Israel - Palestine peace process

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

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By Michael Omer-Man
|Published June 24, 2014
The return of punitive home demolitions

Israel orders the demolition of the family home of a man who has only been charged, and not convicted, of murder. A government official says the policy is being reinstated to ‘level the playing field’ with Palestinians, while human rights groups say the practice only harms innocents.

The Israeli government announced that it will return to demolishing the family homes of Palestinians suspected and convicted of involvement in terrorism and other violence. The first demolition order was issued against the family home of a man accused of murdering an off-duty police officer and wounding his family earlier this year.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem was quick to point out that the policy harms only innocents and not the accused. Thirteen people, including eight children, none of whom have been accused of or charged with any crime, live in the home slated to be demolished.

The order must be approved by an Israeli court.
House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/Activestills.org)

House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/Activestills.org)

Israel stopped using home demolitions as a punitive measure in 2005 following an Israeli army report that said the policy did not act as an effective deterrent against terrorism. In the previous four years, Israel demolished 664 Palestinian homes as punishment for family members’ suspected or proven involvement in terrorism, according to B’Tselem.

Ziad Awawde, 42, and his teenage son stand accused of murdering Baruch Mizrahi and wounding his wife and two children on Passover eve this year. Awawde was arrested in May and the Shin Bet only announced his arrest on the day of his indictment in a West Bank military court Monday. A demolition order was issued and posted on his family’s home within 24 hours.

Although Israeli military courts have an astounding 99 percent conviction rate, Awawde has yet to be convicted. His family, speaking to Channel 10 news Wednesday, denied his involvement in the murder.

Read: House demolitions – Zionism’s constant background noise

An Israeli “government official” told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the home demolitions were being reinstated “in order to level the playing field.” Israel, according to foreign reports, has at least 100 nuclear weapons, the strongest military in the region and fully controls the entire West Bank including areas purportedly under Palestinian Authority control.

Illegal under international law

In the decades during which Israel carried out punitive home demolitions, B’Tselem noted, “the main victims of the demolitions were family members, among them women, the elderly, and children, who bore no responsibility for the acts of their relative and were not suspected of involvement in any offense.”

According to Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the destruction of private property is permitted only “where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.” Punitive actions, of course, are not necessary for military operations, defined as “the movement, maneuvers, and actions of any sort, carried out by the armed forces with a view to combat.”

The decision to renew the policy of punitive home demolitions is in line with a number of other un-democratic and otherwise problematic measures the Israeli government is implementing, or considering, in response to the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers 12 days ago.
The home of the Palestinian Adgluni family is demolished by Israeli authorities, East Jerusalem, January 27, 2014. Israeli authorities claimed the house was built on lands that do not belong to the family. (photo: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org)

The home of the Palestinian Adgluni family is demolished by Israeli authorities, East Jerusalem, January 27, 2014. Israeli authorities claimed the house was built on lands that do not belong to the family. (photo: Tali Mayer/Activestills.org)

The military has arrested nearly 400 Palestinians since the start of Operation Brother’s Keeper, only 30 of whom, according to media reports, are actively being interrogated in relation to the kidnappings. Authorities have also stated they will keep hundreds of the arrestees in custody under administrative detention, a process in which a suspect is imprisoned without ever being charged with a crime.

Many of those arrested in the past two weeks are prisoners who were released in the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner swap. According to the conditions of their release, they can be re-imprisoned if they violate the individual terms of their release, which often includes restrictions on their movement. The evidence in military hearings that decide their fate is kept secret from the suspects and their attorneys.

Israel’s Channel 10 News on Tuesday reported that the Shin Bet was searching for reasons to keep those from the Schalit deal in custody, instead of having arrested them because of existing suspicions.

Responding to Israeli administrative detention practices, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said last year, “Under international law, detainees have the right to be informed about the reasons underlying any detention and to have the legality of their detention determined without undue delay.”

The army has also arrested a number of elected Palestinian officials, including the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who is a member of Hamas.

Related:
PHOTOS: The face of Israel’s discriminatory home demolition policy
House demolitions: Zionism’s constant background noise

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The return of punitive home demolitions | +972 Magazine
 
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  • Abou Sandal

    Abou Sandal

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    Palestinian kid brutally savaged by Israeli settlers' dogs

     
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    EuroMode

    EuroMode

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    Israel to appropriate 400 hectares in West Bank for ‘state use’



    Israel has announced plans to expropriate 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank in a move Palestinian officials claim will cause more friction after the Gaza conflict.

    The announcement concerning land south of Bethlehem, inside what Israelis call the Etzion bloc of settlements, comes after Israel determined the land was not cultivated with enough intensity for the Palestinians to maintain their ownership rights.

    Signs have already been posted on the land by military administrators saying “state land – no trespassing”. Dror Etkes, head of the Kerem Navot NGO which specialises in West Bank land issues, said: “There is enough territory for a very big settlement with thousands of units.”

    The notice published by the military gave no reason for the decision, but Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the area in June.

    The United States has criticised the annoucement and branded it counter-productive to peace efforts.

    “We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” a State Department official said. “This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians.”

    “We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision,” the official said in Washington.

    Peace Now, which opposes Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, said the appropriation was meant to turn a site where 10 families now live adjacent to a Jewish seminary into a permanent settlement.

    Danny Dayan, a settler leader, denied that rightful owners would be dispossessed, stressing that people with a claim can lodge an appeal within 45 days.

    Other settler leaders praised the land declaration as an appropriate response to the murder of three Israeli teens. “The goal of the murderers of the three youths was to sow fear and disrupt our living routine and our answer is strengthening settlement and building,’’ Davidi Perl, head of the local settlements council, said.

    In Israel’s view, building in the area would not constitute a new settlement because the site is officially designated a neighbourhood of an existing one, Alon Shvut.

    Construction of a major settlement at the location, known as "Gevaot", has been mooted by Israel since 2000. Last year, the government invited bids for the building of 1,000 housing units at the site.

    Peace Now said the land seizure was the largest announced by Israel in the West Bank since the 1980s. A local Palestinian mayor said Palestinians owned the tracts and harvested olive trees on them.

    Israel has been long criticised by the international community for its settlement activities, which most countries regard as illegal under international law and a major obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state in any future peace deal.

    Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Israel to cancel the appropriation. "This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza," Abu Rdainah said.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke off peace talks with Abbas in April after the Palestinian leader reached a reconciliation deal with Hamas, the Islamist movement that dominates the Gaza Strip.

    In a series of remarks after an open-ended ceasefire halted a seven-week-old Gaza war with Hamas on Tuesday, Netanyahu repeated his position that Abbas would have to sever his alliance with Hamas for a peace process with Israel to resume.

    Israel has said construction at Gevaot would not constitute the establishment of a new settlement because the site is officially designated a neighbourhood of an existing one, Alon Shvut, several miles down the road.

    Some 500,000 Israelis live among 2.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory that the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

    source independent
     
    EuroMode

    EuroMode

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    Palestine vote: MPs take historic decision to recognise Palestinian state



    Parliament took the historic step tonight of voting unilaterally to back the recognition of Palestinian statehood.

    Voting by 274 to 12, a majority of 262, MPs on all sides urged the Government to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel” as part of a “contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.

    Support for the motion, while symbolic, marks a significant change in the political landscape, following the failure of successive peace negotiations and the bitter conflict in Gaza over the summer.

    Significantly Labour whipped its MPs to vote in favour of the resolution, raising the prospect that the party would defy Israel’s wishes and recognise Palestine as a state should it come to power at the next election.

    But even previously staunch supporters of Israel within the Conservative Party chose not to oppose the motion which was brought by the backbench Labour MP Grahame Morris.

    Richard Ottaway, chairman of the powerful Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said he no longer felt he could vote to deny the Palestinians the right of recognition because of recent Israeli actions.

    “I have been a friend of Israel long before I became a Tory,” he told the House of Commons. “I have stood by Israel through thick and thin. But I realise now that Israel has been slowly drifting away from world international public opinion.

    “The annexation of the 950 acres of the West Bank just a few months ago has outraged me more than anything else in my political life. Under normal circumstances I would oppose this motion. But such is my anger over the behaviour of Israel that I will not be opposing it. I have to say to the government of Israel – if it is losing people like me it is going to be losing a lot people.”

    Alan Duncan, the former international development minister, said he would be supporting the motion. “Refusing Palestinian recognition is tantamount to giving Israel the right of veto,” he said.

    “Recognising Palestine is not about recognising a government. It is states that are recognised not governments. It is the recognition of the right to exist as a state – it is not about endorsing a state that has to be in perfect working order. It is the principle of that recognition that this House should pass today.”

    But the former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind disagreed and suggested such a move should not be adopted because it would be purely symbolic.

    “For me the most important question is what practical benefit would passing this resolution make?” he asked. “It might make us feel good. But recognising a state should only happen when the territory in question has the basic requirements of a state. And through no fault of the Palestinians that is not true at the moment and it seems to me that the resolution before us is premature as we do not have a Palestinian government.”

    But Mr Morris, who secured the debate, said that Britain had “a unique historical connection – and a moral responsibility to the people of both Israel and Palestine”. He said: “In 1920 we undertook a sacred trust to guide Palestine to statehood and to independence. That was nearly a century ago and the Palestinian people are still yet to have their rights recognised.

    “This sacred trust is something we have neglected for far too long. But now we have a historic opportunity to atone for that neglect. We can take this small but historically important step.” But the debate caused significant divisions within Labour. Several Shadow Cabinet members were unhappy at a decision by the shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander to impose a whip on the vote.

    While MPs and members of the front bench were told that they could “stay away” from the Commons and abstain, they were instructed they could not vote against the motion as it represented party policy.

    This is disputed by a number of senior pro-Israel Labour MPs who argue that the party could only back recognition as part of a negotiated settlement in the Middle East.

    source independent
     
    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

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    If you agree to the borders defined according to UN resolution of November 29, 1947, we're good with that
    Of course not - Arabs forfeited this offer by starting a war.
     
    Stormie

    Stormie

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    Of course not - Arabs forfeited this offer by starting a war.
    Actually Israel forfeited the resolution by calling East Jerusalem an occupied city. Within a month from the declaration of acceptance and before the 48 war, Israel declared E. Jerusalem an occupied city.
     
    Stormie

    Stormie

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    مجلس العموم في دولة " بلفور " يصوت على الاعتراف بدولة فلسطين ..
    يلا احتفلوا يا فلسطينيه, انتصار الهي جديد
     
    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

    proIsrael-nonIsraeli

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    Actually Israel forfeited the resolution by calling East Jerusalem an occupied city. Within a month from the declaration of acceptance and before the 48 war, Israel declared E. Jerusalem an occupied city.
    Whatever you prefer, bottom line - that idea is dead and buried and you need to come up with something much more enticing if you want that state.
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

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    Israel restricts entry of Palestinians into Al-Aqsa, allows settlers | Al Akhbar English

    [h=1]Israel restricts entry of Palestinians into Al-Aqsa, allows settlers [/h]
    Israeli security forces stand guard as Palestinian Muslim worshipers perform traditional Friday prayers in a street outside the Old City in east Jerusalem on October 10, 2014. (Photo: AFP - Ahmad Gharabi)


    Published Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    Israeli authorities on Tuesday restricted the entry of Palestinian worshipers into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem while allowing dozens of Zionist settlers in, a Palestinian official and eyewitnesses said.
    A Palestinian guard of the holy site told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli police allowed groups of Zionist settlers into the complex under heavy protection through al-Magharbeh Gate.
    An eyewitness, meanwhile, said that the Israeli police restricted the entry of Palestinians into the compound, forcing dozens to perform the dawn prayers on the streets outside the complex.
    Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, head of the Jordan-run Organization for Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Anadolu that the Israeli authorities barred all men under the age of 50 as well as all women from entering the compound.
    "We reject these Israeli measures that could inflame the situation at the mosque and in Jerusalem," he added.
    The developments came only hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a meeting with UN Chief Ban Ki-moon that he is "committed, and Israel is committed, to maintaining the status quo exactly as it’s been for many decades" in the holy site.
    He also blamed the recent tension on the site on "Palestinian extremists who are instigating violence through incitement."
    Earlier, Ban, currently on a regional tour, voiced concern over what he described as "provocations" in occupied Jerusalem, hours after clashes erupted between Israeli police and Palestinian worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
    Speaking to a press conference in Ramallah with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Ban said he was "deeply concerned by repeated provocations at the holy sites in Jerusalem. These only inflame tensions and must stop."
    Hundreds of Israeli police forces raided the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Monday, leading to clashes with Palestinian worshipers, witnesses said.
    Palestinian protesters were demonstrating against Zionists visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, Islam's third holiest site, a spokeswoman said.
    Israeli forces fired stun grenades, tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians in the holy site during the clashes.
    Last week, over 60 Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of Israeli police after the latter forcibly removed Muslim worshipers from the holy site, attacking some of them with clubs and injuring dozens.
    Since beginning of last week, Israeli forces have restricted access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, only allowing Palestinian worshipers aged 60 and up to enter. Elderly men and women have had to leave their identity cards with the police officers at the entrances of the compound.
    In recent months, groups of extremist Zionist settlers, often accompanied by Israeli security forces, have repeatedly forced their way into the Al-Aqsa complex.
    In September, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces in Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after dozens of Zionist settlers– led by two government ministers and backed by Israeli police – forced their way into the holy compound.
    Moreover, Israeli army radio announced last week that the ministry of tourism was working on a plan to allow Jews to enter the Al-Aqsa compound through the Cotton Merchants Gate, in addition to the Moroccan Gate which is already used as an entrance for non-Muslims.
    The announcement was greeted with strong backlash from Palestinians.
    For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third holiest site.
    Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
    In September 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli leader Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

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    Amazing Norman!!!‏

    CrossTalk: Recognizing Palestine (ft. Norman Finkelstein)

     
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    HannaTheCrusader

    HannaTheCrusader

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    Stormie

    Israel has tightened the siege on gaza
    Still bomb the population
    Still stifle the fishermen

    And the population are busy with whetwher some shaya3o or not


    أسلمة الحركات الفلسطينية هو المرض العضال الذي أصاب القضية الفلسطينية في الصميم.
    من حمار رام الله وصولاً لمشعل البغل.
     
    Republican

    Republican

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    Israeli FM calls for beheading of Arab citizens disloyal to Israel

    The Israeli foreign minister and head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party Avigdor Lieberman suggested during a campaign event that Arab citizens of Israel, who are disloyal to the state, deserve to be decapitated.

    "Whoever is with us should get everything," Lieberman said in a speech at the Interdisciplinary Center in the western city of Herzliya on Sunday. "Whoever is against us, there's nothing else to do. We have to lift up an axe and remove his head, otherwise we won't survive here."

    During the rally, the nationalist leader declared those who raise the black flag on Nakba Day, the day Israeli Arabs and Palestinians commemorate the creation of Israel as a tragedy, do not belong in the state of Israel.

    “Those who raise the black flag on 'Nakba Day' in mourning over the establishment of Israel do not belong here, as far as I am concerned,” he said. “I am quite willing to donate them to PA chief Mahmoud Abbas. It would be my pleasure.”

    When an Israeli-Arab student expressed unease and asked what the minister proposes to do with her under this plan, Lieberman responded that he expects all people regardless of religion to respect Israel and to serve in Israel’s military.

    “I have no problem with your being a citizen,” he told her. “I expect all Arabs, Christians and Jews to be loyal to the state, regardless of religious affiliation, and to serve in the IDF.”


    (...)


    ​Israeli FM calls for beheading of Arab citizens disloyal to Israel — RT News
     
    Muki

    Muki

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    I personally want to have Israel as a good and peaceful neighboring country in the ME, those people are unmatched when it comes to scientific innovations and advancements in almost all fields, including the medical, which will benefit everyone in the long run. And this is why I think Israelis are making a big mistake by not working more actively towards making peace with all their neighbors, from a current strong and safe position they sit at. If anything they should have learned throughout history that nothing lasts forever, and there will always come a "later on" when a bitter enemy rises again and takes revenge for past defeats. When strong now, they can afford attracting their enemies to want to make piece with them by offering them more than they will ever be able to when at decline mode.
    Who will Israel sign peace with?

    Hizbullah? The Lebanese government? Hamas? The Palestinian authority?

    Hizbullah will not allow the Lebanese government to enter into any agreement, let alone negotiations, with Israel. The Lebanese government is weak and unable to take unilateral action, especially with a paramilitary organization crippling its international and regional diplomatic efforts.

    Hamas and the Palestinian authority are at odds, and the Palestinian leadership is extremely divided.

    We've seen all these negotiations hit dead ends when Israel was negotiating with one segment of the Palestinian population. Suppose they did reach an agreement, will Hamas honor it? Unlikely, because Hamas are notorious for not honoring ceasefire agreements.

    Israel cannot unilaterally declare peace against enemies who declare in their charters that their main mission is the destruction of Israel. You have to understand that Israel is one government and any agreement it enters in, it is obliged to honor it. Its enemies, however, are fragments-at-odd in their respective countries, and thus are not partners for peace, nor can they guarantee that one fragment won't break a peace accord. What needs to happen is for Hizbullah/Lebanese government and PA/Hamas to each carry one position with respect to what a peace accord with Israel would look like, and then they need to negotiate with Israel directly (or via third party).
     
    Robin Hood

    Robin Hood

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    I know Hezbollah was ready to accept Lebanon having peace with Israel if the negotiations with Syria succeded in 2000.
    But even if Hezbollah and the Lebanese government both agree to make peace, Lebanon is too weak to enter the negotiations alone.
    Plus we would ask that most Palestinian refugees get resettled somewhere else, because of our silly sectarian system, reminds me of how Israel perceives the Palestinians as a demographic threat.
     
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