The Never Ending Crimes Of Israel Against Palestinians

The Never Ending Crimes Of Israel Against Palestinians.

Palestinians in Israel protest against demolition of their homes

20160715_WiPs-RamallahUmm al-Hiran, Israel : Police officers detain a Bedouin man during clashes after a protest against home demolitions.

Israeli bulldozers demolish more houses in Umm Al-Hiran

Arab Israeli women sit next to the ruins of their dwellings which were demolished by Israeli bulldozers in Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin village in Israel’s southern Negev Desert.

Palestinians protest against expanding of Jewish settlements

A man holding a Palestinian flag protests as he sits in the scoop of an Israeli excavator as he tries to prevent it from clearing his land during a protest against Jewish settlements, near the village of Deir Qaddis near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Schools in Palestine under the Israeli Occupation

C3MRz_jWAAA7CWwA teacher gives a class to Palestinian bedouin students outdoors near the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim (seen in the background), in the West Bank village of Al-Eizariya, east of Jerusalem. The Israeli forces dismantled the caravans that were used as classrooms for the Beduin community school on February 20, residents said. According to school officials, the Israeli army informed them that the containers were removed because they did not have an Israeli-issued construction permit to stay in the area.
During the 27 years of Occupation, Palestinian educational institutions suf¬fered a drastic decline in quality and growth. No new schools were built during the first 10 years of Occupation and very few have been built since then. Thus the expansion of school facilities and the hiring of additional teachers did not keep pace with the dramatic growth in the student popula¬tion. Classrooms became increasingly overcrowded, with an average class size in government schools reaching 40 to 60 students per class.
Most government schools lacked basic facilities, such as vocational workshops and audiovisual teaching aids. Science laboratories had a shortage of the necessary equipment for carrying out experiments. Meager funding and the high number of banned books limited the schools’ capac¬ity to provide adequate libraries for their students. Extracurricular activi¬ties, vital for students’ academic, social and cultural development were prohibited by the Israeli authorities, as were science clubs and cultural lectures. In a survey carried out by the MEHE, it was found that many schools still lacked such essential facilities as proper toilets.
Additionally, the continued restrictive measures taken by the authorities against government school teachers had deprived schools from reaching sound educational standards. For example, graduates of West Bank univer¬sities could not be hired to teach in those schools. Low salaries compared to those paid to their colleagues in Jordan, Israel, UNRWA and private schools, had made it difficult for these government schools to keep their good teach¬ers or attract new ones. Low pay had sapped teachers’ morale and com¬pelled many of them to seek a second, supplementary job elsewhere.
The severity of the educational situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip reached an acute level during the Intifada. The extended and repeated clo¬sures of schools by the Israeli authorities, impacted negatively on the schools’ ability to proceed normally with a structured learning-teaching process.
Unfortunately, there are no objective data or studies to inform judgment about the quality of education or skills imparted to Palestinian children under the Occupation. In 1990, an attempt was made to fill this vacuum, and an initiative to assess the skill levels of about 3,000 elementary schoolchildren was carried out in the central region of the West Bank.¹ This unprecedented study found that elementary school children had great difficulties acquiring even basic skills in Arabic and mathematics. A num¬ber of randomly selected results among fourth-graders showed the fol¬lowing: only 24 percent tested could accurately measure [with a ruler] a given line segment that was five centimeters long; 73 percent could not add ½ + ¼. Only 2.3 percent of fourth-graders tested and 22.8 percent of sixth-graders were able to produce the required number of sentences, and those they wrote lacked relevant ideas, correct grammatical structure and appropriate vocabulary. Sixth-graders’ answers in the reading compre¬hension sections were fully correct no more than 30 percent of the time.
The situation at the other end of the education ladder, i.e., secondary education, has always been a concern for Palestinian educators. Prior to 1967, students prepared for a Jordanian-based matriculation examina¬tion, “Tawjihi,” in the West Bank, and an Egyptian-based one in the Gaza Strip. The exam depends heavily on rote learning; it does not measure critical or independent thinking; and is limited in scope and content, as it is based on the final year of schooling. In addition, the exam does not test students’ ability in the practical application of knowledge gained in the sciences and vocational education courses.
The relevance and quality of this exam have always been questioned by Palestinian educators. First, the school curricula are directly controlled by the Israelis and indirectly by the Jordanians and the Egyptians, while the Tawjihi examination itself is directly controlled by Jordan and Egypt. Second, the severity of the exam, the average pass rates and the grading levels are set each year by the Jordanian-Egyptian education ministries in relation to their own educational plans and their own universities’ needs. This, naturally, affects the results in the West Bank and Gaza as well, even though the student population in the territories may not fit into Jordan’s and Egypt’s educational planning.

Israeli settlements : ‘Unfortunate’ or illegal?

There is pretty much a consensus among international lawyers, except in Israel, that the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories including East Jerusalem are illegal. The basis for this is article 49 of the fourth Geneva Convention adopted in 1949: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”Israel, it appears, has no more right to build settlements than the UK or the US would have had to build British or American settlements in Iraq after the 2003 war.f5c921c2-547e-4547-80e8-e0572c55cc13
The Geneva Conventions are global, though Israel argues that they do not apply in Palestine. In 1967, immediately after the war in which Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza, the Security Council specifically addressed the Palestine question and unanimously adopted resolution 242. This resolution is notoriously ambiguous on the question of whether Israel is obliged to withdraw from all or only from some of the occupied territories, but it is unambiguous in restating the principle of the non-admissibility of the acquisition of territory by war.
So much for the law. The politics are different. For Israel, at least since the Likud governments of the 1970s and 80s, settlements have been the practical expression of the Zionist dream of putting Jews on the land. For the rest of the world the settlements are an obstacle to peace, because they might prevent the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel – the two-state solution. For some Israelis, and a good many settlers, that is precisely the point: Settlements are deliberately located and expanded to prevent any future Israeli government offering anything resembling a viable Palestinian state.


The US has sometimes joined the international consensus in declaring the settlements illegal. But most US spokesmen, sympathetic to Israel, have preferred softer expressions such as “prejudicial to the outcome of final status talks”. At the beginning of his first term, US President Barack Obama directly challenged Israel’s settlement policy, insisting that it should stop. But Israel stood firm, and Obama backed down. His administration has recently stuck to “the US does not accept the legitimacy” of settlements.
There was a serious wobble in 2004, when President George W Bush appeared to have agreed with the then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that some settlements were there to stay, ie, not subject to eventual negotiation with the Palestinians as part of the concept of “agreed swaps” of territory.illegal-israeli-settlement
Tony Blair appeared to be about to swallow that from Bush, which was what sparked the open letter to Blair from 52 retired British ambassadors of whom I was one. We wrote that “the international community has now been confronted with the announcement by Ariel Sharon and President Bush of new policies which are one-sided and illegal and which will cost yet more Israeli and Palestinian blood. Our dismay at this backward step is heightened by the fact that you yourself seem to have endorsed it, abandoning the principles which for nearly four decades have guided international efforts to restore peace in the Holy Land and which have been the basis for such successes as those efforts have produced.” Since then the UK has stood firm on the illegality of the settlements.

Creating solutions

To non-lawyers, and I am not a lawyer, politics can trump the purely legal issue. We do not live in a world where international law always has the last word, far from it. At best international law is helpful in clarifying and defining what is disagreed and creating solutions which have a chance of being agreed.
If there is ever to be an agreed solution of the Palestine problem based on the two-state solution, it is obvious that a compromise will be needed, that is to say neither Israel nor the Palestinians will get all they want. Up to now, the conventional view has been that the US will have the key role in negotiating such a solution. If I believed that US reluctance to state outright that the settlements are illegal was part of a well-prepared and balanced position in which both sides were being obliged to make concessions, I for one would not complain.
Sadly, the evidence does not support that view. Or rather, although US officials have put a vast amount of work into such preparation, most recently John Kerry’s diplomatic marathon which fizzled out in June, Washington has always proved unable in the end to deliver. In the Suez crisis of 1956, then US President Dwight Eisenhower obliged Israel (and Britain and France) to change course; no US president has done it since.illegal-israeli-settlements-ceasefire
So to return to the question: “Why didn’t the State Department spokeswoman says settlements are illegal?”, the answer is that Washington doesn’t want to irritate Israel – perhaps particularly on the day before the midterm elections. Oliver Miles is a retired British ambassador who served mainly in the Arab world. He was head of the Near East and North Africa Department (1980-83). In 2004, he was one of 52 former British ambassadors who wrote to Tony Blair about British policy on Palestine and Iraq.

Source: Al Jazeera