In other words, “I’m not saying if it happened, but they can say they did if they want to and I’m cool with it.”
In other words, “I’m not saying if it happened, but they can say they did if they want to and I’m cool with it.”
972 Mag just shared this and I would highly recommend watching this video. Not only is this discussion interesting, but it touches briefly on the history and relation of Arab Jews to the Israeli political sphere:
For several months now, the Israeli Foreign Ministry has been promoting an initiative calling for the recognition of Jews from Arab countries as refugees. Is this historical justice, or just another attempt to achieve a political goal through the cynical use of immigrants from Arab countries?
I wouldn’t say that Obama is as pro-Israel as he is incompetent whenever it comes to Netanyahu and Peres backing him into policy statements on things like red lines (I mean it was so blatant it was sort of brilliant), but he’s certainly none too concerned about Palestinian statehood or speaking on the conflict with any sense of realism.
“Israelis must recognise that continued settlement activity is counterproductive to the cause of peace, and that an independent Palestine must be viable, that real borders will have to be drawn,” Obama said in a nationally televised speech. (Guardian UK)
There will be no negotiation without addressing the existence of settlements along with their expansion. He gave an obvious opinion on the negative effects of the enterprise and provided no teeth. Its plain that Israeli officials are now fond of citing the Gaza withdrawal. They feel that they can justify their expansion into the West Bank to US officials with the threat that they are filling the vacuum and that the damage is already done. Its not a new justification, but they are free to state it more boldly than they used to and it further evidences the claim that the two state solution is becoming increasingly obsolete.
His comments have been just as “counterproductive to peace.” He has very well abandoned any relationship between the US and PA on the subject of the two-state solution and negotiation in his slighting their call for another settlement freeze. Its not surprising news, but it came across even weaker than I had expected.
My thoughts are choppy, but in my defense: cold medicine
All children in contact with judicial systems should be treated with dignity and respect at all times. For several years, national lawyers, human rights organizations, United Nations experts and treaty bodies have been publishing reports of illtreatment of children who come in contact with the Israeli military detention system.
Following an increasing number of allegations of ill-treatment of children in military detention, UNICEF has conducted a review of practices related to children who come into contact with the military detention system, from apprehension, to court proceedings and outcome.
The review further considers whether the military detention system is in conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Following an overview of policies and norms related to the prohibition of ill-treatment in international law, the paper presents the structure and operation of the Israeli military detention system, including the legal framework, establishment of a juvenile military court, age of criminal responsibility and penalties under military law. The paper also reviews the legal safeguards in place against ill-treatment under military law and discusses their conformity with the norms, guarantees and safeguards found in international law. Subsequently, the treatment of children in the military detention system is presented, following the passage of children through the system.
This paper is a result of this review and analysis of practices. It concludes that the ill-treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process, from the moment of arrest until the child’s prosecution and eventual conviction and sentencing.
It is understood that in no other country are children systematically tried by juvenile military courts that, by definition, fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights. All children prosecuted for offences they allegedly committed should be treated in accordance with international juvenile justice standards, which provide them with special protection. Most of these protections are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The paper concludes with 38 specific recommendations grouped under 14 broad headings designed to improve the protection of children in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international laws, norms and standards.
Published March 6, 2013
The announcement that Israel’s Ministry of Transportation would begin a“Palestinian-only” bus service from the Eyal checkpoint in the West Bank might appear to be a harmless policy. Indeed, many Palestinians working in Israel may be inclined to use the new service. If the advertisements are correct, Palestinians might avoid overcrowded buses, save hundreds of shekels from cheaper tickets, and even avoid unnecessary scuffles with Jewish settlers on the bus.
The catch is that these messages are being used by Israel to force Palestinians to conform to a rather twisted agenda. Despite the Ministry’s attempts to sugar-coat the initiative as a policy to help the workers, neither Palestinians nor Israelis should be fooled into thinking otherwise: the government is incentivizing segregation. In this case, the segregation is born out of the desire to keep the occupied population at a distance, away from the state’s infrastructure and its settlers.
The new bus service is an institutionalization of this racist agenda, adding another feature to a system described at best as a segregationist society, and at worst an apartheid regime. Fears that Palestinians will be forced off the original bus lines and required to use the Palestinian-only buses are a disturbingly real prospect; disturbing for its moral reprehensibility and for the social-economic dynamics it shapes.
This is certainly not the worst case of state-sanctioned discrimination in the Occupied Territories, and it won’t be the last. What makes the bus case notable, however, is that it starkly presents the pervasiveness of the state’s segregationist mentality by evoking the memory of the infamous buses under the Jim Crow laws of the southern United States, when black Americans had to sit at the back of public vehicles, or were forced to give up their seats for white passengers.
It is in the spirit of that memory that this writer, alongside many other activists and citizens, would appeal to the Palestinian population to emulate the Montgomery Bus Boycott of the Civil Rights Movement against Israel’s new bus service – a “Qalqilya Bus Boycott”. Palestinians should instead continue to use the original bus lines, in defiance of the attempt to separate passengers by their nationality. It not only sets a principled stance against the idea of segregation, but also condemns the Israeli state for bowing to the wishes of the settler population – and for entrenching the occupation’s policies ever further.
Such a boycott demands sacrifices and steadfastness from the Palestinian workers. But these are the same costs that were endured by black American boycotters in Montgomery, Alabama, whose nonviolent struggle succeeded in abolishing racial segregation on public transportation, a significant step forward in the movement for freedom and equality.
It is that same foresight and dedication that Palestinians must employ against Israel’s separate bus services at the Eyal checkpoint. It is not the most important issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor will it create drastic changes. But it is a symbolic battle that Palestinians should confront to reveal to Israelis just how far the occupation’s racism goes, and to show that Palestinians refuse to accept Israel’s incentives to make them tolerate that racism.
This whole thing sort of caught me by surprise. Whenever I was there I would typically stick to Palestinian bus lines to get from the Bethlehem checkpoint to the center of Jerusalem. I chose the Palestinian buses because they were almost all that was available from that point and I felt much more at ease on them. I was aware that Palestinians also used Israeli bus lines that ran into West Jerusalem and beyond, but I was always under the impression that the city buses were already essentially segregated. I was also aware that many Israelis had raised a fuss over the new Light Rail running into neighborhoods heavily populated by Palestinians. It wasn’t uncommon to see only Palestinians removed from the widespread “Egged” buses for countrywide travel for routine questioning and security checks. The fact that this is official policy makes it worse, however. Before it was more like de facto segregation, now it just comes with better marketing.
A Palestinian man died in Israeli custody, reportedly during or after being interrogated by Israel on Saturday. The death comes amid spreading West Bank protests in solidarity with hunger striking prisoners. Near Nablus, settlers reportedly shoot a Palestinian man in the stomach.
A 30-year-old Palestinian man, Arafat Jaradat, died while in Israeli custody today. According to Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq, Jaradat died either during or shortly after he was interrogated in Meggido Prison.
Speaking to the Agence France Presse, a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service confirmed the death. She claimed, “It was probably a cardiac arrest.”
But Al Haq reports that Jaradat, who was arrested on February 18, had no known health conditions. Jaradat was from the West Bank village of Sa’ir, which is north of Hebron. He is survived by two children and his wife is reportedly pregnant with their third child.
Palestinian prisoners will go on hunger strike in protest of Jaradat’s death, the Palestinian news agency Maan reports.
According to B’Tselem, more than 4,500 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons; 178 of the detainees are being held without trial in administrative detention. The UN reports that approximately 700,000 Palestinians have been held in Israeli prisons since the occupation began in 1967. Many of these prisoners have been held without charge on administrative detention orders. Children have also been jailed. In 2012, 143 children between 16 and 18 were held in Israeli jails, including 21 minors under the age of 15.
Jaradat’s death comes as Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi has been on hunger strike for over 200 days. Al Haq reports that Issawi’s family is being harassed by Israeli forces. Issawi’s brother, Shadi, was arrested last week; Issawi’s sister, Shirin, was detained for 24 hours in December and was put on house arrest. On New Year’s Day, Israeli forces razed the home of Issawi’s brother, Rafat.
As Samer Issawi’s condition deteriorates, protests and clashes have spread throughout the West Bank. Dozens of Palestinian protesters were injured in demonstrations throughout the West Bank on Friday, including one who was shot with live ammunition in Hebron.
On Saturday, 26-year-old Abdel Hassan was reportedly shot in the stomach by Israeli settlers who invaded the village of Qusra near Nablus, he was in serious condition in a Nablus hospital. A 16-year-old boy was also shot in the leg in the same incident.
All anyone in Israel has spoken about for the past week is ‘Prisoner X,’ the Jewish-Israeli-Australian Mossad agent held secretly by his own country, who supposedly took his own life in prison two years ago. But only a few miles from Israeli newsrooms in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, outrage over a different type of prisoner in Israeli jails has been mounting for months and is coming to a head.
Four Palestinian men in Israeli prisons are currently in the late stages of prolonged hunger strikes protesting the legal basis of their imprisonment: administrative detention and military committee sentencing decisions based on secret evidence. Both amount to imprisonment without knowledge of what they are accused and without the right to a trial.
In recent days, at least one of the prisoners reportedly intensified his hunger strike, refusing all medical treatment, including vitamins and minerals. Their health is said to be deteriorating.
Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets throughout the West Bank in recent weeks, leading to violent clashes with the IDF and including protests that shut down the Ramallah offices of the Red Cross and UN.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Quartet envoy Tony Blair have both called on Israel to respect the human rights of Palestinian prisonersin accordance with its obligations in international law. Responding to the hunger strikers’ deteriorating health condition, Ashton said Saturday, “Under international law, detainees have the right to be informed about the reasons underlying any detention and to have the legality of their detention determined without undue delay.”
The Arab League has demanded the international community take responsibilityand break its “unjustified silence” over the injustices Israel subjects Palestinian prisoners to.
In its preparations for U.S. President Obama’s upcoming visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah, the Palestinian government is also reportedly pushing the issue of prisoners to the top of its agenda.
The longest of the hunger strikes is reported to be around 200 days, although it was not clear if it has been continuous. Samer Issawi was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in October, 2011, having served 10 years of a 30-year sentence. He began his hunger strike nine months later, shortly after the IDF re-arrested him. Issawi is protesting the legal mechanism that put him in prison without access to due process. He was re-sentenced by a military committee using secret evidence that neither he nor his lawyers can see, and therefore cannot mount a defense in court.
Ayman Sharawna was also re-arrested and sentenced under similar conditions using secret evidence, thereby denying him the ability to defend himself in court.
Two other prisoners on hunger strike, Jafar Azzidine and Tareq Qa’adan, are being held in administrative detention; they were never charged with a crime, told what they are accused of or given a chance to defend themselves or clear their names. Those two men have been on a continuous hunger strike for 84 days and are being held at a medical facility in Ramle Prison. According to Physicians for Human Rights, they are not eating but are drinking and receiving some minerals and vitamins.
Administrative detention, which is permissible under international law only in extreme cases to prevent immediate and grave dangers, is widely abused by Israel to imprison Palestinians. During a mass, 1,400-prisoner hunger strike last year to protest the practice, Israel was said to be holding over 300 Palestinians in administrative detention. Acknowledging the legally problematic nature of the practice, even the most senior Israeli security officials have admitted it is unnecessary.
But beyond the highly problematic and illegal (under international law) mechanisms for detaining them, Israel’s treatment toward the hunger strikers defies its own laws and regulations, medical ethics and international conventions, Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) wrote in a statement.
After petitioning Israeli courts to demand visits with the hunger striking prisoners, PHR recently met with and examined Azzidine and Qa’adan. They were are kept shackled in their hospital beds overnight and are being denied family visits, despite being in danger of dying, the statement said.
The main health danger for hunger strikers, PHR’s executive director Ran Cohen told +972 is that heart failure can take place without any warning, at any time.
Azzidine and Qa’adan were recently brought to Assaf Harofe Medical Center against their will and underwent medical testing despite their refusal to be treated, they told a lawyer representing PHR, Cohen said. The prisoners refused to be taken to civilian hospitals unless they were given guarantees they will not be shackled to their beds, which goes against Israeli Medical Association and Israel Prison Service regulations. Nonetheless, after being physically forced to go to the hospital, the two reported that their wrists and ankles were shackled to their beds overnight during their hospitalization.
“Israel’s use of administrative detention based on military regulations to incarcerate individuals without trial is evidence that this is but one more tool used to repress residents of the occupied territories,” a PHR statement asserted.
“The fact that medical personnel are also involved, the violations of the right to health and the courts failure to preserve the inmates’ rights is evidence of Israel’s widespread and systemic moral, ethical and professional failures,” the statement added.
Israeli courts are set to hear appeals in two cases relating to the hunger strikers in the coming days. One of the cases is challenging the military committees that sentenced the men, and the second is by PHR seeking regular access to the hunger strikers.
On a separate but related note, a PLO official reportedly said U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro promised him Israel would release 550 Palestinian prisoners ahead of Obama’s visit in the coming weeks, according to Israeli daily Ma’ariv on Monday. (Hebrew)
Update (Tuesday, Feb 19):
On Tuesday, 800 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons began a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with the four hunger strikers, Palestinian prisoner support and human rights NGO Addameer reported.
Update 2 (Tuesday, Feb 19):
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court rejected a request to release Samer Assawi earlier Tuesday. His next hearing is scheduled for March 14.
Meme commenting on the duplicity of Israeli settlement policy:
“Today: PM orders to evict the Palestinian outpost in E1. Tuesday: PM visits illegal ‘Rachelim’ outpost after legalizing it to compensate settlers for another theft gone wrong.” (Meme by John Brown)
"What is even more outrageous, is that Israel is doing exactly what it called the Palestinians out for doing when they went to the UN: Unilateralism. What could be more unilateral than announcing settlement construction on a main stretch of land deep in the West Bank that is considered the last chance for a contiguous Palestinian state?"Mairav Zonszein, 972 Mag
972 Mag: In response to the Palestinian statehood bid, the Israeli government has decided to promote zoning plans for the area known as E1, northeast of Jerusalem. The project is intended to link annexed East Jerusalem with the mega-settlement of Ma’aleh Adumin, thus finally making the creation of a contiguous Palestinian State impossible.
by Ir Amim
E1 (derived from “East 1”) is a term applied by the Ministry of Housing to an area located just east of the Jerusalem municipal boundary, on the hills between Ma’aleh Adummim and Jerusalem. It lies north of the Jerusalem-Ma’aleh Adummim road and edges the Palestinian towns of Anata, Abu Dis, Azariya and A-Zayim. E1, which covers some 12,000 dunams (12 sq. kilometers), is part of the planning area of Ma’aleh Adummim. The main artery between the northern and southern West Bank runs through E1.
In recent years, Israel has begun building and settling the area. The development plan for E1 includes the transfer of the West Bank (Judea & Samaria) Police Headquarters from its present location, and the construction of at least 3,500 residential units, a large commercial center, and more. Plans for the E1 area make no reference whatsoever to the local Palestinian population.
Construction in the E1 area commenced in 2004 under the direction of Housing Minister Efi Eitam. The work was illegal because no building permit had been issued. As a result of international pressure, construction was halted a short time after it began.
At the beginning of 2005, the Ma’aleh Adummim municipality approved two detailed urban plans for the development of the area, as mentioned above: one for approximately 3,500 housing units (apartment buildings and villas), and the second for the transfer of the police headquarters. The plan generated harsh criticism from the American government and the European Union. Both demanded that the plan be frozen, on the grounds that it violated Israel’s commitments according to the ‘Road Map.’ Instead, they maintained that the future of this territory be decided upon by a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Following this pressure, the Israeli government froze the project in 2004. However, building of the police headquarters was continued on the grounds that, like army bases, the police station would not be seen as creating facts on the ground, but rather as a building that could be removed.
On November 2012, following the Palestinian statehood bid, the Netanyahu government announced that it will promote a zoning plan for E1 which will allow the construction of 3000 housing units for Jews.
Here is the planned construction area for E1:
As can be seen in this regional map, construction at E1 will cut the West Bank in two (the area to the east is a desert, and on a very different altitude).
Ir Amim (“City of Nations” or “City of Peoples”) is an NGO which focuses on Jerusalem within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ir Amim seeks to render Jerusalem a more viable and equitable city for the Israelis and Palestinians who share it. The above text and the maps appear here with the permission of Ir Amim.