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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Palestinian Day 3

Including this female, I had 4 Palestinian Sunbird just a few minutes from my digs. The Israeli's are doin all they can to change the name of this species. They tried to pressure the International unions and organisations that deal with nature but the unions did not bow down to the bullying that Israel are so good at when they want to get their own way! especially when it comes to the UN and International Law. However, they won't stop trying to change the name to what they want it to be 'Orange Sunbird!!??

  As the Auberginn Hostel was full, I had to make a move just up road on the otherside of Jericho. It was not until 14.00 that I walked across the nearby fields and this is where I did my birding until almost.dark. While talking to the farmers, a female Hen Harrier swept low and scattered the Indian Silverbills and Crested Larks. In a weedy field there were lots of Chiffchaff and a single sandy coloured Lesser Whitethroat which were joined by a female Palestinian Sunbird just before dark I could hear a Quail.

Female Hen Harrier

If only the male Palestinian Sunbirds showed like this female

Had this sandy Lesser Whitethroat with warm flanks. I have no idea which race. Maybe Humes?? Any ideas?


Male Spanish Sparrow

Southern Grey Shrike are all over the shop

I observed 15 Steppe Buzzard, 4 Short-toed eagle, 1 Sparrowhawk and 60+white Stork on thermals before flying towards Jordan  

Little Green Bee-eater

White-breasted Kingfisher

Butterfly sp?

Last year when the Orphan Warbler turned up on St Agnes, Mark Yates showed me a pic that he had taken that showed what appeared to be markings on the undertail. 'That's an Eastern Orphan Warbler!' He told me. I said 'No good telling me. I couldn't tell you the difference between a Northern or Southern Orphan Warbler!' He looked at me and replied that there is no southern or Northern Orphan!' Really!? 'Oh yeah, I knew that. I was just testing you! Well done for spotting the mistake!' 

From here I could hear Quail 

The Palestinian people are so friendly and you can walk anywhere you like

Mountain of Temptation overlooking Jericho

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Palestine Day 2

There were good numbers of Little Green Bee-eaters in the Jericho area

 I met a Palestinian girl while on a bus from East Jerusalem into Palestine on our ways to Ramallah, two mornings ago. Before I carry on, I really don't care who I offend or upset. I say this because two people, pro-Israeli no doubt, have emailed me trying to defend Israel and telling me that I should stop
writing the (truth) about Israel on my blog! 

  They can't be as upset and angry as I am right now! What Ensaf, the girl I spoke to on the bus, told me about the environment in Jerusalem that she is living in. It was only later in the evening that I discovered something so awful, related to what might happen to Ensaf, that the poor girl probably doesn't even know about it herself!!

  Ensaf was on her ways to work in Ramallah and had just left university and was now working for a website organisation in the city. She also told me that because she lives in East Jerusalem, then she has got to have two passes given by the Israeli government, green and blue, to get in and out of Palestine, although Jerusalem is already in Palestine. Where she lives, there are up to 30 Palestinians surrounded by Israeli settlers and she hates it as they bully her whenever she leaves the house! The Israeli's, mainly children, throw rocks and shout names at her and her family, while the Israeli parents and IOF watch on and sometimes join in with the verbal abuse! This happens day and night! As she was telling me about the hell she lives through, I could see that she was getting upset and as she was just about to go to work anfd thought that it was a good idea to not talk about it anymore. I wished her all the best and that I hope that things will get better for her and her family. At the same time I knew this was never goin to be the case and later that evening just imagine my horror when I read this!!!

Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem's Palestinians

Palestinians slam new 'breach of loyalty' legislation as 'extremely racist' and a violation of international law.
The Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the minister of interior to revoke the residency rights of any Palestinian in Jerusalem on grounds of a "breach of loyalty" to Israel
The bill, ratified on Wednesday, will also apply in cases where residency status was obtained on the basis of false information, and in cases where "an individual committed a criminal act" in the view of the interior ministry. 
Under the new measure, Israel's Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox political party Shas, will be able to strip the residency documents of any Palestinian whom he deems a threat. 
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), described the law as "an extremely racist piece of legislation. 
"By unethically stripping the residency of Palestinians from Jerusalem and depriving the rights of those Palestinians to remain in their own city, the Israeli government is acting in defiance of international law and is violating international human rights and humanitarian laws," said Ashrawi, according to a statement published on Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency. 

'Security of Israeli citizens'

Despite Israel's claims that occupied East Jerusalem is part of its "eternal, undivided" capital, the Palestinians who are born and live there do not hold Israeli citizenship, unlike their Jewish counterparts. 
Palestinians in the city are given "permanent residency" ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only used for travel purposes. They are essentially stateless, stuck in legal limbo - they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine
The new bill will only worsen the difficult conditions for the 420,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, who are treated as foreign immigrants by the state.

Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

Any Palestinian who has lived outside of Jerusalem for a certain period of time, whether in a foreign country or even in the occupied West Bank, is at risk of losing their right to live there.
Since 1967, Israel has revoked the status of at least 14,000 Palestinians.
In a statement on his Twitter page, Deri, the interior minister, said this law would allow him to protect the "security of Israeli citizens". 
Deri, who was, in the past, convicted of bribery, fraud and "breach of trust", said the law would "be used against permanent residents who plan to carry out attacks against Israeli citizens". 

Illegal under international law

Adalah, a Palestinian rights group in Israel, said the law is illegal under international humanitarian law.
"East Jerusalem is considered occupied territory under international humanitarian law (IHL) - like all other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - and its Palestinian residents are a protected civilian population. It is therefore illegal under IHL to impose upon them an obligation of loyalty to the occupying power, let alone to deny them the permanent residency status on this basis," a statement by the group said. 
In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said such residency revocations, which force Palestinians out of Jerusalem, "could amount to war crimes" under the treaty of the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

Palestinians submit Israel 'war crime' evidence to ICC

The development comes amid heated tensions in Jerusalem, after US President Donald Trumpdecided to publicly recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December. Trump also vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv - the Israeli commercial capital - to Jerusalem. 
No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with the exception of the US and Russia. The latter had recently announced its recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and East Jerusalem as "the capital of the future Palestinian state".

  So, you can make your own minds up and even if Enafs has not committed a crime, you can still be sure that she will eventually be kicked out of her home with her family, because they are a threat to the Israeli settlers, and Ensaf will have no choice but to end up living in a refugee camp!! You can also be sure that the UN will do nothing about Israel breaking International law!! That's the only good thing the UN and International Law are good at, turning a blind eye!

   As I had been in Palestine before, I had an idea what to expect. I spent one night in Ramallah and all I saw were Common Swifts out of the window of Hostel D before catching a shared mini-van to Jericho. Here, I stayed at the digs as the same as last time, Auberginn Hostel SW of the city.
  06.00 this morning and I was out on one of the bikes that you can use and made myself south on one of the many dirt tracks. It was already light and 3 vocal Night Heron were overhead where there were also Alpine Swift, Black Kite and next to the digs, 20+White-throated Minia and 2 Little Green Bee-eater. I was heading towards the Dead Sea on the Palestinian side and on the map I could see that there were large bodies of water nearby.

I saw two flocks of White-throated Minia included these birds just outside where I was staying. 

There were lots of Little Green Bee-eater always in pairs and always on wires

There is a small flock of Tristram's Crackle near to the digs

  I was cycling on a bike with no gears, seat was too low and the breaks worked by pushing the peddles backwards with your feet. The peddle part was a pain in a butt because naturally you would move your legs backwards as your freewheeling only to come to a halt! As a result it took me two hours to get to the Dead Sea and flushed a number of Sand Partridge along the way. I reached the first reservoir and at a distance I could see a few Shoveler and Mallard on it. A Peregrine and Sparrowhawk flew through while below the cliffs were Pale Grag Martin and many Red-rumped Swallow. The next reservoir was an hour away and on bike that is with no gears! This res was a lot more productive including a single Redshank, 6 Little Stint, 2 Ferruginous Duck, 10 Little Grebe 20+teal and over 530 Shoveler. As the res was pretty big, I couldn't tell you what was on the other side. A single Namqua Dove flew straight through and later on at 16.00 when I returned to Jericho and I had a pair of Palestinian Sunbird. I also observed a Eastern Orphan Warbler get hit by a car in Jericho! Sadly it died in my hands!

One of the distant Ferruginous Duck

Over 530 Shoveler were also on the res

White Wagtail

There were up to 6 Little Stint

Spur-winged Plover are all over the shop and there must of been over 40 on the res

Steppe Buzzard and Marsh Harrier

Also had this escaped Parrot sp in Jericho

I wanted to get to the shore of the Dead Sea but there is barbed wired fence preventing you from doing this. The only way to get there is by goin through a resort, like the ones above, and pay to get into an area that was once Palestinian land and has now been occupied by the Israeli's! 

This was on a sign as I came out of one of the resorts. Peace is one thing that Israel has no idea what it means. Conflict with Lebanon, Threatening so many countries, the latest one being Iran, steeling the Golan Heights from Syria and land from Palestinian! The latter country also suffers from children as young as six ending up in a cell and released in one case I know, five years later! 

As that mad man, Trump, recognizing that Jerusalem is the 'capital of Israel' somehow I don't think what Steve sings when he says in this powerful song 'That I believe that one fine day all the children of Abraham, will lay down their swords together in Jeruslam' And after what Deri, the interior minister for Israel said about stripping residency of Jerusalem's Palestinians, that it will ever happen!