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The Cross of Bethlehem II

Land Day Looting

Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel"—Ezekiel 37:11

 

 

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Land Day 2013 was a bizarre one. March 30 commemorates the Land Day, when in 1976 a general strike and marches were organized in Palestinian towns from the Galilee to the Negev in response to Israel's announcement that it would expropriate Palestinian land for "security and settlement purposes." The 1976 protests are recognized as the starting point of the organized Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and abuse, and are commemorated annually; often these protests turn violent. This year, the day was marked by reports on IDF looting and arrests of children. Ahmed Abu-Ramaylah, 7, a terribly dangerous freedom fighter turned terrorist, is such a danger to the mighty State of Israel that he was declared an enemy and jailed. Again, the frozen Jewish Heart fills us with unmatched awe.

One of the lesser Land Day events was also one of the saddest. Not only due to the disturbing behavior of the State of Israel, but also because of the reaction of the Jewish journalists reporting it. Haaretz reporters Gideon Levy and Alex Libak wrote about the release of the abovementioned 8-year-old child; they started the article in a hateful way: "Seeing the released prisoner, we couldn't help but laugh loudly." Mr Levy, Mr Libak, you just added one more scar to the child's soul. What was worse, Israel's jailing of a child or your laughing at the child afterwards?

Ahmed Abu-Ramaylah

Ahmed Abu-Ramaylah, 8
Declared Enemy by Israel
Rock the Casbah

 

The kid was one of the 27 Palestinian children detained by the IDF in Hebron, on March 27. That day, the IDF prepared an illegitimate ambush near Blockade 160, a checkpoint in the H2 area of downtown Hebron, next to the Settler area. At a certain moment, the cowards left their hiding place and arrested everybody in the area, including 27 children. Even the IDF recognizes that all violence originated in its forces that were waiting to see something—anything—flying to arrest everybody in the area under the claim that they were throwing stones. 18 of the arrested children were below 12. A soldier approached Ahmad and told him to put the cookie he was eating in his backpack. Then, he forcibly took him to the roadblock; the kid said afterwards that he was afraid and cried. At the roadblock, all the children were put under surveillance of a policeman in a closed yard. They were denied even water. A few hours afterwards, children above 12 were taken to the police station in Kiryat Arba, Hebron's settler enclave, and from there to Ofer Prison. The policeman interrogated the group of small children, attempting to force them to acknowledge that they have thrown stones. The children denied all accusations. After an unspecified amount of time, they were taken in three jeeps to a different roadblock, where they were given to the Palestinian police. Following several additional hours, the small kids were released; the older ones remained in prison. This is not a new policy; in the 1990s, I met Palestinian children jailed in the Far'aa Shin Beth prison near Nablus. That torture complex has been dismantled since then.

How evil is evil? Most children prosecuted in Israeli military courts are charged with throwing stones. This is an offence under Section 212 of Military Order 1651. It says: (i) Throwing an object, including a stone, at a person or property with the intent to harm the person or property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

Land

 

IDF Civil Administration Ages Table

IDF Civil Administration Ages Table
Extreme Evil

UNICEF Confirms

The timing of the reported event is scary. It came days after on March 6, UNICEF published Children in Israeli Military detention—Observations and Recommendations. The report defines the reality in the West Bank as a large torture camp, in which Israel is torturing Palestinian children. UNICEF is so aware that the Israeli Administration is unable to comprehend the topic, even to differentiate between good and evil, that it added the following "The prohibition against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment is universal and absolute. It can be found in both customary international law and in a number of treaties and conventions (see table 1). There are no exceptional circumstances in which torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment are permitted, not even security considerations or the threat of acts endangering the security of a State or its population. The prohibition is absolute." Is Israel Auschwitz? Israel's hateful reaction to the unwelcomed report was to arrest the children in Hebron.

 

Land Day 2013

Land Day 2013—Palestinian children next to Jewish West Bank settlement

Related to this: E1: Trashing Evil

 

Booty Boasting

Wasn't this enough for reporting on a regular-length Land Day? What else could Israel perpetrate? A related event took place during the second week of last December. The IDF stormed the offices of three Palestinian NGOs. A-Damir, a human rights organization focusing on prisoners, the Union of Women's Committees, and an office belonging to the network of Palestinian NGOs (PNGO). The three locations are within Ramallah; shortly before it attacked in the middle of the night, the IDF reported the planned event to the Palestinian Police, though without providing the list of the addressed organizations. Around 1AM, 9 IDF vehicles were spotted entering the city from three directions. Palestinian forces followed them and filmed them entering the abovementioned institutions and leaving them with boxes full of booty. Youngsters seeing the theft threw stones at the attackers; the IDF fired gas grenades at them and left the place.

Next day, the workers tried to assess the damage. They found that most of the equipment robbed was computers, video cameras and related items. However, that was just the bulk of the booty. The Union of Women's Committees reported that also 3,000 Israeli shekels (about $750) had been stolen. Until now, everything was to be expected. From here onwards, things got odd. The soldiers took with them posters from the walls. They took a handwoven dress belonging to one of the worker's daughters. This is the moment to mention that the organization runs over 20 kindergartens in the poorest areas of Ramallah; thus it stores pertinent items. I should have said "stored," since the IDF stole T-shirts that were about to be given to the children. Unhappy with this booty, they added all the toys they found.

Old City of Jerusalem Land Day 2013

Old City of Jerusalem
Land Day 2013
The Fall Of The Ottoman Empire

 

The proper way to finish this horrific report is by quoting Israeli press in the aftermath of the incredible booty stolen by the IDF. Haaretz said, "The word 'terror' silences every criticism before it is uttered, it allows the Israeli public not to think about this routine of the military bureaucracy that oils its wheels in raids and creates a voyeur collection of any available piece of information. Every occupation regime in the world did the same as a proven technique for oppressing the occupied people. Those thinking that the IDF and the Shin Beth are free of them is mistaken. Those thinking that these methods will achieve their goals, to silence Palestinians opposing Israeli occupation, are mistaken."

"I have been to Palestine where I’ve witnessed the racially segregated housing and the humiliation of Palestinians at military roadblocks. I can’t help but remember the conditions we experienced in South Africa under apartheid. We could not have achieved our freedom without the help of people around the world using the nonviolent means of boycotts and divestment to compel governments and institutions to withdraw their support for the apartheid regime." —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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