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

Amira Hass

Journalist Amira Hass drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article.

An unusual operation by the Israel Defense Forces in the South Hebron Hills region has intensified suspicions among Palestinian residents that Israel is moving forward with its plan to demolish villages in the area and expel their residents. IDF helicopters ferried masked, armed soldiers to isolated Palestinian village of Jinba, where they raided homes, photographing and mapping the site, say residents.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the demolition of eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills because the territory is needed for Israel Defense Forces training exercises, the state told the High Court of Justice on Sunday… The IDF and the Civil Administration regard all of them as squatters in Firing Zone 918, even though the villages have existed since at least the 1830s.

IOA Editor: Since the early 1950s, “military training needs” has been a commonly used justification for the removal of Palestinians from lands desired by Israel. Typically, after a period of time, lands captured by this method have been turned over for Jewish settlements. As commented here before, this is an old “legal” tool used by the state to deprive Palestinians of their land and livelihood, which is part of a much larger program: the ethnic cleansing of Palestine — the replacement of the indigenous Palestinian population by a new, Jewish-only population — bit by bit, year after year, decade after decade, “dunam here and dunam there,” as the old Zionist slogan goes.

Day after day, tens of thousands of people live in the shadow of terror. Will there be an attack today on the homes at the edge of the village? Will we be able to get to the well, to the orchard, to the wheat field? Will our children get to school okay, or make it to their cousins’ house unharmed? How many olive trees were damaged overnight?

Abigail Disney: “Recent evidence from the Israeli Civil Administration documents that Ahava Dead Sea Laboratories sources mud used in its products from the occupied shores of the Dead Sea, which is in direct contravention to provisions in the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Convention forbidding the exploitation of occupied natural resources.”

Military police and soldiers arrest left-wing protesters for painting over racist graffiti.

As a result of the High Court ruling, officers of the Civil Administration show up in Susya on June 12 and hand out six collective demolition orders affecting 52 buildings, including a preschool, a clinic and a solar panel system supplying electricity to the village and its steadfast residents.

Several U.S. tourists report being asked by airport security personnel for access to their personal email accounts; Israel’s Shin Bet security service says it acted within the law.

IOA Editor: Welcome to Israel! But please don’t be of Palestinian or Arab descent, and don’t even think of being an activist…

The Oslo Accords permit Gazan fishermen to sail up to 20 nautical miles from shore. In practice, the furthest they were allowed to fish was 12 miles. This was shortened to six miles after 2000, and since the Operation Cast Lead military onslaught conducted by Israel against Gaza during winter 2008/2009, the permissible limit is only three nautical miles.

Israelis are not satisfied with the various measures to worsen [Palestinian] prison conditions. When it comes to Palestinians, punishment is not enough. Prison must also be never-ending revenge that extends what Israel tries to do outside its walls as well: to break up the collective, to weaken the individual, to deter others from resistance to the foreign regime.

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The only excessive stupidity of which deputy brigade commander Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner can be accused is hitting a young blond man in front of a camera. Other commanders and their subordinates will learn the lesson. They’ll check for any subversive cameras before going on to do what is unexceptional in the Wild East. They will beat up Palestinians … as well as anti-occupation activists – by rifle butt, by boot or simply by fist. Soldiers who beat up Palestinians are not generally filmed, and the (few ) written reports that exist are easily dismissed as lies and propaganda, are forgotten immediately or merely go unread.

The real question is not whether the solution is “two states” or “one state.” History in any case does not recognize end points – every stage leads to another. Visions are also not lacking. The visions must develop and change during the struggle for equality and justice, otherwise they will become gulags. The question was, and is, how much more bloodshed, suffering and disasters will be needed until the Jewish regime of discrimination and separation, which we have created here over the past 64 years, crumbles.

Khader Adnan has already broken a Palestinian record for the longest solo hunger strike. Yesterday he passed his 50th day as a hunger striker, protesting what he regards as humiliating practices exercised by Shin Bet security service interrogators. Posters displayed at support rallies have above his portrait the statement: “Dignity above food”, a statement repeated in a Facebook page titled “We are all Sheikh Khader Adnan.”

Contrary to the interpretation that this was an intentional humiliation of Abbas, for once it’s actually believable that this was a mere technical error. Humiliation is part of the system’s DNA, and the clerks who implement the system imbibe the techniques of humiliation from the day they enter the army – until they view them as immutable laws of nature.

Survey by European Heads of Mission in Jerusalem, Ramallah criticizes Israel for the ‘forced transfer’ Palestinians from Area C, defined by the Oslo Accords as those parts of the West Bank under full Israeli control.

On the third anniversary of the Cast Lead onslaught, we remember the anonymous soldiers who fired on a red car, in which a father, Mohammed Shurrab, and his two sons were returning home from their farm lands. It is not fair that the officer who then served as GOC Southern Command of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, will be the only one remembered on this anniversary. Indeed, the list of fighters who should be mentioned and recalled is long.

Anyone who has been harmed by the Israeli dictatorship feels alone, weak, angry and desperate. But every family in its own way cultivates its humanity. In a curious and moving way – despite internal rivalries, an unfair distribution of the burden, manifestations of ignorance and opportunism and disappointing leadership – the ability to remain steadfast and social solidarity are the overall result.

To escape the contradictions created by history and its lessons, we chose to buy the meta-historical explanation of our armed, fortified presence here: no more and no less than God’s promise to Abraham, from whom all of us are directly descended. This promise is what permits us, in our view, to do whatever we please to the people that dwells here, the natives of this land: to expel, to concentrate, to divide, to blockade, to impoverish, to dry out, to bomb, to uproot, to dispossess.

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama are pissed off at [Netanyahu] because he’s not as good a liar as his predecessors in the PM’s Office. They’re angry because he doesn’t bother to cover up the gap between the words and the bulldozers. It makes it harder for them to conceal the falsehood in US and European policy. A policy which supposedly seeks peace in the region and a state for the Palestinians; in practice, one that collaborates with Israel’s aim to impose a capitulation arrangement on the Palestinians.

Palestinians are losing out on some $6.9 billion a year, a study shows, as restrictions on water use, resources and imports exact their toll.

Indeed, the Oslo Accords created false symmetry between the occupier/colonizer and the occupied/colonized. This symmetry denied the Palestinians an important asset in negotiations for their independence: recognition in principle of Israeli and international responsibility for having wronged the Palestinians and robbed them of their homeland and rights.

Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, formerly acting Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), permitted bringing processed hummus into the Gaza Strip in July 2009, for the first time in two years. However, Gilad did not permit bringing hummus with extras, such as pine nuts or mushrooms, into the strip.

Hamas needs a blockade to regulate from within so that the subjects of “independent Gaza” will be exposed as little as possible to different realities and will not question its policies. Hamas needs the blockade and needs Gaza to be cut off from the rest of Palestinian society to ensure the continuation of its regime.

The one government determines the separate and unequal course of development of each people. An upper-country people and a lower-country people. Those on the first course have the right to live in the country because their forefather immigrated 3,000 years ago. Those on the second course do not have the right to live in their home, because their refugee fathers were born there 80 years ago.

We are profiting from the occupation even as we groan under regressive taxation. Whether our families came from Katrielevka or Baghdad, we are profiting from the structural discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel and from the very fact that they have become a minority in their own land.

As the movement grows, some will continue to think and demand “justice” within the borders of one nation, at the expense of the other nation that lives in this land. Others will understand that this will never be a country of justice and welfare if it is not a state of all its citizens.

A Palestinian financial crisis? Problems with donor countries? Economist Raja Khalidi offers some different explanations for the PA’s fiscal problems.

Two years after participating in a Taglit-Birthright tour, Harald Fuller-Bennett was denied entry into Israel. The Shin Bet claimed he had links to terrorists and suspected him of no longer being Jewish.

Outsourcing, aggressive and vocal diplomacy and ridiculous lies thwarted the flotilla, but they have not taken Gaza off the international agenda. If Israel – which knew full well that there was not one gram of explosives aboard the ships – had let them sail to Gaza, the flotilla would not have preoccupied the international media as it did.

The Swiss company that had sold cement to Swedish activists planning to sail to Gaza as part of an international aid flotilla said Wednesday that due to “force majeure,” it had decided to cancel the deal.

“Israel is trying to outsource the siege on Gaza to Greece and the US,” said Dror Feiler at the press conference. In other words, it turns other countries into collaborators in the imposition of the siege by blocking the flotilla – with warnings, threats, bureaucratic delays and adopting a “provocation” narrative.

Reports of bureaucratic and technical obstacles have given flotilla organizers the chance to remain in the spotlight, resulting in an increased awareness of Israel’s policies in Gaza.

I take a look at the other people in the room and ask myself, “Why do they need this?” The oldest person planning to sail on the Canadian vessel is a 77-year-old American woman… There’s also another woman and a man over 70… There are nine other passengers in their sixties, and many others between 40 and 60. So why are they doing this?

Letter from head of Israel’s Government Press Office warns that taking part in convoy of boats sailing to Gaza could result in being barred from Israel for 10 years. … The flotilla “is a dangerous provocation that is being organized by western and Islamic extremist elements to aid Hamas.” … Haaretz correspondent Amira Hass will be joining the flotilla, along with several dozen other journalists and several hundred activists from some 20 countries.

The artificial division between Areas A, B and C was supposed to be erased from the map, and dropped from the discourse, in 1999. Instead, Israel has sanctified and perpetuated it. The largest share – 60 percent – is designated Area C, meaning it is under full Israeli security and civil control. It is self-evident why Israel perpetuates the Area C classification. After all, it gives Israel a free hand to continue emptying that part of the West Bank of Palestinians and encourage more Jews to violate international law and settle there.

Dr. Salem Ajluni: “Without annual external assistance to the tune of about $1 billion from the donor countries, this is not a sustainable situation. I’m not the only one saying this. So is the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and [Palestinian Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad.”

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