Friday, 20 July 2018
 
 
IOP 09 April 2018 Print
Wednesday, 11 April 2018

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]

09 April 2018 {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 position

opens fire on

Gaza farmland


Israeli Army positions

open fire on

Gaza protesters


Israeli Army attacks school

in West Bank, wounding and

hospitalising 15-year-old pupil


Israeli Army destroys

West Bank school,

kindergarten

and health centre


Night peace disruption

and/or home invasions

in 2 refugee camps

and 6 villages


8 attacks

(8 Israeli ceasefire

violations)


17 raids including home

invasions


1 dead – 7 wounded


1 abducted (aged 17)


3 acts of

agricultural/economic

sabotage


27 taken prisoner – 1 detained

Home invasions: 07:15, al-Mugheir - 22:45, Kifl Hares - dawn, Hebron.

Peace disruption raids: 04:30, Abu Dis - 05:00, al-Ram - 05:00, al-Jadira - dawn, al-Eisawiya - 04:00, the al-Jalazoun UN refugee camp - 06:40, Jibiya - 07:00, Beit Rima - 04:30, Bardala - 16:35, Azun - 12:40, Tel village - 03:05, the Aqbat Jabir UN refugee camp - 09:40-11:00, Irtas - 22:00, al-Dhahirah - dawn, Beit Ummar.

Palestinian missile attacks: none.

Death: Jerusalem – Mohammad Abdel-Kareem Marshoud (30) has died of wounds received after Israeli soldiers opened fire on him (as reported in our previous In Occupied Palestine newsletter.)

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Navy attack – economic sabotage: Northern Gaza – 07:30, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – agricultural sabotage: Northern Gaza – 11:30, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on agricultural land east of Jabaliya.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack on protesters – 1 wounded – several tear gas casualties: Northern Gaza – 15:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire, with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas, on protesters in Jabaliya. One person was wounded and there were several tear gas casualties.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack on protesters – several tear gas casualties: Gaza – 16:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas on protesters in Jabaliya. There were several tear gas casualties.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack on protesters – 1 wounded – several tear gas casualties: Central Gaza – 14:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire, with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas, on protesters in the al-Bureij UN refugee camp, wounding a Red Crescent paramedic, Imad Al-Bahisi, and causing several tear gas casualties.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – agricultural sabotage: Central Gaza – 19:00, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on Deir al-Balah farmland.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack on protesters – 4 wounded – several tear gas casualties: Khan Yunis – 14:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas on protesters in Khuza'a, wounding four unidentified residents and causing several tear gas casualties.

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – several tear gas casualties: Rafah – 16:00, an Israeli Army position behind the Green Line opened fire with live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas on protesters in Rafah, causing several tear gas casualties.

Home invasion – schoolchildren terrorised – stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Ramallah – 07:15, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters at schoolchildren, raided al-Mugheir village and searched a home.

Israeli Army abduction: Jerusalem – 20:15, Israeli soldiers abducted a 17-year-old youth, Rushdi Yasser Khatib.

Israeli Army mosque violation: Jerusalem – 10:30, settler militants, escorted by Israeli troops, invaded the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and molested worshippers.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Ramallah – 07:15, stun grenades and tear gas canisters fired at schoolchildren.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Ramallah – 17:10, al-Mahkama military checkpoint: stun grenades and tear gas canisters.

Israeli Army stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Qalqiliya – 20:00, Jayus: stun grenades and tear gas canisters.

Occupation settler stoning: Nablus – 21:20, settler militants stoned Palestinian pedestrians and motor vehicles passing through the Huwara military checkpoint.

Occupation settler racism: Hebron – Zionist fanatics wrote racist, anti-arab graffiti on road signs in al-Samou'.

Occupation road casualties: Qalqiliya – 08:00, an Israeli settler, driving on the main road in Jit village, ran over and hospitalised two children, Annan Mohammed Arman and Diaa Mutasim Arman, on their way to school.

Raid – stun grenades and tear gas canisters: Jerusalem – 04:30, Israeli forces, firing stun grenades and tear gas canisters, raided Abu Dis.

Raid – UN refugee camp: Ramallah – 04:00, Israeli forces raided the al-Jalazoun UN refugee camp and took prisoner one person.

Raid – destruction: Ramallah – 06:40, Israeli forces raided Jibiya village and destroyed a home under construction.

Raid – schoolboy wounded and hospitalised: Nablus – 12:40, Israeli forces raided the al-Baraqa area in Tel village, and opened fire with fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters on schoolchildren outside the Mohammad Bin Rashid School. One child, Ma'moun Basil Al-Hindi (15), was wounded and hospitalised.

Raid – UN refugee camp: Jericho – 03:05, Israeli forces raided the Aqbat Jabir UN refugee camp in Jericho and took prisoner one person.

Raid – Israeli Army destroys school, kindergarten and health centre: Hebron – 22:00, the Israeli Army raided al-Dhahirah and destroyed the Znuta Primary School. The school, built with bricks and aluminium roofing, had six classrooms and 43 students, as well as accommodation for a kindergarten caring for ten children. The premises also housed a community health centre.

Restrictions of movement (12): 16:00, Qalandiya village - 15:35, eastern al-Bireh - 15:40, entrance to Kafr Laqif village - 16:50, entrance to Izbit al-Tabib village - 17:00, entrance to Azun - 22:05, intensified restrictions at Beit Furiq military checkpoint - 18:15, western entrance to Deir Istiya - 22:15, 3 checkpoints at the Dead Sea road junction, southern entrance to Jericho and the al-Nabi Yunis road junction - 20:50, western entrance to Husan village - 22:05, al-Nashash road junction.

[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)

~~~~~~~~~~

Land Day after three months of

escalating Israeli violence in Gaza

Leslie Bravery | 7 April 2018 | https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/04/07/land-day-after-three-months-of-escalating-israeli-violence-in-gaza/

On 30 March 2018, Good Friday, thousands of unarmed Palestinians gathered to take part in a well-publicised, non-violent annual protest, known as the Great March of Return. The event commemorates the day in 1976 when the lives of six Palestinians were taken by Israeli forces for daring to protest in a general strike against 30 years of repression and dispossession.

In Gaza, at the end of March, thousands of families marched and gathered again. They marched to demand liberation and the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Over 70% of the Palestinian population in Gaza are refugees who, for 70 years, have been denied their right to return to their homes, land and villages. The explicitly peaceful nature of the march had been advertised well beforehand, but the Israel military engaged 100 snipers to terrorise the marchers. “The orders are to use a lot of force”, the Army chief told the Israeli Press. A Guardian article quoted Fatima Nasser (65), who said she had come with her seven children, all of whom were unemployed: “To die with dignity is better than living a life full of humiliation. We will return to our land, we will return to our homeland.” She added: “Israel kills us anyway, whether it’s by shooting or blockade”. Eighteen-year-old Mahmoud Younis said he had come to remind the world that we “deserve to live”, adding: “No one looks at us, no one thinks about us, we will continue to camp here and come daily until someone looks at us and there is a solution to this difficult and miserable reality.”

But the Israeli Army turned the day into what has been called Bloody Friday. As a result 18 Palestinians, including a teenager, died and 1,500 civilians were wounded, including over 150 children under the age of 16 (several of whom are now left with life-changing disabilities). One of the first Palestinians to be killed was 26-year-old Amro Samour, a farmer, recently married. Zionist propaganda, repeated by the mainstream news media, attempted to create an impression of violent Palestinians losing their lives in “confrontations” and “clashes”. But video footage shows the reality. Unarmed protesters were shot in the back and here are two videos, one of a Palestinian being shot in the back while carrying a tyre and another who was also shot in the back. TV3 Newshub's 6pm programme broadcast both videos but, for some reason, stopped showing one of the videos a second or two before the fatal shot. On the same evening, TV1 declined to broadcast either video. Live cell-phone video, shot in various situations, including Israeli Army night invasions of family homes, are becoming a valuable weapon for Palestinians struggling to counter the mainstream news media bias in favour of Israel.

Adalah, a legal centre for Palestinian rights in Israel, condemned the Israeli Army's use of lethal force as a violation of international law, stating that: “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatant”. The group also announced that it would launch an investigation to “demand that those found responsible for the killings be brought to justice”. The Zionist propaganda line tried to give the impression that the whole tragedy was due to Hamas 'incitement' but that was yet another of their lies. The Friday protest was in no way confined to the Gaza Stripit was held in all of the Israeli-Occupied Palestinian territories and was organised with the agreement of all Palestinian groups, including Hamas.

The Israel Institute

In early February this year, the Israel Institute of New Zealand published an article entitled Is Marama Davidson a dogmatic street activist or serious Political Leader? Referring to Marama's participation in the Gaza Flotilla protest, the article claimed that, by joining the Flotilla, she had “violated international law and another country's sovereignty.” Marama was seized by Israeli forces in international waters, over which Israel has no authority, and to imagine that Israel has any sovereignty, either in international waters or over Gaza, is pure fantasy. Completely away with the fairies, the article's author even took the Green MP to task for ignoring what the writer called “the booming Gaza economy.”

In January, a report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor reminded the world that 65% of the families in Gaza live in poverty (among fishermen, the rate is 95% – see below for accounts of Israeli Navy hijackings of Palestinian fishing boats and constant armed harassment). With 97% of the water in Gaza unfit for human consumption, the Human Rights Monitor also reports that 72% of the Gaza population do not have enough food. See below also for reports of frequent Israeli Army incursions onto Gaza farmland and the bulldozing of crops.

The Israel Institute even tries to justify the Zionist regime's West Bank military Occupation and its persecution of Ahed Tamimi and her family for daring to resist, by asking the question, “would New Zealanders find it acceptable for teenagers to flout the law and assault police officers or to incite terror?” As if the New Zealand Police were in any way associated with a belligerent, foreign military Occupation! But the article went even further, asserting that the “New Zealand Police are likely to have also arrested the young woman”. The Israel Institute appears to have little appreciation of this country's values. Do the misleading propaganda and insulting remarks about Marama Davidson really reflect New Zealand thinking? Perhaps we should look elsewhere: “The Israel Institute works in partnership with leading academic, research, and cultural institutions to enhance knowledge and study of modern Israel in the United States and around the world. Founded in 2012 as an independent, non-partisan organisation based in Washington, DC and Tel Aviv.The Israel Institute is actually led by its founding president, Itamar Rabinovich, who has served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Imbalance of violence

Gaza is under increasing attacks and incursions by Israeli forces, with a very real possibility that the next Israeli blitz of the territory is not far off. Particularly hard hit are Gaza's sorely-needed fisheries and agriculture. Israel justifies its belligerence by claiming that its armed assaults and air strikes are merely responses to acts of terror perpetrated by those it calls Palestinian terrorists. If this were so, it would be reasonable to expect at least some measure of balance between the acts of violence of either side. The Israel Institute's pathetic “booming Gaza economy” illusion is matched by another oft-repeated lie, used by Israel to justify its massive numbers of Gaza ceasefire violations: “Israel generally carries out limited retaliations to any militant provocations in Gaza.” The reality is quite different – as the following reports concerning Israeli and Palestinian Gaza ceasefire violations over the past three months, illustrate.

Palestinian missile launches and armed Resistance

The first quarter of 2018 ended with Palestinian ceasefire violations over that period totalling 15. Of these, there were ten missile firings towards the Green Line, with the remaining five violations being acts of armed Resistance against the Israeli military. The final Palestinian missile launch for the quarter fell short of the border and crashed into the village of Juhur al-Dik.

Israeli military 'responses' to Palestinian ceasefire violations

During January, February and March (up to, but not including, 30 March), Israel committed a reported 297 ceasefire violations against Palestinian targets in Gaza. As at the 29 March, the score was 297 Israeli ceasefire violations, as opposed to 14 Palestinian. Following the Land Day Protest, the quarter ended with 15 Palestinian and 316 Israeli ceasefire violations.

While the number of Israeli attacks increased month by month (77 in January, 90 in February and 149 in March) Palestinian violations actually decreased (8 in January, 4 in February and 4 in March.) The failed missile firing aside, the previous two Palestinian actions were attacks on Israeli military vehicles.

The legal centre for Palestinian rights in Israel, Adalah, condemned the Israeli Army's use of force on Land Day as follows: “Live gunfire on unarmed civilians constitutes a brutal violation of the international legal obligation to distinguish between civilians and combatants”. When will Israel be called to account?

Some examples of Israeli aggression carried out against Gaza over the first quarter of 2018:

January 8

Israeli Navy attack – hijacking and economic sabotage: Northern Gaza – 08:00, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Waha, hijacking one, owned by Gaza resident, Mohammad Omar Al-Najjar, and taking prisoner two crew members: Jihad Suhail Murad and Mustafa Muhammad Murad.

January 9

Israeli Navy attack – hijacking – children abductedeconomic sabotage: Northern Gaza – 08:00, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Sudaniya, hijacking one of them and abducting two children, Mohammed Awad Munir al-Saidi, aged 10, and Mohammed Akram Mohammed Abu Foul, aged 11, and taking prisoner four adults: Ahmed Mounir al-Saidi, Mu'men Jamal Hassan al-Numan, Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Jiyab and Akram Mohammed Ismael Abu Foul.

January 11

Israeli Army attack – youngster killed – 3 wounded: Central Gaza – 16:30, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, fired live ammunition, stun grenades and tear gas at protesters in the al-Bureij UN refugee camp, killing a 16-year-old youth, Amir Abdel Hamid Abu Mousaed, and wounding three other people.

February 17

Israeli Army attack: Khan Yunis – 15:55, Israeli tanks, positioned behind the Green Line, shelled the town of Abassin.

February 25

Israeli Navy attack – killing and hijacking – economic sabotage: Northern Gaza – 16:00, Israeli gunboats again opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off al-Waha, killing one 18-year-old crew member, Ismail Saleh Abu Riala, and wounding another, Mahmoud Adel Abu Riala. The Israeli Navy personnel hijacked the fishing boat and took prisoner both the wounded crew member and one other person.

March 3

Ceasefire violation – Israeli Army attack – farmer shot dead – agricultural sabotage: Khan Yunis – 12:30, Israeli forces, positioned behind the Green Line, opened fire on farmland to the east of Khuza'a, killing a farmer, Mohammed Atta Abdul Mawla Abu Jameh (59).

March 12

Israeli Navy attack – hijackings – abduction – economic sabotage: Rafah – 05:00, the Israeli Navy opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off Rafah, hijacking three fishing vessels, abducting a 15-year-old boy, Ahmed Ziad Hussein Al-Bardawil, and taking prisoner ten other crew members.

Air strikes

Add to the above examples, 18 Israeli air strikes against a population with absolutely no means of air defence, and you see a shameful record of cowardly brutality that is beyond reason and civilisation.

Merciless population control

Israel will not tolerate the slightest sign of protest or resistance, even the raising of a Palestinian flag on Palestinian territory invites furious responses from Israeli forces. At the end of 2017, a Palestinian man, Ibraheem Abu Thuraya, who had lost both legs in an Israeli air strike on Gaza, was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper for daring to wave a Palestinian flag in protest, while seated in his wheelchair. Two days after the Good Friday tragedy and in the face of worldwide outrage, Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Liebermann, defiantly asserted that the murder of 17 Palestinian protesters had been “necessary”. Both the United Nations chief, Antonio Guterres and the EU's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, have called for an “independent and transparent investigation” into the killings but the Israeli Defence Minister assured Israeli Army Radio that, with regard to a commission of inquiry — “there won't be one”. Liebermann had reason to be confident because, on Saturday, the United States blocked a draft UN Security Council statement, presented by Kuwait, that called for an investigation into the use of live fire on defenceless civilians. This is all the more shocking when the premeditated nature of the killings was openly admitted by an Israeli Army spokesperson who bragged that Israeli troops “arrived prepared” and that “. . . we know where every bullet landed.”

Zionists claim to represent all Jews but an increasing number are finding this unbearably insulting. In the ideology's early years, the majority of Jewry rejected Zionism. Following Israel's Good Friday violations, the Deputy Director of the US-based Jewish Voice for Peace noted that: “The Israeli military evidently believes that any time Palestinians assert their basic rights in any way, they will be considered violent, and met with deadly violence.” Alissa Wise reminded us that 70 years of Palestinian dispossession and expulsion by the Israeli Government is too long and that is the “reason why 15,000 people were marching in the first place.”

Unconditional US support for Israel, together with the British PM, Theresa May's witless loyalty to the Balfour Declaration, should tell us it is time for New Zealand to stand independently and demonstrate, both to the wider world as well as those who our politicians tell us are our 'traditional allies', that we feel just as does Alissa Wise when she says “I know in my heart that the right to peaceful protest is sacrosanct. It’s a truly beautiful thing. These protesters – people just like you and me – prove that there’s another way, one we have to recommit to today.” Say no to Zionism.

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

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/

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

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.

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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