Israeli settlers steal olive harvest in Salfit

SALFIT, (PIC)– Israeli settlers stormed Monday Kafer al-Dick village in Slafit accompanied with a number of bulldozers, eyewitnesses revealed.

The Israeli bulldozers carried out combing operations in a Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the village west of Salfit.

The settlers also stole the olive harvest of the local farmer Musleh al-Dick, the sources added.

The local activist Khaled Maali stated that Israeli settlers usually attack and confiscate Palestinian-owned lands in occupied West Bank for settlement expansion.

Jewish settlers usually protested by Israeli settlers uproot or burn olive trees attacking Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists.

Since 1967, the Israeli occupation forces uprooted more than 800,000 olive trees n occupied Palestine.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

Jerusalem becoming mini-police state and ghost capital

As tension rises in Jerusalem, Israelis stay away and debate how to resolve problems there while ignoring the West Bank and Gaza. It can’t be done.

Israeli police stop and inspect Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as they enter and exit their neighborhood, Issawiya, East Jerusalem, October 15, 2015. Following a spate of over a dozen stabbing attacks carried out by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Israel blocked off and erected checkpoints at the entrances and exits of most Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli police stop and inspect Palestinian residents of Jerusalem as they enter and exit their neighborhood, Issawiya, East Jerusalem, October 15, 2015. Following a spate of over a dozen stabbing attacks carried out by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Israel blocked off and erected checkpoints at the entrances and exits of most Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem

It has become common over the last few days to hear that, ironically, the political Right is dividing Jerusalem and not the Left, putting up blockades around Palestinian neighborhoods in response to a spate of attacks. But after two visits to the city this week, it feels like this isn’t just about separating the Palestinian and Israeli neighborhoods — Jerusalem is increasingly divided from Israel itself.

Last week, a colleague who works in Jerusalem proposed a meeting at a Tel Aviv café – he said he wouldn’t dream of dragging anyone to Jerusalem these days. A friend had planned her son’s Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall, but moved it to Rehovot south of Tel Aviv. After attending a peace demonstration in Jerusalem Saturday night, I returned on Monday to speak on a panel. Organizers were worried about attendance. Apparently some people planning to travel from elsewhere had canceled, saying they had families and couldn’t take the risk.

Due to road work, cellular navigation apps automatically route drivers to Highway 443, which runs through the West Bank, rather than the main road from Tel Aviv. There have been scattered attacks on Highway 443 in recent months, but I decided to take it anyway, keeping my mind on the statistical odds. The road was empty – it could have been 2 a.m.

I have never seen less daytime traffic on the ring road around Jerusalem, or in the perennial car-swamp area of Talpiot. Only later, stuck in long strings of vehicles inching out of Palestinian neighborhoods, did I realize that Palestinian and Jewish areas that are adjacent, or intertwined, are one big jam.

I drove to the sprawling neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber to see the fresh-looking concrete panels that had been erected the previous day, a harbinger of more walls running through the city. The area lies next to the Jewish neighborhood Armon Hanatsiv –formally called East Talpiot. The website of Jerusalem’s municipality writes: “The construction policy [in East Talpiot] emphasizes the establishment of satellite neighborhoods to boost the Jewish population of the city, making it unnecessary of build additional… Jewish neighborhoods in the city.”

The lovely, landscaped promenade in Armon Hanatsiv overlooks the Old City. It is now dotted with olive-uniformed Border Police officers, jeeps and swirling lights. I turn down a lumpy and gouged road that descends sharply towards one part of Jabel Mukaber. When a car approaches in the other direction, one of us had to stop – there was no room for two cars. By the road there is a small cluster of young guys hanging around, tinkering with an open engine.

I address one of them in English, hoping for directions. He asks me to switch to Hebrew, and explains that the wall was in a different part of the neighborhood. In this part, he says, things are quiet. “I don’t go to al-Aqsa, so everything is OK. Why go?” he says. “I don’t pray. I drink. I used to live in Tel Aviv, for three years – I worked at the bar at Oman 17” – a legendary Tel Aviv mega club – “and I loved that.”

How will all this violence end? I ask. “Just let people move around,” he says, sheepishly. Israeli officials say the new wall is only temporary; I ask if he thinks it may actually become permanent. “There are Jews there,” he answers. “Where there are Jews, they will not have a wall.”

He holds traffic while I make an awkward three-point turn and climb back up the road.

Israeli police stop and check a Palestinian man exiting the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem, October 15, 2015. Following a spate of over a dozen stabbing attacks carried out by Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, Israel blocked off and erected checkpoints at the entrances and exits of most Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli police stop and check a Palestinian man exiting the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem, October 15, 2015

At the other entrance to Jabel Mukaber there are enormous concrete cubes in the street, placed so cars have to weave slowly around them. A group of heavily armed Border Police eye all the cars, stopping some.

The few shops are empty. Two Palestinian men are sitting outside a grocery silently. The older one reflexively hands me half of the orange he has just peeled. The other is drinking a beer. I ask how they feel, but they aren’t much in the mood for conversation. The older one gazes at me sullenly and says a few halting words in English. “What do you think?”

The tall white slabs, a sort of disembodied piece of wall, have been plunked down right on a corner. Behind them a newly constructed house, nearly completed, is now practically sealed off from the street.

A Palestinian man walks past a newly erected temporary concrete wall that in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber October 19, 2015. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian man walks past a newly erected temporary concrete wall that in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber October 19, 2015

The other side of the street is Armon Hanatsiv. Border Police sit on that side, looking down on the scattered people, a large Israeli flag hung over them on a fence. It looms in front of anyone emerging from Jabel Mukaber.

At the turnoff where the piece of a wall stands there is a second barrier. The massive gray blocks are placed closer together so that vehicles cannot pass. The openings are slim even for a person.

Something happens when you cross the blocks. There is a sense of being in a different country, world, or planet. It is oddly quiet, since there is no traffic. The physical landscape is ragged — blackened rubbish and overturned trash bins line the road along with small rocks and a traces of a burnt stench.

Israeli police and Border Police at a road block closing the entrance to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, October 15, 2015. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli police and Border Police at a road block closing the entrance to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, October 15, 201

Four women in head coverings are waiting by the blockade. One of them, Nisreen, tells me they teach in a school here, but they live in different neighborhoods. They had to park some distance away because of the new barrier, so they are are waiting to be picked up by friends and driven back to their cars.

A steady trickle of drivers arrives from the main street. They approach the turnoff, peer out the window at the blocks, and curse. Where will they go? I ask an older man from the neighborhood. “The long way around. Maybe down the small road. Maybe they will have an accident.” I think of the steep gouged downhill road that couldn’t handle two cars side by side.

Behind her smart eye makeup and hijab, Nisreen looks weary. Everyone is scared, all the time, she says. “It’s not comfortable to walk around and have police pointing guns at your head.” She adds, “in America, do you see the videos of what is happening here? Do you see how the soldiers sometimes even pass things to one another, and pass a knife and put it by the person they killed?”

After she leaves, a platoon suddenly appears. Roughly 20 Border Police officers and navy-clad police special forces brandish weapons in the air, stride past the tight blockade and into the residential neighborhood. One of them wears a black mask over his face.

Israeli security forces enter Jabel Mukaber, a Palestinian neighborhood of Jerusalem (Photo: Dahlia Scheindlin, 19 October 2015)

Israeli security forces enter Jabel Mukaber, a Palestinian neighborhood of East Jerusalem, October 19, 2015

Some fan out in loose lines. The others disappear into the streets.

Border guards at the entrance to Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem (Photo: Dahlia Scheindlin, 19 October, 2015)

Border guards at the entrance to Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem, October 19, 2015

A routine is quickly established: The outer line stops every Palestinian who wants to go home, people returning after school, from university or their jobs. Each person – while I was there, mostly men – walks toward the soldiers. They motion to stop. He points and says, but I live right there. Just to the left, just to the right, just a few houses down. The soldiers say “five minutes” – all in Hebrew.

The men stand still as they talk, making no sudden moves. They step back and wait. Some children are let through. Eventually the soldiers call one, look at his papers, then yell or use their devices to tell the next line down that the person is approved to go home. A few minutes later another one is allowed, and so on.

An Israeli Border Police officer stops and inspects Palestinians trying to leave their East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, October 15, 2015. Police erected checkpoints at the entrances and exits of almost all Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem, a form of collective punishment following a spate of stabbing attacks. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

An Israeli Border Police officer stops and inspects Palestinians trying to return to their East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, October 15, 2015

One of them is a nursing student in Bir Zeit university. He says he doesn’t know what the soldiers might be doing, but like a few others waiting around, he guesses they are measuring a house prior to demolition, or serving a demolition order.

It is hot and unusually humid for Jerusalem. Time, or something, ticks slowly as we stand there; finally, a soldier motions for him to come over. He talks to the student, looks at his papers, and pats his back as he allows him to walk through.

This is a quiet day: only one Palestinian, an older woman, has died at a checkpoint.

The rest of the day in the rest of Jerusalem is normal, but quiet. The swirling police lights are everywhere; sirens echo regularly through the hills.

Israelis appear agitated about the changing reality in the city. There has been speculation in the press about how to solve Jerusalem: grant the Palestinian residents full citizenship? Get rid of the neighborhoods, hand those areas to the West Bank authorities (whoever they are), and revoke Israeli permanent residency from the Palestinians there?

The problem is, that’s like asking how to solve Gaza: it can’t be done. There can be no resolution by addressing only one piece of the Palestinian community. The disengagement plan from Gaza failed because it was isolated from any larger political vision. The separation policy between Gaza and the West Bank failed to break the notion of a cohesive Palestinian entity in half and it cannot be broken into thirds. No wall, full patriation, or “getting rid” of Jerusalemites will make a genuine difference until the overall political, civil, human rights and humanitarian problem of the Palestinian people is addressed. The Israeli leadership steadfastly resists knowing this.

In the meantime, Jerusalem at present looks like mini-police state isolated from the rest of Israel. And it is already cut off for the majority of West Bank Palestinians by a strict permit regime.

It turned out that the German moderator of the panel event lives in Bonn. She and her husband explained that the city is still sore over losing its status as capital following reunification. The large-scale government infrastructure remains, six ministries and other venues such as an opera house far beyond what Bonn can fill. It sounds to me like a ghost capital, I said. Yes! They agreed. That is how it feels.

I left Jerusalem wondering whether it is a ghost-capital of a different sort in the making.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

Palestinian killed after alleged car attack in Gush Etzion

A photo from witnesses at the scene

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was shot and killed after allegedly ramming his car into a group of Israelis in the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc on Tuesday, injuring two Israelis, Israeli police said.Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said there had been a “terrorist attack” near the Gush Etzion junction and the area was closed off after Israeli security and police arrived on the scene.A spokesperson at the Hadassah hospital confirmed two injured Israelis were being brought for treatment, but she was unable to confirm their condition.The Palestinian suspect was shot and killed. He was identified as Hamzeh Moussa al-Imla, 25, from Beit Ula north of Hebron.An Israeli army spokesperson said that the Palestinian “attempted to ram his car into pedestrians at a bus stop” inside the illegal settlement bloc, before getting out of his car and “attempt(ing) to stab the pedestrians.”She said that the the Palestinian injured one Israeli soldier and a civilian before he was shot dead by security forces.She was unable to confirm how the Israelis were injured.The incident came just hours after an Israeli settler was run over and killed by a Palestinian truck driver to the south of Hebron.The settler got out of his car after stones were thrown at it, before he was run over.The truck driver was reported to have turned himself into Palestinian police, saying it was an accident, and an Israeli army spokesperson later confirmed that he was in the custody of security forces.Earlier on Tuesday, another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to stab a soldier during clashes in the town of Beit Awwa, also in Hebron district.Tuesday’s events bring the Palestinian death toll since the beginning of October to 45, with nine Israelis killed in the same period.Around half of the Palestinian deaths took place during clashes, while the others were killed after allegedly attempting attacks on Israel, although it has been disputed that Palestinians were attempting to carry out attacks in several cases.Israel has come under repeated criticism for shooting dead Palestinians when they pose no harm, with the PLO labeling the deaths “extrajudicial executions.”Israeli rights group B’Tselem has condemned Israeli officials for effectively condoning the killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces and civilians.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

Israel forces kill five Palestinians in a day in Gaza

Israeli forces operate in the neighborhood of Issawiyeh in al-Quds (Jerusalem), Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. (AP photo)

Israeli forces operate in the neighborhood of Issawiyeh in al-Quds (Jerusalem), Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

Israeli forces have killed two more Palestinians near the city of al-Khalil (Hebron) in southern West Bank as the Palestinian death toll in the ongoing violence in the occupied territories rises.  

Israeli media claimed on Tuesday that the two Palestinians had been killed following attempted knife attacks.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces shot and killed another Palestinian youth during clashes along the border in the besieged Gaza Strip amid intensification of violence against Palestinians.

According to Palestinian media, the man was killed while five other Gazans sustained injuries.

Also on Tuesday, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during renewed clashes between the two sides.

The fresh violence comes as UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday made an unannounced visit to al-Quds (Jerusalem) in a bid to calm the rising tensions in the occupied territories.

Palestinians carry an injured man during clashes with Israeli troops near Ramallah, occupied West Bank, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

“My visit reflects the sense of global alarm at the dangerous escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinians,” Ban told journalists after meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, warning, “If we do not act fast, the dynamics on the ground will only get worse.”

He also called for the resumption of talks between Israel and Palestinians.

The UN chief is set to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later Tuesday and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (R) shakes hand with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after their meeting in al-Quds, October 20, 2015

The latest wave of tensions was triggered by the Israeli regime’s imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by illegal Israeli settlers, who frequently storm al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina. They say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.

The Israeli regime has rejected a proposal for international observers to be deployed at the al-Aqsa compound.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health says that nearly 50 Palestinians have been killed across the occupied territories since the beginning of October. Eight Israelis are also said to have died.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

Palestinians Feel Terrorized in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM

AMMAN — As Israel and its main ally the U.S. are denouncing the “terrorist” acts against Israelis, very little is being said about what Palestinians describe as summary executions of individuals who do not pose a life-threatening danger.

It is unclear why Israel has yet to begin an investigation into the large number of killings of individual Palestinians, who are killed point-blank range and under questionable circumstances.

Several of these cases are recorded on video and clearly show indifference towards the injured and a mob mentality that justifies summary executions.

While the U.S., the U.N. and the rest of the Quartet on Palestine acceded to the Israeli demand not to come to Jerusalem and the occupied territories, the Israeli political leadership continues to accuse Palestinian leaders while the Israeli army contradicts the political branch and insists that the Ramallah-based leadership is not involved in encouraging the current attacks.

Little or no attempt is being made to look at the root causes of the current escalation, namely the attempts to change the status quo of Al Aqsa Mosque, the absence of local Palestinian leadership in East Jerusalem as a result of a concerted Israeli campaign and the absence of a political horizon for all Palestinians.

The atmosphere created by the iron fist policy was further exacerbated by calls to Israelis to move around armed, with the mayor of West Jerusalem walking around brandishing a gun as a sign of power and intimidation.

Calls on the government to ease gun licensing laws further creates fear that the Israeli security is losing control and is moving towards a militia state rather than a country where the rule of law is observed.

The summary killings and the militarization of the public created unprecedented fear among Jerusalem’s Palestinian population.

Many Palestinians are choosing not to leave their homes and the city’s streets are looking like ghost towns as people fear for their lives that could easily be taken by trigger-happy Israeli soldiers and armed citizens.

Lost in this escalating violence is the Israeli claim that united Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.

Also long forgotten are the repeated Israeli claims that Palestinians in Jerusalem prefer staying with Israel, rather than being free in an independent Palestinian state.

For years the calls on Israel to stop its acts to isolate East Jerusalem have gone on deaf ears.

Israel has been so successful in its efforts to decimate any kind of independent Palestinian leadership in the city that it is now left without the possibility of dealing with a leadership it can negotiate with and encourage to have a positive role in cooling the situation.

Israeli attempts to blame Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to claim that he and Hamas are responsible for inciting Palestinians to violence find very few believers.

After all, Israel has total and complete control over East Jerusalem and has built a wall separating the Palestinian part of the city from its natural connection with the rest of the occupied territories.

Israel’s unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem has not been recognized by any country, and the International Court of Justice has ruled in 2004 that East Jerusalem is part of the occupied territories and that the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the city.

Israel insists that it owns the city and, therefore, is responsible for what happens to it.

Israel has responsibility towards the entire population of the city, both Israeli and Palestinian, and cannot shirk this responsibility by blaming Abbas and Hamas for what is happening.

Using security actions, collective punishments and threatening to withdraw the residency rights of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian population will not work.

The city’s 350,000 residents have been made political orphans and the only way to ease the tensions in the city must be political and not through security means and collective punishment.

History shows that exaggerated use of power and collective punishment do not solve a deep-seated political conflict.

Such acts might succeed for a short period, but the anger and hatred only deepen, and the only way out is through recognition of the fact that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian state.

Attempts to separate Palestinians from their leadership and their natural community, as well as denying them the ability to develop their own local leadership without the threat of imprisonment and deportation, will only backfire; it is only a matter of time before they do.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

The Knife Intifada from an international law perspective

A masked Palestinian protestor holds a molotov cocktail during clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus, West Bank.

A masked Palestinian protestor holds a molotov cocktail during clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus, West Bank

If the third Palestinian intifada sparked an internal and international political dispute over what this recent uprising may lead to, then the legal dispute that may arise over the legitimacy of the means used to resist the Israeli occupation may be greater and more dangerous in terms of international law.

Killing Israeli soldiers, the use of knives and hit-and-runs by Palestinians in this intifada have raised controversy regarding the legitimacy of these acts in the eyes of the international law. Before addressing this, it may be beneficial to start with knowing the international law’s view of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, which include the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Status of the occupied territories

When talking about the occupied Palestinian territories, the two famous Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) are mentioned. These two resolutions constitute the legal foundations for labelling Israel as an occupying force of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and they demand that Israel withdraw from the territories it occupied during the 1967 War.

However, there are in fact many Security Council resolutions that confirm that the territories occupied by Israel after the June 1967 War are considered occupied territories under international law. These resolutions urge Israel to withdraw from them, including East Jerusalem.

Such Security Council resolutions include: 237 (1967), 248 (1968), 252 (1968), 258 (1968), 259 (1968), 267 (1969), 271 (1969), 298 (1971), 339 (1973), 368 (1975), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 468 (1980), 469 (1980), 471 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 484 (1980), 497 (1981), 500 (1982), 592 (1986), 605 (1987), 608 (1988), 636 (1989), 641 (1989), 672 (1990), 673 (1990), 681 (1990), 694 (1991), 726 (1992), 1073 (1996), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), 1850 (2008) and 1860 (2009). All of these resolutions stressed that the Arab territories seized by Israel after the 1967 War are occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and reject the principle of confiscating territory by force.

In the same regard, the UN General Assembly issued a number of similar resolutions, all of which confirm the illegality of the Israel’s occupation of the territories that came under Israeli control after the 1967 War, including: 2253 (ES-V) (1967), 2254 (ES -V) (1967), 3236 (XXIX) (1974), 3237 (XXIX) (1974), 32/5 (1977), 33/113 (1978), ES-7/2 (1980), ES-9/1 (1982), 37/135 (1982), 38/144 (1983), 46/47 (1991), 46/76 (1991), 46/82 (1991), 50/84 ( 1995) and 50/129 (1995).

In addition to this, there are many international judicial and legal resolutions confirming the status of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, which include the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. An example of this is the UN Human Rights Council Resolution S-9/1 and the report issued by the UN Fact Finding Mission in 2009, also known as the Goldstone Report.

The International Court of Justice gave an advisory opinion on the legality of Israel’s construction of the Separation Wall in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, and it stressed that these territories are considered under Israeli occupation in accordance with international law.

Legality of resistance

The “right of resistance” is considered a form of self-defence under international law according to international conventions and treaties.

Many international conventions have confirmed the legitimacy of the right to resist, such as the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva Protocol of 1925, UN Charter in 1945, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, Additional Protocols (I and II) of 1977, the Additional Protocols of 1977, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples of 1960 and many other UN General Assembly resolutions. All of these international conventions and resolutions legally legitimise the right to resist.

Applying the legal resolutions to the current Palestinian situation shows that all forms of resistance exercised by the Palestinians in the areas occupied since 1967 are an indisputable international right, especially if we take into consideration that the current intifada is not an isolated act, but is a reaction to the unjustified Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque recently.

Refuting the Israeli logic

The legal perspective adopted by Israel officially is that the killing and imprisonment of Palestinians in the occupied territories exercised by the Israeli authorities goes under the right of self-defence outlined by Article 51 of the UN Charter. They also believe that the Israeli government is doing its duty of protecting its citizens because they are being subject to attacks by Palestinian “terrorists”.

However, what the Israeli authorities are avoiding talking about is the label of illegal “occupation” that is applied to the Palestinian case. This is because the alleged right to self-defence does not apply in the event that a country is occupying land that does not belong to it, rather the right to self-defence in this case is given to those under occupation.

In the advisory opinion made by the International Court of Justice regarding the legality of Israel’s construction of the Separation Wall inside the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, the court ruled that Israel – as an occupying state – cannot invoke Article 51 of the UN Charter regarding self-defence against any attack from the territories it occupies. Article 51 of the Charter, the court notes, “recognises the existence of an inherent right of self-defence in the case of armed attack by one State against another State. However, Israel does not claim that the attacks against it are imputable to a foreign State.”

The court also notes that Israel exercises control in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and that, as Israel itself states, the threat which it regards as justifying the construction of the wall originates within, and not outside, that territory. Therefore, Israel cannot, in any event, claim to exercise the right of self-defence. Consequently, the court concludes that Article 51 of the Charter has no relevance in this case.

Accordingly, the actual translation of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice is that the Palestinians, who live under Israeli occupation, are justified in resisting it by all means, including resorting to violence in all its forms and manifestations, whether by killing, stabbing, or hit-and-runs.

What must be done

  1. The Palestinian Authority and the Arab and Muslim nations are required to focus on three main paths for the moment:
    • The international law track: This can be invested in three legal paths:
    • The path of the International Court of Justice where the PA, in cooperation with the Arab League, can submit a request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice under Article 65 (1) of the Charter regarding the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.
      Based on what I have mentioned before, we have what is needed to refute Israeli claims and support the right of resistance as a form of self-defence for those under occupation. If this is done, then the Palestinian resistance can receive the financial and military support it needs and silence those who speak about what they do not understand.
    • The path of the International Criminal Court, as the PA and its President Mahmoud Abbas always boast that the country joined the ICC, they cannot overlook or disregard this path. Therefore, the PA must submit the case of the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people, which may be classified as war crimes, to the ICC Prosecutor.
    • The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan submits a similar request to the ICC Prosecutor’s office to raise the case of the repeated attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque which, along with the rest of the Awqaf and holy sites in the occupied Palestinian territories, is under Jordanian trusteeship in accordance with the Wadi Araba agreement signed by Israel and Jordan in 1994. Israel’s violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque are considered war crimes in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1994.
  2. The political track: As the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League and other international Arab and Islamic organisations must be activated in order to support the Palestinian resistance fighters in the international arenas and organisations. They must also demand putting an end to the Israeli occupation through the UN Security Council and General Assembly. Also in terms of the political track, the Arab countries cannot continue to extend their hands for peace, ever since the Arab League proposed the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, because this initiative is considered a burden to Israel as it does not and has not paid any attention to this initiative from the moment it was proposed. Therefore, the Arabs must end it in order to preserve whatever is left of the Arab nation’s dignity, which is being belittled by Israel day by day.
    While the Western countries see nothing wrong in defending the policies and behaviour of the rogue state which disregards international law and international legitimacy, the Arab governments should help the Palestinians gain their freedom by resorting to their international legal right of “legitimate resistance”, rather than hindering the Palestinian people’s attempts to gain their rights and freedoms. It would be politically clever to use the current Palestinian intifada as a bargaining chip to pressure the US and Western countries and force them to change their positions towards our people whose rights are stolen from them.
  3. The popular track: As the Arab and Muslim popular uprising should be invested in of support the resistance fighters and the Murabiteen, and to stand by the resistance in the occupied territories in all its forms. Also, the people must raise their voices so that they are heard in the international community.
    In this regards, the popular conventions must also be activated, and social media should be used to portray the whole picture to the West, whose governments and media outlets are keen on hiding the facts of Israel’s crimes from them.

Perhaps these three tracks are enough to change the painful reality of the Palestinian cause. However, the most important thing is to continue this intifada, as it is actually costing the Israeli occupation the most. The Palestinian authorities should know that while they may have been able to oppress some Palestinian people for some time, they can never, no matter how powerful they become, supress the will of their entire nation indefinitely.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

Explosive bullets: The latest weapon used against Palestinians

Analysis: Evidence has come to light of Israel’s use of explosive bullets against Palestinians.

Explosive bullets: The latest weapon used against Palestinians

Fouad Jabarin remains in hospital after being injured by an explosive round

Fouad Hijazi al-Jabarin, a 20-year-old resident of Ramallah is still lying on a hospital bed in in the Palestine Medical Complex.

He was shot with explosive bullets by Israeli forces on Friday during clashes with the Israeli military that broke out north of the city.

There have been numerous recent reports of the Israeli army using explosive rounds, especially aimed at the lower parts of the body.

“I was a few hundred metres from the Israeli soldiers, when suddenly I felt an explosion. I felt as if my heart was breaking,” Jabarin told al-Araby al-Jadeed’s Arabic service.

“I fell to the ground, before being taken to hospital where I had surgery. My stomach and intestines were torn up by the bullet,” he added.

Khaled al-Wawi, a member of staff at the Palestine Technical University in the city of Tulkarem, was consigned to his home for a month and a half after being shot with an explosive round. He was injured during an Israeli raid on a demonstration at the university.

On Sunday, photojournalist Rami Sweidan was covering clashes that had broken out at the Huwarra checkpoint, south of Nablus. He was also wounded with an explosive bullet, shattering bones in his leg.

Sweidan said he was standing 50 metres from Israeli soldiers when he was hit.

Another photojournalist, Ahmed Talaat Hassan, a resident of Nablus, was also injured in the foot while covering clashes in the village of Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilia, and still has shrapnel lodged inside.

Removing the fragments can cause more serious damage
– Samir Saliba

“These fragments are made of metal; they are very accurate and buried between the tissue of the body. Doctors prefer to leave it, as removing the fragments can cause more serious damage,” said Samir Saliba, head of the emergency department at the Palestine Medical Complex.

The explosive bullet consists of a metal head of 6mm diameter, and an explosive substance within.

Saliba fears that Israel has developed ammunition that could increase the lethality and affect the size and seriousness of the injury.

Sam Jamal Faraj Mansi, 20, from al-Shuafat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, was fatally shot on Thursday with an explosive bullet that hit his chest, according to Saliba.

Political scientist Abdul Ilah Alotarah told al-Araby that the explosive bullets were usually used for targeted assassinations. The impact of the bullet depends on the distance the weapon is fired from.

The Israeli army has frequently used such explosive bullets during the recent clashes with Palestinians, say medics.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has documented 500 injuries from live ammunition, a third of which involved the use of explosive bullets.

Mohammed Awawda, media spokesperson for the ministry told al-Araby that the number of injured Palestinians by both live and rubber bullets has risen to more than 1,300 since the beginning of the month.

(Source / 20.10.2015)

2 Palestinian teens killed in Hebron after alleged attack on soldier

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers in Hebron’s Old City on Tuesday evening after an alleged stabbing attack at a military checkpoint, Israel’s army said.”Two suspects approached a military post in Hebron, one of the assailants stabbed a soldier, with forces shooting both suspects,” an Israeli army spokesperson said.The suspects were both killed, and a Israeli soldier lightly injured.

A Ma’an reporter identified the teenagers as Bashar Nidal al-Jabari, 15, and Hussam Jamil al-Jabari, 17.

The incident took place at a checkpoint near the Rajabi house in the H2 area in the center of the city, located by the Kiryat Arba settlement.Witnesses said dozens of settlers from the settlement attempted to march to the area following the shooting, but were blocked by Israeli forces.Local Palestinian residents in the area told Ma’an that they were told to stay in their homes.The latest incident brings Tuesday’s death toll to five Palestinians.Earlier, a Palestinian was shot and killed in Beit Awwa after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier during a “violent riot,” Israel’s army said.Later, Hamzeh Moussa al-Imla, 25, from Beit Ula north of Hebron, was shot and killed after injuring two Israelis in a car attack in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, while Ahmad al-Sarhi, 27, was shot dead east of the al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza following a demonstration.An Israeli settler was also run over and killed by a Palestinian truck driver to the south of Hebron. The settler got out of his car after stones were thrown at it, before he was hit by the truck.The man who ran him over, reportedly a Palestinian truck driver, was initially reported to have later turned himself into Palestinian police in the nearby town of Dhahiriya, southwest of Hebron saying it was an accident.An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that the driver was “under custody of the security forces,” but was unable to confirm whether this referred to the Palestinian or Israeli security forces.
(Source / 20.10.2015)

Third Intifada Or Zionist Jihad: Israel Escalates Tensions With Execution Style Force

No matter the label, one thing is clear: Violence is escalating and Netanyahu has no strategy for addressing Palestinian grievances short of more force and more blood spilled from Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Israeli police stand around a Palestinian shot after he allegedly tried to stab a person at Damascus Gate of the Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, Israeli police said. (AP Photo/Oren Ziv)

Israeli police stand around a Palestinian shot after he allegedly tried to stab a person at Damascus Gate of the Jerusalem’s Old City, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, Israeli police said

SEATTLE — Each new day in the current round of strife in Palestine seems to bring news that more Palestinians have been killed in increasingly gruesome ways by Israeli security forces. Each day, more young people take to the streets with whatever weapon is at their disposal in a heroic, and often fatal, effort to uphold the honor of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the dignity of the Palestinian people.

Israeli forces have reacted to the mounting violence with increasing levels of brutality and desperation. There is no effort to compromise or negotiate, just greater shows of force.

Protests began last month, after Israeli authorities restricted access to Haram al-Sharif. (Also known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, it is the third holiest site in Islam. Jews know it as the Temple Mount, the site of an ancient Jewish temple.) Authorities deliberately limited the numbers of Muslim worshippers permitted there during the period of the Jewish High Holidays. This roused the anger of Palestinians, who suspect every decision by Israel to be motivated by a desire to change the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. At the same time, the Israeli government approved a rising tide of settlers to make religious pilgrimages to the site, further exacerbating tensions.

Over the weekend, Gaza militants launched a missile intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. In retaliation, an Israeli Defense Forces air attack left a Palestinian mother and her 2-year-old child dead.

On Monday, two Palestinian cousins, Ahmad Manasra, 13, and Hassan Manasra, 15, from Beit Hanina, weresuspected of stabbing two settlers in the occupied Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Zeev. An Israeli driver deliberately slammed his car into Ahmad, breaking his legs. Police shot Hassan and left him to die.

This video shows Ahmad after he was struck by the settler driver. Two Israeli ambulances arrive and emergency medical personnel approach, stand over him, and then withdraw. Bystanders curse the wounded 13-year-old boy, telling him: “Die, you son of a bitch,” and goading police to shoot him.

As of Wednesday, at least 31 Palestinians have been killed and as many as 1,200 others injured amid escalating clashes between Israeli security forces and protesters in Gaza and the West Bank in the past two weeks alone. During this period, eight Israelis have been killed and dozens others injured.

During an emergency meeting of the Israeli security cabinet, which convened Tuesday evening, the Israeli government imposed partial martial law on the Palestinians of East Jerusalem. A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said police are authorized to “impose a closure on, or to surround, centers of friction and incitement in Jerusalem, in accordance with security considerations.” The Times of Israel further reports:

“Other courses of action approved by the security cabinet included the demolition of terrorists’ homes within days of an attack and the banning on new construction, the confiscation of the property of terrorists who carry out attacks and the revoking of permanent residency rights. …

The security cabinet also voted in favor of an NIS 80 million plan to recruit 300 guards to secure public transportation in Jerusalem. Earlier, it was announced that the IDF would provide troops for this purpose until more security guards can be recruited.”

 

Those suspected of committing a terrorist act will have their residency permits revoked, effectively expelling them from Jerusalem. This is just one more instance in a series of acts of ethnic cleansing imposed by Israel.

This is a return to the martial law regime which ruled over Israeli Palestinians from 1948-1966. Under these regulations, they were not governed by civil law, but by a military government which imposed a far more restrictive regime. This new development is yet another sign of devolution from democratic rule and values into a form of authoritarianism. It further reinforces the notion of apartheid in which Israeli Jews enjoy superior rights to the Arab minority.

Who is inciting this wave of violence?

Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded man during clashes with Israeli soldiers by the Israeli border with Gaza in Buriej, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

Palestinian protesters evacuate a wounded man during clashes with Israeli soldiers by the Israeli border with Gaza in Buriej, central Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015

On Sunday, Israeli journalist Meron Rapoport quoted a series of statements from various Israeli ministers and NGOs indicating that the government is at fault for inciting the latest wave of protests. He quotes the current culture minister, Miri Regev, who said a year ago: “It is unacceptable that Muslims should have freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, but not Jews.” Regev, who was former chairman of the interior for the Knesset at the time, advocated a division of the site as exists at the Cave of the Patriarchs, where Baruch Goldstein murdered 29 Palestinians in 1994. There, she said, “it works fine,” as if depriving Muslims access to a portion of their holy site would pass without incident.

Rapoport also notes that an investigator for Ir Amim, an NGO working to promote tolerance in the city sacred to three faiths, says that for the past year, when there were no restrictions on Muslims’ access to the holy sites, there was no unrest. But when the police limited access to Muslims just before Rosh Hashana, protests erupted.

In an interview with the Israeli news portal Walla, Gil Erdan, the internal security minister, boasted that since he’d begun allowing ministers to visit Al-Aqsa the number of Muslims permitted had decreased and the number of Jews had increased six times.

Rapoport also noted that Ulpan Shlishi, an Israeli TV newsmagazine, reported that Shmuel Eliyahu, one of Israel’s most racist religious figures and a candidate to be the nation’s chief rabbi, has been accosting Jewish youth no less than 100 yards from Al-Aqsa, asking whether they willing to join him in rebuilding the Holy Temple.

The government claims there has been no change in the status quo at the site held sacred by both Jews and Muslims. Rapoport proves that indeed there has. But even if there hadn’t, the plain fact is that Muslims perceive change, and Israel has done nothing to persuade them otherwise.

No less a figure than Shimon Baadani, a revered Israeli Sephardic rabbi, has denounced the settlers as provocateurs. Last week, Haaretz reports, Baadani said during a radio program that Jews visiting the site “sparked the current tumult.” He continued:

“Do not provoke the nations, even if we are in control here, there is a halachah. I don’t know on whose authority they permit themselves to provoke and cause an armed struggle like is happening now … they are forbidden.”

Palestinian NGO office ransacked by Israeli troops

 

On Sunday, IDF soldiers raided the Bethlehem offices of the International Middle East Media Center, a Palestinian human rights organization which documents the activities of security personnel in the West Bank. Video surveillance footage shows a gang of soldiers breaking into the office at 4 a.m. They rampaged through the facility, overturning and breaking computers, destroying equipment and stealing files containing the records of informants.

After a prior IDF break-in, the organization discovered that its informants were later arrested and harassed by security forces and threatened for engaging in the legal act of observing and documenting the actions of Israeli security personnel.

Last week, in one of the most heinous of a series of incidents in which Palestinians were killed by Israeli security and police forces, Fadi Alloun, a 20-year-old man from the village of Issawiya, was accosted by a mob of Israelis near Jerusalem’s Old City. This unruly group, believing that Alloun had stabbed an Israeli Jew, pursued him, screaming: “Shoot him, shoot him!” They summoned the police, and when an officer arrived at the scene and exited his vehicle, he immediately shot and killed the Palestinian with multiple shots.

The police justified this summary execution, claiming the officer saw Alloun with a knife and “neutralized” him. The police spokesperson even claimed the victim was taken to a hospital in “moderate condition,” but the video clearly shows that Alloun was gravely wounded as soon as the officer pumped multiple bullets into his body. No one has produced the knife allegedly used in any stabbing attack or the one the officer allegedly saw upon arriving at the scene. There was a report that an Israeli teenager had been stabbed in that general vicinity earlier in the evening, but police have not tied Alloun to that attack.

Two recent reports cast increasing doubt on the “official” version of events. Writing for Haaretz, Amos Harel argues that if there was a stabbing, it was not a terror attack. Indeed, he noted, no one has shown that Alloun was the attacker. The version published in the English edition does not include this critical passage. Harel writes that there was a confrontation of some sort between an Israeli Jew and Palestinian (possibly Alloun), but he explicitly states it was not terror-related.

In a media context in which every major Israeli newspaper reports definitively that Alloun was a “terrorist” who stabbed a Jewish youth, Yossi Melman cautions that this is only the police version of events. For those schooled in the reporting nuances of Israeli media, and given the prior media rush to judgment, this is a clear indication that Melman has strong doubts about this narrative.

Over the weekend, a freelance journalist and Palestinian investigator for Human Rights Watch wearing a clearly marked “Press” sign, was shot three times — twice with rubber bullets, and once with live ammunition — by Israeli forces as she documented and photographed a protest. She could easily have been killed. Israeli forces have been known in the past to directly target and even kill Palestinian journalists covering unrest in a systematic assault on the press.

Police shoot mentally-ill Palestinian woman repeatedly at point-blank range

Israa Zidan Taufik Abed, a 30-year-old Palestinian woman with a history of mental health issues, wasconfronted by no fewer than nine heavily armed soldiers as she allegedly stood holding a knife at the Afula bus station last week.

A video documenting the incident shows that she never approached the officers nor threatened them in any way. In fact, one bystander appears to goad an officer into shooting her by intruding on the scene and shouting at him.

An Israeli, who is a trusted source and has examined the video closely, says that from one angle he believes he can make out a knife. But a second video shot from another angle does not show it. And, it’s important to note here, no one has produced a weapon.

One soldier claims Abed tried to stab him, but no evidence of such an attack has been produced. There is a prevailing narrative in Israel that she was a terrorist and that she stabbed or attempted to stab a police officer. Though she may have had a knife, the video does not support the claim she attacked anyone before being shot.  In fact, the Times of Israel, a Likudist media outlet reports that it’s likely this was not a terror attack at all, but the act of a mentally unstable woman.

Instead of using alternative means to defuse the situation and disarm Abed, the security personnel on the scene shouted at her. With no one appearing to be in command of the situation, one soldier shot her six times.

Abed was severely wounded, but she will likely survive, unlike Hadil al-Hashlamoun, the Palestinian student shot by the IDF multiple times at a Hebron checkpoint. Abed is a mother of three children, a PhD student in chemical engineering at the Technion, and the daughter of a prominent imam in Nazareth.

Settler desecrates Palestinian body with pork

In yet another incident, a Palestinian, Muhammad Jaabari, wounded an Israeli soldier lightly in a knife attack. He was shot and mortally wounded. Emergency medical personnel arrived and attempted to revive him. During their efforts a settler thrust himself into the scene and threw a piece of raw pork on top of the Palestinian body. None of the security or medical personnel at the scene intervened to stop him.

In a radio interview, the deputy director of the Kiryat Arba municipal council defended the action, calling it “entirely reasonable” in light of the “refusal” of the armed forces to deal with the security situation appropriately.

This was clearly an act of provocation of the sort Pastor Terry Jones engaged when he burned Qurans publicly. And it has but one purpose: to inflame Muslim sentiment and provoke an all-out religious war.

A significant portion of the Israeli public believes there must be a final reckoning in which the Palestinians are finally defeated. Some believe this should be accomplished through ethnic cleansing, the forced removal of Palestinians. Others foresee concentration camps for those Palestinians who refuse to “see reason” and leave voluntarily. Among the most extreme are those who believe in outright mass extermination. The Israeli political narrative is now being driven by a settler movement intent on eventually destroying Haram al-Sharif and replacing it with a rebuilt Third Temple (earlier First and Second Temples were sacked by Babylonians and Roman invaders, respectively).

Criminalizing Palestinian political leaders

Israeli border police search a Palestinian, next to newly placed concrete blocks in an east Jerusalem neighborhood, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Israel erected checkpoints and deployed several hundred soldiers in the Palestinian areas of the city Wednesday as it stepped up security following a series of attacks in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israeli border police search a Palestinian, next to newly placed concrete blocks in an east Jerusalem neighborhood, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Israel erected checkpoints and deployed several hundred soldiers in the Palestinian areas of the city Wednesday as it stepped up security following a series of attacks in Jerusalem

Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seeking to curry favor with his extremist constituency, directed the country’s attorney general to open an investigation against MK Haneen Zoabi for criminal incitement of violence. In a recent interview with a Hamas newspaper, she called for “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians to converge on Al-Aqsa mosque for a “true intifada,” or popular uprising.

This is part of an ongoing official campaign to criminalize Palestinian political representation. At one time or another, almost every Palestinian MK is investigated by police on trumped up charges or consorting with the enemy or inciting violence. It appears only a matter of time before MKs representing the Palestinian community will be expelled from the Knesset by the Jewish majority, either individually or en masse. The Israeli supreme court has rejected some decisions along these lines in the past. But the court, following massive pressure from the nationalist right, is increasingly reflecting such views and can no longer be relied upon to restrain the most extreme manifestations of Israeli racism.

Israel is contemplating a ban on the leading Islamist group in the Palestinian community, the Islamic Movement, which has led the call for resistance to settler and police assaults on the Haram al-Sharif. In order to offer a semblance of balance, they’re also considering banning the most extreme settler group, Lehava. The problem with this approach is that criminalizing the views of the majority of the Palestinian population will do nothing to resolve the underlying issues.

In this context, it becomes almost irrelevant to determine whether this is the advent of the Third Intifada. Call it a religious crusade, a Jewish jihad or holy war. What’s clear is that violence is escalating and Netanyahu has no strategy for addressing Palestinian grievances short of more guns, more troops, more firepower and more blood (both Israeli and Palestinian).

IDF gives shoot-to-kill orders against Palestinian civilians

Israel activist Eran Efrati, who maintains close relationships with IDF soldiers in the field, described an alarming development in the rules of engagement as explained by senior officers. In a Facebook post on Sunday, he writes:

“In recent days … soldiers in the Israeli army … tell me that their rules of engagement were changed entirely and that procedures that were true to a certain extent only in Gaza and parts of the West Bank are now being implemented all across Palestine and Israel, ‘free permits’ to open live-fire on any Palestinian citizen who seems suspicious,

All of the soldiers were talking about the orders they receive that completely eliminate the apprehension of a suspect or even the ‘suspect arrest procedure’ the infamous IDF practice as well as any attempt to stop or talk with ‘a suspect.’

One of the soldiers stationed in Hebron said that a senior officer who arrived to brief them over the weekend told them ‘It will not look good if the settlers (most of whom have a more upgraded weapons than some of the soldiers themselves, [weapons] they [the settlers] received from the army) would murder suspects on the streets and that [in confrontations] we need to react faster and neutralize them (the Palestinians) before the settlers will.’

If these things are true, then senior officers in the Israeli army are briefing soldiers to assassinate Palestinians to prevent settler violence …. [W]e very might be at the start of a bloodbath, the Israeli public in its current state will not be content and will not settle as usual for the current situation to calm down, The images and sounds from Jerusalem and Afula make it clear they want to see blood.”

Gaza journalist Mohammed Omar confirms this in his eyewitness testimony published in Middle East Monitor on Sunday:

“The protesters have today returned once more but…the mood is increasingly sour. Most openly talk about how the rules of the game have changed, and how protesters appear to have become fair game. Young people who survived the weekend’s mass shooting on the border said that during many clashes in Khan Younis, Israeli troops opened fire at short distance with live ammunition.”

He continues, relaying the experiences of others on the ground, including a young man who drove his wounded friend to the hospital on Friday, journalists who agree that it seems “live bullets were fired at specific targets,” and doctors who said “they were shocked at the numbers of victims with precise bullet wounds, which they say appeared to be deliberately aimed not to injure, but to kill or cause the maximum amount of damage.”

If the IDF is indeed using live fire to deliberately murder Palestinian civilians — protesters engaged in legitimate dissent against Israeli policies restricting their access to Muslim holy places — this must be investigated as a possible war crime.

It’s important to note that Jewish terrorists are never shot, let alone murdered, when apprehended in the midst of an attack. After a Jew stabbed three Palestinians and a Bedouin in Dimona over the weekend, not a hair on his head was mussed. When Yaakov Schlissel murdered an Israeli woman at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade this summer, he wasn’t harmed in any way. The only Jewish terrorists ever killed during commission of their acts of mass murder were Baruch Goldstein and Eden Natan Zenda, who were killed by their Palestinian victims. There are Israeli Jews who have the temerity to condemn Palestinians for taking the law into their own hands in these cases.

While Israel burns, the Obama administration and the rest of the world don’t even bother to fiddle like the Roman Emperor Nero. They ignore the rivers of blood flowing in the streets of Palestine. They have no plan. They’re satisfied to allow things to continue on as they have for nearly 70 years of spasmodic violence. Writing for The Guardian on Sunday, Marwan Barghouti cautioned:

“[I]n the absence of international action to end Israeli occupation and impunity or even provide protection, what are we asked to do? Stand by and wait for the next Palestinian family to be burned, for the next Palestinian child to be killed or arrested, for the next settlement to be built? The entire world knows that Jerusalem is the flame that can inspire peace and ignite war. Why then does the world stand still while the Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people in the city and in Muslim and Christian holy sites, notably Al-Haram al-Sharif, continue unabated? Israel’s actions and crimes not only destroy the two-state solution on 1967 borders and violate international law, they threaten to transform a solvable political conflict into a never-ending religious war that will undermine stability in a region already experiencing unprecedented turmoil.”

It almost breaks my heart to say that the only development that can get the world to an act is organized mass murder like Srebrenica or Rwanda. But do we really have to wait for an act of mass killing so severe that the world can no longer avert its gaze?

(Source / 20.10.2015)

Israeli minister: ‘There never will be a Palestinian state.’ (How’s that for incitement?)

Ayelet Shaked

Three weeks ago, Shaked expressed similar sentiments on Al Jazeera’s UpFront

Speaking at a conference in Washington D.C. over the weekend, Israel’s Justice MinisterAyelet Shaked declared the following to the gathered attendees. “We are against a Palestinian state. There is not and never will be a Palestinian state.”

There it is – an Israeli government minister stating, in black and white, that there will never be a Palestinian state. Three weeks ago, Shaked expressed similar sentiments on Al Jazeera’s UpFront. But it’s not just one minister.

In 1978, a young Benjamin Netanyahu was asked “do the Palestinians have a right to a separate state?” His reply: “No, I don’t think they do.” Plus ca change. In 2001, in candid remarks captured on a home video, Bibi explained how to undermine the peace process.

But how do you limit the withdrawals? I interpret the [Oslo] accords in such a way that will enable me to stop this rush toward ’67 borders [the internationally-recognised Green Line.

In October 2014, he put it more coyly, telling CNN: “I think we have to adjust our conceptions of sovereignty.” A few months later, however, he was back to his more direct self: “We won’t divide Jerusalem, we won’t make concessions, we won’t withdraw from land”, he said in March this year.

Prior to the election, infamously, Netanyahu was asked “If you are a prime minister, there will be no Palestinian state?” The Likud leader’s response: “Indeed.” Just last week, he claimed, proudly, that the settler population under his watch has risen from 280,000 to 400,000.

And what about Netanyahu’s ministerial colleagues? Here is a sample.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely: “I negate the idea of a two state-solution.”

Minister of Education Naftali Bennett: “There is not going to be a Palestinian state within the tiny land of Israel.”

Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom: “We are all against a Palestinian state, there is no question about it.”

Minister of National Infrastruture Yuval Steinitz: “We will not agree to the division of Jerusalem and giving up the Jordan Valley.”

Minister of Immigration Absorption Ze’ev Elkin: “I oppose [a Palestinian state] for many reasons.”

Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel: “I think that in five years there will be 550,000 or 600,000 Jews in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], rather than 400,000 [now].”

Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis: “I resolutely oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state in the place where our nation was born.”

Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Yisrael Katz: “I am opposed to a Palestinian state. It is unacceptable, mainly because of our rights to this land.”

Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliet: “The Gaza Strip can annex itself to Egypt, some of the Palestinians can annex themselves to Jordan. They have many countries.”

Minister of Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz: “The conclusion is clear – not to establish a Palestinian state, for this will become a terror state on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.”

Does rejection of Palestinian statehood, along with support for colonisation and annexation, count as ‘incitement’?

(Source / 20.10.2015)