Israel cuts water pipes servicing 1000 Palestinians

26 Feb

Video by btselem: Civil Administration cuts and confiscates water pipe servicing 12 communities at Masafer Yatta. On Wednesday, 13 February 2019, at around 8:30 A.M., Civil Administration personnel came with a military-jeep and Border Police escort to a site near the village of a-Tuwani in the South Hebron Hills. The forces, which also had two crane trucks and a digger, unearthed a five kilometer stretch of pipe which was laid about two months ago to supply water to twelve communities in the area with a total population of more than 1,000. The residents previously relied on water supplied by tankers. The Israeli forces cut the pipe and confiscated it.

By Amira Hass, Haaretz, 23 February 2019

Analysis: For six months, these Palestinian villages had running water. Israel put a stop to it.

For six months, Palestinian villagers living on West Bank land that Israel deems a closed firing range saw their dream of running water come true. Then the Civil Administration put an end to it

The dream that came true, in the form of a two-inch water line, was too good to be true. For about six months, 12 Palestinian West Bank villages in the South Hebron Hills enjoyed clean running water. That was until February 13, when staff from the Israeli Civil Administration, accompanied by soldiers and Border Police and a couple of bulldozers, arrived.

The troops dug up the pipes, cut and sawed them apart and watched the jets of water that spurted out. About 350 cubic meters of water were wasted. Of a 20 kilometer long (12 mile) network, the Civil Administration confiscated remnants and sections of a total of about 6 kilometers of piping. They loaded them on four garbage trucks emblazoned with the name of the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan on them.

Community leaders Nidal Younes (right) and Mohammed al-Raba’i with what remains of the water pipes. [Eliyahu Hershkovitz]

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Child victims of Zionist population control

25 Feb

By Leslie Bravery, Opinion: The Daily Blog, 25 February, 2019

In 2018, Israeli forces killed 56 Palestinian children (more than one a week) mostly by gunfire but also with missiles launched by tanks and drones. Israel’s military Occupation of the West Bank and obsession with population control has an especially severe impact on Palestinian children. They can never feel safe, not even at night in their homes.

A former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, told the world: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Golda Meir’s twisted excuse for Zionist war crimes speaks volumes – as does the photo [see above] of four, heavily armed and protected Israeli soldiers, terrorising a defenceless young Palestinian boy in the Occupied West Bank. The soldiers’ fearlessness in seizing the boy is reinforced by their ability to outnumber him; all four can be seen manhandling him. The Israeli Army is aided in its provision of more than ample manpower through the generosity of US taxpayers. In 2016, the US Government guaranteed US$68 billion in economic and military aid to Israel over a ten-year period.

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Palestinian teen killed by Israeli army gunfire

25 Feb

Yusuf Said Hussein al-Dayeh, 15, succumbed to his wounds after being shot in the chest by Israeli forces. (Photo: via Twitter)

Palestine Chronicle, 24 February, 2019

For the 48th week in a row, Palestinians on Friday converged along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone to take part in ongoing rallies against Israel’s occupation and the 12-year siege of the Gaza Strip.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, a Palestinian teen was killed Friday — and 41 other people were injured — by Israeli troops deployed near the buffer zone.

The ministry said in a statement: “Yusuf Said Hussein al-Dayeh, 15, succumbed to his wounds after being shot in the chest by Israeli troops.”

Since the demonstrations began in March of last year, more than 250 Palestinians — including a number of women and children — have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.

Demonstrators demand the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven from in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media. Slightly abridged.)

Facebook gives nod to secret pro-Israel campaign

22 Feb

Facebook gives nod of approval to secretive and deceptive pages set up by a lobby group that collaborates with the Israeli government.[Stephen Lam, Reuters]

By Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 21 February 2019

Facebook has banned several pages belonging to such viral media outlets as In the Now because they are affiliates of the Russian-funded network RT – even though these media outlets violated none of the social network’s rules.

Yet The Electronic Intifada can exclusively reveal that Facebook has given a nod of approval to a network of secretive and deceptive pages set up by The Israel Project, a lobby group that collaborates with the Israeli government and with Israel’s military establishment to influence public opinion against Palestinians.

Last week, Facebook took down several pages run by Maffick Media. This came after CNN ran a report that the majority stakeholder of the company “is Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, which is funded by the Russian government.”

Often featuring reporter Rania Khalek, one of those outlets, In The Now, creates viral videos on current affairs, including this recent one debunking US claims used to justify the Trump administration’s regime change effort in Venezuela:

Khalek is a former editor and writer for The Electronic Intifada.

VIDEO: By The Electronic Intifada, Published 13 Sept, 2018. This video has been uploaded for public interest news reporting purposes. It is associated with this news article published by The Electronic Intifada:

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Daily life in Palestine’s other open-air prison

22 Feb

Palestinians walk next to the Israeli wall in Bethlehem city [Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills/Al Jazeera]

By Jalal Abukhater, Opinion AlJazeera, 14 February 2019

Palestine’s other open-air prison

Here is what a West Bank Palestinian resident has to go through every time s/he tries to get out of home.

Under a debilitating siege for more than a decade, Gaza has been rightfully declared the biggest open-air prison in the world. But there is another, similar, prison in Palestine that is less obvious because it suffers from a different kind of siege, undeclared and indirect: the West Bank. Every Palestinian who resides there and holds official Palestinian identification papers is a prisoner in their own home.

Freedom of movement is non-existent for the vast majority of the population because of a myriad of Israeli policies aimed at restricting it to the bare minimum. The situation is certainly shocking yet seems to be largely ignored by the world, especially by our Israeli neighbours.

Movement and life in the West Bank are governed by the whims of the Israeli security apparatus, which has set up hundreds of checkpoints, gates, artificial barriers, forbidden and segregated roads and of course, the 700km separation wall, as the Israelis call it, or apartheid wall, as we call it.

So what is it like for a Palestinian who tries to go anywhere in the West Bank?

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The last eyewitnesses: a new film on the Nakba

21 Feb

By Stephen Shenfield, Mondoweiss, 20 February 2019

Today marks the release of a new film on the Nakba, entitled “1948: Creation & Catastrophe.”

Stephen Shenfield interviews co-directors and executive producers professor Ahlam Muhtaseb, head of the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at California State University at San Bernardino, and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Andy Trimlett.

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Why Anti-Zionism is not the same as Anti-Semitism

20 Feb

VIDEO: By Middle East Eye, published 14 February 2019

Activist and academic Dr Sai Englert explains why Anti-Zionism is entirely different from Anti-Semitism, and how conflating them is a ‘deeply problematic approach.’

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Israel evicts Palestinian family from home: Video

19 Feb

VIDEO REPORT by TRT World, 19 February 2019

“They took my home, my memories. The Israeli settler is inside my home while I’m thrown out.” The Israeli police have forcibly evicted a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem, where their family has been living for three generations. See Electronic Intifada‘s report and video below:

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John Legend speaks up for Palestinian Human Rights

18 Feb

American singer John Legend speaks up for Human Rights of Palestinians (VIDEO: Middle East Eye, 18 February 2019)

American award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer, John Legend, recently spoke out about standing up for human rights for Palestinians while on the “Real Time With Bill Maher” show.

Legend appeared, on Saturday, on the “Real Time With Bill Maher” show on HBO with American comedian and political commentator Bill Maher, where he discussed the #MeTooMovement, anti-Semitic comments made by Ilham Omar, and the current situation in Venezuela.

Legend said, “As progressives, we should also speak up for human rights for Palestinians, and for too long, I think, it has been out of balance for progressives to speak up for the rights of Palestinians.”

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“We are anti-Zionist Jews, we are not anti-semitic”

15 Feb

This video posted on Youtube by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on 27 January 2019 shows Netanyahu’s “warm welcome” for NZ Defence Minister Ron Marks. The NZ delegation included National MP and Associate Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tim Macindoe,

By: Fred Albert and Marilyn Garson, NZ Herald opinion piece, 13 February 2019

We are anti-Zionist Jews, we are not anti-semitic

When [NZ] Defence Minister Ron Mark met Israel’s Prime Minister on January 27, [See video above. Ed] Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted as asking New Zealand to change its definition of anti-semitism so that it includes political opposition to Zionism.

Netanyahu’s office website reports that he told Mark, “The main attack against the Jewish people today is the attacks against the Jewish state and the attempt to delegitimise the very right of the Jewish people for a state of their own. This is called anti-Zionism, and we ask not only all our friends, but all decent countries everywhere to include [in] the definition of anti semitism, anti-Zionism as well. And so I’ve just made that request from you as well.”

We write as two committed Jews, members of a synagogue, engaging in regular prayer and daily study. We believe in the enduring, prophetic school of Jewish thought. As per our understanding of our religion, law and justice, we are not Zionists.

For that, Netanyahu would like you to call us anti-semites – pathological Jew-haters. He would deny us the right to challenge Israel’s actions, as we challenge the actions of any state (including our own). If New Zealand forecloses on political debate in this way, it will forfeit its potential role in seeking justice for Israel-Palestine.

We are not unusual in our beliefs. Zionism has always been disputed by Jews on a range of religious grounds. Some of our greatest modern thinkers objected to the methods and choices of Jewish nationalism, including Albert Einstein, Hannah Arendt and Martin Buber. They urged different arrangements of space and power.

Debate is especially strident within the Jewish community now, as growing numbers of humanist, mostly young, Jews stand up to protest Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

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Two Palestinians suffocate to death in Egypt border tunnel

12 Feb

A Palestinian man moves a goat through a smuggling tunnel from Egypt to Gaza under the border at Rafah. [Photo: Khalil Hamra/AP]

AlJazeera, 12 February 2019

Gaza’s health ministry spokesperson said Egypt pumped toxic gas into border tunnel, suffocating two men.

Two Palestinians were killed overnight in a tunnel between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, the Hamas-run interior ministry said Monday.

According to spokesman Iyad al-Bozum, one of the casualties was a Hamas police officer and the other a civilian.

Bozum said 39-year-old major Abdelhamid al-Akar and Sabhy Abu Qarushayn, 28, “suffocated due to the inhalation of toxic gases”.

Witnesses said Egypt pumped gas into the tunnel.

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Watch: ‘GAZA – a look into the eyes of barbarism’

11 Feb

WATCH THE AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY: “Gaza : a look into the eyes of barbarism”

Gaza” which was directed by Julio Pérez del Campo and produced by Carles Bover Martínez, is a moving documentary which depicts the reality and horror of life as endured by the people in the besieged Palestinian enclave of Gaza. “Gaza” recently won the prestigious 2019 Goya Award for ‘best short documentary.’

The film takes viewers on a journey through Gaza’s streets, introduces them to its people under occupation, Israel’s military assaults and harsh 12 year siege and blockade.

In his acceptance speech, del Campo dedicated the win to “all the people who have kept alive the struggle of the Palestinian people. For those who are among us and those who are not.”

“I believe that many things can be done from the world of culture, but the first is not to legitimise countries that systematically violate human rights.””Long live the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he added. For a video report featuring de Campo’s acceptance speech see our earlier post:

Since receiving the award, screening of the film has experienced censorship in Spain – see this RT report:

‘Gaza’ documentary filmmakers face censorship.

RT, 8 February 2019.

Two Palestinian teenagers killed during Gaza protest

11 Feb

VIDEO REPORT: Middle East Eye, Published 11 February, 2019

“He could’ve become a doctor or an engineer. He could’ve grown up to be a professional football player.”

Two Palestinian teenagers, including a 14-year-old, were killed, and at least 17 others wounded by Israeli live fire during the 46th week of protests near Gaza’s border with Israel on Friday.

Nearly 300 Palestinians have been killed and 6,000 wounded by Israeli live ammunition since the weekly ‘Great March for the Return’ protests began on 30 March last year.

Second Palestinian prisoner dies in Israel jail in 3 days

11 Feb

PCHR photo: Israeli prison forces raid Ofer prison and wound 100 Palestinian detainees, 21 January 2019

Middle East Monitor, 10 February 2019

The Israeli prison authorities yesterday announced the death of 36-year-old Palestinian prisoner Yasser Hamid Ishtea (pictured below), making him the second Palestinian prisoner to die in Israeli jail in the past three days.

According to Israel’s Channel 7, Ishtea, who was serving a life sentence, was found dead in “ambiguous” circumstances inside his cell in Eshel Prison, just outside Be’er Sheba in the south of the country.

The Israeli prison authorities have opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

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Israeli writer: ‘Gaza Strip is a concentration camp’

11 Feb

Gazan children layer up with warm clothes seen during the winter months in Gaza on January 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

By Amira Hass, Opinion, Haaretz (Israeli daily newspaper), 9 February 2019

Israel has a plan to isolate the Gaza Strip and deprive it of its roots, it’s turned it in to a concentration camp, and it has nothing to do with Hamas, Israeli journalist Amira Hass wrote in Haaretz today.

Hass said that the Israeli authorities tighten their grip on the Gaza Strip and then they express their worries about it.

“The Gaza Strip today is a concentration camp,” she wrote.

“In the Gaza Strip, which is closed off like a confined and separated camp, live some two million people in one of the most densely populated places in the world. About 70 per cent of them are the descendants of refugees expelled from their homes. Absent freedom of movement condemned them to a life of unemployment, dreariness, poverty, disease, depression, contaminated water and soil, and dependence on ever-dwindling charity. And that is even without the military bombings and incursions.”

READ: Israel officials warn Gaza war would collapse health system

“The concentration camp that is Gaza has existed under ever harsher conditions for almost three decades… Before Hamas took charge.”

“Israel has a political goal in mind in turning Gaza into a giant concentration camp: Cutting it and its inhabitants off from the rest of the Palestinians so that it will become a separate entity, deprived of history, roots and belonging.”


Amira Hass: Renowned Israeli writer, commentator and contributor to Haaretz newspaper – photographed in Auckland during her speaking tour of New Zealand in 2015. [Photo: Kia Ora Gaza]



Tourism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

8 Feb

VIDEO REPORT: by Amnesty International, 31 January 2019

Destination: Occupation – Tourism in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

TripAdvisor, Expedia, AirBnB and need to stop listing or promoting properties, activities and attractions located in illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories right now.

Flotillas to Gaza will continue to sail despite court ruling

8 Feb

Roger Fowler, from Kia Ora Gaza (NZ), and veteran US peace activist Ann Wright visit one of the 2018 flotilla boats in Sweden after the Freedom Flotilla Coalition planning conference in Gothenburg last year. The boat was being prepared to join 3 other boats due to sail to Gaza later that year as the 2018 international Freedom Flotilla’s attempt to break Israel’s illegal blockade of the besieged Palestinian enclave. Prominent union leader, Mike Treen, was the NZ representative on board the Al Awda that was illegally seized and confiscated by the Israeli navy in July last year, in international waters.[ ]

Ann Wright, told Kia Ora Gaza today, that “while an Israeli court has officially ruled that the State of Israel can “legally” confiscate ships used in flotillas to break the IDF’s naval blockade of Gaza, the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition of 14 countries will continue to sail ships to bring international attention to the horrific, illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza!”

Wright added, “The ships were stolen in international waters, the crew and passengers taken against their will (kidnapped) to a country where they did NOT want to go (Israel) – a form of extraordinary rendition, [they were] imprisoned and ultimately deported.”

Some of the participants of the international Women’s Boat to Gaza, the Zaytouna, before they departed Messina, Sicily, in October 2016. New Zealand’s Marama Davidson MP can be seen top left.

See today’s Jerusalem Post report below:

Court sets new precedent against flotillas used to break IDF Gaza blockade

Permits state to seize Zaytouna-Oliva after past seizure attempts rejected.

By Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, 7 February 2019

The Haifa District Court has ruled that the state can confiscate ships used in flotillas attempting to break the IDF’s naval blockade of Gaza, setting a precedent which could deter the flotilla tactic.

On Wednesday, the Haifa District Attorney’s Office announced the decision issued earlier in the week by Haifa Court Deputy President Ron Sokol, approving the state’s request to seize the Zaytouna-Olivia, which sailed from Barcelona in a September 2016 “women’s flotilla” to break the blockade.

The sailboat was taken over by the IDF in October 2016. The state has maintained a blockade of Gaza for over a decade, saying it has a right to do so under international law because of the ongoing state of war with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

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Palestinian prisoner dies in Israeli prison from medical neglect

7 Feb

Samidoun, 7 February 2019

Palestinian prisoner Fares Baroud, 51, from al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza, died on Wednesday, 6 February only hours after being suddenly transferred to intensive care from Ramon prison. Baroud suffers from a number of health conditions, including a hernia and liver disease, and has repeatedly spoken about medical neglect and denial of needed health treatment to Palestinian prisoners.

Earlier, he had lost 80 percent of his sight due to a vision problem; treatment was delayed for four months by the prison administration for his condition. Palestinian prisoners’ associations said that Baroud has been subjected to deliberate medical neglect over the years and that he has been denied necessary medical care that could have sustained his life.

Baroud had been denied family visits for 18 years by the Israeli occupation, including with his mother, Rayya Baroud. Rayya suffered from the same vision condition, losing her sight and her life before seeing her son again. Before her death in 2018 at the age of 85 , she participated every week in the vigils of prisoners’ families outside the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza City, holding her son’s poster and demanding his release and that of his fellow prisoners. 

Fares Baroud’s mother Rayya. [Photo: Palestine Information Centre]

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‘Gaza’ documentary wins 33rd Spain Goya Award

7 Feb

VIDEO: Middle East Monitor, 5 February 2019

The documentary, ‘Gaza’, which first premiered in the Sundance Film Festival at the start of the year, depicts the lives of Palestinians living under the 12-year siege in the Gaza Strip.

A Spanish film about the situation in the besieged Palestinian enclave, ‘Gaza’, won the prestigious Goya Award 2019 on Sunday.

Gaza” which was directed by Julio Pérez del Campo and produced by Carles Bover Martíne, is a documentary which highlights the plight of Palestinians in the occupied enclave as they go about their everyday lives and try to survive.

The film takes viewers on a journey through Gaza’s streets, introduces them to its people and gives details of his history under occupation.

In his acceptance speech, del Campo dedicated the win to “all the people who have kept alive the struggle of the Palestinian people. For those who are among us and those who are not.”

“I believe that many things can be done from the world of culture, but the first is not to legitimise countries that systematically violate human rights.””Long live the struggle of the Palestinian people,” he added.

Israel launches smear campaign, labels BDS activists ‘Terrorists in Suits’

5 Feb


Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister, Gilad Erdan, launches new smear campaign on 3 February. (Photo credit: Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy]

Palestine Chronicle, 4 February, 2019

Israel has launched a smear campaign against activists affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, labeling them “terrorists in suits”.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry launched the campaign this weekend with a series of posters depicting prominent BDS activists as “terrorists”, using the hashtag #TerroristsInSuits to smear the individuals’ professional credibility and the BDS movement as a whole.

Among the activists targeted were French-Palestinian activist and research at Adameer Salah Hamouri, general-director of Al-Haq Shawan Jabarin, and Palestinian icon Leila Khaled. In one image, director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Rani Sourani is shown smiling in a suit, juxtaposed with an image of a man armed with a machine gun and clad in a kuffiyeh (traditional Palestinian headdress) in an image meant to portray his “terrorist” alter ego.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Israel’s Strategic Affairs and Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, who said it “reveals the true nature and goals of the BDS movement and its connection to terrorism and antisemitism,” the Jerusalem Post reported.

Erdan continued: “When people talk about the goals of the BDS movement, they don’t bother to read official statements from its leaders. If you do, it becomes clear that the goals of its leaders are the same as those of the leaders of Palestinian terror organizations. BDS rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state within any borders. They want to see Israel wiped off the map. Promoting boycotts is [just] a different means to achieve this goal.”

Erdan has effectively waged war against BDS during his term as strategic affairs minister. In May 2017 Israel introduced a law blacklisting NGOs and forbidding entry visas and residency rights to foreign nationals who support BDS. Erdan has since been at the forefront of efforts to ban Spanish, Jewish-American and British activists and has also overseen the deportation of prominent human rights activists already stationed in Israel, including director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Omar Shakir.

VIDEO by Al Jazeera English, published on 27 March 2018. ‘How is BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement) affecting Israel?’

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