Israel’s political ploys perpetually trigger Palestinian distress

Palestine Update 502

Israel’s political ploys perpetually trigger Palestinian distress
Settlers employ every possible clandestine measure to burgle land and indulge in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. The cynical subtlety with which this is done often means that they are fly-by-night operations that end being facts on-the-ground the next day.

Patriarchs and Heads of Churches have disowned the city’s Israeli Magistrate Court’s decision to allow Jews to pray “silently” in Al-Haram Al-Sharif. The site which has in its precincts the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site in Islam impinges on the exclusive right of Muslims to their Holy Sanctuary. Churches of Jerusalem and Christians are in solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters in this ruling which is blatantly prejudicial. They have warned that this unwarranted judgment has perilous ramifications of extreme seriousness for “the existing historical and legal status-quo in Jerusalem”.

The persistent use of detention as a tool of repression and psychological persecution is so common place. Israel’s jail authorities have been sanctioned undeterred authority to couple prisoners with torturous tactics. It is barbarism- plain and simple and it is hard to understand how Israel can impose such treacherous methods when they know from history that they are indulging in the worst of dehumanization.

Equally aggravating and dodgy is the way has made dubious equations with other countries that are deploying Israel-like tactics using what Israel refers to field-tested political and military tactics. Indian-administered Kashmir has been reduced to an open prison in which India has breached the Geneva Convention by changing the Indian constitution to end Kashmiri autonomy. Drawing on Israeli methods in the occupied territories, India is desperately seeking to deny peaceful dialogue and solutions in Kashmir, and, instead, subjugates the population by drastic military repression.

The following articles offer compelling evidence of this short editorial note.

Ranjan Solomon 

Netflix launches new Palestinian film collection – check out full list
US-based streaming service Netflix launched a new Palestinian film collection. The collection, titled ‘Palestinian Stories’, consists in 32 films that are “either helmed by Palestinian filmmakers or about Palestinian stories,” Netflix said in a statement.

The collection, titled ‘Palestinian Stories’, consists in 32 films that are “either helmed by Palestinian filmmakers or about Palestinian stories,” Netflix said in a statement.

“Featuring the works of prolific and critically-acclaimed directors like Annemarie Jacir, Mai Masri, Mahdi Fleifel, Susan Youssef, May Odeh, Farah Nabulsi and many more, the collection is a tribute to the creativity and passion of the Arab film industry as Netflix continues to invest in stories from the Arab world.” The collection includes award-winning titles, such as ‘The Crossing’, directed by May Odeh, who expressed her satisfaction with Netflix’s choice to make “alternative Palestinian films accessible to wide audiences”…The diversification of our content sits close to my heart as Netflix works to become the home of Arabic cinema,” Nuha el-Tayeb, a spokesperson for Netflix, told Reuters.

Land stolen from Palestinians in 1969 sparks legal dispute
The takeover of a tract of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank by Israeli settlers has triggered rare intervention by the High Court of Justice in a case that exposes one of the means by which land theft and ethnic cleansing has been carried out in Palestine.

The land in question is more than 1,000 dunams (about 247 acres) in the northern Jordan Valley. According to details of the case revealed by Haaretz the land has been designated as a closed military zone since 1969, barring its Palestinian owners from entering it for more than 50 years. During this time, however, settlers were allowed to begin working it, including a date-growing company called Zorganika. Since 2018 the rightful Palestinian owners of the land have been waiting on the enforcement of a court order for the military zone to be rescinded and for the illegal settlers to be evicted. The Israeli court issued the order following a petition by 20 Palestinian land owners. The state now has 60 days to respond, after which another hearing will be held and the court will issue its verdict.

Apparently, settlers have worked the land for many years with the knowledge of the army, which permitted them to enter. Government agencies are said to have approved even though the land is privately owned by Palestinians but is being worked by Israelis, ostensibly under the auspices of a closure order issued for security reasons. The petitioners’ lawyer, Wissam George Asmar, dismissed the claim of security justifications for keeping the Palestinians out as “baseless.” He argued that the land is next to the river, which is the border with Jordan, and Israel has a peace treaty with the kingdom and secondly that the settlers are in any case using Palestinian workers on the land.

Jerusalem patriarchs condemn Israel’s decision on silent Jewish prayers at Al-Haram Al-Sharif
The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem today condemned the city’s Israeli Magistrate Court’s decision to allow Jews to pray “silently” in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site in Islam, considering the decision as an offense on the sole rights of Muslims in the entire compound.

In a statement issued today, the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches stated that such a decision affects the exclusive right of Muslims to their Holy Sanctuary and that the Churches of Jerusalem and their parishioners stand by their Muslim brothers and sisters in this injustice that has befallen upon them. The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches also affirmed that the Islamic Waqf Department of the Jordanian Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Waqf, and Holy Sanctuaries is the only entity with the right to administer Al-Haram Al-Sharif and to allow or not to allow visits to it. The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches of the Holy City also indicated that they view this unjust decision and its dangerous repercussions with the utmost seriousness regarding Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the Holy City, and the existing historical and legal status-quo in Jerusalem.

Israel employs detention as tool of mental torture: Psychiatrist
Israeli forces arrest dozens of Palestinian political activists every day and night, either from their homes or at military checkpoints, exposing them to well-established security procedures designed to shake their mental resolve and stability, experts say.

Most arrests take place early at dawn and are carried out by heavily armed soldiers, as a means to intimidate the detainee and their family. Then, as a disorienting measure, security forces transport the detainee to an unknown location, according to reports by the Palestinian Prisoners Society. Detainees held in the security forces’ custody are subjected to a myriad of humiliating treatment, including assault, strip-searching, and isolation from the outside world over extended periods as they face threats while being interrogated. Within the jails, the Israeli Prisoners Services employ measures to make detainees feel as if they are under continuous surveillance and expose them for suppression frequently if they try to protest against any harmful measures imposed on them, reports have shown.

“The Israeli security agencies aim to suppress the Palestinian community’s struggle by eclipsing in jails active people who refuse Israeli hegemonism. Detention is a tool of suppression to convert them from active people into a state in which they feel powerless,” said Dr. Jaber, who heads the Mental Health Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Health. “The (Israeli) occupation aims to make a person feel separated from their social surroundings after leaving jail, keeping them in a state of fear and suspicion. That’s what they’re aiming to do via their suppression of us,” she said.

Nuclear flash point – ‘Indian and Israeli likeness’
India enjoys the same kind of impunity within the international community over its attempts to change the demographic balance of Kashmir that Israel has in the occupied Palestinian territories. Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, is copying Israel’s playbook by allowing settlers to acquire land in the disputed territory, which has been claimed – and fought over – by both Pakistan and India since 1947. Khan called Indian-administered Kashmir an open prison. He accused India of breaching the Geneva Convention by changing the Indian constitution to end Kashmiri autonomy. In August 2019, Modi sent tens of thousands of additional troops into the Muslim-majority state, imposed a curfew and announced the abolition a section of the Indian constitution – which guaranteed autonomy to Kashmir for more than 70 years.

Kashmiris fear that India wants to fundamentally change the demographic of the region by allowing people from outside the state to buy land. India had not been challenged forcefully on the international stage because its western allies saw it as a bulwark against China. But he said India had also benefited from a deepening strategic and military relationship with Israel, forged by Modi’s visit to the country in July 2017, and by then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s return visit to India the following year – after decades of diplomatic estrangement.

The relationship has included the joint development by Israel Aerospace Industries and Indian contractors of the Barak-8 aerial defence system for use by both countries’ militaries, which was described by Indian Defence Ministry as a “game-changer”. Pakistan has also shown how India drawn on Israel’s illegal and brutal occupation of the Palestinian territories and the impunity the country has enjoyed as a consequence of its alliance with the US, in its own quashing of opposition and criticism of its actions in Kashmir.