Palestine Update 333
Trump’s deal gives Israel a superpower endorsement of apartheid
For years Israel has backed itself into a morally and politically unjustifiable position regarding its occupation of the Palestinian territories. Now, Israel is turning to the U.S. to help defend it. The country’s relentless pursuit to settle its Jewish citizens across the West Bank has precluded any chance of partitioning the land into two independent polities, leaving millions of Palestinians stateless and living under an interminable military regime, with no civil or political rights. As such, Trump’s ‘deal’ is designed to support Israeli sovereignty over the entirety of historic Palestine, while allowing it to absorb the portions of territory it deems most desirable. The most Palestinians are offered is limited autonomy over an archipelago of ghettoized enclaves. Knowing the Palestinians would unquestioningly reject this, it was clear from the outset that this was never intended to be a peace plan, but rather a position paper masquerading as a diplomatic initiative. Put bluntly, the plan is an endorsement of the indefensible by the world’s most powerful state.
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In first person: A body of testimonies
“Settler violence impacts the daily routine of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. In first person brings the testimonies of Palestinians in their own words as documented by Yesh Din since 2005, describing the violence and ongoing harm to their person, property and land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank…Yesh Din’s long-term monitoring and research shows that settler violence is ideologically motivated crime. Its main purpose is to dispossess Palestinians of their land and expand the West Bank territory subject to Israelis’ control…Approximately 92% of investigation files monitored by Yesh Din concerning offenses committed by Israeli civilians against Palestinians in the West Bank were closed since 2005 without indictments. Analysis of the reasons such investigations are closed points to the Israeli police’s failure to enforce the law upon settlers and bring offenders to trial. Clearly, in most cases the failure to locate perpetrators or consolidate sufficient evidence for bringing offenders to trial does not reflect the true capacities of investigation and enforcement agencies operating in the West Bank – the military, police, Shin Bet and State Attorney’s Office. Rather, it reflects their lack of motivation to do so. Lack of law enforcement sends a message of impunity to offending settlers and provides support for them. It enables perpetrators to repeat their actions without fearing consequences, knowing that ultimately law enforcement agencies will avoid serving indictments. Israel’s policy of tolerating ideologically motivated offences – when the offenders are settlers – effectively encourages the violence that continues to dispossess Palestinians. Further, it severely harms Palestinians’ human rights in the West Bank, primarily the right to life and bodily integrity, the right to property and to freedom of movement.”
Secret Israeli document reveals plan to keep Arabs off their Lands
The text of the secret codicil shows unequivocally that a major task of the military government was to act as a means to control the state’s lands until their permanent status could be regularized and until, with state support, Jewish settlement could begin in formerly Arab areas. Hence, one of the committee’s conclusions: ‘Until the stabilization of security settlement in the few reserve areas that can still be settled, it is essential to maintain the military government in these places and to strengthen its apparatus… so that the military government can ensure, directly and indirectly, that the lands are not lost to the state.’ The panel described the military government as a tool in the struggle against Arab ‘trespassers,’ and added that without the military government, ‘many more areas are liable to be lost to the state.’ In a reprimand to the state, the committee noted that the military government was suffering from ‘known laxness… as a result of the criticism being leveled at it’.
Trump’s plan revokes Israeli Arabs’ citizenship
Anyone delving further into the details of the 80-plus-page proposal could not have missed the surprising clause allowing Israel to transfer to a future Palestinian state the populated Arab communities in the so-called Triangle of central Israel. This is not the first time an Israeli government during the Netanyahu era has tried to trade away its Arab citizens in the Triangle, which borders the West Bank, by moving the border and thereby turning them into nationals of a future Palestinian state. The idea previously arose in 2013 when US Secretary of State John Kerry mediated peace talks between the two sides, with the clear goal of finding a solution to the land swap issue. There also appears to have been a hidden agenda — reducing the number of Israel’s Arab citizens — an estimated 300,000 of who live in the Triangle communities. ‘Just as with many earlier initiatives, this one too does not have any hold or acceptance among the Arab Israeli or Palestinian public,” Jamal Mjadlah, a social activist from Baka al-Garbiyeh, told Al-Monitor. “This is an initiative devoid of justice and logic, which will not be accepted and will not be adopted’.