❶ . Chile-based court files war crimes lawsuit against Israeli Supreme Court justices
❷ . Human Rights Watch: Arabs face imminent displacement in Israel
❸ . IOF closes main road in Ramallah
- Background: “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly
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❶ . CHILE-BASED COURT FILES WAR CRIMES LAWSUIT AGAINST ISRAELI SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 29, 2016
A Santiago-based court in Chile on Monday filed a war crimes lawsuit against three Israeli Supreme Court justices for approving the construction of the Israeli separation wall, declared illegal by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 2004.
___According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the lawsuit was filed by six Palestinian landowners in Beit Jala in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem and alleged war crimes, including crimes against humanity, against former chief Justice Asher Grunis, and Justices Neal Hendel and Uzi Vogelman.
___The claimants reportedly own the land that is expected to be cut off from their village by the separation wall, while five of the plaintiffs are Chilean nationals, Haaretz reported.
___Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians migrated to Chile over the last century, resulting in a large Palestinian diaspora community in the South American country, while many Palestinians with Chilean nationality also reside in the West Bank, particularly in Beit Jala. More . . .
❷ . HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: ARABS FACE IMMINENT DISPLACEMENT IN ISRAEL
Days of Palestine
Nov. 30, 2016
More than 80,000 Palestinians in Negev are currently under Israeli threat of displacement Israeli occupation authorities should revoke plans to forcibly displace Arab residents from the Negev village of Umm al-Hiran, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
___The American human rights group said that the Israeli occupation is planning to force the Arabs, the indigenous Palestinian resident who remained home after the Israeli occupation of Palestine, in the village to build a new Jewish community in its place. ___According to a statement by HRW, the Israeli Execution and Collection Authority on November 20, 2016, approved a request by the Israeli Land Authority to forcibly demolish two homes and approximately eight surrounding structures at the entrance of Umm al-Hiran.
[. . . .] Adalah, a nongovernmental legal centre that advocates for Arab minority rights in Israel and represents Umm al-Hiran residents, fears that the evictions will take place before the November 30 deadline.
___In a statement to Human Rights Watch, the lead Adalah attorney on the case, Suhad Bishara, said they would continue to “seek all available legal channels” to halt the displacement and support the “existential, moral and legitimate right” of the villagers to “continue living on their land.”
___In conditions similar to those in Umm al-Hiran, about 80,000 Arabs live under constant threat of home demolitions in 35 villages that Israel does not recognise in the Negev. More . . . Related . . . ETHNIC CLEANSING: NEGEV IS A BATTLEFIELD FOR A VERY FIERCE STRUGGLE Palestine Chronicle Nov 29 2016
❸ . IOF CLOSES MAIN ROAD IN RAMALLAH
Alray-Palestinian Media Agency
Nov. 30, 2016
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) closed on Wednesday morning the main road between Silwad town and Ain Yabrod village east of Ramallah city in the center of the West Bank with cement cubes.
___Local sources said that the IOF closed the bridge connecting Ain Yabrod village with Silwad town and forced Palestinian citizens to take other long alternative roads. More . . .
(Note: While the article below is 10 years old and some of the legal issues it discusses have been decided, it is still an insightful and compelling study of the Palestinian Diaspora. I have included a much longer quotation than I usually do. Unfortunately the article is available online only through EBSCO databases or Research Gate.)
- King-Irani, Laurie. “Exiled To A Liminal Legal Zone: Are We All Palestinians Now?” Third World Quarterly 27.5 (2006): 923-936. SOURCE.
As a diaspora of over nine million people, Palestinians are everywhere: second-class citizens of Israel, stateless residents of fragmented and walled-in Bantustans in the occupied West Bank, refugees residing inside and outside of camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; and immigrants, students, professionals and nationalised citizens in virtually every country in the world. Palestinians dwell in the ‘First’ as well as the ‘Third’ worlds, economically speaking. Among the far-flung Palestinian diaspora are some of the poorest as well as some of the wealthiest people in the world. In the framework of international law, however, Palestinians are virtually nowhere. As stateless persons they occupy a liminal and interstitial space in the international legal and political order, an order that (contemporary discourses of cosmopolitanism, globalisation and emergent transnational organisations aside) remains founded upon and grounded in the interests of sovereign nation-states rather than in the claims of sub- or transnational actors, whether individuals or groups.
___Palestinians reaped few if any benefits from the late 20th century florescence of international humanitarian law (IHL), an era that witnessed a serious international focus on human rights and ‘policing the past’, as well as the establishment of the first ad hoc international criminal tribunals in half a century to address massive human rights violations (including genocide) in Africa and Europe. The defining event of the 1990s for Palestinians was the signing of the Oslo Accords and the now-famous handshake between PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the late Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.
___Oslo, however, was not founded on international law or treaties but, rather, constituted a negotiated agreement between unequal partners. It was an agreement that side-stepped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (concerning the rights of Palestinian refugees), UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (censuring Israel’s acquisition of territory by force), the Fourth Geneva Convention’s limitations on the actions of an occupying power, and a bevy of annual reports, issued by such bodies as the UN Human Rights Commission, the International Jurists Commission, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, emphasising Israel’s duty to uphold IHL and to abide by all of international treaties it has signed.
___The Oslo Accords (the Declaration of Principles— DOP) did not represent a legally binding, international document, but a slippery ‘deal’ or ‘understanding’ brokered by the USA, a superpower actor with a long record of supporting Israel regardless of its failure to comply with international humanitarian norms. Rather than being empowering, conciliatory, or liberating the Palestinians from a chronic state of legal and political liminality, the Oslo process ultimately proved to be a coercive set of mechanisms that further entrenched Israeli control over Palestinian land. It also set precedents for a dangerous attenuation of IHL’s relevance to the overall Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
___Following the Al-Qaida attacks on New York City and Washington, DC on 11 September 2001, IHL’s growing focus on the needs of individual victims was eclipsed once again by the interests of sovereign states, or, as Hajjar terms them, hyper-sovereign states.10 The USA and its ally, Israel, are the chief embodiments of hyper-sovereignty, a political and military stance characterised by pre-emptive policies, a distaste for multilateral legal frameworks to counter emerging extra-state threats, and a pronounced reliance on overwhelming unilateral force that often violates IHL, international human rights law (IHRL) and UN resolutions, while rendering international diplomacy beside the point. The travails of the Palestinian people since 1948 offer a disturbing, though highly instructive, reverse-image view of the contours and limitations—as well as the possibilities—of an international legal order. The ongoing Palestinian tragedy also illuminates serious contradictions in prevailing discourses of human and civil rights, exposing ambiguities in prevailing legal definitions of, and guarantees for, human beings.
[. . . .]