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by Adri Nieuwhof and Basma Salem
On 11 March 2011, the Danish-British security firm G4S announced its exit from some contracts in the West Bank. The company will continue to deliver security services to illegal settlements in the West Bank and to prisons in Israel.
G4S came under scrutiny after Who Profits, part of the Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace, and Danish financial watchdog DanWatch, revealed in November last year that the company supplied equipment and services to Israel for use at checkpoints, police stations and settlements in the occupied West Bank and at Israeli prisons.
Following the disclosure of G4S involvement in the Israeli occupation, which was extensively reported in the Danish media, local politicians from socialist parties in Copenhagen, Gladsaxe, Roskilde, Odense and Aarhus have put the contracts of the municipalities with G4S on the agenda
of their city council. Read the rest of this entry »
“The Israeli government and its army have been for years now using the West Bank and Gaza as their testing ground. The Palestinians are their guinea pigs. The Israeli army uses tear gas that would probably be banned in any other countries in the world. They shoot tear gas, directly at protesters, once again, an illegal act. But a very rewarding one. Israel’s security industry is booming. It’s never been this good. Countries all over the world are buying Israel’s expertise in security, crowd control and weaponry every day. Israeli soldiers are training other countries commandos all over the planet”
From the blog, Bil’in: A Village of Palestine, 02/01/11
On New Year’s Eve 2010, whilst much of the world was celebrating, over a thousand people demonstrated in the Palestinian village of Bil’in against Israel’s encroachment on the village’s land, Israeli tear gas and rubber bullets rained down on the protesters and Jawaher Abu Rahma, who had joined the march to the apartheid wall and retreated to the sidelines after the first Israeli volleys of gas, choked to death as gas enveloped the village.
A report from Bil’in residents said that “Israeli soldiers fired tear-gas from the moment protestors entered their sight. It is obvious that for the army, the mere presence of unarmed demonstrators is reason enough to use chemical weapons against them.”. Read the rest of this entry »
Volvo machinery was used to demolish houses of bedouin in the Palestinian village of Abu al Ajaj on Wednesday 24th November 2010. The same week a wave of demolitions occurred across the West Bank and Israel, including the demolition of the village of Al Araqib in the Naqab (Negev).
Abu al Ajaj is situated in the Al Jiftlik area of the Jordan Valley, in the Israeli occupied West Bank, next to the Israeli colony of Massua. At 5am two Volvo bulldozers and 200 soldiers raided and demolished one house and three animal shelters in the Abu al Ajaj. Three tin buildings and one tent were also destroyed, two men were arrested and several injured. Several baby goats were killed and many were injured in the destruction. The estimated cost of the damage stands at around 120,000 NIS.
“Whether we are confined in the open-air prison that Gaza has been transformed into, in military prisons in the West Bank, or in our own villages surrounded by the Apartheid Wall, arrests and persecution do not weaken us. They only strengthen our commitment to turning 2010 into a year of liberation.”
Abdullah Abu Rahmah, In a letter written from his prison cell, January 1st 2010
The last year has seen an increase in repression of Palestinian grassroots activists involved in struggles against Israel’s wall and Israeli settlements and who advocate the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. In September 2009 Mohamed Othman, an activist with the Stop the Wall (www.stopthewall.org) campaign was arrested on suspicion of ‘dealing with foreign enemies’ and incitement. Mohamed spent four months in jail, two months awaiting trial and two months in administrative detention (without charge). On 24th December Jamal Jumaa, Coordinator of Stop the Wall was arrested. Mohamed and Jamal were released on 12th January 2010 after international pressure. Jamal was never charged while Mohamed’s charges were dropped after two months. In February 2010 the Stop the Wall office in Ramallah was raided by the Israeli army and computer hard drives and documents were taken. Read the rest of this entry »
Years of weekly protests against the Israeli separation wall in Bil’in in the West Bank have proved successful following an announcement by the Israeli military that part of the wall will be re-routed. This comes two and a half years after an Israel Supreme Court ruling ordering the Israeli state to return land to Palestinian farmers in the village of Bil’in, over which the state has twice been held in contempt. Read the rest of this entry »
Israel is planning to build a new security fence around the Red Sea city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt. Companies set to tender for stakes in the $270 million project include Motorola Israel, which manufactures the Wide Area Surveilance System (WASS) sensors for settlements in the West Bank; Ortek, a subsidiary of Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit; Magal Security Systems, an Israeli company that had built parts of the West Bank and Gaza walls; D-Fence and El-Far. Israel has already built fences and walls along its borders with Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and inside the West Bank and Gaza. The construction of many of these barriers has resulted in land grabs and everyday suffering for Palestinians trying to cross through the countless checkpoints.