Palestine Updates 37/2017
Israel’s politically absurd claims
In a somewhat bizarre stipulation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that the Palestinian National Authority to “prove they want peace by stop funding Palestinian prisoners convicted of assaulting Israelis …It is impossible to be in favor of peace with Israel, and at the same time to glorify and finance murderers of Israelis.” He declared that suspending financial assistance to prisoners “is a simple and sharp test of the Palestinians’ desire for peace.”
Many Palestinians in Israeli jail have been convicted on charges of involvement in attacks against Israelis. It is a fact that most prisoners are jailed only because they have dared to stand up to the illegal occupation. They have protested in various ways – throwing rocks (mostly children and youth), civil disobedience, obstructing and seeking to drive away settlers that find unlawful means to steal Palestinian land and settle in appropriated land, and embezzle resources meant for Palestinian livelihoods. There have been incidents of violence too and it would be hard to argue that such violence has its origins in Israeli provocations. After all, this is fifty + years of a brutal and punishing occupation. And the occupation is not benign. It comes as tens and thousands of prisoners are unduly punished, , many more thousands killed or expelled from their homes, tens of thousands dispossessed, exiled, made into refugees for a life time and for generations, houses demolished, children imprisoned on insubstantial pretexts, economies ravaged, vicious army assaults, blockades, a separation wall. An outburst of anger is the consequence of such punitive action by the Israeli occupation military. This does not make violence a legitimate tool. But, there is an asymmetry in the political equation between both sides. This is no more a mere conflict. It is a one-sided occupation with Israel calling the shots and Palestinians occasionally seeking to defend themselves and assert their dignity. Even according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Palestinians have the right to militarily resist the occupation. That is neither desirable nor feasible.
Indeed, it is not for the Palestinians to demonstrate their willingness to be peaceful. It is for Israel to show willingness to stop enforcing the illegality of their presence on Palestinian lands through illegal means and in violation of every possible international law and UN resolution and international instruments. Israel’s friends are running low on patience and often caution Israel against belligerence of any variety. Peace talks based in just formulas and not arrogant assertion of racial and ethnic superiority are the only way forward. Peace requires justice as a pre-condition. On that there should be no middle path.
Thousands of Jewish Settlers raid historical sites in the West Bank
Around 8,000 Israeli Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli forces, raided the village of Kifil Haris in the central West Bank city of Salfit and performed Talmudic rituals in an attempt to provoke the local Muslim population, Quds Press reported on Friday. Among these settlers there were 250 who have recently migrated from France and were planning to settle in the West Bank. Immigration and settlements on Palestinian land is recognized as illegal under international law.
In yet another situation, dozens of Jewish settlers assaulted Palestinians in two separate West Bank villages. Israelis from the radical Yitzhar settlement carried out two waves of attacks on the village of Urif, near Nablus. Four Palestinians were injured in the initial assault, and although residents of the village alerted Israeli security forces about the violence, the soldiers and police who arrived on the scene simply ordered the attackers away and did not arrest anyone. Shortly after, an even bigger group of settlers returned to Urif and started attacking again.
Read more from Palestine Chronicle
Also read about other attacks from 972 Magazine
Germany cites difficult variances with Israel in progress on peace
Lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict poses a long-term threat to Israel, a key member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives said in an interview on Sunday, citing Israel’s reliance on the military and police. Norbert Roettgen, head of Germany’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, has said that relations between the two countries remained deep and important, but said there were also “grave differences of opinion…All those who care deeply about Israel … are sad, even depressed, about how entrenched everything is, and how much Israel is relying on its military-police superiority and is not developing any perspectives for the situation.” Israel was profiting from tensions elsewhere in the region, but the basic situation was growing worse and more negative. “That is a real threat for Israel in the longer term.”
Read full report from UK Reuters
Israel-Europe gas deal sparks criticism
An Israel-Europe gas pipeline deal aimed at turning Israel into a major energy exporter in the Mediterranean has come under criticism from Palestinians, particularly as the besieged Gaza Strip continues to suffer from a crippling power crisis. “The pipeline agreement between Israel, Italy, Cyprus and Greece will not only benefit corporations which directly profit from the occupation of the Palestinian territory,” Shawan Jabarin, general director of Al-Haq, told Al Jazeera. “It also provides an incentive for Israel to continue the closure of Palestine’s coast and a tacit approval by Europe of Israel’s ‘naval blockade’ and continued international armed conflict in the waters off the Gaza Strip. It is the occupied Palestinian people who will continue to be further brutalized by the expansion of Israel’s gas industry.”
Read full report in Al Jazeera
Open letter to the British Government
Apologize for the Balfour declaration and lead peace efforts in Palestine
The Government of UK rejected the huge petition from the people of UK saying: “The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which HMG does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace. The Declaration was written in a world of competing imperial powers, in the midst of the First World War and in the twilight of the Ottoman Empire.”
Leslie Bravery, a signatory to the petition disagrees and explains why. It is a must-read for those who are following mounting street protests and anger in academia/intellectuals, trade unions, progressive political circles, and pro-justice activists around the world.
Read text of the UK Government’s response and the citizen’s letter
Read also text/facts of the Balfour declaration
Non-Aligned Movement Pledges Support for Palestinians Hunger Strike
NAM, which comprises a group of 120 member states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc, expressed “solidarity with the peaceful and nonviolent act, called the Freedom and Dignity strike, which has been staged in protest of inhumane treatment by Israel, the occupying authority, Ma’an reported.
”NAM’s statement denounced the “illegal and oppressive” ongoing detention campaign conducted against Palestinians through overnight Israeli military raids, which are carried out nearly every day.”Women, children, and several elected officials are currently being detained under extremely difficult and inhuman conditions, and are being mistreated both physically and psychologically,” the statement said.
Read full report