- Established by the UN in 1977, International Day of Solidarity
with the Palestinian People is observed on or around November 29.
- The date commemorates November 29, 1947, the date UN
Resolution 181 was adopted, despite Palestinian opposition.
- Called the UN Partition Plan for Palestine, it granted
56% of historic Palestine to Jews (with one-third of the population), 42%
- In addition, Jerusalem was declared an international
city (a corpus separatum - separate body) under a UN Trusteeship Council.
It remains so today. The area included all Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Beit
Sahour, to encompass Christian holy sites.
- Resolution 181 also called for an Independent Arab state
by October 1, 1948, asking:
- "all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking
any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations."
- The Security Council was to take "the necessary
measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation." It was
to assure "a just and lasting peace...."
- Israel's "War of Independence" intervened.
Decades later, peace remains elusive. Palestine's still occupied. World
leaders never intervened. Over eight million Palestinians, including diaspora
ones, await justice.
- With little meaning or effect, the Committee on the Exercise
of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People each year meets at
UN headquarters to observe International Solidarity Day. Ceremonial hypocrisy
substitutes for liberating policies with teeth.
- Palestinians deserve action, not ceremonies, for justice
so long denied. One day perhaps decades of patience will be rewarded.
- On November 29, people globally expressed solidarity
with Palestine. In Gaza, members of the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative, the
International Solidarity Movement, and other Palestinians marched to release
balloons with Palestinian flags in Israel's no-go zone.
- They floated over barriers imprisoning Gazans. They reflected
their spirit yearning to be free. Local Initiative member Sabur Zaaneen
called on people globally "to isolate Israel internationally and to
exert pressure in all its forms until the end of the occupation of Palestine."
- International Solidarity Movement member Radhika Sainath
said, "Today the entire free world is against the settlements, the
wall and the Israeli occupation. We will continue our work in Palestine
with Palestinian activists until we succeed in bringing freedom and justice
- Press TV said activists burned Israeli flags, symbolically
protesting repression. Gazans "carried Palestinian flags toward the
electric fence demarcating the buffer zone." It prevents Palestinians
from accessing 30% of Gaza's most arable land.
- On November 30, Israel sent tanks, bulldozers, and military
vehicles to Gaza. Soldiers fired on civilians from watch towers. Artillery
shelled homes east of Khan Younis.
- Farm land in Jahor al-Dik and Maqbola neighborhoods was
uprooted. Helicopter gunships hovered overhead. Gaza remains a war zone.
Men, women and children are targeted.
- On November 28, a UN report accused Syria of "gross
violations of human rights." Killings and other atrocities committed
by Western recruited Al Qaeda insurgents weren't mentioned. Nor was Israel
condemned for committing daily crimes against humanity in Palestine.
- Instead, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon functions solely
as an imperial tool. His agenda excludes peace, equity and justice. As
a result, Palestinians, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Egyptians,
Saudis, Somalis, and millions of others suffer horrendously.
- in mid-November, Ban said nothing about Israel disconnecting
Gaza's main electricity grid. Its energy authority head Kanaan Ubeid said,
"The Israeli occupation uses security pretexts to justify disconnecting"
it for northern Gaza. It's been off for nine days, he added.
- On November 26, Israel said Gazan water and electricity
will entirely be cut off if Fatah and Hamas consummate unity.
- On November 29, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights
(PCHR) condemned Israel for preventing technical crews from repairing a
major line carrying electricity to Gaza. For the past two weeks, it's been
- Power's been reduced by 37%. Daily services were impacted.
Crisis conditions were aggravated. Gaza Electricity Distribution Company
(GEDCO) public relations director Jamal al-Dirdissawi said northern Gaza's
- The cut-off coincides with another 20-megawatt reduction
for periodic maintenance at a time cold weather increases demand. According
to Ahmed Abu al-Amarin, Palestinian Power Authority's Power Information
Center head, Gaza needs about 300 megawatts of electricity. Over one-third
of it is down.
- Currently, 188 megawatts are being provided - 108 from
Israel, 63 from Gaza's power plant, and 17 from Egypt.
- Coping with current conditions, GEDCO implemented an
emergency plan, involving outages lasting eight hours or more daily. Israel's
maliciously exacerbating the problem. International law's being violated.
Occupied Palestinians are protected persons. Israel treats them like criminals.
World leaders and UN authorities don't intervene.
- Other Israeli Abuses
- The Hamoked Center for the Defense of the Individual
posted other abuses on its web site, including:
- (1) Timeline: The Separation Wall, saying Israeli construction
violates international law, breaches its "authority as a temporary
custodian," disrupts normal lives of affected residents, obstructs
religious rights by denying access to holy sites, and collectively punishes
civilians they're sworn to protect.
- (2) Bodies of killed Palestinians aren't returned to
family members with rare exceptions. Since 1988, Hamoked represented hundreds
of aggrieved families. Israel returned dead loved ones for burial only
20 times. Denials given don't wash.
- (3) Family unification denied: Israel claims Occupied
Palestinians aren't entitled to it. Rare approvals granted are "merely....act(s)
of benevolence on" its part. As a result, forced separation affects
"tens of thousands" of Gazans unable to reunite with families
in the West Bank.
- (4) "Ceased residency:" From 1967 to 1994,
Israel revoked the residency of 140,000 West Bank Palestinians. Under military
orders, residents traveling abroad got "exit card(s)" in return
for depositing their identity cards at border crossings.
- Valid for three years, those not returning in time were
judged "having transferred (their) center of life abroad." As
a result, their residency status was revoked. Rarely does Israel let "late
returnee(s)" regain it. Denying them violates international law, including
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, stating:
- "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including
his own, and return to his country (Article 13(2) )."
- Israel spurns all international laws with impunity. Palestinians
have no rights whatever.
- (5) Residency in Jerusalem: Since East Jerusalem's 1967
annexation, Palestinian residents have been oppressed in numerous ways,
including through "unseen barriers to everyday life."
- Like elsewhere in Occupied Palestine, their lives are
hellish. From one day to the next, they don't know what's coming, including
forced expulsions to make way for Jewish development.
- Hamoked petitions Israeli courts for justice, including
Israel's High Court. Rarely ever is it granted even after Supreme Court
rulings affirmed it. Israeli authorities simply obstruct, delay and avoid
implementing orders from the highest court. As a result, Palestinians suffer
- Daily human rights abuses are appalling. On November
30 alone, Army bulldozers uprooted Mas-ha village farmland. Stables there
were also demolished.
- Soldiers fired live ammunition near Gaza City. Peace
Now activists got death threats, including its director, Yariv Oppenheimer.
Offices were threatened with bombings. Extremist settlers are responsible.
Authorities do nothing to stop them.
- Israeli soldiers arrested three Beit Ummar, West Bank
youths. Homes were broken into violently. In recent days, 16 other village
residents were arrested and detained, including 13 under age 18. Israel
treats children like adults.
- For the third consecutive time, imprisoned Hamas legislator
Nayef Rajoub's remand was extended another six months. Palestinians can
be detained indefinitely without charge for alleged security reasons. Doing
so violates international and Israeli law.
- Since 1989, Rajoub's been arrested and detained numerous
times despite having committed no crimes. So have many other Palestinians
for wanting to live free on their own land in peace. Israel calls that
- Israel interdicted and arrested 10 Palestinian fishermen.
Later released, their boats were impounded. Israel obstructs Gazans fishing
in their own waters.
- They're prevented them from earning a living and providing
valued catches to residents. Last July, the International Committee of
the Red Cross said Gaza's fishing industry almost disappeared. Thousands
of Gazans depend on fishing. Israel shuts most out entirely.
- Palestinian legislator Qays Abdul-Karim was prevented
from leaving the West Bank to participate in the Latin American parliament's
27th session. Stopped at the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan with a parliamentarian
delegation, he was asked where he was going and why.
- He said to Panama to support ending Israel's occupation.
In response, he was told he's barred from traveling. No word on whether
arrest and detention followed. Of course, late night raids can seize him
any time. They happen with painful regularity.
- Life in Occupied Palestine is hell. Israel oppresses
Palestinians for being Muslims, not Jews. Even Arab citizens aren't safe.
Called fifth column threats, they face political, social, economic, cultural
and other forms of discrimination.
- In its early November South Africa session, the Russell
Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) accused Israel of "subject(ing) the Palestinian
people to an institutionised regime amounting to apartheid as defined under
- Racist discrimination defines Israeli policy. Occupied
Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are affected. Apartheid is an international
crime. RToP witnesses presented clear evidence of Israeli apartheid rule,
affecting anyone not Jewish.
- As a result, discrimination, repression, isolation, and
other forms of abuse are official policy. Although persecution is a crime
against humanity, Israel practices it with impunity.
- RToP and other human rights advocates are committed to
ending all forms of Israeli injustice. Nothing less is acceptable or tolerable.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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