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Palestinian man and his 3-year-old niece assaulted by Israeli soldiers

On Tuesday 2nd October local Khalil shop owner Abed Sider and his 3-year-old niece were hospitalised after being assaulted by several soldiers.

On the day of his birthday at 6:30pm, Abed had his home invaded by five Israeli soldiers who had come to interrogate his three year old niece on allegations of stone throwing. The Israeli forces dragged Abed from his home into the street; this aggressive action caused injury to his arm which later necessitated hospital treatment. Additionally the Israeli soldiers injured Abed’s three-year-old niece who also required hospitalisation.

The soldiers alleged that nearby illegal settlers from Beit Hadassah had made several complaints of stone throwing from the little girls’ bedroom window that overlooks the settlement playground. The window in question is sealed and caged to protect the Sider family from the constant attacks from the settlers.

Israeli soldiers at the Sider family home after the violent incident occurred

Israeli soldiers at the Sider family home after the violent incident occurred

An Israeli commander later came to the Sider family home and was convinced by Abed’s brother, Shadi, to view footage of the incident that showed the soldier’s aggressive actions. After viewing the video, the commander stated that the soldiers had been acting “out of accordance” with Israeli army policy and that they will be reprimanded and moved to a new post out of Hebron.

This is another incident in a long line of harassment and intimidation that Abed has had to endure; his seven-year-old son was recently blinded by an acid attack from settlers, and is in Jordan awaiting surgery to restore his vision. The Israeli government has refused Abed and his family the necessary travel permits to visit their son and pay for the treatment.

(Source / 04.10.2013)

Settlers confront Palestinians picking olives in Salfit

SALFIT (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers from attacked Sami Yousef Radad, 60, from al-Zawya in western Salfit while he was picking olives on his land Thursday, Radad said.

He told Ma’an that settlers attacked him and his wife while picking olives on his own land near Qanah settlement and verbally assaulted him before asking him to leave and stop picking olives.

“After I refused to stop picking olives, settlers called the Israeli police and kicked me and my wife off my land at gunpoint,” he said, adding that the settlers insisted the land belonged to them.

(Source / 03.10.2013)

Ethnic Cleansing by Bureaucracy: Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian homes

Last week, as negotiations continued between Israeli and Palestinian officials, both Human Rights Watch and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued statements condemning Israel’s ongoing destruction of Palestinian homes and other structures, particularly in the occupied West Bank and the Negev desert in southern Israel. Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian homes, usually under the pretext of demolishing structures built without permission from Israeli authorities, is a highly sensitive subject for Palestinians, as home demolitions have played a central role in Israel’s attempts to dispossess the native, non-Jewish Palestinian population of Israel and the occupied territories since the creation of the state in 1948.

Underpinning most home demolitions is Israel’s strategic goal of limiting the non-Jewish Palestinian population, or removing it altogether, from areas of the occupied territories and Israel proper. In particular, Israel wants to cement its hold over occupied East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, and to “Judaize” East Jerusalem and areas such as the Negev desert in southern Israel. Other bureaucratic tools used to achieve this goal include: the revocation of residency rights for Palestinians in East Jerusalem; evictions of Palestinians from their homes and land; and severe restrictions on the ability of non-Jewish citizens to own and rent land in Israel, and of Palestinians to build in the 60% of the West Bank under complete Israeli control according to the terms of the Oslo Accords. 

The Occupied Territories

  • Since militarily occupying the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza in 1967, Israeli authorities have demolished tens of thousands of Palestinian structures using three bureaucratic justifications: Military necessity; to punish or deter militants (an act of collective punishment, and therefore a war crime); and to destroy structures built without permission from Israeli authorities.
  • In occupied East Jerusalem and the approximately 60% of the West Bank over which Israel retains total control under the terms of the Oslo Accords, it is nearly impossible for Palestinians to get permission to build new homes or additions to old ones. According to Human Rights Watch’s 2012 World Report: “Israel usually carries out demolitions on the grounds that the structures were built without permits, but in practice such permits are almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain in Israeli-controlled areas.”
  • While making it almost impossible for Palestinians to build homes or other structures in East Jerusalem and most of the West Bank, Israel actively encourages the building of Jewish settlements in these areas, often tacitly supporting the creation of so-called “outposts,” built in violation not only of international law, but Israeli law as well.

Israel

  • Inside Israel’s pre-1967 borders, authorities carry out home demolitions against Palestinian citizens of the state in cities such as Ramle and Lyd (Lod), and in villages that are “unrecognized” by the Israeli government.
  • While Palestinian Arabs comprise approximately 20% of the population of Israel, as non-Jews they are confined by law and zoning policies to just 3.5% of the land.
  • Approximately 100,000 internal refugees from Israel’s creation in 1948 live in more than 100 “unrecognized villages” near their original homes, destroyed in 1948, where they “suffer from inadequate living conditions and constant threats of demolition,” according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
  • There are currently entire Bedouin villages in the Negev desert, numbering as many as 70,000 people in total, which are threatened with demolition under the so-called “Prawer Plan.” If carried out, Prawer would result in the largest displacement of Palestinian citizens of Israel since the 1950s, shortly after the state was created. 

 Home Demolitions: By the Numbers

  • Since 1967, Israel has destroyed approximately 27,000 Palestinian structures in the occupied territories (the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip), including more than 24,000 homes, according to ICAHD.
  • Since the renewal of negotiations in August 2013, Israel has destroyed approximately 25 Palestinian homes, in addition to dozens of other structures, leaving approximately 200 people homeless.
  • According to the UN, between January and September 2013, 862 Palestinians were displaced by Israeli demolitions, compared to 886 (including 468 children) in all of 2012.
  • In 2012, a total of 600 Palestinian structures were demolished by Israel in the occupied territories, including at least 189 homes, according to ICAHD. This figure doesn’t include “self-demolitions” whereby Palestinians destroy their own homes rather than have Israel do it and charge them an additional fine.
  • One Bedouin village, Al-Araqib, in the Negev desert in the south of Israel, has been destroyed more than 50 times by Israel since July 2010.
  • Between 2005 and 2012, Israel demolished approximately 1500 Palestinian homes due to owners lacking hard-to-obtain construction permits.
  • Between 1993 and 2000, when the Oslo Accords were being negotiated between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel destroyed almost 1700 Palestinian homes in the occupied territories.
  • Immediately following Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza in 1967, approximately 6000 Palestinian homes were demolished, including four entire villages in the Latrun area, along with dozens of homes in the Mughrabi Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, which were destroyed to make way for a plaza for the Western Wall. In 1971, between 2000 and 6000 Palestinian homes were destroyed in Gaza in an effort to pacify the newly occupied territory.
  • During Israel’s creation (1948-49), Zionist and then Israeli forces expelled approximately 750,000 Palestinian Arabs from their ancestral lands in order to create a Jewish majority state of Israel. In the process, more than 400 Palestinian population centers were systematically destroyed, including thousands of homes, businesses, and houses of worship. (See here for more on the Nakba.)

(Source / 03.10.2013)

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Hebron

Gaza, ALRAY – The Israeli soldiers shot and injured on Wednesday evening five Palestinians during clashes erupted between the Palestinian youths and the Israeli forces at the entrance of Al-Fawar camp south of Hebron, locals said.

Witnesses reported that the Israeli forces shot the demonstrators with rubber bullets, leaving five injuries.

A Large number of the Palestinian citizens suffered gas inhalation due to the teargas fired by the Israeli forces toward houses.

Al-Fawar camp is located near the bypass road that connects between Beersheba and Hebron. A  military barracks established at its entrance to serve the settlers and Israeli soldiers  .

(Source / 03.10.2013)

Call for Saudi Arabia to cancel deal with G4S

G4S has won contracts to offer security services to Muslim pilgrims in Makkah for the next year.G4S has won contracts to offer security services to Muslim pilgrims in Makkah for the next year.

Palestine, Agencies – The National Committee for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel has called upon Saudi Arabia to stop dealing with G4S because the security company is involved in Israel’s violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. According to the BDS Committee, G4S has won contracts to offer security services to Muslim pilgrims in Makkah for the next year.

The Committee affirmed its belief that the British company is complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation. It accused G4S of supplying “torture equipment” used by Israeli investigators on Palestinian prisoners inside the Zionist state’s jails, including children.

Many Palestinian and international human rights organisations have proved that G4S is involved in human rights abuses based on evidence that it supplies the Israeli occupation authorities and illegal Jewish settlers with equipment used in violating the rights of Palestinians.

Other organisations lobbying for justice for the Palestinians, including Britain’s Friends of Al-Aqsa, have also written to the Saudi authorities calling on them to cancel the G4S contract.

(Source / 03.10.2013)

Israeli demolition notifications against 8 water wells

 

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AL-KHALIL,(PIC)– The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) have issued demolition notifications against eight water wells funded by a European organization in Yatta town in the southern West Bank district of al-Khalil.

Ratib Al-Jabour, the coordinator of the popular committee against the wall and settlement in Yatta, said that the Israeli Civil Administration issued notifications to demolish the wells built several months ago by War on Want under the pretext of being built without permit.

Al-Jabour pointed that the wells are used by the Palestinian families for agricultural irrigation, noting that these areas are threatened to be confiscated and transferred to military zone.

The occupation also issued demolition order against a stable and a Palestinian house near Yatta claiming they were built without permits.

(Source / 03.10.2013)

Childhood Denied

Childhood is a beautiful and strange thing. Before we truly learn how precious it is, it is already over. For many Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation childhood ends even earlier than you’d think. The commonplace elements of a child’s life in Palestine, which under normal circumstances would be filled with school books, football and games with friends, is instead interrupted by the harsh realities of occupation that include soldiers, checkpoints, walls, discrimination and racism.

When childhood ends for a Palestinian under occupation is impossible to tell. Many who try to carry on with a normal life under the circumstances hope to enjoy the innocence of youth without having it shattered by the oppressive regime that surrounds them. Not all are so lucky. Atta Sabah is one of them.

OZ_palestinian child with bicycle

An Israeli soldier prevents a Palestinian boy from riding his bicycle in the streets that are blocked to Palestinian residents, in the West Bank city of Hebron on June 20, 2012. (Hazem Bader /AFP / GettyImages)

I spend more time than most focused on news from Palestine and the Middle East and every so often there is a story I learn about that I heard nothing of previously. In a situation where death and violence has become routine, not every bullet or victim registers a headline. So when I heard Atta’s story I decided it had to be highlighted, not because it is particularly unique but because it is commonplace and yet unheard of.

Atta is a Palestinian refugee residing in Jalazon refugee camp. He is 12 years old. The camp, whose residents mostly come from the villages surrounding Al-Lyd, is about 20 miles east of there today in the West Bank between Ramallah and Nablus.

Earlier this year, in May, Atta and his friends were doing what most kids at their age should be doing; playing around. Boys will be boys. But when boys are boys in under occupation, the mere act of playing around could lead to horrific outcomes. Atta and his friends were tossing around his school bag. When Atta went to retrieve it from where it had landed, he saw it was in the possession of an Israeli soldier.

What is an Israeli soldier doing in the path of school kids? Guarding the illegal Israeli colony of Beit El, which is home to thousands of illegal Israel settlers and adjacent to the Jalazon refugee camp. Atta wanted his school bag back. The soldiers told him to come back for it the next day.

OZ_jalazon
Detail of map showing Beit El and Jalazon.

The following day Atta returned in an effort to get his school bag back from the soldier who had it. As he approached the soldiers, one of whom held up his bag, he paused feeling nervous and uncomfortable with the situation, and then when he turned around…BANG.

Atta, an unarmed Palestinian refugee of 12 years who just wanted his school bag back was shot in the stomach. The bullet—a live fire bullet—exited through his back but not before severing his spinal cord. The shot damaged his liver, lungs, pancreas and spleen and has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

What possible explanation could there be for this barbaric act? Defense for Children International, an NGO that works to document and advocate on behalf of children’s rights, noted on this incident:

Eyewitness reports show that the situation was calm, that no clashes were taking place at the time and there was no “mortal danger” to Israeli forces that would allow the use of live ammunition.

Contradicting eyewitness reports, when asked about the use of live ammunition against an unarmed child, the Israeli army Spokesperson’s Unit stated that “on the afternoon of May 21, 2013 a violent and unlawful riot took place in the area, with the participation of dozens of Palestinians who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails towards the soldiers.”

The UNRWA operated boy’s school for the Jalazon refugee camp is very close to the ever expanding Israeli colony of Beit El. In this picture of the entrance to the school you can clearly see the red roof tops of the settlement on the hilltop in the background.  In fact, as the map below shows, the settlement’s proximity means the school is in Area C even though it is merely 1000 feet from the heart of the camp. This means soldiers are regularly around the school and childhoods end much quicker here than in many other places.

Atta must now adjust to a new life. Life in a refugee camp was difficult to begin with but now, unable to walk, things just got more complicated. The family is struggling to cope. There is no assistance geared toward supporting Atta’s dire needs now.

Atta is also under no illusions about justice. When asked what he thinks will happen to the Israeli soldier who shot him, clearly against even the Israeli military’s rules of engagement, he replied “I’m not expecting anything to happen to him.”

He’s right. Impunity for crimes is a cornerstone of Israel’s military occupation and in Jalazon, as settlements expand and the occupation further entrenches itself, more childhoods will likely be shattered before any fair or transparent investigations take place of any Israeli soldiers or their commanders face justice for these crimes.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Persbericht van de krakers: Vluchtelingen van Wij Zien Hier vinden noodopvang in bezet pand

Vandaag heeft een groep sympathisanten het pand Weteringschans 109 bezet. Zij hebben de vluchtelingen uitgenodigd om het pand te gebruiken als noodopvang zodat ze hun actie voort kunnen zetten.

Wij hebben dit gedaan omdat er geen oplossing voor deze mensen komt, niet van de gemeente, niet van de landelijke overheid.

Wij zien Weteringschans 109 niet als oplossing: deze actie moet vooral gezien worden als een broodnodig dak boven een moedige protestactie en niet als alternatief voor dit beleid.

Alhoewel zowel landelijke politici als lokale politiek het erover eens zijn dat deze groep een fundamenteel probleem in de omgang met vluchtelingen aankaart, zien wij de situatie van deze moedige groep alleen maar verslechteren.

Wij kunnen alleen maar een klein gedeelte van de leegstaande ruimte van Amsterdam aanbieden. Maar een dak is niet voldoende. Om hun actie voort te kunnen zetten is alle hulp welkom. Van eten tot financiele donaties, van advies tot simpelweg medemenselijkheid.

We hopen dat het nieuwe onderkomen gezien wordt als een uitnodiging aan iedereen die zich niet medeplichtig wil laten maken aan dit vreemdelingenbeleid.

Voor verdere inlichtingen verwijzen wij jullie graag naar:

www.wijzijnhier.org

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Official: Israeli forces hang flags on Ibrahimi mosque

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday placed Israeli flags on the walls of the Ibrahimi mosque and set up tents in the eastern courtyards, mosque officials told Ma’an.

Mosque custodian Hijazi Abu Isneineh said Israeli forces used the eastern enclave to celebrate the appointment of a new Israeli police commander, without providing further details.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel ‘will never let Iran have nuclear weapons

The Israeli Prime Minister tells the UN General Assembly that the new Iranian President is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who is seeking to mislead the world about the country’s nuclear programme.

Israel’s prime minister declared that his country will never allow Iran to get nuclear weapons, even if it has to act alone, and he dismissed the Iranian president’s “charm offensive” as a ruse to get relief from sanctions.

Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. General Assembly that Israel’s future is threatened by a “nuclear-armed” Iran seeking its destruction.

He urged the international community to keep up biting sanctions against Iran, saying the greater the pressure, the greater the chance for diplomacy to succeed.

“The only way to peaceably prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to combine sanctions with a credible military threat, and that policy today is bearing fruit,” Mr Netanyahu said.

He accused Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of masterminding Iran’s strategy to advance the country’s nuclear weapons program and said his goal was the same as his hard-line predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

(Source / 02.10.2013)