Against Peace or against illegal occupation


Hikmat Ajjuri

On the 17th of November 2015, Público published an article titled “Label against Peace” which is authored by Ben-Dror Yemini a columnist for Yedioth Ahronoth, a daily Israeli newspaper which is a platform for defending the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

I expect a concerned European to challenge this article because in simple words, it is soaked with crocodile tears and full of insults to the European intelligence, who decided to take this brave step of labeling settlements products as a means to transform Israel from an abnormal state to a normal state. Because Israel with its attitude of defying the International law and behaving as an above the International Law has become a state with no internationally recognized borders or internationally recognized capital. Consequently, “label against Illegal military occupation” should be the factual title of this article.

In 1973 Sharon a former Israeli Prime minister wrote to Winston Churchill the 3rd, then journalist, a letter saying “ We´ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We´ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the west bank, so that in 25 years, neither the united nations, nor the USA, nobody, will be able to tear it apart”.

This letter of Sharon explicitly illustrates the current Zionist philosophy on Settlements as a means to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state on the Palestinian land that was taken by force in 1967.

Since then UN passed 10s of resolutions calling on Israel to pull out its forces from Palestine, to reverse its illegal decision to annex the Occupied East Jerusalem and to stop all of its illegal actions of building settlements on occupied territories but to no avail.

The International court of Justice has in July 2004 declared that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem have been established in breach of International Law”.

In fact the main reason of the latest Palestinian upheaval on every meter of the Occupied State of Palestine is a reply to the Zionist lies, one of which is the concerned article above. Because as I mentioned before that the latest Palestinian youth upheaval is an outcry for freedom from the captivity and bondage of the Israeli military occupation.

Netanyahu had spent during his last three terms in office more than 3 billion dollars for his propaganda machine against the Iranian Nuclear program. But for every one´s fortune he was proved wrong by the 5+1 responsible leaders.

Because he was compensated by his American allies for those losses, he has decided to reuse the same budget to fight the culture of sanctions. The late former British Prime Minister Mrs. Thatcher defended sanctions as a means to defeat Apartheid in South Africa said that “Sanctions have teeth”.

Netanyahu knows that it is not the revenue of the products of settlements that matters to him because he knows that he gets compensation from multi sources but what matters to him is the culture of sanctions as he runs an apartheid system worse than the demised South African.

The 600000 illegal Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestine steel 50 million cubic meters from Palestinian water to cultivate 86 square kilometer of a stolen Palestinian land. This cultivated area and water consumed by settlers would provide 100, 000 job opportunities for Palestinians over there. The Israeli military Occupation with its overall oppressive military measures against the life of the Palestinians and the control of their sky, land and sea, costs the Palestinian economy more than 7.8 billion dollars every year. Out of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were made unemployed due to the oppressive policy of the Israeli Occupation, Israel, the occupying power allows only 30,000 to work in Israel and settlements under a blatant slavery conditions.

The EU by taking measures to end the suffering of the Palestinians in the occupied state of Palestine is in fact protecting its values the core of which is Human rights.

Article first appeared on 19.11.2015:

Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on EU Guidelines for Labeling Products from Israeli Settlements in Occupied State of Palestine

Dr. Saeb Erekat today welcomed the European Commission’s adoption of guidelines for labeling products made in illegal Israel settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine.  The move requires the correct and proper indication of origin of products produced in illegal settlements in the West Bank.
“We welcome this decision and consider it a significant move toward a total boycott of Israeli settlements, which are built illegally on occupied Palestinian lands,” Dr. Erekat said. “The EU has once again moved from the level of statements to taking concrete policy decisions. We believe that more actions are necessary to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it continues to commit against the land and people of Palestine.”
He added that “[c]oncrete actions are needed and are in the right direction toward achieving the two-state solution on the 1967 borders.”
This comes at a crucial time when Israeli incitement and brutality against Palestinian civilians has reached a peak.  According to UNOCHA, October alone has seen the highest recorded casualties of Palestinians in the West Bank (69 deaths and 7,392 injuries) since 2005, and the highest casualties in Gaza since Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza last summer.
“The extra-judicial killings of innocent Palestinian civilians at the hands of the Israeli occupying forces and illegal Israeli settlers must stop.  The meaningful step taken by the EU today is one of many necessary steps to put a stop to these illegal settlements and violent settlers wreaking havoc on the Palestinian population,” Dr. Erekat concluded.


Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on Accusations Made Against Al-Haq

State of Palestine
Palestine Liberation Organization
Negotiations Affairs Department
November 11, 2015

For Immediate Release


“The State of Palestine has recently become aware of a targeted campaign against leading Palestinian human rights organization, Al-Haq. The defamatory campaign is accusing Al-Haq of a lack of financial transparency, and is attacking Al-Haq’s reputation as a professional organization, hoping to undermine its credibility.
Those behind the campaign, while remaining anonymous, have claimed to be associated with “the Palestinian Authority”. The State of Palestine wholeheartedly rejects this assertion. The State is deeply concerned by false accusations leveled against Al-Haq, and confirms that its governmental institutions have full faith and confidence that Al-Haq conducts all of its operations professionally and with full transparency.
The State takes pride in Al-Haq’s role as a leading civil society organization that promotes and protects Palestinian human rights and the application of international law, and works to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable.”


Video: Israeli police interrogate 13-year-old accused of stabbing

In video footage obtained by Ma’an, Israeli officials have been captured on film hurling abuse at a 13-year-old Palestinian child accused of stabbing two Israelis in East Jerusalem last month during the child’s interrogation.The footage shows segments of the interrogation of Ahmad Manasra, 13, as Israeli detectives yell curses and verbally abuse the child, while questioning him about the incident and his motives. It is not known when the footage was recorded. Israel’s Jerusalem District Court indicted 13-year-old Manasra on charges of attempted murder on Oct. 30 following an attack on two Israelis on Oct. 12.The stabbing attack took place near the illegal Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev in occupied East Jerusalem, and reportedly left two Israelis, aged 13 and 21, seriously injured.In the video, one interrogator repeatedly shouts at Manasra in Arabic to “shut up”, while Manansra continuously pleads for the officer to believe that he cannot remember anything about the incident.The officer is then seen questioning the boy about a phone call with his lawyer, and tells him that he is accused of the attempted murder of “two Jews,” and that Manasra had supported “the enemy in time of war,” which Manasra does not seem to understand. The interrogator is next recorded showing Manasra a video of the attack, shouting questions at him about details of the incident. Manasra starts to cry as he says that he “doesn’t know” and “cannot remember,” pleading with the officer to “take me to the doctor to check me,” all while hitting himself on the head. Manasra continues to say that “he cannot remember anything,” begging the detective to believe him, and adds that he “woke up the next day not knowing what had happened to me.”The detective continuously calls Manasra a “liar.”

Another interrogator joins the first, as he continues to ask him about his motives, Mansara finally says “everything you’re saying is correct, I cannot remember. From what I’ve seen on the camera (of the original incident) it’s 100 percent correct, but I cannot remember anything.” The two interrogators are seen smiling as they discuss details of whether he was holding the knife up or down. Manasra tells the investigator “you’ve been asking me about it all along and you don’t know if the knife was held up or not.” The second interrogator starts shouting at Manasra and asking him about his motives. Manasra starts to cry saying that he has “forgotten,” again begging the men to “take me to a doctor to see if I remember.”During the attack, Ahmad’s 15-year-old cousin, Hassan, was shot dead at the scene by Israeli forces, while Ahmad was knocked over by a car and seriously wounded.A video of Ahmad lying injured and bloody on the ground after being hit by the car was uploaded to social media and went viral. In the footage, an Israeli onlooker can clearly be heard saying: “Die, son of a wh***! Die!” while another tells the police officer to shoot him.Ahmad will reportedly be held in a closed facility until prosecution, with the court rejecting the family’s request that he be placed under house arrest.Last month, Israeli news site Ynet said that the cousins committed the attack after returning from school and discussing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Gaza, before deciding to be “martyrs.”Due to his age, Ahmad cannot face jail time until he turns 14 in January.At least 77 Palestinians have been killed since the start of October, as rights group call for Israel to halt “unlawful” killings of Palestinians who have not posed a great enough threat at the time of their death for the deliberate use of force to be permissible by Israeli forces.At least 13 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces in the unrest.


The Palestinian People Ask: Where Is Israel’s F.W. de Klerk?

If a two-state solution fades away, Israel will consolidate apartheid across all of Palestine.

Op-Ed by Dr. Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization,  published in Wall Street Journal, on November 7th, 2015.


 The only way to stop the deteriorating situation in Israel and occupied Palestine is to address the root causes. Israeli leaders, however, stubbornly reject this approach, instead choosing to blame, attack and incite against the people they oppress for refusing to submit to inhumane discriminatory treatment decade after decade.

Years of systematic violation of Palestinian rights, allowed by an unprecedented culture of impunity, have led to a situation whereby an unarmed, and very young, generation is willing to confront the region’s strongest military.

 This young Palestinian generation, the Oslo generation, was promised freedom when the agreement was signed on the White House lawn 22 years ago. This generation was raised with the hope that the brutal Israeli occupation would soon come to an end. But it did not. The Palestinian people continue to endure humiliation; they cannot travel freely, their studies and work are impeded by checkpoints, and they cannot even marry across the Green Line without severe restrictions on where they may live. At every turn, Israel continues to demand our submission to its occupation, oppression and apartheid policies.

 With U.S. involvement, the peace process was shaped—we thought—as a peaceful tool to take Palestinians from occupation to independence. Nevertheless, more than two decades after signing the Oslo Agreement, Palestinians today have seen the number of settlers living illegally in Palestine triple, Gaza has become an open-air prison, and East Jerusalem is besieged and off-limits to most Palestinians.

Despite 48 years of international statements on the illegality of Israel’s colonialist enterprise in occupied Palestine, no meaningful action has been taken to stop Israel. On the contrary, consecutive Israeli governments have continued violating international law with full impunity, while international trade with Israel continues to grow, including with Israeli settlements.

Today, the most extremist right-wing government in its history governs Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party retained its hold on power in a March election, after a campaign in which he said if he were elected there would be no Palestinian State and that “Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves,” referring in racist terms to his own Palestinian citizens. In 2013, Naftali Bennett, an Israeli army veteran and Mr. Netanyahu’s minister of education, said: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there’s no problem with that.” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has repeatedly said she opposes a Palestinian state and that occupation will continue.

 Recently the Israeli prime minister even went so far as to claim that the Nazi Holocaust was inspired by a Palestinian leader. Mr. Netanyahu last week retracted the outrageous accusation, but his original statement showed us the mind of someone who aspires to delegitimize the Palestinians and to deny their aspirations to live in freedom and dignity. He and several of his cabinet members have a history of using dangerous words that incite violence against Palestinians. In July Israeli terrorists set a Palestinian home on fire in the Duma village; the Dawabsheh family—18-month-old Ali, his father, Sa’ad, and mother, Riham—were burned alive. Only 4-year-old Ahmad survived.

 In his Sept. 30 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned of the dangers of the current status quo. He also denounced Israel’s violation of commitments made in signed agreements and international law. President Abbas said he would back away from the Oslo deal if Israel continues to violate it. He did not back away from his commitment to achieve peace, to which he has devoted much of his life.

 Painfully, the Palestinian Oslo generation has reached its limit, disgusted with a peace process that did not lead to freedom, but to an apartheid reality accepted by too much of the world.

 As I watch this play out before me, and prepare to hand the reins of leadership to my children’s generation, I cannot help but wonder whether the Israeli people are capable of electing a leadership committed to a just peace. Where is their F.W. de Klerk? Israel seems prepared only to let the opportunity for a two-state peace slip away.

 If the possibility of a two-state solution does fade away—as is already happening courtesy of Mr. Netanyahu—Israel will consolidate apartheid across all of Palestine, pushing the achievement of Palestinian freedom, independence and equal rights beyond the horizon.