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2023 Occupied Palestine - Mass Protests Against Controversial Judicial Reform Legislation


Feb 20, 2023
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Settlers in Occupied Palestine have been engaged in mass-scale protests across the entire territory since January 2023, protesting against controversial judicial reforms proposed by the far-right Zionist regime led by Netanyahu.

Netanyahu's wife was besieged by thousands of protestors at a hairdressers for 3 hours, and a large number of police had to come rescue her.

The police are using stun grenades against protestors, hospitalising and arresting dozens.

An Israeli Government Minister openly called for a genocide of Palestinian cities, and Ned Price (US State Department) publicly criticised those comments in the harshest terms and ordered Netanyahu to condemn them. Benny Gantz also called Zionist settler actions in Palestinian cities a "pogrom".

Netanyahu talks about 'foreign elements' promoting protests and accused the opposition of sowing anarchy. Benny Gantz said "a civil war is coming". President Isaac Herzog said Israel could "fall into a terrible abyss".

This thread will monitor the developments, including the vast use of violence by the occupying military forces and acts of resistance by the occupied Palestinians against occupying settlers.

Yesterday in occupied Yaffa (Tel Aviv):

The Zionist Minister of Finance publicly calling for a Palestinian town to be "wiped off the face of the earth" by the occupying military forces:


Gantz to PM: Talk now before we face civil war; Herzog: Israel may fall into abyss​

After demonstrations against the government in Tel Aviv Wednesday descended into violence, the opposition’s National Unity party leader Benny Gantz urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately meet with him over the government’s plans to drastically overhaul the judiciary, warning that the country was heading to a civil war.

“When will we stop? When blood is spilled?” Gantz asked while at a press conference he called in the Knesset. “A civil war is coming and the coalition is running toward it with its eyes wide shut.”

This is a real emergency,” warned Gantz, who attacked the coalition for what he said was the “destruction” of democracy. “The house that is intended to serve the entire people, is now tearing it apart.”

Meanwhile, President Isaac Herzog warned that the country “could fall into a terrible abyss” and said he would do everything to prevent Israel “reaching the point of no return; I will not let this historical disaster happen.”

Dozens of people were arrested Wednesday, mostly in Tel Aviv, as rallies were held across the country protesting the judicial plan that, among other powers, will give the government control over the panel that selects Supreme Court judges and largely prevent the court from striking down laws.

In Tel Aviv, where protestors blocked a major road junction, police for the first time deployed stun grenades, water cannons and mounted police to disperse the demonstrations. Eleven people required hospital treatment. The protests came as the Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee approved for its first reading in the Knesset plenum a government-backed bill to radically restrict the High Court of Justice’s ability to strike down legislation, amid opposition outrage directed at committee chair MK Simcha Rothman for his management of the process.

“Don’t be the one who enables the destruction,” Gantz urged Netanyahu.

Speaking of the unity among Israelis to overcome adversary throughout the decades since the state was established, Gantz said current events, and in particular Wednesday’s developments, “endanger what we have built here.”

In Israel, a Civil War Is No Longer Unthinkable

As the Netanyahu government bulldozes through its judicial legislation, talk among Israelis has turned to visceral fear and intransigence: Both sides feel this is the moment they win – or lose – their country

Over the last few days I’ve found myself in conversations I never imagined I’d ever have. Since these are conversations with Israelis, everything is couched in at least semi-humorous tones, but the topic is deadly serious: the various ways a civil war might suddenly break out, and who would win.

If the balloon goes up and civil war begins between supporters of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and loyalists of the Supreme Court and the judiciary, will law enforcement, the security agencies and the military take sides? And if so, which?

On Monday I was driving on Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway when an electronic billboard flashed the slogan “Brothers or War.” My first surprise was that an organization with the resources to launch that kind of campaign was using words about a milhemet ahim, a war that to the Israeli ear is worse than any old civil war. It’s a war between Jews.

Stern highlighted Rabin’s murder and the 2005 Gaza pullout as the two events in our lifetimes when Israel came closest to civil war. Now he says we’re even closer.

Among the ultra-Orthodox there is a feeling that the current government, which to them symbolizes the true Jewish spirit, is the historic dénouement of the secular fake Jewishness whose downfall was always inevitable.

Netanyahu and his allies have no interest in any compromise. They feel that this is their moment and they're fueling intransigence on both sides. And those feelings that this is a critical moment, to win or lose a country, have greatly escalated over the last few weeks.

I still think that on balance, more Israelis still have a greater interest in somehow keeping the ship afloat – together. But I’m a lot less certain of this now than I was just four weeks ago.


Settler extremists sowing terror, Huwara riot was a ‘pogrom,’ top general says​

Yehuda Fuchs warns future clash between troops and hardline Israelis in West Bank may end in Israeli fatalities, admits IDF was unprepared for size, scale of Sunday night rampage

By Joshua Davidovich
28 February 2023, 2:43 pm

Face the facts: Israel relies on settler violence​

Ahmed Abu Artema
8 March 2023


One of many cars destroyed by Israeli settlers during the Huwwara pogrom.
Shadi Jarar’ah APA images

Bezalel Smotrich is one of the main pillars in the current Israeli government. Although generally described as the finance minister, his work is not confined to curbing inflation.

His broad portfolio gives him partial responsibility for the defense ministry and a major role in administering Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

A far-right extremist, Smotrich has used his new platform to incite violence. Just days after Israeli settlers carried out a pogrom in Huwwara – killing one Palestinian and inflicting huge destruction on homes, businesses and vehicles – Smotrich called for that West Bank village to be “wiped out” by the Israeli state.

That racist statement was denounced internationally. Ned Price, spokesperson for the US State Department, called it “irresponsible” and “repugnant.”

Smotrich is not the only member of the Israeli government who supported the crimes by settlers in Huwwara.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister, was initially silent after the pogrom. Yet it did not take long before his admiration for the perpetrators became clear.

Ben-Gvir denounced the detention of two settlers accused of taking part in the pogrom.

Members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, from Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Power party have openly applauded the pogrom.

One such lawmaker Zvika Fogel said, “A closed, burnt Huwwara – that’s what I want to see.”

Limor Son Har-Melech, another Jewish Power elected representative, called the pogrom “the righteous cry of hundreds of Samaria residents.” Israel refers to the West Bank as Judea and Samaria.

The Huwwara pogrom took place during a time of mass protests by Israelis against Benjamin Netanyahu and the government he leads, which has declared a war of sorts on the state’s high court.

An estimated 250,000 people took to the streets in one day of protest this month, part of an ongoing series of demonstrations.

Among those joining the protests have been Yair Lapid, the former prime minister, and Benny Gantz, the former defense minister. Gantz, then heading Israel’s military, oversaw a 2014 attack on Gaza that – in his own words – caused so much destruction that parts of the territory were “returned to the stone ages.”

Lapid, Gantz and other politicians now in opposition are seeking to isolate Ben-Gvir and Smotrich. The opposition has portrayed the violence in Huwwara as an example of the extreme racism that is supposedly at odds with its liberal values.


From the Palestinian perspective, the Huwwara pogrom is not something abnormal. Rather, it is the logical result of the Zionist colonial project in Palestine.

Israeli settlers – colonizers would arguably be a more accurate word – are not an outlaw group in Israel. They are a strategic tool in the implementation of policies pursued by successive Israeli governments.

The objectives of those policies have been to steal land and to expel Palestinians.

What is new is that the most hardline colonizers now occupy a position of immense power. Ben-Gvir and Smotrich are both colonizers themselves, living in settlements that are illegal under international law.

The settlers do not act alone. B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, has pointed to how settlers benefit from cooperation. “The settlers carry out the attack, the military secures it, the politicians back it.”

B’Tselem has rejected the notion that the Israeli state has somehow lost control. “This is exactly what Israeli control looks like,” the group stated, adding that “the Huwwara pogrom was an extreme manifestation of a longstanding Israeli policy.”

Violence is necessary to achieve the state’s aim of emptying Palestine of its Indigenous population, so that it may be replaced by foreign settlers.

Founded on massacres​

Settlers often do not represent official institutions.

They are, therefore, not confined by rules. They are unrestrained in committing crimes against Palestinians.

The Huwwara pogrom is eerily reminiscent of the violence which occurred in the period leading to Israel’s establishment in 1948.

A whole series of massacres were carried by Zionist forces out around that time. The most infamous was the massacre at Deir Yassin, a village in the Jerusalem area.

The April 1948 bloodbath at Deir Yassin placed terror in the hearts of civilians. It was a significant factor in the Nakba, the huge displacement of Palestinians.
Israel is a state founded on massacres.

The current Israeli political dispute is between two camps.

One camp – the hardline settlers epitomized by Ben-Gvir and Smotrich – clearly and explicitly expresses the truth of the Zionist colonial project. The other camp also believes in the same strategy of relentless colonial violence against Palestinians but paints itself with a coating of liberal values.

That coating makes the second camp preferable for Western governments.

Israel’s most prominent “liberals” of the past few decades – Benny Gantz, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni – were all involved in killing Palestinian civilians, collective punishment, the construction and expansion of settlements and other efforts to deny basic rights to Palestinians when they were in power.

Jonathan Ofir, a trenchant anti-Zionist commentator, has put it well: “Israelis and everyone else are right to be shocked by the explicit genocidal nature of Smotrich’s words. But the righteous, liberal and indignant Israelis should take a good look in the mirror, to see how much of Smotrich’s fascistic vein lives in them.”

For more than a year now, there has been a noticeable uptick in Israeli violence in the West Bank. The formation of a new and overtly racist Israeli government, which clearly supports the settlers and encourages more violence against Palestinians, has helped create a certain atmosphere.

That atmosphere is ripe for more depravity on the part of settlers. Nobody would be surprised if the Huwwara pogrom is followed by similar acts of aggression by settlers, who now have greater access to government and feel stronger politically than before.

But there is another story to be told. It is the story of Palestinians, determined to prevent a new Nakba.

The past seven decades have taught Palestinians that the price of resistance is much lower than the price of fear or the price of fleeing.

There has been a noticeable upsurge in resistance activities by Palestinians in recent times. Palestinians are constantly confronting Israel’s forces of occupation.
The coming months and years will undoubtedly be painful. We are witnessing an increase in the level of terror practiced by the Israeli colonizers.

But this period also carries many opportunities for a new phase in the Palestinian struggle against the colonizers.

Ahmed Abu Artema is a Palestinian writer, activist and refugee from Ramle.

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Despicable terrorist acts of a terrorist racist settler regime.

Israeli forces kill 16-year-old Palestinian boy during military incursion into Nablus​

Feb 23, 2023


16-year-old Mohammad Farid Mohammad Haj Ahmad was shot and killed by Israeli forces on February 22 in Nablus, according to documentation collected by DCIP. (Photo: Courtesy of the Haj Ahmad family)

Ramallah, February 23, 2023—Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy during a military raid on Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank yesterday.

Mohammad Farid Mohammad Haj Ahmad, 16, was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier passing by in an armored Israeli military vehicle around 1 p.m. on February 22 in Nablus, a Palestinian city in the northern occupied West Bank, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Mohammad sustained a gunshot wound below his right ear from about three meters (10 feet) away as he stood in front of a clinic entrance near the roadside as Israeli forces drove past. An older man and two young men were also struck with live fire. Mohammad and the other three injured Palestinians were transferred to An-Najah hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“Palestinian children live in a hyper-militarized context where the Israeli military's incursions into Palestinian communities to arrest and intimidate Palestinian civilians is the norm,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. “This Israeli military incursion into Nablus happened in broad daylight—it is clear that Israeli forces feel confident in their ability to shoot and kill Palestinians, including children, with complete impunity.”

Video of the incident shows that Israeli forces fired upon Mohammad as he stood with several other Palestinian civilians in front of Al-Rahma clinic on Al-Huriya street in Nablus as a Palestinian man armed with a handgun fled in their direction after firing on the Israeli military vehicle convoy as Israeli forces were withdrawing from Nablus. No Israeli soldiers are seen deployed outside of the heavily-armored Israeli military vehicles.

Around 150 Israeli soldiers in Israeli military vehicles entered the old city of Nablus around 10 a.m. February 22 reportedly to carry out arrest operations. During the military incursion, Israeli forces shot and killed 11 Palestinians, including Mohammad, and injured more than 80, according to Al Jazeera.

The older Palestinian man shot at the same time as Mohammad, 61-year-old Abdulaziz Al-Ashqar, was also pronounced dead.

Mohammad is the 13th Palestinian child killed by Israeli forces in 2023, according to documentation collected by DCIP. Israeli forces have shot and killed 12 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, and a 10-year-old Palestinian child in Gaza succumbed to head wounds he sustained during the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in August 2022.

Under international law, intentional lethal force is only justified in circumstances where a direct threat to life or of serious injury is present. However, investigations and evidence collected by DCIP regularly suggest that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial or wilful killings.

53 Palestinian children were killed in 2022, according to documentation collected by DCIP, including 36 Palestinian children shot and killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the occupied West Bank. DCIP documented the killing of 17 Palestinian children between August 5–7 after Israeli forces launched a military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

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