NAKBA - HET LEVEN VOOR DE PALESTIJNEN

"Dit zijn de basislijnen van het nationale bestuur met mij aan het hoofd: Het Joodse volk heeft exclusief en onbetwistbaar recht op alle gebieden van het land Israël. De regering zal kolonisering bevorderen en realiseren in alle delen van het land 一 in Galilea, de Negev, de Golan, Judea en Samaria.”

Minister-President Benjamin Netanyahu

30 december 2022

'These are the basic lines of the national government headed by me: the Jewish people have an exclusive and unquestionable right to all areas of the Land of Israël. The government will promote and develop settlement in all parts of the Land of Israël - in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan, Judea and Samaria'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

December 30, 2022

Dus nergens plaats voor het Palestijnse volk...

DRIE MOGELIJKHEDEN

In mei 2017 legde het toenmalige lid van de Knesset Bezalel Smotrich [thans een prominent lid van het kabinet] op een conferentie van religieuze zionisten zijn officiËle plan uit voor wat betreft de Palestijnen, waarbij deze konden kiezen uit drie mogelijkheden:

- of zij konden de bezette gebieden ontruimen, OF ZIJ

- konden daar hun leven voortzetten, maar dan wel als mensen met een tweede rangs status, of zij

- konden doorgaan met verzet plegen, maar in dat geval weet de IsraËlische krijgsmacht wat hen te doen staat.

Geciteerd door Eitay Mack

Middle East Eye (Londen)

7 maart 2023

THREE POSSIBILITIES

In May 2017, member of the Knesset (now a prominent cabinet minister) Bezalel Smotrich explained at a conference of religious Zionists his official plan for the Palestinians, whereby they could choose from three possibilities:

- they could either leave the occupied territories,

- continue to live there with second class status,

- or continuing resisting, in which case the Israël Defense Forces will know what to do.

Quoted by Eitay Mack

Middle East Eye (London)

March 7, 2023

....nergens plaats, 

behalve als untermenschen in hun eiGen door Israëlische joden Geroofde land

 

28 april 2023.

Join AMP and Coalition Partners in Commemoration of the Nakba

AMP’s #Nakba75 Campaign is in full swing with actions being planned in the nation's capital and major cities across the nation.

On Sunday, May 14th at 1 pm EST, American Muslims for Palestine, along with the Palestine Youth Movement, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, MD 2 Palestine, and supporters from across the Palestine movement will lead a rally in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Monument to commemorate 75 years of the Nakba.

On Sunday, May 14th at 1 pm EST, American Muslims for Palestine, along with the Palestine Youth Movement, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, MD 2 Palestine, and supporters from across the Palestine movement will lead a rally in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Monument to commemorate 75 years of the Nakba.

 

AMP Chapters and allies in other cities are working tirelessly to organize #Nakba75 events. We will update you as soon as we have more details for events in New Jersey, Minneapolis, Dallas, San Diego, and Houston. Stay on the lookout!

 

Are you organizing something in your city? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you and help promote your event. Tag us on Facebook and Instagram or send us an email at info@ampalestine.org

Nakba75: One year closer to a free Palestine...

Sincerely,

Taher Herzallah

Director of Outreach & Grassroots Organizing

Jaarrapport EU

4 april 2023

IsraËl sloopte in 2022 bijna duizend Palestijnse gebouwen

Israël sloopte in 2022 in bezet gebied 953 Palestijnse huizen en andere bouwwerken.

Dit jaar staat de teller na drie maanden al op 289. In dit tempo gaat in oktober het tienduizendste bouwwerk tegen de vlakte sinds de VN in 2009 de Israëlische sloop is gaan monitoren.

Dat blijkt uit het op 28 maart gepubliceerde jaarrapport van de EU over de Israëlische sloop van Palestijnse bouwwerken op de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever, inclusief Oost-Jeruzalem. Van de 953 in 2022 gesloopte bouwwerken waren er 101 gefinancierd

door de EU of haar lidstaten. De sloop maakte 1.031 Palestijnen dakloos; 28.446 anderen werden anderszins gedupeerd.

Schokkende records

Het op gedetailleerde VN-cijfers gebaseerde EU-rapport wijst uit dat 2022 het op een na destructiefste jaar was sinds 2009. Met 1.084 gesloopte gebouwen spant 2016 de kroon. Dat 'record' lijkt in 2023 echter te worden overtroffen: na drie maanden staat de teller al op 289.

De katholieke hulporganisatie Society of St. Yves schatte dat per september vorig jaar 22 tot 30 duizend Palestijnse bouwwerken op de nominatie standen om door Israël te worden gesloopt. Tel daar de in alle opzichten sloopgrage regering-Netanyahu bij op om te concluderen dat 2023 alles in zich heeft om het oude record te verpulveren.

 

Er dreigen meer schokkende records. Uit de VN-cijfers vanaf 2009 blijkt dat Israël tot dusver 9.417 Palestijnse bouwwerken heeft gesloopt of in beslag genomen (denk daarbij aan prefab-woningen en -kliniekjes, die niet worden gesloopt, maar weggetakeld). In het huidige slooptempo zal begin oktober het tienduizendste gebouw tegen de vlakte gaan. Het aantal dakloos gemaakte Palestijnen nadert tegen die tijd de 15 duizend, terwijl het aantal indirect getroffen nu al 175 duizend bedraagt. In 2023 zal de combinatie van die twee - het totale aantal Palestijnse burgers dat sinds 2009, dus in minder dan 15 jaar, door de Israëlische

slooppolitiek is geraakt - de 200 duizend passeren.

Scholen slopen

Een voorbeeld van 'indirect getroffenen' zijn de veertig leerlingen van de school in het Palestijnse dorp Jubbah al-Dhib op de door Israël bezette Westoever. Een Israëlische rechtbank besloot in maart dat het schooltje uiterlijk 7 mei door de Israëlische bezettingsautoriteiten moet zijn gesloopt. Leerkrachten overnachten in de klassen om te voorkomen dat hun school ongemerkt wordt gesloopt, zoals in 2017 qebeurde

Leerkrachten overnachten in de klassen om te voorkomen dat hun school ongemerkt wordt gesloopt.

Wie wil begrijpen wat de Israëlische bezetter bezielt om tot tweemaal toe een Palestijns dorpsschooltje te slopen moet net als hierboven naar de grote getallen en impact kijken.

Scholen worden door Israël al jaren afgebroken. St. Yves schrijft dat Israël 58 Palestijnse scholen voor sloop heeft genomineerd. Het doel: Palestijnse ouders die geen onderwijs voor hun kinderen kunnen vinden zullen op een dag naar elders vertrekken.

Geen vergunning

Vrijwel alle in 2022 gesloopte Palestijnse gebouwen (918 van de 953] trof dat lot vanwege het ontbreken van een Israëlische 'vergunning'. Met dat stelsel van 'vergunningen' smoort de Israëlische bezetter de natuurlijke groei en ontwikkeling van de lokale Palestijnse bevolking; een vergunning wordt door Israël namelijk zo goed als nooit verstrekt.

 

Zo worden Palestijnen die een huis, school of schuur bouwen, of voorzieningen als water en elektra aanleggen, doelwit van hun bezetter. Tussen de aankondiging en de feitelijke sloop zit frequent maar 96 uur, wat protest of beroep onmogelijk maakt, schrijft de EU. Vaak worden Palestijnen gedwongen hun eigen huis af te breken onder dreiging van het betalen van kolossale Israëlische sloopkosten, bovenop het verlies van hun huis.

Kolonistengeweld

In het EU-rapport wordt verder geconstateerd dat de sloop van de Palestijnse samenleving door de Israëlische autoriteiten hand in hand gaat met die door burgermilities van Joodse kolonisten. In 2022 werden 849 aanvallen van kolonisten geregistreerd - een toename van 58 procent ten opzichte van 2021, en van 123 procent vergeleken met 2020. Dit jaar stond de teller per 27 maart op 260 aanvallen, inclusief de pogrom in het Palestijnse stadje Hawara.

Ook op dit vlak belooft 2023 een nieuw record.

Sinds 2016 werd door Israël voor 2,5 miljoen euro aan Europese projecten verwoest.

Tenslotte wordt in het EU-rapport ingegaan op de sloop van Europese hulpprojecten door Israël. In 2022 werden 101 Palestijnse gebouwen of faciliteiten gesloopt die met fondsen van de EU of haar lidstaten waren bekostigd. Daarmee ging een door Europese belastingbetalers opgebracht bedrag van 337 duizend euro verloren. Sinds 2016 werd door Israël voor 2,5 miljoen euro aan Europese projecten verwoest. In september 2020 berekenden we dat Israël sinds het jaar 2000 voor naar schatting tachtig miljoen euro aan Nederlandse en Europese projecten had verwoest.

11 mei 2023

All eyes are on Gaza, since the Israeli military bombed whole families as they slept on Monday night. These horrors are the latest in Israel’s longstanding attack on Palestinian lives, land, and freedom; it is the unabated, ongoing Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe." This May 15 marks 75 years of ongoing Nakba — and ongoing resistance..

 

JVP

75 Years of the Nakba

“A land without a people for a people without a land.” This 19th century Christian Zionist refrain perfectly, horribly encapsulates the ideological underpinnings of apartheid Israel, from the state’s 1948 founding to today. As we approach the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, the Wire takes a moment to reflect on the racist erasure and historical catastrophe that have marked Palestinian lives for nearly a century.

 

The years leading up to and immediately following 1948 marked the Israeli military’s forced displacement of over 800,000 Palestinians, and the depopulation of over 500 Palestinian towns and villages. This was ethnic cleansing, pure and simple, and it was just the first move toward the very well-documented goal of the Israeli government, which has always been, explicitly, to steal the maximum amount of land with the smallest number of Palestinians. Maintaining a regime aimed at systematic Palestinian dispossession and Jewish supremacy requires constant violence.

 

The horrors in Gaza last night are the latest in Israel’s longstanding attack on Palestinian lives, land, and freedom; it is the unabated, ongoing Nakba.

 

While the last 75 years of ongoing Nakba have meant constant violence, human rights abuses, and countless apartheid crimes, the election of the most-right-wing-ever government last year has meant that Israeli officials are saying the quiet part out loud. In March, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the village of Huwara to be “wiped out” in the wake of settler pogroms. Itamar Ben-Gvir, convicted of racist incitement against Palestinians, is now National Security Minister.

 

But as it becomes chillingly commonplace for Israeli officials to tout genocide against Palestinians, so is it becoming more and more commonplace for U.S. Jews to speak out against the Israeli government — many for the first time. When Smotrich visited Washington, D.C., earlier this spring, JVP members stood in protest with 1,000 other demonstrators. Not all of them may be avowed anti-Zionists yet, but we’re ready to educate, agitate, and welcome them into the movement.

 

It’s been 75 years, and Palestinians are not yet free. But the 75 years of catastrophe have also been 75 years of resistance. Palestinians on the ground are building every day toward liberation. We are proud to stand in solidarity as part of the ever-growing, unstoppable movement for Palestinian freedom.

NAKBA - HET LEVEN VAN DE PALESTIJNEN

7 mei 2023

Programma Nakba-herdenking 2023: de ramp die al 75 jaar voortduurt

Dit jaar herdenkt het Palestijnse volk voor de 75e keer de Nakba, de ramp of catastrofe die zich voltrok toen de staat Israël in 1948 eenzijdig werd uitgeroepen. De ramp die al 75 jaar voortduurt. 75 jaar van verdrijving, landonteigening, een ontworteld volk, miljoenen stateloze vluchtelingen, militaire bezetting, steeds verdere inperking van rechten, grootschalige mensenrechtenschendingen en veel, heel veel geweld.

De ramp waaraan de internationale gemeenschap medeplichtig is, die zij mogelijk maakt door weg te kijken, te ontkennen en goed te praten. Maar bovenal door te faciliteren. Wij faciliteren het voortdurende onrecht met de militaire samenwerking, de wapenhandel, de partners in de veiligheidsindustrie, de miljardeninvesteringen in Israëlische banken, de handel in nederzettingenproducten. Laten we eerlijk zijn: militaire bezetting is een businessmodel geworden, óók voor Nederland. Het imperialistische businessmodel van kapitalisme.

Zolang dat businessmodel niet ontmanteld wordt, zal het onrecht voortduren. Daar moeten wij ons tegen verzetten, zoals Palestijnen dat al 75 jaar doen. De BDS-beweging zet zich daarvoor in en roept iedereen op zich aan te sluiten. De Nakba, de ramp, eindigt pas als het onrecht is rechtgezet!

Free Palestine!

 

75 jaar Nakba

14 mei – 15u00 tot 21u00

Wilhelmina Gasthuisterrein, zaal Budapest, Pesthuislaan (ingang door de tuin, de trap op achter het Boedha-beeld), Amsterdam

Programma: korte documentaires, sprekers en soep.

Sprekers:

o.a. Taghreed Elkhodary (journalist),

Sam Adnan,

Nilab Ahmadi (BIJ1),

Wendela de Vries (Stop Wapenhandel),

Dorien Ballout (BDS NL)

 

In samenwerking met: docP-BDSNL, Een Ander Joods Geluid,

Teleportboulevard 130

1043 EJ  Amsterdam

Deep dive

“For Palestinians, the Nakba is relentless and recurring.” As poet, journalist, and organizer Mohammed el-Kurd writes in the Nation, though the Nakba may be ongoing, it is not inevitable, but rather the direct result of the political ideology of Zionism. Yet despite the relentless decades of ethnic cleansing and dispossession, Palestinians “can still conjure a reality in which they are free.”

Jewish Voice for Peace
P.O. Box 589
Berkeley, CA 94701
United States

75 Years of the Nakba has proven one thing, Palestinians will prevail

Palestinians are the longest-standing displaced population in modern history, and the largest stateless community in the world.

We commemorate this tragedy while many of our elected officials are busy celebrating and congratulating Israel on 75 years of existence on the rubble of Palestinian society, where they thrive at the expense of the indigenous population of Palestine. They do so, although Israel’s government continues to steal Palestinian land, forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes, and kill, maim, and imprison Palestinians, entrenching its regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.

Seventy-five years of injustice have not stopped the U.S. government from providing unconditional military funding to Israel and unconditional diplomatic protection for Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
But the winds of change are slowly blowing. Every day, more and more Americans become aware of the colossal injustice imposed on Palestinians and America’s role in sustaining that injustice. Every day, more Americans are raising their voices in opposition to U.S. support for Israeli apartheid and settler- colonialism. From the streets of major American cities and media outlets to Capitol Hill, voices demanding freedom for Palestinians and ending U.S. double standards on support for democracy and human rights are getting louder.

Seventy-five years of injustice, oppression, and displacement is far too long. However much longer it takes, we are committed to seeing this fight for justice to the end. We will not grow weary or silent so long as Palestinians continue to endure Israeli apartheid. Just as Palestinians in the homeland have proven their steadfastness in fighting for their liberation, we will continue to educate, organize and advocate until Palestinians can return to their lands and live in freedom and dignity. We vow to continue until Palestine is free.

 

Sincerely,
American Muslims for Palestine

 

12 mei 2023
 
On Monday May 15 we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of between 750,000 and 1 MILLION Indigenous Palestinians from their homes and land by Zionist militias and, later, the Israeli army. For 75 years, Palestinians have experienced and resisted an ongoing Nakba.
 
Now, as apartheid Israel unleashes a new war on the Palestinian people in Gaza, you can play a vital role in helping to dismantle Israeli apartheid. We ask that you take the following 5 solidarity actions and be a key to justice for Palestinians everywhere:
 
  1. Push for #MilitaryEmbargo and UN action to recognize and dismantle Israeli apartheid now!
  2. Boycott brands supporting Israeli apartheid.
  3. Declare your institutions #ApartheidFreeZones.
  4. Initiate/support academic, cultural and sports-boycotts of apartheid Israel.
  5. Join a local Nakba commemoration or #BDS campaign.

 

On Tuesday, Israeli military forces intentionally and indiscriminately bombed families in Gaza. Over the past four days, apartheid Israel’s airstrikes on the over 2 million Palestinians under siege in Gaza have killed, so far, 31 Palestinians, including 7 children. Since the beginning if this year, Israel’s occupation forces and settlers have murdered at least 144 Palestinians 26 of them children. 

 

Still we rise! Despite Israel’s ongoing violence and aggression, Palestinians remain resilient and steadfast in our popular resistance. Whether in Gaza, Jerusalem, Jaffa, Jenin, Beita, Masafer Yatta, the Jordan Valley, Al-Naqab, or in exile, Palestinians stand united against Israel’s regime of settler colonialism and apartheid.   

  

The nonviolent BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality is supported by the absolute majority in Palestinian society. BDS rejects all forms of racism and racial discrimination.

 

15 mei 2023

 

Today, we commemorate seventy-five years of the Nakba, or catastrophe, when Zionist forces massacred Palestinian civilians, wiped out over 500 Palestinian towns and villages, and ethnically cleansed more than 750,000 Palestinians to establish the state of Israel. 75 years ago, 75 percent of the Palestinian population was violently expelled from their homeland. As it stands, Palestinians are the longest-standing displaced population in modern history, and the largest stateless community in the world.

We commemorate this tragedy while many of our elected officials are busy celebrating and congratulating Israel on 75 years of existence on the rubble of Palestinian society, where they thrive at the expense of the indigenous population of Palestine. They do so, although Israel’s government continues to steal Palestinian land, forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes, and kill, maim, and imprison Palestinians, entrenching its regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.

Seventy-five years of injustice have not stopped the U.S. government from providing unconditional military funding to Israel and unconditional diplomatic protection for Israel’s crimes against Palestinians.
But the winds of change are slowly blowing. Every day, more and more Americans become aware of the colossal injustice imposed on Palestinians and America’s role in sustaining that injustice. Every day, more Americans are raising their voices in opposition to U.S. support for Israeli apartheid and settler- colonialism. From the streets of major American cities and media outlets to Capitol Hill, voices demanding freedom for Palestinians and ending U.S. double standards on support for democracy and human rights are getting louder.

Seventy-five years of injustice, oppression, and displacement is far too long. However much longer it takes, we are committed to seeing this fight for justice to the end. We will not grow weary or silent so long as Palestinians continue to endure Israeli apartheid. Just as Palestinians in the homeland have proven their steadfastness in fighting for their liberation, we will continue to educate, organize and advocate until Palestinians can return to their lands and live in freedom and dignity. We vow to continue until Palestine is free.

 

Sincerely,
American Muslims for Palestine

Israelische bezettingstroepen slopen opnieuw een Palestijnse school.

7 mei 2023

 

In alle vroegte sloopten Israëlische bezettingstroepen op 7 mei de school van het Palestijnse dorp Jubbah al-Dhib. Daardoor zitten zestig kinderen zonder onderwijs. Dezelfde school werd al eerder gesloopt, maar door vrijwilligers herbouwd.

De school van Jubbah al-Dhib, na het vertrek van de Israelische slooptroepen

Bij zonsopkomst arriveerden Israëlische troepen met een bulldozer en ander groot materieel in Jubbah al-Dhib, een Palestijns dorp ten zuidoosten van Bethlehem op de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever. Ze zetten de omgeving af en sloopten de met

Europese financiële steun gebouwde lagere school in het dorp. Daar kregen zestig Palestijnse meisjes en jongens onderwijs.

'GEEN VERGUNNING'

Zoals wij eerder schreven oordeelde een Israëlische rechtbank op 8 maart dat de school binnen zestig dagen moest worden afgebroken. De reden daarvoor was het ontbreken van een bouwvergunning van de bezettingsautoriteiten. Zulke vergunningen worden echter slechts hoogst zelden aan Palestijnen verleend.

Jubbah al-Dhib ligt in het zogeheten C-gebied van de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Dat kwam als uitvloeisel van de Oslo-akkoorden van 1993-1995 onder ‘tijdelijk bestuur' van Israël. De akkoorden voorzagen in een geleidelijke overdracht van het gebied aan de Palestijnse autoriteiten, een proces dat eind jaren negentig had moeten zijn afgerond. De overdracht werd echter door Israël stopgezet, met als gevolg dat het gebied nog altijd onder Israëlisch bestuur staat.

Dat betekent voor de Palestijnse inwoners dat zij een Israëlische vergunning moeten aanvragen als zij een woning, een schuur of een school willen bouwen of een waterleiding of elektriciteitsvoorziening willen aanleggen. Zulke aanvragen worden in ruim 98 procent van de gevallen afgewezen. Voor Palestijnen zit er daarom niets anders op dan zonder vergunning te bouwen. Vroeg of laat verschijnt dan het Israëlische leger om hun werk af te breken, waarna de Palestijnen de rekening voor de sloop krijgen.

Meedogenloos beleid

De meedogenloosheid waarmee dit beleid wordt gehandhaafd is goed te zien. Eerder namen bezettingstroepen in het dorp 96 door Nederland gefinancierde zonnepanelen in beslag, waarmee de inwoners zich van stroom konden voorzien. Dankzij zware Nederlandse en internationale druk werden de panelen - uitzonderlijk-  teruggegeven.

Het Israëlische beleid is bedoeld om iedere Palestijnse ontwikkeling in het C-gebied, dat 60 procent van de Westoever omvat, in de kiem te smoren, zodat de inwoners vroeg of laat gedwongen zijn het gebied te verlaten. Tegelijkertijd blijft Israël er in hoog tempo zijn illegale kolonies ('nederzettingen') uitbreiden. Van de ruim 750 duizend kolonisten die zich inmiddels in bezet Palestijns gebied hebben gevestigd woont tweederde in het C-gebied, de rest in Oost- Jeruzalem.

Het Israëlische beleid is bedoeld om iedere Palestijnse ontwikkeling in het C-gebied in de kiem te smoren.

Organisaties van Israëlische kolonisten en hun supporters oefenen zware druk uit op de Israëlische autoriteiten om het beleid te handhaven. Het besluit van de Israëlische rechtbank om de school van Jubbah al-Dhib te laten slopen was afgedwongen door de beruchte organisatie Regavim, die onder het vaandel van het zionisme iedere Palestijnse ontwikkeling in het C-gebied documenteert en juridisch aanvecht.

 

Oprichter van Regavim is Bezalel Smotrich, die in de huidige Israëlische regering een dubbel ministerschap bekleedt: hij is zowel verantwoordeiijk voor de financiën van de staat als voor het koloniseringsbeleid. Regavim wordt gesubsidieerd door de overkoepelende organen van de illegale Israëlische nederzettingen.

Hooggerechtshof medeplichtig

Het Israëlische beleid in het C-gebied vormt een flagrante schending van het internationaal recht en de mensenrechten. Het sloopbesluit van de Israëlische rechtbank laat eens te meer zien hoe diep Israels rechterlijke macht daarbij betrokken is. We omschreven die macht eerder als een juridisch witwasmechanisme dat zelfs oorlogsmisdaden een vernisje van legitimiteit

geeft.

 

De belangrijkste schakel daarin is het Hooggerechtshof, dat momenteel in wekelijkse massademonstraties door Israeli's wordt verdedigd tegen de ondermijnende plannen van hun regering. Het hof is van oudsher een cruciale medeplichtige factor in Israels illegale bezettings- en koloniseringspolitiek. De Israëlische rechtsstaat die de demonstranten in gevaar zien komen brengt de Palestijnen vooral onrecht, en het is geen wonder dat zij zich bij de demonstraties goeddeels afzijdig houden, zoals wij onlanqs schreven.

Internationale passiviteit

In 2022 sloopte Israël in bezet gebied 953 huizen en andere bouwwerken, blijkt uit een eind maart gepubliceerd rapport van de Europese Unie. Daardoor raakten 1.031 Palestijnen dakloos en werden nog eens 28.446 Palestijnen anderszins gedupeerd. Het jaar 2023 dreigt een recordjaar te worden sinds de verwoestingen in 2009 voor het eerst werden geteld: eind maart stond de teller al op 289 gesloopte bouwwerken.

De katholieke hulporganisatie Society of St.Yves schat dat 22 tot 30 duizend Palestijnse bouwwerken op de nominatie staan om door Israël te worden afgebroken. Daaronder 58 scholen. De organisatie roept de internationale gemeenschap op de verdere sloop van de Palestijnse samenleving te verhinderen en de rechten van de Palestijnen actief te beschermen. Daarvoor pleiten talloze mensenrechtenorganisaties, waaronder The Rights Forum, al jaren.

De politieke wil om Israël tot respect voor de internationale rechtsorde te dwingen ontbreekt ten enenmale.

De succesvolle protesten tegen de inbeslagname van de Nederlandse zonnepanelen in Jubbah al-Dhib illustreren dat de mogelijkheden daarvoor aanwezig zijn. Die interventie was echter een uitzondering op een patroon van internationale passiviteit; de politieke wil om Israël tot respect voor de Internationale rechtsorde te dwingen ontbreekt ten enenmale. In 2022 kon Israël zelfs ongestraft 101 Palestijnse bouwwerken slopen die met Europese steun werden gefinanciëerd.

 

In september 2020 becijferden wij dat Israël sinds het jaar 2000 voor naar schatting tachtig miljoen euro aan Nederlandse en Europese projecten had verwoest. Daarbij kan nu de Europese financiële steun voor de gesloopte school van Jubbah al-Dhib worden opgeteld.

Israelische leger doodde dit jaar 28 kinderen, toch haalt Nederland banden aan

16 juni 2023.

 

Nederland gaat intensief samenwerken met het leger dat zich volgens de VN elke dag schuldig maakt aan misdaden tegen de Palestijnse bevolking. Dat is onacceptabel.

Steun onze campagne 'Geen militaire samenwerking met Israel7.

Elke twee weken publiceert VN-organisatie OCHA een overzicht van de schade aan levens en eigendommen die het gevolg is van Israels bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden. De meest recente cijfers betreffen de periode van 16 tot en met 29 mei.

Hieronder een beknopte samenvatting, aangevuld met een paar andere relevante cijfers.

Twee weken onderdrukking

In die twee weken werden door het Israëlische leger vier Palestijnen gedood en 420 verwond, onder wie 41 kinderen. In de eerste 149 dagen van 2023 (tot en met 29 mei) werden in totaal 143 Palestijnen gedood en 4.519 verwond; dat komt neer op gemiddeld een dode en dertig gewonden per dag. Onder de doden zijn 28 kinderen; het jongste slachtoffer was twee jaar oud toen hij door een Israëlische militair door het hoofd werd geschoten.

(OCHA registreert de doden en gewonden die vallen door toedoen van het Israëlische leger. Palestijnse slachtoffers van onder meer kolonistengeweld zijn niet inbegrepen, evenmin als Palestijnen die sterven in Israëlische gevangenissen.)

 

In de genoemde periode voerde het leger 118 (meest nachtelijke) invallen uit in bezet Palestijns gebied; over 2023 staat de teller op 1.558, ruim tien per dag. Daarbij vallen doden en gewonden en wordt grote schade aangericht. Burgers, waaronder kinderen, worden van hun bed gelicht zonder te weten wat zij hebben misdaan en als misdadigers met onbekende bestemming afgevoerd. De afgelopen vier jaar lag het aantal invallen gemiddeld op 3.655. Gemeten vanaf 2000 ligt het aantal boven de 50 duizend.

 

Met ondersteuning van het leger werden in de genoemde periode 48 Palestijnse huizen en andere bouwwerken gesloopt, waardoor 96 Palestijnen werden ontheemd. In 2023 werden tot dusver circa 370 Palestijnse gebouwen gesloopt, waaronder scholen, met 575 ontheemden als gevolg. In 2022 werden 953 gebouwen gesloopt. Naar verwachting gaat dit najaar het tienduizendste gebouw tegen de vlakte sinds de VN de sloop in 2009 is gaan registreren.

 

In de genoemde periode vonden 24 aanvallen plaats van Israëlische burgermilities op Palestijnse gemeenschappen. Onder bescherming van het Israëlische leger terroriseren dergelijke milities, bestaand uit Joodse kolonisten uit Israels illegale nederzettingen, de lokale Palestijnse bevolking. In de eerste 149 dagen van 2023 vonden 409 aanvallen plaats, waaronder de pogrom op het stadje Huwara in februari.

Mishandeling Palestijnse kinderen in Israëlische hechtenis "wijdverbreid en systematisch".

16 juni 2023.

 

In strijd met zijn beloften heeft Israël de afgelopen tien jaar geen verbetering gebracht in de behandeling van Palestijnse kinderen in militaire detentie. Fysieke en psychische mishandeling zijn de norm.

Dat blijkt uit recente rapportages van de organisaties Military Court Watch en Defence for Children International - Palestine, en uit het jaarlijkse voortgangsrapport van de VN over kinderen en gewapend conflict. Ze wijzen uit dat Palestijnse kinderen tot de

voornaamste slachtoffers van het Israëlisch-Palestijnse 'conflict' behoren - en dat Israëlische beloften om daaraan een einde te maken niets waard zijn gebleken.

UNICEF-rapport

De organisatie Military Court Watch, die haar werk omschrijft als het 'monitoren van de behandeling van kinderen in Israëlische militaire detentie' werd in 2013 opgericht. In maart van dat jaar publiceerde VN-organisatie UNICEF het rapport Children in Israeli Military Detention, waarin het op basis van uitvoerig onderzoek keihard oordeelde over de behandeling van Palestijnse kinderen sinds het begin van de Israëlische militaire bezetting in 1967:

"The ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process."

UNICEF deed 38 aanbevelingen om het Israëlische militaire regime in overeenstemming te brengen met het internationaal recht Daarop zegde Israël toe de aanbevelingen te zullen implementeren.

Duizend getuigenissen

In de tien jaar die volgden nam Military Court Watch getuigenissen af van duizend kinderen over hun ervaringen in Israëlische militaire detentie. Ook werden zittingen van Israëls beruchte militaire rechtbanken bijgewoond. Aan de hand van die informatie beoordeelde de organisatie de door Israël beloofde implementatie van UNICEF's aanbevelingen.

Kan die na tien jaar als voltooid worden beschouwd?

 

De bevindingen zijn vernietigend. De aanbevelingen zijn voor 97 procent 'substantieel ongeïmplementeerd' en de mishandeling van kinderen is nog steeds 'wijdverbreid, systematisch en institutioneel'. Op cruciale punten is zelfs sprake van achteruitgang. Wat dat in de praktijk betekent blijkt uit onderstaande voorbeelden.

Nachtelijke arrestatie

In 2013 bleek dat 51 procent van de kinderen werd opgepakt tijdens nachtelijke invallen door Israëlische militairen. UNICEF drong bij Israël aan op beëindiging van die gewelddadige en traumatische praktijk. Maar een Israëlische test om voortaan te volstaan met het afleveren van een dagvaarding is mislukt en gestaakt. In 2023 is het percentage nachtelijke 'arrestaties' gestegen tot 56.

 

Boeien en blinddoeken

UNICEF drong in 2013 aan op een direct verbod op het gebruik van plastic boeien en blinddoeken bij kinderen. Destijds werd 96 procent geboeid en 81 procent geblinddoekt. Tien jaar later bedragen de percentages 96 en 84. In 88 procent van de gevallen bleek het Israëlische leger zelfs de eigen regels voor de arrestatie van minderjarigen te overtreden.

 

Fysiek geweld en bedreiging

UNICEF heeft Israël herhaaldelijk gewezen op het absolute verbod op fysiek geweld en het gebruik van dreigementen tegen kinderen. Het maande Israël zich qua regelgeving te laten leiden door het Comité tegen foltering van de VN. Tevergeefs. In 2013 werd door Israëlische militairen fysiek geweld gebruikt tegen 60 procent van de opgepakte kinderen; 47 procent werd bedreigd. In 2023 zijn die percentages gestegen tot 64 respectievelijk 80.

 

Onwettige transfer

UNICEF wees Israël op het verbod om Palestijnse kinderen in militaire detentie over te brengen naar territorium buiten de Palestijnse gebieden. Zo'n illegal transfer geldt onder de Conventies van Genève als oorlogsmisdaad. In 2013 werd 53 procent van de kinderen illegaal overgebracht naar Israël. In december 2022 was dat gestegen tot 71 procent.

 

Sinds het begin van de bezetting in juni 1967 zijn naar schatting 22 duizend Palestijnse kinderen door hun bezetter naar diens land overgebracht. Military Court Watch herinnert eraan dat het Internationaal Strafhof op 17 maart 2023 arrestatiebevelen heeft uitgevaardigd voor twee Russen vanwege de transfer van Oekraïense kinderen uit door Rusland bezet gebied naar Rusland zelf.

Dwang en foltering

De bevindingen van Military Court Watch worden bevestigd door de organisatie Defence for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) in haar nieuwste rapport Arbitrary by Default Palestinian Children in the Israeli Military Court System. DCIP nam tussen 2016 en 2022 getuigenissen af van 766 Palestijnse kinderen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Met schokkende uitkomsten. Zo blijken opgepakte of van hun bed gelichte kinderen in 85,5 procent van de gevallen niet te zijn geïnformeerd over de reden van hun 'arrestatie'. Ook documenteerde DCIP 176 gevallen waarin kinderen in eenzame opsluiting werden gehouden, met een gemiddelde duur van 16,5 dagen.

 

Israël is het enige land ter wereld dat systematisch kinderen blootstelt aan militaire rechtspraak. DCIP schrijft dat jaarlijks gemiddeld vijfhonderd tot zevenhonderd Palestijnse kinderen voor militaire rechtbanken worden gebracht, met in 99 procent van de gevallen een veroordeling tot gevolg. Die is veelal gebaseerd op een met dwang of foltering afgedwongen bekentenis tijdens een verhoor waarbij geen advocaat of ouders zijn toegelaten.

Gooien met stenen

De meest voorkomende beschuldiging is het 'gooien met stenen' naar Israëlische bezettingstroepen, waarop voor Palestijnse kinderen onder Israëlisch militair recht maximaal twintig jaar gevangenisstraf staat. Hoewel de meeste opgepakte kinderen naar eigen zeggen onschuldig zijn worden zij gedwongen als 'schikking' schuld te bekennen en verklaringen te tekenen die zij veelal niet begrijpen of zelfs maar kunnen lezen - 52 procent is opgesteld in het hen onbekende Hebreeuws.

 

De meesten worden als gevolg van de schikking tot minder dan een jaar gevangenis veroordeeld, die zij dan in veel gevallen al hebben uitgezeten, soms ruimschoots. Kinderen mogen hun voorarrest niet in vrijheid doorbrengen, ook al bestaat de beschuldiging uit niets meer dan het gooien van een steen. Anderzijds mogen zij van geluk spreken in vergelijking met talloze Palestijnse leeftijdsgenootjes die voor hetzelfde vergrijp, of zelfs zonder aanleiding, door Israëlische militairen worden doodgeschoten. In 2023 werden tot 25 juni al dertig Palestijnse kinderen gedood - als gevolg van de recente Israëlische aanval op Jenin is het aantal opgelopen tot minstens 33.

Psychische schade

De psychische gevolgen van deze gruwelijke realiteit zijn amper te overzien. Eind mei deed de Israëlische psycholoog en therapeut Michal Fruchtman in dagblad Haaretz een vlammende oproep aan zijn beroepsgroep om in actie te komen tegen de immense psychische schade die door Israël inmiddels aan generaties Palestijnen is toegebracht. Daarbij ging hij gedetailleerd in op het lot van Palestijnse kinderen.

 

Volgens Fruchtman, verbonden aan de Israëlische organisaties PsychoActiven en Parents Against Child Detention, worden jaarlijks tweeduizend Palestijnse kinderen opgepakt, gelijk verdeeld over Oost-Jeruzalem en de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Een petitie waarin de twee organisaties oproepen tot een eind aan de 'sweeping detentions of Palestinian children'  had eind mei steun van driehonderd vakgenoten.

Straffeloosheid

Tien jaar na het rapport van UNICEF is de conclusie dat de mishandeling van Palestijnse kinderen in Israëlische militaire detentie onverminderd voortduurt en in bruutheid zelfs is toegenomen. In die tien jaar zijn opnieuw duizenden kinderen vermalen door het militaire regime waaronder de ene na de andere generatie wordt geboren en opgroeit.

 

Als de bevindingen van beide organisaties iets aantonen is het hoe straffeloosheid er uitziet.

En waartoe het niet-ingrijpen door de Internationale gemeenschap, waaronder Nederland, leidt. 'Pech gehad, kinderen' is ook de boodschap van onze regering: 'We zijn bezorgd over jullie lot, maar komen jullie niet te hulp want we zijn dikke vrienden met jullie bezetter. Sterker, we kopen zijn wapens - die op jullie zijn uitgetest'.

Het wegkijken gebeurt niet uit onwetendheid, maar willens en wetens.

Ook gij, Guterres

En niet zelden onder druk. Zo is Israël niet opgenomen in de zogenoemde list of shame'  die de secretaris-generaal van de VN, Antonio Guterres, jaarlijks opstelt van statelijke en non-statelijke actoren die zich tijdens een gewapend conflict schuldig maken aan geweld tegen kinderen, Die 'lijst van schaamte' maakt deel uit van Guterres' recent verschenen voortgangsrapport Children and armed conflict.

 

Hoewel Israël/Palestina daarin wordt beschreven als een van de grootste schenders van kinderrechten (vanaf pagina 12) ontbreekt het aIs enige daarvan in de lijst (vanaf pagina 43).

Dat verschil is essentieel. Actoren op de lijst kunnen rekenen op een paria-stigma waar zij alleen vanaf komen door mee te werken aan een VN-Actieplan ter beëindiging van hun wandaden. Daarvoor heeft Guterres Israël - niet voor het eerst - behoed.

 

Mensenrechtenorganisatie Human Rights Watch schrijft dat het van de lijst houden van Israël door Guterres het gevolg is van een 'agressieve [Israëlische] lobby'. Dat zou niet voor het eerst zijn. In 2017 liet Guterres onder druk van Israël en de VS een in opdracht van de VN geschreven rapport over Israëlische apartheid intrekken; hoe dat ging beschreven we onderaan deze pagina.


Dit jaar werd door Guterres alleen Rusland aan zijn lijst van schaamte toegevoegd.

Defenceless: The Impact of Israeli Military Detention on Palestinian Children

10 juli 2023.

 

Growing up amidst military occupation and conflict has had a profound impact on Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza. It has impacted every aspect of their lives, from their safety and development to their psychosocial wellbeing and mental health. All Palestinian children face a myriad of protection risks, but one sub-set of children is uniquely vulnerable and suffers consistent violations of their fundamental rights: children who endure the Israeli military detention system.

 

In light of this, Save the Children surveyed more than 470 children across the West Bank, to hear about their experience of detention and to understand its resounding impact on their lives after release. The children echoed findings by other human rights organisations and painted a similarly bleak picture of the system. A majority reported they had endured a distressing or violent arrest or detention, in most cases at night; a coercive interrogation environment; physical and emotional abuse in detention; and a denial of essential services including an adequate education - all of which constitute a breach of their rights enshrined in international law. Save the Children's research also reveals the lasting impacts of detention on children's lives. As a result of the children's and their families, willingness to share their experiences and challenges after release, it is clear from their testimony that military detention has profound and far-reaching repercussions on children's lives. This manifests as anxiety, depression, behavioural changes, eating and sleeping disorders, and physical symptoms including chest pains, exhaustion, and numbness.

 

Despite the traumatic experiences they have endured, Palestinian children who have spent time in detention retain their hope and are determined to reinstate their right to a bright and fulfilling future. The Israeli authorities, the Palestinian Authority (PA), international community and donors must heed their call for a different future and take urgent steps to ensure that Palestinian children's vision becomes a reality. Save the Children believes that no child should be prosecuted in a military court, or any court that lacks comprehensive fair trial rights and juvenile justice standards. Save the Children is calling on the Government of Israel to respect international law and to end the detention of children under military law and their prosecution in military courts.

Isolated: The impact of family separation on Palestinian children in military detention

Every year, approximately 500-700 Palestinian children encounter the Israeli military detention system. The prosecution of Palestinian children in the military detention system, and the ill-treatment most endure, is a long-standing human rights concern. It also represents a major child protection crisis, which has devastating consequences for each child.

OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY

STRIPPED, BEATEN AND BLINDFOLDEDNEW RESEARCH REVEALS ONGOING VIOLENCE AND ABUSE OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN DETAINED BY ISRAELI MILITARY

10 juli 2023.

 

Ramallah - Palestinian children in the Israel military detention system face physical and emotional abuse, with four out of five(86%) of them being beaten, and 69% strip-searched, according to new research by Save the Children. Nearly half (42%)

are injured at the point of arrest, including gunshot wounds and broken bones. Some report violence of a sexual nature and some

are transferred to court or between detention centres in small cages, the child rights organisation said.

 

The new research comes as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied

since 1967 presents evidence today to the Human Rights Council on Pak stinian children in detention. It is estimated that there are between 500 and 1000 children held in Israeli military detention.

 

Save the Children says these practices are a major and long standing human rights concern and is calling for the Government of

Israel to end the detention of Palestinian children under military law and their prosecution in military courts.

 

Save the Children and a partner organisation consulted 228 former child detainees from across the West Bank, detained from between one and 18 months, and found that most children are beaten, handcuffed and blindfolded during arrest. They are also

interrogated at unknown locations without the presence of a caregiver, and are often deprived of food, water and sleep, or

access to legal counsel, according to the research. The main alleged crime for these detentions is stone throwing, which can carry a 20- year sentence in prison for Palestinian children.

 

Khalil*, who was detained when he was 13, said that he did not receive essential healthcare:

"I had an injury in my leg, I had a cast, and had to crawl to be able to move. I felt my body being torn apart. I had no canes to help me walk, I kept asking soldiers for help during the transfer, but no one helped me."

 

The new research follows Save the Childrens 2020 report "Defenceless” and finds that the impact of physical and emotional

abuse during detention has soared, with profound consequences on children's ability to recover.

 

Khalil4 continued: "The soldier threatened to kill me when he arrested me for the second time. He asked me, 'Do you want the same fate as your cousin?' as he had been killed. He promised me that I would have the same fate and die, but that he would send me to prison first. He told me that he's coming back for me - and every day, I wait for that day to come."

 

Some children reported that they believed different types of abuse were intended to push them to admit things that were untrue in order to incriminate others, including family members.

 

Yasmeen* the mother of Ahmed* detained when he was 14, said: "During interrogation, they convinced Ahmed * to tell on his brother in exchange for his release. He was naive and didn't understand what was happening. He said what they told him to say; a few days later, they came to our house and arrested my other son".

 

Save the Children's new consultation showed that:

• During arrest, 42% of children were injured, including gunshot wounds and broken bones, and 65% of children were arrested during the night, mostly between midnight and dawn. Half of all arrests took place in the children's home.

• The majority of children experienced appalling levels of physical and emotional abuse including being beaten (86%), being threatened with harm (70%), and hit with sticks or guns (60%).

• Some children reported violence and abuse of a sexual nature, including being hit or touched on the genitals and 69%

reported being strip searched.

60% of children experienced solitary confinement with the length of time varying from one 1 day to as long as 48 days.

• Children were denied access to basic services, 70% said they suffered from hunger and 68% said they didn't receive any

healthcare.

58% of children were denied visits or communication with their family while detained.

• The majority of children detained are boys - a trend reflected by the survey, with boys representing 97% of the respondents.

Children are increasingly unable to fully return to their normal life following release from detention, with the number of children

having frequent nightmares rising from 39% to 53% and those suffering from insomnia or difficulty sleeping rocketing from 47%

to 73%, compared to the children surveyed in 2020.

Lana, the mother of Mohammed* who was detained when he was 14, said: "After my son was released, he wanted to stay by my side and sleep next to me. He refuses to leave the house. It has been a challenge for us; I feel that he is traumatized. He was arrested Tuesday night, now every Tuesday he feels they are coming for him."

 

Save the Children's research also showed how children's care and hope for the future decreased from 96% in 2020 to 68% in 2023, an alarming increase in a context with limited psychosocial support available.

 

Jason Lee, Save the Children's Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territory, said:

"Each year approximately 500-700 Palestinian children come into contact with the Israeli military court system; they are the only children in the world to experience systematic prosecution in military courts. Our research shows - once again - that they are subject to serious and widespread abuse at the hands of those who are meant to be looking after them.

 

"There's simply no justification for beating and stripping children, treating them like animals or robbing them of their futures. This is a child protection crisis that can no longer be ignored. There must finally be an end to this abusive military detention system."

 

Save the Children is calling on the Government of Israel to respect all children's rights and international law. No children should be prosecuted in military courts or any court that lacks comprehensive fair trial rights and juvenile justice standards. Save the Children is calling for an immediate moratorium on Israeli military authorities arresting, detaining and prosecuting children.

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

A note on the methodology:

In total, 228 former child detainees participated in this study by Save the Children and YMCA. This includes 177 children who

responded to surveys and 51 who took part in focus group discussions. A further two focus group discussions were held with

parents whose children had been detained. All child participants were between the ages of 12 and 17 years old when they were

detained and were between the ages of 15 and 21 when they took part in the study. All of these children were detained in the past three years, with the majority, 71%, detained in the past year.

 

A combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including surveys and focus groups, was applied, to ensure that the

perspectives and experiences of Palestinian children who experienced arrest and detention were at the core of the study.

Their experience aligns with the assessment of Military Court Watch and suggests that the vast majority of UNICEF's 38

recommendations to ensure a system in line with international juvenile justice standards and international law, have not been

substantially implemented.

 

You can find Save the Children's 2020 report on Palestinian

children in detention, Defenceless, here.

 

Save the Children has been working with Palestinian children since the 1950s, with a permanent presence in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) since 1973. Our team works across the oPt, with over 30 partners, to ensure children survive, have a chance to learn, are protected from all types of abuse, and that all actors remain committed to fulfilling the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

 

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. Around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children—every day and in times of crisis­ transforming their lives and the future we share.

'Name has been changed to protect anonymity

The Destruction of This Palestinian Community Was Green-Lighted by Israels Supreme Court

10 juli 2023.

 

The Israeli military wants the homes of Masafer Yatta for target practice.

 

And the country's Supreme Court says that's totally kosher.

 

BASEL ADRA and YUVAL ABRAHAM

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is a collaboration between The Nation, +972 Magazine, and Local Call.

 

So'ed Od, a 13-year-old girl, is one of around 1,000 Palestinian residents of the eight villages in Masafer Yatta—a small region of

rugged hills at the southem edge of the occupied West Bank. So'ed now spends her days helping her mother look after their flock

of sheep and make cheese in the small village of Sfay, whose name comes from the Arabic word for "pure".

 

So'ed stopped attending class after Israeli bulldozers crushed the village school. That day, So'ed told us, she helped young

children, the students of lower grades, to escape through the windows. "We were in English class," she said. "I saw a Jeep

approaching through the window, The teacher stopped the class. Soldiers arrived with two bulldozers. They closed the doors on

us. We were stuck in the classrooms. Then we escaped through the windows. And they destroyed the school."

 

The destruction of the elementary school took place in November 2022 and was documented on video. Children in the first,

second, and third grades can be seen in one of the classrooms, screaming and sobbing. Israeli soldiers surrounded the school,

where 23 students were enrolled, and threw stun grenades at villagers who were attempting to block the path of the bulldozers.

The sound of the explosions terrified the trapped students even more. In the videos, mothers can be seen pulling children out

through the classroom windows. Representatives from the Israeli Civil Administration, the arm of the military that governs the

occupied territories, entered the emptied school, removed the tables, chairs, and boards from the classrooms, and loaded them

onto a truck, confiscating the items. The Civil Administration did not respond to our request for comment.

 

In 1980, the army had declared 30,000 dunams (nearly 7,500 acres) of the residents' land to be a "firing zone"; the stated purpose

was to remove Palestinians from the area, which Israel designated for Jewish settlement because of its strategic proximity to the

Green Iine marking the border. In May of last year, a three-judge panel of the Supreme Court rejected the residents' appeal

against the firing zone, effectively giving the army permission to continue to displace the Palestinians from their land. The judge

who wrote the controversial ruling, David Mintz, lives in a West Bank settlement called Dolev, about a 20-minute drive from

Ramallah.

 

The mass expulsion of Masafer Yatta's residents has not yet been carried out, but the lives of all the people of these villages have

changed beyond recognition in the months since the ruling. Soldiers have begun detaining children at impromptu checkpoints

they've erected in the middle of the desert under the cover of night; families watch as bulldozers raze their homes with increasing

frequency; and, right next to the villages designated for expulsion and demolition, soldiers are already training with live fire, racing tanks, and detonating mines.

 

Army officials have stated that plans to carry out the expulsion order have already been presented to politicians. This year, with

the most right-wing government in Israel's history in power一一and with its ministers openly calling for mass population transfers

and the erasure of Palestinian villagesit's very likely that the mass expulsion will actually take place. If it does, it will be the

largest single act of population transfer carried out in the West Bank since Israel expelled thousands of Palestinians in 1967, in the early days of the occupation.

 

Both of us have witnessed the struggle in Masafer Yatta from up close. Basel, a journalist and activist, was born in one of the

villages there. His mother started taking him to demonstrations against the expulsion when he was 5. He grew up without

electricity in his home because the military ordered a blanket ban on construction and access to infrastructure for Palestinians in

the area. Over the past decade, he has been documenting the erasure of his community on video, and his posts have reached

millions of people around the world.

 

Yuval was born in the city of Be'er Sheva, a 30-minute drive from Basel's house, on the Israeli side of the Green Line. For the past

five years, he has been reporting on the expulsion and apartheid in both Hebrew and English. The two of us work as a team,

mostly for +972 Magazine and the news site Local Call, and this article is a product of our collaboration.

 

Since the court's ruling last May, Israel has made the lives of the families in Masafer Yatta even more unbearable, to the point that

it's unclear whether they will be able to survive there. This process, however, lias been going on for more than four decades—in

what can best be described as a slow-moving expulsion. The primary tool Israel uses is the systematic denial of building permits.

Because Palestinian residents cannot possibly live in a village without houses and other basic infrastructure—and because

anything they build is deemed “illegal" and summarily demolished—over time this policy has forced the residents to leave their

land.

 

Seven days after the ruling, the military razed the homes of nine families in Masafer Yatta; 45 people were left homeless. "It was

one of the worst acts of destruction I have ever seen" said Eid Hadlin, a local activist who lives in a house that has no running

water or electricity and is facing a demolition order.

 

The bulldozers arrived at Al-Merkaz, one of the villages designated for expulsion. The soldiers let the residents clear out their

homes. The women carried their personal belongings outside and gathered them into a pile: mattresses, backpacks, underwear

and shirts, shampoo bottles. An inspector in the Civil Administration looked on until the houses were emptied. Then he gave the

go-ahead, and the bulldozers wrecked it all.

 

Najati, a young teenager, sat with his grandmother next to the pile of debris that was once their home. He was furious. "The officer told me, as lie was demolishing our house: *Why bother building? That's it, finished—this area is now the army's for training,he said.

 

One morning, the residents of his village discovered that soldiers had posted warning signs on their houses overnight. "You are in

a firing zone" the signs read, in Arabic that was so riddled with errors that they seemed to have been written with the help of

Google Translate. "Entrance is forbidden. Anyone breaking the law can be arrested, fined, lose their vehicle, which will be

confiscated, or can face any other punishment deemed fitting.'' In the following weeks, soldiers built a checkpoint between the

villages and confiscated vehicles that passed through it, under the pretext that driving through a firing zone is prohibited. And so,

gradually, most of the residents were deprived of their ability to move freely.

 

Najati said his family slept outside that night, under the open sky, and the next day they cleared the debris and took out a loan to

build another house, in the same spot. "I've lived in Masafer Yatta my whole life, herding sheep," said Safa Al-Najar, Najati's

grandmother, her voice slightly hoarse but her smile that of a young woman. Her home was demolished that same day as well. And so, she said, shell sleep in the family's cave.

 

"At first, my husband and I lived in this cave," she said. "This was our bedroom, and living room, and kitchen—everything

together. The sheep lived next to us in the second cave. But 20 years ago, when my children were grown, we built a house for

them. Everything we built—destroyed."

 

According to data from the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, since 2016, soldiers have demolished the homes of 121 families in Masafer Yatta and have left around 384 people without shelter, many of them children. And it's not only houses that are at risk,

but all buildings and infrastructure. Pens for the sheep were also destroyed, water pipes cut, trees felled; even the access roads,

which connect the villages to one another, were destroyed by a huge bulldozer.

 

At a time when two separate legal proceedings are being brought against Israel at The Hague—in the International Criminal Court

and the International Court of JusticeIsrael seems eager to avoid the harsh international condemnation that would inevitably

follow from a brazen population transfer. By expelling the residents of Masafer Yatta house by house, Israel can achieve the same

goal at a much smaller cost to its image.

 

Since the destruction of their school, children in Sfay have been attending class in a crumbling trailer parked on the outskirts of

the village. There are holes in the roof through which rainwater leaks, and the bathroom door is a piece of curtain. The army has

forbidden any renovation of the trailer—or the building of a new school.

 

So'ed's village is fairly typical for Masafer Yatta. Most of its residents are farmers and shepherds who plant wheat, barley, and olive trees, make goat cheese, and wake up early in the morning to bake bread. The area is full of ancient caves, carved out of the soft white rocks in the hilly desert by residents many generations ago. So'ed's parents lived in the caves, but they eventually built a house for her and her siblings.

 

Families whose homes are demolished by military bulldozers are forced to live in the caves, which quickly become overcrowded

and suffocating. Yet the residents are also forbidden from renovating the caves, some of which are already uninhabitable.

 

“We want to build regular houses, to live aboveground. Sleeping in a cave is like sleeping in a grave, " said Fares Al-Najar, a resident of Al-Merkaz. Families who don't have a cave or who refuse to accept such living conditions are forced to either leave their community and lose their land—or build a new house that will inevitably be demolished. "It's an unending cycle," Fares said.

 

Both the scope and the frequency of such demolitions have increased since the Supreme Court's decision, which made it much

easier for Israeli judges to deny the appeals submitted by the families' lawyers. And while those appeals, too, were often denied in the past, the legal proceedings went on fbr years, buying the residents time to remain in their villages and organize their

community struggle.

 

Masafer Yatta is part of Area C, a designation under the Oslo Accords, which covers 61 percent of the West Bank and is under full

Israeli military and civil control. Out of the hundreds of requests for building permits the army received between 2000 and 2020,

it has denied over 99 percent of requests in Area C, according to data provided by the Israeli NGO Bimkoni—Planners for

Planning Rights.

 

In the 15 months since the Supreme Court ruling, the army has imposed a curfew on Jinba, the village where Nidal was born.

Soldiers built two checkpoints next to the village: At one, there is a black tent; at the other, a tank. Both are used to detain

residents, to confiscate their vehicles, and to block visitors from entering the village.

 

The court's ruling in May “cut us off from the other villages", Nidal said. "Every time we want to leave, to visit our family

members, to go shopping, the soldiers detain us for at least two hours. That's the best case-scenario. One time, they held me up for seven hours."

 

People are afraid to drive to the villages for fear of losing their vehicles. In recent months, residents testify, soldiers have

confiscated the cars of humanitarian workers, schoolteachers, and lawyers providing legal assistance to the residents. "This policy

also has a chilling effect on journalists, who are less able to come and report on the region. Cutting Masafer Yatta off from other

communities is expected to make it easier for the army to carry out the population transfer with as few witnesses as possible.

 

The day before the start of school last year, soldiers refused to let the teachers of Jinba's elementary school enter the village to

prepare the classrooms. The soldiers at the checkpoint confiscated their car, explaining that they were in a firing zone. These

decisions are made arbitrarily: The following day, the soldiers let the teachers through.

 

Royda Abu Aram, from the village of Al-Halawah, is a student in 12th grade, the year students take the tawjihi exams—the

Palestinian equivalent of the SATs. "Yesterday I missed all my classes because there was no way for me to get there without a car

or transportation", she said. "My friend Bisan, who tried to get to school by car, was delayed by the soldiers for an hour and a half,

in the sun."

 

In a video recording of the checkpoint from August, a soldier, his hand resting on his gun and a large tank behind him, explains to

a group of several adults and school-age children, backpacks slung across their shoulders, that "this area is designated as a firing

zone, the army closed this area, and we are conducting searches here."

 

Every school in Masafer Yatta has received a demolition order. "I really want to work in education. I'm interested in studying at

university and becoming a language and English teacher, " Bisan, also a 12th grader, said. "But I'm worried I won't do well on the

tawjihi exam in these circumstances. It's hard to learn when you know that you may wake up tomorrow and bulldozers will come

to demolish your school."

 

The Supreme Court ruling also granted permission to the Israeli militaiy to start training with live fire in the area. Tanks have

been roaring through the area between the villages while soldiers fire live rounds and detonate explosives; helicopters have been

practicing landing and taking off. All these loud noises join the buzzing of the drones that the soldiers, and sometimes the nearby

settlers, use to monitor whether residents are building new houses after their homes have been destroyed.

 

“Our entire village went outside to look at them,, said Jinba resident Issa Younis, after a day of tank training that took place next

to the village last June. "The noise of the tanks was deafening. The mine detonations started before sunrise, right by our houses.

All the walls shook, like we were in an earthquake."

 

During one of these training sessions, in the village of Al-Majaz, soldiers placed targets on the windows of the houses, on a tractor, and on a car. Jabar, a 15-year-old boy, left his house to see what was going on. A sand cloud swirled around him—the result of a tank driving through the desert region. "The soldiers hung targets on the window of our house and on the haystacks/* Jab ar said. "They wrote that they would be returning soon to shoot, but I took the targets down."

 

The military promised the court that it would take precautionary measures when conducting any exercises with live fire, and that

the soldiers would not endanger the lives of the residents. The reality has been different. In July 2022, Leila Dababsa was sitting in her home when she heard an explosion above her. The ceiling began to crumble. " The living room was filled with the sound of

gunfire, and my daughter screamed" she said, pointing to the holes in the tin roof. Most of the houses are built from cheap

materials, out of fear that they will be destroyed. Leila and her daughter escaped and hid in a nearby cave.

 

"A second before they shot our house, I was picking tomatoes in the garden" said Sa'iid Dababsa, whose house was targeted.

"This is the first time that a bullet entered our home, into the living room. Before, we were in clanger of being expelled. Now my

family and I are in danger of being killed."

 

Historically, the expulsion process in Masafer Yatta can largely be traced back to two men: Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, both of

whom were senior military figures who later became Israeli prime ministers. They represent competing camps in Israeli politics:

Sharon headed the Likud party, which is identified with the Zionist right, and Barak led the Labor Party, which is affiliated with

the Zionist left. But on issues related to Masafer Yatta, the two worked together in harmony.

 

After leading the conquest of the West Bank in 1967, Sharon, then a military official, began the process of declaring various areas

as military firing zones, first in the Jordan Valley and later in Masafer Yatta. "As one of the people who initiated the firing zones in

1967, everyone was aware of one goal: to enable Jewish settlement in the area,” Sharon testified in 1979. "Back then, I sketched out these filing zones, reserving our land for settlement".

 

The locations of the firing zones weren't chosen randomly. They perfectly matched the Allon Plan, which was submitted to the

Israeli government a month after the occupation began by Yigal Allon, another future prime minister, and which determined that

the areas should be permanently kept under full Israeli control. With their relatively arid climate, these areas had few Palestinian

villages compared to the crowded northern West Bank, which made them appealing for Jewish settlement.

 

A map commissioned by the state in 1977 designates part of the Masafer Yatta region for such settlement. Three years later, in

1980, firing zones were declared in the same area.

 

In a secret meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Settlement Affairs held in July 1981, Sharon offered the army the firing zone

that was declared in Masafer Yatta and reaffirmed that his goal was to remove Palestinians from the area, according to the official

transcript. "We have a great interest in being there, given the phenomenon of Arabs from the villages spreading toward the desert [in the south],” he explained to the army chief of staff.

 

During the same period, the Israeli government worked to establish Jewish settlements in the region. Settlements like Susy a,

Ma'on, and Carmel were part of the state's policy of cutting off the Palestinian population in the Negev, which is inside Israel, from the Palestinian population in the soutliern West Bank, like the residents of Masafer Yatta.

 

"For many years, there was a physical connection between the Arab population of the Negev with the Arab population in the

Hebron hiils. A situation was created in which the border extends inside our territory," Sharon told the settlement committee. "We must quickly create a buffer strip of [Jewish] settlement, which will distinguish and separate the Hebron Hills from Jewish

settlement in the Negev. To drive a wedge between the bedouins in the Negev and the Arabs in Hebron.”

 

Sharon's words are particularly relevant today, as not only the residents of Masafer Yatta but also the Bedouins in the Negev are

being dispossessed of their land through the systematic denial of building permits and the declaration of military firing zones.

 

In 1999, Ehud Barak was elected prime minister. These were the days of the Oslo Accords, four years after Yitzhak Rabin's

assassination—when there was still hope among Israelis and Palestinians that a peace deal might come. But Barak's government

decided to permanently remove the residents of Masafer Yatta. Under his watch, in November 1999, soldiers moved through all the villages, loaded 700 people into trucks, and expelled them. They became refugees in nearby villages.

 

"I remember that day vividly", said Safa Al-Najar, now 70. “Soldiers came inside, while outside there were two big trucks waiting.

They lifted us onto them by force, with all of our belongings. The sheep escaped on foot. They threw us into another village".

 

Barak's ethnic cleansing, carried out by a government that included the left-wing Meretz party, inspired protests in Israel led by

intellectuals, among them famous authors like David Grossman. The protesters met with the general of the Central Command to

express opposition to the operation, but they were told that it had to be carried out because, in preparation for further

negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel had a major interest in keeping the region part of its sovereign

territory.

 

The talks between Israel and the PLO for a final peace resolution, which took place in 2000 at Camp David, apparently led Barak

to accelerate the dispossession efforts in Masafer Yatta. The thinking was that if there were no Palestinians living there, it would

be more likely that the region would ultimately remain under Israeli control.

 

This is one reason why the "peace process" in the 1990s was in fact deeply destructive for many Palestinians: It galvanized rather

than tamed Israeli colonialism. In those years, the number of Palestinian home demolitions grew significantly, while Jewish

settlements were quickly populated and roads leading to them were rapidly paved.

 

A few months after Barak ordered their displacement, the residents of Masafer Yatta petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court against

the firing zone. Palestinians living in the West Bank are subject to military lawthey don't have the right to vote and so are

unable to influence the legal system that rules over them—and the Supreme Court has expanded its jurisdiction to encompass the

occupied territories.

 

Their petition remained before the court for more than 22 years. Instead of making a decision, the judges issued an interim order

allowing the displaced Palestinians to temporarily return to their homes. In 2012, while Barak was defense minister, the state

declared in court that its demand for forced transfer was still active, and that the army was prepared to allow residents access to

work their land only during Israeli holidays and on the weekends, when no military exercises took place.

 

Even this temporary retrieve came to an end last May, when the judges finally rejected the residents' petition. In the ruling by

Justice David Mintz, the court accepted the state's claims that when the firing zone was declared over 40 years ago, the people of

Masafer Yatta were not "permanent residents" of the area, but rather "seasonal residents." That is, they used to move between two places, depending on the shepherding season: They had one house in a village in Masafer Yatta and another in the city. According to the letter of the military law, the declaration of a firing zone does not apply to permanent residents in the territory, but since, as the state claimed, the residents of Masafer Yatta were only "seasonal" their expulsion should be permitted. The Supreme Court agreed.

 

Such legal arguments don't impress halima, who was born in a cave in Al-Merkaz in 1948 and has lived there her whole life.

“That's their court, not ours," she said, "and they use the law in order to expel us."

 

The names of the Masafer Yatta villages are all over old maps that predate the Israeli state, including one by British surveyors from 1879. Another can be found in a 1931 book by a geographer named Nathan Shalem, who visited homes in Jinba and noted that human settlement there “had never ceased." Aerial photographs from 1945 testify to the existence of the villages. Even the official documentation of the State of Israel shows that in 1966, the Israeli military blew up 15 stone structures in Jinba, then under the control of Jordan, later compensating the residents through the International Red Cross.

 

The Supreme Court rejected this historical evidence, which was attached to the residents' petition. "The existence of the stone

houses in the ruins of Jinba, in 1966, has nothing to teach us about the situation of things in 1980," Mintz explained in his ruling.

He gave evidentiary weight only to the area's status in the year in which the military's firing zone was declared.

 

In their decision, the judges relied on the work of an Israeli anthropologist, Ya'akov Habakkuk, who lived in the region in the

1980s, for their claim of "seasonality." Habakkuk wrote that during the grazing season, in winter and spring, the families lived in

Masafer Yatta, but in the dry months of summer, they lived in the adjacent city of Yatta. This describes the lifestyle of many

families living in the region in the past, though not all of them.

 

Habakkuk himself is adamantly opposed to the court's interpretation of his work. He told us he had no idea his research was being

used to justify the expulsion, "It was obvious to everyone around that this is their village," he said. "The families came there

consistently, always to the same cave, and when they weren't here, no one else would enter".

 

International law explicitly forbids population transfers in occupied territory, with almost no exceptions. But in their ruling, the

judges claimed that if there is a conflict between international law and Israeli law, "Israeli law decides'. In the decision, they wrote

that the section of the Geneva Conventions forbidding population transfers is intended "only to prevent acts of mass expulsion of

a population in occupied territory in order to destroy it, to perform forced labor, or to achieve other policy goals" and therefore

there is no connection with the Masafer Yatta displacement, which was only ordered so that the military could train there.

 

The ban-on population transfers is found in the Fourth Geneva Convention, in Section 49: “Deportations of protected persons

from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any othcr country, occupied or not, arc prohibited,

regardless of their motive" (emphasis ours).

 

The story of Masafer Yatta thus represents the cornerstone of Israeli settler colonialism throughout Israel-Palestine. On both sides of the Green Line, Palestinian displacement is largely achieved by way of the law: the systematic denial of building permits, the denial of Palestinian ownership rights to the land in question, the declaration of expansive firing zones, the designation of national parks, and the establishment of new Jewish settlements to “drive a wedge" and cut villages off from one another.

 

"Everything that lies behind the process is the theft of our land and the expulsion of our communities," said Nidal Abu Younis, the

head of the Masafer Yatta village council. "Destroying our homes, confiscating our vehicles, destroying our roads and schools一一

it's all one massive crime. They can expel us at any moment. Now more than ever, we are in need of international solidarity." 

 

Basel Aclra

Basel Adra is a reporter fbr +972 Magazine and Local Call.

Yuval Abraham

Yuval Abraham is a reporter for +972 Magazine and Local Call.

What the siege of Jenin signals about the future of Israel and Palestine

The Israeli raid on Jenin appears over. But the next one could come at any time.

10 juli 2023.

 

This week, Israeli forces besieged the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. It was perhaps the biggest escalation there in two decades. It's  also of a piece with the policies of the current Israeli government.

 

On Monday, Israeli forces conducted an operation with airstrikes and military personnel. About 1,000 Israeli troops entered Jenin over those two clays, according to the Israeli press, in what the government said was a counterterrorism operation.

 

At least 12 Palestinians were killed, several of them militants; over 100 Palestinians were wounded; and one Israeli soldier was killed. The Palestinian health ministry said that water and electricity systems in Jenin were damaged, and ambulances were

blocked from reaching those in need of care.

 

Amid the aerial attacks and bulldozers, thousands of Palestinians fled from their homes in Jenin. While many may return after homes are reconstructed, those shocking images were reminiscent of the catastrophe of 1948, which Palestinians call the Nakba, when some 750,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes. An “ongoing Nakba, a never-ending trauma," is how Ines Abdel Razek, the advocacy director for the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, described the situation, "You're being displaced and re­ displaced and denied your dignity and the right to be free within your homeland."

 

The Israeli attack represents a major escalation and the most intensive campaign in the West Bank since perhaps 2002, when Israeli forces destroyed parts of Jenin. But it also builds on an exceedingly violent year in Jenin and across the occupied West Bankincluding ongoing Israeli raids on Palestinian homes there to crack down on grassroots resistance groups that use violence against the Israeli military. In May 2022, prominent Palestinian American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead covering the Israeli raids of Palestinian homes in Jenin.

 

Though Israeli forces appear to have ended the campaign on Jenin, experts told me that there are risks of this continuing and such large-scale attacks on West Bank cities becoming the new reality. This year so far has seen a tremendous number of Palestinian deaths in the West Bank, more than 130 Palestinians killed so far this year, and is on track to overwhelmingly surpass 2022, which itself had set a tragic milestone, more than anytime in the past 15 years, of 146 Palestinians killed in the West Bank.

 

Many factors have contributed to this tense and dangerous moment. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank has resulted in daily injustice for Palestinians since 1967,and that has been supercharged by the current extreme-right Israeli government that is emboldening settler violence, the annexation of Palestinian land, and settlement expansion. That encroachment has led to both new armed Palestinian militant groupsand individual acts of violence — like last week when an Israeli military raid in Jenin killed seven Palestinians, seemingly leading to a retaliatory Palestinian shooting of four Israeli settlers, which then led to more settler violence against Palestinians, all within three clays. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has supported what it referred to as an Israeli policy of “self defense" further empowering the Israeli government at a time when Israelis had grown divided over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed judicial overhaul. For their part, young Palestinians are disenfranchised and see a Palestine Liberation Organization that offers no hope for political rights.

 

So while the attack on Jenin represents a radical departure, it is also part of the way the Israeli occupation works. At any point, the next campaign could begin, in Jenin or in another city. 

 

The “Gazafication” of the West Bank.

 

The shape and scale of this attack was new. The journalist Amjad Iraqi, writing in +972 Magazine, described the Israeli operation on Jenin as the Gazafication of the West Bank.

 

Israel has blockaded the occupied territory of Gaza for years and aggressively bombed Palestinians there as part of its counterterrorism campaigns in recent years. Hamas, which Israel and the US consider a terrorist group, in effect runs the government there. Palestinian militants have launched rockets into Israeli territory, and in response, Israel conducts operations against militants there that it calls umowing the grass." But that violent process has largely stayed in the confines of Gaza.

 

With over 600,000 Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, the territory has not experienced such an intensive bombardment. But now that dynamic appears to have changed.

 

The strict Israeli military occupation of the West Bank has largely rooted out the kind of organized resistance factions that have threatened Israeli national security interests. But a new generation of Palestinians has begun to resort to violence in response to the Israeli military, settler violence, and against Israelis in other situations.

 

The Israeli government described its military activity in Jenin as self-defense. "We're not trying to hold the ground. We're acting against specific targets," said Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht.

 

These grassroots military groups have attacked Israeli soldiers, but analysts have questioned the extent of the threat that disparate Palestinian groups represent beyond occasional, uncoordinated attacks. "Their offensive operations have been confined to occasional, small-scale attacks on Israeli military outposts, checkpoints and settlers,” according to the International Crisis Group's field reporting, "As things stand today, this new generation of armed groups does not yet seem to pose a major security threat. Interviews with residents, Fatah members and PA officials in Nablus suggest that the groups are small, disjointed and scattered, without clear leadership.”

 

Tariq Kenney-Shawa, an analyst with the Palestinian research network Al-Shabaka, emphasizes the power asymmetry between the Israeli military and Palestinian military groups. "In Jenin refugee camp, they're defending themselves from an Israeli invasion of the camp. They're engaging in armed confrontations with soldiers who are part of one of the most advanced and most well-trained militaries on this planet, that has access to some of the best technology out there,” he told me.

 

Experts have been warning of a third intifada, or uprising, among Palestinians given their intense disenfranchisement at a time when the Israeli government appears to be moving forward with normalization deals with Arab states and leaving Palestinians

behind. Israel might have conducted this week's raid to weaken organized resistance groups, but experts said it might only further inflame resistance.

 

Ayman Yousef, a political scientist at Arab American University in Jenin, says the attacks have brought about "a huge solidarity among Palestinians.” He worries that this unification among Palestinians will cause Israel to view this operation as a failure, which

could lead to further escalatory and retaliatory measures from Israel, including the possibility of targeted assassinations. "There is a backlash of this Israeli operation, a kind of reverse result, in that people are more prepared to fight till the last drop, as they

say,” he told me.

 

Jenin looms large in Palestinian life and has been an epicenter of Palestinian resistance. In 1S53, the refugee camp was established, and nearly 50 years later during the second intifada, Israeli forces used jets and bulldozers to destroy parts of the camp. "The young people in the camp are still refugees today; their grandparents, or great-grandparents, had been expelled from Haifa by what became the Israeli army," Abdel Razak explained. “We're looking at a generation thafs only known the violence of the second intifada and its aftermath."

 

“You're talking about a camp and city with neighborhoods that are completely destroyed, still besieged, still unfree, and now with damaged infrastructure, being separated and confined, like Israel did with Gaza," Abdel Razak added. "If we are not addressing the root causes of apartheid and simply now go back to the situation of a few days ago, when is the next time?"

 

A former Israeli official told the New York Times that the next raid could come anytime, “even tomorrow."

 

Can the US's approach to the Israeli government change?

 

The Israeli government pursuing the raids and attacks of Jenin are the most extreme right-wing in the country's history. And many of its leaders in key cabinet positions have been clear in their intentions.

 

In June, when Palestinian gunmen killed four in the West Bank, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir threatened retribution against the West Bank, referring to it by the name that Israeli settlers often use. "It's time for a military operation in Judea and

Samaria, and to take down buildings from the air,” he said.

 

As Abdel Razak told me, “Even with such an Israeli government that is so blunt, and so clear of their intentions, international impunity is as strong as ever."

 

The Biden administration has drawn the line by not meeting with the most extreme cabinet members and representatives of this Israeli government. And last month, the US said it was deeply troubled by the Israeli Defense Ministry's announcement of

5,000 new settlements in the West Bank, But even as US public opinion has begun to shift toward a more favorabie view of Palestinians, that level of forthright condemnation has been lacking in the past few days with respect to Jenin, with the

exception of a few members of Congress.

 

“We support Israel's security and right to defend its people against Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups,'1 the White House said. And a State Department spokesperson said, ult is imperative to take all possible precautions to prevent the loss of civilian lives."

 

“Because an operation like Jenin doesn't get any condemnation, it basically gives a passive green light to the government to continue with such operations," says Mairav Zonszein of the International Crisis Group.

The many faces of Israeli apartheid.

12 juli 2023.

 

Last week, the Israeli military attacked Jenin city and refugee camp. They dropped bombs, teargassed hospitals, and displaced thousands of local residents. While Israeli troops have since retreated from Jenin, we know that this kind of horrific violence is taking place every day across Palestine, endemic to Israel's apartheid regime.

To fight for liberation, it's crucial that we understand how injustice operates. This week, let's commit ourselves to collective study.

Each of these recent articles highlights an aspect of Israeli apartheid. Read together, they illustrate clearly how these varying forms of violence reinforce one another, forming a political system which oppresses Palestinians in order to uphold Jewish supremacy.

“An 'ongoing Nakba, a never-ending trauma"

The Israeli military's attack on Jenin could represent an overall shift in the Israeli state's approach towards the occupied West Bank, bearing more of a resemblance to the policy of decimation that it has sought in Gaza.

 

Jonathan Guyer explores what this attack means for the future of Jenin, the West Bank, and Palestinian resistance to daily state violence.



"You are in a firing zone"

Many residents of Masafer Yatta have lived under the threat of expulsion their entire lives, resisting displacement even as their schools and homes were destroyed by Israeli military bulldozers. Follow the ongoing fight of Masafer Yalta's residents against the theft of their land, while live fire from the Israeli military's "training sessions" brushes past their homes.



"The only children in the world to experience systematic prosecution in military courts”

The Israeli military continues to detain Palestinian children, who are frequently beaten, strip-searched, denied legal counsel, interrogated in unknown locations without the presence of a caregiver, and deprived of basic necessities like food and water.

Harrowing new research from international organization Save the Children lays out the extent of the violence and abuse that Palestinian children undergo in Israeli military detention, as well as the long-term physical and psychological effects of such

abuse.

Tell your legislators: hold Israel accountable.

H.R. 3130 was drafted with a clear view of the horrors of life under Israeli apartheid and occupation. This legislation would ensure that no U.S. military funding to Israel can be used to support the Israeli military's detention and torture of Palestinian children, the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes and displacement of Palestinian families, or the illegal annexation of Palestinian land.

Tell your representatives now — stand up for Palestinian rights.

Despite the Ongoing Nakba, the Tide is Shifting!

14 juli 2023.

 

This year's Palestine Convention, entitled "Nakba 75: One Year Closer to a Free Palestine," will emphasize Palestinian indigeneity, imbue our future generation of activists with a proper conceptualization of Al-Nakba (Catastrophe), and better position them to be part of the ongoing liberation endeavor.

 

The Nakba rests in the collective memory of the Palestinian people worldwide and unites Palestinians toward a common cause, but more importantly, a common goal of justice and liberation. While our landscape was destroyed in 1948, and our dispossession has been ongoing since, the Nakba has led to the crystallization of a distinct Palestinian identity that we express in our daily lives in Palestine, the surrounding Arab states, and the rest of the diaspora community.

The constant assaults in the West Bank, most recently in Turmusaya and Jenin, are indicative of the ongoing nature of the Palestinian Nakba. Israeli occupation forces not only target Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but also Palestinian Americans visiting their homeland, who were the latest victims of Israeli settler violence and occupation aggression.

Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity are not going unnoticed. Our activism has unearthed the reality of Israeli oppression against the Palestinian people. The world is realizing the truth of Israeli apartheid and in turn, advocating for their human rights.

Through our advocacy work, educational programs, and campaigns here in the United States, we are gaining momentum and the tide is shifting in support of Palestinian human rights. Recent polls have shown that the trajectory, especially among the younger generation, is moving in a pro-Palestinian direction. As a result, more and more Members of Congress are highlighting Israeli human rights violations.

 It is of utmost importance that we build on this changing dynamic so that we put an end to zionist settler-colonialism and Israel apartheid, achieve justice and liberation for the Palestinian people, and witness in our lifetime a free Palestine. Taking part in this convention, along with your families and community members, is an important step toward that direction.

Be a part of this critical moment of history and join the largest gathering for Palestine in the U.S.

28 juli 2023.

In een artikel van 18 juli over de demonstraties die in Israël plaatsvinden tegen de door het kabinet-Netanyahu nagestreefde ‘juridische hervorming’ wordt Jeruzalem door de NOS de hoofd­stad van Israël genoemd. Dat verdient correctie.

Slechts een handjevol staten heeft Jeruzalem als Israëls hoofdstad erkend en er een ambassade gevestigd: de VS, Guatemala, Honduras en Kosovo.

De rest van de wereld, waaronder de VN, EU en Nederland, beschouwt Oost-Jeruzalem als Palestijns gebied dat sinds 1967 door Israël militair bezet wordt gehouden; Israëls annexatie van het stadsdeel wordt niet erkend, laat staan als deel van Israëls hoofd­stad. Als erkende hoofdstad geldt Tel Aviv.

Joodse kolonisering
De Israëlische bezetting van Oost-Jeruzalem dient als springplank voor Joodse kolonisering. Het aantal Joodse kolonisten dat Israël sinds 1967 illegaal in het bezette stadsdeel heeft gevestigd nadert een kwart miljoen. In dezelfde periode zijn zo’n 20 duizend Palestijnen uit de stad verdreven.

“Zo wordt onder onze ogen de door de NOS genoemde ‘hoofdstad’ Jeruzalem gecreëerd, gefundeerd op gestage etnische zuivering en agressieve kolonisering. Onder internationaal recht geldt de kolonisering van bezet gebied onder de oorlogsmisdaden, maar zolang de internationale gemeenschap daar geen sancties aan verbindt, trekt Israël zich daar niets van aan. Integendeel:  het spant zich in om Jeruzalem als ‘ondeelbare hoofdstad’ in het internationale geheugen gegrift te krijgen. Daar draagt de NOS met haar publicatie aan bij.”

STELSELMATIGE GERICHTE ISRAËLISCHE KINDERMOORD

28 augustus 2023

Human Rights Watch: steeds meer Palestijnse kinderen slachtoffer van Israëlisch geweld

Op 28 augustus heeft Human Rights Watch

(HRW) een schokkend nieuw rapport

gepubliceerd over het sterk toenemende

aantal Palestijnse kinderen dat (straffeloos)

door Israelische veiligheidstroepen is

vermoord. Van de afgelopen vijftien jaar was

2022 het dodelijkste jaar voor Palestijnse

kinderen, en in 2023 lijkt het aantal gedode

Palestijnse kinderen opnieuw hoger uit te

gaan vallen.

In de door HRW onderzochte gevallen schoten Israëlische militairen de kinderen direct in het bovenlichaam. Dat gebeurde zonder enige waarschuwing en met scherpe munitie. HRW constateert dat de kinderen klaarblijkelijk geen ernstige dreiging vormden voor de Israëlische troepen.

HRW roept Israël op om te stoppen met het onrechtmatige en dodelijke geweld tegen Palestijnen, roept de aanklager van het Internationaal Strafhof op het onderzoek naar oorlogsmisdaden in bezet Palestijns gebied te bespoedigen en roept de internationale gemeenschap op om voorwaarden aan Israël te stellen die moeten leiden tot beëindiging van het dodelijk geweld tegen Palestijnen (en andere schendingen van internationaal recht).

Tell Google: Stop profiting off of Israeli apartheid and violence against Palestinians

Action Network

25 augustus 2023

This year marks 75 years since the expulsion of over 75% of Palestinians from their land (referred to by Palestinians as "the Nakba," or "catastrophe" in Arabic), and your workers remain unwavering in their organizing to ensure that Google stops

enabling the injustice and violence that began with the Nakba and that Palestinians continue to face to this day.

 

2023 has proven to be the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2005, especially in the West Bank where the Israeli military deploys technology to terrorize and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians who live there. Like the many of your workers that have come forward, I also believe that technology should bring our communities together and work for the common good—not power occupation and violence.

 

This week, Google will hold its annual Google Cloud Next Conference in San Francisco, a major AI Conference that aims

to bring thousands of cloud enthusiasts to the Moscone Center for a few days of'Inspiration, innovation, and education."

 

But Google's tech isn't being used to inspire and innovate —it's fueling Israels security apparatus, enabling and entrenching apartheid, state violence, occupation, and land grabs through a highly lucrative $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government and military.

 

For almost two years, Google and Amazon workers have been organizing against their employers’ joint contract called Project Nimbus — a shadowy project that adds capacity and power to Israel's military and government.

Palestinians are already harmed by Israeli military surveillance and repression, and by expanding public cloud computing capacity, Google is helping to make Israeli apartheid more efficient, more violent, and even deadlier for Palestinians.

 

By providing cloud technology to Israel, Google is enabling the oppression of the Palestinian people. For example, Project Nimbus will likely expand the data capacity of the Israeli Land Authority (ILA), a government agency that uses discriminatory

policies to expand segregated Jewish settlements while trapping Palestinians in densely populated areas and limiting the growth of their communities. Technology should be used to bring communities together, not enforce Segregation and

displacement.

 

Furthermore, growing numbers of the public, myself included, agree with your workers in opposing the Israeli government's violations of Palestinian human rights. In the wake of the Israeli military's assault on Gaza in 2021 that resulted in the death of 250

people (including over 60 children), a data for Progress poll showed increasing numbers of people in the U.S. oppose their government's complicity in human rights violations such as illegal settlement expansion onto Palestinian land and the Israeli

military's destruction of residential homes. There is overwhelming consensus among workers and ordinary people that Google must put people over profit.

 

Just as people of conscience demanded institutions cut ties with apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, the time is now to rise up in Support of Palestinian human rights. We hope that you will take this opportunity to be on the right side of history as your own workers and communities across the globe come together to build a better world for all. Cut the Project Nimbus contract and re-establish your company’s commitment to human rights.

25 augustus 2023

 

Het Israëlische Hooggerechtshof

oordeelde onlangs dat de bewoners

van het Palestijnse dorp Anin slechts

twee keer per week hun land mogen

bewerken. De dorpelingen hadden via

juridische weg dagelijkse toegang

geëist, maar kregen nul op rekest.

De zaak toont eens temeer dat het

Hooggerechtshof geen recht in de ons

vertrouwde zin spreekt, maar als

witwasser van onrecht een belangrijk onderdeel is van het bezettingsregime.

Tijdens de behandeling van de zaak maakte het Israëlische leger bovendien bekend de toegang van de boeren tot hun land nog verder te gaan beperken, tot tweemaal per jaar.

 

Gescheiden van hun land

Anin ligt in het noordwesten van de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever. Bij de stichting van de Staat Israël in 1948 verloor het 60 procent van zijn landbouwgrond; dat kwam aan de Israëlische kant van de internationaal erkende grens terecht.

 

Twintig jaar geleden bouwde Israël zijn beruchte 'Afscheidingsmuur' op het resterende land van het dorp en kwam tweederde daarvan ten westen van de muur terecht, in de zogenoemde 'zoom-zone' tussen de Groene Lijn en de muur.

Alle families in het dorp hebben land in dat gebied.

 

Ter hoogte van Anin kreeg de muur een poort, die tot dusver tweemaal per week door het Israëlische leger kort werd geopend. Om daarvan gebruik te maken moeten de dorpelingen ook nog eens over een vergunning beschikken, die aan allerlei voorwaarden is gebonden. Tegen deze situatie procederen de Palestijnse families al sinds 2007, zonder succes.

Een poort in de ruim zevenhonderd kilometer lange Israëlische 'Afscheidingsmuur'. Zo'n 150 Palestijnse dorpen zijn door de muur afgesneden van hun landbouwgrond. Liefst 85 procent van de muur is illegaal op Palestijns land gebouwd. In 2004 oordeelden het Internationaal Gerechtshof en de VN dat Israël dit deel van de muur diende af te breken. Negentien jaar later is dat nog

altijd niet gebeurd. © UN OCHA

 

De vrees van de boeren is. dat hun olijfbomen verloren gaan als de poort bij hun dorp nog maar tweemaal per jaar open is. Nu al zorgen oprukkend onkruid, incidentele natuurbranden en een kudde koeien van een Israëlische boer voor problemen. De groenten en granen die zij eerder verbouwden, en veel meer zorg nodig hebben, gingen al verloren.

 

Feitelijke annexatie

De situatie in Anin staat niet op zichzelf. Circa 150 Palestijnse dorpen zijn door deze ruim zevenhonderd kilometer lange afscheidingsmuur van hun land afgesneden. De aldus vele honderden kilometers tellende muur, die bovendien ook nog eens voornamelijk op Palestijns grondgebied is gebouwd, is ernstig veroordeeld door het Internationaal Gerechtshof in Den Haag, de hoogste rechtbank ter wereld. Deze apartheidsmuur wordt bovendien algemeen beschouwd als een aanloop, en eerste stap, van de Joods-Israëlische landrovers-regering om, met behulp van dit muurgedrocht, enorme stukken Palestijns grondgebied van Palestijns territoir af te snijden. Die op deze manier achter deze enorme illegale barrière zijn verduisterd. En welke Palestijnse gebieden op deze manier nu inmiddels al weer jarenlang illegaal de facto zijn geannexeerd.

Wij strijden tegen landroof, bezetting en onderdrukking. Helpt u mee?

Israel's regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B'Tselem strives to end this regime, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all

people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

30 augustus 2023

 

On 26 january 2023, settlers attacked Hatem Qat’s house and damaged two of the family's cars.

 

On 9 March 2023, settlers cut down and uprooted about 80 olive trees in Dweikat's grove.

Burqah, Nablus District: Israeli settlers uproot and steal hundreds of almond seedlings and vandalize a wire fence and an irrigation system

On Wednesday, 3 May 2023, at around 9:00 A.M., 'Abd a-Naser Hajjah (53) discovered settlers had vandalized the fence surrounding a 24-dunam agricultural plot (1 dunam = 1,000 sq. meters)south of the town, stolen hundreds of almond seedlings and destroyed the irrigation system.

Qusrah, Nablus District: Israeli settlers raze Palestinian farmland and uproot 50 olive trees

On Thursday, 18 May 2023, settlers went to Palestinian farmland east of the town of Qusrah, near Route 60, razed the land and uprooted 50 20-year-old olive trees.

 

On 3 May 2023, settlers stole 750 almond tree seedlings and cut a barbed fence and irrigation pipes on Hajjeh's land. land.

Ni'lin, Ramallah District: Israeli settlers uproot about 200 tree saplings and dump rocks and dirt in water cistern belonging to Palestinians

On Saturday, 15 July 2023, Yusef Srur (47), from Ni'lin, arrived at his land, located about two kilometers northeast of the village, and discovered settlers had uprooted 120 olive seedlings and about 80 four-year-old forest tree saplings, Two weeks later, on 30 July 2023, Srur arrived at his land at around 6:00 RM., after a shepherd told him setters had entered it. Upon arrival, Srur saw three settlers who fled. He then saw they had dumped stones and dirt into a water cistern he uses to irrigate crops.

Burqah, Nablus District: Israeli settlers steal and vandalize barbed wire fence and irrigation pipes

On Saturday, 15 July 2023, at around 6:00 A.M., 'Abd a-Naser Hajjeh (53) arrived at his 24-dunam plot of land (1 dunam = 1,000 sq. meters) and discovered settlers had stolen part of the barbed wire fence that surrounded it and vandalized the rest. The settlers also stole part of the irrigation system and destroyed the rest.

Khirbet a-Deir, Jordan Valley: Israeli settlers destroy generator powering water pump used to irrigate crops belonging to Palestinians

On Wednesday, 19 July 2023, at around 10:00 A.M., 'Abd al-Fatah Abu Muhsen (55), a local Palestinian farmer, noticed two settlers vandalizing a generator that powers the water pump he uses to irrigate crops in his land north of the community of Khirbet a-Deir in the northern Jordan Valley, Abu Muhsen shouted at the settlers, and they ran away.

 

That evening, at around 5:00 P.M., about four settlers arrived at the plot while Abu Muhsen was working in it. They chased him, and he was forced to get into his car and leave.

 

In June 2023, settlers staged a three-day attack on the community, during which they assaulted farmers with clubs, sprayed them with pepper spray and destroyed crops.

Sabastiya, Nablus District: Israeli settlers cut down about 20 olive trees and vandalize barbed wire fence

On Monday, 24 July 2023, at around 8:00 A.M., Khaled Mukheimar (80) arrived at his land on the west side of the village of Sabastiya and discovered settlers had cut down about 20 olive trees and destroyed part of the barbed wire fence surrounding the plot.

Burin, Nablus District: Israeli settlers burn Palestinian orchard with 60 olive trees

On Monday afternoon, 24 July 2023, a resident of the village of Burin noticed settlers setting fire to land belonging to Shadi Ziben (42). The land, which covers four dunams (1 dunam = 1,000 sq. meters), has about 60 50-year-old olive trees. Zein, who hod been unable to reach the plot as settlers set up a tent near it earlier in the month, went to a location overlooking it and saw some of the trees had burnt.

Rujeib, Nablus District: Israeli settlers steal wire fence, irrigation pipes and a water tank belonging to Palestinian farmer

On Sunday, 11 August 2023, at around 6:30 RM., Rihab Dweikat (55) arrived at her grove located east of the village of Rujeib and discovered settlers had stolen about 50 meters of the wire fence that surrounded it, about 40 meters of irrigation pipes and a water tank.

Madama, Nablus District: Israeli settlers set fire to vegetation on village lands and attack house with stones. A settler fired in the air and soldiers fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at defending Palestinian residents

On Sunday, 27 August 2023, at around 5:00 P.M., about 30 settlers, one of them armed with a rifle, arrived at the southern side of the village of Madama and set fire to lands owned by its residents. Soldiers sitting in a military jeep nearby did not intervene.

 

The settlers then threw stones at the home of Hatem Qat (40), damaging the gate, water meter and several plant pots at the entrance. When local residents arrived to repel the settlers, one of the settlers fired in the air, and the soldiers in the jeep threw tear gas canisters and stun grenades at the villagers.

 

The settlers left the area at around 6:30 P.M., breaking 40 olive trees on the way. The soldiers left after them.

Israel's regime of apartheid and occupation is inextricably bound up in human rights violations. B'Tselem strives to end this regime, as that is the only way forward to a future in which human rights, democracy, liberty and equality are ensured to all

people, both Palestinian and Israeli, living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Consequences of Israeli Human Rights Violations on the Health of Women in the Gaza Strip

Source: Physicians for Human Rights lsrael(/orqanization/physicians-human-rights-israel)

3 september 2023

A study on the consequences of Israeli human rights violations on the physical and mental health of women in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip have experienced multiple and recurrent human rights violations due to Israel's military occupation, blockade, and ongoing military aggression. As a result, women experience persistent, inter-generational, and long-term mental and physical outcomes that manifest throughout their lives. They have felt threatened, were injured by the Israeli military, lost family members, and faced varied restrictions due to Israel's blockade.

 

Together with the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), we conducted a study on the consequences of Israeli human rights violations on the physical and mental health of more than 400 women who participated in the study. The study, the result of a 2-year joint project between PHRI and GCMHP focusing on Palestinian women in Gaza, shows a clear link between exposure to human rights violations and psychological distress.

The Israeli occupation forces continue to confiscate Palestinian school books in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, Monday, September 4, 2023 (WAFA) - The Israeli occupation police today confiscated Palestinian curriculum textbooks from students while they were heading to their school located inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, according to local sources.

 

They said that the police stopped the children, searched their schoolbags, and seized the books published by the Palestinian Ministry of Education taught for years as part of the Palestinian curriculum claiming also the books had a Palestinian flag printed on them.

The police seized a few days ago school books while they were being sent to a private school that teaches the Palestinian curriculum in the Old City and arrested the driver of the vehicle that was transporting the books and one of the school employees.

 

The seizure of books was denounced by Palestinians as a new racist attack on Palestinian schools and curricula, stressing the right of people under occupation to choose their own curricula according to what is guaranteed to them by international conventions.

“The Legacy of Oslo: Thirty Years Later” 

11 september 2023

 

It has been 30 years since the Rabin-Arafat handshake at the White House lawn, with President Bill Clinton between them, alongside approximately 3,000 other witnesses, signaling the beginning of the so-called “peace process.” On this 30th anniversary of the Oslo Accords, Palestinians throughout historic Palestine and beyond are still denied their fundamental rights guaranteed under international law.  The last 30 years are representative of an Israeli annexation process, as opposed to a peace process.

 

Since the Oslo Accords, settlements expanded, Palestinian territory was further divided, the Palestinian population more fragmented, the pillaging of Palestinian natural resources ferociously increased, and Israel’s occupation became more entrenched.

 

Palestinians are still without self-determination and national sovereignty and continue to endure zionist violence. The settler-colonial project and apartheid regime live on, and Palestinians are 30 years removed from a process that the world thought would bring about peace, but instead, they’ve experienced more injustice.

15 september 2023.

 

Lang is de tweestatenoplossing door de internationale gemeenschap gekoesterd als de formule bij uitstek voor een rechtvaardige, duurzame en alomvattende vrede.

 

De Oslo-akkoorden van 1993-1995 voorzagen in een stapsgewijze overdracht van door Israël bezet Palestijns land aan de Palestijnse Autoriteit, en boden Israëli’s en Palestijnen een periode van vijf jaar om overeenstemming te bereiken over een aantal zogeheten final status issues, zoals het bestuur over Jeruzalem en de terugkeer van Palestijnse vluchtelingen.

 

Die overeenkomst is uitgebleven en latere pogingen het ‘vredesproces’ nieuw leven in te blazen liepen op niets uit. Israël zette intussen de uitbreiding van zijn illegale nederzettingen in het voor de Palestijnse staat bestemde gebied voort, daarmee niet alleen het internationaal recht en bindende resoluties van de VN-Veiligheidsraad schendend, maar ook de Oslo-akkoorden.

Eénstaat-realiteit
Ten tijde van ‘Oslo’ leefden er ruim een kwart miljoen Israëlische kolonisten in Oost-Jeruzalem en op de Westelijke Jordaanoever. Dertig jaar later is dat aantal met een half miljoen toegenomen tot ruim 750 duizend.

Welbewust heeft Israël ieder perspectief op de gedroomde ‘aaneengesloten, levensvatbare en soevereine staat Palestina met Jeruzalem als (gedeelde) hoofdstad’ de nek omgedraaid. Opeenvolgende Israëlische regeringen spraken zich expliciet tegen de tweestatenoplossing uit en wezen vredesbesprekingen met de Palestijnen principieel af.

In de schaduw van ‘Oslo’ en het ‘vredesproces’ heeft Israël daarmee een éénstaat-realiteit gecreëerd, die voor de Palestijnen in bezet gebied neerkomt op eeuwigdurende Israëlische overheersing.

Schematisch overzicht van het landverlies van de Palestijnen sinds 1947. Het derde kaartje toont de contouren van de tweestatenoplossing. Het vierde toont de huidige éénstaatrealiteit.

Ondertussen in Den Haag
In politiek Den Haag wordt de tweestaten-mythe echter nog volop verkondigd. Hoewel er geen politicus is die kan uitleggen hoe de tweestatenoplossing nog gerealiseerd kan worden, blijven de regering en de fracties in de Tweede Kamer haar als centrale beleidsdoelstelling opvoeren. Zo schrijft de PvdA/GroenLinks in zijn concept-verkiezingsprogramma: ‘In het Israëlisch-Palestijnse conflict streven we naar een rechtvaardige tweestatenoplossing.’

De heiligverklaring van de tweestatenoplossing staat in schril contrast met de de facto medewerking die Nederland aan Israëls koloniseringsproject heeft verleend. Consequent weigerde de regering Israël iets in de weg te leggen terwijl het de tweestatenoplossing afbrak. Oproepen om een vredesinitiatief te nemen waren in het politieke hart van de mondiale ‘Hoofdstad van Vrede en Recht’ aan niemand besteed.

Rechtvaardig of medeplichtig
Het pleidooi voor twee staten is in de afgelopen dertig jaar verworden van een in theorie realiseerbaar ideaal tot een holle mantra, een façade waarachter grof onrecht mag blijven voort­woekeren.

Politieke partijen die de tweestatenoplossing nu nog in hun programma’s opnemen kunnen kiezen: zij leggen uit hoe en wanneer die kan worden gerealiseerd – of aanvaarden dat hun standpunt hen medeplichtig maakt aan de onder die noemer voortdurende Israëlische misdaden tegen de Palestijnen.

The Extinction of the Palestinian Community Widady by Israeli Land Robbers

Last Episode of the Ethnic Cleansing 

December, 2022 - September, 23

Jewish Currents

Newsletter

 

The End of Widady

Settler attacks are rapidly depopulating Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.

 

Joshua Leifer

6 september 2023

(THIS ARTICLE PREVIOUSLY APPEARED IN THE JEWISH CURRENTS EMAIL NEWSLETTER; SUBSCRIBE HERE!)

ON JUNE 27TH, Saleh Abu 'Awad was tending his flock on the sand-colored hills of Widady a-Tahta when two armed Israeli settlers arrived at the West Bank hamlet. The settlers threatened Abu Awad with handguns and attempted to steal his sheep,

according to testimony Abu 'Awad gave to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem.

 

This was not the first settler attack on the Abu 'Awad family, whose roughly two dozen members made up the entirety of the small shepherding community of Widady, located at the southernmost edge of the South Hebron Hills. In late December 2022,

two armed settlers entered Widady and assaulted Abu Awad and his brother, Radwan, as they tended to their livestock enclosures. "From December to March, the settlers came weekly on Saturday,” Abu Awad told Jewish Currents. "They would come with guns while I was in the field and threaten my family." More than once, members of the family tried to approach the authorities, but to no avail. After the assaults in December, Radwan went to file a complaint with Israeli police in the Jewish

settlement of Kiryat Arba, but the police accused Radwan of instigating the settler attacks and refused to accept his complaint. Israeli anti-occupation activists soon began accompanying Abu Awad and his flock in order to help shield them from harassment by settlers and the army, but the attacks continued. In the first week of March, a settler drove through Abu Awad's field and into the family's flock of sheep.

 

And in the early morning of March 12th, three Israeli settlers, accompanied by an Israeli soldier, broke into the family's home, vandalized it, and threatened to kill Abu Awad if he returned to his fields with the Israeli activists.

By the time the June attack took place, Abu Awad said in his testimony to B'Tselem, the family had realized "that this place is no longer safe ... I'm afraid the settlers will burn down our homes, just like they did in Huwara and Turmus Ayya." Unwilling to

live in perpetual fear, on July 16th, the residents of Widady a-Tahta dismantled their own homes, loaded their belongings onto the backs of trucks, and left the land on which they had lived for half a century. "My grandfather started this community,"

Awad said of Widady in between puffs of A cigarette as we stood in the rocky valley where he had taken up temporary refuge with his flock. The sonic booms of Israeli jets rumbled overhead. "No words can describe what is happening."

 

The forced depopulation of Widady is not an anomaly but, in fact, part of an emerging phenomenon. Faced with constant threat of settler attack, entire Palestinian communities in Area C—the roughly 60% of the West Bank's territory which is under full Israeli control—are fleeing their land. According to B'Tselem, in just one area of the West Bank, east of the city of Ramallah, four Palestinian communities have been forced off their land by settler violence, including the community of Ras a-Tin, whose

roughly 120 residents left their homes in July 2022. In May 2023, Palestinian journalist Basel Adra reported that the 27 families of the village of 'Ein Sarnia "dismantled their own homes" after "months of escalating settler violence." This August, the Palestinian Bedouin community of al-Qabun packed their belongings and fled. "There are almost no Palestinians remaining in a vast area stretching east of Ramallah to the outskirts of Jericho," journalist Oren Ziv wrote in a detailed report for +972 Magazine about die depopulation of this large swath of the central West Bank.

 

"Most of the communities who lived in the area—which covers around 150,000 dunams, or 150 square kilometers of the occupied West Bank—have fled for their lives in recent months as a result of intensifying land seizures, backed by the Israeli army and state institutions." The expulsion of Widady, in the South Hebron Hills, suggests this process is unfolding in other parts of the West Bank too.

Whether in the region east of Ramallah or in the hills south of Hebron, the settler's systematic approach appears to be the same. After compiling testimony from several recently displaced Palestinian communities, Ziv described the settlers' basic mode of

operation: Under the permissive eye of the army, settlers establish an outpost or bring their flocks to graze on land that Palestinian communities have long used as grazing grounds; "then armed settlers proceed to harass them day and night, even entering houses, without the army or police intervening." This was precisely how settlers drove the Abu 'Awad family out of Widady. Israeli policy enabled the construction of two outposts and the Meitarim industrial zone, which squeezed the Widady on its east and west sides. "The state takes the hills," journalist Basel Adra told Jewish. Currents, referring to the Israeli government's seizure of Palestinian land and its greenlighting of outposts. "This enables the settlers to take the valleys."

 

Recent efforts to displace Palestinian communities in Area C are an intensification of longstanding Israeli policy. In a statement B'Tselem released in August after the depopulation of al-Qabun, the human rights group charged that Israeli policies "force

impossible conditions on local residents in order to push them to leave"—a process that has continued regardless of the political composition of the government in power.

 

Israel refuses to connect Palestinian communities Area C to essential water and electricity infrastructure or to paved roads, and many Palestinian-owned structures face the threat of demolition for having been built without permits, which are functionally impossible for Palestinians to obtain. "Even without the settlers, living conditions here are very difficult," Abu Awad recalled in his testimony to B'Tselem.

"There are no medical clinics or schools." Abu Awad said that children from Widady had to travel six miles to the nearby town of a-Samu' to attend school, and they often had to stay with Abu Awad's brother during the week. The family also had to seek

healthcare elsewhere. "When my wife was pregnant, she had contractions while traveling on the dirt road to the hospital in Yatta," Abu Awad told B'Tselem. She did not return to the village for some time after the birth, partly due to fear of settler

violence.

Still, the residents of Widady had managed to live in Area C despite the harsh conditions. It was the recent and growing danger posed by encroaching settlers that made their situation unlivable. While settlers have built outposts and carried out

attacks under previous Israeli governments, the elevation of the settler and Kahanist right to positions of state power has increased the frequency and destructiveness of the attacks. Support from politicians like Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has emboldened settler violence. After Israeli police arrested two far-right settler militants suspected of murdering a Palestinian teenager in the village of Burqa, Ben-Gvir praised the assailants, tweeting that "a Jew who defends himself and others from murder by Palestinians is not a murder suspect but a hero who will get full backing from me."

The hilltop settlers are the armed wing of die political movement represented by hard right politicians like Smotrich and Ben-Gvir, and their attempts to expel Palestinians in Area G are best understood in relation to the movement's ultimate goal. In a 2017

article for the right-wing Israeli magazine Hashiloach, Smotrich laid out his blueprint for the eventual Israeli annexation of the West Bank and the expulsion of the Palestinians who resist the application of Israeli sovereignty. The "first and most important stage," he wrote, would be "victory by settlement": the building of outposts, towns, cities, and Jews-only roads and infrastructure, with the aim of reaching one million settlers in the West Bank. The forced displacement of villages like Widady is the corollary to dais expansive vision of settlement, its necessary and desired outcome. For the aim of "victory by settlement," Smotrich writes, is to destroy the potential geographic contiguity of any future Palestinian state in the West Bank and to imprint upon the consciousness of the Arabs and the world that an Arab state will never arise in this land." Outpost by outpost, depopulated village by depopulated village, Israel's government, hand-in-hand with the settlers, seems to be making Smotrich's dream a reality.

Meanwhile, Palestinians displaced by the settler violence have fewer and fewer places to go as they seek to maintain their traditional livelihood. Since his departure from Widady a-Tahta, Abu Awad has been unable to find a new permanent home. He first moved near the Israeli settlement of Shim'a, but fire Israeli civil administration— which oversees military rule in the West Bank—ordered him to leave. He then tried to move back to Widady, but the settlers came back to bother him, so he left. Abu 'Awad sent his family, his eight children and two wives, to live in the urbanized town of a-Samu' with his brother, but he cannot live there, he said, "because I need to keep an eye on the sheep" which now graze in the valley adjacent to a-Samu'. He won't be able

to stay between the hills of a-Samu' for long, either: While there were two wells in Widady, now he must fill a yellow tank with water every day to ensure his livestock—roughly 150 sheep, 18 goats, half a dozen dogs— survive. The valley also does not

offer enough space for his flock, Abu 'Awad said. And as in Widady, there is still the threat of nearby settlers.

If he cannot find new land for his flock to graze, Abu Awad will face a choice: sell part of his flock so that he can build a new enclosure in which to house the rest, or abandon shepherding entirely. Choosing the latter would mean that Abu Awad, like

many other Palestinians, would have to look for work in construction or agriculture, most likely inside the Green Line if he can get a permit. For generations, small Palestinian communities across the West Bank have relied on shepherding for their

livelihoods. The Israeli authorities and settlers together, Abu Awad said, "are destroying the shepherding way of life." JC

 

 

Joshua Leifer is a Jewish Currents contributing editor and a member of the Dissent editorial board. His essays and reporting have also appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Jacobin. +972 Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book about American Jewish identity. He lives in New Haven. CT, where he is a history PhD student.

Widady, South Hebron Hills: Armed Israeli settlers enter Palestinian community with dog and attack residents

South Hebron Hills: Armed Israeli settlers enter Palestinian communit...

 

On Saturday, 24 December 2022, while Saleh Abu 'Awwad (27) was grazing his flock about 100 meters away from his home in the community of Widady, two Israeli settlers who are familiar to the residents arrived with a dog. They went into a shack Abu 'Awwad and his brother Radwan (29) use as a livestock enclosure and walked around in it, while Radwan shouted at them, The settlers

then came out of the shack and walked toward the brothers' home. One went inside, and when he came out, the brothers and the settlers entered a confrontation, during which one of the settlers hit Saleh on the shoulder with his rifle and the other snatched the cellphone Radwan was using to film the incident.'

The community of Ras al-Tin, east of Ramallah, was forcibly expelled from its place of residence.

The community was established in the late 1960s by residents that Israel had expelled from the South Hebron Hills, on private lands owned by the residents of the villages of Kfar Malek and al-Mughayir. In 2020, about 120 people lived in the village and made a living by herding sheep. Over the next two years, additional seasonal herding communities were established near it, al-Kabun and Wadi a-Dahlia, and the total number of residents in these communities reached 280.

 

In 1975, the settlement of Kochav HaShahar was established nearby. Over the years, the residents of the community suffered harassment by Israeli authorities, including the demolition of the homes of six families in 2021. In 2018, the outpost "Micha's Farm" was established two kilometers away from the community. Since then, the members of the community have suffered from verbal abuse, harassment, theft, and vandalism of property.

In 2020, the residents of the community established a school for their children, who had until then been forced to walk a long distance to the schools in al-Mughayir, but the Civil Administration issued demolition orders that same year and confiscated equipment intended for the expansion of the school, including chairs used by the students, just four days after the beginning of the school year.

The violence increased in 2022 under the auspices of the military and, in the beginning of July of that year, the residents of the community decided to leave their place of residence after realizing that they would no longer be able to make a living from shepherding in this area and that their lives were in danger,

4 oktober 2023.

 

The Nakba is ongoing to this day, as the Israeli government and Jewish settlers continue to push Palestinians off their land through the constant threat of settler violence, attacks by the Israeli military, and a discriminatory legal system.

The Israeli apartheid regime oppresses Palestinians at home and supports ethnic cleansing and displacement of populations worldwide. It’s never been more clear that our liberation is bound up together, and that a world without Israeli apartheid is a safer world for all of us. 

State of the Occupation

Year 56: 

A Joint Situation Report
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