77.5 percent of the land in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea has been taken over by Israel, which has prevented Palestinians from building on or using the land or remaining there. Twelve percent of the area has been allocated for settlements, including the entire northern shore of the Dead Sea. Israel’s policy has cut up the Palestinian spatial sphere and isolated Palestinian communities in the area. More on the topic
ERC Valerie Amos visited Ramallah, East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank on 15 May, a day of violent protest in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In Ramallah, Ms. Amos met with President Mahmoud Abbas and also with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The ERC reiterated the determination of the United Nations and the humanitarian community as a whole to continue to assist those in need in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in areas where the Palestinian Authority cannot fully operate. She expressed her support for the Palestinian Authority and reaffirmed the United Nations’ commitment to the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, statehood, sovereignty and freedom from occupation.
Ms. Amos visited a school in Khan Al Ahmar, in the Al Jahalin Bedouin community in Area C. Area C comprises 60% of the West Bank but is still under full Israeli military and civilian control. The Al Jahalin school is scheduled for demolition, because the community have not been able to obtain a building permit due to restrictive and inadequate planning policies. Ms. Amos stressed that there can be no justification for depriving children of an education.
“Palestinians are utterly frustrated by the impact of Israeli policies on their lives. They can’t move freely around their territory. They can’t plan their communities. They are evicted from their homes. Their homes are regularly demolished,” said Ms. Amos. “I don’t believe that most people in Israel have any idea of the way planning policies are used to divide and harass communities and families. They would not themselves like to be subjected to such behaviour.”
Also visiting the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, she met families evicted from their homes to make way for settler communities and saw first hand the impact of restrictive planning policies and the growing Israeli settler presence in the area. She also heard reports of increasing settler violence. With more than 1,000 Palestinian residents in Silwan currently threatened with displacement, people are living in an atmosphere of constant friction and tension. Silwan has been the centre of violent activities in recent days.
Commenting on Sunday’s events, Ms. Amos said, “I am extremely concerned at the level of violence today, and at the number of deaths and injuries in the region. The situation cannot continue in this way. It is innocent people who are losing their lives.”
by Jason Ditz
Israeli soldiers shot and killed at least 20 Palestinian protesters today, and wounded several hundred others, during Nakba rallies around the region. Nakba commemorates the expulsion of Palestinians from Israeli territory during the founding of the Israeli state, and is officially illegal to commemorate inside Israel.
Of the 20 killed, 10 protesters were slain inside southern Lebanon when Israeli troops opened fire on demonstrators they decided had drawn too near a border fence. The other 10 were killed along the Syrian border, as Palestinians rallied to the border with the Occupied Golan Heights.
In addition to the killings along the northern border, Israeli forces shelled protests in the Gaza Strip, wounded scores of Palestinians there. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that he believes the protests are “just the beginning” of a series of rallies against the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights.
At the same time, Barak praised the military for its “restraint” in killing only 20 Palestinians, saying they could have very easily had a “ruinous bloodbath.” He insisted the killings were a defense of Israel’s sovereignty, but experts warn that killing civilian protesters who are “near” a disputed border might well violate international law.
● Marsch auf die Grenzen
● Palestinians killed in ‘Nakba’ clashes
● Israel commemorates the establishment of apartheid 63 years ago with massacre
● Fights about a the flag – Israelian Embassy
● Egypt security forces fire at rally at Israel embassy in Cairo, hundreds injured
● Nakba Anger Points to Third Intifadah
● Nakba Day protests show right of return remains central to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict
● Gaza is Crumbling
● Palestine: the Logical Locus of Les Onzards
● Israeli forces violently arrest demonstrators in al-Walaja
Marking the 63 year memory of the Nakba, this Manifesto presents “a simple, true, self-explanatory expression of what we’re sick of.”
By Myrna Cunningham and others
Read the full text
This report on the state of the world’s indigenous peoples reveals alarming statistics on poverty, health, education, employment, human rights, the environment and more.
Indigenous peoples contribute extensively to humanity’s cultural diversity, enriching it with more than two thirds of its languages and an extrordinary amount of its traditional knowledge.
There are over 370 million indigenous people in some 90 countries, living in all regions of the world. The situation of indigenous peoples in many parts of the world is critical today. Poverty rates are significantly higher among indigenous peoples compared to other groups. While they constitute 5 per cent of the world’s population, they are 15 per cent of the world’s poor. Most indicators of well-being show that indigenous peoples suffer disproportinately compared to non-indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples face systemic discrimination and exclusion from political and economic power; they continue to be over-represented among the poorest, the illiterate, the destitute; they are displaced by wars and environmental disasters; indigenous peoples are dispossessed of their ancestral lands and deprived of their resources for survival, both physical and cultural; they are even robbed of their very right to life.
In more modern versions of market exploitation, indigenous peoples see their traditional knowledge and cultural expressions marketed and patented without their consent or participation.
Of the some 7,000 languages today, it is estimated that more than 4,000 are spoken by indigenous peoples. Language specialists predict that up to 90 per cent of the world’s languages are likely to become extinct or threatened with extinction by the end of the century.
Although the state of the world’s indigenous peoples is alarming, there is some cause for optimism. The international community increasingly recognizes indigenous peoples’ human rights, most prominently evidenced by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous peoples themselves continue to organize for the promotion of their rights. They are the stewards of some of the world’s most biologically diverse areas and their traditional knowledge about the biodiversity of these areas is invaluable. As the effects of climate change are becoming clearer, it is increaslingly evident that indigenous peoples must play a central role in developing adaptation and mitigation efforts to this global challenge.
The State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is the result of a collaborative effort, organized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The Chapters were written by independent experts.
(Quelle: Australian Policy Online.)