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Dagelijks archief 6 juni 2017

Israeli police murder Palestinian youth in Israel

The Israeli policeman shot the Palestinian at a point-blank range

Israeli police murdered on Tuesday night young Palestinian man during clashes erupted following an arrest campaign in Kfar Qasim, an Arab town in central Israel.

Lawyer Adel Badir, an eyewitness quoted by Arab48, disputed the police account, saying he was close to Taha who was posing no danger to anyone, stressing he was shot at a point-blank range

Israeli police murdered on Tuesday night young Palestinian man during clashes erupted following an arrest campaign in Kfar Qasim, an Arab town in central Israel.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Arab bloc of lawmakers in Israel’s parliament, accused the police of “continuing crimes against Arab citizens”.

They continue to treat the Arab minority as enemies who must be fought and not protected, he said in a statement.

During the night, the Israeli police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at the crowd, which it said had gathered to denounce police failure to properly handle the high level of crime in Kafr Qasim.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld claimed in a statement that a local police station came under attack and a security guard opened fire “as a result of a life-threatening situation”.

Rosenfeld said police have been trying to calm the situation by talking to local leaders and have deployed extra units.

Odeh and other Arab leaders have, however, called for police to leave the area and allow protests to continue after the funeral of Mohamed Taha, 20, was held last night.

Lawyer Adel Badir, an eyewitness quoted by Arab48, disputed the police account, saying he was close to Taha who was posing no danger to anyone, stressing he was shot at a point-blank range.

(Source / 06.06.2017)

Israel’s Six-Day War started with a lie

The Israeli war started with a lie

Fifty years ago, between June 5 and June 10, 1967, Israel invaded and occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

Fifty long years of occupation; of dispossession and ethnic cleansing; of house demolitions and night curfews; of checkpoints, walls, and permits

By Mehdi Hassan

Fifty years ago, between June 5 and June 10, 1967, Israel invaded and occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

The Six-Day War, as it would later be dubbed, saw the Jewish David inflict a humiliating defeat on the Arab Goliath, personified perhaps by Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt.

“The existence of the Israeli state hung by a thread,” the country’s prime minister, Levi Eshkol, claimed two days after the war was over, “but the hopes of the Arab leaders to annihilate Israel were dashed.” Genocide, went the argument, had been prevented; another Holocaust of the Jews averted.

There is, however, a problem with this argument: It is complete fiction, a self-serving fantasy constructed after the event to justify a war of aggression and conquest. Don’t take my word for it: “The thesis according to which the danger of genocide hung over us in June 1967, and according to which Israel was fighting for her very physical survival, was nothing but a bluff which was born and bred after the war,” declared General Matituahu Peled, chief of logistical command during the war and one of 12 members of Israel’s General Staff, in March 1972.

A year earlier, Mordechai Bentov, a member of the wartime government and one of 37 people to sign Israel’s Declaration of Independence, had made a similar admission. “This whole story about the threat of extermination was totally contrived, and then elaborated upon, a posteriori, to justify the annexation of new Arab territories,” he said in April 1971.

Even Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, former terrorist and darling of the Israeli far right, conceded in a speech in August 1982 that “in June 1967 we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

The reverberations of that attack are still being felt in the Middle East today. Few modern conflicts have had as deep and long-lasting an impact as the Six-Day War. As US academic and activist Thomas Reifer has observed, it sounded the “death knell of pan-Arab nationalism, the rise of political Islam … a more independent Palestinian nationalism” and “Israel’s emergence as a US strategic asset, with the United States sending billions of dollars … in a strategic partnership unequalled in world history.”

Above all else, the war, welcomed by the London Daily Telegraph in 1967 as “the triumph of the civilised,” forced another 300,000 Palestinians from their homes and ushered in a brutal military occupation for the million-odd Palestinians left behind.

The conflict itself may have lasted only six days, but the occupation that followed is now entering its sixth decade — the longest military occupation in the world. Apologists for Israel often deny that it is an occupation and say the Occupied Territories are merely “disputed,” a disingenuous claim belied by Israel’s own Supreme Court, which ruled in 2005 that the West Bank is “held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation.”

What did Palestinian see in 50 years?

Fifty long years of occupation; of dispossession and ethnic cleansing; of house demolitions and night curfews; of checkpointswalls, and permits.

Fifty years of bombings and blockades; of air raids and night raids; of “targeted killings” and “human shields;” of tortured Palestinian kids.

Fifty years of racial discrimination and ethnic prejudice; of a “separate but unequal” two-tier justice system for Palestinians and Israelis; of military courts and “administrative detention.”

Fifty years of humiliation and subjugation; of pregnant Palestinian women giving birth at checkpoints; of Palestinian cancer patients denied access to radiation therapy; of Palestinian footballer prevented from reaching their matches.

Fifty years of pointless negotiations and failed peace plans: AllonRogersFahdFezReaganMadrid, OsloWye RiverCamp DavidTabaRed SeaAnnapolis. What did they deliver for the occupied Palestinians? Aside from settlements, settlements and more settlements? Consider: In 1992, a year before the Oslo peace process began, West Bank settlements covered 77 kilometres and housed 248,000 Israeli settlers. By 2016, those settlements covered 197 kilometres and the number of settlers living in them had more than tripled to 763,000.

These settlements have rendered the much-discussed “two-state solution” almost impossible. The occupied West Bank has been carved up into a series of bantustans, cut off from each other and the wider world. The settlers are not going anywhere, anytime soon. They are Israel’s “facts on the ground.” To ignore them is to ignore perhaps the biggest obstacle to ending the occupation. “It’s like you and I are negotiating over a piece of pizza,” the Palestinian-American lawyer and former adviser to the PLO, Michael Tarazi, explained in 2004. “How much of the pizza do I get? And how much do you get? And while we are negotiating it, you are eating it.”

It wasn’t just the 1967 war that was launched on a lie; so too was the occupation that began after it. It was never supposed to be temporary, nor were the Palestinians ever supposed to get their land back. If Israel had planned to withdraw from the Occupied Territories, as some of its supporters suggest, then why was the first settlement in the West Bank, Kfar Etzion, established less than four months after the Six-Day War, in defiance of “top-secret” advice from the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser that “civilian settlement” in the territories would contravene “the explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention”?

Why has it revoked the residency rights of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank over the past 50 years? Why has the Jewish state spent the past five decades exploiting the charade of a “peace process” to gobble up more Palestinian land and build more illegal settlements? The truth is that the Jewish state, from the very beginning, “used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project,” to borrow a line from imprisoned Palestinian militant and activist Marwan Barghouti. Fifty years on, it is time for both the Palestinian leadership and the international community to stop pretending otherwise.

The legendary Israeli general and Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, who was one of the architects of Israel’s victory in 1967 and was adamant that the country should hold onto the territories it had seized, best summed up the cynical attitude of Israeli governments of both right and left over the past five decades. “The only peace negotiations,” pronounced Dayan, when asked about the possibility of a peace deal with the Palestinians in November 1970, “are those where we settle the land and we build, and we settle, and from time to time we go to war.”

(Source / 06.06.2017)

Committee: IPS mistreatment of Palestinian women and ill prisoners persists

IPS mistreatment

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — More than a week after hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons ended a 40-day hunger strike aimed at improving prison conditions for Palestinian detainees, dozens of Palestinian women have continued to protest “humiliating and oppressive procedures” imposed by the Israel Prison Service (IPS), while Palestinians in Israel’s Ramla prison clinic have complained of medical neglect.

After Palestinian women held in HaSharon prison warned that they would undertake measures against abusive IPS policies on Monday, 33 women returned their dinners and refused to enter the prison yard on Tuesday, according to Hiba Masalha, a lawyer for the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.
The prisoners accused IPS of humiliating strip searches, long journeys from prisons to courts in the company of Israeli civilian prisoners, a continued ban on receiving any objects from visiting relatives, and mistreatment by a female IPS commander in their section of the prison — touching on some of the issues raised in the recent mass hunger strike.
The women also said that IPS had continued attempts to transfer 11 of the women to Ramla prison in central Israel, where many of the Israeli inmates are imprisoned for criminal cases. Palestinian detainees are deemed “security prisoners” by Israel and “political prisoners” by Palestine — potentially putting the women in harm’s way among the general Israeli prison population.
A spokesperson for IPS told Ma’an that he was aware of the women skipping one meal, but was not aware of any of their complaints regarding their ill-treatment by IPS.
Some 56 Palestinian women are currently being imprisoned by Israel, according to the prisoners’ committee. However, prisoners’ rights group Addameer said that there were 61 Palestinian women and girls in Israeli custody as of April.
According to Addameer, the majority of Palestinian women detainees in Israeli prisons have been subjected to “psychological torture” and “ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, including “various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”
Palestinians in Ramla prison accuse IPS of medical neglect
According to a separate statement released by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, imprisoned Palestinian Ashraf Abu al-Huda, 39, from Nablus city, told Mutaz Shqeirat, a lawyer for the committee, that he has been experiencing a “difficult health condition,” as he has suffered from feet and back pains and could not move his fingers.
Abu al-Huda, who was detained in 2014, said that his medical issues stemmed from being injured with a live bullet in the pelvis when he was detained by Israeli forces. While the bullet was subsequently removed, shrapnel from the bullet remained in a “sensitive area,” he said.
He now must use a wheelchair at all times to be able to move, while IPS has only provided him pain killers for his condition, he added.
In addition, according to the statement, Palestinian prisoner Saleh Omar Saleh, 21, from Balata refugee camp in Nablus, told Shqeirat that he has suffered from “severe back pains” due to injuries sustained during his detention in April when Israeli forces shot him with four bullets at a checkpoint, after he allegedly attempted a stabbing attack on Israeli forces.
Earlier reports stated that Saleh was 16-years-old, in contradiction to the committee’s statement.
Saleh told Shqeirat that while three of the bullets have been removed, one has remained in his back, “paralyzing his movement.”
Like al-Huda, Saleh is now confined to a wheelchair, while IPS has provided him anticoagulants (blood thinners) as treatment.
Rights groups have long condemned Israel for its medical negligence of Palestinians in its prisons, which Addameer has called a “deliberate policy of neglect.”
IPS maintains no agreements were reached to improve conditions after hunger strike
The medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners was a central issue during the recent hunger strike, which also included demands for an end to the denial of family visits, the right to pursue higher education, appropriate medical care and treatment, and an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — among other demands for basic rights.
The hunger strike reportedly resulted in a number of agreements being reached between Palestinian prisoners and Israeli authorities, including an agreement to gather all female Palestinian prisoners in HaSharon.
However, while the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs announced that 80 percent of the hunger strikers’ demands were met, IPS has repeatedly stated that it did not engage in negotiations with the prisoners.
An IPS spokesperson previously told Ma’an that the only outcome of the strike was the restoration of family visitation sessions for prisoners to two times a month, resulting from an agreement made between the PA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), without the involvement of Israeli authorities.
Nevertheless, Barghouthi said last week that the hunger strikers were able to “extract a number of just and humanitarian achievements” from prison authorities, and that prisoners had agreed to the formation of a “committee of senior officials of the Prison Service” to continue dialogue with representatives of the Palestinian prisoners during the following days “to discuss all issues without exception.”
On Monday, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported that a meeting had taken place between IPS and the leaders of the hunger strike, but did not provide more specific details.
An IPS spokesperson told Ma’an on Tuesday that he “didn’t want to” confirm the meeting that was reportedly held, but said that IPS “speaks to the prisoners all the time.”
According to Addameer, 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of April, most of whom are being held inside the Israeli territory in contravention of international law.
Addameer has reported that 40 percent of the male Palestinian population has been detained by Israeli authorities at some point in their lives.
(Source / 06.06.2017)

Palestinian prisoners and their relatives assaulted by Israeli forces during visit

Palestinian prisoners assaulted

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli prison forces attacked a number of Palestinian prisoners and their relatives during a family visit to Eshel prison on Monday morning, with security guards using pepper spray on both the prisoners and their family members and beating them with batons, relatives told Ma’an.

The father of prisoner Omar al-Sharif told Ma’an that the families had traveled from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem to Eshel prison more than 100 kilometers away in Israel’s southern Negev desert.
The families arrived at 7:30 a.m. and were not allowed inside until 12 p.m., he said, when both men and women were subjected to invasive and “provocative” searches at the hands of the Israel Prison Service (IPS).
Heated arguments erupted in the visitation room, until a group of IPS officers stormed the room and attacked prisoners and their family members with pepper spray and beat them with batons, before the prisoners were handcuffed and the visitors were forced out.
The father of prisoners Muhammad and Ahmad al-Bakri told Ma’an that IPS officers had treated visiting relatives harshly since they arrived to Eshel early in the morning.
“After going through inspections at the entrance and passing through the metal detectors, female IPS soldiers searched the women inside a separate room, and forced them to take off their headscarves and jewelry.”
Al-Bakri described the search as “an unprecedented provocation.”
An IPS spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on the incident.
Improving conditions for family visits to Palestinian prisoners was a central demand of a 40-day mass hunger strike launched in Israeli prisons that ended last month.
Ahead of the hunger strike, international human rights organization Amnesty International denouncedIsrael for its “unlawful and cruel” practices towards Palestinian prisoners in a report.
One relative of an imprisoned Palestinian told the organization: “The Israeli authorities play with our emotions, they torture us and punish us. They try to break us, to tire us, so that we would want to visit our relatives less because of all the humiliation, searches, abuse and insults by soldiers or prison guards.”
According to Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer, the journey to prison for most residents of the occupied West Bank visiting detained relatives takes between eight to 15 hours depending on the prison and place of residence, while relatives of prisoners are routinely subjected to lengthy body searches and sometimes strip searches.
(Source / 06.06.2017)

Primary & Secondary Education Exams Supervised by SIG Ministry of Education Ended Monday

Secondary education exams were completed on Monday while the correction of examination papers of primary education began in the areas in which exams were supervised by the Ministry of Education in the Syrian Interim Government (SIG), education officials told Smart News Network.

Primary and secondary education exams began on May 24 in 336 exam centers the Ministry of Education opened in nine Syrian provinces and in neighboring countries. Around 36,000 students took the exams of both stages.

Hussam Kalawi, head of the examination center at the educational complex in the town of Atma 50 km to the north of Idlib city told Smart News Network that 12,145 students completed the exams for both primary and secondary education in the province of Idlib.

Exams for secondary literary studies ended two days ago, while secondary scientific studies ended on Monday.

For his part, director of the correction center in Idlib Abu Hamam said that primary education exam papers were being marked. The Free Directorate of Education in Idlib opened two centers in the city of Idlib and the town of Maaret Alnouman to mark exam papers.

Abu Hamam added that 200 teachers were recruited to mark the papers and are working for eight hours a day at the correction center in the city of Idlib.

SIG is seeking to secure support from the European Union for new projects in the area of educational which face major challenges, most notably the continued bombardment by the Assad regime and Russia on schools and education centers.

The last academic year witnessed frequent suspensions of schools for fear of the constant aerial bombardment and the regime’s targeting of populated areas.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network / 06.06.2017)

De enige aanbidding in het Paradijs …

Het vers dat ons tijdens de Taraweeh is bijgebleven en wij graag met jullie willen delen is een vers uit Hoofdstuk Younus

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor paradijs islam

Het wereldse leven is de plaats van het verrichten van daden en aanbiddingen. En het hiernamaals is de plaats waar er geen aanbiddingen meer zijn, maar wij de beloning voor onze goede daden oogsten.

Dit geldt echter niet voor één aanbidding! Deze blijft voortbestaan, ook in het Paradijs! Deze aanbidding is het gedenken van Allah!

Allah zei:

Voorwaar, degenen die geloven en goede werken verrichten, hun Heer zal hen leiden vanwege hun geloof (naar de plaats) waar onder door de rivieren stromen in de Tuinen van gelukzaligheid (het Paradijs).

Hun smeekbede daar is “Soebhanaka Allahoemma” (Heilig bent U, O Allah) ..[10:9,10]

Het gedenken van Allah is een aanbidding die ook in het Paradijs aanwezig is. Simpelweg omdat het gedenken van Allah een genot is dat behoort tot de genietingen van het Paradijs.

Beste broeders en zusters

Hoe is onze situatie met het gedenken van Allah? Deze aanbidding die ons geen enkele moeite kost en waarvan de verdiensten en vruchten enorm zijn.

Het heeft een grote beloning bij Allah en daarnaast is het rust voor het hart. Iets wat we allemaal nastreven.

Deze aanbidding kun je de hele dag door verrichten, onderweg naar school, op het werk, de vrouw (en wellicht de man) tijdens het voorbereiden van de iftaar etc. Je hebt geen wodoe nodig en je hoeft je niet te wenden tot de qibla. Enige wat het vereist is het bewegen van je tong!

Hoeveel van onze tijd gaat verloren zonder dat we Allah ook maar eenmalig gedenken? Laten we daar met zijn allen verandering in brengen door allerlei smeekbeden, zoals deze, veelvuldig te herhalen:

[De meest geliefde woorden bij Allah zijn vier]

Subhaanallaah, Walhamdoelilah, Wa Laa ilaaha illa Allaah, Wa Allaaho Akbar

Moge Allah ons doen behoren tot degenen die Zijn boek overpeinzen om er vervolgens lering uit te trekken en ernaar te handelen.

(Source: Kennisviamail.nl / 06.06.2017)

Tracking the trends of the Palestinian cause since 1967: Looking back

Since 1967

By: Al-Shabaka
This is the first part of a report, written by Al-Shabaka Executive Director Nadia Hijab and policy adviserMouin Rabbani, which looks at the history of the Palestinian cause following the Six-Day War and the Naksa. The second part of this report will be published on Ma’an on Wednesday. The report can be read in full here.

The Palestinian cause today has in some respects reverted to where it stood before the 1967 War. It is worth retracing this trajectory to understand how we reached the current situation, and derive insights on where to go from here.
Looking back
On the eve of June 5, 1967, the Palestinians were dispersed between Israel, the Jordanian-ruled West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip administered by Egypt, and refugee communities in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and beyond. Their aspirations for salvation and self-determination were pinned to Arab leaders’ pledges to “liberate Palestine” — which then referred to those parts of Mandate Palestine that became Israel in 1948 — and in particular to charismatic Egyptian leader Gamal Abd al-Nasser.
The Six-Day War, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights, and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, brought dramatic changes to the geography of the conflict. It also produced a sea change in the Palestinian body politic. In a sharp break with previous decades, Palestinians became the masters of their own destiny rather than spectators to regional and international decisions affecting their lives and determining their fate.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which had been established in 1964 under the aegis of the Arab League at its first summit meeting, was overtaken in 1968-69 by the Palestinian guerrilla groups that had been forming underground since the 1950s, with Fatah (the Palestinian National Liberation Movement) at their head.
The Arab defeat in 1967 created a vacuum in which Palestinians were able to re-establish custodianship over the question of Palestine, transform the dispersed parts of the Palestinian population into a unified people and political actor, and place the Palestinian cause at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This, perhaps the PLO’s most important achievement, has sustained the spirit of the Palestinian quest for self-determination despite the myriad wounds inflicted by Israel and some Arab states — and despite the self-inflicted wounds. The setbacks the PLO suffered were many, even as it succeeded in putting the Palestinian question high on the international agenda. It is worth reviewing the PLO’s successes and defeats in order to understand how the Palestinian national movement reached the place it is in today.
The first PLO victory also laid the seeds of a defeat. The 1968 battle of Karameh in the Jordan Valley, in which the guerrillas and the Jordanian Army pushed back a far superior Israeli expeditionary force, gained many Palestinian and Arab adherents to the movement, whether refugees, guerrillas, or businessmen from across the political spectrum.
At the same time, the implicit threat to the Hashemite monarchy was clear, and Palestinian relations with Jordan worsened until the PLO was expelled from Jordan during Black September in 1970. This effectively meant that the PLO no longer had a credible military option against Israel, assuming it ever had. Although the Palestinians would maintain an extensive military presence in Lebanon until 1982, it was a poor substitute for the longest Arab frontier with historic Palestine.
During the 1973 October War, Egypt and Syria achieved partial victories against Israel but also suffered severe setbacks, demonstrating that the Arab states also had only limited military options against Israel.
At the same time, the Palestinian national movement reached its international peak with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s speech to the UN General Assembly in 1974, with the PLO by now recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. That year, the PLO also began laying the groundwork for a two-state settlement when its parliament, the Palestine National Council, adopted a 10-point plan to establish a “national authority” on any part of Palestine that was liberated.
The process was of necessity painfully slow as it brought the majority of Palestinians to the recognition that an eventual Palestinian state would no longer be established on the totality of the former British Mandate. As of 1974, the acceptance of the reality of Israel as a state and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip was to gradually become the goal of the Palestinian national movement.
The late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977, which culminated in the 1979 Camp David Accords and Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, completed in April 1982, set the stage for Israel’s invasion of Lebanon that same year.
Israel’s main goal was to drive the PLO out of the country and consolidate permanent occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). With the most powerful Arab state removed from the conflict, the ability of the PLO to achieve a two-state settlement was severely circumscribed, and the Arab-Israeli conflict gradually metamorphosed into an Israeli-Palestinian one vastly more advantageous to Israel.
As the PLO tried to regroup in Tunisia and other Arab countries, one of the biggest challenges to Israel emerged within the OPT with the eruption of the First Intifada in December 1987, largely led by a home-grown leadership. This resurrected the option of successfully confronting Israel on the basis of nonviolent mass mobilization on a scale not seen since the late 1930s.
Nevertheless, the PLO proved incapable of capitalizing on the local and global success of the First Intifada. Ultimately, the exiled PLO leadership placed its own interests, chiefly its ambition for Western and particularly American endorsement, above the national rights of the Palestinian people as expressed in the 1988 Declaration of Independence adopted in Algiers.
These contradictions became unambiguous in 1992-93, when the Palestinian leadership had to make a choice between supporting the negotiating position of the Palestinian delegation in Washington, which insisted on a comprehensive moratorium on Israeli settlement activity as a precondition for transitional self-government arrangements, and covert negotiations with Israel that gave it much less but restored it to international relevance in the wake of the 1990-91 Kuwait conflict.
Pursuant to the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO recognized Israel and its “right to exist in peace and security” in the context of a document that failed to mention occupation, self-determination, statehood, or the right of return. Unsurprisingly the decades since have seen an exponential acceleration of Israeli settler-colonialism and the effective destruction of the autonomy arrangements specified in various Israeli-Palestinian agreements.
(Source / 06.06.2017)

Rights groups denounce 50-year Israeli occupation as ‘ugly,’ ‘festering wound’

Bethlehem clashes

Israeli soldiers stand in front of Palestinian stone throwers during clashes in Bethlehem (File)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Denouncing 50 years of Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip and its “ugly” impact on generations of Palestinians, United Nations officials and human rights groups called for renewed efforts to achieve a two-state solution.

June 5 is remembered by Palestinians as “Naksa” Day, meaning “setback,” marking the Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights that began on June 5, 1967 during the Six-Day War, displacing some 300,000 Palestinians, as well as thousands of Syrians, from their homes.
A two-state solution made elusive by the occupation
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reiterated in a statement on Monday the UN’s support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“The world still awaits the birth of an independent Palestinian state,” Guterres said, adding that “now is not the time to give up on this goal” of achieving a two-state solution.
Guterres went on to stress the UN’s belief in a two-state solution as the only way to ensure lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, and denounced the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, as well as “incitement” in the besieged Gaza Strip, for creating a “one-state reality.”
Meanwhile, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Monday that “Palestinians desire peace, but peace cannot exist as long as the occupation and the denial of Palestinian rights continue.”
Ashrawi denounced the imbalance of power between Israel and Palestine in all existing peace efforts, which she said have “served to promote Israel’s interests and security, not to recognize the Palestinian people’s rights and humanity, nor to guarantee an independent state.”
She notably called on US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly expressed his desire to achieve a “deal” between Israelis and Palestinians, to “draw the proper conclusions from the failures of the past” and value ending the occupation and respecting Palestinians’ human rights as “central” demands in any peace agreement.
While the PA and the international community do not recognize the legality of the occupation of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank since 1967, many Palestinians consider that all historic Palestine has been occupied since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
A growing number of activists have criticized a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.
Generations of Palestinians affected
As the prospects for a two-state solution to the conflict have become dimmer over the years, humanitarian organizations deplored the devastating impact of half a century of Israeli occupation.
“It should be obvious, but it bears repeating, that occupation is ugly,” UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities Robert Piper said in a statement on Tuesday. “Living under foreign military rule for years on end, generates despair, suffocates initiative and leaves generations in a kind of political and economic limbo.”
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) denounced on Tuesday various Israeli policies entrenching the occupation, which include excessive and deadly use of violence; forced displacement; the blockade of the Gaza Strip; unjustified restrictions on movement; and the expansion of illegal settlements across the occupied Palestinian territory.
NRC notably highlighted Israel’s policies of forcible transfer, stating that while 1,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were demolished in 2015, an estimated 350,000 Palestinians were currently at a risk of seeing their homes destroyed, most of which for lacking nearly impossible to obtain Israeli construction permits.
NRC also evoked the effects of Israel’s “crippling” ten-year siege of the Gaza Strip, which has isolated the small coastal enclave from the rest of the world and caused some 80 percent of Gaza residents to be dependent on humanitarian aid.
Israeli human rights group B’Tselem meanwhile denounced the long-term consequences of decades of occupation on generations of Israelis and Palestinians.
“It is a reality in which a third and fourth generation of Palestinians don’t know what it’s like to live free; and a third and fourth generation of Israelis don’t know what it’s like not to be occupiers,” B’Tselem wrote on Friday. “It is a reality that no matter how you tilt your head at it means that Israel cannot be called democratic.”
‘Gross failure’ of leadership pinpointed as enabling ongoing occupation
In their statements marking the anniversary of the Naksa, all mentioned the shared responsibility of Israeli and Palestinian leadership, as well as of the international community, for the occupation’s longevity.
“From a humanitarian’s perspective, 50 years of occupation represents a gross failure of leadership by many — local and international, Israeli and Palestinian,” Piper said. “Too many innocent civilians — Palestinian and Israeli alike — are paying for this abject failure to address the underlying causes of the world’s longest-running protection crisis.”
Piper went on to describe the “increasing obstacles” facing humanitarian workers operating in the occupied Palestinian territory, listing “increased movement restrictions, the exhaustion of legal processes, the confiscation of our aid, or understandable donor fatigue.”
“This 50-year-old festering wound is a reflection of a capitulation of Israeli, Palestinian, and international leadership in the search for peace and reconciliation,” NRC Secretary-General Jan Egeland said on Tuesday at a press conference in East Jerusalem, echoing Piper’s statements.
“It is important that Europe, the United States, and other international actors hold Israel to account for its ongoing breaches,” Egeland added. “We are tired of documenting violations, and building and rebuilding through foreign funding what is then destroyed by (Israeli) armed men. Fifty years of occupation must end. Only then will we have a peaceful resolution between mutually respectful neighbors.”
B’Tselem, meanwhile, called out the general Israeli indifference to the blatant human rights violations carried out against Palestinians in their name.
“The occupation doesn’t really affect us in our day-to-day lives as Israeli citizens: we created a law enforcement system that ensures that none of those responsible for the continued occupation or its attendant human rights violations will be held accountable,” the Israeli NGO said.
“The effort to achieve a different future here is not only a pressing moral task, lives depend on it. Working together we trust that we will yet see the realization of a different future, one based on liberty, equality and human rights.”
(Source / 06.06.2017)

Detention of slain Palestinian’s son extended for investigation

Sbeih Abu Sbeih

Israeli court extended Monday evening the detention of Sbeih Abu Sbeih, the son of Mesbah Abu Sbeih who was killed by Israeli soldiers following an alleged anti-occupation attack, for eight days pending further investigation.

Sbeih, who is currently held in Maskoubia detention center, was arrested at dawn Monday when Israeli police forces violently stormed his family house in occupied Jerusalem.

Sbeih’s brother Ezzedine Abu Sbeih was also arrested late last month at a military checkpoint in Hazma town, north of the occupied city.

The Israeli authorities is still holding the body of Sbeih and Ezzedine’s father since he was killed in October last year.
(Source / 06.06.2017)

7 Pro-Palestinian activists arrested in New York

At least seven pro-Palestine protesters were arrested in New York city yesterday during a demonstration celebrating 50 years since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyDMbxrF6wk

One hundred Jewish activists disrupted the annual Celebrate Israel parade in New York yesterday, calling for an end to apartheid.

Seven activists from Jewish Voices for Peace (JPC) were arrested for civil disobedience and the parade had to be stopped a number of times as activists carried banners and blocked its route.

The event was held to mark 50 years since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Syria’s Golan Hieghts and Egypt’s Sinai.

One group of activists blocked NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his contingent, protesting the New York Police Department collaboration with Israeli security forces.

JVP members held signs reading “Black & Palestinian Lives Matter”, “NYPD & IDF collaborate to kill”, and “End Israeli Apartheid.” Several parade-goers and private security attacked the protesters.

We are here as… Jews to say that apartheid and occupation are nothing to celebrate and that we will not be used by the state of Israel to cover up its violent oppression of Palestinian people

said Craig Willse, one of the activists arrested in the nonviolent demonstration.

At the close of the parade, marchers were greeted by stiltwalkers with banners reading “Celebrate Ending Israeli Apartheid” and “Stop the Deadly Exchange.”

There is nothing to celebrate until Palestinians have equal rights, until the occupation ends, until there is justice, dignity and equality for all people living in that land

said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.