A video posted on social media has confirmed eyewitness reports that a Palestinian teenager killed by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank last week was not posing a danger when shot
A video posted on social media has confirmed eyewitness reports that a Palestinian teenager killed by an Israeli soldier in the occupied West Bank last week was not posing a danger when shot.
Nineteen-year-old Badr Nafla was killed last Friday during a protest at the Separation Wall in his village of Qaffin, in the northwest of the West Bank.
According to a report by +972 Magazine claims by the Israeli military spokesperson, that “soldiers spotted a Palestinian throwing a Molotov cocktail toward them, and fired back in order to counter the threat”, are contradicted by “video footage of the incident” and “witness testimony”.
The clip in question shows a few dozen Palestinians gathered near the Wall – which in Qaffin is a militarised fence – throwing stones and burning tyres.
A military jeep then approaches the scene, “and shortly after single shots can be heard, followed by cries for help in Arabic”. Nafla is then quickly “evacuated from the scene by ambulance”.
A Palestinian eyewitness said that Israeli occupation forces were in no danger.
“He [the soldier] was sitting in an armoured jeep, and chose to get out in order to open fire,” the man said, adding that the jeep had passed by the protest several times before the fatal shooting.
“We were standing a short distance behind Badr when he was shot and killed,” the man continued.
“An Israeli jeep approached the gate in the separation fence, and a few youths threw stones at it from the other side of the fence. A soldier got out and fired a single bullet directly toward Badr.”
The man added that the army’s claim Molotov cocktails were being thrown is false. “There are security cameras on the fence, they could release the footage if they wanted to.”
Just last December, Haaretz revealed how Israeli occupation forces had shot some 20 Palestinians in the Qaffin area over the previous two months, as they were attempting to cross the fence.
Qaffin residents said that since the Trump administration published its so-called “peace plan”, local youth have been demonstrating on a daily basis by the Separation Wall, with “a number of injured protesters…evacuated to hospitals in the days leading up to Friday’s shooting”.
A video of the kidnapping shows the mother crying and running after Amer who was being dragged away and blocked by the armed occupation forces from reaching his mother
Israeli soldiers arrested a 13-year-old Palestinian child, identified as Amer Oweidat, from his home in Al-Arroub refugee camp, in Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank.
Israel’s military typically arrests and prosecutes 500 to 700 Palestinian children between the ages of 12 and 17 each year, subjecting them to coercive interrogation, physical violence and trials in military courts that lack basic guarantees of due process.
A video of the kidnapping shows the mother crying and running after Amer who was being dragged away and blocked by the armed occupation forces from reaching his mother. Amer is also heard calling out for his mum shouting: “I want to speak to my mum; I just want to speak to her.”
Israeli soldiers routinely torture, abuse,and threaten Palestinian children, and force them to sign confessions written in Hebrew, which they can’t read.
Palestine: The moment the child Amer Awaidat was arrested and tied by the Israeli occupation forces in Al-Aroub camp, north of Hebron.
The West Bank, among territories where Palestinians seek statehood, has seen sporadic violence since US President Donald Trump unveiled details of his “peace plan”.
Moreover, in Hebron this morning, Israeli soldiers abducted two more young teenagers, identified as Baha’ Jawabra and Lu’ay Jawabra, after invading and ransacking their homes in Al-Arroub refugee camp.
According to the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Samidoun, every year, around 700 Palestinian children are brought before Israeli military courts after being arrested, detained and interrogated.
The vast majority report some form of torture and abuse, including kicking and beating in military jeeps as well as psychological torture during interrogation, including threats to arrest family members.
A joint report issued by three Palestinian prisoners’ affairs organisations revealed that Israeli occupation forces arrested 496 Palestinians in January 2020, including 67 children and 16 women.
During 2019, Israeli occupation forces arrested 889 children. By the end of the year, the number of detained children in Israeli jails reached approximately 200, while 35 are held under house arrest.
#Israel arrests up to 700 Palestinian children each year in which 97% of them had no parent or lawyer present during interrogation
Logos of Airbnb are seen with a house mock-up onto it, on December 30, 2019 in Ankara, Turkey
A blacklist report was released today by the human rights office of the UN containing names of 112 companies with ties to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Of the 112 companies, which include Bezeq telecommunications, Teva Pharmaceutical industries and soft drink company Coca Cola, 94 are based in Israel, with 18 in six other countries. The Jerusalem Post reported that companies featured on the blacklist were not notified of its imminent release.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet said: “While the settlements as such are regarded as illegal under international law, this report does not provide a legal characterisation of the activities in question, or of business enterprises’ involvement in them.”
However, featured company, Hot Telecommunications Systems Ltd, in a letter from CEO Tal Granot-Goldstein to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, called on “the Israeli government and the Foreign Ministry intervene to prevent the publication of this list. Handling this matter is a national interest of the utmost importance”.
Citing the belief that “the inclusion of Israeli companies in the UN Human Rights Council’s blacklist might expose those companies to legal procedures, prompting international corporations to pull out of their investments in Israel”.
The long-awaited report was expected to be published in 2019 but was delayed over similar concerns, namely that companies appearing in the document could be subject to boycotts or divestment as a result of international pressure to prohibit trade with illegal settlements.
The UN human rights council approved a resolution to gather a blacklist of international companies operating in the illegal settlements in 2016 and in January 2018 identified 206 companies operating the West Bank.
The 2018 UN report stated the “the violations of [Palestinian] human rights associated with [Israeli] settlements are pervasive and devastating, reaching every facet of Palestinian life.”
“Owing to settlement development and infrastructure, Palestinians suffer from restrictions on freedom of religion, movement and education; their rights to land and water; access to livelihoods and their right to an adequate standard of living; their rights to family life; and many other fundamental human rights,” the report added.
The release of the blacklist comes weeks after US President Donald Trump announced his plan for peace in the middle east, a move which was widely rejected by regional leaders.
On Monday, 10 February 2020, it was announced that (S.Sh.) (25) was found strangled to death, from al-Nasser neighborhood, west of the Gaza Strip. The police opened an investigation into the case and referred the body to the Forensic Medicine Department at al-Shifa hospital to identify the cause of death.
The Forensic Medicine Department of al-Shifa’ Hospital confirmed that the cause of death is strangulation and pressure on the neck. According to PCHR’s fieldworker, (A. F.) (28), the victim’s husband, was arrested and put under investigation for suspicion of murdering his wife.
This crime is the first of its kind in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) for this year.
PCHR notes with concern the growing phenomenon of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), including murders on different grounds against the Palestinian woman. PCHR hereby calls upon the competent authorities to provide protection for women and girls.
Accordingly, PCHR calls for the concerned authorities to prosecute the killers and take the necessary legal measures against perpetrators.
BETHLEHEM, Wednesday, February 12, 2020 (The Palestinian News & Info Agency – WAFA) – Israeli authorities today issued orders to seize a large tract of Palestinian agricultural land to the west of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to local sources.
Hasan Breijieh, a local anti-wall and settlement activist, told WAFA that the Israeli delivered orders to takeover dozens of dunums of Palestinian land, that are located next to the illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Sur Hadassah, in favor of establishing an industrial zone and outposts.
The land slated for takeover belongs to the Husan and Wadi Fukin villages as well as the depopulated village of al-Qabbu, all located to the west and southwest of Bethlehem.
Soldiers in the oxymoronically named Civil Administration determine where Palestinians may live, where and when they may travel (including to other parts of the occupied territories like Gaza and East Jerusalem), whether they can build or expand homes on their own land, whether they own that land at all, whether an Israeli settler can takeover that land among others.
There are almost 834,000 Israeli settlers living in colonial settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The number of settlers has almost tripled since the Oslo Accords of 1993, when settlers’ number estimated 252,000. Illegal colonial settlements have increased from 144 to 515 in that time.
Israel’s nation-state law states that building and strengthening the settlements is a “national interest.”
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, “MADA”, has issued its annual report on media freedoms in Palestine, during the past year of 2019. PNN notes that this report is part of the project “A Step Forward towards Promoting Freedom of Expression in Palestine,” supported by the European Union.
This came during a press conference, held today on Watan TV, in which Dr. Ghazi Hanania, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MADA Center, Mousa Rimawi, Director General of the Center, and journalists Moath Amarneh and Christine Renawi participated.
At the beginning of the press conference, Rimawi greeted all journalists, especially Palestinian journalists who face Israeli repression, to convey the reality of what is happening on the ground. Rimawi emphasized on the rejection of the so-called “Deal of the Century,” which further paves the way for a state of apartheid and human rights violations in Palestine, including that of media and press freedoms. Rimawi again welcomed the primary efforts announced by the Palestinian government headed by Dr. Muhammad Shtayyah, which rejects the attacks and violations against journalists and against the freedoms of opinion and expression. These efforts reflected on the reality by the low number of violations in the West Bank, but the decision to block 49 sites, by the Magistrate’s Court in Ramallah, was indeed a setback to freedom of expression.
Additionally, Dr. Ghazi Hanania reviewed the results of the annual report for media freedoms in 2019, pointing to the efforts of the MADA Center in shedding light on the violations that are being practiced against these freedoms in Palestine, by the Israeli occupation authorities and Facebook, in addition to Palestinians. Hanania added that MADA Center held a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh, to brief him on the state of media freedoms and the requirements needed from the Palestinian government.
Hanania indicated that MADA Center monitored and documented a total of 678 violations against media freedoms in Palestine; Israeli occupation forces and authorities committed a total of 297 attacks (about 44%), while social media companies committed 181 violations (27%), and various Palestinian authorities committed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip—a total of 200 violations (29% of all violations)—indicating that the increase of number of violations came as a result of the violations committed by social media companies (Facebook, specifically) against Palestinian content, and the targeting of news pages and journalists’ accounts.
On the other hand, free-lance photographer Moath Amarneh thanked all those who stood in solidarity with him, from individual journalists to entire organizations, after being shot by Israeli occupation forces, which led to the loss of his eye. Amarneh stressed the need to preserve the cohesion of the press body to face the attacks of the Israeli occupation against Palestinian journalists, which intends to fight the Palestinian image and narration in all ways and tries to prevent the journalist from reporting the reality of what is happening on the ground. Moreover, Amarneh pointed out that the Israeli occupation army deals with the Palestinian journalist as an enemy on the ground and intentionally targets them. The best evidence of this is this deliberate injury caused by an Israeli sniper who shot him directly in his eye and later photographed the location of the injury, to document it. Amarneh said that this was a direct and clear message to journalists by the Israeli occupation: “A strong photograph will be the reason for your injury.”
As for Jerusalem TV reporter Christine Rinawi, she explained how that the Israeli occupation closed Palestine TV office in Jerusalem, in late 2019, and prevented journalists working there from practicing journalism for 6 months. Rinawi indicated that the decision to close the office is a political decision that falls within the systematic attacks against the city of Jerusalem. Rinawi also confirmed that the occupation deals with the journalist as part of the problem because of the strong photos they deliver and their ability to convey the truth.
She added that she had been interrogated 3 times within one day, while the staff at the Jerusalem office was prevented from continuing to present their programs in the field, where her colleagues were detained and subsequently investigated. In conclusion, Rinawi indicated that no matter how the occupation forces try to obstruct the work of the Palestinian journalist, the coverage will continue because the Palestinian journalist has a message to deliver.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- On the day of his arrest, they took an iron chair from Qassam’s house in the village of Kobar in northern Ramallah. His family did not understand the reason behind that at the time, but they knew later that it was one way to torture Qassam during his interrogation. Israeli soldiers were sticking the legs of the chair inside Qassam’s wounds.
On the next Tuesday, the family of Qassam Abdel Kareem Barghouthi was informed of the Israeli decision to demolish their house. The decision came as a punitive measure against the 26-year-old young man, who was allegedly involved in Ein Bubin operation near the illegal settlement of Dolev in western Ramallah on August 23rd, 2019, which resulted in one death and two injuries among illegal settlers.
Prof. Widad Barghouthi, Qassam’s mother, told QNN that the Israeli army stormed their house on August 26, 2019. The Israeli unleashed their dogs, which attacked her husband and bit him. When Qassam tried to defend his father they attacked him and pushed the dogs to bite him instead.
“We were all held in one room while Qassam was with them in another”, she added. “We were only hearing shouts but we didn’t know what was happening. They carried out a field interrogation with him for three hours and after they left, taking my son with them, they were taking an iron chair with them as well. We found it weird at the beginning but we knew later on that they were sticking its legs into Qassam’s wound’s [left by the dogs’ bites] and strongly pushing it.”
She told QNN that her son was subjected to several forms of torture during interrogation. The signs of torture could be seen all over his body.
On February 17th, the family will be able to visit Qassam at Nafha desert jail.
Abd el-Rahman Shatawi (10 years old) before and after being shot by Israeli soldiers
By Gideon Levy
Israeli soldiers shoot children. Sometimes they wound them and sometimes they kill them. Sometimes the children wind up brain dead, sometimes disabled. Sometimes the children have thrown rocks at the soldiers, sometimes Molotov cocktails. Sometimes by chance they wind up in the middle of a confrontation. They almost never put the soldiers’ lives in danger.
Sometimes the soldiers intentionally shoot at the children, sometimes by mistake. Sometimes they aim at the children’s heads or the upper body, and sometimes they shoot in the air and miss, hitting the children in the head. That’s how it goes when a body is small.
Sometimes the soldiers shoot with the intent to kill, sometimes to punish. Sometimes they use regular bullets and sometimes rubber-coated bullets, sometimes from a distance, sometimes in an ambush, sometimes at close range. Sometimes they shoot out of fear, anger, frustration and a sense of having no other option, or a loss of control, sometimes in cold blood. The soldiers never see their victims afterward. If they saw what they caused, they might stop shooting.
Israeli soldiers are allowed to shoot children. Nobody punishes them for shooting children. When a Palestinian child is shot it’s not a story. There’s no difference between the blood of a small Palestinian child and the blood of a Palestinian adult. They’re both cheap. When a Jewish child is hurt, all of Israel shakes, when a Palestinian child is hurt, Israel yawns. It will always, always find a justification for soldiers shooting Palestinian children. It will never, never find a justification for children throwing stones at soldiers who raid their village.
For six months a boy named Abd el-Rahman Shatawi has been convalescing at the rehabilitation hospital in Beit Jala. For 10 days a relative of his, Mohammed Shatawi, has been at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, in Jerusalem. Both are from the village of Qaddum in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers shot them both in the head. They shot regular bullets from a great distance at Abd el-Rahman as he stood at the entrance to a friend’s home, they shot a rubber-coated bullet at Mohammed from a nearby hilltop as he tried to hide from them down the same hill. The army said he had set a tire on fire.
Abd el-Rahman is 10 and looks small for his age. Mohammed is 14 and looks older than he is. These are the children of the Palestinian reality, both hanging between life and death. Theirs and their parents’ lives have been destroyed. Abd el-Rahman’s father drives him home from Beit Jala to Qaddum once a week for a weekend in the village, Mohammed’s father doesn’t stray from the doorway of the neuro-intensive care unit at Hadassah Ein Karem, where he’s alone facing his son and his fate. Neither of these children should have been shot. Neither should have been shot in the head.
After Abd el-Rahman was shot the army spokesman’s office said that “during the incident a Palestinian minor was wounded.” After Mohammed was shot the spokesman said: “A claim about a Palestinian who was wounded by a rubber bullet is known.” The office is familiar with the complaint. The army spokesman is the voice of the Israel Defense Forces. The IDF is a people’s army, therefore the IDF spokesman also speaks for Israel.
The spokespeople publish their bloodcurdling statements from a new office tower in Ramat Aviv near Tel Aviv, where the office recently moved. They refer to a 10-year-old boy as a “Palestinian minor” and remark that “the Palestinian claim is known” about a boy fighting for his life because soldiers shot him in the head. The dehumanization of Palestinians has reached the IDF spokespeople. Even children no longer rouse human sentiment such as sorrow or mercy, certainly not in the IDF.
The IDF spokesman’s office does its job well. Its statements reflect the spirit of the time and place. There’s no room to express any regret for shooting children in the head, there’s no room for mercy, an apology, an investigation or punishment, and certainly not for any compensation. Shooting a Palestinian child is considered less severe than shooting a stray dog, for which there’s still a chance someone will do some investigating.
The IDF spokesman announces: Continue to shoot Palestinian children.
Occupied Golan Heights (QNN)- The occupation state has started Tuesday to prosecute dignitaries from the occupied Syrian Golan Heights for rejecting the Israeli wind farm project, which is being constructed in the occupied area.
Local sources stated that the dignitaries include Sheikh Salman AhmadAwwad and Tawfiq Abu Kannaj Abu Saleh.
Hundreds of native Syrian Druz flocked to the Israeli court in Nazareth, where their Sheiks and dignitaries are being tried.
The occupation state has started to construct its project, which plans to build 25 giant turbines in the first stage on 4,316 dunums of the occupied land, which would pose a threat to agriculture and nature there.
If one were forced to find a single redeeming aspect to the Trump administration’s “deal of the century”, it would be that the crass racism that pervades this offensive plan gives greater currency to the apartheid analogy.
The outpouring of editorials and opinion pieces by analysts who had so far shied away from using the term, suggests that they were indeed ready to embrace it.
And the speed with which such pieces were published indicates that many of these writers might not have even felt the need to read the 181-page document before finally acknowledging that Israel’s policies and practices indeed amount to apartheid, which Trump’s plan attempts to legitimise.
Indeed, there is little that is truly novel in this plan, whether it is a demilitarised, unviable, discontiguous Palestinian state, or Israel’s continued control of Palestinian borders and annexation of illegally occupied lands. The plan even stipulates that Israel will continue to determine which “dual-use” materials will be allowed into Palestine, the same type of restrictions currently imposed on the besieged Gaza Strip in the name of “security”.
Palestinians need pipes for their plumbing? Tough luck, pipes can also be used for building rockets; Palestinians will need to do without toilets.
The denunciations of Israeli apartheid since this “deal” has been unveiled are welcome, of course. Yet, for many Palestinians, this is nothing new. Indeed, it was South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle that provided the model for the 2005 call for global solidarity in the form of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) – and many of us argued for many years prior that Zionism is racism.
There are, however, some limitations to the use of the apartheid analogy. It would be overly optimistic for activists to assume that a large number of people who had not yet grasped Israel’s reality will do so now, as a result of a few more progressive analysts equating Israel’s practices and policies with what is acknowledged as a crime against humanity.
Organising grassroots support
The US is divided enough that US President Donald Trump’s supporters will embrace anything he proposes, while those critical of him will reject his imperial hubris.
What that means for Palestine rights activists is that we must continue to grow and organise grassroots support for justice for the Palestinian people – but we cannot, and do not, expect such growth to come as a result of Trump’s unveiling of his plan to legitimise Israeli apartheid.
We have been arguing for decades that Israel is not a democracy. Trump’s latest open embrace of Israeli Jewish supremacy will not create much of a ripple effect among progressives.
While we of course welcome new allies, we must also discuss how Zionism is a form of imperialism and settler-colonialism, making it clear that it is fundamentally wrong – as all forms of imperialism and settler-colonialism are wrong – for Jews anywhere in the world to claim a “birthright” in Palestine.
Judaism is a religion, not a nationality, and Jewish self-determination should not happen at the expense of another people. Indeed, Jewish self-determination can and should happen everywhere, and does not necessitate the trappings of a nation-state.
This understanding goes beyond an analysis of racism; it hinges on a denunciation of settler-colonialism disguised as necessary for survival.
South Africa’s history, and its tormented present, must be used as a cautionary model for Palestine’s future. As we look at South Africa today, more than a quarter of a century since the official end of apartheid, we see ongoing economic disparity, with the majority of black Africans still living in extreme poverty, while whites retain most positions of power.
We see ongoing gender inequality, because of a lack of intentionality in addressing sexism during the struggle to end official racism. And of course, we see extreme corruption at the governmental level.
The South African apartheid analogy is useful in illustrating the many ways that Israel is a racist state. But if that is all we look for in our struggle to liberate Palestine, we will have failed the Palestinian people, by not tending to the many problems that currently exist – and those that will arise, once the policy of official racism is dismantled.
Fortunately, many of us are aware that a struggle that is not intersectional is bound to fail the majority of the dispossessed and disenfranchised, even if it is “successful” in overcoming the one oppressive system it targets. And because Palestinians today are a diaspora people, with a majority living outside the historic boundaries of their homeland, our intersectionality is a global one, with connections to dispossessed and disenfranchised communities way beyond the boundaries “from the river to the sea”.
One sobering aspect of the otherwise successful BDS campaign is that many of its victories have not yet translated into an improvement of the circumstances of the Palestinian people.
What we have been celebrating is a change in the discourse about Israel and Palestine, and what we have been waiting for is the moment when that hitherto strictly discursive change will manifest in Palestinian liberation.
Trump’s “deal of the century” does not impact the progress we have been making at the level of grassroots organising, even though it will aggravate the severity of the “facts on the ground” that will need to be reversed.
And these are significant indeed: even seasoned analysts who expected nothing positive to come of Trump’s plan were shell-shocked by some of the details. But Trump’s plan will also eventually fail, possibly because it is so shamelessly racist – an expression of imperial arrogance that is a full century too late, with its echoes of Lord Balfour’s 1917 declaration.
The struggle carries on. For now, we must vote Trump out.