Sunday, 18 November 2018
 
 
IOP 23 December 2017 Print
Wednesday, 27 December 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]

23 December 2017 [Sincere apologies yet again! There have been no PMG sitreps made available to cover 20, 21 and 22 December ~ but as ever, we shall process any latecomers if any should materialise!] {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.

4 Palestinians wounded

as Israeli Army opens

fire in support of

olive tree-slashing settlers


Israeli troops invade

Palestinian home,

beating and hospitalising

child and 2 adults


Israeli Army positions

open fire on Gaza farms


Israeli Army forces

Jerusalem resident to

destroy his own home


Night peace disruption

and/or home invasions

in 2 villages


5 attacks

(4 Israeli ceasefire

violations)


5 raids including home

invasions


3 beaten – 11 wounded/injured


4 abducted

(aged 13 to 17)


4 acts of

agricultural/economic

sabotage


12 taken prisoner – 2 detained

Home invasions: Silwan - 18:25, Ya'bad - 21:00-23:45, Fasayil - dawn, al-Shiyoukh

Peace disruption raids: 00:35, Hizma - 20:15, Hebron.

Palestinian missile attacks: none.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – 2 wounded: Northern Gaza – 15:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters near Jabaliya, wounding two people.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack: Gaza – 14:30, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on and launched stun grenades and tear gas at protesters in the al-Shuja'iya neighbourhood.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army agricultural sabotage: Gaza – 17:55, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on Juhor al-Dik farmland.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army agricultural sabotage: Khan Yunis – 17:50, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire on agricultural land to the east of Khan Yunis.

Israeli Army and settler agricultural sabotage: Nablus – 15:35, Zionist militants, with Israeli Army complicity, invaded Madma village agricultural land in the al-Qa'adat area and severed the branches off 30 olive trees. The Israeli Army fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in support of the settlers, wounding four residents: Saed Shaher Ziadeh, Akram Jibril Ziadeh, Mohammed Amer Abdul Latif Nassar and Saeed Salah Al Qatt.

Home invasion and destruction – extortion: Jerusalem – Israeli forces raided the Silwan neighbourhood and forced a resident, Omar Abu Rajab, to destroy his home. The Israeli Army then extorted money from the homeless victim.

Home invasion and beatings of child and two adults: Ramallah – 18:25, Israeli forces raided Ya'bad and searched a home, beating up and hospitalising a 15-year-old boy, Yazen Ahmed Bajawi, as well as two adults: Majd Ahmed Bajawi and Ali Abdul Rahman Bajawi.

Home invasion and robbery: Hebron – dawn, Israeli forces raided al-Shiyoukh, searched a home and stole the owner's motor vehicle.

Economic sabotage: Gaza — the Israeli Navy continues to enforce an arbitrary fishing limit.

Israeli Army mosque violation: Jerusalem – 19:45, settler militants, escorted by Israeli troops, invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and molested worshippers.

Israeli Army abduction: Jerusalem – Israeli soldiers abducted a 17-year-old youth: Jibril Billah.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jerusalem – 19:45, al-Tur neighbourhood: stun grenades and tear gas.

Israeli Army – movement restrictions and extortion: Jerusalem – evening, the Israeli Occupation banned a photo-journalist, Amin Siam and another person, Rami Obeidat, from entering the Old City for 20 days. The Israeli Army, which had earlier taken the pair prisoner, also extorted a sum of 5000 NIS (about US$1290) from them in order to purchase their release.

Israeli Army abduction: Jerusalem – 21:30, Israeli troops abducted a 13-year-old child: Mohammad Waleed Abu Khdeir.

Israeli Army abductions: Jerusalem – 22:55, Israeli soldiers in the Old City abducted two minors: a 17-year-old youth, Hisham Mohammed Al-Bashiti, and a child, Mahmoud Nasser Abu Sabeeh (aged 13).

Israeli Army rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas casualties: Ramallah – 13:20, the al-Mahkama military checkpoint: rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas casualties.

Israeli Army rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Qalqiliya – 16:00, the al-Munthar area near Jayus: rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Israeli Army rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Qalqiliya – 18:00, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Israeli Army rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Qalqiliya – 21:30, Hajja village: rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

Israeli Army abduction – extortion: Salfit – 12:30-19:55, Israeli forces took prisoner two villagers for trying to prevent the abduction of Yusuf Husni Yousef Mohammed Sultan (aged 16), the son of one of the men. Those taken prisoner are: Husni Yousef Mohammed Sultan (54) and Habib Husni Yousef Mohammed Sultan (21). In addition, the Israeli Army extorted 1700 NIS (about US$440) from the older men to purchase their freedom.

Israeli Army – 2 people wounded – rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas casualties: Bethlehem – 13:05, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas. Two people wounded: Yusuf Hussein al-Sharqawi and Hisham Kamel Abu Shakra. Several tear gas casualties.

Raid – stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jerusalem – 00:35, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas, raided Hizma.

Raid – robbery: Hebron – 20:15, Israeli forces raided Hebron, took a resident, Ghassan Ahmad Al-Qawasmi, prisoner and robbed him of his motor vehicle.

Flying checkpoints and movement restrictions (19): 23:20, Silwan neighbourhood - 13:15-14:30, Ein Sinya village roundabout - 18:20, Atara town bridge - 18:50-22:00, entrance to al-Nabi Saleh village - 16:15, Ya'bad town road junction - 15:40, Ein al-Bayda village - 17:10, intensified restrictions at Tayasir military checkpoint - 10:25, entrance to Azun - 14:50, al-Muraba'a area of Tel village - 18:55, Deir Sharaf village road junction - 19:30, between Nablus and Assira al-Shimaliya - 19:40-21:25, intensified restriction at Beit Furiq military checkpoint - 20:50, intensified restrictions at Huwara military checkpoint - 20:50, northern entrance to Salfit - 09:00, al-Oja village main road - 15:45, Ush al-Ghurab area, Beit Sahour - 20:15-22:15, western entrance to Beit Fajjar - 12:00-13:20, intensified restrictions at Abu al-Rish military checkpoint - 20:20-22:00, entrance to al-Arub UN refugee camp.

[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:

Lorde cancels Tel Aviv concert. 26 December 2017 | Pop star Lorde issued a statement, saying it is the “right decision at this time”. Lorde wrote: “i’ve received an overwhelming number of messages and letters and have had a lot of discussions with people holding many views, and i think the right decision at this time is to cancel the show. i pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and i had done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in tel aviv, but I’m not too proud to admit i didn’t make the right call on this one. tel aviv, it’s been a dream of mine to visit this beautiful part of the world for many years, and i’m truly sorry to reverse my commitment to come play for you. i hope one day we can all dance. L x” Lorde announced the cancellation after her New Zealand fans asked her to cancel the performance. The New Zealand Jewish Council responded to the cancellation with fury, labelling supporters of a free Palestine as “a small but loud group of extremist bullies.” Following Lorde's announcement of her Tel Aviv concert, two New Zealanders, Palestinian Nadia Abu-Shanab and Jewish Justine Sachs wrote an open letter on the website The Spinoff saying that Lorde’s scheduled performance in Israel “sends the wrong message. Playing in Tel Aviv will be seen as giving support to the policies of the Israeli government, even if you make no comment on the political situation,” they wrote. Sachs later told the Hebrew-language Walla news website that she was surprised at the success of her campaign – “This reached much further than I imagined. We asked Lorde to not break the boycott and to not support the Occupation of Palestinian lands, the destruction of Palestinian lands, homes and lives and I am proud of her brave response that testifies that she has an open progressive mind, is concerned about social justice.”

Join the Open Shuhada Street 2018 International Campaign, 15 February- 15 March 2018. Since President Trump's reckless declaration that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a number of Palestinians have been killed and three of our strongest leaders, women from the Tamimi family are in prison. A non-violent mass movement for Palestinian freedom has become all the more urgent. We need worldwide support for the international contingent of the 9th annual Open Shuhada Street campaign. Email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (in Italy email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or sign up here. We will provide you with materials and support for your event/action. You can also make a donation through Hebron Freedom Fund to help support the campaign in Hebron and across the world. In 1994, American-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians in the Ibrahimi Mosque. Afterwards, the Israeli Occupation punished the victims of the massacre, closing Shuhada Street to Palestinians. The closure of Shuhada Street and other restrictions on the freedom of Palestinian movement are gravely affecting the lives of the Palestinian population. Israeli forces have built three new checkpoints in Hebron, comprising 23 checkpoints in a one-square-kilometre area. In July 2017, Israeli settlers occupied a Palestinian home and have remained there, even defying an Israeli supreme court decision to have them removed. For the first time in 15 years, the Israeli Government has authorised the building of yet more (31) new settler housing units on Shuhada Street. This is the same street in which over 1,000 Palestinian apartments and shops are empty, with their front doors welded shut. Join us around the world for the 9th Annual Open Shuhada Street Campaign Sign up here or to organise the campaign in your country by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . In addition, you can target Goldman Sachs for providing money to the US-based Hebron Fund, which provides 40% of the support to the settlers in Hebron. Call on your politicians to take action. We can supply you with flyers about the campaign, our booklet, “Hebron Ghost Town,” materials for a photo exhibitions, movie screenings and public readings and materials for advocating to your representatives. We can send 1 to 2 activists to come and do a speak-action-tour in your country. Thank you for standing with us in our struggle. We look forward to hearing from you about you joining the campaign this year.

Exploiting Palestinian labour in Israel. For Palestinians, work in Israel, especially on a settlement, pays better than work in Palestine even though 80% are paid below the minimum wage with no benefits. But, says David Sperlinger, reviewing 'Employing the Enemy' they feel ashamed of what they have to do.

https://jfjfp.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=83ae94e42f9f9343d417e2b64&id=b32a4b95ee&e=6f42a9ef58

Israel’s unpaid debt to Palestinian Bethlehem. Perhaps little Bethlehem lay still 2000 years ago and even more recently when it supplied Jerusalem with water. Now its beautiful surround is cloaked by a continuous high wall and it is a centre of Palestinian unrest. Israelsunpaiddebt

What will Europe do now? The pretence of a peace process has kept Palestinians chained to an illusion. Ordinary Palestinians in Jerusalem may be the first to signal the new direction of struggle – one that recognises that a Palestinian state is dead and buried. In recent years, growing numbers have started applying, as Israeli law entitles them to, for Israeli citizenship. Israel has twisted and turned to delay honouring its commitment, even as it calls Jerusalem its “united capital”. Palestinians will have to shame Israel, the US and the watching world by adopting the tools of an anti-apartheid struggle – of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience – to gain equal rights in a single state. At the moment, the undercurrents of Palestinian rage chiefly swirl below the surface. But they will rise in time, and the consequences of Trump’s deed will become all too apparent. https://jfjfp.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=83ae94e42f9f9343d417e2b64&id=97d16e463d&e=6f42a9ef58

Abduct, imprison, repeat. Israel systematically imprisons Palestinians on false or no charges. By Eve Bartlett, her blog and RT.com | 12 December 2017.

https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2017/12/12/abduct-imprison-repeat-israel-systematically-imprisons-palestinians-on-false-or-no-charges/#more-23948

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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/

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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).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

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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.

Please note Latest Update on Prawer Plan:

Israel's goal of destroying all the 'unrecognised' villages in the Negev, originally outlined in its failed (due to massive resistance on the part of targeted Bedouin and Palestinian communities) 2013 'Prawer Plan', has been revived with the announcement by Israel’s Agricultural Minister, Uri Ariel, of 'Prawer II', a draft of which has been leaked to local news media. Al Jazeera's Patrick Strickland reports that 'Prawer II' also aims to “deny Bedouin citizens land ownership rights and violate their constitutional protections.”

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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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