March 28, 2022
Land Day Event by the Palestinian Feminist Collective

Palestinian Feminist Collective

Online Monday, March 28th at 4PM Pacific, 6PM Central and 7PM Eastern

This event features PFC members Lila Sharif, Ayah Hamdan, Sherene Seikaly, and Noura Erakat, moderated by Selma Al-Aswad, discussing what we are fighting for — Land, Life, Love and Liberation.

Held during International Women’s Month, with this event we also commemorate Palestinian Land Day, the one-year anniversary of our release of the “Pledge that Palestine is a Feminist Issue” and our work and growth over the past year.

Cultural Apartheid: Israel’s Erasure of Palestinian Heritage in Gaza

Al-Haq, 22 Feb 2022

On 23 February 2022, Al-Haq launched its report titled “Cultural Apartheid, Israel’s Erasure of Palestinian Heritage in Gaza”. The report builds from an investigation by the London-based research agency Forensic Architecture using advanced technologies and ‘open-source’ techniques to reconstruct one of the most significant archaeological sites in the occupied Gaza Strip. The report draws on Israel’s strategic bombing of the Gaza coastline to exemplify the erasure of Palestinian cultural heritage and the denial of the relevant human rights. Israel’s bombardments not only breach the principle of military necessity in violation of the laws of armed conflict, but also aim at gradually erasing Palestinian cultural heritage to deny the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination over their cultural resources, and by extension threatens their existence as a people. Such bombings are a gross violation of the Rome Statute, constituting war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

In the report, Al-Haq outlines that the bombing of the site may amount to a war crime and contributes to the crime against humanity of apartheid.[1] The targeting of Palestinian cultural heritage, fundamentally affects the core of their identity and existence as a people. For example, the International Criminal Court underlines the nexus between destruction of cultural heritage and crimes against humanity, especially when the former occurs within the context of an attack against the civilian population, forms part of a state policy and is carried out in a widespread or systematic manner.[2] Additionally, under the Rome Statute, the crime of apartheid when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population, with knowledge of the attack, amounts to a crime against humanity.[3]

During Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip between 8 July and 26 August 2014, Al-Haq reported the complete and partial destruction of 61 and 120 mosques, in addition to the partial destruction of one church.[4] Similarly, during the May 2021 military offensive, antiquities and cultural heritage sites were both directly targeted and indirectly damaged due to their close proximity to affected areas. In the latest military assault on the Gaza Strip between 10 and 21 May 2021, Palestinian human rights organizations reported damage to public and private properties including 124 places of worship, of which 7 were completely and 117 partially destroyed, one market which was partially destroyed, and damage to 37 tourism facilities – 6 completely and 31 partially destroyed.[5] Al-Haq has warned of the ongoing deterioration of the situation in the Gaza Strip as a result of 14 years of prolonged closure, and four major military offensives carried out against the civilian population by Israel, the Occupying Power. The attacks on the Gaza Strip have resulted in serious humanitarian crises rendering the territory uninhabitable,[6] and amounts to unlawful collective punishment.[7]

Israel’s criminal enterprise in dealing with Palestinian cultural heritage is once again reflective of its overall apartheid regime perpetrated against the Palestinian people as a whole: under the veil of international legal instruments that it ratified without implementing them, Israel sets up two distinct standards tailored upon their added value to the entrenchment of the Zionist narrative over Palestinian lands. On one hand, cultural heritage sites that serve this narrative and are directly controllable by the Israeli Occupying Forces are appropriated and exploited to reinforce this narrative. On the other hand, cultural heritage sites that conflict with this narrative are, straightforwardly or not, targeted, damaged and destroyed, in an attempt to erase them from memory of people.

In light of the report and the investigation by (FA), Al-Haq call on:

• The UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, Alexandra Xanthaki, to use her good offices to preserve and protect the Palestinian people’s ability to preserve, protect and develop their cultural heritage, and more specifically to request a country visit to Palestine and report on Israel’s violation of Palestinian cultural rights;

• For the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the UN Commission of Inquiry to take into particular account Israel’s practices of indiscriminate and systematic attacks on Palestinian cultural heritage artefacts, properties and sites;

• The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the UN Commission of Inquiry to consider attacks on cultural property as amounting to war crimes, and evaluate their crucial contribution to inhumane acts of apartheid under the Rome Statute and where relevant, the Apartheid Convention and international human rights law;

• For the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the UN Commission of Inquiry to include Israel’s targeting of cultural heritage into the ongoing investigations, establishing links with other alleged violations under scrutiny, and to request a fact-finding mission to gather evidence of targeting of cultural heritage;

• The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to use their good offices to organize the protection of Palestinian cultural property, as per Article 33(1) of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict;

• Third States to recognize Israel’s unlawful destruction of Palestinian cultural heritage, primarily in Gaza, as a fundamental element that enables Israel to further its colonial project in Palestine, and to entrench its apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole and their lands by erasing their cultural identity as a people;

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Israeli top court annuls Sheikh Jarrah eviction orders

I am writing with breaking news from this week in Sheikh Jarrah.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled to annul the current expulsion orders against four Palestinian families in the neighborhood — the El-Kurd, Jaouni, Al-Qasim, and Iskafi families.

Overturning years of previous decisions, the new ruling protects the families from forced eviction for months and possibly years to come. This decision comes after a decades-long organizing campaign led by the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah to save their community.

While we celebrate this significant step, the struggle in Sheikh Jarrah is far from over. The families are protected from immediate expulsion, but the court left it up to the Ministry of Justice to review property rights over the land, meaning the threat of dispossession continues to loom large. Other families in the neighborhood and throughout Jerusalem still face the imminent displacement, though some believe this ruling could set a precedent for dozens of other cases in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and beyond. And the brutality of the occupation remains in full force — on Wednesday police closed off Sheikh Jarrah with metal barriers, preventing some journalists from entering, while protecting an ultra-nationalist settler rally protesting the court’s ruling.

Nevertheless, this is an inspiring reminder of what can be achieved through the powerful combination of grassroots mobilization and international pressure. The four families affected by the ruling made clear in their joint statement [below] that they do not expect justice to come from Israeli courts, writing: “We count on the popular and global movements that have accomplished the unprecedented feat of forcing the court to cancel the imminent expulsion.”

Keeping our eyes on Sheikh Jarrah and the rest of Jerusalem is crucial. As we have seen this week, the power of our attention can make a difference.

With resolve,
Emma Alpert
Deputy Director, Just Vision


A statement by Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood Units
in response to the Occupation’s Supreme Court ruling.

On March 1, 2022, the Occupation’s Supreme Court ruled to annul the expulsion orders
issued against four families in Sheikh Jarrah (laouni, Al-Qasim, El-Kurd, and Iskafi) and
defer the review of property rights over the land (Karm Al-laouni) to “title settlement and
registration” procedures.

The battle to solidify our rights in our lands and our homes is far from over-rather, it has
started anew. The Occupation authorities weaponize “land settlement and registration” as a tool to control land in occupied Jerusalem. We reaffirm: our cause is righteous and we will continue in our fight.

We know we will not receive justice from Israeli Occupation courts. Rather, we count on the popular and global movements that have accomplished the unprecedented feat of forcing the court to cancel the imminent expulsion.

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Demonstration on the anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre

Human Rights Defenders تجمع المدافعين عن حقوق الانسان, February 25, 2022

Hebron, Palestine — The Israeli occupation army brutally suppresses the peaceful demonstration of the ghetto in commemoration of the 28-year anniversary of the Hebron massacre. The demonstration began in front of the Sheikh Ali Baka Mosque in the Sheikh neighborhood, towards the military checkpoint in front of Al-Shuhada Street in the center of Hebron.


#DefundRacism: The Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre

#DefundRacism | defundracism.org

On February 25 Palestinians in Hebron will be mobilizing in protest as we commemorate the 28th anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre, in which an Israeli settler murdered 29 Palestinians and injured over one hundred.

In response to the murder of 29 Palestinians on Feb 25, 1994, Israeli forces increased restrictions on Palestinians’ most basic rights. This cycle of settler violence and oppression is funded in part by the Hebron Fund, a US-based “charity.”

Since 1994, Palestinians have been denied access to Shuhada street, a former major economic hub, while settlements continue to expand around them. These actions are supported by the Hebron Fund. It’s time to revoke its charitable status.

Every day acts of violence are carried out against Palestinians in Hebron. This systemic and perpetual violence is a result of illegal settlements in the city and those who support them, like the Hebron Fund. Raise your voice with ours.

As we remember the victims of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, join us to speak out against the Hebron Fund, a group dedicated to the continuation of settler colonialism and the elimination of Indigenous Palestinians from their own lands.

The Israeli settler movement works to dominate and erase indigenous Palestinians. The 1994 Ibrahimi Massacre is just one example. Organizations like The Hebron Fund support ethnic cleansing with “charitable” funds — but we have the power to stop them.

The colonial violence Israeli settlers carry out against Palestinians is financed by US charities like the Hebron Fund. Settler colonialism is not charitable.

Sign our petition
Stand with Palestinians to #DefundRacism

Tell Congress No on the Israel Ethnic Cleansing Normalization Act

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

Raise your voice to tell Congress to vote NO to stop normalizing ethnic cleansing! The Israeli government, funded by our tax dollars and backed by our diplomacy, has in the past few weeks inflicted cruelty across all of Palestine: Israeli forces mass arrested Bedouin Palestinians in the Naqab, killed Palestinian elders in the West Bank, destroyed homes in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, and continued the brutal blockade on the Gaza Strip through dangerous flooding and a continuing pandemic.

While Israel continues to ethnically cleanse Palestinians with impunity, Congress will soon be voting on H.R. 2748 / S. 1061, the Israel Relations Normalization Act, or what we can more accurately call the Ethnic Cleansing Normalization Act.

Likely the only vote Congress will take on Palestine all year, the Normalizing Israeli Ethnic Cleansing Act co-signs and expands Trump administration-brokered weapons and business deals[1] that sideline Palestinian demands for freedom and justice, and instead cement alliances between apartheid Israeli and authoritarian governments, sending them weapons and harming Yemenis, Libyans, Sahrawis and others. At the same time, the bill makes greenwashing and techwashing Israeli apartheid into official U.S. policy, claiming to advance solutions to pressing global problems while in reality covering up the environmentally devastating impacts of occupation, from water inequity to the destruction of native environments.[2]

Join the millions of people rising up around the globe to say: we will end our government’s complicity in Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing and apartheid.[3] Take action!

Send your messages here

SOURCES:

[1] IMEU’s memo spells out the tactic behind the Abraham Accords, a Trump administration policy that aims to coerce Palestinians into giving up their political rights in exchange for lavishing economic incentives onto a privileged few: IMEU Policy Analysis #5: Abraham Accords Isolate Palestinians, Solidify Israel’s Apartheid Rule

[2] Our memo includes more background on the mechanisms in this bill, including the ‘greenwashing’ and ‘techwashing’ and that the bill tries to write into U.S. policy: USCPR Memo: Protect and Advance Human Rights — Oppose H.R. 2748/S. 1061 The Israel Relations Normalization Act

[3] Are your members of Congress cosponsors of the bill? Check out the list of House co-sponsors and Senate co-sponsors and be sure to use this tool to send a message expressing your opposition to this bill.

Palestinian NGO “Terrorists” and Negev Protests


An Israeli soldier seen during an army raid on the Palestinian village of Burqa in the West Bank next to a spray-painted symbol of The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). (Oren Ziv)

Israel’s new secret document still fails to tie Palestinian NGOs to ‘terrorism’

+972 Mag

“For the better part of the last year, the Israeli government has been on a mission to convince European countries that six of the most prominent Palestinian civil society organizations are actually a front for terrorism. Yet despite its efforts, which included a confidential 74-page Shin Bet dossier sent to diplomats last May, Israel has failed to persuade European leaders of its allegations.”


Israeli police detain a man as Bedouins protest in the southern Negev Desert against a forestation project by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), on January 12, 2022. (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Why tree planting in the Negev sparked protests, riots and a coalition crisis

Times of Israel

“The slender saplings, placed into soil churned up by tractors, seem far too innocuous to spark a coalition crisis. But where and how they’re planted turns out to matter on a national scale. The Jewish National Fund, a quasi-governmental body that oversees 13 percent of Israel’s land, began several days of planting trees on disputed land in the Negev on Sunday (January 9). The response was immediate: protests by Bedouin residents that escalated into clashes. Many Negev Bedouin live in unrecognized townships scattered across Israel’s southern desert. The government has sought to relocate them into planned, recognized cities, but most Bedouin have refused, insisting on the right to stay where they are.”


Israeli settlers seize and fence off land in Sheikh Jarrah

The area is on high alert following the demolition of a Palestinian house north of the neighbourhood, which has been widely condemned


Israeli settlers install a fence while seizing land in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (Supplied)

Middle East Eye Staff, 21 January 2022

Israeli settlers seized a land plot in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood on Friday, accompanied by police and the deputy mayor of Jerusalem municipality.

The settlers set up fences around the land that the Palestinian Salem family in Sheikh Jarrah said belonged to them.

Local media reported that Israeli police pushed locals and attacked protesters. A Palestinian woman from the Salem family claimed to have suffered a broken arm after Arieh King, the deputy mayor of Jerusalem municipality, attacked her.

The area has been on high alert over the past week, following the demolition of a Palestinian house north of the neighbourhood, which has been widely condemned.

Sheikh Jarrah has been a significant flashpoint over the past year after Israel tried to expel Palestinian families from the area last May to make way for Israeli settlers.

On Friday, settlers claimed ownership of the land and the Salem family’s house. The Nahalat Shimon settler group had been active in pursuing eviction orders issued by Israeli courts against Palestinian families. 

Nahalat Shimon is the Hebrew name of Sheikh Jarrah. Settlers say that Jewish families lived in the area before 1917, and that the properties belong to them.

Fatima Salem, 73, said she had been living in the house in Sheikh Jarrah with her son and daughter and their families for decades. In 1988 they were ordered by an Israeli court to vacate their property but froze the decision that year. In 2015, the Israeli court reactivated the eviction orders for the house. 

She told Middle East Eye that settlers had beaten her son, Ibrahim, and shoved her while they tried to face them on Friday morning. The Salems were woken up by the neighbours on their day off, to see settlers busy fencing the land.

“The Israeli police were standing and did not stop [it]. They were standing with the settlers against us and let them fence it, and then attacked us, my son and I was shoved pushed from my chair,” she said.

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