The Biden administration is the mere extension of the Trump era

Palestine Update 464

Editorial comments

The Biden administration is the mere extension of the Trump era
When history gets to be written, the chapter about Israel and Palestine will be full of ghastly accounts of Israeli barbarianism. There will be a section of tears shed for what the Jews experienced under Hitler. Someone will have to connect Paulo Friere’s theory that the oppressed tend to internalize the image of the oppressor. If you read the narratives below, it’s exactly what you will find. Someone will read this and judge me as ‘anti-Semitic’. Not much I can do, except to restate the fact. In just two days of a simple survey of horror stories, Israel has found itself reported in various parts of the media in terms that are from being gentle. Human Rights Watch, in a 213 page report, describes how Israel is “methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.”  Another report titled “Target Locked” exposes “the unrelenting Israeli smear campaigns to discredit human rights groups in Israel, Palestine, and the Syrian Golan.” Al Mezan, Human Rights group in The Gaza Strip, strongly condemns Israel’s arbitrary and punitive closure of Gaza’s fishing zone, as well as its incessant attacks on the fishing community. It goes on to say how “these forms of collective punishment amount to war crimes and, are the main drivers of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza”.

Here is more: The painful picture of Palestinians on the steps of the Damascus Gate as yet another chapter unfolds in the resistance over identity, belonging, and sovereignty. They ask: “Is Damascus Gate is one of the last bastions of this ongoing struggle.” The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements has reported the steady execution of the annexation projects assume by the Trump’s Administration on the incitement of Netanyahu. The Bureau describes how “Occupation Authorities continue to raze and uproot trees in the Huwara town, south of Nablus to open the so-called ‘Huwara bypass road’”. 406 dunums of the lands of the villages and towns south of Nablus are gone. The part that brings most anguish is how Israel exploits the “hazy position of the new American administration, which sometimes reaches the level of collusion as the world is preoccupied with hot international files.

Read and hopefully it will drive you to anger and protest.

Ranjan Solomon

Israeli policies constitute crimes of apartheid and persecution

“Israeli authorities are committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The finding is based on an overarching Israeli government policy to maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians and grave abuses committed against Palestinians living in the occupied territory, including East Jerusalem. The 213-page report, “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution,” examines Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. It presents the present-day reality of a single authority, the Israeli government, ruling primarily over the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, populated by two groups of roughly equal size, and methodologically privileging Jewish Israelis while repressing Palestinians, most severely in the occupied territory.”
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Israel’s ‘fierce’ targeting of human rights groups exposed in new report
“Over the past decade, Israel has been running a vicious smear campaign targeting human rights groups critical of the Zionist state, a new report by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) has found. Titled Target Locked, the report exposed “the unrelenting Israeli smear campaigns to discredit human rights groups in Israel, Palestine, and the Syrian Golan.” Human rights groups and NGOs that are working on issues related to the Israeli occupation, settlement activity, accountability for international crimes and human rights violations, asylum seekers and refugees, political prisoners, or the rights of the Palestinian minority within Israel, have been the primary target of a vast delegitimisation campaign led by Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSA). MSA, say the report’s authors, has been “fiercely” laying out an Israeli strategy to delegitimise human rights groups and NGOs defending Palestinian human rights as “anti-Semitic operatives with deep ties to terrorist groups fixated on destroying the State of
Israel”.
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Israel’s arbitrary closure of Gaza fishing is collective punishment:
Al Mezan fears further deterioration in humanitarian conditions
 Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the complete closure of Gaza’s fishing zone, apparently in response to the firing of projectiles from the Gaza Strip. Severely impacting the livelihoods of the fishing community in the Gaza Strip—estimated at 5,000 workers and their families—and factually unrelated to the two days of military activities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups, the arbitrary and punitive move constitutes a form of collective punishment and violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and international human rights treaties to which Israel is a State Party. Israel has maintained a fluctuating fishing zone as part of its maritime “buffer zone” policy—i.e., the no-go military areas unilaterally imposed by Israel on Palestinian waters—which often completely prohibits fishing for Palestinians. Over the years, Israel’s unlawful and unwarranted attacks—that include lethal and other excessive force, arbitrary arrest, and confiscation and destruction of boats and other fishing materials—and punitive restrictions against Palestinian fishers, have made fishing off Gaza’s coast a risk to life and safety and pushed the fishing community into extreme poverty.

Al Mezan strongly condemns Israel’s arbitrary and punitive closure of Gaza’s fishing zone, as well as its incessant attacks on the fishing community. These forms of collective punishment amount to war crimes and, as part of a widespread or systematic policy, crimes against humanity, and are the main drivers of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.
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The Struggle over Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem
“Over the past two decades, the Old City’s Historic Basin has undergone unprecedented development. The State of Israel has invested billions of shekels in tourism projects and archaeological excavations alone, whether in the neighborhood of Silwan, excavations of the Western Wall tunnels, or on the Mount of Olives, among other initiatives. As noted, Damascus Gate is just the latest in this chain of investments. Israel claims that it aims to develop the area around the gate; it is effectively redefining its character, promoting tourism, and increasing Israeli presence so as to diminish or conceal the Palestinian character of the area. The recent clashes along the stone steps of Damascus Gate plaza should be considered in the context of this development boom. Young Palestinians sitting on the steps is viewed as just another chapter in the struggle over identity, belonging, and sovereignty, as with many in the Old City’s Historic Basin. Is Damascus Gate is one of the last bastions of this ongoing struggle.”
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Israel Continues Settlement and Annexation Plans while world is preoccupied with hot issues

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated that within the context of the gradual implementation of the annexation projects as specified by the Liquidation Project that was adopted by the Trump’s Administration prompted by Netanyahu, the Occupation Authorities continue to raze and uproot trees in the Huwara town, south of Nablus to open the so-called ‘Huwara bypass road’. They have seized 406 dunums of the lands of the villages and towns south of Nablus, with the aim of linking the isolated settlements around Nablus with other settlements and outposts to avoid passing through the Palestinian populated areas. The road is one of a number of new bypass roads. It is one of the most dangerous settlement projects as it strengthens settlement, altering settlements to the south of Nablus from isolated settlements to cities in the West Bank, and prevents creating a geographically contiguous Palestinian State. The occupation government takes advantage of the hazy position of the new American administration, which sometimes reaches the level of collusion as the world is preoccupied with hot international files, though the occupation is continuing its settlement plans through the robbery of Palestinian land.
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