• Israel: Is this the beginning of the end of apartheid?
    Richard Falk
    18 May 2021 15:35 UTC | Middle East Eye

    The current crisis of Palestine-Israel deepens and widens: casualties mount, smoke from destroyed buildings blacken the sky over Gaza, there’s rioting on the streets of many Israeli and West Bank towns; Israeli police disrupt worshippers in Al-Aqsa mosque while protecting extremist Jewish settlers shouting genocidal slogans - “death to the Arabs” - in inflammatory marches through Palestinian neighbourhoods.

    Western leaders pathetically call for calm on both sides as if both sides shared equal blame, while perversely affirming the one-sidedness of ’Israel’s right to defend itself’

    Underlying this entire eruption of tensions between the oppressor and the oppressed were the flimsy legalised evictions of six Palestinian families long resident in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem. These evictions epitomised the long Palestinian ordeal of persecution and banishment in what remains their homeland.

    While this mayhem continues, the lights have remained scandalously dim at the UN. Western leaders pathetically call for calm on both sides as if both sides shared equal blame, while perversely affirming the one-sidedness of “Israel’s right to defend itself”, which supposes that Israel had been attacked out of the blue.

    Is this but one more cycle of violence exhibiting the unresolvable clash between a native people overwhelmed by a colonial intruder emboldened by a unique religiously grounded settler sense of entitlement?

    Or are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the century-long struggle by the Palestinian people to defend their homeland against the unfolding Zionist project that stole their land, trampled on their dignity, and made Palestinians victimised strangers in what had been their national home for centuries?

    Only the future can fully unravel this haunting uncertainty. In the meantime, we can expect more bloodshed, death, outrage, grief, injustice, and continuing geopolitical interference. (...)

  • Israel-Palestine: Nine days that shook the world
    David Hearst | 19 May 2021 12:37 UTC |
    The contours of the new struggle have already been determined. It has Jerusalem at its geographical centre, and Palestinian citizens of Israel as its foot soldiers | Middle East Eye

    I am getting lots of messages from my Israeli friends," a Palestinian citizen of Israel said over Signal. Presumably because she thought Shin Bet could not monitor the call. "They tell me not to worry. Things will soon be back to normal.

    "I think to myself: "the normal for you is to go back to the beaches. The normal for us is to go back to our cages. What is normal like for a Palestinian in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jaffa? To smile as we serve you falafel and humus, to laugh as we sell you our vegetables or repair your cars cheaper than you would do at home, or to labour on your construction sites?

    "We are scared at the bloodshed that could take place. But we are happy. For the first time in my life I see something that has been dormant for decades, stirring, coming alive.

    "I see a new generation stepping up. They are younger than me. They take orders from no-one and they are rising. I am fucking happy not to consider myself an “Israeli Arab”. I am Palestinian, and for the first time in my life I can see light at the end of our long tunnel." (...)

  • From Balfour to the Nakba: The settler-colonial experience of Palestine Ilan Pappe | 4 November 2020 | Middle East Eye

    Members of the Haganah paramilitary group escort Palestinians expelled from Haifa after Jewish forces took control in April 1948 (AFP)

    The late prominent scholar of settler-colonialism, Patrick Wolfe, reminded us repeatedly that it is not an event, it is a structure. While settler-colonialism in many cases has a historical starting point, its original motivation guides its maintenance in the present.

    By and large, settler-colonial projects are motivated by what Wolfe defined as “the logic of the elimination of the native”. Settlers’ wish to create a new homeland almost inevitably clashes with the aspirations of the local native population. In some cases, this clash leads to the physical elimination of native populations, as seen in the Americas and Australia; in others, such as South Africa, settlers enclave the indigenous population in closed areas and impose an apartheid system.

    Zionism in Palestine is a settler-colonial project, and Israel remains to this day a settler-colonial state. This depiction is now widely accepted in the scholarly world, but rejected by mainstream Israeli scholars.

    On 2 November 1917, Arthur Balfour, then British foreign secretary, endorsed the idea of a “national home for the Jewish people” without “prejudice” against the “civil and religious rights” of the “non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. While this might imply that Jews were the native and majority population of Palestine, in reality, they comprised 10 percent of the population. (...)


  • Remembering Rachid Taha, voice of the oppressed and dispossessed | Middle East Eye

    by Malia Bouattia The Algerian singer’s life was defined by his uncompromising political stand in solidarity with oppressed groups, wherever they may be — <a href="https://my.framasoft.org/u/rouge-glace/?dzy_gA&quot; title="Permalink">Permalink</a>

    #arabe #critique #international #moyen-orient #musique

  • Coronavirus: Gaza’s latest nightmare needs a global response | Middle East Eye

    Good news rarely comes out of Gaza. But for the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic, this tiny Palestinian territory was by one crucial measurement a global success story.

    As the virus spread rampantly around the rest of the world, Gaza’s grotesque isolation counted, for once, in its favour. It was virus-free. While there were cases, they all came from outside.

    The virus was controlled by a rigorous quarantine process, with individuals isolated for three weeks and tight travel restrictions. Furthermore, lockdown was - to put it mildly - nothing new in Gaza.
    It seemed close to miraculous. Then, on 24 August, came the moment Gaza had been dreading. A mother who had travelled to Jerusalem from Gaza so her child could receive cardiac treatment fell ill. Contact tracing immediately went into action, and four members of her family in Gaza also tested positive. The virus was in the community.

    Less than two weeks later, the number of cases is growing exponentially. As of Thursday, there have been 581 cases. Within the last 24 hours, 98 new cases have been confirmed.

    Since there are few testing kits, there is every reason to believe that this is a serious underestimate. Five Palestinians in Gaza have died so far. There are valid fears that this number could soar.



  • Beirut explosion: The missing Lebanese link | Middle East Eye
    Article by Mayssoun Sukarieh

    Is it certain that the ammonium nitrate arrived in Beirut purely accidentally and remained there purely through local incompetence and international shipping lawlessness? Or was political agency involved?

    Interesting discussion on Facebook between Reinoud Leenders and Laleh Khalili, among others.

    Before we let this getting buried by the ‘this is all to blame on global neoliberalism’ mantra. Besides, how many other cities in the world get blown up at 4.5 on the scale of Richter just because global shipping is so awfully capitalist and unruly?

    The first criticizes a neoliberal understanding of the blast that is used by Lebanese elites to divert responsability outside of Lebanon.

    Laleh Khalili answers that her argument, in the Guardian article (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/08/beirut-explosion-lawless-world-international-shipping-) linking the blast to the lawless world of international shipping has been edited by the Gardian in a way that almost absolves the local elites.

  • Israel annexation plan: Jordan’s existential threat | Middle East Eye



    More than any other Arab state, Jordan’s past, present and future are inextricably linked to the question of Palestine. Jordan’s emergence is an outcome of British imperialism, which imposed the infamous Balfour Declaration and the Zionist settler-colonial project on the indigenous population of Palestine and the region.

    Settler-colonialism is the essence of the question of Palestine. All else is derivative. Jordan emerged out of this historical reality, and therefore, its present and future will always be subject to it.

    #israël #palestine #jordanie #annexion

  • Israeli police executes intellectually disabled man for holding toy - QudsN May 30, 2020 - Quds News Network

    Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli police on Saturday shot dead a Palestinian intellectually disabled man near Al Asbat gate in occupied Jerusalem only because he was holding a toy.

    Israeli media confirmed the victim is Iyad Khairi Hallaq (32 years old), an intellectually disabled student, who was on his way to school.

    The Israeli police claimed in a statement that police officers who were stationed near Jerusalem’s Al Asbat Gate noticed a young man holding a “suspicious object,” that they claim looked like a gun, and told him to stop in his tracks, after which the man began to flee, so they executed him immediately.

    UltraPal quoted a member of his family, who said that Hallaq’s disability makes him with the capacity of a 7-year-old. He also has hearing and speech troubles, which is probably why he didn’t stop when he was ordered to.

    Hallaq used to study in a school, specialized for people with intellectual disabilities, near Al Asbat gate. He was executed while on his way to school.

    Israeli Police chased the man on foot, during which they fired at him, resulting in his death, admitted Israeli police.

    Following the crime, the gates to the old city have been closed by police, fearing of protests.


    • Un jeune homme souffrant de handicap mental a été tué par la police israélienne ce samedi 30 mai engendrant l’émoi et la colère des palestiniens à Jérusalem-Est. Sa mort a provoqué un regain de tension à la veille de la réouverture de l’esplanade des Mosquées
      Publié le : 30/05/2020 -
      De notre correspondant à Jérusalem, Texte par : Michel Paul

      À proximité de la Porte des Lions, une des sept portes de la vieille ville de Jérusalem et à deux pas seulement de l’esplanade des Mosquées, un jeune homme a été tué par la police israélienne.

      Ce samedi 30 mai, Iyad Elhalak, un palestinien de 32 ans a été interpellé par des policiers qui pensaient qu’il portait un pistolet. Le jeune homme a pris la fuite donc les policiers ont tiré. Il est mort sur le coup.

      Finalement, aucune arme n’a été découverte sur le corps du jeune homme qui s’avérait souffrir d’autisme. Selon sa famille, Iyad Elhalak n’a probablement pas compris ce que les policiers lui demandaient. Il a été tout simplement exécuté, affirme-t-on dans son entourage. De son côté, le Hamas affirme que sa mort démontre l’aspect sadique des forces israéliennes. (...)

    •  » Israeli Forces Kill Autistic Palestinian Man in Jerusalem– IMEMC News

      On Saturday, Israeli police in Jerusalem shot and killed an unarmed, autistic Palestinian man, then left him lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds for over an hour until he bled to death.

      Eyad Khairi al-Hallaq, 32, was on his way to an institution for people with special needs, where he would go each day, in Wad al-Jouz neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

      The police who killed Hallak claimed that they thought he had a suspicious object in his hand. But Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed to reporters that no weapon was found. (...)

    • In Under 15 Hours IOF Kills Two Palestinians, Including a Person with Disability, in Ramallah and East Jerusalem
      Posted by PCHR - Date: 30 May 2020

      (...) According to information obtained by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), at approximately 06:15 on Saturday, 30 May 2020, Israeli police at al-Mujahideen Street, near Bab al-Asbat area, fired live bullets at disabled man, Iyad Khairy al-Hallaq (32), killing him immediately. Al-Hallaq was en route to a special education school for persons over the age of 18, near the King Faisal Gate, one of al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates in the occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

      Israeli police claimed that they noticed “a Palestinian carrying a suspicious object that they thought was a gun and ordered him to stop. After the man refused and started fleeing the scene, the officers started chasing him on foot and opened fire, ultimately killing him.” In a subsequent statement, the Israeli Police announced that the victim was unarmed, and that he had been shot with 8 bullets.

      According to al-Hallaq family, the victim was slim-built, suffered a mental disability; as well as hearing and sight deficiencies. Al-Hallaq resided in Wadi al-Jooz neighborhood, close to al-Asbat Gate, and had been attending “Bacrieh B Occupational School for Special Education” every morning for several years. (...)

    • Israel apologies after police kill unarmed Palestinian in Jerusalem’s Old City
      Jun 1, 2020

      Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz apologized for the shooting death of an unarmed autistic Palestinian man by Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday.

      Thirty-two-year-old Iyad Halak was shot by Israeli police near a school for people with special needs where he studied and worked. Israeli police said they suspected Halak may have had a pistol and ran when he was ordered to stop near the Lion’s Gate. He was later found to have been unarmed.

      “We are really sorry about the incident in which Iyad Halak was shot to death and we share in the family’s grief,” Gantz said, according to the Associated Press. “I am sure this subject will be investigated swiftly and conclusions will be reached.”

      Hundreds of mourners called for revenge during processions in East Jerusalem on Sunday. At least one Israeli police officer was placed on house arrest over the weekend during an investigation into the shooting, The Times of Israel reported.

      A lawyer for Halak’s family called the incident “murder,” saying that that eight rounds had been fired at him, according to the Jerusalem Post. (...)

    • WAFA: UN High Commissioner “Israel Must Investigate” Killing of Eyad al-Hallaq
      June 3, 2020 7:57 AM

      The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on Tuesday, stressed that Israel must swiftly develop to a full, independent, impartial, competent and transparent investigation into Israeli forces’ killing of a Palestinian man with a mental disability in Jerusalem, stating that: “those responsible must be held to account.”

      A press statement issued by OHCHR said that the United Nations has for years documented and publicly reported on the routine use of lethal force by Israeli Security Forces against Palestinians, in Gaza and in the West Bank.

    • Eyad al-Halak: Another cruel killing of a Palestinian whitewashed by Israel
      Gideon Levy
      5 June 2020

      The fatal police shooting of an autistic Palestinian man highlights - yet again - the grotesque inequalities that have come to define the Israeli state
      Halak never reached his destination last Saturday. Israeli border police began chasing him, shouting: “Terrorist! terrorist!” The reason is unclear. They fired on him, evidently hitting him in the leg. Panicked, he ran into a garbage room alongside the road in an attempt to hide.

      His counsellor from the Elwyn center, Warda Abu Hadid, likewise on her way to the centre, also tried to hide in the garbage room from the police and their gunfire.

      Three border police officers quickly arrived at the doorway to the garbage room. Halak was lying on his back on the filthy floor. His counsellor saw that his leg was bleeding. The three policemen stood there, guns drawn, and screamed at Halak: “Where’s the rifle? Where’s the rifle?”

      Abu Hadid, his counsellor, was yelling back at them, in both Arabic and Hebrew: “He is disabled! He is disabled!” Halak was yelling: “I am with her! I am with her!” This went on for about five minutes, until one of the police officers fired his M-16 towards Halak at close range. A bullet hit him near the waist and struck his spine, damaging various internal organs on the way - killing him on the spot.

      Thus ended the short life of Iyad al-Halak, a Palestinian young man with autism whose face was that of an angel. He was 32 and the apple of his parents’ eye. They cared for him with utmost devotion all those years, and now their entire world is in ruins. (...)

    • ’He’s disabled,’ the caregiver screamed. ’I’m with her,’ Eyad cried. The cop opened fire anyway
      Gideon Levy, Alex Levac | Jun. 5, 2020 | 5:42 PM

      Eyad Hallaq was shot to death in a roofless garbage room. According to the testimony of his caregiver, who was by his side and tried to protect him, he was executed. For long minutes she stood next to him and pleaded for his life, trying to explain to the police officers, in Hebrew and in Arabic, that he suffered from a disability. They shot him three times from close range with a rifle, directly into the center of his body, as he lay on his back, wounded and terrified, on the floor of the room.

      The garbage room is located in a narrow courtyard in Jerusalem’s Old City, inside Lions Gate, exactly at the start of the Via Dolorosa, where Jesus walked from the site of his trial to the place of his crucifixion, on what’s now called King Faisal Street. It’s just a few dozen meters from the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The sanctity of the area did not help Hallaq. Nor did the fact that he was someone with special needs, a 32-year-old autistic person, the apple of the eye of his parents, who devoted their lives to looking after him.

      Hallaq was afraid of blood: His mother shaved him in the morning, for fear he would cut himself. Every scratch threw him into a panic, she says. He was also afraid of the armed police officers who stood along the route to the special needs center he went to, where participated in a vocational training program. His instructor taught him how to make his way there alone on foot – it took a month before he dared walk the route by himself – a little more than a kilometer from his home in the Wadi Joz neighborhood into the Old City.

      On his first days at the center the teacher stopped with Hallaq next to the police guard post at Lions Gate. She tried to explain to him that he had nothing to fear; they wouldn’t do him any harm, she promised. She also explained to the police officers that he was disabled and was attending the therapeutic institution where she worked – the El Quds center run by the Elwyn Israel organization, as part of its network of facilities for special-needs children and adults.

      Hallaq passed the police post every day for six years, apparently without any problems. In his pocket he carried a certificate issued by the center, stating in Hebrew and in Arabic that he was a person with special needs, as well as a National Insurance Institute card confirming that he had a 100-percent disability. But nothing saved the young man from the hands of Border Policemen, quick on the draw, unrestrained, bloodthirsty.

      Last Saturday, Hallaq left home a little after 6 A.M. The day at Elwyn El Quds, located at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa compound, begins at 7:30, but he always arrived early in order to prepare the kitchen for the cooking classes. Last week, for the first time in his life, he made a vegetable salad for his parents, slicing tomatoes and an onion, and dressing the result with olive oil. His father, Khairy, says it was the tastiest salad he’d ever eaten.

      Eyad liked going to the special needs center. When the institution shut down for a month and a half during the coronavirus lockdown, his mother had to take him there a few times to prove to him that it was closed. Last Saturday, on the last day of his life, he set out tranquilly and in good spirits. He had a cup of tea, ate a sandwich his mother made for him, showered, dressed and left. Security camera footage shows him walking along the street, a garbage bag in his hands. Every morning on the way to school he threw out the garbage from home.

      A little before 6 A.M., Warda Abu Hadid, Eyad’s caregiver, also set out from her home in the Jabal Mukkaber neighborhood, headed for the Elwyn center. At about 6:10, Abu Hadid, 47, passed by the Border Policemen who were manning the security post at Lions Gate and entered the Old City. She had not walked much more than 100 meters before she heard shouts behind her: “Terrorist! Terrorist!” Immediately afterward she heard three shots. She rushed to the garbage room nearby, taking shelter behind the iron closet on its right side. Just then her ward, Hallaq, ran into the room in a panic and collapsed on the floor. A sanitation worker was sitting there, drinking tea.

      The garbage room is an open space, not very big, with a few chairs for sanitation workers and a large container that reeked unmercifully this week when we visited the site. On the iron closet is a metal plaque with verses from the Koran, which has been here a long time. There were three bullet holes in the tin wall.

      Abu Hadid noticed that Hallaq, lying on the floor, was bleeding, apparently from being shot in the leg by the Border Policemen as he fled. She later told Amer Aruri, of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, that Hallaq lay there for between three and five minutes, wounded, before he was shot and killed.

      The whole time she shouted, “He is disabled, he is disabled!” in Hebrew, and Hallaq shouted, “Ana ma’aha!” – Arabic for “I am with her” – as he attempted to cling to his caregiver for protection. It’s not hard to imagine what went through his mind in those last terrified minutes, as three officers ran into the room screaming, “Where is the rifle? Where is the rifle?”

      The officers aimed their weapons at Hallaq. They were at point-blank range, standing over him at the entrance to the garbage room. Abu Hadid kept trying to explain that Hallaq didn’t have any sort of gun – he was only holding the surgical face mask that is required these days at the center, and rubber gloves – when one of the officers fired three shots with his M-16 into the center of the young man’s body, killing him instantly.

      Suddenly the area was filled with Border Police, among them an officer who aimed her weapon at Abu Hadid’s head, ordering her to stand still while she subjected her to a body search. The caregiver, whose ward had just been killed before her eyes, was utterly distraught. She was then taken to the police position next to Lions Gate, stripped almost naked in a search for the nonexistent firearm, and then interrogated for three hours.

      The officers wanted to know about Hallaq and the institution he attended. They then informed Abu Hadid that she would be taken for questioning to the notorious room No. 4 in the police station in the Russian Compound, in downtown Jerusalem. She balked, telling the police that she first had to call her director, which they allowed her to do.

      The director of the center joined her, and Abu Hadid was interrogated for an additional three hours in the Russian Compound, until her family arrived. They took her to a clinic in her neighborhood, to calm her down and tend to her mental state. Later on this week she was summoned to the offices of the Justice Ministry unit that investigates police actions to give testimony.

      In the meantime, the Elwyn center had called Hallaq’s father and told him his son had been shot in the leg. Khairy says now that he had a bad feeling: He knows that the regular police and the Border Police don’t injure people – they shoot to kill. He and his wife Rana rushed to Elwyn El Quds. A large group of officers blocked their way and told them that they were going to search their home. No one told the couple what had happened to their son. It was only when the officers raided their house and carried out a short search that one of them asked Khairy, “When do you intend to hold the funeral?”

      That is how Eyad’s father learned that his beloved son was dead. That’s the way of police officers when it comes to Palestinians. Khairy says that the commander of the force acted humanely, but that one officer was vulgar and violent, telling Eyad’s bereaved sister, “If you were a man I would have already smashed you,” after she tried to grab his arm during the search.

      Khairy Hallaq is a thin, gentle man of 64 who this week was living on tranquilizer injections, not eating or sleeping. His eyes, red from crying and exhaustion alike, said everything. He is disabled as a result of a work accident about 15 years ago in a marble factory he owned in Anata, near the Old City. He has been unemployed ever since. When Eyad was a boy he sometimes took him to work with him.

      The couple has two daughters, Diana, 35, and Joanna, 34. When we visit, the latter, a special-education teacher, is sitting next to her weeping mother and looks no less tormented. Eyad’s parents devoted their lives to his care. This week Khairy and Rana, who is 58 and in poor health, mourned separately, as is the custom – he in the mourning tent that was erected at the end of their road; she in their home on Yakut al-Hamawi Street.

      Eyad Hallaq’s small room is tidy and spotless. A wide bed covered with a brown velvet blanket, a television mounted on the wall, and a row of the cheap bottles of aftershave and other grooming products that he loved are on the chest of drawers, along with the de rigueur bottle of hand sanitizer. He was meticulous about his appearance.

      “I don’t wear fine clothes like my son and I don’t have the kind of cellphone he does,” his father says. The mourning poster hanging at the top of the street shows a handsome young man. His mother tells us that she is convinced he will return.

      “They took Eyad. I want Eyad. When will Eyad come back? When? When? When? All day long I am at the door – maybe he will come back,” she says. “Thirty-two years I raised him, step by step. I put so much into him. My health suffered. Everyone who took care of him said there was no Palestinian who was looked after like him. But your people think he was garbage. That’s why he was murdered.”

      Both parents speak Hebrew. Their initial fears about their son first arose when he was 2. For two more years they made the rounds of doctors and clinics, until he was diagnosed as autistic. At first he was sent to a regular private school, but couldn’t integrate there; up until about six years ago he was home, not enrolled in any educational framework. The years at Elwyn El Quds were apparently the best years of his life. His parents are sorry that they only heard about the center when he was in his 20s. On Fridays, when it was closed, he would go out in the morning to buy his parents Jerusalem-style sesame-seed pretzels.

      Hallaq never spoke to strangers, only to people he knew well. Once he got used to people, he liked to laugh with them. Walking on the street, his head was usually hung low. If he passed someone he knew he might wave hello but wouldn’t stop to speak. He spoke only with his close family and his friends, and with the caregivers at Elwyn.

      “If you sat next to him, he would move away. He needed a lot of time to get used to you,” his father says. When he was not in the center he didn’t hang out with friends. In his room he liked to watch cartoons – Mickey Mouse, and Tom and Jerry on MBC3, the Arabic children’s channel. Rana says he didn’t always focus on the cartoons, only stared at them. “He was a baby,” she says, “a 2-year-old baby.”

      Her husband adds later, “He was 32 but had the intelligence of an 8-year-old.”

      Hallaq’s dream was to work as an assistant cook. In the meantime, he and others at the center would prepare food and go to the Beit Hanina neighborhood to give it to children with special needs there.

      Sitting in the mourning tent is one of Eyad’s friends from Elwyn, wrapped in a black winter coat and a thick sweater. Pointing the friend out, the bereaved father says to us: “You asked me a lot of questions and now I want to ask you a question. Look at that person. Could you wear what he is wearing in this heat? What do you see in this person who dressed like that in the summer? What can you see? I will bring you a little boy, what will you see? A boy. A sick boy. That is what the officer who killed Eyad saw.”

      Back at home, Rana says, “He was an angel while he was on the earth, and now he is an angel when he is under the earth” – and again bursts into tears.

      The day before her son was killed, she says, she asked him not to go to the center the next day, but he insisted. As often happens with bereaved parents, Rana says she had a feeling that something bad was liable to happen to her son. “We saw in the United States the policeman who killed. He is under arrest. And in Israel? He should get at least 25 years. They killed him like he was a fly. My son was a fly.”

      A sign at the entrance to the Hallaqs’ house requests people not to kiss or shake hands, because of the coronavirus, but no one pays any heed to it here. A delegation from the Hadash party, led by MKs Aida Touma-Sliman and Yousef Jabareen, arrives to pay condolences. The police haven’t yet returned Eyad’s disability card and his clothes. A cousin, Tareq Akash, an electrical engineer who was in high-tech and is now a doctoral student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, asks, “Can we go and demonstrate now? Burn police stations like in the United States? We don’t want to burn anything. But are we allowed to express anger? You know, they’ll open fire at us.”

      We follow Hallaq’s route on his last day. Leaving the house, we turn right and walk up the street to Jericho Road. At the traffic lights we cross the busy street, above which is a poster: “Look drivers in the eye.” Behind us is the university’s Mount Scopus campus, in front of us is the Old City. After the young man crossed the street, he walked along the renovated stone path that follows the Old City wall to Lions Gate, next to the Yeusefiya Cemetery. Three cute puppies are hiding next to the wall. Here Hallaq walked down the slope, between the graves and the wall, moments before his death. Steps lead up to Lions Gate. Four Border Policemen armed and armored from head to foot, truncheons and rifles in their slings, stand at the entrance in a threatening posture as we pass by.

      Here is where Warda Abu Hadid heard the shots, here is the garbage room, near the sign to the Via Dolorosa. Here she tried to take shelter from the shooting and here lay Eyad, her ward, until his death.

      Elwyn El Quds is only a few dozen meters from here. An electric glass door protects the wards at the facility; there’s no entry to strangers during the coronavirus crisis. Young people emerge from the stone courtyard, it’s midday and the school day will soon be over. The director, Manar Zamamiri, says that about 100 people get training and therapy at this center, all of them 21 and above, but this is just one branch of the Elwyn network – there are several other centers with schools and other programs in the city, serving hundreds of disabled children and adults. The main effort here is invested in vocational training.

      The Dome of the Rock glitters golden behind the entrance, where armed Israeli police officers are poised. The director breaks into a broad smile, visible even through her face mask, when we ask about Eyad. “He was so sweet. We loved him so much. And his mother is such a strong woman – mekudeshet” – holy – she says in Hebrew. This week she tried to explain to her wards what happened to Eyad.

    • Un témoin aurait confirmé qu’Iyad Halak a été abattu au sol
      Le témoignage corrobore celui de l’aide-soignante, qui avait averti les policiers que l’homme était handicapé, en hébreu et en arabe, avant sa mort
      Par Times of Israel Staff 8 juin 2020,

      « J’ai vu un type, un jeune, qui courait de manière bizarre, comme s’il ne savait pas comment courir ou comme s’il était handicapé », a déclaré le témoin. « Il est arrivé dans ma direction et il est tombé sur le dos, à quelques mètres de moi ».

      « Des agents de la police des frontières couraient après lui et ils se sont arrêtés à quelques mètres du jeune, qui portait un pantalon noir et une chemise blanche et qui ne tenait rien à la main », a continué le témoin.

      « J’ai entendu l’agent de la police des frontières demander au jeune, en arabe : ‘Où est l’arme ?’ Mais il était évident que le jeune ne pouvait pas parler parce qu’il était incapable de répondre », a-t-il ajouté.

      Toujours selon le témoin, c’est à ce moment-là qu’est arrivée l’aide-soignante de Halak, Warda Abu Hadid. Cette dernière avait dit qu’elle était arrivée sur les lieux après avoir entendu les tirs initiaux et avant Halak, qui avait couru et qui s’était effondré dans un coin.

      Le témoin a raconté qu’Abu Hadid avait crié à l’attention des agents de police, s’exprimant en hébreu : « Il est handicapé », des propos qu’elle avait ensuite répétés en arabe.

      « Je suis resté immobile et glacé, je ne pouvais pas bouger tellement j’avais peur. C’était la première fois que j’assistais à une telle poursuite. J’ai regardé le jeune, qui était couché par terre et qui tremblait, et j’ai entendu d’autres tirs. L’un des agents m’a dit de partir et je suis parti en vitesse », a continué le témoin.


      Eyewitness: Caretaker shouted ’he’s disabled’ before soldier shot autistic Palestinian
      The testimony matches that of Eyad Hallaq’s caregiver. Meanwhile, the version of events recounted by two officers involved in the incident is inconsistent
      Nir Hasson | Jun. 8, 2020 | 2:46 AM | 3

      New eyewitness testimony in the shooting and killing of Eyad Hallaq, a 32-year-old autistic Palestinian man, in Jerusalem’s Old City last Saturday, strengthens the suspicion that police shot him while he was lying on the ground, and after his counselor yelled that he was disabled.

      The witness, A.R., a laborer, was in the garbage-bin space where Hallaq fled to get away from the police. According to his testimony, which was taken by B’Tselem investigator Amer Aruri on the day Hallaq was shot, A.R. was sitting in the garbage room ‒ a small, roofless structure used by sanitation workers on Sha’ar Ha’arayot Street.

      “I saw a young man running strangely, as if he didn’t know how to walk normally or was disabled. He came in my direction and fell on his back, only a few meters from me,” A.R. said. “A few border policemen ran after him and stopped a few meters from the young man, who was wearing a white shirt and black pants, and didn’t have anything in his hand. I heard the police officer ask the young man in Arabic, ’where’s the pistol?’ But it was clear the young man didn’t know how to speak, because he wasn’t able to respond.”

      At this point Warda Abu Hadid, a counselor from the Elwyn El Quds center for people with special needs that Hallaq attended, also ran into the garbage room. She said she had rushed there to hide after she heard the first shots.

      “Meanwhile a woman wearing a kerchief came in and yelled at the policeman in Hebrew, ‘he’s disabled, he’s disabled,’ and then repeated the word ‘disabled’ in Arabic’” said A.R. “I froze on the spot and didn’t move I was so terrified. That’s the first time I’ve seen a chase like that. I was mainly looking at the young man, who was on the ground, trembling, and then I heard a few more shots. One of the policemen told me to get out of there and I fled.”

      His testimony dovetails with that of Abu Hadid, who said she fled to the garbage room to hide after she heard the first shots. In her testimony to Aruri, she said that Hallaq was already wounded when he collapsed in a corner of the room. She said she yelled at the policemen, “He’s disabled, he’s disabled,” and Hallaq shouted, "I’m with her.’” She added that the policeman continued to yell at him, asking “where’s the rifle? Where’s the rifle?” before shooting him several times.

      The version of events the police gave to the Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers, known by its Hebrew acronym Mahash, was that they were summoned to the site after another police unit saw Hallaq carrying what looked to them like a gun (according to family members it was a telephone). Two policemen said they heard on the radio, “a terrorist armed with a live weapon is en-route to the Lion’s Gate.”

      When he ran into the garbage room the younger of the two border policemen, a recent recruit, fired at Hallaq because “he made a movement that looked like his was preparing to draw [a weapon].”

      Mahash has yet to reconcile the two policemen’s versions of events, even though they differ. While the older border policemen who was in command during the incident claims that he called “hold fire,” after Hallaq ran into the garbage room, the younger policeman claims he never heard such an order and shot after he saw the Palestinian man making a suspicious move.

      Attorneys for the senior policeman, Oron Schwartz and Yogev Narkis, said in a joint statement, “The completion of the investigation, including a confrontation between the two and a reenactment of the events, is required because our client insists that he ordered a halt to the shooting before the fatal shots.”

      Attorneys Efrat Nahmani Bar and Alon Porat, who represent the recruit, who is the main suspect, said, “Our client fired because he felt his life was in danger, based on information that had been given to him by the competent authorities, the behavior of his commander, suspicious indications in the field and a movement that looked like preparation for drawing a weapon.”

      On Sunday night, Mahash investigators planned to conduct a reenactment of the incident with the suspected policemen, but the reenactment was canceled because journalists were present.

      Results of the forensic autopsy on Hallaq’s body revealed that he died from two bullet wounds to his torso, a source involved in the investigation said.

      Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the killing of Hallaq for the first time, calling it “a tragedy.”

      “This is a person with disabilities, autism, who was suspected – as we know, mistakenly – of being a terrorist in a very sensitive place. We all share in the grief of the family,” Netanyahu told the ministers. “I expect your complete examinations into this matter.”

      Noa Landau and Josh Breiner contributed to this report.

    • Al-Haq Sends Urgent Appeal to UN Special Procedures on the Extrajudicial Execution and Wilful Killing of Palestinian Person with Disability Iyad Al-Hallaq
      09 Jun 2020

      On 8 June 2020, Al-Haq sent a detailed 17-page urgent appeal to several United Nations (UN) Special Procedures mandates on the extrajudicial execution and wilful killing of Palestinian person with disability, Iyad Khayri Al-Hallaq, a 31-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem. Iyad was shot and killed on his way to Elwyn Centre, a day centre for youth and adults with disabilities in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday, 30 May 2020, in violation of international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and in what amounts to the commission of a war crime. (...)

      Between 30 March 2018 and the end of 2019, the Israeli occupying forces killed seven persons with disabilities during the Great Return March demonstrations in the Gaza Strip. In February 2019, the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the occupied Palestinian territory found, that of the 189 Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupying forces during the Great Return March in 2018, only two incidents may have justified the use of lethal force. Notably, the Commission of Inquiry “found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognizable as such.” The Commission also found that Israel’s rules of engagement for the use of live fire were in violation of international human rights law and recommended that the Israeli government ensure these rules of engagement permit lethal force “only as a last resort, where the person targeted poses an imminent threat to life or directly participates in hostilities.”

      On 22 March 2019, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry in accountability resolution 40/13 and called on all duty bearers and UN bodies to pursue their implementation. Over a year since, the Commission’s recommendations remain unimplemented, while Israel’s institutionalised impunity for widespread and systematic human rights violations committed against the Palestinian people has prevailed.

    • https://www.chroniquepalestine.com/pour-israel-tuer-palestinien-handicape-est-pas-exception-mais-no

      via rezo.net
      Pour Israël, tuer un Palestinien handicapé n’est pas l’exception mais la norme
      Par Ramzy Baroud - Chronique de Palestine, 17 juin 2020

      Un homme de 32 ans ayant l’âge mental d’un enfant de 8 ans a été tué par les soldats israéliens le 30 mai, alors qu’il était accroupi derrière son professeur près de son école spécialisée dans la vieille ville de Jérusalem.

      Le meurtre de sang-froid d’Iyad Hallaq n’aurait peut-être pas reçu beaucoup d’attention s’il n’avait pas eu lieu cinq jours après le meurtre tout aussi déchirant d’un homme noir de 46 ans, George Floyd, à Minneapolis, aux mains de la police américaine.

      Les deux crimes convergent, non seulement par leur ignominie et la décadence morale de leurs auteurs, mais aussi parce que d’innombrables policiers américains ont été formés en Israël, par les mêmes « forces de sécurité » israéliennes qui ont tué M. Hallaq. La pratique consistant à tuer des civils, avec efficacité et cruauté, est aujourd’hui un marché en plein essor. Israël est le plus gros contributeur de ce marché ; les États-Unis en sont le plus gros client au monde.

      Lorsque des milliers de personnes se sont précipitées dans les rues de Palestine, dont des centaines de militants palestiniens et israéliens juifs à Jérusalem, scandant « justice pour Iyad, justice pour George », leur appel à la justice était une réaction spontanée et sincère à une si grande et si flagrante injustice.

    • Israeli investigators: No footage of shooting of Palestinian

      Parents of Eyah Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian man who was fatally shot by Israeli police, Khiri and mother Rana, talk during an interview In Jerusalem, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The family says it is hopeful the officers will be prosecuted after finally confirming the existence of security-camera footage of the incident.(AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

      JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s Justice Ministry on Tuesday announced there is no footage of the shooting of an autistic Palestinian man who was killed by Israeli police, saying that security cameras in the closely monitored area were not operating properly at the time.

      The admission drew deep skepticism from the family and human rights workers. It raised concerns about the credibility of the investigation due to the large number of security cameras in Jerusalem’s volatile Old City.

      Eyad Hallaq, who was 32, was fatally shot just inside the Old City’s Lion’s Gate on May 30 as he was on his way to the special-needs institution that he attended. The area is a frequent site of clashes between local Palestinians and Israeli security forces, and the Old City’s narrow streets are lined with hundreds of security cameras that are monitored by police.

    • Israeli cop who shot dead autistic Palestinian faces trial: ’He posed no danger’
      Josh Breiner | Oct. 21, 2020 | 1:48 PM - Haaretz.com

      Eyad al-Hallaq, 32, was shot in Jerusalem by Border Police who mistook him for a terrorist near his special needs school in May ■ Case against commanding officer was closed out of lack of guilt

      A border policeman who killed an autistic Palestinian in May could stand trial for reckless homicide pending a hearing, the Justice Ministry announced Wednesday.

      Eyad al-Hallaq, a 32-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, was shot dead on his way to the special needs school that he attended and worked at.

      A case against the border policeman’s commanding officer was closed out of lack of guilt.

      >> ’He’s disabled,’ the caregiver screamed. ’I’m with her,’ Eyad cried. The cop opened fire anyway

      A statement from the Justice Ministry unit that investigated the affair said that “The deceased posed no danger to police and civilians in the area,” and that the officer who shot him did so against orders.

      A description of the incident written by the Justice Ministry unit said that the officers suspected Hallaq was a terrorist “in light of certain characteristics of his behavior.” Following a chase, the Border Police officer who may be charged shot Hallaq, despite the fact that his commanding officer told him to stop. According to the statement, he shot Hallaq again after speaking with him. Hallaq’s counselor was also at the scene.

      The statement said that “one of the policemen asked Iyad in Arabic, ’where is the gun?’ and Iyad, who was wounded from the first shot, got up and pointed towards the woman he knew and mumbled something. In response to that, the policeman turned to the woman and asked her in Arabic, ’where is the gun?’ and she responded, ’what gun?’ At this stage, the suspected policeman fired another shot at Iyad.”

      Eyewitnesses said after the killing that Hallaq’s counselor from the school ran into garbage room where he was shot and yelled “he’s disabled, he’s disabled,” at the police in Hebrew and Arabic.

      Hallaq’s parents have petitioned the High Court of Justice to conclude the investigation of the case and put the two police officers involved on trial.

      The suspect’s lawyers said on Wednesday that they were certain he would not stand trial after the hearing, arguing that the case was “a tragedy, but not a criminal offense.”

      Following news of the suspect’s possible trial, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said the killing was “a terrible tragedy,” and that alongside support for law enforcement, “we must ensure that there is no deviation from basic moral standards.”

      Lawmaker Youself Jabareen, a member of the Joint List alliance of predominately Arab parties, meanwhile said that “shooting a person in cold blood in a garbage room is not ’reckless homicide.’ It’s murder. Justice for Eyad al-Hallaq.”

      In July, the Justice Ministry unit investigating the case said there was no security camera footage from the shooting as the cameras in the garbage room where Hallaq was shot were not working.

  • Keir Starmer received £50,000 donation from pro-Israel lobbyist in leadership bid | The Canary

    Data published on the Register of Members’ Interests now shows that Starmer received a £50,000 donation from Trevor Chinn, a member of the executive committee of the British Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM).

    According to Electronic Intifada, BICOM is a “British pro-Israel lobby group”.


    Starmer received business person Waheed Alli’s donation of £100,000 on 24 February, and accepted the donation on 23 March. Similarly, Starmer received Chinn’s donation on 26 February, and accepted the donation on 23 March.

    According to the Register of Members’ Financial Interests Code of Conduct, “MPs must register within 28 days any interest which someone might reasonably consider to influence their actions or words as an MP”.

    In accepting the donations in late March, Starmer was not required to register his interests until after the polls closed on 2 April. The Register of Members’ Interests shows that Chinn’s donation was registered on 9 April.

    Long-Bailey, in comparison, generally accepted each donation on the day it was received.

  • Coronavirus: Global academia gets a taste of the Palestinian lockdown- Middle East Eye
    Pandemic reflects what generations of Palestinian students, teachers and scholars have endured under the Israeli occupation


  • How Lebanon’s political parties are using coronavirus to seize back control- Middle East Eye

    Soon after the detection of the country’s first novel coronavirus case, Lebanon’s government took several measures in response: closing down schools and universities, shutting the airport, imposing a nationwide lockdown, and working with its meagre resources to bolster a flailing public health sector.

    As with other crises in Lebanon, civil society, families, media and many other groups mobilised to join the efforts to mitigate the local impacts of the pandemic. Traditional political parties also stepped up to provide services for their constituencies.

    While these efforts might be vital in the short term, they will ultimately have a negative effect on Lebanon - at least for those who worked to bring about real change in the country during the October Revolution



  • Coronavirus and Islam: How Muslims can come to terms with the pandemic- Middle East Eye
    We are now several months into the coronavirus pandemic, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, and much of the Muslim world is still struggling to come to terms with the scope of its impact.


  • Coronavirus: Why conspiracy theories have taken root in Turkey- Middle East Eye
    "Strategist Abdullah Ciftci has said that the epidemic was designed by a “superior mind” to control people and money, and to smooth the transition into the digital age. He suggested that the spread of the virus was intentional, and that one of its goals was to implant a biometric chip in people because “the easiest way to achieve this is to spread a virus”.


  • Palestinians have only one option left: Stay and fight | Middle East Eye

    You can announce as many times as you like, as US President Donald Trump did yesterday, that Israel will take over the Jordan Valley and thus about 30 per cent of the West Bank, and establish Israeli law over the settlements. But without physically moving greater and greater numbers of Palestinians out of the expanded state of Israel, little changes. Annexation just becomes another form of occupation.

    Population transfer, mass population transfer, another Nakba or Catastrophe, therefore, lies at the heart of Trump’s and Netanyahu’s “vision” for peace.

    This is a peace of sorts. It’s the silence you hear in the Palestinian villages in 1948, in Beit Hanoun in 2014, when Israel bombed a UN school in northern Gaza crowded with hundreds of displaced civilians killing 15 and injuring 200 people, or in East Aleppo or Mosul, after each in turn have been bombed to a pulp. It’s the peace created in the total and complete defeat of the Palestinian struggle for a state built on their own land.
    The hidden plan

    So, for me, the heart of the apocalyptic vision lay not in the supremacist speeches of Trump or Netanyahu, in which both proclaimed “mission accomplished”, and the complete victory of the Zionist movement over the Palestinian people. It lay in a paragraph buried deep inside the 180-page document, the most detailed document Trump bragged that had ever been produced about this conflict. Precisely.

    It’s the paragraph which says that land swaps by Israel could include both “populated and unpopulated areas”. The document is precise about the population it is referring to - the 1948 Palestinian population of the so-called northern triangle of Israel - Kafr Qara, Baqa-al-Gharbiyye, Umm al-Fahm, Qalansawe, Tayibe, Kafr Qasim, Tira, Kafr Bara and Jaljulia.

    The document goes on: "The Vision contemplates the possibility, subject to agreement of the parties, that the borders of Israel will be redrawn such that the Triangle Communities become part of the State of Palestine. In this agreement, the civil rights of the residents of the triangle communities would be subject to the applicable laws and judicial rulings of the relevant authorities.”

    This is the hidden and most dangerous part of this plan. The triangle is home to about 350,000 Palestinians - all of whom are Israeli citizens - perched beside the north western border of the West Bank. Umm al-Fahm, its main city, has been the home of some of the most active defenders of Al Aqsa.

    Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Israeli Knesset from the Joint List, told me: “Umm al-Fahm is my hometown, Wadi Ara is my lifeblood. The Triangle is home to hundreds of thousands of Arab-Palestinian citizens living in their homeland. Trump and Netanyahu’s annexation and transfer programme remove us from our homeland and revoke our citizenship; an existential danger to all Arab minority citizens. Now is the time for Jews and Arabs who value democracy and equality, to stand and work together against this dangerous plan.”
    Official ’ethnic cleansing’

    For years now the “static transfer” of this population out of Israel has been toyed with by Israeli leaders of the centre or the right. The idea of a population and land swap was alluded to by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. But it was only Avigdor Lieberman who took the expulsion of Palestinians up consistently as a cause.

    He advocated stripping a suggested 350,000 Palestinians in the Triangle of their Israeli citizenship and forcing the other 20 per cent of the Israeli population, who are non-Jews, to make a “loyalty oath” to Israel as a “Jewish Zionist state”, or face expulsion to a Palestinian state.

    Two years ago, Netanyahu proposed to Trump that Israel should rid itself of the Triangle. Today these plans for ethnic cleansing have been sealed in an official White House document.

    #deal_du_siècle #palestine

  • Boris Johnson to pass law banning anti-Israel boycott, official says | The Independent

    Le prix à payer pour une élection ou bien dédommagements pour services rendus ? #Boris_Johnson, #Israël et le boycott (#BDS)

    Boris Johnson will attempt to pass a law banning local councils from joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, the UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues has announced.

    Eric Pickles said the movement was “antisemitic and should be treated as such” during a speech at the International Institute for Strategic Dialogue’s conference in Jerusalem on Sunday.

    He said the new law would not allow public bodies to work with those who boycott, divest from or sanction Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.

    It comes after Donald Trump, the US president, signed an executive order effectively definition Judaism as a nationality, not just a religion – in a move which could suppress the BDS movement.

    Ben Jamal, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PDS), told The Independent: “The campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) seeks to hold Israel accountable for its violations of Palestinian rights and of international law.

  • Sabreen al-Najjar a reçu une balle en caoutchouc dans la
    tête et a été légèrement blessée hier lors de la 70ème Marche du grand Retour.


    Khan Younis: Israeli forces’ attacks against protestors participating in Khuza’a protests resulted in the injury of 9 civilians, including 2 children and a woman. Among those injured: 3 were shot with live bullets and shrapnel, 2 with rubber bullets and 4 were directly hit with tear gas canisters. Sabreen Isma’il Ibrahim al-Najjar (42) was hit with a rubber bullet in her head and sustained minor wounds.

    I see my daughter Razan in the eyes of every young Palestinian | Middle East Eye
    Sabreen Juma’a al-Najjar - 21 March 2019

    This year is as bitter as wormwood. What meaning does life have when I can no longer see Razan surprising me with a special gift on Mother’s Day?

    She used to hide the gift behind her back, then give me a kiss and sing the famous Arabic song “Sit il-habayeb, ya habiba” (“Dear mother, my most beloved”).

    She will not this year. Her absence consumes us; we are filled with melancholy. But at the same time, I am determined to continue on her path of humanitarian and nationalistic work. (...)