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  1. #1
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    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution' (OP)


    Salaam

    With Trump in power, Netanyahu has a free hand.


    Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'


    Land grab law 'allows theft, stalls peace process'

    Law that retroactively legalises settler homes on private Palestinian land widely condemned as legitimising theft.


    Israel's land grab law that retroactively legalises thousands of settlement homes in the occupied West Bank legitimises theft, violates international law and ends the prospect of a two-state solution, according to politicians, legal experts and human rights groups.

    The so-called "Regulation Bill" instantly drew wide condemnation as it was voted in by members of the Knesset late on Monday with a 60 to 52 majority.

    The law applies to about 4,000 settlement homes in the West Bank for which settlers could prove ignorance that they had built on privately owned Palestinian land and had received encouragement from the Israeli state to do so.

    Three Israeli NGOs - Peace Now, Yesh Din and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - and numerous Palestinians said they intend to petition the Supreme Court to cancel the law.

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday in a statement: "This bill is in contravention of international law and will have far reaching legal consequences for Israel."

    The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc "condemns" the law and urges against its implementation "to avoid measures that further raise tensions and endanger the prospects for a peaceful solution to the conflict".

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the law was an aggression against the Palestinian people.

    "That bill is contrary to international law," Abbas said following a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris. "This is an aggression against our people that we will be opposing in international organisations.

    "What we want is peace ... but what Israel does is to work toward one state based on apartheid."

    Hollande called on Israel to go back on the law, saying it would "pave the way for an annexation, de-facto, of the occupied territories, which would be contrary to the two-state solution".

    Hours before Abbas' meeting with Hollande, Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, told the Associated Press news agency that the law puts "the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution".

    Calling the move "theft", Erekat said the ruling showed "the Israeli government trying to legalise looting Palestinian land".

    The Arab League also accused Israel of "stealing the land" from Palestinians.

    "The law in question is only a cover for stealing the land and appropriating the property of Palestinians," said the head of the Cairo-based organisation, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

    Palestinian owners will be compensated financially or with other land, but cannot negotiate their terms.

    The law is a continuation of "Israeli policies aimed at eliminating any possibility of a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state", Aboul Gheit said.

    Jordan, one of the few Arab states to have diplomatic ties with Israel, also denounced what it called "a provocative law likely to kill any hope of a two-state solution".

    According to the UN envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, the law crosses a "very thick red line" towards annexation of the occupied West Bank, and sets a "very dangerous precedent".

    Speaking to the AFP news agency, he said: "This is the first time the Israeli Knesset legislates in the occupied Palestinian lands and particularly on property issues."

    He also raised the possibility the law could open Israel up to potential prosecution at the International Criminal Court, a threat Israel's own top government lawyer, attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, has also warned of.

    Mladenov called for strong international condemnation of the legislation but declined to criticise the US after President Donald Trump's administration refused to comment on it.

    Trump is more sympathetic to Israel's settlement policies than previous US presidents; the Israeli government has approved plans to build thousands of new homes on occupied territory since the far-right leader settled into the White House.

    "I think that is a very preliminary statement," Mladenov said. "Obviously they do need to consult, this is a new administration that has just come into office and they should be given the time and the space to find their policies."

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US was likely to discuss the law with Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister visits on February 15, but did not comment further in a press briefing on Tuesday.

    David Harris, head of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organisation, said that "Israel's High Court can and should reverse this misguided legislation" ahead of Netanyahu's meeting with Trump in February.

    That was also the message from Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who said last week: "The chance that it will be struck down by the Supreme Court is 100 percent."

    'Against all international laws'

    International law considers all settlements to be illegal, but Israel distinguishes between those it sanctions and those it does not, dubbed outposts.

    A Palestinian Cabinet minister also called on the international community for support.

    "Nobody can legalise the theft of the Palestinian lands. Building settlements is a crime, building settlements is against all international laws," said Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maayaa. "I think it is time now for the international community to act concretely to stop the Israelis from these crimes."

    Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called the law "unacceptable" and urged the international community to act immediately.

    "This is an escalation that would only lead to more instability and chaos," Rdeneh said.

    Palestinians want the occupied West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip - territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Middle East war - for their future state.

    The international community views settlements as illegal and an obstacle to reaching peace.

    Shortly before leaving office, US President Barack Obama allowed the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring settlements illegal.

    Tobias Ellwood, Britain's Middle East minister, also condemned the land grab bill, saying it "is of great concern that the bill paves the way for significant growth in settlements deep in the West Bank".

    Yuval Shany, an international law professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the law violates basic rights, interferes with property rights and is discriminatory because it regulates only the transfer of land from Palestinians to Jews.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/israel-land-grab-law-ends-hope-state-solution-170207143602924.html
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

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    Salaam

    Another update

    Israel briefly detains top Waqf official, bans him from Al-Aqsa

    Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab and his deputy were taken after praying with other Palestinians near Al-Rahma gate in Al-Aqsa.


    Israeli police briefly detained the head of the Islamic authority that oversees Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem early on Sunday following recent protests there.

    Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab was appointed to head the Waqf by neighbouring Jordan, which strongly protested the arrest.

    Jordan's minister of Islamic affairs, Abdul Nasser Abul al-Basal, said the Israeli action was "dangerous and an unacceptable escalation" that affected Jordan's role as the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, according to the Petra news agency.

    Israeli police confirmed the arrest on Sunday, and the Waqf later said police had released Salhab and prohibited him from entering the site for a week.

    On Friday, Palestinian protesters streamed into a part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that Israel had sealed off in 2003 because it was home to a heritage organisation allegedly connected with an armed group.

    Israeli police accused the Waqf, the Islamic authority that oversees the compound, of attempting to change the status quo at the sensitive site by convening in the closed area last week.

    Israeli police said the crowds that gathered dispersed peacefully after prayers.

    Tensions at the shrine have escalated in recent days with similar protests turning into scuffles with police. Police have since arrested 60 Palestinians suspected of "causing disturbances" and "inciting violence".

    The contested site, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the al-Haram al-Sharif, is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    The compound is the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina, and is the holiest site for Jews. It has been a flashpoint of violence in the past.

    Waqf officials told Israeli daily Haaretz that Salhab's arrest was unusual.

    "He's the most senior Jordanian figure in the [Palestinian] territories. Twenty years ago [if] the police wanted to interrogate the mufti, they would call and invite him, but coming to a 75-year-old's home like that at 5am is unacceptable," the official was quoted as saying.

    The arrest came after Palestinians on Friday prayed at an area by the Al-Rahma gate, located inside occupied East Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, for the first time in 16 years.

    It is a passageway of gates and a stairway leading to a hall that had been closed by Israeli authorities for years, and was reopened on Friday by Muslim religious officials. The hall is located a short distance from Al-Aqsa Mosque itself.

    The Israeli authorities closed the area in 2003. In 2017, an Israeli court upheld the closure order.

    But on Friday, the Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency mandated with overseeing East Jerusalem's Muslim and Christian holy sites, announced the reopening of the mosque.

    Salhab opened the doors of the hall, and worshipers performed Friday prayers there.

    Israeli police accused the Al Waqf of attempting to change the status quo at the sensitive site by convening in the closed area.

    Last week, Israeli authorities closed the Al-Rahma gate, preventing hundreds of Palestinian worshippers from entering the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

    Earlier on Friday, Israeli police arrested 60 people before Friday prayers at the complex amid a week of tension over access to that corner of the mosque's compound.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/...064414344.html

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    The struggle for al-Aqsa: Palestinians have ‘no one but God to help them’


    Ever since 1967, Israel has steadily consolidated its hold on the holy city of Jerusalem, with no one seemingly willing to stop it

    Jerusalem, the city of peace that knows no peace, is once again in the grip of crisis.

    This happens so often that it has become almost a normal part of Jerusalem life. Few bother to even report on the latest clashes, let alone do anything about them.

    The recurrent violations of international and human rights law, and the damage to Jerusalem’s architecture and history at the hands of Israel, are indisputable - as is the fact that these crimes are being committed in a city of unique global significance, the spiritual centre of the three Abrahamic faiths.

    Bab al-Rahma crisis

    The latest crisis concerns Bab al-Rahma (the Gate of Mercy), a gate in al-Aqsa Mosque compound that Israel unlawfully closed in 2003, claiming that the Islamic authority administering it at the time was associated with Hamas. Waqf authorities have repeatedly protested against the closure, asserting that the guards in charge of the gate had been replaced and it should be reopened.

    Each Friday, Palestinian worshippers have underlined this protest by praying in front of Bab al-Rahma. On 22 February, hundreds managed to break through the gate and pray on the other side.

    Given Israel’s heavily armed soldiers, trigger-happy at the best of times, this heroic act of resistance ranks alongside many others in Palestinians’ unequal struggle to defend their rights. In the summer of 2017, Israel installed turnstiles with metal detectors at the entrances to al-Aqsa Mosque compound, an act whose sacrilege outraged Muslims everywhere.

    Thousands of defiant Palestinian worshippers continued to pray outside the turnstiles, undeterred by troops primed to shoot or arrest them. In the end, Israel gave in and the metal detectors were removed.

    Most of the time, however, Israel’s army has the upper hand at the compound - a slap in the face to Jordan, the custodian of Jerusalem’s Islamic holy sites. On Sunday, Israel arrested the head of the Waqf and his deputy, albeit briefly, and Israeli forces consistently subject them and their colleagues to intimidation and threats.

    The Third Temple

    Israeli soldiers constantly patrol the compound, not hesitating to fire stun grenades or tear gas to disperse crowds of worshippers. Israel can close major mosques at a whim for hours. Ultra-religious settlers are allowed to target al-Aqsa for Jewish religious rituals, while settler break-ins to the compound are common. At the same time, fanatical Jewish organisations, such as the Temple Mount Faithful, aim to rebuild the Third Temple at the site.

    On a visit to al-Aqsa in 2017, I saw these aggressive settlers swaggering around the mosque with their guards, as if they owned the place. The spectacle of menacing, black-clad men and armed soldiers brandishing their weapons inside such a holy place was unforgettable. It was one of the most upsetting things I have ever seen.

    Israel’s religious violations come against a long background of extensive civic oppression of Palestinians in Jerusalem. An array of laws and practices have been introduced since 1967 to designate these Palestinians as unwanted immigrants in their own city, aiming to induce them to leave and to convert what was once an Arab city into a wholly Jewish one.

    To that end, the period between 1967 and 2016 saw more than 14,595 Palestinians lose their residency rights in East Jerusalem - a slow ethnic cleansing that continues unabated. Tens of thousands of Jewish settlers have been implanted around Jerusalem, with some infiltrating Arab neighbourhoods, including the Old City’s Muslim Quarter.

    Theft of private land

    Palestinian development is limited by Israel’s ongoing theft of private land, restrictions on building permits, poor infrastructure, and demolitions of “illegal” homes built by desperate Palestinians trying to accommodate their families. East Jerusalem, once vitally linked to the West Bank, is now cut off from it by the separation wall and visitor permit restrictions.

    Ever since 1967, when Israel seized East Jerusalem, it has steadily and in broad daylight consolidated its hold on the holy city. No one has been able or willing to stop it. Yet, the Islamic world never tires of trumpeting its allegiance to Jerusalem, and Christians everywhere will soon mark Easter, when Jesus died and was resurrected in Jerusalem. Muslims worldwide look to al-Aqsa Mosque as a beacon of their faith.

    Long before US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last May, neither Christians nor Muslims acted effectively to protect Jerusalem from Israel’s ravages. On the contrary, Saudi Arabia, supposedly Islam’s supreme protector, is today a friend of Israel and a political partner in its schemes. Watching this unfold, other Arabs and Muslims seem paralysed, like deer in the headlights.

    With friends like these, the Palestinians of Jerusalem have no choice but to bravely fight on alone. As the Arab saying goes: “They have no one but God to help them.”

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinio...-god-help-them

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Blurb

    Israeli forces have killed 183 Palestinians since weekly Great March of Return demonstrations began in Gaza nearly a year ago targeting Israel’s heavily militarized separation barrier.

    That’s according to a new United Nations inquiry that found Israeli forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by targeting unarmed children, journalists and the disabled in Gaza. The report was released by the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday. We speak with Norman Finkelstein, scholar and author of “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom,” and Sara Hossain, a member of the U.N. independent commission that led the Gaza investigation.




    Jerusalem update.





    Last edited by Junon; 03-07-2019 at 08:31 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Corbyn calls for UK to condemn Israel’s targeting of Palestinians

    Head of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has called for the UK government to condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinians as well as to freeze arms sales to the occupation state.

    His remarks came in the wake of a UN report which found that Israel might have committed war crimes against Palestinians.

    On Twitter, Corbyn wrote: “The UN says Israel’s killings of demonstrators in Gaza – including children, paramedics and journalists – may constitute ‘war crimes or crimes against humanity’”.

    “The UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings and freeze arms sales to Israel.”

    The UN report, published earlier this week, said: “The Israeli security forces killed and maimed Palestinian demonstrators who did not pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot, nor were they directly participating in hostilities,” adding that the protests had been “civilian in nature”.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...-palestinians/



    Last edited by Junon; 03-06-2019 at 10:55 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update.

    Turkey is only Muslim country defending Jerusalem: FM

    He says many Arab countries are bowing to US pressure


    https://videos.files.wordpress.com/x...jal_v01_hd.mp4

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Last edited by Junon; 03-13-2019 at 10:49 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update. Erdogan and Netanyahu engaging in another verbal sparring match.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-14-2019 at 09:37 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Probably you do not know that our enemies live next to you.
    Doron Biran (Boaran) - a former fighter of the special force Israel army, which is directly subordinate to the General Staff of the Israeli army.
    His website: https://doronbiran.com/About-Doron-Biran
    He destroyed many of our brothers. During one of the actions in 1992, he tortured a child to make his father talk!
    The child has lost both eyes. He demobilized from the army, changed his last name from Boaron to Biran and fled to Europe to avoid responsibility for this crime. He also slightly changed the public version of his biography: he presents himself so that he served in the Israeli army from 1984 to 1988, although in fact from 1984 to 1992.
    Now he live in the really paradise at Chalet Valentine B411, Route De Verbier, Verbier 1936. Maybe we can change it..

    His son - Itamar Biran. He is an athlete, a skier who carried the flag of Israel at the closing of the 2018 Olympics in Ponchang. He glorifies our enemies, those who oppress our faithful brothers. His biography and participation in current competitions can be tracked on the website FIS ski. He study in Bocconi University (Milan, Italy).

  12. #549
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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update



    In the ongoing struggle to reclaim their homeland, the Palestinian Authority has always seen occupied East Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state, but the situation on the ground is rapidly changing as more and more Palestinian homes are taken by Israeli entities.

    While this has been happening for decades, according to Palestinians in East Jerusalem, there are new agents involved: Palestinian middlemen who act as fronts in the purchase - allegedly backed by settler organisations and, in some cases, individuals in Arab countries.

    Getting permission to build a home in Jerusalem is nearly impossible. There is little land allocated for construction and Israeli authorities usually deny Palestinian applications for building permits. Palestinians are often forced to build their homes "illegally", without permits.

    When they build, "the municipality of Jerusalem starts issuing demolition orders and imposes huge fines - up to hundreds of thousands of dollars - on someone already financially overburdened," explained Khaled Zabarqa, a Jerusalemite lawyer who works with families whose homes have been acquired by settlers.

    Under financial pressure, many families choose to sell their homes, so they look for credible Palestinian buyers so as not to sell to settlers.

    Enter Palestinian buyers with cash to pay for the homes, sometimes well over market price, and whose profiles are acceptable to sellers and the Palestinian authorities who vouch for their credibility.

    These Palestinian "investors" will then sign over their newly bought East Jerusalem real estate to offshore companies - favoured by settler organisations - which later transfer ownership to a settler organisation.

    Rest here.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fe...112317535.html

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    I know its Haaretz but I can believe it.

    Hamas Forces Clash With Gazans Protesting High Cost of Living

    Viral video of Palestinian man setting himself on fire not connected to current protest, human rights activists say


    Fierce clashes erupted between Hamas forces and hundreds of young demonstrators in Gaza on Saturday as protests against the high cost of living in the Strip entered their third day.

    Earlier, it was reported that a Palestinian man set himself on fire after Hamas shuttered his shop as punishment for participating in the protests. The report was based on video that went viral. According to human rights activists in Gaza, however, the incident took place in the past and was not related to the protests. It should be noted that there have been several instances in recent years of Gazans self-immolating as a result of economic distress.

    Under the slogan "we want to live," organizers called for a general strike of all business in Gaza on Saturday to protest police violence by Hamas. But compliance was only partial, as many merchants were afraid of angering the organization.

    Videos posted on social media showed Hamas policemen chasing protesters through the streets of Dir al-Balah, Khan Yunis and the Jabalya refugee camp, beating and arresting demonstrators, journalists and human rights activists. The posts also included pictures of people wounded during the clashes, some of whom were women.

    Among those arrested on Saturday was Rafat Al-Qudra, the director of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation's television station in Gaza, the station's Ramallah branch reported. PBC answers to the Palestinian Authority and broadcasts material supportive of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

    The protests began on Thursday, organized by a group of young people on social media. The Palestinian Authority has voiced support for them, terming them legitimate opposition to Hamas’ repressive rule. Senior officials in Hamas’ political wing have also urged the Hamas government to accede to the demonstrators’ demands, as have the other political factions.

    Later that evening, two rockets were fired from the Strip to Tel Aviv, a first since the 2014 Gaza war. According to a preliminary Israeli army assessment, the rockets were fired by mistake during maintenance work. In response to the fire, the army attacked some 100 targets in Gaza. The flare-up took place just weeks before Israel's general on April 9.

    Representatives of the Palestinian factions in Gaza, except for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, met on Saturday to voice support for the protests, saying the protesters’ demands are legitimate. The delegates, who gathered in the Gaza City offices of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, urged Hamas to stop forcibly suppressing the demonstrations, and also to stop arresting journalists and human rights activists.

    Senior Hamas officials, along with members of other factions in the Strip, called on the regime to meet the protesters' demands. Yahya Moussa, a member of the organization's political wing, said the protest was legitimate as long as it remained nonviolent and called on the security forces to protect the demonstrators.

    According to him, Hamas should relinquish civilian control of the Strip, conducting solely as a resistance movement to the Israeli occupation. Nevertheless, he lambasted the other political parties, charging that although they were speaking out in support of the protesters now, they had kept silent when the PA imposed sanctions on Gaza.

    Hamas, for its part, organized a march by its supporters to bolster its claim that the protests don’t represent a true grassroots outcry, but are rather part of the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing effort to undermine Hamas. It also claimed that the real reason for the crisis wasn’t Hamas’ policies, but the sanctions the PA has imposed on Gaza. Political operators are trying to sow chaos in Gaza through the protests, it charged, and that is why its security forces have sought to suppress them.

    But Samir Zaqut, the field work coordinator for the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights – some of whose activists have been arrested during the demonstrations – said the protest is a real one, sparked by Gaza’s worsening humanitarian crisis, and is directed at Hamas because the group considers itself the sovereign power in Gaza.

    It’s true that the PA has imposed sanctions on Gaza, Zaqut said, but Hamas has made things worse by imposing taxes and fees on virtually everything to ease its own financial crisis. Hamas, he added, can’t claim to be both the sovereign and the victim.

    Social activists said the protests were spurred by anger over tax hikes and new fees on numerous products, including tobacco. One video that went viral in Gaza this weekend shows an impoverished man who went to a Hamas office with his donkey and demanded to see the director, saying the clerks were trying to charge him a 500 shekel fee ($140) for his donkey.

    Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that a Gazan man set himself on fire.

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-...ving-1.7023612

    Blurb

    Overnight airstrikes along the Israeli-Gaza border have resulted in the injuries of four Palestinians. The Israeli strikes were in response to what they claim was a Hamas rocket attack. Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire after 12 hours. RT America’s Manila Chan sits down with Israeli human rights activist and author Miko Peled.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-18-2019 at 12:42 AM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update.

    East Jerusalem cleansing continues: Israel removes more Palestinian families, hands over their homes to settlers

    In recent years, the number of settlers moving into the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem – in the Old City, Silwan, Ras al-’Amud, a-Tur, Abu Dis and a-Sheikh Jarrah – has been on the rise, with the settler population there now in the hundreds. They had done so with the approval, backing, budgeting and assistance of all Israeli authorities.

    The resulting settlement enclaves in the Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem have altered them and made unbearable the lives of the Palestinian residents: they suffer invasion of privacy, economic pressure, and daily harassment by settlers and their security guards, who are paid for by the authorities. This state affairs leads to violent clashes between the settlers and young Palestinians. The state and settler organizations, with their vast resources and power, force the Palestinian residents to conduct lengthy and expensive legal proceedings to contest the demands that they leave their homes: in Silwan, suits are underway to remove more than 80 families from their homes; in a-Sheikh Jarrah, 62 families; and dozens of other families in the Old City.

    In most cases, various bodies representing the settlers seek to evict Palestinians from their homes by applying the Israeli law which enables Jews to claim ownership of property they or other Jews were in possession of prior to 1948. The state also enacted a law that bars Palestinians from taking such action with regard to property they owned before 1948. Any appeals made by Palestinians to Israeli courts of every instance that they be allowed to remain in their homes have failed, with representatives of the authorities and judges backing the policy and giving it their seal of approval. Israel does not consider the residents of East Jerusalem as individuals with equal rights, instead seeking to evict from their homes since they stand in the way of the state’s objective of Judaize Jerusalem. Israel uses a variety of methods – all illegal – to achieve that end: it deliberately prevents Palestinians from building in the city – for housing or other purposes; issues demolition orders for homes built without a permit – for want of any other option; and demolishes dozens of homes every year. The Israeli authorities do not invest in infrastructure and services for the Palestinian neighborhoods, be it physical infrastructure, public institutions, education, culture or sanitation, and does not allow residents of Jerusalem who married residents from elsewhere in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip to live together in the city.

    The implementation of this policy, aimed at cleansing parts of the city of Palestinians, is not new. Israel has been carrying it out for years, ever since it occupied the West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem and its satellite villages.

    In recent weeks, there have been further developments in this process, harming ever more families in the city. Below are the testimonies of two Palestinians whose families were recently hit by this policy. The first is by a resident of the Old City whose family was expelled in February from its home, which was seized by settlers; the second, by a resident of a-Sheikh Jarrah whose family recently received an order to evacuate its home:

    The Abu ‘Asab family was removed from its home in the Old City in February 2019:


    The family, currently with nine members, had lived in the house since 1952 until being recently evicted. In 2014, settlers instigated proceedings against the family attempting to evict it. The legal battle against the evacuation ended in October 2018, when Israel’s High Court of Justice rejected the family’s appeal. In January 2019, the family received an eviction order ordering them to leave on 6 February 2019. They later managed to get a stay from the court until 28 February 2019. However, on 17 February 2019, at around 8:00 o’clock in the morning, some twenty policemen from the Special Patrol Unit raided the house without prior warning and removed the family by force.

    Hatem Abu ‘Asab (45), a married father of six, related in a testimony he gave to B’Tselem field researcher ‘Amer ‘Aruri on 6 March 2019, how the family was driven from its home by force:

    Three commanding officers told me to vacate the house of my own free will. I explained to them that we had nowhere else to go. Meanwhile, neighbors and relatives gathered near the house. At around 11 o’clock, several policemen attacked me, beat me, handcuffed me, and placed me under arrest. The police also arrested two of my sons, aged 12 and 16, and forcibly removed my wife and aunt from the house without allowing them to take clothes. They stayed near the house with our relatives and neighbors.

    At the police station, I saw the policemen leading my two children into the room. At around 3:00 o’clock a commanding officer informed me that he would release my children on condition that I call my wife and ask that she and our relatives and friends who came on the scene, leave the vicinity of the house. We had no choice but to agree. The children were released after everyone evacuated the area.

    I was released around 6:00 P.M., after being interrogated for allegedly assaulting a policeman. They issued me an open-ended restraining order from the area by my home. After 12 days, I was allowed to return home with my wife and children to get some of our belongings.

    When we went inside, we found the house in a shocking state, everything was topsy turvy and strewn about, and some of the furniture was ruined. Two settlers were sitting on the broken furniture in the middle of the house. I could only take the clothes and the television. I didn’t take the refrigerator or the washing machine, because I have nowhere to put them right now. We ¬– me, my wife, our children and my aunt – are all living in a single room, which includes a kitchen and a bathroom. The place belongs to a relative of mine.

    I was overwhelmed with sadness when I went inside and saw two settlers sitting in my home. This is the home where I was born and raised, where I got married and had children. It is the home that holds memories of my grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, my wife and children. We were at home for about two hours, with a police escort. We took only the most essential items and left.


    The a-Sabagh family received an eviction order to leave its house in a-Sheikh Jarrah on 11 March 2019:

    The extended a-Sabagh family, which currently consists of 34 members, has been living in its home in a-Sheikh Jarrah since 1956. After a legal battle which began in 2010, the Execution Proceeding Office informed the family in January 2019 that it must vacate its home by 11 March 2019, and if they failed to do so, the family would be removed by force on the said date.

    Khadijah a-Sabagh (55), a married mother of three, told B’Tselem field researcher ‘Amer ‘Aruri on 15 January 2019 that she has lived in that home since 1979 when she married Bassam a-Sabagh:

    I live in an apartment with my husband and two of our children, Asmaa (15) and Mahmoud (20). My son Muhammad (30) and his wife Razan live on the second floor. I’m a refugee from Jaffa. In 1948 my family was displaced and part of it was uprooted to the al-Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.

    My husband’s family is also originally a refugee family. But at the time, they gave up the refugee papers in return for a plot of land and a small house, the very place house where we’re now living, in accordance with an agreement between the Jordanian government and UNRWA. However, the land and the house had not been registered in the Jordanian land registry before 1967, when there was the war and the Israeli occupation began. Since 2010, proceedings have been underway in court on this issue. The settlement associations claim ownership of the land on which our house was built.

    Our family is poor and our house is practically falling apart. The municipality won’t allow us to make repairs so we’ve had to keep living in it in this condition. As the saying goes, “We have accepted the injustice, but the injustice won’t accept us.” The entire extended family, including my sons and brothers-in-law, received an order from the execution office, that we must leave by 23 January 2019. Then, they gave us a two-week postponement and said that if we did not leave on our own, they would remove us by force. Since we received the eviction order, I’ve been in a flurry of anxiety, fear and worry. I cry day and night and cannot sleep.

    I wouldn’t exchange this house for the world, not even for a palace. I was 15 when I got married and moved here. It holds my memories of my children, my husband and the extended a-Sabagh family. I haven’t seen my family who are in Syria since the war broke out there in 2011. Some of my relatives drowned when they tried to flee Syria by sea, and some managed to reach Germany. One family emigrated from Syria to Jordan. I have no one else or any place else in the world except for my family here in Jerusalem and this modest home. My children, my husband and I don’t know what to do. We have nowhere else to live, and we don’t have the money to rent an apartment. Even the cheapest apartment in Jerusalem costs 1,000 dollars a month. I have no idea how we’ll manage.


    https://www.btselem.org/jerusalem/20...sing_continues

    Related.

    Last edited by Junon; 03-18-2019 at 01:29 AM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update





    B’Tselem to UN Commission of Inquiry into 2018 Gaza protests: Israeli “investigations” a whitewashing mechanism to allow further killing

    Ahead of the UN Human Rights Council meeting today (Monday, 18 March 2019) on the findings of the UN commission of inquiry into the 2018 Gaza protests, B’Tselem has issued a position paper explaining that Israel’s promise to “investigate” 11 incidents in which protesters were killed is mere propaganda. In a letter, B’Tselem’s director, Hagai El-Ad called upon the head of the commission, Santiago Canton, to reject the tapestry of lies Israel has woven while killing more unarmed protesters: “A real change in Israeli policy will only take place if the international community demands it clearly and unequivocally, and if it stops allowing Israel to do no more than offer hollow promises of ‘investigation’.” In the position paper, B’Tselem explains why announcing investigations is a standard ploy that Israel employs to ease international pressure whenever its unlawful policy elicits criticism.

    For the past year, Israel has implemented an unlawful open-fire policy towards Palestinians protesting near the Gaza perimeter fence, which permits live fire at unarmed protesters who pose no danger to anyone. Mere days after the protests began, in response to an international outcry over the dozens of fatalities, Israel employed its tried-and-true tactic in such situations and swiftly announced it would “investigate exceptional incidents”. Recently, leading up to the scheduled publication of the conclusions by the UN Human Rights Council international commission of inquiry on the matter, the IDF Spokesperson has again begun to flaunt this fig leaf: eleven Military Police investigations regarding “specific incidents,” all still pending. Meanwhile, the regulations remain unchanged and are still being implemented in the field. People are still being killed or wounded, and no one is questioning the policy or being held to account for it.

    Israel’s announcement has, at least so far, achieved its goal: welcomed by the international community, it has eased pressure on Israel, enabling the policy that has led thus far to 200 persons killed and more than 6,300 injured to continue unchanged. Earlier this year, Israel’s High Court of Justice found this hollow promise satisfactory in ruling on a petition against the open-fire policy, and refused to order that it be changed. In their ruling the justices relied, among other things, on the assurance that the military would investigate “exceptional incidents”, while Israel continues to implement its lethal policy.

    The “investigations” carried out by the military whitewashing mechanism, under the leadership of the Military Advocate General (MAG), are meaningless other than their role in aiding Israel’s effort to silence international criticism. They do not lead to adopting any measures against any of the people responsible for harm to Palestinians, as from the very outset the investigations do not probe the responsibility at the level of officials who set out and approved the policy or the unlawful orders. The investigations do not deter the troops serving on the ground, as they are so few and far between, and even in cases in which an investigation was actually launched, it was then almost invariably closed without any further measures. Nor do the investigations achieve justice for the victims or their families.

    This is standard procedure for Israel:

    In Operation Cast Lead, which ran from December 2008 to January 2009 in the Gaza Strip, Israel killed 1,391 Palestinians. At least 759 (55%) had been uninvolved in the hostilities, including 318 children under 18. Injured people bled to death while the military denied them passage to hospital. Palestinians were shot while waving a white flag. The MAG Corps “examined” over 400 incidents, and ordered the launching of at least 52 “investigations.” Soldiers were convicted in three cases only – on charges of theft, using a child as a human shield, and unlawful use of a weapon.

    In Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, Israel killed 2,203 Palestinians, including 1,392 (63%) who were uninvolved in the hostilities; 528 were under 18. Entire families were killed when their homes were hit in an air strike. The MAG Corps established a “special examination mechanism” to examine and investigate instances defined as “exceptional” and then conveyed its recommendations to the MAG. As before, it was found that all had been lawful and above board, apart from one case in which three soldiers were convicted of stealing NIS 2,420. This episode of whitewashing is not yet complete: some of the “investigations” are still underway.

    None of this is a random fluke: Israel does not wish to truly investigate, and therefore has created mechanisms that are incapable of carrying out full investigations. Israel’s sole purpose is to create a façade of an intention to investigate in order to silence criticism.

    However, investigations and accountability are no merely theoretical issue or one of image. They are a matter of life and death. Investigations are necessary so that senior officials realize that they cannot give unlawful orders, and to demonstrate to the troops in the field the parameters of the use of force. When propaganda diversion tactics succeed in preventing accountability, there is a price to pay, and it is measured in human lives.

    The international community must stop buying into Israel’s propaganda ploys concerning so-called “investigations”. There is no rational basis to expect Israel to carry out a real investigation. It does not have the slightest interest in investigating the policy itself, condemning it or demanding accountability from those responsible. Therefore, the international community must make the most of its power and influence to compel Israel to change its policy and immediately cease the gunfire at protesters who pose no danger.

    https://www.btselem.org/press_releas...ations_charade

    Last edited by Junon; 03-19-2019 at 11:41 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update

    Jordanian MPs quarrel during session on Jerusalem

    Discussions about the status of the holy city of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque led to quarrels among Jordanian MPs, Safa news agency reported yesterday.

    The quarrel took place during an urgent session held specially to discuss the status of Jerusalem and the ongoing Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    Safa said that the quarrel started when MP Mohammed Hudaib said that the Jordanian guardianship of the holy sites in occupied Palestinian territories “is dying and the deal of the century is in its final stages.”

    Other MPs accusing Hudaib of questioning the seriousness of the Jordanian’s position on the holy site. Bottles of water were then thrown across the hall forcing Parliament Speaker Atef Al-Tarawneh to suspend the meeting.

    Jerusalem has been witnessing continuous Israeli aggression as the occupation tightens its grip on Al-Aqsa Mosque in an effort to Judaise the Muslim holy site.

    Over the weekend an Israeli court ruled that the Al-Rahma Gate area would be sealed off once again, has it had been since 2003. Palestinians re-entered the area last month and began holding prayers there.

    In the weeks since, the Israeli authorities have banned scores of Palestinians – including religious officials – from entering the Al-Aqsa, which for Muslims represents the world’s third holiest site.

    Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20...-on-jerusalem/

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Zios wanting to be 'friends' with Muslims. Of course only the most paranoid could question their intentions.









    Last edited by Junon; 03-21-2019 at 09:03 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Daily life in occupied territories.



    Last edited by Junon; 03-22-2019 at 08:07 PM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'


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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salaam

    Another update



    Germany's relentless campaign to silence pro-Palestinian voices

    The German political establishment has come after BDS just as viciously as Israel has.


    Against the backdrop of Israeli efforts to falsely equate Zionism with Judaism and dismiss any criticism of the Israeli state as anti-Semitic, Germany is also leading a relentless campaign to ostracise pro-Palestinian activists and delegitimise their protest campaigns.

    The German state has traditionally viewed protection of and unconditional ideological support for Israel as part of its raison d'etre - a way to atone for the Holocaust.

    Historically, this pillar of German politics has justified the country's unconditional support for Israel and silence on Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights. More recently, it has also made the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Movement, which Israel sees as an existential threat, the primary target of smear campaigns and relentless persecution in the country.

    The German authorities have categorised the peaceful movement as anti-Semitic and have taken action to prevent it from having any meaningful influence in the country.

    In a January 2018 resolution on fighting anti-Semitism, for example, the German parliament equated calls for a boycott of Israel with insults towards Jews, and urged the German government to take decisive action against BDS. Previously, in December 2016, Germany's leading party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) condemned BDS as anti-Israeli and "coarse anti-Semitism," comparing it to the Nazis' economic strangulation of Jews.

    Outside the central government, representatives of many major German cities also openly attacked the movement, and similarly equated BDS to "Nazi policies".

    In August 2017, Frankfurt's mayor Uwe Becker passed legislation to ban municipal and city-owned funding for BDS individuals, activities, or groups. He told Israeli media that he believes BDS "is a deeply anti-Semitic movement" seeking "to deeply delegitimise Israel" using "the same language that the Nazis used in the darkest chapter of German history".

    A month later, Berlin's mayor, Michael Mueller said he would personally work to ensure that representatives of the BDS movement would not get funding from the city or be allowed to use its public spaces, claiming the movement employed "unbearable methods from the Nazi era." The intelligence agencies of several German states have designated the BDS movement as an "anti-Semitic danger".

    The German authorities have also taken steps to prosecute pro-BDS activists in an attempt to make an example out of them and deter others from speaking up in favour of the movement.

    Three Berlin-based BDS activists, for example, are currently facing criminal charges raised by the state of Berlin. Known as the "Humboldt 3", Jewish Israelis Stavit Sinai and Ronnie Barkan and Gaza Palestinian Majed Abusalama are accused of trespassing and assault after they peacefully protested during a public anti-BDS speech by Knesset member Aliza Lavie at Berlin's Humboldt University in June 2017. Lavie was part of Israel's ruling coalition during the 2014 war on Gaza.

    In February 2019, the trio received an award from Copenhagen's co-mayor, Ninna Hedeager Olsen, for their activism. The mayor stressed that they "have worked tirelessly to reveal the Apartheid-like nature of the Israeli regime and its systematic violation of international law."

    Yet, in Germany, they are prosecuted.

    Abusalama told me that he views the charges brought against them as a clear sign that there is "an expansion of Israeli apartheid in Germany." He asserts that due to restrictions on free speech, many Palestinians feel threatened and unsafe in Germany.

    The criminal case has affected Abusalama's status in Germany, with the permanent residency he was supposed to receive being withheld pending the end of the trial.

    While the BDS movement and its supporters appear to be the main target of the anti-Palestinian campaign in Germany, other groups and movements have also been targeted by the German state and politicians for supporting the Palestinian struggle.

    For example, a smear campaign was recently launched against the Berlin-based association Jewish Voice for Just Peace in Near East (JVP), which campaigns for equal treatment of Israelis and Palestinians.

    The attacks against the group intensified after it was announced as this year's recipient of the Goettingen Peace Prize.

    Among the opponents of the decision to award JVP was lawyer Felicitas Oldenburg, leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the Goettingen city council. Oldenburg urged the prize selection committee and the institutions sponsoring the prize - the city of Goettingen, Goettingen University, and the Sparkasse Bank - to revoke their decision. In a letter, she dismissed BDS as anti-Semitic and called JVP an "extreme" faction that represents unjust, "absolute minority positions." She even put the adjective Jewish in the group's name in quotation marks and accused the association of "sailing under a false flag".

    In response to the attacks by Oldenburg and others, all three involved institutions rescinded their support for the peace prize. However, the selection committee did not back down from its decision and still presented the prize to the in March.

    In an official statement, JVP said its members felt "shocked and alienated" as a result of the slander campaign launched against them and asked, "With what authority this lawyer and leader of the FDP parliamentary faction dares to question our Jewish identity?" The association said Oldenburg's claim that they are sailing under a "false flag" was in itself anti-Semitic, and compared it to the common anti-Semitic trope "that Jews pretended outwardly to be peaceful and law-abiding citizens, but beneath their beards and yarmulkas hid their alleged conspiracies and claims for power."

    JVP's director Iris Hefets told me that she believes the smear campaign they faced in relation to the Goettingen Peace Prize was a symptom of recent widespread majoritarian efforts to suppress the freedom of expression and silence minority point of views regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Germany.

    "That we, as Jews, are defamed as anti-Semites by German Christians, comes with a denial of history," Hefets explained. "The majority incites against a minority and engages in political persecution. This is dangerous because it aggravates totalitarian tendencies."

    The alarming nature, and the possible overarching implications, of the smear campaign against the JVP was also underlined in an open letter written in support of the group by over 90 Jewish scholars, including Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler.

    The letter said it is worrying sign that "representatives from the German state, finance sector and academia have come together to make a judgement about whether or not a group of Jews and Israelis, many of them descendants of Holocaust survivors, are anti-Semitic."

    As German officials, politicians, bureaucrats, and academics target BDS activists and other supporters of the Palestinian struggle, they perpetuate anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews and Orientalist depictions of Palestinians. In this way, they help Israel cover up its crimes and silence Palestinians.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/op...113250948.html

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Salamualikum brother @Junon

    Brother I've been seeing for ages how your posts are 99.9% about political matters/current affairs

    This is just a polite bit of brotherly advice brother, it's not healthy for imaan to be so much into politics

    Islam is about spirituality, worship, dawah etc and ofcourse we need to be politically aware and bring awareness to our ummah in plight however the best way to contribute to their healing is to be engrossed in spirituality ourselves with maybe 10% of our focus on politics

    Salam
    | Likes AbdurRahman. liked this post

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Walaikum Salam

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhai View Post
    Salamualikum brother @Junon

    Brother I've been seeing for ages how your posts are 99.9% about political matters/current affairs

    This is just a polite bit of brotherly advice brother, it's not healthy for imaan to be so much into politics

    Islam is about spirituality, worship, dawah etc and ofcourse we need to be politically aware and bring awareness to our ummah in plight however the best way to contribute to their healing is to be engrossed in spirituality ourselves with maybe 10% of our focus on politics

    Salam
    Thanks you for your concern but you are mistaken. Members on this forum all have their specialities and interests. my area is politics (since its the freest and most interesting part of the forum for me) hence the reasons why I reside here. Due to time restraints all I do is mainly post articles to keep members informed. I dont have time to get into lenghty 'debates'

    What makes you think this is the only Islamic forum I reside in? This forum can be quite restrictive so I go elsewhere to discuss Islamic issues.

    If mods aren't happy they can restrict or remove me.

    Let me give you some advice, first of it would of been more polite if you PM'd your concern.

    Secondly your attitude of 'disengagement' is one of the reasons why Muslims are in the plight that they are in. In a fast-changing world we have to have a better understanding of what's going on and that means sometimes leaving your comfort zone.
    Last edited by Junon; 03-24-2019 at 12:19 AM.

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    Re: Israel land grab law 'ends hope of two-state solution'

    Last edited by Junon; 03-29-2019 at 12:41 AM.


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