Palestine Update 327
What follows is a collection of articles that once more show how tough the occupation is and what hardship means for Palestinians as they seek their liberation. Worst of all, there is an international community that does not seem to really care to act in line with their responsibilities. Please read and disseminate widely.
Israel approves new West Bank ‘nature reserves,’ Palestine vows legal action at ICC
Israel has approved the establishment of what it calls nature reserves in the occupied West Bank, sparking an angry reaction from Palestine, which vowed to lodge a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the latest “scheme” to steal more Palestinian land. Right-wing Israeli minister of military affairs, Naftali Bennett, authorized the plan, which had been blocked by the Tel Aviv regime for years, to create nature sites in West Bank’s Area C that is under full Israeli control.
He also announced the expansion of 12 existing West Bank nature reserves, including Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves decades ago. Israel’s so-called Civil Administration in the West Bank IOA is now tasked with advancing the move. Later, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority will oversee the opening of the nature sites. Bennett said that under the project, the reserves would be “under the responsibility” of the Nature and Parks Authority.
Poll: Majority supports holding elections but doubt results’ integrity
Findings of the fourth quarter of 2019 show a small majority indicating optimism about the holding of legislative elections in the near future. Moreover, the poll shows that majority is in favor of holding these elections even if Israel does not allow them in East Jerusalem; in case of Israeli opposition, the public says that East Jerusalemites should vote wherever they can, in Jerusalem and outside it. The bad news however, is that half of the public believes that these upcoming elections will not be free or fair.
Furthermore, only half of the public trusts the ability of the Palestinian Election Commission (PEC) to manage the election process with integrity and less than half has confidence in the ability of the police, whether in West Bank and the PA or in the Gaza Strip under Hamas, to provide protection to the election process and the ballot boxes with integrity and without bias. Indeed, a majority believes that Hamas will not be able to conduct its election campaign in the West Bank, and Fatah in the Gaza Strip, without restrictions and interference. These findings indicate a diminished public trust in the entire election process, due probably in part to distrust in PEC, as indeed supported by the findings, and in the PA public institutions in both areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Film Release: ‘The Truth: Lost at Sea’ Counters Israeli Propaganda (VIDEO)
Rifat Audeh’s documentary, “The Truth: Lost at Sea” was made available online nearly two years after its official release in film festivals around the world. The documentary details the journey of the Freedom Flotilla, a convoy of humanitarian ships carrying activists from 35 countries, while attempting to break the illegal Israeli blockade on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The film director, Audeh, was himself on board the Flotilla when it was attacked by the Israeli navy in international waters, killing ten humanitarian activists and wounding dozens more. The Israeli media machine quickly spun into action, vilifying the unarmed activists and justifying the killing by the Israeli commandos as a case of “self-defense”. Audeh’s film was one of several attempts aimed at countering the official Israeli line, presenting the story of the Freedom Flotilla from the viewpoint of those who lived these harrowing moments. “The Truth: Lost at Sea” has received wide attention as it has been presented at 28 film festivals in five continents, garnering eight awards, many nominations, and honors. For more information click here:
The EU has a duty to recognize the state of Palestine
European intervention now can preserve the peace process, despite efforts of Israel and Trump
After nearly two years, on Monday 20 January, the foreign ministers of the European Union will meet, with the issue of Palestine officially on the agenda. They’ll discuss the letter signed by the foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, calling for European recognition of the state of Palestine. Israel’s Netanyahu government hopes that Europe will take no action. It is also counting on individual European governments to fail to reach a consensus on holding Israel accountable for decades of systematic violations of international law and UN resolutions.
Does the Palestinian cause still matter to Arabs and Muslims?
While Palestinians have not lost the solidarity and sympathy of their Arab brethren, the regional climate has changed.
Seventy-two years into the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Arab world no longer seems as fiercely engaged in the struggle for Palestinian rights that it once championed. While Palestinians have not lost the solidarity and sympathy of their Arab brethren, the regional climate has changed, shifting alliances and making the Palestinian plight less of a regional priority.
Divisions and political disagreements between Palestinians hindered efforts for a settlement to the conflict and sometimes alienated traditional allies, while instability and conflict in Arab countries led to a decline in support for the Palestinian cause. Armed conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan have left tens of thousands killed, injured, arrested and displaced, with no end in sight. Everyone is busy trying to gather the shattered pieces of his or her own life. As a result, Palestinians are left alone, surviving on conditional financial support from Western and Arab states. Israel’s policy of buying time is working and Palestinians are fed up and frustrated, feeling abandoned by their fellow Arabs.
“In recent years, the Palestinian cause has received little attention and priority for many reasons,” a political analyst has said. “First, the internal Palestinian political split, which has reflected negatively. Second, Israeli propaganda creates despair and frustration among Palestinians and Arabs and weakens their resilience. Third, it’s because of turmoil and conflicts in Arab countries that have caused people in troubled countries to worry only about their fate and future.”