And more news from Today in Palestine:
Settlers resume construction in Havat Gilad
Ynet 8 Mar — Residents of village of Jit claim outpost settlers have begun building prep work on privately owned Palestinian land. Havat Gilad spokesman says lands were bought by Jews years ago — A week after the razing of illegal structures which prompted a series of protests and “price tag” activities, demolished structures in Havat Gilad have been rebuilt. In addition, four new structures are being set up. Meanwhile, the government has pledged to demolish the buildings by the end of the year. “Our Zionist response to the destruction of the country is to build immediately, not just the razed structures but several other ones,” Itay Zar, Havat Gilad founder said.
Plastic bullets used in Havat Gilad sent to PMO
Ynet 3 Mar — Settlers’ Committee head says Netanyahu not aware of harm plastic bullets can inflict; demands external probe into last week’s violence during outpost demolition
Rabbi Wolpo: Fire rubber bullets back at soldiers
Ynet 8 Mar — In radio interview, SOS Israel chairman urges violent resistance against IDF forces that evacuate outposts. ‘It will probably come down to a war between Jews,’ he warns
West Bank clashes: settlers stoned injured Palestinians
Ynet 7 Mar 22:57 — The IDF and Israel Police are trying to locate settlers who opened fire on Palestinians during clashes that erupted Monday afternoon near the Alei Ayin outpost, located near Nablus in the West Bank. Police were also trying to track down Jewish youths who threw stones at injured Palestinians while they were being treated by Israeli soldiers. According to the security establishment, seven Palestinians and three settlers were injured during the clashes. Two of the injured Palestinians were shot by IDF troops, three more were shot by settlers, another was burnt when he picked up a gas canister, and the seventh Palestinian was hit by a rubber bullet, security officials said. The settlers were hurt by stones … The Palestinians said the confrontation began after Jewish youths from Alei Ayin arrived at the village of Qasra to uproot olive tree seedlings.
Child among villagers injured by settlers
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 Mar 18:29 — Activists with the International Solidarity Movement in the village of Qusra said that evening clashes with settlers Monday night had left 13 injured, including a child. The group identified Ibrahim Hassan, 15, as the youngest victim, who doctors said sustained a bullet wound with an entry point at his back and exit through the kidney, which he would likely lose. Hassan was shot by setters who villagers said were uprooting olive trees on local lands.
Protecting Palestinian Susya
(with photos) Al-Tawamin, 5 Mar — …We wind our way slowly uphill over the rocks, a long early-morning walk. We pass a herd of sheep and goats, with their lone Palestinian shepherd; here, on the lower slopes, things are still calm. But on the crest of the hill, where two more herds are grazing happily, a settler—bearded, his tzitzit tassles waving frantically as he moves, his huge white skull-cap askew on his head—is already waiting for us. He’s there to make trouble, no doubt about that. Although it is Shabbat, he’s speaking earnestly into his cellphone, no doubt summoning the soldiers to drive us, and of course the shepherds, off the hill. And indeed the soldiers rapidly appear, a large contingent. The standard ritual commences. “This hilltop is Jewish,” the senior commander, a major from the Civil Administration (that is, the Occupation authority), grimly announces. “Tell your Palestinian friends to leave.”
Israel PM warns settlers over ‘price tag’ attacks
JERUSALEM (AFP) 8 Mar — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned hardline Jewish settlers against violent ‘price tag’ attacks of retribution against Palestinians … “The concept of ‘price tag’ is unacceptable,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office. “There is no taking the law into one’s own hands. Those who decide the law in Israel are the courts.” The settlers routinely react when police and soldiers demolish structures in settlements or wildcat settlement outposts. Reactions also include targeting Palestinians in a policy they call ‘price tag’ attacks. This is violence against the local population as a direct response to ‘anti-settler’ activity by the Israeli government.
Aharonovitch: Settlers should rage at themselves
Ynet 8 Mar — Minister speaks of settler violence over Havat Gilad eviction, gives complete backing to police force: ‘There is law, there is order and law and order must be enforced’. Meanwhile, designated police commissioner discusses future role: ‘Rahat law like Tel Aviv law’
Cabinet: All West Bank outposts on private Palestinian land to go by year’s end
Haaretz 7 Mar — Netanyahu’s government responds to petition submitted by Peace Now regarding six contentious outposts … At the same time, however, the government will begin legalizing illegal outposts built on state land … According to the order issued Monday, all of the homes in Givat Asaf, and some of the homes in Givat Har’eh and Ramat Gilad, will be razed. Mitzpeh Yitzhar is built on survey land, which means its official owners have not yet been determined.
State: Only 30% of illegal structures razed
Ynet 7 Mar — In response to Peace Now petition, State Prosecutor’s Office tells High Court it will work to demolish illegal West Bank structures built on private land by end of the year … Just 30% of the 1,569 illegal structures that have been built in [all illegal] Jewish settlements and outposts over the past three years have been destroyed, the state’s response says, while less than 13% have been razed in Palestinian villages [Dorothy Naor’s comment: The report however is slanted. It informs us that there have been many more demolitions of illegal settler homes than of illegal Palestinian ones, but neglects to mention that Palestinians do not receive building permits. They therefore have the choice to never add a room, porch, and any other part to their home or to add and risk having it demolished. For young couples it means deciding never to build a home or building one and having it demolished. Many Palestinian villagers’ homes are threatened with demolition. The residents have been informed. The bulldozers could come at any time of the day or night.]
Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Israel continues to target Khirbet Tana
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 7 Mar — Twenty portable water tankers brought into the hamlet of Khirbet Tana after Israeli forces destroyed the herder community’s wells in January, were confiscated on Monday morning, an official said. A group of Israeli military jeeps entered the hamlet and removed all of the trucked-in water carriers that residents use to store drinking water and reserves for animals. The tanks were brought in to assist the herders, whose homes and animal husbandry infrastructure were demolished six times, with five coming since the beginning of 2011.
South Hebron community faces demolitions
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Four tent homes, four caves and four sheds will be demolished by Israeli forces in the coming weeks, orders from Israel’s Civil Administration handed out to residents of the southern West Bank neighborhood of Zif warned. The third set of demolition notices handed out to Palestinians in two days, the Yatta neighborhood is also the second cave-dweller community targeted in the south Hebron hills district. The herder community of Amniyr, located between the Suseya settlement and its outpost, was buried by Israeli forces in February, who declared it illegally built. Residents took shelter in caves after Red Cross assistance was blocked. If the demolitions go ahead, the entire extended Abu Taha family, which inhabits the area, will be displaced … “The Israelis plan to displace the Palestinian owners and build residential units for settlers from the nearby Pene Hever settlement,” Jabour accused.
IOF serves more demolition notices
JENIN, (PIC) 8 Mar — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) served demolition notices to owners of eight installations in Barta‘a Al-Sharqiya village, south of Jenin, last night, local sources said.
El Araqib destroyed for 21st time, JNF changing facts on ground
AIC 8 Mar — Israeli forces demolished the little that remains of the Bedouin village of El Araqib on Monday, as they work to permanently change facts on the ground, erasing the village’s very existence and history … The Bedouin villagers have stopped rebuilding their homes and tents and are now living in makeshift structures in the village cemetery, adjacent to the property they once used as home. It seems that four tents are still too many, because Israeli forces joined by JNF bulldozers entered the village early Monday morning, destroyed the structures completely, and continued working on the land, which will be used for the planting of a ‘peace forest’ However, most recently, the authorities are not only destroying homes, but also removing the building material remains so they cannot be reconstructed. They are leaving nothing behind that may evidence the site of their future forest was once was a Bedouin village
Temporary injunction against new building in Palestinian village destroyed in 1948
AIC 8 Mar – An Israeli court has issued a temporary injunction on selling luxury lots on the site of the historic Palestinian village of Lifta, whose residents were expelled and forced out in 1948 … The tender was issued following the Jerusalem Municipality approval of construction of 268 housing units, one hotel and a number of community institutions on the site of the ancient Palestinian village …
The petition to save Lifta was submitted on Sunday by Attorney Sami Arshid on behalf of Jerusalem activists, including descendants of Lifta, the Bnei Lifta Association, Rabbis for Human Rights and the Jafra Association. According to the petitioners, “in the given situation and according to which the village of Lifta is an abandoned village and its original inhabitants live as refugees at a distance of only a few hundred metres from their village, it would have been befitting to abstain from all construction in the area and certainly to prevent building that would result in destruction of the village and the complete dispossession of the rights of the original inhabitants of the place” … It is one of the few of the 500 villages that had not been completely destroyed by Israeli forces in the time since. [See the story of Lifta, along with many photos, here: http://palestineremembered.com/Jerusalem/Lifta/index.html ]
Beit Ummar demonstrators block settler road
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Beit Ummar’s popular committee closed down the main road between Hebron and Jerusalem on Tuesday, barring settler cars from traveling on the road, a committee spokesman said. Yousif Abu Maria said the closure was intended to remind settlers that Palestinians are prohibited from accessing their lands located near settlements, the separation wall and Israeli military posts across the West Bank … Israeli forces quickly quashed the demonstration, detaining international solidarity protesters and organizer Azmi Ash-Shioukhy, Abu Maria said.
IOF troops raid southern Gaza
KHAN YOUNIS, (PIC) 8 Mar — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced into southern Gaza Strip areas to the east of Khan Younis city amidst heavy firing, Palestinian sources reported. They added that four IOF armored vehicles escorted two huge bulldozers into the town of Khuza‘a, noting that reconnaissance planes were hovering overhead.
Dr Barghouthi detention in Hebron
7 Mar — While accompanying a Bulgarian delegation through the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi was detained without reason in what can only be described as a racist violation of his human and civil rights … Reporting what the soldiers told him, Dr. Barghouti told recounted, “You are detained, and we will not return your ID until Shabak decides what to do with you.” Shabak is the chief intelligence organization, it is also commonly known as Shin Bet … According to Dr. Barghouti, some diplomatic channels were contacted in addition to several media outlets. After one hour, Dr. Barghouti was released.
Israel detains Nablus businessman at border
NABLUS (Ma‘an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian businessman returning to the West Bank from the United Arab Emirates, a rights group said Tuesday. Mahmoud Abdul-Rahim Mas’oud was taken to Petah Tikvah detention center for interrogation, the spokesman said. The businessman, who harvests and exports dates worldwide, was on his way to visit family in the northern West Bank village of Tafit near Nablus for the second time in four months, Al-Beitawi explained. He has lived in the UAE for 26 years and has no record of political activity or affiliations with any political factions. It was the first time he has been ever detained, the institute noted.
Gaza food situation tight as Karni crossing closed
RAMALLAH (IRIN) 8 Mar — The complete closure of the Israel-Gaza border crossing at Karni, announced on March 2, will make the delivery of food aid to Gaza more difficult, in an area where over half the population is estimated to be food insecure. The closure of Karni will also add 20 percent to the cost of aid delivery, said Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency in Jerusalem, at a time when UNRWA is facing a budget deficit of over $50 million … “Kerem Shalom crossing does not have the capacity to meet Gaza’s needs, and there must be more than one operational crossing to import humanitarian and commercial supplies for Gaza’s 1.5 million people,” said UNRWA spokesperson Gunness
Protesting crossing closure, Gaza drivers halt trucks
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 Mar — Palestinian truck drivers responsible for transferring goods through the Israeli-controlled crossing terminals refused to work for the second day in a row Monday, protesting the decision to close one of the crossing points last week.
Rafah to resume pre-Mubarak operations
CAIRO (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Palestinian embassy officials in Cairo released numbers from the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt Monday evening, which showed a steady number of passengers traveling in and out of the border terminal. The most recent number hovered at just under 300 travelers, with 224 recorded leaving Gaza, and 75 entering via the crossing. Amid accusations that crossings restrictions were increasing, with more Gaza residents than ever being told they were on a “blacklist” and being denied entry into Egypt, officials said similar crossings numbers were expected for the coming weeks. Rafah terminal will be open, the statement said, from Sunday to Thursday, and closed on holidays.
First int’l delegation arrives in Gaza post-Mubarak
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Without disclosing details as to the nationalities of all travelers, Hamas’ crossing committee said eight delegates passed into Gaza from the International Alliance to End the Siege on Gaza. The officials said only that Egyptians were among the group
Qatari grant of $10 million to support Gaza fishermen
MEMO 8 Mar — …Habash clarified, in a press statement on Monday (7th March), that this project aimed to ease the adverse consequences of the Israeli siege, and to help improve the living conditions of the fishing community and their families. The financial aid will also support efforts to develop the fishing industry in Palestine, despite the blockade.
Arab director calls troops ‘dogs’ in court
Ynet 7 Mar — Supreme Court hears soldiers’ appeal against Mohammad Bakri, director of film ‘Jenin Jenin’. ‘You describe us as Nazis,’ say plaintiffs, who demand apology. Bakri says he’s not sorry, being persecuted by IDF, Shin Bet
Lest we forget what this case is about:
Once upon a time in Jenin
The Independent, 25 Apr 2002 — What really happened when Israeli forces went into Jenin? Just as the world is giving up hope of learning the truth, Justin Huggler and Phil Reeves have unearthed compelling evidence of an atrocity … The rubble in Jenin reeked, literally, of rotting human corpses, buried underneath. But it also gave off the whiff of wrongdoing, of an army and a government that had lost its bearings. “This is horrifying beyond belief,” said the United Nations’ Middle East envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, as he gazed at the scene. [use the Independent’s search function for many other articles about Jenin]
Extrajudicial assassinations: official Israeli policy / Stephen Lendman
7 Mar — Extrajudicial assassinations are willful, premeditated, cold-blooded murder. Nonetheless, they’re official Israeli policy. Killers get impunity. Investigations rarely happen. Occasional ones absolve crimes, letting new ones repeat freely. Israel’s Turkel commission sanctioned the Mavi Marmara massacre … Israel’s internal 2008 – 2009 Cast Lead investigation absolved brazen Gaza crimes of war and against humanity … Israel’s July 22, 2002 Al-Daraj [Shehadeh] massacre is discussed below. Belatedly, its Special Investigatory Commission (SIC) whitewash followed, exonerating 16 murders, including eight children. More details below.
International Women’s Day
Hundreds rally in West Bank, Gaza for Women’s Day
GAZA CITY (AFP) 8 Mar — Palestinian women took to the streets on Tuesday to call for unity and an end to the Israeli occupation in a series of rallies called to mark International Women’s Day. In Gaza City, around 500 women waving Palestinian flags marched through the city centre demanding an end to the political division between the rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas … Several different demonstrations were also taking place in the occupied West Bank to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day … In the south, around 150 women rallied in Hebron calling for an end to the divisions within the Palestinian national movement, in an echo of the youth-led unity protests which have recently cropped up across the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In Beit Ummar, dozens of women blocked the road leading south to Hebron for half an hour in a protest against the network of Israeli roadblocks littered across the territory…
NGO declares 2011 year of freedom for Arab women
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — A Palestinian human rights center has declared 2011 the year of freedom for Arab women. The Human Rights and Democracy Media Center SHAMS invited frontline women’s organizations and civil society groups to join its initiative on the occasion of International Women’s Day … the center urged the leaders to nominate female candidates to represent Palestine at the United Nations, and to approve UN legislation on women’s rights, to the extent possible given Palestine’s limited status as an “observer” in the international body. SHAMS also called on the PA to lift legislative limitations on women’s roles in Palestinian society and to bring national laws into line with international agreements on gender equality. Israel’s imprisonment of Palestinian lawmakers has been a factor inhibiting the reform of Palestinian laws.
PCBS: Palestinian women still ‘marginal’ in PA
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Palestinian women are increasingly involved in political life, but their presentation as decision makers in the Palestinian Authority is still marginal, a study found … The positions of president of the Stock Exchange Authority and governor for Ramallah and Al-Bireh are both held by women. The president of PCBS, Ola Awad, was the first female to head a non-ministerial governmental institution. Meanwhile five of the 22 ministers in the PA cabinet are female, and one woman sits on the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. PCBS found that women had fewer opportunities to reach high positions in the public sector, noting that females occupied around 4 percent of Assistant Undersecretary jobs in PA ministries, compared with 32 percent of lower positions. Around one third of public sector jobs were held by women, the study found.
Palestinian women are disproportionally impacted by the Israeli occupation / Adam Horowitz
The Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq produced the video above for International Women’s Day and posted it with the text below: …The restrictions imposed by Israel have a gender specific impact and present particular risks for, amongst others, expectant mothers, female students and workers, resulting in the denial of their right to health, education, decent work and an adequate standard of living. The socio-economic instability that these violations have wrought in the OPT – perhaps most notable in the Gaza Strip where severe deprivation is aggravated by the continuing policy of closure – coupled with the loss of many male members of Palestinian society to Israeli detention or violence, has contributed to the stresses of family life and created conditions rife for domestic violence … Israel’s denial of family reunification places on many women the burden of raising children in the absence of a father, with the consequent negative economic and financial impact that this brings.
Netanyahu honors Israel’s female troops on International Women’s Day
Haaretz 8 Mar — Meeting soldiers during a tour of the Jordan Valley, prime minister says Israel is only country in region ‘in which women have equal rights.’
Israel is no country for women / Avirama Golan
8 Mar — …Women in Israel earn about one third less than men. Compared to their counterparts in the West, they are doubly inferior. The majority of women here serve in the army, which means they must delay their academic and professional plans; they are under pressure to start a family at a young age and to give birth to more children than what is accepted practice in the West; and all of this in a traditional and conservative environment that denounces any exceptions (and this is several times more serious when talking about Arab women ), despite the dramatic rise in the number of divorces … On the one hand, women are subject to draconian laws with regard to marital ties and must face rabbinical courts that are galloping back to the Middle Ages; and on the other hand, they must contend with the oppressive demand for eternal youth … and success in a wild work market filled with hatred toward families in general,
Solidarity / BDS
Flotilla to set sail to Gaza in May
AMSTERDAM (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — The Freedom Flotilla Coalition called on the states of participating activists to ensure the boats’ safety from Israeli aggression at a meeting in Amsterdam. The group plans to sail to Gaza in May.
US group fights ban on Israeli ‘war crime’ bus ads
LOS ANGELES (AFP) 8 Mar — A US lobby group is taking legal action to challenge a local authority’s refusal to let it put posters on Seattle buses criticizing Israel’s “war crimes” in Gaza.
SodaStream to open plant within Green Line but possibly not closing settlement operation
AIC 3 Mar — Rumors are swirling regarding the possible closing of a SodaStream manufacturing plant in the West Bank settlement industrial park Mishor Edomim. Following a hard hitting report on the company recently released in Sweden by the organization Who Profits from the Occupation, a research project of the Coalition of Women for Peace, reports are stating that SodaStream will be moving their plant to a new location within the Green Line.
Anti-boycott bill passes 1st Knesset reading
Ynet 8 Mar — The Knesset plenum on Monday passed in first reading a bill which would impose harsh punitive fines on Israelis who call for academic or economic boycotts against Israeli institutions.
New bill aims to punish foreign-funded organizations
Ynet 8 Mar — Encouraged by the preliminary approval of their anti-boycott bill, which aims to impose harsh punitive fines on Israelis who call for boycotts of Israeli institutions, Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin (Likud) and Knesset Member David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) are seeking to expand another bill’s reach to punish organizations that are financed by foreign funds.
Racism / Discrimination / Intolerance
High Court: Explain why Israeli Arabs discriminated against by airport security
Haaretz 7 Mar — Court responds to petition filed by civil rights group against Shin Bet and Airports Authority, complaining that entire sector is tagged as generalized ‘security risk’.
Haredim: Call off Jerusalem food festival
Ynet 8 Mar — Jewish Quarter residents enraged by planned sale of non-kosher food at Christian and Muslim Quarters during upcoming event. ‘A Jewish municipality must not be part of something that contradicts Judaism,’ one of them says
Political / Diplomatic news
Israel seeks $20 billion in US military aid
Ynet 8 Mar — Defense Minister sees no immediate threat in Egypt but fears repercussions of Mideast unrest. In Wall Street Journal interview, he says military upgrade can turn Israel into regional stabilizer
PM: IDF must remain deployed in Jordan Valley
Ynet 8 Mar — Netanyahu tours Jordanian border, stresses importance of army presence in area as part of any peace deal
‘No Palestine without Jordan Valley’
Ynet 8 Mar — In response to Netanyahu’s claim that continued military presence in Jordan Rift Valley vital for Israel’s security, PM Fayyad says only solution to conflict is establishment of Palestinian state within 1967 borders
Britain upgrades status of Palestinian diplomats
Ynet 7 Mar — Ahead of talks with Abbas, Foreign Secretary Hague tells lawmakers Palestinian representation to be recognized as full diplomatic mission rather than delegation.
Israel: British upgrade of Palestinian mission is ‘unhelpful’
dpa 8 Mar — Foreign ministry spokesman says the Palestinians ‘are refusing to renew direct talks, and at the same time they are getting these gestures that are encouraging them in their current policy.’
UK: Mideast peace process is too vital to fail over regional turmoil
AP 8 Mar — Britain’s Foreign Secretary Hague meets with Palestinian President Abbas in London and demands both sides resume discussions and seek a breakthrough on a permanent peace deal before end of 2011.
‘Likud will support transfer of some West Bank land to Palestinians’
7 Mar — Speaking with Army Radio, Deputy PM Dan Meridor says it is in Israel’s interests to thwart a global recognition of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders.
Ministers push Israel PM over new peace plan
JERUSALEM (AFP) 8 Mar — Top Israeli ministers on Monday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to swiftly make public details of his new diplomatic initiative in a bid to end Israel’s increasing isolation.
Palestinians dismiss Netanyahu’s talk of interim peace plan
Haatetz 8 Mar — Palestinians on Tuesday dismissed any attempt by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take interim steps towards peace now that the U.S.-sponsored statehood negotiations were frozen. “Netanyahu is trying to escape from his obligations towards the peace process by talking about new proposals,” said Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
6 more detained at Gaza unity rally
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — A second day of protests calling for an end to Palestinian division, say Hamas government police detain another six protesters, bringing up to 12 the number who have been detained in Gaza City since Sunday morning.
Abbas gives Fayyad more time to form cabinet
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Re-appointed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad requested on Sunday another two weeks to form a new government, the secretary general of the Council of Ministers said. Na‘im Abu Al-Hums told Ma‘an Fayyad made the request to President Mahmoud Abbas and it had been agreed, allowing the independent politician to continue a series of consultations with a range of Palestinian political parties.
The name war
Palestinian local council in Israel adopts resolution requiring signs in Arabic for local businesses, institutions
AIC 6 Mar — The Local Council of Kufr Yasif, a Palestinian town in the Galilee, has issued a resolution requiring all local businesses and institutions to put up signs in Arabic …. The resolution was drafted by the Arab Cultural Association in Nazareth, which is trying to promote the resolution in all Palestinian cities, towns and villages within Israel.
Israel changing names of Jerusalemite streets into Hebrew ones
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 8 Mar — The department of research and documentation in Jerusalem center for social and economic rights said that the Israeli municipal council in the Palestinian holy city started recently to replace the Arab names of some alleys and streets of the old city with Hebrew names.
Khreisha: PA denying passports to select Gaza citizens
RAMALLAH, (PIC) 8 Mar — The second deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Hassan Khreisha has confirmed that Palestinian Authority intelligence has interfered in issuing passports to certain citizens in Gaza. He also confirmed that the PA has adopted a list of persons banned from receiving passports.
ICHR: Security coordination with Israel degradation of national dignity
RAMALLAH, (PIC) 8 Mar — The Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) has sights set on taking matters to the Palestinian Supreme Court if the adopted “security survey” is not stopped soon, and has confirmed that Palestinian Authority prisons are rife with inhumane torture … He read from records revealing that a PA security officer had explained during a meeting with Amos Gilad “the progress of the Palestinian security apparatuses in maintaining order and security and fighting crime and terrorism, and the apparatuses’ intentions to build special forces according to the model set by Jordan and Egypt.”
Ma‘an, UNESCO hold safety training for Gaza journalists
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — Ma‘an Network began a training course for Palestinian journalists on Tuesday entitled “Media Coverage in Times of Danger.” Palestinian reporters and cameramen working for several media outlets will attend the first stage of the UNESCO-funded course.
Palestinian ‘Idol’ gives microphone to the best voices of the West Bank
Haaretz 8 Mar — The auditions for ‘New Star,’ the Palestinian version of ‘American Idol,’are being held in the enormous new convention center in Kafr al-Khadar, south of Bethlehem and adjacent to Solomon’s Pools.
Graffiti history of Palestine – ‘It’s all on the walls’
8 Mar — When 2006’s elections split Gaza and the West Bank politically, Anas Maraqa was looking at a pictorial battle between Hamas and Fateh. Then it hit him. “They were telling their peoples’ opinions in graffiti,” Maraqa said, puffing a cigarette. “I was like wow, this is really saying something.” “We want to make the book from the first intifada until today,” Maracas said, outlining a plan of following a time-line linking events to their symbols called History of Palestine Through Graffiti.
Gaza: Lift restrictions on books, newspapers
Jerusalem 7 Mar – Hamas authorities in Gaza should immediately lift bans arbitrarily imposed on books and newspapers, Human Rights Watch said today. Hamas security officers recently confiscated copies of novels from bookstores on the basis of their allegedly “immoral” content, and Hamas officials bar newspapers from being brought into the Gaza Strip that support the rival Fatah movement,
Gaza police seize drug cache
GAZA (Ma‘an) 8 Mar — Gaza anti-drugs forces seized around 45,000 narcotic pills smuggled into the Strip, police in Gaza reported Monday. Police Brigadier Anwar Zu’rob said some 20,000 pills of narcotic Tramadol were discovered inside car tires brought via tunnels underneath the Rafah border with Egypt.
Israel ranked among least popular states
Ynet 7 Mar — Global poll held for BBC finds just three countries ranked below Israel – Pakistan, North Korea, Iran
Minister Kahlon to visit Pollard next week
Ynet 8 Mar — Moshe Kahlon’s visit will mark first time in years that Israeli minister visits imprisoned spy. Meanwhile, former US VP joins efforts to free Pollard
Historical quotes: Ben-Gurion’s willingness to trade off dead Jewish children for the state of Israel / Yaniv Reich
7 Mar — We are accustomed to hearing about how Israel as an ethnically exclusivist state was necessary to protect the Jews after the Holocaust. For most Israelis, this assertion has taken on almost axiomatic status. So it’s interesting to note that many of the early Zionist leaders, including the relentlessly mythologized David Ben-Gurion, Zionist leader and first prime minister of Israel, saw things very differently: “If I knew it was possible to save all [Jewish] children of Germany by their transfer to England and only half of them by transferring them to Eretz-Yisrael, I would choose the latter — because we are faced not only with the accounting of these [Jewish] children but also with the historical accounting of the Jewish People.” – Ben-Gurion (1938). (As quoted in Benny Morris’ Righteous Victims, p. 162)
Netanyahu in 1987: Shoot to kill stonethrowers
The settler’s blog “The Muqata” pulled out this old Maariv piece from the days of the first Intifada to condemn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who apparently got too soft with the years, at least for the blog’s taste. It reads: “Netanyahu: Shoot to Kill the Stone Throwers | According to Netanyahu, the Intifada’s leaders should be deported, and the West Bank sealed to foreign media” Still, I guess Netanyahu should be considered a moderate compared to his Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who in his youth joined Rabbi Kahane’s Kach movement, later to be outlawed for its racist activities.
Opinion / Analysis / Culture
Separate and unequal in the West Bank / Chris Keeler
Mondoweiss 7 Mar — …there is an unacceptable, state-authorized discrepancy between the quality of life in Palestinian villages and Israeli settlements. While there are myriad examples of this discrepancy, the case of the Palestinian village of Jubbet al-Dhib and the nearby settlements of Teqoa, Sde Bar and Nokdim (where Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resides) is a striking case of discrimination by the Israeli government.
Book review: Zionist-inflicted crisis in Gaza / Javier Sethness
U.S. anarchist Noam Chomky and Israeli Communist Ilan Pappé, both prominent Jewish critics of the state of Israel and its brutal oppression of Palestinians, have put together an important account of contemporary imperialism in Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians, volume edited by activist Frank Barat and published in late 2010. While Gaza in Crisis deals in large part with Israel’s policies with regard to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, and in particular the Jewish state’s murderous winter 2008-2009 assault on the territory, the work as a whole constitutes something of a dialectical exploration of domination and negation as perpetuated not only in historical Palestine but also more generally by the system that lords over the Palestinians’ dispossession and colonization.
Roots and wings: an interview with Sharif Kanaana on Palestinian folklore
Born in the northern Palestinian village of Arrabeh in the Galilee and currently living in Ramallah, Sharif Kanaana has been a professor at Birzeit University for many years and is the author of several well-acclaimed books, one of which is Speak Bird, Speak Again, a collection of Palestinian folktales … As you began to collect those stories, to speak with people and locate these symbols, did you encounter things that surprised or disappointed you? Were there discoveries you hadn’t expected? Well, many of these stories I had already heard as a child. I was a child during a period when people told these stories almost every day. Maybe the surprise was just how beautiful they were.
Obama to lift freeze on new Guantánamo trials
WASHINGTON (AFP) 8 Mar — President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on new military trials for Guantánamo Bay terror suspects, apparently conceding that the camp he has vowed to close will not be emptied any time soon … Guantánamo Bay still holds 172 prisoners, including key suspects from the September 11 attacks and other strikes against the United States, as well as prisoners scooped up from the battlefields of Afghanistan.