Caterpillar equipment used in Israel’s revenge demolition

18 Aug

The ruins of the Hamed family house in the occupied West Bank village of Silwad, one of several Palestinian homes destroyed by Israeli forces in recent days as collective punishment. [Iyad Hadad B’Tselem]

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 16 August 2017

Israel uses Caterpillar equipment in revenge demolition

Israel carried out the revenge demolition of the family home of Omar al-Abed, 19, who is accused of killing three Israelis in the occupied West Bank settlement of Halamish last month.

Wednesday’s was the latest in a spate of such demolitions – collective punishments that are illegal under international law.

In keeping with the apartheid character of Israeli rule, Israel exclusively uses this method of punishment against Palestinians and never against Jews.

Al-Abed, who was shot and injured, is in Israeli custody, but has not been convicted or sentenced in any kind of legal process. Yet members of his family are already paying a steep price.

Local residents told the Ma’an News Agency that a large Israeli force stormed the West Bank village of al-Kobar early on Wednesday and surrounded the al-Abed family home while construction equipment was used to destroy most of the house.

Al-Kobar has been sealed by Israeli occupation forces, another form of collective punishment, since the 21 July stabbing attack in Halamish.

Palestinian youths confronted Israeli forces during the assault Wednesday morning. Twelve Palestinians, including a journalist, were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, according to medical services.

Israel has also been taking direct revenge on members of al-Abed’s family: occupation forces have already detained his mother, father, two of his brothers and an uncle.

Illegal and morally repugnant

Israel’s B’Tselem human rights group said that punitive demolitions are “morally repugnant and prohibited under international law.” But Israel’s high court has “repeatedly allowed the state to use this extreme measure.”

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What does it take to be a Palestinian supermum?

18 Aug


VIDEO: Al Jazeera English, 17 August 2017

How to be a Palestinian supermum

It’s not easy being a Palestinian mother. You must be ready to protest, get arrested, be injured and have difficult conversations with your children. Al Jazeera followed Manal Tamimi from Nabi Saleh to learn what it takes.

[Archive footage: Bilal Tamimi. Music: “Melt” by Broke for Free.]



There are no “both sides” to “Israel/Palestine conflict”

17 Aug
Jewish Voice for Peace 17 August 2017.
There are no “both sides” to “Israel/Palestinian Conflict” – There’s settler domination, land theft, ethnic cleansing, occupation, and apartheid.

Abby Martin talks about her visit to Israel/Palestine

16 Aug


VIDEO: Documentary maker Abby Martin (‘Empire Files’) exposes Zionism & Israel on Joe Rogan podcast (strong language). 7 August 2017

The little village that refuses to surrender – 116 times

16 Aug

Israel continues to try to displace thousands of Palestinian Bedouins. [Reuters]

By Ramzy Baroud, TeleSur, 14 August 2017

Al-Araqeeb village: Palestinian Bedouins refuse to surrender 116 Times

It would be no exaggeration to state that there is a war waged by Israel against Palestinian Bedouins.

On August 1, the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb was destroyed for the 116th time. As soon as Israeli bulldozers finished their ugly deed and soldiers began evacuating the premises, the village resident immediately began rebuilding their homes.

Some 22 families, or about 101 residents, are estimated to live here. By now, they are all familiar with the painful routine, considering the first round of destruction took place in July 2010.

It means that the village has been destroyed nearly 17 times per year, since then. And every single time, it was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again.

If the repeated destruction of the village is an indication of Israel’s stubborn insistence to uproot Palestine’s Bedouins, the rebuilding is indicative of the tenacity of the Bedouin community in Palestine.

But Al-Araqeeb is only symbolic of that historic fight.


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Beyond Liveability – a poem by Samah Sabawi

15 Aug

(Photo: Yousef Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle)


Beyond Liveability – A Poem by Samah Sabawi


life beyond livability is inevitable
like the rainfall
and the winter storms
life inside the walls
is ferocious…stubborn
It grows like dandelions through parched rocks
it transcends obstacles
and powers through
like inexorable love
like an irresistible kiss
like the birthing of new life
beyond the statistics
and the rhetoric of hate
like the darkness that drapes the homes in the besieged city
listen carefully
two million hearts are beating off rhythm
there is no harmony beyond livability
only the inevitable
beware the inevitable.

– Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian writer and poet. She contributed this poem to (Published 15 August 2017).

Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims

15 Aug

US envoy Nikki Haley has accused the UN of ‘bullying’ Israel [File: EPA]

By Ben White, Al Jazeera, 14 August 2017

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel.

Debunking Israel’s UN-bias claims

The UN’s repeated buckling to US and Israeli pressure stands contrary to claims of an anti-Israel bias, analysts note.

Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, made headlines in June when she denounced what she claimed was a pattern of “anti-Israel” behaviour at the UN.

“I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time,” she said. “We are not going to let that happen any more. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations.”

While Haley’s words were music to Israeli leaders’ ears and echoed long-standing talking points of pro-Israel advocacy groups, analysts say there is little substance to her allegations that, in the words of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israel has been “the UN’s punching bag”.

According to human rights lawyer Noura Erakat, the attention given to Israel/Palestine at the UN harkens back to a particular historical moment in the 1960s and 1970s, when “national liberation movements and newly decolonised countries used the UN as a site of protest” against “imperialistic” Western politics.

While issues concerning Namibia, South Africa, Cape Verde, Vietnam, Laos and others have in one way or another been resolved, Erakat told Al Jazeera, “the only one that hasn’t is Palestine”.

In 2016, the UN Security Council’s activity focused on the likes of North Korea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia and Libya. Sudan and South Sudan produced the most Security Council resolutions last year, with 11, while just one resolution dealt with Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. It was the first in almost eight years.

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