|IOP – 18 September 2013|
|Friday, 20 September 2013|
While the Occupation is 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)
18 September 2013 [Main source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG). http://www.nad-plo.org/dailyreports.php] NB: We shall always do our utmost to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible – but please forgive us for any errors or omissions (not of our own making) that may occur! L & M.
Israeli Army prevents families (made homeless by its destruction of their homes) from erecting tents donated by the International Red Cross
Gaza incursion: Israeli Army bulldozes crops
Israeli Army position opens fire on Gaza refugee camp farmland
Israeli forces, firing stun and tear gas grenades at schoolchildren, seize and hold 12-year-old boy
Israeli Army orders resident to destroy his own home
Night peace disruption and/or home invasions in 3 villages
2 attacks – 10 raids including home invasions
3 acts of agricultural/economic sabotage
6 taken prisoner – 9 detained – 105 restrictions of movement
Home invasions & occupations: 23:25, Fasayil - 01:10, Taqou - dawn, Hebron.
Peace disruption raids: 10:25, Abu Dis - 12:45, Khirbit Makhoul - 17:30, Jit - 20:15, Azzun - 21:30, al-Oja - 16:10, al-Khadr - 15:00, Hebron.
Palestinian attack: Northern Gaza – 01:00, a number of missiles fired towards the Green Line. Israeli sources reported one missile landed in a field in the Ashkelon Regional Council district. There were no injuries or damage reported. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/politics/5733-rocket-fired-from-gaza-hits-ashkelon-field
Israeli attack – agricultural sabotage: Gaza – morning, the Israeli Army shot its way onto Jahr al-Dik farmland and bulldozed crops. Two people were taken prisoner.
Israeli attack – agricultural sabotage: Central Gaza – morning, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on al-Bureij refugee camp farmland.
Economic sabotage: Gaza – the Israeli Navy continues to enforce a three-nautical-mile fishing limit.
Raid compounding cruelty towards the homeless: Tubas – 12:45, Israeli troops raided Khirbit Makhoul (the village where the Israeli Army destroyed homes two days ago) and prevented the families made homeless by the Israeli action from erecting tents that had been donated by the International Red Cross. Red Cross workers were appalled at the sight of Israeli troops seizing and then making off with the tents. The families have been sleeping in the open for two days. One of the homeless residents, Mohamed Makhamera, described the Israeli Army assault as brutal. So that the full story might be suppressed, the Israeli Army then declared Khirbet Makhool a closed military zone and isolated it from nearby communities. Aref Daraghmeh, the Mayor of al-Malih and al-Madarib villages, said that the evictions were a part of Israel's plans to empty the Jordan Valley and build settlements. He called on international rights organisations to intervene and stop human rights and international law violations.http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/israel-occupation-seize-red-cross-tents-brought-for-homeless-villagers-of-khirbet-makhool-cc-icrc-eu_commission/ and http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=631122
Home invasions and surveillance: Jericho – 23:25, the Israeli Army raided Fasayil village and invaded homes, photographing several residents and forcing them to fill out written interrogation forms.
Home invasions and flares: Bethlehem – 01:10, Israeli troops, firing flares, raided Taqou’ and invaded several homes.
Israeli Army rubber-coated bullets and tear gas grenades: Ramallah – 18:25, the Israeli Army fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas grenades at people near the entrance to the al-Jalazun refugee camp.
Israeli Army stun and tear gas grenades – child seized and held captive: Hebron – 19:00, Israeli forces fired stun and tear gas grenades at schoolchildren by the entrance to the al-Fuwar refugee camp. The solders seized one 12-year-old boy, Ibrahim Al-luwali, and held him captive for a time.
Minor seized and detained: Hebron – 18:30, Israeli soldiers in the Old City seized and held captive for a time a 15-year-old boy: Ma’moun Abu Falah.
Raid house destruction order: Jerusalem – 10:25, the Israeli Army raided Abu Dis and ordered local resident, Mu’taz Badr, to destroy his own home or face the Israeli Army destroying it and charging him for the cost.
Violations: Jerusalem – 08:00, Israeli settlers, in the company of police officers, invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and obstructed Palestinian schoolchildren trying to enter the mosque.
SEE ALSO: Restrictions of Movement notes after Behind the Wall (below)
Life in Gaza at a standstill after tunnels destroyed and Rafah Crossing closed.http://www.moi.gov.ps/en/news/42972/Life-in-Gaza-at-a-standstill-after-tunnels-destroyed-and-the-Rafah-Crossing-closed
Health Ministry in Gaza faces disaster amid tightened siege.http://www.moi.gov.ps/en/news/42973/Health-Ministry-in-Gaza-faces-a-Real-Disaster-amid-tightened-Siege
New fact sheet: Israeli Annexation Policies in the Jordan Valley: Destroying the Future of the State of Palestine. Palestine Liberation Organisation | Negotiations Affairs Department | 19 September 2013 | The Jordan Valley represents 28.5% of the Occupied West Bank (1600 km2). It hosts 37 illegal Israeli settlements with a total settler population of around 10,000 people. Approximately 91.5% of the Jordan Valley is off limits for Palestinians, which has had a direct effect in the decrease of the indigenous Palestinian population from the area from around 250,000 people before Israel’s Occupation to 70,000 by 2013. Access the report at: http://www.nad-plo.org/userfiles/file/Factsheet%202013/JORDANVALLEY%20FACTSHEET.pdf
Ron Paul: Why are we on the side of al-Qaeda in Syria? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0HqCWG171g
Egyptian regime sentences 5 Palestinian fishermen. http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=631234
Palestine envoy blasts Israel claim in West Bank. Jericho: The chief Palestinian negotiator says Israel's claim to the Jordan Valley in the West Bank is driven by economic interests, not security.http://gulfnews.com/news/region/palestinian-territories/palestine-envoy-blasts-israel-claim-in-west-bank-1.1233226
Zatara checkpoint soldiers beat three young men and take one of them prisoner.http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/zatara-checkpoint-soldiers-beat-three-young-men-detain-one-of-them/
The settlers believed to have poisoned 40 Palestinian sheep open fire on Palestinian shepherds.http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/jewish-settlers-believed-to-have-poisoned-40-sheep-open-fire-at-palestinian-shepherds/
Another Occupation child road casualty. http://www.imemc.org/article/66138
UFree denounces Jerusalem child abductions. The European Network to Support the Rights of Palestinian Prisoners (UFree) issued the statement following the abduction by the Israeli Army of eight children in the Shu’fat refugee camp. http://www.imemc.org/article/66134
In an Age of ‘Realists’ and Vigilantes, There is Cause for Optimism. By John Pilger | When Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain commit crimes with US collusion and weapons, their impunity and Obama’s hypocrisy are pure Kissinger. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article36278.htm
Edward Said. A series of the Appointment programmes on New Zealand's National Radio Concert Programme on the life and work of the late Edward Said. The series comprises five programmes which started on 19 September at 7 pm. The broadcasts can be replayed on 'demand' at: http://www.radionz.co.nz/concert/programmes/appointment
Stateless and in Exile: One Palestinian family’s story of being expelled from their Jerusalem home
Suheir Azzouni 19 September 2013
Far-fetched Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations began earlier this month. But in parallel process for my family, long-time residents of occupied East Jerusalem, we have been sent into exile by the same Israeli authorities that claim they want to establish peace. Our infraction? We had the temerity to live outside of our homeland for several years and the naivety to think we could return to Palestine for a summer vacation. Israel, however, allows such certainty only for Jewish residents of Jerusalem and not for the Palestinians whose land it occupied in 1967 – and certainly not for those Palestinians exiled in 1948. It’s as though a Native American went to study in Europe and was expelled if she returned for a visit or to re-establish her life in the United States. Imagine your agony if you travelled abroad for several years and then were told by an (occupying) government that your right to return home had been forfeited while people of a different religion were allowed to make similar long-term trips or immigrate after never living there at all.
The double standard is obvious and should be addressed by Secretary of State John Kerry. Instead, Prime Minister Netanyahu inveighs against alleged Palestinian incitement when Mohammed Assaf sings of the Palestinian desire to return to homes and land from which over 700,000 Palestinians were expelled in 1948. My family’s personal experience with this miscarriage of justice came in July. Just days into our vacation, the Israeli Ministry of Interior (MoI) presented us documents expelling us from our country, leaving us to face statelessness and exile. We are now in France, appealing our case, still in sharp pain, indignant about this injustice, and fearful for our future. Our attorney hopes to convince MoI to reverse its decision on revoking our “permanent resident” status in East Jerusalem, where my husband was raised and my children were born. Should the MoI insist on its decision, two of our three children would end up stateless and passport-less. This will also mean that our family will not be able to live in, or possibly visit, our homeland again.
Israel imposed the “permanent resident” status on the Palestinians in East Jerusalem when it occupied and illegally, unilaterally, annexed the city in June 1967 – thus not observing its obligations as an occupying power with regards to the provisions of international law, according to which Palestinian East Jerusalemites are not merely “residents” but are also “protected persons” who are entitled to continue living in their country. Over 14,000 Palestinians have been expelled since 1967. My husband’s roots run deep in Jerusalem. His ancestral family (Mahshi) has lived in the city for centuries. It is still recognised by the Greek Orthodox Church as one of 13 prominent families within its congregation in Jerusalem. On important occasions, like Holy Fire Saturday, the family is called upon to carry a banner in front of the Patriarch in processions through the city streets. My husband grew up in the Old City and was living there when Israel occupied it. Until 1994, he was involved in joint Israeli-Palestinian activities to realise a two-state solution and a just and lasting peace based on UN resolutions. He contributed to Palestinian statehood through the development of educational institutions and was a member of the team which established the first Palestinian Ministry of Education. His work was recognised by many, including France, which decorated him with the “Palmes Academiques” in 1993 and granted him French nationality in 2010. In 2001, he was offered a job at UNESCO where he presently holds a senior management position.
In 2001, our three children and I joined my husband in Paris, where we still reside. Triggered by the fact that my husband was granted French nationality, Israel expelled our family based on its policy of “centre of life,” which it consistently applies to Palestinian Jerusalemites living and working outside the city, thus rendering them stateless. Israel thereby denies us our human right to travel, pursue our professional development and careers, and return to our country. Needless to say, Jerusalem’s Jewish residents have no such fears. It’s discrimination at its clearest.
My own roots also run deep in Jerusalem. The families of my paternal and maternal grandmothers are two of the 13 Greek Orthodox families mentioned previously. Many of my years were spent struggling for gender equality in Palestinian society. In 1994, I established the executive offices of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee, a coalition of women’s organisations which was effective in reversing a number of discriminatory regulations against women. How ironic it is that despite my life’s work on women’s and human rights, I am presently subjected to the violation of my basic rights as a person and a woman: my human right to leave and return to my country, a right secured by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 13.2) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Israel has signed (Articles 12.2 and 12.4). This covenant also stipulates that all persons lawfully within the territory of a State shall have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose their place of residence. My children, who are pursuing their studies, are also denied their human right to a nationality and the choice to return to their country.
We hope that Israel will demonstrate its seriousness in the ongoing negotiations through halting its inhumane policies which threaten Palestinians’ existence and enjoyment of basic human rights. Like all the peoples of the world, we have the right to go back to our home and country. We yearn to continue to work for peace, to live in our homeland and retire in peace. But Israel’s willingness to talk peace while at the same time exiling vulnerable Palestinians speaks volumes about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s intention to secure as much land, with as few Palestinians, as possible.
Please sign this petition supporting Suheir Azzouni’s family and their residency rights:
Further news sources
Today in Palestine! www.groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi
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
Life under Israeli military occupation
Every area of Israeli-Occupied Palestinian territory experiences arbitrary restrictions of movement imposed by the Israeli Army. The lack of freedom of movement is the frustrating and humiliating background to daily life for the Palestinian people, whose suffering includes a variety of human rights abuses from night home invasions to wanton acts of agricultural and economic sabotage. The Israeli Occupation Army enforces a permit system for the benefit of settlers that determines where Palestinians may live in their own land.
Across the Occupied West Bank, Israel's illegal settlements have completely free access to water. Settler homes enjoy full swimming pools and well-watered gardens while Palestinian access to their own water is severely restricted. Israel compounds this crime in two ways: The Zionist state forces Palestinians to pay the Israeli government public water supply company Mekorot for what little water they are allowed and, at the same time, Israel forbids Palestinians to sink wells or even build water storage facilities. Palestinians living under Israeli occupation are restricted to about 70 litres a day per person – well below the 100 litres per capita daily recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – whereas Israeli daily per capita consumption, at about 300 litres, is about four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survive on far less than even the average 70 litres, in some cases barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended by the WHO for emergency situations response.
In addition, reports by both the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme show that the water crisis in Gaza is likely to be both critical and irreversible by 2020. The reports show that Gaza is almost completely dependent on a coastal aquifer that has now become filled with undrinkable sea water. Both international bodies express concern that Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip means severe limitations on people's access to essential water supplies.
Israel places checkpoints at the entrances to towns and villages to prevent people entering or leaving. Interference with people attempting to move around towns and villages consists of blocking roads with concrete blocks, barbed-wire and/or earth mounds. People attempting to transport farm produce and other goods find obstacles placed on the roads by the Israeli Army. Trucks have to be unloaded by hand and similarly re-loaded onto vehicles brought from beyond the obstructions. Road closures are used to isolate areas wherever the Israeli Army considers the presence of Palestinians to be ‘illegal’. When the Israeli Army declares a curfew, anyone appearing in the street or at a window is liable to be shot dead. There are instances of Palestinian mothers giving birth at checkpoints, having been denied ready access to hospital.
Israeli soldiers deny medical help to boy bitten by snake. A young boy was bitten by a snake in Nablus on 11 August 2013 and was refused medical attention by Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint. The boy's father, Tareq Abu Aoun, told Ma'an that his son Muhammad was bitten by the snake near the Hamra checkpoint in Nablus and lost consciousness. He asked Israeli soldiers to allow him to pass the checkpoint and call an ambulance, but they refused. An hour and a half later an ambulance did manage to gain access to the area and take the boy to the Rafida Hospital, where he was said to be in a critical condition. The boy's father said the soldiers were laughing as they left the area.[a]
Agricultural and economic sabotage
Both the Israeli Army and illegal settlers terrorise Palestinian farmers, often preventing them from working their land as well as frequently uprooting or setting fire to Palestinian olive trees and bulldozing their crops. The Gaza fishing industry is being crippled by the enforcement of a draconian fishing limit. The Israel Navy forces Palestinian fishing boats to remain within a three-nautical-mile, over-fished zone, sometimes at the cost to crews of life, limb and property. Gaza City's ruined international airport is permanently closed. Palestinians needing to enter or leave Palestine can do so only with Israeli permission. In addition to Israel's occasional massive bombing raids, Gaza residents are forced to live with the constant fear of overflying drones and the traumatising effects of sonic booms created by Israeli war-planes. The effects on the children of Gaza are particularly distressing.
House demolitions and evictions
The Israeli Army destroys Palestinian houses when they are built without Israel's permission. Israeli troops frequently invade Palestinian homes (often at dead of night) and abductions of Palestinian minors are commonplace while at the same time homes are often vandalised. Israeli soldiers frequently terrorise the youngsters with threats and/or by blindfolding them and tying their wrists behind their backs. Many children are illegally taken to prison in Israel, where more terror is practised against them, such as solitary confinement and shackling in painful positions for long periods.
Israel’s toxic hazard weapon
Israel has devised yet another technique designed to to drive Palestinians from their land and weaken their resolve to resist. It is a direct assault on their health that carries the menace of further agricultural and economic sabotage. For instance, activity at Israel's Barkan industrial complex generates growing quantities of polluting waste-water from the production of plastics, lead and other commodities that endanger human health. Pollution from Barkan flows into the streams that run through valleys where there are Palestinian farms as well as towns. Israeli Occupation settlements discharge their untreated waste to add to the pollution. This practice poisons Palestinian land, crops, farm animals and essential, if meagre, water supplies. Settlers – with Israeli Army assistance – release wild pigs, that reproduce rapidly, into Palestinian areas, spoiling agriculture and damaging olive trees, fencing and small buildings. The pigs cannot be controlled because Israel will not allow the people to own or use firearms, or even knives, to kill the pigs. Poison cannot be used because of the danger to Palestinian farm animals.
Israeli Army checkpoints feed semi-wild dogs to release at night in Palestinian areas. Even in towns like Beit Sahour, the sound of dogs continually barking during the small hours makes sleep difficult and discourages people from moving around during the late evening or early morning. In addition, when conducting home invasions, the Israeli Army often uses dogs to terrorise residents.
Tear gas – Israel's daily violations of the CWC
Tear gas riot control agents, including tear gas and pepper-spray, are banned in international warfare under both the 1925 Geneva Protocol and Article 1 of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The CWC defines chemical weapons as “munitions and devices that are designed to cause death or other harm through toxic chemicals” that lead to “death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm to humans or animals.” According to the CWC, “riot control agents” are any chemicals, not specifically named in their list of prohibited chemicals, that can cause humans to suffer rapid “sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure.” Belligerent military occupation by a foreign power is an act of war and when the Israeli Army fires tear gas grenades at Palestinian villagers in their homes or at protesters it is violating the CWC; the more so when standard weapons of war such as live fire accompany the use of tear gas. Persons blinded by tear gas cannot avoid live fire, rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades or military vehicles and bulldozers. But that is the reality for Palestinians living under Israeli military Occupation.
Forced evacuations of homes to facilitate Israeli Army military exercises
An example of this practice is contained in an International Women's Peace Service (IWPS) report on the Israeli Army's terrorising of a Bedouin community in the Jordan Valley. The report tells of a continual programme of Israeli military training in the village of ‘Atuf that traumatises the population. Every week 22 families, amounting to 172 individuals, are displaced from their homes from 4am to 5pm by Israeli military live-fire exercises. Since 1967 Israeli troops have been forcing the Bedouin people to leave their houses each week. Whole families and their livestock are displaced to outlying fields to the sound of gunfire and explosions. The entire area is designated “Area C” and there is a 'closed military zone' where nothing is allowed to be built or improved. A whole valley of fertile farmland lies uncultivated while the nearby Occupation settlement of Beqa constantly expands. In both ‘Atuf and Tamun countless houses have been demolished by the Israeli Army and many more are under demolition orders. Since 1970, 14 people have been killed and 30 have lost limbs due to exploding abandoned Israeli Army ordnance. The explosives can be as small as a pen, easily mistaken by children as harmless. The continual sound of explosions and gunfire results in many cases of psychological trauma, especially to children, and the only school in the district is within earshot of the weekly Israeli military exercises.
In addition to all of the above, Palestinians citizens of Israel as well as those living under occupation have to contend with more than 50 discriminatory Israeli laws. These affect all areas of life, including rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources and criminal procedures. Some of the laws also violate the rights of refugees.
Israeli Army violence
The Israeli Occupation Army enforces many of the above restrictions with the threat, or actual use, of military action as well as personal physical assault. Thus, daily life for Palestinians is conducted in an all-pervasive atmosphere of violence and fear.
The Prawer Plan
The Israeli Knesset has approved a plan for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) Desert in the south of Israel. When fully implemented, the Prawer plan will result in the destruction of 35 'unrecognised' Arab Bedouin villages with the forced displacement and dispossession of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel.
Visit http://www.sapienspromise.org/ for further news.
See this In Occupied Palestine newsletter at: the PHRC website: www.palestine.org.nz
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