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

December 2009

Hundreds of Palestinians have rallied in the Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border to protest against Egypt’s construction of a steel wall aimed at blocking smuggling tunnels to Gaza.

I am a Palestinian refugee, from the village of Fallujah which lies between Gaza, Hebron and Asqalan. I’ve never been allowed to visit Fallujah… I lived the next four years under constant fear of arrest by the Israeli military, because that would have resulted in almost certain deportation to Gaza, and isolation from my family.

These days, it’s tough to find a used car with a bumper sticker that reads “Peace is better than a Greater Israel.” Nowadays, everyone seems to favor the latest formula: two states for two peoples.

The IDF Spokespersons’ Unit said Golan issued the order against Sheikh Ra’ad Salah “on the grounds of ensuring the security of the State of Israel and maintaining public peace and order.”

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Thursday rejected municipal recommendations and cut funding for a toddler health-care center in East Jerusalem, while approving aid to a similar center in a Jewish neighborhood.

Livni is now unable to travel to Britain and a number of other countries, as if she were the president of Sudan. It is not (only) the world, it is (also) us. The arrest threat was issued by the most enlightened of nations. They did so when they became aware that Israel was not investigating itself. Is this not enough to rock Israeli society, to cause it to shine a light on itself instead of reprimanding half the globe?

We can wait no longer to restart the peace process. The human suffering demands urgent relief… US objections have impeded Egyptian efforts to resolve differences between Hamas and Fatah that could lead to 2010 elections.

“There is no Palestine without Jerusalem no one will accept this. Without Jerusalem there will be no peace,” [Abbas] said.

Israeli Border Police officers determined her laptop computer was a security threat and shot it three times. Lily Sussman, 21, wrote on her blog that the police officers subjected her to two hours of questioning and searches, before firing three bullets into her Apple Macbook. “They had pressed every sock and scarf with a security device, ripped open soap and had me strip extra layers. They asked me tons of questions.”

US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank.

After answering questions from Israeli security employees regarding her work and the film festivals in which she had taken part, [documentary film director Sahera Dirbas] was asked to enter a separate room for continued questioning, where a female security guard demanded she remove all her clothing.

Childhood in ruins

17 December 2009

Last December, Israel began a 23-day bombardment of Gaza, killing around 1,400 people. One year on, a generation of children is growing up amid the wreckage of that attack, traumatised – and radicalised – by the experience.

Netanyahu has in essentially confirmed that he knew in advance that a limited settlement freeze wouldn’t bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. He could have bet that Abbas wouldn’t accept less than what the road map gave the Palestinians more than six years ago: a total freeze that includes natural growth and the immediate dismantling of all outposts established since March 2001.

Robert Serry, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said Thursday that recent activities by both Israel and the Palestinians are not contributing to settling their conflict and confidence remains low as 2009 draws to a close. Serry told the UN Security Council that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to temporarily freeze construction in West Bank settlements… falls considerably short of Israel’s commitments under the road map to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth.”

Catherine Ashton… leveled scathing criticism at the “Israeli occupation,” in her first speech as the European Union’s first high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. The British stateswoman, who has also served as the Commissioner for Trade in the European Commission, said that in the EU’s view, “East Jerusalem is occupied territory, together with the West Bank.”

Olmert’s peace plan

17 December 2009

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert proposed giving the Palestinians land from communities bordering the Gaza Strip and from the Judean Desert nature reserve in exchange for settlement blocs in the West Bank.

The Women’s Coalition for Peace sent a letter on Wednesday to Israel’s former Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, calling on her to cooperate with international investigations into her role in the assault on Gaza last winter, after a British court issued an warrant for her arrest on Monday.

When young Israeli police officers force me to sit on the cold ground and soldiers beat me during a peaceful protest, I smolder. No human being should be compelled to sit on the ground while exercising rights taken for granted throughout the West.

The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the British envoy to Israel to rebuke him over the arrest warrant issued for Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes in Gaza. … [Naor Gilon, deputy director at the Foreign Ministry in charge of Western Europe] called on Phillips to urge his government to change the law that allows for arrest warrants to be issued against senior Israeli officials over alleged war crimes perpetrated in Gaza during the winter conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz decides to put Balad Knesset member on trial for alleged contact with foreign agent during 2007 trip to Syria when he met with PFLP number two and tried to meet with Khaled Mashaal.

Avi Shlaim: “My own view is that the Balfour Declaration was one of the worst mistakes in British foreign policy in the first half of the 20th century,” he writes. “It involved a monumental injustice to the Palestine Arabs and sowed the seeds of a never-ending conflict in the Middle East.”

“Palestine refugees are unique in the contemporary refugee experience, as they have no state to return to, nor are they allowed to return to their homes… [I]n Gaza an occupied people is under extreme trade and economic sanction as a matter of political choice. And in the West Bank the closure regime – part of the military occupation – is leading to the continuing rise in poverty rates.

On Sunday, December 13, at 8 PM Eastern and Pacific/7 PM Central, THE PEOPLE SPEAK – the long awaited documentary film inspired by Howard Zinn’s books A People’s History of the United States and Voices of a People’s History of the United States, co-edited by Anthony Arnove — will air on the History Channel. We hope you will tune in. More details are at

The demonstrators were protesting the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes. The protesters on Friday marched from the city center to Sheikh Jarrah, where they tried to enter a home that is partly occupied by Jews before being stopped by police.

New billboard says: We Should Spend Our Money at Home Instead. Similar billboards were erected in April, but were unilaterally removed by [ad] company after being pressured by persons who didn’t want Israel held accountable for its war crimes.

WASHINGTON – President Obama is not as unpopular in Israel as has been previously reported, according to a new poll released yesterday by the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.

Senior U.S. administration officials told Haaretz earlier Thursday that the prime minister’s bureau had provided satisfactory explanations as long as the benefits plan was in keeping with the freeze and that money would not be transferred for new housing in the settlements.

IOA Editor: This further demonstrates how meaningless both the so-called ‘freeze’ and the newly-minted Nobel Laureate’s “two-states, living side by side” peace plan are: He’ll surely manage the intellectual gymnastics necessary to defend the ‘settlement freeze’ concept while approving a status of preferred economic development zones to the very same settlements – just as he proclaimed the virtues of a “just war” while receiving a Nobel Peace Prize. The good-old American tradition of snake-oil salesmanship. Anything (we want) goes.

The recommendation is not binding, but this step marks an escalation in the country’s attitude toward Israel’s settlements… The government recommendation goes further to say that labeling a product from a settlement as having been manufactured in Israel would be considered a criminal offense as it is misleading to the consumer public.

[Attorney Gaby Lasky]: “The Bil’in demonstrators are being systemically targeted while it is the State [of Israel] that is in contempt of a High Court of Justice ruling; a ruling which affirmed that the protesters have justice on their side and instructed 2 years ago that the route of the Wall in the area be changed, which has not been implemented to date.”

Syria warned Israel on Thursday it risked closing the door to renewed peace talks, a day after the Israeli parliament agreed to consider a bill that would make it far more difficult to return the occupied Golan… “Israel is defying the whole world with its rejection of peace and it is proving that its government’s stated wish to make peace is nothing but a political manoeuvre.”

“The Palestinians want to continue to build their state from below and at the same time to work with the United States and the European Union to force Israel into an arrangement from above.”

IOA Editor: This would be funny, it it weren’t so profoundly sad and grotesquely warped: The gang of war criminals running this nuclear empire that controls the daily lives of an entire occupied people, whom they bomb, starve, repress and violate at will, complain about being coerced by their subjects.

Jonathan Cook: The Israeli media reported that [the man] had bled to death after he was shot under the “Hannibal procedure”, designed to prevent Israelis from being taken captive alive by enemy forces… “The Hannibal procedure is definitely the right procedure. We cannot afford now some soulmate next to Gilad Shalit.”

Between Stockholm and Tehran, Israel of 2009 is much closer to Tehran… It begins, of course, with the fact of our presence here. Among other things, it is based on theological reasoning. Abraham the Patriarch was here, so we are, too. He bought the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, so we, too, are in Palestinian Hebron. People who are entirely secular also cite religious and biblical explanations for the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

IOA Editor: Levy is making the rarely-made connection between religion and the Occupation – specifically, the religious beliefs of secular-like Israelis who, just the same, justify their presence and (illegal) actions by the Word of God. This crucial point is what makes this article important outside Israel.

Much is heard of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the story of the determined, long-term nonviolent resistance of many Palestinian villagers to the loss of their lands, striking as it may be, is seldom told. Here’s my report from just one village on the West Bank.

Berlanty Azzam , 22, has been in the West Bank since 2005 and has only two months of studies left in order to complete her Bachelor’s degree in business administration. In late October, however, the Israeli authorities expelled her back to Gaza claiming that that she was illegally staying in the West Bank.

Over 10,000 right-wing protesters gathered on Wednesday in Paris Square in Jerusalem near the Prime Minister’s residence to demonstrate against the temporary settlement freeze. “When Netanyahu speaks of a settlement freeze he means a disengagement,” National Union MK Aryeh Eldad told the protesters.

IOA Editor: MK Eldad is among Israel’s most extreme right-wing politicians. It would be fair to surmise that he believes ALL Jews have all the rights over Israel/Palestine, and Palestinian Arabs have no rights at all. It is also safe to assume that he’d be entirely in favor of the transfer of all Palestinians out of their homeland – this is an assumption only because such speech is both politically-unwise and illegal in Israel.

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