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

September 2009

To protest the killing of 13 Palestinian demonstrators in 2000, stop land confiscations and house demolitions, advance full civic and national rights for Arab Palestinian citizens.

[The plan] calls for the construction of 14,000 housing units for 40,000 Jewish Israelis on 3,000 dunums… The land in question is owned by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Al-Walaja, sandwiched between the settlement of Gilo and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “I lend my full support to Justice Goldstone’s report and its recommendations. I fully agree with him that the prevailing impunity for human rights violations in the Middle East conflict must end.”

“The decision by the Spanish government to disqualify the Israeli researchers is unwarranted, biased and clearly discriminatory,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “This unacceptable action introduces politics into an important scientific competition where politics has no place.”

IOA Editor: Despite its lofty motto, the ADL is not fighting for “justice and fair treatment to all.” It never protested the closure of Birzeit University or other Palestinian academic institutions, or rejected Israel’s closure of Gaza which prevented even pencils and paper from arriving at Gaza’s shattered schools in time for the current school year. Now, by joining Israel’s propaganda war against international law, the ADL is endorsing Israel’s occupation and settlement program.

According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the U212s… have a range of 4,500 kilometres (2,810 miles) and can launch cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Israeli media have written that the Dolphin submarine could be key in any attack on arch-foe Iran’s controversial nuclear sites.

IOA Editor: For technical specifications, see Israeli Dolphins Rule The Waves

India will get its first set of lethal drones designed to take down high-value targets like missile sites, radars and even senior enemy personnel by 2011, adding a new dimension to its combative capabilities.

IOA Editor: According to The Marker (Hebrew), the sale will consist of 10 “suicide” drones for over US$100M. The drones are classified as “violent” or “self-destruct,” designed to aim at high value targets and explode onto them. Not a bad deal for the killing-machine maker, Israel Aerospace Industries, at more than US$10M a pop, hit or miss – a far higher return than, say, Jaffa oranges.

The cases arise out of three incidents where the Israeli army entered Palestinian villages in the middle of the night and rounded up children en masse, accusing them of throwing stones at the Wall and settler by-pass roads in the West Bank.

British lawyers for several Palestinian families are seeking to obtain an international arrest warrant for the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, in a London court over alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip… Barak is due to meet Gordon Brown today and David Miliband, the foreign secretary, tomorrow.

UPDATE:
U.K. court defers Palestinian bid to arrest Ehud Barak

Participation of foreign diplomats represented a turning point in the way that the world treated relations between Israel’s Arab population and the state… About a month ago, The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee decided to declare a general strike in all Israeli Arab communities on Thursday, October 1st.

IOA Editor: The participation of foreign diplomats in events related to the General Strike would be a remarkable change, and would add to Israel’s feeling of growing global pressure. Let us hope that this will actually happen.

[The military researcher] also warned of the possibility that in a future conflict, the United States might not help Israel as it had in the past… Sandman recommended that the IDF ask the US to establish additional warehouses with emergency stockpiles of weaponry in Israel, even “if Israel has to pay for their maintenance.” The US already has several warehouses with weaponry in Israel.

Jonathan Cook writes about Samih Jabareen’s Gaza protest and extended house arrest. He also reports that Israel’s “Arab minority” is staging a general strike on Thursday, 1 Oct 2009 to protest the increasingly harsh climate.

The top PLO negotiator, Dr Saeb Erakat, condemned what he termed Israeli violence against worshippers. “This attack on ordinary civilians and worshippers at Al-Aqsa is unacceptable…” Israeli settlers were “determined to destroy Jerusalem as it once was, an open and multicultural city, and home to the world’s three great monotheistic faiths… Israel’s actions are both illegal and are designed to make Jerusalem a ‘united city’ for Israeli settlers only, while Israel continues to target the city’s Christian and Muslim population.”

Israelis, Palestinians work together: The Occupier and the Occupied.

Meanwhile, Israel has warned the Palestinian Authority that it would condition permission for a second cellular telephone provider to operate in the West Bank – an economic issue of critical importance to the PA leadership – on the Palestinians withdrawing their request at the International Court.

Nuclear threat to the Golan

27 September 2009

[T]he Syrian Foreign Ministry has accused Israel of “the crime of burying nuclear, radioactive and poisonous waste in the Golan, exposing the population to the danger of grave illnesses.” The report also notes that the “living conditions of the Syrian inhabitants of the occupied Golan are deteriorating every day.”

An organization committed to populating East Jerusalem with Jewish residents has said that it has six properties in the Old City to sell to 22 Jewish families, which would bring the number of Jews living in the Arab quarters of the walled city to 1,000.

For Netanyahu, the threat of peace has passed. At least for the time being. It is difficult to understand how Obama allowed himself to get into this embarrassing situation.

A clear majority of Palestinians – 55% – favor a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, separate from Israel, according to the survey. Just 11% favored either of the other alternatives under discussion, a bi-national state of Palestinians and Israelis or a confederation with neighboring Jordan and Egypt.

The report’s findings demand action by the international community, including the United States. The importance of U.S. action is elevated because the U.S. currently holds the Presidency of the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. body charged with enforcing the report’s conclusions.

‘We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of impunity,’ Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, was quoted by IPS in response to the findings of a 574-page report by a four-member United Nations Fact finding mission.

Only one thing does bother the Israelis, according to the polls: fear of a diplomatic embargo and an international boycott. The Goldstone Report and the International Court of Justice in The Hague are arousing concern and interest, far more than Obama’s peace speeches.

IOA Editor: The importance of this commentary is the confirmation of the growing public concern in Israel about possible global isolation due to the boycott campaign and the increasing, however slowly, diplomatic pressure. The assessment of Obama’s ME failure is rather narrow, leaving out the close alliance between the US and Israel – the fundamental reason for Obama’s non-action. See: US ships arrive ahead of joint drill, covered here earlier this week.

“The Jewish soul is a precious, all-too-rare resource, and we are not prepared to give up on even a single one”

Death in the Samouni compound

25 September 2009

The soldiers left behind graffiti in the home of Rashad Samouni, which Haaretz saw and photographed: “1 down, 999,999 to go,” “The People of Israel lives,” “God is the king, there is nothing besides him,” “Almighty God, we love you,” “We have no one to rely on but our father in heaven,” “Arabs need to die,” “Less than 300 days left ’til I’m released,” “We haven’t drank our fill of blood.”

Then came the kicker: Operation Cast Lead was a pinpoint attack. Israel telephoned thousands of people to tell them to leave their homes. Where to, Mr. Prime Minister? Into the sea? He said the IDF, which killed nearly 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, exhibited unprecedented restraint.

Following the release last week of the Goldstone commission findings which accused Israel of committing war crimes during its offensive in the Gaza Strip, [Israeli] diplomatic officials feared that the report would weigh heavily on the agenda of this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting. Israel’s fears proved to have no basis in fact as the report was cited by just a few world leaders.

While Obama, Abbas and Netanyahu are posing for the photos, President Obama should use the presence of the press to state what the Road Map obliges the Quartet to do. Publicly point his finger to the party which has not fulfilled its obligation to the international will.

A senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said Monday that he is considering opening an investigation into whether Lt. Col. David Benjamin, an Israel Defense Forces reserve officer, allowed war crimes to be committed during the IDF’s three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip this winter.

In their appeal filed Thursday the two civil parties argued that “there is no independent judicial system in Israel and that the current universal jurisdiction applies in the case of Gaza”.

The house was built, in great luxury, in the late 1920s by the Christian Palestinian family headed by Elias Mughanam, a lawyer who was the secretary of the Palestinian Congress. The asking price? US$9,000,000. Not a bad return for what was, 61 years ago, a free or nearly-free house for the new “owners.”

MPAC leaders joined more than 30 of the nation’s most prominent and diverse religious leaders in signing onto a public letter in support of “strong U.S. leadership to achieve a negotiated sustainable resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In the letter, which was coordinated by Churches for Middle East Peace, the leaders said that the opportunity for a two-state solution for achieving peace and security was “rapidly closing.”

The reasons America’s Zionist sympathizers feel compelled to silence Finkelstein will be no surprise to habitués of this region. He is among a handful of US intellectuals to present forceful, reasoned and systematic critique of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinian people.

Hadash Chairman Mohammad Barakeh said the statistics were the result of long term government policies: “We are living in two states here. This is the result of actions by generations of Israeli governments. The data speaks for itself… It’s a policy meant to place the Arab citizens under siege and it translates into poverty”

Goldstone’s gambit

23 September 2009

“I was driven particularly because I thought the outcome might, in a small way, assist the peace process,” he told the Forward. “I really thought I was one person who could achieve an even-handed mission.”

Ever since the Gaza war the solidity of Jewish support for Israel has been fraying at the edges, and will likely now fray much further. More globally, a very robust boycott and divestment movement has been gaining momentum ever since the Gaza war, and the Goldstone report will clearly lend added support to such initiatives. There is a growing sense around the world that the only chance for the Palestinians to achieve some kind of just peace depends on shaping the outcome by way of the symbols of legitimacy, what I have called the legitimacy war. Increasingly, the Palestinians have been winning this second non-military war.

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to meet U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday in New York, workers in the West Bank settlement of Betar Ilit will continue… laying the groundwork for new homes… The fact that the hill is outside the perimeter of existing buildings runs contrary to the Israeli contention that construction is being performed within the existing built-up areas.

IOA Editor: Business as usual: Under US diplomatic blessings, and naval protection, the Empire continues to grow – “dunam here, and dunam there,” as the old Zionist expression goes.

A new report from Adalah shows how the courts and police attempted to stamp out opposition to Operation Cast Lead. “This is a time of war, and every incident harms the people’s morale.”

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