CROWDFUNDING COLONIALISM: WHO IS BANKROLLING ISRAEL’S LATEST EXCURSION INTO THE WEST BANK?

JULY 22ND, 2022

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By Jessica Buxbaum

OCCUPIED WEST BANK — On Wednesday, thousands of Israeli settlers from the Nachala settler group — along with Israeli lawmakers — flocked to the occupied West Bank and established seven illegal outposts in a land grab operation propelled by a massive fundraising campaign.

By Thursday evening, Israeli forces evacuated the day-old outposts and detained and later released 11 settlers. Despite the evictions, Nachala remains determined to continue building on land they claim is only reserved for Jews, with plans to set up new outposts as early as next week.

Nachala, the group responsible for the infamous Evyatar outpost erected last year, has been preparing since April to establish outposts en masse in July. Initially, the plan was to build 28 new outposts throughout the West Bank, but that number was scaled back in recent days. Settlements are legal under Israeli law, but illegal according to international law. Outposts, makeshift encampments built by settlers, are illegal under both Israeli and international law, but some have been retroactively authorized by the Israeli government.

Despite outposts being illegal, Nachala widely advertised its plan on social media and in news outlets. The Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the Israeli army, and Israel Police all issued statements on Tuesday saying security forces will be deployed to thwart any action.

This particular outpost operation was made possible through Nachala’s fundraising efforts, specifically, a crowdfunding campaign that raised over 5 million shekels (or $1.5 million) so far.

Several left-wing organizations have denounced Nachala’s efforts, including Israeli human rights group, Yesh Din, and activist organizations, Peace Now and Looking the Occupation in the Eye. On Wednesday, activists confronted Nachala settlers at several sites throughout the West Bank.

Guy Hirschfeld, an activist with Looking the Occupation in the Eye, told MintPress News the group contacted the Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority, and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz before Nachala’s operation was carried out, but still, nothing was done to prevent Nachala’s plans from being executed, saying,

It’s all by the state and its part of the big plan of ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

THE MONEY BEHIND THE MOVEMENT

Nachala is funded in a myriad of ways. The settlement movement receives money through its financial arm, Geula Titnu La’aretz (in English: “the land shall be redeemed”), a registered non-profit in Israel’s Registrar of Associations, through its public benefit company, Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael or “The National Fund for the Building of the Land of Israel Ltd.,” and through donations. A spokesperson for Nachala did not respond to requests for comment on the organization’s funding and settlement operation tactics.

Similar to how Nachala raised money to build the Evyatar outpost, the settler group has again used the fundraising site Charidy for its recent settlement-building operation. Charidy is an Israeli subsidiary of the American company of the same name. Charidy did not respond to requests for comment on its platform being used to fund illegal activity.

The largest donation was for 1 million shekels (about $290,000) from an anonymous donor. Other significant donations came from Friends of Nachala Toronto and Beit Midrash for the Torah of the Land of Israel, a Jewish study center in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva.

Israeli settlers
Jewish Settlers march in the hills of the Palestinian West Bank to build a new colony outside the settlement of Barkan, July 20, 2022. Ilia Yefimovich | dpa | AP

The Nachala movement also supports itself through Geula Titnu La’aretz and Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael, both of which act as real estate companies. Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael was set up in 2017 to buy privately-owned Palestinian land. Geula Titnu La’aretz has also engaged in real estate deals, although it remains unclear if their land purchases have materialized.

Geula Titnu La’aretz didn’t file annual reports with the Israeli registrar in the last two years, and therefore lost its certification of compliance this year. The latest financial data states it received nearly $140,000 in 2019 — all domestic contributions. Hakupah Haleumit Lebinyan Eretz Yisrael received nearly $200,000 in 2020, according to its recent filings. The majority of that sum — about $150,000 — came from abroad. Neither organization’s registrar files provide information on where these donations are from.

While organizations listed in the Israeli registrar are required to report financial data, they do not have to detail where the specific contributions originated. In 2016, Israel passed an amendment to the Transparency Law requiring all non-profit organizations that receive 50% or more of their funding from foreign government entities to disclose these grants. Critics argue this piece of legislation unfairly targets left-wing organizations, specifically human rights groups, which receive a majority of their funding from foreign governments, compared to right-wing groups which receive most of their monies from private entities.

Hirschfeld described how this lack of transparency helps keep Israeli settlement funding a secret. “The right wing doesn’t have to declare where the money is from,” he said.

There is a lot of evangelist money, fascist money from Europe and the state, and things like this, but they don’t have to publish it, so it’s difficult to follow the money of the right-wing organizations.”

Like other Israeli organizations, Nachala has a U.S. wing entitled Friends of Nachala Israel. However, Friends of Nachala Israel does not have a website nor is the organization registered with the Internal Revenue Services, so information on its director or funding isn’t known.

BACKED BY THE STATE

The Nachala movement has received significant backing from Israeli society. Several politicians and prominent rabbis have endorsed Nachala’s operations, including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Israeli members of parliament, Bezalel Smotrich, Simcha Rothman, May Golan, and Orit Strouk.

While Israeli right-wing organizations have been promoting Nachala’s activity, in particular the American non-profit, Americans For A Safe Israel, has openly supported Nachala’s activity online. The group’s followers have also reportedly donated to the Evyatar outpost last year, according to AFSI’s director.

And while Israeli authorities worked to dismantle the outposts, activists assert the Nachala group is supported by the Israeli state, specifically through settlement municipalities. “This plan is being promoted by more than 20 Israeli right-wing movements and bodies led by the Nachala Settlement Movement, with active involvement and support from settlements and regional and local municipalities.” Yesh Din’s executive director, Ziv Stahl, wrote in a letter to the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Thomas R. Nides.

As evidenced on Nachala’s Charidy site, several settlements donated to its campaign, including Gush Etzion, Kedumim, Bet El, and Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, which governs 46 settlements and outposts in the West Bank.

“These settlement municipalities are strongly cooperating with [Nachala],” Dror Etkes, an anti-settlement activist and founder of Israeli land research organization, Kerem Navot, told MintPress News.

Etkes detailed that through local and regional settlement councils, Nachala is provided with road access, electricity, water, building contractors, and other equipment.

“[Nachala’s operation] cannot work without governmental money. It cannot work without consent of the governmental bodies, military, police, and the Civil Administration,” Etkes said, describing how Nachala settlers were surveying the land for weeks prior to building the recent string of outposts. “Not only did the military not stop them, but they actually helped.”

With Israel’s current interim government, Nachala’s plans may not come fully into fruition, given their outposts were torn down in a day. But if a right-wing extremist coalition takes power in November, then Nachala may gain the political reality needed to execute their land grab fantasies.

15 YEARS OF FAILED EXPERIMENTS: MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT THE ISRAELI SIEGE ON GAZA

JULY 7TH, 2022

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By Ramzy Baroud

Fifteen years have passed since Israel imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip, subjecting nearly two million Palestinians to one of the longest and most cruel politically-motivated blockades in history.

The Israeli government had then justified its siege as the only way to protect Israel from Palestinian “terrorism and rocket attacks”. This remains the official Israeli line until this day. Not many Israelis – certainly not in government, media or even ordinary people – would argue that Israel today is safer than it was prior to June 2007.

It is widely understood that Israel has imposed the siege as a response to the Hamas takeover of the Strip, following a brief and violent confrontation between the two main Palestinian political rivals, Hamas, which currently rules Gaza, and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.

However, the isolation of Gaza was planned years before the Hamas-Fatah clash, or even the Hamas’ legislative election victory of January 2006. Late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was determined to redeploy Israeli forces out of Gaza, years prior to these dates.

What finally culminated in the Israeli Disengagement from Gaza in August-September 2005 was proposed by Sharon in 2003, approved by his government in 2004, and finally adopted by the Knesset in February 2005.

The ‘disengagement’ was an Israeli tactic that aimed at removing a few thousand illegal Jewish settlers out of Gaza – to other illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank – while redeploying the Israeli army from crowded Gaza population centers to the border areas. This was the actual start of the Gaza siege.

The above assertion was even clear to James Wolfensohn, who was appointed by the Quartet on the Middle East as the Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. In 2010, he reached a similar conclusion:

Gaza had been effectively sealed off from the outside world since the Israeli disengagement … and the humanitarian and economic consequences for the Palestinian population were profound.”

The ultimate motive behind the ‘disengagement’ was not Israel’s security, or even to starve Gazans as a form of collective punishment. The latter was one natural outcome of a much more sinister political plot, as communicated by Sharon’s own senior advisor at the time, Dov Weisglass. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in October 2004, Weisglass put it plainly: “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process.” How?

“When you freeze (the peace) process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders, and Jerusalem,” according to Weisglass. Not only was this Israel’s ultimate motive behind the disengagement and subsequent siege on Gaza but, according to the seasoned Israeli politician, it was all done “with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.” The President in question here is no other than US president at the time, George W. Bush.

All of this had taken place before Palestine’s legislative elections, Hamas’ victory, and the Hamas-Fatah clash. The latter merely served as a convenient justification for what had already been discussed, ‘ratified’ and implemented.

Gaza
Palestinian children play outside their homes on the outskirts of the Khan Younis refugee camp, Jan. 19, 2022. Khalil Hamra | AP

For Israel, the siege has been a political ploy, which acquired additional meaning and value as time passed. In response to the accusation that Israel was starving Palestinians in Gaza, Weisglass was very quick to muster an answer:

The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

What was then understood as a facetious, albeit thoughtless statement, turned out to be actual Israeli policy, as indicated in a 2008 report, which was made available in 2012. Thanks to the Israeli human rights organization Gisha, the “redlines (for) food consumption in the Gaza Strip” – composed by the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – was made public. It emerged that Israel was calculating the minimum number of calories necessary to keep Gaza’s population alive, a number that is “adjusted to culture and experience” in the Strip.

The rest is history. Gaza’s suffering is absolute. 98% of the Strip’s water is undrinkable. Hospitals lack essential supplies and life-saving medications. Movement in and out of the Strip is practically prohibited, with minor exceptions.

Still, Israel has failed miserably in achieving any of its objectives. Tel Aviv hoped that the ‘disengagement’ would compel the international community to redefine the legal status of the Israeli occupation of Gaza. Despite Washington’s pressure, that never happened. Gaza remains part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories as defined in international law.

Even the September 2007 Israeli designation of Gaza as an “enemy entity” and a “hostile territory” changed little, except that it allowed the Israeli government to declare several devastating wars on the Strip, starting in 2008.

None of these wars have successfully served a long-term Israeli strategy. Instead, Gaza continues to fight back on a much larger scale than ever before, frustrating the calculation of Israeli leaders, as it became clear in their befuddled, disturbing language. During one of the deadliest Israeli wars on Gaza in July 2014, Israeli right-wing Knesset member, Ayelet Shaked, wrote on Facebook that the war was “not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority.” Instead, according to Shaked, who a year later became Israel’s Minister of Justice, “… is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people.”

In the final analysis, the governments of Sharon, Tzipi Livni, Ehud Olmert, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Naftali Bennett failed to isolate Gaza from the greater Palestinian body, and break the will of the Strip or ensure Israeli security at the expense of Palestinians.

Moreover, Israel has fallen victim to its own hubris. While prolonging the siege will achieve no short or long-term strategic value, lifting the siege, from Israel’s viewpoint, would be tantamount to an admission of defeat – and could empower Palestinians in the West Bank to emulate the Gaza model. This lack of certainty further accentuates the political crisis and lack of strategic vision that continued to define all Israeli governments for nearly two decades.

Inevitably, Israel’s political experiment in Gaza has backfired, and the only way out is for the Gaza siege to be completely lifted and, this time, for good.

Rights Groups Warn Against ‘Israeli’ Move to Register Land Adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque

June 29, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Rights groups warned of “far-reaching implications” of the Zionist occupation regime’s controversial move to start the process of registering the ownership of land adjacent to the al-holy Aqsa Mosque in the occupied city of al-Quds.

The process of the “settlement of land title procedure” was initiated last week in the Abu Thor area as well as the Umayyad Palaces site adjacent to the southern wall of al-Aqsa Mosque, reports said.

According to Middle East Eye, rights groups Ir Amim and Bimkom said in a joint statement on Monday that the fund allocated to the procedure has been largely utilized to register land for illegal settlements and will ultimately lead to further Palestinian dispossession.

“[The procedure] carries possible disastrous ramifications for hundreds of Palestinian homes in Abu Thor, while the other has an acute potential for escalating tensions due to its highly sensitive location in close proximity to al-Aqsa,” according to the statement.

“There is grave concern that the state is advancing the settlement of title process in the Umayyad Palaces/Ophel site to enable ‘Israeli’ takeover of this territory through its formal registration as ‘state’ land while aiding ‘state’-backed settler groups in their aggressive efforts to gain control of these highly sensitive locations.”

Sheikh Najeh Bakirat, deputy director of the al-Quds Islamic Waqf, in his remarks on Monday stressed that changing the ownership of Umayyad Palaces was invalid and in breach of the Geneva Convention.

In 2018, the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime for the first time began promoting the “settlement of land title procedure.”

In 2020, Ir Amim said the process was being used as a tool to “seize more land in East al-Quds, leading to the expansion of ‘Israeli’ settlements and further Palestinian dispossession.”

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy more than 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All ‘Israeli’ settlements are deemed illegal under international law as they are built on the occupied land. The United Nations Security Council condemned the Zionist regime’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in a series of resolutions.

Additionally, the area south of al-Aqsa Mosque is also the scene of ‘Israeli’ excavations that threaten the foundation of the holy site.

On Monday, the Council of Endowments, Islamic Affairs, and Holy Places said excavations made by the Zionist occupation regime in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque were threatening its foundations, saying new cracks have appeared in the floor of the sacred site.

A Forgotten Anniversary

June 12, 2022

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By Jimmie Moglia

It is a property of the past to sink into oblivion, and of unpleasant truths to fade into evanescence. To such past belongs the attack on the USS Liberty.

When to the session of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, Israel’s 1967 war of Middle East invasion is/was for me but a negligible blip compared to other important personal events. Such as my getting ready to read the thesis for my degree in Electronic Engineering, in Genova, Italy.

Therefore, without particular consciousness I submitted to the sentences of the official media without examining the authority of the judge.

My first doubts arose not long later when I decided to visit the Eastern Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, located on the Sinai Peninsula at the very foot of Mt. Sinai. It could then only be reached from Tel Aviv via Sharm-el-Sheikh and a bus trip.

On welcoming the tourists on the bus the guide announced with pride that the Sinai was “now and forever an unalienable part of Israel.” I found the declaration irrelevant, if not odd, but I consider that moment as the beginning of my associated historical interest.

The official US line is that, on Jun 8, 1967, the Israelis mistakenly attacked by air, and torpedoed by sea, an unarmed US intelligence ship, killing 34 sailors and wounding 171 others. 2022 marks the 55th anniversary of that attack.

Following are some details of the ship, of the episode and of its aftermath. For, similar to occasions that perhaps we all have felt, a detail that uncalled-for returns to mind, rekindles fuller memories of a larger connected event, not otherwise spontaneously recalled. The detail is the inspired arrogance of the Israeli guide I mentioned. More in general, I think that the attack on the Liberty dramatically demonstrates the nature of who exercises actual power in the United States.

As in most cases involving Israel, any attempt to give a factual account of an event, fails in its promised impartiality. For in the corrupted currents of the world, the very terms ‘Jew’ or ‘Jewish,’ unless associated with praise or deference, taint their utterer with a halo of anti-Semitism.

That is, there is no neutral use of the words. The issue is very old and well explained, for example, by Jewish writer Joshua Trachtenberg in his book “The Devil and the Jews.” Where he documents how there has been a propensity at large, dating back to medieval times, to ascribe a legendary element of a biblical and obscure nature to the word ‘Jew’. That propensity has sunk into what Jung called “collective unconsciousness.”

I should also add that two men observing the same object will describe it differently, according to the point of view from which either beholds it. In the eyes of one it shall be a fair prospect, to the other a barren waste, and neither may see right. Wherefore, truth being the legitimate object of history, it is better that she should be sought-for by many than by few. Lest, for want of seekers, among the mists of prejudice and the false lights of interest, she is lost altogether.

The Liberty was first launched at the end of WW2 in Oregon and named then “Simmons Victor.” It belonged to a fleet of cargo carriers quickly built (one every 10 weeks), to replace the losses to submarine attacks during WW2.

Reconverted into a spy ship in 1964, she was renamed “Liberty”. On May 24, 1967, she was dispatched from the Ivory Coast to the Eastern Mediterranean, to monitor radio signals from both Egyptians and Israeli sources, as tensions grew between Israel and the Arab world.

While it is now acknowledged that Israel started the 1967 war, the only and univocal information channels of the time told the public that Egypt attacked and that Israel “had the right to defend itself” – a sentence now imprinted in the US collective mind, and repeated every time when Israel mounts an aggression, carpet bombs Gaza, demolishes Palestinian homes, builds Jewish “settlements” in Palestinian land, erects walls to keep the Palestinians out of the way, and kills Palestinians at large.

In May 1967, McNamara, the famous defense secretary, rendered infamous for his role in the Vietnam war, had informed Israel’s foreign minister that American intelligence showed Egypt did not plan to attack. And Johnson, then US president, had feebly called on Israel not to start a war. A call with as much effect as the “concern” of succeeding US presidents, whenever Palestinians are dispossessed of their lands and new massive Jewish colonial settlements are established on Palestinian land.

1967, in my view, is a historical milestone for the US and its vassalage to Zionist interests – for previous administrations were or seemed to be somewhat more reserved.

For example and for a time, the Jews hailed Roosevelt as a modern-day Moses, until some of his actions and unofficial records surfaced from the archives. Vice President Henry Wallace annotated in his diary a discussion between Roosevelt and Churchill (May 1943), on how to settle the “Jewish question.”

The notes say, “The President approved a plan to ‘spread the Jews thin’ all over the world. He said he had tried this experiment in the Meriweather County in Georgia (where he lived in the 1920s,) by adding only four or five Jewish families at each place. He claimed that the local population would have no objection if there were no more than that.” This was enough for the Jewish community at large to label Roosevelt a ‘traitor.’

In 1948 Truman recognized Israel but did not sell arms to the Jewish state. And in 1956, when Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal, Eisenhower threatened intervention and a halt to all foreign aid, if Israel did not withdraw.

But by 1960, President Kennedy had well understood Jewish power and its influence on domestic policies – he delivered sophisticated armaments and strengthened relations with Israel.

Johnson equaled or bettered Kennedy. After Kennedy’s assassination he said to an Israeli diplomat, “You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one.” And he chose and appointed a full cadre of Jewish and pro-Israel advisers to the White House.

On Jun 8, 1967, reconnaissance flights over the Liberty, sailing about 15 miles off the Egyptian coast, began at 5.15 AM, the next round at 8.50 AM and several other Israeli planes and jets circled the ship until 12.45 PM.

At 1.30 PM three Israeli Mirage jets began the attack. Completely taken by surprise, Liberty’s skipper William McGonagle ordered the only two 0.50 mm guns manned and fired – they were quickly taken out by the jets and the gunners pulverized before they could fire the first shots, however ineffective could the shots be anyway.

The attacks continued, one every 45 seconds, as the jets strafed the ship and circled back for another round. They hit with cannon and rockets. Then they aimed at the engine room below the smoke stack. Next came Napalm bombs that turned the deck into an inferno.

Six minutes into the attack, the Liberty, with whatever communication resources were left, radioed for help to the Sixth fleet located further west. “Any station, any station, this is Rockstar, we are under attack.” The operator on the aircraft carrier Saratoga could not understand the message. On the Liberty they changed transmitter. After some interminable minutes Saratoga replied “Roger” and Liberty screamed, “We are under attack and need immediate assistance.”

But now the Saratoga operator asked for the identification code. The Liberty’s operator, with cannon from three jets strafing the ship, had to retrieve the code from a book, and finally Saratoga replied reassuringly, “Authentication is correct. I am standing by for further traffic.”

Meanwhile, before the air attack began, the Liberty’s radar operator had spotted three unidentified ships approaching fast, and alerted the captain. In the confusion and carnage that followed, as the dead and wounded piled on deck, no one thought of the approaching ships. Now Captain McGonagle saw through his binoculars that the three boats, maneuvering in attack formation, were Israelis. Up to that moment he and everybody else thought that the attackers were Egyptians.

In the meantime the original mast with the US flag had been hit – and the Liberty sailors raised a new larger American flag.

The forward torpedo boat opened fire on the defenseless ship. This would provide cover for the attacking boats to get close and launch their torpedoes. Though crippled himself and with a crippled ship operating with one engine, McGonagle attempted evasive maneuvers. Of the 5 torpedoes launched by the Israelis, one hit – creating a gash 24 ft high and 39 ft wide. The Liberty listed by 8 degrees; the entire intelligence section was instantly flooded trapping and killing 20 people.

Now the torpedo boats halted fire while remaining at less than 800 yards from the Liberty. Still shocked, amazed and in disbelief, the Liberty signaled repeatedly with a hand-held Aldis lamp, “US Naval Ship.” “

Do you need any help?” signaled the Israelis. A response that, in the circumstances, was almost adding insult to injury. “No” signaled back the Liberty.

The torpedo boats had not yet departed when two oncoming Israeli helicopters circled the ship. Fearful of more attacks, McGonagle had the international flag hoisted signaling “Not Under Command.”

At 6.40 PM another Israeli helicopter arrived and dropped a bag containing a business card from the US Naval Attaché at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Ernest Castle. On the back of the card there was a hand-written question, “Have you any casualties?” Which seemed another insult added to injury. The Liberty’s deck was a wreck, still strewn with blood and some dead sailors… impossible to miss.

How about the call for help from the Sixth Fleet? After the signal was authenticated, the Saratoga launched some fighter jets but, moments later they were unexpectedly and inexplicably recalled, waiting for the arrival of another aircraft carrier, the America.

Eventually, the planes from the America took off and the squadron leader, while reassuring the Liberty radio operator, asked a logical question, “We are on the way, who is the enemy?” Good question. For the sailors on the Liberty, as well as Captain McGonagle could not as yet believe their eyes that the enemies were the Israelis.

At that moment, 4.14 PM, both the Saratoga and the America received a message from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, as follows, “Israeli aircraft erroneously attacked US ship. Israel sends apologies and wants to know which other US ships are near the war zone.” The US carriers immediately recalled all air strikes.

The first US ship to reach the Liberty to carry away the dead and wounded arrived at 6.40 AM the next day. It took three days for the crippled vessel to arrive at Malta. 20 corpses had remained unreachable in the area hit by the torpedo, drenching the ship with a smell of death.

The plan was to repair the Liberty, enabling her return to the US. It was the beginning of a tortuous public relations battle.

While the ship was still en route to Malta, some White House advisers in Washington suggested sinking it, to avoid or minimize embarrassment.

In Malta, a large tarpaulin-looking cover hid the gash caused by the torpedoes. All crewmembers, injured and uninjured were ordered, under threat of punishment, not to answer any questions from the press.

Meantime in the US, the Administration struggled to find what to say or do. The US press was jubilant about Israel’s victory in the Six Day War. The Jews organized a rally in Washington to celebrate it. Placards said “Moses led us out of the land of Egypt, now Moshe Dayan has led us back.” Jewish White House aids Levinson and Wattenberg, in a memo to the President, suggested that he express his full support for Israel. David Ginsburg, a president’s friend and leader of the Jewish community even wrote the encomiastic speech that the President would later deliver at the rally.

In the jubilation for Israel’s victory, the Liberty affair appeared a minor incident. The press completely bought the idea that the Israeli attack was an error. Senator Jacob Javits, stated, “With Israel we know it was a mistake, a miscalculation could take place in any place in the world.” Incidentally, Jacob Javits is the same senator who pushed through immigration reforms intended to make Americans of European descent a minority. Today any restraint is gone. The message that Europeans and Americans of European descent should become a disposable minority has almost become mainstream.

In the meantime, Egypt had accepted the cease-fire, but Israel had opened another front in Syria, to occupy the Golan Heights. As for the Liberty, the main interest of the media was not the attack, the dead and the wounded, but why the Navy had a ship in the area. Which shows how often trifles excite an exuberance of interest, while the core of an event receives lesser or little attention.

The first official White House explanation said it was a scientific research ship doing its job, but this did not satisfy the press. If so, why not inform the Israelis of the ship’s presence?

The administration then concocted an even more unbelievable story. The Liberty was verifying if communications exchanged by bouncing signals off the moon were reliable. In scope and absurdity, the explanation parallels the answer given by the head of NIST (National Institute of Research and Technology), Shyam Sunder, while presenting the official NIST report on 9/11.

During the conference, a physics teacher, David Chandler, had clearly demonstrated with a video, that building 7 had fallen at the acceleration of gravity, the signature of a controlled demolition. Unable to challenge the basics of physics, the director said, “Gravity is the force that keeps the universe together.” (I am not making it up)

As the number of reported Liberty casualties mounted, one reporter, during a press meeting, asked what was the President’s reaction. The Whitehouse spokesman replied that the President was “deeply grieved.”

In the meantime, Israel claimed that the Liberty, when spotted, appeared to escape at high speed toward Egypt, flew no flag and looked like an Egyptian cargo ship, the “El Queseir”, which was actually half the size of the Liberty and designed to carry 400 men and 40 horses.

Though almost incredible today, the Liberty attack stirred little interest or controversy at the time. But we must remember the moment, filled with enthusiasm about Israel’s victory, which, thanks to the Jewish sponsored massive celebrations, made it almost appear as an American victory. And, more ominously, the moment was filled with concerns about the mounting problems in Vietnam.

Besides, the dead and wounded of the Liberty were less than the price paid in one day by America, in life and limb, to ‘defend democracy’ in Vietnam.

The New York Times called the attack one of the “many mistakes that invariably occur in war…. the Israeli, flushed with victory made an error in identification… accident rather than design snuffed out (sic) the lives of some and caused injuries to others of the Liberty’s crew.”

One other striking aspect of the aftermath was the almost total lack of concern for the victims, whose reported number increased each day, while many sailors faced catastrophic injuries and a life of disability, impairment and pain. Proving how everything, on this side of the grave, is regarded rather in consequence of the habit of valuing it, than from any opinion that it deserved value. For the relative indifference to the victims is proof of the relative indifference to their value.

The main objective (inside the White House and notably with Johnson and McNamara), was not to antagonize Israel, along with the fear of not appearing sufficiently pro-Israel with the cadre of Israeli-firsters that comprised advisers, consultants, aids and secretaries within the Administration.

There were multiple meetings and exchanges between Jewish members of White House and the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Cynically, some suggested that the attack on the Liberty could help weaken the accusations of American support for Israel, and gain some credibility with the Arabs.

It was now clear that the Administration had (or for that matter has) no leverage with the Jewish state. The US had urged Israel not to launch a war. Just 20 days before the attack, Johnson had affirmed America’s commitment to the “political independence and territorial integrity of all Middle Eastern nations.” Israel itself had claimed that it had no territorial ambitions. The reader can decide for himself on the value or worth of those words.

But in the fevered exchanges with the Israeli US embassy, the Administration achieved one ‘success.’ Namely, the Israeli embassy agreed to tone down and backdate an official statement, ready to be released, essentially accusing the US of being responsible for the attack on the Liberty.

The Israeli ambassador had suggested to Tel Aviv to at least hold responsible some of the attackers – suggestion fiercely rejected by Israel. The official Israeli court inquiry was, expectedly, a joke. So, for that matter, was the official inquiry conducted in the US, which mainly centered on discrepancies in the timing of the attacks as reported by the surviving sailors called to depose.

The final transcript mirrors the shallowness of the investigation. Many officers said the court seemed afraid of uncovering information that could prove that Israel deliberately attacked the Liberty. A sailor, Scott, photographed the first reconnaissance plane in the morning of the attack. He thought he had given the court a critical piece of information, but the court was uninterested. They dismissed his testimony stating that reconnaissance flights began much later. Declassified Israeli records show that the plane photographed by Scott, was indeed the first to conduct a reconnaissance flight. Nor the American government even asked Israel to let its pilots, torpedo boat skippers or commanders, testify in the US Court.

In the end, the “conspiracy theorists” of this tragic event are, officially, those who do not believe that the attack on the Liberty was a mistake. In this regard, it was almost a return to the future of 9/11 – when 19 fumbling Arabs scored a checkmate on America, and displayed unbelievable acrobatic maneuvering skills in piloting jumbo jets for the first time in their life.

In 1980 Israel paid 6 m$ to the families of the Liberty’s dead and wounded (in 3 yearly installments of 2 m$/each). This is a fraction of a fraction of what constitutes America’s yearly payments to Israel.

The final telling episode involves the wounded skipper of the Liberty, William McGonagle. He received the Medal of Honor for bravery, but Johnson refused to give it to him in person, which is the tradition – “so as not to offend the Jews”. An Admiral commented, “I am surprised they didn’t just hand it to him under the 14th Street Bridge.”

On June 8, 1997, McGonagle met the remaining survivors of the Liberty at the Arlington Cemetery. Through the years he had been publicly silent, though he did not believe in the error of identification. In what was to be his last and only related public address, he told the survivors, “It’s about time that the State of Israel and the US Government tell what happened to the crewmembers of the Liberty and the American people.” He died less than two years later.

The first terrorist attack and burning of a TWA plane on the ground occurred in 1970, when it became clear that Israel would not return the lands illegally occupied in the 1967 war.

That was the beginning of hijackings, terrorist attacks, murders, Intifadas, genocides in Gaza and Lebanon, wars and more wars. During the 1980s the new Israel’s Oded-Yinon Plan called for a greater Israel, from the Nile to the Euphrates. In the late 1990s came the call for a “New Pearl Harbor,” by the worthy husband of the equally worthy wife, Victoria Nudelman. In 2001 we had the “New Pearl Harbor”, followed by the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and countless other wars against sundry “terrorists.”

As far as we can know, the plan for a Greater Israel has not been canceled. During his administration, Obama declared that peace with the Palestinians should be achieved on the basis of returning to Palestine the lands occupied in 1967. Next day, uninvited, the Prime Minister of Israel, flew to Washington to deliver a counter-speech to the joint audience of Congress and the Senate. He received 29 standing ovations.

And how about Jewish influence? Here is a famous quote from the Los Angeles Times from Joel Stein, “I don’t care if Americans think we’re running the news media, Hollywood, Wall Street or the government. I just care that we get to keep running them.”

Jumping to current times, less known is the remarkable connection between Ukraine and the plans of Ihor Kolomoisky, governor (or now perhaps ex-governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk province and citizen of Israel, Ukraine and Cyprus.) Allegedly he is currently in Israel.

Kolomoisky was a key in organizing the Odessa massacre on 2 May 2014, with his private army, the 1st Dnipro Battalion. He also hired the son of US Vice-President Joe Biden, R. Hunter Biden, plus Secretary of State John Kerry’s support committee chairman, Devon Archer, as board members of his gas holding companies.

Though some related information can be found online, Kolomoisky’s plan is/was to turn Ukraine into a ‘second Israel,’ based on alleged historic claims by Ashkenazi Jews and their more or less mythical Khazarian (Ukranian) kingdom. Allegedly, Kolomoisky has spent millions to recruit right-wing Ukrainian nationalists and neo-Nazis from other parts of Europe to fight against the Russian-speaking majority in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, and elsewhere.

Still a puzzle is the current paradoxical situation of a Ukrainian Jewish leadership linked, via an undeniable relationship, with allegedly the most militant and determined openly-Nazi section of the Ukrainian militias. Considering that Ukraine has a long history of anti-Semitism, dating at least from the treaty of Perejeslav of 1654 between the Cossacks of the legendary hetman Bohdan and the Tzar Alexis. Who, Khmelnytsky, masterminded rebellions against Jews, hated tax collectors and usurers for sundry landlords and peasant victims.

A more recent legacy of anti-Semitism is connected with the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 led by Lazar Kaganovich, one of the Jewish Bolshevik leaders of the revolution.

Not long ago I interviewed a Ukrainian Jewish family that immigrated to America during the last years of the Soviet Union. Although I could not distinguish or identify them as Jewish, they reported being negatively commented-on by sundry passers-by who recognized them as Jewish (in Kyev).

Without entering into refined speculation behind what can be found on various media, including Israeli media, it is interesting and perhaps meaningful that the Russian leadership has been recently less cautious than usual in airing related unconventional views on the subject. Such as Hitler having Jewish blood (Lavrov) or the historic Bolshevik leadership being 95% Jewish (Putin)

In the circumstances, that the Jewish Ukrainian administration has obvious close ties with a militia that historically embodies anti-Semitism defies – I think – any rational explanation.

All in all there is as much mystery in the current Ukrainian government-military arrangement as there still is in the events surrounding the attack on the USS Liberty.

To conclude, I attempted to relate the main events of the attack on the Liberty, the related opinions of some among the victims of the attack, and of some among the managers of its aftermath. To the best of my knowledge the information is correct.

I think that much injustice has been done, and much justice left undone by the parties involved after the attack on the Liberty. Just as the Western dome of power currently exerts equal and preposterous injustice in the treatment of Russia’s “Special Military Operation,” for the benefit and befuddling of those forming the base of the pyramid of subordination.

However, I am equally aware that when truth intrudes uncalled, and brings unpleasant memories in her train, the passes of the intellect are barred against her by prejudice and passion. If sometimes, she forces her way by undisputable evidence, she seldom keeps possession of her conquests, but is ejected by some favored enemy or, at best, obtains only a nominal sovereignty, without influence and without authority.

The Nakba Is Ongoing, It Didn’t End In 1948

19 May 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

Robert Inlakesh 

For us to simply classify the Nakba as a single historical event, would be an incorrect framing, as the collection of atrocities visited on the Palestinian people by the Zionist regime represents an ongoing attempt to solidify the dominance of “Israel’s” settler-colonial project.

If “Israel” had already completed its project, it would have declared its borders, it has never done this and is still in the process of carving itself a State out of the Levant

By now most people familiar with the Palestinian cause know well of the horrific ethnic cleansing campaign that took place between 1947-9, during the creation of the regime that calls itself “Israel”. Little however, know much about the ethnic cleansing ongoing today, or perhaps their knowledge is limited to isolated cases.

The Nakba, or ethnic cleansing of Palestine, is often defined as a historical event in which over half of Palestine’s villages, towns, and cities were destroyed, and 450 towns and villages depopulated of their Palestinian inhabitants, amounting to the forced ethnic displacement of around 800,000 people. The word Nakba means “catastrophe”, which is what is used to refer to that time, but when we speak of al-Nakba in English, what we are doing is using a term with which we refer to a historical event often meaning the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 

Recently, Palestinian-American congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, introduced a House Resolution which would see the United States government recognise the Palestinian Nakba. “This Sunday [Nakba Day] was a day of solemn remembrance of all the lives lost, families displaced, and neighborhoods destroyed during the violence and horror of the Nakba. The scars bourn by the close to 800,000 Palestinians who were forced from their family homes and their communities, and those killed are burned into the souls of the people who lived through the Nakba,” said Tlaib. Although this would certainly be a major achievement to gain such recognition of Palestinian suffering, in essence meaning that the US government would be admitting the historic crime that the Zionist terrorist forces committed prior to declaring themselves a State, it is important that we not disconnect the past from the present.

The goal of today’s Israeli regime is very much the same as it was back in 1947, to occupy as much land as possible, with as few Palestinians on it as possible. In order to achieve such a goal, the settler-colonial project has taken different forms and used various tactics over the past 74 years, yet that same goal remains intact. 

The 1950’s saw large-scale incursions into the Gaza Strip and the further displacement of more refugees during this process, whilst those Palestinians who remained inside what would become “Israel”, were kept under military rule. Often known as the 1948 Palestinians, who today have Israeli citizenships, this portion of the Palestinian population consists of many who were considered to be “present absentees” by the Israeli regime, which translates to; the people who fled their villages and remained in what became “Israel” but were refused their right to return to their original villages. Israel quickly made use of laws implemented by the British occupation regime in Palestine, like ‘Article 125 of the Defense (Emergency) Regulations’, which Israel used as a legal basis for making Palestinian villages “closed military zones”, hence preventing the displaced natives from returning to their houses. Israel also implemented the 1950 Absentee Property Law, which is broad in its definitive language and would be used to declare displaced Palestinians as “absentees” in order to steal their homes. Between 1948 and 1950, it is also believed that Israel ethnically cleansed a further 40,000 Bedouin Palestinians, whilst also destroying more Palestinian villages along the Lebanese border and expelling thousands more Palestinians until 1956.

In 1967, during what was called the ‘Naksa’ (setback), again the tactics slightly changed, Israel had decided to illegally occupy all of historic Palestine and even beyond, expelling 300,000 Palestinians from their homes in the process. In 1969, roughly 100,000 more were forced to flee villages around the Jordan Valley area after successive Israeli air raids and military assaults against both Palestinian and Jordanian villages. 

Without summing up all of the cases of ethnic cleansing throughout the 74 years of the Zionist regimes settler colonialist expansion, it suffices to say this, the very same tactics and laws are being used by “Israel” today to do the exact same thing they did in the past. 

In the Naqab, where the majority of Palestinian Bedouins live today, Israel is attempting to ghettoize the people there. This means forcing them into a small number of so-called “recognised villages” and ethnically cleansing some 40 unrecognized villages, this is a throwback to the suffering of the people of the Naqab during and after 1948, when Zionist forces rounded up the remaining 11,000 Bedouin’s – of a community that were 100,000 prior to 1948 – and forced them to live in an area called al-Siyaj, where they were under strict martial law rule until 1965. Israel is today using the Jewish National Fund to work on “agricultural projects”, similar to what occurred in 1948, in order to usurp the lands of Bedouins. 

In the West Bank, the largest portion of “Area C”, is considered to be where “closed military zones” are, meaning that Palestinians are forbidden from entering these areas. In Area C (60% of the West Bank) it is also near impossible for Palestinians to get a building permit to construct a new home. The plan to ethnically cleanse the 1,000 Palestinian residents of the village of Masafer Yatta is just the latest in a long line of plans to expel Palestinians from their villages in the West Bank. Nevertheless, Israeli illegal settlers are granted a near carte blanche to establish outposts and settlements wherever they please, despite the fact that even by Israeli law many of these outposts are illegal. Israel is also using the “Absentees Property Law” to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homes in East al-Quds today, as we see in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah, in addition to areas in Haifa and Jaffa. 

I had the pleasure of working on producing a short documentary with Redfish, called ‘The Palestinian Nakba: In Memory and the Present’, in which we interviewed survivors of the 1948 Nakba, as well as Palestinians from the younger generations who are surviving it today. Unfortunately, this short documentary report has been censored in all corners of the internet. Due to Redfish – like many other platforms that report information from an alternative and critical perspective – having been booted off of Youtube and other social media platforms, the voices and stories of Palestinians are by proxy being silenced. It is this sort of content that attempts to portray the true story of the Nakba from a Palestinian perspective, yet the public are being robbed off this knowledge.

For us to simply classify the Nakba as a single historical event, would be an incorrect framing, as the collection of atrocities visited on the Palestinian people by the Zionist regime represents an ongoing attempt to solidify the dominance of “Israel’s” settler-colonial project. To say that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was simply taking place around the time of 1948 would be, in a way, bowing to the Zionist concept that their “State” model won and that the Palestinians have already been defeated. The Palestinian resistance is most certainly not defeated, this is an ongoing struggle and an ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign, which fits into “Israel’s” settler-colonial ambitions. Naming one single event as The Nakba is correct, but when isolating the concept of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine to atrocities visited on Palestinians singularly during 1948, we begin to paint a different picture of what the true picture is.

Many of the same legal concepts, language, arguments, and tactics that were used to ethnically cleanse Palestine in 1947 are today being used to do the same thing and the examples of this are clear for all to see. This is an ongoing battle, one of a people – the Palestinians – who are fighting to expel an invading and occupying usurper entity – the Zionist regime. If “Israel” had already completed its project, it would have declared its borders, it has never done this and is still in the process of carving itself a State out of the Levant, therefore everything “Israel” is doing today is part of its expansionist mission and for it to stand as a ethno-supremacist “State” it must cement itself on all the land it illegally occupies. Israel has not achieved its goals and the Palestinians are not defeated, therefore the ethnic cleansing of Palestine only ends when one side wins.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

نقطة تحوُّل على حافة الهاوية: «إسرائيل» بين الحرب الإقليميّة والحرب الأهليّة


الخميس 21 نيسان 2022

ناصر قنديل

معادلتان قاسيتان تعبران عن مأزق حكومة كيان الاحتلال، هذه الحكومة وأي حكومة لاحقة. المعادلة الأولى هي معادلة الردع التي فرضتها قوى المقاومة في المنطقة عموماً، والتي وضعت سقفاً لحدود القدرة العسكرية الإسرائيلية في فرض السياسات، بغياب قدرة أية حكومة إسرائيلية على كسر الجمود السياسي بمبادرات قادرة على إحياء المسار التفاوضي، ونجحت معركة سيف القدس بتسييل معادلة الردع العامة هذه الى معادلة خاصة، تضع مستقبل توحش وتغَوٌل المستوطنين والمتطرفين الدينيين اليهود في كفة تعادل نشوب حرب، تبدأ بين غزة وجيش الاحتلال، وتبقى فرضيّة تحوّلها الى حرب إقليمية مفتوحة. والمعادلة الثانية هي معادلة التبعية للتيارات المتطرفة بين المستوطنين والجماعات الدينية في الكيان، بصفتها الجماعات الوحيدة الباقية في السياسة، بعدما غادرت الأحزاب التاريخية المسرح وتلاشى بعضها، كنتاج لموت السياسة في الكيان، حيث الحرب والتفاوض في حالة موت سريريّ، وكما يبتز بنيامين نتنياهو حكومة نفتالي بينيت بالوقوف وراء المتطرفين أملا بالعودة الى المسرح، سيجد من يفعل معه المثل عندما يعود، وسيجد أنه يفعل ما فعله بينيت وهو في الحكم، وقد سبق لنتنياهو أن فعله مع معركة سيف القدس الأولى، قبل أن يطرده بينيت بقوة اللعبة ذاتها.

شيئاً فشيئاً يضيق هامش المناورة أمام أية حكومة في كيان الاحتلال، وتجد رأسها مضغوطاً بين فكي كماشة يقتربان من بعضهما تدريجياً، بحيث يصير على الحكومة، سواء كانت حكومة بينيت او نتنياهو وشارون، إذا عاد من قبره، أن تختار بين اثنتين، أولاهما، الذهاب بعيون مفتوحة نحو توفير الغطاء لتحركات المستوطنين والمتطرفين، المدفوعة بقوة عدم الثقة بالحكومات والسياسة، وبقوة القناعات العقائدية المتطرفة، التي تقوم على قتل العرب من مسلمين ومسيحيين، ووضع اليد على أملاكهم وتدمير مقدساتهم. وفي هذه الحالة تكون الحكومة مدركة بكامل وعيها أنها ستدفع ثمن تماسك المتطرفين والمستوطنين وراءها، بالمخاطرة بالذهاب إلى حرب جديدة مع المقاومة في غزة، ولاحقاً في المنطقة، وأن لا أمل يرتجى من الفوز بهذه الحرب عسكرياً، ولا قدرة على تحمل دفع الثمن اللازم سياسياً لوقفها، لأنه يبدأ بالأخذ على أيدي المستوطنين والمتطرفين، والتعهد بعدم انتهاك حقوق المقدسيين ومقدساتهم، وثانيتهما، التموضع بعيداً عن المستوطنين والمتطرفين تفادياً لخطر الحرب، وهذا سيعني لاحقاً الأخذ على أيديهم ومنعهم من التفلت من الضوابط التي تمنع نشوب الحرب، وهذا سيعني المخاطرة بالتصادم معهم، والانتقال تدريجيا الى مناخ انقسام أهلي يهودي، بين مفهوم سلطة تبحث عن الاستقرار الإقليمي في لحظة ضعف قاسية، ومفهوم مجتمع متطرف ومسلح ولا حدود لاستعداده لمواجهة مؤسسات السلطة عندما تعترض طريقه المرسوم بقوة العقيدة التي قامت على أساسها السلطة ذاتها, وبين خياري الحرب الإقليمية والحرب الأهلية، قد تطول الرحلة نسبيا، لكنها ستتقدم مهما حاولت حكومة الكيان، أية حكومة، التذاكي والسير بين النقاط تفادياً للبلل، لأن ما يبدو مجرد رذاذ اليوم سيكون غداً مطراً غزيراً.

كما ابتكرت حكومات الكيان نظرية المعركة بين حربين، لتفادي الاعتراف بالعجز عن خوض حرب، وهي تعلم أن صيغتها المبتكرة لا تغير في موازين القوى، ولا تشكل بديلاً عن خيار الحرب أو العودة للمسارات السياسية، وتعزّي نفسها بأنها تنجح بشراء الوقت أملاً بمجهول لا تعلمه ولا تملك أدنى إشارات على ماهيته وإمكانية قدومه، فيكفي شراء الوقت لترحيل اللحظة الحاسمة من حكومة إلى حكومة، ستبتكر هذه الحكومة وما يعقبها من حكومات نظرية ضربة على الحافر وضربة على السندان، فتبيع المستوطنين والمتطرّفين معركة يخوضونها وتقف وراءهم، كما فعلت في تبنيها زيارتهم الاستفزازية للمسجد الأقصى، ومن ثم تلجمهم كما فعلت في منع مسيرة الأعلام، من الوصول الى باب العامود، ولكن ذات مرة ستتحول واحدة من هاتين او كلتيهما الى مواجهة خطرة، وسيكون على حكومة الكيان، أية حكومة، أن تختار بين الحرب الإقليمية والحرب الأهلية، وما حدث بالأمس هو نقطة التحول على حافة الهاوية التي دخلتها حكومة بينيت وسترثها منها أية حكومة لاحقة.

WATCH: Jewish Settlers Occupy Historic Building in East Jerusalem’s Christian Quarter

March 28, 2022

Members of a Jewish settler organization occupy the Petra Hotel, in East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Al Qastal)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Members of a Jewish settler organization on Sunday moved into the Petra Hotel, in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. 

Palestinian Christians in Jerusalem consider the hotel “a strategic building that could affect the character of the Old City’s entire Christian Quarter,” according to the Israeli paper.

The building has been the subject of an 18-years-long battle between the settler organization Ateret Cohanim and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch. The Jewish settler group claims, according to Haaretz, that the building was “bought from the previous Greek Orthodox patriarch, Irenaios, in a controversial deal”.

Current patriarch Theophilos III tried to repudiate the deal, with no success, as the agreement was ratified by the Israeli Jerusalem District Court and later by the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, Jewish settlers, escorted by Israeli police, seized Petra’s first floor. Israeli forces arrested three Palestinians and prevented the Qirresh family, the hotel’s tenants, from entering the building, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Israeli Forces Attack Palestinians for Attempting to Reach Their Farmlands

March 29, 2022

Israeli forces attack Palestinians for attempting to reach their farmlands. (Photo: via QNN)

Israeli forces on Tuesday attacked Palestinians while attempting to reach their farmlands in the village of Qusra, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

WAFA correspondent said that Israeli soldiers fired teargas canisters at the villagers when they attempted to access the 300 dunums of their olive and almond groves in the eastern part of the village. The area was recently seized by the Israeli military.

This came just two days after a group of illegal Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Magdalim installed caravans on Palestinian lands in order to expand the settlement.

Additionally, last week, armed guards from the illegal settlement of Esh Kodesh used a military bulldozer to close with dirt mounds the road used by Palestinian villagers to access their lands.

(WAFA, PC, Social Media)

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Four Jewish Settlers, A Palestinian Killed in Bir Al Saba

March 22, 2022

Mohammad Abu al-Qaian was killed by Israeli forces in Bir al-Saba. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Four Israeli Jewish settlers were killed on Tuesday in a stabbing and ramming attack in the southern city of Beersheba (Bir al-Saba), Israeli media reported.

The attack was reportedly carried out by Mohammad Abu al-Qaian, a resident of the Bedouin town of Hura, near Beersheba. The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said that Qaian was shot and killed by Israeli occupation forces.

According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “Hundreds of right-wing activists are gathering at the scene of the attack.”

Islamic Jihad spokesman Tariq Salmi said that the attack was “a natural response to the crimes of the occupation in the Negev (Naqab),” adding that Israel “must realize that the Palestinian people will not surrender.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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Palestinian ex-Prisoner Kills Four Israeli Settlers in Beersheba: Video (Updated)

 March 22, 2022

The Palestinian ex-prisoner Mohammad Ghaleb Abu Qiaan on Tuesday carried out a dual car ram and stab attack on a number of Zionist setters in Beersheba, southern occupied Al-Quds, killing four of them.

In details, Abu Qiaan carried out the car ram attack and stepped down to stab a number of Zionists before he was shot dead.

The following video shows more:

The Zionist prime minister Naftali Benett started security consultations just after the operation.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian factions of resistance hailed the operation, stressing that it reflects the Palestinian determination to confront the Israeli occupation.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured during violent clashes with the Zionist occupation forces which stormed Qalandia camp and Kafr Aaqab, north of occupied Al-Quds.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

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My Day in Palestine: The Stunning Beauty and Cruel Reality of an Occupied Land

February 21st, 2022

Israeli security forces walk through the streets of Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem after the demolition of the family home of Palestinian militant Fadi Abu Shkhaidem, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. Abu Shkhaidem was fatally shot by Israeli police after he killed one Israeli and wounded four others in a shooting attack in Jerusalem’s Old City in Nov. 2021. Israeli officials say the demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view it as a form of collective punishment. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

By Miko Peled

MintPress News 

JERUSALEM — The ruins of the Palestinian village of Sataf sit on the slope of a beautiful hill on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Today the area is a Jewish National Foundation (JNF) park called “Har Eitan,” or Mount Eitan. It is covered in pine trees that were planted by the JNF to hide the Zionist crime of ethnic cleansing, a crime that has been designated as a crime against humanity.

In 2021, massive fires broke out on the hills surrounding Jerusalem and countless pines were burned, including the ones around Sataf. There is an 8 kilometer trail that goes around the mountain and people use it to hike and jog and sometimes ride mountain bikes. Parts of this trail are very steep and in some cases these steep parts go on for a good mile.

When I am in Jerusalem, Sataf is where I like to run, and the day after my arrival here in mid-February I went on a run. I don’t always run the full 8 kilometer circle because those steep hills are a killer, but this time I did. Running through the mountain I saw burnt towering pine trees, standing like a monument to the arrogance and stupidity of British and Zionist settlers and colonizers who think they know what’s good for the “colony.”

As I ran, I saw laborers, mostly Palestinians, cutting down these tall burnt matchsticks and I could see for the first time that the ground was visible. The plain earth under the trees was visible after all these years, and there was Palestinian landscape right there alive and well.

The terraces that were built and cultivated by Palestinian farmers throughout the centuries are still there, as are the olive trees, the occasional fig, and countless almonds that are now in full bloom. It is cold and rainy in Jerusalem now and so the ground is covered with small pink cyclamens and tall pancratium with white flowers that grow everywhere this time of year.

Sataf ruins

Trees planted by the Jewish National Fund engulf the ruins of Palestinian homes in Sataf. Photo | Zochrot

Reality confronts nature

The Northern Naqab is also green this time of year. Vast green spaces that have not yet been spoiled by Zionist encroachment allow for a truly wonderful getaway for an afternoon. Walking through the low hills of the Naqab as the sun sets and the moon comes up is an experience that allows us to imagine what Palestine was like before it was torn apart by Zionists and what can still be saved if we act fast. The reality of life in Palestine could hardly be more frightening and less inspiring than the natural phenomena I was describing.

Better still to do this with young Palestinian Bedouins from the Naqab who know the land and appreciate its value and beauty in ways that privileged settlers could never comprehend. I had an opportunity to have a chat with some young Palestinian Bedouins in Bi’r Al-Saba. It was a small gathering organized ad-hoc by activist friends who reject Zionism, stand up to defend their lands, and demand their right to maintain their way of life.

An Israeli woman who happened to be present when I spoke stormed out of the meeting. She said that I and the organizers were poisoning the young minds of these Palestinians. This arrogance, which is sadly characteristic among Zionists, leads many to believe that the problem is not the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Palestinians in the Naqab but rather their peers and people like me talking to them about it.

Sheikh Jarrah

In a moment of caring in the midst of madness and violence, like a lotus flower rising from the mud, a clown was walking among the crowd at the Sheikh Jarrah protest. I had seen her before many times; she gives out little heart-shaped stickers and in the summer she has a little spray bottle and she sprays people with cold water. The police brutalize her as they do anyone who dares to challenge them, even a clown.

In the protest that took place on Friday, February 18 she was there. The police acted with hate and brutality that matched the Amnesty International definition of Israeli crimes as Crimes against Humanity. At one point the clown, whose name I don’t know, stood in a row with other protesters facing the Israeli terror squads. They wanted the protesters to back off and immediately began to push.

When these guys push, they do it with the brutality of a herd of mad buffalos. The clown was pushed so hard it looked as though her entire torso was going to snap off. When the pushing and shoving begins, everyone runs or gets trampled. The violence was unprovoked, inexcusable and certainly unnecessary. The only violence during these protests comes from the police.

Israel Palestinians

Israeli riot police officers scuffle with protesters in Sheikh Jarrah, east Jerusalem, Feb. 18, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Sometimes empathy is all we have

Later in the evening, before I left the scene, I walked over to the clown to say thank you and see if she was alright. She was standing next to one of the older gentlemen, who lives in Sheikh Jarrah. Just as many of the other veteran residents of this neighborhood, he cannot wrap his mind around the reality that is unfolding around him. One cannot blame him, since it is a madness that no healthy mind can understand.

This gentleman was venting; then he went from venting to lecturing, then to expressing his rage and frustration, and then again confusion. The whole time I stood there she was present, listening to the man go on and on. She reached her hand out to me for a moment to say, “I know you’re here,” and she kept listening with her heart open to this man whose life is being terrorized by maniacal, racist, violent gangs who have the full weight of the Israeli state behind them. He clearly needed to speak out, even if it was to a clown.

The enormity of the process that is unfolding in Sheikh Jarrah is hard for people to grasp. Those of us who show up to express solidarity and to stand with the Palestinians who are victims of this crime against humanity cannot possibly feel the pain and fear that the Palestinians, who live through it and whose lives are being ruined, experience. To see this Palestinian gentleman stand before a clown and vent his feelings, and to see the heartfelt way in which she was listening, was a great way to end a very difficult day.

A stun grenade

About 10 minutes after I had left, while I was walking to my car, I heard two loud explosions. It was strange because the protest had ended, the police were just casually standing around and all that remained were people from the neighborhood singing and dancing. But that too needed to stop so they threw two stun grenades into the crowd.

The battle for Sheikh Jarrah could not be more important. The only way we can prevent the total destruction of the lives of the Palestinians in Jerusalem – and the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in particular – is by demanding that governments and nongovernmental organizations around the world apply the recommendations of Amnesty International’s report on Israeli apartheid, including compelling Israel to grant Palestanians their human rights, guarantee their right of return, and provide them with reparation for the loss of land and property they have endured under Israeli occupation.

Feature photo | Israeli security forces walk through the streets of Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem after the demolition of the family home of Palestinian militant Fadi Abu Shkhaidem, Feb. 1, 2022. Mahmoud Illean | AP

Miko Peled is MintPress News contributing writer, published author and human rights activist born in Jerusalem. His latest books are”The General’s Son. Journey of an Israeli in Palestine,” and “Injustice, the Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five.”

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect MintPress News editorial policy.

Parasite in action: How ‘Israel’ exploits normalizing Arab states?

February 17, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Ali Jezzini

“Israel” not only benefits more its security relations with normalizing Arab countries but ends exploiting these relations and causing damage to the security interests of the country in question.

According to the “peace treaty of 1979” between Egypt and “Israel”, the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian land, shall be divided into 4 zones, 3 of them extending on Egyptian soil

It is rare to find in the Israeli literature a concept that influenced the formation and fate of the Zionist project on the land of Palestine, as did the Iron Wall concept created by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who was a Russian-born Zionist. Jabotinsky is one of the first theorists of the so-called “Zionist Right-wing”. The concept does not mean physically building a wall of iron around occupied Palestine; instead, it invasions a wall that must depend mainly on forming a potent military organization on one hand, and creating an illusory psychological wall in the mind of the Arabs in general and the Palestinians in particular on the other hand.

The stones of this imaginary wall are ought to be made of Arab despair and frustration, according to Jabotinsky. While sometimes military defeats can contribute to Israeli plans of building such a wall, forcing normalization on Arab people does create the same effect. 

The wall in that regard is not just a mere protective barrier for the Israeli settlers, but a gateway to achieving Israeli colonial interests in the region. Not only do these interests go – naturally – against those who oppose the Israeli project but also against its supposed allies who expected to reap benefits from such actions, especially in the security sector. In this case, the Israeli alleged superiority in the military, as well as its advancement in the security technology domain, becomes a burden rather than a benefit to the normalizer. 

How come?

Egypt, when it all started

Map of the “1979 peace treaty” between “Israel” and Egypt (source: Palestineinarabic.com)

Perhaps the most significant setback of the Arab struggle against the Israeli occupation of Palestine was when Anwar Al-Sadat decided to turn his back on his Arab and Palestinian brethren and on what Jamal Abdel Nasser had accumulated for a noble prize and a fistful of nothing in exchange for “peace”.

While a colleague’s article had previously discussed the negative economic and political aspects that accompanied such an action made by Sadat, this article will focus on the security aspects.

According to the “peace treaty of 1979” between Egypt and “Israel”, the Sinai Peninsula, an Egyptian land, shall be divided into 4 zones, 3 of them extending on Egyptian soil while only one in occupied Palestine. In Zone A, Egypt shall maintain no more than one mechanized division of its army numbering no more than 22,000 soldiers. In Zone B, no more than 4 infantry battalions shall be deployed to support the local police, in military terms, meaning no more than 2000 soldiers for such a huge swath of Egyptian land. In Zone C, only local police are allowed inside this area and UN peacekeepers (they were not sent later on due to fear of Soviet veto).

On the other hand, despite Israeli military superiority, they were allowed to keep 4 infantry battalions, in a land strip extending parallel to the borders – its width is only a few Kilometers in contrast to the Egyptian tens of kilometers wide multiple zones. Without the need for an explanation, the treaty obviously limits Egypt’s sovereignty over a huge part of its lands, as any further deployment of Egyptian forces needs to be discussed thoroughly with the Israeli side before receiving an approval that might not come.

Starting from 2011, an insurgency launched by ISIS militants left more than a thousand deaths for the Egyptian army as well as more than 1500 civilians. Despite the fighting receding in the last few years, the insurgency wreaked havoc on the already poor Egyptian region, with the Egyptian army failing to take action since only local police were available at zone C. The militants knew that pretty well and made every use of it.

“Israel” allowed Egypt to send a limited number of troops on occasions to chase the terrorists from one zone to the adjacent one. The New York Times even claims that Israeli warplanes conducted raids inside the Eygptian national territories with Egypt’s consent on some occasions. Spokespersons for both the Israeli and Egyptian militaries declined to comment on such a claim. “Israel” says it allegedly allows Egypt to send forces based on the security needs of the latter, but still tangible results could have been different and many Egyptian soldiers coming from the least able social classes of Egypt would be still alive if it were not for the “peace agreement.”

A poison dealer: ‘Israel’ with Morocco 

On November 24, “Israel” and Morocco inked a “historic security pact“. The MoU, signed by Israeli security minister Benny Gantz and Moroccan counterpart Abdellatif Loudiyi, is said to be aimed at “collaboration and strengthening Israeli-Moroccan relations.” That MoU comes after both parties signed a cooperation agreement with Morocco, the first of its kind in the cyber security domain since the normalization of ties between Morocco and the Israeli occupation in 2019.

Morocco is also buying a new set of Israeli-made weapons and military hardware believing that it would increase its security, namely to counter Algeria. Several media reports, including those published before Gantz’s, detailed the Israeli-Moroccan arms sales. According to The Jerusalem Post Israeli newspaper, the Moroccan army is now deploying three Heron unmanned aircraft made by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), which were obtained through a French business to avoid any link with “Israel.”

Israeli made Heron drone

Morocco is also operating smaller drones purchased from the Israeli company BlueBird. Moroccan security forces got unmanned patrol vehicles from Robotim, an Israeli company that is partly owned by Elbit. Morocco has also purchased anti-drone systems from “Israel’s” Avnon company, which are built by Skylock.

According to Israeli media, Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide advanced air defense and anti-missile defense systems to Morocco as part of a $500 million deal. IAI will offer the Barak MX system, which uses surface-to-air (SAM) missiles to intercept all types of aircraft and missiles. According to Israeli Channel 12, the contract began with Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz’s travel to Morocco in late 2021.

Barak MX Israeli missile system

While all these systems can considerably increase the military capabilities of the Western equipped Moroccan armed forces, a problem arises when discussing military topics usually, since weapons are usually bought with the intention of pointing them in the direction of someone at one point, namely Algeria, whose stagnating relations with Morocco suffered even more after the latter’s normalization with the Israeli occupation. 

Algeria, an Arab state that never ceased to stand by the Arab and Palestinian cause, already announced that it finds itself targeted by Gantz’s visit in November, as well as by the increasing Israeli military support to its neighbor. Algeria faces even more challenges along its 1,427 km border with Morocco since “Israel” is increasing its intelligence presence in the latter, an action that Algeria is probably not going to tolerate as it threatens its national security.

The two North African countries share strong ties at all levels, as even some of them treat each other as one community and one people. Opening a gateway to the Israeli presence in the region is only going to increase the threat of an escalation between Algeria and Morocco. Whose interests such an escalation might serve? Most probably foreign powers that will seek to exploit such events to have a firmer foothold in the region, namely the European Ex-colonial powers.

A castle of glass: “Israel” and UAE

“Israel” did not wait long before it tried to exploit the war on Yemen, Naftali Bennet, the Israeli PM offered the UAE “security and intelligence support” after the Ansar Allah retaliatory attack on facilities in Abu Dhabi. According to The Times of Israel“Israel” even offered the UAE to export its “battle-tested” system, namely the Iron Dome, except that the system won’t only be to protect the UAE from Yemeni retaliatory attacks, but its radar system, the EL/M-2084, can be also used as an early warning system against Iran.

EL/M-2084 Iron Dome system radar

On January 31, some Israeli media even said that the UAE is “Israel’s” front in the Gulf region, adding that “If detection and warning systems are deployed in the UAE, they will be a cornerstone for a regional air defense system.” Israeli security minister Benny Gantz said that “Israel has a huge opportunity if it is able to sell the UAE detection and warning systems,” adding that if such systems were deployed in the UAE, they would detect any attack from the South (Yemen) and the East (Iran), “And this would be a cornerstone for a regional air defense system.”

The previously mentioned  EL/M-2084 radar system is a short-range radar system if compared to its bigger brother the EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar that possesses a greater potential to spot heavy ballistic targets, relaying information directly to the Israelis via data link.

EL/M-2080 Green Pine radar

On February the second, The UAE reached out to the Israeli Security Ministry through its embassy in “Tel Aviv” to explore how a formal request for delivering an advanced Israeli radar to Abu Dhabi would be received. The Green Pine Radar, according to its manufacturer, Elta, a subsidiary of “Israel Aerospace Industries,” will be able to detect and track dozens of missiles at vast ranges. The ELM-2090s, a more sophisticated version of the Green Pine, is said to be of interest to the UAE.

Such acquisition might prove destructive to UAE’s security, why is that?

Despite the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna with Iran, “Israel” has hinted several times about it being ready to “act alone” regarding the Iranian nuclear program, hence conducting a military strike. The problem with that rhetoric is that it is almost impossible to conduct such a complex and resources intensive operation alone, not only due to the Iranian active and passive defense systems but also because of the retaliatory second-strike capability that Iran possesses. Iran has a large and advanced arsenal of ballistic missiles aimed at “Israel,” deterring the Israeli occupation from conducting such non-calculated moves.

Early warning systems and radars in the UAE, can grant “Israel” a wider time frame between the launch time of a supposed retaliatory second strike and the moment they hit. The curvature of the earth prevents radar systems from over-the-horizon spotting of such missiles at the time of launch in Iran, which added to the land distance that degrades the effectiveness of radars, limits Israeli capabilities. So deploying a radar system in the UAE would address these security concerns right?

Radar horizon explained

The problem with deploying Israeli radar systems and early warning systems is not only that these systems can push the other party to target such systems that degrade the ongoing deterrence, but also put the UAE facilities hosting such systems in the crosshairs of any legitimate response.

After many years of avoiding confrontation with Iran, the UAE just painted a bull’s eye on its military facilities hosting Israeli manpower and hardware if any escalation is to happen in the future. How does is that supposed to provide more security to the fragile, foreign investment and tourism-dependent Emirate? 

Read: How normalization with “Israel” assassinated Egypt’s economy 

Evictions in Sheikh Jarrah: If ‘Housing is a Human Right’, Whose Rights Really Matter?

February 13, 2022

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

By Benay Blend

In 1948, the United States signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), acknowledging satisfactory housing as part of the human right to an adequate standard of living. Nevertheless, soon after the recent end of the moratorium, evictions slowly began to rise.

What unites all settler-colonial states, but particularly the U.S. and Israel, is the commonality of structural racism. Indeed, the latest uprising in Palestine stemmed from efforts to evict residents of Sheikh Jarrah in order to replace them with Israeli settlers.

It is this structural racism on the part of the Zionist regime that lends the liberation struggle to its international, anti-colonial caste.  Observes Onyesonwu Chatoyer, an organizer with the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party and the All-African Women’s Revolutionary Union, an editor with Hood Communist, also serving on the national committee of the Venceremos Brigade:

“From the very first days of its birth – born from a wave of African and Indigenous blood – the United States has built its empire on the backs of the masses of poor and colonized people inside and outside of its borders.”

According to the Eviction Lab, nearly one in four black renters lives in a county in which the black eviction rate is more than double the white eviction rate. Moreover, formal eviction proceedings are only a part of the problem. As Sophie Kasakove notes, many tenants are illegally locked out or their utilities are shut off, thus forcing them to leave their homes.

A case in point, drawn from a form-coming press release and Facebook posts: On February 5, 2022, Asantewaa (Mawusi) Nkrumah-Ture, a long-term community organizer in Philadelphia and anti-Zionist friend of Palestine, received a 30-day notice to vacate the home that she had been renting for several years. A short time later, some of the new owner’s family members started moving in while she is still in the house. Using a fraudulent lease with different language than the one she signed, the new owner declared that Nkrumah-Ture is now a month-to-month “housemate” confined to the bedroom rather than the entire house.

“We need stronger Good Cause Legislation in Philadelphia,” said Nkrumah-Ture. “Without it, landlords can sell their property, make a tremendous profit and push renters out using a move-in eviction, where a new tenant moves in while the current tenant is still there, using implied threats and other forms of intimidation to force the current tenant out. This is very dangerous and has a great potential for violence.”

In the United States, tenants like Nkrumah-Ture have access to the legal system, albeit that it often does not work in their favor. In Sheikh Jarrah, where Ramzy Baroud reports that “Israel uses ‘the law’ to ethnically cleanse Palestinians,” there is no such recourse to the courts. As Baroud points out, this most recent ethnic cleansing has a long history, justified “through a series of laws unique to Israel, laws that give a legal cover to outright theft and land robbery.”

Indeed, after a months-long physical and legal battle to avoid eviction, four Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah received the Israeli court’s decision  that they could stay in their homes for 15 years as “protected residents.” As such, they were required to pay the new Jewish “owners” a biennial sum of 2,400 shekels ($743).

There are major differences between illegal evictions in Jerusalem neighborhoods as a cover for ethnic cleansing and rising evictions in the States. Nevertheless, what unites them is communal resistance to what Chatoyer describes as settler-colonial violence.

From Gaza to Jerusalem and the West Bank, Palestinians participated in what came to be known as the Unity Intifada. “[This unity] eclipses Fatah and Hamas and all the rest,” wrote Baroud, “because without a united people there can be no meaningful resistance, no vision for liberation, no struggle for justice to be won.”

Moreover, Baroud contends that the uprising that was instigated by the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah was “but a microcosm” of a larger issue. The ongoing atrocities in Palestine date back to 1948 and continue to this day, but so does the resistance.

In Philadelphia, friends responded to Nkrumah-Ture’s call on social media for support in the face of eviction by intimidation. On February 7th she wrote: “If you want to witness a possible illegal move in/eviction, come to my house tomorrow, Mon. Feb. 7.” A group of supporters has been present since Mon. February 7th and will continue to support her as she faces move-out intimidation.

As in Palestine, the response was communal. Members of the Poor People’s Army and friends who represented various activist organizations arrived to ensure Nkrumah-Ture’s safety. Another commonality is that she represents only one case study of infringement on the housing rights of people all over the country, a crisis that looms larger as landlords seek to obtain higher rents in a booming housing and rental market.

In Palestine, the motive behind evictions is ethnic cleansing; in the U.S. it is disregard for what are considered disposable people whose rights matter less in a capitalist economy than those who reap high profits. What unites them is global resistance movements to settler-colonial states.

This kind of solidarity is crucial to Palestine’s liberation. While Palestinians have proved that they are quite capable of saving themselves, collaboration with the global South, which includes Black Americans, is an important step in the liberation struggle towards freedom.

Israeli settlers storm Sheikh Jarrah and attack Palestinians

Feb 13 2021

Net Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Al Mayadeen

Israelis attack the Salem family home, threatening to set it on fire.

Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood at the dawn of the morning, 13 February, 2022.

Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians gathered near the Salem family house today at dawn, which is threatened with eviction from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, occupied Al-Quds. 

According to Al Mayadeen‘s correspondent, the settlers attacked the Palestinian homes and vehicles with stones, and pepper-sprayed the neighborhood’s residents right by the Salem home, west of the neighborhood.

Israeli settlers also attacked the neighbors within the vicinities. Fatima Salem, a resident, joined and supported other neighborhood residents who were worried that the settlers would set Salem’s house on fire. 

In response to the settlers’ attacks, a run-over operation was conducted, injuring a settler in the neighborhood.

Hamas warned the occupation of “the dire consequences of their impingement,” which the movement described as playing in minefields bound to explode in the face of occupation. 

Hamas spokesman in Al-Quds Muhammad Hamada said that the settlers’ attacks on the people in the dead of the night, which were led by Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir, are a blatant aggression against the residents. He said that the settlers are playing with fire in Al-Quds, a place where the entirety of Palestine is ignited for with everything it possesses. 

Hamada called on the Palestinian people, especially in Al-Quds, to mobilize in “support and relief our people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.” He urged all Palestinians to turn the cities and villages of the West Bank and Al-Quds into “fields of confrontation against the brutal occupation and its cowardly settlers.”

In turn, the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine stressed that what the occupation and settlers “are doing against our people in Al-Quds and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is a brutal attack that cannot be tolerated.” 

The movement declared that the “Israeli enemy bears full responsibility for the continued attacks on our people in Sheikh Jarrah and their property, and must bear the consequences of that.”

‘Israeli’ Regime OKs Plan for 1,500 New Illegal Settler Units in Occupied Al-Quds

Feb 4 2020

By Staff, Agencies

An ‘Israeli’ occupation committee approved a plan for the construction of 1,500 new settler units in the occupied East al-Quds, as the Zionist regime steps up its land grab and forced eviction policies in the Palestinian territories in defiance of international law.

The Tel Aviv regime’s so-called organization and building committee of the al-Quds municipality on Thursday said it had approved the plan for constructing 1,500 units in East al-Quds, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The illegal settler units are to be built on an annexed land located between the French Hill and the Hebrew University in the holy city, and the construction will begin on an area that stretches over 150 dunums.

The new settlement scheme will include 500 rooms for Zionist students, 200 fortified rooms, several settling towers and public buildings, the report added.

Since early January, the Tel Aviv regime has approved four settlement expansion schemes, including a plan to expand the Hebrew University.

More than 600,000 Zionists occupy more than 230 settlements built since the 1967 ‘Israeli’ occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All ‘Israeli’ settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The United Nations Security Council has condemned Tel Aviv’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

In addition to expanding its illegal settlements, the ‘Israeli’ entity restricts freedom of movement for Palestinians not only in and out of Palestine but also within it. Zionist settlers, backed by the military, also routinely storm the al-Aqsa mosque and provoke clashes with Palestinian worshipers.

‘Israel’ Occupation Forces Palestinian Man To Demolish Own Store in Al-Quds

January 14 2022

By staff, Agencies

The ‘Israeli’ occupation forces obliged a Palestinian man to demolish a commercial unit in the occupied al-Quds, as the Tel Aviv regime continues to press ahead with its illegal settlement expansion and land grab policies across the Palestinian territories despite international outcry.

Palestinian media outlets reported on Thursday that the ‘Israeli’ occupation authorities left Jamal Mohammad Ali with no choice but to totally knock down a commercial store belonging to him in Shuafat refugee camp.

The Palestinian man had to begin demolishing the structure, which had an area of 150 square meters and was still under construction, with his own hands to avoid paying unreasonable demolition costs to the Zionist occupation municipality.

Also on Wednesday, the occupation forces tore down about a dozen Palestinian-owned buildings and structures in the occupied West Bank city al-Khalil. They forced their way and carried out a large-scale demolition campaign east of Yatta town, south of al-Khalil.

At least five houses, five agricultural facilities, and a water well were demolished during the campaign.

The Tel Aviv regime routinely demolishes Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, claiming that the structures have been built without the so-called permits, which are almost impossible to obtain. They also sometimes order Palestinian owners to demolish their own houses or pay the costs of the demolition if they do not.

The Tel Aviv regime plans to force out Palestinian families from different neighborhoods in East al-Quds in an attempt to replace them with settlers.

The United Nations has reported a 21 percent increase in the number of Palestinian structures that were confiscated or destroyed this year.

Meanwhile, the international community considers ‘Israeli’ settlement construction illegal under international law. Nearly 700,000 Zionists occupy illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned Tel Aviv’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Settler’s Crimes in W Bank

125 Palestinians Injured As “Israeli” Settlers, Troops Raid Village in W Bank

December 24 2021

By Staff, Agencies

At least 125 Palestinians have been wounded in violent attacks by “Israeli” forces after hundreds of “Israeli” settlers attempted to break into and raid a village near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

42 Palestinians, including a local journalist, were injured by rubber-coated bullets and 83 others suffered breathing problems after inhaling tear gas fired by “Israeli” soldiers in the village of Burqa, northwest of Nablus, on Thursday evening, the Palestinian Red Crescent [PRC] said.

The PRC said a girl was treated for shock after a group of violent “Israeli” settlers attacked her family’s home on the outskirts of the village, Wafa news agency reported.

Under the protection of “Israeli” soldiers, the setters also attacked several vehicles, three houses, and a car wash belonging to Palestinians.

They also vandalized a number of gravestones in a cemetery in the village. Two ambulances were hit by “Israeli” troops with stun grenades and tear gas canisters.

“Israeli” settlers routinely engage in violence and vandalism against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

After the 1995 accords, the “Israeli” regime confiscated 1,014 dunams of land from the village of Burqa in order to establish the “Israeli” settlement of Homesh. The settlement was evacuated in 2005 but was later used by the “Israelis” as a military base.

“Israeli” settlers have been calling on the regime to let them return to the Homesh settlement

Two Palestinians were killed in the area by the regime’s forces on Tuesday and Wednesday as “Israeli” forces and settlers ramped up their violent attacks against Palestinians.

On Monday, 70 Palestinians were injured by “Israeli” forces in Burqa after an attack by “Israeli” settlers on Palestinians’ vehicles in the area.

More than 600,000 “Israelis” live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 “Israeli” occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All the settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned the “Israeli” entity’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Meanwhile, local sources said a Palestinian man was hospitalized on Thursday evening after being brutally beaten up by “Israeli” soldiers near the village of Bazariya, northwest of Nablus.

Mohammad Saleh Hajja, 50, was on his way home when the “Israeli” forces stopped, assaulted, and brutally beat him. He was then thrown on the side of the roads, the sources said.

Doctors at Thabet Thabet Public Hospital in Tulkarm, where he was taken afterward, said Hajja was in an unstable condition.

Zionist Settler Runs Over, Kills Palestinian Lady in Occupied West Bank

December 24 2021

By Staff, Agencies

A middle-aged Palestinian woman was martyred after a Zionist settler ran him over in the central part of the West Bank, hours after dozens of Palestinians sustained injuries in violent attacks by ‘Israeli’ occupation forces during a raid into a village in the occupied territories.

Palestine’s official WAFA news agency reported that 55-year-old Ghadeer Anis Masalma was struck at the entrance to the town of Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah, on Friday noon.

WAFA’s sources added that the settler fled the scene after the attack.

There have been scores of “hit and run” incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, with most of them largely going uninvestigated by Zionist regime authorities. Some of such events have even resulted in fatalities.

A Palestinian boy, identified as Abdul-Rahim al-Jabari, was injured on September 2 after an ‘Israeli’ settler ran him over near the illegal Zionist settlement of Kiryat Arba.

On May 30, an ‘Israeli’ police vehicle ran over and injured a Palestinian teenage boy for raising a Palestinian flag on his bike in the occupied al-Quds neighborhood of Ras al-Amoud.

US on Homesh Attack: Use of Force in Self-Defense is Only for Israelis, Not for Palestinians

December 21st, 2021

By Miko Peled

Source

HOMESH, OCCUPIED PALESTINE – The issue of illegal Jewish settlements is in the news again, this time owing to a recent attack by Palestinian fighters who opened fire on a car carrying Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank. One of the settlers was killed and two were injured as their car was traveling near what Israeli sources call an “illegal settlement” named Homesh, an outpost erected and maintained without Israeli government or military permission. The settlers were traveling home to another settlement, Shavei Shomron. Settlers in the region are militant fanatics known to be particularly violent, and have on numerous occasions attacked Palestinians who live in neighboring villages.

International law

According to Amnesty International, “Israel’s policy of settling its civilians in occupied Palestinian territory and displacing the local population contravenes fundamental rules of international humanitarian law.” As listed on Amnesty’s website, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:

The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.

The Geneva Convention also prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory.” Israel circumvents this by claiming that it is not an “occupying power,” but rather the sole sovereign power in all of Palestine. This view, while not popular or an accurate reflection of the law, is also held by many of Israel’s friends around the world.

A report published this November in France24 says that the United Nations accused Israel of “flagrantly violating international law by expanding settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” According to the report, the UN also claimed “settlements are illegal” and urged Israel’s government to halt the planned enlargement of settlements immediately.

The France24 report goes on to say that the U.N. Mideast envoy, Tour Wennesland, said in a briefing, “I again underscore, in no uncertain terms, that Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law.” Wennesland also characterized the settlements as “a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

Consecutive governments of Israel have made no secret of the fact that they have no interest in a two-state solution, or any other solution for that matter. Since 1967, Israel has done everything in its power to make sure such a solution would not be possible. In October of 2020, the United Nations news site UN News reported that the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, commented that, “Israeli settlements continue to devour the land that is meant for the independent Palestinian State.” Since consecutive Israeli governments have openly declared that they have no interest in the creation of a Palestinian state, this is hardly surprising. Lynk also added that the international community “observes, it sometimes objects, but it does not act.” Lynk made the comments as the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Planning Committee was approving the construction of close to 5,000 additional homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. “It is high time for accountability,” Lynk said.

Jews may live wherever they want

The funeral procession of the settler who was killed in the attack began at the “illegal” outpost where he was killed, Homesh. Several Israeli politicians spoke during the funeral, which took place in Jerusalem. The former mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barakat, who at one point called on Jewish citizens of the city to carry arms to protect themselves against “Palestinian attacks,” was at the funeral. Barakat is one of several Likud Party members posing a serious challenge to the current party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

During the funeral, Barakat said, “Jews are allowed to live wherever they want, and we will protect that right” – thus ending any question that may have arisen regarding the legality, or lack thereof, of any Israeli settlement in Palestine.

Yehuda Dimentman
Bezalel Smotrich, left, attends the funeral of slain Israeli settler Yehuda Dimentman, 25, December 17, 2021. Photo | Samaria Regional Council

According to The Times of Israel, Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the militant right-wing Religious-Zionist party, said Homesh should be strengthened and further built as a response to the attack. Smotrich said that he believed God “sent Yehuda [the slain settler] to us to instruct us to return to Homesh, to build the Yeshiva, to strengthen Torah at Homesh.” The Homesh outpost was supposed to have been abandoned in 2005 but has since been retaken by a group of settlers.

The US offers no solutions

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price made a statement regarding the attack: “We strongly condemn the terrorist attack today in the West Bank that killed an Israeli citizen and wounded two others. Our thoughts are with the victims of this attack and their families.”

In a press briefing in March, when Price was asked repeatedly by Associated Press reporter Matt Lee “Where do Palestinians go to address their problems?” he refused to give an answer. Then, in May, while speaking of Israel’s right to self-defense, Price said, “The right to self-defense includes the use of force.”

One cannot help seeing the glaring contradictions and double standards in U.S. foreign policy. If Palestinians have no recourse and no one to whom they can turn to address the injustice and violence they face from Israel, and if the right to self-defense includes permission to use force, why then is Price condemning the Palestinian attack against the perpetrators of violence?

Hypocrisy

The term “illegal” Jewish settlement leads one to believe that somewhere out there are “legal” Jewish settlements and the question that begs to be asked is “Where?” Where are there Jewish settlements in Palestine that are legal?

Another question it raises is “What makes a settlement legal?” According to Israel, there is no difference between the legality of Jewish settlements built in the Naqab, the Galilee, Jerusalem, or “Judea and Samaria.”

Furthermore, it should be clarified that settlements are, in many cases, large towns and even cities. The city of Omer in the Naqab is no more legal than Kiryat Araba in Hebron, Ariel in the West Bank, or Ma’ale Edomin on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Practically all Israeli towns and cities are illegal settlements. If we accept the legality of Tel-Aviv, then we may as well accept the legality of Homesh. Israel certainly does. If so, the United Nations and Amnesty International should admit that Israel has no legitimacy, or at least stop pretending to care.

Calls for Prompt International Intervention to Stop ‘Israeli’ Settlers Terrorism against Palestinian Villagers

Dec 18 2021

By Staff, Agencies

The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called upon the international community to intervene immediately, and to pressure the ‘Israeli’ occupation regime into stopping “acts of terrorism” committed by extremist settlers against Palestinian villagers and their communities.

The ministry, in a statement, urged UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to promptly activate the international protection system for Palestinian civilians under the ‘Israeli’ occupation.

It said it is gravely concerned about the rise in systematic attacks by ‘Israeli’ settlers on Palestinians, especially in the northern West Bank villages of Qaryout and Burqa as well as in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East al-Quds, which have left dozens of people injured.

The ministry held the regime of extremist Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett fully and directly responsible for settler violence and terror, and warned against the dangerous repercussions of their acts on the status of the region.

Additionally, the Palestinian Authority’s presidency called on the international community to swiftly put an end to ‘Israeli’ settlers’ terrorism against the defenseless Palestinians.

It stressed that the ‘Israeli’ occupation authorities are encouraging and protecting settler violence, which is soaring on a daily basis.

The PA said stability will not prevail as long as Palestinians do not enjoy calm, adding the current situation will keep the Middle East region in a cycle of violence.

Dozens of extremist ‘Israeli’ settlers raided Qaryout village southeast of Nablus early Friday, injuring several Palestinians and causing material damage.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors ‘Israeli’ settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said the settlers broke into many homes in the town, and assaulted local families.

Scores of Palestinians were injured in the process, who were moved to several hospitals in Nablus.

The Tel Aviv regime occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza.

More than 600,000 Zionist settlers occupy more than 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.

Nablus Resists: Zionist Settler Killed, Others Injured in Palestinian Shooting Operation in West Bank

December 17 2021

By Staff

A new blood injected in young Palestinian resistance fighters is turning the occupiers’ life into nightmares.

In yet another heroic resistance operation against the ‘Israeli’ occupiers, one Zionist settler was killed and two others sustained injuries on Thursday evening after a shooting carried out from the side of a speedy vehicle near the “Homesh” settler outpost northern occupied West Bank.

‘Israeli’ media confirmed the reports about the death of one of the ‘Israeli’ settlers.

In further details, Zionist media stated that “a speedy vehicle opened fire towards settlers in another vehicle, hitting three of them, one of which was in critical situation [who died later], while the two others sustained mild injuries.”

In the aftermaths, the Zionist military radio noted that “a large number of ‘Israeli’ troops are looking for the vehicle in the occupied West Bank to find the perpetrators of the operation.

The “Homesh” settlement was constructed on the occupied lands of the Palestinian towns of Barqah and Saylat al-Dahr.

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