Examples of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli authorities said the closure would begin Wednesday, October 4 and last until Wednesday, October 14, Al Waght reported.

This is a mistake. I also checked the original article which has the same. October 14 is a Saturday. ;)


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Palinurus said:
Israeli authorities said the closure would begin Wednesday, October 4 and last until Wednesday, October 14, Al Waght reported.

This is a mistake. I also checked the original article which has the same. October 14 is a Saturday. ;)

Thanks for catching that error, Palinurus. I know that the State of Israel goes by the Jewish calendar and some of their reports can be off, at times but I was mainly looking at the date and didn't give too much thought on what day it fell on. Thanks!


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli companies (secretly) selling weapons to the UAE - Report

The Israeli newspaper Maariv has published a report, claiming that Israeli businessman Metai Kokhafi recently hired a private plane and flew to the UAE capital city of Abu Dhabi to discuss the terms of weapon sales to the ruling regime.

Kokhavi’s delegation to UAE included several important Israeli military officials, among them Eitan Ben Eliyahu, the former commander of the Israeli Air Force.

The report which was citing Yossi Melman, the former intelligence and strategic affairs correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper, said Kokhavi actually “embarrassed Israel” after he boasted during a meeting in Singapore that he and his colleague were preparing to strike a major weapons deal with the UAE.

According to Maariv, Melman express his criticism of the Israeli authorities due to “remaining silent” on arms dealings and cooperation with the Arab states, saying it would be beneficial for Israel if the evolving relationship was more overt.

Just last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “breakthrough” in ties with the Arab states has been made, claiming many levels of cooperation are now possible due to relations with the Arab states being “better than ever”, though they cannot be revealed to public just yet.

Only a few days later, the Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah openly called for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel.

The unnamed Israeli officials later told the Middle East Eye, an internet news portal, that Israel was on the path of normalizing diplomatic ties with Bahrain, adding that an official public announcement may follow in the nearby future.

Back in June, it was reported that Saudi Arabia and Israel plan to set up economic relations for the very first time.

According to Maariv, Melman said the main reason for not revealing these things to public was to “ensure no lives of officials are put in danger”, while indicating that normalizing relations with the Arab states should be made public.

He then compared Israel’s open relations with Egypt to the secretive talks with the Gulf regimes.

The journalist urged the Israeli media to be more open about the country’s relatively close ties to the regime of Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Egypt, pointing out how the Israeli Military Censor has refused to cover intelligence cooperation between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

Although Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv maintain no diplomatic ties due to the fact that the former does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, the two sides nonetheless increased their backchannel cooperation on multiple levels in the past few years.

In November 2015, the Israeli Foreign Ministry made an official announcement, saying that Tel Aviv would soon open its permanent mission in Abu Dhabi, mainly with the purpose of being able to fully cooperate as part of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which is based in the UAE capital city.

Back in June 2017, hackers released dozens of emails, proving how Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, has been collaborating with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a pro-Israel think tank.

The correspondence between Otaiba and the FDD covered a range of topics, Iran including.

US President Donald Trump could be about to walk back from a highly controversial campaign promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Report: Trump Could Walk back from Stance on Controversial US Embassy Move to Jerusalem

Speaking to Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas and a hard-line Evangelical Israel advocate, during a 27-minute interview, he explained that
Trump is considering a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians before he considers moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, New Arab reported.

Speaking about the peace deal, Trump said he wants to "give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem". "Right now we are actually working on a plan that everybody says will never work, because for many, many years it never worked, they say it's the toughest deal of all, peace between Israel and the Palestinians," Trump said.

Trump claimed that answers are soon to come because he is planning to "make a decision in the not-so distant future" on the future on where the US embassy in Israel will be based.

Despite Trump seeing a possibility of a peace deal, Ramallah and Tel Aviv both say the prospect of a two-state-solution being achieved are getting dimmer.

The current Israeli government boasts it has done more for the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories than any other government.

"No other government has done as much for settlements in the land of Israel as the government which I lead," said Israeli Prime Minister Binjamin Netanyahu.

"Our generation has succeeded in achieving what past generations only dreamed about... We have returned to our home land, and have turned it once again into a land of milk and honey."

Former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan says that Palestinian political reconciliation must be prioritized over negotiations with Israel, saying the two-state solution is now "impossible".

In September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidency expired in 2009, declared he would "look for alternatives" if the two-state solution was in jeopardy.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Abbas slammed Israel over the construction of new settlements "everywhere", adding they were putting the two-state solution in jeopardy.

Israeli authorities decided to shut down the Ibrahimi mosque to Muslims and non-Jewish visitors and only allow Jewish worshipers access to the holy site, located in the Southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron, for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Israeli Authorities Ban Muslims from Ibrahimi Mosque over Jewish Holiday

Hafzi Abu Sneneh, director of the mosque, said he was informed that the site would be shut down to Muslim worshipers from 10 p.m. Sunday until Tuesday night, Wafa reported. Abu Sneneh added that the Muslim call to prayer will also be banned during the shutdown period.

Severe restrictions for Palestinians, including denied access to the Ibrahimi Mosque, are typically implemented by the Israeli authorities during Jewish holidays for alleged security purposes. The occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip have also been placed under an 11-day military general closure for the holiday.

The mosque, believed to be the burial place of the prophet Abraham, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews and has been the site of oft-violent tensions for decades.

The holy site was split into a synagogue, known to Jews as the Cave of Patriarchs, and a mosque after US-born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians inside the mosque in 1994.

Since the split, Muslim worshipers have been denied access to the site during Jewish holidays and vice versa in effort to prevent violence from erupting at the holy site. Located in the center of Hebron, one of the largest cities in the occupied West Bank, the Old City was also divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas at the time, known as H1 and H2.

Some 800 notoriously aggressive settlers now live under the protection of the Israeli military in the Old City, surrounded by more than 30,000 Palestinians.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

8 Israeli Soldiers Commit suicide in past three months, raising concerns about the growing number of suicides within the ranks of the regime’s military, reports said.

Report: Eight Israeli Soldiers Taken Own Lives over Past Three Months

In the latest incident, an Israeli soldier at the Hatzor military base had fired a bullet at her head on Tuesday, presstv reported.

The new incident, according to 0404 news website, brings to eight the total number of Israeli troopers who have committed suicide over the past almost three months.

Back in January, a senior official in the Israeli military’s manpower directorate said suicide was the main cause of deaths among the army soldiers in 2016, adding that 15 troopers, all of them male, had killed themselves in that year.

“Most of the fallen soldiers who committed suicide last year (2016) were soldiers in their mandatory service, and the act was during their service and not during their training,” she said.

The Israeli army was conducting a program to reduce the number of suicides with commanders requested to identify warning signs in those under their command, she pointed out.

The 2016 suicide figure in the Israeli military remained unchanged compared to its previous year, but more than doubled the low of seven recorded in 2013.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

A British university drew criticism for its decision to allow a Balfour Declaration 'celebration' organized by a pro-Israel group.

Anger as UK University Allows Balfour 'Celebration'

The Manchester Balfour 100 event will be held at the University of Manchester's main campus later in October and is part of a broader series of events to mark the anniversary of the declaration made by then British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour on November 2, 1917, Al Jazeera reported.

For supporters of the Zionist cause, the declaration marks the first major milestone leading to the creation of Israel in 1948.

However, for Palestinians, the declaration would lead to the eventual loss of their land, subsequent displacement, and later occupation.

The university's decision has been slammed by both academics and students. "Having the celebration of the Balfour declaration on campus is totally disrespectful to students of Palestinian origin," said Ayham Madi, a Palestinian studying at the university, adding: "Many people lost their homes, land, and their lives."

The Cyber Secuirty student said a hundred years later, Palestinians continued to feel the impact of the declaration and that he felt "great pain" that the university has allowed the event to take place.

"My grandfather owned land in Palestine and it was taken away from him with no right to do so, my father was born in a refugee camp and spent most of his life in one," he said, continuing:

"I lost an aunt due to the bad conditions inside a refugee camp and I have another aunt who lives under occupation and I have never seen her in my life.

"All this is as a result of the Balfour declaration."

In a letter to leading English Zionist, Lord Walter Rothschild, Balfour promised British help in creating a "national home" for the Jewish people in Palestine.

The letter conditioned British assistance so that there be no "prejudice" against the rights of existing non-Jewish populations living in the area.

After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, the UK became the dominant power in the region and established Mandate rule in Palestine.

University of Manchester academic Nick Thoburn said he was "dismayed" that the institution had allowed the event to take place on its campus, which he said commemorated the moment Britain, "with its imperial chauvinism and entitlement, knowingly gave the green light to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine." "Lord Balfour declared, chillingly, that Zionism was 'of far profounder import than the desire and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land," he said.

"That this could be a cause for celebration, hosted in whatever way by a British University, when the consequences then and now have been so devastating...is indicative of the contempt that Israel and its advocates hold both for Palestinians in the region and in exile," he added.

Al Jazeera contacted the university to confirm whether the event was taking place at one of its venues.

A university spokesperson said :"The University allows some of its premises to be hired by third parties for external events, provided that the events in question comply with the University’s Code of Practice on Freedom of Speech," adding: "This Balfour 100 event is one such commercial booking and it has no connection to, nor is it endorsed by, the University."

The university's spokesperson did not mention whether it had taken into consideration the concerns of Palestinian students.

Over the past year tensions between pro-Palestinian activists and university administrators have become strained over allegations of censorship of Palestinian events.

Many colleagues are concerned that there is a double standard at play... ...the university seemingly allowing this centennial celebration of ethnic cleansing without complaint, while having imposed numerous constraints on a recent student-organized event during Israel Apartheid Week.

Events marking Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) were only allowed to go ahead after several meeting and were subject to a strict set of conditions, which included a university veto over speakers.

The university also withheld approval for two talks organized by Palestinian activists in October 2016 and February 2017 but blamed administrative issues for the events not going ahead.

In February 2017, a Freedom of Information request revealed that the Israeli ambassador to the UK met with University of Manchester officials to discuss alleged anti-Semitism on campus. The university agreed to prohibit the title of a talk by a holocaust survivor based on that meeting. "Many colleagues are concerned that there is a double standard at play," said Thoburn, a senior lecturer in Sociology.

"The university seemingly allowing this centennial celebration of ethnic cleansing without complaint, while having imposed numerous constraints on a recent student-organized event during Israel Apartheid Week."

Huda Ammori, a Palestinian student, who worked on the IAW events said the university was frequently putting obstacles in the way of Palestinian activists.

The university's senior management team is happy to meet with the Israeli embassy to discuss events run by a student campaign, but they won't respond to a student request for meetings with Palestinian students," Ammori said, adding the university was now allowing a "celebration of Palestinian suffering".

Ammori along with other activists is planning to protest outside the event when it takes place later this month.

Palestinian groups have ramped up pressure on the UK to apologize for the Balfour Declaration in the run up to the centenary next month.

The British government, has said the declaration was a "historic statement" and one it would not be apologizing for.

Israeli forces detained four Palestinians, including a teenager, during raids across the occupied West Bank, according to local Palestinian sources.

Israeli Forces Detain Four Including 16-Year-Old Palestinian in Raids across West Bank

In the Northern West Bank district of Jenin, locals from the town of Yaabad that Israeli forces detained former prisoner Taher Jawad Badarneh, 23, and Qassem Khalid Abu Bakr, 16, after raiding and searching their homes, Ma'an reported.

In the Nablus district, Israeli forces detained Ahmad Husni Jaradat while he was passing through a flying checkpoint near the town of Sebastiya.

Jaradat, according to locals, is from the Jenin-area town of Silat al-Harthiya. In the Southern West Bank district of Hebron, Israeli forces detained Musaab al-Sweiti from the Beit Awwa town.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli settlers stole olive pickings from dozens of trees belonging to Palestinian farmers from the occupied West Bank districts of Ramallah and Nablus.

Israeli Settlers Steal Olive Harvest, Attack Palestinian Farmers in West Bank

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlements activity in the Northern West Bank, told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli settlers raided Palestinian lands in Ramallah and Nablus under protection of armed Israeli forces, and stole olives from dozens of Palestinian trees.

Daghlas told Ma'an that Israeli settlers stole the pickings of more than 65 olive trees in the Nablus-area village of al-Sawiyeh and the Ramallah-area village of al-Janiyeh.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. Built on occupied land, the settlements are internationally condemned as illegal.

Israeli authorities approved permits for a new settlement to be built in Hebron in the illegally occupied West Bank for the first time since 2002, according to media reports.

Israel Approves First New Settlement Units in Hebron Since 2002

The Israeli Civil Administration's Subcommittee for Licensing approved construction permits for 31 settler housing units on Shuhada Street, a main road that leads to the Ibrahimi Mosque and market in the old town of Hebron, Middle East Eye reported.

Almost 800 Israeli settlers currently live in the heart of Hebron under heavy military guard among a Palestinian population of about 200,000 people.

Activists opposed to Israel's occupation of the West Bank, said in a statement that the permits would increase the number of settlers in Hebron by 20 percent.

The location on Shuhada Street was a central bus station until the 1980s when it was seized by the Israeli army for military use.

In 1994, Israel closed Shuhada Street after the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in which 29 Palestinians were killed by an Israeli settler, and imposed restrictions dividing the site, which is known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, into separate spaces for use by Palestinians and settlers.

In 2002, around 10 settler housing units were built in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of central Hebron in order to provide greater security for settlers already living in the area.

The new announcement of proposed settler units in Hebron comes after an Israeli military order in August established a new municipal service administration for settlers in Hebron in what critics denounced as reminiscent of apartheid.

However, Palestinian municiple authorities in Hebron said on Monday they intended to go to the supreme court to oppose the plan.

The settlers and about 30,000 Palestinians living adjacent to them fall under Israeli military rule.

Since early this week, the Israeli army banned Palestinians from entering their land and picking olives from trees in Tel Rumeida and declared the neighbourhood a closed military zone.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli forces ransacked and shut down the headquarters and the district offices of two media production companies, citing incitement reasons, during raids in the districts of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Forces Shut down, Ransack Media Companies in West Bank

Israeli army raided the headquarters of PalMedia and TansMedia, two media production companies, in the central West Bank city of Ramallah. The shut down provoked clashes with local residents, during which one Palestinian was injured by an Israeli rubber-coated steel round, WAFA reported.

In Nablus, in Northern West Bank, Israeli army ransacked the district offices of TransMedia and PalMedia and ransacked their content and equipment. Army shut down the two offices for six months under a military order.

Clashes erupted with the army in the aftermath of the raid in Nablus, during which several Palestinians were reportedly injured, medical sources said.

Army further ransacked and shut down the district offices of PalMedia in the cities of Bethlehem and Hebron, in Southern West Bank.

Also in Hebron, forces raided and ransacked the district offices of TransMedia and Quds TV. Meanwhile, the army arrested the director of TransMedia office in Hebron, Amer Jabari, and his brother, and Ismail Jabari, a cameraman.

The forces left posters stating that "incitement" was the reason for the six-month closures of the headquarters and offices of these media production companies.

Israeli authorities have long restricted Palestinian freedom of expression through censoring social media activity and imprisoning journalists, activists, poets, and novelists.

This is not the first time Israeli soldiers raid and shut down PalMedia and the other offices for alleged “incitement.” In July this year, Israeli forces raided and shut down the headquarters of PalMedia in Ramallah.

The Israeli armed forces have carried out raids in the West Bank, closing offices of several Palestinian news outlets that are suspected of having ties with the Hamas movement.

RT Employees in West Bank Lose Access to Office Blocked by Israeli Troops

Employees of the RT broadcaster in the Palestinian city of Ramallah have been deprived of access to their office, which is blocked by the Israeli army, according to RT correspondent Yafa Staty.

She told Sputnik on Wednesday that "laptops and microphones with RT labels remain in the room," but added that RT employees had not suffered from Israeli troops' actions and equipment had not been confiscated.

We were not given a notification to stop work in the West Bank but activities of the company that provided us with information services had been suspended," the RT correspondent added.

The news comes as Israeli troops carried out several raids against eight companies that are suspected of having links to the Hamas Palestinian movement and inciting terrorist activities. One of the raided broadcasters, Pal Media, is renting some of its offices to other media including RT.

The Palestinian Wafa news agency reported that the closure of media outlets prompted clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli security forces in Ramallah and Nablus. The Israeli army reportedly used rubber bullets, injuring several Palestinians.

This is not the first time when Israeli servicemen raided the offices of the Palestinian media outlets. In July, the IDF shut down the Pal Media office Ramallah and confiscated documents and media materials.

RT Editor-in-Chief Says Broadcaster ‘Not Going Away’ From US Despite Pressure

The RT broadcaster will not halt operating in the United States despite the US authorities’ attempts to impose pressure on the broadcaster’s office in the country, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said.

Speaking at the World Festival of Youth and Students in the Russian southern city of Sochi, Simonyan said that on Wednesday, RT "was supposed to be designated as a foreign agent in the United States, which can limit our working capabilities."

"Our lawyers are currently doing everything possible to avoid this. Unfortunately, I cannot speak about all the details due to legal reasons. We are of course not going away. What does not kill you makes you stronger," Simonyan said.

The RT office in the United States has been facing pressure from US authorities over allegations on its role in meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. In one of the recent cases, in September, the US Department of Justice asked a contractor of RT in the United States to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The pressure against RT has led to mass resignations in the broadcaster's US office and difficulties in finding new staff.

Simonyan said earlier that RT’s lawyers told the broadcaster that registration under FARA was required, otherwise, on October 17, its employees and property would be arrested.

In June, US Congress members introduced the Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act bill, which would broaden the scope of FARA to include RT, by expanding Department of Justice authority to investigate attempts to "unlawfully influence the political process."

Denmark’s third largest pension fund, Sampension, moved to exclude four publicly traded companies from their portfolio due to their investments in illegal Israeli settlement activities, media reports said.

Danish Pension Fund Blacklists Four Israeli Companies Linked to Settlements

The move is a major win for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has increasingly come under fire in recent years as Israel and its allies have pushed to squash growing popularity with new legislation and political pressure on both public and private institutions, Mondowis reported.

Danwatch’s report, Business on Occupied Territory, found that Sampension with $46.1 billion under its management, was the Danish pension fund that had been investing the largest sums of money in companies that do business in or around illegal Israeli settlements.

Ana Sanchez, speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian coalition that leads the global BDS movement for Palestinian rights, welcomed the move, telling Mondoweiss it represents “the latest indicator of the mounting pressure on businesses that are deeply complicit in Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights to stop profiting from Israel’s military occupation and apartheid.”

“All pension and investments funds must divest from Israeli and international companies that are involved in Israel’s human rights violations not just in response to the BDS call issued by Palestinian civil society but also in compliance with UN principles and guidelines on business and human rights,” Sanchez said.

According to Danwatch, Sampension chose to revise its investment guidelines following the report. In accordance to its new guidelines, Sampension excluded four Israeli companies from its portfolio.

The four companies excluded due to their involvement in settlement activity are all listed as companies targeted by the BDS movement. They were identified as two Israeli banks, Hapoalim and Leumi, the German construction company, HeidelbergCement and Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunications company, which owns telecommunications equipment installed within settlements, providing the illegal communities with telephone and data signals.

Sampension shared a press release after the move, explaining the shift.

“During 2017, Sampension has expanded its policy and practice for responsible investments in several areas,” the report read. “The focus areas are climate change, human rights and the pursuit of active ownership.”

Director of Investments in Sampension, Henrik Olejasz Larsen, said the four companies were excluded from their investment portfolios due to “the financing of settlements and for the extraction of natural resources and the establishment of infrastructure for telecommunications in the occupied area.”

In addition to the four Israeli companies already blacklisted on Sampension’s portfolio, the company has stated it is now “initiating a dialogue” with another six companies about possible business activities in Israel’s settlements, according to the most recent Danwatch report.

Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, also a BDS target, confirmed to Danwatch that it still holds investments in Hapoalim and Leumi, despite reports of the bank’s blacklisting of Hapoalim in 2014.

Last month Israel’s banks came under fire, as Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a reportcriticizing Israeli banks for continuing to allow investments and business exchanges with industries that support illegal Israeli settlements, in contravention of international law.

Israeli banks, such as Leumi, one of the banks that Sampension blacklisted, told HRW they are required by Israeli law to provide services to settlements, since Israeli banking, consumer, and anti-discrimination law, dictates that banks cannot reject customers based on their place of residence.

However HRW found that Israeli banks “do not have to provide financial services that involve settlements, such as financing construction projects or mortgages for settlement properties, when the grounds for refusal are not the place of residence of the customer but rather the business and human rights considerations stemming from the location of the activities.”

HRW called on banks to use the legal loophole to divest from any investments involved in settlement activities.

HeidelbergCement, one of the four companies moved to Sampension’s blacklist, is the world’s largest cement producer and a major manufacturer of aggregates and ready-mix concrete, with around $1 billion in revenue, according to Who Profits, a research center dedicated to exposing companies involved in Israeli settlement activity.

The German cement company owns three plants and one aggregates quarry in the occupied West Bank through Hanson Israel, Heidelberg’s local branch.

One of the quarries operates on Palestinian land from the village of al-Zawiya.

“The quarry exploits occupied Palestinian natural resources for the needs of the Israeli construction industry,” Who Profit documented. In addition, once the natural resources, dug up from West Bank land, are turned into building material, they are directly supplied to settlements for building and expanding illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“Materials of stone and gravel extracted from Palestinian land have been providing the raw material needed for the Israeli expansionist construction industry,” Who Profits documented. “Without which the construction sector could not have thrived economically, generating profit for many Israeli companies.”

Last month, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a reportrevealing that the Palestinian economy was performing “far below potential.”

The report documented that the primary cause of the problem was the “continuing loss of land and natural resources to settlements and the annexation of land in the West Bank.”

According a report released by The Rights Forum, a research center focused on Israel and Palestine, natural stone, or “white oil” is one of Palestine’s most important resources, with the industry providing at least 15 to 20 thousand Palestinian jobs, with an annual contribution of $250 million to the Palestinian economy, however the report found that the stone’s potential value was up to $30 billion.

HRW found that companies such as HeidelbergCement are in direct violation of international humanitarian law “which requires that such natural resources should only be used for the benefit of the Palestinian population of the occupied territory.”


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

The Balfour Declaration was a letter sent by then-British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader in the British Jewish community.

Netanyahu to go to London next week for Balfour Declaration centennial

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to London at the beginning of November to take part in events marking the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

This will be Netanyahu’s second visit to Britain in a year after his meeting there with British Prime Minister Theresa May in February. During that meeting, the British prime minister invited Netanyahu to take part in events marking the centennial of the Balfour Declaration.

Though the itinerary of the visit has not yet been announced, Netanyahu is expected to meet with May and other senior British officials during the trip.
He is tentatively set to leave on Wednesday, November 1, and return to Israel on Sunday, November 5.

Numerous events in London, both pro and con, are scheduled in the coming days to mark the declaration’s centennial.

Meanwhile, The Jewish Chronicle reported Friday that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn turned down an invitation to attend a dinner commemorating the document’s 100th anniversary.

The next day, Hamas posted a link to the article on Twitter and wrote, “Corbyn says no to dinner on celebrating the Balfour 100 in UK. UK should apologize and compensate Palestinians.”

The Israeli police detained more than 50 Palestinians in an overnight large-scale campaign in the neighborhood of Issawiyeh in occupied East Jerusalem, local sources and Israeli police said on Monday.

Israeli Police Round up Over 50 Palestinians in East Jerusalem

The Israeli special police forces and intelligence officers stormed the neighborhood at midnight and raided a large number of homes before detaining 50 people, Raed Abu Riyaleh, a local activist told WAFA.

He said a large force supported by a helicopter flying overhead raided the neighborhood after midnight from all entrances and broke into homes causing panic and fear among residents.

Mohammad Mahmoud, an attorney with Wadi Hilweh Information Center specialized in defending minors, said most of those detained were taken to several police stations and interrogation centers in Jerusalem.

He said he was able to visit most of those detained, who were all teenagers ranging in age between 15 and 18 years old. Police is charging them with throwing stones at Israeli targets in the neighborhood, he said.

Israeli police confirmed the campaign and said 51 Palestinians were detained claiming they were involved in stone-throwing incidents at Israeli police.

The neighborhood residents have recently complained of police brutality and harassment of students that left a number of them injured including one who had to undergo surgery to remove his spleen after he was shot by a rubber-coated metal bullet fired by the police.

Parents shut down schools for three days last week to protest excessive police life-threatening brutality against their children.

An Israeli report revealed that the Israeli regime has continued to sell advanced weaponry worth tens of millions of dollars to Myanmar even after a deadly government-sanctioned military campaign against Rohingya civilians in the Southeast Asian country came to light

Report: Israel Sold Arms to Myanmar During Violence Against Rohingya

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that Tel Aviv supplied “Super-Dvora MK III” navy boats to Myanmar as recently as April, “when the Myanmar... army was already being accused of war crimes.”

The report said pictures of the boats released by the Myanmarese army also revealed the weapons that had been installed on the vessels. “There’s a remote weapon station, made by [Israeli] Elbit Systems, which allows the firing of a heavy machine gun or cannon of up to 30 millimeters.”

The patrol boats, the report said, “are only part of a larger transaction signed between Israel and Myanmar. The Ramta division of Israel Aerospace Industries, which manufactures the Super Dvora, is meant to transfer at least two more boats to the local military.”

It cited “sources in the Israeli weapons industry” as saying that the value of the arms deal “is estimated at tens of millions of dollars.”

Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country, has been accused by the United Nations of engaging in “textbook ethnic cleansing” of the minority Rohingya Muslims.

Even before horrific violence by military soldiers and Buddhist mobs forced hundreds of thousands of the Rohingya fleeing into neighboring Bangladesh, the Muslims already constituted a small percentage of Myanmar’s population and were only concentrated in a western state, Rakhine.

That state has been under military siege since late last year. Access is denied to journalists and rights activists, but the Muslims who have managed to flee to Bangladesh have told of horrendous violence being carried out in Rakhine. They say soldiers have been killing and raping the Muslims and have even been shooting at fleeing civilians, including women and children, at random.

Medics attending to the Muslims who arrive in Bangladesh have confirmed that injuries on their bodies correspond to their accounts of violence in Myanmar.

The Haaretz report said Myanmar has “in the past” purchased Israeli air-to-air missiles and cannons as well.

“An Israeli company, TAR Ideal Concepts, has noted on its website that it has trained Myanmar military forces. Now the site makes no specific reference to Myanmar, referring only to Asia,” it said.

Attempts to expose the Israeli military ties to Myanmar by Attorney Eitay Mack, “who is active in increasing transparency of Israeli arms exports to countries that violate human rights, have so far been unsuccessful,” the report said. “Last month the High Court of Justice issued a ruling in response to a petition he filed with other human rights activists against the sales, but the ruling was kept classified” at the Israeli regime’s request.

Rohingya Muslims, recognized by the UN as the world’s most persecuted minority group, are denied Myanmarese citizenship as the country’s leadership brands them illegal “Bangladeshi immigrants.”

While some reports have said Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, may not have an influence over the military leaders to stop the violence, she has adopted a stance that most resembles theirs. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, she has taken almost no meaningful action to end the abuses against the Rohingya.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli forces detained at least 19 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian sources.

Israeli Forces Detain 19 Palestinians in West Bank

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society reported that 16 Palestinians were detained, saying that five were detained in the Qabatiya town, near Jenin, five others in Bethlehem, two from Hebron, two from Qalqiliya, and one from Ramallah, Ma'an reported.

Locals in the Hebron-area village of Beit Awwa, located in the Southern West Bank, said that Israeli forces detained Muhammad Yasser Abd al-Razeq Masalma after raiding his, and several other homes in the area.

According to United Nations documentation, Israeli forces conducted 121 search and arrest operations across the West Bank and arrested 205 Palestinians, including nine children, between September 26 and October 9.

Israeli authorities said that Jerusalem officials have approved construction of 176 new homes in an area in Eastern Jerusalem.

Israel Approves 176 New Settlement Homes in East Jerusalem

The decision is likely to trigger an angry response from the Palestinians, who consider the Eastern Jerusalem as their capital, An Nahar reported.

Mayor Nir Barkat’s office said the Jerusalem planning committee on Wednesday approved the new homes in Nof Zion. The development abuts the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.

The city said the new homes will more than double the size of the current settlement, making it the largest Jewish settlement in the heart of an Arab area of East Jerusalem.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a step that is not internationally recognized.

Reports said UK Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn move to decline an invitation for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, amounts to a statment of justoce for Palestinians among UK's political elite.

Corbyn's Balfour Boycott Amounts to Statement of Justice for Palestine among UK Political Elite

The Balfour Declaration, signed on 2 November 1917, may have only been less than 130 words, but has changed the course of Palestinians ever since. The declaration had offered a "home for the Jewish people" in what was then the entirety of historical Palestine, New Arab reported.

A century later, the descendents of the Palestinians forced out of their homeland before and during the build-up of the state of Israel have still not been able to return to their homes. Around 2 million Palestinians besieged in Gaza. Meanwhile Israeli settlements and a policy of apartheid have drained the life out of the West Bank.

For Palestinians, Corbyn's boycott shows that not everybody in the UK political establishment is proud of the historical Balfour document, which has affected the lives of so many Palestinians to this day.

Corbyn is no stranger to Palestine. A huge part of his grassroots activism revolved around the issue of Palestine and the Israeli occupation.

Even since he became leader of the opposition in 2015, the Labour manifesto has promised the "immediate recognition" of the state of Palestine should his party govern the UK.

His decision to decline the Balfour invitation has undoubtedly sparked controversy. Jonathan Goldstein, chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, described Corbyn's action as "deeply unfortunate".

In contrary, for the Palestinian diaspora in the UK, this means more than a symbolic form of solidarity or a political statement.

The fact that Corbyn has mirrored the views of a great portion of UK public opinion adheres to in the current political position he is in has expanded the debate in more elitist paradigms of British politics and society.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Jewish rabbis and cantors in the United States filed a petition demanding that the Israeli regime stop selling arms to Myanmar amid the government-backed violence against the Rohingya Muslims.

Rabbis in US File Petition against Israel’s Arming of Myanmar

"As American citizens and as Jews, we refuse to accept any involvement by the US or Israel in training or arming a military that is carrying out a brutal ethnic cleaning against a minority population," it read, presstv reported.

More than 300 clergymen and women have signed the petition, meanwhile a similar request has reportedly been made by a group of rabbis in Israel.

The Israeli foreign ministry released a statement Monday to deny its role in violence and ethnic cleansing against Muslims in Myanmar.

"Israel's military export monitoring policy is frequently assessed according to a variety of considerations, among them the condition of human rights in the target country and the policies of the UN Security Council and other international agencies," claimed the ministry in a statement, amid growing calls for halt in weapons sales to the Myanmar military.

The Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine have been subjected to government-backed violence by soldiers and Buddhist mobs since October 2016.

The United Nations says the refugees have testified a consistent and methodical pattern of killings, torture, rape and arson attacks taking place against the minority group in Myanmar.

Reports said Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will postpone a vote on a controversial bill that critics say would amount to the annexation of Israeli settlements surrounding Jerusalem.

Israel to Postpone Controversial 'Annexation Bill' of Jerusalem Settlements

The bill would absorb major Israeli settlements currently in the occupied West Bank into Jerusalem by enlarging the city limits, New Arab reported.

It had been expected to be voted on by a ministerial committee on Sunday, a move which would fast-track its progress through parliament.

All settlements in the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under international law, as is the formal annexation of land seized during war.

Some report said the reason behind the adjournment is that the needs "diplomatic preparation and thus will be postponed for the moment", declining to elaborate further.

It is the first signal that Netanyahu wants to discuss the bill with the United States, which has been seeking to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks which have been frozen since negotiations collapsed in 2014.

Opponents of the bill argue that it is the first step towards the full unilateral annexation of West Bank settlements.

The Jerusalem-area settlements included in the bill are Maale Adumim, Beitar Illit, Efrat, Givat Zeev, and the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

Israeli Intelligence and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who has pushed for the bill, says it would add an additional 150,000 people to Jerusalem's population, strengthening its Jewish majority.

The Israeli regime has reportedly approved the construction of 581 new units in Maale Adumim settlement north of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israel Approves Construction of 581 More Settler Units

The decision was taken by Israel’s so-called Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee following a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the settlement, Palestinian Information Center reported Saturday, citing an Israeli paper, Shafaqna reported.

According to the report, the plans include the construction of 459 settlement units in Kedem Square, 104 others in Hageit Street, and 18 more settler units in Magdim neighborhood.

Israel has turned a deaf ear to calls from the entire international community, including its own allies, to stop building more settlements or expanding existing ones.

During a Wednesday meeting with Israeli settlement authorities, Netanyahu said he would set aside 800 million shekels ($230 million) for infrastructure projects within the settlements.

The move came after East Jerusalem al-Quds municipality issued permits on Wednesday to add 176 units in Israel’s Nof Zion settlement, surrounded by the Palestinian district of Jabal Mukaber.

Israel’s cabinet is also scheduled to vote on Sunday over a contentious bill that would annex 19 West Bank settlements to what it calls the municipal boundaries of occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israeli settlement activities are in breach of the United Nations Security Council 2334, which calls on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

Israeli forces detained five Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to Israeli sources.

Israeli Forces Detain 5 Palestinians in West Bank Raids

Israeli media reported that Israeli forces raided the Northern West Bank district of Jenin, where they detained three Palestinians from the Yaabad town, Ma'an reported.

The three were identified as Ibrahim Said Abu Bakr, Jarir Muhammad Zaid and Muhammad Said Amarneh.

In the Southern West bank district of Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained a “youth” identified as Mustafa Jamal Hamamreh from the Husan village after raiding and searching his home.

Israeli forces also reportedly found a hunting rifle while searching a house in Hebron city. The owner of the house was detained, however, his identity remained unknown.

A senior Hamas official left hospital after being wounded in a car bomb explosion in the Gaza Strip, and vowed that an agreement to end the decade-long rift with Fatah would remain on track.

Hamas Says Unity Deal Still on Track despite 'Assassination Attempt'

Tawfiq Abu Naim was moderately injured in an explosion on Friday which was described as a "failed assassination attempt", New Arab reported.

Abu Naim, a former prisoner that Israel freed along with hundreds of other Palestinian inmates in exchange for an Israeli soldier in 2011, heads the Gaza security services that report to Hamas.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh signalled Israel was to blame, for the attack but no one has claimed responsibility.

"We are determined to leave the split behind and realise the important national unity at all costs," Abu Naim said.

"The objectives of those who committed this despicable act will not be achieved," he added.

Hamas will adhere to a 1 November deadline to hand over border crossings to the Palestinian Authority, Abu Naim said, part of a series of measures agreed to under the recent reconciliation deal.

A major sticking point in the deal is expected to be Hamas' refusal to disarm its 25,000-strong armed wing.

Abbas wants the handover to be comprehensive and include all security institutions, but the Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has said "no one" can force his group to disarm.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

Israeli occupation forces stormed the village of Deir Nidham, northwest of Ramallah, this morning and closed its main entrances.

Israel attacks Palestinian school children with gas and sound bombs November 13, 2017

Ahmed Al-Tamimi, head of Deir Nidham’s village council, told the news agency that the occupation forces stormed the area in the morning and closed its main entrances, imposing a siege on it.

He pointed out also that “there have been large numbers of occupation forces in the village since the morning, who claimed that school students are throwing stones at settlers along the main road.”

Al-Tamimi explained that in the meantime the occupation forces besieged the school in order to threaten students and intimidate them with detention if they throw stones.

The head of Deir Nidham’s village council confirmed that two weeks ago, the Israeli occupation forces continued to storm the village on a daily basis under the pretext that the children were throwing stones at settlers.

He also stated that “Occupation forces have been terrifying our children and students over the past two weeks, three days ago they threw gas and sound bombs in to the school, scores of children and teachers suffered from suffocation as a result and this endangered the lives of our children.”

Al-Tamimi added that “while the settlers of Halamish settlement are harassing citizens by closing the main road of the village and throwing stones at our vehicles under the protection of the occupation forces, the occupation claims that the villagers are throwing stones at the heavily armed settlers.”

Israel is currently considering moving some Palestinian prisoners from prison cells to “tents”, Hebrew media revealed, citing a bill proposed by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan.

Israel to move Palestinian prisoners to ‘tents’ due to overcrowding

Israel’s Channel 7 reported yesterday that the proposal is one of the solutions that the ministry is considering to overturn the implementation of a ruling that was issued by the Israeli High Court in mid-June, in which it decided to find alternatives to mitigate the overcrowding of the Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails.

The High Court’s ruling came in response to a petition filed by several Israeli human rights organisations, in which they demanded increasing the cell space for each inmate to four square metres instead of the current less than three-square metre space, including bed and bathroom, inside Israeli prisons.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli the court recently stated that the Israeli prisons “aren’t fit for human habitation”. On the inmate’s cell space, the agency noted that Israel is placed in a poor position, compared to 8.8 square metres cell space for each prisoner in Europe.

Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli jails, 57 of whom are women while 300 are children, according to the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs (PCPA).

A group of prominent Orthodox leaders asked the Knesset to investigate reports that Myanmar is using weapons sold by Israel to commit atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

Orthodox Leaders Urge Probe Into Israeli Arms for Myanmar

A dozen Orthodox rabbis submitted a letter to lawmaker Avi Dichter who chairs a Knesset committee tasked with overseeing Israel’s arms exports,
Ha’aretz reported on Monday.

“Has Israel sold arms to Myanmar in recent years, as alleged in several foreign reports, and continued to do so even after the publication of several reports on severe human rights violations in the country?” they asked. “If so, why was there no veto issued on the exports?” the letter read.

The letter reportedly contained reports and testimonies showing that Israel had sold weapons to Myanmar.

“And is Israel still selling arms to Myanmar?” it continued, and further asked if Tel Aviv had actually stopped the weapons’ sales, why it had not publicized it.

The United Nations has accused the Myanmar government of conducting systematic “ethnic cleansing” against the Rohingya Muslims.

On Sunday, a UN special envoy said Myanmar soldiers "systematically targeted" Rohingya women for gang-rape during violence against the minority Muslim community which triggered an exodus to Bangladesh.

Israel was one of the few parties selling weapons to South Africa during apartheid and only stopped selling weapons to Rwanda during the genocide there after the UN Security Council passed a resolution that put an arms embargo on the country.

The Israeli municipality in Jerusalem plans to demolish six large buildings in occupied East Jerusalem, allegedly because they were built without the impossible to obtain planning permits.

Israel to demolish 6 Palestinian buildings in Jerusalem

Hundreds of Palestinians will be evacuated from the buildings in the neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab, in the north of the city, as a result of the demolition, Israel’s Channel 10 said.

“Army and police forces will use explosives to demolish buildings,” the channel reported.

Adnan Al-Husayni, the Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, strongly criticised the Israeli plan to demolish the buildings.

In an interview with Palestinian journalists Al-Husayni said: “The announcement of these demolitions comes in light of a plan to build 10,000 settlement units on the territory of the airport adjacent to the neighbourhood of Kafr Aqab.”

“The aim of this plan is to reduce the number of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and increase the settlers in the city,” he said.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and has been increasing the number of illegal settlements in the area with a view of annexing it and declaring the entire city its capital.

A Palestinian on Saturday demolished parts of his own home in Jerusalem’s southern occupied town of Silwan after the Israeli municipality threatened to demolish the property and force him to cover the costs.

Israel forces Palestinian to demolish his home in Jerusalem

Abdel Moghni Al-Dweik told Quds Press that the Israeli municipality informed him that the occupation bulldozers will demolish his house and that he would have to pay some 80,000 shekels ($22,000) for the demolition costs, unless he demolished it himself.

Al-Dweik’s home, which is located in Silwan’s Al-Bustan neighbourhood, is about 80 metres long and the occupation has ordered him to demolish 60 metres of it under the pretext that it was built without a permit.

He pointed out that he lives in the house with his wife and three children.

Israeli authorities refuse to provide the Palestinians with the required building permits to build their properties in Jerusalem, in an effort to eradicate the Palestinian identity of the occupied city. Last week occupation forces approved the construction of hundreds of illegal settlement units in the occupied West bank and East Jerusalem.


The Living Force
Re: Just one tiny example of continuous Israeli harassment vs Palestinians

In pictures: Israeli Army continues to illegally dig trenches in eastern Lebanon 15/11/2017

The Israeli Army continued to dig trenches in the occupied Sheba’a Farms of Lebanon, Tuesday, prompting the Lebanese Government to file another complaint with the United Nations.

According to a communique from the government, the Israeli troops were seen digging trenches in the Adeisseh area of the Sheba’a Farms by the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL forces on Tuesday.

Israeli troops were seen digging in areas that were previously blocked off by barbed wire fences.

This latest violation by the Israeli military comes just days after their troops fired three smoke grenades at the Lebanese army in the same area.


The Living Force
Israel's Money Machine Jewish oligarchs fund crimes against humanity. November 14, 2017

The stars came out in Hollywood on November 2nd, or at least some of them did. The gala event celebrated the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and raised funds to support its mission in Israel itself and on the occupied West Bank. The organization being fêted was the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), which has fourteen regional offices in the United States and operates under the slogan “Their job is to look after Israel. Our job is to look after them.” In attendance were Arnold Schwarzenegger and actor Gerald Butler. Entertainment was provided by the singer Seal.

Hollywood Jewish royalty was thick on the ground, the grub was strictly kosher and billionaires competed to see who could give the most to such a worthy cause. The 1,200 attendees at the Beverly Hilton Hotel donated a record $53.8 million, with Oracle founder Larry Ellison leading the pack with a contribution of $16.6 million. Israeli media mogul Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s most generous supporter, served as host of the event and donated $5 million. Two weeks ago, a similar gathering of 1,200 in New York City dubbed “A Night of Heroes,” attended by GOP major donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, raised $35 million, $7 million coming from Adelson personally. FIDF reportedly was sitting on $190 million in contributions for the year before the Hollywood and New York events.

Donations to FIDF are tax deductible as the organization is registered with the U.S. Treasury as a 501(c)3 educational and charitable non-profit foundation.
One might well ask how it is possible that the American taxpayer should subsidize a foreign military organization that is regularly accused of war crimes in its ongoing brutal and genocidal occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem? One might also wonder how an organization that continues a military occupation in opposition to multiple United Nations resolutions that have been endorsed by Washington gets any kind of tax break at all? And finally, one might reasonably ask why an organization that already gets in excess of $3.8 billion annually directly from the U.S. Treasury needs more money to allegedly provide creature comforts for its soldiers?

The answer to all of the above would be that Jewish power in the United States makes it happen. But more particularly, it is Jewish money that does the trick since cash on the table provides access both to the media and to the people that matter in Washington. A tight circle of billionaire oligarchs, including Saban, Ellison and Adelson as well as Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus directly support organizations like FIDF as well as major pro-Israel groups like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. The billionaires are not shy about where their loyalty lies, boasting as does Saban, that he is a one issue guy and that issue is Israel. Adelson has stated that he wishes that he had served in the Israeli army instead of the U.S. military and wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.” Both have publicly advocated bombing Iran. In Adelson’s case, the bomb would be nuclear.

Sometimes both the Israel agenda and the financial support is deliberately hidden, as in the case of the recently launched “Christian engagement in the Middle East” anti-Iran Philos Project, which was funded by Singer. The billionaires also directly donate to the campaigns of politicians and support projects that engage in the message management that is used to justify pro-Israel policies in Congress and the media.

Much of the current agitation to “do something” about Iran comes, for example, from these groups and media assets. In truth, American aid to Israel has become virtually untouchable and is something like a goose that keeps on laying golden eggs. The operation of “The Lobby,” generally regarded as the most powerful voice on foreign policy in Washington, led Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer to ask, “Why has the U.S. been willing to set aside its own security … in order to advance the interests of another state? [No] explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the U.S. provides.” They observed that “Other special interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. interests and those of the other country—in this case, Israel—are essentially identical.”

The money committed by the Jewish oligarchs on behalf of Israel has turned out to be a good investment, returning billions for millions spent. Since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948, it has been “the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II,” according to the Congressional Research Service. The United States has provided Israel with $233.7 billion in adjusted for inflation aid between 1948 through the end of 2012, reports Haaretz.

The $38 billion over ten years in military assistance that the Obama recently promised to Israel is far less than what will actually be received from the United States Treasury and from other American sources, including handouts from Congress. To cite only one recent example, in September Congressman Alcee Hastings proposed a legislative amendment that would give $12 million to help settle Israel’s Ethiopian community. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), speaking in the most recent legislative discussion over Israeli aid, stated that the $38 billion should be regarded as a minimum amount, and that Congress should approve additional funds for Israeli defense as needed.

At its most recent meeting in March 2017, AIPAC announced the latest windfall from America, applauding “the U.S. House of Representatives for significantly bolstering its support of U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation in the FY 2017 defense appropriations bill. The House appropriated $600.7 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs.” And there is a long history of such special funding for Israeli-connected projects. The Iron Dome missile-defense system was largely funded by the United States, to the tune of more than $1 billion. In the 1980s, the Israeli Lavi jet-fighter development program was funded by Washington, costing $2 billion to the U.S. taxpayer before it was terminated over technical and other problems, part of $5.45 billion in Pentagon funding of various Israeli weapons projects through 2002.

How Israel gets money from the United States Treasury is actually quite complex and not very transparent to the American public, going well beyond the check for $3.8 billion handed over at the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1st. Even that check, uniquely given to aid recipient Israel as one lump sum on the first day of the year, is manipulated to produce extra revenue. It is normally immediately redeposited with the U.S. Treasury, which then, because it operates on a deficit, borrows the money to pay interest on it as the Israelis draw it down. That interest payment costs the American taxpayer an estimated $100 million more per year. Israel has also been adept at using “loan guarantees,” an issue that may have contributed to the downfall of President George H.W. Bush. The reality is that the loans, totaling $42 billion, are never repaid by Israel, meaning that the United States Treasury picks up the tab on principle and interest, a form of additional assistance. The Bush-era loan amounted to $10 billion.

Department of Defense co-production projects, preferential contracting, “scrapping” or “surplusing” of usable equipment that is then turned over to the IDF, as well as the forward deployment of military hardware to an Israeli base, are considerable benefits to Tel Aviv’s bottom line. Much of this assistance is hidden from view.

In September 2012, Israel’s former commander-in-chief, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, admitted at a conference that between 2009 and 2012 American taxpayers had paid for more of his country’s defense budget than had Israeli taxpayers. Those numbers have been disputed, but the fact remains that a considerable portion of the Israeli military spending comes from the United States. It currently is more than 20 percent of the total $16 billion budget, not counting special appropriations.

Through tax exemptions, the U.S. government also subsidizes the coordinated effort to provide additional assistance to Israel. Like FIDF, most organizations and foundations that might reasonably be considered active parts of the Israel Lobby are generally registered with the Department of the Treasury as tax-exempt foundations. Grant Smith, speaking at a conference on the U.S. and Israel on March 24th, explained how the broader Israel Lobby uses this legal framework:

“Key U.S. organizations include the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Hundreds more, including a small number of evangelical Christian organizations, play a role within a vast ecosystem that demands unconditional U.S. support for Israel. In the year 2012 the nonprofit wing of the Israel lobby raised $3.7 billion in revenue. They are on track to reach $6.3 billion by 2020. Collectively they employed 14,000 and claimed 350,000 volunteers.”

The $3.7 billion raised in 2012 does not include the billions in private donations that go directly to Israel, plus billions in contributions that are regarded as “religious exemptions” for groups that don’t file at all. There are also contributions sent straight to various Israeli-based foundations that are themselves often registered as charities. The Forward magazine investigated 3,600 Jewish tax-exempt charitable foundations in 2014 and determined that they had net assets of $26 billion, $12–14 billion in annual revenue, and “focuse[d] the largest share of [their] donor dollars on Israel.” The Forward added that it is “an apparatus that benefits massively from the U.S. federal government and many state and local governments, in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants, billions in tax-deductible donations and billions more in program fees paid for with government funds.”

Money being fungible, some American Jews have been surprised to learn that the donations that they had presumed were going to charitable causes in Israel have instead wound up in expanding the illegal settlements on the West Bank, an objective that they sometimes do not support. Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner has a family foundation that has made donations to Israel, including funding of West Bank settlements, which is illegal under U.S. law, as has Ambassador David Friedman.

Israel also benefits in other ways, frequently due to legislative action by Congress. It enjoys free and even preferential trade status with the United States and runs a $9 billion trade surplus per annum. Its companies and parastatal organizations can, without any restrictions, bid on U.S. defense and homeland-security projects—a privilege normally only granted to NATO partners. It’s major defense contractor Elbit recently was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to apply technologies to defend American tanks. It was a prime example of U.S. aid subsidizing an Israeli industry that then competes directly with American companies, producing a loss of jobs in the United States.

And the transfer of public money to Israel is common even at state and local levels. Some state treasuries and pension funds have purchased Israel Bonds, which are a bad investment, putting retirees at risk, as they have to be held to maturity and therefore have no secondary market and lack liquidity. Most recently, the Ohio Treasurer’s office bought a record $61 million in Israel Bonds on April 3rd. Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel admitted the purchase was in response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, meaning that Ohio taxpayers are unsuspecting participants in a risky investment scheme largely intended to punish critics of Israel. Mandel is, not surprisingly, hardly a disinterested party on the subject of Israel. He was a member of AIPAC while attending Ohio State University and spoke at its 2008 Policy Conference in Washington. After denouncing Iran, he said that “Israel is our best friend and ally in the Middle East and it’s important that we maintain a strong and lasting relationship with them.” Eighty other state and municipal public employee pension and treasury funds have also reportedly bought the bonds.

The U.S.-Israeli bilateral relationship has been an expensive proposition for Americans, yet another instance where the perceived needs of a U.S. “ally” take precedence over genuine national interests. Tens of billions of dollars need not necessarily be spent to placate a wealthy foreign country and its powerful domestic lobby or to satisfy the pretensions of the billionaires who grease the machinery to keep Israel’s money machine operating.


The Living Force
Hundreds of Israeli settlers have stormed Jonah’s Tomb north of the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), desecrating the site venerated by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Israeli settlers desecrate Jonah Tomb in occupied West Bank Sun Nov 19, 2017

Over 300 ultra-Orthodox men, mostly from the Breslov Hassidic sect, arrived at the site in Halhul city, located 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) north of al-Khalil on board a number of buses early on Sunday, and broke into the tomb amid protection by Israeli troopers, Arabic-language Safa news agency reported.

Israeli forces had deployed several military vehicles on the streets leading to Jonah's Tomb, and snipers were positioned on rooftops overlooking the area.

Clashes erupted when young Palestinian men started hurling stones and empty bottles at Israeli troopers and settlers.

Israeli soldiers, in return, fired rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. No injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, more than a hundred Israeli extremist settlers and religious students have stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Israeli-occupied Old City of East Jerusalem al-Quds.

On Sunday morning, a total of 102 people forced their way into the holy site through the Bab al-Magharibah under tight protection of several groups of Israeli soldiers and special police forces.

The settlers performed acts deemed provocative by Palestinians. Some of them toured the mosque courtyard, while the rest converged near the Golden Gate, also known as the Gate of Mercy, on the eastern flank of the mosque and read Talmud verses out loud.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

Some 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of October 2015.

The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing illegal settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint Islamic site, which is also holy to the Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Israel has released declassified documents from after the Six Day War which reveal the government’s plans to starve Gaza and its controversial plans to deal with the Palestinians.

Strategy to ‘suffocate’ Gaza strip revealed in Israeli govt docs from Six Day War

The declassified documents were released on the Israel State Archives on Thursday and include hundreds of pages of minutes from cabinet meetings between August and December 1967, soon after the Six Day War ended the previous June.

The Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors ended with Israel capturing East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria.

The documents provide insight into the Israeli government’s strategy for dealing with the Palestinian people and show it was unprepared for the aftermath of its victory. Some of the revelations are jarring in light of the current standoff in Israeli-Palestinian relations, from the continued stalling on a two-state solution to ongoing settlement expansion and the almost “unlivable” situation in Gaza, the documents provide numerous premonitions for what was to come.

HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ARABS? - There are 600,000 Arabs in these territories now. What will be the status of these 600,000 Arabs?” Prime Minister Levi Eshkol said in December 1967, Haaretz reports. “I suggest that we don’t come to a vote or a decision today; there’s time to deal with this joy, or better put, there’s time to deal with this trouble.”

READ MORE: UN panel blasts Israel over abuses and settlement expansion in Occupied Palestinian Territories

“There’s no reason for the government to determine its position on the future of the West Bank right now. We’ve been through three wars in 20 years; we can go another 20 years without a decision,” he said.

“If we sit 20 years, the world will get used to our being in those territories, in any case no less than they got used to [Jordan’s King] Hussein being there,” Transportation Minister Moshe Carmel suggested. “We have more rights; we are more identified with these territories than he is.”

GAZA’S “SUFFOCATION AND IMPRISONMENT” - A UN envoy and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron are among those who have compared Gaza to an open-air prison, but it appears that the Israeli government has long intended for that to be the case. “Precisely because of the suffocation and imprisonment there, maybe the Arabs will move from the Gaza Strip,” Eshkol said, Mondoweiss reports.

“Perhaps if we don’t give them enough water they won’t have a choice, because the orchards will yellow and wither,” he added, in a suggestion that appears to fit the UN definition of genocide, which includes “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

The UN has warned that by 2020 Gaza will be “unlivable,” suggesting the strategy introduced by the Israeli government during the 1960s may soon come to fruition.

“We are interested in emptying out Gaza first,” Eshkol said when his defense minister suggested giving Arabs foreign work permits to entice them to stay away.

JEWS ONLY? - “A Jewish state in which there are 40 percent Arabs is not a Jewish state. It is a fifth column that will destroy the Jewish state,” Education Minister Zalman Aranne said in cabinet minutes. “It will be the kiss of death after a generation or a generation and a half.”

Israel was like “a giraffe’s neck” Eshkol said, because it was so narrow. “The country is like a miserable, threatening neck for us, literally stretched out for slaughter,” he said of Israel’s perceived vulnerability.

“I cannot imagine it – how we will organize life in this country when we have 1.4 million Arabs and we are 2.4 million, with 400,000 Arabs already in the country?” Eshkol said.

“We must increase [the number of] Jews and take all possible measures to reduce the number of Arabs,” Religious Affairs Minister Zerah Warhaftig said.

Labor Minister Yigal Allon suggested “thinning the Galilee of Arabs,” referring to Arab Israelis living in the northern region Israel won in 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

HEBRON - A SETTLEMENT EXPERIMENT - The dean of the Hebron Yeshiva, an institution dedicated to the study of religious texts, requested its students and teachers return to and set up a branch in Hebron in November 1967, Eshkol told his cabinet. The school had moved to Jerusalem in 1929, after the Hebron Massacre that saw more than 60 Jews killed.

“There is a benefit in finding the first nucleus of people willing to settle there,” Allon said. “The desire of these yeshiva students is a great thing. There aren’t always candidates willing to go to such a difficult place.”

Today, more than 1,000 Israeli settlers live in the Palestinian city of Hebron. In October 2017, Israel approved the first new settlements to be built there in 15 years.

THE LUXURY OF WAR - Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira, Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir and Education Minister Zalman Aranne voiced their concerns as to how the outside world would view their actions, even calling for Israel to withdraw from the territories.

I do not for one minute accept the idea that the world outside will look at the fact that we’re taking everything for ourselves and will say, ‘Bon Appetit,’ ” Aranne said. “After all in another year or half a year the world will wake up; there’s a world out there and it will ask questions.”

Another “solution” touted by the Israeli PM was to hope for war. “Perhaps we can expect another war and then this problem will be solved,” he said. “But that’s a type of ‘luxury,’ an unexpected solution.”


The Living Force
Israeli bulldozers level land along Lebanon border

Israeli bulldozers Thursday excavated land near the town of Bint Jbeil in Aita Shaab on the internationally recognized border between Lebanon and Israel.

More than 40 Israeli officers and two bulldozers demolished a Palestinian Family house in the neighborhood of Shufat in occupied East Jerusalem, witnesses said on Thursday.

Israeli Forces Demolish Family Home in East Jerusalem

Palestinian Jamal Abu Khdeir's dream of housing his 27-member family under the same roof came crashing down in just a few minutes, Aljazeera reported.

As soon as the destruction started, scuffles broke out. A 73-year-old cousin of Abu Khdeir said he tried to intervene to break up the clashes, but ended up being assaulted by Israeli forces.

"When the Israeli occupation forces were demolishing the home, the boys and men of the family started shouting at them," Ishaaq Saeed Abu Khdeir, the 73-year-old, told Al Jazeera.

"The Israeli forces started beating them and it turned into a physical fight. I went to break them up so that the boys don't get hurt," he added.

"As soon as I turned my back, one of the soldiers, with all his force, pushed me to the ground on one of the bushes. I couldn't get up and I'm still in pain."

Ishaaq said that Israeli forces also beat and detained two other family members. The two were later released, he said.

The family said they received no prior warning about the demolition, which it occurred due to the fact that the house had been built without a permit.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Jamal, the owner, spoke about the heartbreak of seeing the house, which reportedly cost the family $85,000, torn to the ground.

Israeli police arrested several Palestinians, including members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' political party Fatah, and accused them of carrying out a population census in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel Arrests Palestinians over Population Count

Muhammad Mahmoud, a lawyer representing some of the detainees, told Al Jazeera that five Fatah members, including Hatem Abdel Qader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for the Jerusalem district, were arrested, and had their detention subsequently extended, because of their "illegal work with the Palestinian Authority", Al Jazeera reported.

An Israeli judge extended the detention of Aseel Hasoneh, Issam Khatib and Musab Abbas to November 27, Mahmoud said. Hatem Abdel Qader and Arafat Musa were sent to house arrest, for a period of five days, and were ordered to pay a $570 bail.

Abdel Qader was detained by Israeli police for five days in July on grounds of "incitement".

In a statement released late on Tuesday, Israeli police said it "detained and arrested 17 suspects in suspicion of working with" the PA "following close and secret investigations carried over the last few weeks targeting Jerusalemites suspected of violating the Interim Agreement and taking part in activity related to a population census by the PA".

Khalil Tufakgi, a Palestinian expert on the Oslo Accords, said that as per the Interim Agreement, PA activity is not allowed in East Jerusalem.

The Interim Agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), commonly known as Oslo II Accord, created in 1995 Areas A, B and C in the West Bank.

The PA was given some limited powers and responsibilities in the Areas A and B and a prospect of negotiations on a final settlement based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

Oslo II followed the Oslo I Accord agreements of 1993, which had envisioned the establishment of a Palestinian interim self-government in the Palestinian territories but fell short of the promise of an independent Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is currently conducting a population census and is believed to have included East Jerusalem in the count.

According to some reports, a few individuals were seen in East Jerusalem with a questionnaire related to a population census. Through a spokesperson, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics denied operating in East Jerusalem, contradicting the Israeli police statement.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Louay Shehadeh said: "We have been preparing to conduct a population census in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since June but we have been operating only in the suburbs like Abu Dis, al-Ram and Ezariya."

He said the "Israeli detentions targeted Fatah members and had nothing to do with the population census".

Shehade said the next phase of the census will begin on December 1 and will last till 24 December 24.

Amjad Abu Asab, a Palestinian activist who follows prisoners' affairs, told Al Jazeera the detentions are a "message [from Israel] to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics not to operate in East Jerusalem and a message to the PA that they are being targeted".

Adnan Gheith, a Fatah member, says the arrests are part of campaign to limit the PA's activities in East Jerusalem.
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