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."