A Palestinian woman displays damage caused by settlers after a gas bomb was thrown into her house in the West Bank village of Hiwwara near Nablus. (Photo: Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters)
‘Price tag’ — Settlers burn Palestinian home in Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 28 Feb — Israeli forces on Monday closed the main street in Nablus after hundreds of settlers attacked Palestinian cars and set fire to a home, Palestinian Authority officials said. Settlers threw Molotov cocktails at homes in Huwara village, setting fire to the home of Rabi Taha As-Sebty, Doughlas said. Palestinian firefighters controlled the blaze. Huwarra Street, Shavi Shemron Street and the At-Tanib checkpoint were all closed as hundreds of settlers gathered on roads and threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Palestinian cars, said Palestinian Authority settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas. Locals reported that settlers broke into the home of Muhammad As-Sebty and destroyed the furniture.
Price tag: Palestinian vehicles vandalized in Hebron
Ynet 1 Mar – Right-wing activists continued their violent protests early Tuesday against the Palestinian population and security forces, following the demolition of illegal structures in Havat Gilad. The windshields of dozens of Palestinian vehicles were shattered … The coordinator of government activities in the territories instructed all Palestinian council heads on Monday to be on high alert for fear of more “price tag” activities. It is feared extremists will try to target a mosque on Wednesday or Thursday.
‘Price tag’ also? – Second settler hit-and-run injures Hebron boy
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — An Israeli settler knocked down a Palestinian boy with his car on Monday evening, driving away and leaving the child in the street, residents of Hebron’s Old City told Ma‘an. The boy [five-year-old Qutaiba Al-Rajabi, acc. to PIC] was evacuated to the Al-Mizan Hospital in Hebron where medics said his wounds were moderate … On Sunday, outside of the Old City, an Israeli settler ran down an 11-year-old girl near the Beit Ainun, medics reported. The girl, identified as Amani Al-Mutawer, was walking to school when she was hit. She was transferred to Hadassah hospital in Israel, where her condition was described as moderate.
Settlers attack home, uproot olive trees in Bethlehem
West Bank, (Pal Telegraph) 1 Mar — A number of Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli military forces started uprooting 25 olive trees near the Fureidis mount in the east of Bethlehem and attacked civilian houses. Local sources said that dozens of settlers carrying machine guns stormed yesterday night agricultural lands belong to Ahmed Al-Wahesh and uprooted hundreds of olive trees before their withdrawing at morning, leaving great damage with the properties.
Settlers plan ‘Day of Rage’ in West Bank
HEBRON (AFP) 1 Mar — …media reports suggested it would involve sit-down protests at major junctions across the country, as well as attempts to block Palestinian traffic in the West Bank. The settlers routinely react when police and soldiers demolish structures in settlements or wildcat settlement outposts — those which have been set up without government approval — but what angered them on Monday was police use of stun grenades and paint ball guns. Stun grenades are normally reserved for Palestinian demonstrations, while recalcitrant settlers tend to be handled with tear gas and truncheons.
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Settlers / Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing
Report: Israel to legalize tens of outposts
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — Israel is moving to “immediately dismantle all illegal settlement outposts built on privately-owned Palestinian land,” Israeli media reported Tuesday citing army officials. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the decision would legalize other outposts, which were determined to be on “state lands.” … The same decision set in motion a plan to legalize other outposts. According to NGOs and monitoring groups, there are some 100 settlement outposts in the West Bank. With three set to come down, another 97 could be legalized under Israeli law according to numbers provided by Peace Now. Under international law, it is illegal to move civilian populations into occupied territory. All Israeli settlements and settlement outposts violate the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements set for legalization are those which Israel has determined are built on “state land,” which according to survey groups and reports by NGOs including Peace Now, is confiscated village lands belonging to West Bank communities and historically used for farming. According to a 2006 report by Peace Now, over 50 percent of the lands settlements have been built on have retroactively been declared state lands.
Jerusalem court indicts 17 pro-settlement protesters
Haaretz 1 Mar — Seventeen charged for attacking police, damaging police vehicles in protests against IDF demolitions in the unauthorized Havat Gilad outpost; seven of those indicted are minors.
Top rabbi demands dialogue before West Bank outposts are demolished
Haaretz 1 Mar — Rabbi Chaim Drukman sends message to Netanyahu conveying concern over clashes between settlers and police that took place after security demolished West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad.
Israeli security forces defend use of rubber bullets during West Bank outpost demolition
Haaretz 1 Mar — A spokesman for the Judea and Samaria police assured Monday that protesters were only fired at after stones were thrown. Eyewitness testimonies and footage of the incident paint a different picture, though. Of the 13 people hit by the rubber bullets, two were shot in the back. Yehuda Shimon, a lawyer and a resident of the ranch, was shot at short range in both knees while filming, without being a threat to police.
Barak: Settlers’ anti-razing protest a ‘provovation’
Ynet 1 Mar –Defense minister comments on soldier’s refusal to return to army after his Havat Gilad house was razed, says ‘citizens cannot take matters into their own hands’
Israel issues eviction orders to 600 Palestinian Bedouins in Jerusalem area
AIC 28 Feb — Hathem Abdel Qader, responsible for Jerusalem in the Fatah movement, warned yesterday of an Israeli plan to deport some 600 Palestinian Bedouin residents of the Wadi Abu Hindi area, located between the settlements of Maale Adumim and Keder, south-east of Jerusalem. Abdel Qader noted that the Israeli military issued evacuation orders to tens of Bedouin families in Wadi Abu Hindi. According to the orders, the families must leave the area by the end of March.
The Israelis keep bulldozing their village, but still the Bedouin won’t give up their land / Harriet Sherwood
Guardian 1 Mar — …About a kilometre from the main road, you come first to the village cemetery, where the oldest grave dates from 1914, and a corrugated iron barn that serves as the mosque and now a communal kitchen and shelter. Then, across a trough in the land, you see the remnants of the Bedouin village: four simple wooden frames whose tarpaulin covers are continually thrashed by the relentless wind. This is all that’s left of a once-thriving community after a seven-month war of attrition that has pitted the Bedouin villagers against the Israeli army, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and a Christian evangelical television channel called God TV. And the struggle is not over.
Israel allocates $24m to judaize eastern Jerusalem
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC 1 Mar — The Israeli controlled municipality of Jerusalem announced that it was allocating around 24 million dollars to “develop and re-organize eastern suburbs of Jerusalem.” Palestinian human rights groups said that the announcement carried by a weekly Hebrew newspaper on Tuesday meant that more judaization of occupied Jerusalem was underway under the guise of development and organization.
War crimes / Extrajudicial targeted killings
PA: Israel assassination probe ‘making excuses for murder’
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — The Palestinian Authority on Monday slammed an Israeli investigation which found the killing of 13 civilians in Gaza during an assassination was not a disciplinary offense … The commission’s report stated that the killings were carried out according to the “the principles and rules set out by Israeli and international law and the ethical and moral norms on which they are based.” The PA described the claim as “outrageous.”
Benayahu: I entered UK with pseudonym
Ynet 1 Mar — IDF Spokesperson tells Defense News magazine he assumed false name to avoid arrest for ‘war crimes’. Benayahu: Anti-Israel activists exploit universal jurisdiction to wage law fare against us …Benayahu is not the only Israeli official that fears to visit Britain.
Israeli policemen detain 9 Palestinian boys including 7-year-old
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 28 Feb — Israeli occupation police rounded up nine Palestinian boys in Silwan and Ras Al-Amud in occupied Jerusalem on Monday including a 7-year-old child. Local sources said that Israeli border policemen accompanied by special units stormed the Old City and broke into many houses and wreaked havoc in them. They said that Khalil Al-Resheq, 7, was among the detainees along with 11-year-old Muslim Odeh and 14-year-old Ahmed Abu Madi while the others were 16 years old and one 19-year-old.
IOF troops round up 5 West Bankers, 180 in February
WEST BANK, (PIC) 1 Mar — Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up five Palestinian citizens in various West Bank areas at dawn Tuesday, the Israeli radio reported. It quoted an IOF spokesman as saying that the detainees were wanted for questioning. Meanwhile, the Palestinian prisoner society said in a report that the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained more than 180 Palestinians, most of them children and women, from different West Bank areas during February. The society affirmed that 16 physical abuse incidents were documented during the month, where Israeli soldiers were reportedly assaulted children with their feet, hands, rifle butts, and batons….
Children in East Jerusalem get short stick of the Occupation
Palestine Monitor 1 Mar — Over the past six months, if you were following Palestinian and Israeli news, hardly a day would go by without reading a report that more children were detained in East Jerusalem. Now, various reports are coming out that confirm these impressions: children of East Jerusalem are being injured and arrested at an alarmingly high rate.
Rights group working to guarantee every last right of Jerusalem prisoners
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC) 28 Feb — A leading Jerusalem rights group has launched a wide-ranging campaign in coordination with local and world organizations to ensure that every last right of Jerusalem natives jailed in Israeli prisons is preserved. The organization Al-Maqdese for Society Development (MSD) has assigned a team of lawyers to follow cases involving all the individual and collective rights of the more than 200 Jerusalem prisoners in Israeli custody. The group has already made a number of visits to Israeli prisons across Palestine and met with more than 60 prisoners
Siege / Restriction of movement / Other rights violations
Israel shuts down Jerusalem event
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli police and intelligence agents forcibly shut down two events in East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, citing “security reasons” for the clampdown. Armed police and border guards prevented guests from entering a conference on “Defending Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem” at the Capitol Hotel on Salah Addin Street in Jerusalem, organizers said.
Single Gaza crossing opens
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — Israeli officials opened one terminal for imports into Gaza on Tuesday, and crossings authorities told Palestinian liaison officers to expect 190 truckloads of goods.
Armed factions claim mortar attacks on Israeli forces
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — The armed wings of Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for firing mortar shells at Israeli forces on Monday. The Al-Aqsa Brigades and the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades issued statements saying fighters targeted soldiers trying to invade the Al-Ghoul area in the northern Gaza Strip.
Missile fired at IDF tank thwarted by Windbreaker shield
Ynet 1 Mar — An RPG was fired at an IDF tank travelling east towards the city of Khan Younis in Gaza Tuesday afternoon. Soldiers returned fire, and the Palestinians claim one person was injured from artillery fire in the area. The anti-tank missile that was fired towards the tank was thwarted by the Windbreaker active missile protection system, which was used for the first time during operational activity. The missile exploded at a large distance from the tank, preventing damage, the army said. … Eyewitnesses said the RPG hit the tank and set it on fire. The IDF confirmed an attack on a force patrolling the border, but said the incident did not result in any injuries or damage.
Jihad leader urges resistance to detain Israeli soldiers
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — Islamic Jihad leader Khaled Al-Batsh on Monday called on Palestinian resistance groups to intensify their activities and detain Israeli soldiers. Al-Batsh said resistance was the only way to free thousands of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons … In June 2006, Gaza militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a cross-border raid. Negotiations to secure his release have focused on a deal to free 1,000 Palestinian detainees in exchange for Shalit. Despite international mediation efforts, no agreement has been reached, but Hamas spokesman Usama Al-Maziani said Wednesday that confidential discussions with Israel to conclude the deal would resume.
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Pete Seeger endorses BDS, shuns Jewish National Fund
28 Feb — Legendary folklorist, singer, songwriter and long time political activist Pete Seeger has officially announced his support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, a press release by the Israel Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD) said today. According to the press release, Seeger, 91, took part in a virtual rally sponsored by the Arava Institute in the Negev last November, despite requests from BDS groups not to participate. In January, he met with representatives of the BDS movement at his home, who elaborated on the relations between the Jewish National Fund and the Institute. After the meeting, Seeger said he now endorses the BDS approach.
Palestinians and other countries
Interview: Jordan revoking citizenship from Palestinian refugees / Hazem Jamjoum
EI 28 Feb — Hazem Jamjoum spoke to Anis F. Kassim, an international law expert and practicing lawyer in Jordan to clarify what is known about the situation of Palestinian citizenship rights in Jordan. Kassim was a member of the Palestinian legal defense team before the International Court of Justice in the 2004 landmark case on Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank.
Rights group: Palestinians stranded in Egypt must be allowed back into Gaza
dpa 28 Feb — Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to take ‘serious action’ and urge Egypt to grant Palestinians freedom of movement.
Gadhafi forces detain Palestinian students
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) — Libyan forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi detained Palestinian students Monday in Misurata, officials said. Reports from informed sources said Gadhafi’s forces detained Palestinians studying at a military college in the northwestern city after they refused to join the pro-regime forces.
Palestinians rescued from Libya deny receiving claimed embassy aid
TRIPOLI, (PIC) 1 Mar — Palestinian students returning home after being caught in the violent unrest sweeping Libya have denied statements by the PA ambassador claiming to have come to their aid. At a time when governments scramble to evacuate their citizens from major protests in Libya that have been met with violence, medical students in Al-Zawiya said they were forced to resort to the Jordanian ambassador to Libya after failed attempts to contact the diplomat sent by their own country.
Gaza man returns home from Egyptian prison
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) — A Palestinian man detained in Egypt for eighteen months returned home to the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis on Monday, after an early release from prison. Palestinian sources in Gaza identified the man as Nabil Mansour Al-Basheety, 38, and confirmed that he was the ninth Palestinian to be released from Egyptian prison since the revolution in that country succeeded in ousting former President Hosni Mubarak … On their return, many of the prisoners said they were detained without being told what charges were laid against them.
Racism / Discrimination
Israel preparing to deport star of Oscar-winning doc ‘Strangers No More’ / Mya Guanieri
28 Feb …After a five month delay, which followed a year-long battle over the matter, the deportation of 400 children and their parents is scheduled to begin on Sunday—just a week after “Strangers No More” won an Oscar. Just a week after a crowd in the US applauded the touching story of foreigners who find a home here in Israel. Just a week after the Israeli media runs its hip-hip-hooray! reports of the win, the Oz Unit will start rounding such kids up. And one of the children is the 10-year-old star of the film.
Palestinians call for unity protest on 15 March / Pam Bailey
1 Mar — …An attempted “Day of Dignity” on 11 February — called by an anonymous, pro-Fatah group to protest Hamas restrictions — was disbanded before it ever really began. Suspected organizers were interrogated, and police blanketed the street corners. However, a broader coalition of youth has now coalesced around plans for a 15 March sit-in, demanding that Hamas and Fatah halt their propaganda campaign against each other, include all Palestinian factions in a restructured Palestine Liberation Organization, force their senior representatives in the two governments (West Bank and Gaza) to resign their posts, and call new elections after agreeing to work together.
PA militias: Our collaboration with Israel is for the Palestinian people’s good
RAMALLAH, (PIC) 1 Mar — Spokesman for the Palestinian Authority security militias in the West Bank Adnan Adhameri reiterated his claims that the security cooperation with the Israeli occupation is in the Palestinian people’s best interest and to facilitate their daily lives. “The security leadership is committed to the Palestinian Authority’s political agreements, which state that no acts of hostility from us would be launched against Israel,” Adhameri added in an interview with Al-Watan TV channel.
Palestinian Airlines staff accused of corruption
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Mar — The general director of Palestinian Airlines has revealed the company was engaged in extensive financial corruption. Based in Egypt and owned by the Palestinian Authority, the three-plane fleet operates out of the El-Arish Airport south of Gaza in Egypt
Analysis / Opinion
On recruiting informers
[with video interviews with three men] Mahsanmilim — Need a permit to go to Amman for cancer treatment? No problem. Work for us and you’ll have it. Want to go study in Egypt? Visit your dying sister in Saudi Arabia? Get out of prison? Stop getting beaten up? Sit in jail for a single year instead of ten? Be eligible for family unification? Live with your children? Get treated in the only institution that might save your life? Keep your magnetic card? Your work permit? No problem. You help us, we’ll help you. And on and on it goes, at every nook and cranny, Israel persists with one of its most horrible, sinister and stealthy crimes — the recruitment of collaborators. All black-listed, all guilty, unless you go say ‘yes’ to the ‘captain’. Black-listed regardless of what they’ve done or not done, prevented a-priori, so that any natural right should have to be purchased. Offer something in return. And that something is treason.
Arab pride reborn through revolution / Yasmeen El Khoudary from the Gaza Strip
EI 28 Feb — We Arab youth have memorized countless poems and songs about Arab unity and Arab revolution, about freedom and liberty. We have been taught countless lessons about the magnificent history of the Arabs, and have memorized the names of the world’s great Arab scientists, historians, mathematicians, philosophers, poets and writers. We have been memorizing for as long as we can remember, twenty years or more. But never did we get the chance to chant the songs or recite the poems, or see that the grandchildren of those great Arabs are living up to the legacy of their ancestors.
Far-right Jewish white supremacist authors Tennessee anti-Islam bill / Alex B. Kane
1 Mar — The wave of Islamophobia continues to spread across the United States, as a Tennessee bill now on the table would make “following the Islamic code known as Shariah law a felony, punishable by 15 years in jail.” The author behind this bill, one of 15 similar pieces of legislation being considered in states around the U.S., is a notorious, far-right figure: David Yerushalmi. … Yerushalmi has been aptly described as a “Jewish fascist” by blogger Richard Silverstein.
Mideast protests at a glance
(AP) 1 Mar — A look at anti-government protests, political unrest and key developments in seven Arab countries on Tuesday.
Monday: 1 Iraqi killed, 16 wounded
At least one Iraqi was killed and 16 more were wounded in light violence. In an Iraqi court, meanwhile, a British security guard was given life in prison for killing two colleagues. In a bid to ensure an Arab League Summit scheduled for March 29 goes on as planned, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insisted that Iraq currently is the safest Arab country. Separately, though, he advised moving provincial elections up as a response to ongoing and deadly anti-government protests….
US silent as Iraqi regime cracks down / Justin Elliott
28 Feb — We saw it with Yemen, and now we’re seeing it again with Iraq: the Obama administration is conspicuously quiet when friendly Middle East regimes use ugly tactics — including violence and imprisoning peaceful demonstrators — to quell growing protest movements in their countries … in one of the least-noticed stories of the week, the U.S.-backed government of Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq has resorted to imprisoning 300 journalists, intellectuals, and lawyers in order to stop ongoing protests, according to a well-reported Washington Post dispatch from Baghdad.
Poll: Americans still favorable toward Israel
Ynet 1 Mar –Gallup Poll shows 63% of US public still support Israel, only 17% side with Palestinians. Israel’s popularity on the rise ever since September 11 attacks … Eighty percent of Republicans were favorable towards Israel compared with 57% of Democrats and independents. According to ideological division, Israel receives about 74% of the conservative support whereas the liberals are 49% favorable towards Israel.