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IOP Report {3} April 2012 Print
Sunday, 22 April 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

(Compiled by Leslie Bravery, Palestine Human Rights Campaign POB 56150, Dominion Rd, Auckland, New Zealand www.palestine.org.nz)

Recent news updates:

Barbarity! A so-called 'army' that trains with live-fire among civilians: Israeli soldiers shot and critically wounded an 18-year-old shepherd in the chest. TUBAS (Ma'an) / The shooting occurred on Thursday evening during military training exercises in the northern West Bank, medics said. Yasir Suleiman Nijad Kaabnah was shot while herding sheep and camels near Wadi al-Maleh in the northern Jordan Valley, medics told Ma'an. Salem Kaabneh, the victim's uncle who was with him when he was shot, told Ma'an that Israeli troops who were training in the area fired at Suleiman, injuring him in the chest. Medical officials said soldiers refused to help the wounded teenager and he was taken in a private car to hospital in Tubas. He was transferred to Rafadea Hospital in Nablus, where he is in a critical condition in intensive care. The local village council said Israeli military training in the area had caused several casualties because shepherds were not warned when or where the exercises would take place. The council urged human rights groups to pressure the Israeli army not to train near civilian populations. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=478058

What do Breivik and Netanyahu have in common? Alan Hart / 20 April 2012 / Let's start with a glance at what they do not have in common. The man now on trial for killing 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last July has admitted, even boasted about, what he did. Netanyahu denies Zionism's crimes. The main thing they have in common stems from the fact that they both live in fantasy worlds of their own creation and talk a lot of extreme right-wing nonsense. The nonsense Anders Breivik speaks is driven in general by his fears about the consequences for Norway of immigration and multiculturalism and, in particular, by his vision of an Islamic takeover. http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/04/what-do-breivik-and-netanyahu-have-in-common/#more-44209

PCHR Weekly Report:19 civilians wounded by Israeli troops this week. http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/pchr-weekly-report19-civilians-wounded-by-israeli-troops-this-week/

Trapped: The violence of exclusion in Jerusalem. Nadera Shalhoub-Kervorkian: It's like living in a trap. If I try to dream, they rebuke me: “Remember, remember, you are Palestinian and dreams are not allowed.” If I try to object or complain the whole world tells me, “Your history is the suffering of your people, the history.” http://www.jerusalemquarterly.org/ViewArticle.aspx?id=399

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April Memories: Israel's Birthday, Palestine's Tragedy Commemorated

By Felicity Arbuthnot:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30422

No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” (Martin Luther King, 1929-1968.)

Many dreams have been rained on since peace was declared at the end of the Second World War, on 8 May 1945.(i) Two veritable historic hurricanes were commemorated on 9 April, as was the burial of the man who dreamed: Martin Luther King. The day Baghdad fell nine years ago, also marked the massacre in, and near destruction of, the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin by Jewish forces 64 years before. Ironically, in the month the State of Israel has arranged world-wide 64th birthday celebrations (26 April) Palestine marked the 64th anniversary of butchery and carnage, as almond, olive blossoms and spring flowers painted the surrounding slopes with fragrant life. It also marked more than the day’s nightmare, it heralded the policy of the “cleansing” of Palestine’s villages. The displacement, destruction and still counting, the ever diminishing and fragmentation of what was Palestine. Deir Yassin marked the first time Jewish forces had gone on the attack, setting a precedent, and an ongoing weeping wound through the collective Palestinian soul, as year after year, homes, farms, orchards, livelihoods, even fishing is destroyed, disrupted – or separated by the Wall, “an iron curtain which has descended” across their land.

A graphic description of the attack on the village comes from the diaries (ii) of the Swiss representative of the International Red Cross, Jacques de Reynier who was first to reach the site. He was let in by an “enormous German-born member of the Irgun”, who told Reynier he owed his life to the Red Cross. The Irgun and Stern gangs, had denied any involvement in the events at Deir Yassin and accused Ha Haganah (“The Defence”) the paramilitary organisation under the British mandate of Palestine, who, subsequently became the core of the IDF (Israeli Defence Force.) Sir Alan Cunningham, Britain’s High Commissioner, later firmly laid the blame with the Irgun and Stern gangs. The spectacle on entry, made Reynier “gasp”, as did the youth of many attackers, men and women, some mere adolescents. “There were people rushing everywhere, in and out of houses, carrying Sten guns, rifles, pistols, long ornate knives. They seemed half mad. I saw a beautiful girl carrying a dagger still covered with blood. I heard screams.” The German remarked: “We’re still mopping up.”

All that I could think of was the SS troops I’d seen in Athens”, Reynier wrote, witnessing: “A young woman stab and elderly man and woman, cowering on the doorstep of their hut.” In the first house he reached: “Everything had been ripped apart, there were bodies strewn around … 'cleaning up' was done with guns and grenades, their work finished with knives.” Seeing a movement, he discovered: “a little foot, still warm.” A ten-year-old girl “mutilated by a grenade”, was alive, who the German carried to an ambulance. Reynier found an elderly woman hiding behind a woodpile: “paralysed with fear”, and a dying man. He estimated he saw two hundred bodies, one a woman, probably eight months pregnant, shot in the stomach. There were butchered infants. Schoolgirls and elderly women were raped then murdered. Ears had been severed to remove ear-rings, bracelets were torn from arms and rings from fingers.

It subsequently transpired that the dead were taken to the rock quarry where the villagers had made their living from the expert stone cutting, for which they were renowned. The bodies were doused in petrol and set alight. “It was a lovely spring day. The almond blossoms were in bloom ,the flowers were out and everywhere there was the stench of the dead, the smell of blood and the terrible odour of the corpses burning in the quarry”, recalled a horrified Officer, Yeshurun Schiff, who in spite of the horrors he had witnessed could not bring himself to order revenge on the perpetrators because, he decided, Jewish history was: “too full of stories of fratricidal struggles”, to start another now in their new land. A further tragic irony was the good relationship the village enjoyed with the neighbouring village of Orthodox Jewish settlers. The village arranged signals to warn them if Arab dissidents were approaching them and might attack, and the Jewish residents warned if their own dissidents were in the vicinity. The pre-dawn attack foiled that.

Jewish residents of Palestine overwhelmingly condemned and abhorred the attacks. In an extraordinary move, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem excommunicated those responsible. An appeal by the Arab Emergency Committee to the British to intervene to halt violence fell on the stone-deaf ears of General Sir Gordon MacMillan, who said he would risk British lives only in the: “British interest.” Nothing changes. The quiet hero that day, was the Red Cross’s Reynier, who rescued survivors, having been threatened by: “A dozen soldiers, their machineguns aimed at my body. I flew in to one of the most towering rages of my life, telling these criminals what I thought of them and threatening them with everything I could think of and then pushed them aside.”

On 10 April 1948, Albert Einstein wrote a searing, five-line damnation to Shepard Rifkin, Executive Director of American Friends for the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel.

It read:

When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine, the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organisations built up from our own ranks (Jewish.)

I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.

Sincerely yours, Albert Einstein.” (Facsimile: iii.)

A year later the settlement of Givat Shaul Beth was founded. In the 1980s the remains of Deir Yassin was bulldozed to make way for settlements, as was much of the cemetery, to make way for a highway. The streets of the new neighbourhoods were named after members of the Irgun and Hagannah. The British shadow is long, over the remnants of Palestine. Their Mandate passed the right of house demolitions to the local military Commander, without limit or appeal in 1945. Although they stated it was repealed in 1948, they failed to follow the correct legal procedure to ensure the rescinding had validity in law, thus demolitions are still carried out under the 67-year-old British Directive119.

Deir Yassin was one act which led to the flight of 700,000 Palestinians. Since 1967 to June 2011, 24,813 Palestinian homes have been destroyed with not one permit issued for Palestinians for any construction in the Occupied Territories, formerly their land. According the the Israeli Civil Administration, in the first five months of 2011, Israeli forces demolished more Palestinian homes than in the entire year of 2010, rendering homeless 706 Palestinians, of which 341 were minors.(iv) Further, the first draft of a law passed by a Committee of the Knesset (Parliament) last June requires, if it becomes full law, Palestinians who have their homes demolished by Israeli forces to carry the full costs of the destruction of their homes.

Already, many Palestinian home owners, mainly in Jerusalem, have been forced to pay for the forced demolition of their homes.” It is perhaps apt that Deir Yassin, where this insanity arguably began, is now also the site of the Kfaur Shaul Mental Health Centre, a large psychiatric hospital. The demolitions are carried out using US-made D9 bulldozers, manufactured by the Caterpillar Corporation, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Einstein would surely have wept. In April 1963, in his Letter from Birmingham Gaol(v) Martin Luther King wrote: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Heartening however, is whether in flotillas, last week’s “flytilla”, across the world, in actions globally too numerous to count, Jewish people from every walk of life, including doughty Holocaust survivors, are joining those from countless nations, as they are in Israel itself, demanding an end to the divide, the oppression, and, as Ilan Pappe has written so eloquently(vi) the collective paranoia of Israel’s : “… roller coaster of mass hysteria.”

Notes

i. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1945–1989

ii. http://www.amazon.com/O-Jerusalem-Larry-Collins/dp/0671662414

iii. http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ter-einstein.html

iv. http://www.imemc.org/article/61573

v. http://www.mlkonline.net/jail.html

vi. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30409

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Felicity Arbuthnot is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Global Research Articles by Felicity Arbuthnot

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Vindictive closure of renewable energy projects in West Bank

Israel set to demolish EU-funded renewables projects.

In the face of displacement caused by Israeli occupation policies, European aid to Area C of the West Bank is helping Palestinians to remain in their homes and access water, electricity and other basic facilities, which is their right. Demolition of aid projects is against the Geneva Conventions and a direct obstruction of the EU’s aid. The EU must do all it can to stop demolitions, to make sure that its aid has an impact and that international law is respected.”

http://www.euractiv.com/climate-environment/israel-set-demolish-eu-funded-renewables-projects-news-511080

By Arthur Neslen, EurActiv 24 February 2012:

Six EU-funded wind and solar energy projects which provide electricity for 600 West Bank Palestinians have been put on a ‘demolition list’ by Israel, allegedly in response to an EU heads of mission report which called for laws to prevent the financing of settlements. West Bank project managers say the ‘stop work’ orders served against the projects are “a first step to almost automatic demolition”.

Elad Orian, the co-founder of Comet-ME, which oversaw the renewables projects on the ground, said that 400 people would be left completely without electricity if the demolition plan went ahead, but one village would still have access to an expensive, noisy and gas-guzzling diesel generator. “The people will be left without light or the ability to charge cellphones, which is the only means of communication there,” he said over the phone from the West Bank.“You will have no refrigerators, which are crucial for the economic sustainability of farming communities, and women will be re-burdened with a lot of very gender-specific manual labour.” In all, the initiative backed by Comet-ME [Community, Energy and Technology in the Middle East] and the German group Medico International has built 15 solar plants and hybrid systems electrifying villages with a combined population of some 1500 people. In one village facing renewable energy demolition, Shaab al-Buttum, two wind turbines and 40 solar panels currently supply 40-60 kilowatt-hours of electricity a day.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle discussed the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak during a recent visit, a Germany foreign ministry spokeswoman said. “The German government together with its EU partners is watching the situation in ‘Area C’ very attentively,” the official told EurActiv. “The government is concerned about the ‘stop work’ orders for energy systems that have been financed with German funds,” she added.

Area C:

Area C is a canton under full Israeli control, comprising some 60% of the West Bank and – beyond the West Bank Wall – all of Israel’s settlements, which are considered illegal under international law. Palestinians need permits to build in this region, but a study by the Israeli group Peace Now found that between 2000 and 2007, 94% of their applications were turned down. EU sources say that the permitting regime seems aimed at encouraging Palestinian migration to Areas A and B. “That is what everyone tells you when you go there,” one said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It seems obvious but politically speaking, it is very sensitive.” The region, spanning the Dead Sea, Judean Desert and Jordan Valley, is under-developed and the German Foreign Office provided around €300,000 for the six hybrid wind and solar energy projects, which serve poor villages in the South Hebron Hills. The last of the energy projects was completed in September 2011, but in January, Israel’s Civil Liaison Administration, which oversees the occupied territories, announced that they had to stop work as they did not have the correct permits.

Confidential report:

Some EU diplomats – and many non-governmental groups – see a link in the timing with a confidential report by the EU’s top regional diplomats into settlement building and house demolitions in Area C. It called on the Commission to draft legislation “to prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity.” Less than two weeks after the report was leaked, notices were served on clean energy projects in Haribat al-Nabi, Shaab al-Butum, Qawawis and Wadi al-Shesh. “It is not just the Germans that were slapped in the face but the whole EU,” said Tsafrir Cohen, a spokesman for Medico International, one of the partner organisations behind the project. “That was their answer to the Area C report.” EU diplomats say that more generally, Israeli settlement activity and house demolitions in Area C are increasing at an unprecedented speed but with the renewables projects, “we are particularly concerned because it is EU-funded infrastructure,” one told EurActiv. “We expect that there will be pressure put by the Germans to have this stopped, even if it is only a drop in the ocean of this whole process,” the source said. “Action is necessary.”

Positions:

The EU Representative in Jerusalem, John Gatt-Ruter, sent EurActiv a statement, saying: “The EU is following closely the developments in Area C which makes up about 60% of the West Bank area. We have expressed several times our regret over the demolitions of houses and structures there. Representatives of the EU and the member states visited many locations in area C and we are in direct contact with the local communities. As an EU, we are calling on Israel to review its policy and planning system in order to allow for the socio-economic development of the Palestinian communities.”

Deborah Casalin, a policy officer for the Christian charity coalition CIDSE said: “In the face of displacement caused by Israeli occupation policies, European aid to Area C of the West Bank is helping Palestinians to remain in their homes and access water, electricity and other basic facilities, which is their right. Demolition of aid projects is against the Geneva Conventions and a direct obstruction of the EU’s aid. The EU must do all it can to stop demolitions, to make sure that its aid has an impact and that international law is respected.”

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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

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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). www.richwiles.com

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