organization:israel police

  • ’Entrance not permitted to minorities’: Jerusalem City Hall’s discriminatory regulations to kindergartens
    The Reform movement in Israel’s advocacy arm is demanding that the city change the instructions it distributed, which violate the law
    Nir Hasson | Apr 20, 2019 9:22 PM |

    The Israel Reform movement’s anti-racism organization is demanding the Jerusalem Municipality immediately cancel instructions ordering kindergarten teachers and support staff deny entry to people belonging to minority groups.

    The instructions, published by the emergency and security department of the Jerusalem municipality and distributed to the city’s kindergartens and pre-schools, order that “outsiders many not enter kindergarten premises,” adding that “as a rule, entrance is not permitted to minority groups.”

    According to the instructions, if minority groups want to enter the school, “the local security officer must be notified.” In Israel, the Hebrew term “minority groups” usually refers to Arabs and other non-Jews.

    In its appeal, the Racism Crisis Center, operated by the Israel Religious Action Center - the advocacy arm of the Reform movement in Israel - said that the municipality instructions to comprehensively prohibit outsiders and non-Jewish minorities from entering kindergartens harm their right to human dignity and equality, and therefore is wrong, illegal and forbidden.

    “Arabs in Israel are viewed as dangerous as it is, even in the absence of any real and specific indication that they pose a potential threat. As a result, they become immediate suspects, and are targeted, more than any other sector, due to alleged security reasons which are based on religious and ethnic stereotypes,” the letter states.

    “אין לאפשר כניסת זרים לגן. ככל, אין אישור לכניסת מיעוטים”
    זו ההוראה של עיירית ירושליםם לגנים. בני מיעוטים, גם אם הינם אזרחי ותושבי המדינה, הם בגדר זרים, ומסוכנים בברירת המחדל!.
    בעירייה אמרו שיתקנו את ההוראה - אבל מה עוד צפוי לנו אם הגזען סמוטריץ’ יעמוד בראש משרד החינוך?
    — MK Aida Touma-Sliman (@AidaTuma) April 18, 2019

    Tweet by Touma-Sliman with a photo of the Jerusalem Municipality instructions.

    The appeal adds that “protecting the security of kindergarten children and personnel is of the utmost importance. However, the security considerations, as important and worthy as they may be, don’t justify the gross discrimination against non-Jews. We request that the municipality reexamine the matter and retract any instruction that discriminates against minorities.”

    The Jerusalem municipality said in response that “security procedures for educational facilities are set by the Israel Police and the Education Ministry. The Jerusalem municipality operates in accordance with those procedures. The instructions you are referring to were distributed a year and a half ago. We are grateful for the attention paid to the manner the instruction was written and we will act to fix it soon.”

    Arab Member of Knesset Aida Touma-Sliman tweeted in response, “Minority groups, even if they are citizens and residents of the country, are seen as foreigners and dangerous by default … What else awaits us if that racist [MK Bezalel] Smotrich is appointed as head of the education ministry?” - referring to far-right, newly reelected Knesset member, who is said to likely be the next education minister


    • « Entrée interdite aux minorités » : les règlements discriminatoires imposés aux jardins d’enfants par l’Hôtel de Ville de Jérusalem
      22 avril | Nir Hasson pour Haaretz |Traduction SM pour l’AURDIP

      La branche du mouvement réformiste israélien chargée du plaidoyer demande à la Ville de modifier des directives qui violent la loi

      L’organisme antiraciste du mouvement réformiste israélien demande à la municipalité de Jérusalem d’annuler immédiatement des directives enjoignant au personnel enseignant et de service des jardins d’enfants de refuser l’accès aux personnes qui appartiennent à des groupes minoritaires.
      Ces directives, publiées par le département Urgence et sécurité de la municipalité de Jérusalem et distribuées aux jardins d’enfants et écoles maternelles de la ville, indiquent que « les personnes extérieures à l’établissement ne doivent pas pénétrer dans ses locaux », précisant qu’« en règle générale, l’entrée n’est pas autorisée aux membres de groupes minoritaires ».

      Selon les directives, si des membres de groupes minoritaires souhaitent pénétrer dans l’école, « l’agent de sécurité local doit être prévenu ». En Israël, le terme hébreu « groupes minoritaires » désigne habituellement les Arabes et autres non-Juifs.

      Dans sa demande, le Centre de lutte contre le racisme (IRAC), qui dépend du Centre israélien d’action religieuse - branche du mouvement réformiste israélien chargée du plaidoyer – souligne que les directives de la municipalité interdisant globalement aux personnes extérieures à l’établissement et aux minorités non juives de pénétrer dans les jardins d’enfants bafouent leur droit à la dignité humaine et à l’égalité, et qu’elles sont donc condamnables, illégales et inadmissibles.

  • ’The formation of an educated class must be averted’: How Israel marginalized Arabs from the start - Israel News -

    As early as 60 years ago, Israel’s political leadership gave up on the attempt to integrate the country’s Arabs and grant them equal citizenship. A document drawn up for an internal discussion in Mapai, the ruling party and forerunner of Labor, in September 1959, proposed the implementation of policy based on the following approach: “We should continue to exhaust all the possibilities [inherent in] the policy of communal divisiveness that bore fruit in the past and has succeeded in creating a barrier – even if at times artificial – between certain segments of the Arab population.”

    • Documents from Israel’s first decades reveal the leadership’s efforts to divide and alienate the Arab citizenry
      Adam Raz | Mar. 28, 2019 | 10:26 PM

      “There’s no place for illusions that this combination [of tactics] could turn the Arabs into loyal citizens, but over time it will reduce to some extent the open hostility and prevent its active expression.” – From a document containing recommendations for dealing with the Arab minority in Israel, September 1959, Labor Party Archives

      As early as 60 years ago, Israel’s political leadership gave up on the attempt to integrate the country’s Arabs and grant them equal citizenship. A document drawn up for an internal discussion in Mapai, the ruling party and forerunner of Labor, in September 1959, proposed the implementation of policy based on the following approach: “We should continue to exhaust all the possibilities [inherent in] the policy of communal divisiveness that bore fruit in the past and has succeeded in creating a barrier – even if at times artificial – between certain segments of the Arab population.”

      The assessment that the Arab public would never be loyal to the Jewish state remained entrenched in the following decade as well. For example, it underlay a lengthy document written by Shmuel Toledano, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Arab affairs. In July 1965, the document served as the point of departure for a top-secret discussion between Toledano and the heads of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad, the Israel Police, the Foreign Ministry and the Education Ministry (representatives of the Arab public weren’t invited).

      According to the document, “We must not demand from the Arab minority loyalty in the full sense of the word, to the point of identifying with the goals of a Jewish state (ingathering of the exiles and other values related to the national and religious way of life of the Jewish people). Such a demand is neither practical nor legitimate.” Instead, “We should strive for the Arabs’ passive acceptance of the state’s existence and for them to become law-abiding citizens.”

      These two documents address diverse issues having to do with the life of Israel’s Arab citizens. They help illuminate the state leadership’s official efforts to prevent the politicization of Arab society as well as its resistance to the emergence of a modern leadership among the country’s Arabs. These discussions were held, it bears noting, at a time when the majority of the Arab community in Israel (the exception being residents of Haifa and Jaffa) lived under a military regime – which was not lifted until 1966 – that included a permanent night curfew and a need for permits for traveling in the country.

      One item on the agenda of the 1965 discussion was the “Arab intelligentsia” in Israel. The document drawn up in that connection stated emphatically, “The formation of a broad educated class must be averted as far as possible.” Reason: An educated class tends to adopt “positions of radical leadership.” Accordingly, the document recommended “gradual solutions.” For example, “The entry of Arab students into institutions of higher learning should not be encouraged, but into professions and industries that hold the promise of appropriate employment.” The document elaborates: natural sciences and medicine – yes; humanities and law – no.

      The core of the Toledano document is its recommendation to block creation of political associations among the Arabs “in order to prevent the establishment of separate political entities on a national basis.” From the state’s point of view, the Arab electorate should manifest itself in the form of support for the Zionist parties. The latter, for their part, should open “their gates” to the Arabs and integrate them into their ranks “gradually and experimentally.”

      The grounds for this approach can be found in the 1959 document. It states that the policy of divisiveness pursued so far regarding the Arab population “has allowed the state, during the period of its existence, to prevent the consolidation of the Arab minority into a united bloc, and in large measure has given the leaders of each community an outlet to deal with their communal affairs instead of with general Arab affairs.”

      A perusal of the documents generates a feeling of sad irony. In the 1950s and ‘60s, the Israeli leadership acted vigorously to prevent the establishment of independent Arab political parties. The aim was to have slates of Arab candidates appended to the Zionist slates via “satellite parties,” and for Arab representatives to be guaranteed places in the parent parties. In other words, independent Arab parties conflicted with the establishment’s interests.

      Today, in contrast to the establishment’s position at the time, the Arab parties are independent entities, while the Zionist parties have hardly any Arab representatives. But this is an illusory reversal: Substantively, little has changed. Whereas the goal of integrating Arabs into the Zionist parties in the country’s first decades was intended to depoliticize the Arab community, their displacement from the big parties today only preserves the separation between the peoples and distances the Arab community from the centers of decision-making. If at the outset the Arabs were a fig leaf, today they have become a scapegoat.

      In opposition 70 years

      Even today, separation remains the underlying rationale of the near-absence of Arab MKs in the center-left parties. Not only does the current situation reflect the will of the parties’ leaders (which include parties that don’t even have a primary), at times they seem to be competing among themselves over who is most hostile to “the Arabs.” The Labor Party, for example, has shown in recent years that it has no interest in true activity by Arabs within it, and its slate of Knesset candidates doesn’t guarantee a realistic slot for an Arab representative. Similarly, among the first 40 places on the Kahol Lavan ticket, there is only one Druze woman, in 25th place.

      The Mapai document states that “stable rule in the country is inconceivable with most of the Arab minority in the opposition.” That evaluation has been refuted. The Arab public has been in the opposition for 70 years, lacking any real strength, even though this is not what most Arab citizens want. A survey commissioned by Haaretz before the 2015 election campaign found that 60 percent of the Arab community would like to join the government, and only half the respondents made this conditional on its being a left-wing government.

      The Arabs would like to play a concrete role in the decision- and policy-making processes. Electorally, this poses a threat to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule. At the same time, it’s clear that his opponents are toeing the same line, explaining to the public that “the Arabs” are beyond the pale, and even factoring them into an equation of “neither Kahane nor Balad” – referring an unwillingness to contemplate either a coalition or even a blocking majorith with either the far-right Otzmat Yisrael party or the nationalist Arab party Balad.

      In this sense, keeping the peoples apart no longer necessitates segregation that’s maintained by ordinances and regulations. The military government may have been abolished, but its spirit still rules, on the right, in the center, on the left – everywhere.

  • ’Endless trip to hell’: Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys a year. These are their testimonies - Israel News -

    (C’est sous paywall)

    They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13

    #palestine #israel #enfants #violence

    • ’Endless trip to hell’: Israel jails hundreds of Palestinian boys a year. These are their testimonies
      They’re seized in the dead of night, blindfolded and cuffed, abused and manipulated to confess to crimes they didn’t commit. Every year Israel arrests almost 1,000 Palestinian youngsters, some of them not yet 13
      Netta Ahituv | Mar. 14, 2019 | 9:14 PM | 2

      It was a gloomy, typically chilly late-February afternoon in the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The weather didn’t deter the children of the Abu-Ayyash family from playing and frolicking outside. One of them, in a Spiderman costume, acted the part by jumping lithely from place to place. Suddenly they noticed a group of Israeli soldiers trudging along the dirt trail across the way. Instantly their expressions turned from joy to dread, and they rushed into the house. It’s not the first time they reacted like that, says their father. In fact, it’s become a pattern ever since 10-year-old Omar was arrested by troops this past December.

      The 10-year-old is one of many hundreds of Palestinian children whom Israel arrests every year: The estimates range between 800 and 1,000. Some are under the age of 15; some are even preteens. A mapping of the locales where these detentions take place reveals a certain pattern: The closer a Palestinian village is to a settlement, the more likely it is that the minors residing there will find themselves in Israeli custody. For example, in the town of Azzun, west of the Karnei Shomron settlement, there’s hardly a household that hasn’t experienced an arrest. Residents say that in the past five years, more than 150 pupils from the town’s only high school have been arrested.

      At any given moment, there are about 270 Palestinian teens in Israeli prisons. The most widespread reason for their arrest – throwing stones – does not tell the full story. Conversations with many of the youths, as well as with lawyers and human rights activists, including those from the B’Tselem human-rights organization, reveal a certain pattern, even as they leave many questions open: For example, why does the occupation require that arrests be violent and why is it necessary to threaten young people.

      A number of Israelis, whose sensibilities are offended by the arrests of Palestinian children, have decided to mobilize and fight the phenomenon. Within the framework of an organization called Parents Against Child Detention, its approximately 100 members are active in the social networks and hold public events “in order to heighten awareness about the scale of the phenomenon and the violation of the rights of Palestinian minors, and in order to create a pressure group that will work for its cessation,” as they explain. Their target audience is other parents, whom they hope will respond with empathy to the stories of these children.

      In general, there seems to be no lack of criticism of the phenomenon. In addition to B’Tselem, which monitors the subject on a regular basis, there’s been a protest from overseas, too. In 2013, UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, assailed “the ill treatment of children who come in contact with the military detention system, [which] appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” A report a year earlier from British legal experts concluded that the conditions the Palestinian children are subjected to amount to torture, and just five months ago the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe deplored Israel’s policy of arresting underage children, declaring, “An end must be put to all forms of physical or psychological abuse of children during arrest, transit and waiting periods, and during interrogations.”


      About half of the arrests of Palestinian adolescents are made in their homes. According to the testimonies, Israel Defense Forces soldiers typically burst into the house in the middle of the night, seize the wanted youth and whisk him away (very few girls are detained), leaving the family with a document stating where he’s being taken and on what charge. The printed document is in Arabic and Hebrew, but the commander of the force typically fills out the details in Hebrew only, then hands it to parents who may not be able to read it and don’t know why their son was taken.

      Attorney Farah Bayadsi asks why it’s necessary to arrest children in this manner, instead of summoning them for questioning in an orderly way. (The data show that only 12 percent of the youths receive a summons to be interrogated.)

      “I know from experience that whenever someone is asked to come in for questioning, he goes,” Bayadsi notes. She’s active in the Israeli branch of Defense for Children International, a global NGO that deals with the detention of minors and promotion of their rights.

      “The answer we generally get,” she says, “is that, ‘It’s done this way for security reasons.’ That means it’s a deliberate method, which isn’t intended to meet the underage youth halfway, but to cause him a lifelong trauma.”

      Indeed, as the IDF Spokesman’s Unit stated to Haaretz, in response, “The majority of the arrests, of both adults and minors, are carried out at night for operational reasons and due to the desire to preserve an orderly fabric of life and execute point-specific actions wherever possible.”

      About 40 percent of the minors are detained in the public sphere – usually in the area of incidents involving throwing stones at soldiers. That was the case with Adham Ahsoun, from Azzun. At the time, he was 15 and on his way home from a local grocery store. Not far away, a group of children had started throwing stones at soldiers, before running off. Ahsoun, who didn’t flee, was detained and taken to a military vehicle; once inside, he was hit by a soldier. A few children who saw what happened ran to his house to tell his mother. Grabbing her son’s birth certificate, she rushed to the entrance to the town to prove to the soldiers that he was only a child. But it was too late; the vehicle had already departed, headed to an army base nearby, where he would wait to be interrogated.

      By law, soldiers are supposed to handcuff children with their hands in front, but in many cases it’s done with their hands behind them. Additionally, sometimes the minor’s hands are too small for handcuffing, as a soldier from the Nahal infantry brigade told the NGO Breaking the Silence. On one occasion, he related, his unit arrested a boy “of about 11,” but the handcuffs were too big to bind his small hands.

      The next stage is the journey: The youths are taken to an army base or a police station in a nearby settlement, their eyes covered with flannelette. “When your eyes are covered, your imagination takes you to the most frightening places,” says a lawyer who represents young Palestinians. Many of those arrested don’t understand Hebrew, so that once pushed into the army vehicle they are completely cut off from what’s going on around them.

      In most cases, the handcuffed, blindfolded youth will be moved from place to place before actually being interrogated. Sometimes he’s left outside, in the open, for a time. In addition to the discomfort and the bewilderment, the frequent moving around presents another problem: In the meantime many acts of violence, in which soldiers beat the detainees, take place and go undocumented.

      Once at the army base or police station, the minor is placed, still handcuffed and blindfolded, on a chair or on the floor for a few hours, generally without being given anything to eat. The “endless trip to hell” is how Bayadsi describes this process. Memory of the incident, she adds, “is still there even years after the boy’s release. It implants in him an ongoing feeling of a lack of security, which will stay with him for his whole life.”

      Testimony provided to Breaking the Silence by an IDF staff sergeant about one incident in the West Bank illustrates the situation from the other side: “It was the first night of Hanukkah in 2017. Two children were throwing stones on Highway 60, on the road. So we grabbed them and took them to the base. Their eyes were covered with flannelette, and they were handcuffed in front with plastic cuffs. They looked young, between 12 and 16 years old.”

      When the soldiers gathered to light the first candle of the Hanukkah holiday, the detainees remained outside. “We’re shouting and making noise and using drums, which is a kind of company thing,” the soldier recalled, noting that he assumed the kids didn’t know Hebrew, although maybe they did understand the curses they heard. “Let’s say sharmuta [slut] and other words they might know from Arabic. How could they know we aren’t talking about them? They’ll probably thought that in another minute we were going to cook them.”


      The nightmare can be of differing duration, the former detainees relate. Three to eight hours after the arrest, by which time the youth is tired and hungry – and sometimes in pain after being hit, frightened by threats and not even knowing why he’s there – he’s taken in for interrogation. This may be the first time the blindfold is removed and his hands freed. The process usually starts with a general question, such as, “Why do you throw stones at soldiers?” The rest is more intense – a barrage of questions and threats, aimed at getting the teen to sign a confession. In some cases, he’s promised that if he signs he’ll be given something to eat.

      According to the testimonies, the interrogators’ threats are directed squarely at the boy (“You’ll spend your whole life in jail”), or at his family (“I’ll bring your mother here and kill her before your eyes”), or at the family’s livelihood (“If you don’t confess, we’ll take away your father’s permit to work in Israel – because of you, he’ll be out of work and the whole family will go hungry”).

      “The system shows that the intention here is more to demonstrate control than to engage in enforcement,” suggests Bayadsi. “If the boy confesses, there’s a file; if he doesn’t confess, he enters the criminal circle anyway and is seriously intimidated.”


      Whether the young detainee has signed a confession or not, the next stop is prison. Either Megiddo, in Lower Galilee, or Ofer, north of Jerusalem. Khaled Mahmoud Selvi was 15 when he was brought to prison in October 2017 and was told to disrobe for a body search (as in 55 percent of the cases). For 10 minutes he was made to stand naked, along with another boy, and in winter.

      The months in detention, waiting for trial, and later, if they are sentenced, are spent in the youth wing of the facilities for security prisoners. “They don’t speak with their families for months and are allowed one visit a month, through glass,” Bayadsi relates.

      Far fewer Palestinian girls are arrested than boys. But there is no facility specially for them, so they are held in the Sharon prison for women, together with the adults.

      The trial

      The courtroom is usually the place where parents have their first sight of their child, sometimes several weeks after the arrest. Tears are the most common reaction to the sight of the young detainee, who will be wearing a prison uniform and handcuffs, and with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over everything. Israel Prisons Service guards don’t allow the parents to approach the youth, and direct them to sit on the visitors’ bench. Defense counsel is paid for either by the family or by the Palestinian Authority.

      At a recent remand hearing for several detainees, one boy didn’t stop smiling at the sight of his mother, while another lowered his eyes, perhaps to conceal tears. Another detainee whispered to his grandmother, who had come to visit him, “Don’t worry, tell everyone I’m fine.” The next boy remained silent and watched as his mother mouthed to him, “Omari, I love you.”

      While the children and their family try to exchange a few words and looks, the proceedings move along. As though in a parallel universe.

      The deal

      The vast majority of trials for juveniles ends in a plea bargain – safka in Arabic, a word Palestinian children know well. Even if there is no hard evidence to implicate the boy in stone-throwing, a plea is often the preferred option. If the detainee doesn’t agree to it, the trial could last a long time and he will be held in custody until the proceedings end.

      Conviction depends almost entirely on evidence from a confession, says lawyer Gerard Horton, from the British-Palestinian Military Court Watch, whose brief, according to its website, involves “monitoring the treatment of children in Israeli military detention.” According to Horton, who is based in Jerusalem, the minors will be more prone to confess if they don’t know their rights, are frightened and get no support or relief until they confess. Sometimes a detainee who does not confess will be told that he can expect to face a series of court appearances. At some stage, even the toughest youth will despair, the lawyer explains.

      The IDF Spokesman’s Unit stated in response: “The minors are entitled to be represented by an attorney, like any other accused, and they have the right to conduct their defense in any way they choose. Sometimes they choose to admit to guilt within the framework of a plea bargain but if they plead not guilty, a procedure involving hearing evidence is conducted, like the proceedings conducted in [civilian courts in] Israel, at the conclusion of which a legal decision will be handed down on the basis of the evidence presented to the court. The deliberations are set within a short time and are conducted efficiently and with the rights of the accused upheld.”

      Managing the community

      According to data of collected by the British-Palestinian NGO, 97 percent of the youths arrested by the IDF live in relatively small locales that are no more than two kilometers away from a settlement. There are a number of reasons for this. One involves the constant friction – physical and geographical – between Palestinians, on the one hand, and soldiers and settlers. However, according to Horton, there is another, no less interesting way to interpret this figure: namely, from the perspective of an IDF commander, whose mission is to protect the settlers.

      In the case of reported stone-throwing incidents, he says, the commander’s assumption is that the Palestinians involved are young, between the ages of 12 and 30, and that they come from the nearest village. Often the officer will turn to the resident collaborator in the village, who provides him with the names of a few boys.

      The next move is “to enter the village at night and arrest them,” Horton continues. “And whether these youths are the ones who threw the stones or not, you have already put a scare into the whole village” – which he says is an “effective tool” for managing a community.

      “When so many minors are being arrested like this, it’s clear that some of them will be innocent,” he observes. “The point is that this has to be happening all the time, because the boys grow up and new children appear on the scene. Each generation must feel the strong arm of the IDF.”

      According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit: “In recent years, many minors, some of them very young, have been involved in violent incidents, incitement and even terrorism. In these cases, there is no alternative but to institute measures, including interrogation, detention and trial, within the limits of and according to what is stipulated by law. As part of these procedures, the IDF operates to uphold and preserve the rights of the minors. In enforcing the law against them, their age is taken into account.

      “Thus, since 2014, among other measures, in certain instances, the minors are invited to the police station and are not arrested at home. In addition, proceedings relating to minors take place in the military court for juveniles, which examines the seriousness of the offense that’s attributed to the minor and the danger it poses, while taking into consideration his young age and his particular circumstances. Every allegation of violence on the part of IDF soldiers is examined, and cases in which the soldiers’ actions are found to be flawed are treated sternly.”

      The Shin Bet security service stated in response: “The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and the Israel Police, operates against every element that threatens to harm Israel’s security and the country’s citizenry. The terrorist organizations make extensive use of minors and recruit them to carry out terrorist activity, and there is a general tendency to involve minors in terrorist activity as part of local initiatives.

      “Interrogations of suspected terrorists are conducted by the Shin Bet under the law, and are subject to supervision and to internal and external review, including by all levels of the court system. The interrogations of minors are carried out with extra sensitivity and with consideration of their young age.”

      Khaled Mahmoud Selvi, arrested at 14 (October 2017)

      “I was arrested when I was 14, all the boys in the family were arrested that night. A year later, I was arrested again, with my cousin. They said I burned tires. It happened when I was sleeping. My mother woke me up. I thought it was time for school, but when I opened my eyes I saw soldiers above me. They told me to get dressed, handcuffed me and took me outside. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and it was cold that night. My mother begged them to let me put on a jacket, but they didn’t agree. Finally, she threw the jacket on me, but they didn’t let me put my arms in the sleeves.

      “They took me to the Karmei Tzur settlement with my eyes covered, and I had the feeling that they were just driving in circles. When I walked, there was a pit in the road and they pushed me into it, and I fell. From there they took me to Etzion [police station]. There they put me in a room, and soldiers kept coming in all the time and kicking me. Someone passed by and said that if I didn’t confess, they would leave me in jail for the rest of my life.

      “At 7 A.M., they told me the interrogation was starting. I asked to go to the toilet before. My eyes were covered and a soldier put a chair in front of me. I tripped. The interrogation went on for an hour. They told me that they saw me burning tires and that it interfered with air traffic. I told them it wasn’t me. I didn’t see a lawyer until the afternoon, and he asked the soldiers to bring us food. It was the first time I had eaten since being arrested the night before.

      “At 7 P.M., I was sent to Ofer Prison, and I remained there for six months. In that period, I was in court more than 10 times. And there was also another interrogation, because a friend of mine was told while being questioned that if he didn’t confess and inform on me, they would bring his mother and shoot her before his eyes. So he confessed and informed. I’m not angry at him. It was his first arrest, he was scared.”

      Khaled Shtaiwi, arrested at 13 (November 2018)

      Khaled’s story is told by his father, Murad Shatawi: “On the night he was arrested, a phone call from my nephew woke me up. He said the house was surrounded by soldiers. I got up and got dressed, because I expected them to arrest me, on account of the nonviolent demonstrations I organize on Fridays. I never imagined they’d take Khaled. They asked me for the names of my sons. I told them Mumen and Khaled. When I said Khaled, they said, ‘Yes, him. We’re here to take him.’ I was in shock, so many soldiers showed up to arrest a boy of 13.

      “They handcuffed and blindfolded him and led him east on foot, toward the settlement of Kedumim, all the while cursing and hitting him a little. I saw it all from the window. They gave me a document showing that it was a legal arrest and I could come to the police station. When I got there, I saw him through a small hole in the door. He was handcuffed and blindfolded.

      “He stayed like that from the moment they arrested him until 3 P.M. the next day. That’s a picture that doesn’t leave me; I don’t know how I’ll go on living with that picture in my head. He was accused of throwing stones, but after four days they released him, because he didn’t confess and there was no other evidence against him. During the trial, when the judge wanted to speak to Khaled, he had to lean forward in order to see him, because Khaled was so small.

      “What was it like to see him like that? I am the father. That says it all. He hasn’t talked about it since getting out, three months ago. That’s a problem. I’m now organizing a ‘psychology day’ in the village, to help all the children here who have been arrested. Out of 4,500 people in the village, 11 children under the age of 18 have been arrested; five were under the age of 15.”

      Omar Rabua Abu Ayyash, arrested at age 10 (December 2018)

      Omar looks small for his age. He’s shy and quiet, and it’s hard to talk to him about the arrest, so members of his family recount the events in his place.

      Omar’s mother: “It happened at 10 A.M. on Friday, when there is no school. Omar was playing in the area in front of the house, he threw pebbles at birds that were chirping in the tree. The soldiers, who were in the watchtower across the way here, picked up on what he was doing and ran toward him. He ran, but they caught him and knocked him down. He started to cry, and he wet his pants. They kicked him a few times.

      “His grandmother, who lives here below, immediately went out and tried to take him from the soldiers, which caused a struggle and shouts. In the end, they left him alone and he went home and changed into dry pants. A quarter of an hour later, the soldiers came back, this time with their commander, who said he had to arrest the boy for throwing stones. When the other children in the family saw the soldiers in the house, they also wet their pants.”

      Omar’s father takes up the story: “I told the commander that he was under 12 and that I had to accompany him, so I rode with him in the jeep to the Karmei Tzur settlement. There the soldiers told him not to throw stones anymore, and that if he saw other children doing it, he should tell them. From there they took him the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Hebron. The whole story took about 12 hours. They gave him a few bananas to eat during those hours. Now, whenever the children see a military jeep or soldiers, they go inside. They’ve stopped playing outside since then. Before the incident, soldiers used to come here to play soccer with the children. Now they’ve stopped coming, too.”

      Tareq Shtaiwi, arrested at 14 (January 2019)

      “It was around 2 P.M. I had a fever that day, so Dad sent me to my cousin next door, because that’s almost the only place in the village with a heating unit. Suddenly soldiers showed up. They saw me watching them from the window, so they fired shots at the door of the building, knocked it down and started to come upstairs. I got scared, so I ran from the second floor to the third, but they stopped me on the way and took me outside. The soldiers wouldn’t let me take my coat, even though it was cold and I was sick. They took me on foot to Kedumim, handcuffed and blindfolded. They sat me on a chair. I heard doors and windows being slammed hard, I think they were trying to scare me.

      “After a while, they took me from Kedumim to Ariel, and I was there for five-six hours. They accused me of throwing stones a few days earlier with my friend. I told them I hadn’t thrown any stones. In the evening they moved me to the Hawara detention building; one of the soldiers told me I would never leave there. In the morning I was moved to Megiddo Prison. They didn’t have prisoners uniforms in my size, so they gave me clothes of Palestinian children who had been there before and left them for the next in line. I was the youngest person in the prison.

      “I had three court hearings, and after 12 days, at the last hearing, they told me that it was enough, that my father would pay a fine of 2,000 shekels [$525] and I was getting a three-year suspended sentence. The judge asked me what I intended to do after getting out, I told him I would go back to school and I wouldn’t go up to the third floor again. Since my arrest, my younger brother, who’s 7, has been afraid to sleep in the kids’ room and goes to sleep with our parents.”

      Adham Ahsoun, arrested in October 2018, on his 15th birthday

      “On my 15th birthday, I went to the store in the village center to buy a few things. Around 7:30 in the evening, soldiers entered the village and children started to throw stones at them. On the way home with my bag, they caught me. They took me to the entrance of the village and put me in a jeep. One of the soldiers started to hit me. Then they put plastic handcuffs on me and covered my eyes and took me like that to the military base in Karnei Shomron. I was there for about an hour. I couldn’t see a thing, but I had the feeling that a dog was sniffing me. I was afraid. From there they took me to another military base and left me there for the night. They didn’t give me anything to eat or drink.

      “In the morning, they moved me to the interrogation facility in Ariel. The interrogator told me that the soldiers caught me throwing stones. I told him that I hadn’t thrown stones, that I was on my way home from the store. So he called the soldiers into the interrogation room. They said, ‘He’s lying, we saw him, he was throwing stones.’ I told him that I really hadn’t thrown stones, but he threatened to arrest my mother and father. I panicked. I asked him, ‘What do you want from me?’ He said he wanted me to sign that I threw stones at soldiers, so I signed. The whole time I didn’t see or talk to a lawyer.

      “My plea bargain was that I would confess and get a five-month jail sentence. Afterward, they gave me one-third off for good behavior. I got out after three months and a fine of 2,000 shekels. In jail I tried to catch up with the material I missed in school. The teachers told me they would only take into account the grades of the second semester, so it wouldn’t hurt my chances of being accepted for engineering studies in university.”

      Muhmen Teet, arrested at 13 (November 2017)

      “At 3 A.M., I heard knocking on the door. Dad came into the room and said there were soldiers in the living room and wanted us to show ID cards. The commanding officer told my father that they were taking me to Etzion for questioning. Outside, they handcuffed and blindfolded me and put me in a military vehicle. We went to my cousin’s house; they also arrested him. From there we went to Karmei Tzur and waited, handcuffed and blindfolded, until the morning.

      “In the morning, they only took my cousin for interrogation, not me. After his interrogation, they took us to Ofer Prison. After a day there, they took us back to Etzion and said they were going to interrogate me. Before the interrogation, they took me into a room, where there was a soldier who slapped me. After he hit me in one room, he took me to the interrogation room. The interrogator said I was responsible for burning tires, and because of that the grove near the house caught fire. I said it wasn’t me, and I signed a document that the interrogator gave me. The document was also printed in Arabic, but the interrogator filled it out in Hebrew. I was taken back to Ofer Prison.

      “I had seven hearings in court, because at the first hearing I said I hadn’t intended to confess, I just didn’t understand what I signed and it wasn’t true. So they sent me back for another interrogation. Again I didn’t confess. Then they sent me to interrogation another time and again I didn’t confess. That’s what it was like in three interrogations. In the end, my lawyer did a deal with the prosecutor that if I confessed in court – which I did – and my family would pay 4,000 shekels, they would release me.

      “I’m a good student, I like soccer, both playing and watching it. Since the arrest I hardly wander around outside.”

      Khalil Zaakiq, arrested at age 13 (January 2019)

      “Around 2 A.M. someone knocked on the door. I woke up and saw a lot of soldiers in the house. They said we should all sit in the living room sofa and not move. The commander called Uday, my big brother, told him to get dressed and informed him that he was under arrest. It was the third time they arrested him. My father was also once under arrest. Suddenly they told me to put my shoes on too and go with them.

      “They took us out of the house and tied our hands and covered our eyes. We went like that on foot to the base in Karmei Tzur. There they sat me on the floor with hands tied and eyes covered for around three hours. At about 5 A.M., they moved us to Etzion. On the way there in the jeep they hit us, they slapped me. In Etzion, I was sent to be checked by a doctor. He asked if I had been beaten and I said yes. He didn’t do anything, only checked my blood pressure and said I could stand up to an interrogation.

      “My interrogation started at 8 A.M.. They asked me to tell them which children throw stones. I said I didn’t know, so the interrogator gave me a slap. The interrogation went on for four hours. Afterward, they put me into a dark room for 10 minutes and then took me back to the interrogation room, but now they only fingerprinted me and put me into a detention cell for an hour. After an hour, Uday and I were moved to Ofer Prison. I didn’t sign a confession, neither about myself nor about others.

      “I got out after nine days, because I wasn’t guilty of anything. My parents had to pay 1,000 shekels for bail. My little brother, who is 10, has been really afraid ever since. Whenever someone knocks at the door, he wets his pants.”

  • Ethiopians shut down Tel Aviv with protest against police brutality
    Amir Alon et Itay Blumenthal, Ynet, le 30 janvier 2019,7340,L-5455315,00.html

    The protest was sparked by the killing of Yehuda Biadga, 24, by police in Bat Yam two weeks ago as he was waving a knife. Witnesses say the youth posed no direct danger to the lives of the officers. The incident is still being investigated.

    Dasli Takala, one of the organizers, told reporters: “We are dealing with the Israel police which is a criminal organization… From violence they have moved on to murder; they have already killed 10 (unarmed Ethiopians). We are a community of activists. The government of Israel interprets our politeness as fear, but that is our strength.”

    #Palestine #israel #racisme #Ethiopiens #violence_policière #brutalité_policière

    A rajouter aussi à la compile #Israfrique :

  • The sadists who destroyed a decades-old Palestinian olive grove can rest easy
    Another Palestinian village joins the popular protest, its inhabitants no longer able to bear attacks by settlers. Vandals have butchered a grove of 35-year-old olive trees in the village. The tracks led to a nearby settler outpost
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Jan 24, 2019

    Vandalism in an olive grove in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir. Credit Alex Levac

    Who are the human scum who last Friday drove all-terrain vehicles down to the magnificent olive grove owned by Abed al Hai Na’asan, in the West Bank village of Al-Mughayyir, chose the oldest and biggest row, and with electric saws felled 25 trees, one after another? Who are the human scum who are capable of fomenting such an outrage on the soil, the earth, the trees and of course on the farmer, who’s been working his land for decades? Who are the human scum who fled like cowards, knowing that no one would bring them to justice for the evil they had wrought?

    We’re unlikely ever to get the answers. The police are investigating, but at the wild outposts of the Shiloh Valley, and Mevo Shiloh in particular, where the perpetrators’ tracks led, they can go on sleeping in peace. No one will be arrested, no one will be interrogated, no one will be punished. That’s the lesson of past experience in this violent, lawless, settlers’ country.

    The story itself makes one’s blood boil, but only the sight of the violated grove brings home the scale of the atrocity, the pathological sadism of the perpetrators, the depth of the farmer’s pain upon seeing that his own God’s little acre was assaulted by the Jewish, Israeli, settlers, believers, destroyers – just three days before Tu B’Shvat, the Jewish Arbor Day, the holiday of the trees celebrated by the same people who destroyed his grove. This is how they express their love for the land, this is a reflection of the encroacher’s fondness for the earth and for nature.

    And on a boulder at the far end of the grove they left their calling card, smeared on a rock: a Star of David smeared in red, shamefaced, shameful, a Mark of Cain that stigmatizes everything it stands for, and next to it, the word “Revenge.” Revenge for what?

    The 25 felled trees lie like corpses after a massacre on the fertile brown, plowed earth. Twenty-five thick trunks stand bare and decapitated, their roots still deep in the earth, their tops gone, the work of a malicious hand – now mere dead lumber after years of having been tended, cultivated and irrigated. It was the most impressive row of trees in the grove; the destroyers moved along it with satanic deliberateness, sawing mercilessly. When, walking amid the stumps in the grove, the distraught owner Na’asan said that for him the act was tantamount to murder, his words made perfect sense. When we were just arriving there, his wife had phoned and begged him not to visit the grove, for fear he would not be able to abide the sight. Na’asan has cancer.

    In the briefcase of documents he always carries with him is a copy of the official complaint he submitted to the Binyamin district station of the Israel Police, despite the fact that he knows nothing will ever come of it, that it will be buried like every such complaint. Anyone who wanted to apprehend the rampagers could have done it that same day: Mevo Shiloh, where the tracks of the all-terrain vehicles led, is a small settler outpost – violent and brazen.

    The way to Al-Mughayyir, located south of Jenin, passes through the affluent town of Turmus Ayya, many of whose residents live most of the year in the United States, only visiting their splendid homes in the summer. The village, with a population of 3,500, is separated from the town by pasture land where sheep are now grazing. Everything is lushly green.

    Abed al Hai Na’asan, with a butchered olive tree. The people of Al-Mughayyir say their problems have never been with the army, only with the settlers. Credit : Alex Levac

    In the center of Al-Mughayyir, a few men are standing next to an official vehicle of the Palestinian Authority. Personnel from the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture have arrived to assess the damage suffered by the farmers; at best the ministry gives them a symbolic amount of compensation. Such is the deceptive semblance of a government that supposedly protects helpless farmers.

    Everyone in the village knows that the PA can do nothing. So, about two months ago, the residents launched a popular protest, just as citizens of other villages before them have done – from Kaddoum, Nabi Saleh, Bil’in, Na’alin and others. Every Friday, they gather on their land, which lies on the eastern side of the Allon Road, and are confronted by a large number of army and Border Police forces, who disperse them with great quantities of tear gas that hangs like a pall over Al-Mughayyir, and with rubber bullets, rounds of “tutu” bullets (live 0.22-caliber bullets). Then come the nighttime arrests. Overnight this past Sunday, the troops arrested another seven villagers who took part in the demonstrations; 35 locals are currently in detention. This is the method Israel uses to suppress every popular protest in the territories.

    According to the villagers, their sole demand is removal of the Mevo Shiloh outpost, which was established without a permit on a half-abandoned Israel Defense Forces base that overlooks their fields. The settlers burn the Palestininans’ fields, allow their sheep to graze on their land without permission, chase away the villagers’ flocks and perpetrate various “price tag” operations – hate crimes – against them.

    In the previous such assault, on November 25, eight cars were damaged. The graffiti, documented by Iyad Hadad, a field researcher for the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, leave little to the imagination: “Death to the Arabs,” “Enough administrative orders,” “Revenge,” “Price Tag” – and also the unfathomable “Regards to Nachman Rodan.”

    The people of Al-Mughayyir say their problems have never been with the army, only with the settlers. Here the war is for control of the land. It is a primeval, despairing war in which law, property rights and ownership play no part – what counts is the violence that can be perpetrated, under the aegis of the occupation authorities. When, one day, these people are forced to give up their land in the wake of the violence, the settlers will chalk up yet another impressive achievement in their effort to chop up the West Bank into separate and disconnected slices of territory. This week, when we drove across village land toward Mevo Shiloh, the villagers who rode with us begged us to turn around at once. So great is their fear of the settlers, that even when they crossed their fields in a car with Israeli plates, accompanied by Israelis, they were seized by dread.

    The home of Amin Abu Aaliya, head of the village council, is perched atop a high hill, overlooking all the houses in his village and the fertile valley where his lands lie. In the winter sun that shines on the holiday of the trees, he serves a local pastry stuffed with leaves of green za’atar (wild hyssop), baked by his wife, who doesn’t join us. When we ask him to “Tell her it was delicious,” he replies, “She mustn’t get a swelled head.”

    The view from the roof of his elegant home is indeed stunning. Scratchy music that blares from an old Citroen Berlingo down below heralds the arrival in the village of a vendor selling the sweet cotton candy known here as “girls’ hair.” In the middle of the village, young people are decorating one of the houses with flags of Fatah and Palestine: A resident of the village is due to return home today after serving two years in an Israeli prison, and a festive welcome is being prepared for him.

    The Allon Road, which was paved in the 1970s and runs north to south in the eastern part of the West Bank, with the aim of severing its territories from the Kingdom of Jordan, also separated Al-Mughayyir from most of its land, about 30,000 dunams (7,500 acres), located east of the road. The villagers grew used to that over the years. They also forgave the expropriation of land for the road and afterward for its widening. There is no safe place for them to cross the Allon Road with their herds, to access their land but they grew used to that, too. Sometimes the army blocks the dirt road that leads from the village to their land and they are cut off from it, unless they decide to take a long bypass route there. A matter of routine.

    The people of Al-Mughayyir also learned how to live with the former existence of the military base of Mevo Shiloh, which dominated their land. They even came to terms with the Adei Ad outpost, whose members also assaulted them. But then the IDF evacuated the base and the settlers seized it. An internet search reveals that the settlers were ostensibly removed from this outpost a few years ago. But mobile homes sprout from the high hill that overlooks the village’s fields, and alongside them, large structures used for farming. Mevo Shiloh is alive and kicking.

    The villagers say that the Civil Administration, a branch of the military government, promised them in the past that the outpost would be evacuated, but that didn’t happen. Lacking the funds to wage a legal battle, and not believing it would produce results anyway, they embarked on their Friday demonstrations.

    I asked whether they had first consulted with other locales that have waged similar struggles. “There was no need to,” the council head said. “You don’t need consultation when you are in the right. We feel unsafe on our own land. How are we to protect ourselves and our lands? It’s a natural reaction: Either to turn to violence or to popular protest. We chose the path of popular protest.”

    The dirt path that leads east from the village toward the Allon Road reflects the events here in the past two months. Empty canisters of the tear gas fired at the demonstrators hang from electrical cables, the ground is strewn with the remnants of scorched tires and with stone barriers. During the Friday protest two weeks ago, 30 villagers were wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets. The troops film the demonstrators and raid the village at night to arrest them – standard procedure in the villages of the struggle. Close to 100 residents have been detained during the past two months.

    A dense cloud of tear gas hangs over Al-Mughayyir during the demonstrations and, according to council head Aaliya, even wafts upward to his house high on the hill. In some cases the settlers join the security forces to disperse the demonstrations, throwing stones at the protesters.

    Na’asan, whose trees were ravaged, arrives at Aaliya’s house and shows him a copy of the complaint he filed with the Binyamin police: “Confirmation of submission of complaint.” The space for the details of the incident is empty. The space for the place of the event contains the following, word for word: “Magir RM in the forest, nursery, grove, field.” The charge: “Damage to property maliciously.” Hebrew only, of course. “File No. 31237.”

    The police arrived at the grove last Friday, two hours after Na’asan discovered what had happened and reported it to the Palestinian Coordination and Liaison office. They said the ATV tracks seemed to lead to Mevo Shiloh. According to Na’asan, while the police were in the grove, a few settlers stood on the hill opposite and watched. The police are now investigating.

    About 20 members of Na’asan’s extended family subsist thanks to this grove, which before the attack boasted a total of 80 trees of different ages, all meticulously cultivated. Standing here now, he says he’ll have to clear away those that were felled and bandage the stumps against the cold. That’s the only way they will perhaps sprout new branches, which he will have to tend. It will take another 35 years for the grove to return to its former state. Na’asan is 62. This grove grew together with his children, he says. He knows there’s little chance he’ll be around to see it recover.

  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    Amos Harel, Chaim Levinson and Yaniv Kubovich Nov 25, 2018

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
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    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.

  • Israeli cyber firm negotiated advanced attack capabilities sale with Saudis, Haaretz reveals

    Just months before crown prince launched a purge against his opponents, NSO offered Saudi intelligence officials a system to hack into cellular phones ■ NSO: We abide the law, our products are used to combat crime and terrorism

    The Israeli company NSO Group Technologies offered Saudi Arabia a system that hacks cellphones, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his purge of regime opponents, according to a complaint to the Israel Police now under investigation.
    But NSO, whose development headquarters is in Herzliya, says that it has acted according to the law and its products are used in the fight against crime and terror.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Either way, a Haaretz investigation based on testimony and photos, as well as travel and legal documents, reveals the Saudis’ behind-the-scenes attempts to buy Israeli technology.
    In June 2017, a diverse group gathered in a hotel room in Vienna, a city between East and West that for decades has been a center for espionage, defense-procurement contacts and unofficial diplomatic meetings.
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
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    Arriving at the hotel were Abdullah al-Malihi, a close associate of Prince Turki al-Faisal – a former head of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services – and another senior Saudi official, Nasser al-Qahtani, who presented himself as the deputy of the current intelligence chief. Their interlocutors were two Israeli businessmen, representatives of NSO, who presented to the Saudis highly advanced technology.

    >> Israel’s cyber-spy industry helps world dictators hunt dissidents and gays | Revealed
    In 2017, NSO was avidly promoting its new technology, its Pegasus 3 software, an espionage tool so sophisticated that it does not depend on the victim clicking on a link before the phone is breached.
    During the June 2017 meeting, NSO officials showed a PowerPoint presentation of the system’s capabilities. To demonstrate it, they asked Qahtani to go to a nearby mall, buy an iPhone and give them its number. During that meeting they showed how this was enough to hack into the new phone and record and photograph the participants in the meeting.
    The meeting in Vienna wasn’t the first one between the two sides. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently expressed pride in the tightening ties with Gulf states, with Israel’s strength its technology. The message is clear: Israel is willing to sell these countries security-related technologies, and they forge closer ties with Israel in the strategic battle against Iran.
    >> $6 billion of Iranian money: Why Israeli firm Black Cube really went after Obama’s team
    According to the complaint, the affair began with a phone call received by a man identified as a European businessman with connections in the Gulf states. On the line was W., an Israeli dealing in defense-related technologies and who operates through Cyprus-based companies. (Many defense-related companies do business in Cyprus because of its favorable tax laws.) W. asked his European interlocutor to help him do business in the Gulf.

    FILE Photo: Two of the founders of NSO, Shalev Julio and Omri Lavi.
    Among the European businessman’s acquaintances were the two senior Saudi officials, Malihi and Qahtani.
    On February 1, 2017, W. and the businessman met for the first time. The main topic was the marketing of cyberattack software. Unlike ordinary weapons systems, the price depends only on a customer’s eagerness to buy the system.
    The following month, the European businessman traveled to a weapons exhibition in the United Arab Emirates, where a friend introduced him to Malihi, the Saudi businessman.
    In April 2017, a meeting was arranged in Vienna between Malihi, Qahtani and representatives of Israeli companies. Two more meetings subsequently took place with officials of Israeli companies in which other Israelis were present. These meetings took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Limassol, Cyprus, where Israeli cybercompanies often meet with foreign clients.
    >> Snowden: Israeli firm’s spyware was used to track Khashoggi
    The meetings were attended by W. and his son. They were apparently friendly: In photographs documenting one of them, W. and Qahtani are shown after a hunting trip, with the Saudi aiming a rifle at a dead animal.
    In the Vienna meeting of April 2017, the Saudis presented a list of 23 systems they sought to acquire. Their main interest was cybersystems. For a few dozens of millions of dollars, they would be able to hack into the phones of regime opponents in Saudi Arabia and around the world and collect classified information about them.
    According to the European businessman, the Saudis, already at the first meeting, passed along to the representatives of one of the companies details of a Twitter account of a person who had tweeted against the regime. They wanted to know who was behind the account, but the Israeli company refused to say.

    Offices of Israeli NSO Group company in Herzliya, Israel, Aug. 25, 2016Daniella Cheslow/AP
    In the June 2017 meeting, the Saudis expressed interest in NSO’s technology.
    According to the European businessman, in July 2017 another meeting was held between the parties, the first at W.’s home in Cyprus. W. proposed selling Pegasus 3 software to the Saudis for $208 million.
    Malihi subsequently contacted W. and invited him to Riyadh to present the software to members of the royal family. The department that oversees defense exports in Israel’s Defense Ministry and the ministry’s department for defense assistance, responsible for encouraging exports, refused to approve W.’s trip.
    Using the initials for the defense assistance department, W. reportedly said “screw the D.A.” and chartered a small plane, taking with him NSO’s founder, Shalev Hulio, to the meetings in the Gulf. According to the European businessman, the pair were there for three days, beginning on July 18, 2017.
    At these meetings, the European businessman said, an agreement was made to sell the Pegasus 3 to the Saudis for $55 million.
    According to the European businessman, the details of the deal became known to him only through his contacts in the defense assistance department. He said he had agreed orally with W. that his commission in the deal would be 5 percent – $2.75 million.
    But W. and his son stopped answering the European businessman’s phone calls. Later, the businessman told the police, he received an email from W.’s lawyer that contained a fake contract in which the company would agree to pay only his expenses and to consider whether to pay him a bonus if the deal went through.
    The European businessman, assisted by an Israeli lawyer, filed a complaint in April 2018. He was questioned by the police’s national fraud squad and was told that the affair had been transferred to another unit specializing in such matters. Since then he has been contacted by the income tax authorities, who are apparently checking whether there has been any unreported income from the deal.
    The European businessman’s claims seem to be substantiated by correspondence Haaretz has obtained between Cem Koksal, a Turkish businessman living in the UAE, and W.’s lawyers in Israel. The European businessman said in his complaint that Koksal was involved in mediating the deal.
    In a letter sent by Koksal’s lawyer in February of this year, he demanded his portion from W. In a response letter, sent in early March, W.’s attorney denied the existence of the deal. The deal had not been signed, the letter claimed, due to Koksal’s negligence, therefore he was due no commission or compensation of any kind.
    These issues have a wider context. From the claims by the European businessman and Koksal’s letter, it emerges that the deal was signed in the summer of 2017, a few months before Crown Prince Mohammed began his purge of regime opponents. During that purge, the Saudi regime arrested and tortured members of the royal family and Saudi businessmen accused of corruption. The Saudis also held Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri for a few days in a Riyadh hotel.
    In the following months the Saudis continued their hunt for regime opponents living abroad, which raised international attention only when the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul came to light in October.
    It has recently been claimed that NSO helped the Saudi regime surveil its opponents. According to an article in Forbes magazine and reports from the Canadian cyber-related think tank Citizen Lab, among the surveillance targets were the satirist Ghanem Almasrir and human rights activist Yahya Asiri, who live in London, and Omar Abdulaziz, who lives in exile in Canada.
    These three men were in contact with Khashoggi. Last month, Edward Snowden, who uncovered the classified surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency, claimed that Pegasus had been used by the Saudi authorities to surveil Khashoggi.
    “They are the worst of the worst,” Snowden said of NSO, whose people he accused of aiding and abetting human rights violations.
    NSO’s founders and chief executives are Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio. The company is registered in Cyprus but its development headquarters is in Herzliya. In 2014 the company was sold to private equity firm Francisco Partners based on a valuation of $250 million.
    Francisco Partners did not respond to Haaretz’s request for comment.
    In May, Verint Systems offered to buy NSO for $1 billion, but the offer was rejected. The company is awash in cash. Earlier this month all its employees went on vacation in Phuket, Thailand. Netta Barzilai, Lior Suchard, the Ma Kashur Trio and the band Infected Mushroom were also flown there to entertain them.
    The Pegasus system developed by NSO was a “one-click system,” meaning that the victim had to press on a link sent to him through phishing. The new system no longer requires this. Only the number of the SIM card is needed to hack into the phone. It’s unknown how Pegasus does this.
    Technology sources believe that the technology either exploits breaches in the cellphone’s modem, the part that receives messages from the antenna, or security breaches in the apps installed on a phone. As soon as a phone is hacked, the speaker and camera can be used for recording conversations. Even encoded apps such as WhatsApp can be monitored.
    NSO’s operations are extremely profitable.
    The company, which conceals its client list, has been linked to countries that violate human rights. NSO says its products are used in the fight against crime and terror, but in certain countries the authorities identify anti-regime activists and journalists as terrorists and subject them to surveillance.
    In 2012, NSO sold an earlier version of Pegasus to Mexico to help it combat the drug cartel in that country. According to the company, all its contracts include a clause specifically permitting the use of its software only to “investigate and prevent crime or acts of terror.” But The New York Times reported in 2016 that the Mexican authorities also surveilled journalists and lawyers.
    Following that report, Mexican victims of the surveillance filed a lawsuit in Israel against NSO last September. This year, The New York Times reported that the software had been sold to the UAE, where it helped the authorities track leaders of neighboring countries as well as a London newspaper editor.
    In response to these reports, NSO said it “operated and operates solely in compliance with defense export laws and under the guidelines and close oversight of all elements of the defense establishment, including all matters relating to export policies and licenses.
    “The information presented by Haaretz about the company and its products and their use is wrong, based on partial rumors and gossip. The presentation distorts reality.
    “The company has an independent, external ethics committee such as no other company like it has. It includes experts in legal affairs and international relations. The committee examines every deal so that the use of the system will take place only according to permitted objectives of investigating and preventing terror and crime.
    “The company’s products assist law enforcement agencies in protecting people around the world from terror attacks, drug cartels, child kidnappers for ransom, pedophiles, and other criminals and terrorists.
    “In contrast to newspaper reports, the company does not sell its products or allow their use in many countries. Moreover, the company greatly limits the extent to which its customers use its products and is not involved in the operation of the systems by customers.”
    A statement on W.’s behalf said: “This is a false and completely baseless complaint, leverage for an act of extortion by the complainants, knowing that there is no basis for their claims and that if they would turn to the relevant courts they would be immediately rejected.”

  • A Palestinian vineyard annihilated with chainsaws, with a chilling message in Hebrew
    Gideon Levy, Alex Levac | May 24, 2018 | 6:53 PM

    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.

  • “Good morning” considered dangerous
    “Israel Arrests Palestinian Because Facebook Translated ’Good Morning’ to ’Attack Them’”

    The Israel Police mistakenly arrested a Palestinian worker last week because they relied on automatic translation software to translate a post he wrote on his Facebook page. The Palestinian was arrested after writing “good morning,” which was misinterpreted; no Arabic-speaking police officer read the post before the man’s arrest. […]

    The automatic translation service offered by Facebook uses its own proprietary algorithms. It translated “good morning” as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English

    #machineLearning #ai #computerSaysNo

  • Israel arrests Palestinian because Facebook translated ’good morning’ to ’attack them’ - Israel News -

    The Israel Police mistakenly arrested a Palestinian worker last week because they relied on automatic translation software to translate a post he wrote on his Facebook page. The Palestinian was arrested after writing “good morning,” which was misinterpreted; no Arabic-speaking police officer read the post before the man’s arrest.
    The Facebook post that mistranslated ’good morning’ to ’hurt them’

    Last week, the man posted on his Facebook page a picture from the construction site where he works in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Ilit near Jerusalem. In the picture he is leaning against a bulldozer alongside the caption: “Good morning” in Arabic.

    The automatic translation service offered by Facebook uses its own proprietary algorithms. It translated “good morning” as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English.

    Arabic speakers explained that English transliteration used by Facebook is not an actual word in Arabic but could look like the verb “to hurt” – even though any Arabic speaker could clearly see the transliteration did not match the translation.

    But because of the mistaken translation the Judea and Samaria District police were notified of the post. The police officers were suspicious because the translation accompanied a picture of the man alongside the bulldozer, a vehicle that has been used in the past in hit-and-run terrorist attacks. They suspected he was threatening to carry out such an attack and the police arrested him. After he was questioned, the police realized their mistake and released the man after a few hours.

    The Judea and Samaria District police confirmed the details and said a mistake in translation was made, which led to the mistaken arrest. The police agreed the correct translation was “good morning.”

    The Palestinian man declined to speak with Haaretz. He removed the post from his Facebook page after the arrest.

    #palestine #israel #lost_in_translation

    (via Angry Arab)

  • As violence intensifies, Israel continues to arm Myanmar’s military junta
    Responding to a petition filed by human rights activists, Defense Ministry says matter is ’clearly diplomatic’
    By John Brown Sep. 3, 2017 | 5:58 PM

    The violence directed at Myanmar’s Rohingya minority by the country’s regime has intensified. United Nations data show that about 60,000 members of the minority group have recently fled Myanmar’s Rahine state, driven out by the increasing violence and the burning of their villages, information that has been confirmed by satellite images. But none of this has led to a change in the policy of the Israeli Defense Ministry, which is refusing to halt weapons sales to the regime in Myanmar, the southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma.

    On Thursday, the bodies of 26 refugees, including 12 children, were removed from the Naf River, which runs along the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Of the refugees who managed to reach Bangladesh, many had been shot. There were also reports of rapes, shootings and fatal beatings directed at the Rohingya minority, which is denied human rights in Myanmar. The country’s army has been in the middle of a military campaign since October that intensified following the recent killing of 12 Myanmar soldiers by Muslim rebels.

    Since Burma received its independence from Britain in 1948, civil war has been waged continuously in various parts of the country. In November 2015, democratic elections were held in the country that were won by Nobel Prize-winning human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi. But her government doesn’t exert real control over the country’s security forces, since private militias are beholden to the junta that controlled Myanmar prior to the election.

    Militia members continue to commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of human rights around the country, particularly against minority groups that are not even accorded citizenship. Since Myanmar’s military launched operations in Rahine last October, a number of sources have described scenes of slaughter of civilians, unexplained disappearances, and the rape of women and girls, as well as entire villages going up in flames. The military has continued to commit war crimes and violations of international law up to the present.

    Advanced Israeli weapons

    Despite what is known at this point from the report of the United Nations envoy to the country and a report by Harvard University researchers that said the commission of crimes of this kind is continuing, the Israeli government persists in supplying weapons to the regime there.

    One of the heads of the junta, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, visited Israel in September 2015 on a “shopping trip” of Israeli military manufacturers. His delegation met with President Reuven Rivlin as well as military officials including the army’s chief of staff. It visited military bases and defense contractors Elbit Systems and Elta Systems.

    The head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate — better known by its Hebrew acronym, SIBAT — is Michel Ben-Baruch, who went to Myanmar in the summer of 2015. In the course of the visit, which attracted little media coverage, the heads of the junta disclosed that they purchased Super Dvora patrol boats from Israel, and there was talk of additional purchases.

    In August 2016, images were posted on the website of TAR Ideal Concepts, an Israeli company that specializes in providing military training and equipment, showing training with Israeli-made Corner Shot rifles, along with the statement that Myanmar had begun operational use of the weapons. The website said the company was headed by former Israel Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishki. Currently the site makes no specific reference to Myanmar, referring only more generally to Asia.

    Who will supervise the supervisors?

    Israel’s High Court of Justice is scheduled to hear, in late September, a petition from human rights activists against the continued arms sales to Myanmar.

    In a preliminary response issued in March, the Defense Ministry argued that the court has no standing in the matter, which it called “clearly diplomatic.”

    On June 5, in answer to a parliamentary question by Knesset member Tamar Zandberg on weapons sales to Myanmar, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel “subordinates [itself] to the entire enlightened world, that is the Western states, and first of all the United States, the largest arms exporter. We subordinate ourselves to them and maintain the same policy.”

    He said the Knesset plenum may not be the appropriate forum for a detailed discussion of the matter and reiterated that Israel complies with “all the accepted guidelines in the enlightened world.”

    Lieberman statement was incorrect. The United States and the European Union have imposed an arms embargo on Myanmar. It’s unclear whether the cause was ignorance, and Lieberman is not fully informed about Israel’s arms exports (even though he must approve them), or an attempt at whitewashing.

    In terms of history, as well, Lieberman’s claim is incorrect. Israel supported war crimes in Argentina, for example, even when the country was under a U.S. embargo, and it armed the Serbian forces committing massacres in Bosnia despite a United Nations embargo.


  • Israel Police tells court: Netanyahu suspected of bribery and fraud -
    Court issues gag order on talks with former aide Ari Harow to become state witness; Netanyahu: The campaign to change the government is destined to fail
    Revital Hovel Aug 03, 2017 7:58 PM

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two cases, Israel Police confirmed on Thursday when it requested a gag order on the ongoing talks to recruit a state witness. The gag order was granted and is effective until September 17.

    A response on behalf of the prime minister stated on Thursday: “We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the prime minister. The campaign to change the government is underway, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there won’t be anything because there was nothing.”

  • Israeli police turn East Jerusalem hospital into battlefield amid hunt for dying Palestinian

    A ’barbaric’ Israeli police raid on Makassed Hospital could have ended in a massacre, director says
    By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac | Jul. 28, 2017 | 6:19 PM

    Through the window of his office, Dr. Rafiq Husseini has a view of the courtyard of the hospital he directs, the stone wall that surrounds it and the pine grove on the other side. The wall is still speckled with bloodstains, now turned brown.

    This is the blood of Mohammed Abu Ghannam, 22, who was shot and killed by Israeli security forces during the rioting over the Temple Mount last Friday. Why is his blood smeared on the wall? Because friends of the dead young man rushed to smuggle his body out of the hospital, just minutes after he died in the corridor, to elude the unbelievable hunt for the cadaver conducted by the Border Police and the Jerusalem District’s men in blue.

    The body, wrapped in a bloodstained sheet, swayed from side to side as the group ran with it and passed it over the wall, which is several meters high. For a moment it seemed that the body was about to slide out from under the sheet, but in the end it reached the other side safely. From there it was carried to a nearby monastery and then, swiftly, was transported in a private car to the cemetery of the A-Tur neighborhood – “our village,” as residents call it – on the Mount of Olives. On the way, the car carrying the body was stopped by police at an intersection, but it was permitted to proceed on condition that no more than seven people be present at the burial.

    In the end, hundreds defied the police to accompany accompanied Abu Ghannam on his final journey, though the funeral was conducted hastily and not in accordance with the tradition of first going to the home of the deceased and then to the mosque – all because of the policy of pandering in human bodies that’s being pursued by Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, hero of the Temple Mount disturbances.

    But that was not enough for the Jerusalem police. On Sunday, officers arrested Hassan Abu Ghannam, 47, the bereaved father, for reasons that remain unclear. The next day, the police returned to the mourning tent set up in the youth’s memory and tore down all the photographs of him. They threatened to levy a fine for each additional photo hung and also to dismantle the tent. Thus shall it be done.

    But in Dr. Husseini’s office in East Jerusalem’s Makassed Hospital, not far away, a semblance of tranquility prevails. At 65, he’s a man of snow-white hair and otherwise distinguished appearance, who studied microbiology and health-care management. He has on his computer footage taken by the security cameras last Friday, documenting minute by minute what transpired in the corridors of the hospital he runs.

    At 1:30 P.M., the hospital began readying to receive individuals injured in demonstrations in East Jerusalem. By the end of the day, 120 people with wounds of varying severity would pass through the Makassed ER. At midweek only five were still hospitalized, two of them in intensive care. Most of the injured wanted to get first aid and leave immediately, to avoid possible arrest by policemen, who they feared would arrive at any moment. For the most part, the wounds were caused by rubber-coated bullets fired from short range – possibly a new version of this type of ammunition, as the damage it caused was more severe than what Husseini says he has seen in the past.

    The police had already raided the hospital on Monday last week, to arrest Ala Abu Taya, a 17-year-old who’d been badly wounded in an incident in Silwan. He was in serious condition; three police officers were assigned to guard his room in the ICU. They left on Wednesday, but since then policemen have been coming occasionally to check his status. They just show up and enter the unit.

    But what happened on Friday is something else again. Husseini arrived at his office, on what should have been his day of rest, at about 3:30 P.M., when it was clear that dozens had already been wounded. Upon his arrival he was told that Border Police troops were present and making their way to the operating rooms. Three were in the one Husseini entered – their very presence a violation of the rules of operating-theater hygiene. They were looking for Mohammed Abu Ghannam. He wasn’t there, so the police ordered Husseini to take them to the morgue – without saying whom they were after, Husseini says now. Earlier, noticing a nurse wearing bloodstained surgical gloves, the policemen asked whose blood it was, but it turned out to belong to a different patient who had undergone surgery.

    As he left the operating suite, Husseini saw dozens more Border Police personnel in the corridors. He estimates their number at about 50, though the hospital security guards we spoke with later think there were even more. In any event, the force moved in the direction of the morgue. On the way they passed the blood bank, where they told the dozens of people who were waiting to give blood to leave the premises immediately. The video footage shows one donor departing with a needle still stuck on his arm. “It turned into a madhouse,” Hussein recalls.

    Fortunately, a force of regular members of the Israel Police, led by two senior officers, also arrived at the hospital. Thanks to them, a major disaster was averted, the hospital director says. In the atmosphere that prevailed, and with dozens of Border Police striding through the corridors like they owned the place, he said he saw disaster looming. After he spoke with the civilian officers, they ordered the Border Police to leave the hospital. On their way out, the latter threw stun grenades and tear-gas grenades at the crowd that had gathered in the courtyard. The metal covering of the wall at the entrance clearly shows the impact of two rubber-coated bullets that struck it. A male nurse was knocked to the ground by Border Policemen, suffering light injuries; the video shows the troops pushing him over.

    “It was a very grave situation – I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Husseini. In 2015, a police force invaded the hospital in an attempt to confiscate a detainee’s medical file, and also behaved liked lords and masters, but he says it was nothing like this.

    “They were vicious,” Husseini says of those who perpetrated last Friday’s raid. “I think they lost control and it could have led to a massacre. We never had a Border Police raid. They were always police in blue or in black. The Border Police have no respect for the civilian population. What were they looking for? Weapons? Armed terrorists? The police could have come to me and said that there was a wounded person [they were seeking], and asked me about his condition in a civilized way, and not entered the operating rooms with their contaminated boots. Something like this would never happen at Hadassah Hospital.”

    Mohammed Abu Ghannam, a computer science student at Bir Zeit University and the object of the search, was in the ER in critical condition at the time. He had been hit in the chest and neck by two live rounds at the entrance to A-Tur, where he was participating in the violent demonstration that took place there that day, after returning from prayers at the entrance to the Temple Mount.

    An attempt was made to take the patient to an operating room, but police stopped the staff and friends who were pushing his gurney there. Abu Ghannam can be seen in the video footage, hooked up to an I.V., his bed bloodied. Footage from the hospital’s security cameras also shows armed Border Police advancing in the corridors as a young female photographer in a helmet and jeans documents the events, apparently on behalf of the police. Every so often they throw people aside. A sea of helmets at the reception desk, a sea of helmets at the blood bank. Suddenly the bed on which Abu Ghannam is lying can be seen opposite the police – it’s not clear whether he was alive or dead at that point – and then there’s a huge melee and the bed disappears from the frame.

    After the force left, a large quantity of blood remained on the floor, where the bed of the living-dead Abu Ganem passed. There’s part of a green hospital uniform too, along with an employee badge.

    “It was a barbaric attack,” Husseini repeats. “Many people could have been wounded here.”

    The guard at the hospital’s entrance, Rabia Sayed, who photographed everything with his cellular phone, adds, “What were they looking for? A dead man. What were they going to do with him? They killed him and also wanted to take him? Why? Halas. He’s dead. A cadaver. This is a hospital.”

    Asked for comment, a spokesperson for the Israel Police – which includes the Border Police – told Haaretz: “During violent disturbances in East Jerusalem last weekend, the police received a report that a person wounded by gunfire had been taken to Makassed Hospital. The police who went to the hospital to clarify the circumstances of the event and the truthfulness of the report encountered violent disturbances that included stone-throwing from the premises. The police entered the hospital in order to locate the person wounded by gunfire, and when the hospital director was asked, he misled the police and said the wounded person had left the place.

    “Mohammed Ghannam’s father was arrested by the police on suspicion of threatening to commit an act of terror. He was taken for questioning at the police [station] and the court afterward remanded him, emphasizing that these were serious statements.

    “The Israel Police will continue to act with determination, in all places and at all times, against everyone who disturbs the public order and tries to harm police officers or innocent civilians, all in the name of the security of the citizens of the State of Israel.”

    A few minutes’ drive from the hospital, in the heart of A-Tur, a group of men are mourning their dead son, relative and friend under tarpaulins stretched over the courtyard of the family home. The rage and frustration here are boundless; some of the remarks made against the police who tried to snatch the body and against those who tore the pictures off the wall in the mourning tent are unfit to print.

    An uncle of the deceased, Izhak Abu Ghannam, says he saw Mohammed not long before he was shot, as they young man was returning from Friday prayers outside the Temple Mount. He maintains that the Border Police, by invading the hospital as they did, prevented his nephew from receiving medical treatment, and may have been responsible for his death.

    Some of the young people in the tent are the same ones who rescued Mohammed’s body from the Border Police’s kidnapping attempt. They all speak Hebrew.

    Hassan, the bereaved father, is still under arrest and no one knows where he is. He was rousted from his bed at 4 A.M. on Sunday morning. He’d already been called a few times over the weekend by the police and the Shin Bet security service, who threatened that if he didn’t ensure that the village remained quiet, he would be arrested.

    “We have goats here in the village that know how to behave better with people than your policemen and soldiers,” says Uncle Izhak.

  • Reconstruction of Umm al-Hiran killings disproves car-ramming claims
    “An investigative team led by Forensic Architecture and Activestills proves, through a reenactment and visual analyses of footage of the incident, that the deaths of a Bedouin teacher and an Israeli policeman in Umm al-Hiran in January were not the result of a car-ramming attack.”

    By Yael Marom

    “The results of a police investigation into the January 18 events in Umm al-Hiran, during which — prior to a slate of home demolitions — a Bedouin man who was shot by police ran over and killed an Israeli policeman before succumbing to his wounds, have yet to be published. But it’s already clear that every detail the Israel Police tried to pass off to the public and the media was incorrect.

    The reconstruction also proves that Abu al-Qi’an was still alive after his car had stopped, as the autopsy findings showed. He even opened his car door before falling out of the vehicle. An eyewitness testified to investigators that he saw a police officer pointing his gun at Abu al-Qi’an while the latter was still alive, strengthening the claim that the already-injured Abu al-Qi’an was shot again after his car had stopped and he did not pose a threat to anyone.Forensic Architecture, in partnership with Activestills, has now managed to put together a reconstruction of what happened in Umm al-Hiran that day. Their work proves that contrary to police claims, Yaqub Mousa Abu al-Qi’an did not intentionally accelerate his car, but rather it picked up speed and went down the slope only after police had opened fire and hit Abu al-Qi’an’s right leg. As a result, his car struck and killed police officer Erez Levi.”

  • When the rapist is also the judge | Amira Hass Apr 09, 2017 9:58 PM

    The entire Israeli military legal system that operates in the West Bank is corrupt

    Agents nicknamed Niso, Herzl and Arye signed an almost identical document, on different dates. Its heading reads: State of Israel, General Security Service [Shin Bet], unclassified. Under that it says: to the Israel Police’s crime investigations unit in Judea and Samaria. The subject: denial of a detainee’s request to meet a lawyer. The name of the detainee comes next. In this case it’s Kifah Quzmar, with his identity number included. (The word “nicknamed” the quotation marks around the names appear in the original document.)

    The one nicknamed Niso was in charge of the investigation. He heads the Ramallah team of investigators, and was the one who signed the first three orders prohibiting the 28 year-old Quzmar from meeting his lawyer. The first one was signed on March 8, a day after Quzmar was arrested at the Allenby border crossing, and was valid until March 13, at 11:59 p.m. The second and third orders were signed on March 13 and 16, respectively. The one nicknamed Herzl, who heads another investigations unit, signed an identical order on March 21 while Arye, who heads yet another unit, signed such an order on March 23, valid until 11:59 p.m. on March 26.

    This is what the order says: “By my authority … having examined the circumstances I hereby order that the detainee not be allowed to meet a lawyer for a further period … since I believe this is necessary for the following reasons …” In the first two documents signed by Niso the reason given is “for the area’s security” and that’s all. The third document bearing his signature and the other two documents give the same reason, as well as one stating “for the benefit of the investigation.”

    In other words, from March 16 the investigators admit the investigation ran into serious trouble. It did not yield what was expected. Advancing the investigation required the continued violation of basic principles of jurisprudence and detainee rights. A bit more pressure, somewhat less moderate, a few more painful positions and sleep deprivation, threats and insults and who knows, maybe a shred of evidence would pop up.

    On March 16 the detainee was brought before the president of the military court, Lt. Col. Menachem Lieberman. His lawyer, Anan Odeh, waited outside while the investigator told the judge that “Quzmar was suspected of activity that would endanger the security of the area.” How original. Quzmar, who is studying business administration at Bir Zeit University, said (according to the minutes of this hearing) that “the investigators are trying to find something to pin on me and destroy my future. They have no proof and I constitute no danger.”

    Quzmar was led out of the courtroom trailer and his attorney went in. He asked questions and the investigator said he couldn’t answer them. He was asked if Quzmar was cooperating with the investigation and replied that he wasn’t. When asked if there were any criminal charges against Quzmar he referred to a “secret report.” Was police testimony taken from the detainee? “No.” How many times has he been questioned since his arrest? “Nine times.” For how many hours? “Yesterday (March 15) he was questioned for four hours, with breaks.” Is he subjected to pressure? The investigator replied that “the report would refer to that issue if that was the case.”

    Lt. Col. Lieberman did a copy and paste from innumerable previous rulings and wrote that “there are grave suspicions against the detainee, which require detention and interrogation. … I’ve taken into account the fact that the suspect is not allowed to see his attorney, but due to the severity of the transgressions and the need to reach the truth there is justification in extending his remand for the entire requested period, in order to give investigators a continuous detention period.” Lieberman extended detention until March 27.

    On March 24 attorney Odeh submitted an urgent petition to the High Court of Justice, asking that his client be allowed to meet with a lawyer. Without waiting for a ruling the investigators removed their objection to such a meeting.

    Up to then Quzmar had been questioned by the Shin Bet in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem and at Hashikma Prison in Ashkelon. He was also put in a cell with collaborators disguised as prisoners, which was meant to induce him to talk. He was later transferred to the Ofer Prison in the West Bank. He went on a hunger strike for a few days as a protest against being denied a lawyer’s visit. On April 3, a final hearing regarding the last extension of his detention was scheduled, to decide whether he would be charged or sent home.

    On that sunny morning, Quzmar’s brother and cousin walked along the fenced path linking the Bitunya commercial checkpoint to the military courtroom. The 800 meters separating the two were lined with spring’s greenery and chirping birds. They crossed rotating iron gates that open and shut at the press of a button. They sat in the waiting yard, smoking many cigarettes and waiting. Who didn’t arrive? Kifah. Their guess was that he’d been sent to administrative detention.

    Indeed, the administrative order for a six-month detention is signed by Col. Yossi Sariel, Central Command’s intelligence officer. The Shin Bet failed to extract some hint of an offense, so the simple solution is unlimited administrative detention, based on no evidence, no charges, defense or trial. What else is new?

    The entire Israeli military legal system that operates in the West Bank is corrupt. The serial rapist arrests the victim simply due to her principled or active resistance to the rape. He charges her, tries her and then sentences her. That is it in a nutshell. Denying the right to meet an attorney and administrative detention are but two of the more common practices in the foreordained process of punishing Palestinians for being Palestinians who object to our foreign rule.

  • Palestinian succumbs to gunshot wounds inflicted 3 months ago by Israeli forces
    Feb. 10, 2017 5:33 P.M. (Updated : Feb. 10, 2017 5:34 P.M.)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A Palestinian held in Israeli custody succumbed to his wounds on Friday after being shot by Israeli forces in Nov. for allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack.

    Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, told Ma’an that 24-year-old Muhammad al-Jallad (also reported as Muhammad Amr) died in Israeli custody while at the Beilinson Hospital in the city of Petah Tikva in central Israel.

    Al-Jallad was shot by Israeli forces on Nov. 9, 2016 at the Huwwara military checkpoint in the southern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Qaraqe said.

    Israeli authorities claimed that al-Jallad had attempted to stab an Israeli soldier with a screwdriver before Israeli forces opened live fire on him.

    According to Qaraqe, Israeli forces took al-Jallad into custody at the time and transported him to Beilinson hospital for treatment.

    Qaraqe added that al-Jallad had also suffered from lymphoma.

    Nov. 9, 2016 9:40 A.M. (Updated : Nov. 10, 2016 10:25 A.M.)

    (...) Abdullah Abu Salim, 43, a merchant from Huwwara, told Ma’an at the scene that he and two of his friends, “saw [Amr] attempting to cross the road in Huwwara before being shot at by an Israeli soldier who then took out a knife and threw it next to the youth.”(...)


    • Palestinian Dies After Being Shot by Israeli Troops on His Way to His Last Chemo Session

      No one bothered to keep the young Palestinian’s family informed.
      Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Feb 17, 2017 9:52 AM
      read more:

      Mohammed-Aamar Jalad’s father, Thabath. - photo Alec Levac

      On his way to what was supposed to his final chemotherapy session, last November, he boarded the wrong shared taxi. Discovering his mistake, he got off and ran across the highway to catch a taxi going in the opposite direction. Israel Defense Forces soldiers who may have thought he was going to attack them, shot him, seriously wounding him. For the next three months, he was bedridden in Beilinson Hospital, in Petah Tikva, most of the time in the intensive care unit. Throughout that entire period, no one in the IDF thought of updating his parents and family about the condition of their loved one. His mother was the only one allowed who was supposed to be allowed to visit him, but even though she came a few times, on all but one occasion, she was not permitted to enter his room.

      Just as his condition seemed to be improving, he died, apparently last week. No one thought to inform the family about his death, or the circumstances surrounding it. Israel has not yet returned the body.

      In his native town of Tul Karm, in the northwestern part of the West Bank, no one believes that Mohammed-Aamar Jalad tried to attack soldiers on the way to his last chemo session. His father is the city’s legendary driving instructor – 45 years behind the wheel – and his grandfather was the first local resident to serve in the Israel Police. A photo of the grandfather in uniform hangs on a wall of Mohammed’s family’s house.

      This, then, was the life and death of the 25-year-old student, who dreamed of living in the United States, and who in 2010 won a U.S. green card through the lottery – but had fulfillment of his dream delayed by cancer, and terminated by Israeli soldiers.

      When we visited last weekend, women paying their condolences were going up and down the stairs leading to the elegant home in Tul Karm, which is shrouded in mourning. Mohammed’s sister, Samar, the dean of the nursing school at Ramallah’s Community College, and her father, Thabath, the driving teacher, greet us.

      It’s a very restrained, dignified home. The family is apolitical, we’re told by Abdulkarim Sadi, a field researcher for B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights organization.

      Mohammed was the youngest son; his two brothers live in the Persian Gulf region. A year ago, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. At that time, he’d completed two years of accountancy studies at Al-Quds Open University and had signed up for additional studies at the Ramallah college. His illness forced him to put his academic aspirations on hold. He was treated at An-Najah National University Hospital in Nablus, in biweekly intravenous chemotherapy sessions. The disease was in recession and he felt good.

      Wednesday, November 9, 2016, was set as the date for the final treatment. Samar called him that morning to ask if he was going to the hospital, and he replied that he was. At 7:30 A.M., his father took him to the Tul Karm central bus station, leaving him at the stand of shared-taxis heading to Nablus. The taxis for Ramallah were parked across the way, and Mohammed accidentally boarded one of them. He only realized his mistake next to the turnoff to the settlement of Yitzhar. The driver suggested that he get off at Hawara Junction, next to the checkpoint of that name, where he would be able to pick up the taxi to Nablus.

      Mohammed took his advice; after getting out of the vehicle, he had to cross the highway. He did so on the run. On the other side was an IDF jeep and a few soldiers, who were guarding the busy junction. The soldiers apparently thought that he was out to attack them.

      Mohammed was shot as he reached the middle of the road – one bullet to the stomach. He collapsed, bleeding. Just then, a Palestinian ambulance happened by, taking a patient from Jenin to the Allenby Bridge. The driver, Osama Nazal, wanted to assist him, but the soldiers and police who had arrived in the meantime kept him from evacuating the injured man. More forces arrived, along with an Israeli ambulance, which took Mohammed to Beilinson Hospital. Nazal later told Mohammed’s parents that their son was still fully conscious at that time.

      Some time later, the father got a call from Palestinian Preventive Security, asking him to come to the organization’s offices. Thabath waited until he’d finished the driving lesson he was giving before going. He says he thought he’d been summoned because his son had been involved in a quarrel with another passenger. He never imagined the news that awaited him. As he was sitting there, hearing only that his son had been hurt – he got a call asking him to come to the office of the Shin Bet security service at the Sha’ar Ephraim checkpoint, near Tul Karm.

      Thabath was met there by Agent “Karim,” whom he describes as being very polite when questioning him about his son. However, Karim, too, declined to tell him anything about Mohammed’s condition, or even whether he was alive or dead. In the meantime, one of Thabath’s friends told him that his son had been taken to Beilinson. Thabath drove home to get his wife, and the two set out for Sha’ar Ephraim in the hope that they would be allowed to pass through the checkpoint – as they should have been, because they are both over 55 – and get quickly to Beilinson. But they were stopped and peremptorily sent back without an explanation.

      From that moment, the family was plunged into three months of torment and mental abuse, during which the darkness of uncertainty about their son’s condition hung over their lives, and they swung back and forth between despair and hope. Never were they successful in receiving authoritative information. They knew Mohammed was in ICU in serious condition, in an induced coma and hooked up to a ventilator; at some point, the family, which they received informaton from their lawyer and from sympathetic medical staff, heard that his condition had improved. They sent information about his bout with lymphoma to the hospital and hoped for the best.

      Over those three months, Mohammed’s father was continually denied entry to Israel to visit his son. His wife, Maisir, was issued a permit on four occasions, but on three of them, after making the trip, she was blocked from entering Mohammed’s room by the soldier-warders guarding it. Once, they let her see him from the door for an instant; once they let her in for about two minutes, to caress him. His condition improved from one visit to the next. The doctors and nurses told Maisir he had regained consciousness and had been taken off the ventilator.

      A few days before his death, he was moved from ICU to the surgical ward. Throughout the period, he continued to be remanded in custody by an Israeli military court.

      For her part, Maisir went to visit for the last time on January 23. Again she was denied entry to his room, and only allowed to talk to the medical personnel. Dr. Kamal Natour, from the Palestinian Prisoners Club, a voluntary organization made up of former Israeli detainees, visited Mohammed at the time and reported to the family. They understood that he was getting better and had begun to eat. Then a few days went by without any news. Maisir had a sense of foreboding. She says now that throughout the three months, she barely slept for worry about her son, but last week she became even more worried.

      Last Friday, Maisir decided to call one of the physicians from the ICU, Dr. Jihad Bishara, whom she had met. Her daughter helped her find his number online, after she recognized a photo of him. He told her Mohammed had been transferred out of his unit; he’d been off that day, but he promised to look into the situation and get back to her. Maisir insisted on calling him again. She was very unsettled about her son’s condition, despite the recent optimistic reports.

      “Do you believe in God?” Dr. Bishara asked her when she called him again. “Your son is dead.”

      The doctor then called the family back shortly afterward, this time to inform them officially in the name of the hospital that Mohammed had died. But to this day, they don’t know when their son died and above all, the cause of death.

      This week, we asked the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit five questions:

      1. Why was Mohammed Jalad shot by the soldiers?

      2. Why was his family not allowed to visit him in the hospital?

      3. Why did his parents not receive an authoritative report about his condition?

      4. Why didn’t the IDF bother to inform them of his death and the reasons for his death?

      5. Why hasn’t his body been returned?

      The IDF Spokespersons Unit responded with the following statement: “On November 9, 2016, Mohammed-Amar Jalad carried out a knifing attack on soldiers at the Hawara checkpoint, using a knife sharpener. The force responded with fire, wounding the terrorist, who was evacuated to Beilinson Hospital for treatment.”

      Together with the mourning and grief, the family living in this sedate home in Tul Karm is reeling under a cloud of helplessness and lack of information. What did their loved one die of? Why was he arrested? What must they do to get possession of the body? Time and again they asked, and time and again their questions hung suspended in the air, unanswered.

    • Israel to return body of Palestinian who succumbed to injuries a week earlier
      Feb. 16, 2017 4:30 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 16, 2017 9:36 P.M.)

      TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will return the body of slain Palestinian Muhammad al-Jallad at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Enav checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, according to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

      Al-Jallad — also known as Muhammad Amr — died on Feb. 10 in Israel’s Beilinson Hospital from injuries he sustained after Israeli forces shot him in the chest on Nov. 9, 2016 at the Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus following an alleged stabbing attempt.

  • Affaire #Mimran : les 200.000 dollars qui enfoncent #Netanyahou

    Benjamin Netanyahou, le 27 juin 2016, aux Etats-Unis. © Reuters La retranscription du premier interrogatoire d’Arnaud Mimran dans le dossier du “casse du siècle” contredit les déclarations du premier ministre israélien, selon lesquelles il n’aurait touché de l’affairiste français qu’une unique donation de 40 000 dollars en 2001.

    #International #France #CO2 #Quotas_carbone

    • Mafia du CO2 : Arnaud Mimran est condamné à 8 ans de prison ferme
      7 juillet 2016 | Par Fabrice Arfi

      Arnaud Mimran, organisateur du “casse du siècle” et intime de Benjamin Netanyahou, a été condamné, jeudi 7 juillet, à huit ans de prison au terme du procès de la fraude aux quotas de CO2. Il a quitté le tribunal escorté par les gendarmes, direction la prison. Un mandat d’arrêt a été émis contre son associé, qui ne s’est pas présenté.

    • French Tycoon Linked to Netanyahu Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

      Arnaud Mimran was convicted of fraud charges in what has been dubbed the ’fraud of the century.’ He has separately claimed to have deposited 170,000 euros in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s account.
      Dov Alfon (Paris) Jul 07, 2016 7:20 PM

      Arnaud Mimran arrives at the Paris courthouse for deliberations in his trial over an alleged carbon tax scam, on July 7, 2016.Bertrand Guay, AFP

      PARIS — A Paris court on Thursday convicted and sentenced Arnaud Mimran in a massive carbon-tax fraud dubbed “the sting of the century” by French media outlets.

      Mimran claimed in the course of the investigation that he donated $200,000 to Benjamin Netanyahu for the latter’s 2009 election campaign. The prime minister says the only money he ever received from the French businessman was a $40,000 donation in 2001.

      Mimran, the main suspect in a trial with a dozen defendants, received an eight-year prison sentence and a 1-million-euro fine. In addition, personal assets up to the value of 283 million euros — the loss to tax revenue as a result of his offenses — will be forfeited to the state.

      The court accepted nearly all the recommendations of prosecutor Patrice Amar, who had requested a 10-year sentence for Mimran. The judges also denied Mimran’s request for a stay of sentence pending an appeal, and after the sentence was read out he was taken to prison in handcuffs.

      Six of Mimran’s codefendants were French Jews who were tried in absentia, having fled to Israel before the trial began. They reportedly received Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, and the French government has filed extradition requests.

      Four of the other five defendants failed to appear for judgment and sentencing on Thursday, causing a minor courtroom drama. It was thought that they too — all of them French Jews with bank accounts in Israel, as well as numerous relatives and acquaintances — had fled to Israel.

      Mimran, in a final and characteristic act of defiance, entered the courtroom after the judges were already seated, moments before the bailiff declared him absent as well.

      The complete ruling was expected to be released later on Thursday. The head of the panel of judges read out a shorter version, stating at the outset that the court decided to impose harsh sentences in light of the “extensive harm to taxpayers” resulting from the fraud as well as the “great sophistication of this criminal organization, which may be unprecedented in the history of financial crimes.”

      Turning to face, Mimran, the head judge said, “The court found that it cannot believe your feigned proclamation of innocence, according to which your visits to the center of the fraudulent operations in Israel were a coincidence.” He added: “Mister Mimran, you led this fraud, albeit in partnership with the head of the Israeli gang Sami Sweid, who was later murdered in uncertain circumstances. You contributed significantly and knowingly to the organization and to the extent of money that was moved around. You are the main person responsible for the theft of enormous amounts from the pockets of French taxpayers.”

      Other defendants also received stiff sentences. The French-Israeli real-estate broker Eddie Abittan, who was tried in absentia and is believed to be in Israel, received a six-year custodial sentence — longer than prosecutors had requested. He was also fined 1 million euros and ordered to forfeit his assets. An Interpol arrest warrant was issued for Abittan and the other defendants who were convicted and who are presumed to be in Israel.

      Only one defendant was acquitted on all charges: Alexander Bernshtein, an Israeli citizen and the CEO of Albercom Finance Services. The court accepted his lawyer’s argument that the state failed to prove criminal intent or that his client had violated Israeli laws. His company, which specializes in currency transfers, was also exonerated.

      Marco Mouly, the trial’s No. 2 defendant was convicted on all counts. Like Mimran, he received an eight-year prison sentence, a fine of 1 million euros and the forfeiture of all his assets. Mouly failed to appear in court Thursday, having presumably fled to Israel after reporting to a police station on Wednesday, as required by his terms of release. When police searched his home they found several passports, at least one of which had been reported stolen. In addition to French and Israeli citizenship, Mouly has Tunisian citizenship and he has many financial assets in Israel and Switzerland.

      The trial’s No. 3 defendant, Jaroslaw Klapucki, the CEO of the French arm of Poland-headquartered emissions brokerage Consus, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined 1 million euros. Consus was convicted of money laundering and was fined 3 million euros.

      The court found that Mouly and Klapucki founded MK Holdings as a phantom company incorporated in Israel for the purpose of laundering the profits from the fraud. Haaretz previously reported that there was no evidence that such a company had been registered or had operated in Israel.

      The lesser codefendants, some of them relatives of Mouly, did not appear in court and some are thought to be in Israel. They received prison sentence of between one and five years. It’s not clear whether prosecutors will request their extradition.

      Surprise was evident in the courtroom when the sentence of the key witness in the trial was read out. Jeremy Grinholz is hiding out in Israel under the name Eitan Liron. The court admitted that without his testimony, which he delivered to the fraud unit of the Israel Police, the prosecution would have found it difficult to dismantle the criminal organization at the center of the affair, but the judges ruled that this was insufficient to warrant reducing his punishment.

      “He was the group’s programmer, who enabled the enormous scope of this fraud and the lightning speed at which selling orders were executed. Without his skills this organization would have been cut down to its natural size,” the judges said.

      The court ordered prosecutors to start investigating additional offenses that surfaced during the trial. It did not detail the new allegations, with the exception of the suspicion that Mimran’s brother and parents were party to the fraud. The court stayed the confiscation of a building in the 16th arrondissement of Paris that the family owns until an investigation of its purchase is complete. Netanyahu has called the Mimrans a respectable Jewish family

    • Rappel
      Mafia du CO2 : soupçons sur la police
      27 avril 2016 | Par Fabrice Arfi

      (...) Il y a parfois de saisissants hasards de calendrier. Pendant le procès du CO2, une autre audience devrait agiter en mai la chronique médiatique au même moment à Paris : l’ancienne star de l’anti-gang français, le commissaire Michel Neyret, sera en effet jugée dans une salle voisine pour corruption en raison des faveurs consenties par deux escrocs lyonnais, Gilles Bénichou et Stéphane Alzraa, en échange de renseignements confidentiels. L’histoire est connue et a déjà fait grand bruit. Mais il est un pan peu exploré du dossier qui touche, lui, directement aux affaires du CO2 et à ses meurtres.

      Les nombreuses écoutes menées en mars 2011 sur les corrupteurs présumés de l’ancien numéro 2 de la PJ de Lyon, que Mediapart a pu consulter en intégralité, montrent ainsi combien il est parfois aisé pour des milieux peu réputés pour leur amour du code pénal de connaître en temps réel les avancées policières sur tel ou tel dossier – ça peut toujours servir. Le plus bavard des “amis” de Neyret est incontestablement Gilles Bénichou, pendu pendant des heures au téléphone avec Stéphane Alzraa, dont le nom a été associé dans certains volets de la fraude au CO2.

      Six mois après l’assassinat de Souied, Bénichou se lâche sur son portable grâce aux informations obtenues par Neyret sur la disparition de l’associé de Mimran :

      « On n’est pas simplement dans une affaire de règlement de comptes, là. C’est une très, très grosse affaire. […] D’après ce qu’on me dit, ce serait la plus grosse affaire de ces dix dernières années. […] Il y a énormément d’argent, ça débouche sur du trafic à l’international, sur du blanchiment, sur de l’association de malfaiteurs, ça débouche sur une tonne de merde. […] Elle va être étroitement liée au CO2. […] J’ai cru comprendre qu’il y aurait même des relations avec des gens du grand banditisme. » (écoute du 3 mars 2011)

      « Là, je suis en train de prendre les infos pour savoir exactement où en est l’affaire de Samy [Souied]. Ils sont sur une affaire d’Arnaud [Mimran]. Ils veulent vraiment tout pour sauter tout le monde. Ils sont sur Arnaud Mimran pour un montant relativement important. » (écoute du 7 mars 2011)

      « Alors, d’une affaire de meurtre, ça va découler sur l’affaire du CO2. […] Ça va vraiment gicler très haut. Je te dis, il y a des familles entières qui vont être décimées. Et puis c’est des peines [de prison] à deux chiffres qui arrivent. » (écoute du 9 mars)

      Qui informe Neyret, qui n’a jamais été saisi de ces affaires, avant que lui-même ne rencarde Bénichou & Co ? Sur cette question précise, accessoire au regard du fond du dossier Neyret mais fondamentale pour les sujets touchant à la mafia du CO2, l’enquête de l’Inspection générale des services (IGS) et du juge d’instruction Patrick Gachon a été d’une grande pudeur.

      En janvier et mars 2012, devant le magistrat instructeur, le commissaire Neyret a affirmé : « Mon seul interlocuteur sur Paris, pour cette affaire, c’était Franck Douchy [patron de l’OCLCO à l’époque – ndlr]. » « J’ai appelé Douchy car il a une connaissance étendue du banditisme parisien. Je l’ai appelé naturellement parce qu’en plus, c’est quelqu’un avec qui je corresponds régulièrement », a-t-il ajouté. Ce qui est vrai : une expertise technique a établi que les deux policiers avaient été en relation une trentaine de fois par mail sur la période, entre janvier et juillet 2011.

      Entendu à son tour en décembre 2011 par la “police des polices”, le commissaire Douchy a seulement assuré que Neyret l’avait contacté pour savoir « s’il était intéressé par les affaires du milieu juif parisien (escroquerie sur les droits à polluer et règlements de comptes) ». Neyret lui aurait proposé de l’introduire auprès du frère du Samy Souied, ce que Douchy a « évidemment » accepté. Mais il dément aujourd’hui catégoriquement avoir pour autant donné la moindre information à Neyret sur le contenu des enquêtes en cours, les pistes privilégiées et les éventuels suspects dans le viseur des policiers. Dans l’entourage de Douchy, on se demande même si Neyret n’a pas protégé un autre informateur un peu trop bavard place Beauvau. Aucune enquête n’a permis à ce jour de tirer au clair cette question.

      Un épais mystère entoure également la manière dont Neyret a pu se procurer un mail reçu par la brigade criminelle de Paris (en charge de l’affaire du meurtre de Souied), que Bénichou a pu lire avec gourmandise au téléphone en mars 2011 à un célèbre financier du trafic de cocaïne en cavale, Yannick Dacheville. Il est question dans ce message, une fois encore, d’Arnaud Mimran, qui aurait blanchi de l’argent de Samy Souied en Israël sur fond de business immobilier. Au téléphone, Bénichou dit « avoir tout reçu de Neyret, il m’a tout amené ce matin ». Mais Neyret n’est pas le destinataire initial du mail. Une autre adresse électronique apparaît sur le courriel. Qui se cache derrière ? Mystère. Au palais de justice et au 36, quai des Orfèvres, on se demande encore comment un tel document a pu tomber entre les mains de « voyous » avant d’être lu tranquillement au téléphone à l’une des plus grandes figures du trafic de drogue, toujours en fuite.

  • Key Witness in French Tycoon’s Fraud Case Is Holed Up in Tel Aviv Flat

    Haaretz-Mediapart probe traces moves of Jeremy Grinholz, alleged major cog in French case involving Arnaud Mimran dubbed ’sting of the century.’
    Dov Alfon Jun 16, 2016 7:57 AM

    Arnaud Mimran, right, and his lawyer at the Paris courthouse, on May 25, 2016, to attend his trial.Bertrand Guay, AFP

    PARIS – A key witness in a massive French fraud case known as the “sting of the century” is currently hiding out in Israel, a joint investigation by Haaretz and the French website Mediapart has discovered.

    The witness, a French Jew named Jeremy Grinholz who also goes by the name of Eitan Liron, allegedly managed many of the carbon trades that allegedly enabled the defendants to steal 283 million euros from the French government.

    Grinholz agreed to turn state’s evidence against his former partners, and the Israeli police deposed him in May 2014. Two senior French police officers were present during his interrogations, and his affidavits ultimately enabled the French to indict several people, including businessman Arnaud Mimran, who frequently hosted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in France and has also donated to him.

    On the last day of his interrogation, Grinholz said he believed Mimran had arranged the assassination of Israeli criminal Samy Souied, the fraudsters’ leader, who was murdered in Paris under mysterious circumstances in December 2010.

    Grinholz said that as his suspicions grew, he teamed up with two of Souied’s other partners to force Mimran to take a polygraph test. The polygraph was administered in early 2012 at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv. Grinholz said Mimran denied any involvement in Souied’s murder, but the polygraph operators concluded he was lying.

    During his own police interrogation, Mimran confirmed having taken a polygraph but said he didn’t remember the results.

    The French authorities, hoping to charge Mimran with murder as well as fraud, asked Grinholz to testify at the trial in Paris, but he refused. The French officials then asked their Israeli counterparts to convince Grinholz to return to Paris to testify. The French-Israeli dialogue was conducted by a joint working group set up in 2014, when MK Tzipi Livni was justice minister.

    The working group’s biggest success was the transfer to Paris of a French alleged swindler with Israeli citizenship, Cyril Astruc, who was charged with crimes very similar to those of Mimran, though on a smaller scale. Astruc, who was hiding in Herzliya under his Israeli name, Alex Khann, initially refused to heed a recommendation that he return to France. But Israeli police then began “to make his life hell,” as he put it in conversations with associates whose content was obtained by Haaretz-Mediapart.

    Police raided his house, searched it for 10 hours and arrested two illegal Filipina workers, he said. Then, when he was involved in a traffic accident that caused no casualties, police interrogated him for hours about whether he was responsible for it. Finally, he was arrested on suspicion of corruption and spent two months in jail.

    But only after the front of his house was sprayed with Kalashnikov bullets – apparently by a rival Israeli crime organization – did Astruc tell his friends he “got the hint” and returned to France. There he was arrested at the airport and spent a year and a half in jail before being released with restrictions in 2015.

    Grinholz, however, still refused to return, and on April 18, 2015, the French gave up. This was four months after Livni quit the government, so Netanyahu was the acting justice minister.

    The French delegation returned to Paris and reported that Grinholz definitely wouldn’t testify at Mimran’s trial. Therefore, his name was added to the indictment, albeit on less serious charges due to his cooperation with investigators. To this day, Mimran hasn’t been questioned about Souied’s murder.

    A French Justice Ministry spokesman said the massive fraud case had resulted in numerous French requests for Israeli help. “It could be this cooperation was complicated not only by its sensitivity, but also by its imbalance, since many French criminals are in Israel, whereas Israel rarely makes requests of France,” he said. “Nevertheless, given the differences between the two countries’ legal systems, legal cooperation between the two countries is a daily affair and has improved sharply since the special working group on this issue was established in February 2014.”

    The French spokesman declined to answer any of Haaretz-Mediapart’s specific questions, saying the case was now in court, “and only the court can determine what the level of cooperation on this issue was.”

    But a French legal source told Haaretz that when the fraud case began, and its dimensions weren’t yet clear, bilateral cooperation was terrible. In 2012, the French investigating judge even filed an official complaint about Israel’s lack of cooperation. That complaint prompted frank bilateral discussions, resulting in a major improvement in 2014, most notably on the Grinholz deposition.

    “Could the Israelis, in the absence of any extradition request, which in any case would surely have taken us two or three years, helped us via a deportation procedure or conveying him to the border?” the source continued. “These issues are too complex to be answered one-sidedly.”

    In April 2015, the source added, the French realized “that the Israelis couldn’t persuade Grinholz to return to France, unlike in the previous case you mentioned – which isn’t completely comparable, even if it’s about the same crimes. Therefore, we filed an indictment and told the court that Grinholz lives in Israel and refuses to comply with the summons we served him via our Israeli colleagues.”

    David Shimron, Netanyahu’s attorney, said, “Prime Minister Netanyahu has no connection to Grinholz or Astruc and has never dealt with their issues, ever. Nor were Mimran’s issues brought to his attention when he was justice minister or at any other time. The justice minister is not involved in criminal cases. Those are dealt with solely by the professionals, the state prosecutor and the attorney general, and the justice minister exercises no real judgment in them. The independence of the prosecution in criminal cases is absolute, and so it was during those few months that circumstances led Prime Minister Netanyahu to hold the justice portfolio.”

    A spokesman for the Israeli Justice Ministry said the ministry naturally couldn’t comment on any specific cases that were under discussion between Israeli and French authorities. But he stressed that over the years, there had been continuous cooperation between the two countries in the battle against serious crime. He said the French-Israeli working group still exists, and Israeli prosecutors and police officers participate in it.

    An Israel Police spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of Astruc’s accusations against the force, but said the fact that investigations had been opened and indictments filed against several suspects in the case “speaks for itself.”

    #mafia_du_co2 #Arnaud_Mimran

  • Soldier shoots in air during terror scare on Haifa train | The Times of Israel

    Five people were treated for light injuries as the train was evacuated amid a minor panic, but the incident was ruled to be a false alarm, police said.

    According to Israel Police, several female soldiers who were traveling on the train saw a person who looked suspicious to them and began shouting “terrorist!”

    An IDF officer sitting in the front of the carriage cocked his gun and fired one bullet in the air.

    #ambiance #israel

  • Israeli forces chase 5-year-old with ’skunk water’

    The foul-smelling liquid has been used by the Israeli military as a form of non-lethal crowd control since at least 2008 and can leave individuals and homes smelling like feces and garbage for weeks.

    Skunk water was developed by Israeli company Odortec Ltd. in conjunction with the Israel police and is generally sprayed from specially designed trucks up to a range of 30-40 meters, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

    Israeli army spokesperson has reported that skunk contains “organic material and has been approved for use by the Israeli Ministry of the Environment and the Chief IDF Medical Officer,” although the exact contents of the rancid liquid have been contested, B’Tselem says.

  • Toujours le racisme ordinaire et ses nombreux avatars… Cette fois la police cible un soldat de l’armée israélienne, d’origine éthiopienne. Oui, mais nous explique l’auteur de l’article, lui-même éthiopien, la police est elle-même constituée de juifs orientaux, qui ont eux-mêmes souffert du racisme...

    Does anyone care about Israel’s institutionalized racism ? - Israel Opinion, Ynetnews
    Danny Adeno Abebe,7340,L-4651555,00.html

    Op-ed: The attack on an Israeli Ethiopian by a police officer left everyone shocked because demeaning the IDF uniform was more painful than demeaning a young man.

    Incidents like the recent brutal assault on an IDF soldier by police officers no longer shock Israel’s Ethiopian community; they’ve become a matter of routine for citizens who feel like the Israel Police’s punch bag.

    Yes, that’s the reality in the neighborhoods in which the community resides. Police brutality is a daily occurrence. Not a day goes by without me getting a call from a mother whose son has been beaten for no reason, from a youth who is facing criminal charges, from a pedestrian who was stopped by police and slapped around a little. It’s become the way of life – and it’s all down to the color of our skin.

    Something here just doesn’t make any sense. Why is it that a significant number of Ethiopian youths are walking around with criminal records? What makes an Ethiopian youth cross to the other side of the street when he sees a policeman on the sidewalk? How come those who, as Mizrahim, once cried discrimination are now the ones who are racist and violent?

    Yes, it needs to be said loud and clear: The police force – from the commissioner and down to the very last officer – is comprised primarily of members of the Mizrahi ethnic groups.

    The latest incident left everyone shocked because the victim of the police brutality was a soldier. The demeaning of the uniform was more painful than the demeaning of the young man. So how come racism directed against Ethiopian immigrants no longer moves anyone? Why do we no longer get excited when police officers beat Ethiopian youths and the case against them is closed? How come no one speaks up? How can it be that no one cares about racism?

    Now is the time to issue a warning: Failure on the part of the police leadership to put a stop to the unrestrained brutality against immigrants of Ethiopian descent will lead to a black intifada, with harsh acts of violence – and you, too, will pay the price. Many members of the Ethiopian community feel they have been paying the price for three decades now – and the despair is mounting.

    The prime minister condemned the attack on the Israel Defense Forces officer in Mea She’arim – and rightly so. But he chose not to condemn an attack on a soldier by a policeman. Perhaps because the victim isn’t an officer. Perhaps because he’s black. Or perhaps Benjamin Netanyahu, like many Israeli citizens, tends to turn a blind eye to the rising violence against Ethiopians.

    Beware; a battered woman can be pushed too far too. One day, she will fight back or walk out to save her life. And we, members of the Ethiopian community, like that battered woman, are at that point in time.


  • Otherwise Occupied / Fighting for Bruce Lee at The Hague
    A word of advice to the International Criminal Court: Law enforcement officers who don’t put settlers on trial for attacking Palestinians must also be considered suspects.
    By Amira Hass | Jan. 19, 2015 Israel News | Haaretz

    If Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had asked me, I would have suggested that the International Criminal Court in The Hague investigate suspicions of war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories starting from April 18, 2011, not June 13, 2014. Why? Because on April 19, 2011, a terrorist with a Jewish appearance shot Bruce Lee.

    Bruce Lee? His friends from the West Bank village of Burin hoped his unconventional name would attract widespread attention, so that the attack against him would not be buried – like almost 100 other documented cases since 2005 had been of Jewish terrorists attacking village residents.

    His friends were mistaken. Lee’s name did not lead to earth-shattering headlines. I, too, am partly at fault. Twice I intended to write; twice, events of force majeure intervened and the reporting was postponed.

    The most important thing: Israel Police’s Judea and Samaria District let the investigation drift away, as is it customarily does. The file was passed back and forth from the police in Ariel to the Central District prosecutor’s office, and to the prosecution in the Samaria District – and then closed. Closed despite the file containing video footage of the incident that had been provided to the police, along with three eyewitnesses who identified the Israeli with the pistol from a lineup of digital pictures, and despite Bruce Lee’s serious injury.

    Bruce Lee? Some 40 years ago, his elder brother really loved the actor from the martial arts movies, and asked his pregnant mother to name his soon-to-be-born brother after him.

    After high school, Bruce Lee Eid thought about studying overseas, maybe law. “But then my brother, who returned to the West Bank with the Sulta [Palestinian Authority] in 1994, told me, ‘Join the Palestinian police. Serve your people. A state will be established and things will be okay.’ We are all Fatah, we are all for the PLO and peace, and we fought for independence. They convinced us that the way to independence is peace, and this is the peace of the brave.”

    Truly brave

    And Bruce Lee Eid is truly brave. Brave like the rest of his neighbors who built their homes in a section of northeast Burin. This is in Area B – in other words, the Palestinian Authority is responsible for providing building permits here, and the Israeli Civil Administration cannot prevent it from doing so. The neighborhood climbs up on a number of levels on the side of a mountain, below the peak, above which spreads out the unauthorized and illegal outpost of Givat Ronen, a descendant of the government-authorized but illegal settlement of Har Bracha.

    De Heidi GRUNEBAUM et Mark J KAPLAN

    En #1948, #Lubya a été violemment détruit et vidé de ses habitants par les forces militaires israéliennes. 343 villages palestiniens ont subi le même sort. Aujourd’hui, de #Lubya, il ne reste plus que des vestiges, à peine visibles, recouverts d’une #forêt majestueuse nommée « Afrique du Sud ». Les vestiges ne restent pas silencieux pour autant.

    La chercheuse juive sud-africaine, #Heidi_Grunebaum se souvient qu’étant enfant elle versait de l’argent destiné officiellement à planter des arbres pour « reverdir le désert ».

    Elle interroge les acteurs et les victimes de cette tragédie, et révèle une politique d’effacement délibérée du #Fonds_national_Juif.

    « Le Fonds National Juif a planté 86 parcs et forêts de pins par-dessus les décombres des villages détruits. Beaucoup de ces forêts portent le nom des pays, ou des personnalités célèbres qui les ont financés. Ainsi il y a par exemple la Forêt Suisse, le Parc Canada, le Parc britannique, la Forêt d’Afrique du Sud et la Forêt Correta King ».

    Trailer :

    #israel #palestine #carte @cdb_77 @reka
    #Israël #afrique_du_sud #forêt #documentaire


    Petit commentaire de Cristina pour pour @reka :
    Il y a un passage du film que tu vas adorer... quand un vieil monsieur superpose une carte qu’il a dessiné à la main du vieux village Lubya (son village) sur la nouvelle carte du village...
    Si j’ai bien compris la narratrice est chercheuse... peut-etre qu’on peut lui demander la carte de ce vieil homme et la publier sur visionscarto... qu’en penses-tu ? Je peux essayer de trouver l’adresse email de la chercheuse...

    • Documentary Space, Place, and Landscape

      In documentaries of the occupied West Bank, erasure is imaged in the wall that sunders families and communities, in the spaces filled with blackened tree stumps of former olive groves, now missing to ensure “security,” and in the cactus that still grows, demarcating cultivated land whose owners have been expelled.

      This materiality of the landscape becomes figural, such that Shehadeh writes, “[w]hen you are exiled from your land … you begin, like a pornographer, to think about it in symbols. You articulate your love for your land in its absence, and in the process transform it into something else.’’[x] The symbolization reifies and, in this process, something is lost, namely, a potential for thinking differently. But in these Palestinian films we encounter a documenting of the now of everyday living that unfixes such reification. This is a storytelling of vignettes, moments, digressions, stories within stories, and postponed endings. These are stories of interaction, of something happening, in a documenting of a being and doing now, while awaiting a future yet to be known, and at the same time asserting a past history to be remembered through these images and sounds. Through this there arises the accenting of these films, to draw on Hamid Naficy’s term, namely a specific tone of a past—the Nakba or catastrophe—as a continuing present, insofar as the conflict does not allow Palestinians to imagine themselves in a determinate future of place and landscape they can call their own, namely a state.[xi]

      In Hanna Musleh’s I’m a Little Angel (2000), we follow the children of families, both Muslim and Christian, in the area of Bethlehem affected by the 2000 Israeli armed forces attacks and occupation.[xii] One small boy, Nicola, suffered the loss of an arm when he was hit by a shell when walking to church with his mother. His kite, seen flying high in the sky, brings delighted shrieks from Nicola as he plays on the family terrace from which the town and its surrounding hills are visible in the distance. But the contrast between the freedom of the kite in this unlimited vista and his reduced capacity is palpable as he struggles to control it with his remaining hand. The containment of both Nicola and his community is figured in opposition to a possible freedom. What is also required of us is to think not of freedom from the constraints of disability, but of freedom with disability, in a future to be made after. The constraints introduced upon the landscape by the occupation, however, make the future of such living indeterminate and uncertain. Here is the “cinema of the lived,”[xiii] of multiple times of past and present, of possible and imagined future time, and the actualized present, each of which is encountered in the movement in a singular space of Nicola and his kite.;jsessioni
      #cactus #paysage

    • Memory of the Cactus

      A 42 minute documentary film that combines the cactus and the memories it stands for. The film addresses the story of the destruction of the Palestinian villages of Latroun in the Occupied West Bank and the forcible transfer of their civilian population in 1967. Over 40 years later, the Israeli occupation continues, and villagers remain displaced. The film follows two separate but parallel journeys. Aisha Um Najeh takes us down the painful road that Palestinians have been forcefully pushed down, separating them in time and place from the land they nurtured; while Israelis walk freely through that land, enjoying its fruits. The stems of the cactus, however, take a few of them to discover the reality of the crime committed.

    • Aujourd’hui, j’ai re-regardé le film « Le village sous la forêt », car je vais le projeter à mes étudiant·es dans le cadre du cours de #géographie_culturelle la semaine prochaine.

      Voici donc quelques citations tirées du film :

      Sur une des boîtes de récolte d’argent pour planter des arbres en Palestine, c’est noté « make wilderness bloom » :

      Voici les panneaux de quelques parcs et forêts créés grâce aux fonds de la #diaspora_juive :

      Projet : « We will make it green, like a modern European country » (ce qui est en étroit lien avec un certaine idée de #développement, liée au #progrès).

      Témoignage d’une femme palestinienne :

      « Ils ont planté des arbres partout qui cachaient tout »

      Ilan Pappé, historien israëlien, Université d’Exter :

      « ça leur a pris entre 6 et 9 mois poru s’emparer de 80% de la Palestine, expulser la plupart des personnes qui y vivaient et reconstruire sur les villes et villages de ces personnes un nouvel Etat, une nouvelle #identité »

      Témoignage d’un palestinien qui continue à retourner régulièrement à Lubya :

      « Si je n’aimais pas cet endroit, est-ce que je continuerais à revenir ici tout le temps sur mon tracteur ? Ils l’ont transformé en forêt afin d’affirmer qu’il n’y a pas eu de village ici. Mais on peut voir les #cactus qui prouvent que des arabes vivaient ici »

      Ilan Pappé :

      « Ces villages éaient arabes, tout comme le paysage alentour. C’était un message qui ne passait pas auprès du mouvement sioniste. Des personnes du mouvement ont écrit à ce propos, ils ont dit qu’ils n’aimaient vraiment pas, comme Ben Gurion l’a dit, que le pays ait toujours l’air arabe. (...) Même si les Arabes n’y vivent plus, ça a toujours l’air arabe. En ce qui concerne les zones rurales, il a été clair : les villages devaient être dévastés pour qu’il n’y ait pas de #souvenirs possibles. Ils ont commencé à les dévaster dès le mois d’août 1948. Ils ont rasé les maisons, la terre. Plus rien ne restait. Il y avait deux moyens pour eux d’en nier l’existence : le premier était de planter des forêts de pins européens sur les villages. Dans la plupart des cas, lorsque les villages étaient étendus et les terres assez vastes, on voit que les deux stratégies ont été mises en oeuvre : il y a un nouveau quartier juif et, juste à côté, une forêt. En effet, la deuxième méthode était de créer un quartier juif qui possédait presque le même nom que l’ancien village arabe, mais dans sa version en hébreu. L’objectif était double : il s’agissait d’abord de montrer que le lieu était originellement juif et revenait ainsi à son propriétaire. Ensuite, l’idée était de faire passer un message sinistre aux Palestiniens sur ce qui avait eu lieu ici. Le principal acteur de cette politique a été le FNJ. »


      Heidi Grunebaum, la réalisatrice :

      « J’ai grandi au moment où le FNJ cultivait l’idée de créer une patrie juive grâce à la plantation d’arbres. Dans les 100 dernières années, 260 millions d’arbres ont été plantés. Je me rends compte à présent que la petite carte du grand Israël sur les boîtes bleues n’était pas juste un symbole. Etait ainsi affirmé que toutes ces terres étaient juives. Les #cartes ont été redessinées. Les noms arabes des lieux ont sombré dans l’oubli à cause du #Comité_de_Dénomination créé par le FNJ. 86 forêts du FNJ ont détruit des villages. Des villages comme Lubya ont cessé d’exister. Lubya est devenu Lavie. Une nouvelle histoire a été écrite, celle que j’ai apprise. »

      Le #Canada_park :

      Canada Park (Hebrew: פארק קנדה‎, Arabic: كندا حديقة‎, also Ayalon Park,) is an Israeli national park stretching over 7,000 dunams (700 hectares), and extending from No man’s land into the West Bank.
      The park is North of Highway 1 (Tel Aviv-Jerusalem), between the Latrun Interchange and Sha’ar HaGai, and contains a Hasmonean fort, Crusader fort, other archaeological remains and the ruins of 3 Palestinian villages razed by Israel in 1967 after their inhabitants were expelled. In addition it has picnic areas, springs and panoramic hilltop views, and is a popular Israeli tourist destination, drawing some 300,000 visitors annually.

      Heidi Grunebaum :

      « Chaque pièce de monnaie est devenue un arbre dans une forêt, chaque arbre, dont les racines étaient plantées dans la terre était pour nous, la diaspora. Les pièces changées en arbres devenaient des faits ancrés dans le sol. Le nouveau paysage arrangé par le FNJ à travers la plantation de forêts et les accords politiques est celui des #parcs_de_loisirs, des routes, des barrages et des infrastructures »

      Témoignage d’un Palestinien :

      « Celui qui ne possède de #pays_natal ne possède rien »

      Heidi Grunebaum :

      « Si personne ne demeure, la mémoire est oblitérée. Cependant, de génération en génération, le souvenir qu’ont les Palestiniens d’un endroit qui un jour fut le leur, persiste. »

      Témoignage d’un Palestinien :

      "Dès qu’on mange quelque chose chez nous, on dit qu’on mangeait ce plat à Lubya. Quelles que soient nos activités, on dit que nous avions les mêmes à Lubya. Lubya est constamment mentionnées, et avec un peu d’amertume.

      Témoignage d’un Palestinien :

      Lubya est ma fille précieuse que j’abriterai toujours dans les profondeurs de mon âme. Par les histoires racontées par mon père, mon grand-père, mes oncles et ma grande-mère, j’ai le sentiment de connaître très bien Lubya.

      Avi Shlaim, Université de Oxford :

      « Le mur dans la partie Ouest ne relève pas d’une mesure de sécurité, comme il a été dit. C’est un outil de #ségrégation des deux communautés et un moyen de s’approprier de larges portions de terres palestiniennes. C’est un moyen de poursuivre la politique d’#expansion_territoriale et d’avoir le plus grand Etat juif possible avec le moins de population d’arabes à l’intérieur. »

      Heidi Grunebaum :

      « Les petites pièces de la diaspora n’ont pas seulement planté des arbres juifs et déraciné des arbres palestiniens, elles ont aussi créé une forêt d’un autre type. Une vaste forêt bureaucratique où la force de la loi est une arme. La règlementation règne, les procédures, permis, actions commandées par les lois, tout régulé le moindre espace de la vie quotidienne des Palestiniens qui sont petit à petit étouffés, repoussés aux marges de leurs terres. Entassés dans des ghettos, sans autorisation de construire, les Palestiniens n’ont plus qu’à regarder leurs maisons démolies »

      #Lubya #paysage #ruines #architecture_forensique #Afrique_du_Sud #profanation #cactus #South_african_forest #Galilée #Jewish_national_fund (#fonds_national_juif) #arbres #Palestine #Organisation_des_femmes_sionistes #Keren_Kayemeth #apartheid #résistance #occupation #Armée_de_libération_arabe #Hagana #nakba #exil #réfugiés_palestiniens #expulsion #identité #present_absentees #IDPs #déplacés_internes #Caesarea #oubli #déni #historicisation #diaspora #murs #barrières_frontalières #dépossession #privatisation_des_terres #terres #mémoire #commémoration #poésie #Canada_park

    • Effacer la Palestine pour construire Israël. Transformation du paysage et enracinement des identités nationales

      La construction d’un État requiert la nationalisation du territoire. Dans le cas d’Israël, cette appropriation territoriale s’est caractérisée, depuis 1948, par un remodelage du paysage afin que ce dernier dénote l’identité et la mémoire sionistes tout en excluant l’identité et la mémoire palestiniennes. À travers un parcours historique, cet article examine la façon dont ce processus a éliminé tout ce qui, dans l’espace, exprimait la relation palestinienne à la terre. Parmi les stratégies utilisées, l’arbre revêt une importance particulière pour signifier l’identité enracinée dans le territoire : arracher l’une pour mieux (ré)implanter l’autre, tel semble être l’enjeu de nombreuses politiques, passées et présentes.

    • v. aussi la destruction par gentrification de la Bay Area (San Francisco), terres qui appartiennent à un peuple autochtone :

      “Nobody knew about us,” said Corrina Gould, a Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone leader and activist. “There was this process of colonization that erased the memory of us from the Bay Area.”

    • La lutte des Palestiniens face à une mémoire menacée

      Le 15 mai, les Palestiniens commémorent la Nakba, c’est-à-dire l’exode de centaines de milliers d’entre eux au moment de la création de l’Etat d’Israël : la veille, lundi 14 mai, tandis que plusieurs officiels israéliens et américains célébraient en grande pompe l’inauguration de l’ambassade américaine à Jérusalem, 60 Palestiniens étaient tués par des tirs israéliens, et 2 400 autres étaient blessés lors d’affrontements à la frontière de la bande de Gaza.
      Historiquement, la Nakba, tout comme la colonisation de Jérusalem-Est et des Territoires palestiniens à partir de 1967, a non seulement eu des conséquences sur le quotidien des Palestiniens, mais aussi sur leur héritage culturel. Comment une population préserve-t-elle sa mémoire lorsque les traces matérielles de son passé sont peu à peu effacées ? ARTE Info vous fait découvrir trois initiatives innovantes pour tenter de préserver la mémoire des Palestiniens.

    • Effacer la Palestine pour construire Israël. Transformation du #paysage et #enracinement des identités nationales

      La construction d’un État requiert la nationalisation du territoire. Dans le cas d’Israël, cette appropriation territoriale s’est caractérisée, depuis 1948, par un remodelage du paysage afin que ce dernier dénote l’identité et la mémoire sionistes tout en excluant l’identité et la mémoire palestiniennes. À travers un parcours historique, cet article examine la façon dont ce processus a éliminé tout ce qui, dans l’espace, exprimait la relation palestinienne à la terre. Parmi les stratégies utilisées, l’arbre revêt une importance particulière pour signifier l’identité enracinée dans le territoire : arracher l’une pour mieux (ré)implanter l’autre, tel semble être l’enjeu de nombreuses politiques, passées et présentes.

    • The Carmel wildfire is burning all illusions in Israel

      “When I look out my window today and see a tree standing there, that tree gives me a greater sense of beauty and personal delight than all the vast forests I have seen in Switzerland or Scandinavia. Because every tree here was planted by us.”

      – David Ben Gurion, Memoirs

      “Why are there so many Arabs here? Why didn’t you chase them away?”

      – David Ben Gurion during a visit to Nazareth, July 1948

      signalé par @sinehebdo que je remercie

    • Vu dans ce rapport, signalé par @palestine___________ , que je remercie ( :

      A method of enforcing the eradication of unrecognized Palestinian villages is to ensure their misrepresentation on maps. As part of this policy, these villages do not appear at all on Israeli maps, with the exception of army and hiking maps. Likewise, they do not appear on first sight on Google Maps or at all on Israeli maps, with the exception of army and hiking maps. They are labelled on NGO maps designed to increase their visibility. On Google Maps, the Bedouin villages are marked – in contrast to cities and other villages – under their Bedouin tribe and clan names (Bimkom) rather than with their village names and are only visible when zooming in very closely, but otherwise appear to be non-existent. This means that when looking at Google Maps, these villages appear to be not there, only when zooming on to a very high degree, do they appear with their tribe or clan names. At first (and second and third) sight, therefore, these villages are simply not there. Despite their small size, Israeli villages are displayed even when zoomed-out, while unrecognized Palestinian Bedouin villages, regardless of their size are only visible when zooming in very closely.
      Pour télécharger le rapport :

    • Il y aurait tout un dossier à faire sur Canada Park, construit sur le site chrétien historique d’Emmaus (devenu Imwas), dans les territoires occupés depuis 1967, et dénoncé par l’organisation #Zochrot :

      75% of visitors to Canada Park believe it’s located inside the Green Line
      Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, Zochrot, mai 2014

      Dont le #FNJ (#JNF #KKL) efface la mémoire palestinienne :

      The Palestinian Past of Canada Park is Forgotten in JNF Signs
      Yuval Yoaz, Zochrot, le 31 mai 2005

      Canada Park and Israeli “memoricide”
      Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, le 10 mars 2009

    • Israel lifted its military rule over the state’s Arab community in 1966 only after ascertaining that its members could not return to the villages they had fled or been expelled from, according to newly declassified archival documents.

      The documents both reveal the considerations behind the creation of the military government 18 years earlier, and the reasons for dismantling it and revoking the severe restrictions it imposed on Arab citizens in the north, the Negev and the so-called Triangle of Locales in central Israel.

      These records were made public as a result of a campaign launched against the state archives by the Akevot Institute, which researches the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

      After the War of Independence in 1948, the state imposed military rule over Arabs living around the country, which applied to an estimated 85 percent of that community at the time, say researchers at the NGO. The Arabs in question were subject to the authority of a military commander who could limit their freedom of movement, declare areas to be closed zones, or demand that the inhabitants leave and enter certain locales only with his written permission.

      The newly revealed documents describe the ways Israel prevented Arabs from returning to villages they had left in 1948, even after the restrictions on them had been lifted. The main method: dense planting of trees within and surrounding these towns.

      At a meeting held in November 1965 at the office of Shmuel Toledano, the prime minister’s adviser on Arab affairs, there was a discussion about villages that had been left behind and that Israel did not want to be repopulated, according to one document. To ensure that, the state had the Jewish National Fund plant trees around and in them.

      Among other things, the document states that “the lands belonging to the above-mentioned villages were given to the custodian for absentee properties” and that “most were leased for work (cultivation of field crops and olive groves) by Jewish households.” Some of the properties, it adds, were subleased.

      In the meeting in Toledano’s office, it was explained that these lands had been declared closed military zones, and that once the structures on them had been razed, and the land had been parceled out, forested and subject to proper supervision – their definition as closed military zones could be lifted.

      On April 3, 1966, another discussion was held on the same subject, this time at the office of the defense minister, Levi Eshkol, who was also the serving prime minister; the minutes of this meeting were classified as top secret. Its participants included: Toledano; Isser Harel, in his capacity as special adviser to the prime minister; the military advocate general – Meir Shamgar, who would later become president of the Supreme Court; and representatives of the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police.

      The newly publicized record of that meeting shows that the Shin Bet was already prepared at that point to lift the military rule over the Arabs and that the police and army could do so within a short time.

      Regarding northern Israel, it was agreed that “all the areas declared at the time to be closed [military] zones... other than Sha’ab [east of Acre] would be opened after the usual conditions were fulfilled – razing of the buildings in the abandoned villages, forestation, establishment of nature reserves, fencing and guarding.” The dates of the reopening these areas would be determined by Israel Defense Forces Maj. Gen. Shamir, the minutes said. Regarding Sha’ab, Harel and Toledano were to discuss that subject with Shamir.

      However, as to Arab locales in central Israel and the Negev, it was agreed that the closed military zones would remain in effect for the time being, with a few exceptions.

      Even after military rule was lifted, some top IDF officers, including Chief of Staff Tzvi Tzur and Shamgar, opposed the move. In March 1963, Shamgar, then military advocate general, wrote a pamphlet about the legal basis of the military administration; only 30 copies were printed. (He signed it using his previous, un-Hebraized name, Sternberg.) Its purpose was to explain why Israel was imposing its military might over hundreds of thousands of citizens.

      Among other things, Shamgar wrote in the pamphlet that Regulation 125, allowing certain areas to be closed off, is intended “to prevent the entry and settlement of minorities in border areas,” and that “border areas populated by minorities serve as a natural, convenient point of departure for hostile elements beyond the border.” The fact that citizens must have permits in order to travel about helps to thwart infiltration into the rest of Israel, he wrote.

      Regulation 124, he noted, states that “it is essential to enable nighttime ambushes in populated areas when necessary, against infiltrators.” Blockage of roads to traffic is explained as being crucial for the purposes of “training, tests or maneuvers.” Moreover, censorship is a “crucial means for counter-intelligence.”

      Despite Shamgar’s opinion, later that year, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol canceled the requirement for personal travel permits as a general obligation. Two weeks after that decision, in November 1963, Chief of Staff Tzur wrote a top-secret letter about implementation of the new policy to the officers heading the various IDF commands and other top brass, including the head of Military Intelligence. Tzur ordered them to carry it out in nearly all Arab villages, with a few exceptions – among them Barta’a and Muqeible, in northern Israel.

      In December 1965, Haim Israeli, an adviser to Defense Minister Eshkol, reported to Eshkol’s other aides, Isser Harel and Aviad Yaffeh, and to the head of the Shin Bet, that then-Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin opposed legislation that would cancel military rule over the Arab villages. Rabin explained his position in a discussion with Eshkol, at which an effort to “soften” the bill was discussed. Rabin was advised that Harel would be making his own recommendations on this matter.

      At a meeting held on February 27, 1966, Harel issued orders to the IDF, the Shin Bet and the police concerning the prime minister’s decision to cancel military rule. The minutes of the discussion were top secret, and began with: “The mechanism of the military regime will be canceled. The IDF will ensure the necessary conditions for establishment of military rule during times of national emergency and war.” However, it was decided that the regulations governing Israel’s defense in general would remain in force, and at the behest of the prime minister and with his input, the justice minister would look into amending the relevant statutes in Israeli law, or replacing them.

      The historical documents cited here have only made public after a two-year campaign by the Akevot institute against the national archives, which preferred that they remain confidential, Akevot director Lior Yavne told Haaretz. The documents contain no information of a sensitive nature vis-a-vis Israel’s security, Yavne added, and even though they are now in the public domain, the archives has yet to upload them to its website to enable widespread access.

      “Hundreds of thousands of files which are crucial to understanding the recent history of the state and society in Israel remain closed in the government archive,” he said. “Akevot continues to fight to expand public access to archival documents – documents that are property of the public.”

    • Israel is turning an ancient Palestinian village into a national park for settlers

      The unbelievable story of a village outside Jerusalem: from its destruction in 1948 to the ticket issued last week by a parks ranger to a descendent of its refugees, who had the gall to harvest the fruits of his labor on his own land.

      Thus read the ticket issued last Wednesday, during the Sukkot holiday, by ranger Dayan Somekh of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority – Investigations Division, 3 Am Ve’olamo Street, Jerusalem, to farmer Nidal Abed Rabo, a resident of the Jerusalem-area village of Walaja, who had gone to harvest olives on his private land: “In accordance with Section 228 of the criminal code, to: Nidal Abed Rabo. Description of the facts constituting the offense: ‘picking, chopping and destroying an olive tree.’ Suspect’s response: ‘I just came to pick olives. I pick them and put them in a bucket.’ Fine prescribed by law: 730 shekels [$207].” And an accompanying document that reads: “I hereby confirm that I apprehended from Nidal Abed Rabo the following things: 1. A black bucket; 2. A burlap sack. Name of the apprehending officer: Dayan Somekh.”

      Ostensibly, an amusing parody about the occupation. An inspector fines a person for harvesting the fruits of his own labor on his own private land and then fills out a report about confiscating a bucket, because order must be preserved, after all. But no one actually found this report amusing – not the inspector who apparently wrote it in utter seriousness, nor the farmer who must now pay the fine.

      Indeed, the story of Walaja, where this absurdity took place, contains everything – except humor: the flight from and evacuation of the village in 1948; refugee-hood and the establishment of a new village adjacent to the original one; the bisection of the village between annexed Jerusalem and the occupied territories in 1967; the authorities’ refusal to issue blue Israeli IDs to residents, even though their homes are in Jerusalem; the demolition of many structures built without a permit in a locale that has no master construction plan; the appropriation of much of its land to build the Gilo neighborhood and the Har Gilo settlement; the construction of the separation barrier that turned the village into an enclave enclosed on all sides; the decision to turn villagers’ remaining lands into a national park for the benefit of Gilo’s residents and others in the area; and all the way to the ridiculous fine issued by Inspector Somekh.

      This week, a number of villagers again snuck onto their lands to try to pick their olives, in what looks like it could be their final harvest. As it was a holiday, they hoped the Border Police and the parks authority inspectors would leave them alone. By next year, they probably won’t be able to reach their groves at all, as the checkpoint will have been moved even closer to their property.

      Then there was also this incident, on Monday, the Jewish holiday of Simhat Torah. Three adults, a teenager and a horse arrived at the neglected groves on the mountainside below their village of Walaja. They had to take a long and circuitous route; they say the horse walked 25 kilometers to reach the olive trees that are right under their noses, beneath their homes. A dense barbed-wire fence and the separation barrier stand between these people and their lands. When the national park is built here and the checkpoint is moved further south – so that only Jews will be able to dip undisturbed in Ein Hanya, as Nir Hasson reported (“Jerusalem reopens natural spring, but not to Palestinians,” Oct. 15) – it will mean the end of Walaja’s olive orchards, which are planted on terraced land.

      The remaining 1,200 dunams (300 acres) belonging to the village, after most of its property was lost over the years, will also be disconnected from their owners, who probably won’t be able to access them again. An ancient Palestinian village, which numbered 100 registered households in 1596, in a spectacular part of the country, will continue its slow death, until it finally expires for good.

      Steep slopes and a deep green valley lie between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, filled with oak and pine trees, along with largely abandoned olive groves. “New” Walaja overlooks this expanse from the south, the Gilo neighborhood from the northeast, and the Cremisan Monastery from the east. To the west is where the original village was situated, between the moshavim of Aminadav and Ora, both constructed after the villagers fled – frightened off by the massacre in nearby Deir Yassin and in fear of bombardment.

      Aviv Tatarsky, a longtime political activist on behalf of Walaja and a researcher for the Ir Amim nonprofit organization, says the designated national park is supposed to ensure territorial contiguity between the Etzion Bloc and Jerusalem. “Since we are in the territory of Jerusalem, and building another settler neighborhood could cause a stir, they are building a national park, which will serve the same purpose,” he says. “The national park will Judaize the area once and for all. Gilo is five minutes away. If you live there, you will have a park right next door and feel like it’s yours.”

      As Tatarsky describes the blows suffered by the village over the years, brothers Walid and Mohammed al-‘Araj stand on a ladder below in the valley, in the shade of the olive trees, engrossed in the harvest.

      Walid, 52, and Mohammed, 58, both live in Walaja. Walid may be there legally, but his brother is there illegally, on land bequeathed to them by their uncle – thanks to yet another absurdity courtesy of the occupation. In 1995, Walid married a woman from Shoafat in East Jerusalem, and thus was able to obtain a blue Israeli ID card, so perhaps he is entitled to be on his land. His brother, who lives next door, however, is an illegal resident on his land: He has an orange ID, as a resident of the territories.

      A sewage line that comes out of Beit Jala and is under the responsibility of Jerusalem’s Gihon water company overflows every winter and floods the men’s olive grove with industrial waste that has seriously damaged their crop. And that’s in addition, of course, to the fact that most of the family is unable to go work the land. The whole area looks quite derelict, overgrown with weeds and brambles that could easily catch fire. In previous years, the farmers would receive an entry permit allowing them to harvest the olives for a period of just a few days; this year, even that permit has not yet been forthcoming.

      The olives are black and small; it’s been a bad year for them and for their owners.

      “We come here like thieves to our own land,” says Mohammed, the older brother, explaining that three days beforehand, a Border Police jeep had showed up and chased them away. “I told him: It’s my land. They said okay and left. Then a few minutes later, another Border Police jeep came and the officer said: Today there’s a general closure because of the holiday. I told him: Okay, just let me take my equipment. I’m on my land. He said: Don’t take anything. I left. And today I came back.”

      You’re not afraid? “No, I’m not afraid. I’m on my land. It’s registered in my name. I can’t be afraid on my land.”

      Walid says that a month ago the Border Police arrived and told him he wasn’t allowed to drive on the road that leads to the grove, because it’s a “security road.” He was forced to turn around and go home, despite the fact that he has a blue ID and it is not a security road. Right next to it, there is a residential building where a Palestinian family still lives.

      Some of Walaja’s residents gave up on their olive orchards long ago and no longer attempt to reach their lands. When the checkpoint is moved southward, in order to block access by Palestinians to the Ein Hanya spring, the situation will be even worse: The checkpoint will be closer to the orchards, meaning that the Palestinians won’t be permitted to visit them.

      “This place will be a park for people to visit,” says Walid, up on his ladder. “That’s it; that will be the end of our land. But we won’t give up our land, no matter what.” Earlier this month, one local farmer was detained for several hours and 10 olive trees were uprooted, on the grounds that he was prohibited from being here.

      Meanwhile, Walid and Mohammed are collecting their meager crop in a plastic bucket printed with a Hebrew ad for a paint company. The olives from this area, near Beit Jala, are highly prized; during a good year the oil made from them can fetch a price of 100 shekels per liter.

      A few hundred meters to the east are a father, a son and a horse. Khaled al-‘Araj, 51, and his son, Abed, 19, a business student. They too are taking advantage of the Jewish holiday to sneak onto their land. They have another horse, an original Arabian named Fatma, but this horse is nameless. It stands in the shade of the olive tree, resting from the long trek here. If a Border Police force shows up, it could confiscate the horse, as has happened to them before.

      Father and son are both Walaja residents, but do not have blue IDs. The father works in Jerusalem with a permit, but it does not allow him to access his land.

      “On Sunday,” says Khaled, “I picked olives here with my son. A Border Police officer arrived and asked: What are you doing here? He took pictures of our IDs. He asked: Whose land is this? I said: Mine. Where are the papers? At home. I have papers from my grandfather’s time; everything is in order. But he said: No, go to DCO [the Israeli District Coordination Office] and get a permit. At first I didn’t know what he meant. I have a son and a horse and they’ll make problems for me. So I left.”

      He continues: “We used to plow the land. Now look at the state it’s in. We have apricot and almond trees here, too. But I’m an illegal person on my own land. That is our situation. Today is the last day of your holiday, that’s why I came here. Maybe there won’t be any Border Police.”

      “Kumi Ori, ki ba orekh,” says a makeshift monument in memory of Ori Ansbacher, a young woman murdered here in February by a man from Hebron. Qasem Abed Rabo, a brother of Nidal, who received the fine from the park ranger for harvesting his olives, asks activist Tatarsky if he can find out whether the house he owns is considered to be located in Jerusalem or in the territories. He still doesn’t know.

      “Welcome to Nahal Refaim National Park,” says a sign next to the current Walaja checkpoint. Its successor is already being built but work on it was stopped for unknown reasons. If and when it is completed, Ein Hanya will become a spring for Jews only and the groves on the mountainside below the village of Walaja will be cut off from their owners for good. Making this year’s harvest Walaja’s last.

  • Ten years since Arafat’s death: Lost hope as the illusion of temporary #occupation fades - Middle East Israel News | Haaretz

    On Wednesday evening, as young Palestinians were sparring with the Israel Police in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, a documentary about the life of #Yasser_Arafat was being shown at the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in #Ramallah. The museum’s Galilee Hall was filled with members of the PLO and Fatah — high-ranking and lower-ranking, well-known and not so well-known, old and young. There were more men than women. They applauded when, on-screen, Arafat declared the establishment of a Palestinian state on November 15, 1988.

    The people in attendance, like the rest of the residents of the Palestinian Authority’s de facto capital, followed Wednesday’s events in East Jerusalem, “the capital of the Palestinian state,” 10 to 15 kilometers away. They “followed” the demonstrations and clashes as opposed to “participated” or “expanded” them to other areas of the occupied West Bank.

    This is because the identifying feature of Palestinian society today is the split into local units, where dramatic incidents that take place in some units — war in Gaza, mass arrests in Hebron, conflicts with the Palestinian police in Jenin — don’t affect the rest. The mental distance between one geographic unit and the next is several times greater than the physical distance — not only when it comes to Gaza and Jerusalem, where Israel’s policy of closure and movement restrictions cut people off physically from the West Bank, or in the villages behind the separation barriers such as Bart’aa, Nabi Samwil and Nuaman.

    The common objective reality — a foreign rule that the Palestinians experience as a colonialist system working to displace and dispossess them — is broken down into separate components with ostensibly different experiences for each.

    The choice of the anniversary of Arafat’s death to discuss the changes in Palestinian society contains the assumption that the presence or absence of the late PLO chairman had an effect on these changes. There is no doubt that Arafat, in going to #Oslo or signing the agreement for gradual progress toward a goal never explicitly defined with the occupying state, had a hand in creating the geographic #fragmentation that so profoundly affected the societal fragmentation (the West Bank’s temporary division into areas A, B and C, which became permanent).

    But in Arafat’s defense, let it be said that Israel began fragmenting Palestinian society in the territories that it occupied in 1967 even before the #Madrid Conference or the Oslo talks. The regime of movement permits that Israel created cut Gaza off from the rest of Palestinian society in January 1991; with East Jerusalem this process began in March 1993. Since then, the political, economic, religious and cultural Palestinian capital has undergone a process of withering, withdrawal and return to the un-national and segregating spheres of influence of the extended families.

    The sociologist Jamil Hilal says that had it not been for Arafat’s death, the political split between Gaza and the West Bank never would have happened, and two competing Palestinian governments would not have been created. If that’s true, this is an area where Arafat’s absence had a direct effect on the negative and far-reaching developments in Palestinian society.

    Hilal told Haaretz it’s very likely Arafat would not have agreed to hold the 2006 Palestinian election, based on the belief that the vote would have legitimized the occupation (which, according to the Oslo Accords, was supposed to have ended in 1999). Without an election, the deep sociopolitical split in Palestinian society never would have happened. With an election under Arafat, Hilal believes Fatah would have won because Arafat would have risen above the internal splits and rivalries.

    The geographic fragmentation has been complemented over the years by a process of atomization, or – in Hilal’s words - individualization.

    “The spread of individualism means that more and more Palestinians are legitimating, promoting, and protecting their personal interests and concerns above the collective interests and concerns of the community. This is the outcome of a number of factors,” Hilal wrote in an article asking what was stopping the third intifada. The article was published in May on the website of Al-Shabaka, an independent think tank of Palestinians without borders — in Palestine, in the diaspora and in exile.

    The PA (under Arafat and even more strongly after his death) adopted a neoliberal economic regime in which, Hilal writes, “the private sector was granted the determining role in shaping the Palestinian economy and the PA’s dependency on external aid and on Israeli tax transfers was cemented. This dependency has made the PA vulnerable to political pressure and made the employees of its large public sector wary of any change that could jeopardize their sources of livelihood.”

    The adoption of neoliberal thinking is not surprising, says Hilal: The PA was established at the peak of a global neoliberal era and was supported from the start by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, donor countries and NGOs that themselves relied on donations from abroad.

    Another "factor related to the process of individualization has been the decline in the influence and credibility of political organizations and the buildup of the PA bureaucracy [and also that of Hamas] and formal institutions under the illusion that this would soon lead to an independent Palestinian state,” writes Hilal.

    “The largely egalitarian political culture ‘of brothers and comrades’ and the relatively easy access to leaders by the rank and file that existed before the Oslo Accords has been replaced by pseudo-state institutions with their rigid hierarchical structures and discourse. There are now ministers, director generals, and other civilian and military ranks, each with its own special privileges and job description.”

    Economic gaps have widened among the regions, cities, villages, refugee camps and extended families. Hilal told Haaretz that before the Oslo Accords, when the number of workers in Israel was high and movement into Israel was unrestricted, workers’ salaries were even higher than those of the middle class.

    In recent years, the middle class that is dependent on the PA, its security agencies and the private sector, which is motivated by profit, has expanded. The main interest of this class — represented by fairly strong professional associations, unlike the workers and the farmers, who are not organized properly — is not to rock the boat, not to break the status quo.

    The sociologist Hunaida Ghanem, who runs MADAR, the Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies, described the Palestinian hierarchical structure as follows: “There is a small elite that established [the new Palestinian city of] Rawabi, and there are those who got rich from the Oslo process. There is the middle class of Ramallah, who live in a bubble and in an illusion that their situation is good because they live on bank loans. And there is the majority of the people, who don’t live in a bubble and suffer from the existing reality.”

    As Ghanem told Haaretz, “The middle class chases personal security and car loans — not even in Tel Aviv and New York do you see cars like the ones here in Ramallah. This is a middle class under occupation that lives in nonprofits, academia, the schools, the government ministries. It used to be the avant-garde of national action, of resistance and the national project. Now it is busy with repaying debts. Those who work in nonprofit organizations are busy with pleasing the donors.”

    The reality of the separate units, created when the Oslo process began, calls to mind the PLO’s experience in Jordan and Lebanon. There, too, it worked in a scattered Palestinian society that lacked space and territorial contiguity, but the common experience of being a refugee nation and the struggle overcame the lack of contiguity. So maybe that is why Arafat wasn’t worried by the imposed geographic fragmentation into areas A, B and C in 1995. He saw it as something that would end no later than 1999.

    “Arafat and many others in the Palestinian community bought the temporariness that Israel sold,” said Ghanem. “But Israel created the largest settlements under the umbrella of temporariness. Arafat, as a Ben-Gurionist, believed in his ability to maneuver what existed toward a defined goal: the establishment of a state in the West Bank and Gaza.”

    Arafat, said Ghanem, symbolized for the Palestinians hope, various possibilities and an alternative — if a given method failed. “During Arafat’s time, when people said ‘peace process,’ people trusted in his ability to lead to a breakthrough. They believed it wouldn’t be a static situation.” Today, without him, Palestinian society has lost its hope and horizon.

    Palestinians are well aware of the internal contradiction; this, too, is a prominent feature. On the one hand, as Hilal puts it, the Israeli occupation provides all the objective and unifying conditions for a third intifada. On the other, the reality of Oslo (which is part of those objective conditions) created subjective conditions of social stratification, economic disparities and discipline-imposing security agencies that are subject to the will of the donor countries. All this prevents or delays the next uprising.

  • Israel police prepare for funeral of Palestinian attack suspect | Maan News Agency

    (...) Shaludi was shot dead by police as he fled on foot.

    Palestinian sources said he was to be buried in Jerusalem at 10:00 pm Saturday.

    Public radio said the timing was set by Israeli authorities, who also imposed a maximum limit of 80 mourners for fear the event could turn into a violent protest.

    In the occupied West Bank, relatives of Palestinian teenager Orwa Hammad, shot dead Friday, said his funeral would take place on Sunday, to allow his father time to travel from the United States where he is a resident citizen.

    They said the teenager, also a US national, was 14 and not 17 as initially reported by Palestinian officials.

    The baby Israeli girl killed Wednesday was a US citizen too, Washington has confirmed.

    The army said Hammad had been about to throw a Molotov at Israeli motorists near the West Bank city of Ramallah when he was shot by troops on a stakeout in the village of Silwad to protect a road frequently used by Jewish settlers. (...)

    • Clashes in Jerusalem but flashpoint Palestinian funeral delayed

      JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli police clashed with Palestinians across East Jerusalem Saturday ahead of a potentially explosive funeral that was delayed for a day and tight security conditions imposed.

      Relatives of Abd al-Rahman Shaludi, the Palestinian driver who ran into a Jerusalem crowd on Wednesday, killing an Israeli baby, were told to be ready to bury him Sunday night, their lawyer said.

      The internment, near Jerusalem’s Old City walls, will take place at 11:00 pm and must be finished by midnight, only 20 mourners will be permitted to attend and they will have to submit their names to police in advance, attorney Mohammed Mahmoud said in a statement.

    • Attaque à Jérusalem : la police israélienne refuse de rendre le corps de l’auteur présumé

      Jérusalem - La police israélienne a indiqué dimanche soir qu’elle ne rendrait pas à sa famille le corps d’Abdelrahmane Shalodi, un Palestinien qu’elle accuse d’avoir délibérément lancé sa voiture contre un arrêt du tramway à Jérusalem mercredi, tuant deux personnes.

      Ce Palestinien de 21 ans avait été abattu mercredi par la police. La justice israélienne avait décidé que sa dépouille serait rendue dimanche soir à la porte du cimetière pour un enterrement rapide au milieu de la nuit, en présence d’une liste réduite de participants soumise auparavant à la police. La famille a refusé ces conditions et la police a indiqué qu’elle examinera ce qu’elle fera du corps dans les prochains jours.

      La police de Jérusalem a pris contact avec la famille du terroriste, notamment via leur avocat, pour organiser la remise du corps conformément à la décision de justice, indique un communiqué de la police, avant d’ajouter : l’avocat de la famille a transmis le refus de la famille de recevoir le corps pour organiser les obsèques.

      Le refus de la famille n’empêche pas de faire sortir le corps de l’institut de médecine légale et la police examinera dans les prochaines heures ce qu’elle en fera, poursuit le communiqué.

      Le père d’Abdelrahmane Shalodi a affirmé à l’AFP vouloir mener l’enterrement selon le rituel musulman, insistant sur le fait qu’il voulait pouvoir pratiquer les ablutions sur le corps, l’envelopper dans un linceul blanc et mener la prière du défunt dans la mosquée Al-Aqsa, le troisième lieu saint de l’islam, situé sur l’esplanade des Mosquées à Jérusalem.

      Empêché de pratiquer ce rituel, il a dit avoir refusé de récupérer le corps de son fils selon les conditions posées par les Israéliens.

      Des funérailles symboliques ont déjà été organisées en début de soirée et ont dégénéré en violents affrontements entre Palestiniens et policiers israéliens dans le quartier populaire palestinien de Silwan, à Jérusalem-Est.

    • 7 injured as Israeli forces disperse symbolic funeral in Jerusalem

      JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Seven Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces dispersed a symbolic funeral procession for Abd al-Rahman al-Shaloudi from Silwan to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

      The procession started from al-Shaloudi’s family home in al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, and when it reached the nearby Beir Ayub neighborhood, participants were surrounded by Israeli forces who fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas, and sprayed them with skunk water.

      Seven Palestinians were injured including one who suffered a fractured foot and another who was hit with a stun grenades’ splinter in the face.

    • Funeral held for suspect in Jerusalem car attack
      Published today (updated) 27/10/2014

      JERUSALEM (AFP) — Abd al-Rahman Shaludi, 21, who is suspected of deliberately ramming his car into pedestrians in Jerusalem last week, was laid to rest on Sunday after delays to the funeral amid tight Israeli security restrictions.

      Video footage from the funeral showed a group of youths carrying al-Shaludi’s casket to the cemetery near Jerusalem’s Old City, chanting “God loves him because he is a shahid,” or martyr.

      The 21-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by police in what they called a “terror attack” after Wednesday’s car attack, which killed two people.

      His family say the incident was not deliberate.
      sraeli police had initially refused to return Shaludi’s body to his family after a post mortem, saying the family had rejected an Israeli court’s conditions for the funeral, which determined could be attended by only 20 people.

      Jawad Siyam, an activist from Silwan, where the Shaludis reside, alleged Israel had threatened the family they would bury him on their own if they did not accept the conditions.

      His family rejected those terms, but eventually the two sides agreed 70 people could attend, according to Siyam.

      ’Symbolic funeral’

      Earlier on Sunday the family held what it called a “symbolic funeral” in honor of Shaludi in Silwan.

      Hundreds of Palestinians attended the ceremony, bearing an empty casket and reciting prayers, before trying to ascend to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

      Heavily armed police used tear gas to repel hundreds at the “symbolic funeral,” arresting one person in Silwan. Elsewhere in East Jerusalem police arrested two youths in al-Issawiya for stone-throwing.