Saturday, 25 November 2017
 
 
IOP– 11 May 2017 Print
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
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, Auckland, New Zealand www.palestine.org.nz) [If you have difficulty with the display of this newsletter, it may be better viewed on our website]

11 May 2017 {Main source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group (PMG): http://www.nad.ps/ NB:The period covered by this newsletter is taken from the PMG's 24-hour sitrep ending 8am the day after the above date.}

We shall always do our best to verify the accuracy of all items in these IOP newsletters/reports wherever possible [e.g. we often suspect that names of people and places that we see in the PMG sitreps could be typos but as we do not speak Arabic, we have no alternative but to copy and paste these names from the PMG sitreps] – but please forgive us for any errors or omissions (not of our own making) that may occur! L & M.

Israeli Navy opens fire on

Palestinian fishing boats


Israeli Army checkpoint

troops open fire – 8 wounded


Israeli soldiers beat up

and hospitalise

refugee camp resident


Night peace disruption

and/or home invasions

in 2 UN refugee camps

and 5 villages


3 attacks (1 Israeli ceasefire

violation)


14 raids including home

invasions


Economic sabotage


1 beaten – 12 injured –

3 taken prisoner

Home invasions: 12:30-15:30, Bir Nabalah - 04:00, Qutna - 05:35, al-Yamoun - dawn, Deir al-Ghusun.

Peace disruption raids: 16:50, the Shuafat UN refugee camp - 18:50-19:55, al-Eizariya - 00:30, the Qalandiya UN refugee camp - 09:00, Rantis - 03:40-06:40, al-Araqa - 01:50, Tulkarem - 01:50, the Nur al-Shams UN refugee camp - 06:00, Masha - 00:40-02:30, al-Ubeidya - 06:05-09:40, Beit Ula.

Palestinian missile attacks: none.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy attack – economic sabotage: Northern Gaza – morning, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya.

Israeli Army attack – live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas – destruction: Jerusalem – Qalandiya checkpoint troops opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas at people nearby and destroyed a market stall.

Israeli Army attack8 wounded – live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas: Ramallah – 13:10, Israeli soldiers, manning the al-Mahakma checkpoint, opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas at protesters, wounding eight residents: Ahmad Mohammad Sharaka (16), Mohammad Saher Al-Taweel, Hadeel Mohammad Shatarah, Mohammad Issam Al-Barghouthi, Salim Mahmood Wathra', Majdi Jamal Kamil Karakra, Qayes Abdel-Fattah Al-Barghouthi and Fadi Hussein Mahmoud Abdel-Majeed.

Israeli Army mosque violation: Jerusalem – 09:00, settler militants, escorted by Israeli troops, invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and molested worshippers.

Israeli Armyrubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters – youth (16) wounded: Ramallah – 13:45, Israeli forces, manning a flying checkpoint near al-Nabi Saleh village, opened fire rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas, wounding a 16-year-old youth, Yazan Mujieb Al-Asmar.

Israeli Army beating and hospitalisation: Tubas – 20:40, Israeli forces, manning the Huwara checkpoint, beat up and hospitalised with a broken arm, a Palestinian refugee, Bassam Mahmoud Mohammad Sabah.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Qalqiliya – 22:20, Azun: stun grenades and tear gas.

Israeli Army 2 wounded – rubber-coated bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Bethlehem – 18:35, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas – two people wounded: Ehab Mustafa Al-Azza (17) and Fareed Al-Atrash.

Raid – UN refugee camp: Jerusalem – 16:50, Israeli forces raided the Shuafat UN refugee camp.

Raid – UN refugee camp: Jerusalem – 00:30, Israeli forces raided the Qalandiya UN refugee camp.

Raid – UN refugee camp: Tulkarem – 01:50, Israeli troops raided the Nur al-Shams UN refugee camp and took prisoner one person.

[NB: Times indicated in Bold Type contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children]

SEE ALSO: Life under Israeli Military Occupation

(after Behind the Wall, below)

News updates:

BDS: Upholding our Rights,

Resisting the Ongoing Nakba

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) Commemorates the 69th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba

https://bdsmovement.net/news/bds-upholding-our-rights-resisting-ongoing-nakba

15 May 2017 marks the 69th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba, the mass expulsion of Palestinians from our homeland. Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and subsequently Israeli forces, made 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians into refugees to establish a Jewish-majority state in Palestine. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls on people of conscience the world over to further intensify BDS campaigns to end academic, cultural, sports, military and economic links of complicity with Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid. This is the most effective means of standing with the Palestinian people in pursuing our inherent and UN-stipulated rights, and non-violently resisting the ongoing, intensifying Nakba.

The Israeli regime today is ruthlessly pursuing the one constant strategy of its settler-colonial project — the simultaneous pillage and colonisation of as much Palestinian land as possible and the gradual ethnic cleansing of as many Palestinians as practical without evoking international sanctions. Following in the footsteps of all previous Israeli governments, the current far-right government, the most openly racist in Israel’s history, is heeding the words of the Zionist leader, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, who wrote in 1923:

Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonised. [...] Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population — behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach.”

Sixty-nine years after the systematic, premeditated uprooting and dispossession of most of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs from the land of Palestine at the hands of Zionist gangs and later the state of Israel, the Nakba is not over. Israel is intent on building its “iron wall” in Palestinian minds, not just our lands, through its sprawling illegal settlements and concrete walls in the Occupied Palestinian territory, its genocidal siege of over 2 million Palestinians in Gaza, its denial of the Palestinian refugees' right to return, its racist laws and policies against Palestinians inside Israel, and its escalating, violent ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev). It is sparing no brutality in its relentless, desperate attempts to sear into our consciousness the futility of resistance and the vainness of hope.

The present mass hunger strike by over one thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli gaols and the grassroots support that it has triggered give us hope. The growing support for BDS among international trade unions, including the most recent adoption by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) representing over 910,000 workers of an “international economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel” to achieve comprehensive Palestinian rights, gives us hope. The fact that none of the 26 Oscar nominees offered a free, $55,000-valued trip by the Israeli government accepted the propaganda gift and that six out of eleven National Football League players turned down a similar Israeli junket gives us hope.

The BDS movement has succeeded in sharply raising the price of corporate complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. It has compelled companies of the size of Orange and Veolia to end their complicity and pushed global giant G4S to begin exiting the Israeli market. Churches, city councils and thousands around the world have pledged to boycott Hewlett Packard (HP) for its deep complicity in Israel’s occupation and apartheid. This gives us and many human rights campaigns around the world great hope.

The Barcelona municipality’s decision to end complicity with Israel’s occupation, coming on the heels of tens of local councils in the Spanish state declaring themselves “Israeli apartheid free zones,” give us hope.

The divestment by some of the largest mainline churches in the US, including the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church USA and the United Church of Christ, from Israeli banks or complicit international corporations gives us hope.

The spread of remarkably effective BDS campaigns from South Africa to South Korea, from Egypt to Chile, and from the UK to the US gives us real hope.

The growing intersectional coalitions that are emerging in many countries, organically re-connecting the struggle for Palestinian rights with the diverse international struggles for racial, economic, gender, climate and indigenous justice give us unlimited hope.

In 1968, twenty years after the Nakba but unrelated to it, Dr Martin Luther King said, “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.” For seven decades, and against all odds, Palestinians have continued to assert our inalienable right to self-determination and to genuine peace, which can only stem from freedom, justice and equality.

But to reach that just peace we realise that we must nourish our hope for a dignified life with our boundless commitment to resist injustice, resist apathy and, crucially, resist their “iron walls” of despair. In this context, the Palestinian-led, global BDS movement with its impressive growth and unquestionable impact is today an indispensable component of our popular resistance and the most promising form of international solidarity with our struggle for rights. No iron wall of theirs can suppress or overshadow the rising sun of our emancipation.

Announcing

"Together We Rise:

Palestine as a Model

of Resistance"

Today marks 69 years since Israel was created as a Jewish state through the catastrophe, known as the Nakba, of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The current mass hunger strike by more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners gaoled by Israel illustrates the sumud, or steadfastness, of the Palestinian people in 100 years of resistance to colonisation, and urgency of taking action to support Palestinian liberation.

On this important day, the US Campaign announces our 2017 campaign of political education to provide critical voices, context, and resources to strengthen liberation struggles from the US to Palestine. We hope you'll gain important information from our curriculum, and that you'll help us maximise its impact by spreading word far and wide about it (please start by posting this announcement on Facebook and Twitter today).

Click here to sign up for the curriculum and see a sneak preview of its three tracks:

Together We Rise: Palestine as a model of resistance”

Track 1: “Not That Complicated” – 101 information and resources to understand Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and how it relates to US colonialism and racism.

Track 2: “Freedom Bound: Lessons Learned Resisting Zionism & White Supremacy” – What can we learn from Palestinian, Black, Latin, indigenous, and other freedom struggles that continue today, and how can we apply those lessons in this political moment?

Track 3: “Together We Rise” – Skills-building, trainings, new resources and more to fight for justice from the US to Palestine.

Why now? There has been much talk about this year's 50th anniversary since Israel Occupied the Palestinian Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, but this anniversary can only be understood within a broader context of other anniversaries. 2017 marks:

  • 100 years since the Nov. 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration supporting a Jewish state in historic Palestine in support of the budding Zionist movement.

  • 70 years since the UN's Nov. 29, 1947 partition allotting 54% of historic Palestine for a Jewish state, which began the Nakba across 78% of Palestine.

  • 50 years since Israel Occupied all remaining Palestinian lands June 5-10, 1967 – a brutal military Occupation that continues to this day.

  • 10 years since Israel made permanent a crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip on June 15, 2007, creating an open-air prison, subject to monstrous bombing to further Israel's containment and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

Through these 100-70-50-10 anniversaries, we can truly understand Israel's settler colonial project – and, notably, that its 1967 Occupation was no aberration and was never meant to be temporary – and 100 years of Palestinian resistance. The campaign will unfold June 5 to November 29, spanning all four anniversaries.

We hope you'll be a part of this effort:

  1. Sign up for the 2017 political education series of webinars, toolkits, infographics, action alerts, new resources, and more.

  2. Help us reach thousands of people with the series by posting this announcement on Facebook and Twitter.

  3. Sign up to take part in the June 5-10 week of action to protest against 50 years of Occupation and launch the 100-70-50-10 series.

Let 2017 be a turning point long overdue. Let 2017 help us push our understanding of Israel's settler colonial project and how it relates to liberation struggles worldwide – including here in the United States – against colonisation, displacement, racism and genocide.

Join us.

Anna Baltzer – Director of Organising & Advocacy

Ramah Kudaimi – Director of Grassroots Organising

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Palestine Yearbook 2015

The genocide the world ignores

by Diana Lodge

Everyone should have a copy

of this invaluable resource!

To order the book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Palestine+Yearbook+2015

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Julie Webb Pullman – Today in Gaza

http://gaza.scoop.ps/

http://todayingaza.wordpress.com/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Listen to Earthwise, Christchurch, New Zealand,

on plainsfm96.9

Live stream www.plainsfm.org.nz on the first and third Monday of each month at 9pm, repeated Wednesdays at 9:30am. Earthwise is also broadcast in Hamilton on Free FM and in Waikanae on Coastal Access. Many of the programmes cover Palestine and other peace with justice issues. Also there are discussions on environmental issues. Last two months podcasts can be found at: plainsfm Organisers Martin and Lois Griffiths.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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).Visit Rich's website to view photos, many of which can be 'clicked on' to reveal information about them along with other tabs to Rich's biography, Contact etc. 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.

Water

A major aquifer under the West Bank is controlled by Israel and from it the occupying power illegally plunders two-thirds of the precious water. 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 World Health Organisation (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 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.

One example of the water discrimination faced by Palestinians is the plight of Furush Beit Dajan villagers in the Jordan Valley. A visit by a delegation that included two British MPs in January 2015, co-ordinated by EWASH member Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC), heard how the Israeli occupation was choking the community’s access to water. Israeli settlements surrounding the village faced no restrictions on access to water resources while Palestinians are only allowed to extract water from wells down to a depth of 80m. Palestinian farmers are unable to obtain the quantity or quality of water necessary to effectively irrigate their crops. Following the Occupation of the West Bank in 1967 the Israeli Army seized all the agricultural land in the area and Palestinian farmers are forced into renting their own land back from the Israelis.

Restrictions of movement

Israel places checkpoints at the entrances to towns and villages to prevent people from 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. In some cases mothers have died as a result of Israeli Army indifference. *Restrictions of movement comprise: Closures of checkpoints - Flying checkpoints - Closures (per district) - Closures of main roads - Closures of crossings.

Agricultural and economic sabotage

Both the Israeli Army and illegal (according to international law) 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 United Nations (UN Security Council Resolution 465) has repeatedly upheld the view that Israel's construction of settlements constitutes violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The International Court of Justice (see also summary) says these settlements are illegal and no foreign governments support Israel's settlements. The aim of the settlements is both to take land and resources from the local people and to bring pressure to bear on them to leave. On 21 January 2015, the newspaper Falesteen reported that the Israeli Occupation settlement of Kiryat Arba in Hebron had demanded the equivalent of US$22,359 in property 'taxes' from a Palestinian farmer, Al-Ja'bari, for his nearby house and farmland.

The Gaza fishing industry

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 routinely destroys Palestinian houses built without Israel's permission. Since the beginning of 2015, the Israeli Occupation has demolished 77 homes, livestock shelters, farm buildings and other structures in Area C of the West Bank, resulting in 110 people, around half of them children, losing their homes at the height of the winter, according to a report compiled by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). OCHA also reported that between 19 and 26 January, Israel had already demolished 41 structures, far higher than the weekly average in 2014 of nine demolitions per week. In that seven-day period, the Israeli occupation delivered 45 'halt to construction' orders and two demolition orders. In 2014, Israel demolished the homes of 969 Palestinians – a total of 493 homes and ancillary structures in Area C of the West Bank which, under the Oslo Accords, is under exclusive Israeli control. In East Jerusalem seven Palestinian buildings were demolished, including two on 29 January in the Jabal Mukkaber neighbourhood. Buildings were also torn down in Issawiya, Shuafat and Ras al-Amud. In East Jerusalem, 208 Palestinians were displaced in 2014 after Israel demolished 97 buildings. In 2014, according to OCHA figures, the Israeli occupation destroyed 590 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C and East Jerusalem, displacing 1177 people. The 41 structures destroyed by Israel between 19 and 26 January, according to OCHA, were in Bedouin and other pastoral communities in Hebron, Jericho, Ramallah and Beit Iksa, north-west of Jerusalem. The destruction included buildings that had been donated by European humanitarian organisations. Construction stop orders were issued for a park funded by donor nations in the Yatta area and buildings in the Ramallah area and near Tubas, in the northern Jordan Valley.

On 23 January 2015, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator, James W. Rawley, expressed his concern over the recent spate of Israeli Army demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. "In the past three days, 77 Palestinians, over half of them children, have been made homeless," said Mr. Rawley.

"Some of the demolished structures were provided by the international community to support vulnerable families. Demolitions that result in forced evictions and displacement run counter to Israel's obligations under international law and create unnecessary suffering and tension. They must stop immediately," he said.

Discrimination

Israel's planning policies very much limit the ability of Palestinians to build in East Jerusalem, discriminating against them compared to Jews. In Area C – the majority of the West Bank – except in certain exceptional cases, Israel does not allow Palestinians construction levels to match natural population growth, and prevents hundreds of communities with some 300,000 Palestinian residents to connect to essential infrastructure and services (according to OCHA figures). Under this Israeli-imposed regime, Palestinians living in overcrowded housing and appalling conditions, are faced with the choice, either to move out to the Palestinian enclaves in Areas A and B or build homes without Israeli permits and face the consequences.

Home invasions and abductions of children and other youngsters

Israeli troops frequently invade Palestinian homes (often at dead of night) and abductions of Palestinian minors are commonplace. Israeli soldiers often vandalise the interiors of Palestinian homes being raided and frequently terrorise children and other minors with threats. Youngsters abducted by Israeli soldiers are often blindfolded and their wrists tied 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. The majority of these children are detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

This inhumane treatment of children prompted an Investigation and Report by UNICEF in February 2013. The report found that each year approximately 700 Palestinian children aged 12 to 17, mainly boys, are arrested, interrogated and held captive by Israeli army, police and security agents. The majority are charged with throwing stones, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of ten years' imprisonment, or 20 years if thrown at a moving vehicle (six months maximum for a juvenile, 12-13 years). The usual process, as described in the UNICEF Report, is for the child to be aggressively awakened in the middle of the night by armed soldiers, and forcibly brought to an interrogation centre, tied and blindfolded, sleep-deprived and brought to a state of extreme fear. The transfer can take up to an entire day. Interrogation takes place in a police station (without a lawyer or family member present) using a mix of intimidation and threats. Child prisoners have been threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault, against themselves or a family member. Most children confess at the end of such interrogation. Some children have been held in solitary confinement, for a period ranging from two days up to one month before the court hearing. Children are generally brought before a military court in leg chains and shackles, wearing prison uniform. Most see their lawyers for the first time when they are brought to the court. UNICEF found that the practices described are in violation of international law.

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 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.

'Rubber bullets'

The unqualified term 'rubber bullets' is misleading because it implies that ammunition is made solely of rubber. In fact there are two types of such bullets, both of which are made of steel with a minimal coating (1mm to 2mm) of either rubber or plastic. The medical journal The Lancet has published the results of medical examinations of victims wounded by rubber-coated steel bullets, coming to the conclusion that when firing this type of ammunition it is “impossible to avoid severe injuries to vulnerable body regions such as the head, neck and upper torso, leading to substantial mortality, morbidity and disability.”

Tear gas – Israel's daily violations of the CWC

Israel has signed, but refuses to ratify, the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (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. 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.

Israeli Army military exercises force Palestinians out of their homes

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.

Ethnic discrimination

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 approved a plan which has since been suspended for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Naqab (Negev) Desert in the south of Israel. If fully implemented, the Prawer Plan would have resulted 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Leslie Bravery www.palestine.org.nz

PHRC | Palestine Human Rights Campaign Aotearoa/New Zealand

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See this In Occupied Palestine newsletter at: the PHRC website: www.palestine.org.nz

- and you can check out previous editions by clicking on In Occupied Palestine listed under Contents

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