On Thursday evening, February 02, 20123, Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) held a webinar on the Israeli occupation’s systematic policy of killing Palestinians with lethal force, while enjoying complete impunity.
The webinar was attended by Hafed Al-Ghwell- Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute/ Johns Hopkins University, Sara Flounders- American Political Writer, former Congressman Jim Moran, Professor Tim Murithi – Professor of African Studies at the University of Free State in South Africa, Ubai Al-Aboudi- Executive Director at Bisan Centre for Research and Development, Adam Shapiro– Director of Advocacy for Israel-Palestine at DAWN, Qadri Abu Bakr- Chairman of the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs Commission, and Roba Al-Salibi, a researcher at Oxford University
Joe Haynes, representative of AOHR UK started the webinar with confirming that recently the crimes of the Israeli occupation have escalated significantly at all levels. It was further reinforced by American support clearly represented in the recent visit of Foreign Minister Blinken to Israel last week, despite the inhumane crimes committed by the occupation forces against civilians in Jenin in the West Bank.
Hafed Al-Ghwell stressed that the Israeli violence in the occupied territories started and continued on a daily basis since the beginning of the occupation in 1967 until now, however biased media groups are very selective in monitoring their crimes.
He stressed that the US support, protection, and funding of the occupation, as well as the failure of the international community to hold the occupation authorities accountable are the reasons for these violations.
He also condemned the failure of the Arab governments to support the Palestinian people, pointing out the Arab peoples themselves reject the practices of the occupation and any normalization with it.
Professor Tim Murithi also condemned the apartheid system of the Israeli occupation authorities, which is similar to the brutal apartheid system that the people of South Africa suffered from in the past.
Murithi stressed that the escalating violations under the new Israeli government are being reinforced with laws and legislation.
Murithi stated that the Israeli occupation managed to mobilise pressure groups in the African Union over the past twenty years to support it in its diplomatic war, yet the African Union opposed it and condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza and other forms of aggression on civilians.
Murithi highlighted the importance of compensating civilian victims of this war and stressed that justice will only be achieved through collective action by civil society organisations and by bringing perpetrators to trial.
American writer and politician Sara Flounders stressed that the only way to end the ongoing Israeli violence on Palestinians is to end the occupation itself at once and for all.
She stressed that the United States is complicit with the occupation authorities in the crimes of apartheid committed against the Palestinians, and is a partner in the theft, plundering and genocide of the people of Palestine.
Flounders added that Israel is the largest recipient of financial and military aid around the world, as it receives $3.3 billion annually from the United States. The US financing and arming of Israel, providing logistical and military support, providing the latest military and technological equipment have mainly helped the Israeli occupation to commit serious crimes in the occupied territories.
Flounders wondered about the endless US support for Israel, saying, “Does the United States want to divide the region? Does it aim to fuel conflicts between all parties in the Middle East? Is its goal to make people poor and seize oil? Is it trying to make money by maintaining arm sales? Weapons that will not stop as long as the conflicts continue… What is the goal of the United States in all of this!”
Palestinian researcher Ubai Al-Aboudi focused in his speech on targeting Palestinian civil society institutions and attempts to restrict the Palestinian movement since the beginning of the occupation in 1967.
Al-Aboudi stressed that racial discrimination against Palestinians appears in everything, noting for example that “at a time when Palestinian villages lack potable water, Israeli settlements enjoy fresh water and a water supply for everything, even for swimming pools.”
Al-Aboudi warned against the continuation of the Israeli occupation’s brutal practices against the Palestinian existence, stressing, “We are targeted only because we are Palestinians… Our existence as Palestinians is threatened by the escalation of Israeli violence and the occupation’s attempts to control all Palestinian lands and control all the country’s capabilities and wealth.”
DAWN researcher Adam Shapiro stressed that the Palestinian people’s demand of accountability and accountability for the Israelis is a legitimate right and a natural matter within the scope of the law that the United States itself and other countries of the world believe in.
Shapiro stressed that there is no real international accountability for the Israelis for the grave violations committed against the Palestinians, pointing out that the Palestinian resistance takes many forms, including boycotting Israeli companies and pressure to stop investing in them. Nevertheless, despite the peacefulness of these means, the United States is trying to criminalise them.
The head of the Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs in Palestine, Mr. Qadri Abu Bakr, began his speech by stressing that under the international law, Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, men and women, are prisoners of war with clear rights, however the Israeli occupation deprives them of all their rights, and further tortures and kills them.
He stressed that there are hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons who suffer from deteriorating medical conditions, and in return there is no medical care, which causes an escalation in the number of prison deaths. Furthermore, the occupation refuses to hand over the bodies to their families on many occasions.
He added that there are 160 children imprisoned in Israeli prisons, who are treated with severe brutality. Shockingly, the Israeli law considers those over the age of 14 to be adults and the laws and provisions of adults apply to them, which is contrary to international law that considers that those under the age of 18 are minors.
American politician and former Congressman Jim Moran stressed that the provocative practices of new Israeli government will continue to escalate, as well as its attempts to seize Palestinian lands and property in Gaza and the West Bank.
Moran pointed out that the continued injustice against the Palestinians, their displacement and killing is a form of apartheid, making the country “like an open prison.”
Moran emphasised that the American people are well aware that political, material and military aid is the only way to continue the occupation and “make Israel alive.”
The researcher Roba Al-Salibi noted that the situation in Nablus and the West Bank is similar to that in the Gaza Strip in terms of the continuous blockade and isolation from the rest of the Palestinian territories.
Al-Salibi pointed out that the Zionist colonial project came with a plan to tear the Palestinian social fabric, and disperse them in exile in different countries, following a policy of absolute violence inside Palestine or in camps in neighbouring countries.
Al-Salibi also shed light on the health care system in Gaza, which was destroyed by the Israeli occupation’s bombing of hospitals and depriving citizens of traveling for treatment, as well as preventing the entry of medicines and medical devices to the stripe.