Freedom Under Occupation

The same neighborhoods that MOVE called home in the 70s and 80s have been overrun by gentrification, which is abetted by the city’s economic policies and commitment to occupation-style policing. From stop and frisk and other routine forms of harassment to the outright murder of Black people by the police, existence for Black Americans has been criminalized while tens of thousands of working class Black and Brown families have been forced from their homes in an economic campaign to “revitalize” the inner cities. Philadelphia, New York, Washington D.C., and countless other American cities have adopted this form of demographic social engineering and displacement.

While not always as horrific as firebombing a residential neighborhood, the demographic reengineering of the inner cities is a violent process of economic and physical coercion. The experiences of police brutality, collective punishment, political imprisonment, separation of entire families, and forced displacement should be familiar to Palestinians and anyone who considers themselves a supporter of Palestinian human rights.

Israel Strikes Gazan Farmland and Kills 2, Blames Hamas for Violence

This web review was written for and published by l’Osservatorio Research Center in February 2018. It’s published form can be viewed here.

Israeli strikes in Gaza, which is 365 km2 and home to close to 2 million Gazans and displaced Palestinians.

Israeli forces have bombed farmland in southern Gaza and killed two teens near Rafah after four Israeli soldiers were injured in a blast last week.

Israeli forces fired ten missiles into Gaza Saturday night. The attack targeted agricultural lands east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. According to Israeli sources, the strikes were targeting “weapons manufacturing facilities” as well tunnels allegedly used by Hamas and other militant resistance groups.

Last week and explosive device injured four IDF soldiers near the border in Southern Gaza and two small rockets were fired from Gaza, landing in the Negev Desert and causing no casualties. While no group has claimed responsibility for either incident, Israeli forces have unequivocally blamed Hamas.

This is the second violent response from Israel in recent weeks. Israeli tanks killed two teenagers east of Rafah last week, Salem Mohammed Soliman Sabbah, 17, and ‘Abdullah Ayman Salim Irmeilat, 15. 13 Palestinians have been killed so far in 2018, including seven children.

Israeli routinely targets agricultural infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, including poisoning Palestinian farmland with herbicides. Palestinians in Gaza, which is now in its 11th year of the Israeli blockade, face food insecurity, extreme unemployment, and restricted movement, as well as repeated infrastructure destruction at the hands of Israel from which the blockade makes rebuilding and recovery near impossible.

Described by some as an open air prison, the UN has stated that Gaza will become “unlivable” by 2020 if the Israeli imposed conditions do not change. Israel blames these conditions on Hamas.

Medical Conditions for Palestinian Prisoners Called “Deliberate Negligence”

This web review was written for and published by l’Osservatorio Research Center in January 2018. It’s published form can be viewed here.

Supporters of the 2017 Hunger Strike that demanded better access to medical treatment. © Image via en.farsnews.com

The recent death of a 57 year old prisoner to cancer highlights inhumane conditions for Palestinian prisoners who need medical attention.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, an NGO focused on the rights of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, has reported the death of 57 year old Hussain Hassani Ataollah. Ataollah was diagnosed with cancer 9 months ago, according to the NGO, and “suffered a deliberate medical negligence from Israeli authorities.”

Ataollah was in the 22nd year of a 32 year sentence for the alleged killing of an Israeli police officer in the occupied West Bank village of Taybeh. He had been held in a Ramla prison before being transferred to a hospital near Nablus on Wednesday, 17 January, after slipping into a coma, and died there Saturday, 20 January.

The right to proper medical care for Palestinian prisoners has been an ongoing struggle. Prisoners are treated by medics employed by the Israeli Prison Service. “Prison physicians are not members of the Israel Medical Association;” says Dr Rachel Stroumsa, Executive Director of Public Committee Against Torture – Israel, “they receive no training in identifying and documenting torture and ill-treatment; and the vast majority of them do not speak Arabic.” The combination of the lack of access to impartial medical professionals and well documented abuses by Israeli forces during the detainment, interrogation, and transfer of prisoners has become what some organizations call collusion or torture.

Improved access to medical care was one of the leading demands of the hunger strike that over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners of Israel took part in last year. Over 7,000 Palestinians are imprisoned across Israel and the Occupied Territories. Several hundred of those prisoners are children, with between 500 and 700 children aged 12-17 going through the Israeli Prison Service system every year. More than 400 of the over 7,000 prisoners are being held without trial, including nine Palestinian lawmakers.

 

Terror, Land, and Silence

The unique relationship that exists between the United States of America and israel is obvious to even the most casual observer of global politics. Both nations were born from the confluence of similar ideological trends, despite their respective creations being nearly two centuries apart. These two settler states stand out (and stand together) in the history of colonialism for several reasons. This paper will trace the early days of settlement, focusing on the terrorism of Zionist militias in Mandatory Palestine, and the terrorism of the countless “Indian Wars” of the 19th century, evolving into these states’ contemporary systems of internal colonization.

Fractured Zions