Palestinians Live in Fear For Their Lives


By suzanna
January 20, 2012
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A 20 per cent rise in settlement construction across the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the past year has taken land critical to the creation of a Palestinian state and placed a two-state solution further away than ever, a report has found.

Building has started on at least 1850 housing units, while there were 3500 units already under construction, the Israeli settlement watch group Peace Now said.

Eleven new settlements - home to 2300 settlers and 680 structures - were recognised by Israel last year when it legalised those outposts (outposts are created when a settlement expands to a new area of land).
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A further 1577 units were flagged as part of the Ministry of Housing's official list of pending tenders, the report found.

''The Netanyahu government is promoting several plans precisely in disputed areas which could prevent the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel,'' Peace Now found. The Israeli government said it had exercised ''great restraint'' regarding the settlements and described Peace Now's figures as exaggerated.

Meanwhile, a leaked report from the European Union on Area C in the West Bank, where 62 per cent of the territory is under Israeli security and civil control, found ''the window for a two-state solution is rapidly closing''.

''The Palestinian presence in Area C has been continuously undermined through different administrative measures, planning regulations and other means adopted by Israel as occupying power.

''If the current trends are not stopped or reversed, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within the pre-1967 boundaries seems more remote than ever,'' the yet-to-be-released report says.

The rapid growth in settlements - considered illegal under international law - means settlers (310,000) now significantly outnumber Palestinian residents (150,000) in Area C.

Along with the settlement expansion, the EU report found, Israel's prohibitive planning regime - which prevents Palestinians building new houses or expanding their present ones, restricts access to water, electricity, sewage and agricultural land as well as the prevention of free movement throughout the territory via checkpoints and the military's separation wall - was eroding the Palestinians' ability to continue living in those areas.

Israel would not comment on the EU report. A spokesman from the foreign ministry said ''the report has not been presented to us … we didn't know it was being written and to my understanding we were never consulted in its preparation''.

A third round of ''exploratory'' talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials began in Jordan late on Saturday, although a Palestinian spokeswoman, Hanan Ashrawi, said she was not expecting any breakthrough before the January 26 deadline set by the Middle East Quartet in October.

Israel's refusal to halt settlement construction was a serious barrier to progress, she said.

The West Bank village of Asira, just south of Nablus, knows too well the challenges of living under Israel's military occupation in the shadow of a settlement. Villagers said they were consistently attacked by residents of the neighbouring settlement of Yizhar, as often as once a week. But the house that bears the brunt of those attacks is the Maklouf residence. It is the last home in the village and closest to the settlement.

The family has an extraordinary collection of home movies, shot by their mother on a hand-held video recorder, that depict life on the front line of settler violence.

In video after video, seen by the Herald, armed settlers, their faces covered by scarves, charge down the hill towards the Maklouf home, firing guns, throwing stones and wielding iron bars, and screaming obscenities against the prophet Muhammad, the family and the village. One settler rampage that began at 12.15am on December 12 lasted at least half an hour, the family said.

The family - mother Khadra, father Ibrahim and their six children - said they thought they would die. Desperate calls to the Israeli Defence Forces, stationed just kilometres away, went unanswered as the group of at least 100 settlers surrounded them, throwing rocks and bricks at their house and banged on their walls with iron bars.

''You cannot imagine the fear,'' Khadra Maklouf said. ''The girls were screaming… I was terrified somebody would get shot and killed.''

Ibrahim, her husband, said: ''Now the younger boys are too frightened to use the toilet, and the girls will not even go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. We are worried whenever they are playing outside that the settlers might harm them.''

Gerard Horton, from Defence for Children International, said: ''This is the human cost of the settlements. These are the friction points, where children get arrested, land is lost, water is restricted and every aspect of life is affected.''

Sydney Morning Herald

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/palestinians-live-in-fear-for-their-lives-as...

COMMENTS

Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:09

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The EU Report is "Goldstone Mark II"

It's solely based on NGO reporting, no Israeli sources except for the usual Peace Now and B'Tselem contributions.

The EU's 'Magic Circle':
1. EU finances Israel-bashing NGOs
2. EU publishes report based solely on Israel-bashing NGOs which it finances

It isn't hard to understand ...


Rich Armbach

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:22

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Do make an effort to be slightly less ridiculous, Hoff. Are you saying that the Goldstone report was based on NGO reports ?


suzanna

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:26

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Any amount of death, land theft, air strikes, illegal settlements, wall building, ethnic cleansing and still it's never Israel's fault according to the Hoff. The Palestinians are to blame for their own occupation it seems.


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:38

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"The Goldstone Commission systematically favored witnesses and evidence put forward by anti-Israel advocates, and dismissed evidence and testimony that would undermine its case:"
http://www.goldstonereport.org/

The fact that Richard goldstone homself has disowned the Report which bears his name tells you everything you need to know ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-repor...


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:41

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Jonathan you told us that Jenny Tongue was on record as saying the pro Israel lobby probably had a grip on the Lib Dem party.

Would you be helpful and tell us where this record is and who made it?

And maybe direct us to the source for your assertion that the report above was produced solely on information supplied by EU funded NGO's.

Thank you in advance.


suzanna

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:48

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'The fact that Richard goldstone homself has disowned the Report which bears his name tells you everything you need to know ...'

Well he didn't really and the other authors of the report certainly DID NOT disown their report.


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:01

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A nice quote Jonathan but quoting from a blog site run by a group of highly interested people with an obvious and admitted agenda doesn't really get you very far. If I had the time and energy I could direct you you to as many blog spots with opposite views as you can handle.

Opinions are useful but the problem is everyone has got one. And when they are expressed by people no more qualified on the subject then the next person they are no more " establishing " then those of my cat.

Where and when did Goldstone disown his report Jonathan ?


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:06

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Jonathan are you offering us that someone called Clegg a liar provides the requested information on where it is recorded and by whom it is recorded that Jenny Tongue said the pro Israel lobby had a grip on the Lib Dem party?


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:24

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I think, mainly for Jonathan's benefit, I am going to conduct on this blog site an intensive course on effective " Israel advocacy" .


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:25

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In the Washington Post - see link above.

If the words are too long get Mummy to read it to you.


Goldie G. Tobin

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:33

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Mary,

I hope being rude and obnoxious are not part of the course work.


suzanna

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:41

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It's the only way the war crime apologists can conduct discourse - by insulting and making futile attempts to delegitimise the source.


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:43

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Goldie we won't be setting the bar too high in 101
Jonathan will be ok.

Jonathan retracting, under unimaginable pressure, one of the many conclusions hardly amounts to " disowning " the report.


Mary in Brighton

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:58

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I think we will call the first lesson " the importance of getting ones facts right so far as is humanly possible in effective Israel advocacy".

Perhaps using the Goldstone Report as an example. The kids are out of my hair this weekend so I will work on it.

Yes Harvey I did say hair but it is not compulsory for you to comment.


suzanna

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 15:03

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More flippin EU:

The European Union should consider legislation to prevent or discourage companies and organisations in member states doing business which supports Israeli settlements, according to a confidential report drawn up by EU diplomats in Jerusalem.

The recommendation is contained in the EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem, which assesses the impact of settlement growth and other factors on the prospects for Jerusalem as the future capital of two states, Israel and Palestine.It describes the situation as "deteriorating" and warns that "the systematic increase in settlement activity... increasingly undermines the two-state solution".


Real Real Zionist

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 15:55

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Hoffman is a busted flush. As a result of his proven propensity to make it up as he goes along, his habits of launching silly damp squib online petitions and his bringing away with the fairies motions to BOD, his credibility is zilch.


suzanna

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 16:04

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If Amberthan went to an AIPAC meeting and started mouthing off he'd have got a good kicking as this woman did:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POmbRplLSV0&feature=related

Amberthan can go and shout his mouth off at meetings in Parliament safe in the knowledge that only the War Crime Apologists and Right Wing administer beatings.


Ben F

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 16:36

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Yes I was surprised that behaving like an oafish clown at meetings and demos and advocating that others do the same was omitted from the list.


Robert Snodgrass

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 16:45

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I haven't posted on this blog for over 6 months, but I do occasionally check it the odd time, every now and then.

Here is my conclusion from what I have seen since my sabbatical. The anti Israel people who come on here need to have a good look at their tactics. In the past 2 years or so that this blog has been going for, the Palestinian people have accomplished absolutely nothing.

You people come onto a JEWISH site, posting things that have no credible source, and then just abuse people like Jonathan Hoffman because they bring facts and figures to the argument. But you need to be honest with yourself and realise that this has achieved zero (if you have proof your actions have achieved anything, please enlighten me).

From what I have seen, you people are obsessed by the idea of a Jewish homeland, and you are all full of hatred. Your actions and that of your peers has only moved the cause of the Palestinians backwards, and it doesn't look like getting better any time soon.

Israel on the other hand has a flourishing economy and is going from strength to strength. Ever thought you lot are supporting the wrong team?!?!


Goldie G. Tobin

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:07

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Let me guess...Mr. Snodgrass is a brother from another mother?


KatieCarslake

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:12

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Robert not everyone just wants to be on the side that's winning regardless of it's moral compass or lack thereof.

Further,the final whistle hasn't blown yet has it ?

Even further,how about win/win rather then win/lose ?

I maybe don't have eyes quite as keen as yours but I haven't noticed any "anti Israel people " around here. A few people who are anti the way Israel is conducting itself and with a conception of the kind of place they want Israel to be that differs from yours, maybe.


Robert Snodgrass

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:13

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You've lost me pal


Robert Snodgrass

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:17

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Israel has had left wing governments, right wing governments, central governments and the rest. The fact is, no government representative of the state of Israel has or will make Israel 'the kind of place they want Israel to be'. Israeli's don't care much for your thoughts; they just shrug their shoulders and get on with their life.


Goldie G. Tobin

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:21

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Katie, I think you have depressed him.


KatieCarslake

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:26

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Robert it's that way >>>>>


amber

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:48

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Carslake, what a joke. You have repeatedly excused the racist antics of Jenny Jihad Tonge, seeing nothing amiss with her suggestion using ancient antisemitic tropes that Jews steal organs, or her condoning the murder of Israelis.

What disingenuous tripe.


amber

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:48

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In addition, you hold Israel to different standards to the Palestinians. That is racism, Carslake.


berovozveshalom

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:59

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No wonder palestinians live in fear for their lives - when you watch the video I have here of Hammas men executing a group of Fatah men sitting blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs in Gaza with a bullet to the back of the head - you will understand why.


berovozveshalom

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 18:02

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The Fatah men that the Hammas threw from high rising buildings in Gaza were at least given a chance to quickly learn to fly


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 09:30

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So ?


Stanley Walinets

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 12:11

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I've just come across this lengthy correspondence.

It strikes me that none of the detractors of suzanna's original posting have made any response to the actual substantial evidence she listed, i.e., evidence of the existence and growth of the settlements; and their detailed effects on the lives of Palestinian families in those areas.

And most importantly, detractors all ignore the way settlements are quietly backed and expanded by Israel's government - at the same time as it insists negotiations can only resume 'without conditions'.

In other words, Israel is establishing its own conditions in the form of settlements 'on the ground', before agreeing to resume negotiations - while blatantly opposing resumption of talks unless the Palestinians agree that talks will be 'without conditions'.

Are members of the 'Israel can do no wrong' Party really happy to support such cynical Government behaviour?


Ben F

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 12:28

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You better believe it Stanley.


Advis3r

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 16:58

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Walinets I have posted a complete refutation of the EU Report - her "substantial evidence" is nothing of the sort and is apparently all made up.

By the way close settlement of Judea and Samaria by Jews is legal under International Law. Why should Jews not be allowed to do now what was perfectly legal before 1948 and the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from what you erroneously call the West Bank by the Jordanians and their systematic destruction and ruination of Jewish holy sites including the use of Jewish tombstones for the construction of latrines?


Stanley Walinets

Tue, 01/24/2012 - 12:34

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Dear Advis3r, aka Honourable Leader of the ICDNW (Israel Can Do No Wrong) Party,

How you can just wipe away ('completely refute') something such as a European Union Report, just like that? - when not even the Israeli Foreign Ministry goes that far (see extract in suzanna's original above - "Israel would not comment on the EU report. A spokesman from the foreign ministry said "the report has not been presented to us … we didn't know it was being written and to my understanding we were never consulted in its ") - how can you be so utterly certain that Israel NEVER, EVER behaves badly towards its Arab citizens and West Bank neighbours?

That you can so endlessly do this, convinces me finally that further discussion with you is a waste of my time.

As a last piece of information for you to ignore, here is another extract from suzanna's posting above - from a part of it quite separate from the 'completely refuted' EU Report. It recounts first-hand experiences of actual people. Do read it, then print it off to add to your cherished collection of fairy stories:

"The West Bank village of Asira, just south of Nablus, knows too well the challenges of living under Israel's military occupation in the shadow of a settlement. Villagers said they were consistently attacked by residents of the neighbouring settlement of Yizhar, as often as once a week. But the house that bears the brunt of those attacks is the Maklouf residence. It is the last home in the village and closest to the settlement.

The family has an extraordinary collection of home movies, shot by their mother on a hand-held video recorder, that depict life on the front line of settler violence.

In video after video, seen by the Herald, armed settlers, their faces covered by scarves, charge down the hill towards the Maklouf home, firing guns, throwing stones and wielding iron bars, and screaming obscenities against the prophet Muhammad, the family and the village. One settler rampage that began at 12.15am on December 12 lasted at least half an hour, the family said.

The family - mother Khadra, father Ibrahim and their six children - said they thought they would die. Desperate calls to the Israeli Defence Forces, stationed just kilometres away, went unanswered as the group of at least 100 settlers surrounded them, throwing rocks and bricks at their house and banged on their walls with iron bars.

''You cannot imagine the fear,'' Khadra Maklouf said. ''The girls were screaming… I was terrified somebody would get shot and killed.''

Ibrahim, her husband, said: ''Now the younger boys are too frightened to use the toilet, and the girls will not even go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. We are worried whenever they are playing outside that the settlers might harm them."

Aesop couldn't have written more convincingly, could he?

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