fbpx

Credible World News, 24/7 – 365

Israel independence day, overflights decried by Palestinians and the left

Military flight over Hebron in occupied West Bank criticised as ‘provocative show of force’

Plans to include an overflight of Hebron in the occupied West Bank in Israel’s annual independence day airshow have been met with angry responses from Palestinians and leftwing Israelis.

The Israel air force said on its website at the weekend that the controversial overflight sought by settler leaders would take place on Thursday. The decision puts an end to uncertainty over the display after an initial announcement was taken down amid criticism from Mossi Raz, a legislator in the leftwing Meretz party, which is part of the ruling coalition, who termed it “a provocative show of force and superiority”.

The decision comes as about 1,000 Hebron settlers, viewed as including some of the most militant Israelis in the West Bank, make plans to expand their heavily guarded enclaves in Hebron, a city of roughly 200,000 Palestinians.

“This is a kind of annexation of Hebron to the Israeli state,” said the Palestinian activist Issa Amro, the head of the Friends of Hebron organisation that opposes Israeli settlement in the flashpoint city. “This is a provocation of our feelings.”

Palestinians will be doing anything but celebrating Israeli independence. They view that as the Nakba (catastrophe) when about 700,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled in the war surrounding Israel’s creation. “Instead of apologising for the Nakba, they continue to show us more signs they want the Palestinians to leave their homes,” Amro said.

Ori Givati, spokesperson for Breaking the Silence, a group of anti-occupation Israeli military veterans, also criticised the planned overflight, saying it would “represent another step in the de facto annexation” of the occupied Palestinian territories. “It is hard to ignore the irony of an Israeli independence flyover over the heads of a people to whom Israel has denied independence for 55 years,” Givati said.

But as has often been the case with the hard-right prime minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition, the views of the left were disregarded in favour of those of the settlers and their allies.

The planes are slated to fly over the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site where Jewish tradition holds that biblical patriarchs and matriarchs are buried. The same site is holy to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque.

Yigal Dilmoni, the CEO of the Yesha Council, the umbrella group for settlers in the West Bank, hailed the decision. “There is symbolism that the flight of the air force on independence day, which symbolises the return of the nation of Israel to the land of Israel, passes over Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs. This is a symbolic matter of values and ideals.”

Eliyahu Liebman, the mayor for Jewish settlers in Hebron and neighbouring Kiryat Arba, said a wrong was being righted. “This says that we are gaining equality and being treated like any other citizen of the state of Israel in all matters including the flyover which will go over our houses and not just certain cities,” he said

Liebman added that every year, local residents and officials had impressed upon authorities that being included in the overflight was “very, very, very important” to them and that this year they finally got a positive response.

The overflight route will also include the south Hebron hills, where settlers are known for their violence towards Palestinians and Israeli solidarity activists. Israeli army plans call for the eviction of about 4,000 Palestinians from 30 farming hamlets in the vicinity to make way for a training area. The matter is awaiting a verdict by Israel’s supreme court.

The Hebron settlers count anti-Arab extremists in their ranks, including the far-right opposition MP Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has advocated for the expulsion of Arab citizens of Israel deemed to be disloyal to the state. But in recent years there has been a process of mainstreaming the Hebron settlers. President Isaac Herzog visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in November, declaring that recognition of Jewish ties to the site “must be beyond all controversy”.

Related articles

Corruption is a problem for the developing world, however Europe and the US along with Europe are complicit. Kenneth Mohammed

Kenneth Mohammed State capture is growing on every continent but only because the west helps to launder and hide money stolen by kleptocrats Last week, John Penrose, Boris Johnson’s anti-corruption tsar, resigned in protest at his leader’s apparent breach of the ministerial code during Partygate. In January, Lord Agnew resigned as a Treasury minister, angered […]

“Giving hope”: UK universities twin with struggling Ukraine counterparts

From sourcing window glass to sharing online lectures, British institutions are helping war-torn campuses to survive Russia-Ukraine war: latest updates When Prof Gavin Brown, pro vice-chancellor at Liverpool University, first made contact with academics at Sumy State University (SSU) in north-eastern Ukraine a few weeks ago, he did not expect to come off the call […]

The weapons available to Ukraine could determine the outcome of Donbas offensive

Analysis: As Russian troops turn to Donbas, Ukraine’s pleas for munitions continue Russia-Ukraine war: latest updates Russia and Ukraine both declared that Moscow’s offensive in the Donbas region had begun this week – although, in reality, the air and artillery bombardment by Moscow’s forces over the past 48 hours is not yet the intensive attack […]

Israeli as well as Palestinian dead in two distinct West Bank shootings

Killing of Israeli guard in Ariel and a Palestinian in nearby incident raise fears of escalating violence Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli guard at the entrance to a settlement in the occupied West Bank and Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in clashes nearby, officials said on Saturday. A surge of violence in Israel and […]

Matt Potts shines as flurry of wickets gives England an edge over New Zealand

Third Test, day three: New Zealand 329 & 168-5; England 360 Bairstow hits sublime 162 before bowlers take over for hosts The third day of this finale was always going to struggle to match the frolics that came 24 hours earlier but a surge from England’s bowlers after tea left the contest delicately poised as […]

What’s the deal with all the latest breeds of dogs? We ask an expert

Evolutionary biologist Frank Hailer on how the human obsession with cute-looking canines is affecting the species The animal charity Blue Cross is campaigning to stop pugs and French bulldogs being featured in advertisements. It hopes to slow demand for thea flat-faced pooches where “overbreeding” is causing breathing and walking difficulties. Yet new breeds of dogs […]

Police on Trial: two years after the killing of George Floyd, what has changed?

The Minneapolis murder led to protests and calls for structural change but a new documentary shows the journey to racial equality remains long Journalist Libor Jany was working a holiday shift when he received a cryptic text message from a police spokesperson about a press conference outside city hall. “Officers were able to get the […]

Manchester United confident Barcelona will lower the Frenkie de Jong’s price

United failed with guaranteed €60m bid and could offer €70m Timber in line to stay at Ajax but Antony remains on target list Manchester United are confident Barcelona will lower their €85m (£73m) asking price for Frenkie de Jong because of the Catalan club’s difficult financial position and the lack of other suitors for the […]

Scottish castle on market for PS1.25m after battle over PS230 debt ends

Previous owner of Knockderry Castle was evicted after refusing to pay bill that then spiralled to £30,000 A Baronial castle that has been at the centre of a 25-year legal battle over a £230 debt has gone on the market for more than £1.25m. Knockderry, on the west coast of Scotland, was designed by the […]

Partygate has weakened the reputation of integrity and respect Union chief says that partygate has harmed honesty and decency

Headteachers’ leader to accuse government of failure of leadership The leader of a headteachers’ union will claim the government is undermining the teaching of decency and honesty in schools, after “misleading” the country over Partygate and showing a lack of compassion towards refugees. Paul Whiteman, the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers […]