ISRAEL’S REAL MESSAGE TO PALESTINIANS

Surely NOT THIS ….

THIS is more like it ….

A Palestinian family stands amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Masafer Jenbah in an undated photo. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

A Palestinian family stands amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Masafer Jenbah in an undated photo. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015

Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank in the first six months of 2016 as they did in all of 2015, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed in a report released on Wednesday, in a worrying confirmation of Israel’s ongoing crackdown on Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.

The report, which was also presented by the Arab Joint List during a Knesset conference on Israel’s home demolition policy the same day, said that 168 homes were destroyed during the first half of 2016 for lacking hard to obtain Israeli-issued building permits, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.

B’Tselem’s report did not include punitive demolitions enacted on the home of suspected Palestinian attackers and their families.

The B’Tselem tally marked a higher count than the total number of houses destroyed by Israeli each year in the past decade, with the exception of 2013, when 175 homes were demolished.

The 2016 statistics marked a drastic increase from 2015, when 125 homes were demolished, leaving 496 Palestinians without a home.

B’Tselem further estimated that Israel had demolished some 1,113 Palestinian homes in the West Bank alone from 2006 to June 2016, primarily targeting Palestinian communities east of Jerusalem, in the South Hebron Hills and in the Jordan Valley — where a large number of illegal Israeli settlements are located.

The group added that during that decade, at least 769 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 340 minors, saw their homes demolished more than once.

During the Knesset conference on the report, Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List which brings together political factions representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, said the demolitions showed that in spite of calls by Israeli right-wing groups to annex all of the West Bank, “actually and practically, we know that Israel prefers to perpetuate its control in a gray area… while paying lip service to the international community.”

Beyond homes, B’Tselem highlighted the fact that Israeli authorities also demolished structures Palestinians depended on for their livelihoods, such as livestock pens, sheds, and bathroom facilities, and confiscated solar panels and water tanks.

“In doing so, the Civil Administration not only leaves these residents homeless but also severely lacking basic services and the ability to earn a living,” the report read.Joint List MK Dov Khenin denounced the demolitions during the Knesset conference as a deliberate move by the Israeli government to annex parts of Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.“

Demolishing houses, water tanks and solar panels does not happen by coincidence or by mistake,” he told the Knesset. “It is an organized policy that aims to change the current political condition, force Palestinians to leave the area and annex parts of Area C to prevent the two-state solution. Therefore, it is no longer a human rights case but a first-degree political case.”Natalie Grove, a representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also present at the Knesset, said that “Israel does not fulfill the minimum of its basic commitments as an occupying power.”

“Israel is creating humanitarian crises, and when the international community intervenes to solve these crises, Israel increases obstacles in front of these interventions,” Grove added. “This policy has led to the worsening of the humanitarian crisis and created the danger of population transfer which leads to a confrontation between Israel and the international community and raises fears that Israel is not serious regarding the two-state solution.”

The publication of the report came two days after some 30 Palestinian families lost their homes during demolition raids of unprecedentedly large scale in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Issawiya and Ras al-Amoud, and in the village of Qalandiya in the West Bank district of Jerusalem.According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel only granted 33 building permits out of 2,020 applications submitted by Palestinians between 2010 and 2014.

The dismal number of permits granted by Israeli authorities has forced many Palestinians to build without permission, at the risk of seeing their homes demolished.

B’Tselem said Israel’s pretexts in demolishing so many Palestinian homes constituted “a spurious claim given the absence of any real possibility for Palestinians to build legally in the area.”

“The Israeli authorities impose an impossible daily reality on Palestinian communities in Area C,” B’Tselem concluded in its report. “Israel acts to establish facts on the ground and to create a reality that it will be difficult to change in any future agreement.”

 

Source

NYT ACTUALLY PRINTS SOMETHING THAT FITS

Every so often something seems to slip by the zionist dominated Copy Desk at the New York Times ….

Here’s the latest one … sent By Sam Bahour with the following comment …

Anyone who has heard me give a talk during the past 6+ years has heard me speak of this crossing the wall phenomena. Now, finally, the NYT has caught up.

‘All the Pro Israeli News that’s fit we print’

‘All the Pro Israeli News that’s fit we print’

Smugglers in West
Bank Open Door to Jobs
in Israel, and Violence

A thriving industry allows West Bank residents to get past what Israelis call a security barrier. It has a dangerous side effect: Attackers sneak through as well.

‘MISTAKEN’ ETHNIC CLEANSING

The army has admitted the Palestinians were bystanders, saying they were “mistakenly hit” while soldiers were responding to reports that Palestinians were throwing rocks and firebombs on a highway that runs between Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and the town of Modi’in.

Relatives of Arif Jaradat, a 22-year old who was fatally injured by Israeli occupation forces, mourn over his body during his funeral in Sair village near the West Bank city of Hebron, 20 June. (Nasser Shiyoukhi/ AP Photo)

Relatives of Arif Jaradat, a 22-year old who was fatally injured by Israeli occupation forces, mourn over his body during his funeral in Sair village near the West Bank city of Hebron, 20 June. (Nasser Shiyoukhi/ AP Photo)

Down syndrome man, child, killed by Israeli soldiers

Charlotte Silver

Israeli soldiers opened fired on a car of young Palestinians returning from a late-night pool party celebrating Ramadan, killing 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran and injuring four others.

The army has admitted the Palestinians were bystanders, saying they were “mistakenly hit” while soldiers were responding to reports that Palestinians were throwing rocks and firebombs on a highway that runs between Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and the town of Modi’in.

But the mayor of Beit Ur al-Tahta, Mahmoud’s home village, said the boys’ vehicle was not attacked when it was on Highway 443, but on a smaller road that isn’t used by Israeli drivers.

The highway was built on land expropriated from Palestinians in the occupied West Bank but is reserved for Israelis.

Mahmoud’s father told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz that the car his son was in was driving on an underpass beneath Highway 443 when it was fired on.

“As they approached the passage, a car stood on the bridge, next to a man with a gun who opened fire on the vehicle,” the elder Badran said.

“As far as I could understand, some of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle and some remained inside, and were hit, including my son who was very seriously wounded and died a short time later.”

The Palestinian news website Quds tweeted these photos of Mahmoud.

CldL30VUoAAkllH

A total of seven people were in the vehicle when it was fired on. Three of the injured passengers were taken to a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah and another to an Israeli hospital.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said that soldiers prevented paramedics from attending to the injured Palestinians for over 90 minutes.

The Palestinian health ministry reported that the three teens treated at the Palestinian hospital had bullet wounds in the head and chest.

Israeli soldiers detained the other two passengers, according to their father.

The Israeli army has opened an investigation into the shooting, but such investigations have been criticized for habitually whitewashing incidents in which Palestinians are killed or injured.

According to the Israeli army, an Israeli and two tourists were injured at 1am on Tuesday after a firebomb and rocks were thrown onto Highway 443. A group of soldiers arrived at the scene and reportedly chased after a stone thrower. That is when they shot at Mahmoud Badran’s car.

The Palestinian Authority has called the shooting a “coldblooded assassination.”

“The most loveable person”

In a separate incident, a 22-year-old man with Down syndrome died Sunday evening from wounds sustained when Israeli forces raided his hometown of Sair in the occupied West Bank over a month ago.

Arif Jaradat was shot in the abdomen on 4 May when Israeli forces raided his village.

He is the 14th Palestinian from Sair to be killed by Israeli forces since last October.

Jaradat’s father, Sharif, told Agence France-Presse that his son went outside when he heard villagers confronting soldiers.

“He got about 10 meters from the soldiers and put his hands in the air,” Sharif Jaradat said.

He added that his other sons were there and shouted to the soldiers in English and Hebrew not to shoot.

“There were seven soldiers there; they started to leave but one came back and fired,” Jaradat said.

Arif Jaradat was treated at al-Ahli hospital in Hebron, where he died on Sunday.

On Monday, Jaradat’s family held a funeral attended by dozens of relatives and neighbors.

“He was the most loveable [person] in the village,” his father told AFP.

Beaten by mob

On Saturday night, a mob of bystanders in Tel Aviv beat an unconscious man they believed to be a Palestinian who had intentionally crashed his car into a restaurant.

The man, who later died, reportedly had a heart attack at the wheel, causing him to lose control of his car and crash into the crowded restaurant.

In addition to the driver, who was in his 50s, two customers were killed and six were injured in the accident.

According to reports, customers pulled the unconscious driver from his car and immediately began beating him.

A HOT AND DRY RAMADAN IN PALESTINE

Ramadan 2016: Israel ‘cuts off water supply to West Bank’ during Muslim holy month

 Israel Cuts Water to West Bank During Ramadan Image by Carlos Latuff


Israel Cuts Water to West Bank During Ramadan
Image by Carlos Latuff

Israel has cut off the water supply to large areas of the West Bank, Palestinian authorities have claimed.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have reportedly been left without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting, at a time when temperatures can exceed 35C.

The northern city of Jenin, which has a population of more than 40,000, said its water supplies had been cut in half by Mekorot, Israel’s national water company. Jenin is home to a refugee camp, established in 1953, which contains 16,000 registered refugees.

Ayman Rabi, the executive director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeerathat in some areas people had not received water for more than 40 days.

He said: “People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity.

“Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litres per capita per day.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli government told The Indepedent there is “no truth” in the claims, and said the shortages were down to faulty water lines.

They said: “Several hours ago, COGAT’s Civil Administration team have repaired a burst pipe line, which disrupted the water supply to the villages of Marda, Biddya, Jamma’in, Salfit and Tapuach. The water flow has been regulated and is currently up and running.

“Any effort to connect the disruptions with terror is mistaken and misleading.

“Given the failure to develop infrastructures as a result of the unwillingness on behalf of the Palestinians to convene  the Joint Water Committee (JWC), there are problems in the water supply.”

Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty International’s Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories researcher, said the reports were “alarming”.

He told The Independent: “Israel already allows Palestinians access to only a fraction of the shared water resources in the occupied West Bank, with unlawful Israeli settlements getting almost unlimited water supplies which enable settlers to maintain lush gardens and even fill up numerous private swimming pools.

“Water is a basic need and a right. Mekorot should restore any water supplies to Palestinians it has cut off and the Israel authorities should end their discriminatory water policies, lifting all arbitrary restrictions it currently imposes on Palestinians’ access to this vital resource.”

According to UN guidelines, 7.5 litres per person per day is the minimum requirement under nornal conditions but in some areas of the Palestinian territories the minimum requirement is much higher.

The municipality of Jenin, several villages in Nablus and the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages claimed to have suffered cuts to their water supply.

Almost 200,000 Palestinians in the West Bank do not have access to running water, and require permission before collecting it themselves, according to a report by Amnesty International.

Since 1967, Israel has limited the water available to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since its forces occupied the territories.

Mekorot could not be reached for comment.

Source and photos HERE

#InIsrael ~~ UPGRADING APARTHEID

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

WHY NOT TODAY ???

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

The 3 Palestinian men waited too long in order to pass the checkpoint, the female soldiers were busy taking selfies

Israel Announces $77M Plan to Improve Palestinian Checkpoint Conditions

Israel’s finance and defense ministers announced a two-year plan to improve conditions at security checkpoints in the West Bank.

Moshe Kahlon and Moshe Yaalon, who is expected to be replaced as defense chief by Avigdor Liberman as part of a shakeup in the governing coalition, said the plan would make checkpoints, which tens of thousands of Palestinians go through in order to reach jobs in Israel, more efficient and secure, the Times of Israel reported Thursday.

The program is expected to cost $77 million.

Yaalon said in a statement that the program will decrease the wait times for Palestinians at crossings between “30 to 50 percent” and increase the amount of goods that can be transferred by “approximately 30 percent.”

Last month Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party who in 2012 was named by a settler group as the second-most right-wing member of the Knesset, surprised many when he criticized the “shameful” conditions at the checkpoints.

Ariel, a former leader of the Yesha Council settlers advocacy group and longtime supporter of settlement construction, noted that West Bank Palestinians are often forced to wait at checkpoints for hours without shade, water or other shelter from harsh weather conditions.

Ariel also called for a new port in Gaza, which has been subject to an Israeli naval blockade since 2006, when Hamas won control of Gaza.

According to the Times of Israel, Yaalon is said to be under current consideration for the post of foreign minister.

THURSDAY’S TOON ~~ GOLDMAN SACHS FUNDS HEBRON SETTLERS

Image by Carlos Latuff

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a "clear pattern" of giving to Israeli settler and rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund. And Hillary Clinton hasn't criticized the banking firm that helped propel the 2007 collapse.

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a “clear pattern” of giving to Israeli settler and rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund. And Hillary Clinton hasn’t criticized the banking firm that helped propel the 2007 collapse.

Goldman Sachs is funding Hebron settlers

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins FOR

For years American taxpayers have been bankrolling Jewish-only illegal settlements in the West Bank with hundreds of millions of dollars funneled through tax-exempt non-profit organizations (we’ve covered the issue on Mondoweiss since 2009). One of the organizations which is a frequent recipient of these donations is the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund which supports Hebron’s settler community.

Haaretz reports that Goldman Sachs has a “clear pattern” of giving to Israeli rightwing groups through their Charitable Gift Fund, including the notorious Jewish zealots in Hebron. 

From the article “Why Is Goldman Sachs Funding the Violent, Racist Jewish Settlers of Hebron?“:

So why did Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund, a foundation connected to the world’s most powerful investment bank and run by Goldman Sachs’ top executives, donate $18,000 to the Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund that bankrolls this humanitarian nightmare?

On their IRS tax records, Goldman Sachs Charitable Gift Fund declared the purpose of the gift was “International Humanitarian Program” to needy Hebron families. With revenues of $2,250,000 the Hebron Fund can deliver from hunger quite a few of the 700 Jewish settlers of the city.

Grants to the Hebron Fund are not an isolated occurrence. There is a clear pattern in the Fund’s giving to Israel rightwing groups or their American fronts. In 2012-2013 they gave $708,000 to the American-Israel Education Foundation, AIPAC’s educational arm; $15,000 to the American Jewish International Relations Institute, a right wing organization which “monitors, tracks, and combats anti-Israel voting patterns at the United Nations”; and $6,100 to the American Friends of the Likud Party.

Though the case of granting money to the Jewish community of Hebron is particularly striking, we should see the funding of the Hebron settlement as only one example in the context of hundreds of millions of dollars backing the full range of West Bank settlements.

Of course, Hebron settlers aren’t the only ones experiencing Goldman largesse. Bernie Sanders has made an issue of the $675,000 Clinton received in speaking fees from the investment house just in 2013. And no wonder. Simon Head writes at the New York Review of Books that the connection raises important questions about potential corruption:

These long-running ties with Goldman have paid off for the Clintons. According to a July 2014 analysis in the Wall Street Journal, from 1992 to the present Goldman has been the Clintons’ number one Wall Street contributor, based on speaking fees, charitable donations, and campaign contributions, the three pillars of what I’ve called the Clinton System. As early as 2000, Goldman was the second most generous funder—after Citigroup—of Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, with a contribution of $711,000. In the early 2000s, Bill Clinton was also a Goldman beneficiary, receiving $650,000 from Goldman for four speeches delivered between December 2004 and June 2005. (The transcripts of these speeches do not appear to be currently available.)

By the winter of 2006–2007, however, Goldman and its CEO Lloyd Blankfein were becoming deeply involved in the collapsing housing bubble—and engaging in the practices that have since resulted in years of investigations and lawsuits….

As long as Clinton refuses to reveal the content of her Goldman speeches, the suspicion will remain that she has cast a blind eye on Goldman’s dark years and that her campaign pledge to “rein in Wall Street” cannot be taken seriously.

TRYING TO CROSS THE ‘FLYING CHECKPOINT’ IN PALESTINE

There are hundreds of fixed checkpoints inside the illegally occupied West Bank, most are between one Palestinian area and another and not on the “Green line” but we also have to face the “flying checkpoints” which literally can be anywhere and anytime.

Hizma flying checkpoint

Hizma flying checkpoint

Biodiversity and terrorism

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

I was with two of my students and an International visitor heading to Birzeit for our first class in biodiversity this semester on Saturday when we got selected for search at an Israeli “flying checkpoint”.  There are hundreds of fixed checkpoints inside the illegally occupied West Bank, most are between one Palestinian area and another and not on the “Green line” but we also have to face the “flying checkpoints” which literally can be anywhere and anytime.  In this case a long line of cars were held at Hizma.  When it was our turn, a young Israeli younger than my son told me to stop.  I said can I pull to the side to let other cars pass.  He said no.  There were several of them young recruits dressed in police uniforms and in army uniforms.   In the occupied territories the two services are indistinguishable and operate as one fascist occupation force.  Another Israeli was nearby so I said why can’t I pull to the side.  He turned over to his commanding officer who nodded his agreement.  Then the officer asked me to pull onto the circle in the middle of the road.  They asked for all our ID cards and handed them to another person who went to check them via his computer.  Then they demanded each of us get out of the car in turns.  My students in the back first, then the international visitor, then me.  Some of the uniformed occupiers pointed their guns at us while others demanded we empty all our pockets and frisked us.

They searched the car and they flipped through the camera memory to see all our pictures. They were saying things in Hebrew and I was telling them repeatedly we do not speak Hebrew and that we can speak in English or Arabic to them.  I think they all understood English and at least two showed they understood Arabic after persistence from us.  I repeatedly asked in Arabic and in English why we were picked on.  One occupier said it is because he liked the shape of my car!  When I turned to a female soldier and asked her the same question and adding “are we living in a fascist state,” she merely shrugged her shoulders and said “he liked your car”.  They did not smile but I did, which seemed to irritate them.  Ryan was asked if he smokes anything and why is he here.  Then they asked him “do you like Palestinians,” to which he answered “I like all people!”  After delaying us for half an hour, they handed our ID cards to the international visitor and let us go.  For me, I was used to this.  One of my students (also a museum employee) is from an isolated village of Nahhalin which is frequently closed off has also been frisked and checked many times in the past.  His village was closed in the last three days and he sleeps in Bethlehem instead.  My other student (also a museum employee) and the international visitor had never experienced such harassment.  We joked later that this was a “good taste” of colonial occupation for them.

We discussed how these are really mild experiences compared to others.  For example, for the first five weeks of 2016, Israel demolished an average of 30 Palestinian structures weekly, displacing an average of 66 persons a week (this is three times the weekly average than that in 2015).  Palestinian young people as young as 12 continue to be murdered by Israeli occupation forces almost every other day.  Israeli soldiers carry knives in their backpacks to plant as “evidence” against many Palestinians they murder.  But there is growing Palestinian desperation.  Israeli occupation forces currently hold hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners without charge (“administrative detentions”.)  At least one of those who has been held for nearly three months is on hunger strike (taking only water and salt.)  He will likely die in the next couple of days if Israel does not release him (Mohammad Al-Qeeq).  The Israeli Knesset continues to add racist laws to an already long list of racist laws (over 50) that discriminate against non-Jewish “nominal citizens”. This is not counting hundreds of military orders that discriminate against us who are not considered “nominal citizens” in our own country occupied by individuals with a superiority-inferiority complex gathered from around he world under the banner of Zionism.

Gaza’s situation is far worse than the West Bank and Gaza prisoners get no family visits and the Strip is besieged and starved of basic supplies.  Most of the tunnels that “smuggled” humanitarian supplies have been destroyed.  A slip of the tongue by Israeli Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed that Egypt’s new policy of flooding the tunnels between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula with seawater had come at Israel’s request.  The promise of rebuilding after Israel’s last genocidal attack on Gaza never materialized.  We shudder to think that it is again time for Israel to test new weapons on the Gaza “laboratory”. Israel’s largest “export” is weapons-related technology, and Israeli leaders have to “test” their weapons on the nearly two million captives in the open air prison called Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile Fatah and later Hamas have taken the bait/infection of “Oslo process” believing it is possible to have an authority under occupation.  Here in teh West Bank many good Fatah leaders admit to us privately that they do not support the president whose erm expired years ago and who firest anyone who criticizes him. Yet he takes unilateral decisions to join the despots in “Saudi Arabia” and his speeches are frequently dotted with statements like “we have our hands stretched for peace.. we stop any armed resistance..we arrest activists… we believe only in peaceful demonstrations…ask [beg] the US and International community to exercise its responsibilities .. etc”.  Contrast this with what Ho Chi Minh once said: “Viet Nam has the right to enjoy freedom and independence and in fact has become a free and independent country. The entire Vietnamese people are determined to mobilize all their physical and mental strength, to sacrifice their lives and property in order to safeguard their freedom and independence.”  Or what Martin Luther King Jr said from Birmingham jail: “I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate…who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.'” Or even what Yasser Arafat said during the siege in Beirut or when Israel was pounding his last two rooms in his Ramallah headquarters “we will have freedom or die as martyrs”.

It is hard to cope with political leaders who do not seem to push strong enough but it is harder to deal state terrorism (which is far more devastating than individual terrorism). I (almost) retain sanity by staying busy (teaching plus other volunteer jobs including directing the Palestine Museum of Natural History, clinical laboratory work, writing, lecturing on Palestine, visitor guiding, research, and more.)  Birzeit University where I teach (more coach) a Biodiversity course is a beautiful campus with great students and faculty.  Before class, and having been delayed at the flying checkpoint, my two students had to rush to finish their work on “fruit flies/Drosophila”.  Spring is here and he gardens are blooming. The smell of freshly dug air mixes with the smell of almond blossoms. Good people and good food ameliorate life under occupation.  It helps to have a larger cause than one self.  Like MLK Jr and Steven Biko and Malcolm X, we are some times bewildered by the people around (including internationals and Palestinians) who show signs of “mental occupation” or are simply apathetic. But I would like to focus on those who have freed their minds and are helping others do the same.  There are literally millions of points of light out there.  We do not “win” over the darkness but it is those lights that make life meaningful. My own students (at Bethlehem Bible College, Birziet, and Bethlehem University) are also lights. For all those points of light we say thank you.

Here are a few lights expressing via writing “We are not just numbers”

And here is a timeline of positive actions using boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) done in 2015 as examples of points of light

Having humility to recognize all these lights can help us amplify our own small light.

If you want to help in lighting our small candle locally, please see this

Photoassay of colonialism

 

ACTION: The UK and US government are introducing new rules that would prevent local councils from supporting BDS.

If you live in the UK, please take action to stop the government doing this.
In the US, please write your representative

PHOTO ESSAY OF REBELLIOUS PALESTINIAN YOUTH

Portraits of Palestine’s youth rebellion

“Nobody organizes us. We do not want to depend on anyone or have money involved. It’s better to be independent.” East of al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza Strip

“Nobody organizes us. We do not want to depend on anyone or have money involved. It’s better to be independent.” East of al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza Strip

“We are here to prove to the occupier that we will not accept them. We won’t live in peace with the occupier and we will keep resisting until they leave.” Bethlehem

“We are here to prove to the occupier that we will not accept them. We won’t live in peace with the occupier and we will keep resisting until they leave.” Bethlehem

“Whoever comes here knows they will be either be arrested, or martyred or injured. But in the end, I don’t think anyone is afraid.” North of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement

“Whoever comes here knows they will be either be arrested, or martyred or injured. But in the end, I don’t think anyone is afraid.” North of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement

“Any rational person understands that stone throwing will not damage a military jeep or kill a soldier. However, we use stones to show they are the enemy.” North of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement

“Any rational person understands that stone throwing will not damage a military jeep or kill a soldier. However, we use stones to show they are the enemy.” North of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement

Bethlehem

Bethlehem

“They fire a lot of tear gas into the [Al Azzeh refugee] camp.They want families there to stop us. But the families understand that; they support us and take care of us.” Bethlehem

“They fire a lot of tear gas into the [Al Azzeh refugee] camp.They want families there to stop us. But the families understand that; they support us and take care of us.” Bethlehem

Gaza Strip, east of al-Bureij refugee camp

Gaza Strip, east of al-Bureij refugee camp

“We cover our faces because the occupying authority might [otherwise] arrest us. We also fear our own [Palestinian] authority would arrest us in the same way.” Bethlehem

“We cover our faces because the occupying authority might [otherwise] arrest us. We also fear our own [Palestinian] authority would arrest us in the same way.” Bethlehem

“The [peace] agreements didn’t work. The older generations should have changed them. Our role, you can say, is to refuse these agreements. We are against them, because they do no good to us and our land.” North of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement

“The [peace] agreements didn’t work. The older generations should have changed them. Our role, you can say, is to refuse these agreements. We are against them, because they do no good to us and our land.” North of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement

North of Ramallah, near Beit El settlement

North of Ramallah, near Beit El settlement

Bethlehem

Bethlehem

“There is a lot of pressure now. We look at the videos of the women in al-Aqsa who cannot enter. The occupation wants al-Aqsa. Why can Jews enter and I cannot? It’s only 10 kilometers from here, and I have not been able to go to Jerusalem since 2008.” Bethlehem

“There is a lot of pressure now. We look at the videos of the women in al-Aqsa who cannot enter. The occupation wants al-Aqsa. Why can Jews enter and I cannot? It’s only 10 kilometers from here, and I have not been able to go to Jerusalem since 2008.” Bethlehem

“In the night, at around 1am, the Israeli army comes and arrests men. They also threaten families that their homes will be demolished if their sons will continue to go to throw stones.” Bethlehem

“In the night, at around 1am, the Israeli army comes and arrests men. They also threaten families that their homes will be demolished if their sons will continue to go to throw stones.” Bethlehem

“The [PA’s] Presidential Guard stood in our way. We had an altercation with them. They were kind of embarrassed. Then they told us their work there was only for an hour and a half and then they would allow us in. We refused and kept going.” Bethlehem

“The [PA’s] Presidential Guard stood in our way. We had an altercation with them. They were kind of embarrassed. Then they told us their work there was only for an hour and a half and then they would allow us in. We refused and kept going.” Bethlehem

Gaza Strip, east of al-Bureij refugee camp

Gaza Strip, east of al-Bureij refugee camp

“This land is for everyone, not just the men. Of course the women can participate in the clashes.” Bethlehem

“This land is for everyone, not just the men. Of course the women can participate in the clashes.” Bethlehem

Bethlehem

Bethlehem

“The Palestinian Authority exists by agreement with Israel. The Palestinian Authority only exists to make Israelis feel safe. They work hand-in-hand with the Israeli military. In the West Bank, nobody loves them.” Bethlehem

“The Palestinian Authority exists by agreement with Israel. The Palestinian Authority only exists to make Israelis feel safe. They work hand-in-hand with the Israeli military. In the West Bank, nobody loves them.” Bethlehem

“Sometimes, our families try to talk to us and make us stay home. But every home has someone who has been arrested or killed. So you are also ashamed if you prevent your son from going to the clashes. My mother asked me to come back after one hour, just so she can see I am alright.” Bethlehem

“Sometimes, our families try to talk to us and make us stay home. But every home has someone who has been arrested or killed. So you are also ashamed if you prevent your son from going to the clashes. My mother asked me to come back after one hour, just so she can see I am alright.” Bethlehem

A Palestinian youth in Bethlehem wearing a t-shirt with the hashtag “Bahamish” written on it. “Some shout ‘Bahamish’ to the soldiers. It means ‘it’s ok’ or ‘nevermind.’ But if they kill us, this is not ‘bahamish;’ it’s important.”

A Palestinian youth in Bethlehem wearing a t-shirt with the hashtag “Bahamish” written on it. “Some shout ‘Bahamish’ to the soldiers. It means ‘it’s ok’ or ‘nevermind.’ But if they kill us, this is not ‘bahamish;’ it’s important.”

“The resistance started 100 years ago. I hope we will get our freedom and return to our villages. There is a future for Palestine. But there is no future with occupation.” Bethlehem

“The resistance started 100 years ago. I hope we will get our freedom and return to our villages. There is a future for Palestine. But there is no future with occupation.” Bethlehem

For nearly four months, popular protests, violence and general unrest have buffeted the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, leading some commentators to suggest a third intifada or uprising.

Most of this is driven by restive and young people tired of endless and evidently pointless negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel that have brought no end to Israel’s military occupation and only seen its illegal settlements expand.

“This is our land. We must do anything to free it from occupation,” says Mahmoud, 26, from al-Azzeh refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Mahmoud (not his real name, since Israel frequently arrests protesters) has been a regular participant in demonstrations against the military occupation, in which youth confront Israeli forces with stones and, less frequently, Molotov cocktails. The army tries to suppress these protests with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition.

Since the beginning of last October, which witnessed increased confrontation with the occupation, more than 160 Palestinians and approximately two dozen Israelis have been killed. A United Nations monitoring group recorded a weekly average of 1,000 Palestinian injuries at the hands of the Israeli army during the last quarter of 2015.

Approximately one-third of those Palestinians killed, and many of those injured, were hit by live ammunition while taking part in demonstrations or while they were in the vicinity of protests.

Risks

The youths confronting the Israeli army know all too well the risks involved.

“I have mixed feelings during clashes. Sometimes you are afraid of dying,” Mahmoud explained. “But it’s also good to get the anger out. I have two children. I am married. In the night, I start to think about them, what they will do if I do not come back. But during the clashes, I try not think about it.”

The protests are led by youth and not any particular political party.

Khaled (also a pseudonym), a 21-year-old student from the Ramallah area, said the Palestinian Authority’s only role has been to try to stop them.

“Their role is to bring down the spirit of the people. It does not support us,” he said.

Palpable frustration

Their frustration is palpable and has sparked a debate among analysts and journalists whether this could be termed a third intifada. But the youths themselves seem not to care much about designation.

“First intifada, second intifada, it doesn’t matter. The intifada is connected to the occupation,” said Mahmoud, “and so it will continue. It is an ongoing process.”

The above series of photographs were taken at protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past four months. The quotations included are from the two Palestinian youths interviewed, neither of whom are featured in the photos.

Images by Activestills photographers Anne Paq in Bethlehem, Ezz Al-Zanoon in the Gaza Strip, Mohannad Darabee in the Ramallah area, Oren Ziv in Bethlehem and the Ramallah area. Photo editing by Shiraz Grinbaum.

Activestills is an independent collective based in Israel/Palestine which uses photography as a tool for social and political change.

NEW VIDEO ~~ MEET THE CHILDREN OF THE CAMP

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Children from Bethlehem’s Aida and Beit Jibrin refugee camps talk to Mondoweiss about their life in the camps. Filmmakers Sheren Khalel and Abed al Qaisi wanted to know exactly how much the children understood about the military occupation going on around them, and how normal they believed their lives were. With their parents permission, Khalel and al Qaisi asked five children from the streets of the two camps what they thought. All of the answers were spontaneous and unrehearsed, and as it turned out, the kids understood — and have experienced — quite a lot.

Many of the children talked about tear gas, soldiers, and being scared of going outside. All of the children have seen family members killed, injured and detained by Israeli forces — as is the life in the occupied West Bank’s many refugee camps. Still, the children have high hopes, telling Mondoweiss they want to be doctors, lawyers and engineers when they grow up.

‘FILMED IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE’ ~~ WATCH THE IDF MAIM PALESTINIAN PROTESTERS

As this video demonstrates, live fire amounts to an enjoyable blood sport for the Israelis charged with enforcing the occupation.

Israeli soldiers praise each other for shooting Palestinians

This video is filmed from the perspective of Israeli soldiers shooting at Palestinian youths protesting the occupation.

Soldiers can be heard making lighthearted comments and congratulating each other as they shoot to maim young Palestinians.

At first, the camera focuses on a young Palestinian, apparently holding a sling used to launch rocks towards occupation soldiers (though not apparently in the direction of the camera).

“What about him, doesn’t he want to stand?” a soldier says in Hebrew.

“Standing … standing,” the soldier says, then the crack of a gun is heard and the youth falls to the ground.

“He took it!” a soldier says triumphantly, and adds “He took it in the ass!”

“Well done,” another voice is heard saying. As the soldiers praise each other, Palestinians rush to evacuate the injured youth to safety.

Moments later, the soldiers can be heard discussing targeting another Palestinian youth. “Be ready, on him,” a soldier, apparently in command, says.

He then gives the order to shoot. “He fell. Well done!” he exclaims after the gunshot rings out.

“What a hit!” “Beautiful!” soldiers say.

The video shows at least half a dozen Palestinians being methodically targeted in this manner before the camera briefly pans and captures the faces of two of the Israeli assailants.

One of the Israelis whose face is captured stretches out his hand to cover the camera lens.

The video reveals that the Israeli gunmen are in an armored vehicle or jeep and are in no conceivable danger from the Palestinians they are shooting.

According to the Ma’an News Agency, the footage was released on Facebook last week by Palestinian activists who say it was recovered from a camera dropped by one of the soldiers.

The copy of the video above was subtitled by Ronnie Barkan.

Lethal weapons

Similar videos published by Israeli soldiers themselves have shown soldiers expressing sadistic joy as they shoot Palestinians.

Last year, Israel expanded its permission to occupation soldiers to use lethal .22-caliber sniper guns against Palestinian demonstrators.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem noted in September that from the start of 2015 three Palestinians had been killed by .22-caliber bullets “during stone-throwing incidents in which members of the security forces were not in mortal danger.”

Israel’s policy of shooting Palestinians with live ammunition in order to suppress anti-occupation protests frequently causes devastating and lifelong injuries even when it does not kill.

Restrictions on the use of live fire to “mortal danger” situations exist only on paper.

“Experience gained through monitoring [.22] use in the West Bank shows that the restrictions placed on using this type of ammunition get eroded over time, and the result is a constant expansion of the [.22] use,” B’Tselem says.

As this video demonstrates, live fire amounts to an enjoyable blood sport for the Israelis charged with enforcing the occupation.

NUMBERING PALESTINIANS

Israeli army introduces a new system of identification numbers for the 30,000 Palestinian residents in the city.

Is this next?

Is this next?

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In Hebron ‘even the kids have numbers’

Hebron, Occupied West Bank – Every sunset, 23-year-old Alaa stands in the balcony of her modest stone house overlooking Hebron’s Shuhada Street.

“I count the minutes until he [her husband] comes home. I wait by the window, and I tell him not to be late,” she said, requesting that her last name not be published.

Shuhada Street (Arabic for “Martyrs Street”) was once a bustling thoroughfare running through the heart of the West Bank’s largest city, connecting Hebron’s outdoor market to the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Palestinians buzzed between busy shops and glass factories, and lived in apartments above the shops. The area is also home to 500 hardline Israeli settlers, and has long been a flashpoint for unrest between Palestinians and the Israeli military.

Over the past month, the few Palestinians, who still live on or nearby the street, are enduring a new set of army restrictions and security searches.

On October 30, the Israeli military announced a closed military zone over the area of Hebron under full Israeli security control.

“No one who can come to visit us. My father couldn’t come to see us,” Alaa said.

To enforce the closure, the Israeli army introduced a new system of identification numbers for the 30,000 Palestinian residents of the cordoned-off H2 district which encompasses about 20 percent of Hebron and includes Shuhada Street and a number of Israeli settlements.The remaining 80 percent of the city is under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition to presenting their identification cards at 17 internal checkpoints and undergoing security checks, Palestinians must now orally give soldiers their new ID number when entering and leaving the blockades that enclose Shuhada Street.

The army did not distribute paper documents with the new identification number. Once a soldier is told the number, he then cross-references it with a printed list.

“Anyone who does not have a number is removed or arrested. The Israeli army detained at least 20 international volunteers who monitor H2 area,” said Sohaib Zahda, of the Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlements.

Those who forget their ID numbers or chose not to register sneak in and out of the H2 area through fields, careful not to be caught in the heavily monitored region.

“Even the little kids have numbers,” said Anas Murakatan, 27, who lives in an apartment near a checkpoint at the entrance to Shuhada Street. “I am 58; she is 59,” Anas said, pointing to his pregnant wife, Fadwa Murakatan. His children are 60 and 61.

“When the baby is born, she will get one too.”

Fadwa’s child was due four weeks ago – prompting her husband to joke that “the baby is afraid, so he does not want to come out”. Fadwa explained that when she goes into labour, she will have to walk down Shuhada Street and cross a checkpoint, and only then will she be able to enter an ambulance. She said she had to wait 30 minutes the last time she needed an ambulance.

Because of the new regulations, she said, “we are not allowed to bring any guests. When I give birth, they will not allow my family to come and visit me.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli army said in a statement to Al Jazeera: “Precautionary measures have been implemented in order to prevent future attacks and maintain the safety and well-being of residence of the area.” But the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said, in a statement issued last month, that the new measure constituted “a collective punishment of Hebron residents”.

“Anyone whose name is not on the list cannot cross the checkpoint and is forced to take a long, arduous detour to get home. Some neighborhood residents have not had their names put on the list to protest at being required to receive a permit to enter their own homes,” said the statement.

“In other cases, checkpoint personnel have erroneously left some residents’ names off the list, so these individuals cannot cross the checkpoint either.”

Beyond Hebron’s city centre, the Israeli army mounted a series of mobile checkpoints between Hebron and Bethlehem, causing lengthy delays for motorists at the same location where cars were regularly inspected during the second Intifada

In 1994, after the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli military closed businesses and shops along Shuhada Street.

A decade later, at the end of the Second Intifada in 2005, the army shut down the glass manufacturing plants and prohibited Palestinian vehicles from using the street.

Hundreds of people were forced to move, and those who stayed often have to enter their homes through alleyways.

“Palestinians are barred from Shuhada Street. They are prohibited from even walking down part of it,” said Sarit Michaeli, a spokesperson for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

“This whole situation is meant to facilitate the presence of Israeli settlers. It’s an official policy called the ‘policy of separation’ that the Israeli government has adopted.”

Despite these changes, hardline Israeli politicians say the increased army presence in and around Hebron remains insufficient. Speaking to Army Radio last Monday, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the far-right Jewish Home party, called for a second Defensive Shield, referring to Israel’s large-scale military operation in the West Bank in 2002.

Bennett’s remarks reflect a growing desire among Israeli right-wingers to launch a full-scale advance into Palestinian cities.

While Hebron has long been the site of clashes between settlers and Palestinians, the Murakatans said their neighbourhood has witnessed about three settler attacks a week since it became a closed military zone.

They said the attacks always take place at night, and involve about a dozen settlers parading down Shuhada Street, often stoning Palestinian homes.

“One month ago our daughter, she fell on the stairs, and so my husband took her to the hospital,” recounted Fadwa. “When I came back from the hospital, a settler tried to attack me while I was holding Diala,” Anas said.

In another incident, Israeli soldiers accused Fadwa of concealing a weapon when she left her house to throw rubbish into a bin on Shuhada Street. “I asked, ‘Where is the knife, where is the knife?'” she said, motioning her arms from her chest outward.

As dusk fell, the family of four gathered on their rooftop – the only outdoor play space for the two children, who kicked spent tear gas canisters and a shipping box marked “hazardous”.

A packing slip on the box indicated that its contents were meant for the Israeli army. The container was lobbed on to their house during the near-daily clashes in Hebron between Palestinian youth and the Israeli military.

Below, two settlers strolled across Shuhada Street near a group of soldiers. No Palestinians were on the road.

Meanwhile, Anas reminisced about how different his neighbourhood used to be. “It was very nice; a lot of people were usually here,” he said. “At that time settlers were afraid of us – but now we are afraid of them.”

Source

THOSE UNREASONABLY REASONABLE PALESTINIANS

Both Israel and the US are guilty of misusing the claim of incitement in an attempt to justify their punishment of Palestinians.

As Israel and US wrongly claim ‘incitement’ to justify their actions against Palestinians, the oppressed may resort to new forms of struggle

As Israel and US wrongly claim ‘incitement’ to justify their actions against Palestinians, the oppressed may resort to new forms of struggle

Palestinians ‘have become unreasonably reasonable’

Sam Bahour

“Give me liberty, or give me death!” Patrick Henry declared in a speech he made to the Virginia Convention in 1775, at St John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia. Fast forward 240 years, and if Israel and the US were able to pin those words to a Palestinian and decry incitement, they would do so in a heartbeat.

Like “terrorism,” “incitement” is a word that works great in conflict zones because it means everything and nothing at the same time. However, its misuse as a justification to perpetrate blatant human rights violations and maintain an illegal state of affairs that contributes to conflict being fanned, not diffused.

Both Israel and the US are guilty of misusing the claim of incitement in an attempt to justify their punishment of Palestinians.

For Israel to point to Palestinian incitement, which does exist, as the source of the present violence across Israel and Palestine is pathetic, at best. After dispossessing Palestinians numerous times and leaving more than half the population locked out of their homeland and scattered across the region to live a life of misery as refugees; after installing a system of institutionalized and structural discrimination inside Israel against the Palestinian Muslim and Christian citizens of Israel who remained in the country after Israel’s establishment; after placing (and pressing) a boot of military occupation on the necks of Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip for the past 48 years; after expanding an illegal settlement enterprise from 100,000 settlers to 580,000 settlers, all the while pretending to be engaged in bilateral negotiations to resolve the conflict; and while Israeli prime ministers and ministers continually claim that no Palestinian state will ever be allowed to emerge, while also claiming Palestinians are everything from snakes to subhuman, Israel has no right whatsoever to even hint at incitement as being a factor in this outbreak of violence.

For the US, be it Congress or the Administration, to ignore history and the facts on the ground and point to Palestinian incitement in a knee-jerk reaction to the current violence is criminal.

Secretary of State John Kerry, addressing the current deterioration of security in the region, tells NPR News: “There’s no excuse for the violence. No amount of frustration is appropriate to license any violence anywhere at any time. No violence should occur. And the Palestinians need to understand.” Really?

Palestinians need to “understand” when they are at the receiving end of all the violence mentioned above? And this coming from a country that underwrites Israel to the tune of $10.2 million in military aid each day, that has just completed the total destruction of two sovereign states in the region (Iraq and Afghanistan), and has been Addicted to War since its founding.

Indeed, “no violence should occur,” but regrettably Palestinians will not make world history by being the first people that falls under military occupation and wakes up one morning and accepts it by throwing roses and chocolate at their occupier. The longest military occupation in modern history will be resisted until it ends.

The challenge for everyone is how nonviolently to face the horrendous violence of the occupation, much of which is bloodless violence, violence that does not make the headline news but rather simmers on a slow burner, like the never-ending settlement enterprise or the suffocation of the Palestinian economy.

All of this is not to say that targeting civilians is justified. It is not. But all the stakeholders in this conflict know very well that there are two dynamics at play in this most recent Palestinian outbreak of frustration.

On the one hand, the level of loss of hope has pushed a very small number of Palestinians to undertake violent and horrendous acts against Israeli civilians, many targeting illegal Israeli settlers. This was totally predictable and I, for one, have been speaking in public about the fear of individual, lone-wolf, acts of violence for years.

On the other hand, an entirely new generation of Palestinians has reached a boiling point, and some have taken to the streets in an uncoordinated and disparate fashion to express their outrage at being locked into open-air cages, suffocated economically, and humiliated on a daily basis.

Some claim this latter dynamic is a new intifada, or uprising, but regardless of how it is coined or if it is sustainable or not its message is crystal clear: there is no status quo under Israeli occupation, only the facade of calm while Israel continues literally and figuratively to cement new facts on the ground that are in total violation of international law.

The US State Department, claiming Palestinians are engaged in almighty and undefinable incitement, has cut aid to Palestinians by $80mn as a “message” to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. This funding cut will bring the US’s annual economic assistance to Palestinians from $370mn to $290mn, peanuts in the larger picture and, for many, a sore source of the artificial prop-up which maintains an expired Palestinian Authority.

So as the situation on the ground boils over, and the Israeli government’s intransigence and determination to “forever live by the sword” continues, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was recently reported telling a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the US is making itself more and more irrelevant to the reality on the ground by blindly adopting Israel’s well-crafted incitement mantra.

Israeli adoption of the “incitement” claim to cover up its blatant and systematic violations of international law is not surprising; however, the US jumping on this bandwagon to lay blame on the Palestinian leadership for the current violence is more troubling than the violence itself.

Indeed, former Palestinian diplomat Afif Safieh puts it most succinctly when he says: “Palestinians have become unreasonably reasonable.”

I would add that if the US does not finally act, instead of paying only lip service to a two-state solution, no one in Congress should be surprised when Palestinians drop their bid for statehood and convert this struggle for freedom to a civil rights struggle.

Written FOR

 

Photo: Israeli security forces stand and Palestinians gather at the scene where a Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces after an alleged knife attack in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank (AFP).

THE SETTLER’S PRIVATE JEWTIFADA ~~ CAUGHT ON VIDEO

Settlers gone wild in the wild, wild West Bank …

A video on YouTube showed a masked man lunging at Rabbi Arik Asherman (pictured) [Flickr/Trocaire]

A video on YouTube showed a masked man lunging at Rabbi Arik Asherman (pictured) [Flickr/Trocaire]

Peace activist rabbi attacked by Israeli settler

Video shows moment masked attacker beats Rabbi Arik Ascherman while brandishing a knife in West Bank.

A video has emerged of the moment a settler attacked and beat an Israeli peace activist near the Palestinian village of Awarta in the occupied West Bank.

Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who heads the Rabbis for Human Rights organisation, was part of a group of Israeli and international activists attending an olive harvest at a Palestinian farm on Friday when he was attacked.

The Israeli news outlet ‘+972 Magazine’ reported that Ascherman and other activists noticed Israeli settlers stealing olives and setting fire to plants on the hillside.

When Ascherman went to put out the fire he was set upon by a masked man swinging a knife at him.

The video shows the masked man shouting at Ascherman and then throwing punches at him. The man, who later runs off up hill, lunges at Ascherman with the knife but does not stab him.

Al Jazeera contacted the Israeli military, which occupies the West Bank, and the Israeli police force, which deals with incidents between Israelis in the territory. Both said they were unaware of the attack.

On its Twitter account, Rabbis for Human Rights said the attack was unprovoked and had happened on Palestinian-administered land and not in Itamar, a nearby illegal Israeli settlement.

 

Source

Another report HERE

Rabbi Helping Palestinian Olive Harvest Attacked by Extremist

Was there a report of this crime in YOUR daily western press?

I doubt it

TWO SIDES OF THE MOURNING PROCESS

animcandles1

This week Israelis buried and mourned their victims with full press coverage in the West.

But there are mourners on the other side of the wall that you never hear about …

Youth in Palestinian camps witness the killing of their friends at the hands of Israeli occupiers and then carry on the torch themselves.

“We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist”

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Relatives mourn Ahmad Sharaka in Jalazone refugee camp on 12 October. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

Relatives mourn Ahmad Sharaka in Jalazone refugee camp on 12 October. Oren Ziv ActiveStills

“Son of Palestine” mourned by thousands

“If you grow up in the camp, fear doesn’t exist for you,” said Qassam Dweik, a resident of Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Qassam’s best friend, 14-year-old Ahmad Sharaka, was killed by Israeli soldiers on Sunday. He had been taking part in the ongoing confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth near the Beit El settlement colony.

“We know that rocks will not end the occupation, but it’s all that we have to resist,” Qassam explained.

Built on Palestinian land, Beit El houses the Israeli Civil Administration, the bureaucratic arm of the military occupation, and its district office. The settlement has long been the flashpoint of confrontations between youth and soldiers, though the Palestinian Authority has previously prevented protesters from reaching the area.

Clashes there have intensified, occurring daily after noon prayers, since the beginning of the month, when Israeli occupation forces raided the home of Muhannad Halabi in Surda, a nearby Palestinian village, before dawn on 4 October. Halabi was shot dead by Israeli police the evening before after allegedly stabbing four people, killing two, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the beginning of the month, and seven Israelis have been killed during the same period. As of Sunday, more than 1,300 Palestinians were injuredby live and rubber-coated steel bullets fired by occupation forces.

Committed to struggle

Ahmad and Qassam risked their lives each day by engaging in the clashes near Beit El. Ahmad had called on his friend to join him on Sunday.

Ahmad’s parents, Huda and Abdallah, desperately tried to prevent their son from attending the dangerous confrontations. He had been injured during previous encounters with the army, and the family is still reeling from the death of Ahmad’s uncle, Khalil Sharaka, at the hands of Israeli soldiers during the second intifada.

Ahmad quit school two years ago and his main focus became attending protests and confrontations in defiance of his family’s appeals.

“He was committed to the struggle from a very young age,” his mother told The Electronic Intifada.

Recalling the moment of his best friend’s killing, Qassam said, “We were together when the soldiers’ shooting intensified. I fled, but Ahmad insisted on staying and throwing rocks at the military jeep.”

“A soldier then chased Ahmad with his M-16 and shot him in his left ear,” he added.

“The army left him to bleed and only allowed the ambulances to take him after about 15 minutes,” he said.

Defence for Children International-Palestine reported that Ahmad was pronounced dead from a brain hemorrhage about an hour after he arrived to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

Qassam was stuck near Beit El when he learned that his friend had succumbed to his wounds.

“I first read that he was injured but I wasn’t worried. He always got injured during clashes and quickly recovered. But I then read on Facebook that he was killed and I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

He ran to the hospital in Ramallah and had to plead with security to allow him to see his friend and hug him for the last time.

“I already miss him. No one came to wake me up as he used to do every day,” he lamented.

Dreamed of return

Ahmad’s family hails from the ethnically cleansed village of Beit Nabala near Lydd, in present-day Israel, and like almost all refugees in the camp, he dreamed of returning to his ancestral home.

Haneen, his twin sister, finds it hard to accept that her other half is no longer alive. Ahmad’s friends are also struggling. But they show a composure and strength that belies their youth.

Despite political disagreements between Ahmad and Qassam, their friendship remained intact, a symbol of real unity — one that eludes their leaders. Ahmad had given Qassam a green wristband, a symbol for Hamas.

As Qassam buried his friend with his own hands, he laid the green wristband next to his body on Monday.

“He gave me this because he was a Fatah supporter while I support Hamas,” he explained. “He was wearing my shoes when he was killed yesterday. We always used to exchange our favorite things.”

Ahmad’s friends remember him as incredibly generous and funny. He used to take them to the swimming pool and pay the fees himself.

Ahmad taught himself to swim. That’s no small feat for someone living in the crowded camps where there is little space for recreation. While his friends would find it hard to swim, Ahmad would encourage them and push them to continue and do their best.

Instead of preparing for another swim together, Ahmad’s friends were left to stand at his graveside before quickly heading to another protest near Beit El.

“I regret that I left him alone. I wish that I stayed with him,” Qassam said about fleeing the confrontations just before the killing of his friend. “His killing will only push me to continue going to demonstrations.”

Passing the torch

Youth in Palestinian camps witness the killing of their friends at the hands of Israeli occupiers and then carry on the torch themselves.

Ahmad Sharaka knew Laith al-Khalidi, another child from Jalazone camp killed earlier this summer.

“He knew him and took part in his funeral. Here in the camps even children resist because it’s the only choice they have,” Ahmad’s mother said.

Ahmad’s funeral procession was massive, attended by thousands.

“In the funerals of martyrs, almost the entire camp comes to pay homage,” said a relative of Ahmad’s who was also present at the funeral.

Ahmad and his friends, despite their tender age, embody the spirit of the refugee camps. The first to rise up against Israeli oppression, they are the bulwark of the Palestinian cause and identity.

“Ahmad was not just the son of Jalzone refugee camp; he didn’t sacrifice his life for this or that political faction,” Qassam said. “He was the son of all of Palestine.”

Budour Youssef Hassan is a Palestinian writer and law graduate based in occupied Jerusalem.

ARE WE ON THE VERGE OF A NEW INTIFADA?

It is amply clear that the chances for a new intifada are now greater than ever before in light of the deep anger and indignation generated among most Palestinians by Israeli provocations and crimes.

Are Palestinians on the verge of a new Intifada?

By Khalid Amayreh in Occupied Palestine

Palestinians, especially youngsters, are taking to the streets in large numbers to protest increasingly determined efforts by Jewish fanatics to take over or demolish al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.

A number of protesters, including a child, have been shot dead by trigger-happy Israeli soldiers, instructed by the Israeli government to shoot to kill even peaceful protesters.

According to eyewitnesses, Abdul Rahman Ubaydullah, 12, was shot dead early Tuesday by an Israeli sniper as he was playing outside his home at the Ayda refugee camp near Bethlehem.

Israel murdered thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children, in three devastating wars on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014.

On Monday, another Palestinian youngster named Huthayfa Suleiman was shot dead at the Shweika neighborhood near the town of Tulkarem, in the northern West Bank.

Palestinian medical sources have reported that as many as 600 protesters were injured in the last three days, 300 by rubber-coated bullets, and the rest as a result of suffocation from tear-gas inhalation.

The hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on Monday vowed to take “harsh” measures against “rioters.”

The measures include instructions to kill stone-throwers, and demolish the family homes of Palestinians accused of killing Israeli settlers as well as imposing hefty fines on their families.

The measures seem to represent a stark contrast to the extremely lenient measures adopted against Jewish terrorists responsible for murdering Palestinians.

Nearly two months ago, Jewish terrorists burned alive an entire Palestinian family at the village of Duma near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

The father, mother and a small toddler succumbed to their massive burns while a second and only remaining child of the family is still fighting for his life in hospital.

Israel vowed to catch the perpetrators. However, two months after the ugly incident, none of the murderers has been apprehended.

It is widely believed that the Israeli security agencies as well as justice system are reluctant to pursue the Talmudic settler terrorists who are backed by powerful political figures as and top-ranking army officers.

The Israeli justice system, which is rife with right-wing judges sympathetic to the terrorists, often treats Jewish suspects as “innocent even if proven guilty,” using the words of Israeli peace activist.

Al-Aqsa, the epicenter

The main reason behind current Palestinian protests is the recurrent and increasingly bold Jewish attempts to take over the Aqsa Mosque from Muslim hands in order to build on its site a Jewish temple.

Messianic Jewish groups, backed by powerful parties within the coalition government led by Netanyahu have been storming the Islamic sanctuary, nearly on a daily basis, under the protection of the Israeli security forces.

Muslims who tried to defend the sanctity of the place were severely beaten, shot at, or arrested and given hefty fines.

On Monday, crack Israeli soldiers expelled Muslim worshipers from the place.

Messianic Jews believe that the destruction of the Aqsa Mosque and building a Talmudic temple on its site would usher in the beginning of the so-called “redemption age” and appearance of a Jewish Messiah or redeemer, who will bring salvation for Jews and establish a world-wide Jewish empire.

Some Jewish circles, including religious Zionists, whose main political arm, ha-Bayt ha Yehudi, (Jewish home), is the second largest party in the current Israeli government, believe that bloodshed and violence on a very large scale must precede the redemption and appearance of the redeemer.

Believers in this  cataclysmic theology, who are in the hundreds of thousands and include most settlers in the West Bank, often seek to expedite these doomsday whims  by provoking violence in Occupied Palestine, especially by torching mosques and even churches and by committing outrageous acts of murder like what happened to the Dawabsheh family.

However, Messianic Jews know well that nothing would provoke the Palestinians like the recurrent storming of the Aqsa Mosque.

Life- and- death issue

In a certain sense, the millenarian Jews are correct.

Assaults on the Aqsa Mosque, even under the deceptive rubric of “innocent visits” do provoke Palestinians as nothing else would.

After all, the Aqsa Mosque is an integral part of the Islamic belief itself.  The Mosque is mentioned by name in Suratul Isra (Chapter- 17)

Most Palestinians actually believe that the majestic Muslim sanctuary, to which the Prophet Muhammed made his night journey from Mecca and subsequently flew from there to the seventh heaven in what is known in Muslim traditions as Israa and Mi’iraj, symbolizes their very existence in Palestine.

Hence, targeting the Mosque by Jews is viewed as a direct, brazen and flagrant attack or declaration of war on the very existence of the Palestinians, not only in Palestine, but also in the Levant region.

That is why; nearly every Palestinian considers the issue a matter of life and death even at the personal level.

A new Intifada

It is difficult to say with certainty whether an intifada or uprising is occurring or going to occur soon.

However, it is amply clear that the chances for a new intifada are now greater than ever before in light of the deep anger and indignation generated among most Palestinians by Israeli provocations and crimes.

Hence, it is probably logical to say that the evolution of the present protests in the West Bank into a full-fledged uprising depends very much on Israeli behaviors, especially at the Aqsa Mosque.

More to the point, the virtual death of the so-called peace process and the practical elimination by Israel of all realistic prospects for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state are likely to make the eruption of a third Intifada more likely if not inevitable.

REPORTS THAT ARE NOT FIT TO PRINT IN THE WESTERN MEDIA

OR ~~ WHOSE INTIFADA IS IT ANYWAYS?

Minneapolis protest outside Star Tribune slams lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis protest outside Star Tribune slams lack of coverage of Israeli settler violence. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

The Western Media has been going viral over the past few days over terrorist murders of Israelis.

What about the murders of Palestinians? That you won’t read about in the West ….

Below are the latest reports from the Palestinian Press (Click on links below the photos)

IT’S SO EASY TO BLAME THE VICTIM

The myth …

Leaving for UN, Benjamin Netanyahu Blames Palestinians for Jerusalem Violence

See full report HERE

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The reality … it’s not just the Temple Mount … (click on links)

Israeli forces cross into Gaza, level land

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Nablus police chief, 3-year-old daughter injured by Israeli fire

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Israeli forces continue entry restrictions to Aqsa compound

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New clashes as Israeli forces raid Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

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Israel imposes lockdown on East Jerusalem neighborhoods

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There are more examples, many more …. none of which you will read about in the Western Media.

That’s why WE ARE HERE!

A WANTED POSTER YOU WON’T FIND IN YOUR POST OFFICE

This brilliant poster was created by Shaul Hanuka Help us realise justice by circulating it widely

This brilliant poster was created by Shaul Hanuka
Help us realise justice by circulating it widely

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In Memory of Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18-yo Palestinian Student murdered by Israeli Troops in Hebron

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Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

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Related report FROM

Palestinian teen shot in Hebron by Israeli forces dies from injuries

A Palestinian teenager shot by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in Hebron died from her injuries on Tuesday, Israeli medical sources said.

The teenager, identified as 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon, was shot three times by Israeli soldiers after allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack, Israel’s army said.

A spokesperson for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center where she was taken for treatment said the teenager was “terribly injured, and underwent surgery upon her arrival.

“She later died from her injuries, the spokesperson confirmed.

No Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident, and the Israeli army did not release photographs of a knife, as they have done on several other recent occasions.

The army spokeswoman said that the attack had been “thwarted.”

A local activist group Youth Against Settlements later released what it said were photos of the incident, appearing to show Israeli soldiers aiming their weapons at the woman, as first she faced them and afterward turned away from them.

Another photo appeared to show the woman slumped on the street, after she was shot and wounded.

Video footage from Palestinian news agency PalMedia showed al-Hashlamon left bleeding on the pavement, reportedly for up to 30 minutes before she received treatment.

The footage shows the woman being dragged out of camera frame, while soldiers and heavily armed settlers look on.

Al-Hashlamon’s death marks at least 25 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since the start of 2015, according to UN documentation, not including Palestinian deaths caused by Israeli settlers.

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NASA FINDS WATER ON MARS AS PALESTINE REMAINS DRY

Tens of cattle owned by Palestinians died after Israeli water firm cut off water supplies for Palestinian village in Nablus. 

cattle

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New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

New findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

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12000802_872795769455129_3188029852836126768_o (1)
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Thanks to Shaul Hanuka for the above

WHY ISRAELIS GET AWAY WITH MURDER

Why Israelis can burn Palestinians alive and get away with it

Watch this before YouTube removes it

By Maureen Clare Murphy

“I was on the balcony of my home. I heard Saad screaming, ‘Help me. They’ve killed me,’” explains Ibrahim Dawabsha in a new short documentary produced by the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq (watch it at the top of this page).

Ibrahim rushed out to find Saad Dawabsha and his wife, Riham, lying on the ground, their bodies on fire.

A masked figure stood near Saad, and another stood near his wife.

Ibrahim carried Saad and then Riham away from their burning home, and then rescued their 4-year-old son Ahmed from inside.

“I took him to my neighbor’s house. The neighbor told me that there was also another child inside the house. His name was Ali. I went back to Saad’s home. At that time, the whole house was on fire.”

While villagers waited for firefighters to arrive, they tried in vain to rescue baby Ali, who perished in the fire.

Violent cell

Six hours before the Dawabsha family home was set ablaze in the occupied West Bank village of Duma on 31 July, Israel’s Channel 2 aired an exposé on a group of settlers who had set fire to the historic Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes in the Galilee region of present-day Israel.

When they were arrested, Channel 2 reported, the members of the cell admitted that they had set fire to the church as well as to homes and mosques in the West Bank. Investigators found a CD they produced which describes how Arabs can be burned alive: break the windows of a home, throw flammable material into the rooms and set fire to the exits.

“This way Arabs are burned to death,” the instructions assure.

After the Dawabsha home was set on fire, the Israeli military held a press conference outside it.

Al-Haq’s documentary shows an army spokesperson stating, in Arabic, that Israel promises “to arrest those who did this and bring them to justice.”

No one knows the emptiness of such promises more than Hussein Abu Khudair.

His 16-year-old son Muhammad was abducted from outside his Jerusalem home and burned alive in June 2014, hours after a right-wing rally in the city during which protesters chanted “Death to the Arabs.”

“Those who abducted my son had participated in the demonstration, which provided moral support for them to kidnap and set my son Muhammad on fire,” Hussein explains in the documentary.

“For four days, the Israeli police claimed that my son had been killed on grounds of family disputes,” he adds.

“If it had not been for surveillance cameras that documented the abduction and the abductors, the Israeli police would have registered the case against unknown persons.”

“When the judge is your enemy”

The perpetrators of Muhammad’s murder are being brought to trial. But Hussein doesn’t believe that it will bring justice for his family.

“The Israeli judiciary is not impartial. When the judge is your enemy, who can you complain to? The Israeli judiciary is sympathetic to these criminals.”

Hussein insists that the people who killed his son should not have been able to commit the crime in the first place.

“The police cooperated with them in spite of the fact that they should have arrested them before they burned and killed Muhammad,” he says.

One can only imagine that Saad and Riham Dawabsha would say the same about those who murdered 18-month-old Ali.

But Saad died of his injuries one week after the attack, and then Riham succumbed to hers one month later.

Impunity

Nearly two months since the attack, no one has been charged in connection with the crime, though the Israeli government knows who did it.

The Israeli army spokesperson’s promise to catch the Dawabsha family’s killers is cynical enough, given the long history of settlers attacking Palestinians and their crops, homes and places of worship without punishment.

But it is also totally insincere, as the army protects those settlers’ very presence in the West Bank through its violent occupation that robs Palestinians of their most basic rights.

Israel’s army exists in service to the settlers, who are a necessary component of the state’s settler-colonyenterprise.

Why would the army inflict worse punishment on settlers when its own uniformed soldiers routinely get away with murdering Palestinians at checkpoints, like they did 18-year-old Hadil Salah Hashlamoun on Tuesday?

To believe that a Palestinian family could obtain justice in Israel’s courts is to completely ignore the reality of the system and who it is designed to serve.

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