Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

2009

2009 Video selection

31 December 2009

A selection of video clips: 2009 – Occupation news, history, and more.

Cairo is currently experiencing civil disobedience, Western style… The fight is now with the Egyptian government and, according to Code Pink, their own embassies’ intransigence.

Like many of the names that Israel assigned to the new streets in the eastern part of [Jerusalem], the militaristic names that the rapid-transit stops are supposed to bear reflect the situation accurately: occupation.

IOA Editor: As Segev points out, the renaming of streets and transit stops reflects the Occupation. But he leaves a great deal out: The Renaming of Palestine is an important last part of a process, specifically designed to erase the past, thus enabling the re-Making of History as the victor would like future generations to know it. The current story is only the latest example. After 1948, nearly 500 Palestinian villages were removed: not only were they physically obliterated by the then-young State of Israel, but their names were either erased (from all maps and road signs) or “Hebraized” – turned into Hebrew. This is an important, and sinister, element in the historical process generally known as Ethnic Cleansing. For Israel it means This land is ours, and ours alone.

Ismail Haniyeh: “The Palestinian nation will never give up its national aspirations or its right to Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine and the Islamic people,” [speaking] to the 300 Israeli activists positioned at the Erez crossing via Israeli Arab MK Taleb A-Sana’s mobile phone. On the Gazan side of the border, nearly 100 international activists joined about 500 Palestinians, chanting and carrying signs denouncing the blockade.

More on the Gaza protest: Boycott / Protest / Resistance

Activists, both from Gaza and abroad, have held demonstrations on either side of an Israeli border crossing to the Palestinian territory, protesting against its continued siege by Israel.

The state on Wednesday asked the High Court of Justice to reject a petition filed by Peace Now against construction of 15 houses in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Netafim and said it would complete detailed planning which would pave the way for the authorities to grant building permits for the homes.

[A]ccording to a senior official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau, “everything was carried out with transparency vis-a-vis the Americans, even if there are disagreements.”

IOA Editor: Indeed. The Obama Administration is well aware of Israeli development activities in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories and is not doing what it can, and should, do to stop it.

It’s not that we can’t imagine life in Gaza. It’s that we are determined not to try to imagine. If we did, we might not stop there. Next we might try to imagine what it would be like if our country were in the condition in which we left Gaza. And sooner or later we might try to imagine what we would do if we were living over here like they’re living over there. Or not even what we would do, just what we would think – about the people, about the country, that did that to us and that wouldn’t even allow us to begin to recover after the war was over.

The Palestinian Authority may be seeking renewed talks with Israel even in the absence of an Israeli freeze on settlements.

The Shin Bet credits the low number on the ability of Israeli security forces to thwart attacks, as well as efforts by Palestinian security organizations… The report also noted that Hamas was reigning in activities of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in Gaza.

This highway has told the whole story. They pave a road, expropriate Palestinian land and the High Court of Justice approves the expropriation, in its words, “provided that it is done for the sake of the local population.” Afterwards they prevent the “local population” from using the road, and finally they build a wall with drawings of creeks and meadows so we don’t see and don’t know that we are driving on an apartheid road, that we are traveling on the axis of evil.

Gaza’s writing on the wall

29 December 2009

[W]hen it comes to the Israeli occupied and blockaded Gaza Strip, local government not only tolerates graffiti, but actually provides workshops on how artists can improve their technique.

Akiva Eldar: Netanyahu is not trying to enlarge his government because a new war is threatening Israel’s citizens. Rather, he is scared the peace process will threaten the wholeness of his government.

Would you email the editors at the New York Times and the Washington Post and ask them why they are not covering these incredibly important events?

Egyptian security forces on Tuesday prevented dozens of American activists from reaching the U.S. embassy in Cairo, where they hoped to ask the ambassador to help them reach the Gaza Strip.

The siege prohibits the export of Palestinian goods and severely limits the import of humanitarian supplies, such as food, medicine and reconstruction materials. The United Nations reports that Israel allows into Gaza less than 25% of the goods it did before the siege began in June 2007.

For the first time in 10 years the number of immigrants to Israel has risen this year.

Construction of the facility began in 2007, on private Palestinian land from the nearby village of Ein Yabrud, in contravention of the government’s approved master plan for the area. [...] “the state is trying to legitimize the land theft … by seizing land retroactively, for the sake of a settlement that was not long ago classified as ‘the largest illegal outpost in the West Bank.

Anna Tinsley: “I’ll be with people from all over the world who want to show humanity and show Palestinians that we haven’t forgotten them.”

Cairo blocks Gaza aid convoy

28 December 2009

Egypt has… barred more than 1,000 international campaigners from visiting the territory… Some 150 aid trucks organised by the Viva Palestina campaign led by George Galloway, a British member of parliament, are stuck in the Jordanian port of Aqaba, because the Egyptian authorities have refused to grant them permission to enter the country through the nearby Red Sea port of Nuweiba.

Magda Bayoumi, of Syracuse, said Israeli forces block shipments of food and medicine, and keep people from going to hospitals. Children have died as a result.

According to a current prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague… the significance of the Goldstone report… lies in its conclusion that Israel’s leaders “planned and predetermined the grave violations [of international law] and human rights abuses” long before the attack on Gaza.

Haaretz: War on protest

27 December 2009

The war the police and the Israel Defense Forces are openly waging against protests by left-wing and human rights activists has heated up in recent weeks. As a result, concern is growing over Israel’s image as a free and democratic country.

[G]reat efforts have been made to create an artificial symmetry between the systematic rebellion in the settlements and the refusal to serve in the territories that was prevalent at the beginning of the decade.

Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses
A Report One Year after Operation Cast Lead – December 2009

It is shameful to be Israeli today, much more than it was a year ago. In the final tally of the war, which was not a war but a brutal assault, Israel’s international status was dealt a severe blow, in addition to Israeli indifference and public blindness to what happened in Gaza.

Diplomatic negotiations are also taking place between the Turkish and Egyptian governments over the convoy’s entry to Egypt. IHH, Turkey’s main humanitarian aid agency, has 63 vehicles travelling on the convoy.

The New York-based rights group also criticised the Israeli blockade which “created massive humanitarian need and prevented the reconstruction of schools and homes” in the Hamas-run Palestinian territory.

[I]n two of the three cases the troops behaved as if they were preparing for an execution, not an arrest. Relatives and eyewitnesses told B’Tselem that the two were unarmed and did not attempt to flee, and that the soldiers weren’t trying to stop them, but rather shot them from close range once their identity was revealed.

The Egyptian government has denied entry to the Viva Palestina aid convoy carrying medical and humanitarian aid to Gaza.

However, 35 percent of Israelis maintained that terrorists responsible for the deaths of Israelis should not be released. Some 58 percent also support the release of Arab Israelis in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

Palestinians have a long history of nonviolent resistance but Israel has continuously deployed methods to destroy it… Israel’s response to [the] first strike was immediate and severe: it issued military orders categorising all forms of resistance as insurgency.

During the first and last days of Hanukkah, the Jerusalem police arrested drummers and clowns who believe in nonviolence, coexistence and equality between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem.

One of the disturbing features of the persistent use of torture by many countries in conflict situations around the world is the role some doctors play in condoning it…. [Dr Ruchama Marton, head of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel] was thinking about what some regard as the very unsatisfactory situation in Israel.

There is an internal document that has not been leaked, or perhaps has not even been written, but all the forces are acting according to its inspiration: the Shin Bet, Israel Defense Forces, Border Police, police, and civil and military judges. They have found the true enemy who refuses to whither away: The popular struggle against the occupation.

Construction on the 100-foot-deep steel wall began a few weeks ago, but the Egyptian government didn’t publicly acknowledge the project until the weekend. Officials defended the effort against accusations that it was an affront to Palestinians by the government of President Hosni Mubarak, which opposes Hamas, the militant group ruling Gaza.