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‘FIFA Tarnishing Football by Allowing Games on Stolen Land’

Al-Manar | September 26, 2016

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused world football’s governing body FIFA of “tarnishing the beautiful game” by allowing “games on stolen land”.

In a report published on Sunday, HRW said that FIFA was legitimizing the building of Israeli settlements in the West Bank—considered illegal under international law—and was sponsoring business activity that supports the settlements.

The New York-based body urged FIFA to force six Israeli football clubs based in settlements in the West Bank to relocate from occupied territories or be banned from competitions recognized by football’s governing body.

The six clubs in question are located in the West Bank and play in the lower Israeli leagues—Beitar Givat Ze’ev, Beitar Ironi Ariel, Ironi Yehuda, Beitar Ironi Maale Adumim and Hapoel Bik’at Hayarden.

The report follows an online petition that has gained more than 150,000 signatures, calling for FIFA official Tokyo Sexwale—who is heading up FIFA’s investigation into the issue—to ban settlement clubs from FIFA-recognized competitions.

More than 60 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) also sent an open letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino earlier in September, calling for the settlement clubs to be relocated or excluded from the Israeli Football Association (IFA).

FIFA’s rulebook states that football clubs that are a member of one football association may not play on the territory of another football association without the other association’s permission. The Palestinian Football Association has been recognized by FIFA since 1998.

“By holding games on stolen land, FIFA is tarnishing the beautiful game of football,” said Sari Bashi, ‘Israel’ and Palestine country director at HRW.

September 26, 2016 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | Leave a comment

Thousands rally against Netanyahu’s visit to The Hague

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Former Dutch Prime Minister Dries Van Agt
Press TV – September 7, 2016

Thousands of people have staged a demonstration in The Hague in protest at an official visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the Netherlands, saying he should be brought to justice for his crimes.

On Tuesday, the protesters carried Netanyahu’s mugshots and signs that read “Bring Bibi Netanyahu to International Criminal Court” as the Israeli leader arrived in the Netherlands and met with senior Dutch officials.

Chants such as “Free free Palestine, boycott boycott Israel” could also be heard during the demonstration.

“I’m standing here because Netanyahu is visiting the Netherlands. I’m standing in The Hague and we think that rather than him being received by the parliament, he should be put on trial in the Peace Palace of the UN tribunal,” a protester said in English.

Some of the protesters also criticized local authorities for attempting to cancel the anti-Netanyahu gathering.

“This demonstration is not only against Netanyahu, but it’s also for our right to demonstrate, at the places where we want, where it’s happening, because the Zionists, they always get the permission to stand in front of the parliament,” another demonstrator commented.

The rally was originally planned to be staged outside the Dutch parliament building in The Hague downtown, but authorities later did not allow the protesters to proceed.

The demonstration came a day after former Dutch prime minister Dries Van Agt reacted angrily to Netanyahu’s two-day visit to the Netherlands, calling on government officials to “send him right away to the International Criminal Court.”

Speaking in an interview with the NPO1 public broadcaster on Monday, Van Agt described the 66-year-old Chairman of Israel’s right-wing Likud political party as a “war criminal,” arguing that the Tel Aviv regime has been committing a crime under the ICC’s Rome Statute.

“The occupation and expansion… building of settlements, of occupied territory, this is according to the Rome Statute, which is… the setup… the statute on which the international criminal court is based, in so many words, a war crime,” he said.

“So why should we receive someone who continues with such things, we could have sent him right away to the International Criminal Court, that would have been better,” the 85-year-old politician and activist, known for his vocal support of the Palestinian cause, the ex-PM pointed out.

The Rome Statute, which went into effect in July 2002, outlines the four grave international crimes, namely crimes of aggression, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The statute forms one of the foundations of The Hague-based International Criminal Court.

Israel signed the treaty in December 2000, but “unsigned” it two years later by means of the US lobby.

One of the primary reasons behind the decision was a clause in the document, which allowed the prosecution of the Israeli regime over war crimes for “transfer of parts of the civilian population of an occupying power into occupied territory.”

September 7, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli forces hunt for Palestinian children in Hebron market

International Solidarity Movement | August 1, 2016

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On Sunday, 31st July 2016, Israeli forces in the Old City souq, the Palestinian market, of occupied al-Khalil (Hebron), were searching for a group of three Palestinian boys. Claiming they were throwing stones, Israeli forces were searching for them in order to arrest and incarcerate them.

A group of Israeli soldiers went into the Palestinian market in search for the children they claimed were throwing stones, stopping any child they encountered on their way, that more or less fit the age-group of around 10-14 years old. They stopped and questioned a 12-year old boy at Bab al-Baladiyya, one of the entrance and exit-points for the soldiers to enter from the illegal settlements located on Shuhada Street into the Palestinian market. Without any family or a lawyer present, the soldiers questioned the boy, first claiming that he was throwing stones and threatening to arrest him and take him to the police station. Only because of the intervention of a local, the boy wasn’t kidnapped by the Israeli forces, which eventually admitted that the video-evidence they have does not even show him. Still, they claimed that he was there and thus were attempting to force him into giving information.

After they finally allowed the boy to leave, they arbitrarily stopped any child that fit their age group to question them about their whereabouts and where they were going, even entering a Palestinian shop to interrogate a child. After about half an hour, they gave up their search, but approached human rights observers to ‘justify’ their behaviour, showing them a video on a phone that showed a boy throwing small stones,  at a securely fenced military tower, without any possibility of the pebbles even hurting anyone. Despite only one boy throwing these small stones, Israeli forces were out looking for all the three children in the video. Israeli forces ‘justified’ their search for the children to the human rights observers, stating that because of what can be seen in the video, they went out to look for ‘a boy in a white T-Shirt’ – despite the boy in the video clearly wearing a green T-Shirt. In spite of both these facts, they stopped and interrogated any child loosely fitting the age-group of around 10-14.

Israeli forces cornering children in the street for interrogation

Israeli forces cornering children in the street for interrogation

In the evening, Israeli forces again entered the market, to stop, harass and question children fitting this age-group, and another arrest of an arbitrarily picked child could only be prevented by the intervention of a local.

The fact that the arrest of any children under the age of 12 is illegal even under Israeli military law that applies to all Palestinians in the West Bank, did not bother the Israeli forces. Despite the boy in the video clearly being less than 12 years old, they went out to hunt down children that are below the legal age for arrest even under the apartheid military law, the orders in clear violation of not only international law, but even the racist and apartheid Israeli military law.

August 1, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leaked EU report reveals indirect approval of colonial Israel

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By Ramona Wadi | MEMO |July 27, 2016

Once again, Israel is exerting a great deal of effort in order to prevent discussion of an EU paper among European institutions. The internal report, which was drafted in December 2015 and then endorsed by all EU member states, attributes the development of the Jerusalem Intifada (Uprising) to “Israel’s occupation”. It included reference to the living conditions of Palestinian citizens and the failure to implement the two-state paradigm.

The EU Observer, which has seen the 39-page report, has stated that the document is intended as a reference for EU foreign ministers and “for proposals put forward by the EU Foreign Service.”

While having a dearth of facts, the report is not lacking in the kind of contradictions that mark the constant cycle of condemnation and appeasement of Israel at the expense of withholding Palestinian narratives. The Jerusalem Post has deemed the EU document to be veering away from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Israel and the rest of the world are facing the same terror threats. Rhetorically, the EU has distanced itself from Netanyahu’s sweeping statements that generalise every terrorist incident in order to normalise state violence against Palestinian resistance. Nevertheless, as on other occasions, the EU has devised its own strategies which uphold Israel’s narrative at a regional and international level.

The report is ambiguous in the extreme. “Some Palestinian perpetrators of individual attacks,” it explains, “have apparently been shot and killed in situations where they no longer pose a threat.” Despite Netanyahu himself publicly endorsing such extrajudicial killings, the EU has preferred to subjugate the facts to hypotheses through the use of terminology like “apparently”, “appeared” and “possibly amounting in certain cases to unlawful killings.” By not condemning such unlawful killing explicitly, the discourse suggests the EU’s tacit approval of Israeli state and settler violence. This is illustrated further in the report’s standard equivalence clause that “both sides” have indulged in “inflammatory rhetoric”, thus negating the fact that Palestinian resistance is a legitimate response to illegal Israeli colonial violence.

EU Foreign Relations chief Federica Mogherini has opposed the proposal that “known violent settlers and those calling for acts of violence” should be placed under EU visa bans. According to Mogherini: “There’s currently no question of sanctioning anybody. The question is rather how to motivate people to… restart peace talks.” Such leniency works in concordance with Israeli policy towards settler terrorists who are mostly shielded by the colonial state, enabling them to act with impunity.

Perhaps the most incriminating evidence of support for Israeli colonisation is the recommendation that the EU develops “further guidelines that differentiate between Israel and its illegal settlements,” according to the EU Observer. This distinction has been of interminable benefit to Israel and its implications are many, including the refusal to recognise the fact that Israel is a colonial entity and that its manifestation is contrary to the principles enshrined in international law. Referring to Israel as the “occupying power” without any reference to colonisation in effect absolves both Israel and the international community of accountability when it comes to recognising the Palestinian right to resistance and liberation. Unless this anomaly is rectified, all reports issued by the EU will be inherently biased towards Israel, regardless of the content. To treat colonial expansion as a recent phenomenon is a transgression of truth and an impediment to Palestinian struggle, although that is, after all, the apparent international intent behind such blatant deception.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deir Qaddis resists ongoing theft of village land

International Solidarity Movement | July 21, 2016

Deir Qaddis, Occupied Palestine – On the morning of July 14th, Israeli excavators arrived on Majid Mahmoud’s farmland in Deir Qaddis to begin work on an illegal expansion of a wastewater facility for the nearby illegal settlement of Nili.

Construction vehicles and Occupation forces were met by about fifty Palestinians from Deir Qaddis and nearby Nil’in in protest of the theft and destruction of village land, who refused to leave until the construction was halted. Through nonviolent means the villagers managed to temporarily prevent the destruction of their grazing lands, though excavation and land clearing did resume in the days afterwards. Illegal settlements around Deir Qaddis have been expanding for decades, swallowing up thousands of dunams and dispossessing farmers and agricultural workers in the area.

Majid’s land, now on the other side of a settler road, has been rendered mostly inaccessible by both the expansion of illegal settlements and the threat of violence from Israeli forces and private settlement security.

“We have no rights under this Occupation. I cannot ask the soldiers why they are on my land. It is as if I am being beaten, but cannot question it or raise my hands to stop it,” Majid said. “We have all the papers to prove ownership, but it does not matter.”

Majid and members of the local council are planning to bring the case to court and have all the documentation necessary to do so. They are not optimistic, however, about their chances.

Though the people of Deir Qaddis did succeed in halting the illegal construction on Thursday, it has since resumed. Fares Naser, mayor of the village, has little confidence that the settlement expansion and illegal construction will ever end. “It will not stop,” said Fares, “and the next generation will wonder why it is this way.”

Deir Qaddis is surrounded on three sides by the Apartheid Wall and the illegal Israeli settlements of Nili, Modi’in Illit, and Na’aleh, cutting it off from much of the West Bank. According to Fares, only 4,000 of the village’s original 10,000 dunams have not yet been seized by Israeli forces and settlers. Over ninety percent of the Deir Qaddis is classified as “Area C,” territory in which Israel maintains full military and civil control.

In 1999, Israeli authorities assured the people of Deir Qaddis that all land lying west of the town would remain untouched. Israel has since broken that promise, with both state confiscation and private theft of valuable farmland within Deir Qaddis. According to international law, all Israeli settlements are illegal, as is nearly every piece of the Israeli colonial apparatus. Israel will continue to build, and the people of Deir Qaddis will continue to resist the ongoing theft of their land and livelihoods.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli government approves 800 new colonial settlement housing units

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC | July 4, 2016

On Sunday the Israeli Cabinet approved the expansion of several Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, adding an additional 800 new units to the existing thousands of units constructed in Jewish-only settlements in direct contravention of international law.

Israeli officials say that the approval of 800 new housing units is meant to somehow ‘balance’ the implementation of a court ruling that 600 construction permits be approved for Palestinian families in Beit Safafa.

But while the Israeli officials may have political reasons for making such a claim, Palestinian analysts point out that there is no legal justification or comparison between the court decision about Beit Safafa and the announcement Sunday of the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements constructed on illegally-seized Palestinian land.

In the case involving Beit Safafa, an Israeli court ruled last month that the Israeli government had provided no sufficient evidence to back its claim that the Palestinian residents’ building permit applications should be denied, and ordered that construction could begin. But the Israeli government has, for the past month, prevented the court decision from being implemented.

The announcement Sunday that 800 new settlement units would be constructed in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank colonial settlement of Ma’ale Adumim came just two days after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved the expansion of another colonial settlement in Hebron by 42 additional units.

All Israeli settlements constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered illegal under international law, as they involve the direct transfer of Israel’s civilian population into areas seized by military force.

But the Israeli government considers many of these colonial settlements to be ‘legal’ under Israeli law, and provides infrastructure including water, sewage, electricity, policing and fire services to the majority of the hundreds of settlements that have been constructed on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In the case of Beit Safafa, the Israeli government had put together a plan to completely encircle the Palestinian town with several Jewish-only settlements, thus cutting off the town from the rest of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The plan had involved the expansion of a small trailer park currently housing Ethiopian immigrants to Israel, on a hilltop in Beit Safafa. The trailer park, dubbed ‘Givat HaMatos’, was slated for massive expansion by the Israeli government until Palestinian residents of Beit Safafa took the government to court to challenge the expansion.

In a surprise victory a month ago, the Palestinian residents of Beit Safafa won their court battle. but the Israeli government failed to implement the decision before now.

Upon the announcement that the court’s decision would be carried out, the Israeli Minister for Jerusalem, Ze’ev Elkin, stated, “Anyone who is concerned about the Jewish majority in Israel’s capital cannot push a building plan just for Arabs [in Givat HaMatos]… You cannot just approve construction for Arabs in Givat HaMatos without also approving at the same time building for Jews in the same planned neighborhood.”

The plan to encircle Beit Safafa, while currently under scrutiny by international media and bodies, is just one part of the larger E1 Jerusalem plan, which would encircle East Jerusalem, kick out most of its Palestinian residents, and claim all the ‘conquered’ territory for the state of Israel. The plan was first introduced in the early 2000s, and has expanded since then.

July 4, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israel continues to besiege Palestinian towns, breach international law in occupied West Bank

International Solidarity Movement | July 3, 2016

Occupied Hebron – In the last three days Israeli military forces have implemented several blockades isolating the cities of Yatta and Bani Na’im south of Hebron. It is reported that cement roadblocks, earth mounds, gates and checkpoints have been installed across the region, with no timeline for when they may be removed.

The blockades are only implemented to restrict the movement of Palestinians as illegal Israeli settlers can still pass the checkpoints. This discrimination is a clear apartheid strategy and limits Palestinians to not only being unable to attend work but also reaching basic human services such as hospitals. This strategy clearly violates Palestinian’s right to freedom of movement (Art.13 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

By enforcing these illegal blockades Israel is also restricting Palestinian movement during the final days of the holy month of Ramadan where thousands of Muslims wish to travel to the most significant religious sites for prayer and visit their families.

This act is also another example of Israel using collective punishment techniques, which are also illegal under international law. Israeli forces continually use collective punishment in the form of revoking travel and work permits, blockading cities and punitive house demolitions.

Operation Dove have compiled the following interactive map to illustrate the extent of the blockade.

The innocent people who are living under siege in Yatta and Bani Na’im are significantly impacted by the Israeli forces implementing such blockades, which have been condemned internationally by human rights organisations and NGOs.

July 3, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ban Ki-moon’s farewell to the occupied Palestinian territories

MEMO | July 2, 2016

On Tuesday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finished his farewell trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. He is due to step down in December and used the occasion to urge some political will for a two-state solution as “the only way to meet the national aspirations of both peoples.” Ban also criticised the blockade of Gaza which, he said, “Suffocates its people, stifles its economy and impedes reconstruction efforts.” Interestingly, he added that it is “collective punishment for which there must be accountability.”

Speaking in Ramallah, the UN chief expressed an understanding of Palestinian frustration: “I’m aware that many Palestinians question the feasibility of reaching a just and lasting peace with Israel. They hear talk of peace but they see violence. They still live a life of checkpoints, permits, blockade, demolitions and profound economic hardships faced with growing indignities and the humiliating occupation that will soon enter its 50th year.”

During his time as Secretary General, Ban has condemned the status quo verbally but the organisation he leads has failed to take concrete action. Under his tenure, Gaza has been strangled by a tight blockade and its residents have witnessed three major Israeli offensives. In over half of his time at the top of the UN, the West Bank settler population has grown by 23 per cent (from the beginning of 2009 until the beginning of 2014), and at least two rounds of direct talks have failed. In 2014, more Palestinians were killed by Israel than in any other year since 1967. Violence and fatalities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, meanwhile, were at their highest since the beginning of his tenure in 2007.

Following the most recent Israeli war against Gaza in 2014, a UN inquiry found that Israel was responsible for striking seven official sites used by the organisation as civilian shelters, during which 44 Palestinians were killed and 227 others were injured. Releasing the report, Ban condemned the attacks “as a matter of the utmost gravity.” He noted that it was the second time during his tenure as secretary general that he had been obliged to establish a board of inquiry into incidents involving UN premises and personnel in Gaza that have occurred during the course of “tragic conflicts” in the Gaza Strip. Concerning the children killed in the war, he commented during an earlier visit, “I met so many of the beautiful children of Gaza. More than 500 were killed in the fighting – many more were wounded. What did they do wrong? Being born in Gaza is not a crime.”

However, his inaction during the conflict forced 129 organisations and distinguished individuals to sign an open letter to him. “Until today,” they wrote, “you have taken no explicit and tangible measures to address the recent Israeli attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories since 13 June. Moreover, your statements have been either misleading, because they endorse and further Israeli false versions of facts, or contrary to the provisions established by international law and to the interests of its defenders, or because your words justify Israel’s violations and crimes.”

The number of Palestinian children killed during the 2014 war led to efforts to include the Israel Defence Forces on a UN list of serious violators of children’s rights. However, while the UN chief should have supported that inclusion made by Leila Zerrougui, the UN special envoy for children and armed conflict, he didn’t. He was accused of caving into pressure and omitting the Israeli military from the list. UN sources described the decision to override Zerrougui’s recommendation as “unusual”, while Human Rights Watch called it “a blow to UN efforts to better protect children in armed conflict.”

On his farewell visit to Gaza, Ban Ki- Moon told residents that, “The UN will always be with you.” As the two-year anniversary of the beginning of the 2014 Gaza war draws near, most of the 11,000 homes destroyed and 6,800 severely damaged or rendered uninhabitable remain in ruins, largely as a result of the Israeli-led blockade. As his time as UN leader comes to a close, the Palestinians will be hoping that his successor will give them more than words.

July 2, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli settlers raid lands in Bethlehem, spray “Death to Arabs” on Palestinian property

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Ma’an – June 29, 2016

BETHLEHEM – Israeli settlers from the illegal Beitar Illit settlement raided Palestinian lands in the village of Wadi Fukin in the central occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Tuesday, according to local witnesses.

Ahmad Sukkar, head of the Wadi Fukin village council, told Ma’an that a group of Israeli settlers raided agricultural lands in the al-Fuwwar area of the village, destroying two greenhouses and tearing up plants belonging to Maher Sukkar, Jamil Assaf, and Muhammad Manasra.

Sukkar also said the Israeli settlers uprooted the plants of Muhammad Saleh Manasra and Naim Daoud Attiyeh, before spray-painting “Death to Arabs” on their property.

Israeli settlers from the illegal Beitar Illit settlement, which has been built on private Palestinian lands belonging to the villages of Husan, Nahalin, and Wadi Fukin, commonly raid the communities and destroy Palestinian property.

Beitar Illit is one of several settlements that comprise what Israel refers to as the “Gush Etzion” settlement bloc, which Israel plans to illegally annex into its territory, according to the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ).

According to ARIJ, Israel’s plans of incorporating the Gush Etzion settlement bloc into the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem — boundaries that Israel continuously redefines in order to annex land further into Palestinian territory — parallels with Israel’s objectives of reshaping the demographics of the city by lowering the Palestinian population to 20 percent, and filling in the rest with Jewish Israelis.

Local Palestinians often attribute settler attacks on Palestinian communities — 51 of which have been reported since the start of this year, according to UN documentation — to Israel’s larger goals of depopulating Palestinian villages near settlements by scaring Palestinians into leaving their lands in an attempt to make room for the expansion or connection of the illegal settlement blocs.

While the Israeli government does not make Israeli settler population statistics public, most rights groups agree that some 600,000 settlers reside in Israeli settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem — all of which are considered illegal under international law.

June 29, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 12-18 May 2016

Occupation Captured

CPTnet | May 23, 2016

Laser Intrusion

Pictured here:  An Israeli border Police man shines the laser from his gun into the windows of Palestinian homes—even when it is clear there are children by the window—during a late night version of ‘the settler tour.’ This settler tour constitutes an obnoxious show of force, power and control as dozens of settlers ‘tour’ the streets of the Old City of Hebron, flanked by dozens of Israeli soldiers and Border Police.
(14/05/2016)

Scattering Children

Pictured here:  Palestinian children run and scatter as an Israeli Border Policeman aims his gun at a handful of children who threw stones at checkpoints they must pass through. Hundreds of children have been heading to school through these checkpoints to sit their end of year exams this week. Israeli Border crossed the checkpoint into the heart of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Qitoun and aimed their guns at the children, scattering all of those attempting to access their right to education.
(18/05/2016)

Taking a Stroll

Pictured here: A Palestinian girl walks to school behind a platoon of Israeli soldiers who had walked through Qitoun checkpoint to patrol the Palestinian neighbourhoods of Qitoun and Abu Sneineh, with the safety catches on their assault rifles off.

(17/05/2016)

Teargas Training

Pictured here: An Israeli Border Policeman, training another in how to fire teargas, helps load a teargas gun. After this, the trainee fired six potent canisters at children en route to school, after a handful of boys threw stones. The hundreds of children in the area affected by the gas were heading to to their end of year exams. This image was taken as CPTers were standing with a Palestinian girl who began to cry out of fear, and due to her anxiety about being late for her exams.

(15/05/2016)

Freedom Detained

Pictured here:  During the ‘settler tour,’ in which settlers and soldiers march through the streets of the Old City of Hebron, Israeli soldiers detain and restrict Palestinians on the streets until the group has passed through. Here, four Palestinian men are detained by Israeli Border Police, even after the settlers and their visitors had walked past.
(14/05/2016)

The Waiting Game

Pictured here: Three Palestinian men are detained arbitrarily by Israeli Border Police. We place this image immediately after the one above intentionally to indicate the frequency with which Palestinians are detained on the streets as they attempt to go about their lives.
(18/05/2016)

Smiling Against the Odds

Pictured here: Palestinian schoolboys smile as they head to school for their end of year exams. As they were doing so, Israeli Border Police checked Palestinian cars, without search warrants, and had been aiming their guns at children, as pictured above in this photo essay. If their exam was in resilience, these boys would pass with flying colours.

(18/05/2016)

May 23, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

For the second time, Palestinian family sees their E. Jerusalem home demolished by Israel

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Ma’an – May 18, 2016

JERUSALEM – Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian family’s home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shufat early on Wednesday morning, marking the second time the al-Hawarin family saw their home destroyed in 15 years.

“The occupation is stealing our dreams, depriving us of living safely in our own homes,” Nadia al-Hawarin told Ma’an as she looked at the ruins of her home.

Al-Hawarin added that Israeli forces had demolished the family’s former home in the neighborhood of Beit Hanina in 2001, under the pretext that it was built without a license from the Israeli municipality.

“Today, they demolished our house in Shufat for the sake of a road serving settlers,” she said. “The occupation demolished our home to serve the settlers, paying no attention to the fact that eight family members will become homeless.”

Al-Hawarin said that Israeli forces demolished a house belonging to al-Rishiq family in the same area in January, displacing dozens in order to build a road to benefit Israeli settlers in the area.

Al-Hawarin’s husband, Rajih al-Hawarin, said in a filmed interview with Ma’an that a large number of Israeli troops stormed the house at dawn and started to tear down the building.

He said that the house had been built in 2001 following the demolition of the family’s Beit Hanina home.

Before he started to build in Shufat, Rajih al-Hawarin said he had applied for a construction license and obtained initial approval.

“Then I was taken by surprise in 2002, when the application was suspended under the pretext that the area had been rezoned to build a new road connecting the illegal Ramat Shlomo and Pisgat Zeev settlements,” he added.

Rajih al-Hawarin added that the Jerusalem municipality handed him a first demolition order in 2012, and that he had submitted several appeals, to no avail.

East Jerusalem was seized by Israel along with the West Bank in 1967 during the Six-Day War, and since then, the Israeli government has undertaken a policy of “Judaization” across the city, constructing Jewish settlements and demolishing Palestinian homes.

There are upwards of 500,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention to international law.

A study by the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department reported more than 3,000 Palestinian structures demolished in East Jerusalem since 1967.

According to rights group Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the Israeli government issues building permits in line with discriminatory state policy enacted to increase the Jewish population, while neglecting local Palestinians.

Only 14 percent of East Jerusalem land is zoned for Palestinian residential construction, while one-third of Palestinian land has been confiscated since 1967 to build illegal Jewish-only settlements, ACRI documented.

In January, Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved recommendations for the “enforcement of regulations” in occupied East Jerusalem, in what Israeli daily Haaretz reported would likely prioritize the demolitions of Palestinian homes.

The daily reported that the new recommendations could expedite the demolition of around some 50,000 houses in Palestinian communities in Israel and Jerusalem.

May 18, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian mother and child in Hebron

Ma’an – May 14, 2016

350395CHEBRON – A group of Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian woman and her child late Friday night during an incursion into a home in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron’s Old City in the southern occupied West Bank.

Emad Abu Shamsiya, a coordinator for Human Rights Defenders, told Ma’an settlers attacked the house of Riyad Abu Hazza and beat his wife as settlers sprayed his daughter with pepper spray and caused her to faint.

Upon hearing the commotion, a group of volunteers rushed to the house to help fend off the settlers and provide first aid to Abu Hazza’s wife and child, Abu Shamsiya said.

Jawad Abu Aisheh, a coordinator for the Hebron-based group Youth Against Settlements, said the assault occurred after a weekly settler march took place in the city — usually held on Fridays or Saturdays — where Israeli settlers chant anti-arab slogans, such as “Death to Arabs,” or “Gas the Arabs,” as they harass Palestinians and damage their properties.

Abu Aisheh told Ma’an that the near daily settler attacks are only pieces of a much larger scheme of Israeli settlers attempting to push Palestinians out of the neighborhoods by creating an environment where they must constantly live in fear.

Israeli forces declared the area of Tel Rumeida a “closed military zone” in late October, and has since renewed the military order every month, only allowing Palestinian residents of the area with Israeli-issued identification numbers to enter.

However, according to Abu Aisheh, tomorrow is expected to be the last day of the closed military zone as families in the area have not yet received another military decree.

Mistreatment of Palestinians in the Hebron area has been common since the city was divided in the 1990s after a US-born Israeli settler, Baruch Goldstein, massacred 29 Palestinians inside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Tel Rumeida is located within the area of the city designated as H2, an area taking over the bulk of the Old City that is under full Israeli military control, and the site of five illegal Israeli settlements that continually expand into the neighborhoods of the more than 6,000 Palestinians who reside within the Israeli-controlled area.

The several hundred Israeli settlers who illegally reside in Hebron have made attacks on Palestinians and their properties an almost daily occurrence for several decades.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been a total of 30 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since the start of 2016, and a total of 221 attacks in 2015.

May 14, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment