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Israel Moves to Outlaw Criticism of the Military

The primary target of the bill is Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli military veterans who speak out against the brutal nature of the occupation, and had become a major thorn for the government.

The Israeli Knesset has approved the first reading of a bill that would ban organizations critical of the country’s military.

The contentious bill, which passed by 35-23 votes yesterday, was proposed by Education Minister Naftali Bennett. The chairman of the right-wing Jewish Home party is seeking to criminalize organizations that are critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

Bennet’s primary target is the group known as Breaking the Silence. The organization of veteran Israeli combatants who speak out against the brutal nature of the occupation has become a major thorn for the government. Ex-soldiers have exposed wide-scale abuse, looting and destruction.

Their testimonies shed light on the grim reality of the occupation.

Addressing the bill, Bennett said:

Breaking the Silence has long ago crossed the line of legitimate discourse, when it chose a path of slander and lies against IDF soldiers on the international stage.”

Another Israeli lawmaker Shuli Mualem accused Breaking the Silence of seeking to “undermine” the regime and its army soldiers.

If the bill passes two further reading it would authorize the education minister to bar groups and individuals from entering schools.

One of the concerns raised during the debate was that the groups’ activity could lead to Israeli soldiers being prosecuted in international courts or foreign countries for actions carried out as part of their military duty.

In their response to the bill, the group accused Bennett of promoting “occupation education” and trying to “crush every democratic value on the altar of the settlement movement.”

It also noted that those who hurt Israeli soldiers are actually “politicians like Bennett, who send us to control the Palestinians and are silent when settlers routinely attack soldiers and Palestinians.”

The anti-occupation group further emphasized that “the only way to stop us is to end the occupation.”

This bill is the latest in a long list of measures adopted by the Israeli Knesset to suppress dissenting voices in the country.

Last November, a law was introduced to criminalize activists that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

A separate bill paving the way for annexation of the West Bank was also approved yesterday. Israeli lawmakers agreed to expand the jurisdiction of Israeli courts over “Area C” of the West Bank.

The Bill was tabled by another right-wing Israeli minister, Ayelet Shaked.

The area is currently ruled by the military however under the new bill, legal claims in the occupied territory would be treated as though the territory is part of Israel. The legislation will also treat Israeli settlers living in the West Bank like those living within the pre-1967 borders, or the so-called Green Line.

Palestinian representatives of the Knesset have slammed the measure as another initiative by Israel to normalize the occupation and to advance “creeping annexation” over the West Bank.

“The High Court of Justice has never treated the Palestinians in the territories justly,” said Yousef Jabarin, a member of the Joint List.

Top Photo | A Palestinian child looks at Israeli soldiers patrolling in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Assaad Zakka shared a link7 hrs · 
The primary target of the bill is Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli military veterans who speak out against the brutal nature of the occupation, and had become a major thorn for the government., Breaking The Silence, Israel,…
MINTPRESSNEWS.COM

Breaking the Silence, Straw Widow invasion of homes

From Naomi Wolf on FB

From the Waldman article.

“My guides were a couple of Jewish Israelis, raised in religious homes, who had served as soldiers in the West Bank.

As a result of what they saw and what they did, they now devote their lives to raising awareness about the injustices of the Occupation.

My guides described in painful detail the structural inequality of a land where one ethnic group lives under oppressive military rule, and another under democratic, civilian authority.

They described receiving explicit instruction to make Palestinians feel as if they were constantly under surveillance, constantly pursued, constantly harassed.

They said their role, as described by Moshe Ya’alon, the current defense minister and former army chief of staff, was to “sear the hearts and minds of the Palestinians.”

My guides told me of instances in which they were involved in “Straw Widow” actions, where they invaded a Palestinian home, shut the family into a single room, and then made free use of the house.

Ostensibly these home invasions were conducted for security reasons, but just as often they were simple training exercises.

Sometimes the homes were chosen because they had a satellite dish, and an important soccer match was on TV.

What hope is there?” I asked them, in response.

They replied that they named their organization Breaking the Silence because they fervently believe that once people know what is happening in Hebron and the rest of the Palestinian territories, change is inevitable.”

 

Stories from an occupation: the Israelis who broke silence

A group called Breaking the Silence has spent 10 years collecting accounts from Israeli soldiers who served in the Palestinian territories.
To mark the milestone, 10 hours’ worth of testimony was read to an audience in Tel Aviv.
  posted from Tel Aviv

The young soldier stopped to listen to the man reading on the stage in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square, outside the tall façade of Charles Bronfman Auditorium.

The reader was Yossi Sarid, a former education and environment minister. His text is the testimony of a soldier in the Israel Defence Forces, one of 350 soldiers, politicians, journalists and activists who on Friday – the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land in 1967 – recited first-hand soldiers’ accounts for 10 hours straight in Habima Square, all of them collected by the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence.

Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian protest against Jewish settlement

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian after clashes at a protest against a Jewish settlement in the West Bank near Ramallah, January 2014. Photograph: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

When one of the group’s researchers approached the soldier, they chatted politely out of earshot and then phone numbers were exchanged. Perhaps in the future this young man will give his own account to join the 950 testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence since it was founded 10 years ago.

In that decade, Breaking the Silence has collected a formidable oral history of Israeli soldiers’ highly critical assessments of the world of conflict and occupation. The stories may be specific to Israel and its occupation of the Palestinian territories but they have a wider meaning, providing an invaluable resource that describes not just the nature of Israel’s occupation but of how occupying soldiers behave more generally.

They describe how abuses come from boredom; from the orders of ambitious officers keen to advance in their careers; or from the institutional demands of occupation itself, which desensitises and dehumanises as it creates a distance from the “other”.

In granular detail, the tens of thousands of words narrated on Friday told of the humdrum and the terrible: the humiliating treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, shootings and random assaults.

Over the years the Israeli military’s response has been that these stories are the exceptions, not the rule, accounts of a few bad apples’ actions.

“What we wanted to show by reading for 10 hours is that the things described in the testimonies we have collected are not exceptional, rather they are unexceptional,” says Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of the group and a former soldier himself.

Shaul breaks off to greet the European Union ambassador and a woman soldier who served in his own unit whom he has not seen for years. We talk about the solitary soldier in the square, now talking to the researcher. “We’ll get in contact. See if he wants to talk. Perhaps meet for coffee. Then, when we interview people, we ask them to recommend us to their friends. We might get 10 phone numbers, of whom three will talk to us.”

It is not only word of mouth that produces Breaking the Silence’s interviews. At the annual conferences that soldiers leaving the army attend to prepare them for the return to civilian life, researchers will try to talk to soldiers outside.

Shaul explains why he and his colleagues have dedicated themselves to this project, why he believes it is as necessary today as when he first spoke out a decade ago about his own experience as a soldier in Hebron.

“In Israeli politics today the occupation is absent. It’s not an issue for the public. It has become normal – not second nature; the occupation has become part of our nature. The object of events like today is for us to occupy the public space with the occupation.”

His sentiments are reflected by the Israeli novelist and playwright AB Yehoshua, who gets on the stage to read a comment piece he had written the day before to mark the event.

“The great danger to Israeli society,” Yehoshua explains, “is the danger of weariness and repression. We no longer have the energy and patience to hear about another act of injustice.”

A man appears holding a handwritten sign that condemns Breaking the Silence as “traitors”. Some of those attending try to usher him away while others try to engage him in conversation.

A journalist asks Shaul if the man is “pro-army”. “I’m pro-army,” Shaul answers immediately. “I’m not a pacifist, although some of our members have become pacifists. I’m not anti-army, I am anti-occupation.”

ISRAELI SOLDIERS’ OWN WORDS

Nadav WeimanNadav Weiman. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum

SERGEANT NADAV WEIMAN
2005-08, Nachal Reconnaissance Unit, Jenin
We’d spread out above Jenin on “the stage”, which is a tiny mountain top. That evening an arrest mission was in progress, there were riots inside the refugee camp, and we sat above and provided sniper cover for the operation. Things got rolling and there were arrests, some rioting began in the city.

There was random peripheral fire so there were generally no people on rooftops. Some time in the middle of the night, we detected someone on a roof. We focused our sights on him, not knowing for sure whether or not he was a scout. But we targeted him and got an OK to fire because he was on a rooftop very close to one of our forces.

We were several snipers, and we took him down … Later when we got back to Jalame, it started: “Was he armed or not?” But we’d got our OK from the battalion commander. He was also the one to come and speak with us when we got back to the base in Jalame. We were with the guys with whom we sat to debrief after the action, and it was wall-to-wall,

“You don’t realise how lucky you are to have actually fired in an operation. That hardly ever happens, you are so lucky.”

And according to the way we implemented the rules of engagement, we declared him a target by documenting him. We thought the Palestinian had been speaking on the phone, he seemed to be raising his hand to his head, looking sideways, going back and forth, just like a person scouting and sending information back. You could see the angles of his body, his whole conduct facing the soldiers who were north of him, in the alley below, a few metres away.

SERGEANT, ANONYMOUS
Undisclosed Reservist unit, Gaza Strip 2009, Operation Cast Lead
The actual objective remained rather vague. We were told our objective was to fragment the Strip, in fact we were told that while we were there, not knowing how long, we would have to raze the area as much as possible.

Razing is a euphemism for systematic destruction. Two reasons were given for house demolitions. One reason was operational. That’s when a house is suspected to contain explosive, tunnels, when all kinds of wires are seen, or digging. Or we have intelligence information making it suspect. Or it’s a source of fire, whether light arms or mortars, missiles, Grads [rockets], all that stuff. Those are houses we demolish.

Then we’re told some will be destroyed for “the day after”. The rationale is to leave a sterile area behind us and the best way to do that is by razing it. In practical terms, it means you take a house that’s not suspect, its only transgression is that it stands on a hill in Gaza.

I can even say that in a talk with my battalion commander, he mentioned this and said half smiling, half sad, that this is something to add to his list of war crimes. So he himself understood there was a problem.

Tal WasserTal Wasser. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum

SERGEANT TAL WASSER 
2006-09, Oketz (canine special forces), Nablus
Standing at the roadblock for eight hours a day puts everyone under this endless pressure. Everyone’s constantly yelling, constantly nervous, impatient … venting on the first Palestinian to cross your path. If a Palestinian annoys one of the soldiers, one of the things they’d do is throw him in the Jora, which is a small cell, like a clothing store dressing room. They close the metal door on him and that would be his punishment for annoying, for being bad.

Within all the pressure and the stress of the roadblock, the Palestinian would often be forgotten there. No one would remember that he put a Palestinian there, further emphasising the irrelevance and insignificance of the reason he was put there in the first place. Sometimes it was only after hours that they’d suddenly remember to let him out and continue the inspection at the roadblock.

SERGEANT, ANONYMOUS
Nablus Regional Brigade, Nablus, 2014
“Provocation and reaction” is the act of entering a village, making a lot of noise, waiting for the stones to be thrown at you and then you arrest them, saying: “There, they’re throwing stones.”

Lots of vehicles move inside the whole village, barriers. A barrier seems to be the army’s legitimate means to stop terrorists. We’re talking about Area B [under civilian Palestinian control and Israeli security control], but the army goes in there every day, practically, provoking stone throwings. Just as any Palestinian is suspect, this is the same idea. It could be a kid’s first time ever throwing a stone, but as far as the army is concerned, we’ve caught the stone thrower.

Avner Gvaryahu former Israeli soldierAvner Gvaryahu. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum

SERGEANT AVNER GVARYAHU
2004-07 Orev (special anti-tank unit), Nablus
It was when I was a sergeant, after we had finished training. 200 [the number of the commander] said to us unequivocally: “That’s how you’re ranked. With Xs. Every night I want you to be looking for ‘contact’ [an exchange of fire] and that’s how you’ll be ranked.”

At some point I realised that someone who wants to succeed has to bring him dead people. There’s no point in bringing him arrests. [The message was:] “Arrests are routine, the battalions are making arrests. You’re the spearhead, the army has invested years in you, now I want you to bring me dead terrorists.”

And that’s what pushed us, I believe. What we’d do was go out night after night, drawing fire, go into alleys that we knew were dangerous. There were arrests, there were all kinds of arrests. But the high point of the night was drawing fire, creating a situation where they fired at us.

It’s a situation, totally insane, you’re in it, it’s hard to explain. You’re looking through the binoculars and searching for someone to kill. That’s what you want to do. And you want to kill him. But do you want to kill him? But that’s your job.

And you’re still looking through the binoculars and you’re starting to get confused. Do I want to? Don’t I want to? Maybe I actually want them to miss.

SERGEANT, ANONYMOUS
Kfir Brigade, Tul Karem, 2008
There was one checkpoint that was divided into three lanes: there’s a settlement, a checkpoint, and then Israeli territory. In the middle, there’s a Palestinian village, so they just split the checkpoint into three lanes. Three lanes, and the brigade commander ordered that Jews should only wait at the checkpoint for 10 minutes. Because of that we had to have a special lane for them, and everyone else, the Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, had to wait in the other two lanes. I remember that settlers would come, go around the Arabs, and just did it naturally. I went over to a settler and said: “Why are you going around? There’s a line here, sir.” He said: “You really think I’m going to wait behind an Arab?” He began to raise his voice at me. “You’re going to hear from your brigade commander.”

Gil HillelGil Hillel. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum

GIL HILLEL
2001-03, Sachlav (military police), Hebron
On my first or second day in Hebron, my commanders asked me to go on a “doll”, a foot patrol that we conduct in the casbah and Jewish settlement. I agreed, it seemed cool. It was my first time in the field, come on, let’s do it. We went on patrol, into the casbah, and I think that was the first time I sensed the existential fear of living under constant threat.

We started the doll and I started feeling bad. The first time in the field is not simple. One of my commanders, the veteran among them, took an old Palestinian man, just took him aside to some alley and started beating him up. And I … it wasfine by all the others … I sort of looked at them and said: “What is he doing? Why is he doing that? What happened? Did he do anything? Is he a threat? A terrorist? Did we find something?” So they said: “No, it’s OK.” I then approached my commander, the [one] who trained me, and asked: “What are you doing?” He said: “Gil, stop it.”

And that really scared me. I was scared of their reactions, of the situation we were in. I felt bad with what went on there, but I kept quiet. I mean, what can I do? My commander told me to shut up. We left there and went back to the company and I went to my commander and said: “What are you doing? Why did you do that?” So he said: “That’s the way it is. It’s either him or me and it’s me and …”

They took him aside and just beat him up. They beat him up, they punched him. And slapped him, all for no reason. I mean, he just happened to walk by there, by mistake.

SERGEANT, ANONYMOUS
Nachal Brigade, 50th Battalion, Hebron, 2010
The Jewish settlers of Hebron constantly curse the Arabs. An Arab who passes by too closely gets cursed: “May you burn, die.”

On Shuhada Street there’s a very short section where Arabs may walk as well, which leads to Tel Rumeida neighbourhood. Once I was sent there and we found three Jewish kids hitting an old Arab woman. Another man from the Jewish settlement happened along and also joined them in yelling at the woman: “May you die!” When we got there they were mainly yelling, but there had clearly been blows dealt as well. I think they even threw stones at her.

I believe the [policeman] was called but ended up not doing anything. The general atmosphere was that there was no point in summoning the police – the policeman is a local settler from Kiryat Arba who comes to pray with the Hebron settlers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs on Fridays.

Nadav Bigelman former Israeli soldierNadav Bigelman. Photograph: Quique Kierszenbaum

SERGEANT NADAV BIGELMAN
2007-10, Nachal Brigade, 50th Battalion, Hebron
During patrols inside the casbah we’d do many “mappings”. Mappings mean going into a house we have no intelligence on. We go in to see what’s inside, who lives there. We didn’t search for weapons or things like that. The mappings were designed to make the Palestinians feel that we are there all the time.

We go in, walk around, look around. The commander takes a piece of paper and … makes a drawing of the house, what it looks like inside, and I had a camera. I was told to bring it. They said: “You take all the people, stand them against the wall and take their picture.” Then [the pictures are] transferred to, I don’t know, the General Security Service, the battalion or brigade intelligence unit, so they have information on what the people look like. What the residents look like. I’m a young soldier, I do as they say. I take their pictures, a horrible experience in itself, because taking people’s pictures at 3am, I … it humiliated them, I just can’t describe it.

And the interesting thing? I had the pictures for around a month. No one came to get them. No commander asked about them, no intelligence officer took them. I realised it was all for nothing. It was just to be there. It was like a game.

SERGEANT, ANONYMOUS
Paratrooper, 2002, Nablus
We took over a central house, set up positions, and one of the sharpshooters identified a man on a roof, two roofs away, I think he was between 50 and 70 metres away, not armed. I looked at the man through the night vision – he wasn’t armed. It was two in the morning. A man without arms, walking on the roof, just walking around. We reported it to the company commander. The company commander said: “Take him down.” [The sharpshooter] fired, took him down. The company commander basically ordered, decided via radio, the death sentence for that man. A man who wasn’t armed.

I saw with my own eyes that the guy wasn’t armed. The report also said: “A man without arms on the roof.” The company commander declared him a lookout, meaning he understood that the guy was no threat to us, and he gave the order to kill him and we shot him. I myself didn’t shoot, my friend shot and killed him. And basically you think, you see in the United States there’s the death penalty, for every death sentence there are like a thousand appeals and convictions, and they take it very seriously, and there are judges and learned people, and there are protests and whatever. And here a 26-year-old guy, my company commander, sentenced an unarmed man to death.

Ten Years to grow an Olive Tree: Israel destroyed 500,000 Palestinian trees since 2001…

Some 80,000 Palestinians families depend on the annual olive harvest for their livelihoods. This year alone, settlers, with the backing of the army, have destroyed or damaged thousands of olive trees, threatening both a major source of income and an age-old agricultural custom.

Dry shrubs and a mishmash of makeshift tarpaulin shelters cover parts of this parched valley in the South Hebron Hills.

The carcass of a car rests in the bottom of a cistern. According to Breaking the Silence, (an organization of veteran combatants that works to expose to the Israeli public to the realities of the occupation), the rusty car had been placed there by local settlers in order to contaminate collected rainwater with rust.

Alon Aviram published under “The war on the Palestinian olive harvest“:

This is the village of Susya al-Qadima. There is an absence of local infrastructure, as Israeli civil authorities repeatedly deny building permits, and the entire village has been issued pending demolition orders. Unlike the much younger neighboring Jewish settlement of Susya, it doesn’t get much more arid and inaccessible in the West Bank than here.

Last Saturday, Israeli Border Police declared an area belonging to Susya al-Qadima a closed military zone, effective immediately. An officer waved papers at us and stated that he was legally warranted to force everyone out of the valley. We noticed that the orders were outdated, unsigned, and dictated that only Israelis were prohibited from entering the specified site. This did not stop the temporary expulsion of Palestinian locals.

An activist beside me from Taayush, (an Israeli and Palestinian organization which uses non-violent direct action to try to end the occupation), was detained as he argued against the authority’s actions. He was handcuffed and marched to the army pillbox overlooking the valley.

The Border Police prohibited locals from farming their own land, manhandled us, and threatened anyone who remained in the area with arrest. Instead of harvesting, the families gathered outside the closed military zone, overlooking their unpicked olive grove from a distance. Just another day in the South Hebron Hills.

Year after year, West Bank farmers experience multiple types of restrictions and physical attacks.

In the first week of this year’s olive harvest, more than 870 olive trees were vandalized or destroyed by settlers, according to the United Nations. Hundreds more are reported to have since been damaged or destroyed across the West Bank.

A total of some 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were destroyed or damaged by settlers between January and mid October 2012, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Since 2001, half a million olive trees have reportedly been uprooted in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank). It takes an average of ten years before newly planted olive trees can begin producing fruit. Consequently, the ramifications of this widespread vandalism are felt long-term.

The olive industry in the Occupied Palestinian Territories supports 80,000 families, and accounts for 14% of the OPT economy’s agricultural income. The inability of farmers to cultivate or harvest their crops due to security-related pretexts or the physical destruction of trees undermines the fragile Palestinian economy and makes arable subsistence for communities less feasible.

With water shortages, restrictions to land access, and the expropriation of land by settlements and the separation barrier, total agricultural output has been seriously damaged. The proportion of GDP earned from agriculture fell from 28 percent to 5.6 percent in the past 20 years.

The Israeli army has rejected claims that it has neglected its legal obligation under international law as the occupying power to protect Palestinian civilians and property. It has repeatedly stated that it works to protect Palestinians and their crops during harvest.

“The army, the Civil Administration and other relevant organizations are taking every possible effort to secure the olive harvest,” Israeli army spokesman Eytan Buchman told The Media Line. Facts on the ground and in the courts suggest otherwise.

The Israeli NGO Yesh Din has reported that out of the 162 complaints they have lodged about settler attacks on Palestinian trees since 2005, only one suspect has been indicted. The recurrent high levels of violence directed at both Palestinian farmers and their crops is indicative of a pervasive culture of impunity; perpetrators have reason to believe that the Israeli state will not charge them.

The destruction of olive trees is not only economically burdensome for the West Bank economy and its people, but also represents an affront symbolically and culturally. The age-old Palestinian family tradition of harvesting olives and maintaining the trees for the next generations is desecrated annually.

While the olive tree has become a symbol of Palestinian steadfastness, the Israeli occupation has in turn become characterized by its destruction.

Later that same day, a Jeep full of soldiers waited alongside us as we picked olives in another grove not too far from Susya. Under the tree, a middle-aged man shook his head as he looked at the soldiers. He pointed at the olive trees and explained which ones are owned by and depended on by which families. “They planted so we can eat, and we must plant so they can eat,” he explained.

This old way of life is alien to the average city dweller but it is a vital lifeline for many people in the West Bank. Due to Israeli political policy, which seems intent on unofficially annexing Area C of the West Bank, in which Susya is located, this means of subsistence is fast disappearing.

Alon Aviram is graduate of Sussex University with a degree in international relations, and is currently an intern with +972 Magazine.

Related:
WATCH: Olive trees destroyed by settlers in South Hebron Hills
Photos: Three arrested as settlers, soldiers disrupt Hebron olive harvest

Israel “Breaking the Silence” movement: Soldiers serving in occupied Palestinian territories

The collectivity Shovrim Shtika (Breaking the silence) was founded in 2004 by Israeli soldiers who were serving in Hebron and needed to expose the reality of occupation from a different point of view.

Testimonies of Israeli soldiers who served in the occupied Palestinian territories between 2000-2010 were gathered in the book “Occupation of the Territories” (of the West Bank and Gaza).  It is estimated that around 60,000 Israeli soldiers served in the occupied territories since the second Intifada of 2000; 750 soldiers were interviewed.

A soldier returned from the front, during the Gaza preemptive war of 2008, and told his family his story: “I was in my dug out and a few Palestinian kids, of no more than 12 year-old, threw stones on us. We had order to shoot if the distance is close to a stone throw: Kids might throw hand grenades for example.  I want to believe that I aimed at his feet, so that I could sleep at night.  My parents considered my actions as emanating from a hero and told my story at the synagogue.  I flipped since I was still in state of chock.

“Occupation of the Territories” is the most complete testimony of Israel modus operandi in the occupied territories.

Soldiers revealed that they shot on civilian Palestinians out of peer pressure; they executed Palestinian police officers in retaliation for an activity in a nearby checkpoint; orders were to approach a dying Palestinian and shoot through his mouth; scenes of rapes, vandalism, and stealing were common behaviors...

Avihai Stoler said: “It was not a casual horror show acted by Tsahal: It is the story of a generation of Israelis of our own generation.  The last three decades after the preemptive war of 1967, most of the debates focused on whether it was necessary to occupy or occupation was a monstrosity to avoid like the plague.

The irony is that nobody in Israel mention the word “occupation” anymore.  The State preferred to substitute the terms of Judea and Samaria, but never occupied territories.

For example, during a television emission someone said: “I can confirm that the increase of crime and violence in Israel is the cause of our occupation“.  Orders came to demand from the invited person to apologize for mentioning the term “occupation” and recant.

Since the second Intifada, control exercised over Palestinians is methodical, systematic, and “scientifically” applied:  It is as if all the ancient and modern control and humiliation tactics and methods have been synthesized and tried for efficiency rating.

For example, the military institution uses jargon such as:

1. “Prevention measures against terrorism” to mean propagating fear and terror amid the civilian population;

2. “separation zones” to mean appropriation and annexation;

3. “life fabric” of constructing special routes for the colonies to mean controlling all the aspect of Palestinian life.

Our mission was to perturb and harass the life of citizens. I think the formula is still applicable even today.  Destabilization activities in the occupied land were not due to negligence, but the main tool to administer the occupied land.  If a village produces activities, then it is time to creating insomnia in the village.

For example, Stoler stayed in the Hebron district for three years and witnessed events such as soldiers coming in mass to the center of the city and detonating bombs so that the “Palestinians remember that we are here“.

Loud manifestations of soldiers and colons accompanied with random ransacking of houses, installing checkpoints for several hours… “We were ordered to instill a feeling of persecution so that Palestinians never fell at ease...”

Note 1: Article inspired from a piece published in the French monthly “Le Monde Diplomatic” by Meron Rapoport

Note 2: In June 2014, 3 Israeli soldiers disappeared in Hebron. Nobody claimed anything, and nobody know if they were kidnapped.

And yet, Israel has been ransacking villages, detaining administratively over 300 Palestinians (many of them who have been released recently after a brokered deal) and many Palestinian youth killed by live bullet and many injured.


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