The Latest From Palestine: News

Co-authored by Maren Mantovani and Ángel Alonso.

“It is our responsibility to do what is in our reach to support justice in Palestine.” With these sound and simple words Jesús Manuel Sánchez Antuña, the mayor of Langreo, has reaffirmed the solidarity of the small town in Asturias, in northern Spain. We had visited to thank the local council for its decision to declare the municipality ‘free of Israeli Apartheid’ and not to contract any companies that are involved in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and international law.

 7 people have been killed in the past five days in the Hebron province and in East Jerusalem. With the ending of the Aid celebration, the climate in the West Bank seems to raise up to level it reached last year in the same period. Since October 2015, 227 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces.

Nearly 40 European trade unions, water and human rights networks and environmental groups from a dozen countries have written a letter to the European Commission urging withdrawal of patronage from Watec, the Israeli water conference and exhibition to be held for the first time in Europe, September 21-23 in Venice, Italy. (See letter and signatories)

The Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU), Palestinian Environmental NGO Network (PENGON), and 12 other Palestinian agricultural and environmental organizations and networks have in the last weeks addressed the Italian Association of Farmers, Coldiretti Veneto, asking them to rethink their sponsorship and participation in Watec. 21 to 23 September the Israeli Watec conference, aimed at promoting Israeli technology in the water sector, will take place in Venice. 

Palestinian agricultural and water organizations have as well extended their solidarity to the Italian people that have been affected by the recent earthquake. They are still waiting for a reply from Coldiretti. 

Israel has apparently taken advantage of the holiday season of Western diplomacy and at the UN headquarters in New York to speed up its settlement expansion, approving shocking colonial projects. While further penetrating the center of Hebron with settlements, a new plan to completely ghettoise Bethlehem has been presented. The Bedouin school in Khan al Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, is once again targeted for demolition while only 100 meters from the al Aqsa Mosque a new ‘archeological’ excavation project has been started. In total, projects for over 11 thousand new settlement housing units have been approved or announced.

The Portuguese Ministry of Justice announced that it has withdrawn from a joint EU-funded project with the Israeli Ministry of Public Security, the Israeli National Police and Israel’s Bar Ilan university. The LAW TRAIN project, aimed at unifying police interrogation methodologies, has generated controversy in Portugal because of vocal opposition to Israel’s participation in the EU’s Horizon 2020 research framework and the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Israeli entities taking part. 

In Canada a new campaign has started to target military relations with Israel: activists from the network BDS Quebec have launched efforts to stop cooperation between the Montreal based military company CAE Ltd. and the Israeli military as well as Israeli private military companies, Elbit Systems and Aeronautics Ltd.

URGENT LETTER TO THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT

DISMANTLE CORPORATE POWER

The Canadian government is threatening not only the participation of delegates from Palestine but from the entire global south in the upcoming World Social Forum (WSF) to be held in Montreal from August 9-14 2016. We urgently need your help! From Palestine alone four delegates - renown activists, trade union leaders, youth activists - have been unable to receive visas.

Together with the Global Campaign to Reclaim Peoples Sovereignty, Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity and Mayfirst/People's Link we have coordinated action and are asking you to: 

1) Sign and share among your contacts and networks the online petition here.

2) Please help us to find organizational endorsements and signatures of high level figures for the text below. Please send any endorsement to: global@stopthewall.org.

The Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine raised awareness about human rights violations perpetrated by the national Israeli water company, Mekorot, by hand delivering an open letter to the Israeli Consul in Boston.  Mekorot has been internationally denounced for implementing since its decades ‘water apartheid’ that is essential for Israeli efforts to colonize Palestinian lands and ethnically cleanse it from Palestinian communities. The company was once again in the news recently for shutting off water in many towns throughout Palestine this summer during Ramadan.  In the summer temperatures can easily exceed 35 degrees Celsius and cutting water supplies to Palestinian communities is a key component of Israel’s policies to drive people from their lands and communities by making live unbearable and destroying their means of livelihood.  The open letter led the group to lobby against an amendment on a bill that would penalize companies taking part in the BDS movement.  The group’s initiative to raise awareness against Mekorot successfully led to the anti-BDS amendment to be withdrawn from the bill.  More boycott activities is essential for building strength against current efforts in North America and Europe to outlaw BDS.

Israel continues its policies of ethnic cleansing and displacement in Qalandiya Village, outside of East Jerusalem with the destruction of eleven newly constructed buildings.  On Monday evening around 500 soldiers entered the village with bulldozers to carry out the demolition orders.  The buildings would have been home to some 250 people in the small village that has become increasingly isolated since the early 2000s with the construction of the Apartheid Wall.  Seven Palestinians and one journalist were injured in clashes when the Israeli forces used tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets, and force to subdue the villagers.  

From Palestine we are accompanying with great concern the developments in Brazil. We condemn the coup against the democratically elected government and are dismayed at the speed in which the coup government has started implementing its own program, accumulating policies that attack the rights of the people in Brazil and globally. Unfortunately, these developments come within a wider context that sees governments come to power that explicitly defend the interests of a small national élite as well as global imperialist interests.

Twelve years ago the International Court of Justice in its verdict on the apartheid Wall, ruled the Wall and Israel’s settlement project illegal and reminded the international of its obligation to stop Israeli crimes. Today, in Palestine we are facing a full scale attack to try to subdue Palestinian rebellion flaring up over and over again while Israel rushes to close off the ghettos in which we are supposed to be herded. The last week has shown the shocking scale of repression.

"What is at stake with the attacks against the BDS movement is the possibility of a myriad of social justice movements to hold corporations accountable: if Israel’s logic aimed at suppressing the BDS movement passes, it will shield corporations from accountability for human rights abuses of all sorts, committed by whoever the corporate actor and wherever the location."

It is time for European citizens to demand not a penny more of their tax money be spent on Israeli military and security corporations
As European leaders are gathered in Brussels to discuss the future of the EU, they would be well advised to put into effect values of accountability, justice and solidarity - and halt funding for Israel's repressive apparatus against Palestinian youth.

Under the title “No to the Horizon2020 Law Train project - No to cooperation with Israel’s repressive system!”, on Thursday 24, a large coalition of Portuguese forces has held the official launch of a campaign aimed at ending the participation of the Portuguese ministry of Justice and the police in a joint, EU funded project with Israeli police forces.

29, June 2016.Israel carries forward its ethnic cleansing and displacement policies, by targeting Palestinian communities in the South Hebron Hills. New demolitions in the village of Wadi Jheish, led to the destruction of two houses, leaving two families, comprised by 20 people, homeless. Those who tried to remain in the house to prevent the demolition, were harshly beaten and four people were arrested. It is the second time in two years that the large scale demolitions in the village are carried out. The area of the village close to Susiya was declared archaeological site in 1986, long after the community was established, and has since been targeted with demolitions relentlessly by the Israeli military. Settler violence is a daily routine. Making their permanence there unfeasible creates conditions to finally expel the community and colonize the area with Israeli settlers.

With the beginning of Ramadan, the State owned Israeli water company Mekorot cut off water supply in the northern West Bank. The most affected areas are currently the Nablus and Jenin governorates. In the meantime, Mekorot guarantees the full supply of water to the settlements located in the same area. Since decades, Mekorot has been enforcing a water apartheid system upon the Palestinian people, reselling Palestinian communities water it has stolen from them, and is a crucial actor in Israeli colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land. The problem in Palestine is not the lack of water, it is the lack of justice. 

Read the facts here and sign the petition to hold Mekorot accountable.

With the beginning of Ramadan, the State owned Israeli water company Mekorot cut off water supply in the northern West Bank. The most affected areas are currently the Nablus and Jenin governorates. In the meantime, Mekorot guarantees the full supply of water to the settlements located in the same area. So far, the company hasn’t offered any justification for the shuts down. Mekorot has been enforcing a water apartheid system for a long time now in the Palestinian people, reselling Palestinians water it has stolen from them. Up to now Palestinians are not allowed to freely dispose of their water resource and are made dependant on Mekorot for 60% of their basic needs of water.

Reposting the article by Andrew, 8th June 2016, from War's resisterer international

During her time working as an intern at War Resisters' International, Taya Govreen-Segal, a consceintious objector, delivered a talk to the “Britain and Palestine: Past History and Future Role” conference, held at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK, on 13th February. Below is a transcript, providing detailed analysis of the role of the arms trade in the ongoing occupation of Palestine.

Break your fast, break your ties to the occupation

In 2005 the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israeli apartheid, occupation and colonialism started with a call by Palestinian civil society. The initiative is based on the understanding that once the profits Israeli economy reaps from the occupation, a new process of resistance and of change will have started. The Palestinian National Boycott, divestment and Sanction Committee (BNC), a wide coalition of the largest Palestinian organisations, trade unions, networks and NGOs, is the national and international reference body for the global BDS movement that has developed over the last decade. Its board is made of 32 members, which represent the different grassroots movement, associations and NGO network.

The Paris initiative aims to restart negotiations for a two-state solution. But so far peace plans have only helped Israel take more Palestinian land.
The Israeli Bantustanization project is an attempt to reduce the areas accessible to Palestinians to fragmented cantons - or Bantustans - and annex the remaining land and natural resources, using the term 'Bantustan' as was applied to partially self-governing areas under South Africa’s white supremacist apartheid system. So far, "peace initiatives", like the planned conference that started in Paris this week, haven’t exactly helped in stalling this process.

Newly built factory destroyed in Ni'lin. The road from Ramallah to Ni’ilin brings us deep into Area C, the 60% of the West Bank declared under the Oslo Accords as under full Israeli control and prime target for Israeli annexation policies, in disregard of IHL and its obligations under the Geneva Convention. The villages is witness to the complex interaction of Israeli policies of land grab, isolation, economic stranglehold and colonization - all aimed at displacing the Palestinian population and implanting illegal settlers in their place. Yet, the village continue to resist.

The EU continues to fund Israeli companies and institutions that are directly involved in the maintenance of the Israeli regime of apartheid, colonialism and occupation. ECCP has worked on new research, Stop the Wall prepared new resources, a new campaign targets a shocking EU funded project aimed at unifying methodology of interrogation between Israeli police and European police forces.

 

Press Release: May 18th

More than 300 human rights and aid organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called on the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality.

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