Israeli demolitions ‘collective punishment’.

 Israeli demolitions ‘collective punishment’

Families decry Israel’s demolition of the homes of Palestinians accused of killing three Israeli settlers in June.

 

Israeli forces demolished 664 Palestinian homes as punishment between 2001 and January 2005 [Reuters]

Hebron, occupied West Bank – Sobbing, Ghada Qawasmeh stares at her destroyed home, a two-story stone villa the family built over the course of nine years. The mother of seven is inconsolable, thinking of her husband, Hussam, who is now in an Israeli prison. “This is collective punishment,” she says. “What did I or my children do?”

Before dawn on Monday, Israeli troops destroyed the Qawasmeh family’s house in Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli officials said the demolition was carried out as punishment for Hussam Qawasmeh’s alleged involvement in the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli settler teens in June, and came after Israel’s supreme court affirmed the army’s position.

Last month, Israel accused three men of being behind the disappearance and subsequent death of the Israeli youths, who were hitchhiking from a Jewish settlement near Hebron: Hussam and Marwan Qawasmeh, and Amer Abu Eisha.

Abu Eisha’s family home was also demolished on Monday, while Marwan Qawasmeh’s was sealed off with cement.

“We are determined in bringing the ruthless murderers of Gilad, Eyal and Naftali to justice. The demolition of the terrorists’ homes conveys a clear message to terrorists and their accomplices that there is a personal price to pay when engaging in terror and carrying out attacks against Israelis,” said Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesperson, in a press statement.

While Marwan and Abu Eisha are in hiding, the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, said Hussam admitted to receiving funds for the operation from Hamas operatives in Gaza. But Hamas officials have denied any involvement, and so far, no evidence against the three men has been divulged.

The demolition of the terrorists’ homes conveys a clear message to terrorists and their accomplices that there is a personal price to pay when engaging in terror and carrying out attacks against Israelis.

– Peter Lerner, Israeli army spokesperson

Ghada also maintains that her husband is innocent, that the real killers are still at large, and that destroying her home is merely an act of revenge. “By demolishing the house they’ll destroy my life and my children’s. There’s a million ways [to deter attacks] without destroying people’s lives,” said Ghada, who has now moved in with her in-laws.


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Meanwhile, Amer Abu Eisha’s mother, Nadia, is more composed: this is the second time that her home has been demolished since 1995. Back then, a man wanted by the Israelis sought shelter in the building.

“We’ve spent more than 15 years building this house for us and our children,” Nadia said. “God knows what we’ve been through to do that. This is my life, my shelter. But they will demolish, and we will rebuild.”

Parts of the Abu Eisha and Qawasmeh’s homes were demolished last month.

Israeli rights group HaMoked urgently petitioned the Israeli supreme court in July against the demolition of the three men’s homes. On August 11, the court rejected the appeal, arguing that “the demolition of the houses was imperative to deter other terrorists from committing additional severe terrorist attacks”.

In this case, the court decided to support army claims “that the deterioration in the security situation justifies a return to the policy it had already invalidated”.

“The supreme court’s position has always been [that it’s] not competent enough in military affairs,” said Jeff Halper, the founder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. “Almost always, when the army says it has to do something, the court says it can.”

For decades, the Israeli authorities have been demolishing the homes of Palestinians it accuses of carrying out attacks. But in 2005, they announced a halt to this practice, which human rights groups regularly condemned as an act of collective punishment.

Between 2001 and January 2005, Israeli forces demolished 664 homes as punishment, leaving more than 4,000 Palestinians homeless, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. In these cases, no evidence was required to prove that the alleged attacker’s family had any prior knowledge of his or her plans.

The demolitions are often carried out by armoured bulldozers within hours of the attack, and in the late night hours, without enough prior notice to allow families to salvage some of their belongings. In Ghada’s case, the Israeli State Attorney accepted HaMoked’s request to give her family 12 hours’ notice before her house was flattened.

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According to Halper, house demolitions do not serve the army’s intended purpose. “They know it doesn’t deter,” he said. “What it does is it helps the Israeli people feel that they’ve been avenged. It’s basically collective punishment.”

Moshe Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff, was one of the first in Israel’s top echelon to question the practice. He formed a review committee in 2004, which found that home demolitions were harmful to Israel because they bred hatred among Palestinians.

The bricks are meaningless. I want my son and husband back. They are the ones that mean the world to me.

– Nadia Abu Eisha, mother of Amer Abu Eisha

Prior to that, Israeli authorities had maintained that in many cases, fear of home demolitions led families to turn in their relatives to Israeli or Palestinian authorities to stop them from carrying out attacks.

Punitive demolitions have so far only applied to Palestinians: the homes of three Israelis who are accused of murdering Mohammad Abu Khdair, a Palestinian teenager from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shu’fat, remain intact. In July, two minors and an older man beat Abu Khdair and burned him alive, in apparent revenge for the death of the young Israelis.

During the search for the three missing Israelis, the Israeli army arrested approximately 1,000 Palestinians in a series of nightly raids.

“They won’t demolish the Israelis’ houses,” Halper said. “They will say it’s not a pattern. It’s a one-off thing, it’s a bad apple, it’s a crazy guy. And therefore since it’s an isolated event, it doesn’t warrant demolishing a house because there’s nothing preventative here.”

In the meantime, both Nadia and Ghada are still coming to terms with the levelling of their homes.

“I lost a son, I’m missing another,” said Nadia, who has six children, one of whom is dead, another at large, and a third in prison, along with his father. “The bricks are meaningless. I want my son and husband back. They are the ones that mean the world to me.”

Israel Can Establish Diplomatic Relations with Arab World by Learning from Putin

The geopolitical landscape surrounding Israel is shifting in such a way that if navigated correctly could lead to full diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Sunni Arab governments around the Middle East.

 


Of growing significance is the common ground that is being created between Jerusalem and the Gulf Arab states as a result of the proxy war that is being waged by Iran against Saudi Arabia.

In response to Tehran’s growing influence across the Middle East Israel has been making a concerted, if quiet, effort over the last few months to improve its relations with the Gulf monarchies. Iran’s nuclear deal with the United States and other foreign powers has only spurred Israeli efforts to develop back-channel relations with Arab states.

However, typical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s risk-averse administration, the issue of normalizing relations with the Arab world is being handled with extreme caution and tortured temporizing.

Unfortunately for Premier Netanyahu and his acolytes, the delicate art of equivocation and half measures is lost upon a region currently in the throes of civil wars, political upheavals and Iranian imperialism.

For Israel to best capitalize on the historic changes taking place in the region, the Israeli government should avoid the muddled and restrained approach taken by US President Barack Obama and take a page from the clear and concerted policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s easy to dismiss Putin as an anti-Western autocrat, whose efforts to expand Russia’s sphere of influence have been blunt and reckless. Still, if the barometer for diplomatic success is defined as a country’s ability to project and protect its role in regional politics, Russia under the leadership of Vladimir Putin has been nothing if not effective.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP)

Simultaneously, Barack Obama’s shifting of US support from regional Sunni powers Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Shiite Iran is a diplomatic sea change of a different sort.

In stark contrast to Putin’s realpolitik perspective that seeks to maximize Russian power, Obama’s embrace of Iran is guided by a ferocious desire to shrink America’s global diplomatic footprint. Swapping American exceptionalism for multiculturalism, Obama takes a jaundiced view of American power, which should be tempered by supranational organizations and international agreements.

With regards to Israel, the government in Jerusalem needs to embark on a paradigm shift vis-a-vis its dealings with Sunni Arab powers. The Netanyahu administration, similar to its predecessors, is enamored with the concept of stability, even at the expense of a potentially historic breakthrough in relations with the Arab world.

On balance, the military realignments in the region are likely benefit Israel, but only if its leaders act boldly. First, intelligence and commercial cooperation with Sunni Arab states should be based on the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and respective Arab nations. Second, the foreign embassies of these nations must be located in Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv.

Granted, there is nothing tactful or elegant about this diplomatic approach. But Israeli diplomacy in a time of regional chaos should strive beyond the tired, ineffective and largely meaningless desire to just be ‘recognized’.

After all, that most basic of desires, to survive, will surely compel Sunni governments to comply with Israel’s conditions if it means gaining access to Israeli intelligence, military hardware and cybersecurity technology.

The power wielded by today’s Sunni Arab leaders may someday depend upon making peace with the existence of a Jewish State in the heart of the Middle East.

Posts are contributed by third parties. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent United with Israel.

Impamvu yogukuraho umwakagara irabonetse!

  Nyuma yuko perezida wa repubulika Paul Kagame yiyemereye we,ubwe ko,agiye kwica abaturage ashinzwe kurindira umutekano,ibi akaba yarabivuze kuwa 05th Kamena 2014,mu ijambo yavugiye Inyabihu mu ntara yamajyepfo.


Aha abanyarwanda bakaba batari bakwiriye gutegereza yuko kagame asohoza imigambi ye,nkuko yabyivugiye,ahubwo bakaba bakwiye kumutanga bakamukura ku ntebe dore ko namahanga atazabigaya kuko yamaze kwiyemerera we,ubwe ko azabica ibyo yongeye kubyemerera umunyamakuru wa Jeune Afrique ubwo bagiranaga ikiganiro kirambuye.

Maze Paul Kagame yivugira ko bitakiri ibanga aho yagaragaje ko mu gihugu ayoboye kitagendera kumategeko ndetse kitubahiriza uburenganzira bwa kiremwa muntu,abanyarwanda bakaba basaba ingabo z’Urwanda gukora ibishoboka byose ngo barebe ko umwakagara bamwikiza hakiri kare.

Ubundi abantu batinya gukora igikorwa nk’icyo kubera ko cyiba kitajyanye namategeko,ariko iyo bibaye murwego rwogutabara abaturage ntamategeko abihana!ibyari kuzaba urubanza nyirubwite yamaze kurwicira kuburyo n’amahanga nayo kugez’ubu afite iyo nyandiko mvugo yivugiye we ubwe.

Ariko niba umukuru w’ingabo Gen.Nyamvumba Patrick azareberera ubwicanyi bukomeje gukorwa nashebuja,kandi afite uburyo ndetse n’ubushobozi bwogukiza abanyarwanda hakiri kare nta shiti ko azabibazwa.Nyamara yarabonye akanya keza ako kagame yita THE RIGHT TIME,bityo yakagombye guhita atabara abanyarwanda akabakiza ishyano hakiri kare kandi twese abanyarwanda twamushyigikira ndetse yaba akoze igikorwa cya kigabo.

 

Ariko tekereza niba abanyarwanda bakomeje gushirira ku icumu bamarwa nuwakagombye kubarinda aaba yarabitangaje kumugaragaro ntagushidikanya yuko ingabo z’Urwanda zizahura n’ubutabera nyuma y’ubwicanyi zashyigikiye ndetse ntizigaragaze ubushake bwogutabara abanyarwanda kandi bari babifitiye ubushobozi.

 

Burya Imana ikorana nabanyabwenge mu gihe Imana yamukoresheje nkuko yabivuze ko mbere yuko imukuraho izabanza kumwambura ubwenge kugirango imukoze isoni mu marembo y’amahanga,aha rero niho ubwenge buri icyo bita “OPOTURNITIST “ gukorera mumahirwe mu gihe gikwiriye Chance Comes Once.

 

Akaba rero arintgikozwe abanyarwanda mwemere umwakagara abace amajosi kuko mwamugize ikigirwamana munanirwa kwirwanaho mugihe akimuhana kaza imvura ihise,mukazasigara muvuga amateka gusa nyamara mwakagombye gukora amateka meza aho kugirango muzavuge amateka mabi.

 

Impamvu yogukuraho umwakagara irabonetse!

     

Nyuma yuko perezida wa repubulika Paul Kagame yiyemereye we,ubwe ko,agiye kwica abaturage ashinzwe kurindira umutekano,ibi akaba yarabivuze kuwa 05th Kamena 2014,mu ijambo yavugiye Inyabihu mu ntara yamajyepfo.


Aha abanyarwanda bakaba batari bakwiriye gutegereza yuko kagame asohoza imigambi ye,nkuko yabyivugiye,ahubwo bakaba bakwiye kumutanga bakamukura ku ntebe dore ko namahanga atazabigaya kuko yamaze kwiyemerera we,ubwe ko azabica ibyo yongeye kubyemerera umunyamakuru wa Jeune Afrique ubwo bagiranaga ikiganiro kirambuye.

Maze Paul Kagame yivugira ko bitakiri ibanga aho yagaragaje ko mu gihugu ayoboye kitagendera kumategeko ndetse kitubahiriza uburenganzira bwa kiremwa muntu,abanyarwanda bakaba basaba ingabo z’Urwanda gukora ibishoboka byose ngo barebe ko umwakagara bamwikiza hakiri kare.

Ubundi abantu batinya gukora igikorwa nk’icyo kubera ko cyiba kitajyanye namategeko,ariko iyo bibaye murwego rwogutabara abaturage ntamategeko abihana!ibyari kuzaba urubanza nyirubwite yamaze kurwicira kuburyo n’amahanga nayo kugez’ubu afite iyo nyandiko mvugo yivugiye we ubwe.

Ariko niba umukuru w’ingabo Gen.Nyamvumba Patrick azareberera ubwicanyi bukomeje gukorwa nashebuja,kandi afite uburyo ndetse n’ubushobozi bwogukiza abanyarwanda hakiri kare nta shiti ko azabibazwa.Nyamara yarabonye akanya keza ako kagame yita THE RIGHT TIME,bityo yakagombye guhita atabara abanyarwanda akabakiza ishyano hakiri kare kandi twese abanyarwanda twamushyigikira ndetse yaba akoze igikorwa cya kigabo.

 

Ariko tekereza niba abanyarwanda bakomeje gushirira ku icumu bamarwa nuwakagombye kubarinda aaba yarabitangaje kumugaragaro ntagushidikanya yuko ingabo z’Urwanda zizahura n’ubutabera nyuma y’ubwicanyi zashyigikiye ndetse ntizigaragaze ubushake bwogutabara abanyarwanda kandi bari babifitiye ubushobozi.

 

Burya Imana ikorana nabanyabwenge mu gihe Imana yamukoresheje nkuko yabivuze ko mbere yuko imukuraho izabanza kumwambura ubwenge kugirango imukoze isoni mu marembo y’amahanga,aha rero niho ubwenge buri icyo bita “OPOTURNITIST “ gukorera mumahirwe mu gihe gikwiriye Chance Comes Once.

 

Akaba rero arintgikozwe abanyarwanda mwemere umwakagara abace amajosi kuko mwamugize ikigirwamana munanirwa kwirwanaho mugihe akimuhana kaza imvura ihise,mukazasigara muvuga amateka gusa nyamara mwakagombye gukora amateka meza aho kugirango muzavuge amateka mabi.

 

US ‘close to training Syrian rebels’ Officials say President Barack Obama may soon sign off on project to assist rebels in bid to end Syrian civil war.

US President Barack Obama may soon sign off on a project to train and equip Syrian rebels not affiliated with al-Qaeda, administration officials said.


Officials speaking on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, said the project would mean sending a number of US troops to Jordan that would help instruct carefully vetted members of the Free Syrian Army on tactics, including counterterrorism operations.

The White House did not confirm or deny the plan, but said it was “constantly considering available options to combat the terrorist threat emanating from Syria and to facilitate an end to the crisis”.

The State Department would also not comment. 

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, however, told reporters that an array of options to support Assad’s foes remains under consideration. She also highlighted the terrorism threat, according to the Associated Press news agency.

“We have been clear that we see Syria as a counterterrorism challenge, and therefore certainly we factor that in, in options we consider,” she said.

“The current policy approach continues to be strengthening the moderate opposition, which offers an alternative to the brutal Assad regime and the more extremist elements within the opposition.”

The unnamed officials said Obama had yet to give his final approval for the initiative, and that there was still internal discussion about its merits and potential risks.

In a foreign policy speech on Wednesday to the US Military Academy, Obama is expected to frame Syria as a counterterrorism challenge and indicate that he will expand assistance to the opposition, according to the officials cited by the AP.

However, he is not likely to announce the specific programme, the officials said.

The State Department, Pentagon, intelligence community, along with many in Congress who back the move, have concluded that Assad will not budge without a change in the military situation on the ground, according to the officials.

At the same time, there are growing fears about the threat posed by al-Qaeda-linked and inspired fighters waging war in Syria, the officials said.

The Senate Armed Services Committee last week passed a defence bill that authorises the defence department to provide training and equipment to vetted elements of the Syrian opposition.

The United States already has covert support operations in place for the Syrian opposition, and it is not yet clear how the new programme would work.

Washington has also spent $287m so far in non-lethal aid on Syria’s civil war, now in its fourth year.
Rebel commanders have been asking the US for lethal assistance as they have seen gains wiped out one after another. However, the US has been reluctant to move to that kind of aid for fear weapons could end up in the hands of what it calls extremist rebels who might then turn on neighbouring Israel or against US interests.

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