Punishing Israeli crimes

Palestine Update 555
Opnion

Punishing Israeli crimes
Middle East Monitor (ME), which provides a focused and comprehensive coverage of Palestine, and its regional neighbours by gathering news through an extensive network of partner organisations and correspondents on the ground now poses the question whether UN Resolution 181 passed in November 1947 was, perhaps, a colossal error. It poses this question based on how Israel has “waged war on the Palestinians who remained in Israel and those who came under its rule when it occupied the portion of Palestine that it failed to capture in 1948.” ME asks whether this UN resolution  should not be repealed.

The killing of Shireen Abu Aqla still rankles for Palestinians as they demand accountability from Israel for that dastardly killing but also growing concerns for the safety of press covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The question asked is: When did honest press coverage become reasons for killing by Israeli forces – and more so with no answers for such criminality. Clearly, Israel is a law unto itself and commits some of the worst atrocities against civilians with impunity. Its blatant disregard for international human rights law is notorious and only isolation has a remote chance of bringing Israel in line with the wider community of nations.

Recently, Defense for Children International reported on the reprehensible use of a 16-year-old Palestinian girl as a human shield bound to an Israeli military vehicle during an Israeli military attack on the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin. To Israel morals matter nothing in their armory in war. Just any old tactic that works will be employed if that will destroy the will of the Palestinians to fight back against its colonial presence.

While all this happens, the European Union is conveniently complicit with Israel’s crimes. It has delayed the transfer of hundreds of millions of Euros in its annual aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), around the pretext that the PA’s school textbooks contain some content that are “anti-Semitic”. After handing out aid in the form of crumbs under the table to Palestinians, it expects implicit obedience to its subtle political diktats. The restriction of the annual funding – last year’s as well as this year’s are being conditioned that the aid to the PA should be conditional on the removal of “problematic content” in the school textbooks. This is political a crude way of unfairly threatening Palestinians to toe a certain line and  behave as they are dictated to.

Read more on these reports in the links and summarized reports below.

Ranjan Solomon

UN Resolution 181 must be repealed: The creation of Israel and the partition of Palestine was a terrible mistake

It was understandable why, on 29 November, 1947, the United Nations (UN) passed Resolution 181, partitioning Palestine and creating a Jewish state. In the wake of the Holocaust, there was a widespread sentiment that there should be some form of recompense to the Jews, even if it came at the expense of those who had nothing to do with the Holocaust.

Nearly three-quarters of a century later, it is clear that this was a ghastly mistake. Even before the establishment of the Israeli state, some 300,000 Palestinians had been expelled. Since then, Israel has launched pre-emptive wars against all of its neighbours, but, above all, it has waged war on the Palestinians who remained in Israel and those who came under its rule when it occupied the portion of Palestine that it failed to capture in 1948, namely the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The time has come for the UN to recognize that Resolution 181 was a terrible mistake and to now revoke it and, with it, Israel’s legitimacy.
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Calls for accountability, fears for press freedom over killing of journalist Shireen Abu Aqla
Israel’s decision not to pursue a criminal investigation into the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqla has prompted growing concerns for the safety of press covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Reports from Israeli media outlet Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post this week said the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Military Police Criminal Investigation Division had ruled out a probe into the killing of Abu Aqla. According to Haaretz, the main reason cited for stopping short of an investigation is because there is no suspicion of criminal activity involved in her death. The veteran Al Jazeera journalist and United States citizen, 51, was shot dead last week in the West Bank while covering an Israeli raid in the Jenin refugee camp
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Defense for Children: Israeli forces use Palestinian girl as a human shield in Jenin

Israeli occupation soldiers used a 16-year-old Palestinian girl as a human shield in front of an Israeli military vehicle during an Israeli military attack on the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin last week, Defense for Children International has said in a new report.

Ahed Mohammad Rida Mereb, 16, was forced by soldiers to stand in front of an Israeli military vehicle on May 13 around 8 a.m. in the Al Hadaf neighborhood of Jenin during clashes with Palestinian resistance gunmen, according to information collected by DCI-Palestine. Ahed was ordered to stand outside the military vehicle for around two hours while they sat inside.

“International law is explicit and absolutely prohibits the use of children as human shields by armed forces or armed groups,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at Defense for Children International – Palestine. “Israeli Forces intentionally putting a child in grave danger in order to shield themselves constitutes is a potential war crime.
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What is required is not an international commission of inquiry, but international sanctions against the occupation
The assassination of journalist Shereen Abu Aqleh, Al-Jazeera correspondent for 25 years, is not a transgressive crime by the Israeli occupation forces. Rather, it comes within the framework of a systematic policy of targeting journalists in Palestine for decades to intimidate them and block the truth.

“ MADA” Center report entitled “The crimes of the Israeli occupation are transient incidents or permanent policy showed that the Israeli occupation was committed during the five and a half years covered by this report (from the beginning of 2016-mid 2021) a total of 1,845 violations, the number of direct physical attacks (resulting from the use of weapons and ammunition of all kinds or due to beating) reached 786, which constituted 43% of the total Israeli attacks against journalists fall under this type of attacks, while the distribution of The rest is about 20 other types of Israeli violations.

The report indicates that the number of Palestinian physical attacks amounted to 81 violations, which constitutes only 9% of the total physical attacks recorded during the period covered by the report, and that 91% were committed by the occupation, which shows a clear Israeli tendency towards inflicting the most severe harm on journalists to keep them away from the field and work, a translation of a policy that aims by various means to obscure the crimes, practices, policies, and attacks carried out by the occupation in Palestine.
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EU continues blackmails Palestine through the weaponization of anti-Semitism

Over the past year, the European Union has delayed the transfer of hundreds of millions of Euros in its annual aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), solely over the allegations that the PA’s school textbooks contain some content deemed “anti-Semitic”. The restriction of the annual funding – last year’s as well as this year’s – came after Oliver Varhelyi, a Hungarian diplomat and the EU’s commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement in Brussels, proposed that the aid to the PA should be conditional on the removal of “problematic content” in the school textbooks.

Out of the €214 million, around €150 million ($165 million) is reserved solely for the PA’s budget for salaries, infrastructure projects, and civil society groups. Due to the PA’s heavy reliance on funding from the EU and foreign aid, generally, the bloc and western nations such as the US and UK often attempt to use that leverage against Ramallah to extort political compliance. Varhelyi’s proposal is just the latest occurrence of that dynamic.
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Israel derailing Gaza reconstruction: Palestinian official
A Palestinian official on Sunday accused Israel of pressuring donors to derail the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Only 20% of homes destroyed in an Israeli military offensive on Gaza last year have been rebuilt. A few roads were rehabilitated following the Israeli onslaught, which left a vast trail of destruction across the Palestinian territory. “No major achievement has been made in the agriculture and economic sectors,” Sarhan added at a press conference held in Gaza City.

At least 260 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured in 11 days of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip in May 2021 against the backdrop of an Israeli court ruling to evict Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. Thirteen Israelis were also killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza during the course of the conflict.
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