Palestinians In Israel Call For Strike As Protests Grow

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Above Photo: Israeli police have arrested more than 100 Palestinian citizens of Israel during protests in cities like Jaffa, Haifa and Nazareth. Reuters.

Prime Minister Netanyahu blames Palestinian legislators in the Knesset for protests spreading throughout Israel

Jerusalem Palestinian citizens of Israel have announced a general strike and more protests as unrest continues to sweep Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since the killing of two Israeli settlers in the West Bank on October 1. The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, an extra-parliamentary body that represents the minority community, declared a general strike for Tuesday. Arab-owned businesses, schools and other institutions will be closed. For the past week, thousands of Palestinians in Israel have protested in Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth and other cities and villages in Palestinian communities across the country. 

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  The High Follow-Up Committee said in a statement that “solidarity and protest” were necessary in the face of “fascist incitement” and attacks on the part of the Israeli government. Majd Kayyal, media coordinator of Haifa-based Adalah Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel who has attended protests in the last week, told Al Jazeera that the strike was motivated by the “harsh treatment” employed by Israeli police to disperse peaceful protests in present-day Israel.

“There isn’t a Palestinian city or village that hasn’t protested the colonial policies in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and just like in [the occupied territories], the Israeli response has been brutal,” he said. Kayyal estimates that “100 people have been arrested in the past week. It shows that the Israeli police views us as the enemy”. Last Thursday, Israeli police arrested 16 protesters in Nazareth during clashes, according to local media. Just two days earlier, confrontations between police and demonstrators left six officers injured and two protesters detained. The occupied territories and Israel have been gripped by a wave of violence, with 26 Palestinians, some of whom were suspected attackers, killed since October 3. More than 1,990 others have been injured, according to the Palestinian Authority’s ministry of health. Since the beginning of the month, four Israelis have been killed and 67 wounded. The majority of this violence has taken place in Israeli-occupied areas. Speaking at an emergency Knesset session on Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called upon Palestinian citizens of Israel to “kick out the extremists among you”. Netanyahu said he wants “coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Israel”, but that certain parties and organisations are “undermining” the government and supporting violence actions. His comments come at a time when the Israeli government is cracking down on dissent from Israel’s Palestinian minority, which accounts for more than 20 percent of the population.

Including Muslims, Christians and Druze, 1.7 million Palestinians carry Israeli citizenship and live in communities across the country. They are targeted by more than 50 discriminatory laws that stifle their political expresssion and limit their access to state resources, according to Adalah. The prime minister expressed that he will seek to make illegal the Northern Branch of the Islamic movement, which he says is “spreading lies” about Israel’s frequent incursions in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied East Jerusalem, the flashpoint for the current round of violence. On Sunday, Netanyahu instructed Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation into Knesset member Hanin Zoabi of the Arab Joint List, an electoral coalition of Palestinian-majority parties, after she called for a “popular intifada”. Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Arab Joint List electoral coalition, told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu wants “coexistence in which Jews are entitled [to] privileges over Arab citizens”. Jabareen says that Palestinians in Israel are a minority that is “excluded and discriminated against. We share in the struggle for an independent Palestinian state, and cannot accept inferior status in our homeland”.

  • Robert H. Stiver

    Damn Zionist Israel! Viva Palestine!
    My mind tells me that, in some bizarre, demented way, the Zionist-Fascist leadership (sic) of the entity soiling the “holy” land lost its (i.e., his: Netanyahu, the present-day criminal in charge) manipulative battle to shatter Iran (as Iraq, Libya and now Syria have been shattered), thus causing its psychosis to turn to an easier target and slake its seething lust for, inter alia, revenge and dominance. In truth, of course, the Palestinians are always under siege and vicious torture, but the Zionists have taken actions at Al Aqsa and other venues designed precisely to incite and activate a new level of Palestinian resistance. And all of this is aided and abetted by U.S. neocons, most of whom are Jews, Zionists and Israel-firsters, who pull the strings of the legislative and executive branches via their think tanks and infestation of the very innermost workings of the “entangling alliance”-strangled US-governance structure. It’s a case study in satanism, psychosis, evil…. — with the Palestinians always there, suffering in ways an observer can’t possibly relate yet somehow remaining steadfast and sane in the face of insanity.

  • DHFabian

    Silly bigot. Do you even know what Zionism is? Do you know anything about the long history of the Mideast, about the nations, peoples, cultures, the politics of the various Mideastern nations?

  • DHFabian

    Some basics: Israel is a tiny country, the historic and modern Jewish nation. It is roughly the size of New Hampshire, under 300 miles long, roughly 10 miles across at its narrowest point. It is surrounded by vast, oil-rich Arab nations, all of which are heavily armed by China, Russia, AND the US. Arms sales to the Arab oil countries have proved to be tremendously profitable. Common sense would show that Israel is in no position to do anything but fight for its survival. Our liberal bourgeoisie say that a fair division of the Mideast would be: 100% for the Arabs, 0% for the Jews.

    “Palestinians” are Arab Israelis who are largely exploited, used as tools against Israel. Each one lives within easy traveling distance of an Arab nation, and are able to leave if they think they are being exploited or endangered. You disapprove of Israel’s attitudes toward a group of people who have repeatedly served as terrorists? Consider America’s reaction following 9/11.

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Actually, you’re the silly bigot. With the Internet everyone can find out about how the European Zionists invaded Palestine with a program of conquest and transfer out of the indigenous population.

    What really happened was that the Zionist movement, from the beginning, looked forward to a practically complete dispossession of the indigenous Arab population so that Israel could be a wholly Jewish state, or as much as was possible. Land bought by the Jewish National
    Fund was held in the name of the Jewish people and could never be sold or even leased back to Arabs (a situation which continues to the present).

    The Arab community, as it became increasingly aware of the Zionists’ intentions, strenuously opposed further Jewish immigration and land buying because it posed a real and imminent danger to the very existence of Arab society in Palestine. Because of this opposition, the entire Zionist project never could have been realized without the military
    backing of the British. The vast majority of the population of
    Palestine, by the way, had been Arabic since the seventh century A.D. (Over 1200 years)

    In short, Zionism was based on a faulty, colonialist world view that the rights of the indigenous inhabitants didn’t matter. The Arabs’ opposition to Zionism wasn’t based on anti-Semitism but rather on a totally reasonable fear of the dispossession of their people.

    One further point: being Jewish ourselves, the position we present here is critical of Zionism but is in no way anti-Semitic.

    ifamericansknew org/history/origin html

  • TecumsehUnfaced

    Let’s get past the Zionist con game. As described above the European Zionists viciously invaded and amid a flood of atrocities outrageously stole another people’s country. There is a wealth of information about the merciless European Zionist assault on the indigenes of Palestine free on the Internet. Here are some of the many references available:

    consortiumnews com/2014/08/11/the-battle-for-palestine/
    consortiumnews com/2014/10/23/the-battle-for-palestine-part-two/
    consortiumnews com/2014/10/24/the-battle-for-palestine-part-three/

    by William R. Polk en wikipedia org/wiki/William_R._Polk ), who taught Middle Eastern history and politics at Harvard

    1948 org uk/

    imeu org/article/the-nakba-65-years-of-dispossession-and-apartheid

    informationclearinghouse info/article41864 htm