HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION OF THE WEEK:
As of June 1, the Human Rights Violation will be a monthly report located in Media Watch.
Week of April 5, 2020
This week the JVP HAC notes two HR Violations--one here in the U.S. by the FBI and the other, the Israeli authorities and settlers.
Human Rights Violation #1--The FBI for surveilling non-violent Palestine justice activists/groups
This piece inThe Intercept is quite chilling. Recent documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal extensive FBI surveillance over a number of years of Palestine justice activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) here in the US, in violation of First Amendment protections. Nonviolent political dissent was equated with terrorism by the FBI.
It is a story that reads like a thriller movie, except that it is real.
The article closes with the words of Mark Chmiel, one of the ISM members from St Louis,“In Dr. King’s time, surveillance was justified [by the FBI] in terms of alleged Communist influence; in recent years, surveillance has been justified by alleged association with terrorists. In both cases, U.S. citizens were employing nonviolent action to confront injustice and oppression.”
Human Rights Violation #2--Israeli authorities and settlers for ongoing human rights violations in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic
Abuses of Palestinian human rights by the Israeli military, police, prison system and settlers continue unabated despite restrictions on movement and other public health measures in place to curtail the spread of coronavirus infection.
972+ Magazine reports on numerous instances where police patrols, allegedly to enforce "stay at home" policies, in fact were provocative in Palestinian neighborhoods where police presence is not seen as protective. Home demolitions, settler violence toward Palestinians and their lands continue. One difference is that with the public health restrictions, it is less likely that human rights groups can be on the ground to document the abuses.
Prisoners in Israeli jails have had all family contact cut off (like in U.S. prisons). In what is considered a denial of due process, contact by Palestinian prisoners, including children, with their lawyers has also been suspended.
For the month of March, the JVP HAC marks 2 years of the Great March of Return by focusing many of our weekly posts on the human rights violations occurring in Gaza, and equally important, lifting up the voices of those in Gaza who continue to live and survive under the Israeli siege and repeated assaults.
Human RIghts Violations for the week of March 1, 2020 go to the Israeli military's "open-fire" policy where lethal force is used against protesters at the Great March of Return
This Report from B'tselem about the 21 protestors from the Great March of Return who have lost an eye (including one 16- yr old who lost both eyes) from Israeli military fire. Compounding the injury is the lack of access to care due to the now over 13-yr Israeli siege on Gaza. From the report, "The ordeal suffered by the wounded, who have to receive treatment and rehabilitation in the Gaza Strip while better care is available elsewhere, is yet another horrifying facet of Israel’s callous policy towards the residents of Gaza."
See the sidebar in this article for discussion of Israel's Open Fire policy.
Human Rights Violation of the Week of Feb. 23, 2020: The arrest and torture of Birzeit student Mais Abu Ghosh
On 29 August, heavily armed forces of the Israeli Border Police Counterterrorism Unit invaded the home of Mais Abu Ghosh, a 23-year-old fourth-year media student at Birzeit University in the Ramallah district of the occupied West Bank, ransacking the house, damaging the family’s belongings, confiscating laptops and cell phones, and dragging her into an army Jeep. The same has happened to dozens of Palestinian students at Birzeit U., in a heightened crackdown on students across the West Bank. According to a report by Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support and human rights organization, soldiers “cursed Mais, humiliated her, and threatened her with rape”. During interrogations by the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, Mais was subjected to “severe physical and psychological torture and ill-treatment”, including lengthy interrogation sessions, sleep deprivation, and stress positions. These Israeli attacks on students are “usually aiming to silence the student movements and any activities of them condemning the occupation—most of which would be considered as incitement to violence,” said Sahar Francis, general director of Adameer, which reports that there are currently 260 Palestinian high school and university students in Israeli prisons.
JVP HAC Violations of Human RIghts are by the Israeli Military for 191 violations of human rights during the week of Feb. 6-12
In their weekly summary of Israeli human rights violations, The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) identified 191 human rights violations over this time period. As Palestinians reacted to the "Deal of the Century", the Israeli Military actions included the death of three Palestinians from lethal use of military force (in the West Bank), numerous injuries, including a child and a journalist, home demolitions, settlement expansion, bombing in southern Gaza, and more. The PCHR provides this weekly summary from first hand accounts. Their website provides useful data. Support them!
The JVP HAC postings this week of Feb. 2, 2020 spotlight the blatant human rights violations of the "Deal of the Century", and the ongoing resistance to colonization by the Palestinians.
Graffiti in Gaza shows what Palestinians have come to think of US President Donald Trump’s peacemaking.
Mahmoud IssaSIPA USA)
Human rights violation of the week of Feb. 2, 2020...Trump's "peace plan"--
The "peace plan" proffered by the Trump Administration on 29 January represents one of the major human rights violations of this century. Under the plan, Israel gets: nearly all its West Bank settlements, all of Jerusalem, control over borders, uncontested military control over the whole area of historic Palestine, some one-third of the West Bank and the removal of any possibility that Palestinians who were expelled in 1948 could ever claim a right of return or even compensation for the lands and homes and years that were stolen from them. The Palestinians get a series of non-contiguous areas that would be connected by bridges, tunnels and roads; an economic development package; and a vague assertion by Trump, with few details, that some day Palestinians could “achieve an independent state of their very own”. This future state, however, will have none of the actual characteristics of a state. Its borders; the streets of all of its cities, towns and villages; and the roads connecting them, will be under the full control of the military of Israel.
July 1, 2019: Elbit Systems for their continued and expanded contracts with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide surveillance at the Arizona-Mexico Border.
As the horror of what is happening to migrants at the U.S. Southern border intensifies, the JVP HAC notes Israeli corporate complicity in many of the human rights violations occurring at this border.
The U.S. subsidiary of Israeli arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems was awarded a new $26 million contract by U.S. CBP for “enhanced” border surveillance. Elbit Systems has been part of U.S. border surveillance for many years. Here is Elbit Systems Press Release this past week on this lucrative new contract. See Investigate.org for the history of Elbit at the U.S. border.
Increased border militarization, such as that provided by the electronic surveillance technology of corporations such as Elbit, does nothing to deter migration and has a huge impact on the increasingly remote and dangerous desert routes that migrants take in their attempts to enter the U.S. Once again, Israeli military technology that is pilot-tested on Palestinians goes global. For additional excellent reading on this issue, see here, here, here and here.