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Life under occupation

Prison authorities delaying medical treatment of ailing Palestinian detaineeIMEMC/Commission of Detainee Affairs - Sharhabeel Abu Threa’, 49, from al-‘Ezariya near Jerusalem, is held under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders, without charges or trial. He suffers from several chronic conditions, including Cardiomyopathy, and is in urgent need of a pacemaker. In addition his meidcal problems include high blood pressure, Pulmonary edema, Gout (a common and complex form of inflammatory arthritis), Renal indolence, disc issues in the back and neck, and high cholesterol levels. The Palestinian Authority`s Commission of Detainee and Ex- Detainee Affairs warned that the Israeli authorities are constantly delaying his urgently needed medical treatment, and in the absence of urgent specialized medical care, he could suffer further complications that could turn fatal. [ak]15/4/2021
Israeli Authorities continue arresting candidates in the Palestinian elections PCHR (Pal. Center for Human Rights - At approximately 23:00, on Monday, 12 April 2021, Israeli military forces arrived at the al- Balu’ neighborhood of al-Bireh, and detained the 47-year old Najeh Abdullah Dar ‘Assi’s, a candidate in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections scheduled for 22 May 2021. As described by Alia Abdul Samad, Najeh ‘Assi’s wife: Four military vehicles stopped near our building, where we live in the second floor. We heard knocks on our door, so my husband went to open the door. 17 Israeli soldiers came in, shouting. They held my husband and handcuffed him. They ordered my husband to give them his cell phone and confiscated it. I tried to give my husband a jacket and shoes to wear due to the cold weather, but the soldiers refused to let me do it and threatened me at gunpoint when I insisted. One of them ordered me to go with my children into the living room and stay there until they went away with my husband. Our lawyer later informed us then that Najeh was taken to the “Ofer” detention center.” A few days earlier, another candidate - the 62-years old Hasan Mohammed Wardian (62) - was detained under similar circumstances. The two detained candidates belong to the “Jerusalem is Our Destiny” list, which is said to be linked to Hamas, though this connection is not offical. [ak]15/4/2021
A story of hot violence, cold violence and Palestinian RadicalsRozina Ali - The New Yorker - Tucked in the Nablus Hills is a small spring that has been fashioned into a swimming pool. The late- afternoon heat had driven many children into the water, their parents looking on. On the side, a hulking man carried a semiautomatic rifle. For decades, the spring had provided water to a nearby Palestinian village, but settlers had cut the pipe and made it a recreational site, exclusively for themselves and their children. Palestinians are banned. This is an example of what writer Teju Cole described as “cold violence.” - in contrast to "hot violence" which is louder and deadlier, like using airpower on Gaza civilians, or soldiers killing innocent bystanders in the West Bank. It’s the cold violence that one daily confronts — evictions, harassment by settlers, redirected water supply, hours lost at checkpoints. Susan Abulhawa’s recent novel, “Against the Loveless World” is narrated by Nahr, a middle-aged Palestinian woman held in solitary confinement in an Israeli prison. Via flashbacks we learn about the violence, hot and cold, that shaped her. [ak] 15/4/2021
Child loses eye from army bullet in Hebron - the worst of this week`s violationsPalestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) - Five Palestinians were injured due to excessive use of force against civilians. A child lost his eye in clashes with IOF in Hebron. Four civilians including a photojournalist, were all injured during suppression of a protest in al-Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. Also, dozens suffocated due to tear gas inhalation, and others wounded during house raids across the West Bank. 13 dunums were confiscated this week and construction of hundreds of housing units was approved in two settlements in East Jerusalem. Even more, IOF continued its demolition operations and delivery of cease-construction and demolition notices. [ak]15/4/2021
Threatened by cultural defiance, Israel throws dancer in prisonCiaran Tierney - EI - "The arrest, in February, and continued detention without charge of acclaimed dance choreographer Ata Khattab underlines just how threatening Palestinian culture and identity is considered by Israel’s occupation forces" [ry] 12/4/2021
Smotrich threatens to expel Arab MK, other Muslims who don’t accept Jewish ruleSTUART WINER - Times od Israel - MK Bezalel Smotrich, who leads the far-right Religious Zionism party, on Wednesday warned he would “make sure” a prominent Arab lawmaker and other Muslims would not remain in Israel if they did not recognize that the land belongs to the Jews. MK Ahmad Tibi, a senior member of the Joint List, a predominantly Arab Israeli party, responded by calling Smotrich a racist in German. (rh) 11/4/2021
Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian motorist and injure his wifeTamara Nassar - Electronic Intifada - Witnesses told Palestinian news agency WAFA that Israeli soldiers fired a stun grenade at the couple’s car after it stopped at a flying checkpoint near Bir Nabala. They said that led to Osama driving away, after which Israeli forces opened fire at the car. An Israeli army spokesperson said forces opened fire after the car sped towards them “in a manner that risked their lives,” according to Tel Aviv daily Haaretz. Osama Mansour, 42, and his wife Sumaya Mansour, 35, were on their way home, where 5 children awaited them. [bz]8/4/2021
Severely injured Palestinian teen serving 10 Years in Israeli jailZahran Maali - WAFA/IMEMC - On on August 15, 2019, Israeli police near the gate of the the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem shot at Muhammad Khader Al-Sheikh, 17 year old boy from Al-Eizariya, who allegedly tried to carry out an attack. Nine bullets penetrated his body, and his 15-year old friend Naseem Abu Roomi who stood at his side was killed on the spot by the police bullets. He was left bleeding on the ground for a long while before being finally taken to the Israeli Shaarey Tzedek Hospital, where he was treated. Most of the bullets were extracted from his body by surgery, but one bullets remains lodged near an artery in his heart - impossible tp remove and a constant potential threat to his life. When partially recovered he was tried by an Israeli court and sentenced to ten years in prison. Held in the ‘Ofer’ prison, he continues to suffer from severe abdominal pain and constant vomiting as a result of his extensive injuries, for which the prison authorities continue to deny adequate medical care. In spite of this health condition, he is diligently studying, seeking not only to complete in prison his secondary school education but also to go on to gain a bachelor`s degree. His mother says that he had been among the best pupils at orphanage school in Al-Eizariya. On April 5, the Palestinian Children’s Day, his case was taken up by Palestinian organizations, among those of some 140 Palestinian minors held in Israeli prisons. [ak] 8/4/2021
Israel Threatens to ‘Stop Everything’ if Hamas Wins Parliamentary ElectionsPalestine Chronicle - "On Wednesday, Kan reported Shin Bet security agency Head Nadav Argaman urging Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to scrap the Palestinian parliament’s upcoming elections if Hamas takes part. Replying to Argaman, Abbas responded: ‘I do not work for you. I will decide if there will be an election and with whom. You built Hamas, not me’” [ry] 5/4/2021
We are living through a time of fear – not just of the virus, but of each otherJonathan Cook - InformationClearingHouse - We are now firmly in a time of fear – not only of the virus, but of each other. Fear destroys solidarity. Fear forces us to turn inwards to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Fear refuses to understand or identify with the concerns of others. In fear societies, basic rights become a luxury. They are viewed as a threat, as recklessness, as a distraction that cannot be afforded in this moment of crisis. Once fear takes hold, populations risk agreeing to hand back rights, won over decades or centuries, that were the sole, meagre limit on the power of elites to ransack the common wealth. In calculations based on fear, freedoms must make way for other priorities: being responsible, keeping safe, averting danger.(rh)4/4/2021
Why we should critically welcome the Jerusalem Declaration on AntisemitismTONY GREENSTEIN - Mondoweiss - Unlike the IHRA which labelled opposition to Zionism and Israeli racism as antisemitism, the JDA makes a clear distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. The JDA states that the following are not antisemitic: Criticizing or opposing Zionism as a form of nationalism, or arguing for a variety of constitutional arrangements for Jews and Palestinians in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. It is not antisemitic to support arrangements that accord full equality to all inhabitants “between the river and the sea,” whether in two states, a binational state, unitary democratic state, federal state, or in whatever form. Evidence-based criticism of Israel as a state. (rh)4/4/2021
Real Challenge in Palestinian Elections: Convince Jerusalem Voters to Cast Their BallotsAmira Hass - Haaretz - The unique name of one of the 36 parties aiming to compete in the May 22 Palestinian parliamentary election might be translated as We’ve Had Enough. This slate defines itself as young people from protest movements active mainly in Gaza in recent years against the internal Palestinian rift and its economic repercussions.//The multiplicity of party tickets expresses people’s great thirst to make their voices heard and take part in the decision-making process in a society split between two authoritarian regimes and lacking authority and power in the face of Israel’s control and policies.(rh)4/4/2021
President Abbas defies Israeli security chief on elections and Hague proceedings Richard Silverstein - Haaretz/Tikkun Olam - During a `patronizing` visit in Ramallah, Nadav Argaman - head of Israel`s Shabak Security Service - demanded that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cancel the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections, reportedly telling Abbas, “You can’t hold elections with Hamas.” To that, Abbas retorted, “I don’t work for you.” Argaman then warned that the election could bring Hamas to power in the West Bank. Abbas responded, “You’re telling me this? Who built Hamas? Who transfers $30 million to Hamas every month? You [Israelis] built Hamas.” After their sharp disagreement on the Palestinian elections, the two discussed the International Criminal Court’s investigation into alleged war crimes by Israel and Hamas. Argaman threatened that “if you cooperate with the investigation in The Hague, we’ll stop transferring the taxes” that Israel collects on the Palestinian Authority’s behalf. Abbas answered, “I have a complaint about your actions, and I have nowhere else [but the Hague] to turn to.” In response, Argaman threatened that Israel would file its own complaint to the ICC against the PA. Abbas responded, “As far as I’m concerned, you and I can sit together in the same prison cell.” [ak] 1/4/2021
Euro-Med Monitor: “The Gaza Strip: Undocumented Citizens”IMEMC News - "More than 5,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip do not have identity cards because they, or their parents, were not in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) when the Israeli military authorities conducted the population census after Israel occupied Gaza in 1967" [ry] 29/3/2021
War crimes for votesMaureen Clare Murphy - EI - “On the eve of Israel’s elections on Tuesday, several candidates were interviewed during a live broadcast at Khan al-Ahmar, pledging to destroy the Palestinian village. It wasn’t the first time that an Israeli politician made a campaign promise to raze Khan al-Ahmar and forcibly transfer its residents” [ry] 29/3/2021
Kahanism doesn’t need a seat in the KnessetOrly Noy - +972mag - More than 30 years have passed since Meir Kahane’s party was barred from participating in Israeli elections. Six years later, it was declared a terrorist organization and banned by the Israeli government. But after next week’s election, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a student and ideological heir to the rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League and supported expelling all Palestinians from their historical land, may very well become a member of Knesset. And he won’t be walking into the parliament as a marginal figure in Israeli politics, but rather with all the glory and support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Israel’s election laws, parties can sign a “vote-sharing agreement,” under which parties that pass the election threshold can pool their surplus votes — which otherwise would not add up to win an extra seat — in order to gain another spot for another party. Thus, parties that are ideologically aligned can ensure that their supporters’ votes do not go to waste. (rh) 28/3/2021
The Jerusalem DeclarationThe Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism is a tool to identify, confront and raise awareness about antisemitism as it manifests in countries around the world today. It includes a preamble, definition, and a set of 15 guidelines that provide detailed guidance for those seeking to recognize antisemitism in order to craft responses. It was developed by a group of scholars in the fields of Holocaust history, Jewish studies, and Middle East studies to meet what has become a growing challenge: providing clear guidance to identify and fight antisemitism while protecting free expression. It has over 200 signatories.(rh)28/3/2021
This is what ‘Jewish democracy’ looks likePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - A lot of Israel’s friends in the U.S. describe the country as both Jewish and democratic. That description is fair inasmuch as the Israeli elections revolve around one question, Which Jews will run the country? It is true that the 20 percent or so of the Israeli population that is not Jewish can vote, but Palestinians are never allowed anywhere near the executive branch. And all the leading Jewish parties campaign by saying they will have nothing to do with the Palestinians parties. And all the coalition-action in the next few weeks will involve Jewish leaders (with an occasional sideshow that amounts to nothing). Discussion of the settlements was completely absent in this election. “The Palestinian issue is literally and figuratively over the hills and far away,” Neri Zilber said on a J Street zoom. (rh)28/3/2021
Symbiosis between state and settler attacksSarit Michaeli - Ynetnews - In attempt to drive them out of their homes, Israel is hounding underprivileged Palestinian farmers who have given up filing complaints, having learned from experience that they get no protection from Israeli police.(rh)28/3/2021
Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during West Bank protest : The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that the man, 45-year-old Atef Hanaysheh, was shot with live ammunition in the head during a protest against settlement expansion and the confiscatYUMNA PATEL- Mondoweiss - A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Friday during a protest in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus.The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that the man, 45-year-old Atef Hanaysheh, was shot with live ammunition in the head during a protest against settlement expansion and the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land in the village of Beit Dajan.The MOH said that Hanaysheh was taken by Palestinian medics to a hospital in Nablus, where he was pronounced dead shortly after. Eyewitnesses told Israeli and Palestinian media outlets that Hanaysheh, the local imam at one of Beit Dajan’s mosques, was shot at “point blank range” by forces who were suppressing the Friday protest — a weekly occurrence in the village. (rh)21/3/2021
For Gaza’s most vulnerable, home is no safe place for COVID-19 recoveryFidaa Shurrab - +972 - With a fragile health system in the blockaded strip, infected Palestinians were sent to home quarantine — putting poor families, women, and children at risk [ry] 15/3/2021
Is Israel’s Orthodox Monopoly Ending? : The Supreme Court decision recognizing Reform and Conservative conversions performed in Israel has reignited attention to the issue. A podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute.The Times of Israel - The decision by Israel’s Supreme Court recognizing Reform and Conservative conversions performed in Israel has reignited attention around issues of state and religion, especially in the eve of what has become a bi-annual national election. In this episode of For Heaven’s Sake, a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain analyze this landmark decision – discussed in the Supreme court for over a decade – which recognizes that perpetuating Orthodox authority over issues of personal status violates Israel’s legal commitment to human freedom and dignity for all of its citizens, regardless of nationality, religion, ethnic, or sexual identities. (rh) In this episode of For Heaven’s Sake, a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain analyze this landmark decision – discussed in the Supreme court for over a decade – which recognizes that perpetuating Orthodox authority over issues of personal status violates Israel’s legal commitment to human freedom and dignity for all of its citizens, regardless of nationality, religion, ethnic, or sexual identities. For Heaven’s Sake is a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project that revives the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division. The podcast draws its name from the concept of Machloket l’shem shemayim, “Disagreeing for the sake of heaven.” Subscribe to For Heaven’s Sake on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you receive your podcasts. I`m proud to work at The Times of Israel I’ll tell you the truth: Life here in Israel isn’t always easy. But it`s full of beauty and meaning. I`m proud to work at The Times of Israel alongside colleagues who pour their hearts into their work day in, day out, to capture the complexity of this extraordinary place. I believe our reporting sets an important tone of honesty and decency that`s essential to understand what`s really happening in Israel. It takes a lot of time, commitment and hard work from our team to get this right. Your support, through membership in The Times of Israel Community, enables us to continue our work. Would you join our Community today? Thank you, Sarah Tuttle Singer, New Media Editor JOIN THE TIMES OF ISRAEL COMMUNITY Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this READ MORE: Jewish Times Shalom Hartman Institute Israel Supreme Court Conservative Judaism Reform Judaism religious pluralism 70 shares 14/3/2021
Israel-Palestine: Two elections, under the burning sun of ApartheidJONATHAN OFIR - Mondoweiss - Many people think there will be an election round in Israel this spring (March 23rd). But that’s only half the story, because there will actually be two election rounds: one in so-called ‘Israel proper’, and one in the Palestinian territories which it has occupied for the past 53 years (May 22 Palestinian general elections). The question is, which are the real elections? The answer is, none – they are both make-believe.Just two months ago, the prominent Israeli human rights NGO B’tselem came out with a report titled: “A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid”.This was considered a watershed moment in Israeli terms, but those who have been following this theme have seen a similar assessment in the much longer report commissioned by a UN agency in 2017, authored by professors Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley, about how Israel has been practicing Apartheid from its inception, and veiling it as a “Jewish democracy”.(rh)14/3/2021
At behest of settlers, Israeli forces arrest Palestinian children picking wild flowers : “This was obviously an attempt by the settlers to intimidate the boys by using the soldiers,” eyewitness Basel Adrah tells Mondoweiss. “They didn’t steal or damage anYUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - Israeli forces arrested five Palestinian children, ranging between the ages of eight and 13, in the South Hebron Hills of the southern occupied West Bank on Wednesday, sparking outrage among local and international human rights advocates.Videos of the arrest went viral on social media, showing a large group of masked and armed Israeli soldiers forcibly arresting the children, who were visibly alarmed and frightened as they were dragged into an Israeli military jeep. 14/3/2021
Masked settlers beat, throw rocks at Palestinian family in West Bank : Rights group B’Tselem says parents and 8 children were attacked near Mitzpe Yair outpost; parents taken to hospital for treatmentTOI STAFF - A group of around 10 masked alleged Israeli settlers beat and threw rocks at a Palestinian family in the West Bank on Saturday in an attack the family captured on video. According to the B’Tselem organization, the Alyan family — two parents and their eight children — were working on their agricultural land near the illegal settler outpost of Mitzpe Yair, south of the West Bank city of Hebron, when the attack took place. The family filmed part of the incident, which was released by the rights group.In the footage, the assailants can be seen throwing rocks and brandishing batons as the children scream and cry in the background.(rh) 14/3/2021
Occupation forces detain four Palestinians, injure one with gunfire near JerusalemWAFAS News Agency - JERUSALEM, Sunday, March 14, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces last night detained four Palestinians and injured another one with gunfire during raids in occupied Jerusalem and neighboring villages, according to local sources and witnesses. Heavily armed Israeli police officers stormed the neighborhoods of al-Isawiya and al-Tour in the occupied capital, where they detained four Palestinians after raiding and searching their homes. Among the detainees was a 17-year-old minor identified as Ibrahim Huneti. Meanwhile, an Israeli occupation army force raided the village of Hizma, northeast of Jerusalem on the West Bank side of the Israeli segregation barrier, and clashed with local residents. A protester was reportedly shot and injured by a live gunshot in his thigh bone fired at home by Israeli soldiers. In the meantime, Israeli occupation soldiers physically assaulted and briefly detained a Palestinian from the village of Kifl Haris, north of the occupied West Bank city of Salfit. Witnesses told WAFA that Israeli soldiers assaulted Mr. Nabil Ebeid near the Kifl Haris square, just outside the illegal Israeli settlement of Ariel The soldiers reportedly attempted to falsely accuse Ebeid of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack against them in order to justify the assault, before letting him go.(rh) 14/3/2021
Israel`s next election is not just about Netanyahu : Regardless of the outcome when polls are counted after March 23, politicians will have to not only decide whether to join another Likud coalition, but also how to handle issues such as the Palestinian cSever Plocker - Ynetnews - It has become customary to divide the parties running in the March 23 election into the pro- and anti- Netanyahu camps, or more accurately, the probability of them joining a coalition headed by the incumbent prime minister. It is a reasonable method of categorization, but not the only one. Going deeper and looking over the various parties` manifestos and ideologies, especially on the Palestinian conflict, creates new divisions not seen at a first glance. One bloc is the diplomatic center, a collection of parties that do not support (or have stopped supporting) the idea of Greater Israel and have instead adopted the two-state solution, however the final borders may look. In this category sit centrist parties Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz`s Blue & White - and even the right-wing Likud. Yes, even the Likud has made a political shift on the matter, especially under the leadership of Netanyahu, who decided to forgo annexation of West Bank land in favor of normalization agreements with far-flung Arab states that have do not have a side in the Palestinian issue.(rh) 14/3/2021
Elections under Fire: Palestine’s Impossible Democracy DilemmaRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - Many Palestinian intellectuals and political analysts find themselves in the unenviable position of having to declare a stance on whether they support or reject upcoming Palestinian elections which are scheduled for May 22 and July 30. But there are no easy answers.The long- awaited decree by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last January to hold legislative and presidential elections in the coming months was widely welcomed, not as a triumph for democracy but as the first tangible positive outcome of dialogue between rival Palestinian factions, mainly Abbas’ Fatah party and Hamas. As far as inner Palestinian dialogue is concerned, the elections, if held unobstructed, could present a ray of hope that, finally, Palestinians in the Occupied Territories will enjoy a degree of democratic representation, a first step towards a more comprehensive representation that could include millions of Palestinians outside the Occupied Territories. But even such humble expectations are conditioned on many “ifs”: only if Palestinian factions honor their commitments to the Istanbul Agreement of September 24; only if Israel allows Palestinians, including Jerusalemites, to vote unhindered and refrains from arresting Palestinian candidates; only if the US-led international community accepts the outcome of the democratic elections without punishing victorious parties and candidates; only if the legislative and presidential elections are followed by the more consequential and substantive elections in the Palestinian National Council (PNC) – the Palestinian Parliament in exile – and so on. (rh)14/3/2021
If you are a settler, you can run your car over sheep with impunityTaayush - A settler from ‘Maskiyot’ rode his car into a flock from En Hilwa, running over 4 sheep and wounding another 15 – but was not arrested; violent attacks against Palestinians by Jewish Purim celebrants in Jerusalem; house demolitions and confiscations on a large scale continue throughout the Occupied Territories; gangs of settler s with the active help of Israeli army and police were busy this week too with incursions into tended Palestinian fields, blocking roads, chasing away Palestinian shepherds from their own grazing grounds, cutting down olive trees and attacking Palestinians and their property; the Jerusalem District Court rejected an appeal by Palestinian inhabitants of Sheikh Jarrah to repeal their eviction from their homes by Jewish settlers.[ak]11/3/2021
Mourid Barghouti, a giant of plain wordsAhmed Masoud - Electronic Intifada - Thirty years after his exile began, Barghouti went back to Ramallah for the first time in 1996. It was the era of the Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Numerous commentators were talking about peace in the Middle East yet Barghouti was under no illusions. In `I Saw Ramallah`, he writes: “The others are still masters of the place. They give you a permit. They check your papers. They start files on you. They make you wait.” [bz]11/3/2021
`All I can do is film, and it breaks my heart’Basil al-Adraa - +972 - Entire communities in south Hebron are under threat of expulsion, while Israeli soldiers try to prevent activists like me from filming the demolitions [ry] 8/3/2021
Three fishermen die in a mysterious explosion off Khan YounisWafa News Agency - GAZA, Sunday, March 07, 2021 (WAFA) – Three Palestinian fishermen were killed in a mysterious explosion today while they were sailing off the city of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip, according to medical sources and witnesses. WAFA correspondent quoted the sources as saying that a mysterious explosion took place in a fishing boat killing the three fishermen at once. The three were identified as Yahya Lahham, Hamdi Lahham, and Zakaria Lahham.The nature of the explosion or the source is not known yet. Early today morning, the Israeli occupation navy opened fire at Palestinian fishermen sailing off Gaza City, forcing them to return to the shore.(rh) 7/3/2021
Israel postpones roll-out of COVID vaccine to Palestinian workersAljazeera - Israel says it is postponing until further notice plans to administer COVID vaccinations to Palestinians who work inside the country and in its settlements in the occupied West Bank.//The announcement was confirmed by the Palestinian Authority who said it had reached an agreement with Israel that would see the country vaccinate 100,000 Palestinian workers. But COGAT on Friday announced a postponement which it attributed to “administrative delays,” saying that a new start for the campaign would be determined at a later time. The inoculation drive was supposed to begin on Sunday at West Bank crossings into Israel and at Israeli industrial zones. Such inoculations could have assuaged criticism of Israel for not sharing significant amounts of its COVID vaccine stockpiles with Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank and those in the Gaza Strip – even as Israel succeeded in launching one of the fastest vaccine roll-outs in the world Israel had also announced plans to share surplus vaccines with far-flung allies in Africa, Europe and Latin America, but the decision was frozen by legal questions. (rh) 7/3/2021
Israel`s military courts for Palestinians are a stain on international justiceSahar Francis - The Guardian - The overwhelming majority of Palestinians in the West Bank were born into, and have spent their entire lives under, an Israeli military occupation that violates their right to self-determination. A new report by the UK charity War on Want exposes how a core part of what sustains that occupation is a military judicial system characterised by violations of international law.The report – Judge, Jury and Occupier – is a deep dive into the diverse ways in which Palestinians’ rights are being violated – from arrest, through interrogation, conviction and jail time. It reflects the experiences of Palestinian lawyers and human rights groups. The prisoners’ rights organisation I lead, Addameer, was proud to contribute evidence. One of the report’s important contributions is to make clear that, despite the Oslo accords and establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) for Palestinians in the West Bank, there has been, and remains, no escape from Israel’s military judicial system. (rh)7/3/2021
Rights group: Israeli human rights violations escalated in 2020YUMNA PATEL - Mondoweiss - 2020 was a dismal year for human rights in Palestine, as Israel tightened its grip on the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) through escalated attacks on Palestinians and their property and the introduction of new laws to further limit Palestinian rights, all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new field report from Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq released this week details the numerous human rights violations that occurred throughout Palestine, particularly in the occupied West Bank, during 2020 — violations that the group said were exacerbated by, and spurred on, by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the report, Al- Haq states that while Palestinians focused their efforts into combating the spread of the coronavirus in 2020, Israel “seized the opportunity to advance its settler project and intensify repressive measures against Palestinians in all their places of residence.” Those repressive measures, the group says, included massive home demolitions, land confiscation, settlement expansion, and the violation of freedom of movement and the right to health, among other things.(rh)7/3/2021
Yes, The Hague is right to investigate Israel for war crimesLARRY DERFNER - Mondoweiss - There’s a natural resistance to saying that your country deserves to be investigated for war crimes by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. But if you believe that Israel’s open-ended occupation and the settlements and lethal onslaughts in Gaza that go with it are morally untenable, how do you avoid that conclusion? The arguments against an investigation, whose formal initiation was announced Wednesday by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, don’t stand up. For instance, the argument that such an investigation would be unfair because there are so many countries doing worse things than Israel does. “[T]he ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to the court’s decision last month clearing the way for the probe, calling that ruling “pure antisemitism.” He used the same term to characterize Wednesday’s decision to launch the investigation. I suspect Netanyahu knows the real reason why the ICC doesn’t investigate Iran or Syria – or China, or North Korea, or Zimbabwe, or Eritrea, or Saudi Arabia, or Yemen, or a number of other regimes whose criminality exceeds or dwarfs Israel’s. It’s because the wrongs these regimes commit don’t affect a state that has granted the ICC jurisdiction over it by signing the Rome Statute.(rh)7/3/2021
Israel will start vaccinating Palestinian workers on SundayAaron Boxerman - The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which is in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs, said it will roll out the immunization campaign at checkpoints and industrial zones across the West Bank. The government approved the plan on Sunday. Around 87,000 Palestinians hold work permits in Israel, and an additional 35,000 work in Israeli settlements, according to Defense Ministry figures. cated vaccination complexes will be initially set up for the campaign, COGAT said — eight for those employed in Israel and four for those employed in the West Bank — with Israeli healthcare workers administering the shots. More centers may be opened later. The change op policy, after weeks of Israel declaining any responsibility for vaccinating Palestinian, seems derived from health experts warning that new dangerous mutations of Covid-19 might eneter Israel from the West Bank. [ak] 3/3/2021
No drinking water left - the army confiscated all water tanksTaayush - The Humsa community in the northern Palestinian Jordan Valley was left without drinking water as the Israeli army confiscated all water tanks, as well as 18 structures donated after previous demolitions – at the very same time, the Regional Commander passed the time of day meeting settlers in ‘Ma’oz Esther’, an illegal outpost; activists are urgently needed for preventing settlers’ daily incursions with their flocks into tended Palestinian fields near Tayibe Junction; the army violently dispersed protest demonstrations in Salfit and Hebron; settlers celebrated Purim with curses and death threats at Palestinians in Susya; during a house demolition in ‘Issawiya, a policeman shot a Palestinian activist and wounded his belly. [ak]3/3/2021
Military Court in Israel sentences Palestinian politician Khalida Jarrar to two years in prisonMiddle East Eye - Jarrar is a prominent political activist in the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).She has been arrested numerous times and done several stints in Israeli administrative detention. Her latest sentence comes as Palestinians are gearing up to vote in long-overdue legislative elections in May. [bz] 3/3/2021
Oxfam Director: Israel’s Vaccine Export Deal “Shameful” as nearly 5 Million Palestinians WaitPalestine Chronicle - "In reaction to Israel’s announcement on sending surplus vaccines to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Honduras, and Guatemala, Oxfam Acting Country Director in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Dina Jibril has described the deal as `shameful`, as millions of Palestinians are left to wait" [ry] 1/3/2021
Israeli Forces Attack Peaceful Protest in Jordan ValleyIMEMC News - "Two activists were detained, on Saturday, and dozens of Palestinian demonstrators suffocated on teargas in Ein al-Sakut, in northern Jordan Valley, the Palestinian Information Center reported" [ry] 1/3/2021
Israel’s foul play against football in GazaAbdallah al-Naami - EI - “Israel presented its 26 December airstrikes as a response to rockets fired from Gaza. Its military claimed that it had hit ‘Hamas terror targets.’ The military did not mention that three Palestinian civilians – one of them a girl aged six – were injured in the offensive. Nor did it refer to the damage of the football stadium and to other civilian infrastructure” [ry] 1/3/2021
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