Israel takes $ 141 million in confiscated Palestinian taxes

A Palestinian man holds News Israeli Shekels' bills marked with stickers reading "Free Palestine" on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah, as part of a campaign aimed to peacefully express opposition to Israel's occupation. [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

A Palestinian man holds Israeli Shekels’ bills marked with stickers reading ‘Free Palestine’ on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Israel’s electricity company has been approved by the Finance Ministry to collect half a billion shekels ($ 141 million) from Palestinian tax money collected by Israel, a Hebrew economic newspaper reported on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reports.

According to the newspaper The Marker, a specialist in economic affairs, and the newspaper Haaretz, the Ministry of Finance froze Palestinian tax funds, and transferred it directly to the Israeli Electricity Company to pay back debts accumulated by the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian government faces a financial crisis following Israel’s decision to deduct large amounts of tax revenues as a punitive measure for the PA allocating funds to detainees and the families of the martyrs.

The latter refused to receive the tax money in response to the Israeli move.

Israel says it confiscates money equal in value to the salaries are reserved for families of Palestinian prisoners, while Palestinians refuse to receive the rest of the money.

READ: Israel to deduct a further $198m from PA tax revenue

The Israeli Knesset passed the “Freeze of Palestinian Funds” Law in April 2018, and the Israeli government began to implement it in February 2019 after it was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers for Security and Political Affairs.

Two weeks ago, the Israeli Supreme Court banned the Israeli electricity company from cutting off electricity from the Palestinian areas it supplies, only after obtaining a series of approvals from the Israeli government.

In light of this decision, the Israeli Ministry of Finance decided to freeze the amount and transfer it directly to the Israeli company.

Palestinians buy 90 per cent of the electricity from Israel’s electricity company, while the rest are from Jordan and Egypt.

(Source / 28.07.2019) 

Dozens of Palestinians injured in Sur Baher protest

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, PALESTINOW.COM — Scores of Palestinian citizens on Friday choked on tear gas fired by the Israeli occupation forces during a protest in Wadi al-Hummus neighborhood in Sur Baher village, east of Jerusalem.

Eyewitnesses said that the Israeli forces heavily fired tear gas bombs at dozens of Palestinian citizens who performed Friday prayer in a protest tent in Wadi al-Hummus in solidarity with the Palestinian families who lost their homes in the Israeli demolition campaign that took place a few days ago.

The Israeli occupation authorities on Monday demolished 11 residential buildings in Wadi al-Hummus in Sur Baher, leaving dozens of families homeless.

(Source / 28.07.2019) 

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Eight Palestinians In al-‘Isawiya, Three In Al-Ram, In Jerusalem

28 JUL2:44 PM

Israeli soldiers abducted, earlier Sunday, eight Palestinians, including a child, from the town of al-‘Isawiya, and three in the al-Ram town, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Media sources said the soldiers invaded and searched many homes, and abducted the seven Palestinians, including one child, before moving them to a few interrogation and detention facilities.

They added that the abducted Palestinians have been identified as Samer Anwar Obeid, Mohammad Ayman Obeid, Mohammad Adnan Obeid, Mohannad Anwar Obeid, Mohammad Ali Nasser, Shaker Ali Mustafa, Shaker Amjad Mustafa, and the child, Emad Jarrah Nasser, on 12 years of age.

It is worth mentioning that al-‘Isawiya has been under a strict military siege over the last two months, while the soldiers continue to invade and ransack homes and property, in addition to abducting dozens of Palestinians.

On June 27, 2019, the soldiers Mohammad Samir Obeid, 21, during a protest in al-‘Isawiya when Israeli soldiers shot him with several bullets, including a live round in the heart.

Furthermore, the soldiers invaded the town of al-Ram, northeast of Jerusalem, and abducted Hamza Rajabi, Faraj Edrees and Mohammad Edrees.

(Source / 28.07.2019) 

Israel Blacklisted by UN Among Top Child Killers of 2018

28 JUL12:46 AM

The United Nations has, for the third year in a row, put Israel on the world body’s blacklist of child killers.

According to a report by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in 2018, Israel killed 59 Palestinian children during that year.

The UN chief’s report, which was presented to the Security Council on Friday, states that Palestinian casualties caused by the Israel, mainly its military, hit a four-year high in 2018.

The report shows that 59 Palestinian children were killed – 56 by Israeli forces – and another 2,756 were injured last year.

Guterres urged “Israel to immediately put in place preventive and protective measures to end the excessive use of force,” PNN further reports.

“I condemn the increasing number of child casualties, which are often a result of attacks in densely populated areas and against civilian objects, including schools and hospitals,” Guterres said in the report, produced by UN Children and Armed Conflict envoy Virginia Gamba and issued in Guterres’ name.

The report does not subject those listed to action; however, it shames parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to stop killing children.

Diplomats say Israel have exerted pressure, in recent years, in a bid to stay off the list, but no to avail.

(Source / 28.07.2019) 

Remembering world court advisory opinion on Israel’s Separation Wall after 15 years

Richard Falk: ‘The question that remains is ‘how much longer can the Zionist Project swim against the strong historical current of anti-colonialism?’

By Richard Falk

The famous international law expert and UN Rapporteur to the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk found that “the Palestinian people cannot hope to achieve justice or realise their rights by peaceful means.”

On July 9, 2004 the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague issued an Advisory Opinion by a vote of 14-1, with the American judge the lone dissenter, as if there would have been any doubt about such identity even if not disclosed. The decision rendered in response to a question put to it by a General Assembly resolution declared the separation wall unlawful, and that compliance with international law would require it to be dismantled and Palestinian communities and individuals compensated for harm incurred. As with the identity of the dissenting judge, the failure of Israel to comply with the decision was as predictable as the time of tomorrow’s sunrise.

Only slightly less anticipated was the American government response, which adopted its customary hegemonic tone, to instruct the parties that such issues should be resolved by political negotiation, which even if heeded would end up as Israel wished, given the hierarchical relationship between Israel as occupier and Palestine as occupied. It doesn’t require a legal education to dismiss the American argument as fatuous at best, cynical at worst. The question put to the ICJ was quintessentially legal, that is, whether the construction of the separation wall on occupied Palestinian territory was or was not consistent with the Fourth Geneva Convention governing belligerent occupation.

Although the decision is labelled as an ‘advisory opinion’ it has the authoritative backing of a fully reasoned and documented consensus of the world’s most distinguished jurists as to the requirements of international law in relation to the construction of this 700 kilometre wall, 85 per cent of which is situated on occupied Palestinian territory. The degree of authoritativeness of the legal analysis is enhanced by the one-sidedness of the decision. It is rare for a legal controversy before the ICJ to produce such near unanimity given the diversity of legal systems of the 15 judges and considering the civilisational and ideological differences that haunt world order generally.

This legal outcome in The Hague was overwhelmingly endorsed politically by the General Assembly mandating Israeli compliance.

It is disappointing that Israeli defiance of both the ICJ, the world’s highest judicial tribunal, and the General Assembly, the organ of the UN most representative of the peoples of the world, should have occasioned so little adverse commentary over the years.

It is not only a further confirmation that the UN System and international law lacks the capacity to deliver even minimal justice to the Palestinian people but that such institutional authority is subject to a geopolitical veto, that is, international law without the backing of relevant power becomes paralysed with respect to implementation.

When considering the constitutional right of veto given to the five permanent members of the Security Council as augmented by the informal geopolitical veto enabling dominant states to shield their friends as well as themselves from the constraints of international law, the dependence of law on the priorities of power becomes obvious, painfully so. It helps us grasp the perverse ways the world is currently organised.

It is truly pathetic that only the weak and vulnerable are subject to the constraints of law, while the strong and those shielded by the strong are the lawless overlords of this unruly planet.

The wall a notorious international symbol of coercive and exploitative separation, as epitomised by the apartheid security structures imposed on the Palestinian people as a whole has a grotesque pattern of implementation. Its ugly structures slice through and fragment Palestinian communities and neighbourhoods, separating farmers from their farms, and creating a constant and an inescapable reminder of the nature of Israeli oppression.

It may put the issue of the separation wall in historical perspective to recall features of the Berlin Wall. During the Cold War it came to epitomise oppression in East Germany, and more generally in Eastern Europe. If the East German government had dared extend the wall even a few feet into West Berlin it would have meant war, and quite possibly World War III. And finally, when the wall came down it was an occasion of joyous celebration and a decisive moment in the historical dynamic that let the world know that the Cold War was over.

It is helpful to appreciate that the Berlin Wall was designed to keep people in, while the Israeli Wall is supposed to keep people out.

There is also the question of motivation. As many have pointed out, the wall remains unfinished more than 15 years after it was declared necessary for Israeli security, which tends to support those critics that pointed out that if security was the true motive, it would have been finished long ago.

Even if the claim is sincerely, in part, motivated by security, it illustrates the unjust impacts of ‘the security dilemma’: small increments of Israeli security are achieved by creating much larger increments of insecurity for the Palestinians. Beyond security, it is obvious that this is one more land-grabbing tactic of the Israelis that is part of the wider Israeli strategy of treating ‘occupation,’ especially of the West Bank, as an occasion for ‘annexation.’ Even more insidiously, is the apparent Israeli intention to make Palestinian life near the wall so unendurable, that Palestinians relinquish their place of residence, ‘ethnic cleansing’ by any other name.

What messages does this anniversary occasion deliver to the Palestinian people and the world?

It is a grim reminder that the Palestinian people cannot hope to achieve justice or realise their rights by peaceful means. Such a reminder is particularly instructive as it comes at a time when intergovernmental efforts to find a political compromise between Israeli expectations and Palestinian aspirations has been pronounced a failure.

This failure, again not surprisingly, has meant a dramatic shift in approaching ‘peace’ and ‘a solution’ from diplomacy to geopolitics, from the Oslo flawed diplomatic framework to the Trump ‘deal of the century’ or as Kushner has rephrased it, ‘peace to prosperity.’ Or more transparently phrased, it is ‘the victory caucus’ that Daniel Pipes and the Middle East Forum that he presides over has promoted so successfully in recent months, in effect, advocating a final betrayal of the rights of the Palestinian people, an approach that has evidently found a receptive audience in both the US Congress/White House and the Israeli Knesset.

This geopolitical strategy is a thinly disguised attempt to satisfy Israel’s expectations as to borders, refugees, settlements, water and Jerusalem while repudiating Palestinian rights under international law, including their most fundamental right of self-determination, supposedly a legal entitlement of all peoples in the post-colonial era.

The question that remains is ‘how much longer can the Zionist Project swim against the strong historical current of anti-colonialism?’

The answer in my view depends on whether the global solidarity movement, together with Palestinian resistance, can reach a tipping point that leads Israeli leadership to reconsider its ‘security’ and its future. Such a point was reached in South Africa, admittedly under quite different conditions, but with an analogous sense that the Afrikaner leadership would never give up control without being defeated in a bloody struggle for power.

(Source / 28.07.2019) 

ISRAELI FORCES’ HANDING OVER OF MARTYR’S CLOTHES BRING BACK PAINFUL MEMORIES

QNN (Nablus) – Five years after he was shot dead by Israeli forces, the clothes martyr Imam Dwekat was wearing when he was killed were finally returned to his family, bringing them back into painful memories.

About two months ago, Jamil Dwekat, Imam’s father, who hails from the town of Beita, south of Nablus, received a phone call from an Israeli intelligence officer asking him whether he would like to come to receive the belongings of his martyred son. Jamil was astonished as he had previously thought that his son’s clothes remained at the hospital where he had been moved following his fatal shooting.

After several phone calls, the father finally arrived in Huwwara military compound, and the officer, accompanied by an interpreter, was waiting for him. The intelligence officer began emptying a bag containing the son’s clothes. Jamil took his time to smell his son’s clothes, and the smell of the blood was clear. He hugged the blood-stained clothes before he was allowed to leave with the remains of his son’s clothes.

Jamil, his wife and children have told reporters that the return of their son’s clothes by the Israeli authorities after five years of his martyrdom was only to bring back painful memories.

On December 29, 2014, 16-year-old Imam Dwekat went to his school for his final Islamic Education exam. As he and two of his colleagues left the school, they were heading to a park in the southern part of the town. It was close to a main street with an Israeli military watchtower.

The three were walking in a row. At the front was Imam. A soldier in the watchtower was waiting for them, and soon after he opened fire on them. The other two boys were slightly injured and managed to withdraw, but Imam’s injury was critical.

Imam sustained several bullets in the upper part of his body. He was taken by the Israeli army for a few hours, and was left to bleed until his last breath. He was then handed over to Rafidia Public Hospital in Nablus.

As soon as Jamil arrived in the hospital, he saw his son lying on a metal table. The upper part of his body was stained with blood. He was wearing only his trousers, and he did not respond to the appeal of any of his family and friends.

Imam’s account on Facebook has even since been a diary left to his family. His father has been spending hours browsing the writings and pictures of his son, reading his posts, listening to his voice is messages recorded to the political prisoners behind Israeli bars as well as to his friends.

(Source / 28.07.2019) 

How Israel Teaches Its Children To Hate

Much like white South Africans, Jewish Israelis will never voluntarily give up their privileged position as settlers

Dissident Israeli scholar Nurit Peled-Elhanan’s important academic study, “Palestine in Israeli School Books is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand some important realities about the Israeli state and Israeli society.

As a settler-colonial entity, real change can never come from within Israeli society. It must be imposed from the outside. Much like white South Africans, Jewish Israelis will never voluntarily give up their privileged position as settlers.

South African apartheid was defeated by the masses of South Africa (with the support of some white dissidents), and their political leaders, in alliance with a global solidarity campaign.

In the same way, Israeli apartheid will be defeated by the Palestinian struggle. This struggle is supported by a minority of Israeli dissidents, and by the international solidarity movement – especially the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Peled-Elhanan’s book was a major study of 17 Israeli school textbooks on history, geography and civic studies. As you can see from what she says in the interview above, she came to some stark conclusions.

When they even mention Palestinians at all, Israel’s official schoolbooks teach a “racist discourse”, which quite literally wipes Palestine off the map. Maps in the schoolbooks only ever show “the Land of Israel”, from the river to the sea.

She explained that not a single one of the schoolbooks included “any positive cultural or social aspect of Palestinian life-world: neither literature nor poetry, neither history nor agriculture, neither art nor architecture, neither customs nor traditions are ever mentioned.”

Of the rare times that Palestinians are mentioned, it is in an overwhelmingly negative and stereotypical fashion: “all [the books] represent [Palestinians] in racist icons or demeaning classificatory images such as terrorists, refugees and primitive farmers — the three ‘problems’ they constitute for Israel.”

She concluded that the children’s schoolbooks “present Israeli-Jewish culture as superior to the Arab-Palestinian one, Israeli-Jewish concepts of progress as superior to the Palestinian-Arab way of life and Israeli-Jewish behaviour as aligning with universal values.”

All this is quite the opposite of the stereotypical and misleading story about children’s schoolbooks in Palestine. The books printed by the Palestinian Authority since the 1990s are frequently portrayed in anti-Palestinian demonology as putting forth the worst anti-Semitic calumnies about Jewish people.

Overall, this narrative is a crude fabrication instigated by anti-Palestinian propaganda groups, such as that run by Israeli settler Itamar Marcus and his “Palestinian Media Watch”.

Peled-Elhanan’s book comprehensively demolished a second, complementary, Israeli myth: that Israelis – by way of contrast to the dastardly Palestinians – instead “teach love thy neighbour”, to quote Israel’s war criminal ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

tzipilivni

Seven years ago, when Peled-Elhanan’s book was published, she warned that, in contrast to liberal hopes for change from within Israeli society, things were moving “backwards and backwards” and that the then-current textbooks were little more than “military manifests”.

“We have three generations of students who don’t even know where the borders,” between the West Bank and the rest of historic Palestine are, she despaired in the interview above, filmed back in 2011.

Seven years on from the book’s publication, things have only got progressively worse.

That can be seen in the video that circulated on social media this week of young Israeli soldiers celebrating and cheering after they dynamited Palestinian homes east of Jerusalem. Those same soldiers are a product of Israel’s education system.

As Israel’s violent oppression of an entire indigenous people become more and more blatant for the world to see, so public opinion is increasingly shifting against Israel – even among the previously supportive voter and activist base of the Democratic Party in the US.

As Israel can rely less and less on outside support, it becomes more important for the apartheid state to circle the wagons, and ensure the next generation of settlers and soldiers are inculcated into the Israeli state’s official ideology – Zionism.

Last month it emerged that Israel has begun requiring all high school students – including those Palestinians who are second-class “citizens” of Israel – to pass an online government propaganda course before they can participate in overseas trips.

According to the Palestinian human rights group Adalah, the course “promotes racist ideology”, brainwashing students with the myth that Palestinians are inherently violent savages.

Adalah says that one question asks: “How do Palestinian organizations use digital social networks?” The required answer is “encouraging violence.”

“Another question asks students to identify the origins of modern anti-Semitism,” Adalah explains. “The exam’s correct answer is ‘Muslim organizations’ and the BDS movement.”

In this way, Israel is teaching its children to hate: hate Palestinians, hate Muslims, hate the Arabs in general and hate anyone who supports or stands in solidarity with them against oppression.

 (Source / 28.07.2019)  

FUNERAL OF GAZA PROTESTER KILLED BY ISRAEL TAKES PLACE

Funeral of a young man killed by Israel’s occupation forces during the 68th Great Return March demonstration in occupied Palestine’s besieged Gaza Strip took place on Saturday July 27th.

23-year-old Ahmad Mohammad al-Qarra was shot in stomach by Israeli occupation forces’ sniper while he was taking part in the demonstration east of the town of Khan Younis in the southern part of the tiny coastal enclave the day before, on Friday July 26th.

He died of his wounds shortly before midnight late on Friday after having been rushed to a hospital in Khan Younis by paramedics.

Ahmad al-Qarra’s funeral on Saturday took place in Khan Younis.

45 people were hit by live bullets and shrapnel from live bullets, 19 people were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets and 8 were directly hit by tear-gas grenades during the Friday Great Return March according to PHCR Gaza.

(Source / 28.07.2019)