Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
_____________________

Action Alerts


The BEDOUIN

We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan
_____________________

Did you know?



Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
______
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
______
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
______
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
______
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
______
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013
_____________________

Posts

Estelle seized by IDF


The Estelle welcomes Greek activists on board Oct. 16, 2012. The Israeli Navy on Saturday announced it had taken control of the Gaza-bound boat after it ignored repeated warnings to stop. Photo Getty Images

Gaza-bound ship escorted to Israeli port after takeover

By Jack Guez, AFP
October 20, 2102

A Gaza-bound ship of activists and lawmakers which was boarded by Israeli troops, arrived late Saturday at Ashdod port under naval escort, ending the latest bid to reach the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

More than 10 hours after Israeli naval commandos took control of it in international waters, the Finnish-flagged Estelle docked at Ashdod harbour in southern Israel. It was escorted there by two naval vessels, an AFP correspondent said.

The takeover ended the latest attempt by pro-Palestinian activists to breach Israel’s tight maritime embargo on Gaza which prohibits all naval traffic in and out of the coastal territory.

“There was no violence,” an Israeli military spokeswoman told AFP. “The passengers did not resist.”

Troops had taken control of the 53-metre (174-foot) vessel and were taking it back to Ashdod port in southern Israel, she added.

Israeli activists hold signs in support of Gaza near the entrance to the port of Ashdod October 20, 2012, Photo: Reuters

On board the ship are 17 passengers, including five parliamentarians from Europe and a Canadian former lawmaker, organisers said. It was carrying a shipment of humanitarian aid and 30 doves, which the passengers had been intending to release on arrival in Gaza.

“We’ve heard nothing since they told us they had come under attack,” said Victoria Strand, a Stockholm-based spokeswoman for Ship to Gaza-Sweden. “We believe they have just passed into Israeli territorial waters.”

Earlier, Strand told AFP that the vessel had been boarded at 0830 GMT after being approached by navy vessels some 38 nautical miles off the Gaza coast.

The military said the boarding was carried out only after “numerous calls to the passengers onboard” had gone unanswered.

“As a result of their unwillingness to cooperate and after ignoring calls to change course, the decision was made to board the vessel and lead it to the port of Ashdod,” the military said. The troops “did not need to use force,” the statement added.

Sabine Haddad, an Israeli immigration spokeswoman told AFP that “30 passengers, including 27 foreigners and three Israelis, got off the ship this evening in Ashdod. They will be questioned tonight.”

The foreigners, “entering illegally into Israel, will be expelled to their countries of origin. They could be repatriated immediately if they waive being heard by a judge who must rule on their expulsions within 72 hours.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the army and denounced the move as “a provocation” the sole objective of which had been “to blacken the name of Israel”.

“Even people on the boat know that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” he said in a statement.

“If they are really worried about human rights they should be en route to Syria,” he added.

Palestinian protesters hold placards denouncing the siege during a demonstration in Gaza port on Oct. 20 to support the Estelle seeking to breach Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza. Photo Mahmud Hams, AFP/Getty Images

The takeover of the MV Estelle was quickly denounced as “piracy” by Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

“The occupation’s attack on the Estelle and its capture of the activists on board is an act of piracy and a crime against humanity,” said spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

“It should provide an extra incentive for ships showing solidarity with Gaza and for regional and international efforts to lift the siege on Gaza and end the suffering of its people,” he said.

Gisha, an Israeli group that campaigns for Palestinian freedom of movement and trade, also denounced the commandos’ intervention.

“The question is not what is entering Gaza but rather what — and who — is being permitted to leave,” it said.

“Israel continues to prevent people in Gaza from travelling to the West Bank and marketing their goods outside Gaza, stifling economic and social development,” the group added.

If Israel insisted on enforcing its blockade it had an obligation to “allow free movement of people and goods via the land crossings, subject only to individual security checks.”

Ahead of the ship’s arrival in Ashdod, a group of 20 Israeli peace activists gathered on a nearby beach. They held up signs in English and Hebrew reading: “End the siege of Gaza” and “Blockade = war crime,” an AFP correspondent said.

“We oppose Israeli policy, which seeks to maintain its control through siege and closure, strangulating the Palestinian people,” said a coalition of Israeli rights groups. They included the Coalition of Women for Peace, Yesh Gvul and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.

Activists organised a major attempt to break the Israeli blockade in May 2010, when six ships led by the Mavi Marmara tried to reach Gaza.

Israeli troops stormed the Marmara, killing nine Turkish activists and sparking a diplomatic crisis with Ankara.

Israel has stopped several subsequent attempts to reach Gaza by boat, but there has been no repeat of the bloodshed.

Israel says its blockade is necessary to prevent weapons from entering the coastal territory, which is run by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Last year, a UN report on the 2010 raid accused Israel of having acted with “excessive force”, but found that its naval blockade of Gaza was legal.


Estelle intercepted: Israel navy stops Gaza-bound boat

BBC news,
October, 2012

The Israeli navy has intercepted a boat of pro-Palestinian activists trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The Finnish-flagged Estelle left Naples on 7 October with some 30 people of eight different nationalities aboard.

The boat was boarded 30 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza, activists said, before being taken to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

The Israeli military said the ship would be searched and the activists would be questioned then deported.

It said there was no resistance from the activists and the Israeli military did not use force.

Israel tightened the blockade after the Islamist group Hamas came to power in the coastal sliver in 2007.

‘Protect our borders’
The Estelle, which activists say is carrying cement, basketballs, musical instruments, and 30 doves, is the latest vessel to try and break the Gaza blockade.

Among those on board are politicians from several European countries and Israeli activists.

Activist spokeswoman Victoria Strand said Israel had carried out a “demonstration of ruthlessness”, whilst a spokesman for Hamas called it an act of “pircacy”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the activists were trying “to provoke and slander Israel’s name”.

“If human rights were really important to these activists they would have sailed for Syria. We will continue to protect our borders,” he said.

It comes two years after nine Turkish activists were killed in an Israeli navy raid on the Mavi Marmara, one of a flotilla of ships attempting to break the blockade.

Palestinians say Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip amounts to collective punishment to residents of the densely populated strip of land along the Mediterranean coast.

Israel says the blockade aims to stop the supply of arms or other items for military use, and to put pressure on the Hamas administration.

International pressure following the deadly 2010 interception led Israel to ease its blockade, allowing more food products into the strip.

The movement of people and construction materials – such as cement and steel cables – is still heavily restricted.

The importing of all weapons and military materials is banned, along with dual-use materials such as fertilisers and certain chemicals.

Fishermen may only operate in a strip of water up to three nautical miles from the shore.

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.