Israeli Forces Continue Its Military Campaign in Jenin


Ref: 15/2018

In a new crime of excessive use of lethal force, on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces killed an 18-year-old Palestinian civilian and wounded 7 others, including 4 children. This happened when Israeli forces moved into Burqin village, west of Jenin, as part of their ongoing military operation, which started on 18 January 2018, to search for Ahmed Naser Jarar (22). Ahmed is accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus.

According to investigations conducted by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and eyewitnesses’ accounts, at approximately 14:25 on Saturday, 03 February 2018, Israeli forces accompanied with military vehicles and 2 bulldozers and backed by a drone moved into the Eastern neighborhood in Burqin village, west of Jenin. The Israeli forces surrounded many houses belonging to ‘Ateeq family and Jarrar family archeological palace in order to arrest Ahmed Naser Jarrar, who was accused of killing an Israeli Rabbi on 09 January 2018 near “Hafat Gilead” settlement, southwest of Nablus. The Israeli forces topped civilians’ houses roofs and heavily fired sound bombs and explosives. They shouted via loudspeakers: “Ahmed, Surrender yourself or we will demolish each house in the neighborhood.”  Meanwhile, two Israeli bulldozers started demolishing two 260-square-meter sheds built of tin plates and bricks and used for breeding livestock. The two sheds belong to Mostafa Abed al-Rahman ‘Ateeq and his brother Hasan. During the operation, dozens of Palestinian youngsters and children gathered in the neighborhood and in al-Hadaf area adjacent to the southeastern side of Burqin village to throw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who immediately opened fire at them. As a result, 8 civilians, including 4 children, were wounded. Among them was Ahmed Sameer Mahmoud ‘Obaid (18), who was hit with a bullet to the head. Ahmed was then taken to al-Razi Hospital, where he was admitted to the Operation Room (OR). However, Doctors failed to save his life and pronounced his death at approximately 22:10 on the same day. Doctors at the hospital added that the bullet lodged in Ahmed’s brain.

At approximately 04:30 on the same day, Israeli forces moved into al-Kafir village, southeast of Jenin. They raided and searched several houses after breaking the outside doors and topping the roofs. They then surrounded a house belonging to Walid Theeb al-Rashid and ordered the family members to get out of the house and turn themselves in. After getting out of the house, the Israeli soldiers locked the family members in the first floor of a house belonging to Noor Eden Rawhi Rashed ‘Awad, who rents the house from Khalid Ersheid. The soldiers then fired shells from shoulder-launched weapons at a cave and blew it up. They then fired several shells at doors of old houses’ stores near the abovementioned house and blew them up. The Israeli forces then called out via loudspeakers for Ahmed Nasser Jarrar to come out and turn himself in.

PCHR follows with deep concern the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and is strongly concerned over the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians in peaceful protests in violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL). PCHR hereby condemns the Israeli forces’ use of excessive, disproportionate and lethal force against the protestors and believes that this is due to the green light given by the Israeli government to the soldiers following the American Decision to declare Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. Therefore, this constitutes a direct complicity in a crime of offensive and directly threatens the international peace and security.

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February 20, 2018
Film: The Occupation of the American Mind

Madison Central Library
201 W. Mifflin Street, Madison
7:00 pm

Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison presents a showing of the film The Occupation of the American Mind. Co-sponsored by MRSCP.

Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and its repeated invasions of the Gaza strip have triggered a fierce backlash against Israeli policies virtually everywhere in the world — except the United States.

The Occupation of the American Mind takes an eye-opening look at this critical exception, zeroing in on pro-Israel public relations efforts within the U.S. Narrated by Roger Waters and featuring leading observers of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the film explores how the Israeli government, the U.S. government, and the pro-Israel lobby have joined forces, often with very different motives, to shape American media coverage of the conflict in Israel’s favor.

The Occupation of the American Mind provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds, and tax dollars of the American people — a battle that has only intensified over the past few years in the face of widening international condemnation of Israel’s increasingly right-wing policies.

For details and updates check Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison.

April 8, 2018
Annual Rachel Corrie Commemoration

Mark Your Calendars for Sunday Afternoon

Annual Rachel Corrie Commemoration
Featuring Dessert and a Program
Time and place TBD

2018 marks 15 years since Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer, as she tried to prevent the demolition of a family home in Rafah. 2018 also marks the 15th anniversary of the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.

Join us for this special tribute to Rachel. Refreshments including baklawa and other desserts will be served. As always, admission is free but we will gratefully accept donations to support the Samira Project for disadvantaged children in Rafah. Palestinian olive oil, olive oil soap, ceramics, Hirbawi kufiyahs, embroidery and other crafts will be available for purchase.

Follow us on Facebook and our website madisonrafah.org for up-to-date information. Or contact us at rafahsistercity at yahoo.com.

The Samira Project Needs Your Help Again in 2018

For the third time, the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) is partnering with the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice to fund The Samira Project in Rafah.
 

Clip and return your contribution by mail:

YES! I WANT TO SUPPORT THE SAMIRA PROJECT FOR TRAUMATIZED CHILDREN!

Name:_____________________________ Address_______________________________

City:______________________________________ State___________ Zip ____________

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Six Miles Out: A Day in the Life of Gaza Fishers

On the windy evening of January 4, 2017, 33-year-old Muhammad al-Hissi of Gaza set out with 13 of his brothers, cousins and uncles to make a living the only way they know how: fishing. But he never came home.

The family was spread out in three different boats, with the waves choppy and stiff, when the Israeli Navy appeared on the scene. The 60-ton ship rammed into Muhammad’s wooden boat and crushed it like a rock on an egg. Palestinian fishermen and the Israeli navy searched for Muhammad for three days, but his body was never found. The boat’s electric generator may have dismembered his body.

Muhammad was one of two Palestinian fishermen killed by the Israeli navy in 2017. Four others were injured, 14 were detained and five boats were seized. However, shootings at Gaza fishermen by the Israeli navy are daily occurrences, terrorizing and forcing many to abandon the sea. This pattern is set to continue into the new year, with the recent decision by Israeli officials to restrict Gaza fishermen to 6 nautical miles instead of the recently allowed 9 (only in the southern coast).

Help us shine a light on this violation of the right to earn a living. A new, short documentary “Six Miles Out” – produced by the We Are Not Numbers team in Gaza, with funds from the Solidarity with Gaza Fishers project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition — features al-Hissi’s brother and cousin, who take us with them for a night of fishing. You will see for yourself just what it’s like when Israeli “hornets” suddenly appear on the scene.

Please share this 11-minute film on social media with a personalized observation. Send a link to your followers via email (this is actually the most effective). The film is subtitled in French, Spanish and Greek (use the the Youtube “gear” icon near the bottom left to turn on different languages). What can viewers do to help? They can donate to We Are Not Numbers, a Gaza-based youth storytelling project, to keep its work going. They also can visit the Freedom Flotilla website to find out how to support the 2018 sailing to challenge the blockade of Gaza’s seaport.

In solidarity,
David Heap, on behalf of Canadian Boat to Gaza
Pam Bailey, Founder and Director, We Are Not Numbers

Read more: Freedom Flotilla to Sail Again, for Freedom of Movement and a Decent Future for all Palestinians
 

Ahed and Nariman Tamimi remanded in custody as military prosecution requested

‘Ahed Tamimi in court today. Photo by Oren Ziv, Activestills, 17 January 2018
Ahed Tamimi in court 17 January 2018 (Oren Ziv, Activestills)

B’Tselem, 17 January 2018

Remand in custody – even of minors – is part of the routine of oppression that Israel employs against Palestinians, with the full backing of the military courts, a system in which both judges and prosecutors are always military personnel, the defendants always Palestinian, and the conviction rate almost 100%.

Today (Wednesday, 17 Jan. 2018), a military judge approved the prosecution’s request to remand ‘Ahed and Nariman Tamimi in custody. The hearing, which was held at Ofer Military Court, is a prime example – one of many thousands – of how rather than serving justice, Israel’s military court system is a major tool of oppression serving Israel’s control over Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Both ‘Ahed Tamimi (16) and her mother Nariman (42) have been in custody since 19 December 2017, after ‘Ahed was taken from her home in the middle of the night, and her mother was arrested when she came to find out what was happening with her daughter later that day. All the military prosecution’s requests to extend their detention have been approved by the military judges. Meanwhile, the prosecution has built up inflated case files against both mother and daughter, including a litany of charges that go back as far as April 2016 – conveniently ignoring the fact that until now, the authorities have seen no need to arrest the alleged suspects or call them in for questioning.

The high-profile arrest of the two has elicited extreme responses from top members of government in Israel, ranging from a demand to let them spend the rest of their lives in prison to an announcement that their relatives’ permits to enter Israel would be revoked. These reactions stem partly from the fact that the Tamimi family has long since become a symbol of unarmed Palestinian resistance to the occupation. To defeat this family, Israel is resorting to a variety of tools it has developed and used for more than fifty years against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, as part of its attempts to sustain the occupation regime.

The key measures that Israel is using against ‘Ahed and Nariman Tamimi are familiar – to varying degrees – from thousands of other legal cases that Israel has taken up against Palestinian defendants: Violent arrest in the middle of the night, slapdash indictments and prolonged detention that today became remand in custody for the duration of the proceedings. The fact that these measures are being used against a minor magnifies the violation of human rights that is already par for the course in Israel’s treatment of hundreds of Palestinian minors: According to statistics provided to B’Tselem by the Israel Prison Service, as of 30 November 2017, 181 Palestinian minors were being held in custody for the duration of legal proceedings in their cases.

Remand for the duration of the proceedings means that a person continues to be held in custody after the investigation has been concluded and an indictment filed, until all legal proceedings, including judgment and sentencing are over. During this time, the detainee is not serving a prison sentence and is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, remand should be the exception to the rule, but in the military courts in the West Bank, the prosecution regularly asks the military judges to approve remand, and the latter almost always comply. This practice serves as an incentive for defendants to plead guilty to the charges against them and to sign plea bargains – regardless of whether they actually committed the offense and the evidence against them. If they choose to go to trial while in custody, they may end up spending more time behind bars than they would be sentenced to in a plea bargain.

The upshot of all this is that the military prosecution is almost never required to go to trial, where it would have to prove the defendant’s guilt. Consequently, the judges’ decision to approve remand is tantamount to a conviction – as the case is decided once the person is remanded, rather than based on the evidence. Pretrial approval of remand in custody of people who have not yet been convicted, as standard practice, effectively empties the judicial process of meaning.

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Iyad Burnat’s Palestinian Center for Non-Violent Action


Iyad Burnat interview by the Jersey Palestine Solidarity Campaign (JPSC)

 

Dear Friends,

Many of you know Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat, co-founder and President of the grassroots organization, Friends of Freedom and Justice (FFJ) in the West Bank village of Bil’in. Iyad and Bil’in’s heartfelt brand of peaceful resistance were the subject of the 2011 Academy Award-Nominated Documentary “5 Broken Cameras” and have continued to reach more people through the speaking tours of Iyad and his fellow villagers around the world and the visits of people from around the world to Bil’in. Like other West Bank villages, towns and cities, Bil’in is under siege by the Israeli military occupation with its continuous land seizures, and Iyad has been actively working to develop a model of non-violent resistance to the Occupation since 2005, when a nearby Israeli settlement expanded into Bil’in’s fields.

FFJ is now working to establish a “Palestinian Center for Non-Violent Action” (https://www.ffj-bilin.com/); a place where people from all over the West Bank and the world can come to learn the theory and practice of non-violent social change. The Center will include a museum, library, classrooms, learning and play spaces for children, spaces for arts and crafts, a visitor’s center, and guest rooms for visiting instructors and activists from around the world.

FFJ has made an initial down payment of $14,000 for the land on which to build the Center, but recent developments have delayed FFJ’s efforts to raise the remaining $30,000 needed by February to secure the property. Like other activists in the Palestinian peaceful resistance, Iyad and his family have come increasingly attack through harassment, threats, arrests and shootings. His eldest son, Majd, recently underwent surgery for injuries suffered from a shooting by Israeli forces, which caused extensive nerve damage to his leg, rendering him unable to walk unaided. His middle son, Abdul Khaliq, was recently shot, imprisoned, and is now awaiting trial. His youngest son, Mohammed, witnessed the arrest. The fate of the Center is hanging in the balance.

The purchase of this land and construction of Center are a positive answer to the systemic and brutal violence to which Palestinians are subjected to on a daily basis. Iyad, Bil’in and all Palestinians seeking to resist occupation nonviolently need our support.

Please donate to make the Palestinian Center for Non-Violent Action a reality. Together let us help make Bil’in a beacon of peaceful social responses to oppression for Palestine and the world.

Sincerely,
Friends of Freedom and Justice
https://www.ffj-bilin.com/

Israeli journalist who called for unspeakable acts against Ahed Tamimi tries, and fails, to backpedal


Ben Caspit, from his twitter feed

Jonathan Ofir, Mondoweiss, December 26, 2017

Prominent Israeli journalist Ben Caspit caused international furor last week, when he wrote in his Maariv article that “in the case of the girls, we should exact a price at some other opportunity, in the dark, without witnesses and cameras”.

Caspit has certainly felt the heat in response to his insidious suggestions, and probably began fearing not only for his reputation, but possibly for his job, which besides Maariv also includes the respected Al-Monitor. Israeli activist Ofer Neiman tweeted: “He can’t have it both ways – writing for a liberal peace-oriented outlet and inciting rape/murder/violence.”

Caspit’s article was in Hebrew, but now he is trying to backpedal and ‘clarify’ in English – in a Jerusalem Post article from yesterday.

Caspit titles his piece “Fighting a shaming campaign with the truth”, framing himself as a victim who has simply been misunderstood. He describes his ‘ordeal’:

“Within hours you discover that you’ve turned into Public Enemy No. 1, a modern day pariah; a man who calls for the rape of young girls and destruction of families; a contemporary Nazi. A rare combination of circumstances, a phrase taken out of context, an inaccurate translation and a great deal of evil intention have planted in your keyboard things you never said, and in your brain, things you never thought. All that is left it to chase after the eternal wind in the cyber willows.”

I am proud to say I am one of those who have publicly and critically referred to his first article, though not the first. The critical and most egregious sentence mentioned above had appeared in mainstream media a day later – for example AP and CBS. The translation was accurate and furthermore, in my article, I provided a greater context than was available otherwise, precisely in order to relate to Caspit’s greater message of incitement, and how that phrase played into it.

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Israel indicts Palestinian teenage girl who punched soldier

Ali Sawafta, Reuters, January 1, 2018

OFER PRISON, West Bank (Reuters) – Israel indicted a 16-year-old Palestinian girl on Monday on charges including assault for punching an Israeli soldier in the face two weeks ago, an incident which made her into a hero for Palestinians and was seen as humiliating by right-wing Israelis.

Israel has held Ahed Tamimi since arresting her three days after she was filmed punching the soldier at the entrance to her family home in a village in the occupied West Bank. The confrontation took place after what Israel says was a stone-throwing assault on its troops.

The case has made her into such a potent symbol for Palestinians that a commentator in Israeli left-wing newspaper Haaretz said Israel risked turning her into the “Palestinian Joan of Arc”.

Right-wing Israelis, meanwhile, have debated whether the soldier had appeared weak by opting not to strike back. The Israeli army said he “acted professionally” by showing restraint.

The charge sheet against Tamimi, seen by Reuters, included counts of aggravated assault against a soldier, who the army said was bruised on his brow by her punch, obstructing a soldier in the performance of his duty and throwing stones at troops.

“Tamimi threw stones at them (the soldiers), threatened them, obstructed them in fulfilling their duty, took part in riots and incited others to take part in them,” the military said on its public affairs Twitter account.

Qadoura Fares, chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, which advocates on behalf of Palestinians in Israeli jails, said the charges were false.

”Their aim is to terrorize people, and they are trying to deter children and others,” he said.

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Who am I? I am a Palestinian girl.

Niveen Abboushi, Facebook, December 22

Who am I?

I am a Palestinian girl.

Before I was born, the occupation took most of my village’s lands to build a new settlement called Halamish.

Then they arrested my father. When my aunt went to visit him, one of the soldiers pushed her over the stairs of the court and she died.

Since I was little the settlers of Halamish keep stealing more and more of our lands to expand the settlement.

Our home has demolition order because it is in Area C. The settlers are allowed to build on our land, but not us.

In 2005, the settlers made the spring of our village part of the settlement and prevent us from using it, even though many of us are farmers.

All these things happened with great support from the Occupation army and government.

When the people of the my village started to resist the injustices with protest marches, my father was arrested again.

My mother was arrested too. My uncles, aunts, brothers, cousins – all of them were arrested too.

My cousin Mustafa was killed by the Israeli army. My uncle Rushdi was killed by the army too!

Later, an Israeli sniper shot my mom in the leg and she couldn’t move for long time.

Almost every week, the army breaks into our homes to arrest one of my family or to confiscate our laptops or phones.

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