The Reality of Israeli “Settlements”: Escalating Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
December 28, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On December 23, in an unprecedented move, the United States allowed a resolution to be passed in the United Nations Security Council that condemns Israel for illegally building settlements in the West Bank region of Palestine. This is a region supposedly promised to the Palestinians by Israel and the United Nations. Those settlements are militarized encampments of heavily armed Israelis and are a key part of escalating ethnic cleansing of sections of Palestine. The “settlements” have grown dramatically during the Obama administration—today more than 500,000 Israelis live in them (See “Statistics on Settlements and Settler Population,” B’Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.)
The U.S. move provoked a furious reaction from Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu and from Donald Trump, who tweeted “Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” (For background, see “Obama Abstains on a UN Resolution Condemning Israel... Trump Lashes Back: Not a ‘Sign of Hope’, a Preview of Incoming Horrors”)
What does rapidly escalating “settlement building” by Israel mean for the lives of more than 4.5 million Palestinians who inhabit the West Bank? Below is a sampling of video testimonies that give a glimpse into this reality:
1) “Israeli settlers take part of Palestinian city”
This 2013 report from Aljazeera English tells how the city of Hebron (the Israeli name for the city known as Al-Khalil by Palestinian Arabs) has become a flashpoint for Israeli attempts to colonize and annex the West Bank. Fanatical Jewish fundamentalist settlers have been taking over houses and buildings, which then come under Israeli military protection. They are biting off parts of the city piece by piece, while the Palestinian residents are put under curfew and face constant violence and harassment.
2) “Israeli Illegal Settlements - What You Need to Know in 60 seconds”
A dramatic 2015 infographic video tells how 60,000 illegal Israeli settlements over the last few decades are changing the demographics in order to lay the basis for Israeli annexation of the whole West Bank. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been evicted and more than 15,000 Palestinian homes destroyed.
3) “Living in East Jerusalem - Zuheir a-Rajabi”
A Palestinian documents the encroachments by Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem, the traditional “Old City” home to Palestinians for centuries. He shows the violence against Palestinians by Israeli settlers and soldiers.
4) “Living in East Jerusalem - Muna and Muhammad al-Qurd”
Two fearless Palestinian kids take us on tour through their East Jerusalem neighborhood, documenting how Israeli settlers are swallowing up Palestinian areas. Highlights include them playing in a playground reserved for settler kids, and confronting Jewish tourists who came to gawk at a Palestinian house that was grabbed by settlers.
5) “Living in East Jerusalem - ‘Abd al-Fatah ‘Abed Rabu”
A Palestinian farmer who has been evicted from his land to make way for Israeli settlements near East Jerusalem lives in a cave but still tends his land. He documents his daily work and his entanglements in an Israeli court where he is being prosecuted for his actions.
6) “Old Palestinian lady arrives home finds Jewish settlers have stolen her house”
This video shows the outrageous seizure of a house from a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem. The house was ordered to be expropriated by an Israeli court that ruled it was an illegal extension of the family’s existing house. Arrogant Israeli settlers with sleeping bags push back an old woman who desperately tries to save her home.
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