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Israeli forces injure 30 Palestinians in al-Aqsa

Press TV – April 16, 2014

Israeli forces have shot and wounded at least 30 Palestinians in the al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Local sources said that clashes erupted between the Israeli forces and Palestinian worshippers in the mosque compound when Israeli settlers entered the holy site on Wednesday.

According to witnesses, Israeli troops raided the mosque to protect the settlers. They said the forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the worshippers.

“About 1,000 Israeli officers stormed the compound,” Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, the director-general of Muslim endowments and Al-Aqsa affairs, as saying.

In recent months, Israeli forces and illegal settlers have stepped up their attacks on Palestinians visiting the mosque. This has led to violent confrontations between the two sides.

On Sunday, clashes broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound when Israeli police prevented Muslims from entering one of the gates of the compound.

Israeli forces used stun grenades to disperse protesters.

The Israeli regime has also imposed severe restrictions to stop Muslim worshippers from entering the mosque.

On February 25, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) discussed a plan to annex the compound.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has condemned the Knesset move as a “dangerous escalation,” calling it part of Israel’s goal to “Judaize Jerusalem.”

The al-Aqsa compound, which lies in the Israeli-occupied Old City of al-Quds, is a flashpoint. The compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount is Islam’s third-holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , | Leave a comment

NYPD Shutters Muslim Mapping Unit – But What About Other Tactics?

By Noa Yachot | ACLU | April 15, 2014

The New York Police Department is disbanding the unit that mapped New York’s Muslim communities, their places of worship, and businesses they frequent – based on nothing but their religious beliefs and associations. To this we say: Good Riddance.

But the end of the Zone Assessment Unit – better known by its former, more apt name, the Demographics Unit – doesn’t necessarily mean an end to the NYPD’s unconstitutional surveillance of New York’s Muslims.

The NYPD’s discriminatory spying program has many components, of which the Demographics Unit was just one. (The ACLU, along with the NYCLU and CLEAR Project at CUNY Law School sued the NYPD over the program – read about our case here.) Before we celebrate the end of bias-based policing, we need to ensure that the other abusive tactics employed by the NYPD meet the same fate as the unit. For example:

  • Use of informants: A wide network of NYPD informants have infiltrated community organizations, mosques, restaurants, bookstores, and more to monitor, record, and take notes on innocent people and innocuous conversations. This needs to stop.
  • Designation of entire mosques “terrorism enterprises”: The NYPD has used “terrorism enterprise investigations” against entire mosques to justify the surveillance of as many people as possible. That unmerited designation has allowed the police department to record sermons and spy on entire congregations.
  • Discriminatory use of surveillance cameras: Cameras have been set up outside mosques and community events – even weddings – to record community members’ comings and goings and collect license plate numbers of congregants and attendees.
  • Radicalization theory: The NYPD must disavow its debunked “radicalization” theory, on which discriminatory surveillance is based. This misguided notion, which we’ve described in detail here, treats with suspicion people engaging in First Amendment-protected activities including “wearing traditional Islamic clothing [and] growing a beard,” abstaining from alcohol, and “becoming involved in social activism” – meaning, basically, anyone who identifies as Muslim, harbors Islamic beliefs, or engages in Islamic religious practices.
  • Discriminatory surveillance by other units: The Demographics Unit’s discriminatory mapping activities shouldn’t be carried out by other parts of the NYPD and its Intelligence Division.

The Demographics Unit has sown fear and mistrust among hundreds of thousands of innocent New Yorkers – creating “psychological warfare in our community,” Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York told the New York Times. Shutting it down is a welcome step, but it’s only the first one.  New York’s Muslims — and all its communities — deserve more and better from their police force than bias-based policing.

April 16, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Torture is Mainstream Now

By David Swanson | War is a Crime | April 13, 2014

As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president. And it’s not hard to see why that would be the case.

Fifteen years ago, it was possible to pretend the U.S. government opposed torture. Then it became widely known that the government tortured. And it was believed (with whatever accuracy) that officials had tried to keep the torturing secret. Next it became clear that nobody would be punished, that in fact top officials responsible for torture would be permitted to openly defend what they had done as good and noble.

The idea was spread around that the torture was stopping, but the cynical could imagine it must be continuing in secret, the partisan could suppose the halt was only temporary, the trusting could assume torture would be brought back as needed, and the attentive could be and have been aware that the government has gone right on torturing to this day with no end in sight.

Anyone who bases their morality on what their government does (or how Hollywood supports it) might be predicted to have moved in the direction of supporting torture.

Gordon’s book, like most others, speaks of torture as being largely in the past — even while admitting that it isn’t really. “Bush administration-era policies” are acknowledged to be ongoing, and yet somehow they retain the name “Bush administration-era policies,” and discussion of their possible prosecution in a court of law does not consider the control that the current chief perpetrator has over law enforcement and his obvious preference not to see a predecessor prosecuted for something he’s doing.

President Elect Obama made clear in January 2009 that he would not allow torturers to be prosecuted and would be “looking forward” instead of (what all law enforcement outside of science fiction requires) backward. By February 2009, reports were coming in that torture at Guantanamo was worsening rather than ceasing, and included: “beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.” In April 2009 a Guantanamo prisoner phoned a media outlet to report being tortured. As time went by the reports kept coming, as the military’s written policy would lead one to expect.

In May 2009, former vice president Dick Cheney forced into the news the fact that, even though Obama had “banned torture” by executive order (torture being a felony and a treaty violation before and after the “banning”) Obama maintained the power to use torture as needed. Cheney said that Obama’s continued claim of the power to torture vindicated his own (Cheney’s) authorization of torture. David Axelrod, White House Senior Advisor, refused repeatedly, to dispute Cheney’s assertion — also supported by Leon Panetta’s confirmation hearing for CIA director, at which he said the president had the power to torture and noted that rendition would continue.  In fact, it did. The New York Times quickly reported that the U.S. was now outsourcing more torture to other countries. The Obama administration announced a new policy on renditions that kept them in place, and a new policy on lawless permanent imprisonment that kept it in place but formalized it, mainstreamed it.  Before long Obama-era rendition victims were alleging torture.

As the Obama White House continued and sought to extend the occupation of Iraq, torture continued to be an Iraqi policy, as it has post-occupation. It has also remained a U.S. and Afghan policy in Afghanistan, with no end in sight. The U.S. military has continued to use the same personnel as part of its torture infrastructure. And secret CIA torture prisons have continued to pop into the news even though the CIA was falsely said to have abandoned that practice.  While the Obama administration has claimed unprecedented powers to block civil suits against torturers, it has also used, in court, testimony produced by torture, something that used to be illegal (and still is if you go by written laws).

“Look at the current situation,” Obama said in 2013, “where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike . . . Is this who we are?” Well, it is certainly who some of us have become, including Obama, the senior authority in charge of the soldiers doing the force-feeding, and a human chameleon able to express outrage at his own policies, a trick that is perhaps more central to the mainstreaming of vicious and sadistic practices than we always care to acknowledge.

The mainstreaming of torture in U.S. policy and entertainment has stimulated a burst of torture use around the globe, even as the U.S. State Department has never stopped claiming to oppose torture when it’s engaged in by anyone other than the U.S. government. If “Bush-era policies” is taken to refer to public relations policies, then there really is something to discuss.  The U.S. government tortured before, during, and after Bush and Cheney ran the show. But it was during those years that people talked about it, and it is with regard to those years that people still talk about it.

As Rebecca Gordon’s book, Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States, recounts well, torture has been around. Native Americans and enslaved African Americans were tortured.  The CIA has always tortured.  The School of the Americas has long trained torturers. The war on Vietnam was a war of mass-murder and mass-torture. Torture is standard practice in U.S. prisons, where the torture of Muslims began post-9-11, where some techniques originated and some prison guards came from via the National Guard who brought their torturing to an international set of victims for the Bush-Obama era. [Abuse of POWs and torture were also common practices of both sides of the American civil war, post WWII rape of civilians and abuse and murder of POWs was rampant as well]

One of Gordon’s central points, and an important one, is that torture is not an isolated incident. Rather it is an institution, a practice, a collective endeavor that requires planning and organization. Defenders of torture often defend a widespread practice of purely vicious evil by reference to a single imaginary incident in which it would make sense to torture someone. Imagine, they say, that you knew for certain (as of course you would not) that many people were about to be killed unless a particular person revealed something.  Imagine you were certain (as of course you would not be) that you had found that person. Imagine that contrary to accumulated wisdom you believed the best way to elicit the information was through torture, and that you were sure (as of course you would not be) that the information would be revealed, that it would be accurate (nobody EVER lies under torture), and that it would prevent the greater tragedy (and not just delay it or move it), with no horrible side-effects or lasting results. Then, in that impossible scenario, wouldn’t you agree to torture the person?

And doesn’t that fantasy justify having thousands of people prepared to engage in torture even though they’ll inevitably torture in all sorts of other situations that actually exist, and even though many thousands of people will be driven to hate the nation responsible? And doesn’t it justify training a whole culture to support the maintenance of an apparatus of torture, even though uses of torture outside the fantasized scenario will spread like wildfire through local police and individual vigilantes and allied governments?

Of course not. And that’s why I’m glad Gordon has tackled torture as a matter of ethics, although her book seems a bit weighed down by academic jargon. I come at this as someone who got a master’s degree in philosophy, focusing on ethics, back before 9-11, back when torture was used as an example of something evil in philosophy classes. Even then, people sometimes referred to “recreational torture,” although I never imagined they meant that any other type of torture was good, only that it was slightly less evil. Even today, the polls that show rising — still minority — support for torture, show stronger — majority — support for murder, that is for a president going through a list of men, women, and children, picking which ones to have murdered, and having them murdered, usually with a missile from a drone — as long as nobody tortures them.

While many people would rather be tortured than killed, few people oppose the killing of others as strongly as they oppose torturing them. In part this may be because of the difficulty of torturing for the torturers. If foreigners or enemies are valued at little or nothing, and if killing them is easier than torturing them, then why not think of killing as “cleaner” just as the Obama administration does? That’s one ethical question I’d like to see taken up even more than that of torture alone. Another is the question of whether we don’t have a duty to put everything we have into opposing the evil of the whole — that being the Nuremberg phrase for war, an institution that brings with it murder, imprisonment, torture, rape, injury, trauma, hatred, and deceit.

If you are going to take on the ethics of torture alone, Mainstreaming Torture provides an excellent summary of how philosophy departments now talk about it. First they try to decide whether to be consequentialist or deontological or virtue-based. This is where the jargon takes over. A consequentialist ethics is one that decides on the propriety of actions based on what their likely consequences will be. A deontological ethics declares certain actions good or bad apart from their consequences. And an ethics of virtues looks at the type of life created by someone who behaves in various ways, and whether that person is made more virtuous in terms of any of a long list of possible virtues.

A competition between these types of ethics quickly becomes silly, while an appreciation of them as a collection of insights proves valuable. A consequentialist or utilitarian ethics is easily parodied and denounced, in particular because supporters of torture volunteer such arguments. Would you torture one person to save the lives of two people? Say yes, and you’re a simple-minded consequentialist with no soul. But say no and you’re demonstrably evil. The correct answer is of course that it’s a bad question. You’ll never face such a situation, and fantasizing about it is no guide to whether your government should fund an ongoing torture program the real aim and results of which are to generate war propaganda, scare people, and consolidate power.

A careful consideration of all consequences, short- and long-term, structural and subtle, is harder to parody and tends to encompass much of what is imagined to lie outside the purview of the utilitarian simpleton (or corporate columnist). The idea of an ethics that is not based on consequences appeals to people who want to base their ethics on obedience to a god or other such delusion, but the discussions of deontological ethicists are quite helpful nonetheless. In identifying exactly how and why torture is as incredibly offensive as it is, these writers clarify the problem and move people against any support for torture.

The idea of an ethics based entirely on how actions impact the character of the actor is self-indulgent and arbitrary, and yet the discussion of virtues (and their opposite) is terrifically illuminating — in particular as to the level of cowardice being promoted by the policy of employing torture and any other evil practice in hopes of being kept safe.

I think these last two types of ethics, deontological and virtue — that is, ongoing discussion in their terms — have good consequences. And I think that consequentialism and principled integrity are virtues, while engaging in consequentialism and virtue ethics lead to better deontological talk as well as fulfillment of the better imperatives declared by the deontologists. So, the question should not be finding the proper ethical theory but finding the proper ethical behavior. How do you get someone who opposes torturing Americans to oppose torturing human beings? How do you get someone who wants desperately to believe that torture has in fact saved lives to look at the facts? How do you get someone who believes that anyone who is tortured deserves it to consider the evidence, and to face the possibility that the torture is used in part to make us see certain people as evil, rather than their evilness actually preceding and justifying the torture? How do you get Republicans loyal to Bush or Democrats loyal to Obama to put human rights above their loyalty?

As Gordon recounts, torture in reality has generated desired falsehoods to support wars, created lots of enemies rather than eliminating them, encouraged and directly trained more torturers, promoted cowardice rather than courage, degraded our ability to think of others as fully human, perverted our ideas of justice, and trained us all to pretend not to know something is going on while silently supporting its continued practice. None of that can help us much in any other ethical pursuit.

April 14, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Book Review, Deception, Subjugation - Torture | Leave a comment

Kiev to launch ‘full-scale’ military op as massive protests grip eastern Ukraine

RT | April 13, 2014

Thousands of pro-autonomy demonstrators rallied across eastern Ukraine, with the coup-imposed president in Kiev threatening to use military against the activists if they don’t clear the seized government buildings by Monday morning.

Over 10,000 people have taken part in protests in different town and villages of the Donetsk Region in Ukraine, the local administration said.

In the region’s capital, Donetsk, the local government headquarters still remain under the anti-Maidan activists’ control. Sunday, one of the leaders of the recently-declared Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, once again stressed the urgent need “to send activists, who’ll prepare a referendum, to different towns of the Donetsk region” as he spoke at a rally in city’s center.

The recruitment of volunteers, eager to travel to Slavyansk and other towns in eastern Ukraine where “an anti-terrorist operation” against the protestors by the Ukrainian security forces is underway, also took place during the rally. Over 100 people volunteered by mid-day Sunday, with buses already prepared to take them to their destinations.

Hundreds also gathered for rallies in support of federalization in Druzhovka, Debaltsevo and other Donbas towns.

According to Ukrainian media, the city authorities in Zhdanovsk and Kirovsk have expressed readiness to start talks on the recognition of the legitimacy of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

A rally in Mariupol in south-east of the country resulted in the seizure of city council by the pro-Russian protesters, ITAR-TASS news agency reports. Over 1,000 demonstrators, who chanted “Slavyansk, we’re with you!” and “Referendum,” have forced the police, guarding the building, to retreat.

Some 1,500-2,000 people are out in the square in front of the office Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Lugansk, which is held by the protestors for several days now. According to Rossiya 24 channel, the majority of the city’s police have switched to the side of the demonstrators, supporting their push for federalization.

Kharkov tensions

Meanwhile, dozens asked for medical assistance in Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkov, after the pro-federalization demonstrators clashed with the Maidan activists. The rallies of two antagonistic sides, which saw a joint turnout of around 3,000, were staged in the city simultaneously, with the police being unable to prevent provocations.

“50 people required medical aid. Around 10 of them were taken to city hospitals. The doctors are speaking of minor or moderate injuries. Among the wounded there’s one policeman,” the local law enforcement authorities said.

Baseball bats, sticks, stones and stun grenades were used by both sides during the scuffle, Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper reports.

Kiev issues new ultimatum

In the capital, Ukraine’s Security Council convened for an urgent session following the events in Slavyansk. A decision was taken to launch “a large scale” operation, “with the involvement of the military,” Ukraine’s coup-imposed president, Aleksandr Turchinov, said in a televised address.

Later he said that the operation in the east will involve a non-regular regiment consisting of 350 reservists.

According to Turchinov, the anti-Maidan activists must lay down their arms and abandon the administrative offices they have occupied till Monday morning if they want to avoid prosecution.

Turchinov also said the new authorities in Kiev are ready to consider giving more powers to the region. Earlier parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk pledged to push through a law allowing regional referendums in the country.

The order to use military against the pro-federalization protesters in eastern Ukraine by coup-imposed president, Aleksandr Turchinov, is “criminal” in its nature, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Sunday, a gun flight reportedly broke out at a checkpoint, which was established by protesters on the outskirts of the city of Slavyansk.

Reports on those killed and wounded kept streaming in all day, but lacked consistency and could not be independently verified. According to interim Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, one of the troops from Kiev was killed and five others were injured in the skirmish.

Protesters in Slavyansk said one person was killed and two others injured on their side, adding that two of the Kiev troops were killed.

Unrest has gripped eastern – Russian speaking – parts of Ukraine after pro-EU protests in Kiev ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, back in February.

Following the accession of the Republic of Crime to Russia, people in Donetsk, Kharkov, Lugansk and other cities are also calling for a referendum to decide their future as part of Ukraine.

April 13, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Subjugation - Torture | | Leave a comment

Israeli Security Services Arrest Israeli Palestinian Journalist, Activist; Israeli Media Under Gag

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Palestinian journalist and political activist Majd Kayyal
By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | April 12, 2014

Israel’s security services secretly arrested Palestinian activist-journalist Majd Kayyal. The arrest is under gag order

I received an urgent message from Jamil Dakwar of the ACLU that Palestinian journalist and political activist, Majd Kayyal, age 22, was arrested on his return to Israel from a trip to Lebanon and Jordan. I’ve checked with an Israeli source who tells me he was arrested as a national security suspect. The combination of his trip to Lebanon, where he attended an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of As-Safir (considered a pro-Hezbollah publication), his participation in a 2011 flotilla voyage to break the Gaza siege, and his activist role in Adalah (where he was the website editor) and Balad (Hebrew), made him a ready target.

Kayyal also edits the political and cultural website, Qadita and the English-language blog, Message to the Tricontinental.

At midnight Saturday Israel-time, a few hours after his arrest, the security police raided his Haifa home and confiscated his computer and other electronic devices and materials.  Jamil reports he has been denied access to an attorney, which is standard procedure for Israeli Palestinian security suspects.  A judge will be asked to extend his remand tomorrow and will automatically do so, again as is standard for the Only Democracy in the Middle East.  Majd can also expect abuse and even torture from his security service interrogators just as Ameer Makhoul did.

For those with good memories, who’ve been reading this blog for several years, you’ll recall his case. He was also a Palestinian community activist from Haifa who founded the Ittijah NGO. He too returned from a trip to Jordan, where he allegedly met a fellow activist Hassan Jaja at an environment conference. The Shabak made Jaja out to be a key Hezbollah operative, when in reality he owned a landscaping business in Amman. My guess is that Shabak discovered a similar meeting Kayyal had with a suspect individual who the security forces can turn into an Islamist bogeyman.

This persecution is part of the ongoing effort by Israeli secret police to criminalize Israeli Palestinian nationalism.  As I’ve reported here, Yuval Diskin, then Shabak chief, said in 2007 that any such political expression would be viewed as sedition and criminally prosecuted by the State.  That is what is happening in this case.  Nothing more. [...]

This arrest, which constitutes a severe assault on press freedom, since Kayyal is an Israeli Palestinian journalist, is under gag order in Israel. It has not been reported in Israeli media. I hope this publication will poke a hole in the shroud of opacity that favors such assaults by the security apparatus. An international group of activists joined together to fight on Ameer’s behalf. I’ve begun a process which I hope will lead to the same support for Majd.

April 13, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Israeli police brutality caught on video

Press TV – April 10, 2014

An online video has emerged, showing Israeli police forces battering a Palestinian before attacking a protesting bystander.

Ali Talhami suffered a broken arm and ribs after police officers repeatedly slammed a police car door on him, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Thursday.

The video shows a police officer forcing Talhami into the police van with blows and then walking over to Majdi Dabah, who was standing nearby, before throwing him at the vehicle.

Talhami was subjected to the acts of violence for refusing to pay up a heavy fine imposed on him by an inspector for leaving a refrigerator outside his store in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“I explained the refrigerator was outside because we were returning it to the company, but the inspector started swearing at me,” Talhami said, adding that he was then attacked by a police officer accompanying the inspector before other police officers arrived and joined in on the beating.

“After we reached the police station, they continued beating me,” said Talhami.

“The policeman started beating Ali, and I told him not to,” Dabah said. “So he pushed me with my head into the window and then knocked me to the ground and beat me.”

“My shoulder was dislocated and my head hurts,” Dabah said.

April 10, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Arrests and stolen land in Osarin village

International Solidarity Movement | April 10, 2014

Osarin, Occupied Palestine – In the last month, the Israeli army has arrested 10 boys under the age of 16 from Osarin village. As of today, they all remain in the prison.

This is the latest in a long line of tactics employed by the Israeli military to intimidate the people of Osarin and the surrounding villages. According to a member of the village’s local council, the Israeli army approached the village around six months ago demanding that Osarin and three other neighboring villages sell three dunams (3,000 square meters) of land to the Israeli government. The threat was that if they did not comply the army would simply take the land. Despite this pressure, the people of the village collectively chose to refuse and have had to live with the consequences of this choice ever since.

The land the army asked for originally was intended to build three watchtowers, one of which would be just outside Osarin. The other two would be near the villages of Yatma and Qabalan, who also had demands from the Israeli army to sell their land. In total the army was trying to obtain 320 dunams of important farmland, containing olive trees, other crops and grazing areas from the three villages.

The village’s decision to refuse was met with a new plan by the army to build a wall on either side of the main road (route 505), running adjacent to the village, all the way to Za’tara checkpoint. This would be roughly 10km in length and would unsurprisingly require the confiscation of land on either side of the road, which belongs to the village of Osarin. The reasoning for this intrusion into Palestinian land was allegations that boys from the village had been throwing stones onto the main road, where settlers from the illegal settlements pass by in their cars and sometimes on foot. In fact, the Israeli army used these allegations to call a meeting with four villages, one of which was Osarin, the others being Beita, Beit Furik and Madama. In this meeting the army told the representatives from the villages that unless the alleged stone throwing ceased they would make all four of the villages into closed military zones. In other words, force out the inhabitants of all four villages and make it impossible for them to return.

While the Israeli army demands that children stop throwing stones, they are also at the same time increasing attacks on the civilian population of Osarin. During these periods physical force has been used, including punching individuals with no just cause and firing live ammunition into the air to intimidate the local population. Also during these incursions, the roads are closed around the village even when ambulances need to either enter or leave the village, endangering lives in the process.

The village has attempted to go through the court system to block the Israeli authorities’ plans for the area, but has lost each court battle numerous times. This is despite the fact that the village is located in Area B (Palestine Authority and Israeli control) and therefore any seizure of land, including for the purposes of military building construction, is illegal. The area has long been an area of high activity for the Israeli military, where in November 2013 witnesses report that military training took place involving up to 1,000 Israeli soldiers. During the week-long action villagers were told to stay in at night, creating a curfew, and at times local groups of boys were used to provide training with how to deal with stone throwing.

When a local representative was asked if he felt matters had gotten worse in terms of Israeli military interference and intimidation, his answer was an unequivocal yes. The construction of the wall along either side of Route 505 has yet to begin but will most probably commence in the near future. In the meantime, arrests of children and physical violence towards the villagers continue.

April 10, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian schoolchildren attacked by Israeli settlers, in South Hebron Hills

Military escort misconduct exposes Palestinian children to risk on their way to and from school

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Tuwani Resiste | April 9, 2014

At Tuwani – On April 9, children from the Palestinian villages of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed were attacked by settlers coming from the Israeli illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on. The children were walking to school, accompanied by the Israeli military escort that has the duty to protect them everyday on their way to and from school, as established in 2004 by the Children Rights Committee of the Knesset. During the 2013-2014 school year the misconduct this military escort has exposed the children to dangerous risks in numerous occasions.

In order to reach the school in the village of At Tuwani, the Palestinian children coming from the nearby byvillages of Tuba and Maghayir Al Abeed, aged between 6 and 17 years, usually walk through the shortest route, about 20 minutes walking, that passes between the Israeli settlement of Ma’on and the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on (Hill 833). This route is the main road linking their villages and At Tuwani.

On the morning of April 9 at 7:40 am, two Israeli children coming from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma’on attacked the Palestinian children by trowing them stones with slingshots. Two Palestinian girls, aged 12 and 14, were hit on their legs by the stones and were injured. At the moment of the attack the Israeli soldiers were not walking with the children as they are supposed to, but were all inside the military vehicle, following behind the group of children.

Everyday international volunteers monitor the regular implementation of the IDF escort for an average number of 16 children, aged between 6 and 17 years old, coming from the villages of Tuba and Maghayir al Abeed. August 25 marked the beginning of the school year 2013-2014 and 132 days of school have been recorded so far. The escort was not present in 5 mornings and 6 afternoons, forcing the children to walk a longer and still dangerous path that takes them about one hour to reach the school. During the current school year international volunteers registered that in 30% of the cases the military escort was late (27% during the previous school year 2012-2013), causing children the loss of about 8 hours of lessons (17 in 2012-2013). In addition, in 50% of the cases (52% in 2012-2013) the military escort arrived late after school, forcing the children to wait in a dangerous place (the gathering one), close to both the settlement and the outpost, for a total time of about 12 hours (19 in 2012-2013). In contravention to the escort’s protective mandate, in 96% of the cases (i.e. 127 out of 132 recorded cases in which the escort was present) the Israeli military failed to fully complete the escort and the soldiers did not accompany the children to the end of the established path (78% in 2012-2013). Furthermore thus far in 2013-2014 school year, in 82% (37% in 2012-2013) of the cases the escort didn’t walk with the children, as established in the agreement between the Israel Civil Administration’s District Coordination Office (DCO) and the mayor of At Tuwani.

For further information on the military escort in the past years, it is available the report “The Dangerous Road to Education. Palestinian Students Suffer Under Settler Violence and Military Negligence” at: http://goo.gl/CXfi9

Operation Dove has maintained an international presence in At Tuwani and the South Hebron Hills since 2004.

For further information:
Operation Dove, 054 99 25 773

[Note: According to the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Hague Regulations, the International Court of Justice, and several United Nations resolutions, all Israeli settlements and outposts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal. Most settlement outposts, including Havat Ma'on (Hill 833), are considered illegal also under Israeli law.]

(segue versione in italiano)

April 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

Settler shoots Palestinian as he tries to repair his car

International Solidarity Movement | April 8, 2014

Urif, Occupied Palestine – On Sunday 30th March on the road to Madama (near Nablus), 25-year-old Nidal, from the village of Urif, was fixing his car when a settler with a handgun shot him in the leg. 12 years ago, in the same area, Nidal and two friends were kidnapped and held for 17 hours by settlers from a nearby illegal settlement.

At approximately 9:00 pm, Nidal and a friend attempted to drive from their village of Urif to the city of Nablus. Before reaching the Huwarra checkpoint, they discovered that one of the tires on the car had a puncture. While they were fixing the tire, another car arrived on the other side of the road and stopped across from them.Nidal assumed it was a Palestinian stopping to offer his help, as he walked over to the car he realized that it was a settler, carrying a handgun. The settler shot Nidal in the calf and fled the area.



Nidal was losing a lot of blood, so his friend drove to the hospital without fixing the puncture, damaging the car. They arrived at Rafidia hosptial approximately15 minutes after the event. Nidal stayed in hospital for two days and will need to rest for at least three weeks to heal correctly.

This not the first time Nidal has suffered from settler violence. Twelve years ago, Nidal was 13-year-old and was playing outside Urif School with two friends. A group of settlers from what would become the illegal settlement of Yezhar arrived at the school and kidnapped the three children. The families and the Palestinian Authority worked hard to have the children released; while they were illegally detained settlers beat the children.

They were held in the settlement for 17 hours, denied food, water, and access to the bathroom. Eventually the President of the Palestinian Authority made a call for their release, and after 17 hours the Israeli army entered the settlement and finally released the children back to their families.

Photo by ISM

April 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , | Leave a comment

German forces raid offices of “Hezbollah affiliated” charity

Al-Akhbar | April 8, 2014

German authorities on Tuesday raided the offices of a charity organization that allegedly has ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, accusing it of raising money for the group.

Around 150 police officers searched premises across six states and confiscated cash, computers and around 40 boxes of files.

Two bank accounts with a total of around 60,000 euros were frozen but no arrests were made, the German interior ministry said.

The ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect.

“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.

She said the organization based in the western city of Essen had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.5 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, which supports families of fallen Hezbollah fighters.

Haber claimed the funds were used to recruit fighters “to combat Israel, also with terrorist measures” and compensate the families of suicide bombers.

The statement did not cite its evidence. Hezbollah used to carry out suicide missions against Israeli occupation forces in South Lebanon prior to their retreat in 2000.

The group has not used that tactic since Israel pulled its army from Lebanon 14 year ago.

“Organizations that directly or indirectly from German soil oppose the state of Israel’s right to exist may not seek freedom of association protection,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in the statement.

He said the group’s goals violated Germany’s constitution.

The European Union in July last year also listed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a “terrorist organization.” But the EU said it would continue to deal with Hezbollah as a political entity.

The German interior ministry said it had put Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, which has about 80 members, under surveillance since 2009.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

April 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

German forces raid offices of “Hezbollah affiliated” charity

Al-Akhbar | April 8, 2014

German authorities on Tuesday raided the offices of a charity organization that allegedly has ties to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, accusing it of raising money for the group.

Around 150 police officers searched premises across six states and confiscated cash, computers and around 40 boxes of files.

Two bank accounts with a total of around 60,000 euros were frozen but no arrests were made, the German interior ministry said.

The ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect.

“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.

She said the organization based in the western city of Essen had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.5 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, which supports families of fallen Hezbollah fighters.

Haber claimed the funds were used to recruit fighters “to combat Israel, also with terrorist measures” and compensate the families of suicide bombers.

The statement did not cite its evidence. Hezbollah used to carry out suicide missions against Israeli occupation forces in South Lebanon prior to their retreat in 2000.

The group has not used that tactic since Israel pulled its army from Lebanon 14 year ago.

“Organizations that directly or indirectly from German soil oppose the state of Israel’s right to exist may not seek freedom of association protection,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in the statement.

He said the group’s goals violated Germany’s constitution.

The European Union in July last year also listed Hezbollah’s so-called military wing as a “terrorist organization.” But the EU said it would continue to deal with Hezbollah as a political entity.

The German interior ministry said it had put Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon, which has about 80 members, under surveillance since 2009.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

April 8, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Livni: Israel will surround Abbas until he surrenders to our terms

MEMO | April 7, 2014

.Israel will surround the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas until he accepts the Israeli terms and recognises Israel as a Jewish state, Israel’s top negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said yesterday.

Livni told Israel’s Channel 10 that Israel will not release Palestinian prisoners who committed violent acts against Israeli citizens. “Israel will not release Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands,” Livni said.

Livni claimed that several Arab countries have told Israel they will not transfer funds to Abbas pointing out that she had visited friendly Arab countries 11 times in the past 50 days.

“The city of Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel and the Arab and Islamic countries do not object to that,” Livni claimed.

April 7, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

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