NETHERLANDS PUTS THE EU BOYCOTT INTO ACTION

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It’s not just words …. it’s actually happening :)
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Netherlands: Retailers ban goods from settlements

Dutch media reports 2 of country’s largest retail chains announce they will not sell more products originating beyond Green Line. Foreign Ministry: ‘Boycott is tainted with hypocrisy, prejudice’

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Following the European Union announcement regarding official guidelines prohibiting the funding of Israeli bodies and actions beyond the Green Line, it was reported Monday in the Netherlands that at least two large retail chains in the country have stopped selling goods produced in Israeli settlements. A third chain assured its customers that the sources of its products are unrelated to the settlements.

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According to Dutch news website Trouw, the two chains that announced they will not be selling products originating in settlements are Aldi and Hoogvlit. The chains are particularly popular in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The third chain that makes a distinction between Israeli products is Jambo.

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מחרימה. רשת ALDI

Aldi branch in Holland

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חרם על מוצרים בהתנחלויות. הדיווח באתר ההולנדי

Report on Dutch Trouw website

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גם מחרימה. רשת HOOGVLIET (צילום: M.M.Minderhoud)

Hoogvliet, bans products from settlements (Photo: M.M.Minderhoud)

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In a research conducted by Trouw with several supermarkets in Holland, several Aldi and Hoogvlit representatives confirmed the ban. Aldi even demanded its suppliers to not supply products from the settlements anymore. The chain’s spokesperson commented that Aldi is not interested in its products “being part of public discourse in any way.”

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Full report HERE

VIDEO DEBATE ON EU’s POSITION ON APARTHEID

Photo © by Bud Korotzer
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What will new EU guidelines that ban funding of Israeli institutions operating inside the occupied Palestinian territories really mean?
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Watch: Ali Abunimah, Guardian’s Ian Black and Israeli settler debate EU settlement rule

 Ali Abunimah
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What will new EU guidelines that ban funding of Israeli institutions operating inside the occupied Palestinian territories really mean?

Ali Abunimah appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story on 17 July to discuss the question along with the Guardian’s Ian Black and Yishai Fleisher, an Israeli settler living in an illegal colony in eastern occupied Jerusalem.

“The settlements are war crimes, people who aid and abet the settlements are and should be treated as war criminals. In that context, this European move is very small, very little and very late,” Abunimah said.

“When I listen to the settler speak about biblical claims, biblical justifications to steal other people’s land and property,” Abunimah said of Fleisher, “I’m reminded … that at one point in humanity’s dark history, white slave owners used the bible to justify owning other human beings.”

Black argued that the EU’s “clear intention is to say that there is a difference between the State of Israel and the territories it has occupied since June 1967.”

He added that the EU move was designed to “raise awareness … that internationally the situation is untenable” and that the cost of the status quo for Israel is rising.

Black emphasized that the EU move came partly as a response to “the call from below, from ordinary citizens” in Europe for settlement goods to be labeled and for “boycott, divestment and sanctions” on Israel. “I think we’re seeing the European Union respond to that.”

Fleisher, who admitted to living in an area of eastern occupied Jerusalem being actively ethnically cleansed by settlers, claimed that the decision “delegitimizes” the European Union.

Also see:

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INVESTING IN APARTHEID NOW ILLEGAL IN THE EU

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.
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האיחוד האירופי עושה הבדלה. בית אל

Israeli settlement Beit El

EU bans contracts between member states, settlements

New decree restricts any Israeli entity beyond 1967 lines from EU funding, prizes, grants. Housing Minister Ariel: Decision reminiscent of Holocaust

Attila Somfalvi

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The European Union has decreed that contracts between EU member states and Israel must include a clause stating that east Jerusalem and the West Bank are not part of the State of Israel and therefore not part of the contract, it was reported on Tuesday.

The decree, which will go into effect Friday, will forbid any cooperation, awarding of grants, prizes and funding for any Israeli entity in the specified areas.

The EU’s funding, direct and indirect, of Israel bodies which operate in the settlements has long drawn fire from various organizations within the Union. The EU is severely opposed to Israeli construction beyond the 1967 lines, and has acted repeatedly to draw a clear line between Israel and its settlements in the West Bank.

The latest decree resulted from the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusion from December 2012, which stated that “all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

However, the directive will not harm funding for research institutes, such as the Hebrew University, which employs settlers in their staff. Government ministries which have offices in east Jerusalem, such as the Justice Ministry, will still enjoy the EU’s cooperation as well.

An EU official said on Tuesday that Israel should not be surprised with the directive, as the issue has been repeatedly addressed and forewarned by EU officials.

The new directive, said the official, is in line with opinions in the EU which have been prevalent for several years.

MK Ariel: Decision tainted with racism

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office MK Ofir Akunis said in response that “it’s a wrong and regrettable decision. Such steps – even before the Palestinians announced they are even ready to return to the negotiation table – are pushing the peace talks away, not drawing them closer.

“Let them know even in Europe – Judea and Samaria are not ‘occupied,’ they’re the homeland of the Jewish nation.”

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) said in response to the decree: “This decision is tainted by racism and discrimination against the Jewish people which is reminiscent of the bans against Jews in Europe over 66 years ago,”

Minister Ariel added that “The Israeli government must not, under any condition, by a part of any future agreement which includes a clause that Judea and Samaria are not a part of the sovereign State of Israel.”

The Yesha Council stated that “To our regret, in Tisha B’av Europe has returned to a policy of boycott and segregation against the State of Israel. Europe’s unrestrained support of the Palestinian Authority has turned it into a non-neutral element.

“The Israeli government must instruct the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry to immediately halt all European projects in Judea and Samaria until this unilateral decision is aborted.”

Some in the Israeli Left congratulated the EU’s decree, and accused the government of bringing it upon itself for not pursuing the peace process. “The EU is benefitting Israel by marking the border which the Israeli government failed to mark,” said Meretz Chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On.

“This isn’t a boycott of Israel, but a distinction between Israel and the settlements and the occupation. The decision is the result of the complete impasse in the peace process and continued construction in the settlements and outposts,” she added.

Peace Now said in response that “The EU’s decision sends a clear message: The world doesn’t recognize the settlements and they contradict universal, democratic values. The Israeli government is running a rearguard battle against the international understanding that the Israeli occupation of the territories must end.”

Source

BIG BRAVE ISRAELI SOLDIERS ARREST A 5 YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN (VIDEO)

 Any mother would be proud of these soldier boys (sic)
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The father said he tried to persuade the officer not to take the boy to the District Coordination and Liaison Administration. The officer told him he would be arrested as well if he didn’t let the boy go.
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WATCH: IDF soldiers detain five-year-old Palestinian for stone-throwing in Hebron

Video shot by activist from Israeli rights organization B’Tselem shows soldiers circling child; another video shows boy alongside his handcuffed and blindfolded father; army to investigate.

 Gili Cohen
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Screenshot of the B'Tselem video.
Screenshot of the B’Tselem video.
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Israel Defense Forces soldiers earlier this week were videotaped detaining a five-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron, after he allegedly threw a stone at an Israeli car on Tuesday.

The video, shot by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, shows soldiers from the Givati Brigade stationed in the West Bank city detaining Wa’adi Maswada, aged five years and nine months.

In the video, one of the soldiers is heard asking the boy, “Where is Daddy?” Several local residents try to speak to the soldiers and deter them from proceeding with the arrest. One of the soldiers then tells them [in English], “He’s a child, eh?… No, but he threw it.” Another soldier says to the boy and the crowd, “Get over here, don’t set me off.” A Palestinian teenager takes the child by his hand and leads him off to the side. The whole time the 5-year-old can be heard crying.

Six soldiers can be seen gathering around the two, as the teenager stars telling the commanding officer from the Givati Brigade where the child lives. The child is led to a military Jeep, and the officer tells the child, “Climb in with me.” The child starts to flail and tries to run away, still crying, while residents start to gather around. An older person arrives and takes the child’s hand and they climb up together, as the boy continues to weep and is eventually dragged into the Jeep.

According to reports by B’Tselem, the soldiers arrived at the home of the Maswada family together with the boy. The mother was home at the time, according to B’Tselem, and the officer told the mother he was going to turn the child over to Palestinian police, but that they refused to take him before his father, Karem, arrived. Half an hour later the father came home, and the officer told him he was arresting the boy and turning him over to the Palestinian police.

“I asked the officer, ‘Why would you arrest a five-year old?’” the father said in his testimony to B’Tselem. “A soldier standing next to the officer showed me a stone and claimed my son threw it and that it hit the tire of a Jewish settler’s car driving north near the Abed checkpoint.”

The father said he tried to persuade the officer not to take the boy to the District Coordination and Liaison Administration. The officer told him he would be arrested as well if he didn’t let the boy go.

“I went inside and brought Wa’adi out,” the father said. “He was hiding inside, crying.” According to testimony from the family, the two were taken to a military base where they were detained for about half an hour. Afterward the two were brought to the police checkpoint in Hebron.

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Another video shows the father, his eyes covered with a piece of flannel, handcuffed, with the boy standing next to him. At the same time, one of the soldiers pulls out a digital camera and documents the B’Tselem field worker who is filming the events. According to the family, about half an hour later, a lieutenant colonel shows up, apparently from the local District Coordination and Liaison headquarters. Only after he arrives are the father’s blindfold and handcuffs removed, and the officer starts to interrogate the man. Relatives report that a Palestinian liaison officer later arrived accompanied by several policemen. The father and son were handed over and taken to the Palestinian police station. After a brief interrogation they were released.

In a letter to the legal counsel for the Judea and Samaria Division, Jessica Montell, executive director of B’Tselem wrote, “The video shows clearly that this was not the error of a lone soldier but rather conduct that, appallingly, is seen as reasonable by all involved, including senior commanding officers. It is especially astonishing that, at no point during this incident, were any red flags raised: not by the fact that they terrified a 5-year-old, threatened him and his parents about turning them over to the Palestinian police, threatening to arrest the father, which has no legal basis whatsoever, and not his handcuffing or blindfolding in the presence of his young child.”

Two days ago, the website of Hakol Hayehudi reported that a week ago, soldiers handcuffed two Jewish children, aged 10 and 13, using plasticuffs, after the two showed up at a construction site between the village of Assira A-Kabilla and the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar where reservoirs are being dug. According to the website, the soldiers who were securing the location detained the two children for several minutes and released them only after warning them never to come back to the site.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit responded to the report by saying: We regret that B’Tselem has chosen – on a regular basis – to distribute videos of this kind to the media before clarifying the issue with the army first. The incident involved a minor who threw stones at a road in Hebron. IDF soldiers detained the minor, transferred him to his parents and then to Palestinian police for further handling.”

Another army official said the child was not arrested at any point, and that “it is unnecessary to point out that a stone thrown by a minor can harm a person. The military prosecutor is not yet familiar with the incident. It will be investigated by the relevant authorities.”

Regarding the incident in Yitzhar, an IDF official said that forces tried to prevent the youths from acting out in the area where the soldiers were and from damaging their personal equipment. “At no point in time were the youths handcuffed or arrested,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

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NO BIG MACS FOR SETTLERS!

LET THEM EAT CAKE!
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McDonald’s confirmed to that it did not intend to open in Ariel and said that its refusal to operate in the West Bank “had always been the restaurant chain’s policy,” according to the report.
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Report: McDonald’s refuses to open branch in Ariel
“Golden Arches” says move is consistent with its policy.
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The McDonald's Golden Arches.
The McDonald’s Golden Arches. Photo: Reuters
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McDonald’s Israel has refused an offer to open a branch of its restaurant chain in a mall slated to be built in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, according to a report in the Calcalistnewspaper.

Tzahi Nahmias, the realtor who is marketing the mall’s commercial space, told the paper that McDonald’s refused to open a branch because Ariel is located beyond the Green Line.

McDonald’s confirmed to that it did not intend to open in Ariel and said that its refusal to operate in the West Bank “had always been the restaurant chain’s policy,” according to the report.

Nahmias said that there were other companies other than McDonald’s, that he refused to name, that expressed concerns that opening in the mall would negatively impact their international business.

Rami Levy, Israeli supermarket magnate and one of the entrepreneurs behind the Ariel mall, did not refer specifically to McDonald’s decision but he did tell the paper that businesses that refuse to open in the West Bank also harm the Arab population there.

“I do not accept that companies make business decisions that are informed by political considerations. The mall in Ariel is expected to employ Arab and Jewish workers from the area and to provide services for these populations” Levy said.

“This boycott is superfluous, and it harms the Arab population that it is supposedly trying to protect,” he added.

Israeli artists as well as academics have boycotted the city because of its location beyond the Green Line.

In March, during US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel students from Ariel University were not invited to a speechthat he gave in Jerusalem to Israeli university students.

 

 

Source

ISRAEL’S GUARDIAN ANGEL

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Apart from the political dimension, one can’t really find the right words to describe the scandal of PA willingness to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on protecting the security of Israeli settlements in the West Bank when more than 70% of Palestinians live under the poverty line.
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Israel builds settlements, PA guards them
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By Khalid Amayeh in Occupied Jerusalem
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PLO official Nabil Shaath threw a bombshell this week when he told Israeli reporters in Ramallah that the Palestinian Authority (PA) spends a large portion of its meager budget on guarding Israeli colonies against possible attacks by Palestinian resistance fighters.

Shaath, who is known for his honesty and candidness, said the PA was spending more funds on protecting Israeli settlements than it was on education and health in the occupied territories.

Fatah spokespersons said Shaath was trying to tell the Israeli public that the PA was doing all it could to keep the peace and honor signed agreements with Israel .

This is really a shocking, though not surprising- admission which should embarrass all Palestinians, especially those still giving the PA the benefit of the doubt and thinking that the PLO is still the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

We all know that the PA is filling the ether with never-ending complaints about Jewish settlement expansion. So one wonders how the world will take the PA seriously ever after this scandalous revelation, which really illustrates the moral and political schizophrenia overwhelming the PLO-PA leadership. Others, who are less diplomatic, would not hesitate to consider the matter a brazen treason to the Palestinian people and their aspiration for independence and freedom.

The PA used to call itself “the Palestinian National Authority.” Now, The State of Palestine” is replacing the PA as the official name of the semi-autonomous regime. Unfortunately both names are devoid of substance as the Israeli occupation continues to control every street and neighborhood in the West Bank .

It is really disgraceful that the PA regime always strives to appease the Israeli occupiers, not only by allocating hard-earned or politically-motivated aid money for protecting Jewish colonies but also by continuing to arrest and round up Palestinians deemed supportive of Islamic groups.

This is actually more than disgraceful. In the final analysis, we are protecting child-killers, land-grabbers, and terrorists who vandalize our mosques and torch our grain fields and live orchards.

As to terrorizing Palestinians on behalf of Israel, it shows that the PA is decidedly at Israel’s beck and call, which means that the PA is actually answerable to the Zionist regime, its whims and vagaries when the Ramallah regime ought to be responsible to the Palestinian people.

Apart from the political dimension, one can’t really find the right words to describe the scandal of PA willingness to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on protecting the security of Israeli settlements in the West Bank when more than 70% of Palestinians live under the poverty line.

More to the point, the PA, including the new government headed by Rami Hamdallah, lacks the courage to tell the truth to the Palestinian masses about its umbilical subservience to Israel.

Instead, the PA continues to indulge in cheap rhetoric and lies about Palestinian statehood when even the most casual observers have come to realize that establishing a viable and territorially contiguous state is no longer a realistic possibility in light of the massive expansion of Jewish settlements and the adamant rejection by Israel of any compromises that would allow the Palestinian people to reclaim even a small part of their usurped rights.

In fact, the PA is not only deceiving the Palestinian people. It is also deceiving Arab states and the Muslim public opinion by insisting that donated Arab aid would enhance Palestinian steadfastness and thwart colonialist Zionist schemes. Well, the truth, the naked truth, is that Arab and non-Arab aid money is used to enhance the security of Jewish settlements, not Palestinian steadfastness.

Well, the next time a PA official comes to ask for more money from Arab states; he should be asked how much money the PA spends on education as opposed to protecting Nazi-like Jewish settlers hell-bent on ethnically cleansing our people from our ancestral homeland.

The Palestinian people, thoroughly exhausted by an economic meltdown and cheated by the world community as well as its own leadership, should also bring the PA to account and ask it about the merits of keeping up and funding 70,000 security personnel whose main job is protecting Israeli settlement security.

This week, PA economy minister reportedly met with his Israeli counterpart and agreed on more “economic coordination.” This shows that the PA never learns from its mistakes.

Following the hapless Oslo Accords, the PLO promised the Palestinian people that the West Bank and Gaza Strip would soon become the Hong Kong and Singapore of the Middle East. The truth of the matter, however, is that the occupied territories effectively became the Somalia of the Arab world as poverty, economic depravity and unemployment skyrocketed as never before.

The former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad eventually reached the conclusion that it was impossible to build a prosperous economy under a sinister foreign military occupation.

Now, the new government in Ramallah is walking in the same path, which proved catastrophic, thinking that Palestinians can achieve economic prosperity in the absence of Palestinian sovereignty and freedom of movement.

Politically, the PLO-PA establishment is behaving like Alice in Wonderland. PA officials, including Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, continue to make daily statements claiming that there is still a chance for reaching a peaceful settlement for the protracted conflict when every observer and every pundit, Palestinian and Israeli alike, know well that time has passed peace by, due to massive settlement expansion.

So why is the PLO-PA refusing to see the obvious? Are they blind? Are they drunk? Are they stupid?

NO VIRGINIA, IT’S NOT APARTHEID. IT’S A LOT WORSE!

Yes virginia low res
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The proverbial Virginia asked a few questions this week; How can a man like Morgan Freeman accept an award for combatting racism from a group of racists? How can that same man who recently portrayed Nelson Mandela in a film openly endorse apartheid by accepting that award?
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No Virginia, it’s not apartheid. It’s a lot worse! Just this week ….
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Israel effectively barring tourists from West Bank by neglecting to explain mandatory permit

To visit Palestinian-controlled areas, some foreign nationals need military entry permit that Israel doesn’t explain how to get.

By Amira Hass
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The separation fence east of the West Bank settlement of Alfei Menashe.

The separation fence east of the West Bank settlement of Alfei Menashe. Photo by Nir Kafri
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Since the beginning of 2013, Israel has forbidden tourists from the United States and other countries to enter the territories under Palestinian Authority control without a military entry permit – but it has not explained the application process to them.

Haaretz has learned of a recent case where clerics from the United States had to sign a declaration at the Ben-Gurion International Airport, promising not to enter Area A without permits from the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories.

The clerics signed the declaration, but representatives of the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority did not explain to them how to get the permits.

Not every tourist who is planning to visit the West Bank is required to sign the declaration, and no criteria have been published for how people are selected to do so.

The American clerics, who spoke with Haaretz on condition of anonymity, were sent by their church to work with Christian communities in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. As a result of the declaration they signed and their inability to decipher the procedure for obtaining the permit, they have been unable to meet with the members of Christian communities in West Bank cities or visit holy places, like the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

One of the signers, who turned to the United States Consulate in Jerusalem for help, told Haaretz that the consulate employees are unaware of the existence of the declaration.

The text of the English-language version of the document reads:

“1. I understand that this permit is granted me for entry and visitation within Israel only, and it has been explained to me that I am unable to enter the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority without advance authorization from the Territory Actions Coordinator and I agree to act in accordance with these regulations.

“2. I understand that in the event that I enter any area under the control of the Palestinian Authority without the appropriate authorization all relevant legal actions will be taken against me, including deportation and denial of entry into Israel for a period of up to ten years.”

In the Hebrew version, there is also a clear statement that unauthorized entry to the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority is a transgression of the law. This is omitted from the English version.

The English version does not use the official and common English title “Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories,” but translates the Hebrew as “Territory Actions Coordinator,” raising doubts as to whether the coordinator’s office has seen the form.

The spokeswoman for the Population, Immigration and Borders Authority, Sabine Haddad, wrote to Haaretz that the Entry into Israel Law authorizes the interior minister to decide on the entry of foreigners to the State of Israel, but in the case of Judea and Samaria, the Israel Defense Forces chief of general staff makes the determination – with a permit from the coordinator’s office required by security legislation.

“When a tourist/foreign national arrives at the international border crossings and it is believed that he wants to enter Judea and Samaria, he should be informed [of the procedure] and asked for his promise to receive a permit from the coordinator’s office before his entry – a permit that constitutes an essential condition [of entry to the Palestinian Authority controlled areas],” said Haddad.

Haddad did not reply to Haaretz’s request for explanation of the pertinent clauses of the law, nor did she provide Haaretz with information about the department in the coordinator’s office from which to request the permit. On the English website of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – a military unit that carries out and implements civilian policy in the territories – including the part dealing with ties with international organizations, there is no mention of the existence of such a procedure. In reply to an inquiry by Haaretz, the spokesman for the coordinator’s office said the matter of the procedure and the form is being examined.

About seven years ago, there was a report of a similar declaration that tourists were required to sign, but the practice was discontinued and renewed only at the beginning of this year. Several years ago, the Interior Ministry also began to limit the freedom of movement of tourists with work and family ties in the West Bank and to prevent their entry into Israel by means of a permit with the stamp “For the territories of Judea and Samaria only.”

Attorney Adi Lustigman turned Haaretz’s attention to a legal decision from August 2010 by Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Yoed Hacohen, which dealt with the appeal she filed against preventing the entry into Israel of an American citizen. Hacohen ruled that even according to the Oslo Accords, which the Interior Ministry occasionally relies on to explain restrictions on the movement of tourists, citizens of countries that have diplomatic ties with Israel need only an entry permit for Israel and a valid passport to enter Palestinian Authority territories. They are not required to have visiting permits from the Palestinian Authority, which are granted with the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (as is required of citizens of countries that do not have diplomatic ties with Israel, and citizens from Arab countries such as Egypt and Jordan).

Lustigman believes the policy behind the declaration is illegal because it discriminates between foreign citizens whose destination is the settlements and those whose destination is Palestinian areas. The form itself, Lustigman says, “is not legal because it was formulated for an improper purpose – isolating the occupied territories – and in an improper manner. It makes the assumption that people who arrive in Israel as tourists, as clerics and for other purposes want to act in contradiction to the law, which may not even have been explained to them clearly.

“There is no reason to threaten foreign citizens, to turn them into suspects and to make them sign, as a condition for entering Israel, a form whose wording and content are unclear … If there really is such a procedure, it should be publicized in a simple, clear and accessible manner, and instead of handing out a threatening sheet of paper, they should hand out a paper containing an explanation and procedures for making the request. Because the Interior Ministry does not do so, and as far as I know neither does the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, it seems that there is no operative procedure, nor any procedure for submitting a request. We are left only with a prohibition, which, as we have mentioned, is invalid.”

The spokesperson for the U.S. Consulate did not answer Haaretz’s question as to whether Israel has informed the American authorities about the restriction and the obligation to sign, and did not explain the viewpoint of the U.S. Department of State on the issue.

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Coincidentally, the Ediitor’s pic at Comment Is Free was the following, By our very own Sam Bahour …It was written two years ago.
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Welcome to Palestine – if you can get in
Israel’s threat to deny visitors entry to Palestine is as disturbing as it is shocking. Our protest will be a civil society tsunami
By Sam Bahour 
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Separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank
A Palestinian flag is attached to barbed wire in front of the separation barrier between Israel and the West Bank in 2010. Photograph: Oliver Weiken/EPA/Corbis
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Palestinians have globally touted an array of rights that Israel systematically denies. There is the right of return, the right of freedom of movement, the right to water, the right to education, the right to enter(not to be confused with refugees’ right to return) and so on.

But the right to receive visitors, or lack thereof? This is the most recent addition. The prohibition on freely receiving foreign visitors is as disturbing as it is shocking, especially for a country that claims to be the only beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

Yes, you read correctly. Israel is threatening to refuse to allow Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory to receive visitors from abroad. We are not talking here about visitors such as the 5 million Palestinian refugees whom Israel has refused to allow to return to their homes after being expelled by force and fear when Israel was founded in 1948. Rather, the issue now is that foreigners who desire to visit the occupied Palestinian territory are being denied entry into Israel.

Remember, there is no other way to get to the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which is under military occupation by Israel, except by passing through Israeli-controlled points of entry such as Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv or one of Israel’s sea ports or land crossings. The entry point to the Gaza Strip from the West Bank requires passage through Israel as well.

So, more than 300 international activists plan to arrive in Tel Aviv during the week of 8 July at the invitation of 30 Palestinian civil society organisations, to participate in an initiative named “Welcome to Palestine“. Delegations from France, Great Britain, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, the USA, Japan and several African countries are expected.

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport, the invited guests, all from countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel, will make no secret of their intent to go to the occupied Palestinian territory. This nonviolent act, a civil society tsunami of sorts, only comes after Israel’s restriction of movement and access to and from Palestine for Palestinians and foreigners has exhausted all established channels that carry the responsibility to uphold international law first and their domestic laws second.

The greatest inaction has come from the US state department, even though it has put on record, multiple times, the fact that Israel is discriminating at its borders against US citizens.

It is also worth noting that the 1951 Israel friendship, commerce and navigation treaty explicitly states: “There shall be freedom of transit through the territories of each Party by the routes most convenient for international transit …” and persons “in transit shall be exempt from … unreasonable charges and requirements; and shall be free from unnecessary delays and restrictions.” So much for respecting signed agreements.

Israel, as a state and previously as a Zionist movement, has gone to every extreme to fragment and dispossess the Palestinian people. It has had accomplices every step of the way, starting with Great Britain and continuing to this very day with the US and the flock of UN member states that act more like parakeets to the US than sovereign states when it comes to Palestine.

Well, the game of inaction is coming to an end. When states fail, people take over. It is these people, like those coming to Palestine this week, or those attempting to reach the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip by sea, or those living in Palestine and resisting the occupation day in and day out, who will prove to historians once again that history is made of real people who have a keen sense of humanity and the courage to sacrifice.

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WALL OF APARTHEID A BLIGHT ON THE LANDSCAPE?

In reality, it’s the occupation itself that is the blight …
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The Israel Nature and Parks Authority on Wednesday proposed to the High Court of Justice that the Defense Ministry erect a simple chain-link fence backed by security systems instead of the concrete wall the ministry wants to build near the West Bank village of Batir, south of Jerusalem.
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Supreme Court hears proposal for ‘green’ fence along Green Line

Israel’s nature authority says a chain-link fence with security systems would balance environmental and security concerns in a West Bank area that could soon be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but environmentalists and Palestinians disagree.

By Nir Hasson
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The terraces of Batir, where security, national and environmental concerns are clashing.
The terraces of Batir, where security, national and environmental concerns are clashing. 
Photo by Michal Fattal

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority on Wednesday proposed to the High Court of Justice that the Defense Ministry erect a simple chain-link fence backed by security systems instead of the concrete wall the ministry wants to build near the West Bank village of Batir, south of Jerusalem.

The ministry is planning the 500-meter segment of the separation barrier to protect the train line to Jerusalem, which passes close to a school and several houses in the village.

At issue is a petition that was filed against the wall by residents of Batir and Friends of the Earth Middle East, a regional environmental organization. They are arguing that a barrier would irreparably damage the agricultural terraces in the region, which may be declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization when that body meets next month. 

At a hearing in February, the Defense Ministry proposed to the court that it erect a heavy chain-link fence instead of the wall. The Nature and Parks Authority, which joined the petition, presented the court with an alternative of its own – to build a relatively simple chain-link fence that would be reinforced with high-tech security warning systems on one side and hedges of sabra cactus plants on the other. The proposal also rejects the paving of a patrol road along the fence.

This, the authority said, would minimize damage to an area whose agricultural terraces served farmers for thousands of years and continue to be cultivated to this day.

At Wednesday’s hearing, the attorney for the petitioners rejected both proposals. Batir residents submitted their alternative, which is to move the fence westward onto Israeli territory. Friends of the Earth, meanwhile, argued that there is no way to build any kind of barrier in the area without destroying the unique structure of the terraces.

At UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meeting next month, the terraces at Batir will come up for recognition as a World Heritage Site. The terraces are watered by an ancient system of springs, pools and wells. In addition to destroying the watering system, residents say, the part of the barrier in the Refaim streambed next to the Green Line, or pre-1967 border, could separate the villagers from 740 acres of their land.

Source

THREAT TO OBAMA’S LIFE AVERTED IN OCCUPIED WEST BANK

 
Americans can rest easy today, any threat against the life of their President has been averted.
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Watch the video below to see for yourself …
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Video: As Obama lands, Israeli soldiers violently arrest Palestinian 8-year-olds on their way to school

 by Ali Abunimah
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Video posted by the Israeli organization B’Tselem shows Israeli occupation forces, armed and financed by the United States, violently arresting Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron today as US President Barack Obama arrived for a visit to Israel.

The video shows harrowing scenes of young children clinging to parents as heavily-armed Israeli occupiers drag them away.

According to B’Tselem:

B’Tselem this morning urgently contacted the Army’s Legal Advisor for Judea and Samaria, demanding his emergency intervention regarding the detention of numerous children, including some as young as 8 to 10 years old, by the Israeli military this morning in Hebron. Preliminary information received this morning indicates that Soldiers detained or arrested over twenty minors on their way to school. About ten of them were released. The video was filmed by an international activist.

Written FOR

LIVE ON CAMERA ~~ LOVE IN THE TIME OF ISRAELI APARTHEID

Video .. “Love in the Time of Israeli Apartheid”

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Israeli forces on Saturday broke up a wedding procession organized at a West Bank checkpoint to challenge Israeli laws preventing Palestinians in the West Bank and Israelis from marrying.

 

Two buses left from Jaffa and Ramallah to meet at opposite sides of Hizma checkpoint, northeast of Jerusalem, for the wedding of Hazim, from Abu Dis and his bride, who is from Nazareth.

 

Both buses were stopped by Israeli forces before reaching the checkpoint and Israeli forces fired sound bombs at guests who had begun singing and dancing on the West Bank side of Hizma, an organizer told Ma’an. “While they were dancing and singing for the groom, Israeli occupation forces started throwing sound bombs and pushing people back. They then fired tear gas, forcing people to run away,” organizer Najwan Berekdar said.

 

Over 200 people participated in the wedding, including founder of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi and Palestinian author Rima Nazzal Kitana.

 

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that “100 rioters at Hizma threw stones at security services, who used riot dispersal means, including tear gas, to disperse the riot.”

 

The wedding was organized by the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” campaign, a grassroots initiative set up by Palestinian youth to challenge the Citizenship and Entry into Israel law, which denies residency status in Israel for West Bank Palestinians married to Israeli-Palestinians.”This Israeli law challenges Palestinian national unity and prevents Palestinians from even considering marrying another Palestinian from the other side,” Berekdar says.

 

“It divides Palestinians not only geographically but nationally, socially and culturally and has a severe economic and psychological affect on Palestinian families.

 

“We are calling for international pressure from the UN and civil society groups to put pressure on Israel to revoke this racist law, which interferes with basic human things like choosing a future life partner,” Berekdar says.

 

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel law was enacted by the Israeli Knesset in 2003, and prohibits granting residency or citizenship to Palestinians from the occupied territories who are married to Palestinian citizens of Israel, Adalah says.

 

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website says the temporary order is “security orientated” and enacted after people took advantage of Israeli identity to carry out “terrorist attacks.”

 

Human Rights Watch has said that “the law violates Israel’s obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which applies not only to race but also to national or ethnic origin.”

 

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2003 called on Israel to revoke the law.

 

Source

 

ISRAELI ATTEMPS TO JUSTIFY APARTHEID

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“This brings back very painful memories of what Apartheid was to us as South Africans. We know the fallacy of ‘this is an improvement to your condition very well.’ Shame on the Israeli regime, and more shame on the US openly continuing to protect such a ruthless regime.”
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Watch: EI writer Ben White, Mustafa Barghouti trounce Israeli occupation functionary over segregated buses

 by Ali Abunimah
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Electronic Intifada writer and blogger Ben White appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Storywith Mustafa Barghouti and Gregg Roman, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Pittsburgh.

The show, anchored by Mike Hanna, discussed Israel’s decision to implement segregated buses for Palestinian workers, a move compared to Jim Crow in the United States or apartheid in South Africa.

Responding to Roman’s claims that Palestinian workers were happy with the new system, White said:

It’s pretty rich for a defender of Israeli apartheid like Mr. Roman to exploit the economic desperation of an occupied, colonized people. This is a classic strategy and discourse in many colonial regimes. Mr. Roman probably doesn’t realize that he sounded very similar to the South African apartheid spokespersons in days gone by when he praises the economic opportunities afforded by the benevolent colonial power to the occupied people.

During the program, Mr. Roman identified himself as a former member of the “civil administration” meaning he was in fact a former functionary of the Israeli occupation regime in the West Bank, however he also denied the existence of occupation.

Viewer Kgaile Benjamin Mogoye commented during the show, “This brings back very painful memories of what Apartheid was to us as South Africans. We know the fallacy of ‘this is an improvement to your condition very well.’ Shame on the Israeli regime, and more shame on the US openly continuing to protect such a ruthless regime.”

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Written FOR

IT’S OFFICIAL! ISRAEL IS AN APARTHEID STATE

The Transportation Ministry defended the plan, saying it was the result of reports and complaints saying that the buses traveling in the area were overcrowded and rife with tensions between the Jewish and Arab passengers.
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Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff
bench-jews-only
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Ministry launches ‘Palestinians only’ buses

Transportation Ministry sets up designated bus lines for Palestinian passengers in West Bank; insists lines are for general public, but only Palestinian villages have been advised of their existence

Itamar Fleishman

Racial segregation or transportation mitigation? The Transportation Ministry announced that starting Sunday it will begin operating designated lines for Palestinians in the West Bank.

The bus lines in question are meant, according to the ministry, to transport Palestinian workers from the West Bank to central Israel. The ministry alleges that the move is meant to ease the congestion felt on bus lines used by Jews in the same areas, but several bus drivers told Ynet that Palestinians who will choose to travel on the so-called “mixed” lines, will be asked to leave them.

While officially the new lines are considered “general bus lines,” Ynet learned Saturday that their existence has been made public only in Palestinian villages in the West Bank, via flyers in Arabic urging Palestinians to arrive at Eyal crossing and use the designated lines.
The Transportation Ministry defended the plan, saying it was the result of reports and complaints saying that the buses traveling in the area were overcrowded and rife with tensions between the Jewish and Arab passengers.
A ministry source said that many complaints expressed concern that the Palestinian passengers may pose a security risk, while other complaints said that the overcrowded buses cause the drivers to skip stations.
The ministry has also gotten reports of scuffles between Jews and Arab passengers, as well as between Palestinians and drivers who refused to allow them to board their bus.
The ministry reportedly considered several alternatives before deciding to opt for designated lines – knowing that the issue of so-called “Palestinian lines” would be highly controversial.

‘Buses meant to improve service’

Still, the ministry eventually decided to launch the lines, which will run from Eyal crossing – near the West Bank city of Qalqilya – to Israel.

Legally, however, there is no way to stop Palestinians from boarding “regular” lines: “We are not allowed to refuse service and we will not order anyone to get off the bus, but from what we were told, starting next week, there will be checks at the checkpoint, and Palestinians will be asked to board their own buses,” a driver with Afikim – the company that holds the routes franchise for the area – told Ynet.
The volatile nature of the decision was not lost on the driver: “Obviously, everyone will start screaming ‘apartheid’ and ‘racism’ now. This really doesn’t feel right, and maybe (the ministry) should find a different solution, but the situation right now is impossible.”
Another driver said that, “Driving a bus full of only Palestinians might turn out to be tricky. It could be unnerving and it might also create other problems. It could be a scary thing.”
The Judea and Samaria Police is reportedly gearing for the move as well, and will deploy additional forces in Eyal crossing to maintain public order.
Police sources said that it is highly unlikely that Palestinians would be excluded from riding on existing bus lines, adding that the forces would “Do their best to execute the ministry’s decision.”
Afikim issued a statement saying that, “This plan aims to ease travel for Palestinian passengers and offer a solution that counters pirate bus companies that charge exorbitant prices. As for any question about removing Palestinian passengers from buses – that has to be addressed by the enforcement and security bodies.”
The Transportation Ministry issued the following statement: “The new lines are not separate lines for Palestinians but rather two designated lines meant to improve the services offered to Palestinian workers who enter Israel through Eyal Crossing.
“The new lines will replace irregular, pirate lines that charge very high prices from Palestinian passengers. The new lines will reduce congestion and will benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
According to the statement, “The Transportation Ministry is forbidden from preventing any passenger from boarding any line of public transportation, nor do we know of a directive to that effect. Instating these lines was done with the knowledge and complete agreement of the Palestinians.”
Source

WAIT TILL FOXMAN SEES THIS

 The ADL spends sleepless nights probing the universe for anti Semitism … here’s something they will be sure to pounce on and use to condemn the entire world for violating their doctrines of hate.
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UN panel concludes Israeli settlements are illegal

Fact-finding mission’s report says settlements exist exclusively for Israeli Jews’ benefit creating system of total segregation

A UN fact-finding mission says the Israeli government’s settlementpolicy has clearly violated the rights of Palestinians and breaches one of the Geneva Conventions.

 

The panel’s report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva – the UN’s first report on the subject as a whole – says the settlements exist for the exclusive benefit of Israeli Jews, creating a system of total segregation.

The investigators called on Israel on Thursday to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all Jewish settlers from the West Bank.

 

“Israel must, in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, cease all settlement activities without preconditions. It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawal of all settlers from the OPT (occupied Palestinian territories),” said a report by the inquiry led by French judge Christine Chanet.

 

The settlements contravene the 1949 Geneva Conventions forbidding the transfer of civilian populations into occupied territory, which could amount to war crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), it said.

 

In December, the Palestinians accused Israel in a letter to the United Nations of planning to commit further “war crimes” by expanding Jewish settlements after the Palestinians won de factoUN recognition of statehood and warned that Jerusalem must be held accountable.

 

Israel has not cooperated with the probe set up by the Human Rights Council last March to examine the impact of settlements in the territory, including east Jerusalem. Israel says the forum has an inherent bias against it and defends its settlement policy by citing historical and Biblical links to the West Bank.

 

The independent UN investigators interviewed more than 50 people who came to Jordan in November to testify about confiscated land, damage to their livelihoods including olive trees, and violence by Jewish settlers, according to the report.

 

“The mission believes that the motivation behind this violence and the intimidation against the Palestinians as well as their properties is to drive the local populations away from their lands and allow the settlements to expand,” it said.

 

‘Creeping annexation’

About 250 settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have been established since 1967 and they hold an estimated 520,000 settlers, according to the UN report. The settlements impede Palestinian access to water resources and agricultural lands, it said.

 

The settlements were “leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” it said.

 

After the General Assembly upgraded the Palestinians status at the world body, Israel said it would build 3,000 more settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – areas Palestinians wanted for a future state, along with the Gaza Strip.

 

The UN human rights inquiry said that the International Criminal Court had jurisdiction over the deportation or transfer by the occupying power of its own population into the territory.

 

“Ratification of the (Rome) Statute by Palestine may lead to accountability for gross violations of human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law and justice for victims,” the UN report said, referring to the treaty setting up the Hague-based UN tribunal which prosecutes people for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 

AP and Reuters contributed to the report

Source

DON’T DRINK FROM THE FOUNTAIN OF APARTHEID

Sodastream’s factory is in an llegal Israeli settlement built on land stolen from Palestinians. Each and every package contains human rights abuses and violations of international law. Boycott Sodastream.
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For more information:
http://www.bdsmovement.net/tag/sodastream
http://www.whoprofits.org/content/production-settlements-case-sodastream
http://www.stopsodastream.org

ZIONISM MUST BE PUT UNDER CONTROL

This report details the crowd control weapons used by Israeli security forces in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

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Crowd Control: Israel’s Use of Crowd Control Weapons in the West Bank

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Crowd control weapons are supposed to be non-lethal, enabling authorities to enforce the law without endangering human life. In fact, however, they are dangerous weapons that can cause death, severe injury and damage to property if used improperly.

This report details the crowd control weapons used by Israeli security forces in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem).

Tear gas is a chemical irritant that severely affects the eyes and the respiratory system. It is the predominant crowd control weapon in use by Israeli security forces and is dispersed through several types of grenades manufactured in the United States: A rubber tear-gas grenade (known as “400″ or “skittering grenade”), which can be hand-thrown or fired from a launcher mounted on a rifle, and a 40mm aluminum canister (known as “gas rocket”) which is fired from a launcher. In East Jerusalem security forces also use the splitting tear-gas grenade which separates into three sub-canisters. 40mm-caliber canisters are fired from several different types of launchers. Some are mounted on soldiers’ rifles and can be fired one grenade at a time. Others are stand-alone launchers which can fire from one to six grenades in quick succession. Israeli security forces also have at their disposal a jeep-mounted system that enables firing salvos of grenades, which can cover a large area with tear gas.

Stun grenades are also a predominant crowd control weapon. They are a diversionary measure, whose explosion emits a bright light and a thunderous noise. The grenades are designed to cause panic, thereby enabling security forces to overpower people. Like the tear-gas grenades in use by Israeli security forces, the stun grenades are also manufactured in the United States.

Rubber-coated metal bullets are utilized primarily against stone-throwers. Security forces use two types of bullets made of a metal core coated with either rubber or plastic, and fired from launchers mounted on rifle-barrels. These so-called “rubber” bullets are manufactured by Israel Military Industries Ltd. The Orr Commission prohibited the use of rubber-coated metal bullets within Israel’s borders. In East Jerusalem, since the prohibition, Israel Police has been using 40mm-caliber sponge rounds imported from the Unites States.

The Skunk is a foul-smelling liquid developed by the Israel Police for the purpose of dispersing demonstrations. It is sprayed from truck-mounted water cannons. The odor is so offensive that it forces any person in its vicinity to back off. The report also details the relevant orders of the military and the Israel Police which regulate the use of these weapons, and which the security forces refuse to divulge. In addition the report surveys the implementation of the regulations in the field and the detrimental results of violating them.

This report has found that there are two main problems with the use of crowd control weapons in the West Bank. First, the wording of the open-fire and safety regulations is ambiguous, and in some cases the regulations cannot be properly followed. Second, when security forces in the field violate the regulations, even systematically, practically no action is taken to put an end to this wrongful conduct. Senior-ranking officers deny that violations of the open-fire regulations are the norm and classify injury to civilians from improper use of crowd control weapons as “exceptions to the rule”. Furthermore, even in the rare instances in which investigations into such incidents are conducted, most are closed without the perpetrators or their superiors being held accountable. Following are some of the report’s findings:

  • Soldiers and Border Police often fire tear-gas grenades directly at demonstrators with the aim of hitting them, or fire carelessly, without ensuring that demonstrators are not in the direct line of fire, in direct contravention of regulations.
  • Soldiers and Border Police systematically violate standing orders, firing rubber-coated metal bullets even in circumstances clearly prohibited by the orders. B’Tselem has documented instances in which security forces have fired rubber-coated metal bullets at a closer range than that permitted by the regulations, making it potentially lethal. They have also fired at minors, at the upper torso and at passersby or demonstrators who had not been throwing stones and did not pose a danger to security forces or any other individual. In some cases, commanders, including high-ranking officers, knew of the unlawful firing and even ordered it.
  • Security forces sometimes fire live ammunition during demonstrations, particularly at Palestinians who are throwing stones at them. B’Tselem has documented use of live ammunition in circumstances that were not life-threatening.
  • Soldiers and Border Police have fired 0.22 inch-caliber bullets under circumstances that do not warrant the use of lethal weapons. In effect, this ammunition is used as if were a non-lethal means of crowd control.
  • In several cases security forces sprayed the foul-smelling Skunk liquid at or near homes, raising grave suspicions that it is being used as a collective punitive measure against residents of villages where regular weekly demonstrations are held.
  • Police officers make use of pepper spray in contravention of official police procedure, which is designed strike a balance between law enforcement considerations and safety considerations.

The unlawful use of crowd control weapons by Israeli security forces is accompanied by further restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of speech and their freedom to protest the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. These restrictions include the arrest and prosecution of demonstration organizers; the dispersal of demonstrations using force, even when demonstrators were not violent in any way; and the deportation of foreign nationals participating in the demonstrations. Areas in the West Bank where demonstrations are held every Friday are declared closed military zones for the time scheduled for demonstration. Specific orders designating closed military zones enable security forces to keep Israeli activists from taking part in the demonstrations and to make them liable for arrest and prosecution. These disproportionate restrictions deviate from the instructions issued by the Legal Advisor for the West Bank, which prohibit the declaration of an area a closed military zone to a specific group, such as activists at demonstrations.

Members of the security forces who are faced with stone throwers, sometimes in large-scale events, have the authority to use the various weapons detailed in this report. However, the authorities must ensure that the troops on the ground obey the open-fire regulations and use crowd control weapons within the parameters that keep them non-lethal. It follows that every soldier, officer, or police officer violating these rules must be prosecuted. In addition, B’Tselem demands that Israeli security forces:

  • prohibit the use of live ammunition, including 0.22inch-caliber bullets, for the purpose of dispersing demonstrations, except in instances of mortal danger;
  • restrict the use of rubber-coated metal bullets to instances of mortal danger, to be used as a preliminary measure, before firing live ammunition;
  • completely prohibit the firing of 40mm tear-gas canisters either directly at individuals or horizontally, in a way that could cause result in injuries.

Source via Uruknet

REOCCUPATION OF THE OCCUPATION

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A flag hangs on a newly-erected tent as a Palestinian activist secures
a rope, in an area known as E1, near Jerusalem January 11, 2013.
(Reuters/Ammar Awad)
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Israel blocks activists from returning to E1 protest camp
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E1 (Reuters) — Israeli police, using stun grenades, blocked about 50 Palestinian activists who tried on Tuesday to reoccupy a tented protest camp they pitched last week in the West Bank.

Israel has drawn strong international criticism over plans to build settler homes in the area, known as “E1″, which connects the two parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank outside Palestinian suburbs of East Jerusalem.

On Sunday, hundreds of police officers evicted the protesters from the “Bab al-Shams” encampment, and activists said six were hurt in the process. The large, steel-framed tents remained standing at the site pending the outcome of Israeli Supreme Court hearings on Israel’s intention to remove them.

Protesters who tried to return to the tents on Tuesday were confronted by police officers who told them the site had been designated off-limits by the army.

One activist wore a white bridal gown and their cars were decked out in bright ribbons, making the protest look like a traditional Palestinian wedding.

“The protesters continued to make their way up. Police pushed the protesters back down the hill,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. “Two stun grenades were used to disperse the protesters and prevent attempts to climb back up.”

Twenty Palestinians were detained for questioning, he said.

For years Israel froze building in E1, after coming under pressure from former US President George W. Bush to keep the plans on hold.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans late last year to expand settlements after the Palestinians won de-facto statehood recognition at the United Nations General Assembly in November.

Jewish settlement building in areas captured by Israel in a 1967 war are illegal under international law. World powers have slammed the E1 settlement plan, echoing Palestinians concern such construction could deny them a viable and contiguous state.

E1 covers some 4.6 sq miles and is seen as particularly important because it not only juts into the narrow “waist” of the West Bank, but also backs onto East Jerusalem, the capital of the promised independent Palestinian state.

Ma’an staff in Bethlehem contributed to this report


Source
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A report from the Electronic Intifada follows …
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Making history in Bab Al Shams

Abbas Sarsour 

The establishment of Bab Al Shams is a direct action against Israel’s settlement enterprise.

(Issam Rimawi / APA images)

A group of local activists, Palestinian and international, informed me of a protest camp we would set up to help community members in Jericho and give support to the surrounding areas. We were told to be prepared to face armed Israeli soldiers. But even so, the instructions were vague. None of us knew exactly where we were going.

At 5am on Friday morning, 11 January, 50 activists took a bus to an area we called Bab Al Shams. One of the group leaders of the camp told us that we were on private Palestinian land termed by Israel as “E-1.” Israel was planning on constructing settlements here, he told us, and our mission would be to camp out in defiance of the occupation forces.

He told us that we were all informed that we would be heading to Jericho, but this was only meant to keep the plan as secretive as possible. “If you’d like to stay, you can. If not, we understand, and you can return with the buses,” he told us after explaining the risks associated with what we would soon be doing.

We started to build tents. After a few hours, four more busloads of activists arrived at the scene. Together, we erected even more tents. By noon, after finishing with the tents, we held Friday prayers for the first time in Bab Al Shams.

Eviction notices

Not long after, we were met by Israeli border police and soldiers who arrived at the location to hand out eviction notices to the residents of this new village. Bab Al Shams, having been founded just hours earlier, had already posed a risk to the Israeli government. The police threatened to return and demolish the tents shortly if we didn’t take them down ourselves. Needless to say, we stood our ground.

Luckily, we had already been prepared for such an occasion. We petitioned against the threatened demolitions to the Israeli high court which then issued a warrant delaying any eviction or demolition for six days. The court would use this time to further assess the situation there. It is important to remember, though, that Bab Al Shams was erected on private Palestinian land.

So there it was. The village of Bab Al Shams with a Palestinian flag standing tall at the highest point of the village.

Lockdown

But the village was quickly put under lockdown. Nothing was going in and nothing went out. We were short on mattresses, blankets and food. Everybody understood the situation and shared whatever they could with one another.

The night was cold and people were freezing in their beds. Thank God for the paramedics who were on site to help us. We also our own security guards in the village who stayed up all night protecting everyone and making sure nothing happened. Bab Al Shams was looking more and more like a village.

The second day, a little after noon, some of the activists who were feeling unwell made the decision to return home for treatment and rest. They walked to the nearest streets where Israeli occupation forces quickly escorted them away from Bab Al Shams. But at the same time, another hundred or so activists arrived from another set of buses to bolster our presence. They brought with them supplies and helped renew our spirits in the cold weather.

Encircled

As the population grew in size, so did the imminent threat of an Israeli raid designed to stop all activity in Bab Al Shams. At 11pm on Saturday, more than 500 Israeli forces — soldiers and police — surrounded the village. We could see them approaching from all sides as they aimed their bright lights at us.

The armed Israeli forces climbed the hillside up to us and completely encircled us. They were ordering us to leave. Many of the activists tied themselves to the tents. Others put their hands together and sat down in the middle of the small village while chanting in Arabic, “With soul, with blood, we’ll protect Palestine.”

We were outnumbered. Plus, we could see the soldiers burning various items in the village. Soon enough the Israeli forces began their assault on us specifically. Everyone in the village was rounded up and arrested. Many were hit with the butts of Israeli weapons. Others, including myself, were dragged through the sand and dirt and thrown back onto buses.

The buses started their engines about an hour after they were filled. We didn’t know where we were going but we assumed we were going to an Israeli prison.

But we later found that Israeli hummers were escorting the buses to the Qalandiacheckpoint, where we were greeted by other Palestinians and activists in high spirits. We had made history with Bab Al Shams and we continue to refuse to let Israeli construct settlements on Palestinian land.

Abbas Sarsour is a 21-year-old Palestinian from Ramallah currently living in the United States. He is active in various student and community organizations dedicated to Palestinian rights

TWENTY FIVE TENTS THAT ROCKED THE FOUNDATIONS OF ZION

The village of Bab Al Shams was established last Friday by Palestinian activists, on privately owned Palestinian lands, in an area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, which Israel refers to as E1.
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The Palestinians  may be moved physically, but Palestinian villages, old and new,  will never die so long as they remain alive in the hearts and minds of the Palestinian people and all their supporters worldwide…

Bab Alshams – We Shall Not Be Moved

 


250 men and women from across Palestine establish this morning
a new Palestinian village named “Bab Alshams” (Gate of the
Sun). Tents were built in what Israel refers to as area E1 and
equipment for long-term living was brought.

The group released the following statement:

We, the sons and daughters of Palestine from all throughout
the land, announce the establishment of Bab Alshams Village
(Gate of the Sun). We the people, without permits from the
occupation, without permission from anyone, sit here today
because this is our land and it is our right to inhabit it.

A few months ago the Israeli government announced its
intention to build about 4000 settlement housing units in the
area Israel refers to as E1. E1 block is an area of about 13
square km that falls on confiscated Palestinian land East of
Jerusalem between Ma’ale Adumim settlement, which lies on
occupied West Bank Palestinian land, and Jerusalem. We will
not remain silent as settlement expansion and confiscation of
our land continues. Therefore we hereby establish the village
of Bab Alshams to proclaim our faith in direct action and
popular resistance. We declare that the village will stand
steadfast until the owners of this land will get their right
to build on their land.

The village’s name is taken from the novel, “Bab Alshams,” by
Lebanese writer Elias Khoury. The book depicts the history of
Palestine through a love story between a Palestinian man,
Younis, and his wife Nahila. Younis leaves his wife to join
the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon while Nahila remains
steadfast in what remains of their village in the Galilee.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Younis smuggles through
Lebanon and back to the Galilee to meet his wife in the “Bab
Alshams” cave, where she gives birth to their children. Younis
returns to the resistance in Lebanon as his wife remains in
Bab Al Shams.

Bab Alshams is the gate to our freedom and steadfastness. Bab
Alshams is our gate to Jerusalem. Bab Alshams is the gate to
our to our return.

For decades, Israel has established facts on the ground as the
International community remained silent in response to these
violations. The time has come now to change the rules of the
game, for us to establish facts on the ground – our own land.
This action involving women and men from the north to the
south is a form of popular resistance. In the coming days we
will hold various discussion groups, educational and artistic
presentations, as well as film screenings on the lands of this
village. The residents of Bab Al Shams invite all the sons and
daughters of our people to participate and join the village in
supporting our resilience.

 

This is what happened…

 

 

 

Although established on privately owned Palestinian lands, Israel forcefully expelled residents of the village in a pre-dawn raid this morning. Six required medical attention Shortly before 3 AM, hundreds of Israeli cops and soldiers staged a raid on the newly founded Palestinian village of Bab Al Shams (Gate of the Sun), violently evicting its 150 inhabitants. Use of police brutality is even more objectionable in light of the passive resistance offered by the residents. No arrests were made, and all persons detained were released shortly after.

In light of harsh international criticism over the plan to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement, and in an attempt to draw away attention from the case, eviction took place early this morning. Following its arrival at the scene, a massive police force began by removing journalists from the residents’ immediate surroundings and proceeded to drag people away, beating some of them. Six Palestinians later required medical care at the Ramallah Hospital.

Following his release, Mohammed Khatib of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said, “We will not remain silent as Israel continues to build Jewish-only colonies on our land. Bab Al Shams is no more, but during its short days it gave new life and energy to all who passed through it. Israel continues to act in violation of every imaginable law and human decency. In establishing Bab Al Shams we declare that we have had enough of demanding our rights from the occupier – from now on we shall seize them ourselves.”

Last night the state appealed to the High Court to withdraw an injunction prohibiting the eviction. The state argued, among other things, that the very existence of the village may occasion rioting, despite its remote and isolated location. The state further argued that the village was established by the Committees to Resist the Wall (a body which does not exist), also behind a blockade of Route 443 in October 2012. This claim, backed only by an affidavit signed by an Israeli police chief, has never been supported by any indictments or arrests for the questioning of individuals.

The village of Bab Al Shams was established last Friday by Palestinian activists, on privately owned Palestinian lands, in an area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maaleh Adumim, which Israel refers to as E1. After the acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state to the UN, Israel announced the approval of a plan to expand the Maaleh Adumim settlement by building some 4,000 residential units in this area. Such construction would effectively bisect the West Bank and effectively cutting it off from Jerusalem.**

 

 

 

LEGAL PALESTINIAN ‘SETTLEMENT’ ILLEGALLY EVACUATED BY ISRAELI FORCES

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 “We intend to carry out the eviction without the use of force,” a police statement said, “but we shall act with determination against anyone who partakes in riots and jeopardizes the security forces.” 

Palestinian sources said that the outpost’s inhabitants sat on the ground as an act of passive resistance when the forces arrived at Bab al-Shams.

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Security forces evacuate E1 outpost

Some 150 Palestinians evicted from Bab al-Shams outpost in area E1, without violent resistance, injuries. At least two Palestinians arrested, including Mustafa Barghouti

 

IDF and police forces evacuated some 150 Palestinians from the Bab al-Shams outpost in area E1 early on Sunday morning.

 

The Palestinians were placed on buses and taken to theQalandiya checkpoint. Palestinian National Initiative director Mustafa Barghouti was arrested during the eviction as well as at least one other person, according to the Palestinians.

 

One tent was torched by the outpost’s inhabitants who had complained that officers attacked Arab and Palestinian journalists.  

Earlier, the Shai District Police said that the eviction was part of efforts to implement the closed military zone order. “We intend to carry out the eviction without the use of force,” a police statement said, “but we shall act with determination against anyone who partakes in riots and jeopardizes the security forces.”

 

Palestinian sources said that the outpost’s inhabitants sat on the ground as an act of passive resistance when the forces arrived at Bab al-Shams.

(צילום: רויטרס)

Forces evict Palestinians (Photo: Reuters)

(צילום: AFP)

Photo: AFP

 

There were no indications of violent resistance and no injuries were reported during the incident.

 

“Thousands of Israeli officers surrounded the tents and arrested the inhabitants one by one,” Barghouti told the French news agency. However, police stressed that the Palestinians were “escorted out of the area” and were not arrested for violating the closed military zone order.

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Palestinians after arriving at Qalandiya

 

The IDF spokesman ordered officers to prevent journalists from entering the outpost as per the cabinet’s orders. However, Arab and Palestinian journalists were allowed to get close to the outpost prior to the eviction.

אחד הפלסטינים מורחק מהמקום (צילום: רויטרס)

Palestinian cleared from outpost (Photo: Reuters)

כוחות הביטחון בין האוהלים במאחז (צילום: רויטרס)

Photo: Reuters

כוחות צבא ומשטרה בשטח, אחרי הפינוי (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Forces after the eviction (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

“An urgent evacuation is required due to a pressing security need,” the State said in a petition filed with the High Court of Justice late on Saturday.

 

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said in the document that the State has issued orders to define the outpost as a closed military zone and to remove squatters from its land.

 

Weinstein argued that the encampment was set up in order to provoke riots “of national and international consequence,” citing up-to-date intelligence information.

 

 

According to the petition, most of the tents have been pitched on the State’s lands, and allowing the protesters to stay where they are will create friction with settlers and could trigger widespread unrest.

 

The State “indents to act urgently to fulfill the right to evacuate everyone from the area,” Weinstein wrote. The State will then examine whether the law requires the tents to remain or be removed.

המאחז הפלסטיני ב-E1. "לפעול בדחיפות למנוע מהומות" (צילום: AFP)

Bab al-Shams on Saturday night (Photo: AFP)

 

The document was filed in response to a temporary injunction issued by the High Court in order to bar the State from removing the protesters from the outpost as long as there isn’t an emergency warranting an evacuation. In the meantime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the routes leading up to the outpost to be closed to traffic, rendering the area a closed military zone.

 

A group of 200 Palestinians, backed by foreign activists, created the encampment, whose name means “Gate of the Sun,” near Ma’aleh Adumim on Friday, setting into motion a series of legal exchanges between the Palestinians’ representatives and the State.  

מאחז באב אל-שאמס. המדינה מבקשת לפנותו  (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

The outpost (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

On Saturday, the government ordered the leaders of Bab al-Shams to immediately vacate the premises.

 

The outpost’s leaders then petitioned the High Court to block the warrant, claiming that the encampment was set up on their own private land and it is part of the village of At-Tur, where they reside. The tents, they claimed, where meant to act as a tourist center spotlighting Bedouin heritage. The decision to evict them went against zoning laws because it did not give them a chance to voice their arguments, they said.

 

The leaders said that if Israeli security forces were to make them leave, they would do so with only passive resistance.

 

Mahmoud Zawara, of the Popular Palestinian Committees, told Ynet that the 30-tent outpost was set up as part of the “Palestinian struggle” against Israel’s planned construction in the area.

 

 

 

Source and more videos AT

THE NEW YORK TIMES // ‘NOW YOU SEE THE OCCUPATION, NOW YOU DON’T’

A New York Times headline accidentally told the truth today about Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, before it was ‘fixed.’
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The screenshots prove it: New York Times altered headline to remove words “Israeli-occupied”

Submitted by Ali Abunimah 

Cached image of New York Times story before headline was changed to omit words “Israeli-occupied West Bank.”

New York Times headline accidentally told the truth today about Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, before it was ‘fixed.’

The story is about today’s action by Palestinians to establish a village called Bab Al Shamson land that Israel has seized for construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The original headline read “Palestinians Set Up Camp in Israeli-Occupied West Bank Territory.” Later, the headline was altered to remove the words “Israeli-occupied.” It now reads “Palestinians Set Up Tents Where Israel Plans Homes.”

The website Newsdiffs.org shows that the original headline was posted at 1:09 PM EST. It was discovered to have been changed at 7:10 PM EST.

A key goal of Israeli propaganda is to eliminate the term “occupied” from media coverage of Israel’s, well, occupation. Many media have adopted terms like “disputed” that grant false legitimacy to Israeli claims to the land which are totally null and void in international law.

The Times article still describes the area as “hotly contested piece of Israeli-occupied West Bank territory known as E1.” And yes, I’ve taken a screenshot in case they decide to change that too.

How the headline appears after the change.

Thanks to Twitter user @JamieSW for spotting.

@AliAbunimah @Mondoweiss NYT accidentally prints honest headline; error has now been correctedtwitter.com/jamiesw/status…

Written FOR

PALESTINIANS ERECT ‘LEGAL SETTLEMENT’

gnv
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On THEIR land which is in the process of being stolen by the zionists, 200 Palestinians pitched tents in a nonviolent form of resistance that will surely be met by violence ….
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 Palestinians erect outpost in E1 zone

Group of 200 Palestinians pitch tents in disputed area connecting Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. Organizer: Encampment part of non-violent resistance

A group of 200 Palestinians, backed by foreign activists, have been erecting an outpost in the disputed E1 zone, near Ma’aleh Adumim, since the early hours of Friday morning.

The Palestinian outpost, named Bab al-Shams (“Gate of the Sun”), contains 50 tents. Mahmoud Zawara of the Popular Palestinian Committees told Ynet the tent encampment was being set up as part of the Palestinian “struggle.”

He said “we chose this specific area because it is conquered Palestinian land and places a wedge between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank.”

בונים את באב אל-שמס (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Building ‘Bab al-Shams’ (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)  

Zawara said the camp will be used by the Popular Palestinian Committees during activity in the Jordan Valley area in the coming days. “I hope the encampment will be permanent and remain in the E1 area,” he added.

Zawara said the Palestinians do not plan on confronting Israeli security forces, who have yet to arrive at the site. “We came here in the framework of non-violent resistance; we will not resort to any kind of violence,” he told Ynet.

200 פלסטינים ופעילי סולידריות הגיעו ל-E1 (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

‘Day without violence.’ Palestinians at camp (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

“According to international law, and even Israeli law, the Israeli army cannot prevent us from pitching tents.”

"מקווים שהאוהל יהפוך לאוהל קבע" (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

‘Conquered Palestinian land’ (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

Zawara said it was possible that IDF and Israel Police forces would eventually evacuate the Palestinians, but expressed hope that “today will be a day without violence.”

Bab al-Shams is the name of a novel by Elias Khoury about the life of Palestinian refugees inLebanon after theIndependence War of 1948.

A little more than a month ago the Israeli government approved plans to advance construction in the E1 zone, which connects Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim, as a response to the UN’s recognition of “Palestine” as a non-member observer state.

The move drew harsh criticism from the West, including the US, with European countries summoning Israeli ambassadors to express their condemnation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to move settlement construction ahead in E1. However, the Right has accused Netanyahu of postponing the construction plans.

Source

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