Friday, 15 December 2017
IOP Report {4} - March 2012 Print
Sunday, 25 March 2012

While Occupation and blockade are business as usual for Israel, there should be no business with Israel

In Occupied Palestine

Zionism in practice

Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property

West Bank checkpoints: the malevolence of Zionism:!

UK authority ruling against Israel's tourism ad. The Advertising Standards Authority has ruled against an Israeli Government Tourist Office advertisement that implied that parts of Palestine were in Israel. Following a complaint from PSC and others, the ASA ruled that the borders on a map used in the advert were not clear enough, making it difficult to distinguish between Palestinian land and Israeli and therefore concluded that the advertisement was ‘misleading’. This is the fourth time in four years that Israel has misled the public by wrongly claiming that Palestinian territory is part of Israel. The complete text on the ruling is available here.  Israeli_tourism_lies

Israel refuses to co-operate with UN probe into Occupation settlements. An independent international fact-finding mission is due to "investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people." An Israeli official described the the UN Human Rights Council mission as "preposterous".

Israel's national water carrier violates Palestinian right to water. Between 2009 and 2011, Israel demolished 57 rainwater cisterns and 40 wells that Palestinian livelihoods depend upon. The destruction of Palestinian water infrastructure by the Israeli Military is both a direct violation of the human right to water and a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention. to-water.html
Israeli court exiles Jerusalem child. The Israeli magistrates court in Occupied Jerusalem ruled on Wednesday that a young Jerusalemite, Elias Al-Awar, should be banished from his home in Silwan. The court said that the 16-year-old boy should stay under house arrest in Jabal Al-Mukabar until his next court hearing and should pay a fine of 5000 shekels [about $1500] while four of his relatives must pledge 5000 shekels surety.

Army detains a child at roadblock near Jenin. Israeli soldiers interrogated a 12-year-old Palestinian child at a roadblock for over two hours before his abduction.

PCHR Weekly Report: 'Army conducts 56 invasions into West Bank, 1 in Gaza'. One child was shot and injured while sitting at his home when the Army opened fire at a people in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The six-year-old boy was shot by a bullet to his right thigh as he was sitting at home; the bullet was fired by soldiers stationed at the border between Gaza and Israel, to the east of Rafah. Five Palestinians, including a child, were kidnapped by Israeli soldiers stationed at various roadblocks in the West Bank. The Gaza Strip remains under deadly siege, and remains to be isolated from the rest of the world despite Israeli claims of easing the siege. Soldiers also opened fire at agricultural areas in Khuza‘a village, east of Khan Yunis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. The Army carried out a limited invasion into the northern part of the Gaza Strip, during which they levelled areas of Palestinian land, which they had already razed.

Hundreds of Beitar Jerusalem fans beat up Arab workers in mall; no arrests. Haaretz

Mustafa Bargouti: Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian cause. “It's an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people. It will take place on Land Day, March 30, a day that symbolises the unity of Palestinians in the struggle for freedom and dignity and against the theft of their land. We hope to bring to the world's attention the very grave violations that Israel is committing against Jerusalem. Both the UN and The International Court of Justice hold that annexation of East Jerusalem, which is part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, is a violation of international law.” mondoweiss

The rise of the Sheikh Jarrah protest movement, as told by a veteran activist. Israeli Solidarity activist, Daniel Dukarevitch-Argo, who first got to know Sheikh Jarrah almost a decade ago, tells the story of the protest movement from the ground up -- A new film by Just Vision about the struggle in Sheikh Jarrah will soon be released around the world. There has been much debate about the Solidarity movement’s decision in September to stop the weekly demonstrations in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

Lengthy power black-outs and fuel shortages severely restrict hospital care in Gaza. / By Tali Williams, Kia Ora Gaza team member / Mohammed Younis was one of our great interpreters in Gaza on the last convoy. He sent us this moving message about life in Gaza today….“The situation in Gaza is getting worse .. today there is no power (almost all the day) no fuel, no cooking gas, no water due the fact that power goes down for long hours .. and it's getting worse .. people can't go to work .. students can't go to schools and teachers as well .. university students are suffering .. soon we will use fire to cook and cooking oil to run our cars .. people are over depressed and frustrated .. life in Gaza is dying and no one will know when this hell will end.”

Israeli Army unit storms school, abducts 11-year-old boy. Israeli troops stormed a school in the Ras Al-Amud suburb of Occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning. The Ha’aretz website reported that the soldiers took the child from his classroom, along with the school secretary, after the child confessed to throwing stones at an Israeli Army patrol.

Gaza: 50% of emergency services at standstill. The Committee for Ambulance and Emergency in Gaza announced on Wednesday that 50% of ambulances and fire trucks were forced to stop working as the fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip worsened. Spokesman for the Committee ,Abu Adham Silmiya, blamed the Israeli Occupation for the deteriorating health conditions in Gaza, and appealed for humanitarian intervention to save the situation.

Fuel crisis in Gaza paralysing everyday life. A Palestinian Centre for Human Rights spokesman said, “The towns of Gaza have become like ghost towns because of the power outages that happen most of the day and night, and the frequent lack of drinking water in homes because there is no electric power to pump water to the apartments in tall buildings. Furthermore, there are the risks resulting from the failure to dispose of accumulating sewage or to treat it before pumping it into the sea.” This endangers marine life and the health of visitors. The Centre also reported that the Gaza fuel shortage is causing a transportation crisis.


Alternative Water Forum 2012 – The Marseilles Declaration

We commit to take action in solidarity with Palestinian human rights, including the human right to water.”

22 March 2012:

Occupied Palestine – For years, the United Nations Human Rights Committee and other UN bodies have found Israel to be in violation of Palestinians' human right to water and sanitation as part of normal reviews of Israel’s compliance with human rights treaties ratified by Israel.

In 2010 the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council passed resolutions, which together reaffirm “that governments have the primary responsibility for the realisation of all human rights, including the right to water and sanitation.”

Yet Israel’s violations of the Palestinian human right to water and sanitation are only increasing. Between 2009 and 2011, Israel demolished 57 rainwater harvesting cisterns and 40 wells Palestinians depend on for their lives and livelihoods.(1) Military destruction of Palestinian water infrastructure is both a direct violation of the human right to water and a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The average household water consumption of Palestinians connected to a network is less than half the World Health Organisation’s minimum recommended daily allowance (2) and 1/6th of the average Israeli household consumption. Some of the poorest families are paying half of their income on water.

Israel’s obstruction of Palestinian water and sanitation development has prevented Palestinians from developing additional quantities of water agreed upon as part of the Oslo “peace process”(1) and has forced Palestinians into a state of dependence upon purchasing Palestinian water from the Israeli national water company Mekorot. Mekorot cuts supply to Palestinian communities in order to maintain unhindered service to Israeli colonies in the West Bank.

Israel’s illegal Wall through internationally recognised Palestinian land stands to cut Palestinians off from areas that would yield an additional 90 million cubic metres annually.(1) Compare this amount to Palestinians total current water supply in the West Bank, which is just 180 million cubic metres, including water purchased from the Israeli national water company.(1)

The siege on Gaza prevents the entry of spare parts, materials and energy needed for the day-to-day functioning of the water and wastewater networks, and obstructs much-needed development of these systems. The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict found that Israel intentionally targeted and destroyed wells, pipes, wastewater facilities, water reservoirs and the main power station.(1)More than 90% of water produced from municipal wells in Gaza is unsuitable for human consumption. Since 2005 Israel has damaged or destroyed more than 300 wells in a “buffer zone” unilaterally imposed by Israel inside of the territory of Gaza.i According to international water law, Gaza has a right to an equitable and reasonable share of water from the Coastal Aquifer, including from those portions within Israel.

Israel has only newly begun allowing wastewater treatment projects in Occupied Palestinian territory. After years of delays, including the murder of an on-duty worker, projects in Gaza are now being implemented since Israel detected untreated and partially treated sewage released into the sea from Gaza at the Ashkelon desalination plant (12.5 km, or 7.8 miles, directly north of Gaza). For 15 years following Oslo, Israel directly obstructed the development of wastewater treatment facilities in the West Bank, using first bureaucracy and then its military. Israel paid one contractor a one-million shekel settlement, admitting Israel was at fault when the military shut down a wastewater treatment project after it was fully permitted. Neighbourhoods of Palestinian citizens of Israel often have poor sewage infrastructure despite paying equal or greater taxes than other Israeli citizens. A number of Israeli colonies release untreated sewage into Palestinian communities.(2)

The Israeli regime of institutionalised discrimination of Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza constitutes apartheid under the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine concluded in its most recent session in Cape Town, South Africa, that, “Israel’s rule over the Palestinian people, wherever they reside, collectively amounts to a single integrated regime of apartheid”. A recent French parliamentary report condemned Israeli policies in withholding water from Palestinians as “apartheid”.

Israel’s violations must be seen within the context of the 1948 Naqba, the systematic expulsion and denial of the internationally recognised right of return of the majority of Palestinians to their homes. Since the establishment of the state of Israel, thousands of ancient springs, cisterns, wells, wadis and river streams have been illegally appropriated from Palestinians. Israel has also modified the hydrological character of the land it occupied, e.g., the drainage of Buheirat el Huleh (Hula Valley) by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in the 1950s, and the diversion of the lower Jordan River waters, contributing to the dramatic shrinking of the Dead Sea. Just this month, Israel demolished the Bedouin village of Al Araquib in the Negev Desert a 36th time in order to allow the JNF to plant a forest and “green the desert”.

We launch this declaration calling upon global citizens of conscience to take action for Palestinian water rights as members of the global water rights movement are organising to resist the corporatisation of our common water heritage. We launch this declaration here in Marseilles, home to the World Water Council, the corporate think tank and lobby group founded by multinational corporations and the World Bank. As the World Water Council convenes the 6th World Water Forum promoting the privatisation of water and sanitation services, we call out the corporate members of this Council for profiting from the privatisation of water and sanitation services globally – and in particular we call out the transnational French corporation Veolia for also providing sanitation services to the illegal Israeli settlement of Modin Illit which is colonising Palestinian land, for illegally dumping garbage from Israel in the Occupied Jordan Valley, and for profiting from apartheid transportation services that serve illegal colonies while denying Palestinians service. Our struggles are intricately linked. As we resist corporate and state profiteering from human rights violations in Palestine, we are resisting discrimination in access to water and promoting global water justice.

From Cochabamba, Bolivia to Palestine, we affirm the need for popular resistance to hold states and corporations accountable to a respect for human rights. Today as Palestinians are risking what is left of their land and their homes and the trickle of water that they are able to currently access in order to demand that they be recognised as human beings with human rights, we know that we must take concrete action to support the growing movement demanding an end to Israeli impunity for human rights violations, including the human rights to water and sanitation.

Given the abject failure of world government to hold Israel accountable for its persistent violations of international law, including the right to water, Palestinians have called for people of conscience around the world to implement boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, inspired by the international non-violent struggle that succeeded in ending apartheid in South Africa. The pillars of the movement are based on international law and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people with a goal of achieving freedom, justice and equality for all, irrespective of race and creed.

As global citizens in an increasingly interconnected world it is imperative that we take action in our communities to protect the human rights of our brothers and sisters globally.

With the goal of holding Israel accountable so that Palestinians have their rights to water restitution and achieve self-determination with their full set of rights, we, activists for water justice, declare our support for the Palestinian-led BDS movement. In particular we pledge to:

  1. Oppose the corporate expansion of the Israeli national water company, Mekorot, into international markets, Mekorot being one of the key instruments in denying Palestinians their water rights

  2. Boycott Israeli agricultural produce, campaigning to exclude Israeli agricultural companies (e.g. Mehadrin) from access to foreign markets and expose their role in the takeover of Palestinian land and water resources

  3. Support the Stop the JNF campaign and educate others about JNF’s “greenwashing” of Israeli crimes

  4. Boycott and divest from Veolia, the largest privatiser of public water supply in the world, and a main profiteer of Israeli apartheid

  5. Call for government sanctions on Israel, in particular, the end of all water-related cooperation agreements


Confirmed Organisational Signatures
LifeSource - Palestine
Escuela del Pueblo Primero de Mayo - Cochabamba, Bolivia
Fundacion Abril - Cochabamba, Bolivia

Centre for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, Durban, South Africa

Confirmed Individual Signatures
Marcela Olivera - Cochabamba, Bolivia
Oscar Olivera - Cochabamba, Bolivia
Steve Fisher “Freelance writer and water rights activist” – United States / Mexico
Irene Bonilla “water rights activist” – Guadalajara, Mexico
Susan Koppelman - United States / Palestine

Pancho Ramos Stierle – Oakland, California, Earth
Shir Hever – Germany/Israel

Lina Isma'il – Palestine

Zayneb Alshalalfeh – Palestine

Colin Miller – Oakland, California


(1) EWASH Advocacy Task Force, “Demolition & destruction of water, sanitation & hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” Fact Sheet 11, December 2011.

    (2) According to the World Bank, after losses from the network, average net consumption at the household level is 50 liters (13.2 gallons) per person per day. This is just 50% of the World Health Organization’s minimum recommended daily allowance of 100 liters. --World Bank (2009), “Assessment of Restrictions on Palestinian Water Sector Development,” p. 17.

    (3) Average Israeli domestic water consumption is 300 litres per person per day, including both freshwater and desalinated seawater.

    (4) Amongst the well drilling projects not approved by the JWC [Joint Water Committee] or still pending JWC or CA [Civil Administration] approval, were 82 well drilling projects which were presented by the PWA as part of the agreed quantum under Article 40.” World Bank (2009), p. 49.

    (5) From Clemens Messerschmid (2011), “The Last Sip: Water crisis in Palestine [Arabic publication],” p. 6.

    (6) Israel Water Authority (April, 2009), “The Issue of Water between Israel and the Palestinians,” (p. 15).

    (7) “Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” para. 1023, UN Doc. A/HRC/12/48 (15 September 2009).

    (8) United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (August 2010) “Between the Fence and a Hard Place: The humanitarian impact of Israeli-imposed restrictions on access to land and sea in the Gaza Strip.

    (9) B’tselem (2009), “Foul Play: Neglect of Waste water Treatment in the West Bank”.


The Burial Of Our Species

The Roads Leading to Disaster

Reflections by Fidel Castro

23 March 2012

This Reflection could be written today, tomorrow or any other day without the risk of being mistaken. Our species faces new problems. When 20 years ago I stated at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro that our species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today for warning about a danger that I was seeing perhaps 100 years away. At that time, a handful of leaders of the most powerful countries were in charge of the world. They applauded my words as a matter of mere courtesy and placidly continued to dig for the burial of our species. It seemed that on our planet, common-sense and order reigned. For a while economic development, backed by technology and science appeared to be the Alpha and Omega of human society.

Today, everything is much clearer. Profound truths have been surfacing. Almost 200 States, supposedly independent, constitute the political organisation which in theory has the job of governing the destiny of the world. Approximately 25,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of allied or enemy forces ready to defend the changing order, by interest or necessity, virtually reduce to zero the rights of billions of people. I shall not commit the naïveté of assigning the blame to Russia or China for the development of that kind of weaponry, after the monstrous massacre at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordered by Truman after Roosevelt’s death. Nor shall I fall prey to the error of denying the Holocaust that signified the deaths of millions of children and adults, men or women, mainly Jews, gypsies, Russians or other nationalities, who were victims of Nazism. For that reason the odious policy of those who deny the Palestinian people their right to exist is repugnant.
Does anyone by chance think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that will keep it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it? In a few weeks, the 40 million dollars President Obama promised to collect for his electoral campaign will only serve to show that the currency of his country is greatly devalued, and that the US, with its unusual growing public debt drawing close to 20 quadrillion, is living on the money it prints up and not on the money it produces. The rest of the world pays for what they waste. Nor does anyone believe that the Democratic candidate would be any better or worse than his Republican foes: whether they are called Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Light years separate the three characters as important as Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. It is really unheard-of to observe such a technologically powerful nation and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.

Iran has no nuclear weapons. It is being accused of producing enriched uranium that serves as fuel energy or components for medical uses. Whatever one can say, its possession or production is not equivalent to the production of nuclear weapons. Dozens of countries use enriched uranium as an energy source, but this cannot be used in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon without a prior complicated purification process. However, Israel, with the aid and co-operation of the United States, manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting to anybody, today not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighbouring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their aim of attacking and destroying the production centres for nuclear fuel in Iran.

International politics have been revolving around that crucial topic in that complex and dangerous part of the world, where most of the fuel that moves the world economy is produced and supplied. The selective elimination of Iran’s most eminent scientists by Israel and their NATO allies has become a practice that motivates hatred and feelings of revenge. The Israeli government has openly stated its objective to attack the plant manufacturing Iran’s enriched uranium, and the government of the United States has invested billions of dollars to manufacture a bomb for that purpose.

On March 16, 2012, Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham published an article revealing that “A top US Air Force General has described the largest conventional bomb – the re-invented bunker [buster] is of 13.6 tonnes – as ‘fantastic’ for a military attack on Iran. Such an eloquent comment on the massive killer-artefact took place in the same week that President Barack Obama appeared to warn against ‘easy words’ on the Persian Gulf War.”

“…Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for US Air Force operations […] added that probably the bomb would be used in any attack on Iran ordered by Washington. “The MOP, also referred to as ‘The Mother of All Bombs’, is designed to drill through 60 metres of concrete before it detonates its massive bomb. It is believed to be the largest conventional weapon, non-nuclear, in the US arsenal.”

The Pentagon is planning a process of wide destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and massive civilian victims through the combined use of tactical nuclear bombs and monstrous conventional bombs with mushroom-shaped clouds, including the MOABs and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) that exceeds the MOAB in destructive capacity. “The MOP is described as ‘a powerful new bomb that aims straight at subterranean Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. The giant bomb –longer than 11 persons shoulder to shoulder, or more than 6 metres from end to end’.”

I ask the reader to excuse me for this complicated military jargon. As one can see, such calculations arise from the supposition that the Iranian combatants, numbering millions of men and women well-known for their religious zeal and their fighting traditions, surrender without firing a shot. In recent days, the Iranians have seen how US soldiers occupying Afghanistan, in just three weeks, urinated on the corpses of killed Afghans, burned copies of the Koran and murdered more than 15 defenceless citizens. Let us imagine US forces launching monstrous bombs on industrial institutions, capable of penetrating through 60 metres of concrete. Never has such an undertaking ever been conceived. Not one word more is needed to understand the gravity of such a policy. In that way, our species will be inexorably led towards disaster. If we do not learn how to understand, we shall never learn how to survive.

As for me, I harbour not the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit and lead the world towards the greatest mistake in its history.

Fidel Castro Ruz – 21 March 2012


Palestinian Resistance

Ali Kazak's newsletter Today in Palestine contains many news summaries that include both armed and non-violent methods of resistance to the Occupation. The newsletter also contains much other useful reporting. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Behind the Wall

Rich Wiles is a photographic artist who has been living and working in Palestine for some years. His photographic work has been shown around Europe, the US, Australia and in Palestine itself. Since 2006 he has been writing from Occupied Palestine under the title Behind the Wall. Much of this work is based in and around the refugee camps in Palestine, highlighting daily life and memories of refugees who still live in forced exile for over 60 years since Al Nakba (The Catastrophe).


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Leslie Bravery

Palestine Human Rights Campaign