Archive | Human Rights

Why is the Refugee Crisis so Hard for the EU to Handle?

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After the horrific attack on the Berlin Christmas market, the EU’s approach to refugees is once more in the headlines.  In his 2016 ‘state of the union’ address, delivered on the 14th of September to the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, stated that:

‘When it comes to managing the refugee crisis, we have started to see solidarity. I am convinced much more solidarity is needed. But I also know that solidarity must be given voluntarily. It must come from the heart. It cannot be forced’.

Few however, would agree with his broadly optimistic tone, because the issue manifestly divides   the EU at present, with some seeing it through the lens of moral obligations to assist fellow humans at risk, while others see migration more a threat to security and national identity. The nub of the refugee problem for the EU is that the capacity to deal with it lies with the individual Member States, not the EU collectively. Some, such as Germany, following Angela Merkel’s moral commitment to the open doors approach, now cruelly challenged in Berlin, have been willing to accept substantial numbers, but others, for differing reasons have resisted,

Plainly, the sheer number of displaced persons is a global challenge and is not confined to the EU. Syrian refugees alone account for some 5 million. The fall of Aleppo may, at last, signal an end to the Syrian civil war, but displaced Syrians still represent a major challenge for the EU as a close neighbour, with some 4 million in camps in Lebanon, Jordan and, especially, Turkey. By contrast, around 1.1 million Syrian applications for asylum have been received in Europe since 2011. Most of those now in Europe, are concentrated in Germany (their preferred destination), Greece and Serbia (both transit countries); only a handful of other EU countries have been willing to accept more than a few thousand Syrians. The difficulty in the EU, as a whole, is not the overall capacity to absorb refugees, but the politics of how to share the burden..

The evident preference of migrants to be settled in Germany, Sweden or (at least for some) the UK also has to be taken into account. For the UK, the scale of immigration was much the most powerful argument for voting to leave the EU. The concern for UK voters was mobility of EU workers, a right enshrined in the Union’s single market, but in the referendum campaign, it became conflated with the refugee problem, even though the latter is an entirely separate issue.

A solution proposed at the European level was to have national quotas for taking-in displaced persons, but this has proved to be politically unacceptable, especially to the countries of central and Eastern Europe. They argue that an influx of Muslim refugees would undermine their national identity in what are predominantly Christian countries and have raised questions about security. Leaders of these countries also argue that, in any case, the refugees want to go to Western Europe and would simply leave if they are initially settled in Poland or Hungary. At the informal summit of EU leaders held in Slovakia in mid-September, the Germans (who had been the strongest advocates of quotas, along with the European Commission) accepted that the idea would have to be abandoned and it was noticeably absent from the conclusions of the December European Council..

German and Swedish citizens, meanwhile, complain that their countries are being asked to shoulder an unfair burden and have become increasingly hostile to their governments’ positions on migrants. The Berlin attack, with the federal election in German now just a few months away, means that the refugee policy will inevitably become an even more heated campaign issue, likely to give momentum to the right-wind populists of the Alternative für Deutschland part which is taking votes from Merkel.

The political problem for Europe is compounded by the number of economic migrants from economically poorer areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, also keen to move to Europe. The distinction between a refugee and an economic migrant is analytically clear, but blurred in practice. Many of those eventually moved from the ‘jungle’ camp in Calais in northern France, were qualified workers simply looking for better jobs in the United Kingdom. Who paid people smugglers to help them to evade UK controls. Many deliberately destroy their identity documents to enable them to be treated as refugees.

Europe as a whole lacks a political basis for a solution. A deal with Turkey eased the immediate pressure on Europe because it resulted in a much stricter control of illegal movement from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands – a sea-crossing of just a few kilometres to the islands closest to the Turkish mainland. Some attempt has also been made to curb the number of boats sailing from the Libyan coast to Italy. But control cannot be a comprehensive or lasting answer and EU relations with both Turkey and the various factions controlling Libya are strained.

Instead, in the longer-term, the EU will have to come up with a range of policy initiatives. A first is geo-political: so long as conflicts continue (not just in Syria, but also in the horn of Africa), there will be a steady outflow of refugees, hence the need for more effective attempts to resolve the conflicts.

Second, the EU, as one of the richest global regions has a moral responsibility to develop a policy for  absorbing and resettling refugees, but it will also face harder choices about how welcoming to be to economic migrants. Several EU countries, including Germany, Italy and Finland are on the cusp of a decline in their population because of demographic trends, but others are not, and this adds to the complexity of the policy decisions.

The third element in a tricky package will be how to revise the rules on refugees, given the sheer numbers arriving. The current arrangement, based on what is known as the Dublin convention, is for refugees to be registered in the country in which they arrive in the EU, but this manifestly puts excessive pressure on the frontline states, especially Italy and Greece.

One dimension of this will be the budgetary cost of processing and accommodating migrants. For Greece, already facing acute pressures on its public finances, the extra burden is a major concern, making it likely that the common EU budget will be called upon to contribute more. However, several of the net contributors to the EU budget may resist taking on new commitments, not least because Brexit will already mean a net loss for the EU’s finances.

Then there is security. Rightly or not, many European governments fear that large-scale migration will make it easier for terrorists to enter their countries by pretending to be displaced persons, something the Berlin attack, (and the November 2015 attacks in Paris) can only have reinforced. Populist parties, such as in France and the Netherlands, have played on this fear and the Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders was quick to blame Angela Merkel ‘s open door policy for what happened in Berlin.

Despite the intensity and intractability of the migration and refugee challenges, there are no real signs yet of any demand to abandon the Schengen agreement by restoring controls on the EU’s internal borders. Like the euro and the single market, free movement inside the Schengen area is one of the defining features of European integration. But Schengen is facing criticism because of its links with the migrant crisis, and a weakening of it cannot be excluded, despite continuing support from mainstream political voices. Whether for EU workers looking for jobs in other countries or Chinese tourists who can take advantage of a single visa to visit so many countries, the risk is real and if Schengen is undermined, it will be widely seen as a further weakening of support for the EU in general.

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Jewish Nazi stabs, injures two Palestinian street cleaners

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At least two Palestinians have sustained injuries when Zionist man carried out a stabbing attack in southern Nazi-occupied territories amid violent attacks by Israeli military forces against Palestinian protesters.

Nazi police spokeswoman, Luba al-Samri, said in a written Arabic statement that the assailant, thought to be in his twenties, was detained after committing the attack in the city of Beersheba, located 115 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv, early on Sunday.

The two injured men were transported to a hospital in the area.

Samri identified the unnamed attacker as a local resident of Beersheba, adding that initial investigations point to a “criminal” motive behind the incident.

30 Jewish Nazi settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque

Meanwhile, more than two dozen Jewish Nazi settlers have once again stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 30 settlers, escorted by several groups of Nazi troops and led by a number of guides and rabbis, entered the site through the Bab al-Maghariba on Sunday morning.

Jewish Nazi settlers reportedly staged lengthy stopovers in various parts of the al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard during the incursion.

Nazi soldiers were heavily present at the entrance gates to the mosque and thoroughly checked the identity cards of arriving worshipers.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed tensions ever since Nazi regime imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

Nearly 280 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Nazi forces since the beginning of October that year.

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ICE Arrests 600 in Nationwide Raids After Trump Order Expands Criminalization of Immigrants

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Immigrant communities across the country are on edge after federal immigration agents arrested over 600 people in the past week in the largest raids since Donald Trump became president. Raids were reported in at 11 states, including California, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” Immigrant rights activists say the actions signal a clear shift by the Trump administration to deport people who were considered a “low priority” for removal under President Obama. We speak to California state Senate President Kevin de León and Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Immigrant communities across the country are on edge after federal immigration agents arrested over 600 people in the past week in the largest raids since Donald Trump became president. Raids were reported in at least 11 states, including California, New York, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. It is not clear if ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is continuing routine operations or stepping up its deportations in line with President Trump’s policies. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, quote, “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” But the Department of Homeland Security has said the arrests were long planned and routine.

AMY GOODMAN: Immigrant rights activists say the actions signal a clear shift by the Trump administration to deport people who were considered a “low priority” for removal under President Obama. An executive order issued during the first week of Trump’s presidency expanded the group of immigrants considered priorities for deportation, including those without criminal records as well as those accused of crimes but not convicted. President of the California state Senate Kevin de León, who will be joining us in a minute, spoke out against the raids.

SEN. KEVIN DE LEÓN: I can tell you half of my family would be eligible for deportation under the executive order, because if they got a false Social Security card, if they got a false identification, if they got a false driver’s license prior to us passing AB 60, if they got a false green card — and anyone who has family members, you know, who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification. That’s what you need to survive, to work.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the arrests, we go to Sacramento, where we’re joined by California state Senate President Kevin de León. We’re also joined by Steven Choi here in New York, the executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Senator de León, talk about what you were describing in this clip, so that when President Trump says, “We only arrest — we’re deporting criminals,” what it means to have a criminal record when you’re undocumented.

SEN. KEVIN DE LEÓN: Well, good morning, Amy. And that was a testimony during a Senate public safety hearing in Sacramento at the State Capitol, with regards to my measure, the California Values Act.

The reality is this, is that the vast majority of very hard-working, law-abiding, taxpayer residents of California and of the nation who currently are undocumented, many of them do possess, in some form — some form, identification that they probably secured to get access to employment. This is quite common. And you wouldn’t be able to do so, say, for example, work at Carl’s Jr., if you’re undocumented, without securing some type of identification.

The reality is this, is that there’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of panic. The levels of anxiety are extremely high, especially among children, the American-born children of these law-abiding, tax-paying residents of California, because of the most recent raids that have taken place during the past week. When President Trump campaigned on deporting the most violent, those who are criminal felons, he made it very clear just recently, through his executive order, that he’s going to actually broaden the eligibility, the criteria for deportation. And the reality is this: We have innocent mothers, we have innocent fathers, hard-working individuals, who will be rounded up because of the broadening of the criteria. And they’re making — or, they will be making children fatherless, as well as motherless, separating children from their mothers, and mothers from their children.

So, what I’m trying to do with my colleagues in California is to make sure that the federal government does not commandeer our local police agencies, our state police agencies, and use our tax dollars to be an extension of the Trump deportation machine.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, you were mentioning families separated. We reported last week on the case of Guadalupe García de Rayos in Phoenix, Arizona. The felony conviction that they referred to in her case was the — the only crime was that she had been rounded up several years ago in a raid by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and convicted on a felony count of having false identification, and that was the basis by which then, suddenly now, she’s been deported with her two US-born children, and her husband here still in the United States. So this is obviously a growing problem if you expand the definition of the dangerous felony folks that are subject to deportation to include, as you say, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who have had to resort to a false identification in order to be able to work, which is why they came here in the first place, isn’t it?

SEN. KEVIN DE LEÓN: That is correct, Juan. Again, you know, President Trump campaigned on the promise that he would actually deport very dangerous criminal felons. But the reality is this: With the executive orders and with Kris Kobach, Stephen Miller, as well as Steve Bannon, they have their sights set on hard-working residents of California and other parts of the country — New York, Florida, Texas and elsewhere.

The case in Arizona, the case of this young woman, Guadalupe, who is married, who has been a resident of Arizona for a very long time, since childhood, who has two American-born children, teenagers, I believe, routinely checked in with ICE authorities. And then, all of a sudden, the tone, tenor, the attitude of ICE changed quite dramatically after the January 20th inauguration of President Donald Trump. She clearly is not a gang member. She’s clearly not a violent offender. She’s clearly not a rapist or a thug or a murderer. But nonetheless, ICE detained her. She submitted herself to check in with them on a voluntary basis, and now has been deported.

This is not who we are as a nation, and this not who we are as a state, like California. We don’t separate children from their mothers, and mothers from their children. It’s un-American. And these are not the values that we uphold as the greatest nation in the entire world. It is my deep concern that he is instilling, he is planting the seeds of fear, of mistrust, of anxiety, of chaos. But I am especially concerned about young children, because you have young children, boys and girls, who are deeply fearful that at the curbside, when they’re waiting for their mothers or their fathers, will they actually show up to pick them up, or have they been detained by ICE agents because they have a broken taillight or they have an expired driver’s license? These are not criminals. These are individuals who make up the fabric of who we are as the greatest nation and the greatest state in the world.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Steve Choi, I’d like to ask you, in terms of what’s happening here in New York, and also is there really a substantial difference between what’s going on now in the first weeks of the Trump administration and what was occurring under the Obama administration?

STEVEN CHOI: Well, there’s a little bit of a difference here. I mean, the fact is, under the Obama administration, you saw hundreds of thousands of people being deported. And I think that’s a problem that we need to really understand in terms of context.

AMY GOODMAN: Millions.

STEVEN CHOI: Millions, hundreds of thousands of people every single year. In fact, the Obama administration, at one point, in one year, deported nearly 400,000 people. So this kind of activity has been occurring. The problem, though, with ICE saying that these are simply routine operations is that we are in a moment that is anything but routine. We have a president who, as candidate, ran the single most anti-immigrant campaign in the history of the United States. And it’s a president who, in his very first week of his presidency, declared war on immigrant communities. He has said that he is going to ramp up enforcement activity and deportations, he’s going to triple the ICE force, he’s going to expand greatly the number of kinds of offenses that people can commit. And we’re really talking about potentially 25 million people in this country who potentially could be deported, according to his executive order. So the idea that ICE turns around and says, “Look, these are just routine operations. We should not be in fear. People should not be engaging in hysteria,” there’s a little bit of blaming the victim going on. It’s their actions in this moment, and in this time of the administration, that is causing this kind of fear.

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100-year-old Bedouin woman left homeless as Israel continues Negev demolitions

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In the latest instance of Nazi demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Palestine, homes were demolished in two unrecognized Bedouin villages on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran.

Nazi bulldozers, escorted by Nazi police, demolished a house in the village of Wadi al-Naam in the western part of the Negev in southern Palestine.

Locals told Ma’an that the demolished house was owned by an elderly woman and her daughter. A member of the local committee, Yousif Ziyadin, said that an emergency session would be held to discuss the Nazi demolition.

A relative of the elderly homeowner, Ahmad Zanoun, told Ma’an that 100-year-old Ghaytha Zanoun and her 60-year-old daughter Hilala were living in the house, both of whom suffer from various health issues.

Zanoun said that both Ghaytha and Hilala were unable to walk, and noted that the family had renovated the home in accordance with their doctor’s suggestions due to their health conditions.

He added that Ghaytha and her daughter now were homeless following the demolition.

The Wadi al-Naam village was established in the 1950s soon after the 1948 Jewish Nazi that established the state of ‘Israel’. Military officials forcibly transferred the Negev Bedouins to the site during the 17-year period when Palestinians inside Israel were governed under Nazi military law, which ended shortly before Nazi military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.

In July, Nazi regime approved plans to build townships for Palestinian Bedouin community. The planned township is expected to be built just south of Shaqib al-Salam, another Bedouin township, and would transfer at least 7,000 Bedouins from the unrecognized village of Wadi al-Naam, Zionist newspaper Haaretz reported last year.

The approved village would comprise of an area of approximately 9,000 dunams (2,224 acres), while providing housing to some 9,000 residents, The Times of ‘Israel’ also reported.

The proposal to expand the area of Shaqib al-Salam was challenged in Nazi Supreme Court in 2015, as the Association of Civil Rights (ACRI), who assisted in the court proceedings, argued that any expansion of the town would be followed by the forcible removal of Bedouins from unrecognized villages, particularly from Wadi al-Naam.

Yaron Kelner, spokesperson for ACRI, confirmed to Ma’an on Wednesday that residents of Wadi al-Naam have continued to refuse the relocation deal.

Meanwhile, Nazi bulldozers also demolished a mobile home in the unrecognized village of al-Zarnouq in the Negev. However, no other details were provided about the demolition.

Nazi regime has plans to evacuate thousands of residents from al-Zarnouq to the recognized village of Rahat in order to build over the land for new housing for non-Bedouin.

According to ‘Israeli’ newspaper Haaretz, Nazi regime approved in 2011 plans to transfer tens of thousands of Bedouins in unrecognized villages, including al-Zarnouq, into officially recognized settlements.

The ongoing attempts at transferring the Bedouins originated from the Prawer Report, a document outlining expulsion plans for the unrecognized Bedouin community. It was officially adopted by the Nazi regime in 2013.

According to human rights group Adalah, the plan would “result in the destruction of 35 ‘unrecognized’ Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Palestine, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Negev.”

In another incident in the Negev on Wednesday, the Yoav unit of the Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran. According to locals, residents have expressed fear that their presence could signal another demolition, the last of which erupted into deadly violence when Nazi police raided the village prior to demolishing homes. A local Bedouin teacher and an Israeli police officer were killed at the time.

Meanwhile, the Bedouin village of al-Araqib was demolished for the 109th time on Wednesday.

Bedouin communities in the Negev have been the target of a heightened demolition campaign in recent weeks, following Nazi leaders publicly expressing their commitment to demolish Palestinian structures lacking difficult to obtain Nazi-issued building permits across Nazi and occupied East Jerusalem in response to the Nazi-court sanctioned evacuation of the illegal Amona settler outpost.

In December, Netanyahu released a video to address settlers of the Amona outpost, assuring them that he would commit to “enforcing laws” on “illegal construction” referring primarily to Palestinian communities that are often forced to build without Nazi-issued building permits, due to what rights groups have attributed to discriminatory zoning policies in Nazi which have excluded many Palestinian communities from being included in the regional and municipal development plans.

According to the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI), more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.

Rights groups have claimed that the demolitions in Bedouin villages is a central Nazi policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish communities.

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Crimes against Humanity? Nazi regime Bans Delivery of Anaesthesia Gas to Gaza Hospitals

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Nazi Jewish has banned anaesthetic gas from entering the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Ministry of Health revealed yesterday.

This is the third time that the occupation has prevented Nitrous Oxide (nitrox) gas, which is used for patients during surgery, from entering the besieged enclave, the ministry’s spokesman, Ashraf Al-Qidra, said. The ban means a number of urgent medical procedures have now been halted, he explained.

There are currently 200 patients awaiting urgent medical treatment in Gaza’s hospitals, Al-Qidra said.

In addition, he said, there healthcare sector in Gaza needs more than 4,000 kilogrammes of Nitrous Oxide each year, noting that the Israeli occupation rations the entry of the gas.

He urged international organisations to put pressure on the Nazi Jewish occupation in order to resume the entry of the vital gas to allow surgical operations to continue.

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Hundreds of Belgian Artists and Academics Urge Government to End Participation in EU Project Cooperating with Nazi National Police

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belgium-bdsIn Belgium, 482 professors and researchers, and more than 190 artists, have written an open letter calling on their authorities to withdraw from participating in a European Union funded research project called LAW TRAIN, in which Belgium and Spain cooperate with the Jewish Nazi National Police.

The project, aimed at developing joint interrogation methods, is coordinated by an Zionist university with particularly deep ties to Jewish Nazi army and notorious security services. The signatories of this open letter highlight that Nazi regime methods are tested on Palestinians. Nazi Gestapo illegal detention of Palestinian political prisoners, and the systematic abuse and torture perpetrated by Nazi security forces during interrogations, is well documented. And, in 2016 alone, Nazi Gestapo interrogated at least 7,000 Palestinians, including over 400 children.

This open letter is part of broader efforts by the Belgian Coalition To Stop Law Train, and broader European-wide efforts against the participation of the Nazi military, homeland security and police sector in research and development funded by the European Union. Other forms of mobilizing have included direct actions, conferences, and lobbying.

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‘Not like Gitmo’: Jewish Nazi interrogators explain torture techniques to media

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Jewish Nazi Gestapo interrogators with experience in using ‘special means’ of interrogation, which involve inflicting physical pain on detainees, have described details of their methods to an Zionist newspaper.

Reports of Nazi intelligence services using violent methods of interrogation have been around for years, even after the country ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 1991. In a landmark case in 1999, the High Court of Justice outlawed torture, but left a loophole called “necessity of defense.” This gives a waiver for cases when torture is deemed necessary to save lives or similarly dire circumstances.

Critics however say that interrogation using what Nazi calls “special means” remains widespread. The UN Committee Against Torture last year cited continued complaints of torture by the Nazi Security Agency (NSA) as well as Nazi regime refusal to implement the convention on occupied Palestinian territories and reluctance to criminalize torture among its concerns.

So far most of the information about “special means” reported by the Nazi media has come from detainee complaints. The new expose published by Haaretz on Tuesday is based on “a conversation among interrogators in the presence of several witnesses.”

The newspapers primary source, named only as N., is described as a former senior interrogator, who had the authority to give the green light for “special means”. N. insisted that what the Jewish Nazi Gestapo do to detainees is “not like Guantanamo.”

“The methods used are carefully chosen to be effective enough to break the suspect’s spirit, but without causing permanent damage or leaving any marks,” the newspaper says of his account.

Among the techniques described by N. was putting a blindfold on a person and slapping him. The slapping is meant “to hurt sensitive organs like the nose, ears, brow and lips.” The blindfold is needed to prevent the detainee from seeing a slap coming, so that he wouldn’t “move his head in a way that results in vital organs being injured,” according to N.

Another technique is to force the subject into an extended “wall sit” – bending their knees halfway, only supported by their back pressed to a wall.

“If the suspect falls, the interrogators put him back in position, and they keep him there even if the suspect cries, begs or screams,” the newspaper said.

Another variant is having the suspect sit on a backless stool with his arms and legs cuffed. The interrogator then forces him to lean back and remain in the stress position. The subject would be forced to use his stomach muscles to avoid falling. Sometimes the interrogator would force the detainee to raise his hands shoulder height while they’re handcuffed behind his back.

The newspaper said the interrogators were aware of the discomfort and pain caused by “special means” and some even tried the stress positions themselves to assess how bad they are.

Other methods discussed included shouting at the detainee from a close distance while grabbing him by the clothes.

Another interrogator said that while normally a permission to use “special means” from a senior official was needed, in urgent cases it would not be required. For instance, an interrogator could make the call in case of an imminent suicide bombing.

The debate over use of torture was reinvigorated in 2015 during an investigation into arson attacks against Palestinian homes, allegedly committed by Jewish radicals. Some of the suspect complained of being subjected to torture by investigators.

Read more:

‘Cruel, inhuman and degrading:’ Israel’s systematic abuse of Palestinian detainees exposed by NGOs

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Undercover Nazi Gestapo detain 2 students from Birzeit University

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undercover_abduct-e1486045796143Jewish Nazi special forces disguised themselves as Palestinians and “kidnapped” two Palestinian students at the entrance of Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Thursday afternoon, according to a statement released by the university.

The two students were identified as Tawfiq Abu Arqub, a coordinator for the Hamas-affiliated Islamic student bloc at the university, and Basel Falaneh, the secretary of specialities committee of the student council. They were studying computer science and business, respectively.

Birzeit University released a statement after the incident, saying that the two students were detained at the western gate of the university by “a number of [Israeli] soldiers.”  The students were forced into a vehicle “at gunpoint,” while also pointing guns at other students in the area.

The head of the university’s security, Muhammad Rimawi, stated that Nazi forces had “intercepted” a car that Abu Arqub and Falaneh were riding in, according to the statement, when “a number of undercover occupying forces took the students out of the car and kidnapped them.”

“This is neither new nor unprecedented given the ongoing colonial aggression against the people and institutions of Palestine,” the statement said.

The statement called the incident an “outrageous act of violence,” and part of a larger Israeli campaign resulting in the “rapid arrests” of students.

“This violation of our students’ right to learn is a part of a systematic attack on the right of education and freedom of expression,” the statement added.

The university’s Dean of Student Affairs Muhammad al-Ahmad also said in the statement that Israel’s “repressive measures” against all Palestinians and specifically students “shall only strengthen international efforts in support of an academic boycott of Nazi institutions.”

“The University condemns these outrageous acts in the strongest possible terms and calls upon all international and human rights organizations to speak this truth loudly in the face of these violations immediately and without reserve and to stand in solidarity with our struggle,” the statement concluded.

Birzeit University, ranked the top university in Palestine and among the highest-ranking universities in the Arab world, has been the focus of an Nazi military crackdown in recent months, which increased after the Hamas-affiliated Islamic bloc won student elections at Birzeit last year for the second consecutive year.

In December, more than 20 Nazi military vehicles raided the campus before dawn, forced campus security guards to stand against walls, and proceeded to raid several buildings, including the university’s administration building, the student council’s headquarters, Kamal Nasir Hall, and the Faculty of Science.

Another incident occurred in July, when at least 11 Palestinian youths were injured after Nazi  undercover forces and soldiers opened live fire on the campus amid clashes sparked by Nazi raid to detain a former member of the Islamic bloc.

At the start of 2016, Nazi military forces also raided Birzeit, destroying and confiscating university equipment. It was reported at the time that Nazi forces had detained more than 80 students between Oct. 2015 and the start of 2016.

Rights groups have widely condemned the concerted detention of Islamic bloc members at the university since their initial victory in 2015.

The Hamas movement is deemed illegal by the Nazi regime — along with the majority of Palestinian political factions and movements — making students involved with the Islamic bloc vulnerable to raids and arbitrary detentions. Members have also been targeted by Palestinian security forces.

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NGO: Nazi shooting of Palestinian teen in Tuqu extrajudicial killing

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A Palestinian rights group slammed on Wednesday the killing of a Palestinian teen by Israeli forces earlier this week, calling the case an “extrajudicial killing” and demanding that Israeli authorities open an investigation into the case.

Qusay al-Umour, 17, was killed during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian youth in the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

Video of the moments immediately following al-Umour being shot by Israeli forces has elicited a strong emotional response, as it showed Israeli soldiers roughly carrying the teenager’s limp body by his dangling arms and legs.

Legal NGO BADIL said in a statement on Wednesday that the footage provided “evidence contradicting Israeli accounts and raises concerns about the adherence of the Israeli forces to the central tenets of international law.”

The group quoted Hisham Abu Shaqra, the Palestinian journalist who recorded the video, who said that al-Umour was not a threat to Israeli forces when he was fatally shot — contradicting claims by the Israeli army, which said that the Palestinian youth was the “main instigator” of the clashes that day.

“Qusay was sitting between olive trees, you know how guys are, he was just watching the soldiers… Only a few seconds after (I was) looking at him the Israeli forces shot him three or four times,” Abu Shaqra said.

“The soldier who shot him was not in danger at the time of the shooting, in fact, he was secured and safe,” he added. “First the (Israeli military) jeeps started coming closer and closer [to the youth] and then this specific soldier, the sniper with the Ruger rifle, also started coming closer. I remember he was by the third jeep, then I saw him by the second jeep and he was by the first jeep when he shot Qusay.”

The eyewitness accounts of the incident, coupled with the audiovisual evidence, have led BADIL to conclude that “whether he was throwing stones at the soldiers or not, al-Umour could not have presented a lethal threat to the well-protected Israeli border police from a distance of around 100 meters, and the use of live ammunition against him was therefore unjustified.”

The NGO denounced the “complete lack of consideration for (al-Umour)’s human dignity or his traumatic injuries.”

The group also slammed statements by Israeli police to Ma’an saying that they were “not aware” of any official investigation being carried out by Israeli authorities into al-Umour’s killing.

“Israel continuously fails to investigate such actions or to prosecute members of its forces, which is the natural result of a growing culture of impunity that exists within the Israeli military,” BADIL wrote. “This is why recent Israeli actions towards Palestinian civilians cannot be considered as isolated incidents, but rather as the violent manifestations of a policy of lawlessness in which Israeli forces operate in repeat, and direct contravention of international law absent effective accountability.”

The group therefore “demands that a comprehensive and independent investigation be launched into this killing as a matter of great urgency in order to identify those responsible and to hold them accountable to the full extent of international law.”

Al-Umour is the fourth Palestinian to have been confirmed killed by Israeli forces in 2017. Two more Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the two days since.

Five Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in 2017.

In 2016, Ma’an recorded the deaths of 112 Palestinians, 15 Israelis, and three foreign nationals.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their excessive use of force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents which could have been handled without the use of deadly violence.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

Nazi police accused of cover-up over killing during Negev demolition raid

NOVANEWS

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The Joint List, which represents parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, accused Israeli police of spreading misinformation to Israeli media regarding an alleged vehicle attack Wednesday morning in the Negev, as new video footage emerged further contradicting the Israel police’s version of events.

The Joint List’s statement argued that Israeli police lied in their claim that a Palestinian Bedouin deliberately rammed his car into officers during a raid to demolish homes in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, in order to distract from Israel’s campaign to establish Jewish-only towns “on the ruins of Bedouin villages.”

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that during a raid of the slain Palestinian’s home, police found three copies of a Hebrew-language newspaper from 2015 with the headline: “Isis bomb that took down a plane,” suggesting that the old newspapers were evidence that the man carried out a terror attack.

Rosenfeld added in his statement that Israeli police also detained and were questioning the son “of the terrorist” as part of the investigation.

However, numerous eyewitnesses reported that Israeli police fired at the Palestinian Bedouin, identified as Yaqoub Abu al-Qian, while he was driving, which caused him to spin out of control and crash into Israeli officers, killing one policeman. Family members also firmly denied Abu al-Qian intended to carry out an attack.

Meanwhile, new Israeli police footage published by Israeli daily Haaretz, which they said was most likely from a police a helicopter hovering above the scene, appeared to show police officers shooting at al-Qian as he was driving at a very slow pace, and only several seconds after the gunfire does his car appear to speed up, eventfully plowing through police officers. It is unclear if the drive sped up intentionally.

Hours later, as Israeli bulldozers began razing the homes to the ground, renewed clashes erupted in the village.

Umm al-Hiran is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli state, and more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.

The unrecognized Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of Israel.

Now more than 60 years later, the villages have yet to be recognized by Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.

The Joint List’s statement described the actions by Israeli authorities as “a terrorist and bloody invasion that brings to mind the scenes of displacement and destruction of Arab villages during the Nakba in 1948.” Some 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced during the creation of the state of Israel in what Palestinians call the Nakba — “catastrophe” in Arabic.

The statement described how Israeli forces besieged Umm al-Hiran en mass and fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets, “terrifying residents who took to the streets to defend their homes.”

Israeli police have denied to Israeli media that rubber-coated steel bullets were used to suppress the clashes, which are used by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank. Some news sites said police were in fact firing sponge-tipped bullets, with journalists pointing out they are just as lethal as rubber bullets.

“Police behaved as in a battlefield, and as a result of the clashes, Yaqoub Abu al-Qian fell a martyr, and dozens of others, including MK Ayman Odeh were injured.”

The Joint List said that the “crime in Umm al-Hiran” was in line with the “dangerous escalation” of anti-Palestinian policies within the “extremist” Israeli government.

“The (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu government has effectually declared a military war against our people in the 1948 area,” the statement said, referring to lands that were declared part of the Israeli state in 1948.

“The war started with demolitions in Qalansawe, and it is continuing today in Umm al-Hiran.”

The Joint List denied the “false narrative,” in which Israeli police claimed that Abu al-Qian carried out a deliberate car ramming attack, which left an Israeli police officer dead. Israeli police also said they were investigating to see whether or not the slain Bedouin was “influenced” by the so-called Islamic State.

Numerous eyewitness accounts said that al-Qian lost control of his vehicle after he was shot, causing him to crash into Israeli police.

“Israeli police are trying to cover up the crime of displacing and uprooting a whole town and killing an unarmed Arab citizen through an incitement campaign against all Arab citizens, by spreading misinformation that a police officer was killed in a terrorist, ISIS-like attack.”

The statement urged Hebrew-language news outlets to ensure that they work “professionally” and fact-check their information before they publish their news reports.

“When media outlets take the information they receive from Israeli police as facts, they in fact partake in incitement against Arab citizens,” the statement argued.

Human rights organization Adalah also said Wednesday that they strongly objected to Israeli police’s version of events in Umm al-Hiran according to witness accounts.

They group said the police statements, “reflects the Israeli police’s culture of lying,” and referred to recent accusations by Israeli authorities claiming that a string of wildfires were deliberate arson attacks committed by Palestinians, saying that the claims had “not been proven at all. Not one person has been convicted based on these accusations.”

Rights groups have claimed that demolitions in unrecognized Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Jewish Israeli communities.

According to Adalah, families of the Abu al-Qian tribe were initially expelled from their lands in Khirbet Zubaleh in 1948 after they had cultivated the area for generations, and were eventually forced to move to Umm al-Hiran by an Israeli military order.

“Despite this, the state has not legally recognized the village to this day. As a result of the decision to establish the Israeli Jewish town of Hiran over the Bedouin village, the Israel Land Authority (ILA) demanded to expel them again, to the government-planned town of Hura.”

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, the Israeli government approved the construction of the new Jewish community of Hiran in November 2013 to be built on the land of Umm al-Hiran. Village residents lost the legal defenses they mounted, including an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court, and were unable to prevent the demolition of the village.

“Palestinians from Umm al-Hiran have Israeli passports and citizenship, yet the Israeli policies of ethnic cleansing, colonization, forcible displacement, and apartheid affect them all the same,” Maya al-Orzza, a legal researcher at NGO BADIL said Wednesday.

“These policies do not only happen in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but also inside Israel against Palestinians,” al-Orzza said, noting that Palestinians make up some 20 percent of Israeli citizens.

Commenting on a peace conference held in Paris on Sunday which reaffirmed international commitment to the two-state solution and the cessation of Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territory, al-Orzza said that “by focusing on the one- or two-state discussion, or only on Israeli actions in the occupied territory, the international community is disregarding the ongoing policies of ethnic cleansing that Israel is implementing against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Human Rights0 Comments

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