The real “anti-Semitism”: Palestinians face intense online hate from israelis

Palestinians face intense online hate from Israelis, say campaigners

Palestinian lawyers call for investigation of police minister as survey shows soaring levels of anti-Arab speech on Hebrew social media

By Jonathan Cook • Middle Eastern Eye • February 25, 2017

 

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By Jonathan Cook • Middle Eastern Eye • February 25, 2017

Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinian citizens are facing a tidal wave of incitement and hate speech on social media, including from government ministers, community leaders have warned.

They say the increasingly hostile political climate in Israel is stoking violence from the police and street gangs, and has laid the ground for a recent raft of racist legislative proposals.

The alert comes as a group of Palestinian lawyers demand that Israel’s attorney general investigates Gilad Erdan, the internal security minister, for incitement to racism.

Adalah, a legal group for Israel’s Palestinian minority, highlighted statements from Erdan blaming Palestinian citizens for “arson terrorism” last November after forest fires swept the country, despite their having been no prosecutions.

“Israel has experienced arson terrorism and I won’t let anyone sweep this fact under the rug,” he wrote on Facebook in December. “Why does it seem unrealistic that Arabs would attempt to harm Jews?”

Adalah argued Erdan’s comments were part of a wider government strategy to portray Palestinian citizens, about 20 per cent of Israel’s population, as a “fifth column”.

Although other government ministers had incited, the group said, Erdan’s statements were especially harmful because of his role overseeing the police. Adalah said he was bolstering a police culture that already treated Palestinian citizens as an “enemy within”.

“Incitement from Erdan is dangerous because it reinforces and sanctions existing prejudices in the police,” Nadim Shehadeh, a lawyer with Adalah, told Middle East Eye. “As a result, the police are likely to have an even lighter finger on the trigger.”

Concern about the effects of incitement from leading politicians has been underscored by a survey published this month that found rocketing levels of online abuse from Israeli Jews against Palestinians.

7amleh, an organisation promoting social media rights for Palestinians, identified 675,000 posts in Hebrew last year expressing racism or hatred towards Palestinians – one every 46 seconds, and more than double the previous year’s figure.

“There are terrifying levels of hate speech online from Israeli Jews,” Nadim Nashef, 7amleh’s director, told MEE. “No one in Israel – politicians, the police, the courts and the social media companies – has shown any interest in doing something about it.

“But it’s worse than that. The politicians are fuelling the problem. It has become completely normal in Israel to incite against Palestinians. You find it everywhere. It is entirely mainstream.”

The research identified more than 50,000 Hebrew speakers as persistent offenders on social media, especially Facebook, said Nashef. Spikes in online abuse correlated with incitement from Israeli politicians and the media, he added.

Popular terms of abuse included threats to kill, rape, burn, expel, and assault Palestinians.

Both Adalah and 7amleh said incitement from Israeli Jews was rarely investigated or prosecuted. Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories, on the other hand, had their accounts closed or were arrested and jailed over less serious online activity.

7amleh said its research showed that the brunt of online abuse was directed at leading Palestinian politicians in Israel.

The most common targets were Haneen Zoabi, one of only two Palestinian women in the parliament, and Ahmed Tibi, a former adviser to the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, 7amleh said. Both Zoabi and Tibi have reported regular death threats.

According to the survey, they received more online abuse than the leader of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Mahmoud Abbas.

“When we are targeted rather than the Palestinian leadership in the occupied territories, a clear message is sent to the [Jewish] public that we have no place in the parliament and those we represent have no right to be citizens,” Zoabi told MEE.

The climate of incitement had very concrete effects, said Zoabi: “It gives a green light to police violence. It is converted into shootings and deaths.”

She said dozens of Palestinian citizens had died in unexplained circumstances at the hands of the police in the last 15 years.

Zoabi also pointed to the increasing reports of gangs chanting “Death to the Arabs!” in Israeli cities and Jerusalem, as well as a growing incidence of street assaults.

Polls have shown high levels of racial prejudice among Israeli Jews. A survey last year found 49 per cent would not live in the same building as a Palestinian citizen.

Another showed a similar number of 16 and 17-year-olds would deny Palestinian citizens the right to vote.

Adalah said constant incitement from government politicians had made possible the drafting of ever-more discriminatory and anti-democratic legislation.

Shehadeh noted that recent laws allowed the parliament to expel the minority’s legislators over their views, and hampered the work of human rights groups assisting Palestinians.

Zoabi agreed. “Every week we see bills being introduced, such as a ban on the mosque call to prayer, or moves to step up home demolitions in Palestinian communities. The political culture sanctions ever more violence through legislation.”

Nashef said a turning point in the levels of incitement could be traced to comments by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the last general election, in early 2015. Netanyahu posted a video on Facebook telling the Jewish public it was vital they voted because “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls”.

“When the prime minister talks like this, then everyone else understands that it is okay to do it too,” Nashef said.

7amleh’s survey showed a significant peak of online incitement and hate speech last November, as hundreds of fires broke out across Israel and the occupied territories, triggered by a prolonged drought and high winds.

Despite the exceptional weather conditions, Erdan led government ministers in accusing Palestinians, especially those in Israel, of being behind the fires.

Adalah cited Erdan’s Facebook post from early December. Dozens of Palestinian citizens were arrested by police, but none have been charged with “nationalist crimes” over the fires.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu has continued to make similar accusations, stating last month: “That fact that we can’t prove it [that the fires were terrorism] doesn’t mean it’s not what happened.”

Nashef said: “These inciteful statements garner a lot of media attention and our research shows they have a powerful impact in shaping public attitudes. But few notice when they turn out to be based on lies or misinformation.”

Adalah also cited comments by Erdan justifying the fatal shooting of Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan by police last month during a demolition operation in Umm al-Hiran, a Bedouin community in Israel’s south.

A police video and post-mortem examination report indicated that Abu al-Qiyan lost control of his car after he was shot, and careered into a group of policemen, killing one of them.

According to Israeli media, a justice ministry report – due to published next month – has found no evidence that Abu al-Qiyan carried out an attack or belonged to an extremist organisation.

Nonetheless, said Shehadeh, Erdan and other government ministers repeatedly accused Abu al-Qiyan, without evidence, of being an Islamic State terrorist.

Erdan tweeted hours after the two deaths: “The terrorist sharply turned his wheel and quickly accelerated in order to run over a group of police officers.”

Netanyahu’s office similarly described the incident as a “car-ramming attack”. Implying that Abu al-Qiyan was part of global trend of Islamic terrorism, Netanyahu said Israel and the world were “fighting this murderous phenomenon”.

Adalah’s letter to the attorney general also pointed out that Erdan had repeatedly blamed the deaths in Umm al-Hiran on Palestinian legislators there to protest against the demolitions. Erdan singled out Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List, the Palestinian coalition in the parliament.

In comments to the media, he said: “Ayman Odeh and the rest of the MKs from the Arab [sic] List who have come to enflame sentiments this morning: This blood is also on your hands. … You are a disgrace to the State of Israel.”

In Umm al-Hiran, Odeh was himself injured twice, including to the head, by sponge-tipped bullets fired at him by police.

Problem with Facebook

Nashef criticised Facebook, where most of the online hate speech was found, for contributing to the problem.

Last summer Facebook agreed to crack down on what Israel defines as incitement by Palestinians. Paradoxically, Erdan was the minister who met the tech companies.

According to reports, in the first half of 2016, a tenth of all content restrictions imposed by Facebook globally were at the Israeli government’s behest.

But Nashef said nothing was being done to deal with incitement and hate speech from the Jewish public.

“It is not reasonable that large numbers of Palestinians have their accounts shut down or are arrested and jailed for online hate speech, while Israeli Jews can engage in the same or worse activity and there are no consequences,” he said.

Neither the justice or police ministries were available for comment.

7amleh said the biggest peak in online abuse followed the arrest last March of army medic Elor Azaria. He was filmed executing a badly wounded Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif. This week he was sentenced to 18 months’ jail for manslaughter.

Several government ministers, including Netanyahu, expressed strong support for Azaria.

The survey showed another outburst of online abuse followed attacks last September by the culture minister, Miri Regev, against two Palestinian cultural icons.

She described the late national poet Mahmoud Darwish as the “leader of the Palestinian industry of lies”, and accused a popular rapper, Tamer Nafar, of giving “legitimacy to terrorism”.

israel’s chemical war on Palestine

Study: ‘Israel is Poisoning Palestine’ and Children Are First Victim

 

Poisonous gases sprayed on Palestinian farms and their effects appearing on the crops. (Mohammed Asad, MEMO, file)

Palestinians in the West Bank are facing serious human rights violations and increasing food insecurity as a result of the use of toxic pesticides in illegal settlements, a fact-finding mission, cited by MEMO, has revealed.

A joint research project carried out by the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (APN) and the PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) found that the occupied West Bank contains highly hazardous pesticides, which are banned by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Half of the pesticides used within the areas under the PA’s jurisdiction are illegal, and five tonnes of them have been confiscated since 1995, according to the findings.

Dr. Meriel Watts, who took part in preparing the report, warned that the Israeli policies of control prevent the PA from restricting the trade and use of these pesticides.

 

“It is unacceptable that the PA, with one of the tightest pesticide registration and compliance systems, including not allowing pesticides that are banned in their country of origin, is thwarted at every turn by the Israeli authorities who knowingly facilitate the entry of banned highly hazardous pesticides into the occupied West Bank.”

The Palestinian residents, particularly children, living in villages and cities near Israeli chemical waste-producing settlements are exposed to contaminated soil and drinking water, and mosquito-borne, respiratory and eye diseases, the report added.

To highlight the issue on a global scale, the organisations launched an online petition entitled “Stop Poisoning Palestine” on World Social Justice Day, 20 February.

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (16 – 22 February 2017)

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian

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

(16 – 22 February 2016)

Three Palestinian civilians were wounded, including a child, in the West Bank.

  • Israeli forces continued to target Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea.
  • 5 fishermen were arrested, one of whom was wounded, and their boat was confiscated in the northern Gaza Strip.

 

  • Israeli forces conducted 65 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • 72 civilians, including 10 children and 4 women, were arrested in the West Bank.
  • 18 of them, including 7 children and 3 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

  • Israeli forces continued their efforts to create Jewish majority in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • A residential house was demolished in a Bedouin Community in al-Khan al-Ahmar area and another house in Beit Hanina.
  • Shweiki and Qara’in families self-demolished their houses in Silwan and al-Mukaber Mount villages to avoids demolition costs.

 

  • Israeli forces continued their settlement activities in the West Bank
  • A waterline was uprooted in the Northern Jordan Valley.

 

  • Israeli forces turned the West Bank into cantons and continued to impose the illegal closure on the Gaza Strip for the 10th
  • Dozens of temporary checkpoints were established in the West Bank and others were re-established to obstruct the movement of Palestinian civilians.
  • 7 Palestinian civilians were arrested at military checkpoints.

Summary

 

Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (16 – 22 February 2017).

 

Shooting:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the West Bank.  In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces also continued to chase Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, wounding a fisherman.

 

In the West Bank, On 19 February 2017, Israeli forces wounded a Palestinian child in Bazaria village, northwest of Nablus when they opened fire from an Israeli military jeep at a number of students, who were on their way out of schools, without any reason.

 

On 20 February 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah, and wounded two civilians with bullets in the lower limbs.

 

In the Gaza Strip, in the context of targeting Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Sea, on 19 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, heavily opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats and chased them.  The shooting recurred on 19 and 20 February 2017.  During the reported attacks, the Israeli naval soldiers arrested 5 fishermen; one of whom was wounded, and confiscated their boat along with the fishing net and equipment.

 

Incursions:

 

During the reporting period, Israeli forces conducted at least 65 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During these incursions, Israeli forces arrested at least 72 Palestinian civilians, including 10 children and 4 women. Eighteen of them, including 7 children and 3 women, were arrested in occupied Jerusalem.

 

Efforts to create Jewish majority

 

In the context of house demolitions, On 20 February 2017, Israeli forces demolished a residential house (caravan) in al-Tebnah Bedouin Community in al-Kan al-Ahmar area, east of occupied Jerusalem.  The 50-square-meter caravan sheltered Fatmah al-Tebnah (37) from ‘Arab al-Jahalin.

 

In the context of self-demolitions, on 17 February 2017, the family of Saleh Shweiki self-demolished their house in Beer Ayoub neighbourhood in Silwan village, south of Jerusalem’s Old City, upon a decision issued by the Israeli Municipality.  The 80-square-meter house sheltered a family of 13 members, including 8 children.

 

On 18 February 2017, Mo’atasem Fayez Qara’in was forced to self-demolish his house in al-Mukaber Mount village, southeast of Jerusalem, upon the Israeli Municipality’s decision and to avoid paying the Municipality’s high demolition costs.  The house was built 8 years ago on an area of 65 square meters.

 

In the context of demolition notices, on 19 February 2017, Israeli forces moved into al-Khan al-Ahamr Bedouin Community, east of Jerusalem, and handed the residents notices to demolish and evacuate 40 facilities, including houses, livestock barns, a school and mosque, under the pretext of building without a license.

 

On 22 February 2017, Israeli Municipality bulldozers demolished a residential house in “Tal’et Hezmah” area in Beit Hanina neighbourhood, north of occupied Jerusalem.  The 120-square-meter house belongs to the family of Lo’ay Abu Romouz and sheltered his family of 7 members, including 5 children.

 

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

 

On 20 February 2017, Israeli forces uprooted an 8.5-meter drinking waterline between ‘Atouf village and Kherbet al-Hadidiyah in the northern Jordan Valley.  It should be mentioned that the abovementioned waterline was donated by UNICEF and ACF and made of plastic pipes.

 

On the same day, Israeli forces confiscated a fuel pump belonging to Sabri Abu Mariah in Beit Zere’atah area, east of Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron.  The owner was threatened in case he re-runs the fuel station.

 

Restrictions on movement:

 

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

 

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

 

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

Details

 

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

 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 02:10, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians and took them to Al-Jalamah Detention Center. The arrested civilians were identified as Huyai Hamzah Husain (21), Wahbi Mousa al-Khouli (26) and Anas Badwan Badwan (23).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Shuwaikah Suburb, south of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Murad Moneer Yusuf Mahdawi (26).

 

  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into ‘Ezbet Shufah, east of Tulkarm. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Muhannad Salem Ismail Abdul Razeq (36).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Eastern Barta’ah village, southwest of Jenin. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested Yusuf ‘Esam Kabha (27).

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Howarah village, south of Nablus; Dura, Beit Kahel, Bani Na’im and Deir Samet villages in Hebron

 

Friday, 17 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 02:20, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Eyad Abdul Rahman Selmi (25) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 19:20, Israeli forces moved into Qarawet Bani Hassan village, northwest of Salfit. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to ‘Esam Abdul Razeq Mohammed Rayan (19) and Abdullah Basem Mohammed Rayan (22) and then arrested them.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: al-Samou’i, Traqumiya villages and al-Fawar refugee camp in Hebron.

 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Haryah Valley neighbourhood, in the eastern area of Hebron, stationed at the entrance to Palestine Polytechnic University and closed the street leading to it. They raided a scientific library belonging to Majdi Rashid Abdul Ghani al-Karki (39), from al-Qadi Valley neighbourhood in the city. After breaking the main door, the soldiers damaged some stationary and then confiscated 14 hard-desks, 50 flash drivers and the DVR of the surveillance cameras. The soldiers left a list of the confiscated items, embeding the 1945 Defence Emergency Regulations. The Israeli soldiers later withdrew, but neither arrests nor questioning the library’s owner were reported.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Fawar refugee camp, south of Hebron. They raided and searched 3 houses after which they arrested 3 civilians namely Mohammed Mo’ath Haliqawi (22), Ahmed Hasan Haliqawi (21) and Amin Jaber ‘Osfour (22).

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Salam Street in Hebron, and stationed on the street adjacent to the Sharia School for Girls. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jehad Husain Ershiyed (50), father of Dania and Jehad Ershiyed, who were killed by the Israeli soldiers at the end of 2015. The soldiers handed a summons to Ershiyed to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service in “Gush Etzion” settlement complex, south of Bethlehem.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported:’Ourta village, southeast of Nablus; Birzeit and Kuber villages, north of Ramallah.

 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 00:20, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They patrolled the streets amidst firing of tear gas canisters, claiming they were thrown with stones. As a result, 2-month-year-old Zain Salim Omer Abu al-So’uod suffered tear gas inhalation when he was near his house. Zain was transferred to the hospital to receive medical treatment. The soldiers also raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Samir al-Shubaki and then handed him a summons to refer to the Israeli Intelligence Service.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Fajjar village, west of Bethlehem. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 4 civilians namely ‘Oudai Mohammed Yunis Thawabtah, Yusuf Mahmoud Abdul Salam Taqatqa, Eyad Mahmoud Mousa Taqatqa and Rashad Samih Diriyah.

 

  • At approximately 06:30, Israeli forces moved into Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They raided and searched a number of houses after which they arrested 3 civilians, including a child, namely Faraj Mousa Shuqeirat (42), Baraa’ Ibrahim Hamed (21) and Amjad Taiseer Hamed (16).

 

  • At approximately 07:30, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased The shooting sporadically continued until approximately 09:00. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor damages were reported.
  • At approximately 13:00, an Israeli military jeep moved into Bazaria village, northwest of Nablus while Palestinian students were on their way out of their schools. A soldier fired a rubber-coated metal bullet towards a number of students. As a result, Osama Yusuf Abdul Latif ‘Ouda (16) sustained a metal bullet wound to the abdomen. He was transferred to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm to receive medical treatment. Osama said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

 

“At approximately 13:00 on Sunday, 19 February 2017, my colleagues and I went out of the Bazaria High School in the centre of the village, and then arrived near the Bazaria Elementary School, which 400 meters away from our high school. We were then surprised with an Israeli military jeep traveling on the street leading to Tulkarm. As soon as the car approached us, a soldier opened fire at us and left the area. As a result, I was directly wounded with a bullet to the abdomen. The students carried and put me into a car for Ayman Suleiman Salem, who took me to Dr. Thabet Thabet Hospital in Tulkarm. After receiving the medical treatment, it was found out that I was hit with a metal bullet to the abdomen.”

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (6) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Nablus and ‘Ourta village, southeast of the city; al-‘Aroub refugee camp, Beit Oula, al-Hadab and Qalqas villages in Hebron.

 

Monday, 20 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Jaber Mohammed al-Rajoub (30).They later withdrew, but no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 01:20, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Maher Sameer Abu Haniyah (23) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into ‘Azzoun village, east of Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched 2 houses belonging to Nedal Mahmoud Jaber Balasmah (33) and Loai Jamil Qashmir (21) and then arrested them.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Mahmoud Saqer Ahmed ‘Asidah (29) and Mos’ab Tawfiq al-Hendi (27). At approximately 04:00, The Israeli forces withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Farah (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit ‘Awa village, southwest of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mohammed Rezeq ‘Essa (28) and Ramzi Abdul Fattah Masalmah (49). At approximately 04:00, they withdrew taking them to an unknown destination.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into Romanah village, west of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Mahdi Morshed Bushnaq (42).

 

  • At approximately 03:30, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Fathi Mohammed Hammad (19) and then arrested him. They also fired live bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the civilians. As a result, Jehad Mohammed Abu Hmaid (23) and Qusai ‘Ali Hendi (19) were hit with bullets to their legs.

 

  • At approximately 06:45, Israeli gunboats stationed offshore, northwest of Beit Lahia village in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. As a result, the fishermen were forced to flee for fear of their lives, but neither casualties nor material damages were reported.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (3) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Traqumiya, al-Thaheriyah and al-Samou’i villages in Hebron.

 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Tal village, southwest of Nablus. They raided and searched a number of houses and then arrested Kayed Mohammed Isma’il al-Hendi (37), an officer at the Palestinian Security Service. They also raided and searched a120-square-meter  workshop belonging to Tahseen Husain Mohammed Ramadan (65) in ‘Ein Qatiri area on the eastern side of the abovementioned village. They arrested Tahseen’s son, Naseem (38), a Palestinian Intelligence officer at the Palestinian Intelligence Service, while he was sleeping in the workshop. They then welded the doors with oxygen from the inside and outside and hanged posts at the walls in the Arabic and Jewish languages saying it is closed with red wax until a further notice.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into Baraqah village, northwest of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses and then arrested Adham Anwar Ahmed Salah (29).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Reihiyah village, south of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to ‘Oudai Abdul Muhsen ‘Essa al-Tubani (37) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into al-Am’ari refugee camp, south of Ramallah. They raided and searched a house belonging to Zuhdi Theeb Zuhdi Salem (49) and then arrested him and his sons Mohammed (26), Fadi (24), Ehab (22) and Bahaa’ (16).
  • At approximately 02:50, Israeli forces moved into Qalqiliyah. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Anas Wajih Hasan Abtali (22).

 

  • At approximately 07:30 on Tuesday, 21 February 2017, Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Wahah Shore, west of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within 3 nautical miles and chased them. They then surrounded a fishing boat belonging to Sabri Mohammed Sa’id Baker (56) and manned by his 3 children, ‘Abdullah (19); Mahmoud (17) and Mohammed ‘Emran (23) in addition to Thabet Mohammed ‘Abdel Razeq Baker (20) and ‘Omer Mohammed Najib ‘Omer Baker (26).  All the aforementioned fishermen live in al-Shati’ refugee camp in Gaza City.  Due to the shooting, Mohammed ‘Emran Baker was hit with a bullet to the left side of his waist and then transferred to Barzilai Hospital in Ashqelon for medical treatment. The Israeli naval soldiers ordered the fishermen to take off their clothes, jump into the water and swim towards the gunboat.  They were then arrested and taken to Ashdod Seaport while their boat and fishing net were kept in custody.

 

Wounded fisherman, Mohammed Baker, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that:

 

“Due to the heavy shooting at the boat we were on, I was hit with a bullet to the left side of the waist.  When the Israeli naval soldiers ordered us to jump into the water, I told them I was wounded, so the soldiers took me to their gunboat’s board.  They handcuffed and blindfolded me and then took me to Ashdod Seaport.  They brought a doctor to medically examine my wound, and he asked to transfer me to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashqelon to receive medical treatment.  At approximately 01:00 on the next day, I was released and taken by a Palestinian ambulance to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for medical treatment.  Medical sources there described my wound as moderate.”

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (5) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Deir Estia village, northwest of Salfit; Kafer al-Deek village, west of the city; Howarah village, south of Nablus; Yatta and Bani Na’im village in Hebron.

 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

 

  • At approximately 01:00, Israeli forces moved into Dura, south west of Hebron, and stationed in Karisah neighborhood. They raided and searched a house belonging to Nayef Mahmoud al-Rajoub (55), a PLC Member representing the Hamas Movement’s Change and Reform Bloc. The soldiers confiscated Nayef’s car before they withdrew. In the meantime, other Israeli forces raided and searched 3 houses belonging to Yaser Mohammed al-Rajoub,  Rezeq Abdullah Musallam al-Rajoub (60), whose car was as well confiscated, and Abdullah Mohammed al-Rajoub. At approximately 03:00, the Israeli forces withdrew and stationed in the center of the city. Moreover, they raided and searched Abu Sharekh Mall. The soldiers broke doors of a number of offices, including Java Cultural Center, lawyer Ahmed al-Haroub’s office and al-Khawarezmi Center for Mental Intelligence, and searched them.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Taramah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Emad Mohammed Jadallah (33) and then confiscated his car, but no arrests were reported.

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces accompanied with 15 military jeeps moved into Beta village, southeast of Nablus. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested 5 civilians, including the mother of Naser Sadeq Mohammed Abu Mazen (49), who carried out a stab attack in Petah Tikva on 09 February 2017, due to which the father Naser Sadeq Mohammed Abu Mazen (49) was arrested after two hours of the attack. The arrested civilians were identified as Joudah Mohammed Abdul Majid Abu Mazen (46), Naseem Dawoud Ibrahim Bani Sahmsah (18), Duraid Abed Ibrahim Bani Shamsah (18), Namer Sameer Abdul Rahman Bani Shamsah (19) and Samer Zaki Sanouber (19).

 

  • At approximately 01:30, Israeli forces moved into al-‘Aroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Shehab Eden Ahmed al-Titi (24) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 02:00, Israeli forces moved into ‘Aydah refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. They then raided and searched a house belonging to Mohammed Emad al-‘Azraq (20) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Jenin. They raided and a number of houses after which they arrested Mohammed Basem al-‘Orabi (24) and Zakaria al-‘Ammar (42).

 

  • At approximately 02:30, Israeli forces moved into Beit Awa village, west of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched several houses after which they arrested Mohammed Rezeq ‘Essa (28) and Ramzi Abdul Fattah Masalmah (49).

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Surif village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Ya’qoub Mohammed al-Heeh (22) and then arrested him.

 

  • At approximately 03:00, Israeli forces moved into al-Tabaqah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Yusuf Abdul Muhsen Abu Ras (64) and then arrested him.

 

  • Around the same time, Israeli forces moved into Hadab al-‘Alqah village, south of Dura, southwest of Hebron. They raided and searched a house belonging to Basel ‘Ali Dawdeen (39) and then arrested him.

 

Note: During the aforementioned day, Israeli forces conducted (4) incursions in the following areas and no arrests were reported: Sa’ir, Beit Ummer and Emrish villages in Hebron and Sa’ir village, southwest of Jenin.

 

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

 

West Bank:

 

  • Following the Friday prayer on 17 February 2017, dozens of Palestinian civilians and Israeli and international human rights defenders organized demonstrations in Bil’in and Nil’in villages, west of Ramallah and al-Nabi Saleh, northwest of the city; at the entrance to al-Jaalzone refugee camp, north of the city; and in Kafer Qadoum village, northeast of Qalqiliyah, protesting against the annexation wall and settlement activities. Israeli forces forcibly dispersed the protests, firing live and metal bullets, tear gas canisters and sound bombs. They also chased the protesters into olive fields and between houses. As a result, many of the protesters suffered tear gas inhalation while others sustained bruises due to being beaten up by the Israeli soldiers.

 

  1. Continued closure of the oPt

 

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

 

Gaza Strip

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Trump and Netanyahu to “the abstention from the settlements” or “the resetting” ترامب ونتنياهو إلى الممانعة أو «التصفير»

Trump and Netanyahu to “the abstention from the settlements” or “the resetting”

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The meeting which brought together the US President Donald Trump and the Head of the government of the occupation Benjamin Netanyahu has paved the way for the speculations and the questions about the possibility to translate the escalating rhetoric on which each one depends and how to translate it. Some people wonder whether the choice is the war either on Iran or Hezbollah, but this analysis ignored the fact that this meeting has occurred after many interventions in the Middle East where the US and the Israeli armies failed, because of their inability to make blood, but the reason of the failure was not the inaction or the cowardice of the US Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama. The armies did not get out of the battlefields and gave the banner to the intelligence to create strife but only after they exhausted all the opportunities of investing on the destructive fiery surplus power, and the capacities of intimidation, to the extent of the inability to overcome the two obstacles for which America waged the war, and has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq to besiege them, namely Iran and Syria. Israel has shared the failure with America through its two big wars against the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine in 2006 and 2008.

Trump and Netanyahu met after the strategic slogan of Israel became the restoration of the deterrence ability, and after the war became the last choice for Israel to achieve this goal,  so it hid behind a wall through which it disconnects the Palestinian areas to avoid the consequences of the Palestinian uprisings and behind the Iron Dome Weapon to avoid the rockets of the resistance movements, while Trump is preparing himself to hide behind the customs wall through which he  protects the US goods from competition, that is related which the wall which he started to build on the borders with Mexico, and behind a media dome through which he shows himself strong through the declarations and positions, and whenever his position collides with his weakness, it is substituted with more flexible and less strict position as the safe zone in Syria, the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem, and the seeking to blow up the nuclear agreement with Iran, so his boastings move to other places once to Europe and once to Australia and once to China.

Trump and Netanyahu stand on the top of similar pyramids in configuration and culture, while the inability to make blood unites them in the language of war. The settlement was the origin of the emergence of their entities politically and demographically, the slogan of the Promised Land is the doctrine of the American and the Zionist dreams, but they share also the contradiction between the ability to go to war and the culture of arrogance which drives for escalation, between the weakness in the fields and its effect on the growth of extremism in the positions, where the ruling institution becomes weak according to the voters and becomes in need of a populist speech to regain their loyalty, therefore, the racism  waves and the language of war spread, but when they collide with the ability they turn into negotiating  cards. The problem of the two entities is the same; it is the inability to go to war and the inability to make peace, so today each one of them is protecting by raising the cost of his partnership in the settlements through the philosophy of the abstention from the settlements and the solutions, which the forces of the resistance have resorted to when they were at the state of weakness in making wars, and when the proposed settlements were inappropriate with the minimum limits of its constants. It is an exchange of positions and roles between the forces of hegemony and the aggression and the resistance forces.

What is going on in Washington between Trump and Netanyahu is resetting the files of the settlements from all the points of the axioms and the constants in order to begin from the zero-understandings, and the seeking to get a new cost for every step in the ladder of understanding. This is what is done by Trump toward Russia, China, and Iran and this is what is done by Netanyahu toward the Palestinian cause, but both of them need the negotiations as a path for confrontation and both of them are afraid from the cost of the negotiations which reflect the balances of powers so they try to simplify them. It is the time of resetting and linking the dispute, not the time of the war or the settlements.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

ترامب ونتنياهو إلى الممانعة أو «التصفير»

فبراير 16, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– فتح اللقاء الذي جمع الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب برئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو الباب للتكهنات والتساؤلات حول إمكانية ترجمة الخطاب التصعيدي الذي يلتقي عليه كلاهما، وكيفية هذه الترجمة. ويتساءل البعض عما إذا كان الخيار هو الحرب سواء نحو إيران، أو حزب الله، ويتجاهل هذا التحليل حقيقة أنّ اللقاء يجري بعدما جرت مياه كثير في أنهار الشرق الأوسط، سقطت فيها الجيوش الأميركية و«الإسرائيلية» في ضعف القدرة على بذل الدماء، ولم يكن سبب الفشل فيها التراخي والتخاذل من رئيس أميركي اسمه جورج بوش أو بيل كلينتون أو باراك أوباما. فالجيوش لم تخرج من ساحات الحرب وتسلّم الراية للمخابرات لتصنع الفتن إلا بعدما استنفدت كل فرص الاستثمار على فائض القوة التدميري والناري وإمكانيات الترهيب ووصلت إلى العجز عن تذليل العقبتين اللتين خرجت أميركا للحرب لأجلهما واحتلت أفغانستان والعراق لتطويقهما، وهما إيران وسورية. وتلاقت «إسرائيل» بالفشل مع أميركا في حربيها الكبيرتين ضد المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين في عامي 2006 و2008.

– يلتقي ترامب ونتنياهو بعدما صار شعار إسرائيل الاستراتيجي ترميم قدرة الدرع، وصارت الحرب آخر ما تفكر به «إسرائيل» لتحقيق هذه الغاية، فانكفأت خلف جدار وقبة، جدار تقطع به أوصال المناطق الفلسطينية لتجنّب تبعات الانتفاضات الفلسطينية، وقبّة صاروخية لتتفادى عبرها صواريخ حركات المقاومة، بينما يستعد ترامب للاحتماء خلف جدار وقبة، جدار جمركي يحمي البضائع الأميركية من المنافسة ويتصل بالجدار الذي بدأ ببنائه على الحدود مع المكسيك، وقبة إعلامية يصطنع بها عبر التصريحات والمواقف مظهر القوة، وكلما اصطدم موقف بحقيقة الضعف يحلّ مكانه موقف أشدّ ليونة وأقل تصلباً، كما في المنطقة الآمنة في سورية ونقل السفارة الأميركية إلى القدس والسعي لنسف الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، لتنتقل العنتريات إلى مسرح آخر مرة نحو أوروبا وأخرى نحو أستراليا وثالثة نحو الصين.

– ترامب ونتنياهو يقفان على رأس هرمين متشابهين في التكوين والثقافة. العجز عن بذل الدماء يجمعهما في لغة الحرب، والاستيطان كان أصل نشوء كيانيهما سياسياً وديمغرافياً، وشعار أرض الميعاد عقيدة الحلم الأميركي والحلم الصهيوني، لكنهما يتشاركان أيضاً في التناقض بين العجز عن الحرب وثقافة الغطرسة التي تدفع للتصعيد، بين الضعف في الميادين وتأثيره على نمو التطرف في المواقف، حيث تضعف المؤسسة الحاكمة نحو الناخبين وتحتاج خطاباً شعبوياً لكسب ودّهم، وتنطلق موجات العنصرية ولغة الحروب، لكنها عندما تصطدم بجدار القدرة تتحوّل أوراقاً تفاوضية. ومشكلة الكيانين واحدة في العجز عن صناعة الحرب والعجز عن صناعة السلام، ولهذا يحتمي كل منهما اليوم برفع سعر شراكته في التسويات، عبر فلسفة الممانعة، التي لجأت إليها قوى المقاومة يوم كانت في وضع الضعف عن صناعة الحروب وعدم ملاءمة المعروض من التسويات لثوابت الحد الأدنى لديها. هو تبادل مواقع وأدوار بين قوى الهيمنة والعدوان مع قوى المقاومة.

– ما يجري في واشنطن بين ترامب ونتنياهو هو تصفير ملفات التسويات من كل نقاط البديهيات والثوابت للانطلاق من صفر تفاهمات، والسعي لتحصيل ثمن جديد لكل خطوة في سلم التفاهم. هذا ما يفعله ترامب مع روسيا والصين، إيران، وهو ما يفعله ذاته نتنياهو تجاه القضية الفلسطينية، لكنّ كليهما يحتاج المفاوضات كمسار لتمييع المواجهة، وكليهما يخشى من المفاوضات أثمانها التي تعكس موازين القوى، فيسعى لتمييعها أيضاً. هو زمن التصفير وربط النزاع، وليس زمن الحرب ولا زمن التسوية.

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Nikki Haley Calls Apartheid Israel ‘the one true democracy in the Middle East’

Out of all of Trump’s appointees, Nikkie Haley is probably one of the worst. Formerly a governor of South Carolina, Haley is the current US ambassador to the United Nations. That’s her in the video above giving a presentation at the UN last Thursday.

I’m not sure how much Haley knows about international law. According to Wikipedia, she graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. How she ended up as UN ambassador, after criticizing Trump in the general election, is unclear. *

At any rate, Haley seems fully unaware that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Nor does she seem to comprehend why other UN-member states might press for resolutions seeking to call Israel to account, both for its settlements as well as its 50-year occupation of the West Bank–land universally recognized as necessary for a Palestinian state. So perhaps she is simply uninformed and does not understand the nature of Israel’s occupation or its devastating impact upon the lives of those forced to live under it. Or at least that’s one possibility.

The other possibility, of course, is that Haley does understand these things…and that she simply believes Israel is exceptional and should not have to follow the same laws and international standards that apply to other states. If so, apparently in Israel are those who would agree with her. Less than a week after her talk at the UN–in which she accused the body of a “prejudiced approach to Israeli-Palestinian issues”–an Israeli military court handed down an 18-month sentence to an Israeli soldier who carried out an execution-style slaying of a wounded Palestinian in March of last year. There was no doubt the soldier was the one who pulled the trigger. The shooting was captured live on video. The sentence of 18 months he received for killing a Palestinian is lighter than what Palestinian children are often given for throwing stones.

* Incredibly, Haley also voiced criticism of Trump–over his stance on Russia–during her congressional confirmation hearings back in January. At that time she accused Russia of “war crimes,” and said, “They (the Russians) have done some terrible atrocities.”

Film about israeli imprisonment of Palestinians wins top award in Berlin

Source

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC | February 21, 2017 

ghost_hunting

A film depicting the torture, humiliation and violence experienced by Palestinians imprisoned by Israel won the first ever “Silver Bear” award at the Berlinale international film festival.

The film, “Istiyad Ashbah” (Ghost Hunting), was produced by Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni.

It was one of 18 finalists competing for the top honor at the Berlinale film festival this year. The ‘Golden Bear’ award was won by Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi for the film “Testrol es lelekrol” (On Body and Soul).

Andoni’s film “Ghost Hunting” involves a powerful re-enactment of interrogation rooms and prison facilities in the infamous ‘Russian Compound’ prison run by Israel.

According to journalist Rene Windangel, who spoke with Andoni about the creation of the film, the director began by confronting his own ghosts, having been imprisoned during the first intifada in the late 1980s. He then “turned to newspaper ads as he set out to find a group of former inmates able to work as set designers and craftsmen in recreating a prison on the film set. He also sought out ex-detainees willing to play the roles of prison wardens and prisoners. And so this group of people, who had themselves experienced imprisonment, began to meticulously build their own prison.”

German commentator Rene Windangel wrote in the paper ‘Qantara’, in a review of the film, “By giving the actors and crew room to express themselves, Andoni’s film manages to avoid cliches. In no way is the film limited to the observation of suffering or the re-enactment of victimisation. Raed Andoni’s film functions as both trauma therapy and as an opportunity to discuss the political problem of prisoners. First and foremost, though, the film works as an impressive piece of cinematography dealing with the basic questions of the human condition.”

Currently there are around 7000 Palestinian men and women imprisoned by Israel. Over 750,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned since 1967 and the start of the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most were sentenced by military courts, while others were held without any charges in so-called “administrative detention”. There are practically no Palestinian families that have been spared the experience of prison.

israel’s war on Palestine’s food supplies: Five Palestinian fishers seized

Five Palestinian fishers seized by Israeli occupation forces

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – February 21, 2017

 


Photo: Rosa Schiano, January 2012

Five Palestinian fishermen were attacked and seized by Israeli occupation forces off the coast of Gaza on the morning of Tuesday, 21 February. As they sailed off the coast of northern Gaza near Beit Lahiya, Israeli occupation naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and seized five.

Omran Saber Bakr, Mahmoud Saber Bakr, Abdullah Saber Bakr, Thabet Abdel-Razaq Bakr and Omar Mohammed Bakr were seized by occupation forces and taken to the port of Ashdod.

This is the latest in a series of attacks and arrests of Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, an element of the Israeli siege of Gaza that has strangled Palestinian economy, in particular the fishing industry. In 2016, 125 fishermen were arrested by Israeli forces and dozens of boats confiscated. While the vast majority of fishers were shortly released, they were frequently subject to physical injury and the confiscation, damage to or loss of their valuable fishing boats, at a time when fishers in Palestine have been economically devastated due to the Israeli occupation forces’ restriction of their fishing area.

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