Evangelical Christian volunteers harvest Chardonnay grapes for Psagot Winery in a vineyard on July 24, 2017 in the illegal Israeli settlement of Psagot in the West Bank, Palestine
Israel has asked the UK to include illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in the free trade deal being discussed between the two sides, Israel Hayom reported on Thursday.
According to the Israeli newspaper, Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen had written to his British counterpart, Conor Burns, informing him: “Most of Israel’s free trade agreements, such as the agreement with the United States, apply to the State of Israel, which is wherever the law applies.”
The newspaper announced that the terms of the post-Brexit free trade deal were already laid down, noting that they are the same terms as the free trade deal with the EU.
The EU does not recognise the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as part of Israel; therefore, the mutual free trade deal with Israel excludes the settlements.
However, the newspaper added, Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, hopes that the UK takes a different approach after leaving the EU.
Earlier this month, the Times of Israel reported that Netanyahu had spoken with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, and discussed several issues relating to mutual cooperation.
“I spoke today with UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, and congratulated him on Brexit. We discussed regional affairs, especially on the ‘deal of the century’,” the newspaper reported Netanyahu had posted on Twitter.
Both parties, the newspaper added: “Agreed to continue to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries and to start discussions on a free trade zone between Israel and the UK.”
Provocative billboards seen around Tel Aviv, ahead of Israeli elections, with the line ‘Peace is made ONLY with vanquished enemies’ in early February 2020 [image sourced on social media]
The mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai ordered the removal on Friday of highway billboards that appeared to call for the surrender at gunpoint of Palestinian leaders for the sake of peace.
“Peace is made ONLY with vanquished enemies,” said the billboards, which showed photo-shopped images of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, blindfolded and supplicating in a war-zone as helicopters hover, and buildings behind them reduced to mere rubbles.
Mayor Huldai said: “The images incite violence that is reminiscent of ISIS and Nazi acts”, reported Israel’s News 1.
Israel’s stand-off with the Palestinians has grown newly tense since last month’s unveiling of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which they rejected as biased.
Did you hear about the billboards in Tel Aviv? The slogan says “Peace Comes Only From Vanquished Enemies.”
This billboard – with all its dehumanization & brutality – perfectly encapsulates the worldview of those in power in the US & Israel today.
תולים את זה עכשיו בדרך השלום בתל אביב. מזעזע. והבן שלי יראה את זה יום יום בהסעה הביתה מבית הספר. הרצון הדוחה להשפיל את האחר, זה נוראי כשעשו לנו, נוראי כשאנחנו עושים לאחר. זה לאבד צלם אנוש. הכיבוש משחית. כוח משחית.
It was not immediately clear who sponsored the billboards around Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, or if the campaign was meant to help rightist parties in a March 2 national election.
Former Knesset Member of the Meretz Party, Issawi Freig, tweeted a comment on his Twitter account and called for the mayor of Tel Aviv to remove the sign: “This disgust must go down now. Ron Huldai, for your care.”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement that the billboards would be removed, saying that their image “incites violence and recalls the actions of ISIS and the Nazis – whom we do not want to counted among”.
“Even in election season, there are red lines,” he said.
In another sign distributed throughout Jerusalem by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, the Knesset member of the joint list, Ahmed Tibi, appears to be carrying the chairman of the Blue and White Benny Gantz party on the back: The sign reads: “Without Ahmad Tibi there is no government gantz.” Gantz is Netanyahu’s main rival in the Israeli elections.
A child stands near a ditch created after Israeli jets bombed an area in northern Gaza late Friday belonging to the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, in Khan Yunis on November 02, 2019
Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Sunday following rocket fire from the Palestinian territory, according to the military.
The army said in a statement the fighter jets and helicopters targeted installations belonging to Palestinian group Hamas in central Gaza.
The raids came shortly after the Israeli army said two rockets were fired from the blockaded strip into southern Israel.
No injuries were reported.
Israel holds Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, responsible for any rocket fire from the enclave, which has been under a crippling blockade since 2007.
The Fatah movement, on Friday, called on both Germany and the Czech Republic in particular to rescind their requests to become an “amicus curiae” with the intention to argue that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction over the occupied Palestinian Territories.
In a statement, Fatah’s spokesperson, Jamal Nazzal, which comes as a reaction to Germany’s joining the Czech Republic in offering to speak on Israel’s behalf at the ICC, arguing that it has no jurisdiction, the Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reports.
“Over the years Israel has killed thousands upon thousands of Palestinian civilians with hundreds of unarmed and underage individuals amongst them,” Nazzal added, warning the two countries against “standing in the way of justice for thousands of Palestinian victims, thus giving Israel green light to go on with its human rights violation over technical issues, while war crimes are being committed by Israel either through the continual bombardment in Gaza, the illegal settlements or the shooting of unarmed Palestinian individuals in violation of international law.”
Israeli soldiers fired, on Saturday night after midnight, a few missiles into a site in the besieged and impoverished Gaza Strip, causing damage, after the army claimed that two shells were fired from the coastal region. The army also revoked the permits of 500 merchants in addition to reducing the fishing zone.
Media sources said Israeli F16 warplanes fired missiles into a site west of Deir al-Balah city, in central Gaza, causing damage to the targeted location and several surrounding homes.
Israeli war jets and drones were also seen and heard flying over several parts of the coastal region.
The Israeli army claimed that it was retaliating to homemade shells that were reportedly fired from Gaza into nearby settlements.
In a statement, the Israeli army also said it has decided to revoke the permits of 500 Gaza merchants, which will prevent them from leaving the Gaza Strip on their way to Jerusalem or the rest of the occupied West Bank.
Furthermore, the Israeli Navy said it has decided to reduce the fishing zone allotted to Gaza Strip, for the second time since Wednesday, when it reduced it from 15 to 10 nautical miles, in addition to denying the entry of construction materials into the coastal region.
Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday at night and earlier Sunday, at least eight Palestinians from several parts of the occupied West Bank.
Several army jeeps invaded Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, searched many homes and abducted three young men, identified as Mousa Hatem Deeriyya, Tareq Eqab Deeriyya, and Ahmad Mohammad Deeriyya.
The soldiers also invaded the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, especially the Old City and the al-Bawwaba areas, before storming and ransacking many shops.
The soldiers interrogated the many Palestinians in the stores, and questioned them while inspecting their ID cards.
In Hebron, in southern West Bank, the soldiers abducted a student, whose identity remained unknown at the time of this report, at a military roadblock near the Ibrahimi mosque, after the army alleged that he “carried a knife.”
The soldiers also invaded Sa’ir town, east of Hebron, searched homes and abducted Mohammad Younis Kawazba.
Another Palestinian, identified as Rafat Odah Amro, was abducted from his home in Beit Masram village, south of Hebron, after the soldiers stormed and ransacked his home.
In Ramallah, in central West Bank, the soldiers placed concrete blocks at the main entrance of Deir Nitham village, west of the city, completely closing it.
It is worth mentioning that the soldiers placed concrete blocks, and an iron gate, at the main entrance of the village a few days ago, but the locals managed to remove them and reopened the road.
On Saturday at night, the soldiers assaulted and abducted Sanad Jo’eidi, 26, after stopping him at a sudden military roadblock, east of Qalqilia, in northern West Bank.
Also at night Saturday, the soldiers abducted a former political prisoner, identified as Bara’ Riyad Abu ‘Aabed, from Ya’bad town, southwest of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, after stopping him at a nearby military roadblock.
The soldiers stopped and searched dozens of cars and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.
Israel’s latest propaganda war is being waged through slick tv shows on various media service providers such as Netflix and HBO.
While racist depictions of Arabs and the glorification of Israel is not new in the film and TV industry, there has recently been a surge in programmes venerating the Israeli secret services while demonising Palestinians as threats to global security and erasing their history.
The most well-known is the Israeli Netflix series Fauda (meaning chaos in Arabic) which has been a global hit. The series follows an undercover Israeli special forces unit known as the “musta’ribim”, who disguise themselves as Palestinians to infiltrate Palestinian towns, villages and protests. They are particularly known for blending into protests dressed as young Palestinian men and kidnapping protesters. Fauda has been heavily criticised for dehumanising Palestinians and completely erasing the military occupation by failing to show any of the massive and visible infrastructure built across the West Bank and Gaza to keep Palestinians contained.
Another TV show, on HBO, called Our Boys, dramatises the infamous events surrounding the killing of three teenage Israeli settlers and the subsequent killing of a Palestinian boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Many praised the show for being critical of Israel, particularly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced it as “anti-Semitic”. However, the series not only reinforces the Israeli narrative but also shows Israel’s secret police agency Shin Bet as a defender of the rule of law. Similar Netflix programmes such as The Spy (starring Sasha Baren Cohen) also glorify the Israeli secret services as an agency of good fighting the bad, which inevitably happens to be all the neighbouring Arab countries.
The latest addition to the list of TV shows supporting Israel in its propaganda war against the Palestinians is Netflix’s The Messiah. In the show, a messiah-like figure from the Middle East causes concern for the CIA and the Shin Bet. In the first episode, he is seen to lead a group of Palestinian-Syrian refugees to Syria’s border with presumably the occupied Golan Heights. A fictional CNN reporter declares that “as displaced Palestinians they claim they are entitled passage into the West Bank as rightful citizens”. Yet Palestinian refugees in Syria come from historic Palestine, now recognised as Israel, and they do not demand to become citizens of the West Bank. Rather they demand their right to return to their villages and towns of origin from which they were displaced in 1948 – a right that is inalienable and enshrined in international law.
This is not pedantism; this kind of consistent and subtle denial of Palestinian rights seeps into what becomes hegemonic, accepted norms. This is further demonstrated when the show consistently refers to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while international law and consensus denies it as such in recognition of the Palestinian right to the city.
We also know far too well what happens when Palestinian refugees march to Israeli military fences and demand their inalienable rights to return home. Indeed the courageous Great March of Return in Gaza shows us the horrific consequences of such an action: Israeli soldiers shot dead hundreds of Palestinians. In contrast, The Messiah shows a few Israeli army jeeps standing by as the refugees camp next to the fence.
Other Palestinian protests later on in the series are consistently referred to as riots – a word commonly used by mainstream media to delegitimise political protest, evoking connotations of senseless violence and often holding heavy racial undertones.
The show also glorifies a troubled Shin Bet agent who kidnaps and tortures a young Palestinian boy to near death, while it is later discovered that he previously killed another Palestinian boy in an act of revenge. Not only are Palestinians so dehumanised that their torture and killing is seen as justifiable, but the agent is also portrayed as a tortured soul, a heroic protagonist who works with a CIA agent for the sake of world security.
Similar to the portrayal of the CIA in the show Homeland, in The Messiah, the Shin Bet is portrayed as an ultimately virtuous organisation that sometimes has to undertake “unsavoury” activities for the sake of the greater good. Yet we have clear documentation of the Shin Bet’s systematic human rights abuses and crimes against the Palestinians and others, including their torture and violent interrogations of Palestinians, which contravene international law and all considerations of morality. None of this is surprising, especially as the CIA continues to be portrayed as a force for good in mainstream media despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
While it can be expected that a large media organisation such as Netflix has no interest in humanising Palestinians or Middle Easterners or portraying their narratives accurately, it is particularly disappointing that Arab actors take part in these programmes and become complicit in racist propaganda and ultimately their own dehumanisation. Yet throughout the history of television and film this too has always been the case.
This latest surge of programmes focusing on Israel and trying to show it as a force for good is a clear attempt to win the current legitimisation battle. While it may seem like one of the less important battles, the effectiveness of such TV shows cannot be understated. They feed into global narratives on Israel and Palestine and soon become part of hegemonic norms or facts. Indeed in today’s world, media services such as Netflix, and their popular TV shows, are the main sources of knowledge for many people. And although not as crude as classic Orientalist cinema and TV, these programmes are no less racist and perhaps even more dangerous in their subtlety and slick presentation.
Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- He was standing in front of his grandfather’s house, eating a sandwich and waiting for his two sisters, who were still waiting to get their sandwiches from the sandwiches stand. Only then, Malek’s eye was shot with a sponge bullet by the lurked Israeli soldiers.
Malek Issa (8 years old) is a student in one of Issawiyyeh’s schools. He left his school on Saturday with his sisters to their grandfather’s near house, from where their mother usually comes to pick them up home later.
As soon as they got off the school bus, they ran to a sandwiches stand in front of their grandfather’s house. Malek got his sandwich first. However, Israeli forces raided the neighborhood while school children were leaving schools.
Malek’s uncle, Mahmoud, told QNN that “everyone at the scene told us that Malek was eating a sandwich and trying to cross the street when a sponge bullet hit his head. He fell on the ground. His face was covered with blood but we found out that the bullet hit his forehead, above his nose and very close to his eye.”
Mahmoud added that the child was evacuated to Hadasah hospital in Issawiyyeh before being transferred to Hadasah Ein Kerem hospital to make more check-ups and surgeries, which did not stop until the early hours of Sunday.
“He was subjected to surgeries to fix fractures in his forehead and head. A gland in his nose was directly hit, which raised concerns that it would produce secretions that may cause a lethal inflammation if they reach the brain, but they could not control it”, Mahmoud added.
Mahmoud also told QNN that Malek’s eye was badly damaged, according to the doctors, and that Malek has probably lost it.
The child will stay under observation for 24 hours so that the doctors decide how to deal with his case.
Issawiyyeh has been subjected to daily Israeli raids, which put its citizens in constant danger and increase their concerns regarding the safety of their children.
Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli occupation army announced on Sunday that during the last few months, it detected efforts by Hamas to hack cell phones of Israeli soldiers.
The hacks were based on communication on social media, tempting the soldiers to install Malign Applications on their phones.
A statement by the Israeli army mentioned that, in cooperation with the so-called “general security services”, it succeeded to thwart a successful first-of-its-kind technological attack by Hamas servers, which aimed at communicating and collecting information about Israeli soldiers.
The army consequently decided to summon hundreds of its soldiers, who were targeted in the operation, for interrogation.
Hamas has expanded its capacity to include a wider range of Israelis. Hamas also used social media platforms for the first time ever to communicate with the targeted soldiers.
The hackers sent female voice messages to the soldiers to allay their doubts.
The hackers used three applications, which were described as apps for photo sharing: “Catch&See”, “ZatuApp”, “GrixyApp”.
After any of the applications gets installed, it connects to Hamas’ servers then starts to automatically send the device’s data.