netanyahu actually tries to avoid large-scale conflicts with Gaza, Syria or Hezbollah as much as he can. Netanyahu is not a ‘lover of peace’ or a ‘humanist.’ He is happy to deploy snipers against civilians and ‘lets them’ shoot kids  who get too close to the border. Netanyahu sends drones to attack Iranian targets in Syria .  But he is very careful not to pull the region into a total war. Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t really need Ron Ben Yishai, he gathered many years ago that the IDF and Israeli society can’t win wars. He is buying time instead.


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Explaining Russia’s Position on Idlib

June 04, 2019

by Ollie Richardson for The Saker Blog

Explaining Russia’s Position on Idlib

Over the past five years my work in the information space has been consciously aimed at explaining why the Russian military does and doesn’t do certain things, whether it be in relation to Ukraine, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, etc, and why demanding that Putin bombs everything in sight is exactly what the CIA wants so-called “pro-Russians” to say. Yet I haven’t exhausted (maybe I never will exhaust it?) this topic because it is so vast and, ultimately, complex. And it is because of this seemingly insurmountable complexity that questions like “Why doesn’t Russia liberate all of Ukraine”“Why doesn’t Russia save Donetsk and Lugansk in the same way it saved Crimea?”“Why doesn’t Russia boot America out of Syria?”, etc are asked on social media.

But one statement that I haven’t really addressed (until now) is “Why doesn’t Russia liberate all of Idlib in one fell swoop?”. Many “geniuses” like to say that Putin is in bed with the “Ottoman butcher” Erdogan and has thus “betrayed Syria”, similar to how shaking hands with Netanyahu means that Putin is a Zionist and has “betrayed Syria”, or even that a visit of the Saudi King to Moscow means that Putin has the blood of Yemen on his hands.

So, those “pro-Russian” readers who fear that they may be one step ahead of the Kremlin and can see an iceberg on the horizon needn’t worry – another Putin-esque zugswang is in progress!

When Russia sent its aviation to Hmeymim airbase in Syria in 2015 the primary mission was simple: remove Turkey – the main belligerent – from the game. Ankara benefited from ISIS’ theft of Syrian oil and controlled many jihadist groups on the ground (Ahrar al-Sham being the main one). Then in November 2015 the CIA (via the PM at the time Ahmet Davutoğlu) decided to float a test balloon and see how Russia would react to a carefully designed scenario. A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian Su-24. It didn’t matter if the Turkish jet was in Syrian airspace or not, as Moscow knew exactly what had happened, and all the other players knew that Moscow knew. The actual murder of one of the ejecting Russian pilots was carried out by a proxy (a Grey Wolf), and not by a Turkish soldier. But in any case, this test miserably failed, because Russia did not react in a way that would contravene international law (the immediate response happened hours after the shootdown – Russian “advisors” and Syrian troops went to Latakia with MLRS and wiped out the “terrorists who were responsible”, who just happened to be Turkmen). Since military operations generally take place within the framework of economic conflicts (securing assets), the manner in which Russia responded to Turkey in the format état-à-état was the equivalent of what the lunatic Zhirinovsky suggested to do, just without the war crimes.

The sanctions on Turkey (aimed at the CIA-Gulen bloc in reality) negated what Ankara was gaining from stealing Syrian oil, and so the Syrian theater became a zero-sum game for Erdogan. In May 2016 Davutoğlu was removed from the picture. Erdogan was forced to take part in the Astana Agreement and start the process of throwing his proxies in Syria under the bus (or onto green buses!) within the framework of what was given the reputation-saving name of “de-escalation zones”.

This was Moscow’s way of countering the game orchestrated by John Kerry, where a pocket in Eastern Syria would magically open (ISIS would go on an offensive) at a time when al-Nusra was on the ropes in Western Syria. This tactic hoped to tire out the Syrian Army and Russian “advisors” and maximise their casualties. Whilst never admitted in public by Moscow (naturally), “de-escalation zones” actually meant “we will liberate Aleppo and thus recapture all of the ‘useful’ (where most people live, in the West) part of Syria, after which the pace of the theater will have been slowed down enough to start work on eliminating the other players”.

After Aleppo was liberated (the Turkish-controlled groups magically withdrew), Russia continued, via the “de-escalation zones”, to whittle down the large list of terrorist groups into two categories: terrorists no longer supported by Turkey (loyal to al-Nusra leader Jolani) and tame terrorists still supported by Turkey. The former category would be shipped to Idlib via green buses, and the latter category would be used to keep the trecherous Kurds and the CIA-Mossad “Rojava” plan at bay.

In parallel to this, the Astana group managed to smash the Gulf bloc into fragments, liquidating their pet terrorist proxies in Syria and forcing them one by one to normalise relations with Assad, since the dollar is becoming a suitcase without a handle.

The question of the S-400 is more complex and isn’t just about defending Turkish skies. It symbolises more a commitment to play by the rules of the newly emerging world order (based on self-defence and international law) and to no longer indulge in the casino known as “Responsibility to Protect” (or in simpler terms – multipolarity vs unipolarity). Similarly, Turkish Stream is another example of Moscow thrusting a lance through the rotting corpse of NATO. In general, Turkey is geographically positioned almost in the center of the battle of superpowers. For Ankara, bearing in mind that the US tried to stage a coup there in 2016 and had a hand in the assasination of Andrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, it is more profitable to look East than it is to look West, and this was why Turkey wasn’t in a hurry to join the EU, since it saw the geopolitical storm brewing on the horizon and wasn’t prepared to kiss the ass of the IMF anymore.

So, returning back to the Syrian timeline, whilst al-Nusra was being herded into Idlib, and since Trump cut aid to US-backed terrorists, Turkey was able to monopolise the “Free Syrian Army” aesthetics (abandoned by the US) and occupy areas of Northern Syria whilst making it look like they are “Syrian rebels” and not Turkish proxies, all for the purpose of preventing the Kurds from travelling any more Westward than they already have. And here is where the array of interests becomes interesting:

  • Russia and Iran have basic diplomatic relations with the YPG/SDF (they are Syrian citizens after all) and want them to abandon the US/Tel Aviv/Riyadh;
  • The Syrian State wants the YPG/SDF to return to the bosom of the state and hand over the territories they occupy back to the Syrian Army;
  • Turkey wants the YPG/SDF removed from the picture/disbanded entirely, but has developed ties with Russia and Iran;
  • The YPG/SDF will not negotiate with Turkey unless it can hide behind America’s skirt;
  • Formally, Syria views Turkey as an aggressor, although behind the curtain Damascus has a pragmatic consensus with Moscow, which gave Turkey the green light to enter Syria in order to quell Rojava, and which is trying to stabilise the region and include all regional players in the Eurasian bloc;

Yes, it’s complicated. But here is a simple fact that helps the layperson to understand the situation: America has nuclear weapons. This is why Russia cannot stop the US from occupying Northeast Syria (which was plan B, plan A being a replica of Gaddafi’s removal, which failed after Russia cemented the Minsk Agreements in Ukraine). It can squash its proxies that are West of the Euphrates, yes, but it cannot touch US (non-proxy) assets, in the same way that Washington cannot touch Russian (non-proxy) assets. Or rather – they can directly touch each other’s assets, but any “victory” will be completely pyrrhic. From Russia’s perspective, the aim is to make friends with everyone, since the fewer enemies one has, the better.

While the core of the Turkish proxies is busy caging in (so-called “outposts”) al-Nusra militants in Idlib governorate, repelling the Kurds, and occasionally killing US soldiers, a kind of negotiation game between Turkey and Russia is ongoing:

  • Turkey needs a terroristified Idlib as leverage against all players but is happy to hand the governorate over to Assad piece by piece in exchange for pieces of the S-400/Turk Stream/general Eurasian bloc project;
  • Russia occasionally bombs Idlib in order to exercise its superior leverage over Turkey (the media presents this as “there were talks, but Russia continues to bomb Idlib”), the interim “ceasefire deals” are simply checkpoints in these grand negotiations;
  • Turkey turns a blind eye to al-Nusra’s oil operations (which feed their occupation of the governorate);
  • As an act of “hybrid war”, Russia and friends assist in the process of assassinating the commanders of al-Nusra in Idlib, since the less leverage Turkey has, the quicker the Idlib circus can end;
  • The West broadcasts propaganda about hospitals being bombed simply to cover up the fact that they have been arming and funding Al Qaeda for decades.

The “x-factor” in this conundrum is Trump’s “pull-out”. If US troops pull out of Northeast Syria completely, it would be in Russia’s interests if Turkey filled the void and proverbially herded the Kurds back towards Assad. For America, the sooner this war ends the quicker US troops can return home, but Trump won’t exit without getting something in return. However, there is a big problem – Zionism. Tel Aviv tries to keep America in Syria. Netanyahu didn’t spend all that time begging Uncle Sam to invade Iraq just for him to leave when the going got tough. Moreover, Iraq is already falling into the hands of Iran, and sooner or later the S-400 will be sat in Mesopotamia. Not to mention the fact that Russia is entrenching itself in Lebanon. Did I mention that Trump’s (purposeful?) decisions (and failed “deals of the century”) are strengthening the Palestinian resistance (example)? So what in all honesty does Israel hope to do?

Well, since everything that happened in the Middle East since 2001 (and arguably even earlier) is mainly in Israel’s interests, especially the Syrian war, it’s not a surprise that 8 years of full-scale local proxy warfare has reduced to… Israel taking aerial pot shots at a limited slice of Syrian territory. I have already explained why Russia doesn’t react to these airstrikes in the way that social media guerrillas would like, and all that has happened since is Netanyahu’s election victory. I would only add that bombing Syria became even riskier for Tel Aviv, since the SAA air defence units gain more experience with each new raid. Moscow managed to make a nice gesture to Israel, recovering from Syria the remains of an Israeli soldier missing since the 1982 war in Lebanon, but it wasn’t done for the purpose of stopping the airstrikes. It was simply a typical Russian diplomatic move based on the concept of “violence doesn’t beget violence”. Deflecting Israel’s airstrikes is the job of the Syrian air defences. The Israeli media presents this as “Russia has friendly relations with Israel and knows that Jerusalem considers Iran its leading existential threat, so does not block Israeli strikes at Iranian targets and those of its proxies, but on one condition: Stay out of Russia’s way and give ample warning so there won’t be a repeat of incidents like the one in which Syria shot down a Russian spy plane, possibly because of confusing signals by Israel”. However, in reality Russia wants Syria to become an independent adult, capable of defending itself without requiring Russia’s help, and it is only in this way that Syria will be able to successfully integrate itself into the Eurasian bloc. Of course, logically speaking, if Israel just left Syria alone and minded its own business, then Iranian forces wouldn’t even be in Syria. But I think that most know by now that Israel wanted (and maybe still wants) to carve Syria into 3 pieces along sectarian lines.

Another layer of the Israel problem is the fact that America is standing behind it (and thus the diplomatic support of many banana republics) and an illegal nuclear program, so it’s leverage when compared to Syria’s is superior, hence why the airstrikes happen in the first place. The incident with the downing of the Russian surveillance plane didn’t really change much, because Moscow knows that apartheid Israel is the main troublemaker in the Middle East (and even more so in Ukraine – those who truly understand Ukrainian history will understand why I say this), and the Syrian war coming to an end (whilst strengthening Israel’s neighbours in parallel) is in itself a blow to Tel Aviv.

What is very common to see now is countries seemingly sat on two chairs – the West and Eurasia. For example: Serbia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia show signs of looking both West and East. What is going on in reality is many tugs of war between superpowers, and the stronger Russia’s military and China’s economy become, the more it tips the scales in their favour, and the more “multipolar” the world becomes. It’s not that the US’ influence in a “converted” country disappears (the creation of NGOs is not illegal, and liberalism as an ideology cannot be physically destroyed), but more that the influence becomes less as the country adjusts to the new global economic reality. Although if Trump is indeed playing 4D chess with the “deep state” and is deliberately de-globalising the planet, then this shrinking of influence may be more fluid and less volatile than it seems.

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In summary: Turkey – the driving force behind the Anglo-Israeli proxies in Syria – was forced to abandon its plans in Syria after NATO’s Su-24 shootdown gambit failed; Ankara and Moscow now mutually exchange a piece of Idlib for a piece of S-400; the Syrian war is now at the “exit negotiations” stage, but Israel doesn’t want to be left alone with a stronger Syrian Army, Hezbollah, and Palestinian resistance at its border; Russia isn’t in a hurry to liberate Idlib, since an alternative plan is to let the jihadists kill each other like spiders in a jar, thus the lives of SAA soldiers are not put in danger unnecessarily.

PS I am well aware that Turkey creates local councilsmilitary adminstrations, and civilian infrastructure in North Syria, and I am not an advocate of such behavior but I don’t pretend to be more qualified than the Kremlin when it comes to solving such problems. I doubt that the Kurds would have behaved any different had they succeeded to create “rojava” in the summer of 2016. As for America, just look at what it has done to Raqqa and Mosul. Out of these options, I would prefer a temporary Turkish occupation, knowing that in the near future the situation would improve.

ارتباك ربع الساعة الأخير

مايو 31, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– وفقاً لخطة العقوبات والحشود بوجه إيران وخطة صفقة القرن، يفترض أن تكون مرجعيات التحالف الأميركي الإسرائيلي السعودي تعرف جيداً ماذا تريد، وأن تكون في قمّة التماسك والهدوء. فالموعد المفترض للإعلان عن صفقة القرن يقترب وموعد الحشد الخليجي والعربي والإسلامي بوجه إيران يدقّ الباب، وكل ما يفترض أنه ترتيبات تمت مناقشتها بالتفاصيل الدقيقة قد جاء وقت الإفراج عنه وتظهيره بثقة، فيتقدم الحلفاء صفاً مرصوصاً يحملون مشروعهم الواحد علناً، يشهرون تحالفهم ويضعون قوتهم على الطاولة ويقولون للجميع من أراد فليقف معنا ومَن لم يرد فبيننا وبينه المواجهة. وها نحن نملك حلاً يعلن نهاية الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي، ورؤية واضحة للمواجهة المشتركة مع إيران، فهل هذا ما يحصل؟

– في الربع الأخير من الساعة، تعلن السعودية أن أولوية القمم الثلاث هي القضية الفلسطينية بلسان وزير خارجيتها الذي تحتفظ بصمته فترات طويلة ولا يخرج للكلام إلا في مثل الحالات التي يصير فيها وزير الدولة عادل الجبير فاقداً للمصداقية، وتصير المملكة في مأزق، وفي الربع الأخير من الساعة يخرج الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب بطريقة تستدعي السخرية ليقول إن إيران تنهار وتتوسل صفقة، ولم يقل ما الذي يمنع ذلك طالما ان واشنطن أبدت الاستعداد الدائم للحوار، وكانت ممانعة إيران هي التي تمنع قيامه، وبالتوازي يخرج رئيس حكومة الاحتلال المستقيل والمقال والعاجز عن تشكيل حكومة والذاهب لانتخابات مبكرة، ليتاجر بموعد محدد مسبقاً لاجتماع مستشاري الأمن القومي الروسي والأميركي والإسرائيلي ويسمّيه قمة ثلاثية في القدس، قبل أن تستدرك مصادره وتصحح أن المقصود قمة أمنية.

– لا يحتاج المتابع لاكتشاف حال الهذيان التي تصيب أطراف الحلف الثلاثي، وقد اقترب الربع الأخير من الساعة الذي يفترض أن كل تفاصيله الدقيقة قد تمّ تحضيرها، ويفترض أن كل شيء يسير وفقاً لما هو مرسوم، فليست إيران التي حشدت قواتها قرب السواحل الأميركية ولا هي من فرض العقوبات على أميركا. وليست إيران من قرع طبول الحرب، فكل ما في المنطقة هو ثمرة التفاهم الأميركي الإسرائيلي السعودي على ثنائية مواجهة إيران وتقديم الحل السحري للقضية الفلسطينية المسمّى صفقة القرن. وثقة أطراف هذا التحالف الذين يملكون المال والسلاح والمكانة السياسية للفوز برهاناتهم وخياراتهم وقد أشبعوها تمحيصاً ودرساً، وآن أوان أن تبصر النور، فلماذا يتصرفون وكأنهم في حال مفاجأة، ولماذا يختبئون بعضهم من بعض. السعودية تريد أن تتغطى بمزاعم كاذبة عن فلسطين، والفاشل الإسرائيلي يرمي خبراً في السوق للإيحاء انه لا يزال تحت الطلب في الأسواق العالمية، والزعيم العبقري كما يصف نفسه، يخترع نظرية الصفقة مع إيران ويترك النصف الأخير من الجملة فارغاً؟

– الاستنتاج الذي لا يحتاج عبقرية دونالد ترامب ولا أكاذيب بنيامين نتنياهو، ولا وقار إبراهيم العساف، هو أن حملة التخويف فشلت في إضعاف موقف إيران، وأن حملة الإغراء فشلت في تسييل لعاب الفلسطينيين لمقايضة القدس وحق العودة بالمال، فلا ترهيب الحشود ولا ترغيب الأموال في مؤتمر البحرين حققا ما كان مرجواً، ويواجه الفاشلون الثلاثة نتائج الفشل بالتلعثم وفقدان الخطاب.

– قبل الحرب مع إيران تقدمت فلسطين لتحتل المقعد الأول في مكة، وقبل صفقة القرن قالت فلسطين كلمتها لتعلن أن الصفقة ولدت ميتة فلا مَن يشتري ومَن يبيع.. وفلسطين ليست للإيجار ولا للبيع.

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Weekly report on israel’s terrorism on Palestinians (23 May – 29 May 2019)

PCHR Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations (23 – 29 May 2019)

Israeli forces continued with systematic crimes, in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), for the week of 23 – 29 May, 2019.

Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Gaza Strip. 11 Palestinian civilians, including 3 children, a paramedic, and a journalist, were injured. A Palestinian child was wounded in the West Bank.

Shooting:

 

  • In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli forces continued to use lethal force against the participants in the peaceful protests organized along the Gaza Strip borders, which witnessed the peaceful protests for the 59th week along the eastern and northern border area of the Gaza Strip. They also continued to use force as well during the incursions into the West Bank. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 11 civilians, including 3 children, a paramedic, and a journalist, while participating in the Return March. Moreover, 2 Palestinian civilians were wounded after being targeted in the border area of the Gaza Strip. In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child.

 

  • In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 11 civilians, including 3 children, a paramedic and a journalist, while participating in the 59th Friday of the Return March.

 

  • As part of targeting the border areas, on 26 May 2019, Israeli forces opened fire and fired an artillery shell at 2 Palestinian civilians, who were about 250 meters into the east of Um al-Mahd area, east of ‘Abasan al-Jadidah village, east of Khan Younis. As a result, they sustained shrapnel wounds. The injured civilians stayed in the area for an hour after which a number of farmers arrived and transferred them to Gaza European Hospital.

 

  • In the West Bank, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child during the reported period.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 54 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 7 other incursions into Jerusalem and its suburbs. During those incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 47 Palestinians, including 4 children, from the West Bank, while 25 other civilians, including 8 children and a woman, were arrested from Jerusalem and its suburbs.

 

Israeli authorities continued to create a Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.

 

Despite their claims to provide facilities for Palestinian civilians in Ramadan and allow them to perform prayers in al-Aqsa Mosque yards in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli forces continued to impose restrictions on them, including the city residents. During this week, and for the second consecutive week, large forces of Israeli soldiers raided al-Aqsa Mosque after al-‘Isha and al-Taraweeh prayers and forcibly ordered al-Mo’takefeen, who are staying in the al-Aqsa Mosque for a certain number of days to perform prayers, to leave the mosque.

 

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

 

  • As part of the Israeli house demolitions and notices, on 23 May 2019, Israeli bulldozers demolished an under-construction house in Khalyil al-Louz area near al-‘Abayyat village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The house, which is comprised of 40 square meters belongs to a person from Surbaher village in occupied East Jerusalem.

 

  • On 27 May 2019, Israeli forces destroyed an agricultural facility in Shoshahla village near al- Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. The 40-sqaure-meter agricultural room belongs to Mohamed Ahmed Salah.
  • Settlement activities and attacks by settlers against Palestinian civilians and property

 

Israeli forces’ attacks:

 

  • On Thursday, 23 May 2019, Israeli bulldozers demolished an under-construction house in Khalyil al-Louz area near al-‘Abayyat village, east of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Hasan Barijiyah, Head of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, said that the Israeli bulldozers moved into Khalyil al-Louz area and demolished an under-construction house, which was comprised of 2 story. The house belongs to a person from Surbaher village in occupied East Jerusalem.

 

  • On Monday, 27 May 2019, Israeli forces destroyed an agricultural facility in Shoshahla village near al- Khadir village, south of Bethlehem, under the pretext of non-licensing. Eyewitnesses said that at approximately 11:00, the Israeli forces accompanied with a bulldozer moved into Shoshahla village. The bulldozer demolished a 40-sqaure-meter agricultural room without a prior warning. The room belongs to Mohamed Ahmed Salah.

 

  • Recommendations to the International Community

 

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

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

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

Kushner to “Israel” Soon

By Staff, Agencies 

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is heading to the apartheid “Israeli” entity soon amid political unrest. This comes as “Israel” is facing a possible second election, less than two months after Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was reelected. 

Netanyahu has 48 hours to form a new government, after “Israel’s” parliament Monday passed a preliminary motion to dissolve. If that bill passes when it comes up for a vote Wednesday, “Israel” would have to hold new elections, less than two months after its election. Netanyahu is expected to be indicted on corruption charges.

Kushner, along with Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, leave Tuesday, as well as Rabat and Amman, according to a White House official. Kushner will then continue to Montreux, France, and London, where he’ll join Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom.

A State Department spokesperson told reporters in a briefing Tuesday that she wasn’t sure what Hook’s role is on the trip, but would get back to reporters with more details later.

The White House has yet to roll out its complete “Deal of the Century” scheme, but is expected to soon.

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