Al Arakib villagers beaten and gassed as they protest the 16th demolition of their homes

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Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

Women, children of Bedouin village El Araqib beaten as they silently protest 16th demolition of their homes
(with photos) AIC 10 Feb - Women and children of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib were beaten and gassed by Israel forces Thursday morning (10/2), in an attempt to halt the 16th demolition of their homes and property. Israeli forces and Jewish National Fund workers entered the Bedouin village and again destroyed the residents homes, and continued preparing the land for the planting of a “peace forest.” When residents and activists attempted to halt their work, JNF workers and Israeli police fought back with force. The men in the village were held or detained while the women and children stood before the police and bulldozers and did not allow them to pass, all the while waving their Israeli identification cards as an expression of their trampled civil rights. The police attacked them with punches and tear gas. Six residents, four women and two children, were hospitalized at the Soroka hospital in Beer Sheva.

Clashes in Bedouin village leave 6 wounded
Ynet 10 Feb – Residents of southern village of Al-Arakib clash with JNF workers who came to plant trees in the area. Three people arrested for allegedly hurling stones. Balad condemns government,7340,L-4026687,00.html

Israeli army occupies roof in Silwan
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 10 Feb — The Israeli Army has occupied the roof of a Palestinian building in East Jerusalem’s Silwan district. The military order is effective until August 5, 2011, but the residents have been given 14 days to appeal. They are prohibited from ascending to the building’s roof … The structure contains the Batn Al-Hawa neighborhood’s main mosque and the houses of seven Palestinian families.
Meanwhile in Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli police threatened locals it would take extreme punitive measures over ongoing confrontations sparked by provocations by Jewish settlers in the area.

IDF razes settler outpost, illegal Palestinian structures
Ynet 9 Feb – The illegal outpost Mitzpe Avichai near Kiryat Arba was demolished Wednesday for the eight time, but Jewish settlers rebuilt it just a few hours later. “Each time they destroy it we expand it a little more,” one of the settlers said.,7340,L-4026434,00.html

Incursions / Detention / Israeli injustice

Israeli army represses Palestinian dissent by arresting children at 3 am  – Part 1 / Joseph Dana
9 Feb – (with videos of Nabi Saleh night raids) “They come for our woman and our children,” Bassem Tamimi, the leader of the Popular Committee of Nabi Saleh recently told me, “they [the Israeli army] know that woman are half our population and half our strength and so they target them along with the children.” Tamimi, a gentle man with a warm smile spoke to me about the repression of his village as we sat in his home overlooking the settlement of Halamish.

Exclusive video: Israeli army arrests 11-year-old in broad daylight (Part 2) / Joseph Dana
10 Feb – Yesterday, I posted two videos of January 2011 night raids in Nabi Saleh. The videos were taken during a ‘mapping operation’ conducted by the Israeli army. The operation was to photograph and catalogue all the male children in the village. There is no violence, just violation. The above is another video from Nabi Saleh, shot a couple of days after the night raids. It was taken on a Tuesday morning after Israeli authorities had completed another house raid. As the army and police were leaving, one police van stops and two border police officers jump out. 11-year-old Kareem Tamimi comes running into the frame, running towards his mother … The border police officers capture the child, handling him as if he was a fully grown adult … Kareem’s arrest was part of a strategy to apply as much pressure as possible on his 14-year-old brother Islam, who was arrested the previous day in a night raid, in order that Islam will deliver any script that his investigators wanted.

IOF troops desecrate mosque, detain West Bankers
NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) broke into an ancient mosque in Beit Dajan village, east of Nablus, and rounded up seven Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Thursday. Local sources reported that the IOF soldiers took photos of the mosque from within and outside along with other ancient sites and old buildings, the municipal council premises, village clubs, culture centers, and under construction projects … Locals said that tens of IOF soldiers stormed at dawn today Oqaba village in Tobas district, and detained four citizens of one family after searching their homes.

Jews and three right-wing Israeli ministers desecrate Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
NABLUS, (PIC) 10 Feb — Hundreds of extremist Jewish settlers and three ministers desecrated last night Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus city and some of them caused havoc in a nearby Palestinian girls’ school. The visit was made under protection from Israeli soldiers and Palestinian authority security militias.

3 youth arrested, 1 injured in day of army harassment in Beit Ommar
10 Feb – On Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, Israeli soldiers entered the village of Beit Ommar and arrested three Palestinian youth. The soldiers also shot 14-year-old Shadi Ahmed Ikhlyal, with rubber-coated steel bullets three times at a distance of about 20 meters. Shadi was taken to the Ahli Hospital in Hebron where his wounds were described as moderate. Five military vehicles and one police car entered the Jodor area of Beit Ommar from the Gush Etzion Settlement at 10am. This is the same area where Yousef Ikhlyal was shot and killed by Israeli settlers from Bat Ayn on January 29th

Hawara prisoners poisoned after jail served rotten food
RAMALLAH, (PIC) 10 Feb — Palestinians held at the Israeli Hawara detention center were poisoned after eating breakfast served by the prison on Monday, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. Several prisoners had suffered extreme stomach pains and diarrhea. They rejected breakfast served the following day complaining of its bad smell and taste. They believed it to be rotten like the previous instance.

Cops cleared of abuse charges
Ynet 9 Feb – Last of 10 officers accused of beating, urinating on Palestinian man cleared for lack of evidence … Though the Justice Ministry believed the complainant’s account of severe physical violence used against him by 10 officers, just four were originally indicted, and the charges against three have since been dropped. On Wednesday, the unit also dropped charges against the final remaining indicted officer.,7340,L-4026451,00.html

Siege / Closures / Restriction of movement

Nablus town closed down for MK visit
NABLUS (Ma’an) 10 Feb — The town of Balata was closed down overnight by Israeli forces escorting three members of the Knesset on the first state visit to Joseph’s Tomb since troops withdrew from the area. At least 1,000 religious Jews and settlers were present for the visit, which began at 11 p.m. and lasted until sunrise. Residents were told not to leave their homes for the duration.

Huwwara checkpoint to come down
NABLUS (Ma’an) 10 Feb — Nablus Governor Jebrin Al-Bakri was informed by PA liaison officials that the Israeli military will begin immediately the removal of infrastructure for the Huwwara and Beit Furik checkpoints … The announcement came after what Al-Bakri said was eight months of negotiations with Israeli officials, saying that without freedom of movement through the northern West Bank, economic development would be impossible … the Nablus district alone has 6 checkpoints, three partial checkpoints, 33 earth mounds blocking exit roads from major thoroughfares, eight roadblocks 5,400 meters of trenches and 3,363 meters of earth walls preventing free movement.

Health ministry: The bombing of medical aid depot worsened crisis in Gaza
GAZA, (PIC) (10 Feb) — The Palestinian ministry of health warned that the crisis of medicines in the besieged Gaza Strip was aggravated after Israel bombed a medical aid warehouse at an early hour Wednesday morning. Minister of health Basem Naim said in a news conference inside the bombed depot that Gaza already suffers from acute shortage of medical supplies and the bombing worsened the problem and noticeably affected the work of hospitals.

UN puts Gaza unemployment rate at 45%
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The unemployment rate in Gaza has continued to climb in 2011, reaching 45.4%, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told reporters in Gaza City on Wednesday. At a news conference for the UN Relief and Works Agency, Gunness warned that the increasing unemployment was a sign of a hugely fragile Gaza economy, which he described as on the “brink of collapse.”

Crossing borders: the long, lonely walk to Gaza / Harriet Sherwood
Passing through the Erez terminal between Israel and Gaza is an unnerving experience, however many times I do it

Goods enter through single crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 10 Feb — The southernmost Gaza-Israel crossing terminal Kerem Shalom was opened by Israeli officials on Thursday, for an estimated 180-190 truckloads of goods … The same crossing, described by UN officials as a “bottleneck” was scheduled to export six truckloads of strawberries and carnations under a Dutch government program to support Gaza farmers.

Industrial fuel – needs vs. supply – Jan 9 – Feb 5

Goods – needs vs. supply – Jan 9 – Feb 5

Activism / Solidarity / BDS

New fund to aid victims of army abuse
10 Feb – The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee has created a new fund, the “Dismantling Impunity Fund”. This fund will aid Palestinians engaging in non-violent resistance pay for legal fees when suing Israel for deaths caused by the Israeli army.

Battle over Mideast transit ads heating up
…In several major U.S. cities, advertisements on public buses and municipal rail stations are designed to galvanize public opinion to end U.S. military aid to Israel or to pressure Palestinians to end anti-Jewish incitement. In some cases, the ads have been deemed so inflammatory that local authorities have tried to restrict or ban them outright, leading to frustration on both sides and, in one case, a federal lawsuit.

PACBI asks Macy Gray not to come to Ramallah / Joseph Dana
Open Letter to Macy Gray Occupied Ramallah February 9, 2011 – The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) views with great dismay your upcoming performance in Tel Aviv, despite your acknowledgment that “what the Israeli government is doing to the Palestinians is disgusting.” … PACBI has also learned that you intend to visit Ramallah on your tour, a suggestion raised in the past by all those who have tried to appease the occupied Palestinian people while going against our call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

Irish artists join forces to launch Gaza ship fundraiser
2 Feb – A GROUP OF Irish artists including actor Stephen Rea have launched a fundraising project to help an Irish ship join an international flotilla to Gaza later this year.

Egyptian uprising and Palestine

Stranded Palestinians finally allowed to leave Cairo airport
CAIRO, (PIC) 10 Feb — Palestinian citizens stranded at the Cairo international airport were finally allowed on Wednesday to enter Cairo after two weeks in the airport. Egyptian sources told the PIC that 30 Palestinians left the airport after being held there after closure of the Rafah border terminal leading to Gaza Strip … The sources said that part of those Palestinians went to their relatives and friends’ homes in Cairo while others were moved to Palestine hotel, adding that diplomats at the Arab League intervened for the sake of moving those stranded citizens from the airport where they had declared a hunger strike last Sunday to protest their condition.

Gazan students hold Egypt solidarity rally
GAZA CITY (AFP) 9 Feb — Several hundred Islamist students rallied in central Gaza on Wednesday in a show of solidarity with the ongoing anti-government protests in Egypt, onlookers said.

Despite PA repression, Palestinians rally for Egypt / Charlotte Silver
(EI) 9 Feb – …In the West Bank, demonstrating solidarity takes on a dual and potentially treacherous significance, as Palestinians can easily indict their own government for similar charges heard from Egyptians and earlier, Tunisians. The fate of Egypt has direct consequences for that of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, where elections for the Palestinian Authority have not been held even though the terms of office for the legislative council and president have long since expired … The PA has notably distanced itself from the events in Tunisia and Egypt, while Palestinian television has reportedly entirely ignored Egypt. Moreover, the PA has squashed attempts by Palestinians to express solidarity with their sisters and brothers in Egypt, bringing to light the repression and fear Palestinians face.

Political/Diplomatic news

Islamic Jihad: Elections will deepen crisis
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 10 Feb — Palestinian factions in Gaza said Tuesday that no Palestinian faction is entitled to unilateral decisions to hold national elections to serve special interests.

Ashrawi welcomes elections date
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) 10 Feb — PLO official and lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi welcomed Wednesday the decision to hold local elections on July 9. She stressed that elections were a basic requirement for a future democratic and sovereign Palestinian state.

US ‘committed’ to Israel security amid Egypt unrest
WASHINGTON (AFP) 10 Feb — The United States will work to ensure that turmoil in Egypt does not create “new dangers for Israel or the region,” a top US diplomat said in prepared testimony to a key congressional committee. [End]

US official: Israeli’s actions in East Jerusalem go against Mideast peace efforts
Haaretz 9 Feb – Israel’s continued East Jerusalem construction hurts efforts to advance Middle East peace, a U.S. State Department official said on Wednesday, adding that those actions contradicted the logic of a reasonable agreement on the capital’s future status.

Israel’s Barak discusses Egypt at White House
WASHINGTON (AFP) 10 Feb – Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak met US President Barack Obama’s most senior national security aides Wednesday, with anxiety over Egypt dominating the foreign policy of both nations.

Other news

Report: Egypt used Israeli technology to disable state’s Internet
(PIC) 9 Feb — Egypt used advanced Israeli technology to disable the internet across the nation during the first week of popular revolutionary protests that began January 25, the Israeli Yediot Ahronot newspaper said. The ruling regime was forced to ask for Israeli technology experts to block the internet in order to curb the swelling of protests that eventually demanded the ouster of President Mubarak, Ynet reported Wednesday.

Journalists arrested in Bethlehem
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) 9 Feb — The Preventive Security Service prevented two journalists from covering a protest Tuesday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem and then placed them in custody, a press freedom group said. Quds TV correspondent Mamdouh Hamamrah was covering a teachers’ sit-in in at the Education Ministry in Bethlehem when Preventive Security personnel arrested him and his cameraman, MADA said Wednesday.

Qalqiliya man arrested for collaboration
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) 10 Feb — The Palestinian Authority Court of First Instance sentenced a suspect to 14 years in prison and hard labor after he was convicted of collaborating with the occupation. The Public Prosecution in Qalqilya charged the unidentified man with spying for Israel. The charge carries a maximum penalty of death, but it is almost never carried out.

Jewish Israeli woman gives birth at Palestinian West Bank hospital
9 Feb (Haaretz) The woman, who is married to an Arab Israeli man, refuses to be transferred to an Israeli hospital, saying she hoped her baby would have Palestinian citizenship.


Israeli university lecturer says denied promotion for being ‘too leftist’
Haaretz 10 Feb – Bar Ilan’s promotions committee also ruled against elevating Dr. Menachem Klein to the rank of professor five years ago.

After France, Israel considers ‘banning the burqa’
Haaretz 10 Feb – All clothing that covers the face in a public place would be banned, but the proposed law would affect mainly Muslim women … Solodkin insists that the law does not discriminate against Muslims, pointing out that a small sect of ultra-Orthodox Jewish women that shroud themselves from head to toe also exists.

Activist: Israel becoming country of servants and lordst
Ynet 9 Feb – Viki Knafo, who led single moms’ campaign eight years ago, joins fight against recent price increases on bread, fuel, water. ‘Israelis like to suffer, but we must wake up before situation becomes catastrophic,’ she says,7340,L-4026385,00.html

Haaretz editorial: Israel must carry out fair judgment for foreigners
9 Feb – A Georgian citizen married to an Israeli woman was surprised to discover last week that a decision made by a judge overseeing his custody tribunal appeared in his file before his case was even heard. The file on Besik Kajaia also contained statements he had supposedly made in Hebrew, a language he does not know.

Analysis / Opinion / Human interest

The scent of the Palestinian pharaoh / Abdaljawad Hamayel
(EI) 9 Feb – “They are marching to freedom, while we march to surrender.”  These were my mother’s words as she reacted spontaneously, but intensely to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions and lamented over Palestinians’ self-inflicted wounds emanating from the Palestinian Authority and its numerous failures … It is not only surrender we are marching to, but we are marching — under PA tutelage — toward a typical one-party, pseudo-security state.

Unlike Egyptians, Israelis support restricting expression / Akiva Eldar
Nearly 40 percent of Israelis believe there is too much freedom of expression in Israel.

Palestinian teen undergoes skull surgery at Hope
9 Feb – Palestinian teenager Nojoud Basal sat on an examining table Wednesday at Hope Children’s Hospital and got a clean bill of health from Dr. Yoon Hahn … Basal, 15, was seriously injured in 2009 when an artillery shell exploded outside her home in the Gaza Strip during a military conflict and shrapnel damaged her skull.


Wednesday: 14 Iraqis killed, 120 wounded
A significant attack in Kirkuk may have shook the country today and reminded the world of Iraq’s continuing violence, but it is the amount of chronic corruption within government that perhaps has even more Iraqis rattled. At least 14 Iraqis were killed in attacks across the country and 121 more were wounded. The head of the Commission on Integrity (COI), Rahim Hassan al-Uqailee, warned that corruption is a major source of financing for terrorist groups, but self-protection within the departments and among their ministers exacerbates the situation.

Thursday: 11 Iraqis killed, 50 wounded
Attacks in north and central Iraq have left at least 11 Iraqis dead and 50 wounded. A National Alliance legislator has asked for another sweep of Ba’ath Party loyalists from security forces. A car bomber stalking pilgrims in Dujail killed nine people and wounded 40 others. The victims were walking to the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra for religious observances that will take place on Saturday. The bomber easily penetrated their procession by disguising his car with flags and mourning music.

Other Mideast / Arab world

Jordan PM names Islamist, leftists to new cabinet
AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) 9 Feb — Jordanian Prime Minister Maaruf Bakhit named a new cabinet including an Islamist and five leftists Tuesday following the dismissal of the previous government by King Abdullah II earlier this month. The new line-up, which was sworn in, includes independent Islamist Abdelrahim Akur, who is a former leader of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, as head of the ministry of Islamic affairs and awqaf (endowments).

Jordan tribes break taboo by targeting queen
AMMAN, Jordan (AFP) 9 Feb — Popular discontent took a new turn with unprecedented public criticism of King Abdullah II’s wife, Queen Rania, who stands accused of “corruption” by large tribes, the bedrock of Jordan’s regime. “We call on the king to return to the treasury land and farms given to the Yassin family (of the queen). The land belongs to the Jordanian people,” 36 tribal leaders said this week in a joint statement.

Tunisia announces talks with unions
TUNIS (AFP) 9 Feb — Tunisia’s interim president Foued Mebazaa on Wednesday announced that talks with unions would be held soon after he was given wide powers to restore order following the ouster of ex-leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. [End]

Revolution is an export Tunisia can be proud of / Nouri Gana
(EI) 8 Feb – I am not a big fan of Tunisia’s Prime Minister Mohammad Ghannouchi. His name is reminiscent of deposed President Zine El Abedine Ben Ali’s autocratic regime, and of the interim government’s riot police’s recent attack on sit-in protesters in Tunis’s Qasbah Government Square when all eyes were focused on Egypt (“Let’s not forget about Tunisia,” Jadaliyya, 30 January 2011). Yet, I very much appreciated some of what Ghannouchi had to say last Friday, 4 February 2011, to journalist Piers Morgan on his new CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight. Here is an excerpt:


WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep lid on prices
Guardian 8 Feb – The US fears that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, may not have enough reserves to prevent oil prices escalating, confidential cables from its embassy in Riyadh show. The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom’s crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.

WikiLeaks: IDF deputy chief of staff discusses Gaza Operation Cast Lead and US, Egyptian roles to slow smuggling to Hamas
Date: 2/19/2009 14:53 Origin: Embassy Tel Aviv Classification: SECRET – 1. (S) SUMMARY: Israel Defense Force (IDF) Deputy Chief of Staff MG Dan Harel in a meeting with Ambassador Cunningham and senior U.S. officials said Egyptian and U.S. assistance is critical to slowing the flow of weapons and munitions into Gaza. Cooperation against smuggling is better with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman than it is with Egyptian Military Commander Field Marshall Tantawi

WikiLeaks: Suleiman told Israel he would cleanse Sinai of arms runners to Gaza
The news is more evidence of the close ties between Israel, the United States and Mr Suleiman, who is tipped to replace Hosni Mubarak as Egypt’s president. The close relationship has emerged from American diplomatic cables leaked to the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph.

Fatah expects little progress in reconciliation talks, defends PA security doctrine
Date: 6/25/2009 14:33 Origin: Consulate Jerusalem Classification: SECRET — 1. (C) Summary. Fatah and Hamas delegations will hold reconciliation meetings in Cairo in late June in advance of a planned “signing ceremony” on July 7, according to senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad. Al-Ahmad said Egyptian officials want a “political” announcement that puts off the most difficult issues until new elections. Fatah opposes such an agreement because it could legitimize Hamas control of Gaza, he added.


Feds: Young Muslims revered NC terrorism leader
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) 9 Feb  – Daniel Patrick Boyd developed a following in his local Muslim community as believers learned about his time waging war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, and he used that stature to tell young followers about the need for violent jihad, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Al Jazeera video: Dispute over Guantánamo death
9 Feb – Kin of Afghan man who died in the US-run detention centre contest the claim he died of “natural causes” — Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive footage from the funeral of Awal Gul, an Afghan man who died in US custody at the Guantánamo Bay detention centre last week. The US military said that Awal Gul’s death was caused by “apparent natural causes”. But as Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Kabul, the incident has stirred up anti-American sentiment.

Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers

New settlement built in Negev to Judaise area, displace Bedouin communities
The first housing plots in the new Negev settlement of Carmit went on sale this week. A representative of the Or Movement, which promotes settlement construction in the Negev and the Galilee, said Carmit is being advertised as a town for “affluent immigrants from English-speaking countries.” ”There are 80 families of British, Americans and South Africans who are coming,” Roni Flamer, the movement’s co-founder, stated in March 2010. Israel’s District Planning and Building Commission of the Southern Region approved the construction of 739 housing units for Carmit’s Phase A, back in 2005.

Red Cross tents demolished in village
NABLUS (Ma’an) 9 Feb — Israeli military bulldozers demolished barns and tents in Khirbet Tana village on Wednesday, marking the fourth time in a week dwellings in the area set up by the International Red Cross were forcibly taken down … A representative of Israel’s Civil Administration said the demolitions were a part of “routine law enforcement activity against illegal building,” and confirmed that approximately 19 buildings were destroyed.

Eviction orders issued to Bedouin families in Jerusalem
Silwan, Jerusalem (SILWANIC) 8 Feb — The Israeli Civil Administration issued eviction orders to the residents of Palestinian Bedouin community Sira’iya. The orders are valid for the tents, barns and animal pens that house the families of Sira’iya and their livestock, horses and poultry. The community is located in Wadi Abu Hindi area between Abu Dis, Bethlehem and Sawahreh of south-east Jerusalem. Hatem Abdel Qader, who holds the Jerusalem portfolio for the PA, stated that the eviction orders underline the clear intention of the Israeli authorities to displace the Sira’iya clans from their traditional land in the greater Jerusalem area, thus enabling further land annexation and settlement construction in the region, completing the so-called “Eastern Ring” of Jewish settlements around the capital.

Rawabi developer to replace trees donated by JNF
9 Feb – Bashar Al-Masri, developer of a new West Bank city Rawabi, said Tuesday that trees donated to the project by the Jewish National Fund would be replaced by olive trees. Masri said there was some confusion over the trees, explaining that pine trees near the city were actually in Area C, a zone under full Israeli control. He stressed that the new city’s identity was Palestinian, and that some Israeli elements were trying “to manipulate the issue.” Earlier Tuesday, senior Fatah member Uri Davis called on Masri to uproot the trees in an opinion piece published on Ma’an.

Village and forest and a bit about God / Adam Keller
8 Feb …Why is the government of Israel, the only democratic state in the Middle East (?), so insistent upon repeatedly destroying a small village which existed long before Israel itself came into being? The answer is well known: to make the desert bloom. Yes, it is the proclaimed and outspoken intention of the Jewish National Fund to plant a forest on this site. This damned unrecognized village called Arakib poses an obstacle to their noble forestry plans. A forest? Is it really possible to let a forest grow in this arid area, even if a lot of water is pumped there from other regions. Possibly the JNF might manage a little grove, should the police ever manage to rid them of the stubborn villagers. Maybe…

Civil Administration destroys caravans in West Bank outpost
Ynet 9 Feb – Civil Administration officials, accompanied by police and army forces, destroyed a number of caravans in the West Bank outpost of Mitzpe Avihai near Kiryat Arba. The illegal outpost, which houses two families, was demolished several times in the past and rebuilt by the settlers.,7340,L-4025924,00.html

Violence / Attacks / Incursions

Video: Israel deliberately bombs medical supply building in Gaza / Ken O’Keefe
9 Feb – Israel has intentionally dropped two large bombs on the AL-Qerem Medical Supplies Factory in Jabalya, Gaza. The building is totally destroyed, as was all of the medical supplies and equipment. Gaza is already in crisis mode for lack of medical supplies, this bombing will mean even the most basic of medical needs will continue to be impossible to satisfy.

Israel bombs medical aid warehouse in Gaza
(with photos) 9 Feb (Middle East Monitor) Fires raged through the early hours of the morning as fire-fighters and volunteers tried to salvage medical supplies and aid … The press spokesperson for the Emergency Services, Abu Adham, said that eight civilians were injured by the Israeli bombs, including two children and three women. The casualties were taken to the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza. Abu Adham pointed out that there is already an acute shortage of medicines and medical supplies in the Gaza Strip due to the ongoing Israeli blockade of the territory. In his assessment, the airstrike targeted the medical warehouse in an attempt to subdue further the civilian population.

10 Palestinians injured in Gaza strikes
Ten Palestinians were injured Wednesday morning in Israeli air strikes which started after midnight and hit in a series of explosions running from the northern end of the Strip to the south … eight were lightly injured including two children and three women … one strike targeted a medicine warehouse east of Gaza City. The strike obliterated the warehouse and damaged a carpenters workshop next door, he said. The Israeli warplanes dropped another two missiles on an empty area east of Gaza City with no injuries reported. Further south, two Palestinians were injured when missiles hit a training ground used by Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades. Medical sources said the injured were civilians who lived adjacent to the site.

Palestinian injured in clashes south of Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — A teenager was hospitalized Wednesday morning after being shot in the leg by Israeli forces with a rubber-coated bullet, as witnesses said the force entered the village of Urif. South of the illegal Yitzhar settlement, locals said the military patrol sparked clashes as a group of armored cars drive through the area, prompting teens and children on their way to class to throw stones and yell.


PFLP wing says shelled Israeli military jeep
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) 9 Feb — The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, said militants fired a projectile on an Israeli military jeep east of Gaza City’s Ash-Shujayiya neighborhood on Wednesday morning. According to a statement sent by the group, Israeli soldiers entered the area to rescue the targeted patrol. The attack came after a series of three Israeli airstrikes hit targets across the Gaza Strip, injuring 10, including three women and two children.


OPT: Gaza vulnerable despite resumption of Egyptian petrol deliveries
GAZA CITY, 9 Feb (IRIN) – Despite ongoing protests calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s immediate resignation, petrol is once again flowing through the tunnels from Egypt into Gaza after supplies were cut for a week due to the unrest, according to the Palestinian General Petroleum Corporation.  The corporation reports that almost one million tons of diesel has been pumped under the border into the Gaza Strip in the past two days. At least 210,000 litres of petrol has also come through and more is expected, alleviating immediate fears of a fuel shortage.

WHO: Gaza drug shortage ‘serious’ risk to health
9 Feb – A World Health Organization report found “serious health risks” were at play during an investigation probing the availability of essential medications in the Gaza Strip.  In coping with the unavailability of medications, the report said, doctors prescribe alternative medications that are sometimes less effective or have worse side effects. In other cases, patients must independently approach NGOs for medications unavailable in clinics. The report said the issue was the most severe when it came to cancer drugs, drugs for patients with kidney failure, congenital heart disease or immunosuppressant drugs for transplant patients.

Two Gaza crossings operate
9 Feb – Two terminals were opened Wednesday for the introduction of aid and commercial goods into Gaza, Israeli officials informed Palestinian liaison officers early in the day.

Egyptian uprising and Palestine

Facebook call for uprising against Hamas in Gaza on Friday
9 Feb – Gaza City – A Facebook page created by anonymous people is calling on Palestinians to take part in mass protest against Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Friday.The page, titled Honour Revolution (Thauret al-Karama in Arabic), urges Gazans to take to the street after Muslim Friday prayers to topple the de-facto government of the Islamist movement … By Wednesday afternoon, 2,338 people had joined it by clicking “like.”The group’s stated aim is to end the split between Gaza and the West Bank,,uprising-hamas-gaza-friday.html

Hungry Gazans feed Egyptian troops / Mohammed Omer
9 Feb – Rafah – Mustapha Suleiman, 27, from J Block east of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, crosses through gaps in the iron fence on the border carrying bread, water, meat cans and a handful of vegetables for Egyptian soldiers stationed on the other side. “Whatever you offer on Saturday you will receive on Sunday,” Suleiman says. “I am ready to help with what I have, for all the work they do.”

Palestinians face uncertain reception at Cairo airport
An official at the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo denied reports that Palestinians were being denied entry into Egypt, saying all those with residence permits could access the country freely. The director of the Egyptian borders authority, however, told AFP that the entry of at least 12 Palestinians had been denied, saying they were expelled from the country after landing in Cairo. The ban, he said, would be temporary and not apply to those already in Cairo. On Tuesday, Hamas officials in Gaza said there were at least ten Palestinians being held in the Cairo airport.

Fatah had nothing to do with pipeline blast: ambassador
Palestinian ambassador to Cairo Barakat Al-Farra said Wednesday that Egyptian media reports had accused Fatah-affiliates of being behind a blast that targeted the Israel-Egypt-Jordan gas pipeline in the Sinai last week … Hamas had initially come under suspicion for the attack, but officials said their fighters had nothing to do with the incident.  According to Al-Farra, Fatah next came under suspicion.

Egyptian humor touches Palestine
‘If the Egyptian revolution succeeds,’ the joke, murmured in the streets of Cairo goes, ‘it will meet with Tunis for the finals.’  A second, which made the rounds in Egypt by SMS, and arrived on the mobiles of thousands of Palestinians, commented: A group of surgeons went to Egypt to perform a one-of-a-kind operation on conjoined twins named Hosni Mubarak and the Throne

Political/Diplomatic news

Israel’s Barak in US for top-level talks
JERUSALEM (AFP) 9 Feb — Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak is to hold a series of top-level talks in Washington later on Wednesday which Israeli media say will center on the unfolding crisis in Egypt.

Hague warns Israel to soften rhetoric
9 Feb – The Middle East peace process is in danger of falling victim to the revolutionary tide sweeping the Arab world, [British] foreign secretary William Hague has warned. Speaking on an emergency tour of the region, Mr Hague also urged Israel to tone down its “belligerent” language in the wake of the uprisings which have spread from Tunisia to Egypt and beyond.

Netherlands could be safe haven for war criminals: leaked memo
A leaked secret memorandum from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests the government is seeking to ensure Israeli and other foreign officials who may be pursued for war crimes can visit the Netherlands without fear of arrest or legal accountability.

Authority to complain against Al Jazeera
9 Feb – Ramallah: The Palestinian National Authority plans to complain against Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera at the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for theft of confidential documents [‘Palestine Papers’], a top Palestinian official said on Monday. Dr Saeb Erekat, the Chief Palestinian Negotiator, said the Palestinian Authority will bring up its case against Al Jazeera to the IFJ in the next 14 days. He accused Al Jazeera of stealing the documents, which he termed a crime committed against the Palestinian people.

Other news

Marmara hits stage in anti-Israel play
‘We are presenting Israel’s inhuman actions against Palestinians,’ says director of play on flotilla raid — On Saturday a new play about the May 31 IDF flotilla raid on the Mavi Marmara, which killed nine Turkish civilians, premiered in Istanbul. About a thousand people watched ‘Dying to Give Life – Mavi Marmara’, and its producers have planned many more showings throughout the country.,7340,L-4025884,00.html

Gaza youth vent anger on Facebook
9 Feb (BBC) …Khaled (not his real name) has become something of an online sensation in Gaza, but is now effectively living in hiding. He is one of the authors of the Gaza Youth Manifesto for Change, a 450-word tirade against the frustrations of life in the Strip. Posted online in December, the manifesto now has over 19,000 followers on the group’s Facebook page under the name Gaza Youth Breaks Out [GYBO].

Rainfall up after years of drought
9 Feb – The PA Department of Agriculture released rainwater statistics for the West Bank on Wednesday, showing significant boosts to annual numbers as showers continue across the region. Six out of twelve regions have already seen more than 90 percent of the historic average number of millimeters of rainfall,


MKs: 13 Iron Dome batteries needed
Member of Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee say first batteries of missile defense system must be stationed in Gaza vicinity; defense establishment seeks fewer batteries,7340,L-4026242,00.html

Haredi ads: Internet causes cancer
…”Where there is Internet, there are no rains,” read one of the posters that were pasted in central haredi spots. “Let’s remove the idolatry from among us. Hundreds of thousands of cancer patients (suffer) because of the Internet.”,7340,L-4015545,00.html


Tuesday: 4 Iraqis killed, 7 wounded
Amnesty International released a report stating that Iraq routinely tortures detainees in secret prisons. Meanwhile, at least four Iraqis were killed and seven more were wounded in reported violence. In Baghdad, a bomb at a brigadier general’s house in Ghazaliya killed him, while a second bomb wounded four others. Gunmen stormed a home in Mushahda, forced a man and his son outside, and killed them both. Two Katyusha rockets fell in the Tigris River near the Green Zone….

Three car bombs kill , wound 78 in Iraq’s Kirkuk
(Reuters) 9 Feb – …The explosions were the latest in a series of attacks on police and soldiers by insurgents as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw by the end of this year. Kirkuk, inhabited by a mix of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen and others, sits on some of Iraq’s biggest oil reserves and is one of the disputed territories at the center of tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraq’s central government in Baghdad.

Video: Moment roadside bomb exploded in Kirkuk
9 Feb BBC

US reports 20 percent drop in Iraq violence
Baghdad 8 Feb (CSM) — US military commanders in Iraq on Tuesday praised the lowest levels of violence in Iraq since 2003, saying that Iraqi forces were making security gains while American forces prepare for final departure at the end of the year. Overall security incidents fell by one-fifth, despite a host of security incidents in recent months

US gov’t seeks to reopen Blackwater case
WASHINGTON (AFP) 8 Feb — A US appeals court met behind closed doors as the government appealed a judge’s decision to clear five former guards with security company Blackwater of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Amnesty UK: ‘Tortured British man in Iraq faces trial tomorrow
7 Feb – A British man is set to stand trial in Iraq on terrorism charges tomorrow (9 February) amid claims that he suffered prolonged torture while being held in secret detention. Ramze Shihab Ahmed, a 68-year-old dual Iraqi-UK national who has lived in the UK since 2002, is due to appear at the Al-Rusafa Criminal Court in Baghdad tomorrow morning (9 February) to face charges of inciting and fundraising for terrorism, charges that may attract a death penalty.

Graft finances terrorism, Iraqi official claims
BAGHDAD (AFP) 9 Feb — Instead of fighting graft Iraq’s ministers prefer to hide departmental corruption, contributing to a major source of insurgent financing, the country’s top anti-fraud official said on Wednesday. Iraq is rated by watchdog Transparency International as the fourth most corrupt country in the world

City of contrasts / Abeer Mohammed
8 Feb – Some are less obvious than others as Sadr City undergoes cultural and economic change — Contradictions are evident everywhere you go in this impoverished district of Baghdad. Sadr City is increasingly a cultural battleground between traditional Islam and modernity. This teeming Shia stronghold of Baghdad is also the backdrop for a fight against poverty as Iraq stabilises and attempts to expand its economic opportunities.

Mannequins wear a message for Iraq’s women
8 Feb – Four mannequins in Western dress in the Kadhimiya neighborhood. Text accompanying the display, put on by a mosque, had an uncompromising message: Men who look at women in such dress become voracious monsters; women who wear it burn through eternity … Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government in 2003, women’s clothing has served as a barometer not just of fashion, but of the current ascendancy of religious values in a once secular society.

Other Mideast / Afghanistan

UNIFIL says not notified of Israeli freeze of withdrawal from border village
8 Feb …The UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti said that UNIFIL has not been notified by Israel of any change in its stance on the matter of its withdrawal from Ghajar and the adjacent region. “Our stance is very clear, Israel is obliged to withdraw from these two areas according to (UN Security Council) Resolution 1701, ” Tenenti was quoted as saying by the NNA.

Arab leaders pin hopes on subsidies to allay anger
BEIRUT (AP) 9 Feb — Arab leaders are scrambling to boost salaries and subsidies in a bid to head off the kind of popular uprisings that have threatened the Egyptian president’s hold on power and led to the ouster of Tunisia’s leader after more than two decades. But experts warn the moves might actually prolong the economic imbalances that helped spark the unrest in the first place.

Jordan king swears in new government after protests
AMMAN, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Jordan’s King Abdullah swore in a new government on Wednesday, led by a former general who has promised to widen public freedoms in response to anti-government protests inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Yemen tries to woo opposition after concessions
SANAA, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Yemen said on Wednesday it had received a positive global response to an offer by President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down when his term ends in 2013, but was still trying to draw the opposition to the negotiating table.

Afghan air war doubles: now 10 attacks per day
(with video) 8 Feb – Dave Petraeus won’t let up his aerial assault on Afghanistan. After taking the air war to record highs in the fall, coalition aircraft are now flying about 10 bombing missions a day, nearly double the rate over the same period last year. It’s yet another sign of Petraeus’ gloves-off approach to prosecuting the Afghan campaign – one that the NATO commander swears is brutalizing Taliban networks, while barely scraping the civilians around them.


US House defeats anti-terrorism powers extension
WASHINGTON (AFP) 8 Feb — The US House of Representatives rejected a nine-month extension of counter-terrorism surveillance powers at the heart of the Patriot Act adopted after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The surprise vote came amid a bitter battle over how long to extend the intrusive powers at the core of the signature legislative response to the terrorist strikes nearly 10 years ago, and with what safeguards.

Guantánamo one of world’s ‘finest prisons’: Rumsfeld
WASHINGTON (AFP) 8 Feb — The “war on terror” prison at the US naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba is “one of the finest prison systems in the world,” former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday.

‘All those involved in my treatment should be jailed for war crimes’
9 Feb (WSWS) – On December 17, the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard signed an out-of-court settlement with former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib to end his legal action over the Australian government’s complicity in his illegal detention, extraordinary rendition, and torture by officials from the United States, Pakistan and Egypt between 2001 and 2005. The government’s sudden decision came after 54-year-old Habib presented its lawyers with testimony from a former Egyptian military intelligence officer, and from ex-detainee Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni, who was incarcerated with Habib in Egypt and at Guantánamo Bay.

Orange County DA files charges against Muslim-American students who interrupted Michael Oren; JVP says ‘charge us too’ / Adam Horowitz
8 Feb – Last Friday, the Orange County district attorney, Tony Rackauckas, announced he was filing charges against the 11 students who interrupted Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s speech at UC Irvine a year ago …Now Jewish Voice for Peace has come out in support of the protesters by making the obvious point that there is clearly a double standard when Muslim-Americans exercise their right to free speech versus other Americans.

About Kate

American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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