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5 avril 2017 3 05 /04 /avril /2017 08:00
Publish Date: 2017/04/04
Palestinian forced to demolish own home in Jerusalem
 
 
 

JERUSALEM, April 4, 2017 (WAFA) – A Palestinian Tuesday was forced to demolish his own home in Beit Hanina, a northern Jerusalem neighborhood, for lacking a building permit, local sources said.

They said Hafez Rajabi opted to demolish his home by himself after the Israeli West Jerusalem municipality informed him that he either tears down his home with his own hands or bear heavy costs if municipality crews demolish it.

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied parts of East Jerusalem are rarely granted construction permits, which force many to build without authorization.

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers demolished 14 Palestinian apartments and razed lands and walls in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, who number over 300,000, face serious shortage in housing because Israeli planning policies discriminate against them, “making it extremely difficult for them to obtain building permits,” as reported by the United Nations group, Office for the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In contrast, Israel has built dozens of settlements with thousands of housing unit for Jews on Palestinian land in East Jerusalem.

T.R./M.K.

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=fMRurPa72487411986afMRurP

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5 avril 2017 3 05 /04 /avril /2017 07:41

B'Tselem: Killing of Palestinian woman in Jerusalem 'unjustified'

April 4, 2017 6:43 P.M. (Updated: April 4, 2017 6:53 P.M.)
 
Damascus Gate, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, in October 2015. (MaanImages/ Emily Mulder, File)
 
 
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem released a report on Tuesday, condemning Israeli forces for the "unjustified" killing of a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem last week.

Israeli police said at the time that 49-year-old Siham Nimr attempted to stab police officers with a pair of scissors at the Damascus Gate entrance to occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, only to be "neutralized" by the Israeli border police -- a term commonly used by Israeli officials to indicate that an alleged attacker has either been wounded or killed. No Israeli officers were injured in the altercation.

It was later revealed that the slain woman was the mother of 27-year-old Mustafa Nimr, who was killed by Israeli forces in September during a night raid in occupied East Jerusalem's Shufat refugee camp.

According to B’Tselem, after Siham approached a metal police barrier near Damascus Gate, brandishing a pair of scissors, border police officers standing on the other side of the barrier shot and killed her. Included in their report was a picture from a security camera in the area, released by Israeli police, purporting to show Siham holding up the scissors while standing behind the police barrier.

 

“It is quite doubtful whether Siham could have, in the circumstances, crossed the barrier, proceeded toward the officers and put them in danger,” B’Tselem said, adding that “given the officers’ protective gear and the means they had at their disposal, it stands to reason that they would have been able to subdue her and take her into custody without resorting to gunfire, let alone lethal gunfire.”

B’Tselem criticized the “shoot-to-kill policy” of Israeli forces when dealing with alleged and actual Palestinian attackers, saying that the policy is “encouraged” by senior ranking officials of various Israeli security forces.

Human Rights Watch has meanwhile documented “numerous statements” made by senior Israeli politicians and religious figures “calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.”

Referring to both the death of Siham and Mustafa, B’Tselem said that “in both cases, the security forces’ trigger happy policies with regard to Palestinians have resulted in needless death.”

Mustafa and his cousin Ali had been driving near clashes outside of Shufat refugee camp while bringing home food and baby clothes, when Israeli border police showered the vehicle with live fire, Siham told Ma'an after the killing.

Israeli police initially claimed that Mustafa and Ali were attempting to carry out a car ramming attack on Israeli officers, though authorities later admitted that Mustafa was “killed by mistake,” and attempted to accuse Ali of causing his death by driving negligently, which prompted Israeli forces to open fire on the vehicle.

 

“B’Tselem has already repeatedly stated that shooting to kill is permissible only when the target puts others’ lives at risk. The continued policy of using lethal fire against Palestinians who pose no mortal danger attests to a chilling gap between the recognized and accepted principle that prohibits this use of gunfire, and a reality in which shoot-to-kill incidents are a frequent occurrence and are encouraged by public sentiment, even when suspects no longer poses any danger, if they ever even posed a serious threat in the first place” the report said.

According to Ma'an documentation, Nimr was the first woman to have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year.

A total of 16 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis -- 15 of them at the hands of Israeli armed forces -- so far in 2017.

Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out stabbing attacks when they were killed in six of these cases, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases.

 
 
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4 avril 2017 2 04 /04 /avril /2017 07:46

Israeli authorities uproot 150 olive trees in Salfit for 'damaging view of nature reserve'

April 3, 2017 1:27 P.M. (Updated: April 3, 2017 6:05 P.M.)
 
 
(File)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces uprooted 150 olive trees in the Wadi Qana valley in the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit on Monday morning without prior notice, locals told Ma'an.

Mayor of the nearby village of Deir Istiya Said Zeidan told Ma'an that the "Israeli occupation" uprooted 135 trees, all of which were between two and fours years old, and also destroyed a 40-meter-long dry-stone wall in the area.

However, a spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, told Ma'an that a total of 150 trees were uprooted.

In response to a request for comment, the spokesperson described the "illegally planted" trees as "an incursion into a declared nature reserve in the Qana stream," confirming that the 150 trees were "evicted" on Monday morning for "damaging the natural view and values of the nature resort."

Deir Istiya's municipal council member Nathmi Salman told Ma'an that the trees were uprooted without prior notice.

He argued that Israeli authorities "are attempting to control the Wadi Qana area and deprive the (Palestinian) landowners from benefiting from their land under the pretext that it is a natural reserve."

The uprooted trees belonged to Abd al-Aziz Abd al-Qadir Aqil and Muqbil Muhammad Awwad. Salman added that the Israelis "confiscated" the trees after they uprooted them.

The valley, which has historically served agricultural and recreational purposes for local Palestinians who own land in the area, was declared a nature reserve by Israel’s Civil Administration in 1983.

Israel has used this designation for years to justify uprooting Palestinian crops and forcing Palestinians from the area, according to Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Several Jewish-only Israeli settlements and outposts -- including Immanuel and Karnei Shomron to the north, and Yaqir and Nofim to the south -- have been illegally established along the ridges of the valley since the 1970s.

Waste water dumped from the settlements has gradually polluted the river, forcing out Palestinians who have lived in and visited the valley for generations.

Palestinian owners of land in Wadi Qana and the village of Deir Istiya have meanwhile been prevented from building or planting in the area, the majority of which is in Area C, under the full civil and military control of Israel.

Last week, Israeli forces prevented Palestinians from accessing areas around Wadi Qana, in order to create a “comfortable atmosphere” for Israeli settlers in the area.

 
 
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4 avril 2017 2 04 /04 /avril /2017 07:31
Publish Date: 2017/04/03
Human Rights Watch says Israel blocking access of rights workers to Gaza
 
 
 

JERUSALEM, April 3, 2017 (WAFA) – Israel is blocking access of human rights workers into and from the Gaza Strip, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Monday.

It accused the Israeli military authorities of systematically barring human rights workers from traveling into and out of Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas.

The 47-page report, “Unwilling or Unable: Israeli Restrictions on Travel to and from Gaza for Human Rights Workers,” documents these restrictions and warns that the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s office should take note of the restrictions in the context of its ongoing preliminary examination of Palestinian complaints of Israeli war crimes in Gaza during its latest war.

“If Israel wants the ICC prosecutor to take seriously its argument that its criminal investigations are adequate, a good first step would be to allow human rights researchers to bring relevant information to light,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Impeding the work of human rights groups raises questions not just about the willingness of Israel’s military authorities to conduct genuine investigations, but also their ability to do so.”

HRW said it has only once since 2008 received permission to get foreign staff into Gaza via Israel during a September 2016 visit that the Israeli authorities characterized as exceptional.

M.K.

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4 avril 2017 2 04 /04 /avril /2017 07:17

Israeli forces deliver demolition orders to 7 Palestinian homes west of Salfit

April 2, 2017 5:38 P.M. (Updated: April 2, 2017 9:08 P.M.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
SALFIT (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces delivered an order to demolish seven Palestinian homes in the village of Deir Ballut west of Salfit in the central occupied West Bank earlier this week, the owner told Ma'an on Sunday morning.

The structures are located in the Abu al-Raish area, south of central Deir Ballut, near where Israel plans to build a section of its illegal separation wall.

The owner of the properties, Muhammad Shahbir, told Ma’an that forces from Israel’s Civil Administration raided the area and delivered demolition notices for the buildings, noting that demolition orders for the same seven structures had been delivered several times before.

Shahbir said that Israeli forces told him that the warrants issued Sunday morning would be the final warning, and that they ordered Shahbir to evacuate his family from the site voluntarily or face evacuation by force.

A spokesperson for the Israeli Civil Administration told Ma'an that no demolition warrants were delivered in the area on Sunday.

Shahbir explained that his family moved to Abu al-Raish after Israel forcibly expelled them the Deit Daqla area, further south on Deir Ballut lands, after being told their homes were built too close the separation wall's route.

Shahbir called upon governmental, private, and human rights organizations to stand in solidarity with his family and provide support to prevent Israel from displacing them a second time.

The Shahbir family is originally from Hebron, and have been residing in Salfit for the past 45 years, he added.

Israeli authorities have used numerous demolition orders targeting Palestinian properties in Deir Ballut over the years, under the pretext that they lacked permits required by Israel to build inside Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under full Israeli military control.

An analysis conducted by the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem showed that a group of houses slated for demolition in 2007 in Deir Ballut were all located 200 to 300 meters from the planned route of Israel's illegal separation wall.

Nearly all Palestinian applications for building permits in Area C are denied by the Israeli authorities, forcing communities to build illegally, and placing them under the constant risk of demolitions at the hands of Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory are more easily given building permits and allowed to expand their homes and properties.

Earlier on Sunday, local sources in the area said Israeli authorities were advancing plans to expand an illegal settlement to be built on on the lands of the Palestinian village of Masha, located just north of Deir Ballut.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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4 avril 2017 2 04 /04 /avril /2017 07:11
Publish Date: 2017/04/03
FIFA monitoring committee raises yellow card in Israel’s face, says official
 
 
 

RAMALLAH, April 3, 2017 (WAFA) – The FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine has decided to give Israel a yellow card for six months to prove that it is adhering to FIFA rules and regulations, Jibril Rjoub, president of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), said on Monday.

The Monitoring Committee was established by FIFA to look into PFA complaints of mistreatment by the Israeli authorities and of violating rules that ban any FIFA member from playing in occupied territories.

Speaking at a press conference at PFA headquarters about the findings of the Monitoring Committee, Rjoub said the committee said in its report, which will be presented to the FIFA Congress, that Israeli violations against Palestinian sports and athletes are considered a violation of international sports and United Nations laws.

He said that if Israel does not change the way it treats Palestinian sports within six months, the recommendation will go to the Congress to take action against it.

Palestine had previously called for ousting the Israel Football Association (IFA) from FIFA because of these violations, but later withdrew its request after the IFA agreed to push its government for better treatment of Palestinian athletes and FIFA agreed to form a committee to monitor Israeli actions and present a report to the FIFA Congress.

Rjoub said one item in the recommendations called for a meeting between the PFA and IFA to discuss the situation of Palestinian sports. However, he added, the PFA does not see a need for such meetings.

The PFA president said the recommendations could have taken a tougher stand from Israel, including recommending kicking IFA off FIFA since the committee found some serious Israeli violations.

He said the FIFA Congress will discuss these recommendations when it meets on May 11 in Bahrain and is expected to vote on them.

Rjoub said the Israeli response to the committee’s report included clear threats to the PFA if the committee continues in its work and saying that Israel will not allow anyone to tell it where its borders lie.

Israel was referring to the football teams playing games in the illegal settlements located in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Rjoub said the PFA is determined to bring a stop to all football games in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, and to demand that the PFA has the right to play abroad and receive football teams to play at home without any Israeli obstructions or interference.

Since Israel occupies the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, it has control over their air, land and sea borders and therefore no one enters or leaves these territories without its approval.

FIFA Monitoring Committee chairman, Tokyo Sexwale, visited Palestine and Israel in November of last year and held separate talks with officials on both sides regarding the situation of Palestinian sports under Israeli occupation and to update them on the work of the committee.

M.K.

 

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=z5LDO1a72476942703az5LDO1

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4 avril 2017 2 04 /04 /avril /2017 07:09
Publish Date: 2017/04/03
FIFA monitoring committee raises yellow card in Israel’s face, says official
 
 
 

RAMALLAH, April 3, 2017 (WAFA) – The FIFA Monitoring Committee Israel-Palestine has decided to give Israel a yellow card for six months to prove that it is adhering to FIFA rules and regulations, Jibril Rjoub, president of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), said on Monday.

The Monitoring Committee was established by FIFA to look into PFA complaints of mistreatment by the Israeli authorities and of violating rules that ban any FIFA member from playing in occupied territories.

Speaking at a press conference at PFA headquarters about the findings of the Monitoring Committee, Rjoub said the committee said in its report, which will be presented to the FIFA Congress, that Israeli violations against Palestinian sports and athletes are considered a violation of international sports and United Nations laws.

He said that if Israel does not change the way it treats Palestinian sports within six months, the recommendation will go to the Congress to take action against it.

Palestine had previously called for ousting the Israel Football Association (IFA) from FIFA because of these violations, but later withdrew its request after the IFA agreed to push its government for better treatment of Palestinian athletes and FIFA agreed to form a committee to monitor Israeli actions and present a report to the FIFA Congress.

Rjoub said one item in the recommendations called for a meeting between the PFA and IFA to discuss the situation of Palestinian sports. However, he added, the PFA does not see a need for such meetings.

The PFA president said the recommendations could have taken a tougher stand from Israel, including recommending kicking IFA off FIFA since the committee found some serious Israeli violations.

He said the FIFA Congress will discuss these recommendations when it meets on May 11 in Bahrain and is expected to vote on them.

Rjoub said the Israeli response to the committee’s report included clear threats to the PFA if the committee continues in its work and saying that Israel will not allow anyone to tell it where its borders lie.

Israel was referring to the football teams playing games in the illegal settlements located in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Rjoub said the PFA is determined to bring a stop to all football games in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, and to demand that the PFA has the right to play abroad and receive football teams to play at home without any Israeli obstructions or interference.

Since Israel occupies the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, it has control over their air, land and sea borders and therefore no one enters or leaves these territories without its approval.

FIFA Monitoring Committee chairman, Tokyo Sexwale, visited Palestine and Israel in November of last year and held separate talks with officials on both sides regarding the situation of Palestinian sports under Israeli occupation and to update them on the work of the committee.

M.K.

 

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=z5LDO1a72476942703az5LDO1

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3 avril 2017 1 03 /04 /avril /2017 07:25

Grosses critiques contre Israël après l’adoption de la 1re colonie depuis 1991

Constructions illégales

Environ 400 000 colons coexistent avec 2,6 millions de Palestiniens en Cisjordanie occupée.

OLJ
01/04/2017
 
 
 
Israël a déclenché de vives critiques des Palestiniens et de la communauté internationale en approuvant jeudi soir la création d'une colonie en plein cœur de la Cisjordanie occupée, la première établie par un gouvernement israélien depuis plus 25 ans. Cette colonie, surnommée Geulat Tzion, doit permettre de reloger une quarantaine de familles de la colonie d'Amona, démolie en février sur décision de la justice israélienne. Amona a été à l'origine pendant des mois d'un psychodrame politique et humain. Le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu, soumis à la pression du lobby des colons, avait redit jeudi, avant la réunion ministérielle, qu'il tiendrait la promesse de construire une nouvelle colonie pour ces quelque 200 à 300 Israéliens, malgré l'absence de précédent depuis un quart de siècle. Il s'agit de la première annonce par un gouvernement israélien d'une nouvelle colonie depuis 1991, a déploré la Paix maintenant, ONG israélienne opposée à la colonisation.
La Maison-Blanche n'a pas directement critiqué l'annonce de la nouvelle colonie, mais a réaffirmé hier que si l'existence de colonies n'était pas un obstacle à la paix, leur expansion pouvait l'être. « Le président Trump a, en public comme en privé, exprimé ses inquiétudes concernant les colonies », a indiqué un responsable de la Maison-Blanche sous couvert d'anonymat. « Si l'existence de colonies n'est pas en soi un obstacle à la paix, l'expansion non contrôlée de ces dernières n'aide pas à faire progresser la paix », a-t-il ajouté.
Depuis plusieurs semaines, le gouvernement israélien recherche avec la Maison-Blanche un accord qui lui permettrait de continuer à construire dans les colonies. L'arrivée au pouvoir de Donald Trump, considéré comme plus favorable aux positions israéliennes que son prédécesseur Barack Obama, a déjà donné lieu de la part d'Israël à cinq annonces d'extension de colonie portant sur plus de 6 000 logements en Cisjordanie et à Jérusalem-Est occupées. La Maison-Blanche, qui a finalement appelé Israël à la retenue, cherche actuellement les moyens de relancer l'effort de paix moribond.

De son côté, le numéro deux de l'Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP), Saëb Erakat, a accusé Israël de continuer « à détruire les perspectives de paix » en poursuivant « le vol de terres et de ressources naturelles ».
 
Hanane Achraoui, autre dirigeante de l'OLP, a dénoncé la persistance israélienne dans la politique « de colonialisme, d'apartheid et de nettoyage ethnique ». « M. Netanyahu est l'otage des colons et place sa survie politique au-dessus des intérêts de l'État d'Israël », a renchéri la Paix maintenant.

« Extrêmement préoccupant »
Le gouvernement de M. Netanyahu, considéré comme le plus à droite de l'histoire d'Israël, fait la part belle aux défenseurs de la colonisation. Son ministre de l'Agriculture Uri Ariel a salué la décision du cabinet, tout comme Yesha, principale organisation représentant les colons de Cisjordanie. Yesha a prévenu qu'il veillerait « très étroitement » à ce que le projet se concrétise.

Environ 400 000 colons israéliens mènent une coexistence souvent conflictuelle avec 2,6 millions de Palestiniens en Cisjordanie occupée. Ces derniers revendiquent ce territoire comme faisant partie de l'État auquel ils aspirent.

La colonisation est illégale au regard du droit international. « Alarmé », le secrétaire général de l'ONU Antonio Guterres a répété que pour les Nations unies la colonisation constituait un « obstacle à la paix » entre Israéliens et Palestiniens. Il a condamné « toutes les actions unilatérales » qui « minent la solution à deux États », c'est-à-dire la création d'un État palestinien coexistant avec Israël, référence de la communauté internationale pour résoudre l'un des plus vieux conflits de la planète. Paris a également dénoncé un « développement extrêmement préoccupant » qui « risque d'aggraver les tensions sur le terrain ».

La nouvelle colonie sera construite dans le secteur de Shilo, une colonie existante située près de l'ancien site d'Amona. La localisation est d'autant plus problématique qu'elle se situe en plein territoire palestinien, continuant avec d'autres implantations à fragmenter le territoire et à compromettre la viabilité d'un futur État palestinien, a noté la Paix maintenant.

Le gouvernement israélien a également approuvé la mise en vente de 2 000 logements dans des colonies de Cisjordanie, sur les 5 700 dont la construction avait été approuvée il y a deux mois. Il a en outre évoqué l'appropriation prochaine par l'État de 97 hectares de terres, ce qui va permettre la reconnaissance a posteriori de trois colonies construites sans autorisation des autorités israéliennes, a rapporté la Paix maintenant.

(Source : AFP)

 

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1044206/grosses-critiques-contre-israel-apres-ladoption-de-la-1re-colonie-depuis-1991.html

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3 avril 2017 1 03 /04 /avril /2017 07:23

Gush Shalom presents: Settlement Products Wiki

Settlement Products Wiki - a systematic informational research about businesses in the settlements and their products; businesses that have left the settlements and relocated to within the Green Line; and the misleading tactics with which businesses attempt to cover up and conceal their location in the settlements.

http://settlement-products.wikia.com/

"In recent years the settlers have been portraying themselves as the patrons of the Palestinian workers. Spokespersons for the settlers in the political arena routinely bemoan the fate of the Palestinian workers in the settlements, who might lose their jobs as the result of steps such as marking settlement products in Europe. However, perusing the Orange Pages directory, which is published by the settlers for the purpose of their own internal communications, reveals a picture that is quite the opposite," said Adam Keller, Gush Shalom spokesperson. The Gush Shalom team of volunteers, which has been working for the last few months on an extensive project to gather and list information about the factories and businesses in the settlements, discovered many businesses that openly proclaim their policy of not employing Arab workers - "the work is performed by Jewish workers only, "Hebrew labor!!!" (exclamation points in the original), "Hebrew labor from A to Z", "Produced by high quality Hebrew labor", "Do you require Hebrew labor? You've come to the right place!", "Reliability, dedication, good service and Hebrew labor", "Gracious service, Hebrew labor from the heart", and also paradoxical statements, such as "Hebrew labor, French speaking". It is obvious that among the target audience in the settlements, a business that employs only Jews and has a policy of excluding Arabs is attractive to potential clients."

In 1996-97, not long after the establishment of Gush Shalom, we publicized information about settlement products, information that was gathered by our activists. In the intervening years that information was copied and disseminated by various groups in the broad Israeli peace movement and abroad, and it was even read from the Knesset podium by Knesset Member Tamar Zandberg from Meretz. Moreover – on several occasions the settlers themselves and their allies, when calling upon their supporters to use settlement products, also used the information that was publicized by Gush Shalom verbatim (including several typos…).

Over the years Gush Shalom made efforts to routinely update the information. For the last few months a team of Gush Shalom activists have been busy systematically updating and greatly expanding the information. In recent years there have been several prominent examples of companies that were located in the settlements (especially in the Barkan industrial zone) and relocated to within the Green Line. Unsurprisingly, such relocations were often connected to the company's efforts to expand its exports, especially to Europe, or the purchasing of a company by an international company – as well as to the situation on the ground, for example, in the course of the second intifada quite a few settlement businesses folded or relocated to within the Green Line. Some of the examples that featured in the media are Barkan Winery, Bagel & Bagel, Yardeni Locks, and Multilock, all of which moved to within the Green Line. They were joined quite recently, literally as our team was at work, by SodaStream, which relocated from Mishor Adumim to the Negev, following an unsuccessful attempt to conduct a PR campaign starring actor Scarlett Johansson. Soon afterwards the cosmetics firm Ahava announced that it was relocating from the Mitspe Shalem settlement to Kibbutz Ein Gedi, within the Green Line. It should be mentioned that the relocation of Ahava apparently is related to its purchase by a Chinese company – which should serve as a message to Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been attempting to build relations with China as a "counterweight" to the pressures on the part of the European Union.

Other cases which did not attract media attention included Intercosma Cosmetics (Atarot industrial zone to Ashdod); children's furniture company Ikoo Designs (Barkan to Ashdod and Nesher); MBT Biological Laboratories which is owned by pharmaceutical giant Teva, and which quietly relocated from the Atarot industrial zone to Beit Shemesh; and the Delta textile company, which moved its warehouses from the Atarot industrial zone to Caesarea. These companies are joined by the furniture company Bar Chairs/United Systems, which still appears in the Barkan industrial zone directory, but has set up an automatic telephone message notifying of its relocation to Tel-Aviv.

Another prominent case that has not yet been covered in the media is that of the Adanim Tea company, which was established and operated in its first years in the settlement Ofra, the "flagship" of the national-religious ideological settlements. According to the information that the team was able to gather, around 2002 without notifying the media, the company moved from Ofra to Bethlehem-in-the-Galilee, then from there to Upper Nazareth, That was the time of the second intifada, and at that time the company was starting to develop widespread activity in Europe, especially in France and Germany.

Documentation that we found online testifies to the long history of shoe polish company Mavrik Industries, which was founded in the 1930's in Tel-Aviv, became the largest factory of its type in Israel and in the entire Middle East and engulfed 28 competing factories. The company moved to the Mishor Adumim settlement industrial zone – which turned out to be an unlucky business choice that ended in its folding during the second intifada. Similarly, Atlas Sweets, which was one of the leading manufacturers of chewing gum in Israel since the 1970's, relocated to the Atarot industrial zone in East Jerusalem and there faced serious business difficulties when the second intifada broke out. The company ultimately folded and its equipment and brand were purchased by the Mastix company from Beit Shemesh.

Documents from the Companies' Registrar and court rulings tell the story of Abir Textile Industries, Abir Thread Industries, Sabrilon Thread Technology and Hadoron Textile Marketing, which were located in the Barkan industrial zone, became intertwined, conducted intricate power struggles and ultimately nearly all of them went bankrupt and entered into receivership. We can mention information that was uncovered about additional settlement companies that faced bankruptcy, receivership and closure – including Ariye Plast from the Ma'aleh Efraim industrial zone, Mey Tsurim from Rosh Tsurim in Gush Etzion, the Hebron Settlers' Carpentry, and quite a few other companies.

One more significant finding that was made by the Gush Shalom team was that many factories and businesses that are located in settlements try to conceal or obscure their location – especially companies that export to other countries or maintain other international relations. The information on the companies' websites, their advertisements in newspapers and on the packaging of their products, is often incomplete or misleading. Many companies provide two addresses, one in a settlement and one within the Green Line, in a manner that makes it very difficult to ascertain their actual location.

For example, the Frid blanket manufacturing company is located in the Barkan industrial zone. The company publicizes a list of shops all over the country where its products are sold, yet without mentioning the location of the factory where the blankets are made. The same tactic is used by the furniture chain store Beitili, Keter Plastic and additional companies.

The Meshek Zuriel dairy markets products that come in part from the settlement Shadmot Mehola in the Jordan Valley, and part come from plants in the Galilee and the Negev. In most cases there is no transparency and no mention of the source of the product on the package.

Another method of misleading is concealing the source of the product under a "manufacturer's code". For example, General Mills Ltd., the Israeli branch of a large US manufacturer of baked goods, manufactures the brand Pillsbury in the Atarot industrial zone in East Jerusalem. However, the packages on some of its products read: "Produced for General Mills Ltd. Ramle by manufacturer's code SLGL."

A website that is operated by the Ministry of the Economy enables deciphering manufacturer's codes of this type, yet even if the code can be deciphered, it is obvious that there is a huge discrepancy between information that is provided in this manner on a product label and the fundamental commitment of a commercial company to provide the consumer with reliable and transparent information on the products that it markets.

In the case of foods, the team often relied on the location of the rabbinate that issued the kosher certificate for products – reasonably surmising, that the rabbinate which issues the certificate for a product is that in the location or the area where the product was manufactured. Thus, for example, a container of hummus produced by Achva may provide an address in Nes Tsiona, but the kashrut certificate from the Ariel Rabbinate testifies to the location of the factory where the hummus was manufactured.

The most blatant deception that our team found has to do with dates – especially Medjool dates, which are a major economic branch in the Jordan Valley settlements and a large portion of them are designated for export. For example, the Jordan River company markets dates from the Jordan Valley in carton boxes on which there is no printing in Hebrew nor any mention of the origin of the dates. The writing on the boxes of dates is in English, sometimes in other European languages (German, French, Spanish, Italian) and sometimes also in Arabic. Some of the Jordan River boxes bear "Orientalist" illustrations of camel-riders against the background of an exotic city with mosque minarets, which might create the impression for a superficial observer that they are an Arab product. However, when marketed in Israel, a Hebrew-language sticker is added to the packages that notes the origin of the dates as the Jordan Valley, the name of the packaging plant (Gilgal, Tomer, etc.) and the rabbinate that certified kashrut – the Jordan Valley Rabbinate.

As opposed to the examples above, we should note the transparency policy of the Sasson Levinsky company, which markets assorted dried fruits, some of which are produced at its plant in Kiryat Gat and some at the packaging plant in the settlement Gilgal in the Jordan Valley. In this case the origin of the fruit is clearly noted on each and every package, in a manner that allows – at least for a knowledgeable consumer who checks labels – ascertaining the source of the product before purchasing.

It should be stressed that while compiling the information, the Gush Shalom team made no distinction between "ideological settlements" and "quality of life settlements", nor between "settlement blocs" and "isolated settlements", etc. The definition, on the basis of which it was decided which factories and businesses would be included in this project, was clear and unequivocal: a settlement is any civilian community that is designated for the residence of Israeli citizens in the territories that were occupied by the IDF in June 1967 and which the State of Israel continues to hold to the present day. A settler is any person residing in such a settlement. And especially relevant for the information that appears here – an industrial zone that is designated for Israeli entrepreneurs and business people and which was established in the occupied territories is a settlement industrial zone.

"Sometimes we are asked, 'Why do you hate the settlers?' The answer is unequivocal: we do not hate the settlers," said Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller. "The settlers are human beings just like us and Israeli citizens just like us. They love their families no less that we do ours. Like most human beings, the settlers are fully and honestly convinced that their actions and lifestyle are right and just. We do not hate the settlers. We do consider them to be people who are performing an extremely significant political act by residing in occupied territory. In our view, that action is extremely damaging and dangerous to the future of all of us (and especially to the future of the settlers themselves!). If the settlers cease and desist from this political act, then from that moment on we will have no reason to argue with them or to confront them."

Keller added: "We consider the 'Boycott Law' that was legislated in 2011 and which regrettably was ratified by the judges of the High Court of Justice, to be an unfair law and a grave violation of the freedom of speech of Israeli citizens. That law has created a situation in the State of Israel whereby any boycott by anyone against anyone else is permitted, yet only calling for a boycott of settlement products is prohibited. Israeli citizens who are religious Jews are permitted to call for a boycott of non-kosher restaurants. Social justice movements can call for boycotting products that are exorbitantly priced. Vegetarians can call for boycotting animal products. Even the extreme right wing is allowed to call for a boycott against the Arab citizens. A settler organization called The Samaria Settlers' Committee recently did just that, including publicizing a detailed list of the names and addresses of Arab-owned shops which the organization called to boycott. We consider this legal and public situation to be blatantly unfair and discriminatory. However, considering this situation, Gush Shalom clarifies, for the avoidance of all doubt, that the action of gathering information about factories and businesses in settlements and publicizing same through the Settlement Products Wiki is by no means an intention to call for the boycotting of settlement products. The purpose of gathering and publicizing the information is to provide the most reliable and accurate consumer information that we were able to gather, in order to enable consumers – each and every one individually – to make wise and informed decisions according to their personal considerations.

Concerning the sources of the information that was gathered Keller stated: "In the course of our work we greatly relied on material that has been previously compiled and publicized by other peace groups, especially the project Who Profits from the Occupation?, as well as publications of Peace Now. In addition, we located much information that is publicized by the settlers themselves – websites and advertisements of various companies, lists of businesses that are publicized by the managements of the settlement industrial zones, and two online directories that are specifically for the settlements – Dapei Katom (The Orange Pages) and The Business Community of Samaria, Ariel, the Jordan Valley, Binyamin". We relied additionally on Dunsguide Dun and Bradstreet's online directory of companies and the portal Takdin which comprises an extensive collection of court rulings in civil proceedings, including those in which settlement companies are involved. More than once, details were found in these two resources that the companies themselves chose not to reveal in their websites and in the information that they provide to the media. For the purpose of publishing the information in a systematic and easy to use format, we used Wikipedia software which is freely available online."

"For the information of Justice Minister Shaked, I wish to emphasize that this was a wholly voluntary project by activists of an NGO with limited means and resources and which does not receive any government funding – neither from the government of Israel nor from any foreign government." Keller concluded, "Although we made immense efforts to avoid mistakes, it may be found that the information that we publicized is not devoid of such. In the event that any mistakes are found, they were done inadvertently and without malice. Anyone who wishes to correct mistakes, to add details and/or to share new information is welcome to contact us. In the event that such new information is found to be accurate, we undertake to add any new and relevant information, in order to enable each and every user to make independent and informed decisions."

For further information: Adam Keller, adam@gush-shalom.org

 

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/events/1459092710

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3 avril 2017 1 03 /04 /avril /2017 07:17

Publish Date: 2017/04/02

Israel issues 46 administration detention orders against Palestinian prisoners
 
 
 

RAMALLAH, April 2, 2017 (WAFA) – Since March 21, Israeli authorities have issued 46 administration detention orders against Palestinian prisoners, including a Palestinian Legislative Council member, said the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) in a statement on Sunday.

 

Mahmoud al-Halabi, PPS attorney, said that an administration detention order of four months was issued against Mohammad Ismail al-Tel, a Palestinian Legislative Council member, from the city of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

 

PPS added that 14 of the administration detention orders were issued against prisoners detained for the first time or re-detained after their release.

 

According to a statistic by the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the total number of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons is 6,500, while 536 of them are administrative detainees, and 4 are Palestinian Legislative Council members.

K.T/M.N

 

 

http://english.wafa.ps/page.aspx?id=qB8wELa71517575679aqB8wEL

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