A child was killed and up to 115 others were injured, three of them critically, when Israel’s occupation forces attacked local people defending the Jabal al-‘Arma mountain from takeover by illegal Israeli settlers on Wednesday March 11th.
Israel’s occupation forces arrived at dawn to the mountain to support the illegal settlers and attacked the defenders with both live and rubber-coated steel bullets, sonic grenades and tear-gas, launched both from armoured vehicles and a drone.
15-year-old Mohammad Abdul-Karim Hamayel was shot in head with a live bullet, according to some reports with a banned expanding bullet. The shooting was captured on video from a distance of a few dozen meters. He was taken to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus where he succumbed to his wounds.
Three other people, including a 17-year-old teenager, were shot in head with rubber-coated steel bullets, suffering critical injuries. The teenager, who was shot twice, and another person suffering from bleeding in the brain, are both in a life-threatening condition. The third person’s condition has stabilized.
A total of 112 people suffered injuries, 18 of them from being shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and 90 from inhaling tear-gas. There are reports of Israel’s occupation forces and illegal settlers hampering the operation of ambulances.
Jabal al-‘Arma is situated near the small town of Beita, south of the city of Nablus. It has an archaeological record of human habitation going back at least to the Bronze Age.
Illegal Israeli settlers have made three attempts to capture the mountain, strategically important because of its springs and cisterns. The first attempt on February 28th and a second one on March 2nd led to hundreds of people being injured.
Illegal Israeli settlers made a third attempt during the Tuesday – Wednesday night and were resisted by hundreds of locals who rushed to the mountain. The settlers want to establish an illegal colony outpost to the mountain to control the water, and to make it a tourist site for their fellow illegal settlers.
At least 11 people have died and up to 58 others have been injured after a massive fire broke out in the Nusseirat refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday March 5th.
Among the dead are at least four children, four women and two men. The age and gender of one victim is unknown. Among the named victims are youth Ziyad Zakri Hussein, and a mother and her two children: Iman Abu Mahrouq died with her young daughters, Lian and Manal Hasan Hussein.
There are fears that more bodies could be found in the ruins, and as up to 14 people have been critically injured, it is expected that the death toll will continue to increase.
There are conflicting claims about the origin of the fire, but most say the fire started in a bakery after a gas explosion. A gas cylinder explosion caused the devastating fire in the al-Sabra neighbourhood on February 1st 2018 in which 7 people died. This time several sources report that it wasn’t a gas cylinder that exploded at the bakery, but a pressurized balloon used for gas storage.
The fire rapidly spread to multiple neighbouring buildings and parked vehicles on the street, and according to multiple reports, more explosions followed. Some of these would have been the gasoline tanks of the vehicles exploding, although gas cylinders in the other destroyed buildings could have also exploded.
As electricity in the tiny coastal enclave is very limited, often six hours a day in recent weeks – itself an improvement – gas cylinders are essential for both businesses and homes. This is a direct result of the siege by the Israeli occupation, and kept up on the southern border by Egypt’s regime.
Beyond the bakery, at least three residential buildings, four small factories, two restaurants, an institute for the handicapped, a carpenter’s shop, 50 street stalls and 22 vehicles were destroyed.
Alternative claim for the origin of the fire is that a fuel tanker would have exploded. If it did, it could have been caused by the fire origin from the bakery – which had, according to an unverified claim made in social media, as much three tons of gas in storage.
When we look at the behaviour of Israel’s regime and its supporters, it has some similarities to the cognitive bias what is called the Dunning-Kruger effect after professors David Dunning and Justin Kruger, who did pioneer work on it in 1999 while at the Cornell University.
The Dunning-Kruger effect describes people who perform poorly in a particular subject and are often incapable of recognizing their own limits. Popularized, it’s often given the form “Incompetent people who think themselves competent”.
These subjects think they perform better than they do, they underestimate the capabilities and performance of others, which altogether gives them a sense of false self-confidence, which strengthens their belief in themselves and this leads them to make more mistakes.
This doesn’t mean that the people to whom the Dunning-Kruger effect refers to have low intelligence; their behaviour might be, but they themselves are not, ‘stupid’. Everyone has weaknesses they are incapable of noticing or admitting, and thus taking into account, which causes problems to them and others.
If you think you are doing better than you are, if you think others are doing worse than they are, then you will end up overestimating your own current situation and what you can achieve in future. The seeds of your future failure are sown by your inability to construct a realistic view of your current situation and your own ability to handle it.
DUNNING-KREGER EFFECT AND ISRAEL
We propose that the Dunning-Kreger effect can be applied to look at the behaviour of the leaders of Israel’s regime, which itself might be considered a kind of gestalt, and its supporters.
The current drive to annexation and permanent Apartheid by Israel’s regime shows many symptoms of the Dunning-Kruger effect. All words of warning are pushed aside, whether external or internal, and a vision of permanent 21st century Apartheid is seen as sustainabe and without real challenges.
As Israel has gotten away with war crimes and human rights violations for soon 72 years, all the time protected by shifting superpower backing, this has bred a belief that all the ‘successes’ in ethnic cleansing, occupation and land-theft are down to Israel’s superiority over Palestinians and its other neighbours.
To the Israeli elite and most of its majority population, Israel’s success is not down to super-power backing, 150 billion dollars in aid from the US alone and political protection in international areas by US and other allies, but instead it’s down to Israel just being better in everything because of its own, superior nature. Israel is not only more powerful, but its populace and leaders more intelligent and capable.
This is combined in the Israeli psyche with the idea that past success can only lead to more success, and that failures on the part of Israel’s oppressed victims – with the odds stacked against them – can only lead to more failures and defeat on their part. The past is a map of the future, and all the warning Cassandras can be dismissed.
This, identifying a false pattern or a pattern that can’t be sustained endlessly, is also connected to the Dunning-Kruger effect, strengthening the person’s false belief in their own competence. This mentally locks them into a behaviour which in the end can be self-destructive.
Incompetence backed by overwhelming brutality can seem like success for a long period of time, especially when the incompetent brute will be protected from consequences of (and thus finding out) their own incompetence by powerful backers. In this case, the current iteration of those backers, the Trump administration, is itself a troupe full of persons exemplifying the Dunning-Kruger effect.
Can you now see how Israel’s behaviour brings to mind the people that Dunning-Kruger effect describes? Israel overestimates the stremgth of its own current situation and its ability to sustain the current reality of oppression and segregation, while it underestimates the Palestinians and the possibility of change in the attitudes and behavour of rest of the world.
As a Zionist society Israel has successfully convinced itself that the only thing ever needed is more of the same: Occupation, illegal colony building and segregation.
THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY
Israel is little different from a sheltered, at best a mediocre progeny of a wealthy, powerful family, whose protective relatives ease his way in the world while obstructing those who stand on his way. He will end up seeing himself as an eminently successful person, who has earned his station thanks to his superiority to those who he has pushed aside.
He will believe that before him awaits only more success, and that nothing, and no one can stand on his way. This sets him apart from the truly competent people who tend to underestimate themselves and overestimate others’ capabilities. As a human being he will look like Donald Trump or Jared Kushner, and as a political entity like Israel.
But what happens when the protective shell around him, constructed by his powerful protectors, fails? What happens when he has to face the challenges unaided, just depending on his own real, and not exaggerated, abilities?
The Dunning-Kruger effect proposes that the more people learn about their real circumstances, the better they eventually are responding to the challenges they face. Israel has been able to avoid this collision with facts, but eventually the moment comes when the Potemkin’s Facades erected with the help of the ‘West’ will fall away.
Then the reality bites in, and the person or state has to rapidly come into terms with the reality around them and adjust to it – or face the dustbin of history. Nothing indicates that Israel is capable of the former.
How many Jewish victims of Austrian Fascism rose from the dead when the Austrian parliament on Thursday February 27th unanimously voted to condemn the BDS movement as ‘antisemitic’ and call that no support to the boycott of illegal Israeli colonies on occupied Palestinian land should be given?
Just like no Jewish victims of German fascism rose from the dead when Germany’s parliament passed a similar resolution, or when the German government wrote to the Internatuonal Criminal Court that it must give Israel’s regime immunity from prosecution by declaring that Palestine, a member state of the Rome statutes since 2012, is not under its jurisdiction.
Ash clouds didn’t form around the crematoriums in Auschwitz, pouring down inside them, the doors of the ovens used to burn a million people didn’t open from the inside and resurrected people, dead almost eighty years, didn’t crawl out, restored to life by the human sacrifice of Palestinians by Germany and Austria.
These resolutions bring only more death, Palestinian deaths mainly but also Israeli Jewish ones, and they don’t reduce the German and Austrian guilt one bit. If the German and Austrian politicians think it eases their consciences, then there is something very wrong with them: You don’t atone for the past atrocities committed by your country by aiding ongoing war crimes.
The Austrian and German parliaments voted to support illegal colonies on land brutally occupied for 53 years, they declared that the occupied people living under Apartheid rule are ‘antisemitic” for calling for the boycott of their oppressors, and those companies, Israeli and international, which profit from their oppression and suffering.
To pretend that occupied Palestinians are ‘antisemitic’ for calling for the boycott of those who profit from their suffering is as disgraceful as the myth that Austria was ‘the first victim of Nazism’. Austria, after all, became a fascist dictatorship before Germany, was allied to the Fascist dictatorship of Mussolini before he and Hitler joined forces, and the ruling Austrian Fascists allowed the Austrian Nazis to the Austrian government years before the Anschluss.
Fascist Austria was not a victim of the Nazis. Adolf Hitler was an Austrian himself. Anschluss in 1938 was not a real invasion, but a fusion of two Fascist states: There was no Austrian armed resistance at any point to the Nazi rule. Just like there is no Austrian support for Palestinian liberation now.
Palestinians are not antisemites for calling for the boycott of their occupiers and oppressors. To compare boycott of companies profiteering from war crimes to attacks on Jewish shops during the Kristallnacht is a monstrous act against the occupied Palestinians and the memory of the Jewish victims of the Nazi rule.
It’s not the role of Palestinians to be sacrifical lambs so that European politicians and parties – in Austria and Germany most of the latter including as founders former Nazis – can massage their bad consciences by helping to spill Palestinian blood, and denouncing them for not accepting to be oppressed slaves of an Apartheid state forever.
FEATURED PHOTO: Austria’s hard-right Conservative chancellor Sebastian Kurz, set to talk in the Israeli Lobby organization AIPAC’s meeting – boycotted by several major Democratic presidential candidates – with Israel’s prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu, charged with corruption by Israeli judicial authorities.
Wounded father who lost his wife and two of his children and six other relatives in Israel’s occupation forces attack earlier this month has himself died of his injuries.
Mohammad Salama Sawarka(40) died of his wounds on the afternoon on Friday November 22th, eight days after Israel’s occupation forces’ missile strike on Thursday November 14th hit his and his brother’s family homes in besieged Gaza Strip’s Deir al-Balah soon after midnight. 8 members of the family were killed and 13 wounded, including Mohammad.
The attack completely destroyed both houses and led to the death of Mohammad Sawarka’s wife Yosra(39) and their sons Moath(7) and Waseem(13). Their surviving children suffered all injuries except one daughter who had run to her grandmother’s nearby house just moments before, scared during the Israeli occupation bombing, and returned to find a crater on the site of her home.
Mohammad’s older brother Rasmi(45), his wife Mariam(45) and three of their four children – Firas(2), Salem(3) and Mohannad(12) – were also killed in the Israeli attack, which Israel’s occupation forces tried to excuse by using contradictory excuses.
Mohammad himself was left in a critical condition in an intensive care unit until his death. His funeral took place only a few hours after his death on Friday.
Political prisoner Sami Abu Diak died on the morning of Tuesday November 26th in Israeli occupation captivity. He is the 222nd Palestinian prisoner to die as prisoner of Israel since 1967.
Abu Diak, aged 36 or 37 according to different reports, had been imprisoned by Israeli occupation since July 17th 2002 and sentenced to three life sentences and thirty years in the typically bombastic manner of Israeli occupation military courts. He was a resident of the Silat al-Daher village in the Jenin district of the occupied West Bank.
Sami Abu Diak had been suffering from bowel cancer, which was diagnosed in August or September 2015, and both kidney and lung failure. At one point in his long illness he had been in coma for a month.
In recent years he had gone through several medical operations, in one of which 83 centimeters of his intestines were removed in the Soroka Medical Center in ethnically cleansed city of Beersheba. It is alleged that a medical error occurring during this operation would have further impacted his health negatively.
In his last weeks of life Israeli occupation was moving Sami Abu Diak between the notorious Ramla prison clinic and the civilian Assaf Harofeh medical center in Be’er Yaakov near Tel Aviv in ethnically cleansed Palestine 1948, even when he was terminally ill and his death imminent. The dying man was on occasion moved between them on successive days.
Unable to walk because of his condition, Abu Diak was kept chained to a bed when not in wheelchair.
Sami Abu Diak’s wish was to spend his last days with his mother and to die in her arms but this wish – as were earlier petitions to release him for specialized medical care in Palestine or abroad – was ignored by the Israeli occupation.
His last message from captivity:
To those with a living conscious…
I am living my final hours and days, there is nothing I would like more than spending them near my mother; between my loved ones, I would love to utter my last breath in my mother’s arms; I do not wish to die cuffed and shackled,
I do not want to die in front of a jailor who loves death, and feeds on our pain and suffering,
Will my words even reach the ears and minds of leaders?!
I am telling, if I die far away from my mother, I will never forgive you…
Detainee Sami Abu Diak
Palestinian political prisoners imprisoned by Israeli occupation have announced a three day long hunger-strike in memory of Abu Diak.
Young man who was killed by the Israeli occupation during the weekend south of occupied East Jerusalem, in circumstances of which the Israeli occupation lied about, has been buried.
The funeral of Fares Bassam Abu Nab, who was aged 23 or 24, took place late on Tuesday November 19th at Ras al-Amoud in occupied East Jerusalem’s Silwan, two days after he had been shot by Israeli occuption forces’ police officer. He was buried to a cemetery adjacent to the eastern wall of the al-Aqsa mosque compound under heavy Israeli occupation forces’ presence.
Abu Nab was shot and killed at dawn on Sunday November 17th near an Israeli occupation checkpoint. Security camera footage capturing his killing shows that the Israeli occupation story to the press about his killing was an utter and total fabrication.
Israeli occupation claimed that three young men would have stolen cars and that during an overnight pursuit of the car thieves the occupation police would have fired at a car driven by Anu Nab to ‘neutralize a threat’, which he supposedly would have posed to other drivers and occupation police officers.
The truth was shown to be quite different. (The video is widely available in social media and can be viewed in our own Twitter timeline also.)
The security camera footage shows Anu Nab in a parked car on a street with the driver’s door open. An Israeli occupation police officer runs to the driver’s side of the car, shoots Abu Nab twice and then runs away.
He was allegedly left to bleed to death without medical aid been given after he had been shot. As Palestinian Authority’s governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith said, “Fares Abu Nab was assassinated in cold blood.”
The car he was driving was not stolen, nor ‘illegal’ as Israeli occupation has also claimed, and three different young men were arrested, beaten leaving bruises and imprisoned by Israeli occupation for the alleged car thefts.
The Israeli occupation police officer who killed Fares Sbu Nab has not been arrested or charged, but has instead been put on leave with the press banned from revealing his name.
Intial claim about Fares Abu Nab being a resident of Anata in occupied East Jerusalem was wrong. Instead he was a resident of Silwan, where Israeli occupation forces have harassed his family and those who came to say their condolences. The occupation forces also clashed with local youths after an illegal Israeli settler had allegedly attempted a drive-by shooting near the family home.
Fares Abu Nab’s younger brother Saleh was killed by an illegal Israeli settler driver, who hit the motorcycle he was driving at Silwan on October 26th 2016. Saleh was aged 18.
Young man taking part in a demonstration against Israeli occupation forces bombing of besieged Gaza Strip was seriously wounded on Saturday November 16th at al-Bireh on the occupied West Bank by Israeli occupation soldiers.
Young people, many students of the Birzeit University, were demonstrating at the entrance to the town of al-Bireh west of Ramallah, near the illegal Israeli colony of Beit-El, when they were attacked by Israeli occupation troops.
One youth was shot in foot with a live bullet, while another was shot in his forehead with a rubber-coated steel bullet which cracked open his skull, showing his brain.
Israeli occupation soldiers didn’t at first allow Palestinian paramedics to reach the wounded, still unnamed young man and physically stopped them from reaching him. There were claims that the viftim would have been arrested, but later photographs show him being helped away by paramedics. There are no further news of his condition.
After this Israeli occupation soldiers fired tear-gas at the demonstrators, causing breathing problems for dozens of them.
On Friday November 15th Israel’s occupation forces seriously wounded a photojouralist as he was covering a demonstration against confiscation of land for illegal colony building near the the town of Surif on the occupied West Bank.
Moath Amarneh was shot in his face with a rubber-coated steel bullet, which damaged his eye. Attempt to save his sight at hospital in Hebron failed because of the severity of his injury. Shrapnels from the bullet had ‘shattered’ his eye and lodged in his head behind the eye socket.
He was wearing a blue helmet and a bullet-proof vest with the text PRESS on it while he was shot, and it has been claimed that he was deliberately targeted by Israeli occupation forces because he is a journalist.
Amarneh was previously injured by Israel’s occupation forces while covering a demonstration in Ramallah on July 11th 2014.
Amarneh is one of three photojournalists who captured on videos the killing by Israeli occupation forces of unarmed Omar Haytham Badawi(22) at al-Arroub refugee camp on Monday November 11th. Badawi was shot and left to bleed without medical aid for half an hour when he tried to put out a small fire outside his home during Israeli occupation forces attack on a march commemorating the late Yasser Arafat.
The International Federation of Journalists(IFJ) has condemned the shooting of Moath Amarneh and Palestinian journalists have started a social media campaign in solidarity, posting photos of themselves with eye-patch or hand over one eye.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger commented the shooting: “Once again, the IFJ deplores the attacks on Palestinian journalists by the Israeli military. The IFJ recalls that international law applies everywhere and that no government is above it. It is now time for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the Convention for the Protection and Safety of Journalists so that the impunity enjoyed by predators of press freedom and democracy can end in Israel as elsewhere.”