Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians in overnight raids on eve of Eid al-Fitr

6 Palestinians detained at Eid al-Fitr

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least six Palestinians in predawn raids across the occupied West Bank before dawn on Sunday, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that three Palestinians were detained in the village of al-Mughayyir in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah,  while in the southern Bethlehem district, one Palestinian was detained in the town of Tuqu and two were detained in Beit Fajjar.
The raids came as Muslims in the occupied Palestinian territory celebrated Eid al-Fitr. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Hussein, congratulated all Muslims and the Palestinian people, inside the Palestinian territory and in the diaspora, in a statement Saturday night, expressing hope that by the next Eid all the Palestinian wishes of freedom and independence will be achieved.
Meanwhile, as the detention raids were being conducted, the Israeli army spokesperson’s office published a video on its Twitter page describing “how the holiest time in the Islamic year is celebrated in the IDF,” with one interviewee saying in a voiceover that “The IDF respects all Muslim soldiers and provides all those who need with meals during the Ramadan fast.”
The Israeli army spokesman for Arab media Avichay Adraee also Tweeted out a video wishing Muslims a happy Eid, as did the spokesperson for COGAT, the agency responsible for enforcing Israeli policies in the occupied territory, saying: “Wishing Muslims across Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and around the world a happy and peaceful #EidAlFitr #EidMubarak.”
Ramadan this year was marked by continuing nightly detention raids across the occupied Palestinian territory, ongoing restrictions on freedom of movement for Palestinians, and an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, after Israel drastically cut electricity supplies to the besieged coastal enclave, leaving Palestinians there with just two hours of power a day.
According to Ma’an estimates, Israeli forces detained some 250 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the course of Ramadan, including dozens of minors, former hunger strikersMuhammad Allan and Anas Shadid, a former minister, and a blind man.
Meanwhile, in the wake of of a deadly attack in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities revoked Ramadan family visitation permits issued to 250,000 Palestinians, and rounded up hundreds of Palestinians with West Bank IDs in Jerusalem and deported them back to the West Bank.
Israel also severely limited permits traditionally given to elderly Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to travel to Jerusalem to perform prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Only 100 Palestinians were allowed to make the weekly visit, just half of those who were typically allowed to travel to Al-Aqsa throughout the year as part of the ceasefire deal between Palestinian militant groups and Israel which ended the 2014 war on Gaza.
This Ramadan, Israeli authorities also completely cancelled permits allowing residents of Gaza to visit their families in the occupied West Bank and Israel that were issued during the previous two years.
(Source / 25.06.2017)

Human rights groups denounce investigation of Breaking the Silence spokesman


Israeli soldiers aim towards Palestinian youths during clashes in the West Bank town of Hebron on October 4, 2015

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Amid an ongoing investigation of a spokesman for Breaking the Silence over a testimony in which he claimed to have seriously assaulted a Palestinian during his service with the Israeli army, a number of Israeli human rights organizations have denounced the case as a cynical attempt to “intimidate and silence critics of the occupation.”

Dean Issacharoff is currently under investigation in light of testimony of the assault he provided for Breaking the Silence, a group that provides testimonies of Israeli soldiers and veterans recounting their experiences serving in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Breaking the Silence was previously accused of “treason” in March for releasing accounts by soldiers reportedly containing classified information — a charge the group has consistently denied.
After the Israeli attorney general demanded the group release the identity of soldiers who gave accounts of human rights abuses and war crimes committed in the occupied territory, Breaking the Silence said the move was a government attempt to shut down the organization and prevent it from continuing its work, which is dependent on maintaining the anonymity of soldiers.
Israeli news site The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday that Israel Education Minister Naftali Bennett claimed there was a hypocrisy in defending the Breaking the Silence spokesman, who was questioned by the police for an hour-and-a-half on Thursday, but blaming Elor Azarya, an Israeli soldier who was filmed shooting and killing a wounded Palestinian at point-blank range last year.
“We see here someone who comes from the extreme Left’s Breaking the Silence, and he claims that he conducted awful war crimes against innocent Arabs. Why wouldn’t we open an investigation against him?” asked Bennett on his Facebook page. “And if Elor Azarya was called Dean Issacharoff and was also a member of Breaking the Silence, would he be immune from investigation?”
Azarya was sentenced in February to 18 months in prison for the execution-style shooting, which has been appealed by both the defense for being too harsh and the prosecution for being too lenient. Prior to the sentencing, the case had already been denounced as a “show trial” for aiming to distract from a wider culture of impunity for Israeli forces.
Meanwhile, Bennett previously warned that “We will find out if (Issacharoff) is a criminal who needs to be in jail or a liar spreading lies while touring the world,” and added: “I served as a company commander in Jenin, Qabatiya, Ramallah, and Gaza. We never, ever used unnecessary force.”
However, rights groups have repeatedly accused Israeli forces supporting a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinians, while Human Rights Watch has meanwhile documented “numerous statements” made by senior Israeli politicians and religious figures “calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.”
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman for his part said on Twitter that “Whether he hit an innocent Palestinian or lied to defame the State of Israel and the IDF soldiers — he should be questioned and be punished.”
Issacharoff’s commander during his Israeli army service has also set out to defame him, and reportedlysaid that the assault incident “never happened.”
In a statement Sunday morning, 18 Israeli human rights organization issued a statement of solidarity with Breaking the Silence, following the police questioning of Issacharoff. “We stand with our friends at Breaking the Silence; we, too, will keep speaking out — until the occupation is brought to an end,” the statement began.
The statement addressed Israel’s justice minister, attorney general, and a state attorney, saying, “your newfound determination to address instances of violence towards Palestinians is impressive, but Palestinians have been living for fifty years under systemic, institutionalized violence that is at the core of the occupation — a regime of military control over civilians.”
“The civil and military systems of law enforcement, along with the courts, lend a veneer of lawfulness to killing, injury, torture, collective punishment, land grabs, movement restrictions, administrative detentions, and other like actions. Even investigations of suspected grave violations of international law are skillfully whitewashed or left to fizzle out.”
“It was not as part of a move to promote accountability that the spokesperson for Breaking the Silence was brought in for questioning. On the contrary — it was meant to intimidate and silence critics of the occupation. We stand with our friends at Breaking the Silence. We, too, will keep speaking out — until the occupation and its injustices are brought to an end.”
The investigation also comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would seek to push forward ever more stringent regulations of foreign funding of Israeli NGOs, a move that has been denounced as another attempt to stifle human rights organizations in Israel.
Netanyahu said during a meeting that the controversial NGO law passed in 2016 was not strong enough, and that the Israeli government needed to prevent any foreign government funding from reaching NGOs.The law compels organizations to reveal their sources of funding if more than 50 percent came from public foreign entities.
In February, the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, also introduced legislation that would limit human rights organizations’ access to government information.
The overwhelmingly majority of affected NGOs have been left-leaning, as organizations in Israel that rely on public foreign funding tend to oppose the government’s right-wing policies and human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory. Meanwhile, the law does not affect right-wing organizations, who rely largely on private, as opposed to public, funding from overseas.
As international criticisms around Israel’s human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory have increased in recent years, the Israeli government has responded by fast-tracking a series of right-wing policies that rights groups claim are aimed at weeding out any criticisms aimed at the Israeli state.
In April, Netanyahu also canceled a meeting with Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, after the latter planned meetings with representatives of Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem — who were both targeted by the “NGO transparency” law and aim to expose the crimes of the Israeli occupation.
The Israeli government has also introduced anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) policies, including passing a law in March banning foreigners who have openly expressed support for BDS from entering the country.
(Source / 25.06.2017)

Israeli settlers burn down Palestinian olive trees on eve of Eid

Burn down olive trees

Israeli settlers on Saturday burned down dozens of olive trees in Qaryout, south of Nablus, as celebrations for Eid al-Fitr got underway in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Coordinator for the anti-settlement committee, Bashar al-Qaryouti, said olive trees planted on Palestinian land west of Qaryout were burned to a crisp by extremist Israeli settlers.

The Palestinian locals were shocked as they caught sight of dozens of olive trees reduced to ashes, added Qaryouti.

(Source / 25.06.2017)

20 Israelis arrested for trying to enter Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus

Joseph's Tomb Nablus

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested at least 20 right-wing Israelis for trying to illegally enter Joseph’s Tomb in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus before dawn Sunday morning.Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri wrote in a statement that the group of Jewish Israelis, which included at least one minor, were arrested at the entrance to Nablus while they were on the way to Joseph’s Tomb without prior coordination with Israeli forces to enter Area A — the 18 percent of the occupied West Bank under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Al-Samri added that the suspects were set to appear at an Israeli magistrate’s court in Petah Tikva later on Sunday.
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, Joseph’s Tomb was to remain under Israeli control, but the Palestinian Authority took over the site after the Israeli army withdrew during the Second Intifada.
As part of security coordination with the PA, the Israeli army allows Jewish worshipers to make monthly pilgrimages to the site — revered by Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Samaritans — under armed Israeli military escort, often sparking clashes with local Palestinians.
Last month, a coordinated visit by some 4,000 right-wing Israelis — accompanied by US governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee — were escorted to the site under heavy military protection to the site, sparking clashes that saw at least two Palestinians detained an several others suffer from tear gas inhalation.
Like many other Palestinian towns across the West Bank with religiously significant sites, Nablus commonly experiences incursions by Israeli settlers — who reside in the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law — accompanied by armed escorts, resulting in severe restrictions on freedom of movement for local Palestinians.
Settlers who visit the tombs to pray often actively disrupt Palestinian residents and damage property. Meanwhile, Palestinians are restricted from visiting holy sites in Israel without hard-to-obtain permits from Israeli authorities.
(Source / 25.06.2017)

Eid Holidays Difficult Time for Palestinian Mothers in Israeli Jails

Palestinian women detained by Israel reportedly face various forms of torture

54 Palestinian women are currently held as prisoners in Israeli jails, according to a statement from a lawyer from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoner’s Affairs.

Lawyer Hanan Al-Khatib said that the 56 prisoners – 13 of whom are mothers and 10 are minors – “are going through very difficult living, humanitarian and health conditions.”

Al-Khatib said that their suffering “increases as holidays come and go, with mother prisoners still behind Israeli bars away from their children,” referring to the upcoming Ead al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Lawyer: Eid holidays especially difficult time for Palestinian mothers in Israeli prison 

Al-Khatib highlighted the case of Sabah Muhammad Faroun, from the al-Eizariya town of the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, who has entered her second year in administrative detention – Israel’s widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial – for alleged incitement over social media.

Faroun was supposed to be released on Friday June 22, however Israeli authorities renewed her administrative detention for another three months, keeping her away from her four children for another holiday.

As of May, 6,200 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prison, 490 of whom are being held under administrative detention.

(Source / 25.06.2017)

Why the US Moving Its Israel Embassy to Jerusalem Would Be Illegal

By Jeremy R. Hammond

The mainstream media serve Israel’s occupation regime by failing to inform that for the US to relocate its Israel embassy to Jerusalem would be illegal.

On June 1, the White House announced that President Donald Trump had signed a waiver delaying the relocation of the US’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The media responded with a plethora of articles purporting to explain this situation to readers. Arguably the single most important fact about the plan to move the embassy, however, was not communicated. Specifically, what the media consistently fail to inform news consumers is that for the US to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem would violate the UN Charter—and hence also the US Constitution.

This is significant as it illustrates how the US mainstream media serve to obfuscate the true nature of the US government’s role in the Israel-Palestine conflict—and thus to help shape American public opinion to be supportive of US government’s policy of supporting Israel’s violations of international law. The further consequence of this deceptive reporting is that the media effectively serve the interests of Israel’s occupation regime, with great prejudice toward the rights of Palestine’s Arab inhabitants.

The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995

The waiver signed by Trump relates to a law requiring the executive branch of the government to relocate the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. While the Congress does not have the authority under the US Constitution to dictate to the president what his foreign policy should be, it does have power over the government’s purse strings.


Public Law 104-45 of November 8, 1995—named the “Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995”—states that Jerusalem “has been the capital of the State of Israel” since 1950 and claims that the city was “reunited” during the June 1967 Israeli-Arab war (the “Six Day War”). It further declares it to be US policy that “Jerusalem should remain an undivided city” and that “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel”. Accordingly, the Act states, the US embassy in Israel should be relocated to Jerusalem.

As an enforcement mechanism, the Congress threatens under this Act to withhold half of the State Department’s annual funding for facilities abroad unless the executive implements the embassy relocation.

There is a loophole, however.

With Bill Clinton in the White House, the democrats wanted to be able to express their support for Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem by supporting the bill, but without appearing to undermine the president’s authority with respect to international relations—specifically, his efforts under the “peace process” to get the Palestinians to accept Israel’s demands for a negotiated settlement.

The result was that the bill included a clause determining that, every six months, the president can sign a waiver suspending the embassy move “if he determines and reports to Congress in advance that such suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.”

As such, President Trump was faced with a choice of one of the following options:

  1. Relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem;
  2. Don’t relocate the embassy and see his State Department lose half of its funding for its facilities in foreign countries; or
  3. Don’t relocate the embassy, but sign a waiver declaring that to move the embassy to Jerusalem would threaten “national security”.


Since the executive branch effectively defines what is in US “national security” interests, the president’s choice really boils down to either moving the embassy or signing the waiver; there is no real risk to the State Department’s funding.

Trump’s Waiver

During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed that if elected, he would move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, he signed the waiver. Why?

The White House’s statement about his decision to sign the waiver stated that “no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests.”

The statement added that, since Trump “has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

In less than six months from the time of this writing, the president will again have to choose whether to sign the waiver.

So how would moving the embassy to Jerusalem harm US national security? What would be so controversial about doing so? Why does this matter?

How the Mainstream Media Explain the Controversy

Several months in advance of Trump’s decision regarding the waiver, CNN ran a piece titled “Why moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is so controversial”. The main problem with the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem, CNN reported, is that “Palestinians, and many in the international community, continue to see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.”

For additional background, CNN reported that, “In July of 1980, Israel passed a law that declared Jerusalem the united capital of Israel. The United Nations Security Council responded with a resolution condemning Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and declared it a violation of international law.”

CNN went on to explain about the 1995 Act and the waiver before adding that “Palestinian leaders are adamant that an embassy move to Jerusalem would be a violation of international law, and a huge setback to peace hopes.”

No additional information or analysis was provided about what Palestinian leaders could possibly mean when suggesting that for the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem would violate international law.

Two days before the White House released its statement, the Washington Post reported on the “waiver debate” under the headline “What Trump not signing a Jerusalem embassy waiver would really mean”. It provided background about the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 and noted that the State Department was advising Trump to sign the waiver.

There was no mention by the Post of the Palestinians’ desire to have East Jerusalem as the capital of their state. Nor, for that matter, was there any discussion about how an embassy move would complicate US efforts under the so-called “peace process”, much less about what the city’s legal status is under international law or what the legal ramifications would be for the US to move its embassy there.

The day the White House released its statement about the waiver, the New York Times described Trump’s decision to delay the embassy move as “Mr. Trump’s latest shift away from campaign positions upending traditional foreign policy”.

(While Trump’s position on Jerusalem is described by the media as a departure from longstanding US policy, it’s worth noting that Barack Obama, too, just prior to his election to the presidency in 2008, publicly declared his support for Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. Like Trump, Obama nevertheless signed the waiver at his first opportunity, and continued to do so throughout his two terms as president.)

In addition to “backing away from his promise to move the embassy”, the Times added, Trump has also urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to hold off on provocative housing construction in the West Bank pending peace talks.”

(Obama, too, made this request of Netanyahu, while maintaining as a matter of policy that negotiations should be entered into “without preconditions”, meaning while Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank continued.)

For background on the ostensible dispute over Jerusalem’s legal status, the Times reported:

During the 1967 war, Israel wrested control of East Jerusalem and annexed it. Since then it has vowed that Jerusalem would never be divided again, even as it built housing in eastern sections for Jewish residents.

Like every other country with a diplomatic presence in Israel, the United States has its embassy in Tel Aviv to avoid seeming to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital at the expense of Palestinians who also claim it as the capital of a future state of their own.

The Times went on to explain the president’s option to sign the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (the “traditional” thing to do).

The Los Angeles Times similarly reported that “Israel considers Jerusalem its capital but the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for their capital in a future state. No country keeps its embassy in Jerusalem because of the dispute.”

The L.A. Times added that “US foreign policy traditionally has said the status of Jerusalem should be settled in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Moving the U.S. Embassy would signal a rejection of that policy.”

Like CNN and the New York Times, the L.A. Times did not attempt to reconcile the contradiction between:

(a) The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 declaring that the US as a matter of policy recognizes Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, and

(b) The US’s stated position in the context of its efforts to ostensibly mediate a negotiated settlement under the “peace process” (that Jerusalem’s status must be determined through direct negotiations).

Naturally, therefore, none of these media outlets offered any comment about how this self-contradiction in US policy might affect the US’s credibility as an ostensible mediator.

(Actually, none even informed readers that the 1995 Act declares that it is US policy that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel. On the contrary, this fact was obfuscated in media reports. CNN, for example, stated that, “If the United States moved the embassy to Jerusalem, it would mean that the US effectively recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”—as though the legislation CNN was attempting to explain to readers did not declare this to be US policy already.)

Likewise, none bothered to inform readers about the actual status of Jerusalem under international law. Instead, they falsely characterized its status as disputed.

Fox News’s headline similarly promised to answer “Why Trump’s promise to move US embassy to Jerusalem is so controversial”. The article reported that “The international community, including the US, largely does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as it is claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis.”

Fox News also noted how “Trump was warned by several top officials in the State and Defense Departments against officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital because it could be detrimental to peace talks.”

(Uniquely, Fox News also informed its readers about one of the major influences on US policy toward the Israel-Palestine conflict, all too often overlooked: Christian Zionism. “There are millions of evangelical eyes on Trump, waiting to see if he will keep his promise to move the embassy, venerable Pastor John Hagee told Fox News. ‘I can assure you that 60 million evangelicals are watching this promise closely because of President Trump moves the embassy into Jersualem, he will historically step into immortality,’ Hagee said.”)

Vox—a media outlet owned by Vox Media, in which NBCUniversal is heavily invested—similarly offered a piece titled “Trump’s big-deal decision not to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, explained”.

The Vox piece asserted that to move the embassy would align the Trump administration “with the Israeli hard right” and create “a major, potentially dangerous rift with the Palestinians.” Signing the waiver, however, would keep US policy in “the traditional center on the Israel-Palestine conflict”.

Vox explained about the law threatening to strip funding from the State Department unless the embassy is moved, which relocation “would be extremely damaging to the peace process and Middle East stability more broadly.”

For additional historical background, Vox stated that, “While Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 war, that move has not been recognized by the international community. An embassy move would seem to preempt a final status peace deal.”

Like the New York Times, Vox noted how Trump had “told Netanyahu to ‘hold back on settlements for a bit’” at a joint press conference with the Israeli Prime Minister in February.

These examples are representative of the nature of the US media’s coverage; it would be superfluous to mention others.

The point is that the US mainstream media systematically misinforms the public about Jerusalem’s status under international law.

The effect of this misrepresentation by the media of the nature of the controversy over the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is to help shape public opinion to be supportive of the US’s “traditional” policy, which is falsely characterized as one of neutrality.

Omitting UN Security Council Resolution 478

Lost entirely in the mainstream media’s efforts to explain the controversy over Trump’s decision to sign the waiver was the context of what international law has to say about it.

Among the examples provided above, the closest any media outlet came to informing news consumers about this was CNN, which did refer to a UN Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s legislative measures to annex East Jerusalem and declared such annexation to be a violation of international law.

But CNN did not explain why the Security Council passed that resolution; that is, it did not inform readers about the legal status of Jerusalem. Instead, CNN, like the rest of the media, left readers with the false impression that this UN resolution merely reflected the status of Jerusalem as “disputed”.

Furthermore, far from being merely the opinion of Palestinian leaders, it is true that for the US to move its embassy to Jerusalem would also be a violation of international law.

In sum, the general message the media has conveyed to news consumers is that an embassy move would be controversial because, by shifting US policy away from one of neutrality, it would make it harder to bring the Palestinians to the table, which would harm the US’s ostensible efforts to mediate a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians under the peace process.

The façade being upheld by this mainstream narrative is that US policy has been to remain neutral (playing the role of the so-called “honest broker”) and that the goal of the “peace process” is to achieve peace.

In truth, the so-called “peace process” is the means by which Israel and its superpower benefactor—the government of the United States—have long blocked implementation of the two-state solution by sustaining the status quo of Israel’s occupation regime.

(For extensive documentation of this incontrovertible reality, see my book Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.)

In order to uphold this façade, it is necessary for the media to omit the relevant details about international law. That is to say, to tell the public the truth would undermine longstanding US policy, which would be off the narrow spectrum of allowable dissent in the mainstream discussion, and therefore it just isn’t done.

The UN resolution CNN was referring to is Security Council Resolution 478 of August 20, 1980. Remarkably (though not surprisingly), CNN failed to note the most relevant aspect of that UN resolution.

(Naturally, none of the other media outlets noted the resolution’s primary relevance, having chosen not to mention it at all.)

In the context of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the most relevant aspect of Resolution 478 is not that it condemned Israel’s annexation measures as a violation of international law.

After all, there was nothing new about that in 1980.

In fact, there had by that time already been a long list of UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israeli measures to annex East Jerusalem.

Resolution 478 wasn’t even the first such resolution passed that year. Three others preceded it in 1980 alone, and such resolutions date back to less than a year after the end of the 1967 war.

Here is the list of prior resolutions condemning Israel’s annexation measures as a violation of international law:

  • Resolution 252 (May 1968)
  • Resolution 267 (July 1969)
  • Resolution 271 (September 1969)
  • Resolution 298 (September 1971)
  • Resolution 446 (March 1979)
  • Resolution 452 (July 1979)
  • Resolution 465 (March 1980)
  • Resolution 471 (June 1980)
  • Resolution 476 (June 1980)

There have also been numerous Security Council Resolutions since Resolution 478 that have reiterated the international community’s recognition of Israel’s annexation measures as illegal, null and void under international law:

  • Resolution 592 (December 1986)
  • Resolution 605 (December 1987)
  • Resolution 607 (January 1988)
  • Resolution 636 (July 1989)
  • Resolution 694 (May 1991)
  • Resolution 726 (January 1992)
  • Resolution 799 (December 1992)

In all, that’s seventeen UN Security Council resolutions condemning Israel for violating international law by attempting to annex East Jerusalem.

(For more information about this, see also Obstacle to Peace, pages 22-23, as well as subsequent entries for “Jerusalem, annexation of” in the index, listed on page 497.)

The key point that the US mainstream media systematically misinform the public about is that the UN did not pass all of these resolutions because Jerusalem’s status is “disputed” and needs to be determined through negotiations.

On the contrary, every single one of these resolutions was passed because Jerusalem’s status is not in dispute.


This is the truth that the American public cannot know as it would undermine the US’s stated position in the context of the “peace process” that the legal status of Jerusalem should be determined through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

The 1948 War: Omitting the Means by Which Israel Was Established

For the relevant historical background, contrary to the popular myth that it was created by the UN, Israel was not established through a legitimate political process.

Although Israel’s so-called “Declaration of Independence” cites for legal authority UN General Assembly Resolution 181, the famous “partition plan” resolution, the truth is that Resolution 181 neither partitioned Palestine nor conferred to the Zionist leadership any legal authority for their unilateral declaration of the existence of the “Jewish State” of Israel on May 14, 1948.

Rather, the actual means by which the Zionists established their “Jewish State” of Israel was by ethnically cleansing more than 700,000 Arabs—more than half of the Arab population—from their homes in Palestine.

(For more information about the ethnic cleansing, see Obstacle to Peace, index entries for “Nakba”, page 499, and “Palestine, ethnic cleansing of”, page 501. For more on the media’s role, see my article “The New York Times on ‘Nakba’: Whitewashing the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. See also my article “Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”.)

As a result of the Zionists’ offensive operations, they conquered territory even beyond that proposed for a Jewish state under the UN partition plan—which itself was a violation of the UN Charter under which the General Assembly was purporting to operate when it passed Resolution 181.

The UN Charter recognizes the universal right to self-determination, and the UN cannot legally act in a manner that prejudices this right. Nevertheless, the partition plan was premised on the explicit rejection of Palestinian self-determination.

The UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), the body that produced the partition plan, pointed out that for the majority Arab population of Palestine to exercise their right to self-determination would be contrary to the goal—supported by Western powers like Great Britain and the United States—of establishing a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine.

(This term was used by the British much earlier, in the infamous Balfour Declaration of 1917, to be deliberately ambiguous; but by 1947, when UNSCOP submitted its report to the General Assembly, “Jewish National Home” was understood to be an unambiguous reference to statehood.)

It was because of the great Western powers’ support for the Zionist project of reconstituting Palestine into a demographically Jewish state that, in UNSCOP’s words, the “principle of self-determination” was “not applied to Palestine” under the League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate (which essentially recognized Britain as the Occupying Power in the territory of Palestine following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War).

(For more about UNSCOP and Resolution 181, see also Obstacle to Peace, pages 3-6.)

By the time the Zionists declared their “Jewish State” on May 14, 1948—coinciding with the end of the Mandate and withdrawal of British forces—the Jewish community had acquired less than 7 percent of the land in Palestine.

Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district, including Jaffa, which included the main Jewish population center of Tel Aviv.

Following the May 14 declaration, the neighboring Arab states intervened militarily in an effort to stop the Zionists’ territorial conquest, already well underway. By that time, a quarter of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed, with more than 700,000 having been made refugees by the time armistice agreements were signed in 1949.

By the end of the 1948 war, the majority Arab population was left with just 22 percent of the former territory of Palestine, including East Jerusalem.

While the UN General Assembly recommended that Jerusalem should become an international city (under the sovereignty of neither the proposed Jewish nor Arab state), the Arabs correctly maintained that the UN had no authority to determine Jerusalem’s status by fiat.

Rather, the Arabs maintained, the principle of self-determination must also be applied to the situation in Palestine—a position rejected not only by the Zionists, but also by the British and indeed the League of Nations itself.

(Palestine was the only one of the formerly mandated territories whose independence was not recognized, for the aforementioned reason. Indeed, the Palestine Mandate was actually drafted by the organized Zionists specifically to further their colonization project of reconstituting Palestine into a demographically Jewish state, as one can learn on page 28 of the 1937 report of the Palestine Royal Commission, also known as the Peel Commission.)

It was a rejection of Palestinian self-determination that the newly established United Nations organization, too, would carry forth as it replaced the defunct League of Nations after World War II.

The territory the Zionists conquered by force during the 1948 war included western Jerusalem, from which 30,000 Arab residents were expelled. (Around 2,000 Jews were also ethnically cleansed from the Old City in eastern Jerusalem by Jordanian forces.)

The armistice line between Israeli and Arab forces—known as the “Green Line” for the color in which it was drawn on the map in 1949—ran through Jerusalem, splitting it between Israeli control in the west and Jordanian control in the east. (Jordan occupied and administered the West Bank until it was invaded and occupied by Israel in 1967.)


And while the UN has essentially accepted Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem as a fait accompli, under international law, Israel to this day has no legal claim to even the western part of the city. The only legitimacy Israel has for this territorial claim arises from the acceptance by the Palestinians of the 1949 armistice lines as the border of their own state.

East Jerusalem, however, is another matter, as the Palestinians have not yet conceded this territory to Israel.

The 1967 War: Omitting the Legal Status of East Jerusalem

On the morning of June 5, 1967, Israel launched a surprise attack on Egypt (which was then known officially as the “United Arab Republic”, or UAR).

The Israeli offensive obliterated the Egyptian air force while most of its planes were still on the ground, and Israel swiftly defeated the allied Arab forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan—(Iraq and Lebanon had also joined the fray to a more limited extent)—in just six days.

While the Zionist narrative maintains that this attack on Egypt was a “preemptive” act of self-defense, the truth is that there was no imminent threat of an Egyptian attack on Israel.

In fact, Israel’s own intelligence community had assessed that Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had no intention of invading Israel. That is to say, they judged Nasser to be sane, which would have to not be the case for him to order Egypt’s armed forces to attack Israel (given Israel’s vast military superiority).

And while Israel submitted to the US government intelligence reports characterizing the situation as one of an Israeli David facing imminent doom from an Arab Goliath, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) advised President Lyndon Johnson that such Israeli reports were not the kind of serious intelligence assessments the Israeli government would circulate internally.

Rather, the CIA assessed, such messages to the US were intended to garner US support for the planned Israeli offensive. (Despite its efforts, Israel failed to gain the support it desired from the Johnson administration. Johnson even warned Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol against its planned attack on Egypt on the grounds that if Israel made itself responsible for the initiation of hostilities, it would make it politically infeasible for the US to come to Israel’s aid.)

The CIA in fact quite accurately predicted the 1967 war and its consequences. Johnson was accurately warned that the war was coming, that it would be started by Israel, and that Israel would achieve victory in a matter of just days. (The US’s intelligence agencies were unanimous that Israel would “whip the hell out of them”, in the words of President Johnson.)

(For more about Israel’s pretext for launching the 1967 war, see also Obstacle to Peace pages 303-308.)

Under international law, as reflected in numerous UN Security Council resolutions and affirmed in July 2004 by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, remains “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

That is to say, while the media present the situation as though both parties have equally legitimate claims to East Jerusalem, it is an uncontroversial point of fact under international law that Israel has no legal claim to sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

The media’s narrative that East Jerusalem is “disputed” territory is, therefore, fundamentally false. There is no dispute: uncontroversially, the legal status of East Jerusalem is that it remains Palestinian territory.

Thus, when the media say things like “Israel’s annexation has not been recognized by the international community”, what this means is that every country on the planet (apart from Israel itself, of course) recognizes Israel’s measures to annex East Jerusalem as illegal, null and void under international law.

This aspect of the systematic mischaracterization of the nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict is also reflected in the media’s reporting with respect to Israel’s settlements in the West Bank.

Here, too, the media couch their reporting in euphemisms that mask the reality of the situation.

Hence when the New York Times chooses to describe Israeli settlements in the West Bank with the adjective “provocative”, what the newspaper means is “illegal” (that’s why it’s “provocative”, but readers generally aren’t meant to know this, only that the Palestinians wouldn’t like it).

Just as East Jerusalem is Palestinian territory under international law, so have Israel’s West Bank settlements been constructed in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a party. (Israel is also a signatory to the UN Charter and remains in perpetual violation of numerous Security Council resolutions, as well.)

In the wake of the 1967 war, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242, which called on Israel to fully withdraw its forces from the Arab territories it had invaded and occupied (which included the Syrian Golan Heights and Egyptian Sinai Peninsula as well as the West Bank and Gaza).

(For documentation of the Security Council’s intent that Israel fully withdraw under Resolution 242, see Obstacle to Peace, pages 74-79. This is relevant since Israel maintains its own unilateral reinterpretation of the resolution in a vain attempt to justify its continued occupation—and the Zionists’ invalid interpretation is the one that has been propagated by the Western mainstream media, in those rare instances when the question of the extent of the withdrawal required under Resolution 242 is even raised.)

While one can’t learn it from CNN, the key point that set Resolution 478 apart from the long list of other resolutions condemning Israel’s annexation measures was its recognition of the fact that UN member states have a legal obligation to not act complicitly in Israel’s violations of international law.

In light of Israel’s void measures that in essence falsely claimed East Jerusalem as sovereign Israeli territory, Resolution 478 called on member states to not maintain their respective embassies in Jerusalem.

Member states that had already established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem were called on “to withdraw such missions from the Holy City” so as not to prejudice Palestinians’ rights by legitimizing Israel’s illegal annexation. (The US was not among this group of member states, as it had always maintained its embassy in Tel Aviv.)

During the vote on this particular resolution, the US abstained—though, importantly, the US did not use its veto power as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Furthermore, the US has joined those voting in favor of numerous other resolutions condemning Israel’s annexation measures as illegal (namely, Resolution 252, Resolution 267, Resolution 298, Resolution 465, Resolution 607Resolution 694, Resolution 726, and Resolution 799).

Similarly, the US State Department’s definitive legal position on Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is that they are “inconsistent with international law”, meaning illegal. (See Obstacle to Peace, pages 255-256.)

Under the US Constitution, “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land” (Article VI).

Such treaties include the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter.


That is to say, for the US to relocate its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would constitute a violation of both international law and the US Constitution. (Indeed, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is itself patently unconstitutional for the same reason.)


This raises a key point about the media’s characterizations of the US’s position in the framework of the “peace process”: that the status of Jerusalem must be determined through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

While the media portray this position as though neutral, it is in fact highly prejudicial to the Palestinians.

The reason why it is highly prejudicial to the Palestinians’ right to self-determination is because it establishes a framework premised on the rejection of the applicability of international law toward resolving the conflict.

A neutral position would entail seeking a resolution grounded in international law and respect for the equal rights of both Jews and Arabs.

What the US and Israel have long sought to do under the “peace process”, however, is to force the Palestinians to surrender their rights (including the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland).

Self-determination for the Palestinians, under the US framework, is not a natural right but a privilege granted by Israel and its superpower benefactor. The price for this gift being bestowed upon the Palestinians is their obedience and acceptance of Israel’s dictates.

The goal of the Oslo Accords and other “peace process” agreements has never been to achieve peace. It has always been rather to block implementation of the two-state solution by maintaining the status quo of Israel’s occupation regime. One of the purposes of this regime is to make Palestinians’ lives so miserable that their leadership will be forced to acquiesce to Israel’s ultimatums (a strategy that has had some limited success, but remains ultimately failed).

The US position is effectively that the Palestinians must negotiate with the Occupying Power while it perpetually prejudices the outcome of those negotiations by illegally colonizing Palestinian territory. That is to say, while the US rhetorically supports Palestinian statehood, it absolutely rejects the two-state solution in terms of the international consensus grounded in international law.

The US mainstream media, for their part, serve effectively to manufacture consent for the US’s policy of supporting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, including—though certainly not limited to—Israel’s illegal measures to annex and colonize East Jerusalem at the expense of Palestinians’ rights.

(For more information about how the media serve this role, see my article “The Role of the US Media in the Palestine Conflict”, adapted from my September 2016 talk to the “100 Global Thinkers in Palestine” conference, as well as the numerous case studies in Obstacle to Peace, from which the material for that talk was drawn.)

The media serve this role effectively, including by adopting euphemistic language intended to mislead the public—such as characterizing East Jerusalem as “disputed” territory.

Thus, when the media tell the public that Israel’s annexation is “not internationally recognized”, the truth that is being kept hidden is that every other government on planet Earth recognizes its annexation measures as a violation of international law.

When the media tell the public that “Palestinians, and many in the international community, continue to see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state”, the Big Lie being told is that there are governments other than Israel who do not recognize East Jerusalem as occupied Palestinian territory under international law.

Likewise, when the media tell the public that many members of the international community “do not recognize the legitimacy of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank”, the truth that is being obfuscated is that the entire international community recognizes them as a violation of international law that prejudices the rights of the Palestinians.

And when the mainstream media explain the president’s decision to sign the waiver every six months as being in keeping with the US’s “traditional” role as a neutral arbiter between the conflicting parties, the effect is to help shape public opinion to be supportive of the US’s true traditional role in the conflict: helping to sustain the occupation regime and otherwise acting complicitly in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians.

(Source / 25.06.2017)

Israeli authorities indict 3 Palestinian Jerusalemite youths for assault

Jerusalem's Old City

Jerusalem’s Old City

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Three Palestinian youths have been indicted in an Israeli court a week after they allegedly attacked a Jewish man near the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesperson said in a statement Sunday.

Micky Rosenfeld wrote that last Saturday, three suspects threw rocks at a Jewish man who was wearing a religious praying shawl known as a tallit and had just finished prayers inside a synagogue when three suspects threw rocks at him.
“A short while” after the incident was reported to Israeli police, one suspect allegedly involved in the rock throwing was detained from a house in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah north of the Old City, Rosenfeld said.
Two other suspects were later detained “nearby,” and charges were filed against all three of them for assault, the statement said.
A statement in Arabic from Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri, which described the three suspects as “youths,” said that two of the detainees were brothers from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, while the third was from Sheikh Jarrah.
While their precise ages remained unclear, Israeli news site Ynet said the three boys were teenagers.
Palestinian stone throwers, including minors, face harsh penalties by Israeli authorities, with Israel passing laws in 2015 allowing for up to 20 years in prison if charged with throwing stones at vehicles and a minimum of three years for the act of throwing a stone at an Israeli.
Right groups have denounced the legislation as being designed specifically to target Palestinian youth, as Israelis and settlers are rarely prosecuted under the same standards of the law.
Israeli authorities recently released two Israelis suspected of attempting to carry out a “price tag” attack — a term used by right-wing extremist settlers to refer to the attacks they carry out on Palestinians and their property — due to the fact that they were minors. By contrast, Palestinian children as young as 12 years old are routinely detained, tried, and sentenced as adults for offenses such as throwing rocks.
(Source / 25.06.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct A Palestinian Near Jenin

25 JUN
4:45 AM

Israeli soldiers abducted, on Saturday evening, a former Palestinian political prisoner from Sanour town, near Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Jenin office of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said the soldiers abducted Najeh Hassan Habayba, while returning after visiting occupied Jerusalem.

The PPS added that Habayba was previously abducted by Israel, and was held captive for seven and a half years.

In related news, the soldiers installed a sudden roadblock at Jaba’ town junction, southwest of Jenin, stopped and searched dozens of cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 25.06.2017)

Trump reportedly considering pulling out of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Trump D.

US President Donald Trump

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly left “furious” by a recent meeting with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to a report Saturday from London-based Arabic daily al-Hayat that also implied Trump was weighing whether or not to pull out of peace negotiations.

Anonymous Palestinian officials told al-Hayat that Abbas was outraged by the Ramallah meeting with Kushner — who was accompanied by lead US international negotiator Jason Greenblatt — after Kushner relayed Israeli demands that reportedly included a request that the Palestinian Authority (PA) stop paying compensation to the families of Palestinian prisoners.
Abbas reportedly accused Kushner and Greenblatt of taking Israel’s side and refused to commit to the request.  The Palestinian president had already defended the payments as a “social responsibility,” and said Israel was using the issue as a pretext to avoid peace talks.
The Americans had supposedly first called for all payments made to the families of Palestinians prisoners to be halted altogether, with American officials reportedly describing the payments “as a means of inciting terror.”
However, the Times of Israel reported after the meeting that the new, “watered down” demands requested that the PA stop paying compensation to the families of some 600 Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences and who are responsible for the deaths of Israelis.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz also reported that Palestinian officials were “greatly disappointed” by their meeting with Kushner and Greenblatt. “They sounded like (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu’s advisers and not like fair arbiters,” a senior Palestinian official told the newspaper.
Al-Hayat’s report claimed that Trump was trying to determine the future of reigniting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in the near future, including  the possibility of withdrawing completely from the process altogether.
“(Kushner) will submit his report to the president and, after it is submitted, Trump will decide if there’s a chance for negotiations or it might be preferable to pull out of peace efforts,” the official told the al-Hayat, according to a translation by Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post.
However, a The Jerusalem Post cited a response from a senior US official who called the report “nonsense.”
The al-Hayat report also claimed that the Trump administration disapproved of Abbas for failing to denounce a deadly stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem last week.
PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat released a statement following the meeting between Abbas and Kushner, saying “we totally reject the Israeli allegations about Palestinian official incitement.”
Erekat accused Israel of “inventing new excuses,” and trying to “deviate attention” with claims like incitement, “every time there is a chance for peace.”
“Unlike the Israeli government, we are a leadership committed to the two-state solution and the full implementation of international law,” Erekat said, highlighting that “Israel has constantly refused to activate the trilateral committee on incitement (Palestine-Israel-United States) given that incitement and glorification of terror have been a longstanding policy by this (Israeli) extremist government.”
“We call upon the Israeli government to stop trying to find excuses to perpetuate its illegal colonial settlement occupation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights. Instead, it should work to fully end its 50-year military occupation towards achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine,” the statement concluded.
Trump has repeatedly said peace between Israelis and Palestinians is something he could achieve as president. “I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said in April. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever.”
After meeting with Abbas last month, Trump said finding a peace agreement would be easier than expected. “Let’s see if we can find the solution,” Trump said during a luncheon with Abbas and his advisors. “It’s something that, I think, is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”
(Source / 25.06.2017)

Assailants destroy 45 olive trees and spray paint ‘revenge’ on Palestinian land

Olive trees damaged in Burin

Olive trees damaged in Burin

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Some 45 olive trees were found destroyed near the village of Burin, adjacent to the notorious illegal Yitzhar settlement in the northern occupied West Bank dsitrict of Nablus, while the Hebrew word for “revenge” was spray painted on a stone left in the area, an Israeli human rights organization said Sunday.

Israeli NGO Rabbis for Human Rights reported on Facebook that the damage was done adjacent to Route 60, the main highway running through the occupied West Bank.
Photos shared by the organization taken at the scene also showed an Israeli Civil Administration soldier documenting the damage. In response to a request for comment, a spokesperson from the Civil Administration told Ma’an to contact Israeli police. An Israeli police spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into the case.
Olive trees damaged in Burin1
Olive trees damaged in Burin2
Israeli Civil Administration soldier documents damages
The incident came amid a surge in attacks on Palestinians and their property across the occupied West Bank, targeting Palestinians near to the Yitzhar settlement in particular, which is notorious for its fanatically ideological residents, violence inflicted on neighboring Palestinian communities, and the extremist doctrines they espouse.
Several attacks have been carried out in villages near to Yitzhar in recent months, many of them in the presence of Israeli forces who did not intervene. Extremist settlers from Yitzhar have also recently attacked Israeli army soldiers with impunity.
Israeli news daily Haaretz said in a report on Sunday that, despite settlers having been caught on camera attacking Palestinians in a number of these incidents, the assailants have evaded criminal charges in every case and that there has been no evidence that any suspects were detained for questioning.
When asked to comment on past incidents of settlers attacking Palestinians in the area around Yitzhar, Israeli army spokespeople have told Ma’an that Israeli forces had “dispersed the gathering to prevent any escalation of violence,” but did not comment on whether any legal action being taken against the assailants.
A number of Palestinians, including a 72-year-old woman and a shephard, have been hospitalized since April following attacks near Yitzhar, with a number of Palestinians having being shot by Israeli forces who arrived to the scene to “disperse” the clashes.
Haaretz’s report stressed that “in the incidents that were filmed, one can clearly see soldiers either failing to act or simply trying to separate the two sides. The soldiers had the authority to detain the assailants but didn’t do so, and also failed to find out who they were afterward.”
Palestinian activists and rights groups have repeatedly accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians, while Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones if intent to harm could be proven, and face a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.
Israel has meted out harsh prison sentences to scores of Palestinians, including minors, for rock throwing in recent months.
In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years — in comparison to a 90-99 percent conviction rate for Palestinians in Israeli military courts.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 65 attacks being reported since the start of 2017.
(Source / 25.06.2017)