ADV. SHLOMO LECKER states as follows, 24.5.18, 6.00 pm
The verdict on the Al Khan al Ahmar cases was published today. Written
by Judge Noam Sohlberg and approved by Judges Anat Baron and Yael
Willner, the names are important because by any standard of IHL, the verdict is
an approval by the Israeli High Court of a crime against humanity.
Judge Sohlberg is sophisticated and cunning; he states that he “means to
correct a precedent” that will now enable the State to demolish the Bedouin
residences without offering any alternative. After describing all the arguments
which Adv. Lecker raised in the petitions against demolition of the village and
the school, he states that the hearing is not about the question as to whether
the alternative the State is offering is adequate or not, the question the Court
has to answer is whether the structures were built with building permits or not,
and if so, the State is allowed to demolish them at any time commencing on 1st
To sum up, the State does not allow the Bedouins to receive building permits,
the Israeli High Court of Justice approves demolition of every shack, pen,
fence or school built without a building permit, and this verdict takes away the
absolutely minimal protection that the Bedouin communities have received until
recently from the court.
Adv. Shlomo Lecker
Bearing in mind the High Court ruling that even facilitates demolition during the
holy month of Ramadan, JS hopes diplomatic messaging will include effective
protection for IHL/IHRL and invoke full accountability by Israel, instead of the
current impunity which allows such grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions
(despite Israeli signature on that treaty) and crimes against humanity, as
reflected above. 190 villagers’ homes and 160+ childrens’ dreams are at stake.
Jahalin Solidarity will be launching Phase 2 of its social media campaign within
the coming days. The irony is not lost on us that today was the final day of the
school year at Al Khan al Ahmar car tyres school. To date, 61 UK MPs have
signed Early Day Motion 1169 (https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1169)
Jahalin Solidarity also notes, with deep appreciation the work of J Street (with
much preparatory briefing of Congress, reflected in 305 congressional calls last
year by Rebuilding Alliance, which included a recorded conference call with Eid
abu Khamis and JS) which has achieved a letter signed by 76 Members of
Congress published two days ago, calling on Israel NOT to demolish Sussiya
or Al Khan al Ahmar.
***Correction to previous mailing of 18.5.18: The presence of Italy was
inadvertently overlooked in the list of missions attending the EU Heads of
Mission delegation, albeit not overlooked in the photographs attached – with
sincere apologies for the oversight. (JS hopes no other mission was
omitted, as inclusiveness, solidarity and mutual support are so crucial for any
successful joint campaigning!)
The Two-State Solution: An Autopsy
Henry Siegman – London Review of Books – The invocation of Israel’s ‘sovereign right’ is the big lie at the heart of America’s responsibility for the collapse of the peace process. In Gaza, as in the West Bank beyond the pre-1967 armistice line, Israel is acting not in accordance with its sovereign right to protect itself, but to protect its occupation. What Israel’s military restores when it quells Palestinian protests is not law and order, but illegality and repression, reinforcing its theft of Palestinian territory in order to preclude the possibility of a Palestinian state, a goal it has achieved. Lieberman’s opinion of the value of the lives of Palestinians mirrors the view expressed by Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s minister of justice. A year before her appointment in 2015, Shaked posted on her Facebook page an article by Uri Elitzur, a settler leader, in which he said that Israel should target not only militants but the ‘mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which the stakes were raised. Otherwise more little snakes will be raised there.’-rh
The Guardian view on Gaza shootings: stop killing unarmed civilians
The Guardian – Editorial – t is inexcusable for soldiers of a military, especially those under democratic civilian control, to shoot and kill protesters, almost all of whom were unarmed, and who pose no credible threat. Yet at the boundary between Gaza and Israel today Israeli soldiers seem to have done just that. It should make Israelis quail that demonstrators were sprayed with live ammunition with apparent impunity. There were dozens of deaths and hundreds of maimings among the Palestinians who had marched to the border to make a point about their right to return to their ancestral homes. Israel’s army evinced no shame in committing what looks like a war crime. These are serious accusations. Yet they were greeted with little more than a shrug. By blockading Gaza, Israel imprisoned 2 million people behind barbed wire and military towers. Israel treated the violence as a jailer might a prison riot: a tragic fault of the inmates.-rh
Israel’s Choice To Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify — But Not Surprise Us
Peter Beinart – Forward – Long before Israeli soldiers decided whether to shoot at protesters, Israeli leaders decided to bar farmers in Gaza from exporting spinach, potatoes and beans. They decided to bar fisherman in Gaza from fishing beyond six nautical miles. They decided to bar students in Gaza from leaving the Strip to study, to bar spouses from leaving to legally join their husbands or wives in the West Bank, to bar grandchildren from leaving to attend their grandparents’ funerals. They decided to bar people in Gaza from importing the spare parts necessary to rebuild the Strip’s electricity grid. These were not split-second decisions made by young, frightened soldiers. They were policies formulated by politicians in air- conditioned offices. Those politicians responded to Hamas’ victory in the 2006 legislative elections by helping to torpedo a Palestinian coalition government that would have left Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian Authority’s President. They rejected negotiations with Hamas until the group met conditions—among them the acceptance of past agreements and support for the two state solution—that Israel’s own current government does not meet. Instead, they chose a policy of collective punishment: a policy that punished the people of Gaza for being ruled by Hamas. More than a decade later, Hamas remains in charge. But Gaza—which has barely any electricity or drinkable water— is on the verge, according to the United Nations, of becoming “unlivable.”-rh
Here are the questions any journalist talking to the Israeli military should ask
Yossi Gurvitz – Mondoweiss – The questions any journalist talking to the IDF Spokesman should be: How many casualties did the IDF suffer in Gaza? If the number is zero (as it is when these lines were written) or close to it, then the forces were not in danger, and this was not a military action but a massacre. How many weapons did the IDF capture, or at least documented used by the Palestinians? If the number is zero (and currently it is), or less than the number of people killed or wounded, then at least some of those shot were not a danger to the IDF. Given that currently the number is zero, it’s fair to assume none of those shot presented the IDF gunmen with mortal danger.-rh
West’s failure to act will be cause of the next Gaza massacre
Jonathan Cook – Countercurrents – There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy too in statements about “defending borders” from a state that has refused to declare its borders since its creation exactly 70 years ago – as well as from a Netanyahu government currently trying to establish a Greater Israel over the Palestinian territories. But the hypocrisy was not restricted to Israel and Washington, which parroted Mr Netanyahu’s talking points. There was an ugly equivocation from other western leaders. They spoke of “regret”, “tragedy” and “concern at the loss of life”, as though an act of God had struck Gaza, not an order from Israeli commanders to quell the Palestinian urge for freedom with live ammunition.-rh
I FORGOT, LIKE YOU, TO DIE: 12 PALESTINIAN WRITERS RESPOND TO THE ONGOING NAKBA `GAZA MAKES AN AUDACIOUS CLAIM ON LIFE; ITS PEOPLE CONTINUE TO RESIST`
Literary Hub – Yesterday, the global Palestinian community marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophic destruction of the Palestinian homeland and dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages. Hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed to the ground, hundreds of thousands of people torn from their country. They were told by subsequent Israeli administrations— and most of their Western allies, chief among them the US government— there is no place for you. But anniversaries are a strange phenomenon when the past is a living, breathing, and unending current event. One has only to contrast the besieged Palestinians of Gaza—the site of months-long mass protests against erasure—with the dystopian paeans to “peace” and “freedom” at the opening ceremony for the new American embassy on stolen Palestinian land in Jerusalem to realize how easily words can be gutted of their meaning. For many Palestinians, the permission to narrate one’s own stories in their own words has been at the root of struggle and survival, as important as delineating a physical space for existence.-rh
IDF has ‘enough bullets for everyone,’ senior MK says of deadly Gaza clashes
STUART WINER and TOI STAFF – The Times of Israel – In an interview by Hadashot TV news early Monday afternoon, when the death toll in Gaza stood at 18, MK Avi Dichter, who chairs the powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, brushed aside a question about the prospect of the number of dead mounting and Palestinians storming the border. “[Security forces] won’t let anyone put soldiers, and certainly not civilians, in danger,” he said. “The IDF has enough bullets for everyone. I think that ultimately, the means that the IDF prepared, whether non-lethal, or if needed, lethal, in cases where it’s justified by the open-fire regulations — there’s enough ammunition for everyone.”-rh
Mass Murder In Gaza
Bill Van Auken – Countercurrents – The two events—occurring on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence—were juxtaposed by the media, broadcast simultaneously on split screens by television networks. What could not be concealed was the fact that the opening of the American embassy was entirely in line with and, indeed, a statement of political support for the massacre taking place at the security fence separating the impoverished occupied territory from Israel.-rh
Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day
ROBERT A. H. COHEN – Patheos – Because it’s not 1933. Because the Palestinians are not the Nazis. Because we have not been here before. Because this is new. Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day. Because you cannot shout about racism here but not there. Because you cannot care about refugees here but not there. Because discrimination at the Western Wall matters less than the Apartheid all around you.Because an Israeli sniper’s bullet is a bigger problem than an antisemitic tweet. Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day. Because there’s no safety won by theft. Because there’s no security built on fear. Because democracy for some is not democracy. Because a nuclear armed ghetto does not normalise the Jewish condition.-rh
I’m sending (see below) an article that gives some idea of the situation in Gaza. In Gaza thousands are protesting non-violently – unarmed – several hundred feet away from the Israeli border and in a number of places from north to south. In recent days the casualties keep increasing until the number of wounded in one day has gotten to over a thousand and the dead to 50 or more. (How can Israeli soldiers be ordered to kill or wound people who are protesting without any weapons and also remaining several hundred feet inside the Gaza fence.)
Two or three years ago, my friend Kay asked me to help her with aid to the family of Moataz in the Gaza Strip, and I couldn’t refuse. Just before my computer gave me trouble, I had gotten, from Moataz Qodieh, the first facebook notes he began sending once, twice, or more each hour! Two of his relatives had been shot by Israeli soldier snipers who hit them both in their heads. Their jaws were destroyed and their heads have severe injuries. Neither was armed or causing trouble, but both were participating with several thousands in their protest and demand to be in charge of themselves and not hindered by outsiders. Their lives have been and continue to be less and less livable.
The Israeli government doesn’t allow any money to be sent to the ‘occupied territories’ from Israel. From elsewhere it is possible to send from Western Union or Money Gram, and some say money gram is just as good or better than Western Union. It means cashing the amount of money you would want to send. Then the address needed for Moa’s two wounded relatives is (for Moa’s sister):
AZZA KHALED SAQR
That’s all that’s needed. If they ask if it’s in the occupied territory and want to know where, it is in Gaza (or the Gaza Strip).
I’m glad to say that hundreds of Israelis are demonstrating in addition to PHYSICIANS for HUMAN RIGHTS, saying that soldiers are not allowed to wound or kill anyone unarmed, and the Israeli High Court of Justice is currently discussing whether it should be against the law. But it is still a drop in the bucket. We are told that these days there is not even a moment without shooting guns or sending drones or missiles into Gaza. Their bravery and their desperation show that they are ready to die rather than live the ‘life’ they are allowed by the conquerors who invade with their missiles, large or small.
Moataz promises that all the money collected will go to the two wounded relatives who need to pay for medication and not to the others, even to his family, most of whom are virtually starving. The hospitals are more than overloaded and some doctors have been working a ‘shift’that doesn’t stop even at 5am. If you have a choice, send what money you can in dollars. Otherwise, whatever is possible, if anything.
Thanks for whatever you may be able to send. If you have questions, please let me know. The article about what’s happening now in Gaza is just below.
Elana and David too
From: +972 Magazine [mailto:info=972mag.com] On Behalf Of +972 Magazine Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 12:34 AM To: Elana <elanaw> Subject: The death toll keeps rising. Where do we go from here?
The bloodiest day since 2014: IDF shoots dead dozens, wounds thousands at border protests
The death toll just keeps rising. In the weeks and days leading up to the culmination of the Great Return March, we feared it would be bad. But not this bad. In the end, and the number could rise by the time you open this email, Israeli snipers killed 60 protesters in Gaza Monday. Another 2,771 were wounded. Eight of the dead and 225 of the wounded were minors.
Monday was the deadliest day since the 2014 war, and nearly three times deadlier than the worst month Gaza experienced since then. Since the protests began on March 30, more than 100 Palestinians were killed and over 12,000 injured. The vast majority were unarmed protesters. And while there have been a few cases of violence targeting Israeli soldiers along the border, not a single rocket has been fired since the protests began and there has not been a single Israeli casualty.
The Great Return March was supposed to be something different. Back in March, organizers explained that nonviolence had to be tried because Gazans are desperate. The siege simply cannot continue. They cannot leave their fate to politicians and militant groups anymore. Gazans just want to live. And yet, as if to prove that there is no legitimate form of Palestinian resistance, the Israeli army’s response was to make this period of unarmed, civilian protests the deadliest for Gazans in years.
The mass protests are over now. The refugees are still living in squalid camps 70 years after their displacement. And the U.S. Embassy has assumed its new perch in Jerusalem.
There is not a lot of hope to go around these days, and in the weeks and months to come the Israeli government is expected to chip away even further at the country’s democratic institutions. What we do know is that, like the desperate people of Gaza who risked it all just to make sure the world does not forget they exist, now is not the time to give up hope. It is definitely not the time to stop working toward the future we know we deserve.
this blog will describe my journey as an Ecumenical Accompanier with the World Council of Church's Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel from September to December 2011, from February to April 2013, and my volunteer work with the Hebron International Resources Network in 2014 and 2015