Imagine this! 

Palestine Update 463

Editorial comments

Imagine this! 
Forming young minds in the midst of violent occupation illegalities is now an established dimension of a programme under operation by the Ariel University. Students volunteering time to assist in illicit farms in illegal outposts gains them academic credits. It becomes worse when one identifies that the lands that the young people work on are those seized in unlawful and violent take-over.

Israel’s political conduct takes the form of persistent negative innovation. In addition to the student internships in settlement farms, there is the bizarre and pitiless “vaccine apartheid”.  And there is the persistent practice of Settler violence rising in Occupied Palestinian Territory. All this begs the question: Will Israeli war criminals see their day in Court” They will. They must- no matter how delayed it is.  Martin Luther King, Jr., reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Ranjan Solomon

 Settlement University Crediting Students for Volunteering at Illegal Israeli Outposts

Program includes opportunities at West Bank 28 farms, including locations that have been the scene of violence and the seizure of Palestinian-owned land

“Ariel University in the West Bank is granting academic credit to students who provide assistance to farms in unauthorized, illegal outposts around the West Bank. The university, which is located in the settlement of Ariel, is granting credit to participants in a program of Hashomer Yosh, or Guardians of Judea and Samaria, which gives assistance to Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Hashomer Yosh said this week that although registration for the program is closed, volunteering is still available now at about 10 farms. Publicity about the program directed at potential student volunteers in March listed opportunities at 28 farms, including locations that have been the scene of violence and the seizure of Palestinian-owned land.”

Israel practicing ‘vaccine apartheid’
In December last year, two dozen lawmakers of the European Parliament signed a petition launched by a rights group, calling on the Israeli regime to allow immediate entry of necessary equipment and medical supplies into Gaza to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The Israeli blockade has compounded the struggle of health workers in the occupied city, undermining their efforts to contain and track the spread of the virus.

The International Red Cross says Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza Strip have been coping with an alarming increase in reported COVID-19 cases amid a critical shortage of essential medicines and medical equipment. Hospitals in the Palestinian enclave were struggling with insufficient ICU capacity and had been under immense pressure to admit new patients. Almost all of Gaza has been currently declared as a red zone by the Palestinian health authorities.

Gaza has faced more than 1000 new infections each day for the past couple of weeks, with positivity rates of between 30 percent and 38 percent for all tested persons. Palestinian health workers have voiced serious concerns about the rising infections across Gaza. “The situation is scary. Every day I see people dying of COVID-19. When I am at home, I do every possible recipe that I can think of that could increase the immunity of my children. I always wonder how to protect them and how to protect myself so that they don’t have to face my death,” a Palestinian nurse and a mother of four said.

Settler violence rising in Occupied Palestinian Territory: Experts
Violence attributed to Israeli settlers against Palestinians living in the West Bank has worsened in recent months, amidst “an atmosphere of impunity”, UN-appointed independent rights experts. Highlighting more than 210 incidents already this year and one Palestinian fatality, the Special Rapporteur urged the Israeli authorities to investigate thoroughly, maintaining that the Israeli military were present “in many cases”.

Children traumatized: In southern Hebron a Palestinian family was attacked by 10 Israeli settlers, some of them armed. The injured parents were treated at a medical facility and their eight children were left traumatized. The alert follows 771 incidents of settler violence causing injury to 133 Palestinians and damaging 9,646 trees and 184 vehicles, “mostly in the areas of Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus and Ramallah”, the experts said, citing data gathered by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Intimidation: Settler violence is “ideologically motivated and primarily designed to take over land but also to intimidate and terrorize Palestinians” (Michael Lynk). Pregnant women, young children and older people were not off-limits, particularly in rural areas, where livestock, agricultural lands, trees and homes were targeted. Settler violence was intended to make the daily lives of Palestinians “untenable”.Eviction notice: Also of continuing concern are reports that more than 70 families in the Karm Al-Ja’buni area of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem face forced eviction, to make way for new settlements, the rights experts added. Seven households have already received eviction orders to vacate their homes by 2 May 2021. “Such forced evictions leading to population transfers are strictly prohibited under international law.” The experts pointed to data from Israeli human rights organisation, Yesh Din, indicating that between 2005 and 2019, 91 percent of investigations in cases filed by Palestinians for ideologically motivated crimes were closed without indicting the Israeli military.‘Systematic impunity’:“This number is abysmal when compared to the number and nature of crimes committed by Israeli settlers and it testifies more than anything to the institutional and systematic impunity that prevails in the occupied Palestinian territory,” the experts insisted.

Under international law, occupying powers must protect the population under occupation, they continued. Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention stipulates the protected population “shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats,” they added.

Al-Haq Sends Letters to EU: Immediate and Effective Measures to Ensure that Israel Respects the Palestinian Elections
On 05 April 2021, Al-Haq sent letters to European Union (EU) member states, in relation to Israel’s attempts to impair and undermine the prospect of conducting free, fair, and simultaneous national presidential, legislative, and Palestinian National Council elections, in violation of Palestinian inalienable right to self-determination and freedom of expression. The letters urged EU member states to immediately intervene and to undertake effective measures to ensure that Israel respects the democratic process of the Palestinian elections. In particular, the letters outlined how the Israeli intelligence services have contacted, called, and summoned Palestinians to their offices; threatening to arrest them if any one of them decided to run for elections or to participate in any relevant activity. Using a different intimidation tactic, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF), accompanied by Israeli intelligence officers, further raided Palestinian homes and threatened potential candidates not to run for, or participate in, the Palestinian election process.

The letters highlighted Israel’s previous attacks on the democratic process in the lead-up, during, and in the aftermath of the 2005/2006 elections. As Palestinians continue to endure Israeli-imposed policies of displacement, dispossession, fragmentation, and denial of exercising their inalienable right to self-determination, inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, Al-Haq warned that given its current policies and practices of violations during the election process, there is a heightened risk that Israel will continue to interfere with the democratic process in Palestine throughout the election, and afterward.

Will Israeli war criminals see their day in Court (Interview-Video)
Listen to this Palestine Chronicle interview with Dr. Triestino Mariniello, International Law expert and member of the legal team representing Gaza victims before the ICC to find out what’s really happening to the ICC investigation. This 30 minute video is well worth investing in.
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