Israel’s Criminal Treatment of Palestinian People Is Beyond Appalling

Water allocations - Israel and PalestineThree pieces today detailing crimes committed by the apartheid Israeli entity bring a sickening lurch to an already nauseated stomach and reaffirm the need for boycott, divestment and sanctions against it.

The first – where Israel is complaining like a torturer unsatisfied with the volume of the victim’s screams, is recorded by Ma’an News agency:

Israel’s military department governing civil affairs in the occupied West Bank regards a UN agency’s assistance to displaced Palestinians as illegal operations, a spokesman said Sunday.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported earlier that the department, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are seeking to “reassess” the role of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the West Bank.

The UN office “are assisting Palestinian communities who have demolitions because they are built in an illegal way. OCHA gives them tents and by that is doing illegal work, without seeking Israeli permission,” COGAT spokesman Guy Inbar told Ma’an.

Humanitarian officials say providing a temporary tent to a displaced family falls under international definitions of emergency humanitarian assistance, rather than a building project that requires a permit.

Israeli authorities insist there is a legal process for Palestinians living in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israel civil and security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords, to build in their communities.

“In the last year (COGAT) approved many international projects, even UN OCHA projects, but not in an illegal way, like what they are doing in the south Hebron hills,” Inbar said, while warning: “International work does not get immunity.”

But the United Nations and humanitarian agencies say in reality it is almost impossible for Palestinians to obtain a building permit, and highlight that Israeli settlers in the same area are able to expand communities that are illegal under international law.

The south Hebron hills is one area of the West Bank facing repeated demolition orders. Israeli forces last month warned that they intend to demolish all 50 buildings in one village in the region, Susiya, after a settler group filed a legal petition calling for its removal.

A diplomatic source told Ma’an: “It is outrageous that (the Israeli) administration which condones illegal settlement construction is here using an argument against construction that helps some of the most disadvantaged communities, who have the right to protection under international law.”

Already in 2012, Israeli authorities have demolished 330 Palestinian buildings in the West Bank, displacing 536 people, half of whom are children, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories Richard Falk said in late June.

Meanwhile international law experts say that under the Fourth Geneva Convention Israel must provide for the needs of the occupied Palestinian population, and are prohibited from demolishing any structure that has a civilian purpose.

Haaretz reported that COGAT asked the Foreign Ministry to lodge a formal complaint with the UN, and on July 10 Israel’s UN ambassador wrote to the UN humanitarian affairs chief asking for staff lists, past and future activities and a review of the agency’s role.

Israeli authorities are considering limiting visas for foreign OCHA employees and stopping work and travel permits for Palestinian staff members, the newspaper said.

Inbar said COGAT is perturbed that OCHA is over reaching its mandate through its work in Area C, while OCHA says it does not undertake building projects but is mandated to coordinate international agencies’ response to humanitarian emergencies.

The second gut-churning criminal abuse involves Israel’s continuing mistreatment of Palestinian children incarcerated in its dungeons. Unfortunate child prisoners are forced to stand in the sun for three hours and be strip-searched while their rooms are searched:

The administration of the Israeli Hasharon jail has forced Palestinian minors to stand in the sun heat for three hours at the pretext of searching their rooms.

Amjad Siraj, who is representing those minors, told a lawyer for the Palestinian prisoner’s society that the incident took place three days ago and that the rooms were turned upside-down in the savage search by the Israeli Nahshon unit members.

Siraj said that the conditions in the Israeli jails, as far as minors were concerned, did not change, adding that the prison administration only responded to a number of simple requests.

He said that the Nahshon unit members rummaged through the minors’ ward and forced minors to strip search.

Defence for Children International’s recent report details the deleterious extent of Israel’s disgraceful abuses against Palestinian children. In an urgent DCI appeal last week, this prestigious organisation revealed that

Since 2008, DCI-Palestine has documented 53 cases in which children have been held in solitary confinement in facilities located inside Israel, mainly Al Jalame and Petah Tikva interrogation centres, and Hasharon prison. The children report being held in isolation at these facilities for an average of 10 days.

In the third instance of unusual and cruel collective punishment, in which Egypt is also implicated, the people of Gaza are subjected to power cuts – 8 hours on and 8 hours off in blistering summer heat.

Ahmed Abu Amrain, the Director of Information Center of the Energy Authority, said during a press conference yesterday that the Authority and Gaza Electricity Distribution Company are working on scheduling the electricity consumption in order to manage the crisis noting that the electricity will be running for 8 hours then cut off for 8 hours, successively throughout the 24 hours.

He attributed the main reasons behind the deficit to the reduction in the amounts of fuel provided for Gaza and which is resulting from the Israeli arbitrary measures and Egyptian inaction in allowing the fuel donated by Qatar into the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Nutanyahoo brags about another 500 apartheid settler homes to be constructed in the illegal and brazenly named ‘national priority settlements’ in the Occupied West Bank, and La Ashton indicates her complicity with Israel’s criminal treatment of Palestinian prisoners in variance with the EU Parliament position. As Ali Abunimah has highlighted:

Moreover, the circumstances in which she gave her statement suggest Ashton acted in order to ensure that Israel’s human rights abuses would not be discussed by the Foreign Affairs committee of the European Parliament.

These vile, ongoing crimes remind us all, in the absence of action by governments, to support the international boycott of Israel called by Palestinian civil society until Palestinian people receive their full human rights which Israel denies them, including the end of Israel’s Occupation, apartheid and colonialism, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and the recognition of right of return of Palestinian refugees.

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