Pro-Palestinian Activists Celebrate 12 Years of BDS Successes in Adelaide, Australia

November 23, 2022

Pro-Palestinian activists in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo: Supplied)

By Margaret Cassar

A huge amount has changed in the twelve years since we started our weekly BDS actions, organized by the Australian Friends of Palestine Association (Afopa), in the heart of Adelaide, Australia. People no longer spit at us, call us terrorists, or use vile verbal abuse for our protesters of Middle Eastern appearance.

We are now more likely to be hugged and congratulated for standing up for Palestinians. It is blatantly obvious here in Adelaide that the Australian government’s craven toadying to the will of the Israel lobby and the United States when it comes to Palestinian human rights has not kept pace with the hearts and minds of the general population.

This 12-year mark is a good time to reflect on some of our successes. One of the most important of these is the grassroots organizational structure of the group. Our approach stands in stark contrast to some politicians and bureaucrats in this country but firstly a few examples of how individuals in our group have used their local knowledge and initiative to drive change.

For 12 years now, Helen Lawrie and Phil Davies have been writing original songs about Palestine, BDS campaigns, and/or adapting other songs. In just one example Helen turned “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” into “Diamonds are Israel’s Best friend.” The YouTube of this song traversed the seas to Sean Clinton, in Ireland, and was promoted widely by international Blood Diamond activists. I am happy to say the crucial Blood Diamond campaign is still going strong and becoming more influential.

In 2017, Dr. David Faber, Afopa’s historian, researched the facts of the Australian Light Horse Brigade’s action in Beersheba in 1917. This meant that Australian activists had knowledge at their fingertips to refute the Zionist myth, promulgated at the 100-year anniversary of Beersheba, that Australian soldiers died to create the state of Israel. We were part of a national campaign that led eventually to the chief sponsor, Australia Post, withdrawing all their public statements promoting this lie.

Another 2017 success story resulted from an action initiated by one of our most dedicated activists who has braved all conditions to stand weekly in Rundle Mall, Joe Frank. While he was in the hospital that year, Joe filled out his place of birth as Palestine on the mandatory forms for admission. The next day he was given a printout that said his place of birth was ‘Not Given’; apparently, there was no place in the database for Palestine. Obviously, a bureaucrat in Canberra at the stroke of a pen had decided to toe the Zionist line, or been instructed to toe the Zionist line, and deny the existence of Palestinians.  Joe wrote a strong letter of complaint. Sometime later Joe received an email from the Australian Bureau of Statistics saying that a code has now been allocated for Palestine.

Not all of Joe’s campaigns were resolved so quickly.  He had to persist for a year in asking the Australian government to change his country of birth from ‘Unspecified’ to Palestine on his new passport. Makes you wonder who are the bureaucrats dreaming up such weasel words to help the Zionist cause and then imposing them on every Palestinian in Australia.

After battling for a year Joe was informed he had won the case at mediation. This was a major win for all Australian Palestinians.  Joe’s achievements with these two issues show that even the most powerful federal bureaucracies can change and you do not always need a large group of activists or powerful people or politicians just one Palestinian-Australian.

Reflecting on these successes is heartening and inspires us to keep going. However, we also know the noose is tightening – we see it in the Mall and the city every week. This last year has seen a local group of Christian Zionists increasing their harassment, increasing their stalking,  flaunting their close relationship with security agencies, and increasing the numbers of Zionists in the Mall, especially on Friday evenings. Recently we were outnumbered 8 to 1.

We are also seeing the noose tightening at a government level with the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) Definition of Anti-Semitism laws attempting to shut down criticism of Israel and all BDS actions. Earlier this year a newly elected One Nation member of the South Australian Legislative Council introduced the adoption of what Dr. David Faber describes as this pseudo-definition. I am proud to say the Upper House in South Australia was prepared to reject this motion.

Unfortunately, some of our political parties are run like autocracies and the bureaucracies I have already mentioned. The hard word came down from Canberra that our South Australian Labor Party politicians had to toe the Zionist line.  And they did. The South Australian Upper House has now adopted the pseudo-definition.

In a bizarre move, federal politicians have subsequently created a group named “The Parliamentary Friends of the IHRA Definition”. I believe this is the first time Australian politicians have befriended a definition. They usually create groups like Parliamentary Friends of the United States of America or Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action. To appease the Zionist lobby these politicians will happily support the silencing of free speech on human rights abuses in Palestine and make themselves ridiculous by cozying up to a definition.

Top-down control ignored the wishes of millions of Australians in 2003 and led to the obscenity and mass slaughter of the Iraq war now this dictatorial model of politics has led to senior politicians enforcing support for an Apartheid regime, Israel, and for silencing free speech in Australia. I would prefer to see political parties follow our Adelaide BDS group’s model of inclusive, grassroots decision-making and actions.

– Margaret Cassar is Convenor of the Australian Friends of Palestine’s BDS Activist Group, Co-founder of the Adelaide-based Scribes for Palestine organization, and Executive Member of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

How I Was Assaulted and Illegally Detained for Interrupting Anti-Palestinian Speaker (VIDEO)

November 11, 2022

The moment Yves Engler is assaulted for interrupting anti-Palestinian speaker Hillel Neuer. (Photo: video grab)
 – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

By Yves Engler

On Monday, I registered for a public talk with anti-Palestinian activist Hillel Neuer in Montreal, Canada. After receiving my electronic confirmation, I headed to the venue with the intention of challenging his anti-Palestinian racism.

A few minutes into Neuer’s speech I stood up from my seat with my telephone recording and declared “Mr. Neuer you are an anti-Palestinian bigot. You promote religious and ethnic supremacy in Israel.”

I had prepared a slightly longer speech that mentioned how his organization, UN Watch, “bullies those who promote equality and international justice”, but before I could finish my speech, I was grabbed by someone and was unable to say more than “don’t touch me” and “free Palestine”.

When I stood up and started speaking, Reuben Joshua Poupko, who was seated behind Neuer on the podium, moved swiftly across the hall toward me. He began pushing me toward the exit with the assistance of security pushing me out of the room. I told him and the security personnel not to touch me, but they ignored my demand.

In the reception area, Poupko slugged me hard in the stomach and told the security detail to take my phone. As I was at the door of the building, Poupko said “take him outside and kick him in the head”. Fortunately, the half-dozen security guards ignored Poupko.

During their assault, a security guard broke my glasses.

They then forced me into an area on the side of the top stairs to the building. A minute into being held against my will, a thirty-something security guard decided I should be sitting and threw me down. About three minutes later, as I was cornered by a group of muscular men, a fiftyish man came over and punched me in the head.

With no legal authority to do so, they demanded my ID and took my wallet. They kept my phone during the 30-minute ordeal and erased the video I had started recording before challenging Neuer’s racism. They erased and then attempted to permanently delete the video from my iPhone.

Fortunately, a video recovery software program retrieved the video. The 40-second clip shows me being manhandled by Poupko.

It wasn’t until minutes after the police arrived that security finally returned my phone. Private security, of course, had no right to take my phone and delete evidence of an assault.

The police told me that if I pressed charges against those who assaulted me, they in turn would press charges against me.

Incredibly, the next morning, pro-Israel reporter Joel Goldenberg of the Suburban quoted Poupko saying I assaulted him – which is absolutely false – and that Poupko was going to press charges. A few hours later, the Suburban story, which reported “one man in the audience grabbed Engler by the pants and then rabbi Poupko and security quickly hustled the activist out of the room”, disappeared from the website (I have screenshots of the article).

I invite Poupko to release any and all security footage he has of the incident. My legal counsel immediately sent a letter to Poupko and the organizers of the event demanding that they keep all video evidence they may have of the incident.

Poupko is the rabbi at the Israel Beth Aaron where Neuer’s public event took place. While some may question challenging a political figure at a religious institution, I have done so previously at a church. If Neuer spoke at a mosque I would do the same. When Neuer received an honorary degree from McGill University in June 2018 a number of us attended to decry his anti-Palestinianism.

I have interrupted dozens of political figures at public events and have never faced anything approaching this level of violence. Alongside broken glasses, I have a visible bump on my head as well as pain in my right shoulder and stomach. Much of my body aches.

While the violence meted out against me was outrageous it was not altogether surprising. The speaker I interrupted promotes Israeli violence against Palestinians. More generally, those who regularly celebrate or defend Israel’s humiliation and killing of Palestinians are likely to have their psyche shaped by violent nationalism. Witness the recent election of extremist hate mongers as the third largest bloc in the Israeli parliament. Some of them will soon be cabinet ministers.

My body hurts, I’m shaken up, and have to buy new glasses, but I don’t regret challenging an aggressive apartheid supporter. Neuer’s anti-Palestinian bile should not go unchallenged.

Donate NOW  Learn More  Watch Video(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

Bahrain Regime Holds Dialogue Forum to Ameliorate Heinous Image of Human Rights Violations

Nov 5 2022


By Staff, Agencies

Relatives of Bahraini political prisoners have called on Pope Francis to put pressure on the Manama regime to end human rights abuses across the kingdom, calling on the pontiff to highlight the plight of the inmates by visiting their families and even prisoners themselves.

In a report published on Friday, Middle East Eye said the relatives of political prisoners in Bahrain had welcomed Pope Francis’ call for the revocation of the death penalty and observance of human rights in the kingdom, expressing hope that the pontiff would use the remainder of his historic four-day trip to visit families of death row inmates as well as the prisoners.

“There is an urgent need for the Pope to continue pressuring towards ending human rights violations,” Ali Mushaima, Bahraini human rights activist and son of an imprisoned Bahraini opposition leader Hasan Mushaima, told Middle East Eye on Friday.

“I previously requested the Pope meet with my father in prison and demand the immediate release of all political prisoners and I hope that this will happen during the upcoming days.”

The Pope’s visit comes as Bahraini rights activists have raised concerns that the ruling Al Khalifa regime would take advantage of the trip to showcase an image of religious coexistence even while standing accused of systematic persecution of the Shia majority in the country, including many of the political prisoners.

Maryam Alkhawaja, a Bahraini human rights activist and daughter of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, a prominent human rights defender imprisoned since 2011, told Middle East Eye that she and others had called on the Pope to cancel his visit to Bahrain or refuse to shake hands with the kingdom’s ruler, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, but neither of them came to pass.

“However, we are very happy to see that he took this as an opportunity to raise human rights concerns including the death penalty and the sectarian discrimination against the Shia population in Bahrain,” Alkhawaja said.

The rights activist also said she believed the regime’s plan to use the Pope’s trip as a publicity stunt had backfired, adding, “The visit has worked against them as it has brought further attention to the disastrous human rights situation in the country.”

Bahrain’s main opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, said in a statement on Friday that the ruling regime was exploiting the ongoing visit by Pope Francis to cover up its gross human rights violations and repressive measures against democracy advocates.

Al-Wefaq added that the Manama regime seeks to mask the extent of its oppression and religious discrimination as prisons and detention centers across Bahrain are full of scholars, professors, elites and nationalist figures who are subjected to all forms of torture and humiliation.

Earlier, nine international human rights organizations urged Pope Francis to call for an end to human rights abuses in Bahrain and denounce the injustice and repressive policies of the Al-Khalifa regime during his visit to the country.

The head of the Catholic Church is currently paying an official visit to Bahrain at the invitation of the country’s civil and ecclesial authorities. He will conclude his trip on November 6.

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The Myth of Liberal Zionism: In Conversation with Miko Peled (PODCAST)

November 2, 2022

In this episode, Paul Salvatori talks with pro-Palestinian Israeli activist, journalist and author Miko Peled. (Thumbnail: The Palestine Chronicle)

By Paul Salvatori

In this episode of “Palestine In Perspective”, host and Toronto-based writer for The Palestine Chronicle, Paul Salvatori, talks with pro-Palestinian Israeli activist, journalist, and author Miko Peled.

Peled shares why, despite it presenting itself as progressive, “liberal Zionism” is a myth and how all forms of Zionism amount, in practice, to the denial of fundamental rights and freedoms for the Palestinian people.

Unique about this episode is that Peled, having grown up in Israel society and in a Zionist community (before rejecting it and becoming a pro-Palestinian activist), provides a firsthand look into what that society actually looks like, the troublesome (and racist) attitudes of its members and just how to cut off they are from the Palestinians they claim to well understand as a “threatening” or “menacing” presence.

This quasi-ethnographic perspective offers listeners a revealing look into how a great deal of Israeli society still, and unfortunately, falsely views Palestinians today, as well as the warped sense of pride they take in their subjugation.

“Palestine In Perspective” is a newly featured podcast on The Palestine Chronicle and sub-series of the social justice and human rights-focused podcast, The Dark Room.

Through candid interviews and discussions with pro-Palestinian voices—from scholars and activists to artists and intellectuals—“Palestine In Perspective” illuminates key issues of Palestinian justice, resistance and the international struggle against Israeli apartheid. The show is hosted by Toronto-based writer, activist and musician Paul Salvatori. 

(Thank you to Peter Restivo for the sound mixing of this episode.)

– Paul Salvatori is a Toronto-based journalist, community worker and artist. Much of his work on Palestine involves public education, such as through his recently created interview series, “Palestine in Perspective” (The Dark Room Podcast), where he speaks with writers, scholars and activists. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

On Palestinian Sumoud and Resilience During a Time of Ongoing Repression and Resistance

October 28, 2022

Palestinians organized a rally in support of Palestinian Resistance in West Bank (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

– Benay Blend earned her doctorate in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her scholarly works include Douglas Vakoch and Sam Mickey, Eds. (2017), “’Neither Homeland Nor Exile are Words’: ‘Situated Knowledge’ in the Works of Palestinian and Native American Writers”. She contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

By Benay Blend

On October 24, 2022, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network international coordinator, Charlotte Kates, and one of the founders of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (Masar Badil), Khaled Barakat, arrived in Amsterdam to participate in the Week of Action for Return and Liberation of Palestine. No sooner had they arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol airport than immigration service, operated by Dutch military police, detained them for questioning.

After being interrogated about their political views–about Samidoun, about Masar Badil, and the week of action for liberation and return–they were denied entry and deported back to Canada where they will continue organizing and speaking out against Zionist repression of Palestinians. While saddened by this action, activists immediately spoke out, vowing to channel their anger into making the March even stronger despite efforts to quash the movement.

Calling on Palestinians to be “purveyors of consciousness not victimhood,” journalist Ramzy Baroud suggests that, while understanding that the reach of Zionist repression is important, communicating a sense of “collective victimhood” denies human agency to those who are oppressed.

When Samidoun issued a statement declaring that “our response to this attack on our organizing must be to make an even bigger, stronger, louder and more powerful stand with the Palestinian people, their resistance, and the liberation of Palestine,” they are answering Baroud’s request that Palestinians convey strength and fortitude in the face of Zionist oppression.

“The Palestinian struggle cannot be reduced to a conversation about poverty or the horrors of war,” Baroud continues, “but must be expanded to include the wider political contexts that led to the current tragedies in the first place.” Activists are doing this as well, calling attention to the history of repression against Barakat and Kates by the European state.

In their statement, Samidoun recalls the past history of repression against Barakat and Kates. In 2019, Barakat received a political ban due to his organizing among Palestinians living in Berlin, Germany at the time. After leaving Germany, Barakat and Kates, who are also a married couple, were banned from re-entry for many years. This was the cause cited as the reason for their denial of entry into the Schengen zone, though their ban did not extend to this region.

Indeed, there has been an established policy in Germany, the Netherlands and the European Union of attacking the Palestine solidarity movement. From banning Nakba commemorations to condemning organizations that are in solidarity with Palestinian liberation, these officials have a long history of repression not only in the diaspora but also of supporting the Zionist colonization of Palestine since Israel’s founding.

Significantly, Kates’ and Barakat’s most recent ban occurs as Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was travelling to the settler colonial Zionist state for talks during a time of escalating colonial violence and repression. Rutte’s trip serves to link repression of Palestinian activism in the diaspora to increasing Israeli violence towards Palestinians in their own country.

From Charlotte Kates came a statement that voiced this link quite clearly: “The European Union always talks about human rights, but ignores them when it comes to Palestine. Palestine activists in all EU countries face repression. This deportation is therefore not just an attack on Khaled and me, but on the Palestinian movement as a whole.”

As in the diaspora, escalating Zionist violence in Palestine has fueled the rise of resistance groups, including the “Lions’ Den” and Jenin Brigades, which includes groups of people regardless of political affiliation across the West Bank. According to Hani Al-Masri, what distinguishes this movement is that it unites armed struggle with other forms of popular resistance, such as a general strike held recently in the West Bank.

In Gaza, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized a rally to support Palestinian resistance in the West Bank and Occupied Jerusalem. Saleh Nasser, a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front in the Gaza Strip, stressed that Palestinians much chose between a variety of resistance strategies to confront the Israeli Occupation.

“What [Israel] fail[s] to understand,” writes Ramzy Baroud, “is that the growing rebellion in the West Bank is not generated by a few fighters in Nablus and a few more in Jenin, but is the outcome of a truly popular sentiment.” This unity can also be seen in solidarity around the world, most recently in the quick response to European efforts to weaken the March in Brussels.

In response to the banning of Kates and Barakat, activists at Schiphol Airport held the Palestinian flag along with signs that read “long live the Palestinian Struggle.” Others presented a statement of solidarity with Kates and Barakat to the military police who detained and interrogated the movement’s leaders.

From a wide array of Palestine solidarity groups around the world came a quick response to the injustice, showing again a commitment to unity across many different lines. For example, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBIurged activists to stand in solidarity with Kates and Barakat by supporting and/or organizing their own protests in conjunction with the March.

Al-Awda—The Palestine Right to Return Coalition called on supporters to defend the right to organize for the right of return for Palestinian people, and accentuated that “our response to this attack on our organizing must be to make an even bigger, stronger, louder and more powerful stand with the Palestinian people, their resistance, and the liberation of Palestine.”

“For the Palestinian narrative to be truly relevant,” Baroud writes, “Palestinians must assume the role of the Gramscian intellectual, as purveyors of consciousness, and abandon the role of the victim intellectual altogether.” Given rising resistance in Palestine and growing solidarity around the world, his words are bearing fruit.

Reports back from the March also paint a clear picture of carrying on with strength and dignity despite the ban. Despite efforts to the contrary—the Israeli ambassador in Brussels demanded the cancellation of the March—all attempts to quash the spirit of participants have failed.

The week began with standing room only for the first events which focused on the struggle of Palestinian prisoners. These workshops followed a 1,000-strong demonstration and march to the prison in Lannemezan, France, where Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, the Lebanese struggler for Palestine, has been jailed for the past 39 years.

As the movement becomes stronger, there will be more efforts to silence Palestinian voices. “Let us be clear,” stated the organizers of the March,

“all of these show just why it is so urgent that our demonstration on Saturday 29 October be very loud, clear and massive, demanding accountability from European colonialism and imperialist powers for their ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people. Join us on Saturday, 29 October at Lumumba Square in Brussels at 2 pm, to march to the European Parliament in the March for Return and Liberation.”

Explaining why “Israel is Afraid of the Lions’ Den,” Baroud concludes that that Palestinians are “simply fed up with the Israeli occupation and with their collaborating leadership.” They are ready to put “it all on the line,” because, he predicts, the coming months are going to be critical for all Palestinians.

All the more reason for organizers of the March to call for “a clear demonstration that the Palestinian people will accept nothing less than return and liberation, from the river to the sea, and will hold Europe accountable for the colonial crimes and ongoing imperialist exploitation.”

Joining the March or organizing local activities for return and liberation, they conclude, is a step towards making this possible.

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Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones

23 Mar 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Aya Youssef 

Despite their battles on the ground and in the virtual world, Palestinians are still able to go viral.

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

“You are stealing my house!” yelled the Palestinian woman facing the illegal Israeli settler in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood, in occupied Al-Quds. 

“If I don’t steal it someone else is gonna steal it,” the settler replied with no hesitation. 

Comment, retweet, share, like, repost, and download. The outcome?

 Palestine has gone viral. 

Starting from the inside

Raw video footage of Israeli occupation forces storming Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan in 2021 started to circulate all over social media platforms. The videos were showing Israeli soldiers storming through screaming crowds throwing grenades and shooting rubber bullets into them. 

European states, US lawmakers, and prominent figures started to condemn such brutal acts on their social media platforms, and it didn’t take months for this footage to become viral; it took seconds.

Israeli brutality has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles through their phones


Salhiyya family’s home

Mahmoud Salhiyya stood up against the Israeli forces and threatened to set himself on fire as a last resort to prevent them from taking his and his sister’s home. Palestinian activists held their phones and live-streamed, took photos, and published with the click of a button.

At dawn, Israeli occupation forces bulldozed Salhiyya family home, but Palestinians were wide awake to live stream, hashtag, take pictures, and tweet.

Israeli occupation authorities have been trying everything to uproot Sheikh Jarrah residents, from sending aleatory and unlawful court-mandated eviction orders to allowing settlers to attack Palestinians living in the neighborhood. 

But guess what? Israeli crimes have gone viral, too. 

Save Al-Naqab

The Israeli occupation forces arrested a 12-year-old Palestinian girl named Julian Al-Atrash. While she was being dragged and handcuffed, she didn’t hesitate to smile.

That smile made it through social media platforms. Pro-Palestine activists started to draw, illustrate, and post the moment that girl smiled. 

Occupation forces started to storm Al-Naqab villages to bulldoze the area as a part of a plan led by the “Jewish National Fund” to confiscate Palestinian lands. 

There are more than 30 villages in Al-Naqab dubbed as “unrecognized” villages under the Israeli occupation government, so there are no means of transportation, no roads, and no schools in the area. 

Despite all of this, during the Israeli storming, Al-Naqab was being recognized more than ever online, with people retweeting and sharing “#SaveNaqab”.

The greenwashing of Israeli crimes has gone viral.

What’s going on in Al-Naqab in Palestine?

Palestine is going viral from the outside

Palestinian refugees who were forcibly displaced from their lands have been facing the Israeli occupation every single day. They have been fighting battles on their own. 

Shahd Abusalma’s case

Shahd is a Palestinian refugee and a lecturer living in the UK. Sheffield Hallam University suspended her teaching duties due to anti-Semitic claims and decided to investigate her. Shahd has done nothing but retweeting, liking, and commenting on videos showing the Israeli occupation’s brutality.

Solidarity campaigns started to go viral, websites started to write about Shahd’s case, and “#InSupportOfShahd” started to circulate all over Twitter. 

How did all this start? As soon as Shahd announced that she was subject to these campaigns on her Twitter account, retweets skyrocketed. 

The university restrained Shahd’s teaching duties without dropping the investigations regarding her case. Shahd didn’t stop there because guess what? 

Shahd’s case has gone viral.

Shahd has walked her followers through her journey regarding any new update on her case. 

A few days later, the university dropped all of the investigations that were made against Shahd and offered her a more secure contract that will afford her employee status.

Rasmy Hassouna’s case

A Palestinian-American citizen who was about to renew his contract with the government before he noticed a legal clause that forbids him and his company A&R Engineering and Testing, Inc, from ever protesting “Israel” and its products.

Rasmy filed a lawsuit against the Texas state law, which bans government contractors from boycotting the Israeli occupation and won the case.

US District Court Judge blocked Texas from imposing its anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) law against Hassouna because boycotting, any kind of boycott, was protected by the First Amendment, which is the right to participate in economic boycotts as a form of protest.

“It’s great, isn’t it?” Rasmy said to Al Mayadeen English as he received the news.   

Determined as ever, Rasmy said “Stand up for your rights, as expatriates, I believe we can do a lot for Palestine.” 

His victory made it through websites and social media platforms. 

And guess what? Rasmy’s victory has gone viral. 

Palestinians are fighting battles on their phones

Don’t let tech giants fool you: Al-Kurd siblings as an example 

23-year-old Palestinians had nothing to defend their land with except their phones. They had no idea that anyone would care enough to watch illegal Israeli settlers storming their house or brutally assaulting young Palestinians. They didn’t know that anyone would care enough about a neighborhood in occupied Palestine. 

With every video or live-streaming posted, their followers were piling up by day, people started to refer to their accounts for news or updates regarding Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood. 

And now? Muna Al Kurd has over 1.5 million followers on Instagram while her brother, Mohammad al Kurd, has +7K followers on the platform. 

“Instagram is preventing me from going live!” 

Mona Al-Kurd was one of many live-streaming the ongoing events in Sheikh Jarrah when her streaming cut off suddenly. Al Kurd explained that her live-streaming feature was blocked while she was documenting the moment Al Salhiyya’s family home was demolished.

This has exposed Instagram’s complicity and censorship of Palestinian content. 

Censorship of Palestinian content is not new to some of the giant tech companies. Toward the end of last year, activists and journalists have started a campaign against Meta’s policies, which have been targeting Palestinian content and the Palestinian narrative. 

It is important not to forget Human Rights Watch’s report that highlighted Facebook’s policy, and how the tech giant has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including content regarding human rights abuses committed by “Israel” against Palestinians during its 11 days aggression on Gaza in 2021.

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Evacuated from Event Amid Protests

Nov 10, 2021

By Al Mayadeen

Israeli ambassador protest: LSE investigating threats against Tzipi  Hotovely - BBC News

Source: Agencies

Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, was rushed out of the London School of Economics amid protests condemning her appearance.

“Israel’s” ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, was rushed out of an event at the London School of Economics Tuesday, as protests formed on campus condemning her appearance.

Politics For All, a UK Political account on Twitter, posted a video of the evacuation, showing Hotovely being rushed out into a car as crowds chanted “shame on you!”

Hotovely had been invited by the LSE’s student union to take part in a debate, sparking controversy, as pro-Palestine groups at the school accused the student union of giving a platform to racism.

The Israeli occupation’s ambassador is a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and is a supporter of the occupation’s settler colonialist practices. She has also used Islamophic rhetoric on numerous occasions.

No evidence to back up Israeli claims

The occupation has also recently designated 6 Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organizations,” sparking condemnation from various human rights groups and EU countries.

Five European members of the UN Security Council revealed Tuesday their serious concerns over the Israeli move. France, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, and Albania released a joint statement on the matter.

“Israel” has failed to provide evidence to convince European officials that the 6 NGOs were linked to the PFLP or “violent activities”, as they claimed.

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Eva Bartlett: About me, update

November 9, 2021

moi

Hi folks,

Since some of you may have come across me in recent years/months/weeks…I’m sharing my “about” section, filled with links to my journalism & activism from 2007 on, in occupied Palestine, Syria, Venezuela, the Donbass and elsewhere.

Perhaps you’ve come across me regarding my reporting from Syria, and maybe haven’t read about the things I witnessed & documented in occupied Palestine, particularly in my three years in Gaza (spanning from late 2008 to early 2013, including 2 Israeli massacres of the people of Gaza and many daily Israeli terrorism bombings that never make the “news”, as well as working with farmers and coming under Israeli live fire (which also doesn’t make the news), and the brutal effects of Israel’s draconian siege on Gaza.

In any case, read here for more on my earlier reporting (sadly, it is still very pertinent today, the situation in Gaza even worse than when I wrote about it 10 years ago, and still out of the headlines…).

Check here for my Linktree–links to various media platforms, since censorship is so rampant.

Join my Telegram channel, where I share news from a variety of other sources & channels.

And thank you to all who support in any way!

The Bell Tolls for Israel

November 8, 2021  

About me

Posted by Lawrence Davidson

Six Human Rights Groups Shuttered and Still the Bell Tolls for Israe

Part I—Six Human Rights Groups Shuttered

On 19 October 2021, the Israeli Defense Ministry officially labeled six well known Palestinian human rights associations as “terrorist organizations.” Israel uses a definition of “terrorism” that is unreasonably broad. Just about any criticism as well as non-violent resistance to its evolving apartheid regime can and often is deemed “terrorism.” As this instance shows, this arrangement allows Israeli authorities to themselves terrorize groups that most sane people would recognize as having nothing to do with terrorism.

The six organizational victims of this strategy are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. Applying the terrorist tag “authorizes Israeli authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members, and it prohibits funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities.”

There are only two classes of people who would fall for this deceit: (1) those embedded in the Zionist thought collective—the world of Israel “über alles” (my use of this specific term is explained below); and (2) those politicians and bureaucrats so firmly tied (financially or otherwise) to the various Zionist lobbies that they would be compelled to forgo reason and agree to anything the Zionists say. Much of the Washington power structure falls into this category.

Beyond those categories, people capable of independent thought and in knowledgable positions condemned the Israeli action:

 The Israeli news magazine +972, which has obtained copies of the classified testimony providing “evidence” against the six groups, has characterized the charges as unproven. +972 describes it as a “political attack under the guise of security.” In their estimate the entire case is a hodgepodge of innuendo and assumption, some of it obtained by Israel’s security service, Shin Bet, by threatening witnesses and their families.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both of which have long interacted with many of the charged groups, condemned the Israeli action in harsh terms:

“This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement. For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. … Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. … The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.”

The often clear-sighted Israeli newspaper Haaretz also took exception to the government action. 

“The government’s declaration of civil society organizations in the West Bank as terrorist organizations is a destructive folly that tarnishes all of the parties in the coalition and the state itself. The outlawing of human rights groups and persecution of humanitarian activists are quintessential characteristics of military regimes, in which democracy in its deepest sense is a dead letter.”

Besides its habitual and often sadistic persecution of Palestinians, Israel had immediate reasons to silence these six organizations. An analysis given by Open Democracy noted that on 5 February 2021 the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court  (ICC) ruled that the ICC had jurisdiction over events occurring in Israel’s Occupied Territories. Then, on 3 March the court opened up a criminal investigation into Israeli practices and policies in this area. Open Democracy then explained:

“All six banned organizations have for decades been critically involved in the documentation and monitoring of alleged Israeli human rights violations, war crimes and Apartheid in the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories]. … All of this work has been a major evidential basis for the demand to open criminal investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

In other words, Israel’s “terrorist” canard is, at least in part, the Zionists seeking to obstruct justice. Like most organized groups of law-breakers they prioritize their own interests above those of the community—in this case the international community. In doing so they undermine inter-community standards of ethics and values enshrined in international law. Ultimately, they see such law as an obstacle to their ideologically driven goal of national expansion and Jewish (that is, the Zionist version of Judaism) supremacy.  

Part II—Yet the Bell Still Tolls for Israel

None of this is new. The Zionists have always been this way. Driven by an ethnic-centered, settler nationalism, their incapacity to deal fairly with the Palestinians was recognized even before the Balfour Declaration was announced in 1917. Below are some of the earlier, prescient warnings of the danger to Judaism inherent in a Zionist state ideology.

Ahad Ha-am (the pen name of the famous Jewish moralist Asher Ginzberg) noted as early as 1891 that Zionist settlers in Palestine have “an inclination to despotism. They treat the Arabs with hostility and cruelty, deprive them of their rights, offend them without cause, and even boast of these deeds.” He warned that such behavior stemmed from the political orientation of the Zionist movement which could only end up “morally corrupting” the Jewish people.

Unlike the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann, who famously desired that the Jews become a nation like all other nations, Ha-am believed that the return to Zion was worthwhile only if the Jews did not become like other nations. By 1913, Ha-am knew this was not to be, and he rejected the nature of Zionism as it was evolving. “If this be the Messiah,” he wrote, “I do not wish to see his coming.”

 As the issuance of the Balfour Declaration drew nearer, other Jews voiced their worries. In the United States, a letter representative of the Jewish opposition to Zionism was sent by Henry Moskowitz to the New York Times on 10 June, 1917. Moskowitz was an Jewish activist and cofounder of the NAACP. He wrote the following: “What are the serious moral dangers in this nationalistic point of view from the standpoint of the Jewish soul? First, it is apt to breed racial egotism.”

In a 1945 essay, Hannah Arendt, one of the most insightful Jewish political philosophers of the 20th century, described the Zionist movement as a “German-inspired nationalism” (thus my use of “über alles” above). That is, as an ideology that holds “the nation to be an eternal organic body, the product of inevitable natural growth of inherent qualities; and it explains peoples, not in terms of political organizations, but in terms of biological superhuman personalities.”

In 1948, Arendt and 27 other prominent Jews living in the United States—including Albert Einstein—wrote a letter to the New York Times condemning the growth of rightwing political influences in the newly founded Israeli state. Citing the appearance of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut) led by Menachem Begin, they warned that it was a “political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy, and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties.” Begin would go on to become one of Israel’s prime ministers. The contemporary Israeli party Likud is a successor of the “Freedom Party.”

Albert Einstein was also a person of moral sensitivity. As such, he turned down an offer to become Israel’s president and distanced himself from both Zionism and the Israeli state. The Zionist treatment of the Arabs had alienated him. In 1938, he observed, “I would much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain–especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our ranks.”

In August 2002, as a consequence of aggressive Israeli behavior in the occupied West Bank, England’s chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, warned that Zionist state policies, as they manifest themselves in the colonization process and the associated persecution of the Palestinians, are perverting “the deepest ideals” of Judaism.

Today, the American organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP); the British organization, Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JFJFP); and Jews for a Just Peace (JJP), a federation of groups in ten European countries, all keep up this tradition of admonition and critical analysis while promoting the “human, civil, and political rights” of the Palestinians.

Part III—Conclusion

Toward the end of his life, Albert Einstein warned that “the attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people.” The conclusions drawn by every human rights organization that has examined Israeli behavior toward the Palestinians over the last 70 years, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Israel’s own B’Tselem, and the Palestinian Human Rights Organization (PHRO), leave no doubt that the Zionists have failed Einstein’s test. 

Yet that conclusion is just what the Zionists have never been able to face. Thus, any reminder of the movement’s failure in the form of contemporary critiques and documentation are not only denied, but condemned as anti-Semitic. Jews who express such concerns are systematically denigrated as “self-hating.” The U.S. media, still bound by the mythology of Israel as a democratic, modern, secular state that shares America’s pioneering tradition, have traditionally ignored or downplayed critics of Zionism. This leaves most in the West ignorant of Israel’s actual policies and practices.

Today, Judaism is now on the cusp of ethical collapse. The vehicle for this collapse is the purposeful transformation of the religion into an arm of Zionist-Israeli state ideology. Simply put, Ahad Ha-am, Henry Moskowitz, Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, Jonathan Sacks, JVP, JFJFP, and JJP were and are correct in their criticism of Zionism and Israel. Thus, we confront an ironic situation. The survival of the Jewish people as a civilized group with a collective sense of ethical standards is not in the hands of the State of Israel, but in the hands of those Jews who oppose that state and support the humanity and rights of Palestinians. 

Israel is gaslighting the world by branding Palestinian human rights groups ‘terrorists’

Nov 3, 2021, RT.com

Here's what's wrong with Israel branding human-rights groups 'terrorists'
FILE PHOTO. Palestinian members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. © AFP / Musa Al SHAER
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Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine (where she lived for nearly four years). Follow her on Twitter @EvaKBartlett

-by Eva K Bartlett

The Israeli government has designated several human-rights groups ‘terrorist organisations’ in a blatant attempt to further cover up the crimes they commit against the Palestinian people.

On October 22, Israel branded six respected Palestinian human-rights groups “terrorist organisations,” outraging the UN and the wider global community. This, coming from a state that imprisons and kills Palestinian children, and murders uniformed medics. 

On the Israeli Defense Ministry’s list were Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. 

The groups either document Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, which, in my opinion, routinely amount to terrorism themselves, provide legal support to targeted or imprisoned Palestinians, or work to empower Palestinian civilians. In what bizarre world can they be deemed “terrorist groups”? 

A joint statement by leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem and numerous other Israeli and Palestinian rights organisations described the ministry’s action as “a draconian measure that criminalises critical human-rights work,” and noted the importance of documentation, advocacy, and legal aid for the protection of rights worldwide. “Criminalising such work is an act of cowardice, characteristic of repressive authoritarian regimes,” it said.

A number of UN special rapporteurs have condemned the decision as “a frontal attack on the Palestinian human-rights movement and on human rights everywhere.”

Meanwhile, Israel continues to attack unarmed protesters with rubber bullets, live ammunition and tear gas; approve new buildings in illegal Jewish colonies on Palestinian land; and bulldoze centuries-old Palestinian graves in Old Jerusalem; and Israeli colonists continue to brutalise Palestinian civilians, as they have long done. And, of course, Gaza remains under a cruel blockade – the longest lockdown in the world. The roughly two million Gazans barely living in the territory are deprived of the most basic essentials, including urgently needed medical supplies, and Israel guns down and abducts their fishermen, often destroying their boats.

But, no, according to the state responsible for these and countless other acts of terrorism, the “terrorists” are the human-rights groups. This is the state that not only abuses and murders Palestinian civilians, and flattens entire neighbourhoods of Gaza, deliberately destroying vital infrastructure, but also occupies Lebanese and Syrian land, violates Lebanese airspace, and routinely illegally bombs Syria.

This is not the first time Israel has harassed Palestinian (and Israeli) rights organizations.

The children’s agency, DCIP, is “an independent, local Palestinian child-rights organisation dedicated to defending and promoting the rights of children living in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” In July 2021, prior to its “terrorist” designation, its main office was raided by Israeli forces.

At the time, DCIP described the raid as “the latest act by Israeli authorities to increasingly push forward a campaign to delegitimise and criminalise Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations.” They also noted this was a campaign that has been on the rise in recent years, “advanced by a network of rising nationalist Israeli civil society organisations and associated organisations elsewhere, with the support of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

With the minister of defence designating such groups as “terrorists” and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supporting the delegitimization campaign, it is not credible to argue the persecution is not coming from the Israeli government itself.

For one of the other listed groups, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Israel’s targeted harassment caused the Dutch government to cease funding. Israel’s 972 magazine reported on this, saying “for years, a global network of Israel advocacy groups had been lobbying European governments to cut off funding to UAWC, a group that assists Palestinian farmers to cultivate and remain on their land, market their produce, and develop water infrastructure.” 

Some of the work UAWC had done in recent years, the article noted, included establishing “52 cooperatives in the West Bank and Gaza, [and] rehabilitating almost 10,000 dunums of Palestinian land that were under threat of confiscation by Israeli authorities in Area C.” 

It also planted nearly two million trees, and developed connecting routes amounting to almost 700km in distance. “UAWC also worked to provide better water access to Palestinians in Area C, where water and sanitation services are regularly interrupted by Israeli settlement expansion,” the article also said.

My experiences in Gaza, volunteering for years with impoverished Palestinian farmers and farm labourers coming under Israeli live fire on a near-daily basis, demonstrated to me that the work of groups like UWAC is essential to help farmers rehabilitate destroyed farmland. These are people simply trying to eke out an existence, being maimed and murdered by Israeli fire while doing so, their farmland and wells bulldozed and destroyed, their crops burned.

I also have some experience with the work of DCIP, which documents Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons, including children in solitary confinement, as well as children killed by Israeli soldiers or colonists. Without groups like this documenting these crimes, advocating for the children becomes all the more impossible. Clearly, this is one of the reasons Israel has made the outrageous terrorist designation.

But DCIP also helps sick and injured Palestinian children get medical care. The group helped rehabilitate a terribly injured, bedridden, 16-year-old Palestinian teen I met in a Cairo hospital in July 2008, months after an Israeli soldier shot him in the spine.

In March 2008, Abdul Rahman Abu Oida went to the roof of his home, checking the water tank to see why the family suddenly had no water, and was shot in the spine by an Israeli sniper hiding on another rooftop.

As I later wrote“The bullet destroyed three vertebrae; the shot left Abed paralysed in a puddle of his own blood until his 13-year-old brother, 15 minutes later, found him and dragged him downstairs. Ambulances were prevented from accessing the area. Abed lay untreated for three hours before he reached a hospital in Gaza City.”

In the Cairo hospital where I met him, he was emaciated, with appallingly large bedsores on his backside and feet. These festering bedsores would be the cause of other ailments which plagued him and eventually caused his death. Through a contact at DCIP, Abed began to get proper treatment for his original wound and the consequences of the bedsores.

Although he survived the 2008/9 Israeli massacre, including Israel’s attack on the rehabilitation hospital in which he and 60 other patients were, in 2014 he finally passed away. But without DCIP’s intervention, Abed would surely have died not long after I met him in 2008.

I have written many times about the crimes Israel has perpetrated against Palestinians in Gaza, including sniping at medics and killing and maiming still other medics, including with dart bombs – both war crimes – as well as assassinating children and infants, and firing white phosphorus on civilian areas. These are all just from my personal documentation in the span of a few years.

Without people to document these crimes, Israel’s actions could be even more monstrous than they already are.

Last May, in an attempt to prevent journalists from reporting its war crimes, Israel precision-bombed key media buildings in Gaza (which it had previously done in 2009, 2012, and 2014).

Throughout occupied Palestine, the work of human rights groups in documenting Israel’s crimes remains imperative, and the country’s continued harassment of these groups – including their “terrorist” designation – indicates the effectiveness of their advocacy and the determination of Israel to whitewash its crimes.

RELATED LINKS:

Observations from Occupied Palestine: Gaza

The Broken Sparrows of Palestine

Killing before the Calm: Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Civilians Escalated before Cease-fire

The hardest thing: Palestinian parents speak of their children killed by Israeli bombings

how israeli policies and attacks have ravaged Gaza’s agricultural sector

Lost in the Buffer Zone

Dirty Tricks: Israeli Soldiers Shoot Deaf Palestinian Farmer, 4th Farmer Shot in 3 weeks

dignified beyond losses:Palestinian farmers’ livelihoods destroyed by Israel

Israel destroying Gaza’s farmlands: arson in Johr ad-Dik

The Flattening of Gaza

UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today

Israel a criminal offender at large, UN listing or not

Israeli settlers attack Palestinians, steal land with impunity. Imagine outrage & calls for sanctions if any other state did it

Israel’s airstrikes in Syria are not newsworthy for Western media, as a result status quo continues & civilians suffer

Gaza has suffered the longest, most barbaric, lockdown in the world – I know, because I lived through three years of it

Israel never stopped pirating in Palestinian waters

Israeli army kills Palestinian medic with dart bomb

Ensuring maximum casualties in Gaza

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (21– 27 October 2021)

October 28, 2021

Weekly Report on Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (21– 27 October 2021)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine

21 – 27 October 2021

  • Persecution and Termination next: Israel designates 6 pioneering Palestinian NGOs as terrorist
  • IOF shoot and wound 7 Palestinians in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem
  • Two fishing boats confiscated, contents of a third destroyed in southern Gaza Sea
  • 6 IOF shootings reported against fishing boats, and twice at agricultural lands in the Gaza Strip
  • In 94 IOF incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem: 61 civilians arrested, including 7 children
  • Israeli occupation ratifies decision to build 3,144 settlement units in the West Bank
  • Occupied East Jerusalem: two houses self-demolished, as well as parts of a third one. Razing of Martyrs’ Graveyard Continues.
  • IOF demolish 4 shops in Ramallah, dismantle a classroom in the Jordan Valleys; 7 cease-construction notices served in Hebron
  • Settler attacks: Palestinian civilians wounded and vehicles damaged in settlers’ attack on farmers harvesting olive trees in Ramallah.
  • IOF established 37 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank and arrested 3 Palestinians on said checkpoints

Summary

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) continued to commit crimes and multi-layered violations against Palestinian civilians and their properties, including raids into Palestinian cities that are characterized with excessive use of force, assault, abuse, and attacks on civilians, turning the West Bank into isolated blocks of land. This week, Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, designated six pioneering Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations, allegedly for affiliations with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, aiming to free Palestine and abolish the State of Israel. This is an obvious ploy to silence and end these leading organizations, who expose the occupation’s crimes, aim to prosecute them before international justice, and support Palestinian people’s resilience.

The Israeli settlement expansion works continued on Palestinian lands and properties. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip enters its 15th year under closure, exacerbating the humanitarian hardships across the territory.

Persecution of Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders

Israeli occupation authorities designated six pioneering Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations, allegedly for affiliations with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, aiming to free Palestine and abolish the State of Israel.

According to the Israeli decision the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International – Palestine, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees are all terrorist organizations based on information supplied by NGO Monitor, a right-wing organization known to be anti-Palestinian.

 These organizations are well known, each pioneering in their field with significant achievements over the course of their decades long work in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemns in the strongest terms the Israeli decision and asserts that it is an obvious ploy to silence and end these leading organizations, who expose the occupation’s crimes, aim to prosecute them before international justice, and support Palestinian people’s resilience. PCHR warns that the Israeli decision is an attempt to provide legal coverage to persecuting these organizations, targeting their personnel, and liquidating them.

IOF shooting and violation of right to bodily integrity:

IOF shot and wounded 7 civilians in excessive use of force in the West Bank: 3 wounded in IOF assault on Kafr Qaddum weekly protest, Qalqilya; 2 others as IOF protected a group of settlers attacking farmers in Ramallah; 1 wounded in Bidu; and another during IOF incursion into Yabad, Jenin.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF confiscated 2 rowboats and destroyed the contents of a third at sea. PCHR documented 6 IOF shootings at fishing boats in the Gaza Sea, and two others on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians: IOF carried out 94 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids of civilian houses and shootings, enticing fear among civilians, and attacking many of them. During this week’s incursions, 61 Palestinians were arrested, including 7 children.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF conducted a limited incursion into eastern Khan Younis.

Demolitions:

PCHR documented 9 incidents:

  • Occupied East Jerusalem: 2 Palestinians forced to demolish their homes; another family forced to destroy an entire floor of their house in Wadi Joz. Razing and demolitions continue in al-Shuhadaa graveyard in Bab al Asbat.
  • Hebron: cease-construction notice served against a house, water well and sheep barn. Sit-in tent demolished in eastern Yatta. Four houses receive cease-construction notices in western Ethna.
  • Tubas: classrooms dismantled in al-Maleh in the Jordan valleys.
  • Ramallah: 4 shops destroyed in Dayr Qadis.

Settler-attacks: 

  • Ramallah: two farmers assaulted during olive harvest in Turmus Ayya; a vehicle set on fire and tires of three other vehicles punctured.
  • Salfit: shepherd assaulted and an attempt to steal his sheep in Jabel Natif
  • Bethlehem: 25 olive tree seedlings uprooted in southern al-Masara.

Israeli closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement:

The Israeli occupation authorities continued to ban the entry of dozens of goods, including construction materials, in collective punishment measures against the Gaza Strip as the Israeli closure imposed on the territory entered its 15th year, without an end in sight that would fulfil Palestinians’ right to enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights.

Meanwhile, IOF continued to divide the West Bank into separate cantons with key roads blocked by the Israeli occupation since the 2000 Second Intifada -still closed to this date- and with temporary and permanent checkpoints, where civilian movement is restricted, and they are subject to arrest, especially at al-Karama border crossing, alongside the Palestinian-Jordanian border.

Attacks on civil society organizations and human rights defenders

On Friday, 22 October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, designated six pioneering Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations. According to the Israeli decision the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International – Palestine, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees are all terrorist organizations, affiliated with the leadership of the PFLP which aims to destroy Israel and free Palestine. The decision also claimed that these organization are run and operated by PFLP leaders and activists.

According to Israeli allegations, the designation was the result of a collaboration between the Israeli Shin Bet and the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing of Israel that started early this year.

Shooting and other Violations of the Right to Life and Bodily Integrity

  • At approximately 12:30 on Friday, 22 October 2021, IOF stationed on the northern entrance to Kafr Qaddum village, northern Qalqilya, suppressed a peaceful protest led by dozens of Palestinians. IOF chased the protestors and clashed with them; IOF fired bullets, tear gas canisters and stun grenades. As a result, 2 Palestinians sustained bullet wounds in their extremities, and 1 in the back.
  • At approximately 15:00 n Friday, dozens of Palestinians gathered near Bidu village, northwestern occupied East Jerusalem, and threw stones at IOF and their military vehicles in protest to IOF detention of the bodies of three Palestinians from the village who were killed by IOF a month ago. Immediately, IOF fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors, wounding Ahmed J. Abdulqaher (21) with a rubber bullet in the back. He was taken to Palestine Medical Complex for treatment.
  • At approximately 17:00, IOF assaulted the weekly march in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against settlement expansion activities. Participants were physically assaulted, particularly after they attempted to raise the Palestinian flag. Mohammed Kh. Abulhomes (55), an activist, was pushed to the ground, kicked, and beaten, as well as Nafisa Khwaiseh, an elderly woman, and Iyad Sab-el-laban, who was summonsed to interrogation for refusing to turn in his cellphone and for allowing his son to hold the Palestinian flag.
  • At approximately 18:00, a joint Israeli security and intelligence force backed by a helicopter raided Raed Syam’s house in Jabel Mukaber, southeastern occupied East Jerusalem. They ransacked through the house and assaulted all residents. They withdrew after arresting 4 members of the family.

Raed Syam stated that at approximately 17:30 a reconciliation meeting was scheduled between his family and neighbors in the area. As more than 20 persons were gathered in the house yard, they were shocked to see Israeli forces raid the area. IOF broke the front gate, and within moments, dozens of Israeli soldiers surrounded the house and assaulted all those inside, including women, children, and elderlies. IOF used buttstroke them and sprayed pepper spray at them. They forced everybody to take to the ground in order to cover the Israeli intelligence forces as they broke into the house. They ransacked through the house, took down AC units to search them, and searched each of the vehicles parked in front of the house.

Syam pointed out that he requested the soldiers show him a search warrant, but they refused, assaulted him, and threatened to shoot him. They yelled at him, demanding that he present his Palestinian passport, but he denied having any identification documents issued by Palestinian authorities. They searched through his personal files. Syam said that IOF assaulted his cousin, Alaa, who recently underwent a critical kidney surgery despite their pleads for them to stop; the soldiers did not care and continued to beat him more intensely as they said, “let him die.”

Syam mentioned that IOF assaulted the women who were praying inside the house before pushing them out forcibly and putting them to the ground. IOF arrested Ibrahim M. Syam (72), Ibrahim R. Syam (26) Alaa A. Syam (42), Omar A. Syam (30). They were interrogated for several hours before releases. All the arrestees suffered bruises and cuts in the face and entire bodies; no medical attention was provided.

  • At approximately 20:00, IOF moved into the road leading to al-Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron and stationed by its entrance. Dozens of young Palestinians gathered and threw rocks at the military vehicles. The soldiers deployed in the area, shot stun grenades, tear gas bombs and rubber-coated bullets at the stone-throwers, causing them to suffocate. The clashes continued until 23:00. No arrests were reported.
  • At approximately 21:30, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles, pumped water at them and opened heavy fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 02:30 on Saturday, 23 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles, pumped water at them and opened heavy fire at them, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:30, IOF stationed along Gaza border area opened fire in eastern Khan Younis at nearby agricultural lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed along Gaza border area opened fire sporadically in northern Beit Lahia at nearby lands. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Sunday, 24 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them. The attack recurred at 11:00, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 05:30 on Monday, 25 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the northern Gaza sea chased Palestinian fishing boat sailing at 3 nautical miles and opened heavy fire at them. The attack continued on and off until 08:00, stirring fear among the fishermen and forcing them to flee. No casualties were reported.
  • At approximately 21:00, IOF moved into Yabad, southwestern Jenin; a group of Palestinians gathered and threw rocks at Israeli military vehicles. IOF fired tear gas canisters and sound bombs at them, as well as rubber-coated bullets. As a result, a Palestinian male sustained a bullet in the left thigh and was transferred to hospital for treatment.
  • At approximately 08:00 on Wednesday, 27 October 2021, IOF gunboats in the southern Gaza sea confiscated a 2 rowboats and took them to an unknown destinations. The gunboats opened fire in the area at a 3rd rowboat and destroyed its contents.

The Fishermen Syndicate in Rafah stated that the Israeli naval forces confiscated two rowboats anchored at 7 nautical miles. The boats area used for lighting purposes as each holds a generators and at least 25 flashlights. The boats belong to Mohammed Omar al-Bardawyl (35) and Mohammed Adel al-Bardawyl (30). IOF also fired at another rowboat, destroying two generators and 26 flashlights, property of Mohammed Adel al-Bardawyl.

Incursions and arrests

Thursday, 21 October 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Nour Ishaq Ghaith (20), after raiding and searching his house in Hebron.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Tayseer Azmi Manasra (25), after raiding and searching his house in al-Dawha village, west of Betheem.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Hamza Mahmoud al-Wahsh (23) along with his brother, Mohannad (21), after raiding and searching thier house in al-Khader, southwest of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians, including a child, after raiding and searching their houses in Bayt Fajar village, south of Bethlehem. The arrestees are: Rabea’ Ahmed Taqateqa (17), Mohammed Wajeeh Thawabtah (18), and Yousef Mohammed Thawabtah (18).
  • At approximately 15:00, IOF arrested Omar Mo’amar Abu al-Hawa (24), from al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, while present in Bab al-Amud area, in the city.
  • At approximately 19:30, IOF arrested (3) civilian from al-Isawiya village, northeast of the occupied East Jerusalem, while present near the entrance of al-Eizariya village, east of Jerusalem. The arrestees are: Omar Marwan Obaid (23), Mohammed Ayman Obaid (22), and Mohammed Fo’ad Abu Rajab (18).
  • At approximately 22:30, IOF arrested Abdullah Abu Romouz (23), after raiding and searching his house in al-Tur neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • IOF carried out (2) incursions in Dura and Samu villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Friday, 22 October 2021:

  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested No’man Naser and Saleem Ayed after raiding and searching their houses in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Saturday, 23 October 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Mo’tasem Faraj Obaido (20), after raiding and searching his house in Hebron.
  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Na’el Riyad Omar (47) along with his son, Saher (20), after raiding and searching their house in Far’un village, east of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 16:00, IOF arrested Naseer Ya’qoub Jaradat (26), after stopping him on a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of Beit Einun village, north of Hebron.
  • IOF carried out (4) incursions in Shuyukh, Yatta, Dayr Samet and Idhna villages in Hebron. No arrests were reported.

Sunday, 24 October 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Nader Ramzi Zahida (25), after raiding and searching his house in Hebron.
  • At approximately 06:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Husan, west of Bethlehem. The arrestees are: Qassam Ramzi ‘Amira (18), Qusai Adli Hamamera (22), and Mohammed Ra’ouf Abu Yabis (22).
  • At approximately 17:30, IOF arrested Mohammed Mahmoud Owda (13), after raiding and searching his house in Silwan, south of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
  • At approximately 20:00, IOF arrested Na’el Rebhi Taqateqa (15), after referring to “Gush Etzion” investigation center, south of Bethlehem, on a prior summons.
  • At approximately 21:40, IOF arrested Yaser Arafat Shuqair (11) and Yazan Na’eem Qadous (10), after raiding and searching their houses in al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit.

Monday, 25 October 2021:

  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested (3) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. The arrestees are: Amir Adnan al-Karaki (22), Yehya Ziyad Sharaf (20), and Saif Ibrahim Samrin (20).
  • At approximately 02:15, IOF arrested Abdul Baset Mohammed Mo’tan (48), after raiding and searching his house in al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate. It should be noted that Mo’tan is a former prisoner who is receiving cancer treatment and needs a medical follow-up.
  • At approximately 04:00, IOF arrested Anas Adnan Hamarsha (21) and Mus’ab Belal Hirzallah (22), after raiding and searching their houses in Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin governorate.
  • At approximately 04:10, IOF arrested (3) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Beita, southeast of Nablus governorate. The arrestees are: Eyad Diab Shamsah (29), Salah Salama Shamsah (33), and Yehya Mohammed Diab (21).
  • At approximately 07:00, IOF reinforced with several military vehicles moved dozens of meters to the east of al-Fukhari village, southeast of Khan Yunis. They levelled and combed lands adjacent to the border fence, heading to the south, before they deployed again inside the border fence.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Ahmed Salah Abu ‘Azab (26), after raiding and searching his house in al-’Am’ari refugee camp, southeast of al-Bireh, north of Ramallah governorate.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Khaled Fawwaz Salah (30), after raiding and searching his house in al-Khader village, southwest of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 18:00, Israeli Intelligence Services arrested Abdul Rahman Bkairat, head of Zaid Bin Thabit School for Quran Memorization, after referring to al-Maskobiya investigation center in West Jerusalem, on a prior summons.
  • At approximately 22:00, IOF arrested Murad Sami Asakra, after stopping and searching his vehicle at a temporary military checkpoint established at the entrance of Teqoa village, east of Bethlehem.
  • IOF carried out an incursion in Azzun Atme village, south of Qalqilya. No arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021:

  • At approximately 01:00, IOF arrested Ibrahim Munir Arafa (29), after raiding and searching his house in Dheisha refugee camp, southwest of Bethlehem.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Suhaib Mohammed al-Qawasmah (23), after raiding and searching his house in Hebron.
  • Around the same time, IOF arrested Montaser Yousef Abu Ayyash (33), after raiding and searching his house in Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
  • At approximately 02:00, IOF arrested Mohye Ayman al-Shirwana (24) and Hazem Husain al-Shirwana (25), after raiding and searching their houses in Dura, southwest of Hebron.
  • At approximately 13:00, IOF arrested Ehab Rakiz Huweity (27), from Tulkarm governorate, while passing through al-Container military checkpoint, east of Bethlehem. It should be noted that al-Huweity had a road accident 20 days ago, and he was heading to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital to complete his treatment.
  • At approximately 18:00, IOF raided and searched a supermarket belonging to Ghawadera family, in ‘Arraba, southwest of Jenin governorate, and arrested Alaa Hisham Ghawadera (20), from Mirka village.
  • At approximately 21:40, IOF arrested As’ad Ziyad Shadeed (34), after raiding and searching his house in Illar village, north of Tulkarm.
  • At approximately 10:00, IOF stormed the yard of Abouna Ibrahim Monastery in Ras al-’Amud neighborhood, east of the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City. They banned organizing art or culture events for the students and their families in Jerusalem with a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of Interior, under the pretext that the event was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Marwan al-Ghoul, director of Silwan Sports Club, confirmed that the events organized by Silwan sports club were in cooperation with the Palestinian National Theater (Hakawati), National Conservatory of Music and moving theater, with the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Al-Ghoul stated that he received a phone call from the Israeli Authorities to inform him to cancel the events which supposed to start at approximately 10:00 on Tuesday, 26 October, and finish on Thursday evening. He added that the administrative board of the club refused to cancel the events because they did not receive any official decision. As soon as they started the first event in Abouna Ibrahim Monastery’s yard, they noticed IOF stationing at the monastery’s gates without storming the place because the French consul participated in the event. Al-Ghoul stated that, as soon as the French consul left the monastery, the Israeli soldiers stormed the monastery’s yards wearing civilian clothes and handed him a summons to refer to al-Qishla investigation center. Furthermore, IOF handed the director of the monastery a decision that bans any future events sponsored by the PA.

Al-Ghoul emphasized that when he referred to Moscovia Investigation Center, the Israeli Intelligence Services informed him that the Israeli Security Chief issued a decision that bans such events, claiming that they pose threat on the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem under the pretext that they were sponsored by the PA. Also, al-Ghoul highlighted that the events aimed to spread joy among children and students in the occupied Jerusalem, by performing music shows and theater performances, in addition to evening shows special for families.

Wednesday, 27 October 2021:

  • At approximately 02:30, IOF arrested Yazan Amer Sabbah (15) and Ibrahim Sameer Sabbah (15), after raiding and searching their houses in Teqoa, east of Bethlehem.
  • At approximately 03:00, IOF arrested (5) civilians after raiding and searching their houses in Bir village, southwest of Jenin governorate. The arrestees are: Mohammed Mahmoud Ghawadera (35), Marwan Mohammed Ghawadera (27), Ahmed Ali Ghawadera (25), Laith Hamza Ghawadera (24), and Ragheb Emad Ghawadera (20).

Settlement Expansion and settler violence in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem

Land razing, Demolitions, and Notices:

  • On Saturday afternoon, 16 October 2021, Jaber family self-demolished their house in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli Municipality’s demolition decision allegedly for unlicensed construction.

Nader Jaber said that his father built the house in 1991 on an area of 92 sqms in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood.  Jaber said that the Israeli municipality has haunted the family since 1998 and imposed fines on his mother after his father passed away.  His mother has paid fines for 14 years, and although the Israeli municipality decided to exempt her from paying the fines as she was over 90 years old, it notified the family of demolishing the house after she passed away.   Jaber said that his mother died in 2019 and the house had become a reunion for the 100 family members.  However, IOF again haunted them and the Israeli court issued a final decision to demolish the house, forcing the family to self-demolish their house to avoid paying the demolition costs for the municipality or arresting any of the family members in case the municipal crews implemented the decision.  Jaber stressed that the Israeli municipality has not given a construction license for tens of years specifically in this area, which is of a strategic location and connects many areas with each other.

  • At approximately 11:30 on Sunday, 24 October 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into At-Tuwani village, east of Yatta, south of Hebron. The Civil Administration distributed notices to stop construction works in several facilities under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area C.  the notices included the following:
  1. A 3-storey house belonging to Ghanem Hussein al-Hreini;
  2. A 70-cbm water well belonging to Fo’ad Fadel al-‘Amour; and
  3. A sheep barn of shed cloth and a tinplate bathroom belonging to Ghandi Na’im al-‘Amour.
  • At approximately 17:20 on Monday, 25 October 2021, IOF accompanied with a bulldozer, a truck-mounted crane and a Civil Administration SUV moved into al-Maleh area in the Northern Jordan Valley in eastern Tubas.

IOF surrounded al-Tahadi School, levelled and a confiscated a 150-sqm metal shed.  The workers brought by the Civil Administration from private companies dismantled and confiscated 2 barracks of 25 sqms; one was used as a classroom and the other as a clinic, under the pretext of their presence in Area C.

  • In the same afternoon, Jaber family self-demolished a floor in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City only 2 days after demolishing the second floor, pursuant to the Israeli municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Nader Jaber said that 2 days ago, the family self-demolished their deceased mother’s house that was built in 1991; it was a 92-sqm second floor, pursuant to the Israeli municipality’s decision and to avoid paying tens of thousands of shekels for the municipality crews’ demolition costs.  Jaber explained that the family sent photos of the demolished second floor to the municipality, which ordered the family to demolish the first floor as well, giving them only 48 hours to demolish the 40-sqm residential room and its facilities or it will send the bulldozers to do so.  Jaber stressed that his family was forced to self-demolish the first and second floors with hand tools like thousand other Palestinian families who self-demolished their houses for fear of Israeli municipality’s prosecution.

  • In the same afternoon as well, Isma’il ‘Aramin self-demolished his house in Wadi al-Joz neighborhood, east of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, pursuant to the Israeli municipality’s decision under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

‘Aramin said that his house was built in 2010 replacing his old family house, which was demolished by the Israeli municipality under the pretext of unlicensed construction. ‘Aramin added he has lived in his 90-sqm house with his wife and two children for 8 years, and the municipality started pursuing him around a year ago. Only few months ago, the Israeli court issued a final decision to demolish the house, without the possibility of appealing the decision, giving him until last August and then postponed the demolition until the end of October. ‘Aramin said that he had to self-demolish his house, fearing that the occupation municipality would send its crews to implement the decision and fine him with tens of thousands of shekels.

  • At approximately 10:30 on Monday, 25 October 2021, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle and a bulldozer moved into at-Tuwani village in eastern Yatta, south of Hebron. The bulldozer demolished a tent of 50 sqms set by activists in the area in solidarity with al-Mafqarah village, east of the city.  The demolition came under the pretext of unlicensed construction.
  • At approximately 07:00 on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, IOF accompanied by military vehicles and a bulldozer moved into Deir Qaddis village, west of Ramallah and demolished an under-construction facility of 4 stores on an area of 300 sqms. The demolition was carried out without any prior warning under the pretext of its presence in Area C.

The facility’s owner, Ayman ‘Adnan Steih (44), said to PCHR’s fieldworker that,

“I was surprised in the morning with IOF’s incursion into the village and closure of its streets. IOF accompanied with a military bulldozer surrounded my facility of four under-construction stores in the eastern side of the village and demolished it.  I approached the soldiers trying to talk with them, but they shouted at me and fired sound bombs in the air to keep me away from the area.  The Israeli authorities handed me a notice to demolish the facility last June, but I filed a complaint at the competent authorities, including Jerusalem Centre for Legal Aid.  Although there was a lawful complaint, IOF carried out the demolition without a prior warning, noting that the construction cost me around 170,000 shekels.” 

  • In the same morning, the Israeli municipality bulldozers and the Nature Authority continued excavation works in al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery adjacent to al-Yousifiyah Cemetery in al-Asbat Gate area in central occupied East Jerusalem. The municipality intends to turn the cemetery into a biblical park and started building a metal wall around it as well as piling sand berms to bury its features, according to the Israeli court’s decision issued last week.

Tens of outraged men and woman gathered to confront the Nature Authority workers but IOF pushed and beat them as well as arresting 3 of the protesters after severely beating them.  The arrestees were identified as Laith al-Shalabi, Mousa Khalaf and Nawwaf al-Salaymah.

‘Alaa Nabatah, an eyewitness said that IOF assaulted the protesters and banned them entry into the cemetery. IOF also fired sound bombs at them after performing al-Maghreb prayer near the cemetery.  Nabatah added that an Israeli female soldier beat her more than once when she was near her son’s grave in the cemetery.

It should be noted that the Israeli Magistrate’s court refused last week a request applied by Jerusalem Cemeteries Committee to obtain a decision that would ban the Israeli municipality and Nature Authority from continuing the excavation works in the graves at al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery near al-Yousifiya Cemetery near al-Asbat Gate.  It should be noted that the Israeli police banned Mustafa Abu Zahrah, Head of the Islamic Cemeteries Committee in Jerusalem, from entering al-Yousifyah Cemetery for 10 days and handed him a map showing the path he should take in order to reach al-Aqsa mosque.

It is noteworthy that the al-Shuhadaa’ and al-Yousifyah cemeteries have been under systematic attack over the past years. the Islamic Cemeteries Committee resorted to the Israeli court and submitted documents proving that the cemetery belongs to the Islamic Endowments.  At the time, the court issued a decision to ban any works in the cemetery, but after a while, a person was buried there; as a result, the grave was taken as an excuse to abolish the decision. In late July, the court’s judge responded to the Israeli municipality and Nature Authority’s request to resume razing the cemetery land after seven months of issuing a precautionary order to stop it. Al-Yousifiyah cemetery is one of the most famous Islamic cemeteries in Jerusalem. It is located to the north of Al-Asbat Gate and houses the graves of Palestinian families who live in Jerusalem. It also includes to the north al-Shuhadaa’ Cemetery, where the Jordanian soldiers martyred in 1967 are buried.

  • At approximately 10:00, IOF backed by military vehicles and accompanied with an Israeli Civil Administration vehicle moved into Khelet Harb area, west of Ethna village, west of Ramallah. They handed the Civil Administration officer 4 notices to stop construction works under the pretext of unlicensed  The notices included the following:
  • A 100-sqm house belonging to ‘Adnan Ibrahim ‘Awad;
  • An 80-sqm house belonging to Sa’diyah Ibrahim ‘Awad;
  • An under-construction 270-sqm house belonging to ‘Abdel Fattah Ahmed ‘Awad; and
  • An under-construction 170-sqm house belonging to Jamal Ahmed Nofal.
  • On Wednesday, 27 October 2021, the Israeli Civil Administration approved 3,144 new settlement units in the West Bank, noting that last Sunday the Israeli Land Authority opened tenders for marketing of 1,355 new settlement units in the West Bank.

Settlers’ attacks on civilians and their property:

  • At approximately 13:00 on Saturday, 23 October 2021, a group of settlers from Adei Ad settlement, northeast of Ramallah, assaulted farmers while harvesting olives from their lands in eastern Turmis’iya village, northeast of the city. The settlers pepper-sprayed ‘Abdel Naser (48) and Montaser (47) Naji Hizmah; as a result, they suffocated and sustained minor burns in the face. The settlers also pushed Nabihah Mahmoud Jbarah (80) and set fire to a vehicle as well as puncturing tires and breaking windows of three other vehicles belonging to Taysir Jbrarah, Montaser Naji Hizmah, Nabihah Mahmoud Jbarah and ‘Abdel Naser Naji Hizmah.
  • At approximately 14:00 on Sunday, 24 October 2021, Israeli settlers assaulted sheep belonging to Fozan Rayan while shepherding in the pastoral area on al-Nweiteif Mountain in Qarawet Bani Hassan in Salfit. The settlers attempted to steal the sheep and take them to Havot Yair settlement, but the villagers managed to return them.
  • On Tuesday morning, 26 October 2021, a group of settlers uprooted 25 olive tree seedlings in southern al-Masara, southwestern Bethlehem. According to Hassan Breijiyeh, Director of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission in Bethlehem, settlers uprooted 25 olive tree seedlings belonging to Mohammed Ahmed Breijiyeh.

Closure policy and restrictions on freedom of movement of persons and goods:

The Gaza Strip:

The Israeli authorities continued to impose collective punishments against the people of the Gaza Strip, including tightened restrictions on imports and exports, causing a serious deterioration in Palestinians’ enjoyment of their economic and cultural rights.

The West Bank:

In addition to 108 permanent checkpoints and closed roads, this week witnessed the establishment of 37 temporary checkpoints that restrict the movement of goods and individuals, where IOF searched Palestinians’ vehicles, checked their IDs, and arrested 3 of them. IOF reinforced its restrictions on civilians’ freedom of movement at its permanent checkpoints in the West Bank and shut some checkpoints for several hours on multiple occasions.

Here follows PCHR documentation of restrictions on the freedom of movement and IOF-established temporary checkpoints across the West Bank this week:

Jerusalem:

  • On Monday, 25 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Beer Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan village.

Ramallah:

  • On Thursday, 21 October 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrance to Teqoa village and near al-Nashash intersection leading to western Bethlehem villages
  • On Friday, 22 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance to Teqoa village.
  • On Monday, 25 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit Fajjar and Teqoa villages.
  • On Tuesday, 26 October 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints near the entrance to Wadi Foqin village, the northern and western entrances to Teqoa village and near al-Nashash intersection.

Hebron:

  • On Thursday, 21 October 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at entrances to Dura, Sa’ir village and al-‘Arroub refugee camp.
  • On Friday, 22 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Ethna and Beit ‘Awwa villages.
  • On Saturday, 23 October 2021, IOF established 2checkpoints at the northern entrance to Hebron and the entrance to Bani Na’im village (Wad al-Joz).
  • On Sunday, 24 October 2021, IOF established 5 checkpoints at the southern entrance to Hebron and the entrances to al-Fawwar refugee camp, Sorif, al-Samou’a and Bani Na’im villages.
  • On Tuesday, 26 October 2021, IOF established 3 checkpoints at the entrances to al-‘Arroub refugee camp, Sa’ir and Sorif villages.
  • On Wednesday, 28 October 2021, IOF established 4 checkpoints at the entrances to Beit ‘Aynoun Road, east of Hebron, eastern Dura, southern Hebron and Khelet al-Mayyah Road in eastern Yatta.

Qalqilya:

  • On Friday, 22 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to ‘Azoun and ‘Izzbit al-Tabib villages in eastern Qalqilya.
  • On Tuesday, 26 October 2021, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrances to ‘Izzbit al-Tabib village in eastern Qalqilya.

Salfit:

  • On Sunday, 24 October 2021, IOF established 2 checkpoints at the entrances to Deir Ballut and Qarawet Bani Hassan villages in western Salfit.

UN: “Israel’s” Classification of Palestinian NGOs As Terrorist “Arbitrary”

26.10.2021

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

The United Nations says “Israel” is putting human rights defenders at risk with their decision to designate several Palestinian NGOs as terrorists based on no evidence.

See the source image
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet

“Israel’s” designation of 6 prominent Palestinian civil society groups as outlawed “terrorist organizations” is an unjustified attack, Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations Commissioner of Human Rights, said Tuesday.

The Israeli occupation had classified last week 6 Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist,” attributing their baseless decision to said organizations “financing the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.”

Bachelet said the decision was an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression, and the right to public participation, calling for the move to be immediately revoked.

“Anti-terrorism legislation” should be applied to legitimate human rights and humanitarian aid activities, she asserted.

“The organizations… face far-reaching consequences as a result of this arbitrary decision, as do the people who fund them and work with them,” she said.

The NGOs “Israel” designated terrorist have been delivering humanitarian aid to Palestinians harmed by the Israeli occupation and who’ve had their human rights abused in the occupied territories.

The commissioner argued the decision would have “a chilling effect” on human rights defenders.

“The crucial work they perform for thousands of Palestinians risks being halted or severely restricted,” she added.

The Commissioner also argued that claiming rights before the United Nations or other international bodies does not constitute an act of terrorism, citing advocating for women’s rights in the occupied Palestinian territories and providing legal aid to detained Palestinians.

She stressed that those actions are not acts of terrorism while pointing to the obvious: The Israeli occupation did not present any evidence to support its allegations against the NGOs, nor did it conduct a public process to establish the accusations.

HRW Criticizes Facebook Censorship of Palestinians, Demands Investigation

October 8, 2021

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Facebook has “wrongfully removed” content by Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Friday.

According to the New York-based international NGO, Facebook unfairly removed posts describing human rights abuses carried out during the May 2021 Israeli aggression.

“Facebook has suppressed content posted by Palestinians and their supporters speaking out about human rights issues in Israel and Palestine,” said Deborah Brown, senior digital rights researcher and advocate at HRW. “With the space for such advocacy under threat in many parts of the world, Facebook censorship threatens to restrict a critical platform for learning and engaging on these issues.”

According to the HRW report, several posts were also removed by Instagram, the American photo and video sharing social networking service that was recently acquired by Facebook.  

“In one instance, Instagram removed a screenshot of headlines and photos from three New York Times opinion articles for which the Instagram user added commentary that urged Palestinians to ‘never concede’ their rights,” the report reads.

HRW also condemned Facebook policy to designate certain organizations as ‘dangerous’, thus limiting the freedom of expression.

“Facebook relies on the list of organizations that the US has designated as a ‘foreign terrorist organization,’ among other lists,” HRW report said. “That list includes political movements that also have armed wings, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hamas.” 

“By deferring to the broad and sweeping US designations, Facebook prohibits leaders, founders, or prominent members of major Palestinian political movements from using its platform. It does this even though, as far as is publicly known, US law does not prohibit groups on the list from using free and freely available platforms like Facebook.”

In its report, HRW called for an “independent audit .. (to) evaluate Facebook’s relationship with the Israeli government’s Cyber Unit, which creates a parallel enforcement system for the government to seek to censor content without official legal orders.”

The California-based social media giant did not provide exhaustive explanations to justify its behavior, according to HRW. 

“Facebook has acknowledged several issues affecting Palestinians and their content, some of which it attributed to ‘technical glitches’and human error. However, these explanations do not explain the range of restrictions and suppression of content observed.”

The NGO ultimately asked for an independent investigation and urged Facebook to ensure “that investigators closely consult with civil society at the outset of the investigation, so that (it) reflects the most pressing human rights concerns from those affected by its policies.”

Last April, HRW issued a report, titled ‘A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution’, concluding that Israel is committing the crime of “apartheid” by seeking to maintain Jewish “domination” over Palestinians and its own Arab population.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Sheikh Jarrah’s Activists Muna, Muhammed El-Kurd Make TIME Top 100 List

September 16, 2021

Mohammed and Muna el-Kurd. (Photo: via Twitter)

Time magazine has named Palestinian twins and activists, Muna and Muhammed El-Kurd of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The magazine said Muna and her twin brother Muhammed have become symbols of the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation’s attempts to evict Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Through online posts and media appearances, sibling activists Muhammed and Muna El-Kurd provided the world with a window into living under occupation in East Jerusalem this spring—helping to prompt an international shift in rhetoric in regard to Israel and Palestine,” the magazine wrote.

“Charismatic and bold, they became the most recognizable voices of those threatened with losing their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.”

A statement by Mohammed El-Kurd after he and his sister were designated by Time Magazine as being among the 100 most influential personalities in the world. https://t.co/c0jlTE7RBZ

— J. Shawa جاسم الشوا (@shawajason) September 15, 2021

In response to the announcement, Muhammed El-Kurd wrote: “My sister and I’s selection as part of the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ may be a positive indicator of the centralization of the Palestinian cause in the global public sphere. However, the creation of symbols – which reduces the struggle of a whole people to a single face – is not enough.”

“What we are demanding is a tangible, radical change in the media system (including the Times) to end its Zionist bias.”

“The untold story of Sheikh Jarrah, of Jerusalem – in fact, of all of Palestin,” Ramzy Baroud is at it again: Muna is Palestine, Yakub is Israel: The Untold Story of Sheikh Jarrah – https://t.co/JhsGfRkrM3 https://t.co/c5J8AH5wyp

— Nasser Rabbat (@nasserrabbat) May 15, 2021

The list also includes current US President Joe Biden, his predecessor Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Salvador President Nayib Bukele, who is of Palestinian origin, was also named.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

NSO Group’s Spyware Used on Bahraini Activists – Report

August 25, 2021

NSO Group’s Spyware Used on Bahraini Activists - Report

By Staff, Agencies

In the course of violating human rights in the Bahraini kingdom, nine activists from Bahrain had their iPhones hacked by advanced spyware made by the ‘Israeli’ company NSO Group, the world’s most notorious hacker-for-hire firm, a cybersecurity watchdog reported on Tuesday.

Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto said NSO Group’s Pegasus malware successfully hacked the phones between June 2020 and February 2021. Those reportedly hacked included members of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and two political dissidents living in exile. At least one of the activists lived in London when the hacking occurred, Citizen Lab said.

Citizen Lab said it has “high confidence” that at least four of the activists were hacked by the Bahraini government, which has a history of using commercially available spyware.

One of the activists targeted is Moosa Mohammed, who said he was previously a victim of spyware, in 2012.

“When I fled torture and persecution in Bahrain, I thought I would find safety in London but have continued to face surveillance and physical attacks by Gulf regimes,” he said.

The government of Bahrain, a tiny island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia that’s home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, has a long history of suppressing dissent. Bahrain’s National Communication Centre dismissed Citizen Lab’s findings as “misguided” and said in a statement the country is committed to safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.

NSO Group said in a statement that it had not yet seen the report, but questioned Citizen Lab’s methods and motives. “If NSO receives reliable information related to the misuse of the system, the company will vigorously investigate the claims and act accordingly,” the company said.

Citizen Lab found that in some instances the malware infected targeted iPhones without the users taking any action — what’s known as a zero-click vulnerability.

Bill Marczak of Citizen Lab said the exploits worked against a recent versions of the iPhone’s operating system, adding that there’s “no indication that the bugs exploited have been fixed.”

Ivan Krstic, head of Apple Security Engineering and Architecture, said such attacks are costly and often have a short shelf life. “They are not a threat to the overwhelming majority of our users,” he said in a statement, adding that Apple constantly adds new protections for its devices and data.

The new report is the latest unwelcome news for NSO Group. The firm was the focus of recent reports by a media consortium that found the company’s spyware tool Pegasus was used in several instances of successful or attempted phone hacks of business executives, human rights activists and others around the world.

Activists Occupy ‘Israeli’ Arms Factory in UK, Halt Its Operations

August 23, 2021 

Activists Occupy ‘Israeli’ Arms Factory in UK, Halt Its Operations

By Staff, Agencies

As part of their nationwide campaign against an ‘Israeli’ arms manufacturer, pro-Palestine activists in the United Kingdom have staged a protest outside the company’s plant in the borough of Oldham.

Palestine Action, a London-based pro-Palestine advocacy group, shared a series of tweets showing masked activists standing on the roof of the Zionist arms factory on Monday, holding ‘Shut down Elbit’ banners.

They announced that they had taken to the roof of the Zionist arms factory in Oldham “once more,” spraying it with fire extinguishers, and “laying bare the profits of a military occupation and extinguishing Elbit through direct action.”

In another tweet, the group said they had “blockaded” the gates of the ‘Israeli’ arms factory in Oldham by vehicles, and halted its “deadly production line.”

“The roof’s ours,” it declared.

One of the pictures showed an activist sitting on the roof, with clenched fist. The caption read: “They may try to lock us up in chains but we’ll always keep coming back and taking the fight to Elbit to tear apart their links in ‘Israel’s’ killer supply chain.”

In a statement published on its website, Palestine Action said the move comes “as ‘Israel’ continues to raid Palestinian communities in Gaza and the West Bank while brutalizing civilians, using UK-manufactured weapons and technologies produced by firms such as Elbit Systems.”

It said the Oldham arms factory is used for the “production of a range of specialist weapons technologies, including components for ‘Israeli’ drones and battle tanks.”

“The activists currently occupying the Elbit Ferranti factory have once again shown the power of direct action against ‘Israeli’ oppression. While Western governments continue to side with the oppressors, and while media attention in Palestinian suffering has dwindled, Palestinians are still exposed to daily brutality, starvation, apartheid and death. These activists are bravely standing against this injustice – and we will continue to do so until Elbit is shut down,” the statement quoted the spokesman as saying.

It is the second time in three months that pro-Palestine activists in UK have scaled the roof of an ‘Israeli’ arms factory. In May, the week-long protest in Leicester, a city in the English Midlands, had resulted in court action.

The group has been vigorously campaigning against Elbit, the Zionist regime’s largest arms producer, across the UK since last year, targeting a number of sites owned by the arms company.

Amnesty: PA Response to Nizar Banat Demonstrators ‘Violent Repression’

July 9, 2021

Palestinians rally to protest Nizar Banat’s assassination. (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

Recent violence by Palestinian government forces against demonstrators in the West Bank has constituted a “chilling campaign of repression”, according to Amnesty International.

The rights NGO slammed the use of “unlawful force” by the authorities in a press release on Wednesday. It said reporters, campaigners, and lawyers had been detained without justification, and that arrestees had suffered torture.

Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrate in Hebron city in the occupied West Bank against the the assassination of Palestinian opposition activist Nizar Banat and demanding to apprehend the perpetrators, today.#NizarBanat pic.twitter.com/PAMWbqzMZg

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) July 9, 2021

The group explained that anger has reached boiling point after prominent anti-government dissenter Nizar Banat died two weeks ago in Palestinian detention.

It said the authorities have used unnecessary strength against demonstrators, including this Monday, when they “violently” broke up those rallying at a Ramallah police station before making 15 or more arrests.

Saleh Higazi, Amnesty’s deputy MENA director explained: “Over the past two weeks, Palestinian authorities have launched a deliberate campaign of repression, clamping down on peaceful protesters and carrying out arbitrary arrests in an attempt to instil a climate of fear and crush dissent”.

When the PA men descended on Banat’s house on June 24, the ferocity of their violence was unprecedented https://t.co/1K1lRsyOFr via @PalestineChron #NizarBanat #Palestine pic.twitter.com/jQOyZ7s6Ua

— Ramzy Baroud (@RamzyBaroud) July 9, 2021

Higazi called for Palestine’s long-time president, Mahmoud Abbas, to put a stop to the “chilling crackdown” and see to it that any officers who have perpetrated abuses are held responsible.

Last week, also in Ramallah, Palestinian reporters gathered by a United Nations building to urge freedom of the press in the wake of the authorities’ aggression at Nizar Banat demonstrations.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

Prominent Palestinian Activist Nizar Banat Dies during Arrest by PA Forces

June 24, 2021

Palestinian prominent activist Nizar Banat. (Photo: via Social Media)

A prominent Palestinian political activist and outspoken critic of the Palestinian Authority died during his arrest by PA forces early Thursday.

In a brief statement, the Hebron governorate said that Banat’s “health deteriorated” when a force of the security services went to arrest him early Thursday. It added that he was taken to a hospital where he was later announced dead.

The Palestinian Authority has deliberately targeted and killed Nizar Banat in Hebron.
Nizar spoke up about repression and failed policies which keep Palestinians silent, chained.
Today, the PA proved that it doesn’t intend on keeping Palestinians safe and free. #nizar_banat pic.twitter.com/YPmVIGMSIr

— مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) June 24, 2021

Nizar’s cousin, Mohammad Banat, told Quds News Network that around 25 Palestinian security forces stormed the home where Nizar was staying, blowing out doors and windows.

He added that they beat Nizar with an iron bar and sprayed pepper spray in his eyes before undressing him and dragging him away to a vehicle.

Mohammad and another cousin were present during the arrest.

(Quds News, PC, Social Media)

London: pro-Palestine activist defies death during solidarity action

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 12:52 AM  [ Last Update: Wednesday, 16 June 2021 12:52 AM ]

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Robert Carter
Press TV, London

The area surrounding the US embassy in London was brought to a total standstill early on Tuesday as a pro-Palestine activist staged, what’s been described as a “courageous stunt.” The action came after a disappointing debate was conducted at the Westminster, where MPs failed to convince the government to sanction Israel over its crimes to the Palestinians.

The area surrounding the US Embassy in London was brought to a complete standstill on Tuesday morning after a 69 year old pro-Palestine activist climbed atop a nearby crane.

Carrying nothing but some minor equipment and a large Palestinian flag, Nicholas Georges hopes his death defying stunt will help raise further awareness of the Palestinians suffering.

This action comes following a parliamentary debate held at Westminster the day before. Despite the demands from over 300,000 Brits to sanction Israel, the government sided with Tel Aviv.


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British schoolchildren face punishment for wearing Palestine flags and keffiyeh’s

Students said they were threatened with detention, expulsion and barred from taking exams due to their pro-Palestine activism

Children across the UK have faced disciplinary action for their Palestine activism on school premises (AFP)

By Areeb Ullah

Published date: 26 May 2021

Schoolchildren in the UK are being punished for their pro-Palestine activism on school premises, with some being disciplined for wearing keffiyehs and holding Palestine flags.

Several students who spoke to Middle East Eye said they were threatened with detention, expulsion and being blocked from taking their exams if they continued protesting for Palestinian rights on school premises.

The forms of activism being penalised by schools include displaying the Palestinian flag on face masks or their hands and putting up posters designed by students to educate their peers on the Israel-Palestinian issue.

Every student and teacher who spoke to MEE requested anonymity as they feared possible repercussions from their school for speaking out.

Picture of Palestine posters put up by students at Allerton George in Leeds (Supplied)
Picture of Palestine posters put up by students at Allerton George in Leeds. Students had to take pictures in secret as phones are banned on school premises (Supplied)

Pupils who spoke to MEE attended schools in Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Rochdale and different areas of London.

Taking inspiration from last year’s Black Lives Matter protests (BLM) and her school’s awareness campaigns on LGBT rights and mental health, Jay assumed Allerton George would encourage discussion on Palestine.

But when students put up posters around the school in communal areas without permission, teachers quickly took them down.

“The teachers went as far as ripping the Palestine posters into pieces and scrunching the ripping the Palestine posters into pieces and scrunching them up in our faces,” Jay told MEE.

“When we asked why they took down the posters, the teachers said they didn’t have to justify it to us and were given clear instructions to take down these posters as they were seen as sending antisemitic messages.”

Jay stressed the messages on the posters were not antisemitic and said: “End Israeli Apartheid, End illegal Occupation and Free Palestine”. 

She added: “They took our lanyards from us because they had the Palestine flag.

“When we asked them why it was okay to wear BLM or LGBTQ+ flags on our lanyards but not Palestine, they couldn’t give us an answer and later said as a political cause, it caused distress to others.”

Students from Allerton Grange later posted a video of headteacher Mike Roper describing the Palestinian flag as a “call to arms” and “symbol of antisemitism”. Roper has since apologised after facing protests outside the school. 

‘Posters were torn down and binned’

Jay said the school had refused to take down the Israeli flag displayed in the library after seeing the Palestine flag taken down.

Allerton George had not responded to MEE’s requests for comment at the time of this article’s publication.

Some teachers from other schools who spoke to MEE also confirmed that students were placed in detention for putting up posters in support of Palestine.

Like Jay, Sam from West London put up posters in his school for Palestine on their class boards and wore badges to raise awareness about Palestine.

“We put up small Palestinian flags and posters on our class poster boards wearing badges that read ‘Free Palestine’, drawing Palestine flags on our hands and wearing keffiyehs to spread awareness and pique student interest,” Sam told MEE.

“The posters were torn down and binned, the students were told to remove their badges at the threat of suspension from school and all ‘flags and symbols’ were removed from sight at the threat of detention.” 

Sam added that students were threatened with being withdrawn from their GCSE exams if they refused to delete a video of senior staff taking down posters or wore a Palestine badge.

Aisha faced a similar situation as Sam did at Brampton Manor Academy in Newham, east London, where she says she was punished for wearing a Free Palestine badge in her school.

She said her teachers banned students from protesting and threatened them with detention if they continued putting them up. 

Students fear speaking out

Several students from other parts of the UK also expressed their disappointment at how their schools reacted towards their activism following the BLM protests.

Letters given to MEE that were sent to teachers and parents by Redbridge Council and a school in Birmingham told them that schools are “apolitical” bodies and could not allow students to participate in Palestine protests despite holding discussions for BLM and selling poppies to students.

Ilyas Nagdee, an activist who campaigns against the Prevent strategy, said children and their parents had contacted him about schools clamping down on pro-Palestine activism.

‘What we are seeing now is a product of years of Prevent trying to micro-manage political conversations’

– Shereen Fernandez, Queen Mary University

His call-out on Twitter to help students facing issues at school for their Palestine protests was retweeted 1,300 times at the time of writing.

Since then, Nagdee has received nearly a hundred requests for help, with many students afraid to speak out publicly.

“The cases we have received span the entire length of the country with hotspots where there are sizeable Muslim communities. The sanctions applied are wide in range, from young people being spoken to in class or given lunchtime isolation all the way to exclusions,” said Nagdee.

“We are also receiving a growing number of concerned parents who are contacting us due to fear their child has fallen into the clutches of Prevent or fearful of visits from the police.

Prevent in schools

Shereen Fernandez, a lecturer at Queen Mary University in London who specialises in Prevent in schools, believes the school reaction to Palestine protests is a direct result of the Prevent strategy telling teachers that campaigning for Palestine is associated with extremism.

Prevent is a strand of the British government’s counter-terrorism strategy that aims to “safeguard and support those vulnerable to radicalisation, to stop them from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism”.

It was publicly launched in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings and was initially targeted squarely at Muslim communities, prompting continuing complaints of discrimination and concerns that the programme was being used to collect intelligence.

“Although Prevent will maintain that schools are ‘safe spaces’, that is not the case, as teachers will be anxious about approaching ‘controversial’ topics like Palestine because of its alleged association to extremism as indicated in the training material.”

“Symbols of solidarity such as wearing a badge supporting Palestine has been enough to refer students in the past to Prevent.”

In 2016, MEE revealed that the UK government told teachers in schools, colleges and universities to monitor Muslim students who display an interest in Palestine as being susceptible to terrorism.

And in 2014, Rahmaan Mohammadi, a 17-year-old student from Luton, was reportedly referred to Prevent and visited by the police after he organised a Palestine fundraiser at his school.

A teacher from Mayfield school in the London area of Ilford said the school’s reaction to pro-Palestine protests was “confusing”, adding that colleagues perceive “pro-Palestine activism as racism”.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Prevent is involved in constructing that line for schools across the country, and I’d say issues like BLM and poppies are allowed because they are considered neutral enough for schools to talk about.”

Mayfield School had not responded to MEE’s requests for comment by the time of this article’s publication.

Nagdee, the activist, said that many parents who spoke to him said they feared their children would be referred to Prevent because of their campaigning.

‘Biased’ assemblies

Following the protests, many schools across the UK held assemblies to address student concerns on raising awareness. 

But students who spoke to MEE said the assemblies fuelled further anger among students.

Images posted online showed students protesting at Judgemeadow Community College in Leicester after it was perceived to minimise Palestinian suffering. 

It remains unclear whether students in the video were punished for protesting.

Sam noted how his teacher described the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians as similar to a “messy bedroom” and disputed the phrasing of tensions as a “conflict”. 

“To address the discomfort many students felt about censorship of student voices, they organised an assembly on the concept of ‘conflict’ where the events in Palestine was compared to a ‘messy bedroom where a rebellious child and their parent had differing opinions on how it should be dealt with,” said Sam. 

“It just felt patronising and demeaning to us all.” 

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