Haaretz reports a few dozen people, including members of the Arab-Jewish Joint-List have begun a Four-day march to Jerusalem for Bedouin rights
President Reuven Rivlin had promised to welcome marchers, but will be abroad when they arrive in Jerusalem to draw attention to the Negev’s unrecognized villages.A four-day march to Jerusalem to raise awareness of the plight of unrecognized Bedouin villages and to present a plan to recognize them began on Thursday morning as planned, even though President Reuven Rivlin will not be receiving the marchers in the capital, as they had hoped.
Although Rivlin had agreed to receive the marchers on Sunday at the President’s Residence, the march’s final destination, it was learned on Wednesday that he will be in Singapore for the funeral of former president Lee Kuan Yew.
This reminds me somewhat of the Salt March led by Gandhi. It will never gain as much attention because the number of people who would be engaged are bound to be so much smaller in I/P. I’ve discussed the forced relocation of Bedouin in a diary called A Modern Day Trail of Tears in Jerusalem and on Medium: What happened to Ben-Gurion’s Oasis in the Desert?.David wrote a diary back in 2013 on the treatment of the Bedouin within Israel: Israel to Raze Palestinian Villages (within Israel) & Displace its Citizens to Build ‘Jewish’ Towns
+972mag has a deeply personal story from Mya Guarnieri about how she (an American Jew from Florida with Israeli citizenship) found herself living in the West Bak. She discusses how porous the barriers between the West Bank and Israel are. I think this is a must read if you’re interested in Israel/Palestine and a good example of the kind of writing that +972 showcases. It’s called The long road to Bethlehem
After taking a job at a Palestinian university in the West Bank, Jewish journalist Mya Guarnieri feels that the center of her life is increasingly on the ‘other side’ of the Green Line. Israeli soldiers give her a hard time for being a Jew in ‘enemy territory’ and it becomes more and more difficult to live in Israeli society.[…]
He answered in Hebrew in kind, ken, yes, and showed me the pictures he’d taken on his phone. There was the guard tower, just meters away. There was the group that had gathered as soldiers attempted to enforce the new closure in the fence; there was the fellow holding the hole open; there were men helping an elderly woman and a young lady through. The parking lot; the bus. I was struck again by the absurdity of it all. Hafuch al hafuch al hafuch.
That’s not to downplay Israeli-imposed restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement. It’s more to point out that if someone wants to slip into Israel without a permit, they can. In fact, approximately thirty thousand Palestinian workers do it every day. But, in doing so, they risk injury, arrest, and death. In July of 2012, a Palestinian day laborer was killed when soldiers opened fire on a car full of workers that tried to pass a checkpoint without permits.
The International Solidarity Movement reports on the IDF’s heavy handed response at a regular Friday demonstration in the village of Ni’lin: Ni’lin demonstrators met with senseless violence
On the 20th of March, during Ni’lin’s weekly Friday demonstration, Israeli occupation forces attacked protestors with about 20 rounds of tear gas canisters shot with the ‘venom’ tear gas launcher mounted on a military jeep (which can launch up to thirty rounds of tear gas before needing to be reloaded), countless rubber-coated steel bullets and approximately one hundred rounds of live ammunition. One Israeli activist was shot in the ankle and one Palestinian boy was injured in the leg, both with rubber-coated steel bullets. Many protesters suffered from tear gas inhalation.
In +972mag: License to Kill, part 3: Why did Colonel A. order the sniping of Ihab Islim?
Members of a family are standing on a balcony and chatting. The commander of IDF forces in the region orders snipers to open fire on them. One brother is killed, the other one loses an eye. The commander fails to account for the order in the investigation that ensues. The case is closed, and the commander is promoted. In the following months, other civilians in the region are killed in the exact same manner. No one is found guilty.[…] the IDF has admitted that an innocent person had been shot, and that the targeted sniping of 17-year-old Ihab Islim in his head was carried out without him having committed a crime.
Yet the Military Police has failed to find the shooters; an IDF video clip that documents the shooting and the preceding events; or the operations logs that could have shed some light on the events that transpired in Nablus on June 25, 2004.
Int’l Solidarity Movement: Resistance to the destruction of olive trees in Wadi Qana
Supporters, many from the nearby village of Deir Istiya, as well as locals and internationals, turned out in anticipation of soldier presence or settler provocation, but no conflict took place.In 2008 and 2011 farmers of Wadi Qana were issued with similar notices. These removal orders were not carried out. In 2012 trees were removed without notice. Approximately 3,000 trees have been destroyed in Wadi Qana by settler attacks and by order of Israeli authorities.
Olive groves are a ubiquitous feature of Palestinian agriculture. Destroying them is a way of asserting authority over the land and indigenous uses of it. It is in keeping with other efforts like that run by the JNF, to plant stands of non-indigenous varieties, some of them on the ruins of former Palestinian villages.From Haaretz: UN report: 2014 saw the most Palestinians killed by Israel’s military since ‘67
Israeli security forces killed 2,312 Palestinians, most in the Gaza war over the summer. Roughly two-thirds were civilians.The number of Palestinian civilians killed by the Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last year topped 1,500 — the highest number since the occupation began in 1967. By most other measures, the Palestinians’ lives under the occupation also took a turn for the worse, as reflected in the annual overview by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
This is being covered quite widely, including the Guardian, Al-Jazeera and YNet.+972mag: Hundreds mourn Palestinian youth shot dead by Israeli soldiers
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered to take part in the funeral of Ali Safi in the Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah Thursday. Safi, 18, was shot with live bullets by Israeli soldiers during clashes near the refugee camp on Wednesday, March 18. He was taken to a hospital in Ramallah and placed in the ICU until he died on Wednesday night.
In Haaretz: When Zionist parties wooed Palestinian-Israeli voters
The early Israeli establishment allowed Arab citizens to vote and Zionist parties even courted their support. Today, however, the Arab vote is seen as a threat.[…]
Some American commentators rushed to link Netanyahu’s remarks to the Jim Crow South of the 1960s, when African-American participation in the political process was considered dangerous by white supremacists. This comparison rings even more poignant if we consider that at the same time as when African Americans fought against segregation, Palestinians in Israel were placed under what was known as the Military Government.
This form of martial law (1948-1966; not to be confused with the post-1967 military occupation and Israeli settlement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip) suspended many of the civil rights and legal protections that Israeli citizenship afforded those Palestinians who managed to remain in the state after 1948. There is, however, a fundamental difference between early Israel, the Jim Crow South – the early Israeli establishment still allowed the community it oppressed to vote and actually courted their electoral support.
Int’l Solidarity Movement: Continuing harassment of activists in Palestine
“We are not wearing vests like Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) for example, which makes it easier for us to pass through the checkpoints. But they don’t like us either. Only a few days days ago one of us was arrested and held for seven hours for bogus reasons, and now he’s not allowed in the city for two weeks” ISM volunteer Franceska explains.In four different incidents within one week in late February, Israeli forces raided the ISM apartment without having a warrant or any legit reason. Franceska was in the apartment when the soldiers came:
+972mag: Distorting the facts of Occupation: Regavim’s attacks on the EU
Reports started circulating before Israel’s elections that Prime Minister Netanyahu had ordered the destruction of mobile structures distributed by the EU in Area C of the West Bank. This harks back to a report in November 2014 by the Israeli NGO Regavim, which draws a shocking parallel between the EU’s humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Area C and Israel’s building of settlements there. Assuming that Israel’s settlements are legal under international law, Regavim accuses the EU of assisting the Palestinians in an illegal plan to take control of large parts of the West Bank.
Activestills.org: Solidarity with Palestinian farmers, Wadi Qana, West Bank, 20.3.2015
Palestinian and international activists hold a sign that reads, “Wadi Qana is for us”, during a solidarity activity with Palestinian farmers in the area, West Bank, March 20, 2015. On Sunday March 15th, Palestinians received an Israeli military order to uproot 123 olive trees in Wadi Qana, which is surrounded by seven settlements. According to OCHA maps, Wadi Qana is supposed to be annexed to Israel in order to create a path for the Wall.
Haaretz: Ex-Education Minister Piron backs teaching Nakba to all Israeli students
Shay Piron, education minister in the previous government, was quoted on Tuesday as backing the teaching of the Nakba – the Arabic word for “catastrophe,” which the Palestinians use to refer to Israel’s War of Independence – to all Israeli students.Piron’s remarks, in a recording broadcast by Israeli Army Radio, indicated that he supported teaching the Nakba story alongside what he called the “settler narrative.”
“In the bilingual schools in Misgav” – a city 45 minutes northeast of Haifa – “I was asked what I thought about teaching the Nakba to Arab students,” Piron, a member of the Yesh Atid Party, said.
“I answered that I opposed it. I support teaching the Nakba to all Israeli students. I don’t think that a student can reach deep in the Israeli educational system when 20 percent of the students have an ethos, a specific story, and he does not know that story.”
Israelis who wish to learn more about the Nakba have a number of sources they could use, including the iNakba app produced by Israeli NGO Zochrot (which has been working on this since 2002). And of course, S Yizhar’s seminal novella about an army unit expelling Palestinian villagers from the fictional Khirbet Khizeh has been an optional part of the Israeli curriculum for decades (though I have no idea how often it’s actually assigned).+972mag: Israeli army arrests 7 in action against E1 settlement
Palestinian, international and Israeli activists protested against Israeli plans to seize and build in the E1 area, which would cut off the northern and southern parts of the West Bank. Held on the same day as Israeli elections, the protest was aimed at attracting international attention to the progress of illegal Israeli construction and the planed displacement over 15,000 Palestinians and Bedouin communities living in 45 communities in the area.
United Nations OCHA-oPt: Weekly Highlights – March 17 – March 23
Israeli forces injured 21 Palestinians, including seven children, in various clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians. The most serious incidents reported in the West Bank, include ran eight-year-old child who was seriously injured when a soldier, with his rifle, hit the child in the eye while playing in proximity to clashes in Al Khader (Bethlehem); three Palestinians, including two children (14 and 15 years old), shot with live ammunition in Silwan; and a man who was shot with live ammunition in the back during clashes at the entrance to Al Jalazun Refugee Camp (Ramallah). Another three Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli forces next to the Gaza perimeter fence, east of Khan Younis.Two Palestinian attacks resulting in Israeli injuries or property damage were reported, including four people, two of whom are children, injured as a result of stone-throwing at an Israeli bus and damage to settlers’ houses as a result of a Molotov cocktail-throwing, both in East Jerusalem.
Israeli forces uprooted 492 trees and saplings planted by Palestinians next to the Majdal Bani Fadel (Nablus), Bidya (Salfit) and Adh Dhahiriya (Hebron) villages in Area C of the West Bank, on grounds that these areas were designated as “state land”. According to official data, over 99 per cent of “state land”, or public land, has been included within the jurisdictional boundaries of the local and regional councils of Israeli settlements, built in contravention of international law.