History haunts Israel with persistence

Palestine Update 512

History haunts Israel with persistence
There is precious little that Israel can do which will obliterate the 1948 massacres of Palestinians. They will return to haunt them until there is restorative justice. In a classic piece of investigative reporting, important Israeli institutions have unearthed classified documents which surface the planning and execution of extensive operations that brought ruin to thousands upon thousands of Palestinians.

History is returning to revisit in other ways and the Nakba is the ghost that never ceases to haunt Israel. Israel cannot live down or deny its guilt. A British lawyer is now acting to slap a lawsuit that holds Britain complicit for the situation in the Palestinian territories immediately prior to the creation of Israel in 1948. It brings back political facts and instigations that happened when British forces held command during that period. It must be recalled that it was then that apartheid was installed although it has taken until recent times when more peoples around the world have begun to designate Israel as an apartheid State.  In its imprudence, Israel keeps inflicting cruelties that reinforce the ‘war criminal’ tag on the Zionists. In Sheikh Jarrah they have started building on a piece of stolen land. Moral sense tells us that it will return one day- sooner than later- it will come back to the rightful owner – the Palestinian. They may pull down entire Palestinian colonies to build settlements, but they must contend with the fear of being barracked. It is said “Once a thief, always a threat from the law and from ethical questions”.   The truth has been documented since 1948 and continues to be recorded in different ways. Human Rights Watch has gathered evidence and “geo-localization of several video clips filmed between May 10 and 14” that find their place in social media. Acts of offensive policing are coming to light. Israel can run. It cannot hide forever. Discrimination leaves footprints and stains that lead to the hard truth. Israel invents every ploy in its armor to suppress the Palestinians. Israel, only recently, completed the Wall around Gaza. The intent was to quell the Hamas resistance. But Hamas has now acquired rockets that can reach every nook and corner of Israel.  No amount of military sting and scheming will crush the resilience of the people.

In solidarity
 Ranjan Solomon
Details of 1948 massacres against Palestinians revealed in classified Israeli documents
Israeli government discussions on the massacres perpetrated by Israeli soldiers in 1948 were declassified for the first time this week in an investigative report published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research.

Entitled, ‘Classified Docs Reveal Massacres of Palestinians in ’48 – and What Israeli Leaders Knew’, the report exposes two large-scale operations launched by the Israeli army in October 1948, one based in the south, known as Operation Yoav, which opened a road to the Negev; and another in the north, Operation Hiram. As part of the latter, within 30 hours, Israeli soldiers attacked dozens of Palestinian villages, forcefully expelling tens of thousands of Palestinian residents, while thousands of others fled.

British Palestinians to sue UK over Balfour Declaration
Members of the Association of the Palestinian Community in the UK (APCUK) are to launch a legal case to compel the British government to apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that promised the creation of a Jewish homeland in historic Palestine. British lawyer Ben Emmerson, who was officially entrusted by senior representatives of the Palestinian community, presented some evidence on which he will base the lawsuit, including Britain’s direct responsibility for the situation in the Palestinian territories during the period prior to the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948, when British forces were in charge of the country’s administration. The meeting was opened by the Palestinian ambassador to London, Husam Zomlot, who pointed out that the Palestinian Nakba (“catastrophe”) led to the displacement of many families and to the establishment of an apartheid state, and this state that practices crimes and violations against the Palestinians is receiving support from Britain until now.

The Balfour Declaration was issued on 2 November 1917 by the then British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, and stated that Britain pledged to facilitate the establishment of a “national home for the Jews in the land of Palestine”.

Will Israeli wall around Gaza stop Palestinian resistance?
A picture showing the Gaza fence built by Israel, 7 February 2017 [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]Israel announced, last week, the completion of the highly technological security wall on its side of the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. This sensor-equipped underground wall, Israel claims, is a counter-measure developed to prevent Palestinian resistance in Gaza from digging tunnels that they use to carry out resistance attacks against Israeli soldiers during wars. During the 51-day Israeli offensive on Gaza carried out in 2014, when Israel killed more than 2,260 Palestinians and wounded more than 11,000 others, the Palestinian resistance used the tunnels to infiltrate into the military sites of the Israeli occupation soldiers and clashed with them, killing a number of them.

The Israeli occupation raised the issue of the wall in 2016, noting that it consists of an above-ground fence and subterranean barricade, includes a naval barrier, radar systems, hundreds of cameras, sensors, remote-controlled weapons system and command and control rooms. Benny Gantz, said: “The barrier, which is an innovative and technologically advanced project, deprives Hamas of one of the capabilities [defence tunnels] it tried to develop. [It] places an ‘iron wall’, sensors and concrete between the terror organisation and the residents of Israel’s south.

Will this NIS3.5 billion ($1.1 billion) wall, which is 40-miles (65-kilometer) long, prevent Hamas and the other Palestinian resistance factions from reaching out to the Israeli occupation soldiers during any Israeli offensive?

 “Israel begins work on seized Palestinian-owned plot of land in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood”

The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem today began work on a plot of Palestinian-owned land at the entrance to Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied city of Jerusalem, which was seized under the pretext of “public interest.” The municipality crews and bulldozers began the bulldozing work on the land, which has an area of about 4,700 square meters owned by four Palestinian families and was used as a parking lot and carwash.

The Israeli Supreme Court allowed at the end of October the takeover of the land by the Israeli municipality with the aim of establishing a garden serving settlers, claiming its close proximity to the so-called Shimon HaTzedik shrine. The municipality issued a decision to seize the land in 2016 after several failed attempts in light of the opposition of the takeover by the four families, who fought the takeover in Israeli courts. One of the tenants of a facility said that the municipality handed them yesterday an immediate eviction order, otherwise, they will be heavily fined. “We began to dismantle the car wash and a parking lot used by more than 40 buses and three containers that served as offices, and today, since the early morning hours, the municipality began to raze the land,” he said.

Israel demolishes Palestinian houses in Jerusalem
The Israeli occupation authorities today demolished two Palestinian houses in the occupied city of Jerusalem, sources confirmed. Israeli police and municipal staff stormed al-Shayyah area in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur, where a bulldozer they escorted tore down the remaining poles and foundations of al-Burqan family’s house, which was self-demolished a month ago. “This morning, we were surprised to see the Israeli occupation bulldozers proceeding with the demolition of the foundations of our two-storey house, which we were forced to self-demolish last November, to avoid a fine of 400,000 shekels for demolition costs,” said Um EyadBurqan. “But the occupation returned to demolish its foundations, to force us to pay the costs…As if demolishing our house and displacing 20 people, my four sons and their children isn’t enough. They [the Israeli occupation authorities] want to fine us the costs of the demolition, by fabricating false pretexts.”

 Meanwhile, Israeli bulldozers tore down a house belonging to al-Heleisy family near Jerusalem’s Dung Gate, reducing it to rubble. Both structures were demolished purportedly for being built without licenses. Using the pretext of illegal building, Israel demolishes houses on a regular basis to restrict Palestinian expansion in occupied Jerusalem. At the same time, the municipality and government build tens of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem for Jews with a goal to offset the demographic balance in favor of the Jewish settlers in the occupied city.

 Israel: Abusive Policing in Lod during May Hostilities
Israeli law enforcement agencies used excessive force to disperse peaceful protests by Palestinians in Lod (al-Lydd) during civil unrest in the city in May 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. At times the police appeared to act half-heartedly and unevenly to violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel committed by Jewish ultra-nationalists. Public statements by senior Israeli officials appeared to encourage discriminatory responses by authorities and the judiciary.

The police response in Lod took place amid systematic discrimination that the Israeli government practices against Palestinian citizens of Israel in many other aspects of their lives. “Israeli authorities responded to the May events in Lod by forcibly dispersing Palestinians protesting peacefully while using inflammatory rhetoric and failing to act even-handedly as Jewish ultra-nationalists attacked Palestinians,” said Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine director at Human Rights Watch. “This apparent discriminatory response underscores the reality that the Israeli state apparatus privileges Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians, wherever they live and irrespective of their legal status.”

Human Rights Watch in July and October interviewed 10 Lod residents in person, including a current and a former city councilor, relatives of victims, and two Jewish witnesses. Human Rights Watch also conducted analysis and geo-localization of several video clips filmed between May 10 and 14 and published on social media. The evidence indicated that the authorities responded to the events in an apparently discriminatory manner.