Nabi Saleh consumed with raids while fasting
ISM posted 11 Aug — Following the unusually short demonstration on the first Friday of Ramadan, the Israeli army raided the village of Nabi Saleh just before Iftar, the Muslim time for breaking fast during Ramadan, resulting in the detaining of a 14 year old boy for approximately two hours and an excessive amount of tear gas in the village …Manal Tamimi’s child was sleeping in the living room alone where he inhaled a large amount of tear gas for half an hour resulting in him vomiting for over an hour while the army was still in the village. Tamimi states in an interview with ISM that she was scared of the thought that she may have been outside of her home, visiting her mother, and no one would have heard the scream of her child. Without her presence at home, she says, this invasion might have ended with a fatality within her family.
Video interview with Manal Tamimi: They try to steal our history, not just our land
ISM posted 11 Aug — The demonstrations in Nabi Saleh started the 21 of November 2009, after the illegal settlement of Halamish expanded, costing locals in land and their source of water for home and agricultural use, a spring declared holy by the settlers … More then 220 people have been injured since the beginning of their peaceful resistance to illegal Israeli occupation of their land. Some of the injured include an 11 year old boy who was shot with a rubber coated steel bullet in his head and is still paralyzed.
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Land theft / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid
Israel’s new settlement plans irk US and EU
AJ 11 Aug — Israel’s approval of construction plans for 1,600 homes in East Jerusalem has reignited a dispute with Washington over the threat of new settlements to the upcoming Palestinian statehood debate. The White House on Thursday urged Israel and the Palestinians to avoid any actions that jeopardize efforts to restart stalled peace talks. The press briefing did not specifically mention the new approval, but the announcement of the same project last year during a visit by Vice President Biden caused a diplomatic rift. Jay Carney, White House spokesperson, ducked a question on Thursday about whether Israel’s approval for the construction of the new settler homes would make it harder to convince the Palestinians not to seek statehood at the United Nations.
Envoy: World must act against ‘colonization campaign’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour on Friday urged the international community to compel Israel to end its colonization campaign if it really believes in the two-state solution, reports said. In letters to the UN secretary-general and the presidents of the Security Council and the General Assembly, Mansour said “the international community must compel Israel to end its illegal occupation,” a Kuwaiti news outlet reported. This includes Israel’s “colonization campaign and must seriously begin to take further effective measures to end the Israeli occupation which began in 1967 to salvage the possibility of the two-state solution.” The letter came in reaction to Israel’s “arrogant” and “shameless” announcement to develop 1,600 settlement units in East Jerusalem
Area C feels the effects of Israel’s power
The Australian 13 Aug — ONLY 5km separates the offices of two mayors on one of the planet’s most contested pieces of land, but they may as well be at opposite ends of the earth. Next month, the 193 countries of the UN are set to vote on a Palestinian state. Any decision will not be binding on Israel but any pressure point that does arise will be here, in the heart of the West Bank’s “Area C”, which is deemed under the Oslo accords to be under full Israeli control … David Elhaiini is a Jewish settler who is Mayor of the Jordan Valley Regional Council, which covers 21 settlements … Area C amounts to 60 per cent of the West Bank. Israel has complete power over which Palestinian homes will be built or demolished in the area. Far more Palestinian homes are demolished than approved. Asked what he thinks about the demolitions, Elhaiini replies: “I believe in law.” … Palestinian Mayor Abed Kassab says when Israel took control of his village, Jiftlik, in 1967, the population was more than 25,000. It is now 5,000. He gives a range of reasons: lack of water and electricity; Israelis killing some of the villagers’ animals; Israelis taking sheep from villagers, putting them into Jewish settlements and presenting the villagers with fees for feeding them.
Racism in the Galilee Part 1: Caging in Palestinians / Sophie Crowe
PalMon 11 Aug — Many Palestinians have been forced to leave Nazareth, the primary Palestinian city in Israel, and its satellite villages due to the absence of planning and lack of resources allotted by the government, which prohibits development and results in overcrowding. … Upper Nazareth, the fastest growing town in the north of the country, illustrates clearly the disparity in development of Israeli and Palestinian towns. The largely Jewish city is home to fifty thousand people and was able to quadruple in size since its establishment in the late fifties by appropriating surrounding lands. According to a 2010 report by Middle East Monitor, a British-based news source, the number of Jews living in the Galilee tripled between the sixties and nineties. ‘The whole city is built on land confiscated from the Palestinians of Nazareth,’ explains Sawsan Zaher, a lawyer with Adalah, a Palestinian rights NGO. Nazareth has seventy thousand people living on half the area of land as the new city and is prevented from expanding. The new town flourishes and thrives at the expense of the original Palestinian one and its villages, which are in contraction.
On patrol in the streets of Hebron
PalMon 10 Aug — A car stops in front of a house in Beit Hadassah, a part of the Israeli settlement inside the Old City of Hebron. Three settlers get out. Observers from Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (TIPH) stand nearby and watch closely. This is part of TIPH’s daily foot patrol of the city. In Hebron, settler violence could strike any time. Settlers are steadily expanding into new parts of Hebron, Per Enerud, an observer with TIPH says. Due to the Israeli occupation of the area, many Palestinian families have been forced out of their homes and shops and cannot return to their land. Settlers then move into their vacant property. Standing on the hillside with a good view of the Israeli settlement, Enerud points out a group of Israeli children playing on top of an empty building. While seemingly harmless, Enerud explains, this is a new method of the same, aggressive settler expansion that’s been happening in Hebron since 1967. “Even though the deed to the house is Palestinian,” Enerud says, “the settlers build their way into the empty houses.”
Fanatic Jewish settlers regularly attack Palestinians at iftar time
AL-KHALIL/HEBRON (PIC) 12 Aug — Fanatic Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian homes in the old city in al-Khalil on Wednesday evening for the second time in two days. The attacks take place when families gather at sunset to break their fast (Iftar) …A Palestinian resident who lives at Jabal al-Rahma said that a group of settlers from the Yeshai settlement crossed lands belonging to local residents, threw stones at Palestinian homes in the vicinity and chanted anti-Arab slogans. Meanwhile, settlers in Tel al-Rumaida attacked the home of Muhammad Abu Eisheh with stones and destroyed a support wall belonging to the family of Sayyed Ahmad.
PCHR weekly report : Israeli forces injure 3, abduct 35 Palestinians this week
IMEMC 12 Aug — In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 04-10 Aug. 2011, Israeli forces wounded three Palestinians with gunfire, and injured dozens more with tear gas at non-violent demonstrations. One of those injured was a Palestinian woman herding sheep in Gaza. The Israeli troops also killed some of her sheep. Two Palestinian resistance fighters were wounded by Israeli forces in the east of Gaza City. Israeli warplanes bombarded a number of civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip. Two bird farms were completely destroyed and a third one was damaged, 500 chickens were killed and a room was destroyed. Israeli attacks in the West Bank: Israeli forces conducted 31 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, during which they abducted 31 Palestinian civilians, including 5 children. 17 of the detainees were abducted in Hebron….[details follow]
Restriction of movement
Thousands attend Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) — More than 125,000 Palestinians came to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque for prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan, Israeli radio reported. Over 24,000 West Bank Palestinians entered through Bethlehem’s main checkpoint on Friday, the report said, noting the lack of clashes during the passage of worshipers. Thousands of Israeli soldiers and security were stationed at the entrance of Jerusalem’s Old City, the radio station said, adding that Palestinians were searched by security before permitted entrance to the Haram Ash-Sharif compound housing the mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Israel’s permit system barred men aged under 45, and women under 30 years, from travel to Jerusalem.
USAID halts aid to Gaza
AFP 12 Aug — The US Agency for International Development is halting humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip over alleged meddling by the enclave’s rulers, Hamas, a US official said Friday … “We deeply regret that USAID-funded partner organisations operating in Gaza are forced by Hamas’s actions to suspend their assistance work,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “USAID assistance programs were put on hold effective August 12,” he added … Another official in Washington said he understood that Hamas has been demanding access to physically search files and records of NGOs, which would be unprecedented … Hamas insisted on Friday that it should be able to verify the accounts of NGOs financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Palestinian territories..
Yearning for work in a Gaza under siege / Eva Bartlett
[photos] It’s a weekday morning, the beach is yet to fill with crowds seeking a break from the heat, but already the odd-jobbers are at work selling toys, clothes and food along the coast. Shariff Abu Kass, 27, walks the stretch of seaside in Sheik Rajleen every day from morning to evening with two armfuls of lightweight sports pants to sell. “I have two young children and no other work, so I do this every day. Usually I earn around 40 shekels (13 dollars) a day, but Fridays are better because so many come to the sea.” … In Gaza’s municipal park, Issa Ghoul, 19, sells chips and chocolates to park-goers to support his family. “I quit school and started working when I was 14. My father died when I was young and no one else works in my family,” says Ghoul. Many children younger than Ghoul zig-zag between cars at traffic stops selling one-shekel items like gum, cheap chocolates and fresh mint in order to add to their families’ incomes. “I can’t find any other jobs,” says Ghoul. “My mother is ill, my three-year-old sister is ill, what can I do but hope people will buy from me?” Most Palestinians take pride in their education, and Ghoul is no different, except that his impossible situation denied him the opportunity to study. “I would have liked to have finished school like everyone, I would have liked to have been a teacher.”
Electricity crisis, heat disturb Ramadan atmosphere in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Xinhua) 12 Aug — As soon as a hot summer day ends and the sun goes for sunset, dozens of Palestinian families set on the clean off-white sands of Gaza City’s beach, not only for recuperation or enjoying a soft breeze, but also to break the fast of one of Ramadan month of fasting days. Going to Gaza seaside is like hitting two birds with one stone; first is to enjoy the beach and the less warm weather, and second is to avoid the daily ongoing electricity blackouts. The heat and the blackout had obliged the Gaza residents to temporarily flee their homes and go to Gaza beach.
Delays continue at Rafah crossing
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — The Gaza Ministry of Interior said Friday that passengers registered on August 7 could travel through the Rafah crossing to Egypt on Saturday. Recent delays at the crossing have prevented registered passengers from traveling on their scheduled journeys, with daily lists prescribing who will be given passage … Ministry of Interior undersecretary Kamel Abu Madi said Friday that no progress had been made in resolving areas of conflict with Egypt over the last months, including the number of travelers permitted per day, and criteria for passage.
Frustration simmers over Egypt-Gaza border closure / Jared Malsin
[with video] EI 11 Aug — In late April, Egypt’s acting foreign minister Nabil el-Arabi promised to ease the closure of his country’s sole border crossing with the Gaza Strip, reversing years of policy set by the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak. But Palestinians in Gaza are still waiting for that promise to materialize.
Japan contributes $1.6 million to Gaza private sector
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 11 Aug — The Japanese government donated over 1.1 million euros ($1.6 million) to private sector reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, a statement said Thursday. The Palestinian Authority established the “Private Sector Reconstruction in Gaza” programme in the aftermath of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” to provide financial support to private sector businesses that were destroyed or damaged during the war, the EU release added. Japan’s payment will contribute to 21 Gaza businesses, it said.
Activism / Solidarity
Israeli troops attack West Bank anti-Wall protests; 3 children injured
Ramallah – PNN – On Friday three children were injured and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation as Israeli troops attacked anti-wall protests organized in a number of West Bank communities. Protests took place in the central West Bank villages of al-Nabi Salleh, Bil‘in, and Ni‘lin in addition to al-Ma‘ssara in the southern West Bank. Three children were lightly wounded as Israeli troops attacked the weekly anti-wall protest at the village of al-Ma‘sara, southern West Bank. As soon as people marched to the land where Israel is building the wall troops attacked people with rifle butts and batons injuring Abada Brijiyah, 11, Osama Brijiyah,9, and Hareth Brijiyah,10, witnesses reported.
Demonstration in Kafr Qaddum
QALQILIYA (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Palestinians inhaled tear gas which the Israeli forces shot to disperse the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum east of Qalqiliya on Friday, activists and witnesses said. The demonstration started after Friday prayer toward the eastern entrance of the village. Eyewitnesses told Ma‘an the Israeli forces who were on the entrance fired tear gas toward the demonstrators. The grenades started a fire in the lands of the villagers which caused damage, they said.
Hundreds of international activists at Nablus peace rally
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Hundreds of international activists descended on the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday to hold a peace rally. Around 1,200 people from over 22 countries gathered in the city center, wearing white with peace written in Arabic, English and Hebrew emblazoned on their clothes. They sang songs about freedom and peace, raised Palestinian flags and were joined by Nablus governor Jibril Al-Bakri, his deputy Anan Al-Ateera, heads of security and local organization directors.
US Palestinians on inaugural ‘know thy heritage’ tour
RAMALLAH (AFP) 12 Aug — Olga Kishek was just a child when her family left the West Bank, but a Palestinian programme encouraging participants to “know thy heritage” has brought her back to her birthplace … The “Know Thy Heritage” programme that Kishek applied to is the work of Rateb Rabie, a Jordanian-born, Palestinian-American who is founder and president of the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation, a US-headquartered Christian group. He said he wanted to provide an in-depth experience that would expose participants to their cultural heritage and the political situation.
Israeli intelligence tried to recruit Al-Jazeera journalist
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 12 Aug — Samer Allawi, who is detained by the Israeli occupation authorities said that the Israeli intelligence tried to recruit him but he refused and that he was threatened with being accused of something serious. Allawi, a Palestinian journalist who works as al-Jazeera’s correspondent in Afghanistan, was visited by the lawyer of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society in Betah Tekva detention centre where he is being detained. Allawi told the lawyer that his detention is to do with his work as a journalist in Afghanistan and called on human rights organisations and international journalist bodies to pressure the Israeli occupation to release him … He was detained on Tuesday at the Allenby Bridge on his way to Jordan after the end of a visit he made to his family in the village of Sabastya near Nablus.
IOF troops arrest imam of Tulkarem mosque
TULKAREM (PIC) 12 Aug — IOF troops on Thursday arrested Sheikh Laith Attili, Imam of the Ali Ibn Abu Taleb Mosque, in the village of Attil in the northern West Bank district of Tulkarem, according to Ahrar centre for prisoners’ studies.
Families of [PA] political prisoners rally in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Relatives of political prisoners organized a sit-in and rally in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, protesting an escalation in arrests by Palestinian Authority security forces. Hamas officials said the rally demanded the release of prisoners and an end to arrests, particularly as Palestinian factions meet in Cairo to discuss ending the politically motivated harassment … “With each session of conciliation, arrests and summonses increase in the West Bank,” said another protester. “It’s shameful how security departments chase after the participants of peaceful sit-ins.” Children of several prisoners chained themselves together during the rally, which was attended by Palestinian lawmaker Samira Halayqa and other representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
UNRWA operations in Jenin suspended indefinitely
JENIN (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — UNRWA announced on Thursday the suspension of its operations indefinitely in the West Bank city of Jenin and its refugee camp beginning Friday. The organization called the step “regrettable” and said it came in response to “continued threats to our employees and staff in the area” without elaborating on the nature of the threats. The statement added that suspension of its operations includes relief and social services. An employment assistance office and the office of its refugee camp manager will also close.
UNRWA suspends services in Jenin
JENIN (WAFA) 12 Aug — A decision by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to suspend services in the northern West Bank city of Jenin on Friday had upset local activists. Adnan Hindi, head of the popular services committee in Jenin refugee camp, condemned UNRWA’s decision, saying it was unjustified. UNRWA suspended its operations in the Jenin area refugee camps following allegation of threats received by its staff. It said that while it was suspending services as of Friday in most of its offices, this will not affect the health services. Hindi denied allegations that UNRWA staff had been threatened, stressing that UNRWA had been serving Jenin refugee camp and its 16,000 registered refugees for many years and no one had attempted to attack or harm its staff. He said, however, that camp residents have been complaining that UNRWA stopped hiring them through a special work fund that provides temporary jobs to thousands of refugees.
Saudi Arabia funds refugee housing in Gaza
Jerusalem (WAFA) 12 Aug — Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) will finance refugee housing in Rafah, Gaza, to the tune of $71.5 million, said a press release by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) published Wednesday. The Rafah housing project, which began in 2005 but has been halted for over three years by the Israeli blockade, will be restarted following the announcement in July of a partial lifting of the blockade to allow a number of UNRWA housing and school projects to go ahead … Overall the project will comprise a minimum of 1,500 houses and associated facilities including schools, health and social service facilities, roads, sewage and electricity
Hamas calls on Lebanon to adopt civil rights of Palestinian refugees
BEIRUT (PIC) 12 Aug — Hamas has called on the Lebanese government to rectify its relationship with the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon by adopting their civil and social rights and rebuilding the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. These remarks were made in a statement issued by the movement’s refugees’ affairs office in Lebanon on the anniversary of the Tal al-Zatar refugee camp massacre
Political / Diplomatic / International
Abbas: UN bid for recognition not meant to delegitimize Israel
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that going to the UN to achieve recognition of a Palestinian state did not conflict with the goals of the peace process. The move is not aimed at isolating Israel or delegitimizing it, he said during a meeting with a delegation of US lawmakers headed by representative Steny Hoyer in Ramallah. Instead, it would solidify the two-state solution and send an encouraging message in the event Israel became ready to return to serious talks, Abbas said, according to the official news agency Wafa.
Abbas tells US lawmakers: NATO role in Palestinian state
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told visiting US Congressmen on Thursday that the security of the future Palestinian state will be handed to NATO under US command, his adviser said Friday. The Palestinian state must also be “empty of [Israeli] settlements,” the President said, according to official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA. Members of the US Congress and Senate delegation, headed by Democratic Senator Steny Hoyer, met with the President in Ramallah on Thursday, and quizzed Abbas on Israel’s designation as a Jewish state, the status of refugees, and reconciliation between the President’s Fatah party and rival Hamas, Presidential adviser Nimir Hamad said.
September rallies to avoid confronting Israel army
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — All rallies in support of the Palestinian bid for UN membership in September will be confined to areas where the Palestinian Authority has security control, thus avoiding confrontation with the Israeli army, high-ranking Palestinian Authority sources told Ma’an Thursday. “Ramallah rallies will be carried out in Manara square, Bethlehem rallies will be carried out in yard of the Nativity Church and so on,” the sources said, adding “we will not give the [Israeli] occupation any excuse to abuse our children or to kill our residents.” The locations are in the heart of urban areas that were designated “Area A” under the 1993 Oslo agreement — and thus formally under full Palestinian Authority civil and security control, making up 17.2 percent of the West Bank.
Lebanon set to establish diplomatic ties with Palestine
BEIRUT (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — The Lebanese cabinet has decided to implement its agreement to establish diplomatic ties with Palestine, ministers said Thursday in a meeting headed by President Michel Suleiman. [End]
Hamas: Reconciliation committees will start in September
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 12 Aug — Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said Friday that committees established to progress the reconciliation deal between his party and Fatah would not begin work until September … Radwan told a Ma‘an correspondent in Gaza that only the issue of freeing political prisoners, imprisoned during the years of rivalry by factions in their respective territories, is set for conclusion by the end of the month.
Egypt targets al-Qa‘eda-inspired militants in Sinai
Ynet 12 Aug — Thousands of troops deployed in el-Arish; to target Islamist extremists in Rafah and Sheikh Zawiyed. Militants involved in bombings of gas pipelines … Al-Qaeda-inspired militants have been increasingly active in Sinai since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in February … There are no known groups in Egypt with direct organizational links to al-Qaeda, although several senior members of the group, including current chief Ayman al-Zawahri, are Egyptian.
Analysis / Opinion
Embracing the settlers / Orni Petruschka
Haaretz 12 Aug — Most settlers will not welcome opening the discussion over the economic toll that Israeli society has paid for the continued occupation, as it inevitably opens the issue of the future of the territories, but no serious discussion about Israel’s future can exclude the settlements from this discussion.
Trying to put a price on Middle East peace / Elizabeth Dwoskin
Business Week 11 Aug — Israeli and Palestinian economists look for solutions in hard numbers — In July 2002 a small group of Israeli and Palestinian economists sat down for a rare meeting in the idyllic French village of Aix-en-Provence. It was the height of the violent Palestinian uprising known as the Second Intifada …The economists believed they could help. They concluded that translating the conflict into the data-driven language of economics might enable the two sides to cut through the rhetoric and begin to think dispassionately about the details of what peace would look like and cost in actual shekels. The leaders of the Aix Group, as it came to be known, were two economists — a Palestinian and a Jewish Israeli … In the decade since, despite spotty economic data and a political environment that changes month to month, they have slowly set about trying to put a price tag on peace. Every two years, Bamya and Arnon select a new problem for the group to sort out. They meet at least twice a year to discuss their findings. The future of the 5 million Palestinian refugees recognized by the United Nations was among the most difficult issues the group tackled.
The greatest elected body that money can buy / Stephen Walt
Foreign Police 11 Aug — Just when you think your contempt for Congress could not get any higher, our elected representatives manage to do something to ratchet it up another notch. After congressional shenanigans helped spark a major market sell-off and sparked fears of a double-dip recession, you’d think every single one of them would be heading back to their districts to figure out what their constituents wanted and to try to explain how they were going to help make things better. Or maybe a few of them would even spend the recess taking a crash course in macroeconomics and public finance, so that they could start exercising their public duties more responsibly. But what did 81 of them decide to do instead? You guessed it: they are off on junkets to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation, an AIPAC spinoff that has been funding such trips for years. That’s right: during the August recess nearly a fifth of the U.S. Congress will visit a single country whose entire population is less than that of New York City.