Palestinians seek peaceful options; Israel obstructs with boisterous tactics

Palestine Update  143
Opinion

 Palestinians seek peaceful options; Israel obstructs with boisterous tactics

The Palestinians have to continually deal with a boisterous and unruly occupation authority. It is not as if when one conflagration is over, there is respite for at least a while. Israel is restless when it comes to framing pretexts to annoy Palestinian sensibilities.

Long before the “Great March of ReturnGaza’s economics was on a virtual cliff. The UN predicted that Gaza would become unlivable by 2020. Well, 2020 has arrived ahead of time and, with it, its catastrophic consequences. ILO has declared that the unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has risen to the world’s highest level, at 27.4 per cent in 2017. Women and youth are the major sufferers. Virtually every second Gazan worker is unemployed. The blockade has paralyzed economic growth potential and per capita incomes have fallen even behind the levels of the early 1990s.

Israel lawmakers keep their cruel inventive instincts lastingly unchecked. The Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PCJ) is protesting a new bill in the Israeli Knesset that would criminalize the photographing or recording of Israeli soldiers while on duty.  PCJ protests this bill believing that, if passed, the law would “grant legitimacy to the Israeli occupation to commit more crimes.” This is an unambiguous attempt to cripple any role the ICJ can take through admissible evidence of crimes.

And there is worse. A humanitarian flotilla from the Gaza Strip was stopped nine miles from the shores of Gaza by the Israeli navy. The ship carrying eighteen Palestinians, including one woman, four wounded Palestinians, and four cancer patients, were taken prisoner when the navy intercepted the flotilla. Two university graduates who were offloaded  have now lost any hope of finding meaning life. They said they were fleeing only because they wanted a “secure future” and because life in Gaza is impossible”.

In yet another bizarre action, an Israel’s Supreme Court ruling, judged that a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank should be erased despite a campaign by European governments to save it. The hearing, the final appeal open to the village, said it found “no reason to intervene in the decision of the minister of defense to implement the demolition orders issued against the illegal structures.” The villagers are to be rehabilitated but critics say this tantamounts to ‘forcible transfer.’

International protests, however inadequate, mount. A group of Italian Jews stated:  “Israel today may be a fortress, but it is not yet a home.” Referring to the protests against Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, they declared: “We cannot keep silent in the face of the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Gaza…Non-lethal means do exist to control and disperse mass protests”, they declared”. Meanwhile, the Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad called on the international community to provide the necessary protection for the Freedom Flotilla that sailed from the Gaza Strip yesterday in an effort to break the siege. They stated: “The international community bears legal responsibility for the fact that the seas of Gaza are international seas and are not under the occupation’s control. This means that the practices of the occupation forces constitute a violation of international law.”

Finally, we feature a book review: Why Palestine Matters, the Struggle to End Colonialism, contextualizes the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people within other global justice struggles.

Ranjan Solomon


ILO: Unemployment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory worlds highest
The unemployment rate in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has risen to the world’s highest level, at 27.4 per cent in 2017, says an ILO report: The situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories . Women and youth are particularly affected. Unemployment rates among Palestinian women are now approaching the 50 per cent mark, with rates for youth not far behind. “The absence of a political and diplomatic process on the basis of the Oslo Accords cements the occupation and impedes Palestinian development,” says ILO Director-General. The Palestinian labour market has deteriorated to lows which should be a deep concern to all involved. Almost every second Gazan worker is unemployed. The blockade has paralyzed much of the economic activity, and per capita incomes have fallen behind the levels of the early 1990s.
http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_630876/lang–en/index.htm

Palestinian journalists call action against Israeli killings criminal
The Palestinian Journalist Syndicate (PCJ) condemned the proposal of a new bill in the Israeli Knesset that would criminalize the photographing or recording of Israeli soldiers while on duty.  The bill has the support of right-wing Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and if passed, those found in violation of the law could face a prison sentence of up to five years.  The PCJ called the proposed bill “racist,” saying that it “severely attacks the profession of the press and legitimizes the criminal practices committed by Israeli occupation army against Palestinians.
PCJ believes that the law would “grant legitimacy to the Israeli occupation to commit more crimes,” and an attempt by Israel to “escape punishment and international justice.”
http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780161

Israeli gunships intercept Gaza boat carrying cancer patients
A humanitarian flotilla from the Gaza Strip was stopped nine miles from the shore of Gaza by the Israeli navy. The boat was seized, and its passengers returned to the prison of the Gaza Strip.The Israel Navy released the passengers of the humanitarian flotilla, after transferring them to Beit Hanoun (Erez) in northern Gaza. According to Maan News Agency, the passengers, and a wounded, wheelchair-bound young man, identified as Ra’ed Adeeb, were released.
http://imemc.org/article/armed-israeli-gunships-intercept-gaza-boat-carrying-cancer-patients/

Israeli court approves razing West Bank Bedouin village
Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of demolishing a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank, despite a campaign by European governments to save it. The hearing was the final appeal open to the village of Khan al-Ahmar, located close to several Israeli settlements east of Jerusalem. In its ruling the court said it found “no reason to intervene in the decision of the minister of defence to implement the demolition orders issued against the illegal structures in Khan al-Ahmar”. The residents would be relocated and this critics say is forcible transfer.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/25/israel-court-approves-razing-khan-al-ahmar-bedouin-village

Open letter by Jewish-Italian intellectuals and political activists
Let arms be silent, let the parties move back to a path of dialogue!

“Israel today may be a fortress, but it is not yet a home” David Grossman stated in his speech on April 17 that the alternative Memorial Day event sponsored by bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families in Tel Aviv. We, the undersigned, who support the right of Israel to exist peacefully as  a state within secure, legitimate and recognized borders and equally the right of Palestinians to their own independent state, look with the utmost concern to the transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem as decided by the Trump administration. “We cannot keep silent in the face of the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Gaza. The use of live ammunition against civilians is admitted only if those civilians take part directly in acts of armed violence, not if they approach or seek to break the border fence with Israel. Non-lethal means do exist to control and disperse mass protests”, they declared.
http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=78114

Calls for international protection for Freedom Flotilla

The Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad called on the international community to provide the necessary protection for the Freedom Flotilla that sailed from the Gaza Strip yesterday in an effort to break the siege. Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad spokesperson, Ziad Elaloul, said: “The ship that sailed today from the Gaza Strip has a purely humanitarian purpose. It is carrying patients, students and people with special needs in order to provide them with medical treatment…The international community bears legal responsibility for the fact that the seas of Gaza are international seas and are not under the occupation’s control. This means that the practices of the occupation forces constitute a violation of international law.”
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180530-calls-for-international-protection-for-freedom-flotilla/

Book review
Why Palestine Matters, The Struggle to end colonialism
Why Palestine Matters, the Struggle to End Colonialism, contextualizes the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people within other global justice struggles. With a foreword by Richard Falk, former UN Special Rapporteur of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, the book is grounded in international law and brings Palestine into focus through a lens of intersectionality, calling all those who struggle for justice against oppression to consider the challenge of seeing Palestinians in the context of other justice struggles. Why Palestine Matters demonstrates that the project of human emancipation is not limited to Palestine, but it also cannot proceed without Palestine. The book is a 108-page, full-color publication with visuals on every page, a discussion guide, and maps.  A companion website features enhanced resources for study, including video clips and discussion guide: WhyPalestineMatters.org. Published by theIPMN.org,

Don’t befriend me for a day, and leave me a month. Don’t get close to me if you’re going to leave. Don’t say what you don’t do. Be close or get away.
لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.
Mahmoud Darwish.