Update On Occupied Palestine
In Occupied Palestine
Zionism in practice
Israel’s Daily Toll on Palestinian Life, Limb, Liberty and Property
24 hours to 8am
July 11, 2005
Occupation Forces Burn Olive Trees
Israeli Army Takes Land for Racially Segregated Road
[Source of statistics: Palestinian Monitoring Group]
Nablus – Occupation forces ordered the confiscation of nearly one hectare of land belonging to the village of Burin for the construction of a racially segregated road for Jewish settlers.
Annexation Wall Building: 23 sites
Attacks: 20 – in Occupied Palestine the following were some of the people and areas that came under Israeli fire:
Central Gaza – a Palestinian National Security location east of the Al Bureij refugee camp.
Khan Yunis –
At 11pm, Israeli tank fire on Palestinian territory east of the area of Khuza’a.
At 12:20am, the area east of Khuza’a, with one person taken prisoner.
At 5:30am, the West Khan Yunis refugee camp.
11am and again at 11:30pm, 2:55am and 3:30am, the area of Ureibeh.
The area surrounding the Salah ad Din gate.
, and again at 5am, the eastern districts of Rafah.
, houses in the area around the Rafah Crossing.
fire from the area surrounding the settlement of Morag onto Palestinian territory north of the city.
, fire from the area surrounding the settlement of Rafiah Yam onto Palestinian territory west of the city.
, the neighbourhood of Tall as Sultan.
, flares from the Tall Zu’rub military post onto surrounding Palestinian territory.
Ramallah & El Bireh – the Israeli Army raided and imposed a curfew on the village of Al Mughayir at 11:05pm.
Deprivation of property: 1
Tulkarem – Occupation forces raided the Palestinian Authority-controlled area in the town of Illar and invaded a house. Two people were detained and their Identity Cards taken away from them.
Destruction of property: 2
Tulkarem – the Israeli Army ordered the destruction of eight shops in the west of the city.
Bethlehem – Israeli forces set fire to olive trees at 2am with flares aimed at the villages of Al Khas and An Nu’man.
Nablus – Occupation forces held Mohammed Mahmoud Dawoud for 12 hours for attempting to defend his wife from an assault by Israeli soldiers.
Home invasions and occupation: Numerous
At 2am, in a raid that went on until 5:30am, Israeli troops invaded nine houses, forcibly detaining the residents. Four people were taken prisoner.
The village of Hajja was raided, a house invaded and one person taken prisoner.
Physical assaults: 2
Bethlehem – at 2:30pm, in a raid which went on for over five hours, a force of 30 Israeli infantry stormed the Ayda refugee camp, occupied an apartment building overlooking the Wall and converted it into a military post, forcibly detaining 28 residents. Two Palestinians were severely beaten by the Israelis for trying to defend themselves.
Prisoners taken: 12
Ramallah & El Bireh –
At 1:30pm, the Israeli Army raided the cities of Ramallah and El Bireh, set up a checkpoint opposite a Palestinian National Security location, and roamed the area. At 10:55pm, the Israeli troops in ten jeeps, accompanied by a bulldozer, raided El Bireh again and threatened to demolish a slaughterhouse belonging to the El Bireh Municipality.
At 11:10pm, an Israeli Army tank and troops raided and harassed the village of Abu Qash.
At 1:40am, Occupation forces raided the town of Beituniya.
Bethlehem – at 11:30pm, the Israeli Army raided the town of Al Khadr.
Hebron – at 4:40pm, Occupation forces raided the city and set up a checkpoint in the area of Khallet Hadhour. At 2am, the Israelis raided the city again and roamed an area containing Palestinian National Security offices.
Times indicated in Bold Type contribute to the sleep deprivation suffered by Palestinian children.
Restrictions of movement: – 33
The Israeli Occupation’s military restrictions on Palestinian freedom covered by this category include:
Checkpoints at the entrances to towns and villages to prevent people entering or leaving.
Interference with people attempting to move around towns and villages.
Cement blocks and barbed wire on roads.
Rubble on roads.
Farmers prohibited from going onto their land to work it.
Road closures to isolate areas in which the Israeli Army considers the presence of Palestinians to be ‘illegal’.
Yasser Arafat International Airport is permanently closed and Palestinians needing to enter or leave Palestine can do so only with Israeli permission.
Interference with access to mosques and freedom of worship.
Flying checkpoints that create instant obstacles to movement and which appear day or night, anywhere.
Wall Gates. The gates in Israel’s annexation Wall, which restrict Palestinian access to their land on both sides.
Israel enforces many of the above restrictions with the threat, or actual use, of military action as well as personal physical assault. Thus, Palestinians are faced with an all-pervasive and constant state of Israeli violence towards them.
Settlement activity: 1
Gaza – the Israeli Army paved a racially segregated road for Jewish settlers, running 30 metres along the Eastern Road which connects the Al Muntar (Karnei) Crossing to the Ash Shuhada (Nitsareem) Junction south of Gaza city.
Settler violence: 1
Jerusalem – a gang of Israeli settlers armed with a razor injured Maher Yousef Masalmeh in his place of work.
In his autobiography, Trial and Error, written in 1949, Chaim Weizmann – then the first President of the new Israeli State – looked back at the controversy over the Aliens Bill. An immigrant to Britain himself, the brilliant young chemist was already, in 1902, one of the leading intellectuals of the new Zionist movement. He had met Sir William Evans Gordon, author of the antiJewish legislation; even with hindsight, with the Holocaust fresh in his mind, the then President of Israel still insisted that:
Our people were rather hard on him [Evans Gordon]. The Aliens Bill in England, and the movement which grew up around it, were natural phenomena ... Whenever the quantity of Jews in any country reaches the saturation point, that country reacts against them ... The fact that the actual number of Jews in England, and even their proportion to the total population, was smaller than in other countries was irrelevant; the determining factor in this matter is not the solubility of the Jews, but the solvent power of the country ... this cannot be looked upon as antiSemitism in the ordinary or vulgar sense of that word; it is a universal social and economic concomitant of Jewish immigration, and we cannot shake it off ... though my views on immigration naturally were in sharp conflict with his, we discussed these problems in a quite objective and even friendly way.
Chaim Weizmann, Trial and Error, pp. 9091.
Zionism in the Age of the Dictators
Sharon’s Disengagement and Unlearned History Lessons
By Ramzy Baroud
There is little in argument that the second Palestinian Uprising is effectively terminated, despite the fact that the causes which led to it remain in place. This claim does not deny the looming prospects of a third revolt, nor does it undermine the unbroken will of the Palestinian people to carry on with their resistance by any channel available. However, unfolding events in the Occupied Territories, topped by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s declared intentions of "disengaging" from the Gaza Strip, with a first phase scheduled for August 2005, have shifted internal Palestinian focus, even if temporarily, from confronting the Israeli occupation to settling factional and political grievances. As far as the Israeli disengagement plan is concerned, Sharon’s real motives are starkly clear and require no elaboration. In a noteworthy policy speech delivered on June 30, 2005, Sharon, while taking on settlers opposing the disengagement plan clarified that the conditional move is motivated purely by demographics. This is certainly a palpable insinuation that Sharon’s actions are motivated by the recommendations of the US-led quartet on Middle East peace, the provisions of the US forged road map or international law.
"We concluded that we are going to leave Gaza, where there is no chance of establishing a Jewish majority," he said in Cesaria. "It is clear to everyone that Gaza will never be part of Israel in any final agreement. At the same time, we are turning our resources to the most important areas, which we need to safeguard for our existence: the Galilee, the Negev, Greater Jerusalem, the settlement blocs, and security areas."
Sharon has once again demonstrated that he is anything but a changed man. His commitment to the illegal settlements project is approaching the apex: caging in Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, annexing 58 per cent of the size of the West Bank, expanding the borders of Greater Jerusalem to include major settlements blocks and working diligently to offset Palestinian population growth by dispatching thousands of Jewish settlers to the West Bank, expropriating a large area of Palestinian land by extending the illegal wall which has already snaked its way around scores of Palestinian towns and villages, incarcerating tens of thousands of Palestinians behind walls, fences, trenches and locked gates. This is what Sharon has to offer Palestinians in response to their one sided ceasefire and to President Mahmoud Abbas, who’s trying hard to prove to Washington and Tel Aviv, that he unlike Arafat is a worthy "peace partner."
Meanwhile, the world watched with shock and amazement Israel’s over-publicised clashes between Jewish settlers and soldiers. "Israeli vs. Israeli in Gaza", read a Christian Science Monitor headline. The media did its best to diminish the ingrained conception that Sharon’s commitment to the illegal settlements is everlasting. If the man who earned the title of ‘The Bulldozer’ for destroying so many homes in Gaza during the 1970’s is willing to take on his extremist and most loyal constituency for the sake of peace, then he must be earnest in his efforts to bring the conflict to a halt, many concluded.
But there is more to "Arik’s horror show" in Gaza, wrote veteran Israeli journalist and peace activist, Uri Avnery, following a noisy clash between settler youth and Israeli troops on June 29, 2005. He wrote: "There is no escaping the simple conclusion. It is in (Sharon’s) interests that TV screens in Israel and all over the world show the scenes of the terrible riots. That’s how he sows in the heads of the viewers the natural question, ‘If the evacuation of a few small settlements causes such a huge uproar — how can one even dream of removing the big settlements in the West Bank?’ Moreover, if the transfer of Gaza’s settlers to the West Bank (estimated at 1700 families) will needlessly cost the Israeli budget 1.1 million dollars per family, then how will the Israeli public ever back the removal of hundreds of thousands of illegal settlers infesting the West Bank? Sharon has indeed calculated well, creating enough political, ideologically, technical and financial hindrances that place an Israeli settler evacuation from the West Bank in the realm of impossibility. On the political front, the Disengagement serves a great purpose and compels one to recall remarks made by Sharon’s lawyer and adviser, Dov Weisglass who told Ha’aretz that the "disengagement" would actually supply the amount of formaldehyde necessary so there would not be a political process with the Palestinians." And indeed, there was no political process and none should be expected. The highly touted meetings like that between Sharon and Abbas in Jerusalem on June 21, 2005 were simply used by the Israeli premier as another opportunity to reprimand Palestinians for not doing enough to curb violence and uproot the "terrorist infrastructure" and so on.
And while Sharon’s plan is actualising to the last point, Palestinians are haunted by a long legacy of corruption and nepotism as old as the PA itself. Left alone to battle Israeli tanks and army helicopters, the Palestinian masses are also undeniably weary and in need of a ray of hope, however faint it might be. It is highly unlikely that such a ray will come from neighbouring Arab countries, some being very eager to embrace political and economic normalisation with Israel. Egypt, for one, agreed to supply Israel with cheap gas in a lucrative deal signed last month.
It is only Palestinian resistance, which is capable of defusing Sharon’s dangerous plan, whose blueprint was repugnantly highlighted in his infamous speech on March 5, 2002. "It won’t be possible to reach an agreement with them before the Palestinians are hit hard. If they aren’t badly beaten, there won’t be any negotiations. Only after they are beaten will we be able to conduct talks. I want an agreement, but first they have to be beaten so they get the thought out of their minds that they can impose an agreement on Israel that Israel does not want."
If history was of any use at all, Sharon might have realised how horribly mistaken he was following every act of carnage against Palestinians. After all, it was a Palestinian who once wrote, "like the trees we die standing," a phrase that has been ingrained in the Palestinian psyche for generations and was demonstrated in heroic resilience throughout the Occupied Territories. But neither Sharon nor most of Israel’s decision-makers seem to be good students of history. They are condemned to repeat the same mistake again and again, and with every unlearned lesson, squandering an untold number of lives and countless opportunities for a genuine, just and lasting peace.
-Ramzy Baroud, a veteran Arab American journalist, is editor in chief of PalestineChronicle.com. He is the author of the upcoming book, A Force to Be Reckoned With: Writings on the Second Palestinian Uprising to be published by Pluto Press, London.
Palestine Human Rights Campaign