The Zionist Regime in Chaos as ‘Judicial Reform’ Plans Draw Mass Protests

March 27, 2023

By Staff, Agencies

Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition plunged into chaos on Monday, after mass overnight protests over the sacking of his war minister piled pressure on the government to halt its bitterly contested plans on the so-called ‘judicial reform.’

Netanyahu had been expected to make a televised statement on Monday morning announcing the plans had been suspended. But, amid reports that his coalition risked breaking apart, ‘Israeli’ media announced the statement was postponed.

Earlier, a source in his Likud party and another source closely involved in the ‘legislation’ said Netanyahu would suspend the overhaul, which has ignited some of the Zionist entity’s biggest-ever demonstrations and drew an intervention by the regime’s ‘president.’

“For the sake of the unity of the people of ‘Israel’, for the sake of responsibility, I call on you to stop the legislative process immediately,” President Isaac Herzog pleaded on Twitter.

The warning by Herzog, who is supposed to stand above politics and whose function is largely ceremonial, underlined the alarm that the divisions triggered by the proposals have caused.

It followed a dramatic night of protests in cities across the ‘Israeli’-occupied territories, with tens of thousands flooding streets following Netanyahu’s announcement that he had dismissed War Minister Yoav Gallant.

A day earlier, Gallant had made a televised appeal for the government to halt its flagship overhaul of the ‘judicial system,’ warning that the deep split it had opened up in the Zionist society was affecting the military and threatening the entity’s security.

During furious scenes in the Knesset early on Monday, opposition Knesset [Zionist parliament] members attacked Simcha Rothman, the committee chairman who has shepherded the bill, with cries of “Shame! Shame!”

Three months after taking power, Gallant’s removal has plunged Netanyahu’s hard-right coalition into crisis as it also faces a deepening security emergency in the occupied West Bank.

In a sign of the tensions within the coalition, so-called ‘National Security’ Minister far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir, called for the overhaul to go ahead.

“We must not stop the ‘judiciary reform’ and must not surrender to anarchy,” he tweeted.

At the same time, the ‘Israeli’ currency, Shekel, which has seen big swings over recent weeks as the political turbulence has played out, fell 0.7% in early trading before recovering some ground as expectations grew the legislation would be halted.

As opposition spread, the head of the Histadrut labor union, Arnon Bar-David, called for a general strike if the proposals were not halted.

“If you don’t announce in a news conference today that you changed your mind, we will go on strike.”

The ‘judicial overhaul,’ which would give the executive more control over appointing judges to the ‘Supreme Court’ and allow the government to override court rulings on the basis of a simple parliamentary majority, has drawn mass protests for weeks.

While the government says the overhaul is needed to rein in activist judges and set a proper balance between the elected government and the ‘judiciary,’ opponents see it as an undermining of legal checks and balances and a threat to the ‘Israeli’ entity.

Netanyahu, on trial on corruption charges that he denies, has so far vowed to continue with the project and a central part of the overhaul package, a bill that would tighten political control over ‘judicial’ appointments, is due to be voted on in parliament this week.

As well as drawing opposition from the business establishment, the project has caused alarm among the Tel Aviv regime’s allies. The United States said it was deeply concerned by Sunday’s events and saw an urgent need for compromise, while repeating calls to safeguard values.

“أحلك أمسية في تاريخ إسرائيل”.. و”الجيش” يرفع حالة التأهب

الاثنين 27 مارس 2023

المصدر: وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية

وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية تفيد بأن “جيش” الاحتلال رفع حالة التأهب، ومسؤول إسرائيلي سابق يقول إن “هذه هي أحلك أمسية في تاريخ إسرائيل”.

“الجيش” الإسرائيلي يرفع حالة التأهب بعد فقدان السيطرة داخل الأراضي المحتلة

رفع “جيش” الاحتلال الإسرائيلي حالة التأهب، مساء أمس الأحد، بعد فقدان السيطرة داخل الأراضي المحتلة، في أعقاب إقالة وزير الأمن الإسرائيلي، يوآف غالانت من منصبه على خلفية أزمة التعديلات القضائية، حسبما أفادت “القناة 12” الإسرائيلية.

وأوضحت القناة أن إعلان “الجيش” لحالة التأهب جاء بعد خروج مئات الآلاف للتظاهر ضد حكومة نتنياهو.

ونقلت وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية عن الناطق السابق باسم “الجيش” الإسرائيلي، افي بنياهو، قوله إن “هذه هي أحلك أمسية في تاريخ إسرائيل”.

وأضاف أن “نتنياهو أنهى حياته السياسية الليلة، مسموح لكم أن تكونوا حزينين وخائفين، فالديكتاتورية موجودة هنا بالفعل”.

وفي السياق ذاته، أفادت قناة “كان” الإسرائيلية بأن قائد شرطة الاحتلال المفوض، أمر بتعزيز القوات في جميع المدن، مشدداً على “اعتقال المتظاهرين فقط في حالات العنف الشديد والتخريب”.

من جانبهم، أعلن مسؤولون ورؤساء “بلديات” الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، أنهم سينفذون، اليوم الإثنين، إضراباً عن الطعام أمام مكتب رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو، بحسب صحيفة “يديعوت أحرنوت”.

وبحسب وسائل إعلام إسرائيلية، فقد خرج أكثر من 600 ألف متظاهراً من كريات شمونة شمالاً إلى إيلات جنوباً، فيما استدعت الشرطة المزيد من شاحنات ضخ المياه لتفريق المتظاهرين من محيط منزل نتنياهو في القدس المحتلة.

واحتشد الآلاف مقابل منزل نتنياهو في القدس المحتلة بعد إقالة وزير الأمن يوآف غالانت.

وذكر الإعلام الإسرائيلي أن مركبة إسرائيلية حاولت دهس مجموعة من المتظاهرين في شوارع “تل أبيب”.

وبالتزامن، أفاد مراسل الميادين بأن هناك محاولة دهس لمتظاهرين في عكا المحتلة.

وأضافت وسائل الإعلام ذاتها أن المتظاهرين أمام الكنيست أطلقوا هتافات تدعو إلى إسقاط حكومة نتنياهو.

وقال مسؤولون سابقون في المؤسسة الأمنية الإسرائيلية، تعليقاً على إقالة غالانت إن “خطوة كبيرة على طريق تفكيك الجيش”، مشيرين إلى أن “إسرائيل تنزف”.

يأتي ذلك في وقت أشارت وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية إلى أنّ “المتظاهرين وصلوا إلى مدخل بيت نتنياهو في حادث غير مسبوق خلال الاحتجاجات”.

هذا وقال ضابط كبير في شرطة الاحتلال الإسرائيلي “فقدنا السيطرة في عدة أماكن حيث تجري التظاهرات”. كما أفادت مراسلة الميادين بأنّ “التظاهرات فاجأت السلطة الإسرائيلية التي لم تكن جاهزة لمثل هذا السيناريو”. 

كذلك قالت وسائل الاعلام إنّ “نجمة داوود الحمراء أعلنت رفع حالة الاستنفار في نقاط الاحتجاج”.

من جانبه، صرح رئيس حكومة الاحتلال السابق نفتالي بينيت، بأنه هذا المساء “إسرائيل” في النقطة الأخطر على وجودها منذ حرب عام 73، داعياً نتنياهو لوقف التشريعات فوراً.

يذكر أن رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو أقال وزير الأمن غالانت من منصبه، أمس الأحد، على خلفية أزمة التعديلات القضائية.

وفي سياقٍ متصل، انتقد موظفون كبار في الإدارة الأميركية، قرار نتنياهو بإقالة غالانت، وقالو: “قلقون جداً من الوضع ومن إقالة غالانت”.

هذا وأفادت مراسلة الميادين أيضاً بأنّ “الكنيست” أقر “قانون درعي 2” بالقراءتين الثانية والثالثة، الذي يسمح لنتنياهو بتعيين وزراء والالتفاف على قرارات المحكمة العليا.

اقرأ أيضاً: “تمزق داخلي إسرائيلي والجيش يتفكك”.. مئات الآلاف يتظاهرون ضد حكومة نتنياهو

أهم الاخبار

Huwara Again: Two Israeli Soldiers Injured in Shooting

 March 25, 2023

Hawara checkpoint at the entrance of the West Bank town of the same name located south of Nablus, following a reported shooting incident, on March 25, 2023. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Two Israeli soldiers were wounded in a drive-by shooting attack in the northern West Bank town of Huwara on Saturday, Palestinian and Israeli media reported.

Two soldiers were hit by gunfire while securing a highway in the town, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, The Times of Israel quoted the occupation army as saying.

One of the soldiers was listed in serious condition, while the other suffered moderate injuries, the IDF said. The suspected attacker fled the scene by car.

The occupation military said in a statement that the suspected attacker fled the scene by car, adding that troops were closing several roads in the area near Nablus amid a manhunt for the gunman.

Palestinians in the town of Beita were celebrating the news, Quds News agency reported, adding that clashes then erupted between local residents and the occupation forces who raided the town.

Later on Saturday, scores of Zionist settlers, backed by occupation forces rampaged at the main entrance of Huwara.

It was the third shooting attack to occur in Huwara in recent weeks. Last Sunday, two Israelis were injured, one seriously, in a shooting in Huwara, near the site of the operation which killed two Zionists last February.

Source: Israeli and Palestinian media (translated and edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Palestine (Weekly Update 16 – 22 March 2023)

 March 23, 2023

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

5 Palestinians, including 3 civilians; one of them was a child, were killed, while 42 others were wounded, and dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 16 March 2023, an Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Special Force killed 4 Palestinians, including 2 members of the Palestinian armed groups who were directly shot and assassinated in cold blood as part of IOF’s crimes of extra-juridical executions.  Of those killed, two civilians, including a child, were killed in a random shooting by the Israeli Special Force that have also injured 23 Palestinians, including 4 in serious condition. (Details available at PCHR’s press release).

On 17 March 2023, Yazan ‘Omar Khasib (23), was deliberately and directly shot dead by IOF near al-Mahkama military checkpoint at the northern entrance to al-Bireh, claiming that he attempted to carry out a stabbing attack using a knife, but there was no Palestinian eyewitness to the incident. Khasib was a student at Birzeit University in Ramallah, and IOF kept his body in their custody to be handed later in the evening. He was transferred to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah where it was found out that he was shot with 2 bullets in the neck and the chest.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 17 March 2023, 8 Palestinians, including a child, were injured with rubber-coated metal bullets during IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On the same day, 8 Palestinians, including 3 children, were wounded with live and metal bullets during clashes with IOF at the entrance to Beit Ummar village, north of Hebron, where IOF established a military observation point at the intersection leading to Bypass Road (60).

On 18 March 2023, a child was wounded with a live bullet in the left leg unjustifiably by IOF nearby Faqqu’a cemetery in Jenin, about 200 meters away from the annexational wall.

On the same day, a girl sustained a fracture in left ankle after being unjustifiably kicked by an Israeli soldier when she was detained with her family in their agricultural land in southeastern Yatta in Hebron.

On 22 March 2023, dozens of Palestinians, including patients and newborns, suffocated after IOF fired tear gas canister during the latter’s incursion into the vicinity of the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah. IOF also opened fire enticing fear among patients, women, and children.

On the same day, 2 Palestinian, including a photojournalist, were wounded with IOF’s fire during their incursion into the city of Jericho. Before withdrawing, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, including a child.

In the Gaza Strip, 6 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands, and 3 shootings were reported on fishing boats off the Gaza western Gaza shores).

So far in 2023, IOF attacks killed 87 Palestinians, including 45 civilians; 15 of them were children, a woman, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 2 children, 6 killed by settlers, and one died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 391 Palestinians, including 51 children, 2 women and 10 journalists, were injured.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF demolished 3 houses and handed notices to demolish and cease construction work in 8 houses and facilities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, rendering two families of 11, homeless. Details are as follows:

On 16 March 2023, IOF demolished a 35-sqm under-construction house in Deir ‘Ammar in Ramallah under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

On 18 March 2023, IOF demolished two residential houses built of wood and tin, with an area of 100-sqms each, in Al-Za’im village in East Jerusalem, displacing 2 families of 11.

On 21 March 2023, IOF handed notices to cease construction works in 8 houses, agricultural rooms, and commercial facilities in Deir Ballut village, west of Salfit, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C).

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF made 64 families homeless, a total of 406 persons, including 81 women and 183 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 66 houses; 16 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 6 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 56 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition, cease-construction, and evacuation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Settler-attacks and retaliatory attacks

Settlers carried out 8 attacks on Palestinians and their property in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, most notably a raid on a church and attempting to vandalize its contents. Details are as follows:

On 16 March 2023, a Palestinian was injured after being beaten and pepper-sprayed by settler in Khirbet al-Tuba in Masafer Yatta in Hebron. This attack came after the Palestinian attempted to prevent the settler, who came from the “Hafat Ma’on” settlement outpost, established on the Palestinian lands, from sheep-grazing in the Palestinian’s agricultural land in the area.

On 17 March 2023, settlers from the “Beitar Illit” settlement established on the Palestinian lands cut about 50 fruitful and old olive trees in the village of Husan, west of Bethlehem. The settlers also destroyed barbed wires and stone chains surrounding a 5-dunum plot of land.

On 19 March 2023, settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, established on the Palestinian lands, south of Nablus, attacked Palestinian vehicles passing through Al-Muraba’a Road towards Maadama Gate, southeast of Nablus. As a result, the front, rear and right-side windows of a Palestinian vehicles were broken. The attack took place amid a shooting that resulted in the injury of two settlers in Huwara village, southeast of Nablus.

On the same day, two settlers raided the Church of the Tomb of Virgin Mary in East Jerusalem and attempted to vandalize it. The Jerusalem governorate reported that the two settlers broke into the church and tried to vandalize its contents. However, a Palestinian confronted the settlers and arrested one of them while the other fled away.

Settlers also threw stones at a number of vehicles at the entrance to Beitin village, east of Ramallah, smashing the windows of many of them.

On 20 March 2023, settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles and damaged them on Al-Ma’rajat road, west of Jericho.  As a result, some of them sustained damage while a Palestinian sustained injury and his wife fainted.

On 21 March 2023, settlers slashed the tires of Palestinian vehicles and wrote racist slogans in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

On 22 March 2023, a Palestinian woman sustained bruises after settlers attacked the Palestinian tents in Khirbet Al-Farisiya in the northern Jordan Valley.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 157 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 6 Palestinians were killed and dozens of others were injured; most of them after being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 218 into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 102 Palestinians were arrested, including 8 children. In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 4 Palestinians, including 2 children while trying to infiltrate east of Al-Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip on 15 March 2023, and the other two were arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” checkpoint, including a patient who was arrested on his way back to Gaza from treatment. (Details available at PCHR’s press release).

So far in 2023, IOF conducted 2,392 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 1162 Palestinians were arrested, including 20 women and 148 children. Also, IOF arrested 23 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip: 6 were fishermen and 14 were trying to infiltrate into Israel, and 3 travelers at Erez Crossing. IOF also conducted 9 incursions.

Closure of Jerusalem institutions

On 20 March 2023, the Israeli authorities hanged a decision signed by the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, at Marcel Company for production and media services in Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. Also, they summoned 5 journalists for investigation on grounds of working for Palestine TV upon Ben-Gvir’s decision to close the Voice of Palestine Radio Station offices, an official Palestinian Authority (PA) channel, and ban their representatives from operating and broadcasting in occupied Jerusalem and Israel for six months. (Details available at PCHR’s press release.)

Israeli closure and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continue to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 127 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 3 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

On 17 March 2023, IOF closed many streets in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of securing a marathon organized by the Israeli Occupation Municipality with hundreds of Israelis participating in it. The closure reached ten of streets from north of Jerusalem (French Hill and Sheikh Jarrah) and all the way to the south (Jerusalem-Hebron Street), including Al-Musrara neighborhood, Hebron Gate, Al-Jadeed Gate, and Jaffa Street, amid heavy deployment of the IOF on the roads, under the pretext of securing the 2023 Jerusalem Marathon.

On 19 March 2023, IOF closed the iron detector gate at the entrance to Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah.

So far in 2023, IOF established 1453 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 63 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

In the War Between Judaism and Democracy in Israel, Anything Is Possible

March 19, 2023

Former British diplomat, founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum.

Alastair Crooke

Bibi is by nature cautious – even timid. His radical ministers, however, are not, Alastair Crooke writes.

Michael Omer-Man writes: Almost exactly 10 years ago, a young star rising in the Likud party, spoke to an audience committed to the outright annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories, laying out his blueprint. A year later, this same speaker set out certain prerequisites to full annexation: Firstly, a shift in the way the Israeli public thinks about a ‘two-state solution’ for Palestine; and secondly, a radical recast of the legal system “that will allow us to take those steps on the ground … that advance sovereignty”.

What was reflected in this statement is the structural dichotomy inherent within the ‘idea’ of ‘Israel’: What then is ‘Israel’? One side holds that Israel was founded as a ‘balance’ between Jewishness and Democracy. The other says ‘nonsense’; it was always the establishment of Israel on the “Land of Israel”.

Ami Pedahzur, a political scientist studying the Israeli Right, explains that the religious Right “has always considered the Israeli Supreme Court to be an abomination”. He points out that the extremist Meir Kahane “once wrote extensively about the tension between Judaism and democracy and the need for a Sanhedrin [a biblical system of judges] instead of the extant Israeli judicial system”.

In Israel’s attempt to balance these opposing visions and interpretations of history, the Israeli Right sees the judiciary as deliberately having been tilted toward democracy (by one part of the Israeli élite). This simmering tension finally exploded with the 1995 Supreme Court claim that it possessed power of judicial review over Knesset (parliamentary) legislation deemed to be in conflict with Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws. (An Israeli constitution has been considered since 1949, but never actuated.)

Well, that ‘young star’ of 10 years ago – who asserted so forcefully “We cannot accept … a judicial system that is controlled by a radical leftist, post-Zionist minority that elects itself behind closed doors – dictating to us its own values – today is Israel’s Justice Minister, Yariv Levin.

And with time, Netanyahu has indeed already brought about that first prerequisite (outlined by Levin almost a decade ago): The Israeli public perspective on the two-state Olso formula is radically changed. Political support for that project hovers close to zero in the political sphere.

More than that, today’s Prime Minister, Netanyahu, explicitly shares the same ideology as Levin and his colleagues – namely that Jews have a right to settle in any, and all, parts of the ‘Land of Israel’; he also believes that the very survival of the Jewish people is dependent on the actuation of that divine obligation into practice.

Many on the Israeli Right, Omer-Man suggests, therefore see the Supreme Court as “the central impediment to their ability to fulfil their annexationist dreams, which for them are a combination of messianic and ideological commandments”.

They saw the 1995 Supreme Court ruling as ‘a coup’ that ushered in the judiciary’s supremacy over law and politics. This is a view that is hotly contested – to the point of near civil war – by those who advocate for democracy versus a strict Judaic vision of religious law.

From the perspective of the Right, Ariel Kahana notes that although

“they have continued to win time and again – but they have never held power in the true sense of the word. Through the judiciary, the bureaucracy, the defence establishment, academia, cultural elites, the media, and some of the economic wheelers and dealers, the Left’s doctrine continued to dominate Israel’s power foci. In fact, regardless of who the cabinet ministers were, the old guard has continued with its obstructionist insurgency”.

Today, however, the numbers are with the Right – and we are witnessing the Israeli Right’s counter-coup: a judicial ‘reform’ which would centralize power in the Knesset – precisely by dismantling the legal system’s current checks and balances.

Ostensibly this schism constitutes the crisis bringing hundreds of thousand Israelis on to the street. Prima Facie, in much of the media, at issue is who has the final word: the Knesset or the Supreme Court.

Or, is it? For, beneath the surface, unacknowledged and mostly unsaid, is something deeper: It is the conflict between Realpolitik versus Completion of the Zionist project. Put starkly, the Right says it’s clear: Without Judaism we have no identity; and no reason to be in this land.

The ‘less said’ fact is that much of the electorate actually agrees with the Right in principle, yet opposes the full annexation of the West Bank on pragmatic grounds: “They believe that the status quo of a “temporary” 55-plus-year military occupation is the more strategically prudent”.

“Formally [annexing West Bank] would make it too difficult to convince the world that Israel is not an apartheid regime in which half of the population — Palestinians — are denied basic democratic, civil, and human rights”.

That other unresolved contradiction (that of continuing occupation within ‘democracy’) is also submerged by the prevalent mantra of ‘Right wing Orbánism versus democracy’. Ahmad Tibi, an Palestinian member of the Knesset earlier has wryly noted: “Israel indeed is ‘Jewish and democratic’: It is democratic toward Jews – and Jewish toward Arabs”.

The mass of protestors gathered in Tel Aviv carefully choose to avoid this oxymoron (other than around the kitchen table) – as a Haaretz editorial a few days ago made clear: “Israel’s opposition is for Jews only”.

Thus, the crisis that some are warning could lead to civil war at its crux is that between one group – which is no longer content to wait for the right conditions to arrive to fulfil the Zionist dream of Jewish sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel – versus an outraged opposition that prefers sticking to the political tradition of buying time by “deciding not to decide”, Omer-Man underlines.

And although there are ‘moderates’ amongst the Likud lawmakers, their concerns are eclipsed by the exultant mood at their party’s base:

“Senior Likud officials, led by Netanyahu, have incited Likud voters against the legal system for years, and now the tiger is out of control. It has its trainer in its jaws and threatens to crush him if he makes concessions”.

The flames lick around Netanyahu’s feet. The U.S. wants quiet; It does not want a war with Iran. It does not want a new Palestinian Intifada – and will hold Netanyahu’s feet to the flames until he ‘controls’ his coalition allies and returns to an Hebraic ‘quietism’.

But he can’t. It’s not possible. Netanyahu is held limp in the tiger’s jaws. Events are out of his control.

A prominent member of Likud’s central committee told Haaretz this week:

“I don’t care if I have nothing to eat, if the army falls apart, if everything here is destroyed … The main thing is that they not humiliate us once again, and appoint Ashkenazi judges over us”.

The ‘second Israel’ genres have wailed against ‘the ten Ashkenazai judges’ who discredited their leader (Arye Dery), whilst breaking into a song of praise for the ‘only Sephardic judge’ who was sympathetic to Dery. Yes, the ethnic and tribal schisms form a further part of this crisis. (A bill that effectively would reverse the Supreme Court decision barring Dery from his ministerial position over previous corruption charges is currently making its way through the Knesset).

The appeal of Religious Zionism is often attributed to its growing strength amongst the young – particularly ultra-Orthodox men and traditional Mizrahi voters. What became abundantly clear and unexpected in recent weeks, however, is that the appeal of a racist such as Ben-Gvir, is spreading to the young secular left in Israel. Among young Israelis (ages 18 – 24), more than 70% identify today as Right.

Just to be clear: The Mizrahi ‘underclass’, together with the Settler Right, have ousted the ‘old’ Ashkenazi élite from their hold on power. They have waited many years for this moment; their numbers are there. Power has been rotated. The fuse to today’s particular crisis was lit long ago, not by Netanyahu, but by Ariel Sharon in 2001, with his entry to the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif).

Sharon had earlier perceived that a moment would arrive – with a weakened U.S. – when it might prove propitious for Israel to complete the Zionist project and seize all the ‘Land of Israel’. The plans for this venture have been incubating over two decades. Sharon lit the fuse – and Netanyahu duly took on the task of curating a constituency towards despising Oslo and the judicial system.

The project’s content is explicitly acknowledged: To annex the West Bank and to transfer any political rights of Palestinians remaining there to a new national state to the east of the River Jordan, on the site of what now is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In the confusion and violence which would accompany such a move, Palestinians would be ‘persuaded’ to migrate to the ‘other bank’. As Hussein Ibish warned two weeks ago:

“We’re getting awfully close to the point where the Israeli government, and even Israeli society, could countenance a big annexation – and even expulsion [of Palestinians] – done in the middle of an outbreak of violence, and it would be framed as a painful necessity,” Ibish said. Such a move, he added, would be justified “as the government saying ‘We’ve got to protect Israeli settlers – they are citizens too – and we can’t let this go on anymore. Therefore we have to annex and even expel Palestinians.’”

To be fair, the unspoken fear of many secular protesters in Israel today, is not just that of being politically deposed, and their secular lifestyle circumscribed by religious zealots (though that is a major driver to sentiment), but rather, by the unspoken fear that to implement such a radical project against the Palestinians would lead to Regional war.

And ‘that’ is far from an unreasonable fear.

So there are two existential fears: One, that survival of the Jewish people is contingent on fulfilling the obligation to establish ‘Israel’ as ordained; and two, that to implement the consequent exodus of the Palestinians would likely result in the demise of the Israeli State (through war).

Suddenly and unexpectedly, into this fraught situation – with Netanyahu buffeted by a whirlwind of external and internal pressures – arrived a bombshell: Netanyahu was stripped of his ace card – Iran. In Beijing, China had secretly orchestrated not just the resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but laid down the framework for a regional security architecture.

This represents a nightmare for Washington and Netanyahu – particularly for the latter, however.

Since the early 1990s, Iran has served both these parties as the ‘bogey man’, by which to divert attention from Israel and the situation of the Palestinians. It has worked well, with the Europeans acting as enthusiastic collaborators in facilitating (or ‘mitigating’ – as they would see it), Israel’s ‘temporary’, 55-year occupation of the West Bank. The EU even financed it.

But now, that is blown away. Netanyahu may ‘huff and puff’ about Iran, but absent a Saudi and Gulf willingness to lend Arab legitimacy to any military action against Iran (with all the risks that entails), Netanyahu’ s ability to distract from the domestic crisis is severely limited. Any call to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities is an obvious non-starter in the light of the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement.

Netanyahu may not want a show-down with Team Biden, but that’s what is coming. Bibi is by nature cautious – even timid. His radical Ministers, however, are not.

They need a crisis (but only when the ‘prerequisites’ are all lined up). It is clear that the wholesale stripping of Palestinian rights, in tandem with the emasculation of the Supreme Court, is not a project that can be expected to quietly proceed in normal circumstances – especially in the present emotive state across the global sphere.

No doubt, the Israeli Right has been watching how the Lockdown ‘Emergency-crisis fear’ in Europe was used to mobilise a people to accept a compulsion and restrictions to life that in any other circumstance they would never rationally accept.

It won’t be a new pandemic emergency, of course, in the Israeli case. But the new Palestinian Authority-led ‘SWAT-squads’ arresting Palestinian resistance fighters in broad daylight is bringing the West Bank ‘pressure-cooker’ close to blow-out.

Ben Gvir may simply decide to follow in Sharon’s footsteps – to allow and participate in the Passover ceremony of sacrificing a lamb on Al-Aqsa (the Temple Mount) – as a symbol of the commitment to rebuild the ‘Third Temple’, permission for which, hitherto has always been denied.

So what happens next? It is impossible to predict. Will the Israeli military intervene? Will the U.S. intervene? Will one side back-down (unlikely says ex-Head of Israel’s National Security Council, Giora Eiland)? Yet even if the ‘Judicial reform’ is somehow halted, as one exasperated Israeli forecast, “Even if this time the attempt does not succeed, it’s likely that they [the Right] will try again in another two years, another five years, another 10 years. The struggle will be long and difficult, and no one can guarantee what the result will be.”

Mysterious bombing shakes Israeli security establishment

March 15 2023

The explosive device that was planted on the side of the Route 65 highway in Megiddo has been described as very sophisticated in nature, and does not resemble those used by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank

ByNews Desk

(Photo Credit: The Times of Israel)

A mysterious roadside bombing at the Megiddo junction in northern Israel on 13 March preoccupied the Israeli security establishment, which has placed the incident under heavy gag orders and refused to publish specific details on the subject due to its sensitive nature.

According to The Times of Israel, police and medics reported that the explosion took place around 6:00 am on the Route 65 highway at the Megiddo Junction, near the Megiddo prison, leaving a young man badly injured after the bomb exploded near his car.

The victim, 21-year-old Shareef al-Din from the northern Arab village of Salem, is being treated at Rambam Hospital in Haifa and is said to be in serious condition after suffering from shrapnel to his entire body, including his head, according to medical officials.

Official Israeli sources have said that the victim may not have been the intended target, as the roadside bomb reportedly planned to target passing soldiers and settlers.

The bomb was apparently planted on the side of the highway, which remained closed for nearly 10 hours after the incident.

Following the incident, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a series of security meetings that lasted over 24 hours. Additionally, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the incident is being investigated by the Shin Bet security agency.

Israeli Kan 11 channel reported that “most of the details of the case are forbidden to be published according to censorship instructions – the security system is very concerned about the details of the case.”

This news comes following a series of security incidents over the past week, including multiple explosives found on settler buses in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit on 9 March.

The same day, three resistance leaders were gunned down by Israeli Border Police in Jenin – an explosive charge was also found in their car.

Back in November of last year, Palestinian resistance carried out a twin bombing attack in Jerusalem that was described by the Shin Bet as “complex.” The IEDs were placed on the roadside and attempted to target fully occupied buses using a remote-detonation mechanism.

However, the Megiddo incident, in particular, has been under heavy censorship by the Israeli army. Described as a “commando operation” that is “completely unusual in the security establishment,” according to Yisrael Hayom, it is still unknown who planned the attack, which involved an “elaborate and compact device” that does not resemble those often used in the occupied West Bank.

Hebrew sources compared the explosive device to past roadside bombs used by the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah against the Israeli army in South Lebanon.

Israeli military strategist and former Chief of Staff of the army Gadi Eisenkot told Knesset members on 14 March that “the Israeli army is at a crossroads, and we are currently going through one of the most serious security periods since the Yom Kippur war.”

Expert on Israeli affairs, Dr. Adnan Abu Amer, said that “it is clear that we are facing a dangerous and unusual series of explosive device detonations, which raises questions about who planned it, how it reached this sensitive area, and will the coming days carry other devices?”

Recent months have witnessed an increase in the use of explosive devices by Palestinians as opposed to just shooting operations, in what is being described by many as the beginnings of a third intifada. As a result, the security establishment fears advancement in bomb-making by the Palestinian resistance in the occupied West Bank.

Such bombing operations are reminiscent of those carried out during the Second Intifada, which saw several large-scale attacks, such as the Megiddo Junction bus bombing of 2002 by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

In a 14 March feature by Haaretz, Amos Harel writes: “The Shin Bet and IDF have been concerned for several months about increased attempts” by Palestinians to prepare explosive charges.

Israeli officials have said that publishing the details of the Megiddo bombing will undermine the public’s sense of security at a time when the security establishment is trying to avoid confrontation.Keywords

Nablus resistance fiercely responds to Israeli incursion

March 16 2023

Israeli troops violently stormed Nablus’ Balata region to protect settlers who were on their way to Joseph’s Tomb

Settlers entering Joseph’s Tomb under protection from Israeli troops. July 2019. (Photo credit: IDF)

By News Desk

Israeli troops and settlers raided Balata village in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus in the early hours of 16 March, injuring three Palestinians and subjecting dozens to suffocation from tear gas, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The military raided the area to protect dozens of Israeli settlers who were being accompanied by the troops while on their way to visit Joseph’s Tomb.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS), three Palestinians were hit by live ammunition and were taken to the hospital. Palestinian ambulances were reportedly prevented from entering the Balata refugee camp.

As the Israeli army stormed Nablus’ eastern region, they deployed snipers across several buildings. Clashes started as a result, and Palestinian resistance fighters belonging to the Lions’ Den resistance group and other factions confronted the Israeli troops with gunfire.

Israeli troops were also targeted with Palestinian explosive devices, resulting in several injuries among their ranks.

“There are confirmed injuries after an Israeli infantry force was targeted with an explosive device during its storming of the Dahiya area in Nablus,” the Lions’ Den said in a statement.

تفجير عبوة ناسفة وسط جنود الاحتلال الذين يقتحمون المنطقة الشرقية في نابلس pic.twitter.com/pcJBCbltkr

— Hisham Abu Shaqrah | هشام أبو شقرة (@HShaqrah) March 15, 2023

“Our fighters also targeted a military jeep with a locally made explosive device on Amman Street in the eastern region of Nablus city,” the statement added.

🎥لحظة استهداف قوات الاحتلال بقنبلة محلية الصنع خلال اقتحام المنطقة الشرقية لمدينة #نابلسpic.twitter.com/knTKP42muH

— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) March 15, 2023

There has been a marked increase in the use of explosive devices against Israeli troops by the Palestinian resistance, resulting in significant concerns across Israel’s security establishment.

Settlers are regularly escorted into the Joseph’s Tomb holy site under heavy protection from Israeli troops, who violently storm the area for the settlers to enter.

On Thursday morning, Israeli troops stormed other areas of the West Bank, detaining several Palestinians.

As the Palestinian resistance in the occupied West Bank spreads exponentially, Israeli troops have stepped up their violent raids.

Since the start of the year, Israel has killed at least 84 Palestinians. With Ramadan approaching, tensions are expected to ignite even further, as Israel is known to step up harsh security measures during the holy month.

On 14 March, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) resistance movement called on Palestinians in all the occupied territories to take up arms and launch a third intifada.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 09-15 March 2023)

March 16, 2023

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity

Nine Palestinians were killed, including 3 civilians: 2 of them were children. One of the children succumbed to his previous injury, while a Palestinian was killed by an Israeli settler. Meanwhile, 10 Palestinians, including a child and a journalist, were injured, while dozens of others suffocated in Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) attacks in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Also, 4 fishermen were injured in the Gaza Strip. Details are as follows:

On 09 March 2023, as part of their extrajudicial execution crimes, IOF killed 3 Palestinians after intercepting their vehicle and directly shooting and killing them in Jaba’ village in Jenin, north of the West Bank.( Details available at PCHR’s press release).

On 09 March 2023, medical sources at al-Maqassed Hospital announced the death of Waleed Sa’d Nassar (14) after he succumbed to a live bullet injury in his waist. IOF shot him when he was in front of his house during IOF’s incursion into Jenin on 07 March 2023.  He was then taken to al-Razi Hospital in the City, but due to his serious health condition, he was referred to al-Maqassed Hospital.

On 10 March 2023, ‘Abdul Karim Badee’ al-Shaikh (21), from Qalqilya, was shot dead by an Israeli settler near “Ma’ale Shomron” settlement in eastern Qalqilya. IOF announced that the settler claimed that al-Shaikh attempted to stab him with a knife, but there were no eyewitnesses to the incident.

On the same day, medical sources at Darwish Nazal Governmental Hospital in Qalqilya declared the death of Ameer Ma’moun ‘Odah (16) shortly after being shot with a live bullet in his chest by an Israeli sniper only few meters away from him. IOF claimed that ‘Odah tried to throw a Molotov Cocktail at IOF during clashes near a military checkpoint established at the northern entrance to Qalqilya. Also, another Palestinian was injured during the same clashes.

On 12 March 2023, IOF killed 3 members of Palestinian armed groups and arrested another one after they laid an ambush for them and clashed with them near the military checkpoint established between Jit and Sarra villages, west of Nablus. Those killed were identified as: Jehad Mohammed al-Shami (24), ‘Odai Rafeeq al-Shami (22) and Mohammed Raied al-Dabeek (18) and their bodies are so far under Israeli custody.

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF’s incursions into the Palestinian cities and villages, or IOF’s suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 09 March 2023, a Palestinian was shot with a rubber bullet in his foot during clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Ni’lin village in Ramallah. Before their withdrawal, IOF arrested a Palestinian and his son.

On the same day, IOF opened fire at a vehicle in Kafr Qaddoum village in Qalqiliya, breaking the front and rear windows and causing damage to the front seat.  The shooting was unjustified and came only moments after the vehicle had stopped and the driver had left with his family to their house.

On 10 March 2023, 3 Palestinians were shot with rubber bullets during IOF’s suppression of  Kafr Qaddoum peaceful weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On 11 March 2023, IOF arrested a child after he sustained wounds and bruises in attacks carried out by IOF and settlers in Bab al-‘Amoud area in occupied East Jerusalem.

On the same day, a Palestinian was shot with a live bullet in his left foot during clashes with IOF at the entrance to Beit Ummar village in northern Hebron.

On 13 March 2023, journalist Mo’tasem Saqif al-Heit was hit with a stun grenade in his head after IOF targeted him while on duty covering the clashes that accompanied IOF’s incursion into Ni’lin village in western Ramallah.

On 15 March 2023, a Palestinian was injured with a live bullet in his thigh during clashes with IOF in Husan village, west of Bethlehem.

In the Gaza Strip, on 09 March 2023, four Palestinian fishermen were shot with rubber bullets after Israeli naval forces targeted their fishing boat off northwestern Beit Lahia Shore, northern Gaza Strip. (Details available in PCHR’s press release).  Also, 6 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 3 shootings were reported on fishing boats off the Western Gaza shores.

So far in 2023, IOF attacks killed 83 Palestinians, including 41 civilians; 14 of them were children and one woman, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 2 children, as well as 6 killed by settlers, and one died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 349 Palestinians, including 47 children, 2 women and 9 journalists, were injured.

Land razing, demolitions, and notices

IOF displaced 12 Palestinians, including 7 children and 3 women, after demolishing a house comprised of 2 apartments. Also, IOF demolished a commercial facility in occupied East Jerusalem.

On 14 March 2023, IOF demolished a house comprised of two 165-sqm residential apartments in Umm Tuba village in occupied East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. As a result, 12 persons, including 7 children and 3 women, were displaced.  During the demolition, IOF suppressed the house’s owners and press crews, forcing them to leave while IOF arrested the house owner’s brother after beating him.

On 13 March 2023, IOF demolished a commercial facility for construction materials that includes 3 rooms built of bricks, in Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, after confiscating the construction materials.

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF made 62 families homeless, a total of 395 persons, including 79 women and 178 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 63 houses; 16 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 6 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 56 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Settler-attacks and retaliatory acts:

Israeli settlers carried out 6 attacks in the West Bank, where 3 Palestinians were injured, many trees were damaged, and livestock were stolen. Details are as follows:

On 11 March 2023, a Palestinian sustained wounds after being thrown with stones during a settlers’ attack on Palestinians’ vehicles passing through Kherbet Bani Haris Intersection leading to Ramallah.

On the same day, Israeli settlers, from “Halamish” settlement established on Ramallah lands, threw stones at Palestinian vehicles passing by the area. Also, settlers from “Dolev” settlement, threw stones at Palestinian vehicle traveling on ‘Ein Ayoub area near Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. However, no injuries were reported in both incidents.

On 15 March 2023, Israeli settlers sneaked into “Kawkab al-Sabah” settlement between Deir Jarir and Taybeh villages, east of Ramallah, where they stole about 25 livestock and a donkey and threw stones at the villagers. When the latter tried to confront the settlers, IOF intervened to protect the settlers and secured their withdrawal. 

On the same day, Israeli settlers, from “Havat Maon” settlement outpost in eastern Yatta city, Hebron, cut 34 olive trees in eastern at-Tuwani village, which is 100 meters away from the outpost. When the villagers arrived at their lands, IOF’s patrols and police came and claimed that they will open an investigation into the incident, asking the the lands’ owners to file a complaint.

In the evening, two Palestinians sustained wounds and bruises after being assaulted by Israeli settlers while they were working in their agricultural lands in Qarawat Bani Hassan village, west of Salfit.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 149 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 5 Palestinians were killed, and dozens of others were injured; most of them after being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 198 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, at least 86 Palestinians were arrested, including 10 children and 2 women. Also, IOF confiscated many vehicles while crossing through checkpoints.

So far in 2023, IOF conducted 2,174 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 1060 Palestinians were arrested, including 20 women and 140 children. Also, IOF conducted 9 incursions and arrested 15 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip: 6 were fishermen, 8 were trying to infiltrate into Israel, and a traveler at Erez Crossing.

Israeli closure and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continues to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 119 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 8 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

This week, IOF closed checkpoints in Jerusalem and Bethlehem several times and reopened them later.

So far in 2023, IOF established 1,326 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 60 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 02 – 08 March 2023)

March 9, 2023

Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestine (Weekly Update 02 – 08 March 2023)

Violation of right to life and bodily integrity:

7 Palestinians, including a child, were killed, and 32 were wounded, including 3 children and 3 others in serious condition, by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) fire while dozens of others suffocated in IOF attacks in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 02 March 2023, Mohammad Nedal Saleem (15) was shot dead with a live bullet to the back while another child and a teenager were injured with live bullets fired by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in front of a school in western ‘Azzun village, east of Qalqilya. IOF claimed that they chased a group of young men who threw Molotov cocktails at Street 55 where the settlers’ vehicles pass.

On 07 March 2023, 6 Palestinians were killed, and 26 others, mostly civilians, were wounded, including 3 in serious condition, during a widescale brutal military operation conducted by IOF in Jenin refugee camp. (Details available at PCHR’s press release).

Meanwhile, those injured were victims of excessive use of force that accompanied IOF incursions into cities and villages and suppression of peaceful protests organized by Palestinian civilians, and they were as follows:

On 03 March 2023, 2 Palestinians were injured during clashes with IOF after IOF’s suppression of Kafr Qaddoum weekly protest in northern Qalqilya.

On the same day, IOF suppressed a peaceful assembly in Silwan in East Jerusalem, where dozens of activists and residents of Silwan protested against IOF’s policy of demolishing, evacuating the homes, and displacing their residents.  IOF fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the protestors and dispersed them by force; as a result, clashes broke out for several hours during which IOF arrested 5 Palestinians, including 3 children.

IOF also suppressed the weekly protest against the occupation and settlement activity in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, assaulted the protesters by pushing and beating them and spraying skunk water.  IOF also arrested 8 International solidarity activists and a Palestinian activist.

On 04 March 2023, IOF arrested a child after wounding him with a live bullet in the foot, during IOF’s raid on agricultural lands near the entrance to Al-Fawwar refugee camp in Hebron, under the pretext of pursuing stone-throwers. IOF also arrested a child after he was shot with a live bullet in the right foot at the entrance to Al-‘Aroub refugee camp in Hebron.

In the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian sustained a mild injury due to the Israeli artillery shelling in eastern Khan Yunis on 08 March 2023. Moreover, 11 IOF shootings were reported on agricultural lands in eastern Gaza Strip, and 4 shootings were reported on fishing boats off the western Gaza shores.

So far in 2023, IOF attacks killed 73 Palestinians, including 36 civilians; 12 of them were children and a woman, and the rest were members of the Palestinian armed groups, including 2 children, as well as 5 killed by settlers, and one died in Israeli prisons. Meanwhile, 335 Palestinians, including 45 children, 2 women and 8 journalists, were injured.

Land razing, demolitions, confiscation, and settlement activity

IOF displaced 8 families of 68, including 12 women and 29 children, after demolishing 8 houses, a praying hall, a commercial facility, and agricultural rooms, as well as confiscating a bulldozer in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Details are as follows:

On 02 March 2023, IOF demolished a 120-sqm house in Ethna village in Hebron, displacing a family of 9, including 6 children, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C).

On 05 March 2023, IOF confiscated a bulldozer, and arrested its driver in the village of Jalboun, east of Jenin, under the pretext of working in Area (C). During the operation, IOF fired tear gas canisters at the citizens amidst clashes that caused suffocations.

On 06 March 2023, IOF demolished 4 tin-plated dwellings, east of Yatta in Hebron, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C), rending 4 families of 36, including 13 children and 4 women, homeless.

On the same day, IOF demolished three 280-sqm houses belonging to Totah family in Wadi Al-Joz neighbourhood in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction, displacing 3 families of 23, including 7 women and 10 children.

On the same day as well, IOF demolished an under-construction praying hall and a tin=-plated commercial facility of tin in Bethlehem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction.

In addition, IOF demolished 3 agricultural rooms built of tin plates and uprooted dozens of trees while razing agricultural lands in al-‘Issawiya village in East Jerusalem, under the pretext of unlicensed construction. IOF also delivered 14 notices to cease construction works in 3 inhabited houses, 2 barrack and 9 agricultural rooms in Al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit, under the pretext of unlicensed construction in Area (C).

Since the beginning of 2023, IOF made 60 families homeless, a total of 383 persons, including 76 women and 171 children. This was the outcome of IOF demolition of 62 houses; 16 were forcibly self-demolished by their owners and 6 were demolished on grounds of collective punishment. IOF also demolished 55 other civilian objects, razed other property, and delivered dozens of notices of demolition and cease-construction in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Settler-attacks and retaliatory measures

Settlers carried out 4 attacks in the West Bank, where they uprooted olive trees and attacked Palestinians in the West Bank. Details are as follows:

On 06 March 2023, settlers uprooted about 80 olive trees in Yasuf village, east of Salfit.

On the same day, settlers, from “Yitzhar” settlement, which is established on Palestinian lands in Nablus, attacked and threw stones at the western outskirts of Huwara village, and assaulted a family inside their vehicle, breaking the windows and wounding the elderly driver. The settlement’s guard opened fire at the vehicle and sprayed pepper gas at the passengers.

On 08 March 2023, settlers, from “Otniel” settlement, which is established on the Palestinian lands confiscated from Hebron, raided an archeological hill in the village of Raboud, near the settlement, under the protection of IOF, and performed their rituals on the hill, denying the villagers’ access to their lands.

Since the beginning of the year, settlers have conducted at least 143 attacks against Palestinian civilians and their property. As a result, 5 Palestinians were killed and dozens of others were injured; most of them after being beaten and thrown with stones. Also, dozens of houses, vehicles and civilian facilities were set ablaze.

IOF incursions and arrests of Palestinian civilians:

IOF carried out 211 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Those incursions included raids and searches of civilian houses and facilities and establishment of checkpoints. During those incursions, 83 Palestinians were arrested, including 11 children and 2 women.

In the Gaza Strip, IOF arrested 3 Palestinians; 2 of them, including a child, tried to infiltrate in eastern Rafah and eastern Beit Hanoun on 02 March 2023, while the third was arrested at Beit Hanoun “Erez” crossing, while accompanying his sick daughter-in-law in her travel for treatment. (Details available in PCHR’s press release).  Also, IOF carried out limited incursions into eastern Juhr al-Dik, south of Gaza, and into eastern Khan Yunis on 02, 07 and 08 March 2023.

So far in 2023, IOF conducted 1,976 incursions into the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, during which 974 Palestinians were arrested, including 18 women and 130 children. Also, IOF conducted 8 incursions and arrested 15 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip: 6 were fishermen, 8 were trying to infiltrate into Israel, and a traveler at Erez Crossing,.

Israeli closure and restrictions on freedom of movement:

Israeli occupation maintains its illegal and inhuman 15-year closure on the Gaza Strip. Details available in PCHR’s monthly-update in the Gaza crossings.

The Israeli authorities announced the closure of the crossings with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from the evening of 06 March 2023 until the evening of 08 March 2023 on the occasion of so-called “Purim” Jewish holiday.

In the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, IOF continue to impose restrictions on the freedom of movement. On top of its 110 permanent checkpoints, IOF established 133 temporary military checkpoints in the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and arrested 2 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

During this week, IOF closed checkpoints in Jerusalem and Bethlehem several times and reopened them later.

So far in 2023, IOF established 1,207 temporary military checkpoints and arrested 52 Palestinians at those checkpoints.

Dead on arrival: The US plan to train PA ‘special forces’ in the West Bank

March 15 2023

Despite being in conflict with armed resistance factions in the West Bank, Palestinian Authority forces have also collaborated with them, posing a challenge to those who seek to divide Palestinians.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Robert Inlakesh

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has reportedly agreed to implement a controversial US proposal aimed at restoring its control over northern West Bank areas that are currently dominated by newly formed Palestinian resistance groups. However, the plan, lacking an understanding of the realities on the ground, may have unintended consequences.

During US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel in late January, reports allege that PA President Mahmoud Abbas was pressured to accept a new security plan drafted by US security coordinator Michael Fenzel. According to Israeli and American sources, the proposal involves the formation of a special PA force tasked with combatting armed groups in restive areas like Nablus and Jenin.

The PA is losing control

Since 2021, the formation of new resistance factions, including the Jenin Brigades and Lions’ Den, has challenged the authority of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces (PASF) on the ground in the West Bank. These armed groups have gained public support and power, making it difficult for the PASF to maintain security control in the latter’s strongholds.

On 31 March, 2022, the Israeli government launched ‘Operation Break the Wave’, which led to frequent Israeli night raids on West Bank villages and communities. Despite the high death tolls among Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel has failed to curb the rising rate of resistance attacks and operations against its soldiers and illegal settlers. In fact, the armed struggle is only growing in size and scope.

In February, CIA director Bill Burns expressed concern that the situation in the West Bank today is beginning to resemble the climate of the Second Intifada of the early-to-mid 2000s. The loss of security control by the PA is a cause for concern for Washington, and the CIA has been working with both the PA and Israel in order to stabilize the situation.

While the PA has not officially commented on the plans for forming a special task force to deal with the armed movements, reports suggest that they have accepted the US’s “Fenzel Plan.” Although not publicly disclosed at the time, an official from the PA’s ruling Fatah party, Abbas Zaki, referenced a private security summit scheduled to take place in Aqaba, Jordan.

At this summit, delegations from Jordan, the US, Egypt, and Israel signed an agreement on implementing the Fenzel Plan and improving security ties between Israel and the PA. The Fatah official told Saudi media outlet Asharq that a recent violent raid on Nablus, resulting in the murder of 11 Palestinians, was “a stab in the back for the mediation efforts to reach calm and sign an agreement of de-escalation.”

The Aqaba meeting was highly controversial given that PA President Abbas had previously ordered an end to his security forces’ collaboration with Israeli military and intelligence, known as “security coordination.” This decision was made in response to the killing of 10 Palestinians in the Jenin Refugee camp in late January.

The decision by the PA to accept US assistance in combating armed resistance groups in the West bank is seen as a betrayal by many Palestinians, who expressed their support for these fighters in recent polls.

In fact, demonstrations condemning the PA’s attendance at the Aqaba security summit took place throughout the West Bank, with the Jenin Brigades armed group even calling a press briefing and urging the public to protest.

Ongoing attempts to contain the armed struggle

A source from within the PA’s Preventative Security Force (PSF) spoke to The Cradle under the condition of anonymity. According to the source, the PASF is already actively pursuing members of the Lions’ Den armed group, and any support from the US would only add to their efforts:

“We are doing our job and following orders to protect them [the Palestinian fighters] from being killed by the Israelis, we know that if the occupation army comes for them they won’t let them live and so it is better for us to capture them alive or to bargain with them to hand over their weapons.”

“There have been cases where our forces pursued fighters but failed to arrest them, and after this, the Israeli military murdered them. Our goal is not to harm them, just to capture them,” the source added.

Another source, who has detailed knowledge of the relationship between the PA’s security forces and the armed groups in both Jenin and Nablus, shed light on the complexities of the situation. According to the source, a significant number of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces’ (PASF) cadres are currently active in the Jenin Brigades, with some of them coming from families of high-ranking PASF members.

The Lions’ Den has reportedly received firearms training from Khaled Tbilah, a second lieutenant in the PA’s security forces, which video evidence appears to corroborate. The same source claimed that Oday al-Azizi, known to the Israeli intelligence as a member of the Lions’ Den, is actually one of the leaders of the group while currently serving as a PASF officer.

Azizi was arrested by the PA, but was allegedly allowed to leave their custody at any time, unlike other detainees held in PA detention, such as Musab Shtayyeh, who is a Hamas party member and is held against his will. This suggests that the PA is administering preferential treatment to Lions’ Den members based on political affiliation.

Azizi, the source claims, is married to a woman from a prominent family that is loyal to President Abbas and is affiliated with a group called the Fatah Tanzeem. The Tanzeem, although also connected to the Fatah Party, holds a completely different outlook than the more active Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which makes up the ranks of a number of the armed groups in the northern West Bank.

Popular resistance challenging the PA

Although multiple sources clarify that the PASF does not directly control the armed groups, it still maintains connections with them. The concern from the PA is that if the resistance factions gain too much power in an area like Nablus, it could spread to other cities like Ramallah.

The military parade in Jenin on 3 March showcased the strength of the resistance with hundreds of fighters present. Surprisingly, Mohammed Jabareen, a PA security force colonel, was seen posing for photos with fighters at the parade.

Additionally, a central and unifying figure who has voiced public support for the armed struggle in Jenin is Fathi Khazem, who held a position with the PA security forces during the Second Intifada. Khazem has urged members of the PASF to fight against the Israeli army – his commands carry an oversized authority that others making similar calls simply do not have.

On the flip side, the formation of a new Palestinian resistance group called the Tulkarem Battalion has led to direct intervention by the PASF in an attempt to stem its growth, which in turn has provoked further anti-PA demonstrations.

This highlights the fact that the PA is employing varying strategies in different areas to deter the rise of armed groups. Geography matters: Nablus city, for instance, is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements that provide constant fodder for clashes, whereas in Jenin, a more isolated area, the groups pose less of an immediate threat.

An informed source from Nablus, who has contacts inside the armed groups, tells The Cradle that there is no real solution in sight for the PA:

“Other than convincing the armed groups to lay down their weapons through bribes of different kinds, there is no way to deal with the groups. Maybe they can try to make the groups look like criminals so that they lose some popular support.”

The Fenzel Plan seeks to train thousands of PASF members in US-owned facilities in Jordan to combat the Palestinian resistance. If implemented in a poorly-informed or ill-calculated manner, the project could lead to massive bloodshed in the West Bank and further inflame popular sentiments against the PA.

‘Peace Bands’ 2.0?

Israel has historically used a variety of local collaborator forces in order to maintain its dominance over the populations it occupies. Preceding Israel’s existence, however, during the 1930’s, the British mandate authorities also employed a strategy of using local collaborator forces in order to suppress the Palestinian resistance bands during the Arab Revolt (1936-9). This strategy is somewhat more relevant to today’s Fenzel Plan.

The Fasa’il al-Salam, or “Peace Bands” were formed with the aid of Britain’s Palestine mandate authorities; receiving arms, funds, and training in order to combat Palestinian militias that were largely under the command of the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.

During the latter stages of the Arab Revolt against British rule in Palestine – and despite having taken control over much of the country from the Palestinian resistance – the British military was unable to secure many of the mountainous and rural areas where the rebel leaders reigned. Like today, Jenin and Nablus were also strongholds for the Palestinian revolt back then.

As one of the many strategies employed by British authorities to crush the revolt, the establishment of pro-British bands did have its successes. In Mathew Hughes’ book Britain’s Pacification of Palestine, he writes:

“While the peace bands would never have grown as they did without British help, they never would have happened in the first place had Palestinians been united.”

During this period, when the strategy of dividing Palestinians to fight each other was employed, the divide between the Nashashibi family faction and those loyal to Hajj Amin al-Husseini was heavily utilized by the British to create its collaborator forces.

While the peace bands of the late 1930s were rooted in Palestinian societal-family structures, those kinds of familial rivalries do not exist for a PASF force to be based on today. The Jenin Brigades are instead rooted in the urban working class and refugee communities that were displaced to West Bank refugee camps during the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948.

The US-envisioned special tactical force PA units will have no roots inside Jenin or the Old City of Nablus, where Palestinian resistance fighters reside. Another advantage that the peace bands had in their formation was positive press; in 1938, Raghib Nashashibi requested a loan from the Jewish Agency to pay newspapers to provide favorable coverage that would gain them adherents. No such media environment exists in the occupied Palestinian territories today.

A crisis within the PA

The issues facing the PA go beyond its lack of control in the northern West Bank. Today, the much-weakened governing body faces a comprehensive crisis on the security, legitimacy, and economic fronts. At 88 years of age, Abbas is amongst the oldest leaders in the world, and many are anticipating his resignation or death in the near future.

Palestinian author and journalist Ramzy Baroud argues that “the Palestinian Authority has suffered a division crisis from the very beginning,” despite Abbas’ ability to somehow keep the PA together:

“Under Abbas, the disunity took on multiple dimensions, unlike under Yasser Arafat, who was able to maintain a nominal level of unity amongst Palestinians,” Baroud explains. He also demonstrates that Abbas widened divisions between the PA and Hamas, the socialist parties, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

“Even worse, he invested into the division of Fatah itself, with the party breaking into three main branches; there is the Marwan Barghouti branch, which is the more revolutionary branch and is more or less consistent with the ideas of Yasser Arafat; then you have the Mohammed Dahlan branch, which is the branch that is more clan-based and is the branch that more or less represented Gaza; there are also a number of sub-branches within the dominant Mahmoud Abbas branch.”

When Mahmoud Abbas’ reign ends, potential successors include Majid Farraj (head of PPS) and Hussein al-Sheikh (secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization).

However, the transition of power will pose an immense challenge given the chaos and indecision facing the PA, and Fatah’s internal divisions could cause further issues. Now, this crisis becomes even more complicated by the massive rise of armed resistance groups and attempts to crack down on them.

Two anonymous sources have claimed that following the late January Israeli army raid on Jenin camp, which killed 10 Palestinians, a high-ranking PASF official intervened to order a halt to any PA pursuit of resistance fighters in the area.

If true, this suggests that there may be more than a few PA officials frustrated with the current approach towards the armed movements and that this issue is one that the PA cannot afford to miscalculate, especially as calls for a Third Intifada intensify.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle

‘Israel’ Alarmed by Palestinian “Lone Wolves”, Sayyed Nasrallah’s “Spiderweb Theory”

 March 15, 2023

Marwa Haidar

‘Israel’ is alarmed by an “unusual incident” in which an explosive charge was detonated next to the Megiddo junction on a road near the West Bank seamline facing Jenin on Monday.

The incident, which injured a person seriously, was likely a roadside bomb of the type detonated in the past, mainly against Israeli occupation forces in south Lebanon during occupation before 2000, Haaretz Israeli daily reported on Tuesday.

Scene of a bomb blast at Megiddo junction in pccupied Palestine (Monday, March 13, 2023).

“The Shin Bet and IDF have been concerned for several months about increased attempts by terrorists in the West Bank to prepare explosive charges,” the paper’s Amos Harel said, referring to Israeli occupation forces.

Palestinian “Lone Wolves”

Meanwhile on Tuesday, a group named “Galilee Forces – Lone Wolves”, claimed responsibility for Megiddo junction attack, vowing to stage more attacks against Israeli occupation forces.

“One of our wolves planted a roadside bomb at Megiddo junction. The bomb went off and the wolves were unhurt after withdrawing the area,” the group said in a statement.

It also released a video showing Israeli outposts that the group intends to target soon. “Target is monitored and the weapon is ready,” the Galilee Forces – Lone Wolves group said in the video.

Rise in Explosive Charges

Harel reported that there has been, recently, a rise in the level of explosive charges being made and the number of Palestinian operations, noting that such upsurge comes after the situation was relatively calm in the occupied territories following the Second Intifada.

Since the Second Intifada, there’s been almost no sophisticated know-how in the West Bank on the preparation of explosive charges, the report said, listing a series of attacks which took place in the last three months.

There is concern in the Zionist entity that Palestinian attacks in the West Bank will soon rise, Harel reported, citing a clear increase of attacks for close to a year.

“But intelligence agencies are concerned about another escalation ahead of Ramadan, which begins in about a week,” the Israeli journalist said.

Resistance Warns

In this context, Palestinian resistance threatened the Israeli occupation that changing the status quo of Al-Aqsa Mosque will trigger an “earthquake” in the entire region.

Marwan Issa, Deputy Chief of Staff of Hamas’ Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades said that “allowing the resistance in the West Bank to take action, doesn’t mean that the resistance fighters in Gaza won’t patronize their brothers in the occupied territories.”

The Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, has been accumulating power in order to reach the full liberation of Palestine, Issa stated.

“Spiderweb Theory”

On the other hand, Haaretz’ Harel correlated between rising motivation for Palestinian attacks and what he described as the Zionist entity’s “unprecedented political and constitutional crisis” represented by the mass protests over judicial overhaul planned by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He cited recent remarks by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah about the Zionist entity’s collapse.

“Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah recently delivered two speeches in which he repeated his “spiderweb theory” regarding Israeli society’s weakness, which he initially presented after Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. Now he’s forecasting that an internal schism in Israel will lead to the country’s collapse, meaning that Israelis won’t be celebrating the country’s 80th anniversary in five years,” the Israeli journalist wrote in his Tuesday’s article.

In his latest speech last week, Sayyed Nasrallah described Israeli protests as historic and significant, noting that Israeli officials are now concerned about what he called the “third ravage” of the Zionist entity.

“Nasrallah is Not Completely Wrong”

In his article, Harel said that one of the worries occupying the Israeli “security system currently is that Nasrallah is not completely wrong.”

“Not only is the judicial controversy tearing Israelis into two camps, the rage against the regime coup led by the Netanyahu government is harming the military’s cohesion and may, in the long run, compromise its operational fitness. The biggest concern was raised in recent weeks by the Air Force, against a backdrop of growing protest by reserve pilots and navigators, the tumultuous discussions within squadrons and petitions in which hundreds of reserve pilots threatened to stop volunteering to fly should the extremist legislation pass in the Knesset,” Harel wrote.

Source: Israeli and Palestinian media (translated and edited by Al-Manar English Website)

Disengagement law repeal advances, EU and UK condemn

15 March 2023

Source: News websites

By Al Mayadeen English 

A new bill repealing the disengagement law passed in 2005 has passed in Knesset’s first reading.

Saleh Abu Diab, a Palestinian resident of Sheikh Jarrah, takes part in a protest against his possible eviction after an Israeli court accepted Jewish settler land claims, in his neighborhood in Al-Quds on June 11, 2021 (Reuters).

Several EU member states, as well as the UK, denounced the Knesset’s approval of a bill that will allow Israeli settlers to return to areas across the West Bank that were previously evacuated as part of the 2005 Israeli-known Disengagement Law, which represented the liberation of Gaza and the partial liberation of the West Bank.

The Palestinian foreign ministry denounced the Knesset’s decision and called on the international community to denounce the bill as well, and to pressure the Israeli government to back down from the decision.

“Proceeding with steps to enact this legislation is a dangerous escalation in the conflict and a belittling of the efforts exerted to reduce tension and achieve calm,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said.

On Monday, a joint statement by the UK, France, and other EU countries, urged “Israel” to refrain from “demolishing Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East-al-Quds [Al-Quds] during the month of Ramadan,” as they referenced the forced evacuation of Palestinian families from the Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah.

The statement noted that the signatories found it “very worrying that Israeli authorities intend to continue” the domicide of Palestinians and declared their “strong opposition to Israel’s settlement expansion policy.” 

Read more: All Israeli settlements are illegal, they must stop: UN Chief

Disengagement law repeal

In February 2023, the Israeli occupation’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill revoking clauses of the 2005 Disengagement Law, which had led to the dismantling of four illegal Israeli settlements in the northern West Bank, as well as all the settlements and military presence in the Gaza Strip.

At the time, The Times of “Israel” said that “the bill, which only relates to the parts of the law pertaining to the northern West Bank, is key to the current government’s goal of legalizing the illegal settlement outpost of Homesh.”

On Monday, the bill passed its first reading in the Knesset, and the introductory text of the repeal read: “There is no longer any justification to prevent Israelis from entering and staying in the evacuated territory in northern Samaria [West Bank], and therefore it is proposed to state that these sections [of the disengagement law] will no longer apply to the evacuated territory.”

Read more: Row over illegal West Bank settlement outpost splits Israeli cabinet

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Five Israeli settlers injured in ‘Tel Aviv’ shooting

9 Mar 2023

Source: Agencies

Five settlers are injured during a shooting on “Dizengoff Stree” in “Tel Aviv”, and the executor is killed.

Medics at the scene of a shooting on ‘Dizengoff Street’ in ‘Tel Aviv’, occupied Palestine, March 9, 2023 (United Hatzalah)

By Al Mayadeen English 


A Palestinian young man was killed Thursday after executing a shooting operation in “Tel Aviv”, wounding five illegal Israeli settlers, one of whom is in critical condition.

The operation’s executor was killed after armed Israeli settlers fatally shot him on “Dizengoff Street” before the Israeli occupation forces cordoned off the scene.

The operation took place next to a cafe, and social media users swiftly shared footage from the scene right after the incident.

There are reports about there being a second executor, with Israeli media saying the police were looking for the other one.

“Two young men carried out the operation, and each one took a street before executing it,” Israeli media reported.

Footage also showed the sheer fear and panic experienced by Israeli settlers at the moment of carrying out the shooting on “Dizengoff Street” in downtown “Tel Aviv”, as well as the extensive deployment of the occupation police in the wake of the operation.

In the wake of the operation Israeli media reported that Israeli Security Minister Yoav Gallant directed the Israeli occupation forces to demolish the executor’s home and arrest his immediate family and close friends.

“A large number of Israeli soldiers raided the town of Ni’lin, west of Ramallah, where the home of the executor’s family.”

Palestinian factions laud operation

The Palestinian resistance factions lauded the operation, saying it underlined the “preparedness of the Palestinian people to swiftly and decisively respond to the occupation’s terrorism and aggression.”

It was revealed that the executor was Al-Moataz Bellah Al-Khawaja from Ramallah, and the Hamas resistance movement lauded the martyr and his “heroic operation” pledging that there was more to come.

Hamas said the “operation is a natural response to the assassination that took place in Jabaa and the massacre that took place in Jenin.”

“The shooting on Dizengoff Street in downtown Tel Aviv is a preliminary response to Israel’s crimes, the latest of which is the murder of three young men in Jabaa, Jenin,” Hamas spokesperson Abullatif Qanou said.

“The operation in Tel Aviv comes as a response to the Israeli occupation’s crimes against our people in the West Bank and Al-Quds,” Hamas official Daoud Shehab said.

The operation, he added, is a clear indication of what the situation can turn to because of the “war being waged by the fascist, extremist government on the West Bank and Al-Quds.”

“This heroic operation is a natural response to the assassination of Al-Quds brigades freedom fighters in Jabaa, Jenin, this morning,” Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson for the West Bank, Tariq Ezzeddine, said.

Three Palestinian youths were martyred by the Israeli occupation forces on Thursday morning when their car was targeted in Jabaa, Jenin, following a campaign of raids and incursions across the West Bank and Al-Quds.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced the martyrdom of Sufian Al-Fakhouri, (30), Naif Ahmad Malaisha,(25), and Ahmed Mohamed Fashafsha, (22), after they were shot, by IOF, inside their vehicle, at the entrance to the town of Jaba.

Palestinian news agencies reported violent confrontations with the occupation forces during the storming of Jabaa in Jenin.

Special Coverage | The situation in occupied Palestine after the commando operation in Tel Aviv
 ما حقيقة توتر العلاقات الأميركية الإسرائيلية؟ وماذا في تصريحات الحرب على إيران؟ | …

Female Palestinian inmates subjected to ‘harsh conditions’ in Israeli prisons

 March 08 2023

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

There are 29 female Palestinian’s being held in the Israeli prison system, all of which are subjected to medical negligence

By News Desk

According to Palestinian prisoners support and human rights groups, 29 female Palestinian prisoners remain under “harsh conditions” in the Israeli prison system.

According to statistics and figures released on 7 March, a day ahead of International Women’s Day, several women are subjected to medical negligence. Two of the 29 women are minors, both 16 years old, while 15 others suffer from various health issues, six of which are mothers. One of the prisoners reportedly received no trial and is under administrative detention.

Thirty-six-year-old Israa Jaabis was arrested by Israeli forces in the fall of 2015 after her faulty cooking apparatus exploded in her car near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank. The Israeli police accused her of attempting to harm Israeli authorities; however, there has not been any evidence to support such claims, with Jaabis denying the allegations until now.

Local reports indicate that she suffered extensive burns across 65 percent of her body, yet the Israeli authorities denied her the necessary medical attention, refusing doctors to perform surgery to allow her to breathe through her nose in 2022.

These reports were released a week after the Israeli government seized several freed Palestinian prisoners’ property and bank accounts. 

The gradual but deliberate process of Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian money and land, coupled with the forcing of Palestinians to live under Israeli military occupation, has formed the system that the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has categorized as ‘apartheid’ – a secondary consequence of occupation. 

According to Human Rights lawyer Abdel Nasser Farwana, over 600 Palestinian political prisoners suffer from acute illnesses and are at risk of dying.

According to the WAFA news agency, 4,450 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, with 160 of them minors, as well as 200 chronically ill prisoners.

Israel is the only country in the world that prosecutes children in military courts, robbing them of their basic legal rights.

Hamas spox to Al Mayadeen: ‘Israel’ to pay, escalation unstoppable

8 Mar 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

Hamas Spokesperson Hazem Qassem announces that the Resistance is ready and continues to prepare itself for the engagement with IOF in case the latter cross the red lines.

Hamas Spokesperson Hazem Qassem (Archive)

Hamas Spokesperson Hazem Qassem confirmed, on Wednesday, that the Israeli occupation, with its behavior, has made the escalation unavoidable, not only in Palestine but in the entire region as well.

Qassem said, during an interview for Al Mayadeen, that “in parallel to the Israeli policy that may push in the direction of a big explosion, there is an increase in resistance and confrontation.”

The Hamas Spokesperson explained that “we are amid a major gradual escalation, contrary to all of Washington’s false claims about de-escalation.”

Qassem also pointed out that “the Resistance in Gaza, and specifically Al-Qassam Brigades, said its patience is running out in the face of Israeli attacks.”

The spokesperson also stressed that “the Resistance is ready and preparing itself for taking action in the event that the occupation crosses the red lines,” adding that “the Resistance in Gaza provides a firm ground for Resistance operations across the West Bank.”

Qassem said, “The price that the occupation will pay in the event of any confrontation with Gaza will be too heavy for the occupation government and Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) to handle.” Moreover, the occupation is “terrified of Gaza possibly taking part in this battle” and, as such, is “instigating mediations out of fear” of the situation.

Regarding the US stance vis-à-vis the Palestinian cause, Qassem said, “The US position is always supportive of the occupation, and therefore it can never be relied upon.”

After Jenin massacre, ‘Israel’ fears response from Resistance

Israeli media reported that the Israeli security and military establishment is preparing for “retaliatory operations” after the Israeli Special Forces operation (Yamam) in Jenin yesterday, which led to the martyrdom of six Palestinians, including the one who carried out the Huwara operation.

The IOF carried out arrests, including the two sons of the Palestinian who carried out the Huwara operation, Abd Al-Fattah Kharrousha, whom the Al-Qassam Brigades mourned, while the IOF claimed that his two sons were involved in carrying out the shooting.

On March 7, occupation police issued “an order to double the state of vigilance and have a prominent presence in Al-Quds,” according to Israeli media. 

Palestinian Resistance factions, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, threatened to take revenge for the Israeli attack, during which a house was besieged and its occupants targeted. 

The West Bank mourns its martyrs and the resistance factions call for a general mobilization
Occupied Palestine || A number of Palestinians were killed and injured when the Israeli occupation forces stormed Jenin and its camp
A general strike in the West Bank in response to the massacre of the Zionist enemy in Jenin

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Palestinians Tell of New Massacre as Israeli Occupation Forces Storm Jenin (LIVE BLOG)

March 7, 2023

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Israeli occupation forces stormed the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank on Tuesday, killing several Palestinians and injuring others, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported.

The Israel army said “security forces are currently operating in the Jenin (refugee) camp” in the northern West Bank, but gave no further details.

Tue, Mar 7, 7:00 (GMT+2)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that the Israeli military assault in the Jenin refugee camp left 26 Palestinians wounded, three of them critically.

Scenes from the house that was besieged by the lsraeli occupation forces in Jenin camp and hit with sixteen shoulder-fired missiles, which led to the killing of all who were inside. pic.twitter.com/tQpaMHQyzr

— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) March 7, 2023

Tue, Mar 7, 6:00 (GMT+2)

Palestinian Authority presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement that the Israeli killing of Palestinians is an all-out war.

“The crime committed by the occupation forces reaffirms the Israeli government’s intention to thwart all regional and international efforts aimed at stopping all unilateral actions, which the Israeli side insists on continuing,” said Abu Rudeineh.

WAR CRIME! #Israeli troops reportedly block Palestinian ambulances from reaching the wounded in #Jenin today.

The IDF killed 6 Palestinians & wounded 9 in the raid.

Israel has systematically obstructed attempts to recuse the wounded in previous raids on the city. pic.twitter.com/rpatP51H8X

— Muhammad Shehada (@muhammadshehad2) March 7, 2023

Abu Rudeineh called on the United States administration to take immediate action and put effective pressure on the Israeli government to stop its crimes and continuous aggression against the Palestinian people.

Tue, Mar 7, 5:45 (GMT+2)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed in a statement the identity of the victims of the latest Israeli military assault on the Jenin refugee camp.

  • Muhammad Wael Ghazzawi, 26 years old
  • Majd Muhammed Azmi Husseiniyeh, 26 years old
  • Tariq Ziyad Mustafa Natour, 27 years old
  • Ziyad Amin Al-Zarini, 29 years old
  • Abdel Fattah Hussein Kharousha, 49 years old
  • Mutasim Nasser Sabbagh, 22 years old

Tue, Mar 7, 5:35 (GMT+2)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that the number of Palestinians killed in the military assault rose to five.

#Touching: Palestinians bid sad farewell to Mohammad Ghizawi who was shot and killed by the occupation forces in Jenin refugee camp. pic.twitter.com/u7D9FtvBgB

— Wafa News Agency – English (@WAFANewsEnglish) March 7, 2023

Tue, Mar 7, 5:30 (GMT+2)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that the number of Palestinians killed in the military assault rose to five.

Tue, Mar 7, 5:20 (GMT+2)

The PLO Department of International Relations reported that Israeli forces attacked a Palestinian ambulance in the Jenin refugee camp.

#israelioccupation forces attacked an ambulance in the occupied refugee camp of #jenin#IsraeliTerrorism #IsraeliCrimes #IsraeliAparthied #IsraeliOccupation pic.twitter.com/LmPIK22t18

— PLO Department of International Relations (@DirPlo) March 7, 2023

Tue, Mar 7, 5:15 (GMT+2)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in its Telegram channel that Israeli forces killed two more Palestinians. The victims are yet to be identified.

BREAKING: Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. pic.twitter.com/9IAXrYNaHk

— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) March 7, 2023

Tue, Mar 7, 4:30 (GMT+2)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that Israeli forces killed 26-year-old Mohammad Wael Ghazawi after shooting him in the chest.

Five others were injured, one of them critically, during the Israeli army assault.

Happening now: Israeli occupation forces are raiding the #Jenin refugee camp. At least one #Palestinian was murdered, four were injured, and several others were arrested. #Palestine pic.twitter.com/c70xwZYwOy

— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) March 7, 2023

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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IOF kill several Palestinians, wound others in Jenin storming

7 Mar, 2023 

Source: Agencies + Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen English 

IOF vehicles storming Jenin refugee camp (Social media)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that at least six Palestinians were martyred in the Jenin refugee camp and several others were injured in confrontations with Israeli occupation forces as the latter simultaneously stormed Nablus, where it arrested a number of Palestinians.

Al Mayadeen correspondent in the West Bank later confirmed the martyrdom of Abd Al-Fattah Kharrousha, whom the occupation forces accuse of being behind the Huwara operation.

Our correspondent stated that the six martyrs belong to the Jenin Brigade of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and that they confronted the Israeli raid down to their last breath.

She also reported that the bodies of a number of martyrs were recovered from inside the house that the IOF had besieged Jenin, noting that the occupation forces were gradually withdrawing from the camp, about two hours after the raid.

Local Palestinian sources said a special Israeli force infiltrated the outskirts of Jenin using a camouflaged truck, while military vehicles headed from the Al-Jalama checkpoint toward the camp to besiege a house belonging to the family of martyr Amjad Al-Azmi.

Al Mayadeen correspondent in occupied Palestine confirmed that the occupation forces targeted ambulances and used Palestinians as human shields during the raid.

According to medical sources, three injuries by Israeli gunfire arrived at Jenin Hospital, while the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the martyrdom of 26-year-old Mohammad Ghazzawi after being shot in the chest.

Journalist and political activist Mujahid Al-Saadi said Palestinian Resistance fighters shot down an occupation drone in Jenin while freedom fighter Jamal Hwail told Al Mayadeen that a second Israeli drone was shot down, adding that Israeli Apache helicopters are carrying out overflights in the airspace of Jenin.

In a statement, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said its fighters are still targeting the occupation forces and their special units in the Jenin camp with bullets and explosive devices.

The Brigades said a number of its fighters were martyred while confronting the crimes of the occupation and reported several injuries among occupation forces, stressing that the Israeli crimes will be answered in “Tel Aviv”.

Read more: Ben-Gvir orders demolition of Palestinian homes during Ramadan

IOF arrest three Palestinians in Nablus

In Nablus, Israeli occupation forces stormed the Askar refugee camp and arrested three Palestinian brothers, Khaled, Abed, and Qassam Kharrousha, after besieging their house in the city, as per Al Mayadeen correspondent in the West Bank. The IOF took the brothers to an unknown destination. 

The IOF completely shut down all entrances to the city of Nablus.

Moreover, the released prisoner, Muhammad Jaradat, confirmed to Al Mayadeen that the occupation forces arrested two Palestinian doctors in Nablus during the raid.

Our correspondent said dozens of Israeli suicide drones are spread over the West Bank.

The stormings of Jenin and Nablus come a few hours after illegal Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli occupation soldiers.

Read more: Israeli settlers raid Huwara, injuries reported among Palestinians

Palestinian Presidency: Daily killings of Palestinians is an all-out war

The spokesperson for the Palestinian Presidency, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said today, Tuesday, that “the daily killings committed by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people, the latest of which took place today in the Jenin camp, is an all-out war and amount to a full-scale systematic destruction.”

He pointed out that the crime committed by the occupation forces reaffirms the occupation government’s endeavor to thwart all regional and international efforts aimed at stopping such actions.

The Palestinian Presidency Spokesperson called on the US administration to take immediate action and put effective pressure on the Israeli occupation government to stop its crimes and continued aggression against Palestinians.

He stressed that resolving the Palestinian issue in accordance with international law and giving the Palestinian people their right to freedom and independence is key to resolving the region’s crises.

On its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said today that the massacres and attacks of the Israeli occupation in Jenin and Nablus confirm that the IOF have opted for escalation, holding the Israeli occupation responsible for the repercussions of this escalation on the arena of ongoing struggle. 

Palestinian Resistance in Jenin Fiercely Clashes with Zionist Occupation Forces, Downs Two Spy Drones: Video

March 7, 2023

Shot drone

The Israeli occupation forces stormed on Tuesday Jenin refugees camp in the West Bank, clashing with the Palestinian resistance and claiming six martyrs.

Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Palestine’s Islamic Jihad Resistance Movement, announced targeting the Israeli enemy’s vehicles with IED explosions.

Jenin Brigade also indicated that its fighters managed to shoot down two Israeli spy drones.

The Palestinian health ministry reported six deaths and 10 injuries during the Israeli assault on Jenin, adding that the Israeli occupation troops opened fire at an ambulance cab directly.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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Destruction of the ‘Third Temple’: Israel on the brink of civil war

February 28 2023

Recent mass protests in Israel against controversial, undemocratic judicial reforms have raised concerns about the potential for domestic civil clashes which threaten the fundamental stability of the ‘Jewish state.’

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By The Cradle’s Palestine Correspondent

As tens of thousands of Israelis rallied in protests against their government’s judicial reform plan, the Israeli army conducted a major security operation in Nablus on 22 February, resulting in the death of 11 civilians and injuries to more than 100 others.

The ongoing demonstrations against the controversial bill are becoming increasingly violent, with angry slogans and protester actions leading to the recent killing of a demonstrator by the Israeli police in the city of Beersheba in southern occupied Palestine.

One defining moment of the protests occurred last week – during the first vote on the draft judicial reforms – when protesters were able to storm the Knesset parliament building before being removed by security forces.

Undermining the region’s ‘only democracy’

The judicial reform plan is one of the most significant initiatives of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sixth government. It aims to limit the powers of judges, which currently exceed those of Knesset deputies, and to allow for exceptional intervention by Knesset members in the appointment of judges.

Netanyahu’s opponents argue that the reform plans led by Justice Minister Yariv Levin are a brazen attempt to “politicize and undermine the judiciary” in order to protect the prime minister from prosecution on longstanding charges of “corruption and breach of trust.”

According to Chief Justice Esther Hayut, the proposed reforms will:

“Deprive the court of the option to override laws that disproportionately violate human rights, including the right to life, property, freedom of movement, as well as the basic right of human dignity and its derivatives – the right to equality, freedom of speech and more.”

Former Chief Justice Aharon Barak has expressed similar concerns, calling the bill “the beginning of the end of the Third Temple” – an apocalyptic expression and fear denoting the beginning of Israel’s demise.

 In his book, Third Temple, Israeli reporter and writer Ari Shavit analyzes how in the state’s eighth decade, the Israelis have become their own enemies: “With security challenges one can cope … but the disintegration of identity cannot be overcome.”

Israel’s impending ‘civil war’

In the corridors of Israeli power, the term “treason” is being bandied around more frequently, in parallel with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s call for police to deal “more firmly” with domestic protesters.

Following Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s warning that Netanyahu’s plan could push the country to “the brink of constitutional and social collapse,” the term “civil war” is being routinely used by the Hebrew press, with Haaretz analyst Anshel Pfeffer opining that “civil war is no longer unthinkable.”

“Over the last few days, I’ve found myself in conversations I never imagined I’d ever have … But the topic is deadly serious: the various ways a civil war might suddenly break out, and who would win,” muses Pfeffer, asking ominously “will (Israel’s) law enforcement, security agencies, and the military take sides?”

Israeli affairs researcher Ismail Mohammed tells The Cradle that the notion of a civil war in Israel is no longer just a pipe dream hoped for by the occupation state’s adversaries. Yedidia Stern, head of the Jewish People Policy Institute founded by the Jewish Agency, had said that Israel is closer to civil war than at any time since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 and the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Both are events in which Israel teetered on the brink of civil war.

The battle for judicial reform in Israel is not just a simple conflict, but rather reflects deeper issues that touch on the identity of the state and its social composition. The goal of some political groups, such as the coalition of Ben Gvir and right-wing Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, is to change Israel from a secular liberal state to a state based on religious law: to regulate religious observances and the daily conduct of Jews – or in Hebrew terminology, a form of “Halakha.”

This is also evident in the statement made by Haredi Ashkenazi lawmaker Yitzhak Pindrus, who, on the 74th anniversary of the Nakba, expressed a desire to “blow up” the building of the Supreme Court, which governs secular civil laws that are contrary to religious teachings.

The polarization isn’t only between secular and religious Jews. The ugly old division between eastern and western Jews is also rearing its head. Ben Gvir, for instance, has repeatedly called for reducing the power of the “Ashkenazi” over the state, demanding the inclusion of “Sephardic” Mizrahi Jews in Israel’s institutions.

A recent statement by Otzma Yehudit MK Zvika Vogel on the Hebrew Kan 11 website reflects this significant shift from mere political differences to an existential clash between two different Israels. Vogel called for the arrest of opposition politicians Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz, Yair Golan, and Moshe Ya’alon for fanning civil war, describing them as “the most dangerous people at the present time in Israel.”

As Israeli affairs analyst Anwar Saleh explains to The Cradle: “The issue is much more serious than a demand for equality and citizenship. Netanyahu’s extremist coalition holds convictions that affect the very foundations of the state, such as a return to the elementary question  of ‘who is a Jew?’”

“This political demographic considers that secular Jews – who constitute more than 44 percent of Israelis – are ‘false Jews,’ and that the current government, which is controlled by the religious right, who make up 20 percent of the population, represent the true spirit of Judaism,” Saleh continues. “This debate happening today – 74 years after the state of Israel was created – affects the very basis on which the Jewish Agency launched its immigration program to draw Jews to Palestine.”

Divestment amid uncertainty

It is noteworthy that over 50 investment companies have moved their business from Israel to other countries since the start of the protests. This mass flight includes 37 technology firms.

The development prompted Israeli Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Okunis to hold a private meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tel Aviv, during which he urged them to take a stand on the matter.

In response, the tech firms released a statement refusing to repatriate $2.2 billion in earnings from their foreign operations back to Israel. The owners of these companies have also expressed concern about a drop in the country’s credit rating because politicians are now appointing judges, which they see as an unfavorable environment for business. This has prompted a number of investors to transfer funds in Israel abroad.

‘Moses’ staff’

Even if Netanyahu today wielded the powerful “staff of Moses,” he would not be able to beat down the powerful domestic schisms tearing Israel apart. However, the one tool at the prime minister’s disposal is to divert Israeli attention elsewhere – though this will eventually re-ignite conflict within. In essence, whether now or later, his country will face its civil conflict.

Despite its many differences, Israeli society is united in the perception – fanned by their politicians and media – that it is under existential threat from the outside. Observers speculate that Netanyahu’s only hope to quell internal conflict now is to manufacture a hot external threat.

The occupied West Bank is seen as the least politically sensitive and most flexible option for action, according to political analyst Ayman al-Rifati. He explains to The Cradle that, unlike in the past, Gaza today is the theater in which Israel seeks to maintain calm in order to avoid military escalation during the coming Ramadan season.

The increasing sophistication of missiles held in Gaza’s resistance arsenals also poses too high a risk, with unknown and uncontrollable consequences that Israel may have to bear. The West Bank, conversely, is relatively unweaponized, with small arms concentrated in much fewer hands.

And despite a steady stream of threats from Tel Aviv, there are no indications of Israel starting a war with either Iran or Hezbollah, although the option of carrying out targeted security operations that elicit a reaction from these opponents remains active.

The recent attack by Jewish settlers on the town of Huwara, in the West Bank city of Nablus – is a by-product of Netanyahu’s efforts to mobilize Israeli sentiments toward launching a comprehensive confrontation with West Bank Palestinians. One of the key objectives of this clash is to draw attention away from Israel’s internal collapse.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

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UN Rights Chief Shocked By “Israeli” Tyranny: Situation in Occupied Palestine a Tragedy

March 4, 2023 

By Staff, Agencies

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk voiced alarm at an “Israeli” entity minister’s genocidal call for the obliteration of an entire Palestinian village.

Turk made the remarks on Friday, three days after the Zionist entity’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said the Palestinian village of Huwara “needs to be wiped out”, adding that he thought “‘Israel’ should do it.”

Speaking before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Turk denounced the remarks as “an unfathomable statement of incitement to violence and hostility.”

“The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is a tragedy, a tragedy above all for the Palestinian people,” Turk told the Human Rights Council as he formally presented a report on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Smotrich’s remarks came after hundreds of armed “Israeli” settlers attacked Huwara and nearby villages and torched dozens of houses and cars.

One Palestinian was martyred during the settler rampage and at least 390 others were injured, with Palestinian media reporting stabbings and attacks with metal rods and rocks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the UN official made a direct call for the “Israeli” regime to end its occupation of and settlement activities across the Palestinian territories.

“My report finds that over the reporting period, lethal force has been frequently employed by the ‘Israeli’ security forces [ISF] regardless of the level of threat and at times even as an initial measure rather than as last resort,” Turk said.

He further stated: “The report finds that 131 Palestinians were killed by ISF personnel over the past year in a context of law enforcement that is outside any context of hostilities. This includes 65 people who we understand were not armed nor engaged in any attacks or clashes.”

“The occupation is eating away at the health of both societies on every level, from childhood to old age and in every part of life. For this violence to end, the occupation must end,” he added, pointing out that “In the near future, there must be an end to settlements in the occupied land. And within a foreseeable horizon.”

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