Factory owner: Israeli forces seized stone blocks for closure

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided a stone factory in Beit Ummar late on Saturday, the owner told Ma’an.

Soldiers accompanied by bulldozers confiscated ten large stone slabs for use blocking entrances to the Hebron-district village, Issam Abu Ayyash told Ma’an.

Israeli forces threatened him when he tried to intervene, Abu Ayyash said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the incident.

On Saturday, Beit Ummar Popular committee spokesman Muhammad Awad told Ma’an that Israeli forces closed entrances to the village with concrete blocks overnight Friday.

(www.maannews.net / 16.10.2011)

Arab world 16.10.2011

‎16/10/2011 22:53:20 Arab League meets to discuss suspending Syria
16/10/2011 20:52:47 Erekat: Israel settlement build `mockery` of Quartet plan
16/10/2011 20:52:10 Union head: Public sector strike for detainees on Monday
16/10/2011 20:47:05 EU Ashton: Israeli settlement plan `unacceptable`
16/10/2011 20:45:20 4 hanged in Iran for drugs, rape and murder
… 16/10/2011 20:45:05 Over 100 rights groups in call for Arab League action on Syria
16/10/2011 20:44:04 ElBaradei calls for `roadmap` to new Egypt
16/10/2011 20:42:20 Rights group: Syria forces shoot on activist funeral
16/10/2011 20:41:42 Khamenei warns `decisive response` to US action over alleged plot
16/10/2011 16:52:26 Egypt mulls prisoner swap for Israeli `spy`
16/10/2011 11:55:30 Media: Saudi Arabia takes Iran to UN over alleged plot
16/10/2011 11:32:30 Troops shoot dead 6 protesters in Yemeni capital
16/10/2011 10:09:21 Iran: US refused to hand information on alleged plot
16/10/2011 09:49:23 Yemen activists plan new mass march despite deaths

OccupyUtrecht

Tijd
zaterdag 15 oktober om 12:00 – 31 december om 23:30

Locatie

Gemaakt door:

Meer informatie
Bezetting domplein Utrecht vanaf 15 oktober -12:00

Het tijdstip is aangebroken. Wij de 99%, pikken het niet meer.

THIS IS AN ONGOING EVENT !

Please check our website http://www.occupyutrecht.nl/ > Assemblies for updates.

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Voor degene die willen helpen met een grotere opzet na 15 Oktober. Stuur een mail naar occupyutrecht@gmail.com

INET > http://www.occupyutrecht.nl/

MAIL > occupyutrecht@gmail.com

TWITTER > http://twitter.com/#!/OccupyUtrecht

IRC > chat.indymedia.org #occupyutrecht

HYVES > http://occupyutrecht.hyves.nl/

FACEBOOK > http://www.facebook.com/groups/143372925762086/

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We zagen eerder de #occupywallstreet demonstraties ontstaan op 17 September. Zij demonstreren voor vrijheid en gelijkheid voor iedereen en kijken daarbij naar Wall Street. Iedereen dient niet alleen een eerlijke toegang te krijgen in de rijkdommen van de wereld, maar ook een gelijk beslissingsrecht te hebben. Niet slechts enkelen!
Het kiezen van vertegenwoordigers die hun afspraken niet nakomen is GEEN democratie. Een land dat staatsschulden heeft door de monopoliepositie van de banken op het drukken van geld is GEEN vrij land.

Occupy Utrecht is een actie in samenwerking met de #globalchange en #occupywallstreet demonstraties. Wij willen door een vreedzame demonstratie de aandacht op deze onderwerpen vestigen.

We nodigen iedereen uit om met ons naar oplossingen te zoeken en met ons een verbetering te bewerkstelligen! Vooruitgang, vooruitstreven, samenwerken en bewustwording zijn de sleutelwoorden van deze activiteiten.

Occupy Utrecht heeft geen leiders of vertegenwoordigers. Dit is een actie namens en voor iedereen. Help dus mee en deel dit event met iedereen om samen een toekomst te bieden aan onze maatschappij.

In solidariteit met http://occupywallst.org/ zullen we Utrecht 15 oktober gaan bewonen.

Doelen:

We zijn solidair met Occupy Wall Street & de Global Change beweging.
We geven politici & banken één duidelijke boodschap/kans:
Wakker Worden! Verdiep u en neem verantwoordelijkheid!
We zijn voor ware democratie.
We zijn voor een andere, eerlijkere samenleving.
We nodigen mensen uit om mee te denken over verandering, een andere, eerlijke samenleving en ware democratie..
We vragen de 99% (ja, jou!) om initiatief te tonen en te ontwikkelen naar eigen vermogen en wil.
Vooruitgang, vooruitstreven, samenwerken en bewustwording zijn sleutelwoorden.

English:

Occupy Utrecht Domplein from 15 October 12:00

The time has come. The 99% has woken.

After months of protests in Spain and recently WallStreet. The dutch squares will also be taken by the people. At 12:00 Occupy Utrecht will organise a kick-off event towards Amsterdam or The Hague.

Untill 13:30 there will be several speakers and open debate. Afterwards we will goto Amsterdam or The Hague (thats up to you).

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If you would like to help and make this event larger after the 15th of October please contact us.

INET > http://www.occupyutrecht.nl/

MAIL > occupyutrecht@gmail.com

TWITTER > http://twitter.com/#!/OccupyUtrecht

IRC > chat.indymedia.org #occupyutrecht

HYVES > http://occupyutrecht.hyves.nl/

FACEBOOK > http://www.facebook.com/groups/143372925762086/

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We have seen the #occupywallstreet protests emerging on September 17. They are protesting for freedom and justice for the 99%, focussing on the Wall Street. The 99% should not only receive an equal share of their wealth but also an equal right to make decisions.
Electing representatives that do not live up to their promises is NOT a democracy. A country in debt, resulting from the monopoly of banks to print money is NOT a free country.

Occupy Utrecht is an action in collaboration with #globalchange and #occupytogether. By means of a peaceful protest we want to direct attention to these topics.

We invite everybody to help us in the search for solutions and to join us in creating positive change. Progress, collaboration and awareness are the keywords of these protests.

Occupy Utrecht has no leaders of representatives. This is an action in the name of everyone.

In solidarity with http://occupywallst.org/ Utrecht will be occupied on the 15th of october.

Goals

We stand in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and the Global Change Movement.
We are sending a clear message to politics and banks: Wake up! Accept your responsibilities!
We stand for true democracy.
We stand for a transparent society.
We invite people to think about true democracy and change.
We ask the 99% (yes, you!) to take initiative and develop own power and will.
Progress, collaboration and awareness are the key words.

Arab league condemns Israeli decision of constructing 2610 new settlements outposts

The Arab League strongly condemned early Sunday the Israeli decision of constructing 2610 new Israeli settlements units between cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the Palestine News & Info Agency-WAFA- reported on Sunday.

jerusalem.jpg

The Arab League Committee, specialized for Palestine and the Occupied Territories, called upon the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, international organizations concerned and human rights communities to send fact-finding missions regarding the miserable circumstances and serious Israeli violations against the city of Jerusalem and its residents.

“The ongoing Israeli settlement plans carried out by confiscating Jerusalemites’ lands aim to establish a wide belt of settlements including settlement of Gilo, Abu-Ghnaim Mountain, Ramat Shlomo, and Besghat Ze’av, north of occupied Jerusalem. This belt leads to the separation of Jerusalem from the illegally Occupied West Bank totally. In addition, the settlements’ belt definitely ends the vision of a Two-State Solution and establishing an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital,” the League’s Committee reads in a statement issued on Sunday.

The committee assured that there is a collective and direct responsibility held upon the United Nations, the International Quartet and all international organizations concerned t

(occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com / 16.10.2011)

o stop the Israeli ongoing violations in Jerusalem and all occupied Arab territories.

 

Wheat to be grown on 16.892 million acres

LAHORE: The Punjab Agriculture Department has fixed a target to bring 16.892 million acres under wheat cultivation during current Rabi 2011-12 to achieve the production target of 19.205 million ton.

The Agriculture Department spokesman said on Sunday that out of the target 1.152 million acres would be brought under wheat in Barani districts of Rawalpindi Division with an expected yield of 0.805 million ton.

The Punjab Agriculture Department recommended seven wheat varieties including Chakwal-50, GA-2002, Aqab-2000, NARC-2009, Baris-2009, Dharabi and NARC-2011 for cultivation in Barani areas this year.

The Directorate of Agricultural Information, Punjab has launched a campaign through print and electronic media to educate wheat growers about latest production technology for achieving maximum yield.

(www.brecorder.com / 16.10.2011)

 

The Israeli’s Wall

Introduction

In April, 2002,Israel approved the construction of a “permanent barrier” – the Wall – inside the Occupied West Bank. Two years later, the International Court of Justice and the international community condemned the Wall, proclaiming it a violation of international law and human rights, as well as obstacle to a peaceful future. Undeterred,Israelcontinues construction of its Wall.

More than a“barrier”, the Wall consists of an entire regime: concrete slabs towering 25 feet (8 meters) high, razor wire, trenches, sniper towers, electrified fences, military roads, electronic surveillance and remote-controlled infantry. The Wall encircles entire communities and, if completed, will imprison most of the Palestinian population in the Occupied West Bank, thereby separating Palestinians from families and colleagues withinIsrael, the Gaza Strip and other Palestinian reservations in the West Bank. To date, the Wall has resulted in the confiscation of thousands of dunums (1 dunum = ¼ acre) of Palestinian land.

In addition to the physical structure of the Wall,Israelhas instituted a number of administrative measures designed to isolate the Palestinian population and deny them access to their lands and resources. These measures include land and property confiscating orders; home demolitions; the erection of “gates” for which “permission” is now required to access one’s own land, home, school or hospital; and creation of “closed zones” to which Palestinians have no access. All of this is done,Israelasserts, for its security.If the Wall regime were truly about security, it would have been built on Israel’s 1967 pre-occupation border (the “Green Line”) – a less expensive, shorter, more easily patrolled (and therefore more secure) route than the route Israel has chosen. But the Wall is not about security, it is about grabbing more land. This is why the Wall is not built on the Green Line, but rather, well within Occupied Palestinian Territory and in such a way as to confine as many Palestinians as possible while simultaneously de facto annexing as much of their land and resources as possible. Tellingly, the Wall has been routed around not only the existing illegal Israeli colonies but also the planned expansion areas of those colonies. Instead of perpetuating the conflict,Israelshould take measures to end the conflict. The Palestinian vision of peace is simple:Israeland a future state ofPalestine, living side by side, in mutual peace, prosperity, and security

Palestinians, after all, simply seek the minimum guaranteed to them under international law: the West Bank (includingEast Jerusalem), the Gaza Strip, control over their own resources and borders, and justice for the refugees. But through the construction of itsWall,Israeleffectively renders a future Palestinian state unviable and two-state solution impossible.

It is just easy for  Israel to implement international law as it is forIsraelto continue to violate it. Perhaps, rather than building walls of hate,Israelshould build bridges of peace. International law provides the basis it is up toIsraeland the international community to lead the way.

Part One:

Israel’s Wall : Another Land Grab

Israel’s goal in building the Wall is twofold:

(1)   to confiscate Palestinian land in order to facilitate further colony expansion and unilaterally redraw geopolitical borders and

(2) to encourage and exodus of Palestinians by denying them the ability to earn a living from their land, by denying them adequate water resources, and by restricting freedom of movement to such an extent as to make remaining in their town or village an unviable option.

Frequently Asked Questions On Israel’s Wall:

“Ariel Sharon keeps goats and sheep. He puts a fence around them and closes them in with a gate. He decides if they come in or go our. This is now what he is doing to us.”

Palestinian from Sur Bahir

1.      What’s wrong with the Wall?

The Wall is not being built onIsrael’s 1967 pre-occupation border (the “Green  Lane”) but insideOccupiedPalestinianTerritory, thereby de facto annexing Palestinian agricultural and water resources, restricting Palestinian freedom of movement, separating Palestinians from schools, health facilities and jobs, and depriving thousands of Palestinians from the ability to earn a livelihood. It is estimated that approximately 47.6% of the Occupied West Bank (containing approximately 88% of theIsraelsettlers) will be de facto annexed byIsrael, thereby ensuring thatIsrael’s illegal colonies not only remain but also expand

Israel’s strategy is to annex as much Palestinian land as possible while military encaging as many Palestinians as possible, all in an attempt to continueIsrael’s colonization and theft of Palestinian territory.

Upon it completion, the Wall will be approximately 652 km in length (twice the length of the Green Line). Approximately 249,000 Palestinians (including approximately 20,000 Palestinians in the Closed Zone – see question 4) will be trapped between the Wall and the Green Line

2.      Is it a “wall or a “fence”?

The Wall takes many forms. In some areas (notably in Israeli-occupied Palestinian Jerusalem and around the Palestinian city of Qalqilya) the Wall is an eight-meter high structure of solid concrete – twice the height of the Berlin Wall – sometimes with armed sniper towers positioned every 200 meters. In other areas, the Wall is an entire regime of obstacles comprised of trenches (up to four meters deep), electrified fences, razor wire and military-only roads. There is also a 30-100 meter wide “buffer zone” east of the Wall with electrified fences, trenches, sensors and military patrol roads

Whether it is called a “wall”, “barrier” or fence” is irrelevant because the effect is the same: Israeli de facto confiscation of Palestinian land, forced impoverishment of Palestinian communities and a coercion of Palestinians to abandon their homes and their property.

3.      Isn’t the Wall necessary for Israel’s security?

No. Given that the Wall has been routed around existing illegal colonies and their planned expansion, the Wall is a land grab and not a security measure. IfIsraelwere truly interested in its security it would: (i)         abide by international law and withdraw completely from theOccupiedPalestinianTerritoryit occupied in 1967 and/or (ii) build the Wall onIsrael’s side of the Green Line rather than inOccupiedPalestinianTerritory.

The International Court of Justice recently ruled that the Wall, along the route chosen, is not a military necessity: “the Court is not convinced that the construction of the wall along the route chosen was the only means to safeguard the interests ofIsraelagainst the peril which it has invoked as justification for that construction”.

According to the Israeli State Comptroller’s report, most Palestinians who perpetrated acts of violence inIsraelentered the country through checkpoints situated along the Green Line, and not through the open areas between the checkpoints. Despite the reports findings,Israeldecided to erect the Wall before it addressed the problems that were found in the operations of the checkpoints.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, reached a similar conclusion:

The planned route almost….. is based on extraneous considerations which have little, if anything, to do with the security of Israeli civilians. One of the government’s primary considerations was inclusion of as many settlements as possible west of the barrier in order to increase the likelihood of their annexation intoIsrael……..

The overall features of the separation barrier and the considerations that led to determination of the route give the impression thatIsraelis once again relying on security arguments to unilaterally establish facts on the ground that will affect any future agreements betweenIsraeland Palestinians. In the past,Israelused “imperative military needs” to justify expropriation of land to establish settlements and argued that the action was temporary. The settlements have for some time been facts on the ground. It is reasonable to assume that, as in the case of the settlements, the separation barrier will become a permanent fact to supportIsrael’s future claim to annex additional land.

4.      What is Israel really trying to do by building the Wall?

Israelwants Palestinian land but it does not want the Palestinian people. Consequently, the Wall is part of a strategy to annex large parts ofOccupiedPalestinianTerritorywhile caging in large Palestinian population centers. Once complete, the indigenous Palestinian population will be restricted to ghettoes constituting less than 12% of historicPalestinewhile illegal Israeli settlers will be able to freely travel throughoutOccupiesPalestinianTerritory.

In addition,Israel has instituted a number of measures to encourage the migration of the Palestinian population living on the “wrong side” of the wall. On October 2, 2003, the Israeli Army issued an order declaring allOccupiedWest BankLandbetween the Wall and the Green Line as “closed” (the Closed Zone”). The Order states that “No person will enter the [Closed Zone] and no one will remain there. Free access to the Closed Zone – which represented approximately 2% of the Occupied West Bank –will only be granted to “Israelis” defined as Israeli citizens.Israelresidents and anyone permitted to immigrate toIsrael(i.e., anyone who is jewish). The Order requires Palestinian residents of the Closed Zone to obtain permits to live in their houses, farm their land, and to travel. Nothing in the Order guarantees that permits will be granted or even respected if indeed they are granted. Palestinians not residing in the Closed Zone but whose agricultural lands or jobs are within the Closed Zone must apply for a permit to farm their land or go to work. The Order effectively grants anyone in the world who is Jewish the right to freely travel throughout the Closed Zone while denying the same rights to the Christians and Muslims who live on, farm and own the land.

For an English translation of the Israeli Military Order, see www.nad-plo.org/hborders3.php

5.   Hasn’t the Wall saved lives?

No. Since September 2000, 3,749 Palestinian and Israeli civilians have been killed (3,130 Palestinians and 619 Israelis). Approximately 1,775 Palestinian and Israeli civilians were killed afterIsraelbegan construction of the Wall, with the vast majority (950 Palestinians) killed in the Occupied Gaza Strip, where a wall has been in place since 1994. In other words, there has not been an overall drop in the number of civilians killed.

Although there has been a drop in the number of Israeli civilians killed, the Wall has not stopped     Israel from killing Palestinian civilians. Rather,Israelcontinues to kill Palestinians at an average rate of 60 Palestinians per month.

Civilian life can best be saved if one understands why there are lost in the first place: both Palestinians and Israelis are losing their lives because ofIsrael’s 37-year military occupation of Palestinian land andIsrael’s refusal to abide by international law. IfIsraelwanted to save lives, it would place life above its desire for territorial expansion.

6.   Isn’t the Wall just a “temporary” measure?

Defining measures as “temporary” is a strategy often used by Israelto justify illegal actions that are designed to become permanent. In 1967, when Israel began violating the Fourth Geneva Convention by transferring Israeli civilians into illegal Israeli colonies in Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel claimed the colonies were a “temporary security measure.” More than 37 years later, these colonies have not only become permanent but continue to expand.Israelhas never dismantled any of these “temporary” colo­nies and there are now approximately 410,000 settlers living illegally in Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Furthermore, the damage that is being caused by the Wall cannot be reversed: Palestinian farmers have already lost their crops, their land and their primary source of livelihood and Palestinian homes and businesses have been demolished for the Wall’s construction (such as in Nazlat Issa where 124 shops and 7 homes were demolished in August 2003 and in Barta where 26 shops, 3 homes and 1 factory were demolished in July 2004).

In its recent decision on the Wall, the International Court of Justice stated:

Whilst taking note of the assurance given by Israel that the construction of the wall does not amount to annexation and that the wall is of a temporary nature, the Court nevertheless considers that the construction of the wall and its associated regime create a “fait accompli” on the ground that could well become permanent, in which case, and notwithstanding the formal characterization of the wall by Israel, it would be tantamount to de facto annexation.

For the full ICJ decision see: www.nad-plo.org/pdf/icjwall.pdf

7.   Hasn’t Israel built agricultural “access gates” to “facilitate” farmer access to their lands?

IfIsraelreally wanted to facilitate access of Palestin­ian farmers to their land, the Wall would have been built on Israeli territory rather than between Palestin­ian farmers and their land.

The gates are an Israeli attempt to make the Wall look humane. In reality however, the “gates” are irregularly opened if at all. For example, all agricultural gates were closed from October 4 – 20, 2003 during the olive harvest, causing many farmers to lose their annual olive crops and related revenue. In the case of the northern gate in Qalqilya, the gate has never reopened since October 4, 2003. The closure of the gates in Qalqilya has caused livestock (particularly poultry) to die. Palestinians regularly endure long, grueling waits and are often denied access. Many farmers have decided to camp and live in their fields in order to ensure access to their land, but Israeli soldiers have arrested the farmers and sent them back to their villages.

Furthermore, Palestinians must apply for “permits” to access their own land. Such permits are not guaranteed and even if granted, are for a limited duration (typically from two weeks to six months) and may not be honored by soldiers stationed at the gates. For example, in Qalqilya in November 2003, 1,200 farmers applied for permits and only 300 permits were issued (approximately 25% of which were issued to deceased Palestinians or those residing abroad). Indeed, the very existence of the permit system demonstrates that Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land has taken legal form.

In addition,Israelcontinues to reserve the right to confiscate Palestinian agricultural land if it is not being regularly farmed, even if the reason that it is not being farmed is due toIsrael’s re­fusal to allow farmers to access their fields. Consequently, by denying Palestinian farmers the right to farm their land,Israelis setting the stage for invoking the “use it or lose it” laws to later justify the illegal land confiscation.

8.   But hasn’t a wall around the Gaza Strip saved lives?

No. The wall encaging Gazahas not been good for anyone. With a population of approximately 1.3 million Palestinians, and a land area of approximately 365 km2, the Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated areas in the world. Since 1994, a wall has been in place around the Gaza Strip. Palestinians from the Gaza Strip are unable to leave the Gaza Strip unless they obtainIsrael’s permis­sion to do so, whereas Israeli settlers living illegally in the Strip have complete freedom of movement. In other words,Israelhas effectively caged in the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip, cutting them off from the rest of Occupied Palestinian Territory and the world.

The Gazawall has only harmed Palestinian life: due toGaza’s complete isolation, 75% of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip sur­vive on only $2 per day, 13.3% of Gazans suffer from acute malnutrition and 72% of Gazan households rely on food as­sistance. At the same time, Israel has, since September 2000, continued to carry out attacks in the Gaza Strip includ­ing: (i) military invasions; (ii) aerial bombings (iii) killing of 1,400 Palestinian civilians (including 350 children); (iv) land confis­cations; (v) home demolitions that have made 17,000 Pales­tinians homeless and (vi) assassinations. For Israelis, theGazawall did not provide security: the only two suicide bomb­ers to enterIsraelfrom the Gaza Strip came after the wall was erected – not before.

9.   If Israel only builds the Wall on the western portion of the Occupied West Bank and not on the eastern portion in the Jordan Valley, would the Wall be acceptable?

No. There is no such thing as a “humane” wall if it operates as a de facto annexation of Palestinian land and denies Palestinian freedom of movement or the ability to earn a livelihood. Even without an eastern Wall, 16.6% of the Occupied West Bank (home to approximately 249,000 Palestinians), will remain trapped between the Wall and the Green Line. The western portion of the Wall alone has already caused the uprooting of more than 102,000 trees, the demolition of scores of homes and the destruction of more than 124 businesses. In addition, key Palestinian natural resources (including water and agri­cultural land) are in the portion of the Wall that has already been built or that is slated for construction.

In addition, even without building the eastern portion of the Wall,Israelis still able to pursue its policy of caging in Palestinian population centers.Israelalready controls at least 90% of theJordan Valley through its regional colony councils. With the exception ofJericho(already surrounded by trenches and Israeli soldiers) theJordanValleyis sparsely populated though the Palestinians living there have been sub­jected to regular curfews and their movement is severely restricted. Consequently,Israelcan maintain control over the Palestinian population in theJordanValleywhile effectively annexing their land.

10. Is there any proof that Israel is attempting to annex Palestinian land?

Yes. In some areas, such as Qalqilya, checkpoints have been moved deeper into Occupied Palestinian Territory and Palestin­ians are required to obtain permits to “enterIsrael” even if they want to travel withinOccupiedPalestinianTerritorybeyond the checkpoint. Meanwhile,Israelhas also confiscated some 6,000 dunums (1,500 acres) for the construction of an “industrial zone” at the Wall which will serve as a source of cheap Palestinian labor for Israeli companies. Additionally, some Palestinian land­owners in Zayta have received expropriation orders which indi­cated that Israel intends to “correct the border.” Thus, whileIsraelhas not passed formal annexation laws, it has neverthe­less de facto annexed Palestinian land in violation of interna­tional law.

Furthermore,Israelis attempting to coerce the migration of the Palestinian population in the Closed Zone: approximately 20% of homes in these areas are under threat of demolition, includ­ing in the area of Arab Ramadin, south of Qalqilya where one-third of the village’s 33 homes are under threat of demolition. (See question 4 and page 26).

11. Is there a connection between the Wall and Israel’s “Gaza Disengagement Plan”?

Yes.Israel claims that it will eventually evacuate its illegal colonies in the Occupied Gaza Strip under a plan called the “Gaza Disengagement Plan.” In exchange for evacuating its 7,300 settlers in the Gaza Strip (who comprise only 0.5% of the total Gaza population yet control more than 15% of its land), Israel has announced that it intends to retain and expand its colonies in the Occupied West Bank {including Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem). In other words, in “exchange” for evacuating from less than 1% ofOccupied Palestinian Territory,Israelexpects to keep more than 40% ofOccupiedPalestinianTerritory. In order to ensure Israeli control over these larger colony blocs, the Wall has been routed around these blocs and their planned expansion.

12. But won’t the Wall separate Israelis from Pal­estinians?

The Wall does not separate Palestinians from Israe­lis, rather it separates Palestinians from Palestinians. Since the Wall has been routed around Israeli colo­nies and their planned expansion, Palestinians are now caged into reservations separating Palestinians from one another. The Wall divides Palestinian farm­ers from their land, Palestinian students from their schools, Palestinian worshippers from their holy sites and Palestinian patients from their hospitals. At the same time, illegal Israeli settlers are granted free movement both withinOccupiedPalestinianTerritoryand inIsrael.

Moreover, Palestinians do not seek, and have never sought separation – they are seeking their freedom.

The Palestinian vision of peace is based on inclusion rather than exclusion: Palestinians seek a warm peace withIsraelbased on justice and equality between two states,IsraelandPalestineenjoying mutually beneficial economic and social cooperation. Such real peace is one in which bridges are built; not walls.

13. Is the Wall legal under international law?

No. Recently the International Court of Justice determined that the Wall is illegal under international law and is not a military necessity. In reaching this conclusion, the Court determined that: (i) in order to build the Wall, Israel destroyed or confiscated Palestinian property in violation of international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention; (ii) Israel’s severe restrictions on Palestinian movement violate interna­tional human rights and humanitarian law; (iii) the Wall impedes the right of Palestinians to work, health, education and to an adequate standard of living and (iv) the Wall “severely impedes the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination.” The Court also ruled thatIsraelmust halt construc­tion of the Wall, return the land to Palestinians whose property has been seized and pay compensation to them.

For a full legal analysis of the Wall’s violation of international law, please visit www.palestine-un.org

14. Is the Wall legal under the Oslo Agreements?

No. The Wall violates the Oslo Agreements.

Obligation to Preserve the Territorial Integrity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The two sides view the West Bank and the GazaStrip as a single territorial unit, the integrity and status of which will be preserved during the interim period.  (Interim Agreement, Chapter 2, Article XI)

The construction of the Wall within Occupied Palestinian Territory violates the territorial integrity of the Occupied West Bank.

Prohibition Against Restricting Freedom of Movement

Without derogating from Israel’s security powers and responsibilities in accordance with this Agreement, movement of people, vehicles and goods in the West Bank, between cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, will be free and normal and shall not need to be effected through checkpoints or roadblocks. (Interim Agreement, Annex I, Article IX, para 2(a))

Israel’s security powers, with respect to freedom of movement, extend only to prohibiting or limiting the entry intoIsraelof persons and of vehicles from theOccupiedPalestinianTerritory. Building a Wall within the Occupied West Bank affects Palestinian freedom of movement not only intoIsrael, but also within and throughout Occupied Palestinian Territory.

15. What is the international community doing to hold Israelaccountable for its violation of international law?

International condemnation of the Wall has been widespread: the UN General Assembly has passed two Resolutions demanding thatIsraelstop and reverse the Wall’s construction, and even theUnited Stateshas expressed its serious concerns over the Wall. Nonetheless, despite these condemnations, the international community has taken no substantive action to stop the construction of the Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Fourth Geneva Convention obliges the international community to ensure that the Conven­tion, a primary purpose of which is to protect a population under occupation, is respected:

The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances. (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 1)

This obligation was highlighted by the International Court of Justice which recently ruled that:

All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall in the OccupiedPalestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem. They are also under an obligation not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction ….In additional all State parties to the Geneva Convention…are under an obligation.. ..to ensure compliance by Israelwith international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.

If the international community continues to allowIsraelto construct the Wall, it will only serve to teachIsraelthat it will never be held accountable for its violations of international law.

FACTS ON ISRAEL’S WALL:

Israeli Demolition of Palestinian Properties in the West Bank since Construction of Israel’s Wall

Israeli-Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem1967-2004: Six Maps

Coupled with Israel’s ongoing colonization and plans to expand the already expanded limits of Israeli-defined “municipal Jerusalem,” Israel’s Wall around Occupied Palestinian East Jerusalemis another step in a long-term strategy of confiscating as much Palestinian land as possible, while limiting Palestinian natural demographic growth and encouraging an exodus of the Palestinian population. Israel’s Wall will divide the Occupied West Bank in two, while simultaneously consolidating Israel’s stranglehold over Occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem.
Map 1: 1948-1967

During the course of the 1948 War, Jewish forces occupied 85% of Jerusalem, primarily in the west of the city. The Jordanian Army occupied 11 % (6 km2) in the east of the city. The remaining 4% of Jerusalem was a “no-man’s land.”

Map2: 1967

Israel claims that the 1967 War was a “defensive war” and that Israelhad no interest in land expansion. Yet, within weeks of occupying the West Bank in June 1967, Israelunilaterally expanded the borders of Jerusalemde facto annexing approximately 70 km2ofOccupiedPalestinianTerritory into a newly expanded “Jerusalemmunicipality.” The Israeli expansion was internationally condemned as illegal and not recognized. The new Israeli-imposed borders were gerrymandered in such a way as to incorporate undeveloped Palestinian land for future Israeli colonies while carving away Palestinian neighborhoods such as Ram, Hizma, Anata and Eizarya. InJerusalem’sOldCity, over 6,000 Palestinians were forcibly evicted and their homes destroyed in order to create the plaza in front of the Western Wall.

The residents of the 19 Palestinian neighborhoods within theJerusalemmunicipality are forced to have Israeli residency permits to live within their own city.Israelrequires Palestinian (but not Israeli) residents of Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem to regularly prove thatJerusalemis their “center of life.” If Palestinian residents ofJerusalemlive, study or work outside ofJerusalem, they risk losing their residency rights. To date, almost 7,000 Palestinian residents of Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem have lost their residency rights.

An additional 18 Palestinian neighborhoods surround Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem – home to an estimated 106,000 Palestinians. These Palestinians are dependent upon the facilities of Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem, including hospitals, universities, schools, and markets for agricultural goods.

Map 3: Israeli Colonies in Israeli-Defined Jerusalem

The land incorporated into the Jerusalem municipality is used to build illegal colonies in an attempt to change the demographic make-up of the area. There are now 24 illegal colonies in Israeli-defined municipalJerusalemwith approximately 200,000 Israeli settlers.

Map 4: “Greater Jerusalem”

Israel has de facto expanded the Jerusalem municipality by incorporating an additional 59 km2 of Occupied Palestinian Territory in what Israel terms “Greater Jerusalem.” There are an additional 23 illegal colonies in Greater Jerusalem with an additional 69,100 settlers. The largest is Ma’ale Adumim. The number of Greater Jerusalem settlers now exceeds the Palestinian population of Jerusalemand the settlers in Greater Jerusalem comprise more than half the total Israeli settler population.

Map 5: Israeli Colony Expansion

Israel continues to expand the colonies and the colony infrastructure in and around theJerusalemarea, particularly in the Adumim colony bloc and the colony of Har Homa.Israel has also confiscated Palestinian homes to house illegal settlers.

■ In Abu Dis, the colony of Kidmat Zion (400 housing units) has been founded.  Inhabited Palestinian homes were confiscated by the Israeli Army to house the settlers.

■ In Jabal Mukaber, the colony of Nof Zahav (400 housing units) is under construction.

■ In the E1 Plan area, the Adumim colony bloc will be expanded by an additional 4,000 housing units, 10 hotels, an industrial area, a paramilitary complex and a commercial area.

■ To facilitate colony expansion and to connect the colonies, Israelis constructing a “ring road” designed to encircle the Palestinian Christian and Muslim neighborhoods and prevent their growth.

Map 6: Israel’s Wall

Israel’s Wall is built deep within Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem, encaging the city’s Palestinian residents from three sides. Separate walls completely encircle Palestinian Jerusalem neighborhoods (such as in Bir Nabala, northwest of Jerusalem). As a result of the Wall:

■ Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem and its 230,000 Palestinian residents will be separated from the remainder of the Occupied West Bank.

■ Approximately 5% of the Occupied West Bank (320 km2) in and around Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem will be de facto annexed in to Israel.

■  More than 15,000 Palestinian residents of Israeli-definedJerusalemlive just south of Ramallah in neighborhoods now isolated behind the Wall.  If they are denied access toJerusalem, they risk losing theirJerusalemresidency rights because they will not be able to prove thatJerusalemis the “center of their life.”

■ Palestinians will be denied access to specialized medical and educational facilities as well as holy sites located west of the Wall. These include:

□ Mukassed Hospital- provides heart care treatment.

□ Augusta Victoria Hospital- the only hospital in the Occupied West Bank that provides specialist kidney dialysis.

□ Al-Quds University and the Open University.

□ Al Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – two of the most important religious sites for Muslims and Christians.

Israel‘s Wall in Northwest Palestinian Jerusalem

(1) Separation of Northwestern Jerusalem Villages: The northwesternJerusalemvillages, with a combined  population of approximately 30,000 Palestinians, will be separated from the rest of Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem byIsrael’s Wall.

■ Beit Surik: 76% of its village land (including 60% of its agricultural land) will be de facto annexed by Israel.
■  Biddu: 45% of its village land (including one third of its agricultural land) will be de facto annexed by Israel.

■  Beit Ijza: 44% of its village land (including one third of its agricultural land) will be de facto annexed by Israel.

■ Beit Inan: 35% of its village land will be de facto annexed by Israel.

■ Beit Dukku: 12% of its village land will be de facto annexed by Israel.

■ Qatanna: 11% of its village land will be de facto annexed by Israel.

■ Qubeiba: 4.4% of its village land will be de facto annexed by Israel.

After the construction of Israel’s Wall, the Palestinians of the northwestern Jerusalem villages, if permitted to travel, will be forced to travel 2.5 times longer to reach Ramallah (a major Palestinian city) and almost 3 times longer to reach Jerusalem (via Ramallah). The extra distance will lead to increased transportation costs for those goods and services allowed to be shipped into and out of the villages.

(2) Bir Nabala Ghetto: The Bir Nabala Ghetto will be almost entirely surrounded by 17 km ofIsrael’s Wall. It will be physically separated from the rest of the Occupied West Bank, including Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem. Residents of the Bir Nabala Ghetto will be cut off from their primary markets in Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem and space for future housing and commerce is severely limited. The Bir Nabala Ghetto, with a total population of 14,000, is comprised of the five Palestinian villages of Bir Nabala, Jib, Judeira, Qalandia and a part of Beit Hanina.

(3) Givon Colony Bloc: The illegal Israeli colonies of Givat Ze’ev, Givon Hahadasha and Har Adar (the Givon Colony Bloc) house approximately 14,000 Israeli settlers. The Israeli population of the Givon Colony Bloc is equivalent to the Palestinian population of the Bir Nabala Ghetto. Yet, the Givon Colony Bloc, all of it constructed on land stolen from Palestinian villages, is approximately 43 km2– more than 5 times the size of the Bir Nabala Ghetto (8 km2). The Givon Colony Bloc, along with the Modi’in colonies further west, seek to provide a link between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem through Occupied Palestinian Territory in an attempt to annex large tracts of Palestinian land into Israel. Israelcurrently plans to expand the Givon Colony Bloc by adding an additional 281 housing units (180 in Giv’at Ze’ev and 101 in Har Adar).

Israel‘s Wall in the Qalqilya District

(1) Qalqifya: The Palestinian town of Qalqilyain the Occupied West Bank, once home to approximately 43,000 residents, is entirely encircled byIsrael’s Wall. The Wall to the west of Qalqilya is 8 meters (25 feet) high and made of solid concrete with sniper towers every 300 meters. The northern, southern, and eastern sides of the city are surrounded by: (i) razor wire, (ii) a trench 4 meters wide and 2 meters deep, (iii) a military road patrolled by the Israeli Army, (iv) an electrified fence, and (v) additional trenches and razor wire. The depth ofIsrael’s Wall ranges from 60-100 meters

Despite Israeli claims of free access to Qalqilya, entering or exiting the town is controlled through one Israeli military checkpoint – though since January 2004, the checkpoint is not always manned. Since the construction ofIsrael’s Wall around Qalqilya, the town’s unemployment rate is approximately 67%, one-third of its businesses have closed and nearly 10% of its population has left.

(2)Qalqilya FarmLand: Approximately 7,000 dunums {1,750 acres), representing nearly half of Qalqilya’s agricultural land, is located outsideIsrael’s Wall.  Approximately 15 of the city’s 39 water wells (representing one-third of the city’s water supply) are located outsideIsrael’s Wall. In July 2003,Israelcompleted construction of three agricultural gates in Qalqilya: two in the south and one in the north. AlthoughIsraelclaims such gates allow farmers to access their farm land, one southern gate has never opened while the northern gate has been closed since October 4, 2003, denying 280 families access to their crops. Only one gate operates regularly, opening 3 times per day for those farmers who have Israeli permits to access their land. Even this gate is arbitrarily closed. During the harvest season from October 4 – 20, 2003, no Qalqilya agricultural gates were open resulting in the starvation deaths of poultry and the withering of crops.

(3) Underground Tunnel: On August 31, 2004, the Israeli Army opened an underground tunnel connecting the towns of Habla and Qalqilya.Israelconfiscated approximately 60 dunums (15 acres) of Palestinian land for the tunnel’s construction. Passage through the tunnel will be controlled by the Israeli Army. Palestinians are effectively barred from using the road above the tunnel which operates principally as a road only for illegal Israeli settlers in the Occupied West Bank.

(4) “Closed Zone”: Approximately 1,200 people in the Palestinian villages of Wadi Rasha, Ras Tira, Daba and Arab Ramadin are isolated betweenIsrael’s 1967 Pre-Occupation Border andIsrael’s Wall and are consequently subject to “Closed Zone regulations which require Palestinian residents of the Closed Zone to obtain Israeli permission to live in their homes and farm their land. The regulation effectively grants anyone in the world who is Jewish the right to freely travel throughout the Closed Zone while denying the same rights to the Christians and Muslims who live on, farm, and own the land. (See http://www.nad-pio.org/hborders3.php). Approximately one quarter of the homes in Wadi Rasha and Arab Ramadin are under threat of demolition by the Israeli Army.

(5) Illegal Israeli Colonies:

Alfe Menashe: Expansion of the illegal colony of Alfe Menashe is planned to include a new settler-only by-pass road and the additional Israeli colony neighborhoods of Kanyiel, Elonit and Givat Tal. After the expansion, Alfe Menashe will be almost double its current size. The Wall has been routed around the colony and its planned expansion.

Zufin: Zufin was built on land confiscated from the Palestinian town of Jayyus. It currently has a settler population of 900 in 200 units. Israelplans to expand Zufin by an additional 1,670 housing units, expanding the colony 7 times its current size. Already, 1,830 dunums {458 acres) of Jayyus farmland have been confiscated for the expansion of Zufin.

(6) Izbat Tabib; Approximately 16 of the 35 homes in the PalestinianvillageofIzbat Tabibare under threat of demolition by the Israeli Army. The village’s access to the main road has been sealed by the Israeli Army and, as a result, villagers must travel 3.5 kilometers (instead of 300 meters) to reach the main road. As Izbat Tabib is not officially recognized by the Israeli Military Government (also known as the Civil Administration), the Israeli Army categorically refuses to issue any building permits to villagers. To date, only 1 out of approximately 270 residents of Izbat Tabib has been granted an agricultural permit to access land in the closed zone.

(7) Jayyus: All six of Jayyus’s agricultural water wells are isolated west ofIsrael’s Wall. As a result, Jayyus residents receive running water only two hours every three days, with an average per capita water consumption of 20 liters per day, five times below the World Health Organization’s daily per capita minimum health standard of 100 liters per day. Thirteen Jayyus homes are under threat of demolition by the Israeli Army: six of the homes are east ofIsrael’s Wall and seven of the homes are west ofIsrael’s Wall. The Israeli closure of the agricultural gates during the harvest season of October 2003 caused Jayyus farmers to lose 90% of their guava crop. Gates continue to be arbitrarily closed.

(8) Israeli Army Training Ground: On July 14,2004, the Israeli Army erected Hebrew language signposts indicating Israeli military training zones and later conducted military exerises on the farmlands of Jayyus in the “Closed Zone.” According to Palestinians in the area, this is a commonly used tactic employed by the Israeli Army to eventually confiscate Palestinian land for military purposes, An estimated 2,000 dunums (500 acres) of Palestinian land will be affected. Although Jayyus farmers holding Israeli-issued military permits to the Closed Zone still maintain access to their farmlands in the area, it is feared that the military training ground will further impede their access and threaten their land with confiscation for “security reasons.”

(9) “Border Crossing”: An Israeli military checkpoint has been moved approximately 3 kilometers deeper into OccupiedPalestinianTerritoryand is currently being transformed into a permanent “border crossing.” Palestinians wishing to cross the checkpoint must obtain permits to “enter Israel” thereby highlighting Israel’s new “border” – well inside IsraeliOccupiedPalestinianTerritory.

HOW TO OBTAIN AN “ACCESS PERMIT”

(required for Palestinians wishing to farm their fields in the closed zone)

Palestinians trapped between the Green Line and Israel’s Wall are subject to “closed zone” regulations, which require Palestinian residents of the dosed zone to obtain Israel’s permission to live in their homes and farm their land. The regulation effectively grants anyone in the world who is Jewish the right to freely travel throughout the closed zone while denying the same rights to the Christians and Muslims who live on, farm, and own the land. The time and expense Palestinians must invest into obtaining a permit in order to access their land is an oppressive experience that Israel forces on the Palestinians in the attempt to coerce them off their land. Here is the system:

Israel‘s Wall in the Northwestern West Bank

(1) Barta East: On March 14, 2004,Israel announced it would reroute the Wall closer toIsrael’s 1967 Pre-Occupation Border and presumably tear down sections of the currently existing Wall. While used in Israeli public relations campaigns as an example of Israel “improving the conditions in the area,” the new route actually worsens the plight of Barta East residents by (i) separating the town center from approximately 60% of its surrounding land, half of which is cultivated land, (ii) slating for destruction the town’s commercial center located 200 meters inside the Occupied West Bank directly on the Wall’s rerouted path and (iii) separating Barta East from Barta West and other towns inside Israel which support the economy of Barta East.

On July 20, 2004, the Israeli Army demolished 3 Palestinian homes, 26 Palestinian shops and an olive oil factory in order to continue construction of its Wall, in violation of the July 9th ruling of the International Court of Justice. The Army fired live ammunition at Palestinians, injuring 8 civilians, critically wounding two. An additional 22 Palestinian shops remain under threat of demolition.

(2) Nazlat Issa Market: On August 21, 2003, the Israeli Army destroyed 124 market stalls and seven homes in what was once the largest open-air market in the Occupied West Bank. On August 24, 2003, Israeli military order 03/57/C confiscated market land “out of necessity to protect Israeli settlements [colonies] in the area.” The nearest colony, Khermesh, is nearly 4 kilometers away.

(3) Nazlat Issa/Kaffin “Closed Zone”: Six homes and 62 people remain isolated on the western side of the Wall and 18 schoolchildren are forced daily to pass through military gates to attend school.

Also isolated on the western side of the Wall is approximately 130 acres of Nazlat Issa’s cultivated land and approximately one-third (430 acres) of Kaffin’s cultivated land.

(4) Zayta: The southern agricultural gate in Zayta, the stated purpose of which is to facilitate farmer access to agricultural land, remains closed. Forty-seven farmers have been denied access to their land.

(5) Shaked Industrial Park: In March 2004,Israelannounced the confiscation of lands belonging to the Palestinian villages of Yamoun, Araqa, Sila Harthia and Yabad for expansion of theShakedIndustrial Park. Several Israeli industrial parks are planned throughout the Occupied West Bank, all located in or near a major Israeli colony bloc. The strategy is to deprive Palestinians of their livelihood by confiscating agricultural land, and attract Israeli businesses to such land by allowing them to benefit from cheap Palestinian labor nearby.

(6) Closed Zone: The Palestinian villages of Daher al-Malih, Um Reihan and Muntar East will remain isolated between Israel’s 1967 Pre-Occupation Border and the Wall and are consequently subject to “Closed Zone” regulations. See http://www.nad-plo.org/hborders3.php

Destroying the Two-State Solution

 

Israel has routed the Wall around major Israeli colonies {rather than on its 1967 Pre-Occupation Border (the “Green Line”)) and has de facto expropriated both Palestinian land and Palestinian natural resources. The resulting “Palestinian state” will be one that will: (1) not be contiguous; (2) be separated from Occupied Palestinian Jerusalem; (3) be devoid of major resources, including water; and (4) not be economically viable. Through the construction of Israel’s Wall, Israelis effectively destroying the prospects of a two-state solution.

Resolution ES-10/15 (20 July 2004) (Adopted by a vote of 150-6-10)

Considering that respect for the International Court of Justice and its functions is essential to the rule of law and reason in international affairs [the UN General Assembly],

■  Acknowledges the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004 on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.

Demands that     Israel, the occupying Power, comply with its legal obligations as mentioned in the Advisory Opinion.

■   Calls upon all Member States of the United Nations to comply with the legal obligations as mentioned in the Advisory Opinion.

■  Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to establish a register of damage caused to all the natural or legal persons concerned in connection with paragraphs 152 and 153 of the Advisory Opinion.

■   Decides to reconvene to assess the implementation of the present resolution, with the aim of ending the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and its associated regime in theOccupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

■   Calls upon all States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to ensure respect byIsrael for the Convention…

(www.palestineembassy.org / 16.10.2011)

386 civilians died in 300 drone attacks

ISLAMABAD: The attack on a compound in South Waziristan Agency on Friday night
that claimed the lives of at least three suspected militants was the 300th drone attack carried out by the US in the Pakistan’s tribal region, according to a report by an independent London-based group of investigative journalists.

The report released on Saturday by Bureau of Investigative Journalism has mentioned varying figures about the casualties in the attacks as it says that at least 2,318 people and a maximum of 2,912 people, the majority of them alleged militants, have been killed in these attacks.

Between 386 and 775 civilians, including 173 children, were killed in the 300 drone attacks since June 17, 2004. The report says between 1,141 and 1,225 persons were
injured.

“The US covert drone war in Pakistan reached a new milestone with the 300th attack on alleged militants in the country’s tribal areas,” says the opening of the report, adding that the attack by the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) is the fourth in North and South Waziristan in 48 hours. Of the 300 drone strikes since June 17, 2004, it says, 248 occurred during President Barack Obama’s first three years, rising to a frequency of almost one strike every four days.

Talking to Dawn, the head of the US covert war investigations bureau, Chris Woods, said the data had been drawn from reputable media sources, including international news agencies and credible Pakistani media. Moreover, he said, the data was cross-referenced where possible against leaked US intelligence documents and diplomatic cables. He disclosed that he had visited Pakistan and that the research also included some “commissioned field work in Waziristan.”

Mr Woods said the bureau’s data reflected all known strikes substantiated by multiple credible sources, He said the analysis of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan was based on months of research by a team of journalists.

“The bureau has sought to identify accurately the time, location and likely target of all known attacks to obtain as clear an explanation as possible of what took place during the event and to detail the numbers and names, where possible, of those killed and injured, whether militant or civilian,” he said.

He said the CIA itself recently admitted to killing 2,050 people with its drones, all but 50 of them combatants, after the bureau published its extensive database in August, this year. Despite substantial evidence about the deaths of civilians caused by CIA strikes, he said, the US continued to claim that it had killed no “non-combatants” in Pakistan since May 2010.

Mr Woods said this year alone the CIA had launched 66 drone strikes in Pakistan and had recently resumed drone operations in Yemen. “With the US emphasis shifting away from regular troops and towards covert operations, there remains a critical need for detailed scrutiny of its actions,” he said.

The report says the CIA does not officially acknowledge or comment on its drone campaign, and the Pakistani government does not publish a count of those killed and injured. Instead, the most comprehensive information on casualties lies in the thousands of press reports of drone strikes filed by reputable national and international media since 2004.

Most reports are filed within a day or two of an attack. Sometimes relevant reports can be filed weeks — even years — after the initial strike.

(www.kalam.tv / 16.10.2011)

 

Army closes down school in Hebron’s old city

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed down a school in Hebron’s old city for the fourth day in a row on Sunday, a local official said.

Sameeh Abu Zakiye, an official in the Department of Education in Hebron, said that soldiers gave students orders to evict the building before forcibly removing them from the property, official news agency Wafa reported.

The school’s janitor was also detained after being accused of attacking Israeli soldiers, Abu Zakiya said.

Around 800 Jewish settlers live among 30,000 Palestinians in the parts of the ancient city that are under Israeli control.

Israeli restrictions on movement and access, many of them dating back to the Palestinian uprising at the start of the decade, have turned parts of the old city into a ghost town. Poverty has risen in a city that was traditionally an engine of the Palestinian economy.

(www.maannews.net / 16.10.2011)

Wat is dat toch voor masker, van die occupy-betogers?

 

Het Guy Fawkes (of V for Vendetta)-masker in Hong Kong…

Symbolen, hebben we nodig. Op het Tahrirplein in Egypte, als icoon van de Anonymous-hackersgroep, en nu bij de Occupy-protesten in de Verenigde Staten en Europa: overal dragen de demonstranten hetzelfde masker. Wit, boosaardige grijns, bloskes op de wangen, sik, snor en dichtgeknepen ogen. Wat is dat voor masker?


...in Amsterdam...
…in Amsterdam
...in Sydney...
…in Sydney
...in Amman...
…in Amman
...in Mexico-stad...
…in Mexico-stad
...in Rome...
…in Rome
...in Wenen...
…in Wenen

Het gezicht van ‘V’. En van Guy Fawkes.

Het masker werd voor het eerst getekend door David Lloyd, als gezicht van het hoofdpersonage van de graphic novel V for Vendetta. De hoofdpersoon in kwestie draagt een lange zwarte mantel, een zwarte hoed en, inderdaad, het masker. Achtergrond: een post-apocalyptisch Londen waar een fascistische partij aan de macht is. ‘V’, de man met het masker dus, is een revolutionaire anarchist die de regering uiteindelijk ten val probeert te brengen en daarom het parlement wil opblazen.

Die verhaallijn is weer geleend van het Guy Fawkes-verhaal, ofwel het buskruitcomplot of het buskruidverraad. Fawkes was een Engels militair en katholiek, die in 1605 de protestantse koning Jacobus 1 wilde vermoorden, omdat hij de paus had geëxcommuniceerd. De aanslag, die hij wilde plegen met een flinke voorraad buskruit onder het Hogerhuis in Londen, mislukte. Fawkes werd ter dood veroordeeld in 1606. Elk jaar wordt in het Verenigd Koninkrijk Guy Fawkes day gevierd, en elk jaar worden de kelders van het Britse parlement geïnspecteerd op die dag, om er zeker van te zijn dat er geen aanslag wordt voorbereid.

De figuur van Fawkes en met name de interpretatie van V for Vendetta spreken kennelijk tot de verbeelding bij burgers die enig regime niet meer pikken. Echt bekend werd het masker vooral toen Warner Bros. in 2006 een film (trailer hieronder) uitbracht op basis van de stripverhalen, die ook V for Vendettaheet. Het masker van de katholiek die geen protestantse koning wilde, werd het masker van onvrede, protest en de (gewenste) mogelijkheid het heft in eigen hand te nemen. Waar dan ook. (Pieter Sabel)


…in Keulen
…en in Washington
(www.parool.nl / 16.10.2011)

LA RUE DE TUNIS REPREND EN CŒUR : « ARRETEZ LE GENOCIDE DU PEUPLE DE SYRTE EN LIBYE »

ALGERIA ISP / Nous avons reçu cet article d’un groupe Tunisien solidaire de
la GREEN LIBYA

Récit d’une après-midi historique à Tunis : une immense
joie après une petite déception…

LA RUE DE TUNIS REPREND EN CŒUR : « ARRETEZ LE GENOCIDE DU PEUPLE DE SYRTE EN
LIBYE » et « ARRETEZ LE BOMBARDEMENT CONTINU DES VILLES ET VILLAGES LIBYENS
DEPUIS 7 MOIS ! » et « NATO (OTAN), DEGAGE DE LIBYE !

Lieu : Siège du Croissant Rouge Tunisien – 19, rue d’Angleterre. Date : 7 octobre 2011.

Autisme…

Las société tunisienne était soudain devenue autiste : « il n’y a que la Tunisie qui m’intéresse » répètent à l’envi la majorité des citoyens de ce pays. Une centaines de partis politiques sont en course pour les élections du 23 octobre sans faire d’allusion directe à ce qui est devenu, de fait, un nouvel Irak à leur porte. Les médias locaux singent leurs homologues français, européens, nord-américains ou, ce qui revient au même, Al-Jazeera : voir à ce sujet le bulletin d’information télévisé de 20h (qui a remplacé celui de « l’ancien régime ») dans lequel un couple (un homme, une femme) de présentateurs commentent et censurent allègrement l’« actualité » en s’échangeant de stupides sourires.

La conséquence d’un tel silence a été l’absence stupéfiante, dans la capitale même, de manifestations dénonçant l’agression militaire contre la Libye en cours depuis près de 7 mois. Dans ce contexte, nous avons récemment salué la position courageuse des pays de l’ALBA (Alliance Bolivarienne pour les Peuples de Notre Amérique, regourpant le Nicaragua, le Venezuela, Cuba, l’Ecuador et la Bolivie) en envoyant une télécopie à leurs missions respectives à New York (ONU). Si nous avons certainement été heureux de recevoir de leur part une lettre de soutien, il faut avouer que nous avons été déçus par la position de l’ambassadeur de Cuba à Tunis que nous avons souhaité rencontrer à plusieurs reprises, dont la dernière en date du 5 octobre 2011. Le secrétaire (tunisien) de l’ambassade nous a dit que le diplomate considérait la guerre en Libye comme un événement qui ne le concernait pas et a clairement refusé de nous recevoir, ne serait-ce que quelques minutes. Il s’agit donc là de notre « petite déception ».

Aujourd’hui, samedi 8 octobre, il nous semble important de proposer un récit de cette après-midi historique d’hier à Tunis où l’on a vu une foule massée dans une des rues du centre-ville de la capitale tunisienne, quadrillées par des policiers (en uniforme et en civil) et parsemées de barbelés, chars et autres engins (entre l’ambassade de France et le Ministère de l’Intérieur), reprendre des slogans tels que : « NATO [OTAN], Dégage min [de] Libya ! »(désormais imprimé sur le béton des infrastructures autoroutières tunisiennes » et « Sirt tastagith ! » (la ville de Syrte appelle au secours !). Syrte se trouve sous le feu aérien et maritime de l’OTAN et celui, à terre, de ses rebelles mercenaires lesquels bombardent au hasard de leurs missiles « Grad » les hôpitaux et la population sous embargo total.

Des plaques d’immatriculation devenues « gênantes »…

Le silence en Tunisie est plus complice qu’ailleurs car ce pays constitue une pièce-clé dans le dispositif impérialiste en place dans la région. Sans lui, les bombardements auraient cessé depuis longtemps en raison de la proximité géographique, la parenté (y compris linguistique car la langue vernaculaire libyenne est la plus proche de celle des Tunisiens), sans parler des centaines de milliers de réfugiés répartis dans tout le pays maintenant. Ces derniers sont particulièrement repérables dans les villes par leurs grandes voitures dont la plaque d’immatriculation indique « Jamahiriya  (Gouvernement des masses) et que les rebelles de l’OTAN couvrent systématiquement d’une étiquette avec les couleurs du drapeau du régime réactionnaire monarchiste d’avant la révolution
pacifique dirigée par Gaddafi en Septembre 1969 (Al-Fateh).

Pour cette raison nous, Tunisiennes et Tunisiens libres, devenus militants pacifistes anti-guerre malgré nous (à quoi servent donc les institutions officielles existantes, la « société civile », etc. si elle se taisent toutes devant ce qui se passe dans le pays voisin ?) avons décidé de briser le silence criminel au sujet de la Libye : à commencer par celui des médias tels qu’Al-Jazeera, la BBC, la télévision et la radio nationales tunisiennes et la presse écrite de ce pays à une ou deux rares exceptions près (Ar-Risala At-tounisiya (La Lettre de Tunisie), entre autres).

Les médias présentent ainsi la situation de la ville de Syrte (entre 100 et 150 000 habitants selon les sources et dont seulement quelques dizaines ou centaines de familles ont récemment fui les bombardements) comme celle d’une « poche de résistance » que les rebelles du « Conseil National de Transition » (CNT, imposé et protégé depuis le ciel par l’OTAN, nuit et jour depuis environ 7 mois) s’apprêteraient à ««libérer»»(de qui et de quoi?) « dans les heures qui viennent » ou les jours qui viennent » suivant le degré d’impatience de leurs responsables…

En fait, en raison de ce lavage collectif et mondialisé de cerveaux jamais égalé dans l’histoire (en ce sens, Al-Jazeera a gagné sa guerre jusqu’à présent), les Tunisiens –qui disent soutenir les « révolutionnaires » (i.e. de l’OTAN) ignorent tout de la réalité. Non seulement beaucoup d’entre eux ne savent-ils même pas localiser les nombreuses localités du pays où une résistance acharnée a rapidement émergé (en dépit des bombardements incessants de l’OTAN depuis 7 mois) mais encore ignorent-ils qu’une grande partie (en surface et en population) du pays (90% selon certaines sources) soutient de fait le gouvernement légal et le régime correspondant (Jamahiriya) sous lequel ses habitants vivaient en paix et dans la prospérité économique depuis 42 ans
jusqu’à l’irruption, en février dernier, de bandes armées couvertes et dirigées depuis le ciel par l’OTAN auxquelles se joints des supplétifs importés d’Afghanistan et du Pakistan par la CIA.

Joie immense…

Nous avions appelé la veille et le matin-même de l’événement les Tunisiennes et les Tunisiens libres (du lavage collectif et mondialisé de cerveaux) à cette protestation pacifique (I’tisam silmy, en arabe) via la seule chaîne de télévision alternative dans le monde arabe : ARRAI (souvent brouillée soit, pensons-nous, par l’OTAN ou le gouvernement tunisien ou les deux). En raison de la censure et de l’auto-censure (censure intériorisée), nous nous attendions à trouver seulement un individu ou deux. Or, une fois arrivés sur place, nous n’en crûmes pas nos yeux. Au portail du Croissant Rouge Tunisien, une masse de gens (dont de nombreuses femmes de tous âges) se bousculaient et discutaient avec une employée qui avait entrouvert la porte et qui expliquait qu’il n’était pas possible de rencontrer le directeur maintenant ; qu’il faudrait essayer un autre jour.

Nous réalisions soudain que tous ces gens avaient répondu à notre appel. Une dame algérienne arriva alors et s’exprima dans les mêmes termes étonnés que nous. Un médecin présent travaillant pour le centre en question s’évertuait à expliquer la position «neutre» de son organisation en renvoyant les manifestants soit vers Amnesty International soit ver la Croix-Rouge. C’est aberrant, lui répliqua-ton, puisque la première organisation a montré, s’agissant de ces événements uniques dans l’histoire de l’humanité, qu’elle était littéralement devenue Amnesia International. Quant à la seconde, elle est systématiquement bloquée par les rebelles de l’OTAN. Nous luis avons alors proposé d’expliquer clairement dans les médias pourquoi le Croissant Rouge Tunisien n’intervient pas à Syrte ; à savoir que les «révolutionnaires» l’en empêchent. Il ne répliqua pas.

La manifestation avait été improvisée en raison de l’urgence de la situation de famine et de détresse à Syrte où les hôpitaux sont bombardés par l’OTAN et ses rebelles armés. Devant le siège du Croissant Rouge, de plus en plus de « curieux » se regroupaient, à l’image des événements de janvier qui avaient poussé le président de la république à fuir du pays face la contestation grandissante. La plupart des passants étaient surpris d’apprendre que de telles choses avaient lieu en ce moment-même et dans le pays voisin (effet du lavage collectif et mondialisé de cerveaux par les médias étouffant toute voix dissidente). Ils se mirent souvent à sympathiser. L’ambiance devenait bon enfant, notamment avec les élèves de l’école d’en face qui reprenaient en cœur nos slogans pacifistes. Des Libyennes, enveloppés dans du tissu vert qui venait d’être acheté dans une échoppe du quartier, nous avaient rejoints et lancèrent aussi le fameux slogan de ralliement de la résistance sur le terrain: « Dieu, Muammar, la Libye et basta ya! » Les gens discutaient de toutes parts. Les appareils photographiques se levaient ça et là comme des parapluies à l’apparition d’une averse. Une centaine de personnes composait alors le rassemblement et les slogans retentissaient dans tout le quartier de la rue d’Angleterre….

Provocations (policières)…

Dès le tout début du rassemblement pacifique, un ivrogne intervint dans un but évident de semer la confusion, notamment quand il tenta d’ameuter des gens du quartier en lançant : « Venez voir, c’est incroyable ; ils manifestent non pas pour (des affaires en rapport avec) la Tunisie mais pour autre chose !». Nous avons tenté de le « calmer » un peu et notre ruse a fonctionné un moment étant donné son état. Cependant, son intention était claire dès le début : semer la confusion afin de justifier l’intervention de la police. Nous pensons donc qu’il s’agissait d’un agent de cette dernière. Un indice en est qu’il ne figurait pas parmi les individus arrêtés par la suite (y compris des vendeurs de
cigarettes ambulants…) et emmenés manu militari au commissariat de police.

D’ailleurs, à un moment donné, un partisan des rebelles de l’OTAN, brandissant un grand drapeau du régime réactionnaire monarchiste d’avant la Jamahiria, vint s’installer en hauteur sous les fenêtres de l’immeuble du Croisant Rouge. Il fut vite hué et pris à partie par les manifestants. Là encore, l’ivrogne-indicateur intervint afin qu’il demeure à sa place et poursuive sa provocation. Cependant, il fut bien obligé de décamper comme un « rat » et fut qualifié comme tel par la foule en colère. En effet, ces gens se comportent comme si ils étaient chez eux, partout en Tunisie, à tel point que les réfugiés loyalistes au gouvernement légal de la Jamahiriya font-ils désormais profil bas tant ils sont victimes d’ostracisme de la part des Tunisiens eux-mêmes (ce qui n’était étrangement pas le cas avant les bombardements de l’OTAN). Cela dit, on peut supposer que le « rat » était également un indicateur de police. La mise en scène de l’intervention musclée et « justifiée » de la police (bien qu’il n’y ait eu aucun coup très violent porté) aurait ainsi réussi.

« En voiture » vers le commissariat avec les « Baltagia » de la police locale…

Les Baltagia (pluriel de Baltagi), ce sont les « gros bras », hommes de main (« thugs » en anglais ; à l’image de ces hommes armés de matraques embarqués à bord de chameaux et faisant leur apparition sur la place Tahrir au Caire lors des rassemblements de masse). Des hommes armés de bâtons ont soudain interpelé
nombre d’entre nous puis nous ont embarqués à bord de leur véhicule anonyme.
L’un des hommes de main s’était pourtant approché durant le rassemblement et nous n’avions pas réalisé que c’était aussi un policier en civil. Nous n’avions pas compris pourquoi il chuchota à nos oreilles: « Yezzi Tawa »(Ça suffit maintenant). S’il nous avait dit « La police (dont je suis) vous conseille de mettre un terme à la manifestation », nous aurions sûrement mieux saisi son intention.

Dans la voiture, les Baltagia nous étranglaient avec leurs gros bras et leur chef (ressemblant étrangement à Iyad Alaoui, président marionnette de l’Irak occupé il y a quelques années et individu de triste augure) brandissait un gros bâton nu et nous crûmes réellement qu’ils allaient nous casser les os, notamment quand ils commencèrent à nous donner des coups mesurés (ils semblaient se retenir sachant que les piétons dans les rues embouteillées nous observaient) et quand ils nous jetèrent dans une pièce d’interrogatoire du commissariat de police. Ils avaient également arrêté de simples passants qui prenaient des photos de l’événement avec leur téléphone portatif. Ils les effrayaient en consultant leur album enregistré dans la mémoire de l’appareil. Ils demandèrent à qui appartenaient les drapeaux verts de la manifestation et systématiquement : « Tu es Tunisien, toi ? » probablement afin d’expulser d’éventuels Libyens interpellés, ce qui serait un crime compte-tenu du caractère vindicatif des marionnettes de l’OTAN qui « gouvernent » actuellement à Tripoli. Il ajouta : « Et regardez celui-là » qui porte (tout à fait par hasard et sans y avoir pensé un seul moment) une chemise de couleur verte (foncée)…

Ou encore : « Tu es avec les « révolutionnaires » (i.e. de l’OTAN) ou « avec Gaddafi ? ». Le chef des hommes de main (qui, dans la voiture, insultait aussi le chauffeur d’un véhicule nous précédant, simplement parce que le logo Jamahiriya de sa plaque d’immatriculation libyenne n’était pas recouvert de l‘étiquette du drapeau des rebelles de l’OTAN) nous martelait : « On va s’occuper de vous comme il faut ; Pourquoi venez-vous ici semer la confusion ? Allez donc combattre en Libye ! ». Comme si c’était (à supposer que nous ayons eu des tendances ou même un minimum de formation « militaires ») si facile avec un gouvernement complice de la menée impérialiste contre ce pays et des voies d’accès (poste frontalier de Ras-l-Jdir en particulier) hyper contrôlé du côté tunisien avant même qu’il ne soit repris, du côté libyen, par les rebelles de l’OTAN. Et puis, est-ce une réponse acceptable de la part d’un fonctionnaire de police, d’un « agent de la paix » dans un Etat devenu soi-disant « démocratique » ?

Bref, pour nous, ce fut aussi la confirmation –s’il en fallait une- que le régime ancien et son système sécuritaire, tant honni, n’a changé qu’en surface.

L’ironie de l’Histoire…

Nous fûmes relâchés après plusieurs heures, les uns après les autres après des séances de torture psychologique. En fait, et on peut s’en réjouir, la torture physique (il n’y eut dans notre cas que des « petits coups » avec leurs énormes bâtons et des menaces sérieuses de coups très violents) semble désormais révolue en raison de la « révolution »… et de la surveillance internationale du pays par de nombreux observateurs internationaux, dont les Etats finançant, de manière directe ou indirecte, le « processus démocratique » et l’« Etat de droit ». Ils prirent nos coordonnées. Nous avons alors demandé au chef du commissariat pourquoi nous avions été arrêtés et pourquoi toutes ces arrestations avaient-elles eu lieu alors que nous ne représentions aucun parti (grand ou petit) mais que nous étions de simples citoyens (dont une majorité de femmes) révulsés par le silence complice. Il nous répondit, gêné, que la police cherchait « à nous protéger »…. et après avoir évoqué avec lui notre souhait de
continuer, il nous rappela qu’il nous incombait de déposer une demande officielle au ministère de l’intérieur, ce que nous ferons mais sans grand espoir tant ce sujet est probablement l’un des plus sensibles en Tunisie…

En sortant du commissariat, l’Histoire nous fit un clin d’œil ironique. Non seulement l’établissement se trouve-il rue Charles de Gaulle (donc du même nom que le porte-avions assassin utilisé contre la Libye) mais, encore, l’hôtel d’en face se nomme-t-il « Cirta » (la ville de Syrte)… Et pour comble, ce dernier est situé au numéro 42 (c’est-à-dire l’âge même de la Jamahiriya libyenne) de la même rue…

Conclusion…

Nous avions réussi à appeler une avocate pour l’enjoindre de venir au commissariat. Elle n’arriva près des lieux que lorsque nous étions déjà sortis. Nous la rencontrâmes sur l’artère principale du centre ville (avenue Bourguiba). Sans nous en rendre compte, nous nous sommes alors retrouvés dans la mire des canons stationnés devant l’ambassade de France, sous le regard de la statue du sociologue historien Ibn Khaldoun et dans le champ des oreilles indiscrètes du Christ derrière le mur de la haute cathédrale qui la surplombe. Nous avons discuté avec l’avocate et son mari de ce qui nous était arrivés.

Avec tristesse, nous avons constaté que tous deux partageaient en fait le point de vue « classique » des médias de l’OTAN (voir novlangue NATO Media Advisory) et du gouvernement tunisien… Cela est vrai aussi pour les ««élites intellectuelles»» du monde entier en général et de Tunisie en particulier (voir l’analyse rétrospective de Toni Solo intitulé « Illustrious Corspses » à propos de gens aussi «respectables» qu’Immanuel Wallerstein, Rico Alba, Ignacio Ramonet (Le Monde Diplomatique), Gilbert Achkar, etc.). Doit-on aussi rappeler que le « Tribunal Pénal International » a lui-même été utilisé comme une marionnette de l’OTAN et de ses agents du CNT ?

Merci encore à tous les esprits libres, tunisiens ou non, qui ont répondu à l’appel à cette protestation pacifique : en particulier à Mohamed, Radia, Usama, Dalila, Benhassen et d’autres dont nous avons oublié les noms…

(www.mathaba.net / 16.10.2011)