Palestine Update 497
Youth in the struggle for a new future
Israel is making desperate moves to claim absolute dominance over Palestinian territories especially those of strategic importance to its military occupation. The escape of prisoners in a high security prison has shown their own system how vulnerable it can be against a resolute resistance. It was not a complete surprise that they were eventually captured. Israel has acquired land control to an extent which left the escapees no place to hide. But extreme anxiety describes what the Israeli military and political structures went through. There has been a spiral of violence against prisoners as a whole. Everyday Palestinians have come out to protest the barbaric cruelties against their sisters and brothers in jail. Both national and Islamic factions have organized large scale protests. Although not firm, or likely to be long lasting, the focus is not only on the six detainees who made the abortive jail break. The people, at large want an end to all kinds of irrational detentions without just cause, and especially to those who are ill and also an end to the practice of administrative detention. Al Haq, the human rights network, is calling third States to rally to take apart Israel’s illegal apartheid regime and the system of mass incarceration of Palestinians by whatever measures it can that pressure Israel. The Palestinians are determined to fight back and have sworn that the army will have to pay back if it chooses continued aggression. Palestinians do not underestimate Israel’s superior military. Despite that, they refuse to hand Israel a ‘free peace’ under military intimidation. They know Israel cannot protect its illegal and racist occupation for eternity. Little wonder, Israel is running scared with guns and uniforms against literally bare handed fighters and, perhaps, stones that stand defiantly against a rampaging and murderous army. The people have suffered enough to know that surrender does not constitute a solution or an end to atrocities. Rifat Kassis, General Coordinator of Global Kairos for Justice, conveys how “the seeds of new hope are emerging from new Youth Movements who have rejected the so-called politics of one-sided dialogue and diplomacy as the way forward. They know that the classical solutions and mediatory dialogues will not produce radical change and justice. They have not yielded constructive outcomes”. The mainstream political class in Palestine has failed and is too compromised to be trusted and make credible claims. So has the opposition. Youth view them as mere status quoists. The youth movements have yet to metamorphose into a political entity with a tangible ideology and strategy. To the optimist who seeks justice, this new ‘Intifada’ is a new political option in the making. In their hands lies a future that must be constructed for a just solution that can be upheld and defended.
Palestinians demand Red Cross oversee detainees plight
“Hundreds of Palestinians held Monday, various sit-in protests in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices in various parts of the occupied West Bank, in solidarity with Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, and demanding ending the escalating violations against them. The sit-in protests were organized by various Palestinian national and Islamic factions, and many institutions that defend the detainees and fight for their rights. The protesters called on the ICRS to intervene and provide the needed protection to the Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, especially the six detainees who were captured after managing to escape from Gilboa’ high-security prison and are currently subjugated to serious violations, including torture. They also called for pressuring Israel into ending its illegal and arbitrary Administrative Detention policies, holding hundreds of detainees captive without charges or trial, and to ensure that the ailing detainees, especially those with life-threatening medical conditions, and the hunger-striking detainees, receive the needed specialized medical care.”
Collective Punishment as Israel Conducts Mass Arrests, including the Family Members of Prisoner Escapees Arrested in Jenin, High School Student Shot by Israeli forces is Hospitalized.
Palestinians note that “Such acts may further amount to an act of persecution against the protected population, when committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population. Given the extensive arrests and the geographical scope spanning from Jenin to Jerusalem, this may well fall within the purview of a crime against humanity. Notably, Article 7(1)(h) of the Rome Statute criminalises persecution as a crime against humanity at the International Criminal Court. Further the arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of Palestinians as members of a racial group amounts to an act inhumane act of apartheid, also a crime against humanity prohibited by the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid. Al-Haq calls on the international community to intervene to ensure the humane treatment of all prisoners and for third States to work collectively to dismantle Israel’s illegal apartheid regime and the system of mass incarceration of Palestinians it employs to segregate the population, in continuance of its denial of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people as a whole.”
West Bank city of Jenin roils as Israel prepares for escalation
West Bank and Gaza Strip are atop a barrel of gunpowder that could explode at any time
“Jamal Huwail, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Jenin refugee camp, told Al-Monitor that anger in the West Bank is cumulative, due to the lack of political horizon, more settlements, ongoing arrests and executions, and the Judaization of Jerusalem, but that the prisoner issue increased anger at Israel. Huwail stressed that the situation is very serious, whether in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, and an escalation could happen. “There is no comparison between the capabilities of the Israeli army and those of the resistance,” he said, “but the will of the people and fighters who have been going through hard times cannot be broken. They do not fear any threat.” “The Israeli army is ready to storm the camp, awaiting a political decision. Yet, the resistance fighters in the camp will make them pay for it. Any price, no matter how low it is, will shake the Bennett government. This army cannot stand the killing of one or two soldiers,” he said. Huwail, who took part in the battle of Jenin camp in 2002 and was imprisoned for seven years, said, “The current generation in the camp does not have any fears, and only understands the language of force. The proof is that they daily go to the al-Jalama checkpoint and clash with the army. They are not waiting for [the army to go to] the camp.” “The army may storm the camp, but there will be a cost for Israel to pay and losses will be inflicted on its army,” he said. “Jenin will resist any foolishness that may be made. Gaza will not allow such a thing to happen and will join the front line. There is a possibility that Hezbollah also joins the confrontation as well. Based on that, Israel will find itself facing an open battle.
Appeal Court of The Hague to hear case against Israeli Generals
“The Appeal Court of The Hague is scheduled to hold a hearing on Thursday on the case brought by Ismail Ziada against the former Chief of General Staff of the Israeli armed forces, Benny Gantz, and former Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Amir Eshel, for the bombing of the Ziada family home in Gaza. Ziada argues that the District Court of The Hague erred in its first-instance decision to offer functional immunity to the defendants; as such immunity is not enjoyed for war crimes. Ziada, who is of Palestinian origin, is seeking to hold the defendants accountable for the targeted attack on the Ziada family home on 20 July 2014 which resulted in the death of Ziada’s 70-year-old mother, three brothers, his sister-in-law, a 12-year-old nephew and a visiting friend. Israel’s 50-day war on Gaza between July and August 2014 left over 2000 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians, thousands injured and hundreds of homes destroyed. Ziada contends that the attack was a violation of international humanitarian law and constituted a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights principles.”
Palestinians fear Israel’s plan to seize vast land near Bethlehem
“The Israeli occupation authorities today issued an order to seize thousands of dunums of Palestinian-owned land in the village of Kisan, south of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to a local source, raising concern that the decision is intended for the expansion of an illegal colony in that area. Hasan Breijieh, from the Wall and Settlements Resistance Commission, told WAFA that Israel claimed the takeover of the land, estimated at around 50,000 dunums, located southeast of the village, is going to be turned into a nature reserve. This decision is actually intended to facilitate seizing more Palestinian lands in the village to expand the nearby settlement.” “The Israeli occupation’s decision raises concerns that the decision is intended for the expansion of an illegal colony in that area. Israel claimed the takeover of the land, estimated at around 50,000 dunums, located southeast of the village, and is going to be turned into a nature reserve. However, he added, this decision is actually intended to facilitate seizing more Palestinian lands in the village to expand the nearby Abi HaNahal settlement.”