The Stephen Lendman Blog
Terrorizing, displacing, assassinating and mass-slaughtering Palestinians is how Israel operated throughout its history.
Relief is nowhere in sight for long-suffering Palestinians, victims of Israeli apartheid ruthlessness — with full support and encouragement by the US-dominated West.
According to the Rome Statute of the International Court, apartheid is a crime against humanity, a major breach of international law.
The Statute’s Article 7 states the following:
“The ‘crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
In 2010, UN Special Rapporteur for Palestine Richard Falk said “apartheid that exists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories…makes the allegation increasingly credible despite differences between the specific characteristics of South African apartheid and that of the Occupied Palestinian Territories regime.”
A report by Falk and Virginia Tilley — titled “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid” — concluded the following:
Operating extrajudicially, Israel is an apartheid state that’s waging slow-motion genocide against Palestinians.
Gazans harmed most of all, a new report by Al-Haq’s Legal Research and Advocacy Department highlighted an example of Israeli state terror against their long-suffering people.
Titled “Khudair Warehouse: Israel’s Chemical Attack on the Gaza Strip,” Al-Haq’s report followed an investigation by the human rights group into widespread IDF destruction during 11 days of aggression on Gazans in May 2021.
The Khudair agrochemical warehouse was one of many Strip targets struck at the time, Al-Haq explaining:
It “created a chemical cloud that spread chemical waste over the people and environment of Gaza, poisoning the population, amounting to the indirect use of a chemical weapon, prohibited under international law.”
On May 15, 2021 —Nakba Day — six IDF shells set the warehouse ablaze.
“Following the attack, a chemical plume formed from the fire at the warehouse which soon spread over northern Gaza, moving southwest from the location of the warehouse, covering an area of around 5.7 kilometers.”
Israel willfully and maliciously created a toxic chemical cloud with intent to harm the health and well-being of Gazans affected by it — a war crime by any standard.
“The attack on the Khudair warehouse, and other industrial targets of a similar nature, indicates a direct attempt to use the chemical contents of civilian objects against the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip in the form of an indirect chemical weapon,” Al-Haq stressed.
The human rights group called on International Criminal Court and UN Commission of Inquiry to fully investigate the incident and hold Israel accountable for a war crime as defined by international criminal law.
Attacks on civilians in any form are crimes of war and against humanity.
Like US-dominated NATO regimes, Israel is guilty time and again of willfully attacking civilians in pursuit of its diabolical aims.
Separately according to the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, a hearing was held last week in Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court on Israel’s intention to forcibly displace about 500 Ras Jrabah Bedouin residents to make way for exclusive Jewish development and occupancy — on stolen Palestinian land.
Residents lived there for generations.
According to Adalah attorneys, evicting Ras Jrabah residents from their own land flagrantly breaches their legal right “to dignity, property and housing.”
They called for cancelling eviction and demolition orders.
One resident testified as follows, saying:
“Our village has been around for decades, and my family and tribe have lived here for generations.”
“They worked our lands and raised our sheep that graze from these lands.”
“The city of Dimona was built on our lands, belonging to the Al-Hawashleh tribe.”
“Therefore, any attempt to present us as trespassers or invaders is incorrect.”
“The population of the village is one, cohesive social unit.”
“It is built on mutual help among all the families.”
“The evacuation of the village will sever these ties and harm the social structure of the families and all of the residents of the village.”
And this testimony from another resident:
“We have been living here for years and our community has strong attachments to Dimona City.”
“I and the other members of the local, representative committee have on several occasions expressed our desire to state officials to continue to live here, either as an independent village or as part of Dimona.”
“They refused to consider this option and stated that it is only possible to move us to an existing Bedouin town.”
Other testimonies by longtime residents were similar to the above ones.
Most often, what Israel wants it gets.
What it calls “unrecognized (Palestinian) villages” is all about wanting them eliminated and replaced with exclusive Jewish development.
In 1965, they were illegitimately delegitimized by Israel’s Planning and Construction Law.
Twisting the rule of law to serve its interests, Israel established a regulatory framework and national plan for future development.
It zoned land for residential, agriculture and industrial use, forbade unlicensed construction, banned it on agricultural land, and stipulated where Israeli Jews and Palestinians may live.
That’s how apartheid worked in South Africa.
Existing communities are circumscribed on a map with exclusive Jewish interests in mind.
Areas inside the lines can be developed. Those outside cannot.
For Jewish communities, great latitude has been allowed for future expansion and new communities.
In stark contrast, Palestinian areas are severely restricted to deny room for expansion.
Their land was reclassified as agricultural — meaning no new construction is allowed.
So entire communities became “unrecognized,” their homes and other structures declared illegal — even what was built and in place before the 1965 law was passed.
These structures are subject to demolition and inhabitant displacement at the whim of Israeli authorities.
Wanting new land for Jews, what Arabs owned for time immemorial has been illegitimately taken from them.
Israeli public land is administered by the Israel Land Authority (ILA).
While legally obligated to treat all its citizens fairly, Jewish interests alone matter at the expense of Israeli Palestinian citizens — their rights denied in the following ways:
By putting Arab areas under Jewish control through regional councils.
Arbitrarily created zoning restrictions.
Transferring public land adjacent to Arab communities to Jewish National Fund (JNF) ownership — for exclusive Jewish use.
Connecting the cost of leasing land to military service — what discriminates against Palestinians not required to serve and few do.
Declaring national priority town areas for Jews only.
Delaying, restricting and prohibiting local development in Arab communities.
Ignoring Arab needs in regional and national plans.
Allowing Palestinians little or no representation on national planning committees.
Forced evictions and demolitions of buildings without appropriate permits.
In “unrecognized villages,” no permits are allowed Palestinians to build on or otherwise develop their own land.
Entire villages face loss of their homes, land and possessions through judicial evictions.
No new Palestinian communities are allowed.
Existing “unrecognized villages” are denied essential municipal services, including clean drinking water, electricity, roads, transport, sanitation, education, healthcare, postal and telephone service, refuse removal and more because under the Planning and Construction Law, they’re considered illegal.
The toll on Palestinian rights and well-being has been devastating by design — to pressure or force them off land they and their ancestors owned for decades or generations.
When demolitions are ordered ahead of evictions, Palestinians must bear the burden and whatever cost is involved.
Israel is a signatory to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
According to its preamble, signatory states are “obligat(ed)…to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedom.”
Like US/Western regimes, Israel operates by its own rules at the expense of fundamental international law.
Hundreds of Ras Jrabah Bedouin residents are up against an apartheid system designed to trample on their rights in deference to Jewish interests.
Like countless other Palestinians in what Israel calls “unrecognized villages,” Ras Jrabah residents will most likely lose their land sooner or later so Israel can replace them with Jews.
A Final Comment
On Sunday, thousands of extremist Israelis are holding their so-called “March of the Flags” on “Jerusalem Day.”
It commemorates Israel’s theft and occupation of East Jerusalem after its long-planned-in-advance Six Day War.
A day of hate-mongering by extremist Jews against Palestinians, marchers are allowed to proceed through Jerusalem’s Old City Muslim Quarter — where time and again they chanted “death to Arabs.”
Before Jerusalem Day ends Sunday evening, violence against Palestinians may occur — supported by Israeli security forces if things turn out this way.