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Dagelijks archief 8 maart 2017

The Times: BDS campaigns cost Israel tens of millions of pounds

BDS campagne

The Times newspaper revealed Wednesday that Israeli Knesset’s legislation prohibiting entry into Israel of foreign activists calling for a boycott against Israel aims to confront the heavy economic losses caused by the boycott campaigns.

Members of the Knesset described the legislationwas a necessary step to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign that tries to place economic pressure on Israel, the paper said.

Approved late on Monday by a 46-28 vote, the bill applies to anyone who makes a “public call” for a boycott.

The law also applies to foreigners who support a targeted boycott of Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law. It would include employees of organisations such as Jewish Voice for Peace, a liberal activist group in the United States.

“My grandparents are buried in Israel, my husband and kids are citizens and I lived there for three years, but this bill would bar me from visiting,” the paper quoted Rebecca Vilkomerson, the group’s executive director, as saying.

Economists say that the campaign has done only token damage to the Israeli economy, shaving tens of millions of pounds off the country’s £240 billion annual GDP.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Israeli police ambush, assault, and detain relatives of freed Palestinian prisoner

Mansour Darwish

28-year-old Mansour Darwish, beaten by Israeli police after attempted to welcome his cousin home from prison

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Five Palestinians said they were pulled from their vehicles, violently assaulted, and detained by Israeli forces at a checkpoint in occupied East Jerusalem, after returning home from southern Israel where they had attempted to welcome home their relative who had just been released from Israeli prison.

Moussa Darwish was set to be released from Ktziot prison in the Negev region on Sunday after completing a 12-year sentence, but the newly freed man found Israeli intelligence officers waiting for him outside the prison, who immediately redetained him.
Israeli forces prevented the group of family and friends from approaching Darwish, after they had traveled from Issawiya in East Jerusalem and arrived to the prison.
They were notified that Darwish had been taken to Israel’s Russian Compound detention center back in West Jerusalem for interrogation. After several hours, Israeli forces again released Darwish.
However, Darwish’s friends and relatives —  Ahmad Darwish, 52, Ibrahim Darwish, 42, Mansour Darwish, 28, Muhammad Ubeid, 25, and Saeb Dirbas, 23 — said that upon their return to Jerusalem, their three vehicles were “ambushed” by Israeli forces who had set up a flying checkpoint at the entrance to the city.
In an interview with Ma’an on Wednesday, Mansour Darwish, the former prisoner’s cousin, said that their group encountered a crippling traffic jam caused by the checkpoint.
“When we tried to pass the checkpoint, our cars were stopped one after the other. Without even asking for our IDs or driving licenses, they made us step outside, and officers from the Israeli police special Yasam unit started to beat us violently — and we had no idea why.”
Mansour highlighted that Israeli forces were heavily deployed in and around the checkpoint while police punched and kicked the five men in the face, chest, behind the ears, and other sensitive areas, also beating them with rifle butts and batons.
Mansour Darwish1
52-year-old Ahmad Darwish, pictured with a black eye inflicted by the police beating
The five were then taken to the Russian Compound detention center, and shortly after, Ahmad Darwish, Ibrahim Darwish, and Saeb Dirbas were released.
Mansour Darwish and Muhammad Ubeid remained in detention until the following day on Monday.
Mansour Darwish said that after spending the night in detention, he and Ubeid were taken to court on Monday and the judge decided to release them at a bail of 1,500 shekels (approximately $410) each, and placed them under five-day house arrest.
He stressed that Israeli officers continued to assault the five men while they were being transported to the detention center and also while they were inside the compound.
“At midnight (Monday) when we were referred to a doctor inside the Russian Compound, he refused to treat us even though we had blood running down our faces, which were badly swollen and bruised.”
Mansour Darwish2
Only in the early dawn hours of Monday were they sent for treatment at Israel’s Hadassah hospital in West Jerusalem.
The victims told Ma’an that they would file a complaint against Israeli police to the internal investigations department, highlighting that despite accusations from their interrogators that they had “harassed and attacked police officers, were driving very fast, and disobeyed police orders,” they had been travelling within the speed limit and were not given any police orders throughout the ordeal with which to comply.
Mansour Darwish4
Ahmad Darwish displays his swollen and bruised elbow
Cases of discrimination, abuse, and mistreatment of Palestinian adults and children by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem have been well-documented and widely condemned for years.
Rights groups have also condemned the expansive network of checkpoints and roadblocks enforced by Israeli police across occupied East Jerusalem, disrupting freedom of movement for some 300,000 Palestinians, which Israeli NGO B’Tselem has said amounts to “collective punishment.”
In recent months, Israeli forces have meanwhile escalated a crackdown on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem through hundreds of violent overnight raids, handing down harsh prison sentences to local youth, in addition to a demolition of campaign of Palestinian homes as illegal Israeli settlements in the area continue to expand.
Israeli daily Haaretz recently reported that intelligence-gathering raids in East Jerusalem were made in breach of protocol and constituted a violation of residents’ basic rights. The report said that over the course of two months, some 500 Palestinian homes had been raided in East Jerusalem by Israeli police officers who did not present warrants, contrary to proper procedures.
(Source / 08.03.2017)

Israel holding 65 female Palestinian prisoners, rights group says

The file photo shows a female Palestinian prisoner.

The file photo shows a female Palestinian prisoner

The Israeli regime is holding 65 Palestinian women, including 12 minors, “under dire conditions” in its jails, a rights group says.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said in a statement on Tuesday, the eve of the International Women’s Day, that the female prisoners were being held in HaSharon and Damon jails, whose prison cells are unbearably cold in winter and hot in summer.

The rights group said the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) imposes restrictions on the provision of clothes, bed sheets and shoes.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said in a statement on Tuesday, “Palestinian women continue to suffer severe psychological, physical, and emotional abuse and endure grave acts of oppression, violence, and hardship at the hands of Israel and its unbridled violations.”

Ashrawi said some 15,000 Palestinian women and girls have been by Israel since 1967.

Amina al-Tawil, the spokeswoman of the Palestinian Prisoners Center for Studies, said in a statement on March 4 that female Palestinian prisoners in HaSharon and Damon were facing harsh conditions and their living conditions “worsen day by day.”

She added that many of the female Palestinian prisoners lacked the “basics of human life,” while prison officials “ban them from even simple rights and from continuing their studies.”

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Gaza’s women of steel

Women in Gaza are stepping up as family breadwinners, breaking cultural norms as they strive to make ends meet.

Kullab sometimes goes for days without catching anything

Gaza Strip – At 42 percent, Gaza has the world’s highest unemployment rate – and while the rate of women in the workforce is only 15 percent, compared to 71 percent of men, many of them are trying to close the gap.

More and more women are breaking societal norms and working in jobs that have been traditionally reserved for men as they step up to serve as their family’s breadwinners. Al Jazeera spoke with three women about how their non-traditional jobs have changed their lives.

Gaza’s female bus driver

The children first called her “Uncle Salwa”.

“The kids thought only men drive cars,” Salwa Srour told Al Jazeera. “I broke the traditions. I’m the first lady in the Gaza Strip that drives a bus.”

Srour sets out at 6:30 every morning in her 1989 Volkswagen minibus, circling around Gaza City to pick up each child and drive them to the kindergarten class that she opened in 2005 with her sister, Sajda.

Initially, they hired male bus drivers, but Srour decided to take over the job after hearing parents’ complaints about drivers being impatient with the children or showing up late.

Class starts from the moment the children enter the school bus, where they begin learning new words in English

“We would call him, but there would always be excuses. He would always say, ‘I’m on my way,’ but the kids would be waiting and there would still be no bus,” Srour explained.

When the parents started calling her to ask why their kids were not home yet, Srour decided to take matters into her own hands and drive the children to kindergarten herself.

Srour has been driving children to school for five years now. Class starts from the moment they enter the school bus and begin learning new words in English. Stepping on to the bus, the children greet Srour with “Good morning” as they each pull out a shekel from their pocket.

“Zain, go back,” Srour tells a four-year-old in English, indicating the back of the bus.

“Go back! Go back!” the kids repeat in unison as Zain makes his way towards the back seat.

Srour has been passionate about driving since her high-school days, recalling with a laugh how she used to sneak out and drive her grandmother’s car around Gaza at the age of 16.

After graduating from high school, she immediately insisted on getting her driver’s licence, at a time when few women were doing so.

“It’s really weird for people to see a woman driver, but after hearing my story, they started to encourage me,” Srour said.

The fisherwoman of Gaza

“Every day you go out, you’re not sure if you’ll come back,” Madleen Kullab said as she looked out to the sea from Gaza’s port. “It’s a difficult situation. When we approach the fifth mile, we start getting shot at. There are a lot of risks, but I do it because I have to.”

It has been nearly a decade since 22-year-old Kullab took over her father’s role as a fisherman and the family’s breadwinner, after her father was diagnosed with myeletis, an inflammation of the spinal cord, leaving him disabled.

Kullab and her two younger brothers set out early in the morning, between 3am and 5am, or at sunset to cast their nets. She typically catches sardines.

“You’ll catch whatever you’re meant to catch,” Kullab, Gaza’s only female fisher, told Al Jazeera.

It has been nearly a decade since 22-year-old Madleen Kullab took over her father’s role as a fisherman and the family’s breadwinner

The job mostly depends on luck, as Israel has restricted Gaza’s fishers to a six-nautical-mile limit – less than a third of the fishing area allocated under the Oslo agreements. There simply are not enough fish in the restricted area; the catch is often meagre, and Kullab sometimes goes for days without catching anything. For a better-quality haul, they would need to sail out at least 10 miles.

As she walks along the dock, tiny sardines litter the ground as fishermen sort their morning loads in crates. The harbour is full of boats resting under cloudy skies.

Gaza’s worsening economic situation has hit the fishing industry hard, with the number of working fishermen  dropping from 10,000 in 2000 to 4,000 last year. Fishers typically live on loans for the whole year, including Kullab, who does not fish during winter. The sea is especially rough in winter and the waves can get too high for her modest wooden boat. Even when she does fish, her daily catch earns her only 10 shekels ($2.60).

I get shot at every time I go out [into the sea] … Anything is better than fishing, even if it’s just for 10 shekels.

Madleen Kullab, fisherwoman

The business has become too deadly, she says, and she is looking for a way out, attending college in hopes of becoming a secretary.

“I get shot at every time I go out [into the sea] … Anything is better than fishing, even if it’s just for 10 shekels,” Kullab said, recalling the time she witnessed 17-year-old Mohammad Mansour Baker shot and killed while he was fishing with his brothers.

“There were more than 10 boats. We were only three miles out when the Israeli ships started shooting without any reason, targeting us,” she said. “Mohammad was shot at the side of his stomach; the bullet came out from his back and he died on the spot.”

Gaza’s female blacksmith

Underneath a makeshift tent on a sandy street three kilometres from Gaza’s port, Ayesha Ibrahim, 37, and her 15-year-old daughter take turns pounding hot iron with heavy hammers. Another daughter pumps a bag that throws puffs of oxygen into the small fire, where they heat the rods.

This is how Ibrahim, Gaza’s only female blacksmith, helps provide for her seven children. For the past 20 years, she and her husband have been collecting pieces of metal from the streets and from destroyed houses and shaping them into axes, knives, cooking grates, metal anchors and other items, which they sell at the market.

Ibrahim, 37, and her 15-year-old daughter take turns pounding hot iron with heavy hammers

It takes about three days to make one item; shaping the iron with a heavy hammer requires time and patience. One piece usually sells for about six shekels ($1.60) at the market, and they earn 10 to 20 shekels a day.

Sparks fly as Ibrahim pounds the burning iron. Her hands are swollen and her back is in pain; it is a tough job, especially as she is eight months pregnant.

“The most difficult part is that we don’t have a place of our own to work. Everyone that passes by has to look,” Ibrahim said.

Her husband takes medication for his nerves after being injured one evening when a 150kg piece of iron fell on his hand.

“It was a terrible night. We couldn’t afford to call an ambulance; thankfully, a man from the street offered help and took him in his car,” Ibrahim said. “At the hospital, they told him to stay for the night; they were afraid his injury might get infected, but we had no money to pay for the overnight stay, so he came right back.”

It is a struggle every day to put food on the table. Although more than half of Gaza’s population relies on United Nations food aid, Ibrahim’s family does not qualify because they cannot prove they are refugees, she said.

Ibrahim, whose father was also a blacksmith, spent her childhood selling his items at the market. She got married when she was 15. Today, her family lives off loans, and their landlord allows them to stay in his apartment free of charge. Owning a space of their own remains a distant dream.

“Our conditions are very harsh, very tough – but I have no choice but to continue working for my children,” Ibrahim said. “I don’t want my children to be like me in any way and to work like I did when I was young. I want a better future for them.”

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Will Syrian students be banned from Egypt’s universities?

A view of Cairo University, which is considered to be Egypt’s premier public university, Giza, Egypt. Posted Dec. 1, 2016

Abdel Aty Massoud, a member of the Education and Scientific Research Committee in Egypt’s parliament, sparked debate after he suggested banning students who are from Syria and other countries from enrolling in Egyptian public universities. As a result, the committee was divided into two camps. While some backed this suggestion because universities are overcrowded, others opposed it, arguing that close bilateral ties between Egypt and Syria need to be preserved.

The Education and Scientific Research Parliamentary Committee met Feb. 12 to discuss Massoud’s proposal. The meeting was attended by then-Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ashraf El Shihy.

Some members believe that it is necessary to deny enrollment to Syrian students and that Egyptian students be given priority because of the lack of openings in the universities. Others, however, considered that it is necessary that all Syrian students be admitted to universities and have equal rights in terms of tuition fees and attendance.

Alif Kamel, a member of the committee, told the press Feb. 11, “The demand that Egyptian and Syrian students be treated equally must be heeded, to highlight Arab unity and Egyptian-Syrian cooperation. But it would be an obligation for Egypt to stand by its Arab brethren should more universities be established in Egypt,” in reference to the overwhelming number of Egyptian students and the limited number of universities in Egypt.

Kamel added, “Egypt is not a wealthy state that can assimilate a large number of students from other countries into its education sector. Syrian students cannot be enrolled at the expense of Egyptian students; priority should be given to Egyptian citizens. Egyptian students need to be enrolled first, and in case there is a surplus of seats in universities, Syrian students may be admitted without any discrimination between them and Egyptians.”

Shihy said during the meeting, “It is unacceptable that well-off Syrian students take the Egyptian students’ seats and rights. I will not have any student of any citizenship replace Egyptian students.”

Ghida Shafiq Qalaji, secretary-general of the Syrian General Commission for Refugees and Development, an organization in Egypt that provides assistance to Syrian refugees, told Al-Monitor, “Syrian students have put up with a lot of suffering. Everybody knows about the internal war and crises the Syrian people have suffered from, which forced them to abandon their houses and jobs and resort to Arab countries, including Egypt, which had always supported us. Yet things have changed this year. After Syrian and Egyptian students paid equal tuition fees, which were minimal and convenient, universities are heading toward the implementation of a new system requiring that tuition fees be paid in dollars instead of Egyptian pounds. This system, however, is applicable to students who do not hold a degree from Egyptian high schools.”

The tuition decision requires that foreigners, be they refugees or immigrants, pay a higher fee in hard currency, contrary to the past when they paid minimal fees just like Egyptian students.

She added, “For instance, all faculties of medicine at Egyptian universities are requiring that all refugees and immigrants pay $7,000 per year. There is no distinction between refugees and immigrants in the education sector. It is impossible for us to pay this sum.”

Qalaji added, “Nevertheless, given our suffering, Syrian students willing to be enrolled in any public university [are an exception and are given a] 50% reduction of tuition fees. For instance, in order for a Syrian student to register at the faculty of medicine, $3,500 needs to be paid. This sum is also big. Where can the Syrian student get this sum from?”

Qalaji viewed that it is impossible for refugees to pay this sum, despite the reduction, and demanded that Syrian refugees and Egyptian students pay the minimal fee of about 600 Egyptian pounds ($37) in public universities.

She continued, “I don’t know why universities took such a decision that serves a ban preventing the admission of Syrian and other refugees in Egyptian universities. We know well that Egypt is facing an economic crisis and needs to boost foreign currency supply. We also know that there is huge number of Syrian refugees in Egypt. … But why do Syrian refugees have to pay the cost?”

According to Sept. 23, 2016, UNHCR figures, “As of August 31, 187,838 refugees and asylum-seekers have been registered with UNHCR in Egypt. The largest number, 116,175 — or 62% of the total [number of refugees] — were Syrians, followed by 31,200 Sudanese, 10,941 Ethiopians, 7,254 Somalis and 7,000 Iraqis, among others.”

Qalaji concluded, “Egypt is a host country of Syrian and African refugees. In the name of brotherhood, we call upon Egypt to cancel the new system adopted by the government in universities and bring equality back between Egyptian and Syrian students, so that minimal fees can be paid in Egyptian pounds, as was the case last year.”

Egypt ratified on June 28, 1980, the 1951 Refugee Convention providing for the social and legal protection of refugees without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin.

Constitution Article 93 stipulates that “the state is committed to the agreements, covenants and international conventions of human rights that were ratified by Egypt.”

Speaking to Al-Monitor, Education and Scientific Research Parliamentary Committee member Samir Ghattas rejected Massoud’s proposal, saying, “Egypt’s ties with brethren Syrian people are historical and deep. We certainly reject the proposal to ban Syrian and other Arab and African students from being enrolled in Egyptian universities. We stressed the need that they receive equal treatment regarding tuition fees, which Egyptian students pay in Egyptian pounds. This was decided by the committee at the end of the meeting, and the minister complied with our request. Yet a distinction needs to be made between Syrian refugees and immigrant students, as immigrants and refugees should not be equated with Egyptian students. Well-off Syrian students who got their secondary school degrees from Saudi Arabia, for instance, will not benefit from low fees.”

The proposal to ban the entry of Syrian refugees to Egyptian universities is on hold until parliament approves or rejects it during the next few weeks.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Adhan ban bill passes first Knesset reading

Adhan ban bill

The Israeli Knesset passed Wednesday afternoon first reading of the edited motion of Adhan ban bill.

Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation had earlier approved an amendment to the contested Adhan ban bill, which seeks to impose limits on the Muslim call to prayer within the Green Line and in occupied Jerusalem, paving the way for the bill to be voted on in the Knesset.

The bill was modified to prevent the use of loudspeakers by mosques only between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., after ultra-Orthodox Israeli Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman filed an appeal against the draft law in November out of fear that it could also affect use of sirens for the weekly Jewish call for Shabbat.

Violations of the ban on loudspeakers during those hours will be fined 10,000 shekels ($2,665).

The bill will be submitted to the Knesset and will have to go through three rounds of votes before it can pass into law.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

15 Palestinian female prisoners suffer poor detention conditions

15 Palestijnse vrouwen

5 Palestinian female prisoners are being imprisoned by Israel “under dire conditions” in Damon prison, according to a statement released by the PA committee for prisoners and ex-prisoners on Tuesday.

The 15 female prisoners are held in two cells in section 6 of the prison, the statement pointed out.

The prisoners complained of their transport in the “Bosta” to courts and back which takes three days each time.

In courts, they are obliged to wait for long hours in very cold and dirty rooms.

The statement noted that the jailed mothers continue to suffer severe psychological, physical, and emotional abuse as they are denied family and children’s visits for long periods.

As the world marks International Women’s Day, 65 Palestinian women, including 12 minors, are being imprisoned by Israel amid very difficult detention conditions.

(Source / 08.03.2017)

B’Tselem: January killing of Palestinian teen in Tuqu ‘unjustified and unlawful’

Qusay al-Umour

Qusay al-Umour

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem released a report on Tuesday slamming Israeli border police’s “profound disregard” for the life of 17-year-old Qusay al-Umour, who was shot dead in January during clashes in the southern occupied West Bank village of Tuqu, calling his killing “unjustified and unlawful.”

Video footage of the moments immediately following al-Umour being shot by Israeli forces elicited a strong emotional response from locals at the time, as it showed Israeli soldiers violently seizing and carrying the teenager’s limp body by his dangling arms and legs, his head and back banging on the ground.
In Tuesday’s report, B’Tselem detailed the hour and a half of events leading up to the moment Israeli border police fatally shot al-Umour with four 0.22-inch caliber bullets, contradicting the Israeli army’s claims at the time that the clashes “involved some 200 Palestinians, which included the throwing of stones and Molotov cocktails at (Israeli) forces,” and that al-Umour was the “main instigator” in the clashes.
“This version of events has no basis in reality,” B’Tselem said, pointing out that not only were no Molotov cocktails thrown prior to the shooting of al-Umour, but that the clashes had significantly calmed in the moments before the teen was killed.
“Prior to the shooting of al-Umour, the clashes in Tuqu included only stone throwing at the security forces by some 10 youths. Even these clashes had practically stopped when the Border Police officer shot and killed al-Umour. (B’Tselem’s) investigation also shows that al-Umour and his friends were at a distance of 80 to 100 meters from the security forces, so they did not constitute any danger.”
B’Tselem included the witness testimony of Taysir Abu Mfareh, 47, a resident of Tuqu and the administrative director of the Tuqu Municipal Council, who said “things were much calmer” at the time al-Umour was killed.
“Three guys, including al-Umour, moved over to the olive grove, about 80 meters away from the soldiers. Things were much calmer. I looked at the soldiers and at the youths, who threw a few stones at the soldiers every few minutes. I thought that the clashes were just about over,” Mfareh said.
“Suddenly I saw a soldier behind a military vehicle shoot toward the olive trees, and I heard gunfire, not loud but several bullets in quick succession. Several soldiers rushed toward the olive trees, running until they reached the injured youth. A few soldiers picked him up and ran with him toward the military jeeps, his back hitting the ground.”
B’Tselem went on to point out that al-Umour was killed by 0.22 inch caliber bullets, which according to the open-fire regulations of the Israeli army, should be used only in situations of “mortal danger,” similar to the use of live ammunition.
“Over the past two years, however, the military has almost routinely used these bullets as a means of crowd control, even when the troops on the ground are not in mortal danger. Over the past two years, this policy has led to the deaths of six Palestinians (including al-Umour) and to hundreds of injuries, some severe,” B’Tselem concluded.
Following al-Umour’s death, Palestinian legal NGO BADIL also concluded that “whether he was throwing stones at the soldiers or not, al-Umour could not have presented a lethal threat to the well-protected Israeli border police from a distance of around 100 meters, and the use of live ammunition against him was therefore unjustified.”
The NGO denounced the “complete lack of consideration for (al-Umour’s) human dignity or his traumatic injuries.”
In dozens of cases, Israel’s version of events has been disputed by witnesses, activists, and rights groups who have denounced what they have termed a “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner — amid a backdrop of impunity for Israelis who committed the killings.
Though the Israeli army and military police opened an official investigation into al-Umour’s death, the precedent set by cases such as that of 15-year-old Khalid Bahr, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in October for allegedly throwing rocks at soldiers during a raid in a Hebron-area village, casts doubts on the likelihood of real accountability.
According to rights group Yesh Din, of 186 criminal investigations into suspected offenses against Palestinians opened by the Israeli army in 2015, just four resulted in indictments.
(Source / 08.03.2017)

Netanyahu supports anti-Semite Trump, Israeli MK says

Even US Jews are bot consent about Trump’s policies

Israeli MK accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of supporting the anti-Semite American President Donald Trump, Israeli newspaper said on Tuesday.

“I do not remember a US administration ever speaking in this way. It is a dangerous phenomenon of right-wing nostalgia for fascism,” he said

Israeli MK accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of supporting the anti-Semite American President Donald Trump, Israeli newspaper said on Tuesday.

A discussion about the claimed rise of what is called anti-Semitic incidents in the US held at the Israeli Knesset became heated after MKs pointed fingers at both the US and Israeli leadership.

Speaking at the meeting hosted by the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, MK Dov Henin accused the US President Donald Trump of antisemitism.

The elephant in the room is the president of the United States and the team around him,” Henin said, recalling recent comments made by Trump that bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions in recent weeks could be false flags designed “to make others look bad.”

“I do not remember a US administration ever speaking in this way. It is a dangerous phenomenon of right-wing nostalgia for fascism,” he said.

He also insisted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is supporting “anti-Semitic Trump.”

(Source / 08.03.2017)

Israel does not compensate Palestinians for collateral damage

Israel puts many obstacles ahead of Palestinians planning to sue it

For more than 20 years, Israel has evaded compensating Palestinians for damages resulted of Israeli occupation actions, B’Tselem report said on Wednesday.

From 2002-2006, there was an annual average of 300 new lawsuits, whereas from 2012-2016, there was an average of only 18 claims – a drop of nearly 95 per cent

For more than 20 years, Israel has evaded compensating Palestinians for damages resulted of Israeli occupation actions, B’Tselem report said on Wednesday.

Israeli occupation has “taken measures to guarantee a nearly blanket exemption from its obligation under international law to pay compensation to Palestinians harmed by its occupation forces,” the report said.

The report discusses the development of this “practice,” linking it to a major drop in the number of damages claims filed by Palestinians in recent years, and focuses on cases where the Israeli occupation may not have committed a crime.

B’Tselem argues that a range of carefully planned legal moves by the Israeli occupation Knesset, the courts and relevant ministries have created obstacles to Palestinian lawsuits and “reflects how little value it [Israel] places on the lives, bodies and property of Palestinians living under its control.”

The group claims that Israeli actions have “lowered the price to be paid for harm to Palestinians while maintaining a false show of a functioning justice system.”

Evidence provided in the report includes data obtained from the Israeli defence ministry, such as from 1997-2001, Israel paid an annual average of NIS 21.6 million to Palestinians who sued for civil damages compared to NIS 3.8 million from 2012-2016, representing a decline of more than 80 per cent.

The report says that following this low rate of success, Palestinians have all but stopped filing new claims with the courts.

From 2002-2006, there was an annual average of 300 new lawsuits, whereas from 2012-2016, there was an average of only 18 claims – a drop of nearly 95 per cent.

B’Tselem said that Israel had introduced a series of procedural and evidentiary roadblocks, rendering “virtually non-existent the chances of Palestinian plaintiffs currently getting compensation for the harm they suffered.”

The roadblocks include having to front tens of thousands of shekels to guarantee the state’s expenses if the lawsuits fail, a requirement to notify the state within 60 days of an incident and a statute of limitations of only two years to sue, even as other similar cases in Israel would have seven years to sue.

(Source / 08.03.2017)