Posts tagged Palestine

December 8, 2013 via Mondoweiss

An Israeli sniper killed a child yesterday. Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, 14 was shot in the back by while walking in front of a school in Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah. Thousands of mourners turned out for his funeral is today.

Ma’an News reports the family said “their son was “executed” and “assassinated in cold blood,” ” Reportedly, according to locals, there were “no clashes or any kind of rock-throwing incidents that might have provoked the killing.”

The teenager father’s said Israeli soldiers target youths and kill them, in order to amuse themselves.

He added that his son was shot by an Israeli soldier from a watchtower in Bet El with one bullet while he was walking near a school in the camp. He was hit directly in the back…

His father told Anadolu Agency “The Israeli sniper shot my son as if he hunted a bird”. The Israeli military has acknowledged the killing and says they are opening an “investigation“.

Ma’an News:

His mother, sisters and other relatives wept as his body passed by the door to his home as his body was moved to the refugee camp’s mosque for funeral prayers.

His body was finally laid to rest in the camp’s cemetery, with a gunfire salute into the air as his body was lowered into the ground.

Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouti said that negotiations by the Palestinians with the State of Israel are being used as “a cover for settlement expansion and in order to carry out crimes and murder against the Palestinian people.”

He called for an “end to negotiations and for the International Criminal Court to try Israel and its leaders for war crimes committed against the Palestinian people, including the murder of the al-Ramahi child.”

It’s urgent the global community snap out of it and step up by take responsibility for seeking justice. The time is long past for the occupying army to be investigating the crimes of either its soldiers or citizens, against Palestinian people whose land they covet.

Related: Do you remember this photo posted by Israeli soldier Mor Ostrovski of a Palestinian boy’s head in crosshairs?

Mondoweiss / Visualizing Palestine

Twenty years ago, the PLO Central Council approved the Oslo Accord with the Israeli government. Israeli-Palestinian talks were slated to conclude within 5 years, yet two decades on Israel’s occupation continues, and the situation on the ground has only moved backwards for Palestinians.

The infographic “20 Years of Talks,” produced in collaboration with AIDA (the Association of International Development Agencies) focuses on this deteriorating reality.

An ever-increasing Israeli settler population, continuing dispossession of Palestinians, and a comprehensive system of segregation define the landscape. In spite of the Palestinian Authority’s ‘statehood’ project, the feasibility of a ‘two-state solution’ is now widely questioned, while Palestinian self-determination and the return of refugees are barely discussed.

via Mondoweiss

Today, activists in Israel/Palestine, and around the world, will carry out a “day of rage” to protest the Prawer Plan, an Israeli government plan to destroy 35 Arab villages in the Negev desert that will lead to the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of the state of Israel in order to clear the land for Israeli Jews.

Here is the call to action for today’s protests:

On 24th of June, the Israeli Knesset approved the Prawer-Begin plan, which if implemented will result in the destruction of more than 35 unrecognized villages in Al-Naqab and the forced expulsion and confinement of more than 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins. The Prawer plan is the largest Israeli land-grab since 1948. It epitomizes the nature of Israel’s policy; Israeli-Jewish demographic expansion and Palestinian-Arab demographic containment.

The International community has repeatedly called on Israel to halt the implementation of the Prawer Plan due to its discriminatory nature and the severe infringement it causes on the rights of Palestinian Bedouins in Al-Naqab. The UN committee on the elimination of Racial Discrimination called on Israel to withdraw the proposed legislation of the Prawer Plan. Also, in 2012, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on Israel to stop the Prawer plan and its policies of forced displacement and dispossession.

Injustice, humiliation and forced displacement are a recurring theme in Palestine’s history. This is lesson that we as a group of youth take to the heart. We will oppose, resist and work against the continuous assault that our communities, across Palestine face. Therefore, we launched the “Prawer will not pass” campaign with an eye to preventing this plan to be yet another chapter in Palestine’s long and tragic history.

Opposing the Prawer Plan is to oppose ethnic cleansing, displacement and confinement in the 21st century.

Join us by organizing marches, protests, sending letters to those with positions of influence in your country or community, by doing whatever you can, in order to force Israel to stop the Prawer plan.

Join us on the 30th of Nov. in saying “Prawer shall not Pass”.

For more information, please contact us on:

facebook.com/prawershallnotpass

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Emad Burnat’s 5 Broken Cameras took the prize for best documentary at the International Emmy Awards in New York City on Monday evening.

“It’s a big honor to be the first Palestinian to win an Emmy award,” Burnat told the elite industry crowd in his acceptance speech (watch it here).

“I made this film … to share my story with you and all the world. We want what you want — peace and liberty. We want a good future for our kids so we need your support and your help. Free Palestine,” he concluded.

5 Broken Cameras is an intimate portrayal of the grassroots resistance movement in Bilin village in the occupied West Bank, featuring footage and narration by Burnat, one of the leaders of the popular protests brutally repressed by the Israeli army.

The film was nominated for an Oscar for best documentary earlier this year.

via The Electronic Intifada

Abed Rabo Jedua inspects damage to his olive trees, which were destroyed by Israeli settlers, in the West Bank village of Tuqu’, November 25, 2013. The vandals were escorted by Israeli soldiers as they destroyed some 60 Palestinian-owned olive trees in the latest state-sanctioned ‘price-tag’ attack on Palestinian property. (Photos: Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Activestills.org)

Palestinian-American student denied entry to Israel after being told, ‘there is no such thing as Palestine’

By Yara Karmalawy via Mondoweiss

I’ve spent my entire life hearing stories about Jerusalem and the beauty of my homeland from my mother and grandparents. I had always dreamed of one day being able to visit, and in the summer of 2012 it seemed that I would finally have that opportunity. In September of that year I started my travels with 30 peers on a student diplomatic trip through the Middle East. I knew that I would likely face some trouble at the Israeli borders due to my Palestinian background, however what I experienced turned out to be far more than just a little “trouble”.

On September 13th, 30 of my peers and myself, made our way from Amman, Jordan to the Jordan River Crossing, the international border between Israel and Jordan. We lined up single file to go through baggage check, and have our passports checked by a young soldier who couldn’t be over the age of 25. I watched as several of my peers handed their bags and passports over and were quickly moved along. There seemed to be no trouble. As I approached the soldier and handed him my own passport, he read my name and automatically asked me to step aside. I obliged, wondering and worrying why I hadn’t been let through as easily as my friends who I could now see collecting their luggage and heading back to the bus. I waited patiently as I watched my passport be handed around from soldier to soldier, each reading my name out loud then conversing among each other in Hebrew.

Eventually one of the soldiers took my passport to the back and handed it to a young lady behind a glass window. I watched her inspect the passport and vigorously type my information into the computer screen in front of her. After about 35 minutes of her “research” on me, she called me over to her window, and proceeded to question me.

“What is the purpose of your visit to Israel?”

“I am on a student diplomatic trip with the University of California school system”

“Where are your mother and father from?”

“My father is Egyptian, and my mother is Palestinian” I noticed her smirk when I said the word Palestinian.

“Where are they now?”

“In California, where they live”

“Do you have family here in Israel?”

“No, but I have family in Palestine”

“So your mother is a Palestinian and you think that you can come to Israel?”

“Yes”

“You are not allowed to enter here because you have a Palestinian I.D.”

“No, I do not, I am an American citizen. I wasn’t born in Palestine, nor have I ever lived there”

Again she laughed, and snidely replied, “Well there is no such thing as Palestine anyway, but you have an I.D. through your mother, so you are not allowed to enter here. No Palestinians are. But you can try the Allenby Border Crossing, that is for Arabs only”

In just a few simple words it seemed that she had stripped me of my entire identity, erased my history, and labeled me as less than. I had never felt such anger in my life.

Devastated that I might not be able to continue my travels with my peers, it was decided that I would take a taxi an hour away to the Allenby Border Crossing and attempt to enter Israel from there. All 30 of my peers, all American citizen, UC students, just like me, had all gotten through already, but because my mother possesses a Palestinian ID, I was being denied entry into my own homeland. I was beginning to see the blatant racism that my mother had tried to warn me about unravel in front of me. Israel’s goal is for every Palestinian to denounce their Palestinian ID, therefore giving up their right to ever return to live in Palestine. I felt a surge of pride that my mother had refused to do so, despite the fact that it was hindering not only her own, but also, my ability to see my homeland. I knew that it was one of the strongest forms of resistance she could take.

I got into a taxi with 3 members from my traveling group, and we made our way to the Allenby Border Crossing. After about an hour, we arrived, and again I waited in the passport control line. I approached the window as my turn had finally arrived and I handed my passport to the small blonde woman working behind the counter. She took my passport and scanned it, and automatically said,

“Do you have another passport?”

“No”

“You are lying to me. You have a Palestinian ID”

“No, I don’t. I am an American citizen. My mother is simply originally Palestinian”

“You are a Palestinian, you cannot come to Israel. Wait there”

I headed to the waiting area, and spent the next 3 hours sitting and watching my passport be handed back and forth between soldiers and employees. Every so often I would be called aside and questioned about the reasoning for my visit and my family. Finally another young female soldier holding my passport, called out my name, and I replied. She asked me to follow her, so I did. I assumed I would be questioned for what seemed like the 100th time that day. She led me through the building and out sliding glass doors in the back. As we kept walking, I wondered where she was taking me, but again assumed I was simply being led to another building for further questioning. Finally, she stopped in front of a bus, and simply handed the bus driver my passport and said, “Return her”. I automatically panicked.

“Return me? Return me where?”

“You are going back to Jordan. You cannot come to Israel”

“I can’t go back, I have no phone, and I didn’t even tell the people I was with that I’m leaving. Please just let me go tell them”

“No. You will get on the bus and go back”

At this point I was truly afraid, and so I raised my voice to call attention and said, “No. I need to go back to my group. I will not get on the bus”

Suddenly, another man dressed in full military uniform holding a gun approached, and said, “You need to calm down right now and get on the bus”

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BILIN, West Bank (AP) — Residents of this Palestinian village have planted flowers in hundreds of spent Israeli tear gas grenades to honor those killed during their weekly protests against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier.

Mohammed Khatib, a village organizer, said Wednesday that the unusual garden is meant to show that life can spring from death.

Bilin has become a symbol of Palestinian protests against Israeli policies in the West Bank. The village’s struggle to regain land taken by the barrier was the subject of “Five Broken Cameras,” a documentary nominated for an Oscar last year.

Palestinians say the barrier, which cuts into the West Bank, amounts to a land grab. Israel says it’s needed to keep Palestinian attackers out. 

The Bilin garden commemorates Bassem Abu Rahmeh, a protest leader who was killed in 2009 when a tear gas grenade struck him in the chest during a demonstration. Bassem’s sister, Jawaher, died nearly two years later, a day after a weekly protest during which villagers said she inhaled Israeli tear gas.

During West Bank protests, Israeli troops often fire tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and occasionally live rounds, portraying them as appropriate means against Palestinian stone throwers.

The Big Story / AP

Israel has been forced to issue a formal apology to Japan over offensive comments posted on Facebook by its head of online public diplomacy.
The apology followed a complaint by the Japanese ambassador to Israel, Hideo Sato, after senior government official Daniel Seaman disparaged commemorations for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombs, causing a wave of protests in Japan.
"I am sick of the Japanese, ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Peace’ groups the world over holding their annual self-righteous commemorations for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims," Seaman wrote on his Facebook page. "Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the consequence of Japanese aggression. You reap what you sow."
According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israel’s ambassador in Tokyo, Nissim Ben-Shitrit, was forced to embark on a damage control exercise. “The incident is very slowly subsiding, but it’s too early to assess the damage to Israel’s image that it caused,” the Israeli embassy in Tokyo wrote in a cable to the foreign ministry in Jerusalem.
The apology was issued by Ya’akov Amidror, national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. A government official said the incident was “one of the least comfortable moments for Israel in Japan”.
Seaman, a former director of the government press office who has a reputation for being abrasive, recently took up a new post to promote positive images of Israel on social media networks. He has since been suspended and is under orders not to speak to the media.
The comments about Japan were part of a string of strongly worded postings by Seaman over recent months.
They included a response to a demand by the Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, for an end to new settlement expansion that read: “Is there a diplomatic way of saying ‘Go F*** yourself’?”
At the start of Ramadan, Seaman posted: “Does the commencement of the fast of the Ramadan means [sic] that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?”
In response to a Church of Scotland report that argued that Jews do not have a divine right to the land, he wrote: “Why do they think we give a flying F*** what you have to say?”
In a statement last week, Israel’s National Information Directorate said: “Danny Seaman’s statements on Facebook are unacceptable and do not express the view of the Israeli government. The directorate instructed Seaman to immediately refrain from making such statements.
The Guardian

Israel has been forced to issue a formal apology to Japan over offensive comments posted on Facebook by its head of online public diplomacy.

The apology followed a complaint by the Japanese ambassador to Israel, Hideo Sato, after senior government official Daniel Seaman disparaged commemorations for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombs, causing a wave of protests in Japan.

"I am sick of the Japanese, ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Peace’ groups the world over holding their annual self-righteous commemorations for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki victims," Seaman wrote on his Facebook page. "Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the consequence of Japanese aggression. You reap what you sow."

According to the Haaretz newspaper, Israel’s ambassador in Tokyo, Nissim Ben-Shitrit, was forced to embark on a damage control exercise. “The incident is very slowly subsiding, but it’s too early to assess the damage to Israel’s image that it caused,” the Israeli embassy in Tokyo wrote in a cable to the foreign ministry in Jerusalem.

The apology was issued by Ya’akov Amidror, national security adviser to the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. A government official said the incident was “one of the least comfortable moments for Israel in Japan”.

Seaman, a former director of the government press office who has a reputation for being abrasive, recently took up a new post to promote positive images of Israel on social media networks. He has since been suspended and is under orders not to speak to the media.

The comments about Japan were part of a string of strongly worded postings by Seaman over recent months.

They included a response to a demand by the Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, for an end to new settlement expansion that read: “Is there a diplomatic way of saying ‘Go F*** yourself’?”

At the start of Ramadan, Seaman posted: “Does the commencement of the fast of the Ramadan means [sic] that Muslims will stop eating each other during the daytime?”

In response to a Church of Scotland report that argued that Jews do not have a divine right to the land, he wrote: “Why do they think we give a flying F*** what you have to say?”

In a statement last week, Israel’s National Information Directorate said: “Danny Seaman’s statements on Facebook are unacceptable and do not express the view of the Israeli government. The directorate instructed Seaman to immediately refrain from making such statements.

The Guardian

The Onion:

JERUSALEM — As part of their continuing efforts to bring peace to the conflict-stricken region, Israeli government officials announced today the construction of a new settlement on Palestinian lands where future peace talks can be held. “After years of failed diplomacy, it has become clear that we need to make a fresh start, and what better way to do so than by appropriating a small amount of Palestinian territory where Israeli citizens can live and negotiators from both sides can talk about a peaceful way forward?” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to the civilian Jewish community that will be constructed in place of multiple razed city blocks in the West Bank. “With this new settlement in place, I believe that our prospects of peace and unity will be brighter than ever. In fact, we should build more settlements so there can be even more places to negotiate.” Netanyahu noted that any individuals currently living on the future site of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have exactly 36 hours to leave before they are forcibly removed.

The Onion:

JERUSALEM — As part of their continuing efforts to bring peace to the conflict-stricken region, Israeli government officials announced today the construction of a new settlement on Palestinian lands where future peace talks can be held. “After years of failed diplomacy, it has become clear that we need to make a fresh start, and what better way to do so than by appropriating a small amount of Palestinian territory where Israeli citizens can live and negotiators from both sides can talk about a peaceful way forward?” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to the civilian Jewish community that will be constructed in place of multiple razed city blocks in the West Bank. “With this new settlement in place, I believe that our prospects of peace and unity will be brighter than ever. In fact, we should build more settlements so there can be even more places to negotiate.” Netanyahu noted that any individuals currently living on the future site of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have exactly 36 hours to leave before they are forcibly removed.