Under a self imposed siege, Israel can’t even cope with non-violence

Palestine Update  175
Opinion

Under a self imposed siege, Israel can’t even cope with non-violence
Much to Israel’s chagrin, Palestinian resistance refuses to yield to threats and army and settler violence. Palestinian factions in Ramallah have now called for a general strike across the Palestinian territories and Israel against the new “Nation State Law”. They have urged popular activities organized against the Israeli bill and the American “deal of the century” that seeks to shut down the Palestinian cause. It is much the same with Facebook which Israel has threatened. Palestinians can find themselves in jail for a mere posting in social media but that has not blocked Palestinian use of the social media. Defiance of the absurd defines the resistance.

Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan attests to the success of this method. During a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Human Rights Watch reported that it “has not documented instances where protesters posed an imminent threat to life.” The report shows how not one of the more than 140 Palestinian protesters, journalists or medics killed during the mass protests along Gaza’s eastern boundary since 30 March were armed when they were targeted by Israeli occupation forces. The simple message is this: Israel is party to criminal violence against Palestinians in an otherwise one-sided conflict and must be punished at the hands of the ICC. This message would gain more weight when more countries recognize Palestine and they boycott and sanction Israel as part of their recognition.

In anticipation of the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee has had citizens passing out “warning” notices to the Israeli civil administration. The notices are daring and hand out a terse message. They alert Israeli officials, military and civilian, to refrain from forced removal of its inhabitants because it would be in severe contravention of International Humanitarian Law amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Hence, Israel risks being tried in the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC).

In the midst of all this Gaza bleeds! Constricted by the cruel decade long Israeli blockade, and worsened by US aid cuts and the Palestinian Authority’s punitive actions, Gaza’s economy has shrunk by 6 percent in the first quarter of this year alone. Indications of further deterioration are projected. More than half of Gaza’s citizens live below the poverty line and unemployment is 53 percent.  The frustration is feeding strains that are converting into street unrest further stemming the human development of the massive youth sector. And the international community merely hands out crumbs that do not meet even basic needs. Nor are they taking the steps to punish Israel and force its hands. Israel’s irrational and malicious political intent cannot be ignored. Ten + years of forced starvation and deprivation are intolerable. Israel deserves the worst form of isolation.

And in a potentially seriously punishing measure, the UK Labour party has voted to ban all arms sales to Israel – apt response to a merciless militarized regime. Israel deserves only to be starved of its weapons of cruelty to innocent civilians.

Ranjan Solomon


Palestine Updates (PU) will be out of circulation from 27th September until 5th October. The Editor will accompany Rifat Kassis and Rami Kassis on a speaking tour covering six destinations in India during those days. Reports from their encounters may be shared during that period. But look out for reports after 5th October.

Ranjan Solomon

UK’s Labour Party passes motion to ban arms sales to Israel
Delegates of the U.K. Labour Party voted to ban arms sales to Israel over its abuses against the Palestinians. This party policy could well become official policy if and when the Labour party is elected to lead the United Kingdom. The unprecedented resolution noted that “the majority of Palestinian people were forcibly displaced from their homes” during the Nakba and condemned the “aggressive attempt to rewrite history and erase the victims of the 1948 war.”It called for an “independent international investigation into Israel’s use of force against Palestinian demonstrators,” an “immediate and unconditional end to the illegal blockade and closure of Gaza,” and “a freeze of UK Government arms sales to Israel.”
Read full report in Telesurtv.net.English

Palestinian factions’ call for general strike
Palestinian factions in Ramallah yesterday called for a general strike across the Palestinian territories and Israel against the new “Nation State Law”, Quds Net News reported. In a statement, the Palestinian factions stressed on the importance of popular activities organized against the Israeli bill and the American “deal of the century” which aims to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

The Palestinian factions also stressed on the importance of Palestinian unity in order to firmly stand against American plans which aim to undermine Palestinian rights including the right of return, self-determination and establishing a sovereign and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Read full article in Middle East Monitor

Occupation of digital space: When Facebook post can lead to prison
For the Palestinians, under Israeli occupation, a Facebook post can lead to time in prison. Palestine has been under Israeli occupation long before social media was even thought of, but the last couple of years the occupation is not only limited to the land and streets of Palestine. Today, Israeli authorities are keeping an eye on what is posted online. Facebook especially has been under Israeli surveillance within the last couple of years.  And according to the prisoner support and human rights association Addameer, Israel has easy access to Facebook profiles.

Under the Israeli military law, an individual can be prosecuted and imprisoned for making a statement about Israel or the occupation. According to Nadim Nashif, Director of Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, an estimated 800 people were arrested between 2015 and 2016, and around 300 in 2017 by Israeli forces. All of them for posting what Israel consider incitement.
“The accusations are normally vague. Incitement can basically be any kind of criticism or any kind of intentions to resist, even peacefully,” Nashif told Palestine Monitor. “This is very problematic and shrinks the Palestinians freedom of speech in a big way.”
Read full report in Palestine Monitor

No evidence a single Gaza protester killed by Israel was armed
Not one of the more than 140 Palestinian protesters, journalists or medics killed during the mass protests along Gaza’s eastern boundary since 30 March were armed when they were targeted by Israeli occupation forces. That point was stressed by the Gaza-based human rights group Al Mezan during a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Human Rights Watch meanwhile told the council that it “has not documented instances where protesters posed an imminent threat to life.”

Israel has validated its unlawful conduct “after presenting a gross distortion of international law” to its high court. Its military’s “investigation into some of the protest deaths is expected to find that none of the incidents involved violations of open fire orders.” In other words, such internal investigations merely rubber-stamp Israel’s war crimes. “The unlawful conduct is therefore ordered at the top of the military and political echelons and then protected by the justice system.”
Read full report in Electronic Intifada

Activists warn Israeli Soldiers over Khan al-Ahmar demolition
Activists from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee,  handed out “warning” notices to the Israeli civil administration, regarding the consequences of participating in the demolition of Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village, which is considered a crime against humanity by international humanitarian law. Activists put up posters warning Israeli soldiers, against being tried in international courts as war criminals, if they took part in the evacuation of the Red Khan, which Israel intends to implement, giving the Bedouin population until the beginning of October to get out on their own accord. The warning states:

Any soldier, officer or police officer; any employee or person of other standing in the Israeli military and/or Civil Administration; any person who partakes in the planning or execution of the destruction of Khan al Ahmar and the forced removal of its people, you are hereby forewarned. The demolition of the village of Khan al Ahmar and the forced removal of its inhabitants is in grave breach of International Humanitarian Law, to a degree amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, indictable in the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC) in accordance with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. As a party to the Statute of the Court, the State of Palestine and its territory falls under the jurisdiction of the ICC, allowing it to preside over any felony that amounts to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or the crime of aggression committed within its territory.
Read full report in International Middle East media centre

“Gaza can explode any minute.”
The Gaza Strip’s economy is in “free fall” as cuts to aid and salaries add to an already crippling Israeli blockade on the Hamas-run enclave, the World Bank said on Tuesday. The bank’s report is to be presented to the international donor group for Palestinians, known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, at its meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Already squeezed by a more than decade-long Israeli blockade, Gaza’s economy has been further weakened by US aid cuts and financial measures by Abbas’ Palestinian Authority. “The economic deterioration in both Gaza and West Bank can no longer be counteracted by foreign aid, which has been in steady decline, nor by the private sector, which remains confined by restrictions on movement, access to primary materials and trade,” the bank said. Gaza’s economy shrunk by 6 percent in the first quarter of this year “with indications of further deterioration since then,” it said. One in two Gazans now lives below the poverty line and unemployment is 53 percent, the bank said, adding that more than 70 percent of young people are jobless.“Increased frustration is feeding into the increased tensions which have already started spilling over into unrest and setting back the human development of the region’s large youth population,” World Bank director for the West Bank and Gaza said.
Extract from Taipei Times

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.