PALESTINE | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

PALESTINE

Apr 02 03:19

Senate seeks to enhance Arab-Israeli normalization at the expense of the Palestinians

A bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill last week to advance the normalization of ties between Israel and Arab governments in a move to further politically isolate the Palestinian people and give Israel greater latitude to entrench its ongoing settler-colonialism against them.

S.1061, the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021, was introduced on March 25 by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Jim Risch (R-ID), Todd Young (R-IN), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), and cosponsored by 13 additional Senators, including some Democrats, such as Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA), who have previously spoken out in support of Palestinian human rights.

The bill was supported by AIPAC during its virtual lobbying conference earlier this month.

Mar 31 07:00

US judge dismisses lawsuit linking Palestine solidarity group to 'terrorism'

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit that aimed to link a Washington-based Palestinian rights advocacy group to "international terrorism", in a decision that activists hailed as a victory for free speech.

In a ruling released on Monday, federal judge Richard Leon rejected a claim that the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) is liable for militant attacks against Israelis because of its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Gaza's Great March of Return.

The lawsuit was led by the Israeli government-aligned Jewish National Fund and group of US citizens living in Israel.

They argued that the USPCR aided and abetted acts of "international terrorism" by supporting the Great March of Return and the BDS National Committee (BNC). The plaintiffs sought a jury trial demanding compensation under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a US law that allows victims of terrorism to sue accomplices in militant attacks for damages.

Mar 31 06:58

How Israeli rights groups prevent Palestinians from framing their own reality

In recent years, people of colour working in the human rights and international development sector have called on NGOs and agencies to examine institutional racism, and to look at how their structures, discourses and programmes reinforce colonialism and white supremacy.

Last year, 1,000 former and current staff of Doctors Without Borders called for an independent investigation to dismantle "decades of power and paternalism". A year earlier, a report by an independent commission determined that Oxfam International was plagued by "racism, colonial behaviour and bullying behaviours".

But this emerging global conversation appears to have skipped over Israeli human rights organisations, still praised for their courageous fight against Israel’s occupation and their advocacy of Palestinian rights. The recent report from B’Tselem, which declared Israel to be an apartheid state, offers an opportunity to speak about the racial politics of Israeli human rights work.

Mar 31 06:35

Report: Thousands in Gaza to get vaccine to be able to cross Israel to West Bank

Planning is underway for an internationally led effort to vaccinate thousands of merchants in the Gaza Strip against coronavirus, so that they can cross the border into Israel and travel to the West Bank, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper reported Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.

Israel is said to be willing to cooperate with the idea, which would see the traders vaccinated by teams of doctors from abroad at special sites set up on the Israeli side of the Erez border crossing. The doctors would likely be from an international aid organization, according to the report.

The report said Israel would approve such a plan as part of ongoing arrangements with the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza.

Mar 30 05:56

After filming arrest of five boys, B’Tselem field researcher says Israeli Shin Bet ‘threatened’ him

Earlier this month Palestinians in the occupied West Bank’s South Hebron Hills made headlines, after a video was published of Israeli soldiers arresting five young Palestinian children, all between the ages of 8 and 13.

The video, which showed a large group of armed soldiers detaining the frightened young boys, was filmed by a field researcher with Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, and went viral on social media.

Human rights organizations and activists from around the world condemned the Israeli military’s handling of the boys, claiming that they were wrongfully detained while picking wild herbs and vegetables in a mountainous area close to an illegal Israeli settlement.

Mar 30 05:43

‘Cut Aid Over Israeli Apartheid’ Say Americans: Poll

Israel’s American lobby has long categorically rejected assertions that Israel is or would ever become an apartheid regime. That position has become more difficult to maintain over time.

Former President Jimmy Carter’s 2006 New York Times bestseller "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" argued that Israel’s construction of settlements and control of occupied territories were the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East. The word "apartheid" provoked an immediate firestorm within the U.S. Israel affinity ecosystem. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) even accused Carter of "engaging in anti-Semitism" in the book.

Mar 25 10:45

Pro-Israel think tank wants Progressives to adopt “Progressive Except Palestine”  

In a moment when support for Israel is slipping a bit in Congress, this Israel-right-or-wrong group proposes a new category of antisemitism in hopes of persuading Progressives to alter their agenda to accommodate pro-Israel Jewish Americans.

It’s called “Progressive Except Palestine.”

Mar 23 06:57

‘Finished With the Bluffing’: Jewish National Fund Goes Public With Its Aid to Settlers

For decades, Jews around the world have cherished the Jewish National Fund’s supposedly “charitable” work buying and managing land in Israel. Generations of Jewish children have been encouraged to drop pennies into its iconic blue collection boxes.

The Fund is held in similar high esteem by western governments, which typically subsidize their citizens’ donations to the JNF by treating them as tax exempt. Meanwhile, international agencies seek out its advice on environmental and sustainability issues.

But a vote last month by the JNF’s board threatens to unmask the Zionist charity, even to its most faithful supporters. For the first time, the organization has agreed to publicly allocate funds to expand Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Mar 23 06:57

PCBS: Only 4% of Households in Gaza have Access to Safe Water

A study released today by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) and the Palestinian Water Authority suggests that only four percent of households in the Gaza Strip have access to safely managed water, compared with 39.5 percent in the rest of Palestine.

In the West Bank, the study shows that 66.2 percent of households have access to safe water.

The daily allocation per capita from consumed water is less than the internationally recommended rate, and it is decreasing

The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic purposes is 81.9 liters/capita/day in Palestine: 85.6 (l/c/d) in the West Bank, while it is 77 (l/c/d) in the Gaza Strip in 2019.

Mar 23 05:54

Israel seizes Palestinian foreign minister’s travel permit after visit to International Criminal Court over war crimes probe

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, who was returning to the West Bank from a meeting at the International Criminal Court (ICC), was held up at a border crossing and got his VIP travel permit revoked by Israel.

Senior Palestinian official, Ahmed al-Deek, said that agents of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service have questioned al-Maliki for around 30 minutes at the Allenby crossing from Jordan into the West Bank on Sunday. Members of the FM’s entourage were questioned for around an hour, he added.

Al-Maliki’s special travel permit has been revoked and he left the border crossing without it. The VIP pass allows top Palestinian officials to move freely through the Israeli-operated checkpoints. It was unclear if the FM will be getting the papers back, al-Deek added.

Mar 22 11:16

Joe Biden’s heartfelt illogic about Israel

Lawrence Davidson argues that in contrast to his domestic policies, US President Biden's foreign policy in the Middle East in general and towards Israel in particular is not only stale and worn out, but is also riddled with hypocrisy and contradictions. >>

Mar 20 06:48

Shin Bet head asked Abbas to scrap Palestinian elections if Hamas runs — report

The head of the Shin Bet security agency recently urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to scrap the upcoming elections for the Palestinian parliament if the Hamas terror group takes part, Israeli television reported Friday.

Citing a Palestinian source, the Kan public broadcaster said Nadav Argaman was rebuffed by the PA chief.

The report said the request was made in the past two weeks during a meeting in Ramallah, the PA’s seat of government.

Mar 20 06:47

ICC gives Israel a month to seek deferral of war crimes probe

The International Criminal Court confirmed on Thursday it has sent formal notices to Israel and the Palestinian Authority about its impending investigation into possible war crimes, giving them a month to seek deferral by proving they are carrying out their own investigations.

Earlier this month, the ICC announced it would investigate possible war crimes committed by Israel and Palestinians following a request by the Palestinians, who joined the court in 2015 after being granted nonmember observer status in the UN General Assembly.

Israel has fiercely condemned the investigation, accusing the ICC of bias, noting that it is demonstrably capable of investigating any alleged IDF crimes through its own legal hierarchies, and saying the ICC has no jurisdiction since the Palestinians do not have a state. Israel is not a member of the ICC, but its citizens could be subject to arrest abroad if warrants are issued.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The ICC just opened an escape hatch for Israel!

Mar 20 06:46

California has adopted an ethnic studies curriculum, but Palestine has been scrubbed out of it

California has become the first state in the country to adopt an ethnic studies curriculum for its high schools, but the history of Palestine has been scrubbed from the educational program.

On Thursday, California State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the curriculum. “We are reminded daily that racism is not only a legacy of the past but a clear and present danger,” said the board’s president Linda Darling-Hammond. “We must understand this history if we are finally to end it.”

In 2019, the bill was held up after some claimed the program singled out Israel and failed to adequately address antisemitism. The backlash was fueled by right-wing, pro-Israel groups and the app Act.IL (which is partially funded by the Israeli government) called on its users to oppose its implentation.

Mar 19 09:47

Palestinian MP: Rachel Corrie’s Blood is a ‘Witness to Israeli Crimes’

A Palestinian MP said on Tuesday that Rachel Corrie’s blood is a “witness to Israeli crimes”.

Huda Naim made her comment in a statement issued on the anniversary of the death of the US-born pro-Palestine activist, who was killed on March 16, 2003, as she was trying to stop an Israeli bulldozer demolishing Palestinian homes in Rafah.

“The blood of freedom fighter Rachel Corrie will remain Israel’s shame,” said Naim. “The [Israeli] occupation violated human rights and international law by killing Corrie.”

Mar 19 08:28

Israeli settler attacks surge against Palestinians

Palestinian Saeed Alyan Awad was on the way to his land with his wife when 10 Israeli settlers attacked them near the illegal Mitzpe Yair settlement.

The Awads’ land lies east of the town of Yatta, south of Hebron, and the family goes there every Saturday in an effort to prevent the Israelis from expanding their outpost onto their property.

One of the attackers, wielding an iron pipe, cracked Saeed’s skull and broke his jaw on March 10, while his wife suffered severe bruises on her leg. With Awad’s children and nephews screaming in horror inside their vehicle, the settlers then moved towards them and smashed the windscreen and pelted it with rocks.

“The assault on my family and me lasted about seven minutes,” Awad, 49, told Al Jazeera. “My face was bleeding and I lost consciousness for a few minutes. I underwent an operation to re-attach my left jaw and heal the wounds on my face.”

Mar 19 08:09

Covid-19: West Bank hospitals inundated while Israel tosses surplus vaccines

When Issa Saafi rushed his ill mother to the Ramallah government hospital, one of the primary hospitals in the occupied West Bank city, he never anticipated that it would turn into one of his worst nightmares.

Safiya Saafi, 70, had fallen ill with Covid-19-like symptoms at her home in Ramallah’s Jalazone Refugee Camp. At the time, her children didn’t think much of it, as she seemed to be doing okay.

But on 10 March Safiya’s condition took a turn for the worse, and Issa and his brothers rushed her to the hospital. What they found, Issa said, shook him to his core.

Mar 19 08:08

Rivlin urges France to oppose ICC’s ‘legally, morally bankrupt’ war crimes probe

President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday called on France to reject the International Criminal Court’s “legally and morally bankrupt” decision to investigate Israel for war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Rivlin made the plea via op-ed in the Le Figaro French daily, hours before his planned meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

“Friends may not always agree, but I believe we are committed to hearing each other in order to better understand each other’s perspectives, motivations and decisions,” the president wrote, explaining why he would be raising his objection over the ICC probe with Macron. The ICC investigation will also examine alleged war crimes by Palestinian terror groups.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Tête de merde!

Mar 19 07:33

Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes in West Bank increased by 65%: UN office

The Israeli regime has shot up the monthly rate at which it destroys the Palestinian-owned structures in the occupied West Bank by 65 percent compared to last year, a UN office reports.

The world body’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territories (OCHA) raised the alarm in a report on Tuesday.

According to the office, Israel's actions resulted in the displacement of 305 Palestinians, including 172 children. At least 435 people also had their livelihoods or access to services affected, the body said.

Last month alone, Israeli forces either laid waste to or seized 153 Palestinian-owned structures across the Tel Aviv-occupied territory, including in the East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israel’s destructive march in February also broke the record of monthly demolitions since 2009, when the UN began to keep track of the times, when the regime would render another Palestinian family homeless.

Mar 19 06:45

Afghanistan: How Long Must This Go On?

The United States military and mercenary forces need to leave Afghanistan now.
Note: Does anyone remember why we are there in the first place!
The Cactus Moon is crying!

Mar 17 06:47

The ICC and Israel’s Charge of Anti-Semitism

We are at a critical historical juncture in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to criticize Israel without being branded an anti-Semite. You are an anti-Semite if you support the International Criminal Court’s recent ruling that it has jurisdiction to open a war crimes investigation against Israel. But you are also likely to be called an anti-Semite if you reject the logic informing the court’s decision.

Target List

The ICC is on Israel’s target list. This becomes clear when searching for the terms “ICC ruling” and “Israel” together; instantaneously, an ad pops up at the very top of Google’s list of 1,390,000 results: “ICC & Israel: No Standing. No Jurisdiction. No Case.” Clicking the ad, will take you to a slick blue and white website (i.e., the color of Israel’s flag) called “ICC Jurisdiction” with the large “No Standing….” slogan at the center of the page.

Mar 16 12:31

Rachel Corrie Foundation

Rachel Corrie was a 23-year-old American peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on 16 March 2003, while undertaking nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestinian family from demolition.

Mar 16 08:23

GOP Rep wants Biden to target BDS movement over false terror links

A GOP lawmaker is claiming that a popular fundraising app could be funneling money to terrorists and is calling for the Biden administration to investigate.

ActBlue is an organization that allows Democratic candidates and progressives groups to raise money. One of the groups that uses the platform is the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC). Last week, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that falsely claims the BNC is an “umbrella organization for foreign terrorist groups” and asserts that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) “runs counter to our nation’s interests.”

Mar 16 08:01

ICC war crimes probe in Palestine angers US and Israel

The ICC probe into war crimes committed by the United States and Israel in Palestine, headed by chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, has concluded war crimes were committed by Israel, the US and their allies.

In December 2019 Bensouda announced that such crimes have been, or were being committed in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. She named the Israeli military, which has for years unleashed a reign of terror on Palestinians, as a perpetrator of war crimes.

The ICC prosecutor further noted that there was a reasonable basis to launch a probe into Israeli military actions in the besieged Gaza Strip, as well as illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 16 07:46

The Intellectually Superior Perpetual Victim Again on Display

Those who have followed developments in the Middle East would likely agree that Israel covers up its war crimes and other human rights violations by regularly invoking its own victimhood. Whether the subject is U.S. aid to the Jewish state or media coverage of the illegal expansion of Israel into the West Bank, one will always find references to the so-called holocaust or claims of anti-Semitism to discredit any criticism. And the results of this assiduous effort to assign guilt are clearly seen as the mainstream media in both the United States and Europe exhibits considerable reluctance to report honestly on what is being done to the Palestinians while politicians in the west sometimes appear to count themselves more as “friends of Israel” than as representatives advancing the interests of their own constituents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 16 07:35

Israel’s FBI gives human rights researcher a “warning”

Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, interrogated a field researcher for rights group B’Tselem who they said was always around during Palestinian activity, and has been “making trouble and threatening the army.”
His troublemaking includes reporting on an unarmed Palestinian who was shot in the neck and paralyzed.

by Amira Hass, reposted from Ha’aretz, March 14, 2021

A field researcher for Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem was investigated and warned by the Shin Bet Security service last week.

Mar 16 07:34

WATCH: Palestinian Rockets – The Hidden Facts

U.S. media reports focus on Palestinian rockets fired into Israel from Gaza, but the reports leave out essential facts, making the aggressors seem victims, and the victims, aggressors.

Mar 16 07:31

Vaccinating Palestinians only when it serves Israel

COGAT is back on its bullshit, as the kids like to say.

Earlier this week, the Israeli military body tweeted photos of Palestinian workers being vaccinated against COVID-19 at West Bank checkpoints.

COGAT, infamous for its mediocre and exploitative propaganda, stated that the vaccine initiative “is an important step in order to maintain public health and economic stability.”

“Get vaccinated!” implored COGAT, which all too often delays or denies Palestinians’ travel permits to access medical treatment.

However, the vast majority of Palestinians living under Israel’s military occupation cannot get vaccinated, even if they wanted to.

Mar 16 07:31

How Microsoft is invested in Israeli settler-colonialism

When millions took to the streets last year to protest for Black lives, corporations saw trouble. The abolitionist call within the uprising – defund the police and invest in a better world – challenges state violence and its profiteers. So, companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, which enable state surveillance and violence, boosted their public relations. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, for example, declared “solidarity” with Black Lives Matter, and the company donated $250,000 to social justice groups (including the Minnesota Bail Fund).

Mar 16 07:27

Iran’s supposed threat to the U.S. is a scam Israel and its lobby promote to change the subject from Palestine

Some day historians will scratch their heads over the fact that for the better part of 20 years U.S. presidents were engaged as a leading foreign policy question in how to restrain Iran, a small country half the world away that has not attacked the U.S., that does not have nuclear weapons, that is the seat of ancient civilization, and whose contribution to regional instability doesn’t look any worse than Israel’s or Saudi Arabia’s.

It is hard to see any American interest at all in Iran, and yet four presidents have now expended an immense amount of political capital on the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 14 08:43

Anadolu: “Israel demolishes al-Araqib village for 184th time”

“The Israeli authorities demolished the al-Araqib village for the 184th time,” Aziz al-Touri, a member of the Committee for the Defense of al-Araqib, told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Touri said the demolition was the ninth since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The village was demolished last on Feb. 17, 2021.

Homes in Al-Araqib, which are inhabited by 22 Palestinian families, are built of wood, plastic, and corrugated iron.

Al-Touri confirmed that the villagers intended to rebuild their destroyed dwellings and other structures.

The village was first destroyed in 2010 and every time after it was rebuilt since then. Israeli authorities claim that the site where it’s located falls under “state land.”

The Israeli Zochrot organization said in a recent report that al-Araqib village was first built during the Ottoman period and its lands purchased by residents.

Mar 13 07:32

Muslim Tufts University Dental Student Forced to Renounce Palestinian Cause to Get Off Jewish Blacklist

An Arab-American once active in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has been intimidated by Jews into renouncing his beliefs.

Adam Elayan, who is a dental student at Tufts University, found himself on the infamous Canary Mission blacklist over Tweets supporting the Palestinian cause many years ago. Canary Mission, which is funded by shadowy wealthy Jews affiliated with the Netanyahu government, “doxes” nationalists, Muslims and socialists who publicly criticize Zionism.

The blacklist allows Jews to utilize their strong influence over American institutions to deny victims of its defamation employment and educational opportunities, make them targets of lawsuits, and even get them harassed by the FBI.

Mar 10 10:41

Saturday Night Live joke versus Israeli behaviour

Lawrence Davidson explains the relationship between the tribal basis of Israel – artificially manipulated through incessant propaganda and organised miseducation – and the inability of Israelis and other Zionists to take a joke, as shown most recently on the US TV programme Saturday Night Live.>>

Mar 09 13:29

Blinken Criticized for Opposition to ICC Investigation into Israeli War Crimes

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was met with criticism for his opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) announcement of its investigation into Israeli war crimes.

“The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” read a press statement issued by Blinken’s office on the matter, which was titled: “The United States Opposes the ICC Investigation into the Palestinian Situation.”

Mar 08 08:41

Blinken Criticized for Opposition to ICC Investigation into Israeli War Crimes

This week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was met with criticism for his opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) announcement of its investigation into Israeli war crimes.

“The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” read a press statement issued by Blinken’s office on the matter, which was titled: “The United States Opposes the ICC Investigation into the Palestinian Situation.”

Mar 08 08:04

Jewish fund, UK branch continue to help further Illegal land confiscation in West Bank: Report

A new report shows although international law considers all Israeli settlements built on usurped Palestinian land illegal, the Jewish National Fund and its British branch continue to raise money for seizure of more occupied Palestinian lands for the construction of new illegal settlements.

In a new report, the PopularResistance.org revealed that both the Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) and its branch in the United Kingdom, JNF UK, continue to fund Israel’s land confiscation in the occupied West Bank in direct defiance of international law.

Last month, the parent organization, for the first time in its long history, openly announced that it raised money for further land grab in the occupied Palestinian territories in favor of establishing more Jewish-only settlements, which are condemned globally.

Mar 08 08:01

ICC opens war-crimes probe; Netanyahu blasts it as ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘hypocritical’

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague announced on Wednesday her intention to open an investigation into war crimes allegedly committed by Israelis and Palestinians since 2014.

The announcement was strongly denounced by Israel, but welcomed by the Palestinian Authority, which had requested the probe. It comes less than a month after the ICC ruled that it had jurisdiction to open an investigation.

“The investigation will cover crimes within the jurisdiction of the court that are alleged to have been committed in the situation since 13 June 2014, the date to which reference is made in the referral of the situation to my office,” said Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a statement. “Any investigation undertaken by the office will be conducted independently, impartially and objectively, without fear or favor.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 08 07:57

Kamala Harris voices US opposition to ICC probe during call with Benjamin Netanyahu

In her first call with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu since taking office, US vice president Kamala Harris reiterated Washington’s opposition to the International Criminal Court's probe of alleged war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank.

They “noted their respective governments’ opposition to the International Criminal Court’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel,” the White House said.

The ICC investigation, which covers events dating back to 13 June 2014, was lauded by Palestinians and heavily criticised by the US and Israel.

It was also condemned by some Jewish groups, with Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl warning it will “will only further polarise Israelis and Palestinians.”

Mar 08 07:54

'Sickening': Palestine advocates slam Biden administration for rebuking ICC

After denouncing the International Criminal Court's probe into alleged Israeli war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, US Department of State spokesman Ned Price struggled to answer a question over where Palestinians should seek accountability for abuses carried out by Israel.

"The United States is always going to stand up for human rights," Price said at a media briefing on Wednesday, before pivoting to a familiar declaration of Washington's support for the two-state solution.

Unsatisfied with the answer, Associated Press correspondent Matthew Lee kept asking while Price was delivering the generic lines: "Where do they go? Where? Where? Do they go to the Israeli courts? Where do they go? Where. Do. They. Go?"

Mar 08 07:53

Boris Johnson urged by CFI not to let the ICC's 'Israel war crimes' decision go unchallenged

Boris Johnson has been urged not to let the International Criminal Court’s controversial announcement of an investigation into alleged war crimes by Israel go unchallenged.

In a letter to Prime Minister, the Conservative Friends of Israel group also labelled this week’s confirmation of the ICC’s decision by the outgoing Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda a threat to UK interests.

CFI’s Parliamentary Chairmen, Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP and Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles and Honorary President Lord Polak wrote that the “dangerous precedent” raises the possibility that non-state actors will be able to “pursue vexatious claims against [the UK] and our brave armed forces”.

The letter emphasised that: “In our [the UK] own interests, we cannot afford to allow this to go unchallenged”.

Mar 08 07:53

Israel builds Jewish-only elevator at Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque

Israel's Supreme Court has approved the building of an elevator next to Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque on Thursday, which only Israeli settlers will be allowed to use.

Imad Hamdan, director of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, told the Palestinian Authority’s official news agency, WAFA, that the decision aimed to exclude the holy site's Muslim heritage, branding it as “Judaization.”

He said that while Israel claims that the purpose of the elevator is to make the site more accessible, the real intention was to take over as much of the area as possible in the courtyard of the mosque for the use of Israeli settlers.

Feb 28 09:11

Netanyahu-backed candidate calls murderer of Palestinian worshipers ‘a hero’

A newly released video shows an Israeli far-right candidate of the upcoming elections, Itamar Ben-Gvir, describing as a "hero" a Jewish extremist settler from New York who massacared Palestinian worshipers almost three decades ago.

The clip released by Israeli broadcaster Kan shows Ben-Gvir dressed up as Baruch Goldstein, who shot to death 29 Palestinian men and boys as they prayed at Ibrahimi Mosque in the Palestinian city of Hebron on Feburary 25, 1994.

“He is my hero,” Ben-Gvir, the leader of the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit party, is heard as saying of Goldstein in Hebrew.

Ben-Gvir, backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is also seen wearing a sign that reads, “Blessed is the man who opens fire.”

He has a history of encouraging violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Feb 28 07:33

Jewish Settlers Storm Islamic Shrines near Salfit

A group of Jewish settlers stormed ancient Islamic sites early Friday, in the town of Kifl Haris, near the West Bank city of Salfit, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Local sources reported that Israeli forces forced their way into the town and closed the entrances to provide protection for the Jewish settlers who proceeded to desecrate and perform rituals in the Islamic shrines of Prophet Thu al Kifl, Prophet Thu an Noon and Prophet Yosha, causing a state of tension among the town residents.

Feb 28 07:33

Israeli Forces Shoot, Critically Injure Palestinian Teenager near Ramallah

Israeli forces shot and critically injured a Palestinian minor with live ammunition as he was with his friends at a park in the village of Saffa to the West of Ramallah, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Head of Saffa village council, Ahmad Samara, told WAFA that Israeli forces shot and injured 16-year-old Ahmad Falna in the leg, with live ammunition.

Feb 26 07:54

KKL-JNF board advances controversial $11.5 million purchase of West Bank land

In a contentious vote that passed Thursday by the slimmest of margins, the Jewish National Fund’s board of directors advanced the controversial allocation of NIS 38 million ($11.58 million) in order to purchase lands in the West Bank.

The board of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF) will meet once again after the March 23 election to determine its policies beyond the Green Line and rule on whether to give final approval for the purchase itself.

Left-leaning groups represented on the KKL-JNF board, which includes international Jewish organizations and representatives from Israeli political parties, had been optimistic that they would be able to quash the measure, according to the Haaretz daily.

Feb 26 07:18

New report by Israeli NGOs evaluates impact of military invasions of Palestinian homes on families’ mental health

“It happens nearly every night. Without warning, without a search warrant, without a court order. While you are sleeping peacefully, a Palestinian family is woken up abruptly.

“Their children are gathered in a room, afraid, trying to understand why they were suddenly yanked out of bed by masked soldiers who are now standing in the middle of their living room, photographing them, opening their drawers, speaking to them in broken Arabic.

“When the soldiers leave the house, they leave behind much more than a mess in the living room. The Palestinian family is left with trauma: with fear of what the next night will bring, children who wet their beds, and a feeling of being unsafe in their own home, of a loss of control. Every such invasion shatters the most basic premise of being a parent – the knowledge that they can protect their children.”

Feb 25 13:48

Top US lawmaker links Palestinians to antisemitism and hate crimes

Congressman Gregory Meeks, a key Democrat, linked Palestinians to the rise of global bigotry, and said he would address the upsurge of racism and hate crimes when he talks to Palestinian leaders.

Meeks, who serves as the chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, lavished praise on Israel at a Brookings Institution virtual conference on Wednesday, and vowed to bolster America's "social, economic and political ties" with its Middle Eastern ally.

"I know how important Israel is to us as a partner, and I am committed to that partnership," Meeks said.

When addressing a question about resuming humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, Meeks spoke vaguely about providing assistance to those who need it and instead highlighted his strong support for Israel and the need to combat antisemitism.

Feb 25 08:09

Cornel West: Palestine is a 'taboo issue among certain circles in high places'

US activist and philosopher Cornel West said he is confident that it is his criticism of Israel cost him tenure at Harvard.

The Harvard Divinity School professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, who announced late last week that he might leave the university after being denied academic tenure, claimed he was being punished for his views on Israel's occupation of Palestine.

"This is my hypothesis, because given the possibilities of why they would not be even interested in initiating a tenure process, what else it could be? And I asked them. And I didn't receive a reply," 67-year-old West, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of African and African-American Studies, said in an interview on the TightRope podcast aired on Tuesday.

Feb 24 09:18

Israel’s foul play against football in Gaza

The football player Sadiq Lulu was awoken by a big explosion. He could sense that the houses in his neighborhood were shaking.

It was 26 December and at that early hour Gaza was under a curfew introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the curfew, Lulu decided to check on al-Tuffah stadium, the headquarters of his club.

Lulu – the team’s 30-year-old captain – was shocked to see the destruction wrought by Israel, which had attacked the grounds.

“It broke my heart to see the damage to our stadium,” he said. “Al-Tuffah stadium is like a second home. Unfortunately, the bombing of our stadium shows that nowhere is safe in Gaza.”

Feb 24 08:08

Truth Behind SNL’s Controversial Israel Joke

Feb 23 11:35

New symbolic role for the Israeli flag: A standard for white nationalists, Christian nationalists and nationalist thugs in suits

Lawrence Davidson: Israel "has attracted the rising wave of today’s rightist fringe like bears to honey. Whether they are white nationalists, Christian nationalists or just nationalist thugs in suits, they all sense something laudable in Israel.">>

Feb 23 08:01

Covid-19: Former Israeli minister urges denial of vaccine to Palestinians in Gaza

Former Israeli justice minister Ayelet Shaked called on Saturday for Israel to prevent Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip from receiving the Russian coronavirus vaccine.

“As long as they hold our soldiers' bodies they can deal on their own… not even humanitarian aid,” she said on Israel's Kan 11 news channel, referring to the Hamas-led authorities ruling in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas holds the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed during the Israeli military operation launched on the Gaza Strip in 2014, and it captured another two Israelis in September 2014 and another in 2015.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I guess Saturday Night Live wasn't that far off!

Feb 23 07:59

'They destroyed our dreams': Israel’s bulldozers target Palestinian women farmers

After a five-kilometre walk from her home in the northern occupied West Bank, 49-year-old Khitam Ismail arrived on her plot of land at six in the morning, a routine she has maintained for years, and began to work.

Her constant cries over the recent loss of her beloved olive trees, which she has spent more than a decade growing, can be heard in the area.

On 6 December, Israeli bulldozers and dozens of army personnel raided the Khallet al-Abhar area in Deir Ballout, on the outskirts of the Palestinian city of Salfit, and carried out one of the largest tree uprooting operations to date in the West Bank, destroying 3,400 olive trees in one day.

According to officials in the local council, Israeli authorities also levelled hundreds of dunams of land with bulldozers in Area C, which residents fear comes in preparation for mass land confiscation in the village in the near future.

Feb 22 08:42

Could Israel invade the Hague?

It has been a long time coming.

Earlier this month, a panel of judges ruled that the International Criminal Court (ICC) could investigate Israel for war crimes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A coalition of Palestinian human rights lawyers celebrated the "landmark" ruling as "a critically important step towards ensuring the rule of law" and "towards ending impunity".

As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied, and in the case of Israeli war crimes, accountability has been delayed for years – for decades.

More than a year ago, the ICC's Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda concluded her preliminary examination of the situation. She decided that the criteria for war crimes investigations had been met.

But that initial examination in itself had taken no less than five years, with the entire weight of Israel's network of overseas lobby groups bearing down on Bensouda. Outrageously, she was also sanctioned by the Trump administration.

Feb 22 07:30

Court invalidates Balfour Declaration, holds UK responsible for Palestinian plight

A Palestinian court has declared as invalid the Balfour Declaration, a document issued by the British government in 1917 that paved the way for the creation of Israel, as it violates the rules of international law.

The Court of First Instance in the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Sunday also held Britain legally responsible for the consequences of the Balfour Declaration, demanding an apology to the Palestinians.

The Balfour Declaration came in the form of a letter from Britain’s then-foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a figurehead of the British Jewish community. It was published on November 2, 1917.

The declaration was made during World War I (1914-1918), and included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

Feb 21 07:31

Americans on Jewish National Fund board might be prosecuted by ICC over settlements –Alpher

Last weekend, the Jewish National Fund, which exists to “redeem” the land of Israel for Jews, moved forward on a plan to buy Palestinian lands that surround illegal Jewish settlements on the West Bank so as to expand the settlements, give them green spaces and room to develop.

The move has been hammered by liberal Zionist organizations, the Reform Jewish movement, one of the JNF’s own board members,and even the State Department as a threat to the “two-state solution.” Americans for Peace Now says the policy will lead to “perpetual occupation and annexation.” The JNF says what’s the big deal, it has always operated in the West Bank! “Throughout the years and till this very day, KKL-JNF [Keren Kayemet Le’Israel] has been operating in all parts of the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria [biblical term for West Bank],” the JNF said.

Feb 21 07:28

Israeli press review: Report finds widespread racism among Israel's youth

A comprehensive study conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed widespread racism and belief in stereotypes among a majority of teenagers from various backgrounds in Israel.

The study, which was conducted by the university's aChord Center, aimed to draw a “map of hatred” in Israel, according to Haaretz, and reached 1,100 youngsters between the ages of 16 and 18 - including Palestinian citizens of Israel, secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis - between May and July 2020.

The study showed that 66 percent of the ultra-Orthodox, 42 percent of religious Israelis, and 24 percent of secularists “hate Arabs”, meaning the Palestinian community that makes up 20 percent of the Israeli population and who participate in the Knesset and government institutions.

Feb 21 07:24

Israeli Forces Open Floodgates near Gaza, Destroy Palestinian Crops

Israeli occupation forces today opened floodgates near the eastern borders of the Gaza Strip for the second day, flooding vast tracts of Palestinian agricultural land.

Palestine Chronicle correspondent Wafaa Aludaini reported that the water devastated hundreds of dunums of land east of the Shujaiyyah neighborhood, while dozens of other cultivated lands were flooded near Beit Hanun in northern Gaza Strip.

Feb 19 16:19

Watch: US election meddling in Palestine?

Feb 19 07:05

Spike in settler attacks creates “living hell” for Palestinians

When Aref Jaber went to investigate reports that a group of Israelis were planning to build a settlement outpost on his land near the Kiryat Arab settlement in Hebron, he did not foresee the violence about to come his way.

But the 45-year-old taxi driver was forced to abandon his car – his private car – when he was set upon by what he described as a gang of seven settlers.

By the time Jaber returned, the men had pummeled his car with rocks and stones and smashed the windows.

“Two Israeli soldiers were there watching and didn’t do anything to stop them,” Jaber told The Electronic Intifada.

The attack occurred in early January.

Feb 18 09:34

Finkelstein: Palestine's ICC victory thwarted by Israel's apartheid reality

Feb 18 08:15

Palestinians report 93% voter registration for upcoming elections

Fifteen years after Palestinians last went to the polls, some 93% of eligible voters in the West Bank and Gaza have registered for long-awaited elections, official figures showed on Wednesday.

Palestinians over 18 were eligible to register online, by phone or in person for parliamentary elections planned for May 22 and a presidential vote set for July 31.

The Central Election Commission said 2.6 million out of 2.8 million eligible voters did so before a Tuesday deadline.

Feb 17 11:30

Israel blocks shipment of Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Gaza

Israel has stopped 1,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine that are intended for front-line medical workers from entering the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian group Hamas which governs the Gaza Strip on Tuesday blasted Israel’s refusal to allow vaccine doses destined for Gaza health workers through its blockade of the territory as a “violation” of international law.

Feb 17 09:07

ICC to Investigate Israeli War Crimes

Well, as usual, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has finally received authorization to proceed with the investigation of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel-Palestine, to include both the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and also Hamas in Gaza.

On February 5th ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that her office is now studying the decision made to confirm ICC’s jurisdiction and would be “guided strictly by its independent and impartial mandate” to investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC has already ruled in December 2019 that “war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip” but was waiting for confirmation that it had jurisdiction to proceed. Both the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and armed groups including Hamas were named as possible perpetrators.

Feb 17 07:46

Hezbollah: Any Israeli aggression on Gaza, Lebanon could turn into all-out war

In a televised speech, Hezbollah’s secretary general warned Israel that any act of aggression on the Gaza Strip or Lebanon could turn into an all-out war.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah reiterated that the Israelis, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will continue to magnify normalization deals with some Arab states and use the agreements for political and electoral gains. Hezbollah’s leader, however, stressed that the people of the region will continue to boycott Israel.

Experts believe the resistance has had exceptional achievements in its struggle against the Israeli regime.

Nasrallah was speaking on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hezbollah’s former Secretary General Sayyed Abbas Moussawi, Scholar Sheikh Ragheb Harb, and military Commander Imad Mughniyeh.

The martyrdom of these leaders represents the continued path toward liberation, although they were martyred at different intervals in the history of the resistance,

Feb 17 05:49

Israeli Soldiers Cut And Uproot Thousands Of Trees In Jordan Valley

Israeli soldiers invaded, Wednesday, large areas of Palestinian lands, in the West Bank’s Northern Plains of the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, before cutting and uprooting more than 10,000 trees.

Mo’taz Bisharat, the Palestinian Authority official who monitors Israel’s illegal colonialist activities in the Northern Plains, said the soldiers “committed a massacre against 10,000 evergreen trees, and more than 300 olive trees.

Bisharat added that the trees were planted 8 to 10 ago on about 400 Dunams (98.84 Acres) of Palestinian lands, in Einoun forest, as part of a project to plant trees funded by Brazil.

The Israeli attack took place in the morning hours, Wednesday, under the pretext that the trees are in a “military training zone.”

Feb 17 05:45

OCHA: West Bank Demolitions and Displacement – January 2021

In January, the Israeli authorities demolished, forced people to demolish, or seized 81 Palestinian-owned structures across the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. This resulted in the displacement of 69 people, including 32 children, and otherwise affected the livelihoods, or access to services, of over 700 others. All the structures were located in Area C or East Jerusalem and were targeted due to a lack of building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain. January’s total represents a 14 % increase, compared with the monthly average in 2020.

Feb 16 09:11

Palestinians accuse Israel of preventing COVID-19 vaccine transfer to Gaza

The Palestinian Authority (PA) accused Israel on Monday of holding up the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines into Gaza, where Palestinians have yet to receive any doses.

A Palestinian official told Reuters that the PA tried to send 2,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine from the occupied West Bank to Gaza on Monday, but that Israel stopped the shipment at a West Bank checkpoint “and informed the Palestinians there was no approval to continue to Gaza.”

An Israeli security official said the PA’s request to send the 2,000 doses was “still being examined” and that “an approval hasn’t yet been given”.

The body charged with approving the transfer is Israel’s national security council, part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, the Israeli security official said.

Netanyahu’s office did not immediately provide comment.

Feb 16 09:10

Palestinian man killed while hiking is latest victim in spate of settler violence

A Palestinian man was killed in a car-ramming attack on Friday as he was hiking with friends in the northern Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank.

Fifty-two year-old Bilal Bawatneh, along with a group of Palestinians from around the West Bank, were hiking on Friday morning on a trail between the Ein al-Beida and Bardala villages in the northern Jordan Valley, east of Tubas city.

Known for its sprawling mountains, which bloom and flourish in the winter time, the Jordan Valley attracts many hikers and visitors from across Palestine during this time of year.

The rural nature of the Jordan Valley has also attracted thousands of Israeli settlers in recent decades, who live in illegal settlements and outposts

Feb 16 09:09

Women need male guardian to travel, says Hamas court in Gaza Strip

A Hamas-run Islamic court in the Gaza Strip has ruled that women require the permission of a male guardian to travel, further restricting movement in and out of the territory that has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt since the militant group seized power.

The rollback in women’s rights could spark a backlash in Gaza at a time when the Palestinians plan to hold elections later this year. It could also solidify Hamas’s support among its conservative base at a time when it faces criticism over living conditions in the territory it has ruled since 2007.

The decision by the sharia judicial council, issued on Sunday, says an unmarried woman may not travel without the permission of her “guardian”, which would usually refer to her father or another older male relative. Permission would need to be registered at the court, but the man would not be required to accompany the woman on the trip.

Feb 16 09:09

Palestinian Child Injured Due to Explosion of Israeli Army Remnant

A ten-year-old child was injured after an explosive device left behind by the Israeli army exploded in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Jericho, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The child was admitted into the hospital after a stun grenade left behind by the Israeli army exploded in his hands near the cemetery area in the camp, where clashes are usually witnessed with Israeli forces.

Feb 16 08:31

Canada Buys Drones ‘Israel’ “Tested” on Palestinians

Canada is purchasing a “civilian” version of the Hermes 900 drone made by Israel’s largest privately-owned arms company, Elbit Systems, Electronic Intifada reported.

The deal which was announced in December by Canada’s transport ministry is worth $28 million.

As Israeli media reported, the Hermes 900 was first “tested” by ‘Israel’ during its 2014 war on Gaza, when it killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children, in attacks that frequently obliterated entire families.

“The air force used the Hermes 900 in Gaza in the final days of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, even though it was still in the initial stages of being adopted by the IDF,” said the Globes, Israel Business News.

Aa a major weapons supplier to the Israeli military, Elbit was deeply involved in, and reaped huge profits from, that attack on Gaza.

Feb 16 06:40

ICC expands its Jurisdiction to include occupied Palestine, enrages Israel

The International Criminal Court has announced that it has jurisdiction in the Palestinian territories illegally occupied by Israel since 1967. This decision will allow the ICC to investigate potential war crimes carried out by Israel for the first time.

On February, 5 2021, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, headquartered in The Hague, published a ruling, establishing its jurisdiction in Palestine. This jurisdictional ruling from the ICC's pre Trial Chamber one establishes that Palestiness West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, which Israel has been illegally occupying since 1967, are indeed in the scope of the ICC's territorial jurisdiction, and therefore it can proceed with investigating potential war crimes committed by Israel.

Feb 15 11:19

Calculator and coffins

Almost six decades ago when I was just a child I remember that almost daily I visited my uncle’s house. He was the elder of the Qumsiyeh clan. He was a mayor of my town for a while. He was highly respected for solving any issue in town between families. He was a quiet man and he would listen carefully but when he spoke with his raspy soft voice, everyone would listen. People who wronged others would apologize and social order was restored. The whole town admired this man who they respectfully called Abu Jalal (father of Jalal). Behind every man indeed is a great woman and Um Jalal was one of the kindest people I knew. When my uncle Abu Jalal was not working (teacher, school principal, superintendent of schools in Bethlehem) or acting as the elder to resolve crises, he would spend time with his eight children or he would play cards with his brothers (my father & uncles). He was one of eight children and he had eight children.

Feb 15 11:18

Centenary

From The Times of London Centenary anniversary of the Mandate on Palestine (thanks to Michael for sharing this). The British empire was complicit with the Zionists in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in these 100 years (and killing over 100,000 natives and injuring nearly a million) and that is precisely why we have 7.5 million displaced or refugee Palestinians and the rest squeezed into 8% of their historic lands and living under racist apartheid policies. The prosperity of the Israeli economy like that of the US or Australia is baptized by the blood of the native Palestinians. Lest we forget, the latest "Israeli" nationality law calls the whole land the land of the Jews and only Jews have a right to "self-determination" in this land (Palestine). Britain owes us an apology and restitution. We have a right to return to our homes and lands and a right to end racist apartheid laws.

Feb 15 10:45

Even AIPAC was alarmed by rise of Israeli racist party in 2019. Now, who cares!

What happens when Israel just keeps turning into such a rightwing Jewish-supremacist country that American Israel-lovers lose their stomach for defending it? Or they get tired of telling us all about the Good Israel that’s waiting to be redeemed? I think that’s happening, and here is a news story that supports that view.

Two days ago Benjamin Netanyahu, eager to lose no rightwing votes in his bid for reelection in March, signed a vote-sharing agreement with a party that includes extremist racists. Vote-sharing deals mean that two parties can get another seat in parliament by combining their “leftover” votes. Otherwise those extra votes would simply be parcelled to other parties. Netanyahu needs to keep those seats on his side.

Feb 15 10:45

‘NY Times’ and ‘Washington Post’ have still said nothing about B’Tselem’s finding a month ago that Israel is an ‘apartheid regime’

One month after one of Israel’s leading human rights organizations declared that the country is ruled by an “apartheid” state, liberal Zionists in the U.S. are breathing more easily. The New York Times and the Washington Post have still published nothing on the landmark finding by the human rights group B’Tselem, nor have any of their editorial writers or main columnists chimed in.

Liberal Zionists can relax. With the apartheid designation still a secret to most Americans, groups like J Street don’t have to explain why they still oppose the nonviolent global campaign for Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS).

Feb 15 09:52

Israeli Forces Open Fire at Gaza Farmers, Force Them Back

Israeli forces stationed on the border with the Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian farmers working in their lands near the border today, forcing them to leave the area, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported

Israeli occupation soldiers, stationed at the military watchtowers overlooking the border area east of Gaza City, fired several rounds of live bullets and teargas at the farmers, forcing them to leave the area to avoid being shot.

Feb 15 09:51

Jewish Settlers Desecrate Muslim Cemetery below Old City Wall in Jerusalem

A group of Jewish settlers today trespassed and desecrated a Muslim cemetery located just below Jerusalem’s old city wall, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Munther Siam, A member of the committee in charge of Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem, told WAFA that the Israelis first walked through the Muslim cemetery known as Bab al-Rahma cemetery, under police protection, before reaching Lions’ Gate, one of the gates to the old city located near the cemetery, where they performed Jewish rituals.

Feb 15 07:28

Israel tanks invade Gaza, open fire at farmers

A number of Israeli tanks today carried out incursion in the east of the city of Jabalya in the north of the Gaza Strip and opened fire at Palestinian farmers, Palestinian security sources said.

According to the sources, three bulldozers and three tanks breached the borders and trampled on agricultural land and farms inside Gaza.

They destroyed land and building dirt mounds and opened fire and shot smoke canisters.

Israeli occupation drones were flying overhead during the incursion.

On Sunday, six Israeli tanks invaded areas east of Bet Lahiya and opened fire at Palestinian farmers, apparently to force them to leave their farms as they razed several agricultural facilities.

Palestinian farmers and fishermen suffer almost daily attacks at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.

Feb 14 07:30

Under pressure, ICC to replace chief prosecutor probing Israeli, US crimes

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who has been probing war crimes committed by Israel, the US and their allies, is set to hand over office soon, amid reports of the Tel Aviv regime’s intense international lobbying for pressure on her over a recent jurisdiction-related ruling.

On Friday, the ICC’s member states are set to elect a new chief prosecutor to take over from Fatou Bensouda, who has been investigating the Israeli military and officials and those of the United States and other countries for possible war crimes in Gaza, the Israeli-occupied territories, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Bensouda, born in Gambia, is slated to leave office in June after nine years in one of the most challenging jobs in the international justice system.

Feb 14 07:27

OCHA: Israel demolishes 178 Palestinian buildings in West Bank since beginning of 2021

Since the beginning of 2021, Israeli forces have destroyed at least 178 Palestinian buildings in the occupied West Bank rendering at least 259 Palestinians homeless, including 140 children.

According to a report by the Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs in the Palestinian Territories (OCHA), the recent demolitions took place in mainly the Bedouin community of Humsa village in the northern Jordan valley.

Israeli authorities continue with the demolition of Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem al-Quds and area C, which makes up 60 percent of the West Bank.

The area C is under Israel’s full military, security and administrative control. Lack of Israeli-issued building permit is typically cited as the reason for demolition, even though, due to the restrictive and discriminatory planning regime, Palestinians can almost never obtain such permits.

Feb 13 08:59

Israel’s Leaders Are Trying to Cancel the Debate Because They Know They’re Losing

Israel and its supporters are ramping up efforts to outlaw solidarity with Palestinians in the name of combating antisemitism. But these authoritarian maneuvers can’t hide the fact that Israel is losing the battle for public opinion over its denial of Palestinian rights.

Feb 13 07:16

Rivlin urges army to protect West Bank shrine said damaged by PA construction

President Reuven Rivlin on Friday urged Defense Minister Benny Gantz to investigate damage to an archeological site on Mount Ebal (Har Eival in Hebrew) in the West Bank that many believe to contain the biblical Joshua’s altar.

“The reports of damage to the altar site at Har Eival concern me deeply,” Rivlin wrote to Gantz after Channel 12 broadcast footage it said was of Palestinian Authority workers grinding stones from the site to use as gravel in a road being built between a nearby village and the city of Nablus.

Local settlement council officials reported that the damage at the site was caused to 35 meters (114 feet) of an external retaining wall of the complex and not the actual altar compound.

Feb 12 12:46

Torture of Palestinian prisoners: Time to end Israel’s impunity

On 25 September 2019, a Palestinian man was arrested by Israeli soldiers and transferred to the Russian Compound detention facility in Jerusalem for interrogation by Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Shin Bet.

Samer Arbeed’s arrest marked the beginning of a wave of arrests in the ensuing months throughout the occupied West Bank. Later, media publications would describe this operation as a crackdown on the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was allegedly linked to the murder of Rina Schnerb, a young Israeli woman killed in a bombing attack earlier that year.

Feb 11 09:21

UNRWA limps forward after years of Trump administration pressure

Seham al-Laham is expecting her first child.

But what should be a happy occasion has been overshadowed by an anxious wait for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) to cover her expenses to give birth at a government-run hospital in Amman, Jordan.

The 20-year-old Palestinian refugee has been diligent about making it to all her appointments at the medical service centres in Jabal el-Hussein Camp, where she lives, but “the UNRWA-run clinics have been facing shortages in medicine, and lab equipment”, al-Laham said.

“We have been hearing of the financial problems facing UNRWA, and it has left me worried about my delivery and the medical services provided to me and my newborn,” she told Al Jazeera.

Feb 11 09:19

Palestinian Mayor of Hebron Receives Death Threats from Jewish Settlers

The Palestinian mayor of Hebron (Al-Khalil), Taysir Abu Sneineh, received death threats from Jewish settlers today.

Abu Sneineh received death threats from the mayor of the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba Eliyahu Liebman and a member of the Israeli parliament, Moshe Abutbul.

Abu Sneineh described the settler threats to kill him as part of a campaign of incitement aimed at consolidating Israeli racism and the quest to colonize Hebron and its old city. This is not the first time for him to receive such death threats from Jewish settlers.

Abu Sneineh explained that the incitement against him started because of his firm rejection of Israeli authorities’ decision to build an elevator inside the Ibrahimi Mosque. The elevator is meant to facilitate Jewish settlers’ access to the ancient mosque, in violation of international law.

Feb 11 09:18

Germany, Hungary back Israel in opposing ICC ruling on war crimes probe

The Foreign Ministries of Germany and Hungary on Tuesday denounced the International Criminal Court’s ruling last week that the court has jurisdiction to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by Israel and the Hamas terror group.

Israel has denounced the Friday ruling and the US objected to it, while the Palestinians supported the move. Israel and the US are not members of the ICC; the Palestinian Authority joined the court in 2015.

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, said “the court has no jurisdiction because of the absence of the element of Palestinian statehood required by international law.”

Feb 09 09:54

Andrew Yang Got it Wrong: Palestinian Boycott of Israel is Not Racist, It is Anti-Racist

Claims made by Democratic New York City mayoral candidate, Andrew Yang, in a recent op-ed in the Jewish weekly, The Forward point to the prevailing ignorance that continues to dominate the US discourse on Palestine and Israel.

Yang, a former Democratic Presidential candidate, is vying for the Jewish vote in New York City. According to the reductionist assumption that all Jews must naturally support Israel and Zionism, Yang constructed an argument that is entirely based on a tired and false mantra equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

Yang’s pro-Israel logic is not only unfounded, but confused as well. “A Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment,” he wrote, referring to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Feb 09 09:53

The PA and UN are wilfully complicit in Israel's settler-colonialism

At the rate that it is failing the people of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority will only stop jeopardising their cause when it is declared to be completely obsolete, more so than the two-state compromise. At this year's first meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP), UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Palestine's UN Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour put on a show of complicity that clearly illustrates how Palestine has been taken out of the hands of its people.

Feb 09 08:07

In Game Changer, International Criminal Court Will Take Up Israeli War Crimes and Apartheid in Palestine

On Friday, the International Criminal Court found that it had jurisdiction to consider war crimes and crimes against humanity and the crime of Apartheid in the Palestinian territories.

Israeli politician Abba Eban once quipped that Palestinians never lost the opportunity to lose an opportunity. But Palestinians have carefully, methodically created this opportunity to be heard in an international tribunal. It is the ruling Israeli right wing about which one can now quip about missing opportunities.

Israel has egregiously violated the 1949 Geneva Convention on the treatment of people in Occupied territories by flooding its own citizens into the Palestinian Territories, by stealing Palestinian land from its owners and building squatter settlements on it, and by using disproportional force against Palestinian demonstrators at the Gaza border.

The court will also look into war crimes by Hamas, which was elected in 2006 and retains control of the Gaza Strip.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 08 11:50

ICC Finally Approves Investigation into War Crimes in Occupied Palestine

The last hurdle in the way of an international investigation into war crimes committed in occupied Palestine has been removed, as the International Criminal Court in the Hague has finally approved the Prosecutor’s request to open legal proceedings regarding war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza.

In December 2019, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had concluded that the Court’s initial findings are a sufficient basis for an investigation into war crimes committed by Israeli officials and Palestinian groups in the occupied territories and that the Court does have jurisdiction to look into the matter.

The decision, then, has angered Israel and its Western allies, who insisted that the ICC has no jurisdiction since Palestine, they alleged, is not an independent state. Consequently, Bensouda referred the matter to the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber, requesting a “ruling on the scope of the Court’s territorial jurisdiction in the Situation in the State of Palestine”.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 08 07:45

Democrat lawmaker backtracks on claim Israel ‘burning down Palestinian villages’

A Democratic congressman accused Israel of “burning down Palestinian villages” on Friday, later walking back that comment and indicating that he was “referring to Israeli settlers who have burned Palestinian orchards” and the Israeli military “which has demolished or bulldozed [Palestinian] villages.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) asserted in an interview on Friday with MSNBC that US President Joe Biden would “radically reset” American ties with Israel and hold the latter more to account for its human rights record.

Biden, he said, is “going to make clear that Israel is an ally and always has been an ally, but they have to recognize Palestinian statehood, they can’t be having new settlements, they can’t be burning down Palestinian villages.”

Feb 08 07:44

ICC ruling brings hope for Palestinians, dismay for Israelis

Many Palestinians see a ruling by the International Criminal Court that it has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories as a belated chance of justice for victims of Israeli attacks.

But for many Israelis, Friday’s ruling is worrying because they say they are the “good guys” defending themselves against Palestinian violence.

The ruling, delivered by a pre-trial chamber of three ICC judges, could lead to criminal investigations of Israel and Palestinian militant groups including Hamas. No probe was expected in the near future, however.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she would now examine the decision and pointed to the 2014 Gaza war between Israel and militant groups in Hamas-controlled Gaza, the 2018 Gaza border protests and Israeli settlements in occupied territory.

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