Israeli Forces Attack EU Diplomats
by Stephen Lendman
Life in Occupied Palestine reflects institutionalized colonization and apartheid. Israel governs extrajudicially. It does so ruthlessly.
It’s an out-of-control rogue state. It enforces lawless militarized occupation harshness.
It spurns international laws, treaties and conventions. It does so with impunity. It violates its own statutes and High Court decisions.
It considers Palestinians subhuman. State terror is official policy. So is demolishing Palestinian homes.
Stealing their land, dispossessing them, and denying them all rights reflects common Israeli practice.
Numerous examples explain. Recent ones include massive ethnic cleansing plans. Arab Negev Bedouins are Israeli citizens.
They’ve lived on their land for centuries. Their communities long predated Judaism’s existence.
It doesn’t matter. They’re treated like nonpersons. They’re denied all rights. They’re ruthlessly persecuted. They’re targeted for mass expulsion.
On May 6, Israel’s Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs approved a draft Bedouin ethnic cleansing plan. On June 24, Israel’s Knesset addressed it.
It’s called the Begin-Prawer Plan. It passed its first reading. It targets 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins.
Israel wants them ethnically cleansed. It wants their villages destroyed. It wants their land for Jews only development. It wants Arabs entirely excluded.
Civil rights attorney Rawia Aburabia said Israel’s plan “will cause the displacement and forced eviction of dozens of villages and tens of thousands of Bedouin residents, dispossessing them of their property and historical rights to their lands, destroying the social fabric of their communities, and sealing the fate of thousands of families into poverty and unemployment.”
“All of this while the government simultaneously promotes the establishment of new Jewish communities, some of which are even slated to be built on the fresh ruins of Bedouin villages.”
“Rather than displacing these communities, the government should seek a true and just solution that facilitates the inclusion of Bedouin citizens into the civil and social fabric of the Negev by recognizing the unrecognized villages and acknowledging their legal ownership rights to their lands.”
“For years, the Bedouin citizens have lived in (unrecognized) villages without basic conditions while around them more and more Jewish communities are built.”
“The government must decide whether to seek a true and just solution that facilitates the inclusion of Bedouin in the Negev as equal citizens or a belligerent plan, that only increases the alienation, hostility and poverty in these communities.”
Bimkom’s an Israeli human right group. Nili Baruch’s one of its urban planners. “The key to a solution to the issue of the unrecognized villages in the Negev is planning,” she said.
“A plan to formally recognize the unrecognized villages (such as the one initiated by the village residents themselves) will afford them their rights to education, health, adequate infrastructure, and sources of employment.”
“Such a process would not only be the most likely to succeed, but also the most just, coming after years of neglect of the unrecognized villages, most of which have been in existence since before the state of Israel was established.”
A joint Bimkom/Association for Civil Rights in Israel position paper called Israel’s Bedouin dispossession plan:
- “one-sided and not accepted by the Bedouin population;”
- mindless of Bedouin’s historical rights;
- a “mechanism” to displace 40,000 Bedouins from land rightfully theirs;
- an arrangement wholly “unequal and discriminatory;”
- discriminatory between different types of Bedouins; and
- “extremely harmful and problematic.”
On September 16 predawn, Israeli forces demolished Khirbet al-Makhoul village. They did so violently. They displaced about 120 Palestinians from land rightfully theirs.
They’re homeless on their own. Dozens of children are affected. Israel confiscated tents, other humanitarian aid, and trucks transporting it. More on that below.
The next day, Israeli soldiers forced dozens of Palestinian families from northern Jordan Valley al-Burj and al-Mayta communities.
Allegedly it was to let Israel conduct military training. Forcibly removing residents from their homes and land violates core international law.
Fourth Geneva protects civilians. Article 33 prohibits collective punishment.
Article 147 forbids “unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement of a protected person and extensive destruction and appropriation of property carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”
Israel contemptuously breaches international law. It does so repeatedly. It does it because world leaders able to intervene turn a blind eye.
On September 20, Israeli soldiers violently attacked international diplomats and aid workers. They prevented Khirbet al-Makhoul village residents from rebuilding.
On September 20, Reuters headlined “Israeli forces manhandle EU diplomats, seize West Bank aid,” saying:
They “seized a truck full of tents and emergency aid they had been trying to deliver to Palestinians whose homes were demolished this week.”
“A Reuters reporter saw soldiers throw sound grenades at a group of diplomats, aid workers and locals in the occupied West Bank, and yank a French diplomat out of the truck before driving away with its contents.”
” ‘They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,’ ” French diplomat Marion Castaing said.”
” ‘This is how international law is being respected here,’ ” she said, covered with dust.”
Israel’s army and police had no comment. Failure to do so explains more about how Israel breaches international law contemptuously.
According to Reuters, Israeli forces acted after Israel’s High Court claimed longstanding residents lacked permits to build on their own land.
In the face of brutalizing Israeli force, they stood their ground courageously. They refused to leave land rightfully theirs.
They’ve lived their for centuries. They raised their families. They grazed their sheep. They’re not going quietly into the night for Israel. They intend to fight for their rights.
Israel stopped International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers from delivering humanitarian aid.
Tents were erected. Israel ripped them down. They confiscated them. They stole emergency supplies.
On Friday, French, British, Spanish, Irish, EU political office representatives, and Australian diplomats brought more aid.
On arrival, Israeli forces confronted them. They did so violently. They attacked them viciously. They confiscated their supplies. An unnamed EU diplomat said:
“It’s shocking and outrageous. We will report these actions to our governments.”
Their mission is in accordance with “international humanitarian law,” he said.
“By the Geneva Convention, an occupying power needs to see to the needs of people under occupation. These people aren’t being protected,” he added.
A spokesman for Britain’s Jerusalem consulate expressed “serious” concern about what happened.
“We have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our concerns over such demolitions, which we view as causing unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, as harmful to the peace process, and as contrary to international humanitarian law,” he said.
An Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) statement said Khirbet al-Makhoul village was the third Bedouin community Israel destroyed since August.
Many others are targeted the same way. Israel does so violently. Residents are rousted pre-dawn. On short notice, they’re ordered to evacuate.
Resisters are viciously attacked, injured and arrested. Israel doesn’t recognize Bedouin villages. It denies them vital services. It treats their residents like nonpersons. It does so with disdain.
Villagers are subject to frequent attacks. Their homes are demolished. Their land is stolen. They’re uprooted. They’re violently dispossessed.
It bears repeating. Bedouins historically lived on Negev land for centuries. They did so before Judaism existed. Israel denies them all rights. Rogue states operate that way.
Since 2011 alone, thousands of homes and other property were demolished. Bedouins faced decades of repression and forced displacement.
Israel denies their right to live on long held ancestral land. It does so lawlessly. It bears repeating. Rogue states operate this way.
Israel and America are by far the worst. They threaten much more than fundamental Palestinian rights. They threaten humanity’s survival.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.