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Israeli occupation forces have killed four Palestinians, including two children, and wounded 1,090 others, including 141 children, during the previous 20 days, a United Nations (UN) report revealed on Saturday.

In the report, which covered the period between 8 and 28 July, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) stated that the Palestinians were killed and wounded in the occupied West Bank.

According to UNOCHA's report, since the start of this year, Israeli occupation forces have killed 50 Palestinians, including 11 children, in the occupied West Bank.

During the same period, at least 11,232 other Palestinians have been wounded in the occupied West Bank, including 584 children.

One of the latest prominent flashpoints is the new illegal Israeli settlement outpost known as Evyatar, located in the village of Beita in the West Bank city of Nablus.

According to the UN report, out of the 11,232 Palestinians wounded during the reported period, 939 were injured by the Israeli occupation forces guarding the site of the illegal settlement.

The settlement was erected on Palestinian-owned land near Beita. While the settlers vacated the settlement on 2 July, Israeli forces have since been stationed to guard the buildings, awaiting the decision by Israeli authorities on whether the land can be classified as "state land" and whether a Jewish religious seminary can be established on the site.

The report added: "Since the establishment of the settlement in early May, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinians, including two children, and injured at least 3,077 others, including 381 children, in similar incidents."

Source : https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210731-un-israel-killed-4-palestinians-injured-1090-in-last-20-days/?mc_cid=d450776b6e&mc_eid=f0374718c6&utm_source=Palestine%20Updates&utm_campaign=854aac0b36-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-854aac0b36-30376749&fbclid=IwAR064bywLNoXWk1KXNCnwPYkYxZ2SZkwdde7pq2C05_-iNlGl0MIfpjd0XE

Israel's Supreme Court today offered Palestinian residents of the occupied Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood 'protected residence' status, saying that if they pay rent to the settler organization which claims the land on which their homes are built, their properties will not be demolished. The families have rejected the proposition, objecting to Nahalat Shimon's claims of ownership and subsequent plans for their forcible eviction, Ir Amim reported.

The hearing took place before a panel of three judges – Yitzhak Amit, Noam Sohlberg and Daphne Barak-Erez, who were ruling on a leave to appeal request submitted by the El-Kurd, Jaouni, Abu Hasna, and Askafi families who are facing eviction from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah by the Nahalat Shimon settler company.

Israel to evict 400 Palestinians from Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Israel to evict 400 Palestinians from Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Both sides subsequently presented arguments, and the hearing concluded without the handing down of a court ruling. The justices are expected to issue a decision within the coming days concerning the continuation of proceedings. According to one of the attorneys representing the families, an additional hearing on the matter will likely be scheduled.  Originally slated for early May, the hearing was deferred until now to allow for the Attorney General to weigh his intervention in the case, which he ultimately declined.

The court's decision, in this case, will likely impact the additional families from the Kerem Al-Jaouni section of Sheikh Jarrah facing eviction lawsuits filed by Nahalat Shimon, including the case of the Dajani, Daoudi, and Hammad families, likewise pending at the Supreme Court.

On 28 July, the attorney representing the three aforementioned families submitted a request to postpone their eviction date set for yesterday.

In response, the Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction, provisionally freezing their eviction and asking the settler group to respond by 8 August. While the three families have likewise filed a leave to appeal request to the Supreme Court, neither a hearing has been scheduled, nor a decision rendered.

Currently, there are open eviction lawsuits against a total of approximately 50-60 families in Sheikh Jarrah (30 families – Kerem Al-Jaouni section and 20-30 families – Um Haroun section), which are at various stages of legal proceedings.

Many more families are at risk of receiving eviction demands due to land registration procedures the Israeli authorities underhandedly began in occupied East Jerusalem in 2020 for the first time since 1967.

"Without the public's knowledge, the authorities have been discreetly registering land rights of properties in Um Haroun to alleged Jewish owners. Such a move is unprecedented and has potential acute ramifications on Palestinian properties not only in Sheikh Jarrah but across East Jerusalem," Israeli rights group Ir Amim said on its website, "which could ultimately lead to widespread Palestinian dispossession in the city and expansion of Jewish settlement."

Source : https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20210802-israel-court-calls-on-sheikh-jarrah-residents-to-pay-rent-to-settlers/?mc_cid=d450776b6e&mc_eid=f0374718c6&utm_source=Palestine%20Updates&utm_campaign=854aac0b36-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-854aac0b36-30376749&fbclid=IwAR3MnXmK7eNua4n8Yn674q7I0q_grynUFJfVTg6kHqD1wPCcecZJPMOwyTg

 “It is foolish to fight a battle that can be avoided; it is a shame to avoid a fight that must be fought.” (Ernesto Che Guevara)

The Palestinian people have not only been fragmented by Israel, but also by its own corrupted leadership. It is up to the grassroots to correct the capitulation of Oslo.

The Palestinian people’s integrity derives exactly from the strength of their position vis-a-vis the actual political state of things. Within this context, it becomes crucially important to listen to critical South African warnings which provide important lessons for Palestine from South Africa. The current unrest and popular dissatisfaction across South Africa are warnings for all of us here in Palestine that unprincipled compromises on the socioeconomic rights of historically disenfranchised communities should never be part of our liberation agenda. 

In fact, the leadership of the Palestinian national movement, like the ANC leadership, has already betrayed its own principles. We have reached a time where we can argue that Israel has intellectually and morally lost the battle. We, Palestinians, like Black South Africans before us, have proven to be the ones at the forefront of the fight for universal justice. However, by the end of the second decade and the beginning of the third one of the millennium, a spirit of dictatorship and tyranny has pervaded the soul of Palestinian nationalism as defined and controlled by the Right. 

It takes only a look at its failures to see that Palestinian nationalism, as defined by the Right in cahoots with the Stalinist Left, is coming to an end. And I am saying this from a deep sense of commitment to the Palestinian cause, but also from a self-critical viewpoint. The achievements of Palestinian nationalism have been made and now is the winter of its decline, its promises of liberation and return undelivered. 

Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.

The Palestinian Right has managed to fragment the Palestinian frame of collective identity by reducing the Palestinian people to only those who live in the 1967 occupied territories – Palestinian refugees (the source of the Palestinian cause) are ignored, as are those who live as third-class citizens of apartheid Israel. Palestinian nationalism seems to have taken a vacation from critical resistance! Critical activists and intellectuals, therefore, have to deal with the historical burden of correcting the capitulating thrust of Oslo pseudo-intellectual life.

To add insult to injury – and further fragmenting the already fragmented components of the Palestinian people – Palestine’s class character (disguised in a nationalist discourse) has lately revealed itself in a resentment toward the Palestinians of Gaza who are perceived as either Hamas supporters and members, or unwanted dissident voices, and who therefore constitute a serious threat to the so-called “National project.” Palestine today is more divided than ever between the overwhelming majority who are abused by the “peace industry” and the very few who are its beneficiaries.

But as Antonio Gramsci says: “the crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born: in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” And one of these symptoms is the vociferous call for alternative programs, including the call for the establishment of a secular-democratic state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – a call to move away from Bantustanization and separatism. 

Many, including some of those who were at the forefront of the fight for a Palestinian State on the 1967 borders, have come to the realization that the racist two-state solution has always been used to justify further Palestinian capitulation. Throughout history, Palestine has always had a multicultural character; that can only be restored in one Democratic state that represents the collective will of all its people: Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others. Again, and learning from the mistakes of South Africa, that should not be at the expense of the basic socio-economic rights of all those disenfranchised, especially refugees living in miserable camps across the region and in the diaspora. 

Auther: Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.


While the rest of the world is urged to stay at home and stay safe from a vicious virus, Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem have been fighting against being illegally and forcibly removed from their homes, homes they have been living in for generations.

Eric Reguly
European bureau chief, globeandmail.com

Palestinian protesters chant slogans as they gather in the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on June 26, 2021, during a demonstration against the death of human rights activist Nizar Banat while in the custody of Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces earlier in the week. - Thousands of mourners attended on June 25 the funeral of the 43-year-old Banat, a day after he died in custody following his violent arrest by Palestinian security forces, which sparked outrage in the occupied West Bank. He was known for social media videos denouncing alleged corruption within the PA. 

Nabil El-Kurd is no political hothead or social media expert. He’s an elderly, retired Palestinian. But he knows that the Palestinian protest movement in the Levant has fundamentally changed in the past year, especially in the past few months, and he is thrilled by what he sees. “All of the youth of Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank – I am so proud of them,” he said in an interview in mid-June in front of his house in Sheikh Jarrah, the predominantly Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem experiencing an influx of Jewish settlers. “What they are doing we haven’t seen in 70 years.” Mr. El-Kurd, 77, has a front-row seat to the new dynamic, which some political observers have called a broad-based “youth uprising” or “blossoming” – one with the potential to turn into another Arab Spring, they say. He is the father of Muna and Mohammed El-Kurd, the 23-year-old twins who have emerged as protest leaders and social media phenomena among Palestinians – not just in Jerusalem but across the occupied and blockaded territories and among the diaspora. Muna, a journalist, has 1.6 million Instagram followers; Mohammed, a poet, has 760,000, as well as 222,000 on Twitter.

They use social media to broadcast examples of the “Jewish colonialism” they say is making their lives miserable and robbing them of a secure future. The El-Kurd home is under an eviction order, with Jewish settlers claiming historic rights to parts of Sheikh Jarrah, as they are doing in nearby Silwan, another largely Palestinian area near the Old City of Jerusalem. The accounts of Palestinians fighting to keep their homes have gone global. Both twins were arrested by Israeli police on June 6 for allegedly participating in a riot, triggering international media coverage. They were released hours later, short-circuiting a potential new round of mass demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan, the West Bank and Gaza.

“The new unity among Palestinians shows that the protest movement is not just young men throwing stones,” said Gwyn Lewis, the director in the West Bank of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). “It’s a solidarity movement, and lots of young people are involved. They are channeling that energy into a political process that is echoing across the world.” But young Palestinians are united not just in their resistance to the occupation and the expansion of Jewish settlements – which are illegal under international law – but their rejection of the Palestinian leadership as well. They say that Mahmoud Abbas – the 85-year-old President of the Palestinian National Authority (known as the PA) and chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization – the institutions around him and his cronies are sclerotic, inattentive to their political needs and undemocratic. Apparently fearing that he and his Fatah party would lose the first presidential and legislative elections in 15 years, Mr. Abbas simply postponed them and declined to set new dates (officially, he justified the postponement by citing Israel’s silence when asked to allow the elections to be held in occupied East Jerusalem).

Young Palestinians say the old men who run the show are obsessed with their own livelihoods, not those of younger generations looking for a new path and a relationship with the Israelis who control many aspects of their lives. “The Palestinian resistance is not just against Israel, it’s against the Palestinian power structures,” said Fadi Quran, 33, a Palestinian community organizer and campaign director at Avaaz, the global online activist network. Their anger towards the PA intensified on Thursday, when Nizar Banat, an outspoken critic of the PA, died after he was arrested in his home by Palestinian security forces. Mr. Banat’s family said he was severely beaten before being taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Palestinians’ fight is not so much devoted to pursuing a one-state or two-state solution – concepts that obsess their parents and grandparents – but equality, justice and liberty regardless of the future status of a sovereign Palestinian homeland – or lack thereof. “We don’t care what it looks like as long as we are free,” Mr. Quran said. Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel (where 21 per cent of the citizens are Arabs, with representation in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament) displayed almost no unity in recent decades. The three populations were physically separated, and a power struggle in 2006 and 2007 between Fatah and Hamas, the political and military power in Gaza that Israel, the United States and Canada consider a terror organization, led to a rupture between the two groups that has yet to heal.

While the leaders of Fatah and Hamas continued to squabble, young Palestinians throughout the region began to come together. Some were drawn to Hamas, which broadened its appeal by depicting itself as the protector of Jerusalem. It fired volleys of rockets into Israel on May 10, when clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians on the Temple Mount turned explosive. The ensuing 11-day war killed 263 Palestinians, mostly in Gaza, and 13 people in Israel. The war further unified the Palestinians, though they were already finding common cause by protesting the accelerated eviction attempts in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

“The Gaza war was a grand awakening for us,” said Salem Barahmeh, the executive director in Ramallah, the West Bank’s commercial centre, of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy and leader of the Generation for Democratic Renewal, a movement that aims to teach democratic values and principles to disenfranchised Palestinian youth by holding virtual elections. “Something clicked. We saw that we are one people united by the segregation imposed upon us by the Israelis.”

Young Palestinians say their new sense of unity is partly motivated by the realization that the PA cannot protect them or give them a voice (the PA declined a request for an interview). Palestinians who are well into their 30s have never had the opportunity to cast a ballot. The lack of elections, the age restrictions – a candidate must be no younger than 28 to join an electoral list – and the cost of running in an election in a generally poor society has led many young Palestinians to seek a different route to political power. That route seems to centre on promoting unity among Palestinians no matter where they live, combined with a robust protest movement propelled by savvy social media campaigns. The El-Kurd twins in Sheikh Jarrah appear to have refined this formula. An early May video in which Muna demanded that a settler leave her family’s property went viral and helped trigger mass anti-eviction demonstrations. “You are stealing my house,” Muna told the settler, to which he replied, “If I go, you don’t go back … If I don’t steal it; someone else is going to steal it.”

Raya Ziadeh, a feminist political activist who lives in Ramallah, said the social media-fuelled protest movement of the young is, in her view, already producing results and generating international sympathy. She believes it helped limit the Hamas-Israel war to 11 days – the highly destructive 2014 war lasted seven weeks – and postponed both the court-ordered evictions and a march through East Jerusalem by Israeli ultranationalists (a scaled-down march went ahead on June 15, and the court proceedings are to resume shortly).

“For the first time, we can see that we have political power,” she said. “The Palestinians started to lose hope that the Palestinian government would protect them. The alternative for us is to become more powerful than the [Palestinian] government itself. I think something very important is happening. We can change what is happening on the ground.”

Source:  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-fervent-new-palestinian-youth-rebellion-is-aimed-at-both-israel-and/?utm_source=Palestine+Updates&utm_campaign=9586e20537-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_6_22_2018_18_52_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_002b0f7bf9-9586e20537-30376749

Today is the tenth day of Israel’s ongoing offensive against the Gaza Strip. Israel continues to deliberately target civilians and their property, as well as health facilities and basic utilities. Hundreds of people have been killed, and humanitarian conditions are deteriorating.

Tel Aviv /PNN/

In a damning indictment of Israel’s genocidal policies in the occupied West Bank, two former Israeli envoys have termed the regime’s occupation as “apartheid,” drawing parallels with pre-1994 South Africa where racial segregation was legalized.

In an article published in a South African news website, former ambassadors Ilan Baruch and Alon Liel said the situation between Palestine and the Israeli regime was one of “inherent inequality.”

“For over half a century, Israel has ruled over the occupied Palestinian territories with a two-tiered legal system, in which, within the same tract of land in the West Bank, Israeli settlers live under Israeli civil law while Palestinians live under military law,” they wrote in a joint Op-Ed.

The former ambassadors said the Israeli regime has “worked to change both the geography and the demography” of the West Bank through the construction of illegal settlements.

“This has happened alongside the expropriation and takeover of massive amounts of Palestinian land, including Palestinian home evictions and demolitions. That is, settlements are built and expanded at the expense of Palestinian communities, which are forced onto smaller and smaller tracts of land,” they noted in the scathing article.

Referring to the then-minister of military affairs of the Israeli regime, Ariel Sharon, to South Africa in the early 1980s, when Sharon had “expressed great interest” in South Africa’s Bantustan project, the duo write that the map of West Bank “leaves little doubt regarding where Sharon received his inspiration.”

Illegal settlements

Pointing to illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the duo emphasized that the regime in Tel Aviv was inspired by South Africa’s Bantustan project, which was a product of racial and class discrimination propounded by the white with contempt against the black.

“The West Bank today consists of 165 ‘enclaves’ – that is, Palestinian communities encircled by territory taken over by the settlement enterprise.”

The Bantustans of South Africa under the apartheid regime and the map of the occupied Palestinian territories today, they emphasized, are based on the same idea of “concentrating the ‘undesirable’ population in as small an area as possible, in a series of non-contiguous enclaves.”

“By gradually driving these populations from their land and concentrating them into dense and fractured pockets, both South Africa then and Israel today worked to thwart political autonomy and true democracy,” wrote the former envoys.

‘Wake up, world’

Baruch and Liel argued that their time in post-apartheid South Africa had led them to learn firsthand about the “reality of apartheid and the horrors it inflicted,” calling on the world to stand up for Palestine as they did against apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.

“It is time for the world to recognize that what we saw in South Africa decades ago is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories too,” they wrote.

“It is time for the world to take decisive diplomatic action in our case as well and work towards building a future of equality, dignity, and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” they hastened to add.

They also warn that the Israeli occupation was not temporary and that the Israeli regime had “no political will to end it.”

Liel, the Israeli regime’s envoy to South Africa during the transition from apartheid from 1992 to 1994, also served as the director-general of the regime’s foreign ministry between 2000 and 2001.

Baruch served as the ambassador to South Africa from 2005 to 2008. He also served as an envoy to Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

The damning article comes amidst the unfolding political drama in Israel with opposition political figures clubbing together to oust the sitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has been under fire at home after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas inflicted a crushing defeat on the regime during the recent 11-day war on the besieged Gaza Strip.


The Alternative Information Center / Palestine held the General Assembly meeting

By Nassar Ibrahim

In connection with the criminal assassination of the martyr Nizar Banat, and so that his sacrifice is not in vain, we must address the following question: What is the doctrine of the Palestinian security services? What are its sources and foundations? And how can it break from its deeply dysfunctional, current role?

On Monday morning, 26 April 2021, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced the complete closure of Gaza’s fishing zone, apparently in response to the firing of projectiles from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian refugees - The International Day Of Refugees, 20/06/2021

Violence attributed to Israeli settlers against Palestinians living in the West Bank has worsened in recent months, amidst “an atmosphere of impunity”, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.

بازار المزروعات والمنتجات الوطنية - دعوة عامة
ضمن فعاليات اسبوع الاقتصاد الوطني الفلسطيني وذلك يوم الأثنين الموافق 14-6-2021 من الساعة 11:00 صباحاً ولغاية الساعة 5:00 عصراً في ساحة مؤسسة ابداع - مخيم دهيشة 

Ahmad Jaradat - Alternative Information Center - Palestine
February 18 - 2021

After the publication of our Booklet in 2019 (Hebron - the Impossible City) in Spanish, in cooperation between the Alternative Information Center and the Association Aldus for Solidarity with the People in the Arab Countries that located in the city of Malaga - Andalusia, Spain, with funding from Janta de Andalusia.
The Booklet is an accurate documentation of what is happening in Hebron, and addressing all aspects of what is happening in terms of human rights violations and the political and social dimensions in Hebron, and the state of resilience and courage of the Palestinians in the city.
The brochure, which came in 58 large pages, and to be an educational material and guide for those who are interested, activists, civil society organizations, solidarity activists in Spain, and Spanish speakers. And In the beginning, I thank them, and I especially mention the friend Javier D Moriana for his great efforts, perseverance and valuable follow-up that had a great role in bringing the booklet to light.
Through friends and activists from Brazil who showed their interest in what is happening in Hebron and Palestine, the idea began to develop the booklet to shed light on what is happening in Palestine in general, considering what is happening in Hebron as an intense model of the general Palestinian situation. And if the Palestinian case acquires a unique peculiarity in modern history in terms of its subjection to direct colonialism in the sense, it adds complexity and specificity as an intense level of occupational colonialism and racial discrimination.
What is going on in Hebron constitutes an intense and doubled expression of this specificity and makes it a complex one, as the wide movement of settlement in the heart of the city, and the systematic displacement of Palestinians from it. And the isolations, closures, and daily violations in the city, especially the Old City, which remained under the direct authority of the occupation at all levels according to the Hebron Agreement or Protocol that divided the city.
And from the Brazilian friends came the idea of developing the booklet to be a book that sheds light on what is happening in Palestine, and deep dive into the history of the issue from the beginning of the last century, and the summit of this conflict, the Nakba, in 1948 and the displacement of the majority of the Palestinian people.
The book will serve as an educational guide for Portuguese speaking solidarity people. The first booklet was an introduction to the new book, which was 160 large pages. It also contained an appendix with maps and related pictures.
A number of writers and activists we want to mention and thank them, to the friend, writer Nassar Ibrahim - Director of the Alternative Information Center - Palestine and the friend, the university professor in social sciences and the international coordinator of the Brazilian (Without Land) farmers movement, which includes millions of farmers Marcelio Bozetti, and the Palestinian-Brazilian activist and the friend Khader Othman, Lebanese-Brazilian friend, specialist in agricultural sciences, Dr. Jamil Fayyad, and Lebanese-Brazilian friend, political activist Amir Sadar. And always express thanks to the Lebanese-Brazilian friend Dr.Yasser Fayyad, who enriched the book with his valuable ideas and information. With all their efforts, the book came to light.
Further, we must thank the friends in the Groups of Human Rights Defenders-Hebron , Youth Against Settlements Movement, and Hebron Defense Committee of Hebron, who all gave us many valuable data, and for their patience, great cooperation and breadth during the numerous interviews with them, individually and collectively.
Thanks are always extended to the colleagues in the Alternative Information Center for their efforts for all their support and encouragement throughout the period of writing the Booklet first and the Book second.
It remains to say that the idea of the book came in a discussion that began as normal, but which deepened with the agreement to complete it during a visit by friends Yasser, Jamil and Khadr to Hebron about a year ago. A field visit to the city, especially the old city, to familiarize them with what is going on in the city.

1st edition : Portuguese-   January 2021

Produced by the Movement for the Liberation of Palestine - Ghassan kanafani

Fidayin  Publisher- Florianópolis – Brazil.

The first shell woke us up at 2 a.m. It was a formidable blast. The room’s metal door shook and the smell of smoke filled the air. I got off the mattress. The explosion was so close, you could hear the soldiers downstairs yelling: “Yalla, keep going. Quick.”

Another shell exploded. The Israeli army was conducting a massive training exercise near Jinbeh, a small West Bank village in the Masafer Yatta area of the south Hebron Hills, home to around 150 Palestinians.

The lights in the houses across the village went on. A few frightened residents rushed outside. When silence fell, Hamdan, who was sleeping beside me, said: “That’s it, I think it’s over. Let’s go back to sleep.”

But then there was another blast. The windows rattled, dogs were howling, my body tightened up — and on it went until 4 a.m. None of Jinbeh’s resident got any sleep that night.

The following morning, we discovered a large number of military equipment down in the valley. Thirty tanks and a convoy of heavy trucks piled with shells were climbing up to the village, flattening the narrow dirt road. One by one, the tanks drove past the dozens of families and children who were standing outside, tired from the night before, and in complete shock.

One grandmother who was born in Jinbeh in 1942 told me that she had never seen anything like it. The army has been conducting military training in the area for decades, she said, but not like this. They had never arrived with tanks all the way up to people’s homes.

In 1980, the Israeli army declared the area as Firing Zone 918, even though 12 Palestinian villages, including Jinbeh, resided there long before Israel was founded in 1948. The army’s goal: displace the Palestinian residents.

As the grandmother was talking, one of the tanks crashed into the stone gate of the house next door. One of the children said he was afraid. Another tank driver waved hello to a young girl dressed in purple, and she waved back. A third tank drove into someone’s yard — its driver most likely got confused along the way.

Another tank veered into the old stone house of 60-year-old Ali. The driver, who looked around 19, was embarrassed. An officer with a grey beard clapped his hands in contempt and yelled: “You loser, is that how you keep the route?”

The IDF conducts a military exercise in Jinbeh, a village in the occupied West Bank, February 3, 2020. (Keren Manor/Activestill.org)
The IDF conducts a military exercise in Jinbeh, a village in the occupied West Bank, February 3, 2020. (Keren Manor/Activestill.org)

Ali got closer and saw that the tank had knocked down large rocks that were now blocking the entrance to his building. The driver didn’t move an inch. The officer yelled again: “Snap out of your shock and run out to get tow cables immediately.”

The tanks continued past the other buildings, but Ali remained outside his house. He asked his son to help him drag the rocks out.

Ali, too, was born here in Jinbeh. He told me that he worked as a construction worker in Israel his whole life, mending structures and roads. In Kibbutz Be’eri. In Nahal Oz. Those were his words.

Ali said he has four brothers, all of whom left Jinbeh over the past decade. They abandoned the village they were born in because of Israel’s policies, because of Firing Zone 918, he remarked. He explained that the army is preventing them from paving roads and is refusing to grant them building permits, or let them connect to water and electricity.

Jinbeh is one of more than 200 Palestinian villages in Area C of the occupied West Bank, over which the Israeli military has full control, that are systematically denied building permits — even though the land is privately owned by the residents.

The army preserves only the old stone houses in the village, like Ali’s. Everything else — the clinic, the school, the soccer field — can be demolished at any moment. It’s a violent policy; a way to pressure people into leaving their private land. This is also why the army declared this area a firing zone, even though it rarely trains here: to compound the pressure.

In 1999, under Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s leadership, Israel issued evacuation orders against the residents of Jinbeh and the other villages in the area, on the claim that they live in a firing zone. But the goal of Judaizing the area can be traced back to the 1967 Allon Plan, created by then-Labor Minister Yigal Allon. It was the Labor Party’s blueprint for settlement-building in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The IDF conducts a military exercise in Jinbeh, a village in the occupied West Bank, February 3, 2020. (Keren Manor/Activestill.org)
The IDF conducts a military exercise in Jinbeh, a village in the occupied West Bank, February 3, 2020. (Keren Manor/Activestill.org)

This tactic of using firing zones to Judaize an area isn’t applied only in the South Hebron Hills. Israel has declared about 18 percent of the West Bank as firing zones for military training. This is roughly as large as the West Bank area under full Palestinian control. During a 2014 Knesset subcommittee meeting on “illegal Palestinian construction in Area C,” Col. Einav Shalev, then operations officer of Central Command, admitted that one of the main reasons for increasing military training in these firing zones is to prevent Palestinian construction.

It is important to stress that these are villages that have existed for many decades. The residents have no way of building legally because the Civil Administration, the arm of Israel’s military responsible for governing Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, denies more than 98 percent of permit requests filed by Palestinians in Area C. To even discuss this issue in terms of legal compliance is absolutely ridiculous, since the law is clearly based on ethnic bias.

Jinbeh’s residents petitioned Israel’s High Court on the basis of a very logical argument: if they are sitting on their privately-owned land, how can the state expel them on the claim that the area is a firing zone? The state argued that while Jinbeh’s residents indeed live in that area, they only stay there for part of the year during certain seasons. Therefore, since the village is not their “permanent residence,” the army can declare the area a firing zone and kick out the inhabitants.

This is false. But even if it were true, it’s still their land, their home.

More than 20 years have passed since the petition was filed, and it keeps getting dragged on from year to year without a ruling. But on the ground there is a ruling: slow displacement.

The Civil Administration comes here every month to demolish homes and infrastructure while refusing to grant building permits, and people eventually give up and leave. But this year, the High Court judge presiding over the case is retiring, which means he has to issue a ruling over the next few months and determine whether the state can expel all the inhabitants.

This is the context behind the military exercise. This is why, after years of not training in this firing zone, the army decided to conduct a drill in close proximity to people’s houses. It’s obvious that ahead of the ruling, the state wants to strengthen its presence in the area.

Prior to the exercise, the military pledged not to enter people’s land or interfere with their daily routine. And yet, soldiers and tanks entered agricultural land several times, and the entire drill — from the shell explosions at night to the invading tanks the following morning — severely upended the lives of Jinbeh’s inhabitants.

There were also those who were very pleased with this exercise: the settlers. The South Hebron Hills Regional Council congratulated the IDF for the drill, writing in a message that increased military training “is one of the ways to increase governance, strengthen control, and enforce law and order in the area.”

Increasing governance, meaning, amplifying Israel’s pressure to expel local communities like Jinbeh, that live in areas the state wants to Judaize. Israel is currently focusing on three West Bank areas: the Jordan Valley, south Hebron Hills, and an area known as E1, which connects East Jerusalem to the West Bank. There, Israel systematically denies building permits to Palestinians in order to force them to leave.

A version of this article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

"الحلقة التفاعلية التدريبية الرابعة "الاستيطان مساحات وارقام

RAMALLAH, Saturday, January 16, 2021 (WAFA) – Abdul Muizz Dhib Al-Jubeh, a Palestinian political prisoner in the Israeli prison of Rimon, was moved to Soroka Medical Center today due to health complications resulting from his coronavirus infection, today said the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS).

Al-Jubeh, 59 years old who is serving a life sentence and an additional 20 years in prison, has been in prison since 2004 for resisting the Israeli occupation of his homeland. He is already suffering chronic diseases including diabetes, blood pressure and cardiac dysfunctions.

PPS held the Israeli prison authorities fully responsible for the life of Al-Jubeh and the other sick prisoners in Israeli detention who are facing a greater risk of death due to the coronavirus outbreak in the prisons.

So far, at least 250 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have tested positive for the disease.

Al-Jubeh is a father of two children, and is the second Palestinian prisoner to develop serious coronavirus symptoms that necessitate hospitalization. Basel Ajaj, a Palestinian prisoner from Tulkarm, is receiving intensive care at Soroka Medical Center due to contracting coronavirus.

Palestinian officials and international organizations have repeatedly called on the Israeli occupation authorities to release the sick and elderly prisoners who are facing greater health risks due to the coronavirus outbreak.



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