Israel’s insatiable territorial ambition


For over 70 years, the Zionist enterprise has been taking its daily toll on Palestinian life, limb, liberty and land. Israel’s territorial ambition in regard to land is insatiable. There are many ways in which the Zionist regime takes control of, and annexes, Palestinian land in the areas it militarily-occupies. There is the designation of land as ‘nature reserves’, the taking over of it by the Israeli military for, what Israel describes as, ‘firing zones’ and, of course, the Occupation settlements, encroaching ever further into what is left of the Palestinian homeland.

Nature reserves

The Israeli Occupation announced, in January, the creation of seven new Israeli nature reserves in Area C of the Occupied West Bank with Defence Minister, Naftali Bennett, declaring that, Area C of the occupied West Bank “belongs to Israel”. According to the Jerusalem Post, thi also includes the growth of 12 already-established nature reserves. Bennett, referring to the more than 60% of the West Bank that was left under Israeli control through the Oslo Accords, went further, announcing that, “We are embarking on a real and immediate battle for the future of the Land of Israel and the future of Area C.” As Ramzy Baroud, writing in the Middle East Monitor reminds us, “do not let the confusing logic of the Oslo Accords fool you; all Palestinians, in all parts of the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the besieged Gaza Strip, are under Israeli military control as well.”

According to the Israeli anti-Occupation movement, Peace Now, some 40% of the ‘nature reserves’ sit upon privately-owned Palestinian land. Israel forbids Palestinians the right to cultivate their own land, as Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran explained to the AFP news agency: “If it’s a nature reserve, then you can uproot their trees and tell them they need a special permit for any agricultural activity.”

Firing zones

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The Israeli military exercises a suffocating degree of population control that, with no regard for well-being, is so thorough it suppress every aspect of Palestinian life, freedom of movement, education and even access to clean water. The extent of the repression is relentless. Last month, according to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation forces seizedthe only vehicle available to a medical team that provides assistance to 1,500 Palestinians living inside an Israeli military firing zone in the West Bank.” It is utterly foreign to Zionist ideology for Israel, as the belligerent Occupying power, to ensure adequate medical access to the communities it rules, even though the Fourth Geneva Convention obliges it so to do. Palestinians suffering under this foreign military dictatorship feel betrayed by the international community, which does little to invoke international law in their defence.

Israel Occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, with the determination that it would exercise permanent control of the territories it had seized. This included repopulating many areas with its own citizens as settlers, reinforced with accompanying ‘security’, ‘buffer’ and ‘firing’ zones, denying Palestinian access. The “firing zones” are purportedly for Israeli Army training purposes but, as the people trapped by them know, they seldom see any military training taking place within them. Many illegal Jewish settlements have established themselves in these ‘firing zones’ over the years, a clear giveaway of Zionist strategy.

According to the Office for the UN Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Palestine, around 5,000 Palestinians in 38 communities, live precariously within the “firing zones”. In 1967, Israeli ethnic cleansing forced the removal of approximately 300,000 Palestinians. The victims included Palestinian Bedouins, who continue to suffer under colonialist-minded Israeli rule in the Jordan Valley, the South Hebron Hills and elsewhere. What is more, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has abandoned the Palestinians living in ‘Area C’, expecting them to rely on Israel’s unjust ‘legal’ system, to fight for their basic rights. According to the United Nations, on top of the scarcity of water, Palestinians, under Israeli Occupation, have to endure daily “confiscation of property, settler violence, harassing by soldiers and movement restrictions, including access to their own land.Again, according to the United Nations, such harsh “conditions contribute to a coercive environment that creates pressure on Palestinian communities to leave these areas.”


The Kohelet Policy Forum that Naftali Bennett was addressing, as referred to above, opened with a video message from US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, asserting the US view that the Occupation settlements “don’t inherently violate international law.” The US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, also addressed the Forum, supporting Pompeo and announcing a new US position regarding around 200 Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which asserts that they do not violate international law. Friedman went even further, adopting the extreme Zionist position of an Israeli right to “live in Judea and Samaria” and praising US President Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and even the Syrian Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, an update on the Israeli Occupation in respect of the whole of last year was published, revealing that nearly 700 Palestinian buildings (including homes) in Occupied Palestine had been demolished by Israel, 300 of them destroyed in Jerusalem alone.

Most of the areas the Israeli Army has allocated to the settlements are the result of bringing together enclaves and non-contiguous territory, such as farmland that even Israel recognie as private Palestinian land. But that has no relevance under military Occupation because, in the end, stealing land and the plunder that accompanies it take precedence over every other principle. The settlers do as they please, and the supposedly responsible Occupation simply stands by and allows it. A detailed example of this process is available regarding the settlement of Kedumim. As the Israeli Occupation and colonisation of the West Bank is enjoying increasing support from New Zealand’s ‘traditional ally’, the United States, it is to be hoped that this country will maintain its commitment to the upholding of international law.

There is reason for concern, however, regarding our Foreign Affairs Minister’s attitude towards Israel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) safe travel advisory warns would-be visitors of the threat of terrorism “throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories”. MFAT warns of explosive devices, arson and knife attacks in populated centres, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, “resulting in deaths and injuries.” The travel advisory also warns of Palestinian missile-firings and, in the only reference to Israeli violence, notes that “acts of terrorism anywhere in Israel may lead to military intervention in Gaza and the West Bank. Nowhere does MFAT mention Israeli air strikes, incursions into Gaza, shelling of Gaza farmland and the constant Israeli Army use of live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas against peaceful protesters, either in Gaza or the West Bank. Neither is there any mention of the huge number of Palestinians killed and wounded almost daily in Israeli attacks and home invasions.

MFAT tells its readers that on “18 March 2018, an Israeli security guard was stabbed and killed in the Old City of Jerusalem.” Adding that, “Israeli police fatally shot the attacker.” But there is no mention of the far more frequent wanton Israeli violence against the people it militarily occupies. The Israeli human rights group, Gush Shalom has reported that on 15 February a nine-year-old Palestinian boy, Malek Issa, was shot by the Israeli police. The boy was wounded after getting off his school bus in Issawiya and going to the next door grocery to buy something to eat. He was hit in the eye with a rubber-coated steel bullet, causing serious injury to his skull. He faces permanent blindness in the wounded eye. Malek’s family and friends are at his side in hospital, praying for his recovery. Gush Shalom informs us that “on a daily basis” the Israeli police use violence, enforce roadblocks and carry out arbitrary arrests in a residential neighbourhood of more than 20,000 people. The group tells us that Palestinians are forced to live with a level of bullying and violence that creates “a daily reality of dread and fear.”

When will MFAT acknowledge this ongoing reality?

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Leslie Bravery is a Londoner with vivid World War Two memories of the Nazi blitz on his home town. In 1947/1948 His father explained to him what was happening to the Palestinians thus: “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees in the process of realising its ambitions must be inhuman and should be opposed and condemned as unacceptable.” What followed confirmed this assessment of the Zionist entity a hundredfold. Now a retired flamenco guitarist, with a lifelong interest in the tragedy of what happened to the Palestinian people, he tries to publicise their plight. Because the daily injustices they suffer barely get a mention in the mainstream news media, Leslie edits/compiles a daily newsletter, In Occupied Palestine, for the Palestine Human Rights Campaign. These days, to preserve his sanity, he enjoys taking part in a drama group whenever possible!


  1. And while the Israeli state continues to dispossess and brutally repress the Palestinians, we have NZ journalists who just can’t say ‘No’ to offers to junket in Israel. Their sense of entitlement to junket far outweighs, in their minds, the rights of the Palestinians to be free.

    Moreover, they went to junket in Israel right in the midst of a new clampdown by the Israeli state on the Palestinian secular left:

  2. Israel were balls deep in the attempted destruction of Syria as a nation state ,,,,, one of their motives is probably their illegal theft of the Golan heights ,,,, if Syria ceased to exist as a country Israel would not be breaking international law with their illegal occupation.

    “Israel helped al Qaeda and other jihadist ‘rebels’ in Syria”
    “Ben Norton and Aaron Maté discuss how Israel supported al-Qaeda and other Salafi-jihadists in Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights. ISIS also apologized after accidentally attacking the IDF.”

    And for a longer history of Israels wars and discrimination

    “The generals son ” …” Miko Peled is a peace activist who dares to say in public what others still choose to deny.”

  3. “Any ideology or political movement that creates refugees …is inhuman” So what of the nearly one million jewish refugees driven out of Arab countries in 1948, Mr Bravery? And what of the European Jewish refugees from Nazism who were denied sanctuary in Palestine by the British-sanctioned White Paper of 1939? Thousands may have been saved from the Holocaust, the genocide which made Israel absolutely necessary in the first place. Your headline made me laugh out loud…..”Israel’s Insatiable Territorial Ambition”… Israel is the world’s ONLY Jewish state, and would fit into NZ 13 times….some land grab! This article is biased and totally lacking in any historical context or balance. As for the warnings from MFAT, they at least acknowledge the truth…that Israel and Israelis are the victims here, not the oppressors. The Arabs have ignited every war in the region and have lost their gambit of genocidal aggression. Trump’s peace plan is predicated on this truth.

    • We are NOT talking about the limited land area of Israel as it has been in the past, the goal is the following:

      You are the LEAD ZIONIST commenting here, I note, an imperialist at the same time apologist for Zionist aspiration and expansion and crimes.

        Jew were given the right to live in Judea/Samaria under the British Mandate, the LON, San Remo, the AngloAmerican Agreement, and the UNO. Pretty impressive pedigree, especially compared to NZ where we decimated and dispossessed the Maori population through aggressive colonialism….people in glasshouses??? There was never any ‘Palestinian’ land; there were Arabs living in a Turkish backwater until 1918 which the British named ‘Palestine’. You and your ilk use ‘Zionist’ as a substitute for Jew, imbuing the word with hate and racism. You’ve endorsed and infantilised a fake group you call ‘Palestinians’ (a word only in use since 1967) without ever acknowledging their factionalism and bitter internecine rivalry; they themselves don’t even acknowledge the cohesion you give them. You use this fictionalised people as a means of demonising Israel, and if they didn’t exist, you’d find another means of doing so. And we know the ugly truth why.

        • “At the end of World War I, the territory of the Ottoman Empire was divided between the French and the British, in accordance with the Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916. When the British gained control of the region, at the close of World War I they adopted the name “Palestine” and its inhabitants Jewish, Muslim or otherwise were known as Palestinians. And then, during the 1920s, the nascent Palestinian national movement adopted the appellation “Palestinian” (al-Filasniyyūn) as its own. ”

          …….. which explains why there are New Zealand war graves from world war one ,,,, showing the New Zealand soldiers had died in Palestine.

          It would appear gabys racism lead him to write his easily disproved crap posting above.

          Gaby is actually being a anti Semite towards all the Jewish peoples in the world who do not believe in the extremes and Jewish superiority of hard line zionisim.

        • You have only exposed yourself even more, linking to an opinion piece on a pro Israel website supposedly speaking for US American Jews.

          That ‘Turkish backwater’ is home to the holy sites of three major religions, and land and people, who lived there for centuries and thousands of years.

          While Palestinians are diverse, they are the people who lived there, before Zionists came from Europe and the US, claiming they acted in the interest of all Jews, and with terror and force, and cunning tricks, drove Arabs from their lands, where few Jews had lived for nearly two thousand years.

          Let the Maori do the same to Pakeha and other new immigrants, let the American Indians do the same to those that came as Spanish, Portuguese, English and French, and there would be a huge outcry.

          You are just what I wrote, a committed Zionist, and we know the meaning, as Jews are not necessarily Zionists.

    • Why would anyone believe your anonymous troll statements over Miko Peled ,,, Miko Peled has a family who lived and created the history of Israel ,,,, he has the historical evidence .

      Gaby / James is ignoring a question I’ve previously asked him about Israels anti- miscegenation laws ,,, Laws which ban inter marriage between Jews and non jews ,,, much like some particularly racist states in the usa had until 1967 ,,,, although their laws were targeted at African Americans….

      “On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court issued its Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down laws that banned inter-racial marriages as unconstitutional. ” ,,, “Under Virginia’s laws, however, Richard, a white man, could not marry Mildred, a woman of African American and Native American descent.

      The two traveled to Washington D.C. where they could be married, but when they returned home, they were arrested under a Virginia state law that prohibited inter-racial marriage.

      White supremacists and Nazi Germany are on the same page as Israel regarding miscegenation between Jews and others…. some extreme Zionists who are leaders in Israel call it “the second Holocaust” ,,, inter marriage is the second holocaust.

      Anyway ignoring the racists and war crime apologists like gaby / james

      The solution for Israels peaceful future is for the wisdom and true examples of the best in humanity to be heard.

      Miko Peled and Izzeldin Abuelaish have had family murdered by the other sides violence ,,, yet still display the very best that humans have to offer .,,, it is their dialog which should be heard.
      “Israeli tank shells slammed into Doctor Abuelaishs home killing half of his family.”

      From The 27 minute mark onward of this video describes Miko Peled familys loss ,,

      The path to peace does exist but not through Trump or extreme Zionists and their NZ apologists.

      The usa got rid of their l

  4. Here is a video of Israeli forces smashing a bulldozer into a crowd of protestors, at breakneck speed. A child and a journalist were injured. This happened just two days ago in the village of Kafr Qaddum, where the non-violent protests have been held weekly as the villagers call on authorities to re-open their main street. Bulldozer attack video here

  5. From ten days ago, a Palestinian teenager speaks of the way minors are treated. He was interrogated on the street, then army dogs were unleashed onto him. He was then brutally beaten, “on my head and back using their rifles and sticks”.

    After a harrowing journey in an Israeli army jeep, the teenage boy was taken to the notorious Etzion interrogation centre, where dozens of Palestinian minors were held and reportedly tortured over the years.Treatment of Minors in Israeli Custody

    More information on the Etzion Facility here

  6. Around 5,700 Palestinians, including many women and children, are now being held in Israeli prisons. The mother of one was denied the right to visit her son, three days ago.

    Israeli soldiers manning a checkpoint northwest of Ramallah stopped Amneh Abu Diak, from Silat al-Daher village, near Jenin, and told her that she could not proceed with the visit.

    Her son, Samer, has been in Ramleh prison for 15 years. Her other son, Sami, died from cancer in an Israeli jail in November. From the prison, his last message was:

    “I want to be in my last days and hours beside my mother and my loved ones, and I want to die in her arms.” Bereaved Mother Denied Visit

    Then there are those who don’t make it to prison. They are simply shot where they stand. This happened yesterday, in Jerusalem’s Old City. A 33 year old father of three “was shot several times and left on the ground bleeding before Israeli paramedics arrived at the scene”.

    Israeli reports immediately claimed that the Palestinian man was shot after he attempted to stab a policeman.

    Video clips showed Za’atra lying motionless on the ground outside Bab al-Asbat, one of the gates leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They also showed a large police force at the scene and inside the Old City streets.

    Some time later they went and arrested his mother and two brothers. Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Young Man

    • Excluding apartheid Israel ,,,, which present middle east country has the largest Jewish population residing in it ,,, the answer is Iran.

      Andrew you have previously bragged about how ‘ advanced’ Israel supposedly is ,,,,, could you please justify how advanced their anti- miscegenation laws are.

      Comparable laws in New Zealand would be a criminal law banning the inter marriage between Maori and Europeans ,,,, something we were advanced enough never to have .

      But Israel on the other hand ………………….

      • “Today, the vast majority of Persian Jews live in Israel and the United States, especially in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and on the North Shore of Long Island. According to the latest Iranian census, the remaining Jewish population of Iran was 9,826 in 2016.[3] ”

        More live in Turkey:
        “The Turkish-Jewish population is experiencing a population decline, and has dwindled to 17,000 in a few years from an original figure of 23,000. ”

        Perhaps get your figures right?

        • Thanks for the correction and updating my information Marc.

          Obviously due to all the meddling and war waged upon the middle east population upheavals and people being made refugees etc, demographics can change quite rapidly….. like a over 25% decline in Turkeys Jewish people numbers , “in a few years”, from 23,000 to 17,000 .

          Regarding Iran again ,,,, and we should remember their revolution was the result of meddling ( the shah ) that the Brits and Usa brought about …

          “There is no doubt that things have changed since the revolution. Prior to 1979 there were 10 times more Jews living in Iran than there are now. Despite the troubled relationship with Israel however, Iranian politicians and clergy are always at pains to stress that they have no quarrel with the Jews, only with the state of Israel. As Ayatollah Khomeini put it shortly after the revolution: “We recognize our Jews as separate from those godless Zionists.”

          It is a quote that is still to be found today on every Jewish prayer house. Something that the Iranians, no matter which religion they belong to, have internalized. In contrast to the situation in German-speaking countries, Jewish institutions in Iran do not require any security arrangements. Iran has not seen a single attack on a Jewish building.

          Everyday freedoms

          After several major waves of emigration, the number of Jews living in the country has now stabilized. According to Israeli statistics, only 1,100 Jews migrated to Israel from Iran between 2002 and 2010. For those who remain, prospects are surprisingly positive. They have been granted official minority status, a permanent seat in parliament and freedom to practice their religion. They have their own butchers’ shops, their rabbis are permitted to conduct weddings, and the community can produce and drink its own wine for the Sabbath — and that, even though alcohol is otherwise subject to strict prohibition in Iran.”

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