Tag Archives: Palestinians

Cattle die after Israel cuts water to West Bank village

7 Aug
Days of Palestine report, West Bank, 6 August 2015

Tens of cattle owned by Palestinians died after Israeli water firm, Mekerot, cut off water supplies for Palestinian village in Nablus on Sunday.

The cut of water supplies is expected to be pre-planned to cause damage to Palestinians’ cattle as an extreme heat wave is hitting the region.

Head of the council, Hamzeh Jomaa, contacted Mekerot, but has not received any answer from the Israeli company as to why the water was cut off or when it will be reconnected.

In addition to cattle, locals said on Thursday, hundreds of chickens, ducks and other domestic birds died in the village due to the lack of water, which coincided with the abnormal heat wave hitting the region.

Jomaa said that some 4,000 people living in the village Kafr Qaddum in Nablus, which is mainly based on agricultural produce, are suffering from the lack of running and drinking water.

Mekerot, which steals the Palestinian underground water and benefit from Israeli restriction on using their natural resources, provides water to all Palestinian villages, as well as all illegal Israeli Jewish settlements in the surrounding area.

Israelis, including settlers, have access to 300 litres of water per day, while the average of a Palestinian citizen in the occupied West Bank is only around 70 litres.

This below the World Health Organization’s recommended minimum of 100 litres per day for basic sanitation, hygiene and drinking.

(Slightly abridged)

One year on: Gaza still subsisting in rubble & ruin

7 Jul

A continuous barrage of Israeli bombs rained down in Gaza for 51 days from 8 July 2015. Associated Press video report, July 2014.

The destruction of Shujaiyeh & Rafah – Surviving Palestinians still subsist among the rubble. To date not one house has been rebuilt – thanks to the tight 9 year siege imposed by Israel & Egypt. Reuters video, 4 June 2015

BBC video report with drone footage of the aftermath of Israel’s 51 day war against Gaza. September 2014

Drone footage reveals the devastating destruction to Shuja’iyeh (Shejaia), a neighbourhood district in Gaza, the result of the Israeli assault that lasted 51 days. Between 8 July and 27 August 2014, Israel’s Operation Protective Edge bombardment killed at least 2,200 Palestinians (mostly civilians) along with 66 Israeli soldiers and 7 civilians in Israel. And according to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA), more than 300,000 Gazans had been sheltering in its schools and up to 500,000 people have been displaced by the conflict. The extensive destruction caused means that many Palestinians have no home to return to. Many faced a harsh winter in emergency shelters. Most still remain without adequate shelter today.

My missing family in Syria

16 Apr

yarmouk_meeYarmouk refugee camp was established in 1957, nearly a decade after the Nakba – the ‘Catastrophe’ of 1948. (MEE)

By Ramzy Baroud, ramzybaroud.net 15 April, 2015

2c817e8b26_baroud_france_resized_1-300x225My Missing Family in Syria: Naming and Shaming in Yarmouk

Members of my family in Syria’s Yarmouk went missing many months ago. We have no idea who is dead and who is alive. Unlike my other uncle and his children in Libya, who fled the NATO war and turned up alive but hiding in some desert a few months later, my uncle’s family in Syria disappeared completely as if ingested by a black hole, to a whole different dimension.

I chose the “black hole” analogy, as opposed to the one used by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – “the deepest circle of hell” – which he recently uttered in reference to the plight of Palestinians in Yarmouk following the advances made by the notorious Islamic State (IS) militias in early April. If there is any justice in the hereafter, no Palestinian refugee – even those who failed to pray five times a day or go to church every Sunday – deserves to be in any “circle of hell”, deep or shallow. The suffering they have endured in this world since the founding of Israel atop their towns and villages in Palestine some 66 years ago is enough to redeem their collective sins, past and present.

For now, however, justice remains elusive. The refugees of Yarmouk – whose population once exceeded 250,000, dwindling throughout the Syrian civil war to 18,000 – is a microcosm of the story of a whole nation, whose perpetual pain shames us all, none excluded.

Palestinian refugees (some displaced several times) who escaped the Syrian war to Lebanon, Jordan or are displaced within Syria itself, are experiencing the cruel reality under the harsh and inhospitable terrains of war and Arab regimes. Many of those who remained in Yarmouk were torn to shreds by the barrel bombs of the Syrian army, or victimised – and now beheaded – by the malicious, violent groupings that control the camp, including the al-Nusra Front, and as of late, IS.

Those who have somehow managed to escape bodily injury are starving. The starvation in Yarmouk is also the responsibility of all parties involved, and the “inhumane conditions” under which they subsist – especially since December 2012 – is a badge of shame on the forehead of the international community in general, and the Arab League in particular

These are some of the culprits in the suffering of Yarmouk:

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Why Palestinians no longer care about the Israeli election

19 Mar


Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyah with Zionist Union co-leader Tzipi Livni. Photo:Getty Images

Why Palestinians no longer care about the Israeli election – disillusioned with the peace camp in Israel, they are now concentrating on legal challenges and building up international support instead

Raja Shehadeh, The Guardian, 17 March 2015

There is no enthusiasm or hope shown by Palestinians for the Israeli election on Tuesday. Scant attention is paid as to who is expected to win, and there is hardly any anticipation of the outcome.

These elections are happening at a difficult time for Palestinians. Since January, Israel has been withholding more than $100m in taxes it collects every month on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. This is having a devastating effect on the economy. Land confiscation and the expansion of Jewish settlements are continuing, as are cases of vandalism by settlers, such as the destruction of olive trees. Torture of detainees is also on the increase, and acts of arson have occurred against religious buildings in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Such indifference was not always the norm. Before the big shift to the right that has taken place in Israel over the past decade, Israeli elections were followed closely by Palestinians who pinned their hope on the victory of the moderates. Now they do not see a viable peace camp in Israel. The big parties in Israel may pay lip service to the two-state solution – which remains the strategic position of the Palestinian Authority – but what they are willing to do to make this possible falls far below the minimum that would be acceptable to the Palestinians. None propose the dismantling of settlements or the sharing of Jerusalem as the joint capital of the two states.

It is no wonder, then, that there is little discussion taking place about these elections. When asked who they would prefer to win, the answer given by most Palestinians is Binyamin Netanyahu – better the devil you know.

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A memorial event for Rachel Corrie – what could go wrong?

17 Mar


VIDEO: Israel soldiers attack Palestinians

US peace activist Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer as she tried to halt the demolition of Palestinian homes in Gaza on 16 March 2003.

A little memorial event planting olive trees for Rachel Corrie in Qaryout (Nablus) ended abruptly yesterday as Israeli soldiers attacked Palestinians preparing the food. Two were kidnapped, one of them needing medical attention …the incident was captured on amateur video.

Thousands of Palestinians storm Rafah crossing

11 Mar


Middle East Monitor  report 10 March 2015

Thousands of Palestinians stormed the Rafah Crossing when it was opened yesterday morning. The Palestinians were in urgent need to travel either to seek medical attention, for studies, work or other reasons.

After 45 days of its continuous closure, the Egyptian authorities announced that they would reopen the crossing for two days from yesterday. More than 500 pilgrims who had visas to travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in February have missed out on the opportunity to go as their visas have expired.

Rafah Crossing is the only window for about 1.8 million Gaza residents to the outside world. There are six other crossings between Gaza and Egypt, but because of the eight year Israeli siege on Gaza, the crossings have been almost entirely closed except for the entry of certain goods.

According to the records of the interior ministry in Gaza, more than 10,000 residents are registered for urgent leave. On Monday, only 361 were allowed through the crossing.

Resident Hussein Fojo, 43, said he waited for many hours in the travel lounge on the Palestinian side, hoping to leave to reunite with his family in Egypt. His attempts were unsuccessful.

“I came to Gaza four months ago for a one-month visit,” he told the Anadolu Agency. “Because of the closure, I am stuck here. I lost my job.”

Sa’diyyeh Abdul-Khaliq, an elderly lady who is in need of treatment for a liver disease, managed to get on the bus to Egypt. She said: “I hoped I could travel. I have been trying for four months. This illness cannot be treated in Gaza so I am forced to head to Egypt.”


Meanwhile another group of Egyptian soldiers have been killed and injured during an ambush in the Sinai,  further escalating tensions in the area..
Hamas says attacks on Egyptian soldiers are a ploy to keep Rafah crossing closed
Middle East Monitor report 10 March 2015.

A senior Hamas official has condemned the latest attack on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula. Such attacks, claims Mousa Abu-Marzouk, are a ploy to push the Egyptians to keep the Rafah border crossing closed and damage relations between Hamas and the government in Cairo.

“The Rafah crossing was reopened after a long time and many appeals by different parties,” Abu-Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page. “After this attack, I am sure that there are some parties thinking of keeping the crossing closed and our relations with Cairo unresolved.” He called on Egypt not to fulfil the wishes of these “parties”, keep the crossing open and maintain links with the Islamic Resistance Movement in Palestine.

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‘We are trained to not see Palestinians as humans’

13 Nov


RT video report: ‘We are trained to not see Palestinians as humans’ – former IDF soldier

A video has emerged online showing Israeli police putting handcuffs on a Palestinian boy in the city of Hebron in the West Bank. The boy is mentally ill, but it didn’t prevent the soldiers from arresting him while blindfolded.

Between 500 and 700 Palestinian children are detained EVERY year by the IDF. Around 8,000 Palestinian children have been arrested and prosecuted in Israeli military courts in the last 14 years.


‘Why I’m now a friend of Palestine rather than Israel’

12 Nov


Bob Carr: former NSW premier and foreign minister: Why I’m now a friend of Palestine rather than Israel

By Bob Carr, Opinion, The Australian: 8 November, 2014

PENNANT Hills Golf Club in Sydney is an unusual place for an epiphany on the changes in Israel. Still, it was there I met a Christian volunteer who went to the occupied territories to escort Palestinian children to school, to protect them from verbal and physical ­violence by Israeli settlers.

Violence against Arab kids? Christian volunteers to protect them? From Jewish settlers?

None of this was around in 1977 when I rented a room in Sydney Trades Hall and called on Bob Hawke, ACTU president, to help me launch Labor Friends of Israel.

In 1977 the Israeli occupation was 10 years old. There were 25,000 settlers. It was easy to believe the Israelis were holding the West Bank only as a bargaining chip. Arabs were terrorists.

Now the occupation has lasted 47 years. There are 500,000 settlers. Up to 60 per cent of the Israeli cabinet is on record as opposing a two-state solution. Palestinians have been part of a peace process for 25 years.

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Israel excels at camouflaging the expulsion of Palestinians

21 Oct


Otherwise Occupied: Israel excels at camouflaging the expulsion of Palestinians via various mechanisms

By Amira Hass, Haaretz (Israeli newspaper), 20 October 2014

As the descendants of a people which was banished throughout history from its homes and various homelands, we Israelis have developed our own expulsion skills – skills that would not embarrass the kings, nobles and officials of the goyim. Our contribution to the family of banishing nations is great, especially considering our short existence as a sovereign entity.

After the big expulsion of between 700,000 and 800,000 Palestinians in 1948, we have made do with smaller expulsions, and excel in camouflaging them under various legal definitions or varying circumstantial theories. The Israeli civil-military bureaucracy does not attempt to bathe its acts in any single guiding ideology. But the spirit of Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, Rehavam Ze’evi and Yosef Weitz is watching from above.

Here is an inventory of the methods of expulsion in their various concealments:

1. “Stop being a resident.” Israel’s control of the Palestinian Population Registry allowed it to expel some 250,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip between 1967 and 1994 by revoking their status as residents (because they remained overseas for over seven years). These figures were provided by the Defense Ministry to HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, in 2011 and 2012. We must add about 100,000 Palestinians (at least) to this number, who fled or were expelled from the West Bank and Gaza during the June 1967 war and were not present during the census conducted that summer. They have not been allowed back to their homes. The Israelis who have emigrated to Los Angeles, it should be noted, continue to be Israelis.

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Palestinians await results of Cairo donor conference

14 Oct

operation-protective-edge-israel-bombs-gaza-home-of-al-raziq-familyPalestinians are still lying among the ruins of their homes and have, until now, only received some food aid and in-kind donations

 Middle East Monitor report, 14 October 2014

Palestinians are eagerly awaiting the results of the International Conference of the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Cairo (on Sunday).

Following Israel’s 51 day assault on the Gaza Strip which began in July, Palestinians are still lying among the ruins of their homes and have, until now, only received some food aid and in-kind donations.

Palestinians are appealing to the world to intervene to relieve this tragedy and rebuild destroyed homes and institutions, infrastructure and the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip and the devastated areas.

The conference in the Egyptian capital on Sunday, considered the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip at the level of Foreign Ministers under the chairmanship of the United Nations and the European Union, and was organized by Egypt & Norway.

Statements published by IRIN, of the Office of the United Nations, indicate that there has been a decline in the number donors willing to help because they are afraid of a repeat of the position of 2009 and 2012, in the absence of real commitments to refrain from further violence.

Reconstruction costs:

  •  Housing: $1.182 billion
  •  Public services: $701 million
  •  Economy: $1.235 billion
  •  Infrastructure: $1.91 million
  •  Government sector: $186 million



Detentions, intimidation & land grabs continue

23 Sep


PressTV report, 22 September 2014

A human rights group says Israeli forces have detained at least 152 Palestinians in the third week of September alone.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, at least 50 people were taken into custody in Hebron (al-Khalil) and another 40 in al-Quds (Jerusalem) last week.

Local residents say nearly a dozen Palestinians were arrested in an overnight Israeli raid in Jenin on Sunday.

The group says others were arrested in the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Ramallah, Tulkarm, Nablus as well as several Palestinian refugee camps.

This comes as Israeli regime continues its policy of detention and intimidation.

An undisclosed number of Palestinian inmates are locked up in detention and interrogation facilities run by both the Israeli military and security agency Shabak.

Latest estimates show that about 7,000 Palestinians are being currently kept in Israeli prisons.

Mass relocation of Bedouins planned

Meanwhile, over 40 Palestinian and international rights groups have recently said that Tel Aviv is planning to displace more than thousands of Bedouins who have pledged to resist eviction.

Rights groups say such measures will lead to the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

The latest instances of Israeli violence come nearly four weeks after a truce took effect between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip to end a 50-day war.

More than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly women, children and the elderly were killed in the Israeli onslaught on Gaza and around 11,000 others were injured.


No hope for lasting ceasefire

4 Sep

Gaza-AA-2A Palestinian boy stares at the debris of destroyed buildings as Palestinians start to return their homes during ceasefire in al-Shaaf neighborhood Gaza City, Gaza on August 31, 2014 (AA)

Skirting round the biggest issues with vague wording, the latest Gaza ceasefire agreement simply sows the seed for future conflict

Sharif Nashashibi, Opinion, Middle East Eye, 1 September 2014

Jubilation over the Gaza ceasefire is likely to be short-lived, judging by the deal’s content, as well as actions and statements since it was agreed. An analysis of its terms reveals the repetition of flaws that doomed previous truces: vague wording, and the postponement of talks on the fundamental issues.

Perhaps these flaws are what led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to say following the deal that he “didn’t agree to accept any of Hamas’ demands”. As such, it is puzzling that the Palestinian faction and its allies are celebrating the ceasefire agreement as a victory.

There is no mention of Egypt or Israel ending their blockades, by far the most important Palestinian demand regarding Gaza. Both countries will reportedly open border crossings, but not all of them. That suggests only an easing of the blockades, the extent of which remains unclear. Given their past restrictions and their hostility towards Hamas, it may well be limited, with any easing – no matter how small – portrayed as a major concession.

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Gaza ceasefire: After 1,800+ dead – what comes next?

6 Aug


Democracy Now! talks to author Norman Finkelstein, 5 August 2014

After a nearly month-long assault that left at least 1,865 Palestinians dead, Israel has pulled its ground forces from the Gaza Strip under the 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect earlier today. Israeli and Palestinian factions have agreed to attend talks in Cairo on a longer-term agreement. Gaza officials say the vast majority of Palestinian victims were civilians in the Israeli offensive that began on July 8. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Palestinians are returning to homes and neighborhoods that have seen a massive amount of destruction. Nearly a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million resident were displaced during the fighting which destroyed more than 3,000 homes. The ceasefire was reached after international outrage over Palestinian civilian deaths peaked, with even Israel’s chief backer, the United States, criticizing recent Israeli shellings of United Nations shelters that killed scores of displaced Palestinians. To discuss the lead-up to the ceasefire and what to expect from the talks in Cairo, we are joined by author and scholar Norman Finkelstein.


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