Tuesday, September 9, 2014

REDFLAG: West Bank occupation intensifies

Dear friends,
please find below my latest article on Palestine published by Red Flag about Israel's ongoing attacks and ethnic cleansing in the Occupied West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem

For the last month or so, the RedFlag website has been under digital attack by Zionist hackers due to the paper's unstinting support for Palestine and opposition to Israel's war crimes in Gaza.  RedFlag's website is currently back on line, but due to the ongoing attacks by hackers, the editorial staff at Red Flag are also publishing articles in full on the Socialist Alternative facebook page. 

Please consider supporting RedFlag by liking and following the SA facebook page (click here) and by taking out a subscription to the paper. 

If you are in Australia you can get a hard copy sent to your home or a digital version via email. Similarly if you are from outside of Australia, you can also subscribe and receive a digital subscription. To get your subscription, please contact RedFlag via the Socialist Alternative facebook page.

In solidarity, Kim


Israeli soldiers detain Palestinians during clashes at a protest against Israeli military action in Gaza, in the West Bank village of Silwad, near Ramallah August 15, 2014. Source: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

West Bank occupation intensifies
10 September 2014, RedFlag 
by Kim Bullimore

While the eyes of the world were on Israel’s ruthless and unrelenting 50-day bombardment of Gaza, the Zionist state continued its deadly campaign of murder, occupation, repression and settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. At least 32 Palestinians were killed and almost 1, 400 were injured.

Figures compiled by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) reveal that, between 13 June and 24 August, Israel detained 1,753 Palestinians (an average of 24 per day) and carried out 1,573 military raids (21 per day). The PLO report, titled “Business as Usual”, also documented more than 50 home demolitions, which left 112 people homeless, including 66 children.

Israeli settlers carried out 249 attacks (three per day) against Palestinians. Many occurred in occupied East Jerusalem, where 16-year-old school boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir previously was kidnapped, tortured and burned alive by settlers.

Israel has also declared more than 400 hectares of Palestinian land near Bethlehem to be “state land”. This is the biggest land theft in 30 years. According to the Israeli group Peace Now, the 31 August announcement seeks to turn a “wildcat” settlement, currently consisting of 10 settler families, into a permanent colony.

Since 1967, when it seized control of and occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, Israel has constructed hundreds more illegal colonies in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits an occupying power from transferring sections of its civilian population into the territories it occupies.

Over the last 20 years, the Zionist state has repeatedly violated the 1995 Interim Agreement developed in accordance with Article 7 of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which states: “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.”

Today, more than half a million Israeli settlers illegally reside in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, double the figure prior to the Oslo agreement.

In the weeks prior to the 31 August announcement, Israel was continuing its illegal annexation of Palestinian land and constructing illegal colonies. Israel approved the building of an additional 1,472 units, making room for almost 6,000 settlers in the colonies of Gilo, Harhoma and Giv’at Zeev. Settlement expansion also took place in the illegal Israeli colonies of Bracha, Yakir and Halamish.

During the assault on Gaza, approximately 1,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested for protesting the actions of the Zionist state. Maisa Arshid, an attorney for dozens of those arrested, told Al Jazeera on 5 August that in many cases the Israeli authorities had no evidence to justify the arrests.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted that, between 2 July and 6 August, approximately 1,500 demonstrators, the majority Palestinian, had been arrested. Some 350 of them are now being prosecuted for disturbing public order, unlawful gatherings, rioting and violence against people and property. During the same period, despite a number of violent protests by Israeli settlers and other Jewish citizens of Israel, not a single Israeli Jewish citizen was charged or prosecuted.

Palestinian attorney Suhad Bishara from the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel told Haaretz: “[T]he wave of arrests is intended to silence and crush the right of [Palestinian] Arab citizens to protest, via police violence and hostility.

“The Israel Police treats the Arab community as a potential enemy, and unfortunately, the court approved many of the police’s requests for extended remand, even when there was no ground for this.”

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