Hundreds of people participated in the demonstration that the people of Khirbat Al Taweel, the grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and the Agraba municipality jointly held on the 29th of November after Friday prayer in Khirbat Al Taweel, south of Nablus. The protest was held to support the people of Khirbat al Taweel that are threatened with demolition by Israeli occupation, as the community has faced 8 demolitions, and has recently received 18 demolition orders, including its electricity installation.
Jamal Juma’, the coordinator of the Campaign said that this demonstration is only the beginning of a series of protests to support the steadfastness of the people in the village, and to challenge the Israeli policies, such as ethnic cleansing and settlement expansion practiced in the occupied territories.
He added, that the official Palestinian parties, people's organizations, national institutions, and the people should fight against the occupation policy in all possible ways and wherever they occur. This includes the policy of ethnic cleansing that is practiced in the Naqab/Negev and in the Jordan Valley. He also called for resistance to the Israeli attempts to Judaize Jerusalem which have been covered up in official global silence.
Thousands of people all over Palestine have participated in the angry demonstration against the Israeli ‘Prawer plan’. The organizers estimated the number of protesters to be more than 10,000 participating in the Day of Anger. Stop the Wall had organized a protest in Ramallah in coordination with the anti-Prawer Plan Committee based inside the Green Line.
Demonstrations were organized in Haifa and many other places inside the Green Line as well as in Al-Qud/Jerusalem, Hebron, Gaza, and Ramallah. Occupying forces have arrested more than 30 demonstrators including children. They have suppressed the demonstrations by shooting bullets, tear gas, and skunk water, resulting in injuries to the demonstrators. Palestinians in the diaspora and solidarity activists organized demonstrations against Prawer plan in Cairo, Amman, Tunis, Beirut, Kuwait, Berlin, Washington, Paris, London, and many other cities around the world.
The Prawer plan aims to displace 70 thousand Bedouin Palestinians from the Naqab/Negev, and to confiscate 800,000 dunums of land. This project gives Israeli forces the authority to use force to displace Bedouin Palestinians and criminalizes and punishes any Palestinian from the Naqab who refuses to comply with the plan with up to three years imprisonment.
Legal experts affirm "that the plan is discriminates on the bases of race in its entirety; it deprives the Palestinians of their rights and their historical ownership of their land, in order to use it to expand and build new Israeli settlements. This amounts to a crime against humanity and clearly violates the Rome Statute".
Huda Abu Ebeed a law student and an activist against the Prawer plan says, "Israel deals with us as if we were objects it can move and replace, not like humans who have a historical relationship with their land" Abu Ebeed adds "the scheme deprives the Palestinians of their essential human rights, the right to property, and the right to freely choose one's place of residence; but we will never succumb to this racist scheme, we will continue to reject and resist it". And about the Bedouin Palestinians in the Naqab she says "that Prawer Plan prevents Bedouin Palestinians in the Naqab from living in, or owning properties in the areas west of street number 40". Abu Ebeed wonders: "How to reconcile and understand this unjust project? While Israel claims that this project aims to ensure a better life for the Palestinians from the Naqab, the plan provides for building new Jewish villages on the ruins of the Bedouin Palestinian villages."
Fadi Al Obra is also an activist against Prawer plan and argues that Israel entitles the Prawer Plan as the "plan for the Bedouin settlement in the Negev". Yet, the fact is that the entire plan doesn't have anything to do with settlement. The title is just a distraction. The plan shatters the Bedouin Palestinians' presence in the Naqab". He adds that "we as Bedouin Palestinians live off and on the land, our entire way of living is connected to it. We can't be displaced without insurance of livelihood and the same way of living. This is exactly what the Israeli government doesn't want to grant us: it wants to execute the scheme that serves its interests regardless of our presence".
Inside the Green Line the protests haven’t been limited to one day. Since more than a month the Palestinian villages and cities have been holding vigils in more than fifty villages and cities; Palestinian students from in the Israeli universities joined the vigils. The Israeli security apparatus has repressed these protests with continual campaigns of detention, and investigations to intimidate the activists and to stop the activities that have started to indicate vehement local opposition to Israeli apartheid.
Demolition section of the apartheid wall and chopping meters of the fence in different areas in the West
National coalitions and youth call for a Day of Rage on November 30 in Negev, Haifa, Ramallah, Gaza and stressed in a statement distributed by the Herak Haifa, the convergence of forces in Haifa: "We will make our voice heard, strong and determined."
Youth movements and national coalitions issued a statement announcing a date for the third Day of Rage, on November 30 2013, against the "Prawer" plan, which will lead to the confiscation 800 thousand dunums of land in the Naqab (Negev), the displacement some 70,000 residents and the demolition of 38 unrecognized villages. The protests will be organized in the Day of Rage in the Negev, Haifa, Ramallah, Gaza. On the same day, vigils will be held in dozens of cities around the world.
The statement issued by the national movements and initiatives underlines that the Israeli government steps up its criminal scheme against the Palestinian people. Israel has this week announced a tender for the construction of 20 settlements on land that will be stolen within the framework of the "Prawer" plan. Some of these settlements will be built over the ruins of the villages which are to be demolished by the plan.
The statement said: "We went out on the fifteenth of July and first of August to the streets, we went united against the brutal police force, which injured elderly, women and children and arrested dozens.”
The statement continued: "Prawer will not pass - This is the word of our people, determined and unequivocal. As we filled the streets in the past, we will do so now. We will have one message: I cannot keep my humanity in this country if I stay quiet and inactive as long as only one family in the Naqab is still threatened with displacement. No one will enjoy freedom and dignity in this country, as long as we do not get our rights as Palestinians, especially as the inhabitants of the Naqab, to live free in our land, keep our houses, secure the future of our children and their happiness, and the protection of their right to health and education. We will not rest before we obtain full recognition and complete ownership of our historical land. There is no negotiation on this right."
This statement invites everybody to join in the activities, demonstrations and seminars against the Prawer plan, that are held in preparation of the Day of Rage. The statement concluded: "On 30 November, we will fill the streets to take the reins of our future in our hands, to protect our rights and our dreams for ourselves and our people - our unity national, and our courage will defy the police brutality, and the strength of our resolve will defend the essence of our cause and our freedom in this country: our ownership of our land.
For more in English and updates see:
Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/antiprawerplan?fref=ts ; https://www.facebook.com/prawershallnotpass
Adalah background information: http://adalah.org/eng/?mod=articles&ID=1589
The 10 page report summarizes the basics of human rights obligations and standards for business as relevant to the context of Palestine. We have collected key references from the decision of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of the Wall, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Global Compact, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as well as independent analysts.
We hope tihs document can serve solidarity activists and human rights campaigners to strengthen their arguments when lobbying and pressuring business to adhere to international law, respect human rights and, eventually, join the Palestinian lead boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Like it or not, business does have obligations to respect human rights - in Palestine and across the globe.AttachmentSize business and HR2.pdf5.75 MB
The campaign “You are not alone" launched by Palestinian grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) and the Palestinian Farmers Union was carried out for the ninth consecutive year.
The initiative supports farmers, whose lands are threatened and who are facing particularly dangerous situations during the olive harvest. Once again, many volunteers in each of the various governorates of the West Bank joined the initiative and helped olive picking in areas adjacent to settlements and the apartheid Wall and on lands threatened with confiscation. Other focus points of the efforts were places where farmers had recently suffered from attacks carried out by the settlers protected by the Israeli military. The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign documented dozens of attacks and violations carried out on a daily basis by settlers in the occupied West Bank during October 2013. This olive season, we recorded a huge rise in attacks launched by settlers against Palestinian citizens, land and property.
The daily attacks of the settlers during the olive harvest are an integral part of the Israeli overall policy of occupation, ethnic cleansing and land theft. The kind of attacks, the locations where they are carried out and the coordination between the settlers and the Israeli military are demonstrating the existence of a systematic policy. The attacks are aimed to drive Palestinian farmers from geo-strategic locations in Area C, in order to ensure that the occupied West Bank is effectively fragmented into unviable Bantustans and Israel can ensure full control not only of the natural resources but as well the movement - and with this social, cultural and economic development - of the Palestinians living in the West Bank.
The settler attacks vary between the uprooting of olive trees and the theft of the crops to physical attacks on the farmers and preventing them from reaching their land. In particular:
- The farmers owning lands adjacent to the settlements have been subjected to theft of the crops as well as to confiscation of equipment used during the olive harvest.
- At least 1905 olive trees have been uprooted and burned during this olive harvest. With 1356 trees cut, the Nablus governorate has suffered the worst. 45 olive trees were cut in in Hebron, 12 trees in the Ramallah governorate, 180 olive trees in Bethlehem and 312 olive trees in Qalqilya governorates.
- Land has been confiscated. In Artas (Bethlehem district), for example, some 124 dunum of land have been confiscated.
- Cases of willful land destruction occurred. In the land of Asira in Nablus, the settlers pumped toxic sewage water on agricultural land, preventing citizens from access to their land.
- A number of different physical attacks occurred. An elderly farmer was run over by a settler car en route to the olive harvest, various Palestinian cars transporting farmers to their land were pelted with stones, settlers burned tires in the streets to block access to the lands and a number of Palestinian homes were attacked.
- Farmers have been abducted by settlers and the military. The settlers of Elon Moreh abducted a farmer, Adnan Samara from the village of Azmut, while the Israeli military detained Jalal Yamin on the pretext that he picked his olives without coordination with the occupation forces.
- The apartheid Wall and the closure of the gates, that stop people from reaching their lands, have added difficulties to the farmers. This had a particular sever impact in Deir Ghosoon and Atil in Tulkarm district and in Edtna village in Hebron.
- Widespread threats are part of the entire Israeli occupation and apartheid policy. Many Palestinian farming families were threatened not to return to the territory.
October saw as well direct attacks on the residence of Palestinian population in areas the Israeli occupation forces openly declare as zones to be cleansed from their indigenous population. Occupation forces demolished the entire community of Khirbet Makhoul in the Jordan Valley for 4 consecutive times. They demolished two homes in Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, and two housing units, an agricultural fence and two water reservoirs in Khirbet Twaiel in Nablus. Two shelters for sheep have been destroyed in Almukaber in Jerusalem. In addition, more than 100 demolition orders have been handed out in the various provinces of the occupied West Bank, with 15 notices for residential buildings in the area of Ras Khamis, Ras Shehadeh and Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem.
While these attacks were aimed at ethnically cleansing more land from its Palestinian population, the Israeli occupation forces have issued more approvals for further settlements. In October a project to build 1558 housing units in the settlements of Ramat Shlomo and Pisgat Ze'ev was approved. Further, other plans are advancing in order to construct two new settlement compounds, one near the old town of Jerusalem and another one in the area of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem. In Tur neighbourhood in Jerusalem 32 settlement housing units are under construction. Further, plans for a synagogue at the eastern side of Al-Aqsa Mosque are continuing. Outside the Jerusalem area, 2,200 housing units have gotten planning approval in the West Bank.
The list of attacks documented below does not pretend to be complete. We have opted to list here only those incidents for which detailed information was available. Many more attacks occurred in the same period but the Stop the Wall Campaign does not have precise information as to the extend of the attack, the exact location or date or the recurrence of the attacks.
The road between
Jenin and Tulkarem
Throwing stones towards
Beit Leed, Tulkarem district
Closing of the road by
45 Olive Trees
Yatta, Hebron district
Destroying and uprooting
A car belonging to
Jammaen, Nablus district
Attack on property
120 olive trees
Der Sharaf, Nablus district
Destroying and uprooting
Dora Al Qarea,
Throwing stones towards
the Palestinian houses
12 olive trees
Ras Karkar, Ramallah district
Uprooting and destroying
12 olive trees
Kufur Laqif, Qalqilia district
Uprooting and destroying
Tal Rumeida, Hebron district
Throwing stones towards the
villagers during the olive
Dora, Hebron district
Praying in the villagers land
to prevent olive picking
Three villagers were injured
Yatta, Hebron district
Throwing stones towards the
villagers during the olive
Al Jaba’a, Hebron district
Stealing the harvested olives
Jabal Batn al Maa’si
80 olive trees
Al Khader, Bethlehem district
Uprooting olive trees
Al Khader, Bethlehem district
Letting waste water on the
Tqu’a, Bethlehem district
Throwing stones towards
the Palestinian cars
Beit Ummar - Hebron district
Hammad Salebe, 78 years old,
has been beaten
600 olive trees
Ainabous, Nablus district
Uprooting olive trees
Imad Qabaha, 45 years old,
has been beaten
100 olive trees
Al Khader, Bethlehem district
Burning olive trees
Wadi al Hasin,
Mohammad Qimari, his wife
and his daughter have
36 olive trees
Hiwwara, Nablus district
Uprooting olive trees
Burien, Nablus district
Villagers have been beaten
during the olive harvesting
Tqu’a, Bethlehem district
Preventing villagers from
Throwing stones towards
the classes and destroying
5 cars belonging to the
Jaloud, Nablus district
Attack on a school
500 olive trees
Jaloud, Nablus district
Burning olive trees
100 olive trees
Qariout, Nablus district
Uprooting olive trees
300 olive trees
Azzoun, Qalqiliya district
Uprooting olive trees
Attacking the villagers
Addameer: The Israeli Occupation is solely responsible for the death of Palestinian political prisoner
Addameer calls on Palestinian human rights organizations to develop a unified Palestinian legal strategy to protect the lives of all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees and to hold the Occupying Power accountable in all possible legal forums.
Stop the Wall has prepared a special report describing the horrific conditions in which Palestinians find themselves on a daily basis when crossing the checkpoints. For this we interviewed four individuals who experience these crossings daily and they have provided us with an insight into the difficulty, complications and humiliations they must face within their own land, whether they are looking for work, going to school or visiting loved ones – every part of their life is affected by the checkpoints.
From reading these accounts it is clear that the freedom of movement is a fundamental human right which, when violated, affects every aspect of a person’s daily life and has far reaching implications on a large range of human needs and for society.
The general complications in the daily life of Palestinians and the violations of their freedom of movement caused by the checkpoints can be compared to the Group Areas Act (1950) which was implemented in South Africa under the Apartheid regime. Parallels can be drawn in the general disruption of movement where travelling short distances requires a disproportionate amount of time, there are constant delays and administrative issues regarding “permits” etc. but more importantly, these restrictions are applied on the basis of race.
These infringements on the freedom of movement added to the daily humiliation linked to the checkpoints all form part of an overall system of control and de-humanization aimed at making the daily lives of Palestinians unbearable.
However, what is inspiring in these interviews is the steadfastness of the workers, students and farmers as they face this mechanism of oppression. This is yet another sign that the Israeli attempts to crush the Palestinian people are only succeeding in creating more resistance.
1. Artah Checkpoint
“My name is Suleiman, I was born in 1974 in Tulkarem to a refugee family originally from Sabarren village near Haifa. I am married and I have 5 children and I am the only person in the family earning an income.
I worked within the occupied territories in 1948, ‘Israel’, ever since I was 15 years old. Until the beginning of the second intifada I was working there with no need for a permit. At the beginning of the nineties there was no need for permits to work inside ‘Israel’.
Since the year 2006 until today, I crossed Artah checkpoint every day, the checkpoint built at the beginning of the second intifada in 2000. I cross it every morning and every night.
My day starts at 4.00am, and my wife prepares food for me to take with me. I start walking from my home in the camp and through the main street of the city of Tulkarem to cross the checkpoint around 5.00 or 5.30am and wait with the other workers in a long queue to pass the checkpoint. The number of workers who congregate to enter the checkpoint are what I estimate to be around 5,000 people on a daily basis. The checkpoint opens at 5 am and starts the entry of workers who hold work permits.
At 7.00am the people who have commercial permits start entering the checkpoint, exacerbating the crisis in the place because of the large number of workers who are stuck there trying to pass the crossing until 10.00am. Especially on Fridays and Sundays, there are more workers than usual who enter through the crossing and spend the rest of the week at home. Furthermore, the checkpoint opens the gate for fewer hours on Fridays and Artah checkpoint is the only crossing which Palestinians can use to enter ‘Israel’, whether they are workers, relatives and visitors of the prisoners and/or children in Israeli jails or others that hold special permits to visit relatives in ‘Israel’. Artah has only one gate for all of them to pass through.
After gathering the workers at the entrance to the terminal, which is a long, winding corridor surrounded by razor wire and which is very narrow as at no point does the width of the corridor expand larger than 5 meters. The workers are herded into this corridor to enter the only gate in the checkpoint. After one enters through this gate, workers pass through seven iron turn-style gates, each designed to accommodate entry of one person at a time only. Then they pass through a second gate and, finally, through a last gate, that is located besides a bulletproof room. A soldier sits inside this room and the worker hands over his identity papers through a small hole at the bottom of a glass wall. At the same time there is an electronic machine, which is located on the right of the gate. Then the workers have to put their fingers to get the prints registered in a special place on this machine. When he has given his finger prints, the soldier then has all available information about the worker. Any problem or defect in the fingerprint process causes a major crisis within the crossing. This happens especially among construction workers who are working extensively in the construction and stone industry, which leads often to a lack of clarity in their fingerprints, forcing people to repeat the process of passing fingerprints until the soldier receives the information, because without it the soldier will not allow him to pass.
Some of the workers, who need more time to get to work, move from their homes at 1.00 am in the morning, and may need to sleep at the gates of the checkpoint, so they can reserve a position for entry in the first minutes of the opening.
I clearly can see surveillance cameras that surround all areas of the crossing and monitor every movement of every single person, the crises at the crossings, when we can stand for hours without moving forward or being able to go back.
The staff working at the crossing are not Israeli soldiers, the only soldiers are the ones who check the IDs and take the fingerprints, the rest of the employees there are employed by the ‘Betahon’ company, ‘a security company’.
The employees and the soldiers have been known to stop the entry or delay the workers, purely depending on their mood.
The impact of work in Israel and barriers to the social life:
Often I do not find time to sit down and talk with my wife and my children, I go to work in the early morning hours, when my children are asleep, and come back home at seven pm exhausted. I work in construction and go to sleep at about 9 or 10 pm in order to wake up early the next day to start again the process of crossing the checkpoint. Therefore, I do not find enough time to get to know my children and their lives.
As I cannot find the time to carry out any of my roles within the family or other social duties, I am cut off from all my social surroundings.
The presence of the crossings constitutes a burden on Palestinian workers. The barrier was built to put hurdles and more obstacles in the face of the workers. We are forced to work within ‘Israel’ due to the lack of job opportunities within the West Bank. Even if I was to find work in the area for as little as 80 shekels a day, I would give up my work inside Israel, even though I receive three times more money there!
In my opinion, Israel should remove the crossings and checkpoints, and the Palestinian Authority should intervene to end our suffering, but no one cares to improve the conditions for workers.
The process of obtaining a work permit is increasingly more difficult and complex. It takes a worker an extensive amount of time to even obtain a permit for 4 days known as the ‘permit to look for work’ and go to Israel to find an opportunity, and when he finds a work, the Israeli employer must request a permit for the working period until its end. Of course, the 4 day permit is always inadequate to find a job opportunity and so there are people that the workers have to pay to find them job opportunities and to get them permits.”
2. Qalandiya checkpoint
Yusra, Information Officer
“During the past year I have walked through Qalandia checkpoint for 4 months and Al Jeib checkpoint for 8 months. I work in Jerusalem and therefore I have to cross into Jerusalem through one of the checkpoints to the city.
I am based in Jerusalem and without a permit to enter Jerusalem I am not able to answer my work requirements. Obtaining a work permit was not easy at all, despite the security check clearance, supporting documents and work contract, the whole procedure took 2 months because of meaningless procrastination. The excuses were: Muslim Holidays, Jewish holidays, security checks, work description is not sufficient...etc.
The only times any of my immediate family members applied for permits were on holidays and as it has been noticed recently, it is easier now than the previous years.
There is no defined pattern: the treatment varies according to the soldiers, circumstances and the number of people crossing the checkpoint.
At Qalandia checkpoint I have to walk through the pedestrian section of the checkpoint, despite my work coordination stating I should stay in the work car. Again, my treatment varies, there were times that I wasn't asked to show the permit, others I show the permit only, in other occasions I have to show the magnetic card and permit, take off my shoes, wait in line for at least an hour due to soldiers’ slow processing of crossing and papers, checks and at other times processing was as smooth as in a bank.
At Jib checkpoint where both soldiers and a private security company man operate the checkpoint, a special coordination is required to have a work car pass through, yet the treatment is different.
The checking of the documents - when it happens - requires everything (permit, magnetic card, work card). There were incidents where one of my colleagues was turned back because he didn't have his work card or magnetic card but always had the permit with him.
In general the experience is not smooth at all even when soldiers just process papers and let me/us go. There is tension, we have to wait and one constantly worries that for some reason the documents I have on me will not be enough.
Even if my personal experience cannot always by described as bad, there is the fact that the checkpoints are illegal and should not exist. Apart from being turned back, if I don't have a magnetic card or it is a Jewish holiday and then holders of working permits are not allowed to pass.
What counts as the worst to me is the humiliation and frustration I experience everyday as a Palestinian going to work through an illegal body under international law.
This is in addition to the pain of watching other Palestinians on Al Jib checkpoint waiting to be allowed in to the other side to access their farm lands which is annexed to the settlement, the feeling of guilt that I have a permit and I can cross sitting in a car while they are waiting out in the sun. The very existence of the checkpoints is a combination of humiliation, violation of all laws, a constant reminder of who is oppressing whom.”
3. Bethlehem checkpoint (‘Container’ checkpoint)
“My name is George, I am from Bethlehem. My nationality is Palestinian, born in 1987.
Every day we pass the checkpoints since 2005 until now, either to go to university or to work, and the main checkpoints I have to pass are the ‘container’ and Qalandiya.
We do not need permits to pass those checkpoints, but we need them to enter our land in Jerusalem. At the checkpoint, there is a difference when the soldiers check me as compared to others, because I am Christian. They take off the bus those that sit beside me, because he or she is Muslim. This is just another way in which they want to create hatred and resentment between us as Palestinians; they try to distinguish between us as depending on our religion.
The checkpoints are huge obstacles in our lives because they prevent us from moving freely. I always plan to leave more than an hour early now to be sure that I will reach my destination because I know I will spend a long time waiting for the occupation soldiers to let me pass the checkpoint. It takes me 4 hours to reach my work every day. This is simply for a journey of only 90km.
Checkpoints are the most humiliating experience to human dignity and freedom, when you are exposed to the checking process, even though you are in your own country.
The presence of the checkpoint affects a person’s entire life. For example, someone who lives in Hebron and wants to visit Tulkarem, will pass at least 5 main checkpoints, and if every checkpoint stops him/her, by the time he/she reaches their destination the day will be over. Also, the checkpoints have instilled fear in people which makes them move or only travel to other cities in a case of emergency. This has a huge negative impact on people and their social life.
Human beings should live a free life, without fear or waiting at checkpoints. The freedom of movement is something which the people want and need.
The checkpoints should be removed, and the occupation as such has to end as well.
This data is correct and taken from real life, and this is only a very small picture of huge suffering that we are exposed to on a daily basis. But we will keep steadfast and continue passing the checkpoints until the last one is removed.”
“My name is mourad Jadallah, born 23.1.1977 in Kuwait. I am Palestinian and have a family of three. I am a legal researcher.
Since 1992 I have been using the checkpoint to go from Beit Safafa in Jerusalem to Bethlehem where I used to study. Since 2002 the checkpoints are worse than before.
I work in Ramallah since 2009 but part of my work requires travelling around the West Bank so basically I need to pass checkpoints every day to go to my office in Ramallah or to visit friends during the weekend.
I do not need permits to go to the rest of the West Bank because I have a Jerusalem ID. But my aunt has been living in Jerusalem since 1967 without a Jerusalem ID and as a result she cannot leave Jerusalem legally to visit her daughter who lives in a village near Ramallah.
In addition, I have a lot of friends in Gaza but since 1996 I have not been able to get a permit to visit them even in cases of illness of death.
My general experience with the checkpoints is similar to all the Palestinian who may pass through any of these 500 checkpoints.
We experience a lot of humiliation from the occupying forces based on racism, disrespect and hatred. They aim to destroy our lives, our souls, our beliefs and our values.
As a Palestinian who has lived under the Israeli occupation for more than 36 years, I can say with conviction that the Israeli checkpoints are part of the occupation policy to destroy Palestinian life in all aspects. It is part of the political genocide.
They want us to surrender, to forget and just leave our land or else they will turn us into today’s “Native Americans”. And they are supported by many western countries around the world. This is clear to me when I see all the European companies who are involved in the occupation industry such as G4S and Volvo.
Mourad Jadallah, 36 years old legal researcher from Beit Safafa Jerusalem.
I believe that all the facts in this statement are true.”
"Oct 29 2013, Occupation forces demolish houses and water tanks in "Khirbet Twaiel southern of Nablus, the occupation buldozers demolish two living rooms, and cheeps barracks belong to Ata Reihan, who live there, they also demolish a water well belong to
In Beit Hanina, north of Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation forces this morning demolished a residential building consisting of four floors in " Alashqaryia " due to lack of license as they claim, building owned by " Ameen Shweiki ", a large number of Israeli troops had accompanied the bulldozers of the municipality, which began demolition of the building inhabited by more than 20 individuals , without warning. This comes within the political occupation government ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem , and continue the process of settlement expansion witnessed in the occupied territories almost daily , as it says in the newspaper "Maariv" and on 27 \ 10 \ 2013, that the President of the Government of the Israeli occupation , "Benjamin Netanyahu" announced the publication of a tender for the construction of 1,700 housing units in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank. According to the paper , ' will build 1,500 housing units in the settlement of ' Shlomo neighborhood ' in East Jerusalem, and 200 housing units in the West Bank
The undersigned Palestinian NGOs call on the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to halt all forms of cooperation with the World Bank-sponsored Red Sea - Dead Sea Conveyance Project (RSDSCP) and to take an unequivocal public stance of rejection to the project. It has become clear beyond doubt that the project is an unacceptable attempt to force the Palestinian population to consent to their own dispossession and to compromise on their own rights. Any lack of a clear position by the Palestinian leadership on this outrageous project, any stand of ambiguity or positive criticism towards it, contributes to the impunity that for far too long has allowed Israel to appropriate Palestinian water and deny Palestinians their rights.
Five reasons why the RSDSCP must be rejected:
- The project undermines Palestinian water rights and legitimizes Palestinian dispossession from the Jordan River. Israel unilaterally controls the flow from the upper Jordan River and prevents Palestinians from making use of their rightful share of the lower river’s water. This is the sole cause for the gradual disappearance of the Dead Sea. Instead of addressing Israel’s water theft, the project aims to maintain the unjust status-quo of the river and allegedly “save” the Dead Sea through large scale Red Sea water transfer.
- The project attempts to replace the river’s natural fresh water appropriated by Israel from the upper Jordan River with desalinated Red Sea water sold at high costs to severely water-dispossessed Palestinians and at pitiful quantities. Even these sales remain merely an “option” and the World Bank studies plan to ‘supply’ only Jericho, which is currently the only water-rich place in the occupied West Bank. With every drop of water that Palestinians purchase, they capitulate to their own deprivation.
- Neither the World Bank’s Feasibility Study (FS) nor its Environmental & Social Assessment study (ESA) address the grave damage to the West Bank Eastern Aquifer, currently the only source Palestinians have for water supply and development. The Eastern aquifer is rapidly depleting, and its water table is dropping at an alarming rate - both as a direct result of the shrinking Dead Sea. Consenting to the project entails closing an eye to the rapid destruction of the only other water resource in the Eastern West Bank. Instead, Israel should be held accountable for the damage it caused to this vital resource on which over 1 million Palestinians currently depend.
- Far from “saving the Dead Sea”, the RSDSCP will actually destroy the unique features of the Dead Sea and its ecosystem. Under the project, the Dead Sea is slated to turn into a dead, engineered pool of Red Sea water and desal brines, destroying this Palestinian and world heritage site.
- Both Red-Dead studies (FS & ESA) and the entire conduct of the World Bank lack credibility and transparency, and make a mockery of the alleged consultation and participation process. Throughout the process, the Bank has systematically turned a blind eye to Israeli violations of Palestinian water rights. The Bank repeatedly and deliberately ignored key concerns expressed by Palestinians since the project’s inception and during the “consultation” meetings in severe breach of its very own Code of Conduct, as well as the project’s Terms of Reference. In addition, the Bank management has so far refused to make public the results of the Feasibility and ESA studies. The World Bank’s actions are tantamount to a cover-up.
Palestinian civil society organizations reiterate their rejection of the Red Sea - Dead Sea Conveyance Project and invite Palestinians of all walks to demand that the PLO and the PNA honor their aspirations for self-determination and justice by voicing a clear, loud and unequivocal “No!” to the Red-Dead Sea scam. This project can only result in further damaging and undermining Palestinian water rights and all cooperation with it should cease immediately. Reparation and compensation for past damages and respect for Palestinian water rights are long overdue and the only way forward.
Endorsing organizations and individuals:
- Palestinian Environment NGO Network (PENGON)
- MAAN Development Center
- Palestinian Wastewater Engineers Group (PalWEG)
- Stop the Wall
- Palestinian Farmers Union
- Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ)
- Land Research Center
- Media Environmental Center
- Palestine Hydrology Group (PHG)
- Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC)
- Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UWAC)
- Environmental Education Center (EEC)
- Institute of Environmental and Water Studies - Birziet University
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
- Palestinian Environment Friends (PEF)
- Arab Center for Agricultural Development (ACAD)
- Earth and Human Center for Research and Studies (EHCRS)
- Palestinian Farmers Association
- The Arab Agronomists Association (AAA)
- Prof. Dr. Hilmi S. Salem, Palestine Technical University - Kadoorie (PTUK)
- Clemens Messerschmid, Hydrologist
- Prof. Dr. Samir Afifi, Environmental & Earth Sciences Department, Islamic University of Gaza
Once again Argentina has voiced its allegiance to Palestine. Argentinian Congresswoman, Dr. Maria Elena Chieno, who heads the group of Argentinean MPs on Palestine and participated as one of the testimonies in the Ethical Tribunal on Palestine arranged in Argentina submitted a new draft legislation last September. The bill, which reflects Argentinas official stand towards Palestine, if approved, will ban government agencies from accepting participation of Israeli companies rooted in the OPT in tendering and public bidding as well as direct purchases of products and services from Israeli- based companies operating from the Palestinian occupied territories.
With this measure, Congresswoman Chieno, a staunch spokesperson and advocate of Palestine, seeks first, to impugn Israel for the enduring injustices committed against the Palestinians. And second, to put forth pressure on Israel to respect and comply with International law.
Consequently, Chieno explains that maintaining the current economic relations with Israel will not only undermine the economic sovereignty of the Palestinian state, but will be "de facto legitimizing" and normalizing Israeli illegal occupation of Palestine, burying even more the possibility of negotiations for a just and long lasting peace in the area. Chieno's law proposition aims, thus, to help dismantle Israel's colonial and apartheid policies that deny Palestinians their basic inalienable rights to live with dignity and freedom in their ancestral land.
Policy initiatives, like Chieno's, are crucial: We have to seize the moment and intensify our call for struggle for justice for Palestine. We have to relentlessly continue exerting pressure on institutions and governments around the world to multiply such initiatives and force Israel to stop and take down the wall, end its occupation of Palestine and dismantle its apartheid regime once and for all.
9 \ 10 \ 2013 The Stop the Wall campaign, “You’re not Alone”, led in cooperation with the Farmers' Union and the Cooperative Association of Kafr Labad, implemented its activities to support local villagers during the olive harvest in the villages of Kafr Labad in Tulkarem and of Bruqin in Salfit.
Dozens of volunteers were involved in the olive harvest in "Al Hafasi" area in Kafr Labad, Tulkarem district which is in close proximity to the settlement "Ifni Havis" which has until now stolen most of the village's land.
The Volunteers worked to support and participate in the olive harvest. Their work took place in a problematic area which is adjacent to the settlement and the Apartheid Wall, a location and circumstance which has made life difficult for the locals in that it has enabled the settlers to repeatedly steal the crops belonging to the village. Suhail Salman, the coordinator of the popular committees in the campaign said that the Israeli Occupation Forces came to the area and photographed both the volunteers and villagers during the harvesting.
In the village of Bruqin, located in Salfit district, both Palestinians and international volunteers worked with the help of a family from the village to harvest the crops which are located in the area adjacent to the settlement of "Brochan ".
It is worth noting that these attacks from the settlers occur all throughout the year and are significantly increasing in intensity in conjunction with the start of the olive harvest season each year.
With the start of the olive harvest season for this year, the settler attacks have escalated throughout different areas of the West Bank. The attacks ranged from stealing the olive harvest, uprooting trees and attacking citizens and their properties. The violations and attacks carried out by the settlers usually occur all year round. However, during this year’s olive harvest season, these systemic attacks have been increasing significantly on a daily basis with the goal of destroying the olive trees which are considered the key livelihood for the Palestinian farmers.
On the morning of Monday 7/10/2013, the settlers of “Niriya” settlement destroyed a number of olive trees in the village of Ras Karkar, West of Ramallah. The olive trees belong to Maher Samhan, who emphasized that this is not the first settler attack which has taken place on the land of the village and its residents. The settlers of the “Shave Shomron” settlement have destroyed 100 olive trees on Saturday, 5/10/2013 in the village of Deir Sharaf, West of Nablus governorate. The same day clashes erupted in the villages of Bourin and Ainabous in the south of Nablus city between the Palestinian citizens and the settlers.
And on 4/10/2013 soldiers in the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) assaulted a family that was working on gathering the olive harvest in the village of Jamaeen in the Nablus governorate. The IOF pursued the family members and threatened them with further assault if they returned to work the land. And in Hebron the settlers of “Susa” and “Maoun” settlements uprooted 40 olive seedlings on Thursday, 3/10/2013 in Yatta, located south of Hebron. These seedlings belonged to Jaber Shatat. Also on that day, a group of settlers assaulted the Palestinian citizen Sami Yousef Radad when he and his wife were on their land near the settlement of “Kanah” in AlZawiyeh village in the governorate of Salfit. The settlers stole the olive harvest he had collected, attacked him and demanded that he not to return to his land.
The Land Defense Coalition, a coordinating body of grassroots movements and organizations, announces the program of collective efforts to safeguard the annual olive harvest and are calling on volunteers to stand in solidarity with Palestinian communities and join in the harvest on October 3 until October 20, 2013.
The harvesting of the olives is becoming more difficult every year as farmers face an intensification of settler attacks, as well as the confiscation, isolation and destruction of their lands, and continued closure and permit restrictions. All of which have led to the strangulation of Palestinian communities across the West Bank. Local farmers have refused to be forced off their land, and continue the harvest each year in the face violence and repression from both soldiers and settlers.
Your participation is not only critical to help physically bring in the harvest, but to also be a witness to what is happening on the ground. As the Wall continues to be built and settler violence is on the rise, your presence is needed to witness what is happening, and document it for the international community.
The collective efforts during the olive harvest, a vital season for Palestinian farmers and villages, have become a symbol for Palestinian steadfastness and solidarity. International volunteers are encouraged to join groups of Palestinian students and harvest olives alongside farmers and their families in the threatened villages.For information on local activities, harvesting locations or general queries, please contact the Stop the Wall offices at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location District Date Tel-Al-Rumaydah Hebron 3-Oct-13 Sabastya Nablus 5-Oct-13 Kufr-Al-Labad Tulkarem 8-Oct-13 Around Ariel Finger Salfeet 8-Oct-13 Al-Walaja Beithlehem 10-Oct-13 Ethna Hebron 10-Oct-13 Tura Jenin 12-Oct-13 Fara Qalqiliya 12-Oct-13 Haris Salfeet 12-Oct-13 Nilin Ramallah 12-Oct-13 Qaryout Nablus 20-Oct-13
Recently, the people of “Sarta” village (located to the southwest of Nablus) had no other choice but to stand up against the settlers of the nearby colony known as “Brokheen”. This occured when the villagers realized that the sounds they could hear from the bulldozers were not coming from inside the colony but were in fact coming from the road leading to their village and which they until now used frequently.
Then came the harrowing realization that these bulldozers were being used to expand this road in order to steal land from the villagers during the olive harvest season.
The bulldozing of the land started last Tuesday (9/24/2013) in the southern part of Sarta , in an area located close to Brokheen colony. The people of the village immediately headed over to prevent the bulldozer from continuing its demolitions and forcing the settlers to withdraw. The following day, a local watch committee was set up by the village’s youth in order to monitor the area and ensure that the bulldozers do not return. However they noticed the following day that the settlers started to lay down materials to prepare the street to be paved. The villagers headed back to the area once again to try to protect the land from inevitable confiscation.
The people of Sarta succeeded a second time in stopping the settlers from operating in the problematic area, until Thursday at midnight (9/26/2013) when the settlers returned one last time to continue expanding the street. The people of Sarta gathered again, however this time the settlers were joined by more numbers from different colonies, were heavily armed and had the support of the Israeli Occupation Forces who tried to convince the villagers to leave the area; but the people of Sarta stood their ground and insisted on staying put and made it clear that they would not leave until the settlers themselves exited the area and the work stops.
The aim behind the construction of the new road near the Jewish Colony of "Brokheen" and expanding it is to connect the settlement with a street called "Trans-Samaria", which connects the "Tel Aviv" to the Jordan Valley. The new Street of "Trans-Samaria” will result in the confiscation of about 1000 dunams of village’s lands – equivalent to 100,000 square meters, an area mostly planted with olive trees which constitutes the main source of income for the farmers there. On the other hand, it is important to note that two months ago the Israeli government announced the expansion of the settlement of "Brokheen" for which it will build 500 new housing units.
Sarta is a village with a population of 3,200, located to the southwest of the city of Nablus. It has an estimated area of 10,000 dunams, all located within the area "C", with the exception of 900 dunams located within area "B" according to the Oslo agreement. This means that 9100 dunams are located under the authority of the occupation militarily and administratively. Approximately 200 meters away from Sarta lies an industrial area and settlement called Barkan. And 2 km to the south of the village lies the settlement of "Brokheen".
Israeli occupation forces yesterday attacked people of the community of Khirbet Makhoul and a group of consuls and diplomats from France, Britain, Spain, Ireland, Australia and the European Union's political office on a field visit. They confiscated a truck they had brought, loaded with tents and humanitarian aids for the residents of Khirbet Makhoul in the northern Jordan Valley. The materials were donated by some countries of the European Union. An Israeli soldier dragged the French diplomat Marion Castaing out of the truck, forced her on the ground and pointed a gun at her head.
As soon as the diplomats arrived, about a dozen Israeli army jeeps converged on them, and soldiers told them not to unload their truck. They pushed diplomats around, beat a number of members of the community of Khirbet Makhoul, including 80-years old Ahmed Khaf. Three of the people from Khirbet Makhoul were arrested: Yousef Hussain Brown Bisharat, Ali Mohammed Bisharat, Munther Mohammed Bisharat. French diplomat Marion Castaing said: “They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity." Finally, and completely unprovoked, Israeli military threw sound grenades at the group of diplomats, aid workers and locals. The French consulate car has been detained there for 2 hours after the assault.
This further attack on the people - and this time as well official representatives of the international community - aims at ensuring the ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley.
In the morning hours of 16 September 2013, Israeli occupation forces, accompanied by three bulldozers, demolished 58 structures in Makhoul bedouin community. They litterally wiped out all buildings of the community: 10 residential structures, 18 animal structures, 10 animal pens, nine kitchens, nine latrines, and one zinc shade. Much of the belongings, including feeders, water tanks and other herding equipment, were damaged during the demolition and lost under the rubble.
Following the demolition, at around 2:30pm, the community attempted to bring in humanitarian aid donated by the Red Cross and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. The collective tent and other material were loaded on a truck owned by one of the families. However, the truck was first blocked at Tayasir checkpoint and then confiscated by the occupation forces. In order to ensure the community would not stay on their land, the Israeli military declared the space a closed military area, drove the people off the ground and allowed them back only the following day at 6 am. Those that refused to leave were forced to leave when soldiers threw sound bombs towards them.
The people passed the night in al Hadidiya, another community already several times demolished and still targeted with renewed demolition. y Israeli forces and have moved to an area across the road near Al Hadidiya.
Aref Daraghmeh the mukhtar [leader] in the Beduin communities in that area comments:
“We will have to meet the battle against the Israeli occupation in Khirbet Makhool. especially after the intervention of consuls that have witnessed the truth of what is going on in that area, the crimes by the Israeli occupation forces against children, the elderly and women in order to ethnically cleanse the area.”
The situation in the area remains very tense. The families and around 1,700 heads of sheep and 70 pigeons have been left without shelter since September 16.
This further destruction of a Palestinian bedouin community in the Jordan Valley follows an Israeli high court ruling from 25 August 2013. The ruling gave the go ahead for the demolitions in Khirbet Makhoul as well as in Humsa, Al Hadidiya, and Khirbet Ar Ras Al Ahmar. In total 9 communities are living in the north of the Jordan Valley, all of them are suffering from on destructions and attacks since 1997 in order to expel them from their land. Some of these communities have already been destroyed for seven times. It was the first time for Khirbet al Makhoul and like the other communities, people are determined to resist on their land and rebuild their communities.
The ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley aims to ensure a de facto annexation of the area through displacement of the Palestinian population and the establishment of ever more settlers in their place. The ethnic cleansing plan - as already years ago explained in a meeting by the Israeli authorities to the UN autorities in Palestine - includes in its first phase not only the Jordan Valley but as well the areas east of Jerusalem and the south of the Hebron hills. UN OCHA duly reported about this in their monthly update and since then, nobody within the international community has taken meaningful action. With the exception of the occasional field visit and international humanitarian aid when their homes and livelihoods are once again destroyed, the people in the Jordan Valley and other affected areas are left to defend themselves alone from one of the world's most powerful armies, determined to take over their land and destroy their communities.
Early Monday morning, Israeli occupation forces demolished all the homes of local villagers in the village of Khirbet Makhool, located in the northern part of the Jordan Valley.
Mr Daraghma, the Head of the Almaleh and coordinator for the Bedouin Council in the northern Jordan Valley, said ‘Israeli forces raided the village at dawn. They came with bulldozers and started demolishing houses without any prior warning. He then added that “this demolition process resulted in the forced displacement of 120 inhabitants, whom were forced out of their homes of which now only the wreckage remains”.
Daraghmah noted that this is not the first time that the occupation destroys these homes.
In a later development, according to our correspondent in the region, the Israeli occupation forces sealed off the area in front of journalists and citizens.
The village is surrounded by Israeli settlements, including 'Roi' and 'Hamadat' and also is located in close proximity to an Israeli occupation forces outpost.
Israel's army forcibly displaced dozens of Palestinian families in the northern Jordan Valley on Tuesday to make way for a military training exercise.
Aref Daraghmeh, chairman of the village council of Wadi Maleh and al-Madareb, said that Israeli forces evacuated dozens of people from the areas of al-Burj and al-Maita in Tubas because of Israeli training drills.
Israeli forces closed the Tayasir checkpoint and prevented school children, university students and workers from using the road.
On Saturday, Israeli military forces evacuated over 120 people from their homes in the Jordan Valley to make way for military training exercises.
Over 44 percent of the Jordan Valley is classified by Israel as a closed military zone or nature reserve.
An additional 50 percent of the valley is controlled by Israeli settlements, leaving around six percent for Palestinians, according to figures from Save the Children.
On 10 September, the Israeli high court started hearings on if and how Israel’s discriminatory Absentees’ Property Law (1950) should be applied to Jerusalem properties of Palestinians residing in the occupied West Bank. For Palestinians, this case will be crucial for determining the usefulness of legal challenges of this law in Israeli courts.
The Civic Coalition-Jerusalem has issued a special brief about the Israeli Absentees’ Property Law on this occasion.
The Palestinian parties in this case are seeking a principled court decision that will establish, once for all, that this law, which has been used by the state to confiscate large amounts of Palestinian land and buildings, is not applicable to property in occupied East Jerusalem owned by Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank.
As expected, the high court hearing held on 10 September ended without a decision. In the hearing, the seven-judge panel did not consider the state’s position to be satisfactory. The state, represented by the State Attorney, holds that the law is applicable in East Jerusalem properties of West Bank Palestinians and has been seeking to avoid a principled decision by offering the partial release of the East Jerusalem properties confiscated from the petitioners in the specific case. The high court rather deliberated the appellants’ arguments that the application of the law in East Jerusalem is unlawful. Judges suggested that the Absentees’ Property Law should not be used for confiscating Palestinian property in the future, arguing that a retroactive decision would open up a “pandora’s box” of litigation over past confiscations. This suggestion was rejected by some petitioners including Adalah, who asserted that if there had been injustice, it must be undone regardless of the inconvenience and ensuing litigation.
The hearing ended with a request by the court to the appellants and Adalah to present additional arguments on the following question: If the court rules that the application of the Absentees’ Property Law is unlawful in East Jerusalem, should this decision also be applied retroactively or only prospectively?
The Absentees’ Property Law (1950) is one of Israel’s major legal instruments for seizing Palestinian property. By classifying every citizen or persons present in an “enemy” territory or country as an “absentee” vis-à-vis property in Israel, the law has served to confiscate the land and real estate left behind by the Palestinians who were forcibly displaced 1948. It is still in effect and used to confiscate Palestinian properties more than six decades later.
In 1967, all Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) theoretically became “absentees” vis-à-vis their property in East Jerusalem which had become “Israel” as a result of the illegal annexation. Israel’s annexation and extension of the Absentees’ Property Law to occupied East Jerusalem violates international law and has been strongly condemned by the United Nations.
In the lead-up to the 10 September high court hearing, Israeli State Attorney and Government Legal Advisor Yehuda Weinstein declared that the Absentees’ Property Law applies and can be enforced on West Bank Palestinians with properties in occupied East Jerusalem. Later, Weinstein announced that he shares the position of his predecessors, stating that the law should only be applied in special circumstances, subject to approval by the attorney general, because its application to West Bank residents raises "considerable legal difficulties with regard to both international law and administrative law". This, combined with the announcement that state recommends the release of the part of the Hotel Cliff confiscated from West Bank Palestinians (but not the part belonging to Palestinians living abroad), has been heralded by Israeli media as a sign that Israel would stop using the 1950 law to confiscate Palestinian property in East Jerusalem for the benefit of its Jewish population. Media reports of this kind are, however, misleading. The fact that the recommendation to release the confiscated property is based on Article 29 of the Absentees’ Property Law indicates that the state is seeking to avoid a principled decision suspending the law for West Bank Palestinians by treating the petitioners as “absentees” whose properties in Jerusalem may be released on special grounds.
Since 1967, Israel has applied the law in a selective and gradual manner. East Jerusalem properties of persons in “enemy” countries have been confiscated. Palestinians who were present in Jerusalem on 28 June 1967 were excluded from the scope of the law. Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, outside the annexed area, did not face extensive or systematic expropriation due to the legal opinions of Israel’s state attorneys (Shamgar, 1968; Mezuz, 2005) that the law was not to be applied to this group, if their “absence” is the result of the expansion of Jerusalem’s boundaries, because such absence was merely “technical” or “artificial”.
These restrictive instructions, however, did not stop attempts to expropriate East Jerusalem property of Palestinian West Bank residents by declaring it "absentee properties". Such cases continued to be brought in the Jerusalem district court, with judges adopting divergent and even contradictory arguments and decisions. Appeals against the above decisions were filed in the Israeli high court by the Palestinian owners and the state. The court consolidated these cases for examination by an expanded seven-judge panel in the hearing on 10 September.
Hotel Cliff, occupied East Jerusalem. Confiscated from its Palestinian owners under the Absentees' Property Law, the State now recommends to return a small portion, i.e. the parts owned by Palestinian residents living in the West Bank. (Photo: Mahmoud Illean)
The sign says: State of Israel, Israel Land Administration. Entry forbidden.