Destruction of olive trees continues The Israeli occupation forces destroy around 100 olive trees in the village of Gwuen, southern Hebron hills. 25.8.2022
Death preferable to detention without charge or trial The European Union: "Shocked by the horrific images of Khalil Awadeh, who has been on hunger strike for 179 days in protest against his detention without charge, as he is facing imminent risk of death, and we call for his immediate release."
Settler violence Uri Shouri, an Israeli settler threatened a Palestinian family with a machete on a road in northern "Israel". The mother, father and their child were in the family car. (Video shows terrified, crying child while the settler is seen shouting with the machete in his hand)
Back to school with just one eye "With the beginning of the new school year in Palestine, Palestinian student Arij Asaliya returns to her school with only one eye after she lost her right eye in an Israeli airstrike during the recent Israeli onslaught on Gaza."
Continued ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta The whole world needs to watch what I just saw: "Israelis" preventing a group of 10-year-olds, on their way to school with teachers, from entering their OWN VILLAGE because the Israeli Occupying Forces made it a "firing zone". All families face ethnic cleansing in Masafer Yatta for this reason.
This is how sick the Apartheid regime is in 2022: A kid detained, in the 3rd grade, in front of a tank, just because he lives in Masafer Yata. The "firing zone" is a hoax, it was declared with the purpose to evict us, Ariel Sharon said in a secret document recently uncovered.
In May, occupation court ruled: mass eviction of Masafer Yatta. The reason? The army wants our land to make a training zone. Since then: schools got demolition orders, kids detained daily, family homes razed every week. Settlers growing around us.
Settler thugs pepper-spray my friend, a shepard, and hit him with stones. He yells for help. Soldiers come. What do they do? Throw stun grenades at us who came to film. Apartheid could not be uglier in Masafer Yatta and Palestine.
Military raids, house demolitions, arrests without charge and trial, settler violence, apartheid....
Palestine: "Not trending but still suffering"
Death preferable to detention without charge or trial
The European Union: "Shocked by the horrific images of Khalil Awadeh, who has been on hunger strike for 179 days in protest against his detention without charge, as he is facing imminent risk of death, and we call for his immediate release."
"Palestinian administrative detainee in Israeli jails #KhalilAwawdeh flashes victory sign after reaching an agreement with the Israeli occupation authorities to suspended his hunger strike, which continued for 172 days, and to release him on 02 Oct 2022."
40 years on Sabra and Shatila massacre: What happened in Lebanon in 1982? Israeli-backed Phalange militia killed between 2,000 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees and Lebanese civilians in two days.
It was one of the most harrowing massacres committed in the Lebanese civil war, a conflict known for its brutality.
Shatila, a Palestinian refugee camp, and the adjacent neighbourhood of Sabra are located southwest of Lebanon’s capital city Beirut.
The refugees were victims of the 1948 Nakba, or “catastrophe” in Arabic, fleeing the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine by Zionist militias as Israel was formed.
But between September 16 and 18, 1982, the refugees, now living in Shatila and Sabra, along with Lebanese civilians, were attacked by a right-wing Lebanese militia, in coordination with the Israeli army.
Between 2,000 and 3,500 people were killed.
What happened? In June 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon during the country’s 15-year civil war (1975-1990), with the stated aim of destroying the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which had been based in Beirut and was launching attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon.
The PLO withdrew from Lebanon by September 1, 1982. Assurances were provided by the United States and a multi-national force that the remaining Palestinian refugees and civilians would be protected.
Two weeks later, the Israeli military besieged Sabra and Shatila and provided cover for their allies, a right-wing Lebanese militia called the Phalange, to carry out the mass killings.
The killing continued for 43 hours, from 6pm on Thursday, 16 September, until 1pm on Saturday, 18 September.
While accurate figures on the number of people killed are difficult to ascertain, estimates have put the death toll at between 2,000-3,500 civilians.
Testimonies from the mass killing describe horrific acts of slaughter, mutilation, rape and mass graves. Images from the aftermath were aired on television worldwide and caused global outrage.
What led to this? More than 100,000 Palestinians, mostly from the northern areas of historic Palestine, were expelled and fled to Lebanon during the 1948 Nakba.
The PLO, an umbrella of Palestinian political parties created in 1964 with the aim of liberating Palestine through armed struggle, moved its base of operations to Beirut after it was pushed out of Jordan in 1970.
In 1969, an Egyptian-brokered agreement between the PLO and the Lebanese army, the PLO’s Armed Struggle Command assumed control over the 16 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, enabling it to carry out operations on Israel from southern Lebanon.
The Lebanese civil war broke out in 1975 mainly between the Lebanese Front (LF) – a coalition of right-wing Christian Maronite parties backed by Israel and the United States – and the Lebanese National Movement (LNM), a coalition of secular leftists, pan-Arab Sunni and Shia Muslims, and the PLO. Syria also invaded.
Israeli forces, led by then-Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, invaded Lebanon in June 1982, laid siege to Beirut and heavily bombarded the city, where the PLO headquarters were located.
The multinational force that arrived after the PLO’s withdrawal from Beirut on September 1 was supposed to stay for 30 days. However, they pulled out early, on September 10.
On September 14, 1982, Bachir Gemayel, the Lebanese president-elect and leader of the Lebanese Forces, was assassinated in Beirut.
The next morning, Israel invaded west Beirut and prevented anyone from exiting the refugee camps. Israeli forces then allowed the Phalange, who blamed the PLO for Gemayel’s death, to enter Sabra and Shatila and carry out the massacre.
What followed? The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution declaring the massacre an “act of genocide”.
The PLO moved its headquarters to Tunisia before the 1993 Oslo Accords were signed with Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) was created.
The Sabra and Shatila massacre is remembered as one of the most traumatic events in Palestinian history and its memory is commemorated annually by Palestinians in Lebanon and in Palestine.
The event continues to highlight the plight of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon today, who now number 479,000, according to the UN.
About 45 percent of them live in the country’s 12 refugee camps, which suffer from overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to basic services and legal aid.
Palestinians in Lebanon are banned from working in as many as 39 professions, cannot own property, and face numerous other restrictions.
Who was held accountable? Not one single Lebanese or Israeli fighter or official was punished for the crimes committed.
An Israeli investigation said the Lebanese Forces militia was directly responsible for the massacre but also held Sharon “personally responsible for ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge” and recommended his resignation. Sharon resigned from his post on February 14, 1983, but was elected prime minister in 2001.
In February 1983, the UN commission found that “Israeli authorities or forces were involved, directly or indirectly in the [Sabra and Shatila] massacres”.
In 2002, a Belgian court dismissed a case filed by dozens of survivors of Sabra and Shatila against Sharon on the basis that he was not present in court, despite a 1993 law which allowed Belgium to try foreigners for war crimes committed abroad.
Why did Queen Elizabeth II, world's most traveled monarch, never visit Israel
By Hafsa Kara-Mustapha
In June this year, when Queen Elizabeth II marked the platinum jubilee of her accession to the throne, Britons got a flavor of what media coverage to expect on the world's longest-reigning monarch’s passing.
Since her death on September 8, every detail of her life has been talked about, explained, and over-analysed. Viewers from Britain and other countries were bombarded with pictures of a baby princess Lilibet all the way to the dying sovereign just a day before she took her last breath.
This was clearly a royal reign for the modern age, where media scrutiny, aided by news agencies and the internet, provided consumers with every aspect of the late head of state’s life, work and legacy.
Though nothing ever has transpired of her politics or political beliefs, which her role as a constitutional monarch forbids, occasional reports offered her subjects glimpses of the values she espoused.
Information carefully ‘leaked’ showed a young queen tilting clearly on the right of the political spectrum. She married young and immediately started a family and was said to have been a firm believer in the more traditional family values, her own family would later so openly reject.
Throughout the years and constant media scrutiny, Britons discovered that she loved her pet corgis, had a sharp sense of humour, and Andrew, her third-born, was her favourite child.
Amid all the media saga on her life, one interesting element transpired: in her 70-year-long reign the "million mile" monarch visited almost every single country on earth: those of the Commonwealth of course, but also friendly, not so friendly and at times even those considered hostile to Britain.
In 1961, she visited Iran. In 1991, she was hosted by the late president Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. In 1986, she famously toured China and walked along its Great Wall.
Yet one exception emerges and is all the more striking considering the close ties the regime has traditionally had with Britain.
Queen Elizabeth II never visited Israel. Though she was seen as a devout Christian and held the title of head of the Church of England, she never even attempted a trip to the occupied territories of Palestine to visit the Christian religion’s holiest of places.
The pro-establishment British media, compliant in always toeing the official political line, has abstained from any comments on this curious boycott. After all, the successive UK prime ministers have enthusiastically declared the country's commitment to its close relationship with Israel.
The former British premier, Boris Johnson, famously stayed in a Kibbutz in his younger years and wrote of his fondness and admiration for the Zionist entity as a journalist. His successor, Liz Truss, stated during her campaign that she favoured a transfer of the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which saw her jump from the fourth position in the leadership race to the top one.
Margaret Thatcher, who remained in power in the 1980s, traveled to Tel Aviv and showed resolute support for Israel despite the countless violations of international law the regime committed during her premiership, most notably the massacres of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
No British prime minister, since Elizabeth II was crowned the queen in 1952, can be deemed unfriendly, hostile, or even neutral towards Israel.
In the aftermath of World War II, Western countries, feeling the need to share the burden of Nazi crimes, multiplied efforts to agree to all of the newly-formed Zionist entity's needs and whims, often to the detriment of their own people or public opinion.
An official visit, with all the pomp and ceremony, would have consolidated the relationship always portrayed as particularly close, yet the Queen never embarked on the trip even though her own mother-in-law is buried in St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Jerusalem.
As this revelation began to surface, some commentators have over the past few days attempted to offer an explanation for this curious decision that is clearly not in line with Britain’s official position on the regime in Tel Aviv.
Furthermore, for many, Britain is not only a close partner of Tel Aviv, but it is also in many ways the godfather of Zionism, the illegitimate regime's supremacist ideology. It was after all Britain, under the guise of Lord Balfour, that pledged to offer Palestine – which was never Britain’s -- for the establishment of the so-called “Jewish homeland”.
It was this infamous declaration made in 1917, and whose centennial former premier Theresa May celebrated with ‘pride’, that paved the way for mass Jewish immigration from Europe designed to ouster native Palestinians from their ancestral lands.
Such is the nature of Anglo-Israeli relations that a snub from Britain’s head of state has long been a taboo in political and diplomatic circles.
So, the question is, why did the Queen never visit Tel Aviv? The answer lies in both her official role as a monarch as well as that of mother, wife, and even daughter.
The late monarch, who died at the age of 96, was 20 when a bomb exploded in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people. The explosion planned and executed by the Jewish terror group Irgun claimed the lives of 11 senior British officials and countless other civilians.
The hotel built in 1929 had become by the early 1940s an unofficial headquarter for Britons appointed to serve in Mandatory Palestine. It was a well-known spot where these officials and their families would congregate.
The terror attack, which followed a long-running campaign led by Jewish terror groups, marked a turning point in Britain’s policy in the Levant and prompted a gradual withdrawal of troops leaving civilian and unarmed Palestinians to face well-armed Jewish terror groups such as Irgun or the Stern gang in the coming years, culminating with the ethnic cleansing of Arab villages in 1948.
Though now conveniently shelved, news of these terror attacks at the time shocked the kingdom to the core. Given these were committed not by foreign fighters resisting British occupation but by Jewish organisations once politically supported by Britain, the sense of betrayal was tangible.
“Hon. Members will have learned with horror of the brutal and murderous crime committed yesterday in Jerusalem. Of all the outrages which have occurred in Palestine, and they have been many and horrible in the last few months, this is the worst," then British prime minister Clement Atlee stated in the House of Commons.
The British media outlets were outraged and many called for tougher action against these Jewish terror groups. In a report released in 2003, it was noted that the Stern gang was recruiting British Jews to commit terror attacks inside the UK using war surplus aircraft.
Despite the shock and political fall-out from the King David attack, these Jewish terror groups did not stop there. On March 1, 1947, 17 British officers were killed in a similar attack targeting a local club frequented by the armed forces. A few days later a British guard standing outside an orphanage was killed.
In another instance, soldiers were hanged and their bodies stuffed with explosives in a bid to inflict maximum pain and double the fatalities. British railway guards were murdered outside a station.
In August of that year, three British policemen were killed in the bombing of the British Labour department in Jerusalem. A few weeks later, four British policemen were killed outside a bank, followed by 10 other policemen killed when the local police station was bombed.
By 1948, more than 800 servicemen, who’d been appointed to serve “king and country” had perished at the hands of these terror groups which were made up of those who would soon become Israel’s political class.
The Queen, a witness of these events would have clearly remembered them, in particular as many of those killed had just recently returned from the war against Nazi Germany and which was reported to have caused so many casualties among Europe’s Jewish population.
These squaddies and their superiors were now being targeted by the very people they sought to fight for just a few years before.
British commentators, always keen on downplaying Zionist crimes, for fear of losing their jobs, have also pointed to the sovereign’s other snub in the region: Egypt. They appear to forget the period in which she had just been crowned, coinciding with the greatest political crisis of that decade: Suez.
A few years into her reign, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal, a valuable Egyptian waterway through which much of the oil tankers transporting the precious commodity would go through, challenging Britain’s authority in the region.
At the time, British media and politicians alike were rushing to describe the Arab leader as a tyrant and the ‘new Hitler,’ a term now commonly used to describe anyone rejecting Western hegemony.
In response to reports of journalists describing Nasser as a ‘mad dog’, he responded in kind by calling the Queen “the daughter of a thousand dogs” a particularly offensive form of insult in Arab culture.
By the time that crisis was forgotten, Princess Diana, her former daughter-in-law, was killed in a car accident in 1997, alongside her Egyptian partner Dodi Al Fayed. This prompted many in Egypt to claim the crash was orchestrated by the royal family, who could not tolerate the idea of a Muslim/Arab half-brother to the heir of the throne.
Civil actions were launched inside Egypt, followed by a long investigation funded by Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed in which he also claimed the official involvement in the killing of the princess and her Arab partner. In that tense climate, a trip to Egypt was therefore inopportune.
But, what about Tel Aviv?
As a princess raised during World War II, which left thousands of families bereaved, she felt a particular attachment to these men who made the ultimate sacrifice for her father and the country.
It is worth noting that the period in which she grew up would have shaped her outlook on life. How could she travel and visit, with all the pomp and ceremony, a country built on British political support yet drenched in the blood of its soldiers?
Stranger still, how have these events been completely deleted from the public consciousness when that period is still so overly discussed and debated to this day?
Unlike the politicians elected to serve her, the Queen appears to have chosen not to forget her soldiers. As the commander in chief, she obviously had a duty towards servicemen dedicated to serving the nation, yet on a human level too she was the daughter, wife, and mother.
In her twilight years, she could perhaps have softened her position, but for that to happen Israeli regime politicians should have shown some level of contrition given the scale of the carnage. Instead, the regime in Tel Aviv celebrated the anniversary of the bombing of the King David Hotel with leading politicians, including former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, going as far as unveiling a plaque honouring those who committed the atrocity.
A lukewarm and admittedly pathetic statement issued by Britain’s ambassador to Israel criticising the decision read as follows: “`We do not think that it is right for an act of terrorism, which led to the loss of many lives, to be commemorated.”
Despite this being “the highest death toll for British subjects in a terrorist attack” as stated by parliament at the time, relations did not dent further. And as is custom with Israeli crimes, media coverage of this deeply offensive celebration, that added insult to injury, was subdued.
Desperate to conceal from the British public this very damaging chapter in Anglo-Israel affairs, sources have claimed that the Queen abstained from any visit to the Zionist entity so as not to offend Arab states and monarchies.
This of course is part of a plethora of excuses presented to the public as a digression from the real motives of the late sovereign and her vivid memory of a terror campaign that cost many British lives.
And as news emerges of her very deliberate snub, pro-Israel advocates are claiming that the Foreign Office somewhat ‘prohibited’ her from travelling to Israel. Knowing full well she is no longer here to offer an explanation, people such as Stuart Polak who sits in the House of Lords are putting forward such ridiculous claims in the hope of deflecting attention from the embarrassing revelation that the most travelled head of the state in history never visited Tel Aviv.
In the words of former Haaretz editor-in-chief David Landau, writing in 2012: "This marvellous, dedicated, 86-year-old sovereign is nobody's puppet…if she wanted to visit the Jewish state or have one of her close family visit it, she could insist on it, and get her way.”
Clearly, she didn’t want to have anything to do with the apartheid Israeli regime.
PM Truss considering relocation of British embassy to Jerusalem
British Prime Minister Liz Truss has told her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid that she is considering moving the British embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, a move that would break Britain’s long-standing policy on Israel-Palestine.
During the meeting on Wednesday in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Truss informed Lapid “about her review of the current location of the British Embassy in Israel,” according to a statement put out by the prime minister's office.
During the Tory leadership contest, Truss, then foreign secretary, made similar comments in a letter to an influential lobby group, the Conservative Friends of Israel, saying she was inclined to relocate the embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.
"I understand the importance and sensitivity of the location of the British Embassy in Israel," Truss said at the time.
In her letter, the foreign minister also promised to “cement” Britain’s ties with Israel by expediting a Free Trade Agreement being drafted by the government.
Boosting bilateral cooperation
In their meeting on Wednesday, Truss and Lapid discussed boosting bilateral cooperation, including in the fields of defence, cyber security, trade, and green technology.
They also agreed to set up teams to negotiate the free-trade agreement as quickly as possible.
Britain has long maintained its embassy in Israel in Tel Aviv, even after Israel declared Jerusalem as its capital, as part of a longstanding policy that the city's final status should be decided following negotiations.
In 1967 Israel occupied and annexed the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state, in a move that has never been recognised by the international community.
If the British Embassy is moved, Truss would be following in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump who, in defiance of international law, moved the American embassy to Jerusalem in 2017, a move that formally recognised Israel's sovereignty over the city.
Truss had also previously vowed a further crackdown on the international boycott movement, backing a bill to prevent public bodies, including local councils, from joining the BDS campaign to divest funds from Israel for its illegal activities in the occupied territories.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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