Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 2018

French secret report of 300 pages: Casualties of Israel pre-emptive war on Lebanon in June 2006

Axis of logic center in Massachusetts divulged the report.

  1. Israel lost 2,300 soldiers and 700 seriously injured (And Not 119 as claimed)
  2. Hezbollah lost 49 fighters, but Israel bombing for 33 days killed many Lebanese civilians and almost destroyed our infrastructure. About 130,000 houses were destroyed and most of the bridges, airport and gasoline stations.
  3. Israel navy lost 24 on its destroyed Saer destroyer (And Not 4 as claimed)
  4. Israel lost 160 tanks, many of the Merkava type
  5. Israel assassinated Lebanon Rafic Hariri PM (All indicate that Bush Jr. and France Chirac gave the green light to Germany and Israel to execute the order)
  6. The pre-emptive war was planned way in advance, but the timing was forced upon Israel
  7. The US and Britain poured in all kinds of weapons and ammunition to sustain the war, among them internationally prohibited weapons, like cluster bombs (still Lebanon is de-mining them after 2 decades), phosphorous bombs and depleted uranium bombs…

Note: Immediately after the cease fire, all displaced Lebanese returned to their towns within a couple of days. Displaced Israelis needed 6 months to return to their settlements. The citizens in the south didn’t wait for the government to tell them when it is safe to return, and devised make-shift bridges over the destroyed bridges.

تقرير فرنسي سري يكشف بعض حقائق عدوان تموز 2006!!!

🖊مركز ‘axis of logic في ماساشوستس يكشف النقاب عن تقرير فرنسي سري من 300 صفحة يتضمن أسرارا غير
معروفة عن الحرب الإسرائيلية ـ الاميركية على حزب الله الصيف الماضي وأسبابها الحقيقية:
ـ الموساد هي الجهة التي اغتالت الحريري.
ـ خسائر إسرائيل الحقيقية خلال الحرب مذهلة :
2300 قتيل و 700 جريح
وليس 119 كما ادعت الحكومة الإسرائيلية.
ـ 24 جنديا قتلوا في المدمرة البحرية ساعر ، وليس أربعة.
ـ عدد الدبابات الإسرائيلية التي دمرت تجاوز الـ 160 دبابة ، منها 65 بشكل كامل ، و الباقي بشكل شبه كامل.
ـ 65 جنديا قتلوا بطريقة مرعبة من خلال تدمير مخابئهم على رؤوسهم بالصواريخ المضادة للدبابات !
ـ مصادر استخبارية روسية زودت إسرائيل بمعلومات خادعة و مضللة عن مواقع حزب الله وقواته.

ماساشوستس (الولايات المتحدة):

كشف مركز axis of logic في ماساشوستس بالولايات المتحدة الأميركية عن تقرير رسمي فرنسي حول الحرب الإسرائيلية على لبنان الصيف الماضي وأسبابها المباشرة وغير المباشرة.
وقال موقع المركز في الملخص الذي نشره عن الموضوع إن الباحث والصحفي الأميركي الشهير المتخصص في الشؤون الأمنية، برايان هارينغ Brayan Harring ، حصل على نسخة من التقرير الفرنسي الرسمي، الذي يقع في حوالي 300 صفحة ويتضمن صورا وخرائط ومخططات بيانية ، خلال مروره مؤخرا في باريس في طريقه إلى موسكو في رحلة عمل .

وبحسب الملخص الذي ترجمه الباحث هارينغ نفسه عن التقرير الفرنسي الأصلي فإن جهاز الاستخبارات الإسرائيلي ـ ‘موساد’ هو الذي اغتال رئيس الوزراء اللبناني الأسبق رفيق الحريري.

ويتضح من التقرير ، كما ظهر لاحقا في تقارير إعلامية عديدة ، لعل أشهرها ما كتبه سيمور هيرش ، أن الحرب الإسرائيلية الأخيرة على لبنان لم تكن رد فعل
مباشر على إقدام حزب الله على أسر جنديين إسرائيليين في 12 تموز/يوليو الماضي بقدر ما كانت وليدة خطة إسرائيلية مدبرة وتفاهم أميركي ـ إسرائيلي مسبق على الأمر .

ويشير التقرير في هذا الإطار إلى أن الولايات المتحدة أخبرت
إسرائيل بأنها لن تكون قادرة على مدها بالقوات الأرضية نظرا لورطتها في العراق ، وإنما ‘ ستزودها بالتأكيد ( خلال حملتها القاصمة على حزب الله )
بمختلف أنواع السلاح والذخائر، بما في ذلك القنابل التقليدية والعنقودية والذخائر الحربية اللازمة للعملية المخطط لها ‘ .
وفيما يتعلق بوقائع الحرب ، وبعد أن يقدم التقرير ملخصا يوميا لوقائعها ، يشير التقرير إلى أن خسائر إسرائيل الحقيقية هي أقرب إلى الخيال إذا ما قورنت بما صرحت عنه الحكومة الإسرائيلية رسميا .
ويؤكد في هذا السياق ، بالاستناد إلى مصادر إسرائيلية رسمية ،
على أن خسائر إسرائيل من العسكريين بلغت 2300 ( ألفين وثلاثمئة قتيل ) ، وليس 119 فقط ، منهم 600 توفوا في المشافي نتيجة إصاباتهم البليغة . أما عدد الجرحى العسكريين ذوي الجروح البالغة ، والذين ظلوا على قيد الحياة ، فقد بلغ 700 جريح . كما أن 65 منهم قتلوا بطريقة مرعبة تحت الأنقاض من خلال تدمير البيوت اللبنانية التي لجأوا إليها على رؤوسهم بالصواريخ المضادة للدبابات . ويظهر التقرير في هذا
السياق أن حزب الله استهدف مشفى عسكريا إسرائيليا في صفد خلال الحرب يعتقد أنه تسبب في مقتل العديد من الجنود الجرحى المصابين .

أما خسائر حزب الله ، بحسب التقرير الذي يستند في معلوماته إلى مصدرين هما الأمم المتحدة والحكومة اللبنانية المناهضة لحزب الله ، فبلغت 50 مقاتلا (حسب مصدر الأمم المتحدة) و 49 مقاتلا (حسب مصدر الحكومة اللبنانية).
وأشار التقرير إلى أن مجموع الدبابات وناقلات الجنود الإسرائيلية التي دمرت تدميرا كاملا في الحرب بلغ 65 دبابة وناقلة جنود دمرت بشكل كامل ، منها 38 من طراز ميركافا دمرت بالصواريخ المضادة للدروع ،بينما دمرت 15 دبابة بالعبوات الناسفة المزروعة في الأرض .
أما عدد الدبابات وناقلات الجنود التي كانت إصاباتها بالغة جدا فبلغ 93 دبابة وناقلة جنود .
وفي الوقائع التفصيلية لبعض مجريات الحرب ، يشير التقرير إلى أن حزب الله قتل 18 جنديا دفعة واحدة في بنت جبيل بتاريخ 27 تموز / يوليو .
وفي 27 من الشهر نفسه ، ومن خلال كمين محكم نصبه مقاتلو الحزب ، قتل 41 جنديا إسرائيليا في بنت جبيل ، بالإضافة إلى
تدمير 12 مدرعة وثلاث ناقلات جنود و8 أصيبت بشكل بالغ .
وفي 9 آب تمكن مقاتلو الحزب من قتل 23 جنديا من خلال تدمير المنزل الذي لجأوا إليه على رؤوسهم .
و في 12 آب / أغسطس تمكنوا من قتل 24 جنديا خلال اشتباك
واحد ، فضلا عن خمسة آخرين في طائرة الهيلوكبتر التي أسقطها الحزب في اليوم نفسه .
وبشأن المدمرة البحرية ساعر 5 التي أصابها مقاتلو الحزب بتاريخ 14 تموز ، فقد ذكر التقرير أن عدد الضباط والجنود الذين قتلوا فيها بلغ 24 ضابطا وجنديا ، وليس أربعة فقط كما ذكر في حينه .
وبشأن الذخائر التي استخدمتها إسرائيل خلل الحرب، كشف
التقرير عن أن الطيران الإسرائيلي نفذ 12 ألف غارة جوية .
أما القوات البحرية الإسرائيلية فقد استخدمت 2500 قذيفة وصاروخ ، بينما استخدمت القوات البرية مائة ألف قذيفة .
وأشار التقرير إلى أن خسائر لبنان كانت في أغلبيتها الساحقة ذات طبيعة مدنية ، حيث بلغت نسبة الأطفال الذين قتلوا ، ممن هم دون سن الـ 13 عاما ، ما نسبته 30 بالمئة من مجموع الضحايا.
ودمرت إسرائيل أيضا ما
مجموعه 400 ميل ( حوالي 600 كم ) من الطرق ، و 73 جسرا ، و 31 هدفا مدنيا مثل مطار بيروت والموانىء ووحدات معالجة المياه العادمة(الصرف الصحي) و 25 محطة وقود و 900 محل تجاري و 350 مدرسة ومشفيين و 15 ألف منزل ، بينما تضرر 130 ألف منزل بأشكال مختلفة .
تبقى الإشارة إلى أن التقرير الفرنسي ، وبحسب الملخص المنشور ، كشف عن ان الإسرائيليين تعرضوا لعملية خداع كبرى ، حيث كانوا يتلقون معلومات مضللة وخادعة من مصادر في المخابرات الروسية عن مواقع حزب الله وقواته العسكرية !
بعد هذا التقرير، هل يبقى هناك من عذر لمن يصف كلام قائد المقاومة حيث قال “نعتقد بأننا الجيل الذي سيصلي في القدس” بالمبالغة؟

مجموعة اعرف عدوك

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“A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History”: Interview with Jamal Juma’

Israel/Palestine

 on 

For weeks now, (since the pronouncement of Trump on Jerusalem Capital of Israel) Palestinians everywhere have been galvanized by events taking place in the Gaza Strip, the site of weekly (since March 30) mass protests demanding the end of the siege and blockade of Gaza (in place now since 2007) and the right to return to the homes from which they or their elders had been transferred (kicked out) since Israel creation in 1948.

Dubbed the Great March of Return, Palestinians in Gaza have assembled as close as they can to the Israeli-designated buffer zone separating Gaza from Israel.

Israeli soldiers at a distance, crouched behind earth barriers that they created in the days preceding the march, and at absolutely no danger of attack from the unarmed protestors, pick off demonstrators at their leisure (with live bullets, assassinating over 160  and targeting the legs to handicap the marchers, over 1,600 badly injured)

By June 14, at least 129 Palestinians had been killed and 13,000 injured; the dead included medics like the 21-year-old Razan al-Najjar and journalists including Yaser Murtaja—typically seen as off-limits in conflict zones but transformed by Israel into prime targets.

Jamal Juma’ leads a nonviolent march against the Israeli Separation Wall in the West Bank town of Al Walaja.

On June 4, I spoke to Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, about the popular resistance in Gaza, the Trump administration’s policy toward the question of Palestine, and Palestinian options to chart a new course.

Ida AudehI interviewed you in August 2011 to learn more about the separation wall and its effect on communities in its path. Describe Israel’s current system of control over the occupied territories, of which the wall is a part.

Jamal Juma’: It is clear that the wall was designed to isolate and lay siege to Palestinians. The project to place Palestinians under siege by means of the wall has been completed.

It closed off all the dynamic areas that Israel considered necessary to isolate various areas. 80% of the Wall is within the West Bank. The second part of the siege is reinforcement of the settlements.

Each settlement has what Israel calls a buffer zone – a security apparatus consisting of barbed wire and roads that Palestinians are not allowed to use.

This, together with the alternative (bypass) roads (which we call the apartheid roads), allows them to control the territory. Today there are two road networks: one is for Israeli settlers, about 1,400 km long, and its purpose is to connect all settlements to one another and to Israel in a kind of network. And this is complete.

This network is the dominant one in the West bank, and it includes the major roads. The other network, the alternative roads, is for Palestinians to use; these roads will intersect through 48 planned tunnels and bridges, some of which have been created already.

The two road systems are separate. This is the basis of the racist discriminatory system we talk about: isolating Palestinians and confining them in limited spaces, control of their resources through settlements, the road network, and military installations, and the wall, which take up about 62% of the area of the West Bank.

With the extension of the settlements, we no longer just talk about Palestinians being ghettoized in the north, south, and central region. There is more fragmentation of Palestinian residential areas.

New settlement outposts are not being discussed in terms of whether they should be removed or not.  They are being transformed into settlements. When you see 150 outposts, you are really talking about 150 new settlements. This project is being intensified, and especially since Trump took office.

IA: So you noticed a clear acceleration after Trump?

JJ: It’s much more than an acceleration. This is a watershed moment in Palestinian history. Since Trump took office, US policy fully adopted the Zionist project and embarked on a process of liquidating the Palestinian cause, of eliminating it. It is clear program.

This began with Jerusalem and the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Zionist entity, the transfer of the embassy, targeting the refugees by cutting financing of UNRWA, and other forms of pressure on areas that host large numbers of refugees including getting them settled permanently in the host countries.

Israeli colonization, the geographic engineering of the political map, is another component in the liquidation of the Palestinian cause. Israeli proposals for colonization are massive.

They are concentrating on the Jordan Valley – creating new settlements, expanding existing settlements, creating the supportive infrastructure, and huge incentives are given to Israelis who work in agriculture (including cash payments of $20,000 for anyone willing to move there).

Now the settlements are on the tops of the mountain chain that overlook the Jordan Valley, which enable them to encircle lower lying towns.

When you talk about Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, and so on, it will be as though the entire West Bank is a suburb of Tel Aviv. This will make it impossible for there to be any separation in the future, for there to be any independent Palestinian entity; instead, an apartheid system of cantons will be imposed on Palestinians.  This is the reality on the ground.

Back to the new US policy: In addition to a shift in standing US positions on Jerusalem and the refugee issue, there is the use of Arab countries that are ready for normalization with Israel and eager to be aligned with the American project – first and foremost, Saudi Arabia, and also Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, which are pressuring the Palestinians to accept the US project to liquidate the Palestinian cause.

This has complicated things and taken it out of the sphere of international law and the UN; everyone had previously worked within that framework. We have been demanding the implementation of resolutions. But the US dealt a blow to international law.

IA: The US now proposes the “deal of the century,” which Gulf states are eagerly endorsing. Can you describe the contours of that deal?

JJ: The proposal is to create a Palestinian state in Gaza with extensions into the Sinai Desert, to be administered by the Palestinian Authority. The West Bank and Jerusalem are not part of these calculations, although Israel might be willing to give up some areas around Jerusalem that are densely populated with Palestinians.

(This part of the proposal has been floated by extremist Israeli groups even before the Trump proposal.)

They might be willing to remove from Greater Jerusalem areas with high Palestinian density, like Jabal Mukkaber, Isawiya, Silwan, and Sur Bahir. 

There has been some discussion about removing Beit Hanina and Shufat.

The Israelis would retain control of the Jewish settlements and the Old City, which together make up about 87% of the area of East Jerusalem—not exactly a small territory.

IA: What is the Palestinian response to these plans?

JJ:  On the formal political level, the PA is in a crisis. It placed its faith in the US, but now US determination to liquidate the Palestinian cause is very clear.

(The “Palestinian Authority” never placed faith in USA: they had no serious political or financial support alternative from anyone. Those employees, waiting for their monthly paycheck or stipend, just hide their head in the dirt and wished they die before they watch another Nakba)

The only real option remaining to the PA is to cast its lot with the Palestinian people and on free people around the world, international solidarity and movements that support us. The Palestinian people have to make a decision, and so does the PA.

On the popular level, we see serious activity in search of an alternative to the status quo, the largest and the most important of which is taking place now in Gaza with the Great March of Return. These actions are important for a number of reasons. They changed the stereotypes about Gaza as a launchpad for rockets, a place of terrorism that has been hijacked by Hamas.

In fact, the marches in Gaza since March 30 represent a widespread popular movement, massive popular resistance. Just like the first intifada emerged from Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, today we have the beginnings of a mass civil disobedience movement.

(Note: the First Intifada took place in 1935 against the British mandated power for refusing to organize democratic elections, even in municipality, on the ground that the Jews were minorities. Britain dispatched 100,000 troop to quell this civil disobedience that lasted 3 years and exacted horror torture techniques)

Gaza has a population that is resisting, and Hamas does not control this resistance. The discourse we generally hear, that Hamas is leading people to their death, should be recognized as racist and dehumanizing.

People are not robots. Gazans of all ages, family situations, and economic and educational levels are taking part in these marches to raise their cause to the world.  These people are saying that the siege of Gaza cannot continue. We are human beings, we have rights, and one of those rights is to live like human beings. Gaza is no longer inhabitable.

Gaza has been turned into a prison and a hell. Even the UN acknowledges that. The numbers around Gaza are just astounding.

The Great March has returned focus on the refugee issue and put it squarely on the table despite all the efforts to ignore and erase it. More than 70% of Gaza residents are refugees, and they are demanding the right to return to their original hometowns.

For that reason, the marches in Gaza are very important in defining the trajectory of the Palestinian question and restoring the role of popular resistance to the forefront. They lay the popular foundation for the coming phase. They might also have prevented another massive disaster.

I think Israel was preparing to implement the Trump administration’s proposals; the scenario that the Israelis were planning for was to pull Gaza into a military confrontation, which would justify more intense bombing than it has done in the past.

The borders with Egypt would open, and people would flee into Egypt. But the mass participation in the march thwarted that plan.

IA: I find it hard to understand how Ramallah can be so tranquil considering the carnage in Gaza.

JJ:  It might seem that what is happening in the West Bank is not at all comparable to what is happening in Gaza. And that is true, it isn’t as massive. But actions are taking place in the West Bank, and they are also important.

On a weekly basis people are gathering to protest at the checkpoints.

Since 2011 there have been continuous outbursts (in Arabic, habbat); for example, in Jerusalem in the Bab al-Shams encampment and in the aftermath of the Abu Khdeir and Dawabshe killings (January 2013, July 2014, and July 2015, respectively).*

These outbursts were significant and exemplary, the way Gaza is today. They reminded us of what the Palestinian people are capable of doing. I expect that these outbursts here and there will lead to widespread civil disobedience. Young people in Jerusalem and the West Bank have been going out to checkpoints in the hundreds, on a daily basis, and these conditions put one in the mindset of the first intifada.

We should take note of what Palestinians in Israel are doing as well. There are youth movements that are taking action in ways that are very impressive and a source of pride.  They defy the occupation and they involve large numbers of people, in Haifa and elsewhere.

IA: Let’s look at the relationship of Palestinians to formal political bodies. Recently the Palestinian National Council held its first meeting in 22 years. One might have thought that over the course of more than two decades, several issues and events warranted a meeting – regional events, the assassination of Yasir Arafat, and the status of the Oslo accords come to mind. But the convening of the PNC doesn’t seem to have generated much popular interest.

JJ: People did not pay much attention to it, but in fact they should be talking about it because it poses a threat. Meeting for the first time in 22 years, it did not even discuss what it has done since the last meeting! What it did do is effectively cancel itself, which means it is changing the structure of the PLO. There is an attempt to replace the Central Committee with a body consisting of the private sector, the political currents in the PA today, and elements of the security apparatus. No representation of Palestinians from the 1948 areas, or the diaspora, or even the Palestinian street. This is a threat to the Palestinian project.

The PLO as it has been transformed by Mahmoud Abbas threatens the national cause. It has been hijacked; our task is to restore it as a representative and unifying entity that works to support the Palestinian cause. The reform should be led by Palestinian groups and movements.

People have no confidence in the leadership; they don’t think it is capable of leading in the coming phase.  In fact, the outbursts I referred to earlier had the potential of triggering a third intifada. People were waiting for a leadership to emerge, as happened during the first intifada; three months into the intifada, a unified leadership emerged and took charge. But this time, the PA wasn’t interested in assuming that role; three months into these protests, the PA sent its people to disrupt actions and prevent young people from gathering at checkpoints. The national factions were unable to form a unified leadership for obvious reasons.

IA: What is the alternative?

JJ: People have to create a national movement that can lead the change. What will lead the movement for change will not be a single individual. It will be a widespread national movement that has a real relationship with people on the ground, a movement that will direct the street. This is the only way change will take place. People have been waiting for a long time, but who are we waiting for? There is not going to be a great charismatic leader. We don’t talk about a heroic leader, we talk about a heroic people and a leadership of institutions.

We want a Palestinian state that represents all Palestinians. Within that broad outline, we say that right now, we have to protect the Palestinian project – the right to self-determination, and we all struggle for that right. We don’t have to get into a discussion about the final outcome. The time for the two state solution is clearly over—and in fact, that proposal provided the basis for trying to destroy our cause. The other option is clear. But like I said, we don’t want that discussion to detract from our focus now or to place us in conflict with the position of the PLO.

How do we support the Palestinian project? We have to confront what is happening in Jerusalem, the settlements. There has to be a practical program, not just slogans on paper. Palestinians in the diaspora should support these activities, get involved in the boycott movement, because we are part of that boycott movement.

We are trying to keep the political work and the boycott movement separate to protect the boycott movement, because there is a Palestinian effort underway to weaken the BDS movement; through normalization, by invoking the PLO position. We consider the boycott movement an essential component of our activism.

This is what people are discussing today, here and with our people in the 1948 areas, and in the diaspora. Many meetings have taken place, and they are being expanded. I expect that in the next few weeks there will be a meeting to put in writing some of the agreed upon principles underlying all of these actions. There has to be a movement that preserves the unity of the Palestinian people and protects the national cause from liquidation. That’s what we are working on now.

Notes

* The 2013 encampment known as Bab al-Shams was an attempt by Palestinians to thwart Israeli plans to establish a settlement on land in the E1 zone, between East Jerusalem and the Jewish-only settlement Ma’ale Adumim; the Israeli plan was designed to permanently sever the West Bank from East Jerusalem. Another encampment, Bab al-Karama, was set up in Beit Iksa and stormed by Israeli soldiers two days later.

In July 2014, Israeli settlers in Jerusalem abducted 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir from Shufat and set him on fire; the ensuing demonstrations resulted in 160 Palestinians injured. Israel’s assault on Gaza began five days later. One year later, settlers set fire to the Dawabshe home in Duma. The soul survivor of the attack was a 4-year-old child; the child’s parents and infant brother were killed. In 2015, a tent encampment, “Gate of Jerusalem,” was set up in Abu Dis to protest the Israeli government’s plans to displace Bedouin communities there.

Beginning in September 2015 and lasting until the end of the year, protests spread from the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem throughout the West Bank; 108 Palestinians were killed and 12,260 were injured.  Palestinians in Israel demonstrated in solidarity.

About Ida Audeh is a Palestinian from the West Bank who lives in Colorado. She is the editor of Birzeit University: The Story of a National Institution, published by Birzeit University in 2010. Other posts by .

Israeli constant Aggression on village of Umm al-Kheir “Mother of Goodness”, a Palestinian Bedouin Community

November 24th, 2017

Eid Suleiman Hathaleen’s job is to locate unexploded mines in the rugged hills in the southern part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. His life at home is, however, much more stressful.

Eid, thirty-four, lives in Umm al-Kheir, a small Palestinian hamlet south of Hebron.

For years, Umm al-Kheir has been under attack by both the Israeli army and Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Carmel. Recently, the situation has worsened considerably.

A House Demolition, 2014

(Just a house demolition? Since 1967, 50,000 homes and Palestinian structures were demolished. Israel is perpetrating incremental genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinias)

“2016 was the worst year in the history of Umm al-Kheir,” Eid says. “They came to demolish our homes 4 times that year alone.”

According to OCHA, Israeli occupation authorities have come to the village for demolitions on twenty separate occasions since 2007. The data shows that since 2011, thirty-two structures have been destroyed.

Some of the demolitions would be ridiculous, if they were not so tragic.

In October 2014, the village’s traditional oven was demolished after a protracted battle that began when an Israeli couple complained that the smoke emanating from the structure was a health hazard to them and their children.

“The settlers laughed when it was demolished,” says Tariq. “The people of Umm al-Kheir offered to turn off the oven, if we could have access to electricity. But that was rejected. We told them that if we had a permit for an oven, we would build a proper one. Again they said no.”

The bread prepared in the oven was a staple of the villagers’ diet. Now, they are forced to buy their bread elsewhere, an expense the impoverished community can ill afford.

Tariq in front of the oven, the settlement Carmel can be seen in the background
Credit: Cody O’Rourke

Tariq’s own family has not been spared from the demolitions. In June 2013, soldiers confiscated a makeshift toilet built for his disabled brother Muhammad, who had previously been urinating and defecating in a river bed.

Tariq’s mother’s house has also been demolished on two occasions; she now lives in a caravan donated by the European Union.

The small metal shack offers only minimal protection from the elements. “These things are like umbrellas,” Tariq says. “It blocks the sun and the rain, but it’s freezing in the winter and hot in the summer.”

Tariq’s brother, Bilal, built his own home in the village. When he came home from work one day in 2014, it was gone. Only the concrete floor remained, as well as the markings that indicated where the walls had stood. It looked like a floorplan.

The remains of Tariq’s house
Credit: Richard Hardigan

Eid has recounted the stories of the demolitions many times, and lists the statistics without much visible emotion.

Only when he talks about his children do his eyes well up. “My daughters suffer so much from the demolitions. I suffer because they suffer,” he says. “Everybody is so afraid. Women. Children. The cloud has covered everybody.”

Eid deals with this persistent violence in an unique way – by making small sculptures. Since he was twelve-years-old, he has used scraps of metal and plastic to build miniature models of jeeps, bulldozers, and helicopters.

He has even exhibited his work internationally. “While in real life, these vehicles represent the oppressive Israeli occupation,” Eid writes on his website, “in my work, I render them back into a constructive element that can be appreciated again for their positive use.”

The Future

There is little doubt the bulldozers are going to arrive at some point again, in the near future.

A map produced by the Israeli human rights organization Bimkom indicates that almost every building in Umm al-Kheir has a pending demolition order.

Map of Umm al-Kheir, showing the pending demolition orders
Credit: Cody O’Rourke

Soldiers arrived recently with the intent, the villagers believe, of selecting homes for demolition.

On October 18, Tariq watched as a truck carrying two bulldozers passed Umm al-Kheir. The Israelis were on their way to the nearby village of Khirbat Halawa, where they demolished two buildings. Even then, the villagers of Umm al-Kheir were still afraid.

“We expected them to come to Umm al-Kheir on their way back,” says Tariq.

To raise awareness about their situation, Tariq and Eid have begun inviting foreign activists to stay in the village overnight. “We know that will not stop the army,” says Tariq, “but hopefully the world will find out what is going on here.”

Even internationals are not safe from the violence of Camel’s settlers, however. In September, they attacked an activist who was protesting their stone-throwing activities, breaking his hand.

Though Umm al-Kheir’s fate is tied up with the settler-colonialism created by the Israeli occupation, and institutionalized by the Oslo Accords, Eid’s focus is on his village. “We don’t care about the Oslo Accords,” he says. “We only care about the daily life. Just leave my land alone.”

[1] Ben Ehrenreich, The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine, (New York: Penguin, 2016).

Stopping PB in Egypt

We recently visited a small Egyptian town, Idku lies just east of Alexandria, that fought off plans by giant BP to build a gas terminal on its land as part of an $11 billion project.

After a year of delays, the oil company was forced to re-route its proposed pipeline and processing plant.

Mika posted on June 25, 2013:

Idku, where the Nile Delta meets the Mediterranean.

We met a number of local activists, farmers and fisher folk, who explained that Idku’s land and water has for years suffered from pollution by both nearby sewage canals and the existing BG/Rashpetco’s LNG export plant.

Liquefied natural gas is exported from Idku to East Asia and Europe.

BP, having drilled for oil in the deep waters of the North Alexandria block, wanted to build yet another new gas plant on Idku’s beach.

This is part of a larger $11 billion project (62% owned by BP and 38% by German RWE), including sub-sea pipelines, oil platforms and the gas terminal itself.

But the community was tired of their sea being polluted by large corporations. Emboldened by the ongoing revolution that also enable them to organise more publicly, local activists mobilised against BP’s plans.

(I’m worried of what oil production in Lebanon will do to our already polluted seashore)

An enormous popular street assembly against BP's plans in Idku

An enormous popular street assembly against BP’s plans in Idku

Nadine_Marroushi_no_bp_sign

“No to BP” painted in English & Arabic on a road block. Photo by Nadine Marroushi

"Lift your head up high - you're Egyptian - No to BP"

“Lift your head up high – you’re Egyptian – No to BP”

From 2011 onwards, graffiti appeared around the town on walls, lamp-posts and houses, combining revolutionary chants with anti-BP slogans and demands to save Idku’s environment.

Banners were draped across the roads. Popular assemblies in the street gathered outrage and gave space for local residents to speak out.

Local activists researched BP’s activities elsewhere, gathering evidence of abuses and pollution elsewhere and warning that the company could cause a disastrous spill like it had in the Gulf of Mexico, in the deep waters north of Egypt.

Facebook groups were used to share updates within Idku and connect with activists elsewhere.

Many in the local community felt that pollution by Rashpetco and BG had caused fish death and ruined their agricultural land and joined the opposition to BP’s plans.

Protests included a symbolic funeral procession and a sit-in occupation at BP’s proposed construction site in late 2011. The main “International Highway” road was blocked, and BP’s Idku office raided and computers confiscated.

march_BP_banner_2

A banner from Idku’s farmers rejects BP’s plans

march_BP_banner

A banner against BP stretches across the road

march_coffin

A symbolic coffin is carried, with the words “No to the death of life on Idku’s land”

march_flags_truck

A truck full of Idku residents heads to the construction site to protest

The consistent protests forced the governor of Beheira to back local demands, and imposed delay after delay onto BP. After 18 months of postponing work, BP conceded to the pressure and agreed not to build the gas terminal in Idku.

Idku’s victory shows that even small communities, far from the media spotlight of Tahrir – can win against major odds.

By protesting and taking action, local residents stopped a multi-billion project and protected their local environment, health and land.

BP, ever resourceful, has found a way to continue its larger plans – moving the gas terminal further east along the coast, into the neighbouring governate of Kfar Sheikh.

It is now facing repeated protests from nearby villagers there. They join the communities in Damietta fighting the MOPCO fertiliser factory, Dabaa opposing a nuclear power plant and the people of Idku in their continued struggle versus BG. All across Egypt, people are fighting for environmental justice.

Idku protestors opposing BP’s plans for a gas terminal take to the beach. BG’s LNG export plant is in the background

– See more at: http://platformlondon.org/2013/06/25/winning-against-the-odds-how-an-egyptian-community-stopped-bp-in-its-tracks/#sthash.5b0hqFGS.dpuf

Tidbits from Lamis Bejjani: Car bombs were current tactics in Lebanon civil war starting in 1975

late martyr 3imad Moghniyyeh uncovered the dozens of assassinations during Lebanon civil war.

’كن القاتل..’ ولو بعد حين!

مع إندلاع الحرب ـ حرب السنتين ـ 1975 ـ 1976، تحول لبنان إلى مسرح لعمليات القتل المنظم، واستمرت بوتيرة متصاعدة، يومها كانت السيارات المفخخة أبرز أساليبها.

ويومها أيضاً، كما في كل تاريخه كان للحاج عماد مغنية دور في فضح القطبة المخفية في هذا النسق من العمليات المتنقلة بين مختلف المناطق اللبنانية.

يومها أيضاً وأيضاً أنجز الحاج رضوان تقريره الأمني ووضعه أمام كل المعنيين، كاشفاً الدور الإسرائيلي ـ الأميركي والتمويل السعودي في كل تلك العمليات، ولا بأس أن نذّكر اللبنانيين بموجز سريع عن هذا الملف.

*البداية*

بعد أقل من عام على تفجير بئر العبد الشهير في 8 آذار/ مارس من العام 1985، كشف الحاج رضوان تفاصيله بالأسماء والتواريخ وكشف معها تفاصيل لأكثر من 22 تفجيراً حصلوا خلال الأعوام الأربعة التي سبقت العملية وهي:

ـ 1981 : تفجير سينما سلوى.
ـ 1982 : تفجير محلات مكتبي.
ـ 1982 : تفجير سوق الروشة.
ـ 1982 : تفجير الدار الاسلامية.
ـ 1982 : تفجير في الأوزاعي.
ـ 1982 : تفجير سينما سلوى مجدداً.
ـ 1982 : تفجير السفارة المصرية.
ـ 1982 : تفجير مطعم أبو النواس.
ـ 1982 : تفجير مكب للنفايات قرب مكتب لحركة امل في المصيطبة.
ـ 1983 : تفجير ABC .
ـ 1983 : تفجير مكتب منظمة التحرير الفلسطينية.
ـ 1983 : تفجير سوبر ماركت سميث.
ـ 1983 : تفجير في شارع التلفزيون.
ـ 1984 : نفجير في منطقة عائشة بكار.
ـ 1984 : تفجير محلات الشيخ موسى.
ـ 1984 : تفجير سيارة في أول شارع صبرا.
ـ 1985 : تفجير مبنى مهجور في محلة البيكاديلي.
ـ 1985 : تفجير بار كانون لايت في جان دارك.
ـ 1985 : تفجير بنك الرافدين.
ـ 1985 : تفجير أمام مسجد الإمام علي بن أبي طالب في الطريق الجديدة.
ـ 1985 : تفجير محطة الزهيري في وطى المصيطبة.

وكذلك عاد إلى ما سبق هذه التواريخ فكشف عن سلسلة تفجيرات مرتبطة بملف الأحزاب والقيادادت والشخصيات فكانت المفاجآت بالأسماء والمراكز وهي على الشكل التالي:

في الضاحية الجنوبية في العام 1985 وبفارق أسبوع تم تفجير قاعدة الشهيد بلال فحص في الرويس، وبعد ذلك وضعت متفجرتان في منطقة حي ماضي إحداهما في سيارة مفخخة والثانية في طرد يحمل عبوة ناسفة.

في بيروت (الغربية) تفجير الجامعة العربية، ومحاولة اغتيال وليد بيك جنبلاط، وتفجير مركز الأبحاث الفلسطيني، تفجير فندق السمرلاند، تفجير جريدة السبيل، محاولة اغتيال سليم الحص و تفجير دار الطائفة الدرزية في عائشة بكار.

في طرابلس اغتيال الدكتور عصمت مراد، وتفجير مسجد الإمام علي(ع) في منطقة التل.

الملاحظ في كل تلك التفجيرات هو الهوية الطائفية للمناطق المستهدفة، سنية، شيعية ودرزية.. لزرع الفتنة بينها.

*فضح الدور الاسرائيلي في لبنان*

قبل أيام أعادت صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” نشر فصول من كتاب “انهض.. واقتل أولاً: التاريخ السرّي لاغتيالات إسرائيل الموجّهة”، للكاتب “الاسرائيلي” في الشؤون الامنية “رونن بيرغمان”، والصديق الشخصي لرئيس الموساد السابق “مائير داغان”،

كشف فيه تأسيس رئيس الأركان ـ في حينه ـ الجنرال رفاييل إيتان، بالتنسيق مع قائد المنطقة الشمالية الجنرال “أفيغدور بن غال”، لمنظمة سرية تدعى “جبهة تحرير لبنان من الأجانب” أوكلت مهمة قيادتها لـ “مئير داغان” الذي تولى لاحقاً منصب رئيس “الموساد”.

هدف المنظمة بحسب الكاتب “خلق فوضى بين الفلسطينيين والسوريين في لبنان، دون ترك بصمات إسرائيلية، ليتولد لديهم الانطباع بأنهم مهاجمون”. وقد عمد داغان لـ “تجنيد بعض اللبنانيين، الناقمين على الفلسطينيين. فقتلت الجبهة بين الـ1979 و1982 مئات الأشخاص”.

فصول هذا الكتاب جاءت لتؤكد النتائج التي كشفها الحاج رضوان في تحقيقاته، سيما وأن الكاتب يؤكد ارتفاع وتيرة استخدام السيارات المفخخة بعد تعيين أرييل شارون وزيراً للحرب في 5 آب/ أغسطس من العام 1981 أي قبل الاجتياح الصهيوني للبنان بعام.. لتشكل موجة التفجيرات ضغط على المقاومة الفلسطينية فترد عليها باستهداف الأراضي المحتلة، فيأتي التبرير لشن الاجتياح.

*وصية التلمود*

الكتاب المكون من 750 صفحة، حمل في طياته وصية تلمودية تقول: “إذا جاء أحدهم لقتلك ، انهض واقتله أولاً”. إضافة لوصية من “داغان” نفسه.. ـ كان يحتفظ في مكتبه بصورة لجده الملتحي والمؤتزر بشال الصلاة ، راكعاً أمام القوات الألمانية” ـ “يجب ألا نصل إلى هذا الوضع مرة أخرى ، نركع ، دون القدرة على القتال من أجل حياتنا”.

القتل ثم القتل..هذه عادتهم والتبرير كالعادة أنهم “الأخيار”.. يقتلون الاطفال والنساء والرجال ويهربون من مواجهة المقاومين

يحتلون الأرض..ويدعون أنهم أصحابها..ويعاونهم الأذناب.. مهما طال الزمن ستنتهي اسطورتهم وسيرحلون، وسنصلي في القدس التي حضّر لتحريرها قائد الفاتحين لها عماد فايز مغنية.

*​​#الحديدة_مقبرة_الغزاة​​*
*​​#عزيز_يا_يمن​​*

Who’s Really Crossing the U.S. Border, and Why They’re Coming

By Stephanie Leutert.  Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10:04 AM

Central American migrants riding freight trains through Mexico (Flickr/Peter Haden)

Over the past week, the separation of 2,000 children from their parents along the U.S. border has forced immigration into the national spotlight.

President Trump, who initiated the separations and then sought to quash criticism with a muddled executive order, has portrayed the policy as a harsh but necessary measure to stop a wave of migrants “bringing death and destruction” into the United States.

At another point, he claimed that migrants want to “pour in and infest our country,” linking those crossing the border to the gang MS-13.

Despite what the president says, the situation at the border is much more nuanced.

There’s not a flood of people racing across the border.

The majority of migrants aren’t dangerous criminals. Many are women and families—and many are fleeing gang violence rather than seeking to spread that violence farther north.

For the past two years, I’ve worked to document these issues at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin, and also in the Beyond the Border column for Lawfare—based in part on my fieldwork from across Mexico.

There are few straightforward and easy answers to what often feel like basic questions for Central American migration. So it’s worth taking a step back and asking: who are the people arriving at the border? Why are they coming? And how does the current situation compare to migration in the past?

First off, while the current administration has tried to tie Central American migrants to MS-13, government data reveals that gang members crossing irregularly are the rare exceptions.

Since the Trump administration took office, the Border Patrol has detected fewer gang members crossing irregularly than during the Obama administration. (Gangs have to get more careful with tighter rhetoric)

In FY2017, these detection amounted to 0.075 percent of the total number of migrants (228 MS-13 members out of 303,916 total migrants).

When combined with MS-13’s rival, the Barrio 18 gang, the number rises only slightly to 0.095 percent. This is far from the “infestation” of violent gang members described by the president.

The current crisis hasn’t been caused by a sudden influx of migration, either.

The peak in apprehensions of irregular migrants actually took place some 17 years ago, in FY2000. At that point, U.S. Border Patrol agents caught 1,643,679 migrants attempting to enter the United States without the appropriate papers, compared to 303,916 apprehensions in this past fiscal year.

But this decreasing number of apprehensions should not be confused with a gentler, kinder approach to border security—in fact, just the opposite.

Since 2001, the number of Border Patrol agents along the southwest border has nearly doubled from 9,147 agents to 16,605. Border fencing also increased: to date, there are 705 miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border.

The face of migration has also changed.

Back in 2000, Mexican nationals made up 98 percent of the total migrants and Central Americans (referring to Honduran, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran migrants) only one percent.

Today, Central Americans (Not Mexican) make up closer to 50% of migrants. (Due primarily to US multinationals controlling these smaller States and spreading poverty. Even water is privatized by these companies and pollution is at its zenith)

 

Total U.S. Border Apprehensions by Nationality

Nationality was only made available from FY1995 through FY2017. U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FOIA request.

A declining Mexican birth rate, a stable economy, and the U.S. border buildup have all contributed to the decrease in migration from Mexico.

But as Mexican irregular migration has plummeted, Central American migration has simultaneously picked up.

Until 2011, Central Americans constituted less than 10% of total U.S.-Mexico border apprehensions, but by 2012 they constituted 25 percent, and by 2014 they numbered half of all illicit border crossers.

While migration from each country within the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) has fluctuated over time, each country has sent roughly similar numbers of people in the aggregate.

From FY1995 to FY2016, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended around 500,000 citizens from each country. In other words, it’s not a coincidence that most recent news stories about migrant parents separated from their children feature families from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

 

Central Americans as a Percent of Total Southwest Border Apprehensions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FOIA request.

Yet there’s no one simple description of a migrant. Across the U.S. political spectrum, politicians and activists present Central American migrants as either dreamers or law-breakers; those fleeing violence or those abusing immigration loopholes; crying toddlers or MS-13 gangsters.

These labels force migrants into rigid categories, losing the diversity of their reasons and their wide-ranging demographics and backgrounds.

To understand Central American migrants means first abandoning the depiction of the “Northern Triangle” of Central America as a homogeneous region. All three countries have different histories and contemporary political realities, along with varying security and development indicators that help explain today’s situation. Using the World Bank’s measure, Honduras has the highest levels of poverty, with 30 percent of the population living at US$3.20 a day or less, compared to Guatemala (25 percent), and El Salvador (ten percent). Meanwhile, two thirds of Salvadorans live in cities, compared to 55 percent of Hondurans and closer to 50 percent of Guatemalans. Finally, Guatemala’s authorities report that 40 percent of the population is indigenous, versus closer to 10 percent in Honduras, and an almost non-existent indigenous population in El Salvador (0.2 percent). These factors help explain what moves migrants from each country to travel to the United States.

Take the following map, which illustrates the hometowns of Central American migrant families apprehended at the border (as reported by the U.S. Border Patrol) from 2012-2017. In Honduras, most families report that they are coming from major cities, such as San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa; the situation is similar in El Salvador, with migrants hailing from San Salvador and San Miguel. This urbanization matters: these cities have high levels of urban gang violence, committed by MS-13 and Barrio 18. These groups have divided control of the cities up into a patchwork quilt and earn the majority of their money from local-level extortion.

 

Hometowns of Apprehended Central American Family Units

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FOIA request.

 

For Central American residents, control of these gangs over their neighborhood likely means a weekly or monthly extortion payment simply for the right to operate a business or live in their territory. The price for failing to provide this money is death. All it takes is a neighbor or nearby shopkeeper to be gunned down for failing to pay the adequate fees, and it becomes clear that the only options are pay or flee. Parents may also send their children to the United States or take them north as the gangs try to recruit them into their activities: Boys of eleven years old (or younger) may be recruited as lookouts and teenage girls may be eyed for becoming the members’ “girlfriends.” Older women who date or at one point dated a gang member can become trapped and unable to escape the violence, with partner-violence a driving migratory factor for many women.

While the gang activities and gender-based violence can empty out neighborhoods, they are not the only factors driving outward migration from these cities. Across the region’s larger cities, LGBT migrants are fleeing discrimination and violence. At a recent trip to a migrant shelter in southern Mexico, I listened as the shelter’s director recounted the story of a father and teenage son who had fled Guatemala City only a few weeks prior: the father was afraid that his son would be killed for coming out as gay. It is not an idle threat. Since 2009, 264 LGBT people in Honduras have been murdered. The La 72 shelter in Tenosique, Tabasco even has a building in the shelter dedicated to providing specialized housing for LGBT migrants.

Among migrants leaving Guatemala, some are fleeing gangs or societal violence in cities, but many migrant families and unaccompanied children come from the Guatemalan highlands, which are more rural, agriculture-based, indigenous, and have lower rates of violence (defined by homicides) than other parts of the country. In asylum proceedings in the United States, women and children from this region frequently cite endemic family and domestic violence, and neglect from the local police who cannot speak their languages or do not answer their phone calls. These areas have also been buffeted by a changing climate, frequent natural disasters, and droughts. And the poverty in these regions leaves residents with little ability for resilience in the face of unpredictable rains or external events.

Without an ability to live safely or prosperously in Central America, residents begin looking to head north to the United States. That means coming up with the US$6,000 to $10,000 necessary for hiring a smuggler. To obtain this money, residents may sell their land or property, rely on the generosity of friends or family in the United States, or borrow money from local loan sharks and leave their farms and property as collateral. This latter option has its own consequences: migrants who use loan sharks and then are detected and deported by Mexican or U.S. officials are unable to pay back the loans, losing their lands in the process and becoming displaced once again.

Once the migrants have found a way to raise the money—or if they set out without a smuggler—then they will begin their journey through Mexico. Their mode of transportation and experience will depend heavily on the amount of money that they have, the smuggler’s modus operandi, and whether they plan to seek asylum or try to pass between ports of entry undetected into the United States. Migrants often find smugglers through recommendations from friends and family and they choose between various services on a sliding scale of prices. Migrants with significant amounts of money could choose to take planes to the U.S.-Mexico border and cross in to the country on fake documents; migrants with less money may pay to ride in a trailer through Mexico or take buses through the country; and those without any money at all will walk or ride on the roof of the trains that pass through Mexico.

These routes also change based on Central America’s geography. Hondurans generally enter Mexico closer to the Gulf Coast, Salvadorans enter along the Pacific coast, and Guatemalans enter more frequently through crossing points in between. While the image of migrants riding Mexico’s train network dominates the migration narrative, this is far from the only way to reach the United States. Surveys by researchers from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) of Central Americans who were recently deported by U.S. authorities give a sense of these routes’ diversity. In 2017, roughly 40 percent of Hondurans reported riding the train and 40 percent said that they traveled in a tractor trailer at one point in their journey. However, Guatemalan and Salvadoran migrants reported taking these two means of transportation at much lower levels. In fact, only one percent of Salvadorans and eight percent of Guatemalans said that they had ridden the train at any point during their trip through Mexico, and instead reported primarily taking buses through the country.

The journey across Mexico is not, as Trump commented on Thursday, “like … walking through Central Park.” Migrants are extorted, robbed, assaulted, raped, kidnapped, and murdered at alarmingly high levels and with almost complete impunity. The perpetrators vary by geographic area, including MS-13 and Barrio 18 in the southern part of Mexico (the very gangs that many are escaping); larger criminal groups such as the Zetas and Gulf Cartel in the northern parts of the country such as Tamaulipas; local kidnapping rings and bandits throughout the territory; and even municipal, state, and federal migratory and public security authorities. A 2017 Doctors Without Borders report noted that 68 percent of the migrants that it provided services to in shelters across Mexico had been the victim of a crime during the journey. Women and children are also at particular risk, with nearly one-third of the women reporting that they were sexually assaulted during their trip through Mexico.

And many Central American migrants are female—many more than the Mexican migrants who came before them. While female Mexican migrants averaged around 13 percent of all Mexican migrants apprehended by the Border Patrol from FY1995 through FY2017, Central American women averaged between 20 and 32 percent. In recent years these numbers have increased even more, with women constituting 48 percent of all Salvadoran migrants in the last fiscal year and Honduran women reaching 43 percent of migrants from their country.

 

Percent of Female Central American and Mexican Migrants

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, FOIA request.

 

This change is even more dramatic when looking at families and unaccompanied minors. While these groups make up a small proportion of Mexican migrants overall, in recent years, Central American families and unaccompanied children have constituted on average between 40 and 60 percent of the migrants from Central America arriving to the United States. The numbers of unaccompanied children peaked in FY2014 and have since declined slightly, while the number of families arriving at the border—particularly from Honduras and Guatemala—has remained steady.

 

Apprehended Unaccompanied Minors and Families Along the Southwest Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration.

 

In other words, the families that the Trump administration has focused on separating make up an increasingly high proportion of the migrants who reach the U.S. border.

Previously, many migrants would seek to reach the United States by hiking through the desert undetected. But in recent years, families have begun crossing the border and waiting for a Border Patrol agent, or showing up at ports of entry, to ask for asylum. Before the Trump administration’s recent immigration crackdown, these families would be then taken to a family detention center, where they would have to pass a “credible fear” interview to be released—that is, prove that they have a real fear of returning to their home countries. At least 77 percent of the families pass this hurdleand are released with an ankle monitor or after paying a bond. They can then begin their cases in immigration courts.

The Trump administration is looking to shake up this system. Under the current policy and the June 20th executive order, the administration is pushing to detain families together for months, if not years, while their cases are processed. However, this flies in the face of the Flores settlement, a 1997 consent decree that courts have found to require that children not be detained for more than 20 days. The administration is now seeking to modify the settlement, a gambit that seems unlikely to succeed given the deciding judge’s previous rulings on the matter against the Obama administration.

 

U.S. Asylum Cases Received by the Executive Office of Immigration Review

Executive Office of Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice, https://www.justice.gov/eoir/file/asylum-statistics/download.

 

At the moment, the Trump administration’s policy is in flux. It’s not clear what will happen if the judge declines to amend the Flores settlement. Yet according to Politico, the administration focus on detaining adults indefinitely has hit it’s own wall—a casualty of insufficient resources on the part of the government. And while the Border Patrol has announced plans to return to their parents the children who are in its custody, there are still thousands of migrant children separated from their parents and families that remain in gut-wrenching uncertainty.

Even in the best of situations, the current arrival of tens of thousands of Central American migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would bring its own challenges: addressed effectively, it would require rethinking and shifting resources within the United States’ immigration and asylum systems to better process not just single adults but also mothers and fathers with toddlers and teenagers, who are in need of special protections. But despite the administration’s claims to the contrary, the numbers of Central Americans arriving at the border are not near the all-time highs, and there is no infestation or invasion of MS-13. What the data shows instead is something far less dramatic: men, women, families, and children who are arriving to seek safety and the basic American dream of a better life.

Part 1. Poultry farm is Carmel settlement gets more water and electricity than all neighboring Palestinian villages

Umm al-Kheir: A Bedouin Community Struggles to Survive in the Face of Israeli Aggression

And the Settlement of Carmel

November 24th, 2017

Eid Suleiman Hathaleen’s job is to locate unexploded mines in the rugged hills in the southern part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. His life at home is, however, much more stressful.

Eid, thirty-four, lives in Umm al-Kheir, a small Palestinian hamlet south of Hebron.

For years, Umm al-Kheir has been under attack by both the Israeli army and Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Carmel. Recently, the situation has worsened considerably.

“We expect the bulldozers to come any day to demolish our homes,” Eid tells Muftah. “The authorities promised they wouldn’t demolish during Ramadan [May 26 – June 24], but since then they have demolished in other villages,” says Eid’s cousen, Tariq Hathaleen, twenty-four.

Israeli authorities engage in home demolitions all over the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.

According to the Israeli NGO Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the Israeli government has demolished nearly 50,000 Palestinian structures since 1967.

Home demolitions violate humanitarian law, which applies to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states:

“Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or to social or cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”

Umm al-Kheir

Translated as “Mother of Goodness,” Umm al-Kheir is a collection of dilapidated shacks, tents, water tanks, and animal pens. Its tallest structure is an enclosure that houses pigeons.

The village does not have running water and is not connected to the power grid.

Its meager electricity supply comes from a few solar panels donated by international NGOs.

Caption: The village of Umm al-Kheir in the West Bank. Credit: Cody O’Rourke

The poverty of Umm al-Kheir stands in stark contrast to the wealth of the illegal Israeli settlement of Carmel, located a few dozen feet away. It is so close an effort has to be made not to notice the settlement’s yellow stucco houses—complete with air-conditioning, drip-irrigation gardens, and goldfish ponds—on the other side of the fence that divides the two communities.

At night, one can see and hear the settlers in their living rooms.

Caption: The settlement of Carmel. Credit: Richard Hardigan

The difference between the settlers’ standard of living and that of the people of Umm al-Kheir is perhaps best exemplified by the nearby poultry barn, which the settlers of Carmel run as a business.

As Israeli human rights activist Elad Orian told Nicolas Kristof of The New York Times in 2010, “those chickens get more water and electricity than all the Palestinians around here.”

The residents of Umm al-Kheir are Bedouins from the Hathaleen clan.

The family is part of the larger Jahaleen tribe, which was expelled from the Negev desert (in what is now Israel) in 1948. Initially, the Hathaleen were nomads in the South Hebron Hills; they eventually settled down in their current location in 1961.

When the Hathaleen first arrived, the West Bank was under Jordanian control. “In 1961 our grandfather paid 100 camels to buy all of this land from the village of Yatta,” Eid says. The clan still has Jordanian papers proving its ownership of the land.

At first, Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank did not change life for the Hathaleen. “Israel was not interested in this area, and things were peaceful,” says Eid. “That changed when Israel began to build a line of settlements in the West Bank.”

Settlements in the West Bank

Since it is against international law for an occupying power to transfer its own population into occupied territory, Israel’s settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered by the international community—including the United States—to be illegal, though Israel disputes this claim.

The settlements are a major stumbling block to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. According to Israeli NGO B’Tselem, there are currently 127 settlements in the West Bank, in addition to fifteen neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

600,000 settlers reside in the West Bank and another 200,000 in East Jerusalem.

In addition to the official settlements, there are roughly 100 outposts, which are not recognized by the Israeli government, but are supported financially by various governmental agencies and often protected by the Israeli army.

For the most part, the settlers fall into two camps.

Some are there to take advantage of the financial incentives—such as reduced housing costs—offered by the government to those residing in the settlements. Others choose to live in the settlements for ideological or religious reasons. Many of those in the South Hebron Hills, where Carmel is located, fall into the latter category, and believe they are doing God’s work by taking over the land.

The South Hebron Hills are part of Area C, a designation created under the Oslo Accords. Area C, which makes up 62% of the West Bank, is under full Israeli control.

In Area C, settlers have access to much more land than the Palestinians.

According to a 2015 report by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the average settler in Area C is allocated more than 13-times more land than a Palestinian – roughly 8500 square feet per settler and 650 square feet per Palestinian.

The Settlement of Carmel

In 1980, Israel built an army base on Umm al-Kheir’s land. Two years later, it was converted into the settlement of Carmel.

“At first, there was no trouble with the settlers,” Eid says. “They did not show their evil.” But the situation changed in the early 2000’s with the outbreak of the Second Intifada.

“The settlers would often throw stones,” says Eid. “A woman wandered too close to the settlement, and they shot at her. They beat another woman who was grazing her sheep.”

In 2004, Carmel’s head of security attacked Tariq’s brother, Muhammad, while he was tending his sheep. “He beat him with the butt of his rifle while other settlers held back the villagers who wanted to help him,” Tariq’s brother, Bilal, told writer Ben Ehrenreich.[1]Thirteen years later, Muhammad still suffers from severe mental disabilities, as a result of the attack.

“If you want to speak with Muhammad, he will run from you. He is always afraid,” says Eid. “He is a victim of the conflict.” The settler was never held accountable for his actions, and still lives in Carmel.

“We see him sometimes,” says Tariq angrily. “If I were an atheist, I would kill myself. I have to know that these people will be punished in the afterlife.” Eid sees things differently, saying he has good relations with at least one settler. “Sometimes, if one of our goats escapes across the fence, I call him, and we can get the goat back,” he says.

For the last two months, the settlers have been throwing rocks at Umm al-Kheir on a daily basis. It happens in the middle of the night—on some occasions several times a night—and the rocks make a great deal of noise when they land on the corrugated tin roofs of the village’s houses.

It makes it difficult for residents to sleep, and it frightens the children. No effort has been made by the army, the police, or the settlement coordinators to put an end to this activity, even though they have been continuously notified.


adonis49

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