judaizing al quds “legally”

the other night a dear friend of mine was beaten up by israeli terrorists in the old city of al quds. he and some other friends from his neighborhood in the old city went to defend the home of the jaber family that was being confiscated by israeli colonial terrorists. many of the people were arrested and many were beaten up–more than the ma’an news report reveals below:

Three Palestinians were injured on Sunday evening in the Old City of Jerusalem after Jewish settlers attacked the neighborhood, while Israeli police seized three brothers who tried to confront the settlers.

Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent reported that dozens of settlers attempted to reach a home belonging to the Jaber family in Sa’diyya neighborhood, which Jewish groups and Israeli forces occupied on Thursday.

As a result, three Palestinians sustained bruises. They were identified as Talal Nassar, Abddul-Raoof Jaber and Ja’far Jaber.

Furthermore, Israeli police arrested the home’s owners, Naser Jaber, and his brothers Alaa and Rajaei. They were released 24 hours later. As hoards of settlers attacked the home, Palestinian residents of the neighborhood confronted them and clashes erupted as far away as Damascus Gate.

On Thursday morning, dozens of Israeli settlers backed by police originally took over the Palestinian house in the Old City of Jerusalem. A scuffle took place between the owner and the settlers before police intervened, allowing the settlers to take control of the house and sending the owner away.

Israeli police then imposed a neighborhood lockdown, prohibiting residents from entering or leaving their homes. Several youth were seized during ensuing clashes in the tense half hour between the arrival of the settlers and the total closure of the area.

Jaber, the owner, went immediately to the court to put forward his case, saying he was going to demand the removal of the settlers from his residence, which is home to eight residents. Jaber noted that the small area of the Old City is home to seven other families and said there had been a continuous settler presence in the area over the past several months.

al quds is severely under attack this week by israeli colonial settlers and their terrorist army alike. houses are being demolished and the palestinian collaborationist authority is not much help as can be seen below; they want palestinians to live in claustrophobic, small spaces and not enlarge their homes–as necessary for family growth and as an act of resistance as these are their homes on their land:

The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem demolished a stone block house owned by Abd Ar-Rahman Al-Fakhouri in the Burj Al-Laqlaq area in the Old City of Jerusalem on Monday afternoon.

The owner of the house, Um Omran Al-Fakhouri, said she received a demolition notice last Thursday and was scheduled to demolish it herself, but was surprised when municipality staff arrived early on Monday morning and began demolishing the home.

The 120-square-meter house, which was an addition to her 150-square-meter home, was hope to 14 people.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ aide for Jerusalem Affairs Hatem Abdul Qader said that the demolition order came after the family “had exerted every efforts to get a license.”

Abdul Qader had previously appealed to the residents of the Al-Laqlaq area not to construct any additional rooms on to their homes because “this threatens them, as the neighborhood becomes targeted by Israeli authorities, which, for their part, look for any pretext to establish a new settlement there.”

He added that new plans are being drawn up to establish a local committee within the Israeli municipality in order to protect civilian homes in the neighborhood, where hundreds of Palestinian houses and organizations are located.

the aftermath of a house demolition in al quds was captured on film this week. i am not sure who this home belongs to, but you can see the kids in the neighborhood cleaning up the rubble because if they don’t, they will be fined $600 per day. of course, the family still has to pay for the house demolition anyway…

tension in al quds is high and one man took matters into his own hand resisting with his car:

A Palestinian man was shot dead after running down three Israeli border guards at a checkpoint near the now-demolished East Jerusalem family home of a slain construction worker who went on a deadly bulldozer rampage last summer.

A man identified as 20-year-old Iyad Azmi Uweisat ploughed into the scene where dozens of Israeli soldiers and police officers stood guarding the wrecked home of the Dwayat family in the town of Sur Bahir Tuesday afternoon.

Israeli police later raided Uweisat’s home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal Mukkabir.

Local sources in Sur Bahir said it was likely the man was provoked, noting that soldiers had been assaulting and goading residents throughout the morning.

Earlier in the day soldiers forcibly evacuated the family of the first Jerusalem “bulldozer attacker” Husam Taysir Dwayat following the signing of an eviction and demolition order last month.

Amir reportedly drove his small car into the area, lightly injuring three Israeli soldiers, who answered the attack with several direct shots to the young man. He died shortly after receiving the injuries, and was not evacuated to hospital.

Amir died in the same way as Dwayat, who was behind the wheel of the bulldozer that ran into a bus and civilian car near Yaffa Street in Jerusalem on 2 July. The 30-year-old construction worker from East Jerusalem was shot by three different passersby on sight. His family maintained that the incident must have been an accident. A second “bulldozer attack” occurred on 22 July, and a third incident involving a tractor occurred on 6 March 2009.

The Dwayat family, who had been working to have the demolition order overturned, challenged the troops as they worked to pull family members out of the home. Mrs Dwayat fainted during the shouting match, and was treated on scene.

The demolition order, signed by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in an effort to “deter” other Palestinians from “attacking” Israeli targets, includes two apartments owned by Husam’s father; the two buildings are home to 14. Aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for Jerusalem affairs Hatem Abd Al-Qader noted that the family has been trying to overturn the order, or at the least preserve one of the homes, on the grounds that Husam never lived in the apartment.

The family is pleading their case based on declarations that Husam acted independently and that the family had no control over his behavior. According to Abd Al-Qader, a medical report was provided that attests Hussam had lost control over his own actions and acted temporarily insane. The court rejected the report.

Israel is justifying the “deterrent demolition” under the British mandate law number 119 (1945) which allows the demolition of the homes of those acting aggressively against the state.

my friends' kids on the land where their home was pre-1967
my friends' kids on the land where their home was pre-1967

all of this, of course, is happening now. but it has been going on for decades. since 1967 to be precise. in fact, israeli colonial terrorists made al quds their first target of ethnic cleansing after conquering the rest of historic palestine that june. my friend who was beaten by the israeli terrorists saturday night is technically not from the old city. his father is from deir yassin, the village that will forever be tied in the minds of many to the horrific massacre on april 9, 1948. his mother was from zakariya and they wound up making a home for themselves, after an nakba, in the old city of al quds. but they were made refugees again, albeit only a short distance away, because their family’s house–and indeed the homes of their entire neighborhood in the old city–were destroyed immediately after the war of 1967 as part of the new ethnic cleansing project. here is what jonathan cook says about it in his essential book disappearing palestine:

During the night of 19 June, a demolition crew arrived to raze part of the Muslim quarter close by the Noble Sanctuary (Haram al-Sharif), where the ancient al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques are located. The plan was to destroy the homes to clear space for a wide plaza in front of the Western Wall, the embryo of what would soon be a Jewish quarter. But in staking their claim to the prayer wall, it seems, the leadership was also laying further claim to ownership of the raised terrace behind it, on which stood the two mosques. The elevated site, known as Temple Mount to Jews, is believed to contain the ruins of the First and Second Temples, the latter destroyed in 70 AD. As the first Israeli troops entered the Old City, the army’s chief rabbi, Shlomo Goren, rushed towards the Temple Mount clutching a Torah scroll and blowing a ram’s horn–in a foretaste of the new religious nationalism about to be unleashed. Soon the bulldozer would wreck the Mughrabi Quarter, demolishing the first home with the family still inside and terrorizing a further 1,000 Muslim residents into flight. The other Christian and Muslim inhabitants of the Old City might have been evicted from their homes too, had senior cabinet ministers got their way. However, the official put in charge of East Jerusalem, Yehuda Tamir, opposed such a move, arguing it would cause problems with the international community. Instead he chose another path, making it a priority to expropriate Palestinian land closely by the Green Line in East Jerusalem and begin implanting Jewish settlements like Givat Hamivtar, Ramot Eshkol and French Hill.

At the same time the cabinet was holding a heated discussion about how to annex East Jerusalem. It agreed to do so without legislation simply by declaring an enlargement of the western city’s municipal limits to encompass the Palestinian half, in a “municipal fusion” as it was misleadingly referred to. Official annexation would have to wait until 1980, but in the meantime Israel behaved as the new sovereign ruler. The authorities relentlessly confiscated land, “Judaizing” it by building settlements around and between the Palestinian neighbourhoods of the city’s eastern half. Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries were massively enlarged, almost tenfold, annexing by stealth a huge area of extra land, including twenty-eight outlying villages in the West Bank, and moving Israel’s new border deeper into Palestinian territory to point where it virtually reached the Jordan Valley. The municipal boundaries were redrawn from 38 sq km to 108. (52-53)

the creeping annexation that i wrote about in relation to cook’s book yesterday is the same here in al quds. it has been going on for 42 years in al quds. it is down slowly, but always in the same violent colonial way. it is done to make ethnic cleansing an ongoing process that never ends, in contradistinction to the massive one they initiated in 1948. of course all that these colonial usurpers do is illegal, but instead of them being punished for their crimes they make the indigenous people’s presence a crime–their houses, their bodies, their land. and they make this process of criminalizing palestinians legal in its courts as saed bannoura reports:

Just a few days after ruling to force Palestinian homeowner Darwish Hijazi off his land to allow Israeli expansion in his home and property, the Israeli high court has issued a ruling on the cases of two more families who challenged the Israeli demolition orders placed on their homes.

The demolition orders are part of a larger Israeli settlement plan, which the Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem and the city planners have called the ‘E1 Plan’, to tear down thousands of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem to make way for Disney-like theme parks based on biblical themes.

The new mayor of Jerusalem has decided to move forward rapidly with this plan, calling for a complete demolition of all Palestinian homes in the Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhoods so he can build a park that would be off-limits to the Palestinians on whose land it would be built.

The Palestinian population of the area has filed legal papers in individual cases, but the Israeli legal system does no accord them any rights, and their property deeds to their land are not considered legal documents by the Israeli court system, even though most of their ownership documents were issued by Israeli authorities.

In the case decided Sunday, Israeli judges ruled to allow the demolition of the Hanoun and Al-Ghawi families’ homes, whose lawyer presented land ownership documents from the Ottoman empire, which preceded the creation of the Israeli state in 1948.

Hatem Abdul Qader, the Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, said that Sunday’s ruling marks a “black day” for the Israeli courts, proving that they have no interest in justice, but are merely carrying out a political agenda for the expansion of the Jewish state at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population. He said that this case, and others like it, will be taken to the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

jonathan cook also historicizes this process of the zionist entity’s constant rendering unlawful acts legal in its system in the most devious ways imaginable:

One noted analyst of Israel’s military court system, Lisa Hajjar, points out that the Military Advocate General of the time, Meir Shamgar, later admitted that he had been preparing for the establishment of a military administration from the early 1960s, long before the Six-Day War. Shamgar, who would become president of the Supreme Court, also made several legal innovations in Israel’s rule over the occupied territories. The most notable was his decision in 1968, as attorney general, to allow Palestinians to petition the Supreme Court against the decisions of the military administration. Judicial oversight of the occupation was crucial in persuading many observers that Israel’s rule over the West Bank and Gaza was “benign” or even “enlightened.” But at the same time Shamgar ensured that the court’s ability to safeguard Palestinian rights was severely curtailed.

First, Shamgar ruled that, although the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention did not apply to the occupied territories, Israel would voluntarily abide by the “humanitarian provisions” of the Convention. Shamgar and his successors have never specified which provisions are humanitarian, though the Red Cross, the guardian of the Geneva Conventions, regards the whole body of these codes as humanitarian and considers them to be indivisible. Israel’s official evasiveness, however, has allowed the court to claim in its judgments it is respecting international law, while ignoring it in practice or selectively referring to it in ways helpful to the occupation regime.

Second, Shamgar argued that, as the Palestinians had never enjoyed statehood they could not be considered the rightful sovereigns of the West Bank and Gaza. This meant hat in the court’s view, while the Palestinians were considered to enjoy rights as individuals, protected by the so-called humanitarian provisions of the Geneva Conventions, they did not have any national rights. Hajjar points out: “Shamgar’s focus on the status of land…rather than the population (with national rights to self-determination) was a strategic legal maneuver to separate the land from the people residing there.” In this way the Palestinians in the occupied territories were stripped of their collective and national rights, including to their land as a national resource and asset, just as Israel’s Palestinian citizens had been before them. The Palestinians would now arrive in court as separate individuals, whereas the settlers and the state would be able to claim national rights, particularly in relation to what would soon be called “state land” that they desired for settlement.

Shamgar’s innovation of allowing Palestinian petitions to the Supreme Court became the legal equivalent of Golda Meir’s erasure of the Green Line, annexing the territories to Israel de facto and forcing the Palestinians to legitimize the annexation. Or as two Israeli analysts noted: “It coerced the [Palestinian] inhabitants, who had not other legal recourse, to appeal to these courts in their quest for justice, and thus recognize, whether they wanted to or not…the authority of the Israeli judicial system over them.” Similarly, it persuaded most Israeli Jews that he Palestinians’ rights were being safeguarded and that the occupation was “legal.”

In reality, however, the military courts routinely approve the abuse of the Palestinian population’s civil and political rights, and ignore international law, with little or no effective oversight from the Supreme Court. The myriad military orders sanction various collective punishments: house demolitions, curfews, closures of schools and colleges, restrictions on family unification, confiscations of private land, restrictions on movement enforced through permit systems and checkpoints, and prohibitions on organized activities. (63-65)

in a nutshell if you read through that long passage you can see how the “legal” system works here: palestinians have no rights, but the faux jewish “democracy” makes it appear like they have recourse and this is done not only for the international community, but also for the israeli colonists who can feel like they are the enlightened, civilized colonizers who give the indigenous their rights. really, you need not look past the way that the americans have done this to american indians for centuries to see the blueprint for this model of legal hurdles. i bet hillary clinton would call that “unhelpful,” too, sa7?


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