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BACBI
Academic Newsletter N° 55 (February 2020)

BACBI Academic's Website

'Gaza, The Dead-Zone'
'How life in the Gaza Strip changed over 14 years of Israel's strangling blockade.'
(Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, January 2020, pdf, 46p.).

"The Report presents overwhelming evidence of the prolonged and unlawful victimization of the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, which has intensified greatly since Israel imposed a land, sea, and air blockade in 2007. This unlawful and comprehensive blockade has entrapped the Gazan people ever since it was established is a particularly severe and cruel form of collective punishment, which is a flagrant and continuing criminal wrong. The focus on the dramatic deterioration of life circumstances for the people of Gaza under the blockade should not lead readers to suppose that Israel's occupation of Gaza in the preceding period, 1967-2007, was other than oppressive and subject to widespread condemnation at the United Nations and elsewhere..." (Introduction by Richard FALK, Chair of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, Board of Trustees). 

Contents of No 55:

Actions -- Agenda -- Academia -- Analyses -- Antisemitism -- BDS -- Current Affairs -- Gaza -- International -- Israel -- Jerusalem/Al-Quds -- Palestine -- Prisoners -- Refugees -- Resources -- Videos

Actualiteit :

David Cronin, "Why is Belgium being cruel to Gaza's refugees?" (The Electronic Intifada, 6 Feb):

By a variety of measures, the situation in Gaza is getting worse. Poverty and unemployment are rising, stocks of vital medicines are falling, electricity is in short supply. Belgium must be one of the few countries in the world to suggest that matters are improving... In total, the Belgian authorities took 783 decisions on requests for refugee status by Palestinians last year. Some 610 requests were turned down, with 172 approved (one Palestinian was given a protected status less than that of someone recognized as a refugee). The revised policy is causing huge anxiety.

Continue reading...


Actions & Calls : 

"Palestinians Appeal To The Diamond Industry" (AFOPA, Jan 30):

Human rights activists from Palestine, Israel, Europe, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia, have issued a call to people in the diamond industry not to attend the 'International Diamond Week' in Israel, February 10th-12th 2020. Citing the recent decision of the International Criminal Court of Justice to investigate suspected war crimes by Israel; the significant role of revenue from the diamond industry directly and indirectly funding the Israeli military and the failure of the diamond regulatory body, the Kimberley Process (KP), to ban blood diamonds that fund regimes guilty of grave human rights violations, over 100 internationals issued the call on Thursday 30th January.

To add your name: please send an email to margaret.cassar@internode.on.net.


Sean Clinton, "The Kimberley Process: Israel's multi-billion dollar blood diamond laundry" (MEMo, Nov 19, 2019):

Few people are aware that diamonds are Israel's number one manufacturing export, a "cornerstone" of its economy. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that economy "generates 88 per cent of the vast security budget that funds the Israel Defence Forces, [and security agencies] Mossad and Shin Bet."

Continue reading...


"Letter to the University of Durham - in Solidarity with BRISMES" (Google form: please sign and share widely!)

Dear Vice Chancellor Stuart Edward Corbridge,
We are writing to you to express our dismay and outrage at the University of Durham' unjustified and vindictive action taken against the
British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES).
At the BRISMES AGM in June 2018, a motion was passed to endorse the campaign for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions, as an act of solidarity with students and academics in Palestine. This motion was passed by a large majority, following an open and democratic debate, and in accordance with all relevant procedures of the Society. We were therefore shocked to read in BRISMES council's letter to you, that the University of Durham decided to end its provision of administrative support for BRISMES, citing the aforementioned resolution as the reason for the University's decision. As academics, including members and non-members of BRISMES, we believe that this decision has the effect of silencing and marginalising those who have chosen to speak out on a question of injustice and inequality...

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NGOs: "Joint Press Release: Human Rights Organisations Send Joint Written Submission on Israeli Apartheid to the UN Human Rights Council" (Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 4 Feb):

On 3 Feb 2020, a group of 13 Palestinian, regional, and international civil society organisations sent a joint written submission on Israeli apartheid over the Palestinian people to the United Nations Human Rights Council ahead of its 43rd regular session, which will begin on 24 February 2020. Submitting the report under item 9 of the Council's agenda, on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, the organisations highlighted Israel's creation and maintenance of an apartheid regime of systematic racial oppression and domination over the Palestinian people as a whole, and argued that further fragmentation of the Palestinian people, including as a result of the Trump administration's so-called "Deal of the Century," will only serve to entrench Israeli apartheid regime over the Palestinian people.

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Samidoun: "L' « Accord du siècle » colonial échouera" (Charleroi Pour la Palestine, 28 janvier):

Le réseau de solidarité avec les prisonniers palestiniens Samidoun joint sa voix à celle des Palestiniens et de toutes les personnes de conscience du monde entier pour rejeter et condamner le soi-disant " Deal du siècle " raciste et colonialiste de Donald Trump et Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Ludo De Brabander, "Trumps 'vredesplan' maakt van Palestina vazalstaat" (Uitpers, 30 jan):

President Trump en premier Netanyahu stelden hun vredesplan voor. Dat komt er op neer dat de Israëlische wensen worden gehonoreerd en de Palestijnen hun rechten afstaan met behoud van bestaande bezettingspraktijken en het koloniaal systeem. Met de gebruikelijke superlatieven en de nodige zin voor drama stelde president Trump, geflankeerd door de Israëlische premier Benjamin Netanyahu zijn "vredesplan" voor. Hij opende met "vandaag zet Israël een grote stap richting vrede". Als dit plan realiteit wordt zullen de Palestijnse burgers in een gedemilitariseerde vazalstaat terechtkomen waarover Israël heer en meester blijft, zoals vandaag.

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Adri Nieuwhof, "Dutch court grants immunity for Israeli war crimes" (The Electronic Intifada, Jan 29):

A court in the Netherlands has denied Ismail Ziada the chance to pursue justice for Israel's killing of his mother and other members of his family. The Palestinian-Dutch citizen has been suing Benny Gantz, Israeli army chief at the time, and Amir Eshel, then air force chief, for the decision to bomb his family's home during Israel's assault on Gaza nearly six years ago. The Dutch judges ruled that the two commanders enjoy immunity for their alleged crimes because they committed them while acting in an official capacity.

Continu reading...

Agenda :  

# Antwerpen, vrijdag, 14 feb, 20u00: Publiek debat "'Deal of the century' of routekaart naar de apartheid?" Org.: "Een Andere Joodse Stem." Waar: Elcker Ik Centrum, Breughelstraat 31, 2018 A'pen. Om het plan van Trump en het Israëlische beleid te keren, nodigt Een Andere Joodse Stem twee prominente Palestijnse activisten uit om hun mening te geven over het plan, evenals over de huidige impasse waarin de Palestijnen verkeren en de mogelijkheden om verder te komen. We verwelkomen:
* Inès Abdel Razek, advocacy director voor het
Palestine Institute of Public Diplomacy, een Palestijnse advocacy NGO gevestigd in Ramallah;
* Mahmoud AbuRahma, die 18 jaar lang het internationale pleitbezorgers- en procesvoeringsprogramma in het
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights in Gaza beheerde, en nu werkt aan antiracisme in Europa;
* Dr. Itamar Shachar, lid van Een Andere Joodse Stem. Hij werkte bij 
Gisha - Legal Center for the Freedom of Movement (Gaza), en is momenteel verbonden aan de vg. Sociologie aan UGent.
De discussie vindt plaats in het Engels, maar we verwelkomen de deelname van het publiek ook in het Nederlands, Arabisch of Hebreeuws. Vrije toegang.

# Charleroi, samedi 15 février 2020, de 10 h à 13 h: Formation : "La Palestine à l'ère de Donald Trump." Avec Hamdan Al Damiri, coordinateur de la Communauté palestinienne en Belgique. Lieu: à l'UT (bâtiment de la bibliothèque, au 1er étage, local AB2), boulevard Roulier, 1, Charleroi.

# Beaumont, 14 février au 13 mars : L'expo « 4 générations de réfugiés palestiniens au Liban.» Récit photographique d'un voyage à la découverte des camps de réfugiés palestiniens au Liban. Vernissage le jeudi 13 février à 18 h 30Lieu: à l'asbl Vie-Esem de Beaumont.  Vie Esem-CEPAG du Sud-Hainaut, 21, rue de la Déportation à Beaumont. Info et réservations: 071/58.96.16,

Academia :

Video: Third International Meeting for Science in Palestine (Scientists for Palestine, Feb 2):

The third International Meeting for Science in Palestine (from January 10th through 12th, 2020was a great success, watch this video (Vimeo, see also beneath: Videos) for the highlights of the weekend. The meeting aimed to escalate and refine plans toward Scientists for Palestine's primary objectives of advancing science in Palestine and integrating Palestinian sciences into the international scientific community by: enhancing collaboration between Scientists in Palestine and exile with key partners globally; highlighting Palestinian scientists and scientific development; and devising measurable goals toward these ends. The meeting saw the historic participation of a delegation of nine Palestinian scientists traveling to Boston from Palestine as well as presentations from other young and established scientists from around the world, including 2018 Chemistry Nobel Prize winner George Smith, MacArthur fellow Astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, and renowned Palestinian medic and innovator Dr. Tarek Loubani.

Continue reading...


Analyses & Comments :

Amjad Iraqi, "How the U.S. made Palestine the exception to the rules of peacemaking" (+972 Magazine, Feb 10):

Israel has only ever offered Palestinians two things over the past century: submission or devastation. - Palestinians knew well before U.S. President Donald Trump announced the "Deal of the Century" that his proposed "peace plan" would be a farce. Yet even the most cynical observers could not have predicted how bone-chilling the event would be. The racism of Trump's remarks, the grin on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's face, and the applause of the dignitaries in the room, may go down as one of the most harrowing political moments in Palestinian memory.

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Nada Elia, "More than Apartheid" (Mondoweiss, Feb 6):

A week into the official unveiling of the Trump Administration's "Deal of the Century," there is no lack of analysis of how this "vision for peace to prosperity" legitimizes Israel's numerous crimes, while fulfilling the country's aspirations for acceptance into the region. And as we denounce this vision, it must be emphasized that it does not propose much that is novel, as much as it merely sets up an official, contractual framework for transgressions that are already "facts on the ground."

Continue reading...


Rashid Khalidi, "' Deal du siècle " : pourquoi le plan de Trump pour la Palestine ne créera que plus de conflits" (trad. Agence Media Palestine, 10 février 2020):

La politique des États-Unis au Moyen-Orient ne peut pas fonctionner parce qu'elle nécessite que les Palestiniens acceptent qu'ils sont un peuple vaincu. En 1919, Arthur James Balfour, ministre des Affaires étrangères, écrivait qu'en Palestine, le gouvernement britannique ne « proposait même pas de consulter les habitants actuels sur leurs souhaits ». Les grandes puissances étaient converties au sionisme, continuait-il, « et le sionisme, qu'il ait raison ou tort, qu'il soit bon ou mauvais, tire ses racines de traditions séculaires,..»

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François Dubuisson, "Trump 'Plan' would create a fictitious Palestinian state devoid of rights under international law" (Mondoweiss, Jan 31):

After being announced shortly after Donald Trump took office in 2017, the " Plan " (modestly called "the Vision") supposed to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was made public on January 28th. It is therefore now possible to analyse its substance in detail, deepening the reflections that have already been made on the basis of the leaks of some of its aspects... In the preamble of the "Plan", a position is taken which results in the exclusion of the whole of international law, as derived from UN resolutions and a range of other texts, as the essential basis for establishing the parameters of the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Amir Tibon & Noa Landau, "Le plan de Trump comprend le 'transfert' de Palestiniens de '48" (Haaretz, Feb 4, via Charleroi pour la Palestine):

Le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahou a encouragé l'administration Trump a ajouter à son plan pour le Moyen-Orient une clause confirmant la possibilité pour les citoyens arabes d'Israël vivant dans la région d'Israël appelée « le Triangle » d'être dépouillés de leur citoyenneté israélienne et forcés d'aller vivre sous l'autorité palestinienne, ont révélé des sources impliquées dans les entretiens entre Israël et les États-Unis.

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Joseph Massad, "Palestinians have indeed 'missed an opportunity' - to surrender to Zionism" (Middle East Eye, Jan 31):

Trump's 'deal of the century' is simply the latest version of the state of Israel's colonial and racist demands. - Western and Israeli propaganda never tire of telling the world of the age-old Israeli quest for peace, and how much Israel longs to be accepted by Palestinians and the rest of the Arab peoples as a Jewish state - an oasis of European civilisation lodged smack in the middle of the Arab world.

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Sylvain Cypel, "Les États-Unis et Israël piétinent les Palestiniens et la Palestine" (Orient XXI, 30 janvier):

La révélation par le président américain Donald Trump, mardi 28 janvier, de "l'accord du siècle" censé amener Israéliens et Palestiniens à une "paix globale" n'a surpris personne. Son contenu avait été progressivement révélé dans ses grandes lignes, comme l'avait fait Jared Kushner, le gendre de Donald Trump et principal rédacteur de ce plan avec l'ambassadeur israélien à Washington, Ron Derner, lors d'un colloque à Bahreïn en juin 2019.

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Brecht Neven, "'Nakende annexatie van Palestijns land en economische implosie is uiterst explosieve cocktail'" (MO*, 8 feb):

Als een Europese reactie op de Amerikaanse Palestijnse-Israëlische "vredesdeal" uitblijft, staat er veel meer op het spel dan het lot van de Palestijnen volgens Midden-Oostenonderzoeker Hugh Lovatt. Trumps deal is het fundament van een nieuwe wereldorde, gebaseerd op rauw nationalisme en het recht van de sterkste. "De VS hebben het over een "realistische tweestatenoplossing" maar gooien het internationaal recht en alle vredesonderhandelingen overboord. Zonder respect voor het internationaal recht of medewerking van de VN-veiligheidsraad, is spreken over een tweestatenoplossing compleet ontdaan van elke betekenis. De VS trachten het begrip van een tweestatenoplossing opnieuw te definiëren. Maar die visie heeft niets te maken met hoe de internationale gemeenschap hiernaar kijkt."

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Selma Dabbagh, "Mending the holes in collective memory" (The Electronic Intifada, 20 Jan):

When the past has been subjected to a systematic process of erasure, how can artists, writers, historians, politicians, educators and activists on Palestine address it? With villages destroyed, libraries and documentation centers looted and archives appropriated by Israeli forces, reclaiming history has become a mission and a mantra for Palestinian intellectuals and activists.

Continue reading...


Rachel Shabi, "'Do not despair of losing so often' - Lea Tsemel, the Israeli lawyer who defends Palestinians" (The Guardian, Feb 10):

She has been called a traitor and the Israeli government tried to block an award-winning new film about her work and spirit. As the BBC screens Advocate, we meet the 'angry optimist.' In 2015, during an escalation of violence in Jerusalem, a just-turned-teenage Palestinian boy and his older cousin were involved in a stabbing that left two young Israelis injured - critically in the case of one, a 13-year-old boy. The elder cousin, Hassan, was shot dead by police... "Advocate", an award-winning documentary by Israeli film-makers Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche, chronicles the 75-year-old lawyer's life and work. The film provides a compelling insight into the uneasy complexities of representing Palestinians in Israeli courts, where the occupiers effectively judge the occupied in a system that can't escape the bloody conflict raging between the two sides.

Continue reading...


Antisemitism Politics :

Henri Goldman,"L'appropriation par Israël de 'la mémoire de la Shoah' est pour moi une vraie souffrance" (La Libre, 28 janvier):

Auschwitz. Ma famille a une histoire avec ce camp. Ma mère, Szajndla dite Sonia, y fut déportée de Malines en janvier 1944, avec le 23 e convoi. Peu de temps après, elle donna naissance à une petite fille qui fut doucement euthanasiée pour éviter pire. Mon père, Yisroël dit Charles, arriva un peu plus tard, avec le 24 e convoi, l'avant-dernier, accompagné de sa femme et du plus jeune de ses trois enfants. À l'arrivée, ils furent séparés sur la rampe. Mon père rentra dans le camp. Sa femme et son fils furent poussés dans l'autre file. Ils allaient prendre une douche. On ne devait plus les revoir.

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Johan Depoortere, "Holocaust en Propaganda" (Salon van Sisyphus, 21 jan):

De doden spreken niet. De miljoenen Joden die door de nazi's werden vermoord, protesteren dus ook niet als ze worden gebruikt om een ander onrecht goed te praten: het settlerkolonialisme dat een heel volk van zijn huis en grond heeft verdreven en een regime dat discriminatie en Apartheid in wet heeft gebeiteld. Dat is nochtans wat N-VA politicus André Gantman doet in zijn recent interview in De Standaard als hij het tragische lot van zijn familie en van alle Joden inroept om antizionisme gelijk te stellen met antisemitisme, Jodenhaat. Dat betekent dat de zes miljoen Palestijnen die onder Israëlisch bestuur leven en die het zionisme verwerpen, gebrandmerkt worden als Jodenhaters.

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Jonathan Cook, "The Holocaust, the BBC and Antisemitism Smears" (CounterPunch.org, 5 Feb):

Senior BBC news reporter Orla Guerin has found herself in hot water of an increasingly familiar kind. During a report on preparations for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, she made a brief reference to Israel and an even briefer reference to the Palestinians. Her reporting coincided with Israel hosting world leaders last week at Yad Vashem, its Holocaust remembrance centre in Jerusalem.

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Nora Barrows-Friedman,"Israel lobby prompts federal investigations over Palestine events" (The Electronic Intifada, Jan 30):

The US Department of Education has opened two separate investigations into the University of California at Los Angeles because of events that discussed advocacy for Palestinian rights. The investigations have been prompted by complaints filed by Israel lobby groups, which allege that Palestine-related education or advocacy on campus is inherently anti-Semitic and discriminates against Jewish students.

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Willem Staes (11.11.11), "'Israëlische desinformatiecampagne in Europa moet stoppen'"(Erik Raspoet, Knack, 21 jan 2020):

Israël voert een internationale haatcampagne tegen ngo's die kritisch zijn over de bezetting van de Palestijnse gebieden. 'De vrijheid van meningsuiting staat op het spel', waarschuwt Willem Staes, Midden-Oostenspecialist van 11.11.11. Israël lobbyt ook in Europa bij regeringen, parlementen en zelfs rechtbanken om de politieke en financiële steun aan Palestijnse en pro-Palestijnse ngo's droog te leggen. Het probeert hen te delegitimeren door ze als antisemitisch te brandmerken.

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BDS:

Eliza Egret & Tom Anderson: "Check Point Software: Ex-Israeli military spooks profiting from the cyber-security industry" (Corporate Watch, Nov 25, 2019):

This profile is written in solidarity with the Palestinian movement for BDS of Israeli companies. Check Point Software Technologies sells internet security products across the world, including to public institutions such as the UK's National Health Service. Israel's fourth largest company, it is closely intertwined with the Israeli military and security services. Several of Check Point's directors worked in cyber-intelligence for the Israeli military before starting careers in the private sector. The company works in partnership with some of Israel's biggest arms companies, including drone manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Continue reading...


Marcy Oster & JTA, "Gaza documentary filmmaker files federal lawsuit against Georgia's anti-BDS law" (Haaretz, Feb 11):

A documentary filmmaker, Abby Martin, who released 'Gaza Fights for Freedom' in August, is suing the state of Georgia over its law against boycotting Israel, saying it violates the Constitution. Announcing her federal suit on Monday, Abby Martin said that after she refused to sign the required oath from the 2016 law pledging not to boycott Israel, her scheduled appearance at a media conference at Georgia Southern University was canceled. At its core, "Gaza Fights For Freedom" is a thorough indictment of the Israeli military for war crimes, and a stunning cinematic portrayal of Palestinians' heroic resistance.

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Current Affairs:

"Excessive Use of Force and Collective Punishment: IOF Kills 3 Palestinians and Destroys a Prisoner's House in Less than 24 Hours" (Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Feb 6):

The newest Israeli killing of Palestinians under its policy of excessive use of force, the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed 3 Palestinians and wounded 8 others in less than 24 hours in Jenin and Hebron, north and south of the West Bank. Of the Palestinians killed, 2, including a policeman, were shot and killed during an IOF raid into Jenin to demolish a prisoner's house, for the second time. This falls under the Israeli policy of collective punishment employed against families of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israeli soldiers and/or settlers. Meanwhile, the third Palestinian was killed by an Israeli sniper in a protest in Hebron.

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Gideon Levy, "The IDF Spokesman Announces: Continue to Shoot Palestinian Children" (Haaretz via If Americans Knew, Feb 10):

The dehumanization of Palestinians has reached the IDF spokespeople. Even children no longer rouse human sentiment such as sorrow or mercy, certainly not in the IDF. -- Israeli soldiers shoot children. Sometimes they wound them and sometimes they kill them. Sometimes the children wind up brain dead, sometimes disabled. Sometimes the children have thrown rocks at the soldiers, sometimes Molotov cocktails. Sometimes by chance they wind up in the middle of a confrontation. They almost never put the soldiers' lives in danger. Sometimes the soldiers intentionally shoot at the children, sometimes by mistake. Sometimes they aim at the children's heads or the upper body, and sometimes they shoot in the air and miss, hitting the children in the head. That's how it goes when a body is small...

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Oren Ziv & Ahmad Al-Bazz, "Palestinian teen shot in head by Israeli forces delayed en route to hospital" (+972,Feb 7):

Last Thursday, Israeli soldiers shot Muhammad Shtewi, 15, in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet while he was spending time with friends at a public spring near Kufr Qaddum, a Palestinian village in the West Bank. Witnesses to the shooting, including people who accompanied Shtewi to the hospital, described a disturbing scene: not only did soldiers shoot Muhammad in the head while he was not engaged in any violent activity, but for 25 minutes, an Israeli police officer held up the car that was taking Shtewi to be treated. The teenager continued to bleed from the head, his arrival at the hospital delayed.

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"Israeli security forces arrest 1 Palestinian journalist, and injure another covering protests" (Committee to Protect Journalists via Informed Comment, Feb 6):

Israeli authorities should reveal the reason for journalist Mohammad Malhem's arrest or release him immediately, and should investigate the injuries sustained by journalist Abdul Mohsen Shalaldeh and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Stuart Littlewood, "Israeli rogue regime cuts medical lifeline to remote Palestinian villagers - again" (Redress Information & Analysis, Jan 30):

UK government not bothered. After all, Israel is our friend, has an unquestionable right to exist, shares our values, has a right to defend itself, mustn't be punished even for war crimes and crimes against humanity, can carry on tramping Palestinians underfoot. When Israel confiscated a Palestinian medical jeep it may not have sounded like a big deal.

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Oren Ziv, "Israel steps up campaign against Bedouin village it demolished 173 times" (+972, Jan 28):

Israeli forces have demolished the village of Al-Araqib 173 times. Now, in an effort to push the residents off their land, Israel is stepping up its harassment through arrests, raids, and fines. Israeli forces raided the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib and arrested its leader, Sheikh Sayyah Abu Mdeghem, as part of a growing campaign to try and force the residents off their land.

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Gaza Strip:

Gideon Levy, " 2020, l'année de la fin de Gaza " (AFPS via UPJB, le 7 janvier 2020):

Une famille palestinienne se réchauffe autour d'un feu durant une période de temps froid dans un bidonville à la périphérie du camp de réfugié de Khan Younis, au sud de la bande de Gaza, 31 décembre 2019. Photo Khalil Hamra. Original de Gideon Levy publié sur Haaretz.

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"Gaza Strip Map: Mapping Movement and Access, January 2020" (Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement):

A new and updated map published by Gisha in January 2020 emphasizes the spatial dimensions of Israel's ongoing control over Gaza, and the means by which Israel denies movement of people and goods. The map includes data and background on the crossing points with Israel and Egypt, the "fishing zone" enforced by Israel in Gaza's territorial waters, and the "buffer zone" it imposes along the barrier separating Gaza from Israel.

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Gisha | Israel reduces Gaza's "fishing zone" again in act of collective punishment (Gisha, Feb 6, 2020):

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced that as of 16:00 that day and "until further notice," fishermen's access to the "fishing zone" - enforced by Israel in Gaza's sea space - would be limited to a distance of up to ten nautical miles in the areas south of the fishing port... Throughout 2019, Israel changed the demarcation of the fishing zone no less than 19 times. 

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International :

Tariq Dana, "Criminalizing Palestinian Resistance: The EU's New Conditions on Aid to Palestine" (Al-Shabaka, Feb 2):

The EU recently notified the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (PNGO) network of new conditions on its aid, namely that Palestinian civil society organizations are obligated not to deal with individuals or groups designated as "terrorist" by the EU. This includes staff, contractors, beneficiaries, and recipients of aid. The move not only further restricts the freedom of Palestinian civil society, but also criminalizes Palestinian resistance even in its most peaceful forms.

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Dima Abumaria, "Palestinian NGOs Refuse 'New' Terror-Related EU Funding Terms" (The Media Line, Jan 6):

In mid-December of last year, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (PNGO) network refused new terms added by the European Union in 2019, which obligate Palestinian institutions to ensure that no beneficiaries of their projects or programs are affiliated with groups listed on the European Union's terrorist organizations list. In a meeting between the PNGO and EU last month, the PNGO delivered a message summarizing its objections, which was signed by 134 Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem... Abu Ramadan affirmed the EU's role as the largest funder of Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza; its funding covers around 70% of the projects in the Palestinian territories.

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Charles Bybelezer, "EU Policy Chief Slams Israel After Failed Bid to Condemn US Peace Plan" (The Media Line, Feb 5):

Employing uncommonly harsh rhetoric, the EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, has warned Israel that its plans to annex parts of the West Bank in accordance with the Trump Administration's peace plan would not go "unchallenged." The comments followed reports that he tried, unsuccessfully, to have all EU member states agree on a resolution condemning the US peace initiative. According to media reports, Israeli officials lobbied hard and managed to get Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and at least two other unnamed countries to oppose the move. On the flip side, Ireland and Luxembourg are reportedly spearheading an effort to have the EU immediately recognize a Palestinian state.

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Ahmad Melhem, "Can the EU resuscitate the two-state solution?" (Al-Monitor, Feb 5):

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian leaders are counting on the European Union to renew its commitment to a two-state solution for resolving the conflict with Israel. This comes after US President Donald Trump on Jan. 28 revealed the details of his so-called deal of the century for peace, which threatens the approach and which the Palestinians have rejected.

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Gina Dowding, "Israel's weapons industry earns millions from EU states. It must end" (Middle East Eye, Jan 16):

A new report shows that the European Union is funnelling millions of euros of taxpayers' money to Israeli weapons manufacturers. With a resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict seeming ever more elusive, the EU's role as a credible mediator is growing in importance. This revelation puts that role at risk. The report, published by the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine, shows that the EU has handed out 2m euros to private weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems and more than 7m euros to state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) between 2014 and 2019. The companies received grants under the EU's programme for research funding, Horizon 2020.

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Delilah Boxstein: "British universities invest £450m in companies complicit in Israeli crimes: Report" (Middle East Eye, Jan 19):

More than 100 British universities have over £454m (about $600m) invested in companies complicit in Israeli violations of international law, research from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has claimed, revelations that have angered pro-Palestinian activists.

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Palestine Legal (US): "2019 Year-in-Review Movement for Palestinian Rights Thrives Despite Censorship":

In December 2019, Donald Trump signed an executive order directing government agencies to consider a distorted definition of antisemitism designed to censor human rights activists. This move capped off a year of heightened efforts by government officials, school administrators, and Israel proxy groups to silence the growing chorus of Americans demanding freedom, justice and equality for Palestinians.

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"Israel's US Lobby in Frantic Damage Control" (The Media Line, Feb 10):

The American-Israel Public Action Committee or AIPAC, the state of Israel's American lobby, has come under intense criticism for a Facebook ad it ran that many see as an indictment against the Democratic Party, accusing it of abandoning the Jewish state.

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Israel:

Avner Gvaryahu, "Facing blowback from annexation" (Haaretz, Feb 10):

In the discussions last week about annexing the Jordan Valley, Benjamin Netanyahu told security officials the following incredible thing: "My decision, as the statesman, is to annex the valley. Your job is to deal with the consequences, if there are any." In one fell swoop, with one sentence, Netanyahu refuted the oldest and most effective lie regarding the occupation - that it's necessary for security. Security, it seems, is only a consideration when one wants to send soldiers to die for the status quo or for a politician's survival. But when you want to annex, you can throw the status quo out the window.

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Jonathan Cook: "Israel's Palestinian minority has good reason to fear Trump's plan" (Middle East Eye, Feb 7):

The Trump administration's decision to green-light Israel's annexation of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank grabbed headlines last week. But US support for a related proposal - one equally cherished by Israel's extreme right - was far less noticed. Under the terms of the "Peace to Prosperity" document, the US could allow Israel to strip potentially hundreds of thousands of its own inhabitants of their citizenship in a so-called "populated land swap" with the settlements. Those in danger of having their citizenship revoked are drawn from Israel' large Palestinian minority - one in five of the country's population.

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Jonathan Cook, "JNF: Ethnic Cleansing Disguised as Environmentalism - The Nakba Continues" (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March/April 2020, pp. 20-23):

A man sits on a bench at Jerusalem's Independence Park, built in 1955 and financed by the JNF-USA, on the site of the Arab Mamilla Cemetery. Israeli authorities bulldozed or removed at least 1,500 tombs in the cemetery and simply threw away the human remains, according to an investigation by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. -- The British state is being asked to account for its financial and moral support for the UK branch of the Jewish National Fund (JNF UK), which stands accused of complicity in the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland.

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"This Tu BiShvat, don't plant a tree in Israel" (The Times of Israel, Feb 10):

KKL-JNF's pine forests have done more harm than good: they contribute to climate change and disrupt Israel's unique biodiversity - It's the Jewish New Year for Trees, Tu BiShvat... Lately, it also reminds us, if we are paying attention, of the need to live in harmony with nature. As Israeli environmentalists have been warning for decades, we've been planting the wrong trees, the wrong way, in the wrong places for a long time. SPNI's new study concludes unequivocally that, from an ecological perspective, the KKL-JNF's (Jewish National Fund) traditional [European] pine forests [planted above the ruins of demolished Palestinian villages after the Nakba, HdL] have done more harm than good. Cf. "The scope of afforestation in Israel is impressive and is an integral part of Zionist History" (Report of The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel, 2019, pdf, 98p., p. 68).

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Jerusalem - Al-Quds :

Nir Hasson, "By evicting East Jerusalem Palestinians, Israeli courts sweep historic injustice under the rug" (Haaretz, Jan 21):

Every time the efforts of the right-wing organization Ateret Cohanim to evict the residents of Silwan neighborhood's Batan al-Hawa section in East Jerusalem make the headlines, it behooves us to recall some basic undisputable facts. During the War of Independence in 1948, Jews and Arabs were forced to abandon their property and flee to the other side of the border that had just been created.

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Adam Rasgon, "In Abu Dis, the notion of becoming capital of Palestine is deemed 'preposterous'" (The Times of Israel, Feb 5):

Mayor of neighborhood on Jerusalem outskirts says Trump proposal makes no practical sense; activist worried by plan's ambiguity on fate of residents living beyond security barrier. - Abu Dis used to be closely connected to the center of Jerusalem. Its residents would take short drives to the Old City and its surrounding neighborhoods to shop, pray, seek medical treatment and attend cultural events. But after Israel constructed the security barrier,... residents of Abu Dis were cut off from the main parts of the city. 

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Palestine:

Saeb Erekat, "Today, Palestine launches a real peace process. Not Trump's ignorant, arrogant sham" (Haaretz, Feb 11):

At the UN today, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will say: Give peace, not apartheid, a chance.  And he will offer a serious proposal to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Mideast. A vision of peace can never mean legitimizing violations of international law. Donald Trump's so-called "Peace to Prosperity" Mideast plan, unveiled at the White House, has done just that. It is an annexationist plan that well defines the current U.S. administration's political blindness, arrogance, and ignorance.

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Juan Cole, "Israeli Blocking of Palestinian Exports to Jordan Shows reality of Apartheid that the Kushner Plan would only Cement" (Informed Comment, Feb 10):

The Israeli government blockade on Palestinian agricultural exports through Jordan on Sunday illustrates the Apartheid character of Israeli rule over the Palestinians. Palestinian trucks loaded with produce were stopped by quickly-erected Israeli blast walls and forbidden to head into Jordan.

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Palestine: "US Plan to Entrench Israel's Apartheid Regime Must be Rejected" (Al-Haq, 5 Feb):

Over the last three years, the Trump administration has increasingly implemented one-sided policies favoring the Government of Israel that contravene international law and reward Israel's illegal actions. These policies reinforce repression and incite violence, posing significant risks to regional stability. The so-called "Deal of the Century" is a culmination of the Trump administration's normalization of Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people. It is of grave concern that some Governments of the region, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates welcomed the plan as a starting point for negotiations and failed to reiterate a commitment to uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

Continue reading... (with list of international signatories).


Prisoners : 

@ "Year-end report: Israeli occupation arrests over 5,500 Palestinians in 2019" (Samidoun, Dec 30, 2019):

The following report was issued on 30 December 2019 by Palestinian prisoners' institutions and associations (Palestinian Prisoners' Society, Prisoners' Affairs Commission and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association). Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network translated the report into English.

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@"Threat. Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel", ed. by Abeer Baker & Anat Matar. Pluto Press, 2011, 282p., pb ISBN: 9780745330204. £12.00.

Palestinian prisoners charged with security-related offences are immediately taken as a threat to Israel's security. They are seen as potential, if not actual, suicide bombers. This stereotype ignores the political nature of the Palestinian prisoners' actions and their desire for liberty. By highlighting the various images of Palestinian prisoners in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Abeer Baker and Anat Matar chart their changing fortunes. Essays written by prisoners, ex-prisoners, Human rights defenders, lawyers and academic researchers analyse the political nature of imprisonment and Israeli attitudes towards Palestinian prisoners. These contributions deal with the prisoners' status within Palestinian society, the conditions of their imprisonment and various legal procedures used by the Israeli military courts in order to criminalise and de-politicise them. Also addressed are Israel's breaches of international treaties in its treatment of the Palestinian prisoners, practices of torture and solitary confinement, exchange deals and prospects for release.


Refugees :

"I can speak my mind and voice my rights" (MAP, Jan 22, 2020):

By Wafa Dakwar, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP's) Senior Programme Officer in Lebanon. Razan is a peer educator who has been volunteering for many years in the Adolescent Health and Life-Skills Education project run by Beit Atfal el Assomoud in Lebanon with Medical Aid for Palestinians' (MAP's) support.

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Resources - Reports - Books :

@ "Peace to Prosperity. A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli people", "Part A: Political Framework" (The White House, January 2020, pdf, 181p.):

Secion 1. Introduction. Background. Israelis and Palestinians have both suffered greatly from their long-standing and seemingly interminable conflict. For nearly a century, international leaders, diplomats, and scholars have debated the issues and attempted to resolve this conflict. The world has changed greatly during this period, as have the security challenges facing the Middle East. Many of the disputed issues have remained largely the same, and stubbornly intractable. The time has come to end the conflict, and unlock the vast human potential and economic opportunity that peace will bring to Israelis, Palestinians and the region as a whole.

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L'archipel de Palestine Orientale, Julien Boussac.

Carte imaginée et produite par Julien Boussac à partir de documents fournis par le Bureau de coordination pour les affaires humanitaires dans les territoires palestiniens occupés et B'Tselem. Toutes les zones de Cisjordanie (Palestine) qui sont occupées par Israël en permanence, sont représentées en mer. La mer recouvre donc les zones quasimment interdites aux Palestiniens : colonies juives, leurs zones tampons et routes réservées dans les territoires occupés, mais aussi toutes les zones militaires de l'occupant, vallée du Jourdain, Israël, et l'étranger. La carte ne fait que refléter les conditions de circulation réelles de celles et ceux habitant sur les petits îlots : les Palestiniens et les palestiniennes, avec leurs familles. Au fait, dans la région l'océan monte chaque année un peu plus haut, depuis 1967.

@ "Al-Haq's Main Recommendations to the Committee on the Rights of the Child on the First Review of the State of Palestine" (6 Feb 2020):

In this paper, Al-Haq presents its main recommendations provided by Al-Haq submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the first periodic review of the State of Palestine with some updates made to the mentioned submission. Al-Haq remains positive that the following recommendations may be considered with value and use for the constructive dialogue between the Committee and the State, for Al-Haq meeting with the Committee members of the task force, as well as the Committee's concluding observations on the first periodic review of the state.

Paper, 28 Jan 2020 (pdf, 9p.): click here!


@ "In First Person. A Body of Testimonies" (Yesh Din, Volunteers for Human Rights):

Settler violence impacts the daily routine of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. In First Person brings the testimonies of Palestinians in their own words as documented by Yesh Din since 2005, describing the violence and ongoing harm to their person, property and land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

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© Sylvain Cypel, "L'État d'Israël contre les Juifs." La Découverte (Cahiers Libres), févr 2020, ISBN : 9782348043444, 330p. Version papier: 20 euros (version numérique: 13,99 euros).

Imagine-t-on en France une loi qui établirait deux catégories de citoyens : par exemple, les " Français de souche " et les autres, qui ne bénéficieraient pas de droits égaux ? Une loi ségrégationniste de ce type, le Parlement israélien l'a votée en 2018, au bénéfice des seuls citoyens juifs. Comment s'étonner que, de Trump à l'Indien Modi, du Hongrois Orbán au Brésilien Bolsonaro, les nouveaux dirigeants dits « illibéraux », dont certains cultivent leurs franges antisémites, plébiscitent désormais Israël ?

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