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This morning I opened my mail box. ... And what is todays headline and coverstory on the fontpage, that totally surpised me ....

Israel pulls down Dutch Aid Project

On the Westbank - occupied by Israel - 96 solar panels and other equipment for electricity supply for the Palestinian village Jubbet Adh Dhib have been confiscated unanounced - no court was involved - by Israeli soldiers. They tried to remove the batteries as well, but it seems they were too heavy. I suppose they will come back tomorrow.

What will happen with the solar panels. Are they going to ride over it with bulldozers? The NL paid half million euros to support the project.

According to COGAT, the Israeli government on the Westbank, the solar panels were illegal, since the permits needed were not given. Their response to the newspaper: "De needed permits were missing. A building prohibition for solar panels have been imposed on the village. We emphasize that the village has got other sources of electricity.". End-of-statement. The reality learns that permits are never given or with heavy delay.

It has not been the first time that Dutch taxpayers money were flushed down the loo or distributed to their friends by Israeli military forces. Farming machines have been confiscated and a port have been destroyed by the IDF. Total damage 23 million euros.

Israel maintains their military law on others strictly.
 
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This seems like a 'nobody's right' kind of situation.

On one hand, it's absurd & awful if Israel is actually blocking or slowboating permits for humanitarian/infastructure aid.

On the other hand, doing something that the military occupiers of a territory tell you you can't is frankly idiotic.

~~~

On the side "Distributed to their friends" jumped out. Do you have some cites for that? If true that's a pretty ugly act.
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I get that this NGO apparently considers the West Bank to be illegally occupied, but maybe don't act surprised when Israel thinks otherwise and reacts accordingly? They could probably build solar panels in plenty other places around the world without access to electricity, so why the West Bank in particular?
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crescent_gamer wrote:
I get that this NGO apparently considers the West Bank to be illegally occupied, but maybe don't act surprised when Israel thinks otherwise and reacts accordingly? They could probably build solar panels in plenty other places around the world without access to electricity, so why the West Bank in particular?


The legal international status of the land is that, occupied territory. The UN rejects the use of force to acquire territory as a negotiating position to resolve territorial conflicts, and has passed endless resolutions on the topic despite the US' pressure and systematic veto. Of course realpolitik can't be reduced to legality, but nobody should be surprised that might makes right is unacceptable to the large majority of the world.

Why the West Bank is clear: because the West Bank has suffered a humanitarian and resource crisis for decades now.

I don't think the NGO is really surprised - this is not out of the ordinary for Palestine - but rather that it wants to highlight the politics and use of force that are a fact of life under Israeli military administration.
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windsagio wrote:

On the other hand, doing something that the military occupiers of a territory tell you you can't is frankly idiotic.


Sorry, as an American, this does not compute.

*wolverines!*
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A little context:


Israeli civil authorities have not just dismantled this solar-electric installation, rather they have removed hundreds of infrastructure projects in recent years.

Facts on the ground is an important geopolitical concept in general and especially with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is generally accepted that any future Palestinian state will be carved out of the current civil emplacement at the time of any political settlement. This as opposed to cleaving to a political boundary and destroying all civilian structures to either side; a trading of civil populations like between India and Pakistan in their 1947 settlement.

For example, the 2000 offer by Prime Minister Ehud Barak included an annexation of areas of the West Bank predominantly populated by Israelis in trade for 6% of Israel-proper to be annexed by a Palestinian state.


As such, the Palestinian authority, as well as most every other state actor, vehemently oppose any time Israeli authorities build new homes in currently settled areas of the West Bank. It is perceived as that much more land that will constitute the facts on the ground.

However, there is a difference between building new structures in already reserved areas vs. the reservation of new acreage. This is the crux of any Israeli response, such that the claim is that they are not blocking out new areas, rather they are simply building new homes on vacant plots in already settled areas due to population pressure.

The Palestinian perspective is that it doesn't matter either way. New infrastructure will make already Jewish-populated areas that much stronger in terms of facts on the ground. If and when there is a settlement of a Palestinian state, beside the mutual annexations, small outlier communities will have to be dismantled. As such, the size and deeply-rooted property of an area is an important strategic concern to both Israel and the Palestinian authority.

So, what has been happening in recent years is that there is a cold war of construction. The fundamentalist Jewish constituency is trying to expand in both infrastructure as well as into new areas whenever possible. The Palestinians see that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. They too are energetically trying to emplace

Both sides use mobile and light structures to try to quickly emplace new communities (more facts on the ground) in order to massage the physical landscape with two eyes toward a future border.

In a sort of game of construction checkers, the Palestinians are also trying to emplace new communities between established Jewish communities in order to weaken the realization of such an area as a "Jewish area." In turn, the Israeli civil authorities try as quickly as they can to dismantle these constructions.

They are illegal in the sense that the builders did not receive building permits, like anywhere else. From the Palestinian perspective they are simply ignoring the Israeli civilian authorities as they don't recognize their moral authority.

Hand in hand, other state actors are supporting these acts of civil disobedience, in particular the European Union. So, in a battle of attrition, the EU has not lost tens of millions of euros building these sites, rather a lot more than that, perhaps hundreds of millions.


With respect to the OP's claim that the IDF and Israeli authorities are dismantling these constructions and "giving it to their friends," I strongly sense the smell of what I don't think I need to spell out. All these structures are being properly stored.

(Ironically, the OP ought to instead look to the massively corrupt political entities everywhere in the Middle-East except Israel. If speaking just of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the word billions is automatically used in this context. I'll hazard a guess that the OP is Muslim. Am I correct?)


Here is an interesting article from the Jerusalem Post which speaks well to the whole larger topic, if one is interested.
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isaacc wrote:

With respect to the OP's claim that the IDF and Israeli authorities are dismantling these constructions and "giving it to their friends," I strongly sense the smell of what I don't think I need to spell out. All these structures are being properly stored.


As I said, I'd like to see it supported. Its a striking claim if there are reputable cites.
 
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viclineal wrote:
The legal international status of the land is that, occupied territory. The UN rejects the use of force to acquire territory as a negotiating position to resolve territorial conflicts, and has passed endless resolutions on the topic despite the US' pressure and systematic veto. Of course realpolitik can't be reduced to legality, but nobody should be surprised that might makes right is unacceptable to the large majority of the world.

The International Court of Justice ruled Israel to be the occupying power. The approval process may be slow, intentionally or otherwise, but the fact remains that Israel maintains a channel for foreign organizations to provide humanitarian aid to the West Bank.

viclineal wrote:
Why the West Bank is clear: because the West Bank has suffered a humanitarian and resource crisis for decades now.

As have other areas around the world, where organizations apparently have less of a problem coordinating their aid with the local authorities.

viclineal wrote:
I don't think the NGO is really surprised - this is not out of the ordinary for Palestine - but rather that it wants to highlight the politics and use of force that are a fact of life under Israeli military administration.

I don't think they are surprised either. I think by outright ignoring the Israeli approval process for foreign aid, they are more concerned about making a political statement than helping people.

It's a lose-lose situation for Israel: either they remove unauthorized aid projects and look bad in the eyes of the international community, or they leave them unchecked and allow terrorist organizations to be supported under the guise of humanitarian aid, as has happened in the past.
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isaacc wrote:
I'll hazard a guess that the OP is Muslim. Am I correct?


Very weird comment in an otherwise great post.
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crescent_gamer wrote:
The International Court of Justice ruled Israel to be the occupying power. The approval process may be slow, intentionally or otherwise, but the fact remains that Israel maintains a channel for foreign organizations to provide humanitarian aid to the West Bank.


"Intentionally slow" is not really comparable to other situations where the process may be slow. The Israeli state has little interest in resolution, because a continued situation of permanent state of exception gives them power to, for instance, make processes that could make Palestinian communities less dependant and more self-reliant arbitrarily slow - if valid at all. As the article highlights, this isn't even an Israeli court ruling on the project and deciding it wasn't done in accordance to Israeli law for the military administration of the territory - this is the Israeli army acting without notice. That there are alternative ways to do it doesn't mean anything if these ways are deliberately blocked or ineffectual, but even then normalcy and legality would imply that the process of shutting this project down would have to follow legal channels. This is not the case.

Quote:
As have other areas around the world, where organizations apparently have less of a problem coordinating their aid with the local authorities.


It's important to keep in mind that the "local authorities" here aren't Palestinian authorities, they are Israeli authorities. By your principle, for instance, any attempt to help the Kurds while Hussein was murderously repressing them that hadn't been done through the Iraqi state channels (which, of course, would redirect them according to its own political goals) not only is wrong, it implies that those trying to help the Kurds are at fault for not being able to coordinate Kurd relief through the very state that was using force to repress them.

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I don't think they are surprised either. I think by outright ignoring the Israeli approval process for foreign aid, they are more concerned about making a political statement than helping people.


I imagine that they see ending the state of exception and military administration as a precondition for helping people, particularly since their existence means that the very same military administration has full power to deny, abort or redirect that help according to their interests (which of course don't coincide with that of the population under said administration).

Quote:
It's a lose-lose situation for Israel: either they remove unauthorized aid projects and look bad in the eyes of the international community, or they leave them unchecked and allow terrorist organizations to be supported under the guise of humanitarian aid, as has happened in the past.


It's always weird when the power with military hegemony, huge international support and territorial control that extends beyond any internationally recognised border is painted as the helpless victim put into an impossible situation.

It's clear that Israel has no interest in a negotiated solution to the situation, and that the state of Israel, which at different stages has had different relationships with the parts of Israeli society which support full annexation of the territory, is currently allowing an increased rate of settlement, purchases and economic and social control over these disputed territories. It makes no sense for Israel to sit down and negotiate anything, as no negotiation would deliver its goals better than keeping a permanent system of military control with a nebulous legal status over that land, with periodical military operations outside the directly controlled territory whenever its full control risks slipping away. Let's not forget that all attempts at peace and reconciliation had been also boycotted from inside Israeli society, even through magnicide.
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windsagio wrote:
isaacc wrote:
I'll hazard a guess that the OP is Muslim. Am I correct?


Very weird comment in an otherwise great post.


Not so weird if you are aware of the constant demonizing of Israel and Jewish people. For example, that Israeli doctors experiment on Palestinians giving them AIDS, that Israel sends AIDS infected prostitutes to Arab countries to spread AIDS, that Israel kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs, to quickly name just 3 items.

If you want to know, browse MEMRI to see and hear what is spread on Arab TV and in their mosques and in their newspapers.
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(Vic, I have cut out the beginning of your post and will address it at the end of my post.)

viclineal wrote:
As the article highlights, this isn't even an Israeli court ruling on the project and deciding it wasn't done in accordance to Israeli law for the military administration of the territory - this is the Israeli army acting without notice. That there are alternative ways to do it doesn't mean anything if these ways are deliberately blocked or ineffectual, but even then normalcy and legality would imply that the process of shutting this project down would have to follow legal channels. This is not the case.

Which article? And why is it expected of an Israeli court to decide on every humanitarian aid project individually? A process for approval is in place already. As for a "legal channel", I guess that depends on your definition of legal in this context.

viclineal wrote:
It's important to keep in mind that the "local authorities" here aren't Palestinian authorities, they are Israeli authorities. By your principle, for instance, any attempt to help the Kurds while Hussein was murderously repressing them that hadn't been done through the Iraqi state channels (which, of course, would redirect them according to its own political goals) not only is wrong, it implies that those trying to help the Kurds are at fault for not being able to coordinate Kurd relief through the very state that was using force to repress them.

I don't see the point of this comparison, because Israel does allow foreign humanitarian aid to reach the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. I would have to research this, but I can't imagine Saddam Hussein allowed the same for the Kurdish population in Iraq and neither did anyone probably try to do so without approval, because the outcome would be predictable and not benign. As I said, aid organizations who do this in the West Bank rely on the goodwill of the Israeli state, because unlike Saddam Hussein, it isn't a dictatorship. And when they do interfere, it's a public outcry.

viclineal wrote:
It's always weird when the power with military hegemony, huge international support and territorial control that extends beyond any internationally recognised border is painted as the helpless victim put into an impossible situation.

That wasn't my point describing the lose-lose situation. Israel has been on the losing side of a propaganda war for years now, so I'm not surprised that you would make this argument though. When Hamas fires rockets at Israeli cities it's a similar lose-lose situation: react militarily and Israel is the brutal warmonger, don't react and risk that citizens are harmed. It's another lose-lose situation when the IDF wants to attack rocket launching sites and finds that Hamas set them up next to a school or hospital. And so on and so forth...

viclineal wrote:
The Israeli state has little interest in resolution, because a continued situation of permanent state of exception gives them power to, for instance, make processes that could make Palestinian communities less dependant and more self-reliant arbitrarily slow - if valid at all.
viclineal wrote:
It's clear that Israel has no interest in a negotiated solution to the situation, and that the state of Israel, which at different stages has had different relationships with the parts of Israeli society which support full annexation of the territory, is currently allowing an increased rate of settlement, purchases and economic and social control over these disputed territories. It makes no sense for Israel to sit down and negotiate anything, as no negotiation would deliver its goals better than keeping a permanent system of military control with a nebulous legal status over that land, with periodical military operations outside the directly controlled territory whenever its full control risks slipping away. Let's not forget that all attempts at peace and reconciliation had been also boycotted from inside Israeli society, even through magnicide.

I'm not really interested in a general discussion about the Israeli-Palastinian conflict, especially when you make statements like the bolded ones above, because those indicate a seemingly firm stance on the topic.

Up until this point I have made my points without arguing which side's right it is to rule over those territories. As a matter of fact, I personally believe it would be best to have a two-state solution. What I think is often missed in a left-wing perspective of the conflict, however, which seemingly blames the more powerful side out of habit, is that both Hamas and Fatah reject Israel's right to exist, that both organizations are as good if not better than Israel at repressing Palestinians, and if they were given the go-ahead right now to independently govern the territories, and I was forced to make a choice, there's no way I would chose to live there rather than the free and democratic Israeli society.
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viclineal wrote:
The legal international status of the land is that, occupied territory.…

This is a popularly held misconception.
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isaacc wrote:
windsagio wrote:
isaacc wrote:
I'll hazard a guess that the OP is Muslim. Am I correct?


Very weird comment in an otherwise great post.


Not so weird if you are aware of the constant demonizing of Israel and Jewish people. For example, that Israeli doctors experiment on Palestinians giving them AIDS, that Israel sends AIDS infected prostitutes to Arab countries to spread AIDS, that Israel kills Palestinians in order to harvest their organs, to quickly name just 3 items.

If you want to know, browse MEMRI to see and hear what is spread on Arab TV and in their mosques and in their newspapers.
.


Except that your implication is "You're just believing this because you're a muslim", when as far as I know, the removal of the panels isn't even remotely disputed.

It's just a weird tack to take, plenty of non-muslims soundly dislike the Israeli government's actions in the Palestinian Territories.
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whac3 wrote:
viclineal wrote:
The legal international status of the land is that, occupied territory.…

This is a popularly held misconception.


I did some reading on this, the most interesting bit was this from 2012:

haaretz via the atlantic wrote:
The Levy Committee, headed by former court vice president Edmond Levy, recommends a fundamental change in the legal regime in the West Bank, including the annulment of a long list of laws, High Court of Justice Rulings and procedures in order to permit Jews to settle in all of Judea and Samaria.

(...)

With regard to Israel's legal status in the West Bank, the Levy Committee declared that Israel is not an occupying power. The panel arrived at that conclusion after considering two conflicting legal approaches on the question.

The first approach, presented by elements generally identified with the left, holds that Judea and Samaria are "occupied territories" under international law, ever since they were captured from the Jordanian kingdom in 1967.

(...)

Members of the panel accepted the legal opinion presented by the right. They explained that the generally accepted concept of occupation relates to short periods in which territory is capture from a sovereign state until the dispute between the two sides is resolved. But Judea and Samaria have been under Israeli control for decades, and it is impossible to foresee a time when Israel will relinquish these territories, if ever.


It's a bit old though, so it might not be the concept you're referring to.

Further, dug up from wiki

wikipedia/West_Bank#Legal_status wrote:
The executive branch of the Israeli government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has defined the West Bank as disputed territory, whose status can only be determined through negotiations. The Ministry says that occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign, and that since the West Bank wasn't under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six-Day War, it shouldn't be considered an occupied territory.

The International Court of Justice ruling of 9 July 2004, however, found that the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is territory held by Israel under military occupation, regardless of its status prior to it coming under Israeli occupation and the Fourth Geneva convention applies de jure. The international community regards the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) as territories occupied by Israel.


Sounds like you're taking the official state stance as the truth and the opinion of international law as a 'misconception'.

PS: I couldn't find who was making up the court in 2004, but here's the current makeup: Doesn't look like a court that would be heavily biased.

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Haaretz's shtick has been to bemoan and defame the State since it came to exist.

http://www.dailywire.com/news/11948/breaking-down-israeli-oc...

Not the best source but a fairly succinct presentation of the facts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levy_Report

http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFA-Archive/2003/Pages/DISPUTED%20TERR...
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So you are using the Levy report as your basis. Thanks, I'll read thru it.

```

Ok read the wiki piece;


A political report with a 'meticulously picked' (wiki's phrase) membership gave support to the party line. A position that is still in direct conflict with the ICJ.

The Levy report, from my reading of the wiki article amounts to back-patting - Likud telling Likud that Likud (and their coalition) was doing right in regards to the settlements and status of the West Bank.
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Yes, I was sure you'd reject it. Are there any circumstances under which you wouldn't? Seriously?
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whac3 wrote:
Yes, I was sure you'd reject it. Are there any circumstances under which you wouldn't? Seriously?


Let's be honest, Moshe - the head of a Political Party put together a commission that was exactly in line with the Party Line. Anyone would find that a little suspicious.

What's more the ICJ's 2004 position makes a lot of sense.

"territory held by Israel under military occupation" is a very straightfowrward and accurate definition.

~~

We're wandering though - I was just so surprised that there was an argument that its not occupied (which again, prima facie absurd), that I lost track.

The important thing in regards to Anemaat and Vicneal's posts is that the group that put in those solar panels did it knowing it was illegal, and possibly to prove a point.

What a dumb waste of money.
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Sorry, of course it's not Occupied. You take the patch of dirt to which the Jewish people have the strongest most demonstrable claim and pretend that due to 19 years of actual occupation by Jordan the last 4000 years of continuous occupancy doesn't matter? Are you f'ing crazy?
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If it isn't an occupation, then the Palestinians should have the right to vote in Israeli elections and all the other rights of citizenship since the Israeli government controls the area that they live in.
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Eric_Tama wrote:
If it isn't an occupation, then the Palestinians should have the right to vote in Israeli elections and all the other rights of citizenship since the Israeli government controls the area that they live in.

They rejected Israeli citizenship.

EDIT:
And no Israel doesn't control the area. The PA does.
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whac3 wrote:
Eric_Tama wrote:
If it isn't an occupation, then the Palestinians should have the right to vote in Israeli elections and all the other rights of citizenship since the Israeli government controls the area that they live in.

They rejected Israeli citizenship.

EDIT:
And no Israel doesn't control the area. The PA does.


Were they offered citizenship after the 1967 invasion of the area by the modern state of Israel? Why aren't the ones born after the 1967 invasion and occupation automatically Israeli citizens if that territory is Israel? I know the settlers of the disputed territory can vote in Israeli elections, so should the other people living there.

If the PA controls the area, why was it the Israeli military that tore down the solar panels instead of the PA security forces?
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Eric_Tama wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Eric_Tama wrote:
If it isn't an occupation, then the Palestinians should have the right to vote in Israeli elections and all the other rights of citizenship since the Israeli government controls the area that they live in.

They rejected Israeli citizenship.

EDIT:
And no Israel doesn't control the area. The PA does.


Were they offered citizenship after the 1967 invasion of the area by the modern state of Israel? Why aren't the ones born after the 1967 invasion and occupation automatically Israeli citizens if that territory is Israel? I know the settlers of the disputed territory can vote in Israeli elections, so should the other people living there.

If the PA controls the area, why was it the Israeli military that tore down the solar panels instead of the PA security forces?

Yes, as part of the 1967 Armistice agreement, all people in the effected area got to choose either Israeli or Jordanian citizenship. The Palestinians are those who chose Jordanian citizenship, which Jordan unilaterally revoked in the 1970's.

EDIT:
Oh and as for who pulled down the panels, all operations within the PA territory are jointly conducted between PA and Israeli forces. So I suspect it has to do with the reporting.
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Mike Stiles
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whac3 wrote:
Sorry, of course it's not Occupied. You take the patch of dirt to which the Jewish people have the strongest most demonstrable claim and pretend that due to 19 years of actual occupation by Jordan the last 4000 years of continuous occupancy doesn't matter?


We've been over this, it's complicated.

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Are you f'ing crazy?


Possibly, but on this I think I'm not super emotionally and politically invested in one side being right, I'd imagine the whole situation would look vastly different if I were.
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