Thursday, 25 July 2019

House Demolitions in Sur Bahir - 4 British Peace Activists were ‘“stamped on, dragged by the hair, strangled with a scarf and pepper sprayed by Israeli border police.”

This is what Zionism does Jeremy Corbyn and this is what a ‘Jewish’ state means – ethnic cleansing


 


 Last week the Labour Party issued a statement on ‘Zionism, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism’ in which it explained that
Since the State of Israel was founded in 1948, following the horrors of the Holocaust, Zionism means maintaining that state.
This is what is usually called being economical with the truth, or in layman’s terms, lying. What the Labour Party statement omitted to say is what type of state it was that Zionism was‘maintaining’. Israel is of course a ‘Jewish’ state and being polite (or dishonest) the Labour Party and Corbyn chose to omit the small matter of a few thousand Palestinians massacred and ¾ million refugees displaced.
Zionism did not end in 1948. Today, in Jerusalem, Zionism is actively seeking to reduce the number of Palestinians living in the city and increase the number of Jews. The polite word for this is ethnic cleansing.
On Monday 900 Israeli Police and Soldiers invaded the Palestinian town of Sur Bahir on the outskirts of Jerusalem, using extreme violence to evict 30 solidarity activists. As the International Solidarity Movement reports two Palestinian families lost their homes in unprecedented mass demolitions in East Jerusalem. The evictions and demolitions were carried out in a ‘sadistic and brutal’ way.
During the invasion of the two occupied buildings Israeli border police shot Palestinians at close range with rubber-coated steel bullets and kicked them down flights of stairs. ISMers were stamped on, dragged across the floor by the hair, strangled with a scarf and pepper sprayed by Israeli border police.
But if you criticise this you will be called anti-Semitic by Labour Party racists such as Peter Kyle MP.
ISM activists, Bethany Rielly, 25, Beatrice-Lily Richardson, 27, Chris Lorigan, 30, and Gabriella Jones, 20, were carrying out a non-violent action by sitting in the house of Palestinian Ismail Obeide with 30 locals in the Wadi al-Hummus neighbourhood of Sur Baher, in an attempt to delay the demolition.
At around 3am 900 hundred Israeli soldiers were bussed to the area with trucks of demolition equipment to bulldoze three Palestinian apartment blocks, including an unfinished block which they spent 15 hours rigging with dynamite.
A Palestinian building demolished by Israeli forces in the village of Sur Baher [Abed al-Hashlamoun/EPA]


At around 5am they smashed down the door of Mr Obeide’s house. He was standing in the doorway holding his hands out in disbelief when dozens of soldiers invaded his home immediately pepper spraying him in the face.
The four British nationals were sitting in a small unventilated bathroom with the door closed when a soldier opened the door and threw in a tear gas canister. Chris Lorigan said:
“When the soldiers found us in the bathroom, they threw multiple tear gas canisters and shut the door. As we started to suffocate in the smallest room in the house, soldiers burst in and dragged us violently, pulling at every possible part, regardless of safety or policy.’
“I was dragged by my feet and lifted up, kicked in the stomach, then one soldier in particular stamped on my head four times, at full force, then standing on my head and pulling at my hair, he then stamped on my throat and others started punching my torso. It was a sadistic display of violence by the border police.”
Chris Lorigan, being attended in the hospital for a fractured rib (Photo:ISM
ISMer with severe tissue damage to right hand
Beatrice was also dragged out and her hands crushed so badly that she suffered severe tissue damage to her right hand which will be permanently misshapen unless she gets cosmetic surgery and a fractured knuckle on her left hand. She was bruised across her arms, hips and inner thighs.
Gaby was severely pepper sprayed in the face and hands and soldiers ripped her shirt revealing her bra, leaving large bruises on her right arm.
Bethany was dragged by her Keffiyeh around her neck out of the bathroom. Soldiers then pulled her out of the room by her hair. She said:
“A soldier dragged me by my keffiyeh across the floor strangling me until I screamed when he then crushed my neck under his knee. I couldn’t believe the pure aggression they were using against us. I was in such a state of shock the whole time that I couldn’t open my eyes. As they dragged me by my hair as I choked from being strangled and the tear gas I heard them laughing at me. We were unarmed civilians using peaceful means to try and delay them destroying Ismail and his family’s home that they worked so hard to build. Hundreds of soldiers were bussed in to do this. Is a house demolition a military operation anywhere else in the world? This is the reality of life for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.”
ISMer with bruising on arm and ripped shirt where soldiers pulled it apart
Nine Israeli and international activists were in the house of Ghaleb Abu Hadwan, with his 4 daughters, son and grandfather. Edmond Sichrovsky, an Austrian activist of Jewish origin, who was in the house said:
 “Border police broke into the house and dragged out the Palestinians, knocking the grandfather to the floor in front of his crying and screaming grandchildren. Everyone with a cellphone was forcibly removed from the house. Once there was no one filming present, they attacked me and 4 other activists. I was repeatedly kicked and kneed, which left a bloody nose and multiple cuts, as well breaking my glasses from a knee in the face. Once outside, they slammed me against a car while shouting verbal insults at me and women activists, calling them whores (Sharmuta).”
Gabriella Jones arm injuries, one of the hospitalized activists (Photo: ISM)
According to Sichrovsky Israeli forces broke into the home and first dragged out the Palestinians,
“knocking the grandfather to the floor in front of his crying and screaming grandchildren ... everyone with a cellphone was then forcibly removed before soldiers began attacking him and four other activists.
“I was repeatedly kicked and kneed, which left a bloody nose and multiple cuts, as well breaking my glasses from a knee in the face. Once outside, they slammed me against a car while shouting verbal insults at me and women activists, calling them whores,” he said.
A US activist was kicked in the stomach and Spanish activist Ivan Rivera was hit in the head with the butt of a gun.
The latest demolitions of Palestinian homes near the Apartheid Wall on the outskirts of Jerusalem were "shocking and heartbreaking" and should be probed as a war crime, Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour said on Tuesday.
The Israeli military considers the homes, which are close to the Apartheid Wall that crisscrosses the occupied West Bank, a "security" risk.
Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of the military in June, ending a seven-year legal battle, and set Monday as the deadline to knock down the homes.
Israel's UN Ambassador Danny Danon defended the action as being part of ‘the rule of law in Israel." Except of course that this ‘rule of law’ only applies to Palestinians. It is only Palestinians who are ethnically cleansed because Israel is a Jewish state.
Israel uses security as a pretext to force them out of the area as part of long-term efforts to expand settlements. All settlements on occupied Palestinian lands are illegal under international law.
At least 16 people, including 12 Palestinians and four British nationals, were hospitalized for injuries sustained during Israel’s massive demolition operation.
“He then stamped on my throat and others started punching my torso. It was a sadistic display of violence by the border police,” Lorigan said.
Beatrice-Lily Richardson’s arm injuries, one of the hospitalized activists (Photo:ISM)

Bethany Rielly’s neck injuries, one of the hospitalized activists (Photo: ISM)
According to testimonies from ISM activists stationed in other rooms of Obeidi’s house, Israeli soldiers continued their acts of aggression even after the Palestinians in the house held their hands up and agreed to leave voluntarily.
One unnamed American activist said that the soldiers were grabbing people’s fingers, “appearing as though they intended to break them.”
“Then we got to the stairs and they were kicking us down the stairs in the lower back and several of the Palestinian boys they kicked so hard that they tumbled down the stairs and this was when there was no resistance at all going on,”
ISM noted that it had activists from Spain, Britain, and Austria stationed in another house belonging to Ghaleb Abu Hadwan and his four daughters, son, and grandfather.
In its statement documenting the account of its activists, ISM said:
“Yesterday’s demolition of Wadi al-Hummus has made national news but due to the lack of media presence inside the family homes the extent of the violence and sadism perpetrated by IOF on Palestinian citizens and international activists has remained largely unreported.”
While sharing the personal stories of their activists, ISM noted the importance of recognizing the fact that it is “incomparable” to the daily treatment of Palestinians by the Israeli occupation
“17 people including Mr Obedi, his wife and their six children are now homeless as well as the family of Mr Hadwan,” ISM said.
“Evidence of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine is more apparent than ever in efforts like the destruction of these three blocks in Wadi al-Hummus, and hundreds more demolition orders, by the Israeli government.”

Wadi Hummus: Another Israeli celebration of ethnic cleansing


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