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Why we must see Israeli policies as a form of Israel allocates 1 milsettler colonialism lion shekels for tunnel

After 43 years Memories of Sabra and Shatilla Massacre emerge from the ashes

digging in Al-Quds

Rights group: Israel approved over 2,600 new settler units in 2016

World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy

Rights group: Israel approved over 2,600 new settler units in 2016 "Israel’s illegal settlement construction increased by 40 percent during the first six months of 2016, says a rights group." This picture taken on July 29, 2016 shows a general view of an Israeli building site in the illegal settlement of Neve Yaakov, in the northern area of al-Quds. (Photo by AFP)

On Wednesday (14 Sept 2016), anti-settlement group Peace Now said that during the year’s first half, Israel began the construction of 1,195 illegal settlement units, which marks a 40-percent increase from the last six months of 2015. Citing data released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, the group also noted that Tel Aviv has approved plans for a further 2,623 newWest Bank settlement units since the beginning of the year. Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East Jerusalem al-Quds. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian territories. A recent report by the Quartet on the Middle East - comprising the UN, the US, Russia and the European Union - called on the Israeli regime to halt its illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying the expansion of settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the expropriation of land were “steadily eroding the viability” of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Source: PressTV


World Bank: Israeli restrictions ruining Palestinian economy ALQUDS, (PIC)-- The prolonged period of slow economic growth has resulted in persistently high unemployment and stagnation in the average income of Palestinian citizens, according to the latest World Bank report on the Palestinian economy. The World Bank economic report will present its findings to the Ad Hoc Liaison committee (AHLC), a policy-level meeting for development assistance to the Palestinian people, on September 19, 2016 in New York. “The Palestinian economic outlook is worrying with serious consequences on income, opportunity, and well-being. Not only will it affect the Palestinian Authority’s capacity to deliver services to its citizens, it may also lead to wider economic problems and instability,” said Marina Wes, Country Director for West Bank and Gaza. The report states that, over the last decade, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) fiscal consolidation efforts led to a decline in the deficit by 15 percent of GDP – an achievement rarely seen in other places around the world. Nevertheless, the PA’s finances remain fragile with declining budget support leading to a projected financing gap of about US$600 million in 2016. The PA’s actions will not be enough to fully close the gap, particularly since local borrowing opportunities are now largely exhausted. Therefore, in the shortterm donor support and in particular budget support is essential to avoid a fiscal crisis leading to wider economic problems. Donor aid remains key for improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Out of the US$3.5 billion pledged at the Cairo Conference for rebuilding Gaza (2014-2017), 46 percent has been disbursed, which means it is US$1.3 billion

behind schedule. Critically, only 16 percent of the total Gaza recovery needs outlined in the detailed assessment that was prepared after the 2014 war have been addressed. The report urged the donors to meet their commitments and to prioritize expenditures in line with the needs assessment. “Over 70,000 people are suffering from prolonged internal displacement. Only 10.7 percent of the 11,000 housing units that were totally destroyed in the war have been rebuilt to date, and about 50 percent of partially and severely damaged houses still need to be repaired. The situation in Gaza is of great concern and the conditions required for post-reconstruction sustainable economic growth are not being put in place,” said Wes. Despite progress in recent years, Palestinian territories still rank 129th out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business. Israeli restrictions remain the main constraint to Palestinian economic competitiveness and have pushed private investment levels to amongst the lowest in the world, particularly the ones on Area C which could increase Palestinian GDP by 35 percent and lead to a similar increase in employment. GDP losses in Gaza since the blockade of 2007 are above 50 percent, the report concluded. 2

Israel allocates 1 million shekels for tunnel digging in Al-Quds ALQUDS, (PIC)-- Israeli occupation authorities allocated nearly 1 million shekels for digging a 550-meter long tunnel between Silwan town and masjid al-Aqsa in occupied alquds, QPress revealed on Thursday. The Israeli Municipality’s Financial Committee approved on Wednesday the tunnel construction in its budget which gives a green line for its implementation. The sources pointed out that construction works have already started in the main street that links between Basatin and Wadi al-Hilwah neighborhoods as a prelude to the tunnel project. The planned tunnel would be the largest and biggest tunnel in occupied alquds, according to the sources. The project came as part of Israel’s settlement and Judaization policy in occupied alQuds.

Israel uses ‘fake pretexts’ to justify shedding of Palestinian blood RAMALLAH, (MEMO)--A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority claimed on Friday that Israel uses “fake pretexts” to justify the shedding of Palestinian blood. Meanwhile, Hamas called for “escalating resistance” against the Israeli killings, Anadolu has reported. “The execution of three people by the Israeli occupation forces in Hebron and Jerusalem proves that Israel is carrying on with its serial crimes,” explained Yousef al-Mahmoud. “These amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” He called for the international community and the UN General Assembly to bear their responsibility towards the Palestinians and “immediately” afford international protection against the “field executions carried out by the Israeli occupation forces.” According to Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri, the Israeli crimes will never “break the will” of the Palestinians, whose blood will fuel the Aqsa Intifada. He called for an escalation of Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation army in response to the killings. One of the three men killed was a Jordanian citizen. All three were accused of attempting to attack Israeli soldiers, but no evidence was provided by the Israeli authorities. 3

Jordan condemns Israeli murder of Jordanian citizen in Al-Quds

AMMAN, (PIC)-- The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Saturday condemned the Israeli occupation army for deliberately shooting Jordanian Saeed AlAmr, 27, in occupied Jerusalem, killing him instantly. Ministry spokesperson, Sabah Al-Rafei, cast doubt on the Israeli police narrative that Amr had tried to stab Israeli troops, saying the police statement had clearly stated that no soldiers or policemen were hurt in the incident. Rafei said the Jordanian government was following up on the incident, which took place Friday, to learn about the details and ensure that the body of the victim will be handed over to his family "so that legal and diplomatic measures applied internationally in such cases could be pursued". Amr’s family members have also been striving to receive his body. The Jordanian citizen entered the occupied Palestinian territories on Thursday with a tourist group to visit the holy city of Jerusalem. The family added that their son has no political affiliations and that he was executed in an arbitrary manner.



On 1st day of Eid, 80,000 Muslims pray at Masjid al-Aqsa

ALQUDS, (PIC)-- Thousands of Muslim worshipers prayed at masjid al-Aqsa in Occupied alQuds on the first day of Eid al-Adha (Greater Eid). Speaking during the Khutba (sermon) of the Eid, Imam (preacher) of the al-Aqsa Sheikh Youssef Abu Sneina congratulated the Muslims on the Eid and highlighted the importance of altruism, cooperation, charity, and love in such a holy occasion. He sounded the alarm over the situation of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails and the tragedy endured by the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip due to the tight Israeli blockade. He called for the release of the bodies of slain Palestinians withheld by the Israeli occupation authorities as part of a policy of collective punishment against the families of anti-occupation youths. The Imam denounced the break-ins carried out by Israeli fanatic settlers at masjid al-Aqsa and attacks on the staff members.


Why we must see Israeli policies as a form of settler colonialism Middle Ease Monitor By: Ben White Israel and its advocates seek to deny the historical record, obfuscate what is happening on the ground today, and undermine strategies for change The so-called ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ is not an ancient, tribal conflict, or millennia-old grudge match. Nor, as some propose, is it a tragic clash of competing nationalisms, or a cycle fuelled by religious extremism. The Zionist political project in Palestine has been, and is, a form of settler colonialism. Understanding it as such is important for three reasons.

File photo of Israeli soldiers standing guard against Palestinian protestors on the road leading up to the Israeli settlement of Halamish

Congress was held in 1897, the population of Palestine was approximately 96 percent Arab and 4 percent Jewish. Even by 1947, Palestinian Arabs constituted a clear majority – two-thirds – of the First, it provides historical population. context, and at the heart of it all, is the Palestinians’ Nakba, The only one way of establishor ‘Catastrophe’. By which, I ing a Jewish state in Palestine do not mean a single, isolated was to remove its non-Jewhistorical event, or even one ish inhabitants. As the Jewparticular year. The Nakba ish National Fund chair put began long before the formal it in 1930: “If there are other establishment of the State of inhabitants there, they must Israel on May 15, 1948 – and be transferred to some other place. We must take over the it has continued ever since. land. We have a greater and The creation of a Jewish state nobler ideal than preserving in Palestine flew in the face of several hundred thousands of the principle of self-determi- Arab fellahin.” nation; when the first Zionist

By 1949, some four out of five Palestinian villages inside the new Israeli state had been ethnically cleansed, their inhabitants expelled and prevented from returning. City neighbourhoods were also emptied of their Palestinian residents. Palestinians were displaced well before May 15, 1948, – and long after. Al-Majdal – now Ashkelon – was finally ‘cleansed’ of Palestinians in late 1950. But the Nakba is not just ‘ancient history’. There are some 7.5 million Palestinians in the diaspora, with refugees living often just a few miles from their ancestral lands. In addition, Israeli policies of displacement and colonisation


have continued over the decades, in different forms, and can be seen today in places like East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, southern Hebron hills, and the Negev. Which brings us to the second reason why the settler colonial framework is significant: as well as providing historical context, it also offers analytical clarity. It helps us make sense of what is happening on the ground, not just in the past, but today as well. When I went to Palestine for the first time in 2003, I broadly understood the situation to be one of military occupation and a struggle for statehood. One day, I was speaking with my students after an English class in Bethlehem, and a resident of Dheishe refugee camp said rhetorically: “Why can’t I go home?” And I realised that there wasn’t a good answer to that – or at least, no non-racist answer. It was a moment when it began to sink in for me that this wasn’t ‘just’ about a military occupation – and the timeline did not begin in 1967. When Israeli authorities demolished the unrecognised Bedouin Palestinian village of al-Araqib in 2010 – a village now rebuilt and re-destroyed more than 100 times – I was

in the West Bank. A couple of days later, I went to the Jordan Valley, and met with a family who, hours earlier, watched as Israeli soldiers demolished one of their basic agricultural structures. The juxtaposition of these two events, which took place within the same week, was striking for me. In both places, Palestinians had their homes, or properties, demolished – and in both cases, albeit with technical differences, on the basis that they lacked the correct ‘permit’ or authorisation from Israeli officials who make it impossible to obtain such approval. Al-Araqib is inside Israel’s pre-1967 lines. The Jordan Valley is in the West Bank occupied by Israel in 1967. Both are parts of pre-1948 Palestine, now part of a de facto one-state regime that discriminates, segregates, and colonises, privileging one group of inhabitants over another. As an advisor to Ehud Olmert said in 2006, from the Galilee to the West Bank, “settlement is settlement.”

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has three demands: the end of military occupation, the end of discrimination against Palestinian citizens, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Together, these demands go to the heart of what Zionist settler colonialism has meant for Palestinians – and they help suggest what a process of decolonisation would look like. But in addition, the tactic of boycott makes perfect sense as a means of confronting settler colonialism. Appeals for ‘dialogue’ not ‘divisive boycotts’ are misguided and disingenuous because ‘dialogue’ does not tackle the asymmetrical status quo. As Martin Luther King once wrote, “it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily.”

Israel and its advocates seek to deny the historical record, obfuscate what is happening on the ground today, and undermine strategies for change. By contrast, understanding events in Palestine, past and present, as a form of settler Finally, as well as context and colonialism, brings context, clarity, understanding Israel clarity, and a course of action. as a settler colonial state gives us a third ‘c’ – it helps shape a course of action.

After 43 years Memories of Sabra and Shatilla Massacre emerge from the ashes

Bodies of victims of the massacre in the Sabra and the Shatila refugee camp

The Palestinian Information Center

Friday, September 16, marks the 34th anniversary of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, which butchered over 3,500 Palestinian refugees in Lebanese refugee camps. “As one jots down the Sabra and Shatilla phrase, hundreds of painful memories emerge on the surface; we see refugees’ bodies thrown everywhere across the streets,” said a Palestinian veteran. “That very massacre is one of history’s most live proofs of Israeli terrorism against Palestinian refugees.” Though 34 years have passed by, the memories of the Sabra and Shatila massacre have survived in the minds of the Palestinian refugees and the world’s free people as if it were yesterday. “The Sabra and Shatila genocide can never be subject to the statute of limitations,” said an activist. Between September 16-18, 1982, in the middle of Lebanon's civil war and a few months after Israel's invasion of the country, hundreds of members of the Phalange party - a Lebanese Christian militia - in collaboration with the Israeli occupation army, slaughtered between 3,500 and


5,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women, children, and the elderly, in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp located in Beirut. Talking to the PIC 34 years after the massacre, a survivor said: "I still remember all details of the massacre as I do yesterday’s meal. The pictures of soldiers pumping a child’s body with live bullets could not leave my memory. I remember that they would fire at civilian refugees from a very close range.” “The whole scene is just horrible! It’s the most atrocious of all events one could ever see in his/her entire life,” said another refugee. “Dead bodies scattered everywhere on the streets and around the camp; blood spattered on the walls of civilian homes.” “As there was no other place to run to or hide into, we found no other way out but to trample over our children’s dead bodies and among cluster munitions," she said. "At one point I caught sight of a tank, where the body of a baby only a few days old was wedged to the wheels." Quoted by the PIC, a historiographer said the real atrocity inflicted by the Sabra and Shatila genocide lies not only in the memories of civilian cadavers, includ-


ing children and women, thrown in streets like the muck heaped up on trash tips amid the nauseating smells of injustice, oppression and barbarism emerging from the little bodies of those innocent children; the atrocity of the Sabra and Shatila mass-slaughter lies also in the fact that none of the Israeli and Lebanese criminals were sued or even held responsible for the butchery as if the bodies and souls of the thousands of children and women slain in no more than 24 hours’ time are not worth the prosecution such tragedies quite naturally and quite “humanly” call for. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, another Palestinian refugee told the PIC: “As a young child of nine at the time, I remember that upon arrival from school I saw my mother, father, and sister lying on the floor as blood poured down from their bodies. As a mixture of shock and fear crept into every bone of my body, I held my breath until my lips turned blue. Had I not turned left and popped along to my neighbors’ home, my body would have gone into ashes.” The 34th anniversary of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila genocide, marked on September 16, comes at a time when Palestinian refugees in Syria, Lebanon and other regions of the world, have been subjected to dire socio-economic conditions, enduring poverty and risking death at sea onboard smugglers’ boats to seek a refuge somewhere oversees. The occasion also coincides with simmering terrorism perpetrated by the Israeli occupation army and settler gangs on Palestinian civilians and holy sites across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Al quds newsletter issue no 100  
Al quds newsletter issue no 100