On Sunday, Israeli security forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. It’s Islam’s third holiest site.
Worshipers were attacked with stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullet and pepper spray.
Al-Aqsa Mosque director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani said over 50 Israeli special forces stormed through the Moroccan and Chain Gates.
They attacked worshipers. They “besieged” them. Half a dozen or more injuries were reported. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld lied.
He claimed Israeli security forces reacted to Palestinian provocations. None whatever occurred. Israel bears full responsibility.
Overnight Saturday, worshipers braced for possible right-wing settler attacks. They stayed inside the compound. They did so expecting trouble.
They expect it ahead of Passover. At sunset on April 14, it begins. It runs through April 21.
Hardline Israeli organizations urged Jews to swarm the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the holiday period. Doing so constitutes a gross provocation.
It happened many times before. Worshipers braced for this year. The worst perhaps lies ahead.
Israeli forces regularly escort settlers to the site. Throughout occupied Palestine, they ignore their vandalism and violence. It repeats with disturbing regularity.
On Sunday, Israeli police arrested dozens of nonviolent Palestinians. They claimed they lacked permit permission to enter Israel.
Around 100,000 Palestinians have Israeli jobs. They enter daily to reach work sites. Many do with no documentation. They have no choice.
Permits are hard to get. Palestine’s Central Bureau of Statistics said over 34,000 Palestinians working in Israel lack them.
In January, over 1,400 Palestinians were imprisoned for working without permission. Employers remain unaccountable.
On April 9, Israel demolished several EU-funded humanitarian housing shelters. They did so on land near Jerusalem. It’s located in Jabal al-Baba.
In February, Israel ordered 18 structures destroyed. EU delegates challenged doing so. They demanded financial compensation for housing they funded.
An unnamed source said “(w)e should ask for compensation from Israel whenever EU-funded humanitarian aid projects are destroyed.”
They’re in the so-called E1 area. It’s located between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem.
Israel plans developing Mevasseret Adumim neighborhood. At issue is establishing territorial contiguity.
It’s creating a greater Jerusalem. It’s doing it by Judaizing Palestinian neighborhoods.
Angela Godfrey-Goldstein is a Jahalin Association advocacy officer. She represents affected Bedouins. She condemned what happened.
She called E1 “Obama’s red line” for Israeli settlement construction. Demolitions were revenge, she believes. They followed Abbas applying to join 15 UN bodies and treaties.
Israeli maliciousness is longstanding. It’s common practice. It repeats across Palestine. It’s part of persecuting Palestinians for praying to the wrong God.
It’s part of Israel’s ethnic cleansing agenda. Displacing Palestinians provides land for Jews.
Since June 1967, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) estimates at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures lawlessly destroyed.
On April 13, Haaretz headlined “Israel freezes transfer of tax monies to PA in response to UN move.”
Netanyahu announced it. Israel collects Palestinian tax revenues and customs duties. It’s obligated to return them to PA officials. They provide operating revenues.
They amount to about $100 million monthly. They’re on goods imported into Palestine. Israel froze them earlier. It was during times of heightened security and diplomatic tensions.
Freezing them begins in May. Perhaps policy will change. If implemented, April revenues are affected.
Israeli officials said Netanyahu’s action has declarative value only. It’s politically motivated. It’s for coalition partner hardliners.
They deplore peace. They want no Palestinian prisoners released. They want the worst of occupation harshness continued.
If peace talks continue past an agreed on April 29 cutoff date, PA tax money will be transferred, said Haaretz.
If not, “Israel could be expected to impose far more severe sanctions than holding back” revenues due Palestine, it added.
Israel froze transfers dozens of times before. Releasing them followed. Senior Israeli officials said freezes are self-defeating.
Revenues pay tens of thousands of PA employees. Security personnel Israeli enforcers included.
State Department spokeswoman responded dismissively to Netanyahu’s decision.
“We’ve seen these press reports, but we have not seen an official public announcement,” she said.
“That said, we would regard such a development as unfortunate,” she added.
“We believe that the regular transfer of the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues and economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has been beneficial and is important to the well-being of the Palestinian economy.”
On Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon approved stealing more Palestinian land.
He retroactively legalized Gush Etzion’s Netiv Ha’avot outpost. He declared 984 dunums of privately owned Palestinian land state property. He did so unilaterally. He acted extrajudicially.
In 2001, Netiv Ha’avot was built without authorization. It’s home to 50 Jewish families. Palestinian court challenges failed to dislodge them.
Authorizing 984 more dunums around Netiv Ha’avot assures new homes for thousands of settlers.
It means outpost ones will submit their own expansion plans. It means more Palestinian land likely stolen. It assures continued lawless ethnic cleansing.
Dror Etkes monitors settlement policy. He issued a statement saying:
“Declarations of state land became rare after the army declared close to a million dunums state land in the 1980s and 1990s, enough to expand the settlements for the coming century.”
“The present declaration is a faithful reflection of the Netanyahu government’s policy and meant to extinguish the last embers of the negotiations with the Palestinians.”
On Sunday, sham peace talks continued. Abbas agreed to extend past late April. Perhaps into next year.
Why he’ll have to explain. Since last July, they accomplished nothing. Israel demands everything its way. It offers Palestinians virtually nothing.
Chances for peaceful conflict resolution are ZERO. Not according to Haaretz editors.
On April 13, their disappointing editorial headlined “Netanyahu must curb Bennett and keep the peace talks alive.”
They pretend peace talks are legitimate. They never were before. They’re not now.
Bennett represents the worst of right-wing extremism. He threatened to leave Netanyahu’s coalition government if peace talk dealmaking OK’s further Palestinian prisoner releases.
He calls Palestinian political prisoners “murderers.” He wrote Netanyahu. He wants settlement blocs annexed. He wants them made part of greater Israel.
Combined with military areas, no-go zones, tourist sites, Jews-only roads, checkpoints and barricades, as well as Israeli commercial development, they comprise over 60% of West Bank land.
Bennett wants it all made part of Israel. So do likeminded hardliners. Most West Bank land and East Jerusalem already is de facto Israeli territory.
Bennett cited “floundering” peace talks. He prioritizes sabotaging them, said Haaretz editors. He wants settlements “bolster(ed) and enlarge(d).”
It’s longstanding Israeli policy. Netanyahu prioritizes it. He said so publicly. Haaretz editors didn’t explain.
Bennett is one of many ideological extremists infesting Israel’s government. Netanyahu is a world class thug.
Defrocked/reinstated Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is an ultranationalist extremist. He delegitimizes the office he holds. He uses it ruthlessly.
Haaretz editors support peace process hypocrisy. Why they’ll have to explain. They nonsensically said talks “reached a decisive point.”
Previous ones denied Palestinians rights mattering most. Haaretz editors call current talks “the last chance in the forseeable future to conduct negotiations with the Palestinians.”
No chance existed before. None does now. Talks mock legitimacy. Peaceful conflict resolution with Israel is a convenient illusion.
Haaretz editors didn’t explain. They blame Bennett for longstanding Israeli policy.
He’s one of many in a long line of extremists. More than ever infest Israel’s worst government in history.
Last July, talks began. They were dead on arrival. Haaretz editors failed readers. They didn’t explain.
They pretend talks are legitimate. They never were before. They’re not now. It bears repeating. Chances for peaceful conflict resolution are ZERO. Pretending otherwise is fantasy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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