‘I’ll open up your face’: The routine of collective punishment in Hebron

A new video shows Israeli Border Police preventing children from passing through a gate in order to reach their homes. This is what collective punishment looks like. 

Ever since Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem launched its Camera Project 11 years ago, the Israel public has had countless opportunities to get a glimpse of the routine of occupation from the point of view of Palestinians living under it.


Sometimes those videos create a public uproar, as happened with Elor Azaria, who was caught on camera executing a dying Palestinian, or the infamous settler from Hebron, who was seen spitting and cursing at the camera. Most of B’Tselem’s videos, however, convey the injustices of the occupation through the everyday, mundane experiences of humiliation, violence, aggression, and arrogance at the hands of the masters.

The same goes for the latest B’Tselem video, published Tuesday, which shows Israeli security forces standing in front of the main entrance to Gheith and A-Salaimeh, two neighborhoods in Hebron, on May 13th.

Through A-Salaimeh runs one of the main roads on which Palestinians are forbidden from traveling by car. There are military checkpoints at both entrances of the road, called A-Salaimeh Street, which leads to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. In 2012, the army built a barrier that divides the street into two: a paved road for Jewish pedestrians and vehicles, and on the other side, a narrow, dilapidated passageway for Palestinians who are forbidden from traveling by car.

On May 4th, the army enlarged the fence it had built at the beginning of 2012 at the entrance to both A-Salaimeh and Gheith. The fence has a single gate, which the army said must be kept open between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. in order to allow residents to pass through. However, according to B’Tselem, for the past year the gate has been closed at various times throughout the day. Closing off the two neighborhoods is especially harmful to students, who are forced to take an alternative path that forces them to pass through a checkpoint, extends their journey by 500 meters, and passes through a dark alley.



On May 13th, as the students were on their way back from school, they once again encountered locked gate. The video shows some residents of the neighborhood – mothers of the students – standing on the other end of the gate, pleading with the Border Police officers to open it. The officers ignore the women. After a child asks one of them to open the gate, an officer responds by yelling “I will open your face.” An Arabic-speaking officer threatens one of the mothers, telling her “If you continue I will drag you outside and arrest you. Try me.”

Meanwhile, the children begin crowding around. Some of them climb over the locked gate as the officers look on (a stark reminder that locking the gate has little to do with security).

So why is it closed? The Arabic-speaking officer has an answer: “It’s not my problem,” he tells one of the mothers who asks why the children can’t cross, “you throw stones, this is your punishment.” Collective punishment is forbidden under international law, yet it has turned into one of the army’s most commonly-used tools.

The gate was eventually opened three days later, at around 5 p.m. Until then, the children were forced either to walk half a kilometer and pass through a checkpoint on their way home, or put themselves in danger while climbing the locked gate. The B’Tselem video lasts two-and-a-half minutes. No one opens fire. No one is beaten up. No one is arrested and dragged through the street with their eyes covered. And yet the violent force of the occupying army in the apartheid city of Hebron is on full display.

The IDF Spokesperson issued the following response:

There have been several incidents of stone throwing from the eastern Casbah area of Hebron, targeting civilians and security forces operating in the area, as well as the throwing of an explosive device at security forces nearby, while security infrastructure was destroyed in the area. As such, the gate was closed for a number of hours in order to assess the operational situation and repair the damage. After that, the gate was reopened to the local residents.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

 Israel publishes order to allow demolishing Palestinian structures in Area C 

PNN/ Ramallah/

On May 9, 2018, the Israeli occupation military published military order 1797, with the main objective of expediting Israel’s unlawful demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure in the so-called “Area C” of occupied Palestine. The new unlawful order further expands the authority of the occupation civil administration to unilaterally target and demolish Palestinian structures within 96 hours, irrespective of the status of the underlying land or the issuing of building permits.

The Palestinian government, represented by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah, strongly condemned this new violation stating that “this illegal development would generate more crimes against Palestinian rights of access to a safe and stable living environment and would worsen the already dire conditions of 393,000 Palestinian citizens”.

In a statement from the PMO office, the Palestinian government said it has also consistently strived to support Palestinian citizens residing in the so-called “Area C”, which includes supporting their resilience and protection from Israeli violations. However, it’s important to mention that Palestinians living under a belligerent military occupation are, under the international humanitarian law, a “protected population”, which obligates the occupying power to protect the occupied population. Israel has not merely neglected its duties as an occupying power, but rather has proactively and willfully done the opposite, flagrantly violating the inalienable rights of the occupied Palestinian population.

Despite, the international community constant rejection and condemnation of the Israeli illegal colonial practices, the new order comes as a measurement against International aid actors to prevent any legal action against future Israeli illegal orders, which has proven quite successful in preventing or delaying of the illegal demolitions until now. Therefore, Israel is using the new order to continue its unlawful demolition policies to drive Palestinian citizens away from their land and pave the way for the establishment of additional illegal colonial settlements.

The Palestinian government strongly urged third states, international partners and the international community at large to take concrete steps against the Israeli occupation government to rescind the illegal Military Order, which violates article 49 and 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. As well as, the recent UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres statement, that “forcible transfer does not necessarily require the use of physical force by authorities, but may be triggered by specific circumstances that leave individuals or communities with no choice but to leave; this is known as a coercive environment” (A/HRC/34/38, March 2017).

The Palestinian government also claimed the international community to not only hold Israel accountable for its numerous violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, but also to tackle the root of the problem, namely Israel’s seemingly open-ended belligerent occupation, which prevents Palestinian citizens from ever achieving a just and fair peace based on the internationally-backed two-State solution.

No pesticides and 95% less water – the indoor farming revolution


Indoor farming is not really that new, the most prevalent example being that of greenhouses. A New York based company is taking the concept to another level. Bowery, which launched just last year, has started up their concept of vertical indoor farming by acquiring warehouses in urban areas and turning them…..

Nurse who saved for Africa clinic left in limbo after US Customs seized $41,377


A Texas nurse sued US Customs for seizing her money at the airport and then demanding that she waive rights to get it back

Anthonia Nwaorie was only a few metres from boarding a plane when customs agents stopped her and started asking questions.

How many people are you carrying money for? How long have you been in the United States? How many people are travelling with you?

Continue reading…

CDC Update: Candida Auris – April 2018



Not quite two years ago (June 2016) the CDC issued a Clinical Alert to U.S. Health care facilities about the Global Emergence of Invasive Infections Caused by the Multidrug-Resistant Yeast Candida auris.

C. auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that was first isolated in Japan in 2009. It was initially found in the discharge from a patient’s external ear (hence the name `auris’).  Retrospective analysis has traced this fungal infection back over 20 years.

Since then the CDC and public health entities have been monitoring an increasing number of cases (and hospital clusters) in the United States and abroad, generally involving bloodstream infections, wound infections or otitis.

Adding to the concern:

  1. C. auris infections have a high fatality rate
  2. The strain appears to be resistant to multiple classes of anti-fungals  
  3. This strain is unusually persistent on fomites in healthcare environments.
  4. And it can be difficult for labs to differentiate it from other Candida strains

The CDC has updated their C. Auris surveillance page, where they show – as of April 30th  – 279 confirmed cases and 29 probable cases, across 11 states.  An increase of more than 10% over the previous month.



Additionally, based on targeted screening in four states reporting clinical cases, the CDC reports an additional 517 patients have been discovered to be asymptomatically colonized with C. auris.

As previously mentioned, this isn’t just a United States’ problem, but a global health threat.  This fungal infection, which was first detected in Japan in 2009, has now turned up on multiple continents.

For more on this emerging fungal pathogen, you may wish peruse the CDC’s dedicated web page:

General Information about Candida auris
Tracking Candida auris
Patients and Family Members
Healthcare Professionals
Fact Sheet

And for some older blogs on the topic, you may wish to revisit:

MMWR: Ongoing Transmission of Candida auris in Health Care Facilities

MMWR: Investigation of the First Seven Reported Cases of Candida auris In the United States

mSphere: Comparative Pathogenicity of UK Isolates of the Emerging Candida auris

Thursday Open Thread | Stop it, Van Jones. Stop Trying to Normalize This Administration

Van Jones has been trying to shin and grin, giving cover to the Dolt45 Adminstration, talking about some bullshyt ‘Prison Reform’.

Thinks that he can shame those of us who know that it’s a piece of garbage to shut up.

Cozying up to Dolt45, and the newest GOP Black Coon on the Pole – Candace Owens.

That we’re supposed to pretend that we don’t have Attorney General White Citizens Council as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in this country.

Like we don’t know that he’s turn back every police department consent decree that he could.

That he told the National Police Association just last week, that they pretty much can do whatever the phuck they want to Black people.

That we can’t have research into the White Domestic Terrorists, but now, we have the “Black Extremists” category open for investigation?

That we don’t know that the KKKeebler Elf is against legal marijuana, and wants folks locked up for it – period.

That, despite 44’s Administration getting rid of Private Prisons, that they are back in business now…

We’re supposed to ignore ALLLLL of that, because Van Jones wants to shin and grin and shuck and jive, and think WE are supposed to go along with it?

Phuck outta here.

Don’t believe me that it’s garbage….listen to MY Attorney General-Eric Holder:

There’s something huge missing from the White House’s prison bill

By Eric H. Holder Jr.

May 21 at 4:42 PM

Eric H. Holder Jr. was U.S. attorney general from 2009 to 2015.

Over the past decade, Republicans and Democrats across the country have joined forces to advocate for a fairer, more effective criminal-justice system — one that would keep us safe while reducing unnecessary mass incarceration. At the heart of that effort has been an attempt to reduce overly punitive sentences that fill our prisons for no discernible public-safety rationale.

But now the Trump administration is pushing a misguided legislative effort — likely to be voted on in the House this week — that threatens to derail momentum for sentencing reform. The bill is a tempting half-measure, but lawmakers should resist the lure. The chance to implement real, comprehensive reform may not come again any time soon.


Unfortunately, this progress has hit a roadblock with the Trump administration’s modest prison reform bill, called the First Step Act. The bill seeks to improve prison conditions — such as by requiring that inmates be housed within 500 driving miles of their families and by prohibiting shackles on pregnant women. It also includes education, job training and other personal development programs, as well as a system of incentives to participate in the programs.

These narrow reforms are important, but they do not require congressional action, nor do they deliver the transformative change we need. The only way to do that is by amending the bill to include comprehensive, bipartisan sentencing reform.
Why is this so important? The statistics are stark and, by now, well-known. The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is a core civil rights struggle for this generation: One in three black men will be behind bars at some point, a disparity that perpetuates underemployment in the black community and contributes to the racial wealth gap. The system is hugely expensive and ultimately unfair. And it is not necessary to prevent and punish crime.

It is impossible to right this wrong unless we send the right people to prison for appropriate lengths of time. That starts by making sure that federal prison sentences are smart on crime rather than thoughtlessly “tough.” The Justice Department worked toward that goal when I led the agency under President Barack Obama, blunting the impact of harsh mandatory minimum sentences by directing federal prosecutors to seek lower charges when possible. It worked. The federal prison population dropped while the nation continued to experience near-record-low crime rates.



Many see the broader picture. This could lead to the privatization of prisons, which puts the power in the hands of the AG. On paper, it seems nice. In reality, it’s moving backwards. Focus on minimum sentencing first, & the rest follows. #FirstStepAct #TuesdayThoughts

— Dan Kan (@dkan1030) May 22, 2018

Uh huh

Uh huh

Analysis: Black defendants receive longer prison terms from Republican-appointed judges, study finds https://t.co/HYz8ItVGPI

— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 23, 2018

Ignore the bile that rises from your gut every time you see Van Jones shmoozing with the white nationalist president or kissing white supremacist Jeffrey Lord on CNN, you guys. Just take Sippy Cupp’s word vouching for his integrity instead. https://t.co/DRtXva6jxV

— Ragnarok Lobster (@eclecticbrotha) May 23, 2018

Van provides window dressing so racist administration can point to their black friend without really doing anything https://t.co/7YipZQTyul

— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 23, 2018

As a commenter on POU pointed out:


A real criminal justice reform bill was the Fair Sentencing Act that was passed and signed by Pres. Obama in 2010. That act substantially reduced the crack cocaine sentencing disparity, made it retroactive, and eliminated mandatory minimums for crack-cocaine sentencing. Or a criminal justice transparency bill: The Death in Custody reporting Act which was signed into law by Pres. Obama in his second term. Where was Van Jones applauding Pres. Obama then? This bill is a joke when compared to serious reform proposals.

Yes, Van, A JOKE.

So, don’t expect us, who see the forest for the trees, to applaud you for clowning like this..