Mondoweiss Online Newsletter



‘Prawer Plan’ to uproot Bedouins shows folly of the phrase ‘democratic Israel’

Apr 03, 2012

Alex Kane

6a00d8341c630a53ef0168e98e9e9e970c 600wi
Protesters in Tel Aviv two years ago called on the Israeli government to recognize Bedouin villages (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

Peter Beinart’s pro-settlement boycott article in the New York Times has rightly been critiqued from the left for ignoring the fact that “Israel is only a ‘genuine democracy’ for its Jewish citizens,” as Adam Horowitz put it. A close look at the Israeli government’s Prawer Plan, which calls for the forced relocation of tens of thousands of citizens of Israel, further shows why the notion of a “democratic Israel” is a farce.

Beinart’s NYT Op-Ed constantly mentions “democratic Israel,” or variations on the phrase, to distinguish between the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and “Israel proper.” But how do the Bedouin citizens of Israel targeted for forced relocation fit into this “democratic Israel”? The answer is they don’t.

The Prawer Plan, recently okayed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, calls for the uprooting of 30,000 Bedouin citizens living in the Negev. The Israeli government wants to move these citizens to “recognized” communities set up by the state. Part of the plan is tobuild new, Jewish-only settlements on the formerly Bedouin land, where generations of Bedouins have been living, longer than the State of Israel has existed. The Bedouin communities are not happy with the plan, but the Israeli government is offering them money and support for infrastructure to convince them to move.

It sounds like a typical story in the occupied West Bank (minus the incentives to move), but this is happening on the Israeli side of the ever-fading Green Line. And the people Israel wants to uproot are citizens.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Adalah have more on the Prawer Plan:

With respect to the unrecognized villages: the organizations stress that the proposed legislation ignores the fact that most of these villages have existed on their lands since before the establishment of the State, while others were established when the Israeli military government forcibly relocated Bedouin residents from their lands in the 1950′s. Underlying the proposed law is the sweeping misconception that the 70,000 people residing in 36 unrecognized villages are squatters without rights to the land.

With respect to the issue of land ownership in the Negev: the organizations argue that the facts, supported by ample legal precedents, formal reports and research, prove Bedouin ties and ownership to the lands in question. The government, however, ignores these facts, while purporting that the “arrangement” it intends to impose on the residents is actually for the benefit of Bedouin citizens.

The organizations warn that the central tenant of the proposed law is the “concentration” of Bedouin in limited predefined areas which will force them to abandon their traditional agricultural livelihood, while industrial areas, a military base, and new Jewish settlements are expected to be established on the lands of the unrecognized Bedouin villages. The proposal includes the use of administrative authority, similar to the emergency powers of legislation reserved for wartime, in a manner which would grossly violate the residents’ rights to due process. Accordingly, this proposal would enshrine wholesale discrimination against the residents of unrecognized villages into law.

And today, Neve Gordon, the author of Israel’s Occupation, takes us deep inside the Bedouin Negev to explore the Prawer Plan. Here are some excerpts from his Al Jazeera English piece:

“It is not every day that a government decides to relocate almost half a per cent of its population in a programme of forced urbanisation,” Rawia Aburabia asserted, adding that “this is precisely what Prawer wants to do”.

The meeting, which was attempting to coordinate various actions against the Prawer Plan, had just ended, and Rawia, an outspoken Bedouin leader who works for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, was clearly upset. She realised that the possibility of changing the course of events was extremely unlikely and that, at the end of the day, the government would uproot 30,000 Negev Bedouin and put them in townships. This would result in an end to their rural way of life and would ultimately deprive them of their livelihood and land rights.

Rawia’s wrath was directed at Ehud Prawer, the Director of the Planning Policy Division in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office. Prawer took on this role after serving as the deputy director of Israel’s National Security Council. His mandate is to implement the decisions of the Goldberg Committee for the Arrangement of Arab Settlement in the Negev, by offering a “concrete solution” to the problem of the 45 unrecognised Bedouin villages in the region.

The wholly undemocratic Prawer Plan is only the latest indignity to target Bedouin citizens of Israel. Their homes, and even full villages like Al Araqib, are frequently demolished.

Gordon provides more history in his piece, further showing that non-Jews living within Israel have always been inferior in the eyes of the state:

Under the directives of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, many of the remaining Bedouin were uprooted from the lands they had inhabited for generations and were concentrated in the mostly barren area in the north-eastern part of the Negev known as the Siyag (enclosure) zone…

After their relocation and up until 1966, the Bedouin citizens of Israel were subjected to a harsh military rule; their movement was restricted and they were denied basic political, social and economic rights. But even in the post-military rule of the late 1960s, many Israeli decision makers still considered the Bedouin living within the Siyag threatening and occupying too much land.

These are not the actions of a democracy.

It’s important to acknowledge that there are differences in how Israel rules over its own citizens versus those in the West Bank and Gaza. But the difference is more a matter of the degree of repression than a stark contrast between a “democratic” state and a “non-democratic” occupied area.

How Israel functions stays the same on both sides of the Green Line: ethnic privilege for Jews, and inferior status for non-Jews in every area of life. The Prawer Plan is a glaring example of that. As Rawia Aburabia, an attorney for ACRI, says:

The attempt to enshrine the Prawer Plan into law is a farce. A democratic state cannot pass a law of discrimination, one that violates human rights and continues to harm a minority that has suffered from neglect and discrimination dating back to the founding of the State. Demolishing an Arab Bedouin village in order to establish a Jewish settlement on its ruins is not the action of a democracy – it is a step that takes us back to the military regime.

‘The Crisis of Zionism’ and the contradictions of Israel as a liberal democratic fantasy

Apr 03, 2012

Austin Branion


“Zionism as a liberal democratic project will die.” This will be the consequence, Peter Beinart warns in The Crisis of Zionism, of continued settlement building in the West Bank, encouraged by successive Israeli governments and most unapologetically so by the current one under Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership. Netanyahu and his Likudnik allies emerge as Mephistophelean villains in Beinart’s passionate arguments against the settlement enterprise, which he views as imperiling the continued viability of Theodor Herzl’s vision, brought into fruition by David Ben-Gurion, of Israel as a state of liberal ideals and equality. While Beinart styles himself “a partisan of liberal democracy” and skillfully argues against the continued colonization of the West Bank, proponents of universal human rights will inevitably be disappointed by his fundamental analytical failings.

One of the basic premises of the book is the desirability and necessity of a “Jewish state” that upholds liberal democratic values. At no point does Beinart dedicate uninterrupted space for an explicit definition of what “Jewish state” means to him, but he gives aspects of his conception here and there. By and large, it’s what one would expect. While the book is mercifully free of that odious term “demographic threat,” he invokes the specter of demographic change to remind readers that, should the green line’s rapid dissolution continue unabated, “Israel will commit suicide as a Jewish state” (demonstrating once again that many fail to grasp that apartheid is a qualitative, not quantitative, appellation). Beinart also links the Jewishness of the state with its symbols, which he concedes are elements of “the inequity in Zionism itself”:

As a Jewish state, Israel’s anthem, flag, and Jewish right of return would still afford Jewish Israelis a sense of national belonging and national refuge that Arab Israelis lack. This fundamental tension between Zionism and liberal democracy cannot be fully resolved within Israel’s borders. But it can, to some event, be resolved outside them. Were Israel to permit the creation of a Palestinian state that enabled a Palestinian right of return and expressed Palestinian identity in its anthem and flag, Arab Israelis, like diaspora Jews, would had a country that expressed their special character as a people, even if they chose not to live there. The struggle for a liberal democratic Zionism, therefore, cannot be merely a struggle to afford Arabs individual and even group rights inside a Jewish state. It must also be a struggle to satisfy the Palestinians’ yearning for a state of their own. (p. 17-18)

Beinart appears to be channeling the spirit of Tzipi Livni here. That he would take for granted that it is an acceptable “tension” for Palestinians to not feel at home in the land of their and their forefathers’ birth — and suggest that, according to a Zionist rubric, we should help Palestinians attain a state and not their rights — is not particularly surprising. But, it begs the question that Beinart does not offer a convincing answer to: How can Zionism, as manifested within the green line, be considered “a liberal democratic project?”

It seems that Beinart’s fantasy of an egalitarian Jewish state subsists on two key fetishes: Israel’s declaration of independence and the notion of citizenship. Beinart celebrates the declaration’s promise of “complete equality of social and political rights to all [of Israel’s] inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.” In fact, he makes reference to the declaration and this particular sentence at least a dozen times in the book.  Yet this focus on the declaration of independence is belied by the fact, unmentioned by Beinart, that it has no legal standing. Israel’s Supreme Court has not considered the declaration a “constitutional law” that can determine the validity of ordinances and statements, as Ben White addresses in his excellent book, Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy.

The utility of his other idea, citizenship, in underscoring the Jewish state’s alleged liberal democratic credentials is also wanting. Beinart observes:

In democracies… governments sometimes subject citizens to intrusive, even degrading, forms of control… But as citizens, they are not powerless. They can take legal recourse… and thus remind their tormentors that they are equals in the eyes of the law. In so doing, they not only assert their own dignity, they force the people in power to acknowledge it too. In the West Bank, however, where Palestinians are barred from citizenship, that human leveling rarely occurs. (p. 24)

This observation is, on its face, correct. But even in “democracies,” such as the one inhabited by ‘48 Palestinians, citizenship does not automatically confer rights or dignity. One need look no further than the history of the United States, where African-Americans endured the travails of citizenship in a “democracy” without equal status before the law and unencumbered opportunities for civic participation for the better part of a century.

But all is not lost on Beinart. He recognizes that “Most [Arab Israelis] feel like second-class citizens, and in important respects, truly are.” He vigorously criticizes the racist, rightward drift of the current Israeli government and its policies on both sides of the green line. For presenting this criticism in unequivocal language to his target audience, Beinart deserves applause. But it is also this aspect which most dramatically denudes the moral and logical inconsistency necessary to maintain “liberal” Zionist illusions.

As previously mentioned, Netanyahu, Likud, and their fellow travelers are the primary antagonists in Beinart’s narrative. In chapter six, “The Monist Prime Minster,” Beinart traces the ideological lineage of these characters to Vladimir Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism, and his professed monism, the belief that Jews should form a majority on both sides of the Jordan river. In fingering proponents of Revisionism and their ideological inheritors as the dark side of Zionism, as opposed to the Labor variant espoused by the likes of Ben Gurion and Yitzhak Rabin, Beinart makes some breathtaking statements. He asserts that Jabotinsky believed that Palestine’s Arabs had to be “militarily and psychologically crushed.”

This required building up Jewish military might and using it without scruple — no matter what the moralists said — for as long as it took to make the enemy submit. Labor Zionists used force ruthlessly as well, but they were more troubled by it. (p. 104)

Excuse me? Labor Zionists were more troubled by it? Is there evidence of this? I have my suspicions that the exquisitely refined sensitivities and introspective anguish of Labor Zionists were somehow lost on the people of Lydd when a young Yitzhak Rabin oversaw their expulsion following a visit with David Ben-Gurion in July 1948.

Beinart’s false dichotomy between a presumably “liberal” Labor Zionism and a rapacious Revisionist counterpart extends to his reading of Israeli policies in the ensuing decades up to the present day, yielding ever more conspicuous bouts of cognitive dissonance. The most striking instance comes on page 112. While censuring Benjamin Netanyahu’s book A Durable Peace for its patent failure to show any sympathy for Palestinian suffering, Beinart offers this doozy (emphasis mine):

How does Netanyahu explain away the suffering of the roughly seven hundred thousand Palestinians who lost their homes during Israel’s war of independence? By claiming that their departure was overwhelmingly voluntary. Indeed, he insists that in many cases Jews pleaded with their Palestinian neighbors to stay. Given the more than two decades of scholarship–mostly by Israeli scholars using Israeli archives–documenting that many Palestinian refugees were either coerced or frightened into leaving, Netanyahu’s historical account is silly. But it is deadly serious, because if there was no moral problem with transfer in the past, there is no moral problem with transfer in the present. And top Netanyahu advisers have flirted with exactly that.

On the following page, Beinart recounts a 2007 boast by Netanyahu about one of the “positive” effects of the cuts he made to child welfare programs as Ariel Sharon’s finance minister being the drop in the non-Jewish birthrate; when labeled a racist by columnist Larry Derfner, Ron Demer, a man who would go on to become one of Netanyahu’s aides, said that Derfner was “mistaken in calling Bibi a bigot. He is only a Zionist.” Beinart:

Dermer’s meaning was clear: maintaining Israel’s Jewish majority, by whatever means necessary, is Zionist, and thus beyond reproach. Of course, there are–and always have been–Zionists who believe in a Jewish state with a Jewish majority but who are restrained in their pursuit of such goals by universal principles like nondiscrimination.

The two passages above are perhaps the purest expression of Beinart’s facepalm-inducing moral myopia in front of the most blindingly obvious conclusions to which he should be guided by his very own logic. Beinart acknowledges the Nakba in all but name (and, given his target audience, this is something he should be commended for) and in both passages, he condemns transfer; thus, one can infer that he thinks that the policies which led to the flight of 750,000 Palestinians from Mandatory Palestine are deplorable. Yet, while he makes a disapproving reference to Avigdor Lieberman’s suggestion that Arabs within Israel be transferred to a Palestinian state, no opprobrium for Israel’s original acts of transfer is to be found. These facts lead to the obvious question: How does Beinart reconcile his seemingly functional moral compass with his lionization of Ben-Gurion and his supposedly liberal democratic Zionist enterprise?

In the notes section, Beinart lists Benny Morris’s book The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem as one of the sources for his statements about the expulsion of Palestinians. Speaking about the book in a 2004 interview, Morris, an apologist for ethnic cleansing, has this to say:

Are you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?

From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer… The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understand what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created.

Ben-Gurion was a “transferist”?

Of course. Ben-Gurion was a transferist.

With one of Beinart’s own sources unequivocally reporting Ben-Gurion’s involvement in ethnic cleansing, how can Beinart continue to cling to his hagiographic-cum-liberal democratic fantasy? How is it that he can say with a straight face that there are Zionists who believe in a Jewish state with a Jewish majority — among whose ranks he clearly belongs — yet are “restrained in their pursuit of such goals by universal principles like nondiscrimination?” Does Beinart suppose, contrary to his own statements about the coerced flight of Palestinians, that the Jewish majority he seeks to maintain was not manufactured through violence and war crimes? Again, how does he reconcile this with his reverence for the “miracle” of Israel’s birth? Does he suppose that, in peacetime, this Jewish majority can be maintained by means other than policy contrivances which he readily identifies as racist? Has it ever? The cognitive dissonance is truly staggering, and this is but a limited sample.

All of this reveals that, for Beinart and like-minded liberal Zionists, the conflicts that emerge from Zionism are not about its relation to universal human values as experienced by all those whose lives it touches, but rather about Jews’ relationships to their own past and to one another. Though Beinart himself repeatedly points out that American and Israeli Jews’ lack of acquaintance with Palestinians facilitates anti-Palestinian dogmatism, readers will not find a single Palestinian voice in Beinart’s book speaking about the “crisis” of the ideology that has led to the colonization of her lands and expulsion of her people in her own words. Palestinians merely serve as extras in a Jewish morality play.

Peter Beinart seems to be a decent, earnest man, and has written an important book by virtue of the fact that will push the mainstream discourse in a more critical direction. But for those who see Palestinians occupying the center stage of their struggle, one can’t help but be reminded of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous statement: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” Never have I felt these words as much as when reading this book. But I, for one, have hope that Beinart will continue to  move in the right direction.

Showdown in Hebron: Netanyahu steps in to protect illegal settlers facing military eviction orders

Apr 03, 2012

Annie Robbins

6a00d8341c630a53ef0168e98e9e9e970c 600wi
A Palestinian boy and an armed Jewish settler last Thursday outside the guarded building that settlers occupied in the divided West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Abed Hashlamoun / EPA.

closed military zone has been put in place around a three story building in Hebron taken over and illegally occupied by 100 settlers in an overnight raid last Thursday. Initially the military ordered them to evacuate by 3 pm today, but Netanyahu stepped in and requested a delay. The situation is now on hold. The settlers are still occupying the property, only now they are being protected by the very same military who previously ordered them to evacuate.


Ehud Barak had ordered the settlers out of the house in the West Bank city on Tuesday because they had not received the military’s approval to purchase it.

The settlers say they bought the house from its Palestinian owners legally.

But local Palestinian police disputed the validity of the deal, saying the building had more than 50 owners, only one of whom sold his share.

On Monday, the Israeli military told the settlers they had until 15:00 (12:00 GMT) on Tuesday to leave the house or prove it was theirs, after which the authorities would “act to restore the building to its previous state”.

“After examining all the evidence that was handed over and after considering all the circumstances of the incident, it was decided to return to the situation which existed before,” the military order said.

The settlers did not obtain military approval to buy the house and their takeover constituted a provocation, it added.

But overnight, Mr Netanyahu “asked the defence minister to allow the settlers in the building to have time to make their legal case”, officials in the prime minister’s office said.

Thus far the paperwork has not been verified, the settlers have ignored the deadline to evacuate and the Israeli government has remained silent and has not moved to evict them.

From the AP:

Dozens of Jewish settlers on Tuesday ignored a deadline to evacuate an illegally occupied West Bank house, as the government remained silent on whether they would be allowed to stay.

The passing of the deadline and lack of action from authorities compounded doubts about the willingness of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to take on settlers who have tried to cement the Jewish presence on lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state. Both Netanyahu, who has sided with the settlers in the already volatile city of Hebron, and the defense minister, who wants them to leave, were silent.

“Settlers say they bought the house from a Palestinian property owner, but the military said it had not yet ascertained whether the purchase was legitimate. That process could take days or weeks, military spokesman Maj. Guy Inbar said. The mayor of Hebron, Khaled Osaily, told Army Radio that the purchase documents were fraudulent, and that the seller was not acting on behalf of the building’s owner.”

LATimes (my bold)

As of Tuesday evening, the settlers remained inside the property and the military had not moved to evict them.

“This is a very delicate zone and their staying can harm the stability of the area or might bring Palestinians into the streets,” said Guy Inbar, a spokesman for the military’s civil administration. “That’s what we are trying to avoid.”

He said the military has not determined whether the settlers’ purchase contract is legal, but even if it is, he said they did not receive military authorization needed for West Bank transactions of this type.

“It is a fact that they are staying there illegally,” he said.

If settlers are permitted to stay, it would mark the first new foothold by Jewish settlers in Hebron in years.


The Palestinian family that previously owned the property said some relatives had sold their interest to a Palestinian security official. It is being investigated whether that man, who is reportedly under arrest by the Palestinian Authority, subsequently sold the property to representatives of the settlers.

Hebron’s Palestinian mayor accused the settlers of forging the documents.

This eviction is getting lots of coverage today albeit there are wide discrepancies regarding the number of settlers, as reports roll in the numbers appear to grow.  There is an understanding the eviction order could touch off a show down between the Israeli military and a militant, fanatical settler community. Thus far the ‘showdown’ is taking place between Israeli politicians, between Barak and Netanyahu….supposedly.

The Israeli military has no qualms about violently evicting Palestinian activists . Juxtaposition noted.
Video: Israeli military violently evicts Palestinians, internationals from Hebron house

Apr 03, 2012

Today in Palestine


Palestinians Violently Evicted from Hebron House

PSCC – A Palestinian and a Dutch activist were arrested in Hebron today, when a large military force violently evicted some 40 Palestinian and international activists from a house they occupied at the Old City. The activists intended to renovate and take residence in the house to prevent it from being taken over by Israeli settlers.The Youth Against Settlements movement in Hebron decided to enter the house as part of its Land Day activities, to ensure it remains in Palestinian hands.

Ethnic Cleansing / Land & Resource Theft / Apartheid

UN Report: Susiya Village Faces a High Risk of Forced Displacement
George Rishmawi – IMEMC – Susiya village`s 350 residents, 120 of the chilren, used to live in houses, but these had been already destroyed, reducing villagers to life in tents and tin shelters. Settlers living in the nearby settlement (which is called “Susya”) are not content, demanding that these too be destroyed and their namesake Palestinian village be completely razed. The military government is known to have given Susiya “a high priority for implementation of demolition orders”.
link to

Jerusalem Mayor aims to establish new settlement in East Jerusalem
About 200 new homes are being planned for the new neighborhood, known as Kidmat Zion, on a plot of land purchased by U.S. millionaire Irving Moskowitz.
link to

Israeli prime minister sides with settlers again
JERUSALEM (AP) — For the second time in weeks, Israel’s prime minister has sided with Jewish settlers trying to remain in West Bank homes they occupied illegally. Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government is dominated by hardline parties, was staunchly backed by political allies who want to cement Israel’s hold on land the Palestinians claim for a future state. His critics accused him of trampling the rule of law. On Monday, the military ordered settlers who occupied a house in the heart of the most volatile Palestinian city in the West Bank last week to leave the building by Tuesday afternoon because they had not received the required military approval to live there.
link to

Netanyahu asked Barak to delay evacuation of Hebron house
PM asked Barak to allow Jewish settlers who took over a house in Palestinian part of Hebron to exhaust their legal options; IDF previously gave settlers 24 hours to evacuate.
link to

IOF soldiers forcibly evict local, foreign activists from house in Al-Khalil
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a home in the Old City of Al-Khalil and evicted a number of Palestinians and foreign activists on Sunday evening.
link to

IOF soldiers raze Palestinian home, power network in Beit Jala
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) unleashed their huge bulldozers against a Palestinian house and electricity network to the west of Beit Jala town west of Bethlehem at dawn Tuesday.
link to

IOF soldiers bulldoze land, damage olive trees near Yatta
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bulldozed Palestinian agricultural land and uprooted olive trees, some dating 30 years back, in Um Nir to the east of Yatta town south of Al-Khalil on Tuesday.
link to

In photos: Daily resistance in Jordan Valley
The school of Ein al-Hilweh is not an ordinary school: it is a way through which Jordan Valley communities struggle to remain on their land despite Israeli policy aimed at increasing control over this most threatened West Bank area.
link to

When Europe Develops, and Israel Destroys
RAMALLAH, Apr 3, 2012 (IPS) – The European Commission has released a document that lists projects it funded that were destroyed or damaged by the Israel Defence Forces between May 2001 and October 2011.
link to

Israeli authorities flout court order to provide Bedouins with water
Bedouin communities not recognized by the Israeli government not only face frequent home demolitions and land confiscation, but limited access to clean water.
link to

In the Shadow of Two States: Rural Electrification in the Occupied West Bank
Dan Rabinowitz – European Association of Social Anthropologists – Funded by international donations, Israeli peace activists so far helped provided solar panels or wind turbines to some 200 households in the semi-nomadic Palestinian communities of the arid South Hebron Hills – to whom the military government denies link to the regular power grid.
link to

“We are only guests in Lebanon” – Palestinians look homewards on Land Day
“We are closer to Palestine than ever before and our right to return feels within nearer grasp than at any other time,” said Abu Jamil, a 38-year-old from Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp. “In times of Arab revolts we know that our Arab brethren won’t forget about us and we are sure they will stand by us and join us in our struggle for Palestine and our right of return.” This reaching out by Palestinian refugees to their Arab brethren was a sentiment voiced and emphasized by almost every Palestinian with whom I spoke. Many called for support to resurrect the struggle for the right of return and reinvigorate of the Palestinian cause as a whole.
link to

The Exile of Hana Shalabi

Shalabi’s mother: Hana was subjected to harassment during her Strike
The freed detainee Hana Shalabi’s mother appealed on Monday to all international institutions and Egypt, as a mediator, to demand the return of her deported daughter from Gaza to her home in Burkin.
link to

On top of banishment to Gaza, Israel uses Twitter to further violate Hana al-Shalabi’s rights,  Ali Abunimah
In the course of illegally banishing hunger striker Hana al-Shalabi to the Gaza Strip, Israeli occupation forces used Twitter to commit an additional breach of international law.
link to

Shalabi’s exile is extension of incarceration: rights groups
Hana Shalabi, held by Israel without charge was deported to the Gaza Strip on Sunday under a deal that ended her 44-day hunger strike.
link to

Hana Shalabi arrives in Gaza
Ma`an – While her release from administrative detention should be welcomed, the groups “are obligated to highlight their concerns with those aspects of the deal that are fundamentally at odds with international law.” The terms of such expulsions violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits forcible transfers and deportations.
link to

In pictures: Gaza welcomes Hana Shalabi, Joe Catron
Following a weekly sit-in by the families of Palestinian political prisons inside Gaza’s International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), hundreds rallied outside to welcome former administrative detainee and hunger striker Hana Shalabi to Gaza.

Gaza welcomes Hana Al Shalabi
The Israeli occupation authorities decided yesterday to expel Hana Al Shalabi to the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian administrative detainee, who has been on hunger strike for 43 days, will have to spend at least three years in Gaza before being allowed back to her home village in the occupied West Bank. Large crowds turned out in Gaza to welcome Ms Al Shalabi who, understandably, appeared weak and in poor health. She was handed over at the Bayt Hanun crossing between Israel and the besieged territory, and taken immediately to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City for medical checks. Hana Al Shalabi was one of the prisoners freed in the exchange deal agreed between Hamas and Israel for the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Shortly thereafter, Israeli occupation forces re-detained Al Shalabi without any specific court ruling or charges against her. Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh visited Ms Al Shalabi in hospital and commended her heroic struggle against injustice.
link to

Haniyeh: Shalabi ‘broke the will of her warden’
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh said Monday that he would protest Israel’s decision to deport Palestinian prisoners in international and Arab courts.  Former hunger-striker Hana Shalabi, who arrived in Gaza on Sunday, was the latest prisoner to be deported by Israel under the terms of her release. Shalabi, who fasted for 43 days in protest at her detention without charge, is from Burqin village in the northern West Bank.
link to

Hana Shalabi: Not Quite Free at Last, Stephen Lendman
After ignoring her entire hunger striking ordeal, her lawless detention, and weeks of Israeli ruthlessness, The New York Times finally acknowledged she exists, but little more. On April 1, The Times headlined “Israel Frees Palestinian Detainee After Hunger Strike of Weeks,” saying: Hana “was released from an Israeli prison on Sunday and sent into temporary exile in Gaza under a deal reached with the Israeli authorities.”
link to

Gaza Siege

Gaza hospitals get fuel from ICRC
The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has begun distributing emergency fuel supplies to hospitals in the Gaza Strip.
link to

Mansy: We live an environmental crisis due to power outages
The Palestinian Minister of Local Government in Gaza Dr. Youssef Mansy affirmed that the power outage and the fuel crisis resulted in the suspension of many of the services provided by his ministry.
link to

Gaza authorities caution against ‘impending’ food disaster
Gaza City, Apr 3 (Petra) — Agriculture authorities in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday warned of an ‘impending food catastrophe’ as a severe energy crisis continued to hit hard the farming and livestock sectors in the Israeli-blockaded territory. The agriculture ministry in Hamas-administered Gaza said in a statement that a prolonged disruption of fuel supplies will cause losses estimated at one billion dollars as 140,000 dunums of produce plantations are at risk along with hundreds of thousands of poultry and dozens of fish farms. It said the crisis was obvious with the heavy damage sustained by agricultural projects and had also threatened the sector’s infrastructure, adding that total losses so far had amounted to $633,000.  The ministry said it was struggling to manage the situation and prevent further exacerbation, adding that it was in coordination with the energy and petroleum authorities to secure supplies and provide farmers and fish farmers with fuel to run their businesses. It also cautioned that fisheries would also sustain huge losses if the current crisis dragged on as the sardine fishing season drew closer. Tens of thousands of Gazans earn a living from fishing as hundreds of fishing boats are idly lying on the shores of the enclave.
link to

Israeli Terrorism & Aggression

Palestinian girl dies of wounds sustained last year
Four-year-old Aseel Ara’ara form the town of Anata near Jerusalem was pronounced dead on Tuesday of wounds sustained November 25, 2011, Palestinian medical sources reported.
link to

Video: Dozens of wounded and shooting at Erez border in Beit Hanoun
Today we joined the Global March to Jerusalem from Gaza.  Israeli soldiers shot continuosly, dozens of people injured, one killed. I made this small video during the march. Some young people show the blood on their hands. Some guys with two motorcycles carried continuously the injured people injured to ambulances. However the Israeli soldiers kept on shooting.
link to

Soldiers suspected of setting dog on Palestinian demonstrator at Kfar Qadum, 2012
On 16 March 2012, protestors at Kfar Qadum held their weekly demonstration against the closing of the Kfar Qadum–Nablus road. Clashes broke out between the security forces who used tear gas and “skunk” spray to try and disperse the crowd and demonstrators, some of whom threw stones at the soldiers. The soldiers then unleashed a dog. The dog attacked a demonstrator, Ahmad Shteiwi, and locked its jaws on his arm. After the soldiers freed Shteiwi from the dogs grip, they arrested him and his uncle, who had tried to help him.
link to

29 March 2012: IDF must stop unacceptable practice of unleashing dogs against civilians
During the last year, B’Tselem has documented eight cases in which IDF dogs attacked and injured civilians. In five cases that took place during April 2011, IDF dogs attacked and bit Palestinians attempting to enter Israel without permits via the separation barrier in the a-Ramadin area of the southwestern West Bank. B’Tselem petitioned the MAG Corps and OC Central Command to stop using attack dogs against Palestinians entering Israel without permits. Since the practice was publicized by the media, no similar incidents in the vicinity have come to B’Tselem’s attention. In response to B’Tslem’s complaint the MAG Corps said in January 2012 that the Military Police Investigation Unit is investigating the complaints.
link to

28 March 2012: Army dog attacked a mother and her 17 yr old son during an arrest operation inIdhna, 21 Dec. 2011
On Wednesday, 21 December 2011, just after 1:00 AM, soldiers came to the ‘Awad home in Idhna, a village west of Hebron, to arrest Samer ‘Awad, age 24. One soldier instructed Samer’s father ‘Issa ‘Awad, age 52, to bring the entire family outdoors and hand over his son’s ID card. The soldiers then handcuffed Samer and took him away.
link to

Swedish peace activist beaten up by Israeli Occupation Forces
A Swedish peace activist at the Land Day demonstration in Qalandia, outside of Ramallah, was arrested. During the arrest he was kicked and beaten by the Israeli soldiers. “It happened so fast, I never understood what was going on before I was sitting with my hands tied behind my back in a military jeep,” said Philip after his release on Friday evening. On Friday, demonstrations were held throughout Palestine and neighboring countries to mark Land Day, a day of remembrance of the fight against land theft in the Palestinian territories, an issue that is constantly present in the area.
link to

Qaryut: 8 year old injured by bomb planted by Israelis
Yemams father did not have time to respond to his son before the bomb exploded. Ripping through three layers of clothes and even more layers of skin, his father had to watch the tragedy unfold before his eyes. Yemam Mohammad Fatah Azam is just eight years old. He was enjoying a Friday afternoon with his father in the olive groves. Situated between the illegal Israeli settlements of Shilo, Eli, and Suvat Rachel, Qaryut is not new to military and settler violence. Yamam’s story however is the first incident of its kind and has shaken the community. As floods of school children come to visit Yamam in his home, it is clear that all the parents are aware that the bomb could have been in their loved one’s hands. The children show they are upset with a handshake and sit next to Yamam in silence.
link to

Video: Israelis violently attack Palestinians in Al Khalil home invasion
About 30 Palestinians and international ISM activists from Canada, Finland, United States and the Netherlands entered a Palestinian house that was taken over by Israeli army around eight years ago. The re-occupation of the house was an attempt to return the house to its rightful owner and was a response to the takeover of a Palestinian house on Shuhada street by settlers under the protection of the Israeli army and border police on April 1 2012.
link to

Relatives: Bethlehem worker assaulted in West Jerusalem
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A Palestinian worker from Al-Ubeidiya village near Bethlehem was assaulted by a group of Israelis in West Jerusalem on Monday, relatives told Ma’an. Ahmad Younis Slayyim Ubeidiya, 43, was on his way to work in the Beit Yisreal neighborhood when a group of ultra-Orthodox Israelis attacked him, his family said.  Ubeidiya was taken to Beit Jala public hospital with bruises and a fractured hand, they added.
link to

Jerusalem: Arab man assaulted on Light Rail
Two Jewish passengers arrested on suspicion they attacked Arab with wooden board over the weekend. Victim sustained light wounds, suspects deny allegations.
link to

Jewish settlers batter Palestinian citizens including two women
Jewish settlers attacked and battered four Palestinians from Salfit city in the road between Salfit and Ramallah provinces on Saturday, local sources said.
link to

More on the Barghouti attack at Qalandiya on Friday, Philip Weiss
On Friday we reported on an incident that has received a lot of attention, the injuries sustained by Palestinian leader Mustafa Barghouti during a Land Day protest at Qalandiya checkpoint. Barghouti told me from his Ramallah hospital bed that an Israeli teargas canister had struck him in the head. Others asserted that he was attacked when supporters of his group, the Palestinian National Initiative, clashed with other Palestinian groups.

IDF Creates New Artillery Unit to Shell Civilian Targets, Richard Silverstein
The IDF’s new artillery weapon, the Kidon Kasum (‘Magic Javelin’), designed for use in civilian areas. The title of this post is not exactly the title of the IDF press release that would’ve distributed to mark the launch of this new military unit.  But the upshot of the new unit and weapons it will use is correctly described in the title.
link to

Illegal Arrests by Israel and the PA / Administrative Detention / Prisoner Abuse

Israeli court extends detention of 30 Jerusalemite youths
The Magistrate Court in occupied Jerusalem has extended the detention of 30 Jerusalemite youths for different intervals during its late Saturday night hearing.
link to

Seventeen Palestinians Arrested From Beit Ommar in March 2012
Over the course of the past month, the Israeli army has arrested seventeen Palestinians from their homes in Beit Ommar, a village in the southern West Bank. Israeli Forces raid the village almost every night, often making arrests and ransacking homes. The raids have often targeted Palestinian minors, and activists and organizers involved in popular resistance initiatives against the Israeli occupation. Of the seventeen arrested, ten are under the age of 18.
link to

IOF soldiers arrest journalist, MP’s son
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the city of Nablus at dawn Tuesday and arrested Fadl Beitawi, the son of MP Hamed Beitawi, from his home, sources told the PIC.
link to

IOF soldiers arrest citizen during raids in Al-Khalil
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested a Palestinian citizen in Al-Khalil city at dawn Sunday, raided towns and villages near it, and searched a number of houses.
link to

Ramallah repression, As’ad AbuKhalil
“The Palestinian Authority imprisoned journalist Yousef al-Shayab Wednesday because of something he wrote, and because he insists on protecting his sources, say his colleagues. Al-Shayab hit back by announcing in court he would go on hunger strike.   Based on anonymous sources, al-Shayab’s January article alleged that the PA diplomatic mission to France was involved in spying on Muslim student groups for the benefit of “Palestinian and foreign security.” It also alleged that PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki helped cover up the scandal.  Al-Shayeb was first imprisoned in January, soon after the article was published in Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad. He was interrogated for eight hours, during which time they demanded to know his sources, said al-Shayeb’s colleague Fadi Arouri, a journalist who works for the Xinhua news agency.”
link to

Hamas: PA security forces arrested 72 persons for their political affiliation
PA security forces in the West Bank continued, during the past month, their arrest campaigns against resistance movements’ activists and supporters especially Hamas and Islamic Jihad affiliates.
link to

Palestinian prisoners in four Israeli prisons on hunger strike
The ministry of prisoners said that Palestinian prisoners in four Israeli jails are going on a single day hunger strike on Tuesday as part of their protest steps against violation of rights.
link to

Khafsh on hunger strike for ten days
Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies, has been on hunger strike for ten days in solidarity with hunger striker MP Ahmed Al-Haj Ali.
link to

Khafsh: My cell is like a grave
Detainee Fuad Al-Khafsh, the director of the Ahrar center for prisoners’ studies, described his isolation cell in the Israeli Megiddo jail as a grave.
link to

Solidarity / BDS / Popular Protests 

Palestine 5k aims to empower children, build community, Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
Organizers of the Palestine 5k Run/Walk say that the third annual event will strengthen community ties and encourage Palestinian children to express themselves through writing and reading.
link to

Tibetan Refugees Support Palestinian Struggle
We, Tibetan refugees in Poland, stand in solidarity with Palestinian people in their non-violent aspirations to liberate the nation and end illegal occupation of West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip.
link to

Morocco: A popular march in solidarity with Jerusalem on Sunday
Morocco’s Justice and Development party called for a massive march in solidarity with Jerusalem on Sunday in Casablanca city.
link to

Four rabbis urge Christian churches to divest from occupation, Philip Weiss
Beautiful. A video of four rabbis, all members of the rab

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *