More Palestinian homes were demolished in the occupied territories in the first half of 2016 than in all of 2015, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The increased demolitions have been accompanied by a rising number of new settler homes under construction, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue an atypical condemnation of the Jewish state.
Category Archives: Settlers/Colonists
On the heels of the Israeli government announcing 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, that said in part, “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”
Jerusalem official Meir Turgeman says the municipality is taking advantage of U.S. election season to push forward on stalled construction projects in the occupied territories, including expanding the settlement of Ramot.
On Tuesday, the Knesset “Land of Israel” caucus called to annex the major West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, citing a poll showing nearly 78 percent of Israelis support the move. The push came in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying he is open to negotiating based on the Arab Peace Initiative.
“Extremist and dangerous forces have taken over Israel and the Likud movement,” Moshe Ya’alon remarked at a press conference following his ouster as defense minister. The focus of attention was on Netanyahu’s imminent appointment of Avigdor Lieberman to the defense ministry, overlooking Ya’alon’s replacement in Likud: US-born settler and face of the Temple Movement Yehuda Glick. While Lieberman’s appointment signifies a success for Israel’s secular right wing, Glick’s entrance to the parliament is a major step forward in the Religious Zionist takeover of Israel.
The lead suspect of a gruesome kidnapping and murder of a Palestinian teen two summers ago was sentenced today by a Jerusalem district court to life in prison, plus 20 years for additional crimes, ending a lengthy criminal trial that shook Palestinian communities across Israel and the occupied territory. After the sentencing was announced the victim’s cousin Ansam Abu Khdeir told Mondoweiss the punishment was not enough, “he deserves more than he got, more than he will get,” she said.
Today, a Jerusalem district court convicted the ringleader of the 2014 murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was abducted near his home in East Jerusalem and burned alive. The defendant, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 30, will be sentenced in the coming weeks. He along with two minors kidnapped Abu Khdeir and beat and killed the youth. The slaying prompted weeks of unrest and gained international prominence as a high-profile case of settler violence against Palestinians.
Ha’aretz diplomatic correspondent and gourmand, Barak Ravid, recently tweeted a picture of “a likeable wine from the Livni vineyard in Kiryat Arba.” “Surprisingly good,” he concludes. The reason that the quality of the wine, produced in the darkest heart of the Israeli-occupied territory, is surprising, I would guess, is that Ravid believes that an admitted, convicted and unrepentant terrorist is unlikely to also become a successful vintner. But in Israel all is possible, at least for Jews.
Over the weekend arsonists set ablaze the home of a high-profile Palestinian witness scheduled to testify against Israeli settlers charged with firebombing the home of his relatives in the West Bank village of Duma last summer.
Israeli settlers on the West Bank tell Phil Weiss they are continuing the work of redeeming the land for Jews that early Zionists began when they expelled Palestinians in 1948, and that in the last year even the Tel Aviv establishment has come to recognize that there will never be a Palestinian state. Weiss reports from five days he spent undercover in Israeli settlements using the Airbnb service.
In a groundbreaking new report, Human Rights Watch has joined the chorus of voices calling on countries to label goods made in the Israeli occupied territories as the products of settlements, and calls on countries to withhold aid to Israel that can be used to “offset the costs of Israeli government expenditures on settlements.” The report titled Occupation, Inc.: How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights puts pressure on a “multitude” of private companies to stop doing business in the occupied territories, because they are helping to sustain an illegal settlement project that deprives the Palestinian population of their human rights.
For the second time in a year, Israeli vandals targeted a Christian church in Jerusalem Sunday with extremist anti-Christian graffiti. Assailants tagged the religious site with messages in Hebrew: “Death to the heathen Christians, “the enemies of Israel”, “Let his [Jesus’] name and memory be obliterated” and “Christians to Hell.”
Israel charged two suspects this morning in district court for an arson attack on the West Bank village of Duma where Jewish extremists killed three Palestinians five months ago in most high-profile case of settler violence. The lead suspect is Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, who is said to have confessed to the firebombing. His alleged accomplice, 17, is unnamed.
Brazil is not interested in having a right wing settler envoy as Israel’s ambassador and Israel won’t take “No” for an answer. A diplomatic crisis has been unfolding between the two countries since last August when Netanyahu publicly announced the appointment of Dani Dayan, the former head the Yesha Council from 2007 to 2013, as Israel’s next ambassador to Brazil — without first consulting the Brazilian Foreign Ministry.
Israeli police have opened an investigation into a group of extremist Israelis who recorded themselves rejoicing over the killing of a Palestinian baby by stabbing a photograph of the toddler who was burned alive earlier this year. Footage of the incident aired on Israeli news stations last night, depicting a wedding party in a West Bank settlement waving knives and guns in the air while singing “we will take revenge on the Palestinians.”
An Israeli court today convicted two Jewish minors who abducted and burned Mohammed Abu Khdeir alive in July 2014. The court delayed ruling on the alleged ringleader, 29-year old settler Yosef Haim Ben-David pending an additional psychiatric evaluation. “Frankly I was shocked. I hoped they all would get a punishment,” said the mother of the victim, Suha Abu Khdeir, 45, from her living room hours after the trial ended. “It’s like they burned him again.”
“I won’t take compensation from occupation,” Issa Amro says of destruction to his property in Hebron by Israeli soldiers. Early Saturday morning Amro, 35, awoke to dozens of Israeli soldiers entering the Youth Against Settlements house and presenting him with a military order to seize control of the house for 24-hours. Amro, along with an Italian journalist on assignment with an Israeli paper, and two international activists who were staying at the Youth Against Settlements advocacy center were then ushered into a single bedroom where, with the exception of escorted bathroom breaks, they were forced to stay until after daybreak Sunday.
After violence took hold of Jerusalem at the beginning of October, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged the fault fell on Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the Islamic movement of northern Israel for inciting attacks against Israelis, and spurring demonstrations across the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza that have led to the killings of Palestinian protesters. Yet the 20-percent Arab-Palestinian minority in Israel believe that it is the Israeli government, and not the Palestinian leadership that is responsible for the outbreak of hostilities, according to a survey published by the Haifa-based think tank Mada al-Carmel.
A masked Israeli settler attacked an Israeli-American rabbi and co-founder of the group Rabbis for Human Rights, taking knife to the religious leader and peace activist’s neck, this afternoon following an annual olive harvest in the West Bank village of Awarta outside of Nablus.
Israeli police and barking dogs woke Abdallah and Fatima Abu Nab from inside of the couple’s bedroom shortly after daybreak Monday morning, and told them to immediately and permanently leave their house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, bringing an end to an seven-year legal battle with Israeli settlers. This latest Israeli provocation took place in the heart of East Jerusalem where more than 40 Palestinians, and eight Israelis have been killed in shootings and attacks since the start of October.
Brandishing their typical black and yellow flags and Hebrew signs boasting “Kahane was Right” and “There is no co-existence with cancer,” hundreds of right-wing activists took to the streets of Jerusalem Thursday night in a growing phenomenon of public demonstrations led by the country’s leading fascist groups such as Lahava and La Familia. The march and the Israeli extremists willingness to resort to violence against their state’s security forces testify to the impact that incitement is having on Jewish youth throughout the country, and portends an ever-growing threat of entrenching the current spiral of bloodshed.
At dusk Thursday evening nearly 200 right-wing Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem, chanting racist anti-Arab epitaphs and nationalist songs. The march came at the end of day that saw Israeli forces kill two Palestinians and Palestinian attackers wound nine Israelis, including two soldiers, in four separate attacks, the highest number of serious injuries inflicted on Israelis in recent weeks. At the time of publication the right-wing group was marching from West Jerusalem into Palestinian East Jerusalem.
Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of Knesset for the Joint Arab List, says that Israel could indict Jewish terrorists for the Duma murders but it lacks the political will to do so. “In the last few years there were 17 mosques and churches burned down or attacked by right-wing activists or racists,” she told Allison Deger. “These are the extreme cases, but everyday we hear about cases by the seashore, or at the nightclubs—or of hotels warning their visitors that they might have Muslims [guests].”
Immediately after the firebombing of the occupied West Bank village of Duma that killed eighteen-month-old Ali Dawabshe and later his parents, Israeli politicians competed to see who could be more extreme in their denunciations. But as the young parents of baby Ali succumbed to their wounds, the politicians who had been so vociferous were largely silent. What explains this gap between rhetoric and reality? Veteran Israeli journalist Akiva Eldar tells Dan Cohen the lack of Israeli accountability for Jewish vigilante violence is not new, “The message is that you can get away with murder, literally.”
Six weeks after settlers torched a Palestinian home in the West Bank hamlet of Duma killing three—Ali Dawabshe, 18-months, Sa’ad Dawabshe, 32, and Riham Dawabshe 27—no one has been charged for the crime. Now, Israel’s defense minister says he knows who is behind the arson attack but is refusing to indict, because doing so could expose government interlligence sources.