The UN Human Rights Commissioner has condemned Israel’s terrorism accusations against Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), saying they should immediately be retracted, describing the move as “an attack on human rights defenders, on freedoms of association, opinion and expression and on the right to public participation.” The Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, said the accused organisations are among “the most reputable human rights and humanitarian groups in the occupied Palestinian territory and for decades have worked closely with the UN.” The European Union was equally unconvinced and said it would require evidence to prove Israel’s claim. The EU reminded the Zionist regime that earlier, similar claims remain unsubstantiated. Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister, Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), said in a TV interview: “I find it very hard to believe that such respectable NGOs are connected to terrorism.”
Imagine living under the ‘authority’ of foreign military occupation, with your ability to build or continue living in your home determined day after day by the aggressor. For Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the potential to travel in or beyond their homeland is strictly controlled and essential industries, such as agriculture, are under constant threat of sabotage. In Gaza, fishing boats are hampered by relentless restrictions.
A month of Zionist terrorism, armed robbery and plunder
What suffering of Palestinians living under blockade and Occupation during the whole of the past month, October, exemplifies the year after year, decade upon decade, daily toll taken by Israel on Palestinian lives, limbs, liberty and economic survival.
Gaza incursions: In Gaza, blockaded by Israel for ‘security’ reasons, there were 31 ceasefire violations, all conducted by Israel. The Zionist regime‘s forces made five incursions into the enclave, coming and going as they please as well as laying waste to the land. The Israeli Navy hijacked two Palestinian fishing boats and destroyed another. On 11 October, an Israeli drone opened fire on firefighters, at work extinguishing a blaze, to the east of Juhor al-Dik.
Armed robberies: In the West Bank, the Israel Army committed acts of armed robbery on nine separate days. In Jayus, Israeli troops robbed a resident, Musharraf Al-Qaddumi, of his bulldozer. At the Za’tara road junction, checkpoint troops robbed local villager, Alaa El-Din Hamdan Abdel Karim Khader, of his motor vehicle and took him prisoner.
Israeli forces also seized possession of a caravan, the property of a resident, Ahmed Issa Rabei al-Yateem, east of Yatta; and Mohammed Ali Al-Adra was robbed of his bulldozer as he worked to reclaim land east of Yatta. In the Ein al-Hilweh area, near Tubas, Israeli troops seized building bricks from a man and, in the village of Rafat, they robbed a resident, Anas Bahjat Shehadeh, of a concrete mixer and spray-pump, and ordered him to stop building a home for his family. In Salfit, Israeli Occupation troops forced a halt to work on building a house in Deir Ballut and seized concreting equipment.
Armed home invasions and robbery: In Qalqiliya, at 1:30am, raiding Israeli forces invaded the home of Yasser Hammad, robbing him of cash to the value of 1,300 shekels (US$335), as well as stealing a motor vehicle belonging to his eldest son.
On one day alone (19 October), Israeli forces committed four armed robberies. The first one was at 5:30am, when they raided Beit Ummar and invaded two homes, as well as robbing a householder, Musa Abu Dayyeh, of 2,000 Jordanian dinars and another, Musa Adam Al Khalil, of 1,000 NIS (US$258). The second invasion was at dawn in Hebron, when they invaded another home, taking prisoner Adnan Ali Al-Haymouni and robbing him of his gold coin collection, valued at 5,000 NIS (US$1,280).
More armed robberies: At 2:15pm, in the village of Rantis, Israeli troops seized possession of a bulldozer owned by an al-Lubban al-Gharbi villager, Yousuf Ali Nasser and, at 7:45pm, the village of Duma was raided, with Israeli troops seizing possession of a bulldozer owned by Youssef Jamil Salouda, at work on the village outskirts. On 26 October, the Israeli Army seized possession of yet another bulldozer, this time from Hassan Hussein Al-Mahariq, near the village of al-Simia.
The next morning, Israeli forces, in Khirbet Hamsa al-Fawqa, stole pastoral equipment and tents used for raising livestock, belonging to six villagers. On the evening of the same day, the Israeli Army seized another concrete pump and mixer being used for the construction of a house in Nahalin and ordered a halt to building.
Armed robbery, beating and hospitalisation: Close to the end of the month, at 4:30am on 28 October, a resident, Ihab Awni Issa Halayqa, was admitted to hospital in Hebron following a severe beating by Israeli troops, near the road junction with Beit Einun. The soldiers robbed Halayqa of cash, a bank card, the key to his motor vehicle and his driving licence. On the same day, the Israeli Army also seized possession of a bulldozer, owned by the Municipality of Tulkarem, being used on a landfill site, near the village of Izbit Shufa.
Forced personal home demolitions
In October, the Israeli Army forced six families in Jerusalem to destroy their homes, or otherwise be forced to pay an extortionate sum to the Israeli Occupation demolition squads, who would be sent in to do it. They were: in Beit Hanina, the home of Arafat Al-Rajabi. In Sur Baher, the homes of Mohammed Ahmed Al-Khatib and Salman Abu Sbeitan. In al-Tur and the Wadi al-Joz neighbourhood, the homes of Ismail Aramin, Nader Jaber and Hamza Bazbet.
Beating – homes demolished: In Jerusalem, on 6 October, Israeli Occupation troops in the Silwan neighbourhood beat up a resident, Mahmoud Al-Farroukh, and then destroyed his home. On 14 October, east of al-Mughayir village (near Ramallah) Israeli Occupation forces demolished a number of Bedouin family homes and seized possession of others. They also destroyed agricultural facilities belonging to the families. During that month, Israeli forces carried out 75 other home invasion raids, by day and by night.
Abductions of children
Twenty-nine Palestinian minors (aged 11-17) were abducted by Israeli troops during October, terrorising the youngsters and causing intolerable distress to their parents and siblings. On 4 October, Israeli troops abducted a 14-year-old boy, Mohammed Ataf Youssef Abdullah, near the Wadi Rahal village school. On 12 October, in Ramallah, the Israeli Army opened fire on and wounded a 15-year-old boy, Haitham Amin Dar Saleh, near the entrance to Silwad, before abducting him.
On 5 October, Israeli forces raided the village of Zububa, seizing as well as terrorising for a time, a 15-year-old boy, Imad Hussein Kamel Jaradat, and during a raid on the village of Wadi Rahal, Israel soldiers seized and terrorised for several hours a 13-year-old boy, Jawdat Mohammed Al-Fawagra.
Youngster shot dead: At night, on 14 October in Bethlehem, Israeli Occupation forces opened fire on two youngsters in Beit Jallah, killing one of them, Amjad Osama Abu Sultan (aged 16) and abducting the other, Mohammed Khalil Al-Arouj (aged 14).
On 21 October, Israeli troops abducted a 17-year-old olive harvester, Ahmed Odeh Al-Najjar, while he was picking olives near Beitunya and even invaded a school in Bani Naim, to seize a Palestinian flag from off the roof!
On the last day of October, Israeli settlers assaulted and injured a 14-year-old shepherd, Hassan Yousef Bisharat, while he was grazing sheep in the Khallet Makhoul area of the North Jordan Valley.
Olive harvest sabotage
The month of October saw a total of 124 acts of agricultural, pastoral and economic sabotage carried out by Israeli forces and settlers. Ninety Palestinians were wounded/injured. There were 23 Israeli Army and settler attacks on the Palestinian olive harvest during the month. Settlers uprooted and damaged hundreds of Palestinian olive trees, beating up and terrorising olive-pickers and plundering harvests. On 26 October, Israeli settlers invaded Burin village farmland. They assaulted Red Cross staff, who were inspecting the damage settlers had already caused. Three of the Red Cross employees suffered facial pepper-spray burns and breathing difficulties.
If the daily examples of cruel, Israeli population-control outlined above appear to be too much to read, just imagine what it must be like for the Palestinian people who have to live with it! The Zionist regime strives to silence the voices of humanity within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian territories, as well as those campaigning globally, because they reveal the ugly truth.
Lying Zionist propaganda
Both +972 magazine and The Intercept news magazine have received copies of a Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service) dossier that was sent to European governments in order to persuade them to stop funding Palestinian human rights NGOs. They found the dossier failed to present any proof, directly or indirectly, linking the six accused Palestinian NGOs with terrorism. Shin Bet’s reports of Israeli police interrogation of two accountants, Said Abdat and Amro Hamuda, included in the dossier, were likewise found to be baseless and misleading. A lawyer for Abdat filed a motion to invalidate his client’s testimony because of the terrifying pressure the police had used in an attempt to force him to incriminate the six organisations.
At least five of the European countries found the document contained no concrete evidence and they continue financially supporting the organisations. Michael Sfard, an Israeli human rights lawyer, notes that the NGOs are: “seen as promoting a boycott of Israel and the investigation of war crimes at the International Criminal Court”, adding: “the attack on them is a political one under the guise of security.”
Israel and Blue Wolf threaten more than Palestine
Palestine is a laboratory for the would-be corporate rulers of the world. What Israel can get away with there, lays the foundations for far-reaching methods of population- control elsewhere. The courageous Breaking the Silence group of Israeli Army veterans, opposed to the Occupation, have revealed an Israeli government programme using surveillance technologies including Blue Wolf, that are already proving controversial in Western democracies. They are being used covertly against a people already without freedoms most of us take for granted. One soldier has pointed out that the Israeli Occupation has already been able to “see into private homes”. The Washington Post reports digital civil rights organisation AccessNow noting that Israel’s use of surveillance and facial recognition appear to be among the most elaborate deployments of such technology by a country seeking to control a subject population.
To establish a desired Blue Wolf data base, the Israeli Army set up a competition with rewards for Israeli soldiers who took the most photographs of thousands Palestinians, including children and the elderly. Spyware from the Israeli hacker-for-hire company NSO Group has been found on the phones of Palestinian human rights rights workers, according to Amnesty International and internet security activist group, Citizen Lab. In Hebron, a 49-year-old Palestinian father of four children, Yaser Abu Markhyah, explained that in his home district, surveillance cameras have been mounted about every 300ft, including on the roofs of homes. His six-year-old daughter once dropped a teaspoon from the roof of the their home and soon afterwards Israeli soldiers came, threatening the family with punishment for stone throwing.
Breaking the Silence‘s Executive Director, Avner Gvaryahu, observes: “Whilst surveillance and privacy are at the forefront of the global public discourse, we see here another disgraceful assumption by the Israeli government and military that when it comes to Palestinians, basic human rights are simply irrelevant.” What angers the Zionist regime most about the work done by the accused NGOs, is the resulting exposure and highlighting of Zionist human rights abuses and violations of international law. Accusing the NGOs of terrorism is pathetic – the real terror comes from Israel. It is time for world leaders, right now, to step in and resolutely demand an end to such horrific violations of human rights and international law. Not to do so would be shameful complicity.