Friday, October 2, 2015

An Israeli youth tells Palestinian women in Jerusalem "This belongs to Jews, get out of here", then pepper sprays a woman

On Wednesday, a 16-year-old Israeli youth was recorded telling Palestinian women, in the Old City of Jerusalem: "This belongs to Jews, get out of here". 
He then pepper sprayed  a Palestinian woman and ran away.

Israeli Border Police officers chased him and arrested him. The Police said that "he disturbed the Palestinian women". He returned to the area, and used pepper spray.
Afterwards, he was taken for investigation. However, he went back to the same place.
The youth was wearing a t-shirt on which was written "Jews, let's win".

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Palestinians in Southern West Bank: Not on the map of the Israeli Police

"The map of the Hebron region used by the Israel Police excludes all the Palestinian villages and communities in the area, other than the three big cities, and omits written data about the Palestinian population."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Our existence in Jerusalem is constantly threatened"

"Morning, noon and night, every Palestinian in Jerusalem lives and breathes the Israeli desire, which they perceive in the state’s policies, for them all to abandon the city and move abroad or to Ramallah. As residents but not citizens, they are subject to Israeli entry laws – as if they had asked to move there and not been annexed. Extended residence outside the city – for studies, work or living in the West Bank – puts them at risk of losing their Jerusalem residency status and expulsion, with the High Court's approval."

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Israeli rules of engagement: Establishing "equality" in suppression

"The new rules of engagement aim to level the playing field between police in Jerusalem and the IDF in the territories. These now allow, for example, police snipers to shoot live, yet relatively weak rounds from Ruger rifles, at anyone hurling firebombs, rocks, or launching fireworks in a manner that places lives at risk."

One-third of the land in the West Bank is closed to the Palestinians

Kerem Navot nonprofit reports on how closed military zones have worked to shape the map in the settlers' favor.

The original justification for the land closure procedures, which began immediately after the war in 1967, was on security grounds. However, since then, many other considerations have been added, primarily benefitting the settlement project. The bottom line is that currently nearly 1,765,000 dunams (about 436,000 acres) – nearly one-third of the land in the West Bank – is closed to the Palestinians, on the grounds that these are military zones.

The justification is not entirely consistent with the reality, according to the report, in that about 78 percent of the land closed for military maneuvers is not being used for that purpose at all. The report says the rest of the land is divided between areas that the army makes frequent use of (more than one training exercise every three months – about 10 percent of the closed areas) and land for which little use is being made (about 12 percent have, on average, less than one training exercise every three months).”

Sunday, August 2, 2015


One day after the Israeli security forces condemned murderous violence against Palestinians, they protect violent settlers near the Palestinian village of Qusra. 
On Saturday, violent far-right activists came from the outpost of Esh Kodesh (“Holy Fire”) to a plot of land cultivated by Palestinian farmers from the village of Qusra. The area is classified “Area B” and is under Palestinian civilian control. There is no Israeli administered “state land” present, and there is no legitimate debate regarding ownership of the land the Palestinians were attempting to work on. Despite it being Shabbat, the right-wing extremists attacked Palestinian farmers in front of Israeli army soldiers, preventing the farmers from completing their agriculture work. The situation developed into a violent confrontation, and the soldiers present did not try to stop the right-wing extremists, but rather offered them protection. Later, after the situation had de-escalated, a member of the police attacked Palestinians with a taser gun without reason.
Clearly, the lessons of the murder of 18 month old Ali Dawabshe have yet to be learned.
RHR opposes any form of violence while condemning the Israeli security forces’ actions of tacitly permitting violence against Palestinian farmers by Jewish extremists. This behavior is especially egregious since it occurred in Area B. Only one day after the shocking murder of a Palestinian toddler in the village of Duma, the army’s refusal to respond appropriately to violence by Jewish extremists demonstrates that no lessons have been learned as a result of Ali’s death. Israeli authorities must act decisively and strongly against Jewish violence and terror.
While it is natural that the security forces may identify more with their own people, procedures regarding law enforcement in situations involving violent Israelis must be clearly laid out and consistently implemented."

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Palestinian Nakba: 67 years, and counting

67 years - day by day - have passed since Palestinians were forcibly evicted out of their homes towards unknown destinations. In no time, they found themselves living under temporary tents which became their permanent shelter for many many years ahead. They became to be known as Palestine refugees, to live in the most inhuman and miserable conditions.

Nakba, known also as the 1st Arab-Israeli War, stands for the  1948 catastrophe surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel, resulting in the dispersion of Palestinians worldwide.

The United Nations General Assembly Partition Plan of  1947 - UNGA Resolution 181 - caused the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, in the wake of the exodus of British Mandate forces from Palestine on May 14, 1948. The Plan granted  the Jews in Palestine just over 56% of the area at a time when they owned less than 7% of the land and constituted approximately one-third of the population. By the end of the War, Israel controlled 77.4% of the land. Palestine was fragmented, occupied and its society dismantled and rendered a nation of displaced refugees. When the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 15, 1948, in Tel-Aviv, there was significantly no mention of borders - the “Jewish State” has never publicly defined the extent of its limits.

After the 1948 War, and by the time of the 1949 cease-fire agreement, Arab areas had shrunk to 23% of Palestine (Gaza Strip and West Bank).  418 Palestinian villages had been depopulated and erased from the map as a result of Israeli military activities, expulsion orders, and the exodus of Palestinian civilians. Only about 120 Arab villages remained within the 1949 cease-fire lines, and these now have no more than 7% of the land, as a result of large-scale seizure and confiscation of Arab land and property. By September 1949, according to United Nations estimates, there were 726,000 Palestinian refugees located outside the armistice lines and 32,0000 inside.

On December 11, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 194 (III) affirming the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. However, this Resolution has never been implemented.

Following the 1948 War, separate  armistice agreements with the Egyptians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Syrians were signed in Rhodes in the course of 1949, which did not pave the way before any settlement to the conflict. Furthermore, the Gaza Strip was controlled by Egypt and came under the administration of an Egyptian governor. Meanwhile, the West Bank was controlled by Jordan which annexed it  in 1950 declaring the two banks of the Jordan River as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remained under Jordanian and Egyptian rule, respectively, until  June 1967 War when Israel conquered the areas, imposing Israeli military  hegemony over Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Subsequently,  a UN agency was established under the name of UNRWA - UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.  It was meant to give emergency assistance to Palestinians displaced by the war of 1948 and began to operate in May 1950. Its mandate, to provide essential education, health and relief services to Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon,  Syria, as well as in the  West Bank and Gaza Strip.

As a result of the ongoing process of the Nakba, Palestinians have become indeed the world's oldest and largest refugee population, and now make up more than 1/4 of the world's total refugees.

Many of the Palestinians fleeing their homes in 1948 left with minimum of luggage in the belief that they would be returning to their homes within days, weeks,  as soon as the violence passed their villages. Now living in overcrowded and underprivileged camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, they and their descendants - now entering a 4th generation - are still waiting. Many of them still hold the keys of their pre-1948 homes ..

May 15, 1948, will always be remembered as a black day in the history of Humanity and of the United Nations, unless the continuous Palestinian suffering is brought to an end. No injustice can or should be permanent.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"West Bank outposts: A whole system of dispossession"

At the core of the outpost system lies the systemic violation of Palestinian human rights.

If we had to look for a good example of the meaning of the outpost system – the unofficial settlements Israel builds in the West Bank – we could hardly expect a better one than the one supplied by the minister of defense. Recently, commenting on an appeal that — contrary to publications — we have nothing to do with, and demands the removal of the Mizpe Kramim outpost, Defense Minister Moseh Ya’alon said (Hebrew) that: “This point was built legally, with the support of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense. True, later someone appealed, an Israeli organization of course, a leftist organization that found some Arab who claims ownership.” Much as it painful that this is the level of understanding of a senior Israeli minister, the interesting part here is actually the part where Ya’alon talks about “some Arab claims ownership.”

Because here, with some brutality, Ya’alon touches on the main problem of the outpost movement: its violation of Palestinian human rights in the West Bank. Yesh Din’s research over the years, and particularly its report, “The Road to Dispossession,” which uses the outpost Adei-Ad as a microcosm, finds that the creation of an outpost is a steady source for unceasing violation of the rights of the Palestinian residents in the nearby villages. This violation is inherent in existence of the outpost.”


Thursday, April 9, 2015

"State of Palestine in Overtime"

“The large majority of countries, and most of the people in the world, already recognise Palestine as an independent state.
Among the member states of the United Nations, for example, 135 countries – representing about 82 percent of world population – officially recognise Palestine as an independent state versus 50 countries that do not recognise the Palestinian state.”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

9 April: The 67th anniversary of Deir Yassin Massacre

“Deir Yassin was a small Palestinian village near Jerusalem which had made and scrupulously abided by a non-aggression agreement with the Haganah. On 9 April 1948, the Irgun and the Stern Gang launched an unprovoked attack on the village and massacred over 245 Palestinians. According to Benny Morris in Righteous Victims, entire families were killed, and reports from Jewish commanders spoke of “barbaric behavior towards the prisoners and dead”, with Palestinian villagers being paraded in Jerusalem city streets in trucks before being taken back to the village and murdered. Although the Haganah leadership condemned the operation, it served a useful purpose in their expulsion plan as its psychological effect on Palestinians was devastating.

The accounts from survivors and witnesses were harrowing:

“[I saw] a man shoot… my sister Salhiyeh who was nine months pregnant. Then he cut her stomach open with a butcher’s knife.” - Haleem Lei” 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"France set to propose new Palestinian state resolution at UN"

“The French government has seen a window of opportunity, following recent elections in Israel, to get the United States on board for a renewed effort towards an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, and is preparing a draft UN Security Council resolution.”

"Israeli forces target journalists in West Bank"

“It is becoming increasingly risky to cover clashes and protests between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank as the number of journalists injured, in what appears to be deliberate targeting by Israeli security forces, continues to rise.”

Monday, April 6, 2015

Permits to exit or enter the Gaza Strip: Israel's "response procedure"

“To make a long story short, this is a procedure that determines how long the state can take to respond to Palestinians’ requests to exit or enter the Gaza Strip. According to the procedure, requests to travel between Gaza and the West Bank are to be submitted no later than 14 workdays before the requested date of travel, and a response is to be provided five days before that date at the latest, to enable the applicant to seek legal recourse if necessary.”

"The Unlawful Seizure of Palestinian Taxes: Israel's Collective Punishment of a People"

“A new report - titled "The Unlawful Seizure of Palestinian Taxes: Israel's Collective Punishment of a People" and released by Al-Haq on the day that Palestine becomes a member of the ICC - documents the results of Israel's withholding of taxes paid by Palestinian individuals and businesses over three consecutive months and which should have been transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The tax payments were seized by Israel in response to Palestine's accession to the ICC Statute in late December 2014 and amount to nearly three quarters of PA revenue for the period January to March 2015. This has lead to massive cuts to public sector salaries which have hit ordinary Palestinian families across the territory hard.

Al-Haq's report – which also analyses the seizure of taxes from December 2012 to February 2013 in response to Palestine seeking recognition as a State at the UN – demonstrates that these acts constitute both extensive appropriation of property carried out unlawfully and wantonly, a grave breach of the fourth Geneva Convention prosecutable at the ICC, and collective punishment, a war crime under customary international law.”

"Historic Photos: Israeli Settlements and Palestinian Sumud"

“Presented below are a series of rare and historic photographs donated to the Institute for Palestine Studies by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. The photographs date from the early 1980’s as the rate of Israeli settlement growth on the West Bank accelerated.”

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Yarmouk Camp

The UN is responsible for the suffering of Palestinians in Yarmouk Refugee Camp, and other camps, for not enabling them to return to their homeland.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

"When occupation becomes apartheid"

“Israel’s military occupation and control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza has gone on almost half a century, since it conquered those territories during the 1967 Six Day War.  While many fear Israel will become an apartheid state unless it relinquishes all or most of these occupied territories, the evidence is overwhelming that Israel created an apartheid system and became an apartheid state at the end of the 1967 war, 48 years ago.”

Khan Al-Ahmar: Solar panels and the International Criminal Court

“On April 1 Palestine joined the International Criminal Court (ICC), which now has jurisdiction over international crimes committed on or from Palestinian territory since June 2014.

On the same day, though hardly reported, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) confiscated 12 sets of solar panels, batteries, and electric cables from an impoverished Bedouin community, Khan Al Ahmar, in the arid hills east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. The residents needed the solar panels to generate their own power because Israeli military authorities refuse to allow them to connect to the electricity grid. It was the latest in a series of measures that appear designed to push the inhabitants of Khan Al Ahmar off their land.

The experience of the community of Khan Al Ahmar is all too common in the occupied West Bank. But Palestine’s ICC membership should send a signal to Israel to investigate and stop such actions, and here’s why.

The ICC’s Rome Statute prohibits as a war crime the transfer by an occupying power of its civilians into occupied territory. It also prohibits the transfer of the people in the occupied territory from their homes to within or outside this territory, except temporarily for their own safety or for imperative military necessity.

The IDF has made repeated attempts to force residents to leave Khan Al Ahmar, whether by demolishing their homes, closing off road access, or denying connections to utilities. The IDF has issued demolition orders against most of the ramshackle homes and animal pens in Khan Al Ahmar. 
The IDF’s actions against the residents of Khan Al Ahmar appear intended to clear the area of Palestinian residents; Israeli authorities are also planning to expand the nearby settlement of Maale Adumim. The aim of these policies seems in effect to be the forcible transfer of people from their homes.”

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Israeli fakes own kidnapping, Palestinians pay the price"

“Israelis were enraged by the ‘prank’ yet somehow managed to ignore the army’s violent response of house-to-house searches, closures and arrests.”

Who expects Israel to genuinely investigate or prosecute its leaders for crimes under ICC's jurisdiction?

“A better path to avoiding an Israeli confrontation with the ICC is Israel’s own legal system. Israel has an active, respected, and independent judiciary that is unique in the region.”

See Article 17 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Palestinians in Hebron area were collectively punished because of a "prank"

“An hours-long search for an Israeli presumed missing in the West Bank concluded on Thursday evening when he was found alive near the town of Kiryat Arba.
The case was initially being treated as a kidnapping, but the army later described the incident as a "prank."
Starting in the afternoon, security forces combed the area of Beit Anun, near Hebron, where Nir Asraf, a 22-year-old resident of Be'er Sheva, was persumed missing. IDF special forces units were deployed in the area as well.
Asraf's whereabouts were discovered after a friend who reported his disappearance admitted during questioning that he was lying.”

“Hundreds of policemen and soldiers from the IDF's Judea and Samaria division were deployed to the area to search for Asraf, including Special Unit soldiers. The troops were searching houses and cars in Bayt Einun.”

Thursday, April 2, 2015

"Following a 9 years legal battle: Israeli High Court Accepts Cremisan Petition, Rejects Building the Wall in Cremisan"

“The Israeli High Court delivered its final decision on the Cremisan valley case this morning, Thursday the 2nd of April 2015, in favor of the petition against building the separation wall in Cremisan, after a legal battle that has started in 2006. The residents of Beit Jala whose privately owned lands were to be confiscated by building the wall appealed the Israeli Court in 2006. The Society of St. Yves later joined the appeal representing the Salesian Nuns Convent.”

NYT refers to Jerusalem as "Israel's Capital", against international law, and US foreign policy

“If the speaker of the House visits Israel and does not say anything substantive, does it have any effect on the troubled relations between Washington and Jerusalem?

Much ado was made in both capitals when it was discovered that Speaker John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, would lead a congressional delegation to Israel this week.”

Israel's indirect transfer of its population to the Occupied Palestinian Territories

"The Israeli government’s policy proves that the outposts are effectively settlements – only you’ll never hear them being called that

Since 1996 Israel no longer officially creates new settlements. This is an international guarantee of the government. Creating a new settlement requires a government decision, and with three exceptions (the legalization of the outposts Bruchin and Rechalim, together with Nofei Nechemia, and Sansana in 2013), there has been no such decision. Effectively, however, there are about 100 unofficial settlements in the West Bank. Officially, they are illegal. Officially, there are demolition orders against all the structures within these unofficial settlements. Practically, however they get unceasing support from the government and could not exist without it.
In 2005, the Sasson Report on this outposts was presented  to the government; in its honor, we recently published a new position paper titled “Under the Radar.” Sasson already noticed the method back then: the entire Israeli establishment more or less aids and abets the creation of outposts. After the land grab by Israeli civilians, the IDF promptly provides them with protection. Then, other authorities make sure water and electricity are provided. A short while after that, we have “facts on the ground,” which require legal procedures to change (procedures that can take years in the court system)."

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ICC welcomes Palestine as a new State Party

"The International Criminal Court (ICC) held a ceremony on 1 April 2015 at the seat of the Court in The Hague (the Netherlands) to welcome the State of Palestine as the 123rd State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC's founding treaty."

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Palestinian village of Sussia: Forced displacement for "archaeological work" and "the residents best interest"

“The state has asked the High Court of Justice for permission to demolish the ancient Palestinian village of Sussia and relocate its residents to Yatta, near Hebron, allowing for more archaeological work at the site.
The petition criticizes decisions made by the Civil Administration’s planning committee to reject an alternate plan suggested by Sussia residents, stating that the relocation to Yatta is in their best interest.”

Palestinians are not allowed to defend their properties against settler attacks

“Central Command chief Nitzan Alon signed an order applying Israel's penal code to Palestinians in the West Bank, hours before he left office earlier this week.
The new order’s significance is mainly declarative. Parts of the Israeli penal code have already been adopted by military judges in the West Bank. And in general, arrest, detention and penal procedures are significantly harsher when applied to West Bank Palestinians than to Israeli citizens.
However, an aspect that will not apply to the West Bank is the so-called Shai Dromi amendment enacted in 2008, which exempts a person from criminal responsibility for an “act urgently required to ward off someone who breaks into his home, business or farm.”
This aspect would have let Palestinians ward off settler attacks without bearing criminal responsibility.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

Photos of pre-1948 Palestinian mansions in Talbiyeh, West Jerusalem

I take pleasure in sharing with you some snapshots of pre-1948 Palestinian prestigious mansions in Talbiyeh, West Jerusalem. The residents of this neighbourhood all fled away in the wake of fighting which erupted in Jerusalem in 1948. All Palestinian properties were taken over by Israelis.

This is one of the prominent buildings in Talbiyeh, commonly known as Villa Salameh,  which houses the residence of the Consul General of Belgium in Jerusalem. The building - rented to the Belgian Government back in 1948 - belongs to Salameh family, which, like other Arab citizens of the town, sought refuge outside Palestine. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

An Arab judge in the "only democracy in the Middle East"

According to a report published in "NRG": 

During an election conference held in Beit El settlement last week, Meir Mazuz, the "spiritual leader" of "Yachad Party", attacked the Israeli High Court "because it allowed an Arab judge to examine the case of Moshe Katsav and to send him to jail".

Mazuz: "Is there an anti-democratic State like this that gave an Arab judge to sentence a former President to imprisonment? Is there such a place? There is no such thing. National disgrace. An Arab convicts a former President and sends him to prison."

Salim Joubran was part of the three-judge panel which rejected Katsav’s appeal of his rape charges.


"Israeli Arabs", equal citizens?

50 Human Rights Cases You Need to Know

"Explore our map of 50 landmark human rights cases, each with a brief description and a link to a free article or report on the case. The cases were chosen in conjunction with the editors of the Oxford Reports on International Law. These choices were intended to showcase the variety of international, regional, and national mechanisms and fora for adjudicating human rights claims, and the range of rights that have been recognized."