Israeli settlers attacked the Palestine TV crew this morning while they were filming near the illegal settlement of Ariel, built on land seized from Salfit in the north of the West Bank.
According to Wafa news agency, Israel security forces from the settlement also attacked the crew as they were filming a documentary outside the illegal structure, about the escalating illegal settlement activity and the dangerously increasing assaults by settlers against Palestinians and their properties.
Settler Walks Free – Cartoon
It added that a few soldiers also tried to disrupt the filming of the report by using loudspeakers and intercepting the journalists.
Palestine TV is a local broadcaster funded by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli authorities routinely suppress any PA-supported or linked, activity in occupied East Jerusalem.
In a report published last June, the Journalists’ Support Committee, a non-profit organisation representing journalists, said Israeli occupation forces have committed more than 56 violations against Palestinian journalists in occupied Jerusalem during the first half of 2020.
The report also revealed that the Israeli occupation renewed the ban on Palestine TV‘s activities in Jerusalem, fined six journalists, confiscated four items of media equipment, raided homes of six journalists, threatened and beat six others, and sentenced one.
In 2019, Israeli police and intelligence personnel stormedPalestine TV‘s office in East Jerusalem and handed the closure order to its administration.
Palestine TV says that the Israeli authorities often harass its staff, arresting and questioning them.
Israel’s repression of its own Palestinian citizens, as well as Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and even African refugees, has become ever more brutal, despite decades of global solidarity efforts for justice in Palestine. Many of the solidarity achievements — including the successful Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign — were made possible by international legal precedents and learning from the role played by global boycotts in ending apartheid in South Africa.
Comparisons between apartheid in South Africa and the Israeli version have become relatively commonplace. Even respected Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem said recently that the country is an “apartheid” state.
The Palestinian Ambassador to South Africa, Hanan Jarrar, believes that the plight of Palestinians is no different from the plight of Africans in apartheid South Africa.
“I’m not entirely convinced that our situation is any more different or unique from what existed in South Africa during apartheid,” said Jarrar. “The Israeli government has replicated, and in some ways, worsened the South African version.”
The bond between their respective national struggles has in recent times led to more South African efforts to challenge Israeli human rights abuses and systematic discrimination against the Palestinians. According to Ambassador Jarrar, however, the Palestinian conflict is often presented as being too “complicated” or “complex” — a myth propagated by Israel — which results in many people refraining from taking an anti-apartheid stance when it comes to the Palestine-Israel issue.
South Africa stands with Palestine – Cartoon
“There is nothing complex about the Palestinian situation,” explained Jarrar. “Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single regime of apartheid. Palestinians living inside Israel can vote, but cannot legally organise against the system of Jewish supremacy. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians have residency rights but not citizenship. Within the West Bank, Palestinians live under military law and have no citizenship. In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians have no citizenship and they are imprisoned in that tiny area.”
The parallels with apartheid South Africa are striking. White minority privilege was maintained at the expense of human, civil and political rights for the non-white population. Apartheid determined every aspect of life, including education, free movement, access to work, and where people could and could not live.
A fundamental element of South African apartheid was the issue of land ownership. The Group Areas Acts and their amendments, for example, allowed the government to move non-whites from their homes by force and seize property. In occupied Palestine, the land is taken by force, and settlements are built on it in contravention of international law. More than 600,000 Jewish settlers currently live illegally in more than 250 settlements across the occupied West Bank.
Attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians and their property are common. The perpetrators are rarely held to account by the Israeli occupation authorities. Indeed, in most cases the settlers who harass and attack Palestinians are accompanied and protected by Israeli soldiers.
“Israel treats Palestinians in different areas differently to ensure that the state achieves its apartheid goals including the domination by one group over another between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea,” Jarrar pointed out. “This is exactly what the apartheid South African government did in its own context. The State of Israel exploits the different legal statuses of Palestinians in various areas to ensure its domination and maintain Israeli apartheid.”
Finding a long-term solution to the crisis facing the Palestinian people is possible through a proper understanding of what has happened in South Africa, noted the 45-year-old ambassador, who has heard first-hand accounts from people who played a role in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement. “It was a decades-long struggle to get the world to recognise the evils of South African apartheid. The boycott and sanctions movement against South Africa achieved much success in the 1970s and 1980s. But let’s not forget that anti-apartheid campaigning began in 1959, and that success was preceded by decades of political lobbying, grassroots mobilisation, and advocacy.”
She quoted pan-Africanist revolutionary Amilcar Cabral from Guinea, one of Africa’s foremost anti-colonial leaders: “Claim no easy victories,” is chanted by many South African activists.
“The international community, especially western powers, initially declined to support the work of the Special Committee against Apartheid established by the UN General Assembly in 1962. These powerful nations, mostly former colonisers and their allies, argued that a boycott of apartheid South Africa was not necessary; they preferred “constructive engagement”. It was left to Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Somalia, and others from the Global South to press for international sanctions.
“We Palestinians must learn from this and seek support and solidarity from the Global South in our pursuit of freedom, as well as from western countries since the international dynamics are different now and we can present our rights from the perspective of a human rights window.”
However, post-apartheid South Africa has not been an easy time for anyone. The country still wrestles with significant racial issues and has been labelled as the world’s most unequal society. According to the World Bank, the wealthiest 10 per cent of South Africans own more than 90 per cent of the country’s wealth; 80 per cent own almost nothing.
This is compounded by the fact that the overwhelming majority at the bottom of the pyramid are Black. While the number of poor white South Africans has increased in the past 30 years since formal apartheid came to an end, and the non-white middle class has grown, the economic picture remains mostly unchanged in terms of race.
Political liberation has been achieved, explained Jarrar, but economic liberation has not. She believes that there are lessons to be learnt here to move the Palestinian cause forward. “Not only should we learn from South Africa’s past, but also its present. When Palestinians think of political liberation, we must also ensure that economically we are also liberated. This is a crucial lesson for us.”
The reality of a two-state solution is not impossible, she suggested. “What is needed are leadership and political will. The efforts of civil society and those on all sides who seek to bridge the gap between Israelis and Palestinians also need to be supported. In politics, there are no hopes, only facts, and realities.”
When four Arab states — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco —announced their plans last year to formalise diplomatic relations with Israel, South Africa made its pro-Palestinian position crystal clear. The government in Pretoria recognised immediately that these “normalisation deals” cannot lead to a just solution for the Palestinians.
“African nations continue to stand with Palestine — especially at the UN — despite the efforts of the Israeli government to use religion, aid, and technology to negate their long-standing positions in line with international law on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. The BDS movement in South Africa remains one of the strongest in the world, and it supports efforts to boycott products made in illegal Israeli settlements.”
Ambassador Hanan Jarrar highlighted the double standards of the international community when dealing with Israel. There has been, for example, no serious efforts at the UN to compel Israel to comply with its international obligations.
“While states, corporations, and civil society imposed various forms of sanctions against apartheid South Africa, Israel has been exempted from sanctions for breaking international law and practising apartheid,” she added. “As long as there are no consequences for Israel, it will continue to occupy Palestine and impose apartheid upon the Palestinians.”
In the final statement of the two-day virtual 34th African Union Summit, African leaders stressed that Israel’s settlements constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law and relevant United Nations resolutions and defies the calls of the international community to stop all settlement activities.
They also reiterated their full support for the Palestinian people and their representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, in their legitimate struggle against the Israeli occupation to restore their inalienable rights, including self-determination and independence.
They expressed their desire to reach a just political solution to the Palestinian issue in accordance with the principles of international law and all relevant United Nations resolutions, leading to a complete end to the Israeli occupation, which began in 1967, and the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, within the borders of June 4. 1967, and finding a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian refugees, in accordance with United Nations Resolution No. 194.
The final statement also called for the resumption of credible negotiations between the two sides, in order to achieve a just, comprehensive, and lasting peace in the Middle East, through an international multilateral mechanism based on international consensus, international law, and United Nations resolutions.
The African Union Summit also called on all members of the international community to preserve the legal status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, respect international law and relevant United Nations resolutions in this regard, and refrain from any actions or decisions that undermine the legal status of the city, especially moving embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
They stressed that any measures taken by Israel, the occupying power, to colonize the city of Jerusalem, including imposing its laws, jurisdiction, and administration, are illegal measures, and therefore are null and void, and have no legitimacy whatsoever.
The final statement called on the occupation authority to immediately stop all these illegal and unilateral measures, including provocations and incitement against Christian and Islamic holy sites.
The African leaders condemned Israel’s use of lethal, unlawful and other excessive force against Palestinian civilians, including civilians who enjoy a special protection status under international law who do not pose an imminent threat to life.
They called for accountability for these unlawful acts as well as for the actions committed by Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories, stressing that Israel, the occupying power, is fully responsible for acts of violence committed against Palestinian civilians and their property.
The African Union Summit renewed its support for President Mahmoud Abbas’ initiative for peace, which was presented to the United Nations Security Council on February 20, 2018, which calls for an international conference at the appropriate time to launch a credible multilateral political process.
African leaders also emphasized the rejection of any unfair or partial solutions, including the so-called “Deal of the Century”, stressing that they will work tirelessly with other international actors to ensure the independence of the State of Palestine within the borders of June 4, 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Several Israeli army vehicles invaded, on Monday at dawn, Jenin refugee camp, and Qabatia town, in the northern West Bank governorate of Jenin, before the soldiers stormed homes and abducted four Palestinians, including one who was shot in the chest in his home.
Media sources said dozens of soldiers invaded Jenin refugee camp, before the army stormed the home of Nour al-Beetawi, and shot him with a live round in the chest, before moving him to an unknown destination.
The soldiers also abducted Ahmad Marwan al-Ghoul from his home in the refugee camp.
They added that the soldiers also stormed and ransacked homes in Qabatia town, south of Jenin, before abducting two young men, identified as Sultan Nazzal and Sanad Nazzal.
Protests took place during the invasion into Qabatia town, and the soldiers fired gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets.
In related news, the abducted eight Palestinians, including five who were kidnapped by undercover forces, in the Ramallah governorate, in central West Bank.
Several Israeli colonists attacked, Monday, a crew of Palestine TV near the entrance of Ariel colony, which was built on stolen Palestinian lands, near Salfit, in central West Bank.
Palestine TV said the colonists attacked its crew members while filming a documentary about the escalating illegal Israeli colonialist activities and the dangerously increasing assaults by the colonists against the Palestinians and their property.
It added that a few guards of Ariel illegal colony also tried to disrupt the filming of the report by using loudspeakers and intercepting the journalists.
The guards also demanded to see the ID cards of the journalists, including the TV anchor who was conducting a live report, and informed her and her two colleagues, including the cameraman, that they are not allowed to be there, in addition to pushing them around.
The guards took the ID cards of the Palestine TV crew and took pictures of them using a cell phone.
Israeli soldiers demolished, Monday, an irrigation well near Ramallah, in central West Bank, and two residential sheds near Tubas, in northeastern West Bank.
Media sources said the soldiers invaded the al-Mughayyir village, east of Ramallah, and demolished an irrigation well.
Marzouk Abu Na’im, the head of the -Mughayyir village council, said the well is owned by a local farmer, and was built on his land to irrigate his crops, in the northern part of the community.
Abu Na’im added that, two months ago, the soldiers demolished two wells owned by the same farmer, reportedly for being built without a permit from the so-called “Civil Administration Office, the administrative branch of the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Furthermore, the soldiers invaded Khirbit Yizra village, east of Tubas, and demolished two residential sheds, which were donated by international human rights groups.
Mo’taz Bisharat, a Palestinian official with Tubas governorate, said the sheds are owned by two local siblings who had to live in them after the soldiers demolished their homes in September of last year, under the pretext of being built without permits.
Jordan Valley (QNN)- Israeli occupation forces once again returned to Hamsa al-Foqa village in the northern Jordan Valley to remove tents belonging to Palestinian families, whose houses were demolished last week by the Israeli forces.
Local sources said the forces arrived at the site and started to remove the tents in their efforts to force the Palestinian residents of the village to relocate to another area under the pretext the current location is a military training area, a pretext the occupation uses to empty the land from its Palestinian residents.
Last week, Israeli occupation demolished the tents and structures of the Palestinian families in Hamsa al-Foqa village, leaving 80 people, including 48 children, homeless.
The forces also confiscated materials that were humanitarian assistance funded by the EU to the village residents. The tents were also provided by humanitarian agencies to form as shelters to the residents.
Last November, Israeli occupation demolished eighteen tents that housed 11 families in the village, displacing a total of 74 people, more than half of which were minors, according to B’Tselem.
Almost 800 Palestinians, including 404 minors, lost their homes in 2020.
Throughout 2019, 677 lost their homes, up from 387 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.
Jerusalem (QNN)- Dozens of Israeli settlers on Monday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied East Jerusalem, according to Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, reported Anadolu Agency.
The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf said that 47 Israeli settlers, under the Israeli occupation forces’ protection, entered the mosque this morning through Al-Mugharbah gate.
The agency expected more settlers to come to the mosque later in the day.
On Sunday, 106 Israeli settlers broke into the holy site under the occupation police protection.
Israeli occupation authorities allow settler incursions to the mosque since 2003, despite repeated objections and warnings by the Palestinian religious authorities as the visits provoke worshippers of the mosque.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam which located in occupied Jerusalem.