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

October 2011

The academic Orientalists experts who sold the defense establishment the Shi’ites, and Hamas thereafter, “in order to stop the PLO,” failed in their understanding of the simplest matter: Occupation gives birth to opposition; opposition gives birth to death; death leads to more conflict, etc.

Twenty olive trees belonging to an Arab family in Jerusalem were uprooted on Thursday, and a sign saying “Price tag” was posted at the scene. The family, who lives near the grove in Beit Safafa, alerted the police who have launched an investigation.

Over the past 15 months the dusty plains of the northern Negev desert in Israel have been witness to a ritual of destruction, part of a police operation known as Hot Wind. On 29 occasions since June 2010, hundreds of Israeli paramilitary officers have made the pilgrimage over a dirt track near the city of Beersheva to the zinc sheds and hemp tents of al-‘Araqib. Within hours of their arrival, the 45 ramshackle structures — home to some 300 Bedouin villagers — are pulled down and al-‘Araqib is wiped off the map once again. All that remains to mark the area’s inhabitation by generations of the al-Turi tribe are the stone graves in the cemetery.

Israel has most explicitly devalued Arab life in the differentials it has been careful to maintain in the deaths and injuries its forces inflict and are prepared to sustain during conflict – Israel’s famous “deterrence”. According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, nearly 6,500 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000, compared with 506 Israeli fatalities. And Israel increased that imbalance more than tenfold during its attack on Gaza in winter 2008, when 1,400 Palestinians were killed as opposed to nine Israelis.

Ir Amim, a nonprofit that seeks to make life in Jerusalem more equitable for Arab and Jewish residents, claims agreement is illegal and ostensibly privatizes one of Israel’s most important tourism and archaeological sites

Both the City of David Archaeological Park and the proposed King’s Garden project, like all the Israeli settler’s neighbourhoods in annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank, are illegal under international law and numerous UN Resolutions. Settlements constructed beyond the international border established in 1967 violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Not all successful mediators are neutral, yet America’s seemingly limitless devotion to the colonizer against the colonized cries out for a counterweight. To the extent Washington succeeds in excluding other actors from the equation, it will increasingly be called to account by the region’s citizens.

News that Israel and Hamas had reached agreement on a prisoner exchange instantaneously displaced the PLO bid for full UN membership from the headlines in mid-October. Arguably, Hamas and Israel had a common interest in this regard. More importantly, the Palestinian Islamists, no longer relegated to the margins of the Palestinian UN initiative by the rival leadership in Ramallah, can now resume reconciliation talks from a position of relative equality.

Netanyahu’s UN speech includes a strange statement: “The settlements are a result of the conflict”. The blurring of cause and effect is a constant feature of dominant Israeli rhetoric… And when he says, correctly, that the conflict began before a single settlement was established in the West Bank, he implicitly refers to the fact that, all along, the conflict’ core was the clash between a settler movement (Zionism) and the original inhabitants.

For the Israeli leadership, the ‘peace process’ … is a perpetual ratchet mechanism for buying time, while colonisation of Palestinian lands is extended and expanded.

On a symbolic level, the national conference reads as a victory for Palestine solidarity work in the United States. Organizing a national structure will provide SJP chapters with resources that will enable students to continue to be effective in educating their campuses on Israel-Palestine, in spite of the forces that oppose them.

What happens is in all of these movements … the foot soldiers of the elite — the blue uniformed police, the mechanisms of control — finally don’t want to impede the movement and at that point the power elite is left defenseless…

Oxfam says over 2,500 olive trees were destroyed in September, and 7,500 this year. Since 1967, 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted resulting in a loss of around $55 million to the Palestinian economy, the international organization estimates.

While hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and Gilad Shalit return home, hundreds others go into exile, and thousands remain jailed in Israel.

What solidarity work is about is defending a democratic principle of self-government for an oppressed people, within the limits of international laws and universal norms. The right of self- determination basically means that ALL Palestinians (wherever they happen to reside) have a right to actively participate in shaping their political future.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi: “When you arrive to arrest terrorists like the murderers of the Fogel family, they should just be shot, exterminated. They were terrorists that murdered people and should be killed in their beds.”

Some 203 prisoners from the West Bank will not return home: 40 will be exiled outside to other countries and the rest will be sent to Gaza, the official said.

Palestinian prisoners have entered their third week of hunger strike. After two weeks of hunger strike, physical symptoms become increasingly severe and prisoners’ lives and health are ever more at risk…As of October 9, 300 prisoners were participating in a complete open ended hunger strike and 3000 in a partial hunger strike. Additional prisoners have been joining the strike on a daily basis – on October 10 and 11, over 1500 prisoners at Nafha, Ramon, Eshel, Asqelan, and Gilboa prisons have joined in the open-ended strikes

On 9 October 2011, four women political prisoners have joined the open hunger strike…the prison authorities punished the women prisoners who joined the hunger strike and took many things from their cell, including television, radio, hot plate, kettle, notebooks, books, pens and all the food that was in the cell, including sugar and salt.

Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank struggle to harvest olives amid Israelis that steal their land and restrict their movement. Yet the inhabitants of al-Walaja villiage in Palestine continue to resist by carrying on the age-old tradition.

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