Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Strickland

 

Israeli forces fail to probe 83% of settler violence cases.

Mostly right-wing group so far.

Israelis who attack Palestinians and their property in the occupied West Bank are seldom investigated thoroughly or punished, according to a new data sheet published by the Israeli human rights group Yesh Din.

activestills1385449216w57de.jpg

Abed Rabo Jedua examines damage to his olive trees in the West Bank village of Tuqu; the trees were attacked by Israeli settlers, accompanied by soldiers. (Ryan Rodrick Beiler / ActiveStills)

Published on 12 November, the data sheet’s shocking statistics are based on 1,045 Israeli police files opened in the West Bank between 2005 and 2014.

Yesh Din’s statistics do not include occupied East Jerusalem despite how the United Nations considers it part of the West Bank.

The report paints a picture of widespread impunity for Israeli settlers suspected of violent crimes and vandalism, as well as a consistent pattern of neglect by the Israeli police authorities assigned to investigate such allegations.

According to the report, nearly half (47.4%) of all investigative files opened in that time “involve complaints by Palestinians of damage to their property,” such as homes, vehicles, crops and olive trees.

Another 34.5% “involve complaints of violence by Israeli civilians against Palestinians in the West Bank.”

And 13.6% are complaints related to theft of Palestinian land.

And 4.5% “include the killing of farm animals, desecration of mosques and cemeteries, discharging of sewage into Palestinian farmland, dumping of waste on land belonging to Palestinians, and other offenses,” the report notes.

Regarding complaints of “harm caused to Palestinians and their property,” the Israeli police issued indictments in a mere 7.4% of 970 cases, and from 2013 until this year, only two files led to indictments. (And what the consequences of these indictments?)

Settler violence

Settler violence is a daily reality for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation across the West Bank. And as Israeli settlements continue to expand, settler violence continues without pause.

Yesh Din’s fact sheet reports, “Violent incidents include instances of shooting, beatings, stone throwing, assault with clubs, knives and rifle butts, running Palestinians over with a vehicle, as well as threats of assault or harm and other offenses.”

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, more than 125 Jewish-only settlements provide residence to more than 325,000 Israelis in the West Bank (not including East Jerusalem).

There are also more than one hundred “outpost” colonies, which, despite being considered illegal even by Israel, are protected by the Israeli military and receive government funding.

On 19 October, 5-year-old Inas Khalil was killed when an Israeli settler used a vehicle to run her over while walking home from school near her hometown of Sinjil village near Ramallah.

In Kisan village, near Bethlehem, armed settlers chased a group of Palestinian schoolgirls, the International Business Times reported last week.

Far from being exempt from violence by Israeli settlers, children are often the deliberate targets.

A March 2014 report by Defense for Children International – Palestine Section (written by this author) examines the widespread and systematic settler violence that often fatally targets Palestinian children.

“In offenses involving violence, 83.3% of the files in which the investigation was completed and the outcome is known to Yesh Din were closed in circumstances suggesting investigative failure,” the Yesh Din fact sheet notes.

The group adds that most investigative files were closed “on the grounds of ‘offender unknown’ or ‘insufficient information.’”

“Price tag” attacks

Attacks on Palestinian property and holy places are often referred to as “price tag” attacks, which occur on both sides of the so-called Green Line dividing the West Bank from present-day Israel.

On 12 November, Israeli settlers torched a mosque in the Ramallah area village of al-Mughayir. The attackers are believed to have come from the nearby settlement of Shilo, according to an Al Jazeera English report published the same day.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the arson attack in al-Mughayir “brings to ten the number of Muslim houses of worship in Israel and the [occupied] territories that have been targeted in arson attacks in less than three and a half years. No one has been charged in any of these incidents.”

In October 2013, Israeli settlers set ablaze a mosque in the West Bank village of Burqa, also near Ramallah, and vandalized three cars belonging to local Palestinians, as The Electronic Intifada reported at the time.

More common, however, are Israeli attacks on Palestinian olive trees, a staple of livelihood in the West Bank and elsewhere.

According to Yesh Din, “vandalism of olive trees and other fruit trees severely damages property owned by Palestinians and directly harms their welfare, as most of the Palestinian population of the West Bank relies on farming as a significant source of income, predominantly olives which supply income and jobs for roughly 100,000 households.”

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has also reported that “around 10,700 Palestinian-owned trees, including saplings, were cut down or otherwise damaged by Israeli settlers across the West Bank” in 2013.

Jerusalem left out

Yet by leaving out East Jerusalem, the Yesh Din fact sheet only provides a partial picture of the widespread lack of accountability for Israelis who attack Palestinians.

Like elsewhere, settler violence, police harassment and systematic neglect is part and parcel to Palestinian life under Israeli occupation in Jerusalem.

The Israeli authorities and settlers have recently escalated an already suffocating atmosphere of siege imposed on Palestinians in Jerusalem.

On 16 November, a Palestinian bus driver was found hanged from a steel bar inside his bus in Jerusalem. Though Israeli occupation authorities claim it was a suicide and that an investigation is on-going, 32-year-old Yusef al-Ramouni’s family suspect settlers are behind his death. (Hanged by Jewish passengers in the bus)

“We reject the suicide theory. We all know it was settlers who killed him,” Osama al-Ramouni, the victim’s brother, told AFP. “He had no problems that would make him [commit suicide].”

Back in July, a group of Israeli settlers kidnapped, tortured and murdered 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khudair in Jerusalem. The subsequent autopsy suggested that the child had been forced to drink gasoline before being burned alive.

Though six Israelis were arrested as suspects, The Electronic Intifada reported at the time that three were subsequently released. Given Israel’s long track record of impunity for settler violence, few have faith in a just investigation.

Aminah Abdulhaq, lawyer and advocacy officer for the Jerusalemites Campaign, a group that campaigns for Palestinian rights in that city, said that Palestinians in Jerusalem “are at a particular disadvantage.”

“The police force that is meant to handle legal disputes and crimes are part of the very entity that is occupying their land,” she told The Electronic Intifada by email.

“Because of this, few Jerusalemites have any trust in the police,” Abdulhaq explained. “Most go out of their way to avoid interacting with them, and those that are compelled to report harassment or attacks from Israelis rarely see their assailants charged.”

Advertisements

 

Kill a Palestinian “every hour,” says new Israeli Facebook page

Is that within free expression?

coverpage_of_fb_rightwingcrazies.png

The Facebook page’s main profile picture and background image show Palestinians as targets through the crosshairs of a gun.

More than 16,000 Israelis have joinedFacebook page that calls for the murder of a Palestinian every hour until three missing Israeli settler teens are located.

The page is titled “Until the boys are back, every hour we shoot a terrorist.”

(If it is a matter of killing terrorists, why the Zionists don’t head to Da3esh Land in north Iraq?)

The page was launched as the Israeli army continued violent raids, curfews and closures across the occupied West Bank and shot dead Ahmad Sabarin, a Palestinian youth.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency:

The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on its website that within hours of its creation, a Facebook page calling for the hourly assassination of Palestinian “terrorists” had reached 10,000 likes.

The Facebook page called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “take responsibility instead of holding [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud] Abbas responsible” for the alleged kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Maariv reported.

The three missing settlers are Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrah (both 16) and Gilad Shaer (19), who reportedly went missing while hitchhiking between Jewish-only settlements in the Hebron area of the southern occupied West Bank late Thursday evening.

Since that time, Israeli political figures, including Netanyahu, have rushed to blame both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas, who recently signed a reconciliation agreement to end a seven-year division.

Israeli officials claim that Palestinian political organization Hamas kidnapped the missing boys, but a Hamas spokesperson denied involvement and dismissed the accusation as “stupid.”

Israel has yet to produce evidence supporting its claims, though it has arrested dozens of Hamas officials and activists including the speaker and several elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in ongoing raids across the West Bank.

Dozens of photos and comments by both the page administrator and commenters offer a glimpse into the radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel. The dehumanization of Palestinians, including children, is common among Israelis on social media, especially Facebook users in Israel.

Resonating with reality

One of the photographs posted by the adminsitrator reads, “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” At the bottom, the photo adds: “Kill a terrorist every hour.”

killeveryhour_1.png

Top: “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” Bottom: “Kill a terrorist every hour.”

At the time of writing, the post had received more than six thousand Facebook likes and had more than one hundred comments, most of them supportive.

One commenter, Hariel Ben Michael, called for Israel to destroy entire Palestinian communities “every hour” until the missing boys “are released.”

His comments resonate with reality. Since its destruction of more than 500 Palestinian villages and towns during the 1948 Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israel has continued to demolish Palestinian homes and raze entire communities, particularly in places like the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank.

raze_villages.jpg

In Hebrew: “A friend suggested this idea: each hour that passes and the boys (may god protect them) are not released, we destroy a neighborhood in Hebron, and after we’re done with Hebron, we move to Ramallah then to Gaza, etc.”

“Get cancer”

An English-language commenter, Jordan Lerer, says he hopes Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip “get cancer” and “die with agony.” The picture he comments on shows many Palestinians between crosshairs of a gun and says, “kidnapped? kidnap!” — ostensibly calling for the kidnapping of Palestinians.

 

englishcommeter1.png

An English-language commenter hopes Palestinians in Gaza “get cancer” at a time when the Israeli military bombards the besieged coastal strip.

Lerner also comments that he has “no mercy” regarding the Israeli military’s treatment of the besieged Gaza Strip.

Israel’s military has already bombed several areas in the Gaza Strip since the three boys went missing.

Crackdown

On Saturday evening, 7-year-old Ali al-Awour died as a result of injuries sustained by an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday night. According to statistics from Defence for Children International – Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine), 1,405 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel since 2000.

ash_00_19-2.jpg

Relatives carry the body of Ali al-Awour during his funeral in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, 14 June 2014. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

After the Israeli settlers went missing on Thursday night, Israel’s occupation forces intensified their crackdown across the West Bank and continued bombing the Gaza Strip.

In the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Israeli military last night reportedly injured two children and their father when soldiers “bombed open the door of [their] house,”according to Ma’an News Agency. That raid came only a day after Israel “detained eighty Palestinians across the West Bank,” as noted by another Ma’an article.

Israel’s crackdown has focused on the southern part of the West Bank, mostly in and around Hebron. As of Sunday, Hebron residents were banned from leaving the West Bank,Maan reported.

iss_00_2-2.jpg

A Palestinian kisses the face of Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who medics said was killed by the Israeli army in a raid on al-Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, 16 June 2014. (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Overnight on Sunday, the military also raided the Jalazone refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah and shot and killed 20-year-old Ahmad Sabarin.

Michael Ben Ari, a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, also called for the assassination of Palestinians while speaking to Hebrew-language media. Israel ought to “kill terrorists in public hangings,” Ben Ari said.

“Sit in the dark”

Another alarming Facebook page, created yesterday, is named “If our boys are sitting in the dark, Palestinians will also sit in the dark.”

With more than three thousand members, the page calls for Israel to cut off all electricity to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Due to Israel’s suffocating restrictions, both regions are dependent on Israel for electricity.

removing_gloves.png

This photograph calls for Israel to cut off electricity and water to Palestinians and to further limit their ability to move freely.

One photograph posted on the page (above) called for Israel to inflict “collective punishment” on Palestinians by ending their electricty and water supplies and increasing restrictions on movement.

petition was also launched on Sunday demanding that Israel cut off Palestinians’ access to electricity. As of Monday morning, it had already received more than one thousand signatures.

Due to Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza, approximately 1.7 million residents of the coastal enclave have suffered deteriorating conditions over the last few years as a result of the lack of gas and electricity. 

Dehumanization

This is not the first time Israelis have used social media to call for violence against Palestinians, including children. As Israel’s political establishment grows even more rightwing, much of the general population has embraced the increasingly anti-Palestinian climate.

As Rania Khalek recently reported for The Electronic Intifada, a Facebook page supporting an Israeli soldier who was filmed pointing his gun at a Palestinian child’s face received more than 129,000 likes.

In February 2013, Ali Abunimah exposed an Israeli soldier’s violent pictures on the photo-sharing website Instragram. One of his pictures showed a Palestinian child as a target between the crosshairs of a rifle.

Since then, The Electronic Intifada has time and again brought to light the dehumanization of Palestinians and pervasive racism displayed by Israelis on social media outlets.

To read more about this, see The Electronic Intifada’s past coverage:

With thanks to Hanan Darawsha for her help with translation and research. 


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

Blog Stats

  • 1,335,949 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 683 other followers

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: