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

Jerusalem

Assuming the Arab League makes good on its commitment … the fund will serve only to highlight the very problems it seeks to alleviate… The reality is that Mr Abbas and the Arab League are at least a decade too late to protect East Jerusalem. In the current circumstances, such a cash fund will do little more than salve consciences.

Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine call upon the mayor of Jerusalem to put an end to all house demolitions in Al Bustan, Silwan, and the rest of East Jerusalem.

The discovery of a rare aerial photo of Jerusalem in the 1930s, taken by a Zeppelin, has provided the long-sought after proof that when Israel occupied the Old City in 1967 it secretly destroyed an important mosque that dated from the time of Saladin close to the al-Aqsa mosque.

Amir Salima, 21, from the Old City of Jerusalem, has no legal status – not in Israel, not in the Palestinian Authority and not anywhere else. He has no identity card, no passport, he cannot register for university studies, apply for a job, sign up for an HMO or open a bank account. He cannot visit the West Bank or anywhere else outside of Jerusalem. In fact, he can barely leave his house, for fear of being caught by the police.

Michael Sfard: “It’s the first report of its kind which, looking from a bird’s-eye view, sees not just demolitions, not just loss of residency, and not just discrimination between Jewish and Palestinian [inhabitants] – but also displacement based on ethnic origins.”

There are tens of thousands of Jerusalem-born Palestinians who have been stripped of their residency status in the city by heartlessness disguised as Israel’s residency law. Celebrities make no special effort to defend these people’s natural-born right to live in their own city. The Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office is now accusing two of them, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafa, of staying in the city illegally.

Jerusalem report: ‘Death to Arabs’ and ‘Kahane was right’ daubed outside bilingual school; Christian monastery defaced with ‘Death to Christians’ and ‘price tag’ inscriptions; Jerusalem police investigating both incidents.

IOA Editor: Israeli “price-tag” extremists do not discriminate: they hate both Christians and Muslims, and do what they can to encourage them to leave Jerusalem and Palestine.

The current report holds that, among other things, Israel is working to annex the Eastern part of Israel – a policy that the European Union sees as illegal, and holds that Israeli policies in East Jerusalem are “increasingly undermining the feasibility of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.”

IDF Reserve Officer: “We get material from the rabbinate every week and it’s mostly positive things,” adding that the edited picture was part of an “official release, which is why it’s problematic the army is distributing it.”

IOA Editor: The many faces of ethnic cleansing.

Jerusalem anti-Arab activist: “A booklet with a list of places that employ Arabs will be published soon. That will be followed by hanging up posters and signs with these lists in the streets – just so that the public will know and be cautious.”

The recent forced closures of Palestinian nonprofit organizations in Jerusalem is an example of the Israeli authorities’ continued attacks on the city’s Palestinian identity and their attempts to maintain control over occupied East Jerusalem, according to local human rights groups.

On Tuesday six Palestinian activists boarded Israeli buses in an attempt to challenge the system of segregation in the West Bank. They were arrested at Hizmeh checkpoint, interrogated by Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Shabak [Shin Bet], and released. In the West Bank, segregation is both visible with the separation wall, fence, and separate cities for Israelis and Palestinians and invisible with separate legal and security systems for the two peoples.

Assailants spray paint Mamilla Cemetery headstones with the slogans ‘Death to Arabs’ and the name of a settlement outpost slated for demolition. This is only the last in a series of violent activities against Palestinians and Israeli anti-Occupation activists.

IOA Editor: Mamilla Cemetery, a historic Jerusalem and Muslim landmark, has now been relegated by a junior Haaretz journalist to a site “next to the [yet-to-be-built] Jerusalem Museum of Tolerance.” The cemetery, containing centuries of Palestinian history, has been desecrated for decades by Israeli governments intent on eradicating Palestinian history. The museum, representing a distorted view of Jewish history, and imported from the US, is intended to physically replace yet another bit of Palestinian history — in Jerusalem, the very heart of Israeli-Palestinian contention. The Mamilla Cemetery case is crucially important: it is a very real, yet also a very symbolic, representation of Israeli ethnic cleansing in action.

A study commissioned by Israel’s Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat to address housing shortages in the city, obtained by Hebrew daily Maariv, shows designs for 60,718 housing units in the city, with the majority — 52,363 homes — planned for East Jerusalem.

Americans for Peace Now files amicus brief with US Supreme Court to oppose listing Israel as home country of Jerusalem-born Americans; US has never recognized any sovereignty over Jerusalem, be it Israel, Palestinian or Jordanian.

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.

A majority of Palestinians support the bid for Palestine’s membership of the UN, but expect a negative backlash, according to the results of a survey released Sunday and carried out in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip from July 13 – 17.

UN coordinator for the ME peace process: “If confirmed, this provocative action undermines ongoing efforts by the international community to bring the parties back to negotiations.”

The continuous desecrations taking place in Mamilla are not isolated or random acts. They are part of a pattern of systematically discriminatory policies that have been implemented against Palestinians since 1948, and are still being implemented inside Israel proper and in the territories occupied in 1967. These policies have resulted in the expropriation of most of the over ninety-three percent of the property of Mandatory Palestine that in 1948 was owned by Arabs.

Esther Zandberg: “Although it is termed a preservation effort, it is in effect, paradoxically, an erasure of all memory of the original village.”
Eitan Bronstein: “The message is that we are finishing what we started in 1948.”

“My understanding of the Jewish ethical tradition comes primarily from my knowledge of the Jewish historical experience… I feel they are the principal determining factors: our ethical tradition, our struggles for justice, going back to the 19th-century shtetl, where my great-grandmother was hunted by the Cossacks, in pogroms.”

“Israel is occupying the Palestinian people in my name, in the name of world Jewry,” Lucas, clutching his American passport, tells the camera. “And I myself, an American Jew, is here to say that is completely unjustified and ethically reprehensible.”

IOA Editor: This news story finally made it to Haaretz, and got distorted along the way. The group of Israelis marching through East Jerusalem chanting “death to the Arabs” was not “small,” as several video reports have clearly shown.

Last Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Israeli youth marched along the Green Line to celebrate Jerusalem Day, an annual commemoration of the Israeli occupation of the city in the 1967 war. The organization of the march was done under a Zionist banner. Three days later, thousands of Israelis marched in Tel Aviv in support of the Two State Solution. While many organizations participated, the overall slogan was “Netanyahu says no, Israel says yes to a Palestinian state”.

RELATED Jerusalem Day 2011 by Just Jerusalem

For the first time in decades, Palestinian activists in Ras al-Amud, a neighborhood of Jerusalem south east of the Old City, invited Jewish Israeli activists to join them in their protest against a fortress settlement in their area. The neighborhood is the site of nearly daily confrontations between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces, and is sometimes referred to as the “daily intifada”.

On April 28th, formerly rivaling Palestinian parties announced their intention to begin reconciliation and hold an election within one year. Hamas is in power in the Gaza strip and Fateh is the leading party in the Palestinian Authority, ruling the West Bank. Since 2006 the parties have fought each other, leading to hundreds of casualties and many failed attempts to reach reconciliation.

Hamoked director Dalia Kerstein: “There is clearly a policy to push Palestinians out of Jerusalem and Israel to reduce what is called here the ‘Palestinian demographic threat.’ It’s really a case of ethnic cleansing.”

Like most Arab residents of East Jerusalem who chose not to apply for Israeli citizenship, Fahmi had Israeli residency, but not citizenship. Residency is automatically revoked in the event of an absence of many years or the acquisition of citizenship from another country.

IOA Editor: This seemingly small matter, one case among thousands, reflects the essence of the Israeli-Palestinian “conflict:” It is part of an ongoing, systematic effort on Israel’s part to replace the Palestinian Arab population with a Jewish population: a long term process of Ethnic Cleansing. To that end, a complex web of laws covering citizenship and immigration, land ownership and use, town development and residency, economic benefits, and much more has been set up. New laws are added as deemed necessary, such as the law authorizing ‘admission committees’ approval for residency in Israeli towns, which is designed to exclude Palestinians and others who do not conform to a vague lifestyle standard.

Israeli security service agents have obscured their identities in the past when confronting Palestinians, but this is a new phenomenon for Israeli citizens.

IOA Editor: No mask could possibly conceal Israeli Occupation crimes.

Israeli Civil rights attorney Lea Tsemel: “The [activists] were focused and continue to be focused on legal, democratic and non-violent protest against settlement trends in East Jerusalem . . . the phrasing of the report suggests the Shin Bet view these activists as similar to terrorists . . . as individuals seeking to harm the security forces.”

Although the Ministry of Defense [and] the Jerusalem municipality have claimed that the base will be within the green line, the document proves otherwise… Most of the area in which the base is to be built, however, appears to be on land that belonged to Jordan during the interwar [1948-1967] period. According to armistice agreements, it was a demilitarized zone and a small part of it was no man’s land between the two countries’ borders.

New West-Bank settlement map

14 February 2011

An updated map of Israeli colonization of the West Bank was released by Peace Now. It deserves careful study. Also note the graph on the left which shows clearly that colonization peaked during the so-called “Oslo Peace Process,” and again during the Camp David Peace charade hosted by US president Bill Clinton. This provides fresh evidence, if it were needed, that as far as Israel is concerned the negotiations were an exercise in deception and fraud.

Lifta has become known within Israel and internationally as a quintessential Palestinian village, one of the few of the 500 villages that had not been completely destroyed by Israeli forces in the war of 1948. Lifta is celebrated as part of a beautiful landscape of ruins, loved by walkers and nature enthusiasts, but remembered primarily by its original inhabitants many of whom live nearby but have never been allowed to return.

The Jerusalem Municipal Committee for Planning and Building is expected to approve today the construction of two buildings that will include 13 apartments for Jewish residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Backing the plan are settler organizations who currently occupy three homes in the neighborhood. Following the plan’s approval, it will be necessary to evict a number of Palestinian families living on the site in order for construction to commence.

Al-Jazeera TV , the Guardian: PA agreed to concede almost all of East Jerusalem to Israel, accept Israeli demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and much more.

Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat: “This is the first time in Palestinian-Israeli history in which such a [concession] is officially made.” … But the offer was rejected out of hand by Israel because it did not include … Ma’ale Adumim as well as Har Homa and several other [settlements] deeper in the West Bank, including Ariel. “We do not like this suggestion because it does not meet our demands,” Israel’s then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, told the Palestinians.

IOA Editor: US-backed Israeli rejectionism, delivered by Tzipi Livni — generally regarded as Israel’s “more flexible” opposition leader. [Ha!] Nothing that we didn’t already know, other than the details on the specific Palestinian concessions.

Israelis and Palestinians dedicated to the village Lifta’s preservation have called the plan to build 212 luxury units and a small hotel the end for the last Palestinian village of its kind.

IOA Editor: Yet another example of Palestinian history to be erased by Israel — this time, while not physically razed, it will be raped and pillaged by government planners and private developers. Even greater than the loss of the remarkable architectural beauty of the remnants of this village (which managed to escape Israeli bulldozers for 63 years) is the importance of the ‘big picture’ behind the story: Israel has methodically eradicated most of Palestine’s pre-1948 Palestinian history — the more than 400 conquered Arab villages it destroyed after 1948 — while reconstructing Palestine’s Jewish history. This is particularly true for Jerusalem, where the ‘battle of the narratives’ continues to be at the forefront of the Occupation.

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