Israel strands Bedouin in their own village
+972 blog 14 Dec by ‘John Brown’ — The residents of Umm Batin, a Bedouin village in the south of Israel, were surprised to discover at the beginning of December that the bus stop they use to get to nearby Be’er Sheva had disappeared without warning or explanation. When village residents asked bus drivers —- after catching the bus from a stop further away — what was going on, they were told that services to their village had indeed been canceled. Instead, they learned, they would have to travel to the nearby town of Omer in order to be able to use public transportation. Umm Batin, a recognized village of around 5,000 inhabitants, is now under de facto closure for anyone who doesn’t own or have access to a private vehicle. Salameh Abu-Kaf, a member of the Umm Batin council, tells Local Call: “Many residents take the bus every day in order to get to work. Until now we’ve had the stop opposite the village. “Although it was extremely dangerous to cross the highway in order to reach the stop, we were at least able to get out of the village,” he added. “Now they expect us to walk along the highway to get to the next stop? It’s incredibly dangerous.”….
Israeli forces deliver demolition orders to Palestinians in East Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 15 Dec – Israeli officials from the Jerusalem municipality, escorted by Israeli soldiers, raided the neighborhood of ‘Issawiya on Thursday in occupied East Jerusalem and hung demolition notices on several buildings. According to local popular committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, Israeli municipality officials raided the area of Habayel al-Arab in the southwestern part of ‘Issawiya, and proceeded to take pictures of the neighborhood and buildings, before they hung demolition notices on more than six residential buildings. Al-Hummus noted that some of the notices targeted buildings which were built after the owners had been issued Israeli building permits, making the structures “legal” under Jerusalem municipality regulations. He also added that the buildings that had received the demolition orders were built between 10 to 30 years ago, and included more than 20 apartments belonging to residents in the neighborhood….
‘Apartheid Israel’ is not just a political slogan, it is a daily reality
MEMO 8 Dec by Jihad Abu Raya — Around 70 per cent of all towns within Israel — Palestinian land occupied since 1948 — are “for Jews only”; the state’s Arab citizens are banned from living therein. This has been the sustained policy since the establishment of the State of Israel on Palestinian land. The means and methods may have changed, but Israel’s goal has not; establishing “Arab-free” towns, which are solely for those who have Jewish ethnicity, is the official intention. This is no ordinary discrimination in favour of one group of citizens; this is Apartheid itself. Despite this obvious fact, it is an issue which the international community would rather not address and so Israel continues to get away with it. The so-called Israel Land Authority manages 94 per cent of the 1948 Palestinian lands on behalf of three main “owners”: First, the State of Israel, which claims ownership of 69 per cent of the 1948 land that was inherited from the British Mandate Government, seized because it was alleged that it had no owners or was simply confiscated. The second “owner” is the Development Authority, which lays claim to 12 per cent of the land that was handed over by the protector of properties belonging to “absentees”; in other words, properties that belong to ethnically-cleansed Palestinians. The third is the Jewish National Fund, which “owns” 13 per cent of the land. A small percentage of the JNF land was seized or purchased by the fund prior to the creation of the State of Israel. However, most consists of land that belonged to Palestinians driven from their homes in 1948 which was then given to the JNF as a gift by the government of Israel after the state was established, as part of what is known as the first million deal and the second million deal….
Hyundai profiting from Israel’s colonization of Golan Heights
EI 14 Dec by Ryan Rodrick Beiler — In September, Israeli forces demolished the home of Bassam Ibrahim. What made his case different from the more than 48,000 such demolitions in territory Israel has occupied since 1967 is that Ibrahim is not Palestinian. He is Syrian. Ibrahim’s home in the town of Majdal Shams was the first demolition in the Golan Heights since Israel occupied the Syrian territory following its capture in 1967. The Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the destruction of property by an occupying power except in the case of military necessity. Equipment manufactured by Hyundai Heavy Industries was used to carry out the demolition … The demolition of Bassam Ibrahim’s home in the Golan followed a pattern similar to those in the occupied West Bank. According to Al-Marsad, a human rights group in the Golan, hundreds of Israeli police and special forces surrounded the home as it was destroyed on the pretext that it was built without a permit. Dozens more Syrian-owned homes in the territory have also received demolition orders. More than 140,000 Syrians lived in the Golan Heights, approximately 1,860 square kilometers, before its capture in 1967. Most were forcibly transferred outside the territory, and only 20,000 remain today. Discriminatory Israeli policies make it virtually impossible for residents to obtain permits to build or improve their homes. Many have no choice but to build without them. Syrian communities in the Golan are also being squeezed by Israel’s expansion of Hermon National Park. Authorities have moved to appropriate 20,000 acres of land used by Majdal Shams and other communities for agriculture and housing … The number of Jewish settlers in the Golan is now roughly equal to that of the Syrian population….
Israeli settlers refuse to leave West Bank outpost
AMONA OUTPOST, WEST BANK (AFP) 15 Dec — Residents of a wildcat Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on Thursday rejected a proposal to leave voluntarily, raising fears of violence as an evacuation deadline nears. The Amona outpost, home to some 40 families, is under a high court order to be evacuated by December 25 since it was found to have been built on private Palestinian land in a case that has taken on international importance. The residents’ rejection led to concerns the army would move in imminently to clear them out, leading dozens of youths to stream into the hilltop outpost in windy and bitterly cold weather in the middle of the night. Many of them, alerted to the decision by social media, crowded into a small synagogue and dozed in sleeping bags on the floor, while others stayed in their cars or simply walked the streets. After sunrise, some of the more extreme youths, wearing knitted Jewish skullcaps with sidelocks dangling, spread nails on roads along with stones and wooden poles. Several took up position on top of a water tower while waving an Israeli flag. They also hauled an empty dumpster with them for unclear reasons. A spokesman for Amona residents who has lived in the outpost for 14 years said they had not been given any notice of when an evacuation could happen. Asked whether he was concerned that the youths’ presence in the outpost would lead to violence, he said: “I’m worried about the government inflicting pain on people – needless pain.” “There is no difference between Amona and Tel Aviv,” said Eli Greenberg, a 43-year-old father of eight, referring to Israel’s economic capital located within its internationally recognised borders. “There’s no reason to take us out of here,” he said…. [JPost: when Amona was first evacuated in 2006, some 200 people were injured, including 80 members of the security forces and then-MKs Arye Eldad and Effi Eitam. And that was when Amona had only nine homes. Now it has 40]
Palestinian refugees – Syria, etc.
The forgotten refugees and the Fatah conference
MEMO 8 Dec by Ayman Abu Hashem — Fatah’s Seventh Conference last week carried several clear messages for Palestinian refugees. It is as if Fatah has reached the culmination of a historic path of blatant abandonment and denial of those who represent the core of the modern Palestinian revolution and the foundations of its national project. Furthermore, the tragedy of the Palestinians in Syria was missing from the lengthy speech made by the head of Fatah, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation — Mahmoud Abbas — and this absence could not be separated from the choice of Ahmed Majdalani to deliver the PLO’s presentation to the conference. This is the man who fabricated the victims’ narrative in Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria, and promoted the lies of the regime without the slightest hint of shame. The mere mention of his name provokes the anger of all Palestinians in Syria. Other messages highlight the limits of President Mahmoud Abbas in dealing with the refugee issue, which has been abandoned at the bottom of his list of priorities for finding a fair and agreed-upon solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. Whatever is decided, the solution must overlook the attempt to keep the refugees off the agenda when its practical aspects are discussed; it must also make sure that there is a clear understanding of the alienation of refugee communities by Fatah, which is becoming an army of employees for the PA. What is both strange and painful is the fact that the representatives of the “ruling party” who came from refugee communities in order to participate in the conference have contributed to this alienation. It seems that none of them even thought about protesting about the very small and symbolic representation of the refugees in the conference, the participants of which applauded the spread of Baathism … At least seven Palestinian refugee camps have been destroyed in Syria and there have been thousands killed and wounded by the bombing, sieges and murderous detention of the Syrian regime and its acolytes. In addition, nearly one-third of the Palestinians in Syria have been displaced beyond its borders. Their “second Nakba” outdid the first in terms of horror and atrocities, but this was not enough to stir the emotions of those attending the conference to at least show a minimum level of solidarity and sympathy with the refugees, whose plight was lost amongst the speakers’ love letters to the Israeli enemies and bombastic challenges to Fatah’s political opponents….
IDF sentences two conscientious objectors to month in prison
+972 mag 13 Dec by Haggai Matar — The Israeli military sentenced two Israeli conscientious objectors, Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi, to 27 days in military prison on Monday for refusing to serve in the army due to their opposition to the occupation. The young women first declared their conscientious objection at the Israeli army’s Tel Hashomer induction base in mid-November, saying that they refuse to take part in the oppression of the Palestinian people. They were sentenced to 10 days in military prison at the time. At the end of their current prison stint, the two will be released, after which they will be required to once again present themselves at the induction base. They will then likely declare their refusal once again, and be handed a fourth prison sentence, a cycle that can repeat itself for months on end. Israeli law allows for conscientious objection, but in practice it is only ever accepted on grounds of pacifism, not for political reasons, a category in which the IDF includes opposing the occupation. Ze’evi and Alon are both asking to perform an alternative civilian national service instead of military service….
– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/describes-israeli-cleansing/?utm_source=Mondoweiss+List&utm_campaign=792deab493-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b86bace129-792deab493-398536869&mc_cid=792deab493&mc_eid=189b366097#sthash.Wzxgaw9K.dpuf