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Israel using thirst as a weapon of war on Palestinians

Israel using thirst as a weapon of war on Palestinians

Israel has been manipulating Palestinian water supplies in order to force them to become dependent on Israeli water.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, recently caused uproar in the Israeli Knesset (parliament) when he questioned the Israelis as to whether or not they were following agreements over water distribution with the Palestinians.

His comments enraged far-right Economy Minister Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi Party so much that they stormed out of the meeting. The Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also told Schulz that he was being ‘intentionally misled’ and that Israel ‘gives’ more water to Palestinians than agreed to.

However, while Livni’s choice of words in saying that Israel ‘gives’ waters to the Palestinians may indicate an underlying sense of ownership over all the water in the region, what Livni was probably supposed to say instead of ‘gives’ is perhaps the word ‘sells’ i.e. Israel is selling Palestinians water that rightfully belongs to Palestinians in the first place.

In reality, Palestinians would have no need to buy water from Israel if it wasn’t for the fact that Israel is occupying the West Bank and thus controlling the Palestinian water reserves. Also, the Oslo II accords which was signed by the 1995 interim government was supposed to limit Palestinian water production only temporarily until the Palestinians gained full sovereignty over their own water, yet these restrictions are still in place today.

While Israelis allotted themselves 483 million cubic meters of annual water production, Palestinians were only given 118 million cubic meters – four times less than Israelis. However, Israel is known to be producing a lot more water than was allocated to them and Palestinians are producing much less, even though they are actually in need of at least 80 million cubic meters of water more than that which was allocated to them. Meanwhile, Israel is selling 60 million cubic meters of water to the Palestinians annually, which is way over the 27.9 million cubic meters of water that they were allowed to sell according to the agreements.

The reason why Palestinians are falling short of their allocated amount is because they are forbidden from drilling water from the western mountain aquifer, which is a vital water source. Also a lot of the water the Palestinians in the West Bank are allowed to pump goes to waste because of Israelis only permitting them to use pipes that are too narrow to cope with the pumping process. To add, tarries required to approve drilling and repairs are delayed, leading to water loss of up to 30%.

As for the 113,000 Palestinians living in Area C of the West Bank, they are completely cut-off from the water network and cannot even collect rain water in cisterns, leaving them with no choice but to buy water from Israel.

Furthermore, Palestinians in Gaza are forced to rely on an aquifer within their borders, which struggles to cope with the demand in the heavily over-populated strip. However, Israel insists that the Gaza Strip is self-sufficient and does not allow it to join its water infrastructure. Therefore, overpumping in Gaza causes potable water to become mixed with sea and sewage water, making 90% of the water undrinkable.

(Source / 17.02.2014)

The political violence of recognising Israel as a Jewish state

By Ramona Wadi

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerent insistence upon the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is magnified to the extent that the Zionists’ hegemonic narrative attempts to dispel the tenacious Palestinian resistance against enforced oblivion. Embarking upon the premise that recognition of the Jewish state “is the first foundation for peace between us and the Palestinians”, Netanyahu’s insistence upon the mass forfeiture of Palestinian memory as a non-negotiable pre-condition has a massive impact on Zionist history, international accountability, legitimacy and oblivion.

Describing recognition as a “non-negotiable pre-condition” to peace is a contradiction asserted by Netanyahu himself with each utterance of the phrase. While attempting to simulate a semblance of concession, the implication is absolute. Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is equivalent to relinquishing the legal right of return, paving the way for the complete colonisation of historic Palestine and imperialist domination of the region. Hence, the constant insistence upon recognition also reveals an existing impediment to colonisation, particularly within the memory framework.

The intentional alienation of the Palestinian right of return is an international exercise in accordance with Zionist history and ideology. In 1923, Ze’ev Jabotinsky was clear: “Zionist colonisation, even the most restricted, must be either terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonisation can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through.” Any diversion from the established historical narrative forged by Zionism would force Israel’s allies to face the ramifications of accountability in supporting and recognising the existence of the settler-colonial state and the attempt to erase the memory of the massacres, destruction and forced transfer perpetrated against Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba (Catastrophe).

Some prominent Israeli leaders have deemed the requirement of Palestinian recognition to be unnecessary, given that Israel already has the backing provided by the collective imperialist organisation embodied by the United Nations. However, Israel’s allies have either expressed themselves in favour of recognition or else constructed verbal ambiguities which contribute to the oblivion of Palestinian memory. President Obama has clearly advocated in favour of recognising Israel as a Jewish state, inscribed within a forthcoming framework that depicts “Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the nation-state of two people”. The EU has expressed its reticence in asserting support for Israel’s recognition as a Jewish state, with Lars Faaborg-Andersen stating, “We are not sure what is the meaning and the implications of such recognition for other core issues.”

Both Obama and the EU have exhibited a common trait, despite the diverging statements. The narratives confine the existence of a Palestinian state within a memory that is difficult to resurrect, owing to the inherent violence with regard to the imperialist interpretation of international law. Colonialism and imperialism are supported by the dissemination of violence, the domination exacerbated by territorial possession and the construction of a fabricated legitimacy that derives validity from the institutions complicit in sustaining the parallel frameworks. The current negotiations attest to this collaboration. “Peace” is the euphemism for unbridled Zionist expansion, hence the expressed support for the two-state solution, which involves a number of factors pertaining to memory, accountability and legitimacy.

The two-state solution is a form of political violence legitimised by Israel’s allies and attuned to the clamour regarding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Instead of shifting focus to the dismantling of the Zionist state as a prelude to peace and reclamation of Palestinian land and memory, Israel and its allies seek to further the complicity of coercion while ascertaining that their impunity is safeguarded within international imperialist organisations. The absence of regulations concerning the international law violations committed by organisations such as the UN, whose existence is also dependent upon the maintenance of human rights violations, means that the termination of abuse is unlikely to happen. The fact that colonial and imperialist involvement creates unsustainable situations makes it easier to avoid scrutiny while assigning blame and incitement to the oppressed population.

While Palestinians legitimacy is ingrained within the collective memory of the Nakba, Israel is dependent upon the manipulation of history from which a simulated legitimacy is derived and imposed in a manner which seeks to obliterate Palestinian collective memory, bolstered by the colonial-imperial framework. Due to the imperialist validation of the imagined Zionist narrative, as well as the subjugation of international law to imperialism, violence has been rendered as a neutral phenomenon or a humanitarian necessity when perpetrated by the coloniser against the indigenous population.

Coercing Palestinians to recognise Israel as a Jewish state constitutes a form of violence against collective memory which would immediately transcend the inscribed narrative to manifest itself in further expropriation of land and fragmentation of Palestinian unity. Israel has been allowed excessive leniency in appropriating not only Palestinian land, but also the significance of the Palestinian right to return. The UN and international law have failed the Palestinians, hence the importance of memory which, for them, constitutes an ongoing process that Israel seeks to rupture through enforcing oblivion not only upon its settler-citizens, but also upon the international community, a tactic absorbed willingly by all except those countries whose experience of oppression under imperialism and neoliberal experiments created a formidable resistance.

The preservation of collective memory is impacted by time. Despite the processes allowing, in certain circumstances, the partial declassification of archived information and attempts at reconciliation, the cycle of oppression ensures a procedure which systematically encourages the depletion of memory to fragment the history of the oppressed. Palestinian memory is not only combating the hegemonic Zionist narrative supported by imperialism but also ensnared within a struggle that seeks to reconstruct a history that is at the same time contemporary. This is due to the ongoing colonisation process which Israel has no intention of stopping, lest its narrative encounters a challenging paradigm borne out of a structured Palestinian resistance which frees itself from dependence upon the dynamics of aid and intervention. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has declared the Palestinian refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state to be “a right”. Palestinians have already implemented the “right” in a manner which is consistent with the historical obligation to defend and promulgate memory.

(Source / 17.02.2014)

Canada grants new identity, passport to Mossad assassin

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Knesset, pledging unwavering support for Israel, January 20, 2014.

 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses the Knesset, pledging unwavering support for Israel, January 20, 2014.

The Canadian government has granted a new identity and passport to an agent of the Israeli spying service Mossad who had been involved in an assassination plot in 2010.

The Mossad agent, whose identity was not revealed, received the new identity and passport after his participation in the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010, Canadian news agency QMI quoted Arian Azarbar, a businessman, as saying.

“The girl who was in charge of that file at Passport Canada… told me about it,” Azarbar said.

Al-Mabhouh was killed in his hotel room by a team of ten assassins carrying European passports.

“The Canadian government has said we had nothing to do with this, but it is a lie,” Azarbar added.

Azarbar has also provided the QMI agency with the name of the Israeli spy and the location of his residence in Canada. The agency, however, has declined to disclose the information, saying it would “endanger the safety and security” of the Mossad agent.

Alexis Pavelich, the spokesman for Canada’s Immigration Ministry, has refused to talk about the passport issue.

Back in 1997, Jordan arrested two Mossad agents carrying fake Canadian passports following a life attempt on Hamas leader Khaled Mashal.

Canada is closely allied to the Israeli regime.

Canada was one of the few countries that opposed the successful Palestinian bid in November 2012 to upgrade its status at the United Nations from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state.”

In October 2011, Canada also opposed the Palestinian effort to win membership within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

(Source / 16.02.2014)

Army Denies Farmers Access to Lands Near Bethlehem

Israeli army and settlers prevented, on Sunday, Palestinian farmers in the village of Assakrah, east of Bethlehem, from entering their land to plant it under the pretext of it being ‘State Property’, according to local sources.

image: Wiki Commons

WAFA reports that the head of Taqou village council, Taysir Abu Mifreh, said that both soldiers and settlers prevented the farmers from planting olive shrubs in their plot which is adjacent to Tekoa’ settlement, built illegally on Taqou village land.

He said that soldiers warned to arrest the farmers, in case they return to plant their plot, and threatened to uproot the trees.

(Source / 16.02.2014)

Group: Abbas’s meeting with Israeli students is a blow to academic boycott

Israelis heading to Palestinian Authority Headquarters in Ramallah to meet Abbas (Safa Images: February 16, 2014)

Israelis heading to Palestinian Authority Headquarters in Ramallah to meet Abbas

Gaza, ALRAY – Hamas Movement condemned Palestinian President Abbas meeting with Israelis at the headquarters of Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, considering it a form of normalization.

Spokesman for the movement Sami Abu Zuhri said in a brief statement that “Abbas’s meeting with Israelis polishes the public image of Israel,”

“Such meetings reflect a serious breakdown in the political positions of Palestinian Authority” he said.

President Abbas on Sunday met with an Israeli delegation of 270 youths at his the PA headquarters in the West bank central city of Ramallah.

The meeting has attracted popular discontent, while PA security  forces prevented journalists from covering a sit-in staged in Ramallah to protest the event.

A Palestinian student body inside the occupied 1948 territories condemned the Abbas’s initiative as a blow to the academic boycott of Israel, Quds News reported.

Student Democratic Assembly said in a statement that “Israel takes advantage of such meetings to whiten its bleak images in front of the world, and to weaken the boycott movement,”

Israel uses such events to signify that a Palestinian-Israeli dialogue is going on and that the world not entitled to boycott Israel.

The statement stressed that this move comes within the futile, unpopular peace process, and provides a cover for Israel’s crimes and racist policies, adding that it undermines Palestinian struggle.





(Source / 16.02.2014)

Israel confiscates Palestinian land near Nablus

NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces confiscated Palestinian land in the northern West Bank on Sunday, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian Authority official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that the Israeli Civil Administration seized four dunams (one acre) of land in the al-Wafra area between the villages of Burin, Tal, and Madma south of Nablus.

The confiscation will prevent Palestinian residents from reaching 300 dunams (74 acres) of their land, Daghlas said, without elaborating.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

(Source / 16.02.2014)

Israeli Forces Turn House into Military Post

JENIN, February 15, 2014 (WAFA) – The Israeli forces seized Saturday a house in the Jenin area village of Tura, located  near the segregation wall, and turned it into a military outpost, local and security sources said.

The Israeli soldiers took over the house owned by Ahmad Qabaha and confined the family into one room, said the sources.

Residents clashed with the soldiers when they attempted to help the family get out of the house, said the sources.

Soldiers fired tear gas causing scores to suffer from gas inhalation.

Soldiers also arrested an 18-year-old high school student after raiding and search his family home in the same village.

They also have severely beaten a 20-year-old resident who required hospitalization.

Meanwhile in the south of the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested a 19-year-old resident of Tarqumia in Hebron district, at an Israeli army checkpoint east of Jerusalem after holding him for several hours.

(Source / 15.02.2014)

Palestinian journalist assaulted by Israeli soldiers near Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers assaulted a Palestinian photojournalist while he was filming a documentary in the village of Wadi Fukin, southwest of Bethlehem on Saturday, family members told Ma’an.

Joseph Shakarna was filming a documentary about the plight of locals who work inside Israel when soldiers assaulted him, causing him bruises and injuries all over his body.

Shakarna was subsequently transferred to al-Yamamah Hospital following the attack.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemned the attack on Shakarna and accused Israeli occupation forces of “targeting journalists to try to conceal the truth.”

The union said in a statement to Ma’an that it would file a formal complaint to international authorities about the incident.

An Israeli military spokesperson said they were looking into the incident.

(Source / 15.02.2014)

Aid agencies rap Israel for demolishing Palestinian homes

Aid agencies working in the occupied West Bank have raised the alarm on a spike in Israeli demolition of Palestinian properties, Press TV reports.

Israeli authorities have ordered the demolition of two houses in the al-Tur neighborhood in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The order would make eight family members, including two children and one disabled girl, homeless.

“I left my home in the morning to go shopping. When I was out, I received a phone call from a friend. She told me my house was being demolished. We had received no warning and my children were inside. By the time I got back it was too late,” a Palestinian woman told Press TV.

The woman added that the family had been paying monthly charges to the authorities for the house and they had received no warning ahead of the demolition.

The family now sleeps in tents provided by the British Red Cross.

On February 6, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Israel demolished 390 Palestinian homes in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley in 2013, which resulted in the displacement of nearly 600 Palestinians.

It noted that the numbers have doubled in comparison with the year before.

Rights groups say Tel Aviv’s demolitions are aimed at grabbing more land for construction of illegal settlements on Palestinian lands and launching military projects in the occupied territories.

Israel’s persistent settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank has created a major obstacle against efforts made to establish peace in the Middle East.

The Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

(Source / 15.02.2014)

17 Gazans Wounded in Border Clashes with Israeli Forces

Israeli troops fired tear gas and live bullets at Palestinians who were throwing stones, Friday, near the border fence in northern Gaza, the army said, with Palestinian medics accounting for 17 wounded men.

AFP/File - Al Ray

(AFP/Al Ray) Clashes are common on Fridays, with regular protests near the border, in support of Gaza farmers who say troops uprooted their trees for the purpose of creating a buffer zone.

Emergency services chief, Ashraf al-Qudra, told AFP that 13 protesters were wounded by gunfire and that four were hit by tear gas. Earlier, he said one of the men shot was in critical condition.

Later the army stated that two “projectiles” fired from the Gaza Strip hit an open area in the southern Israel without causing casualties or damage. It was not immediately clear whether the projectiles were rockets or mortar rounds.

Tensions have risen in and around Hamas-ruled Gaza after a year of relative calm, with army figures showing at least 36 projectiles have been fired at southern Israel since the start of 2014.

Photo: A Palestinian youth throws a stone towards Israeli soldiers during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron on September 27, 2013.

(Source / 15.02.2014)