The new Palestinian and the hope of return

Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip on April 2018 [Motasem A Dalloul/Middle East Monitor]

Great March of Return in the Gaza Strip on April 2018

By Jamal Haj Ali

The first generation that witnessed the Nakba in 1948 shouldered the burden of return for many years. They took their house key and a few things in a hurry, thinking they wouldn’t be gone for long. They thought they’d be gone for a few days or weeks.

The courageous Arab forces were determined to destroy the occupier and crush it within hours. The valiant Arab forces believed they would be gone for a few days and then return triumphant and victorious after crushing the invaders and sending them away defeated.

The refugee tents were put up and a year later, they turned into buildings with tin roofs and assigned names. These camps spread in Palestine and the Levant. At that point, a drug was injected into the bodies of displaced Palestinians and they began to see the story for what it really is. They realised the conspiracy and began to take the reins and join the ranks of the Palestinian resistance, in all of its forms and names. The conspiracy went on and the nearest and dearest began to abandon support for the nation’s cause one day after the other.

The entire world has worked to tame and control the Palestinians. They aim to force the Palestinians to surrender with a false promise of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders on the outside. Yet the new Palestinians have found themselves to be accused of being devious and left alone helpless without any support or power.

Read: Thousands trapped in Gaza as Egypt closes the Rafah crossing again

The hypocritical world that sponsored the peace process is actually concerned with suppressing the Palestinians. These institutions have, time and time again, failed to implement their promises or achieve anything that serves this justice.

However, the March of Return in the Gaza Strip carries meanings and connotations that differ from all previous forms of Palestinian struggle and resistance. This is because for the first time in decades, the main title of the act of popular resistance is the return to the Palestinian land occupied in 1948 and the arena for this act are the direct borders of the territories occupied in 1948.

Those observing the history of the Palestinian cause believe that the most important effect of this popular movement is the revival of the Palestinian memory of the old and new generations of Palestinians. They also believe that such popular action points the finger of blame directly at the occupation and considers the occupation the direct cause for everything the Palestinians are suffering due to the occupation of their land and the resulting effects of the occupation.

The popular movement also tells all of the countries that sponsored the peace process that the deception and deceit they practiced over the past years has been exposed. The movement also says that the concession of the Palestinians’ historical rights was a mistake that must be reversed because the world does not give any importance to the Palestinian intentions, that at some point wanted to achieve an agreement and historical reconciliation. None of the countries of the world managed to stand in the face of the biased sponsor of the peace process and therefore all attempts to revive the dead peace process, whether the attempts were made by Europeans, Arabs, or others.

This peaceful movement has shown the image of the new Palestinian, who is committed to all of their rights, rooted in their land, and innovative in their forms of resistance that have not been used by the old or new world. Despite the simplicity of this resistance, it has disrupted the occupation’s calculations, and it is constantly looking for a way to end this popular movement before May 15th, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

Medics in Gaza report Israel forces using devastating ‘butterfly bullet’

Palestinians carry an injured protestor at the Gaza-Israel border as part of the fifth week of the Great March of Return on April 27, 2018 [Mohammad Asad / Middle East Monitor]

Palestinians carry an injured protester at the Gaza-Israel border as part of the fifth week of the Great March of Return on 27 April 2018

Medics on the ground in the occupied Gaza Strip have reported Israeli forces’ use of a devastating “butterfly bullet”, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

Twenty-four Palestinians “have had their limbs amputated since the March of Great Return mass protests started on March 30”, according to Al Jazeera.

Medics on the ground say Israeli forces are shooting at demonstrators with a new type of round – never seen before – known as the ‘butterfly bullet’, which explodes upon impact, pulverising tissue, arteries and bone, while causing severe internal injuries

the report said.

All 24 amputees were shot by Israeli snipers with a “single explosive bullet”, including journalists Yaser Murtaja and Ahmad Abu Hussein, both “shot in the abdomen”.

“All of their internal organs were totally destroyed, pulverised,” said Ashraf Al-Qidra, Gaza’s health ministry spokesperson. The bullets are the deadliest the Israeli army has ever used, he added.

“Normally, a regular bullet breaks the leg [upon impact]. But these bullets create massive wounds, indicating that an explosion happened inside the body. It’s an expanding bullet. It pulverises the leg, and the leg gets cut off [as a result],” Al-Qidra told Al Jazeera.

Read: Israel refuses to disclose open-fire policy for Gaza

Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border reaffirm the ‘Right of Return’ and get shot by IOF - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

(Source / 03.05.2018)

83% of Israelis ‘strongly support’ shooting of Gaza protesters

A wounded Palestinian is being moved away from the site after Israeli forces fired at protesters during the ‘Great March of Return’ in Gaza on 13 April 2018

A survey conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute has revealed that 83 per cent of respondents “strongly support” the open fire policy adopted by Israeli soldiers to deal with peaceful protesters on the Gaza border, Quds Press reported on Wednesday. The poll also showed that 71 per cent of Israelis reject any easing of the restrictions imposed by Israel on the residents of Gaza since 2007.

Furthermore, 63 per cent of the respondents of what is known in Israel as the “Peace Index” believe that moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem serves Israeli interests. On a slightly different issue, up to 47 per cent believe that there is no chance of a military confrontation with Iran in the near future, although 40 per cent believe that it is unavoidable.

Two days ago, the Israeli army refused to disclose the rules of engagement regarding the orders to open fire given to soldiers facing the unarmed demonstrators in Gaza. Israeli snipers have killed 50 demonstrators and wounded more than 6,200 others over the past few weeks, the Ministry of Health in Gaza has said.

On 30 March, Palestinians started peaceful demonstrations as part of an activity dubbed the Great March of Return that will culminate on 15 May, the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, when Zionist militias and terrorist gangs forced up to 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes and established the state of Israel.

Read: Israel wounded 30 Palestinian athletes in Gaza

(Source / 03.05.2018)

US civil rights activists deported from Israel

Katherine Franke (L) and Vince Warren take a selfie at Ben-Gurion Airport before being deported, 29 April 2018

Four members of an American human rights delegation to Israel and Palestine were deported to the US by Israeli authorities following their detention at Ben Gurion International Airport over the weekend. The activists, who were part of the “Justice Delegation”, included 19 prominent civil rights and social justice leaders from the US, including law professors, lawyers and heads of civil rights organisations.

Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who organised the delegation, said their goal was to “witness the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine, including the history of systematic displacement and institutional racism, as well as the work of human rights defenders there.”

Their visit came on the back of the death of 47 Palestinians who were shot by Israeli snipers along the Gaza border.

Read: Human rights groups slam Israel’s travel ban law for supporters of boycott

Two of the four deported are Vincent Warren, executive director of CCR, and Katherine Franke, chair of CCR’s board and Sulzbacher Professor of Law, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Columbia University. The two others who were deported did not want to be named or interviewed.

Israeli officials said that the reason for the deportation of the activists was their support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Speaking to Democracy Now, Franke said that Israeli officials “screamed” at her in Ben Gurion airport and accused her of “promoting BDS in Palestine”. Frank explained that she was not and the idea of “promoting BDS in Palestine” was “ludicrous”.

#BDS

In any case, the delegation confirmed that none of them were on any designated Israeli blacklist related to BDS activism and that they had been granted visas by Israel for the visit. Furthermore, members of the delegation reported that they had passed passport control with their visas in hand, which would not have been possible if they were on any Israeli blacklist.

While being interrogated at the baggage control area, Israeli officials accused members of the delegation of promoting BDS. According to Franke, who told the airport guard they were visiting to “witness and testify to the kinds of human rights violations [we were seeing there], not to engage in any BDS-related activity,” the Israeli officials googled her on right-wing, pro-Israeli “trolling sites”, which accused her of being “committed to the destruction of Israel” and of being anti-Semitic.

Read: Leading BDS activist banned from Israel

During her interview with Democracy Now, Franke mentioned that while she was being interrogated, the president of Columbia University walked by her and was leaving the country while they were detained in the airport. While Franke did not accuse the university where she lecturers of shunning her, she questioned the ethical code of Columbia University, which she said is planning on or thinking about opening a global centre in Tel Aviv; a centre, she explained, which students at Columbia University cannot visit.

(Source / 03.05.2018)

PA intercepts 40% of resistance attacks against Israel

Image of Palestinian Authority (PA) security services in Gaza [alresalah]

Palestinian Authority (PA) security services

Palestinian Authority (PA) security services have stopped 40 per cent of all planned resistance attacks against occupation forces, Israel’s Maariv newspaper reported.

The paper said PA security forces played a significant role in curbing Palestinian protests and maintaining “public order” in the occupied West Bank.

“If this aid had not been provided to Israel, Hamas would have been able to deepen its terrorist status and its political status in the West Bank, which threatens to undermine the PA,” the paper explained.

It is reported that Israel is petitioning Western governments, including the United States, to train and provide equipment to Palestinian security services fearful that any change to funding to the PA could “cause damage to security coordination”.

“There was a slowdown in security coordination, but it very quickly went back to normal,” Maariv reported in reference to the PA’s severing of ties with the occupation following Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque in July last year.

The PA has come under consistent criticism for pandering to Israeli interests whilst ignoring the Palestinian national cause and undermining the resistance.

Read: PA takes pre-emptive measures to prevent Return March in West Bank

(Source / 03.05.2018)

Palestinian school kids face violence due to proximity to Israel settlement

Palestinian students are seen after Israel carried out airstrikes near the primary school in Rafah, Gaza on 27 February 2017 [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian school children are seen in Gaza on 27 February 2017

Palestinian school children from Al-Jalazun refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank face violence and disruption thanks to the proximity of their school to the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, “frequent clashes between Israeli security forces and the Palestinian residents have long since become part of daily life in the area.”

Israeli occupation forces “use teargas, rubber-coated metal bullets and, in some cases, live fire”, B’Tselem continued, adding that camp residents, including minors, “have been killed and injured”.

In addition to casualties, “the teargas and gunfire also disrupt life in the camp in general, and school life in particular”, with teargas canisters often landing “near the schools, sometimes in the very schoolyard”.

Teargas “wafts into the classrooms, causing breathing difficulties among both students and teachers”, and “sometimes, the entire school day must be cancelled”.

Read: 3 Palestinian school children hit by settler car

In addition, B’Tselem added, “the firing of teargas canisters, rubber-coated metal bullets and live rounds generate an atmosphere fear and tension among the students.”

Al-Jalazun refugee camp is located north of Ramallah and has a population of some 14,000, around 5,000 of whom are children. Near the south-eastern entrance to the camp are two UNRWA-run schools, one for boys and one for girls.

In 1977, the settlement of Beit El was built near the camp, “which led to permanent military presence in the area, observation towers and patrols along the nearby road and the area between the road and the settlement,” B’Tselem explained.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

(Source / 03.05.2018)