Archive | Human Rights

Palestine: Remembering the Naksa

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Image of Nazi soldiers interrogating Palestinians during the 1967 Gaza war [Miren Edurne/facebook]
By Nasim Ahmed 

Fifty years ago this month, Israel launched a war against its neighbours and took control of the parts of Palestine which it had failed to capture during its 1948 “War of Independence”.

What: The Palestinian Naksa (“Setback”)

When: 5 June 1967

Where: Palestine

What Happened?

On 5 June 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria. After knocking out the air defences of these countries, it occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as the Syrian Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Thus, it had taken control of the final 22 per cent of historic Palestine that it wasn’t able to occupy in 1948.

Nearly 400,000 Palestinians were added to the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced in 1948 and their homes and villages were razed to the ground by the Israelis. Around half were being displaced for the second time in less than 20 years. Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine was ongoing (as it is to this day).

The number of Palestinian refugees in the camps operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon grew.

The Naksa commemorates this tragic setback in the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination.

What Happened Next?

The outcome of the war launched by Israel was, for many of its citizens and supporters, the fulfilment of God’s promise. Adding 44 per cent of the territory allocated by the 1947 UN Partition Plan for a Palestinian state, to the 56 per cent set aside for a Jewish state, marked a new beginning for both Israel and stateless Palestinians.

Within 20 years of being recognised as an independent state, Israel began an occupation that would become the longest in modern history, at 50 years and counting. Palestinians in the “occupied Palestinian territories” were subjected to a brutal Israeli military occupation as well as the activities of armed, right-wing Jewish settlers, for whom Israel’s victory was God’s handiwork and a licence to colonise the land which they believed was promised to them and them alone.

Israel’s already repressive military rule over Palestinians living within its undeclared borders was transferred to the West Bank and Gaza. Very soon, a matrix of control and domination, that included checkpoints, permits and home demolitions, was imposed on the lives of millions of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

For the Palestinians, the combination of the Arab defeat during the “Six-Day War”, the repeated failure of the international community to protect their human rights, and Israel’s total colonisation of Palestine, prompted a serious re-evaluation of their situation. Having witnessed the futility of relying on others to end the indignity from which they had suffered for decades, they began to organise politically in an attempt to reverse the losses of 1948 and end their misery and statelessness.

In the years following the Naksa, Palestinian communities in the refugee camps and diaspora began to organise themselves politically and socially. A number of setbacks against the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) did not deter them. Such civil society activities led to the formation of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the late eighties; the popular uprising now known as the First Intifada; and the PLO under the control of the secular Fatah movement gaining recognition by Israel and its allies as the “sole representative of the Palestinian people”. This phase of the political process ended with the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, providing the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with “interim self-governing arrangements”.

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The Legitimacy of Family Compensation for Palestinians Killed, Injured, and Imprisoned

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The Legitimacy of Family Compensation for Palestinians Killed, Injured, and Imprisoned

By Kathryn Shihadah | If Americans Knew 

JTA reports on what would seem to be a no-brainer: a bill requiring that aid money to the PA be withheld if the PA continues its Martyrs Fund or “pay to slay” policy. Of course nothing is quite as simple as meets the eye.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top Senate Democrats said they were closer to signing on to a Republican-backed bill that would slash aid to the Palestinian Authority if it did not stop subsidizing Palestinians jailed for attacks on Israel. [Ed. note: Info on bill is here]

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer told attendants at the Orthodox Union’s annual Washington action day on Thursday that he would support the Taylor Force Act or legislation similar to it if the Trump administration is unable to get the Palestinian Authority to stop the payments. [Ed. note: Senator Schumer is a major advocate for Israel; see video.]

“Abbas has to stop making payments to terrorists and their families, and all elected officials should call them out,”  Schumer said.

Also edging closer to endorsing the legislation was Senator Ben Cardin, top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The United States now gives the Palestinian Authority about $500 million in annual aid. The bill, which was introduced by Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham, would only leave the portion for security assistance — about $60 million in 2013. Cruz also attended the Orthodox Union event.

“We’re going to find a way to pass the Taylor Force Act,” Senator Cardin said, suggesting that he wanted changes to the bill before he could fully endorse it. The measure was named for the American killed in a 2016 stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.

The Taylor Force Bill  “prohibits certain assistance…from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza” unless the State Department is satisfied that the PA is working to end violence against US and Israeli citizens, is publicly condemning such acts and cooperating in investigating them, and has “terminated payments for acts of terrorism.” (Here is a list of cosponsors of the bill.)

If the bill becomes law, the US may withhold 88% of aid to the Palestinian Authority until it complies.

Economics of occupation

Israel has also withheld money from the PA in the past—tax revenues that are collected by Israel but that actually belong to the Palestinians, about $125 million per month. For example, funds were held back by Israel in November 2012 as a punishment for the UN vote which brought de facto recognition of Palestine’s statehood, and again in January 2015 as a penalty for Palestine’s application to join the ICC.

The transfers are an important revenue source for the cash-strapped Palestinian government.

Palestinians already suffer economically from the hardship of a brutal fifty-year occupation. According to a study by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, agriculture and industry have suffered huge losses. One reason is the inaccessibility of “Area C,” which accounts for over 60% of West Bank land (66% of its grazing land) and is off-limits to Palestinians. The report estimates that “the occupation of Area C costs the Palestinian economy the equivalent of 35% OF GDP.”

Gaza is also barred from half of its farmland and 85% of its fishery resources. Over 2.5 million productive trees have been vandalized or uprooted since 1967; 82% of Palestinian groundwater has been confiscated by Israel, and must be bought back by Palestinians at inflated prices.

Even tourism has been “annexed”: Israel has “rebranded” popular West Bank sites as being in the “Holy Land,” obscuring their Palestinian identity. Israeli tour guides control most visitors, making it easy to take a day trip to Bethlehem, but then stay in an Israeli hotel.

Adding to its many economic advantages, Israel garners $10 million a day in aid from the United States, compared to the $500 million per year that Palestine receives now and is in danger of losing.

Israel uses its huge aid budget to finance the occupation and fight wars with Gaza—both of which are illegal according to international law and condemned by almost every country in the world. Its assaults on women and children, as well as noncombatant men, is well documented. For example, the Middle East Children’s Alliance reported that “1,518 Palestinian children were killed by Israel’s occupation forces from the outbreak of the second Intifada in September 2000 up to April 2013… meanwhile the number of children injured by the Israelis since the start of the Second Intifada against Israel’s occupation has now reached 6,000. That number means that one Palestinian child was killed by Israel every 3 days for almost 13 years.”

However, Israeli leaders argue that the “hate-filled climate” against Israel was created not by occupation and war, but by “fiery speeches” by Palestinian leaders and “venomous” Facebook posts.

Compensation in the event of death or injury

Payment to the family of a service member killed or injured in the line of duty is a common practice. In America, for example, families receive a one-time payment to help surviving members deal with financial hardships connected with the loss of their loved one. This “death gratuity” is currently $100K.

Israel too has a compensation program for families of IDF soldiers killed or injured in the line of duty.

Because the Palestinian Territories are forbidden from having armed forces, their resistance against the occupation is carried out by civilians. In the event of their death, injury, or imprisonment their families face the same type of struggles that any service member’s family would face, and the Palestinian Authority provides for them through the so-called “Martyrs Fund.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to withhold revenue from the PA until the fund is dismantled, as he considers these payments “an incentive for murder.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, leading sponsor of the Taylor Force bill, fails to make the connection between the US and Israeli compensation programs and the Palestinian Martyrs Fund, declaring that “the practice is inconsistent with American values, inconsistent with peace, and inconsistent with decency.”

Not a reward for violence

Nasser Tarayreh, whose son was killed after stabbing an Israeli girl, explains, “I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice his life for money. And for us as a family, all the money in the world won’t replace my son.” In fact, the money would be needed to provide shelter soon, as their home was scheduled for demolition—an Israeli practice in retribution against the families of attackers. Nasser will receive $350 a month from the Martyr’s Fund.

Many “martyrs” were not killers or attackers, but were themselves killed while walking to school, participating in a peaceful demonstration, or sleeping in their beds. If they died as a result of Israel’s brutality, they bear the title of martyr.

The fund also compensates families of prisoners and detainees. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network reported that “the Israeli occupation arrested 6,440 Palestinians in 2016, including 1,332 children and 164 women,” in addition to members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and journalists.

The fund had a budget of $170 million in 2016 and makes monthly payments to about 35,000 Palestinian families. Qadora Fares, who works with the system, explains, “This is a kind of social protection for the family. The children of the prisoners and martyrs and wounded have the right to go to schools, hospitals and get food.”

Fox News reported that the Washington Post strongly condemned the support of victims’ families in the Palestinian resistance. Fox quoted the WP as saying, “The PA is running a bounty system. Payments to terrorists and their families are enshrined in Palestinian law, provided for in the PA budget, and indirectly supported by foreign aid…incentivizing the murder of civilians is barbarism…”

It should be noted that this quote is not from a WP journalist, but part of an opinion piece by Israel partisan Thane Rosenbaum. Ironically, Rosenbaum authored Payback: The Case for Revenge, a book presenting the theory that “if the law won’t set things right, which it so often fails to do, then it’s ok, indeed moral, for us to do so ourselves”—a theory with which many Palestinians would, to Rosenbaum’s dismay, agree. Rosenbaum has elsewhere implied that a child whose father works for Hamas is actually a target by association, and that therefore it is morally acceptable to kill children.

Daniel Larison of the American Conservative said in his review of Payback, “Rosenbaum’s argument is extremely similar to the justifications that terrorist groups use when they target civilians in their own attacks…It is very important to reject this logic no matter where it comes from or whose cause in a conflict it is being used to advance, because this is the logic that has been used to justify countless atrocities down through the years.”

Origin of violence

In an interview for the Institute for Palestine Studies, Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad al Sarraj explained that many Palestinians who turn to violence have themselves witnessed great violence perpetrated on their families. “During the first intifada, studies showed that 55 percent of the children had witnessed their fathers being humiliated or beaten by Israeli soldiers.

“The psychological impact of this is stunning. The father, normally the authority figure, comes to be seen as somebody who is helpless, who can’t even protect himself–let alone his children. So children became more militant, more violent… The militant ones believe that if they die as suicide fighters in the struggle for justice, they are conquering defeat and death itself.” Sarraj continued, “they wouldn’t turn their bodies into bombs if they had F-16s, Apache helicopters, tanks, or a tiny fraction of the weapons Israel gets from the United States.”

Sarraj describes violence as a manifestation of a deep-seated issue: “Suicide bombings and all these forms of violence–I’m talking as a doctor here–are only the symptoms, the reaction to this chronic and systematic process of humiliating people in effort to destroy their hope and dignity. That is the illness, and unless it is resolved and treated, there will be more and more symptoms of the pathology.”

Sarraj expressed deep opposition to Palestinian violence, but distinguished between the martyrs and their families: “As a Palestinian, as an Arab, as a Muslim, and as a human being, I feel obliged to support them. I cannot leave their children in poverty–I have to do what I can to leave them some hope and dignity.”

The face of the Fund

One story that illustrates both the tragedy that qualifies Palestinians for the Martyrs Fund and the experience that produces even more martyrs, is that of Abu Jameh. At dinnertime on July 20th 2014, Israeli planes bombed an apartment building in Gaza, killing 24 members of a family—a woman, her son, four of her daughters-in-law, and 18 of her grandchildren. One member of Hamas was also present for the meal. Abu Jameh who survived but was injured, lost his pregnant wife and six of his seven children. He reflected, “there is nothing left. It is the end for us,” and added later, “I will marry again four times, and I will have 10 sons with each wife, and they will all be in the resistance.”

Emmanuel Nahshon, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman got it wrong when he stated, “Terror has become a comfortable business for families.”

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Mass Incarceration: Why Does The U.S. Jail So Many People? ‘VIDEO’

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AJ+ 

The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. With 2.2 million people behind bars, and millions more on probation or parole, 1 in 35 American adults is caught up in the prison system. AJ+ teamed up with The Marshall Project to examine why.

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World Refugee Day, estimates show 66% of Palestinians became refugees in 1948

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On the anniversary of World Refugee Day, and one month after the 69th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, or “catastrophe,” it is estimated that 66 percent of Palestinians who were living in British-Mandate Palestine in 1948 were expelled from historic Palestine and displaced, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

“The human plight and tragedy that has befallen on the Palestinian people”  resulted in approximately 957,000 Palestinian refugees — 66 percent of the total population of Palestinian who were living in historic Palestine on the eve of the war in 1948, PCBS said in a statement Tuesday.

Today, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the UN agency responsible for providing services to millions of Palestinian refugees, estimates that the number of registered Palestinian refugees in 2016 amounted to about 5.9 million, PCBS noted, highlighting that this figure was representative of a minimum number.

Palestinian legal NGO BADIL has previously estimated the number to be around 7.2 million.

As of 2016, Palestinian refugees in the West Bank registered with UNRWA accounted for 17 percent of the total refugees registered with the organization, while refugees in Gaza accounted for 24.5 percent.

According to UNRWA, 42 percent of the total population of the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip are internally displaced refugees from historic Palestine, with data indicated that Palestinian refugees living in the occupied territory and Gaza have an overall unemployment rate of 33.3 percent in 2016, compared to 22.3 percent among non-refugees.

Meanwhile, Gaza, which has often been compared to an “open air prison” for its 1.9 million inhabitants crowded into 365 square kilometers, has suffered from a decade of isolation and deprivation, made all the worse by three devastating Nazi military operations, and persistent intra-Palestinian political strife.

Touting one of the world’s highest unemployment rates at 44 percent, an estimated 80 percent of Gaza’s population is dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Across the diaspora, the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA in Jordan amounted to 39.1 percent of the total refugees registered, while the percentage of Palestinian refugees registered in Lebanon and Syria numbered at 8.8 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.

According to UNRWA, while Palestinian refugees in Lebanon represent an estimated 10 percent of the population of Lebanon, they lack many basic rights, as they are not formally citizens of another state and are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living in Lebanon. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, for example, are prevented from working in up to 20 highly-skilled professions.

As a result, “among the five UNRWA fields, Lebanon has the highest percentage of Palestine refugees living in abject poverty,” the group said, adding that around 53 percent of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in 12 recognized refugee camps, “all of which suffer from serious problems, including poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, poor housing conditions and lack of infrastructure.”

Meanwhile, the ongoing conflict in Syria has forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from the country, including men, women and children, to flee to surrounding countries and other areas in Syria in search of safety.

The Hamas movement’s Office for Refugees’ Affairs in Lebanon released a statement Tuesday, saying that the “Right to Return is a basic human right issue stated by international resolutions and guaranteed by heavenly laws.”

The office lauded UNRWA for its work with Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, but highlighted the dire and deteriorating humanitarian conditions of Palestinian refugees grows as UNRWA cannot adequately service nearly all 5.9 million registered refugees.

In the statement, the group called upon the international community to “uphold its responsibilities towards the refugees’ cause” and called upon the hosting Arab countries, especially Lebanon, “to provide decent living to Palestinian refugees by giving them their civil, social and humanitarian rights without connecting those to localization.”

Last week, Nazi Prime Minister Naziyahu called for the dismantlement of UNRWA, saying “UNRWA, to a large degree, by its very existence, perpetuates — and does not solve — the Palestinian refugee problem.”

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi condemned Netanyahu, saying his statements were “the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for creating the Palestinian refugee problem.”

“Israel should not be allowed to dictate how to change the legal system and to persist with its unlawful unilateralism,” Ashrawi said, adding that ”the Israeli government bears a moral and legal responsibility for Palestinian refugees and the serious injustices of the past.”

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness responded to Naziyahu’s comments at the time, saying that the issue of Palestinian refugees could only be resolved through a negotiated end to the Nazi-Palestinian refugee conflict, instead of shuttering an aid agency catering to their humanitarian needs.

While UNRWA has been the target of Palestinian criticism on a number of occasions, Palestinian refugees, notably in the occupied Palestinian territory, see the preservation of their status as refugees as maintaining their claim to their right of return to the villages in historic Palestine from which their ancestors fled during the creation of the Racist Nazi state.

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Nazi army blocks road to Bedouin village

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Nazi army blocks road to Bedouin village, preventing 100 children from going to school

Children in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev

A recently installed guardrail on highway has isolated a Bedouin community in southern occupied Palestine 1948  for days, preventing 100 Bedouin children from attending school, NGO Adalah reported on Sunday.

According to the group, which focuses on the rights of Palestinian 1948 citizens. Nazi regime effectively sealed off Umm Bidoun, a Bedouin community in the Negev desert unrecognized by the Nazi regime, by blocking off the only dirt road connecting the village to Highway 31 with a guardrail.

The road surface markings on the highway near other passage out of Umm Bidoun have also recently been changed, making it illegal for vehicles to cross the road, Adalah added.

The recent changes have effectively prevented any vehicles, including school buses, from accessing the village, Adalah said.

As a result, the legal NGO stated that, due to the absence of schools in Umm Bidoun, 100 children who study in the village of al-Furaa 15 kilometers away have been unable to go to school for days.

Adalah said on Sunday it had contacted officials from the Nazi Education Ministry, the al-Qasoum regional council, and Netivei ‘Israel’, the national roads authority, to demand that the obstacles to freedom of movement for the residents of Umm Bidoun be lifted.

Adalah field researcher Marwan Abu Freih told Ma’an on Monday that Netivei had told the organization that it was examining the issue.

Spokespersons from the Ministry of Education did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the case on Monday.

“It is inconceivable that some 100 students can — in such a sudden and arbitrary manner — be prevented from attending school without any advance notice to or consultation with parents,” Abu Freih said on Sunday. “Adalah and the families demand that the Education Ministry act immediately to correct this situation.”

Abu Freih added on Monday that members of Nazi parliament, the Knesset, representing Palestinian 1948 citizens, had reached out to Adalah to offer their assistance in resolving the case.

Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Holocaust war following the creation of the Nazi state. Many of the Bedouins were forcibly transferred to the village sites during the 17-year period when 1948 Palestinians insid were governed under Nazi military law, which ended shortly before Israel’s military takeover of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.

Between 160,000 and 170,000 Bedouins are believed to reside in the Negev today, more than half of whom reside in unrecognized villages, according to the Association for Civil Rights (ACRI).

The classification of their villages as “unrecognized” prevents Bedouins from developing or expanding their communities, while Nazi authorities have also refused to connect unrecognized Bedouin villages to the national water and electricity grids, and have excluded the communities from access to health and educational services.

A Knesset report on Bedouins in Israel noted that “(school) dropout rates are high, among various reasons due to lack of access and public transportation to their schools.”

Meanwhile, Jewish communities in the Negev continuously expand, with five new Jewish plans approved last year. According to an investigation undertaken by rights groups ACRI and Bimkom, two of the approved communities are located in areas where unrecognized Bedouin villages already exist.

Rights groups have claimed that Nazi policies in Bedouin communities are specifically aimed at depopulating the Negev of its Bedouin residents to make room for the expansion of Jewish communities.

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Nazi MPS TRY TO ASSAULT ZOABI ”VIDEO” 

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VIDEO: ISRAELI MPS TRY TO ASSAULT HANEEN ZOABI

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This 9-minute video, showing Israeli Jewish MPs’ reaction to a speech by Haneen Zoabi today, offers a very revealing insight into how Israel’s tribal democracy works. And it isn’t pretty.

Even in the British parliament, which is imploding at the moment, it is impossible to imagine scenes like these.

Zoabi made the speech after Israel agreed this week very belatedly to pay compensation to the families of nine humanitarian activists killed by Israeli commandos in 2010 on the Mavi Marmara, as it plied international waters on its way to deliver aid to Gaza. In fact, it would be more accurate to say Israel assassinated the activists, as a way to deter others from following in their wake.

The Marmara was a Turkish vessel and the compensation was part of Israel’s reconciliation deal with Turkey.

Zoabi was the only Israeli MP on the ship, and was accused of treason by Knesset members for participating in the aid flotilla. She became public enemy number one and received many death threats at the time, including some barely veiled ones from Jewish MPs.

All the exchanges in this video are in Hebrew, but that doesn’t really matter. You don’t need to understand the language to understand what is going on. One Jewish MP, Oren Hazan, of Netanyahu’s Likud party, heckles Zoabi non-stop for more than four minutes, with the Speaker doing nothing more than politely asking him to calm down and refrain from interrupting.

Remember that Palestinians MPs are regularly ejected from the Knesset for far less than this kind of barracking and violation of parliamentary protocol. Notice also that the Knesset TV spends as much time, if not more, focusing on the heckler than Zoabi, implicitly legitimising his anti-democratic behaviour.

But when Zoabi accuses the soldiers of “murder” at about 4.30-min into the video, all hell breaks loose. A dozen or more Jewish MPs rush to the podium and start circling Zoabi like a pack of baying hyenas. By this stage, when Zoabi is being physically threatened by a number of MPs in the parliament chamber, you might think it would be time for some of them to be forcefully ejected, if only to indicate that this subversion of the democratic process will not be tolerated. But not a bit of it. They are treated with kid gloves.

The Knesset guards simply try to block the violent Jewish MPs from reaching the single Palestinian MP in their sights, presumably fearful that were she to be physically assaulted that might make headline news and make Israel look bad.

Paradoxically, the only MP you can see on the film being pushed out of the Knesset chamber is Zoabi’s party leader, Jamal Zahalka, who from the look of things is interceding because he’s worried she is in danger. Hazan was finally removed, though after more than eight minutes of heckling, threats and belligerence.

Another paradox: Zoabi and her fellow party MPs have only recently been allowed to speak in the Knesset again, after the ethics committee (dominated by Jewish MPs) suspended them for several months because of their “unacceptable” political views.

I doubt very much that any of these Jewish MPs, even though they have threatened and tried to physically harm another MP, one from the wrong tribe, will suffer any consequences at all for their behaviour.

Zoabi said in her speech: “I stood here six years ago, some of you remember the hatred and hostility toward me, and look where we got to. Apologies to the families of those who were called terrorists. The nine that were killed, it turns out that their families need to be compensated. I demand an apology to all the political activists who were on the Marmara and an apology to MK Haneen Zoabi, who you’ve incited against for six years. I demand compensation and I will donate it to the next flotilla. As long as there’s a siege, more flotillas need to be organized.”

In addition to the violent reception from MPs visible on film, there was widespread incitement from other MPs. Michael Oren, who a while back was Israel’s ambassador to the US, sounded like Avigdor Lieberman as he said Zoabi’s speech proved she was not loyal and should be permanently stripped of her parliamentary status, under a soon-to-be-passed Suspension Law.

In true colonial style, the government’s chief whip, David Bitan, was reported to have told Palestinian voters in Israel after Zoabi’s speech: “We need to make sure she doesn’t stay in the Knesset. We’ve had enough of this and she doesn’t even represent you properly.”

Written by Jonathan Cook

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Nazi regime issued 50,000 administrative detention orders since 1967

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Nazi occupation forces have issued 50,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs revealed on Wednesday.

Head of the research and documentation department in the researcher in the Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, Abdel Nasser Farawneh, said that the administrative detention orders have increased since the outbreak of the Second Intifada, as the occupation authorities issued nearly 27,000 orders since September 2000.

He noted that of the total number of orders, nearly 1,704 were issued in 2016, a 50 per cent increase compared to 2015. While, since the beginning of 2017, over 4,000 orders were issued, including new orders and extensions.

Farawneh added that the increased number of detention orders and the increase in administrative orders issued against the Palestinians has led to a noticeable rise in the total number of administrative prisoners. As of today, nearly 5,000 administrative prisoners are held in Israeli prisons and detention centres without any charges against them or trials.

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1967 SIX-DAY WAR: 50 Years Later

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We will continue to update this section of commentary and analysis from a variety of sources.

Hassam, 11, in front of Israel’s concrete apartheid wall after school in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp, March 23, 2006. The wall, ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, blocks access between Bethlehem and Israel, and separates Jerusalem from the West Bank. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Title Created Date
The Washington Post: The lonely journey of a Palestinian cancer patient May 28 2017
The Washington Post: The $1.4 billion bet on a new Palestinian future May 28 2017
The Washington Post: A Palestinian’s daily commute through an Israeli checkpoint May 28 2017
Jonathan Cook: 50 Years of Shame Apr 17 2017
Gideon Levy: Israel’s Nakba Apr 15 2017

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Nazi regime Has No Legal Right to Offer Land Tenders in West Bank

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Israel Has No Legal Right to Offer Land Tenders in West Bank

According to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel,

 

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, sent a letter to senior Israeli officials on 23rd of May, urging them to cancel open tenders offering Palestinian lands declared as state property in the West Bank because Israel has no legal authority over the 1967 occupied territories.

Lawyer Suhad Bishara, director of Adalah’s Land and Planning Rights unit, wrote in the letter to Israel Land Authority (ILA) director Shimron Adiel, construction minister Yoav Galant, finance minister Moshe Kahlon, and attorney general Avichai Mandelblit that

“the ILA does not have the legal authority to offer land tenders in the West Bank.”

During 2016 and 2017, the ILA published open tenders for available plots of land in illegal West Bank settlements including Givat Ze’ev, Ma’ale Adumim, Alfei Menashe, Ariel, Beitar Illit, Karnei Shomron, and Oranit.

“The territories included in these tenders are being managed as if they are part of the State of Israel to which Israeli state law applies. This practice, for all intents and purposes, therefore annexes these territories to the State of Israel,” lawyer Bishara wrote.

“The Basic Law on Israel Lands determines that Israeli land is ‘land in Israel belonging to the state, a development authority, or to the Jewish National Fund.’ In other words: land within the territory of the State of Israel,” the letter reminded.

Adalah emphasized that this Israeli practice is a violation of the international law, which determines that any long-term changes imposed upon occupied territories must be in the interests of the protected local civilian population.

International law also forbids the occupying power from exploiting occupied territories for its general use, it added.

Featured image: PNN

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Former ICC Official Says ‘Israel’ Will Be Convicted of War Crimes

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The former prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno Ocampo has said that the investigation being carried out by the ICC concerning the issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, will most likely result in condemnation of Israeli officials since the establishment of settlements is considered a continuing war crime.

He added that the settlements constitute a clear legal violation of the Rome Statute and the rules of international law, which prohibit an occupying power from transferring its civilian population to an occupied territory.

During a special panel discussion organized by Al-Quds University yesterday evening, Ocampo said that the prosecutor’s office has gone a long way in examining the issue of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

He denied the statements attributed to him by an Israeli newspaper a year and a half ago that settlements are not illegal, pointing out that it was not the first time that the Israeli press has presented its own interpretation of statements.

In particular, he stated that what was reported in the newspaper at that time is contrary to his firm legal convictions that the transfer of the civilian population of an occupying force onto occupied land constitutes a war crime.

Ocampo explained that the case brought by the State of Palestine before the ICC has caused huge discomfort among the Israeli side and is moving the Israeli government from an attack posture to one of defence, citing a quote by an Israeli official that Israel is recruiting more lawyers than soldiers as a result of the Palestinian complaint.

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