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Israeli settlers attack internationals and a Palestinian shepherd

Operation Dove | September 15, 2014

At Tuwani – On September 14th, two Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian shepherd and two international near the Israeli outpost of Mitzpe Yair, in the South Hebron Hills area. During the aggression, the settlers stole video cameras from the internationals and broke one of their phones. Israeli police detained the Palestinian shepherd and one of the internationals for six hours. There were no consequences for the settlers.

At about 9:00 a.m. four Palestinian shepherds from the South Hebron Hills village of Qawawis were grazing their flocks accompanied by two internationals, on Palestinian owned land nearby the Israeli outpost. Two settlers from Mitzpe Yair crossed a closed area (where the access is forbidden to everyone else) in order to attack one Palestinian shepherd, starting to chase away his flock. The two internationals present taped the scene.

Afterwards the settlers assaulted the internationals: at first they grabbed one by the neck and knocked him down, they snatched his camera and broke his phone; subsequently the settlers attacked the other one twisting her arm and also seizing her camera. The settlers ran back to the outpost holding the stolen cameras, and the Palestinian and the internationals went to Qawawis village.

The Israeli police came to the Palestinian village and asked the shepherd and internationals to follow them to the Israeli Police station in Kiryat Arba settlement, due to one settler claiming that they threw stones at him. The Police officers detained both of them for six hours and questioned them about the incident. Israeli police released them at 5:00 p.m. without consequences.

The South Hebron hills area has suffered from the presence of Israeli settlers’ since the 70′s. Eight Israeli settlements and outposts (among which Mitzpe Yair is one) almost completely isolate 16 Palestinian villages from the rest of West Bank. The settlers’ violence includes overt violent attacks on Palestinians and their animals, damages to private properties, and limitations to freedom of movement with many consequences on their daily life. Since the beginning of 2014, Operation Dove registered the arrests of 15 Palestinians, including minors, because they were on lands near the settlements. During the same period there were no consequences for Israeli settlers involved in the incidents occurring in the area.

In spite of the violence suffered by the Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills area, they keep on grazing and farming on their lands, resisting in a non-violent way to the Israeli occupation.

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

[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.]

September 15, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 3 Comments

Once more: It ain’t about the graffiti

Another incident of nationalist crime in the village of Yasuf, but the media only paid attention to the unimportant part: the graffiti

By Yossi Gurvitz | Yesh Din | September 3, 2014

Atallah Yassin Muhammad Gouda lives in the village of Yasuf, which has known quite a few attacks by Jewish felons; perhaps the most notorious being the torching of its mosque in 2009, which introduced the phenomenon of the price tag attacks into Israeli consciousness. Gouda lives in a neighborhood that is adjacent to the outpost Tapuach Maarav, and according to the testimonies of its residents, they suffer from frequent attacks by Israeli civilians. The residents attribute the burning of several vehicles, as well as stone attacks on the houses in the neighborhood to their Israeli neighbors.

At the beginning of August, Gouda was woken by noise, and when he hurried to see what happened, he saw the family car, which was in the courtyard, on fire. He alerted the rest of the household, and together, they managed to prevent the fire from spreading to the house, which was only two meters away from the vehicle. After dousing the flames, which had caused severe damage – estimated at several thousand NIS – to the car, they discovered a gasoline can and several rags soaked in gasoline there also. The police were called and arrived at the scene, collecting evidence and taking fingerprints. Given the record of the SJPD, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for an indictment.

The torching of the car caused the family significant damage: not only would they have to pay for fixing it, but as the only provider, the father, is a taxi driver, and as the car (bought 18 months ago) was his work vehicle, there would also be time in which they would have no income.

So, the attack by the unknown felons achieved three goals: significant damage to the car, and damaging the Gouda family income. The third goal is the wider goal of settler violence: spreading fear and despair among the Palestinian residents, in an attempt to convince them by violent methods to abandon their lands, so that Israeli civilians can take them over. A fourth, collateral, goal – the spreading of the fire to the house and its sleeping residents – was not achieved. We note this isn’t the first time that Israeli civilians are suspected of torching a vehicle in dangerous proximity to a house, as its residents are sleeping.

And, oh, yes: there was also some graffiti. When the bedlam ended, after the fire was extinguished, and the smoke and panic settled, the residents found that someone had sprayed the wall of the house with a “price tag” graffiti. Anyone following the issue through the Israeli press, might have mistakenly concluded that the graffiti is the main issue. Here is a Ynet newsflash (Hebrew): “A price tag slogan was sprayed on a house in the Palestinian village of Yasif (error in the original – Yesh Din). A Palestinian vehicle nearby was set ablaze.” And then you have Mako (Hebrew): “The residents of the Palestinian village of Yasuf in Shomron woke up this morning to a new-old troubling sight – slogans sprayed on the walls of a house and significant damage caused to a vehicle.”

Which is weird. Every journalist learns that you open your piece with the most important part, and go on to the less important. In any reasonable measure, the setting of a vehicle on fire – especially one which is close to a house – is significantly more serious than any graffiti daubed on a nearby wall. The slogan cannot kill anyone or destroy anything: a few brushes of paint, and it is gone. So why is the media obsessed with the graffiti?

Because to a certain extent, the media has swallowed the myth spread by the settlers: that their crimes are not severe, it’s merely spray paint. Nothing to write home about. When the Israeli media puts the slogans in the spotlight, it puts the fire in the background. But as we’ve already shown, the great majority of nationalist crimes in the West Bank do not include slogans – and when these are present, there is a clear correlation between them and cases of arson. That is, the slogans accompany arson, and not vice versa. And arson is the spreading of terror par excellence.

It’s time we remembered that.

September 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

Palestine’s ever decreasing circles

Palestine: a journal of everyday occupation | August 30, 2014

After lunch, which is usually at around 4pm, we decided to go to Wadi Fukin to visit family. I’ve written before about the village which sits directly east of the 1949 armistice line, more commonly referred to as the Green Line. Each time we visit, I am always shocked. This time was worse than I expected. The lush, fertile valley is being closed in by colonies, which will result in Wadi Fukin being surrounded.

Beitar Illit is an illegal colony inhabited by particularly aggressive right-wing nationalist Jews. The colony was first established as an outpost in 1984 on land belonging to the neighbouring village of Husan. Today it is home to around 50,000 colonists. I’ve witnessed its expansion over more than a decade, and it never fails to make me so angry when I am confronted with it. The housing units were first built along the ridge of the hill. Then construction crept down the side of the hill at one end, into the valley of Wadi Fukin (wadi is Arabic for valley).

Today the side of the hill is almost entirely populated by the colonists. Because they are ultra religious, they believe the water source within Wadi Fukin is holy water, and the whole area is a special place for them alone, given by God. Armed colonists often invade the valley to come and swim in the irrigation pools that have been there for generations, the land tended by Palestinians for hundreds of years. Other intimidation of the Palestinians of the valley includes setting fire to trees and poisoning the water wells.

Perversely, Beitar Illit has been awarded the Israel Ministry of Interior’s gold prize, recognizing “responsible management and sustainable urban planning”. It has also received the same ministry’s prize for water conservation in public gardens, urban public institutions, and urban water administration in 2002. Daily life here is Kafkaesque in the extreme.

But there was worse. On the other hill, Tsur Hadasa, which is technically in Israel, ie, on the other side of the armistice line, is now encroaching into Wadi Fukin from the west. The cranes loom menacingly and piles of earth punctuate the ridge as construction continues. I wanted to take some photos so one of my nieces took me up the hill.

The land here is very rocky, with prickly gorse and olive trees planted on terraces. It was quite a climb but within minutes I could see the absolute destruction and disregard for the land of Wadi Fukin. Trees had been uprooted, stones gauged out. It was a mess. Farther in the distance, in what is Israel, the hill remains untouched and flora and fauna is flourishing. I’m not entirely sure where the armistice line is, but the new construction is clearly a very deliberate action to take land within the West Bank at some point to expand the colony. After all, they could easily have built to the west, well within Israel.

Wadi Fukin is entirely Area C, as denoted by the Oslo Accords, the appalling agreement that has given Palestinians the Palestinian Authority and Israel carte blanche to do as it pleases. This means that the homes in Wadi Fukin are under constant threat. I asked my brother in law if the homes closest to the newly built units of Beitar Illit are at risk of being issued demolition orders. He said no, those homes were built quite a few years ago. But the owners have recently planted the land around the building and he is sure that at some point the Israelis will demand the trees are removed.

Back to the western hill, the villagers have rescued what they can and the uprooted trees will be used for fire wood. The construction on both sides of the valley, with colonies and colonists encroaching ever deeper into Wadi Fukin, means that the space for the village and its inhabitants is getting smaller and smaller. Natural growth means that the population is increasing. So while Palestinian land is taken to increase the colonies, the Palestinians are being hemmed in. It’s a recipe for disaster.

September 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Israel presses forward plans for Jewish seminary in occupied east Jerusalem

Al-Akhbar | August 28, 2014

Israel on Thursday approved a further stage in plans to build a nine-story Jewish seminary in the heart of a densely-populated Palestinian neighborhood near Jerusalem’s Old City.

According to the Peace Now settlement watchdog, the committee threw out an appeal tabled by a left-wing council member and approved a new stage in plans for a tower block in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied east Jerusalem.

Should the plans be approved by the district planning committee, construction could begin within the coming year, Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told AFP.

“It might take six months to a year until it gets final approval for them to start building,” she said of the plan which was tabled in February.

The building will be used as a yeshiva, or Jewish seminary, for ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Sheikh Jarrah is a Palestinian residential neighborhood located to the north of the Old City.

Located on the road which links the Old City to Mount Scopus, the area is considered a strategic location and illegal settlement groups have made persistent efforts to take control of its land.

Israel captured east Jerusalem during the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

It considers all of Jerusalem its “eternal, indivisible” capital and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

Both the Palestinians and the international community consider all Israeli construction on land seized in 1967 to be a violation of international law.

This has not stopped Israel from continuing its policy of illegal settlement in east Jerusalem and the West Bank over the years.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

August 28, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian arrested after filming settlers throwing stones

International Solidarity Movement | August 17, 2014

Occupied Palestine – Yesterday at approximately 5:30 PM in the old city in al-Khalil (Hebron) settlers from the illegal settlement of Beit Hadassah threw rocks and water at Palestinians living on Shalala Street. This is a regular occurrence for Palestinian families living close to illegal settlements in al-Khalil. The majority of the time the Israeli military watches from a distance and does not do anything to intervene in the violence and property damage.

One Palestinian, a 35-year old man, documented the stone throwing only to be detained and then arrested by the Israeli military. The man was taken through a yellow gate to an area from which Palestinians are restricted, where the soldiers pushed him around.

The soldiers threw several stun grenades at Palestinians and internationals standing behind the yellow gate who were trying to document what was happening through holes of the gate.

Two internationals walked through the checkpoint at the Ibrahimi mosque and down Shuhada street in attempt to find the Palestinian. A group of ten soldiers and an army jeep stood with two Palestinian men, the man who had been arrested was in handcuffs. A nearby soldier told the internationals that neither of the men was arrested but they were only bringing the handcuffed man in for questioning, to gather evidence about the settlers who threw stones. After approximately five minutes the solders blindfolded the Palestinian and started walking with him to a nearby army base, Beit Romano. When internationals asked why the man was being blindfolded an Israeli soldier stated, “Because I want to.”

The man was released earlier this morning.

August 17, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palestinian dies after being hit by Jewish settler’s car near Salfit

karimMa’an – 14/08/2014

SALFIT – A Palestinian man was killed on Thursday after being knocked down by a settler car near the illegal settlement of Barkan in Salfit.

Palestinian security sources told Ma’an that Muhammad Abd al-Karim Muhammad Abu Isleim, 23, was hit while trying to cross a street near the settlement.

Israeli police officers and ambulances arrived at the scene and tried to save the victim, but he was pronounced dead.

Palestinian police are investigating the incident to determine whether the settler deliberately hit the victim.

August 14, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

Month of attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem increases tension; exposes racist policies

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By Chris Carlson | International Middle East Media Center | August 11, 2014

As the Israeli Central Court of Jerusalem releases three youth accused in the recent homicide of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, another young Palestinian is found stabbed to death in Silwan, while a 13-year-old child is arrested under the pretext of carrying a knife.

Over the past month, during Israel’s relentless and bloody aggressions on the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem area has become a crucible of violent confrontations between Palestinians and colonial Jewish settlers and police, with numerous reports of multiple raids and ensuing arrests continuing to surface throughout the West Bank region.

Just following the Israeli Central Court’s decision not to hold three youth who admittedly conspired in the brutal torture and burning of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudeir, in early July, local media reported that the police found the body of another young Palestinian in Silwan, south of the Old City of Jerusalem.

PNN sources say that the body had several visible stab wounds but that the Israeli police have declared that the motive behind the crime is not clear.

Meanwhile, Silwanic has reported that Israeli police took into custody one 13-year-old Daoud Sawalha, Thursday night, while he was at the barber shop, in the neighborhood of Ein Al-Lozeh, under the pretext of carrying a knife.

Each year, around 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system, with the majority of Palestinian child detainees being held on charges of throwing stones.

The same day, Silwanic reported that three Israeli settlers attempted to run over a Jerusalemite woman named Ola Alayan, as she was going home to her Bet Safafa residence, south of Jerusalem.

She was verbally assaulted by the settlers but was able to escape the area and safely reach the entrance of the village.

As in the case of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was also chosen at random and not for personal reasons, not all Jerusalemite Palestinians are so lucky.

On Thursday, July 31st, a young Palestinian man from Ras Alamoud was reported to have been assaulted by a group of Israeli settlers who attempted to kidnap him after tying him and dragging him to their car.

When the group failed to drag him to their vehicle, they assaulted 21-year-old Ali Mohammed al-Abbasi with a large amount of pepper spray.

Ali’s father confirmed that a fellow co-worker took his son to the hospital, after ambulance and police failed to respond.

The week prior, Amir Shwiki and Samer Mahfouz, both 20 years old and from Beit Khanina, were attacked by settlers with iron bars and baseball bats while walking to a Light Rail station, following the evening Ramadan meal.

The two were seriously wounded and lost consciousness during the beating, upon which they were hospitalized in Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, Jerusalem.

Violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property is not new to the region, but has been in a state of extreme escalation since the beginning of Israel’s renewed series of attacks on Gaza’s civilian population, with mass solidarity protests resulting in further violent confrontations.

Reports of vandalism, including that of agricultural lands, homes and vehicles, as well as both Christian and Muslim holy sites frequently surface from numerous locations all across Israel and occupied Palestine, with the majority of such acts being perpetrated by colonial settlers, and often with the backing of Israeli military and/or police.

A recent statement by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem reveals that 60-80,000 Palestinian Jerusalem residents have been without running water for months, with no further reports appearing in regard to appeals made to Hagihon and the Jerusalem Municipality.

Israeli policies against Palestinians have isolated entire communities and turned them into fragmented, isolated ghettos, leaving what remains of the occupied Palestinian territories to now appear as little more than large open-air prisons, from which militant resistance and defiance is the only defense.

See also : Special Report: “800,000 Palestinians Imprisoned By Israel Since 1967”

August 12, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Land Speaks Arabic

The Land Speaks Arabic. A Film by Maryse Gargour

Reviewed by Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh:

‘La Terre Parle Arab’ (2007). Director Maryse Gargour. Arabic, French, English audio with English subtitles, 61 minutes. Winner of several European awards (ASBU, Prix France 3 Medirerranee, Prix Memoire du Medirerranee).

This excellent documentary on one of the most pressing issues of our time brings together rarely seen footage of Palestine before 1948 juxtaposed with historical research, eyewitness accounts, stunning choreography, moving testimonials, and historical documents.

We can state the fact that before the Zionist project began in Palestine it was more heavily populated than the United States of today. We can state that Palestine 20 years or even fifty years after the Zionist project was launched was still predominantly Arab. But it is one thing to state a fact and another to have seen it or lived it. The next best thing is to have a film that shows you a video of the era and pictures of the documents of the era. That is what this film does in a very professional, practical, and effective way.

… Letters in European languages exchanged between European Zionists and European imperialists are read followed by scenes of the impact of these blueprints of social engineering. Articles from newspapers of the late 19th century and early 20th century report on the progress (a poor choice of word in this context) of the colonisation project. We see through documents, including news reports and letters, that the word colonisation was used by the Zionist colonizers, when their writings and their speeches expressed the ideas of replacing the natives with the new population from Europe. We hear from Ahad Haam, Israel Zangwill, Yosef Weitz, Chaim Weitzmann, Theodor Herzl, and David Ben-Gurion.

Read the full review here:
https://kanan48.files.wordpress.com/2…

August 9, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

10-year-old child shot in chest with live ammunition

International Solidarity Movement | August 6, 2014

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – In al-Khalil (Hebron) on Sunday August 3rd, a 10-year-old Palestinian boy was walking to his home near the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba when the Israeli military shot him in the chest with live ammunition.

The following day, ISM volunteers went to visit the young boy in al-Mezan hospital. The young boy was in critical condition, and although doctors were able to save his life, the bullet remains in his left lung, as it is too dangerous to remove it.

His father told the ISM volunteers that a relative of the boy witnessed the shooting and that it had been a man in a soldiers’ uniform that shot him, without any visible motive. His father also pointed out that even if there had been a motive, such as if the boy would have been throwing stones, nothing could have justified this shot, which was clearly aimed at the heart of this 10-year-old child.

A funeral for a soldier that died in Gaza was held in the Tel Rumeida area of al-Khalil between 1 AM and 3 AM last Sunday evening. The area was under heavy military presence, shop owners were forced to close down their shops early and Palestinians living in the area received orders stay in their homes and turn the lights off. Doctors at al-Mezan hospital have reported that in recent weeks there has been an increase in the number of bullet wounds resulting from live ammunition. Many of these wounds have been in the chest and abdomen, seemingly aimed to kill.

August 6, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | Leave a comment

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers break into Palestinian shops

CPTnet | August 4, 2014

On 30 July 2014, Israelis entered into Palestinian shops in Hebron’s Old City near Beit Hadassah with industrial tools, using cutting blades and torches to open the doors, despite the presence of Israeli military security who were overlooking the shops.

Christian Peacemaker Teams and the International Solidarity Movement volunteers made several attempts to advise the Israeli military and police to intervene on the breaking and entering into the Palestinian shops. Despite showing the Israeli military video evidence of the account, the police failed to show up and intervene.

The following day, Israeli settler children during the afternoon threw rocks down from the Beit Hadassah settlement onto Palestinians walking on the street below the settlement. Later on that night, settlers again re-entered the property despite the Israeli military having designated the area a closed military zone for Israeli settlers and Palestinians alike.

Settler jumps on awning after throwing stones at Palestinians
and internationals

This incident is not an isolated event, but rather represents a larger strategy to occupy and claim ownership of Palestinians’ shops and expand the Jewish settlements in Hebron, as happened when the settlements of Tel Rumeida, Beit Hadassah, Kiryat Arba, the Al Rajabi building, Avraham Avinu and Givat Ha’avot expanded.

Currently, Palestinians are at risk of losing their property at over twenty-three geographic areas across the H2 section of Hebron. The locations start from Palestinian land on top of Tel Rumeida where the Israeli Antiquities Authority has allocated seven million shekels to build a tourist attraction—followed by another “Israeli” only by-pass road that is slated to connect the Tel Rumeida settlement to Shuhada Street. They represent the Israeli settlers’ master plan to segment off a crescent shape from the Jewish cemetery to the west of the Old City of Hebron to the settlement of Kiryat Arba, which will enclose Palestinians in an apartheid labyrinth. Palestinian Bantustans that already exist will expand, adding to the system of over one hundred military check points, pathway closures, additional annexations of Palestinian shops, and Israeli-only roads in Hebron.

[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.]

August 4, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Palestinian teenagers murdered by Israelis in separate West Bank incidents

International Solidarity Movement | July 27, 2014

Huwwara, Occupied Palestine – On Friday, July 25, an Israeli settler murdered a Palestinian teenager in the village of Huwwara, which lies approximately 10 km south of Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank. Two hours later, an Israeli sniper killed another Palestinian teenager in the same village.

After Friday prayers at the mosque in Huwwara, villagers began marching in solidarity with the victims of the Gaza massacre. The protest included many children, some of whom were carrying signs in support of their Gazan brothers and sisters. Two Israeli military jeeps were along the route, and some of the soldiers were taking pictures of the peaceful protest. As the procession wound its way back to the mosque, a settler suddenly raced alongside and slammed on the brakes.

“He was about a meter away from the kids and just started firing out the window of his car,” stated a witness. “It was clear he was trying to kill people.” The settler managed to shoot four people before fleeing the scene. 19-year-old Khalid Owda died from a gunshot wound to his abdomen, while Tarik Dmadi was shot in the chest and remains in critical condition. Hassan Dmadi was shot in the hip, while Jihad Owda was shot in the hand and has been released from the hospital.

“Had he had more ammunition, he would have kept on shooting and killed more people,” said a witness. “Killing Palestinians is no big deal for the settlers, because there is no punishment. And what about the soldiers? They were just standing there, doing nothing.”

Tragedy struck the town of Huwwara a second time two hours later, when an Israeli sniper gunned down 18-year-old Tayeb Shohaada, who, like Khalid Owda, was a  student at an-Najah University in Nablus. Israeli forces were shooting tear gas at Tayeb and roughly ten other young men, who were throwing stones in their direction from a distance of approximately 100 meters. According to Red Crescent medic, Ahmed Owda, a female Israeli sniper shot Tayeb in the face. Her sergeant then congratulated her and clapped her on the shoulder. Ahmed subsequently attempted to reach Tayeb but was unable to do so because of Israeli fire. Tayeb was eventually taken to Rafidia hospital in Nablus, where he was declared clinically dead.

The attending surgeon revealed that the damage to Tayeb’s brain was consistent with that caused by expanding bullets. Expanding bullets are banned according to the 1899 Hague Convention, but Israel has frequently been accused of employing them against Palestinians.

Memorial ceremony for both Khalid and Tayeb (photo by ISM).

Memorial ceremony for both Khalid and Tayeb (photo by ISM)

July 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | Leave a comment

The Gaza greenhouse effect

The Hasbara Buster | December 1, 2009

Every now and then the subject of the greenhouses left behind by Israeli settlers eradicated from Gaza is brought up by Israel apologists as proof of several things. It is claimed that Gazans don’t suffer from malnutrition: if they did, they wouldn’t have destroyed the greenhouses when the Israelis left. Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with Israel’s blockade of Gaza, because it doesn’t actually harm them. It is also claimed that the destruction of the greenhouses proves how hateful Gazans are: they prioritized wiping out every vestige of Jewish presence over keeping a valuable source of nutrients and income. Finally, it is asserted that a people that got the result of heavy investment and destroyed it can’t be trusted ro run anything, much less a state.

Much of this is bullshit, and the part that isn’t is highly distorted.

When Israel decided its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, the settlers expected to be paid handosmely for the productive infrastructure they had created. Of course this was a display of chutzpah, because it had been heavy state subsidizing that had allowed them to create that infrastructure in the first place. As Haaretz noted:

The Gaza settlers had been inundated by perks from all directions. They received subsidized lands, subsidized water, assured wages from the public sector, “risk bonuses” and lower tax on their higher wages, subsidized daycare, cheap Arab labor, what didn’t they get. The benefits they received touched on every area of their lives and they became accustomed to higher standards they can’t forgo even now.

As the date of the withdrawal approached with no deal in sight, however, the settlers began to destroy the greenhouses. The New York Times reported:

About half the greenhouses in the Israeli settlements in Gaza have already been dismantled by their owners, who have given up waiting to see if the government was going to come up with extra payment as an inducement to leave them behind, say senior officials working on the coordination of this summer’s Israeli pullout from Gaza.(…)

Of the roughly 1,000 acres of agricultural land that were under greenhouses in the 21 Israeli settlements in Gaza, only 500 acres remain – creating significant doubts that the greenhouses could be handed over to the Palestinians as “a living business,” the goal cited by the Israeli coordinator of the pullout, Eival Giladi.

Finally, a last-minute effort by American Jewish philantropists raised $14 million and the remainder of the greenhouses was bought and turned over to the Palestinians.

However, since there had been no coordination with the Palestinians, there was no security plan to protect the greenhouses from looters. AP reported:

Palestinians looted dozens of greenhouses on Tuesday, walking off with irrigation hoses, water pumps and plastic sheeting in a blow to fledgling efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip.(…)

Palestinian police stood by helplessly Tuesday as looters carted off materials from greenhouses in several settlements, and commanders complained they did not have enough manpower to protect the prized assets. In some instances, there was no security and in others, police even joined the looters, witnesses said.

“We need at least another 70 soldiers. This is just a joke,” said Taysir Haddad, one of 22 security guards assigned to Neve Dekalim, formerly the largest Jewish settlement in Gaza. “We’ve tried to stop as many people as we can, but they’re like locusts.”

As can be seen, the theft was carried out by individuals, and in no way was it encouraged by the Palestinian Authority. Quite on the contrary, there was a conscious PA effort to prevent the lootings, which was however hindered by lack of resources.

Two reflections arise from the stories above.

On the one hand, it’s true that some of the greenhouses were destroyed by Palestinian individuals. There’s nothing remarkable about that. Beggars can’t be choosers, as the saying goes, and looting is what normally happens when two conditions are met: 1) an impoverished populace; and 2) a situation of lack of control by an established authority. Gazans stole the hardware and materials contained in the greenhouses not in a drive to erase the Jews’ memory from the territory, but to satisfy their personal needs. There was a rationale to their theft.

The destruction of part of the greenhouses by the settlers, however, can only be explained by animosity. They spent time, effort and probably even money to dismantle the facilities so that the Palestinians wouldn’t be able to use them. There’s a big difference between he who damages property in order to derive a benefit and he who damages it only to harm another person.

Many other related points could be made. For instance, that even in the Zionists’ twisted logic the looting of the facilities would justify the ban on vegetable imports into Gaza, but not that on livestock (cows can’t be raised in greenhouses). Or that the 350 Arab villages that disappeared from Israel’s map were not looted by vandals; they were razed by the State in a clear drive to eliminate any trace of Arabness from their respective landscapes. But without getting into those intricacies, and just focusing on the destruction of the greenhouses by both Jews and Palestinians, it’s clear who was moved by necessity and who by hate.

July 20, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

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