Israeli Mayor of occupied Jerusalem, Nir Bakat, approved the demolition of two structures built by the United Nations (UN) as temporary emergency shelter for Palestinian families after Israel demolished their homes.
Israel strongly condemned the erection of the emergency shelters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. Israel accused the UN of overstepping its bounds and asserted that the trailer homes are illegal and should be demolished according to reports in the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post as well as the Palestine News Network.
Maxwell Gaylard, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territories defended the agencies actions as emergency humanitarian assistance provided when the Palestinian families turned to the UN agency for help.
Gaylard echoed the concerns of other human rights groups in the area and noted that Palestinians in East Jerusalem apply for housing permits but do not receive them. He added, “Where else could we put [the shelters]? We are helping the Palestinians on land that is theirs. Beit Hanina is occupied Palestinian territory.”
Other officials at the agency noted that they did not require a permit for building because in addition to being build on Palestinian land, they are only an emergency solution, are not connected to utilities, and do not have foundations.
An Israeli spokeswoman said in a statement, “Israel is not a banana republic, but a state of law and order. The UN can help to advance the residents’ quality of life in keeping with the law and we hope the construction violation at the site is not in accordance with the UN.”
The shelters have the UN agency’s logo on them along with the flags of the donor countries of Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, The Netherlands and Ireland. Israeli officials claimed that the flags were only there to embarrass Israel in these countries as it destroys their donations.
If Israel is embarrassed by people outside of its borders watching as they demolish emergency housing for families, perhaps they should reassess their decision to do so.
- Israel destroys Palestinian commercial stores in Beit Hanina (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel to Annex More of East Jerusalem (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- New Regulation Bars Palestinians and Immigrants from Using Israeli Courts (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Three people, including a heavily pregnant woman, suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation on Tuesday night in what Israeli police are calling a racist attack.
Micky Rosenfeld of the Israeli police reported that there was an arson attack on an apartment in west Jerusalem on Wednesday night. Three Eritrean’s were seriously injured in the attack. One suffered severe burns while two others were being treated for smoke inhalation.
There has been a sharp increase in racist attacks and demonstrations by Israelis in recent months. There have been riots in Tel Aviv and many asylum seekers have been beaten and abused on the street. In another arson attack in June, four migrants were injured when their home was set ablaze and racist graffiti sprayed on the walls.
Right wing Israelis see immigrants from Africa and elsewhere as a possible threat to maintaining Israel as a Jewish majority state. They have called on the government to deport asylum seekers.
Their sentiments are widely supported in the Israeli government. Earlier in June Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in an interview with Maariv newspaper, stated “The infiltrators along with the Palestinians will quickly bring us to the end of the Zionist dream,” adding “Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.”
- French activist injured as Israeli troops attack Hebron (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- African Immigrants in Tel Aviv Attacked by Racist Israeli Mobs (alethonews.wordpress.com)
On Tuesday Khaled Mesmar, head of the Political Committee of the Palestinian National Council, reported that an official statement issued by Washington had been received demanding that if another membership bid was put to the United Nations, then all financial aid to the Palestine Liberation Office in Washington would be cut.
Mesmar stated that the threat was issued officially via the American Administration envoy which visited Ramallah recently and met with the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
The initial bid for membership was blocked in September 2011 when the UN Security Council was put under pressure by the American delegation not to vote for it.
Mesmar reported that the Palestinian leadership would withold its UN bid for statehood if Israel stopped building settlements and released the Palestinian prisoners that were detained before the Oslo’s agreement of the 1993.
Illegal settlements have been the major obstacle to all negotiations. Despite settlements being illegal under the fourth Geneva convention and being in defiance of UN resolutions and the world court, Israel refuses to halt their construction, making negotiations impossible.
The US is demanding that the Palestinian Authority resumes talks without pre-conditions. Mesmar stated that rather than the halting of settlement construction being a Palestinian pre-condition, it is a commitment that Israel must undertake in accordance with the rule of law.
The importance of a fresh UN bid has taken on huge significance since last October, when UNESCO voted to admit Palestine as its newest member. The US immediately cut off all aid to UNESCO. The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee referred to the vote which passed with a 107 to 14 majority, as “reckless and anti-Israel”
Head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, reported that the current number of elected Palestinian legislators imprisoned by Israel dropped to 22 after Israel released, on Thursday afternoon, two legislators, the Palestine News Network, PNN, reported.
The two legislators who were released Thursday are Khalil Ar-Rabaey from Hebron, and Nasser Abdul-Jawad from Salfit.
Farawna said that Israel released, over the past five days, five legislators identified as Anwar Zboun, Ayman Daraghma, and Mohammad At-Til, in addition to Ar-Rabaey and Abdul-Jawad.
He added that 22 legislators are still imprisoned by Israel, 19 of them are members of the Hamas Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, in addition to the Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, legislator Ahmad Saadat, legislator Marwan Barghouthi and legislator Jamal At-Terawi, both members of Fateh movement.
Farawna stated that the continued abduction and imprisonment of the elected legislators and officials is a direct violation of international law and basic principles of human rights, and a violation of the principles of democracy.
He added that kidnapping Palestinian officials is a rude Israeli meddling in internal Palestinian affairs, and called on Arab and international parliamentarian to act on obliging Israel to secure the release of all elected officials.
- Israeli Government Fails to Carry Out Terms of Prisoner Agreement (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Palestinian prisoners’ conference declaration statement (windowintopalestine.blogspot.com)
- Israel arrests 800,000 Palestinians since 1948 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Local sources reported that the settlers wrote racist graffiti on some of the walls of the mosque, including the “Price Tag” graffiti that they frequently use when attacking and burning Palestinian mosques, and property.
Settlers are responsible for numerous similar attacks against the residents, their homes, lands and property in several parts of the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem, including the following:
On Monday, January 16, 2012, settlers torched the car of a Palestinian Authority Intelligence officer, Mohammad Ghannam, in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
On Tuesday, January 10, 2012, a group of fundamentalist Israeli settlers burnt three Palestinian cars in Dir Estia village, in the West Bank district of Salfit, and defaced the local mosque with “Price Tag” graffiti.
On Wednesday morning, January 4th 2012, settlers set fire to two Palestinian trucks and spray-painted anti-Arab racist graffiti.
On February 20, 2012, settlers spray-painted racist graffiti on a church in occupied East Jerusalem in the third such incident since January 2012.
The graffiti included “Death to Christians” and the phrase “price tag” was found on the walls of the Baptist Narkis Street Congregation. Furthermore residents of the area found their car tires slashed.
This attack follows a similar such incidents, occurring on the same day in February, where the bilingual school Hand In Hand and the Monastery of the Cross were vandalized, also promoting violence against Christians.
On December of 2011, settlers carried out four attacks against mosques in several parts of the occupied West Bank, and set ablaze five Palestinian cars near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
In the attack on the mosque, the settlers spray-painted slogans including ‘Price Tag’, (a reference to the idea that Palestinians must all ‘pay a price’ for the dismantling of illegal settlement outposts by the Israeli military).
In mid-December of last year, a group of fanatic Israeli settlers burnt a mosque in Borqa village, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and wrote racist graffiti on its walls.
The attack came only one day after a similar arson attempt targeted the historic mosque of Okasha in Jerusalem. Before setting parts of the mosque ablaze, the settlers spray-painted racist graffiti targeting the Palestinians and the Muslim prophet.
- Israel To Demolish Buildings In East Jerusalem To Build “King David” Park (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Residency Of 240,000 Palestinians Revoked By Israel Since 1967 (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jerusalem Family Displaced, Home Handed To Settlers (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Dozens of youth of Nabi Saleh Palestinian village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, opened on Tuesday evening, the main gate that was installed by the army at the entrance of their village; clashes were reported between the residents and Israeli soldiers.
The Palestine News network reported that dozens of youths broke the chains and locks that were sealing the iron gate, and managed to open it despite the Israeli army attempts to prevent them by firing rounds of live ammunition, and gas bombs. Dozens of residents were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation.
The illegally installed gate was placed by the Israeli army closing the main entrance of Nabi Saleh, depriving the residents from using the road, the only paved road that leads to the village, forcing them to use a longer, unpaved bypass road.
Nabi Saleh village is one of several Palestinian villages that hold weekly nonviolent protests against the illegal Annexation Wall and settlements built on privately owned Palestinian lands, preventing the residents from accessing their orchards.
- 5 injured in West Bank demonstrations (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Six teenage Arab students of the at-Tur School in Jerusalem were injured, on Thursday, at the Menachem Begin Public Park in the Yarkon area of Tel Aviv, after being attacked by extremist Israelis who hit them with sticks and hurled stones at them.
Member of the Parents Committee at the School, Hatem Khweis, stated that four fundamentalists attacked the students who were on a school field trip in the area, the Wattan News Agency reported.
Khweis added that the fundamentalists hurled stones at students, inflicting concussions and bruises, and that one of the students was moved to a nearby hospital.
He further stated that the school obtained a “security permit” that grants protection for school children during trips, but the protection was not granted due to what the Tel Aviv Municipality called “lack of funding”, Wattan added.
The school Parents Council held Israel responsible for the attack arguing that the assault was racially motivated.
- African Immigrants in Tel Aviv Attacked by Racist Israeli Mobs (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- How mainstream Israeli politicians sparked the Tel Aviv race riot (windowintopalestine.blogspot.com)
Bassem Tamimi, a leading member of the grass roots movement against the Israeli Annexation Wall and settlement construction in the village of an-Nabi Saleh, has on Tuesday been sentenced at the Israeli Ofer Military Court in the West Bank.
Mr. Tamimi was sentenced to 13 months imprisonment and a further 17 months suspended sentence. Tamimi was released following the judgement, due to having already served 13 months imprisonment waiting for his case to come to trial.
The ruling means that if Tamimi participates in any of the village’s weekly non-violent protest activities he will be forced to serve out the remainder of the suspended sentence in prison.
Bassem Tamimi has been described as a human rights defender by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union. Ashton has been critical of the trial against Tamimi, as she was of the trial against Abdullah Abu Rahme, a similar figure in the non-violent protest movement in the village of Bil’in.
The trial of Bassem Tamimi came under fire following allegations of coerced testimony from children of Nabi Saleh who, contravening international law, were interrogated by the Israeli military with neither legal representation or a parent or guardian present.
- Palestinian Activist, Bassem Tamimi, Convicted; Prosecution Criticized by Court (altahrir.wordpress.com)
Late on Sunday night Israeli soldiers invaded the village of Bil’in, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and attempted to kidnap a local peace activist, one of the organizers of nonviolent peaceful protests against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and settlements in the area.
The Friends of Freedom and Justice Committee in Bil’in (FFJ) reported that resident Hosam Hamad, 33 years old, was not at home when soldiers invaded it. Instead, the soldiers handed his mother a warrant for his arrest.
The FFJ added that the army pushed journalists and cameramen away when they attempted to ask the soldiers why they were trying to take Hamad. They informed them that they were not allowed to document the invasion and did not provide any explanation for their actions.
Bil’in is known for its leading role in creative non-violent resistance against the Annexation Wall and settlements in the area. Peace activists from different parts of the world as well as Israeli activists participate in the weekly non-violent protests.
Israeli soldiers use excessive force against the protesters, and repeatedly kidnap local activists of the non-violent resistance. The army is responsible for hundreds of injuries and several deaths because of its use of force against the protesters.
In 2008, Ashraf Abu Rahma was detained during a nonviolent protest; he was cuffed and blindfolded before one soldier held him while another soldier shot him in the leg.
The shooting was caught on tape by a young Palestinian woman from Bil’in, and was handed to a number of human rights groups to expose the Israeli crime. The soldiers subsequently detained her father as an act of punishment.
Abu Rahma’s brother, Basem, and his sister, Jawaher, were killed by Israeli fire in different non-violent protests against the Wall and settlements.
A statement issued by the spokesperson of the EU’s High Representative, Catherine Ashton, said last Tuesday that the European Union defends the right of Palestinians to hold peaceful protests against illegal Israeli settlement construction on their land.
- Al-Ma’sara Village Holds Its Weekly Nonviolent Protest (occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com)
- Undercover Israeli combatants threw stones at IDF soldiers in West Bank (theuglytruth.wordpress.com)
- Three Women Injured Near Bethlehem (altahrir.wordpress.com)
- Minnesota Battle Over Israeli Bonds (alethonews.wordpress.com)
The Jerusalem City Council has decided to demolish seven buildings in the Silwan neighborhood, south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Old City in Occupied East Jerusalem, as part of its plan to build the “King David Park” in this Palestinian area.
The Israeli army has posted eviction and demolition notices on several homes and buildings in Silwan, granting the residents 30 days to file appeals and grievances according to Fakhri Abu Diab, member of the Popular Committee for Defending Silwan, in East Jerusalem,
The “King David Park” Plan was announced by Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, two years ago after the City Council decided to demolish 22 Arab homes under the pretext that they were built without construction permits.
The Israeli plan led to Palestinian, Arab and international condemnation, but Israel disregarded the outrage and said that the project will serve the city.
The “King David” Park plan is part of ongoing Israeli violations targeting the Palestinians, their property and their lands in Occupied East Jerusalem. These violations include the demolition of dozens of Arab homes, forcing the Palestinians out of their homes to replace them with settlers, and the ongoing construction and expansion of Israeli settlement in and around the city.
In other news, Israeli soldiers destroyed agricultural dwellings, barns and wells southeast of the West Bank city of Hebron at dawn on Wednesday. The Israeli Army claimed that the structures were built without construction permits. A member of the Al-Rajabi family stated that the Army has twice invaded his land and demolished his property in the past three years.
- Video shows UK-manufactured JCB equipment destroying Jerusalem playground (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Jerusalem Family Displaced, Home Handed To Settlers (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- UN: Israel displaced 67 Palestinian refugees over week (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Palestinian Family loses property ownership case in Israeli court (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Ethnic Cleansing in a Zionist Fairyland (alethonews.wordpress.com)