Crossposted with permission from Jewish Peace News
Jewish Peace News
Commentator Ben White writes: “For a real sense of where the conflict is heading, look to the West Bank, not just Gaza.” While media attention is focused on the Israeli elections and the continuing humanitarian crimes in Gaza, White argues that events in the West Bank are perhaps of greater political significance. These events include Israeli raids and abductions that seem to be targeting Palestinian civil resistance (second item below – which includes a video link and action alert); further restrictions on Palestinian movement and rights in East Jerusalem; and a massive increase in settlement activity (third item below). Taken together, these represent a firm and confident consolidation of the (Israeli military) gains of the occupation: and, as White puts it, “a further reminder that the two-state solution has completed its progression from worthy (and often disingenuous) aim to meaningless slogan.”
The real Israel-Palestine story is in the West Bank
Friday 20 February 2009
It is quite likely that you have not heard of the most important developments this week in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the West Bank, while it has been “occupation as normal”, there have been some events that together should be overshadowing Gaza, Gilad Shalit and Avigdor Lieberman.
First, there have been a large number of Israeli raids on Palestinian villages, with dozens of Palestinians abducted. These kinds of raids are, of course, commonplace for the occupied West Bank, but in recent days it appears the Israeli military has targeted sites of particularly strong Palestinian civil resistance to the separation wall.
The fact that the West Bank reality means the end of the two-state paradigm has started to be picked up by mainstream, liberal commentators in the US, in the wake of the Israeli elections. Juan Cole, the history professor and blogger, recently pointed out that there are now only three options left for Palestine/Israel: “apartheid”, “expulsion”, or “one state”. (http://www.juancole.com/2009/02/right-wing-sweeps-israel-racialist.html)
(2) The following item provides detailed information on the current military onslaught against West Bank Palestinian villagers peacefully resisting the theft of their lands and livelihoods by Israel’s “separation wall”. It was compiled and circulated by activist Haggai Matar of Anarchists Against the Wall and New Profile, on February 22, 2009.
Nightly invasions to Palestinian villages in the West Bank
Imagine being awakened to the sound of a stun grenade. Imagine such a grenade landing in your front yard every night. This is the reality that residents of Palestinian villages who are struggling against the apartheid wall are forced to deal with since the attack on Gaza.
These nightly invasions by the army, which terrorize villagers, are becoming ever more frequent. Invasions take place three to four time a week in the villages of Beit Likia and Bil’in. In the last week, the villages of Ma’asara, Ni’ilin and Jayus too have joined the list, as troops have been harassing those who participate and organize the village protests.
During the invasions soldiers shoot tear gas and stun grenades into civilian’s houses. They also use rubber coated bullets and live rounds. On 13.2.09, two children were injured in their homes in Beit Likia, and a 60 year old woman was hit in the stomach. On that same night, soldiers reached the homes of Ma’asara popular leaders Muhammad Barjia and Mahmoud Zoahara, kept them for hours outside their homes in the cold with very little cloths, and caused damage to their property, threatening to arrest the two if demonstrations in the area were to continue. A report by Zoahara is attached hereunder.
The media does not report these incidents, which have become a tiring routine of the reality of occupation. It seems that under this media blockade, army commanders feel free to carry out these crimes.
Raise a voice and stop them!
A link to a video from Wednesday 18.2.09. The army invaded during the day to set a checkpoint and later at night, just to shoot some teargas and bullets.
Urge your politicians to demand from Israel to stop those night raids, which are done just to set terror on the people.
Write and call to Public Requests and Complaints in Ministry of Defense of Israel to protest against the nightly invasions.
To Ministry of Defense
I write to you in order to protest against the nightly invasions of the villages of Bil’in, Beit Likia, Ni’ilin, Jayus and Ma’asara, committed by the Israeli army on an almost every-night basis. Such actions are in violation of international law, which hold the occupying army responsible to the welfare and safety of civilians living under its rule. You must stop these invasions at once, and prosecute whoever is responsible for them.
Background on the villages:
The village of Bil’in has become renowned for its on going struggle against the wall, and Beit Likia too has been known to participate in the struggle. Three Beit Likia children were killed by soldiers and private security guards. The village of Ma’asara has for two years now been leading the popular struggle of the Beit Lehem district villages, in quite demonstrations against the land grabs committed by both settlements and the wall. Jaaus was the first village that conducted a struggle against the wall, back in 2003 and Ni’ilin is protesting for the last year. Four people were killed by the army in Ni’ilin, two of them were children.
The night after the demo in AL-Ma’sara village
At the mid of the night 7 Israeli army cars entered the village, they have two target places to attack on is the house of Mohammed BRYJYA The spoken man of the popular community against the wall in the village and the second is the house of Mahmoud Zwahre the coordinator of the popular community against the wall.
Around 12:30 at night the solders nock the door of my house asking me to open the door in a non pilot way then I opened the door more than 10 solders entered my house without my permission, then they asked for my ID and my wife also, and then the check the house putting everything on the other destroying the furniture of the house , at that time they push me out side in the cold weather wit very light clothes, asking the same questions for the demonstration many questions, they told me that they are going to arrest me and they blind me and they tied then they remove the things on my eyes and they start taking pictures for my, while im on the ground on my knees at that time I thought that im in Gwantanamo , then they tied off me and then he told me this week we came and we will not arrest you, the massage this week take care we are going to arrest you next week we are going to come in more difficult way
So don’t come to demonstrate, don’t organize demos
At that time I preferred to be quite no answers and I refuse to talk to them because I know the mode that they are in at that time
While they was checking in my house they found emails for many friends from solidarity associations from Europe I dint know if they are going to use them or not ?
After three hours they left me then I phone Mohammed and I found that they did the same to him
All of what they are doing we expect it since long time
All of that is a sign of victory
Today or tomorrow we are going to win because we have the faith
Israel plans to double West Bank settlers – study
By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel’s Housing Ministry has plans for West Bank construction that would nearly double the number of settlers there, the group Peace Now said Monday.
The presence of the so-called Israeli “settlers” in the Occupied Territories is illegal under international law.
The group gave the estimate in research issued on the day that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to visit to Israel on her first trip to the region since taking office.
US President Barack Obama has vowed to vigorously pursue peace efforts in the region, and Israeli settlements on occupied land have long been one of the main obstacles to an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
Israel to double up West Bank settlers
Tue, 03 Mar 2009 00:27:12 GMT
Israel’s housing ministry is reportedly busy making plans to double the number of Zionist settlers in the occupied territories of the West Bank.
“The ministry of construction and housing is planning to construct at least 73,000 housing units in the West Bank,” the anti-settlement group Peace Now disclosed Monday in a report based on the analysis of Israeli government data.
The group added, “At least 15,000 housing units have already been approved and plans for an additional 58,000 housing units are yet to be approved. Out of the units already approved, nearly 9,000 have been built.”