Palestine Update 273
Creative resistance in Palestine and vicious repression from Israel
With the occupation being so predictably stubborn and vindictive, Palestinians find ways to get around it. In an innovative breakthrough, they have developed a mobile driving app that enables them to expose routes to towns and villages and avoid new checkpoints in the West Bank. At the level of government, the PA is countering Israeli harassment in its ports by seeking to use Jordanian ports instead of Israeli harbors. Yes, in small ways, the occupation can be beaten and befooled.
Meanwhile Israelis are inventing racial myths to deny Palestinians the right to go home. Worse, Benny Gantz, a Netanyahu rival, is promising to be even more ruthless than Netanyahu has been. He vows unparalleled cruelty in a future conflict with Gaza. He will ‘pound” Gaza in the event of a ground war.
Apartheid practices go unstopped as Israel allocates more settlement spaces, while, at the same time, demolishing Palestinian homes with ruthlessness.
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Palestinian app helps uncover routes to avoid Israeli checkpoints
A new Palestinian-developed mobile driving app helps Palestinian drivers uncover routes to towns and villages and avoid new checkpoints in the West Bank, services that the mainstream providers like Google Maps and Waze often fail to offer in an occupied region scattered with the regime’s settlements and military bases. Launched in June, the app, called Doroob Navigator, is the brainchild of 39-year-old Mohammad Abdel Haleem, the CEO of Doroob Technologies, which is funded by Ramallah-based software firm Ideal, also controlled by Abdel Haleem. “We had to design our maps completely from scratch. The wall, checkpoints, settlements … existing mapping software could never account for the complexity here,” said Abdel Haleem. The app has garnered 22,000 users in just two months, and according to its developer, it might be monetized in the future in part via a delivery feature.
PA planning to use Jordan ports instead of Israel’s
Palestinian Authority (PA) Transportation Minister Asim Salim revealed discussions had been held to arrange for the PA to use Jordanian ports instead of Israeli harbours. Salim revealed details of a meeting held with the Jordanians to let the Palestinians use the Port of Aqaba as an alternative to Israeli seaports.
The Palestinian minister also revealed that a delegation from Ramallah would visit Jordan in the coming days, noting that the PA government is working to reach full disengagement with the Israeli occupation. He said that the Palestinians are trying to implement the disengagement with the Israeli occupation in all fields on the ground. For this reason, he also revealed that the Palestinian delegation had visited several Arab states to discuss replacing Israeli goods with Arab goods.
Zionists use racial myths to deny Palestinians the right to go home
In the late 18th century European philologists invented the category “Semitic” to describe the languages of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Horn of Africa – Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic and Amharic, among others – to distinguish them from Indo-European “Aryan” languages. Given the force of European racialism and its deeply racist culture then and now, the belief in the foreignness of Jews persisted. Since then European Christians began to consider European Jews, who did not speak Hebrew, as “Semites”, based on the religious Jewish and Christian claims that European Jews were the descendants of the ancient Palestinian Hebrews. What is remarkable, however, is that no one suggested then – or now – that European Christians were also the descendants of the ancient Palestinian Christians! When anti-Semitism emerged as a political ideology, it latched onto the Semitic linguistic category that encompassed Jews, and anti-Semites converted this into a racial category. The German Wilhelm Marr, who popularized the term “anti-Semitism”, insisted that the hostility of anti-Semites to Jews was not based on their religion, but on their “race”.
Gantz vows to send ground forces to ‘Pound Gaza’ in future conflict
Benny Gantz, leader of the Kahol Lavan party, vowed that if he becomes prime minister he would move to “pound Gaza,” send ground troops into the enclave, and kill Hamas’ leadership in the event of another round of fighting. Gantz’s comments, made as he visited the Gaza border area with other top members of his party some six weeks before Israelis head to the polls, marked a more hawkish line than that taken by his party during the last election campaign. Gantz’ party has decided to sharpen its rhetoric regarding defense in an effort to attract right-wing voters and increase the size of the center-left bloc.
Israel approves plans for 2,304 settlement homes in West Bank
Israeli officials have advanced plans for the construction of more than 2,300 settlement homes in West Bank, as Israel presses ahead with its land expropriation policies in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli non-governmental organization Peace Now, which monitors settlement activity in the West Bank, said in a statement on Tuesday that the so-called Higher Planning Committee, which is affiliated to the Israeli ministry of military affairs, had issued approvals for 2,304 housing units while meeting over the past couple of days.
Video: IOF demolish buildings west of Bethlehem
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) two days ago demolished four farm barracks and the foundations of a building under construction in Bir ‘Ona area in Beit Jala, west of Bethlehem. The sources confirmed that Israeli bulldozers stormed the area at 5:30 am and began demolishing the facilities belonging to the Zreina family. The barracks, used to house the farm’s sheep, have been demolished by the IOF three times previously. During last night’s demolition, a sheep and a horse were injured, resulting in the sheep being put down. It is worth mentioning that Bir ‘Ona has been under attack for a while by the Israeli occupation, where they continue to demolish buildings and facilities in order to empty the area of the population for settlement expansion. The demolition was carried out by the same soldiers who demolished around a hundred homes in Wadi al Hummus two weeks ago.