31 May 2011

Bad News From The BBC (2)

Vervolg op Bad News From The BBC (1).

Bad News From The BBC - Part 2: The ‘John Motson Approach To Analysing News’

Media Lens | 25.05.2011 | NEDERLANDS

Between 17-19 May, we had a lengthy exchange of emails with BBC Middle East Bureau Chief, Paul Danahar [foto]. It began innocuously enough, but Danahar gradually revealed that he had little intention of sincerely addressing the issues put to him, and the exchange ended with increasingly odd burblings from the BBC's senior Jerusalem-based journalist (the full exchange is archived here in our forum).

We started by presenting Danahar with the same points we had put to the other BBC journalists mentioned in Part 1: namely, that the careful studies by Greg Philo and Mike Berry, published in More Bad News From Israel, demonstrated that BBC News tends to reflect the Israeli perspective. We gave a summary of the detailed statistical findings for BBC News coverage of Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. Quoting Philo and Berry, we noted that the BBC perpetuated ‘a one-sided view of the causes of the conflict by highlighting the issue of the rockets without reporting the Hamas offer’ and by burying rational views on the purpose of the attack: namely, the Israeli desire to inflict collective punishment on the Palestinian people.

Danahar responded on May 17:

'I wasn't around during Cast Lead I was in China. So my main observation would be a personal one and that is that I'm not a big fan of the John Motson approach to analysing news.'

We of course recognised the name of the legendary BBC football commentator, but we asked Danahar to clarify exactly what he meant by ‘the John Motson approach to analysing news’. He replied:

'Personally, I don't think adding up the number of sentences about coverage is much more useful, when comparing two news organisations, than trying to work out who has won a football match by counting how many times one team kicked the ball compared to the other.'

In fact, Philo and Berry’s comparison was about the relative weight afforded to the Israeli and Palestinian perspectives, not the relative performances of the BBC and ITV. But we understood the point he was making. We asked Tim Llewellyn, the former BBC Middle East correspondent (quoted in Part 1), if he had a response to Danahar’s comment:

'I like the John Motson reply. Given that counting lines is EXACTLY (to the milli-second) how the BBC reckons up “balance” in election reporting in the UK, they must believe themselves in the Motson approach as an act of Reithian Faith. But your point is the right one, that line-counting is not what counts so much as BBC news content, which as [More Bad News From Israel] finds scientifically and we journalists who observe both the BBC and the Middle East have known for the past ten years or so, reflects to a massive degree the Israeli perspective and fails to report properly the Palestinian plight, the Palestinians' view of the real causes of the tragedy and how they are forced to react to it, the context of the whole struggle and real cause and effect.' (Email, May 20, 2011)

We then asked Danahar how, if he believed that BBC News was balanced, he could explain the following:

'The dominant explanation for the Israeli attack on Gaza was that it was to stop the firing of rockets by Hamas. The offer that Hamas was said to have made, to halt this in exchange for lifting the blockade (which Israel had rejected), was almost completely absent from BBC coverage. There is only the briefest mention that such debate was taking place. On 31 December 2008, a BBC correspondent made this passing reference:

‘ "The human suffering in Gaza and reports that Hamas is offering a ceasefire if Israel lifts its siege, are increasing international pressure on the Israelis which they continue to ignore." (BBC1 early evening and main News, 31 December 2008)

'This compares with literally hundreds of references over the same period to the rockets as the rationale for Israeli action.

'When it comes to the Israeli views, BBC journalists may appear to have no problem in endorsing them. For example, a BBC journalist commented that:

‘ "Israel feels itself surrounded by enemies, with reason." (BBC1 early evening News, 8 January 2009 – italics added by Philo and Berry)

'Would the BBC feel able to endorse the Palestinian view in this way? Have you ever seen or heard a BBC report noting that "Palestinians feel themselves to be subject to a brutal military occupation, with reason"?'

But Danahar refused to answer, demanding instead to know why we had not explicitly stated that our challenge was coming from Media Lens. We responded:

'Fair point – you’re not the first journalist to raise this issue, so perhaps I can point you here for our view.'

We quoted several key passages from earlier work explaining our view. But this did not satisfy Danahar who demanded an answer written specifically for him: ‘I could just as easily refer you to a bucket load of links on the BBC site for “our view”’. He stalled further:

'all your points [on BBC performance] are from years ago. Does that mean you're dead chuffed with everything else since jan 2009?'

We emailed him further examples of BBC imbalance, this time from his own period in charge:

'The essential features of BBC news coverage of Israel-Palestine didn’t change after you took your present position as the BBC’s Middle East Bureau Chief in January 2010. Why should it be any different?

'Let’s take BBC News coverage of the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla on 31 May 2010. As you know, nine peace activists were killed on the Mavi Marmara.

'BBC news made extensive use of the Israeli edited footage of the attack. Philo and Berry note that your coverage was "problematic" because "in its description of the events and their sequence, it highlights and at times clearly adopts the Israeli perspective." The main BBC news reporting that night "move[d] towards clear identification with the Israeli account of events."

'On 5 June, press reports noted that five of the people had been shot either in the back of the head or the back. None of the BBC news programmes monitored by the Glasgow University Media Group reported this. But the main news did find space the following day to report on pictures from a Turkish newspaper showing Israeli soldiers "disarmed and beaten".

'Philo and Berry observe:

‘ "Let us imagine a different situation in which a controversial event occurred on the West Bank. Would the TV news routinely employ footage supplied by the Palestinians, with captions saying for example, 'Israeli soldiers shoot unarmed civilians'? Would they do so if the Israelis were denying the validity of the sequence of events? The use of Israeli edited material in this case is indicative of the legitimacy accorded to them, rather than to Palestinian sources."

'How would you respond to this?

'Another example from the period since you took your present position:

'In September 2010, the UN Human Rights Council published a report on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla. Among its major conclusions were that the Israeli blockade was "unlawful", that the Israeli forces had used torture on flotilla peace activists, and that at least six of the passengers had been subjected to "extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions" (for example being shot at close range while lying injured). The UN report also noted that live ammunition was used from the helicopter onto the top deck prior to the descent of the soldiers, thus directly contradicting the Israeli perspective that had featured so heavily in BBC News.

'The BBC lunchtime, early evening and main news did not cover this report. Why not?

'As Philo and Berry conclude:

' "... given the extent to which the BBC in particular, had highlighted and endorsed the Israeli view of events in the raid, the exclusion of this alternative account is extraordinary. It is difficult in the face of this to see how the BBC can sustain a claim to be offering balanced reporting."

'This is just a sample.

'I’d be interested in your response to any of the above points, please.'

But Danahar was by now firmly entrenched in his Middle East bunker, repeatedly complaining about the ‘ethics’ of not using the Media Lens email address to ask him questions that he clearly had problems answering. Curiously, he claimed he had written down answers to our questions but would not let us see them until we explained our 'ethics' to his satisfaction. These antics continued with an increasingly erratic flurry of obfuscatory emails, one of which made a tenuous reference to the past employment history, from two decades ago, of one of us:

'If you are going to set yourself up as a moral champion and 'stick it to the corporate man' you should be able to answer easy questions about ethics.

'Like, how do you personally reconcile working for Shell for four years during the time Ken Saro-Wira was accusing them of some pretty nasty stuff in the Niger Delta. I remember running out of petrol on the M1 at the time because I wouldn't use a Shell garage. It really upset my old girlfriend because we had to walk 45 minutes to get some petrol and Yorkshire winters are bloody cold.'

Other bizarre diversionary remarks included the BBC editor comparing the sales of Philo and Berry’s work and a book on alien abductions. (Again, the complete exchange is archived here)

By now we had given Danahar several opportunities to respond seriously to highly credible analysis of BBC News reporting, including its heavily biased and misleading coverage of the Israeli killing of nine peace activists after he had taken over as BBC Middle East Bureau Chief. Danahar did not seem able or willing to answer sensibly.

This was certainly one of the oddest exchanges we have had in ten years of Media Lens. But the refusal to engage seriously with evidence that would undermine false confidence in supposedly ‘fair’, ‘balanced’ and ‘impartial’ reporting was entirely standard for the mainstream media.


SUGGESTED ACTION

The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others. If you do write to journalists, we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone.

Write to:

Paul Danahar, BBC Middle East Bureau Chief
Email: paul.danahar@bbc.co.uk

Jon Williams, BBC world news editor
Email: jon.williams@bbc.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/williamsjon

Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor
Email: jeremy.bowen@bbc.co.uk

Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor
Email: alan.rusbridger@guardian.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/arusbridger

Please blind-copy us in on any exchanges or forward them to us later at:
editor@medialens.org

Pluto Press have a special offer for Media Lens readers to buy the book, More Bad News From Israel, for £13.50 including free UK P&P (normally £16.99):
http://bit.ly/pluphilo

Global Peace Index 2011


Het is muisstil in de Nederlandse nieuwsmedia over de jaarlijkse Global Peace Index (GPI), uitgebracht door het Institute for Economics and Peace (EPI). De interactieve en getailleerde online applicatie kunt u hier raadplegen. Te copy-pasten data bij The Guardian, ook in spreadsheet.

Weetjes:

Van meest naar minst vreedzaam land:
IJsland(1), Nederland(25), Egypte(73), VS(82), Turkije(127), Jemen(138), Israël(145), en als laatste Somalië(153).

  • Grootste exporteurs conventionele wapens per 100.000 inwoners:
    Nederland, Montenegro en Israël
  • Grootste importeurs conventionele wapens per 100.000 inwoners:
    Israël(4,5), Singapore(5) en Verenigde Arabische Emiraten(5)
  • Militair vermogen en expertise (1-5):
    Israël(5) en de VS(5)
  • Grootste aantal gevangenen per 100.000 inwoners:
    VS (5)
  • Minste respect voor de mensenrechten:
    Afghanistan, Dem. Republiek Congo, Guinea, Israël, Noord-Korea, Sri Lanka en Soedan
  • Meeste moorden per 100.000 inwoners:
    O.a. Afghanistan, Brazilië, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Irak, Zuid-Afrika, Venezuela, Jamaica, Soedan
  • Bezit van zwaarste wapens per 100.000 inwoners:
    Bahrein, Cyprus, Israël, Noord-Korea en Lybian Arab Jamahiriya
  • Grootste aantal binnenlandse displaced persons (percentage bevolking):
    Libanon(4), Colombia(4.5), Bhutan(5), Cyprus(5), Irak(5), Somalië(5) en Soedan(5)
  • Slechtste relatie met buurlanden:
    Armenië, Azerbeidjan, Noord-Korea en Somalië.
    Israël scoort hetzelfde als Iran, Libanon, Pakistan, Georgië en India.
  • Meeste doden gevallen in buitenlandse conflicten (1-3):
    Canada, Frankrijk, India, Pakistan en Groot-Brittannië scoren 2, de VS scoort als enige 3.
  • Grootste politiemacht per 100.000 inwoners:
    Bahrein, Irak, Noord-Korea, Koeweit, Mauretanië en Montenegro (allen 5)
  • Ondanks de War on Terror is de dreiging van aanslagen in 29 landen toegenomen.


Gerelateerde onderwerpen:

  • Meeste vrouwen in het parlement:
    1. Rwanda(56,3%), 2. Zweden(45%), 3. Zuid-Afrika(44.5%), 4. Cuba(43.2%), 5. IJsland(42.9%) en 6. Nederland(40.7%). De VS scoort laag: 16.9%.
  • Grootste persvrijheid:
    1. Finland, 2. IJsland en 3. Nederland [ik neem aan dat redactie- en zelfcensuur niet meegerekend is!]
  • Nederland scoort het laagst op buitenlandse kapitaalinvesteringen in Nederland!
  • Investering in onderwijs (% BNP):
    Cuba scoort verreweg het hoogste op investering in onderwijs (13.63%), 2. Moldavië(9.57%), 3. Burundi(8.3%). Verder: VS(5.47%), Nederland(5.32%).
  • Langst op school (lager en hoger onderwijs, jaren):1. Australië(20.46), 2. Nederland(19.7) en 3. Nieuw Zeeland(19.7).
  • Bereidheid van burgers om in oorlogen te vechten (1-5):
    Minst(1) o.a. Australië, België, Canada, Irak, Oman, Qatar, en natuurlijk Jamaica :).
    Meest bereid (allen 5) zijn: Cuba, Eritrea, Israël, Noord-Korea, Singapore, Somalië en Soedan.
  • Hoogste werkloosheid:
    Madagascar(47.5%), Liberia(45%), Libanon(45%), Malawi(39%), Libyan Arab Jamahiriya(36%), Namibië(33.8%), Macedonië(32.3%), Bosnië-Herzegowina(31.1%).
    In Nederland is de werkloosheid (5.48%) hoger dan in Sri Lanka, Mexico, Vietnam, Uganda en Ivoorkust.
    De VS(9.63%) scoort ongeveer hetzelfde als Egypte, Marokko, Bulgarije en Frankrijk.
  • Gemiddelde levensverwachting:
    Hoogst in 1. Japan, 2. Zwitserland en 3. Italië. Laagste: 1. Afghanistan(43.95 jaar), 2. Zimbabwe(44.21 jaar), 3. Zambia(45.4 jaar). In Nederland worden we gemiddeld 80.4 jaar oud.

Israel's PR victory shames news broadcasters

Onderstaand artikel in The Guardian vandaag gaat zeker ook op voor onze zelfbenoemde "kwaliteitspers", een nickname voor de commerciële massamedia, die ons dagelijks de officiële werkelijkheid in hapklare brokken voorschotelt.

We analysed about 200 programmes and questioned more than 800 people. Our conclusion: reporting was dominated by Israeli accounts. Since then we have been contacted by many journalists, especially from the BBC, and told of the intense pressures they are under that limit criticism of Israel. They asked us to raise the issue in public because they can't.


Gaza december 2008


The Guardian | By Greg Philo | 31.05.2011 | NEDERLANDS

The propaganda battle over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has reached a new level of intensity. In 2004 the Glasgow University Media Group published a major study on TV coverage of the Second Intifada and its impact on public understanding. We analysed about 200 programmes and questioned more than 800 people. Our conclusion: reporting was dominated by Israeli accounts. Since then we have been contacted by many journalists, especially from the BBC, and told of the intense pressures they are under that limit criticism of Israel. They asked us to raise the issue in public because they can't. They speak of "waiting in fear for the phone call from the Israelis" (meaning the embassy or higher), of the BBC's Jerusalem bureau having been "leant on by the Americans", of being "guilty of self-censorship" and of "urgently needing an external arbiter". Yet the public response of the BBC is to avoid reporting our latest findings. Those in control have the power to say what is not going to be the news.

For their part, the Israelis have increased their PR effort. The Arab spring has put demands for democracy and freedom at the heart of Middle East politics, and new technology has created more problems for the spin doctors. The most graphic images of war can now be brought immediately into public view, including the deaths of women and children. When Israel planned its attack on Gaza in December 2008, it developed a new National Information Directorate, and the supply of possible material was limited by stopping reporters from entering Gaza during the fighting. In 2010, when Israel attacked the Gaza aid flotilla, it issued edited footage with its own captions about what was supposed to have happened. This highly contested account was nonetheless largely swallowed by TV news programmes. A UN-sponsored report, which later refuted the account, was barely covered.

These new public relations were designed to co-ordinate specific messages across all information sources, repeated by every Israeli speaker. Each time a grim visual image appeared, the Israeli explanation would be alongside it. In the US, messages were exhaustively analysed by The Israel Project, a US-based group that, according to Shimon Peres, "has given Israel new tools in the battle to win the hearts and minds of the world". In a document of more than 100 pages (labelled "not for publication or distribution") an enormous range of possible statements about Israel was sorted into categories of "words that work" and "words that will turn listeners off". There are strictures about what should be said and how to say it: avoid religion, Israeli messages should focus on security and peace, make sure you distinguish between the Palestinian people and Hamas (even though Hamas was elected). There is a remarkable likeness between these and the content of TV news headlines. Many journalists bought the message. Hamas was being attacked, and somehow not the Palestinians: "The bombardment continues on Hamas targets" (BBC1, 31 December 2008); "The offensive against Hamas enters its second week" (BBC1, 3 January 2009).

There were terrible images of Palestinian casualties but the message from Israel was relentless. Its attack was a necessary "response" to the firing of rockets by Palestinians. It was the Palestinian action that had started the trouble. In a new project, we have analysed more than 4,000 lines of text from the main UK news bulletins of the attack, but there was no coverage in these of the killing by the Israelis of more than 1,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, in the three years before it. In the TV news coverage, Israeli statements on the causes of action overwhelmed those of the Palestinians by more than three to one. Palestinian statements tended to be only that they would seek revenge on Israel. The underlying reasons for the conflict were absent, such as being driven from their homes and land when Israel was created.

Journalists tended to stay on the firmest ground in reporting, such as the images of "innocent victims", and there was little said about why Palestinians were fighting Israel. We interviewed audience groups and found the gaps in their knowledge closely paralleled absences in the news. A majority believed Palestinians broke the ceasefire that existed before the December attack and did not know Israel had attacked Gaza during it, in November 2008, killing six Palestinians. Members of the public expressed sorrow for the plight of Palestinians but, because of the Israeli message so firmly carried by TV, they thought the Palestinians had somehow brought it on themselves. As one put it: "When I saw the pictures of the dead children it was dreadful, I was in tears but it didn't make me feel that the Palestinians and Hamas were right … I think the Palestinians haven't taken the chance to work towards a peaceful solution. Hamas called an end to the last ceasefire." This participant was surprised to hear Hamas was reported to have said it would have stopped the rockets if Israel had agreed to lift its economic siege. The source was Ephraim Halevy, former head of the Mossad intelligence service.

Images of suffering do not now in themselves affect how audiences see the validity of actions in war. People see the images as tragic, but judgments as to who is right and wrong are now firmly in the hands of the spin doctors.

Concerning the 'Working Definition of Antisemitism'

Een informatief protest van de organisatie European Jews for a Just Peace uit 2005. EJJP is een netwerk van 11 joodse organisaties in 10 Europese landen - waaronder Een Ander Joods Geluid in Nederland.

ZNet | By Dror Feiler | 12.12.2005 | NEDERLANDS

To: Beate Winkler, Director
European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC)
Rahlgasse 3
A -- 1060 Vienna
Austria


The 13th of October 2005

Dear Beate Winkler,

At its conference in London in September 2005, European Jews for a Just Peace, a federation of Jewish peace organisations in ten European countries, noted that the EUMC had produced a highly problematic 'Working Definition of Antisemitism'.

We have two comments, on process and on content:

On process

We are concerned about the process that gave rise to the Working Definition and we respectfully ask the EUMC to clarify and explain it. It is vital that the European public -- especially those individuals and groups whose cooperation you seek -- perceive the process to be transparent and above-board. Regrettably, this is not the case with your 'Working Definition of Antisemitism'.

The document states that 'Jewish organisations like the European Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, other major Jewish NGO's and prominent academics' were consulted. We, however, though a federation of European Jewish organisations, were not consulted (though the American Jewish Congress was) and we know of other NGOs and prominent academics -- including experts cited favourably in your March 2004 report 'Manifestations of Antisemitism in the EU 2002-2003' -- who should have been consulted but were not. Nor is it clear how the 'consultations' (which presumably gave contrasting emphases to how they would see a working definition) were aggregated to produce the current Working Definition. This is especially problematic given that the Working Definition differs significantly in tone from the definition given in your 2004 report; in our view, the new version is unhelpful if not downright misleading (see below under 'On content').

In the interests of transparency, we would like to ask for some very specific information: which Jewish organisations were consulted; which other NGOs; which academics? Moreover, who exactly drafted the working definition in the light of these consultations?

Working definitions of antisemitism -- and of Islamophobia and racism in general -- are of universal concern (indeed, were they not, the EUMC would have no rationale for its work). We would stress therefore how important it is that they are not perceived as partisan and/or partial.

On content

Problems begin with the very 'working definition' provided. Of course antisemitism is 'a certain perception of Jews' -- but what perception? Nowhere is this discussed, yet what perceptions are allowable, what unacceptable is surely key to any working definition of antisemitism? The earlier EUMC definition recognized that the ideological content of that perception is central to the usual meaning of the word 'antisemitism' and outlined that content. Leaving this out opens the door to confusion by failing to distinguish between different kinds -- and sources -- of hostility to Jews today. The definition contributes to the very problem it should be solving.

The problem is compounded by the list of '[c]ontemporary examples of antisemitism', since they are all preceded by the rubric that they 'could, taking into account the overall context' be such examples. Equally, one supposes, they might not be. Yet the very inclusion of all of these as examples appears as prima facie evidence of antisemitism -- otherwise why are they there?

This list is then followed by a separate list giving no fewer than five examples of how 'antisemitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel taking into account the overall context'.

Some of the points in this second list are highly questionable and we must protest vigorously about them. For example:

  • 'Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination' assumes that all Jews equate self determination with Zionism. Not only is this not true today, it has never been true. There is a long and respected tradition in Jewish history and culture among all those who have wished or wish today for cultural, religious or other forms of autonomy falling short of a Jewish state; for a binational state in Palestine as did Martin Buber and others; or for a one-state solution today, whatever form it might take -- a minority view in Israel today to be sure, but held by numbers of respected Jews. To make the assumption that all Jews hold the same views is in itself a form of antisemitism.

  • 'Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation'. This is a formulation that allows any criticism of Israel to be dismissed on the grounds that it is not simultaneously applied to every other defaulting state at the same time. As campaigners for a just peace in the Middle East we can affirm that it is thrown willy-nilly to stifle any and all but the narrowest criticism of acts of the Israeli government that are in prima facie breach of clause after clause of the 4th Geneva Convention. Or again, the democratic norm that all citizens in a state should be treated equally sometimes sits uneasily with some notions of Israel as a 'Jewish state' and it is not antisemitic to point this out or to suggest that Israel should, indeed, be a 'state of all its citizens'.

  • 'Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel'. This is the flipside of a position, frequently expressed by Prime Minister Sharon and many Zionists, that refuses to make any distinction between the interests of Israel and those of Jews worldwide. Why it is permissible for them to make this elision but evidence of antisemitism when others do so is not clear. It might even be taken as evidence of double standards... In reality it is all too often Zionist rhetoric which fuses the notion of Israel's interests with those of Jews worldwide and thus fuels what the EUMC identifies (other things being equal) as a potential indicator of antisemitism

This is not to deny that there are circumstances in which criticisms of the state of Israel might indeed be antisemitic. But the presumption should not be that they are. This requires demonstration on a case by case basis. As formulated this listing fosters a presumption that those who criticise the state of Israel in all kinds of legitimate ways are in fact covert antisemites. We number ourselves amongst such people and we vigorously reject the implication. that we are either antisemitic or 'self-hating' Jews in the strongest possible terms. In our experience, such accusations are used to stifle legitimate criticism and the EUMC formulation, by lending any credence to such views, does a disservice to the genuine struggle against antisemitism.

This document is a highly politicised one, reflecting a spilling over of Middle-East conflicts into Europe. All this might be merely academic were it not the very 'purpose of this document' is specified as being 'to provide a practical guide for identifying incidents, collecting data, and supporting the implementation and enforcement of legislation dealing with antisemitism'. The working definition cannot bear this weight. Its effect, if unchallenged, will be to institutionalise theoretical confusions at the practical level.

Thus we, European Jews for a Just Peace, are not willing to accept the EUMC 'Working Definition of Antisemitism' as an adequate basis on which to proceed and call on the EUMC to reopen this question if its work is not to lose credibility among many of those who are committed to the fight against all forms of racism and xenophobia, including antisemitism.

Dror Feiler is the chair of European Jews for a Just Peace, a network consisting of groups from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

30 May 2011

Israëlische helden tuigen weerloze mensen af



TRANSLATE

"Commandanten in het leger krijgen soms een traan in hun ogen als we vertellen dat we solidair zijn met Israël en komen omdat wij hen willen zegenen. Bemoedigen tijdens de bezoeken, is een belangrijk onderdeel van de tocht." (Christenen voor Israël)



De Israëlische helden die u hier in Nabi Saleh weerloze Palestijnen en Europeanen ziet aftuigen, worden elk jaar een hart onder de riem gestoken door Nederlandse christelijke organisaties als Christenen voor Israël. In de vorm van "een Hollandse groet". Ook "bemoedigen" zij de illegale joodse kolonisten op de Westelijke Jordaanoever, die zij hun "zegen" geven voor het 'werk' dat ze doen, met name het stelen van (meer) Palestijns land. De Nederlandse overheid bedankt Christenen voor Israël daarvoor met belastingvrijstelling.

Boom van het Kapitalisme



Via Flemishdog

28 May 2011

B'Tselem presentatie: Dispossesion and Exploitation

TRANSLATE

De meeste reisbureaus in Nederland presenteren hun toeristische stops op de bezette Westelijke Jordaanoever (en Oost-Jeruzalem, en de Golanhoogte) als locaties 'in Israël'. Dat valt natuurlijk onder misleiding en is verboden in Nederland. Isropa Reizen gaat nog een stapje verder en 'bewijst' dat met een eigenhandig gefabriceerde kaart van Israël en de Westoever, waarbij het de grenzen zo verbogen heeft dat hun toeristische route door 'Israël' zou lopen:


Afgezien van misleiding van de consument schenden deze reisorganisaties met hun bezettingstoerisme mensenrechten. B'Tselem maakt met een korte Flash-presentatie duidelijk hoe abject het is wat Nederlandse reisorganisaties doen (klik op 'Trespassers Only').

John Pilger: Welcome to the violent world of Mr. Hopey Changey



John Pilger | 26.05.2011 | NEDERLANDS

When Britain lost control of Egypt in 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden said he wanted the nationalist president Gamal Abdel Nasser "destroyed… murdered… I don’t give a damn if there’s anarchy and chaos in Egypt". Those insolent Arabs, Winston Churchill had urged in 1951, should be driven "into the gutter from which they should never have emerged".

The language of colonialism may have been modified; the spirit and the hypocrisy are unchanged. A new imperial phase is unfolding in direct response to the Arab uprising that began in January and has shocked Washington and Europe, causing an Eden-style panic. The loss of the Egyptian tyrant Mubarak was grievous, though not irretrievable; an American-backed counter-revolution is under way as the military regime in Cairo is seduced with new bribes and power shifting from the street to political groups that did not initiate the revolution. The western aim, as ever, is to stop authentic democracy and reclaim control.

Libya is the immediate opportunity. The Nato attack on Libya, with the UN Security Council assigned to mandate a bogus "no fly zone" to "protect civilians", is strikingly similar to the final destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999. There was no UN cover for the bombing of Serbia and the "rescue" of Kosovo, yet the propaganda echoes today. Like Slobodan Milosevic, Muammar Gaddafi is a "new Hitler", plotting "genocide" against his people. There is no evidence of this, as there was no genocide in Kosovo. In Libya there is a tribal civil war; and the armed uprising against Gaddafi has long been appropriated by the Americans, French and British, their planes attacking residential Tripoli with uranium-tipped missiles and the submarine HMS Triumph firing Tomahawk missiles, a repeat of the "shock and awe" in Iraq that left thousands of civilians dead and maimed. As in Iraq, the victims, which include countless incinerated Libyan army conscripts, are media unpeople.

In the "rebel" east, the terrorising and killing of black African immigrants is not news. On 22 May, a rare piece in the Washington Post described the repression, lawlessness and death squads in the "liberated zones" just as visiting EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, declared she had found only "great aspirations" and "leadership qualities". In demonstrating these qualities, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the "rebel leader" and Gaddafi’s justice minister until February, pledged, "Our friends... will have the best opportunity in future contracts with Libya." The east holds most of Libya’s oil, the greatest reserves in Africa. In March the rebels, with expert foreign guidance, "transferred" to Benghazi the Libyan Central Bank, a wholly owned state institution. This is unprecedented. Meanwhile, the US and the EU "froze" almost US$100 billion in Libyan funds, "the largest sum ever blocked", according to official statements. It is the biggest bank robbery in history.

The French elite are enthusiastic robbers and bombers. Nicholas Sarkozy’s imperial design is for a French-dominated Mediterranean Union (UM), which would allow France to "return" to its former colonies in North Africa and profit from privileged investment and cheap labour. Gaddafi described the Sarkozy plan as "an insult" that was "taking us for fools". The Merkel government in Berlin agreed, fearing its old foe would diminish Germany in the EU, and abstained in the Security Council vote on Libya.

Like the attack on Yugoslavia and the charade of Milosevic’s trial, the International Criminal Court is being used by the US, France and Britain to prosecute Gaddafi while his repeated offers of a ceasefire are ignored. Gaddafi is a Bad Arab. David Cameron’s government and its verbose top general want to eliminate this Bad Arab, like the Obama administration killed a famously Bad Arab in Pakistan recently. The crown prince of Bahrain, on the other hand, is a Good Arab. On 19 May, he was warmly welcomed to Britain by Cameron with a photo-call on the steps of 10 Downing Street. In March, the same crown prince slaughtered unarmed protestors and allowed Saudi forces to crush his country’s democracy movement. The Obama administration has rewarded Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive regimes on earth, with a $US60 billion arms deal, the biggest in US history. The Saudis have the most oil. They are the Best Arabs.

The assault on Libya, a crime under the Nuremberg standard, is Britain’s 46th military "intervention" in the Middle East since 1945. Like its imperial partners, Britain’s goal is to control Africa’s oil. Cameron is not Anthony Eden, but almost. Same school. Same values. In the media-pack, the words colonialism and imperialism are no longer used, so that the cynical and the credulous can celebrate state violence in its more palatable form.

And as "Mr. Hopey Changey" (the name that Ted Rall, the great American cartoonist, gives Barack Obama), is fawned upon by the British elite and launches another insufferable presidential campaign, the Anglo-American reign of terror proceeds in Afghanistan and elsewhere, with the murder of people by unmanned drones - a US/Israel innovation, embraced by Obama. For the record, on a scorecard of imposed misery, from secret trials and prisons and the hounding of whistleblowers and the criminalising of dissent to the incarceration and impoverishment of his own people, mostly black people, Obama is as bad as George W. Bush.

The Palestinians understand all this. As their young people courageously face the violence of Israel’s blood-racism, carrying the keys of their grandparents’ stolen homes, they are not even included in Mr. Hopey Changey’s list of peoples in the Middle East whose liberation is long overdue. What the oppressed need, he said on 19 May, is a dose of "America’s interests [that] are essential to them". He insults us all.

27 May 2011

Muziekje! Israeli Geography 101



http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=kclUjTG4rIk

Hoe ziet een week Israëlische bezetting er eigenlijk uit?

Het Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) rapporteert en archiveert alles wat er gebeurt in de bezette gebieden. Ik ontvang van hen al jarenlang een wekelijks overzicht. Wat mij betreft zouden alle politici die de bezetting van de Palestijnen goedpraten - en zelfs indirect stimuleren en faciliteren - deze rapporten verplicht moeten lezen. Ook voor de gemiddelde krantlezer is het natuurlijk heel nuttig om daar inzicht in te krijgen, omdat die door de pro-Israël berichtgeving in onze "kwaliteitspers" (die meestal alleen gebaseerd is op Israëlisch persmateriaal) denkt dat de bezetting slechts enkele defensieve, restrictieve en veiligheidsmaatregelen van het Israëlische leger inhoudt. En mochten de Israëlische aanvallen op de Palestijnen manifest worden, dan lezen ze dat het "tegenoffensief" (zie Harry van Bommel van de SP) of "vergeldingsaanval" was, die "niet buitenproportioneel" was. De gemiddelde Nederlander heeft zodoende geen idee hoe de bezetting er op dagelijks basis uitziet, en hoe diep die ingrijpt in het leven van meerdere generaties Palestijnen.

*IOF
Het PCHR noemt het Israëlische leger niet de Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) maar de Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF): het Israëlische bezettingsleger. De mainstream nieuwsmedia houden echter liever de mythe in stand dat het Israëlische leger uitsluitend defensief optreedt (Israeli Defense Forces, IDF), en dus geen gebieden bezet.

*OPT
Occupied Palestinian Territories: de Bezette Palestijnse Gebieden.

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (19-25 May 2011)

PCHR | 26.05.2011 | NEDERLANDS


A number of Palestinian evacuate Ramadan al-Daghma who was wounded by Israeli force during
a peaceful demonstration in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis, 20 May 2011

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)

  • A Palestinian civilian was killed by IOF near the border in the central Gaza Strip.
  • A Palestinian civilian was wounded in the east of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip.
  • Two Palestinian boys sustained severe burns as a smoke bomb, left by IOF in Hebron, exploded.
  • IOF continued to target Palestinian farmers in border areas in the northern Gaza Strip.
  • IOF fired at Palestinian farmers in two separate incidents, but no casualties were reported.
  • IOF continued to use force against peaceful protests in the West Bank.
  • Two demonstrators, including an international human rights defender, were wounded.
  • IOF arrested 11 demonstrators, including 10 Israeli solidarity activists and an international one.
  • IOF conducted 38 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested 15 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children.
  • The arrested civilians include the mother of Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, who was deported to Syria.
  • IOF continued settlement activities and Israeli settlers continued their attacks in the West Bank.
  • Israeli settlers caused severe damages to a Palestinian house, southwest of Bethlehem.
  • Seventy olive trees in the vicinity of "Qidoumim" settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, were uprooted.
  • Three women activists were attacked at Zaatara checkpoint, south of Nablus.
  • Israel has continued to impose a total siege on the Gaza Strip and tightened the siege on the West Bank.
  • IOF arrested at least 3 Palestinians at military checkpoints in the West Bank.


Summary

Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (19 – 25 May 2011):

Shooting:

During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian civilian in the Gaza Strip, while 2 Palestinian civilians and an international human rights defender were wounded; 2 of them were wounded in the West Bank and the third was wounded in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian children sustained burns due to the explosion of a "smoke" bomb from the Israeli military remnants, southeast of Hebron.


Al-Bureij refugee camp, September 29, 2010

In the Gaza Strip, on 21 May 2011, IOF stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of al-Bureij refugee camp [foto] in the central Gaza Strip, killed a Palestinian by 2 artillery shells and opening heavy fire at him. An ambulance officer, who participated in recovering the body, said that they found the body approximately one meter far from the border fence. One of the area's residents said that he heard the sound of 2 artillery shells and after 10 minutes, he heard heavy gunfire.

On 20 May 2011, IOF stationed at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, opened fire near Palestinians participating in a peaceful demonstration heading to the said border fence, east of Abasan village to the east of Khan Yunis. As a result, a Palestinian was wounded by shrapnel of a bullet in the legs.

In the context of targeting the Palestinian farmers in border areas in the Gaza Strip, IOF opened fire twice at the farmers during the reporting period. On 24 May 2011, IOF stationed at border fence, north of Shurrab lands in the northeast of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers who were on their lands, which are approximately 650 meters far from the said border fence. On 25 May 2011, IOF stationed on watchtowers at the border fence to the east of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at the farmers on their lands, east of al-Qurman Street, al-Naayma Street and al-Masreyen Street in the east of Beit Hanoun. As a result, the Palestinian farmers were forced to leave their lands and escape fearing for their lives. However, no injuries or damages in their property were reported.

In the West Bank, IOF used excessive force to disperse peaceful demonstrations organized in protest to Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall in the West Bank. As a result, two demonstrators, including a Palestinian civilian and an international solidarity activist, were wounded. In addition, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international human rights defenders participating in peaceful protests in the West Bank suffered from tear gas inhalation, and bruises as they were beaten by IOF.

IOF has continued to leave military remnants in residential and agricultural areas and in their vicinity. As a result, 2 Palestinian children sustained severe burns on Friday morning, 20 May 2011, when a smoke bomb left by IOF in the southeast of Hebron exploded.

Incursions:

During the reporting period, IOF conducted at least 38 military incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they arrested 15 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children. The arrested persons included Aysha Saleh Yousef Dar Suleiman, 70, from Aroura village, north of Ramallah, who was arrested at approximately 01:30 on Sunday, 22 May 2011, and driven to "al-Maskoubeya" interrogation center in Jerusalem. Dar Suleiman who was released at approximately 20:00 on the same day is the mother of Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, a member of Hamas Political Bureau, who spent 18 years in Israeli jails and was then deported to Syria.

IOF have continued to attempt to stop peaceful protests and to prevent international human rights defenders from participating in peaceful assemblies against settlement activities and the construction of the annexation wall. As part of these attempts, IOF arrested 11 protesters, including 10 Israeli solidarity activists and an international one.

Israeli Settlers' Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property:

Israeli settlers living in the OPT in violation of the international humanitarian law have continued to commit systematic crimes against Palestinian civilians and their property with protection provided by IOF that ignore conducting investigations into complaints submitted by Palestinian civilians against settlers.

In the context of the settlers' attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their lands located in the vicinity of "Gush Etzion" and "Efrat" settlement complex, southwest of Bethlehem, an old house belonging to Mohammed Saleh Abu Sawi from Artas village, south of Bethlehem, was deliberately attacked and damaged by a group of settlers living near the family's land on 22 May 2011. The attack resulted in destroying the roof of the house, which was built in the fifties of the last century. The house consists of 4 rooms built of stones and ceiled by wood and iron. Besides, there is a water well near the house.

On the same day, some settlers from "Tafouh" settlement, south of Nablus, attacked 3 Palestinian women from Iskaka Women's Charitable Association, from Iskaka village, east of Salfit.

Additionally, some settlers from "Qidoumim" settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, uprooted 70 olive trees belonging to Mohammed Abdul Latif Hamid Ishtiwi, from Kafr Qaddoum village. Ishtiwi did not know when the incident took place, as he cannot reach his land without a permit from IOF.

Restrictions on Movement:

Israel has continued to impose a tightened siege on the OPT and has imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.


Palestinians pass by a pool of blood after the Israeli shelling of a residential area in Beit Hanoun in the northern of Gaza Strip in which at least 18 people were killed, 8 November 2006.

Gaza Strip

Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has been steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

  • The cooking gas crisis which has erupted last November has continued to affect the Gaza Strip. This crisis was created when the Israeli occupation authorities totally closed, on 04 January 2010, Nahal Oz crossing, which used to be dedicated for the delivery of fuel and cooking gas supplies to Gaza, and shifted fuel and cooking gas supplies to Karm Abu Salem crossing which is not technically equipped to receive Gaza's needs of fuel. Karm Abu Salem crossing, with its maximum absorptive capacity, can receive only 200 tons of cooking gas per day.

    It should be noted that the Israeli occupation authorities have worked over the past three years to make Karm Abu Salem crossing, which is not appropriate for commercial purposes, as Gaza's major and sole crossing.

    In the beginning of 2010, the Israeli occupation authorities closed Nahal Oz crossing which was dedicated for the supplies of fuel and cooking gas to Gaza, and shifted fuel supplies to Karm Abu Salem crossing. these authorities totally closed Sofa crossing, southeast of Khan Younis, and shifted humanitarian aid and food items which used to be delivered via Sofa crossing to Karm Abu Salem crossing. Lately, they exceptionally open Sofa crossing from time to time to allow the delivery of construction aggregate for UNRWA.

  • Approximately 80% of Gaza civilians have continued to depend on alimentary aid provided by UNRWA and other relief agencies, rates of families who are living below poverty line have continued to be on the rise and approximately 40% of Gaza's manpower has continued to suffer from permanent unemployment as a result of shutting down the majority of Gaza's economic establishments.
  • IOF have continued to impose a total ban on the exportation of Gaza's products, especially industrial products, leading to undermining any real chances to rerun economic establishments. Facts on the ground refute IOF's allegation that they daily allow the export of 10 truckloads of agricultural products.
  • Recently, IOF allowed the exportation of very limited quantities of Gaza's agricultural products, including flowers and tomatoes, to European markers.
  • For approximately four consecutive years, IOF have continued to ban the delivery of construction materials to Gaza. During the reporting period, IOF approved the delivery of limited quantities of construction materials for a number of international organizations.
  • Israel has continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing for Palestinian civilians from the Gaza Strip. IOF only allow the movement of limited groups amidst severe restrictions, including long hours of waiting in the majority of cases. IOF have also continued to adopt a policy aimed at reducing the number of Palestinian patients allowed to move via Beit Hanoun [foto] crossing to receive medical treatment in hospitals in Israel or in the West Bank and Jerusalem. IOF denied new categories of Gazan patient permission to have access to hospitals via the crossing.
  • Israel has imposed additional access restrictions on international diplomats, journalists and humanitarian workers seeking to enter the Gaza Strip.
  • For approximately 46 months, IOF have continued to deny approximately 710 Palestinian prisoners from Gaza detained in Israeli jails their visitation rights without providing any justification to this measure, which violates the rules of the international humanitarian law.

West Bank

IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians throughout the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue to be denied access to Jerusalem.

  • IOF have established checkpoints in and around Jerusalem, severely restricting Palestinian access to the city. Civilians are frequently prevented from praying in the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

  • There are approximately 585 permanent roadblocks, and manned and unmanned checkpoints across the West Bank.

  • When complete, the illegal annexation wall will stretch for 724 kilometers around the West Bank, further isolating the entire population. 350 kilometers of the wall have already been constructed. Approximately 99% of the wall has been constructed inside the West Bank itself, confiscating more Palestinian land.

  • At least 65% of the main roads that lead to 18 Palestinian communities in the West Bank are closed or fully controlled by IOF.

  • There are approximately 500 kilometers of restricted roads across the West Bank. In addition, approximately one third of the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, is inaccessible to Palestinians without permits issued by IOF. Such permits are extremely difficult to obtain.

  • IOF continue to harass and assault demonstrators who hold peaceful protests against the construction of the annexation wall.

  • Palestinian civilians continue to be harassed by IOF in Jerusalem, and across the West Bank, including being regularly stopped and searched in the streets by IOF.


Israeli troops patrol in the al-Arroub refugee camp in the West Bank city of Hebron

Israeli Violations Documented during the Reporting Period (19 – 25 May 2011)

1. Incursions into Palestinian Areas and Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip

Thursday, 19 May 2011

· At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into al-Arroub [foto] refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched the house of Nawwaf Abdul Latif Jawabra. Before withdrawing, they arrested Jawabra's 16-year-old child, Mohammed, who is a student in the tenth grade. They drove Mohammed to "Kfar Etzion" detention center, southwest of Bethlehem. Mohammed was placed under interrogation for allegedly stoning IOF vehicles travelling on the main street near al-Arroub refugee camp. Ula Khalil, Mohammed's lawyer, said that her client Mohammed was beaten by gun butts on his legs directly after he had been arrested and during the few first hours of his detention in "Kfar Etzion" detention center.

· Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Kafl Hares village, north of Salfit. They patrolled in the streets and raided and searched a house belonging to Abdullah Ibrahim Bouzeyeh, 42. Before withdrawing, they arrested Bouzeyeh who is a mathematics teacher in the nearby village of Qira.

· At approximately 09:30, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew in the afternoon and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Jefna village, north of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· Also at approximately 10:00, IOF moved into Aroura village, north of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 14:00, IOF moved into Kafr Naama, west of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 17:00, an IOF vehicle moved into the northern neighborhood of al-Khadr village, southwest of Bethlehem. The vehicle chased a number of boys and arrested Mohammed Rezeq Ahmed Arafa, 20, from al-Duhaisha refugee camp, for allegedly stoning IOF vehicles positioning and travelling in the north and the west of al-Khadr village. Arafa was taken to "Kfar Etzion" detention center, southwest of Bethlehem.

· At approximately 18:00, IOF moved into Yabad village, southwest of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 21:45, IOF moved into Jericho. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 21:50, IOF moved into Beit Leqia, west of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

Friday, 20 May 2011

· At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Bir Zeit village, north of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Azzoun village, east of Qaqilya. They patrolled in the streets and raided and searched many houses amid firing sound bombs. Before withdrawing, they arrested 4 Palestinians, including 2 children:

1. Sameh Mahmoud Hussein, 17;
2. Ahmed Ali Rashed Radwan, 17;
3. Mohammed Imad Mohammed Radwan, 19; and
4. Amr Mohammed Abu Haneyeh, 18.

In addition, IOF confiscated 2 hunting rifles from 2 houses belonging to Udai Samir Hassan Salim and Mohammed Imad Radwan.

The mother of Mohammed Radwan, who was arrested by IOF, told a PCHR fieldworker the following:

"At approximately 03:03 on Friday, 20 May 2011, a large number of Israeli occupation soldiers raided the nearby house of my brother-in-law. They were screaming in megaphones and they fired sound bombs at the house’s door. They forced the residents to get out of the house. They were looking for my son Mohammed whose name is the same as his cousin's. The soldiers found that my brother-in-law's son whose name is Mohammed is not the person who is wanted. They then left my brother-in-law's house and immediately came to our house. They fired sound bombs and called on us through megaphones to leave the house within two minutes. I left the house with my son and my little daughter. They entered the house and nearly 15 minutes later, an Israeli intelligence officer called me to enter the house. I saw that the house was damaged. The officer asked me 'where is your son Mohammed?' I replied 'I do not know.' He said 'call him immediately and tell him to come home.' I called Mohammed, but he did not answer. The officer then said 'if he does not arrive, we will kill him and bring him dead to you.’ They had dogs and my little daughter was frightened and was crying all the time. They left the house and headed to my other brother-in-law’s house where my son was sleeping. They went upstairs. They destroyed the house and arrested Mohammed. His uncle told me that they held him from his neck, stuck him against the wall and stroke his head against the wall. When they left the house with my son, I heard him saying 'I want to say bye to my mum' and the officer said 'you have just knew that you have a mum?' We then brought him a jacket and saluted him. I went to check my house which was heavily damaged. They destroyed the closets, beds, windows, doors, sinks, the seats in the salon, the kitchen and everything in the house. They also confiscated a hunting rifle which was used by my son Mohammed."

· At approximately 11:00, IOF moved into Baqa al-Sharqiya village, north of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 11:30, IOF positioning at the border to the east of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip opened fire at points close to dozens of Palestinians participating in a peaceful demonstration. They demonstrators were walking towards the border in the east of Abasan village, east of Khan Yunis. Ramadan Mohammed Khalil al-Daghma, 47, who was participating in the demonstration sustained shrapnel wounds in the legs as a result. Al-Daghma was transferred to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis for medical treatment.

· At approximately 12:35, IOF moved into Bedia village, northwest of Salfit. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Bitonia town, west of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 22:30, IOF moved into Beit Leqia village, west of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

· At approximately 03:00, IOF positioned at the border to the east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip fired two artillery shells and bullets at Ibrahim Mohammed Ali Faraj Allah, 19, from al-Nussairat refugee camp. Faraj Allah was killed as a result.

Following coordination done by the International committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a medical crew from the Palestine Red Crescent Society managed to evacuate the body of Faraj Allah.

Awni Khattab, 48, a paramedic who participated in evacuation of the body, reported that the body was only one meter from the border fence and that dogs ate parts of the abdomen and thigh as Faraj Allah was killed at dawn and his body was evacuated at approximately 16:00 on the same day. He said that it took them nearly three hours to find the body and that the body was dissolute.

A resident from the area reported that in on Saturday morning, 21 May 2011, he heard two artillery shells. Ten minutes later, he heard intensive firing of bullets. The father of the dead person said that he called his son at approximately 01:30 on Saturday, 21 May, and that his brother Adel called him. Ibrahim told them that he was near the border fence. They tried to call him later, but he did not answer so they reported it to the police.

· At approximately 11:30, IOF moved into Beit Qad village, east of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets for some time. Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 15:30, IOF moved into Kafr al-Labd village, east of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither arrests nor further events were reported.

· At approximately 16:00, IOF moved into Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither arrests nor further events were reported.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

· At approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Deir al-Soudan village, north of Ramallah. They raided a house belonging to Murad Rezeq Allah Duha (Murad al-Soudani), 37. They delivered a notice to Duha to appear before the Israeli intelligence service, and they then withdrew. It should be noted that Duha is a poet and he is the Secretary General of the General Union of Palestinian Writers, and the President of the Palestinian House of Poetry.

· Also at approximately 02:00, IOF moved into Kafr Ra'i village, south of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets and then took position in the northern neighborhood. They raided two houses belonging to Tareq Zaki Nazzal "Melhem", 26, and Mohammed Fouad Mohammed Diab, 20. They arrested Nazzal and Diab and drove them to "Dotan" settlement, southwest of Jenin. Diab told a PCHR fieldworker that he and Nazzal were handcuffed and blindfolded and that they were detained in a room in "Dotan" settlement for nearly 4 hours. They were then driven to the Israeli District Coordination Office where the "Military Courts Compound" is in Salem village, northwest of Jenin. They were presented before the court to testify, as attesting witnesses, in a session held to try a Palestinian prisoner, based on a request by the Israeli military public prosecutor. After the session, Diab and Nazzal were released.

· At approximately 09:40, IOF moved into Beit Or al-Tahta village, west of Ramallah. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 17:00, IOF moved into al-Jarousheyeh village, north of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. Then they stationed near the entrance of the village and erected a military checkpoint. IOF soldiers stepped down from their vehicles and stopped travelling vehicles and checked the ID cards of passengers. They removed the checkpoint later and withdrew. At approximately 22:30, they retuned and positioned near the entrance of the village and erected a military checkpoint. No arrests were reported.

· At approximately 22:00, IOF moved into al-Ouja village, north of Jericho. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

Monday, 23 May 2011

· At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into al-Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron. They raided and searched many houses. Before withdrawing, they arrested 3 civilians and drove them to "Kfar Etzion" detention center, southwest of Bethlehem:
1. Hassan Nayef Hassan al-Ra'i, 19;
2. Umar Zuhdi Mahfouz, 19; and
3. Asaad Diab al-Badawi, 20.

· At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Tarqoumia village, northwest of Hebron. They raided and searched many houses. Before withdrawing, they arrested 2 civilians, including a child, and drove them to "Kfar Etzion" detention center, southwest of Bethlehem:
Muath Abdul Munim Shalalfa, 17; and
Udul Munim Shaker Abdul Munim Shalalfa, 18.

· Also at approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 01:30, IOF moved into Aroura village, north of Ramallah. They raided and searched the house of Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri. Before withdrawing at approximately 02:00, they arrested Aysha Saleh Yousef Dar Suleiman, 70, who is Sheikh al-Arouri's mother, and drove her to "al-Maskoubeya" interrogation center in Jerusalem. Dar Suleiman was released at approximately 20:00 on the same day. It should be noted that Sheikh al-Arouri is a member of Hamas Political Bureau. He spent 18 years in Israeli jails and then was deported to Syria.

· Also at approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Um al-Tout village, northeast of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· Also at approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Faroun village, south of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· Also at approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Silat al-Daher village, south of Jenin. They raided the offices of "Silat al-Daher Commercial Compound Company." They held the staff members and checked their ID cards. They also checked the surveillance cameras installed in the offices. On 16 May 2011, IOF chased a lorry of the Company while travelling on the main road between Nablus and Tulkarm, west of Nablus, on its way to distribute goods in Hebron. IOF stopped the lorry and arrested the two persons who were in it, claiming that they found a suspicious object in the lorry. IOF withdrew later from the village and no arrests were reported.

· At approximately 20:25, IOF moved into al-Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. They provocatively patrolled in the streets and claxoned now and then to bother Palestinians in the village. A number of boys gathered and stoned IOF that immediately responded by firing bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters. Many civilians suffered from gas inhalation as a result. IOF withdrew later and no arrests were reported.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

· At approximately 10:30, IOF moved into Rummana village, northwest of Jenin. They patrolled in the streets for some time. Neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 13:35, IOF positioned at the border to the north of Shurrab farm, northeast of Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers who were in their farms, nearly 650 meters from the border. Farmers were forced to flee in fear for their lives. Neither casualties nor damages to property were reported.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

· At approximately 00:30, IOF moved into Deir al-Ghosoun village, north of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 01:00, IOF moved into Atil village, north of Tulkarm. They patrolled in the streets for some time. They withdrew later and neither house raids nor arrests were reported.

· At approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Ein Beit al-Maa refugee camp, west of Nablus. They surrounded the house of Mohammed Hassan Ali al-Khatib, 26. They destroyed the handle of the external door. They then destroyed the door of the second floor. The residents of the house were surprised when they saw nearly 16 soldiers veiled in black in the salon on the second floor of the 3-storye house. IOF checked the ID cards of the men and arrested Mohammed.

Abdul Jalil, who is Mohammed's brother, told a PCHR fieldworker that his brother Mohammed spent 3 months in Juneid prison. At the end of 2010, Mohammed was granted amnesty after he signed a pledge, under Palestinian National Authority management, not to leave Nablus city. He was released from Juneid prison after signing the pledge.

· Also at approximately 03:30, IOF moved into Wad al-Tuffah area, west of Nablus. They raided and searched many houses. Before withdrawing at approximately 04:10, they arrested Fares Mahmoud al-Natour, 23.

· At approximately 11:20, IOF positioned on observation towers along the border in the east of Beit Hanoun tonw in the north of the Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian farmers in their farms in the east of al-Qurman Street, al-Naayma Street and al-Masreyen Street in the east of Beit Hanoun. Farmers were forced to flee in fear for their lives. Neither casualties nor damages to property were reported.

2. Crimes Caused By Israeli Military Remnants

IOF have continued to leave military remnants in residential and agricultural areas and in their vicinity. As a result, 2 Palestinian children sustained severe burns on Friday morning, 20 May 2011, when a smoke bomb left by IOF in the southeast of Hebron exploded.

According to investigations conducted by PCHR, at approximately 08:00 on Friday, 20 May 2011, Eid Mohammed Daajneh, 15, and Mohammed Yousef Hassan Daajneh, 15, were herding their sheep in "Wad al-Bad" area, nearly 800 meters to the east of (al-Bweib) village, in the far northeast of Yatta village, south of Hebron. Eid found a strange object which is a small cylindrical tin-coated metal tube with a black cover on one of its edges. The boy removed the tin and intense fast-spreading white smoke immediately rose. The boy dropped the tube and tried to flee the area with his friend. The two boys were totally in panic. However, the rising smoke had touched their bodies and caused burns throughout their bodies. Parts of their clothes and shoes were burned as well. Although they fled the area and went away for dozens of meters calling for help from their relatives, burns continued to spread in their bodies and their skins continued to melt.

According to a PCHR fieldworker’s documentation and observation and according to medical examination underwent on the two boys, the boys sustained first-degree and second-degree burns as follows:

1. Eid Mohammed Daajneh sustained first-degree and second-degree burns under the right eye, in the front, the right temple, the right hand and fingers, the right arm, the left knee, the right ankle and first-degree burns in the fingers of the left hand.
2. Mohammed Yousef Hassan Daajneh sustained first-degree and second-degree burns in the fingers of the left hand and signs of black carbon around the burns in the fingers of the left hand, the left ankle and second-degree burns in the right ankle.

Jihad Khalil Hassan Daajneh, 35, a shepherd, said that he saw the two boys running to him while crying because of pain and panic. He was nearly 60 meters from them. He tried to provide first aid by pouring water on the fire set in their limps. He made a phone call asking for a car to transfer the boys to "Abu al-Hassan al-Qasem" Hospital in Yatta where they were provided with first medical aid. Because of their serious conditions and inability to know the nature of the burns they sustained, coordination was made via the Palestinian Liaison Office with the Palestinian police to get an Israeli military medical crew. The Israeli medical crew arrived, with an Israeli force, at the crossroads of "Zif" village, east of Yatta. They diagnosed the wounds and provided primary treatment for the two boys.

Israeli explosives experts questioned the two boys about their wounds and the shape and nature of the object that caused their wounds. They showed the two boys samples of the ammunitions used by IOF and the boys could recognize the object that caused their burns. The medical crew provided primary medical treatment to the boys, but they refused to transfer the boys to a specialized Israeli hospital for treatment in an attempt to avoid assuming responsibility for this crime. The two boys were transferred in ambulances of the Palestine Red Crescent Society to Hebron Public Hospital for treatment.

Israeli Channel 10 affirmed IOF’s responsibility for the object that caused wounds to the boys. The channel reported: "The Daajnehs sustained wounds when they were playing near the village and an object from the ammunitions used by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and left in the scene during a raid implemented by the IDF in the area."

According to eyewitnesses and field observation, members of the Daajneh family found a similar object on Sunday afternoon, 22 May 2011, while herding sheep in the same area. The Israeli police was informed about the object and arrived at the scene. They closed the area and exploded the object which caused a loud noise. White smoke rose from the object for nearly 40 meters.

It should be noted that landmines and military remnants left by IOF cause severe suffering for Palestinians and shepherds in rural, nomad and remote areas where there are settlement activities or which are close to sites used for military training by IOF especially in Yatta and Bani Na'im in the south and southeast of Hebron, al-Khan al-Ahmar in the east of Jerusalem, and south and north of the Jordanian Valley in Jericho. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed or wounded as a result of these military remnants.

3. Use of Excessive Force against Peaceful Demonstrations Protesting Settlement Activities and the Construction of the Annexation Wall

During the reporting period, IOF used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders in protest to the construction of the Wall and settlement activities in the West Bank. As a result, a Palestinian civilian and an international human rights defender were wounded, and dozens of demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises. Besides, 10 Israeli activists and an international one were arrested by IOF. They were transported to an unknown destination.


Israeli troops stormed a number of homes in Bil'in and tried to arrest local youth, during the search campaign, soldiers fired tear gas at local youth who responded by hurling stones at the soldiers, September 2010

  • · Following the Friday Prayer on 20 May 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Bil'in village [foto], west of Ramallah, in protest to the construction of the annexation wall. The demonstrators then walked to the annexation wall. IOF made a barrier of barbed wire approximately 100 meters far from the wall. Before demonstrators' arrival to the barrier, IOF closed the barrier and fired bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. IOF also sprinkled wastewater at the demonstrators and chased them in olive field. As a result, Ibrahim Abdul Fattah Birnat, 29, was hit by a tear gas canister in the back, while dozens of demonstrators, including Mohammed Suleiman Yassin, 20, suffered from tear gas inhalation.

  • · Also following the Friday Prayer on 20 May 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Ne'lin village, west of Ramallah, in protest against the construction of the annexation wall. They then walked to the wall. IOF closed the gate established on the wall with barbed wire. When the demonstrators tried to cross the wall to the land located behind it, IOF prevented them. The demonstrators responded by stoning IOF that responded by firing bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. IOF also chased demonstrators in olive field. Many demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation as a result.

  • · Also following the Friday Prayer on the same day, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, in protest against the wall and settlement activities. The demonstrators walked in the streets of the village and chanted national slogans, expressing their refusal to the occupation and its arbitrary actions. They held Palestinian flags. Then they walked to the lands that settlers from "Halmish" settlement try to seize. IOF closed off the southern entrance of the village to prevent Palestinian and international demonstrators from having access to the mentioned lands. As the demonstrators attempted to access the land, IOF prevented them. IOF fired bullets, rubber-coated metal bullets, sound bombs and tear gas canisters at demonstrators. IOF also sprayed wastewater at the demonstrators and chased them. As a result, an unknown international activist was hit by a tear gas canister in the right hand. Besides, many demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation and sustained bruises. Additionally, IOF arrested 11 unknown activists, including 10 Israeli solidarity activists and an international one, and transported them to an unknown destination.

  • · At approximately 16:00 on Saturday, 21 May 2011, dozens of Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders organized a peaceful demonstration in Iraq Burin village and neighboring villages, south of Nablus. They walked to the lands that settlers try to seize in the southern side of the village, west of "Bracha" settlement. Before the demonstrators reach the said lands, IOF fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at them. As a result, 7 demonstrators, including Amir 'Aref Qadous, 15, Adham Kamal Faleh Qadous, 20, and two international activists, suffered from tear gas inhalation.

4. Continued Closure of the OPT

Israel has continued to impose a tightened closure of the OPT and imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.

Gaza Strip

Israel has continuously closed all border crossings to the Gaza Strip for over three years. The illegal Israeli-imposed closure of the Gaza Strip, which has steadily tightened since June 2007, has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

  • The illegal closure has caused not only a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of human rights and human dignity for the population of the Gaza Strip. Measures declared recently to ease the blockade are vague, purely cosmetic and fail to deal with the root causes of the crisis, which can only be addressed by an immediate and complete lifting of the closure, including lifting the travel ban into and out of the Gaza Strip and the ban on exports. PCHR is concerned that the new Israeli policy is simply shifting Gaza to another form of illegal blockade, one that may become internationally accepted and institutionalized. Palestinians in Gaza may no longer suffer from the same shortage of goods, but they will remain economically dependent and unable to care for themselves, and socially, culturally and academically isolated from the rest of the world.

  • Facts on the ground refute Israeli claims with respect to the easing of the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip and the reduction of restrictions imposed on the entry of goods.

  • Israeli declaration of allowing new goods to be entered into the Gaza Strip constitutes an attempt to delude the international community, as such goods do not meet the minimal needs of the Gaza Strip.

  • IOF have continued to ban the entry of raw construction materials into the Gaza Strip.

  • IOF have imposed a ban on all exports from the Gaza Strip.

  • Israel had continued to close Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing to Palestinian civilians wishing to travel to the West Bank and Israeli for medical treatment, trade or social visits.

  • Living conditions of the Palestinian civilian population have seriously deteriorated; levels of poverty and unemployment have mounted sharply.


A Palestinian woman whose house has been occupied by Jewish settlers argued with Israelis who came to celebrate Jerusalem Day in the mainly Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, December 2009

The West Bank

Israel has imposed a tightened closure on the West Bank. During the reporting period, IOF imposed additional restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.

  • Jerusalem [foto]: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians to and from the city. Thousands of Palestinian civilians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have been denied access to the city. IOF have established many checkpoints around and inside the city.

  • Ramallah: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 19 May 2011, IOF established 6 checkpoints around the town. At approximately 11:20, IOF established a checkpoint on Nabi Saleh – Kafr Ein road, northwest of Ramallah. At approximately 20:40, IOF re-established their presence at Attarah checkpoint at the northern entrance of Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. At approximately 22:00, IOF established a checkpoint near 'Eyoun al-Haramiyah intersection, north of Ramallah.
    At approximately 08:00 on Friday, 20 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance of Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah. At approximately 18:00, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Kafr Ne'ma village, west of Ramallah. At approximately 19:00, IOF re-established their presence at Attarah checkpoint at the northern entrance of Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.
    At approximately 19:10 on Saturday, 21 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance of Beit Liqia village, west of Ramallah.
    At approximately 20:30 on Sunday, 22 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance of Ras Karkar village, west of Ramallah. At approximately 22:00, IOF established a similar checkpoint near the entrance of Yabroud village, northeast of Ramallah. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles, however, no arrests were reported.

  • Qalqilya: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. On Thursday, 19 May 2011, IOF established 3 checkpoints around the town. On Friday, 20 May 2011, IOF established 3 checkpoints around the town. At approximately 22:15, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Hajja village and a checkpoint at the intersection of Jinsafout village, east of Qalqilya.
    On Monday, 23 May 2011, IOF established 4 checkpoints around the town. They stopped and searched Palestinian civilian vehicles.

  • Tulkarm: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 11:30 on Thursday, 19 May 2011, IOF stationed at 'Ennab checkpoint on Tulkarm – Nablus road, east of Tulkarm, imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians.
    At approximately 14:00, IOF established a checkpoint on 'Etil – Deir al-Ghsoun road, north of Tulkarm. At approximately 22:30, IOF established a similar checkpoint at the intersection of al-Jaroushiya village, north of Tulkarm.
    At approximately 01:00 on Friday, 20 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint on Tulkarm – Qalqilya road near the entrance of Far'oun village, south of Tulkarm.
    At approximately 12:00, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance of Beit Leed village, east of Tulkarm, while at approximately 12:15, they established a checkpoint at the entrance of Deir al-Ghsoun village, north of Tulkarm. At approximately 12:30, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Nazlet Isa village, north of Tulkarm. At approximately 22:30, IOF established a checkpoint at the intersection of al-Jaroushiya village, north of Tulkarm.
    At approximately 11:00 on Saturday, 21 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at the northern entrance of Beit Leed village, north of Tulkarm.
    At approximately 19:30, IOF stationed at 'Ennab checkpoint on Tulkarm – Nablus road, east of Tulkarm, imposed severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians and their vehicles.
    At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 22 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint on Tulkarm – Qalqilya road in al-Kafriyat area, south of Tulkarm. At approximately 21:00, IOF established a checkpoint on Kafr al-Labad – al-Hfasi road, east of Tulkarm. They stopped and searched the civilian vehicles, however, no arrests were reported.
    At approximately 13:30 on Monday, 23 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint on Tulkarm – Qalqilya road near the entrance of Far'oun village, south of Tulkarm. They detained Maher Mohammed 'Atiyah Thalathin, 37, from Ezbet Shoufa village, south of Tulkarm for an hour, while he was passing in his car via the checkpoint. Thalathin said to PCHR field worker that IOF searched his car before he was released.
    At approximately 14:00 IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of al-Jaroushiya village, north of Tulkarm. At approximately 23:30, IOF re-established the checkpoint at the same area.

  • Jenin: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 11:20 on Saturday, 21 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint at the entrance of Jalboun village, east of Jenin.

  • Jericho: IOF have continued to impose severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian civilians. At approximately 17:30 on Thursday, 19 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance of Fasayel, north of Jericho. They stopped and searched civilian vehicles, however, no arrests were reported.At approximately 19:30 on Saturday, 21 May 2011, IOF established a checkpoint near the entrance of al-'Ouja, north of Jericho.

Arrests at Checkpoints

  • At approximately 16:30 on Thursday, 19 May 2011, IOF stationed at the intersection on "Asyoun – Beit Fajjar" main road between Hebron and Bethlehem arrested Fo'ad Khalil Mohammed al-Shamisti, 33, from Yatta, south of Hebron. He was transported to "Kfar Etzion" detention center.

  • At approximately 20:30 on Saturday, 21 May 2011, IOF re-established their presence at Attarah checkpoint at the northern entrance of Birzeit village, north of Ramallah. They stopped and searched the Palestinian civilians and their vehicles. Before they retreat, IOF arrested Hassan Hussein Hassan Kan'an, 42, and transported him to an unknown destination.

  • At approximately 17:30 on Tuesday, 24 May 2011, IOF stationed at al-Karama International Crossing Point, at the borders between Jericho and Jordan, arrested Riad Abdul Razeq Rajab Shqouqani, 23, from 'Askar refugee camp, northeast of Nablus. Shqouqani was coming from Sharjah to the OPT via al-Karamah International Crossing Point.


A group of Israeli settlers attacked on Monday morning a Palestinian school in the southern part of Nablus, northern West Bank. Witnesses told local media that the settlers smashed windows and put-up a banner and wrote slogans on the outer wall of the school calling for the killing of Arabs. May 9 2011

5. Settlement Activities and Attacks by Settlers against Palestinian Civilians and Property

Israel has continued its settlement activities in the OPT in violation of international humanitarian law, and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property.

  • In the context of the settlers' attacks against the Palestinian civilians and their property located in the vicinity of "Gush Etzion" and "Efrat" settlement complex, southwest of Bethlehem, an old house belonging to Mohammed Saleh Abu Sawi from Artas village, south of Bethlehem, was deliberately attacked and damaged by a group of settlers living near the family's land.

    According to investigations conducted by PCHR, on Sunday morning, 22 May 2011, members of Abu Sawi family headed to their land and old house in "Khelet Ikhleil" area, east of the said settlement complex and the head office of the so-called Israeli Civil Administration, to work in their land as usual. The family members were shocked that the house's roof was completely destroyed; an attack that can only be done by the Israeli settlers, as the land's location does not allow the entry of any Palestinian, excluding the land's owners, who can pass after being searched and their IDs being checked. The house is only 200 meters far from the settlements' fence and "Civil Administration" head office, which is a military zone surrounded by watchtowers and surveillance cameras.

    Abu Sawi family said that the attack included destroying the roof of the house, which was built in the fifties of the last century. The house consists of 4 rooms built of stones and ceiled by wood and iron. Besides, there is a well near the house. The family stated: "This is not the first time that their property had been attacked by settlers and IOF, in addition, the Israeli settlers used to throw dead dogs inside the well." They pointed that: IOF closed the entrance leading to the land through the "Civil Administration" three years ago, due to which, they were obliged to stop their car away from the house and go to the land on foot. Their car was attacked by the Israeli soldiers under the pretext that it is close to the military position.

  • At approximately 09:00 on Sunday, 22 May 2011, a group of Israeli settlers from "Taffouh" settlement, south of Nablus, attacked 3 Palestinian women from Iskaka Women's Charitable Association, from Iskaka village, east of Salfit.

    In her testimony to PCHR field worker, Ms. Ahlam Adnan Harb said:

    "On Sunday morning, 22 May 2011, 2 members of the Association and I headed to Za'tarah intersection, as we intended to go to Ramallah. Once we arrived at the intersection, we found approximately 15 settlers standing there, some of whom were armed. They approached and started stoning us; however, we escaped the stones and were not harmed. IOF were supporting the settlers in their attack and did not prevent them, in addition, they pointed their guns at us. We wanted to stop a car to leave the area, but they were chasing us and prevented us from leaving. We tried to defend ourselves. In the meanwhile, a Palestinian civilian standing at the intersection saw us and ran towards us. As a result, we retreated immediately for fear of the eruption of clashes between the Palestinian civilians and Israeli soldiers. This attack against Palestinians and their property has repeatedly taken place at this intersection because of the presence of the Israeli settlers there and the soldiers’ support to them."

  • Some settlers from "Qidoumim" settlement, northeast of Qalqilya, uprooted 70 olive trees belonging to Mohammed Abdul Latif Hamid Ishtiwi, from Kafr Qaddoum village. Ishtiwi did not know when the incident took place, as he can't reach his land unless by a permit from IOF.

    In his testimony to PCHR field worker, Ishtiwi said:

    "At approximately 08:30 on Sunday, 22 May 2011, I went to plough my land named "Barous Valley", southeast of Kafr Qaddoum, plot 27. I went with the ploughman, as I had a permit to enter the land. Once we arrived, we were shocked that 70 olive trees, which were planted 7 years ago, had been uprooted. The land’s area is 15 dunums and is located near Qidoumim settlement, i.e. approximately 150 meters far from the settlement. It is also located near an outpost at Odlah Mountain, which is part of Qidoumim settlement. The settlers carried out the attack, as they are close to the land. Besides, Palestinians are not allowed to enter the land except by a permit from the Israeli side. After I saw my land, I phoned the Village Council and the Red Cross, who came to the site and photographed it. However, the Israeli soldiers came, dismissed them and prevented them from photographing. We spent half an hour before we were dismissed by IOF. Later, I filed a complaint to the Red Cross and Ariel Police."

Recommendations to the International Community

1. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to fulfill their legal and moral obligations under Article 1 of the Convention to ensure Israel's respect for the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. PCHR believes that the conspiracy of silence practiced by the international community has encouraged Israel to act as if it is above the law and encourages Israel continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law.

2. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to convene a conference to take effective steps to ensure Israel's respect of the Convention in the OPT and to provide immediate protection for Palestinian civilians.

3. PCHR calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention to comply with their legal obligations detailed in Article 146 of the Convention to search for and prosecute those responsible for grave breaches, namely war crimes.

4. PCHR calls for the immediate implementation of the Advisory Opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, which considers the construction of the Annexation Wall inside the West Bank illegal.

5. PCHR recommends that international civil society organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and NGOs, participate in the process of exposing those accused of grave breaches of international law and urge their governments to bring the perpetrators to justice.

6. PCHR calls upon the European Union to activate Article 2 of the Euro-Israel Association Agreement, which provides that Israel must respect human rights as a precondition for economic cooperation between the EU states and Israel. PCHR further calls upon the EU states to prohibit import of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements in the OPT.

7. PCHR calls on the international community to recognize the Gaza disengagement plan, which was implemented in September 2005, for what it is - not an end to occupation but a compounding of the occupation and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

8. In recognition of ICRC as the guardian of the Fourth Geneva Convention, PCHR calls upon the ICRC to increase its staff and activities in the OPT, including the facilitation of family visitations to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

9. PCHR appreciates the efforts of international civil society, including human rights organizations, bar associations, unions and NGOs, and urges them to continue their role in pressuring their governments to secure Israel's respect for human rights in the OPT and to demand Israel end its attacks on Palestinian civilians.

10. PCHR calls upon the international community to pressure Israel to lift the severe restrictions imposed by the Israeli government and its occupation forces on access for international organizations to the OPT.

11. PCHR reiterates that any political settlement not based on international human rights law and humanitarian law cannot lead to a peaceful and just solution of the Palestinian question. Rather, such an arrangement can only lead to further suffering and instability in the region. Any peace process or agreement must be based on respect for international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law.


Public Document
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