Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘LINAH ALSAAFIN

Naqab desert, transfer of Palestinian Bedouins… And the “Prawer plan law”?   

Israel’s Prawer plan, which passed a first reading in parliament in June, aims to expropriate over 800,000 dunams of land in the Naqab desert (a dunam is the equivalent of 1,000 square meters) and expel about 50,000 Palestinian Bedouins.

35 unrecognized villages would also be demolished, culminating in unnervingly a blatant ethnic cleansing campaign that will occur under the nose of the international community. These Palestinian Bedouins will be expelled to one percent of the land.

Linah Alsaafin posted This July 15, 2013 on The Electronic Intifada: “Palestinian national strike to stop Israel’s “Prawer plan” ethnic cleansing”

blog-BDS-WISSAM-NASSAR-MaanImages.jpg posted:

Prawer plan”?  Ethnic cleansing plan of Palestinians?

 

(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

On Twitter and Facebook, the hashtags #StopPrawerPlan and #برافر_لن_يمر have been used to mobilize and create awareness.

Monday, July 15, 2013 has been designated as a national day of rage and “Anger Strike” by Palestinians from the river to the sea. Gaza and the West Bank have also planned for protests to take place on Monday.

Unsurprisingly, the PLO has denied (Arabic) issuing a statement that supported the Anger Strike.

The main protest took off from Ben Gurion University in Bir al-Saba at 10am on Monday and marched to the building of the Bedouins Settlement Authority. So far, 14 Palestinians have been arrested, including two minors.

Cities, towns, and villages inside the 1948 occupied territories including the Galilee in the north, the Triangle in the center, and the coast have organized their protests at busy street junctions, squares and roundabouts.

Abir Kopty has put together a schedule of the protests that will happen today throughout Palestine.

Why now?

Why carry out the largest demolition, land confiscation and forced displacement campaign now?

Anas Abu Daabas, president of the Academics Association in Rahat, explained at a 20 April seminar held by the al-Bireh Municipality I attended.

In recent years the largest economic hardship Israel has faced is the housing crisis, he said. Israel seeks to take advantage of the vast lands of the Naqab by building towns and cities for soldiers who will be closer to the military training camps, which Israel has transferred to the south of the country. This plan comes at the expense of the indigenous, who they mis-characterize as “invaders” and “nomads.”

“The embodiment of racial discrimination”

Amir Qweider, a student at Ben Gurion University who lives in the unrecognized village of Zarnouq, spoke at the same seminar about the reality of Bedouin villages in the Naqab. They are forbidden to house any permanent structures and risk immediate demolition if they do so.

There are no paved roads, no schools, no electricity or water grids, no telephone lines, and no sewage system,” he said. “The difference between the Jewish settlements and Arab villages is the embodiment of racial discrimination, even though we both are Israeli citizens.”

“Using the term ‘nomads’ to classify us is a way for Israel to justify the colonizing and settling of the Naqab, saying that since we roam the lands we do not own them,” Abu Daabas said, “but that is an outright lie. Our forefathers and tribes lived in villages, and [the Israeli lie] doesn’t explain why we still have structures of buildings like schools and homes dating to before the Nakba.”

On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel protested at the state’s announcement it would confiscate 60,000 dunums of Palestinian land. A general strike was organized from the Naqab desert to the Galilee, and the Israeli army killed six Palestinians as protests ensued. This became known as Land Day and is commemorated every year.

Palestinians should all take to the streets today and protest Israel’s land grab of 800,000dunams in the Naqab. Just as Land Day, in the words of Arjan El Fassed, “reaffirmed the Palestinian minority in Israel as an inseparable part of the Palestinian and Arab nation,” the Anger Strike of 15 July asserts that despite political division, non-representative and collaborative leadership, Palestine remains from the river to the sea, with the Bedouins in the Naqab an integral component of the Palestinian population.

Jerusalem, Sakhnin, Yafa, Umm al-Fahem, Shifa Amro, Gaza, Nablus, Hebron, Jenin, Upper Galilee, Ramallah, Kufr Kanna, Nazareth, Haifa. Israel can’t win on this.

History of Israeli land grab

The Naqab desert, historically neglected in Palestinian discourse, makes up 60 percent of Palestine, and its importance was not lost on David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. In a letter to his son Amos written in 1937, Ben Gurion emphasized how total colonization of the Naqab is essential for Israel’s settler colonial concept:

We must expel Arabs and take their place … and if we have to use force, we have force at our disposal not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev, and transfer them, but in order to guarantee our own right to settle in those places.

The ethnic cleansing campaign of 1948 affected 90 percent of the Naqab’s population, who were forcibly displaced to Jordan, Gaza and the Sinai desert.

About 11,000 Bedouins remained in the desert, and between the years 1948-1965 were forced to live under an Israeli military regime. Internal displacement forced many of these Bedouins around the Bir al-SabaJaffa road to an area called Siyaj, on the border close to Hebron.

Under the occupation policy of confining the biggest number of Palestinians on the smallest percentage of land, Israel used a number of laws like the Land Ordinance Law, the Land Acquisition Law, and the Absentee Property Law to consolidate their land grabbing of the Naqab and legalizing the dispossession of the indigenous population. In 2004, the Expulsion of Invaders law was put into effect, demonizing Bedouins as trespassing attackers in their own land.

Between the years of 1993-2007, Israel increased demolitions of Bedouin homes, buildings, and other structures. On 11 September 2011, the Netanyahu government approved the Prawer plan, named after Ehud Prawer, the former deputy chair of national security. In that year alone, 1,000 houses were demolished and 2012 continued in the same vein.

In 1969 and throughout the 1970s, Israel planned seven townships to push the Bedouins in, as part of its grandiose scheme of settling one million Jews in the desert. The largest of these townships today is called Rahat, ranked two out of ten on the Israeli socio-economic ladder, and has 60,000 Palestinian Bedouins living there.

There are 46 Bedouin villages (which have existed since before 1948), with 35 of them unrecognized by the Israeli state. The remaining ten are supposedly recognized but they are not offered even the most basic of government services.

From Ramle prison hospital in Israel

The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs (of the occupied West Bank) received a letter from hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Thaer Halahleh addressed to his two-year old daughter Lamar.  Most likely, the letter was passed on by one of Addameer’s lawyers Mona Neddad during her last visit to the Ramle prison hospital on Thursday, May 10. Lamar knows her father through pictures and posters.

Thaer became a father to baby Lamar on July 19, but only got to meet her months later on October 9, the first visit allowed him since his last arrest and the only time his family were able to see him. Lamar is almost 2 years old now, and knows her father through pictures. She goes to sleep with a photo of her father tucked beneath her cheek. She is convinced that there is a wedding every day because of the solidarity tent set up outside the family home in the Hebron village of Kharaas. Lamar’s mother Shireen cries privately when Lamar insists on wearing a new dress every day, wrote Linah Alsaafin.

LINAH ALSAAFIN posted the letter of Palestinian prisoner in Israel jail to his two-year old daughter Lamar, this May 12, 2012. Below is a translated version of Thaer’s letter, by Jalal Najjar:

“My Beloved Lamar, forgive me because the occupation took me away from you, and took away from me the pleasure of witnessing my firstborn child that I have always prayed to God to see, to kiss, to be happy with. It is not your fault; this is our destiny as Palestinian people to have our lives and the lives of our children taken away from us, to be apart from each other and to have a miserable life.

Nothing is complete in our lives because of this unjust occupation that is lurking on every corner of our lives turning it into an eery climate, a continuous pursuit and torture.

Despite the fact that I was deprived from holding you and hearing your voice, from watching you grow up and move around in the house and in your bed, and that I was deprived of my role as a human and a father with my daughter, your existence has given me all the power and hope.

When I saw your picture with your mother in the sit-in tent, you were so calm staring in wonder at people, as if you were looking for your father, looking at my pictures that are hung inside the tent asking in silence why is my father not coming back. I felt that you are with me, in my sentiment and inside my mind, as if you are a part of my heartbeats, steadfast and the blood that flows in my veins, opening all doors for me spreading clear skies around me, and unleashing your free childish voice after this long silence.”

“Lamar my love: I know that you are not to be blamed and that you don’t yet understand why your father is going through this battle of hunger strike for the 75th day, but when you grow up you will understand that the battle of freedom is the battle of going back to you, so that I can never be taken away from you again or to be deprived of your smile or seeing you, so that the occupier will never kidnap me again from you.”

“When you grow up, you will understand how injustice was brought upon your father and upon thousands of Palestinians whom the occupation has put in prisons and jail cells, shattering their lives and future for no reason other than their pursuit of freedom, dignity and independence.

You will know that your father did not tolerate injustice and submission, and that he would never accept insult and compromise, and that he is going through a hunger strike to protest against the Jewish State that wants to turn us into humiliated slaves without any rights or patriotic dignity.”

“My beloved Lamar, keep your head up always and be proud of your father, and thank everyone who supported me, who supported the prisoners in their struggle, and don’t be afraid for God is with us always, and God never lets down people who have faith and patience. We are righteous, and right will always prevail against injustice and wrong doers.”

“Lamar my love: that day will come, and I will make it up to you for everything, and tell you the whole story, and your days that will follow will be more beautiful.  So let your days pass now and wear your prettiest clothes, run and then run again in the gardens of your long life, go forward and forward for nothing is behind you but the past, and this is your voice I hear all the time as a melody of freedom”.

Mind you that there are currently 3,000 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for a duration over 30 days, and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas has not yet decided to take the case to the UN.

Apparently, Egypt is in “conversation” with Israel to settle this massive critical human condition. The intervention of the European Union was of no effect and the US refuses to deliver any public declaration on Israel’s habits of flaunting UN Charters…

Note 1: LINAH ALSAAFIN’S BLOG

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/minister-of-detainees-only-in-apartheid-israel/


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