Ben White Profile picture
16 Sep, 9 tweets, 3 min read
Over the summer, Israeli officials met to discuss what can only be called a war on the very existence of Palestinians in 60% of the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian construction - homes, agriculture - was called a "virus", "territorial terror", "cancer".…
The Brigadier General heading Israel's occupation authority in the West Bank proudly told the Knesset how the military has uprooted 42,000 trees planted by Palestinians in the past 20 years - including 7,500 just in 2019. Not in military operations. For being "illegally" planted.
Another Israeli official revealed that in 2019, occupation authorities confiscated 700 excavators & bulldozers & the like from Palestinians, providing "very significant deterrence". In first 8 months of 2020, 242 structures were removed from Palestinian communities & confiscated.
As Haaretz reported, senior Israeli officials "drew up regional priorities for demolishing Palestinian structures", which "at this stage" include "the area surrounding Jerusalem", South Hebron Hills, and "the Jordan Valley".

This is not a secret. It's systematic, & underway.
One official "said the coordination between various groups that report immediately on Palestinian construction has improved greatly". Present at the meetings was settler activist Meir Deutsch of Regavim, which works with state officials to target Palestinian communities.
Senior Likud MK Nir Barkat (former Jerusalem mayor): Israel's priority is settling 2 million Jews in West Bank, and the "thwarting of the Palestinians’ attempt to change the situation. They have enough territory in A and B".

The 'Areas A & B' Bantustan(s) = 40% of the West Bank.
Meanwhile, the Israeli gov't has just allocated 20 million shekels ($6 million) "to survey & map out unauthorised Palestinian construction" in Area C.

"first time that funds have been specifically allocated for such a survey as part of the state budget".…
And as new UN data shows, there's no let up in Israel's "war" on the "cancer" of Palestinian existence in Area C - not even during a pandemic. March-August saw highest monthly avg. destruction rate in 4 years, w/ 389 structures demolished or confiscated.…
NB: this was intended to be part of the thread as a whole:

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More from @benabyad

17 Aug
In March 2019, an Israeli soldier shot & injured a Palestinian driving his family nr. Bethlehem.

The soldier then shot & *killed* the man who'd gone to his aid - Ahmad Manasra.

Now the army wants that soldier to get...three months’ community service.…
Note the soldier wasn't even indicted for the first shooting, of Alaa Raayda, who the soldier "thought" had been "throwing stones". After Alaa was evacuated to hospital, Ahmad stayed with his wife & daughters. The soldier then shot Ahmad thinking he was Alaa "the stone-thrower".
And do please remember what the Israeli military told reporters at the time, namely that soldiers "opened fire after identifying stones being thrown at Israeli vehicles".

Oh - and also that the army "didn’t rule out a possibility of a brawl between Palestinians".
Read 7 tweets
7 Jul
New @btselem: "despite coronavirus outbreak", Israel "ramps up" demolition of Palestinian homes.

Just in June, Israel demolished 30 homes in West Bank - same as total for Jan-May.

100 Palestinians, 53 of them minors, left homeless.

And, 33 non-residential structures demolished

June 3. Israeli occupation authority officials and armed forces raid Khirbet al-Markez in the southern West Bank, and demolish six homes built with EU financial aid, leaving 35 people, 25 of them minors, homeless.

In addition, @btselem's press release notes, "Israel also significantly stepped up demolitions in East Jerusalem in June, leaving 51 people, including 31 minors, homeless".

"The number of homes demolished – 13 – is double the monthly average in the first five months of 2020".
Read 5 tweets
28 Jun
Details of Israel’s pending illegal annexation of occupied West Bank territory are unclear. Focus has been on Netanyahu, Gantz, regional warnings, Trump, etc.

But whatever transpires, remember: this is *a continuation of, not a rupture with*, decades of colonisation.

Annexation has unfolded over a half century of formal & informal moves, big and small, military orders & Knesset legislation, land theft and segregation. The timeline since day one of the military occupation has included *multiple* points of annexation. Here are some examples.
The area known as occupied East Jerusalem was annexed by Israel in 1967. Thus, municipal Jerusalem includes 17,500 acres of the occupied West Bank, 91 percent of which had belonged to 28 villages in the area. Palestinian residents in the annexed area were not given citizenship.
Read 12 tweets
25 Jun
Israeli forces repeatedly kill Palestinian civilians then receive impunity for their actions.

Powerful - & timely - new video from @btselem on how "whitewashing & absurd punishment are not exceptions" but in fact "are policy".

*viewer discretion*

The full 2.5-minute @btselem video features examples (from many) where Israeli soldiers shot dead Palestinians - the youngest 14, the oldest 31 - and there is no accountability. Closed investigations, "open" investigations, community service. On and on.

*viewer discretion*
some of the killings included here:

Ahmad Abu Tyour, 16-years-old.

On 7 September, 2018, an Israeli soldier shot Ahmad as he stood about 10-20 metres away from the Gaza perimeter fence. An unarmed child, deliberately shot.

No investigation even opened by Israeli authorities.
Read 5 tweets
15 May
Today, 15 May, is Nakba Day, when Palestinians remember the ethnic cleansing of their communities by Israeli forces & militias in 1948 ('Nakba' = catastrophe). The massacres & expulsions are a matter of historical record. But the struggle for return & rights is ongoing. #Nakba72
A few years ago, I wrote a FAQ-style article on the Nakba - here are the main questions & issues covered.

First - what is the Nakba?
next - Why did Palestinians leave their homes?
Read 6 tweets
23 Feb
Right now, the Gaza Strip is experiencing a new night of Israeli airstrikes, at the end of yet another day of violence & trauma for the blockaded territory’s Palestinian residents – including an Israeli war crime caught on camera.

But first, the context for today's events...
The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli military control for 53 years, & under a devastating Israeli blockade - designed to destroy Gaza's economy - for 13 years.

The blockade is often 'eased' or 'tightened' - explicitly on a collective punishment basis.
One aspect of Israel's military control is that its occupation forces enter Gaza's land & sea frequently and at will.

In 2018-'19, for example, there were 158 Israeli military incursions into the Gaza Strip (per UN data) - and that's not including dozens of attacks on fishermen.
Read 9 tweets

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