Jaffa family to sue for excessive force in house eviction
JPost 6 Oct — An Israeli-Arab family from Jaffa said Thursday they plan to file a lawsuit against the police, after officers used what appears to be excessive force to evict them from a south Tel Aviv house they were squatting in on Tuesday. In an amateur video taken at the scene, a group of YASSAM riot police can be seen wrestling with Sameer Kassem, 34, as he holds his four-year-old daughter in his hands: The video shows police kicking and punching Kassem while he lies on the ground, and one officer puts his sister, a Muslim woman wearing a veil, in a headlock and throws her to the ground. No social workers or female police are present at the scene, even though it constituted the eviction of a family with young children … Sameer said he and his family have been homeless since May when his mother, who used to help him with his expenses, died and he could no longer pay rent. He said that he, his wife, and their five children moved to the vacant house on Salameh Street about two weeks ago after someone set their tent at the Shtayim park on fire.
And more news from Today in Palestine:
Land theft / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid / Exile / Restriction of movement
Al Araqeeb village destroyed for the 30th time
IMEMC 6 Oct — Dozens of Israeli policemen and members of the so-called “Israel Land Authority” demolished and removed all tents and structures in Al Araqeeb village in the Negev., the thirtieth such attack against the village. Residents of all Arab villages in the area declared a strike and massive demonstration on Thursday morning at 11 at a protest tent set up to counter an Israeli plan to expropriate nearly 860,000 dunums (212,510.6 acres) of Arab lands and displace nearly 30,000 Arabs living in the “unrecognized” villages in the Negev.
General strike paralyzes Arab towns in Negev
NEGEV (PIC) 6 Oct — A general strike was observed in all Arab towns and villages in the Negev/Naqab region to protest Israeli plans to raze entire villages and displace some 30,000 Palestinians. The strike, called for by the higher Arab committee, included closing schools and a massive rally. Locals noted that the Rahet village, the biggest in the region, was the biggest observing community as the municipality and other institutions closed down. They noted that all elected municipal councils in the Arab Negev towns went on strike while the appointed council of Arara forced its staffers to go to work.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
The plight of the Negev’s Bedouin / Talab el-Sana
Guardian 5 Oct — The oldest inhabitants of the Negev may be forced to relocate under Israel’s new land ownership plan — In my travels I have seen how far awareness of the Palestinian issue has spread — in contrast to the misery of my constituents, the Bedouin of the Negev. Just last month the Israeli cabinet approved a plan to relocate up to 30,000 Bedouin from unrecognised villages in the Negev. On Thursday a national strike is planned in Israeli Arab areas in protest at this move.The Bedouin are the indigenous owner-occupiers of the Negev — they have been there for thousands of years.
Israel bulldozes structures in West Bank villages
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 Oct – Israeli army bulldozers on Thursday demolished structures in several West Bank villages. In al-Farisiyah and al-Malih villages near Tubas, Israeli forces destroyed animal shelters and tent homes without any warning, village council head Aref Daragmeh told Ma‘an. In Beit Kahel, near Hebron, local youth threw stones at Israeli troops demolishing structures in the village. Soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades at the crowd …A spokesperson for the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major Guy Inbar, told Reuters that the army was demolishing a water pool that was built without permits. A demolition order was handed to the facility’s owner, he added. The Diakonia resource center for international humanitarian law says Israel’s demolition of water cisterns in the West Bank has directly affected the lives of 13,602 Palestinians since 2009.
IOA serves summons to Jerusalemite MP Totah
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (PIC) 6 Oct — The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) served a summons to Jerusalemite MP Mohammed Totah via his brother Mutasem on Wednesday. The Safa news agency quoted Mutasem as saying that Israeli policemen questioned him for two hours on Wednesday then released him after handing him a summons addressed to his brother Mohammed for interrogation on Thursday. Mutasem expressed surprise at the summons as his brother has been seeking refuge at the Red Cross headquarters in occupied Jerusalem for the past 15 months fearing deportation from his hometown at the hands of the IOA. He said that the Israeli police were waiting for the opportune moment to storm the Red Cross and take away Mohammed along with former Jerusalem minister Khaled Abu Arafa as what happened ten days ago with MP Ahmed Attoun.
Link to Palestine Information Center
Israel imposes closure for Jewish holiday
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli authorities have decided to impose a closure on the West Bank starting Friday afternoon until Saturday evening for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, officials said Thursday. Head of Islamic Affairs, Zaid al-J’abari, stated that the Israeli authorities notified the Islamic affairs officials about the decision to close the mosque. He added that the army usually closes the Ibrahimi Mosque ten days a year in accordance with decisions of the Israeli commission “Shamgar” formed after the massacre [of Palestinians by an American-Israeli settler] that took place in the mosque in 1994.
Israeli occupation continues to prevent students from entering Al Aqsa mosque
MEMO 6 Oct — The policies of the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to prevent students from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police officers stationed at the gates and inside the mosque itself stop any Palestinian under the age of fifty from entering the Noble Sanctuary; students attempting to attend science workshops in the sanctuary have been targeted particularly. The workshops were to be supervised by Al-Aqsa Building Foundation.
Israeli authorities to close Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron October 8
IMEMC 6 Oct — On Thursday morning, Israeli authorities decided to close the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the West Bank city of Hebron, to Muslims on October 8, because of the settlers’ celebration of the Jewish Yom Kippur.
Official: Settlers uproot olive trees in Nablus village
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli settlers uprooted 200 olive trees in Qusra village near Nablus overnight Wednesday, a Palestinian Authority official said. A number of settlers destroyed trees in the south of the village at midnight, days before the olive harvest is due to begin, the Fatah official monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank Ghassan Doughlas told Ma‘an … The Nablus area has witnessed a surge in settler attacks over the last month, including village raids, attacks on property and the vandalism of two mosques.
Dozens of settlers surround IDF patrol in West Bank and assault soldiers
Haaretz 6 Oct — Dozens of Jewish settlers surrounded an IDF patrol vehicle on Wednesday evening near the Shilo settlement, setting up roadblocks and physically assaulting IDF soldiers. The incident began after rumors circulated that the Gal Yosef illegal outpost is about to be evacuated … A senior IDF commander said that “the army sees this incident as crossing a red line, and the settlers who were involved in violence against the soldiers will be arrested soon by the police.” Officers serving in the West Bank have reported recently that tensions between security forces and settlers are on the rise. According to one senior office, “the security forces spend more time dealing with incidents involving Israeli citizens than confronting Palestinian terrorism.”
Desecration / Destruction of religious buildings, holy places
Suspect arrested in Tuba Zangaria mosque arson
Ynet 6 Oct — Cleared for publication: The police have arrested an 18-year-old Jewish youth in connection with Monday’sTuba Zangaria mosque arson … The case is still under a gag order, but according to details made available on Thursday, the youth was arrested several hours after allegedly committing the crime … The suspect was originally remanded for four days. On Thursday, the Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court granted the police’s motion and remanded him for an additional five days. The suspect’s attorney, Adi Keidar, told Ynet that his client denies the allegations against him … The police have asked the court to hold all hearings in the case behind closed doors, arguing that open-court hearings may prove detrimental to national security.
Israeli police arrest Bedouins protesting mosque arson
JERUSALEM (AFP) 6 Oct — Israeli police arrested seven more people suspected of joining rock-throwing protests in a Bedouin village in northern Israel following an arson attack on a mosque there, a spokesman said Thursday. “We arrested another seven people suspected of taking part in the demonstrations, which raises to 25 the total number of people being investigated over the incidents,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. Angry Bedouin youths have been demonstrating throughout the week since a mosque in Tuba Zangariya village was torched by vandals early on Monday
Ultra-Orthodox paper condemns ‘insane’ act of mosque arson in northern Israel
Haaretz 6 Oct — The ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yated Ne’eman Wednesday condemned the arsonists who torched the mosque in the village of Tuba-Zangariya and said the “din rodef” law applied to them, meaning it is permitted to kill them to prevent them from endangering others. “Jews don’t burn mosques, period,” the newspaper’s editorial said. “…no shadow of justification can be found for harming a Muslim mosque. This is an insane, dangerous act.”
Settlers’ mosque-burning campaign expands into Israel
JERUSALEM (Reuters) 6 Oct — They strike in the dead of night, setting fire to mosques and daubing their walls with “Price Tag” graffiti, the defiant slogan of Israeli settlers waging a vigilante campaign branded as “un-Jewish” by President Shimon Peres. The “price-taggers” have vowed to avenge any move by Israeli authorities to uproot settlement outposts built in the occupied West Bank without Israeli government permission.
Israel orders sections of Jaffa mosque demolished
IMEMC 6 Oct — The Israeli Authorities in Jaffa are demanding the removal of sections of Al Bahar Mosque, in Jaffa, under the claim that these sections were built without construction permits, the Wattan TV reported. The Authorities placed the demolish order on the main gate of the mosque; the order is demanding the destruction of two gates and a staircase within 24 hours … The staircase and the two gates mentioned in the order lead to restrooms used by female worshipers.
Hundreds of settlers storm Nabi Yusuf shrine
NABLUS (PIC) 6 Oct — Hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed the Nabi Yusuf shrine [Joseph's Tomb] east of Nablus city at dawn Thursday under Israeli army protection. Eyewitnesses said that PA security forces withdrew from the area shortly before arrival of the heavily escorted settlers who offered religious rituals. They noted that the Israeli occupation forces entered the shrine area amidst intensive firing to pave the way for the arrival of the settlers. The witnesses said that the IOF soldiers threw gas canisters and sonic bombs at the citizens, who protested the visit, and some of those fell inside Palestinian homes, adding that tens of the civilians were treated for breathing difficulty.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Vandals graffiti swastikas on walls of Joseph’s Tomb in West Bank
Haaretz 6 Oct — Head of Samaria regional council severely condemns the desecration of the Jewish holy site, saying ‘only barbarians would be able to commit such terrible acts.’ The Israel Defense Forces discovered spray-painted swastikas on one of the walls of the Joseph’s Tomb [Nabi Yusuf shrine] compound in the West Bank early on Thursday morning …”People who can pathologically desecrate such a holy site are not worthy of being called human beings,” Mesika said.’
Jerusalem light rail security guards use pepper spray in Palestinian passengers
Haaretz 6 Oct — Incident takes place amid growing number of reports concerning confrontations between Jewish, Palestinian passengers on the city’s newly launched tram system … The incident occurred after Palestinian youths refused to heed the request of a light train conductor, who had asked them to take their feet off the seats of the train.
Israel Defense Forces: Rock-throwing in West Bank reaches new high
Haaretz 6 Oct — September was the most violent month in the last year and a half in terms of rock throwing in the West Bank, Israel Defense Forces figures reveal. There were 498 incidents of rocks being thrown last month – 33 percent more than the monthly average over the past year. This was the highest monthly total since Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in early 2009 … Despite the detailed numbers provided by the IDF on stone-throwing incidents, police have no data on the number of injuries caused by it. Recently, the B’Tselem human rights group asked the police for information on such injuries, applying under the freedom of information law. In response, the police wrote: “There is no computerized system with the data. The analysis requires an examination of hundreds of documents in every file.”
Detainees’ strike increasing, may develop as ‘Irish strike’
IMEMC 6 Oct — All Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails will join in the open-ended hunger strike on October 11, in response to the humiliating and degrading polices imposed upon them, the Palestine News Agency reported Thursday morning. An official in charge of a human rights organization, Helmi al-A’araj, reported that Palestinian detainees will strike in solidarity with those detainees in Israeli jails who are already striking, and it may develop to be like the Irish strike in which the detainees’ strike included water and salt, in the face of Israeli Prison Administration (IPA) attempts to break their strike. [let's hope they don't end up like the Irish hunger strikers whom Thatcher let die]
Doyen of Palestinian prisoners says strike will continue until ‘demands or martyrdom’ are achieved
MEMO 6 Oct — As Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails approach the second week of their hunger strike, the doyen of the detainees has said that they will continue with the strike “until we achieve our demands or martyrdom”. Nael Barghouti, 54, said that the prisoners are insisting on their “rights, not favours”, from the Zionist authorities. He is the world’s longest-serving political prisoner, having been sentenced in April 1978.
Ramallah Municipality announces hunger strike in solidarity with prisoners
IMEMC 6 Oct — Staff of the Ramallah municipality undertook a hunger strike on Thursday in solidarity with the striking prisoners and detainees held in the prisons of the occupation, the Ma’an News Agency reported. , A statement from Ramallah municipality announced this action, and the Municipality Council of Ramallah cut short its meeting on Thursday to visit the hunger strikers at the Red Cross in Ramallah. In Gaza, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad organized marches on Wednesday to support the prisoners, who have been on a hunger strike for nine days.
Israeli forces suppress sit-in near Ofer prison
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli forces fired tear gas toward demonstrators Wednesday in front of the Ofer prison at a rally organized in support of the Palestinian detainees’ hunger strike.
Detention / Court decisions / Lawsuits
Israel arrests more than 750,000 Palestinians since 1967
RAMALLAH (WAFA) 6 Oct — Since occupying the Palestinian Territory in 1967, Israel has detained about 750,000 Palestinian citizens, including 12,000 women and tens of thousands of children, said a Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics press release. PCBS said that prisons, detention camps and interrogation centers have been established in almost all parts of Palestine; one or all members of almost every Palestinian family have been detained, often multiple times. The release said Israel also holds tens of bodies of male and female Palestinians killed during the second Intifada as well as hundreds of corpses of others killed in previous years.
High Court: Not enough Arabs, women in top government posts
JPost 6 Oct — The High Court of Justice on Wednesday ordered the state to report within 60 days on plans for fair representation of women and Arab Israelis on the Israel Land Council. Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, who presided over the hearing together with Justices Eliezer Rivlin and Miriam Naor, said that Arabs and women are underrepresented in senior government posts.
2 Palestinians arrested for Palmer murder
Ynet 6 Oct — Halhul residents confess to throwing stone which caused deaths of Asher Palmer, infant son Yonatan near Kiryat Arba last month. Three other Palestinians arrested on suspicion they stole victim’s gun after attack … A gag order has been placed in the identities of the detainees and the details of the investigation. During their interrogation, the suspects admitted to throwing the stone which caused the deaths of Asher and Yonatan. The stone was hurled from a driving [moving] car.
6 Palestinians detained in Hebron area
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — Israeli forces detained on Thursday 6 Palestinians from Beit Ummar and Hebron, witnesses said. Three Israeli military jeeps with a car carrying Israeli intelligence officials stopped three Palestinians in the center of Hebron and detained them. They were not identified. In Beit Ummar, three detainees were identified as Allam Awad, 17, Sabri Awad, 15, and Malek Sleibi, 16, according to Muhammad Awwad, the spokesman of the local popular committee.
Israeli court: Journalist has right to withhold tape from police
Haaretz 6 Oct — The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Wednesday ruled that a journalist need not give police a video he made during a confrontation in the territories, even though police claimed there is crucial evidence on the tape that it needs in its investigation.
UK blocks arrest warrant for Israel’s Livni
LONDON (Reuters) 6 Oct — Britain’s Director of Public Prosecutions has blocked an attempt to seek the arrest of Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes during a visit to Britain, officials said on Thursday. An unidentified person applied to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, on Tuesday for permission to apply to a court for an arrest warrant against Livni for alleged war crimes linked to Israel’s offensive against Gaza in 2008, the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement … She arrived weeks after Britain approved changes to a war crimes law that had led some Israeli politicians and officials to stay away from the country and clouded relations between the two countries.
New legislation fails to give Tzipi Livni protection from arrest / Frank Barat
MEMO 6 Oct — Today, 6 October 2011, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited the United Kingdom. In advance of Ms. Livni’s current visit, a Palestinian civilian war crimes victim, represented by lawyers from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and Hickman & Rose Solicitors, invited the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to authorise the arrest of Ms Livni to enable an urgent decision to be made by the Attorney General to charge her for war crimes. Alternatively, the victim requested the DPP’s permission to apply to a judge for an arrest warrant for Ms. Livni. At lunchtime today, the DPP made a statement that he has been blocked from any arrest decision or giving his consent to an application for the issue of an arrest warrant – BUT NOT on the basis of a lack of evidence. The only reason given by the DPP is the retrospective grant of diplomatic immunity to Ms Livni by the British Foreign Secretary on the basis of a ‘Special Mission’ (which is not accepted by the victim).
Does Israel’s security service deem lesbian tourists a threat to national security? / Yossi Melman
Haaretz blog 6 Oct — Two women undergo humiliating security check after refusing to respond to airport authority’s inquiry into whether they were romantically involved … The two had arrived four days earlier for a family visit and to tour Israel. It appears there is no limit to the humiliation inflicted on foreigners, and which is reported in the media from time to time.
Israel interior ministry plans deportation of at least 150 families of foreign workers
Haaretz 6 Oct — The Interior Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority is drafting a plan to deport 150 families of unauthorized foreign workers, apparently within a few months. An additional 240 families would be granted residency under the plan, while a third group of around 220 families who did not strictly meet residency requirements set by the cabinet would be permitted to appeal to an exceptions committee.
UNRWA launches education reform strategy
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — The UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Wednesday launched its education reform strategy at their Amman headquarters. Palestinian refugee students at the 700 schools run by UNRWA in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria will get a better education as a result of the strategy, a press statement said. The reforms include teacher development, curriculum and student assessment, inclusive education, and technical and vocational training, it added. Education, including free schooling for half a million refugee children, costs more than half of the agency’s budget, UNRWA says.
UNRWA workers union suspends strike
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — UNRWA’s workers union has decided to suspend its strike until Monday, union chief Suheil Al-Hindi said Wednesday as officials met to end the standoff. Al-Hindi warned of more action if the union’s demands are not met.
In Pictures — UNRWA teachers stage general strike
MEMO 5 Oct — UNWRA staff have organised a general strike; they have halted studies, closed all schools and gathered thousands of teachers outside the main headquarters in Gaza City in a teacher’s demonstration. The demonstrators sent a letter to the commissioner of agency headquarters which warns against UNWRA actions that violate the dignity of its staff.
Haneyya: Gov’t will not be idle as UNRWA ignores staff demands
GAZA (PIC) 6 Oct — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya said the government in Gaza would not stand by and watch as the UN Relief Works Agency ignores the demands of its staff. “We are following developments and the dispute between UNRWA and the staff union, and we have discussed it and tasked ministers with following officials in the relief agency,” Haneyya said during the opening ceremony of the international book fair in Gaza on Wednesday evening.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Gaza Strip: Ad hoc specialised surgeries
Médecins Sans Frontières 6 Oct — The number of people in the Gaza Strip suffering the after-effects of serious injuries has increased in recent years. However, with the embargo currently in effect, it is very difficult to obtain access to appropriate, specialised care. In July 2010, MSF signed an agreement with the Gaza health authorities and opened a reconstructive surgery programme. In September 2011, 24 patients received treatment through an ad hoc hand surgery mission.Following the Israeli military’s December 2008 “Cast Lead” offensive, and with a growing number of domestic accidents, many Gaza residents suffer from disabling wounds that require reconstructive surgery, also known as non-emergency or revision surgery, after their initial medical-surgical treatment. Highly specialised surgery is required for very complicated cases.
Ex-Netherlands premier: Health care is extremely terrible in Gaza
Former Netherlands Prime Minister, Ndris Van Otja [Dries van Agt], said that the health sector is extremely miserable in the Gaza Strip, stressing the need to end Gazans’ suffering, the Palestinian Maan News Agency reported on Wednesday afternoon.
Miles of Smiles convoy 6 arrives in Gaza
GAZA (PIC) 6 Oct — The international aid convoy Miles of Smiles 6 arrived in Gaza to a popular welcome ceremony at a late hour on Wednesday night via the Rafah border terminal with Egypt. Security sources at the terminal said that 41 members of the convoy managed to enter the Strip after coordination with the Egyptian side and that the others would soon follow. They pointed out that the convoy carries with it tons of badly needed medical necessities including types of medicines that went out of stock in Gaza in addition to ambulance vehicles.
Link to Palestinian Information Center
Political / Diplomatic / International news
Abbas urges Europe: Support the Palestinian spring
STRASBOURG, France (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — President Mahmoud Abbas told the Council of Europe on Thursday that security is created through peace, and not force. Addressing the council’s parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, Abbas appealed to Europe to support Palestine’s bid for full UN membership, which is under review by a Security Council standing committee. “Today we are at the heart of the Arab spring: we say that the hour of the Palestinian spring has struck,” he told European parliamentarians.
Clinton: UNESCO should think again before granting Palestinian membership
AP/Reuters/Haaretz 6 Oct — U.S. Secretary of State Clinton warns UN cultural agency that approving Palestinian membership will lead U.S to cut funding to the group … “I … would urge the governing body of UNESCO to think again before proceeding with that vote because the decision about status must be made in the United nations and not in auxiliary groups that are subsidiary to the United Nations,” Clinton told a news conference in the Dominican Republic, where she is on an official visit … Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded to the news Wednesday saying that the Palestinian request for membership to UNESCO is a “rejection of the path of negotiations, as well as of the Quartet plan to continue with the political process.”
Egypt to mobilize support for Palestine’s membership in UNESCO
CAIRO (WAFA) 6 Oct — Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Moataz Khurshid promised on Thursday to work by all means to mobilize support to guarantee Palestine’s full membership in UNESCO
PA: FIDIC approves Palestine membership
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 6 Oct — The International Federation of Consulting Engineers on Wednesday accepted Palestine as a full member, an official told the Palestinian Authority news agency in Ramallah. The FIDIC executive board “decided in the meeting held today in Davos, Switzerland to accept Palestine’s membership,” said Marwan Abdelhamid, advisor to president for development and reconstruction. Palestine is the third Arab country to join FIDIC, after Jordan and Lebanon, he said.
Blair urges Congress to release blocked aid to Palestinians
LONDON (WAFA) 6 Oct — Quartet Special Envoy to Peace, Tony Blair, Tuesday urged the US Congress to release $200 million in funds for Palestinian state building that it has currently placed on hold until the Palestinian application for membership in the United Nations is resolved, said Blair’s office. Blair, in an interview with the BBC Radio 4, said he was working to persuade lawmakers against the cut in funding on the basis that “even if you are completely opposed to the Palestinian bid in the United Nations, this is not the right way to respond to it, because it harms the Palestinian people and the very things we have most strongly supported over the last few years.”
South Korea threatens to cancel all defense deals with Israel
Haaretz 6 Oct — The purchase of the Israel Air Force’s new training plane is causing serious diplomatic tension between Israel and South Korea: Fearing that Israel has already decided on a rival plane made in Italy, the Koreans are now threatening in return to cancel all their deals for purchasing Israeli defense systems.
Israel culture ministry offers prize for Zionist-oriented art
Haaretz 6 Oct — NIS 50,000 prize intended to ‘reflect Zionist values and history,’ following a storm over boycotting the cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel — A codex for a new prize to be awarded for “Zionist-oriented” art was issued Wednesday, to ensure only those whose work fulfills the correct political criteria may qualify for it.
Yom Kippur drill: ISF simulates war call-up
Ynet 6 Oct — The IDF is taking no chances on the eve of Yom Kippur. In an unusual and rare step, The IDF’s General Staff alerted two reserve divisions as part of an emergency drill in army bases in central and northern Israel. The purpose of the exercise was to test the soldiers’ level of response and readiness for war.
Analysis / Opinion
Analysis: Prisoners take center stage / Daoud Kuttab
Ma‘an 6 Oct — Sumud Ahmad Saadat is the daughter of the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, kidnapped from the Palestinian Authority’s prison in Jericho by military force. Saadat is locked up in a jail inside Israel proper, in contravention of the Geneva Conventions, which forbid occupiers to transfer prisoners into the country of occupation. He has been held in solitary confinement for most of the past five years. Sumud, in her early 20s now, has not seen her father in five years. Attempts to obtain this basic human right through the International Committee of the Red Cross have failed. Neither did an attempt to get redress from the Israeli courts have any result.
You and I and the next Yom Kippur war / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 6 Oct — Not even the trauma of the Yom Kippur War, the mother of all traumas, led to a genuine strategic change for Israel. The generals and pundits will promise that the IDF learned its lessons, but Israel didn’t learn anything.
Is Israel its own worst enemy? / Nicholas D. Kristof
NYTimes 5 Oct — For decades, Palestinian leaders sometimes seemed to be their own people’s worst enemies … These days, the world has been turned upside down. Now it is Israel that is endangered most by its leaders and maximalist stance. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is isolating his country, and, to be blunt, his hard line on settlements seems like a national suicide policy. Nothing is more corrosive than Israel’s growth of settlements because they erode hope of a peace agreement in the future. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/opinion/kristof-is-israel-its-own-worst-enemy.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=Israel&st=cse
Revealed: UK government plotted with Israel lobby to ban Salah / Asa Winstanley
EI 6 Oct — As Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah’s appeal against deportation concluded in a Birmingham court this week, new details of the UK government’s deep links to the Israel lobby have emerged.
Anatot: Yisrael Hayom smears Palestinian farmer, calling him convicted rapist / Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam 6 Oct — The story of the Anatot pogrom took on a new and even more bizarre twist when Yisrael HaYom, Sheldon Adelson’s vanity newspaper created to boost the political power of Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli far-right, published a patently false report [Hebrew] (page 13) claiming that Yassine Abed Abu Salah Al-Refai, the Palestinian farmer whose cause originally brought peace activists to Anatot to defend his right to farm his land, was a three-time convicted rapist who’d spent 18 years in Israeli jails … The only problems according to Israeli blogger, Esti Segel [Hebrew]? First, the story claimed Yassine was originally from Gaza and gained Israeli citizenship through collaboration with the Shin Bet (an almost certain death sentence in Palestinian circles — you see where this is going). The article also claims he’s married to a Jewish woman. Actually, he’s a native of the village of Anata where his grandfather was mukthar and founded the village of Anata. He holds Israeli citizenship by virtue of the fact that half the village is included in the municipal district of Jerusalem (East Jerusalem was annexed shortly after the 1967 War). He has a legal deed to his land from the Ottoman authorities and which Israeli courts and even the settlers of Anatot concede is valid…