organization:israel defense forces

  • A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident?
    The New York Times - By David M. Halbfinger - Dec. 30, 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/30/world/middleeast/gaza-medic-israel-shooting.html

    KHUZAA, Gaza Strip — A young medic in a head scarf runs into danger, her only protection a white lab coat. Through a haze of tear gas and black smoke, she tries to reach a man sprawled on the ground along the Gaza border. Israeli soldiers, their weapons leveled, watch warily from the other side.

    Minutes later, a rifle shot rips through the din, and the Israeli-Palestinian drama has its newest tragic figure.

    For a few days in June, the world took notice of the death of 20-year-old Rouzan al-Najjar, killed while treating the wounded at protests against Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Even as she was buried, she became a symbol of the conflict, with both sides staking out competing and mutually exclusive narratives.

    To the Palestinians, she was an innocent martyr killed in cold blood, an example of Israel’s disregard for Palestinian life. To the Israelis, she was part of a violent protest aimed at destroying their country, to which lethal force is a legitimate response as a last resort.

    Palestinian witnesses embellished their initial accounts, saying she was shot while raising her hands in the air. The Israeli military tweeted a tendentiously edited video that made it sound like she was offering herself as a human shield for terrorists.

    In each version, Ms. Najjar was little more than a cardboard cutout.

    An investigation by The New York Times found that Ms. Najjar, and what happened on the evening of June 1, were far more complicated than either narrative allowed. Charismatic and committed, she defied the expectations of both sides. Her death was a poignant illustration of the cost of Israel’s use of battlefield weapons to control the protests, a policy that has taken the lives of nearly 200 Palestinians.

    It also shows how each side is locked into a seemingly unending and insolvable cycle of violence. The Palestinians trying to tear down the fence are risking their lives to make a point, knowing that the protests amount to little more than a public relations stunt for Hamas, the militant movement that rules Gaza. And Israel, the far stronger party, continues to focus on containment rather than finding a solution.

    In life, Ms. Najjar was a natural leader whose uncommon bravery struck some peers as foolhardy. She was a capable young medic, but one who was largely self-taught and lied about her lack of education. She was a feminist, by Gaza standards, shattering traditional gender rules, but also a daughter who doted on her father, was particular about her appearance and was slowly assembling a trousseau. She inspired others with her outward jauntiness, while privately she was consumed with dread in her final days.

    The bullet that killed her, The Times found, was fired by an Israeli sniper into a crowd that included white-coated medics in plain view. A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. (...)

    Rouzan al-Najjar, 20, was killed by an Israeli sniper on June 1 while she was treating the wounded at protests at the Gaza border.CreditIbraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters
    #Razan_al-Najjar


  • Palestinian teen shot, killed by Israeli forces in al-Bireh
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 5:55 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782092

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes that erupted in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday evening.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that a Palestinian from the al-Jalazun refugee camp arrived to the Palestine Medical Center in a critical condition.

    Sources added that the teen was injured with live bullets in the abdomen.

    The ministry identified the killed teen as Mahmoud Youssef Nakhleh.

    Israeli forces opened fire at the teen from a very close range; from less than 10 meters away.

    Israeli soldiers attempted to detain Nakhleh afterwards, however, Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics were able to take him and transfer him to the Palestine Medical Center after having to quarrel Israeli soldiers for more than 30 minutes.

    Nakhleh was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • After Shooting a Palestinian Teen, Israeli Troops Dragged Him Around – and Chased an Ambulance Away

      A Palestinian from the Jalazun refugee camp was shot in the back and died after soldiers kept him from receiving medical care
      Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Dec 20, 2018
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium--1.6765800

      What goes through the head of soldiers, young Israelis, after they shoot an unarmed Palestinian teenager in the back with live ammunition, prevent him from getting medical treatment, move him around, putting him on the ground and then picking him up again – and chase away an ambulance at gunpoint? For 15 minutes, the Israel Defense Forces soldiers carried the dying Mahmoud Nakhle , pulling him by his hands and feet, it’s not clear why or where, before allowing him to be evacuated. They had already shot him and wounded him badly. He was dying. Why not let the Palestinian ambulance that arrived at the site rush him to the hospital and possibly save his life? Nakhle died from a bullet in his liver and loss of blood. He was two weeks after his 18th birthday, the only son of parents who are descendants of refugees, and he lived in the Jalazun refugee camp adjacent to Ramallah, in the West Bank.

      Nakhle was killed last Friday, December 14.

      Getting to Jalazun took a long time this week; it was a long and stressful trip. Overnight, terror attacks and other sights of the intifada had returned simultaneously: innumerable surprise checkpoints, such as we hadn’t seen for years; long lines of Palestinian vehicles, forced to wait for hours; drivers emerging from their cars and waiting in desperation by the side of the road, anger and frustration etched on their faces; roads blocked arbitrarily, with people signaling each other as to which was open and which was closed; some cars making their way cross-country via boulder-strewn areas and dirt paths to bypass the roadblocks, until those options, too, were sealed off by the army. And also aggressive, edgy, frightened soldiers, carrying weapons that threatened just about anyone who made a move near them.

      Welcome back to the days of the intifada, welcome to a trip into the past: Even if only for a moment, the West Bank this week regressed 15 years, to the start of the millennium.

      The wind blows cold at the Jalazun camp. A throng of thousands of children and teenagers is streaming down the road, heading home from their schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency. The two schools, one for boys and one for girls, are situated at the camp’s entrance, on both sides of the main Ramallah-Nablus road. We were here a year and a half ago, after IDF soldiers shot up a car stolen from Israel when it stopped outside the settlement of Beit El, spraying it with at least 10 rounds, and killing two of its passengers. About half a year ago, we returned to the camp to meet Mohammed Nakhle, the bereaved father of 16-year-old Jassem, one of those fatalities. The father cried through our entire meeting, even though this was a year after he had lost Jassem.

      Mahmoud Nakhle, who was killed last week, was a relative of Jassem’s.

      Last Friday, there was stone throwing in the valley between Jalazun’s boys’ school and the first houses of Beit El, across the way. The soldiers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the young Palestinians. Quite a few of the camp’s residents have been killed at this spot, which has become a main arena of the struggle against the large, veteran settlement that looms through every window in poverty-stricken, overcrowded Jalazun, situated below.

      The stone throwing had slowed down in the afternoon and had just about stopped when an IDF force, arriving in two vehicles, began chasing after the youths, who were now on their way back to the camp, at about 4 P.M. The latter numbered about 15 teens, aged 14 to 18. Suddenly the soldiers started shooting, using live ammunition – even as calm was apparently about to be restored. A video clip, one of several that captured the event, shows the soldiers walking along the road and firing into the air.

      The wail of an ambulance slashes the air now, as we stand at the site of the incident with Iyad Hadad, a field investigator for the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem, who collected testimony from eyewitnesses. Nakhle chose to return home by way of a dirt path that passes above the camp. The soldiers ran after him and one of them shot him once, in the lower back. Nakhle fell to the ground, bleeding.

      The occupant of the first-floor apartment in the closest building in Jalazun, just meters from the site of the incident, heard the shot, the groans and a call for help. She assumed someone had been wounded, but wasn’t sure where or who he was. From her window she saw a group of soldiers standing in a circle, though she couldn’t see the wounded person who lay on the ground between them. A second eyewitness saw one soldier nudge Nakhle with his foot, apparently to see if the teen was still alive. They then pulled up his shirt and pulled down his pants, apparently to check whether the stone-throwing youth was a dangerous, booby-trapped terrorist. As the video accounts show, he was left lying like that, exposed in his blue underwear. The woman from the apartment rushed out to summon help, but the soldiers fired toward her to drive her off. One bullet struck her husband’s car.

      The soldiers lifted Nakhle up and carried him a few dozen meters from where he’d fallen, laying him down at the side of the road. One of the eyewitnesses related that they carried him “like you haul a slaughtered sheep.” The video clip shows them carrying him not in the prescribed way for moving someone who is seriously wounded, but by his hands and his feet, his back sagging.

      Before the soldiers shot at the first eyewitness – whose identity is known to the B’Tselem investigator – to scare her off, she shouted at them to let the wounded person be and to allow him to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. “Leave him alone, do you want to kill him… give him aid.” She also shouted at the soldiers that she was his mother – apparently hoping that the lie would stir pity in them – but to no avail. In the video shot by her daughter on her cell phone, the woman sounds overwrought, gasping for breath as she cries out, “In God’s name, call an ambulance!”

      After five to seven minutes, the soldiers again lifted Nakhle, once more by his extremities, and carried him a few dozen meters more, in the direction of the main road, and again laid him by the roadside. A Palestinian ambulance that had arrived at the scene was chased off by the soldiers, who threatened the driver with their rifles. As far as is known, the soldiers did not give Nakhle any sort of medical aid. The woman from the house again shouted, now from her window: “In God’s name, let the ambulance take him away.” But still to no avail.

      It was only after a quarter of an hour, during which Nakhle continued to bleed, that the soldiers allowed an ambulance to be summoned. A video clip shows Nakhle raising one hand limply to the back of his neck, proof that he was still alive. Half-naked, he’s placed on a stretcher and put in the ambulance, which speeds off, its siren wailing, to the Government Hospital in Ramallah.

      The teen apparently breathed his last en route, arriving at the hospital with no pulse. Attempts were made to resuscitate him in the ER and to perform emergency surgery, but after half an hour, he was pronounced dead. Dr. Muayad Bader, a physician in the hospital, wrote on the death certificate that Mahmoud Nakhle died from loss of blood after a bullet entered his lower back, struck his liver and hit a main artery, damaging other internal organs.

      A group of children is now standing at the site where Nakhle fell, practicing stone throwing on the way back from school. They hurl the stones to the ground in a demonstrative fit of anger. In the mourning tent that was erected in the courtyard of the camp, adorned with huge posters of the deceased, the men sit, grim-faced, with the bereaved father, Yusuf Nakhle, 41, in the center. Disabled from birth, he is partially paralyzed in his left arm and leg. We asked him to tell us about Mahmoud’s life.

      “What life? He hadn’t yet lived his life, they robbed him of his life,” he replies softly. Mahmoud attended school until the 10th grade and then studied electrical engineering at a professional college in Qalandiyah. He completed his studies and afterward a year of apprenticeship, and was waiting to find a job as an electrician. His father was waiting for him to help provide for the family. Yusuf is a technician at a pharmaceuticals company in Bir Zeit, near Ramallah. He and his wife, Ismahan, 45, have two more daughters, aged 14 and 4. Mahmoud was their only son.

      In response to an inquiry, the IDF Spokesman’s Office gave Haaretz the following statement this week: “On December 14, 2018, there was a violent disturbance adjacent to Jalazun, during which dozens of Palestinians threw rocks at IDF soldiers. The soldiers responded with demonstration-dispersal measures.

      “During the disturbance, a Palestinian holding a suspicious object approached one of the soldiers. The soldier fired at him. Later, it was reported that the Palestinian had been killed. The Military Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Upon its completion, the findings will be transferred to the military advocate general’s office.”

      The spokesman’s office did not respond to a question regarding the denial of medical assistance to Mahmoud Nahle.

      Last Friday, the hours passed normally in the home of Nakhle family in the Jalazun camp. Breakfast, a shower; the son asks his father if he needs anything before going out around midday. Never to return. At 4:30, Yusuf’s brother called to inform him that his son had been wounded and was in the Government Hospital. By the time his father arrived, Mahmoud had been pronounced dead.

      “We are human beings and it is our right to live and to look after our children. We too have feelings, like all people,” says Rabah, Mahmoud’s uncle, the brother of his father. Yusuf has watched the video clips that document the shooting and the hauling of his dying son dozens of times, over and over. Ismahan can’t bring herself to look at them.


  • Botched Israeli operation in Gaza endangers human rights groups - Palestinians

    If it turns out that the IDF invented a fictitious aid group for the operation, from now on it can be expected that every real new organization will find it difficult to be trusted by the authorities and residents in the Gaza Strip

    Amira Hass
    Nov 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-botched-israeli-operation-in-gaza-endangers-human-rights-groups-1.

    If members of the Israeli special operations force that Hamas exposed in the Gaza Strip this month indeed impersonated aid workers, as Walla news and the Israel Television News Company reported, it will reinforce and even retroactively justify Hamas’ longtime suspicions.
    Hamas has in the past claimed that, consciously or not, international humanitarian organizations assist Israel’s Shin Bet security service and the Israeli military.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    This is exactly what the employees of foreign aid organizations, as well as Palestinian ones with some foreign staff, fear. A senior employee in one of these organizations told Haaretz that if Israel has abused the network of international or local aid groups, it could undermine the critical activities of organizations large and small: The Hamas government that controls the Gaza Strip might take precautions that will interfere with their entry into the Strip and their work.
    “No one will listen to the protest of a small organization on the exploitation of humanitarian activity,” he said. “Large organizations need to make their voices heard.”

    The bodies of four of the six men killed during an Israeli raid on Khan Younis in a hospital morgue in Gaza, on Sunday, November 11, 2018AFP
    Foreigners who entered the Gaza Strip last week reported more exacting questioning than usual at Hamas’ border control position and strict identity checks of passengers at checkpoints within the Strip.

    A Westerner who visits the Strip frequently told Haaretz they sense some suspicion on the part of ordinary Gazans toward foreigners — and not for the first time.
    What is interesting is that Palestinian media outlets did not publish the suspicions about the Israel special force impersonating aid workers: In other words, Hamas did not raise this claim publicly.
    According to versions heard in the Gaza Strip, the members of the unit carried forged Palestinian ID cards, presumably of Gazans, and said they had food distribution coupons. It also seems they spent a number of days in the Strip before they were exposed.
    Working for an aid organization is a logical and convenient cover story. As part of the strict limits on movement by Israel, foreigners and Palestinians who are not residents of the Strip, who work for international aid organizations (and foreign journalists) are among the few who receive entry permits into the Gaza Strip.

    Palestinian militants of Hamas’ military wing attend the funeral of seven Palestinians, killed during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza, in Khan Younis, on November 12, 2018.AFP
    Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk was quoted as hinting that the entry of the unit was made possible through a checkpoint of the Palestinian Authority, at the Erez border crossing.
    His statement fed the constant suspicions against the PA’s security services of cooperation and help for the Israeli security forces. But knowing how the official entry process into the Gaza Strip from Israel works raises doubts about the feasibility of this scenario.
    In addition to navigating the bureaucracy of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to obtain an entry permit from Israel, foreigners seeking to enter the Gaza Strip must also coordinate their travel in advance with the Hamas authorities.
    To enter officially through the Erez crossing, you must submit full identification details, including details on the purpose of the visit and the organization and identity of contact persons inside the Gaza Strip.
    >> How Hamas sold out Gaza for cash from Qatar and collaboration with Israel | Opinion
    The military unit’s entry through Erez would have required Israel to use the name of a well-known aid organization, which would not raise any suspicions. Did the Israel Defense Forces use the name of an organization such as UNRWA or an Italian aid group funded by the European Union, for example?
    And if it turns out that to carry out the mission, the IDF invented a fictitious aid group a long time ago, and in doing so received the help of COGAT, from now on it can be expected that every real new organization will find it difficult to be trusted by the authorities and residents in the Gaza Strip.
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    On entry to the Gaza Strip, those who receive permits go through four checkpoints: On the Israel side of the crossing, at the first registration position of the PA on the other side of the crossing, at the checkpoint of the PA police, which was once the Hamas checkpoint and was handed over to the PA about a year ago when it was attempted to establish a reconciliation government, and at the new registration position of Hamas, which has restarted operations these last few months.
    Even those bearing Palestinian identity cards — which according to reports the members of the unit carried — must pass through the posts of the PA and Hamas and answer questions. At the Hamas position, suitcases are not always checked, but a person who often enters the Gaza Strip told Haaretz that the check — even if only to search for alcohol — is always a risk to be taken into account.
    It is hard to believe that the members of the Israeli military unit would have entered Gaza without weapons, on one hand, or would have risked exposure, on the other, he said. 
    One gets the impression from media reports that Hamas and the IDF are both busy competing over who was humiliated more by the exposure of the unit’s operations. What is certain is that making humanitarian aid into a tool in the service of Israeli military intelligence contributes to the feeling of vulnerability and isolation of the Strip.


  • Putin’s interests in Syria and Lebanon are limiting Israel’s military options
    Playing chess with Hezbollah is one thing. Trying to figure out what Putin wants, in Syria and perhaps also in Lebanon, even as Hezbollah is trying to manufacture weapons there, is a completely different challenge
    Amos Harel - Nov 18, 2018 9:39 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-putin-s-interests-in-syria-and-lebanon-is-limiting-israel-s-milita

    One reason for Israel’s exceptional caution in dealing with Hamas in the Gaza Strip is its growing concern over the northern front. Though it may sound like a threadbare excuse, this seems to be one of the considerations driving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to decide, time after time, to try to reach a cease-fire in Gaza.

    The problem Israel faces in the north, in a nutshell, is the real danger that its operational window of opportunity is closing. In recent years, Israel has exploited the upheaval in the Arab world to expand its offensive activity, most of which is secret.

    Via hundreds of airstrikes and special operations, the army and the intelligence agencies have worked to distance the danger of another war and reduce the enemy’s operational capabilities in the event that war does break out.

    In Syria and Lebanon, the campaign initially focused on preventing Iran from smuggling advanced weaponry to Hezbollah. But over the last year or so, a new mission has been added – preventing Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. This peaked with a flurry of incidents between the Israel Defense Forces and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards last winter and spring.

    A problem may also be developing in Lebanon. In his address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Netanyahu warned of efforts by Iran and Hezbollah to set up missile production facilities in the Beirut area. Given the problems its smuggling operations had encountered, the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force apparently decided it had to shorten the distance between the manufacturer and the customer by moving its efforts to improve the accuracy of Hezbollah’s rockets to Lebanon.

    Netanyahu’s speech did its job. In the three days between that speech and the tour of Beirut the Lebanese government conducted for diplomats to rebut it, someone worked hard to get rid of the evidence. But over the long run, Iran seems unlikely to abandon this effort.

    What’s even more worrying is that Putin has recently displayed increased interest in events in Lebanon. In the worst-case scenario, the defensive umbrella — both real and symbolic — that Russia has spread over northwest Syria would be expanded to Lebanon, further complicating Israel’s calculus.

    Even now, at least according to Arab media reports, Israel hasn’t conducted an airstrike in Lebanon since February 2014, when the IAF, apparently pursuing an arms convoy that had crossed the border from Syria, bombed a target in Janta, a few hundred meters to the Lebanese side of the Lebanon-Syria border.

    Hezbollah, which was willing to pretend the spit was rain as long as its convoys were being bombed on the Syrian side, immediately responded with a series of attacks by Druze residents of the Syrian Golan Heights.

    The cell’s commander, Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, and his successor, Hezbollah’s Jihad Mughniyeh, were both subsequently killed in attacks attributed to Israel. Since then, Israel has confined its attacks to Syria.

    But playing chess with Hezbollah is one thing. Trying to figure out what Putin wants, in Syria and perhaps also in Lebanon, even as Hezbollah is trying to manufacture weapons there, is a challenge of a completely different order of magnitude.

    Netanyahu was presumably hinting at this problem, among others, when he spoke about security considerations that he can’t share with the public, at the memorial for Paula Ben-Gurion earlier this week.

    #IsraelRussie


  • Netanyahu likely to extend secrecy of some 1948 war documents 20 more years

    Defense establishment asked to lengthen classification period to 90 years, from 70, for material on Deir Yassin massacre, among other events

    Jonathan Lis and Ofer Aderet Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-likely-to-extend-secrecy-of-some-1948-war-documents-20-m

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to sign regulations extending the period of confidentiality for information in the defense archives from 70 years to 90 years. The Defense Ministry and other organization requested the extension to prevent the release this year of some materials relating to the period of the War of Independence in 1948.
    The extension is intended to prevent the exposure of intelligence sources and methods that are still in use today by security forces. The archives also include information that was received from foreign sources under the condition that it would not be released, say defense officials. The draft regulations state that even after 70 years have passed, exposure of some of the archival materials could harm national security. In 2010, Netanyahu extended the period of confidentiality for security archives from 50 years to 70 years.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The legal adviser to the Israel State Archives, Naomi Aldubi, circulated a draft of the new regulations to the relevant government ministries Wednesday. The document states that the new regulations will apply to materials held by the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad and the archives of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, nuclear research centers and the Israel Institute for Biological Research. The new rules would also prevent the publication of raw intelligence from Military Intelligence as well as information concerning intelligence gathering for materials classified as secret and higher, along with materials concerning certain Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry units.
    The decision is expected to make life much more difficult for historians, other researchers and journalists and would also limit the public’s access to valuable historical information of public interest. For example, the new regulations would prevent the release of certain materials concerning the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948.
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    In practice, the government will be able to prevent the release of any document related to the War of Independence that it wishes to keep secret. The new rules also contradict the recommendations of the supreme advisory council overseeing the Israel State Archives, which recommended extending the confidentiality of only some of the documents for five years.

    The Archives Law states that any person has the right to examine documents stored in the state archives, but also grants the government authority to restrict access according to the level of classification — for example, materials classified as “secret” — and according to the amount of time that has passed since the materials were created. This period ranges between 15 and 75 years, in accordance with the materials’ source and contents. For example, the classification period for the minutes of classified sessions of Knesset committees is limited to 20 years; for foreign policy documents the period is 25 years; for police archives, 30 years and for minutes of the security cabinet 50 years. Intelligence materials, including those of the Shin Bet, Mossad, Atomic Energy Commission and Biological Institute, remain classified for 70 years.
    Even after this period expires, the state archives and other archives, such as the IDF Archives, have not acted on their own initiative to release the materials. In practice, the end of the classification period alone is not sufficient for automatic declassification of the material. First, the chief archivist must examine the materials. After that, a special ministerial committee, headed by the justice minister, has the right to apply additional restrictions on access to them.
    The committee used its power to prohibit access to the so-called Riftin report on extrajudicial executions carried out by the Haganah pre-independence army. In 1998, half a century after the report was written, its confidentiality period expired, after which it should have been unsealed. In the 20 years that have passed since then, two state archivists requested, and received, extensions of the classification period from the ministerial committee.
    The draft proposal does stipulate that the relevant organizations must draw up new protocols that would enable the unsealing of classified materials after 50 years, on their own initiative. In addition, they would be instructed to conduct an annual review of their classified documents in order to determine whether they can be declassified.


  • Selon la Russie, la France participe aux bombardements israéliens en Syrie. (Wait, what ?)

    Russian military aircraft ’disappears’ during Syria strike attributed to Israel, France
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/russian-military-aircraft-believed-to-be-shot-down-by-syria-defenses-1.6489

    Russia’s defence ministry said on Tuesday that one if its military aircraft with 14 people on board disappeared from radar screens over Syria at the same time that Israeli and French forces were mounting aerial attacks on targets in Syria.

    […]

    “At the same time Russian air control radar systems detected rocket launches from the French frigate Auvergne which was located in that region.”

    • Au moins, les Britanniques ont été prévenus :
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6172483/PETER-HITCHENS-brink-war-noticed.html
      Almost everyone missed an amazing and worrying moment in Parliament last week, when Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt gave us a glimpse of the Government’s thinking. They will go to war without waiting for the facts to be checked, and without recalling Parliament.
      In a very brief debate about the war in Syria, he was asked about plans – now being openly discussed at high levels in Washington – for a devastating attack on Damascus.

    • La France a-t-elle procédé à un tir au large de la Syrie ?
      18 sept. 2018, 10:38
      https://francais.rt.com/international/53963-france-a-t-elle-procede-tir-large-syrie

      Moscou assure avoir détecté un tir français, lancé depuis la frégate Auvergne en mer Méditerranée, au large de la Syrie, le 17 septembre au soir, alors qu’Israël procédait également à des tirs dans la région.

      Parallèlement aux tirs israéliens survenus le 17 septembre au soir en Syrie, le système de contrôle de l’espace aérien russe a annoncé avoir repéré un tir depuis la frégate française Auvergne, qui croise en mer Méditerranée au large de la Syrie, selon un communiqué du ministère russe de la Défense. (...)

    • Avion abattu par Damas : Moscou dénonce les tirs israéliens et se « réserve le droit » de répondre
      18 sept. 2018
      https://francais.rt.com/international/53961-damas-aurait-abattu-avion-militaire-russe-15-soldats-bord-moscou

      Après qu’un avion russe Il-20 a disparu des radars le 17 septembre au soir au-dessus de la mer Méditerranée, Moscou a finalement identifié la provenance de l’attaque : un tir des forces anti-aériennes syriennes.

      12h32 CET

      La Russie a annoncé qu’elle convoquait l’ambassadeur d’Israël. En Israël, un porte-parole du ministère des Affaires étrangères a refusé de commenter cette convocation, assurant n’avoir « rien à dire » à ce sujet.

      11h30 CET

      L’opération de recherche des membres de l’équipage de l’avion russe Il-20 qui s’est abîmé près de la côte de Lattaquié comprend huit bateaux, destroyers et navires d’approvisionnement de la marine russe.

      Pour l’heure, seuls des fragments de corps des membres de l’équipage et des effets personnels, ainsi que des débris de l’avion ont été repêchés à bord des bateaux russes.

      11h23 CET

      Le ministère russe de la Défense a publié une carte de l’incident retraçant ce qu’il estime être la trajectoire des différents acteurs présents dans la zone.


      La Russie a averti Israël de possibles représailles lors d’un appel entre ministres de la Défense respectifs des deux pays.

      Moscou rend directement responsable Israël de la perte de son appareil, précisant n’avoir été prévenu qu’« une minute avant le début des frappes »
      11h00 CET

      Les avions israéliens « ont délibérément créé une situation dangereuse pour les navires de surface et les aéronefs dans la région », d’après le ministère russe de la Défense.

      « En utilisant l’avion russe comme bouclier, les pilotes israéliens l’ont exposé au feu des systèmes de défense aérienne syrienne : ainsi, l’Il-20 dont la surface est d’un ordre supérieure à celle du F-16, a été abattu par un missile du complexe S-200 », a-t-il ajouté. (...)

    • https://francais.rt.com/international/53961-damas-aurait-abattu-avion-militaire-russe-15-soldats-bord-moscou

      15h30 CET

      Recevant son homologue hongrois Victor Orban à Moscou ce 18 septembre, le président russe Vladimir Poutine a répondu à une question de journaliste concernant le crash de l’avion de reconnaissance russe Iliouchine 20. « Cela ressemble à une succession de circonstances tragiques », a-t-il déclaré. « Quand il y a des gens qui meurent, c’est toujours un grand malheur », a poursuivi le chef d’Etat qui a présenté ses condoléances aux proches des 15 soldats russes qui étaient à bord de l’appareil au moment où il a disparu des radars au-dessus de la Méditerranée, au large de la Syrie.
      13h49 CET

      L’armée israélienne a réagi en disant « tenir le régime d’Assad, dont l’armée a abattu l’avion russe, pour entièrement responsable de cet incident ». Israël a ajouté que l’Iran et « l’organisation terroriste du Hezbollah » étaient responsables de ce drame.

      Israel will share all the relevant information with the Russian Government to review the incident and to confirm the facts in this inquiry.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) 18 septembre 2018

      Tsahal précise que ses avions n’étaient plus dans la zone lorsque les tirs syriens ont été effectués et que ceux-ci sont dus au caractère « imprécis » des systèmes anti-aériens syriens.

      Israël a également annoncé qu’il partagerait avec l’armée russe toutes les informations pertinentes dont il dispose pour mener à bien l’enquête.


  • Conscientious objector to mark Jewish new year in prison
    +972 Magazine | Published September 7, 2018
    https://972mag.com/conscientious-objector-hilel-garmi-military-prison/137656

    Hilel Garmi is in prison for the third time, for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. His decision was partly inspired by one of the lead organizers of the Great Return March in Gaza.

    Conscientious objector Hilel Garmi was sentenced to 10 days in prison on Monday, after he again refused to serve in the Israel Defense Forces, in protest of Israel’s policies in the occupied territories. This is Garmi’s third detention, at the end of which he would have served 37 days in military prison.

    Garmi, 18, from Kibbutz Yodfat in northern Israel, was first imprisoned in late July, after military police forces arrived at his home to arrest him. “I know I will be proud of this decision for the rest of my life, knowing that in the moment of truth, I was loyal to my beliefs, and did the only thing that seems moral to me. The way I see it, I chose to be on the right side of history,” said Garmi, upon his entry to prison.

    #objecteurs


  • The late Inas and Bayan Khammash
    Haaretz.com - Gideon Levy - Aug 12, 2018 2:50 AM
    Imagine the reaction if Hamas had killed a pregnant Israeli woman and her baby daughter. But Inas and Bayan were Palestinians from Dir al-Balah

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-late-inas-and-bayan-khammash-1.6365468

    For Uri Avnery

    While the thirst for blood overtook social media; while commentator Shimon Riklin tweeted, “We want you to kill terrorists, and as many as possible, until the cries of their families overcome their sick murderousness”; while Minister Yoav Galant, a man whose hands are stained with a great deal of Gazan blood, declared with Biblical lyricism, “I’ll pursue my enemies and catch them, I won’t come back until they’re finished”; while Yair Lapid was writing, “The IDF must hit them with all its force, without hesitating, without thinking” – while all this was happening, Inas and Bayan Khammash were killed.

    They were mother and daughter. Inas was 23, in her ninth month of pregnancy; Bayan was an 18-month-old baby. They were killed when a missile hit their home, a rented apartment in a one-story building in Dir al-Balah in the Gaza Strip. The father of the family, Mohammed, was seriously wounded.

    Their killing didn’t slake the thirst for blood on social media in the slightest. It barely earned a mention in the mainstream Israeli media, which were far more concerned by the cancellation of a wedding in Sderot. That’s always Israel’s order of priorities.

    It’s not that the suffering of residents of Israeli communities near Gaza shouldn’t be given abundant coverage, but the complete disregard for the victims on the other side, even the killing of a pregnant mother and her daughter, is an act of collaboration with wartime propaganda. The complete public indifference to every killing, coupled with the thirst for blood that has become politically correct, is also evidence of an unparalleled nadir.

    It’s not hard to imagine what would have happened, both in Israel and abroad, if Hamas had killed a pregnant Israeli woman and her baby daughter. But Inas and Bayan were Palestinians from Dir al-Balah.

    Are there still any Israelis who glanced for a moment at their own loved ones and imagined the atrocity of killing a pregnant mother with her baby in her arms? Does the thought still pass through anyone’s mind here that Inas and Bayan were a pregnant mother and her baby daughter, like the neighbors across the way? Like your daughter and granddaughter. Like your wife and daughter.

    Can thoughts like these still arise even for a moment, given the onslaught of dehumanization, propaganda and brainwashing, which justifies any killing and blames the entire world, with the sole exception of those who committed it? Given the media, most of which just wants to see more and more blood being spilled in Gaza, and even does everything in its power so that blood will actually be spilled? Given the usual excuses that the Israel Defense Forces never intend to hit a pregnant woman and her daughter, they merely happen to do so, again and again and again and again?

    Given all this, is there still any chance that the killing of a mother and daughter will shock anyone here? That it will touch anyone?

    For almost 12 years, Gaza has been closed to Israeli journalists on Israel’s orders, and Israel’s fighting media accepts this submissively, even gladly. How badly I wish I could go to Inas and Bayan’s house right now, to tell their story and, above all, to remind the reader that they were human beings, people – a very difficult thing to do in the atmosphere of today’s Israel.

    On one of our last trips to Gaza, in September 2006, photographer Miki Kratsman and I went to the Hammad family’s house in the Brazil refugee camp in Rafah. A huge crater had opened up a few hundred meters from the miserable tin shack we entered. In the dim room, we saw nothing but a crushed wheelchair and a crippled woman lying on the sofa.

    A few nights earlier, the family heard airplanes overhead. Basma, then 42 and completely paralyzed, was lying in her iron bed. She quickly told her only daughter, 14-year-old Dam al-Iz, to rush to her so she could protect the girl with her own body. A concrete roof crashed down on them and killed Dam, her only daughter, who was lying curled up in her mother’s arms.

    Ever since Inas and Bayan were killed, I’ve been thinking about Dam al-Iz and her mother again.


  • Israeli Druze commander quits army over nation-state law in open letter to Netanyahu

    In a Facebook post, Capt. Amir Jmall calls on leaders of his community to work toward putting an end to the compulsory conscription of Israeli Druze

    Yaniv Kubovich
    Jul 30, 2018 5:36 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-druze-quits-idf-over-nation-state-law-in-letter-to-netanya

    In the letter, Jmall also called on leaders of his community to work toward putting an end to the compulsory conscription of Israel’s Druze. The Facebook post has since been removed.
    “This morning, when I woke up to drive to the [army] base, I asked myself, why? Why do I have to serve the State of Israel, a state that my two brothers, my father and I have served with dedication, a sense of mission and a love of the homeland, and, in the end, what do we get? To be second-class citizens,” Jmall wrote.
    >> ’When we’re in uniform they treat us well’: Israel’s Druze no longer feel like blood brothers
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    "Continue serving the country? I do not want to continue and I am sure that hundreds more people will stop serving and will be discharged from the army following your decision, Netanyahu, that of you and your government,” he continued.
    "After many thoughts ran through my head, I decided to let go and to discontinue serving the country, a country that has a government that takes and does not give back.”
    In conclusion, Jmall wrote: “I ask everyone who is against the nation-state law to share and share my proposal to community leaders to stop the conscription law for members of the Druze community.”
    The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, also known as the nation-state law, approved by the Knesset on July 19, affirmed that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgraded Arabic to a language with “special status,” among several other controversial measures that affect the Israeli Druze.
    The nation-state law is designed to alter the application of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in court rulings, and permits judges to give priority to Israel’s Jewish character in their rulings.

    Last week, Druze lawmakers were the first to file a High Court of Justice petition against the legislation. A hundred Druze Israel Defense Forces reserve officers added their voices to that effort on Wednesday, prompting Education Minister Naftali Bennett to speak out in support of “our blood brothers” on Twitter.
    Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon echoed similar sentiments on Thursday, telling Israeli Army Radio, “The enactment of the nation-state law was done hastily,” and adding: “We were wrong and we need to fix it.”
    On Saturday, Israeli Arab lawmaker Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) announced his intention to resign from the Knesset in protest of the law. "The law oppresses me and oppresses the population that sent me to the Knesset,’’ he said.

    • Haaretz, 1er août
      Nation-state Law Backlash: Druze Leaders Say Netanyahu’s Offer May Set ’Historical Precedent’

      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-nation-state-law-backlash-netanyahu-offers-druze-new-legislation-1

      Representatives of the Druze community said Thursday night that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposal to pass a law to strengthen the status of the Druze and Circassian communities is “a window of opportunity to set a historical precedent for the advancement of the Druze community and its status in the State of Israel.”
      Representatives, headed by Sheikh Muwafak Tarif, will continue talks with Netanyahu’s team, which has been appointed to make an agreement on both sides.
      Netanyahu’s proposed law follows the protest sparked by the nation-state law. The plan outlines a Basic Law and a regular law that will recognize the contribution of minorities who defend the country by “enshrining eligibility for the benefits of minority members of all religions and communities who serve in the security forces, for the purpose of closing gaps and promoting social equality.”
      Benjamin Netanyahu and the Druze representatives, August 1, 2018.
      Benjamin Netanyahu and the Druze representatives, August 1, 2018.
      >> Israeli Druze in Golan welcome end of Syrian war but fear future in Jewish nation-state
      Another demonstration against the nation-state law is slated for Saturday evening in Tel Aviv.
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      According to the plan submitted by the prime minister’s representatives, “the law will recognize the contribution of the Druze community to the security of the state, and will include support for community institutions (religion, education and culture), will strengthen Druze residential settlements, and establish new towns if needed. It will also preserve and cultivate Druze heritage.”
      Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) congratulated “the agreement we have reached with the Druze leadership. Recognizing the rights of those who serve in the security forces is an achievement.” Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said in response: “The Prime Minister ranks Israel’s citizens, and he divides and rules the minorities from whom he has stolen equality in his Basic Law. He got scared after the fact. Netanyahu’s government has torn apart the Declaration of Independence and the values of equality on which the state was founded. Now they’re making laws in honor of the Druze community, as if equality is a prize and not a right that all of us have.”
      The proposal drew mixed reactions from the Druze community, MK Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu), one of the two Druze MKs who petitioned the Supreme Court against the nation-state law, congratulated the plan. MK Saleh Saad (Zionist Union) said he will continue with the petition and said: “I am sad that my friends have succumbed to pressures and withdrew from the petition.”
      The negotiating team of the Druze community, which includes their spiritual leader, Sheikh Muwafak Tarif, former security officials and civil servants, has had strong disagreements over the proposal. One of the team members told Haaretz that the representatives who have security backgrounds tend to accept the spirit of the plan, while others – including local council heads – oppose it.
      The source added that some of the representatives accused the prime minister of trying to implement a policy of “divide and conquer.” They said that they would settle only for annulling the nation-state law or adding to it the value of equality. The source added that the Prime Minister’s Office is concerned about the protest rally scheduled for Saturday night, and therefore is exerting heavy pressure on the representatives of the community to accept the plan and cancel the rally.

      >> ’When we’re in uniform they treat us well’: Israel’s Druze no longer feel like blood brothers
      The plan was drafted by a team formed by the prime minister on the issue of the Druze, headed by the acting Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Bureau, Yoav Horowitz, and including Sheikh Tarif, ministers Ayoub Kara and Yariv Levin, MK Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beiteinu), former MK Shakib Shenan, heads of the Druze local authorities and the forum of reservist senior officers.
      The prime minister’s office called the plan “historic” in a press release, saying it “represents a revolution in the legal status of minority group members who serve in the security forces, and members of the Druze community in particular.” Sheikh Tarif welcomed the work of the team and thanked the prime minister for his quick and serious activity. The plan will be presented to the Druze community’s dignitaries.
      The plan offers to enshrine a Basic Law - Israeli constitutional equivalent - for the status of the Druze and Circassian communities, “paying respect to the contribution of the Druze community to the State of Israel in building the land, strengthening security and shaping the face of Israeli society as an egalitarian and diverse society.”
      The plan also suggests enshrining in law that members of minority groups, from all religions and ethnic groups will be eligible for benefits if they serve in the security forces. The law will also recognize their contribution if they serve.
      >> Analysis: Druze nation-state crisis: Israeli army chief forced to put out fire Netanyahu started
      Several Druze officers have left the Israeli military in recent days over the nation-state law.
      The Basic Law on Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, also known as the nation-state law, approved by the Knesset on July 19, affirmed that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgraded Arabic to a language with “special status,” among several other controversial measures that affect the Israeli Druze.
      The nation-state law is designed to alter the application of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in court rulings, and permits judges to give priority to Israel’s Jewish character in their rulings.
      Earlier this month, Druze lawmakers were the first to file a High Court of Justice petition against the legislation. A hundred Druze Israel Defense Forces reserve officers added their voices to that effort on Wednesday, prompting Education Minister Naftali Bennett to speak out in support of “our blood brothers” on Twitter.
      Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon echoed similar sentiments, telling Israeli Army Radio, “The enactment of the nation-state law was done hastily,” and adding: “We were wrong and we need to fix it.”
      The acting Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister’s Bureau announced the formation of a ministerial committee to deal with the issue of the Druze community, to be headed by the prime minister, which will work to promote the plan and to supervise its implementation - among other things.
      Details of the plan will be formulated and worded within 45 days, in the context of a joint team of the cabinet and representatives of the community, all subject to the instructions of the law and the approval of the attorney general. Legislative activities will begin immediately with the convening of the coming winter session of the Knesset and will be concluded within 45 days from the start of the session.
      Jonathan Lis

    • Rare manifestation de la communauté druze contre une loi controversée définissant Israël
      https://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2018/08/05/rare-manifestation-de-la-communaute-druze-contre-une-loi-controversee-defini

      Une foule immense de Druzes israéliens et leurs sympathisants a manifesté samedi à Tel-Aviv contre une nouvelle loi controversée qui, disent-ils, fait d’eux des citoyens de seconde classe. Selon les médias israéliens, quelque 50 000 personnes ont pris part à la manifestation.
      […]
      Arborant des drapeaux druzes et israéliens, les protestataires ont défilé dans le centre de Tel-Aviv an scandant « égalité ». « Malgré notre loyauté illimitée à l’Etat, celui-ci ne nous considère pas comme des citoyens égaux », a affirmé le chef spirituel de la communauté druze, cheikh Mouafak Tarif dans un discours.


  • Once again, Israel denies the Bedouin what it grants the settlers
    On Wednesday the High Court will hear petitions against the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, while two Palestinian villages request that the state demolish illegal structures in a nearby settlement
    Amira Hass Jul 27, 2018 10:23 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-once-again-israel-denies-the-bedouin-what-it-grants-the-settlers-1

    Two Palestinian villages, basing their request on Civil Administration data, are asking the Israeli authorities to demolish illegal structures in the settlement of Kfar Adumim and outposts around it. In question are about 120 villas and other buildings in the settlement against which demolition orders have been issued (though, as of the beginning of 2017, at least half the structures had been approved retroactively), and in four outposts.

    In the outposts, most of the structures have been built on land defined as state land back in the days of Jordanian rule, and a smaller number have been built on land privately owned by village residents. This past Tuesday, at the Justice Ministry High Court department, Attorney Tawfiq Jabareen filed this request for the villages of Deir Dibwan and Anata, east of Ramallah, as the prelude to petitioning for the villages and some of their residents, owners of private land.

    In a preliminary argument, Jabareen talks about Israel’s “selective enforcement” policy. And as a reverse example — of “legalizing” the illegal construction in Kfar Adumim — he mentions the Bedouin village at Khan al-Ahmar, which existed long before the settlements were established and is now threatened by demolition, along with the expulsion of its residents. Before this request, a team of lawyers headed by Jabareen submitted two new petitions on behalf of the residents of Khan al-Ahmar.

    The deliberations on these petitions will be held this Wednesday, at a time when Khan al-Ahmar has become a focus of international interest and hosts protest gatherings every day. This comes against the backdrop of European and UN condemnations of the planned demolition and, in general, of Israel’s policy of thwarting Palestinian construction in the West Bank’s Area C, which is under exclusive Israeli control.

    Thus, three months before the law comes into effect denying the High Court authority to deliberate on matters concerning West Bank land and techniques for grabbing it from the Palestinians, a team of Palestinian lawyers who are Israeli citizens insists on bringing to the High Court matters of principle concerning discrimination, inequality and government arbitrariness.

    Settlements’ concerted action

    For its part, Kfar Adumim continues to demand implementation of the decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar. This past Sunday, the settlement and two of its offshoots — Nofei Prat and Alon — asked to join the Israel Defense Forces and the Civil Administration as respondents in one of the two new Khan-al Ahmar petitions. This is the petition that asks to oblige the Civil Administration to relate to the detailed master plan recently submitted by the village. On behalf of the three settlements, attorneys Avraham Moshe Segal and Yael Cinnamon asked that the petition be rejected.

    A concerted legal and media battle by the three settlements over the past decade, as well as pressure from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s subcommittee on West Bank affairs, led to the Civil Administration’s decision to demolish the village. During all those years, the previous attorney for the Bedouin village, Shlomo Lecker, managed to delay implementation of the demolition orders, including the order against the ecological school made out of tires.

    But in May a panel of justices headed by Noam Sohlberg, a resident of the settlement of Alon Shvut, ruled that there was no legal reason to intervene in the state’s decision to expel and forcibly transfer the village’s residents to an area the Civil Administration has allotted them next to the Abu Dis garbage dump.

    His partners in the decision were justices Anat Baron and Yael Willner; Willner has a brother and a sister living in Kfar Adumim, but she did not recuse herself from deliberating on the fate of Khan al-Ahmar, nor did she agree to attorney Lecker’s request that she do so. About a week after the High Court’s green light for the demolition, the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council approved the construction of a new neighborhood for Kfar Adumim called Nofei Bereshit about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Bedouin community at Khan al-Ahmar.

    Preparations for the demolition and eviction began at the end of June, but the new petitions have halted them. It was Baron who issued a temporary injunction that has suspended the demolition.

    Attorneys Segal and Cinnamon, acting on behalf of the three settlements, write that the new petition (asking that the Civil Administration consider the master plan for the village) “is part of a broader move by the petitioners and influential elements on the ‘left’ side of the political map to ‘leave’ the ‘Palestinian construction criminals’ adjacent to the Israeli locales there and adjacent to Route 1 in order to create contiguous Palestinian settlement there.” (The internal quotation marks are in the original document).

    The settlements say that this is an illegitimate way to deliberate; it will let any judicial ruling be reopened in the hope that a different panel of judges will make a change. Regarding the matter at hand, the settlements note that the High Court has already addressed the possibility of preparing a master plan for the village at its current location and has ruled that there is nothing wrong with the state’s intention to demolish it.

    In their statement accompanying the request to join the respondents, the settlements write that the petitioners from Khan al-Ahmar are “construction criminals who have made a law unto themselves and have wittingly and without building permits built on lands that do not belong to them, adjacent to a major transportation artery [and then] brazenly applied to the honorable court to help them prevent the implementation of the demolition orders.”

    The settlements argue that the petitioners built the structures without any building permits and on land that “no one disputes that they do not have even a speck of a right to claim as theirs.”

    First construction, then legalization

    The Bedouin village’s tents and makeshift shacks are on plots of land belonging to residents of Anata, for which they have received the owners’ permission. These plots include a are part of a large area of lands under private Palestinian ownership listed in the Land Registry, which Israel expropriated in 1975 but has not used since. Route 1, which links Jerusalem to Jericho, was far from Khan al-Ahmar, and only when the road was widened was the distance decreased.

    One of the founders of Kfar Adumim, current Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, submitted an action plan to the IDF back at the end of 1978 or the beginning of 1979. The plan confirms that Bedouin communities were living in the area before the settlements were established, but the plan demands that these communities be expelled, Palestinian construction be curtailed and contiguous Jewish settlement be established.

    On the basis of Civil Administration data, the planning rights group Bimkom published an opinion in 2010 on the pattern of planning and construction in Kfar Adumim and its offshoots: first construction without permits and only then planning that legalizes it.

    The settlement was established in 1979 but a detailed master plan was approved only in 1988. New homes were built without permits, awaiting legalization in another master plan approved years later. Before all the possibilities for construction in the 1988 plan were used up, detailed master plans were advanced aimed at establishing Alon and Nofei Prat, which are called neighborhoods even though they are not contiguous with the mother settlement. Each of these “neighborhoods” spawned an illegal outpost of its own.

    In his preliminary argument to the High Court, Jabareen mentions the Civil Administration’s demolition orders against large private homes in Kfar Adumim. He also mentions the legalization of at least half the structures against which orders were issued, and the four outposts created by the settlement and its offshoots Alon and Nofei Prat. The information about the outposts is based on Civil Administration and Peace Now data.

    The outpost Givat Granit was established in 2002 on about 70 dunams (17.3 acres) of land, of which 10 are privately owned land and the rest is state land from the Jordanian period. Five residential structures and part of the approach road are located on privately-owned land.

    The outpost Haroeh Ha’ivri was established without a master plan in 2015 on about 20 dunams of state land and serves as an educational farm school. The road to the outpost runs along private land, and the outpost receives funding from the Education Ministry. An events venue and desert field lodge was established on about 15 dunams of state land in 2012, and the outpost Ma’aleh Hagit was established in 1999 on about 70 dunams of state land with incursions onto privately-owned parcels.

    In the Kfar Adumim statement to the High Court, the attorneys write that the Khan al-Ahmar petition is political, “and to this will testify the deeds of the petitioners who exploited the temporary order they received for purposes of opening the school year and populating the school building (made of tires) with pupils . The entire aim of the petition is to advance the petitioners’ political agenda and their attempt to create contiguous Palestinian settlement in strategic areas of Judea and Samaria. The petitioners’ attempt to depict the issue as a legal issue is flawed to a large extent by artificiality and testifies to the petitioner’s lack of good faith.”


  • The missing reports on herbicides in Gaza
    Amira Hass Jul 09, 2018 1:05 AM | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-the-missing-reports-on-herbicides-in-gaza-1.6248503

    So we’re destroying Palestinian crops with our spraying? What’s new here, shrugs the average Israeli and clicks to another channel

    As I was working on my article about Israeli herbicide spraying in Gaza, I learned that 1948 refugees from the village of Salama are living in the village of Khuza’a. They are farmers, much as their parents and grandparents were. Back then, they grew citrus fruit, bananas and grains, and sold their crops in Jaffa as well as in Jewish communities.

    We tend to associate Palestinian refugees with the refugee camps. But sometimes you get to meet some who, even in exile from their village, have managed to maintain the same type of life and livelihood – that is, to work and live off the land in the West Bank and even Gaza. The Al-Najjar family in Khuza’a is one such family.

    Together with his father, Saleh al-Najjar, 53, works 60 dunams (about 15 acres) of land that they are leasing in Khuza’a. They employ three laborers, and Saleh says the five of them work 12 hours a day.

    By working the land they maintain continuity, despite being refugees and having lost the lands of Salama – where Israel built Kfar Shalem. Israel, meanwhile, maintains the continuity by damaging their sources of income and their health. When people say the Nakba never ended, the Najjar family can be cited as another example. One of the millions.

    Over the past four years, the Najjars – like hundreds of other farming families in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip – have learned to fear also small civilian aircraft.

    In spring and fall, and sometimes in winter too, for several days the planes appear in the mornings, flying above the separation fence. But the contrails they emit are borne westward with the wind, cross the border and reach the Gazan fields. From seeing their wilted crops, the farmers have understood that the planes are spraying herbicides.

    The fear of these crop dusters is even greater than of the Israeli armored vehicles that every so often trample all the vegetation west of the separation fence – because the herbicides reach further, seep into the soil and pollute the water. Crops up to 2,200 meters (7,220 feet) west of the border fence are affected by the spraying, says the Red Cross. The crops 100 to 900 meters away were totally destroyed. The irrigation pools located a kilometer away were contaminated.

    The Palestinian reports about Israeli crop spraying destroying Gaza agriculture were first heard in late 2014. A figment of the imagination? In late 2015, the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson confirmed to the 972 website that crop spraying was taking place. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, an organization in Gaza, sent soil samples for laboratory testing. The army did not tell it what was being sprayed.

    Spraying of herbicides intended to destroy crops is not the sort of thing the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit or the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories is happy to talk about or volunteer information on. Nor is it the kind of report that concerns Israelis much, not on social media or as a common subject of conversation in Israeli homes.

    “So we’re destroying Palestinian crops with herbicide spraying – what else is new? We did the same thing to the Bedouin crops in the Negev (before the High Court of Justice outlawed it following a petition by Adala) and with the lands of Akraba in the 1970s. If our fine young men have decided to do it, it must be necessary,” shrugs the ordinary Israeli before clicking to the next channel. That is why I’m trying to return to the previous channel.

    The IDF’s Gaza Division decides; the Defense Ministry pays the civil aviation companies to do it. The seared spinach fields and the withered parsley plants prey on my mind. Also, I think about the children of these pilots: Do they know the wind carries the chemicals their daddy sprayed, and that another daddy can’t buy his kids shoes and other things because of the crops that were destroyed due to it?

    Asked to comment, the Defense Ministry says: “The spraying is carried out by properly authorized companies in accordance with the 1956 law regarding the protection of plants.” It’s true that the two civilian companies that fly crop dusters above the border fence – Chim-Nir and Telem Aviation – are recognized professionals in the field. The Defense Ministry also says: “The crop dusting is identical to that which is done throughout Israel.”

    Whoever wrote that sentence is either demeaning the intelligence of his Israeli readers, or confident that they will take his word for it and not be concerned. Both are correct.

    The Defense Ministry only revealed what the “identical” herbicides being used are in response to an inquiry from Gisha, the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, based on the freedom of information law. The chemicals are glyphosate, oxyfluorfen and diuron.

    Despite the numerous findings about the environmental and health hazards posed by glyphosate, it is still in use in Israel. But the Defense Ministry spokesperson ignores the fact that even with all the debate about how harmful these substances are to the environment and to people’s health, their purpose is to help safeguard farmers’ livelihoods – not to destroy their crops, as we are doing in Gaza.

    The IDF and the Defense Ministry know these sprayed chemicals don’t recognize borders. The systematic damage to Palestinian crops through spraying is not an accident. It is deliberate. Another form of warfare against the health and welfare of Palestinians, and all under the worn-out blanket of security.

    #GAZA #herbicides

    • La guerre agricole ou comment Israël se sert de substances chimiques pour tuer les récoltes à Gaza
      Amira Hass | Publié le 6/7/2018 sur Haaretz | Traduction : Jean-Marie Flémal
      http://www.pourlapalestine.be/la-guerre-agricole-ou-comment-israel-se-sert-de-substances-chimiques

      Les photographies de véhicules blindés de l’armée déracinant et broyant arbres et végétation dans la bande de Gaza ne sont pas étrangères, aux yeux des Israéliens, mais ce qu’ils savent beaucoup moins, c’est que, depuis 2014, des champs palestiniens sont également détruits via l’usage d’herbicides déversés depuis les airs – comme cela a d’abord été publié sur le site internet 972. Officiellement, la pulvérisation ne se fait que du côté israélien de la clôture mais, comme en ont témoigné des fermiers palestiniens de l’autre côté, avec confirmation de la Croix-Rouge, les dégâts qui en résultent peuvent être perçus très loin dans le territoire palestinien même.

      « La pulvérisation par les airs n’est effectuée que sur le territoire de l’État d’Israël, le long de l’obstacle sécuritaire à la frontière de la bande de Gaza », a fait savoir le ministère de la Défense à Haaretz. « Elle est effectuée par des sociétés d’épandage munies d’une autorisation légale, en conformité avec les dispositions de la Loi sur la protection des plantes (5716-1956) et les réglementations qui en découlent, et elle est identique à la pulvérisation aérienne effectuée partout dans l’État d’Israël. »

      Le porte-parole des FDI 1 a déclaré : « L’épandage est réalisé à l’aide du matériel standard utilisé en Israël et dans d’autres pays ; cela provoque un dépérissement de la végétation existante et empêche les mauvaises herbes de pousser. L’épandage s’effectue près de la clôture et ne pénètre pas dans la bande de Gaza. »

      Toutefois, le matériel standard utilisé en Israël a pour but d’aider les fermiers à faire pousser leurs cultures de rapport. À Gaza, il les détruit.


  • Anonymous snipers and a lethal verdict

    We may never know the name of the soldier who killed Razan al-Najjar. But we do know the names of those who gave the order enabling him to kill her

    Amira Hass Jun 05, 2018

    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-anonymous-snipers-and-a-lethal-verdict-1.6151967

    We know her name: Razan al-Najjar. But what’s his? What’s the name of the soldier who killed her, with direct fire to the chest last Friday? We don’t know, and we probably won’t ever know.
    In contrast to the Palestinians suspected of killing Israelis, the Israeli who killed Najjar is protected from exposure to the cameras and an in-depth breakdown of his family history, including his relatives’ participation in routine attacks on Palestinians as part of their military service or their political affiliation.
    Demanding Israeli microphones will not be pushed into his face with probing questions: Didn’t you see she was wearing a paramedic’s white robe when you aimed at her chest?
    Didn’t you see her hair covered with a head scarf? Do your rules of engagement require you to shoot at paramedics, men and women as well, and at a distance of about 100 meters (some 330 feet) from the border fence? Did you shoot at her legs (why?) and miss because you’re useless? Are you sorry? Do you sleep well at night? Did you tell your girlfriend it was you who killed a young woman the same age as her? Was Najjar your first?
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    The anonymity of our soldiers picking off and killing Palestinians is an inseparable part of the culture of Israeli impunity. We are above it all. Immune from everything. Allowing an anonymous soldier to kill a young paramedic with a bullet that hit her in the chest, exiting from her back, and continuing on with our lives.
    >> ’We die anyway, so let it be in front of the cameras’: Conversations with Gazans
    There are lots of pictures of Najjar on the internet: She stood out as one of the few women among the first aid teams operating at the “March of Return” protest sites since March 30.
    After two years’ training, she volunteered for the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. She happily gave interviews, including to The New York Times’ correspondent in Gaza, speaking about the ability of women to act under difficult conditions no less so than men – and even better than them. She knew how dangerous her job was. A paramedic was killed by Israel Defense Forces fire on May 14, dozens of others were injured and suffocated as they ran to rescue the wounded.
    Najjar, 21 at the time of her death, was from the village of Khuza’a, east of Khan Yunis. In interviews, she was not asked about the wars and Israeli military attacks during her childhood and later. It is hard to find their scars in her pleasant face seen on screen. In every interview, she is seen wrapped in a head scarf of a different color – and each time it is wrapped around her head stylishly, meticulously, showing an investment of time and thought. The color reveals a love for life, despite all she had gone through.
    We do not know the name of the soldier, but we do know who is in the chain of command that ordered and enabled him to kill a 21-year-old paramedic: Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Military Advocate General Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, both of whom approved the wording of the rules of engagement, as the High Court justices were told before they denied petitions against the shooting at protesters along the border fence.
    Despite all the testimony about civilian fatalities and horrifying injuries, the justices chose to believe what they were told in the name of the military by Avi Milikovsky, a lawyer from the State Prosecutor’s Office: The use of potentially lethal force is taken only as a last resort, in a proportionate manner and to the minimal extent required.
    Please explain how this tallies with the death of Najjar, who was treating a man injured directly by a tear-gas canister. An eyewitness told The New York Times that while the injured man was being taken to an ambulance, her colleagues were treating her because she was suffering the effects of the tear gas. Then shots were heard and Najjar fell.
    High Court Justices Esther Hayut, Hanan Melcer and Neal Hendel presented the army with an exemption from investigation and an exemption from criticism on a silver platter. In doing so, they joined the chain of command that ordered our anonymous soldier to fire at the chest of the paramedic and kill her.


  • A Palestinian vineyard annihilated with chainsaws, with a chilling message in Hebrew
    Gideon Levy, Alex Levac | May 24, 2018 | 6:53 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-farm-terror-palestinian-vineyard-annihilated-with-chainsaws-1.6115

    The grapes are shriveled. The vineyard is dead. Reduced to a large, dried-out, yellowing stain in the heart of the verdant region along Highway 60 where the road runs past the town of Halhoul, north of Hebron. The “yellow wind” that David Grossman wrote about 30 years ago is a dying vineyard here. Two plots of land, with hundreds of vines that were slashed, their stems and shoots sawed off – and within a week everything here had withered and died.

    This is a particularly horrible sight because all the damage was wrought by the hand of man. A wicked, loathsome hand that hates not only Arabs but despises the land itself. In fact, we can assume that it wasn’t just one individual who raided and destroyed this vineyard late Tuesday night last week. To saw off that many plants in such a short time requires a few pairs of nasty hands. And someone also had to smear the threatening words in Hebrew on a rock: “We will reach everywhere.” All before first light illuminated the dark deed.

    When dawn broke, the owner of the vineyard, Dr. Haitham Jahshan, a hematologist, arrived and couldn’t believe his eyes. His vines had been ravaged. First he saw one sawed trunk, then another and another – a sea of butchered vines, whose grapes were grown to be eaten, not for wine – until the full scale of the calamity hit home.

    For his part, Musa Abu Hashhash, a field researcher for the B’Tselem human rights organization, says he’s never seen an act of so-called agricultural crime on this scale.

    When we visited on Monday, Highway 60 was as busy as ever: As the major traffic artery running the length of the West Bank, it serves both Palestinians and settlers. The vineyard lies right next to the road, which has very narrow shoulders at that point. West of the highway looms a fortified Israel Defense Forces observation tower, an Israeli flag flapping above it, where soldiers are present day and night to protect all the local residents and safeguard their property. A network of security cameras covers the road from all directions – yet apparently no one saw anything on that night last week, no one heard the insidious infiltrators or the sounds of the sawing.

    The butchery was obviously done with electric saws – the cuts are precise and sharp, from trunk to trunk, from shoot to shoot, nothing was left untouched, probably to ensure that nothing would remain. Almost all the slashing was done at the same height, about 40 centimeters (15 inches) above ground. A professional job. Many of the trunks look whole, but on closer examination, they too turn out to be cleaved. Some sway between heaven and earth, hanging in space, cut off from their bottom sections and roots. Wounded, scarred, cut in two – nearly 400 slashed vines, according to the owner, Jahshan.

    We follow him, bending over as we pass through row upon row of truncated vines, beneath a ceiling of low iron lattices on which they are tangled and twined. There’s no way to raise your head here, no way to stand up. The soil is clear of stones and has been plowed: Those tending the land here turned the earth over using an all-terrain vehicle on the day after the spoliation, hoping a miracle would occur and the vineyard would begin to revive itself. But the miracle hasn’t happened. It’s clear now that it will be necessary to uproot the entire vineyard and to plant a new one in its place. It will then take three to five years for the first fruits to appear, and some 15 years – the age of the destroyed vineyard – for the crop to reach its optimal yield.

    Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, and so did Dr. Jahshan.

    Though he lives in Halhoul today, Jahshan, 42, studied medicine in Jordan and from 1999 to 2006 did his residency in hematology and molecular genetics at the Hadassah Medical Center and the Herzog Medical Center, both in Jerusalem. Now he runs a blood-disease clinic at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron, but also devotes time to working the land from which his family earns a living. The vineyard covered five dunams, 1.25 acres – 5,000 square meters, he explains.

    During the days that passed between the mutilation of the vineyard and our visit, everything withered, shriveled up. The leaves crumble between one’s fingers, the buds have been reduced to dust. This week’s hot, dry winds finished everything off.

    On his cellphone, Jahshan shows us a photograph of the vineyard from last week, on the day after the assault: still green, like the vineyards to the left and right of his property.

    Last Tuesday, Jahshan, together with his father, uncle and two of his brothers, sprayed the vineyard with pesticides, working from early in the morning until the early evening. They didn’t manage to complete the job and decided to return at first light. They left at about 6 that evening and were back at 6 the next morning – only to be dumbstruck by a sight that they will never forget.

    An empty bag of chocolate milk from the Kibbutz Yotvata dairy lies on the ground amid the vines; perhaps the vandals drank chocolate milk as they savaged the vineyard, sucking and slashing. Their car must have been parked on the narrow shoulders of the highway, visible to everyone and seen by the security cameras.

    In one part of the vineyard the raiders left a row of vines intact, perhaps fearful of being seen and caught. By the time they reached the southern section of it they were more confident, and wreaked total havoc. Great hatred must have driven them, complete meanness of spirit. The closest settlements are a few kilometers from here – Karmei Tzur to the north, Kiryat Arba and Givat Haharsina to the south. The immediate suspicion falls on their residents.

    This is the highest spot in the West Bank and the terroir is excellent, the physician-vine grower tells us; he only watered the vineyard once or twice a year from a well at its edge, otherwise depending on rainfall. A few types of grapes were grown here, white and dark. From each sundered trunk, the yield was usually 10-15 cartons of fruit, about 150 kilos of grapes.

    We take refuge from the heat in the shade of a peach tree in a nearby plot that has begun to yield fruit. “It was a vineyard at the height of its yield: 10 tons of grapes a year,” Jahshan tells us. In the years ahead, he won’t be harvesting the leaves, either, which sell for 25 shekels ($7) a kilo in the Hebron market. The harvest was due to begin in September – it starts later here, in the Hebron Hills – but now it’s been postponed indefinitely.

    “Maybe I’ll plant pakos [Armenian cucumbers] instead of grapes,” he muses, and then immediately corrects himself. “Of course I’ll plant grapes again.” If he or someone from his family come to the vineyard after dark, he adds, the army or the police arrive within minutes: “They see everything, but somehow they didn’t see the vandals.”

    Jahshan estimates the damage done to him and his family at about 250,000 shekels ($70,000), though it’s quite clear that the money is not his prime concern. He feels that there is no one to protect him and his property.

    When he and his relatives arrived Wednesday morning they didn’t see anything amiss at first. The vineyard was still green. Even after he saw one vine cut, he never imagined that the whole vineyard had been ruined. They went immediately to the Halhoul Municipality, and from there called the Israeli-Palestinian District Coordination and Liaison Office to file a complaint. They called the police and the Israel Defense Forces, too, and were asked to go back to the vineyard, where police and army officers met them to survey the damage at about 11 o’clock.

    A tracker examined footprints, photographs were taken, and Jahshan and the others were asked to go to the Kiryat Arba police station to file a complaint. It was the police who discovered the black inscription, “We will reach everywhere,” hidden amid the rocks. Jahshan hadn’t noticed it. Since then he hasn’t heard anything from the authorities.

    Shlomit Bakshi, spokeswoman of the Judea and Samaria District of the Israel Police, told Haaretz, “Upon receiving the complaint, the police launched an investigation and several actions were taken. At this stage, the investigation is still underway.”

    Jahshan comments drily that he hopes the police will find the culprits and bring them to justice, but adds, “If a child here had thrown a stone, they would have caught him already.”

    Perhaps the intensive investigation will get an essential boost from Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who on Tuesday tweeted, “Ratcheting up the uncompromising war on agricultural crime. No longer mild punishment without deterrence Yesterday, a bill I sponsored was passed [by the Knesset] in the first vote [of three], stipulating that a police officer can levy a stiff fine in offenses involving agricultural crime. That way the criminal will receive immediate painful economic punishment.”

    Agricultural crime, stiff and painful punishment – Shaked was undoubtedly referring also, perhaps even mainly, to the ongoing, routine agricultural terror perpetrated by Jewish vandals against Palestinian farmers.


  • Top IDF spokesperson tells U.S. Jews: Israel failed to minimize Gaza casualties, Hamas won PR war by knockout

    Israeli military’s international spokesman says some Palestinians ‘that weren’t the target’ were hit, but fiercely defended the military’s response
    Uri Blau | May 17, 2018 | 3:28 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-hamas-won-pr-war-we-failed-on-gaza-causalities-admits-israeli-spok

    A senior Israeli army spokesman admitted Tuesday that Israel failed to minimize the number of Palestinian casualties during the recent deadly protests on the Gaza border, and that some were hit by mistake. He added that Hamas won the PR war by a “knockout.”

    Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, the international spokesman and head of social media for the Israel Defense Forces, made the comments during a Jewish community briefing organized by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA).

    The officer fiercely defended the military’s response to the recent protests along the Gaza border, in which more than 100 Palestinians were killed and thousands more wounded, most of them by live fire.

    Many commentators have said Hamas won a PR victory following the worldwide media coverage given to the bloody scenes, especially following Monday’s juxtaposition of scenes on the Gaza border and the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

    Conricus said Israel hasn’t been able to explain the situation on the border well enough to the international media.

    “We haven’t been able to get that message out of how it is from our side, what we are defending – and the ‘winning picture’ overwhelmingly, by a knockout, unfortunately, have been the graphics from the Palestinian side. The amount of casualties has done us a tremendous disservice, unfortunately, and it has been very difficult to tell our story.”

    Conricus acknowledged that the IDF had failed to minimize the number of casualties. However, he noted that “Hamas wanted the casualties. Hamas wanted people to die. Hamas wanted the pictures of the wounded and the overflowing hospitals ... and they had no problems sending the human shields forward. That is the sad reality of what we have been facing,” he said.

    While blaming Hamas for sending “rioters” to the border area and using civilians as human shields, Conricus also conceded that the army snipers didn’t always hit their intended targets.(...)


  • The IDF’s Unit 9900: ‘Seeing’ their service come to fruition | JNS.org
    https://www.jns.org/the-idfs-unit-9900-seeing-their-service-come-to-fruition
    BY YAAKOV LAPPIN
    11.05.2018


    Cpl. O (face hidden for security purposes).
    Credit: IDF Spokesman Unit.

    The secretive and sensitive Unit 9900, which specializes in visual intelligence and plays an essential role in the activities of the Israel Defense Forces, has received some 100 autistic volunteer soldiers so far.

    (May 4, 2018 / JNS) A program designed to integrate young people on the autistic spectrum into the military—in fields where they have a relative advantage—is proving to be a “win-win” for all involved.

    The program, dubbed “Seeing Afar,” which is jointly run by the IDF and the Ono Academic College, is now in its fifth year. It includes a training course that teaches autistic youths to decipher aerial and satellite visual-intelligence images, based on their enhanced visual ability and their tendency towards patience, which allow them to explore the minutest details—an essential attribute for this role, an officer from an intelligence unit that received the volunteers has told JNS.

    The secretive and sensitive Unit 9900, which specializes in visual intelligence and plays an essential role in the activities of the Israel Defense Forces, has received some 100 autistic volunteer soldiers so far.

    Cpl. O (full name withheld) is one of them. He spent 10 months deciphering visual-intelligence images, helping the IDF track down suspicious enemy movements, before working to train others like him to do the same.

    When I first arrived here, I still felt like a civilian,” Cpl. O told JNS in an interview. Gradually, however, he began to feel like an organic part of the military.

    He described what it was like to sift through intelligence images, searching for that needle in the haystack.

    You search and search, and don’t find it at first. Sometimes, it feels like forever until you find it. But when you do, it certainly brings satisfaction,” said Cpl. O. “There were whole days that I couldn’t find what I was looking for. On other days, I’d locate it in every picture—six pictures in a row. On those days, I wanted to look for more! Sometimes, it feels empty; other times, full. Everything I found has given me satisfaction. It was a step forward that brought us all toward the goal.

    Asked what it takes to get good at this unusual work, which is critical to national security, Cpl. O said: “Deciphering aerial images is like everything else. You need experience and endurance. No one was born knowing how to decipher aerial images. [Guitar legend] Jimmy Hendrix got good with practice. We also trained, and then we started working, getting to know this work. It takes time until you become professional—a lot of time.


  • Video shows Palestinians from Gaza cut border fence, enter Israeli territory
    Haaretz.com | Palestinians report six wounded, one seriously, by live fire at protests near border. Israeli army says it shot toward Palestinians who tried to damage fence
    Jack Khoury and Yaniv Kubovich May 05, 2018 6:31 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/video-shows-palestinians-from-gaza-cut-fence-enter-israeli-territory-1.6054
    https://youtu.be/X4Z0noNhI2Q

    In the video, several Palestinians are seen approaching the fence and shouting, with one shouting “God is with us, we are crossing the fence.” The young man goes on to encourage the others to damage the fence and cross through it.

    The Israel Defense Forces said Friday that it had thwarted two attempts by protesters to damage the fence and cross into Israeli territory. The protesters turned back after troops arrived, the army said.

    Attempts by Palestinians in Gaza to cross into Israeli territory continued on Saturday, the IDF spokesman said.


  • Despite Iran’s threats, Israeli army pushes aggressive line against Tehran in Syria

    IDF believes Iran won’t strike back before Trump’s deadline on nuclear deal, elections in Lebanon

    Amos Harel May 04, 2018
    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-israeli-army-chief-eisenkot-stay-forceful-in-syria-despite-iran-1.

    Both the government and the military are sticking to an aggressive policy on Iran, arguing that Israel must continue to act in any way possible to stop Iran’s military consolidation in Syria.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Even after the two latest airstrikes attributed to Israel in Syria, on April 9 and April 29, and despite Iran’s threats of revenge, there has been no sign of any change in Israeli policy.
    The person spearheading this activist policy in the north is Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, whose position is backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Reportedly, no cabinet minister has voiced opposition to the IDF’s stance, despite the risks it entails.
    According to the defense establishment’s analysis, Iran continues to send advanced weapons systems to Syria. But these arms are no longer necessarily slated to be passed on to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Instead, they are being used to bolster Iran’s military deployment in Syria, and may even be meant to prepare an Iranian military response against Israel.

    For now, however, Tehran seems to be debating over the nature of its promised retaliation against Israel, and even more, over its timing.
    One theory being advanced is that Tehran may be reluctant to respond prior to Lebanon’s parliamentary elections this coming Sunday and U.S. President Donald Trump’s expected announcement on May 12 as to whether his country is quitting the nuclear agreement with Iran. Israel’s announcement of the theft of Iran’s nuclear archive by Mossad agents is likely to increase Iranian leaders’ embarrassment.


  • Gaza
    Once again: Stop shooting
    – Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/once-again-stop-shooting-1.6032762

    This Friday the “March of Return” demonstrators in the Gaza Strip will once again face off with Israel Defense Forces soldiers. But this Friday must not, for the fifth time in a row, become the last day in the lives of yet more desperate but unarmed young men who aren’t endangering anyone, or the day on which more and more young demonstrators become disabled for the rest of their lives.
    Whether this happens is in the hands of the IDF and its officers. This fifth Friday in the ongoing series of demonstrations must finally bring the cessation of the IDF’s use of potentially lethal fire at unarmed demonstrators. It must end without casualties.
    >> Hamas hijacked the Gaza protests ■ Killing of Gaza protesters undermines Israel’s claims of self-defense >>
    On Wednesday, the 40th victim of this shooting at demonstrators died of his wounds. The victim was press photographer Ahmed Abu Hussein, who was severely wounded in the stomach two weeks ago by a sniper’s bullet.
    Abu Hussein was one of only four casualties, including an 11-year-old boy who lost his leg, whom Israel allowed to be sent to a hospital in Ramallah. And even those four were allowed to be transferred only after a petition to the High Court of Justice. Of the 5,511 people who have so far been wounded in the demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel border fence, some 1,700 were wounded by live bullets.

    According to doctors in Gaza, the wounds during these demonstrations have been especially severe. Thousands of wounded is a frightening statistic considering that the demonstrators whom the army is confronting are unarmed and, as a rule, nonviolent. Given the collapse of Gaza’s health system, the fact that the defense establishment, on orders from Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, isn’t letting more of the casualties receive treatment in Ramallah or Israel adds insult to injury. Abu Hussein ultimately died in an Israeli hospital, after his condition deteriorated.

    The 40 people who have been killed in the demonstrations were all young, and two were children. Their deaths could have been avoided had restrictions been imposed on the IDF’s use of live fire against the protesters.
    The consistent, ongoing decline in the number of casualties from week to week isn’t only due to the decline in the number of demonstrators from week to week. It also attests to relative restraint in the conduct of IDF soldiers. But this isn’t enough. Starting on Friday, the IDF must set itself a clear goal – zero Palestinian casualties as long as they aren’t endangering anyone’s life.


  • Seven things you need to know about Israel’s latest attack on #Gaza
    http://mondoweiss.net/2018/04/things-israels-latest

    1. Israel’s killings were premeditated.

    2. Israeli violence had nothing to do with “security.”

    3. There were no “clashes.”
    Again, I defer to Israeli propaganda. How many injuries to Israeli soldiers have even been claimed in the tsunami of apologetics pouring out of Tel Aviv this week? Zero. How much damage to Israeli property? Zero. How many Israeli civilians threatened? Zero. How many breaches in that precious “security fence”? Zero.

    4. Israel targeted its victims for political reasons.
    And yes, Virginia, there is a name for that sort of lethal conduct: the name is terrorism. Israel directed deliberate, deadly violence at Gaza’s civilians with the express goal of intimidating potential dissenters. It requires astonishing #chutzpah for the orchestrators of terrorism on such a scale to accuse their victims of being terrorists. But chutzpah is one thing Israel seldom lacks.

    5. Israel commits its crimes because the U.S. lets it.
    Like other bullies, Israel fights only where it cannot lose.

    6. Mainstream media, and Jewish organizations, assist in the cover-up.
    The proliferation of apologetics in mainstream media for Israel’s deadly violence has been so instantaneous, and so nauseating, that I will only sample the field briefly. Sticking to the liberal end of the spectrum, one finds Ha’aretz‘s #Amos_Harel lamenting that “Hamas…has found a more effective way of creating friction with the #Israel Defense Forces than firing rockets and carrying out attacks through its tunnels.” (How nasty of those Palestinians to get themselves killed just to ruin the mornings of some IDF brass!) In fact, Harel notes, the Gazans have proved so treacherous that “despite the large number of Palestinian casualties not a single rocket has been fired into Israel from the Strip.” What’s a besieger to do? The more lopsided its violence, the easier it is to hurt poor Israel’s feelings.

    7. Israel’s #crimes will continue until we make it stop.

    #terrorisme


  • Israel faces historic decision as new population figures emerge
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/04/israel-palestinians-demography-jordan-river-apartheid.html

    The Israeli political right was caught off guard by the surprising official figures presented on March 26 at the Knesset by a representative of the Civil Administration, the army unit coordinating the Israeli government’s activities in the occupied territories. The representative indicated that the number of Jews and Arabs living under Israeli control in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean had reached parity at 6.5 million for each side.

    Over the years, the Zionist left kept warning about the prospect of a Jewish minority in Israel controlling a Palestinian majority, with only a small number of them enjoying full civil rights. Yet the Israeli right kept dismissing these warnings. It countered with imaginary data showing that some 3 million Palestinians live in Israel and the occupied territories, compared with 6.5 million Jews. However, from the moment the true numbers were communicated to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee with the new data last week by the Israel Defense Forces, the leadership of the political right can no longer argue that political bias is skewing the figures. It is now forced to confront the figures.

    (...)

    With the official military announcement of Jewish-Arab parity between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is facing the historic decision it has been trying to postpone or repress. Israel is far from being an apartheid state currently, but if it opts for minority rule of an Arab majority, it will have no choice but to adopt apartheid methods. Precluding this option would spell the end of the Zionist idea: Israel will turn into a Palestinian state, probably a nondemocratic one, with a Jewish minority.

    A decision to divide the land in order to ensure its continued Jewish and democratic nature would best be carried out through an imperfect agreement, based on Israel’s 1967 borders, implementing the UN’s Partition Resolution — this time with Palestinian approval. Barring that option, a unilateral withdrawal such as the 2005 Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip would also be preferable to preserving the status quo.

    L’auteur : Yossi Beilin, Ph.D., served in various positions in the Knesset and in Israeli government posts, the last of which was justice and religious affairs minister. After resigning from Israeli Labor, Beilin headed the Meretz Party. Among other things, he initiated the Oslo process, the Beilin-Abu Mazen agreement, the Geneva Initiative and the Birthright project

    #palestine #israël #démographie


  • ’Shoot anyone breaching the fence’: Israeli army gears up for Gaza mass protest -
    Israeli army calling up snipers and extra soldiers to help local troops deal with Friday’s demonstration ■ Defense officials certain army can prevent Palestinian from crossing Gaza border

    Yaniv Kubovich Mar 29, 2018 10:07 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-army-gears-up-for-gaza-mass-protest-1.5957896

    The defense establishment believes that the army will succeed in preventing Gazans from crossing the border into Israel during the March of Return scheduled for Friday, even if that means Palestinian deaths.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Defense officials said Gaza residents do not seem eager to take part in the event, but Hamas is making efforts to bring as many of them as possible to the fence on Friday. As a result, the troops may have to deal with a particularly large demonstration.
    <<This Friday, Israel’s Tear Gas and Tanks Will Confront Palestinian Marchers. But Brute Force Can’t Be Israel’s Only Answer |Opinion

    A Palestinian poster calling for people to join ’The Great March of Return’ on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, March 30 2018
    Over the last few days the Israel Defense Forces has warned that it would open fire on anyone who tries to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
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    The IDF has brought a brigade, snipers and soldiers from various courses, to help local troops deal with Friday’s demonstration. The snipers have been instructed to shoot demonstrators who breach the fence.
    In a ceremony marking a change of Military Intelligence commanders on Wednesday, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the situation in Gaza is “highly explosive” and “threatens to damage the sensitive life fabric and safety of the region’s residents.”

    <<Israel’s Defense Minister Says There’s No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza. Here Are the Facts<<
    Eizenkot visited the Gaza division several times this week to supervise the preparations. On Wednesday he and Shin Bet chief Argaman presented to the cabinet ministers preparations and intelligence evaluations ahead of the events, noting that stopping the Palestinians from crossing the fence and entering Israel was the troops’ main task.
    They also presented a scenario in which a large crowd comes to the tent compound on the other side of the fence. The assessment is that the army will manage to handle the event, though possibly only at the cost of Palestinian fatalities.

    ’Grandfather, we will return soon’ - Palestinian poster ahead of ’The Great Return March’
    On Wednesday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, warned the Palestinian bus companies slated to carry demonstrators to the fence that their entry permits would be revoked.
    “We contacted more than 20 bus companies in Gaza, who were paid by Hamas to take people to violent demonstrations and warned that we’ll take personal steps against their owners,” he said.
    Preparations for Friday’s event come in the wake of growing tension along the Gaza border and several attempts — some successful — to cross it.
    On Wednesday, the army struck two Hamas observation posts in the northern Gaza Strip after two Palestinians set a fire near the border fence. The suspects did not cross into Israel.
    Also Wednesday, a Palestinian from Gaza was arrested on the Zikim beach in Israel near the Gaza border and taken in for questioning. He was unarmed.
    On Tuesday, three Palestinians, armed with grenades and knives, were found and arrested after infiltrating 20 kilometers into Israeli territory. On Saturday, Israel struck Hamas targets after four Palestinians carrying bottles filled with flammable material approached the fence on foot and managed to cross the border into Israel near Kibbutz Kissufim.
    The army also said it will impose a closure on the West Bank and Gaza crossings for the duration of the Passover holiday. The closure will begin Thursday at midnight and be lifted on Saturday, April 7. The army added that passage will be allowed for humanitarian and medical cases, pending approval by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.


  • Graham au Wall Street Journal : il est urgent d’aider #Israël à massacrer des #civils libanais.
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/378130-graham-after-unnerving-visit-to-middle-east-iran-is-winning

    Avec un ennemi pareil le Hezbollah a-t-il besoin d’amis ? Des mensonges aussi scandaleux sont le meilleur moyen pour réunir un maximum de personnes derrière lui, aussi diverses que ces personnes puissent être.

    “The Israel Defense Forces informed us that Hezbollah - with Iran’s help - is manufacturing precision-guided weapons there. Under the nose of Unifil, there are thousands of intermediate-range rockets and missiles pointed at Israel,” Graham said, referring to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. "Soon Israel will have to attack these rocket sites, which Hezbollah has integrated into civilian infrastructure such as apartment buildings, schools and hospitals.

    #assassins #criminels #Etats-Unis


  • Mahmoud Abbas’ health deteriorates, and Israel prepares for bloody succession fight -

    Head of West Bank’s Palestinian Authority was hospitalized for tests in U.S. at end of February

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-health-of-palestinian-leader-mahmoud-abbas-82-deteriorates-in-rece

    Amos Harel Mar 07, 2018

    ❝In recent months there has been a deterioration in the health of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who will be 83 at the end of the month. Information about his health has been submitted to Israeli political and security officials.
    Although the security cooperation between Israel and the PA continues to be managed well, Israel is readying itself for the possibility that a continued worsening of Abbas’ health will intensify the succession wars in the PA and undermine the relative stability that now prevails in the West Bank.
    At the end of last month, while he was in the United States to address the UN General Assembly in New York, Abbas was hospitalized for a few hours for tests in a Baltimore hospital. He also underwent tests in a Ramallah hospital last July. In both instances, the PA spokesman issued denials regarding illnesses Abbas supposedly had and insisted that his medical condition was satisfactory. Abbas himself, in an interview with Palestinian television on February 22, said he was in good health.
    However, Palestinian activists opposed to Abbas’ regime claim that he’s ill and getting worse. There was even a claim on social media that he was suffering from cancer of the digestive system. This claim was never confirmed.
    Some 20 years ago Abbas was operated on for prostate cancer, and the surgery was said to be successful.

    The PA president has cut down his work hours over the past year. People around him say he seems to be getting more short-tempered and argumentative with his aides and other senior PA officials. Aside from his health and advancing age, Abbas’ behavior seems to indicate that the PA, and his leadership, are facing a crisis.

    The main reason is the bad relationship with the Trump administration and the United States clearly positioning itself on Israel’s side with regard to its diplomatic dispute with the Palestinians. This American position is accompanied by other moves that are liable to undermine the Palestinian economy, like pushing the Taylor Force law through Congress (which limits American aid to the PA because of its financial support for imprisoned terrorists and their families) and the plan to reduce support for UNRWA, the United Nations’ refugee agency.
    At Abbas’ orders, the PA security agencies are continuing to closely coordinate with the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet security service, and they are regularly assisting in the rescue of Israelis who stray into Area A, which is under PA control. In closed forums with foreign diplomats, senior PA officials admit that the IDF is showing restraint in the West Bank and its approach is preventing violent flare-ups.
    But as Abbas’ health gets worse, the battle among the many contenders hoping to succeed him will intensify. There are nearly 10 Palestinian politicians and security officials who see themselves worthy of the job, and there could be temporary alliances formed between some of them in an effort to win the leadership of PA. Israel is concerned about the instability that could ensue the closer the end of Abbas’ tenure seems – and is concerned that the internal tension will impact the degree to which the PA security services will work to prevent attacks on the IDF and Israeli civilians in the West Bank.


  • First, Israeli troops shot a Palestinian armed with a chunk of metal. Then, they beat him to death

    IDF sources maintain the soldiers didn’t notice a bullet had hit Yasin al-Saradih, and thus proceeded to ram him with their rifles, kick him in the head and drag him away

    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Mar 01, 2018

    Yasin al-Saradih’s doomsday weapon is now lying in the yard of his home on Dmitry Medvedev Street in Jericho, draped with Palestinian and Fatah flags. It is the rim of a car wheel with a pipe coming up from its center. Altogether, 25 kilos of iron, which the proprietor of the bicycle store on Moskobiya Street in the center of town usually puts outside on the street to hold a parking place for his clients. Saradih, who was 36 years old, hoisted the device onto his shoulders and ran toward the Israel Defense Forces soldiers who had invaded his city in the middle of the night, between Wednesday and Thursday last week. Soldiers raid Jericho, the most tranquil town in the occupied territories, almost every night on a pretext of “carrying out arrests.”
    The same pattern was repeated last week: A few dozen soldiers from the religiously observant Lavi Battalion had entered the city center – perhaps to demonstrate a presence, perhaps to maintain operational vigilance, perhaps to haze local residents or maybe as part of their training. As far as is known, they didn’t arrest anyone. They only killed Saradih, the first fatality inflicted here by the IDF in almost 15 years.
    If quiet Jericho can be ignited, too, then why not? The access road to the city is now littered with stones and scorched tires, between the casino and the hotel, two silent monuments to former dreams of peace – “Jericho first.”
    skip - Btselem Jericho
    Btselem Jericho - דלג

    The footage from the security camera that documented the events on Moskobiya Street does not make for easy watching. Saradih is seen running along the street, the tire rim on his shoulders. A soldier steps out of an alley and shoots him from point-blank range. Saradih collapses immediately after the shot, and then soldiers swarm around him, and beat and kick him all over his body. This one kicks him, another rams him with his rifle butt – they’re venting their anger, the soldiers from Lavi, the battalion that ostensibly stands for morality and lofty values.

    Then they drag Saradih into the alley, like a carcass in the market. One of them continues kicking him in the head. A lynching, there’s no other word for it. Finally the soldiers are seen putting him in a military vehicle. It’s not clear how long he lay there without being given any medical aid. He may have bled to death in the vehicle.
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    This week we visited the spot where it all happened, together with Aref Daraghmeh, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, who arrived at the site a few hours after the killing. He says that no bloodstains were visible at the scene of the event. Perhaps that’s why the IDF claimed initially that Saradih died from tear gas fired by the soldiers. The autopsy, however, showed that he died from a gunshot – or possibly from the combination of being shot, undergoing a vicious beating and not being given medical assistance in time. The Military Police are still investigating.

    Sources in the IDF told us this week that the soldiers maintain that they didn’t know a bullet had struck their victim (even though he’d been shot from close to zero range and immediately fell to the ground), and that’s why they kicked and punched him all over. The army medical team that examined Saradih also failed to notice the gunshot wound, the sources reported.
    It’s odd: The autopsy performed at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir, Tel Aviv – whose results were not officially publicized – revealed an entry wound and an exit wound caused by a bullet, and also bloodstains on the victim’s hip and lower abdomen, as well as on his clothes.
    The army, however, stated that he died from tear gas inhalation. The soldiers also claimed that Saradih tried to snatch the weapon of one of them after he was shot, though there is no support for this in the video footage. They also say they found a knife on him.
    The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit issued the following statement to Haaretz this week: “In the wake of the incident, and because the terrorist died after he had already been detained by IDF soldiers, a Military Police investigation has been launched, in which framework the circumstances of his death are being examined. An autopsy was also performed on the terrorist’s body. In parallel, a full operational debriefing of the event is continuing.”

    Yasin al-Saradih
    When the troops reached Jericho, after 1 A.M. on Thursday, a few dozen young people – about 50, according to the IDF – confronted them and began throwing stones. Only a few dozen meters separate the site of the deadly incident and the Jericho police station. But as usual, as per the occupier’s demand, Palestinian police officers were compelled to remain out of sight inside the station until things calmed down and the soldiers had gone.
    A second tire rim stood on the road in front of the bike shop this week, to ensure a parking place for customers. Nearby booths were buckling under the abundance of the fruits and vegetables that paint the streets in a panoply of colors, a uniquely Jericho sight.
    Before the soldiers killed Saradih, they entered the house at the far end of the same alley from which they burst out. This is the ornate, colorful home of five Barahama siblings – four sisters and their brother, all of them unmarried – and their father, Mahmoud, who’s 86. A few big white, mangy street dogs roam about in the yard.
    The brother, Mohammed, arrived home after midnight that Thursday morning, and made himself a cup of coffee, Hanan, one of the sisters, tells us this week when we visit. They heard noise and then the troops arrived and entered the house, it’s not clear why. Some members of the household were sleeping. Mohammed asked the soldiers not to make noise, because their father is very ill. The soldiers searched the house and left. Naturally, they didn’t explain to anyone what they were looking for and why they appeared so late at night. “The soldiers themselves don’t know why,” one local resident suggests.
    A few minutes after the soldiers departed, Mohammed saw them standing over someone who was lying on the ground at the other end of the alley. He and his sisters didn’t realize that it was their cousin, Yasin Saradih. They hadn’t heard the shot.
    Medvedev Street. Opposite the victim’s home is the Russian museum that was dedicated by the prime minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev, when he visited the city, on November 11, 2016. The street’s name, previously Al-Jumeisi (Sycamore), was changed in honor the dignitary’s visit. A mourning notice for Yasin Saradih, who lived on the street, has now been affixed to the marble plaque commemorating the dedication. On the other side of the street is a branch of the Cairo Amman Bank.
    A magnificent, ancient sycamore stands at the end of Medvedev Street, in the center of a well-tended lawn. In the absence of any other passers-by, a souvenir hawker tries desperately to interest us in the story of this amazing tree. Biblical tradition has it that this is the very same tree that Jericho tax collector Zacchaeus, who was a short man, climbed up in order to see Jesus when the latter passed throughthe city. Zacchaeus was hated in the city, because he was thought to be a collaborator with its Roman occupiers, but to everyone’s astonishment Jesus chose to stay in his house, the Book of Luke (chapter 19) relates.
    Three palm trees grace the tiled courtyard of the one-story house where the bereaved family is now sitting in a circle, on plastic chairs. Their grief at the loss of Yasin is compounded by the fact that Israel has to date refused to return the body. No one can explain what prompted Yasin to hoist the tire rim onto his shoulders and run toward the soldiers. He had never been arrested. A promising soccer player on the local Al-Hilal team, his career was cut short by two incidents in which he was shot in the leg by Israeli soldiers, once in 2000 and again in 2004. The large memorial poster that hangs in the courtyard shows him in the team’s red uniform. Despite his wounds, he remained an active member of the club. During the past few years, Yasin had worked for a relative who has a store that sells dates. He never married.
    The bereaved mother, Subbaiah, is 70. She has one surviving son and seven daughters; Yasin was the youngest. Her eyes are dry, she shows no outward emotion. But when we ask if she’s seen the video footage, she breaks into bitter tears. She watched the footage once, later on the same day Yasin was killed, but has not been able to bring herself to view it again. It broke her heart to see the soldiers beating her son as he lay helpless on the ground. She initially thought the soldiers had arrested him and taken him away. No one told her at first that her son was dead.
    Dawn broke and he still hadn’t returned. At 6 A.M., Subbaiah went to the home of her cousins the Barahamas, to find out what happened to Yasin. He’ll be back, they told her, he’ll be back: The soldiers took him. It wasn’t until that afternoon, 12 hours after the soldiers killed Yasin, that she learned the horrific truth, from a relative. Her son Ismail says he had already heard what happened at 7 A.M., when he was at work, but didn’t dare tell his mother.
    On the last evening of his life, Yasin was in good spirits, Subbaiah recalls. He went to friends around 8 o’clock to watch a soccer game on television, as he often did. She never saw him again. What made him charge at the soldiers? That will probably never be known. His mother still cannot grasp why the soldiers kicked him and why they didn’t summon an ambulance to take him to the hospital.


  • The Israeli army’s libido to destroy
    The public accepts any military operation, as long as it ends with Palestinian bereavement and flattened Palestinian houses
    Amira Hass Jan 22, 2018 11:13 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-israeli-army-s-libido-to-destroy-1.5751612

    Is it the Border Police spokesman or the Israel Defense Forces’ mouthpiece? Who is supposed to reply to a Haaretz query asking why our forces demolished four dwellings in last week’s raid on the Wad Burqin neighborhood in Jenin, whereas official reports led us to believe it was only one?

    Was someone embarrassed? After all, there is no need to hide the results of our libido for destruction from the Israeli public. The public accepts any military operation, as long as it ends with Palestinian bereavement and flattened Palestinian houses. Our crowds in the Colosseum like to touch the collective vengeance and the suspicions of the Shin Bet security service are more sacred to them than biblical verses. Even the so-called Supermarket Law could not divert attention away from the soothing sight of ever more piles of rubble, under which lie notebooks, schoolbags, blood pressure medication, school report cards and toothbrushes belonging to 18 people.

    On Saturday afternoon, as I was returning from the scenes of devastation in Wad Burqin, which is next to the Jenin refugee camp, the IDF spokesman directed me to the Border Police and the Shin Bet. I followed the advice. The Shin Bet never answered. The Border Police spokesman wrote back: “The overall response will be given by the army.” This response never arrived and the article on the raid was filed without it. On Monday a soldier at the army spokesperson’s office told me that “the incident was managed by the Border Police, from beginning to end. They have to supply answers.”

    Is this game of Ping-Pong an indirect admission that the raid failed? Ahmed Nasser Jarrar, the suspect in the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevah in the West Bank earlier this month, was not found even after we fired a missile at his mother Khitam’s home, after which it caught fire and was razed by our bulldozers.

    To the extended Jarrar family, all its children and its elderly, who endured a night of terror, the confusion between Border Police and army spokesmen makes no difference. Ahmed Nasser’s cousin, Ahmed Ismail, was killed. Israel is holding on to his body; an empty hole in the ground, dug immediately after his death, is waiting. Our forces reported that he opened fire and wounded two of our policemen. His brother Mohammed says that the two of them left the house together to finish talking about family matters. They parted near the house of the widow Khitam. Mohammed returned home and Ismail went to sleep at a friend’s house. If he did open fire at the armed invaders, it’s a source of pride for the family, not just pain. However, the family finds it hard to believe that this happened, since Ismail wasn’t interested in guns.

    According to Palestinian reports, the people injured in the raid are from the Jenin refugee camp. Three of the arrested men (one of whom has been released) were apprehended outside the neighborhood. They are not members of the Jarrar family. Except for Ismail, whose involvement is still unclear, it seems that if there were Palestinians who opened fire at the armed Israelis, they were not from the Jarrar family.

    But four of the family’s homes were demolished. Acting casually, our wonderful boys shelled and demolished Khitam’s house in a cruel and sadistic procedure called “the pressure cooker,” which takes revenge against the entire family without a trial, under the guise of operational necessity. And Ismail’s house? Was that an operational necessity too? The impression is that it was demolished as collective punishment after an on-the-spot trial, after the special forces were enraged that two of its members were wounded and determined that Ismail was the one who had fired at them. Without warning or delay, the bulldozers plowed into the house of Ali and Nasim Jarrar while their family members, the youngest one six years old, were inside. The choice was to die under the bulldozers or to risk being shot as you ran out. They were caught by soldiers when they fled through a back door. They were detained and then released while our bulldozers completed the job.

    We also pulverized one more unpopulated old stone building known as Dar Alhajat. The last people to live in it were two elderly sisters. The extended family’s children used to go there to play and be pampered. The children and grandchildren of this family will continue to bear the torch of fury and revulsion directed at the destroyers.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/661002