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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Palestine: numbers tell a tale

I wrote recently about Palestinian prisoners promised to be released by Israel (actually the promise was that they would be released before the Annapolis meeting, but I can find no evidence that actually has happened). Anyway, today on Democracy Now, Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti provides some interesting statistics which provide perspective on that situation:
Well, that’s another joke or a misleading statement, because Israel is going to release 432 prisoners. Half of them have finished already half of their term. One-third have already finished two-thirds of their terms. But the most important thing is that during the same period of time, Israel has arrested 1,650 new prisoners. Since January, up ’til now, Israel released 900 prisoners, with -- including the 432 they will release this week. But during the same period of time, Israel has arrested 3,750 new Palestinian prisoners. So the total number of prisoners is increasing. And we are having now 11,500 prisoners in Israeli jails. Most of them are political prisoners, including ninety women, including 350 children that are kept in jail, including many leaders, including forty-six members of our Palestinian parliament.

And nobody is protesting against that. I mean, I feel very -- it’s really interesting when people speak about democracy, but at the same time not a single word is said about Israel arresting one-third of the members of the Palestinian parliament.
And he provides more statistics which are of interest:
Israel maintains 562 military checkpoints. They didn’t remove a single one of them. There are also 610 flying checkpoints that make the people's life miserable. It doesn’t allow freedom of movement. It prevents freedom of economy. It prevents people’s accessibility to health and education.

On average, a Palestinian is allowed to use no more than fifty cubic meters of water per year, while an Israeli illegal colonialist can use up to 2,400. We have to pay double the price for water and electricity. And we pay for our own water, which Israel controls. Out of 936 million cubic meters of water in the West Bank, Israel takes away 800 million.
I guess I missed when this subject got mentioned in Annapolis.

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